A/N: A Harry Potter oneshot where Harry is based upon Uchiha Itachi. Features BigBrotherHarry! Or whatever the hell that means.
Edited: 23/7/09. See after the fic for more information about the influence of Itachi and the development of this story.
No one could move; even Damy was pinned in place by Harry's spell, standing out in the open with no one close to assist him. The adults were being held against walls around the room, all of them struggling against the magic that bound them. The younger generation were bound too, all stuck in their same positions, looking as though they might simply be sitting at the table of their own free will instead of being trapped by a fugitive's spell.
This deadly situation, however, wasn't about any of them…
Harry was smiling now, and everyone in the room trembled at the thought of what he would do to them. That smile… that smile… Damien hated that fucking smile! Rage flooded through him, and he struggled ferociously against the magical restraint. That fucking body-bind spell! And how did he do the spell with enough power to encompass everyone in the room?
Harry's smile was smug and victorious with perhaps a hint of madness as he shuffled one foot carefully after the other, making his way towards Damy, who was still frozen stiffly in his chair, unable to retreat or defend. Harry's progress was slow and jerky, but all the more terrifying for it. His clothes smelt grungy, and the blood dripping from his lips only added to the terror he inspired in everyone.
Another step. And his hand was reaching up now; towards Damy's face. Damy felt terror course through him – his bowels threatened to loosen; those fingers were only inches away from his eye-socket. What was he doing? He wasn't going to… going to…? Damy's eyes…? Why?
Damy whimpered as Harry took the final step. Those bloody fingers were spread in what seemed like preparation of plucking out Damy's eyeballs. "P-Please," Damy whimpered, tears of fear and sheer terror dripping down his face. The lightning-bolt scar on Damien's forehead gleamed in the flickering light. It was a foolish gesture, this pleading – Harry was too far gone for any of them to reach now.
Harry's smile changed; Damy's breath caught in his throat on a sob...
The Double Agent
A Harry Potter Oneshot
It was dark in the room. Dark and dank and dreary. Depressing.
He supposed this was what Azkaban was like, though he had never been there. There were no windows in this place, and it gave an ominous vibe, causing those who were gathered to tremble in fear and apprehension. Torches flickered from their brackets along the walls – it was hard to make out exactly who was around him.
"Damy," a voice whispered comfortingly. A hand was placed on his shoulder, and he had to stop himself from jerking in startled fright. Damy turned around and gave his mother a weak smile. Lily Potter tried to smile back at him – she was his mother after all – but her expression came off as a grimace. She seemed just as affected as he was.
Especially given why they were here.
Seventeen year old Damien tried to suppress his shiver as he sat stiffly on the uncomfortable stone chair that resided in the witness box. He looked around again, squinting in the dim light. Rows and rows of wizards and witches were seated around the room – or perhaps auditorium would be more apt – and all of them were glaring down at the central chair in the room. No one was sitting in it yet – the chains hung uselessly down by the side of the chair leg – but still the masses in the room glared at the chair. Waiting for the one who was soon to occupy it.
A group of people abruptly marched in through a side door - the noise they made was absurdly loud in the chamber. They were a mixed group, really; half of them had their chests thrust out importantly, smiling widely in anticipation of what was to come; the other half were grim-faced and steely-eyed, as though weighed down by the great burdens they would face. Damy recognised Madam Bones and felt some of the uneasiness in his stomach disappear – if she was sitting in on these proceedings, then they were sure to be fair. She took the central chair – the chair of the Minister – and, after waiting a few moments for everyone else to settle down, called the room to order. Her judge's gavel smacked down onto the desk in front of her.
"Order!" she barked. The whispers in the room immediately stopped and everyone's attention was split. Some were now looking at Madam Bones, some were looking at the empty chair in the middle of the room, and some had now moved their gaze to the door in the far corner, from where Damy guessed the prisoner would be escorted.
On either side of him, Ron and Hermione shifted, casting him nervous glances from the corner of their eyes. On Hermione's other side was Ginny Weasley, and on Ron's was Neville Longbottom. Behind them sat a fair few members of the Order of the Phoenix and a few miscellaneous parents – all of whom were grim-faced or looking disgusted.
"Be easy, son. It'll be alright," James Potter's warm voice filtered through his ears and Damy relaxed even more. His Dad was here – no, his family was here. Mum and Dad and his little sister Rose, only three years younger than him. The only one missing was…
"Bring him in," came the firm order. Damy returned his gaze back to Madam Bones as she spoke. She was sitting stiffly in her chair, as though unsure how she should act throughout this trial. Damy didn't envy her position – she was normally a fair person, but the convict who was being tried today… not a single person in the wizarding world expected him to get a fair trial. Not after everything he'd done.
Damy wished he could claim this trial was a farce… but it wasn't. He wished he could rebel against what they were going to do… but he couldn't deny it. He'd once held hope that things could change, but they were beyond that now.
Damy tensed. He could hear them; everyone could. The room had gone silent as they waited for the inmate to enter the room. Damy held his breath, hatred and love and disappointment all making a play to crawl out of his throat.
It was all coming to an end…
Beside him, his mother gave an almost-silent whimper as the door opened fully. His father leaned closer to her and put his arm around her shaking shoulders. Hermione's hand snaked over and clutched at Damy's.
Damy looked down as he entered the room. A dozen dementors surrounded him, though Damy could feel only the most muted of sensations from them. It would seem he had finally mastered his Occlumency to a level sufficient enough to block even the dementors. Damy watched as the criminal walked calmly towards the chair, his head held high and his eyes level. There was no shame in his body language. There was no remorse, nor pleading, nor pity; he was empty.
Eventually he took a seat and looked around, casually ignoring both the chains that sprang up ferociously and wrapped around him tightly, and the dementors that glided slowly out of the room, as if reluctant to let go of their truly delicious prey.
Damy gulped as he looked at features that were exactly like his own. That same thick, untameable black hair; the same arrogant, stubborn tilt to the chin and jaw; the same smooth, blemish-free, pale skin. But where Damy's brown eyes were normally warm and filled with merriment, this boy's emerald gaze had always been cold – at least in recent years.
Yes, Damien and Harry Potter looked very similar, but they were nothing alike!
Damy drew in a sharp, painful breath as Harry's eyes met his, glittering with some kind of emotion – malice, he thought.
"Harry Potter!" Madam Bones barked again. Damy saw Rita Skeeter lean forward eagerly from her perch on the other side of the room, her quill already scrawling across the page. Damy too watched intently as Harry turned his full attention to the Minister's bench.
"Harry Potter," Madame Bones said again, "You have been brought here before the Council of Magical Law, so that we might pass judgement on you and the sins you have committed."
Damy noticed his brother didn't move at all, still looking calmly at the Interim-Minister. Damy thought he might have been smirking – a shooting-squad smile, he thought – as though Harry knew things no-one else did. Then again, he might just be acting like a cocky asshole; that certainly fit with his personality far better. Although, maybe arrogance didn't fit either – Harry had always been so cold… so indifferent…
"We have all heard the evidence against you, Harry Potter. Most of the people in the courtroom today have lived through it. And as much as I would like to erase you from the face of this Earth, there is a protocol to follow - and by Merlin we will follow it. I won't have you getting released on some technicality, just because someone through a cabbage at your head while you were in our custody or some such nonsense-"
Disgust tightened her every word, but she was polite enough to break off her speech when Harry abruptly coughed. His shoulders shook and he made muffled sounds as his head and neck drooped. Damy leaned forward, desperate to get a look at exactly what was going on – and then he almost instantly recoiled.
Blood dripped slowly from Harry's mouth, gently crawling down the slope of his chin to give a drip onto the stone floor. The sound echoed quite loudly in the chamber.
Madame Bones' eyes narrowed as she looked around suspiciously. "I had best not find out that one of my aurors took matters into their own hands," she whispered dangerously, her voice carrying easily across the room. The crowd shifted uneasily, frightened by this odd turn of events. "Madame Pomfrey, if you would."
Damy watched, frowning deeply, as Madame Pomfrey – the Hogwarts Healer – bustled over, cautiously approaching Harry before she ran him over with her wand. The crowd watched as Harry sat back up straight – Madame Pomfrey jerked back! – and turned his glaring gaze on the healer. His eyes, which Damy had once thought to be smug, were now filled with an impenetrable steel, and he knew, with absolutely certainty that Harry was beyond salvation.
Madame Pomfrey swallowed reflexively in fear before she turned up to the Minister's bench. "It's just a stomach ulcer. It'll fix itself up over the next few days." Her words were stiff, and Damy thought that maybe she was uncomfortable about skipping out on her Healer's Oath, no matter who the patient may be. She returned to her seat as Madame Bones voice boomed again.
"Very well, we will continue. As I said, Mr. Potter, we have heard the evidence against you – all of it – and are about to reach our verdict. Is there anything you wish to add to your testimony before we pronounce judgement?"
There was a pregnant silence in the room; the crowd waited with hateful, baited breath for the traitor to speak up. Harry's steely gaze didn't flicker as he locked eyes with Madame Bones. The silence continued, and the Minister opened her mouth to announce something when Harry spoke.
His voice was as smooth and comforting as Damy remembered – he'd always envied that about his older brother. All through puberty, Damien had squeaked and squawked - he and Ron both. But Harry had seemingly moved from the high-pitched boyish voice straight to that of a deep-voiced, seductive man.
"Where is Albus Dumbledore's portrait?" The crowd visibly flinched as he spoke, and even though girls and women may once have melted at the sound of his voice, all they could now manage was to recoil with disgust.
"That is none of your concern," was the firm reply, only slightly tinged with loathing. There was more silence, and then-
"Is that all you have to say? After everything you've done?!" a random voice demanded.
Harry sat silently. Damy started biting his fingernails as he waited. Surely Harry would say more; something to sooth this crowd that looked as though they were about to draw-and-quarter him on the spot. How could he stand it?!
Damy felt his mother gently reach around and clasp his hand, taking fingernails away from the temptation of his mouth and teeth.
And Harry was silent.
Madame Bones gave a grunt, and then smashed her hammer onto the bench again. "You, I suppose, are in luck," she finally gritted out. "We discussed your sentence quite extensively last night. A great number of this council wished to have you put to death-"
Damy felt his breath stop and behind him he could feel the tension in his parents. Sure, Harry had murdered and tortured and raped people, but he was their son…
"We were going to put you to death, Harry Potter," Harry didn't react one iota to that pronouncement, "but I spoke my piece – not on your behalf you understand, but on the behalf of all those who couldn't speak for themselves. For Frank and Alice Longbottom, for Katie Bell, and for every other one of your other victims. For them, you will spend the remainder of eternity in Azkaban." She gave him a final glare of hatred as one name went unspoken – Susan Bones, whom Harry Potter had raped and brutalised – and she slammed the gavel one final time. "Death is too good for you," she pronounced with finality.
And through it all, Harry sat silently, not reacting, not moving at all – seemingly only caring about the fate of Albus Dumbledore's portrait.
And when the dementors came back in – all dozen of them – and dragged him out, he didn't react, and didn't flinch… and worst of all, he didn't once look over at Damy.
It had been a month since Harry's trial, and Damy was still filled with uneasiness. He had confided his feelings in Ron and Hermione, just as he always had, but they'd just assumed he was still upset about watching his elder brother get sentenced to Azkaban for the rest of all his life, in addition to just his natural life.
He was, of course – upset, that is. But his brother had been gone for years now, ever since he'd treaded down the path of the Dark Arts since the age of fourteen or so. Damy could still remember those dark days… all the screaming between Harry and Mum and Dad. And Harry had run away; Harry, who had always looked out for Damy, who had always taken the time to teach him a spell or advise him on some boring theory or even just lay down next to him while Damy worked on one of those muggle problems. Sudoku or something…
He looked up at a rattle from the window, which distracted them all from the gloomy atmosphere of the dining room table. Hedwig was hovering outside, waiting to be let in – she had a letter tied to her leg. Seeing the black envelope, Damy thought he knew what it was. For the past month, they'd received a weekly letter from Harry (or rather, the guards who looked after him), expressing that Harry was vehement that they come and see him.
Maybe Dad was right, and Harry had finally realised just what he'd gotten himself into…
"What is it, Dad? Is it another letter from Harry?" 15 year old Rose asked. She was Damy's youngest sister, and one of the earliest victims of Harry's spiral into darkness.
James Potter glared fiercely at both Hedwig and the burden she bared, now sitting comfortably on the edge of a chair. She was indifferent to both James' glare and Lily's look of anger.
Indifferent… just like Harry.
"Hasn't he ruined our lives enough?" Lily asked out the side of her mouth.
"Gimme that, Hedwig," James coerced. Hedwig seemed to realise just how this was going to happen – exactly as the last three letters had! She seemed resigned to simply handing over the letter and watching as James burned it. Damy had to wonder just why she kept flying back to Azkaban to pick up the letters – or even how she knew about them to start off with.
It seemed like Hedwig would always side with Harry.
A few days later, the Potter house was thrown into panic. Harry Potter had escaped Azkaban, and word was he was coming after his family. After Damy!
Lily and James had freaked out at first, terrified by the news – when would Harry stop terrorising them? They had run around like chickens with their heads cut off until both Remus and Rose pointed out that after Harry had turned his back on them they'd reapplied the Fidelius to Godric's Hollow, and Albus Dumbledore had been the secret keeper this time. There was no way he would have told Harry where to find them.
A few days after that realisation, everyone had seemed to relax slightly, no longer fearing an imminent attack. But everyone still walked around on eggshells, still cautious about where they went and with whom.
The Dark Lord was gone, it was true – but his greatest supporter had broken out of Azkaban only a month after being tossed in there. That, despicable as it was, was making history. It was enough to make Damy's head spin.
He sat around the table now, which had been moved into the much larger lounge room. Most of the members of the Order of the Phoenix were spaced about the room, talking in small groups. Damy, who was surrounded by Hermione, Ron, Ginny, Rose, Neville and George, thought they were probably talking about increasing security until Harry was found.
"Where do you reckon he is?" Ron asked.
"Ron! I thought we weren't going to talk about him tonight! I thought we were going to try and forget this all happened, if only for one night," came Hermione's retort.
Damy felt obliged to speak up on Ron's behalf. "Seems pretty obvious we won't be forgetting it for a while, Hermione. Any mention of Harry kinda makes everyone around here tense, you know. And with Harry on the run…"
Rose gave a shiver, probably remembering what Harry had done to her all of those years ago. George, still glum over his twin's early departure from this not-so-joyful world, put a brotherly arm around her as she sniffled.
Damy winced at the sound. "Sorry, Rosie," he muttered.
It was a moment before she got herself together enough to reply. "It's okay. It was a long time ago."
"Gonna kill that bastard if I ever see him," George muttered.
"No you won't," Ginny said practically. "I mean, think about it – You-Know-Who taught him personally, they say. I don't think any of us would stand a chance, unless he collapsed right in front of us or didn't have a wand."
"Hey, yeah," Ron spoke up again with realisation, "what was up with him at the trial? Coughing up blood or whatever."
"Madame Pomfrey said it was an ulcer. I looked it up – stomach ulcers are normally caused by stress, so it was probably one of those."
"That's our Hermione," Ginny said cheerfully, "Always eager to read more books."
"You're one to talk," she countered, "Aren't you the one who wants to be a healer?"
"Yep," Ginny beamed, "sure am. That way I can patch up old Damy over here every time he gets smacked around." She turned her burning gaze onto Damy, who flushed awkwardly at the attention. He and Ginny had been together the year before last – his sixth year of school. It had been probably the best year of his life.
And the worst. Professor Dumbledore…
Rose was just opening her mouth - to tease him, he knew – when the lights went out. The kids all tensed in the darkness. A few moments later, torches came alight along the walls. Damy saw his mum and dad striding around, flicking their wands back and forth to get some light going again. "It's okay," Lily was saying, "We've been running muggle lights, you know, with switches, and sometimes they cut out. It's probably just a shorted out fuse."
"Why're you running muggle lights?" Tonks asked blankly.
Arthur Weasley seemed much more enthused. "Really? Another muggle invention – I say Lily, James – you wouldn't mind if I had a look sometime would you? It runs off elek-tric-ety, doesn't it?"
James and Sirius Black chuckled in unison. "Nah Arthur, that won't be a problem. Lemme' just go see if I can fix em-"
He'd been heading towards the back door, the other two still-surviving Marauders following closely when he'd opened the door and an explosion threw them all off their feet. It was a few moments, filled with gentle smoke and disorientation, before Damy realised he was lying on the floor with Ginny's body thrown against his – not that he minded that aspect of this situation. Then again, the explosion kind of put a damper on any romance their physical positions might have created.
"Wha's goin' on?" Ron slurred beside him.
The adults were on their feet – Kingsley Shacklebolt was first - shouting orders to stay put while they all bolted outside to check it out. Molly Weasley stayed behind to help the children, quite content to mother them to death. Honestly, Damy thought, it had just knocked them off their feet – it's not like they'd gotten blown up or anything. No one seemed to have lost any limbs.
A few minutes later the adults were all back inside, fussing over the children and stalking to and fro, fearfully discussing whether or not the attack was the work of his brother or not. Damy honestly didn't know – Harry had never blown anything up before.
A small creak caught his ear, even through the madness of adult panic – he turned towards the other doorway and the blood instantly drained from his face. None of the adults were near it, all still crowded around the back door, as though to protect the children from another attack that might come from that direction. And now, standing in the doorway…
It was all a diversion, he realised too late. Of course it was! His brother may be insane and heading down a dark, spiralling path, but he had always been acknowledged as the genius of his generation and one of the most creative minds to ever traverse the schools of Hogwarts. There wasn't a spell he couldn't perform or a fact he couldn't dig up or a question he couldn't answer.
At least that was how it had always seemed to Damy and his friends.
"Harry! Harry, come play with me!"
"Maybe next time… little brother…"
"Damy! Damien! What's wrong?" Hermione was asking him frantically – apparently she hadn't followed his gaze yet. Hermione's frantic shouting drew everyone's attention, and they all looked at Damy – who was still looking at Harry – who was looking intently at Damy, his eyes glittering madly and not even seeming to register anyone else who was in the room.
After a moment, everyone seemed to register the direction of Damien's focus. They all turned to see Harry standing in the doorway. To be honest, he looked terrible – his hair was matted with sweat and mud, and scratches appeared to cover his arms, which were exposed to the world, unable to take warmth from the string-thin cloak he was wearing - a prisoner's cloak. His skin was pale, almost translucent and his breathing laboured; Damy thought he looked like death, only a little warmed up. But it was his eyes that caught Damy's attention – the great purple smudges underneath couldn't detract from the fact that those emerald orbs gleamed with an inner fire.
And Damy knew that tonight… tonight was the end.
There was a moment of silence before all the adults began roaring – spells and insults – trying to draw their wands from their pockets, their hands heavy without being fully prepared. Harry smiled widely – cruelly – as he slashed violently with a wand that suddenly appeared in his hand, and all the adults were thrown backwards off-balance, slamming into walls and bookcases and chairs. Another slash of his wand and everyone froze place.
Damien was now isolated in his frozen position, without anyone close enough to provide help.
"Don't you hurt him! Don't you hurt him!" Lily Potter began shouting, and soon everyone followed suit, seeming to pick up that Harry was only interested in his brother - only Damien.
Another quick flick of his wand silenced everyone except Damy. He trembled as he noticed (from the corner of his eye) tears running down his mother's face, and his father's blind panic.
Harry was smiling now, and everyone in the room trembled at the thought of what he could now do to them. That smile… that smile… Damien hated that fucking smile! Rage flooded through him, and he struggled ferociously against the magical restraint.
And it was too late. Harry had them all right where he wanted them – especially Damy, the Boy-Who-Lived, the boy who had struck down his master.
Harry began taking weak steps, moving closer and closer. Blood trickled from his lips, dripping down his chin. Damy vaguely noticed there was a lot more of it than there was at the trial.
He trembled and whimpered as Harry's arm came up. His hand… his hand…! Damy's eyes…
"P-Please," he whimpered. His lightning-bolt scar gleamed.
Harry's smile changed. Damy's breath caught in his throat on a sob...
Harry had just tapped his forehead with two fingertips – just like he'd used to…
And his fingers, slick with blood, slid slowly down Damy's forehead, and over the bridge of his nose, and down his left cheek…
And Harry smiled. And for a second, Damy thought that there was serenity there, and wisdom, and peace. Damy couldn't form a single thought as Harry whispered quietly, his words audible only to Damien. And then there was a moment – a single moment – where the adults stopped struggling against their bonds and everything just stopped. Everything except Harry.
A drop of his blood plopped gently against the wooden floor, and yet he continued to smile. And then Harry's body slowly pitched forward of its own accord, brushing up against Damy before it collapsed to the floor.
Damy stood there in shock, unable to process what had just happened.
People were moving now – he could feel it. Harry was dead; he knew that somewhere in his heart. And the people were pressing in on him, crowding too close. His mother was there, trying to wipe the blood from his face with the sleeve of her robes, and his father was roughly dragging Harry's body into a corner of the room, and it all just became too much.
Damy surrendered to the darkness.
"Harry! Hey, Harry! Got a minute?" Damy cried excitedly. He'd just seen his older brother, who everyone knew was the coolest.
Harry, always obliging to Damy, stopped his gait in the hallways and waited patiently. The girl next to him – the older girl – seemed rather put out than Harry would rather spend time with him, a young, obnoxious Gryffindor, than with her, a hot Slytherin who was willing to take him to bed. She made one last attempt, flipping her hair over her shoulder. When this yielded no result, she turned and walked away with a huff and a scowl.
"What is it, Damy?"
"Hey, hey! Can you help me with Snape's essay? He already gave us one and it's only the first day of class."
"Sorry buddy, not right now."
"Aw!" Damien pouted cutely, attempting to utilise that good old Potter charm. "How about you teach me another spell? I mastered that disarming charm you showed me! Or you could even just come and hang out while I do that Sudoku thing you always used to make me do? You know, to help 'broaden my mind' and make 'unseen connections' or whatever. Please?"
Harry looked amused as he peered at Ron and Hermione crowded in next to Damy, all peering up at him hopefully. Ron's gaze was tinged with the utmost awe and admiration. The super-cool older brother of the Boy-Who-Lived… an older brother who didn't treat him like a burden…
Then abruptly, still smiling with affection, he reached out and tapped Damy's forehead with two fingers. "Maybe next time, little brother…"
Damy awoke slowly. His head pulsed painfully and his limbs felt heavy. Drowsiness surrounded him, even as voices began speaking to him. He opened his eyes to see a blurry form waiting above him. He could hear the concerned voice of his mother, even as he heard Madame Pomfrey barking orders for the space around his bed to clear. Then the bustling nurse was there, hovering over him, shining light in his eyes and shoving a potion down his throat. Almost immediately his head cleared, and he attempted to sit up.
Soft hands helped him sit up, positioning his back against the headboard. He recognised his mother's tender touch. "Damy," she said, warmth in her voice. She was sitting on the side of his bed, clearly unwilling to be further away from him. He'd probably be sitting in her lap if she had her way.
Damy looked up at her, noticing her brilliant smile and her puffy red eyes. He didn't know whether it was because he was currently lying incapacitated in a bed, or if it was because Harry was dead.
"Are you alright?" Her voice was quiet, which Damy appreciated. He didn't want to deal with hysterical females right now – in that respect he was truly his father's son. Just like Harry-
"Harry was going to kill me," he whispered in a tortured voice. "He was going to pull out my eyes or something! That's why he showed up, isn't it? To hurt me."
Lily was silent for a few moments before letting out a tired sigh of resignation. They'd had enough arguments in the past about withholding information from Damy and Rose. Especially after the mishap at the Department of Mysteries- "We think so, Damy."
"He's dead, isn't he?" Damy's voice was hollow
Lily gave a great sniff as her eyes glistened. "Yeah, baby," she whispered. "Harry's dead. He was, erm-" Her emotions seemed to have rendered her mute for a moment. "We think he came for you but… something happened and he collapsed. Do you… remember at all?"
"Yeah. I remember. He came to kill me," Damy concluded, his voice sad and tired and cold. But most of all, his voice was confused. Why would his brother… how had it come to this…?
Silence invaded the room, ugly and impersonal.
"It wasn't your fault, you know." Damy looked up at his mother's comment, wondering what she was referring to. "His turning out like this. It wasn't anybody's fault."
"But, but I'm the Boy-Who-Lived-"
"Oh, that didn't matter, Damy. I remember the way he used to be, before he got older. He loved us – I'm sure of it. Especially you. And I can't remember a single time when he complained with jealousy about either you or Rosie. But then something must have happened…"
"I miss him," Damy sobbed, tears running down his face. "And I never got a chance to make it right, and now he's dead!"
Lily gathered him up in her arms as best as she could and they both let themselves go, indulging in their mutual grief. Damy was too out of it to feel his mother's tears dripping onto his hair. Eventually Damy was able to pull himself together, and his mother's body had stopped shaking.
He drew back and rested against the headrest, even more exhausted than before. His eyes remained focused on the sheet covering him. "So, Hogwarts, eh?"
Lily gave a weak smile at his trying to lighten the mood. "Yes. You're in the infirmary. Madame Pomfrey has been watching over you. She's been rather worried, I think – though I don't know why."
"Did you tell her what happened with Harry?"
"Yes. She pressed for every detail-" Here Lily frowned in realisation. "Actually, she seemed far more interested than usual. Normally she just asks a general question about the incident and then heals you up."
Damy looked up at his mother's tone. "Did she have any idea what was wrong with Harry?"
Lily opened her mouth to speak, closed it, then opened it again. "I don't know. She made the same claim as she did during the trial – a stomach ulcer – but I did some research regarding them, you know, after… and there's no record of them playing any significant part in the death of a witch or wizard. Ever."
Damy blinked in confusion. "So, you think she's lying? Madame Pomfrey?" Scepticism was heavy in his voice.
His mother flushed in sheepish embarrassment. "Yes, well, I didn't really believe she was lying, but… I don't know. She's not saying anything else either."
"Well, maybe he really had stomach ulcers or whatever."
Lily's response was non-committal. "Maybe."
Speak of the devil…
"Hullo, Madame Pomfrey," he said dully.
"How are you feeling?"
"Just tired," he said, as though brushing away a fly. "When do I get out of here?"
Lily grinned at seeing Damy ready to flee the infirmary only a few minutes after waking up. Madame Pomfrey made a noise of disapproval in the back of her throat. "Hmmph. One final check-up and you're free to go." She began waving her wand over his body. Damy thought she paid particular attention to his chest. "You're not feeling any chest pain, are you?" she asked suddenly.
Damy blinked his confusion, head tilting slightly. "No."
"Hmmph. Then you're free to go." And with that she bustled away.
A minute later, Damy was dressed and he and his mother were walking down the corridors. "Where is everyone?" he asked, expectation in his voice.
Lily chuckled. "Don't worry Damy; they all wanted to come and see you, to be there when you woke up. I ordered them all out because I knew you'd want to wake up to peace and quiet."
Damy couldn't help the pleased flush he got at his mother's consideration. "Thanks," he mumbled bashfully.
Lily giggled beside him. "So, Ginny seemed rather concerned," she teased.
"Mum!" he gasped, scandalised that his mother would willingly speak about his romantic life.
She giggled again, and then guided him into another passageway - one he recognised. "They're all in Dumbledore's office."
"Okay," he replied, stepping up to the statue guarding the stairway. "Erm…"
"Golden Seeker," Lily intoned with a fond smile. Clearly Professor McGonagall had once again assumed control of the Headmaster's office. The statue moved to the side, and they stepped up the stairway, opened the door and stepped inside.
Damy was instantly the focus of every set of eyes in the room. The Weasleys were crowded into the room, as were Hermione and her parents, Tonks and Remus, Sirius, James and Rose, Kingsley, and Professor McGonagall. Other members of the Order of the Phoenix flittered the over-populated room. Blatantly absent from the Weasley camp was Fred, who had died in the battle that had taken place at Hogwarts nearly two months ago.
After a moment of silence, the room erupted into chaos; almost everyone was demanding to know how Damy felt and how he was. Eventually an ear-piercing whistle rent the air and everyone flinched and cringed before turning to look at Ginny Weasley. "How about you lot all shut up!" she commanded. In the silence that followed, she turned to Damien. "So, Damy, how are you feeling?"
Damy gave a grin at the way she'd taken control of the room. "I'm okay," he said honestly. And he was. He wasn't at peace with everything Harry had done and the way things had turned out, but he knew he'd be able to move on. "I'm okay," he said again, firmer this time.
"Good," Ginny nodded emphatically. Then she gave a brilliant grin and bolted over, leaping atop him, her arms thrown around his neck as she kissed him. The women in the room 'oohed' and 'ahhed' while the men snickered. Ron Weasley turned red.
"Best marry the girl then, eh Damy?" James Potter spoke up, mischief alight in his eyes. Damien and Ginny flushed and refused to meet each other's eyes.
"Dad!" Damy hissed in embarrassment. From the corner of his eye he noticed Rose opening her mouth to tease him even more-
"Ahem." A voice coughed. Everyone turned to the doorway to see Minister Bones, followed by her extremely nervous niece, Susan. "Good afternoon, everyone. I'm sorry we're late."
"Amelia!" James cried with mischievous excitedly, bounding up to her, ready to pump her hand up and down. "Delighted to see you! Absolutely cracking-" His enthusiastic tirade was cut off as Lily Potter casually walked over and smacked him over the head. "Ow," he whimpered pathetically.
In perfect synchronisation, Sirius stepped up. "Amelia," he purred, "how are you doin'?" He loped over to her with a canine grace and stepped close, brushing against her. He was like a Viking conqueror, assured of victory, invincible! "What's say you and I-"
"Ow! Lily-flower! That hurt!" Sirius complained, clutching his noggin.
Lily gave a superior smile. "Then don't be an idiot, and quit flirting with the Minister of Magic, of all people!"
Sirius merely pouted, but the routine seemed to have done its job. Susan Bones had relaxed somewhat, even if she was still standing half-shielded behind her aunt. Amelia Bones was wearing an amused smirk. Everyone else in the room chuckled. Damy smiled, now standing with his arm wrapped around Ginny's waist.
"Ah, Amelia, you're here. Good, that means we can begin. Delightful to see you, of course."
At the sound of the ominous voice, everyone turned around to look up with surprise at Albus Dumbledore's portrait. Headmistress McGonagall spoke first. "Begin? What are you talking about, Albus? I didn't think you were going to be in your portrait this afternoon."
Minister Bones' voice was sharp. "I thought we were here to decide what to do with Harry Potter's body."
At the mention of Harry's name, Susan Bones flinched and turned away, while the Potter's all looked suitably subdued, once again reminded of the death of their son and brother. The carefully cultivated atmosphere of cheer melted away, leaving only anger and grief.
None of that seemed to affect Dumbledore. His eyes began to twinkle merrily, confirming in the minds of many that he was as batty as could be. "Yes, I'm sure you are here to discuss Mr. Potter's body, and yet here you all are – cramped into my office – just as he predicted you would be."
Nervousness ran through the group. "Who is he?" Nymphadora Tonks asked.
"Minerva, if you would, please fetch the small vial from the shelf over there – yes, that's the one – and now – ah, hello Damien – yes, can you please gather my pensieve from the cupboard – no, the second draw – yes, that's it-"
"What's going on, Headmaster?" Remus Lupin asked. His face was clouded with confusion.
The Headmaster's portrait smiled kindly. "Do you trust me, Remus?"At the confirming nod, he continued jovially. "Then please, just play along for now. Minerva, if you would pour the contents of the vial into the pensive – yes, that's it – and now give a stir with your wand, gently now! Ah, yes – and now it's ready for you all!" he cried with a final flourish. Throughout his whole assortment of directions, his painted body had been animated and excited, bouncing to and fro.
As a result, everyone looked at him stupidly.
"Professor," Damy spoke up. "What's in there? What are we going to see?" There was no apprehension in his voice – he'd had too much experience with a pensieve and the magic of the mind.
Dumbledore smiled mysteriously. "You will find the truth; nothing more and nothing less."
Hermione spoke this time. "The truth about what?"
"Ask me no questions, young Miss Granger, and I shall tell you no lies. I'm already breaking his confidence as it is."
Lily's shrewd voice was heard next. "That's the second time you're mentioned 'him'. Who is he?"
Dumbledore just gave his patented eye-twinkle and a jovial whistle.
Damien shrugged. "I'll go in." Dumbledore beamed in reply.
James spoke up, intent on having his opinion heard. "Now hold on, I know I'm not normally the cautious one in this family, but we have no idea what's in there."
Molly Weasley spoke up, still somewhat hesitant, but firmly supportive of Albus Dumbledore. "It's Albus, James. Surely nothing he can have to show us can be bad."
"Yeah," Ginny said, "Maybe's he's going to show us about all the little things that don't add up, but somehow certain people know. Like things about Snape…" She glared at Damien, Ron and Hermione, as if angry at them for knowing things that no-one else knew.
"Professor Snape, Miss Weasley, and I make no promises," Dumbledore said. "All that lies in that bowl is the truth; it is as simple as that. Whether you accept that truth is up to each of you, but I believe you deserve to know it."
"Are you saying he doesn't think we deserve to know, whoever he is? You said you were already breaking his confidence."
"You truly are tenacious, Miss Granger," Dumbledore chuckled. "But I shan't reveal his identity. You are also incorrect in your assumption that he did not want you to know the truth; I think he would have appreciated you knowing the truth, but he merely did not want to put you through any further ordeals. I am breaking my word by sharing these memories with you."
"It's not Snape, is it?" Ron asked, looking disgusted. "Not his memories? That's too gross a thing for me to accept."
The marauders nodded, looking rather nauseous at viewing anything to do with Severus Snape.
Dumbledore just smiled, his mouth firmly closed, quite content to continue the mysterious game he'd initiated.
Damien shook his shoulders in preparation. "I'm going in," he said firmly, and he walked over and touched the silvery substance in the bowl.
But he was already gone. He'd felt the sensations before – the free-falling through black, dark mist – but he'd never gotten used to it; he doubted he ever would. Eventually he landed, quickly gazing around. He'd just recognised the location when he realised everyone from Dumbledore's office was in there with him – even Susan bones, though she was still shivering. The space seemed to expand and he saw there was plenty of room around him for all the viewers.
"Blimey, what a ride!" George Weasley cracked.
"Where are we?" The question came from Tonks.
There was a moment of silence before James Potter answered, swallowing thickly. "This is Harry's old bedroom," he whispered, his face pale. "I don't remember this day – he looks like he's four years old. I'm surprised anyone remembered this day."
"S-So these are Harry's memories?" Hermione asked, hesitant to suggest the most logical (and most painful) conclusion. Susan Bones gasped in fright at the prospect.
"Harry!" shouted a happy voice. "Where are you, buddy?" James Potter blinked as a younger copy of him walked into the room and picked up a four year old Harry who was wiggling around on his bed. "Still not a fan of the bed, huh mate?"
"It's bad," infant Harry responded in his limited vocabulary as he continued to flop around.
"Hmm, you're probably still reacting to this place after You-Know-Who burned it out."
"You mean Voldemolde?"
The younger image of James froze. "Who told you that name?"
"Dumblydore!" Harry cried with ringing laughter. "He's old, and he has a beardy beard!"
"That he does," James chuckled along with his son, though still somewhat subdued at the fact that Harry knew the name of the worst Dark Lord in history. "You know, Harry, people like Voldemort… there'll be more of them."
Harry gave an appropriately frightened gasp. "More?"
"Yeah, buddy, more."
"But we'll fight 'em, right?"
"Of course we will. There's nothing better than defending one's family, Harry. Taking care of them. Nothing better."
Harry's head tilted curiously. "Taking care of them?"
"Yep. And if something ever happens to me, Harry, I want you to promise me. Promise me you'll always take care of Lily and Damy, and any other siblings who come your way."
Harry gazed up at James with warm hero-worship. "I promise," he whispered significantly.
The group viewing the memories were abruptly surrounded by mist as it swirled, and then a new scene appeared.
They were standing in the Potter's backyard, on the edge of the forest. An eight year old Harry Potter was reclining against a tree, watching his younger brother and Ron Weasley play on a swing set. Three year old Rose Potter was obviously still in the house. Harry's demeanour was reserved, but a small smile of peace played around his mouth.
"Hello Harry." The younger boy didn't jump as some of the watching Order did. It was almost as though he'd known Albus Dumbledore was going to pop up right next to him. Harry gave the Headmaster a nod of welcome. "Still watching over young Damien, I see." The older man seemed pleased.
Harry was silent, still content to watch his brother have fun while he – Harry – sat on the sidelines with an old man.
"He's going to come back, you know. Lord Voldemort. He'll be coming for your brother."
There was another moment of silence, before- "I know."
Dumbledore eyed the boy with neutrality. "Do you, indeed?"
"They won't get him. I won't let them." Harry's voice was firm, full of determination.
"You are eight years old, Harry. I don't see how you plan to stop them." There was a small smile playing about Dumbledore's mouth – like a general who knew he'd just made the right move with his troops on the battlefield.
Harry seemed to be considering his options. He finally turned to the older man. "Teach me," Harry said, his childish voice calm and full of an unbreakable conviction. Dumbledore's smile widened slightly, undetectable by all except the most observant.
After Dumbledore had left, the group watched as Harry gave a forlorn look, whispering so quietly that they almost couldn't hear, "There's nothing better than taking care of your family."
Harry lay on his bed at age twelve. Rose came bouncing in excitedly, as only a seven year old can. "Play with me, Harry!" she cried gaily.
Harry gave a large grin. "Alright, Rosie."
The little girl glared as best she could. "I told you not to call me Rosie! Promise you won't call me Rosie!"
Harry gave a chuckle. "Alright, I promise."
"Good," Rose said with an emphatic nod. She then seemed to change her mind about playing with Harry as she simply jumped up on the bed and tried to curl up on his chest. "Will you promise me, Harry?"
Harry raised an eyebrow, unseen by his sister. "I already did."
Rose shook her head, burrowing into his chest. "Promise you'll always stay with me," she said lovingly, unafraid to express the emotion.
Harry smiled, also unseen by the girl; it was sad, somewhat bitter, but there was also happiness, perhaps for this simple moment. "I'll always protect you, Rose. I promise."
Rose seemed not to notice that the promise he'd given her wasn't the one she asked for.
The scene dissolved around them before reforming.
Harry was sitting on his bed in the Ravenclaw dormitories. The snores of the other boys filled the room. He looked older now, perhaps twelve or thirteen. He had his wand beside him and books scattered around him. Looking at the titles, Damy could see books of both the lightest and darkest magic. He continued reading and writing, his eyes tired, even as the sun began to peek in through the windows.
With a swirl of smoke everyone was standing back in Dumbledore's office. A very much alive Albus Dumbledore had his wand pointed at a thirteen year old Harry Potter. "Again," he commanded apathetically.
The spell struck and Harry gritted his teeth. The veins on his forehead and in his neck bulged and he uttered neither a groan nor a whimper as he tried to repel the Headmaster from his mind.
"Aw!" Damien pouted cutely, attempting to utilise that good old Potter charm. "How about you teach me another spell? Or even just come and hang out while I do that Sudoku thing you always used to make me do? You know, to help 'broaden my mind' and help me make 'unseen connections' or whatever. Please?" he begged desperately.
Harry looked amused as he peered at Ron and Hermione crowded in next to Damy, all peering up at him hopefully. Ron's gaze was also tinged with the utmost awe and admiration. The super-cool older brother of the Boy-Who-Lived …
Then abruptly, still smiling with affection, he reached out and tapped Damy's forehead with two fingers. "Maybe next time, little brother…"
The fourteen year old Harry swirled away, replaced by a fifteen year old version. Harry was standing casually in a Hogwarts Hallway, clustered amongst a group of Slytherins. Damien recognised a younger Draco Malfoy involved in the group. Everyone there seemed to act in synchronicity as they closed ranks around Harry and a girl, who began whispering in his ear.
One of the green-clad boys glared jealously as Stephanie Moon, one of the seventh year girls, leaned close to Harry. "You know," she purred, "Word is, the Dark Lord's on the rise. I've seen that extra study you do, Harry. Those books you secretly carry around. You don't have to be afraid of it, Harry. And I can make it worth your while." She suckled on his ear while one of her hands slithered down his pants. "Think it over, Harry, and give me an answer in a couple of days. And then… you and I can have some fun." With that lusty proclamation she turned away, and all the other Slytherins followed her, leaving Harry alone. He watched them go with a smile.
And then his expression changed. No longer was his smile seductive, playful or inviting; it was predatory – a shooting-squad smile. Something Damy had noticed on Harry before. Harry then pulled out a piece of parchment and scribbled a hasty note.
'First contact initiated.'
Harry tapped it with his wand and the note flew away. He didn't take any notice of Damien Potter glaring at him from the opposite end of the hallway, hidden around the corner.
After another bevy of smoke, a new scene resolved itself. Damy recognised his own living room. Damy thought he knew what was coming and cringed. He'd never meant for this to happen.
"I want you out of this house!"
"What?" A sixteen year old Harry blinked in surprise at the demand.
"You heard me!" James shouted. "I won't have some Dark Arts user in my house! Even if he is my son. I found those books in your room, Harry! I've heard the stories about you at school, who you're hanging out with!"
Harry just looked at him blankly, his expression betraying his shock and hurt. He finally managed to collect his facial expression and he turned away from his father. "Fine," he said coldly. "I'll be gone by tomorrow morning." Damy noticed a younger version of himself watching anxiously from the top of the stairs, biting his fingernails.
Much to their surprise, the group was forced to follow Harry up the stairs to his room, where he was already packing his belongings.
"Don't go!" the fourteen year old Damy shouted, tears glistening in his eyes, trying to cling to Harry's arm. "Don't go, Harry."
Harry gave a brave smile. "Don't worry, Damy. I won't be gone forever. Dad will come around."
Harry's utter confidence seemed to ooze into Damien. "Yeah," Damy was nodding. "Yeah, he will. It's okay. Everything's okay." He looked up-
-only to see Harry's fingertips smacking against his forehead. "Why do you always do that?" he asked, exasperated.
Harry just smiled mysteriously, so Damy smiled back and bolted out of the room. There was a moment of silence – everyone expected the scene to change, but it didn't.
And then there it was. Harry gave a sniff, and a single tear rolled down his cheek. His eyes closed in misery-
They were in Dumbledore's office, silently staring at each other. "Are you sure you want to do this, Harry? It will be dangerous – there's a chance you may not survive."
Sixteen year old Harry was silent for a moment. The knowledge that he might not survive didn't even seem to register with him. "My dad threw me out," he murmured. "The seeds we planted have borne fruit."
Dumbledore let out a breath. "I am sorry, Harry," he murmured sincerely.
Harry ignored Dumbledore's sincere apologies. It gave Damy the impression that he resented Dumbledore for putting him in this position to start with, but wasn't opposed to it. "I was expecting it, but…"
There was more silence, prickly and uncomfortable.
"Let's do it," Harry finally spoke.
And Dumbledore seemed all too eager, if somewhat grim. "They will have to hate you. This must be the ultimate bluff. It will provide them with some measure of protection."
The last point seemed to especially strike Harry. His face, previously grim, became truly emotionless; the epitome of a pale, death-mask. "They'll hate me," he promised coldly.
"You're still going? Don't leave, Harry!"
Harry looked emotionlessly at his brother, even as he continued walking towards the door, where his trunk waited.
"Harry?" spoke a quiet voice from behind them. Harry's expression flickered with intense pain as he saw eleven year old Rose standing there, uncertain about what was happening.
"Rosie! Dad's kicked him out! Tell him to stay! Help me make him stay!"
"W-What?" she asked, trembling at the idea. "Why? Where are mum and dad?"
"Oh, they're at the shitty Ministry or something, but who cares about them! You've gotta' stay, Harry."
"Don't swear, Damien!" Rose commanded before turning to Harry. "You can't go anywhere Harry," she said with regal, eleven-year-old authority. "I won't let you." As if it was that simple. And then she smiled and moved forward and hugged him.
Harry's face was pale stone. Nothing could be derived from his demeanour. Rose took a step back and looked at him, unnerved by his silence. "Harry?" she asked, hesitant once again.
It was very abrupt. One moment, she was staring at him, her eyes pleading with him not to go, and then she was on the ground, clutching her mouth as blood dripped between her fingers.
Harry had backhanded her.
Damien froze in shock and fright. "W-What the hell?"
Harry spared him a brief, cold glance as he slashed with his wand. "Stupefy." Damien crumpled heavily to the ground.
"Y-You…" Rose seemed unable to process what had happened; she lay there on the ground, tears in her eyes, clutching her bruised cheek and lips.
Harry raised his wand. "Crucio!" he coldly intoned. Rose began to writhe on the ground, her pained screams carrying throughout the entire house.
Releasing the curse, Harry turned around to pick up his suitcase, and, ignoring his sister's twitching body, walked out the door. Immediately he apparated away, and those observing the memories were taken with him. They appeared in a thread-bare room, containing only a desk and chair, and a bed. The suitcase fell from Harry's hand and he sank to the floor, propped up against a wall.
Tears ran freely down his face as his cries filled the room; his shoulders shook as he noisily sobbed out his self-hatred.
"Do stop wearing a hole in my carpet, Harry."
The memory had taken them back to Dumbledore's office, where the Headmaster sat calmly in his chair, gently fingering a blackened ring and stone.
The eighteen year old Harry whirled around. He looked older than Damien had ever seen him; his hair flopped weakly and his eyes, with sunken bruises beneath them, were filled with a kind of despair. "I told you! One of the horcruxes is in Bellatrix's vault! How the hell are we supposed to get to that?"
"I heard you the first time, Harry. And I must ask: are you certain of your information?"
"Yes, I'm sure!" Harry seethed venomously. "Anytime her brute of a husband visits their vault she insists on accompanying him. Every time!"
"Have you any other information regarding that Horcrux, or have you only theories?"
Harry gritted his teeth. "I already told you that, too! I have seen an image of a cup – Hufflepuff's cup - in her mind!"
"And yet you refuse to tell me how you gained a glimpse of said image…"
"Legilimency! How else?"
"I have doubts about that, Harry. Bellatrix's mind is almost as well-guarded as Tom Riddle's, even for one such as myself. And we both know I am an accomplished Legilimens."
"As am I," Harry returned firmly. "You taught me."
"Then tell me Harry: under what circumstances do you gain unfiltered, un-noticed access to her mind?"
Surprisingly, Harry flushed bright red. "That's none of your business!"
"Is it not?" Dumbledore gave Harry a searching gaze while Harry glared back. Silence reigned for a moment before Dumbledore gave his best guess. "You are sleeping with her." It wasn't spoken with accusation or disapproval, merely surprise.
Harry's face turned an even-more mottled red as he sputtered in outrage. "Y-You said… you told me to do whatever was necessary! That is the only time her mind is unguarded!" he shouted, his fist thumping down onto the desk. The people in portraits on the walls all jerked with fright.
"When you are engaging in sexual congress with a mass-murderer?"
"Fuck you!" Harry spat. "Fuck you! Damn you to hell!"
"I am certainly damned, Harry, but for far more than this. Now, enough of this conflict – I will handle the horcruxes."
"And Damien!" Harry emphasised firmly. "He needs to know what he's up against. You tell him. You tell him or I'll fucking kill you!"
The observing group gasped at Harry's threat. The memory of Dumbledore gave no such reaction.
"You forget, Harry – I'm already dying. Another few months and I'll be in the grave."
"And you probably expect me to do that, as well!"
"Perhaps. It depends whether Lord Voldemort doubts you more than he does Severus. Either way, it will be done. You have already given me your word. And I know you don't break your promises, Harry."
"You really can be a cold-hearted bastard, you kn-" Harry's spiteful sentence was punctured by the emergence of a cough, blood spraying softly from his mouth onto the carpet. His hand clutched at his chest and he hunched over, resisting the disease that plagued him.
"It would seem your health is also in question, Harry," Dumbledore murmured, genuine concern and affection colouring his tone. "Are you certain you're up to this?"
"I can take care of my family!" Harry seethed, baring his bloody teeth.
"How long do you have?" the older man asked shrewdly. "I assume you've known for years – I assume that's why you volunteered for this assignment; so that the son who was dying would be condemned instead of the one who could live."
Harry glared hatefully at Dumbledore.
Once the mist dissipated, Damy could see what was around him. Harry sat on a hospital bed in the empty Hogwarts infirmary. Blood still trickled on his chin, so Damy assumed this scene directly followed the previous one. His feet and legs, hanging off the edge of the bed, were still; there was no sign of nervousness or boredom.
He was once again perfectly in control, no longer showing any signs of the small meltdown he'd just had in Dumbledore's office.
Madame Pomfrey entered the room from her office, holding a piece of parchment. She put it down and came towards him, carefully towelling his chin clean.
"What's the prognosis, Poppy?" Harry asked resignedly. "How long left?"
Madame Pomfrey was pale, and tears stung her eyes, though none fell. "I can't guarantee any longer than two years, Harry – and that's being optimistic. The more magic you use, the faster the illness will progress. You'll need to keep taking the potions. Albus had Severus make a supply for you."
Harry looked at her sharply. "Snape knows?" he demanded.
She gave a smile at his instinctive dislike of Snape. "No, Severus doesn't know. And I see that you have truly inherited your father's genes; his great dislike of Severus."
"The man's a bully," Harry grunted. "Stupid asshole won't leave Damy alone. I don't trust him."
"Albus does," she commented mildly.
"Yeah," Harry agreed with irony, "but he also trusts me." As though this exhibited just how far off the reservation Dumbledore truly was.
A tear trickled down her cheek. "I don't want you to die, Harry. You're given up everything for them," she whispered.
Harry gave a sigh as he stood up and enfolded her in his arms. A sad smile graced his lips. "You've been the clean-up crew for me since we started this whole crazy operation, haven't you, Poppy." His voice was melancholy; he was clearly very fond of the woman in his arms. "But we need to face it: this disease will have me dead in less than two years. And I know you'll keep on, take care of Damy and Rose and mum and dad." He tipped her chin up to look at him. "Won't you?"
She nodded, giving a great sniff, wet and soggy.
"Ah, Severus, Harry, there you are. Severus, come – sit up here." The Dark Lord indicated the seat to his immediate right. Harry chose a seat in the middle, next to Bellatrix who gazed fervently at the Dark Lord Voldemort, though her eyes flickered occasionally to Harry beside her.
Harry had truly manipulated her well.
The Dark Lord ran through his agenda, praising Snape and Harry for infiltrating Hogwarts and killing Albus Dumbledore. Draco Malfoy trembled out of the corner of Damy's eye as he watched.
"Ah, well done, Harry. You have almost proven yourself."
Harry gave a lazy blink as he relaxed into his chair. Bellatrix's hand rubbed up his leg – Harry didn't even seem to notice. "Almost?"
"Yessss. You continue to show a true passion for torturing your family. You will have one more task."
Harry shrugged. "What, then?"
The Dark Lord flicked his wand and a door was flung open. Susan Bones collapsed into the room, obviously trying to press her weight against the door in an effort to open it; clearly she hadn't realised that the door led to the Dark Lord's personal meeting chamber.
Harry raised a dubious eyebrow. "You wish for me to kill the Minister's daughter? How boring and droll."
"Kill? No, Harry," The Dark Lord purred. "No. You're going to show her a good time. And then you're going to let her go."
Everyone watching understood what he was saying. Harry was to rape Susan Bones.
Harry's eyes narrowed dangerously as he looked from Susan to Voldemort. "Are we not the elite, my Lord? Why do you ask this of me?"
The Dark Lord straightened up, a hiss escaping his mouth. "You are refusing, Harry?"
"No, my Lord. But you yourself have pointed out that we should not defile ourselves with such acts with muggles and mudbloods."
The Dark Lord leaned forward intently, his eyes glittering with malice and barely-restrained violence. Harry met his gaze in a forthright manner. Damien and a few of those watching could tell that the Dark Lord was attempting to glean Harry's intentions from his mind.
The Dark Lord abruptly relaxed back in his chair, satisfied with what he'd found. "You are right, of course," he murmured charismatically, the threat of violence all but forgotten. His behaviour was downright mercurial and unpredictable. "But this isn't about the act, as such; it is about the message. Showing the world that I can get to anyone, including the Minister's daughter, of all people. Now, get to it!"
Harry gave a curt nod of deference before he abruptly stood up and dragged Susan through another door, continuing until he reached a bedroom, where he threw her onto the bed. Then he ignored her, turning around to place wards around the door and erect silencing charms. The seventeen year old memory of Susan sat on the bed, muscles bunched in terror, shaking like a leaf.
The real-life Susan was huddling up to her aunt as she trembled. Amelia Bones had a supporting arm around her. Damien put a hand to cover his mouth. Surely Harry wouldn't have wanted everyone to see…
Harry just leaned against the wall, sighing tiredly. The only sound in the room was Susan's trembling form.
"I'm not going to hurt you."
The girl on the bed jerked in fright and scrambled backwards. Harry made no move towards her. He let her hyperventilate for a minute or two. Eventually she managed to gather herself, and swallowed before asking, "W-What are you going to do to me?" It was whispered with both fear and despair.
Harry very deliberately put his wand down on a shelf in the corner of the room. "I'm going to give you the opportunity to take a bath."
Unfiltered shock adorned Susan's face as she simply looked at him, unable to comprehend the possibility that he might not rape her. "Um…"
Harry gave a bone-weary sigh and approached her, his hands resting easily at his sides, but clearly in plain view. "Come on. You can get cleaned up through here." And he led the way to a bathroom.
"I-I don't remember any of this! This didn't happen!" Susan Bones shouted at her younger self. Her aunt wrapped her up tightly in her arms and whispered in her ear. Damy couldn't hear what was being said, but he could guess that she was trying to get her to calm down in order to watch the rest of the memories play out.
Damy himself could scarcely belief everything he'd seen. It just couldn't be possible, could it…?
After Susan exited the bathroom, Harry had food waiting for her while he was sitting tiredly on the bed. Everyone noticed how he ate and drank at least one of everything. Damy thought it might have been to try and relieve Susan of the fear of poison or drugging.
Damy watched as Susan then ate, hesitantly, always sniffing her food and drink. Once she'd finished she moved away from Harry, her clean robe clenched tightly about her.
There was a dreadful silence until Harry spoke. "They'll expect you to be bloody and bruised in the morning."
Susan squeaked. Then she trembled. Harry continued, forging on despite the girl's obvious fear of addressing the issue. "Narcissa will check your maiden-head, and she'll look at the sheets for evidence of blood. They'll analyse it; I won't be able to use my own as a substitute." And then he waited for her reaction.
She gulped before answering timidly, her voice breaking with fear, "S-So they'll… that, that means… we have to… you know…"
Harry gave her a measuring glance, his face expressionless. The lines around his eyes tightened ever so slightly. "Yes."
Susan whimpered, but seemed to accept her fate, perhaps resigned to the fact that she may never get out of here alive.
And Damy was filled with both revulsion and admiration as he watched his brother gently seduce Susan. As he took her in his arms and peppered her face with kind kisses, and took her slowly and gently, so as not to hurt her. As her nails clutched at his shoulder, and her thighs clung to his waist as she achieved ecstasy. As she cried tears of relief as it all came to an end, and she realised she'd escaped the fate of painful, brutal rape.
Finally, Susan fell asleep, content to rest in Harry's arms.
Damy looked around to see what everyone else thought. He was glad no-one else had spoken during the act; it would've been an even grosser invasion of privacy, and so utterly disrespectful. Most of the Weasley boys had turned away, their ears and necks and faces coloured red; he was especially glad Ron hadn't blurted out something thoughtless. The older Susan Bones' flushed face was staring with an open mouth at what Harry's memories had shown.
A sigh of despair brought everyone's attention back to the couple entwined on the bed. Susan was sleeping, seemingly peaceful, but Harry was wide awake, and Damy watched as he untangled himself from Susan's limbs and left the bed. Unconcerned with his nudity, he headed straight over to his wand. "Stupefy!" he intoned calmly. Susan's body, already relaxed, went completely limp.
And then Damy watched, horrified, as Harry dragged his wand over Susan's body, creating shallow cuts and bruises on her face and breasts. With another flick of his wand, Susan woke up, and Harry moved over her before she could even realise she had the new cuts and bruises. His eyes glowed briefly as he whispered, "Legilimens."
Susan's face slackened, seemingly in a peaceful trance. Harry took a deep breath before he spoke. "You will remember that I raped you brutally and repeatedly. I ravaged your body and allowed you no respite. You will hate me; unable even to stand to be in the same room as me. Do you understand?"
"I understand," she replied dopily, her voice even and empty of emotion.
With that, Harry gathered his clothes and got dressed. He then exited the room; leaving Susan sprawled out on the bed, still in the trance. Harry closed his eyes, hiding his remorse and self-disgust as he clicked his fingers. His only reaction to the screams that suddenly came from behind him was a small flinch.
The mist swirled violently this time, as though influenced by the tumultuous emotions of Harry's previous memory. The observing group found themselves in a location that made them all tense: Longbottom mansion.
"Crucio!" Avery shouted. Frank Longbottom writhed on the floor in pain. The scene continued, Harry watching with a frown on his face before he stepped forward unexpectedly and stunned the three death eaters in front of him. Damy watched as he poured potions down Frank and Alice's throats – their bodies soon stopped trembling - and then carried them away. He returned and forced a thick, gooey substance down the throats of two of the death eaters. Damy recognised it as polyjuice potion. The two bodies changed-
-into Frank and Alice Longbottom. Harry then looked coldly at the bodies before raising his wand. "Avada Kedavra!" he cried hatefully. Damy remembered learning from Barty Crouch that a body that dies under the influence of polyjuice potion will remain in that guise.
Harry stood, probably in preparation to retreat back to the Dark Lord, when he coughed violently. A thick sliver of his blood sprayed onto the carpet as he clutched at his mouth, his body convulsing with painful tremors. "Fuck!" he cursed under his breath. His hand trembled violently as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a potion vial, swallowing the contents jerkily.
Mist swirled around them all.
Harry was skulking around the hallways at Hogwarts. He abruptly reached around a corner and yanked Rose towards him. She opened her mouth to scream, but he was quicker. "Imperio," he commanded softly.
The mist swirled around them again.
"Damy, Damy, Damy. I have little Rose. You refused the Dark Lord's offer, so here's extra incentive. You have half an hour to surrender yourself before she dies by my hand." Harry's cold voice echoed around them as they were shrouded in mist. This was clearly a prelude to the next scene. "And Damy; best be willing to give your life for your sister."
Harry was in a clearing, standing in a circle with the other death eaters around a blazing fire. Rose Potter lay injured at his feet, her hands bound behind her wrist. Fenrir Greyback eyed her greedily from the other side of the fire. Harry looked at him coldly before he raised his wand. "Crucio!" The other death eater's gasped in surprise as the werewolf collapsed and howled his pain, and they looked quickly to the Dark Lord to see his thoughts on the matter.
Lord Voldemort gave a cold high laugh.
Harry spoke, his voice calm, but with such a level of threat that everyone, except the Dark Lord, shivered. "The Potter's are mine."
The Order of the Phoenix watched as everyone's attention turned to a doppelganger of Damy Potter, who'd just entered the clearing. The Dark Lord raised his wand and spat the curse; the younger Damy collapsed to the ground. Harry's face was set in pale stone as he watched his brother give his life, before he reached down and quickly slashed his knife through Rose's restraints. She gave a silent gasp through her tears and looked with the utmost confusion up at her eldest brother, who was again standing straight, as though he had never moved from his position, refusing to meet her eyes. None of the other death eaters noticed what he'd done.
Rose remained silent, even as she held her hands behind her back to give the illusion that she was still tied up.
Harry sat perfectly at ease in the criminal's chair, sitting directly before the Wizengamot, with Amelia Bones as Minister. Chains were wrapped around him and the Dementors cold still clung to his skin. He didn't react to any of it. Madame Pomfrey bent over him, her mouth open to speak. "Harry-"
Harry glared at her so fiercely that she flinched backwards. "It's just a stomach ulcer," she reported to Minister Bones.
Blood trickled insistently down Harry's chin.
The scene changed yet again, and the observers found themselves surrounded by dark, dank walls. They were in a cell; in Azkaban. Harry sat on the floor, shivering, with no blankets to cover him. His clothes were thin and torn, providing little comfort from the cold. Blood trickled from his lips as he abruptly stood up and leaned against the bars. "Guard!" he called gruffly. "Guard!"
A voice yelled back at him, not even giving him the courtesy of a face to face conversation. "Shut up, Potter! You're scum, and your family don't want nothin' to do with ya'!"
His letters weren't getting through…
Harry's face flared with frustration for a moment before he was apathetic. But Damy saw behind his eyes; those cunning thoughts, wondering how to get out of this prison…
The mist swirled, presenting Dumbledore's office yet again. Everyone looked around, expecting that they might finally have been ejected from the pensieve, but it was not to be. The door opened behind them, though no-one seemed to enter.
Abruptly, Harry appeared, the result of the end of a disillusionment charm. Damy gasped as he saw his brother. Shadows were clearly visible under his eyes, which were bloodshot; blood trickled from his lips; and, his hair was grimy and ragged, untameable. He looked just as he had when he'd broken into the Potter house.
Despite his obvious poor health, he stood tall as he looked up at Albus Dumbledore's portrait. "Where are they?" he asked.
Dumbledore beamed at him. "Harry, my boy! You've done it! Tom Riddle is dead, and-"
"Where are they?" Harry interrupted, his voice ragged. He looked to be swaying on his feet. "I need to see them…" he drew a laboured breath. "One last time…"
Dumbledore smiled down at him with kindness and understanding. "Of course, Harry, but you already know where they are. Potter manor is located at the previous location, in Godric's Hollow."
Harry blinked as the secret was imparted to him – or so he thought. Apparently, he'd already known. "They're in the same place?"
"Indeed," Dumbledore murmured.
"Right." He turned to leave, and then stopped, still facing the door. "Thanks, Dumbledore… for everything."
"Are you going to tell them, Harry? About everything you've done?"
Harry didn't even bother to shake his head. His voice was weak and hoarse. "I've put them through enough. And I'll arrange things so that it will seem to the public like Damy killed me; that'll elevate the Potter's back to the highest echelons, atoning for my 'turning' in the eyes of society."
Dumbledore let out a sigh of admiration. "You're prepared everything, haven't you, Harry. And they'll never know any of it. Why won't you let them think well of you? Do you not feel you deserve their love and trust for everything you've done, even in death?"
Harry turned slowly, self-hatred riddling his entire body. "You have no idea what I have done," he whispered.
Dumbledore's reply, when it came, was empty of joviality, and full of seriousness. "Harry, you have done great and terrible things… I honestly believe your family would come to understanding better if they knew about it – they would know peace…"
Harry was silent, contemplative, with his disease-impacted mental faculties.
"They are your legacy, Harry!" Dumbledore coerced passionately. "They will live on, they will survive this war – every single one of your actions since you were eight years old has ensured that. Wouldn't you rather they lived with peace and understanding?"
A hiccup came from Harry, and his shoulders shook silently – an indication of silent tears of suffering. A flick of his wand produced a small vial, and then he placed his wand tip to his head. He paused however, before removing any memories. "It has to be their choice," Harry whispered. "If they want to let it rest, then you let it rest…"
He looked up, tears in his eyes, gazing directly at Albus Dumbledore.
"Swear to me!" he begged.
Albus maintained a sober façade as he answered. "I swear to you, Harry."
Harry gave a silent nod as he wiped the tears from his cheeks and loaded a mass of silvery substance into the container.
The full vial was placed on a shelf in the corner of the room.
The mist swirled around them, long and hard; as though it wept at Harry's sacrifice, creating a fiery tempest. Damy felt himself rise up out of the pensieve before he was deposited on the floor of the office he'd recently seen in so many memories. Dumbledore's office.
Dumbledore, who knew what Harry had done, what he'd given up.
Dumbledore, who had encouraged Harry to do it, had trained him to be the ultimate double agent.
Dumbledore, who had stolen Harry away from them.
At last, the truth. The question, of how Harry's behaviour could change so radically from a caring, affectionate brother to a torturer; it was finally answered. Answered with gusto. With so much force that Damy couldn't even comprehend what he'd seen.
This changed everything.
Around him, Damy could hear people in similar states as he was. Some of them had stood up, helping others to sit in chairs. Damy stayed where he was.
Eventually, after eternity, Dumbledore's voice washed gently over the room. "Harry loved you all, you know. He couldn't bear the thought of your deaths, of the Dark Lord triumphing. And I played my part; I took a loving child from his home and cast him among the wolves. I too share the blame. Perhaps, one day, you all will be able to forgive both Harry and myself." He waited until everyone looked at him before he gave a sad smile and walked out of his frame.
Damy felt tears threaten. "Harry…" he whispered.
That seemed to be the catalyst. Suddenly his mother was crying, and his father was trembling with emotion. Susan Bones was weeping into her aunt's shoulder; the woman herself a silent tear slowly coursing down her cheek. "We'll…" - she cleared her throat – "we'll need to have someone take a look at your mind, Susan, to check the validity of the, er – to see if it's… if it's real."
"It is," she whispered. "I remember now."
James finally found his voice. "We have to bury him. With his family, in Godric's Hollow." Damy smiled proudly through tears at his father before he moved over to hug them; his mother, and father, and sister.
And once again, the only one missing was Harry. Damy had never been more aware of his absence.
It had been three days since the revelations of Harry's memories. The Potter family had become closer than ever, content to revel in their newfound respect and admiration of everything Harry had accomplished.
Earlier today, every remaining member of the Order of the Phoenix had come over, plus the Bones and the Grangers, and they'd all watched the memories again. Things had seemed steadier after a second viewing. Everyone had been acquainted with the circumstances, and thus was able to notice other subtle nuances that they'd missed the first time.
After they'd gone, the Potter's sat in their living room, kept company only by Sirius and Remus, who had been considered a part of the family for a long time.
"He cut me free, you know," Rose said. "When he had me in the clearing." There was silence for a moment. "Why did he drag me to the clearing?"
Damien let out a sad sigh. "Because he knew about the Horcrux in my head."
Lily and James both stiffened with tension – they hated discussing that circumstance. "How do you figure?" Sirius asked.
"You heard what he said on that announcement he made. 'Best be willing to give your life for your sister' he said. He knew that if I gave my life willingly for Rose, then my blood in Voldemort's body would keep me alive. He knew."
"Even then he was protecting you," Remus marvelled.
"It seems like he was always protecting us," Lily whispered. "And all those people he supposedly killed – all of them hidden under the Fidelius."
"Katie Bell wasn't there," Remus reminded them quietly. "Harry really did kill her." His face crumbled at the thought.
James cleared his throat a few times. "It was war," he defended weakly. "Can't infiltrate the bad guys unless you do bad things."
They all knew that the defence of Harry's actions would never be enough. Harry had taken innocent lives, and that was never going away. That being said, Damien knew that what he'd done had been necessary.
"And he passed on the secret to Damy before he died," Rose spoke up. "And Damy was now a secret keeper, so he could tell everyone where it was, and we could free them from the person guarding them: Kreacher," she glared fiercely at Sirius, "who you didn't even notice was missing for years!"
James frowned. "How did he tell you the secret, Damy? I don't remember him ever having time alone with you after he… er…"
"It was three days ago, on the night we all thought he came to kill me."
"How?" Sirius queried, bewildered. "We were all there."
Damy sat silently for a moment before letting out a resigned sigh. "I, er, I wanted to keep this a secret. Sort of a way to keep a memento of Harry, just for me, but…"
Damien reluctantly stood up, and put his wand-tip to his temple. "Don't worry," he reassured after seeing his mother prepare to get up. "I asked Professor Dumbledore how to do this." A silver strand was pulled from his temple.
"Dumbledore," James muttered contemptuously, still holding a small grudge.
"It was Harry's choice, James," Lily tried to soothe, running a hand down his back as she watched Damy swirl his wand through the liquid in the pensieve that they'd borrowed from Dumbledore's office.
Damy stopped and looked around at them all. "Here, this will show you," and then he leaned forward until he disappeared into the thick, silvery memory.
Lily, James, Sirius, Remus, and Rose all appeared around him as he looked around. "This is right when Harry died," he commentated sadly. They all drew deep breaths to fortify themselves, and then set their eyes upon Harry's final minutes.
"P-Please," he whimpered. His lightning-bolt scar gleamed.
Harry's smile changed. Damy's breath caught in his throat on a sob...
Harry had just tapped his forehead with two fingertips – just like he'd used to…
And his fingers, slick with blood, slid slowly down Damy's forehead, and over the bridge of his nose, and down his left cheek…
And Harry smiled.
He smiled serenely, his face filled with love and affection. His hand still brushed Damy's cheek and he drew it away before taking a deep breath to hold himself up - for only a little longer-
Harry's voice was suddenly there, only a whisper and barely audible. He spoke of an address, for Damien's ear only. His gaze then flickered to look at the doppelganger of Rose and his smile widened and his eyes brightened with love – a silent apology for all the things he'd done. The he looked back at Damien as he gave his final words-
"Sorry, Damy," he said, smiling, both sorrowful and at peace, his voice filled with the simplest pride and the most joyful love. "There won't be a next time."
The memory around them faded to darkness.
A.N: Questions? Comments?
It's not too shit, is it?
And no, Lily Potter did not give her life for Damy, so how did he get the blood protection? That's one of the things you'll have to imagine up an answer for, for yourselves.
Edit (23/7/09): New A/N. See below.
A/N: This story is something I've always wanted to write: an 'Undercover Harry' story, whereby Harry infiltrates Voldemort's forces. Naturally, such a thing was highly unlikely to occur if Harry was the Boy-Who-Lived. Cue Damien.
The Naruto aspect, particularly Uchiha Itachi, was never in the initial concept of this story. Originally, all of the memories were to come out in a public Wizengamot hearing, at Harry's trial. Harry was then to spend the rest of his existence in Azkaban, despite the good he'd done. Another draft had Harry being released into his parent's custody against his wishes, with another few thousand words describing how he reintegrated into society when he was full of self-hatred and was afraid of his family's reaction (it seemed rather too emo for me to write, though).
I felt that it wasn't dignified enough for Harry if he ended up in Azkaban on a permanent basis. Nor did I wish him to be struck down by a random Auror or death eater. Hence the terminal illness. There was a certain nobility if he died after a final confrontation with Damien, just like Itachi.
As for the forehead schnick thing, that is definitely inspired directly by the Naruto manga, chapter 402, page 11-13. Can't possibly deny that.
I did not like so blatantly taking something of someone else's and putting it into this fanfiction piece, but it did seem like a terribly nice fit. The line 'I'm sorry, Sasuke… there won't be a next time' is my sole justification for putting all of that in. That's probably my favourite frame in the entire manga series, with Itachi's smiling face, both sorrowful and triumphant.
As for those reviewers who commented that Harry could never have predicted the exact moment he would die (especially at Damien's feet), we could ask the same question of the Naruto manga. Either way, jump onto google and search for the phrase 'suspension of disbelief', and have a read of what you find. Perhaps it will renew your fanfiction faith.
The final draft is what you see above, plus a few spelling errors (hopefully fixed by now).
Thank you to all the reviewers, and sorry about the absurdly long author's note. I normally don't like such things, and I assumed it would be more appreciated at the end of the fic, rather than at the beginning, like some authors do. Either way, I wanted to reply to all the reviewers and those who had questions and this is how I did it.
Thank you for reading, and I hope nothing on this page has turned you off either Naruto or Harry Potter. Hopefully I did them both justice.
I have no beta, so if anyone finds any further spelling errors, please send me a message.