A/N Hello my dear readers. Sorry for the long update, but if you haven't checked out my Kortni's Fanfiction facebook page then you don't know that my suitemate tried to kill me with bleach, and I had to deal with that for a month, on top of EVERTHING else. But here's the next the chapter.
To answer a few people's questions or just to comment on their reviews. Draco does indeed have a crush on someone who will find out later on, but she isn't Hermione or Pansy. He was just helping Harry out. And I realize I have grammar or spelling issues here and there, but I don't get a chance to write a lot, maybe an hour a week between everything I do, so I try to write and then get it updated, and by the time that happens, I feel you have waited long enough, so I do a quick scan and update the chapter. I'll try to be better from here on out but I can't promise anything.
Chapter 7: Confusion
I sat down on the bench beside Draco, for once in my life not being late to Snape's class. He smiled at me as I entered. " Did you sleep good last night?" Draco whispered in my ear.
" Yeah." I winced at the memory of the night before's dream. Tom had apparently wanted to check up on me Saturday night, only to find me in Draco's bed. This caused me to sleep in my own bed last night. Tom was simply not happy and hadn't let me back into his head since then. He wouldn't even respond to me when I called out to him. It hurt more than I wanted to admit, but there was nothing I could do about it.
" So our Lord still mad at you?" Draco's grey eyes looking at me concerned.
I nodded. " Yeah he hasn't spoken to me since Saturday night."
" I'm sorry."
I shrugged, Snape was right. Tom Riddle had no emotions, no way to return love, so why was I sitting here worrying over all of this. He was a Dark Lord, he could have almost anyone he wanted, so why would he want me?
With a bang, Snape entered the classroom, closing the door right as Ron and Hermione tried to enter the room. Waiting for a couple of seconds, he allowed them entry.
" You are late Mrs. Granger and Mr. Weasley, ten points from Gryffindor, each."
Hermione looked ready to protest but decided to keep her mouth shut and dragged her red-headed friend to the bench in the back of the room.
Before Snape continued on with class, he gave me a wink and then proceeded to tell us why we didn't want to screw up this potion.
Class went by fast , with Neville blowing up his potion and Ron failing to get the potion the correct color. Draco had helped me with mine, allowing me to receive a good grade for once in potions. All the while, though, I couldn't help but feel a little empty without Tom's voice in the back of my head. I kept trying to tell myself that Tom was the Dark Lord and I matter very little to him. I was just the boy-who-lived, the one with the supposed power to destroy him, and that's the only reason he took any interest me to begin with.
The kiss wouldn't leave my mind though. It was all I could think about, it's all I could feel. Why? Why is that even though he isn't trying to distract me, he still happens to be the only thing I could think about.
I accidently let out a growl when Snape was walking by me to release us. The look in his eyes told me to stay behind. I groaned internally but accepted my fate. It's not like he was about to give me a detention or anything.
" See you later Harry." Draco patted my shoulder and walked on. I was going to be late to DADA, a new teacher that Dumbledore appointed would just have to get over it though.
" Hopefully that growl isn't a sign you were somehow bitten?" Snape questioned when I walked up to his desk.
" No sir." I spoke quietly, trying my hardest not to remember what had caused me to growl in the first place. Tom Riddle, the devil of a man who would not leave my head.
Snape eyed me in concern. " I know we are not close Harry, but I do realize with Remus gone and Sirius in hiding, you are running out of people you can count on right now. I am here for you to talk to. I promise I won't judge you for your father's mistakes, nor who you currently seem to have taken an interest in." He looked me in the eyes while he spoke.
" Thanks, Snape. That means a lot coming from you." I spoke honestly. " But I'm fine right now." I lied, getting my stuff so I could leave.
With me walking out the door, Snape spoke up.
" Lying isn't your specialty. The Dark Lord hasn't been in a good mood since the other night. His bad mood is affecting all of us, Harry, and not in the good way either. I don't know what has happened, but he's obviously not happy with you. When the two of you were talking, he was in a good mood, maybe I could go as far as to say, he was in a happy mood. He barely punished us, sent us on missions we could actually do. But now he's changing back to his old ways, and that is concerning."
I could see the truth in his eyes. Tom wasn't a good-guy by any means, but I knew he had become less harsh on his followers. For him to be resorting to his old ways, seeing me with Draco had triggered something within him.
" Snape, can you do me a favor." I breathed in a deep breath when he nodded. " Can you take me to him?"
Snape eyed me with uncertainty. I couldn't blame him. It's not every day someone asks him to see the Dark Lord of his own free will.
" Are you sure?"
I nodded. " I have to speak to him. He won't reply back to me right now and I want to know why. I want to know why he's acting like an immature child."
Snape's eyes widen. " Please do not speak to him with that attitude. He may like you for some odd reason, but that does not mean he won't kill you if you piss him off."
" Snape I promise you that I will come back in one peace. I just need to speak to him to see why he's acting like this. Or would you before he stay the way he is now?"
Snape shook his head. " No, I do not. I will take you to him tonight."
With no further words being said, I went off to my DADA class. To my surprise, Moody was the teacher. As I sat down, Moody turned his eye on me.
" And why are you late Mister Potter?"
" Snape held me back sir."
" Hmph, next time get a note." Without another word, Moody went ahead with teaching the class.
Draco eyed me with concern, but I gave him a smile to show that everything was fine. An hour later and two students sent to get medical attention, class was over.
" Mister Potter, please speak to me after class."
" Great." I mumbled where only Draco could hear me.
" Want me to wait for you in the hall?"
I thought about it for a second before answering. " Yeah, it might be best. Moody does work for Dumbledore. Who knows what he got up his sleeve."
" Malfoy you can leave." Moody growled out, showing him the door. We both rolled our eyes, but Draco complied, leaving me alone with Moody.
" So it's true after all. The boy-who-lived turned dark." Moody circled me, a bitter grin on his face. " I didn't believe it when Dumbledore told us, but seeing you with the Malfoy brat, I have no choice but to believe."
" I'm sorry sir, but I do not know what Dumbledore has told you, but I haven't gone dark. Yes I'm friends with Draco, but that's about it. Dumbledore betrayed me and my parents, so it's hard to siding with him. Forgive me for staying neutral in this war."
" Neutral! Ah, don't make me laugh boy. You think the Dark Lord is just going to let you stay neutral? No he's going to make you choose a side, and sadly we all know what you will end up choosing."
I growled as Moody looked at me with disappointment. " Yeah, because everyone knows everything about me and what I will end up doing? No one saw this coming, not Dumbledore, not you, not Voldermort. I will not side with anyone I do not wish too, and I will not be forced to pick a side. It's not really hard to disappear when you have grown up with muggles."
" We shall see boy. I hope you know what you are doing."
Walking towards the door, I looked at him. " And I hope you know your siding with the man who caused my parent's death. Everyone blames Voldemort yet they are blind to the truth." I walked out the door, motioning for Draco to follow me.
" Are you okay?" He asked as we walked.
" Yeah, I'm fine. Moody just had to see it with his own eyes that I wasn't siding with the light."
When we made it to the Slytherin Common Room, I noticed that Luna and Ginny both were sitting with Blaise and Pansy. I eyed them for a second before shrugging. Ginny glanced at me with a smile on her face.
" Hey Gin, Luna." I said, sitting down beside the blonde girl. Draco eyed them both before focusing on Luna with a look I couldn't read. I didn't try to focus on it much, not when I had so much stuff running through my head. Remus was gone without a trace. No one had a clue where he went or why. It terrified me to no end. Him and Sirius were like fathers to me, always there when I needed them, yet now both were untouchable. Why? Why would he just leave like that? I sighed mentally, knowing I wouldn't find the answers by just sitting here. But what else could I do? Then Tom slide into my mind. I could still feel his lips on mine, his hands traveling my body.
Without another sound, I stood up quickly. Everyone froze, looking at me.
" Harry are you okay?" Ginny and Draco both asked.
I stared at the fire, ignoring them for a moment before leaving the room. I headed upstairs to lay in my bed. I wanted the rest of the day to hurry up so I could see him again. Either to slap him or hug him, I didn't know which, but I knew I was craving so sort of touch from him. He had me right where he wanted me. Right under his spell, and that scared me. To fall so helplessly for someone who probably could never return the feelings.
For whatever reason, no one disturbed me for the rest of the day, not to even get me for class. I had decided I didn't want to go. I didn't feel like wasting my time, not when I knew Tom would be the only thing I thought about.
A few hours later, I find myself staring at Severus who had once again made sure this is what I wanted.
" Yes Severus. I have to speak to him, we both know this."
With a sigh, Severus gave me his hand to hold onto and with a bop, I found myself staring at a beautiful lobby. The floor was made out of marble and the walls were painted a creamy brown. The décor told me whoever owned this place had traveled around the world. Swords, paintings, statues, and other things decorated the lobby. There was a Chinese woman playing with a paper fan, winking every so often. She would then dance seductively, as though she was calling for her prey.
" Come with me." Severus lead me down the hall, the décor not stopping at the least.
We stopped walking when we reached the end of the hall.
" This is it Harry. Just knock on the door. I will come back in a couple of hours to get you." Severus touched my shoulder before walking back down the hall.
With a gulp, I knocked on the door. Surely, Tom felt my presence by now. I only had to wait a few seconds before the door was opened with such force that I swore it would come off it's hinges.
Tom Riddle stood before, a look of disbelief on his face. For some reason, he hadn't felt my presence. Did that mean he completely had shut me out, to the point I could have snuck up behind him and he wouldn't have known.
He moved out of the way, allowing me entrance do what I concluded was his personal rooms. The bedroom was decorated in rich greens, browns, and silver. The painting in the room was similar to the one in the lobby, but this woman was of Native American background. She was holding a snake in her hands with the wind around her blowing. She moved at though to call upon the gods, while the snake just curled up her arm.
" Potter, why are you here." I winced when I heard my last name leave his lips. Perhaps it was a mistake to come here.
" I-I, Severus told me you were going back to your old ways, and you won't talk to me." I looked at him, ignoring the king size bed that seemed to swimming in green silk. I tried not to think about Tom and me, about the kiss. I tried to just focus on now, but it was hard with the man who won't leave my thoughts alone was standing in front of me.
" So you ran all the way here to do what?" Tom sneered at me, walking closer to me. I moved back a little, only to hit a wall.
Shaking a little, I replied. " To talk. I don't know what is going on. Remus is gone, Sirius is hiding at the Malfoys, you kiss me, and now you don't talk to me after seeing me in Draco's bed. I can't make sense of any of this, Tom."
He moved closer, pressing his body against mine. I let in a shaky breath, while I silently prayed he wouldn't do anything else. If he kissed me now, I would lose what little control I had.
" You want to talk?" He whispered, almost as though he didn't believe me. Then he moved away. " Sit."
He motioned to a chair that was by the fireplace. He sat in the other one with a blank mask. Doing as I was told, I tried to get my heartbeat under control and to forget the disappoint I felt.
" So tell me Potter, do you enjoy being his whore?" He asked as though he was talking about the weather.
I blinked before turning red. " Whore? Who's? Cause I don't remember having sex with anyone."
" Oh, still a virgin?" Tom seemed honestly surprised.
I felt something stab me in the heart. He thought I was someone's whore? Was that all he thought of me? A whore? A toy? I made sure the tears forming behind my eyes didn't fall as I looked him dead in the eye.
" I do believe I made a mistake by coming here." Taking the coin necklace in my hand, I quickly said " Calpato."
When I arrived, I took up residence in my old room, missing Remus and Sirius even more. I laid in my bed, eyes closed. I focused on my mind, more importantly, I focused on my shields. I didn't want to see him, to speak to him. I closed my mind off and shoved every thought about him into the darkness of my mind. I didn't want to remember the kiss or the touches. I didn't want to feel the hurt that seemed to be overtaking my heart. Why did his words hurt so much?
'Because you foolishly fell for him.' I answered myself, feeling like I was about to rip into two. Within seconds, I felt a wetness traveling down my face, but I didn't bother to wipe it away. No one was here to see me cry, so quietly I wept.
The next few days went the same. I would wake up, shower, eat, walk around the town, eat again, and then sleep. I didn't focus on anything, trying to numb out the pain. Somewhere deep in my mind, I knew I was overreacting. It was the Dark Lord for crying out loud. He was going to be a dick and I shouldn't have let his words cut me so deep, but I ignored that voice. I knew that the whole school was probably wondering where I was at, but I didn't care. I didn't want to go back. Back to reality.
It wasn't too much longer before I decided I should at least send a letter to Draco telling him I was okay, but I wasn't ready to come back. It was only a few hours later when I received a letter back from him. He was mad for me disappearing like that, but he was glad I was okay. I smiled, as I read where he told me I better take care of myself or else.
A whole month went by. A whole month worth of training and focusing on my education had went by. I ended up making Draco send me my school books and my homework so I could I would get too far behind when or if I decided to return. I would make Draco turn in the homework for me when I was done.
I could feel a nudge in the back of my mind. I knew it was Tom trying to figure out where I went, but I ignored it. I refuse to think about him. Instead, I focus on being a better wizard. After that month, though, I decided it was time I returned to Hogwarts. I didn't want to, but I know staying here was doing me no good. So after a month, I found myself staring at all the students who were currently eating dinner.
" Harry Potter!"
" He's returned."
" Has he been working out?"
" Where did he go?"
I could hear them, but I ignored their whispers. Instead I stared Dumbledore straight in the eye. I wasn't afraid of him or anyone for that matter. He would pay dearly, that I would make sure. Dumbledore stared back but then he had to look away, anger apparent in his eyes. I glanced at Severus, who nodded in return. Without another word, I turned to take me leave when I stopped.
" Mister Potter, I do believe we need to talk in my office." Dumbledore gave me a look, telling me I couldn't refuse. I shrugged my shoulders and headed to his office.
A few minutes later, I was in Dumbledore's office, Lucius Malfoy coming through the floo.
" Must you be present?" Dumbledore gritted through his teeth.
" Yes, because like you, I want to know where Harry has been this past month." Lucius gave me a look that told me I had a lot of explaining to do.
Sitting down, Dumbledore go straight to business. " Yes, Harry, care to explain where and why you have been absent this past month?"
" Not really. I didn't feel like being here, so I left." I said, as if it was that simple.
Dumbledore eyes me with disdain.
" Now, Harry you know you are going to explain yourself further."
I looked at him, thinking of all the horrible things I could do to him. " If I have to explain myself, then you have to explain why you caused my parent's death." I smiled at him.
His body trembled as the old man in front of me tried to get himself under control. " Harry-"
" Don't." I raised my hand to stop him from speaking any further. " I don't care to listen to you bullshit, Albus Dumbledore. I know the truth, the whole truth and no amount of lies are going to get you out of this."
I walked towards the exit, my eyes seeing red. I wanted to kill him right here, but I knew it wasn't a smart idea. I had to wait for the perfect time.
I looked at him one last time. " Dumbledore, I will make sure you die a very painful death. You will pay with your life, that much I promise."
Dumbledore turned white, finally understanding the situation he was in. I left with a smirk on my face, Lucius following close by.
" Do you care to explain yourself?" The blond man asked as he caught up with me in the hallway.
" Sure. Voldemort pissed me off, so I left. Tell him he's lucky I came back." I gave Lucius a look that said that was all I was saying and walked off.
By the time I made it back to the common rooms, everyone was waiting on me.
" Harry!" Pansy all but screeched and before I knew it, I was in a huge group hug.
" Don't you dare do that again, you hear me?" Draco shook me by my shoulders, his eyes filled with relief.
" I'm sorry, Dray." I looked at him with pure honesty.
We spent the next hour discussing what I had missed. Blaise and Ginny got together, although only the Slytherins knew. Draco was no closer to telling his crush he liked her, and Moody was being a dick to the Slytherins.
" Time for bed." Severus Snape spoke, appearing out of nowhere. " I would like to speak to Harry by myself."
Everyone groaned but got up. " Goodnight Harry."
" Night guys." I spoke back, waiting for Severus to sit down.
" How are you?" He looked me in the eye. " You gave us all a scare, taking off like that. If the Dark Lord didn't ask for me and Lucius to find you, I would have sworn he killed you himself."
I looked down at my hands. " Sorry for all the chaos, but I didn't know what else to do. Tom, Tom can a complete ass sometimes."
I glanced up at the man who only a year ago seemed to hate me, but who now stared at me with amazement.
" This is because of him isn't it? How far have you fallen? Harry, you know he can't return your affections. He doesn't have the ability to care." He took me by the shoulders, concern written all over his face.
" Too far, Severus, too far. But I refuse to think about him anymore. I know things will never happen the way I want them to, so why focus on it? I'm just going to focus on how to kill Dumbledore."
Severus looked at me sadly, understanding what I was saying. I had fallen for a beast, but there was no man underneath the beast that would appear and we both knew it.
The next couple of weeks went smoothly, Dumbledore and Moody both leaving me alone. Every so often I could feel Tom reaching out, but kept him out. There was no way I was going to let him in when I just begun to heal. I focused on finding Remus, me and Sirius making a list of things that he could possibly be doing. None of them gave us any relief but we wouldn't give up on finding him.
It was a Saturday night when I was alone in the dorms that I felt his energy.
" Tom." I spoke, staring at the ceiling. Before I could even move, I felt warm hands wrap themselves around my neck, red angry eyes staring into mine.
" Where have you been and why in Merlin's name are you ignoring me?" He all but growled out. His body reeked of dark energy that was close to losing control.
" I had wondered how long it would take before gave in." I spoke back, calmly. I knew if the man before me wanted me dead, I would have been killed already.
" Answer the damn question!" He yelled.
" I found a safe place to hide, to rethink. I needed my space Tom. I needed to figure things out. After all, being called a whore by the man who had just kissed not too long ago was hard for me to swallow." I looked him dead in the eye.
Tom let go, sinking into the bed beside me. I was shocked by the vulnerability but choose not to ask. " I'm sorry, I had went too far. I saw you with Draco and I just jumped to conclusions."
" Apology accepted." I said without looking at him. An apology from the Dark Lord didn't come often, which meant he really did feel bad about it.
" So tell me how I am supposed to kill Dumbledore?" I asked him, dead serious.
Tom leaned over me, his red eyes staring into my green ones. With a smile, he spoke, " It's about time."