Disclaimer: I do not own the Harry Potter series!
Summary thus far: After being sent to Azkaban for murdering his three muggle relatives, Harry struggles to cope within the confines of the prison. Dumbledore has betrayed him, along with the Ministry. He doubts anyone besides a select few know he's being kept there. Unbeknownst to Harry, there are people out searching for him. Though not those he'd expect. Once it has been brought to the attention of the Dark Lord where Harry Potter lies, he immediately begins to question Dumbledore's motives concerning the supposed 'Chosen One'. Deciding it best to take the boy himself, whilst Harry's loyalities towards Dumbledore were broken, Voldemort concocted a plan. During the attack at Azkaban the Death Eaters rampaged, allowing Voldemort time to locate and grab Harry Potter.
URGENT NEWS, PLEASE READ: FanFiction is currently planning (I believe) to remove a vast number of HP fan fictions due to (once again, I'm not sure) parents complaining about the content their children can access, despite our obvious ratings warning of such content. Therefore, I'm not sure if this story will be taken down. If so, it's been a blast, and I cannot thank you enough for the support you've given me and this story. I will be putting the petition up on my profile so please do check it out, and if you feel strongly enough about it as I do, I urge you to sign it!
Firstly, I can only deeply apologize for leaving this story for almost a year without an update. I am gravely ashamed of myself, and am so terribly sorry to have kept you waiting for so long. For those of my faithful followers who still remain and have been anxiously awaiting an update, this chapter is dedicated entirely to you! And for those who have just stumbled across this story, I welcome you heartily and hope you have enjoyed it thus far, and continue to enjoy it. As much as I'd like to say I will be updating regularly from now onwards, I simply cannot. It is the summer holidays now so I should be able to continue the story like I have been wanting to, but have been up until now preoccupied with University work. However, once term starts again in September, I'm afraid another long break between updates may occur again. I can only ask that you will be patient and not lose any enthusiasm and fondness you have for this story!
And can I just say a huge thank you to those of you who reviewed, favourited, and alerted this story so far. I was simply amazed by the incredible response received from you, the readers, concerning the previous chapter! And after all this time, this story is still getting reviews, favourites, and alerts! You are all truly wonderful, and this story would be nothing without you. Thank you.
Oh and after re-reading the last chapter, I decided to make a few small changes. The first: after reading reviews and thinking more on the subject, I decided to change the Dark Mark to green instead of grey, much like the Dark Mark in the film Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire. Secondly: I decided to kill Dawlish, as it would be more logical since the Dark Lord would not risk any information being leaked out regarding himself, the Death Eaters, and Harry Potter. And lastly: I was unhappy with parts of Harry's reaction towards Voldemort in healer Galen's office so I made a few changes to make him more realistic, though none too drastic.
Now without further ado, it's been a long time coming but here it is! Chapter 10! We have reached double figures! Enjoy, and take care x
17th August, 12:00pm
A swarm of black swirling smoke flew through the open air, leaving behind the poisonous green sky for a more calm and serene midnight blue.
The Death Eaters were on the move, each keeping a relatively safe distance from one another. They glided swiftly and effortlessly through the sky, unwilling to stop for even a moment lest their pursuers should catch up to them. Although the anti-apparition wards encircling Azkaban had been significantly weakened during the attack, they had not been destroyed completely. Therefore, the Death Eaters were unable to apparate anywhere apart from within Azkaban itself. And so, the only means of departing from within the prison's walls was to leave the way they arrived: through a flurry of ferocious, tendril-like swirls of smoke. Streaks of black whizzed across the sky in steady formation, followed by a handful of bright white shapes about half a mile away. Even as the Death Eaters crossed the ocean and the first structures of civilisation on the coast of the North Sea could be seen a few miles away illuminated by blocks of deep yellow, the figures enveloped in black smoke refused to pause. A voice hissed in the silence, the sound reverberating all around them, carried by the growing wind.
"We seem to have some unexpected company. Prepare yourselves."
As soon as the order was given most of the dark shapes shifted in the air instantly. A few from the sides slowed and positioned themselves behind the rest, preparing to attack once the final order was given. The rest moved closer, as if becoming one. Only one did not alter their path, only one remained ahead of the others. The Dark Lord Voldemort continued steadily forward whilst his followers surveyed the area around him, seeming to dare the very trees to attack. The streams of white light appeared to draw closer and closer, and yet they didn't seem to faze the Death Eaters. The aurors grew bolder, faster, inspired by their apparent achievement. The Death Eaters showed no sign of worry or panic but looked ahead in determination, entrusting their lives entirely to the Dark Lord. The aurors were almost within firing distance and it seemed they were beginning to feel uneasy. Their enemies had yet to attack, had yet to respond. And then it dawned upon them, the realisation. But it was too late. Too late to retreat, too late to protect themselves fully.
For you see, the aurors weren't gaining on the Death Eaters. The Death Eaters were slowing down.
The Dark Lord was well known for being a patient man. He would wait for his chance, for the enemy's weakness, and then he would strike hard and fast. As soon as the aurors were spotted he had begun to slow down ever-so-slightly, and his movements had been dutifully followed by the Deaths Eaters without question. The continuous decrease in speed remained unnoticed by the aurors until the last moment. They were being led purposefully by the Dark wizards, and could do nothing but follow. To get within firing range now would be suicidal, and to attempt to retreat would also be deadly. The Light wizards were well and truly trapped. Unbeknownst to the turmoil of the aurors, the Death Eaters continued to mirror their Lords' actions with ease, their hawk-like eyes watching his every move. Suddenly, the Dark Lord's figure plunged downwards, the thin tendrils of smoke trailing after him, flowing in the breeze. The various wizards cloaked in black dived also, followed closely by the Light wizards, one group in excitement, the other in trepidation. The chase (if it could be called that) seemed to last forever, with neither side getting any closer to their destination. That notion was abruptly shattered as soon as Voldemort touched the ground. Each minute movement seemed to last an entire minute, and as the Dark Lord's feet slowly met the solid earth the following clouds of black spun around quickly, as if triggered by Voldemort's action, and formed a half circle. Facing the enemy, the Death Eaters didn't waste a second. The aurors were helpless in surprise and flying head-on into the frontal attack. Soon they were pounded by a shower of luminous green and red, the colours clashing together much like the opposing groups of wizards. As quickly as it came, the attack was halted and the Dark wizards lowered to stand behind their Lord and Master. Whilst they descended, the bodies of unfortunate, amateur aurors fell to the ground harshly, each making a 'thud!' as their lukewarm bodies collided with the earth, gradually becoming colder and colder as time passed.
The aurors (of those who survived) retaliated briskly, but all attacks were expected and blocked. Returning to solid ground, the aurors stood opposite to the Death Eaters a couple of yards apart. A few members of the Order were present, Lupin, Tonks, and Kingsley. The rest were either unknown or relatively new to the profession. Dark and Light gazed into each other's eyes now uncovered from the smoke. Some looked on in anger, others in fear, and others in delight. Though keeping a watchful eye on the Dark Lord, the aurors were also unable to look away from the impossible Boy-Who-Lived, who was currently unconscious and clutched to Voldemort's chest; his features were scrunched up as if in pain. This was the boy who had survived the killing curse, the boy who shouldn't have even been at the location at all, who was supposedly safe and sound resting after his traumatic experience. Instead, he was in the middle of a battle that was about to commence, and where many people would probably lose their lives. This was a scene no child would ever wish to be a part of and would flee to get away from it, and yet Harry Potter had been unwillingly dragged into such a situation certainly not for the first time, and probably not the last time either.
Both sides stood in a large field surrounded heavily by large, dense trees. The distant sound of waves hitting the shore showed that the cliff bordering the coast was near; they were still close to the ocean.
Just as the silence became deafening, Voldemort's mouth slowly moved into a grin, a devilish smirk. He seemed to revel in the fear coming from the aurors as they were caught in his unblinking stare. Their fear became his power, became his obsession. To strike fear into the hearts of many courageous wizards, to force a man to cower in sheer fright, were things the Dark Lord thrived on and would often burst into glorious, booming laughter at the sight of. A destroyed victim was the most fulfilling victim, after all. His blood-red eyes seemed to spot every movement, every twitch, and every tell-tale sign of weakness. Voldemort spoke all of a sudden to his loyal followers, the hisses escaping his mouth appearing ever-more animalistic in the wild setting.
"It seems we have some uninvited guests accompanying us this evening." Laughter. Lord Voldemort's grin widened as he looked at each of the aurors, who squirmed uncomfortably at the sound of his serpentine voice.
"No matter. Come; let us graciously welcome our guests. Let it not be said that Lord Voldemort is a terrible host!" As he spoke the Dark Lord gestured with his left hand in a sweeping motion from his chest to his left side, as if in a bow. His bone-white wand rested lazily in his open palm, waiting to strike.
The moment the gesture was over, the Death Eaters moved forwards on either side of Voldemort, like soldiers reacting to a signal from their commanding officer. Their faces were set and ready, and some even looked impatient, wishing the fight to start. Both sides raised their wands silently, and battle soon followed. Each group attacked with full force, with neither side allowing any survivors. This was an all-out battle, prisoners were no longer necessary. The aurors fought to defeat the Dark, the Death Eaters fought to defeat the Light.
Alecto Carrow was one of the first to initiate an attack, glancing greedily at her possible opponents, searching for one that would provide her with the most entertainment. Her brother, Amycus, duelled to the right of her, and was a small, squat man with an irritable giggle. Likewise, the female Death Eater shared her brother's small frame, making them a spottable pair amongst the duellers. The striking resemblance was furthered as Alecto burst into a wheezing giggle identical to that of her brother's immediately after her duel began, hardly taking her challenger seriously. Once her victim was targeted she wasted no time in claiming the prey for herself. Sending a quick severing charm at the stunned auror, she invited them to participate in the murderous game. The female auror deflected the teasing spell and replied swiftly.
"Stupefy!" She cried as a red burst of light passed from her wand and was sent hurtling towards the witch. Giggling, the Death Eater retaliated, the spells becoming darker and darker.
"Confringo! Deprimo! Crucio!" With each spell she casted, Alecto would sweep her wand from side to side, becoming immersed in the performance of the duel. At last, a spell managed to connect.
A terrible cry erupted from the woman as deep gouges appeared all over her body, her clothes becoming heavily stained in blood. Gasping, she attempted to stem the flow of blood but to no avail as Alecto uttered her last spell.
The spell, whilst not particularly dangerous, was certainly not harmless, especially in battle. Even the lightest of spells became dark in battle, and as the spell shot towards the auror she could only watch as the light hit her neck, leaving a thin, horizontal line of red in its wake. A stream of blood immediately spurted from the wound; the auror's jugular had been cut. Sickly-grey and shaking, the auror gave one last glance to Alecto before collapsing on the floor in defeat. And so the game continued.
Lucius considered himself one of the more…civilised Death Eaters. Whilst the rest would unashamedly behave like savages, he would not forget his position. He would not forget his pride. The name 'Malfoy' would not be dirtied by him through improper behaviour, and in that light, he would uphold to the traditions of decorum, even in a duel. His honour was eternal, even if his life was not. As a result, he waited for a challenger to come forth. A Malfoy did not go searching for a fight, after all.
A young man walked towards him. Withholding a sigh, Lucius noticed the signs of an amateur: the shaking limbs; the nervously darting eyes; the sweating complexion; and worst of all, the brash, naïve actions. A Gryffindor, he thought. The most effective way to deal with this type is to catch them off-guard. Surprised, they lose composure.
The silver-haired man began his battle logically, studying his opponent's battle routine, finding their weaknesses, and then forming a strategy. He started by firing relatively minor stunning spells in order to test the man's capabilities, and to trick the auror into believing this was the extent of his power. Soon, the auror began to feel more confident and finally uttered a spell.
"Impedimenta!" He yelled.
Not letting the opportunity go to waste, Lucius answered.
The other paled considerable at the oncoming dark spell. Launching himself to the side just in time, he fell to the ground.
"Confringo!" Lucius' yell caused the man to frantically yank his head in the direction of the noise. The spell collided, causing flames to explode across his skin and clothes.
"Aguamenti!" He cried, directing the spell at himself. The jet of water soon doused the flames. The auror released a sigh that was short lived as a jet of green flew at his body and hit. His wand dropped to the floor and he followed suit. The dull, blue eyes were still in the process of widening in shock, and were to remain so forever.
Through pain and death the fight continued.
A dull ache resided somewhere within him, though he knew not where. It was like a miniscule ball of fire that twisted and turned, growing slowly bigger by the second. Strangely enough, he was numb to the scalding burning sensation he knew he should be feeling. Then, the ball of fire separated into two. One rose higher, the other travelled right.
I must be dreaming, he thought idly.
He knew he had a body somewhere. He felt it, but he did not.
The dull ache became frequently sharp spikes of pain that would come and go, but always return. The balls of fire were still growing, and the more they grew, the fiercer the pain was. Gasping, he scrunched up his face in pain, He was now suddenly aware of his body as a thousand needles sunk into every corner of his skin. Spasms were being sent through his frame, removing any control he once had over his limbs.
What is happening? Am I on fire? Is this death?
Abruptly he was forced to cry out, finding no other alternative of letting his pain be known. The needle prick now resembled more of a knife stab, and still the heat increased, causing his body to coat itself in a thin layer of sweat. The agony escalated once again, and the boy feared he wouldn't be able to take much more. Screams tore from his throat as the fire seemingly took over his body, burning his flesh and bone.
Harry threw back his head to scream but no sound escaped, it was like the pain was so unbearable that his mind could no longer send signals of speech to his mouth, his body was shutting down. He could no longer pronounce sound. Blinking through the tears pouring from his scorching face, a pair of eyes entered his vision. Those eyes of flaming red seemed to mirror the raging inferno inside him, looking unblinkingly at his pained green eyes. Desperately he tried to ask what his voice could not, tried to ask for help. The boy shook as if having a seizure, his head lolling from left to right, throwing itself back and forth in pure agony against the man's chest. His mouth opened in mid-scream, though no sound escaped. His arms twitched uncontrollably. The two balls of fire had disappeared, becoming pinpoints for the sources of pain. He felt his forehead burning at being so close to Voldemort, unsure whether it was bleeding or not. The other source of pain was his right wrist, which was flaring in white-hot pain that sent spasms through his arm and over his whole shaking form. With desperate strength, Harry grasped his right wrist, intent on squeezing the pain away, or to at least show where the pain was coming from to the Dark Lord. So delirious with pain was Harry that he didn't even question why he was still alive or where he was. All he could do was writhe and struggle in painful torment.
He felt thin cords wrapping around him, binding his disobedient body. He was then placed gently on the ground, and still Voldemort towered over him, keenly studying him.
Casting his cold, calculative gaze across the area, the Dark Lord watched as his Death Eaters fought against the meddling aurors. His left hand twitched unnoticeably, restlessly urging to fight. Sneering, Voldemort saw a foolish auror attempt to approach him, but who was caught off-guard by an attack from behind. Another auror defeated…more magical blood needlessly spilled.
We cannot risk remaining here for much longer; the rest of the Order will soon be on its way, along with the old coot.
Voldemort was all too aware that the aurors wouldn't dare attempt to create an anti-apparition ward, not whilst half the Order was absent and Dumbledore had yet to make his grand entrance. For the time being, they were winning. But all the same, the Dark Lord knew it would not be wise to stay any longer than necessary. They had to leave, and soon. The Death Eaters had almost reached the other side of the ocean when their pursuers had been sighted. With the enemy too close, they wouldn't have made it to the ground safely and fast enough to apparate before the aurors arrived. Due to this, the Dark Lord had decided to allow the aurors what they wanted – a fight.
Glancing shortly at the unconscious boy in his hold, Voldemort spotted something…off. The young wizard's face was scrunched up, like he was suffering. Standing still, Voldemort felt the boy's own body begin to tremble. Beads of sweat began to form on Harry's forehead although he was cold. Frowning, the Dark Lord wordlessly formed a shield around them both as he inspected the shivering boy.
The boy seems to be in pain. But what is causing it?
Suddenly Harry's astonishingly green eyes flew open, his chest lurching upwards as his head swung backwards. The boy's whole body was raked in uncontrollable twitches, and Voldemort struggled to keep a steady grip on Harry. As the shaking carried on, Voldemort made a swift movement with his wand arm. In the next moment, thin black ropes appeared out of nowhere and wrapped themselves tightly around Harry, stopping any movements from the neck downwards. Placing the boy on the ground, the Dark Lord carefully waved his wand above the boy's body, looking for signs of any possible explanation.
He is injured and significantly weakened, but nothing explains these symptoms.
Harry's emerald green eyes glistened with fresh tears, pleading for the Dark Lord's assistance.
Holding his wand over Harry, a sudden spike in magic caused Voldemort to pause. The boy's right wrist was held tightly by his left arm. Grasping the wrist with no thought for the child's pain at his touch, he released the right hand from the hard grip.
Ah. There you are.
And there it was. Gleaming jet-black against Harry's alabaster skin sat the individual symbols given to each Azkaban's prisoner, used to identify them. The symbols pulsated and throbbed on Harry's inner wrist, sending jolts of tremors throughout his small frame.
These symbols…are the markings of an Azkaban prisoner. However they were not on his wrist in Azkaban which must mean they only appear once outside the prison. It seems to immobilise the prisoner using pain, rendering them powerless. To think the Ministry would be using such curses as this…this is Dark magic. But why go through the trouble of placing such a curse unless there is a way of locating and collecting the criminal? As the realisation struck, Voldemort's eyes narrowed in agitation. The Ministry must be tracking him. In less than a minute the reasoning took place and Voldemort began his counterattack. Roughly grabbing the boy's wrist, the Dark Lord placed his wand against the bold, trembling mark and hissed almost inaudibly.
Harry convulsed violently as his left arm attempted to pry the Dark Lord's hand from his other wrist. Though no matter how much he pulled, the boy was simply too weak. His left hand sharply dug into Voldemort's arm, resolute on not letting go, as if he could channel his pain through to Voldemort. Harry's body shifted and struggled, trying to get away from the man. Said Dark Lord showed no display of emotion at Harry's actions, and continued with the spell. From his bone-coloured wand flowed thin wisps of white which seeped into Harry's wrist, covering the symbols from view. A thin wisp of white snaked itself around Harry's wrist, and as soon as both ends connected, it glowed brightly before sinking into the inflamed skin, much like the Ministry's curse had. Releasing a shaky gasp, Harry laid still except for the small tremors across his exhausted body. The hand clutching Voldemort's began to shake from the strain, and soon released itself from the grip and lay limp at his side. Harry's pants were interrupted frequently by desperate gasps for air, his throat burned as he breathed, like it was raw and swollen. His tired green eyes remained focused on the Dark Lord, and looked both fearful and curious.
Red light suddenly swam in front of his vision, and he knew no more.
Once satisfied with the boy's behaviour, Voldemort shot a quick 'Stupefy' towards him, knocking Harry unconscious once more. The only proof of the past minutes' outcome being the thin stream of blood which fell from the boy's lightning bolt scar to the side of his head, before disappearing in his messy, dark hair. Moving his right arm underneath the boys' shoulders, Voldemort lifted Harry up slowly to a sitting position before placing his left arm underneath Harry's knees, effectively lifting the boy up as if he weighed little more than a bag of sugar. Frowning at the ridiculous image, Voldemort glared at the sleeping boy he was forced to carry before casting his glance aside to his Death Eaters. With the Boy-Who-Lived now taken care of for the moment, Voldemort quickly addressed his followers. His voice filled the field, though was only heard by a select few. As the fight continued, the Dark Lord spoke.
"Time is of the essence. Dumbledore and his puppets will soon be arriving. At my signal you will all create a Firestorm; this will allow us time to act appropriately unseen by our enemies. Do not allow them to pass through."
The Death Eaters continued to duel, patiently awaiting the order. And it came quickly, the Dark Lord's voice booming with power and command, as if releasing the devastating fire from slumber itself.
With their wands raised as one, the Death Eaters released countless streams of raging fire that moved to form a thick wall of moving, scorching fire around them all. The swirling masses of angry red, orange, and white spun around them wildly. The Dark wizards focused entirely on controlling the flames to keep their shape, ensuring the safety of everyone within them. With the flaming barrier, the Death Eaters were no longer constrained by their enemies; they would be able to escape. The aurors, however, refused to give up but were struggling to break through the numerous walls of fire. After one would be parted, another would take its place.
Once the walls had been created, Voldemort cautiously spoke once again through the minds of his followers.
"You will all depart to the Manor and await my orders. Severus, you shall come with me. Now, go."
With the final order given, Severus moved to stand in front of the Dark Lord. Lord Voldemort shifted his hold on Harry, placing the weight of the boy entirely on his right arm. With his left hand, the Dark Lord unexpectedly grasped the potion master's upper arm and without leaving Snape enough time to comprehend the action, Lord Voldemort disapparated along with them both, shielded from view by the ferocious walls of fire that instantly disappeared along with their castors.
18th August, 1:00am
A seemingly desolate house stood on a hill overlooking a sleeping village. From the outside it looked like it hadn't been lived in for years. Most of the windows were boarded, and the ones that weren't were grimy, like they hadn't been cleaned for a very long time. There were a few holes in the roof where tiles should have been, allowing rain water into the attic, and surely spreading damp throughout the ceiling and walls of the aged house. A sea of ivy spread across most of the outer walls, almost like it was claiming the house for itself. The inside was no better. Although habitable, every surface, inch, and corner of the house was coated in thick dust. The furniture and objects were almost unrecognisable. Spider webs hung from various parts of the ceiling. The atmosphere and smell was musky and damp. On the second floor to the immediate right of the stairs was a door left slightly ajar. In the room sat an old fireplace, and in it were a few layers of ash, the remnants of a once bright, blazing fire lit within the now cold, dismal room. The contents of the fireplace seemed to be the only proof of anyone having lived in the abandoned house.
Three figures appeared suddenly in front of the fireplace, two men cloaked in black, one carrying a sleeping boy. The man holding the boy stepped towards a large four-poster bed at the other end of the room. Making a brief flick of his wand, the dust covering the bed instantly disappeared and he proceeded to place the boy onto it before turning towards the other, who hadn't move since arriving.
Without a word, Voldemort drew closer to Snape, his cruel red eyes never leaving the Death Eater's jet-black ones.
"Were you aware of the Ministry's curse placed upon the Azkaban prisoners, Severus?" Voldemort hissed quietly.
Shocked as Severus was to have been transported to an unfamiliar building for an unknown purpose, he retained his composure and replied honestly.
"No, my Lord."
"It is an interesting curse, one that would be rarely associated with the Ministry." The Dark Lord gave a sinister smile. "Those fools are delving into that which they cannot even begin to comprehend, and which they are so quick to condemn. The curse placed upon the boy is Dark magic, Severus. It inflicts intense pain upon a person when triggered by distance, a perfect curse for the inhabitants of Azkaban. The creator shows knowledge of the Dark Arts, and may even rival you, Severus. However they are naïve to believe the curse is fool-proof. Dark magic is fuelled by power, by want. It isn't definite; it requires immeasurable amounts of willpower to control it, to bend it to your will. There will be a weakness. But the curse isn't only limited to causing pain. Its true potential lies in its ability to immobilise the person. In the case of Azkaban, any prisoners who managed to escape the prison would soon be found and collected."
"Collected, my Lord?" Snape questioned.
"Yes. It seems this curse contains a tracker which allows the Ministry to monitor the movements of the individual, making escape almost impossible. To begin to explore a branch of magic despised by the Ministry for generations…what would provoke the Ministry into using Dark magic? Or, perhaps, who?" At that he turned his eyes to look at the resting boy, his eyes gleaming with curiosity.
"I want you to research this curse, Severus. Find out who created it, for what purpose, and how it can be removed." The Dark Lord ordered.
"And of Potter, my Lord?" Snape questioned lightly.
"It seems even Harry Potter was subjected to the curse, but I have managed to neutralise its effects for now. The boy is greatly weakened. Monitor him, if there are any problems treat them quickly and quietly." Voldemort stated, glancing back at the motionless boy.
"Yes, my Lord." The potion master replied before moving to examine Harry.
Although his wrists were bare, the thrum of magic barely supressed under Harry's skin could be sensed by Snape as he passed his wand over the thin, pale arms. The boy's apparent weakness was clear: malnutrition leading to weight loss, multiple bruises and cuts covering his body though none were serious, and a dangerous exposure to extreme cold. Once explained to the Dark Lord, Snape summoned a selection of items needed to help the boy. Placing them on the bedside table, and to be used once Harry awakened, Snape wordlessly waved his wand, moving the covers of the bed from underneath Harry, making sure the boy's body stayed warm. After that was finished, he bowed to the Dark Lord in farewell before beginning his research on the mysterious Dark curse supposedly created by the Ministry.
Back in the gloomy house the Dark Lord sat in the now clean armchair beside the lit fire, his mind clearly preoccupied with more important things than watching the blazing embers. Lord Voldemort and Harry Potter rested a few feet from each other, and for the first time in each other's company there were no sudden flashes of green, no tortured screams. All was silent. The silence, however, was far from peaceful in the large house. The stagnant air was tense in anticipation, with nothing but the crackling fire and eerie creaks of old wood to interrupt the quiet. The red eyes that shone in the reflection of the flames were thoughtful, planning their next move.
His first thought was one of joy. Warmth hugged his thin frame, a pleasant change from the blistering cold he was growing accustomed to. He felt weightless, floating on a material so comfortable, so soft, it was heavenly. As his eyelids started to flutter open, a sharp pain flared from his scar, immediately causing them to squeeze shut. Like a huge veil had been lifted from his mind, the memories of the two previous days were brought to his sudden attention uncovering the brutal truth of the situation. He had been taken from Azkaban by Voldemort. That statement alone was enough to leave anyone feeling anxious, but what was more terrifying was the cause of the discomfort coming from his scar. Lord Voldemort was near.
The room became deathly silent. Keeping his eyes shut, Harry quietened his breathing and lay still in the hopes that his consciousness remained unknown to everyone but himself.
An amused voice shattered the silence.
"I know you're awake, Harry."
Shocked, Harry's eyes opened allowing him to briefly register the strange room. He was laid on a large bed. The covers were of a forest-green colour and though clean looked worn and old. Moving into a sitting position, he took in the rest of the room. Straight facing him was a fireplace, its flames from the previous day long gone. An armchair was placed to the left of the fire, and was also relatively clean. The rest of the objects around the room were filthy. Ornaments and pictures were covered in dust and dirt, and the large window to the left of the bed was stained in the corners with a thick, black substance that changed from brown to light brown and then to a deep orange further up the glass.
Frantically looking for a place to escape, Harry realised he was trapped as he turned to face the Dark Lord. The man stood in front of the closed door, blocking the only exit, almost blending into the shadows with his stark black cloak. Streams of unimaginable power seeped from his towering figure, making the air feel like it sparked with electricity. The dark aura pulsed around and off the Dark Lord, and though it was unseen it still sent shivers down Harry's spine. An icy wave of fear spread throughout his body, escalating his heartbeat. Lord Voldemort grinned knowingly. Harry began to rise from the bed.
"Ah, ah, ah. There's nowhere you can escape, Harry. So be still." Voldemort's hard tone made Harry flinch and sent goosebumps down the back of his neck.
Clenching his teeth and flaring his eyes, Harry looked every bit like a caged, feral animal. Ignoring the Dark Lord's order he placed his feet on the floor, and was suddenly hit in the chest with the force of a big gust of wind which flung him back onto the bed. Gasping, Harry tried to sit up but found he could not. His limbs were frozen, as if held there by a powerful force. Moving his eyes over his body, Harry found no reason for his sudden immobility. Turning his eyes back to the tall, regal Dark Lord, Harry watched as the man released a slow, smug smirk.
"It would be wise to listen to me, Harry." Was all Voldemort said.
"Not a chance." Harry snarled viciously.
Voldemort frowned, the first warning that Harry was stepping close to the boundary of his leniency.
Almost unconsciously, Harry looked down at his right wrist, remembering all too well the horrific pain that had left him utterly powerless.
As if sensing Harry's thoughts, Voldemort answered.
"The mark has been taken care of for now; there is no need to worry. I must admit I hardly expected such a curse to be used by the Ministry."
"Taken care of?" Harry asked distrustfully, not taking much thought of the fact that he had just willingly established a conversation with the Dark Lord.
Smirking, Voldemort replied.
"Clever as the curse may be, it is still Dark magic, and therefore can be disabled by a more powerful curse. Though this particular one has only been disabled temporarily. I need more knowledge of the curse itself first before I can overwrite it completely."
Harry quietly looked at Voldemort questioningly, hesitatingly before deciding to ask: "But why would you even bother removing it from me?" Harry asked, before realising another more daunting question needed to be answered first. "...What curse did you place on me?" He paused, scared of the answer. And why am I still able to ask? Shouldn't I be dead by now?
"The last time we met, Harry Potter, I was intent on killing you." Disregarding Harry's questions, he spoke softly, as if speaking to himself. Slowly walking to the right side of the bed, Voldemort's pace more aptly resembled a slither, his bare feet silent against the wooden floor.
"Nevertheless, certain…incidents have come to my attention, and all of which seem to follow a similar pattern. There is one factor which links them all together – you. It appears that you, Harry Potter, are at the heart of a web of lies, deceptions, and corruption constructed by the Ministry. For what purpose, I remain, for the moment, unaware. And yet-" Voldemort stood to the right of Harry, peering quizzically down at him. "-they all, somehow, link back to you." He paused in thought.
Harry didn't dare make a sound. Pitiless red eyes bore into his own, his scar throbbing painfully. Suffocated by the pressure of the Dark Lord's magic from his close proximity, he couldn't move or speak; all he could do was watch as the snake-like man loomed over him, wondering if death would soon follow.
Voldemort continued, unperturbed by the silence.
"And so it seems that for now you are more useful to me alive than dead, Harry Potter. For now." He threatened subtly.
In an instant, Harry felt an invisible shroud fall from him, and subtly tried to move his little finger. He could move again.
"I won't help you." Harry said determinedly, managing to mask the tremors in his voice.
Voldemort's eyes narrowed at the blunt refusal of cooperation. Leaning closer to the boy, he sensed the discomfort in Harry eyes, all too aware of the boy's reaction to his touch. Harry, not willing to pretend he still couldn't move at the cost of excruciating pain from touching Voldemort's skin (not to mention the Dark Lord probably released it knowingly), he sat up quickly, intent on moving to stand on the other side of the bed.
"Is that so, Potter? Well I'm afraid you have no choice in the matter. Do not confuse usefulness with necessity, child. I shall be all too happy to remind you of your place, should you forget it. You will cooperate with my wishes, do you understand me?" Voldemort hissed fiercely.
Realising Harry's plan, Voldemort grasped the boy's hair from the side of Harry's head with his right hand and pulling it sharply backwards. Except for a few pained gasps, Harry remained silent, both his hands grasping Voldemort's in an effort to pry the offending hand from his hair. Releasing a cruel smile, Voldemort whispered in the boy's right ear.
"As I've told you once before, Harry, obedience is a virtue you need to learn. Must I be the one to teach it to you? If I recall correctly, our lesson was rudely interrupted last time. There will be no such disturbances this time."
"I-I don't know any-" Harry began, but was cut short as Voldemort released his hair and, drawing the same arm back, backhanded the boy's cheek viciously. As the hand connected, a piercing 'Smack!' filled the room, the force of the blow causing Harry's head to rear to the left.
"Do not lie to me! Lord Voldemort knows, he always knows."
"U-Using muggle means of pain now a-are we, Voldemort?" Harry gasped bravely, seeing himself as having nothing to lose. Though Harry knew it was wrong, he couldn't help but feel excited at provoking the Dark Lord. Maybe his mind really had been affected in Azkaban, or maybe he was just tired of not fighting back. Either way, seeing Lord Voldemort's face cloud in anger felt like a strange sort of triumph for Harry.
Silently, Voldemort stood tall and pointed his wand towards Harry.
Screaming, Harry thrashed as the agony of a thousand or more knife wounds engulfed him. As real as it felt, no physical damage was done to his trembling figure, though that thought offered little comfort as the wave of pain rose to a new, more severe level. The curse was dropped, leaving Harry lying on his right side, panting for air. The feeling of victory far gone, Harry watched as Voldemort's hand moved to rest on top of his head, the sharp nails digging into his scalp.
"Poor, vulnerable Harry…so troubled, so misguided. All those you trusted have betrayed you. Don't you see, Harry? The Ministry and Dumbledore have been plotting against you for some time now. They've used you, and tried to break you into a perfect weapon. You're a liability now." Leaning close once again, Voldemort whispered to Harry. "They will attempt to silence you, child. You're on your own."
The words struck a few emotions within Harry, strengthening fears he had tried to forget. Swallowing, the boy looked into Voldemort's eyes.
"I-I don't know that for sure yet. My friends may-"
"Your friends have allowed you to be sent to Azkaban. If I had not taken you from the prison myself, they'd have let you rot in there, Harry." Voldemort hissed.
Anger flashed in the boy's vivid green eyes.
"And why have you taken me from there? Why didn't you just let me die in Azkaban?" Harry questioned, trying to raise his head. At this, Voldemort only dug his nails into Harry's scalp more, forcing him to stay lying down.
"There are many similarities between the two of us, Harry. We both grew up in a hateful muggle environment; we share hatred and distrust towards the Ministry and Dumbledore, and have both exacted revenge upon those who dared to abuse us. Perhaps Dumbledore feared the similarities…perhaps he saw too much of me within you."
"I am nothing like you." Harry nervously argued.
"Oh but you are, Harry. Your revenge upon the muggles was very…creative. More so than my own. Tell me Harry, how did it feel making them suffer? How did it feel hearing their screams, seeing their pain? I want the truth Harry. You aren't in the public eye here; there is only you and I." Voldemort laughed softly, though his eyes flared warningly.
"I-It felt…" He couldn't form the words, his head lowered.
"Tell me, Harry. Come now, that's it…" Voldemort reassured cunningly, though underneath his tone was a hidden threat that told of pain to come should Harry ignore his order.
"…satisfying. I was glad they were in pain. They deserved it." Harry spat out in hatred for the deceased muggles, his family.
"Yes." The Dark Lord drew out the 's', his mouth curled in a gleeful smile. "Let me see it, Harry. Let me share your glorious revenge."
Reaching his hands to either side of the boy's face, Voldemort ignored the struggles and stared deeply into the pain-filled green orbs. As his skin touched Harry's, the boy bit his lip tightly, not allowing any screams to escape his throat. Try as he might, he couldn't seem to turn away from the unblinking red orbs or close his eyes. He was unable to even blink, and so his eyes began to redden and tears started to form.
Memories flew across his and Lord Voldemort's mind: a cupboard under the stairs, an incident in a zoo followed by punishment from an angry, fat muggle, a large dog beneath a tree growling at a frightened, young boy, the many years' worth of beatings, the hidden food stored under a plank of wood, and finally, the fateful night that would change everything for Harry James Potter forever.
Voldemort watched as the young boy cried over the loss of his first true friend (barring Hagrid, of course), and looked on as the filthy muggle lay his unworthy hands on the poor child. Suddenly, something altered in the boys' eyes; his expression became dark and clouded in raw loathing. Withholding laughter, the Dark Lord watched as Harry performed an Unforgiveable that was shortly followed by another, his eyes sinfully happy. Harry burst into maniacal laughter at the sound of the fat muggle's screams. Having murdered two of the muggles, the boy then moved to wake up the large man, before unexpectedly plunging a sharp knife into the man's body over and over and over. To Voldemort, it was beautiful. The animalistic, pure, dark nature of the boy was simply impressive. For a boy born in the light to hide so much of himself in the shadows was fascinating. And for the first time Voldemort could imagine the worry on Dumbledore's face as he was told of the horrific events that had transpired at the muggles' residence and of the suspected perpetrator.
Releasing the boy, who had passed out from the pain, Voldemort made one last glance at the child he thought he knew so well, before turning and exiting the room. The numerous wards and spells placed upon the door and around the house ensuring Harry could not escape. The wards answered to him alone.
"There's potential in you yet, Harry." Voldemort purred, pleased and content
I wasn't too sure about this chapter, whether I'd be able to still write like I used to, or if too much time had passed. The interaction between Voldemort and Harry took some time to write, as I wanted it to be perfect! If you feel this chapter is obviously weaker than the rest, please inform me. To be truthful, I'm not completely happy with it, but then again I'm never fully satisfied with what I've written. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoyed it. Take care!