A/N:Well, hello, everyone. I'm finally back after about almost an entire year! Actually, I never techinically left. I sort of switched accounts temporarily- /dodges a thousand bullets.
U-Uhm... I really am sorry for not updating my story; I really am. Life has just been...being life. I am back now though, and my writing style has changed just as I have. Well, they do say that an author's writings develop with the author! Hopefully it has changed for better, not for worse.
Anyways, to get the pairings in this story straight. This is NOT yaoi! That would be...just wrong. Remus and Sirius are just friends are are comforting eachother just as good friends would! But, I would personally like to get your opinions on the pairings in this story. Just put your desired pairing in your review and whichever pairing (not yaoi) has the most votes will be applied in the story.
I'll also probably be editing the past few chapters so you could check on them if you'd like! Also, expect this story to be updated rather quickly and steadily! Another thing: this chapter is a tad bit short, but the ones following it will be rather lengthy!
Thank you for being patient and not coming to my house to murder me in my sleep! And I also thank you readers for reviewing and would be pleased if you continue to do so. Well, here it is:
VI. False Impressions
"All violent feelings have the same effect. They produce in us a falseness in all our impressions of external things, which I would generally characterize as the pathetic fallacy."
Ulquiorra, Harry as he should now call himself, felt an odd flutter in place of his large hollow hole. It was a feeling that, as soft and inaudible as it was, was concocious and unearthly. Uncomfortable, yes; but the Espada knew that he would have to bear through his troubles.
1, 2, 3, 4…
The shadowy room of rituals became apparent to Cifer as his eyes – the color of rolling forests – opened. Wearisome and apprehensive those eyes appeared due to the dark crescents that hung under them; but the appearance of those eyes greatly contrasted with what really was beneath the morbid exterior. Though Harry had gained a physical beating heart, he had yet to obtain a spiritual one. In fact, he now seemed even less human than before.
"Harry," the criminalized godfather called, sounding oddly stronger than usual, "are you quite alright?"
Harry's eyes darted to where his godfather stood, feeble form rigid with newfound "hope". But Sirius's words, Harry decides (though his interest still held true) were to be temporarily ignored. At the moment, all Harry cared for was…
Spiritual Power… 10%. Just as calculated.
Drudging himself up to a somewhat pathetic sitting position, Harry allowed his spiritual energy to gather together at his fingertips. The effect was immediate. His hand sparked with green electricity and specs of the green light collided together to form something of greater size. Thin and long the "something" grew until it could be compared and porportionated to the size of a tawny stick.
"So he's found his wand," Remus Lupin – wolf of the full moon night – muttered. "But, how…? His callused hand that caressed his wooden wand was a dead giveaway of his unease. He soon became regretful of his remark, because it soon sparked a fire's worth of murmurs. It didn't exactly help his ego much when Harry shot him a dull look at the word "wand".
'Wand…?' Harry thought, returning his gaze to the object in his hands. (It faintly radiated warmth.) 'The power source of wizards. It will be useful. My zanpakuto on the other hand is what I am searching for… I suspected that my blade would disappear due to the fact that it is an extension of my soul… and my soul is now connected to this body. It is an inconvenience, but it will not hinder by ability to complete this mission.' –
'He,' Sirius decided after watching Harry – Ulquiorra, he corrected himself – have an intense stare down with his old wand, 'appears to be in deep thought.'
A sense of unease suddenly filled him at the memory of Ulquiorra's rejection and his interest as well/ Sirius had hoped, along with many others as well, that Ulquiorra would return to being Harry after being reconnected with his old body; but that now appeared to be a foolish dream as Ulquiorra now held less of a human façade than before.
Suddenly Harry began to arise, sliding his pale legs off of the stone table on which they rested – that is, until darted to his side and pulled up his covers, that would have revealed his 'private parts' to the crowd, well above his abdomen.
"You must not be so flashy with your body, Harry!" the Weasley woman scolded, apparently immune to Ulquiorra's empty stares and 'unhand me, woman's. "Here, stay in this spot and I'll be fetchin' you some clothes lest you want some of the fine ladies in here to see you cold n' nude."
Before Ulquiorra could fire a cero at her, the woman disappeared from his line of vision – though not before being stopped by her husband who gave her a handful of harsh and careful whispers. Something unknown jumped playfully in Harry's heart at the scene, yet he know not what it was. After much analytical observation, he labeled it as an effect of being in a human body. He then noted how humans were inconvenienced by such "jumpings".
Dumbledore on the other hand, having kept quite watchfulness during the entire specter, had his entire mind set on figuring out Ulquiorra's intentions. The aged wizard reasoned, after observing the tics and tocks of Harry's newfound behavior, that the boy – man – was there for something of importance and the "something of importance" was only available in wizarding world. He could only guess what the boy was looking for.
Dumbledore's theory was soon confirmed when Ulquiorra raised his black head and stared at Dumbledore with almost soulless (ironically enough) eyes. Such eyes, aged with such icy nihilism, did not belong on such a young face. It was evident that the boy required something of Dumbledore, but the latter man knew that he would definitely not offer Harry that "something". However it was implacably evident that Dumbledore needed to know exactly what that "something" was.
"Harry," the grey-bearded wizard grinned with open arms that signified welcome, "my boy, we welcome you back to the living. Are you quite comfortable with your body? I daresay a half a year sleep does not do to well for the stomach!" Nervous chuckles and snickers of hesitation filled the crowd.
"Your hospitality will do nothing for me," Harry stated in almost the same monotone voice that he had used before. Read: almost. Now that the cold Espada had gained his former body back, he had also regained his former voice as well. It was fair enough to say that young Harry's voice was a far higher pitch than Ulquiorra's own. It was also softer and – in a sense – kinder, but the emptiness of the fourth Espada was still conveyed when he spoke.
"Hospitality?" Fred suddenly piped, throwing George a look.
"We don't have much hospitality around here," George nodded as he tapped his chin in deep thought.
"Especially with Hermione starting an 'elves rights' committee!" Fred finished, crossing his arms to make a point.
The twins were soon chastised by their father and fell silent, but not before rapidly dishing out more "advice" for Harry. This eventually earned them the boot and they were escorted out of the area by a very angry .
Much to the disappointment of the Weasley twins' efforts, Harry did not even spare them a glance and kept his eyes on a dead-lock with Dumbledore's. The old man seemed unfazed by the perpetuating stare, at least until Harry spoke.
"You know the means of splitting a soul and you know the person who has performed such an action. Tell me."
A loud booming sound suddenly resounded through the area, breaking off the deadly stare down.
Ronald Weasley was never much of a great runner, but now that adrenaline had kicked in after being chased by an insane man, he was quite sure that he would be able to win an Olympic Race. Hermione also seemed to be getting a running boost from both fear and adrenaline – she was even several steps ahead of round (though their hands were linked together).
"Oi!" their pursuer called humorously from close behind them. "You stupid humans plan on making me chase you?"
Hermione, although her instincts told her not to, glanced back at the feral man who was still chasing them at a casual walking pace.
At first the man hadn't seemed like much of a threat with his electrical blue hair and laidback smile. Sure, the odd bone mask that jutted from his jaw like an exoskeleton was odd (plus he had literally busted into the place), but Hermione had learned through all of her journeys that it was unwise to judge a person by their cover. She had soon regretted her trustful approach as the man landed an inhuman kick on Ron's stomach. Her friend had literally flown backwards upon impact and had been barely conscious as she reached his side. He had been literally spluttering out a waterfall of blood and she had nearly collapsed at the sight of it.
"Then again," the muscular man grinned with sharp canines, snapping Hermione out of her reverie, "I love it when prey give a chase!"
A recognizable sound rumbled like drums through the air, and the animalistic man disappeared from behind her. Being the genius that she was, Hermione remembered with sharp clarity hearing the same sound before. Harry – Ulquiorra – had made the same sound as he darted around the wizards like a cheetah the first time he was summoned. It didn't take long for the brown-haired girl to presume that the man was now in front of her.
Unfortunately, her body was not quite quick enough; and she was barely able to turn and glance at the man in front of her, before she was thrown backwards.
Her chest throbbed as she flew through the air, dragging Ron along with her. The airborne moment did not last long, however. Her arched back soon collided with the wall and she slumped downwards. Ron, who had already been suffering from major injuries, rolled uselessly unconscious beside her.
Behind her, Hermione could feel the wall beginning to give way. Tiny pieces of plaster and rock snowed down on her red-vined hair, forming an almost morbid crown of death.
"That's odd," the blue-haired man muttered to himself as he lazily approached the two teens, "that should've blasted you through the wall. My spiritual power has…" He glanced down at the duo as if they were pests as he flexed his hand.
Ron stirred suddenly; and with a trembling hand, groped for his wand in the crevice of his pocket. It was a courageous yet feeble effort that would have probably won the two some time if their opponent was human. But by now, Reader, the duo could tell that the man with the grin of a tiger was not so.
"Wow!" the man whistled, "You fucks are still alive?"
The air suddenly became unbearably heavy, weighing down on the duo's shoulders like rocks. The weight appeared to be too much for the Weasley son and his wand fell uselessly out of his hand.
'This feeling,' Hermione thought, consciousness slipping from her like a wiggling fish, 'just like Harry…'
"W-Who," the girl choked out between a haze of blood and sweat, "Who are you?"
The man was apparently fancied by the question – his identity appeared to be his pride. With delicate fingers, he picked up the girl by the neck and grinned as she thrashed around wildly like a fish out of water.
"Grimmjow Jaegerjacquez," he introduced between his clenched white teeth, "Sexta Espada."
A snapping sound filled the air and Hermione knew no more.
Draco Malfoy, son of the highly esteemed Death Eater Lucius Malfoy, had never quite enjoyed being chastised by higher powers – none of the Malfoy family ever did. Yet now here he was in a prostrate position, bowing down to the one being he both despised yet admired. His father kneeled beside him on his left and his aunt Bellatrix on his right.
"You called us, my lord?" Bellatrix questioned with a voice that rose in pitch after every word.
Her tangled hair that hung wildly in front of her pale unblemished face acted as a shroud to conceal her desperate servitude and pleasure. Pathetically beautiful would be the definite word to describe her outward appearance. "Insane" and "estranged" also fit quite nicely. Her master, however, did not seem to be impressed by her display of loyal servitude.
"Bellatrix," Voldemort seethed in a delightfully calm manner, "do you remember when I sent you to the Department of Mysteries about a year ago?"
"Y-Yes, my lord." She confirmed hesitantly, allowing her eyes to stray upwards towards her lord's feet.
"You brought good news of Potter's whereabouts that day," Voldemort continue. "What was it, again?"
Bellatrix, clearly confused at her master's approach, mulled over her thoughts for a moment before a smug expression lit up her face. "I killed Potter that day!" she cried happily, her voice progressing to a high-pitched coo. "How could I forget? I killed little Potter!"
Forgetting her place due to her gauze of joy, Bellatrix glanced up at her lord in search of more praise. A cold threatening gaze met her search, and she shrank backwards regaining her prostrate position.
"I killed him, my lord," she spoke quietly. "Did you not feel the Horcrux you placed in him be destroyed?"
"You said that you made sure that he was no longer breathing," the dark lord ignored the woman's question.
Draco's head suddenly began throbbing unbearably, and the smell of persimmons overwhelmed his senses.
"I did! My lord, I did!" Bellatrix shouted in a defensive manner. "I watched him squirm until the last minute of his life!"
Out of the corner of his eye, Draco saw a flash of white and silver. Restraining himself from following the blinding movement, he instead turned his blonde head towards his father to see if he too saw the flash of silver. His said father did not even spare him a glance. Instead, Lucius's eyes were glued tightly to the floor as if it alone would save him from Voldemort's wrath.
"If what you say is true," Voldemort growled slowly, managing to both snap Draco out of his thoughts and keep his charismatic tone, "then why did Severus recently inform that HARRY POTTER HAS RETURNED?"
"P-Potter has returned?" Bellatrix stuttered as she jumped up to a stand. "B-but…"
"That's impossible!" Lucius shouted in outrage, his dark robes billowing out from behind him. "I saw him to his death!"
The sickeningly sweet scent of persimmons once again knocked Draco out of his senses. The smell was suffocating and irritating, forcing the boy to claw at his throat in hopes of getting a breath.
"Are you calling Snape a liar then, Bellatrix, Lucius?" Voldemort questioned coldly, causing the two dark wizards to cower in fear. The temperature in the room began to drop drastically, causing all within the room to shiver in fear – save for Draco who appeared as if he was suffering from a deadly fever. Seeing that Draco was the only wizard who was now showing terror at his display, Voldemort addressed him with a haughty voice, "What do you think of this situation, Draco? Would you think it fair of me to send you on the mission that Bellatrix failed?"
"No!" Lucius cried in horror, whilst Bellatrix mulled in shock of her failure. The blonde man towards his son, but stopped as Voldemort harshly spoke his name.
"Lucius," his dark lord growled, "Let Draco decide."
The room thus fell in odd and unnerving silence.
Draco had long faded from the conversation and had fallen into a haze of nightmarish illusions. Between his ever flickering eyes, he saw flashes of showering pink petals and flowing orange hair. There was also, in the ever rolling images, a sense of security…and a desire for revenge.
His name echoed with a call in the haze of sickness.
"Draco? That's an interestin' name!" an unrecognizable, conniving voice cooed through another flash of white and silver.
Then, the boy was drawn out of the void of illusion. His eyes, as though exhausted by the flashing images, rolled back into his head as his neck snapped backwards; and he fell to the ground in an unconscious heap.
The booming sound became relentless, becoming louder and louder as each minute passed. It was unnerving by far and the wizards mumbled quietly among themselves in hope of ushering some wizard to check on the noise – and to find out what exactly was the source of it.
Ulquiorra, having receded his gaze from Dumbledore, appeared to know what or whom was making such a noise; because under his breath, he muttered: "Grimmjow…"
And soon the source of the boom was made apparent to them as the great oak wood doors of the summoning room were drawn open and two bodily masses were tossed inside.
"Hermione!" Remus identified the bloody bodies in horror, "Ron!" There werewolf, along with a few others, ran towards the deathly pale teens in hopes of finding them alive.
Dumbledore, now filled with unsightly rage, stared upon the one who had barged into the room with malice – his gaze was so cold that the ferocious blue man flinched away from it.
"Ulquiorra," Grimmjow called, regaining his egoistical manner, so this is where you've been hiding!"