Title: The Curse of Fate
Author: Mistress Nika
Rating: PG-15 (Yes, 15. That's somewhere between PG-13 and R)
Summary: Thousands of years into the future, vampire Harry only wants to join his loved ones in death. However, his curse of immortality is absolute. Therefore he sends himself back into the body of his infant self, vowing to this time refuse eternity. When do things ever go according to plan? Unexpected changes to the timeline, people who aren't as they once were and more send his life spiraling out of his control.
Pairings: Harry/Lucius(main), possible Harry/Severus, possible Lucius/Severus, possible Harry/Lucius/Severus, Sirius/Remus, Theo/Hermione, possible Theo/Blaise, possible Hermione/Ginny, Draco/Luna, possible one-sided Harry/Luna on Luna's part, possible Hermione/Pansy, Cedric/Eleanor(OC), past Harry/Ginny
Warnings: AU, het, slash, angst, language, violence, time travel, VampireHarry, DarkLordHarry
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Notes: READ THE AUTHOR'S NOTE AT THE END!!
Chapter Twenty Four
Black Castle, aptly named, was a massive thing constructed of black stone and situated on a cliff facing the roiling sea. It had once been a bastion of House Black, protecting the family from outside aggression both magical and muggle, but it was now only a shadow of its former self. Over a hundred years ago, more than half of the grand building had been swept into the sea by a storm and now only a few empty rooms remained, open to the elements and decaying further with every year. It had been ages since anyone had occupied it, but it remained the official seat of the Lord Black and was still in partial use. Particularly, for weddings.
Ancient spells laid on the foundations were activated and every witch or wizard with Black blood was drawn to the dreary castle. From far and wide, they gathered to celebrate the wedding of their lord, whether they wanted to or not. Rumour had it that the last person to refuse an official summons found their insides suddenly on the out. No one wanted to tempt fate or the old magic.
It was a lovely summer day, the weather was fair and the grounds were green. A large pavilion had been erected between a patch of forest and the castle with the sea to its back and facing the large, recently manicured lawn. There were elaborate decorations, lively music and even the usually gloomy castle had been made more inviting with streamers and bright flowers. Tables heaped with food ringed the main area and a dance floor took up a large portion of the covered space.
Under an arbor covered in white flowers, the happy couple recited their vows as their friends and family looked on.
Regulus was disgusted. He should have expected as much, but seeing it only cemented the idea in his mind that his brother was utterly, completely out of his mind. For one thing, the wedding was supposed to be held in the castle itself, despite it's state of disrepair, and at twilight, not noon. Also, there wasn't a hint of their family colours or crest on any of the decorations, nor a single 'toujours pur' anywhere.
The guests consisted of untitled families, those of less than pure blood and there was even a large number of inhuman creatures in attendance. Which wasn't really all that surprising, considering one of the grooms was a werewolf, but the happily sobbing banshee was giving him a headache.
Then, there was the attire. Instead of formal robes in family colours, everyone was wearing whatever they wanted! Pastels, bright yellow, white! Only the bride was supposed to wear white, and oh, what a horrible thought that was.
His brother was wearing a dress. A big, poofy, white, muggle wedding gown complete with lace and pearls and a veil. The man was even wearing high heels. Sometimes, Regulus just didn't want to be a Black anymore. Not if it meant being related to such an absolute idiot.
He leaned a bit heavier on the pillar he was using to support himself and knocked back another shot of something unknown and fiery. It seemed that the only way he'd get through this day with his sanity intact was to become thoroughly plastered as quickly as possible.
He'd never intended to return from his self-imposed exile, at least not until he'd discovered a way to save his skin from the Dark Lord who's soul he'd burgled, but his brother just had to go and ruin his plans. Sure, he hadn't been making much headway in learning how to safely destroy a Horcrux, but he was alive and happy even. Then his darling brother had to go and activate the old spells and he had to return or be fileted alive or some such nastyness.
So, here he was, hiding in the shadows of a crumbling castle and watching the head of his family prance around in a dress. Waving his stolen wand, he summoned another glass of the hardest alcohol available from a table, careful to avoid the attention of the now dancing guests.
"Holy fuck!" a voice exclaimed from behind him.
Regulus spun around to find a young boy in formal robes with the Potter crest. He was pointing at him with an expression of complete surprise.
"You're alive!" the boy said, then slapped his fist into his hand in realization. "Of course. I should have thought of that."
Whatever the boy was going on about, Regulus didn't too much care at the moment. He should have cared, as he'd just been caught and his life had possibly been shortened by this discovery, but he was a little distracted by the uncomfortble feeling in his stomach, the sudden light-headedness and the way the world was spinning around him.
His knees hit the ground, his fingers dug into the dirt and he vomited up the handful of appetizers and several glasses of hard liquor he'd imbibbed before the world went black.
He woke up two hours later with a surprisingly clear head, a sure sign someone had forced some sort of sobering potion down his throat. He was laying on something soft and warm and there were voices around him.
"Where do you think he's been?"
"How's he still alive?"
"Who knew little Reggie's such a light weight?"
A loud smack.
"Ow! You're an abusive bride!"
"You're the one in the dress, dear."
"Hey! I think he's waking up!"
Regulus tentatively opened his eyes, only for his vision to be filled with his grinning brother's face, encircled by the pulled back lace veil that he still wore. "Uw-wha..?" he managed, wondering what kind of weird dream this was, before reality caught up with him. Sitting bolt upright, and knocking Sirius off the bed in the process, he exclaimed, "Shit!" He groped for his wand, only to find it missing, then took in the people crowded around him.
His brother, a vision in white taffeta, was picking himself up off the floor with the help of Remus Lupin-Black. Next to them was a scowling Severus Snape with crossed arms and a potions case in one hand. The boy who'd found him, easily identified as Harry Potter, stood to his left uncomfortably close. At his side was Lucius Malfoy, who was looking far too smug in his opinion.
"Welcome back to the land of the living," the blonde said with a smirk.
Sirius threw his arms around his neck and squeezed tight. "Who's my baby bro?" he asked in a childish voice. "You're my baby bro! Oh, I've missed you! Yes I have! Yes I have!"
Regulus felt an eyebrow twitch as Sirius snuggled his head. He'd forgotten just how much he hated this. Soon the noogies would start, then the teasing about hormones and puberty. But wait. Something was wrong here.
Looking at his brother, despite the fact that Sirius was now rubbing his cheek affectionatly against his, he asked, "Aren't you going to stick me in a dungeon, torture me for information, torture me for fun and then kill me?"
Pausing in his molesting of his brother's head, Sirius pulled back and looked at him as if he were crazy. "Why would I do that?"
A chuckled came from the werewolf. "I believe he's talking about the fact that he was declared a traitor by Voldemort and you're supposed to be a big bad Death Eater."
Regulus looked at his brother in surprise. "You mean you're not?" That didn't make sense. He'd confessed. Yes, he'd been pardoned, but the repentant, wrongly imprisoned man was just a ruse, right? Besides, Lucius Malfoy was most definitely a Death Eater. He'd seen him and spoken to him at meetings. That meant, either way, he was a dead man when this got back to the Dark Lord.
"Oh, he's a Death Eater alright," the young boy to his left explained. "But not like you're thinking. In fact, I've been considering a name change for a while now. 'Death Eaters' just sounds so...icky." Sirius snickered at that and Harry shot him a glare, which the man ignored with ease. "Besides a growing need to distinguish myself from Voldemort, there's also the question of the image we're trying to project. 'Death Eaters' sounds like we're a bunch of cannibals or necrophiliacs. Not something I like to be associated with." Striking a thoughtful pose, he continued almost to himself. "I'm thinking we need something more positive, something that makes people want to join up. Not something that makes people think they have to join up, or be eaten by us as they sleep. Well, to be honest, I am guilty of that quite a few times over, but I didn't eat their flesh. And my servants don't eat people. Well, most of them don't."
"Harry," Lucius interrupted with an amused nudge to the boy's shoulder. "You're rambling."
"Oh yes," the boy nodded, turning his attention back to Regulus with a smile. "As I was saying, to make a very long story short, no one here serves Voldemort and, even if they did, he couldn't do much to you anyway. Just hand over the last horcrux and no one gets hurt."
Somehow, the sinister smile on that juvenile face didn't make him feel very safe.
Elsewhere, a shade of a wizard screamed in agony as the last of his soul pieces was destroyed. With a barely visible swirl of mist, he left the mortal plane forever. Or so was thought.
Harry walked cautiously through the darkened forest, among misshapen and moss covered trees, careful to avoid the thorny vines that reached for him plaintively. There was a terrible, oppressive scent of sulfur hanging heavy in the air and the pop and gurgle of bogs releasing methane gas. The sky was thick with a noxious fog and what little sunlight reached the forest floor was tinted a sickly purple. No animals called out as none lived here, but something moved just out of his sight through the tangles of bushes.
It had been ages since any creature had walked in this dark place, but Harry had a very important reason for daring to set foot here. He was the Dark Lord. It was his duty to protect all creatures of darkness and he would seek out all who existed in shadow, even those not seen for ages. There were many beings who lurked in the hidden places of the world that not even the Dark Lords of the past had dared approach. They were ancient and powerful, fully capable of rending him limb-from-limb if they so chose.
Common sense told him to leave them be, that he was a wizard's Dark Lord, not the Dark Lord of all. However, there was a persistent nudging at the heart of his being, commanding him to do this. Magic was telling him that he was meant to rule a far greater kingdom and he had learned long ago to obey whatever nudgings Magic gave him.
That was why he was now striding purposefully into this forsaken place which even he feared.
Pausing in a small clearing, he called out clearly, "I seek the lady!"
There was a rustling in the trees and a series of long hisses with rapid clicks interspersed sounded from before him. Even with his talent of Parseltongue, he had no hope of translating. It was not truly a language but an utterance of ideas, thoughts and feelings that no creature still living could interpret.
"Who," a sibilant voice replied harshly, "are you?"
Harry bowed respectfully in the direction of the voice. "I have many names, my lady. If it so pleases you, I would be named Hadrian."
A deep inhalation followed, as if preparing for sustained speech, and the creature spat, "You disturb me, dark one. Do you seek death?"
Another burst of angry clicks, louder than before, came as the branches of the tree in front of him rustled as the creature shifted, moving closer to the form of the young boy in wizard robes.
"Not anymore," Harry answered confidently. "I seek only your friendship, my lady. If this offends you, I will leave and never bother you again. You have my word."
"No one seeks my friendship," she replied bitterly, "without wanting something more." There was a repeated huffing noise followed by more clicks before she continued. "Power, they want. Power over me. Power over others. Power over themselves. You are no different. I have no care for others. Begone!"
Once again, Harry bowed. "As you wish, but know that I have all the power I could ever want and more than I can ever need. I do not need what you could give to gain material things or the hearts of mortals. They are all within my reach already. Good day, my lady."
As he turned to leave, a number of softer clicks sounded from his side, the creature having moved quickly and soundlessly to prevent his leaving.
"You are just a child," she hissed, sounding genuinely curious.
Harry raised an eyebrow. "Only in body, my lady. Surely you know this."
There was a long pause then, followed by another indrawn breath and she said almost gently, "One of the Lords. Cold and shadow and beating heart, slowly. Bleeding, needing, hating, feeding. World consuming. Power beyond and below and all around. Small and frightening, like light in my eyes, with the glow, the shine, the blackness. One of them, us, not. Young and new, but ancient, like this one."
Harry stayed very still as she finally moved out of the darkness and into the clearing.
She was something alien and frightening, even to him, and his magic sang of her monstrousness, her unnatural existence. Her skin was a pale lavender and heavily armored with large plated scales. Her hands were distinctly inhuman, more reptilian, and her fingers tapered to long purple claws. Down her spine trailed a double row of spines and her lower half was that of a dark purple banded snake. Three sets of twisted horns emerged from the sides of her head; one set large and thick and curving downward in front of her face, the other two smaller and set back in stringy black waves of hair, one of her few humanlike features. She had yellow eyes, a prominent forehead and thick nose. As if mocking her grotesque nature, her lips were full and almost inviting despite their violet shade. She stood nearly six feet tall and much of her serpentine tail trailed back into the woods from where she'd come, disappearing into the shadows.
"Little one," she nearly cooed, slithering closer. "Tell me of your origins. Of the one that birthed you, raised you. Your clan and kin. Of those whose hearts you feast upon."
He suppressed a shudder as she loomed over him, darting from one side to the other, circling him appraisingly and periodically tickling his face with her forked tongue.
"My mother was a mortal witch, my lady," he said, remaining courteous despite his discomfort. "I was not raised, as I was born mature of mind. I have no close blood kin and those I claim are few. Two mortal wizards and a witch as uncles and sister. I feed on mundane animals and cruel-hearted humans and my mate provides for my emotional needs."
She hissed affectionately and raised a hand to caress his head, stopping just short and tracing the air around him instead, refusing to touch him. "Your mother," she insisted, paying little heed to his other words. "Tell me more of her, of her spirit. What was she called?"
"Lily," Harry answered reflexively, then paused to consider. "I never knew her personally, but from others I have inferred that she was one of indomitable spirit, strong-willed and passionate in her beliefs. She would fight against impossible odds to protect what was important to her and she loved with an equal fervor. She was also kind and gentle, a good balance of everything light and life. She was a unique treasure, one in a million. May I ask why you wish to know?"
Giving in to her desire, she lowered her hand gently to the top of his head and stroked softly. "Once, this one had children," she murmured quietly, sadly.
"I know," Harry responded in turn. "I remember the Silja stories of you, and the wrongs done you."
A moment of silence followed in which she continued stroking his hair lovingly.
Finally, she spoke up again. "This one chooses to be called Lilith, and you will call us Mother."
"You worthless sack of flesh!"
A crack rang out in the cold, damp dungeon, followed by the rattle of chains and a pitiable moan.
"Pathetic! Human! Shit!"
More cracks of flesh on flesh followed each angry exclamation.
"How dare you waste my time! For a mortal lifetime I groomed you! For one thing, and you dared to fail me!?"
A body collapsed to the floor in a heap, unconscious from the last blow. Undeterred, his tormentor landed several kicks to his midsection before finally stopping. Tucking a strand of blood red hair behind an ear with a delicate, long-fingered hand, she leveled a glare at the insensible man at her feet.
"You may have failed me with the little Avatar, but at least you'll serve one final purpose."
With a negligent wave of her hand, all his injuries were healed and he was levitated onto a pallet on the floor.
"Stay here and rot, just don't die before I get my prize."
Running her hands down her nude body, she caressed her curves and fondled her lithe form with an expression of maniacal glee.
"For all their disgusting mortality, these beasts are nicely made."
Turning, she exited the cell. Outside, a pale figure waited with eyes downcast and a robe which he reverently draped over her shoulders, shielding her naked body from unworthy eyes. Icy fingers traced his jawline and almost lovingly tilted his head upwards. Blue eyes met reptilian red and she smiled at him.
"You won't fail me, will you, darling?"
"No, my mistress," came the softly hissed reply.
"Of course not." Dropping her hand, she turned and began leading the way to the upper floors. "Send your pet with a squad of Wetha to one of those human cities. I want the streets to run red."
"Yes, my mistress," he answered with a deep bow and swept off to do her bidding.
A/N: Please take note everyone. I will not answer any reviews asking about the state of this fic from here on out.
This "chapter" is just a couple scenes from what would have become the real chapter. The last two would have had other scenes between them and the first. This is unchecked for spelling or grammar and I'm sure the entire thing would have received a major overhaul had I decided to continue.
Much as I hate to admit it, Curse of Fate is likely dead, at least for the foreseeable future. I lost interest for a while, but right around the time I was ready to pick it up again, I got sick. My doctor doesn't have any idea what is wrong, but I've been steadily getting worse. This Saturday I passed out for seemingly no reason and just an hour ago I almost passed out again. I'm suffering from terrible headaches and dizziness, nausea, weakness, insomnia, coldness and sometimes numbness in my extremities and a variety of other symptoms. At this point, I'm almost hoping it's something as simple as diabetes (which runs in my father's family, but I've always tested negative) or a bad reaction to the new medicine I've been taking. Most of the time I either cannot get my fingers to work to type, cannot concentrate enough to write anything coherent or simply don't feel well enough to spend time on this fanfic. So, despite how I may want to, there won't be any updates anytime soon. Sorry, but fanfiction takes a backseat to my health.
I appreciate more than any of you can know how much support and love I've gotten for CoF and just in general. I would never have continued this long had it not been for all of you. Thank you so much. I love you all.
If or when I feel well enough, the next piece of fanfiction I post will be a Harry Potter/Naruto crossover and will be posted in the Naruto section. If you enjoyed Curse of Fate, I encourage you to put me on Author's Alert so that you will receive a notice when I post my new fic.