Beyond the Darkness: The Early Years
Author Name: Orion Scorpio
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Summary: AU. What if Sirius Black had Disapparated right after Pettigrew framed him, and proceeded to kidnap Harry from the Durselys? Harry grows up with Sirius while hiding from former Death Eaters, the Ministry AND the Order of the Phoenix!
Author's Note: I just want to try my hand at the 'Sirius raises Harry' plot. This story chronicles Harry's upbringing. He'll go to Hogwarts in the sequel (Beyond the Darkness: The Philosopher's Stone).
Chapter 1: Treason
October 31, 1981
"My Lord… the Potters have made me their Secret-Keeper!"
Lord Voldemort, the greatest and most feared dark wizard in centuries, leaned forward in his throne-like chair and regarded the kneeling figure in front of him. Red eyes that stood in contrast to his unnaturally pale skin seemed to bore through the man's skull.
"You, Peter?" Voldemort said in a voice carved from ice. "Information provided from my other agents suggests that Sirius Black is their Secret-Keeper."
Pettigrew shuddered despite himself. His master seemed to radiate cold and darkness wherever he went, and rarely needed much of an excuse to torture someone into madness or death. Yet, he was also the most powerful wizard in the world; for a decade he had slaughtered every wizard and witch that dared oppose him, and then exterminated their families. Everyone who fought him died. Everyone who tried to resist him was killed. Pettigrew didn't want to die, and it was quite obvious who were winning; the Ministry of Magic were steadily falling back on all fronts, and Dumbledore's Order of the Phoenix was slowly being wiped out. Fearing for his life, Pettigrew had accepted the Dark Mark and begun passing information to Voldemort. That had been two years ago.
"T-they switched, m-my Lord," Pettigrew said, hating the stuttering but unable to do anything about it. Merely being in the same room as the man he had sworn his soul to was enough to turn his knees into jelly. "B-Black thought he was too obvious a choice. By transferring the Fidelius Charm to m-me he could act as a decoy."
Pettigrew kept his head bowed and stared fixedly at the ground. Drops of sweat fell from his face to land on the stone floor, creating dark patches. Out of the corners of his vision he could see dark shapes standing to the left and right; members of the Dark Lord's inner circle, all with their faces hidden behind Death Eater masks. None of them had moved at all since he was granted audience with his master.
Voldemort rubbed his chin with a ghastly white hand. "Yes… yes, of course." Pettigrew risked a glance and saw a thin smile beginning to spread across the man's features. "After all, who would suspect a wizard with such… limited talents like you?"
Pettigrew was so relieved over seeing that his news were well received that he swallowed the insult without problems. He had already been at the receiving end of the Cruciatus Curse more than once, and had no wish to repeat the experience.
Voldemort abruptly rose, tall and imposing. "Tell me where they are," he demanded. "Tell me where they are, this couple that have eluded my grasp for far too long."
For the tiniest fraction of a second Pettigrew hesitated. Originally he had thought he could play both sides and openly declare for one of them as soon as they won. However, Voldemort had quickly dispelled that illusion. And yet, ever since the day he had accepted the Dark Mark Pettigrew had managed to fool himself into thinking that he hadn't done anything really traitorous yet, he could still back out…
But fear seized his heart as he looked into bottomless pits of red ice that were the eyes of his master. "A-a village na-named G-Godric's Hollow in Devon," Pettigrew heard himself say. "N-no 6 Grafton Road."
There. He had said it. He had now condemned his childhood friend James, James' wife Lily, and their one year old son Harry to death. Pettigrew forced himself to breath normally. He couldn't become sentimental now; his own hide was at stake here!
Voldemort nodded in satisfaction. "Rise, Peter. You have served me well."
Pettigrew obeyed and scrambled back on his feet to stand meekly in front of his master.
"Shall I send out a death-squad, my Lord?" came the gruff voice of Macnair.
Voldemort considered for a moment. "No. I'll handle them myself," he said and produced a wand from the folds of his robes. "First I shall teach them a harsh lesson; that no one can escape from the Dark Lord." A twisted smile grew on his face, and the demented look in his eyes became, if possible, even more sinister. "And then I shall take care of this... child that according to fate has the power to destroy me."
There were murmurs of agreement from those gathered as Voldemort caressed his wand with long, thin fingers. "Augustus, Rodolphus and Barty; you'll come with me. The rest of you shall wait here for my return," he ordered. And with that he disapparated. Augustus Rockwood, Rodolphus Lestrange and Barty Crouch jr. followed him not a second later.
Pettigrew sagged with relief as his master left, wiping away sweat with a quivering hand. I'm sorry, James, he thought brokenly. But the Dark Lord is winning everywhere; he has weapons I can't even comprehend – and I don't want to die!
"Don't wet yourself," Bellatrix Lestrange said mockingly, and there were a few chuckles from the remaining Death Eaters present. Pettigrew shuffled his feet and didn't meet anyone's eyes.
To Muggle eyes No 6 Grafton Road didn't look any different from the other cottages in the village, and gave no outwardly signs that a witch and a wizard lived there with their son. To the trained eyes of Lord Voldemort, however, there was a weak mist of residual magic covering it; proof that those inside had been using spells and charms.
Voldemort smiled coldly. It looked like the little rat had been correct; this cottage was indeed the hiding place of a magical family.
With a few quick wand-movements he cast an assortment of Revealing and Exposing charms. A dozen different cobwebs of light appeared just inside the garden fence, completely enveloping the cottage. Voldemort nodded to himself; the Potters hadn't been taking any chances and had set up several wards in addition to the Fidelius Charm. Some prevented Apparation, others automatically traced portkey-signatures, and yet others made it impossible to floo to their fireplace even if it had been connected to the Floo Net.
But none of those wards could stop Lord Voldemort.
"Spread out and surround the house," Voldemort ordered the three followers he had brought along. His gruesome smile grew wider with anticipation as he walked straight through the wards. A distant chime sounded, coming from the cottage, and one of the curtains moved as someone peeked out of the window.
The curse blew the front door to splinters and Voldemort strode silently into the darkened living room, just in time to deflect a Blasting Curse from the raven-haired man charging down the stairs. Determination shone from the man's eyes, and his face was twisted in a snarl of hatred. But there was also fear in those eyes. James Potter knew without a doubt he was running toward his death, but did it anyway in an effort to buy his wife and son a little time.
Gryffindor courage, Voldemort thought disdainfully. How typical.
"Everbero maximus!" the dark wizard snapped, unleashing his own attack. Potter jumped over the banisters and landed deftly on the floor, avoiding the Bone-Crusher Curse which smashed part of the stairs instead.
Voldemort deflected the streams of fire with a deftly place shield charm, which hit a curtain on his left. The curtain immediately caught fire, lightning up the room with sinister, flickering light.
"Cremo poena!" Voldemort bellowed.
"Protego!" The jet of blue fire hit the invisible magical barrier Potter had conjured up and were reflected right back at Voldemort. The Dark Lord was forced to dodge out of the way lest his own curse take his head off. Instead the jet carved a two foot long scar through the wall.
A powerful opponent, Voldemort thought, impressed despite himself. Potter's reactions were lightning-quick, and the counters almost perfectly placed. If only he hadn't been so loyal to Dumbledore. What an asset he would have been!
"Serpensortia!" A large serpent burst out of Voldemort's wand and landed at the floor in front of Potter's feet. Voldemort allowed himself a slight smile; he'd always been rather found of that hex. "Attack Potter," he hissed in Parseltongue. "Kill him!"
The snake began slithering toward his enemy, hissing menacingly. Face tight with determination, Potter responded by transfiguring the sofa into a magnificent lion. Given life by Potter's emotions, the lion roared in rage and leapt at the Dark Lord.
"Reducto!" Voldemort snapped, blowing the transfigured sofa into bits. However, it have served its purpose as a distraction and allowed Potter the time to get rid of the snake with 'finite incantatum'.
"Most impressive," Voldemort said, regarding his anniversary. The air was thick with smoke. "But you know you can't win in the end."
Potter glared right back. "We will win, Voldemort," he said defiantly. "Whether I live or die here tonight, we are going to win!"
Voldemort laughed harshly. "Victory is all but mine, you fool! Crucio!"
Potter dodged the Cruciatus Curse, which hit the wall and left a dark scorch mark.
"Dissimulo!" Thick, black smoke flowed out of Potter's wand, spreading out across the room supernaturally quick and hiding him from sight.
"You can't hide from me with a simple Obscuration Spell, Potter!" Voldemort called, peering into the still rapidly growing dark cloud. Suddenly the cloud stopped growing and in that moment Voldemort quickly darted to the left, just as a pulse of golden light flew out and blew a gaping hole in the wall.
Voldemort smiled. Just as he had predicted, Potter had followed the sound of his voice. "Care to try again?" he mocked and darted to the right. A red jet of light burned through the air where his chest had been a heartbeat earlier, but also betraying the location of the caster within the cloud.
"Crucio!" Voldemort shouted and was rewarded with a scream of agony from the midst of the cloud. Ah, yes! He shuddered in dark ecstasy at the sound.
He held the curse for a few more moments, enjoying the screams from his enemy, before he reluctantly dropped it in order to dispel the cloud. As the mist lifted, the first thing he saw was Potter sitting up and pointing his wand at him.
"S-stupefy!" he gasped.
Voldemort blocked the stunner easily. Impressive; he still have his wits with him, he thought. "Avada Kedavra!" he shouted gleefully and took perverted pleasure in watching the surprise in Potter's face as the Killing Curse struck him in the chest.
The Dark Lord regarded the dead body of James Potter for a while, a sick smile still on his lips. After a few moments he gave himself a shake; as much pleasure as he took from killing, he still had a mission here tonight. Swiftly he made his way up to the second floor, avoiding the hole in the stairs his Bone-Crusher Curse had made.
The first room, the master bedroom, was empty. The door to the next room had been magically sealed, however. The Mudblood must have realized she was surrounded and had in desperation locked herself up with the brat in his bedroom. Not that it would save them in the end.
The curse smashed the door completely, sending splinters of wood inward like flying daggers. Voldemort stepped inside, and found Lily Potter trying to drag herself back to her feet and cover a cradle with her own body at the same time. She had obviously not been expecting the explosion and hadn't been able to raise a shield in time; several sharp splinters had been driven into her chest and midsection, and now red patches of blood were forming where they had penetrated her flesh. One of them had penetrated the palm of her right hand, and her wand was nowhere in sight.
Voldemort dismissed her as no longer a threat and turned his attention at his objective; the babe who were sitting in the cradle, staring curiously from his mother to him and back again, obviously not understanding what all the fuss was about. A moment later his view was blocked as the Mudblood finally managed to steady herself.
"Move aside," Voldemort commanded coldly.
Voldemort blinked perplexed at the ashen-faced woman. What was wrong with these Potters?
"Step aside, you pathetic woman!" he snapped and levelled his wand at her.
The Mudblood staggered forward with one arm outstretched as if she was going to attack him physically, despite being grievously injured. "Not Harry, not Harry," she sobbed. "Please, not Harry!"
Voldemort battered aside her arm with his left. "Stand aside," he growled. Didn't she see she had lost? She should be saving herself, not risk her life for a brat! "You silly girl! Stand aside now."
"Please have mercy," she cried and tried to grab his wand. "He's just a baby! Take me instead!"
Mercy? She asked him for mercy? Oh, that was just too funny.
"Avada Kedavra!" he laughed. Green light filled the room, and Voldemort watched in sick pleasure as the Mudblood crumbled on the floor, horror still etched in her face.
Still chuckling he stepped over the body and over to the cradle. Little Harry Potter gazed up at him with green eyes, unable to comprehend what was going on.
"So you are the one who supposedly have the power to vanquish me?" Voldemort smirked. "You certainly don't look like it. However, I'm not going to take any chances. Good-bye. Avada Kedavra!"
Voldemort never had time to react. The deadly green light shot out of his wand, hit the babe in his forehead - and did the impossible; it rebounded. Little Harry was knocked on his back with a wail from the blow, but the reflected jet of light struck Voldemort in the chest with tremendous force. The explosion of PAIN nearly tore his mind apart as he was thrown out of the bedroom and sent tumbling down the stairs. Voldemort welcomed the feeling of bones breaking with open arms, for it felt like a lover's caress compared to the terrible PAIN that ravaged his body.
"HEEEEELP MEEEE!" The inhuman scream forced itself out of his throat as PAIN beyond PAIN caused him to convulse on the floor. Blood boiled and bone splintered as the Killing Curse tried to tear the life out of someone whose experiments with immortality had partially succeeded. Voldemort were barely aware of his three minions coming running into the living room in response to their master's call.
"Master!" a pale-faced Rockwood exclaimed, staring in shock and fear at the dark wizard who was now leaking blood from every pore "Master, what-".
"H-Harry Potter!" Voldemort gasped through a red haze. His grasp on life were slipping. "HARRY POTTEEEEEER!" he howled in rage one last time before his body were blown into a billion fragments by one final, intense burst of green light. The shockwave from the magical explosion radiated outward with a thunderclap, destroying both wards and walls with equal ease. The three Death Eaters hastily threw up shield charms, and yet they screamed in pain as their skin was nearly flayed off their bodies.
Lestrange, Rockwood and Crouch did the only thing they could think of; they Disapparated before the ceiling came crashing down upon them.
A Dark Lord had met his end, and a legacy had begun.