Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to the Harry Potter series and I am certainly not JK Rowling. The following was written for the entertainment of myself and others only.
He was a broken man swept away by destiny's call into a life of war and overwhelming expectations. If he had a choice, he would have wanted a peaceful existence where paranoia wasn't a necessity of each day. He would have wanted something more normal. But, this had not been the case these past thirteen years in the magic world. His body and mind were hammered again and again by evil in the battle of powers. On many occasions he was sure he was stepping over the threshold of death, only to somehow pull through and return to a temporary period of stagnation. He even questioned whether succumbing to death would be so terrible. However, despite all the traumatic episodes, he trudged on for the handful of reasons he could grasp.
Grasping for consciousness now, Harry shook his tired head and forced his eyes to open. For a moment, he wasn't sure if he was truly awake as everything was pitch black. Only the dull tingle of pain throughout his body and the sensation of the hard, cold floor under his fingers convinced him of his cognizance. Painful moaning, whispers, the shuffling sound of movements alerted his ears that he was not alone. He tried to make out the lines of any human form around him, but he couldn't even see his own hand, much less another person.
Harry reached into his front robe pocket in search of his faithful phoenix feather wand. If he could see, he could find his way back to Hogwarts where he was needed. And, he needed his wand to see. But the wand wasn't in his pocket. Frantically, he felt all the pockets he could find, silently cursing each time a pocket turned up empty. But it wasn't in any of them, and a wizard without a wand was like a muggle without electricity, handicapped and uncomfortable. Harry dropped his head to the ground once more. He needed a plan, a way out of where he was, a way to save his friends. They needed him.
In the back of his mind, he could hear the echoes of Ron's voice, Ron his best friend, fighting a Death Eater, Theodore Nott, in the Great Hall. They had tried to prevent Voldemort from attacking Hogwarts, and succeeded until now. The school was closed, all the children they could save were sent safely home, yet the battle continued. Ron had always been at his side, ready to win and not afraid to die. And the latter happened just moments before, or at least it felt like moments before. Harry wasn't quite sure how long he'd been lying here.
But, he wasn't going to let Voldemort take another life again. He wasn't going to stand there, and watch his enemy cast the killing curse on another. Twice was enough. Twice now he witnessed the green light and the invisible hand of death stealing the victim's life force. Ron would be the last victim.
Harry compelled himself to stand, removing his tired, worn out body from the stone floor. He stood shakily and found it difficult to acquire his balance. His right knee was in pain, most likely injured during his transportation to this dark prison, wherever it was. Carefully, he took a few well-chosen steps forward, his arms stretched out in front of him. Finding a wall seemed like the best idea right now. Where there was a wall, there could also be a door and possibly he could escape.
In the back of his mind he knew there was very little chance of this. Voldemort was smarter than that. But, he had to try, and he repeatedly reminded himself of this. Then, after only walking a few feet, he struck a solid object with his hands.
"Ow," the voice exclaimed in a weak, deep tone. "Watch it. You almost poked out my eye." Surprised by the sudden noise, Harry backed away only to stumble into someone else. "Hey, be careful, will you."
"Sssorry," Harry stuttered out, only moving slightly forward this time. A voice behind him whispered, "No harm done, lad. But try to remain as quiet as possible. They may be listening."
Turning around, Harry stared in the general direction of the man talking. "Where am I?" It was silent momentarily. The room seemed almost an empty world of darkness with no real direction.
"You're in a holding cell...for prisoners," the voice answered in a matter of fact manner. "More like a waiting chamber for torture victims," another much younger voice responded.
"Torture victims? But...but where are we?" The Death Eaters had never taken prisoners before, at least not to his knowledge. They generally killed their enemies and either left them to rot or disappear from existence. Torture was a known past time of the Dark Lord's followers, but usually ended in death, not imprisonment.
"We wish we knew, lad. We call this place Hell's Pit, but we're really not sure where it is." A large hand rested on his shoulder. Harry could feel the breath of the other prisoner on his face and the close proximity of the other beings in the room. "You must be new. Listen, he-who-must-not-be-named has us locked here. Some of us for what has seemed like months, no one can really tell. They use us for," the stranger paused, his hand shaking in hesitation of what he was about to say, "experiments. Terrible experiments. Some times when one of us is taken, they come back. Sometimes they don't." He patted Harry on the shoulder, and removed his hand. "We never know what will happen next."
"What do they do...in these experiments I mean." Harry was almost afraid to ask. He didn't want any more Death Eater plans to stop. He had enough on his mind already with the war at Hogwarts.
The young man sighed and said in an almost inaudible voice, "They are developing spells, potions, anything they can use in war." This answer explained so much. The recent events of the past three months had sent auror headquarters into a frenzy. Voldemort was becoming unstoppable, and no one knew why.
Harry's mouth was agape as he stood in the dark, the group of prisoners around him silently sulking in the misery of their coming end. His mind seemed to fast forward then. It went into action, he needed to do something. "I will help you, but first, I need to get to Hogwarts." His friends were there, fighting and losing the battle. After Ron was murdered, the battle had spiraled downward. Hermione screamed and ran to the side of her husband, a Death Eater quickly following her in hopes to rid his army of another nuisance. Many members of the order continued fighting, but they knew what happened. Death is an event that penetrates an entire castle. Even without witnessing it, they knew what had occurred, and it was slowly draining them, taking away what little hope remained. Harry had felt this sudden drop in morale, but it only heightened his performance. He hexed Draco, his current opponent, and ran to the aid of Hermione crying beside the corpse. It was that moment he was hit, the Death Eaters had won, and now he was here.
"Hogwarts," the new voice of a woman began, "and how do you expect to go there. You can't escape Hell's pit."
"The hell I can't," Harry muttered while pushing himself through the crowd of people. It seemed to go on forever. He walked on, stepping on other's feet, bumping into women, children, and men. There must have been hundreds in this dark pit. But, he was going to find a way out...and back to Hogwarts. His mind was set on a task, as it was numerous times before, and he had always somehow found the answer he was looking for.
When he thought he would never find a wall, an end to the dark pit they were trapped in, an answer came from above. A light, dim and slight, appeared on the ceiling, then, mayhem broke loose. The dark figures around him ran in every direction. He heard the screaming of women, the crying of children, the garbled moans of the insane. The light continued to grow in size as the ever widening circle on the ceiling expanded. A figure stood in this light, wearing the mask of a Death Eater. He was laughing at them, finding it amusing to watch a group of prisoners scurry like ants in an uncovered hill of sand. When the commotion in the pit seemed to settle down considerably, the masked man muttered unrecognizable words.
Harry, felt an invisible force take hold of his arms and cuff them behind his back, then his legs knocked together, paralyzed by the Death Eater's curse. He lost his balance, falling over on a young woman already on the ground. The entire room was locked in a very powerful version of the full body bind. Two Death Eaters flew through the gaping hole in the ceiling on brooms, both covered from head to toe in black to conceal their identity.
"Harry Potter," the first one called to him. The noise level rose as the piled prisoners around him whispered his name again, questioning the presence of the person that was said to have saved them once, long ago. Directly above him, the Death Eaters floated, wands drawn and aimed. "Potter, you will come with us. The Dark Lord would like to have a word with you."
"And what if I won't?" Harry asked defiantly, his face still flat against the back of a fellow prisoner.
The Death Eater responded with another mocking laugh and answered, "You have no choice, now do you? Wingardium Leviosa." Harry felt his body become weightless and rise towards the ceiling, the beckoning light blinding him as he left Hell's Pit.
A/N: I hope you enjoyed the first chapter of this story. Please review and let me know what you think.