Summary: After running away from the Dursleys at a young age, he learned to survive on his own. Faced by the cruelties of a harsh world, he fought for his freedom. Challenged by those above him, he killed for his power. Discovered by the world that betrayed him, he was forced to accept his destiny. But a person can change a lot over eleven years, and Harry Potter has become something they would never expect.
Acerbus Angelus: Dark Angel
"H-harry?" his sister stammered, her emerald eyes widening in shock as they met his own. Her gaze immediately flickered to his forehead where the damning scar was now exposed, as though seeking confirmation, seeking proof that he was truly there. Both siblings were forced to duck as a jet of green light flew too close for comfort, and Harry barely avoided the Killing Curse that impacted with an elderly man instead.
"Come on!" he snapped, dragging Melissa to her feet with his blood-soaked hand, the other retaining a tight grip on his wand. Grasping her by the arm, Harry steered the red head toward the iron-wrought archway, knowing it would be easier to evade capture amidst the chaos and confusion of the muggle world.
"You want to stay alive, you do exactly what I say," he told Melissa, throwing a glance over his shoulder as he did. Voldemort had risen once more, his crimson red eyes scanning the platform, searching for the prey that got away. Instinctively, Harry led them into the panicked crowd, using the unknown bodies as cover against the Dark Lord's wand. "Don't move unless I tell you, don't make a sound unless I tell you."
The red head briefly opened her mouth as they neared the archway, no doubt intending some indignant retort, but was cut off as three robed figures apparated directly behind them. "Drop!" Harry shouted, pushing Melissa to the ground with his blood-soaked hand, just as one of the Death Eaters yelled, "Avada Kedavra!" The raven-haired youth dove to the ground as well, the Killing Curse flying overhead, hitting the ticket inspector's booth, which immediately burst into flames.
He rolled back to his feet in a single motion, holstering the wand as his left foot lashed at the nearest Death Eater in an old, Shanghai street fighting technique. The masked figure fell to the platform, doubled-over in pain as he struggled to breathe. Harry continued the attack, his fingers snapping together, and in one fluid motion, the edge of his rigid hand came crashing down on the back of the man's neck.
He crumpled to the platform, down for the count.
Turning toward the remaining Death Eaters, Harry was faintly surprised to see one of them get blasted into the air by a strong Stunner, courtesy of the auburn-haired girl he had briefly forgotten about.
That left one Death Eater still standing, and dark servant had no chance.
Harry kept his wand holstered, preferring non-magical defensive for close range, and easily sidestepped the pain curse shot at him. With an unperceivable motion, he pulled a thin, double-edged blade from a sheath at his belt. Ducking another curse, he pivoted, coming up beside the Death Eater and slashing at the man's wrist, half severing the hand from the arm it belonged to. With a strangled cry, the wand clattered to the ground, the hand useless, and Harry went in for the kill. The razor-sharp blade arced across the man's throat in a surgical fashion, and blood spewed out of the ruptured arteries as the neck snapped back.
The Death Eater fell to his knees, dead before he hit the ground, and a slow clapping erupted across the oddly silent platform.
The raven-haired young man spun on his heel, mentally cursing himself for being caught off guard. Emerald eyes widened as they spotted the tall, skeletal wizard standing nearby, and with another nonverbal curse, Harry realized exactly who his audience was.
"Bravo, bravo," said Lord Voldemort slowly, his crimson eyes riveted on the dark-haired combatant. Luckily for Harry, at some point the tie holding his hair back had come undone, and the long, raven locks now hung freely, shrouding his face and concealing the infamous scar.
Voldemort didn't recognize him.
Of course, Harry thought as the Dark Lord drew his wand, there was also a downside to that. Voldemort might not attack if he knew he was facing the Boy Who Lived. At least not before knowing what his opponent was truly capable of. Something that Harry had no intention of revealing.
"Tom Riddle, I presume?"
The name had the desired effect Harry was going for. Voldemort flinched visibly at the reminder of his muggle past, and Harry took the opening presented. In his current condition, with the heavy loss of blood and his magical reserves near depletion, he knew he would be no match for the Dark Lord.
But then again, the great Letifer was known to be conventionally unconventional, and Harry could hardly live down to his fame for improvising.
Flicking his wrist, the wand reappeared in his left hand, the right going for a glass vial attached to his potions belt. The small container was filled with a fine, black powder, and Harry quickly activated the Time-Release Charm before throwing it at the Dark Lord.
As desired, the vial exploded mid-throw, the fine powder billowing into the air, and the platform was overcome with darkness. The effects of Black-Out Powder, a rare mineral deposit found only in the deep-core mines of Southern Peru, obtained illegally through a vast network of smugglers, thieves, and crooked officials.
Handy, it was.
"Accio," Harry muttered, pointing his wand in the general direction his sister had been. The red head gave a startled yelp upon being summoned, and Harry caught her by the arm as she flew through the darkness. Voldemort, who was trying in vain to dispel the black cloud that harbored his prey, blindly raised his wand and pointed it in desperation, shouting an incantation right as Harry disapparated.
Without a sound, the last Potters vanished from platform nine and three-quarters.
Melissa opened her eyes slowly, almost reluctantly, not quite sure what she would find. One moment she had been at the train platform, astrange cloud obscuring everything in her view, and the next thing she knew, it went dark. She had been pressed very hard from all directions; she couldn't breathe; iron bands were tightening around her chest; emerald eyes were being forced back into her head; her eardrums were being pushed deeper into her skull, and then . . .
. . . . . .she gulped great lung-fulls of air and her open eyes were streaming slightly. It was almost as though she had been forced through a tight rubber tube.
She had arrived in what appeared to be a crowded reception area where rows of witches and wizards sat upon rickety, wooden chairs. Slightly different from the bloody, corpse-riddled platform, and her comprehension catching up to her senses, Melissa realized that she had just apparated for the first time in her life.
"You all right?" a voice asked from beside her, causing the red head to jump slightly. Turning, she met Harry's solicitous eyes, and suddenly remembered who she was with.
"Fine," Melissa answered, rubbing her ears, which felt as though they had been left at the platform rather reluctantly. "But I'm pretty sure I prefer the Floo."
Harry shot her an incredulous look at that, perhaps doubting her sanity, and the auburn-haired girl couldn't help but laugh. In her mirth, she failed to notice the calculating gleam in his emerald eyes.
"Was that your first time apparating?" he asked, as Melissa followed him through the crowded waiting room. It was scarcely less quiet than the platform had been, for many of the patients were moaning in pain, their clothes covered in blood. Witches and wizards in lime-green robes were scurrying up and down the rows, asking questions and scribbling notes on their clipboards.
"Of course," Melissa answered, inwardly wondering how the victims from the platform had been transferred to St. Mungo's so quickly. "I'm not of age, yet."
Harry merely evaluated her with a raised eyebrow. "Neither am I," he said, leading her toward a plump, blond witch who was seated behind a desk marked INQUIRIES.
The line leading up to the desk was rather long, and her brother apparently had no intention of waiting. "Excuse me!" said a brown haired woman indignantly as Harry cut past, completely ignoring the woman's outburst. Her dark-haired sibling made his way to the front of the line and simply stared at the wizard who was waiting next. The young man seemed to shrink under the hooded green gaze, his face paled, and he quickly took a step back, effectively stumbling out of queue.
Apparently satisfied, her smirking brother turned back toward the receptionist's desk. Melissa raised an eyebrow at his. . . .technique. . . .but chose not to comment. She had the feeling it would be of no use, and the unknown St. Mungo's was more interesting than an impromptu discussion on ethics.
The wall behind the desk was covered in notices and posters, but it was the large portrait of a witch with long, silver ringlets that caught her eye. There was a gold plaque at the bottom of the frame that read:
St. Mungo's Healer, 1722 - 1741
Headmistress of Hogwarts School of
Witchcraft and Wizardry, 1741 - 1768
Dilys was searching the reception area closely, as though looking for someone. Her canvas eyes widened slightly as they met Melissa's gaze, and the painted witch gave a small wink, before she walked sideways out of her portrait and vanished.
Melissa barely had time to ponder what just happened when the blond, plump witch behind the desk barked, "NEXT!"
"What is it?" she asked in a bored tone as Harry stepped forward. The raven-haired young man merely raised an eyebrow, before banging his right forearm onto the desk, splattering the receptionist and her piles of parchment with drops of crimson blood.
"I seem to have been hit with some sort of curse," he said in a soft tone, that nonetheless conveyed intense dislike. Raising his injured forearm once more, the receptionist could only stare, her blond hair speckled with blood, as Harry pulled the arm of his jacket down to the elbow.
A simple action, the effect macabre.
It elicited a sharp intake of breath from the plump witch, and Melissa visibly paled at the sight that greeted her eyes. From the wrist to the elbow, Harry's forearm was completely devoid of flesh, exposing the powerful muscles that resided below. Blood poured freely from the open wound, as though the skin had been cruelly torn away by some creature with razor-sharp teeth. And as Harry lazily drummed his fingers on the receptionist's desk, Melissa could see the tendons in his forearm moving back and forth.
"S-spell d-damage?" the blond witch asked weakly, almost as though she dreaded the answer. There was a green tinge to her chubby face, and she appeared to be fighting the inclination to vomit.
"A Flesh-Eating Curse, if I'm not mistaken," Harry confirmed in the same soft tone, his cold eyes never leaving the receptionist's face. "Silly me."
The witched gulped, the green tinge on her face becoming more apparent. "Sp-spell da-damage," she stuttered once more, pointy a chubby finger toward the double doors beside the desk. "F-fourth floor."
Harry merely watched with a raised eyebrow as the plump witch disappeared from sight, and his upper lip curled as a retching sound came from behind the desk. "You coming?" he inquired, seeing the reluctance on Melissa's face.
"Um. . . I. . . . .uh. . . I think I'll. . . uh. . . .stay here." She answered hesitantly, her brain reminding her of what her eyes had just seen.
"Your lose," Harry muttered as he walked through the double doors, leaving Melissa to wait in the crowded reception area. She finally found a seat next to an elderly man who appeared to have switched his arms with his legs, and was now attempting to hold the Daily Prophet between his hairy toes.
Groaning, she turned in her wooden chair, only to come face-to-face with a small girl who was staring at her with owlish, amber eyes. The girl was obviously a victim of some failed magic, for when she opened her mouth to speak, an almost Hedwig-like hoot came out, and her small head rotated 360 degrees.
The action unexpected, the result. . . . . . . . .nauseating.
He was certainly no stranger to blood, Harry thought as he walked down the narrow corridor, passing the framed portraits of famous Healers, the candles floating near the ceiling illuminating a weary soldier's chosen path.
His route of escape.
Although the wound on his forearm was both real and unpleasant, it was not enough to immobilize the raven-haired youth. The loss of blood was substantial, yes, and the pain was even worse, but he could still move deliberately, if required; still function properly, if need be.
And still maim efficiently, if cornered.
Besides, blood could be replenished, and for the strong-minded, pain was easily ignored. Reaching the end of the corridor, he turned down a side hall, dismissing the flight of stairs that lead to the upper levels of the hospital.
To be precise, though, it was Letifer who was no stranger to blood. And that's who Harry was. It was a name he had taken as his own, and the identity he had forged by himself.
In the lawless world in which he lived. . . . . . . . .it was all he had.
The innocent child who was Harry James Potter died along with his parents. The Boy Who Lived had taken his place, born in wake of the Dark Lord's defeat. Unbeknownst to the wizarding world, their savior had perished the moment he was left on the Dursleys' doorstep.
It was Letifer who rose from the ashes, so to speak. It was Letifer who survived the Dursleys' callous hand, and who blazed his trail in the harsh world that offered freedom.
And as previously stated, Letifer was no stranger to blood.
Keeping an eye peeled for any watchers, Harry snuck down an empty passageway, mentally reviewing the building's schematics. Blue prints of St. Mungo's were not easily obtained, and it had taken his spy a fair bit of lunch break wandering in order to piece together a rough floor plan of the hospital.
Making a sharp right turn, his injured forearm flared in protest, eliciting a painful hiss from the dark-haired young man, his body reminding him of what the brain chose to ignore. In his current state, he could not move as quickly as he might wish, or with the strength he knew he had.
Pain could be ignored, yes, but perhaps blood should not be.
He had become familiar with his own at a young age, courtesy of Vernon Dursley and the man's irrational hatred for all things 'abnormal'. The portly muggle had a vicious temper and an even shorter fuse, and more than once he took out his anger on the green-eyed boy who had the misfortune of being there.
Of course, Harry reminded himself, that had all ended the moment he snuck out his 'family's' front door on that fateful September morn. His association with blood, though, would only grown stronger.
Glancing down at his watch, Harry quickened his pace, knowing that Dumbledore would shortly arrive. If he had an operative stationed within St. Mungo's, the old man surely had one as well. The hospital was simply too important to go unguarded, and it was probable that at least one member of the staff answered to the Phoenix call.
A probability Harry had banked on. Things had fallen in place better than he could have hoped, though he would not be so arrogant as to claim he had planned it thus.
True, the primary objective had been completed. His sister was out of harm's way. But if Melissa followed him further she could become a liability, and with a single overt action, an enemy as well. And that would jeopardize the whole operation. Which meant he had to lose the auburn-haired girl, preferably in a safe location where Dumbledore and the Order could easily find her.
St. Mungo's offered all that.
The fact that he was actually injured only made it more plausible. Turning once more, Harry walked down a short flight of stairs, the red glow at the end of the corridor signifying an emergency exit. The door leading out to a muggle alley, to the vast London crowds in which he could lose any tail.
Escape was imminent; the pain from his forearm becoming more unbearable with every silent step.
So much for ignoring it, Harry thought as the field dressing began to turn a dark red, his conjured bandages soaked through with crimson blood. The sight was unwelcome, yet somehow reassuring in a twisted sort of way.
Harry could hardly explain it to himself.
Surviving his younger years in Fulcan City, he had become familiar with seeing blood not his own. It wasn't until the war, however, that he had deliberately spilled the blood of those who opposed him. It was then that his wand sought the life of another, and his blade was forever stained a crimson red.
The beast within had howled in triumph, and it was then that the infamous Letifer was born completely, his legacy secured throughout the shadows.
The hospital's emergency exit opened with a flick of his wand, and the young wizard walked through the open doorway, which immediately sealed behind him with a series of locking sounds, once more disappearing into the red brick department store called Purge and Dowse Ltd.
Secretly St. Mungo's.
The warm summer breeze whipped through his long hair as he walked toward the store-lined street, and with another wave of his wand, the dried blood was siphoned off his clothes, the folds of his jacket hiding the still bloody hand as he entered the crowd of late afternoon shoppers.
Not sparing a backward glance, the raven-haired chameleon vanished without a trace.
Long, dark hair fell into his jaded grey eyes, shrouding the once-handsome face of Sirius Orion Black. The Azkaban escapee sat in the gloomy kitchen of twelve Grimmauld Place, a metaphorical island in the room full of people.
Inwardly, Sirius Black mourned.
He mourned for what should have been, had he not made that tragic mistake all those years ago. He mourned for what could have been, had he done what his heart desired on that fateful Halloween night. And most recently, he mourned for what might have been, had he only the opportunity to speak with his godson.
One chance was all he asked for. Could the Gods not grant him that?
The ruling emotions at the Order meeting that night were fear mixed with grief and shock, some of the members expressing their sorrow in varying degree. The cruelties of war were making themselves known to those too young to remember.
And those who had chosen to forget.
Details of the day's attack were still vague, but to Sirius, he knew all that was necessary, and the painful result spoke for itself.
His godson had been there, had been at the platform during the attack, had been seen at St. Mungo's afterward, and had disappeared from the hospital some time following. His godson was out there somewhere, wounded from what Melissa said, and possibly too paranoid to seek medical attention.
He was hurt, and most likely alone. And for the last of the Blacks that was all that mattered. For others in the Order, the damage was more wide-spreading. Sturgis Podmore and Dung Fletcher had been among the dead, and the remains of Emmeline Vance were later discovered, her body only identifiable after multiple signature scans.
But their lose had no effect on Sirius. It was only the lose of a green-eyed boy that did. Harry was gone once more, so soon after Sirius had found him. And as that realization sunk in, the former Marauder couldn't help but feel empty inside.
Once more he had failed in his duty as a godfather. And the lose was almost more than Sirius Black could take.
He would not fail again.
Many miles outside of London, along the banks of a dirty river, the silence of night was broken by a faint pop, and a tall, hooded figure appeared out of thin air. For a moment they stood completely still, obsidian eyes piercing the darkness for any sign of a threat, long fingers gripping a wand from within their robes.
Apparently satisfied that no danger was imminent, the figure set off toward the cluster of buildings with a long, silent stride, the black cloak billowing behind them in ominous fashion.
With the summer breeze whipping around the hem of their robes, the figure quickly made their way through the rows of dilapidated housing, briefly wondering why a filthy muggle village had been chosen for the regional headquarters.
Though in a way, the tall figure reasoned as they darted through a narrow alley, the location did have its brilliance. The village could easily have been one of a hundred others across Great Britain, all seemingly identical in fashion, and as such, offering safety in their number.
Some of the street lamps along the cobbled road where broken; the figure walking swiftly between patches of light and the surrounding darkness. Ironically enough, the twisted pattern was an apt description of the figure's current situation.
Wavering between Light and Dark, moving too fast to be ensnared by either. Finding refuge in the medium, in the grey that neither overlord would ever understand.
Mentally sneering, the cloaked figure walked deeper into the labyrinth of brick houses, turning sharply as they reached a street named Spinner's End.
Soft boots echoed quietly on the cobbles, the hood of the cloak obscuring the traveler's face as they passed boarded and broken windows. Finally reaching the last house on the street, the figure could see a faint light glowing through the curtain of a downstairs window.
Knocking on the door in a prearranged pattern, they threw back the hood of their cloak, revealing the sallow face, lank hair, and obsidian eyes of a man in his late thirties.
"Da?" came the response from the other side; the Russian voice smooth yet rigid, conveying the fact that the door would remain closed until the visitor's identity was confirmed. The tall man rolled his obsidian eyes. Zabini and the boy were, needless to say, paranoid. A trait they no doubt developed during the war, along with a fondness for complicated patterns, unbreakable codes, and a unique style of guerrilla tactics.
"Its Snape, you imbecile," the sallow man sneered in response, breathing in the smell of dirty river water. "CN - 72368." There was a pause from the other side as the code was confirmed, and faint growling sounds could be heard from within, no doubt coming from the crups they used to spot infiltrators.
Resembling a Jack Russell terrier in both size and appearance, the magical creatures were nonetheless vicious in a fight, and extremely loyal to their master. Identified by a distinct forked tail, the crup's sense of smell was unparalleled, and the small buggers would eat just about anything, making them excellent guard dogs.
Finally, a series of clicking sounds ensued, and the reinforced door swung open, revealing the familiar face of a young man with shoulder length black hair and piercing green eyes. A wand was held habitually in his right hand, and as the youth began to speak, Severus Snape could see the infamous scar upon his forehead.
Um. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .I can't think of anything to say.
It's an odd feeling, I can tell you that much. Certainly unusual. Almost as though I have verbal constipation. I simply don't know what to do. I suppose I could respond to the 103 reviews I got for chapter four, but it's really early in the morning. . . . . . .
. . . . . ..and I just don't want to.
You see (holds out hands in figurative gesture, then remembers you can't see him) I, Dalyon, have the established custom of posting new chapters at 1:17 in the fucking morning!
It's really an unpleasant habit I must break, (luckily for me I don't sleep) and I fear the problem may be psychological. I can't be positive though, for my shrink will no longer look me in the eyes. I'm not sure why exactly, but it may be due to the fact that the left one twitches in a rhythmic pattern, kinda like morse code.
I tried SOS (still waiting for a response).
Anywhooo! Until that mysterious signal comes back, I'll see you on the flipside.
Or something like that.