Chapter LI - I Will Be the Weapon
Harry had nearly returned to the bedchamber where the Shadows said the Dark Lord was about to awaken when he felt something else. -What's through there?- He asked silently, knowing that they would already know.
They hesitated before answering and that was slightly surprising. It wasn't that they didn't know, he felt that, it was they weren't sure about answering him this time. -Heprah.- The answer finally came, whispered.
-Heprah?- Emerald eyes opened wide and he shivered slightly, unintentionally remembering all the wizard had done to him. -I want to see him,- Harry said suddenly, turning towards the dark door.
-Master, are you sure?- There was a note of uncertainty in their voice.
-What is it?-
-You have seen what the Dark Lord has done to the other Muggles?-
-A wizard, while not physically stronger, has their magic to sustain them against torture, and because Heprah hurt you the worst, he has given the wizard special attention. Master, we do not want you upset by the lengths to which he will go for you.-
Harry took a deep breath, eyes half closed as he considered their words. He shook his head, placing his hand on the door knob. -No, I have to see him,- he said finally, opening the door.
It took a moment for his eyes to adjust and for an instant he thought he was looking at another guest room but then he saw the Dark Lord's punishment. He walked forward, feeling nothing at the evidence of torture, nothing but the vague need to finish it.
Harry looked at Heprah, ignoring the filth the wizard was immersed in. The glass tear was about half full of piss, shit, blood and sweat. He was still alive, barely, although his skin was burnt and bleeding, his hair was lank and he was so badly emancipated that he could almost be a skeleton. The only thing keeping him alive was his magic, and even that was beginning to fail. Weak blue eyes opened slowly as he sensed someone near him and Harry smiled slightly as Heprah realised who he was.
"You know how you always said I was good?" He said conversationally. "Imagine what it would have been like if I'd actually wanted to make love to you. Then I would have been great." Harry paused, checking that Heprah was still listening. "The Dark Lord is sleeping off the effects of great," he added, knowing that for someone like Heprah, this little piece of knowledge would be the final torture. He was not disappointed as the watery blue eyes opened wide and Harry felt a small pulse of jealous desire. He licked his lips and leaned in close to whisper the final word, "Thank you," before he turned away, leaving the broken wizard sobbing weakly, as he begged to die.
Harry leant against the door after he'd closed and locked it behind him, sucking in air through clenched teeth. He'd been able to keep his emotions in check in front of the wizard but now they were overwhelming. Slowly he opened his eyes, looking up into the shadows on the ceiling as he forced his body to relax. "Beloved," he whispered, "thank you."
-Master,- the Shadows broke in on his heartfelt reflection. -You must hurry.- They seemed relieved that he had taken Heprah so well.
-I understand.- Harry pushed off from the door, walking down the corridor again.
Voldemort blinked, coming awake all at once. He knew someone was watching him and it took him an instant to realise it was Harry. He relaxed immediately, smiling at emerald eyes. "I don't recall leaving clothes around here," he said teasingly when he saw the boy was dressed.
-Heh!- The Shadows answered him, flickering around their master.
He sat up, the sheets falling off him haphazardly as he gestured for Harry to come and sit with him. The boy obeyed with a smile, snuggling into him closely as the shadows wrapped around them both warmly.
"Have you been awake long?"
"Long enough," Harry sighed and Voldemort caught the implications.
"Oh," he asked, amused. "What did you see?"
"A lot of empty rooms," the black haired boy replied casually. "A few snakes, some Dementors, a couple of Lucius' forces and Heprah." He'd felt the Dark Lord tense when he said Dementors but had ploughed on through his list anyway. While he was grateful to his lover for punishing those who had hurt him, it was time that he learnt that he wasn't helpless and he could deal with the situations that arose.
"Harry!" Strong white arms tightened around him.
"Nothing happened," he said defensively. "The Dementors now know better than to get in my way, and the Shadows were hungry."
The Dark Lord trembled slightly, suppressing his emotions. "Start at the beginning."
"Hehe! You worry to much," Harry said softly, flicking a surge of calm through their link.
He felt Voldemort shake his head. "No, do not distract me. What happened? Harry... If anything should happen, I will destroy the world for you."
Harry sighed. "All right. It's nothing, really. The Shadows were with me the entire time."
"I went exploring and eventually I came across the cells you've got Lucius and his forces in. The Shadows were hungry, so they needed some food but the Dementors were there as well. Nothing happened though, they never even got close to me."
Anger rose through the Dark Lord and his red eyes burnt as he unconsciously tightened his grip. "They should have known better than that. They shouldn't have even tried!"
"They won't now," Harry was quick to sooth his lover. "They won't try anything now." He sent the image of the Dementors bowing low to him to Voldemort and felt, despite the anger, the Dark Lord's curiosity.
The Shadows continued for him. -The Dementors are Dark creatures, like the Vampires but they have forgotten who the true Dark masters are. We reminded them, just as we will remind the Vampires.-
Voldemort calmed slightly, feeling the power radiating from the dark presences and the icy and absolute protection they would give their young master. "So what about Lucius' forces?" He asked, breathing in Harry's intoxicating aroma.
-We were hungry,- they said defensively.
"What do you eat?"
"I had to ask that as well," Harry chuckled. "They eat light."
"Light?" One elegant black eye brow rose.
"I gave them Zabini and Bulstrode."
"So they're dead?"
He felt the Dark Lord breathe a small sigh of relief.
"What? You didn't need them?" Harry questioned worriedly.
"No, little one, no, I don't need them. But you are not ready to kill yet, beloved, not yet."
-We want you to kill them,- the Shadows sent to him privately.
Voldemort muzzled his face into Harry's hair as the boy moved against him, sighing contentedly. -Why?- He asked silently.
-Blaise and Millicent are the ones who raped our Master at Hogwarts.-
Ruby fire suddenly flared around the Dark Lord as the serpent came alive. "They what?" He snarled through clenched teeth. "Why didn't you tell me earlier?"
"Because I did not want them to," Harry answered, guessing what the Shadows had told his lover.
"Little one," Voldemort pushed Harry back, taking his shoulders as he glared fiercely into wide emerald eyes.
"They are mine," Harry said quietly. "You can have everyone else, but they are mine. Them and Draco."
"He arranged it for them, and he was the one who killed Hedwig."
"And?" Ruby eyes narrowed to slits as he sensed something more.
"He was the one who got the killing curse on me last night."
It was with infinite patience that the Dark Lord harnessed his anger. He trembled with the effort and it was only because Harry was in his arms, that he wasn't already raging.
-Calm down!- The Shadows snapped at him. -'At its burning the young Phoenix's fire touches both the Black Basilisk and the fire serpent and it emerges from the ashes as a Basilisk with the crest of a Phoenix.'- They quoted the line to him. -What exactly did you think it meant?-
"It was the only way," Harry whispered at him, wrapping his small arms around Voldemort again, squeezing tightly as he opened his mind to allow the Dark Lord to fully feel his presence.
"My little one, I will kill them for you and leave their brats to you," Voldemort said finally as the fire died around him, the serpent calmed by the unfettered access to his precious.
-We'll tell you where to send the bodies,- the Shadows whispered.
"Harry, I meant what I said back then. I will take you through the difficult times of the first few but only when you are ready, little one, only when you are ready," Voldemort repeated. "Do not push yourself, it is not something that should be rushed."
Harry nodded, taking comfort from the words.
"And when you are ready, my little basilisk, I will give you your fill." Long fingered hands stroked up and down Harry's back soothingly. "Did you want me to save Heprah for you?"
"No, I've already finished with him."
"If you are sure..?" He let Harry silently know that he would not think it weakness if he needed to wait before taking the wizard's life.
"I am, although that glass is his coffin, leave his body where it is."
Pale lips quirked in a smile as a few new ideas came to the Dark Lord. "Anything you want," he seemed to laugh but was meet with silence as Harry burrowed into him, not sleeping, just enjoying his proximity.
They sat together, each drawing comfort from the others presence, for long minutes before Harry sighed and Voldemort felt his mindset shift.
"Did you want your wand back?" The green-eyed boy asked, looking up at him.
He shook his head, ruby eyes, never leaving emerald. "No, I gave it to your for your own protection and it seems you do very well with it. I ask you the same though."
"No, I don't need it. It... it no longer feels right."
"Hmm?" Voldemort reached out long fingers, plucking the wand from the air. As the wand settled into his hand, a thrill of fire passed through his body, the holly was warm against his skin, much like his own wand had always felt. It felt right.
"I did not foresee this."
"No," there was a note of sadness in Harry's voice. "And you did not foresee what has to happen now."
"I have to go." Harry drew back from the embrace and moved to stand before the Dark Lord, head bowed slightly.
"But the Shadows said..."
"I know what they said, but the longer I stay, the more dangerous it is. Through Snape, the Order already knows where this strong hold is. You don't want to give them time to gather the resources to storm it, not yet. And the longer we leave Draco unattended the greater that danger is."
"You are running a war, beloved. Sentiment can come when Dumbledore's heart is resting on the mantle piece, not before."
Voldemort rose to stand over Harry, the sheets transfiguring themselves into plain red robes. The sudden change in his precious one gave him pause but he could feel the boy steeling himself against what had to be done. He placed one finger under the boy's chin, raising his head to look up at him. "And what would you have me do?"
Harry flinched slightly, not meeting the red eyes but his voice was firm when he spoke. "You said it yourself, I have to go back. I have to go back so that I can be the weapon they would use against you."
"I know that, but what would you have me do now?"
"Curse me," Harry said simply. "Hit me, hurt me. Do all the things you would do to someone who refused to obey you."
Voldemort froze at the words. He tried to speak but his voice refused to obey him. His mind repeated Harry's words and he searched for their logic, logic that came only too easily.
"You have to," Harry implored him. "Or else we will spend many, many years trying to subdue the lot of them. This way is the fastest and the surest way for victory. When the time comes, I will stay and everything will be as it should."
The Dark Lord didn't move. He already knew that even if he didn't want to know it. Something was howling at him to do it, and something was howling at him to not but both were filled with his love for Harry and he wondered how the emotion could tear him so completely. He could see the logic. If Harry stayed here, his presence would not be the over-riding blow to the light forces but would instead provide a rallying point. They would win, together, nothing would stand against them, but it would take years of fighting. With Harry working for the light, when the time came, the perceived betrayal from within would be the definitive, devastating blow.
"I will go back, I will be their Weapon but if I go back without a mark on me, there will be questions. I do want to stay, never doubt that. I love you, my Dark Lord but this is how it must be. You know that."
"Yes," Harry hissed urgently, his face sombre. "I know you don't want to and this will be the only time you ever raise a hand against me, but it must be done."
Voldemort turned away, striding to the far side of the room. "Harry," he hissed, breathing deeply. "How long?"
"A year," Harry answered. "That's what they told me, a year, if I am the weapon."
"How long otherwise?"
"Twenty seven years."
The Dark Lord gulped before he sighed, slowly drawing the holly wand his mate had given him last night. The warmth spread through his body again but he willed it away. To do this, he would have to be as ice. He could see the logic and he loved Harry even more because of the courage it took to suggest this. It was courage worthy of his mate but that did not make it easy for him.
Emerald eyes gazed at him as Harry unconsciously tensed. -I forgive you. Remember, I belong to you, no one else,- he whispered directly into Voldemort's mind. -And I love you,- he added, cutting off their connection as the Dark Lord cast the charm.
It hit him directly and he collapsed, writhing on the thick carpet as he tried to muffle his screams. He arched his back, screaming soundlessly, tears streaming from his eyes when something else hit him, as the Dark Lord traced out further punishment with the wand. All the air left him in a rush as Harry impacted with the bed, hitting it with enough force that he was sure his ribs were broken. But the beating didn't stop there. Even as the cruciatus curse filled his mind with pain the invisible force continued the slam into him, dealing more physical pain, bruising and breaking bones.
Minutes passed and Harry sobbed, tasting blood as he gasped for air. -Now!- He managed to command the shadows. They descended around him, and he disappeared.
Voldemort cried out as Harry vanished, falling to his knees throwing the wand away from him. His mate had blocked their bond completely so he hadn't felt the pain but he knew, being under the cruciatus curse for the minutes it had taken would have been enough to drive anyone to the limit. He shivered. "Forgive me."
Faintly, so faintly that he wasn't even sure it was real came the reply.
-I forgive you, beloved.-
-...i love you...-
Dumbledore stood at the gates of Hogwarts, watching the sunset. It had been a long and difficult day. He had dealt with the Ministry in the aftermath of Tom's aborted attacks, calmed Sirius' murderous rage at Harry's disappearance, handled the students, called a meeting of the Order and asked several more personal allies to aide in the search.
There was a squad of Aurors guarding the gates now. The Ministry now resembled a training ground, there were so many patrols and guards and to move anywhere you had to submit to constant wand scans. There was an atmosphere of fear pervading everything. Usually he would have been against it, but there was also a team spirit. Everyone knew how close they had been to losing it all last night, and everyone was prepared to fight.
Lucius' Rebellion had given them more than Malfoy knew and now they needed time, time the Rebellion had given them but they needed one more thing. They needed the boy who could become the weapon they needed to destroy the darkness.
"Harry, where are you?"
No one had managed to find anything in regards to the Gryffindor Boy's location. Nothing.
The Weasley twins had even come forward and pointed out several secret passages that no one had known about but the search of them had turned up empty. Short of the Dark Mark burnt into the bodies, there was nothing connecting the Dark Lord to Harry's disappearance.
Hagrid interrupted his thought. The large man was hurrying over the grounds and he appeared to be carrying something.
A chill passed through Albus and he moved towards the half giant, motioning some of the Aurors to come with him. The small group met a short distance from the gates and Dumbledore couldn't help but notice that Hagrid was exceptionally happy.
"Headmaster!" The big man said breathlessly.
"What is it, Hagrid?"
"I found him."
"Harry!" Hagrid opened his jacket, lowering his arms to allow everyone to see his precious bundle.
Blue eyes opened wide at the sight. The boy was a mess. His hair was everywhere, his robes were torn and dirty, his face bruised and blood trickled from his mouth, but it was definitely Harry.
"How? Where?" The questions came from the Aurors.
"I don't know. He just appeared!" Hagrid said happily, not caring about the implications of broken wards of Hogwarts.
"We have to get him to the infirmary."
The Aurors parted and Dumbledore moved to Hagrid's side as they began towards the castle.
"..." There was a choking gurgle.
"Harry!" Hagrid shouted.
"Professor..." the black haired boy said weakly, struggling in Hagrid's arms with small hisses of pain.
"What it is Harry?" Dumbledore asked gently.
A shaky hand rose, offering the ancient wizard a wand of yew.
Dumbledore shook his head, taking the weak hand, placing it back on Harry's chest, tucking the wand out of sight. "No, Harry." It was Tom's wand but right now, Harry needed it and until he knew where Harry's was, the Aurors could not be allowed to destroy it out of hand.
"Headmaster," the boy said shakily, gasping.
"Rest Harry," Dumbledore implored him.
"No, I have to tell you."
"Tell me what?"
"I'll fight him," Harry gulped, trembling as the effort of speaking became too much. "I will be the weapon."
End 'Possession' - Thank you to everyone for reading! I hope you enjoyed as much as I enjoyed writing, so now go read the continuation - Weapon.
Thank you to everyone who reviewed, or is yet to review, both the first time and with this repost.