Disclaimer: Harry isn't mine. Wow. I bet you didn't see that coming.


A boy lives in a cupboard, a strange, pale boy with green eyes and a wistful smile. He's far too thin, and flinches at sudden movements and loud noises. He puts you in mind of a wary dog, frightened but still brave enough to try and kiss the hand that beats him.

Two years pass, and he turns eight. He's a bit wiser, now, a bit less trusting, and you think good, good, he cannot be too open. Because, in the end, the boy is your warrior, your weapon, and less a child than a tool to be sharpened, tested, and eventually used.

He turns ten, and he has grown hard and strong like flint. Better, but not quite good enough, because flint shatters when it's struck in the right place. You cannot let the boy be another Achilles. He must be perfect, as perfect as a human can be.

Another year passes, and he learns of his heritage. You steer him into Gryffindor, but you're still careful...you let him think that it was his choice. After all, he's just a child, and for now can be allowed his independence and pride.

School ends, and he goes back to his prison. Bars on his window and locks on his door, and meager rations to hone the edge of his hunger. Burn away the imperfections... Batter him until he becomes strong enough to withstand the hardships.

Sometimes, you feel almost sickened by yourself. But you do this for the greater good, you remind yourself. And what is one child against the fate of the magical world?

He returns for his second year, and his classmates soon turn against him. You begin to feel a pang in your withered heart every time you see the betrayal and helpless anger lurking in his eyes. But it's all worth it, all worth it when he summons Fawkes and Gryffindor's Sword.

All worth it, because he's loyal to you. A willing tool, an ignorant tool...and effective.

You become concerned, however, when he blackmails his relatives. He isn't supposed to be a Slytherin. He's supposed to be the epitome of Gryffindor, the very antithesis of Tom.

It's almost jarring, the realization he is an individual and not an extension of your will.

But then he spares the rat's life, an act of mercy that Tom would never have considered. Gryffindor, all Gryffindor, this boy. Straight to the heart.

His fourth year is hard for him, and you're glad. He'll survive and be the stronger for it. And strength, strength is what's needed.

You smile when you hear how he resists the Imperius. Yes, he's strong. You've forged him well.

Then he returns for his fifth year, and once again you're put in mind of a dog. But this is no tired, hopeful, brave creature. No, now he's an angry, vicious, fearful beast, a starving and frightened animal backed into a corner and ready to do anything to fight his way out.

You watch the beast grow inside him, build itself up bit by bit. The anger, the frustration, the hatred...

And you see a similar boy, a handsome, charismatic boy from so long ago, an angry boy with lava for blood and a little piece of hell in his heart. And you remember and fear, but dare not do anything, because when you look into Harry's eyes, you see red instead of green. One boy inside the other...

And you wonder, with a heavy heart, just how well you've forged your blade. The outside is as hard and impenetrable as iron or steel, but the inside...the inside is flawed and weak.

Perhaps it is time, you think, perhaps it is time to eradicate that weakness. And you know how to make the inside as hard as the outside.

Pain. You inflict upon him a pain even deeper than his godfather's death - you give him the knowledge of what he is, of what he must become.

So you let a tear fall, and you watch his soul shatter, and you rejoice. Now he is yours to remake.

You try so very hard to pretend that your own soul didn't split down the middle as that tear fell.

But it doesn't matter. All that matters is the greater good. All that matters...

All will be well. Flames will freeze and beggars will ride, and your weapon will serve his purpose.

And all will finally be well. And maybe then you can buy back your broken soul from the devil.