Prompt: What if Harry hadn't died in the Forbidden Forest in the Battle for Hogwarts?
Warning: LVHP, NOT TRHP. This is going to be pure serpentine goodness. Will be rated M in later chapters. The first multi-chap fic I've written in years due to writing books, so bear with me. Writing someone else's characters after writing your own for so long is strange.
I don't own any of this stuff other than the 'plot', which I am sure has been done before. All characters belong to JK Rowling. What a Goddess.
Chapter 1: A Change of Heart
Harry made his way slowly and sluggishly into the Forbidden Forest. Voldemort had offered to call off the entire war if Harry handed himself in. There was no questions about what he had to do. He couldn't kill Voldemort without dying anyway, so he decided that it was best to go.
In all honesty, the message had been a godsend. Harry had learnt a lot in this war; his purpose, how many people actually cared about him. He was a sacrifice to be delivered, and it was finally the time to do so. He wasn't scared about what was to come. If anything, he was grateful. The only regret he would have about dying would be giving Voldemort the satisfaction of being the perpetrator. He guessed that Ron and Hermione weren't really to blame. None of his school friends were aware of his duties, they had just wanted to help. For a while, they had all thought they'd had a chance of winning the war.
Harry knew better.
He studied the trees, the deep greens and browns that surrounded him. The greens made him ponder something. Had he chosen Slytherin in the first year, would this whole outcome have been different? Would he have given himself up earlier? Or would he have been recruited as a Death Eater? He looked up and sighed. He was close now, the stinging in his scar told him that. He guessed he'd never know.
Voldemort stood in the clearing, waiting. Lucius and Narcissa stood close by, and he held his hand up, signalling the approach of the boy. He wasn't the sight Voldemort expected. He had expected crying. Pleading. Fear. Harry's face looked ominously blank.
"Harry Potter. The Boy who Lived, come to die." He grinned. Harry sighed again and nodded, staring straight at him. Voldemort's face dropped. It was incredibly unsettling to see Harry so accepting of his imminent death.
"Get on with it. Please." Harry muttered. Voldemort frowned.
"Not wanting your death to be painful, Potter?" He asked. Harry shook his head. The next sentence he spoke would be enough to leave Voldemort frozen. Harry took a step forward and fell on his knees in front of him.
"Please kill me. I don't want to live anymore."
After a few moments of silence and shock, Voldemort decided to try toying with Harry. The attempt fell flat.
"Taking the coward's way out? What would Dumbledore think?"
"Who cares? He was saving me up to be used as a sacrifice, and didn't actually give a damn about me as a person. Him and his whole plan can rot in hell. I'm done. Kill me, take everything. It's what you want, right? Do it. Please, just kill me."
Voldemort had not expected a reaction like that in the slightest. Harry had been used by the Light as a weapon, a role he had never wanted to take. Maybe he was in the grey between the two, as Snape had been. Not wanting to let people down, but ready to let the world fall if they saw no other way out.
He remembered something Snape had shown him before the fight. A certain possibility. He didn't know how it would have worked, as the only option was to kill the boy, but it had been the two of them on top of the school, grabbing at each other's throats. Harry had said something in the possibility, something that stuck out in Voldemort's mind like a blinding light.
"Come on, Tom. Let's finish this the way we started it. Together!"
He focused on the boy at his feet. He was sure the context of the possibility was death, but looking at Harry, he felt a strange twang of pity. What if it didn't have to be death? What if…
What if they could work together?
They could end this war on the same side. Together, there could be nothing that could stop them. Taking Harry hostage for a while would keep him safe until Harry agreed to join the Dark…it would work perfectly.
"I will not kill you."
Harry looked up at him in sheer shock, not wanting to believe what he had said.
"You have to! You're the only one who will…"
"I have a better idea. You'll be coming with me."
Before they apparated away, Voldemort raised his voice to the sky and delivered a final message.
"Students, teachers and Aurors. I will not kill Harry Potter. Instead, I will be taking him hostage. If anyone tries to find him, he will die. This war is not over. In fact…" He looked down at Harry and grinned.
"…It's just begun."