Bonds of Blood and Love

"Where is Potter staying during the summer, Snape?" Voldemort watched his creature as he knelt before the throne of the Dark Lord. That the throne was nothing more than an ornate chair didn't matter. It was the thought, not the making.

The minor Death Eater that hosted his spirit now was not his first choice for a body, but he had been there when Voldemort's spirit had returned from Hogwarts after Harry Potter had destroyed Quirrell. That made him the best choice.

"With family, my Lord. Dumbledore has him protected by the Bond of Blood charm, the one his mother cast." Snape smiled to himself. Hopefully, the Dark Lord would kill Potter this year, and stop him from coming back to Hogwarts for a second year.

Voldemort considered the information. He frowned as he thought about the charm. There was something specific about it that he was forgetting. "Leave me. I have work to do."

The Death Eaters scurried out and Voldemort sat in thought for a few more minutes. He went into his personal library and began studying the charm that Lily had used to protect Harry. It was a pity that the mind and power that could find this charm and use it had not been on his side, but no matter. She wasn't able to fight against him any more either, so it didn't matter.

He read the section of "Protections and Wards" that covered the Blood Bond spell again and slowly, a smile crossed his face. There was a way to break it, and Snape could do it. He thought, and made his plans.

Two days later, Snape crept up to the house at Number 4 Privet Drive and carefully checked. He sneered as he found that Mungdingus had once again left his post to do something else. Snape quickly cast the spell that Voldemort had given him. He didn't know why the Dark Lord wanted to intensify the natural emotions of the Muggles that lived here, but it was not his place to ask.

Professor Albus Dumbledore checked the wards and spells on the Dursley house every week, early Saturday mornings. He checked them this week, and they were well within the ranges that they should have been in. He nodded, and went on about his business.

In the house on Privet Drive, Harry was having a very bad week. The Dursleys were being particularly cruel and hateful this week and while Harry accepted it and tried to stay out of the way, Dudley simply couldn't go an hour or so without doing something to Harry.

Between the lack of any contact with the people he had thought were his friends and the constant abuse, Harry was fast sinking into a pit of depression that he could see no way out of. No one in the Wizard world had cared enough about him to send a single letter to him and that fact hurt him more than anything the Dursleys could do, or so he thought.

Harry finally lost it on Thursday night, when he came back in the house to find Hedwig lying on the bed, convulsing. Nothing Harry could do helped, and in just a few minutes, Hedwig drew a final breath and died.

Harry held his friend and stared into space while the tears ran down his face.

"What's the matter, freak? Did you lose something?" Dudley stood in the doorway, smirking as he watched Harry.

Harry slowly turned his head and looked dully at Dudley. As he stared at Dudley, something in the boy's posture told Harry more than words could.

Dudley had done something that had killed Hedwig.

Harry looked back down at Hedwig and couldn't even raise anger. He decided to leave first thing in the morning. This was not a home, and no amount of protection from Voldemort was worth what he was going through.

One second after Harry made his decision the wards around the house simply vanished.

Outside, two people were watching the house. One was a member of the Order of the Phoenix and one was a a Death Eater. Only one thing separated the two people. The Death Eater was expecting the wards to drop and had made his plans accordingly.

Elphias Doge had been watching this house every sixth night for more than five years and he had long ago quit worrying about it. Nothing ever happened, so why worry about it?

That thought was one he never got a chance to regret as the Death Eater cast the Petrificus Totalus on him and cut his throat before using a Portkey to take both of them to Voldemort. "My Lord," the man said as soon as he recovered from the travel, "the wards are down and Dumbledore's people don't know it yet. I took out their guard as soon as the wards went down."

Voldemort smiled cruelly. "Very good." He stood up and looked around. "All of you, follow me. Tonight, we end the Potter line forever."

Albus Dumbledore was in the Great Hall eating with the staff of Hogwarts when he felt the disturbance in his office. He excused himself and went to his office. Her blood chilled as he saw the warning that the wards around Harry had fallen. He sent for the Order and started for the boundaries of the school so he could Apparate to Privet Drive.

Voldemort appeared in the street in front of Privet Drive and started towards the house. He had to act quickly. That fool Dumbledore would be here soon and Voldemort wanted to be done before he got here.

One Reducio curse later the door was gone and he entered the house. A thin woman stood there, staring in terror at the man entering through the remains of the door. Voldemort didn't waste any time on the woman. "Avada Kedavra," was the last thing Petunia Dursley heard in this life.

Voldemort found two large male Muggles just getting up from the couch in front of the strange box with moving pictures and spent no more time on them than he had with the woman. He froze them and had two of his Death Eaters take them away. Voldemort cast a spell that allowed him to feel the presence of living beings in the house and followed the feeling up the stairs to a small room.

He opened the door and paused. Harry Potter sat on the bed, a dead owl in his arms. He looked up and stared at him. He looked at the Death Eater until Voldemort made him turn around so that Voldemort could see his enemy first hand.

"You again." Harry looked back down at the owl, and suddenly looked up. "Is Dudley dead?"

Voldemort frowned. Something strange was going on here. This was not the same boy that had so violently opposed him at Hogwarts. "If you mean the Muggles, only the woman is dead."

Harry smiled slightly. "You're going to kill me. I will ask you something first. Make the younger one's death as bad as you can."

Voldemort considered the scene and the request. "Come with me, Potter, and you can do it yourself."

Harry stared at Voldemort and the Dark Wizard could see him considering it seriously. Harry finally sighed and shook his head. "No, I don't think so. I would love to kill Dudley, but then you would have other things for me to do, that I don't want to do. Just end it."

Voldemort considered persuading the boy, but he didn't have the time. He raised his wand and prepared to cast a curse.

Albus Dumbledore and the Order members he'd been able to round up in a hurry appeared in front of the Dursley house and Albus knew that something was very wrong. The door was gone and the house was far too still.

With his hopes waning, he tried to find Elphias Doge, but there was no sign of him at all. They went into the house and found Petunia quickly. Albus sent the Order members to search the house while he tried to figure out why the wards had quit so suddenly.

"Albus! Upstairs, quick! I've found Potter!" Dumbledore hurried up the stairs and entered the room Shacklebolt was in. The other members of the Order followed him quickly.

Albus felt the weight of every year he'd lived as he looked at Harry Potter. The boy was cut nearly in half, and all of the Order members knew there was no hope for him. That he was still alive now was a miracle.

Harry still had one hand on his most faithful friend. Albus moved to kneel beside the bed. Harry rolled an eye to look at him. "Don't bury us with them," he whispered weakly, even as the light dimmed in his eyes. "They aren't my family."

Albus watched the light die in Harry's eyes and knew that the hopes of the wizard world went with it.

OoOoOoO Six Years Later. OoOoOoO

"How did You Know Who break the wards?"

Albus looked at the dying man and sighed. He would be gone in a matter of minutes and Albus had kept this secret far too long. "The Bond of Blood requires two things to activate. One person must cast the spell and then die, protecting the one it was cast one. Once that happens, the first part of the charm comes into affect, and that is what saved Harry the night Voldemort tried to kill him the first time."

He sighed, looking at the other man. "The second part of the charm kept Harry safe in that house as soon as Petunia took him in. Somehow, Voldemort found a way around it. The charm would have protected him forever, as long as Harry could call that house home."

"While Harry could still call home the place where his mother's blood dwelt, there he could not be touched or harmed by Voldemort. Voldemort shed Lily's blood, but it lived on in Harry and her sister. Her blood became Harry's refuge. He needed to return there only once a year, but as long as he could still call it home, whilst he was there Voldemort could not hurt him." (Quote paraphrased from PoA.)

"Somehow, Voldemort or one of his people made the Dursleys abuse Harry and when Harry no longer thought of them as family or that house as his home, the wards and the Bond of Blood were destroyed." Albus looked at the other man, only to find that he was unconscious.

Albus Dumbledore sat with Ron Weasley as the boy who hadn't received his NEWT scores yet died and then Albus stood up. He looked around the miserable shack and sighed. There was no longer any point in hiding. He was, after all, the last person opposing Voldemort.

Without Harry Potter, no one could stop Voldemort and resistance had soon died. To the best of Dumbledore's knowledge, there wasn't a Wizard or Witch in England that wasn't a pureblood with the exception of Voldemort himself, and since he was the most powerful Wizard alive, no one muttered "Mudblood" in his direction.

Albus Dumbledore squared his shoulders and and took out his wand. There was only one thing left to do.

It took the Death Eaters nearly an hour to stop the old man's rampage through Diagon Alley and more than fifty of them died before Albus Dumbledore, former Headmaster of Hogwarts, was cut down in the street and bled his life away into a gutter.

OoOoOoO Author's Notes OoOoOoO

This is possibly the darkest thing I've ever written. Hopefully, no more black plot bunnies like this attack me, but I was re-reading the series and one particular section jumped out at me:

"But I knew, too, where Voldemort was weak. And so I made my decision. You would be protected by an ancient magic...I am speaking, of course, of the fact that your mother died to save you. She gave you a lingering protection...a protection that flows in your veins to this day.

I put my trust, therefore, in your mother's blood. I delivered you to her sister, her only remaining relative... She took you, and in doing so, she sealed the charm I placed upon you. Your mother's sacrifice made the bond of blood the strongest shield I could give you...

While you can still call home the place where your mother's blood dwells, there you cannot be touched or harmed by Voldemort. He shed her blood, but it lives on in you and her sister. Her blood became your refuge. You need return there only once a year, but as long as you can still call it home, whilst you are there he cannot hurt you." (Quoting JKR, in PoA.)

The Bond of Blood, according to this, only works as long as Harry calls the place home. Given the way the Dursleys treat him, I thought it would not take much of a push to make him stop thinking of it as home. People run away from home for far lessor reasons than the Dursleys have given Harry.

What happened to Dudley and Vernon, I leave to your imagination.

Raven