The Allure of the Darkness
Disclaimer: None of this is mine, save the computer I am writing this on. Trust me.
It had been two days since the confrontation with the Order, and Harry couldn't help but feel as though it had been far too quiet for his tastes. After he and Bellatrix had arrived in the manor following the attack, they had been called in to see the Dark Lord. And give a report.
Harry vividly remembered the praise the Dark Lord had bestowed upon them for surviving an attack and killing Alastor Moody. In truth, it was Bellatrix that killed Moody, it was Bellatrix who held off Dumbledore, and it was Bellatrix who got them out of there. Harry didn't do a blasted thing, save breaking Tonks's leg and dueling Kingsley.
He smoothly rose to his feet and paced the room, scowling slightly as he thought back on the fight. He knew he could do better, and he knew he could have finished Tonks, since she was lying on the ground sporting a broken leg, and he could have also kept himself from getting hit. He was interrupted mid-thought when his arm began burning; the Dark Lord was calling.
Sweeping around, Harry grabbed his clean mask from the table and slipped it onto his glasses-free face. He couldn't remember when he had lost his glasses, but he didn't seem to need them anymore. Slipping his mask onto his face, he glanced in the mirror quickly to check his appearance.
His only distinguishing feature was his emerald eyes and messy black hair. Narrowing his eyes in concentration, Harry tapped the top of his head, causing his hair to neatly style itself atop his head.
Nodding, he quickly crossed the room and walked briskly down the hall. Navigating the turns expertly, he soon found himself within the Dark Lord's throne room, along with the rest of his brethren. Walking to the forefront, he knelt before the Dark Lord.
"Milord," he said, pressing his forehead to the floor and waiting.
"You may rise," the Dark Lord said calmly, "Take your place amongst your brothers and sisters."
Harry rose and bowed his head; backing into his place to the Dark Lord's left. He watched as Death Eater after Death Eater did the same thing, though, only the Inner Circle stood behind the Dark Lord. He watched as Bellatrix took her place to the Dark Lord's right, and the remainder of the Inner Circle took up positions beside the two.
Finally, when the movements died down, the Dark Lord rose from his throne and looked upon the throng of people arrayed before him, his crimson eyes looking down upon the masked figures.
"My most loyal followers," he began, looking upon them, "It brings me great satisfaction to see all of you before me, alive and free, of course."
Harry looked down at the people around him, glad that the Dark Lord had generously taken his time to tell him the proper etiquette for these meetings. He had managed to enter, properly greet his lord, and assume his position in the Inner Circle ranks, and he did it without embarrassing himself.
"After careful consideration," the Dark Lord continued, "I have decided that a raid is in order. Yes, you all did go and prove your worth as Death Eaters, but the Ministry is still delusional about their safety. We will strike at their strongest points, and we will cripple them."
The mass before him surged forward, shouting to the Dark Lord, pledging him their services.
Raising his hands, the Dark Lord smirked, "Very good. Amycus, Alecto, you two will create teams of twenty, but not participate with them. I have a special mission for your particular . . . talents."
The twin siblings bowed to their lord, their clear blue eyes scanning the crowd, already dividing the Dark Masses into veritable strike teams.
"You are dismissed," the Dark Lord said, causing the masses to start moving toward the exit, masked by the noise, the Dark Lord turned and addressed Bellatrix, "You and Lucius shall lead the raid. I will give you your target tonight, and then you will have time to plan the best method of attack."
"Yes, milord," she said, bowing to the powerful man, "It shall be as you command."
"Harry, I think now would be an appropriate time to speak with Severus," he said, turning toward the teen, "I would like to know if he is my leak, after all."
"Right away, milord," Harry said, bowing at him, "If I may be dismissed?"
"You may," he said, allowing Harry to walk from the room.
As soon as Harry was clear of the room, he broke into a run, searching the manor as he did. He turned down the hall leading toward the apparition point, and spotted the unmistakable billowing robes of his potions professor.
"Professor," he shouted, trying to catch up to the man as he put on his Golden Gryffindor façade, "Professor Snape."
The hook-nosed professor spun, looking at the teen in confusion. His onyx eyes narrowed as he tried to figure out the identity of the masked person running toward him.
When Harry drew near, he reached up and removed his mask, revealing a panicked expression.
"Professor," he said, panting, falling into his Gryffindor role easily, "I need help. I think I made a huge mistake."
"Potter," the man asked, surprised as he pulled off his own mask, "What are you doing here?"
"I got into Voldemort's good graces. I thought I could handle it," he said, looking back the way he came nervously, "But I can't. Professor, you have to get me out. He's going to kill me, I just know it."
"Potter, pull yourself together," he said, looking around before lowering his voice, continued, "I will speak with Dumbledore. I'll get you out of here. Just wait a few more days."
"Thank you," Harry said, relieved, closing his eyes, "I couldn't take anymore."
"I must go," the Professor said, sliding his mask back onto his face, "I have to inform the Headmaster."
The Potions Master spun and stalked into the room housing the apparation point. He didn't see the look of sadistic glee cross Harry's features as the man departed the Manor.
"Stupid," Harry said with a sneer, "Stupid man. He didn't even try to check my honesty. Damn I'm good! Congratulations Harry, on a job well done!"
Harry re-entered the throne room, noting the presence of the Inner Circle, his mask back upon his features. He kneeled to the Dark Lord and awaited the man's permission to stand.
"Rise, my faithful servant," the Dark Lord intoned, gesturing grandly, "What do you have for me, Harry?"
"Snape is not one of yours," Harry said succinctly, "Unless he is waiting to give you the news later. He told me he would inform the Headmaster and get me out of here."
"That wasn't the news I was hoping for, but, I now know where my information leak is," the Dark Lord said, thinking, "We'll keep him alive for a while yet. We can use him to feed Dumbledore some bad information. It will also keep you from their suspicions, thinking you are working with me out of a skewed sense of righteousness, rather than a change of heart."
"Of course, milord," Harry said, bowing again, "It is my pleasure."
"Very good," Voldemort said, then turned to Bellatrix, "Bella, I want you to take Harry. They may try to snatch him back during the raid. You will not allow this to happen."
"Yes, milord," Bellatrix said bowing to him, "It will be done."
"Very good," the Dark Lord said, "Your target will be the Auror Academy. I originally planned for no survivors, but circumstances have changed. I want your main objective to send them a message. Make the populous know that the Ministry cannot be trusted. We need to create anarchy before we can pick up the pieces and arrange them to our liking."
"It will be as you wish, milord," Bellatrix said, bowing yet again, "We will make sure it is done."
"Excellent," the Dark Lord said, a malicious smile sliding onto his features, "You are all dismissed."
The Inner Circle bowed, backpedaling to the exit before leaving the Dark Lord to his devices.
Harry walked away from the revel with a sense of self-accomplishment. Reaching up, he removed his mask from his features and slipped it into his pocket. Walking through the halls, he idly thought about how he had just sold out his most hated Potions Professor, but he couldn't bring himself to care. Entering his room, he couldn't help the feeling of glee from welling up within his chest.
"You shouldn't have fucked with me Dumbledore," he said, a cruel smirk twisting his features, "Now it is my turn to get my revenge, with interest."
Throwing his head back, he began cackling madly. Unbeknownst to him, Bellatrix was watching from the doorway, one eyebrow raised at his actions.
"Well, that was interesting Potter," she said, a vicious smile snaking its way onto her features.
He stopped abruptly and spun to her, drawing his wand as he did so, the tip glowing red for a brief moment before dying as he lowered his wand.
"Oh, it's you," he said, turning from her to glance upon his empty bookshelves.
"Glad to see I'm appreciated," she muttered sardonically, moving from the doorway and walking over to his chairs and flopping into one gracelessly. He scowled at her.
"That's my chair," he said, glaring at the dark witch.
"Sorry," she asked, looking not-at-all sorry, "Your point?"
"That's my chair," he said again, unsubtly hinting for her to move, "My favorite chair!"
"They are all your chairs," she said, rolling her eyes at the belligerent teen, "And they are all the same."
"But that one is my favorite," he pointed out, eyebrows raising slightly.
"Too bad," she said, "I'm not moving."
"Bella," he whined, sagging slightly, "Please?"
"Let me think about it," Bellatrix said, shifting in her seat, "And the answer is . . . no."
Harry's face twisted into a menacing mask, his emerald eyes darkening with his anger.
"Oh, just sit down," Bellatrix said, rolling her eyes again, "You weren't even sitting in it."
"Oh," he said, looking down, "True."
He walked over and sat down, folding his arms across his chest in his final bout of petulance. Scowling slightly, he looked back at her, eyebrows raised slightly.
"What are you doing here," he asked, tilting his head to the side, regarding her silently.
She shrugged, crossing her arms across her chest as she sank into the cushions with a small smile, her violet eyes regarding him curiously from her spot several feet away.
"What," he asked, confused, looking behind himself before glancing back at her, "Do I have something in my teeth?"
"No, it's nothing," she said simply, turning her head away to look into the flickering flames in the fireplace.
Harry turned to look into the fire with her, sitting in companionable silence for several minutes, pondering a question that had been on his mind for several days. Frowning, he released an explosive sigh, shifting forward and burrowing his head into his hands with a frustrated sound from his throat.
"What's wrong," Bellatrix asked, having turned and looked at the ebony-haired teen, her brow furrowed slightly.
He grunted slightly in reply, refusing to do anything else, fingers slipping through his hair, dragging his nails along his scalp. He heard the shifting of cloth before a cool fingertip brushed against the back of his hand, causing him to jerk his head up and look at her. A niggling doubt flared in his mind, causing him to drop his head back down into his hands, frown marring his features as his bright emerald eyes stared at the floor between his feet.
"There's something wrong," she stated, tilting her head and once again watching him curiously, "I can tell. I may not be mentally stable, but I am no idiot."
"I'm having…doubts," he admitted quietly, his eyes still staring at the ground, "Not about my allegiance to the Dark Lord; but more about whether I can kill as remorselessly as the next Death Eater. I killed my relatives, sure, but they were disgusting people. Not even Death Eaters would do what they did to me. And that Auror at the prison, he deserved what he got." Lifting his head once more, he looked at the dark witch before him for a few moments before turning and looking into the fire. "I don't know if I can just murder people who I used to be friends with, no matter what they had done to me. Or even complete strangers. I don't know if I can do it. Fight them, yes. But killing them, or worse, I don't know if I am strong enough."
Sighing, Bellatrix leaned away from him, tilting her head to the side as she carefully regarded him. His head turned to track her movement, a guarded expression slowly shifting onto his features. His tongue darted out, wetting his lips, just realizing what he had just said, and to whom he said it. Oops. Probably shouldn't have told her of my doubts, he thought to himself, swallowing nervously.
"Then I do believe we have a problem, Potter," Bellatrix said slowly, folding her hands in her lap casually, "But, possibly, one we can fix. And without the Dark Lord finding out."
"We do," he said simply, trying to smother the nervousness he suddenly felt, "What're you going to do?"
"You can relax because I'm not going to tell the Dark Lord," she said suddenly, turning her violet eyes away from him, "And everyone feels what you do when they first join. Lucius did. Rabastan did. Hell, even I did. It isn't unheard of."
Harry sighed, rubbing his hand over his face. "How did you get past it? How do you do it then," he asked quietly, dropping his head into his hands once more with a groan.
It was several minutes before Bellatrix spoke again, her voice quiet. "I used to think that the person I was supposed to harm was Rodolphus. It's actually a pity that I wasn't able to kill him," she said simply, "After a while, the spells become second nature, and you don't even have to imagine the one you want to harm."
"That…that actually makes sense," he said thoughtfully, "Thanks, Bella."
"It was nothing. But I do have one question for you," she said in reply, "How were you able to do such spells? I know none of us taught you those, yet, at any rate."
"You did tell me how to cast the Cruciatus in the Ministry, remember," he pointed out, "And I share a mind…connection with the Dark Lord himself. I sometimes see things he is seeing in fits of great emotion. When he casts the spells, I can tell how they feel, what he's thinking. It's easy to replicate."
Bellatrix stared at him thoughtfully, raising one neatly sculpted eyebrow for a brief second. "Is that all," she asked curiously, the thought of someone able to view the Dark Lords mind intriguing her.
"Well, no," he said frowning slightly, "My scar burns sometimes when he's near, and he's feeling great emotion. He can also access my memories too, just as I can his. I have never understood it, and Dumbledore didn't attempt to explain it." The last half of that sentence was spat out with such venom that Bellatrix rocked back slightly, her eyebrows raised nearly to her hairline.
She was quiet for so long that Harry looked up at her nervously, only to find her sitting silent in her chair, studying him like he was some unidentified animal. Her violet eyes were narrowed slightly, a single long finger tapping lightly upon the arm of her chair. They remained like that for several long moments, his bright emerald eyes locked upon hers, and her head slightly canted to the side as her eyes searched his own, trying to find answers to questions Harry didn't know. His tongue flicked out and gently traced his lips, freezing when he saw her eyes drop to the appendage before flicking back up to his face.
Rising suddenly to her feet, Bellatrix swept gracefully across the room, leaving Harry standing there, staring at her back in confusion as she left the room. What had he done?
Bellatrix stood in the middle of her rooms, her brow furrowed as she stared down at the dark carpet beneath her feet. Her hands were clenched in to fists, nails biting deeply into her palms, blood dripping from her knuckles to land on the carpet.
What was wrong with her? Her emotions were running rampant, and all for what? Meeting the gaze of a boy many years her senior. No, that's not it, and you know it, her rebellious mind whispered to her, causing the black-haired witch to shake her head violently, he made you feel. Truly feel for the first time. And he did so in less than a week.
Shaking her head violently, she bared her teeth in a wordless snarl, fists tightening as the sharp points of pain flared on her palms. Damn him. She had thought she would be free of this kind of shit, and now look at her, she was arguing with herself after fleeing his presence.
Releasing a frustrated scream, Bellatrix whipped her wand from its sheath and pointed it at a heavy oaken desk against her wall, blasting curse ripping itself from the end of her wand as she blew it into pieces. It wasn't enough. Quickly repairing it, she did so again and again until the desk couldn't be repaired any longer.
Sinking to her knees, Bellatrix panted harshly, her hands spread upon the carpet before her. She was truly lost. She didn't know what to do. Turning her head, she stared at the wall towards Harry's room, her violet eyes tormented and confused.
A/N: My most sincere apologies for the extremely late delay. Hopefully the next chapter will take much less time. So, the usual, read and review. I love to hear your questions, and most importantly, I like to see your opinions. TMLO