Disclaimer I do not own Harry Potter and everything recognisable belongs to J K Rowling. Also this story is inspired by 'A Shattered Prophecy' by Project Dark Overlord.
Chapter Forty Six
Harry didn't know how he came to be standing in front of Godric's Hollow. A moment ago, he was running out of the cave, his mind reeling from what he had seen in Pettigrew's memories. The next, he was standing in front of the home he had left years ago. Harry stared at the small cottage with darkened green eyes. He needed to find out the truth. Those memories he had seen through Pettigrew didn't make sense. They didn't fit with what Harry had known all his life. He needed answers and he knew he would find them beyond the door of Godric's Hollow.
Harry stepped forward, walking briskly along the path that led to the cottage. A wave of Harry's hand and the door clicked open under his silent command. Harry walked past the threshold, entering the house he had left behind years ago. Unknown to him, as he entered the hallway, he tripped the alarm James had set up before leaving Godric's Hollow – an effort to catch Voldemort or any Death Eater that attacked his home again.
Hundreds of miles away, in the drawing room of number twelve Grimmauld Place, the clear orb began clouding with red smoke.
Harry went straight to the upper landing of the empty house, heading towards the place he used to sleep - the cold attic. But before Harry could go to the stairs leading to it, he passed the master bedroom. Harry came to a stop, sensing the magical energy. He turned to look at the door. Why was there so much magic in that room?
Harry walked into the spacious room and was immediately drawn to the source of strong magic. It seemed to be coming from the far wall. Harry walked over and placed a hand on the wall. It felt solid but Harry knew it wasn't really there. It was nothing more than an illusion. Harry took out his wand.
The spell didn't work. Harry looked at the wall again, confused for a moment as to how to remove the illusion so that he could see what was hidden behind it. He tried a different spell.
At once the creamy white wall began to dissolve until Harry was looking at a huge space concealed behind it. There were boxes stacked neatly, around twenty of them. Harry wasted no time. He pulled at the nearest box and opened it. It was full of things from the Potters' Hogwarts years. There were badges, award certificates and all sorts of other things. Harry pushed the box aside, not caring that the contents spilled across the floor. He went for the next box. Again, it was full of what Harry considered junk.
Harry opened box after box, until he found one near the bottom, filled with tiny clothes. Harry stopped, staring at the expensive and hardly worn baby clothes. His first thought was that they were Damien's. But then he noticed several items had the letters 'HP' embroidered on them. Harry stood stock still as he looked at the clothes. Why would they keep his baby clothes? They hated him.
Harry pulled another box out, lowering himself onto the floor before opening it. What he saw made his heart leap painfully. The box was stacked full of wrapped up presents. Harry picked one up and read the gift tag on it,
Happy 3rd Birthday, Harry.
It was as if the ground had been snatched out from under Harry's feet. He began pulling out the presents in growing denial. Each and every one was addressed to him.
Happy Birthday, Harry. We love you so much.
Merry Christmas, Harry.
Harry held the last parcel in his trembling hands and saw that this one had a gift tag reading, Happy 2nd Birthday, Harry, we miss you so much.
Harry dropped the present. It went clattering to the floor, next to the others. Three of these storage boxes had nothing but presents in them. They were Birthday and Christmas gifts, for the last fifteen years. The Potters had bought him a Christmas present, even after he had tried to kill James.
Memories of the freezing attic fought its way to the front of his mind. Sleeping on an empty stomach, nursing horrendous injuries left by his dad's cruelty. Living in constant fear of being beaten. Starving for days at a time, but being too afraid to speak up and ask for food. All that couldn't be lies. He had lived that nightmare for four years. He remembered it, every horrific moment.
But when Harry opened the last box, his flailing denial shattered once and for all. Staring at the contents, Harry reached in and pulled out one of the many photograph albums. He opened it to pages filled with moving pictures of a small, messy haired, green eyed baby being cuddled and kissed by his parents. Harry could barely see them, his tears were blurring his sight.
One particular photo made it through Harry's temporarily impaired vision. It was of James throwing a baby Harry into the air and then catching him again. The baby Harry was laughing heartily and James would kiss the baby's nose after each throw. Harry felt his heart constrict painfully. Another photo was of a sleeping baby Harry in his crib and both James and Lily crouching over him, smiling at him. The last photo was of James and Lily holding baby Harry and waving at the camera. James and Lily would share a kiss before waving at the camera again. Harry stared at it, with tears trailing down his cheeks, as his world shattered around him with the realisation – he had been lied to his whole life.
It didn't take long for James to notice the security orb had changed colour. It took him even less time to get a team of Order members to accompany him to Godric's Hollow. The front door was left ajar, making James question the thinking of the Death Eaters that had broken in. Were they really this confident? Or just plain stupid?
James crept inside, signalling Kingsley and Remus to check the rooms, while Tonks and Sturgis followed after him to the upper landing. They checked room after room, sent out silent spells to catch where the Death Eaters were hiding, but they found nothing. James saw that his bedroom door was slightly open.
Holding his wand out, with Tonks and Sturgis behind him, James pushed the door open fully and stepped inside. His eyes widened in surprise as several boxes lay open, their contents scattered across the floor. Memorabilia of his and Lily's Hogwarts days, the early months of their marriage and several personal keepsakes were strewn across the carpet. Boxes containing tiny clothes, shoes and baby blankets were toppled to one side. But the thing that caught James's breath was the colourfully wrapped up presents that Lily and him had secretly accumulated over the years. Seeing them out of their box, dumped carelessly onto the floor, had James rush over to them.
"Oh my God," Tonks whispered somewhere behind him. "What happened in here?"
"They were looking for something," Sturgis said.
James didn't say anything. He lowered himself to the ground before reaching out to the photo album left open amidst the presents. His fingers trailed over the last page, where one of his pictures with Lily and a one year old Harry was missing.
"James?" Sturgis called. "What did you keep in here? What were the Death Eaters looking for?"
James shook his head, his voice caught in his chest. "Not Death Eaters," he managed. "It...it was Harry." He looked down at the scattered presents again. "He was here," he said. "He...he came looking for answers." A faint hope lit his eyes as he turned to Sturgis and Tonks. "Harry came for the truth."
Harry stormed into Riddle Manor and went straight to his father's chambers. Without knocking, or even pausing, Harry pushed the doors open and entered the room. There was no one there.
"Father!" Harry yelled, his hands curled into fists and eyes swimming with rage. "Father!"
It was then that he remembered Lord Voldemort had been called away to a meeting with the werewolves. There was no telling when he'd be back. Harry turned, only to find Bella at the door, looking at him with surprise.
"Harry?" she called. "What's wrong?"
Harry strode over to her. "How long?" he asked, his words coming out in a growl.
"What?" Bella asked.
"How long did you expect me to believe your lies?" Harry asked.
"Harry?" Bella took a step back. "What...what are you talking about?"
"You know exactly what I'm talking about!" Harry snapped. "You held me in your arms when father aimed a killing curse at me! I saw you!"
Bella's eyes widened as she staggered another step back. She began shaking her head.
"What...what are you talking about?" she asked. "That never happened."
"Stop lying to me!" Harry thundered. "I know Pettigrew brought me here when I was one! I know you lied to me, father lied to me! Why? Why did you trick me?" He lunged forward and grabbed Bella by the arms, staring into her terrified eyes. "Tell me, Bella! Why did you trick me?"
"Harry..." Bella shook her head. "I...we didn't...we..."
"Who was it?" Harry asked, his eyes a dark green as they bore into Bella. "The ones that pretended to be the Potters. Who was it, Bella?"
"Who was it?" Harry yelled, shaking her by the arms. "Tell me!"
Harry never meant for it to happen, but as his rage consumed him whole, his magic came thundering out of him. It took over and for a few moments, Harry was able to do what he could never do even with a wand. He entered Bella's mind and saw what she was desperately trying not to think about – Harry's abuse. Harry's mind was once again filled with someone else's memories. He saw quick flashes of himself as a three year old, running into the kitchen at Godric's hollow but instead of James and Lily, it was Lord Voldemort and Bella sitting at the table. It was Lord Voldemort who slapped a three year old Harry. It was Lord Voldemort who took off his belt and mercilessly beat Harry. Harry saw Lucius appear in the doorway of the kitchen pretending to be Sirius as Bella sat at the table, smirking at Harry's cries. Harry staggered back, breaking the connection but not before seeing his father Voldemort hold his hand down on the burning hot oven shelf.
Bella stumbled, the assault on her mind enough to almost throw her back. She steadied herself and looked up, staring at Harry with growing disbelief and terror. Harry just stared at her – at the one person he had learned to trust, had allowed to get close to him; the one who had helped deceive him, hurt him, abuse him and then methodically lie to him.
Bella took in a breath and then, using all the bravery she had, took a step closer.
Harry moved, with speed even Bella never knew he possessed, and darted past her.
"Harry! Harry, no wait!" Bella ran after him. Her wand was in her hand in the blink of an eye. "Obliviate!" she aimed at him.
Harry brought up his shield just in time. The shimmering blue bubble that surrounded Harry absorbed the 'obliviate' spell. Harry swung around and a vicious swipe of his hand had wrenched Bella's wand from her. The force of his attack knocked Bella to the ground. She quickly sat up, breathing hard, eyes on Harry. Harry simply turned, heading to the doors. The sight of him walking away hurt far more than any spell he could have hit her with.
"Harry, no!" Bella screamed. "Harry!"
She got up and ran after him. Spotting the men at the door, she screamed, "Stop him!"
The Death Eaters looked at Bella and then at Harry, as though confused if this was a prank of some sort. Before they could work it out, Harry waved his hand, and the Death Eaters smacked against the walls, knocked out cold.
Bella screamed Harry's name as he walked out of Riddle manor, never to return.
Lucius slowly came around, groaning softly at the dull pain at the back of his head. What had happened? Why was his head hurting? And what was that awful, foul stench? He reached up to touch his head. At least, that's what he tried to do. His hand didn't reach his head. Forcing his eyes open, Lucius blinked in the darkness. The rattle of chains sounded as he strained his hands again. With a horrible jolt, he realised both his hands were bound on either sides of him. He pulled forcefully but the chains stayed put.
Panic blossomed in his chest, but before he could make a sound, light flickered in front of his eyes and two balls of light floated in mid air. Lucius relaxed at once, seeing Harry had found him.
"Harry," Lucius called, seeing the boy lower himself on the filthy ground, directly in front of him. "How did you find me?" Lucius asked. He looked to his side to see chains bolted into the floor holding his hands captive. His wand was nowhere in sight. "Where am I?" he asked.
"No!" Harry's one word echoed in the cave, silencing Lucius. The look in his green eyes made Lucius break out in a cold sweat. "No Lucius," Harry continued in a dangerous whisper. "No. You don't get to ask questions, not today. Today, I'll ask the questions and you answer them."
"Harry?" Lucius would have backed away if he wasn't already pressed up against the cave's cold stone wall.
His gaze darted to the side and he saw a slumped figure on the ground. Memories of only hours ago flooded his mind and Lucius finally remembered where he was and what inevitably had happened. Harry had found Pettigrew. Lucius himself had unknowingly led Harry to Peter Pettigrew. Slowly, Lucius turned to look at Harry and for the first time in his life, Lucius felt true fear when he saw the rage on the boy he had helped raise.
"H-Harry," Lucius started. "You can't believe him. That man," he nodded in Peter's direction, "he's insane. He lost his mind years ago."
"Did he?" Harry asked. "'Cause right now, it feels like I'm going to lose my mind if I don't get answers." He leant forward, burning green eyes fixed on Lucius. "Why?" he asked. "Why was I taken from my home? Why was I tortured, Lucius?"
Lucius shook his head.
"What are you talking about?" He fought to keep on lying. "You came to master on your own. You-"
Harry's punch landed barely an inch away from Lucius, smacking into the stone wall. Lucius could swear he heard a bone snap, but Harry didn't react. The anguish he was in didn't register any other kind of pain.
"Stop lying," Harry growled. "I know the truth. What I don't know, is why?"
Lucius swallowed, staring into Harry's face. He gave another fleeting glance to Peter's unmoving body before looking back. "What did Pettigrew tell you?" he asked, a last effort to twist the truth and somehow hold onto Harry.
"He didn't tell me anything," Harry said. "I saw it all for myself. First from his and then Bella's mind."
Lucius cursed a thousand times in his head. It was over. It was all over.
"Why?" Harry asked again. "Tell me why? Why me? Why would father rip me away from my family?"
Lucius took in a breath and met Harry's eyes. "Because you're the prophesied one."
Harry reeled back. Lucius could see he wasn't expecting that. The look of disbelief blanketed Harry's expression. He shook his head, mouth opening and closing, but no sound left him.
"It was master's fail-safe plan," Lucius explained. "Turn the only one who could defeat him, into his greatest weapon." He stared at Harry, feeling his heart lurch in pain at the look of betrayal on his face. How Lucius had hoped he'd never have to see that look on Harry. "He grew to care for you, Harry. That was never part of his plan, but he's your father now, in every sense of the word."
"Father?" Harry hissed venomously. "What father beats his child? What kind of a father tears the skin off his three year old son's back?"
"The kind that knows what he needs and isn't afraid to do what's necessary." Lucius replied.
"Necessary?" Harry's eyes blazed. His hands gripped the folds of Lucius's robes and he pulled him forward. "Necessary? You're justifying his cruelty?"
"No," Lucius spoke quietly. "I'm telling you he did what he did, not because he wanted to inflict pain, but because he needed to build you stronger."
"Fuck you!" Harry spat. "Fuck you, Lucius!" he shoved Lucius back, making him hit the wall. Lucius held back his grunt as his aching head smacked against the stone again. He forced his swimming vision to focus on Harry who had got to his feet and moved away. Lucius knew why – he was restraining himself from lashing out at him.
"Harry," he started. "What happened was in the past. It was done not to weaken you but to make you who you are today. You're feared by men twice, three times your age and that's only because of master's training."
Harry let out a scathing laugh. "Right, you're right, Lucius. I guess I should just forget the past. I should forget how all of you tortured me day and night because today I can kill on your master's orders!"
"Harry," Lucius strained against the chains as he tried shifting, to move towards him. "You have to understand, your past, the beatings, they were–"
"What?" Harry cut him off, his voice dropping lower. "If you say, necessary, one more time, I swear I'll rip your throat out."
Lucius stilled, fear clouding his expression. Harry walked closer to him and knelt before him again.
"Was this his plan all along?" Harry asked. "Break me before I even learned how to speak? Make me believe my parents hated me just so I thought I chose to be with Voldemort? All so I would kill on his orders?"
Lucius didn't dare speak or try to explain. He nodded to Harry's question. Lord Voldemort he would answer to if he lived through Harry's interrogation.
"Why didn't he hand me over to one of his Death Eaters?" Harry asked, with so much pain it was evident in his voice. "After all, torturing the innocent is what his Death Eaters do best."
Lucius shook his head, steeling himself to speak. "He wanted to...to be the one to...to–"
"To hurt me." Harry's words cost him his control.
Lucius watched as Harry's head dropped, pain in every line of his body. Lucius's heart ached seeing Harry so broken.
"It's not what you're thinking, Harry," Lucius hurried to explain. "The Dark Lord had to be the one because only he knew the limits. He never did more than you could handle."
Harry snapped his head back up, red-rimmed eyes narrowed with pain and anger.
"He hurt you, he beat you but he never crossed the line that could potentially kill you."
A cold, bitter smile crossed Harry's face. "Of course not," he whispered. "He couldn't kill the thing he was working so hard to mould and shape into a weapon now, could he?"
Lucius wanted to shake his head, to fight the statement but a small part of him admitted it was partly true. The affection Voldemort developed for Harry came afterwards. At the beginning, Harry was nothing more than a slab of meat, to be beaten and pushed into whatever form Voldemort saw fit.
Harry slowly rose to his feet. "How did you do it?" he asked. "I saw Bella's memories. I saw you all in your true form. How did you make me think it was my parents and Black?"
Lucius faltered for a moment before answering. "You were under the Imperius curse. You saw what Master told you to see."
"And Godric's Hollow?" Harry asked through clenched teeth. "Did you make me see that too? Or was I always in Riddle manor?" he spat.
Lucius cast a single glance to Peter's dead body. "We used Pettigrew's memories to build an exact replica of Potter's home." he replied.
Harry moved closer. "Where?" he asked. "Where did you build it?"
"It's demolished now," Lucius said, "once there was no need for it–"
"Where?" Harry pressed.
Lucius stopped and looked up at Harry, holding his furious gaze. "You know those training grounds you're so fond of?"
Harry's eyes widened. He staggered back, staring at Lucius with disbelief. He shook his head, one hand came to wrap itself around his middle, as he doubled over, looking very much like he was holding back the urge to be sick. "Son of a bitch," he hissed. "Son of a bitch!"
"Don't you see the irony, Harry?" Lucius asked with a strange sadness. "He made you stronger in the same place he broke you."
Harry straightened up, tears of unadulterated anger tracking down his cheeks. He held out his wand, aimed at the spot between Lucius eyes.
"You're going to kill me, Harry?" Lucius asked, seeing the hesitance on him.
Harry paused before slowly lowering his arm. "No," he admitted quietly. "You're going to have to wait for Death to come to you."
He turned to walk away, leaving Lucius restrained in the cave.
"Where are you going, Harry?" Lucius called after him. "You're going back? Back to your real parents, after what you did to them?"
Harry stopped, his back still to Lucius.
"They won't take you back, not after you tried to kill Potter and pin the blame on Black!" Lucius struggled against the chains again. "You have nowhere to go. Even if the Potters take you back, the Ministry is never going to forgive you. The Order is just as much your enemy as it is ours!"
Harry turned to look at him.
"Don't be foolish, Harry," Lucius pushed, "Protection lies with master. He's the only one who can save you."
Harry smirked but his eyes grew colder.
"He already saved me," Harry mocked. "He protected a beaten, starved four year old. How can he surpass that?"
"Harry!" Lucius called as the boy turned to go. "Don't even think about walking away from him! You know there isn't a place in this world that you can hide in. Master will find you."
Harry turned around to look at him.
"Then let him find me."
Lucius pulled at the chains again. "These aren't going to keep me here," he said, holding up his hands to gesture to the chains. "I will break out of them! I will return to your father and tell him everything!"
Harry's eyes darkened. "Don't forget to tell him, I'm through," he said. "I'm not his puppet anymore."
With that, Harry reached over and pulled the silver pendant from around his neck. He held the Horcrux in his hand for a moment before throwing it into the air. His green eyes turned black as he concentrated at the flying pendant. In a heartbeat, the Horcrux burst into flames, reduced to ash.
Lucius gaped at the sight in stunned horror. He looked up only to see Harry walk out of the cave, taking the two floating lights with him, leaving Lucius to dwell in his terror in the dark.
Note : Apologies for the short chapter but it seemed like a natural chapter end. I'm also sorry for the long delay in updating. Regular (fast) updates should resume now that my original book is finished and published!
My debut novel, Run To Earth, is available as an ebook through Smashwords (link is at the top of my profile page) Please do check it out, the first few chapters are available for a free read! Paperback will be available really soon! Cheers!