Angels have faith
I don't want to be a part of his sin
I don't want to get lost in his world
I'm not playing this game

~Within Temptation, "A Demon's Fate"


Chapter 3

Confused


"Harry!"

The shocked, high pitched voice alarmed the teen who immediately opened his eyes, waking up from a not so pleasant sleep. He stretched his limbs awkwardly, shifting from the uncomfortable position he had fallen asleep in and forced himself on his feet, after fixing his glasses that had almost fallen off his face.

Harry blinked and looked at a surprised, confused Hermione looking with eyes wide open at him.

"Harry, what on earth are you doing out here?" she asked worriedly, and helped the boy inside. Harry yawned, as a result of not having gotten enough rest, and walked inside the house, Hermione following behind. The house was quiet, and Harry was thankful for that; he didn't want the Weasleys to start bombarding him with questions.

He heard Hermione close the door behind him and then turned around to face her. "Hermione, don't ask any questions, I had a rough night," he said in a pleading voice, hoping that his friend would understand and leave him so that he could go have a bath and get a proper nap.

"Okay," the girl said, frowning, but the worry was still obvious across her face. "Just tell me why you were outside… Don't tell me you spent the whole night there, sleeping against the door!"

Harry rolled his eyes. "I won't tell you so, if you want it, but it's not going to change things," he said, trying to make his voice sound a little more pleasant.

Hermione gasped. "You slept outside? H-how? Why?"

"I locked my self outside. I know, I know, stupid of me not to make sure I could get back in, but what can we do now?"

"But how did this happen?" Hermione insisted, seeming concerned about her friend's mental well-being.

Harry shrugged, trying to push the images of what had happened last night away from his mind. "I went out to get some air, and I couldn't get back in. I was tired, and I fell asleep. Now I just want to take a nice, warm bath."

"Oh." Hermione certainly didn't seem to have calmed down, but decided not to push the subject any more. Obviously, her friend was not in the mood for that right now. "Just try not to make much noise; everyone's still sleeping, I'm the only one awake. It's still 7 o' clock," she said, and Harry nodded.

"Okay. Thanks," he said, and without another word, he turned around and left, almost sprinting up the stairs and into the bedroom he shared with Ron. Careful not to wake him up, he took of his jacket and grabbed a fluffy white towel from the wardrobe, and headed to the bathroom.

Once he found himself inside the bathroom, he took off his glasses, which he placed carefully on a counter, and quickly threw his clothes away, without caring that much about the garments that now lay on the floor. He turned on the water in the tub and sank himself in, overwhelming the sensation of the steamy water against his flesh.

He sighed, and ran a hand through his hair, closing his eyes, feeling better without seeing anything at all. He stayed in that position for several long seconds, and then opened his eyes again. He now felt slightly dizzy, and he could tell a headache was about to strike. Perfect.

He leaned his head back on the cold tile, and another sigh left his mouth, as his visions blurred, both from the hot steams around him and the fact that he was not wearing his glasses.

His eyes closed again, as he struggled to put his thoughts in order. It had only been a few hours ago, when he had met with Voldemort at the Burrow's garden. He had met with Voldemort outside of his best friends' house… He had met with Voldemort.

There was no doubt that this had really happened, that it was not just another of Harry's weird dreams about Voldemort. But why? Well, he had no idea. The only thing that he could be positive about was that Voldemort had not harmed him, had not even attempted to.

This puzzled him; the Dark Lord had been trying to capture and kill him for over six years, and now that they had been standing only a few feet away from each other, he had not even aimed his wand at him.

Another thing Harry was sure about was that Voldemort must definitely have had a reason. There is no way he had simply decided to pay a visit, just to talk. No, he must have wanted something, but Harry had no idea what this was.

Voldemort had simply stood there, his face remaining calm as he had been watching Harry carefully, the edges of his mouth had even curled up in amusement once or twice. He hadn't even told him a thing, he hadn't given Harry a reason for his unexpected –and most certainly nor welcomed- visit, and the teen was completely clueless about what on earth Voldemort wanted from him –apart from killing him and getting rid of him once and for all, of course.

But then, Voldemort had not even tried to kill him, Harry thought. But why? What was the reason behind this absurd behaviour? What did Voldemort want from him?

Then, as he sank deeper into the water, Harry suddenly remembered of Voldemort's mention about some thing called horex… hocuxr… No, it was horcrux. The boy had absolutely no idea of what this thing could possibly be, and he couldn't figure out why Voldemort had told him about it.

But in fact, he hadn't told him anything, he had merely mentioned the name of that unknown to him object, or whatever else it could be… But he had mentioned the fact that Harry was supposed to know… That Dumbledore ought to have told him.

This confused Harry greatly; more than Voldemort's visit in itself. He was supposed to know about that thing called a 'horcrux', but he didn't. He was supposed to have been told by Dumbledore himself, so Harry assumed it must be something of great importance. And yet, he had no idea, Dumbledore hadn't given him a clue about it.

This made him angry. Wasn't Dumbledore supposed to trust him? Wasn't he supposed to tell him what was important, what he needed to be aware of? The fact that Voldemort himself had mentioned the horcrux, made Harry realize it was something really important, and he was angry that Dumbledore hadn't informed him about something he ought to know about.

And what if it was a trap? Harry hadn't thought of that until know. Of course, it could easily be a trap, what better way for Voldemort to win over him by feeding him with false information and accuses against the Headmaster, so that Harry would think he should be aware of something seemingly important –since Voldemort himself had talked about it- but in fact, that thing perhaps did not exist at all.

Harry shook his head. Of course, it was a trap. What had gotten into him? He believed what Voldemort told him? Voldemort? The man who killed and tortured without any remorse, the man with no conscious, the man who manipulated and corrupted people in order to get what he wanted?

Harry laughed bitterly. There was no way he was going to believe Voldemort, or listen to anything else that cold-blooded murdered said to him. He would just forget about his interactions with him, and would be careful to never allow himself to get influenced by the Dark Lord again.

"You are hurting my feelings, now, Harry," a horrible, hissing mocking voice echoed inside the bathroom, making the teen almost drawn in the water as he flipped over and grasped the edges of the tub to steady himself.

"What the- Where are you?" he snapped after making sure he wasn't in danger of hurting himself and sitting in a more comfortable position, now feeling terrified at thinking of the likelihood that Voldemort could be inside the very house.

"Worry not, I am not it your beloved friends' house," the voice replied casually, and Harry felt a familiar tingling sensation spreading across his forehead.

"Then where are you?"

"Inside that fascinating little place that is your mind," the hissing voice answered, sending shivers down Harry's spine.

The boy sighed. Okay, at least his friends were not in danger. But, Voldemort had told him that he was in his head. And that meant he knew what he was thinking. What he was doing. Where he was.

Terror coursed through him, as Harry realized that very simple, yet so complicated fact. It meant that at any time, Voldemort was fully aware of his whereabouts and his own thoughts; thus, he could easily find out about the inner workings of the Order, or everything he shared with his friends or Dumbledore.

"Once again, little Harry, you are terribly mistaken."

He gasped. While being lost in his own horrifying thoughts, Harry had completely forgotten about the 'conversation' that had started between him and the Dark Lord.

"What the hell do you mean?" he snapped, angry at being completely unaware of everything.

"I mean that I can only be in your head when you allow me to."

When he allowed him to? But Harry had never allowed Voldemort to invade his mind! He had never wanted to start this mind-talking creep thing! All he wanted was to get rid of that terrible cold voice in his head and never hear it again.

"I never allowed you to get in my fucking head!" he shouted, forgetting where he was, what he was doing.

"Oh, but you did," the voice commented softly, and Harry snorted in spite of himself. "You did, Harry," the voice repeated, this time more firmly. "You were vulnerable, and you let me slip in. It is simple; you just don't have control over your own mind."

A low growl escaped Harry's throat, as he realized the Dark Lord was probably right; no matter his declarations of the opposite, Harry was perfectly aware that he always had a really hard time when trying to keep his mind closed and repel any thoughts and emotions. He didn't know why; but he did know it happened.

"I can see that you agree, Harry."

Damn it, he had once again let his thoughts be heard by that bastard.

"Watch your language, Potter. This kind of words are not appropriate for the polite young boy that you are."

Okay, enough was enough! Voldemort had invaded Harry's mind, and now he was going to instruct him what he should be thinking of?

"Get. Out. Of my head!" He snarled, and his eyes wondered around in the bathroom, fearing that perhaps the Dark Lord would pop out of nowhere once again. Of course, he saw nothing but the steams that filled the bathroom and moistened the tile walls.

"You are not being polite, Harry."

"Just leave me alone!" Harry shouted, and he didn't care if anyone woke up because of his loud voice. All he wanted was Voldemort to leave, to get out of his mind and never come back.

This time the voice did not reply, but made a low hissing sound that sounded like some sort of a sinister laugh, that chilled Harry to the bone, before anger filled him once again. Oh, so that bastard was now laughing? He was amused?

"Why are you even here? What do you want?"

"I don't see any reason why I shouldn't have come, Harry, since you're the one who invited me. It would have been terribly rude of me to refuse the invitation."

"I did what?"

Again with that horrible hissing laugh. Harry had never been fond of violence, but never before in his whole life had he wanted to punch someone so badly. He swore, if Voldemort was here, present in the room, he would have done so, and he would have enjoyed it. The laugh only continued, now sounding even more amused with the boy's fury.

Harry opened his mouth to say something, but immediately regretted, as he recalled Voldemort's words, the ones he had spoken only a few minutes before. I can only be in your head when you allow me to, he had said. So, that meant that if Harry focused, if he tried, then he could force Voldemort to go away? He would repel him?

It was worth a try. Obviously, by sitting in the bath and yelling at someone who apparently, only he could hear, he wouldn't make any progress, not to mention that he must look like a complete idiot. What would happen if someone walked in?

He closed his eyes, and desperately tried to relax. The fact that the voice had stopped talking helped him concentrate; Get out, get out, get out of my mind… Get out… He took a small breath. The voice did not make any sound, and he soon felt his mind much clearer. Maybe it was working? Maybe he was succeeding in securing his mind?

The thought and only gave him new hope, and he focused more intently. His eyes were shut, and the only thing he was thinking of was the command get out, go away. Was it working? It had to. The voice had gone.

But Harry could not yet be entirely sure, so he kept going. He inhaled deeply, holding the air in his lungs, and then exhaled. Good. It was working.

"Very, very nice, Harry. Just try to relax a little more, being all tensed like that will certainly not help you with what you are trying to do."

Harry's eyes snapped open again, his breathing erratic. He…He had thought he had done it! How come Voldemort was still there, refusing to go away? What kind of magic was this, what kind of abnormal connection?

He had to calm down. He knew, he knew he would not achieve anything by panicking. Okay, relax now, you're going to do it. Just relax. Perhaps, thinking intently of what he wanted to do wouldn't help; perhaps he should just empty his mind of every thought, and think of nothing.

Alright. You can do it. Just… relax.

"You will not achieve anything this way, Potter. You really are uselesssssss…"

He ignored the voice. Or, at least he tried to. He knew he had to.

"Do you really think you can force me away just like that? I do not intend to leave any time soon, pet."

Pet? What the hell?

Harry instantly opened his eyes again, but closed them again almost within a split second. Voldemort was just trying to irritate him. He should not pay any attention to his words, no matter what he said.

"You are doing quite better than before, though… I must admit that staying in your mind was quite easier a few minutes ago…"

These words gave new confidence to Harry. He was doing it, he could secure his mind. All he had to do was not let that voice affect him.

"But in the end, we both know you will not succeed… You have to accept the truth Harry… You're worthless…"

Ignore him. Ignore him, and just relax.

"Useless…"

Don't listen to him.

"Pathetic…"

I am not pathetic.

"You are… And we both know it…"

Just don't pay any attention to what he says.

"Pathetic… And clueless…"

Clueless?

"Has Dumbledore considered you worthy enough to let you know about horcruxes?"

About what? He opened his eyes again, forgetting about his previous efforts to ignore Voldemort's words. They had reached the topic about that strange thing again; what if a horcrux did exist? What if Dumbledore did know and had simply not informed Harry? What if the Headmaster really though Harry to be worthless?

"What are these horcruxes?" he asked desperately, hoping that he would finally be enlightened.

No answer came.

"What are these things?"

No response.

He growled.

Silence.

"HARRY! OPEN THE DOOR!'

Harry sat up, shocked, and quickly got out of the tub. Where had that come from? He wrapped the towel around his waist, without bothering about the watter dripping on the floor, and rushed to unlock the door. Once he did, the hot steams flew out of the bathroom, making Hermione lift her left hand to cover her eyes.

"Sorry about that," Harry muttered, "the water was a little too hot…"

"It's okay," the girl said after a few seconds, and then looked worriedly straight into there friend's eyes. "Harry is everything alright?" she asked, and took a quick glance around the bathroom above Harry's shoulder.

"Yeah, why shouldn't it be?" Harry shrugged, struggling to make his voice sound casual.

Hermione frowned at him, as if she thought Harry was completely out of his right mind. "Harry, you woke up the whole house with your screaming."


AN/ Hey guys! I'm so sorry it took so long to update, I really am… But here I am with an update… :) I hope you liked the new chapter… I do not want to rush things, so there's still not the HP/LV thing I'm planning for the next chapter… Hope you understand… But as I said, there will be.

I want to thank everyone who reads this, and of course everyone who had added this story to their alerts and favourites! Thanks guys :) Many special thanks to those who took the time and reviewed, it's great to have some feedback!

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