~*~In Servitude of the Dark~*~

Summary : When Tom Riddle, of the diary, senses the dormant horcrux in Harry's scar, the two soul fragments merge to create a phantom being named Marvolo. Marvolo is stronger than any single horcrux, but still has to depend on the diary and Harry's magic to exist. Instead of becoming enemies, Marvolo takes Harry under his wing, protects him, even cares for him, and trains him to be the perfect servant of the Dark for when Voldemort returns.

Disclaimer : This story is based off of J.K. Rowling's amazing Harry Potter series. All characters, locations, themes from the world of HP belong to her. This is not for profit. I am just having fun playing in her magical world. This disclaimer applies to all the following chapters.

Warning : This is a Harry Potter going dark story. He will be powerful and he will be deserving of his prestigious position, but it will take him a while to get there, as it should. There will be suggestions of a future relationship between one male character and one male underage character, but nothing explicit. Consider this a preslash story. If this is not your type, please leave. It will be useless to flame me.

Chapter 1 : The Deal – May 1993

"So I made Ginny write her own farewell on the wall and come down here to wait. She struggled and cried and became very boring. But there isn't much life left in her… She put too much into the diary, into me. Enough to let me leave its pages at last… I have been waiting for you to appear since we arrived here. I knew you'd come. I have many questions for you, Harry Potter."

"Like what?" Harry spat, fists still clenched.

"Well," said Riddle, smiling pleasantly, "how is it that you — a skinny boy with no extraordinary magical talentmanaged to defeat the greatest wizard of all time? How did you escape with nothing but a scar, while Lord Voldemort's powers were destroyed?"

There was an odd red gleam in his hungry eyes now.

"Why do you care how I escaped?" said Harry slowly. "Voldemort was after your time…"

"Voldemort," said Riddle softly, "is my past, present, and future, Harry Potter…"He pulled Harry's wand from his pocket and began to trace it through the air, writing three shimmering words:

TOM MARVOLO RIDDLE

Then he waved the wand once, and the letters of his name rearranged themselves:

I AM LORD VOLDEMORT

Harry felt his whole body stiffen and his mind went blank in shock. It didn't even occur to him to doubt the older boy's claim. Already his eyes were darting frantically around the chamber like a trapped animal, looking for an escape route.

"What…what do you want with me?" Harry asked in a breathy almost-whisper.

Tom Riddle or the soon-to-be-Voldemort smirked and twirled the wand between his fingers. "As I've already said, I want to know the bit of magic that was my future self's undoing. Answer me this truthfully and I may consider letting you live."

The implied threat drove the shock from Harry's mind and his eyes narrowed. "You can't do anything to me! Headmaster Dumbledore said so." Harry lifted his chin in defiance. "Because my mom died to protect me from you." Harry watched closely to see how the other boy would react to this news, expecting some kind of attack to test the truth of the words. Maybe he could get rid of this threat like he did with Quirrel. But instead of being baited, the other boy threw his head back and laughed…laughed!

"That's what that Old Man told you?" Riddle asked, amusement shining in his silvery ghost eyes. "That your mom died for you and gave you some kind of… what? Sacrificial protection? Something in the blood, perhaps?" Riddle sneered. "Did he say it was because of love as well?"

Harry's shoulder's hunched, his posture defensive. "Well, what of it? Professor Quirrell died when he touched my skin."

"Yesss…that silly girl did mention something about the events surrounding the sorcerer's stone," Riddle muttered thoughtfully, but then returned his attention to Harry, his tone becoming teasing again. "But let me ask you this. During the course of a war, how many mothers do you think offered themselves as sacrifices for their children, hmm? It was a common occurrence back in my time with the war against Grindewald. And then let me ask you how many of those children have not only survived a direct hit from the Killing Curse, but also reflected it back on its caster?"

Harry's eyes clouded in thought. From the stories Harry had heard about the last war, Voldemort was at the height of his powers and was terrorizing the wizarding Britain. If Dumbledore was to be believed, it was inconceivable that Harry was the only child to survive the infamous Avada Kedavera. But still… "So, all that proves is that the Headmaster's mistaken. He's still the most powerful wizard alive!"

At those words, Riddle's eyes glittered dangerously, and Harry took a step back sensing the danger. "It means he's fallible!" Riddle shouted. "It means he doesn't know everything there is to know about magic. What gives him the right to dictate what is right and wrong about magic, what is good and evil, what is dark and light?"

"Let me guess," Harry said dryly. "'There is no good or evil, only power and those too weak to seek it?'"

A look of satisfaction came over the older boy's face. "Exactly. A wand is merely a tool, subjected to the will of the user," Riddle said, almost like he was lecturing. "Both light magic and dark magic can heal or hurt. To automatically dismiss a whole category of magic is not only foolish but dangerous. After all," Riddle smirked. "You're a parseltongue, a gift that automatically brands you as a dark wizard. Do you feel evil, Harry Potter?"

Harry's brow wrinkled and he frowned, still feeling the hurt that was caused by the school's accusations and suspicious looks. Little Hufflepuffs scattered when he rounded a corner, Ravenclaws stared at him like some kind of specimen to study, Slytherins were a mix envy and hate, but it was his own house that hurt him the worse. The Gryffindors, and even his best friends, kept darting glances at him as if he'd suddenly turn into some kind of evil maniac and kill them in their sleep! Harry didn't see the point in all the drama. So what if he could talk to snakes? It didn't mean he was bad or anything. If he hadn't called off that snake, Seamus would have been bitten!

Seeing the doubt clouding Harry's thoughts, Riddle continued, determined to change the views of at least one Dumbledore supporter, especially this one-the one known as Dumbledore's Golden Boy. "Of course you are not evil," Riddle said soothingly, as if he could read Harry's thoughts. "But did that Old Man do or say anything to shield you from the hateful words and accusing glares? He is supposed to be the protector of all that is innocent and good, is he not? In fact, surely such a powerful and wise old man would recognize the effects of a basilisk paralysis. It is rather distinctive, after all. " Riddle's voice turned hard. "But he didn't. He allowed those cruel children to ostracize you and turn you away from what he believes is an evil gift. Take those Gryffindor blinders off and see the Headmaster for what he really is-a manipulative bastard whose too fond of his own notions of the Greater Good!"

As Riddle spoke, his voice became more and more impassioned until Harry felt those words actually sink in, and to his horror, ring true. Some part of Harry, who still had nightmares about Quirrel disintegrating beneath his fingers, felt a slow burn of resentment building up. What kind of teacher hides a dangerous artifact in a school full of curious children, and what was the Headmaster thinking by using booby traps that a couple of first years could break through? And besides, if Hermione could figure out the basilisk was causing all the petrifactions from a mere library book, why couldn't the Headmaster? The more Harry dwelled on it, the more he questioned the motives behind Dumbledore's actions. But unfortunately, he didn't have the luxury of time, since even now the other boy was gaining more substance and Ginny was looking worse and worse.

"I don't know what to think right now," Harry admitted, desperation tingeing his voice. "I'd like to think on it some more, but I can't let Ginny die either. Her brother is probably still behind that rock fall waiting for me."

"Then I am afraid we are at an impasse," Riddle said, his tone suggesting he was disappointed. "Unless, we can come to an agreement."

"You want to make a deal?" Harry asked incredulously.

Riddle smirked. "I am a Slytherin, after all. I don't give things up for free."

Harry chewed on his bottom lip in worry. "So what do you want then?"

"You hold a part of me in your scar," Riddle said. "I want to merge with it."

Harry blinked.

Riddled rolled his eyes in exasperation, interpreting Harry's blank look. "I am not a mere memory trapped in a diary, nothing so ordinary as that. I am a horcrux, a soul fragment, torn off from the original, in a ritual that was to grant me immortality and immunity to death."

Harry gulped. "You mean I have a piece of your soul inside me?" Harry's hand went up to his scar, almost as if he could feel some kind of change brought on by this knowledge. Then something else occurred to him. "Wait. You're immortal?"

"Must you repeat everything I say like mindless parrot?"

"Hey!" Harry protested. "It's not my fault I was raised by magic hating muggles."

Riddle's look of impatience morphed into something curious, and Harry shifted his weight, uncomfortable with the critical look in the other boy's eyes. "What?" Harry asked defensively.

Riddle shook his head as if to clear away a thought. "Something I am sure we will discuss later. For now, the deal. My horcrux for that pathetic girl's life." Riddle pointed to Ginny's body. "Decide quickly for you do not have much time left."

Harry glanced at the very still form of Ginny, but he was wary of entering into any kind of deal with the one who would become the most dangerous Dark Lord in the century. "What do you gain from merging with this soul piece," Harry gestured to his scar. "And will it hurt me to remove it?"

"For your second question," Riddle said thoughtfully. "I don't know, since I've never read about removing a horcrux from a living being, however, I suspect your power will likely increase, as you are not devoting so much of your magic to keeping my horcrux separate from your own soul."

Harry's brow wrinkled. Instead of reassuring him, that answer only gave him more questions, questions that he didn't have time to ask. What he got from it though was that it seemed like the soul piece was some kind of parasite living inside his scar, and removing it could only be a good thing. "And what do you gain from merging? I'd thought you would rather have two of yourselves running around."

"Stupid boy," Riddle scolded, though there was no heat behind it. "If I stop draining the life out of this pathetic girl, my existence will be limited to the diary. The same goes for the soul residing in your scar. But in merging together, we become more substantial, like a ghost. I will have all the memories and experiences since the night that horcrux was created, and since it has integrated itself within your soul, I will also have a vague impression of your life as well."

Harry's eyes widened. "So you'll be able to tell me why you tried to kill me that night?" It was an answer that the Headmaster had refused to tell him at the end of last year, even after he had risked his life saving the sorcerer's stone. And the headmaster's excuse was that he wasn't ready. Harry mentally scoffed. If he could kill a man, literally with his touch, than he was old enough to learn the truth behind death of his parents.

In answer to Harry's question, Riddle nodded once.

Really, Harry knew his choices were limited. All he had with him was his wand and a 2nd year level education. He didn't think Riddle could be banished with a simple finite incantatem. So, Harry took a deep breath and nodded. "Alright, I'm ready. What do I do?" Harry's nervousness was back, and he glanced fearfully at the wand dangling off Riddle's finger tips, which belonged to Ginny.

"Just hold still," Riddle ordered softly before his eyes took on a hungry look.

Harry watched with bated breath as the silvery form of Tom Riddle floated closer, one transparent hand reach up to brush away the bangs that covered Harry's scar. Harry shivered at the almost gentle touch, and then the other hand came up, palm pressing flatly across the scar itself. For a moment, all Harry sensed was the cool touch and the aura of anticipation radiating from the other boy. And then suddenly, in the very depths of Harry's mind, he felt a gentle pull that quickly became more and more insistent. And then something inside moved.

Embarrassingly, Harry let out a little moan. His eyes flickered to Riddle's face, hoping that the other boy missed the sound, but the telling smirk told Harry he had heard it. Harry scowled, even as he felt the strain of the pull inside him, not wanting to let go. "This feels weird," Harry half complained.

Riddle's eyes took on a look of concentration, and Harry thought he was being ignored, but then Riddle responded. "Yes. The horcrux has been living inside of you for a long time. It feels safe inside you. It is like trying to wake a bear from a long dormant sleep…but…just a little more."

As the horxrux was agitated, strange images flittered through Harry's mind. Some of the images were of faces wearing white masks, someone shouting Morsemordre, a random tome that looked ancient, and finally the images slowed down to the very last moments of the hurcrux' existence and that Halloween night almost 12 years ago.

"Not Harry, not Harry, please not Harry!"the woman's voice rose above the cacophony of the other memory voices. The voice was somehow familiar, and Harry latched onto it, focusing on it until it was the only thing he could hear.

Another voice answered. "Stand aside, you silly girl! Stand aside and you shall not be harmed!"

"Not Harry, please no, take me, kill me instead!"

Harry's eyes prickled with tears. He knew that voice. "Mom…"

"You do not have to die. This is my last warning…."

"Not Harry! Please, have mercy, have mercy. Not Harry! Please, just kill me instead! I'll do anything!"

"Stand aside, now!"

Harry trembled. It was one thing to be told your parents died protecting you, but it didn't feel real until this very moment. He wanted to tear away from the memory, but at the same time, needed to witness the outcome even though he already knew what was going to happen.

"Avada Kedavra!"

Harry jerked at the flash of green behind his eyelids. He wanted to rush to his mother's side, but as the memory was Voldemort's, Harry was just a helpless observer. Then Harry saw himself, as a toddler, reaching out of the crib, wanting to be picked up.

The memory ended with the words, "Avada Kedavera!" and another bright green light.

Suddenly, something snapped inside him. The backlash of the detached horcrux was enough to throw both boys away from each other. Harry landed on his back, 3 meters from where he stood. He blinked away the phantom green light and gingerly picked himself off the ground, gaining another few bruises to his already impressive collection. Then he heard a loud gasp of breath from the unconscious girl. A quick glance showed Harry that Ginny was still unconscious, but now her chest rose and fell more naturally and color returned to her blue lips.

Next Harry turned his attention to the other occupant in the room, and what he saw made him take a step back in shock. Instead of seeing one ghostly form, there were two, but each one was so faint that Harry had trouble seeing them in the dim light of the chamber. The one Harry recognized as Riddle was trying to merge with the other formless blur of light, but it seemed the blur wasn't cooperating.

Intellectually, he knew this was the soul that belonged to his mother's murderer, but he was also fascinated with the merging of the two souls. Soon, the merge completed, and Riddle's spirit was solid enough that Harry didn't wonder if he'd simply fade away.

"Riddle?" Harry asked, studying the changes as the phantom slowly stood up. The form was indeed like a ghost, but there were some faint color, especially as the eyes took on a low red glow, and his clothes and hair looked dark. Ghosts didn't have any color at all. Also the spirit's face had aged to what appeared to be late twenties, taking on a more distinguished and mature look. This Riddle towered over Harry's slight frame at 6'7".

"In a moment, Harry," the spirit said softly, yet had the firmness to make Harry's mouth snap shut. It also had a deeper tenor than the teenage Riddle did not.

Harry squashed his innate curiosity and patiently waited as Riddle closed his eyes; the movement beneath the lids indicated intense mental activity. Then Harry caught some muttering, some with a hissy quality that Harry found was associated with parsel words. Riddle did say he would gain the memories of his older counterpart and vague impressions of Harry's life after the merging. After a while, Riddle confirmed Harry's suspicions.

"So many mistakes made," Riddle said, almost mournfully, before his eyes focused on Harry's inquisitive ones.

"You killed my mother." Harry's tone was firm, but not accusatory. It was a statement of fact.

The spirit inclined his head in agreement. "I give no apologies, for that would only lessen your parent's death. They were very skilled warriors, and we were at opposing sides of the battlefield. However, I respected your mother for her power and intelligence and did grant your mother a chance to live, a rare occurrence, I assure you."

Thoughts raced through Harry's mind, but he had to admit the truth of those words. For some reason, the darkest lord of the century had tried to spare his mother's life. And it was enough for now; he would withhold judgment until he had more information. "Will you tell me why you wanted to kill me?"

Again the spirit nodded. "In time, Harry Potter," he answered softly. Harry held his breath as the spirit moved to caress his forehead, lingering on the scar. "But know that I do regret that night, more than you know. If only...So many mistakes..." the spirit whispered again, almost wistfully. A tingle of magic spread from the point of contact and made Harry shiver. Riddle removed his hand. "But for now, we must leave this place."

"No arguments here, Tom." Harry nodded, desperate to get out from underneath the spirit's intense gaze and leave this creepy place.

Momentarily, Tom's pale red eyes flashed in irritation. "Never refer to me with that lowly muggle name again," he growled.

Harry's eyes narrowed. "Well, I'm not calling you my Lord!"

The spirit scoffed. "Not as yet, but in time, you will" he said, smirking.

Harry shot him a defiant glare, which only made the spirit smirk more.

"But for now, you may call me Marvolo."

Harry privately preferred Tom or Riddle, but nodded to the compromise. "Now what? What do I tell the Headmaster about all of this?" Harry waved an arm, taking in the chamber and Ginny.

"I cannot perform any magic until I have my proper body back," Marvolo said. "But fortunately, the girl will not remember anything that transpired this night. However, you will have to keep my existence a secret from the Old Man. Be vague, claim ignorance, and above all do not look into the man's eyes." At Harry's curious look, Marvolo explained. "The Headmaster is a legimens, which means he can read your memories through direct eye contact. The counter to legimancy is occlumancy, but it is not something you can learn between now and when you will surely meet the Headmaster. For now, it will be sufficient for you to keep your eyes from locking onto his."

Harry nodded. The idea of anyone accessing his private thoughts without his knowledge or consent was too creepy. "Will…will you teach me this...occlumancy?" The request seemed to please the spirit, if the small smile was anything to go by, and this made Harry slightly less nervous.

"That and much more, Harry, oh so much more," Marvolo answered, making it sound like a promise. "Now pick up my diary and keep it on you at all times."

Harry glanced warily at the seemingly harmless book. "You won't try to take my life force, will you? Not like Ginny?"

"No. I have plans for you that do not include your death," Marvolo answered, making Harry wonder again. Marvolo was just too good at keeping Harry off balance. "Although I may leave the confines of the diary, I am still bound within a certain distance from it. The more magic I feed off you, the stronger I am." Seeing Harry's worried look, Marvolo smirked. "You have no need to fear me in this, my little serpent," he said. "With the rest of your magic unbound from guarding a horcrux, you will not even notice me sipping at the edges of your magic."

Harry was still hesitant, but he was aware of how long he'd been in this chamber. In fact, it was a surprise that Ron hadn't gone to fetch anyone yet. Pushing away his doubts, Harry picked up the book and tucked it inside his robes. Then he levitated Ginny up and backtracked through the chamber to the rockslide where he could hear shifting rock and Ron's muffled shouts.

Harry glanced at the spirit standing next to him. "How do I explain what you are?"

"Only you will be able to see or hear me until I choose to reveal myself."

With that reassurance, Harry began spelling some of the rocks away. Apparently, Ron had been working through the pile, so it didn't take long for a small hole to be made that Harry could squeeze through with Ginny.

Ron rushed to his sister's pale and unconscious form, looking and touching as if he could find the cause of Ginny's unconsciousness. "What happened in there? Is she okay? What took you so bloody long?"

Harry shrugged, not that Ron was paying him any attention. "I think she's okay," choosing to answer the most obvious question. "But better get her to see Madam Pomphrey just in case."

Ron nodded and took over Ginny's levitation. Meanwhile, Harry shot a stupify on Lockheart, just for good measure, before he too was levitated. Neither boys spoke. Harry's thoughts were trying to make sense all the things he learned from Tom…no Marvolo, while Ron's thoughts were strictly on his sister. But then both boys stopped at the pipe that lead back to the girl's bathroom, neither willing to try to climb up while levitating their passengers.

"Now what?" Ron complained.

The answer came from Harry's new companion. "Just call for stairs, in parseltongue."

Harry's eyebrows rose in surprise before flickering to his friend, who apparently didn't hear the suggestion. But he did jump, startled at the hissing sounds when Harry ordered for stairs. Just as the bathroom wall magically disappeared at the 'open' command, so too did the pipe that flattened and transformed into a flight of stairs.

"Brilliant, mate!" Ron said, so relieved for the solution that he didn't even ask how Harry had known what to do.

They took the stairs two at a time and raced to the hospital wing.

A/N : Those in italics in the beginning of the chapter was taken out of JK Rowling's Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. There will be regular updates, since I have already written 250,000 words to this story, but I will likely post them sooner with more feedback. Enjoy and please give me your thoughts.