Note: Sorry this chapter is so short. Frankly, I'm exhausted from updating so much lately...
Chapter 13: Of Plans
Harry couldn't quite put his finger on it, but there was something disturbingly familiar about the Dark Lord. The longer they stood, each silently appraising the other, in the midst of death and destruction, the more apparent their strange, elusive connection became. It wasn't the man's appearance that was familiar – after all, he'd never met this crimson eyed, chalky white skinned, bald person before – but the deep tenor of the Dark Lord's voice, his smooth assured movements, and his strangely familiar sarcasm…drew him in.
He was certain that the Dark Lord felt the same way.
When they'd first met, those crimson eyes had been indifferent, glittering with a mad sort of bloodlust…but then they had changed. Harry could see curiosity, hope, and doubt swirling in the Dark Lord's eyes; he wasn't sure what had triggered the change, but he knew that something important had shifted between them.
"Well?" Voldemort demanded.
Harry cleared his throat, thinking back to the Dark Lord's query. "I supposed it's because I've been having a hard time differentiating between the Light and Dark sides' agendas," he said slowly, meeting the man's gaze. "I know where Dumbledore stands on this war and I wanted to know yours. I wanted to know if this conflict is truly a war of beliefs or a war of revenge."
The Dark Lord snorted in disbelief.
"There is no such thing as a war of beliefs," Voldemort said sardonically, as something twisted painfully in his chest as he stared into the boy's emerald eyes. "While words can start wars, it is revenge that sustains the bloodshed. No matter how you spin it, this is the truth."
Harry pursed his lips in confusion. "But then…how will the war ever end?"
The boy was silent for a long, painful moment before he asked softly, "Is that why you started this war? For revenge?"
Voldemort looked away, unable to meet the boy's gentle gaze. Even though he knew, logically, that the elemental couldn't possibly be his son…seeing those hauntingly familiar emerald green eyes staring at him with compassion hurt. He could stand seeing those eyes staring at him with unbridled hatred or with teary-betrayal…but with kindness? His gut churned with guilt as he stood, his thoughts lingered between the past and the present.
The Dark Lord allowed a dark, deprecating chuckle to escape his pale lips.
"I suppose you can say that," he said, giving the boy a smile that was all teeth. "I am a being of destruction. I destroy everything I touch. This war was necessary. The magical world was becoming stagnant and lax with its policies; without destruction, change cannot occur. Admittedly, revenge may have motivated me in the beginning, but now the Dark has claimed me. I cannot and will not change my course."
Harry tilted his head to the side as he processed the Dark Lord's words. "I understand," he said after a long pause.
Hearing his Death Eaters celebrating and the pained screams of their victims, Voldemort stared thoughtfully at the elemental before him before coming to a snap decision. He couldn't dismiss the connection between the two of them…the more he spoke to the element, the more he was starting to absurdly believe that the child was his.
The elemental not only shared the same name as his deceased child, but also possessed the same physical features abet matured and the same, unblemished innocence. Though logically he knew the boy couldn't be his, he couldn't help but wonder. Perhaps, by some miracle, this Harry was his Harry? With a heavy suspicion, Voldemort took an unexpected leap of faith.
"I will be holding an initiating ceremony in two weeks," Voldemort stated, his eyes never leaving the boy's face. He saw surprise, wonder, and cautiousness flash across the elemental's expressive eyes. "If you would like to learn more about the Dark's stance, you are welcome to observe."
The boy blinked.
"I will require an oath from you, should you choose to accept my invitation."
Harry nodded distantly. "Ok, I understand," he said softly. "This connection between us…I take it that is why you're allowing me to observe? So that we may speak privately afterwards?"
Voldemort dipped his head in agreement. "Yes."
The elemental chewed his lip, before giving one sharp nod. "Okay, I'll do it," he said firmly. "I'll take an oath." I want to know why you're so familiar.
The Dark Lord drew his wand, slowly approaching the Elemental. "Good," he stated as he began the ritual that would bind the secret to the boy, preventing him from blabbing about the meeting to anyone. Moments later, he turned away as a blinding flash of light emerged between them.
"It is done," he said calmly. "The meeting will take place in the Forbidden Forest at a quarter past midnight; stay at the edge and I will come find you."
With that said, the two parted ways…
Chapter Preview: Harry talks to Dumbledore. He finds out about Voldemort's past and true identity…
Note: I'd really, really appreciate it if you guys would take the time to check my ShortForm. The link is on my profile so please, please help out. If I get enough 370 more hits and meet my quota for the week I'll give you guys and extra update after New Years.