DISCLAIMER: Harry Potter is owned by J. K. Rowling, and I am not making any money off of this fic or the podfics related to it. Anything you don't recognize as being from the books or movies or any other Harry Potter sources, however, belongs to me. Such as the original characters and aspects of the world that are original.
The life of Cyrus Obsidian (Harry Potter) has never been particularly normal or boring. How can it be when he's being hunted by a crazy Dark Lord with delusions of immortality, a barmy old Headmaster who thinks it's his job to save the world, and the odd vampire trolling through the halls at night looking for a midnight snack? A new name and school were supposed to fix things, but instead his life gets even more hectic as he's dragged into vampire politics, werewolf problems, and a non-human's idea of a 'normal' relationship.
Thrown into new and unpleasant situations at every turn, Cyrus is forced to adapt in more ways than one. The kiddy gloves stay off at Shikaan because the teachers don't care if you break your leg, another student is trying to kill you, or you're not smart enough to keep up in their class. Going to one of the most prestigious schools in Other Realm probably wasn't the brightest of ideas, but Cyrus knows the lessons taught at Shikaan will prove invaluable to his future.
Well... if he survives long enough to graduate.
Being a gay 'hero' never sucked so much.
WARNINGS: SPOILER ALERT – Violence, necromancy, zombies, dead things, death, blood, gore, molestation, pedophiles, vampire politics, killing, groping, Ron-bashing frottage, aphrodisiac, suspense, assholes, slash/mm/yaoi/yuri/ff/gay relationships, sex/intercourse (in aff and lj versions), no underage sex (aka chan), huge disparities between individuals engaging in sexual activities (for example, 20 and 1000), threesomes, moresomes, student-teacher relationships, jealousy, non-consensual sexual acts, rape mentioned, actual/graphic rape (aff/lj), blood play, mature concepts, mature material, drug abuse, addiction, mind control, manipulation, biting, maybe necrophilia (we got necromancers, what can I say?), fellatio/blowjobs, handjobs, fingering, dominance-plays, heterosexuality, bestiality (we got werewolves and demons), magic during sex (aff/lj), sexually stimulating massages, homicide/murder, genocide, magically induced orgasm, magical stimulation, mpreg, blackmail, sexual favors, human trafficking, flaying, slavery, black market transactions, betrayal, prostitution, crossdressing, mental/physical torture, interrogation, kidnapping, fisting (aff/lj), desecration of cemeteries, maiming, het couples, eunuchs, castration, self-harm, cutting, brain damage, exhibitionism, fetishism, frotteurism, masochism, sadism, bondage, autassassinophilia, biastophilia, erotophonophilia, rimming/anilingus (aff/lj)… can't think of anything else…
These things are warnings for what may happen and what has already happened.
I would also like to thank Miranda Flairgold for letting me use her HP school idea along with the various species attending said school. Her story 'A Second Chance at Life' has been a huge inspiration for Bloody Skies. If you haven't read it yet, I insist that you do!
I'd also like to thank you lot for waiting (patiently or not) for the revision of this story. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I have to say it's a lot better than my first attempt. (grins)
Chapter One: Awakening
He was very good at using a knife. Slicing, chopping, dicing… If you held the base of the blade between thumb and index finger, cutting could be easier than picking your nose. Well, unless you had particularly large fingers. There was a certain art to being good with a blade, and Harry had definitely mastered it after all these years of practice. Too bad that skill hadn't helped him with potions in the least.
The first time Petunia had placed a knife in his hand, he had been five years old and very abruptly burdened with the responsibility of cutting vegetables for supper. He'd had no choice but to do as she said, and when he hadn't met her standards ('Thin and evenly spaced, boy!'), he'd been smacked over the head with a wooden spoon. Each night from then on his aunt had introduced him to something new in the kitchen, and before he knew it, he was cooking all the meals.
So it was rather peculiar that, with his hatred of all things that had to do with cooking, he found himself staring at the familiar blade in his hand. Where once small fingers had struggled to surround the whole handle, now he could easily manipulate it in his hand. The stainless steel glinted in the light that escaped from a nearby lamppost, and occasionally a reflected beam would bounce into his eye and momentarily blind him to the gravel under his feet and the swing set on which he sat.
He had left the house with intentions not in the interest of the 'greater good', as Dumbledore would say, but now that he found himself out here, he couldn't seem to dredge up the courage and self-loathing that had propelled him out of his relatives' house in the first place. Just his luck, really. And so, with a disgusted sigh, Harry tossed the knife onto the gravel at his feet and glared angrily up at the sky. Sirius stared back at him. Such a meaningless cluster of stars… so far from the real thing.
Absently, he swung himself on the swing. He wondered if Sirius had thought about it at some point, with the way his home life had been. He wondered if Sirius had ever wished for the bite of a cold blade while trapped in the forever repeating hell of his worst memories at Azkaban. He wondered… Fuck. What was the point? It wasn't like he would ever find out.
Harry jumped off the swing and kicked at the ground. If he wasn't going to do anything productive, he might as well go back to the Dursleys and put that knife back before Petunia noticed it gone in the morning. Its disappearance would be just one more excuse for her to get on his case.
"Boy! Get down here and cook breakfast!"
Harry rolled over in bed. It wasn't until Petunia started pounding on his door and unlocking it that he actually woke up. He peaked between the sheets to see the horse stick her face into the room and glare at him.
"Get up! Useless freak..." Other unsavory mutterings slipped from her lips, too quietly for him to hear. If it were anyone else, he would be grateful to not hear them, but he'd been putting up with Petunia's shit for too long to let her derogatory remarks scathe him in the least. "Dudders needs his breakfast!" she screeched, slamming the door to mark her suitably dramatic exit.
Harry just groaned and turned over, rubbing his face into the lumpy pillow. Since his dreams hadn't been terribly forgiving of late, he'd been up late thinking about Sirius again. With a sigh, he forced himself upright and sat slouched on the sunken mattress, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. In short, he felt like shit.
And so began another beautiful and peaceful morning at number four Privet Drive.
When Harry finally stumbled downstairs, it was under the stern and irritated stare of his charming aunt, who had come back up to hound him when he hadn't come flying out the door at mach two like a perfect little slave. Dodging the hand that tried to irritably slap the back of his head, he started in on the bacon without a word and waited for the horse to leave him alone for a few minutes of peace. When she wasn't hovering irritably over his shoulder, he didn't actually mind cooking. Much.
Petunia sniffed and left the kitchen when she deemed him awake enough not to burn the house down, leaving Harry blissfully to his thoughts… Blissful. Right. Sirius, of course, was the first thing on his mind. He bit his lip to suppress the tears that stung his eyes and blurred the image of bacon and skillet in front of him. If only he hadn't been so stupid… if only he had just waited… if he had, then his only parental figure wouldn't have died. Closing his eyes at the painful, aching hole in his chest, he fell into the memory of Sirius's disbelieving face as his godfather fell through the veil in the Department of Mysteries.
"Is it done yet, boy?" Uncle Vernon grumbled as he waddled into the room, snapping Harry out of his depressing thoughts. The walrus had only been growing fatter, recently, and was currently working on a fourth chin.
Harry glanced at Vernon to make sure his uncle wasn't about to smack him for his delayed response. Seeing the man was focused on the paper sitting on the table, laid there by Petunia as always, he said, "Almost, Uncle Vernon," careful to hide his utter loathing for the man currently seating himself at the table. As the chair's poor legs creaked and strained under the tremendous weight, Harry amused himself with the image of the chair breaking and Vernon landing on his ass with a thud that would shake frames from the walls. Frames filled with pictures of the happy Dursley family, but never himself.
Turning his attention back to the stove, he took off the bacon and started on the eggs.
When breakfast finally finished cooking, Harry served it to the table of Dursleys, as Petunia and Dudley had padded and stomped in, respectively, while he worked at the stove. He waited until they had eaten enough that their stomachs wouldn't contribute to their irritability before posing a question that had been bothering him for a while now. The raven-haired adolescent just hoped a full stomach would incline Vernon to be more reasonable than usual.
"Uncle Vernon," he began, and those small angry eyes locked onto him with the customary look of loathing. He gathered up his courage and continued, "I was wondering if I could let Hedwig out to eat tonight? She's been locked up in the shed for three days now. I don't want her to starve to death."
Vernon's already irritable visage immediately darkened to one of utter irritation. "Boy, I've said this before and I'll say it again: that ruddy bird of yours stays in the shed! I don't want the neighbors to see anything strange!"
Harry supposed it was too much to ask to hope that Vernon could be reasonable no matter what the circumstances. A ball of anger sank into his stomach and set his insides aflame. He just barely kept himself from shouting. "But, it would be at nighttime. The neighbors wouldn't see any-"
"ENOUGH! 'No' means no!" Vernon roared, his face turning an angry puce.
Harry bit his lip to stop himself from letting loose a rather scathing comment that would have resulted in bodily harm. Anger coursing through his veins, he jerkily nodded his head and started clearing away the empty dishes of the meal he'd just cooked. He'd been allowed a piece of toast and a broken egg, which had quickly disappeared into his stomach before Dudley could decide he hadn't stuffed enough food into his bottomless pit and took Harry's food too.
After he finished cleaning the dishes, Petunia sent him outside to weed her gardens, barking clear instructions not to pull out any of her 'expensive' and 'rare' flowers. He wanted to tell her he knew more about gardening than she did at this point, since she hadn't dirtied her hands with it in ten years, but wisely kept his mouth shut. Normally this was his favorite part of the day, unless it was pissing rain. He didn't really mind the scorching sun, as he liked the heat coupled with the menial task of pulling weeds and primping flowers. It got his mind off other, less pleasant things.
Unfortunately, that morning's bout of weeding was interrupted by a red-faced Vernon, who came stomping out of the house looking angry enough to behead a rabbit merely because it looked at him cute.
"Boy…" his uncle growled dangerously, a glint of fury making his eyes sparkle in the late morning sun. Almost absent-mindedly, he glanced around for nosy neighbors before returning his furious gaze to Harry. "Get in the house. Now."
Harry stared up at him, a bewildered expression on his face. When he saw the anger increase in intensity, he moved quickly and brushed off as much dirt as he could off his knees and hands before he reached the door. Slipping out of his dirty shoes, he left them outside to clean later, so Petunia couldn't get on his case about him dirtying the floors that he cleaned. Vernon shoved him farther into the house and slammed the door behind them, the sound echoing through the still house.
"BOY!" his uncle roared, and Harry instinctually backed up a few steps.
"What?" Harry asked, keeping his voice as even and calm as possible. He'd only seen Vernon in this state of anger a few times before, and it had never ended well for Harry Potter.
"Don't you 'what' me! After everything we've done for you, put a roof over your head and fed you, YOU PULL A STUNT LIKE THIS?"
Harry stared in incomprehension.
"I JUST BOUGHT THAT BIG SCREEN TELLY, BOY! AND THEN YOU GO AND TOSS THE REMOTE RIGHT THROUGH IT!" A vein bulged on Vernon's forehead.
Harry, who now stood utterly flabbergasted in the hallway, noticed Dudley peek his head around the doorway into the living room with a disgustingly smug look on his face. Rage bubbled at the injustice of it all. "I didn't touch your telly!" he shouted. "It was Dudley!"
Vernon's face looked as purple as an eggplant. "HOW DARE YOU TRY TO BLAME THIS ON DUDLEY! YOU UNGRATEFUL-!" he aimed a punch at Harry's face, but the wizard ducked, used to dodging spells that moved faster than his uncle.
He didn't expect Dudley's fist, though, which clipped him on the side of the head and sent his body sprawling into the hallway wall. Lights flashed across his eyes, and absently he noted Vernon congratulating his son before a kick knocked the air out of his lungs. His vision spinning and unable to breath, Harry couldn't stop the accidental magic that exploded from his body and destroyed all the glass in the hallway.
"FREAK! Stop that freakishness this instant, before you destroy the house!" Vernon ordered, kicking him in the stomach again. The little air that Harry had managed to recover exploded out of his lungs in a wheezing gasp. Curling into a ball to make his body a smaller target, Harry wished his accidental magic could actually make things better for once instead of worse.
When he heard a few more explosions and Vernon's outraged shout and Dudley's cry of fear, he cursed to himself. Just before something struck his head and knocked him unconsciousness, he wished Fate hadn't had his parents killed and landed him in this mess in the first place. Slut-faced bitch.
Sunshine. A lot of it. What a horrible way to start a morning.
Harry groaned as the light shining through his window attacked his bleary eyes. Spears of pain stabbed through his eyeballs and directly into his brain, pulling him out completely out of blissful unconsciousness. He threw his arm over his head with a moan, hoping it would protect him from the pain-inducing golden rays of torture. His efforts were unsuccessful.
Thinking it best to figure out how much damage Vernon had dealt him this time, he twitched all his limbs and let out a small sigh of relief when he didn't feel the familiar sharp stabbing pain of broken bones. No, he just the bone-deep ache of heavy bruising.
Sitting upright, he cautiously opened his eyes again, peering through his eyelashes to block some of the sunlight. When he glanced down at himself, a pair of blue and purple arms greeted him. Grimacing, he lifted his shirt and stared at the sight of a large blotch of black on his stomach. That would take a few weeks to go away – if Vernon didn't land another hit there in the next little while. He sighed, and then winced at the pain that shot through his diaphragm.
With slow, careful movements, he pushed himself towards the bed, making note of all the places that hurt. He would have to be careful to avoid bumping into anything for the next week or so, as he didn't want to land bruises on the bruises.
Blinking blearily to clear the cobwebs from his head, he collapsed on the bed, facing away from the window. Petunia hadn't come to wake him up yet. Maybe Vernon had told her to leave him alone for breakfast, knowing that he wouldn't be in any condition to cook. Unfortunately, the horse wasn't exactly known for her amazing culinary skills. She'd probably decide breakfast was too much cooking for one day and drag him out of bed regardless.
Letting out a groan, he forced himself upright again and glanced at the clock. It read eleven o'clock. Cussing to himself, he forced his sore ass out of bed and stumbled over to the dresser. First step to not looking like human road kill: get into a new set of clothes.
The summer continued in the same manner for the next three weeks. Harry did his best to stay out of the way of Vernon, did the chores without complaint, and was locked in his room for most of the evening. Vernon hadn't lost his temper since the telly incident, but he did land a good smack on Harry every now and then if Dudley managed to blame some small thing on him – even if it was impossible for him to have done it. How could he have eaten his uncle's secret stash of doughnuts when he was locked in his room all night? Apparently what was obvious to any intelligent being on this dying planet escaped Whale-Logic.
Thankfully, Harry had somehow managed to con Vernon into letting Hedwig out of the shed at night by promising the Dursleys a summer of delicacies pulled from the recesses of all Petunia's cookbooks. At first, he'd thought that Vernon wouldn't agree, as the man could just threaten Harry with another beating. But apparently his uncle hadn't thought of that, and so Whale-Logic struck again. And far be it from Harry to take advantage of someone else's stupidity if it meant that Hedwig wouldn't starve to death in that hole of a shed.
The days dragged on, the only thing marking their passing the daily chores one list at a time, and soon his birthday waited right around the corner. Not that Harry was celebrating. He didn't expect any presents to come through his window this year to brighten his mood and fill his stomach with Weasley cooking, and it was all because of Dumbledore. Apparently, owls could be intercepted. Evidently, this meant that someone wanted to steal his chocolate birthday cake to sell it on the black market – that or poison him. According to the Headmaster, it wasn't wise to test his safety for such trivial things.
Because starving was trivial, apparently. As well as having any modicum of sanity by the beginning of term. But it wasn't until the day before his birthday that his rising level of paranoia made him begin to wonder if the high level of stress that resulted in living with the Dursleys was adversely affecting his psychological health.
Vernon was pleasant all morning, firstly. And not 'grunt, accept coffee, offer short glare before reading the paper' pleasant. No, he had actually thanked Harry for bringing the mail that morning. That had been the first thing to set alarm bells ringing in Harry's head like an early-warning system. It wasn't until he was dutifully weeding the garden that evening and Vernon came outside to get him that the alarms in his head started to go haywire, though.
"Boy. Come inside the house," he ordered, voice pleasant and pleased. The twisted smirk on his face was decidedly out of place.
Cautiously, Harry stood up from the garden and took the time to clean his hands off. Vernon watched him with smug, squinty eyes, and didn't shoot off any disparaging remarks about him being slow. That alone almost had Harry in a full-out panic-attack as he trudged up to the front door. After removing his shoes under the watchful eyes of his uncle, he went inside the house and tried to ignore the spiders crawling across the back of his neck as his uncle closed the door behind them.
"Get in the kitchen and make dinner."
Harry did as he was bid, watching Vernon out of the corner of his eye. Things weren't adding up. Adrenaline pumped through his veins and paranoia rose to new heights as he started preparing dinner and the whale just sat there, at the table, for two straight hours, while Harry cooked a many-course meal. He didn't even have a paper in front of him. He was just watching.
When he finished dinner, Petunia and Dudley were already seated at the table and ready to be fed. Harry served them, as was expected of him, sat down at the last empty chair, and waited for everyone else to take all that they wanted before he could help himself to the leftovers.
Vernon watched, though at least this time his attention was divided between the food and whatever he was so smug about as he stared at Harry. He didn't speak again until the meal was done and the raven-haired adolescent had cleared away all the dishes.
"Boy, there's something upstairs that I want to show you."
Freaking out even more, Harry had no choice but to let himself be directed into the hallway and up the stairs to his room, Vernon right at his back the entire time. It made him feel like a cow being herded with a cattle prod.
It was much sooner than Harry would have liked that they arrived at the door to his room. Well, Dudley's old room. There was still bits of junk that the miniature whale had decided were broken (read: he broke them himself) or he just didn't like. The string of locks that were currently left open due to the fact that he wasn't in the room was a daunting image to stare at as he tried to prolong the opening of his door.
"Go inside, boy." He could hear the smile and glee Vernon's voice.
Nerves sending electricity dancing across his skin, Harry put his hand on the handle and twisted. The door slowly swung open. Harry stared at the sight in front of him.
"Happy birthday, Freak," Vernon's voice oozed in his ear like a diseased puss before the whale kicked him square in the ass and sent him tumbling into the room. The door slamming and locking behind him barely registered to Harry. In fact, he didn't notice at all. His brain had shut down, denying the scene in front of him.
The first thing that registered was color. There was a peculiar absence of any color but red, and black and white shades. The red and white seemed to cling to each other, swirling and swirling... Why didn't they mix to become pink? The black... was a lumpy mass.
Harry collapsed to his knees in front of the colors on the floor, blood draining from his face as he realized what he was staring at. He leaned down and picked up a single pure, untainted feather. It seemed to be the only one that the red, red blood hadn't reached.
Hedwig, or at least what was left of her, was splattered across his floor like a parody of a red and white mosaic. It seemed distinctly separate from the black ashes that had become of all his belongings. At first, logic escaped Harry as to how Vernon could have burnt everything and then transported them into his bedroom, as his brain tried to reject the reality presented to it… but then he noticed the blanket under all the ashes. Vernon must have used it to transport his destroyed belongings.
But Hedwig… his owl had probably been killed right on this very spot.
Harry numbly walked over to his bed and sat down, staring at the scene for a few minutes before lying down and facing the wall. He curled into as small a ball he could, and cried. He cried for Sirius, for Hedwig, for his parent's photo album, for his Firebolt, for his invisibility cloak, for all his books, even for the homework assigned this summer that he had yet to finish. He cried until he had no tears left, and then his soul carried on his sorrow when his body could no longer sustain it.
Harry stared impassively at the glowing, red numbers of his alarm clock that reminded him of Hedwig. Turning his eyes away, he tried to block the memory by searching for something, anything, to distract him. His gaze fixed on the dark night sky outside his window, full of stars being smothered and choked by the smog of pollution.
It was with a strange emptiness and indifference that Harry noticed an odd sensation building in his chest as the comforting heat of his magic spread through his limbs, warming his body but failing to relieve the cold ball of pain inside his heart. For a moment, though, all physical discomforts were washed away in that comforting river of energy.
Without warning, the magic that had been gathering inside his body shot towards his eyes and tore through his head with a painful intensity that had Harry blindly gripping at his eyes and almost screaming in pain. He kept himself silent, however, not wanting Vernon to return. Biting his lip in pain, he frantically tried to figure out what was going on. Was it Voldemort? Had the warmth been because of him, lulling Harry into calm complacency, before attacking all the more fiercely? The adolescent was getting tired of all these surprise birthday gifts. He wanted a refund. It felt like someone had stabbed a cattle prod into his eyes and skull.
As the pain came to a crescendo Harry gave up gripping at his eyes, as it didn't seem to be helping in the least. Opening his eyes despite the fact that the tears streaming from them would prevent him from seeing much anyway, he tried to focus on something in the room to distract him. At first he saw nothing but darkness, but just when he was about to stumble out of the bed and try to find the lamp, light exploded in front of his eyes and sent pain drilling into his head. Closing his eyes seemed to have no effect, and soon the swirling, glaring lights came into focus enough that he made out a huge golden dome floating in the middle of emptiness. Falling off the mattress in shock, he rubbed furiously at his eyes and tried to see his room to no avail.
Scrambling towards the lamp on his desk, he froze in horror when his hands slipped on a slick, fluffy substance. Backing away and collapsing against the bed frame in horror, he grabbed the meager blanket on his bed with trembling hands and tried to scrub the sticky liquid and feathers off his fingers. For a split second, he was almost glad that he couldn't see it.
After he'd wiped off the worst of it, he stared around himself and up at the dome of light with a mixture of wonder and trepidation. What the heck was he seeing? It looked almost like a sheet or glass bowl with little chains of symbols floating around it. Vaguely, he wondered if they were those runes that Hermione used to study in Arithmancy. Unconsciously, he reached out to the chain and blinked when it stopped orbiting. How could he touch it? Shrugging, he pushed it along into new orbits and smiled slightly. It was something to distract him from the pain.
As if sensing his thoughts, a sudden burst of agony split his head in half, snapping Harry's control like a twig. His 'grip' tightened, and when the chain shattered, the dome of golden light was quick to follow, raining little bits of glass shards around him as blackness swallowed him whole.