This story is based on a Volturi Pendant that I got for one of my birthdays, and I thought it fit Voldemort amazingly well…
With this story, there ar a few things in canon that I ignore. The Hallows, for example -though I have only read four stories where theydid play a role- and the fact that Harry is a Horcrux.
I don't own anything you recognise form the HP universe, nor do I own anything related to Northern mythology.
XxX is POV change, a lateral stripe like the one below is a time skip.
note: this is a rewritten version. In the original, I had changed Voldemort's appearance back to his youthful self, but as a dear friend of mine pointed out, I had no reason other than superficiality for this. –and it was also a good opportunity to fix all grammar and spelling…- So, thank you, Athdara, this version is for you, as you know. ^^
He felt it the moment the students came in and took their respective places, after another summer holiday. An Aura very familiar to him, yet, he could not place his finger on whose it was…It had an overwhelming presence, but strangely soothing as well, a cloud of protectiveness and…love. There was no other word for the strange feeling. Strange, because it was entangled and intertwined with an alluring, dangerous darkness. No, he could not place it, although he couldn't shake off the feeling that he should know it.
He clasped his hands together and searched for the one it came from, shocked when reaching out his magic to the source, and opening his eyes to stare at bright green ones. Those eyes, that black hair. It couldn't be… Harry Potter.
But it wasn't his Aura, he noticed after the shock was over. He was relieved, actually, for if the boy already harboured that darkness within him…he shuddered at the mere thought. But alas, it wasn't his, although it cloaked his, surrounding him like a blanket. It couldn't have been Harry's anyway. No magical Aura could change so much in such a short time. And he had seen the boy two months ago. He noticed, however, that it had changed somewhat, not being as pure as it had once been, that much he could feel. Harry's Aura wasn't very clear to him, being overwhelmed by the other…but how could it be pure, after what had happened? The Death of his Godfather only one of the possible reasons.
He wondered though, what that Aura was and what could have happened that it was carried by Harry. Of course, much had happened to the boy, especially previous year, when racing against Voldemort to get the prophecy. He even had had Voldemort in his mind, the poor child. All his secrets, seen by the one person he most probably did not want them to be seen by. Yes, he had had to endure much, much more than Albus had ever thought he should have. And now this… this darkness, although the love in it was unmistakable. It was confusing, to say the least.
He observed the boy closely, noticing strange behaviour. He looked…aged. Irritated by the childish bickering of his friends, and practically shaking with the need to run out, be alone and put his hands over his ears to block out the sounds… To be at peace, if only for a while. But he just sat there, attempting to smile at the jokes, though it was a little strained. He masked it well, and if Albus hadn't spent so much time with Severus, who was a master at hiding his emotions, he wouldn't have noticed. Glancing over at said man, he saw that he too had his gazed fixed on Harry, though strangely enough, he did not seem surprised. If he didn't know better, he would've believed there to be concern in Severus's eyes…
Harry sat at the table, trying to block his friends out. Merlin, they were annoying. After having spent such a long time with so much more mature and intelligent people, one of them a mastermind, he found himself unable to fall back in his role as the cheerful Harry Potter. They left him mostly alone, thank heavens. Probably due to the fact that they thought he was still mourning over Sirius's death. How ironically, he thought, his lips setting in a grim, humourless smile, that the very thing he had been broken over for so long, was the thing that helped him most now.
He wasn't mourning any more. Thinking of Sirius still left a stinging feeling however, particularly because he knew Sirius would never have been able to accept who he had become now, the choices he had made. But it had been a long time for him…years. He wondered what he was doing here, amidst of people he found it difficult to associate with now. Children, whereas he himself was truly a grown man now, mentally at least. His body was forever frozen in time.
He smiled to himself at that thought. Even though he had wanted to wait with it until he was at least of age, it didn't bother him so much any more as it had. His lover had practically forced it upon him, not wanting a nofor answer. He could understand the man now however. He was horribly overprotective of his beloved, and wanted no harm to come to him, under any circumstance. And to Tom, who was terribly afraid of death himself, thought of ageing as a threat as well. Harry was just glad he had kept his own eyes… While Tom's had turned to the most beautiful shade of blue after his madness had left, the first Horcruxes he had made had slowly changed the irises to ruby at first. The other changes to the man's body had never left though
He chuckled inwardly at the thought of how he would look with such a body. No, the consequences of his Horcrux were not as visible as Tom's, only paling his skin down a few tones, which he didn't mind, since Tom loved it, saying it brought out his eyes much more. Of course, he only had one, whereas Tom had seven… one of them lying against his bare skin at the moment, held into place by a golden chain, hanging around his neck. He felt the little metal heartbeat of the pendant, and reminded himself that he would be with his lover again soon. Truly, he wasn't here to stay longer than a few days. He just needed to speak to the Headmaster. He wondered what he would think of him now…
When he had met the eyes of Dumbledore, he knew that the man knew that something was off about him, and he wondered if he could feel the pendant Tom had given him to guard over him. Possibly. It did not matter, he would reveal himself as soon as possible. Just for a few days, he had to play his role here, make his friends doubt him, until he could sever their strings. If not, they would be determined to go after him, and he had no intention of telling them his life story from the point he had left them.
It had begun with Tom intruding his mind in the Department of Mysteries. Tom had seen his mind, and the other way around, although the latter had been unintentionally. And with that intrusion, their minds had somehow melted together. For a moment, they had been one, one life, for several blissful heartbeats long. As soon as they were forced to part, they had felt themselves ache, a need to be whole and together again, but the fight Dumbledore had evoked had made that impossible. They hadn't seen each other for weeks then, and it had only been a few days before his birthday that they met again. Everything had went so fast from there on…
The hooting of an owl woke him, and he stared down at the creature in wonder. Hedwig… he hadn't seen her for so long, and yet, she didn't act any different than normally… Of course. He thought wryly. For her, this was no reunion, and in fact he hadn't seen her for mere days. In thisworld. For him it was, however, a miracle, and he silently thanked Tom for finding her. He had set her free just before they left, knowing that if he kept her locked up in that cage, none of the Dursleys would feel the need to feed her, and even if he had only been away for a few days to her, she would have been starved.
But like always, Tom had a solution for everything, including finding lost owls. He wondered how many minions he had scared for that… none, probably, and because of that, the whole Dark Sect would be shocked. Tom had changed a great deal in the years they had been away, regaining his sanity, building their relationship and revising the war. It all seemed pointless now, the war. Tom admitted to having drifted far off from his original goals, and now, not being clouded by his hunger for power, he would finally admit that. The point was how the Wizarding World would react upon that, the dissolving of the Dark… many would be relieved, while others, mainly the lower Death Eaters, would be furious. Harry just hoped they would be terrified enough of Tom that they would not try anything stupid. Too many people had died already in the wars Tom had started.
He took the letter offered to him and fed Hedwig some pieces of meat. How strangely nostalgic this was… eating in the Great Hall, surrounded by chattering students, petting his owl after receiving a letter… But the contents of the letter did not fit in that environment at all. Firstly because he and Tom had still been sworn enemies before, and secondly because he would have shared it with his friends.
My beloved Dylja,
I am certain that this letter finds you in good health.
I want to inform you of the fact that I am in Hogsmeade, and have found the entrance to the castle you told me of. I will be waiting for you in the castle after you have spoken to Dumbledore.
Keep me as close to your heart as you are to mine.
Harry smiled down on the letter. He wondered briefly if Severus would faint if he let the man read this. After being introduced to the few people Tom actually fully trusted, he had found a good comrade in the Potions professor, Harry not being sure about his part in the war at the time, just like Severus before him. They had had long discussions about it, and Harry had finally concluded that there would be no side he had to take but the side of the people who truly cared about him. And even though he liked his friends here, he would never share such a deep bond with them as with the people he regarded his family now.
Even in that one month before they had left, Harry had gotten to know those people better than he had ever known his friends. Sure, he knew what they liked and disliked, their hobbies, good and bad sides… but these people; Tom, Severus, Lucius, Narcissa and a few others of the Inner Circle…he knew what was on their minds just by looking at them. And they knew him just as well. If he was troubled, they would find an answer, not just by giving him vague advice.
They understood him, and accepted who he was. 'Their cunning snake in the disguise of a foolish, rash, brave lion.' As Lucius had once put it. It had earned him his new name as well, Dylja, disguise. He liked the name, once he had gotten over the fact that it sounded a little girlish. And there was the fact that Tom liked it. Which was pretty much his excuse for everything, from the black and green silk robes he normally wore to the black eye-liner under his eyes, trailing down his left cheek in two curled streaks.
He read the letter again, and chuckled at the last sentence, knowing exactly what Tom meant and pressed a hand over his chest, feeling the part of his lover's soul becoming warm under his touch, feeling the addicting magic throb under it, and around him, just like Tom wore hisHorcrux around his neck. Against their hearts, one again. It might be horribly sentimental, literally carrying a part of one's soul with them, but that was just the way they were. With each other, anyway. Tom was never so much for showing his kind nature to other people.
"Harry? Are you coming?" Hermione asked.
"Hmm." He grunted, and got up from the table, trailing after them.
The day really had been a laugh. He couldn't believe that he had once found this level of magic difficult, and he probably had gained more house-points now than in the lesson of his former years together. A parting gift, he sighed inwardly.
"Are you alright?" Ginny said, as she once more tried to gain his attention back. By Salazar, hearing about all these petty pubertal problems about professors, marks and homework made him long back to the long-winded and deep discussions he and Tom always ended up in, about different sorts of long-forgotten magic, about their views on the world or several political and social issues, or about spirituality, literature, trying to analyse the human mind… the list was very long indeed. And now…he had to listen to Ginny, who was ranting about that Professor Sprout really hadn't been fair with the marking, because Ginny was absolutely sure she had done it right. Groan. How had he once put up with this?
"Harry? Are you alright?" she asked. "Don't you feel well?" she added in an overdone concerning voice.
"I'm fine Ginny," he said, not even bothering to face her.
"Harry, you're acting so different! You've been avoiding us all day! We're your friends, we're here for you!"
"I know," he sighed. "I'm just tired." Breaking with them was probably going to be harder than he had thought. He had forgotten about the amazing stubbornness and curiousity that was a Gryffindor trait..
"No Harry, something is definitely wrong! Is it your family? Are you having trouble with them? I know how they treat you Harry!"
"Just leave me alone!" he yelled, finally fed up with it. He instantly regretted his outburst as he saw her face, tears forming in her eyes. Damn this… he had never coped well with crying girls…
"I'm sorry Ginny… I didn't mean it. I… I'm just exhausted, really…" he said, draping an arm around her shoulder to comfort her. If he had known how she would interpret the gesture, he would have rather jumped off the astronomy tower.
His eyes widened when she threw herself at him and kissed him on his mouth. It felt so… wrong, those soft lips against his own. Her smell was all around him, just like she was. Hair clung to his face, wet with her tears, like they were red ropes binding him to her. He couldn't move, shocked as he was. Disgust rose in him, for this girl he had once had a crush on. It felt so wrong, her soft hands desperately clinging to him, gripping his neck. She was just a child for Merlin's sake! What would Tom think of him? Tom… Guilt coiled in his stomach. Before he had recovered enough to push her off of him, he felt the Horcrux around his neck stir.
Angry magic radiated around it in waves, and blasted the girl to the other side of the room, where she remained sitting, staring dumbfounded at him with wide eyes. The pendant was still pointing at her, soaring in the air. The chain seemed to be tighter around his neck, giving him a strange feeling of being protected. He grabbed the Horcrux gently, trying to calm it down, rubbing his finger softly over the bronze surface and whispering soothing words to it, and eventually, the magic stilled, though the fierce throbbing of the metal remained, ironically like Tom when he was trembling with anger if he was furious with someone.
Harry got to his feet and went up to his room, not giving the girl another look. He let himself fall on the bed and pulled off the chain. It was strange to not have it around his neck, the metal lying heavy on his chest like normally. He let it dangle in front of his face and traced the substance lovingly with his finger, taking in every detail. Perfect, just like Tom, the one it belonged to. It was a pendant shaped like a V, with a oval purple stone in it above, symbolising magic, and a blue stone in a diamond shape, the colour of his eyes, embedded in the point of the letter. A shield was centered in the middle of the letter, with two ravens and two trees on it, symbolising the contradiction of death and life. Or, as Harry thought sometimes with amusement, showed his worst fear, flying away from the world in spirit form.
To Harry, it had a whole different meaning, although it was too embarrassing to ever mention to Tom. Ravens found home in trees. To him, this pendant was a bit of home that he carried with him. He was the raven, and his lover the tree that sheltered him. He wondered what Tom would say if he would ever tell him that. Probably look at him oddly before grinning smugly and ravishing him right then and there, no matter where they were… Hmm… maybe it was a good idea to tell him…
He didn't look up when the door creaked and his once best friend stormed in. He couldn't decide himself if he was too engrossed with the pendant or just too indifferent. The redhead began to throw insults at him, something like harassing his sister. Harry didn't listen any more beyond that, vaguely wondering if Ginny had lied or if Ron was just exaggerating her story. He only reacted as the pendant was grabbed and almost pulled from his hands. He shot up and enclosed a hand around Weasley's throat, pressing the pendant against his chest in rage and desperation. He had almost let it go… he had almost brought Tom's soul in danger! The mere thought terrified him.
"So that did get a reaction huh? Let go of me!"
He released the boy, who had clenched his fists, obviously trying to restrain himself from beating Harry up. Said boy –man, really, even if the other wasn't aware of it.- glared at him with a coldness that apparently unnerved Ron, since Harry saw with satisfaction that a shiver travelled down his spine.
"I know that you're upset with us. We should have written you more often, or contacted you…" Ron said, trying a different approach to reach Harry, who sighed, giving up on his 'ignore the Gryffindors and they will distance themselves.'
Obviously, it wasn't going to work. But why was it that they always referred to themselves as we and us? It was like they were all one person. Had he been like that as well? Yes, he had to admit. He too had always thought of we, the Gryffindors, the Quidditch team, or just him, Ron and Hermione. Now not anymore… used to socialise with a bunch of former Slytherins, he had discovered that good groups and organisations could only form if everyone thought for himself, individually.
"I know Sirius' death has taken a toll on you, and that you are stressed because of You-Know-Who, but we need you Harry! Talk about what is bothering you!"
"The war." He said solemnly, deciding that the truth would be out in a few days in either case. He knew that Dumbledore had only been here for the welcoming feast. He had Order business to deal with and wouldn't be back for four days. Then, everything could be cleared up. But who said he couldn't begin with that now?
"I know, I know… I imagine it is tough… having to fight that bastard…" Ron said bitterly.
"No, Ron..." he said softly, trying to find the best approach.
"Not? What, don't you think fighting him will be hard? He's a master duelist!"
"That is not what I meant. I meant that I am no longer fighting with him," he said calmly, inferring that the whole story now would be best. If he lied now, that could only work against him in the long run
"…" Ron gaped, bewildered by his calm statement. It took the boy some time to regain his voice.
"I beg your pardon?"
"Voldemort and I…" Merlin, it felt strange to think of his lover as Voldemort. He hadn't called him that in eight years. "When we fought in the Ministry, something strange happened, and for a moment, our souls were poured out into the other, intertwining and becoming one for a moment, before we were forced apart again. After the fight, he slowly began to regain his sanity, and we both felt an ache. A part of us missed. Each other. He sought me out, having a rough guess of where I lived. Since I too, reached out to him, he was able to find me… We ceased fighting and… joined together."
"You've… you've gone Dark?" Ron said with wide eyes, trembling.
"Not in the way you think. I am in no way trying to destroy the Light. I am simply with him, and a few of my other friends."
"It has been hardly a month then! How could you forget us so quickly!"
"A month? Oh no Ron, I have been away for much, much longer. Eight years and a month would be more accurate."
"Eight… years? How?" he said shocked, trying to comprehend what he had just heard.
"That is a story for tomorrow. I am in no sense willing to tell it twenty times, so I will tell all of you," he said, accenting the plural form, "tomorrow," he finished, and began to undress himself to go to sleep.
He looked at his old, striped, ragged pajamas of which the colour was uncertain with disgust. Tom had probably rubbed off on him. He decided that he rather slept without anything at all than in that. He fastened the chain around his neck again and slid under the sheets. They felt cool against his bare skin, although the cotton was a bit too rough for him. Merlin, how vain had he become, longing back to the silk sheets at home? He would just have to put up with it for a while. Then, he heard a soft whisper coming from the bed beside him, and he turned to face Ron, who watched him with wide eyes.
"Harry, you and You-know-Who… are you… well… damn his is awkward…" he mumbled the last bit to himself, but he said it a bit too loud. Harry chuckled, amusement showing through his eyes as the redhead struggled to put his question in a decent sentence. "You're… involved with him?"
Harry shot him a crooked grin and lifted the pendant to his lips, like he had every night since it had been entrusted to him. He felt the warm acceptance as he bestowed a kiss upon his lover's soul, and he felt like he was kissed back, leaving him wondering if Tom was doing the same at this very moment. Just thinking of Tom made him shiver of all the strong feelings that awoke in him. Love, longing, safety, lust… When he met Ron's eyes again, he knew these feelings also shone through his own emerald orbs, since the other boy had gone white as a sheet. Feeling strangely complacent, he rolled gracefully on his other side.
He heard Ron gasp, as he finally noticed the difference between the Harry of before, and the Harry of now, Dylja. Even if he was frozen in time, it did not mean that his body could not change. He was no longer the skinny, underfed boy of before. His skin practically glowed with health, and he had grown a great deal of muscle mass. But what had changed most, physically spoken, was his posture. He moved with a grace he hadn't ever dared to possess. After all, with Tom silently sliding next to him, he couldn't very well stumble and stamp his way through the world now, could he?
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