Title: A better childhood?
Disclaimer: I don't own this, you would know if I did...
Summary: Harry has a wish,a better childhood or death, Lord Voldemort grants it. NO SLASH! My first story, be nice. Please Read & review.
He looked up at the house, no manor, in front of him. His breath coming out rapidly, he was excited, which may seem odd considering he was about to walk in and meet his death. But yes, that was how it was, Harry Potter wanted to die. According to him, death was so much better in the end. After all, they all expected him to kill someone they barely knew, and why should he do it for them? He never asked for any of this, what was the purpose of killing someone who made the world a better place?
He sighed, remembering how all of this had started, a little more than a year ago:
He had woken up in the hospital wing, The philosophers' stone safe in his pocket. Dumbledore being the first he saw. The old man smiling at him and praising his work. At that moment his life had seemed rather good.
At the feast in the Great Hall before they all would head home chaos had erupted when news came, saying the Dark Lord was back, all read-eyed and scary.
Harry had returned to the Dursleys' for summer holiday, anxiously awaiting news about everything, while his so called "family" made his life a living hell. No news came, nothing unusual happened and Harry returned to Hogwarts for his second year.
After that point things had gone in an amazing speed. He had met with the Order, been told about the Prophesy and was more or less forced to start undergo training so he could fulfil his "destiny".
He had somehow stumbled upon The Chamber of Secrets, while investigating why several muggle born ended up all stiff in the Pharmacy, and killed the Basilisk, how he was not sure... While waiting in Dumbledore's office, for the man to expel him or whatever he was planning to do, he had come across some papers, the papers indicating that several things he had heard was false. What truly shocked him was to discover that the Prophesy was false, and the "seer" had been under a curse at the time. When the white bearded man returned from the bathroom Harry sat in the chair, papers back where he found them and simply pretended to listen eagerly when the man stated he wasn't expelled, in fact he was, once again, a hero. He left the office quickly after that.
He headed towards the manor's entrance and slipped inside unnoticed. Following the voices he heard, he came to a room. It was a big room, with a throne at the other end from where Harry stood. The Dark Lord was standing beside the throne and gave out orders to his followers. Then the room grew silent and red eyes were turned towards him:
-Harry Potter, what a pleasure finding you here. Come in, why don't you. Now, what gives me the pleasure? The hissing voice asked, a smirk upon his lips.
- I have come to let you finish what you started almost twelve years ago.
Whatever the Dark Lord expected, it wasn't this, apparently, as his eyes widened a bit.
- Excuse me?
- I want you to kill me, Harry stated bluntly.
- Kill you? Well, I can't say the thought hasn't entered my mind. But, why?
- Why not? I don't care for life, as it is now I'm merely a tool. I'm either a Saviour, everyone's Golden boy, or I'm a freak, a nuisance for my hard working relatives. What meaning is there to life when no one sees you, really sees you?
- What do you want people to see then? The Lord asked and tilted his head curiously.
- I want them to see me, Harry, just Harry. Neither the freak nor the Boy-Who-Lived. I want them to see past their expectations and I want them to want me to have a normal childhood for once.
- And therefore you want me to kill you? Kill you before you get a chance at this? I thought you hated me and would want to kill me.
- Harry shook his head and smiled sadly:
- I have learned the truth, about everybody. The Prophesy that started all this was merely a fake. It doesn't exist, believe me, I have searched the ministry from top to bottom for the orb. It was simply manipulations, manipulations for him to get what he wants. He doesn't care, nor do any of the others, for they are just expecting me to save them all from everything.
- And who's He?
- Someone you and I know quite well. Someone with disgustingly twinkling eyes and a beard that probably is a fake as well, as everything else about him. A man who does everything to get his way without caring who suffers, Harry spat venomously.
- Dumbledore, the Lord stated with a hiss.
- Exactly, Harry exclaimed. – I must say, that out of the two of us, you are much smarter than me. You saw through almost all if his lies, and those you didn't see coming I don't blame you for. In fact, it was his fault that they died, everyone who died at the hand of Avada Kedavra can place the blame on him.
- I'm sorry, I'm confused. If you know all this, then why do you want to die? Don't you want revenge?
- What can I do? I'm not even thirteen yet, and if I go there he'll probably fool me again. I just want it all to end, so I finally can meet my parents. And with me gone, you can rule the world as you please. Not that you couldn't before, since there is no one stronger than you in this world. But now you can do what you like, without people cursing you and try to make you go deaf by shouting for their Saviour. So go ahead, kill me!
- That's where you're wrong. You might be young, but your powers are almost equal to mine. We could do great things together...
- PLEASE! JUST DO IT! The boy cried as tears poured down his cheeks – DON'T YOU GET IT?! I DON'T WANT THIS, ANY OF THIS. I DON'T WANT TO BE EXTRORDINARY; I JUST WANT TO BE NORMAL. BUT THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN, WILL IT?! The boy slowly slid down to the floor and buried his face in his hands while his sobs shook his fragile body.
- The Death Eaters and their Lord stared at the boy, all equally shocked as the other. Then Voldemort sighed and flicked his wand, the boy ending up on the floor, asleep.
- Very well, little one, he said quietly.
With another flick of his wand the boy was nowhere to be seen. Noticing his followers' confused expressions he explained:
- He's in one of the guestrooms now, comfortably asleep in a large bed.
- What will you do with him Master? A Death Eater asked.
- I'll repair my mistake, I'll try to give the childhood he craves. And I'll see to it that Dumbledore will never ruin the life of a child again. Are you with me?
Cheers sounded around the room, and the Dark Lord smiled, a true smile which hadn't been seen for a long time.
//////// A Better Childhood? ///////
About a month had passed and Harry had adapted quite well. Who knew that The Dark Lord Voldemort could be such a good parent? Of course, he had help. Lucius Malfoy was happy to give advise about how to raise a child and Severus Snape helped as well, since he was Voldemort's special someone and therefore had, too, more or less adopted the boy.
Harry had made friends as well, real friends and not people that only were after to bask in his fame. Draco Malfoy was not as bad as he had thought, and together with Blaise Zabini and Theodore Nott he was not bad at all.
They sat down at the dining table. A Death Eater meeting had just ended and a few selected people were invited to dine with the Riddle family. Harry's birthday was just a week away and so these selected few wanted to know what Harry wanted for his birthday. These selected few were: The Malfoy family, The Zabini family, The Nott family, Bellatrix Lestrange with husband and his brother, and of course Voldemort and Severus.
- So Harry, pray tell, what are you plans for your birthday? Rabastan Lestrange asked.
- Plans? Harry looked mildly confused.
- Yes, plans. What do you want to do for you birthday? Oooh, how about a party? Rabastan eagerly asked.
- Party? What sort of party?
- A birthday party smart head, Draco smirked.
- Birthday party? Harry said the word as if it was a foreign language.
- Yes, birthday party. With balloons, presents and cake, Blaise confirmed
- Presents? Cake? What are you on about? It's just a birthday, nothing that matters.
The people around the table stared, shocked.
- You mean to say... That you have never had a birthday party? Bellatrix looked horrified.
- No... So what?
- So what?! A birthday party is one of the funniest things you can ever experience. It's fun to get presents! Theodore Nott all but shouted.
- Didn't your cousin have parties to celebrate his birthday? Rodolphus Lestrange asked, voice calm.
- Well, yeah. But I was always locked in my cupboard when they took place. What I could gather from the noise outside, it was nothing more but a loud disturbance.
Voldemort looked at his adopted son, anger showing in his face.
Voldemort had changed as well over the month that had gone by. His face had become human- like instead of snake-like, his eyes had lost their red colour and had become green, not far from the emerald colour of Harry's own. And he acted more human and showed his emotions more plus, his hair had grown back.
Voldemort knew about the abuse at his relatives' hands, he had seen the bruises on the boy's body, which had healed fast thanks to Severus. But the anger directed at those horrible muggles became much greater now that he heard what Harry had to say.
That settles it. You, my friend, shall get the most awesome party ever, and that's final, Blaise decided with a small smile.
- Harry Looked bewildered at the people around the table:
- Do I have to?
- YES! Almost everyone shouted at the same time.
Harry groaned in defeat and put his head on the table. The other laughed at his antics and continued to eat.
//////// A better childhood?////////
- This is what you call awesome?! I call it a disturbance of peace! Harry roared over the noise.
- I know, isn't it great?
- Hardly, Harry answered but couldn't help but smile himself.
People were dancing around, with no rhythm what-so-ever, to blasting music that came from magic speakers settled all over the mansion. Children and grown-ups alike were all making fools out of themselves, but no one cared as they all had a darned good time. Harry was happy with watching, together with Severus and Tom, as he called Voldemort nowadays.
A while later they had all settled down to eat, chips and hamburgers, together with butterbeer. Around the table people were chatting happily to one another about everything and nothing. Harry kept quiet and studied the people around, he was really surprised that so many people had come, and they all had seemed happy to see him.
- So, Harry, what do you think? Your first birthday party, not bad eh? Rabastan grinned.
- It's fine, but when I have gone completely deaf, I'll blame all of you, Harry answered lightly.
- Oh, that's all right. As long as you have a good time, Blaise said smiling, but his voice sounded sincere at the mention of the "good time" part of the sentence.
Harry just laughed and continued to eat while listening to the others' conversations.
After the meal it was time for Harry to open his presents that were piled in a corner of the living room, just waiting to be opened.
They all sat down on the floor in a rather large circle, and with a flick of Severus's wand the presents were transported to the middle of the circle. Harry guessed there were around hundred of them, if not more. The sight of all the presents made a lump form in his throat and he felt overwhelmed. Tom had sat himself behind Harry and he leaned against the man for support. The man, feeling the boy's distress put his arms around him and hugged him close as the boy closed his eyes, not letting the tears fall.
- Harry, are you alright? He heard Severus's worried voice beside him.
- Yeah... I'm fine. A bit overwhelmed is all. Can't... remember the last time I was this happy and felt so loved... Don't even know if I've ever felt this way before, Harry said quietly and Tom pulled him closer.
The people around felt a bit tear-eyed themselves, no one of them have ever seen anybody reacting such a way just because a few gifts.
Harry pulled himself together and opened his eyes, and with a few encouragements he started to open the gifts.
Since Harry had come to the Riddle mansion in hope to get an end to his miserable life he hadn't brought anything, safe for his wand. He had released Hedwig before he had left and he was pretty sure the Dursleys' had burned all of his stuff since then. He was really grateful for all the stuff he got, it was everything from clothes and books, to Quidditch equipment and jewellery. As he looked at all of the unwrapped gifts he felt overwhelmed yet again. Then, as he let his tears of joy fall, he hugged all of the people in there and expressed his thanks. Some he even gave a peck on cheek
Then it was all over, when the clock stroke midnight and the guests left, leaving Harry with his fathers. The three of them sat in the living room on the couch, just enjoying each others' company in silence. Harry was tired, but he loved the presence of the other two and felt reluctant to leave just because he should sleep. So he stayed, gazing into the fire in the fireplace as his eyelids grew heavier and heavier.
//////// A better childhood?//////
-Shh, we have to be quiet, Harry whispered.
- Easy for you to say, you're not getting stepped on all the time by Theodore, Draco hissed.
- That's because I'm smart enough to walk a few steps in front of you three, Harry whispered back with a smirk.
The other three smiled a bit and they continued sneaking down the stairs.
Harry had had a few ground rules set up for him a week after he'd arrived. Things like; no running in the manor, go to bed in time and not to go into the few rooms he wasn't allowed to set foot in. But the most important rule was to never, ever enter the forest which marked where the grounds belonging to the manor ended. If Harry was ever to break a rule, he'd receive a punishment that could be as simple as a grounding or he could receive a spanking. And Harry, together with Draco, Basie and Theodore were about break the most important rule of them all. Why? Well, because they were extremely curious of course.
Downstairs the Death Eaters were in a meeting with their master, the families of Blasie's, Draco's and Theodore's had been invited to stay over the night. The boys sneaked quietly past the room were the meeting was held and proceeded out the door. Soon they were at the entrance to the forest and three of them shivered as a cold wind came blowing from inside.
- Shall we go then? Harry asked, he was nervous but didn't show it.
- You first, Draco said with shattering teeth.
Harry shrugged and took the first step in. When the others saw that he hadn't been mysteriously murdered at entering they did the same.
They had walked for a while now and nothing out of the ordinary had happened, Harry started to wonder why the forest was forbidden territory.
Then suddenly there was a crack from behind them and they all turned towards the noise. With a sudden flash of lightning and a weird buzzing noise in the ears they were suddenly out of the woods, facing a group of rather grim looking parents. They gulped.
A while later Harry was in Tom's study, facing his adoptive father who looked rather cross. The Zabini's, the Malfoy's and the Nott's' had all headed home to punish their children.
- What were you thinking Harry? Have you any idea what could have happened if you had stayed longer in there?
- I... I'm sorry. I was curious, and they were as well. It didn't seem dangerous...
- Oh believe me, in there you can find the most dangerous creatures... Or rather, they'll find you. I thought I had made it clear to never enter the forest but you still went ahead, why?
- I told you, I was curious. I couldn't help myself, I know it was wrong but I can't help to explore places I'm curious about.
Tom sighed heavily, he know that his boy had always been curious by nature, but that didn't mean he should be fine with it.
He sat down in his chair and beckoned the boy to come to him, Harry obeyed. When the boy stood in front him, Tom swiftly placed the boy over his lap:
- I'll give you ten smacks; it should be efficient enough to never have you disobey me again on purpose.
Harry prepared himself as best he could, but it still stung when the first smack came. At the fourth the boy started squirming, at the sixth he started sobbing and when he had received the last one he lay unmoving, tears silently rolling down his cheeks. Tom stroked his back and started drawing soothing circles 'til the boy had stopped shivering. Then he took the boy in his arms and hugged him hard:
-- If something had happened to you I don't what I would do, he mumbled.
- I'm sorry, Harry whispered. – I'll never do it again.
Tom smiled. And a bit later he released the boy who went to search for Severus and apologize for making the man worry. Tom smiled as he saw the boy go, his boy, his beloved little son.
/////// A better childhood?//////
Harry was bored, he missed his friends. Everyone but him had returned to Hogwarts when the train left. Harry never wanted to see Dumbledore again so Tom had decided to school him himself at home. Severus had gone back as well, so he could spy for Tom. Harry enjoyed his lessons with Tom and he was really good at everything he did. Tom praised him a lot and was very proud.
In the wizarding world chaos had erupted since it had been discovered that their Saviour had gone missing. Some people believed that his disappearance had to do with the recently escaped convict Sirius Black, whom had escaped from the Azkaban prison at the start of the summer.
Harry knew who Sirius Black was after having asked Tom about him. He knew that Pettigrew was to blame for what Sirius had gone to prison for and that Pettigrew resided in the dungeons of the manor at the moment. Tom had explained that he had planned to take Pettigrew to prison and clear Sirius's name, but Black had escaped before he had the chance. Harry hoped that Black would be willing to join Tom's side 'cause Harry thought the man seemed rather cool.
Harry groaned as he sat on the couch, he had absolutely nothing to do at the moment and it bored the hell out of him. He was actually so bored that he considered to explore the forest again.
- Thinking naughty thoughts? Harry jumped at the familiar voice suddenly penetrated his ear.
- Of course not, I'm just bored, Harry answered.
Tom smiled and ruffled the boy's hair that had grown down to his shoulders over the summer and lay rather smooth by now.
- How about some chess?
- Sure, got nothing else to do, Harry smiled.
//////// A better childhood?///////
The Dark Lord was pacing, waiting for everyone to arrive. Severus was on the line to be discovered as a traitor to the Light Side, and Tom knew what Dumbledore did to traitors. And several of the Death Eaters' children seemed to be in danger as well, so they planned to "attack" Hogwarts tonight. Tom had put a glamour on himself so he looked like the evil Lord Voldemort, and Harry had one as well. He had demanded to come along, he had friends and family in there! Tom had finally given in and had ordered the Lestrange brothers to guard Harry. With the glamour on, Harry's hair was now long and blonde with purple highlights in it, his eyes were dark brown and his skin was rather pale, scar completely gone.
Finally they all were there and they sat sights towards Hogwarts.
Thanks to the Floo connection Tom had to Severus's office at Hogwarts they were inside faster than they had thought. They quickly sped down the halls to get to the Great Hall where everyone should be.
Entering through the doors they were met by a rather scary sight. Anger was seeping from Dumbledore's aura as he stared at Severus who stood close to the doors. The Order of the Phoenix stood behind the Headmaster, all looking grim and the students sat at their tables looking confused. The only ones who looked scared were the ones sitting by the Slytherin table. Everybody in the Hall gasped when the Dark Lord entered with his followers.
- Severus, I'm disappointed in you my boy. Here we all thought you were loyal, but now you're just going to leave? What possessed you? The twinkling was gone from the blue eyes
- That just proves what a fool you are Headmaster, why would I betray the Right side?
- The Right side? Severus, these people are cruel monsters! They torture and kill people for the fun of it. How could you say something like that?
- Monsters? At least they don't ruin the life of children like you do, just to gain power and glory, Severus snarled.
- Severus, come here, Tom said, beckoning the man towards him.
Severus obeyed. Tom smiled relieved.
- Snape, you monster! That bastard killed Harry, don't you care for Harry? A man Harry knew from the paper as Sirius Black bellowed.
- Black? What a surprise to see you here... I didn't kill Harry Potter, in fact, I saved him, Voldemort stated.
- What are you talking about?
- Enough of this! Talking will get us nowhere. Albus, let's secure the students and lock the Slytherins away, Mad-Eye Moody growled.
With a quick movement everyone at the Slytherin table got up to stand by the Death Eaters.
- You horrible man. How can you even think about harming children? Lucius hissed.
- You're no better, Moody bellowed.
- I have never hurt a child, none of us have, Lucius said angrily.
- Hah, what about your Lord? He killed a thirteen year old who has never done anything wrong, Albus said.
- Are you stupid? I just said I didn't kill him, Tom said.
- Harry's with you? Black asked in a strange voice.
- Yes, Tom answered.
Then, to everyone's surprise. Sirius Black walked up to the Lord, bowed and went to stand by the Death Eaters.
- Sirius, what are you doing?! Remus Lupin cried.
- I'm sorry Moony, but Harry is my godson. I belong at his side, Sirius said.
- You believe him? McGonagall shrieked.
- Yes, Sirius said.
- Well... James was one of my best friends. You do make a good point Padfoot, Remus said and followed his friend.
Sirius beamed at him and Remus smiled.
- You traitors! Hagrid shouted.
- Anyone else? Voldemort asked.
There was a movement at the Gryffindor table as Fred and George Weasley got up to stand by the Death Eaters as well. Harry couldn't help but smile, he had always liked the trouble makers, they had never used him in any way, they hung out with him just because they wanted to. After some hesitation Oliver Wood and Neville Longbottom got up as well.
- YOU TRAITORS! Ron shouted after them.
- I do believe, Albus, that there is two more, Voldemort said.
With a flick of his wand, the Imperius curse was lifted from Bill and Charlie Weasley, who were by the Death Eaters in half a second.
- The Imperius curse, really? Honestly, you're that desperate to make people who've seen through your lies to stay? You're pathetic, Voldemort spat.
Dumbledore's eyes blazed with fury as several people turned to stare at him.
- You evil scum, Dumbledore growled.
- Evil, really? I'm the evil one? At least I don't ruin the life of a child by faking prophesies, Tom said through gritted teeth.
Several people gasped at this. Dumbledore was now shaking in rage:
- Avada Kedav... in the next moment Dumbledore fell dead to the floor.
They all stared at Minerva McGonagall who held a bloody dagger in her hand.
- You despicable old man, she snarled at the dead body. – You manipulative old bastard! To destroy someone's life for your own merit.
- Well done Minerva, a slightly shocked Severus said.
Professor McGonagall just smiled sweetly.
/////// A better childhood?////////
All was finally well in the world. Lucius Malfoy had become Minister of Magic and Minerva McGonagall made a truly fine Headmistress of Hogwarts. Remus Lupin and Sirius Black had forgiven Tom for murdering Lily and James and they got along well with Severus. Harry loved them all, but he wanted Tom and Severus as his parents and Sirius and Remus got to be the fun uncles. Ron and Hermione weren't talking to Harry, they had never liked him, and he was fine with that, he had Draco and Blaise and Theodore and several other people who liked him for being him. The wizarding world had not for a long time seen such good days.
- So, you drugged Crabbe and Goyle to sneak into the Slytherin dorms? Draco asked.
- Precisely, they are rather stupid you know, Harry smirked.
The people around the dining table snickered, except for Draco and Severus.
- Pray tell, how did come to look like them? Severus asked.
- Polyjuice potion, Harry said.
- And, since when are you that good in Potions?
- It's not like it's that hard!
- How you didn't get into Slytherin I'll never know.
- That's because I asked the hat not to put me there.
- You WHAT? Several people around the table shouted.
- Hey, blame the people who insisted that Slytherin was a House full of evil bastards, Harry pouted.
- That's ok, you can just get a re-sorting when you go back to Hogwarts, Lucius smiled.
- You can do that? Harry asked, surprised.
- Of course.
- Oh no you don't, Sirius said.
- Why not, you know you'll still love me even if I'm a Slytherin, Harry smiled sweetly at his godfather.
- Damn, you manipulative child. Fine, alright, do as you like
Harry cheered and the others smiled.
Harry smiled at the people around the table. He couldn't believe his own luck. For just a couple of months ago he was an unworthy Freak. Now he had two fathers who loved him and good friends who were loyal to him. It was so bloody amazing that people could love him for just being himself.
He had finally gotten the childhood he wanted!