Title: "Stockholm Syndrome"

Author: Shaitanah

Rating: PG-13 (major angst and generally depressing atmosphere)

Timeline: post-war

Summary: [HP/LV Trapped by Voldemort, Harry is forced to relive one day forever. The day everything crashed. Please R&R!

Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to J. K. Rowling. The song 'Stockholm Syndrome' belongs to Muse.

A/N: This is sort of reversed Spiritus Mundi. Harry is a prisoner this time. I really felt like giving him a chance for revenge.

Special Thanks: to my beta Lady Domino

Dedication: to my dear friend Mizstorge who did a terrific job beta-ing Spiritus Mundi. Thank you!


STOCKHOLM SYNDROME

To Whom It May Concern

My dear friend,

I've never seen you and I doubt I ever will, but I'm grateful to you for reading this. My name is (or at least it was) Harry James Potter. You might have heard of me: twenty, thirty, one hundred years ago I was known as The Boy Who Lived, the ultimate hero of the Wizarding World. The story is banal and boring. I shall not waste time and paper to relate it: if you know me, you know my story; if not, how lucky you are!


The Old Journal

I won't stand in your way

Let your hatred grow.

And she'll scream,

And she'll shout,

And she'll pray,

And she had a name.

Yeah, she had a name.

They used to call me the Chosen One. I was their last hope against the dreaded Lord Voldemort. I was born when the seventh month died, destined to be great… Everyone knows the drill, and I'm only writing it to make sure that I never forget who I am.

I was trapped in the dream world prison designed specifically for me when the Final Battle was lost. Voldemort welcomed me into his torture cell with a broad hearty smile. "Eternity here, Potter. Your punishment starts now."

Days flew by. I lost the count of time and grew accustomed to the solemn beauty of the never-ending night forest he'd accommodated me in. He could have given me rotting bodies and desecrated graves, but my torment was worse. Much worse. However, peace didn't last very long. It was merely the calm before the storm.

One day I realized that I was not alone. It was more of a hunch at first. I waited for a few days before I finally mustered my courage and took off into another part of the prison that suddenly turned out to be so big. I kept walking until I found myself looking upon a familiar sight. I was standing beneath a dim streetlamp in the middle of the High Street in Hogsmeade, a nearly senseless Dumbledore beside me, and when I looked up to the sky it was dominated by the green skull blazing above the distant towers of Hogwarts.

This was not possible!

I panicked even more as every single detail of that night resurfaced and events began repeating themselves. I tried to wake Dumbledore out of this absurd reverie, but he practically forced me onto the broom and then off it again on top of the Astronomy Tower. Stars burnt bright above us, but the Mark was the brightest of all. I wanted to scream, but I couldn't. Every word off the script I said seemed to go in at one ear and out at another, and soon even I couldn't bring myself to remember what I'd just said.

"Go and wake Severus," said Dumbledore. "Tell him what has happened and bring him to me."

"No, not him! Not that bloody traitor!" I shrieked, and the only reply I got was the most predictable, "You swore to obey me, Harry – go!"

My legs moved without my command. They brought me to the heavy door, and soon I found myself paralyzed beneath my Cloak. The familiar feeling of powerlessness and despair flooded me. It was so strong and raw that I thought I'd felt it for the first time now. Expelliarmus was not a Freezing Charm… not a Freezing Charm –

'No-no-no, please,' I begged soundlessly, not even knowing whom I was begging. 'No, please, not this! I can't… I don't want to relive this moment.'

Amidst the Death Eaters' squabbles and Malfoy's hesitation there came the most frightening sound of all.

"Severus… please…" Dumbledore breathed before the green flame struck him and he fell like a rag doll. I screamed; no one could hear me.

The spell dissolved and I fell on my knees and growled in anguish.

The next day I learnt the truth. I could never leave this place. I could never go back to the other part of the world because there was no other part anymore. The whole world became my school and this night was bound to repeat, driving me insane.

"No!!!" I screamed. "No, you cannot do this to me!!! Voldemort!!!"

"I can do whatever I like, Harry," his even voice reached me. He was everywhere in this world, I didn't even have to call him.

--------

Once he showed me something completely different. It was a girl with deep brown eyes and a beautiful face sprinkled with freckles. Her hair streamed down her shoulders in ginger cascades. She smiled at me before melting in the thin air and then reappeared again. She seemed vaguely familiar. Where had I seen her before?

I waited for her again and again. She would come in the middle of my struggle to change the events of that dreadful night, and I would forget everything and just stare at her. She would appear at day, picking flowers in the fields around the castle; she would smile at me, but she'd never utter a word. I didn't try to talk to her. For some reason I knew that'd be impossible.

And then she stopped seeing me. She vanished like a piece of a dream, and it was only then that I recollected her name.

Ginny.


And I won't hold you back.

Let your anger rise.

And we'll fly,

And we'll fall,

And we'll burn,

No one will recall.

No one will recall.

I lost interest in anything. I didn't care anymore. I didn't try to save anyone. I stood immobile beneath the cover of my Cloak, eyeing the tragedy unfolding before me without any regret. There was nothing I could do. The symbol of my defeat was hanging in the air, laughing at me. Everything bathed in its deathly green light.

One day I simply broke down. People around me carried on dying. I dreaded to imagine what terror had been unleashed on the real world. I couldn't even remember the one I loved most.

I betrayed everyone.

And so I wept.

"Why are you crying?" Voldemort asked in a mellow voice.

I raised my head and saw him standing by the door leading to the spiral stairs, the pathway to the castle. I didn't know how long he'd been standing there, but I guessed he'd seen quite enough. I wiped the tears with the back of my hand and growled vehemently:

"Like you don't know! What do I have to do to make you kill me? Why am I here?"

"You will live forever, Harry," Voldemort said. "I can't let you go and I most certainly will not kill you. I like you too much."

I tilted my head and gasped fitfully. He had completely succeeded in humiliating me and making me suffer.

"If you go out there," Voldemort went on, "you'll grow old. Immediately. The curse I put on you will instantly throw you forward in years. Eventually you'll die. Here you shall live forever."

Thanks a lot! Even if I was to moulder like ashes, it would still be better than this. I shut my eyes and pretended to be off somewhere else. Far, far away.

"Oh, Harry, by the way, it's your birthday."

My eyes shot open. "Really? And… what year is it outside?"

"2010."

I pursed my lips. Thirteen years since the Final Battle had gone wrong.

"I'm thirty!" I exclaimed, overwhelmed by this sudden discovery. Voldemort watched me with a small smile of curiousity. I looked at my hands (the hands of a seventeen-year-old teenager, forever unchanging) and murmured perplexedly: "But I don't feel like I'm thirty."

"I don't feel like being over eighty," shrugged Voldemort. "Would you like a piece of a birthday cake?"

"Err… I s'pose so."

I noticed some little details about him that I'd never noticed before. He didn't look anything like Voldemort I'd got used to seeing outside: the snakelike inhuman monster with papery skin and horrible red eyes. This man was in his thirties, elegant and indescribably handsome. A wavy dark fringe fell upon his alabaster forehead. Dark, disturbing eyes glimmered underneath his fretted eyebrows.

This time we actually had a conversation. It wasn't much: we talked about the weather and if I was comfortable in my prison (of course not, damn it!), but still we talked. And it felt good to have someone to talk to.


He came by every day, spending more time with me than he did in the real world. I told him once that his empire would crush if he wasted all his time on me. He chuckled and replied: "Whatever is good for me is good for the whole Wizarding World."

There came a day when he agreed to show me the entrance to this made up world; out of mocking concern, I believe, and not because I asked him to.

He was my only company, and I should say, my heart fluttered at the thought of finally getting out. Someone I loved could still be alive. Of course, he wouldn't let me near the portal. His fingers wrapped around my wrist in a gentle, yet sufficiently firm grip. If he pressed a little harder he could easily break my bones.

After that day I didn't bring the matter of my release up anymore. I saw the shimmering square in the middle of the poppy field. I saw it shrink and become barely visible. I saw streams of rain shoot through it and sunbeams glide over its unstable surface. And it was just too much.

I began to view the events taking place atop the Astronomy Tower as a movie. I was sort of a technician in a movie theatre: I played the film I'd seen a million times before and then I left home only to return to the same movie next day, but I remained unperturbed by it.

When you're thirty, you finally should leave your past behind.

"What are you doing?" Voldemort asked once upon having caught me dancing. It was the first time I heard him laugh, and that husky, velveteen sound left me weak at the knees.

I grinned. "I could never dance. The Yule Ball in my fourth year was a complete disaster. Do you know how to dance?"

"I know a lot of things, Potter."

"I take that as a yes. Will you teach me?"

He cocked his head, looking at me the way a good doctor regards an emotionally unstable patient. I might have misinterpreted his silence; nevertheless, I felt brave enough to come up and throw my arms around his neck. He was much taller than me; his face was unreadable when he looked down on me. I wetted my lips and pressed harder into him.

"Like I have nothing else to do," Voldemort replied smugly.

"I think you don't. You come here a little too often."

With each word the distance between us was growing shorter until I found my lips locked with his in a soft, almost teasing kiss. We were moving, not exactly to the tune that still rang in the air, but it did look like a dance. God, I must have felt very lonely if I thought of that…

I trailed my hands along his body. The freedom I tasted in his kiss was intoxicating. It flooded me, and I couldn't contain a gasp of delight. He backed away, half-smiling, and remarked: "Sweet Salazar, you must be desperate."

"Shut up," I cut him off moodily. I didn't even remember my friends' names. The image of the read-haired beauty (Ginny, damn it! Ginny!) resurfaced again, plunging me into despair. I shut my eyes, quivering.

"Ronald," Voldemort said suddenly. "Hermione. Ginevra. There were others, too."

I tried to associate some faces with the names I'd just heard. Ronald was Ginny's brother. He must have had the same ginger hair. And freckles. And Hermione… who was she? She had a beautiful name. But I couldn't recall anything.

"Did they suffer?" I asked weakly.

Voldemort hesitated and then answered, turning his back on me: "No." I knew it was probably a lie, but right now I preferred to hear lies.


This is the last time I'll abandon you,

And this is the last time I'll forget you.

I wish I could...

When he came next time, he was in a vile mood. I was unfortunate enough to make a joke about the matters in his empire. He told me flat out to mind my own business (as if he'd left me anything here to mind!) and when I risked another jest, he cast a wordless charm pinning me into the ground. He wrapped his fingers around my throat and muttered through gritted teeth:

"Don't you ever try my patience again, Potter! No matter how deluded you are on account of our relationship, you are still my prisoner."

"And you still refuse to kill me," I retorted, smiling madly. "So I have nothing to be afraid of."

I kissed him fiercely. He didn't fry me on the spot, and that encouraged me. I ripped the front of his robes apart, and shuddered uncontrollably as he freed me from my clothes. My bare skin against his, I felt intoxicated. And I plunged in deeper to destroy everything I had believed in.


I set the grass on fire and inhaled its sweet, spicy smell as the smoke rose to the sky. The stars above my head paled a few shades, ready to give way to a new day. Where did that sudden melancholy come from?

This day was different. I saw no one at school. I was completely and utterly alone. Perhaps my tormentor had finally decided to spare me the torment.

Perhaps I still had something within my power to do to save that bloody world…

I got up and walked slowly towards the poppy field. Red flower buds were swaying lightly in the wind. I examined the empty space where the portal would appear later on to let Voldemort through and I thought I'd recognized the spell. Hermione once told me…

I froze.

Hermione… The girl who read a lot. She loved books. She revised my homework for me sometimes so that I wouldn't make any stupid mistakes.

God, I missed Hermione. She would be very helpful in here.


I sank on the ground and buried my face in my knees. I wish I didn't remember who exactly I was forgetting. Knowing that you'd forgotten those dearest to you was the hardest part.

The air in front of me began to shimmer. I looked up cautiously. A gust of warm wind blew softly in my face. The emptiness rippled and a transparent square cut it apart. Voldemort's tall shape appeared through it.

"Not crying again, are we?" he asked.

I sobbed to keep up the illusion. He murmured something about me being 'an impossible nightmare' and sat quietly by my side. I was pretty sure he didn't catch my look directed at the portal. I tried to think like a wizard who constructed it (and who could dismantle it any time). I saw every detail of it: the door, the road and dozens of spells that connected the door with the poppy field through the road. I imagined one of them going down. Could he possibly reconstruct the portal from here?

Voldemort always carried his wand with him. If I wanted to lock him in this world, I had to steal the wand or crash all of the spells. I had to be sure.

A few weeks after I began to work on my plan I studied the portal. I knew it by rote, yet I persisted and discovered new obstacles. The construction was perfect. Of course, the Dark Lord must have built it himself. I was surprised to find out it was more of a technical wonder than a work of magic. Each spell worked like a tiny circuit along with hundreds of others. Yet all of them were perfectly replaceable.

Let hope burn in your eyes,

And we'll love,

And we'll hope,

And we'll die -

All to no avail,

All to no avail.

Finally it was done. I knew what I had to break. I only had to decide when. He visited me more often now. Sometimes I was afraid he'd notice anything. He was there when I woke up; he would sit on the nearest rock watching me. The moment my eyes fluttered open, he would look away. I thought he'd come to regard me as something beautiful and utterly meaningless, a trinket made to feast your eyes upon.

I made a decision to dispose of the journal. I can't let him read it. I'm writing a letter to whomever finds it – I pray you're not a Death Eater. In case you are: you can't save him. What I plan to do will either destroy the portal or the entire dream world.

The New Journal

I'm weak. I couldn't survive without a journal. I started a new one.

I threw that one away when Voldemort was too busy to pay attention. My eyes wide open and filled with tears, I watched the portal shrink and shake. It was getting smaller with each passing second. I tossed the package in, and it swallowed it. There, my life was gone and all the regrets along with it.

I came as close to the portal as I could without falling through. I had Voldemort's wand with me: I stole it after… well, after. He still hadn't noticed. He was getting far too careless with me.

I directed the wand at the portal. I opened my mind, I imagined I was one of the circuits. I imagined myself spinning, connecting various spells, streaming from one area to another insode the bigger, more powerful incantations. I was part of the system, going with the flow, I was not myself anymore.

I hit. The portal flared blue, then green, then red. Explosion shook the dream world. I was knocked off balance and flung into the nearest tree, hitting my spine painfully. Before I knew what was happening, I passed out, consumed by the darkness.

When I came to, Voldemort was leaning over me, his face unhealtily pale, his eyes blazing with fury.

"What have you done?" he asked in a quiet, firm voice that was even more terrifying that screaming.

I staggered up to my feet and looked around. It looked better than I thought. Some trees were ripped out of the ground, scattered all over the field with their roots up. The Astronomy Tower was ruined, scorch-marks were visible in the castle walls, and elsewhere black holes shone through the vibrant green grass.

Voldemort grasped me by the shoulders and forced to look him in the eye. "What have you done?"

I couldn't help but smile. I was deliriously happy. I threw my arms around him and crushed my lips against his before he could protest. And then I laughed, and laughed, and laughed, and couldn't stop laughing as if I had gone crazy.

"What's so fucking funny!?" Voldemort bellowed.

"You're never getting out of here! You wanted immortality – here's your immortality!" I breathed past laughter.

This is the last time I'll abandon you,

And this is the last time I'll forget you.

I wish I could.

We didn't talk for days after that. He tried to repair the portal, he cursed me and even tried to cast the Cruciatus on me (which proved to be useless in here). And soon I realized that I'd grown to miss our leisurely conversations, our rough and exhausting lovemaking, the way he laughed whenever I blurted out something stupid, the way he looked at me when he thought I was asleep.

And when I realized that I sank on the ground and burst into tears. Why the hell, after all these years of isolation, fear and despair I fell in love with the one person who was responsible for all my suffering!? Yes, of course, the brilliant me, the Loser Who Fell In Love.

I found him sitting by the fallen tree, contemplating the place where the portal had been. He didn't even turn to look at me.

"Okay, you want the truth?" I cried out, falling on my knees beside him. "You want the bloody truth!?"

"No," he shrugged. "But I will tell you my truth." He looked at me, his scarlet eyes gleaming viciously. "I don't know who you were trying to save by locking me up here. I just know that you failed. The world has lived under my dictatorship for years now, and even if I disappear now, my followers will find away to keep my memory alive. They will turn me into political phantom and rule in my name. Lucius will become the next Dark Lord as much as I hate to admit that. The world won't stop turning just because I am not there!"

I dropped my head on his lap. Oh my God, he was right. He was fucking right! How could I forget Malfoy's lust for power? He'd wait for his master to return, but pretty soon it'd be obvious that Voldemort was gone for good. And if they stumble upon my journal, they'll know precisely what's happened to him.

"I want you here," I whispered. "That's the truth. Tom, you hear me? That's the truth."

He ran his fingers through my hair. I shifted and saw that he was smiling calmly.

"Is it now?"


This is the last time I'll abandon you,

And this is the last time I'll forget you.

I wish I could.

I wish I could.