Paradise Lost by Nargle Hunter
Disclaimer: All characters used from the Harry Potter series belong to J.K. Rowling. No money is being made off this story.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry…
"Don't be a fool," Voldemort snarled from the back of Quirell's head, pacing in front of the Mirror of Erised. "Better to save your own life and join me… or you'll meet the same end as your parents…. They died begging me for mercy…."
Harry opened his mouth to tell this evil person before him that he was a liar and that his parents would never beg for their lives from him. But something Voldemort had said tugged at a part of him. Join me. The very man who had murdered his parents was offering Harry the opportunity to become one of his followers. Joining Voldemort would be a great betrayal to his friends and his parents, who had died to protect him from this very evil. He couldn't do that, could he?
But then again, the Sorting Hat would rather have placed him in Slytherin, not Gryffindor. Based on a few words from Ron, he had protested against being placed in Slytherin. What had the hat seen in his mind that would warrant such placement?
"Why… why would I join you?" he asked, his voice quiet, thoughtful. This wasn't right… he shouldn't be considering this offer. Instead, he should say no and defend his parent's honor. But something about Voldemort intrigued him. He was a strong, determined person, who would stop at nothing to get what he wanted. This trait reminded Harry of himself. It was like when he played Quidditch; he'd search and search for the Snitch and once he spotted it, he wouldn't stop until he had it in his hands. He usually applied the same technique in his everyday life.
Using Quirell's body, Voldemort stepped closer to the bound Harry, causing an even greater pain in the Gryffindor's head. "I sense a great potential lying within you Harry Potter; potential that even the great Albus Dumbledore would refuse to acknowledge. There are things that I can teach you that you would have never in your life thought to be possible. Join me Harry Potter and I will give you anything you could ever desire."
Harry's green eyes stared into Voldemort's red, considering the offer. It was tempting. Very tempting. Imagine the look of his friend's faces when they realize what kind of person Harry would become. He could make a name for himself, a name outside the Boy-Who-Lived. He didn't want to be remembered for something that he had almost no memory of. It wasn't like he had said, 'Oh, I'm going to kill myself a Dark Lord today.' He would do the very thing that no one would have expected him to do. Join the Dark Lord.
"Okay." He said, pulling himself from his thoughts. "I'll do it. I'll help." He stated this with a finality. He had to convince himself that what he was doing wasn't entirely immoral.
Voldemort smiled, a look that didn't suit him well. "You have made the right choice. Now, if you'll hand over the Stone…."
Number 4, Privet Drive…
Harry threw himself onto his bed, glad to be out from the watchful eye of the Dursleys. The ride back from Platform 9 ¾ had been the most tense ever. He wasn't sure, but he had thought he had detected a hint of fear from his Uncle. It was as if Harry was going to start showing his 'freakiness' and begin hexing everybody in the car. Though, if he had been able to practice magic outside of school, he would have hexed them as soon as one of them so much as glared at them. When they pulled into Privet Drive, Uncle Vernon had told Harry to stay in his room for a couple of days while they figured out what to do with him. He had merely shrugged before taking his trunk upstairs by himself. He didn't care, the less he saw of his 'loving' family, the happier Harry was. Besides, he needed time to think about his last week or so at Hogwarts.
He was glad to be away from the scrutinizing gaze of his Headmaster. There were times he could swear the old man knew when he was lying or trying to avoid a question; it was a feeling he had gotten several times over the school year. When Dumbledore questioned him about what happened between him and Quirell, Harry barely stayed one step ahead of him.
The only excuse he could come up with was that he couldn't remember much about his interaction, that everything had happened so fast. The question of the Sorcerer's Stone, he had a bit a trouble lying about, so he had decided to go with a half truth. The Gryffindor had told his Headmaster that Voldemort had somehow gotten hold of the stone. His answer had seemed to satisfy the Headmaster, but Harry wasn't sure how much.
During the whole conversation, Harry had feared that he would slip up and mention the deal that he had made with his supposed enemy. He didn't want to mess everything up so early and get sent to jail for it. He was glad the questioning was over for the time being as he didn't think he could come up with more lies to tell. A bit of feigned fatigue had gotten rid of the Headmaster a bit early. Madame Pomfrey showing up and shooing him away also helped. He already felt slightly guilty for lying to everybody about what really happened, but it was all for the best.
His thoughts were interrupted by a soft tapping at his window. A barn owl sat outside on his windowsill with a letter and a small package attached to its leg.
Harry jumped off his bed and opened the window, letting the owl in. As soon as he untied the package, the owl immediately flew back out the window. So much for giving it some Owl Treats. Not recognizing the owl or the handwriting on the letter, he cautiously unrolled the letter and started reading the elegant, flowing script.
The conversation we had two weeks ago was very enlightening. I trust you are still willing to join my side. We would make fearsome allies. You have already showed your loyalty to me by handing over the Sorcerer's Stone. It was a good choice, but unfortunately, the Stone was a fake. I was lucky to notice this before making an attempt to use it myself. Quirell died in the process of finding this out, but his death was not at a loss to me.
After much consideration, I have found the best way for you to learn a certain portion of my knowledge. Enclosed, you will find a necklace that will impart almost six years of memories unto you. I will not lie to you; the process will be painful for you. Your mind will have to adjust to having the knowledge of a sixteen year old placed into an eleven year old mind.
There are some memories that will be withheld from you. I may or may not reveal these to you later on. Only time will tell. If you do not think you will be able to use the method I have provided, I will attempt to find another one for you to use.
Do not get caught. I suggest you find a way to destroy this letter before it is accidentally discovered.
Harry finished the letter, his mind going over the contents. He was apprehensive at the thought at having Voldemort's memories inside his head. Not only that, the part about the pain was a bit daunting. He weighed out the pros and cons. The obvious one would be that he would have knowledge that an almost twelve year old would probably never dream of having. The downside of it was that there was a chance that he could be incapacitated for a few hours. There was no telling what Dudley or Vernon would do if either one of them found Harry powerless and unable to defend himself. He was sure they would try to take advantage of him and beat him to a pulp. But then again, he could always threaten them with the use of magic. As clueless as they were about the Underage Use of Magic laws, they wouldn't try to do anything to him.
With that thought in mind, Harry turned his attention to the small parcel that lay on his bed. He slowly opened it, hands shaking at the prospect of what he was about to do. He could always just not do this; he wasn't being forced to inherit the Dark Lord's memories. But he had already gone past the point of no return when he agreed to join Voldemort and had given him the Stone. In Harry's mind, there was no turning back now.
He pulled out a silver chain with a large, gleaming emerald dangling off it. The stone looked oddly bright in the dim light of his room. He suspected it was where the memories were being contained, memories he was now to inherit. Taking a deep breath, Harry slipped the necklace over his head, letting the weight of the stone fall against his chest.
Pain. That was the first thing he felt as a blinding, white hot pain shot through his body and to the jagged scar on his forehead. He cried out as he fell off the bed and onto the floor. Snatches of conversations and dozens of different settings flashed quickly throughout his mind, assaulting his senses as the pain intensified.
The last thought he had before darkness enveloped him was that maybe, just maybe, he could have changed his mind.
A/N: Hey, thanks for reading my story! I hope you enjoyed it. More will be coming as soon as possible. If you have any questions, just ask and I'll respond to them asap. This is the first story that I've written that I've really gotten into, so I'm real serious about it. Thanks again.