Harry walked up the stone steps leading out of the dungeons with such a feeling of dread that he turned when he reached the top and considered falling backwards. If his body was mangled enough he may not be handed over to Mulciber. He looked down the long staircase wondering if he might actually die from the fall. He couldn't let himself die, not with the prophecy hanging over his head and the fate of the Wizarding world at his feet. He resigned himself to his fate, putting all his faith into Snape's plan. The man hadn't let him down yet so he had to hold onto that hope.
He pushed the door open and was greeted by the same old house elf that he had used Crucio on. He wanted to apologize but that might just alert Lucius to his true feelings on doing something so abhorrent.
The house elf took hold of his hand and in a flash of a second he found himself in a large bathroom. The floors and walls were gray marble, cold on his already freezing feet. One whole wall was dedicated to a shower with ten different shower heads at different levels. The house elf snapped his fingers and all the shower heads came on at once. A second snap left Harry completely naked.
"In you go," the house elf said, clearly angry with him. "Wash everything or I will need to use a spell to do it for you."
Harry stepped into the water, hissing as the hot water hit his back.
"Could you make it cooler?" Harry asked, trying to turn his back away from the high pressure coming from the shower head. In an instant the water was icy cold and he screamed as he jumped out of the shower.
"Listen, I didn't want to use that spell on you. I HAD to do it. I'm sorry that you were hurt," Harry groused out, shivering now that he'd been soaked with the freezing water.
The house elf looked like he was considering Harry's apology. Then they both heard Lucious yell to them to hurry. The house elf suddenly looked frightened and Harry found himself back in the shower. This time five different wash cloths were magically cleaning him with one more wash cloth scrubbing his hair. It was the most thorough washing he'd ever had! It ended with all the shower heads turning on full blast to rinse him off. He yelped at the water pressure but it was all done in a flash.
He stepped out and a giant towel magically dried him off. He felt a bubbling go through his mouth and a comb pulled through his unruly hair. The next thing he knew he was standing naked in Draco Malfoy's bedroom in front of Lucius.
"About time," the man said, giving the house elf a scowl and a poke with his cane.. Lucius used his wand to summon out a dark gray robe with silver threading, along with all the clothes a proper wizard would wear.
Harry was fully dressed with undergarments, pants, a button down shirt and the beautiful gray robe on top. He rubbed the fabric of the robe, looking down to see the insignia of a snake was on each lapel and the snakes actually moved along the collar.
"What do you say to me, Harry?" Lucius said, as if he'd run out of patience.
Harry dropped to his knees, and bowed his head, finding that he almost instinctively wanted to do this. "Thank you, Lucius."
"Get up you stupid boy!" Lucius said, rapping him on the shoulder with his cane. "That robe was hand made, finest goblin fabric you can buy! Don't get it soiled before you meet the Dark Lord."
Harry scrambled to his feet, rubbing his shoulder once he stood up. "Sorry, sir."
Lucius gave him a once over look and then nodded. "You do clean up rather nicely. The Dark Lord will be pleased." A shiver ran down Harry's spine as the ramification of those words sunk in. He could only hope that Snape's plan would work.
Another house elf popped into the room announcing, "Sir, you have visitors.
Harry caught a look of panic cross over Malfoy's face before he masked his emotions and looked sternly at Harry once more.
"You will do everything I say. There will be no hesitation. Do you understand?"
"Yes, Lucius," Harry said and followed Malfoy out the door and down the staircase, They walked into the foyer and Harry almost turned and ran when he saw Mulciber standing next to Bellatrix La Strange. It took every bit of willpower that he had to keep his face passive and his feet moving forward. He stood next to Malfoy and kept his gaze on the marble floor.
"Oh my, look at baby Potter!" Bellatrix cooed out as if Harry were two. "He does look rather dashing doesn't he?" Bellatrix came and ran her hand down Harry's arm. She leaned in and nipped at his ear.
Harry recoiled from the touch which caused the witch to hiss in his ear. "Play nicely now, or I'll tell the Dark Lord."
"Bella, he is not your toy to play with," Malfoy drawled, "Do not touch that which does not belong to you." He yanked Harry back out of her grasp and Harry had to regain his balance.
"That's right," Mulciber said gleefully, "He's gonna be my toy first La Strange. You gotta get in line."
Harry's eyes shot up to look at the man. He took a reflexive step back further when Mulciber licked his lips and grinned. Harry felt his stomach clench and he had to press a hand to it to keep from vomiting.
"Now, now, children," Malfoy said to the two adults in the room, "You must learn to share. I'm sure if we accomplish our task tonight we will all be handsomely rewarded." He pulled Harry closer to him and tilted Harry's face upward with a finger to his chin. "Wouldn't you like a reward from the Dark Lord, Harry?."
Harry nodded, not trusting his voice as fear coursed through him.
Malfoy led them outside and they all walked down the long walkway to the apparition point. Lucius had a hand to Harry's shoulder and Mulciber and Bella were in front of them as they walked down the curving pathway towards the heavy metal gates.
Harry scanned the front, realizing that there were not many places that Snape could hide. He was alert and ready for anything that may happen. He didn't make a sound when he felt a hand grasp his wrist. He looked to the side but saw no one there and knew that Snape must be hiding under an invisibility cloak. His heart soared with hope. He knew that he had to shake Lucius hand from his shoulder or risk having the man travel with them when Snape used the port key. They approached the gates just as Bella and Mulciber stopped and waited for them. They were just a step from the gate when Harry turned his head and sneezed right on Lucius robe.
Lucius lifted the hand that was on Harry's shoulder and was just about to strike him when Harry felt the pull from behind his navel and his feet left the ground. Colors swirled before his eyes as he was pulled forward. He heard a scream that sounded like Bellatrix and then he felt a razor hot laser slice his foot.
…And then he was hitting the ground. His face smashed into the tall grass and he heard shouts and spells being cast. and felt people grabbing him to stand. He was disoriented and didn't know if they had made it out or if they were still at Malfoy Manor. He looked up as Snape shed the invisibility cloak.
Snape grabbed him up, throwing him over his shoulder and ran. Harry held on, knowing that his burning foot wouldn't have allowed him to run. He caught sight of the gates of Hogwarts and his heart soared with relief! The moment was short lived because at that same moment he felt something from deep inside him click as if something alive were in his body.
A white hot pain radiated from deep inside causing him to scream. Snape clutched him tighter and continued to run. Harry couldn't stop screaming as the pain from within got worse. He was spitting out blood almost choking on how much blood was pouring out of his mouth and down Snape's back.
There was a high pitched screech which caused Snape to stop in his tracks.
"It's about bloody time!" Snape groused out. He pointed his wand and before Harry knew what was happening he found himself and Snape falling to the floor of the infirmary at Hogwarts.
He was starting to choke on the blood that threatened to drown him. He was on all fours when someone magically elevated him to a bed. His clothes were banished and Madame Pomfrey's frightened face came into view. Spell upon spell was being cast on him. He heard Professor Dumbledore adding in spells as well and then Snape poured a vial of potion over his stomach and the potion was absorbed right through his skin. That was his last memory before everything went black.
Merry Christmas everyone! Anyone reading this?
Hey are there any Betas out there that are willing to read my story that I hope to have published? Looking for experienced Beta readers - angst/father-son/ a bit of a thriller and a bit of romance