Note: I've been working on this off and on since November of '07 on TFF with scattered snippets from all through the HP timeline. It's been odd, and is still an ongoing project as this is the first 1/2 year of the story, and there may still be the occasional piece fit in if the idea hits me as the rest is still a work in progress.
And now, on with the show...
He remembered the sound of the television being interrupted with flashes of multicolored light.
He remembered what had happened, pain everywhere as the black clad crazies with skull white masks attacked the house when he was barely even four years old.
He remembered the feel of hot and sticky splashes of fresh blood as his relatives died, only moments before something structural was hit, bringing the roof down on top of him.
He remembered being trapped for nearly two days amidst the rubble with the corpses of his aunt, uncle, and cousin.
He remembered the miraculously intact and operational television constantly replaying the video.
He remembered the line that had been burned into his brain, "It's a nice night isn't it..."
And the world would never be the same...
The institute was the first place he remembered after that night, the doctors and nurses were patching the pale boy up from his ordeal.
He clutched a crimson fedora that he had seen in the lost and found box, an item that had been in it for years according to the custodian of the building and had let him keep it.
In the dark his mind tried to mix what had been written into it with what was real, his magic taking what he believed of himself to be real and making it reality.
It was only a day before he was aimed to be discharged to a foster family that the obliviators were forced to come as a Hellhound was apparently there only to see it change back into a small boy with now crimson eyes.
Harry worked with his powers, trying to return them to what he believed in his now healed head had been their way.
The bullies had not yet learned their lesson as the boy in the hat seemed to dissolve into a black mist and the screams had begun.
The footsteps on the wooden stairs alerted him to a visitor.
Ever since his relatives died that day, he'd been in the care of a small family in London. He had been given a room that had once served as a library in the remodeled basement. The dark wood of the walls were filled with recessed shelves and the four poster bed had been draped to block the single window, allowing him his pleasant solitude with a single pet that he had raised.
Books had been one of his hobbies, his favorite being a draw between the Hound of the Baskervilles and Dracula, both of which he had managed to acquire first edition copies that held places on his shelves amidst books on many subjects that happened to catch his interest.
The pet was one that many found surprising, at least until they'd spent much time with him, an egyptian fruit bat that the family had found in a shipment of dates brought back from a business trip.
He'd named her Carmilla after one of the vampires in some of his books.
The bearded man entered his room with Mrs. Umbralun who bowed out as she normally did, preferring to leave the boy in the silence he preferred.
The goal of the visit, however, was not something he had ever expected.
Olivander was starting to worry, he'd never had someone who was seemingly incompatible with every single wand he owned.
He'd started wondering about some of the want alternatives after the brother wand of Voldemort's seemed to set itself alight when the boy had picked it up.
Trying to reaffirm his conviction about having a wand for everyone, he went through the back cabinets to pull out some of the items various wizards had used in place of a wand or staff. Staves were rare mainly because of their size and the difficulty to make the correct motions with them and were also more expensive due to the materials required to make them, as such they were rare. Others had preferred daggers, the metal being another difficult thing to work with though they were far superior to wands with ritualistic magics.
A small box caught his eye, one of the few things his father had experimented with in his later years.
Some of the muggleborn children of nobility had taken to utilizing gloves made with some of the magical cloth of various creatures and marked with ashes worked into them as they were made, leaving them to appear th color of the cloth until used when markings unique to the specific wizard would appear.
In more recent years several of the various hunter mages employed by other countries had found a use for them although the locals rarely had any, viewing them with disdain as something new and preferred the visible displays of the more visible spellcasting.
Of course the gloves had other benefits, namely in that they freed the hands from requiring them to hold onto something.
He brought the box over to the crimson clad boy and started to lay them out only to find the first one working.
"Interesting, very interesting," the wand maker said to himself as his customer left a moment later, "Acromantula silk and the ash of a Transylvanian vampire."
A moments pause as he replaced the box in its place.
"He will definitely be one to watch."
An eleven year old dressed in an older style coat and fedora of blood red boarded the Hogwarts express.
Harry wasn't quite sure if he believed the large man about being a wizard, but figured it was worth a glimpse if nothing else.
Severus Snape was, most of all, a survivor, though some would also call him a coward and petty tyrant.
Voldemort had once said that if the world would end, Severus and Cockroaches would still be around, something that prompted Lucious to ask which of the two was more obnoxious.
That was one of the few times that the sallow faced man remembered the Dark Lord laugh at something that didn't involve death and destruction in some way or another.
It was September first, a day that would forever resound in his thoughts as the day the bell tolled.
Snape remembered the eagerness for Harry Potter to come, a chance to show the world that a Potter, even one with the possible strength from his mother, was incapable of anything.
No, he would never try to ruin the boys schooling, after all, that would mean that he'd probably end up with extra years dealing with someone who probably inherited his fathers arrogance and reckless disregard for lives that mattered, namely his own, and that was without tacking on how the boys head must have been swollen by his own legend.
Before the sorting, there were still pitchers of juice and goblets out on the tables, the returning students and the faculty were busy discussing things.
It was the same routine he remembered from his own time as a student.
Then things changed as dead silence seemed to slam down upon the room as ghostly pale students were led in.
Only one seemed without the seeming feel of a panicked animal.
The brat swept into the room as if he owned it and all eyes locked on the boy for a moment as it seemed even breathing was put on hold.
Something was definitely going wrong.
The hats mind, as it were, was racing as it was placed upon the boys head, the childs wide brimmed red cap dangling at his side.
A child, no this creature was no mere child but something else, that was quite powerful, enough to warp his own self in the image of his mad delusions.
It was an impossible power, in his relatively humble opinion, that held potential for much havoc and bloodshed if unleashed. But that fear was late in realization, the being had unleashed himself and now lurked behind eyes of hellfire and blood.
Slytherin was out from the start, their recent prejudice combined with this beings bloodlust could only end with the slaughter of the students.
Ravenclaw wouldn't work, their desire for knowledge would cause them to delve into what made Harry Potter what he was.
Hufflepuff could go either way, depending upon whether Harry or the others influenced who first.
No, only one house didn't hold the risks that could spell disaster for everyone.
"Griffindor," he shouted, keeping the shudder of fear from the tone of the sorting.
He existed to sort, not to judge the students themselves, no matter how he would love to run away screaming, that is, if he had legs upon which to run.
Nightmares seemed to have formed the essence of this change, he would have added miraculous but that would have implied that the power came from a heavenly source.
But what could feel like hell itself was singing.
It had only taken a moment Snape realized, only an instant to realize just how badly he had fucked up.
Potter had come waltzing into his classroom like he owned the place wither the old hat and sunglasses only to take a front row seat.
As the class began he had tried in vain to crack that fanged smile for the first several minutes, only to realize that the damned boy knew the answers to all of the questions he loved to use to destroy the hopes of the youngest Gryffindors.
In a moment of annoyance he had tried to peer into the crimson eyed boys head.
And that is when the situation went straight to hell for the few seconds he saw into it.
He saw a castle on a peak surrounded by what seemed to be a forest.
The scent of freshly spilled as well as older blood mixed with even more foul stenches brushed his senses followed by the screams of the dead and dying merged with begging for mercy and vain threats.
He saw the boy clad in crimson, sitting atop a spire of the gothic fortress' tallest tower sipping casually from a wineglass that held a crimson liquid to viscous to be any wine he knew of.
Severus glanced down from his perch only to realize that the immense forest below was not made of trees as he had first believed. Each of them was a man, woman, or child impaled on a pike, trapped in unending agony at the pleasure of this insane being watching.
He tried not to vomit as his dark eyes glanced up to see the blood moon rising over distant peaks.
Snape screamed as the connection broke, much to the suprise of most of his class.
He felt bile rising in his throat and instant before he threw up into a thankfully empty cauldron and collapsed to his knees.
His mind couldn't comprehend exactly what it was that he had seen and babbled to himself while crawling to a corner.
The initial panic started to die down and he glanced up to see the little horror lower his shades to reveal eyes the color of freshly spilt blood and the demonic smile spread as he held out of of the candies that were seemingly ever present with the madman.
The centaurs were confused.
Firenze had reported about his contact with an unusual young human who had engaged in a running battle after a wraith of some sort.
The stars were being even stranger in their clues about Harry Potter.
Jupiter, Mars, and Pluto all bright and seeming to grow stronger in the light of the blood moon.
A combination they had never seen before, a king of death and war while born of blood.
If nothing else, the fate of the boy would be interesting to watch.
The redheaded brat was becoming an annoyance of sorts Harry mused as the fool insisted on tormenting one of the few members of magical society he viewed as at least partially competent.
"Looks like the mutt has figured that his lack of bite makes him want to bark louder," he commented in a tone that was both quiet and yet reached everyones ears, though the girl had already fled.
He calmly walked away, ignoring the glares from the fool as he vanished with a laugh into the shadows of the hallway.
He had taken to avoiding the Great Hall unless something required an appearance.
A brief scent caught his nostrils, a coppery stench that carried an odd tone to it. The strangeness was enough to draw him much as similar smells call sharks in the seas.
"Perhaps there is something that could prove amusing," Harry chuckled to himself as he followed his nose.
The cerberus had fled at the sight of a crimson eyed hound passing through the door and dropping to the ground with a dull thud.
His eyes spotted small patches of a vaguely familiar plant from a recent herbology class just starting to grow along the walls and indicators of plans for it to fill the floor.
With the silence of a grave, the hellhound walked with confidence onwards, passing through an area covered with tables covered in thousands of different keys with wings, a few in cages and marked by moving wings. The farthest door still ajar before him allowing him easy passage.
A moments disdain at the immobile chess pieces standing in eerie silence as he walked through them, wondering just what their purpose was while a few twitched and it seemed like their eyes were locked on the intruder before he passed beyond their reach.
After a small and empty room, Harry encountered a wall of flame with a series of bottles.
A moments amusement as he considered a trick that bypassed the apparent test, utilizing a simple flame-freezing charm he'd found in a book on the inquisition and various "witch-trials" across the world.
It was the stuttering pest of a teacher, one that had annoyed him from the beginning.
He reeked of blood, stolen and otherwise, as Harry leaped, transforming to his normal appearance in mid leap.
The final room was interesting, a series of mirrors set around a glass pillar. The seemingly empty column of glass was reflected differently in each mirror that faced it, all showing a single glistening stone of blood red hovering within and three others of different colors.
Shattering glass signaled the beginning of the fight between the ones who viewed themselves as immortals.
The nearest mirror detonating as Harry dodged a series of spells that left glistening, molten paths through the falling shards of crystalline material that rang with the chime of glass upon impact with the ancient stonework.
A hasty shot that deflected off of a shield in a flash of silvery light while a second mirror exploded from the impact.
Two pairs of blood red eyes met in a momentary lull in the battle as both whirled to face the other, pistol and wand at the ready.
"I can give you great power Potter," the dark wizard attempted to convince his foe.
"Power?" came the laugh in response, "What do I need your power for?"
"You pathetic fool," the parasite laughed, "What good is your power now?"
Both fired, each missing the other, sending sparks and stone fragments flying from the walls as the dance continued.
"Let me tell you a secret," the heir of Slytherin goaded, "There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it …"
A haunting laugh was the only response, "Good? Evil?"
The brief pause and dead silence for a the length of a single beat of the heart.
"What would monsters need with such things," the demonic grin spread, "Show me your power!"
Both attacked again, dancing through the wreckage and avoiding the pillar between them as the final two mirrors shattered, showering both of them with shards of silvered glass.
And then it was over, Harry felt an impact as did the wizard. A bullet and a spell launched together each hit their targets.
The dark lord shrieked in pain as he stared for a moment at the ruined arm of his host before turning to look at his foe who had been blasted through the central pillar to collapse, twitching and bleeding in a heap against the wall.
She managed to scream and turn to run before the impact of a massive, oaken club.
The screech of pain drew the attention of the other professors while the brutish troll lumbered off down the hall.
The dull thump of impact ended the scream as she skidded down the hall.
"Sybill," she heard as her vision darkened.
"Merlin!" Minerva hissed before yelling for anyone who could hear her, "Someone get Poppy!"
His head was swimming.
Thousands of silvery shards had pierced his body from all directions.
His eyes flashed, the red dimming, changing back the dull emerald as he landed on the floor in a heap.
Blood was pooling around him, inching almost like a fleeing army scattering from a destroyed fortress.
His vision was dimming, and Harry knew it would be over.
The magic that had followed the image it had been forced to take was ending, and taking with it the form he'd taken. Fangs receding as the parasite attached to a human host laughed after the single eerie green spell had flashed across the room.
Harry's magic was strong enough to resist the curse itself, but at the same time the resistance had sent him flying across the chamber to crash through the mirror.
His hand, feeling so cold wrapped around the blood red stone through the gloves.
It was powerful, but he would not give it to the sorcerous trash that had raised a wand against him. A fool who reveled in the power, not bothering to learn the true powers that would prove your power.
His mind flashed back to the collapsing room at his Uncle and Aunts with the flashes, a similar death had taken then to the one that was now taking him.
Only he had someone gloating over his broken and battered body.
A decision was made and he slammed the crystalline stone that could grant immortality and wealth beyond the most imaginative wishes to the white marble of the floor.
Voldemort's eyes widened and face paled as he screamed in outrage, raising his wand for another attempt at torturing the boy.
The sound of crystal almost like the sound one would expect from a jar of coins resounded deafeningly in the would be vampires ears.
A crimson spell rocketed towards him as he laughed, the mocking tone he had come to make his own.
And then it was silent.
The dark wizard walked towards the downed boy and his eyes widened again as the crystal shards seemed to reduce themselves to a liquid, merging with the life blood of the boy.
He stepped backwards as the flow of crimson seemed to retreat, returning to the being as some shards seemed through the clothes.
Swirling darkness flooded the room, making it hard to breath as the heir of Salazar Slytherin was sure he could hear the steady beat of a heart that grew louder almost as a drum pounded on parade that was nearing.
Harry's mind remembered being found that day all so long ago as power, unbelievable power, rushed through his veins as liquid fire.
His magic reacted, pushing back into the familiar patterns his body had adapted itself to years before. A swirling stream of blood carried his cloths upwards, rising high while his form disintegrated and then reformed in midair with a blast of raw power that set off what seemed like every single ward up to even Diagon Alley.
People all over the world remembered seeing what looked like droplets of blood stain the moon for the night.
Voldemort was panicking as he watched the mist begin to dissipate to reveal the hellfire eyes of his foe.
Fangs glistened in the dim light that had cut through the devilish fog.
"Beautiful night," Harry seemed to ask himself as his eyes locked with the darkened specter of a wizard, "Isn't it?"
The twin screams of the teacher and the parasite echoed through the ancient halls of the castle.
Hermione Granger ran after launching one of the better hexes she knew.
She remembered a lot of what had been discussed about trolls in the defense book.
They were strong and tough, capable of feats of strength and endurance that outdid any human, being outclassed only by giants and dragons in both and adding Minotaurs for the strength portion.
With the ability to regenerate over time made them difficult to kill as their vitals healed lightning quick, though beyond that they weren't that faster than humans except they could regrow lost parts if they had enough food.
The last part was their extreme resistance to magic, it was the fact that the standard method for dealing with rogue trolls was to remain out of reach and bombard it with the most destructive spells in their arsenal until it went down from the sheer amount of damage that would eventually get through.
In fact, the only thing that helped in dealing with them was that they were slow and stupid while making big targets.
"Not good," the witch whispered to herself as she skidded to a halt watching the staircase move away to another position at the end of the hall and turned to move a different way.
She barely made it to the side passage and dove under a swing of the club that shattered the stone of a corner. It was far to close for comfort as she felt the damage to her elbows while climbing to her feet to escape.
Her feet hurt and she gasped for air as it crashed down the hallway like a freight train as she tried to find an unlocked door, finally settling for one of the bathrooms..
The door locked behind her and she hid under some of the sinks, taking cover an instant before the door was reduced to splinters and the beast forced its way into the room.
Dumbledore and Snape had responded to the tripping of the wards around the philosophers stones hideaway.
The image they had come across was not what they had expected, and one that had the wand Albus Dumbledore falling from a limp had to clatter across the blood stained stones while Severus Snape took three steps backwards.
Quirrel was dead, that much was instantly certain, the silver pike that seemed to come from the stonework itself had penetrated the man to extend the bloody tip high into the air while pointing at the shattered mirror that was now without glass.
The sound of mad laughter reached them from high above, muffled partially by the fortress.
Atop the tallest tower, Harry Potter laughed at the foolish one who had dared to challenge him.
The wraith had managed to escape him, but it was no matter.
He would face Voldemort once more, let the piece of filth run and plan.
Nothing could stop a true No Life King.
A distant scream caught his interest, another possibility to relieve his boredom.
Hermione Granger had gone from scared to fucking terrified.
The red clad boy had simply stood there, she assumed it was because he was frozen in fear, when he was hit by the massive club of the troll.
Sunken and beady eyes turned towards her once more only for the creature to pause at a loud laugh and a wave of black mist that flooded the room, giving the entire place the stench of freshly spilt blood.
An explosion, no, she corrected herself, a gunshot echoed through the bathroom and the halls as the darkness cleared to reveal the boy standing there.
The tattered school robe fell to reveal the red coat of an almost victorian design and the hat in place upon his head as the being seemed to finish reassembling himself.
"That..." she stammered, searching through all of her knowledge to try and uncover what the hell this maniac was doing only to find nothing to explain it, "That's impossible."
The troll was screaming in pain, collapsing backwards in a heap against the ruined line of sinks with a deafening shriek of pain and outrage as she noticed that the weapon had cleaved the beasts legs off at the knees.
"Stop Whining!" the crimson clad psychotic ordered in an annoyed tone, "All I did was cut off your stupid legs!"
The madman had yet to draw a wand, in fact she couldn't seem to remember him ever using one in class, though she had remembered a notation about a few wizards and witches using gloves instead of wands.
"Come on you worthless piece of garbage!" he snarled, impatience written plainly in his features, "Stand up and come at me! Don't make me waste my entire night"
The troll was panicking now, trying to scramble away from this being that now filled the room with darkness and anger.
"Pick up your club and attack me! Do something!"
The slow clap of footsteps as he walked towards the troll, interrupted her thoughts of which one of the two was the bigger monster.
"Come on, your still moving!" Harry demanded of the thing, "Hurry, hurry, hurry, HURRY!"
When it managed to get back a few steps the boy believing himself to be a No-Life-King sighed and raised his gun one more time and pulled the trigger.
The deafening bang and the feel of warm, black blood splashing across her face sent her screaming once more, the scream covering the bang of the doors opening to allow the teachers entrance to the room.
All of them froze as the boy calmly slipped his weapon back into the shadows of his coat and slip a candy from a pocket to slip into his mouth. A gloved hand holding another out to the professors.
And then he was gone, after getting no response. The teachers and headmaster frozen in shock at the dead troll and moving unconsciously away from the more dangerous predator.
"It's such a beautiful night," came the chime of his voice, "Don't you agree."
Firenze watched the crimson figure stand before the shade.
The stars had spoken, and he had listened to their guidance while choosing to observe a moment in history rather than merely viewing the results.
Tonight it was happening, the king, the warrior, and the keeper of the dead all hung high above, seeming to roar in challenge at this moment.
Eternal twilight spoken in only as a lord of death and blood could enunciate.
When the stars spoke, they did not hint and taunt as the lady trapping herself in the tower, running far and wide with her sanity challenged by the visions and Cassandras Curse while the mortal means to control the divine power did their own damage to a fragile mind. However, they sang in riddles that give hints and advice for what was to come and only the wisest could ever discern those truths declared from the heavens.
The death of an innocent called forth a confrontation of two predators, something the part of him that came from the runners of the wild plain knew and feared, while event he man could see the risks and dangers of these titans waiting for the other to give ground.
Risks and rewards, to break up the fight could cause them both to turn on him upon his appearance, one could spook and the other attack, or both could break from the intrusion.
The wraith of the serpent lord flinched, almost as if it had gazed into the abyss of death itself as the laugh of nightmares and the lunatics smile bore the fangs of the unknown.
Destiny and fate shuddered as the stars sang a nightmarish mix of a coronation march and dirge at the crowning of the one it called the No Life King.
A book sat open upon his lap as he turned his eyes upon the symbol of life within the room, the Christmas tree beside the roaring fire.
Mrs. Umbralun had sent him another interesting tale as per the custom he'd had with the family that had cared for him, his own response being a few trinkets that they should appreciate.
The Vampyre was one of the few literary tales of vampires which had eluded his acquisition and now he relaxed within the pages of the work. Something to take his mind off those about him, or at least that was the emphasis for the first few books.
She had believed that if his attention was cast upon a work of fiction, then it would not be upon his "peculiar" method of relieving boredom.
Amusement was something that was rare for him, and thus far he had been blessed, as it were, with more things to keep his interest since his first encounter with Hagrid.
Casually, he plucked a grape from the bowl upon a table beside the arm chair he was sunken into and held it up for Carmilla.
She swooped down from the shadows cast upwards and the ceiling beyond, snatching it in a flash before slowing slightly, gliding to settle down upon the tip of one of the arms.
"Yes," he whispered with the fanged grin spreading slightly, "Delightful."
A squeak and a seeming nod from the bats smaller features before she began to devour the given treat.
Christmas had always confused him to an extent, but he could, always, respect a man in crimson.
She watched the figure walking casually through the newly fallen snow, cutting a line through it as droplets of blood upon a porcelain doll.
A slight shiver at a shift of the boys, no the mans, head sent a shiver through her, unsure whether it were truly that motion or just the cold reaching her more than the fire. But still her attention stayed on the figure that haunted her dreams, both pleasant and nightmarish, as of late.
He did not, she noticed, seem effected by the cold as a normal person would, and he paid it no heed, as if, per chance, it was but an illusion.
The bored look was unlike what she expected of someone her age, and it was similar and yet somehow unlike the one others had commented about her during school before discovering magic.
And yet, that look with its seeming lack of emotion, was far preferable to the other look she had seen on those features upon the Eve of All Hallows.
No, that look of twisted amusement was something that she doubted would ever leave her darkest nightmares as he calmly eviscerated a troll before her while taunting it.
That look of disappointment for a moment afterward was almost worse.
Another shiver as her eyes met the bloody crimson ones far below as the object of her thoughts casually tipped his hat and laughed.