Chapter One: The Beginning
"blah" regular speech
"blah" book titles, spells, or flashbacks
Disclaimer: J.K. is a Goddess. Considering I still have to do my homework, I'm not a Goddess. Therefore, I don't own HP. All OC's are mine and mine alone. I'm not getting any profit other than bettering my own writing skills, and no copyright infringment is intended.
Summary: When the Dark Lord marked young Harry Potter as his equal, his choice was regretted. His fate now rests in the palm of a five year old Harry. How will both their lives be forever changed?
Features: Abused!Dark!Harry, Severitus, Sane!DarknotEvil!Tom, Dark!Sevvie, and Manipulative!Evil!Dumbles. Enjoy! Oh, and I should add that most characters, especially the Dark Lord, are obviously very OOC, and that this is obviously highly AU. Plus, slash involving the Dark Lord and Harry will be coming up later, and other slash will probably be popping up, too.
A/N: Ideas, suggestions, and corrections are most welcome.
A five year old Harry Potter sat on the back steps of the Dursley residence on a hot summer day in early July, cradling his broken wrist to his chest and trying to blink blood out of his eye from his split eyebrow. Oh how he hated his uncle and his random temper tantrums; he always came out of them hurting. As if locking him in the cupboard under the stairs, withholding all but the least amount of food possible to survive, and working him to death wasn't enough, he had to add beating him up to that list. The treatment showed in his wiry, scrawny frame and his short stature.
Ridiculous humans! Can never leave well enough alone; always out shortening the grass every other day, and always trying to kill me on sight...Idiots. The lot of them. A voice came from near the hedge.
Harry started, wincing when he jarred his injuries, and turned to look in the direction of the sound. "Hello. Who's there?" He called out softly, not wanting to bring attention to his hiding spot and bring back his uncle or cousin.
Wonderful. Another human, but maybe this one won't try to behead me like the last one did. That same voice sounded, but this time it seemed a bit closer than before.
Why would I try to behead you? Harry snorted in disgust, not noticing the slip into Parseltongue. I don't even know you. Where are you, anyway?
This time the voice was right beside him. You speak, human?! No one besides my master can speak our language!
Of course I speak. All humans speak. But you say I'm speaking a different language than most humans? Harry, oddly enough, had no qualms about talking to the deep blue-black snake that looking down to his feet revealed to him and only seemed vaguely shocked. Even more surprising was his speaking skills; he was exceptionally well-versed in the English language for someone of his age.
You're speaking Parseltongue, young one. Snake language. My master told me he was the only human left who could speak it, but he must not have known about you. The snake, which must have been four feet long, seemed decidedly wistful. You must meet him, but not until you bring him back.
Bring him back? What happened to him?
Magic, Harry stated Does not exist. Ignoring the snake's hurriedly hissed protests, he continued on, My relatives, whom do not seem like reliable resources to me, but must count for something I suppose, and every book I've ever read agree on that fact. What happened to your master, anyway?
That happened to stop the snake in his tracks and his arguments died abruptly. You can read? According to his master, human hatchlings didn't learn to read their language until quite a few years after what he knew this one to be. How old are you?
Puffing up indignantly at the perceived slight, Harry replied huffily, forgetting his inquiry, I'll be six in a couple of weeks, thank you! The librarians at the library don't mind that I can read!
No, no, no, child. This is quite impressive. What do you read when you go to this library? The snake calmly placated the young boy, diverting his misplaced anger well.
I read many things. At first, when I snuck away from here to go to the library, they only gave me children's books. Later, after I'd convinced them that I was bored, I was allowed to check out more and more books of all subjects. Quirking his lips, Harry went on, I think it confused the librarians that such a young child was checking out advanced books, but when I merely turned them back in several days later, they humored me.
Well, thought the snake, how advanced he is. My master couldn't have expected this when he sent me here. Assuming the child actually understands everything he reads, what he needs now is tutoring in something more important: magic. Ah. Now, back to the matter at hand. You must learn magic. And I can convince you to believe it exists easily.
How? Harry asked skeptically. While he knew he wasn't normal, magic couldn't exist. Could it? And you know, I still have no idea what your name is, or who your master is?
Call me Ixion, child, and my master is the Dark Lord Voldemort. Giving the snake equivalent of a smirk, Ixion continued with his change of subject. I know who you are. You're Harry Potter. Master sent me to check on you, but the horse-lady you live with kept me from around here mostly. He really should have told me you could speak to me.
Snorting at the insult to his aunt, the young boy asked cautiously, Why would this Dark Lord send you to me? How would he know me at all? And you have yet to prove your magic to me.
All in time, child, all in time. You see, it's your fault he was disembodied to begin with. Ixion slithered closer, wrapping around Harry's leg as he settled in to tell his story. No interruptions until I'm finished and I'll tell you all I know. Later, you may ask questions. Now...
"Are you positive of this, Wormtail? You know the punishment if you're wrong." The Dark Lord sat on his throne at Slytherin Manor. Being the Heir had its perks. Only when he summoned his Death Eaters could they come here, but none of them had any idea where they were. It certainly provided for great security, especially with the spy he knew he had within his ranks.
Peter Pettigrew, aka Wormtail, cowered at Lord Voldemort's feet. "I swear it's correct, Master! James told me so himself! He suspects the werewolf is the traitor, and Sirius Black didn't like Dumbledore's plan for this charm in the first place. I am his Secret Keeper."
Voldemort sneered at the sniveling little rat in disgust. "Of course, no one would ever suspect someone like you, now would they, Wormtail?"
"No, Master." the rat concurred, lowering his head until his forehead was resting on the floor. "Never."
"Good. That makes you have some worth. Leave me. Now!" he shouted when the rat didn't scramble to his feet quickly enough.
When Pettigrew was gone, the Dark Lord hurried about, putting on his strongest magical armour and drinking all the strengthening and replenishing potions as was healthy. James Potter was an Auror and his wife wasn't some block-headed imbecile either. Both of them could, and would, be fighters.
Ready to leave, he turned to his snakes, Ixion and Nagini, who were still wrapped around his throne's legs. Nagini was his first friend and would always be his foremost familiar, but Ixion happened to be much smarter. Plus, he was a magical being: a son of Am-Mut, the Devourer of Souls #1.
Come with me, as the only ones I trust. Voldemort hissed to his companions. Come with me to defeat this rising threat.
Of course, Tom, dear. Nagini was the first to answer, with Ixion not far behind.
The reason Wormtail had sought Voldemort this night, All Hallow's Eve, was to tell him the whereabouts of the Potter family. One of his other servants, a Potions Master by the name of Severus Snape to be exact, had overheard a prophecy telling of the only one who could defeat the Dark Lord. While the Seer who cast the prophecy was most likely a fake, he couldn't be certain of whether this threat was real or not. Two children fit the prophesized one, being born on the last day of July, and being born to parents who had thrice defied him: the newborn Potter, and the newborn Longbottom. He couldn't let a babe be the reason he lost everything he had worked for, so he had no choice but the rid himself of the opposition.
So, allowing his serpents to situate themselves on his shoulders, he Apparated through the wards away from Slytherin Manor, and reappeared at the first magical home in Godric's Hollow, a Muggle town that had been the hidden home of many famous witches and wizards, and where Pettigrew had told him the Potters were hiding. Voldemort squared his shoulders and began to walk.
Given the small size of the place, he reached the front gate of the Potters in only a few moments. He pushed through and kept walking. When he found himself in front of the door, a quickly muttered 'Alohomora' had it creaking open. Then, he could hear the shouting within the house.
"Lily, take Harry and run!" a male who must be James Potter screamed. "It's him! I'll hold him off!"
"Hmm.." Voldemort smirked, hiding his displeasure of not being able to get it over with quickly. "Such courage. How pathetic, coming from a Mudblood lover." His delight in seeing the pale face of the elder male Potter light up with rage was evident.
"Shut up, Voldemort! You're not getting my wife, or my son!"
"Of course not. Not until I take care of you at least." He dodged a stunning spell, and took aim. "Avada Kedavra." Stepping over the cooling body of James Potter, he continued up the stairs and followed the sounds of crying to what seemed to be the child's nursery.
"No! Don't hurt my baby!" Lily stood in front of the child, who was sitting up in his crib.
Voldemort sighed. If she'd just hand him over, it'd be over with in seconds. "Step aside, you foolish girl."
"Take me instead! Just don't hurt my Harry!" The redhead was stubborn, he'd give her that. But she looked entirely too desperate to actually believe that he would accept her as his retribution.
There was nothing else for it. He'd promised Severus that he'd try to spare the girl, and try he did. He was honestly prepared to let her go, but only if she'd give up her son. Not that he really expected her to do that; what type of mother would she be then? But if he must, he must.
"Avada Kedavra." Lily Potter dropped to the ground, leaving only her son to look up at the Dark Lord.
He didn't stoop to killing children. Most of the time. If they were Muggles, they deserved it. The kids at the orphanage he grew up in made his life a worse hell than the adults did, but none of adults tried to stop their bullying. Every last one deserved what was coming to them. Magical children, on the other hand, deserved better. This one was an exception.
"So you're one of the ones with the power to kill me, are you, child?" Only his snakes saw this side of him, but there was no one to hear him but a soon-to-be-dead baby. When the little thing merely blinked at him with those deep emerald pools of his, he smiled gently.
"Daddy." Harry Potter lifted up one tiny hand and ruffled his own hair with it. "Daddy?"
"No, young one, I can't get your daddy for you. But you can be with him soon, along with your mama." Reaching inside the crib, he held out a finger for the baby to grab. Then, he pointed his wand at Harry. "I'm sorry, child. Avada Kedavra."
What happened next was shocking. Instead of Harry slumping over, the darkest curse in existence bounced off the child's forehead, and sped back towards Voldemort, engulfing him. Shadows grew from sides of the room, trapping out the light and leaving only a fiery red glow to come from the area around the child he had just tried to kill, who happened to be still awake and looking behind Voldemort.
"For the first time since this spell's creation have I ever had the misfortune of not gaining a soul somewhere."
Spinning around quickly, and still engulfed in the sickly green curse light, the Dark Lord stared in shock at the apparition in front of him. "Lucifer."
A vaguely humanoid person stood behind him, surrounded by black flame and cast into shadow by the red light the room was bathed in.
"Indeed." the almost handsome creature looked amused, under the circumstances. "And you're one of my best patrons. I owe you for all the souls you send my way, and it's not your time to join me anyway. You see, this curse is supposed to work, no matter what. If you say the words, the person at the other end is a goner."
Lucifer circled around the immobile Voldemort, who followed him with his eyes. "But it's not every day that someone as far gone in the Dark as you feels remorse for killing. The one thing you wanted most as that curse sped towards that boy wasn't any of the goals you're working for. It was the coherent forgiveness of that child." As he finally stopped and looked the Dark Lord in the eyes, Voldemort knew this wasn't going to be pleasant for him. Lucifer was enjoying this far too much.
"You'll get what you wanted, and you'll be lost to human-kind until you do." grinning, the demonic presence disappeared, leaving his parting words behind. "Make sure you keep up the good work, Tom. I'll be waiting."
Suddenly, the shadows were no more, and the room was lit with the lamp that had been on before. Then, the pain started. Voldemort felt as if his soul was being split in two, and he dropped to the ground. In all actuality, it was; his soul was being ripped from his body, but his body was fighting to retain it. He writhed on the ground as what felt like a Cruciatus doubled tenfold plowed through his very being. Nothing he'd ever felt even came close to this, especially as he felt the heavy gaze of Harry Potter resting on him. But as soon as it started, it ended. And all went black.
Master became a mere shadow of himself, unable to live, yet unable to die. He was still inside the house, though, and still able to communicate with us through our bond with him as his familiars. Nagini was to follow him far away to hide. I was to follow you and stay with you until you had grown up enough to understand his story and offer your forgiveness. So I did. When the giant-man came to take you away, I hid within your clothes and slipped away when they left you here. Ever since then, I've been watching you, young one. You may ask questions now.
Ixion finished his tale and slipped onto Harry's other leg to stretch his stiff coils. Looking up at his human perch, he noticed glazed eyes and a slightly open mouth. He poked Harry with his tail. Hard.
"Huh?" Harry jerked, before looking sheepishly down at Ixion's smirk. Sorry. My parents really weren't good-for-nothing drunks, then?
Of course not. You shouldn't believe anything those whales and that horse you live with tell you. he said with distain, Your parents loved you and died trying to protect you. Besides, your father was one of the most hard-working Aurors in the force and was high-ranking, too. Your mother was a hired Charms tutor, but she quit her job a few months before she had you.
What's an Auror? And what do you mean 'on the force'? What about Charms - Harry's figurative dam seemed to have burst, giving way to his many questions. Inwardly congratulating himself on a job well done, since he had made the child forget all about proof, Ixion halted the questioning with a nip to Harry's finger.
Not so fast, child! At Harry's apology, he settled down again to answer. An Auror is a Dark wizard catcher. Sort of like a Muggle policeman, I assume. They work for the Ministry of Magic. Seeing Harry start to ask something else, he glared, quieting him instantly.
Yes, there is a Ministry of Magic, and it's the main government. There are Ministries in each country, most of them corrupt. The British Ministry is one of the worst for abusing its power, and letting the supposed 'good' people get away with everything. Dark wizards are anyone who use the classified 'Dark' magic and oppose how the Ministry runs things. Anyone who followed Master was considered to be Dark. Now, as for your mother being a Charms tutor: Charms is a class taken at all magical schools, and is a classification of basic magic. Your mother was hired by parents to teach their child the course, or to help them understand the course they were taking. Enough of this questioning for now. There will be more time later.
Lifting his head to eye-level with Harry, Ixion asked seriously, Can you forgive Master for trying to kill you? Can you understand that your parents were casualties of war, as you would have been had you died? Can you bring my master back?
#1: Am-Mut is Egyptian, and is also spelled Ammit. I use her as a Serpent Goddess, devouring the hearts and souls of her enemies, and giving her immortality, along with some other traits, to her children. In actual mythology, she is the personification of divine retribution for all the wrongs one had committed in life. The Egyptians believed that if one didn't follow the principles of truth and justice, when they waited in the Halls of the Underworld and their hearts were weighed on the scales of justice, the hearts would weigh more than the feather they were weighed against. Then Am-Mut would eat their hearts, cursing their dead souls to eternal restlessness. She's a hybrid of everything the Egyptians feared: crocodile, lion, and hippo. Because of that, Am-Mut was never regarded as a goddess. I can pretend though, can't I? If you want to know more about her true mythology, go to wikipedia and search for Ammit.
A/N: Stupid quotations...took forever to get the Parseltongue right... So, tell me what you think.