Prison of the Mind
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry, Voldemort or anyone else for that matter. Slavery is wrong children! Wrong!!
"Two hundred and forty four…two hundred and forty five…."
Harry Potter pumped harder as the cold feeling started to overwhelm him again. The dementors were dropping by for a snack, how quaint.
"You know these are very difficult calculations Har…"
"Shut up." Harry grunted, "You know as well as I do that the best way to keep them out is to occupy the mind with something else. That just happens to be exercise; you can plot and plan after they've gone again. Two seventy eight…"
Harry was sure he heard the voice in his head harrumph but it didn't say anything else so he concentrated on pushing the memories away. The horrors of the war had been bad enough the first time around. Having to relive them on a daily and sometimes hourly basis had not been the original plan.
But then none of this had been in the original plan. That bastard Dumbledore had to go and kick the bucket before his research was finished leaving Harry stuck in prison. No one seemed to remember that he had just saved the wizarding world from Voldemort or that he had even done it with minimal collateral damage. No, he was a threat now so it was ok to drop him in prison and forget about him.
In all honesty Harry didn't blame the common folk, they were just sheep and he didn't blame the government because they were expected to be dishonest. Thankfully most of Harry's friends were dead so he couldn't blame them for not doing anything about it. So that left Dumbledore. He had made grand promises of tireless research and experimentation until Harry was 'safe' again. Considering he was the reason Harry was in Azkaban in the first place, being the one who found the final solution for Voldemort, helped execute it, then suggested Harry be 'contained' on the island fortress when things didn't go right. If he weren't already dead Harry would strangle that annoying twinkle right out of the old man's eyes, even without old Voldy in his head.
The cold aura of the dementors grew stronger until they were right outside the door bathing in Harry's memories. He made it a point to flip them the bird while continuing his pushups on one arm. As usual they didn't respond and after five minutes that felt more like five hours they dispersed to their posts around the prison.
Harry let out a sigh and dropped onto the chilly floor. Goosebumps broke out over his arms as he let his mind relax and fade into the numbness that occupied him most of the time.
"How are those calculations coming?" Harry asked the floor.
"Very well, I think we'll be out of here soon." Voldemort replied.
"Good, I'm sick of this prison food and the birds are wising up to me." Harry's mouth began to drool a bit at the thought of a fresh seagull. He had already eaten all the ones stupid enough to come anywhere near the island.
Thanks to sharing a body with Voldemort and room with a window he could eat fairly well. For whatever reason the guards hadn't thought to put a vaporization spell on the window like they had on the door. The last time Harry had tried to summon a loaf of bread from another cell it had disintegrated. Dumbledore had obviously warned the staff that his power would increase exponentially with Voldemort in him and for once the old man had been right. Simple wandless spells could work even under the oppressive aura of the dementors.
"Stop thinking about seafood, we'll have a proper meal once we're out of this bloody prison. You're making me hungry, I can't even eat!" Harry shrugged off the whine in V's voice.
He had changed a lot since they had first joined. Those first few months had been hell. Voldemort had taken his time going through every one of Harry's memories and picked out the best ones to torture him with at night. He had only stopped once Harry made the comment that he was the only thing holding Voldemort to this mortal plane and if he wanted to stay there he'd let Harry sleep peacefully. They had formed a sort of begrudging fellowship after that. Years later, while Harry had far from forgiven the deranged bastard, he knew better than to stir up trouble with the former dark lord.
"Oh stuff it V, once I figure out how to get a fish up here we'll be eating like kings."
"One of these days you're going to get caught and they'll move us, then I'll have to start all over again. That's another two years at least." V warned.
"One, whose going to tell? The dementors? Come on V, no one comes down here anymore. Not after I fried that guard who was being a prick and blamed it on you. Two, what's another two years?"
"Plenty, the sooner I get out of your head the better…uhg…it's dirty in here!" V whined.
"Hey you're the one who thought it would be a good idea to hide in the mind of a seventeen year old." Harry shot back.
Harry tuned V out after that and flipped over onto his back and started doing a normal set of situps. Three hundred of those and he'd be about ready for dinner. Harry had found that starvation was a great motivator. He'd get a nice big fish tonight.
"Harry there's still time! We can get away." Ron pleaded.
He had just managed to stop Harry on the first floor landing but they didn't have a lot of time. Even now Voldemort was approaching the castle and his followers had the place surrounded.
"No Ron, it's time I faced him, you two go on ahead. I'll stop Voldemort once and for all. I have a plan."
Ron looked at his friend for a long moment. Everything in his being told him he should stand next to his friend until death took him. But the look in Harry's eyes told him that if he didn't go willingly Harry would make him.
"Alright mate, but be careful."
"Aren't I always?" Harry said with a smile before turning to the staircase and heading towards the entrance hall. It was the last time he would see Ron alive.
Harry woke to the heavy breathing of a dementor just outside his door. After a few moments it glided away and he let out a long breath. Harry was surprised. He usually had modified dreams, ala V, which let him sleep alright. He hadn't had a dream about Ron or Hermione in a long time. They had been crushed in the collapse of Gryffindor tower. Sheer dumb luck had led to their demise as the death eaters thought the obvious location would be a garrison for the light's forces. At the time it should have been evacuated but they had returned for a few possessions via a secret passage.
Harry shook his head and closed his eyes again. For too long he had lived with should haves and might have beens. Now he was working towards a real goal. The plan was simple, Tahiti, a beach full of naked women and a new body for V. Hopefully in that order and maybe some world domination if time allowed for it.
Harry drifted off to sleep again with vague thoughts of wet T-shirt contests and a limitless supply of booze. After all, it was the little things that keep you going.
Harry rolled over in his sleep but the voice wouldn't go away. It kept getting louder and angrier.
"For the love of Dumbledore's smoldering socks what do you want now V?!" Harry grumbled.
He rolled out of bed and looked around expecting to see something out of the ordinary.
But nothing was amiss, there were no dementors pounding at the gates craving a midnight snack. He stumbled over to the sink and locked eyes with the gaunt man in the mirror. He didn't like to look in the mirror that often. It only reminded him of the past, and there was a suspicious mold growing around the edges Harry suspected was highly hallucinogenic. He had tried some once out of boredom and had woken up three days later with no recollection of what had happened. V swore up and down that he had no idea either but Harry was sure he was hiding something.
The man stared at him with dull green eyes before looking away. His hair was everywhere and looked like it had been run through a dryer without a static trap. That combined with his beard made him look like a wild man. He scratched at his beard then looked around again. Something felt off in the room but he wasn't sure what it was yet.
"Come on V, what do you want?" There was a hint of annoyance in his voice this time as V had failed to say anything for a few minutes now. Usually he'd be blabbering away about something or other by now.
"I'm done!" V said gleefully, "Aaand I started the ritual drawings but I'll let you do the final touch."
Harry took a moment to shake off the shock of hearing V happy then glanced down at the intricate rune drawings on the floor by his bed. He let out a low whistle as he took in the intricacy of the rune work and the small amount of blood V had used.
"So that's how it's gonna work huh?" Harry murmured.
He was so amazed by the complexity of the ritual that he forgot to get angry at V for taking over his body without permission. He looked over the runes again and for the first time in years felt a faint glimmer of hope.
"Ok, if I remember right I just have to draw the door now yes?"
"Correct. I'll do the rest. Just remember Harry, it only needs to be just large enough for us to crawl through. The size of the doorway will coincide with the amount of power required to open it and maintain the connection. We'll have twenty seconds at most."
Harry didn't waste any time. He sliced his finger on a sharp edge of the mirror and quickly drew a small doorway on the wall. It would be just enough to get through. Inside his head Harry could hear Voldemort chanting.
The portal started to hum and the door began to glow a soft yellow. As the chanting continued it changed colors, first to red then to orange. Finally as the chanting reached a crescendo and the doorway burst open with a flash.
At first Harry was blinded by the overwhelming light but as his vision slowly returned he could see what looked like the inside of another cell.
"This is your plan!? You're going to put us back in jail? What the hell is wrong with you? What happened to Tahiti!?" Harry yelled, mentally he was kicking himself for trusting V.
"Change of plans just get through the portal before it closes!"
Harry didn't really see a point. From the looks of it they would just be in the next cell and the dementors would be able to get at them then. At least in this cell there were wards on the bars to keep them out.
"Just do it!!"
Harry was about to crawl through the portal when the scene on the other side warped and changed. Instead of the next cell there was nothing but a black void and the cold feeling in the room spiked. Harry looked up in confusion and saw the dementors at the cell door holding out their boney hands. Under the combined weight of those gathered at the door and the feeling emanating from the portal Harry could barely breathe. He shook under the strain of just holding himself on his hands and knees. He was sure he didn't want to go where the portal led to now.
"Interfering swine!" RoaredV in a voice Harry hadn't heard since their final battle. "You dare to stop Lord Voldemort?!"
With a sudden searing pain Harry felt Voldemort push every ounce of his power into the ritual and the portal resumed its previous image with a faint flickering.
"Now Harry…I am nearly spent." V grunted.
Harry didn't have time to think. He hurtled forward through the portal and it closed behind them sealing the dementor's chill with it. Harry got to his feet quickly expecting to be inundated with boney hands and sucking mouths. Instead the air felt warm and the call of gulls sounded outside.
"Uhh…V what happened?" Harry asked as he looked expectantly towards the cell door.
"Made…it..." rasped V. "Too bad…Tahiti would have been nice."
Harry felt the presence that had been with him for over ten years slowly fade away until nothing remained. He was alone in his mind once more. It struck him that Voldemort, the madman who had taken everything away from him, had just sacrificed himself to give Harry another chance. At what was still to be discovered.
"Fat lot of good this did me." Harry sighed, "I'm still in Azkaban."
He wasn't sad that V had died. It just felt so empty being alone in his head again. He had grown accustomed to chatting with V, arguing with him and tuning him out when he started to whine or go on about blood purity and the last crusade. Harry sat in the center of the floor and sighed feeling profoundly tired. V had used a lot of Harry's power to fuel the portal. He would need a few days to recover fully and he was sure the dementors wouldn't give him that. In his weakened state he wouldn't be able to fend off a puppy much less demons.
Harry froze as a terribly familiar voice spoke from the corner of the cell. He didn't dare look up. There was no way he could be here, that person had died a long time ago. But there was no denying the shaggy form that rose from its cot and took a shaky step towards Harry.
"What are you doing in my cell?" asked Sirius Black.
AN: Slightly edited for grammar.