AN: So I bet this is a surprise, it was a surprise for me too. Honestly, I had thought I had given up on this story, and on the entire Harry Potter fandom in general. It just didn't hold the same interest to me that it once had.
Still that was then, since discontinuing the original version of this story, my minds been toying around with new ideas, and well, I couldn't resist playing around with this story once again. Seems I am not as through with the fandom as I thought I was.
That said I have tinkered around with some major things in the story, at least compared to the original. After all the original I will admit, didn't have much of a plan behind it, I was kind of making it up as I went along and I think that showed. It was not as well thought out as it probably could have been, and I think it suffered because of that, that and a lack of inspiration and interest.
This story however I will be taking more time with and not rushing as much. After all far too many AU Harry stories never get finished, or end up trailing off and dying a death once the drama surrounding the arrival has died out. I'd rather that not happen with this one.
So with that in mind I hope you enjoy. Though I will put a fair warning in now, the Harry in this story is not one that can be easily related with or sympathised with, unless you too are petty and spiteful at times, and can be a bit of a twat. So yes I warn you now he won't be all that likeable at times, and won't be a generic Harry Potter hero type. He will be contradictory, inconsistent, erratic and at times an absolute wanker. You have been warned!
I say this now as I don't want to mislead people. OR for people to go into this story thinking that Harry is the generic golden boy that the fandom likes to portray him as. Nor will he be a godlike wizard who can snap his fingers and raze entire cities with a thought. He will however be a bit chaotic and dark, but not utterly evil.
There will be some melodrama at time but is not going to be a focus, and Harry due to reasons that will become apparent will be quite introspective, and this story will predominately be from his point of view, which means it will involve his opinion on things, and his thoughts and feelings on matter, which in and of themselves will have a bias.
On top of that I will endeavour not to try and deliberately bash characters for no reason, and will try not to fall into the classic Harry Potter fandom tropes and clichés. Though if I do well, then ah well, they become tropes for a reason. Not much more I can say on that front.
Pairings I will keep to myself, though I will admit they will happen, as I am a sucker for romances.
Think that should clear everything up, and get things out of the way. If you've not yet been put off then please do enjoy!
Thanks for reading!
Disclaimer: Obviously I do not own Harry Potter.
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( - )
Deep beneath the earth, on the cold, windswept, barren island prison of Azkaban, Harry James Potter lolled lazily against the bars of his cell. His raven black hair was long, tangled and matted with dirt and filth, and his tall, painfully thin, pale skinned body was clad in a ragged, grey prison uniform.
Letting out a bored sigh, Harry continued to drum his long, pale fingers on the bars of his cell, absentmindedly tracing the faint runic inscriptions that had been engraved into them with his other hand, even as he looked around at his surroundings in boredom.
Currently, he was just one of the lucky few residents of 'the Pit', collectively known to all those in the know, as the shitty arsehole of Azkaban.
It also happened to be the most highly secure part, of the already maximum security prison, too. The 'Pit' itself having been buried nearly a mile below the surface of the earth, far away from sunlight; fresh air and anything that might bring its prisoners joy. This section of the prison had been carved into the planet's bedrock by magic, and then had been subsequently reinforced by magic.
It was a place where the worst of the worst, those sentenced to life, were sent.
It was where they were sent to rot, hidden away from the sun or from fresh air, tucked away within the bowels of the earth, out of sight and out of mind.
All those who resided here, as far as the rest of the magical world was concerned, were for all intents and purposes dead.
Fortunately though, the place was not as bad as it had once been, after all 'the Pit' also used to be the spawning ground for the Dementors, the island's former prison guards.
The dark dank hole that Harry now lived, was where they had once been the most concentrated. It was also where they spawned new Dementors.
Though not in the traditional way that most beings reproduced. No, these were Dementors, and the way they spawn was much more sinister, and considerably less pleasurable.
Instead of reproducing in a physical way, Dementors instead had, over the course of many decades, corrupted the prisoners that had been kept down in their lair with their foul aura. They drained people of their happiness and joy, drove them insane, and then finally, they mutated them into Dementors themselves.
Such a fate was truly worse than death, after all at least death would be quick, clean and final. Living as a Dementor though, that was an eternity of pain and misery.
A Grisly fate for sure, Harry mused darkly to himself. Then again, the prisoners that resided down here, weren't sent here to have fun. No, they were sent here for the rest of their lives as a punishment for their heinous crimes.
Still, Harry comforted himself, 'the Pit' wasn't as bad as it used to be. After all with the Dark Lord Voldemort well and truly dead now, and a new, far more competent Ministry of Magic in charge of the country, the Dementors had all been exterminated.
Every last one of them had been destroyed.
Though, Harry chuckled darkly to himself, the reason for this weren't entirely moralistic. The main reason behind their extermination had been because they had sided with Lord Voldemort, again, when he was reborn just a few years previously.
With the Dementors; like many other 'dark' creatures, wizards and magical beings, having aided the Dark Lord in his most recent reign of terror.
A reign of terror that had only ended when the Boy-Who-Lived, the Chosen One had finally fulfilled his prophesised task and killed the Dark Lord Voldemort, once and for all.
Harry sighed again at that, his head lolling for a moment, before he rested it against the cold bars of his cell, ignoring the now familiar feeling of the magic coursing through the metal.
These bars, they had been specifically enchanted to stop the wizard, or witch, inside the cell from using their magic, either with a wand or without one.
It was a relatively new addition which had been brought about partly due to the absence of the Dementors, and partly because it had become known that Sirius Black, a falsely accused and currently dead mass murderer, had escaped Azkaban a few years ago now by transforming himself into a dog and then slipping through the bars and passed the Dementors completely unnoticed.
The lucky bastard, Harry thought to himself, raising his arm as he did so and inspecting his now bare forearm, his eyes then flicking up to where a static red dragon was tattooed further up his arm. Once upon a time that dragon had been fluidly moving over his skin like a living creature, now however, with the bars in place it was stationary and dormant, the magic that been woven into it defunct for the moment.
It was a shame really, as Harry had not just gotten the tattoo because it looked cool. There had been a specific purpose behind it. It had been an experiment, something he had wanted to try out, and which had succeeded.
Prodding at the motionless dragon's head, Harry grumbled to himself again. If it wasn't for bloody Sirius Black then he wouldn't be completely impotent. Hell, he could have even used his own Animagus form to escape.
Then again being able to turn into a moderately sized bird would not be all that useful a skill to have when underground, especially now that the sightless Dementors had been replaced with a platoon of, at least moderately, competent Aurors; wizards and witches specifically trained in hunting Dark Wizards. The Ministry's elite forces, and the true power behind the Department of Magical Law and Enforcement.
Yes, Harry thought morosely, the chances of him getting out of this place alive were practically non-existent. The only way he would be leaving here would be in a coffin, and wasn't that a cheerful thought for him to brood.
Harry let out a dry chuckle at that thought.
The Dementors, and the never ending aura of despair that had once ground the prisoners down may no longer be around, but that didn't mean being down here was pleasant.
No, Harry thought to himself, it was dark; dank, cold and above all boring. There was nothing to do down here except sit in your cell and ponder on your life, and on all the things you missed, the things that you had once taken for granted when you were free.
Basically, Harry mused to himself, the Dementors may no longer be driving you mad, but the solace and the amount of introspection you're forced to do still does.
Still, Harry sigh, in his opinion it was better to be barking mad than the alternative, after all, you always try and talk to the other prisoners down here.
"I swear Potter! If you sigh one more fucking time I'm going to reach through those fucking bars and throttle you, you little shit!" A hoarse, croaky voice suddenly snarled out. The anger and intensity of the voice attracting Harry's attention as he looked over to one of the other two metre by two metre cells
The cell in question being just barren and desolate as his own cell. With the cells down here in 'the Pit', having no luxuries like beds or furniture. Instead they just a hole in the ground for piss and shit, and a pile of filthy straw and a threadbare blanket as a bed.
Yep, Harry chuckled to himself, wizarding prisons were practically medieval, and there was little to no regulations or guidance on how they should be treated, save for them not being physically harmed without reason nor killed, either by their own choice, or by the guards. Those rules at least were heavily enforced, but otherwise it was pretty miserable down here, purposefully so.
Looking up at the speaker, Harry found himself looking at the ugly, heavily scarred face of Antonin Dolohov glaring at him. The other man currently pressing his hideous face against the bars, his single remaining eye gleaming brightly through the gloom as he glared hatefully at Harry.
"Go fuck yourself Dolohov you miserable, ugly old turd." Harry replied blandly, sticking two fingers up and sending the former Death Eater and duelling champion, the internationally recognised hand sign for 'fuck off'.
"You want to have a go Potter, I will rip your fucking throat out with my teeth you jumped up little shit!" Antonin snarled as he strained against his bars, his anger increasing by the second as he saw how unconcerned his antagonist looked.
"Wow graphic." Harry replied dryly, a mocking smirk quickly spreading across his face as he tilted his head to the side and gazed at the furious Dark Wizard across from him. He could sense and opportunity for a bit of entertainment. "You can try it I suppose. Then again you didn't come off so well the last time we faced off, did you…? Those scars, they didn't heal that well, did they?"
Antonin's single remaining eye bulged at that reminder, even as he brought a mangled hand up to his partially melted face, tracing his scarred fingers along his deformed his features.
The man was so ugly that it actually hurt to look at him sometimes, or at least that was what Harry thought.
"Shut up down there!" Another loud voice shouted out, only this time it came from above. The new voice noticeably attracting the attention of all eleven of 'the Pits', as all of them came to the bars of their cell and looked up. Their gazes locking on a wide metal platform that was slowly descending through the air from the large metal rooftop overhead. This was the only way in and out of 'the Pit'. "You've got yourself another permanent neighbour."
"Oh, another dead man walking!" A grating, high pitched female voice cackled from another one of the cells, Bellatrix Lestrange now getting involved as she pressed her pale, gaunt and haggard face against the bars, a gleeful look twisting across her face as she tried to see who the new inmate was.
"Of course you'd be happy about that, you psychotic bitch." Harry grumbled, pushing away his own curiosity about the new lifer was, as he instead too this as an opportunity to needle the unstable bitch. "You probably just want another person around that you can torment, all so you can feel better about your own sad; useless, pointless existence..."
"Drown yourself in your shit bucket, Halfblood." Bella spat back at him brusquely, before without a second glance at him, she once again looked up at the still descending platform chanting as she did so. "New fish, new fish, new fish."
All around the circular cavern the rest of the inmates joined in the chanting.
All of them, Harry knew, were the worst of the worst; they were mass murderers, torturers, necromancers, dark wizards. Each and every one of them had committed terrible crimes and horrific atrocities, of which they were all proven, irrefutably, guilty.
Harry unfortunately knew that he himself was included in that number.
"How long do you think this one will take to crack?" Fenrir Greyback growled from his own cell, his already ugly face, twisting into a somehow even uglier expression as he gazed hungrily up at the descending platform.
"I'd given him an hour." Harry replied from his own cell, once again leaning against the bars as the platform finished its descent, with him only looking away to share a grin with Fenrir.
"I'll take you up on that Hazza, if I can make him crack in under that then you have to sing us a little ditty," Fenrir grinned.
It was a pretty piss poor bet, Harry knew that. But really, they all had nothing else to bet with. Not even food as they were sustained by a particularly nasty ward, one that did nothing for their gnawing hunger and thirst, but kept them alive with magic all the same. For this reason, humiliation was really the only thing they had to gamble with. Plus revelling in someone else misery and embarrassment was pretty useful as a distraction too.
"Fine and if you can't then I expect one in return, I want to be serenaded." Harry retorted, not at all perturbed by how stupid this sounded, after all when you were trapped down here in the cold; damp, darkness you clung onto anything you could to entertain you.
"You're on!" Fenrir returned with a chuckle, several of the other inmates groaning and grumbling as he did so.
Chuckling dryly at this, Harry turned his attention back to the newcomers, watching curiously as the platform touched down, and two red robed Aurors forced the new inmate off of it. Both of the robed men holding the prisoner tightly by either arm as he struggled and screamed. The new lifer screaming, and begging for mercy and claiming innocence.
Harry shook his head in dark amusement at the performance. If he had been sentenced down here, the newcomer was already fucked, there was no talking your way out of this place.
With twin looks of disgust on their faces, the two men cast the new lifer onto the floor. One of the Aurors taking their wands out to immobilise him, and then force him to stand up, whilst the other held a long, rune engraved metal baton, magical lightning coming to life and crackling menacingly at the end of baton.
"We're to put him in the cell next to Potter." The Auror with the baton said, gesturing over to the empty cell next to Harry.
"Oh, I'm honoured." Harry drawled out sarcastically in response, even as the other Auror forced the prisoner over to where Harry was, the new prisoner eventually coming into clearer focus, his pale face now clearly visible through the perpetual gloom down in 'the Pit'.
"Shove it scum." The Auror with the wand growled in response, spitting on the floor near to his cell as he did so, the robed man's face twisting into an expression of disgust as he looked at, Harry.
Harry ignored him for the moment though, instead he focused his gaze on the new inmate.
"Well look here, if it isn't Drakey Poos." Harry called out mockingly, his emerald eyes glittering with malicious glee as he saw the scared, pointed features, and white blonde hair of Draco Malfoy, even as he was forced into the cell next to, Harry. "They finally track you down Malfoy, and drag you out of that little hole you were hiding in?"
Malfoy sent, Harry, a fearful look as he said this, but didn't respond as he was instead thrust into the cell by the Aurors, with the bars closing behind him with a loud clang and melding together, never to open again, or at least not until his body needed removing.
The Auror however did respond to him.
"Quiet traitor!" The Auror with the baton snarled, slamming the light metal pole against the bars of Harry's cells as he did so. Which in turned made, Harry leap backwards so as to avoid being shock as magical lightning crackled across the metal bars, only for it to be suppressed moments later as the runes on the bars flared to life.
"It's Dean isn't it? Dean Thomas?" Harry spoke up coyly, his emerald eyes gleaming with momentary anger at the attack, before a wicked smile spread across his lips. "I remember you, you were in my year at Hogwart's weren't you, a muggleborn Gryffindor from memory."
"I said shut up, scum!" Dean snarled, his eyes flashing with anger as he once again struck the metal bars with his baton, magical lightning running across the bars of the cells again for a moment before dispersing.
It was an action which just got him a mocking smirk from Harry, even as he stepped back and out of danger zone, his lips curling upwards as the cell's bars once again muted the magic.
Around the pit all of the other prisoners began chuckling cruelly, Bella's high pitched cackle standing out the most.
A lot of the people down here might hate Harry, or at least not like him that much, but all of them hated their jailors far more.
"You seem angry, excessively so." Harry said softly, keeping his distance as he saw the dark skinned man's face contort in anger again. Dean, must be what, around twenty one or twenty two years old by now, Harry thought, the same age as him. He was too young to be a proper field Auror; investigator or detective, but a trainee that was possible, as too was him being relegated to just a prison guard. "I'm guessing you lost someone in the war didn't you? Tell me, who was it? Was it your mother; or your father, maybe a sibling, or tell me, was it a friend?"
Dean twitched as Harry, said friend, something which he quickly locked onto, even as he crept closer to the bars, his green eyes still glittering cruelly through the darkness.
"So a friend then was it? It wasn't that loud, obnoxious Irish boy was it? What was his name again? Was it Shaun, or maybe Simon?" Harry mused, his lips quirking upwards as he saw Dean gripping his baton tighter, he was getting to him. "Was it me who killed him I wonder?"
Dean didn't have to say anything to answer the question; instead his actions spoke for him as his face twisted into a snarl and his hand dived into his red robes as he went for his wand.
"That's enough, Thomas!" The other, older, wand wielding Auror said loudly, the tall, dark skinned man walking forwards as he gripped Dean's shoulder tightly and stopped him from lashing out at Harry in rage. "Keep your temper, don't let the inmate get to you. It's what he wants. Remember he was defeated, caught and sentenced, and now he is down here paying for his crimes. He is just baiting you Thomas, he wants you to lash out and end up as a prisoner too."
Dean noticeably stiffened as he heard this, but reluctantly nodded all the same.
"Aww, you're no fun Kingsley." Harry sighed creeping closer to the bars; his lips twitching upwards in amusement as the older Auror looked over at him; a flash of revulsion and hatred appearing in the stoic man's eyes for a moment. "Tell me though, Kings. You're not still angry with me, are you?"
"You're a traitor, Potter. You turned your back on everything you and your family ever stood for! Your parents must be rolling in their graves." Kingsley Shacklebolt replied with forced calm, his gaze both angry, yet also, annoyingly enough, disappointed. "You had so much potential, and could have done so much good, but now look at you!"
"I was merely being practical." Harry shrugged easily. "Little Neville, the vaunted Boy-Who-Lived was inept, and your Order and the Ministry were losing. Despite that though I still joined you for a while, and even helped you. I fought alongside you, but none of you ever really approved of me, or of my methods, did you? You didn't like it when I used lethal force, 'as bad as the Death Eaters', that's what you used to say, wasn't it? So come on, can you really blame me for leaving and deciding to join the winning side?"
That, Harry knew was a massive oversimplification. His reasons for leaving were not that petty, selfish yes, but petty, not so much. Not that he was about to edify Shacklebolt about his true reasoning. No, that was known only to Riddle, Dumbledore and Harry; two of whom were now dead.
"And how did that work out for you?" Shacklebolt snapped, his grip on Dean's shoulder tightening to the point at which the younger wizard flinched and cried out in pain. "You were doing good work! You were fighting the good fight! You were a trusted member of the Order and they you just turned on us. You killed, no you murdered, those who trusted you and joined the man that sanctioned your parent's death! You're a disgrace to their memory, Potter!"
"It was a misjudgement, I'll admit." Harry shrugged, his head tilting to the side curiously as he eyed the two angry men up and down. "I will admit that I was maybe a little too impulsive. I mean come on Kings, how was I to know that old Dumbledore had a plan? That he had accounted for Longbottom's uselessness and already plotted out the Dark Lord's demise. It's his own fault really if you think about it. If he didn't always keeping his cards so close to his chest, I would never have defected! If he had been more willing to share what he knew, and to not keep people in the dark then the war would have been over much sooner, and far fewer people would have died. It's as simple as that and you know it!"
Again, Harry knew he was simplifying things and missing out certain elements, but at the moment he didn't care. What would he gain by being truthful at this point? Plus it wasn't like they could do anything more to him if they realised he wasn't being entirely truthful.
"You cannot justify your actions, or shift the blame Potter. You are a murderer, a torturer, a practitioner of the darkest of magicks; you and you alone are responsible for your own crimes, no one else! You Harry Potter are a fucking traitor, and you will fucking burn in whatever hell awaits when the time comes!" Shacklebolt growled, his voice getting louder and louder, his face contorting in fury, even as his mind probably recalling all that had been lost during the war; along with all the pain, death and destruction that he, Harry, had caused.
"Bit melodramatic don't you think, Kings…?" Harry replied easily, his smile tightening.
Shacklebolt pushed Dean Thomas out of his way as he heard this, his face set in a look of pure anger as he raised his want and pointed it at Harry's face. He was still more than a foot away from the bars. Too far away for Harry to reach out and grab his wand. But even so, the anger on his face, and the intention behind his actions was clear enough.
Harry knew that he had pushed all the right buttons.
"Careful Shack, you're letting your anger get the best of you." Harry called out softly, his smile gone now, and his emerald eyes instead burning with anger, practically glowing in the darkness of his cell as he locked gazes with the furious Auror.
He had to be careful now, he might hate living down here in the dark, but that didn't mean that he was quite ready to die, not yet at least.
Shacklebolt glared at Harry as he said this, after which he seemingly mastered his anger and then turned and strode back to the platform, Dean following meekly after him, but only after the younger man had sent one last glare at all those in the cells.
The few remaining Death Eaters that still lived. The ones that had been taken alive. Those few that would spend the rest of their lives paying for their sins, and the sins of their fallen 'Master'.
Harry looked back down at his forearm again at that thought, once again inspecting the smooth patch of pale skin. Just months ago a black skull with a snake twisting through it had been branded there. A mark that the Dark Lord had given, Harry at the same time that he had been anointed as one of his Lieutenants, a member of his inner circle.
A look of disgust spread across Harry's face at the thought of it. He had not liked Riddle, nor any of his Death Eaters. To Harry the Dark Lord had merely be a means to an end. A tool that he could use to broaden his knowledge of magic, and increase his power. It had disgusted him to bear the snakes mark, almost as much as it had disgusted him to pay homage to the 'great' Albus Dumbledore when he had been in the Order of the Phoenix.
He was his own man, he wasn't the kind of person who enjoyed serving others. Yet despite that he had ended up caught between two 'masters'; and hadn't that turned out well, Harry mused to himself sarcastically.
"Wow they sure hate you don't they, ickle baby Potter!" Bellatrix cooed from the cell next to Harry, even as the Aurors ascended to the next level, leading the rest of the inmates to their misery.
"Shove it up your arse, Lestrange." Harry snapped back, a flash of irritation passing across face, before without another look at the haggard witch, he instead turned his attention to Malfoy's cell, his lip curling upwards as he heard Draco Malfoy's whimpering.
"So anyway Malfoy, what happened? I thought you and your parents left the country, fleeing like the craven scum you are?" Fenrir spoke up suddenly, the rest of the prisoners quieting down as he directed his words to the new lifer.
Malfoy didn't reply to Fenrir's jeering though, instead he buried his head in his arms and continued to whimper and cry.
The pussy, Harry thought.
"I am surprised though, I would have thought they would drag your slimy daddy down here as well, oh and your shrew faced mother too..." Fenrir spoke up cruelly, going for the low blows now. "Unless of course they're both dead…!"
Malfoy's sobbing intensified, before without warning it turned into full blown wailing, which in turn made, Fenrir crow in delight. "And the new fish has already broken! I think that's some kind of record!"
"For fucks sake Malfoy, you didn't even last a minute!" Harry groaned, even as the other prisoners started laughing and jeering, all of them cruelly mocking the crying blonde, save of course for the boy's mad auntie, Bellatrix.
"Ha! Time for a singsong Potter!" Fenrir shouted, only to be ignored when Bella's sharp voice cut through the jeering.
"What happened to Cissy, Draco?!" Bellatrix demanded. She was unable to see her nephew from her own cell, but that didn't stop her from trying to see him as she pressed herself against the bars of her cell. "What happened to my sister, Draco? Is she dead!?"
"So what if she is, just another member of your foul family gone." Harry chuckled from his cell. "Personally I'm hoping for a clean sweep."
"Silence Potter, or are you still angry that I killed your mummy and daddy!" Bellatrix snapped, her tone suddenly hateful as she turned shrieked at him.
"I would say I was still pretty angry, yes. Are you still annoyed that I killed your husband, and brother in law; oh and burned down your family's old manor house too?" Harry replied mockingly. "Or are you more annoyed that I would have killed you to if the Dark Lord hadn't shown up and driven me away, saving your worthless life?"
"You got lucky Potter! You ambushed me! Besides if the Dark Lord hadn't arrived I still would have beaten you, I had a plan!" Bellatrix snapped back at him churlishly.
"Liar!" Harry crowed, his voice loud and mocking.
"Silence, Halfblood!" Bellatrix shrieked again, only for her complaints to be drowned out by Harry's mocking laughter at her tired old insult; the other prisoners all joining in too. All of them trying to alleviate their own misery by making their fellow prisoners feel even worse.
It was just another day in 'the Pit'.
( - )
(A few days later)
Shivering fitfully on the cold, hard stone floor of his cell a few days later, Harry tried ignore the uncomfortable rocky ground below him as well as the slight whimpers he could hear coming from some of the other cells.
For all that some of the residents of 'the Pit' tried to make themselves out to be these big, ruthless, badass killers; for most of them it was an act. One that they put up to distract themselves from the misery of their incarceration.
Harry was no different, for all of his outward confidence he was miserable and was close to breaking point.
He'd only been here six months, and already he was unhappier than he had ever been before.
He was far unhappier than he had been in the muggle orphanage his horrible muggle Uncle and Aunt, the Dursley's, had sent him to as a young boy after the death of his parents, Lily and James Potter.
He was feeling worse than when he had been placed into Ravenclaw, the House of the intelligent, witty and socially inept; back when he first arrived at Hogwarts as a lonely, social awkward orphan. Something which had been made worse when he was separated from the people he had met on the train, Ron Weasley and Neville Longbottom. Both of whom he had thought of as potential friends when they had spent the train ride to school together. Only for them to brake off all ties with him when he wasn't sorted into Gryffindor like them.
Hell, he felt worse than he had when he heard that, Sirius Black, had broken out of Azkaban to protect Harry, who was his godson.
Only for Black to have been caught by Snape on the Hogwarts grounds, and then kissed by the Dementors. All because Longbottom, Weasley and Granger had stuck their noses in; all three of them so full of their own self-importance that they had thought, Sirius had broken out to get Neville.
Their actions, no matter how accidental, had led to the death of an innocent man. A man that could of made his life before, and who he never even had the chance to get to known.
Honestly, looking back on it now, Harry didn't know how it had all gone so wrong.
Was his life really supposed to go the way it had?
He knew he was no saint. Shacklebolt, for all that he was an arsehole, and Harry still believed that to be the case; had not been wrong when he had called him a murderer and a traitor.
Harry had indeed once been a loyal and trustworthy member of the Order of the Phoenix. With him having joined the Order, at Dumbledore's invitation, during his last year at Hogwarts. Partly because his parents had been members before him, and partly because he had been flattered by Dumbledore's attention. When Dumbledore had called him to his office, it had been the first time he had ever spoken to the Headmaster, let alone be the sole focus of the legendary wizard's attention.
Hell, he had even allowed them to use the heavily protected and warded house he had inherited from Sirius Black, Number 12 Grimmauld Place, as Headquarters, such was his commitment to the cause at the time. That and because the Headmaster had also offered him access to rare books he had collected over the years, and that he kept in his office. The Headmaster was certainly a manipulative old goat; he had known the way to get Harry, a consummate Ravenclaw, to do his bidding.
Harry shifted in about on his pile of straw at that thought.
For a time he had actually been content in the Order, he had been fighting the Death Eaters, learning new and interesting magicks and honing his skills. He had even made a few friends, of sorts.
But then as time had passed and the war had dragged on, Dumbledore's single-minded obsession with that damn prophecy, which Harry still didn't know fully, and his overall intransigence, as well as Longbottom's utter incompetence, he had started to doubt whether the Order of the Phoenix was actually accomplishing anything.
Voldemort and his Death Eaters had continued gaining ground. They had taken over the Ministry and the papers, they now monitored and controlled all the magical settlements and Diagon Alley. They had even started getting their claws into Hogwarts, which in turn had forced Dumbledore and a host of other Order members and allies, Harry included, to massively increase the protections around the school. Just in case the Dark Lord got bored of subtlety and decided to attack out right.
Harry shifted again at that thought, his mind whirling as the events that had led him to where he was now, played back through his mind.
At that point in the war most of the old families had either gone into hiding or backed the Dark Lord. The halfbloods, like Harry, all kept their heads down and got on with things, making the best of the situation. The muggleborns, they all either fled and went into hiding, or accepted the new rules and registered themselves as muggleborns at the Ministry.
The battle for magical Britain had been all but won, and already the Dark Lord's forces had started to worm their way into positions of power or influences in the muggle world too; controlling Members of Parliament; both in the Lords and the Commons.
It was chaos.
More than that though, events had forced Harry to begin to question why he was even fighting anymore.
He'd had always been a practical person by nature; quite mercenary in the way he chose to act. Some of course would just call him plain selfish; but for he considered it a necessity of his upbringing. He had had to claw for everything in his life, he had never been given a leg up, or been given any help.
It was for that reason, and due to his overall discontentment with Dumbledore's leadership that he had joined Voldemort. That and because of the power and knowledge, the Dark Lord, offered, all in return for accepting his mark.
Sure his followers; Barty Crouch Junior, Bellatrix Lestrange, Rabastan Lestrange and Rudolphas Lestrange had murdered his mother and father after Voldemort's first fall from power. But by that point three of them were dead, two of whom by Harry's own wand, and, Bellatrix, was mentally unstable and would likely end up dead sooner or later.
Staying his hand from killing the last of the four murderers was a small price to pay in order to claim what Voldemort had offered him, that and for the rewards he had been sure he would reap once Voldemort had finished his campaign; which at the time he had been on the very cusp of doing.
Plus he had already planned on killing Bellatrix once they had claimed their victory, after which he had planned on then his own death slipping out of Voldemort's grasps with as much as he could take.
He'd already been planning on setting himself up in Canada for a while, sure it wasn't Britain, but it was the next best thing.
On top of which he had had his own agenda. He hadn't flitted between Dumbledore and Voldemort for no reason. Nor had he joined Voldemort with the expectation that he would be allowed to live after his usefulness had come to an end, not with him being a candidate of the Prophecy too.
No, he had had a plan. He was going to let things run their course, then when necessary, fake his own death, lulling the victor, Voldemort, into a false sense of security, after which he would strike.
In the end it would have been him Harry Potter, the unassuming Ravenclaw coming out on top in the end!
Or at least, that was what he had thought would happen.
In the end he had made a gamble, based on how the war was going. Voldemort had been winning, and quite easily at that, as such he had made the logical decision to jump ship and join the enemy. It would have more space to plot his next move, and would have stopped him from being wiped out or imprisoned when the Order was inevitably defeated.
It was just a shame his gamble hadn't paid off. If he had had more faith then he would have been sitting pretty right now. After all; Dumbledore was dead, Amelia Bones was dead and Longbottom was dead, as too were; Cornelius Fudge, Rufus Scrimgeour and Pius Thicknesse. On top of that; McGonagall, Snape and Flitwick were all dead too. As for the Death Eaters and the rest of Voldemort's supporters; they were all either dead, in hiding or incarcerated.
Positions of power in both the Ministry, the Wizengamot and Hogwarts would have all been ripe for the taking.
If he had held his nerve he would have been living the high life and building himself a magnificent legacy as he rebuilt society and the country in his own image.
It was a grandiose idea sure, but it was one he very much liked the sound of. Or at least he would have done, if it had actually come to pass, instead though he had backed the wrong horse, and as such was rotting in this cell.
He wasn't sure how Longbottom had done it, or what he had been up to when he disappeared soon after Dumbledore's death in their seventh year.
But whatever he had done, it had led to a sudden last minute surge of rebellion which in turn had ended with, Voldemort dead for good this time, most of his follower's dead, and Harry, and the few other Death Eaters that survived, and were caught, being imprisoned for the rest of their lives in Azkaban.
Sure the wizarding world had been left in utter shambles after Voldemort's fall too. With thousands dead on both side, Hogwarts a gutted uninhabitable ruin, Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley in ashes and conflicts with the other magical races on the rise as Voldemort's army splintered and new factions formed, each of which fought for control and power.
Still though, the vaunted 'Light' had still won, and no doubt magical Britain and to a lesser extent the rest of Europe were already slowly but surely recovering, a new generation stepping up and taking the reins, guiding the wizarding world into a new age. Whilst the mistakes of the past, like him and the other remaining Death Eaters, were left buried and forgotten.
If only he had another chance, a chance to do things properly this time, and come out on top. If he did, he would approach things differently this time; Voldemort, Dumbledore, Longbottom; they wouldn't know what hit them. If he had the chance, then he, Harry, would be the one that won!
A sudden chill wind rushed though the bars of Harry's cell at that thought, making him pull his threadbare blanket tighter around him in the hopes of warding off the cold.
Unfortunately though it didn't work. Instead the wind seemed to grow heavier, ruffling his dark, matted hair and blowing through the holes in his blanket making him shiver due to the cold.
How, was there even any wind this deep underground? Harry started to grumble to himself, even as the wind intensified even more, his blanket becoming colder and wetter as dew seemed to form on it.
From all around the cavern Harry heard the other prisoners beginning to cry out now; most of them shouting in shock as the wind intensified even more, and the runes on the bars of their cells began to glow brightly.
Tearing his blanket off, Harry decided here and now that he had had enough.
They were all already miserable enough down here, the last thing they needed was more crap on top of that.
Upon sitting up and looking around though Harry's indignation quickly vanished in an instant when he saw what looked like a miniature storm cloud had formed in the air above him, dark, smoky clouds roiling in the air, even as reddish lightning crackled through it.
Noticeably the runes on the bars of his prison began to glow brighter and brighter, before a moment later they later smoke erupted from them as they were suddenly overpowered.
"What!" Harry shouted, his voice hoarse as he stood up, his eyes widening as he suddenly felt his connection to his magic being restored; the red dragon tattoo on his arm letting loose a silent roar as it twisted around his arm, its head coming to a stop on the palm of his hand, its maw opening in a roar as it did so.
Only instead of sound, fire burst forth from the tattoo, the fire forming a ball in Harry's hand as he took a step back and stared at the growing storm cloud in his cell in shock.
The storm, it seemed to be growing in power, and in noisiness too, as from out of it Harry could hear what sounded voices chanting; their words were inaudible for the moment, but seemed to becoming clearer every second that passed.
"What the fuck!" Harry shouted, his right hand raised and fire blazing around his bare hand now as he started backing away, or at least as far as his minute cell would allow him too.
"Potter, what the hell are you doing?!" One of the other inmates shouted.
"Do you want to bring the guards down on us!?" Another shouted nervously.
"How can you use magic?!" Bellatrix shrieked.
"Boy you'd better get us out of here too if you're escaping!" Fenrir growled, slamming against the bars of his cell as he did so.
"I'm not doing this!" Harry retorted, a hint of fear in his voice now as the dark cloud expanded, the cloying mist rolling over Harry now, and the red lightning crackling across his skin, making his hair stand on end and his muscles spasm.
A snarl of anger spread across Harry's face at this, even as he raised his hand and let loose a jet of fire, the flames turning so hot that they gained a blue tinge as he tried to evaporate the storm cloud. "Fuck off!"
The chanting by this point was more practically deafening, the voices vaguely familiar, even though the words themselves were still indistinct. The storm cloud expanding to cover the entire spell now, his flames petering out as the storm cloud seemed absorb the magic form the fire.
"Dammit, what is this?!" Harry cursed one last time as more red lightning began to dance across his skin, his flesh blackening now and pain wracking his body as he the black cloud consumed him. It felt like he was being gradually deconstructed, already he could see his hands starting to turn to black dust; dust that was then sucked into the dark storm.
"Well shit," Harry muttered to himself as he saw his predicament, and resignedly accepted his inevitable death.
It was the last that any of those present would hear from Harry Potter, as moments later the dark cloud dispersed and Harry's cell was left completely empty. The runes along the bars of his cell still letting out small wisps of smoke, even as the other prisoners in 'the Pit' started shouting and clamouring for the guards.
( - )
Harry was alive. That much he knew.
His body was stiff; his limbs were aching, his stomach was growling with hunger, and his head was throbbing with pain, but he was alive.
That was an irrefutable fact.
As to was his sudden realisation that he was both very cold, and very naked.
Groaning, Harry pushed himself up off of the cold, stone floor beneath him; his hands shaking as blearily opened his eyes and looked around.
He was in a dimly lit room, and was currently slumped naked in the centre of what looked like a runic circle.
All around him he could see blurry, robed figures; all of which were muttering inaudibly to one another at the sight of him.
Moments later however several of these figures moved; converging on him.
Pushing himself up he tried to get away, only for his aching body to fail him as he suddenly felt a pair of strong hands taking his arms, and an indistinct voice calling to him.
He'd never before felt so weak and feeble. It was both a terrifying feeling, and one which filled him with revulsion.
Blinking slightly, as he felt more people converge around him all of them talking, even as he saw a tall, figure with a long white beard and glasses pull out a wander; the man's weathered face furrowing in confusion, his blue eyes locked unerringly on Harry,
Wait, Harry thought hazily his mind beginning to clear, even as his sense started to sharpen, the people around him and what they were saying becoming more distinct by the second.
"…doesn't look good, Albus. We should take him to St Mungo's, or at least get Madam Pomphrey."
"Did something go wrong? He's a wreck! He needs help, Albus!"
Albus, Harry thought, looking up at the tall figure looming above him, a pair of concern blue eyes piercing into him like knives.
"Dumble…" Harry began, his voice weak and hoarse as he tried to speak. Only for him to wretch and then throw up a mouthful of blood moments later, his head suddenly spinning even as the voice all around him started to panic.
The darkness was enclosing him once again.
The last thought Harry had before unconscious took him, was one of confusion. Was he dead? And if so was this heaven, or was this hell?
( - )
AN: And there we go, a dark, selfish self-absorbed Harry rides again. Unlike in the last one though this Harry will have his own agenda. On top of that he will be a manipulative liar and a special kind of crazy. That said he will help out if it suits his purposes, and he won't be entirely antagonistic as that won't really helpful. Nor will he be completely submissive as again, that won't help him.
Basically he will be a self-serving, greedy sociopath, a product of the system like Voldemort, only with less pure evil and malevolent, and more greed.
Again this is a Harry that won't always be relatable, and will certainly not be likeable all the time. So do keep that in mind.
That said I do hope people do give the story a go and enjoy it. Enough people seem to enjoy a darker Harry story, that I do have some hopes.
But even so, if not I'll probably still continue writing as this story, like all my stories, are written by me for me, because I want to write them and enjoy doing so. I don't make money off of this, it's just a hobby that I enjoy, and that I share will those interested.
So yep, hope you enjoy and continue to read. If you don't, then no hard feelings, there are probably plenty of other Harry Potter story in the 800 thousand and odd on this site for you to enjoy.
Thanks for reading and bearing with the ANs, I will admit they are excessive and they won't continue to be like this, I just thought it important to set out somethings about this story ahead of time so I don't have people complaining about me misleading them.
Thanks and please do checkout me other stories if you have the time.