Not Go Gentle
Standard Disclaimer: Harry Potter and all characters are property of J K Rowling, Warner Brothers, Bloomsbury Books, Arthur A. Levine Books, Raincoast Books, Scholastic publishing (et al.) and are used without permission. This work was written purely for noncommercial entertainment; no money is being made.
Title comes from a Dylan Thomas poem: "Do not go gentle into that good night"
WARNING: this work contains depictions of sex (heterosexual, lesbian, bi-sexual, and group acts with both consensual and nonconsensual sex scenes), graphic violence (including but not limited to torture, murder, mutilation, rape, and more). These actions will happen TO and be performed BY major cannon characters (both protagonists and antagonists). This is a horror story so readers should expect evil activity from cannon characters.
Summary: War wages on and Voldemort proves why he is the most feared wizard. Harry struggles against Voldemort's tyranny even with something horrible lurking inside him Post-HBP HP/HG/SB/DG DARK HARRY
28 July was just a non-descript day to most; very much like the day before or the day after. It was a day like any other; nothing to set it apart from the rest – no holiday made it special nor did it have any historical significance. But for Harry Potter it was the day he made the noblest decision of his life. It was the day he decided not to allow his two best friends to make a mistake that could very likely end their lives.
Hermione and Ron, along with three other friends, had followed Harry once into danger in the Department of Mysteries and their loyalty almost cost them their lives. Now Ron and Hermione were planning on risking their lives once more to aid Harry. He vowed that he would not let them put themselves in harm's way for him again; he loved them too much to knowingly allow such a mistake to be repeated. Shortly after Dumbledore's funeral and Ron and Hermione's subsequent pledge of allegiance, Harry had decided to search for Voldemort's Horcruxes alone, leaving his two friends safe and well out of danger. It wasn't much of a plan: Harry decided to send a letter to Ron and Hermione saying that he'd wait for them, but then secretly escape the prison that was his relatives' home.
Harry scribbled a simple and short note to Hermione, knowing that she would pass the information along to her now-boyfriend, Ron.
"Dear Hermione and Ron,
Three more days until I'm free and I can leave my relatives' house. When you arrive, I'll be waiting for you two outside the house; I'd rather not subject you to my Aunt and Uncle's unique charm.
See you on the 31st,
Not normally known for lengthy posts, the young wizard had intentionally made the note short and direct in order not to reveal any hints as to his true plan. It hurt him to lie to his friends, but it was for the best. Harry realized that there was a good chance that he could get killed hunting Voldemort's Horcruxes; and unlike Ron and Hermione, Harry considered himself to be expendable. The young man had no real family to grieve over him, and his only loved ones were the two people he was trying to save with this small deceit. Harry couldn't bear the guilt if either Ron or Hermione got hurt again.
There was no chance that someone would stop him from leaving his life-long prison. If his relatives discovered that he was leaving earlier than expected, they'd gladly hold open the door for him so that he could hasten his exit. His Aunt, Uncle, and cousin were already happily counting the days until Harry's departure. If that day came sooner than planned, they would be overjoyed. There was no one from the Order keeping an eye on his relatives' home anymore. After Dumbledore's murder, so many members of the Order of the Phoenix had left that the group had all but disbanded. Many of the original members felt that they couldn't continue without the venerable leader to guide them, so they abandoned the group. Remus and a handful of others, including Moody, McGonagall, Tonks, Shacklebolt, a number of the Weasley family, and Hagrid, tried to carry on, but because of Voldemort's increasingly brazen tactics, the Order could no longer spare members to guard Harry. Instead the remaining Order members focused on helping the Ministry in hunting down the evil doers. This meant that no Order member would be hiding outside of number four to stop Harry from leaving.
With an ache in his chest, Harry attached the false note to his snowy-owl's leg.
"I need you to take this to Hermione, girl," Harry requested of Hedwig. "And I need you to stay with her until I come for you. Do you understand?"
Harry gave his owl that particular order so that Hermione and his other friends couldn't use Hedwig to follow him. He knew that the moment Hermione discovered that he had left for his hunt without her; she would use Hedwig to track him down by placing some sort of Tracking Charm on the owl. Of course this didn't mean that his friends could use other owls, but at least they wouldn't be able to use Hedwig.
Hedwig hooted sadly as Harry stroked her feathers. "It's for the best, girl," he consoled her. Hedwig spread her wings and gracefully flew out of Harry's room and toward the horizon.
Harry spent the next fifteen minutes tidying up his room, not to please his relatives but to make sure that he left nothing important behind. Satisfied that he had all of his necessary possessions, Harry silently walked out of the Dursleys' house with his flying broom over one shoulder and a makeshift bag under the other, not even bothering to say goodbye.
Harry walked until he could no longer see number four and then pulled out his wand and held it in the air. In a matter of seconds, the triple-decker Knight Bus sprang into view with a loud bang. Harry stepped onto the bus and told the conductor; "The Leaky Cauldron."
After paying the eleven sickle fee, Harry took a seat near the back. Thankfully, only a few people were on the bus and it took little time for Harry to reach his destination.
Walking into the dimly lit pub, Harry politely greeted Tom but did not slow his pace. He had no intention of stopping and having a chat with the barkeep. Many of the patrons eyed Harry as he made his way to the alley entrance behind the pub. The raven haired wizard ignored the stares; being "The Boy Who Lived," he had grown used to them over the past few years and had become accustomed to them. Unfortunately, he didn't notice the shadowy figure sitting at a table in a dark corner that stood and followed shortly after he passed through the exit.
After leaving the pub and entering Diagon Alley, Harry walked briskly to Gringotts, the wizarding bank. Thirty minutes later, Harry left the bank with a sack full of Galleons. Now that he had enough money, Harry decided to spend some on supplies and research material; such as potion supplies and books on spells, among other things. Perhaps he could find a spell or amulet that would mask him from all post owls so that none of his friends could track him.
Another agenda he had for coming to Diagon Alley had been to head to its darker counterpart; Knockturn Alley. He needed to talk to Borgin to see if the shady wizard could shed any light on Harry's quest. If anyone knew about dark items such as Horcruxes, Harry figured the oily fellow would know.
Harry resolved that he should get the most difficult part out of the way and talk to Borgin first. Perhaps he could bribe him; from what little Harry knew of the man, he knew it would be pointless to try and appeal to his sense of good. Gold was the only thing of importance to Borgin.
The young man was slightly suspicious as he approached the entrance to Knockturn Alley; as there were very few people on the street. He told himself that he was overreacting; perhaps the Ministry had cracked down even more on suspected Dark Arts users and that many of the people who frequented Knockturn Alley were simply hiding. Accepting this reasoning, Harry pressed on. He had made it halfway to Borgin and Burkes before a bolt of red light rocketed out of the shadows and hit him square in the back.
"So good of you to join us, Harry," a cold and high voice said, waking Harry. It was a voice that he immediately recognized as Voldemort's.
Terror filled Harry's mind and his first instinct was to run as far away from the evil wizard as possible. But he quickly found out that he was under a Full-Body Bind and was unable to move in the slightest. Harry's entire body was locked together magically and was as rigid as a board. His eyes, the only part of his body that he could still move, darted in every direction as panic started to set in. Moldy walls of rock and crumbling masonry surrounded him. The only light in the room came from several burning torches hanging from the walls; the flickering flames making the shadows dance. He was lying on a hard, cold stone slab in some sort of dungeon.
"You really shouldn't go out by yourself," Voldemort said coldly, walking out of the dark shadows and into Harry's line of vision. The sinister wizard's serpentine lips were curled into a sadistic smile. "It's far too dangerous to travel alone these days. Many terrible things can happen to a young man such as yourself. For instance, a Death Eater, innocently having a spot to eat, could've spotted you as you strolled through the Leaky Cauldron. That same Death Eater could've easily followed you and stunned you when the time was right," Voldemort laughed cruelly.
Fear made Harry's blood run cold. He had faced Voldemort before and had always been afraid, but he had never been as vulnerable as he was now. During his previous encounters, Harry had his wand and was able to use the meager spells and charms knowledge he had to defend himself until help arrived or he was able to escape by chance. But this time, Harry had no wand and doubted that someone would be able to rescue him.
From the other side of Harry, Bellatrix Lestrange sauntered into view. She dragged the tip of her wand across Harry's chest, toying with him while Voldemort continued to speak.
"I've spent the better part of the last sixteen years trying to kill you, Harry," Voldemort spoke evenly, as if discussing something trivial like the weather. "And now that I have you in my tender care, and there is no chance of the pesky Order of the Phoenix coming to rescue you, I find that I'm not happy with the thought of merely killing you. No, death is too simple, too easy for you. I now desire to completely destroy you."
To Harry, Voldemort was speaking circularly. Wouldn't he be destroyed if Voldemort killed him? It made no sense. Obviously Voldemort, the sadist, was playing with him, mocking him before he died.
"I have such plans for you," Voldemort said while he looked down at Harry's still form. There was an odd sparkle in Voldemort's red eyes, giving the villain a peculiar expression; almost like affection or adoration.
Bellatrix jabbed her wand in the side of Harry's neck and smiled before he felt his neck rip open; it was as if a hot knife tore through his throat. His jugular erupted in a fountain of blood. Harry's blood splashed on Bellatrix's face; the spray rained down on Voldemort, who stood there as if it was just a light summer shower. Harry made gurgling and wet sucking sounds as he gasped for breath through the jagged gash in his neck while his lifeblood sprayed out of that same wound.
She had hit him with Sectumsempra, the powerful cutting hex Snape had created when he was a schoolboy. The spell had slashed through Harry's flesh, muscles, arteries, and his trachea like they were made out of wet paper. Within a few scant seconds, Harry's vision started to darken and he felt his heart begin to slow. The flow of blood rapidly turned into a trickle.
Harry saw Bellatrix lick his blood off of her lips while Voldemort casually wiped away a dribble of blood that was threatening to flow into his eye with the tip of his long finger.
He could no longer feel his arms or legs and his torso was as cold as ice due to the massive amount of blood loss. His throat, which had felt as if it were on fire, suddenly became numb. Harry knew that he was going to die in a matter of seconds in some dungeon, while the villain who had tried to kill him his entire life watched like a spectator at a Quidditch match.
Without warning, Voldemort waved his wand over Harry's neck in an intricate pattern, similar to the one Snape used on Draco when Harry had cast the very same cutting hex on the blond ponce. Air returned to Harry's lungs in great gulps after his jugular and windpipe had been magically stitched back together. A Death Eater, one Harry did not recognize, appeared out of the shadows and grabbed him by the chin. He forced Harry's jaw open and poured the contents of a small, glass vial into the young wizard's mouth. The cold potion filled Harry's mouth and he involuntarily swallowed.
"Do not worry, Harry," Voldemort cooed in his chilling voice, "it's merely a Blood-Replenishing Potion. I can't have my future pet dying on me, now can I?"
"Do it," Bellatrix commanded and the Death Eater who had force fed Harry began tearing off The Boy Who Lived's blood soaked clothing. Harry's shirt was ripped off and tossed to the ground next to him. Even if he wasn't under the Full Body Bind, Harry realized that he would've been far too weak from blood loss to struggle against the Death Eater.
While the Death Eater stripped the injured wizard's trousers and pants, Voldemort plucked Harry's glasses off of his face and dropped them on the discarded shirt. The Dark Lord then held up Harry's wand and caressed it almost lovingly before snapping it in half. A triumphant smile danced across his thin lips and he threw the ruined wand on the pile of bloodied clothes.
"In one day's time, leave these things in a conspicuous place," the Dark Lord ordered, indicating Harry's clothes and wand to the unknown Death Eater. He turned to Bellatrix and added, "Tomorrow, we'll begin the preparation for the ritual."
Voldemort smiled at Harry once more before he turned and slithered out of Harry's view, leaving him naked and alone in the cell.
The next morning, Hermione awoke from a dreamless sleep to find Hedwig tapping gently on her bedroom window. Rubbing the sleep from her eyes, the witch climbed out of bed and padded over to the window in her bare feet and opened it to allow Hedwig to hop in. Hermione retrieved Harry's post and quickly read it.
In it, Harry confirmed their plans to meet at the Dursley home on his birthday. She placed the note down and was surprised to find Hedwig still in her room. Usually, Hedwig only waited around after delivering her post if Harry wanted a reply. Hermione jotted a quick note on the back of Harry's letter;
I'll see you on your birthday.
She felt rather silly writing such a simple note, normally she could write volumes, but there was really nothing else to say. Hermione was surprised once again to see that Hedwig hadn't left, even after she attached her reply to the owl's leg.
"Go on girl; go back to Harry," she requested kindly.
The snowy owl looked at Hermione and the witch was stunned to see something akin to sadness in her amber eyes. Hermione wondered why Harry's pet was so sad and why she wouldn't leave to go back to him.
"Oh no," she murmured as realization dawned upon her.
Without a stray thought of concern to the fact that she was wearing nothing beside her nightgown, Hermione Apparated directly into the Burrow's kitchen, startling Molly.
"Hermione, what do you think you're - ?" a startled Molly began to lecture the younger witch about Apparation and proper etiquette, but stopped when she saw the fear and panic in Hermione's face. "What's wrong dear?"
"Harry's in trouble!"
After Mrs. Weasley woke Mr. Weasley, Ron, and Ginny, Hermione explained that Hedwig wouldn't deliver her post to Harry.
"So what?" asked Ginny, a little peeved that she was forced to wake up so early. "Maybe Hedwig was tired and didn't want to fly just yet."
"Fine then, send Pigwidgeon to Harry," demanded Hermione angrily. She didn't like how coolly Ginny was taking the situation. After all, Ginny was Harry's girlfriend until just recently. In Hermione's opinion, the younger witch should've been immediately worried about Harry, much like she herself was.
"I'll go get Pig," announced Ron, lumbering up the stairs to his room.
"Don't worry, dear," Molly comforted Hermione by putting her arm around the younger witch. "I'm sure it's nothing to fret over."
But Hermione couldn't take Mrs. Weasley's words to heart; she was imagining the worst. She was positive that Harry had lied about meeting her and Ron on his birthday and had run off to go search for the Horcruxes by himself. She imagined that he had told Hedwig not to look for him in case one of his friends had decided to follow the owl. Hermione feared that Harry would end up dead if she wasn't there to help him like she had always done in the past. She had to find him right away so that she could be at his side to help him — after she scolded and berated him for being so pigheaded, of course.
Ron reappeared with his tiny owl clutched in his fist like a ball. Pig hooted excitedly while his head pivoted wildly, looking around the room. Hermione dashed over to Ron and snatched Pigwidgeon from him.
"Go find Harry," she ordered frantically. If Hermione was right and Harry had ordered his owl not to look for him, Pig could still find him.
The miniature owl took to the air and flew in a circle about the kitchen three full times before landing on Ron's shoulder and hooted.
"Oh dear," Molly sighed miserably. She shared a concerned look with her husband.
"What? What does this mean?" demanded Hermione.
Mr. and Mrs. Weasley hesitated to answer. The youngest members of the family grew nervous and pensive as well, as if they knew what would cause a post owl not to seek out the recipient. It was something that magical families would sometimes run into and therefore they knew the reason. But Hermione, still a relative newcomer to this world, didn't know the implication.
"Tell me!" the brunette witch insisted.
Again, they remained silent. It was like they were afraid to say what they were all thinking.
Arthur stood up and walked over to the fire place.
"Mrs. Weasley… M-Molly?" Hermione pleaded pitifully while Arthur tossed a pinch of green Floo powder into the flames.
"Don't worry, dear," Molly attempted to sooth the younger witch's worries. "It could be that Harry is just in an area that has Anti-Tracking Charms and the owls can't locate him."
"Remus Lupin," called out Arthur after he stuck his head in the now green flames.
"Why would he do that?" Ginny asked. Hermione noticed that the irritability that Ginny was feeling earlier had been finally replaced with concern.
"Maybe he wanted some alone time," offered the Weasley matriarch. Hermione didn't need to hear the warble in Molly's voice to know that even she didn't believe her own words. The tears welling up in Mrs. Weasley's eyes told Hermione what they all thought had happened.
"Sorry to disturb you at this hour Remus," Arthur said into the fire.
"'Some time alone'? That's a load of tripe," Ron shot back at his mother. "Those Muggles Harry lives with have been ignoring him the past two summers. All he needs to do for some 'alone time' is go to his room! The Muggles stay as far away from him as they can!"
Hermione took Ron's hand in hers and commanded "Not now, Ron," firmly. She knew that Ron would often strike out at people whenever he felt sad, worried, or frightened. Hermione recognized that he shouldn't be this way with his mother, especially when she was trying to comfort them. Besides, his misplaced anger wouldn't help matters.
"It's about Harry," Arthur continued to Remus through the floo connection. "He's in trouble."
The morning sun blazed into the young man's eyes and woke him from a restless sleep. Groaning pitifully, Draco Malfoy sat up. He had been forced to sleep on the bare earth like a common vagrant for the past three nights. Sleeping on the hard ground had wreaked havoc on his body, leaving him sore and bruised.
If someone had told Draco two years ago that he would be relegated to less than an errand boy who would have to sleep out in the open on the ground like an animal, he would've laughed at them. That was something that he knew to be beneath his stature and due. He was Draco Malfoy, son of Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy and one of the most prestigious families in Brittan, the most important student in Slytherin, and therefore deserving of only the best the world had to offer. He was entitled to opulent settings and rich food, not lying on the rocky ground eating cold soup out of a can.
But ever since he and Professor Snape had arrived at the Dark Lord's castle after they fled from Hogwarts, Draco knew he was no longer the prized Slytherin prince he used to be. Everywhere he went within the Dark Lord's castle, the other Death Eaters glowered and whisper threateningly at him. Occasionally, Draco would find an object, a chair or lamp, in his small, cramped room that was hexed in such a way that if he brushed up against the object, even slightly, he would either feel intense pain or perhaps even die. Draco knew the reason for this animosity and hatred; he had been given a task by their Master and he had failed not once, but three times. Neither the poisoned elf wine nor the cursed bracelet failed to kill the Muggle-loving fool, Dumbledore. Draco wasn't naive; he realized that if Professor Snape hadn't stepped in and killed Dumbledore, the other Death Eaters would've murdered Draco on the spot for his failure to the Dark Lord.
So, when Macnair had given Draco his orders for this mission, his first since arriving at the Dark Lord's castle, Draco jumped at the opportunity, eager to prove himself and to make up for his transgression against his Master. Then he heard what he had to do; stay under an invisibility cloak and hold a satchel; nothing more than an errand boy. It was a duty for someone along the lines of an imbecile like Crabbe or Goyle. But Draco couldn't complain, because he had realized how far he had fallen. He was no longer the Slytherin Prince, but he was now considered an equal to those buffoons Goyle and Crabbe; a lowly and insignificant cog in a great machine.
As he looked up at the castle that loomed over him, a sense of hatred filled his heart. He so despised Hogwarts and all it stood for. It could have been the greatest school in the entire world if it weren't for the Mudbloods and blood traitors. Draco used to dream of the day when he could leave this place – at how he would've felt an overwhelming sense of joy at bidding the school and its soiled reputation goodbye. However, when the time had finally come, he was too busy running for his life to feel anything other than fear. Now he found himself forced to sit at the base of its walls waiting on a dirty rat. Oh, how he wished he could burn the castle to the ground.
Scratching noises of tiny clawed feet on stone announced that the rat was about to show up again. Draco waited patiently by the crack in the wall for the filthy creature to appear. In a moment, a grey rat with a silver-metallic paw came out, a large reptilian scale held in its teeth.
Wormtail, the rat who was actually a wizard, dropped the scale on the ground and quickly scurried back into the crack. He'd return with another scale, perhaps two in an hour or so, like he had done so many times since their arrival at Hogwarts a few days before. Draco had stopped counting how many times Wormtail had appeared out of the tiny opening only to travel back through it somewhere into the bowels of the castle. Grumbling to himself, Draco leaned over and picked the scale off of the ground and tossed it in the satchel with the dozens of other scales.
Some of the scales were as small as Draco's thumbnail, while others were large enough to cover half of his palm. Draco had no idea what kind of creature Wormtail was taking the scales from, but he hoped that he'd never have to meet it. Nor did Draco know why the Dark Lord wanted these scales to be collected, but he knew better than to ask.
It hurt Pansy deeply as she watched Draco rot away over the past few months. At school, the burden of his mission weighed heavily on him. She knew that whatever he was doing was dreadfully important and wished that she could've helped him. But Draco had too much pride to ask for help from Pansy. Neither would he accept any if she had offered. So Pansy watched and silently supported him as best she could. It had broken her heart to see the anguish that ate away at him as he tried to accomplish the unknown task the Dark Lord had given him. When she discovered that this task was to assassinate the Muggle loving fool Dumbledore, Pansy suddenly realized how heavy a burden Draco had carried. Such a daunting feat seemed impossible. Dumbledore was so powerful and skilled that even the Dark Lord feared him. But since the night Dumbledore was assassinated and his arrival at their Master's castle, Draco's condition had not improved. In fact, it had worsened.
Pansy saw how the other Death Eaters glared at him as he passed them in the halls or the dining chamber. She also knew that they threatened him regularly; she had a suspicion that Draco may have been attacked or hexed at least once. But again, Draco was too proud and could not admit such things to her.
It was clear that Draco was not up to the task of being a Death Eater; he lacked the necessary resolve needed to do their Master's bidding. But he had joined the Dark Lord's ranks and now he could not leave. One did not just walk away and leave the Dark Lord's services. The only way one left was through death, whether at the hands of the Dark Lord's enemies or by the Master himself.
Pansy could not bear to lose her Draco. She had truly grown to love him and his noble spirit over the past few years. She dreamed of spending the rest of her life with him and passing on their dignified pureblood traditions onto their children. To make her dream come true, Pansy realized that she had to make sure Draco survived. He was too weak to make it for much longer; either he would die foolishly at the hands of some Auror, or eliminated by a Death Eater on the Dark Lord's orders. For a brief moment, she mulled over the impossible idea of taking Draco and running away, but soon realized that the Dark Lord would hunt them down for their betrayal and kill both of them. Therefore, the only way that Pansy could ensure Draco's survival was to turn him into a proper Death Eater. To do so, she would have to force Draco past his hesitations, fears, and apprehensions. It would be difficult, but Pansy believed that she could do it. Her dream of her and Draco's life together gave her the strength.
She had approached her Master with a request early one day shortly after Draco went away on his secret mission with Wormtail. Her knees were shaking as did her voice when she asked her Master to be assigned to Draco to help him become a worthy servant.
"Why would you do that?" Voldemort asked coldly.
"He is of no use to you in his current state, Sire," Pansy replied humbly. Her warbling voice echoed off the cold, stone walls of the Dark Lord's chambers. "I could help him serve you properly."
"You misunderstand me, Pansy. Draco is hopeless," the Dark Lord corrected. "Why would you waste your time on him?"
Pansy knew that she would have to tell her Master the truth; to do otherwise would end her life painfully.
"I love him, Master," she answered without shame.
Voldemort chuckled; the girl actually believed that she was in love with Draco. Pansy had much to learn; Voldemort knew there was no such thing as love; the emotion was only a poet's fantasy. There was only lust and power; to physically satisfy oneself and gain power over others. But he realized that Pansy had what Draco didn't: dedication. He knew by the look in Pansy's eyes that she had the potential to be a brilliant Death Eater much like Bellatrix; viciously ruthless and blindly loyal. Perhaps she could sway Draco into bettering himself and in the process, better herself as well.
"Very well, Pansy," Voldemort announced and the witch's face lit up. "As you know, Draco is currently on a mission, but when he returns, he is yours. I expect him to overcome his weakness. A week after he returns, you, Draco, and some of your friends will have to prove your mettle. I hope that I do not have to warn you about the consequences if you were to fail."
"No, Master," Pansy said with a mixture of fear over her Master's threat and accomplishment for being able to help her love. "I will make you proud, Sire!"
Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks, both looking like they had been prematurely woken up from a deep and restful sleep and had very little time to properly freshen up, appeared in the back garden of number four Privet Drive with a crack. Without saying a word, they both marched up to the back door. Remus waved his wand. The door unlocked and flew open with a loud bang.
"Good Heavens!" Petunia Dursley screamed in shock and dropped the pan of bacon she was frying, sending scalding grease all over the kitchen floor.
"Where is he?" asked Remus in a polite, yet curt manner.
"Get out of here!" hollered Vernon whose face was a nasty shade of purple due to rage.
"Shut it!" commanded Tonks.
"How dare you–" Harry's behemoth of an Uncle began but stopped abruptly when Remus leveled his wand at the obese man's throat.
"Tonks, go check his room," Remus requested. "I'll keep these fine people company."
The pink-haired witch made her way out of the kitchen and stomped up the stairs. After a moment, she called out; "Remus get up here."
Leaving the Dursleys in the kitchen, Remus dashed up the stairs to join his lover. As he was about to enter the smallest bedroom, Remus could hear Vernon shout something about phoning the police. Vernon's threat meant little to Remus, he and Tonks would be gone before long.
Upon entering the small room, the grey haired wizard noticed that Harry's school trunk was there but was conspicuously empty. There were no books, no potion supplies, nor clothes in the compartment.
"His broom's gone as well," Tonks informed with dread in her voice.
"I'll contact the Ministry," Remus stated.
"What're you going to tell them?" asked Tonks.
"That Harry's missing and in danger," said Remus gravely. By the looks of the room, it appeared that there was no struggle and that Harry had more than likely left by his own will. But the fact that no owl could locate Harry bothered Remus greatly.
Lord Voldemort, the most feared wizard in decades, was in an extremely good humor. He was sipping some wine while sitting on his ornate throne when he called for Bellatrix.
"Yes, my Master," Bellatrix said while she bowed low, her head on the floor in order to show her Dark Lord the proper respect he deserved.
"It is time to begin preparing our guest for the ritual," Voldemort said as he swirled the wine around in the goblet.
"Yes, my Lord," she replied with unhidden anticipation.
Bellatrix walked out of the throne room while bowing to her Lord. She clicked her fingers at the three Death Eaters who were standing outside the chamber. As she walked down the hall, they fell in behind her. The witch led them through several winding corridors and down six flights of stairs into the dungeon to a heavy wooden door. An unmasked Death Eater named Smyth waited patiently outside this door with a very old and tattered book in his hands.
"Is it time?" Smyth asked hopefully.
"Yes," replied Bellatrix and the man clutched the book to his chest excitedly.
Harry could hear the voices outside his cell. He had woken up just a few minutes previously in the darkness naked, sore, and weak from his ordeal. He crawled into the corner in a vain attempt to hide.
One of the three Death Eaters who had followed Bellatrix threw open the door and the light from the corridor harshly filled Harry's cell. Harry tried to scurry away; he wasn't a coward, but he had no wand and he was still too weak to fend the three incoming Death Eaters off. But it was too late. The Death Eaters all shouted "Petrificus Totalus!" and Harry was hit with thee hexes. The young man's body went rigid as a board and slammed painfully onto the floor.
Bellatrix strolled in and with a wave of her wand, the torches ignited, illuminating the room. She then conjured a small table next to the slab where she had previously slashed open Harry's throat. The witch pulled a package out of her robes as the three Death Eaters tossed Harry's stiff body on the slab. Placing the package on the table, Bellatrix opened the box and made a show of removing a vicious looking knife from its depths. Harry rationalized that it was some sort of ceremonial blade because it was too ornately decorated and curved in such an unusual way to be used in everyday situations. She caressed the fine blade as Smyth opened the book he was holding to a marked page. The unmasked Death Eater held the book in front of his chest so Bellatrix could read it. Harry was unable to see the contents clearly, but it appeared to have a diagram of a person on its pages.
After she studied it for a long time, Bellatrix turned to Harry and smiled. "I'm going to enjoy this oh so much," she stated, her voice dripping with sadistic humor.
The evil witch leaned over Harry's torso and pierced his flesh just above his left nipple with the blade. Harry forced back a scream as Bellatrix dragged the tip of the blade in a line across his chest, cutting through his flesh and muscle. He didn't want to give Bellatrix the satisfaction of hearing him scream.
When she was finished gouging a line to Harry's right nipple, Bellatrix stopped and checked the book once more. She traced her finger along one of the diagrams as if she was trying to memorize it. While she studied the book, the deep cut in Harry's chest oozed blood. Apparently satisfied that she had memorized the diagram, Bellatrix turned back to Harry. She shoved the blade deep into his left shoulder and began to carve away.
Harry redoubled his efforts not to scream, but when the witch's knife scraped against his bone, he failed. He screamed through gritted teeth as Bellatrix gouged a line into his shoulder.
Hermione was sick with grief over Harry. It ate away at her belly like a ravenous beast. Her flesh was cold and clammy and she felt as if she was going to faint at any second.
After Arthur had contacted Remus, Molly told Hermione to sit down somewhere and try to calm herself. Ron was in a state as well, but not nearly as bad as his girlfriend. They both sat in silence on his bed, trying to give each other whatever comfort they could muster.
Hermione was mulling over the possibilities of what could have happened to Harry. The most logical conclusion that she came to was that he was being pig-headed and had decided to go hunt for the Horcruxes himself. And right now, he was probably at a place where Voldemort had hidden one of his relics and it had Anti-Tracking Charms around it. Having heard Harry's harrowing tale about the cave and the traps around it, Hermione feared that Harry was either hurt or worse. An image flashed in her mind of Harry alone, lying in some dark and damp tunnel, hurt and bleeding. She forced the unpleasant picture out of her mind.
Ron was worried about his black-haired friend, but Harry had been in tight spots before and it wasn't unusual for him to escape permanent harm by skill or sheer luck. So Ron figured that Harry would probably be banged up after whatever adventure he was on, but he'd okay. He reckoned and hoped that Harry would be in St. Mungo's no later than tomorrow afternoon.
The gangly red-head looked over to check on his girlfriend to see how she was fairing. She was pale and had red rings around her eyes from worry and crying. Because she had rushed over to the Burrow right after waking up, Hermione was still wearing nothing but her nightgown. Ron couldn't believe his luck; he could actually see the outline of her nipples and areolas. The sight excited him.
The red-haired wizard berated himself internally for thinking such things at a time like this. Harry was missing and ogling Hermione was in bad taste. He forced himself not to look below her chin, settling his eyes on her lips. Hermione alternated between chewing on her lower lip and sticking it out in a pout. Ron wanted to take her lip in between his; he desired to kiss her right there on his bed. However, even he could tell that Hermione would be in no mood for such things. She would probably say it would be inappropriate with Harry in danger.
But Ron couldn't help but wonder when it would be appropriate? He and Hermione had been dating for a few weeks now and they had not yet progressed past holding hands and light, closed mouth kisses. This was something that made Ron upset. When he was with Lavender, they had gone well into snogging territory on their first date – hell, they weren't even dating at the time when they had started snogging, having just hooked up after a Quidditch match. But Hermione was insisting that they take it slow and shouldn't rush anything. And now this blasted thing with Harry came up. If Harry didn't show up soon; Ron would never get to do the things with Hermione that he had done with Lavender.
But Ron told himself that he was being selfish and irrational; so he decided to honor Hermione's wishes. For now, he'd just show his support and hold her hand as they sat on his bed.
Somewhere in the depths of Voldemort's castle, Severus Snape toiled over a half dozen simmering and bubbling cauldrons. Snape was commanded to make useful potions like Polyjuice for undercover operations, Amortentia for blackmailing prominent government officials, Veritaserum for interrogation, and Felix Felicis for particularly dangerous missions, along with dozens of other useful potions.
Ever since he had escaped after eliminating Dumbledore, he had been sequestered in this castle's Potion's Laboratory. His Master had barely bid him welcome before ordering Snape to the lab to brew potions for future use.
The fact that the Dark Lord had not celebrated the assassination of Dumbledore nor awarded Severus as his due concerned the potion master slightly. Severus had hoped, and expected, that his Master would make him his confidante and entrust his plans with him.
But the Dark Lord's motives were often clouded in mystery. Perhaps he would yet reward Dumbledore's assassin. Severus trusted this would be the case. He turned his attention to the task at hand and swirled the contents of the cauldron.
"Ron, Hermione," Molly called some time later from the kitchen. "Remus and Tonks are here!"
Hermione bolted out of Ron's room and ran down the stairs like a shot. Her bare feet slapped against the floor as she rushed into the kitchen while Ron started to hurry down from his room.
"Where is he?" Hermione demanded frantically.
"We don't know," Remus said.
Hermione covered her mouth to quell a sob. After finally catching up with her, Ron put his arm around Hermione to show his support.
"It looks like he left voluntarily though," Tonks added. "Some of his school supplies are gone, along with his broom. There were no signs of a struggle either."
"What are we gonna do?" asked Ron apprehensively.
"We've already been to the Ministry," Remus told them. "Normally, they'd wait three days before they start looking for a missing person because they sometimes show up. However, seeing that Harry's been a target most of his life, they've made an exception."
"Not only are they sending out specially trained owls," Tonks added. "But they've initiated several advanced Tracking Charms and a dozen MLE officers are beginning to investigate and search for Harry."
"What can we do?" asked Hermione, eager to help in any way she could.
"You wait patiently," Tonks replied with uncharacteristic seriousness. "We have skilled professionals looking for him right now. The best thing for you to do is stay out of the way. If you try to help, you may throw off the investigation. Or if you go meddling in places in hopes of finding Harry, you might get hurt."
"Do you understand?" Remus asked, his voice told Hermione and Ron that they couldn't argue.
"Yes, sir," both Ron and Hermione answered.
That night, Hermione returned to her home and had a horrible dream. Harry was somewhere dark and cold, pleading with her to find and save him.
After what seemed like hours and hours, Harry groggily woke up. He had blacked out while that bitch Bellatrix was cutting up his shoulder. His chest and arm were throbbing. With his right hand, Harry touched his left shoulder. He could tell that they must've stopped the bleeding magically but it was obvious that his wound was going to leave a very deep, ugly scar. He traced the spiral pattern that Bellatrix had carved into his flesh. It was too perfect and exact to be random; as if the book she was reading had informed her to do the damage in a precise way for some unknown reason. He noticed that the gouge on his chest was similarly exact, but in a different pattern.
Without warning, the door to his cell swung open; Bellatrix and the man with the book strolled in.
"He shouldn't be allowed to move around," Smyth commented in a whiny and annoyed way. "He might damage the runes and symbols if he does."
"Good point," agreed Bellatrix and she smiled at Harry's naked body while he huddled in the corner. "Cummins, Dobson," she barked and two Death Eaters came into the cell. "Put Potter under a Full Body Bind constantly. Refresh it every fifteen minutes throughout the day and night. Make sure you tell the other shifts to do so as well."
One of the Death Eaters complied with her orders and Harry's body became rigid once more. The other guard asked; "How long should we keep this up?"
"Until we perform the ritual," Bellatrix answered. "Eight to ten weeks at the very least."
The two Death Eaters threw Harry's stiff body back onto the slab and Bellatrix pulled out a rolled up newspaper from her robes.
"You've made headlines again, wee-baby Potter," she taunted in her sickly childish voice. "I'll read it for you, seeing that you don't have your spectacles;
"'The Chosen One is Missing!'" she read the article aloud. "'Harry Potter (a.k.a. "The Chosen One") has disappeared. A school friend of his reported him missing early yesterday morning and the Magical Law Enforcement (MLE) has launched an extensive search. A spokes-wizard has told the Daily Prophet that the MLE has begun to scour the Muggle neighborhood where Potter lives and has also begun casting various Tracking Charms.'"
Bellatrix laughed viciously as she tore the paper to shreds in front of Harry's face.
"Not only is this castle under the Fidelius Charm, but it has dozens of Anti-Tracking wards around it for extra security," she informed Harry. "They will never find you. My wee-baby Potter is stuck here with me!"
Harry ignored her words and held onto the small sliver of hope that someone would rescue him. Bellatrix cackled like the evil witch she was and pulled the ritualistic knife out of her robes. She spent the better part of the next hour copying the spiral pattern from Harry's left shoulder onto his right as he screamed.
George Weasley went to open up the front door of Weasleys' Wizarding Wheezes for business early the next morning. He had heard the terrible news about Harry from his mother the previous night, but he and his twin brother had decided to open up the shop even if their unofficial adopted brother and silent business partner had gone missing. They were hoping against hope that Harry had just decided to get away for a while and that he would show up soon.
After George opened the front door, he noticed a pile of rags on the street in front of the shop. He ventured out to take a closer look and was shocked that they looked like heavily bloodstained clothes. Two items had been carefully placed on top of the pile. The first was a somewhat familiar wand that was snapped in two. But the second item was immediately identifiable to George; they were Harry's glasses.
"Oh no," George muttered with a broken heart.
To be continued…
Author's Notes: Please do not feel that the lack of violence in this chapter is a precursor for future installments. THIS IS A VERY VIOLENT STORY! The next chapters will contain graphic violence (including mutilation, violent rape and forced incest)! And it escalates from there. BE WARNED: THERE WILL BE GRAPHIC RAPE SCENES IN FUTURE CHAPTERS COMMITTED BY AND INFLICTED ON CANNON CHARACTERS!
Another side note; this story will be what is commonly referred to as a Harem fic. Meaning that Harry will have multiple partners at the same time and there will be bi-sexual femme-slash ahead (this means there will be multiple partners, lesbian, and bisexual themes and scenes).
Also, this is a relatively slow moving fic, especially compared to a few demon-Harry pieces out there. For example; the demon aspect of the Demon-Harry won't show up for many chapters.