I've gone over the chapters I wrote and revised them a bit, so now there are less mistakes and such (at least, I hope so). I've also changed a few minor lines and put a couple of new paragraphs in, and fleshed out my Slytherin characters so that they don't resemble cardboard cut-outs anymore. And I've taken out the early Author's notes, because they're not needed.
Summary: Brought to an alternate reality where Voldemort died years ago, Harry Potter has to cope with, yet again, being expected to save the world. Problem is, he failed the last time he tried. Slash friendly.
Rating: R, and with the new ratings that's M. I think it's a pretty low R, though.
Disclaimer: This is for all chapters, because I think it's a waste of time and words to put it on all. None of Harry Potter was mine, none of it is mine, none of it will ever be mine (except for Allison). It all belongs to J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury Press.
Oh, and one last thing. Though there will be both Slash and Het in this fic, Harry from Canon will not be involved in any romantic relationships. Now let's get on with this, shall we?
There shall come a day, three summers from the Kalaverael,
Where the Decagon shall bind their magick,
And use the Sacred Mirror to bring The Redeemer into this world.
He shall cease the fighting between the Snakes and the Lions,
And He shall bring about the unity of the Sorcerer School,
And He shall argue with the heavens,
And bespeak with demons,
And bring peace into the magus world.
– Sacred prophecy of the sorcerer scroll, 1209AD.
Prologue: 31st July, 2005
I stared at my haunted green eyes in the mirror of my cell.
I had a lot in common with the mirror, really. We were both dirty. We were both never going to see the outside world again. We were both broken, nothing a simple reparo could ever fix.
Not a nice thing for a guy in his mid-twenties to think, but then, I'd always been different. In fact, being stuck in Azkaban and tortured mentally and physically was the most normal thing that had ever happened to me. It wasn't like I was getting special treatment. It happened to everyone these days.
Ever since the end of sixth year, Voldemort had reigned supreme. It had been simple really – just kill off Albus Dumbledore and the whole side of light had fallen. And this time, it had been my fault. Voldermort may have dealt the killing blow, but it had been my stupidity, my reckless abandon of the rules and my eagerness to fight that had really destroyed him.
I'd thought that with all the special training I'd been doing that year I'd easily be able to defeat the most powerful Dark Lord since Salazar Slytherin himself. Learning how to transfigure echidna's into houses would really help kill those death eaters – I'd always wanted to plagiarize Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz. All those extra lessons on curses had really got me stronger, never mind that I was forbidden to learn "dark magic" and had to stick to leg-locker curses and stupefies.
I'd ended up not learning Occlumency that year, but hey, Snape's a git, no one would want to learn from him anyway and I'm sure we'll never need to use it. I never bothered with potions either – they were for the slimy Slytherins to make. Often they'd save your life or reveal an enemy who'd been spying on you, but none of the Snakes ever got any recognition. Of course they didn't. They were Slytherins.
After Albus died, the people had looked to me to solve their problem. I couldn't, of course. Voldermort knew this. Snape knew this. Gradually, everyone grew to realise it. I wasn't some mystical savior who would come down from the heavens and bring Death upon the world's evils. I was just a scared little boy pining for his mentor, and finally realising that just because a prophecy says something, it doesn't mean it will automatically come true.
Unfortunately, by then it was too late. Voldemort had erected a visible barrier strong enough to block Britain from the rest of the world, stop apparition and flooing cross-continent, and disable all forms of muggle communication. It didn't really matter that the muggles figured out something wasn't right. The Dark Lord had no fear anymore, especially since he was infused with Dumbledore's power after killing him.
Hogwarts was one of the first places to fall, and after that, everything else came swiftly after. I honestly don't know how I survived the siege and got away, but I'm pretty sure it involved blind, dumb luck. Oh, and the Potions master. Hah. Snape saves me yet again. At least this time I thanked him.
We tried to rally the people, but the people didn't want to be rallied. Most of them were too scared to leave their homes, let alone oppose the most powerful wizard in Britain. Probably the world, too.
All families who fought against Voldemort and lived in a permanent house died. After losing Ron and Ginny to the siege, the Weasleys, already immersed in the battle to begin with, lost all reservations. Arthur blew up the ministry building so Voldemort couldn't find anything to aid him in the war. Bill introduced ancient curses the used in ancient Egyptian pyramids. Charlie brought the few dragons in Britain to aid in the cause. The twins studied muggle and magical weaponry and merged the two. Molly organised, planned, and did everything no one else had time to do, like cooking and keeping everyone clothed.
It was to no avail, however. One night two months after the siege, Voldermort showed up at the Burrow, bypassed the considerable wards as if they were annoying flies and entered. All the Weasley except Bill and Fred perished; Bill because he was checking to see if all the deterrents at Gringotts vault were still up and running, and Fred because he was putting the finishing touches on a magical gun that he and his twin had made.
Percy died screaming defiance at Voldermort and trying to protect his family. Ends up he'd been playing spy since Snape was found out, and had been underlining the Dark Lord every time he could. The sight of his family about to die, however, brought about instincts that had been buried deep in him for years.
Turns out he was a Gryffindor all along.
I joined The Viper's Poison about a month after that; a guerilla group dedicated to making Voldermort's reign as uncomfortable as possible. And that's where I stayed for almost seven years, until I made yet another stupid mistake, and this time Snape wasn't around to save me. I ended up in a cell of Azkaban, Voldy's secret getaway palace. And once the Death Eaters had looked under the grime and mud all over my body and realised exactly who I was, everyone had given me their full attention.
Including the Dementors. I could feel them now, just around a corner where I couldn't quite see. And now that I'd been out and about in the world, I saw a lot more things than just my parents dying.
I don't know why Voldermort hadn't killed me yet. I mean, sure, it must be enjoyable for him to torture the person prophesied to defeat him, but why did he keep me alive afterwards? Maybe he was saving me for when he'd had a bad day and needed some cheering up.
I hope he has a bad day soon. I don't have the courage to kill myself, but I still want to die.
I slid down in the far corner of my cell, not really caring that I was scraping my bare back against the chipped stone wall. After you've been injured as much as I've been, little flares of pain hardly matter.
The Dementors were leaving, which wasn't such a good sign. It meant that the Death Eaters were about to come.
Stupid name, Death Eaters. How can you eat death? Why would you want to? If you did, would that make you dead? That didn't seem like something Moldy Voldy would want. Moldy Voldy? Where did that come from? Sounds funny though. Moldy Voldy. Voldy Moldy Soldy Toldy. Hah.
I realised I was rambling, but I didn't really care. I had a fever. That gave me a definite right to ramble.
I heard footsteps, the echoing ring of metal boots hitting stone. The Death Eaters liked metal. They thought it made them look evil and mysterious. I liked the way it made lightning follow them around.
The footsteps stopped at my cell, as I'd known they would. I didn't look up, though.
"Well, isn't it nice to see the Boy Who Lived brought down so low." I bit my lip, and absently noted the metallic taste of blood. Damn. It was Bellatrix. Along with Rosier, she hit the hardest.
I really couldn't be fucked to play the little game they had with me, though. I was too tired, and I hurt too much, and the fever wasn't helping either.
"This is all getting very old, Bella. You and your friends have been saying variations of that line for all of the time I've been here. How about we cut the talk and get to the torture already? Time is precious, don't ya know. Maybe we could save some."
The cell bars slid open, and footsteps came closer. I didn't bother bracing myself. I'd already learnt that if you were tense, the pain was worse.
To my dull surprise there was no pain, just a hand forcing my face upwards. I looked up into Lestrange's endless blue eyes, glinting with hatred. My own face was a mask of neutrality, something I had perfected over the years. It had kept me safe in endless circumstances.
"I'd be only too glad to test my new playtoys on you at the moment," Bellatrix whispered furiously. "Unfortunately, the Dark Lord requires your presence. I believe he wishes to give you a birthday gift. Now get up."
I stood slowly, and waited a few seconds for my head to clear and the blackness clouding my eyes to dissipate. Then I shuffled after Bellatrix, who was already at the bars of my cell tapping her foot impatiently. She really should have morbilicorpus'd me like the other Death Eaters did when I was going to visit Voldemort, but she wanted me to suffer more than most. Sadistic murderer.
Was it really my birthday? That meant I'd been at Azkaban for six months. Six months! It seemed like a lifetime. I certainly felt like an old man, not the twenty-five-year-old I was apparently supposed to be. Of course it didn't help that the Dementors seemed to almost exclusively prey on me, and between them the Death Eaters came and made their mark. Hah, mark. That was a joke, almost. Too bad I was out of my rambling mood.
Lestrange strode down the hallways, me trailing along behind her. Faces stared at me from inside their cells; aurors, resistance fighters and people who had been in the wrong place at the wrong time. There were no encouraging words for me, no kind looks, not even nods of acknowledgment. They just stared at me, some with despair and some with anger.
I had been their savior. I had promised them so much. I had let them down.
Eventually we came out of the halls of cells and entered a large cavern. I looked slightly hopefully at all the Death Eaters clustered around a throne, their master upon it. Maybe Voldermort had had a bad day.
Bellatrix got tired of waiting for me and grabbed my arm, dragging me toward the gathering. "I've brought him, master!" she called out.
Voldemort's voice was sibilant and soft, but it carried across the room. "Very good, Bella. Bring him here."
I made sure my mental walls were up at full power, and was relieved that they were. Voldemort may have everything else, but he would never again read into my mind and give me visions.
I was thrown into the gathering by Bellatrix, bumping into people who snarled and pushed me closer to Voldemort. Then I was in front of him, his cold red eyes appraising me silently.
Eventually he smiled. It sent shivers up my spine and I prayed I'd never have to see it again.
"Harry Potter. How pleasant to see you."
"I regret to inform that the feeling is not mutual."
The two of us had had seven previous visits since my incarceration in the prison. I was no longer quite as afraid of the snake-eyed bastard as I had been before, and had got to know a few of his quirks. When he was angry, his eyes would flicker from side to side as though looking for someone to blame. When he was confused, he would look all knowing and solemn. When he had something very unpleasant coming up for me, he would be smirking.
I'm sure you can guess which of those emotions he was displaying at this time.
"I understand today is your birthday, Potter," he hissed.
"I wasn't aware. You know what they say, time flies when you're having–"
"Master, please, please may I hurt him first?" It was Pettigrew, I realised. My eyes narrowed. Lying, cheating, betraying rat.
Voldemort's eyes swivelled to Wormtail, who gulped audibly. "Everyone will get a go, Wormtail. You should never be too greedy. Crucio!"
We watched the rat plead and scream for mercy in silence, although I had to hide my grin. I'd really changed from the boy who had let him go all those years ago.
After a few minutes the curse was lifted, and Pettigrew sniveled his way back into the circle. Voldemort's gaze turned to rest on me.
"As I was about to say, since it is your birthday, I would like to bestow upon you a present."
My lip quirked in a parody of amusement. "How about you give me back my animagus form, then? I'd be mighty grateful. I might even wait a few minutes before escaping." I felt the ever-familiar pang of loneliness that thinking of my animagus – my other half – alwaysbrought about.
Voldemort's eyes narrowed, though you could hardly make it out with those slits he calls eyes. "You must learn to be subservient, boy." Inwardly I scoffed; I was hardly a boy. "Maybe my gift will show you how." He then looked out at all the people around him. "My loyal Death Eaters, to mark this joyous occasion, I give to you Harry Potter."
The Death Eaters cheered, and Voldermort looked along indulgently like a generous father. My heart started to lift. Maybe I would die today.
"There are two terms. He shall not be killed. He shall not be raped. Other than that, you may do with him what you wish."
As curses and knives flew through the air, I curled up in a ball and tried to stay as small as possible. Things like this had happened before, but always the Death Eaters came separately, or in groups of two or three. There would be no rest, no time to recuperate. I would more than likely be irreparably damaged.
It took an infinitely long time to finish. At one stage Bellatrix was banging my head into the ground over and over, screaming about how I killed her husband. Keleria and Macnair had taken a leg each; the latter twisting it so the bones snapped and the former using a steel carving knife to create patterns. Wormtail was jumping on my stomach, grinning maliciously whenever he heard a snap. My arms had been magically super-glued to the ground, and every few minutes someone would levitate me around. In the background were people casting endless curses, many much more creative than the cruciatious.
At the start I tried not to scream, but it was a lost cause. I only screamed though; I didn't beg or plead for mercy. I still had remnants of my pride.
The torture eventually stopped, but the pain didn't. I was swimming in it; lost in the sensations and angry at being so powerless. I barely noticed Voldemort saying something about obedience, but I did manage to spit blood in Lestrange's face when she leaned over me. It was quite an achievement, as I was looking through water-filled eyes and seeing double.
I was dragged back along the corridors, bringing about a fresh round of screams at the mistreatment of my already severely damaged arms. I was then unceremoniously dumped inside my cell, and told by a sulking Avery that a healer would visit me tomorrow.
I laughed weakly after he'd gone, the kind of laugh Sirius had used when the Rat blew up the street of Muggles. I felt like I should be dead, and I didn't think I could wait for the healer to come tomorrow. Vicious Torture and incomplete healing by sullen Death Eaters. Torture and healing. My life.
I was contemplating the inconsistencies of this when a dot of blue light appeared in front of my vision. I watched with interest as it grew bigger, secure in my knowledge that I was hallucinating. It was a certainty with all the pain I was going through, and I could feel I was on the edge of unconsciousness. Maybe death, too.
Green and Purple sparks started flashing around the ever growing circle and the blue started to take a transparent quality. Mentally I patted myself on the back. That was quite good work my mind was doing, especially since Bella had just recently been destroying those precious brain cells.
Soon the circle was about three feet in Diameter, and misty figures appeared in it. By now my eyes were drooping and I knew it would be seconds before I lost consciousness. I think the pain in my body was overloading my brain. As if sensing this, the figures became sharply visible.
I gasped quietly, astonished. Through the circle were people I had once known, people who were now definitely dead. Sirius,Minerva, Albus...Remus. There were a few other people too – most I remembered from my school days. And right in the middle with a determined expression on her face, wasmy mother.
Suddenly everything became clear, and I laughed, giddy. I was dying. Finally.
"I'm coming," I whispered, grinning. I reached out my arm to touch the circle, and didn't even care when I was sucked into it. I was free, and floating, and right now, unconscious.
The title roughly means "Eternal Expectations", in Latin. In case you were wondering.