Warning: Very Dark fic; Includes: suicide, cutting, and swearing…possibly more (though in a minimum, in my opinion). If you've got a problem with the rating, please tell me before reporting my fic.
Oh, and just up front to limit the questions: This is not slash, not because I don't like slash but because I can't do romance. Which means probably no pairings at all.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.
Chapter One: Salazar Slytherin
Harry Potter sat on the cold, wooden floor of his bedroom, the bedroom that had always been but his cousin's second bedroom, staring at the wall with unseeing eyes. They told him Sirius's death wasn't his fault, but how could it not be? He had lead Sirius right to his death; just like Cedric. The nights were the worst. During the days, Harry managed to pretend, to forget; to live as if it had never happened. During the nights, the pain overwhelmed him, making him want to scream, to cry out; to do something to release pain inside.
He had cried silently at night, wishing for Sirius to come back, but it never helped. He had destroyed Dumbledore's office, but the rage and pain didn't go away. Harry eyed the dagger that he hid in his trunk, for emergencies. Slowly, he lifted the dagger to his arm and drew it across his skin, watching the sharp metal glide; slicing the skin. Harry watched in a detached sort of fascination as blood welled up and poured out of the wound; slid off his arm onto the wooden floor below him. His arm throbbed slightly, but it was a distant feeling and one that he deserved.
He had never appreciated how beautiful the crimson liquid was. Any time he bled, he always hurried to stop the flow or get out of the situation that caused it. He now saw that it was red; not bright Gryffindor red but a beautiful, deep red. He bled for Sirius, for Cedric, for all the innocent people that Voldemort killed. So many deaths, all his fault, but he was finally paying for them.
The groan of springs from Dudley's bedroom brought him back to reality. Silently, he crept across the hall and into the bathroom. He carefully washed and bandaged the cut, before taking a rag and cleaning the blood off of the wooden floor of his room. Harry picked up the still bloody dagger, and crept back into the bathroom to wash it off.
For a brief moment, a beautiful silver dagger, quite long and inlaid with emeralds, came into focus in his mind's eye. He nervously rubbed his scar, but it was calm; not a twinge. Sliding into bed, he concentrated on clearing his mind before drifting off into sleep, his emotions peaceful for the first time since Sirius died.
Harry was standing in the death chamber, watching the veil sway gently. He heard voices muttering, but was unable to make out the words. The mutterings grew louder, and all of a sudden, Harry could understand them.
"You killed me! It's all your fault!" Sirius hissed, stepping out of the veil, "I hate you! Did you ever really care, or were you just trying to get me to hand myself over to Voldemort?"
"No, Sirius, I would never…" Harry started, but Sirius cut him off.
"Liar! It's all your fault, and you know it!" Harry hung his head; knowing the truth behind Sirius's words.
"Why did you kill me?" Cedric asked, stepping next to Sirius, "You're famous, Harry, what could you gain from my death? Was it because I beat you in that Quidditch match? Do you still hold that grudge?" Tears started to build up in his eyes, however hard Harry tried to hold them back.
"It's your fault we're dead," his father said, stepping out of the veil with his mother, "We died to protect you and you lead all these people to their deaths! You disgust me!"
"No! Mom, Dad, I didn't…It wasn't my fault!" The tears fell now; leaking out of the corners of his eyes and streaming down his face. Voldemort's victims stepped out of the veil, one by one, all of them blaming him, accusing him...
The surroundings swirled and dissolved, leaving behind a completely different scene. A circle of black robed figures, whose faces were hidden behind white masks, surrounded two figures. One of the figures was tall, with a pale, snake like face and glowing red eyes. Harry's heart sank as he realized where he was.
He frowned, his moment of despair vanishing with his confusion; he shouldn't be here, not with the amount of Occlumency walls he had put up. He had managed to trick Snape with false memories; he should have been able to stop whatever this was.
Harry bit his lip, searching for patterns between the nightly visions. He was only ever dragged here when there was a full meeting, which was usually once or twice a day, although he had seen countless meetings when Voldemort had only called a handful of Death Eaters; back when Harry hadn't yet had his Occlumency shields strengthened to the point that they were at now.
So far, he had had six 'attacks' during the day time, four of which had pulled him into full meetings. The other two he had fought off long enough to stay conscious. The attacks made him severely dizzy and nauseous, yanking on something in an almost Portkey like fashion and sending jolts of Cruciatus-like pain through him for a few minutes, unless he passed out first. Well, whatever they were, he was sure that Voldemort wasn't pulling him into the visions on purpose. He didn't even seem to realize that Harry was at the meetings, and Harry was sure that they were genuine.
Actually...before Harry had strengthened his Occlumency shields, he had come here to the Death Eater meetings and such through Voldemort, so deep inside of his twisted mind that they were one and the same. Now, Harry had a weird, spirit-like sort of form. He could see through himself, but he couldn't walk through things, even though he couldn't move anything. Another thing that was new was that Harry could now feel all of the curses Voldemort cast, albeit weaker.
He wasn't completely helpless this way, either. Although it took a great amount of energy and often left him exhausted the next day, not to mention the pain was as bad as a hundred Cruciatus curses, Harry usually managed to pull together enough energy to transport one person every meeting to safety; in this case, the Hogwarts infirmary. He wasn't sure exactly how he did it, either; he just concentrated on where he wanted to go and how he needed to go there, to safety. He suspected that the absence of a body helped the process a bit; something to with the lack of physical boundaries. Harry didn't know how he knew all this either; some hidden knowledge or instinct imbedded deep in his subconscious that seemed to make itself known when he was desperate.
Shaking his head, Harry returned to the present, studying the person facing Voldemort. Harry recognized him instantly, it was Draco Malfoy. But what was Malfoy doing here?
"So, Lucius, you think your son could be of help to me?" Voldemort asked, with a hint of doubt coloring his snakelike hiss.
"Yes, My Lord. He goes to Hogwarts and is very loyal to our cause," Malfoy senior said. Harry studied the younger Malfoy; his face was carefully blank, but his aura showed his fear and disgust. So he doesn't want to be a Death Eater after all, Harry concluded, interesting. Then he did a double take, since when can I read auras?
Blinking, Harry shook his head, putting off the new puzzle for later. So, Draco was being forced to be a Death Eater by his father? He didn't want to let that happen, but he wasn't sure that he had the power to pull a person to Hogwarts tonight; he was still so weak from the last night's torture.
"Very well then," Voldemort turned to the younger Draco, "What would you do for me, child?"
Draco gulped, barely visibly, "I would spy on the Headmaster and help turn people to our cause. I will do anything for you and our cause."
Voldemort laughed, a high, unpleasant sound, "You have trained him well, Lucius. I ask you to perform a task for me, child."
"Yes, My Lord?"
"Kill a spy within our midst."
"Who, My Lord," asked Draco, and Harry knew that however cruel he could act, Draco would never kill a person. He needed to get Draco out of there, and fast. Wait a minute, Voldemort said spy, did that mean...
"Severus Snape, come forward." There were murmurings as the Death Eaters whispered amongst themselves as one of the masked men stepped forwards. "Quiet! Well, child, what are you waiting for?" Draco froze, wand in hand. Shit, shit, shit, Harry thought, mentally banging his head against a wall. He was out of options; he couldn't let either die, yet he didn't even have enough energy to save one! Harry knew that however cruel Draco could act, he wouldn't kill their Professor. Draco took a deep breath and turned to Voldemort.
"I won't," he stated, glaring defiantly at Voldemort, his aura swirling with fear and defiance, "I won't do it!" Harry knew that he needed to get both Professor Snape and Draco out of there and fast. There was no choice, he had to try it. There wasn't enough time to do it one at a time, either. He needed them to get closer to each other and that left only one option; he needed to contact one of them, something that he hadn't yet tried with anybody. He chose Draco, as the younger Slytherin was less familiar with Harry's mind, never having used Legilimency against him.
:Draco: He asked hesitantly, reaching out with his mind and trying to disguise his mental voice as much as possible. :Can you hear me? Don't answer out loud: He added hastily, seeing Draco open his mouth::You should be able to think things at me:
:Who are you: Asked a voice inside his head, and Harry discovered that hearing thoughts in his head that were not his own was a very odd feeling indeed.
:Who I am is not important at the moment. I'm going to try and get you out of here, but you need to get as close to Professor Snape as possible; I need to get him out, too, okay:
:I can try: Draco thought a little doubtfully, his mental voice wavering a little.
"Lucius, you disappoint me, I thought you said that he was loyal. Crucio!" The elder Malfoy screamed, falling to the ground; his limbs flailing. Harry winced, feeling the curse echo through his scar. He ground his teeth to keep from screaming and somehow managed to stay upright. Taking the opportunity, Draco lunged towards Professor Snape, grabbing his wrist.
:Hold on: Harry warned, grabbing them both with his transparent hands and concentrating as hard as he could on the feelings of home and safety while imagining the hospital wing while trying to ignore a fresh wave of pain. Lights swirled around him and, if he was not being drained of energy and in the pain of a thousand Cruciatus curses added onto the extreme pain that he was already feeling through his scar, he would have been reminded strongly of a Portkey.
They landed in the hospital wing and, somewhere in the distance, he heard a clock chiming. Twelve times. And, all of a sudden, he was not in the hospital wing any more. His mind was flooded with memories that were not his own...but they were, somehow. He was drowning in a never-ending sea of memories…
He was raised by a mother and father...His father hated him and his mother ignored him for the most part, but his mother and father loved each other...He went to a school of magic…When he was seven, his father found out his mother was a witch and killed her... He was transferred to a different school…He met three great friends there, and they shared a dream of making their own school of magic...They managed to build the school and the next few years were peaceful...He started having heated arguments with his best friend...He started cutting...His best friend accused him of corrupting the school and banished him with the help of his other friends...He committed suicide that day, his sixteenth birthday...
Harry Potter woke up, his mind still submerged in memories that he knew were somehow his own, a lifetime ago. Harry giggled weakly, on the verge of being hysterical. So, Harry Potter was Salazar Slytherin; the light's mascot was one of the evilest wizards in the history of wizardry.
He frowned, a fresh wave of grief washing over him. That was what everybody saw him as? He remembered Godric's final remark as if it was yesterday, which, to him, it was; remembered Helga and Rowena looking at him with disgust and hatred; remembered his friends, his only family, banishing him from the home that they had built together.
The pain and hurt was suffocating him as tears leaked town his face and fell to the ground. He had nobody, really. Salazar had nobody, and whoever Harry had didn't care for him. To his relatives, Harry laughed bitterly at the word, he was a freak, something that they didn't want but couldn't get rid of. The man who Harry had always looked up to as his closest thing to a grandfather had manipulated and lied to him. To him, Harry was only a weapon. Harry's best friend was jealous of him and saw things in pure black or white; he would never understand the subtle shades of grey that filled Harry's life. Harry's other friend saw just the facts she found in books (which were often incorrect) and could only think logic. How could he make her understand that, sometimes, life didn't make sense?
Harry escaped the only way Salazar knew how. Taking the dagger out of the trunk, Harry drew the blade across his arm again and again, watching the blood flow. He didn't slit his wrists, though; he wasn't going to try that again just yet. The sun crept across the floor, and Harry snapped back into the present. He quickly cleaned the floor and bandaged his new cuts, realizing that he would have to wear a sweatshirt to cover his arms, even if it was a hot day.
Glancing up at the mirror, Harry froze, gaping. A pair of huge, black wings were attached to his back; four streaks of white feathers running through the black. How he had not noticed them in the first place was a mystery, as was how they somehow managed to slide through his shirt without damaging the material. As he snapped his mouth shut, he noticed a pair of sharp fans among his teeth. It was only then that he noticed that, though he wasn't wearing any glasses, his vision was clearly focused; even better than they had been before. He hadn't noticed it at first because Salazar hadn't needed any glasses. Why do these things always happen to me? Harry wondered. As far as he knew (and he knew an awful lot), normal people, or even wizards, didn't sprout wings and fangs on their sixteenth birthday, for that was what today was.
Staring at himself, a paragraph from a book that Salazar read floated through his head. Angels are a type of elf. They are innocent creatures have the elves' purity and pointed ears. Unlike normal elves, angels don't get their powers from their parents. Nobody's sure how they come to be, but their parents can be humans or any other animal. Not much is known about angels, as the last sighted angel was hundreds of years ago. It is said that they have all sorts of magical powers, but nobody is sure quite what they are. To break an angel's innocence is said to be a sin worse than killing a unicorn. When that happens, the angel's wings turn black; they grow pointed fangs and are called dark angels...
Harry just blinked in shock. He was an angel? And a half dark angel, at that? He checked his ears. Yup, he had pointy ears all right. He wondered what 'all sorts of magical powers' meant. Yeah, that's just what I need, Harry thought, his mental voice oozing sarcasm, to have something that makes me more special. Why can't I ever be normal?
How was he going to explain this, anyways? What would the Daily Prophet say if they found out that he was a dark angel? Harry winced as he imagined the headlines. No, he would definitely need to hide this.
Harry folded his wings all the way, but they still stood out obviously. He tried everything he could, and was getting desperate when the wings disappeared. Harry blinked, wondering if it was something he did, or if it was something that happened on its own. His fangs and pointy ears were still there, though.
Just go away, Harry thought, frustrated, and, to his very great surprise, they vanished, leaving perfectly normal teeth and ears. Harry blinked again. Come back, he willed them, and they did. Harry grinned; no wonder angels were never seen!
Severus Snape was not a happy man. At the moment, he was feeling particularly worthless, as he had been discovered as a spy the night before. The students had left for summer holidays and, after enjoying the deserted castle for a couple weeks, the professor had just begun to absentmindedly pack up all his rare potion ingredients to take to his house for the rest of the vacation, when there was a popping sound and a house elf appeared in front of him.
He would have groaned, if he was one to do such childish things as groaning. Instead he scowled at the vial of phoenix tears he was packing and ignored it, knowing that if it had something it wanted, it would tell him eventually, just as he knew that Dumbledore wanted him to do another outrageous task just by looking at the elf. Sure enough, after a moment of silence, the house elf spoke up.
"Professor Snape, sir, Professor Dumbledore is asking Bopple to ask Professor Snape to do errand for Professor Dumbledore," the house elf squeaked, looking nervous. The professor's scowl deepened as he wondered what crazy errand Dumbledore wanted him for this time. He still remembered the traumatizing incident when he had to visit a Muggle sweet shop when the last jar of Dumbledore's favorite sweets went missing. Shuddering, Snape prayed to whoever was listening that Dumbledore didn't need any more sweets.
"Yes?" Snape asked, impatiently.
"Professor Dumbledore wants Professor Snape to pick up Harry Potter from his relative's house tonight and have him in Professor Dumbledore's office by noon," Bopple said very quickly, waiting for the explosion that came whenever Harry Potter was mentioned. He was not disappointed.
Snape just looked blankly at the elf for almost a full minute until what the Bobble had just said registered. Then came the inevitable explosion,
"WHAT? WHY CAN'T-WHY DO I HAVE TO PICK UP THAT SPOILED BRAT?"
"Professor Dumbledore is telling Bopple that Professor Snape is the only one free. Professor Dumbledore is insisting that Professor Snape do it," Bopple said, cowering a little.
"Fine," Snape snarled, knowing that this was one of Dumbledore's plots to make him and Potter get along, but also realizing that he had no choice, "tell the Headmaster that I'll pick up his golden boy." With that, he jammed the vial of phoenix tears into the padded box and stormed out of the room; deciding to check on Draco before picking up the brat. It was only ten o'clock anyways, he still had two hours.
So, what do you think? I've got the first chapter up and the second chapter is nearly finished…
You know, it's really encouraging for authors if you review…Just a suggestion…
Anyways, I'm open to suggestions and corrections.