"I think Hell is something you carry around with you, not somewhere you go."
Summary: Petunia abandons a young Harry in London with a flimsy promise to return after his hair turns an unnatural shade of red associated with the devil. Frightened and alone little Harry stumbles upon the entrance to Diagon Alley and is found by a boy with silver eyes. How much could Draco's influence at such a young age possibly change the story? Misunderstandings, possessiveness and magic ensue.
Characters: Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy, Severus Snape, Lucius Malfoy (others come later on)
Warnings: Superstitions, Curses, Lies, Manipulations, Possessiveness, Dark Arts, Mythology
AN: I present the next installment of Something Wicked.
ANx2: Thoughts, Questions, Theories, Guesses, Comments and limericks always welcomed.
Ever Yours, Pseu
"Lightly smile like you're keeping a secret, now tell lies because you've sworn to keep it
Got a secret can you keep it, swear this one you'll save
Better lock it in your pocket, taking this one to the grave - and I'll show you that I know you won't tell what I've said
Because two can keep a secret if one of them is dead."
Muggles was the magic word.
They sat in a small conference room within the goblin run bank. Large and rectangular with bare stone walls and two tables on either end of the room it was a place of focus. No distractions. No paintings or murals or weapons they swore were only for decoration. This was not a place for intimidation techniques. This was a place of discussion. What was the problem and what will you give us to do something about it? That was the only question that mattered. The goblins themselves were about Harry's size, some a little bigger and some a little smaller. They had pale narrow eyes, sharp smiles and fingers which ended with claws. Over all of this they wore nice suits and expensive pocket watches. Honestly Harry didn't think they needed the 'decorative' weaponry he'd seen on the walls in other areas of the bank. If you paid attention all you'd need was one good look at the goblins themselves. They were dangerous. They got things done.
And if the price was right they would be dangerous and get things done for you rather than against you.
There was some excitement in the beginning when a goblin approached Harry and tried to touch him. In the end he was only trying to shake his hand but Harry;s magic had reacted on instinct. There was a goblin ice sculpture in the middle of the room no one talked about. It wasn't Harry's fault. You shouldn't touch people without permission. he didn't like people touching him anyway. Except for Malfoy, but he was his and that was different.
His snakes approved of the place. The majority still entwined about Malfoy's waist, taking Harry's order to keep him safe seriously. They'd sent two or three out to look about the room. Even the goblins were wary of them. Harry felt surges of smugness whenever he noticed this. It was good he thought for others to acknowledge it when you were dangerous. Of course it was usually everyone else who was dangerous. Not Harry. That was before he let his magic loose. Now that he couldn't put it back it coated his very skin and flared out now and then according to his mood. He was lucky that his power was so cold instead of hot. His companions forgave a bit of frost easily. He did not think they would be so forgiving of scorch marks and burns.
Two goblins stood in the far corner. Another stood near the pureblood Lord. The Lord's sharp eyes were expressive in his disdain for muggles and his disgust that such (Malfoy put his hands over Harry's ears so he wasn't sure what The Lord called the muggles) were somehow able to gain custody of a magical child. One as special as 'Caine' no less. Harry knew for a fact he spent last night sleeping in the cupboard under the stairs and was a freak not special. Harry wasn't about to correct anyone of the assumption. They could believe him special all they liked, it seemed to be working to his benefit. And if it meant he got to remain with Malfoy then Harry didn't much care what they thought.
Speaking of Malfoy, the younger blonde seemed more than pleased at the chaos he'd caused. Content to stand behind Harry and run his fingers through his red hair. Harry liked it but also felt like a pet. Nearby stood Sev. The man had not left Harry's side, his black eyes periodically giving him contemplative looks. Each one made Harry's heart thump hard against his chest. What if this man figured out he wasn't special? What if they sent him back?
He tugged and twisted at the cloak he still wore. He could not hide behind Malfoy right now. Malfoy told him he had to let everyone get a good look at him and be a bit melancholy while he was at it.
"Everyone feels for hurt children, especially if they're powerful and orphaned."
That didn't stop the taller boy from staying close to Harry, playing with his hair or fixing his clothes. Sometimes he moved forward just a bit and squeezed Harry, letting him know he was there with him. That he was not alone. Harry's magic adored the attention, rumbling in pleasure, skittering around the other boys. Malfoy's cheeks were rosy from the chill but he never once complained. Perhaps he understood it? Perhaps he knew it was affectionate and didn't mind it? His magic flared out for a moment in response to the possessive feeling that swam over him. His friend was a very good one.
Harry looked up to lock eyes with Malfoy's silver ones. They were wide and shining, the cheeks below flushed pink from Harry's magic. "The goblins would like to speak with you. Alone. They want to see if they figure out which bloodline you come from so we can try to find you some magical relatives to stay with. Is that alright with you? If it's not I'll tell them so." Said Malfoy. He smoothed out Harry's cloak as he said this, straightening it and removing invisible bits of dust. Harry wondered if it was a nervous habit. Or maybe...a possessive one? He barely kept his magic from flaring out at the thought.
"No that's fine. I'll see them." If he at least met with them alone than maybe he could talk to them? Reason with them? Surely they wouldn't send him back to the muggle if he told them, and possibly exaggerated, how he was treated. He just didn't want anyone talking to them. Whenever anyone came to talk to his aunt and uncle they always left believing them. Harry didn't want that to happen. No he wouldn't let it happen. If it did he wouldn't see Malfoy again. That was unacceptable. Malfoy was his friend. He wouldn't be parted from him. He didn't care if he had to ice over the room to get that point across or immobilize them all with his snakes' venom. He was staying with Malfoy. Plain and simple.
Harry sat at a small table to the side of the room with three goblins in front of him. Just behind him both Malfoy and Sev stood, outside the privacy ward. The goblins assured him they couldn't hear anything they said until it was taken down. First they asked for his full name, if he knew it, his age and date of birth. They asked for the names of his relatives and the names of his parents. They weren't happy when he told them he'd never known his parents names or even what they looked like. They were less happy when he said he wasn't sure when is birthday was as it wasn't ever celebrated. Or mentioned. Apparently they knew who he was right away. They took a sample of his magic to run against a set in a family vault. It was to confirm his connection the bloodline or so he was told.
This was how Harry Potter, The-Boy-Who-Lived was introduced to the wizarding world and how he learned of his parent's death. Of his fame. Not how many would imagine it. Not how certain figures would have had it happen. In another life in another world it went differently. But this is how it went in this world and this weren't destined to go as anyone planned. In return Harry told them everything. He told them about the cupboard under the stairs. He told them about Harry hunting and the weird things that happened around him. How his hair grew back after his aunt cut it all off. The way it turned red. Harry demonstrated his ability to talk to snakes and to control them and he made the room grow cold with his magic. He explained what happened with the thief in the alley and how he believed he'd stolen the man's life or maybe his soul.
The smallest of the three goblins looked up from the papers in front of him. They'd been staring at them in horror for several minutes and it was beginning to freak Harry out. They all studied Harry for a moment. "We have a problem."
Harry's eyes narrowed. "Sir?"
"People will notice if Harry Potter goes missing. Maybe not now, but they will. The question is what you want us to do about it?" He rearranged the papers in front of him. "I can not move without your permission. I want you to know that we can help you, if you ask us."
"Sir?" Harry repeated. "I don't understand."
The goblins exchanged glances. "You don't want anyone to know that you are Harry Potter, this is correct?"
"Yes sir." Said Harry. "I'd like to stay Caine if I can. I don't want to be Harry. I don't want to go back." Harry pulled on the cloak Malfoy bought for him. He didn't want to give this up. No one like Harry but a lot of people liked Caine. Malfoy stuck up for Caine. Bought Caine things. Let Caine hide behind him was he was nervous and didn't call him a Freak when he spoke to snakes. Malfoy was worried for Caine when he fought with the thief in the alley. Caine was staying with Malfoy. "If it's up to me I'd like to be Caine."
"That's a very big lie." Warned the smallest goblin. His voice was as soft as a goblin's voice could get. He appeared sympathetic. "There will be consequences." He hated the way they looked at him then. harry understood consequences. He knew things didn't always turn out how you'd like. In fact nothing ever had. Not for him. Not until now. Not until he mat Malfoy. Harry knew from his relatives that if you wanted something you had sometimes you had to be willing to get your hands dirty. To bend and break some rules. You did what you had to do. Harry understood that. He lived in a cupboard under the stairs because he'd be thrown out into the street if he complained. He did his chores because he wouldn't eat if he didn't. Doing things you didn't want to do, doing things that were hard. Harry understood. Now though. Now it was time for him to do the hard things in-exchange for the things he wanted. Not stale bread. Not a cupboard. He wanted Malfoy. He wanted to keep his friend and his new things and the respect and awe in Sev's eyes. He wanted it.
"I don't care." Said Harry, hardening in a soft place inside himself. He wanted to stay with Malfoy. He wanted to be his friend. He wanted to be with people who didn't care how odd he was or that he was magical. He wanted to stay. Harry clenched his hands into fists. From his shirt his snake stuck its head, turning to look up at him. Harry stared down at it.
"Do you want me to bite them?" It asked.
He patted its head. "Not yet. If they don't give me what I want then..." He trailed off. An idea forming. Thoughts emerging. Harry thought of what he'd done to the man in the alley and he relaxed. He did not know much about the wizarding world but he knew enough about life that the one in the room with the ability to suck out your soul was the one who got his way. A small smile curled along Harry's face. He sucked out somebody's soul. He had power over snakes. He'd like to see someone try to take him away. If they wouldn't help him he'd make them. His magic purred at the thought, flaring up.
The temperature in the room lowered, frost crawling along the table where he sat, on the buttons of the goblins suits and down their claws. Conversation paused. The other inhabitants of the room turned to look at the boy with the unnatural red hair, sat before three goblins. His face calm, serene even. His eyes though, those emeralds were as hard as the stones they resembled. The snakes focused on their master, interested in this turn of events. The three wanders slithered toward the table. In the silences their scales on the stones was loud. Unnerving. Soft chimes of metal against the rock. They twirled their small blue bodies about the legs of the table, poking their heads over the top. The swaying, unblinking heads staring down the goblins sitting there.
Harry noticed none of this. Mentally hugging his magic for supporting him as no one else ever had he looked up. The goblins met his eyes head on, their own glittering. "I very much look forward," Said one of them, "To seeing what becomes of you Mister Potter."
"I don't want to be Harry Potter." Said Harry, shoving his magic into the words.
The goblins grinned. "Well then mister Potter, we'll have to create you won't we?"
July 1989 Caine Potter was created. Younger brother to the more famous Harry Potter. Hidden away by his family out of fear for disgrace. Light aligned families did not have children with Hellfire hair. A birth certificate lay before him on the table looking as if it'd been around for year rather than just created. There was a family tree with his name. He was included in a family will, given godparents and received his own vault in the bank. There it lay before him, his new existence. It was unnerving how easily the goblins 'created' him.
He was officially somebody else.
"What will we do about Harry?" He asked. It felt odd to talk about himself in the third person.
The goblins grinned. "When the time is right we'll come to you. Until then, enjoy your new life. Caine." They stacked the papers and set them aside, handing him a small folder. "Give these to Severus Snape. We imagine he will take care of it just fine from here."
Harry took a deep breath. This was it. Let there be consequences. He didn't care anymore. Harry walked to Sev. Slowly. Giving any remaining heavily light aligned morals to make themselves known and talk himself out of it. None of them showed themselves. So this was it. He was really doing this. He'd heard of living a lie but this was something else. He could do it though. If something was his he was keeping it. If he didn't want to do something he wouldn't do it. His magic curled around him, whispering into his ear. Its icy fingers running along his arms and his face and his throat, soothing him. Reassuring him that it would take of everything. All he had to do was say the word.
He was powerful. He could do whatever he wanted.
The tall, dark haired man turned to him. "Yes Caine? Is everything alright? You were over there for quite some time." His dark eyes flickered to the goblins talking excitedly at the table where Harry left them. A fourth ran between them and the two speaking with Lord Malfoy. Their grins were especially unpleasant. Who knew Goblins liked deception so much?
"Have they found your family?"
Blonde hair momentarily clouded Harry's vision. Malfoy squeezed him tight, step back and started playing with his hair without a word. Harry was surprised how quickly he was getting used to that. Sev was still looking at him, waiting. Harry swallowed. He could do this. They already liked him. All he had to do was commit to this role, get them to like him even more and they'd never question anything he did. That's how it worked. Uncle Vernon did all sorts of things his aunt disapproved of. When it was the neighbors doing it. But because it was her husband, someone she loved doing these things and these things benefited her...it was as if she never even noticed. Harry could do this. He would take everything he had learned in life thus far and he would use it.
No one would ever push him around or take his things again. No one.
"About that sir." He held out the folder. "There is something I think you need to see."
Harry tilts his head, letting his red curls tumble over one another, drawing the man's eyes to them. Harry gave him a nervous, pretty smile. A hopeful smile. "Read it okay? And it's okay if it's not something you;re interested in but..." He rambled, hanging the sentence empty at the end. He even bit his lip and looked down to the ground. The folder left his hands. Harry dropped them to his side then he curled them around his waist. He made himself seem even smaller. He felt Malfoy wrap an arm around him, one of his hands playing with his hair.
A soft burst of breath left Sev.
"Do you know what this paper says?" His low, rolling voice questioned.
Caine looked up.
"Yes sir. It says you're my godfather."
Thoughts? Questions? Theories? Guesses? Comments? Limericks?
AN: I worked on this instead of getting ready to go and now I have to run to the laundry room, get my clothes, get changed, brush my hair (or just stick some water in it and let it be messy on purpose) and run out the door. Go me! Totally not edited so I am sorry for mistakes there is sure to be. I'll be on later and I'll be responding to PMs about then so if you've been waiting for a response I'm gonna get to you soon I swear. Until then, cross your fingers I look healthy when my mum comes by.