Chapter 1: The Second Prophecy
Nothing is ever set in stone. There is always a chance for change, for retribution...
Underground Prison (Hogwarts)
One Harry James Potter, dubbed Alex Mortimer by his adoptive father, sat huddled in the corner of the dungeons. Streaks of blood and dirt covered his once finely-made blue battle robes, which now bore a grimy and tattered appearance. 'I-It has to be a dream,' he thought firmly, as he stared blankly at the moss-covered ceiling. 'Father couldn't be killed so easily. He is immortal...'
A sense of calm grew upon him as he allowed his logic to take root. His dull emerald green eyes glazed over as a flood of memories from the dreaded battle invaded his mind.
"Tonight we shall conquer the world, brat," murmured a familiar voice, "No more shall the muggle-lovers seek to undermine our power. Tonight we shall strike them at their most vulnerable point - Hogwarts. If we take out the Light's main base, destroy their children - their future, the Light shall have no hope."
Harry buried his head in his arms as he tried to block out the voices.
"Alex, you will lead the attack on Hogsmade," his father hissed softly, as his ruby red eyes flickered with suppressed emotion. "Kill all those who stand in your way. Show no mercy, for the Light does not deserve such leniency." Voldemort seemed to hesitate for a moment, before he reached out and gave his heir a comforting squeeze on the shoulder. "Fear not boy, everything will work on in the end," he whispered, leaning closer so that Alex was the only one who could hear.
A crazed look entered in Harry's eyes, transforming dull emerald into a burning inferno of pain. He did not want to hear this part again.
"Lucius, what are you doing here? Aren't you in Father's squad?" he heard himself demand, as he turned towards the blonde Death Eater. "Why aren't you at Hogwarts?"
Harry's fingernails dug into his arms as he tried to force himself forget. H-He knew what was to happen next, gods, how he hated it.
"The Dark Lord is loosing!" the man hissed, forgetting who he was yelling at. "Dumbledore and his pet Gryffindor are driving him back!" Lucius's stormy gray eyes glittered with fear. "We need reinforcements, boy! Go help him!"
Harry was shaking violently at his point. By the gods, this had to be a dream. No, a nightmare. He couldn't, no...refused to believe that his father could be killed so easily. Nate, his younger brother, with the help of Dumbledore shouldn't even be strong enough to harm the Dark Lord's little toe. This dream was absurd, yet in its own way...strangely real.
"Father!" he heard himself scream. He could still see his father, dressed in his o' so a powerful set of midnight black battle robes, standing there alone against the Light army (for his entire army of Death Eaters had long deserted him). There was something akin to resignation in his father's countenance - a light droop in the shoulders, a strangely dazed smirk, and an emptiness in his eyes that spoke volumes of his pain. At the sound of his heir's voice, Voldemort was started out of his stupor and turned ever so slightly.
"Get out of here Alex," the Dark Lord ordered quietly. "You are not meant to be here. It is my time to face the prophecy."
A tingle of anticipation ran down his spine at those words. Never once in the entire history of the magical world had there ever been a prophecy which hadn't resulted in blood and doom for both opposing parties. Alex shivered lightly. Prophecies were a serious business. "What prophecy?" he insisted, trying to hide his shaking voice.
/Two paths stand before thee Lord of Serpents,
And take whichever you will for Death will deal its blow
Upon that you cherish most.
Perhaps' the enticing power of the Dark shall overcome your overwrought nerves?
Or will long fostered loyalty triumph?
Two roads, two paths, will lead you onward.
Pick as you may,
For only one may be the victor/
Voldemort hissed softly as he repeated the prophecy in Parseltongue. /A vampire companion of ours reported this prophecy to me even before you came under my custody. I can choose either face my own Death or yours/ he hissed as an unknown emotion entered his eyes. /You will be a great leader, my heir. Do not doubt yourself. You are possess the potential to surpass even myself in strength/. Voldemort paused for a moment as he collected his thoughts. /You will carry the blood of Slytherin to greatness/
Alex shook his head violently. "Y-You're mad!" he stuttered out. "Why now? Even if the prophecy is legitimate, it could wait. Why are you marching to your doom!"
Voldemort gave his heir a mysterious smiled. "Because it is time."
"NO! YOU CAN'T!" he roared fervently, as he tried to make his way through the Order members and ministry Aurors. "DON'T DO THIS!"
Harry's breath came out in violent gasps, as he returned to reality. It was a nightmare, nothing more than a horrid nightmare. It would go away, it had to. This wasn't real, it just couldn't be. A loud insane laugh burst out of his lips. A laugh that was broken with with sobs.
Gods...but then why did it have to seem so real?
Sanity is after all overrated...
Dumbledore stared unblinkingly at the trembling figure on the ground. So this was the Dark Lord's heir. A boy of eighteen with a head full of messy black hair and emerald green eyes. A boy that looked disturbingly familiar. And it was this particular resemblance that disturbed the headmaster to no end.
The boy looked like James, but he had Lily's eyes.
And yet, the boy also looked like an exact carbon copy of Tom Riddle.
He leaned forward as he noticed the boy's lips moving as he repeated a mantra. 'Not real, it is a nightmare. Not real...' Dumbledore's midnight blue eyes flickered with a hint of pity, before it turned neutral. So the battle had unhinged the boy, as it so seemed. But then again, he knew better than to feel sorry for the lad.
The same boy that had decimated dozens of Order members within minutes to get to his father. A boy that had destroyed and burned the newly rebuilt Hogsmade down to the ground. A tingle of fear trailed down Dumbledore's spine. The boy was dangerous. And if the boy wanted revenge...
Chaos would ensue.
Dumbledore couldn't help but suspect that the boy possessed even greater power that Voldemort himself, even without the aid of Dark rituals. He had felt the boy's power, even at from a distance. It was strong, so much that it had caused him to freeze at its intensity.
Power of such a degree was not meant to exist! But thankfully, the boy had not learned to properly manipulate and control his power. And it was, only during extremely trying times that it came to the surface...
"Where am I?" the boy croaked, as he raised his emerald green eyes to meet Dumbledore's.
The headmaster met the boy's eyes unflinchingly. "You're in the dungeons beneath Hogwarts," he replied neutrally, as he studied the boy's expression. And saw nothing but pain. "May I perhaps inquire who you might be?"
The tension in the room seemed to thicken as the boy remained silent. Dumbledore had just about given up hope that the boy would answer when the boy mumbled hesitantly, "You can call me Alex."
Dumbledore dipped his head in agreement.
An awkward silence echoed about the stone walls as the headmaster waited patiently for the boy to talk. Surely the lad would have some questions pertaining to the prior battle...
...or anything for the matter.
Was the boy planning something? A miraculous escape? Or perhaps revenge? Dumbledore shook his head, he dearly hoped not. The last thing he needed was another Dark Lord to rise so soon after the downfall of another. The wizarding world needed time to rebuild itself, time to heal the horrible wounds of war. Dumbledore was jerked out of his thoughts as he heard the metallic sound of the door being swung open. He turned ever so slightly as he caught sight of his darkly cloaked potions master.
"Severus, I'm glad you could make it," he greeted, as his sparkling blue eyes gained a bit more life. "Did bring the truth serum?"
Snape scowled, but nevertheless handed over the bottle of bluish white liquid. Unconsciously, his beetle black eyes darted over towards the bloodied figure on the ground - Alex, the Dark Lord's heir. A hint of guilt swirled around his gut. As much as he disliked the boy, he couldn't help but admire him. Snape was a Slytherin through and through, and power like that the boy possessed, sang to him. Just like Voldemort's had before. Given time, he couldn't help but wonder...could the boy be the one leader that he could possibly follow?
"M'boy, you have two choices," the headmaster said quietly, as he lifted the boy's chin. Dumbledore felt another flicker of pity as he glanced into those sad emerald green orbs, but ruthlessly suppressed it. "You could either drink this potion freely, or we can force you." Dumbledore paused for a second to allow his words to sink in. "Do you understand?"
A spark of something flickered across the boy's emotionless eyes. "You know, it might surprise you to know...," he said softly, "...how much you remind me of the Dark Lord."
"You two are as similar as two sides of a coin," Alex continued eerily, "He supports the Dark side, while you support the Light. And yet..." The boy shoot Dumbledore a disarming smile. "...you would be surprised how alike you two think and act." A cruel smile grew upon Alex's face, causing Dumbledore's eyes to darken in horror. "Whatever crimes you both commit are all in the name of the 'greater good' of the wizarding world, no? Well, let me tell you something. The 'greater good' you so believe in, does not exist. It is merely a fantasy, a dream that haunts you every waking moment. A dream that you've used to justify your crimes..."
"You're wrong," retorted the headmaster, as a single tear trickled down his wan face. "I am doing my best to protect the children, the innocents of the war."
"Innocents?" snorted Alex, "There are innocents on both sides of the war, Dumbledore. Your so called 'protection' only extends to those who support your beliefs." The boy stared blankly up at the ceiling. "Surely you understand Dumbledore, that Death Eaters are not only criminals who need to be brought to justice. They have families that love and care for them; families that you have destroyed with your so called Light campaign."
Snape stepped forward, his eyes flashing with annoyance. "Don't bother Dumbledore, just administer the potion already!" he demanded. "You can bicker with the boy whenever you please! Now, get on with it."
Dumbledore nodded, abet a tad shakily. "So Mister Alex, what is your choice?" he asked quietly, as he uncorked the bottle.
Alex shrugged. It wasn't like it was going to make a difference anyways. Nevertheless, he shuddered lightly as he felt a goopy liquid trickle down his throat. God, he hated potions. Truth potions especially.
"What is your name?"
Alex blinked wildly. Name? He had many names. "Alex Mortimer," he said finally, his voice monotone. He saw Dumbledore exchange a glance with Snape.
"Are you Voldemort's heir?"
"Is he your father?"
Alex paused. "Yes."
Snape noticed the boy's momentarily lapse in thought. "Your father by blood?" he insisted.
Alex hesitated, before the truth serum forced him to speak. "Y-No."
"Explain yourself boy," snapped Snape. "You are making no sense."
"He was a distant relative," said Alex slowly. "However, by making me his heir, he bound me to him as his blood son."
Dumbledore's eyes grew large at the revelation. With Voldemort's death, the boy had become Lord Slytherin in the name of magic. But...if the boy was originally only a distant
relative, what caused Voldemort to bring him under his wing. Tom had always been a jealous child. And for someone else to even be distantly related Salazar Slytherin himself, would have made Tom jealous beyond belief. But...if that was the case, why hadn't Voldemort killed the boy? Dumbledore sighed softly. 'Alex Mortimer, you are an enigma' he concluded wistfully.
"Why did he make you his heir?" questioned Snape, voicing Dumbledore's question aloud. Obviously the ex-spy had come to the same conclusion as his mentor.
"I don't know."
Snape paused for a second. "Are you pureblood, boy?"
"Which family do you descend from?"
"Slytherin," Alex replied promptly.
Snape's eyebrow twitched in annoyance. "I meant your other side of the family," he spat.
He paused. "Gryffindor."
Dumbledore's breath escaped in a loud hiss, as he exchanged a worried glance with Severus. A double heir. Bloody hell. What was the world coming to now? Such powerful lineages were not suppose to mix! A shiver went up his spine at the thought. Was the boy the rightful heir to both Slytherin and Gryffindor...
"Explain yourself," ordered Snape, "The Gryffindor family died out centuries ago."
Alex's eyebrow twitched in annoyance. "Correct, the main Gryffindor line is dead. But not the bastard lines."
Snape's eyes drifted towards the headmaster for confirmation. To his utter surprise, Dumbledore was staring at the boy with a flicker of awe and...recognition.
"Bastard lines you say," said Dumbledore softly, as he leaned forward. "As I have discovered, there is only one living family who possesses Gryffindor blood." He paused for a
second as he met the boy's blank emerald green eyes. "Are you..." he swallowed, "Are you a Potter?"
Silence descended upon the room, as the boy visibly struggled against the effects of the potion. "I...won't...I...I..." Dumbledore watched with distinct horror as blood leaked out of the corner of the boy's mouth.
Alex bit his tongue furiously to prevent himself from speaking. He couldn't go back; he won't! He was no longer a Potter! He was Alex Mortimer, heir to the Dark Lord. And if anything, he would rather die then return back to his parents. A slow smile drifted across his face. Death...soon...
The last thing he heard before darkness claimed him, was Dumbledore's panicked voice and a scared woman's. Alex smiled, as he left...
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