A Different Life
Summary: They all thought Lily was Light. She wasn't. She was in love with the Dark Lord, and gave birth to his son. Now Erus Riddle is growing up, showing just how evil the son of Lord Voldemort can be. Of course, the Light doesn't know that fact. Slash.
Spoilers: Not so many. You need to know about Chamber of Secrets and Horcruxes. It's good if you've read all seven books though, just in case.
Pairing/s: NoirErus, SiriusSeverus
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters. They belong rightfully to Mrs Rowling; I just borrow them for the time being. Although some of the characters are mine, those you don't recognize from the books of course.
Other notes: Hermione is not Hermione. She is Cynthia, a girl who loves reading and hates Dumbledore. Harry's real and full name is Erus Sicarius Salazar Riddle.
People, the last chapter is here. The very last chapter of this story! I've been reading through some of the older chapters not too long ago, and I realized how crappy I wrote back then (well, compared to today anyway).
Aah, to think I've had a story so long you can see how much I've improved. Or well, until I update the chapters and put in some damn scene breakers.
Oh, and I'm finishing A Different Life on the same day I first posted the story four years ago! Yay!
Anyway, stop rambling here! It's time for you guys to read the end! Enjoy!
Warnings: Blood, gore, tiny slash-moments.
Chapter Sixty: The End
Voldemort waited in the hall. He wasn't sure what to do, where to put his hands, and just wanted to drag his fingers through his already dishevelled hair.
The doors opening to the manor froze him where he stood, and Noir strode in. The vampire took one look at him and said:
"What is it?"
Voldemort hadn't dared saying what was wrong when he requested the vampire's presence. He wasn't sure if he dared even now, but swallowed down the irrational fear and said:
"Have you any idea where Blanc is?"
"Blanc?" Noir said, frowning. "He comes and goes. Why?"
"Erus… had a vision," Voldemort said. "He said Blanc was taken, or about to be taken."
Noir's face drained, and in the next moment the vampire was in front of him, hands gripping the Dark Lord's arms, violet eyes almost black even as he said:
"Are you lying to me?"
"No, I swear," Voldemort said. "Erus wouldn't lie about that. I've already sent out Death Eaters searching for information, or your brother should they find him."
"No one can take him down," Noir said flatly even as he tore himself away from Voldemort.
"Erus said they were a group. They managed to bind him. It all wasn't clear to him, he was having a hard time speaking."
"Is Erus alright?" Noir asked hearing that.
"I don't know. He insisted I would focus on finding Blanc," Voldemort said, agitated.
They heard the Floo, and whipped their heads around as Bellatrix came running. Her face was whiter than usual, and her eyes went from one leader to the other.
"Well?" Voldemort barked out.
"It…" she stammered. "It was too late. He… he's gone. People told us. He was carried away."
They didn't need to ask who he was. Noir stood absolutely still for a few moments. Then he shook his head.
"No," he said. "Not my brother… not him. It can't have been him."
"It was," Bellatrix said. "I'm so sorry. They were too many…"
"He shouldn't have any problems with the numbers of them!" Noir roared. "He's stronger than humans!"
"They had something," Bellatrix hurried to say. "Something that subdued him. And… and the captors weren't exactly kind to him."
Noir stared at her. "Who were they?" he asked, and his tone was colder than ice. "The ones who took my brother?"
"Dumbledore's people," Voldemort said. "Erus told me. They are probably bringing him to Dumbledore."
Noir yelled. A guttural speech, making Bellatrix cringe and Voldemort looked away. The language of the vampires. Somehow it sounded even more terrifying when done in a scream, and Noir turned back to them. His skin had lost its colour, the eyes nearly black, and there wasn't a trace of kindness left in him.
"Then to Dumbledore we go," he said, and flashed his teeth.
Erus was pulling on light, flexible robes and spelled his hair up in a ponytail when the twins entered the room. Abel and Cain looked at each other, then at him.
"What are you doing?" they said.
"And then?" they continued.
"Helping my father and Noir," Erus said. "Don't think about stopping me."
"Not us," they said, "but what about the headmistress?"
"Right now, I don't particularly care," Erus stated and grabbed the dagger of Salazar Slytherin before securing it on his right forearm. "I can help, and so I will."
"My, my, a student preparing to sneak out?"
They looked back to see Lamia leaning against the doorframe. The Necromancer pushed himself up and walked into the room.
"Sir, don't stop me," Erus said.
"I wasn't planning on doing it. However, you're still too young of a Necromancer to be allowed to battle alone."
"I won't be alone."
"Well, the leader of the Necromancers doesn't particularly care about that," Lamia said, mimicking some of Erus' earlier words. "And so, I will be coming with you."
"You?" the teen said. "But you're a teacher, if anything you should try to stop me."
"First of all, I am a Necromancer, Erus, remember that. My duty before all others is to obey my leader. And he more or less told me to bloody baby-sit you until he could come join us before you do something stupid."
Erus grinned. "As if I would ever do something stupid."
Lamia raised an eyebrow. "That grin is exactly why he's worried about you doing something stupid."
Riddle Manor was bustling with activities. Noir had left, saying he was to prepare the vampires, and shortly after that Voldemort had called upon the Death Eaters. They were to attack Hogwarts immediately, and those wanting to warn children in the school only had a small space of time of doing so. Voldemort couldn't ensure everyone's safety once a battle began.
Lucius had paled slightly at the aspect of having his son in a battle, knowing while Draco was a formidable dueller, the loss of one eye was a disadvantage. Luckily he carried a two-way mirror so it was easy for the blonde man to contact his son and warn him of the battle ahead. He told the teen to spread the words, subtly, and try to move away from the school.
Voldemort himself had dressed in battle robes, deep red and easy to move in. He didn't exactly imagine the last battle to be like this, to have it triggered by the kidnapping of the vampire leader's own brother. But what else could have happened?
A dramatic declaration of battle? By whom, him or Dumbledore? It would be ridiculous. It even sounded ridiculous. Voldemort looked into the mirror. He was quite sure he was stronger than Dumbledore, but the old man had tricks upon his sleeves. Just because he was old didn't mean he could be trusted to be weak.
He turned and Lucius stepped into the room.
"Draco has been made aware," he said. "He would wait and see if a vampire was brought to Hogwarts by Dumbledore's men before making a move. Slytherins vanishing is quite suspicious."
"Of course," Voldemort said. "They can always stay in the castle, somewhere they won't be discovered."
"I trust my son and Cynthia will come up with a plan should the need to escape arise."
Voldemort nodded and glanced over at the two-way mirror to his son. The blonde caught where he was looking and said:
"I haven't spoken to him. But I doubt he will stay in Italy. If my fears are right, he's probably on his way or already in England."
"Do you think he travels alone?"
"He might have brought Sirius with him," Voldemort said. "But I can't know for sure."
"Have you tried contacting him?"
"Yes," the Dark Lord said. "There is no response."
Lucius clasped his arm. "Well, it's a good thing he can take care of himself."
"But nothing," the blonde said. "Tom." That made Voldemort look up at the man, and Lucius smiled lightly. "Erus is not an adult in our eyes, but he never will be. He will forever be a child, and we will forever forget his powers. He is not helpless, and deep inside you bloody well know that."
"Just as you worry about Draco," Voldemort said.
"Yes, just like I worry about Draco. It's a parent trait; get used to it. You've had seventeen years of training on that."
"I don't think it'll ever prepare me."
Lucius patted his shoulder. "Don't worry; it hasn't prepared me either."
Albus Dumbledore was ecstatic. He was glad exams were over and the students milled around the castle freely. Except for the Great Hall. He had closed it down after breakfast, hopefully having it opened before lunch. But his office wasn't big enough.
The vampire was on his knees, swaying slightly and a sack over his head that made many of the Order members and Light supporters roar with laughter. Albus was smiling, almost giddy when he noticed something.
No hair fell down below the sack. The vampire leader had long hair, that much he knew. Had they cut his hair? Or…
Dumbledore strode forward towards the vampire who had been chained and held like an animal.
"Albus?" James asked.
In response the headmaster tore the sack off, and he screamed in anger.
Wrong. Wrong. It was wrong. The face, the eyes, the skin, all of it was wrong.
"Albus!" some screamed. "What's wrong?"
"This isn't the vampire leader!" Dumbledore roared.
Blanc looked up at the aged mortal, and despite the dizziness and pain, he laughed. He laughed right at their faces, because he couldn't believe how stupid they were.
Dumbledore kicked him, and with a gasp Blanc fell to the ground.
"You think this is funny, you filth?" Dumbledore roared and picked him up. "Who are you, what's your name?"
"I am Blanc," the vampire managed. He grinned at Dumbledore, mouth bloody and teeth poking his lips. "The vampire leader is my dear brother… and he tends to overreact when I am hurt."
The headmaster dropped Blanc who sagged down onto the floor. Dumbledore looked around and said:
"You took his brother. You enraged the vampire leader by taking his bloody brother! If he knows I am behind it, he will attack Hogwarts no doubt! Prepare for an attack!"
It was good to see them, even if the reason was less pleasant. Luckily, Belladonna and Joseph didn't seem to complain about it. The young woman might even have grinned a bit too crazily at Erus before happily saying:
"I've been waiting to try out loads of new spells on unsuspecting people!"
"And the rest she tried out on me," Joseph complained. "Poor me."
"Shut up, you were convenient," Belladonna said. "Hello, professor."
"Belladonna," Lamia said as he fully appeared. "And you must be Famulus."
"Please, call me Sirius," the man said. "That's my real name anyway."
"You real name?" Lamia asked in confusion.
"Yeah, Sirius Black."
The man looked closer at Sirius. "Didn't he die?"
"Yeah," Sirius said cheerfully. "Or well, yeah, supposed to die. Everyone else thinks so while we know better."
"We did do a good job faking the corpse," Erus said thoughtfully and Lamia stared at him. "What? How else was we supposed to do it?"
"Have him disappear?"
"Not good enough. So we burned him."
"Oi, still here!" Sirius complained.
"Quit your yapping," Erus commented. "Letifer, nice of you to join us."
The Necromancer leader stepped forward and inclined his head at them all.
"Who are we waiting for now?" Joseph asked.
"The vampire leader, who is currently standing behind you," Erus replied. They all whirled around.
Noir raised an eyebrow at them. His skin was still far too pale and seemed to crackle with magic and malicious intent.
"Noir, calm down before you scare someone," Erus said. "Could you guys give us a minute?"
No one complained and soon it was just the two of them. Noir fell forward, wrapping Erus tightly into his arms and took a deep, shuddering breath. Erus was quite sure Noir didn't need that breath, he just wanted to smell the teen properly.
"Are you alright?" he asked quietly, stroking the white hair.
"I am… oh, I'm so angry I don't know what to think anymore," he said.
"Do you have people?"
"Yes," Noir said and straightened up. "Your father has already departed though."
"Dad? He doesn't have enough Death Eaters to fully fight the Light, not all at once!"
"That is why we probably should hurry," Noir said. "And I want my brother back."
The students were being ushered out of Hogwarts. Soon it was empty of younger ones, but those in sixth and seventh year were allowed to stay if they wanted to help fight against the evil forces. Many Light students chose to do so.
Cynthia poked her head around a corner and looked around. A small spell told her no one was near, and none of the portraits were active. She turned around and waved with her hand before running over to a painting she knew had a hidden tunnel behind. She stroke the frame three times and it opened; a parting gift from Lucius who had actually explored the school further than people knew.
Draco squeezed past her, and with him followed Theodore, Blaise and Pansy. The others had been persuaded to evacuate with the other students, even if some of them might stay and try helping the dark once they arrived.
But they had another goal in mind. Theodore had seen them drag in the vampire, and informed them about it. Draco and Cynthia knew it was Noir's brother, and had decided to stay and try freeing him. It was obvious the Light had done something, because the vampire hadn't fought against the restraints.
It was Blaise that had given them a plausible explanation. Dead man's blood. Vampire only drank blood taken from the living. If they drank the blood of a dead body, they became paralyzed and weak. If injected, the same results. A deadly weapon that could put even Noir out of commission.
Draco lit the tip of his wand as they walked down the secret tunnel.
"Where will this lead?" he asked Cynthia.
"Should take us directly to the Great Hall if we follow your father's directions. I drew a rough map," she said and gave him a parchment.
"When will you ever do something half-hearted?" the blonde asked, staring at her.
"Never!" she said, as if she had been insulted. "Maybe you should try doing something whole-heartedly."
Draco began to reply, thought better of it, and kept his mouth shut while moving forward. He had some vision on his blind eye thanks to magic, but it wasn't enough to roam around the corridors. He had wanted to, but the others had forbidden him due to their worry of his hindered eyesight.
"What will we do once we reach the Great Hall?" Theodore asked. "Maybe there are several guards."
"The element of surprise is on our side," Cynthia said. "We better take advantage of that."
Outside the school, the evacuation was complete. And for that Dumbledore was glad because Voldemort and his Death Eaters had appeared on the grounds. Dumbledore's group was far larger, outnumbering the Dark Lord but the aged headmaster knew better than to underestimate the man.
He didn't know that three of his most trusted members actually weren't on his side at all. Minerva McGonagall tried to look appropriate for a half-scared, half-angry Light witch while Remus pretended it was Dumbledore he was glaring at.
Poppy was still in the Infirmary, but she wasn't preparing the beds for Light people. She was preparing them for Voldemort's Death Eaters and others.
"So we meet at last, Tom," Dumbledore said and stepped down the steps of Hogwarts. "And at the foot of the mighty castle I thought I was sure I denied your entrance to. You shouldn't even be able to step through the wards."
"I have my tricks," Voldemort said, gazing fondly at Hogwarts. She had invited him back in, and no one could stop her ancient magic. If she granted entrance to him, Dumbledore was powerless to stop her. Of course, Dumbledore didn't seem to quite realize that just yet.
"You will not win today, or any other day," the headmaster said proudly.
"Is that so?" Voldemort said. "Well, even if I don't win, I'm quite sure the vampire leader will. After all, he holds his brother very dear."
Dumbledore swallowed. So even Voldemort knew…
"Whatever are you talking of?" the man tried with anyway.
Voldemort laughed. "You've always been awful at lying, Albus. The truth shines through your eyes too well. You took Blanc. Not quite the one you had expected, though, right? You expected the brother, but all you did was further enraging the vampire leader."
"Well, he isn't here now is he?" Dumbledore snarled and whipped out his wand.
And so the fight began.
Cynthia pulled open the door a few inches and managed to have a peek. She then backed a bit and turned to the others.
"We're lucky," she whispered. "It's only three guarding him."
Draco went to take a look. Three men, holding the chains wrapped around the vampire as if he was some animal. The sack was snared tightly around his head, and the body was slumped on its knees.
"Element of surprise," he said. "What should we do then?"
"We have to make sure this entrance isn't seen," Pansy said, "because I doubt we can just get out through the main doors. The Head Table is just in front of us. Let's go there."
Silently the five teen snuck out and Theodore shut the door quietly. They crept to the table while keeping watch on the three men. They didn't appear to notice them.
"Element of surprise," Theodore said quietly. "Alright then."
He stood up, aimed his wand and screamed:
One of the men flew towards them and the other two grew alert. But by then both Blaise and Draco was up, both shouting spells:
Within moments, the guards were down. Blaise stared at the one Draco had taken down and the blood that had poured out, and then said:
"Who the hell taught you that spell?"
"Uncle Sev," Draco said with a grin. "He said it was for enemies."
Cynthia rose up and rolled her eyes at Pansy. "Boys," she said. "Always showing off."
"Shut up," the blonde replied and moved over to the vampire. He pulled at the chains, soon helped by the others and Pansy carefully removed the sack.
Blanc looked at them all, skin oddly grey and his body moving slow and sluggish. The red eyes were dull, almost drugged. His arms finally free, he grasped Draco's and peered up at him.
"Lucius' son," he whispered.
"Yes," Draco replied. "We need to get you out of here."
They managed to get Blanc up on his feet and dragged him over to the secret entrance. The man Theodore had pulled towards them and then smacked into the wall began to wake up. Pansy took out her wand, pointed it and him and said:
The man's eyes rolled up and she grinned before skipping through the secret entrance. Draco rolled his eyes and closed it behind them.
Erus and the others landed in the Forbidden Forest. He saw eyes in the dark that revealed to be vampires slowly creeping closer, their feet breaking no twigs despite he could clearly see them step upon the fragile branches. When Noir appeared, they all bowed. Around twenty in total and Erus turned to him.
"Twenty?" he said. "You sure you're not moving in for an overkill?"
"They need to learn their lesson," Noir said.
"The Light won't learn a bloody thing if they die."
"I never said they were to die," Noir replied and smiled widely. "There are fates worse than death."
Erus' two-way mirror with Draco and Cynthia heated up in his pocket and he picked it out. He flipped it open and saw the two with a wand lit between them.
"Where the hell are you?" he asked first thing.
"In a secret tunnel," Cynthia replied. "What about you?"
"In the Forbidden Forest. What, you're saying you're still in the school?"
"We had to stay! We saw the vampire getting dragged in!"
The vampires moved closer, Noir's eyes shining with worry. Erus glanced up at him before back at his blood-siblings.
"And? Have you seen him since?"
"They were really lax," Cynthia said, "they only left three men with him so I and Draco and Pansy, Theodore and Blaise took them out. Piece of cake, really, it barely took any effort. Anyway, Theodore and Blaise are helping him. It's Blanc, you know that right?"
"Yes, I know," Erus said. "So he's with you?" After hearing the affirmative he looked up at Noir and said, "Draco and Cynthia got him, Noir. He's safe."
"Erus," Draco's voice came. "We should tell you, he's maybe safe but he isn't doing very well."
"What do you mean?" the teen asked. He grew worried as he heard spells in the distance, near the school. They had to move in soon.
"Blaise thinks they injected him with dead man's blood."
The vampires shrieked the moment they heard the blonde's words, snarling sounds that made the none-vampires jump in fright, even Letifer. Erus looked over at them and said:
"I take it that's not a good thing."
"It's vile," Noir said. "It's the worst thing a mortal can do to us. I'll wring their necks and pour out their blood to feed the earth!"
It ended in the guttural language of the vampires, and he turned around to calm down. Erus looked back at Draco and Cynthia and said:
"Keep him safe. Get him to the forest if you can, and if you can't, keep yourselves hidden. I'll try to send someone in to you."
"Be careful," Cynthia said. "We can hear the fight from here."
"Make sure every move you make is carefully thought through," Erus said. "Not only do you have to protect yourselves, you also have to protect Blanc."
They finished the conversation and Erus looked at them.
"No time like the present," he said and took out his wand. "You all ready?"
The vampires drew themselves up and Noir grinned at him. The two elder Necromancers nodded, Sirius had already thrown aside his outer robes and Belladonna and Joseph were ready.
"Then I guess we'll go help my dad."
Voldemort avoided the spell Dumbledore cast at him, and rolled over before getting back to his feet. The Light people were too many for his Death Eaters, but somehow they were still evenly matched.
People from the Light had screamed in outrage as Severus swiftly shifted sides and came to stand next to Lucius. Dumbledore had growled in anger but not let that setback distract him.
The two circled each other while the fight around them raged on.
"You can't win, Tom," Albus said with confidence. "You don't have enough people."
"Nonetheless, I will not stop fighting until I kill you or reach the vampire leader's brother. Then again, you could always just tell me where he is and save us all the trouble."
Voldemort gracefully avoided the Avada Kedavra and shrugged his shoulders at the man.
"If you insist," he said with a grin.
Someone screamed. A blood-hurling scream that had nothing to do with spells hitting or hurting someone. Because it was words that were screamed.
Dumbledore turned in horror towards the forest, even as Voldemort turned to look as well.
The vampires weren't that many but they were fast, and one even jumped, landing on a man Dumbledore barely remembered, and with a strong bite the man's throat was ripped open. Blood sprayed up in the air and more screams erupted even as the Dark Lord's grin began to widen.
"It would appear the vampire leader has arrived," he began, but then he saw who was with him.
Noir walked towards the fighting scene, with Erus by his side. Voldemort barely recognized his son, the eyes cold and hard, his lean body fitted in a robe he remembered Noir giving him, and behind them was two young ones and Sirius. James, shocked, recognized his friend.
"Sirius!" he screamed.
The Black looked over at him and grinned.
"Hello there," he said and waved. "Is it time to say 'Surprise'?"
"Oh please," Erus said, "that's all? After all, they've believed you to be dead. You owe them at least a few heart attacks."
Sirius drew up his wand, and his grin got wider.
"With pleasure," he said and took off. The Light stood unsure of what he would do, but screamed as one when he took down an Order member with a well-placed Avada Kedavra until finally slamming into Severus' back with his own, the two with their wands raised to take down supporters of the Light. James was in a rage and started attacking while Sirius never lost his grin.
Letifer stepped forward, few recognized him and for that he was glad. It was always so fun when the enemies finally discovered who he was. Lamia was slightly behind him and they felt each other's powers building up. Letifer raised a hand and let the power leak out.
The ground rumbled as Lamia followed. They weren't attacking, they were building up. Spells were cast, shouted, thrown, some in desperation and some in cold calculation.
Belladonna rushed forward and protected her former professor and the Necromancer leader from the spells while Joseph ran towards the mass of Light people.
Noir came face to face with Dumbledore, Erus by his side and for a moment there was no movement. Then the vampire whirled around, almost vanished and Dumbledore barely had time to dodge as Noir ripped through the air with a hand, fingers looking like claws. The ancient creature didn't even stop, just twisted around and Dumbledore howled as nails tore the skin of his arm open in a bloody mess.
The vampire leader's eyes were aglow with an eerie light, and Erus had his wand out and attacking Light people while Voldemort once more faced Dumbledore.
Draco gingerly lowered Blanc down onto the floor. The vampire's head lolled dangerously to the side but the blonde was there to support him. Meanwhile, Theodore and Blaise went to see if there was anyone in the corridor. They had taken to secrets tunnels and deserted hallways, and had nearly reached an escape through a small, long forgotten door that would let them sneak off to the forest.
However, nearly didn't mean they were there. It had been people inside the school even while the fight was underway, and Draco knew the guards in the Great Hall must have woken up. They were probably looking for them.
Cynthia kneeled down next to Blanc and felt his forehead. Groggy eyes followed her movements and she bit her lip.
"He doesn't look too good," she said. "And what says we'll make it out with him?"
"We have to try," Draco said. "Maybe Erus did get someone to help us."
"And how would they find us?" Pansy asked.
"They're probably vampires," the blonde teen said. "If nothing else, they can probably track Blanc."
"And if they can't?" she continued.
"Then we're screwed, most likely. Blaise and Theodore got their hands free, so do you two, but if they're too many we don't stand much of a chance."
"Come on," Cynthia said and helped Draco get Blanc up again. "Let's go, and hope for the best."
The four teens had their wands out while trying to make sure to circle Draco and Blanc. The vampire was sluggish, leaning heavily onto Draco so it was his luck that the vampires weren't that heavy to half-carry around.
They had almost made it to the door when the guards came with an additional four people. Wands raised, they were running towards the teens. Cynthia backed, grabbed onto Draco and felt him stand closer.
It all happened in a blur but nonetheless left the teens gaping.
A vampire jumped. As in, really jumped. He landed with grace in front of the teens and whirled around at the same time one of the guards was tackled to the ground by a female vampire. She tore at his throat, spraying blood all over her face and for a moment she acted like an animal.
The male vampire sprinted forward while Theodore shook the shock out of his arm and disarmed another of the guards. The others began to fight back when seeing him attack.
In a minute the guards and wizards were all dead. The female vampire cleaned the blood away roughly and walked up to the teens and Blanc. Her eyes were still shining, and the male turned around.
"Master Blanc," the female said and gently took a hold of him. Blanc tiredly raised his head and gazed upon her.
"Oh…" he said. "Hello, Lenis. You got blood on your face."
"Yes, I have," she said. "Bellum, please help the child with master."
Bellum, Stella's father, not that any of the teens knew that, stepped up and took over from Draco.
"We need to move," he said. "The youngsters shouldn't remain in the school, it's too narrow for a proper fight."
"Is that you, Bellum?" Blanc managed.
"Yes," the vampire replied. "Noir will be most pleased to see you later."
"My head is so heavy…"
"It will pass, Master Blanc," Lenis whispered. "It will pass. You, children, follow me."
Draco, Cynthia and the rest followed the vampires through the hall. More Light fighters came and from Lenis' throat, where only kind words and soft voice had sounded, rose a terrifying shriek and she was on them. Tearing them apart. Spreading blood onto the floor of the school. Some splattering onto the wall.
When she was finished the teens could only stare while Bellum raised an eyebrow. Many thought of Lenis as tiny and weak. But there was a reason why Noir thought so fondly of her. She was kind, yes, but once angered she had a vicious streak and an iron will.
"Move," she growled, hands poised as claws and drenched in human blood. She wasn't drinking any of it. They were too filthy in her opinion. Too low. They weren't even worthy of being a vampire's meal.
Voldemort had never truly seen his son fight. He had seen him torture prisoners, yes, seen him tear them apart, shred them to pieces, but he had never seen his child truly battle.
Bloody hell, he was doing a great job.
Twisting and turning, wand letting out explosions of spells in varies of colours, Erus was quick on his feet and never still. His eyes glowing, his mouth set into a grin, he looked like a true madman.
Just like his father. Voldemort felt oddly proud of the boy.
Someone stayed close to him at all time though. The persons shifted, sometimes Noir, then others, Lamia or Letifer, at one occasion Severus but there was always someone there with him, just in case. The Dark Lord appreciated that. Being in battle and see his son die might just make him go more insane than he already was.
Erus himself wasn't worried about Voldemort. He knew his father could handle himself. As for how the teen thought it was going for himself? Well, he did a moderate job considering he hadn't done much battle training. It was noisier than he thought. It was blurry motions, he had to focus on not losing sight of the one he was fighting with; his eyes strayed far too much at other people who weren't his prey. He wasn't trained in this kind of fighting, and it annoyed him.
His body twisted out of instinct, and Erus narrowly avoided a Crucio. His eyes trained on whom, and saw a Light Order member. So they had resorted to dark spells now? He could have handled the spell, quite nicely actually, but anytime he could go without that particular spell running through his body he would welcome the chance.
He felt Lamia's presence behind him and appreciated them looking out for him. He wasn't immortal, he still made mistakes. A spell in the back could easily defeat him if he wasn't fast enough. His vampire senses helped him a lot, everything was clearer but at times it was too clear, too perfect. He hadn't tuned them in as finely as the full-fledged vampires.
Noir tore through an Order member and Erus saw now that Remus was attacking the Light as well, people screaming at him but Sirius and Severus there at his sides. The teen hadn't spotted Minerva since he joined the fight but hoped she was alright.
Letifer had been skulking around, attacking when necessary but he was up to something. Lamia sometimes aided him but no one seemed to be able to figure out what they were doing, although some of the Light fighters had figured out Lamia was a Necromancer. Fewer saw Letifer for what he was.
Voldemort took a breather while Dumbledore was kept busy by Lucius and Bellatrix, when a cry rang out. A cry of terror and shock and horror.
A skeleton's arm had appeared from the ground and was holding onto a woman's ankle. She was trying to twist free but had little success.
In the next moment, a half-rotten arm tore its way up as well, along with its companion arm, and then head where the skull peeked through the green-black skin. Letifer was speaking, words that twisted its way to the dead and had them walk once more on the surface.
He was summoning the dead, and the Dark Lord grinned while Erus stared. He wasn't nearly as strong enough, and he was fascinated with how easy the Necromancer leader made it look like. More appeared from the ground, all in various stages of decomposing, they had to be taken from somewhere else and Erus didn't know how that was done, but it certainly had the Light screaming in fear.
Erus used the distraction to try locating Cynthia and Draco, and to his relief he found their magic, strong and steady, already outside the castle and nearing the woods. They would no doubt come to aid the dark but for now they were moving Blanc to safety.
A few vampires had been struck down due to dead man's blood, but all of them had been removed before they could be disposed off by the Light. Erus wasn't sure by whom, but at one point he had seen Bellatrix heave up a vampire on her shoulder before shooting a wide arc of Crucio at the closest unfortunate people trying to attack her. She was not a woman to tamper with, especially when she was carrying a fallen comrade. If she was crazy before she protected someone, she became absolutely livid with rage if someone tried to hurt her while she was helping one of her own.
Erus was quite sure she had made sure the vampire got to safety. He was also quite sure it was done rather quickly, as Bellatrix Lestrange never was the one to miss a moment of battle.
Voldemort faced Dumbledore again. Albus' face was contorted by rage, but also laced with pain. He had multiply wounds, Voldemort's own milder and fewer. He was quicker on his feet, and didn't have to face an enraged vampire lord. Noir had gone off again, almost to the other side of the battle, respected Voldemort's need to finish off Dumbledore on his own.
Albus' wand shot out several spells, the Dark Lord dodging and rolling away. But one made it through his defences. However, before it could hit a shield was up and protecting him.
Erus whirled into existence, having run there and had his wand trained on the aged headmaster.
"So," Dumbledore sneered. "Have you come to meet your end, boy?"
"No," Erus said. "I've come to ensure yours."
Voldemort got up, grasping his injured side as he took a few breaths. He was getting too old for prolonged battles. Erus didn't even appear to be out of breath. His eyes were sharp and cold, fixated on Dumbledore.
"What ever have I done you, child?" Dumbledore said. "Or have your father's hatred merely been born into you?"
"No," the teen said. "I hate you for several reasons."
"Name one!" Dumbledore roared, firing off an Avada Kedavra.
Erus side-stepped it, letting it hit a Light member with a grin. He turned back, ramming his foot onto the ground and the headmaster screamed as chains tore through the earth, wrapping themselves around his feet and calves.
"Good. Don't move," Erus said and flicked the wand, tightening the chains. "God, I love that trick. Sev taught me that one."
"He seems to like bondage," Voldemort remarked.
Erus grinned wider. "Say that in front of him later and I'll give you ten Galleons."
"It'll be my pleasure."
Dumbledore shot another spell but this time Voldemort blocked.
"Erus, weren't you going to tell him why you hate him so much?" the Dark Lord questioned.
"Ah, yes, I might as well do that," Erus said. "The one that matters the most, Albus, the reason I hate you the most… is how you broke up our family. My family."
"I have never done such a thing!" Dumbledore shouted.
Erus stepped forward, ignoring the battle around him, flicking away a spell with a swipe of his hand through the air, and he came to a stop in front of him.
"You lured my mother away," he said. "Tricked her mind. Manipulated her. Made her marry… James."
Albus went white. "Lily," he whispered.
"Yes," Erus said. "My mother Lily."
"But you… you're too young to have been born before…"
"I wasn't. She made him think it was his. The boy they named Harry. The boy that wasn't his son at all. But it was hers. And her real husband's."
Dumbledore connected it all and his eyes found Voldemort.
"The reason why I killed my own wife is none of your concern," the Dark Lord said. "That was between her and me. But I won't deny that I attacked the Potter house in order to get my son back."
"No," Dumbledore whispered.
Erus wrenched the wand out of his nerveless hands and stepped back until he was side to side with his father. "You want to do it?" he asked.
Voldemort raised his wand. "Put your hand on my arm," he commanded, and Erus did. The tip of the wand began to glow a dangerous green. It grew in power, Dumbledore struggled to get away but the chains kept him in place.
The magic that tore through the field in front of Hogwarts had many at a stand-still. Light members screamed as they saw why. The dark were filled with their master's energy.
Voldemort and Erus stood together as the killing spell grew in power, prolonged Dumbledore's death. He screamed, he raged, he even cried for mercy. The Riddles had none for him that day.
Noir joined them, eyes glowing, fresh blood on his lips and a moment later Letifer stepped up behind Erus, placing his hands on the young Necromancer's shoulder before smiling.
The spell was released.
After Albus Dumbledore's death, it had been annoyingly easy to destroy the rest of the Light's forces. Some were captured alive and taken away of course. A livid Ron Weasley, who had arrived with the Order, kicked at Erus all the way, screaming abuse.
Minerva walked up to them. She had a slight limp but looked fine otherwise. Her hat was gone and the bun of hair was coming undone, but the light in her eyes were brighter than ever. Erus wondered if all wizards and witches her and his father's generation enjoyed battle.
The shock vibrated through the Light as she greeted them warmly, and she had to suffer some verbal abuse until they were all out of sight. Madam Pomfrey was out by now, directing people to the Infirmary even as people searched for each other. A few had fallen, lay amongst the corpses of Light supporters and Order members, one or two Auror. The Ministry could wait a few days to fall, but with Hogwarts under the dark's control the victory would be easier to gain.
Noir spotted his brother, flanked by Bellum and Lenis. Blanc wasn't steady enough to walk on his own, but his head was up and the eyes grew large when they spotted Noir. The vampire leader tore through the crowds and didn't stop until he held his brother in his arms, Blanc trying to hug back just as tightly, baring his teeth in frustration when his limbs refused to obey his brain's commands.
Severus had been hit in the final moments and was limping heavily, his hip damaged. Lucius helped his friend walk towards the castle when Sirius caught up with them. Severus yelped as he was nearly picked up, and gasped in surprise as Sirius snogged him right there and then. Lucius merely raised an eyebrow and said:
"Are you quite finished?"
Sirius tore away from the dazed Severus, holding his arm and looked at the blonde.
"I'll take it from here," he said.
"Alright. Just… don't snog him anymore, I think he has a concussion, and his coordination doesn't work very well when he has those, and your kissing isn't helping."
Sirius pouted but he didn't snog Severus anymore as he led his lover to the Infirmary. Meanwhile Erus searched for Draco and Cynthia. He hadn't spotted them during the battle but presumed they had made it back after leaving Blanc in the forest with Bellum and Lenis.
And they appeared. Draco had a bruise on his cheek, slightly swollen and Cynthia had wrapped a crude bandage around her arm, the blood seeping through. They both had lit up spotting him, and after making sure they were quite fine Erus sent them to the Infirmary to have Madam Pomfrey treat Cynthia's wound and take care of Draco's nasty bruise. They didn't care complain as he glared warningly at them before pointing at the castle.
"You're quite good at ordering people around," came Belladonna's voice from behind him and Erus turned around. She greeted him with a tired smile and Joseph who was leaning against her shoulder. "We should be getting back."
"Yeah, you should. Thanks, both of you, for coming."
"Who could resist the chance?" Belladonna said with a grin.
"I know quite many who would, but then again, none of them are like you," Erus said and Joseph grinned.
"You're trying to charm her, you little bugger."
"Well, someone's gotta do it when you're too lazy."
That at least had Joseph blushing and spluttering about how they are not a bloody couple and Belladonna laughed at that before they left. Letifer left soon after but Lamia remained, to make sure Erus got back to Santuario in time for the ending feast. It was a few days before that, and while Erus didn't particularly feel like it, he knew it was necessary. School didn't care if he just helped the dark in winning a battle, he was supposed to be there until someone told him he could leave. He was lucky to have such an understanding headmistress. He wasn't the only student to suddenly leave and reappear sometime later, but he was quite certain he had been the one to do it the most. It was a wonder Maria wasn't angry with him for it.
People began to gather in the Infirmary to get their wounds treated. Bellatrix had a nasty sprained wrist, not her wand-arm luckily, and it took both Rabastan and Rodolphus to hold her down ("I'm not some damsel in distress, you bastards! Rodolphus!"). She had howled and fought against her husband and brother-in-law, apparently not caring when one of her sharp heels connected with something sensitive on the men. Instead she just laughed at them, and Erus had to wonder if sadism was a disease, and if it was, had Bellatrix been born with it?
Severus was resting comfortably in a bed, pleasantly drugged with pain-relief potions and Sirius lying by his side, a hand gently stroking the damaged hip (he'd be as good as new in a few days, but Madam Pomfrey advised against sex which made both men flush a little).
The vampires suffering from being poisoned with dead man's blood had all been placed in beds to recover. Some were moving, some were asleep or unconscious. Blanc was still lethargic, and had turned clingy which Noir didn't seem to mind all that much. Blanc did let Erus close though, and only looked at the two lovers as Noir gave the teen a long, but tender kiss.
"You okay?" Noir asked when they separated.
"Minor scratches," Erus replied. "Having a paranoid dad ordering people to hover around me tend to have its advantages."
"He would be furious if you had any larger wounds."
"Yeah. I think he's been furious enough because of me over the years," the teen said. He noted Blanc's eyes were closed and the younger vampire seemed much more docile and relaxed. "Did he fall asleep?"
"Dead man's blood does that," Noir said. "He'll be fine in a while. They only used enough to sedate him for some hours."
"What happened if they had given him too much?"
"I don't know. I've heard vampires falling into coma," Noir said. "I don't know if that's true, but I rather not test it."
Voldemort came over to them and Erus left Noir and Blanc alone to follow him.
"You should get back to school," he said.
"Are you sure? I can stay."
"You're safe there," Voldemort said. "We won't be doing much so you won't miss a thing."
"What of Cynthia and Draco?"
"They'll be fine. They weren't alone either."
"I know, they said so. They're okay too?"
"Yes," Voldemort said. "Had them sent home to their families. Lucius will take Draco and Cynthia home as well."
"Winning a war on his own. In the political world."
"Sounds like him alright," Erus muttered.
Voldemort tugged him close, Erus not protesting. The man stared out of the window. The sun was high up in the sky now, the clouds that had hid it earlier now moving away. The bodies on the grounds had been moved, and deep inside the castle Hogwarts was humming.
"We're stepping into a new world," the Dark Lord said.
Voldemort smiled down at his son, and Erus smiled back before looking out over the grounds again. A new world…
That didn't sound too bad.
Erus Sicarius Salazar Riddle, just Erus, really, currently twenty-nine years of age, entered Riddle Manor in a usual manner. Loudly, and with a following shriek from Fabella before she tried to break his ribs with her skinny arms. He managed not to fall backwards, something he succeeded with every two years, and before he could say anything the house-elf was off him and already dragging his baggage down the hall.
She was supposed to be old, wasn't she? Why was she more energetic than him then? Erus groaned, massaging his sore chest and Voldemort came out of the living room. Still as tall and regal as ever, Erus wondered if his father ever would have any grey hair or if he coloured it to avoid looking older.
"Erus," Voldemort said mildly. "I should have known."
"Really? How come? The tone of her shriek?"
"Yes, well, and the fact you said you were coming. Noir's not with you?"
"He's coming later," Erus said, sweeping a few strands of hair out of his face. He regretted not tying it up; the long hair had a tendency to get caught up with things and as it was near Christmas, he knew he would be doing some lifting. Not everything was suited for magical use, and had to be carried by hand.
Voldemort simply handed over a leather band and honestly, Erus could kiss him. But he didn't, since that would be a bit too weird, ever for them, and instead hugged his father tightly.
"Good to have you here," the Dark Lord murmured. "Fabella misses you."
Erus had moved out of Riddle Manor five years ago to live with Noir. The vampire had sense enough to have a home in England, and not move father and son Riddle too far away from each other. Floo was there of course, and very convenient of course but there was something disheartening living in different countries.
"Of course she does," Erus said and stepped back. "She misses everyone. She can't boss over you."
"Oh, believe me, she can."
His father looked tired. Erus swallowed back a comment on that, instead blinking a few times and refusing to think how long Voldemort would stay in this life.
"Silly," the man said. "Stop thinking about death. I'll be here for a long time, I've just been busy with some paperwork these last few days. One would think it would decrease but no such luck. I've been cursed."
"Yeah," Erus said, feeling a bit stupid for letting it show so easy on his face what he was thinking about. He put up his hair and breathed out. "So, anything you need help with now?"
"I wouldn't mind a pair of fresh eyes on the last of the reports," Voldemort said. "And after that you're going to freshen up because we're having dinner here tonight."
"We? What we?"
"Oh, as many as I could get. After all, you've been travelling with Noir for almost all year. We haven't seen you much."
Erus nodded. Noir had been travelling around the world the last year, and Erus had accompanied him. Blanc hadn't been able to go and the vampire leader hadn't wanted to be quite so lonely. He knew most of the people he visited but just on a formal social level. No one he could talk freely to. And who was better to listen than Erus? He had listened to the bloody man for well over twenty years, he was used to it.
"What was Noir going to do before he came here?"
"Oh, finish some things up, some last minute meeting," Erus said and waved his hand. "I must have been attracted to him because he reminds me of home; you two just bloody work all the time."
"Hey," the Dark Lord said but he didn't look too offended.
Erus helped Voldemort settle the living room into some sort of Christmas spirit, seeing as the man hadn't done it himself already. The young man was honestly surprised Fabella hadn't done it either. Then again, she sometimes forgot she could Apparate.
Dinner was still far away even after Erus' shower, so the two relaxed on the couch, Voldemort with a book and Erus flopping down so his head was resting on his father's lap.
"You're a tad too old to really do that," the Dark Lord pointed out but didn't push him off.
"Well, I've never been normal so why should I do normal, grown-up things? That's just boring."
Voldemort couldn't argue with that so he let Erus stay put.
"Did you meet Stella anything?" he asked after a few minutes.
"Yeah. She was with her father in France, they were attending some conference," Erus said and stretched before curling up again. "Met her over tea. Her hair was purple."
"Did you dare ask?"
"She did it do herself. Some potion, she didn't quite expect it to blow up. Then again, I doubt she was paying enough attention, she apparently had a bunch of books sent to her shortly before the incident. I bet she was reading once of those when it all happened."
"Well, as long as only her hair turned purple."
"Her tongue was dyed blue." Erus glanced up at him. "And was kind of forked. She thought it was hilarious."
"I'm quite certain she did," Voldemort said. "Managed to see those twins from Australia then?"
"You mean Abel and Cain? Yeah, we were in New Zealand so they snipped over."
"What did they work with now again?"
"A shop," Erus replied and curled one hand loosely into the fabric of his father's robe. He had missed the man, alright? "Trinkets mostly. They make good money on it actually."
Voldemort didn't ask about Dimitriv and Nikolaj because he already knew that, since the twins had been to England just a shy month ago and actually bumped into him in Diagon Alley. Dimitriv was a fighting-instructor and Nikolaj a historian. They still were almost tied to the hips, almost never leaving each other's sides, like Fred and George. They would be coming over along for dinner, but no need to ask of their business. The joke shop in Diagon Alley was disgustingly popular, and they had already expanded to Hogsmeade and even edged their way into Germany.
Looking down he saw his son was falling asleep. The eyes had a hard time to stay open, and Voldemort waved a hand, setting a comforter over his son's lean body. He was too thinly dressed for English weather, per usual. Voldemort was well aware that Erus didn't feel the cold the same way humans did, but he wasn't a pure-blooded vampire. He wasn't even a half-vampire so he could still feel cold and that was the last thing the Dark Lord wanted him to do.
"Thanks, dad," Erus mumbled. "Haven't had the time to sleep lately. Noir kept running around countries and I just stopped trying to sleep."
"I'll have a talk with him."
"Be nice. Even though he's a hell of a lot older than you he's still scared shitless when you go all Dark Lord on him."
Voldemort raised an eyebrow and Erus waggled a finger at him. "I'm serious. Be. Nice. He's practically your son-in-law."
"That doesn't mean I have to be nice."
"It's me to have to deal with him jumping at shadows!" the man scoffed. "Honestly, he's the world's most feared vampire and after you glare at him he'll have nightmares!"
"Isn't that the job of son-in-laws?" Voldemort asked with a grin.
"Funny," Erus grumbled. "Very funny, dad. I just might die laughing."
He moved, pushing his head into Voldemort's thigh and then relaxed. The hand holding the robe twitched a little, and Voldemort was reminded of when Erus was young. It suddenly felt so very long ago.
He supposed it had been some time ago. Twenty-nine years since his son was born. Not that he had known at the time that he had a son. Eighteen years since he began at Hogwarts. What, sixteen since he started Santuario? Then twelve years since this new world began, the old one ending with the death and defeat of Albus Dumbledore.
The world in itself hadn't changed that much. A more balanced world more like. Light and dark equal to each other. The dark wasn't shunned and hunted and spoken badly off. A world Voldemort had yearned for since he started Hogwarts had formed during these last twelve years, and he could finally relax. No more needs for raids or battles. Fights still occurred, the world couldn't apparently manage without a war or two. Or rather, humans couldn't manage. Still, Voldemort didn't mind. They were minor, and most of the chaos belonged to the Muggles. Nothing they needed to concern themselves with.
Of course they kept tabs on what the Muggles were doing. Couldn't have them advance, find out about magic and set on having it destroyed now could they? No, Voldemort made sure wizards and witches were ready.
Erus' deep breathing made him come back to the living room and he looked down at his son before putting the book away. Erus was asleep now, one hand lightly clutching the robe covering the Dark Lord's knee and Voldemort placed his hand over his son's. he sighed and leaned back as he heard the door to the manor open, and the voices of Draco and Lucius and Narcissa reaching him, soon followed by Bellatrix, Cynthia's, and more muffled, Cygnirius and Anastasia. Old friends. He smiled.
Life was good.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, was the ending of this story. It's followed me for four years, and has after many chapters come to a final.
I hope you enjoyed reading this story.
Until another time,