beta by vanillaghost

She was so very tired. Gleeful, but tired. This sense of ease washing over her was new. It was the feeling of a job well done. Althea sighed and tapped her fingers against the arm of the chair.

The Dark Lord was late by two days. However, she could understand that. In a way she regretted not being there to witness his reaction at seeing the boy's body. Did he cry? Did he scream? Did he know it was her? Why didn't he come for her earlier? Althea had come back to Mittenwald right after leaving Potter. She could have fled the country, hidden herself as best as she could, but knew who Lord Voldemort really was. She knew that no matter where or how far she hid, he would always find her. Maybe it would take days, weeks, months, even whole years, but he was going to find her anyway. And the strangest of all things was accepting the inevitability of a violent death. But it was for the best.

After this, Lord Voldemort was going to return to his previous ways. Not the political foolery from before. When Althea first had the vision of a restored Dark Lord, that's what she saw. The Dark Lord as he used to be. A worthy leader to rule them all. To cast away all muggleborns and half-bloods, to stop the persecution of dark wizards. But everything had changed because he couldn't stay away from The Boy Who Lived. Who with his mere presence had spoiled everything Althea had worked so hard for all these years. So many different plans and outcomes, all ruined, and because of what? Because the Dark Lord wanted to fuck Harry Potter. And Althea had seen none of this. By the time she realized where things were going, all her visions lead to one thing only. Potter dead, the Dark Lord killing her in return before returning to his past-self. The price was high but she was more than willing to pay for it. How else could you change history?

She felt his aura before actually seeing him. Standing up, Althea listened to the sound of his steps before the doors banged against the wall and the Dark Lord appeared in the doorway. She couldn't help but feel proud just by looking at him. The undisclosed anger in his eyes, the magic radiating from his body, the cruel expression on his face. Althea stood a little straighter, watching her greatest creation slowly advancing towards her.

"Why?" he demanded.

"Because it was the right thing to do. Otherwise you would keep on going with this political charade and ruin us all."

Lord Voldemort stopped a few meters away from her. "So you killed him."

He was calm now, but it was the calm before the storm. Before it shattered everything in its way.

"I did," Althea confessed, "Because trust me, Tom Marvolo Riddle, from the moment you decided to keep him around for your entertainment I've witnessed countless versions of the future, and I can tell you one thing for certain. You will always fall in love with him and you will always lose him. No matter how many times you play it, the song remains the same."

Voldemort's chin rose in defiance. "You've seen a lot of things have you?" he asked, head tilted.

And just like that he slowly slipped his wand back inside his coat, his expression serene. Althea stared at him. It was entirely different from what she had seen. The Dark Lord's wand should have stayed in his hand.

"What now? Are you going to avenge your lover or not?" Althea provoked him, grinning. "Don't tell me you don't care…"

"I'm not going to do anything to you," Voldemort said.

It couldn't be possible. The visions did not lie. Never.

"No," Althea snapped. "You have to kill me! It can't happen otherwise…I've seen it."

The Dark Lord smirked at her. "Oh, you are going to die, do not worry. Only not by my hand."

He took a step sideways and a very-much-alive Harry Potter stood behind him. Althea made to grab her wand from her sleeve but a silent spell sent her straight to her knees, weapon flying into the boy's outstretched palm. For a few moments, only her ragged breath could be heard before Potter decided to speak, looking down at her in an imitation of what had happened two days ago.

Harry looked unforgiving, his green eyes sparkling in the dark.

"I'm not going to torture you if that's what you're thinking," Harry whispered. "But you are going to die."

Althea wetted her lips, opening her mouth to buy herself a little time when the green light made everything disappear. It was the exact opposite from her visions. She was somewhere else when she opened her eyes.

Entirely and utterly alone.