Warnings: ONE-SHOT (just trying to dissuade reviews asking when I'll update 'cause I won't), a little dark, twisting clichés, Alternate Universe, coarse language, mentioned violence, mentioned character death, dark!Harry, dystopia, mentioned torture
Disclaimers: Harry Potter belongs to JK Rowling and associates, of whom I am not one.
Albus Dumbledore was dueling Lord Voldemort when it happened. He dodged a beam of black light – as he twirled, he saw it strike a small tiger, the familiar of one of Dumbledore's followers – and replied with a borderline dark curse that looked like a stunner but really wasn't. The red of it was too hot for that.
That, however, is not what happened. When Voldemort dodged the spell, there was a brilliant, gleaming light from the northern end of the "battlefield" (a small, muggleborn-owned farm where Voldemort was attacking with the goal of crippling the market for mokes, purebred kneazles, and other similar small yet useful creatures), and several people screamed. Voldemort dashed suddenly that way, and Dumbledore could do little else but follow.
Quite suddenly, the Dark Lord was in front of the body of one Harry Potter, who lay trembling on the ground, panting. Most of the wizards and witches within fifteen meters were unconscious, or at least something resembling it, and anyone beyond that was still too busy fighting for their lives to pay attention to the fallen teen. Voldemort grinned cruelly at Dumbledore as he stood between the elderly man and the prone child.
"You're old, Dumbledore; time was you could have outrun me to him," laughed the red-eyed man. He brushed ebony locks from his brow. They were just long enough to brush the top of his vision, and Dumbledore could see it for the taunt it was. The boy rolled slowly onto his back, gasping.
Strange, how Dumbledore had never seen the boy so vulnerable since infanthood. Or, perhaps it wasn't strange at all.
"It's about time we end this for the night." It wasn't retreat, and Dumbledore knew it. This was Voldemort's way of saying that this battle meant nothing to him, that his men could kill all of the Order in one fell swoop, without breaking a sweat, but he was going to be merciful and let them walk home with their tails between their legs.
The Dark Lord knelt and made to heft Potter's arm over his shoulder, making sure to pick up the deep-black mask that had fallen at the boy's side. Dumbledore thought to attack, but knew it was pointless. He had noticed Voldemort setting up a localized ward.
Death Eaters were apparating away, and Voldemort righted himself, half-carrying Harry Potter.
Quite suddenly, the boy screamed, flailing, clutching at his forehead and launching himself a good meter or two from the Dark Lord, outside the protection ward. The scream was one of pure agony, on par with the cruciatus curse, and was followed by pain-maddened ramblings.
"Get him... fuck! My scar my scar..." Potter clutched his head, suddenly on his knees and shuddering as though he had just been released from the cruciatus.
"Harry! Get up you fool, our task is done!" Voldemort reached out for the boy, but Potter recoiled as the limb came near, scrambling over the grass until he was at the feet of an Order member. He looked up, and Dumbledore could see him smile genuinely, if pained, at the utterly horrified witch.
"Wotcher Tonks..." he suddenly collapsed, unconscious.
Voldemort spun on his heel, glaring at Dumbledore who watched with great confusion. What caused the Dark Lord's right hand to do this?
"What have you done to him, you meddling old fool?" The yew wand was pointed directly at Dumbledore, and the elder wand was barely raised in time to parry the cutting curse; as it was, his beard was clipped by the curse. "What have you done?!"
In a full rage, the Dark Lord launched spell after spell, but Dumbledore soon regained his bearings; not long after, members of the Order moved in to assist – no Death Eater save Potter remained on the farm – and Voldemort apparated away. Silence took the assembled group before they clustered around their catch for the night, their victory.
"We... we got Potter," Fred Weasley whispered in awe. "We got Potter!" If the glee in his eye was malicious, Dumbledore pretended it was not. Fred had every right; George was among those Potter killed to demonstrate his loyalty to the Dark.
"Someone, conjure some ropes," Dumbledore ordered as he pressed through the mob. "We need him secure for questioning. Sirius, Remus, get Lily and James out of here, now." His words were stern, and carried out to the t – the parents of the young dark wizard were apparated out before they could even protest. They couldn't have emotion brought into this now, at least not those of hope that Potter could be saved.
They had banked on that once and paid the price. Harry was beyond redemption.
An hour later, the small farm had been secured – the damage was done, but Dumbledore hoped that it could be somewhat healed eventually – and Harry Potter was tied up in the headquarters of the order of the Phoenix. It was Mad-Eye Moody's home prior to his death at the hands of Evan Rosier, and was willed to Dumbledore. The Headmaster was there with a few select members of the Order; Peter Pettigrew, Kingsley Shacklebolt, and Daedelus Diggle were the most notable among them, and Nymphadora Tonks was invited solely because Potter had seemed pleased to see her.
What that meant, the old man had no idea, but he felt the metamorphamagus ought to be there in case she was a turncoat.
They waited at a short distance for the teen to wake up; Dumbledore had administered a potion that would take approximately five minutes to wake the young murderer, and they all knew better than to stand within two meters when the boy awoke. Last time... well, there was a reason why Albus had sent Lily and James home, and why their friends had not protested.
When brilliant emerald eyes blinked open, it was not preceded by a wave of magic capable of incinerating wood as expected. In fact, it wasn't preceded by anything. So far as Dumbledore knew, the boy had an instinct to unleash magic upon waking, with the dual purpose of springing straight into consciousness – for with the magic came adrenaline – and damaging anyone who might be nearby. The magic was, at the last instance of this, nearly 600 degrees C (1).
Not the slightest tingle of energy caught on Dumbledore's senses, and for it he became all the warier.
"Pr..." misty eyes cleared slightly. "Professor? What happened?"
"Why don't you tell us?" Despite any wishes he had to be vindictive to this not-child, Dumbledore kept his tone even. He would not be drawn in by Harry Potter, never again.
"I... well, I was in Herbology with Ron and Hermione," Harry looked confused, and his voice was softer than what Dumbledore was accustomed to hearing from the Death Eater. Rather than the gruff overtone that the sixteen year old put on since being openly dark, this voice was quiet, shy, unsure, and reminiscent of a child. The false innocence was sickening. "And then... then my scar! My scar was hurting, like he was there..." A frown and furrowed brow. "I think I must have fainted, but when I woke up it was hurting worse that ever. And Vol- sorry, You-Know-Who – was half carrying me. That much contact... well, you can imagine how much pain I was in, can't you sir?"
"Not really," Dumbledore strode forward a bit, motioning the others to stay back in case the young man managed to escape the confining chains. He was seething; Potter was actually talking about Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger? After all this time? One he had taunted to the point of her hiding in the girls' loo constantly, and actually laughed when it was announced she was damaged beyond repair when a troll invaded the school?
And Ronald... well, George was not the first Weasley Potter had killed before the age of fifteen. That he had taken his red-haired friend and sister into the Chamber of Secrets, claiming they would stop the basilisk that he had been setting on students... Dumbledore should have seen it so much sooner.
"What scar are you talking about?" Potter had screamed about a scar when he was flopping about on the ground, before fainting at Tonks' feet.
"The... the one on my forehead..." it was like talking to a child. A confused child, still half asleep and unsure if he was still in a dream or reality. The wide green eyes – not narrowed like Potter's normally were, superior and untrusting – showed only signs of complete openness.
Dumbledore knew better. He wouldn't use Legilimancy on that child. Not after last time. That defense... it was inhumane. Inhuman.
Potter's forehead was, predictably, smooth. Dumbledore informed him as such.
The confusion increased. "Not... not there? Sir, I can't... I can't believe that! I've had that scar since I was a baby, since my parents... it can't just be gone! You and Madam Pomfrey told me enough times it could never be removed, that you can't get rid of a curse scar! And – and even if it was gone, how come I could still feel Voldemort?" He was wide eyed, panicked.
Dumbledore's resolve gained the tiniest of doubts as those eyes begged him. Why... why was Potter protesting like this? There had never been a scar there, and unless Potter had gone mad – more a benevolent crazy than his usual homicidal maniac – there was no conceivable explanation.
Still, he had to ask. "'Feel', Mr Potter? I was under the impression you abandoned feelings at the end of your fourth year." When Potter created a massacre in the middle of the Triwizard Tournament. All three champions were killed, as well as seven first years, a handful of fourth years, and a few older students who tried to stop him – no purebloods except the "blood traitor" George Weasley – and Igor Karkaroff, presumably for being a traitor to the Dark Lord's cause.
"Professor, what are you..." he stopped and sat back in the stiff chair he was tied to. "Professor... what's going on? Why am I tied up?"
"Stuff it, Potter!" Diggle ground out. While normally a jovial man, he hated Potter. He was also one of the more unbiased among the Order regarding the traitorous boy. "We're the ones asking the questions!"
"You're... Diggle, Daedelus Diggle! I remember you, you bowed to me in a shop once... and you greeted me my first trip to Hogwarts," there was a look of surprised recognition. "What... what happened to your face? It can't have been more than a month since I –"
"Enough," Dumbledore held out a hand to keep Daedulus from stating precisely who had made his face look like processed meat rather than a human face. "Mr Potter. What is this 'scar' of yours? How does it allow you to 'feel' the Dark Lord?"
"The Dark... the Dark Lord?!" Potter looked horrified. "You... no one but Death Eaters call him The Dark Lord! There's no way! Dumbledore always called him Voldemort, even around people who didn't want to hear it!" None of the figures behind Dumbledore flinched. Voldemort had been around too long for those fighting him to care about a name any longer.
"I assure you, I am as much the real me as you are the real you," Dumbledore intoned.
"Prove it then! What... what is your favorite flavor of jam!" Potter belted out.
He sounded desperate. Dumbledore wasn't sure why or how, but he felt it was honest, that maybe Potter really didn't have any idea as to what was going around him.
He lied, "Blueberry."
"Wrong! Oh Merlin, I've been captured by Death Eaters," Potter was starting to hyperventilate. "Well, if you're going to torture me, then do it! I won't tell you anything about the Order or anything! You won't... you won't break me!" He tried to make his voice strong, and failed. Dumbledore could see he was terrified.
So, quietly, the Hogwarts Headmaster amended his previous misinformation (for there was no one to whom his favorite jam was a password and found it odd of Potter to ask for it, he had meant to catch the boy in his obvious lie). "Raspberry."
And Potter quit ranting, his head jerked up to look at Dumbledore. "How... no one knows Dumbledore's favorite jam except... well, no, I suppose others might know, but –" He bit his lip suddenly and looked down, unruly curls falling into his face. "One more question then. What does Albus Dumbledore want for Christmas every year but never receive?" The voice was hopeful.
Considering he had only told one person of his desired gift – and still not received it, and she was dead now – Dumbledore could not help but reply, "Socks."
"Then why am I tied up?" Potter asked, confused. "You're the real Dumbledore, and you must know I'm me! No one else would ask you those questions, would they?"
"A better question is why would you be concerned with proving my identity?" Dumbledore asked slowly.
A flash of genuine confusion.
There was something wrong with this situation. So very wrong.
But Potter explained. So assured was he that he was talking who he was meaning to talk to, that he said things unimaginable. Things that could not be made up, and if they were, no one would ever lie about them because they would be too ludicrous to believe.
Surviving the Avada Kadavra at the age of one year while his parents died.
A childhood of abuse, indirectly caused by Dumbledore himself – but Potter never blamed the Headmaster for it, because it kept him safe from assassination.
Hagrid delivering the Hogwarts letter to a lost boy who didn't know about magic, and Harry Potter's first encounter with Voldemort, within Albus' own school and, presumably, under Albus' own direction. (2)
Harry's second year, he claimed, Ginny Weasley set the basilisk on the school. Harry saved her from the imprint of Tom Riddle in a diary, with the help of Fawkes and Godric Gryffindor's blade.
That was when the word "horcrux" was first brought to Dumbledore's attention. A fragment of soul sealed away in an object. He told of how it possessed Ginny and petrified students – there were no deaths, it seemed – and how it had warped the vivacious girl's personality.
In the back of his mind, Dumbledore began to believe, and wondered if the diary had possessed the real Harry Potter, turning him into what he was.
Dumbledore's resolve began to waver.
Then, Harry told the truth of his parents' death. Peter Pettigrew grew pale and shook, still hiding in the shadows. Dumbledore knew that Pettigrew was no spy, however; he knew each of the Order members' minds intimately, and there was only one spy in the Order.
Next came tales of the Triwizard Tournament, spoiled by Bartemius Crouch Jr – one of the lower ranked grunts of the Death Eaters, killed in the mid-eighties when Harry would have been only a child – who was pretending to be Alastor. Voldemort rose again, and killed Cedric Diggory.
Then there was the Prophecy, and Harry told of the connection between his scar and Voldemort. Proximity of a kilometer or les brought pain, contact was as bad as the cruciatus. Visions could be forced upon his untrained mind, and the prophecy that had made the life of Harry Potter – this Harry Potter, not the one Dumbledore knew, for he now knew they could not be one and the same – horrible.
It also gave Dumbledore hope. If this Harry would help them –
Horcuxes. Seven shards of soul. It was April of Harry's sixth year. Harry knew that a ring Dumbledore collected had been a horcrux, and they had no leads on the third yet. But they knew Voldemort wanted to be split into seven.
There was no doubt; if this was Harry Potter as Dumbledore had known him, this information would not have been revealed. And it all fit too.
Dumbledore trusted this Harry Potter from another world.
Three weeks later, Harry Potter strolled down the halls of the Malfoy Estate, dragging a trunk behind him and whistling a jaunty tune. Blood leaked from the seams of the trunk, leaving a trail that was quickly cleaned by a pencil-nosed house-elf with bandaged fingers, welt-covered ears, and wearing naught but a disgusting pillowcase.
Outside the doors of Voldemort's study, Potter knocked thrice, and entered before he could be bid to do so. The trunk was dropped in front of the Dark Lord and made a squelching noise and wet slap as blood splattered.
"My Lord, the heads of all 43 members of the Order of the Phoenix, including Albus Dumbledore and my... parents," he said the word with distaste and a smirk. "Minus, of course, Peter Pettigrew and Severus Snape. Both were quite helpful in the infiltration and played their parts to perfection. The Bee never suspected once that it was a lie, as soon as the sob-story started.
A slow grin formed on Voldemort's features, all too human from his distinct lack of ever having created a horcrux. "All according to plan then. The old man has always been too gullible."
Potter laughed, a ragged, low, wheezing thing from all the magical enhancements his lord had bestowed upon him; his voice would even out eventually. "Well, the story is true sir, even if it wasn't mine. We were too lucky with that one."
They passed secret smiles.
In the dungeons, a lanky boy of 16 with emerald eyes and a lightning bolt scar screamed.
Author's Note: Had this idea a while ago... and since the next chapter of Founding Father is at school (opps) I thought I should do something. So I wrote this up. :D Yay for twisting clichés!
... Might disappear for a bit after updating Founding Father though. My sister downloaded FFVII onto her PS3, so whenever she's home or leaves the PS3 here, I'll probably be playing it. Ehheh... On the brightside, it makes some of my FFVII ideas executable now~
(1) Despite what you may think, paper does not burn at 451 Fahrenheit. 450 C is about where low quality paper burns. High quality paper treated to be non flammable burns at between 550 and 600 C. (Information from... can't remember. But it's the first google result for "burning point of paper Celsius")
(2) 'D'you think he meant to do it?' said Ron. 'Sending you your father's cloak and everything?' 'Well," Hermione exploded, 'if he did – I mean to say – that's terrible – you could have been killed.' 'No it isn't,' said Harry thoughtfully. 'He's a funny man, Dumbledore. I think he sort of wanted to give me a chance. I think he knows more or less everything that goes on here, you know, I reckon he had a pretty good idea we were going to try, and instead of stopping us, he just taught us enough to help. I don't think it was an accident he let me find out how the mirror worked. It's almost like he thought I had the right to face Voldemort if I could...' – Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, UK Adult Edition page 218,219. Proof that 11-year-old Harry knew he was set up.