Deep breath, focus, exhale.

The conversation from the other night is replaying in my head again, I groan. Bloody fucking hell! It's been throwing me off my concentration in all of my lessons. I just can't stop thinking about it. In the three days since my conversation with Snape I haven't told Tom exactly what happened and he keeps staring at me, waiting for me to spill the beans. I wonder if he knows about the dark lord bit that Snape mentioned. I haven't seen any mail or news papers lying around, I assume he hasn't.

Deep breath, focus, exhale. I try to concentrate.

Force everything back behind the wall and hold it there. There is nothingness, no distractions, no emotions. Only neutrality. Focus on the shield that will cradle and protect the mind, defending against invaders...

"I can't do this..." I pull my hair a bit in frustration and try to rub the annoyance off my face.

I'll have to do the exercise before bed, hopefully I'll get everything sorted well before then. Hopefully being the key word.

I get up off the mat I use for occlumency exercises and move to sit on the arm chair sitting near the fireplace. The fire is soothing in a way, keeps you warm and entertained as it dances around like it's doing it on purpose. As distracting as it seems, it's very helpful with untangling my thoughts. Which is funny because a lot of people think I don't use my brain...Gryffindor tendencies and all.

I have gotten over the fact that Tom isn't a monster and the Bellatrix is pretty good conversationalist. The information that the both of them shared with me the first night I stayed with them is finally settling down, but I still find my self trying to understand the history of both Tom and Dumbledore.

Tom told me that his family was insane and it wasn't genetic. He did a lot of research during his days as Dark Lord Voldemort and he explained to me that it had to be some sort of outside source that caused the madness if it wasn't genetic. It might have been a curse on the family perhaps even a dark object, he is still unsure.

He also told me that he was in fact a descendant of Salazar Slytherin and he had a very old family tree to prove it. He believes that the start of the madness in the family started around Slytherin's first wife and trickled on from there to his children and the children's children, causes unknown, treatment unavailable. The necklace, Salazar's, had been passed down the family forever and was in perfect condition by the time Tom came to own it.

The Gaunt family ring was a wedding gift from Salazar's wife's father. At the time it was gifted the resurrection stone was not on the ring, the stone was added many years after Salazar's death. When Salazar did die the cause of death was not clear, the rumor was that it was suicide and the other was that his wife had killed him. She was in the early stages of insanity at the time according to some old medical documents. She suffered from bouts of confusion and violence, eventually cutting her own throat.

In the years following the deaths of Slytherin and his wife similar events occurred throughout the years when it reached Tom's mother's generation. In Merope's deep infatuation with the muggle man Tom Riddle Sr. she attempted to capture and keep prisoner his heart with a love potion. When Tom was five Tom Sr. ended up free of his enchanted shackles and attempted to escape his captor and unwanted son. Merope was engulfed in rage. In her insanity she killed him and then her self leaving Tom to an orphanage.

Anyone would be unsociable and a little violent if that happened to them in my opinion.

With Tom's bits of uncontrolled magic Dumbledore had a very peculiar interest in the child's power. Tom explained to him that he could move things with his mind without touching them, cause pain to those who hurt him, make animals dance without training them, he could even speak to snakes. It wasn't long before Tom became a ward of Hogwarts and attended the school.

Tom was a brilliant and cunning wizard with amazing talent and was easily sorted into House Slytherin. With his talent came his ability to gain admirers and followers. He had amazing social prowess for being a troubled orphan with a spotty history. He had outstanding grades and all the teachers were impressed and the student body looked up to him. This frightened Dumbledore and he sought to manipulate young Tom after he graduated Hogwarts. Dumbledore offered him and tried forcing him to take up the post of Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, Tom refused and in his anger over the situation he cursed the position and disappeared.

When Tom dropped off Dumbledore's radar the old man thought it would be a great idea to push the situation. Accusing Tom of being Dark and telling anyone who would listen that Tom planned to go against the ministry and all other matters of slander. Things went extreme and as Tom traveled he built up followers and they were given the name Death Eaters. His aim wasn't killing muggles, muggle-borns and half bloods. His aim was to kill Dumbledore, everything else was just collateral damage.

When Albus interviewed Trelawny for the Divination position, he was hardly impressed by the woman's inherited talents. He thought the whole subject was a waste. The only reason he gave her an opportunity was because she was the great-great grand daughter of a celebrated seer. It was when their meeting ended that she made a true prediction, the one that Snape had only heard half of before he was kicked out for eaves dropping.

Tom decided that if he wanted to hit Dumbledore hard he would have to go after this prophesied dark lord vanquisher. At the time Tom believed that it was him who the prophecy spoke of. Tom made a decision to go after the Potters because they seemed like the bigger threat.

My dad came from a powerful pure blooded family with connections and power, made sense to go after something that would give Albus and edge in the first war. What Tom didn't count on was Dumbledore making arrangements to put my family into hiding under Fidelius. Though Dumbledore didn't count on Peter having already been swayed into the ranks of death eaters who my parent's made secret keeper.

The night he breached the wards of our home in Godric's Hallow, Tom in fact killed both my parents and attempted to kill me, my mother's sacrifice saved me but it destroyed Tom's physical body. He explained to me that at the time we were a threat to him and his goal, it was unfortunate series of events

that could not be avoided.

Tom believes that even then some people believed Dumbledore had ulterior motives. The old man didn't know that Peter was a death eater nor did he know that mum and dad didn't make Sirius the secret keeper. Tom thinks that out of anger Albus got Sirius sent to Azkaban, which I completely agree with given the circumstances. I just don't know how many people are going to believe the junk he's spewing about me. I'll have to get in touch with Rems and a few others regarding the situation and see what damage has been done so far.

How much has Dumbledore affected so far? More importantly how am I going to help out Snape?

He is probably the most dangerous person I know and yet Dumbledore easily brought him to his knees...I'll have to talk to Tom about it.

I break the staring contest I'm having with the fire just in time to feel my stomach churn and growl hunger. I suppose I should go see what for dinner. I stretch a bit as I stand up, heading out the door of the library.

o0o0o0o

I enter the kitchen and notice that Kreature has already set the table for dinner, Tom and Bella are already sitting at the table in comfortable silence. I take a seat sitting across from Tom.

"Good evening you two. Hows the food?" I ask pulling my plate closer. Looks like some curry dish.

"It's acceptable." Tom answers, spooning up some curry from his own plate. Bellatrix nods in agreement.

"So about that night a couple days ago. The one where I managed to visit Snape's mind."

"Yes, what about it Harry?"

I scratch the back of my head in irritation, and scowl at my plate. Come on tell him already, it's not like he's going to bite your head off.

Shut it! I growl at my conscience

"I learned a few things from it. I wasn't sure how to tell you until this afternoon."

"Oh? What sort of things did you learn, Harry?" Tom sips his tea and eyes me curiously.

"Snape told me that Dumbledore has accused me of being a dark lord. Him and the Wizengamot have pinned seven attempted murders on me, and they are charging me with that and treason."

"Bloody old sod!" Bella growled, her wand hand twitching as she went for her cup.

"I knew something like that was going to happen soon. What else did you learn?"

"Apparently," I swallow thickly trying to keep my self composed, "Snape tried to defend me when Dumbledore told him what he had done. He attacked Snape because of me. He hurt someone and it's my fault!" I hiss, balling up my hands at my side in anger.

"It's not your fault Harry, what Dumbledore does is not your fault. He has been doing this to people for years. Is there anything else you wish to tell me?"

I close my eyes and try to relax.

'You should tell him about what you want to do. He won't be mad at you for trying to get back at the old man.' My conscience whispers to me.

"I was thinking, that maybe I...we could go to Hogwarts and break Snape out and see about getting some allies. Not just in the school, but in the Order as well."

"I'm not really sure it's worth the risk Harry..."

"I think the boy has a point, Tom." Bella defends my idea, an evil smirk gracing her lips. "What better way to annoy Albus than to steal people he controls? There really isn't much we can lose by doing this."

"Besides Harry getting caught." Tom cuts in.

"I won't get caught, I doubt between the three of us he could fight us off. Plus it's summer break and there won't be any students at the school. The only people there will be the faculty."

"He has a point, Tom. Harry will be finished with his initial training in a week. In that time he can contact people with in the order. Surely Remus and Sirius are still on Harry's side."

"Most of the Weasleys too, and Hermione," I add. "We need to do this, I'm not going to let him hurt people because of me. It will drive him barmy if we walk right in."

Tom had a pensive look on his face. I could tell that he liked the idea even though he was expressing concerns. This would catch Albus off guard the look on his face when we storm the castle will be worth the trouble.

"I'll think on the idea some more. For now you should try and contact those who you think loyal to you, and perhaps even try and contact Severus again. Get as much information you can and we'll go over it and figure out where we'll head from there. Is that agreeable?"

I grin at him, "Yeah."

"Bellatrix, find out what former death eaters are still alive and not in prison, I feel that it would be wise to consider all our options. You should also look into seeing what contacts we still have in the ministry who are willing to work with us again." Bella nodded in agreement and stood to leave the room without another word.

"Will you be alright, Harry? This news can't be easy to digest, it certainly wasn't for me when I was in your shoes." Tom had a thoughtful look on his face, he can't really pull off thoughtful, it's kind of creepy. I shudder.

"I'm fine Tom. I can't imagine what he would have done if I had stayed, this is the better option. I've been fighting some sort of problem since I turned eleven, this is nothing different."

It's disgusting how I can justify my feelings towards these issues. Tom gives me an understanding look before getting up from the kitchen chair and leaving the room. I should probably get to writing that letter. I take my plate with me and head back upstairs.

o0o0o0o

Dear Moony,

Not sure what all is going on with the Order, Dumbledore, and the wizarding community so I will

assume that you know I am being called a dark lord now. I didn't attempt to murder any of those people

and I sure as hell am not trying to over throw the government. Some things happened and I had to get

away, apparently my running away provoked this reaction from the Headmaster. We need to talk. I need

you to round up all those in the Order who are still on my side. I'll be waiting for your reply.

Yours,

Harry.

That will have to be good enough for now. I charm the letter like I have done to the few letters I sent Snape so it reads differently to other people who are not Remus. I slip it in to the envelope and add the security charms, I am sure Dumbledore is intercepting letters like mad. He won't get anything out of this one if it does happen to get intercepted.

"Here Nes, I need you to take this letter to Remus Lupin." I hand over the letter to the black fuzzball of an owl Nessus. He happily takes the parcel and zooms out the window without a second thought. I chuckle at his over abundance of energy. I'll skip my occlumency exercise for today, I don't think I could concentrate any better than I did earlier. Besides I need to work on a way to get past Snape's barrier anyways. For now sleep sounds amazing.


Albus hasn't bothered to call me up to his office since I've awoken, nor has he made an effort to come visit my quarters. I have taken plenty of steps to avoid being near Albus as well. I may not get called to the fools office but it seems Minerva has been summoned quite often, she has my sympathy. Speaking of, she'll be here in ten minutes for tea.

Since Albus' little announcement concerning Potter the public has had mixed reactions. Half of them want to tear Potter to pieces for 'betraying' them and the other half don't believe the words, that same half wants to murder Albus for even thinking their Savior could be dark. It's rather amusing how much hate mail he gets, according to Minerva.

The floo flares and she gracefully steps through with practiced ease.

"Good evening Minerva."

"Good evening Severus. How are you?" She smiles sitting on the couch across from the arm chair that I'm sitting in.

"I am well, how are you?"

"I could be better. I don't know how you deal with being called to Albus' office once a day, it's going to make me batty!" She complains.

"It doesn't get any better if that's what you're asking. You just kind of sit there and ignore him after a while." I reply dryly, she snorts.

"Well tonight was interesting to say the least." She pours her self a cup of tea, adding a splash of milk and a cube of sugar, stirring it.

"What happened?" I fill my cup half full with tea and fill it the rest of the way with scotch, she looks at me funny as I sip at my alcoholic tea like I've grown two heads.

"Albus want's me to take over as Headmistress." I choke on my tea.

"You can't be serious!"

"Oh, but I am. The Wizengamot wants him to take over as Minister of Magic, and this time he agreed to it." Oh mother of Merlin...

"Are you going to do it?"

"He really didn't give me a choice, he told me that he didn't trust anyone else with the task."

'Of course, because he's been grooming you for this from the very start!' I want to say.

"When is he leaving?"

"In a couple days, they will be making a formal announcement before hand. They forced Kingsley to resign. Take the benefits for retired Ministers or get tossed out with nothing."

"I see." I finish off my alcoholic tea and pour my self some more scotch without the tea this time.

"How have you been since your recovery, Severus?"

"Better. The remnants of the burns are gone, though there is some scarring. I am feeling no ill affects of the hypothermia..."

"Who did it?" She purses her lips and stares me down. Minerva has been at this since three days ago.

"I don't know Minnie, I didn't see them." I tense up.

She narrows her eyes into a glare."You are lying to me, you tense up when I ask about it. You know who did it. I'll find out eventually Severus Snape, mark my words." Not if I can help you nosy mother hen.

"Minerva I don't know what you're talking about. My answer won't change."

"Whatever you say Severus." She huffs and finishes her tea.

After all these years she's still able to see very nearly through me, its a little disconcerting.

"Do you believe that Harry is dark?" She asks out of the blue, catching me off guard with that question.

"I believe that Potter doesn't have the will the be dark nor do I think he has the stomach to try and murder people. I honestly don't know what they think they are going to accomplish by accusing him of such."

"That is high praise coming from the man that says, and I quote, 'Potter is the bane of my existence.'"

"Lets just say the accusations have made me re-evaluate the reckless phenomena that is Potter." I pinch the bridge of my nose and squeeze my eyes shut to keep other thoughts at bay for the time being.

"Oh?" She stares at, the curiosity and amusement is written all over her face.

"I loathe to admit it, but Potter is nothing like his parents. Yes he may carry a lot of their traits but he has become his own person. Though he's still a vile little trouble maker and has a knack for attracting trouble, not to mention all the rule breaking he's done." She smirks at my confession.

"High praise indeed. Your near death experience has done wonders for your attitude Severus." She teases.

"Hardly." I scoff

"I should probably go I suppose. It's getting late and I have some business to take care of in the morning." She sets her tea cup back down on the table and stands up.

"Thank you for coming. Good night Minerva."

"Thank you for the tea Severus, pleasant dreams." She smiles at me and floos back to her office, I am left to my thoughts. I would be better without them though. Albus as Minister of Magic, how absurd.

I suppose I should inform Potter of what is happening, it would be unwise to owl him as Albus has started monitoring all means of communication leaving and entering the castle walls. I still feel like I never stopped spying, perhaps it will be this way for the rest of my existence. How dismal.


Author's Note:

I am not very impressed with this chapter (I found it boring!), but it needed to happen and I feel like there will be more chapters like this as I attempt to mold the plot. Speaking of I used a lot of the Harry Potter history in this chapter. I always loved the lore behind the Deathly Hallows, and I've always enjoyed the history found in the Harry Potter universe.

Be sure to drop a review! (or a PM).