Disclaimer: I do not own anything from Harry Potter.
Harry Potter, son of James and Lily Potter, heir to an ancient pureblood family, awoke with a guttural cry of anguish. With blurred eyes, lungs burning, and limbs flailing, he sat up raggedly from his supine position as words of an unintelligible nature croaked from parched throat out through his cracked lips.
After the panic subsided, his breath slowed down to a normal rhythm although his heart was still pounding. He stilled after a brief moment and closed his eyes, as if to emulate an anchorite in tranquil meditation, and then with trepidation, opened them.
A low, dim light source that greeted him allowed him to peruse the surroundings with little effort as piercing green eyes that shone in the darkness absorbed every detail they could. The air smelled earthy and damp, akin to the scent of petrichor.
The floor, which Harry was unceremoniously dumped on, was cold, hard, white marble that looked like it has been polished ever so often, as it gave out an opulent tone which screamed affluence.
As he looked around, he saw scores of black wooden shelves stacked neatly against stone walls, everyone one of them full of whirling gizmos and iridescent trinkets that gave off a gentle hum of dark magic as they danced and floated in situ, making Harry shiver with an unidentifiable emotion as their magic caressed him in a gentle ebb and flow.
The slow, methodical sound of dripping water, faintly echoing in the room drew his attention to the soft source of light, which originated from under a steel doorway. The door itself was covered with runes of every shape along its edges, each one glittering and pulsating in varying colours in an arcane manner; but their magic was clear, no one was to leave the room as long as they were active.
With a jolt, Harry put his head between his knees and wracked his brain for answers as to his location and to clear the pervading fog he had on his mind.
Fire, he gasped his head jerked upright, the images of the previous day aroused in his mind. Hogsmeade was on fire. Not just any sort of fire. Fiendfyre. The darkest of magic infused with the primordial essence of fire.
He recalled the shrill screams of desperation and terror as Death Eaters brazenly apparated with soft pops in broad daylight, casting and weaving the foulest of magicks.
It was the winter of his sixth year, and he had been with Ron and Hermione in the Three Broomsticks Inn when they first heard the screams.
"Horcruxes… that's what Dumbledore discussed with me earlier," Harry said earlier quietly as the three of them huddled around one the tables in the corner of the inn.
"They are artifacts of dark magic. These objects are bound together with soul magic and need to be destr-…" He continued but never finished his sentence as a shill ear-splitting cry filled the air.
Harry gasped as he suddenly clutched his head in pain; the scar on his head burning with Voldemort's anticipation.
"Death Eaters!" He panted, as he stared as his friends in overwhelming dread.
They rushed out the entrance wands at the ready, pushing past the stampeding crowd. They then saw black hooded figures wearing silver masks, apparating with pops all around the outskirts of the village until it was completely surrounded. After a brief silence, there was a bellowing command.
"NOW," A loud, metallic and distorted voice thundered across the region.
As if watching synchronized swimming on Muggle television, all the Death Eaters raised their wands and chanted harshly in unison.
The world turned orange.
Snakes, lions, dragons and other dangerous beasts made out of fire soared and smashed into everything and anything in the village. Screams filled the air as people caught on fire and were trying to put it out in the snow, but to no avail as water nor enchanted water could not douse or have any effect on such dark magic.
The Golden Trio were still in a stupor from the unrestrained destruction as the smell of charred flesh wafted over and diffused in the air around them.
Harry's stomach heaved as he turned over to the side and fell to his knees as he gagged up the last meal he ate. A trembling hand wiped away the saliva from his chin as stood back up, noticing Ron and Hermione had reacted in the same way.
Harry's fury and sorrow grew as he blankly looked at the burnt remains of what were once living and breathing human beings. Suddenly, anger deep within him reared up like a snake. As a multitude of emotions swirled within him, he grip tightened with such intensity on his wand it felt as if the wand would snap from the pressure.
"Sectumsempra!" Harry screamed as his eyes turned red for a second, pointing his wand at the nearest Death Eater.
The same exquisite thrill rushed through him as it once did before when he cast it on Draco in Moaning Myrtle's Bathroom earlier in the year.
The unsuspecting Death Eater howled in pain as three distinct cuts appeared on his body in a zigzag manner. He fell to the ground twisting and turning as blood gurgled out of his mouth beneath his silver mask while his body was convulsed with pain.
As his thrashing body finally stilled, the crimson liquid from his body meandered downwards, with gravity as its guide, staining the pure white snow beneath him.
As this was happening, Fiendfyre was running wild and rampant as some casters were not focused enough and lost concentration of the spell – and thus lost control of the conjured beast.
An unbounded fiery snake burst out of the shop adjacent to them, throwing debris high up in the air, forcing Harry to throw up a shield charm for cover as burning wreckage pelted him.
Eyes still trained on the conjured beast, he saw the path the snake took as it rammed itself against the shop on the opposite side of the street.
Harry's eyes widened as he realised the shop contained particularly volatile items and knew what was going to happen. Thinking furiously back to a modified shield charm he once saw in the Half-Blood Prince's book, he cast it in desperation.
Unfortunately, Harry's area protection shield spell was too slow as the explosion knocked everyone in the vicinity off their feet and dropped them like ragdolls onto the snowy banks.
Lying on his back, hot, black smoke was lingering in the air as he coughed painfully when he tried to speak.
As Harry was struggling to stand upright, he saw two motionless and blackened figures a distance away from him, framed by the melting and soot-filled snow.
One of them had red hair.
His heart was in his mouth as he hysterically started crawling towards them, knees scraping against the slushy earth below where the snow had melted.
Just as Harry was about to reach them, he heard the crunch of snow behind and someone behind him softly saying, "What do you know, we've found him… " before his world turned to blackness.
A foreboding clamour of noise outside the door broke his introspection and made him immediately jump to his feet, ignoring all the aches he had while trying to reach for his wand which to his last memory, was still in his wand holster. He felt his fingers brush against the coarse leather in the interior of his robes as they grasped empty air.
No, where is it? Harry thought in horror as the sonance grew louder and he distinguished the recognizable patter of feet.
The steel door swung open with a thunderous crash and in strode a man donned with sleek black and silver robes, white gloves, and carrying a cane under his left arm. He had high aristocratic cheekbones, long blonde hair that extended past his shoulders, and a smirk that loped to one side that Harry would never forget in his lifetime.
All the hate for over the last six years of his life in Hogwarts for this particular family coalesced into a single utterance, "Lucius Malfoy," Harry snarled as he stared at him with loathing.
Harry's heart was pounding; he knew where he was now. He was held in one of the cellars of the prestigious Malfoy Manor. His breath quickened as two robed figures who he had never seen before stepped out behind Lucius to either side, each giving Harry a look as if he was a piece of meat.
A thin pale eyebrow raised delicately as Lucius regarded Harry in amusement. "Potter, I bid you welcome to my humble abode. I'm afraid the next days will prove to be most uncomfortable for you," he drawled.
With a strange glint in Lucius's eye, he continued, "The Dark Lord is preoccupied for the next three days. He will, however, be here soon but he only specified that he wanted you…alive."
He gestured to his left with his gloved hands in a flippant manner.
"This is Rosario Crowe, a famous man in the wizard underworld with a proclivity for… well, you'll soon find out," Lucius leered as the aforementioned wizard gave a full grin, as the full spectrum of his pearly white teeth gleamed in the darkness, promising agonizing pain.
Lucius continued on gaily, tilting his head towards his right, "The other fellow is Travis Wood, one of the best healers in the service of the Dark Lord."
As Harry's face twitched in confusion, Lucius's visage turned ever so slightly more predatory, "After all, it will be very inconvenient for us if you died, no?"
As Harry's mind was still trying to process the information, Lucius briskly turned on the spot and walked back out of the room as quickly as he came only to look over his shoulder to his two companions.
"Make his stay the most comfortable will you?" he said as he shut the door with a final ominous gong that reverberated around the room.
For a few seconds the three of them that were left in the cellar remained silent and did not utter a single word nor move a muscle. The silence was broken as, with a flourish, Rosario pulled out from under his coat, a long, thin and wiry black coil of rope which he held taut in both hands. He turned to face Harry and slowly moved towards him one step at a time, like a hunter stalking his prey.
With each step forward Rosario took, Harry took one step back. His breath grew more ragged and his fear grew exponentially as the reality set in of what position he was in at the moment. His pale, clammy hands were shaking and body trembling, as he felt his back hit the wall of the cellar from his unconscious steps back from the two men in front of him.
"I promise we are going to have so much fun together", Travis half-giggled, half murmured with euphoria shining in his eyes, at the quivering prize that awaited him.
As they pounced on him, Harry screamed and came to know pain like no wizard or witch ever before him had.
"Ennervate," A harsh voice commanded as it forced Harry back into consciousness.
Harry's voice had given out from all the screaming over the past three days, but he couldn't help by making a violent start and a noise in his chest at the sight before him. This action caused him to contort his face and blink back tears as he reopened a wound on his back that burned like a flaming knife being twisted under his skin.
Voldemort stood before Harry in all his ophidian glory, enrobed with a black robe with green and golden stripes that seemed to flow and curl around his body akin to a snake. His pale appearance and serpentine nose – or lack of, courtesy of Harry in his fourth year, seemed more grotesque than the last time he saw him.
"Harry… Potter, fate does indeed reward the most ardent," Voldemort chuckled as he enunciated each word carefully and slowly, while observing Harry's crumpled and mangled form on the floor.
"How does it feel Harry, knowing that everything that you have tried to accomplish so far has been for naught?" He continued, knowing that Harry was incapable of speech.
"Think of all the friends you'll let down, all the people on the side of the "light" that will soon see their only hope and saviour a mutilated cadaver, fit only for the crows," Voldemort sibilantly whispered as he stared dispassionately down at Harry.
Harry blanched as mind raced and thought of the Weasleys, Hermione, Neville, Sirius and…
With an exhalation, he thought of that name once more.
Maybe death isn't so bad, Sirius will be waiting for me, and I can finally meet with my parents.
With one good eye as his other one was swollen shut, Harry mustered up his willpower and weakly glared up at Voldemort in a last stand of defiance while a small smirk played on his lips.
"Complete the prophecy, finish it," Harry painfully wheezed as his throat and lungs burned. Warm, red blood dribbled down his lips onto his ragged and torn robes. He deduced with some morbid amusement that most of the ribs in his body were probably broken.
Voldemort tilted his head and gave a looked at Harry with as his eyes narrowed into deadly slits.
"So willing to join your godfather in death?"
As Harry continued looked at him through one eye, Voldemort looked into his mind using legilimency and true to his word, he found only acceptance of the afterlife in Harry consciousness.
Pure glee erupted in Voldemort.
Victory was so close and he could almost taste it. With Harry and the prophecy gone there would be nothing to stop in his hegemony of the Wizarding world.
"I've won Dumbledore, your golden boy is soon to be dead," Voldemort crowed, lazily raising his phoenix wand to point straight at Harry beating heart.
After a dramatic and mocking bow, he kept his wand level with Harry's heart and cast the only spell known to the Wizarding world that snuffs the life-force out of any organic being.
Time seemed to slow down for Harry. Everything in his body was in pain and he wanted it to just go away. As his eyes closed in preparation for his next great adventure, he failed to notice that a trinket in the room, which closely resembled an astrolabe, reacted to the cast of the killing curse and flew towards the green beam faster than any snitch.
As it spiralled in the air, it knocked over many other trinkets and caused them to smash into other artefacts. As every item was perturbed, each gave out a different reaction; some swelled twice their size while some pulsated with feral dark magic. As their effects started to overlap with one another, the magic coalesced into single point for a fraction, and then exploded outward with a great force.
Harry and Voldemort both winced and averted their eyes as every colour imaginable seemed to illuminate every corner of the cellar and beams of pure light and darkness were ricocheted off walls.
As this was happening, the initial trinket finally came into contact with the killing curse as it was just about to hit Harry and it exploded into a mist of pure silver that closely resembled a non-corporeal Patronus.
"What…" hissed Voldemort as he tried to raise his wand cast the killing curse once more, amongst the mayhem that was happening at the moment. Tightening the grip on his wand in frustration, he bellowed once more.
He never finished the cast, as an engulfing wave of magic, combined from all the hoarded trinkets into a volatile amalgamation, poured over him and Harry in a wave of pure and warm light.
Hazily, Harry noticed a strange device hurtling towards him; his eyes that were trained from Quidditch noticed that it vaguely resembled a time turner he once used in his third year.
As Harry's last thoughts were fading into the rapturous darkness, all he could think about was the pain that was disappearing as well.
With one final burst of energy, he grinned.
Padfoot, I'm coming.
Rubeus Hagrid, gatekeeper for the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, stood on top of a hill with arms akimbo in vigil, overlooking the green verdant grounds of Hogwarts that encroached onto the border of the Forbidden Forest.
The evening air was both crisp and refreshing as the half-giant admired the combination of the tall, dark looming trees, framed by a blood-red sunset in the background which presented him a rather beautiful vista.
His reverie was interrupted when a faint noise, that sounded like a crack followed by a sickening crunch, was heard behind him. Hagrid whirled around, black beady eyes scanning the patch of green that lay in-between him and Hogwarts as he tried to locate the source of the noise.
He put his right bulky hand to his brow as he squinted; after looking hard enough, he spotted a small, inanimate black bundle just outside of his house.
Hagrid started jogging with vigour towards this unknown object, which could well be something of a threat to Hogwarts. With laboured breathing and a flushed face, he reached his destination and realised that the black mass was actually a black robe that seemed to be covered in red paint... or blood.
Kneeling down with one leg on the soft and dewy grass, he gingerly pried apart the folds of the soggy robes to see what lay within.
Hagrid sucked in air in a short breath and shuddered at the sight before him. Hagrid had seen many sights in his lifetime, as his work usually took him deep within the Forbidden Forest, but no preparation could have prepared him for this scene.
A young child, no more than ten years old lay unmoving within, covered in fresh wounds and scars of every manner possible as dark magic oozed in undulation from the child's pale skin. With trembling hands, he gently knelt forward and touched one of the child's inner wrists to check for a pulse.
For a few seconds there was nothing, and Hagrid was one the verge of being tearfully convinced that it was a corpse.
Then, with came a very faint beat – but barely.
The child is alive!
With grim determination and a quash on his emotions, he tensed his shoulders as he gingerly picked up the child in his sizable arms and made a dash towards the castle with a haste that could only achieved through adrenaline.
Focus Hagrid, don' yeh dare trip. Hagrid pithily thought to himself, as he bounded up staircases and made for the hospital wing as quick as legs could take him while making sure that the child wasn't jostled around during the journey there.
"POPPY, THIS CHILD NEEDS YER HELP." Hagrid roared as he finally reached his destination and burst through the doors of the hospital wing.
The said woman, who had been who had been standing right behind the doorway jumped out of her skin at Hagrid's sudden arrival. Poppy pursed her lips and glared at Hagrid and was about to sharply reply for his loudness, but as she stared down at the heap cradled in Hagrid's arms her retort dies on her lips.
She blanched, and the features on her face turned grave as she immediately took out her wand from a pouch by her waist.
"Put the patient on this bed, quickly!" She hurriedly pointed to the closest bed to her since the hospital wing was empty.
Hagrid shuffled over to the bed and gently laid down the child on the white, clean bed and stepped back.
After waving her wand to cast a few quick diagnostic charms, she gave a gasp and widened her eyes in horror at the mix of colours that created a polychromatic halo that looped around the bed.
"This child… has been subjected to many dark curses and much physical trauma very recently," Poppy said in a trembling voice to Hagrid.
After a few moments of silence, her visage morphed into fierce determination. With steely fire in her eyes, she rolled up her sleeves.
"Inform Albus of the situation immediately. It's still the school holidays so he should be in his office at this time."
"Tell him he is not to interrogate our guest until after the curses have been removed," Poppy continued with a tone of warning in her voice as she started gathering the potions she needed from the cabinet opposite the bed.
Hagrid nodded vigorously enough to make his cheeks wobble. "Prob'ly for the bes'."
She waited for Hagrid to leave before she took a deep breath and turned a critical eye to the frail form of her patient. Poppy wracked her brain for answers as she could not recognize half of the curses that lingered on the body.
She needed to fix the immediate threats; she promptly pointed her wand at the side of the child only to mutter.
She watched as a golden mist burst out from her wand and coated the skin as it tried to seep through the body to fix broken bones.
Giving it a few seconds, she quickly cast a diagnosis spell which to her horror, showed her spell did little to no effect on the body.
Why is the bone not repairing? She pondered, putting one hand on her chin as she started thinking furiously for answers as to why her spell failed.
It seems that one of these curses seems to be hindering the growth and stability of the bone marrow and simultaneously creating negative pressure inside the bone to make it collapse on itself.
Very ingenious – and painful. Poppy eyes narrowed as she decided to tackle this from another angle.
Deciding her patient needed a full physical check first, Poppy undressed her patient and jerked backward in shock as she saw thin lines of criss-crossing scars across the entire torso and back.
These looks like wounds from enchanted wire or rope infused with some sort of variation of the Mordant charm, a spell that causes sharp biting lines on the surface of physical objects.
As her eyes strayed upwards she brushed aside hair to reveal an old scar shaped like a lightning bolt.
"An old scar, but definitely a cursed scar," She murmured to herself as she traced her finger down it.
With so much unknown magic at work she was at a loss at what spell to cast in what order to reverse the dark curses.
Poppy then did something that she hadn't done in a long time, ever since she had healed soldiers tainted with demonic magic from the war with Grindelwald.
She interlaced her knuckles together and cracked them as one in one swift motion, the popping noise from her joints echoing around the empty hospital wing.
"Time is of the essence," She muttered with resolve as she shook her hands and gathered her magic reserves and readied the most powerful healing spells she knew.
Poppy stared with pity at the face of her patient, which almost had an angelic look, as she readied her wand.
A/N: This is my first fic, so criticism is very much welcome! There is much more to come and I hope you will enjoy this as much as I do writing it!