Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
A/N: Again, thanks to my beta Tristifico.
Friend or Foe
Chapter 29: Redefined Identity
"- saw something."
Everything was spinning. His head hurt. He could hear a voice, and he could hear footsteps coming near to him
"- be careful. We don't know what we might find -"
He let out a groan as a new wave of pain swept through him. Scattered images flashed across his mind, but he did not have time to sense of any of them before the images were consumed by the ever-burning fire that had spread throughout his body.
"- at that scar. Could he be -"
He struggled to open his eyes. Despite his blurred vision, he could see two men peering down at him.
"Hey, are you all right?" said one of them.
He couldn't answer. More images, both familiar and unfamiliar, continued to assault him. They were overwhelming his mind.
"Just hold on," another voice said, sounding panicked. "We- we'll call for-"
Blackness was eating away at the sides of his vision. Unconsciousness threatened to take over him, and he welcomed it.
Percy was woken up by noise coming from outside his room. He could hear his Mum's voice. She was speaking to someone with a much deeper voice… Kingsley. Could they be talking about Snape? Percy knew that the Order's spy had been rescued earlier that day and sent to St Mungo's - a few rooms away from the ward he was currently staying in, actually. Snape had been in very bad shape when he was brought in. Percy wondered how the older man was doing now.
Feeling the dizziness from his potion-induced sleep slowly dispersing, Percy pushed himself up slightly, moving his pillow so he could sit up. He was satisfied when he found that his wounds had, at last, stopped hurting even with movement. He should be able to return to work soon and rejoin the war. More importantly, he could finally stop being a burden to his family.
He turned towards the doorway. He could hear Bill's voice now, but he couldn't make out what Bill was saying. Percy's heart sank. Why were his brother and mother involved? Had anything happened? Percy desperately hoped that he was merely over-reacting. The past two weeks had been hard enough for his family. Although he himself had been drifting in and out of consciousness for most of the first week, he could still remember his Mum crying by his bedside and the grief written clearly over all of his siblings' faces. Even the twins had ceased joking around.
Only eight hands were left on the Weasleys' family clock. And Percy had been there when it happened. He had been in the same room as his father when Voldemort fired the killing curse. He had been only inches away when his father collapsed onto the ground and never opened his eyes again.
And he had been offered a chance to prevent all these from happening.
Percy pushed that thought away roughly. He knew without a shadow of doubt that had he become a Death Eater, for whatever reason, he would have failed his family in the worse way possible again. He suspected that part of the guilt he was feeling now would never go away, but he could live with that, so long as he knew with a calming certainty that he did not have the Dark Mark on his arm, knew that he had made a choice he would not regret.
The memories of his escape that day were hazy. All he could remember was that he had been very close to death by the time he made it out of Voldemort's manor. In his severely weakened and disorientated state, he had somehow managed to splinch himself when he apparated back to the Order headquarters.
Percy had been sent to St. Mungo's right away. The injuries from the splinch had mended perfectly, but the deep cut on his face from Voldemort himself simply refused to be healed by any means and had ended up getting infected. All the healers could do had been to sustain Percy's life long enough for the wound to close up naturally and prevent any further infection. It had taken a whole week for the wound to finally close up, leaving behind a nasty, still-red scar that ran from Percy's left forehead to nearly his jaw. It cut right through his left eye, which had been destroyed beyond repair the moment Voldemort cursed him.
Percy took in a shaky breath to calm himself. Even now, recalling the events on the day his father died still hurt. The only person whom he had recounted his meeting with Voldemort in full detail was Dumbledore, and even that had taken great effort. The Aurors had also questioned him, but he had only told them all they needed to know, nothing more and nothing else. He felt slightly guilty for leaving out some of the details, but that had not bothered him as much as it ought to have.
After facing Voldemort in a meeting he never thought he could have survived, the whole world seemed- different somehow, and Percy knew he had changed. Other than the fact that he now didn't even flinch when he said the name Voldemort, Percy still couldn't pinpoint exactly what was different about himself. Though, his family seemed pleased at the changes in him, with the twins more amused than the rest.
"Lie back down, Percy." His mother's voice shook Percy out of his thoughts. "You shouldn't be up yet, dear."
Percy looked up as his mother rushed from the doorway to his bedside, followed closely by Bill. The scar on Percy's face stretched uncomfortably as he moved his head. Everything still looked strange to him with only one eye to see with.
"I'm fine, Mum. I'm feeling much better now," he said reassuringly. "I heard you talking with Kingsley outside. Did anything happen?"
It was Bill who answered, smiling in a way that told Percy it was good news, something that came very rarely these days. "It's Harry. He has been found."
"He's still unconscious, but the healers said his condition is stable," Bill continued. "He should be waking up very soon."
"The poor dear." His mother looked very worried. "Who knows what those monsters have done to him?"
Percy finally found his voice. "Harry is here?" he asked, in sheer disbelief. "In St. Mungo's?"
"Someone found him near Hogsmeade a few hours ago. It caused quite a commotion, but the Aurors stepped in and brought him here," Bill answered. "No one knows what happened to him and why he was there, because the Aurors wouldn't let anyone except Dumbledore into his room."
Percy's mind was still trying to comprehend what he had just heard. Harry had been found… No, he had been captured. And he was now being guarded by Aurors.
"Is it because of Pettigrew's confession?" he asked tightly.
Bill nodded. "The Aurors are going to question him when he wakes up, even though everyone knows how ridiculous Pettigrew's claim was," he said. "Kingsley said it's just standard precaution, but it doesn't sound that 'standard' to me when the Minister himself is coming right now."
"The Minister?" Percy paled.
"Harry must have suffered for months already and they are treating the poor boy like a criminal! What are they thinking?" exclaimed his mother. "I can't believe Albus would let them do that."
A healer passing by shot them a disapproving look at the raised voices.
"I'm sure Harry will be just fine. Dumbledore will take care of everything," said Bill reassuringly.
Percy couldn't blame his mother for being so worried after all that had happened. But unlike Bill, he couldn't bring himself to say anything to reassure her that Harry would be perfectly fine. He knew that it would be a lie.
If the Aurors were already there and the Minister himself was coming, then it was only a matter a time before the truth about Harry spilled out. And that thought filled Percy with an unexpected feeling of dread.
Even through the mess that had been the previous two weeks, Percy knew one fact for certain – the fact that Harry Potter had saved his life. Once again, he had witnessed the exchange between Harry and Voldemort. And he had heard enough to understand just what had saved his life. For some reason that Percy dreaded to know, Harry had saved Voldemort's life in the past, resulting in a life debt that the Dark Lord had paid through sparing Percy's life. That knowledge made him felt strangely burdened.
Percy did feel gratitude for Harry, of course. He was also aware that, in turn, he now owed Harry a life debt. And if he was honest with himself, he had no idea what he should do about it.
Harry had saved his life, but Harry was also a Death Eater- and a murderer.
"-get over to Harry's room again," his mother was saying. "But are you sure you are feeling well, Percy? Do you need anything? You look a little pale."
Percy managed to smile weakly at her, assuaging her worries for a moment. Ever protective, his mother checked over his wounds again before leaving for Harry's ward. Bill stayed behind.
"I'm worried about her," he said, finally allowing his mask of calmness to break as he sat down on the chair next to Percy's bed. "Mum's hardly rested these two weeks with you injured and Dad-" he trailed off, shaking his head. "But at least we have Harry back now."
Percy leaned back on his pillows. "How's Harry?" he asked warily. "You said he's unconscious."
Bill answered, "The healers said he's fine. At least physically."
Bill eyed Percy for a long while. Then he leaned in closer and said in a low voice, "I haven't told Mum any of this yet. I didn't want to worry her any further." He paused, hesitated. "I was asking about Harry's condition earlier and I heard from Kingsley that they found… something on Harry's arm."
"A Dark Mark." The words were out of Percy's mouth before he realized what he had just said.
Bill nodded, giving him another questioning look. "Harry didn't seem to have suffered from any other external injuries, but if that Mark is any indication, I dread to know what else You-Know-Who has done to him."
So Bill thought Harry had been marked against his will by Voldemort as some kind of torture. Percy was astonished at the fact that no one from the Order seemed to have even considered the possibility of Harry voluntarily joining Voldemort. Having learned of the truth for months now, Percy found it difficult to understand the unshakable belief everyone had in Harry's loyalty, even with such obvious evidence as Pettigrew's confession under Veriteserum and the Dark Mark.
"Now out with it, Percy," said Bill with a fleeting hint of amusement mixed with concern. "You know something, don't you? You've been acting strange since hearing Harry's name."
Percy clenched his jaw. He was tempted to tell Bill everything. But the whole tale was so absurd that Percy himself could hardly believe it, had he not seen it for his own eyes. There was no way Bill would believe him. How could he explain to Bill that Harry was indeed a Death Eater who had been working for Voldemort for months? How could he explain that the only reason he was still alive right now was also because of Harry?
"There's a lot going on in the background, Bill, much more than you would believe," he said finally.
"Maybe you should explain from the beginning?" suggested Bill, smiling slightly.
Percy shook his head at the madness of it all. He didn't even know when the beginning was. A year ago? Fifty years ago?
He stared at the door his mother had exited from earlier. Then, with a heavy, burdensome sense of weariness, he answered tiredly, "It is not my place to tell."
Nicolas crushed heavily into the shelf where he stored his various magical stones. He felt his lungs burn as he struggled to draw in harsh breaths. He opened his eyes to see that Voldemort had walked across the room and was now towering above him. It was easy to tell that this visit of the Dark Lord was unlike any of the previous ones. Voldemort was furious. His merciless red eyes were filled with madness.
"What happened, To-"
Nicolas shut his eyes tight. The fiery pain quickly consumed his old, frail body, but he forced himself not to make a sound as Voldemort watched on emotionlessly. Minutes passed before the Dark Lord lifted the torturous curse.
"What happened, Tom?" Nicolas repeated his earlier question, his voice weaker. When the Dark Lord did not answer, he sighed. "I am not afraid of death. I should have died long ago. But at least tell me this. How is Harry?"
The madness in Voldemort's eyes had dissipated somehow, but the anger remained, as well as a chaotic kind of confusion that only someone who knew him as well as Nicolas did could see.
"Are you just here to kill me?" pressed Nicolas. "Talk to me, Tom."
And Voldemort did so, to Nicolas' surprise.
"Are you aware of the prophecy, Flamel?"
Nicolas paled. "The one between you and Harry? Yes, I know of it."
"And of its contents, I am sure," said Voldemort slowly, quietly, his eyes once again flashing menacingly. "And yet you knowingly sent Potter to me. Did you really believe that I, Lord Voldemort, could be deceived that easily?"
"I did not send Harry to you, as you very well know," said Nicolas. "All I did was to tell Harry the prophecy and let him decide for himself. And you already understand what he has chosen." He looked up at Voldemort and asked carefully, "What have you done to him, Tom?"
Once again, Voldemort surprised Nicolas by answering. His response was short, but Nicolas could tell that it was an honest answer. Whatever had happened had obviously enraged Voldemort, but it had also shaken him deeply. And for the first time in many years, Voldemort was desperate enough to actually listen to what Nicolas had to say.
"Potter was foolish enough to trap himself in my dungeon after breaking out one of my prisoners. I tracked him down and we dueled."
"And?" pressed Nicolas, growing more worried with each second.
"Potter's skill was no match for mine."
Something in Voldemort's eyes alarmed Nicolas. "Where is Harry now?" he asked, dreading the answer.
"I did not kill him." Voldemort glanced coldly at Nicolas. "He should be in the Aurors' hands right now."
Nicolas was relieved that Harry was still alive, but he was no less worried. "You let the Aurors capture him?" It was not unheard of for Voldemort to abandon his followers this way, but Nicolas had thought Tom would have more sense than to-
"The Ministry will not be able to accuse the boy of anything," said Voldemort. For a brief second, Nicolas thought he saw a look of pain cross the pair of red eyes. "Potter will not remember anything."
Nicolas' head snapped up. "What did you say?" His mind tried to comprehend what the Dark Lord meant and he arrived at only one possible conclusion. "You obliviated him," he said, unable to hide the utter disbelief in his voice.
Voldemort's emotions were masked now. His eyes were cold when he answered. "Alex Salutor was never meant to exist," he said. "He was but the result of your meddling with time, Flamel. You should be glad I did not kill him."
"But you did, Tom," said Nicolas after he had recovered enough from his shock to speak. His tone was hard and accusing. "You killed Alex."
Those words seemed to have hit Voldemort hard, as they should have.
"Just what were you trying to accomplish? To make him see you as an enemy? To make him hate you again?" Nicolas' gaze narrowed as the Dark Lord remained silent. "Answer me, Tom!"
Voldemort snarled. "You are in no position to talk to me in that tone, Flamel. I can easily kill you right now."
"Then do it. You know very well I don't have the strength to fight back," countered Nicolas, still leaning heavily on his half-broken shelf for support. "Or do you wish to erase my memories of you as well? I've known you for over fifty years, Tom. I met you when you were still a child who wanted to be loved."
"I am not that helpless child anymore, Flamel," hissed Voldemort. "My power-"
"You power is nothing compared to what that child once had," said Nicolas. "Why else would you erase all trances of your past existence? You are afraid of that child, Tom, of the person that you once were."
Nicolas was not surprised to find himself once again at wand-point, but he was not about to back down. "Go on, Tom, a simple killing curse and you can destroy me like you did Alex," he said. "No one will remind you of your past then. No one will ever doubt that you are anything but the Dark Lord you claim to be," he looked straight into Voldemort's eyes, "and no one will ever try to make you feel again."
For a split second, Nicolas could see Voldemort's conflicting emotions, as well as an overwhelming amount of pain –unacknowledged pain that was almost constantly masked under the thick cloud of anger and hatred. Nicolas felt his own anger dissolve. He let out a weary sigh, tired of the mess surrounding the two wizards he had come to care as his own.
He did not have the full picture of what had transpired, but he knew enough to guess what Voldemort had not told him.
It was obvious that Voldemort had tried to kill Harry, but he could not do so in the end. Nicolas knew that it was due to the exact same reason why Harry couldn't bring himself to fight against Voldemort in the war. Facing the same dilemma, Harry had chosen to become a Death Eater in hopes of saving his friend, but Voldemort had chosen to turn away from his past and erase the existence of Alex… for what?
"You erased Harry's memories because you couldn't bear to end the life of someone who deeply cared for you. You thought you could kill him if he no longer remembers you, but you're wrong, Tom." Voldemort snarled, but Nicolas pressed on, ignoring the wand aimed at him. Something needed to be said, and Nicolas knew he was probably the only one aside from Harry who could have said it and have any effect on the Dark Lord. "Can't you see? The reverse happened. Tom Riddle died in Harry today, but Alex continued to live on in you." Nicolas searched Voldemort's eyes for any sign of understanding. He was not surprised to find none. "Even though Harry now considers you as nothing more than an enemy, you still will not be able to kill him."
What Nicolas did not say was that by oblivating Harry, Voldemort had freed Harry of that terrible restraint. For the sake of the war, Albus would probably welcome what Voldemort had done. But was it really for the best?
"I may have shown mercy today, but there will not be a second time." Voldemort looked down at Nicolas. "And do you understand what that means, Flamel?"
"I've told you, Tom, I am not afraid of death." Nicolas smiled sadly. "It is you who should be afraid of it."
Voldemort narrowed his eyes. Nicolas could feel power pouring out from the tip of Voldemort's wand, directing at him. But it didn't matter. He had done all he could. The rest would be up to Tom himself.
"Save yourself, my child," he said, giving a final piece of advice to the wizard that had brought him both great joy and deep disappointment. "That is the least you can do to earn Alex's forgiveness."
A flash of green light blinded his vision. Then all was gone.
He opened his eyes slowly. Everything was blurred and his mind was strangely blank. Where was he?
A shadowy figure approached him and he tensed without understanding why. Then he felt his glasses being pushed back gently onto his face.
The world became clear at once and an old man with long beard came into view. The grave expression on his face was a huge contrast to his bright purple robe.
It took him a few seconds before he recognized that name. His own name.
"How are you feeling, Harry?"
"Professor Dumbledore." He was startled at how weak he sounded. "Where- where am I, sir?"
Dumbledore looked different. Harry didn't remember a time when Dumbledore looked so tired and… so defeated.
"You are in St. Mungo's Hospital," answered Dumbledore.
"Hospital?" Harry repeated. "But why- what happened?" And why couldn't he remember it?
"You were found in Hogsmeade earlier today, Harry." Dumbledore informed him. "I was hoping you could tell me what you were doing there."
"But I-" Harry shifted uneasily under Dumbeldore's intense gaze. "I didn't go to Hogsmeade, sir. I was in-" Where had he been? His mind was blank and thinking made his head hurt even more.
Dumbledore took the seat next to Harry's bed, not unlike the time when he visited Harry in the hospital wing at the end of his first year. But why did it feel so different now? Harry struggled to stop himself from panicking as, once again, his memory drew a blank.
"Ah, perhaps we should work this out together, Harry? I dare say I am quite good at guessing," said Dumbledore. "Earlier today, Vodemort learned of a secret. I have been trying to prevent this moment from happening ever since our last meeting, but it seems that I was too late. With that new knowledge, Voldemort targeted you once again, and that was why you escaped to Hogsmeade."
Harry had no idea what Dumbledore was talking about, but his whole body tensed at the mention of the Dark Lord. Had he fallen into some kind of trap set up by Voldemort, only to be rescued now? Dumbledore talked about escaping, but what did he mean by Voldemort knowing a secret? And what was it about-
"Our last meeting, sir?" he asked. As soon as the words left his mouth, Harry knew it was not the right question. His breath caught as Dumbledore bent over and looked deep into his eyes, looking more serious than ever.
"I have asked you then, Harry," began Dumbledore, "and I'll ask you again now." His voice was quiet but hard. His gaze was piercing. "Why?"
Some part of Harry' s mind reacted instinctively the moment his eyes met Dumbledore's. A shield slammed up around his mind, protecting his thoughts.
At that moment, the fact that he knew what he had just done was a kind of defensive mind magic called Occlumency – something he had never even heard of before - scared him much more than Dumbledore's imposing presence.
"Even now you would not tell me." Dumbledore sighed when Harry failed to answer. "I would have helped you, Harry, had you come to me first."
The clear disappointment on Dumbledore's face was too much for Harry to handle. "Please, sir," he said, unable to contain his frustration and nervousness any longer. "What's going on? Why am I in a hospital and why are you –" He took in a breath in an attempt to calm himself. "Can you please tell me what happened, sir?"
That obviously was not what Dumbledore had expected.
"I wonder…" he muttered.
"Sir?" Harry eyed Dumbledore uncertainly.
Once again Dumbledore looked into Harry's eyes, this time more thoughtful than before. For a split second, Harry thought he saw a look of shock crossing Dumbledore's blue eyes.
What seemed like ages later, Dumbledore finally straightened up. He gave Harry a gentle smile, as though finally sensing Harry's discomfort and confusion. But if that smile was supposed to be reassuring, it certainly wasn't working.
"What is the last thing you remember, Harry?"
As simple as that question seemed to be, Harry found himself struggling with the answer. What had happened before he somehow ended up in the hospital? He remembered the Triwizard Tournament. He remembered spending time in Grimmauld Place. But his memories ended there.
"What date is today, sir?" asked Harry, for some reason feeling that something else had happened after the end of his fourth year, something… important.
"It's May 20, 1996," said Dumbledore quietly.
Harry froze. "But that would be… the end of my fifth year." He stared at Dumbledore with wide eyes, hoping that the professor would tell him it was only a joke. A whole year? How was that possible? "I don't even remember going to Hogwarts. I-"
Dumbledore placed a hand on Harry's shoulder. "It's all right, my boy, don't push yourself too hard."
The door of the hospital room opened before Harry could respond and three men strode in. Harry recognized one of them as Kingsley, a member of the Order of the Phoenix. He was wearing the same set of robe as one of the other wizards. That robe seemed familiar -
Harry stiffened, recognizing those robes as those worn only by Aurors. His mind snapped into alert almost instinctively… but why? They were just Aurors, not his enemies, were they?
"You are not supposed to be in here, Dumbledore," said the wizard accompanied by the two Aurors. The wizard held himself with an air of authority. He was staring at Harry with sharp gaze through his wire-rimmed spectacles.
"Ah, Scrimgeour," greeted Dumbledore, standing up from his chair. "Harry, this is Rufus Scrimgeour, the Minister of Magic."
Harry tried hard to mask his surprise. Since when was there a new Minister? Where was Fudge?
"Mr. Potter, you are hereby detained for suspected involvement in Death Eaters activities, your trial will be held-"
"What?" Shocked by the outrageous claim, Harry pushed himself up from his bed, easily ignoring the waves of dizziness that hit him at once. His eyes widened in pure disbelief. "You are accusing me of being a Death Eater?"
Scrimgeour's face remained stoic. "I hate to do this, Potter, but you're not leaving me with a choice." He gestured at the two Aurors behind him.
"You will do no such thing, Minister." Dumbledore stepped in. "As of today, Mr. Potter is still a student at Hogwarts, which means his safety remains my responsibility."
"Surely you are not protecting him, Dumbledore?" Scrimgeour gave the Aurors behind him a hand signal. "The Ministry does not do anything without evidence."
Harry watched warily as the Auror he couldn't recognize approached him. He sneaked a look at Dumbledore, who, to his disappointment, made no move to intervene this time. The Auror stopped next to his bedside and roughly grabbed Harry's left arm. Startled, Harry pulled back his arm in reflex, but Auror merely tightened his grip and pulled up Harry's sleeve with his other hand.
Time seemed to have stopped. Harry was aware of the commotion around him, but his gaze was fixed only on his own arm… and the Dark Mark that was burnt on it.
Then Harry remembered. Flashes of memories emerged, scattered but real. He remembered Voldemort burning the Mark on his arm with a sadistic glint in his red eyes. He remembered being held by some kind of spell that made him weak and light-headed. He remembered standing in the middle of a burning village, surrounded by dead bodies.
Harry felt himself trembling, both in horror and in anger. What had he done? What had Voldemort done to him?
"The boy is a Death Eater. Are you still trying to deny it?" Harry dimly heard Scrimgeour's voice. "You cannot protect him any longer, Dumbledore."
"On the contrary, Scrimgeour," replied Dumbledore calmly. "I ask you to first listen to what Harry has to say before drawing any conclusions."
"The Dark Mark alone is enough to prove-"
"Nothing," Harry cut in, his tone harsh. "I am not a Death Eater and I will never be one. Voldemort forced that Mark on me."
"A mere claim like that won't let you get off scot-free, boy," growled Scrimgeour.
"I was captured and Voldemort found it more amusing to torture me than to kill me. He used some kind of spell on me and made me do things against my will." Harry stared defiantly at Scrimgeour. "Voldemort killed my parents and has been trying to kill me for years. I'd rather die than join him."
A moment of silence followed before Scrimgeour spoke again. "That is quite a story, Potter," he said, "but I wonder if you would say the same under Veritaserum?"
Harry clenched his fists. "I'm not lying!"
"Any means to confirm Mr. Potter's claim would have to wait," interrupted Dumbledore firmly, addressing Scrimgeour. "You already have a trial scheduled, I believe, Minister?"
Scrimgeour looked annoyed, but he finally relented. "Very well," he said. "The trial will be in three days. It would be in your best interest to cooperate with the Ministry then, Mr. Potter."
With that said, Scrimgeour nodded at the two Aurors and the three walked out of the room, leaving Harry and Dumbledore behind.
"Sir, I -" Harry bowed his head.
Dumbledore put a hand on his trembling shoulder. "You are safe now, Harry," he said quietly, looking at Harry with a strange look of sadness.
Harry did not understand what that look meant, but after the whole encounter with the Minister of Magic, all those questions that Dumbledore had asked him earlier made sense now. With a sinking feeling in his stomach, Harry realized that Dumbledore, too, believed him to be a Death Eater. And he couldn't help feeling… betrayed.
But it was not Dumbledore's fault, not even Scrimgeour's fault. Harry still couldn't remember everything in the past year clearly, but there was no mistake as to what had happened and who had caused it.
"Why can't I remember everything, sir?" he asked. "I remember what Voldemort has done to me and I remember him controlling me, but my memories about the rest of the time are all unclear. I only remember going to battle and-" Harry closed his eyes as a tremendous amount of guilt rushed over him. He only had some vague images in his mind about the battles, but those were more than enough to tell him what he had done. It didn't matter whether he was under Voldemort's control or not.
"It could be due to the spell Voldemort used to control your actions," said Dumbledore, "or that Voldemort has a hand in the loss of your memories." He paused. "Tom has always been good at modifying memories."
Rage filled Harry at the mention of that name. Tom Riddle… Voldemort, the man who ruined his life time and again.
But there would not be a next time. Harry's green eyes turned cold as he vowed to himself that the next time they met again, he would kill Voldemort, the monster who had forced him to become a murderer.
"You should rest now, Harry," said Dumbledore softly. "We will talk more tomorrow."
Still trembling with emotions, Harry said nothing as Dumbledore helped him lie back down on his bed. With a promise to visit again the next day, Dumbledore left the room, looking even more shaken than when Harry had first woken up.
Turning to his side, Harry stared blankly at the white wall of the hospital. What had he missed during the time he was being held as Voldemort's prisoner? What had the world become after nearly a whole year? Had his friends moved on without him?
At those thoughts and all the questions that he didn't have an answer to, Harry suddenly felt very helpless. Absently, his fingers brushed past the thin thread hanging around his neck until he reached something solid hidden just beneath his clothes. His closed his hand on the small object, feeling as though he had done that many times before. Almost immediately, a strong feeling of warmth flowed through him.
Finally realizing what he was doing, Harry immediately removed his hand. What was that?
Looking down to his chest, Harry cautiously pulled out the object hanging around his neck. It was a necklace, with a crystal attached to the end of it. Harry had no idea where this necklace had come from, nor did he remember ever owning anything like that.
His eyes were drawn to the glowing crystal. It was a beautiful sight. As if something had been triggered by the sight, a wave of the strangest of emotions suddenly emerged from somewhere deep inside him. Harry didn't know why he was feeling this way. There was happiness, but there was also sadness. He felt safe and protected, but at the same time he felt a deep sense of loneliness and anger.
Harry would soon learn to hate his conflicting feelings, which he never understood and which, despite everything, would eventually bring him closer to a past that was probably best forgotten.
Clenched tight in Harry's hand, the small crystal glowed brighter than ever in the darkness, as if it was welcoming a change in the future, as if it was anticipating the day when the pair of best friends and worst enemies would cross paths once again for one final time.
A/N: Finally, the end of Friend or Foe. Sorry for the 'ending', I know you probably want to kill me now...
Anyway, now that we have reached the end of this fic, it's time for review! Please tell me what you think about this story so I can do better next time. It's been a long time since I posted the first chapter of this story and I thank you all for following this till the end.
(As a side note, I am updating Rectifier again. It is a 'dimension travel' story. If you are interested, you can find the link in my profile.)
Edit (15/4/2013): The sequel has been abandoned. You can still find it in my profile, but I will not be continuing it. That story focuses primarily on Harry and his healing process after the final battle with Voldemort, so it is likely not what you are hoping for anyway. As for the story between Alex and the Dark Lord, there is really nothing more to write and I would leave the rest up to your imagination.