Merry Christmas and a Happy Newyear!
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or make money from this.
"This is the list," Harry took out a copy of the paper Alistair had given him and handed it over to Abraxas. Both were sitting in the room Tom and Harry always rented at Cluster's Booth. Abraxas knew he had to look supportive of his cousin to the eye of the public, and it also wasn't a secret that he was close to Tom. The blond let his grey eyes roam over the list and pointed to a couple names with his finger.
"This will help. I've been able to pinpoint who Tristan's loyal followers are." His eyes never left the paper. "These three are the main followers, but I haven't found anything to suspect them yet."
The youngster frowned. "Wouldn't it be too obvious if one of them did something?"
Abraxas shook his head. "No, they have enough connections to get away with practically anything." Clearly the mentality of a pureblood.
"What about the others on the list?"
"Let's see… there are a few of our Lord's followers, but as they work together, it isn't that odd for them to visit."
"Anyone we can strike out?" Harry asked hopefully.
"Yes. My parents, for one. I would definitely know if they planned to kidnap our Lord. Gregory Lestrange admires Tom like no other. Mr Dumplin is a scaredy-cat, and of course, Sebastian - you've met him – has never hid his preference for our Lord."
The youngster nodded at that. "All right, then we need to check out all the others."
Abraxas nodded his agreement. "Okay, I have to go."
"Got a date?" The brunet tried to joke and to his surprise, the blond nodded.
"Getting to know the fiancée."
"How is she?" Harry was honestly curious.
"Beautiful, smart, witty, stylish; Lysandra is definitely a great match," Abraxas looked pleased with himself. "Oh right, we're still expecting you next week."
"Of course, we can't have us looking weak because our Lord has been misplaced," the blond stated before a smirk coloured his face. "And we're family; you really should visit more often." With that said, he stood up and left the room. Harry watched him go and waited until he left before he pulled out another copy of Alistair's list. He marked the three main followers of Tristan - the Malfoys, Mr Dumplin, Mr Lestrange and Sebastian - on it.
Abraxas may trust these people, but I don't, he stated mentally while looking at the names. 'I'll get Harold to look into them,' he decided with a nod.
The next day, Harry started to become aware of the world around him, but wasn't ready to meet it yet. Only half awake, he tried to snuggle into the warmth of the person beside him and shot completely awake when coldness crept into his bones. He curled into the fetal position and waited until he was warm again. By that time, he was wide awake and just stared ahead of him. He missed Tom. At Hogwarts he had enough distractions, but in their room at the Cluster's Booth he just wanted Tom. His plan to stay hidden in his warm cocoon flew out of the window when a tapping noise announced the arrival of an owl. Reluctantly, the brunet threw the sheets off his body and quickly got up as the cold made his skin form goose bumps. With a lot of noise, he opened the window and let the owl in. The bird only hopped slightly inside to escape the cold, but it seemed ready to leave once it was free of his message. Harry gently removed a big scroll and, like expected, the owl hopped back outside before flying off. Curious, the youngster rolled open the papers and felt his heart clench as he saw a proposal for a bathroom. 'Tom... our house…' He sighed as he fingered the next page and saw another bathroom. 'It was probably meant to be a surprise. Well, it still is,' he smiled sadly and moved his eyes to stare outside. "I'll find you!" Harry promised Tom as he clenched the papers in his hands.
Next Saturday came too quick for Harry and he stood against his will before the fireplace. It was time to get to know the new addition to his so-called family. As a gift, he had bought a crystal necklace with matching earrings, just like Alex had suggested. Taking some Floo powder in his hand, he threw it in the fire and called out for the Malfoy manor. He stumbled out of the green flames at the other side and was greeted by Dobby. "Master Marvolo is welcome. Masters and Mistresses are waiting," the house-elf bobbed his head and the brunet handed over his gift. Dobby conjured a plateau and let the wizard put the jewelry box carefully on top of it before leading him to the salon. Abraxas' father was the one who welcomed him first and gave him a short handshake.
"It's good to see you again, my son. Even under these horrid circumstances," he added in a whisper and Harry couldn't help but glance from the man's eyes to his wife's. It came on hard that the Master and Mistress of the house were looking at him with dazed expressions.
'They're still under the Imperius Curse!' Abraxas raised his eyebrows in wonder at the brunet's shocked reaction. "Uncle, aunt," the youngster kissed the back of the woman's hand before she wrapped an arm around his shoulders and maneuvered him to the couch where her son sat with Miss Bloomblair.
"Cousin, it is good to see you," the blond shook his hand without getting up and flicked his hair over his shoulder as he leaned backwards again. The woman beside him actually took Harry's breath away. She was gorgeous and he could understand why Abraxas was acting with an air. It was probably some weird form of pureblood wooing or simply Malfoy wooing.
At least he's trying, the brunet decided before addressing Lysandra. "It is my pleasure to meet the woman who has our Abraxas all fired up." His blue eyes glanced sideways at the blond and noted a light red colouring on his cheeks. The brunet had to suppress a smirk. Miss Bloomblair laughed behind her hand, posing nothing but elegance.
"I'm honoured to meet you, Marvolo, and want to give my deepest sorrow for what has happened to your partner."
The youngster gave her a thankful smile. "Thank you. I am certain he will be found." I just hope soon! He added in his head as the woman nodded with pity on her face. "I have brought for you a gift to welcome you into the family." On cue, Dobby appeared beside him and held out the plateau. Lysandra let out a gasp of played surprise as her husband-to-be nodded approvable at his cousin. Opening the jewelry box, Miss Bloomblair was actually surprised and picked up the necklace with astonishment.
"It's gorgeous," she gasped and Abraxas smirked beside her as he tried to hide his own surprise. Harry was just pleased that the woman liked it and ignored the astonished reactions. He had let the woman in the shop choose and she had said something about the crystals being the most forward acceptance there was. As he had wanted the visit to end quickly, he had went with it.
"As you can see, you are most certainly accepted by our family, my dear," the mistress of the house said proudly. The youngster wondered just what was so special about the crystals as he eyed them.
'I did my job well, then,' Harry mentally shrugged and took a seat opposite Miss Bloomblair. Now just a little socializing and I can leave.
"I have to say, I'm impressed," Abraxas had followed Harry into the hallway and stopped him before he could leave.
"I'm glad I could be of service," the youngster had counted on being followed.
"Still, Swarovski crystals. Impressive. They must have cost you a fortune." The brunet blinked at him. In his eyes it hadn't been that expensive, but he had probably once again been tricked by the currency of this time.
Everything is a lot cheaper than in the future, he reminded himself and promised he would pay everything back to Tom. Thank Merlin that the future Dark Lord was well off. Actually, I probably got a good price because of Tom. He frowned before aiming his attention back on Abraxas. "Do you have any news?" Harry changed the subject and the blond blinked at him.
The youngster just nodded before throwing some Floo powder in the fire place. "Cluster's Booth! Keep me posted, Abraxas." And he was gone with one last glance at his cousin.
The next day, he was expected at Kingsdrive 11 and was surprisingly greeted by an agitated Perry who practically dragged him from the fireplace to the living room. There, Harold and Septimus were waiting on him around a table.
"Good afternoon," he greeted the three and took a seat opposite them. "You've found something?"
"We believe so," Harold started and leaned forward. "We checked the names you gave us and two of them have been acting weird. Lestrange and Crouch."
"Crouch?" the youngster asked, not remembering the name on the list.
"Sebastian," Septimus helped and Harry frowned at him.
"Sebastian? I know he's a loyal follower of Tom."
"Yes, especially because of Tom's more radical points," the oldest Weasley continued. "Crouch has been caught up in his mansion for the last two weeks, only leaving it for important meetings of the group," Harold added as Perry gave the papers with their research to the youngster.
"And Lestrange?" Harry asked as he flipped through the pages.
"Quite the opposite. He's been leaving his house at the same time every day," the younger Weasley answered while handing him another pile of papers.
"Who do you suspect the most?" the youngster asked as he scanned Lestrange's papers.
"Don't know. Both seem loyal to Tom," Harold said in an apologetic voice.
"Then what's next?"
"We'll keep an eye on them, but..." the older Potter glanced at Septimus.
"They're good at hiding their traces," the Weasley continued and Harry felt his heart drop.
"You're telling me there's a big chance that we'll find nothing?" Harold shared another look with the oldest Weasley as Perry simply nodded.
'Then I don't have a choice,' the youngster realized. I'll have to use the curse. "How far apart do they live?" The others looked at him, surprised.
"Crouch lives south of London and Lestrange is near Hatfield," Septimus answered.
"How long in hours?"
"About an hour by broom."
'This means that if I cast the curse in the middle, I'll have thirty minutes to get to Tom,' Harry calculated.
"Thank you, I..." he had to contact Alex. Quickly, he stood up and Harold followed him.
"What are you going to do?"
"I need to see Alex," the youngster didn't want to say too much. First he had to find out just how long Crabbe thought he would have.
"You will tell us when you start your rescue mission, won't you?" Harold said forcefully and Harry quickly nodded.
"Yes. When I know which one of the two it is, I'll contact you."
"All right." The older Potter let the youngster go and Harry moved quickly to the fireplace.
"You're certain?" Alex asked after Harry had informed him about Harold's and the Weasleys' finds.
"Yes, it's the only lead we've got. Abraxas isn't finding anything."
Crabbe frowned and took a moment to think. "Okay. If we do this, it will be a close call. The longest anyone has ever held out was forty minutes."
The youngster nodded to himself. He knew the risk and was prepared to take it. "How long will it take to make the potion?" Alex let out a sigh of defeat. The Crabbe wasn't looking forward to using the curse.
"All right, I'll get Ignatius and we'll meet here again in two hours." With a mutual understanding, they split up and Alex quickly made his way outside. Harry followed him but stopped at the counter of the Cluster's Booth. "I would like to use your fireplace once more," he said to the patron, who nodded before simply giving him the key to his private quarters. Once before the flames, he threw in the Floo powder and called out Ignatius' name.
Two hours later, Harry waited impatiently in his room and almost pulled the door from its posts when he finally heard a knock. Both of his friends stood in the hallway and gave him the same look asking him to reconsider. "You have the potion?" The brunet ignored the looks and Alex nodded.
"Yes, we're ready."
"All right then. Let's go," Harry pushed them backwards and led them to the entrance of the inn. Silently, they moved out of the protection of Hogsmeade and Apparated to the spot they had chosen between Crouch's and Lestrange's mansion.
"Marvolo..." Ignatius tried a last time, but Harry stopped him with a sad look.
"You're ready to contact Harold?"
Parkinson nodded in defeat. "He's standing ready, waiting on my word to who he must Apparate to."
"It would have been better if he was here with the Weasleys," Alex muttered and the youngster let out a sigh.
"You know it's better they don't know about the curse."
"They will want to know how we found our Lord," Crabbe said a little louder.
"We'll figure it out when the time comes, but remember: the less they see, the better it is." Both of the brunet's friends nodded. "Harold will distract the kidnapper and hopefully I'll get to Tom before..." Harry didn't have to continue.
"All right, there's no time like the present!" he called out and took a step backwards. Ignatius moved closer to Alex, who raised his wand. With a nod from the youngster, the curse left Crabbe's lips and his wand sent out a dark green ray of magic. At first, nothing happened, but then Harry fell forward as all strength seemed to leave his body. Pain shot through him and his lungs seemed to break his ribs open from the inside. His breath accelerated as he felt something push out of his chest. For a moment, he thought it was his heart until suddenly the pain started to numb. Breathing heavily, he watched a ball of red light appear in front of his heart. It floated in front of him for a second before shooting straight towards the south of London. "Sebastian!" He panted and wobbled.
"Here!" Ignatius gave him his broom and helped him on it.
"Get Harold!" Harry pushed his friend away and shrunk into himself a little as pain shot through his body.
"We need to move!" Alex exclaimed with a guarded look and the youngster nodded. He didn't have a lot of time. Together they flew off after the ball of light, leaving a worried Ignatius behind.
"That's Sebastian's mansion," Alex stated as they hovered over a large domain of green with a large manor in the middle.
"We wait on Harold and the Weasleys," Harry panted and his body shuddered. They had been fast, but still half an hour had passed and already he could feel the curse breaking through. They didn't have to wait long as the three Gryffindors appeared in front of the gate and burst through the metal.
"We made it!" Ignatius stopped his broom beside them and the youngster unconsciously noted that his friend was sweating.
At least I'm not the only one, he thought grimly and moved his broom forward. Accelerating as fast as he could, he flew to the left side of the manor where the red ball of light had disappeared. 'Quicker... hn...' Air felt like flames licking the inside of his windpipe. With a move he only had Quidditch to thank, he barely missed the ground as his eyes caught sight of a door. A spell burst the wood out of its place and the brunet jumped off his broom and into the entrance. Alex and Ignatius were right behind him as he ran into what looked like a kitchen. His eyes made a quick survey and stopped on a door where a red light could be seen radiating from the cracks. He stepped forward and got pushed down to the ground as something flew over his head.
"Protego!" He could hear Ignatius call out and he looked up through the shield to see an house-elf.
"Sirs shouldn't be here!" the elf stated with a glare at them.
"We'll leave once we've got what's mine," Harry retorted as Alex crawled off his back and helped him up. Now he could see the knife sticking in the wall behind him and was glad Crabbe had pushed him down in time.
"No, leave now, Sirs. No one will pass! Master's orders." In the corner of his eyes, the youngster could see a set of knives rise and aim at them. This time he was the one to push Alex out of the way as Ignatius hid behind a kitchen cabinet.
"We need to take out the house-elf," Crabbe stated the obvious and Harry reluctantly nodded. He didn't want to harm the creature, but it was in his way.
"Petrificus Totalus!" He tried to petrify the elf, but it avoided the spell without trouble.
"Incarcerous!" Alex tried and the creature jumped to its left while sending a couple of forks their way. Ignatius aimed his wand, but ducked behind the cabinet again as pots and frying pans attacked him.
"At the same time!" The youngster shared a look with Alex, who nodded. Together, they jumped up and Crabbe sent a spell towards the elf while Harry crumbled down as his lungs suddenly felt on fire.
"Marvolo!" His friend was quick to get both of them out of the house-elf's line of fire as Ignatius threw a couple of curses as distraction. "We don't have time for this!" Alex mumbled as he helped the brunet lean backwards against a cabinet.
"No." It hurt to breathe. "We don't," Harry agreed and eyed their other friend. "All three together, and we're not stopping until we've got it!" Crabbe nodded and signalled Parkinson. Simultaneously, they showed themselves – the youngster with Alex's help – and attacked the elf with all they had.
Finally, a curse hit the creature and it fell down, stunned. On high alert, the trio moved away from their hiding place and Ignatius poked the house-elf.
"It's out," he declared and Harry stepped towards the door, which had caught his attention before. He grabbed at his heart when a fierce pain shot through his chest.
"We've lost too much time," Alex appeared beside him with a worried expression on his face and took hold of his arm to keep him up.
"Tom," was the only thing the youngster said while continuing towards the door that hid the red light. Noise could be heard from behind another door and Harry reasoned that it led to the dining room.
"Sebastian's coming!" Ignatius whispered loudly when they heard the man yell something inaudible.
"Come on," the brunet felt the pain subdue for a moment and pulled himself out of Alex's hold to open the door before him. His eyes took in the stairs that appeared before him and another yell was heard behind him.
"He's closing in on us," Parkinson whispered and it was the push Harry needed. Carefully, he stepped on the first step and tried out his balance. He was still in control of his body for the moment and his feet carried him downstairs. They entered a dark basement with one light shining on a wine-rack. As the youngster needed a moment to rest, Alex was the one who inspected it before turning around and shaking his head.
"Where's the light?" Harry asked and all three looked around to find nothing.
"There must be a hidden room," Ignatius stated and started knocking on the walls in search of a hollow sound. A loud bang brought to their attention that Sebastian was at the start of the stairs already.
"Shit!" The brunet cursed and fire spread through his body, forcing him on his knees. Panting hard, he clawed at the floor until the pain subdued again. Alex's shadow leaned over him and he knew the face his friend was pulling without looking at him. 'He's blaming himself,' he narrowed his eyes as they were moistening, but they immediately widened again when he noted the shallow red light coming from between the floorboards in Crabbe's shadow. "It's underneath us!" Harry looked up at the surprised and hopeful face of Alex before turning to Ignatius. The Parkinson was eyeing the stairs before turning towards him with a determined expression.
"Move!" Ignatius strode towards them as he pointed his wand at the ground. The youngster was quick to roll out of the way and an Exploding Curse destroyed the floorboards. Sneaking a peek inside, Alex informed them that he could see a rope ladder and Accio'd it towards him. He proceeded downwards first and Harry could see Ignatius moving to the stairs again.
"I'm down!" Crabbe yelled. Harry was next. He had taken the first steps down when he abruptly found himself falling with the vision of Sebastian's hateful look and wand aimed at him. Alex grabbed his arm and helped him up as Crouch also flew through the hole. A couple of non-magical curses left Sebastian's mouth as he used a wall to get up again. Seeing the old man made so much hate rise in the youngster and he pointed his wand at him with the intention of using the Cruciatus Curse, but another wave of pain stopped him. Ignatius landed beside him as Alex held him upright.
"You're not leaving here, boys!" Sebastian spat at them and blue eyes narrowed at him. He could see the man move toward a curtain and forced his body forward.
"Where's Tom?!" he demanded with an out of breath voice and Sebastian suddenly grinned at him.
"Out of your reach, even if you find him!" He started laughing as he stopped before the drapes and an Expelliarmus had left Harry's wand without him uttering a word. Crouch was taken by surprise and flew backwards through the curtain, showing the three teens a short flash of black hair.
"Tom!" the brunet called out and stumbled towards the drapes with his friends close behind him.
Tom blinked in confusion as a figure fell through the curtains and he needed a moment to recognize Sebastian.
"Sebastian!" He hissed as a yell of his name grabbed his attention. His eyes moved back to the curtain to see Harry running through it. For a minute he thought he was seeing another vision, but as his boy was actually acknowledging him, he realized the sight was real. The big smile on his face was only for him. The love in those blue eyes was directed at him and no one else. A wave of relief washed over him, but it was immediately squashed when the blue charmed eyes widened before his boy fell to the ground, screaming in agony. "N-no!" he stammered as he tried to shake his shackles off without success.
"He's filth! You can see it, can't you?!" Sebastian suddenly appeared before him with an almost adoring expression.
"You! I'm going to kill you!" screamed the future Dark Lord, glaring at the old man who obstructed his view on his boy.
"Don't worry, you'll be fine without him. You've seen how many men he's taking to his bed!" Crouch stepped closer to him with an insane expression in his eyes. Ignoring the pain that seemed to be always present, Tom tried to push his body even more against the surgery table as Sebastian raised his hand, but the hand never reached him. The old man stood frozen before him and the future Dark Lord blinked in surprise. Crabbe swiftly appeared beside Sebastian and, with a flick of his wand, made Crouch fall sideways before aiming his wand at Tom. The future Dark Lord expected to be freed, but instead felt a short pain on his arm.
"T-traitor!" he yelled, coming to the conclusion that one of the guards he had set on his boy had been in league with the enemy. Alex hesitated for a second before he pushed a vial against the older teen's arm and squeezed blood from the cut.
Of course, Parkinson is also in this! Tom growled and tried to bite Crabbe, who jumped backwards in shock.
"Alex!" Ignatius called again and Crabbe quickly turned around. Now Tom could see Harry again and found him with his head on Parkinson's lap as his body shook with spasms. Alex kneeled beside his friend and held the vial to the youngster's lips. Tom growled again and he could feel himself shaking with rage.
"Stay away from him!" he roared, but everyone ignored him. The spasms slowly stopped and Ignatius dropped his head, letting the tension leave his body. Beside him, Crabbe rose again and returned to Tom.
"I'm sorry, my Lord," he mumbled as the older teen glared at him. "I pray we made it in time," he apologized with his eyes aimed at the ground.
'In time? What?' The future Dark Lord's glare lost some of its heat as confusion clouded his mind. Before he could demand answers, another figure appeared from between the curtains.
"Marvolo!" Harold yelled as his eyes landed on Harry. "What did you guys use?!" he demanded as he pulled the youngster from Ignatius' lap.
"It was the only way to find you, my Lord," Alex mumbled only for Tom's ears and the future Dark Lord was starting to catch up.
"Release me!" he demanded.
Crabbe looked up. "Of course, my apologies!" The shackles finally disappeared and Tom fell forward into Alex's arms.
"The Aurors are on their way!" Septimus yelled as he ran into the room with Perry close behind. Their eyes widened almost comically as they took in the situation before them. Glancing at his kidnapper, the future Dark Lord felt his rage rise again and pushed himself off of Crabbe to wobble towards his boy.
"My Lord," Ignatius said in a whisper as Tom passed by the boy. Popping noises could be heard above them and the first Aurors started filling the room, but Tom didn't see them. Only having eyes for the seemly sleeping figure in Harold's arms, the older teen finally felt his body give up and fell down. It hurt to breathe and black spots were appearing in his vision as he tried to crawl forward. Harry was the only thing he could see until darkness claimed him.