Mwahahahahahaaaa! I finished it! This is going to be book one of two books I have literally written this in three days omg I'm going crazy! Anyway! After taking a few deep breaths- you guys have no idea how determined I was to finish this! I will post a new chapter every day for the next mmmm...two weeks? Two in a half weeks? That sounds about right, however I will now be taking a break before I start the next book. Keep in mind that these are going to be short books. I sort of hit a writers block in my other Harry Potter series so I dipped into this one hoping to clean out my brain so that I can continue, so it is not my top priority. However there will be a second book have no fear- it just might take a few weeks to get to. Wish me luck and I hope you enjoy this!
General warnings apply,
And I do not claim any of these characters or themes!
Forty-two year old Harry Potter narrowed his gaze at his superior officer suspiciously. In all his years working for the Unspeakable's office he'd never received an assignment this… ambiguous. And considering that he worked in a sect that thrived on things that were out of the normal realm of possibilities? It was certainly saying something about this mission. His superior sighed quietly.
"I came to you because no one else would accept this mission." He said finally. Harry nodded slowly. Of course they wouldn't have accepted, but he wasn't just anyone which made him wonder why they hadn't come to him in the first place, he was known for his willingness to brave imminent danger to seek the truth. Something in the man's eyes though…
"That's a lie." He said narrowing his own gaze. The man stiffened. Harry was just as good at determining emotions and motives as this man was at hiding them. "The people that did accept this mission- have either died or have not returned." He said knowingly. The war had changed his perceptions on life; it had hardened him, taught him to look beyond what was directly in front of him-
Look at me…
-lest he lose someone precious because of his own foolishness. His superior officer's lips turned into a grim line of acceptance.
"There is a great chance that you will not return from this mission." He agreed with a steady nod. Harry could read in between lines and emotions, to him, even the most closed minds were open books.
"You needed someone that would not be missed." He said knowingly. Ten years ago his ties with the golden trio had been cut; he had no social ties of any kind and was a noted recluse. It wasn't his fault really, no one could understand what the war had done to him and he didn't seek help for it. He managed by becoming an Unspeakable, the only profession that would allow him an outlet. He wasn't suited for normal living any more- in fact he doubted that he ever had been 'normal' in any sense of the word.
"Yes." The man said evenly faint lines of stress creasing around his eyes. Harry nodded knowingly.
"Ever since the minister's daughter fell through the veil he's been pressuring this department to find a way to retrieve her." He said easily. "Agents have been working round the clock to find a hole and have come up with nothing- the veil is ever as mysterious as the day it was placed in the death chamber nearly four hundred years ago." He said the cogs in his mind whirring critically. His superior officer smiled faintly.
"Leave it to you to figure out that much by yourself, I really do hate the fact that I have to send my best man on this mission." He said shaking his head. Harry nodded accepting the compliment for what it was.
"I'm not finished with my work in the Neuroscience department." He said easily. That particular department had been his area of expertise for three years running now and he'd almost become accustomed to being surrounded by floating brains and the like. The officer nodded.
"This mission takes precedence." He said crisply. Harry nodded and set the scroll down.
"When do I leave?"
Harry stood in front of the two story house for a long while before the door finally opened and Hermione stepped out her lips drawn into a grim sad line. "Aren't you coming in Harry?" She said warily. Harry nodded slowly and stepped past the threshold. He hadn't seen his friend for a long while- and time had not been kind to her it seemed. Four children and a full-time position in research development had lead to her rather plump physique as well as the lines in her face and the graying beginning in her hair.
"I was surprised when the hand on the clock registered that you were here." She said calmly her gaze inquisitive. He glanced at the clock in question where his name was pointing to 'home' and his throat tightened slightly.
"Where's Ron?" he asked cautiously. Ron's reaction to his decision to distance himself from them had been explosive to say the least. Hermione's lips twitched downwards slightly.
"Working." She said her eyes growing suspicious. Harry nodded and took a moment to glance around. Everything in this house was different from the last time he'd been here except for the clock- and the small framed photo on the mantle. Without preamble he crossed the room and picked it up. It was a picture of the three of them, taken before the war when they were all innocent children- though even here his eyes were a shade darker than they should have been.
"It's hard to believe isn't it?" Hermione said perceptively. Harry's hand absently lifted to his face as he caught sight of his reflection. His eyes were dead, his expression stony- but worst of all was that age had not touched him. He still looked seventeen, the age he'd been when the horcrux had been torn from him. The fact that he wasn't aging had been the last thing they'd noticed after the war. His stoicism was the first. He was empty, a chasm unable to feel anything other than the most potent of emotions, like grief for example. But it hadn't been long before he himself noticed that he was remaining exactly as he had been while others aged. It was this that led him to the unspeakables in the first place.
The horcrux that had bound its self to him had rendered him ageless, the combination of phoenix tears and Basilisks venom had cursed him with an exceedingly long lifespan. He was for all intents and purposes immortal. "I will be going on a mission." He said at last setting down the picture to face Hermione. He owed them this at least. She nodded slowly a frown on her face as fear began to build in her eyes. "There is a good chance that I will not be returning." He said confirming her fears. She knew that his job was dangerous, but he had never warned her away like this before. She opened her mouth to speak but choked on the words as tears spilled down her cheeks. He shifted uncomfortably; he couldn't handle emotions very well especially after living without them for as long as he had.
"If I had the chance." Hermione said through grit teeth. "I would kill Voldemort all over again for what he did to you- to all of us!" She growled finally giving in and bursting into tears. "You're not the Harry I love- but at the same time you are, gods Harry I'm so sorry!" She cried burying her face in her hands. Harry frowned uncomfortably.
"Mione?" Ron's voice rang clearly and Harry stiffened as his long time friend came around the corner his eyes flickering between them before becoming accusing.
"I should go." Harry said uncomfortably. "I just thought- that you should know." He said before slipping past Ron and out the door his chest suddenly gripped in agonizing pain.
He still had one more place to visit.
"Ah, so the illustrious Harry Potter finally lowers himself to visit us common folk!" Came the snide tone. Harry felt his lips twitch upwards slightly in response. Once upon a time this man would have filled him with rage, anger, grief, hatred, and so many other emotions he didn't care to look at. Now there was only vague grief and sorrow.
"Snape." He said with a slight tilt of his head. Dark eyes narrowed slightly from where he stood in his portrait and a second voice drifted through the air.
"So it's true then." Albus Dumbledore's voice said sounding tired and sad. Harry gazed at the portrait and noted the absent twinkle that was usually present in the man's eyes. "Tom has taken your most precious attributes to the grave with him." He said peering at him grimly. Harry nodded.
"And you have not aged." Snape said pursing his own lips.
"What brings you here my dear boy?" Dumbledore said softly. Harry frowned slightly.
"Goodbyes I suppose." He said carefully. He was never quite certain why he did things like this.
"Going on vacation are we?" Came Snape's dry tone. Harry shook his head at first and then nodded slightly.
"I suppose you could call it that- the kind that I won't be returning from in all likelihood." He said cryptically. Both Portraits became still and both sets of eyes were suddenly boring into him.
"Planning to die are we?" Snape said tightly. Harry didn't know how to answer that so instead he shrugged causing the man to sneer. "Well then?" He said demanding an answer.
"I don't know if I am capable of death." He said evenly. "But I've been told that I may not be able to return never the less. I felt that for Harry's sake I should say goodbye to the people he loved." He said pointedly looking at Snape who reared back in shock.
"Loved?" Dumbledore said his eyes twinkling brightly. Harry turned his gaze away from Snape and nodded.
"Yes." He said softly. "Though I probably wouldn't admit to it if it weren't for the fact that I am incapable of emotions such as embarrassment any more." He said tilting his head to the side in mild confusion. Dumbledore snorted and turned to Snape with a smirk.
"And you said you were incapable of being loved." He said smugly. Snape snapped out of whatever daze he'd fallen in and glared heatedly at the both of them before turning his back on them decidedly. Harry cocked his head to the side and smiled faintly. "The world was deprived of something truly precious the day you were stripped of your emotions dear boy." Dumbledore said sadly. Harry however was still gazing at Snape a sharp pang rippling through him causing him to grip his chest reflexively.
"Something truly precious." He repeated blankly his breathing oddly tight. "Snape." He said softly but firmly. The man remained ridged and Harry felt himself tremble. "Look at me." He said quietly unaware of the tears that had filled his eyes for the first time in years. The man stiffened impossibly more before slowly turning his gaze unreadable and yet to Harry entirely understandable. He fell into onyx eyes and allowed himself the briefest well of true impossible love. "Thank you." He said quietly a small true smile crossing his lips before he quickly retreated from the room leaving the last bit of himself behind for both men to ponder for many years to come.
Unspeakables lined the walls of the death chamber as he stepped into the room. "They wanted to give you their respect." Said his superior officer. "Your sacrifices to this world are well known to anyone who's ever seen you." He said with a nod. Harry glanced around the room.
"Thank you." He said softly unable to offer them more as he stepped onto the platform remembering once again an old ache as the memory of Serious Black flashed before his mind's eye.
"Good luck Potter." His superior officer said softly his stance rigid. Harry nodded absently before staring into the abyss of the veil drawn forward by the whispered voices.
This is not your place any more...
Come to us…
And then he was stepping through the veil and into a world of darkness.