Summary: Harry is captured by the Dark and eventually discovers the betrayal of the light. Things begin to get nasty. Grey Harry, manipulative Dumbledore etc.
Disclaimer: obviously I don't own Harry Potter but I'd like to think the following is a spin-off I thought of all by myself. Certain ideas like the spell revealing potion have been gotten and twisted from other fanfics. Unfortunately I don't know which ones (author IP82 sounds possible but if I didn't borrow an idea from them – well they have good stories anyway so check 'em out) so if anyone recognises where they actually come from please tell me so I can mention the author properly.
A/N: This story is pre HBP sometime during OotP - angsty, cranky Harry time. There's a little (adult) making fun of Lucius at the start but it's not really integral to the story and is pretty inoffensive but I suppose if you're really sensitive…. I leave you to your common sense.
"I need that prophecy Lucius; there is something about this boy, some reason why he just won't sodding die. It doesn't matter how cornered he is, how long I've had him captive, every time my intentions turn to killing him he gets away. And now the little shit's in my head day and night but will he take a hint and go and get that prophecy for me?"
"No my lord" answered Lucius.
"Did I say you could speak Lucius? Crucio!" Lucius writhed on the floor as Voldemort enjoyed the opportunity to vent some of his frustrations, Lucius knew he always got testy when matters turned to the perineal brat, if he didn't want to be punished he would have kept his mouth shut. Voldemort's attention slipped momentarily as the curse was lifted and he got to thinking – Lucius really should and doubtless did know that speaking would get him punished, now that he considered it Lucius had been getting punished a lot more lately for making stupid mistakes and while Voldemort had thought his trained silence replaced by moaning had simply been Lucius playing the 'mercy' card, when Voldemort mentally pictured the 'grimace' on his servants face even he had to fight strongly to repress a shudder.
"OUT" he yelled at Lucius "send in Severus".
"Yes master" replied Lucius still panting from the curse. Voldemort didn't know how he would ever get that picture out of his head, maybe he could use it to torture the Potter brat. No the information was best kept secret, but crucio was certainly off the list of things he wanted to do to Lucius. He was shaken from these horrid images as Severus entered the room.
"My Lord" said Severus bowing as he reached his master.
"Rise Severus I have a conundrum I need your assistance with. As you know I have been unable to kill the Potter brat however, I'm now beginning to think there is some deeper reasoning behind this, I want the rest of that prophecy but Dumbledore's got him so reined in the boy won't take a hint and go and get it for me. So, where does this leave me, humour me with your opinion, what's my next move?"
"Well my Lord, I believe there's only one real option left, it's time Potter had a conversion. Dumbledore is a master manipulator but its clear that Potter is as far away from him this year as he's ever been and there's misunderstandings between the two of them about Black who Dumbledore's got confined to the house. There are very workable tensions all round and I believe if you capture Potter without the intention of killing him he won't escape and a few gentle words could turn him to your cause"
Voldemort contemplated this shortly, a smile spreading across his features. "I like it, this could go very well indeed. Very well you have a week to complete the following, I want a cage constructed in the centre of this room, the usual shields about 3m square I think will suffice. And lastly but most importantly I want a newborn basilisk to arrive the same day Potter does"
"Yes master", replied Severus, "May I be so bold as to inquire how you intend to trap Potter?"
"It's a surprise" answered Voldemort, smiling evilly at what only his mind knew, this plan was going to work so well. Dumbledore would never receive such a loss as the turning of his precious golden boy. It was all Voldemort could do to stop himself from laughing in the presence of servants.
"You're dismissed Severus", he added, wanting to be alone. Severus left the room bowing and Voldemort was left to ponder how he would capture Harry.
Precisely one week later a dark haired boy began making his way back from Hagrid's cabin with his two friends. The boy's emerald eyes glistened as he waved goodbye to the half giant then turned to talk to his friends. It had not been a particularly good day, Harry was still fuming from the previous night's detention with Umbridge and having to act 'normal' around everyone else wasn't helping much either. It would have been ok if he could have talked to Sirius but everyone kept giving him so many lectures about the dangers of sending mail, there was nothing he could safely say in a letter that would make writing it worthwhile.
"Harry, are you ok, you seem tense?" asked Hermione.
"Yeah, I'm fine, just a toothache. I think maybe I chipped a tooth on one of Hagrid's cakes", he laughed weakly to try and further brush the question off, but by the look on Hermione's face he had been unsuccessful.
"But Harry you didn't -" Ron was cut off by an arm suddenly flung out by Harry. He was going to ask what the deal was but wasn't given the chance.
"Can you feel that?" asked Harry, worry clearly etched in his voice.
No one had time to answer as the invisibility cloaks of at least twenty death eaters were flung off all around them. Only Harry was fast enough with his wand to produce a decent protego, Hermione and Ron were stunned before they could even take a breath. Harry fought fiercely trying to repel stunners and get closer to his friends to offer them some protection.
Hagrid who had been watching their progress across the lawn from the window began running but he was so far away. Harry knew Hagrid would reach him in no time if he could just protect his friends until then everything would be ok. Three death eaters, also noticing Hagrid had been alerted to their presence suddenly tackled Harry, under so much pressure the protego stood no chance of defending him against physical attack. Two of the death eaters held him down while others still threw stunners at him, making it impossible to magically fight his way out from the two pining him to the ground as he had to try and keep up a shield so as not to get stunned. He wouldn't have to hold out long Hagrid would reach him any second. Unfortunately for Harry the third death eater didn't intend to take long. He produced a muggle looking syringe and shoved it cruelly but quickly into Harry's neck. Harry struggled as much as he could, it just made it hurt worse, no sooner was the potion in his body, Harry lost all control of his limbs, he literally couldn't move a muscle. The death eaters threw another invisibility cloak over him and the one that had injected him dragged him onto a broom with him. Quickly as they had come the death eaters had gone. There was nothing Hagrid could have done to save Harry; he couldn't see the death eaters to fight them. Harry relaxed a little when he realised his friends had been left alone and Hagrid had reached them. He tried to yell out to Hagrid but it did no good, all he managed to produce was a small, panicked moan. Harry recognised the voice of Lucius Malfoy as it whispered amusedly in his ear,
"Don't worry Potter the Dark Lord doesn't want to hurt you", with that a scared but determinedly courageous Harry was stunned and flown to the secret location of Voldemort's lair.
When his consciousness was restored to him Harry found himself lying on a plain but not uncomfortable single bed. He sat up to observe his surroundings, apparently the effects of the potion had worn off, though the painful stabbing in his neck clearly hadn't as Harry gingerly rubbed at the place where the needle had been cruelly dug in.
"Yes I must apologize for that though, you must understand you make it difficult not to cause you some harm when requesting your presence"
Harry whipped his head around at the voice of Voldemort he was about to launch into colourful descriptions of Voldemort and his actions but Voldemort beat him to speaking.
"I'm afraid Harry now is not the time for this discussion, you've had a shock and you need to relax. If it makes you feel any better in 2 weeks time its holidays then 2 weeks from then school begins again so in four weeks you will be delivered to the train station quite possibly unharmed. I do not intend to kill or harm you in those 4 weeks.
Harry just stared at him dumbfounded, then he regained his voice, "you can't keep me here" he yelled running and pushing against the bars of his cage. Voldemort only sighed and walked from the room pausing to push an open box through a gap in his bars, the box contained an egg, large with blue, green and gold speckles, it was very beautiful. "I trust as the decent person you're said to be you won't hurt it, its father was killed several years ago but it's due to hatch sometime today. I figured you might be able to care for it better than anyone but me, and I don't have time."
Harry was reduced to his dumbfounded state once again as Voldemort exited the room. He absentmindedly began patting the egg, tracing its patterns with his fingers, turning it to examine both sides. He didn't know why but for some reason Voldemort didn't need to give him the speech Harry could never have hurt this egg, he felt a great desire to protect it. Though part of his mind screamed at him not to trust anything that came from Voldemort. He lifted it out of the box and cupped it in both hands, gently bringing it to eye level he pressed his forehead against it and felt a sort of connection he could not understand. He heard more than saw a large crack appear in the eggshell. Quickly he replaced the egg in the stability and safety of the box as it began to split further in two. He levered the shell a little trying to help the creature inside to break free. Suddenly they split completely and in the centre of the box curled up sat a little basilisk though Harry assumed it was simply a magical species of snake with its brilliant colours of blue and gold scales shining brightly. Harry lifted the newborn from the box and moved to his bed. Suddenly very tired he lay down and the creature snuggled into him as he put a protective arm around it and they both fell into a deep sleep.
"Well master that went incredibly well if I do say so myself", remarked Lucius. The death eaters who had been on the outing were gathered in a meeting with Voldemort.
"It certainly did," replied Voldemort to the room at large, "However we must remember that the mission is not complete until Potter is fighting for us. Though certainly stage one was very successful, mind you, Snape will deserve an Oscar if he manages to convince Dumbledore he didn't know about the attack and is still a spy for the old man. But these things can be dealt with later, for now its time to check on my protégé."
With that he returned to the throne room where he discovered Harry asleep with the newborn basilisk. For safety's sake he now wore a sort of contact lens that would allow him to look into the eyes of Harry's basilisk without suffering any side effects. Only the owner of a basilisk could survive its gaze and Voldemort was not its owner. He sat for hours in his chair just staring at the sleeping pair and thinking, occasionally prodding into Harry's completely unprotected mind, but never finding much of interest, mostly Harry dreamed of the Basilisk.
After almost a day of sleeping Harry finally stirred waking the Basilisk also. He looked down to see the awakened creature and began patting it comfortingly to calm it again. He lifted it onto his pillow and moved further down the bed so he could look eye to eye with it.
"Hello", was all he managed to say to it. The snake just 'smiled' and curled up again to go back to sleep.
"Basilisks' are amazing creatures, especially cute at that age too", said Voldemort from his place on the throne. Harry jumped a mile, he hadn't realised he wasn't alone in the room.
"Why can't you just leave me alone?" the urge to shout at Voldemort was great but he didn't want to disturb his charge.
"I could ask you why you always insist on trying to fight me", retorted Voldemort.
"I never tried to fight you" spat Harry.
"The fight over the philosopher's stone was what then?"
"I didn't go to fight Voldemort; I went to stop Snape from stealing it"
"You expect me to believe Dumbledore didn't tell his golden child that it was I who wanted the stone?"
Harry fumed at the mention of Dumbledore purposely withholding information from him again, though he did his best not to show it (his best at hiding emotions obviously wasn't very good). "I expect nothing from you", he said venomously and turned his back on Voldemort.
Voldemort had gotten so lucky then, he actually didn't know just how tense the relationship was between Harry and Dumbledore. Snape was definitely right, this could be even easier than Voldemort was expecting.
"Now child, you can hardly blame me when Dumbledore's the one that sends you to danger then"
"I am not a child" Harry said as forcefully as he could without yelling.
"Clearly", retorted Voldemort with a hint of sarcasm referring to Harry's current act of turning his back. Voldemort was now standing next to the bars of the cage in Harry's line of sight.
That last comment was all Harry could take before he lost complete control of his temper. "I AM NOT A CHILD" he yelled getting up from the bed and standing in front of Voldemort. "IF YOU ALL WANT TO TREAT ME LIKE A CHILD THEN STOP EXPECTING GREAT THINGS", He punched the bars of the cage, which did nothing but hurt his hand.
Voldemort remained as he was, not showing at all if he was perturbed by Harry's actions. "Temper, temper Potter, you never used to be this angry, in fact you used to have a far more slytherin control of your emotions.
"What do you want from me?" Harry finally asked defeated.
"Just you, as you are", replied Voldemort simply.
Harry did not understand nor was he about to try, so he turned to his basilisk as he now knew it was, though, he wondered why he had been able to look into its eyes. Upon reaching the basilisk to comfort it he said quietly and sadly to himself,
"and who would that be?"
Voldemort heard him though decided not to press the issue further. Instead returning to his throne to continue his observations.
The first day was the hardest for Harry, no matter how hard he tried he couldn't understand Voldemort's reasoning and he had moved out of the room only 5 times that day and never for particularly long. He just seemed to watch Harry, it was very disconcerting. Of course Harry had not lasted even an hour of this watching before exploding at Voldemort once again, this time to tell him to stop watching him but Voldemort just ignored his request and told him he shouldn't get so aggravated around the basilisk – it would imprint and he'd end up with an aggressive basilisk which although it suited Voldemort it probably was not what Harry wanted.
Harry simply decided to ignore Voldemort for the rest of that day and act as if he wasn't there. However, he did try to send positive happy feelings to Rinn as he'd named the basilisk. He didn't want it to become aggressive, not that he'd ever let Voldemort know he would follow his advice.
Harry was smart enough to recognise there was no escaping the cage, the door was never opened, food was sent in by magic and one of the wards around the cage prevented Harry from needing to go to the toilet. But the hardest thing for Harry was trying to understand what Voldemort wanted, he knew to an extent but just couldn't think why, so in the end curiosity got the better of him and he asked.
"You know I will never join the dark side, don't you?"
"No, I don't know anything much about you for certain. All I know of you is generally what Dumbledore has told you about you and I unlike you do not trust Dumbledore in the slightest", answered Voldemort matter-of-factly.
This was not what Harry had expected him to say. So he replied like he was explaining to a small child, "I meant that as, I can never join the dark side, so I don't know why I'm here."
"Why can't you Harry? Don't get angry, I want you to think about it. Why can't you join the dark side, what is it that stops you?"
"Everything" began Harry angrily but Voldemort cut him off
"Harry a basilisk is by its nature a dark aggressive creature, however, proper conditioning can make it quite safe and tame. If you keep getting angry Rinn is going to want to be a mass murderer, which I'm supposing you don't want but then you didn't answer my question. Why?"
"How do you know I called him Rinn?"
"Your mind is completely unguarded; now stop avoiding the question. Hypothetically speaking if you like, what would stop you joining the 'dark side'?"
"I told you; everything" said Harry glumly. He was compelled to answer further, though he didn't know why. "For starters, I'm not a murderer; I couldn't do the things you do. Then there's the issue of what my friends and family would think, they all hate dark magic and would despise me forever if I so much as uttered a dark spell. They already go nuts at me if I try one to see what it does, I can hardly imagine what they'd do if they knew I knew what the curse was capable of. Then last but not least there is the entire wizarding world that expects me to be some golden child, or at least they did, I don't know if you get the paper but they say I'm insane now. I'd much rather if they just said I was nothing and left me alone altogether but at the end of the day everyone thinks I'll save them and I have no idea why." Harry finished his tirade, it felt good to be able to say it to someone without worrying what they'd think about him but all the same he was very uncomfortable revealing anything to Voldemort.
"but do you think dark arts are bad", Voldemort pressed further.
"I don't know" he said half heartedly. He knew he should as 'Harry Potter' just say yes but he couldn't honestly say that. He knew Voldemort knew he as good as just answered no so he fought to explain himself. "What you do when you hurt and kill is wrong but I don't believe in dark magic in general, magic is magic, intent may be dark but alone magic is just magic."
Voldemort considered his answer briefly then replied, "That was wiser than I expected from someone as brainwashed as you."
He relaxed back in his chair, his thoughts towards Harry having become slightly confused. Harry suddenly felt as if a spell had been lifted off of him.
"What did you just do?" he demanded, his senses and guarded nature returning to him.
"Well I had to do something to make you relax, one way conversations get dreary. Besides you needn't worry, I won't be telling Dumbledore you harbour dark tendencies.
"I do not 'harbour dark tendencies'" Harry answered defensively.
Voldemort replied somewhat amused, "I never said you did"
With that the room returned once again to silence and constant watching. Harry refused to break down he would not satisfy Voldemort with the thought that he could make Harry cry or beg. Harry would simply sit and focus positive energies on the basilisk for four weeks, if Voldemort kept his word.
By day four Harry was half expecting Rinn to grow into a fluffy bunny rabbit the amount of positive energy Harry focused on him. It remained necessary though as the longer Harry stayed the more aggravated his encounters with Voldemort became, though they were sparse. Mostly Harry tried to ignore his presence.
Voldemort was pleased with the progress that the boy was making. He had gotten all the necessary information out of him and had not tried to magically relax Harry's guarded nature since. All the better to push him further to breaking with each carefully planned question or argument. Harry's temper was getting more out of control which Voldemort considered to be good, it meant Harry was losing his fear to an extent and it brought him closer to cracking and deciding to follow what Voldemort now recognised were his true desires.
Some time in what Harry expected to be the late afternoon of day four Voldemort broke the day's silence.
"I know you don't trust me Harry. Quite understandably I'm sure, so I have a book for you. I want you to see for yourself the undeniable truth that you have been controlled and brainwashed."
"What, you think if you write that down in a book I'll believe it because it's on paper?" retorted Harry.
"No", Voldemort replied amusedly, for he knew Harry was trying to mock him, "The book details a potion that will tell the drinker every spell that has ever been placed on them. I knew you wouldn't trust me to make it, so tomorrow I will give you the equipment for you to make it yourself. That is if you're not scared of what you'll find."
"Why should I be scared, there's only one group of wizards that wants me dead and I'm already among them" Harry spat back.
"Like your great Dumbledore is so fond of saying, 'death is not always the worst thing'" Voldemort answered him calmly. "Tomorrow you can make but for now you should just read." With that Voldemort gave a lazy twirl of his wand and a rather large and dusty tome appeared on the bed next to Harry, opened at a potion called revelo. Harry glanced at the book, debating whether he should just ignore it to spite Voldemort but then curiosity got the better of him and he decided to read it. 6 very detailed, scientific pages later the book had just finished telling him the potion would do exactly what Voldemort had said it would. The ingredients were fairly simple – powdered griffin feathers to ensure the honesty of the results was the rarest ingredient. Best of all for curious Harry the potion would only take a total of 30mins to make. This got Harry wondering, he was having to make far longer and more complex potions than this in his 3rd year, what sort of book was this? He glanced at the cover and could just make out the title through the dust, "101 fast tidbits for the Paranoid Wizard". Harry actually let out a short laugh at this title before he could control himself, of course it made perfect sense now.
Harry sat watching the simmering potion, it hadn't taken him long to make, all he had to do now was wait 2minutes and it would be ready. It was quite ironic Harry thought, but Voldemort was actually a better potions teacher than Snape. Simple though the potion was, twice Harry had attempted to add ingredients in the wrong order or leave a step out altogether but Voldemort never criticised he just reminded Harry of the correct step and resumed his silence. It was a technique Harry appreciated but it did little to improve his view of Voldemort.
Finally the potion was ready so Harry filled a vial and quill in hand was about to drink when Voldemort stopped him.
"That's not wise, you've been alive for 15 years, that's a lot of spells, you could do yourself an injury if you write that much."
"What else am I supposed to do?" questioned Harry, rather peeved that this problem should come up now.
"A very simple spell really. Pointing the wand at your head say conecto than continue drawing the connection to the pen, then you drink the potion, it does its thing, when it finishes so does its connection to the quill." Voldemort answered back calmly, now was not the time to discipline the boy.
Harry just nodded his acknowledgement than cast the spell and drank the potion, watching in amazement as the pen began writing very quickly. Voldemort rose from his chair calling to Rinn who came through the bars of the cage to be picked up by Voldemort.
"I think you'd prefer to be alone for this" Voldemort said in answer to Harry's questioning look. "All snakes usually respond to all parslemouths as long as it doesn't directly defy its master's orders." he continued seeing Harry seemed to be worried about his basilisk's loyalties. At this Harry turned his attention back to the quill and began reading some of the spells that had been placed on him.
The paper had 2 columns 'Spell' and 'Status'. Mostly the first page was full of household wizard spells for changing and cleaning babies all status complete. Then there was a spell Harry recognised 'killing curse status residual/connective'. Harry nearly laughed at this well known spell thinking maybe that's what Voldemort was trying to scare him with, but then he saw the next one and his heart skipped a beat he had to read and re-read it a few times 'power suppressing spell status running'. If Harry thought this was as bad as things were going to get he was very wrong. The next few lines of spells seemed like knives each one being thrust deeper towards his heart. "guilt enhancer, concentration lowerer, intelligence dampener, heroic ideals and loyalty enhancer- all status running.
Harry almost didn't want to see what the rest of the spell had in store for him but it didn't have any more major surprises, the rest were spells he knew he had encountered, granted some like the cruciatus were bad and powerful curses but they were not unexpected. Finally the quill arrived at 'occumency – mind relaxant, status complete', and the quill dropped back down on the paper.
Harry just sat there shocked for a moment. He didn't know what to think, or do, so he just sat there staring at the quill. If he was to react – were they really his reactions or reactions based on the spells put on him. 'Heroic ideals enhancer', what did that even mean? Was everything in his entire life a lie, had every previous reaction been decided with enhanced guilt? Did Dumbledore not expect him to have enough of a conscience on his own? Why? Why had these spells been put on him and why didn't Dumbledore tell him, why did he have to find his freedom from the one man he had been brought up to hate above all others?
A powerful rage filled Harry but still he did not move, he had enough sense to know that throwing things around the room would do no good. The more Harry thought about his situation the more he realised that this betrayal could by no means be over so he braced himself and called the one man he never thought he would to help him.
"Voldemort", he yelled it quietly with a sense of deathly calm. When Voldemort entered the room he was a little surprised by the boy's reaction, he had expected Harry to throw things and yell and scream but the boy's calm was far more frightening.
Voldemort walked to the bars of the cage in Harry's line of sight.
"What else?" asked Harry, his voice was so wrong for the boy Voldemort had come to know. It was quiet, it was angry and something in Harry's eyes had gone out but yet there was something new there also, something that kept them burning emerald.
"You'll need to be more specific for me to give you the best answer" replied Voldemort; his voice seemed layered with comfort if that was at all possible.
"What else do you know about me that I don't?" expanded Harry, pure rage making it difficult for him to get the words out. He wasn't angry at Voldemort though, like he had pointed out, you could do worse things to person then try to kill them.
"I would assume quite a lot of things, but I'll begin with other charms shall I?" Voldemort continued at Harry's nod, "There are, or I should say were, as I removed them for you, a lot of charms that had been placed on your wand. Most obviously and expectantly was a powerful tracking charm though there were also charms that reduced the power, accuracy and effects of your spells. This meant that you would have to practise and work much harder on spells then you should naturally have to. Making you appear at a level more like your friend Ron Weasley for example. On the subject of your friends; though I'm sure you've come to a similar conclusion by now, it may still pain you to know that they were chosen for you. Dumbledore held a meeting about this with his prized order a long time ago, though none of them realise just how far his manipulation went."
Harry buried his head in his drawn knees at this but gestured that Voldemort should continue.
"Your friends have no idea that they are pawns either, though Weasley's parents do know. Dumbledore decided that someone with a good knowledge of the wizarding world should befriend you; at least that's what he told the Weaslys. Really, from what little he knew of Ron, he knew that Ron would distract you from wanting to excel at schoolwork while instilling in you a healthy dislike of Slytherins and the desire to be in Gryffindor. With Ron as your best friend you would dislike any who called him a blood traitor and also all those who argued the supremacy of pure blood. Which of course is also where Hermione comes in, quite ironically Dumbledore did not consider her family worthy of knowing his intentions and so simply suggested in his 'powerful, wise old man' kind of way to her that she should make an effort to help you. He didn't tell her to befriend you outright because he knew she would ask questions that he wasn't prepared to answer, so, when she asked why she should help you he gave her a sob story about you coming from a muggle background and having trouble adjusting to the wizarding world. Of course, and you know the girl better than I do Harry, this left her wanting to be your friend, not just help you, you were someone she could relate to.
Dumbledore saw Hermione's benefits as being firstly muggleborn so you could not possibly come to dislike those of her kind. Secondly, she would help you with your schoolwork without you actually having to learn; therefore you would be able to remain an average student, not attracting undue attention. Hermione is in fact not even muggleborn, she is the last in line of a pureblood family that is widely believed to be extinct. I really don't want to cause you any more pain right now Harry but I do believe this is something you need to know"
"Tell me", commanded Harry, "I would rather get this all out now than continue living a lie."
"Alright but Hermione's story is a sad one, and even I have trouble believing Dumbledore was capable of it but I checked and it is true. There was a prophecy made about you and I that only Dumbledore knows the contents of, I know the first 2 lines. And Dumbledore knowing that was all I knew set me a trap. 'The one with the power to vanquish the dark lord comes, etc, etc.' that was all I knew and there were 2 choices of children that fitted that description, you and Neville Longbottom. Dumbledore left Longbottom completely undefended yet put your family under top security, so I of course suspected him, knowing more of the prophecy, knew that you were the one it talked about. Anyway, something I never understood until I was wrenched out of my body because of it being a trap was why Dumbledore convinced your parents to use Pettigrew as their secret keeper. I assume you know that story?" questioned Voldemort. Harry only nodded.
"Well, while I'm sure Dumbledore told you they did it because they thought I would go after Sirius first, that of course was not the case. Dumbledore knew that Pettigrew was a spy, I know this because he told this to another of my spies after I was 'dead' as such. He intentionally manipulated the situation so that it would happen as it did. Where does Hermione fit into this? Nothing disgusts me quite so much about Dumbledore than this event. Two of my key supporters were married and had a 1 year old daughter very much like your family situation except in Dumbledore's opinion they fought for the wrong side, making them evil and not worthy of life. I knew this family Harry, they were not evil, they loved each other and that child more than life itself. Dumbledore who had planned for your later life even back then turned up one night with a muggle baby similar looking to their own. He swapped the children and apparated out of there before they were able to fire a single curse at him. Next second several very upset key members of your order of the phoenix storm their house and kill the baby, revenge for the death of the Potters. Fraya was killed still screaming for her lost child, her husband killed trying to protect her. Their baby was switched with the muggle child without her parents being any the wiser. Your friend Hermione also has a few charms placed on her to make her look more like her adopted family. Understand Harry, no one but you, I and Dumbledore know about this and for a while at least that is how it should stay."
"NO" said Harry, "people shouldn't keep secrets from each other, it isn't fair, she has a right to know!"
"Think about it Harry, she's happy, it would only hurt her with her current views on life to find out her family were so called 'dark wizards'. One day, when the world has changed, I will tell her but as it is my responsibility to care for her, I would not have you tell her." Voldemort concluded.
"Why is it your responsibility?" questioned Harry.
Voldemort stared pointedly at him for a moment seeming to decide if he should answer then he said simply, "because she is my god-daughter."
This concept surprised Harry in many ways. Firstly that Voldemort actually cared about anyone but himself, secondly that he and his followers actually had ideals of God.
"I will not tell her", said Harry, understanding the gravity of the situation. "Is there anything else I do not know about myself now?"
"I believe that is all", answered Voldemort.
"What is occulemency?" asked Harry.
"To put it in simple terms, it's like mind reading, though sometimes it can be used for control, like when I used it to relax your mind." Voldemort answered him matter-of-factly.
Harry rose from the ground and walked subduedly to Voldemort, handing him the roll of parchment.
"Please, will you remove these spells from me", he asked, the tiniest hint of pleading in his voice, he could not stand to live in this lie any longer.
Voldemort scanned the parchment; some of the spells were a surprise even to him.
"Guilt enhancer, what's he playing at?" Voldemort questioned to himself. Then he heard Harry's request and realised there was more at stake than the allegiance of 'Harry Potter', so he answered, "Harry I will do my best to remove these spells but it might cause you great pain, there is powerful magic at work. Also, Dumbledore has suppressed your power a lot, and I do mean a lot, you will have trouble gaining control over your magic for a while."
"I do not care", Harry cut him off, "it will not hurt as much as the lie that has been my life."
"Alright," answered Voldemort, "come with me then."
With that the cage that had contained Harry for almost a week disappeared. Harry was taken slightly aback by his freedom.
"Aren't you worried I'll escape" he asked, somewhat shocked out of his quite thoughts.
"I don't think leaving here is what you really want to do right now." Voldemort answered him, amused that Harry had regained some of his old composure. With that he beckoned Harry follow him and walked from the room.
Where they were going Harry had no idea, but Voldemort's hideout certainly was very large. They weren't long out of the first door when a small hissing figure came hurtling towards Harry, followed by a much larger one.
"Daddy, daddy," the little one hissed.
"Rinn, you're first words", Harry said exuberantly, scooping Rinn into his arms, his own ills somewhat forgotten at the achievement of his small charge.
"I am sorry master", the large snake Nagini began, "he sensed his master was upset and could not be contained"
"It is alright Nagini", Voldemort answered her fondly, "all is well now. Will you fetch Snape for me?"
The snake nodded and headed down a side corridor. Harry grimaced at the thought of seeing Snape.
"Must we involve Snape?" he questioned Voldemort, who was a little surprised to hear the depth of Harry's dislike for Snape in his voice.
"Well he is the best when it comes to potions", he answered Harry, "Why do you hate him so?
"Because he hates me so!" Harry replied, perhaps just a little childishly.
"I see" said Voldemort, as if this was a perfectly valid excuse to hate someone intensely. He continued on along the hallway.
Eventually after many twists and turns they reached a room. It appeared to be made of silver, windowless and solid.
"Designed especially for the most powerful of spell castings" he said in answer to Harry's stunned gaze.
Snape was already waiting in the room with a selection of potions aligned on a table next to him. He bowed to his master but thought it best to simply ignore Harry. Voldemort did not question his behaviour and Harry was glad not to have to converse with him. It was fairly clear to Harry that Snape was where Voldemort got a lot of his information about Harry from, so Harry blamed Snape for not telling him he was living a lie. It was not logical reasoning, but it was his reasoning and he intended to keep it.
"Severus" Voldemort greeted him, "what do you have?"
"I assume you wanted curse removal so mainly I have stamina and health restorers as well as a dreamless sleep potion. I didn't know the specifics, so I don't have any specific potions" Snape concluded.
Voldemort handed him the parchment roll though raised eyebrows was all Snape showed of his surprise at Harry's predicament.
Snape considered the list, "These potions are all I can offer for this; no potions could remove these sorts of spells. You'll need runes, should I get -
"Ah, Lucius," Voldemort greeted, as said man walked through the door followed by Nagini, "Harry, I'm sure you've met Lucius. Most people don't know but Lucius is quite the expert with runes."
Harry only nodded, not trusting himself to speak politely about his new company. Voldemort took some comfort in that at least Harry hadn't outright attacked his two least favourite death eaters.
Snape handed Lucius the sheet so he could get an idea of what he was dealing with. Lucius did not bother to conceal any surprise, he actually whistled in the way people do when they talk of something amazing.
"Gees, Potter I'm surprised you can still breathe with the leash that tight," he said looking at Harry in amazement.
"Will you just get rid of them?" asked Harry through clenched teeth.
"We'll try little Potter, don't you worry, we'll try" Lucius answered him.
Two hours later found Harry lying in the centre of a circle of ruins, shaking violently. His basilisk wrapped itself protectively around his arm trying to help as Snape held Harry's head between his knees, tipping potion after potion down his throat to try and keep Harry alive. Finally after several minutes of panic a strong glow surrounded Harry, his own, newly freed magic, working to protect him.
"It is done" said Voldemort, releasing a sigh of relief, "administer the sleeping potion, he has much to recover from."
Harry groggily opened his eyes; he remembered the ritual but had blacked out partway through it. Voldemort wasn't lying when he said it would hurt. He reached for his glasses but then realised he could see perfectly anyway, so he allowed his hand to drop back down. He felt Rinn crawling up his chest and re-raised the hand to stroke his worried Basilisk instead.
"How long have I been out?" he asked Voldemort, who he knew must be in the room.
"Three days, you had Rinn very worried." Came the reply.
Slowly Harry sat up to the familiar surroundings of his cage.
"Home sweet home," he mused.
Voldemort actually laughed at this, "No offence intended. I assure you. The wards on the cage will keep uninvited guests out of your mind and my home you see."
"I understand," replied Harry, "however I feel quite in the mood to learn occulemency if you felt like teaching me that is."
Soon Harry was very strong with his occulemency and was also a very good legilimens. He found he now had a burning desire to know as much magic and as much about magic as he could. He was also able to concentrate on these desires now he could focus himself on one thing for hours without tiring of it. Voldemort gave him free run of the library so that he could practise his spell casting. At first Harry had been unable to control the huge increase in power, his wingardium leviosa causing not only the feather but the entire building to lift several feet off the ground before Voldemort was able to counter Harry's spell and put the building right. Two days later however, Harry had his spell casting under perfect control. In fact, his spells were now far better than they ever used to be – more powerful, faster, more accurate and more effectual. It didn't take him very long to master spells these days either – usually only one or two tries. Harry was getting very powerful.
Voldemort was not overly concerned about Harry's huge increase in power; many of his perceptions about Harry had been trampled. Late one night Harry walked back to his 'cage' from the library. Upon reaching the throne room he turned to Voldemort and said,
"I forgive you for the death of my parents. I've thought about it a lot and I understand the reasons why you have done what you have done, so if anyone is a murderer than I consider it to be Dumbledore. I suppose if I had of been put in your situation I would have done the same thing… well no that's not exactly true because you know as well as I do that I couldn't kill anyone but-
"I get the idea Harry and I am honoured to hear you say it." Replied Voldemort.
Harry just nodded and stroked Rinn who was wrapped around his arm.
"What do you intend to do with Rinn when you return to Hogwarts?" asked Voldemort conversationally.
"How do you mean, I was just going to let him do what he felt like, he doesn't have to come to class with me if he doesn't want to I guess." Harry answered.
"I meant how are you going to keep him from Dumbledore?" Voldemort replied.
"I wasn't going to," said Harry, "he's just the same as any other pet, except he's much smarter and better of course."
"Dumbledore will try to convince you to kill him, surely you do realise this?" asked Voldemort, slightly worried at Harry's lack there of.
"The first time he so much as points a wand near Rinn will be the last. I am not the stupid, blinded, idealistic little boy I used to be and they will soon come to see that." Harry answered, still a little touchy about the whole betrayal thing.
"Are you sure its best to go in changed? Maybe you should pretend to be as you where." Asked Voldemort.
"I did consider that but then I realised Dumbledore would work it out just as soon as he tried to read my mind and couldn't get in. So I think perhaps it's best if I go in 'all grown up' and let them draw their own conclusions as to how I got this way." Finished Harry.
"It is a good idea, however my concern is that Dumbledore will attempt to put you under his spells again, then these weeks will have been forgotten and you will have been painfully returned to your old self and he'll probably try to tell you that the after effects of his power suppressor are actually the after effects of my having tortured you." Voldemort said smiling at the irony that would be that situation. Harry could obviously see it too for he was smiling also.
"It is definitely a problem but I just have to hope that I will be strong enough to stop him if he tries. Hopefully I won't have to see him alone and he won't be stupid enough to try anything in-
BANG! Lucius Malfoy came crashing through the throne room doors.
"My lord, we are under siege" he panted, then fainted.
"Well Harry, it appears our time has been cut short. How do you want to play this?" asked Voldemort.
"I think perhaps tied and broken would be best for the wizarding world; it will help with my image. Besides I don't think anyone else is ready to know that I'm more of a dusk person then a light or dark person." Harry said good humouredly, Voldemort laughed with him.
"Alright, hurry up and get on the bed I will put a numbing spell on you but it will only last an hour at most, so you better get those injuries seen to," he joked, making Harry smile.
A few short spells later and Harry was tied to the bed, looking as if he'd been beaten senseless everyday for his entire stay.
"I'm sorry I lost you your home", Harry said to Voldemort before he apparated away with Lucius and Nagini. Rinn was safely hidden for now in Harry's pocket.
"It's ok Harry; it wasn't your fault, besides I have a few more up my sleeve." With that and a short wave he apparated away and Harry was left to work on his 'you saved me face'.
He didn't have to wait long, as soon as Voldemort left the building so did every other surviving death eater. A minute later the phoenix members stormed the throne room.
"Harry!" exclaimed Sirius, "Don't worry Harry you're safe now, Dumbledore will get you out of there!"
Harry almost smiled at the irony of his godfather's words but he had decided it would be best to appear mentally broken and so made no response to his words at all. He was quite surprised that Dumbledore had let Sirius out of the house until -
"Harry are you alright, oh what have they done to him professor Dumbledore?" it was Hermione. Harry couldn't believe it, clearly Dumbledore had everyone that could hold a wand come and storm Voldemort's lair. The very old Harry might have seen this as all his friends caring about him and coming to rescue him but new, smart Harry knew that Dumbledore had manipulated this situation, probably in the hopes that one of Harry's closer friends would be killed and Harry would forever live with the guilt thinking it was his fault for being kidnapped. Dumbledore no doubt, being the only one available in the end to provide solace, the idea disturbed Harry greatly.
The sound of Hermione's voice saddened Harry beyond all else, bringing forth the painful feelings of the betrayal. Harry made up his mind – he would not speak today, he would do his best to pretend he couldn't. He did not trust himself to say a single word around Dumbledore right now, his rage was too great. A cracking noise signalled the demise of Harry's cage and Hermione rushed over to Harry, Lupin tried to hold her back for Harry's sake but was unable to stop her, she reached his side in seconds and hugged him fiercely, crying.
"Harry we were so worried, are you alright? Harry? Answer me Harry, what's wrong? She pleaded.
Dumbledore lay his hand on her shoulder signalling for her to move away.
"He's undergone deep trauma, it may take some time to heal", Dumbledore stated wisely.
"IT WILL NEVER FUCKING HEAL YOU LYING, MANIPULATIVE BASTARD. KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF HER, YOU FUCKED HER LIFE UP JUST AS BAD! YOU DON'T GET TO PLAY GRANDPA ANYMORE!!" Harry screamed inside but his wondiforous new found self control allowed him to hide these emotions.
"Harry, Harry can you hear me Harry? Look at me", Dumbledore said putting his face right over Harry's so he had no choice but to look in those eyes. Oh the temptation to head butt him was so strong but he had to resist. Harry focused on those eyes, luckily Dumbledore believed the pain in Harry's eyes to have been caused by Voldemort so he didn't bother trying occulemency. Harry looked but he did not answer.
The phoenix members had untied him by now, all of them were shocked by the torture it seemed clear to them Harry had undergone.
"Nothing more can be done for him here, it's time to go home Harry." He said patting Harry on the shoulder.
"Thank Merlin for that", thought Harry, "Maybe then you'll all piss off and leave me to be catatonic."
A rather short and uncomfortable while later Harry lay in a hospital bed with his broken bones all healed. Madame Pomfrey had wanted to change him into a hospital gown so Harry had to think really fast to get himself out of that one. Every time she lay a hand near his clothes he lashed out at her, eventually Ron and Mrs Weasly joined the fray, trying to restrain him so Harry had to pretend to fall and cower in a ball on the ground. Mrs Weasly actually burst into tears, sure, now they probably thought he was a rape victim but at least Rinn remained safely in his pocket. Pomfrey just tucked him into bed after that, shaking her head very sadly at his state.
Now comfortable in bed Harry wondered just how long it was safe to remain this way. When he did 'regain consciousness' should he remember his ordeal or not?
The only good thing about his 'rescue' was that he was now back in the land of clocks. So he could accurately say that those annoying spectators did not leave his bedside until 2:47am. When madam ushered them out the door in her nightgown, then retreated to bed herself. At last Harry was alone and could relax, and then he felt it, an itching sensation in the corner of his mind, Dumbledore was trying to break into his brain, meaning he was lurking in this room somewhere. Harry had to fight to repress a shudder, it was a terrifying thought. Wanting to get rid of Dumbledore as fast as possible Harry concentrated all his thoughts on his memories of the cruciatus curse from his fourth year.
Eventually after searching his brain and finding nothing else, Dumbledore left his brain, and then the room. Now Harry really could relax. All the same he was careful; he reached into his pocket and patted Rinn comfortingly, not getting him out in case of more prying eyes. Then overcome by tiredness he slept.
It was past midday by the time Harry woke and once again he was surrounded by spectators. He made up his mind then and there that he would not stand this for another day. If 'getting better' was what was necessary for them to piss off, than better he would be. Opening his eyes he murmured,
"Where am I?"
"Harry! You're awake! Madam Pomfrey come quickly Harry's awake!" Mrs Weasly exclaimed joyously. Hermione came to Harry's other side and began explaining to him,
"You're in the hospital wing Harry. You were kidnapped by Voldemort, we rescued you yesterday. Do you remember?"
"Some" Harry replied in a quite voice, sitting up.
"Lay down Harry you've had a terrible ordeal" commanded Pomfrey flitting around him like a hornet building a nest.
"I feel fine" said Harry, getting out of bed, "really, I'm ok if you don't mind I'd rather not stay, thanks." He finished untangling himself from a strongly protesting Madam Pomfrey and a hugging, worried Mrs Weasly. They attempted once again to restrain him, thinking that his brain must be addled and that's why he wasn't responding to them.
"Oh, well," thought Harry, "if that's the way they want to play it."
"Don't touch me!" he screamed, using considerable force to push them away before running out the door. He had pulled the rape card again and while he would no doubt pay for it later when he had to make up some ludicrous story, for now he was free to run. Oh the frustrations of life though, he really wanted to run somewhere where he could be alone, namely one chamber of secrets, but if he didn't go somewhere he could be found then he would cause panic and suspicion (for no longer being stupid enough to hide somewhere completely obvious). So ironically, he had to hide where he could easily be found. He dreaded the oncoming encounter with Dumbledore though, it was best to do it in public surely, he was strong enough now to defend Rinn so he supposed it was time he came out.
Voldemort had explained to Harry that a basilisk had a translucent eyelid that it could use to stop the curse effecting people, so Rinn was a perfectly safe member of society. Harry realised that Rinn could become the catalyst for argument but if Harry had to leave now sobeit, Voldemort could teach him, Harry no longer cared for sides. Knowledge was power, and he wanted power for power's sake. For 15 years he'd been denied what he rightfully possessed, he just wanted to make sure no one could ever do that to him again. He didn't particularly want to hurt anyone but he would ensure that none could hurt him, he would be the most powerful man alive and then maybe trouble could just learn to avoid him.
At last Harry made it to the room of requirement, Dobby had told him about it when Harry was going to have to teach defence against the dark arts to some club of students. Luckily, Harry had been kidnapped before he ever told anyone else about the room, so he knew only Dumbledore was likely to find him and he could relax, at least for a little while. Before entering the room, Harry imagined a quidditch stadium, the latest firebolt and 50 snitches zooming about for him to collect.
"ah," Harry thought, "finally, some nice, mindless fun."
It was another two hours before Dumbledore decided he was ready to invade Harry's privacy. It was clear from the pitying look on his face that Mrs Weasly had updated him on the occurrences in the hospital wing.
"Harry, please come down, I need to talk to you" Dumbledore requested.
"Alright" answered Harry dejectedly, resigned to his fate. Though he had had time to think it through and had something of a plan as to how to introduce Rinn. This more than anything could not be done 'in private' with Dumbledore. He would be obliviated before he could say WTF and by the time he could regain his memories Rinn would be dead. It was this thought that prompted him to continue, "I have some things that I would like everyone to hear, If you can arrange it can I meet everyone you think should attend in your office in thirty minutes?"
Harry kept his face completely neutral, trying to portray a feeling of brokenness.
"Certainly" answered Dumbledore, "you remember the password?" Harry only nodded in response.
"Firstly," said a decidedly determined Harry to his friends and the Phoenix members who had gathered to hear his message in Dumbledore's office, "I need to make an introduction."
He withdrew Rinn from his pocket and allowed the basilisk to wind its way up his arm.
"This is Rinn, he is a basilisk, but most importantly he is my friend and I expect you all to give him the due respect."
Chaos reigned momentarily in the room as everyone tried to express their questions and opinions all at once.
"Harry are you insane, one of those things nearly killed me in second year – it's dangerous!" Hermione exclaimed pleadingly to Harry. Others clearly held similar opinions. He held up his hand to silence them then explained,
"For all intents and purposes, Rinn is under my control and his translucent 2nd eyelid, that all basilisk possess, allows him to choose when he kills. In short he is perfectly safe, as long as he is not threatened.
Hermione, Ginny, Mc Gonagall, Sirius, Lupin and of course Snape seemed to accept this. Ron and the other order members however, ranged from looking doubtful to desiring to kill Rinn.
After a moment, Dumbledore spoke up, "Harry, where did Rinn come from?"
If that wasn't the stupidest question for a century, Harry didn't know what was. Did Dumbledore think he'd picked Rinn up from the corner shop on his unconscious way home? No of course not, he simply wanted Harry to say Voldemort's name aloud so that it would rattle a few people. Harry withheld his sarcastic answer.
"Voldemort gave him to me," shocked gasps filled the room, "and before you say anything," he cut in as Dumbledore attempted to speak, "I don't care, Rinn's personality is based on mine and I will fight to the end before I let someone hurt him."
"Harry, mate, have you been brainwashed – basilisks are highly dark creatures, you should kill him before he kills everyone else" stammered Ron.
"Do you forget that I am a parstlemouth? By your reckoning that makes me dark – I will kill for Rinn it's best you understand this." Harry replied to shocked looks all round. He was tiring of their blind stupidity, his self control was ebbing away along with his patience but all of this he hid under his now well developed masks.
Suddenly he felt a tickle at the edge of his mind, he suspected Dumbledore but from his past experience he realised the current person attempting to search his mind was definitely not Dumbledore – they were more subtle. Anger bubbled in Harry at the rudeness, he had been keeping all his nasty thoughts in his head and if they wanted to try and get through his wards into his head than by all means Harry would comply. He didn't as of yet know who was doing it but he would teach them a lesson none the less. He concentrated on thoughts of a conversation with Voldemort, dangling the thought like a carrot, drawing the prying mind further into his own. When Harry had them in position he let loose – he slammed his mind closed around the other's, effectively hurting similarly to slamming a door onto ones fingers, repeatedly. Harry thought of Voldemort's most evil laugh he had heard and threw that at them too showing only the slightest surprise when Alistor Moody who had been controlling the pain silently at last let forth a yell. This was golden for Harry, the man who had always doubted him and his loyalties, thinking Harry, really, worthless – a name with luck behind it. Harry supposed at the time he had been right but all the same it seemed poetic justice that Moody should be the first to see just how 'worthless' fate had originally intended him to be, he wondered if Moody would hold the same opinion. Not wanting to disappoint him, Harry hit Moody with his best selection of mental bashers – dragging up every one of his most concealed memories and making him relive them, all the while pounding his mind from every direction.
"Stop it!" Snape yelled at Harry. This surprised him a little; of all the people being the one to stop him from using his mind effectively, Snape should have been happy to see him like this. Harry just gave a non committal shrug and then threw Moody out of mind, forcefully. He registered after doing this that Moody had collapsed and was writing on the floor, he jumped up like he'd been stung as soon as his mind was returned, albeit a little shakily, glaring daggers at Harry, more than daggers actually – something far larger and more powerful, what exactly could only be left for the imagination.
"Well Professor, I think now perhaps you recognise that it is rude to wander into minds uninvited, next time ask, not that I'd tell you anything but I wouldn't have done that either." Harry said in a somewhat condescending tone. The room had gone silent everyone was staring at him, he was almost certain he would have been attacked if he hadn't looked so dangerous. Dumbledore was first to recover, trying to subtly draw his wand.
"That would have to be the worst move you could have made!" Harry stated, his aura flashing violently, "Put your hands on the table and leave them there or this meeting will come to a very sudden end!" he commanded vehemently.
"My dear boy I don't know what you mean" answered Dumbledore calmly but Harry saw his eyes give a brief twitch, giving away his surprise at Harry catching him out.
"Whatever. Hands were I can see them" said Harry not fooled for a second, never would he be again. Dumbledore complied fixing his face in such a way that made the order think he was innocent and Harry had lost it.
"Harry, are you feeling ok?" asked Sirius tentatively. Harry sighed deeply and conjured a comfy armchair, positioning himself so he could keep an eye on all in the room, he sat down.
"I was almost hoping this wouldn't be necessary but I guess it is" Harry began, "I suppose it is most important to mention that I am no longer your 'golden child', that's not to say I've turned to the dark. Personally I consider myself more dusk. I know you'll want answers, though I hardly feel that some of you deserve them. A while ago Voldemort kidnapped me with intentions of turning me to his cause, but things changed, I learned certain truths, I owe him my freedom and I forgave him the deaths of my parents. He is…. We have an understanding and I would not kill him, nor will I kill for him – he understands this. That is the situation at current" Harry concluded, looking around at stunned faces.
"No one expects you to kill him Harry" Lupin said quietly appealing to the boy he thought he once knew.
"It's never been so blatantly put, but look around – deep down, you all expect me to kill him, become a murderer, it's quite ironic" Harry said, his cynicism evident.
"But Harry, when we found you-"Hermione started. Harry smiled at her analysing ability.
"It was set up, Voldemort never hurt me, he was a pain in the ass for a while but he never hurt me" Harry was about to elaborate but he was cut off.
"Now Harry, you must admit you were a far greater pain in the ass and you know it" Voldemort stated, amused as he walked towards Harry.
"This is unexpected" Harry replied quietly with a smirk to Voldemort's statement.
"Nagini got a message there was trouble" Voldemort said gesturing to Rinn, "I investigated then thought it might be best to come and get you." He finished, holding up his hands at everyone in the order who had their wands drawn on him. "I just came to assist Harry, clearly, considering no one realised my presence, if I wanted to harm you now you would already be dead." The same crowd that had accepted Rinn, once more accepted Voldemort, lowering their wands.
"Assist me?" asked Harry, "What trouble could there be that means you need to come and get me?" he concluded somewhat defensive of his skills.
"Well you won't kill and it's hard to keep a team of ministry aurors down any other way" he pointed Harry towards the window, "Someone clearly sounded the alarm, I'm sorry, I'll try not to rub in the 'I told you so' too much."
What Harry saw out the window, tore at his heart all over again, his aura flared pure black at his utter rage. A team of thirty aurors was making its way across the front lawn.
"Why?" he asked in a pained voice, "I told you I wasn't dark, why can't you just accept who I am, that I don't want to have to fight all the time. Why can't I choose my own life? His voice wavered as he gave up speaking, turning instead to look at Voldemort who had laid a comforting hand on his shoulder.
"Go home Harry, I will join you shortly" he said in what could only be described as a fatherly tone. Harry nodded to him, blinking a little slowly to drain overbright eyes.
"I just have one last thing to say," he answered Voldemort determinedly. Voldemort nodded his approval, giving Harry's shoulder a squeeze before releasing him. Harry addressed the order, "I take this to mean that I am not welcomed here unless I am oblivious and weak. I refuse to be this ever again, it was perhaps too optimistic of me to think you would want me around when I didn't serve your purpose. So for most of you this is goodbye, I realise some of you don't want me to leave for unselfish reasons and to you I say, don't lose hope, I'll see you again and I won't forget your kindness." He finished looking sadly from his godfather's to Hermione's eyes, then he apparated out of their lives, causing a massive crack as he broke through the wards.
"Bring him back Tom, you will not succeed" Dumbledore said, flashing some aura of his own, clearly peeved. Tom did not even waver while order members quailed.
"This Dumbledore, is more than anything, your doing. He knows and frankly I am amazed that he was prepared to come back at all. I trusted him to make his own decisions when he said he wanted a more balanced education than I could provide. He wanted so much to find that I had been mistaken about his idol, but you threw it all in his face. You have hurt him more than you'll ever realise and I hope for Harry's sake he doesn't come back and kill you. Not today at least, while it would still go against your stupid morals ingrained in him, but maybe after a few years with me when he's trained not to care – then he'll make you regret all that you've done to him and I'll be right beside him." With that he vanished as the door to Dumbledore's office burst open and it filled with aurors.
Voldemort reappeared inside his old house to find Harry sitting in the middle of the throne room. His knees where drawn up and his body was racked with sobs, yes he was strong, yes he was smart, yes he was brave but he was still fragile and that encounter had clearly been the last straw. It hurt Tom to see Harry like that now, both figuratively and literally, Harry's aura was radiating so much it was causing the strong stone walls of the room to crack.
Voldemort moved quickly to his side, and sat down beside him. Harry's aura which he had kept just enough power over to stop himself from causing an atomic like explosion seemed luckily, to not effect Tom when he sat so close to the boy. Harry continued sobbing, it was hard to tell if he even realised Voldemort was with him now. Tom tentatively patted him on the back, he wasn't really sure what to do – usually he was the one trying to break people not the one trying to piece them back together. Suddenly Harry reacted most unexpectedly, he buried his head into Tom's shoulder and continued to cry. For a second Voldemort just sat there shocked at the situation he was currently in, it was laughable given their history, then he did what instinct told him was right, he wrapped an arm around Harry and held him tightly, giving him what he so desperately needed right then – a friend who required no explanation, who he could cry on without worrying about later. So they sat there, it was several hours before Harry's sob's began to die down, eventually he was left just shaking in his arms.
"I knew… but still, I thought…. I don't know…. Why does it hurt so much, when I already knew how they'd react?" Harry asked in a hoarse voice, barely stopping himself from launching into more sobs.
"It's in your nature to care about people. It's not easy to detach yourself from caring-" Voldemort answered, Harry cut in before he said anything else,
"But you managed it, that's why you're free isn't it – detachment, it sounds a lot like freedom to me" Harry asked, his voice almost optimistic but mostly sad.
"I'm not completely detached; I recently discovered some opinions do matter to me" Tom said mysteriously, "but you're right, I do think life's a lot easier when you stop caring about everyone else."
"You say that like you don't think I can be detached" said Harry defensively.
"I saw you take care of Moody, I'm quite sure you have a streak for…. 'detachment' but I think it will hurt you for a while still, its not something you were ever accustomed to especially with 'guilt enhancers'. Voldemort managed to say this both amused and angry.
"I know, but I just don't want to care any more" he said, pained.
"I'll be there for you, one day it won't hurt anymore but for now I think it's best you get some decent rest." With that he apparated them both to his new secret location.
When Harry next woke his throat felt like someone had been rubbing sandpaper along it and his eyes stung horrendously. Rinn was curled upon his chest, still asleep. Harry took a moment to observe his surroundings. His bed was large – king size at least, the four poster sort. He was covered with a soft silk sheet and a squishy blanket both in shades of Slytherin green. The room itself was huge; a large bay window was on one wall, a window seat providing comfort for one who desired to watch the grounds. On the other side of the room ran a large bookshelf, full of dusty tomes, it basically was the wall – running ceiling to floor, wall to wall. Harry thought they might be very interesting to look at later. In the corner was a comfortable looking sofa and coffee table and across from that stood a large wardrobe and dresser. The walls were painted a cheerful beige which was a little surprising – he had expected green.
Harry jumped with a start as Severus Snape walked into his room.
"Ah Potter, good you're up. How are we feeling this morning?" He asked. Harry couldn't tell if Snape was having a go at him or not but he thought it best to answer. It might have been best but it was bloody hard.
"F…in…cough, cough, fine" he finally managed to squeak out. Snape just looked at him half amused, half concerned – the second emotion worried Harry more.
"Yes he told me how fine you were likely to be. That's why he sent me to give you some potions. Here drink this." He said offering Harry a small vial. Harry just drank it preferring not to worry about whether or not Snape would try to poison him, what had happened after he left yesterday, why Snape was being nice – he couldn't bring himself to ask questions. Snape didn't wait to be asked though.
"The Dark Lord will be in to see you soon, he had to rest, your aura was quite… forceful, last night" he said carefully.
"I didn't hurt him did I?" asked Harry worriedly, though now able to speak.
"No, nothing to be concerned about – your aura was just a little tiring for him." Snape said soothingly. His behaviour was very disconcerting.
"I don't understand," started Harry, "I didn't think auras could do anything."
"Yours cracked through a metre of stone last night. Powerful auras running rampant can do very dangerous things" Snape explained. You must have had some control though, you would have caused a huge explosion otherwise, and you managed to siphon most of it away from his Lordship, that's why he's only tired"
"I don't remember having any control" Harry finished the subject sadly, turning his head on the pillow so he didn't have to look at Snape.
"Potter, you haven't done anything wrong" Snape tried to comfort him. "Torturing Moody seemed a little out of character but he recovered his vocabulary soon after you left" This made Harry smile a little, Snape realising a breakthrough continued to tell Harry about the commotion he caused, especially to Dumbledore. By the time Voldemort entered the room Harry was almost laughing.
"I take it you're feeling a bit better this morning" Voldemort questioned Harry.
"I think so, the idea of Dumbledore pacing a hole in his floors is doing wonders for my psyche" Harry stated. He watched as Snape left the room with a bow to his master.
"How are you really feeling this morning, other than your health – I'm certain Severus took care of that" Tom asked in an all-knowing sort of way.
"Fine" answered Harry unable to look at him.
"Harry, you clearly are not alright and you've had something eating at you even before last night – what is it?" Tom asked in a stern voice.
"It's just…" Harry tried to think of how to say how he'd been feeling. Tom was right, it had been bothering him before last night, "Last night… what I did to Moody… it was wrong and on some level I do know that but at the same time it was…… fun. There has always been a part of me that liked, not so much hurting – but controlling, or having control, power, over others and ever since I've gotten my powers back it feels like its been growing and taking over. I'm scared of it – no offence but I don't want to become you and I'm scared that's what's happening." He finished deflated.
"Harry, I know you've been brought up to hate me," he had to gesture to stop Harry from launching into his 'I don't hate you' speech. "Just let me finish" he smiled, "You have been brought up to think what I do, what I fight for is wrong. You have been told many myths about me too – the 'I'm a poor abused child from an orphanage' one, is I believe, best. While it's partially true, I didn't have the best upbringing – that's not why I dislike muggles. I want them out of Britain at least because they are so dangerous – there's so many of them and they're far more advanced then the ministry will let on to everyone and I'm sure you know as well as I that if they ever found out about us they'd want to put us on display or kill us all. The truth is – I don't really care for the purity of blood – magical people even from muggles wouldn't want to cause us harm, I just want to cleanse this place then hide the whole country so wizards will always have a safe haven. It was hard enough at first to get followers because wizards that didn't know muggles didn't care about them, they didn't believe they were a threat. So I started the whole purity of blood thing and then there were a whole lot more people willing to help. It opened up the door for a whole lot of nasty types of people to crawl out of the pavement though, I didn't like it but I let it slide because I thought it was best for everyone. I was already powerful but to have any control of those people I knew I needed more power, so I got a new name and I did a lot of things to put myself at the top – they aren't things I'm proud of but I don't think about them, I get on with life. You're wondering what this has to do with your rising darkness I'm sure. Well frankly Harry let me ask you this: Would you kill to protect someone you love?" He looked at Hary.
"Yes" answered Harry firmly but still not really seeing where this was going.
"And would you kill to protect yourself?" he continued.
"Most probably" Harry answered.
"Well Harry that's what I've done and I still think it's the right thing. I don't know why Dumbledore fights against getting the muggles out of the country – if we all worked together than none would need to die we could imperius them out then hide the country and our worries would be over – there'd be nothing left to hide. But alas it had to be a fight, I had to control some evil people and scare them by being even more evil than them, sometimes I fear my inner darkness but the fact is it's part of me and it's part of you too. You need to release it and face it head on only then will you be able to live with it. As for not wanting the darkness to take over because you're scared of becoming a Dark Lord – well Harry, I'm not 'Voldemort' because I harnessed my dark magic – I chose this path because it was best for what I'm fighting for, I control it, not the other way around as you've been led to believe." He finished hoping Harry had gotten the point.
"So dark magic won't make me evil if I use it?" Harry asked hopefully. Tom actually laughed at him.
"Harry magic doesn't have feelings, it's like you said magic is just magic – intentions can be dark, but alone, magic is just magic. What you feel is not magic controlling you, it's your own desire. Partly coming out because you've had those guilt enhancers removed and partly because you've been spending a lot of time around me – and I'm a 'whatever gets the job done' kind of person. You're just feeling more comfortable to be yourself, that's why it seems the magic is gradually taking over you, it's not you're just gradually relaxing more – it's good for you so don't stop. I work with Lucius, I think I've seen everything – you can't disappoint me, or upset me so be yourself and stop worrying what I'll think at least." Tom said amusedly.
"Thankyou" Harry whispered. Tom just nodded to him.
"Now I think it's high time you got out of bed – you have your education to think of and if I'm going to train you into a proper dark lordling then you have a few things to learn, and we need to buff you up a bit too I think." He said trying to keep a straight face. Harry just gave him his most indignant look, until he couldn't stop himself from laughing.
6 months later, it reached the day Harry would have completed his fifth year at Hogwarts and he realised Tom's idea of a 'few' things to learn was hugely distorted. Casually elbowing McNair in the face, dropping him to the ground then pivoting at light speed to raise his sword to Lucius' neck while delivering a scissor kick that registered Nott unconscious, Harry realised he had come a long way. Ever since his 'little talk' with Tom he had been taking lessons in sword skills, aristocratic behaviour (which he disliked passionately and for some reason included that he had to learn to ride a horse), advanced duelling wand magic, he still practised his mind skills, runic magic, potions, transfiguration including his animagus form which Harry was very proud of, and his current display – combat training. It had been worth it though he knew, as he thought of his rippling muscles and new found flexibility, he had for the most part achieved his goal of becoming more powerful then all those around him. Though he recognised he still had a little way to go. Harry heard applause around him and turned to bow to his audience.
"A comfortable defeat of my three most prized fighters once again, congratulations Harry, I do believe you have all the physical skills we could possibly teach you. Not at all to say you will relax your training of course." Tom said with fatherly sternness and pride.
"Wouldn't dream of it" answered Harry sarcastically, panting a little from the fight. He bent to enervate Nott and then shook hands with all of his opponents and accepted their congratulations gracefully.
"Hit the showers grasshopper, you stink" Lucius his swords master told him fondly. Harry smirked at the use of his teachers' nickname. He wondered if they knew how muggle it was. Harry just shook his head at them and made his way to his rooms to get clean and changed.
Stepping out of his bathroom, refreshed a little while later Harry was shocked to see Hedwig sitting on his bed, a letter in her beak.
"Hedwig!" Harry said joyfully, rushing to greet his owl, he had missed her greatly during his time away but he knew how smart she was. She probably didn't want to lead Dumbledore to his current hiding place. Harry hugged Hedwig and stroked her profusely, she responded happily, nibbling on his ear.
Greetings finally over with a few minutes later, Harry took the letter and opening it began to read:
I have missed you so much and I hope you are well. I'm sorry I couldn't write earlier, I'm almost certain Dumbledore is watching everything – that's why I'm sending this from the train, Hedwig seemed eager to get out so I figured she knew best, she ignored Dumbledore when he tried to make her take a letter to you – I guess she knew you didn't want to be found. Anyway, I know you can't reply but I hope you don't hate me now, you're one of the best friends I've ever had and I really do miss you very much. Ron and I aren't really very close anymore, he was just acting so stupidly about everything, I didn't feel like being around him. Anyway I better send this while no one's watching, please take care of yourself and don't forget about us. I'll always love you whatever path you choose, I hope you know that. Goodbye
PS. Sirius wanted to tell you he misses and loves you too. He's being watched also, so he can't write himself.
Harry put the letter down with a sigh, it was at least nice to know his friends hadn't quite abandoned him even if it made him want to throttle Dumbledore. He was just standing there staring into space when Tom walked in the door.
"ah, I suppose that explains why it was taking you so long to come down to dinner" he said, as he looked to Hedwig and the letter. Harry nodded and handed the letter to Tom before he sat down on the edge of the bed. Tom scanned it quickly then looked quizzically to Harry. "Well, what do you think about this?" he questioned soothingly.
"I don't really know. I'm glad at least two people still care about me and I do miss them but I'm scared if I went and saw them they wouldn't like me anymore. Then of course there's the fact that I want to pummel Dumbledore because he's still controlling my life even when I'm nowhere near him!" Harry concluded angrily.
"Harry the only way you'll find out for sure is if you go and see them. I'm sure they will still like you besides if things go pear shaped, you're strong enough to bring down the order on your own as long as Dumbledore isn't with them so don't panic about being caught. Just go, but wait till tomorrow at least." Tom said reassuringly.
"ok" said Harry, smiling but still apprehensive, "I'll go tomorrow."
Harry rose a little earlier than usual the next day and dressed in some muggle jeans and t-shirt. He looked good in them, they were a designer brand, Tom had gotten them for him especially. Harry knew how Tom had gotten them but it was something he chose to ignore. He made his way down to breakfast and punched Lucius playfully when he laughed at Harry's muggle attire.
"off after breakfast then Harry?" Tom questioned conversationally.
"yeah I thought it best to just turn up in Hermione's room. I can't owl her because then Dumbledore would know and turn up" Harry answered.
"hmm, that's a good idea but I'm a little worried Dumbledore will have something up his sleeve. Though still I'm confident in your ability to fight your way out, unless most of the order and Dumbledore try to fight you at once." He said laughingly. "and you need to see your friend so fear not, I'll come rescue you if I have to.
"gee thanks" said Harry sarcastically.
Well to say things had not gone quite to plan was something of an understatement thought Harry as he knelt in front of a smiling Dumbledore.
With a pop Harry appeared next to Hermione's bed which she was currently reading in.
"Harry!" she said excitedly throwing her arms around him. He smiled at her and hugged her back. Suddenly she stiffened seeming to remember something. "Oh no, Harry you've got to get out of here" she said panic stricken.
"Why?" he asked hurt, thinking she was scared of him.
"The orders here, well most of them anyway – even Dumbledore. When I got home they had sent my parents on a 'holiday', I think they're expecting you to turn up, it's a trap – you've got to get out! She said urgently.
"Now, now Miss Granger there's no where Harry needs to be going" said Dumbledore as he walked in the door, followed by many of the order members who proceeded to surround Harry. "and there's nowhere you can be going Harry" he said smiling as Harry tried to apparate out.
"This is a bad idea Dumbledore" said Harry dangerously as he assessed the situation. "Tom I think I'm going to need some help, it was a trap" he called mentally to Voldemort.
"The wards are up now Harry, no one can get in or out so Tom won't be coming to save you again, and frankly I think it was a rather superb idea if I do say so myself." Dumbledore said in his dotty old man voice. "You wouldn't want to start firing spells that could harm your friend now would you?" he added with a mischievous glint in his eyes.
"You're quite right, Hermione get under the bed" Harry called to her and waited until she was under before facing Dumbledore again. "Now I want to start firing spells, even though it is just a slightly unfair fight" Harry said, stallng slightly as he gathered up all his magic. "Expelliramus" he bellowed pointing his wand at the floor and causing all but Dumbledore's wands to come flying into his hands. Though even Dumbledore nearly dropped his wand. "That makes things a little fairer I think" said Harry playfully as he cast a wandless spell to encase the captured wands in a goo so that they couldn't be freed for a day at least. That done he threw them away and stood smiling at Dumbledore.
"Harry, where does this animosity come from? We only want to help." Said Dumbledore benignly.
"No you only want to control, there's a difference" said Harry angrily, "now I suggest you take down the wards or you'll see just how much animosity I have" he finished dangerously.
"I think not" Dumbledore answered him then he made the slightest gesture that Harry had been waiting for and the order members jumped him.
One big stupefy put six people down before the remaining fourteen made contact with him. Harry took a punch from Moody before he let rip and put a kick to Moody's stomach that sent him into another order member, knocking both to the floor. Kingsley tried to grab Harry's arms to restrain him as another man Harry didn't recognise tried to help restrain him. Then Harry noticed that Dumbledore was trying to get a clear shot through the members to try and stun him. He put one of his attackers between himself and Dumbledore than using the wizard he didn't recognise for support he kicked out, breaking the wizards jaw and propelling himself into a back flip over Kingsley who caught by surprise had let go of Harry's arms. Harry delivered one quick tap to his temple that caused him to collapse unconscious on the floor. The man with a broken jaw came at him again as did another but Harry had freed his hands by now and released another powerful stupefy that registered the three closest members around him to collapse unconscious. However that left him open for Dumbledore who wasted no time in sending his own stunners at Harry. Luckily Harry was a lot faster then they all knew and managed to casually flick Dumbledore's spells away, sending some nastier one's of his own at the headmaster. He managed to deflect them but Harry did not expect this fight to be easy. He had another wave of physical attackers engaging him now though so he was safe from Dumbledore. He counted ten left plus Dumbledore, if he took a risk he could get that number down to just Dumbledore very quickly but the problem was it left his guard open. Oh well thought Harry as he prepared to take a risk. He began to spin on the spot, it seemed inhumanly possible he looked like ballerina Barbie set on high as he pirouetted. Then with the spin properly built up he let out a string of stunners it took out eight of them before the two remaining order members had sense to dive to the ground. Unfortunately they were smart enough and prepared to act upon the risk Harry had taken. He felt himself connect with something and as fast as he could recover he had still ended up on the ground under an order member he didn't know. He quickly managed to incapacitate the order member and leapt up… straight into a syringe. His heart seemed to pump in overdrive for a few seconds, he blasted the order member that had stuck him into a nearby wall. But it was too late, the potion was in his bloodstream and he collapsed to his knees, trying with every thread of consciousness he had left, not to give in.
"I thought it best to take a leaf out of Tom's book. The man obviously knew the best way to bring someone down." Dumbledore addressed him triumphantly before stunning his incapacitated form.
Harry groggily opened his eyes, he realised he must have been in the Hogwarts hospital wing but he couldn't remember why he was there nor could he understand why he could see without his glasses. He smiled when he saw Mrs Wealey next to him, she appeared to have been dozing in the chair but jerked awake when she heard his bed creak.
"Harry! You're awake how are you feeling" she asked, very concerned.
"Just tired, but I don't remember why I'm here. What happened?" replied Harry curiously.
"It's no surprise Harry, you suffered a great trauma. Ron and Hermione don't remember either, we think maybe he obliviated you before we rescued you." She said tearfully.
"who did" asked Harry, confused.
"He-who-must-not-be-named" she said in a hushed voice. Harry could only look shocked.
Many people had been to see Harry that afternoon, they all seemed very concerned. This was why Harry hadn't asked any details about his kidnapping, everyone seemed so upset about it he decided it was better he didn't know. When he asked why he wasn't wearing glasses anymore everyone in the room flinched before Mrs Weasly told him it must have had something to do with one of the healing potions. Even Dumbledore had been to see him and Harry had been glad that Dumbledore was looking at him again and telling him all sorts of entertaining stories. It was well past curfew when Madam Pomfrey finally ushered everyone out and went to bed herself. Harry settled down to sleep but nearly jumped out of his skin when none other but Severus Snape walked silently into his room. Harry scowled daggers at his least favourite teacher and was shocked when Snape appeared saddened by his reaction. Snape raised a finger to his lips to stop Harry from saying anything then handed him a serpent pendant and left the room. Harry watched his retreating form utterly confounded before studying the pendant. The serpent on it looked familiar, of course it looks familiar moron all snakes look the same he mentally chided himself, yet deep down he knew it was more than a similarity between all snakes. So, he decided he would put the necklace on, it seemed logical.
10 minutes later Harry Potter had a profusely bleeding nose, a roaring headache and his memories fully returned to him. He was livid, the room around him flared a black darker than the night and then exploded around him, disintegrating everything he hadn't been touching. Lucky for Dumbledore no one else had been in the room at the time and the power of Hogwarts magic kept the explosion contained to this one room. Harry stormed out of the hospital wing, one destination in mind. Many teachers had been woken by the explosion and were coming to investigate – he blasted anyone that got in his way. At last he reached the girls dormitory and woke a sleeping Hermione.
"Harry, what's wrong? Are you ok?" she asked him worriedly upon seeing his deathly composure.
"It will be Hermione. If you love me, if you trust me and if you want to know the truth you'll come with me now" He said to her commandingly but at the same time with a hint of pleading.
"Harry you know I do" she replied determinedly hugging him. He hugged her back and grasped her hand, leading her out of the school. Dumbledore and some of the order members were in the entrance hall waiting to stop them. Harry completely ignored them, he pulled Hermione close and sent out his aura, it blasted them a clear path and they walked out of Hogwarts influence forever.
Harry returned to Voldemort and had a joyous reunion with him and Rinn. Tom told Hermione her past and she accepted him willingly, helped by his friendship with Harry. She didn't tell her parents and nothing changed in her relationship with them. They freed Sirius from Dumbledore's clutches soon after and eventually took Tom's original dream to the wizarding world. It wasn't long until every last muggle had left Britain deciding upon a permanent holiday, then the UK was hidden from muggle civilisation, becoming the wizarding safe haven Tom had always dreamed of. Politically defeated, Dumbledore became naught but a headmaster and Harry saw and heard no more of him. At last Harry became free to live his life as he chose, raising Rinn into a near fluffy bunny of a basilisk. Harry, Hermione, Tom and Sirius remain close.
I can't believe I actually finished this! It is the longest thing I have ever written in my life and my first attempt at a fanfic, so please review and be nice. I'll apologize for these two major flaws that I already know I have: 1) the characters occasionally revert to talking like me (sorry couldn't help it I'll try to be better next time:-) 2) My Harry seems to nod his head more than one of those bloody bobbing duck things, but I could never think of anything better for him to do. So sorry if that annoyed anyone else like it did me. Also I'd appreciate if anyone had advice on how to make dialogue more interesting ie not "……"said Bob. "………" replied Fred. That was something I found hard. Ok so I finished criticising myself so please review so I can find out what you think was wrong with it, or right with it, either way I'll be happy. Just review please.