Disclaimer: I own nothing and this is not for profit.

Interlude: Mirror…

The Joker felt oddly at home inside the Shrieking Shack. Decayed, old, and broken. Completely and utterly neglected, even feared. An edifice and a legend at the same time; created for the sole purpose of containing a monster.

The Joker's presence didn't seem to change all that much.

Still, there was something else about the house that made the ends of his mutilated lips curl in appreciation. He closed his eyes and ran his gloved hands over the dusty wooden surfaces. He sniffed the stale air. He felt the cobwebs stick to his face as he walked through them.

A spider scurried through his hair: matted and sticky with green paint and blood.

The Joker smiled and giggled slightly. Everything felt so familiar

He heard a rattling in one of the rooms upstairs. The Joker's dark green eyes flashed open with curiosity as he moved towards the stairs. He hummed as he traced patterns in the dust on the handrail. The stairs cracked and wailed under the pressure of his footfalls. The whole house seemed to complain at his intrusion. The Joker giggled as he took the last remaining stairs two at a time, nearly ripping the nule post out as he got to the top.

He heard the rattle again.

"Yoo-hoo…" the Joker whispered, ending with a soft whistle. He then quickly gnashed his teeth and smacked his lips.

He found the room where the noise was coming from and opened the door to a long and loud creaking sound. It was a bedroom, though it took some effort to identify it as such. Much of the furniture was smashed and ripped, evidence of one of Moony's transformations.

He heard the rattle again and his eyes immediately flickered over to the large wardrobe in the corner of the room. Its front mirror was smashed, the cracks spidering out from the center. Huge slash marks covered its sides. It leaned against the back wall at an angle, it's back right leg snapped off. It shook slightly, rattling.

The Joker's eyebrows shot up and he barked out a quick laugh. Capturing the boggart at Grimmauld Place for his "present" to Hugo Weasley had robbed him of his opportunity to confront one himself. He was curious to say the least.

The Joker snapped his gloved middle finger against the palm of his left leathered hand. The handle of the wardrobe cracked open like a twig in the night. The long creak was predictable…

The Joker giggled as he watched the door slowly swing open. He truly was at a loss for what might crawl out of that wardrobe; but he still longed to see it.

Something flopped to the floor, hard. It looked like a small mess of old rags, but it moved. It shuffled slowly and shook. That's when the Joker heard a sob. One sob followed another and another.

The Joker stiffened. His smile vanished. His eyes darkened.

A small head of messy black hair appeared. The Joker stared into the emerald green eyes of his youth, of his innocence.

Tears were streaming down his tiny face. He brought his arm up and wiped his nose on the oversized sleeve of his raggedy shirt. He turned and looked at the ground, searching with an outstretched hand and his squinting eyes for his lost, broken glasses.

The Joker started slowly walking to his left; circling the small boy.

The child found his glasses just inside the entrance of the wardrobe. He wiped at his eyes again, still weeping, and looked up at the Joker. Desperation filled his gaze.

"P-please…" cried the little boy with green eyes and messy black hair. "Pleasehelp me…" his voice barely above a whisper, but filled with emotion. His small hand reached up and rubbed his forehead; his scar.

The Joker continued to pace, his expression betraying no sympathy for the boy. His lips smacked as a low growl boiled up from his throat.

The child's cries became more insistent, louder: "PleaseII can't…please…" He began to sob harder and his chin burrowed into his chest as he winced from an unseen pain.

A fire began to dance in the eyes of the Joker, and his blood-red lips twitched.

The boy's pathetic weeping continued. "P-please…I can't…" he sobbed harder now and cried out harshly, "I can't stay here!"

The Joker was on him in a flash. He dropped to one knee as his left hand fisted that messy black hair and pulled hard while his right hand gripped his throat and chin. He gnashed his teeth and giggled.

"Ohhhh," he said in fake voice of concern, "don't you like the box, Harry?" His tongue danced over his yellow teeth; the mangled scars of his cheeks being drawn to their limits.

The Joker could only giggle as Harry responded only by closing his eyes and whimpering.

"Come now, Harry," the Joker admonished in a motherly tone even as he tightened his grip on his throat, "surely you're stronger than that…" he growled and clenched his teeth as the fire in his eyes blazed.

Boggart Harry was now stiff and near catatonic; his eyes wide with fear, his breath quick and harsh. An occasional tear escaped both eyes, running quickly over his cold, pale skin.

"The box isn't so bad, is it Harry?" The Joker asked tilting his head and smacking his lips. "Though," his head tilted again, he closed his eyes and began to nod his head vigorously, "I suppose I should know…" he opened his eyes, and glared at the boy, shaking his small head with his left hand still firmly embedded in his hair, "shouldn't I, Harry?" Another growl rumbled from his throat.

The child's pupils began to shrink.

The Joker pulled "Harry's" head closer, his gaze boring into the boy's eyes. He smiled slightly, but his eyes showed only madness.

"You left me in that box…" His focus shifted wildly as he continuously relaxed and reflexed his grip on his throat, "…didn't you, Harry?" he asked in a voice just above a whisper. The sickening scars seemed to draw blood as the Joker's smile threatened to reopen the old wounds.

The Joker shifted his legs so he was kneeling on both knees, pulling the boy up higher; too high for him to kneel and too low for him to stand. He choked and coughed against the gloved-iron grip around his throat.

"You" he gnashed his teeth and growled, "you… left me there, Harry!" He giggled as he watched the boy's face begin to redden and purple.

The stench of piss and shit suddenly filled the Joker's nostrils. His cackling laughter filled the shack.

"He-heeeBut I'm out now, Harry!" the Joker's eyes seemed to glow green. "I'm out now, and I'm not going back…" he pulled the boy closer until he was just an inch from his face, "I am NEVER," he roared and shook with an intense rage, "EVER…going back!"

The boy's eyes widened and he struggled to shake his head. His lips moved, struggling to mouth a muted "No". He was shivering in fear.

The Joker raised his eyes in amusement: "'No?'" he asked disbelievingly as he released his throat and rubbed his hand over the boy's forehead and hair. "'No,' Harry?" His burning eyes never left the boy. "Why not?" His hands were still trembling in a rage that produced a tremor in his voice.

The fear was still in the boy's eyes but a hint of stubbornness, of defiance was there as well. He was still choking and coughing, but he managed to say, "N-no…they'll…they'll see" Fresh tears. "They'll see…you…" Sob. "they'll see me"

The Joker's giggles built up into a crescendo of cackling laughter. "ARE YOU—HAHA—ARE YOU STILL TRYING…" he could hardly control his hysterics, "ARE YOU STILL TRYING TO SAVE THEM, HARRY?" His eyes were wide with incredulity. His mouth hung open with his smile. Tears threatened in the Joker's own eyes. Not tears of joy, but tears of madness.

The boy's eyes were begging, pleading. His breath seemed to catch in his throat. He didn't need to say anything, though. His whole demeanor said it for him:


His eyes dropped and he looked away before closing.

"Look at me, Harry," the Joker said as he gripped the boy's neck again.

The boy's eyes did not open.

"LOOK--AT--ME!!!" the clown roared and shook with rage.

Innocent green met emerald fire. The Joker just grinned, but no joy shown in those eyes. He answered Harry's unspoken plea with one of his own.


The Joker gave a bark of laughter and threw the boy down. He stood tall and turned his back on the pathetic sight. He turned his back on Harry Potter.

"You always were…destined…for Slytherin," the Joker stood stiff as he licked his lips, "weren't you Harry?"

The boy looked down in shame, he was no longer crying. He was out of tears.

"After all, Harry, you've always been a snake," the Joker's head twitched as he closed his eyes grunting; seemingly blocking something out, "haven't you?"

The boy said nothing. He stared off into space.

"It was only today, Harry," the Joker licked and smacked his lips, his eyes still closed, "that I figured out what kind of snake you are…"

The boggart boy finally looked up, his brow knit in confusion.

The Joker turned slowly. His eyes opened; staring back into himself. He smiled.

Before the child could blink, a massive hyena stood rigid before him, cackling ferociously…

Screams of terror and unbearable pain soon mixed with the tearing, ripping, and ferocious snarls of animal feeding to fill the Shrieking Shack with a symphony of horror, violence, and death...

As the boggart morphed back into the black, ink-like goo that constituted its true nature; the Joker transformed back into the clown. He quickly stumbled and vomited the thick black liquid all over the broken mirror of the wardrobe.

He stepped back and saw his own reflection. He spluttered—some of the goo still clinging to his lips and chin—and began to laugh hard, so hard that he fell to the ground in a pool of what was left of the boggart. He rolled with laughter; whipping his hair.

"HAHAAAA--YOU'RE…" he shouted with laughter, "YOU'RE AN OUROBOROS!!!" He laughed harder. "GET IT, HARRY?"

A/N: I've been away. I've been neglectful. Yada-yada…I've been a shitty writer.

Basically, this is a test chapter to see if anyone is still interested in this story. I have rough drafts saved and waiting review and I'm just curious to see if anyone is going to read them.