Title: Dark Salvation
Disclaimer: Not mine now. Was never mine then. Will never be mine in the future.
Summary: In Harry's darkest hour, he forged a bond with a dangerous man. In Voldemort's darkest hour, he found salvation in a shattered child. In the wizarding world's darkest hour, an heir stood by the side of a deadly man.
Warnings: ANGST ANGST ANGST. Not to mention it's short, dark, and filled with . . . er . . . angst?
------------ -- page break/scene change
::meow:: -- Parseltongue
meow -- thoughts
Harry clutched his head in a vice-like grip, fingers buried in unruly raven locks, eyes squeezed shut to stop the tears threatening to spill down his pale gaunt face. He could still see it . . . could still see Sirius falling through the veil. Over and over the scene played out in his mind like a broken record. It wouldn't stop, wouldn't leave him alone. The image of Sirius face, the stunned look in his glassy eyes. The sound of laughter in the cold barren room. Barren save for a wispy veil that taunted and teased. And took.
Outside the wind howled violently through the night, battering against his window again and again.
Rat a tat rat tat
"Shut up," Harry whispered brokenly.
Rat a tat rat tat tat rat
"Shut up," Harry repeated, louder.
Rat a tat rat tat tat rat tat tat
"Shut up shut up shut up!!!" he finally screamed.
"BOY!" a new voice bellowed. "Shut your mouth, you worthless FREAK!"
Harry shook his head, burying his face in his hands as he sobbed. "I'm not worthless," he said softly. "I'm not worthless. I'm not worthless. I'm not worthless." He sobbed again, breath hitching in his painfully thin chest. The death of Sirius, the death of Cedric, the Order's silence, his friends' brutal neglect, it was too much. Too much. He could feel a vice tightening around him. It was so hard to breathe! So hard to breathe . . .
The darkness in Harry's tiny room became oppressing, beating down with heavy fists onto fragile shoulders too narrow to carry a Savior's burden. Vicious whispers of the night hissed past his ears. Whispers of condemnation. Whispers of disappointment. Whispers of blame. The air around Harry grew heavy. Unbearable. Alive.
"Make it stop," Harry begged to no one. To anyone. "Make it stop, I want it to stop."
What do you want stopped?
"Everything," Harry pleaded. "I don't want this. I never wanted this."
What would you give to change your future?
"Anything! I'd give anything. Please, make it stop. I don't want to remember anymore."
Will give me your mind? Will you give me your heart? Will you give me your . . . soul? Will you belong to me for all eternity and beyond? Will you be mine? Mine? Mine . . .
"Yes," came the broken answer. "Yours."
Yes . . .
"Albus, the front ward is failing!" Minerva McGonagall shouted as she dodged falling debris from the ceiling. The Great Hall lay in ruins. In chaos. Bodies lay slumped on the floor, faces once bright with hope and joy now shadowed with desolation. Lights danced and shimmered from wands at the ready. "We must do something!"
Albus Dumbledore, the great Light Wizard that had defeated the Dark Wizard Grindelwald, could only watch his beloved Hogwarts fall. The sparkle in his eyes were gone. Now haunted, the tall wizard felt the kiss of fear caress his face.
Suddenly, the large double doors in the Great Hall exploded. Screams of terror filled the air from the students and Aurors, the only individuals now left alive. As the dust settled, an army of black oozed inside. Insidious, malevolent, vicious blackness that stained all it touched. A speck broke off, strode forward, and mocking laughter erupted into the ruined Great Hall.
"Your time has ended, Albus Dumbledore," a voice from inside this inky emptiness called out. "And my reign has begun. Will you kneel before your Lord and Master?"
The Headmaster of Hogwarts drew to his full height. "Never, Tom," Albus declared as bravely as he could. "I shall never kneel to a sadistic tyrant such as yourself."
More laughter rang out as two pale hands appeared and drew back the hood, revealing wavy ebony locks and vibrant red eyes set in a pale aristocratic face. "Fitting you refuse to kneel before greatness," he mused. "Since you refuse to kneel before your Lord, I shall let you die before you Savior!"
Albus' gasp was echoed by all those that had lost. Another from the sea of never-ending emptiness stepped forward, throwing back his hood. Hair just as ebony, locks even more tussled, with Killing Curse emerald eyes and a face still boyish in its charm.
"Harry," Albus Dumbledore whispered. His final whisper. His final moment, as Harry Potter raised his wand and sparkling green lights shot out from the end.
As Albus fell back, as life left his body, his last words he heard was Lord Voldemort whispering, "Well done, Harry. Well done."
Shuttered emerald eyes gazed blindly out the crumbling window. The ground below him was blackened, charred with the aftermath of war. Gaping holes like open wounds tainted with dried blood and residue magic. Black robed figures scurried to and fro, to and fro, like puppets dancing to a silent tune.
"Why so silent, my serpent?"
Strong arms, warm arms, circled bony hips. A soft breath whispered past a fragile ear. Once vicious whispers of condemnation echoed in that ear. Now he heard nothing. Nothing but his voice.
"You did it," the wizard known as Harry Potter whispered. "You've won."
"No, my sweet. It is you who has won. Won against this cruel world that created us."
Arms tightened, the steady beating of a heart felt against his back. A heart that belonged to him. Only him. Always him.
"My sweet serpent," Tom whispered as he turned Harry around to face him, soft lips brushing over a mark on his forehead. A lightning bolt, a badge, a symbol.
Harry hummed softly, eyes growing heavy-lidded. "Thank you, Tom," he murmured. "Thank you for setting me free."
"Never thank me, Harry," Tom Riddle, the ruler of all that was magical, returned. "It is I who should be thanking you. You are . . . my salvation."
Mwahahahaha!!! Bet you all thought I had abandoned my Harry Potter fics, eh eh eh?! Fear Not! I have returned and with a vengeance! A lot has been happening in my real life that took precedence over all else. Namely, a parent suffering a stroke. No worries, she's fine and is due to be released tomorrow::dance dance::
Darkest Hour will be continued, rest your blessed hearts. Reading all your reviews have held me up and inspired me so much! If it wasn't for seeing everyone enjoying this fanfic so much (and I'll be jinxing myself now by saying I haven't gotten one flame what so ever) I would have given up on Darkest Hour.
This little short one-shot is dedicated to Darkness Realm for being the 500th reviewer. ZOMGWTFLOLBBQBEANS I have 500+ reviews for Darkest Hour, a pet project that I totally went with during spurs of the moment::dies:: It's a bit different from my other ones. I tried to make it fast paced, emotion filled, visually wrenching kind of story. And what's with me and titling everything 'dark'?