Disclaimer: The Harry Potter series is created and owned by JK Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic/Warner Bros, not me. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

AN-1: Before beginning, a thank-you shall be given to the famous HP-lexicon and HP-Wiki for their wonderful organization of everything HP-related.

Timeframe: A day at the end of July 1996, in the summer before Harry´s sixth year at Hogwarts.

Summary and Setting: Previously, Harry told the Dark Lord the prophesy and what exactly happened during Harry´s second year in the COS and afterwards. Voldemort is furious and concerned about his Horcruxes, so he leaves Malfoy Manor to check up on the Gaunt ring. What will he find in Little Hangleton?

This is the first of the Additional-Scenes-Series to the fanfiction Rise of the Dark Angel by Mykkila09 and Tonks-is-cool, which is an AU HBP Dark!Harry story. What happens in SIOS I. and during chapter 6 and 7 of RDA will be picked up again when Harry and Voldemort discuss it (and the involvement of Dumbledore and Regulus) in "Just Talking?" SIOS IV., which takes place chronically during and after chapter 11 of RDA.

Rating: RDA is rated M for a reason, so I generally rate SIOS stories accordingly as T or M, because of the Violence, Character Deaths and the like. Not suitable for kids!

"Talking"
'Spell'
cast voice-less, otherwise "Spell"
{Parssseltongue}
that´s Voldemort, Harry or Nagini talking with a hisssss or spells in Parsel Magic invented by Salazar Slytherin.
#Command in the Necromancer´s lingua mortuus,#" used for example to control a Dementor or an Inferius in the Language of Death. Some Dark wizards study this or some special Ministry personal like a few Unspeakables or Auror commanders guarding Azkaban.
Letter or commentary/introduction and flashback
~…~ indicates scene change


Chapter 1: A Close Call

The tall trees cast deep, dark, cool shadows upon the forest floor. Although it was the middle of the summer and before noon, there was only dim light under these mighty trunks, mist hung in the chilly air.

With a soft Pop, Lord Voldemort appeared next to a mighty, gnarled oak, strangled in climbing ivy. Silently casting the Disillusionment Charm upon himself, he continued with 'Homenum Revelio' to scan the immediate vicinity for any other human life. Nothing, as it should be.

Standing in the middle of a thicket composed of pines, oak, beech, ash, alder and hazel, some overgrown hedges and bramble barely visible through the trees, he looked around carefully. Everything was quiet, apart from some birds singing in the trees above and the faint sound of muggle cars and a dog barking in the distance.

Voldemort hissed {Specialis Revelio} under his breath and waved his wand in a wide circle around himself to check upon the Parselmagic charms he had placed around the old shack. A bit to the right, the plants showed up as a bright greenness, but in the middle was an odd nothingness. It was almost as if there was a hazy outline where the brambles and bushes met another bush. That was where the cottage was hidden. Everything seemed fine, undisturbed.

Nevertheless, he would not become careless now, so he cast 'Ascendio' on himself and shot up in the air until he was level with the tree tops. Peering amongst the branches, Voldemort could make out the winding dirt track close to the Gaunt cottage that led down to the valley of Little Hangleton. Looking across the valley, he glimpsed Riddle Manor on the other hillside.

He cast 'Homenum Revelio' again, but with more power compared to the first time, so the spell scanned the area half a mile around him. There was somebody, one human, in the direction of Great Hangleton. The high hedgerows flanking the lane hid the person. Anger flared up at this disturbance, but he hoped it was only a muggle, walking on the main lane to Little Hangleton, and not a wizard. If the person was a wizard, they might have felt the spell sweeping over them, alerting them to the fact that another wizard was in the vicinity.

Voldemort felt his unease growing, so he cancelled the ascending spell and glided down to the forest floor again. Then he cast a Parselmagic proximity ward to warn him if a human came closer than a quarter mile, which would happen if that traveller left the main lane through the gap in the hedge and used the rough dirt path to the shack and Little Hangleton. A second ward would alert him should the person leave the dirt track and approach the cottage. It could be simply a harmless muggle, walking his dog, hiking or picking berries, but if not, if it was a wizard, maybe even Dumbledore...

He scoffed at such a preposterous idea. What an impossible coincidence that would be! However, he had learned to expect the unexpected after hearing all about Potter´s outlandish adventures and impossible deeds, so he decided to cast "Cave Inimicum" for good measure; this charm would warn him should an enemy (and Dumbledore certainly qualified as The Enemy Number One) cross the second ward near the cottage.

Voldemort strode towards the hazy outline until he felt a slight disorientation and the urge to turn around, so the wards worked as they should. He concentrated to remember the passwords to his Parselmagic wards, which he had erected more than half a lifetime ago. He did not want to cast the counter-charms; it was prudent to let the protection stay in place, in case a hapless muggle or a certain unwanted 'guest' turned up.

A whispered {My grandfather'sss house} let him feel a sharp sting on his skin as he passed through the first layer of concealment wards that created the illusion of brambles and bushes instead of a man made building. Whispering {I sssee the truth} and taking another step forward he passed through another layer of charms, ones designed to make anybody wandering around the forest or hiking up the dirt track nearby to look away and see nothing where in fact was a crumbling cottage. The urge to turn around and run from this place was increasing with each step forward, but hissing the last password, {The heir may enter} solved that problem immediately.

When he had hid the ring in this shack all those years ago, he had deliberately not cast any of the usual neutral or grey magic muggle repelling charms or wards on the building that were used to protect for example Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, the Ministry, St. Mungos or Diagon Alley.

A powerful muggle repelling charm in this thicket near a common, unimportant muggle village would have surely aroused at least curiosity or even suspicion, should some wizard accidentally – or with intend - come upon this place. Another drawback was that Voldemort would have had to come back to reinforce it every year, or to send one of his Death Eaters to do that; this would have been very inconvenient and dangerous.

His Dark Arts concealment wards were much more deceptive, subtle and long lasting, rooted to the area around the cottage with a dark ritual using a triple life sacrifice, with lives forcibly and painfully taken. The filthy, stinking pieces of disgusting muggle tramps that Voldemort had caught sleeping in the shack had been of double worth in their death, much more than ever in their insignificant lives. He had drenched the ground around the cottage with their blood and used the deaths to create another Horcrux.

The Gaunt shack was as decrepit and abandoned as he had remembered. It was build from mismatched and mossy old stones. The door was painted a faded dark green; a shriveled, long dead snake was nailed to the door, a morbid sight for someone like Voldemort who actually liked serpents and cherished his familiar, Nagini. The tiles had fallen of half the roof and the chimney stones were crumbling as well. The space around the house was overgrown with weeds and nettles, reaching up to the small windows, which were cracked and grimy. It was quite an eyesore.

What a shame that the last descendants of Salazar Slytherin had been reduced to live in such abject poverty. No matter, he, Lord Voldemort, had restored the power of the founder´s house. When he won the war, the name Slytherin would be revered again.

Voldemort waved his hand at the door and whispered {Open} to unlock it. The door swung open and he walked forward into the room. Not much light filtered in through the tiny, grimy windows and the holes in the roof, so he lightened up his wand with a mere thought 'Lumos' to survey the interior.

Inside it stank of mildew and the dust was an inch thick on every surface. There were no new footprints in the dust, only some small animal tracks of mice or rats maybe. Two doors led off the main room. The walls were made of rough stones, same as the outside, only without the moss. A filthy armchair huddled in a corner, a grimy black potbellied stove stood on the left hand side, a shelf with pots and pans above it. The fireplace in the middle of the room was filled with ash and soot. Voldemort´s lip curled in disgust.

Then the Dark Lord gasped in astonishment and irritation, the sudden yank in his awareness told him that the outer ward had been breached; the person on the lane had crossed the gap in the hedgerow.

He must hasten to retrieve the ring, should this person indeed turn out to be ... no, he squashed that thought immediately, strengthening his Occlumency shields and calming his thoughts. He had to focus; it would be so embarrassing to trigger one of his own protection curses...

The dark wizard carefully approached the stone wall of the chimney behind the fireplace, stopping about ten feet from it. He aimed his wand at the side of the fireplace, where the stones of the fireplace met the stones of the chimney, and moved it repetitive in a quick, narrow zigzag pattern, hissing {Ego sum amicusss serpents} nine times. This dispelled the first protection ward, {Plures serpensortia maxima}, that would have set nine poisonous vipers on the intruder. Salazar Slytherin himself had created this dark protection ward; Voldemort had found the description in a Parselmagic book in the Chamber of Secrets as a student. The number of vipers created and the radius of the protected area was variable, depending on the intent of the caster. The counter-curse Vipera Evanesca did not work against them, like against a snake conjured with Serpensortia.

Next, he moved his wand in a wide figure eight, chanting "Tantum amicus penetro" a few times until a bluish flame flickered around the chimney. This took the second protection ward down, that would have taken care of the potential thief, should he have survived the vipers somehow, burning him from the inside out with the Incendio interna Curse.

Voldemort smirked, imagining Dumbledore trying to steal his ring, he would have gotten quite a nasty surprise. Even should the thief overcome the vipers and the fire (which was extremely unlikely), the ring was additionally protected.

He cast a quick 'Scourgify' on the dirty floor and crouched down, tapping the stones of the lower part of the chimney in a specific pattern: Three to the right, nine above, seven diagonally left down. One of the roughly hewn stones, a small one, shifted to the side.

Inside the small hollow space was a finely carved ebony box, the lid inlaid with ivory and Chinese emerald green jade, creating the picture of a coiled, serpentine dragon. Voldemort smiled; this box was a fond memento of his travels to Asia long ago. He carefully swished and flicked his wand at the small box, deftly guiding it out of its hiding place and onto the floor.

Just as he was about to tap the box to open it, his head jerked up and around in the direction of the door: the second protection charm shrilled in his mind. It had seemed so improbable, yet there was no doubt:

Dumbledore himself was approaching the shack.

~TBC~

Next time in Shattered Illusions of Safety: Part 2: Snatching the Ring

~...~

AN2: The spells in RDA and SIOS are either spells used in the official HP books, films or games according to the HP-lexicon and HP-Wiki or are made up by me. If the Latin isn´t perfect, it is all my fault, as I used an online translator. If someone knows better, please tell me in a PM. Thank you!