CHAPTER 3: ANGEL
Ad January came to an end, and the seventh years started worrying about their NEWTs, life at Hogwarts settled into a routine. A routine that Harry and his friends ignored. They instead set up their own routine to follow.
When the break had ended, Ginny and Draco had both tackled Harry, badgering him with questions about his Christmas, wheedling as much information as they could, but Harry steadfastly refused to share any of the more... intimate details. Nonetheless, both of them were grinning and laughing like fools as Harry told them the more amusing aspects of his break, like Sirius, and the tickling/wrestling match he had shared with Tom.
When Hermione, Neville and Blaise joined them, Harry took them out to the lake and told them of his vision about his father, which he couldn't rightly explain. He told them of his and Tom's suspicions about Dumbledore, and they seemed just as worried about it as he was, and they took as a sign of immediate war on the horizon, especially since Dumbledore's stunt when they had convened in the Great Hall the morning after returning to the castle.
An entire squad of Aurors had barred the doors, demanding that the Dragon Lord go directly to the Ministry for questioning, with the Aurors as an escort. The Headmaster had been there, his blue eyes twinkling madly. Harry had protested, clutching Sirius to his chest, demanding to know on what grounds he was being brought in for. Draco had also come to his rescue by suggesting he call in his family solicitor, just to make sure that Harry's rights were met. Harry's demands were ignored as the Aurors started to surround him.
Severus had come to his rescue, too, pushing through the growing crowd, demanding to know why a student was being ignored in face of the Ministry. He asked why one of his students was being nearly persecuted, and he also voiced his concerns that Dumbledore seemed to support and approve of this kind of Ministry behavior. Hermione also jumped to his defense, stating that it was prohibited to bring a student into custody without authorization or notice from the student's parents or guardians, and without giving due cause or reason, as the student was a minor. The rest of Harry's friends stood beside him, nearly shielding Harry from the Ministry wizards, almost glowing with silent outrage. Harry was extremely grateful for their support and open loyalty to him.
So when the Aurors backed down and left the school grumbling, Dumbledore had tried to take Sirius away, on the grounds that Hogwarts only sanctioned toads, owls and cats as pets within the school. Harry would have none of it, proclaiming calmly that Ron had been allowed to keep a rat as a pet, and what about Lee Jordan's spider? He also said that the Labrador puppy was a very precious gift, and that there was nowhere the small creature could go, so he was going to remain at Hogwarts with Harry. Now desperate to keep his good-natured and grandfatherly appearance in check, Dumbledore allowed the dog to stay. Reluctantly.
And so, after a bit of excitement, the school fell into routine. The professors started prepping the seventh and fifth years for their respective upcoming exams, assigning more and more homework assignments and essays, quizzing the students more frequently, and just generally putting more and more pressure on the students, which a lot of seventh years were really starting to feel.
However, Harry and his selective group of friends didn't feel this pressure, with the exception of Hermione and Draco, both of whom were known to be obsessed with their grades. The draconian teen found that with his transformation, his mental prowess had improved, giving him a much keener intellect. He now found many of his subjects easier to understand, and his friends seemed to feed off of his new genius. Thus, most of them often had a lot more free time, and they chose to spend it together in the Room of Requirement, oftentimes dueling for fun and improvement. Hermione usually spent the time trying to do research about Harry's vision.
But one night, as February crept by slowly, Harry paced outside of the Room of Requirement, his thoughts completely focused on the happenings of the school, and his lack of knowledge in that respect. He knew that it would be a very good idea on his part if he could only figure out what the rest of the school was doing, and who was loyal to whom, and for whatever reason. He needed to keep an eye on the Professors, as well, and on Dumbledore himself, but he didn't know how. He needed a way to figure out what his vision meant, and what Dumbledore was planning, if he truly was his enemy, and only with knowledge and plans before hand, could he stop the worst from occurring, and he might even be able to save his father.
A door appeared, and he figured that the Room had probably sufficiently provided him with an answer to his problems; or, at least, one of his problems. He hoped that whatever the Room had chosen, it was properly equipped.
The door itself was somewhat of a surprise, made of metal and imposing, completely sealed. There was even a scanner built into the door, reminding Harry fiercely of a retinal scanner he had once seen in a government building in London when he had been younger. Opening the door, Harry found the Room to be very similar to a surveillance room like in all the spy movies Dudley had been obsessed about a few years back. It appeared that the machinery and equipment in the room ran on magic, possibly from the castle's magic itself. This was indeed very useful. With a grin, Harry closed the door and started to set up shop, so to speak.
He was up all night and into the morning as well, but he wasn't worried, as the Room had also provided Time Turners. He grinned as he worked, getting to know all the equipment and how it was supposed to work. And the best was that no one would figure it out! He could place all sorts of bugs and various recording devices anywhere he wanted, even in plain sight, and because just about everyone in the school didn't know about most of this kind of muggle technology, no one would be able to see the devices. Only someone who knew what they were looking for would be able to find the devices.
Monitors were set up against most of the back wall, waiting to receive incoming data from the devices that he was going to plant, and the audio was set up as well, meaning that all he had left to do was plant his little cameras and listening bugs. He assembled the security settings in the door, imputing several magical signatures into the access panel, which would allow the others to come into this Room. He would need to add their retinal scans into the computer as well, when he showed them the Room later.
Finally satisfied, Harry left the Room and used one of the Time Turners the Room had provided, turning it a couple of times so that he would go back to just after he had entered the Room earlier. When the spinning stopped, Harry grinned in the darkness and removed the Marauder's Map from within his robes, and he set about planting his bugs, staring with the Great Hall, specifically the five tables with it.
He was in Slytherin common room placing his devices in carefully hidden and discrete spots when he saw Draco leave his room in the Map. He smirked and kept going, enjoying Draco's stunned look as he walked into the Slytherin common room.
"What are you doing in here?" He asked, and Harry grinned from where he was, jumping down from the fireplace mantle where he had installed a small video camera. He also placed an audio recorder on the underside of a nearby coffee table before turning his attention to the bewildered and slightly irritated blonde.
"Also, just how did you get in here, and where did you know where my common room was?"
Harry held up the Map with a wicked smirk, very much reminiscent of the Malfoy's trademark smirk. "The Marauder's Map. And I'm currently setting up some surveillance. Wanna help?"
"Surveillance? Why would you need surveillance? Why in here? And you didn't answer my questions!"
"I'm going to spy on the whole school, and I think I need to know what's going on everywhere, so as to best avoid any disasters." He quickly looked at the Map, examining it. "But we can discuss this later, as Parkinson and a few second year girls are heading this way."
"I'll see you in the Great Hall, then."
"Alright. And say 'hi' to Sev for me!" He winked at his Slytherin friend and was gone in a second. Draco stood there, blushing furiously. "Damn you, Potter." He sighed and left his common room, heading down to the Potions Master's private rooms.
Harry met up with Ginny in the Great Hall after using the Time Turner to catch up on a few hours of lost sleep. The youngest Weasley saw him and waved, keeping a tight grip on Sirius while trying to feed him bacon from off the table. She giggled as the puppy nibbled on her fingers.
"Having fun, Gin?"
She looked up from the squirming ball of fur in her arms and smiled as he sat down beside her. She relinquished her hold on the dog when Harry scooped the excitable dog onto his lap. "Yeah, he is SO cute! I found him trying to climb up onto my bed this morning when I woke up. Why wasn't he in your dorm?"
"Because I've been busy all night. I have to show you and the others later but trust me, you'll like this. Draco already knows about it, sort of. But I was setting something up to give us a really great advantage." He said with a grin, laughing lightly at Ginny's confounded look as she tried to decipher his words.
"What are you talking about?"
"Don't worry about it. You, and the others, will find out later when I explain everything. And thank you for taking care of Sirius for me; he really likes you. He hasn't made any messes anywhere, has he? And did you take out for a walk earlier?" Ginny giggled, reaching out to scratch behind the Labrador's ears.
"It's no problem, Harry. Yes, I took him, and no, he's been very well behaved, and he is adorable. I had to bribe him in order to get him to behave, though."
They shared grins. "That's so much like Padfoot. And he doesn't like Tom at all." Ginny gave a speculative look.
"So how far have you two gotten, anyway?"
Harry choked on the pumpkin juice he was drinking, a bright red blush reddening his face. "Ginny! That's none of your business!" She just smirked at him.
"He hasn't gotten into your pants yet, has he?"
Harry couldn't quite meet her gaze, and she noticed right away. "Not yet, but it was close..."
"KYAA! That's fantastic! I am so happy for you!"
Harry could only stare at her, completely bewildered. "Why? Why is my potential sex life so important all of a sudden?"
She swatted at him, grinning like a loon. "Harry, you deserve to be happy, and, no offense, but I think that getting laid will do a world of wonders for you, and for Tom. Now don't be so shy, and stop blushing, this is a perfectly normal conversation to be having," She said, nearly laughing at his embarrassed expression and bright red face. "Tom is probably a very good lover, and you're probably a natural too, so I don't see why you're getting so nervous and all that rot. You're in love with him, right?"
Harry nodded. "Yes."
"Then you're halfway there. All you two need is some time alone." Ginny said.
"Then keep a hold of Sirius more often. He completely ruined the mood last time at Christmas. Bit down on Tom's hand just as things were getting really good." He said with a snicker, and Ginny broke into giggles.
When she recovered, she looked at him shrewdly. "So when are you going to go and see him?"
"Soon, I think. Within the next few days, though."
"Really?" She grinned. "And do you have any plans for when you see him?"
Harry did not miss the innuendo. He gave her a coy smile. "Maybe."
"Oh, hey, Charlie finally wrote back, and he's got some news for you, and he said to let you know that he'll be coming down to visit in a few days, so he'll let you know then."
"Yeah, and he seemed really excited too, in his letter, and he's going to bring down one of the new baby dragons that he's been taking care of. I think it's a Hungarian Horntail, too. He said the mother died while laying the eggs, so the baby's an orphan." She said, giving Sirius another piece of bacon.
"That's too bad about the dragon, but the rest of its great news! I'm really curious now about Charlie's opinion. And I hope he figures out what I am capable of, being the Dragon Lord and all. I still have no idea." He said, nibbling on some toast.
"I wonder what you can do? It should be, at the least, an interesting experiment." Hermione said, coming up directly behind Harry and leaning forward to rest against the back of his wings, looking over his shoulder.
"Hermione, what are you doing?"
"Trying to be annoying. Is it working?"
"Actually, yes. You're very annoying. Can you get off my wings now?"
Snickering, Hermione moved to sit beside Ginny, reaching over the younger witch to scratch behind Sirius' ears. "So Charlie's coming down from Romania soon?"
"Yup. And we were just discussing Harry's sex life. Or rather, his soon-to-happen sex life." The two girls shared a glance and burst into girlish giggling as Harry reddened.
"Oh, leave me alone!"
Hermione grinned at his discomfort. "We're just teasing you, Harry."
"You know you love us! Hey, we should go to class before we're late." Ginny said, and the two seventh years nodded. Harry removed a leash from his book bag and attached it to the collar around his dog's furry neck, despite the creature's whimpering protests.
"I'll take him to Potions, Gin. Thanks for looking after him." Leash attached, Harry and Hermione moved away from the Gryffindor table, starting for the dungeons as Draco and Blaise joined them.
"Hey, Ginny! Tell the others to meet us in front of the DA room after class. I have something I want to show them, and you!" Ginny nodded and, gathering her things, headed for Transfiguration.
At Riddle Manor, Tom worked within his library, searching through all of his books and scrolls and texts, looking for anything in regards to Harry's vision, and looking for any hints of resurrection. He had no doubts of the vision's authenticity, but it was the vision itself that made him worry.
While students were told that the dead cannot be brought back to life, and that resurrection and reanimation were impossible, the truth was the resurrection of a dead human being was possible, but it was forbidden, and only the most powerful of wizards could pull it off, often in large groups, and it required a great deal of sacrifice, although no one was sure what that meant. Resurrection of the dead was just the same as alchemy in one respect: the principle of equivalent trade. One cannot gain anything without sacrificing something of equal value.
Because of this, resurrection and reanimation were considered the Darkest of the Dark Arts, and even the Darkest of Dark Lords, himself included, feared this power. But if Dumbledore truly wished to resurrect James Potter, then what would be used as a sacrifice of equal value?
In his youth, Tom had managed to collect a great many number of books, buying and often stealing different manuscripts, even killing for some of the scrolls, and he now had within his possession almost all the text ever written on resurrection and reanimation. The magic within the words and letters he never used; to do so would destroy what little humanity he had left, and would leave him a shell of his former self, a vessel of power with no true will of his own.
But there had been one manuscript he had not been able to attain, and it contained very powerful magic. At the time, his sources had been able to track down a partial trail, informing him that a powerful Light wizard, which had struck him as odd, had removed the manuscript from the black market. Now, he had no doubt that Dumbledore held the manuscript in his possession, meaning there was a very large possibility that the old wizard would use the Darkest of Dark magic, magic equivalent to alchemy and its principles, to resurrect a man sixteen years dead very soon. Harry's vision confirmed that the awful deed would be done, but when? Tom had no idea.
This was going to break Harry's heart, to fight against his own father.
"You won't be alone, Harry. I'll be right beside you until the very end." He said quietly, his words echoing slightly throughout the large library. But, what else could he do?
Coming to a decision, Tom left the library, quickly changing into a black kimono with crimson sash, throwing on a sleeveless trench coat the color of blood before Flooing to Malfoy Manor.
"Lucius!" his voice rang out harshly through the impressive Manor, and after a few minutes, the blonde Deatheater was bowing in front of him, mumbling praise.
"Get up, Lucius. I need your Mark." The Malfoy Patriarch paled, but nodded and offered his arm without saying a word of protest. Lightly touching his wand to the burnt-black Mark, he whispered "Morsmordre." Signaling his Deatheaters of an immediate emergency meeting.
Several moments later, Deatheaters were Flooing into the Malfoy Manor, bowing and kissing the hem of his kimono. When his followers stood still, assembled before him, Tom smiled wickedly.
"Welcome, my Deatheaters. I must thank you all for being so prompt, and I realize that this was not the most convenient time for a meeting, but something has come up. But first: how many of you are tired of the useless killing and torture? There is no need to fear for your honesty. I will not punish those who are honest with me." Slowly, several hands were in the air. Almost all of his Deatheaters were tired of the bloodshed.
"Good. It shall stop, then. I have no need for blood-thirsty fools, and neither does the Dragon Lord." A few murmurs were heard at the mention of Harry's title. "Severus, come forward."
Hesitantly, the Potions Master stepped forward from the crowd and bowed. Tom shook his head slowly.
"No, Severus. You need not bow to me. Your loyalty is to the Dragon Lord, not me, am I right?"
"Then we have the same goal in mind, for I choose to follow the Dragon Lord as well." Tom shifted his gaze to the other silent Deatheaters. "How many of you know the meaning of the Balance, the everlasting Spirals?"
Antonin stepped forward. "My Lord, The Balance signifies Light and Dark, and the existence of the world and magic. Without the Balance, all is lost to chaos."
"Precisely. My goal has changed, although I still wish for change in the wizarding world. No longer is our quest about Blood. No, our goal is the restoration of the Balance between Light and Dark."
Rodolphus spoke next. "My Lord, what are you saying?"
Tom grinned. "As I am the Flight of Death, and you are my wings, we shall aid the dragon Lord in bringing about the death of Albus Dumbledore, the Lord of Darkness." He waited a moment to let his followers whisper to one another. "Let me explain my reasoning. A Dark wizard, or Dark Lord, by definition, is comfortable in using every aspect of magic, Light AND Dark. Dark wizards are more gray than anything. Dumbledore, as the Lord of Darkness, fights for the Light, but soon, he will become a vessel of destructive power. I'm not evil; I'm just Dark. The Lord of Darkness, the Lord of Deception, Lord of Manipulation, Lord of Secrets, lies and riddles, such as Dumbledore, is set on destroying and eradicating the opposing side of magic. In this case, Dumbledore is trying to destroy every Dark, something that will destroy the world, for the Light cannot exist without the Dark, and the Dark is created from the shadows of Light. The Dark and Light shall always be in conflict, that's the way of the world, and the Balance between the two. Do you understand what I'm saying?"
The Deatheaters were silent as they contemplated his words, and he knew that he had already won several of them over with his speech. He and Harry needed people to fight for them, for their cause, and the Deatheaters were a good start to achieving that end.
Rabastan stepped forward. "My Lord, if what you're saying is true, then how can we fight against it?"
"Follow the Dragon Lord and myself. It is far too early in this war to truly know how to fight our opponent, but Power has a way of making everything happen. I take it that you still wish to follow me?"
The assembled wizards and witches glanced amongst themselves before Lucius came forward and bowed. "I believe that I speak for everyone when I say that we shall follow you still. If I may ask, why the sudden change?"
And so Tom told the Deatheaters about his vision and his place within it. He did not go into detail. He mentioned Severus' prophecy, not revealing that Severus spoke the blasted thing, of course, and he mentioned the Dragon Lord's transformation as well. "As the Black Basilisk, I am destined to fight beside the Dragon Lord. His identity was certainly a surprise, mainly because I was not expecting it, but really, it isn't so surprising."
"My Lord, who exactly is the Dragon Lord?"
"Harry James Potter, the Boy Who Lived."
The assembled Deatheaters gasped and started muttering amongst themselves. Tom started laughing.
"It's mind blowing, isn't it? But I speak only truth. I approached the boy in my dreams, through the connection we share through his scar, and now we are more than allies, closer than friends, and he is truly powerful. He is the one we must follow and fight for in order to achieve the Balance."
"But isn't Potter Dumbledore's weapon?"
"No, he's not," Severus cut in, silencing the room. "Potter wishes for the Balance, and he is more than willing to fight for it. He wants Dumbledore gone from his life and gone from the world because soon, that old man will go way too far."
"What does that mean, Snape?"
"He means that soon, very soon, that meddling old fool will do the unimaginable; he will resurrect the Dragon Lord's father, James Potter."
"That's impossible, My Lord!" Lucius cried, aghast. Tom shook his head.
"No, it's not. Resurrection is just forbidden, just like true alchemy, and even the Darkest of Dark Lords, myself included, fear to even know this magic, let alone use it."
"And because of his son's transformation, Dumbledore will use James Potter's still reeling mind, and his misguided notions of good and evil to his advantage, pitting father and son against each other. James Potter will follow the only thing he will recognize, and will try to destroy the Dragon Lord." Severus finished. The Deatheaters remained silent, glancing at one another.
"Many of you are confused, and don't know what to think about the current situation. Well, let me tell you something. Harry Potter is turning to the Dark, becoming one with the Balance, recreating the Balance within himself and own magic. His power consists of many shades of gray, and he will need a lot of help. Many of you despise Dumbledore. He meddles and interferes in matters that do not concern him, and he takes a delight in playing God. He lies, misguides, redirects, and twists his way into the lives of others, making them his pawns, destroying countless lives. He is reminiscent to the muggle leader known as Hitler, from World War II. If Dumbledore has his way in destroying the Dark half of magic, and the world, or more, will die within the next five years, and the world will perish." Tom immediately knew that his Deatheaters would continue to follow him, and Harry. After only a few moments, every Deatheater dropped to one knee, bowing to him and pledging their allegiance to the Dragon Lord, and to Tom, their Dark Lord.
"I need to go back to the castle, Lord. My Lord will be waiting for me and my report." Severus said quietly, and Tom nodded, smiling.
"Very well. Go, Severus, and please, give him my regards." The Potions Master nodded and left Malfoy Manor by means of the fire.
"All of you are dismissed. Start preparing for war, and fortify your family Manors. Those without family Manors, I want you to hold up in the closest Manor available. I want these locations to be sanctuaries for our allies." Bowing, the Deatheaters left, leaving Lucius and Tom alone.
"Good day, Lucius." Then Tom left as well.
Back at the castle, Harry gathered his friends after dinner, leading them to the Room of Requirement, bypassing all of the security measures. He grinned as he opened the door, hearing Hermione's gasp of excitement. The others, Draco especially, just stood in the doorway confused. Glancing around, Harry ushered them inside, closing the door behind them and temporarily sealing them in.
"Please don't touch anything until I've explained everything. This machinery is quite delicate and although it runs on magic from the castle itself, any electro-static shock could melt the whole server, so please be careful." He said grinning at the confused looks the Slytherins sported.
"What is all this stuff?" Lucas asked, staring at the monitors that displayed a variety of different locations in the castle. "Hey! That's our common room!"
Harry smirked as he sat down in the only chair, silently asking for the Room to provide more chairs for the others. He checked different read-outs and made some adjustments to some of the settings. "Uh huh. Don't trip over any of the coolant lines and please have a seat. I've been setting up all sorts of surveillance equipment throughout the school because I've decided that I need to know what is going on in this school. I need to know about any suspicious activity, and I need to know what others are thinking and doing. This way, I'll be able to thwart any attempts of sabotage or injury from the student body, I'll be able to counter any riots, and I'll know what the Professors are doing. This way, I'll also be able to keep an eye on Dumbledore, especially with what happened in my vision. I haven't been able to bug his office yet, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem to do.
"Now, I haven't put up any surveillance in the Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw common rooms, mainly because I don't think that they are a threat, and they don't have any key players, either. I want to know about everything that goes on in the school and this is the best way, I believe, for me to achieve that. I do not trust Dumbledore anymore, obviously, so I want to know everything he does and says. I want to know who his allies are within the school, and I want to be able to counter any plans he has for me. I will not be able to stop my father's resurrection, but I will try to be there when it happens, so that maybe I can get him out of Dumbledore's grasp before it's too late. The castle herself is helping me, but I need more help, especially with monitoring everything and processing the important information. Can you guys help me out?"
"I'll do it." Hermione and Ginny said simultaneously. Neville nodded after a moment, offering his time to go through everything while glancing at the machinery around him.
Draco nodded, but he looked skeptical at the muggle technology. "Yeah, sure." Blaise and Lucas shrugged.
"Good." Harry removed some CDs from the recorder and replaced them with new ones, moving to another monitor as he did so. "It might take a little bit of time before we find something of any use, and I know that surveillance is a boring, tedious job, so thank you, and just be patient. I'll help you all get adjust to this technology whenever I'm in here, and the Room will do everything on its own, basically, but we still need to monitor it. That's where we come in. Do you guys get that?" the others nodded, and Hermione looked positively giddy at the notion of working with so much advanced machinery.
"Good. Thank you. How about you take the first shift, 'Mione? You too, Gin, and after six hours, use the Time Turners in the corner. That way, we'll still be able to do our schoolwork and things like that and sleep. I have special communicators here as well, so that we'll be able to contact each other within the castle and it's grounds. We'll use these communicators to change shifts as well. The rest of you can do what you like until your shift; just remember to use the Time Turners accordingly. I am going to bed." The Slytherins chuckled and snickered, drawing an empty glare from the Dragon Lord. The girls and Neville just smiled.
"Sure thing, Harry. Go and get some rest." Hermione said with a smile.
Snickering, Harry left the Room of Requirement with the Slytherins and Neville following him out. Draco came up beside him and nudged him with his elbow, and Harry just looked at his blonde friend.
The Slytherin smirked playfully. "So... how good is he in bed?" The smirk grew as Harry blushed.
"Draco! What the hell kind of question is that? How the hell would I know?" His Slytherin companions laughed outright and Neville valiantly tried holding in his mirth.
"You can't fool me, Harry Potter! You have done something with him, I know you have, and it must have been during Christmas break, so spill it!" Draco said vehemently, poking at Harry's chest. "I just wanna know how far you've gotten, is all. By the way, the blush is cute and all, but it totally gives you away, and you're not fooling anyone with it. Now just answer my one little question, please."
Harry's blush darkened considerably, and he looked away, his long ears twitching slightly. "Merlin, first Ginny and Hermione, and now you. Fine. At Christmas, I think that we could have gone all the way."
"But Sirius got in the way. Bit Tom. Doesn't like him at all." He smiled, embarrassed as Draco was hit the hardest with mirth, doubled over as he held his aching ribs from laughing so hard. Blaise had to lean against the wall for support, and Lucas was on the floor, tears streaming from his eyes. Neville lost his battle in trying to contain his amusement, his hands on his knees as he laughed.
"Guys, its not that funny..."
"Actually, Harry, it is! Your dog bit Tom as you two were just getting to the good stuff!" Draco managed to regain his composure long enough to say this.
Rolling his eyes, Harry started to walk away, ignoring his friends as they tried to compose themselves long enough to catch up to him while still laughing. Draco caught him first, breathless from laughter.
"Harry, mate, lighten up! It is kinda funny and I was just teasing you. So when are you to go and see him again?" The blonde asked and Harry shoved him lightly, grinning.
"Soon, I think. Sirius needs to be taken care of while I go, so Ginny will probably help. But we are also planning a war here, and so is Tom, so I'm not sure when we'll have time for personal matters. Everything else seems more important." Harry shrugged, his tail of bone swaying slightly with his movement.
"True. How are you going to get away from the castle? And what about Dumbledore? He'll surely object."
"I'll probably just take off and fly there, and I couldn't give a flying fuck about what Dumbledore thinks."
The group stopped at the junction leading down to the dungeons and the Gryffindor tower. Draco looked at his friend, completely serious.
"Go soon. Time is running out, for us all." Harry felt a small surge of power from his friend's words, and the others shivered a bit. He glanced at the Slytherin.
"I'll go tonight, then. Be careful, my friend. Power is strong tonight." Then the two of them went their separate ways, their respective Housemates following behind in silence.
After a few hours sleep and the use of the Time Turner he had from the Room of Requirement, Harry left the castle while the night was still young, through one of the windows in the tower, his wings opening and filling with air as he glided through the cloudless night in the light of the not-quite-full moon. He smiled as the castle vanished quickly behind him, the wind blowing through his hair.
He carried very little with him, only an extra set of clothes as he planned on staying the night, and perhaps a little longer. His ring hung from its place at his neck, the tiny jewels glinting in the soft light of the moon above him, and he smiled at the symbolism the twinning dragons represented.
Harry soared high in the silent midnight sky, unaffected by the chilly air, heading for Riddle Manor. He wondered what his Dark Lord had been doing lately, and he was curious as to what Tom had found in regards to his vision, now just over a month old, and he wondered whether Dumbledore was really stupid enough to try and resurrect his father, James Potter.
His gloomy thoughts faded as he caught sight of the Manor in the distance, and with a burst of extra speed, Harry sped to the Manor, cutting through the silent air like a knife through hot butter.
High above the Manor, Harry spiraled down, gliding lower and lower with each pass. He opened the telepathic connection his scar provided, seeking the familiar feel of Tom's power.
/Hey Tom! Are you busy//
/Harry! Where are you//
Harry chuckled. /I'm outside, coming in for a landing, love. /
/I'll meet you on the balcony, ok//
/Of course// It was then that Harry felt two other magical signatures in the Manor. /I take it that you have company// He asked.
/It's nothing to worry about; in fact, its good you came, but I'll explain when I see you. /
He landed lightly on the balcony, his wings folding closed just as the double doors opened, revealing Tom standing there, a gentle smile on his pale face, his crimson eyes glinting warmly. Harry grinned and hugged the Dark Lord, wrapping his arms and tail around the firm body against his own. Tom just chuckled and held Harry to him.
"Did you miss me?"
"What do you think, prat!"
Tom laughed outright. "Okay, okay! You might as well meet some of your new allies." He noticed the small bag that Harry carried at his side, and he raised an eyebrow, smirking. "I take it this is an extended visit?"
Harry shrugged, smiling coyly. "Maybe. What's this about new allies?"
"Well, I've managed to get the Deatheaters to follow you in your fight, and I've been trying to approach the werewolves. But that's difficult because they've been betrayed and victimized so often in our society. My guests are waiting in the first floor study, so let's go to my room and get you out of those school robes. I may have something for you that will really impress our guests downstairs." Tom said, leading Harry from the library and down the corridor to Tom's room. "I'm thinking of something with a Japanese look to it."
Harry just gave him a look. "You're crazy about the Japanese culture. And is it really so important to be concerned about appearance?"
"Of course! Until the goal is actually met and all parties involved are satisfied, appearance is key when you need to look strong and able." Tom ushered Harry into his room, pulling the younger wizard over to the walk-in closet.
He disappeared into the small room, tossing clothes onto the floor as he considered and discarded them in the same instant. Harry stayed by the bed, staring at him, amazed at his love's rather vain behavior.
"Ok, love. Strip for me."
"You heard me. Out of those wretched school clothes. I've found the perfect outfit for you. It allows free upper body movement, as well as allowing for speed, and it shows off your draconian scales, it goes with your coloring, and it'll look truly impressive." Tom came out of the closet (A/N: hehehehe...!) and he grinned as he caught sight of Harry in just his red boxers.
"Unfortunately, those are going to have to go too. Figured you as a boxers kind of guy." Harry blushed lightly but he refused to remove his boxers. Tom crossed the room with the garments he had chosen and he passionately kissed the teen, capturing his lips in a soul-satisfying kiss that dazed Harry. Without pulling away, he removed the draconian teen's boxers and slid the Japanese hakama over the teen's legs, tying it securely at the waist. He then grabbed a black linen wrap and secured it over the trousers. Using one hand to hold the base of Harry's neck, moving to latch onto the draconian's neck, he attached flexible dragon scale armor, the free-flowing armor allowing for free movement and unifying the look. He added a dark green gauntlet, slipping it onto Harry's wrist before kissing the other wizard one last time.
Chuckling, Tom pulled Harry from his room and he lightly tugged on his ear, bringing him from his daze. Harry blinked and stared at his unfamiliar clothes, but secretly, he really liked them
"What the hell am I wearing?"
"I saw a uniform similar to this before, and the person wearing it was born of nobility, but I thought it was appropriate for you because the Japanese worship and give praise to the protectors of their lands, the dragons. Dragons were often thought of as vessels for the gods." He said, strapping two katanas to Harry's back, snugly beneath his wings.
"So, what? I'm some kind of god?"
"No, it looks bloody amazing, and you look like you were born to rule in the name of justice."
"Yes, I did. But I got what I wanted, didn't I?" Tom said with a pleasantly smug smirk quirking his lips. He pulled on Harry's arm. "Come on. I have Lucius downstairs waiting with a representative from the Lycan community. I figure that we can more or less give them what they want, with regards to equal rights and the such. Other demands that they may have will have to be dealt with accordingly. Also, they don't have to fight unless they wish to, because their support is only going to be a rallying point for the other magical communities. We can give them the choice, and individuals can choose for themselves."
Harry nodded. "That could work, actually. Anyway, I wanted to ask you; what have you found about me dad's resurrection? I know that it hasn't happened yet, but I need to be prepared." The atmosphere darkened and Tom scowled.
"Yes, you do. I'll tell you what I know later. For the time being, our guests await."
The Dark Lord took Harry down to the study and opened the door, holding it open for the Dragon Lord. The draconian teen glanced at Lucius a little coldly, but he stopped in his tracks as the Lycan delegate stood up, his emerald reptilian eyes widening slightly.
"Harry? Harry, what are you doing here? What happened to you?"
Harry regained his composure and he nodded acknowledgement to the werewolf standing before him. "Remus, it truly is a pleasure to meet with you like this under these current circumstances. Please, sit down, and we'll get down to business." When Remus made no move to sit down, confusion written clearly on his face, Harry frowned. "Remus. I am the Dragon Lord, seeking Balance. I can and will explain everything that has happened to you once our business has been concluded. Please, sit down."
The werewolf nodded, brought out of his surprised stupor, and he complied, taking a seat by the fire. Harry smiled and sat down across from his old professor. Tom moved to stand at his shoulder, and Lucius remained at his place at the door. Harry started the negotiations.
"Thank you. Now Remus, I don't want your judgment clouded by who I am. My goals are different from those of Dumbledore's precious Golden Boy. I am no longer that boy."
"Then what are your goals, and why does it include Lycan support?"
"I seek to restore the Balance between the Light and Dark. The Light cannot exist without the Dark, and the Darkness is born from the Light. As a never-ending cycle, there will always be conflict, but the separation of this continuous cycle just brings discord and chaos. Surely you must understand something of this." He sensed Tom's approval at his words.
Remus nodded, eyes sparkling. "True, but why would you need the Lycan communities? Also, the werewolves have been oppressed and betrayed so often in such alliances and campaigns. Why should this time be different?"
Harry smiled, leaning back into his seat, his mind racing a hundred miles a second. "I am different because I know both sides here. I m supposedly the symbol of Light, but I have been betrayed often myself. I am here to save the world and be tossed aside once my job is done. At least, that was before my transformation. Lycan support just might give us the edge we need to rally other 'Dark' communities to our, to my cause. The Lycans wish for equal rights as humans, am I correct?"
Remus nodded. "Yes. The majority of us wish for equal rights because most of time, we are human. With the Wolfsbane Potion in circulation, we won't even be dangerous as the wolf. Most of us wish for the right to have and hold jobs, the right to walk among the streets without shame, the right to even have families, should we choose it. However, there are those among us that have succumbed to the bloodlust of the raging wolf within."
"All I want from you is your support. You don't even have to fight, if that's what the majority wishes. Those of you that would prefer to stay away from the battlefield can do so. The Dark Lord and I have decided to leave that choice up to the individual, although, there may be one or two battles where I will require every Lycan to fight."
Remus nodded, contemplating his words. "Yes, that may be acceptable. Can you guarantee that our demands are going to be met?"
Harry shrugged. "At this point in time, realistically, no. It's too early, even for miracles. This war will take some time, obviously, and I am only in the midst of planning it. Ask me that question later in the war, and I may be able to give you an answer. It was far too early to ask me that. For now, just consider our offer. I do not expect you to give me an answer right away; you may take my offer to the other Lycan communities, and take all the time you need." Harry sighed and he looked back at Tom. "So, did I miss anything important?"
Tom smiled down at him, eyes glinting with pride and approval. "No, you handled everything perfectly with ease. Well done, and I was right; you are born to rule. Mr. Lupin, thank you for joining us, and listening to our offer. Now that our business has been concluded, at least for the time being, would you care to convene in a more friendly and less formal environment?"
"Then follow me. Lucius, you may go now." Stiffly, the Deatheater left through the Floo, and Harry relaxed, standing to pull Remus out of his chair and into a hug.
"It's so good to see you, Remy, it truly is."
"My sentiments exactly, Harry. I must say, this is quite a surprise. What happened?"
"I'll tell you everything once we're comfortable. Follow us." Tom led the way to the library, with Harry and Remus trailing behind him, speaking softly.
"So Remus, what have you been doing? Where have you been?"
"I've been searching out all the major Lycan packs, originally on Albus' request, but then word came to me that there was someone else, someone both Light and Dark, and because of my rank among the wolves, they sent me here to check it out. I've been all over Europe, and even into Russia."
"Good for you, Remy, but what's this about rank?"
"Well, among the wolves, I am one of the most powerful battle commanders in the world, and my official title is Battle Prince. I'd be the leader of my own major pack if I wasn't so focused on werewolf rights." Harry grinned at Remus' words.
"I think that would be really good for you, Moony, and I understand why you chose to do what you do. I guess you're word means a lot, then."
"I do hold a fair bit of influence, but I don't like to abuse that power, and I find that I don't even use my influence much."
The small talk stilled as they settled into the library, comfortable around the fire. Intrigued, Remus watched as Tom pulled Harry to him, amused as Harry's tail wrapped itself around the older wizard. He picked up on their scent, and he had wonder, were the two of them mates? He smiled, Harry could use some true happiness, and it seemed that the Dark Lord truly cared very deeply about his cub. Yes, Remus considered Harry as the cub of his very small pack, and the wolf was pleased that his pack was growing again.
Harry smiled. "So I guess you've been away for the past couple of months, huh?"
Remus nodded. "Yes. Since the summer."
"Well, this all started in October, so I'll just start there." Harry retold everything that had happened in the last couple of months, relating his transformation, and Severus' prophecy. He included Tom's vision that brought around his 'change of heart'. Tom gave his input, detailing the differences between his Dark Lord title and the true meaning of the 'Lord of Darkness' from Severus' prophecy. Harry related how he had fallen in love with the Dark Lord, and their experience at Christmas. However, both Harry and Tom fell silent as the darker aspects of their Christmas came to mind.
"I had my own vision recently. I believe it was a prediction. No, I know that it was a prediction. Dumbledore will use the Darkest of the Dark Arts, magic that is pure evil and corrupt, to resurrect my father."
Remus was struck speechless. James Potter, back from the dead? It was inconceivable, impossible, and it went against everything that he had ever known was sacred. He stared at both of them, taking in Harry's stricken face, and the Dark Lord's troubled eyes, and he knew it was true. His cub was absolutely terrified, and he felt the same.
"But... resurrection is impossible, right? It can't be done. The dead are dead; they can't come back! The dead stay dead!"
"I would like to believe that too, Moony, but... I've Seen it. It's going to happen. He attacked me, proclaiming me to a demon that killed his son, and I've seen the coming war at its most destructive." Harry said, his voice soft with fear and sorrow. "He'll try to destroy me."
"No, James would never do that. He wouldn't," Remus started to say, but Harry cut him off quickly.
"My father WILL try to kill me! I know this! Dumbledore will be there when he's brought back, the only familiar presence, and the only one who knows even the least of what's going on. None of my friends will be able to help, because he won't know them, and with his misunderstandings with the concepts of Light, he will believe Dumbledore, who'll give him the only explanation he'll be able to accept." Bloody tears welled up his brilliantly green eyes and spilled over, leaving bloody trails down his pale face. "I've Seen it, Moony. And I don't know how to stop it." He withdrew into himself, his wings drooping as he buried his face into Tom's shoulder, clutching his robes.
The Dark Lord cast concerned eyes to his beloved, holding him close as he attempted to comfort and calm the draconian teen in his arms, hissing quietly in Parseltongue.
Remus watched as this unfolded, and he saw that this upcoming disaster was breaking Harry's heart. He watched with confused shock and awed amazement, for never had he seen Harry break down like this. His heart ached for his pack's only cub, and the wolf inside raged at the sight of the closest thing Remus considered a son.
"If James tries to hurt you, I'll get through to him. He always listened to me, first and foremost after Lily." He said quietly, and Harry's lips quirked upwards, slowing the tears of blood.
Tom gave him a smirk. He stood, carrying Harry in his arms, and he paused to look at werewolf with clouded eyes. "I believe it may be time for you to leave now. It was a pleasure meeting you. Good night." The Tom was gone from the library.
"Take care of him, Riddle, and if you such much as hurt him in the slightest, I'll gladly let the wolf tear out your throat." With those few words whispered in the near empty library, Remus left the library, and the Manor altogether.
In Tom's rooms, the Dark Lord stripped the draconian of his clothes and proceeded to clean away the blood, hissing softly to Harry, the soft, sibilant sounds soothing Harry's tormented mind, and showing a tenderness that he had never shown anyone.
"I love you, Harry," He said, switching to English. "I love you so much. I'll always be there to protect you."
"Don't make promises you're not sure you can keep." He whispered, nearly silent and startling Tom.
"What do you mean?"
"You can't be with me all the time, love. That's not possible. I finish school in a couple of months, and you, as my general commander of war, you have a war to plan and run. We won't be together forever, at every single moment." Harry clung to Tom, his wings drooping in despair.
"But I'll always be there for you." Tom traced Harry's scar with his finger. "I will never leave you alone, and you always hear me, in your mind. You will never be alone. If it all becomes too much for you, then you can always retreat into my mind, as well." Tom eased Harry onto the bed, cleaning away the last of the blood, pressing gentle kisses along Harry's collarbone, his fingers tracing their way up and down Harry's shoulders.
He kissed Harry fully and passionately, bringing their bodies close before trailing kisses down Harry's toned abdomen, nibbling at the smooth skin, enjoying the movements as Harry squirmed. The draconian teen grasped for the blankets, arching into his lover's tongue, moaning and writhing under Tom's talented touch. He gasped for breath, finding it immensely difficult to bring air into his lungs.
Tom removed his clothes as he worked on Harry's eager body, rubbing up against Harry's own hardness, preparing his young lover thoroughly, using first his tongue before he summoned a small vial, filled with a clear, slippery fluid, to him. Once both he and Harry were prepared, he positioned himself and acted, entering the warm body beneath him.
Both wizards froze in bliss before Tom moved forward carefully, slowly filling Harry to the hilt. He picked up speed at an agonizing rate, gently as they grew comfortable with the powerfully intense sensations and with each other.
Harry's mind could not form a single coherent thought, and when Tom changed his angle slightly, Harry's world exploded. He wrapped his legs around Tom's waist, bringing their bodies even closer together. Tom brought his hand between them, dealing with Harry's hardness.
Their pace picked up, and Tom began to pound into his younger, smaller lover, eliciting keening moans of pleasure from the draconian. As Harry started to climax, he raked his talons across Tom's back, breaking through the skin and drawing blood, bringing Tom over the edge. He howled in pain and animalistic delight as white wings grew out from the broken gashes caused with Harry's claws. This brought Harry to his own climax, and he cried out as well. White feathers were coated with fresh blood and new muscles flexed and shuddered as Tom pulled out and collapsed beside Harry.
Both wizards were breathing heavily, taking their time to recover, and after a while, Harry curled up against the Dark Lord, snuggling into his arms. Both were flushed and glistening with a light sweat. Slowly, Harry reached up and behind tom, gently tugging on the red-splattered white wings.
"This was an interesting turn of events... never figured you for an angel." Harry said with a wicked grin. "Especially after that performance, which was bloody amazing. And thank you."
Tom returned his grin. "Neither of us can be considered an angel, love," He nuzzled into Harry's neck, tightening his hold on the other wizard.aHarry'sHarHaHhhknsknsha And damn straight that was amazing; I'm just that good!" Harry smacked him upside the head.
"You bastard! What about me, huh? Was I any good? I'd like to know, as I have no prior experience to compare with." Harry mock-glowered at him, no real heat in the fierce look. Tom just chuckled at his lover's behavior.
"You performed exceedingly well; a natural. But I think it may be time for some sleep now. And you're going to be a bit sore in the morning."
Harry nodded, a tender smile on his lips. "All right. Good night, Tom. I love you."
"I love you, too."
Within moments, the two lovers had drifted off into a peaceful slumber, their bodies intertwined together.