Over the following months the Wizarding World saw radical changes taking place. Tom Riddle became the Minister for Magic in a quiet affair. Many never even recognised that he was the Dark Lord whom they had previously feared, and those who suspected it soon dismissed it, not seeing the bald, snake-like man in the face of the handsome young man.
Albus Dumbledore remained Headmaster at Hogwarts, closely monitored by the Minister, but otherwise left alone. In the school a number of new subjects were introduced to the curriculum. Defence Against The Dark Arts was replaced with simply Defence Against Magical Arts (DAMA). Whilst the change was small, it heralded the rise of a new look at magic. Less precedence was put on Light, Dark or Grey magic. Instead pupils were taught that all manner of spells could be used for evil, it was intention that mattered.
The Dark Creatures themselves welcomed new legislation put forth by The Department Of The Regulation And Control Of Magical Creatures. Remus Lupin managed to use the new Anti-Discrimination Laws to secure the new DAMA post at Hogwarts. It was only a small change in the law, but in the minds of the people great strides had been taken, many hailing this as 'The Age Of Equality,' and very few spoke out against the policies.
However, the few that knew what had transpired the days before Tom Riddle became Minister were left with one question:
Where was Harry Potter?
Those who had been there remembered the altercation between Dumbledore and Potter, but no one could quite remember what had happened to such a prominent figure in the vessel of change. It was quite simply as if he had disappeared.
Tom Riddle sighed as he read yet another article mulling over the disappearance of The-Boy-Who-Lived. It had been six months since the battle and under the care of Miranda they were still no closer to waking him up.
He had recognised the signs of magical exhaustion immediately. What he had not realised what how extensive it was. He knew Harry had sent him some of his magic, if he hadn't then the future would have change drastically, and not in their favour. That combined with the constant tapping of his core had all but depleted it. Although, he would recover, his core was rebuilding, and Tom could feel his magic grow stronger as the weeks passed.
That wasn't what bothered him.
What bothered him was not knowing when he would wake up.
When Harry had collapsed Tom had felt more than heard their bond go silent. It was powered through magic, and Harry, at that point, had none.
In one day he had felt the greatest joy and the greatest fear of his life.
Alderan had immediately sent him back to the Midnight Realm. Miranda was already dealing with the wounded, and by the time she had gotten to him the battle was long over. In those days, Tom was kept so busy that he barely had time to see Harry let alone sleep. Still, he managed it, maintaining a vigil over his lover's bed, and sometimes, much to the chagrin of Miranda, sleeping there.
Now, however, the Wizarding World was more stable. The changes he had introduced had been slow, but ultimately they were accepted. What happened between the Light and Dark was known only to a few. To the rest of the world, a new Minister had been appointed, his views more liberal, and with that a shake up of the government had followed.
Sometimes a lie was better than the truth.
If anyone had known the true extent of what had happened, or at least spoken about it, then it would have been harder to mould the Wizarding World. As it was, with the new treaty between the Light and Dark, no one could speak of what had happened that day, and if anyone tried to without permission, then the penalty was dear.
Despite all this, Tom felt empty. It was clichéd and weak. Everything he hated, but that never meant it wasn't true.
The closest he got to joy now was knowing that Harry's magic was strengthening. That soon he would be reunited with his lover, and be able to show him the world he had built.
Weeks dragged into months. When they hit the one year mark, the anniversary of their victory, he was the only one not out celebrating. Instead he was by Harry's bedside, watching the still, pale features. Sometimes his lips would move, and for one moment Tom would think he was waking up, but then his eyes would remain shut, his breathing would stay deep. Tom never knew how many more moments like that he could handle, the disappointment getting more bitter each time it happened.
By the two year mark he was losing hope. He thought he was never wrong, but then there was always a first time for everything. He prayed this wasn't the start of a new pattern, however.
It was a cold night. They were in the heart of December, and he had just came from a meeting with the Wizengamot. His idea of magical Orphanages had been approved and construction was to begin straight away. He would not have a child condemned to what he and Harry had been put through. Granted there were other forces at work there, but he wasn't blind, he knew it happened anyway, and if they could provide a safe haven for magical children then they would.
Alderan had caught him on the way to Harry's rooms, and he had been roped into a pre-Christmas drink with him.
Sitting in the Vampyre Lord's private chambers, he stared at the crackling fire which to all others would appear merry. Alderan took the chair opposite and handed him a glass of wine.
"I'm surprised you approved Lord Baal's request to promote Demon rights so quickly," said Alderan, trying to coax some semblance of a conversation out of him.
"It would not be fair to leave any Dark Creature out of the Legislation, even if I do not like their leader," replied Tom, his face remaining impassive, his whole body wanting to go to Harry.
"The progress has been quicker than expected, I won't deny that," mused Alderan, his brown eyes sparkling merrily.
"If the Wizarding World don't even recognise me as Voldemort, I think they'll have a hard time saying no to equality," scoffed Tom, taking a long draw from his glass.
"Now, now, Tom. Less of the bitterness. You should be out celebrating with the others. It has been two years after all," Tom glared at him for this, "I know you miss Harry, but he will wake up. These matters just take time. It was no ordinary magical core he had."
"If you think he will wake up, then why do you use the past tense?" asked Tom, unable to keep the anger out of his tone. Harry was always a touchy subject with him, and everyone knew better than to talk about it.
"Forgive me, it was a slip of the tongue," said Alderan quietly, letting silence descend upon the room once more.
"No it wasn't," replied Tom quietly, placing his glass down on one of the side tables. "Forgive me, I must go now."
"Tom," whisper Alderan, "Please focus on the positive work we have done, not just the price it took to do it."
When he entered the infirmary, Miranda never even looked up from her potions. She was working on making the Werewolves transformation less painful. Whilst Wolfbane gave them clarity under the full moon, it never took away the pain of the conversion.
Moving over to his usual spot, he saw Harry looked the same as he always did, and for a moment he thought Alderan may be right after all.
No. He couldn't be.
If it hadn't been for the hope he would not have been able to function as he had been. Yes, he would have done his job, he hadn't fought for seventy years to throw it away, but he would have been dead inside doing it. Although he guessed he was a politician now, it would probably only be a few years before that happened anyway...
He could hear the sounds of celebrating not too far off. He guessed Lysander and Blaise were doing another display of their 'dancing' somewhere. Bellatrix would be with her family, having grown closer to Narcissa after the battle. Miranda was going to have dinner with Severus after her work was done, he had heard her talking to him about it on one of his many visits. Even Ron and Hermione were getting married! Everyone seemed to be moving on with their lives, and yet here he was, stuck because his goddamn lover wouldn't wake up!
Not for the first time he asked him to. His voice was almost pleading, but he never cared. Harry was more important than his pride.
It wasn't as if he thought asking him would wake him up, however, and not for the first time he settled himself in his chair, falling to sleep moments later.
Harry felt as if he was floating. He never knew where he was, there was darkness pressing in from all sides. Strangely enough he wasn't scared though, he was quite comfortable actually.
Every muscle in his body felt relaxed as he lay in this nothingness. It was then he realised just how tired he was. He needed this.
He wasn't sure how long he had been there when it happened. It was only a glimmer at first, but the more he examined it, it grew larger. A brilliant golden dot piercing the blackness. It wasn't unwelcome, however, it was familiar, and he wanted to get closer to it.
It was then he realised he had the energy to move. Willing himself forward, he tried to reach it. The closer he got the more drawn he was.
He had to get there.
All concept of time had been lost. It could have been days, weeks, months, or years he spent trying to get to this speck. Everyday it would grow larger, only a little bit.
At one point he realised he could hear something. It was a man's voice, but he had no idea where it came from. All it said was 'Harry' over and over again.
Was that his name?
Who was this Harry?
Over time he came to understand that that was him, but who this man was he had no idea. He was obviously upset. Sometimes he would try and say more, but his voice would thicken as if he was trying not to cry. Harry's heart went out to him, and he tried harder to get closer to the light. Somehow he thought if he got there then he would understand more. It was a strange thought, but it made a sort of random sense to him... Somehow.
And then, finally, the day came.
His longing to be closer to the light had slowly grown to hearing the man's voice as well. He wanted to meet him, to see what he looked like, and to know why he missed him so much.
Up close the light was more an orb. An almost glass like surface rippled as molten gold thrashed against the barrier.
'You are mine to command,'the words came to him, and before he knew it he spoke them aloud. They sounded right.
A crystalline layer formed over the surface, trapping the molten gold, lashing more violently as if to protest at the treatment. The new layer looked as if it had been shattered once before, badly healed cracks visible all over it.
Next thing he knew the darkness was shrinking, drawing towards the orb.
He panicked, drawing closer to the light. He was close enough to touch it when he heard the man's voice again.
'Don't touch it, it will destroy you.'
And then a name finally popped into his mind.
"T-Tom?" he said, and the name tasted right on his tongue.
He was no longer scared as the darkness swallowed him whole.
In fact, he almost embraced it.
In an Infirmary deep within the Castle Of The Night, Harry Potter opened his eyes to a new world. He blinked, his eyes taking a moment to come into focus. When they did, the first thing he saw was Tom. He was sleeping in an armchair. His clothes were uncharacteristically rumpled, and Harry reached over to try and smooth his shirt a little.
The moment he touched him, Tom opened his eyes.
Oops, he woke him.
"H-Harry?" Tom's voice trembled in a way Harry hadn't heard before.
"Er... Yeah. Why am I in the Infirmary?" Confusion swept in fast, and Harry tried to focus on Tom, not the many questions swirling around in his mind.
"What is the last thing you remember?" asked Tom, rubbing his eyes as if to be sure what he was seeing actually existed. What the Hell was wrong with him?
"The battle... We won," Harry felt a grin form on his face as he remembered this. He wondered if Tom had implemented some of his ideas yet. It would be difficult, but with a little convincing the Wizarding World would like them...
"Harry," Tom interrupted his musings, "You collapsed, your magical core was depleted and your body shut down... You've been asleep for two years."
Harry felt Tom's words wash over him. Two years? He had missed two years of his life. He remembered the exhaustion, he knew his core was depleted, but two years was a long time to repair it. But then Harry remembered the orb of light, how it had appeared cracked. This wasn't like last time. He had used all his magic. His core had shattered. From what he had heard, he was lucky to have awoken this early.
"I guess I don't have an excuse to sleep in anymore, do I?" he joked, and Tom cracked a smile before saying:
"You think that's bad, you should see what I've done with the place without your supervision..."
A/N: Thank you so much for sticking with me for this story, I know it's been a tough ride! It's scary it's been two years!
I've left the ending open, to me their lives go on after I've stopped writing, and who knows, maybe one day I'll revisit with a one-shot that examines more of Tom and Harry's influence on the Wizarding World years after this. I figured Harry would have been exhausted if you look at the amount of raw magic he uses, it would take a lot of time to replenish his core and re-establish his control over his magic. If you have any questions, don't hestitate to get in touch, and as always I would appreciate it if you reviewed!
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Harry Potter.