- Chapter Seven -
Bellatrix looked down at her sleeping son. It had been a really tiring day for him. After her revelation, she had decided that the two needed something to eat, as it had been quite a while since either of them had. In fact, she knew that her son had ate nothing since being captured by Voldemort, and she wasn't much better.
"Are you hungry Harry?" Bellatrix asked her son, who was still hugging her.
"I am," Harry responded with a slight laugh, tears still evident in his voice.
"Come, follow me," Bellatrix said, lifting her son off of his knees, "There aren't any house elves here anymore, but I'm sure I'll be able to magic up something."
Twenty minutes later, Bellatrix had indeed been able to "magic something up" as she had said, and the two were enjoying a simple meal that they had found in the house's pantry under always fresh spells.
"Blacks have always had a reputation of being paranoid," Bellatrix said as a means of explanation, "Always wanting to be prepared for anything."
While the two were eating, Bellatrix looked at her son, thoughts swirling through her head.
"Harry," Bellatrix said, with a slight amount of trepidation in her voice, "What did you mean by, "The darkest days at the muggles?" Surely they must have treated you well? Albus Dumbledore himself entrusted you into their care."
Bellatrix caught the haunted look that filtered across her son's face.
"Albus Dumbledore didn't realize to the fullest extent what he was doing," Harry said darkly, "He knew that he was putting me into a situation where I would grow up with hardship, but he didn't realize just how much hardship."
Bellatrix didn't say anything, choosing to let her son continue, which he did, "Right up until I got my letter to Hogwarts they made me live in a cupboard! A cupboard not bigger than your usual broom closets! My first Hogwarts letter was even addressed to, 'The Cupboard Under the Stairs!'"
Bellatrix was seething inside, how DARE those muggles do that to her baby! And Dumbledore! Something Harry said, though, caught her slightly off guard, "Harry, what do you mean, your 'first' letter?"
Harry snorted, "My Aunt - excuse me, the Dursleys didn't want me going to Hogwarts. Apparently the reason that they had kept me locked away in the cupboard for so many years was just one of their many attempts to 'squash the magic out of me.' Really, you would think with all the magical situations that happened to me even with their constant scorn of me, with treating me like trash, starving me, and all that lot that they would have realized that my magic wasn't going away!"
Bellatrix was seething inside even more. If those muggles already weren't dead, she knew that she would be killing them herself now. However, she noticed that her son still hadn't answered her question, "Harry, you still didn't answer my question, what did you mean by your first letter?"
"Oh, like I said, they didn't want me to go," Harry said, looking at his mother, hitches starting to develop in his voice, "So they kept burning all the letters that came. Eventually so many started to come that they decided to try to hide from them by running cross country. Eventually, Dumbledore had to send Hagrid to retrieve me!"
Bellatrix was livid.
"Harry, you're telling me, your mother, that after all this, Dumbledore didn't think something was wrong?" Bellatrix asked with slightly clenched teeth.
"Yes, he had a 'plan' you see," Harry said with a mirthless laugh, barely keeping emotion suppressed under the surface, "He wanted to 'prepare me for the trials of the future' by making me realize that nothing would get handed to me! To teach me a hard work ethic!"
Bellatrix noticed the slight tear coming out of her son's eye, breaking her heart, as he went on, "Mum, why did he have to do that to me? I wanted nothing more than a normal childhood! Why did I have to be the special one?"
"I'm so sorry baby," Bellatrix said, walking over and hugging her son from behind, "If I could have done anything then you can be assured that I would."
Bellatrix just held onto her son as he continued to cry. He obviously was badly damaged by his childhood, and why wouldn't he be? He grew up without any love whatsoever!
Bellatrix looked down at her sleeping son. It had been a really tiring day for him. He had agonizingly gone over every detail of his life, how he had been treated by everyone around him. It really irritated Bellatrix that Dumbledore looked at her son as the ultimate savior, and even knew that he had to be, yet still allowed Harry to be in an environment that was not conducive to this!
Bellatrix sat down in the chair that was next to her son's bed. She really hadn't put much thought into what she should do now. It was only a matter of time before Voldemort tracked them down, and even then only another matter of time before he broke through the wards. As much as she didn't want to do it, she knew that she really only had one option left.
She knew that she had to contact Albus Dumbledore.
Present Day, the night before
Peter Pettigrew kneeled before his master, for the first time in many years not afraid.
"Wormtail, tell me," Voldemort began, not even looking at Pettigrew, instead looking out at his assembled Death Eaters, "Did you succeed?"
"No," Pettigrew responded, looking up at his master, "In fact, master, I didn't even try."
"CRUCIO!" Voldemort raged instantly. He took in Pettigrew's tortured screams, but noticed that even through the screams, Pettigrew wasn't even trying to resist this punishment. This was not acceptable.
"Tell me Wormtail," Voldemort said, lifting the spell, "Why did you feel that you could so flagrantly disobey me?"
"Because, master," Pettigrew said with a slight sneer, rising to one of his knees even though his body was wracked with pain, "I am no longer your servant."
With that, Pettigrew took his mask off, tossing it at Voldemort's feet. The Dark Lord and the Death Eaters were to stunned too even respond as Pettigrew rose to his feet.
"The biggest mistake I ever made was serving you," Pettigrew stated, "But I must pay for my mistakes, which I did while you thought I was still being your loyal rat. Bellatrix and Potter now know that you are looking for them."
Pettigrew withdrew his wand from his pocket, before tossing it on the ground. With a defiant look at the Dark Lord, Pettigrew stepped on his wand, snapping it in half.
"I can never go and serve the light," Pettigrew said, "Not after everything I've done. But I will no longer serve you."
With a mighty snarl, Voldemort leveled another Cruciatus Curse on Pettigrew, who accepted his fate with open arms. It didn't stop there though, as when the Dark Lord lifted the curse, he let the other Death Eaters have their way with the traitorous rat.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity to Pettigrew, Voldemort felt his body being lifted up by two Death Eaters, till he was looking straight in the face of the most powerful Dark Lord of the Century.
"You disappointed me Pettigrew," Voldemort said with a soft whisper to the defiant man, "I always thought you could have been slightly more than a rat, but a rat you stayed until your dieing day."
Pettigrew did nothing more than spit in the Dark Lord's face. Pettigrew didn't even have enough time for a final thought before he was dead, laying upon the floor before the feet of the Dark Lord.
"Leave me," Voldemort commanded to his Death Eater, who all bowed before leaving the room as quickly as possible. One Death Eater, however, left faster than the others.
Severus Snape for the first time in many years was running. He needed to get back to Dumbledore as fast as possible, to tell him not just about what happened with Pettigrew, but about the Potter boy.
Maybe the Light wasn't as doomed as he had feared.
"That is good news to hear, indeed," Dumbledore said to Snape, who was sitting in front of his desk, "Puzzling about Mister Pettigrew though."
"I don't know what brought his defiance on Albus," Snape said, still in his Death Eater regalia, "It did seem to be rather sudden. Pettigrew had become almost an informant on those that even looked slightly disloyal to the Dark Lord."
"Most puzzling indeed," Dumbledore responded, staring at a his phoenix, Fawkes, instead of at his Potions Master. Dumbledore slowly turned his gaze upon Snape, "You can leave Severus. I doubt you could offer anymore insight into what is going on. Thank you."
"As always, Headmaster," Snape responded, standing up, and then leaving with a slight bow of his head.
Dumbledore sighed as he now thought about the ever changing situation regarding Harry Potter and the fight against Voldemort. This situation was spinning further and further out of Dumbledore's control. At least it was now confirmed that Harry wasn't in Voldemort's clutches, but the fact that Bellatrix LeStrange was missing as well concerned him.
What if Bellatrix had taken Harry herself? This was just as bad as being in the clutches of Voldemort to Dumbledore. Bellatrix was an insane witch that had never once showed any remorse for any of the evil that she had ever produced, or committed.
Dumbledore looked on his desk, and saw that Harry Potter still indeed was safe.
Dumbledore couldn't begin to fathom what indeed had caused Pettigrew to turn as he did. The man was a coward, one of the worst that Dumbledore could ever think of. He wanted to assume that this was Pettigrew's way of repaying Harry for the life-debt that he owed him, but he didn't think that this was the cause, as Pettigrew was to much of a disgrace to even honor that.
Dumbledore once again looked at his desk, and once again saw that Harry Potter was safe. This was his only comforting thought as he walked to him room in order to catch a scant few hours of sleep. Maybe in the morning, after some rest, things would look different. Maybe he would see something that he hadn't seen before.
He hoped, because as he saw it, the glimmers of hope were starting to dim.
Present Day, currently
Harry woke up wondering where he was for a few minutes, the surroundings were really unfamiliar. Almost instantly the past few days crashed back into his head. Looking around he barely noticed that he didn't need his glasses anymore. He noticed that he was in the room alone.
Standing up, he grabbed some clothes that laid in the chair next to the bed, and put them on, hoping that he wasn't in the middle of the most realistic nightmare he had ever had. Walking out of the room, he was confused on where to go, but then he heard the pacing of feet coming from a room down the hallway. Walking through the half open door he saw his mother pacing back and forth while dictating a letter to a quill that was writing on a piece of parchment on a desk. He also noticed that she was holding a piece of parchment in her hand as well.
Harry just studied his mother for a minute, not alerting her to his presence. It was still a strange thought, knowing that he did indeed have family alive, and that his mother was Bellatrix LeStrange of all people. Well, not LeStrange, as she said that she would never use that name again. She had told him she was Bellatrix Black, and by rights he was a Black as well.
He noticed that his mother had also started to lose some of the hallmarks of a prolonged stay in Azkaban. Her hair was once again becoming fuller, and the natural beauty of all the Blacks was starting to creep back into her features. She also didn't look as crazed as she once did, although he speculated that this had something to do with her having her true mind back now.
Harry watched as she ended her letter, and was about to seal it when he spoke up.
"Who are you writing to mum?" Harry asked, causing her to whip around.
"Oh, you scared me baby," Bellatrix said, taking a deep breath, before picking the letter up off of the desk, "I'll tell you in a minute, but do you want some breakfast?"
"Sure," Harry responded, having Bellatrix lead him towards the kitchen.
"I was thinking, mum," Harry said, as he was eating, "What did you say you named me when I was born?"
"Circinus Black," Bellatrix responded with a certain air, "My guide out of the darkness."
"Would you like to call me that instead of, 'Harry?'" Harry asked his mother. He had wondered why Bellatrix hadn't been calling him by this name.
"I would love to my child," Bellatrix said with happiness, "I had only called you 'Harry' because that was the name that you were used to, and I didn't know if you wanted to use the name you were born with because you'd been using your other for years."
"Well, I'm not very much Harry Potter now am I?" Harry responded, with a laugh, "Look at me! I'm very definitely Circinus Black!"
"That you are Circi," Bellatrix responded with laugh of her own, calling her son a name she hadn't in over fifteen years.
A short while later Bellatrix was sitting in a sitting room with a book in her hands. She still hadn't sent the letter she had written that morning, wanting to inform her son of the contents of it before she sent it off. Speaking of her son, he had just walked into the room.
"Enjoy your shower Circi?" Bellatrix asked, setting her book down.
"Of course," Harry responded, sitting down in a chair across from his mother.
"Now, you wanted to know what was in this letter?" Bellatrix asked, picking it up.
"Yes, please," Harry responded.
"Last night, after you had fallen asleep I received a letter from Peter Pettigrew," Bellatrix stated, watching her son's eye blaze over, "It was a warning, telling me, and you, that Voldemort knew that we were missing. Apparently, he had tasked Pettigrew with finding us. He informed us that due to a life debt that you had over him, he was not going to do this, and instead take the consequences from Voldemort."
Harry was stunned. He could not believe that Pettigrew would do such a thing.
"How can we trust him," Harry asked in a dark voice.
"We can't," Bellatrix responded, "So hence this letter. It is a request to Dumbledore for asylum."
- End Chapter -
Ron: I hate the fics where Ron is nothing but a sidekick that blindly follows Harry into battle when it's so obvious that he is a great at strategy. I also hate that JK Rowling ignored this as well. I wanted to do something different with the boy.
Peter Pettigrew: I think I made his use obvious in this one.
My yahoo!account isn't working for some reason, so it might take a little longer for me to respond to reviews for a little bit. Thanks again for all the REVIEWS! I love them! Keep REVIEWING and thanks for reading!