Disclaimer: Only own the plot and OCs.
Adrenaline rush, my butt. That quickly dwindled when he fully realized where he was heading.
It dawned on him that he was standing in front of a bathroom.
A girl's bathroom.
Harry looked to both sides, his face burning.
He couldn't shake off the feeling that he was doing something bad no matter what he did.
As it was, unluckily for Harry, when he had sealed some of his emotions off, it had been primarily pain and rage, so it had no effect on his current embarrasment.
He really hoped no one saw this. He ignored the blush prickling at his face.
He sighed again before checking just one more time.
Why would a ghost haunt a bathroom of all places? He thought sullenly.
Think about it this way. What was more important, not entering a girls' bathroom or finding the Horcrux?
He took a firm step towards the door but his face burned and he retreated, clearing his throat again. But this was wrong!
Wrong? He was the dark heir. Who cared about wrong?
His feet took him one step closer before again doubling back, the deep blush on his face showing his embarrassment.
What if someone saw him?
A sound to his right startled him and he turned his head slowly in horror.
Two dreamy grey eyes stared back at him. Loony Lovegood was staring at him pensively as she tried to figure out what he was doing. He relaxed, regaining his composure. No one would believe her anyways.
"You're in front of the girls' bathroom." She said in an airy voice with the kind of honesty that usually makes people uncomfortable.
He resisted the urge to sneer at her and drawl a sarcastic 'really?'.
Wait a second.
This was perfect!
Harry's expression turned eager as he stepped extremely close to her, shoving his face in front of hers.
"Can I ask you a favor?"
"Myrtle says someone threw the book at her." She said in an airy voice. "It's not there anymore though. Someone took it."
"Oh... Thanks anyways." He nodded at her.
"It's fine." She looked at him sympathetically with dreamy eyes. "It happens to me too. It's the nargles. They like to steal things."
Nargles? Harry's brows shot up. What utter nonsense.
"Really?" He said as he stared at her disdainfully. "Nargles?"
Not people? Her ability to delude herself was astounding.
He could see that her quirky habits and dreamy and distracted personality probably led to her being bullied.
He concentrated on detachment.
Why didn't she stand up for herself? Harry could feel little but disdain for her.
Whatever. Pathetic doormats who didn't even try to change the way things were had no one to blame but themselves. He resisted the urge to sneer at her.
"Yes." She said sadly.
It wasn't any of his business, but for some reason, feelings of hostility and disdain rose when he looked at her.
She represented a state that Harry particularly hated.
She represented powerlessness.
He stared at her coldly, loathing in his eyes, his true emotions slipping for a moment.
But she wasn't any of his concern. She was just another stupid student.
"Well, I'd better get going." He nodded at her, trying to maintain a polite tone, although she must have been more observant than he gave her credit for because she seemed the tiniest bit hurt.
He left the corridor, shoving her out of his mind.
This solidified Harry's suspicion that it was currently with Damon. After all, who else would have this much incentive to look for the heir so determinedly?
He did seem a bit suspicious when Harry had caught him and his moronic two friends trying to play heroes by spying on him. Besides, his guts were telling him Damon had it. That meant his next destination was the Gryffindor dorms.
Harry pushed her out of his mind as he started to walk in the direction of the Gryffindor dorms. He had already wasted enough time.
He needed to find the Horcrux as quickly as possible, so he should go and get it now. He checked his watch, and he saw that there was still some time until dinner finished.
He finally arrived at the portrait of the Fat Lady a few minutes later.
"Password." He heard a voice say. He raised his head to look at her, and her eyes widened in surprise.
For some reason, she had almost mixed him up for Damon Potter. Now that she looked closer though, his hair was black rather than dark red, and his eyes green instead of hazel. The hair was slightly neater, and he was also taller. Although the facial features were eerily similar, this boy's face was more pleasing to the eyes, his face almost devilish in its handsomeness.
So how did she get confused?
Huh, the world was a very weird place.
"I don't think I've ever seen you before." She looked at him curiously with a glint of admiration in her eyes. "I'd remember your face if I'd seen it before."
Harry stared at her calculatingly,his unnerving cold green eyes disappearing in a fraction of a second, replaced by a polite, charming smile.
"I'm just looking for my friend." He said while smiling the sweet, endearing smile that often tricked people into falling into whatever plot he had concocted. "Wattlebird." He said the password.
"Go right in, dear." She smiled at him.
He walked up the stairs and headed for the dorms. He found the door with Damon's name on it and kicked the door open.
The room, as typical of a normal boy, was extremely disorganized. In other words, as messy as hell. Harry kicked off underwear that fell on his shoes.
He ruffled through the drawers, looked under the bed, in the trunk, but he couldn't find a single trace of the diary! After a few more minutes of searching he gave up.
He kicked Damon's trunk in vicious resentment and felt satisfaction as it spilled its contents over the floor.
What had happened? Where was it?
Was he too hasty? Was it not with Damon Potter after all?
But then where could it be?
If it wasn't with Ginny Weasley, or with Damon Potter, where could it be?
Annoyance and frustration turned to anger and confusion as he realized that he was once again back to square one. He had no idea where the Horcrux was.
He was so sure it was with Damon Potter. Were his instincts getting rusty? They had never failed him before.
He was starting to become unsure. No. It was silly to be like this because of one mistake.
But what if next time, the consequences are much greater? A voice whispered in his head. Harry ignored it.
He slammed the door behind him as he walked out angrily. The realization that he was not always right bruised his ego, and at the same time, the thought that he had to start looking for the Horcrux from scratch infuriated him.
He wasn't wrong. He was sure he wasn't.
Damon Potter had acted quite suspiciously when Harry had asked him if he found anything. He had, at least at thapoint not in time, possessed the notebook.
And now it was gone. How could that be explained?
Where could it be?
He forced himself to calm down, clearing his head. He had to be level.
He couldn't do anything about it now. It could be anywhere in the castle.
The only consolation he had was that nobody could figure out the diary was a Horcrux as knowledge of such things was rare even among the most scholarly, and even if they suspected something was wrong with it, they couldn't destroy it by normal means. Only someone like Dumbledore met both criteria, and hopefully, Dumbledore would never find out it was here in the first place.
He sighed in frustration as he ran his hand through his hair.
For the first time, Harry found himself at a loss thinking about what to do.
Agh, this was such a drag, he grumbled.
Damon and Ron were sitting on a couch in a corner of the Gryffindor common room. It was still early in the morning, and Damon had a match against Hufflepuff later on in the day.
"Who do you think could have taken it?" Damon whispered in a hushed voice.
A few nights ago, Damon had come in to find his room turned upside down, and he noticed that Tom Riddle's diary had gone missing.
"No idea, mate, but it'd have been a Gryffindor." Ron said in an equally low voice. ''How else would they know the password?"
"It's strange, though. Who would want a diary so bad?" Puzzlement was evident in his voice.
They had already shared the news with Hermione, but she had run to the library saying that she finally figured something out.
"Hey, it's almost eleven; you should get going if you don't want to miss your match." Ron urged him as he hopped off the couch.
"Well, I guess you're right." Damon agreed as he picked himself up.
Only when they reached the pitch had it become apparent that something very, very terrible had happened. McGonagall had raced across the pitch to inform them the match was cancelled.
Damon couldn't suppress the knot of dread in his stomach as McGonagall asked him and Ron, along with Seth, to follow her.
"There has been another attack…" The professor explained sadly as she led them into the hospital wing.
Damon's heart did a somersault as he looked at the figure lying on the bed.
"Hermione!" Ron's stunned voice rung throughout the wing.
"I can't believe it." Damon whispered in shock.
Seth stared at the figure, blood draining out of his face.
"I'm sorry." She said with a sad voice. "I know this is hard for you."
After a few moment passed, McGonagall sighed and put a hand over their shoulders.
"I'll escort you back to the common room. I have to read out the new rules to everybody." Her usually stern face and voice were now soft.
Harry had been walking through the hallways.
It was already night; it would be time for curfew soon. As Harry was walking back to the dorms, he saw people pouring out of the great hall, walking in groups. He leaned on a wall that was unlit by the candles, observing the crowd.
After gazing at them, his thoughts darkened slightly and he felt something that left a bitter taste in his mouth.
All the groups looked tight-knit, as if they shared all their secrets and had known each other for years. His eyes ran over the groups, looking for Seth. However, he was talking with Damon and Ron, and all three of them had a glum expression on their faces.
While he could indeed use some company, he would definitely not show his down self to Damon Potter, so for now at least, he would have to leave Seth alone.
Harry took his eyes away and coldly scanned the crowd, noting all the individuals he'd met during his days at Hogwarts, all in different groups, looking comfortable. Then, looking at the crowd as a whole, he could notice the camaraderie that existed between them subconsciously.
They were still children. They had that carefree innocence about them. He glanced after them, a hint of wistfulness and longing in his frozen green eyes. A feeling sprouted inside him.
That only made him angrier, and he scowled as he kicked the ground absentmindedly.
They lived in a totally different world. Soon, they had all left, and he was left alone in the hallway.
He stared at the candle on the opposite wall. The flame on it flickered, casting shadows around it. Light and darkness…
Wasn't it funny?
Wherever there is light, there is darkness.
Darkness is born out of light's existence. And when the light shines brightest, the darkness is at its blackest.
Just like him.
He raised his hands in front of his face and gazed at it, covered in shadows by the candle flickering on the opposite wall. He stared at the moving shadows, mesmerized by their movements.
It is so bright it burns everything into your eyes so that you can't forget. It illuminates everything you want to hide, stripping away all your masks and exposing your weakness. Showing you everything that is happening in clear, painful details, and carving it into your memory.
He hated it.
The candle in front of him exploded, and his part of the hallway was engulfed in darkness.
For a split second, a shadow of the unbalanced part of him he'd sealed away was back, before disappearing again altogether.
He stared at the corridor the students had used a minute ago, unsure whether to follow or not. Was he far too gone to be considered one of them?
Thoughts chased around in his head and he realized he really shouldn't be left to his own devices right then.
He could go to Seth, but Harry doubted it would help much. Although Harry cherished his friend greatly, he did not understand. He'd want to, but he couldn't.
Ugh, this was so cumbersome. Harry was lazy, this amount of thinking was way too much for him.
Harry paused for a moment, and changed his destination for the astronomy tower to think there. He let detachment and cold clarity fill his mind.
What would be his next step?
He needed to get the Horcrux as soon as possible, before anybody could destroy it. He had no choice but to wait for it to strike again.
He also still had no idea how he was going to get revenge on the Potters. He still hadn't even decided what he was going to do to them. Killing them was definitely not enough.
He had never killed anybody, he noted as he stared at his hands, which he knew was more than capable of doing so. But physical and magical ability weren't the same as the actual ability to kill someone.
Would he be able to do it? He would have to, eventually. A war was coming.
But he didn't want to, he realized. He didn't want to kill.
He wanted to retain a semblance of the innocence he once had, even if it was only a sliver. He was reluctant to lose even that because of the Potters.
He let his hands fall away.
The Ravenclaw tower was still a few minutes away.
The only person he could talk to who could understand was ironically unavailable. Voldemort was thousands of miles away.
Harry's head snapped up when he suddenly heard several sniggers and laughs.
Frowning, he made his way to the source and found a few students surrounding a familiar blonde head. Luna Lovegood was sprawled on the floor, her eyes missing the usual dreamy quality.
Harry was obviously witnessing bullying. He stared at the blonde's form, studying the expression on her face. Sadness.
His eyes slowly strayed to the other side, comparing it to the faces of the bullies, which were instead filled with vicious, uncaring, delight and glee, as if they were having the time of their life.
And suddenly, anger boiled in his mind. How could someone feel such enjoyment when causing others pain? Was it really that fun, seeing someone's tears?
Was that how the Potters had looked like when they knew the pain they were causing him?
Did they find that much enjoyment out of his predicament?
Rage blinded him for a moment, and his vision went red.
He held himself back, correcting the lapse in control. It was barely contained, like a string that was being pulled to breaking point.
Harry focused on detachment, clarity and calmness. He turned around to ignore the scene, but something stayed his feet.
It felt like he was making a detrimental decision. Like something of vital importance was being decided.
Should he leave, or should he help her?
Harry wrestled with the righteous anger burning in him. He had to be calm. He had to be calculating. Helping her would not benefit him, so he shouldn't help her.
Although his brain was saying that, it was a matter of the heart. And he felt like he shouldn't leave her. She reminded him of him, when he was waiting for someone who would never come.
Had someone seen him in this situation when he was little?
Had they ignored him like he ignored her?
How could he be angry at nobody helping when he himself did not help?
But the rational side won, and his resolve hardened.
However, one last question posed itself to him?
What makes you different from the Potters now?
You're the same.
It was as if the younger Harry was speaking to him.
Hadn't he promised to never forget him? After all, he was doing everything for that Harry.
That young, innocent, naive Harry. A tiny body curled up in the corner of a dark forgotten room.
Harry smiled bitterly as his feet stopped.
He had cut a part of his soul, trained himself to be cold, built a wall between himself and others, yet he still couldn't stop this.
Then, like he couldn't stop himself from helping Seth many years ago, he turned back around.
Pheraps he wasn't as far gone as he thought.
"Good evening." He said, smiling when they turned around in shock. "Confundo."
The confundus charm hit its targets, and confusion immediately appeared on their faces.
The charm caused their feet to stick to the ground with something not unlike glue.
"Are you okay?" He said as he extended a hand towards Luna.
After she had stood up, she looked at him, an airy look back in her eyes.
"That was very nice of you." She finally said, a dreamy smile on her lips. "I'm fine."
"Anytime." Harry smiled at her. "You should go to sleep, it's a bit late for a lady to be up."
She nodded , but held something out to him.
"It's a gift." She said as she unveiled a ... Butterbeer cork necklace?
"Err, thanks? I guess..." He trailed off. His suspicions were confirmed. She was crazy.
"They keep the Nargles away." She nodded before turning to go.
Harry stared at the thing in his hands for a few moment before laughter bubbled up in his throat.
He forgot the Horcrux. He forgot the Potters. He forgot the war. He forgot everything for a second.
He just laughed. A carefree, innocent sound.
When was the last time he had done that?
Meanwhile, the offenders had slowly emerged from under the confundus charm's effect, staring at Harry weirdly.
Harry noticed them and sighed, running a hand through his hair.
Why was he troubling himself?
He was taking everything way too seriously.
He lost the Horcrux?
He'll just have to find it.
He'd deal with it when the time comes.
He was thinking too much, and if he let it go on, it'd affect his life.
So he should just focus on the small things.
He threw the pile of negative emotions into the box at the back of his mind.
"Thinking about everything at once is a bit too bothersome, you know?" He thought out loud while stretching his hands. "Takes too much energy."
"Energy that I'd much rather spend doing this." He smirked as he twirled his wand, an ominous promise in his eyes.
An hour later, four heavily hexed students staggered into the hospital wing. Madame Pomfrey sighed at the variety of colorful hexes used this time.
It was the whole package. Beaver teeth, singing, dancing, speaking in rhymes, bat bogeys, and much, much more.
She grumbled as she became
This would be a real piece of work.
Harry stretched his body while whistling as he walked through the hallways.
That had felt great. He hadn't enjoyed himself like that in a considerable while.
He yawned, blinking his eyes blearily.
He should some some sleep. He would be rising early tomorrow.
He might have an idea for where to start with the Horcrux hunt.