A/N: Whew! 18 pages/8,400 words and this is only part one! Holy skhslsdhfsa! I am sorry it took so long, but it took me ages to really get the feel of Voldemort/Tom; to really be able to define his character when in private with Harry. I rather like it. I do want to take a moment to thank each of you for reading, staying with, and reviewing this story! It means so much to me! When we broke 600 reviews I almost cried (I didn't because that's plebian and unbefitting a Slytherin like myself, but almost). Lol. I hope you all continue to stick with me and my story. (P.S. those pairings that some of you saw were only ideas, not fact :P)
Hmm…oh yes, if you have a face book and are a part of the large amount of potterheads who follow fan pages, I am now admin'ing one. It's a fun way to get to know other potterheads and play games and laugh. Nothing monumental but fun nonetheless. If you want to like us you can go to: www . facebook saneAsIam Just remove the spaces.
Alright, Now that I have taken up your time, get to reading! You have 18 pages of awesomeness to read! Don't forget to review!
Chapter Fifteen: Shedding the Lies (Samhain Pt. 1)
Word had been sent that Narcissa had finished healing Harry via house elf. Dumbledore, McGonagall, Snape, Tom, Lucius, Draco, and Susan were all standing in a crescent formation waiting for the doors to open. When they did however, the sight was not pretty. Narcissa's usual pristine appearance was shattered. Her silky blonde hair was thrown up haphazardly into some sort of messy bun with strands dangling down and sticking to her sweaty forehead. Her hair also had streaks of dried blood in it. The front of her expensive gown was torn and bloodied, and the sleeves themselves looked to have been torn off, no doubt in some bout of frustration.
When Lucius had stepped forward Narcissa nearly collapsed in his arms and Draco ran forward to hug her. "How is he Narcissa? Will he be okay?" Narcissa stepped back still clutching Draco and smiled, "He's just fine now. I removed his appendix but repaired everything else. His body just needs to rest now." Narcissa turned to Madam Pomfrey, "I apologize for my unladylike behavior. You may take him out of his induced coma tomorrow morning."
Madam Pomfrey sniffed and raised her nose in the air, "Of course."
Lucius turned to Draco and pierced him with a stare for a long minute before he spoke, "You did well son. Watch over Harry and keep us informed."
Draco and Susan stood off to the side after the elder Malfoys left, watching Madam Pomfrey run scans over a sleeping Harry. "He's in perfect health now Albus, not even a bruise left." Madam Pomfrey admitted with just a touch of annoyance laced in her voice. "His body has been through a lot though, he just needs to sleep."
"Headmaster, is the Weasley boy not going to receive any punishment for nearly killing Mr. Potter?" Snape asked.
The headmaster smiled cheerfully, making Draco want to step on the man's throat and rip his beard off by hand. "No, no. Severus you know how Quidditch is, it is a delightful sport but it is very dangerous. I highly doubt Mr. Weasley was purposefully trying to harm Mr. Potter. Now, let's leave Mr. Potter to rest. Come now," He ordered and everyone minus Draco and Susan turned to leave.
"If it's alright Headmaster," Susan spoke up, "I think Draco and I would like to sit with Harry for a bit."
"Alright alright, but no fussing when Madam Pomfrey says it's time to leave."
"Of course Headmaster."
With one final look at a safe, peaceful Harry Tom dragged himself from the hospital wing. There was no pain coming from the bond, only a peaceful calm, which soothed Tom more than anything. When he had saw the impact from the window…and then felt the mind-blowing pain…he had lost it. There was no denying to himself about his situation anymore. The sheer amount of panic he had felt, the heart-stopping fear that had clenched his chest for the first time in his life… It only made him more nervous about the coming years.
Tom let his feet guide him and he paid no attention to where he walked. He just needed to get rid of this jittery feeling that was plaguing his limbs. Tom walked along the halls and out of the entrance hall. The fresh air was like a soothing balm to his frazzled mind. He could and had accepted the fact that he shared a soul bond with Harry Potter, the reason for his disembodiment. He could and had accepted the fact that said boy was eleven. And he could and had accepted the fact that it was a boy he was bonded to.
What Tom was struggling with was the fact that he cared. On some deep, primal level that he had thought long dead, he cared for Harry Potter. Watching him fall from the sky, feeling his pain…Tom had not had a reaction like that before. Ever. Sure over his long life he had had various males and females grace his bed, but never once had he ever cared. Even more, none of them had actually cared. Sure they would try to seduce him with romantic words and declarations of love. But how did you love what you didn't know? They had loved the power and had gotten addicted to the adrenaline from the danger.
Did he know how to care for someone? Could Tom ever truly accept someone caring for him? But that was getting ahead of himself, could Potter ever care for him? Truly care and not get drugged by the power? The sad part was, even if Harry ever did claim so, Tom knew he would never truly believe it. Not until the bond was complete. A part of him knew he should feel bad about that but honestly why? Seventy years of being alone and hated and worshiped, was he truly expected to just believe that someone was going to care?
Tom stopped in his tracks and looked around for the owner of a very familiar language. But there was no animal on the ground.
~HUMAN!~ An angry hiss came again, ~UP HERE!~
Tom looked up and was shocked when he found an iridescent onyx snake with black eyes draped over the limb of a tree he was under. How odd. Snakes almost never had black eyes, in fact Tom didn't recall ever seeing a black eyed snake before, ~Hello beautiful, what are you doing up in a tree?~
~I'm stuck, human, obviously.~ Tom snickered quietly for a moment before raising his arm and holding it out for her to slither on to. She did so and curled around his arm until she had reached his shoulders and was draped around his neck.
~Do you have a name?~ Tom asked as he continued his walk, this time having a destination in mind. It felt pleasant to have a serpent around him again, especially one that seemed intelligent. Of course this little thing could never replace his sadistic familiar; Nagini was truly one of a kind. At more than seven feet long and thicker than any man's thigh, she was the offspring of a constrictor and some sort of venomous snake, they would never truly know just which of each kind, however she was the epitome of everything he could have hoped for in familiar. Sadly Tom had had to leave her in the forests of eastern Albania when Quirrell had stumbled across him, but he would return for her.
~Of course I have a name human. I am Arae.~
So this little snake had obviously at some point belonged to a worshiper of the Old Ways, the ways of the wizards before the "light" had taken hold of the country. Good to know that some hadn't forgotten. Tom cracked his neck as he continued to walk past the decrepit willow, merely smirking as it tried to slam it large appendages down, a mere foot from where he walked. For the countless time, and it would surely not be the last, images and plans that Tom had spent decades planning unraveled in his mind like the most detailed blueprints.
Whole Wizarding cities would be reconstructed and restored to their former glories. The magick of old, the worshiping, would be promoted and encouraged with the same ferocity they were now banned with. Hogwarts curriculum would be remodeled, a few new subjects would be added and a few teachers would be fed to his familiar.
But those were merely scratching the surface. These contracts with muggles that were still monitored today would be abolished. Each and every muggle that knew of magic and the contracts would be eliminated. Then one by one every muggle protecting, dark magic banning, creature limiting law that had been passed would be burned. The Ministry would fall to him and he would burn it down and build it up from the ashes. Muggles would be in their rightful place and wizards would not be restricted, especially those with the thirst for power.
Eleven branches of magic were banned and now virtually unheard of even within some of the most prominent pureblood houses, excluding the Malfoy's and the last of the Blacks. Tom himself had personally taught Bellatrix everything she knew and Lucius was a man with a thirst for power. The Blonde had not always been Tom's right hand; he had worked very hard to achieve that position. From the moment the fourteen year old Lucius had met Tom he had delved in his family's library. It had not been for naught, Lucius had risen quickly through the ranks. However the rest…the rest would need to be taught of course. Tom would have to bring in witches and wizards from Bulgaria, Russia, and most importantly Moldova to reeducate the British society. However Moldova would be the most difficult to attain, there was a long standing hatred there.
~Are you going to respond?~ The angry hiss snapped Tom out of his straying thoughts. ~Someone named you after a goddess of curses?~
The snake seemed to give a sort of scoff, earning a raised eyebrow, and said, ~I suppose you could say that.~
Whoever named her had done quite a bit of research beforehand. Arae had been a long lost goddess for over a hundred years. The only reason Tom himself knew of her was because of Corvinus Gaunt II, Tom's great grandfather, and his memoire that had been hidden in the Gaunt shack underneath a floorboard in the attic. Corvinus had been a spell crafting genius and Tom had learned of at least a hundred different spells from that leather bound book, but he had also learned of Arae. Corvinus had written about worshiping her, about how it had been in their family line for at least three generations that he knew of. Tom never worshiped any god or goddess though, for so long he had wanted to but had gotten distracted and fascinated with other rare magic, then finally engulfed in the madness.
Once again the serpent broke Tom out of his reverie, ~I belong to no one, my human is student here at the school.~ A student? Tom mentally listed all of his students that could possibly have that much potential and access, it was more than likely an older Ravenclaw however Rosier, a seventh year Slytherin girl, could possibly have the access and she definitely had the brains.
Tom's lips curled into a menacing smirk, he would remember the Rosier girl when it came time to recruit. ~Such a shame, you are quite a stunning serpent.~
Tom sat down by the edge of the Black Lake and leaned back against a tree that was older than he was. He used to sit in that exact spot and read back when he had attended Hogwarts. ~What I would like to know though, is why you were not shocked to find a speaker. It is almost as if you knew I am one.~ Crimson eyes watched the snake look away for a moment, but he was momentarily confused be the hissed laughter that followed.
~Of course I did, my human told me. He is a speaker as well.~ Tom froze, his mind and his body didn't move or think a single thought for an entire minute. The shocked quiet hadn't lasted long though, questions soon started bombarding him from every angle. How was there another speaker? How did they Tom was a speaker? He hadn't spoken the snake tongue in months. Was there another branch of his line out there that nobody knew about?
After a while the questions calmed and Tom's body relaxed from the tense form it had been. Once more Tom ran through his students, starting with the older years, searching for anyone who might be different from the rest. Someone who had slipped by him unnoticed. But then a question popped in his mind, what if they hadn't gone unnoticed? Crimson eyes widened in disbelief. What if said mystery student had captured Tom's attention flamboyantly. What if said student was so noticeably different from others, that he hid in the attention? What if he was so comfortable around his Defense professor he spoke of the taboo?
~Harry Potter.~ Tom hissed in a whisper, his crimson gaze staring out into the horizon as his brain tried to process this new information. Harry Potter, his soul mate, was a parselmouth. Tom knew for a fact that the Potter line had no Slytherin blood in it. The mudblood however…maybe she was some cast off descendant of a Slytherin squib. In theory it was plausible that her blood didn't have enough magic to resuscitate the dormant parselmouth ability, but the infusion of old blood like the Potter line would, therefore producing an offspring with the ability. However it was nearly impossible to know for sure, unless Tom found the muggles that had abused his Harry. The article had said that Harry had been living with his mother's sister.
The chances of Tom only taking a hair follicle and not the woman's life however were nonexistent. He would murder them brutally one day.
~So you are as smart as he says…yes Harry is mine. Though I am thinking of fashioning him a new name, being the mate of a Dark Lord requires a solid name. I was thinking Charon. What do you think?~
Tom didn't answer for a moment; his lethally sharp mind was now threatening to tip over the edge into madness. His thin lips curled into frown as he continued to stare out in the distance for a while. It made no sense. No logical explanation could be formed. How on earth Harry knew he was Voldemort. The longer Tom tried to keep his grasp on sanity and think of some sort of answer, the faster sanity slipped from his grip and his vision tinted red.
~HOW?~ Tom finally demanded in a voice that could cut through dragon hide, grabbing the snake by the throat in a move so fast his arm seemed to blur. Tom was snarling now and looking the snake in its onyx eyes. However Arae seemed unfazed, ~How did I come up with it? Well Charon is the one who brings souls to-~
~Not the name you bloody animal! How does he know? How did Harry find out I am Lord Voldemort?~ Tom was milliseconds away from severing the snakes head from its body.
~Ahh well,~ The air around the wizard seemed to become more dense, it got thick and heavy in a matter of seconds. Then it started to crackle and Tom's crimson eyes looked around before looking at the snake. ~I suggest you unhand me and ask politely if you would like to know the answers you seek.~ Arae hissed threateningly and showed off her magnificent fangs that were dripping in a brilliant blue venom. Tom dropped the snake on the ground as if it had scalded him and it landed with a loud 'thud', earning another angry hiss.
~Tell me!~ Tom demanded in a hiss just as angrily, though he was pulled back on the teetering fence of sanity by the blue venom. He had never seen or felt anything like this before and Tom had a feeling he needed to proceed with caution. What had Harry gotten himself into?
Was it some sort of demon? It would make sense, no snake, no matter how magical, could shift the magic in the air as it was. How had Harry gotten ahold of a demon? Did it even matter? If the demon didn't kill his raven haired mate, Tom might just do it himself for being so damn moronic.
~Well what?~ The snake demon snapped as she coiled her body and raised her head, ~You want me to spoil the surprise? Oh no, when Charon tells you then I will watch your expression with glee.~
Tom reached for his wand with every intent of killing this demon, ~You little-~ he snarled murderously, but was cut off by a mocking tone.
~Ah, ah, ah, you don't want to do that. You see if anything happens to me, your soul mate dies.~ For the first time in Tom's life, he faltered; and rage seared through his veins. What did she mean Harry would die? What had Harry done? What-
~Well I see you have some sense to heed my words. I expect you will get your answers soon enough. Now take me back to my mortal.~
And that was it, the confirmation Tom needed. The word mortal…Tom couldn't fathom why Harry would be dumb enough to deal with a demon, or how he even found one. But then to name it after a goddess? Tom growled loudly, murderous rage vibrating through his body and his magic crackling around him, and grudgingly let the demon wrap around his arm. He would find a way to get Harry out of this mess and then he would teach the boy the consequences of being so foolish. It would be a very painful lesson.
Meanwhile, Draco and Susan were sitting on opposite sides of Harry, going back and forth between reading and talking. Susan looked up and peered at Draco, wondering for the millionth time why he was reading an Arithmancy text. Finally she rolled her eyes and just asked.
"Because," Draco drawled as he laid his book in his lap, "Harry had decided to study ahead before we had even met and the mudblood Granger, you know the one in Ravenclaw?" Susan nodded and giggled at the thought of the annoying muggleborn, "She's awful don't you think? I mean I know a lot of," Susan paused and her hazel eyes went wide and sparked with excitement, "mudbloods. But Granger's just terrible! We have Herbology and History of Magic with Ravenclaw and it's just terrible." Susan giggled at the memory, "She actually tried to answer questions in History for the whole first week. I swear I couldn't believe how thick she was!"
Draco smirked and nodded, "Yes well the mudblood decided she was also going to self-study and while I have accepted the fact that Harry is some kind of freak, I will not let a mudblood best me. Actually I think quite a few of the Slytherin first years are doing the same."
"I'll have to check into it," Susan nearly squealed in excitement, "there's no way I could stand going into third year and having her rub it in my face. I think I would learn the Unforgivables, just to use them on her." Susan felt a maniacal thrill go through her at the thought. The Unforgivables…a shudder of excitement went through her at just the thought of learning them…to actually wield one… to feel that power rushing through you and pouring out of your wand.
It had been only a month since she had seen Harry kill that muggle in the forest and yet she had changed so much. It was like the scene had awoken desires in her that had been dormant. "You know," Draco broke Susan out of her thoughts, "you're a little crazy."
Susan scoffed playfully finding herself okay with the term, "Yes well you're a little arrogant." She watched Draco smirk and shrug his shoulders before turning back to his book. Susan felt her cheeks heat before she buried her face behind her Charms textbook. They stayed like that, reading and occasionally chatting for another two hours before it was time to head back to their own separate common rooms. As they closed the Wing's doors behind them Susan turned to Draco, "Good night Draco."
Draco seemed to debate something before he nodded stiffly, "Good night Susan."
Tom rolled his eyes as he waited for the children to leave. Once they were gone he stormed through the giant doors, going through undetected with only a flick of his wand. Harry was still lying there, unmoving, and the very image made Tom falter for a fraction of a second and shudder. It was only feeling the peaceful emotions coming from his mate that kept him in the range of sanity, though even that was back and forth. He tossed Arae down on Harry's blanket without care and glared at her, ~You tell him he is expected in my office as soon as he wakes up or I will find a way to end you without harming him.~ Tom snapped with murder in his eyes, he would kill her soon either way.
~You can try.~ Came a cheery sing-song like reply.
Tom's lips curled back into a murderous sneer and he spun on his heel and exited the hall. Arae gave a hiss-like laugh and draped herself over her mortal. The older mortal was much too easy to antagonize but it was still fun. Arae couldn't wait for morning to come and for all the secrets to be exposed. She hadn't reduced herself to mere animal form to watch them lie and dance around each other. Boredom had struck her and she was not one to wait. The unconscious mortal may be angry in the morning; well, she knew he would be angry…not may be. But he would soon see that it was for the best.
The next morning found Dumbledore and Madam Pomfrey standing over a still unconscious Harry Potter. Arae had hid under the blanket when she had heard them approach and was currently lined along the side of her mortal's leg, listening to the elder mortals speak.
"No Poppy. It is not to be brought to his attention."
"To his attention? How could he not know that he reeks of Dark Magic? Albus the boy sets off the detectors! He is only eleven!"
"Exactly Poppy, listen to yourself. Harry Potter is only eleven he is not practicing Dark Magic, I am afraid that he will always set off detectors due to the scar upon his forehead."
A gasp was heard. "Surely Healer Malfoy-"
"Knows and has kept it to herself. As I hope you will."
"I don't like this Albus this isn't right."
"I know, but alas it is for the greater good. Now come, let us wake Mr. Potter. I am sure his friends are anxious to see him awake and about."
Poppy nodded and administered the potion that would wake Harry. Within a minute Harry began moving. At first his head fell to the side and his right arm stretched out, flexing the muscles. But after a few minutes emerald eyes opened and immediately Harry's arm lifted and draped over his face, blocking his eyes from the brightness of what he had immediately recognized as the Hospital Wing.
Straightaway Harry started wracking his brain trying to remember what had caused him to be put in the Wing. After a few blurry moments the practice Quidditch game came back to him and Harry groaned. "Welcome back, Mr. Potter." Irritation bit through him at the sound of Dumbledore's voice. Harry only grunted in response. "How are you feeling?"
At the question Harry froze and took stock of his body. He moved his toes and fingers, then his legs and accidentally bumped a familiar form. When Harry moved to his torso he was slightly surprised to find that there was no soreness at all. He felt as if he hadn't been mauled by a bludger. "I feel fine."
"Very good. I need to go alert the Malfoy family of your status. I will leave you in Madam Pomfrey's care." Harry heard the man leave but didn't lift his arm to watch him go. He simply laid there for a moment waiting for Madam Pomfrey to say or do something. However after a full minute of silence Harry peeked underneath his arm and found her staring at him with the oddest expression.
"Something wrong?" Harry fully removed his arm and sat up, cracking his neck and popping his back.
"No no, your clothes are on your bed Mr. Potter. Scans show you are perfectly normal so you may go when you are dressed." Harry watched her hurry towards the back of the Wing, her office, and wondered what had gotten into her. But he wasn't able to think on it long; Arae slithered out and was hissing in some sort of cackle, if you could call it that.
~And what do you find so amusing?~ Harry asked as he summoned his robes towards him.
Harry watched her grow about a foot in length and curl up before raising her head to meet his. ~Your mate has…requested your presence in his office upon your wake.~ Something in her voice made Harry instantly wary.
~Wait a second…how do you know this? Last I saw you were in a tree while I was flying. How did you get in here? Who did Tom tell to tell me this?~ Harry's mind was flying a mile a minute, fighting to cut through the last of the sleep induced haze.
~He told me.~ Harry turned livid and he grabbed Arae by the throat with reflexes honed by years of Quidditch. He squeezed tightly and glared at her, ~What have you done? What did you do?~ The rant was going to continue but Harry felt his body go heavy and then there was pressure in his thigh. In seconds it became painful and Harry cried out quietly as he felt his bone bending.
~Release your hold on me you filthy mortal.~ The pain became so bad that Harry feared his bone was going to snap so he let go, he dropped Arae on the bed and fell back, sighing as the pain stopped. ~You dare lay a harmful hand on me?~ Arae was now on his chest, her face in his and she was spitting angry. ~You are lucky that I do not want to have to start from scratch you filthy mortal. After everything I have done for you, you dare?~ Fangs were now in his face and Harry flinched back as the air seemed to suffocate him.
~You…..~ Harry choked out, not able to get enough air. And then it all stopped. Arae vanished into thin air and Harry was left gasping for breath. Once he caught his breath Harry quickly dressed and left the Hospital Wing, not caring about wherever Arae went. Though he did wonder why he wasn't dead yet. He had laid a harming hand on her, though it didn't really harm her nor did he have the intent to kill. Had he escaped death by a loophole? None of that mattered. What did matter was finding Tom and finding out how much he had been told. Fear ate at the tail ends of the burning animosity that scorched through his own veins. Feeling the calm, sadistic amusement from Tom helped none whatsoever.
As Harry stormed the barren halls the air crackled around him and if one of the students had seen they would have run away in fear of the look in Harry's eye. However once he actually got there, once he was actually in front of the plank of wood that separated him and his anxiously awaiting soul mate, Harry paused. Even in all of his rage, he knew this was it. These next few moments had been what he had come back for, what he had longed for since the day those crimson eyes lost their fire and the powerful reptilian body laid at Harry's feet. The fear started to eat at the rage a little more.
With a deep breath his rage quelled minimally and Harry sent a burst of magic at the door. The door flew open with a bang and Harry narrowed his eyes when he saw a very calm Tom, sipping whiskey from a crystal tumbler by the fire with a book in his hands. Without waiting for invitation Harry stepped in the man's office and waved his wand, simultaneously slamming the door shut and throwing up a specific blend of wards that was something of his signature. All of this was done without tearing his eyes away from brown ones, and the color seemed to infuriate Harry more.
"Show me," Harry demanded, gripping his wand tightly, "don't hide now that all my secrets are flying in the wind."
It was a moment before Tom reacted, but Harry watched as brown melted and gave way to the crimson he loved. "What secrets little serpent? The fact that you are in possession of a demon or that you know who I am and can understand me right now?~ Harry shuddered as Tom slid into parseltongue mid-sentence. Snitches erupted into his stomach and for a brief moment his emerald eyes slid closed, however he was not shocked to find an inquisitive Tom Riddle standing a little too close to him when his eyes reopened, and his mind went on the verge of going hazy.
~I wonder, little serpent, what other secrets you are hiding.~ Tom traced the outline of Harry's jaw tenderly as he hissed.
Warm comforting emotions slowly started flooding Harry, barely there at first but soon ate away all traces of anger that Harry had had. That left his fear exposed and Harry hated the vulnerability, but when he tried to turn around a cruel grip on his shoulders appeared. "You will not turn away from me Harry," Emerald eyes widened when he heard the rage and felt the pain that wasn't his. ~Never,~ Harry whispered as his hand reached up to cup the hand still on his shoulders, missing how the lethal crimson glare softened in surprise.
"What did she tell you?" Harry asked, breaking the moment that had him wanting things that could not happen until Tom had his own body back.
"Your little demon told me very little and yet so very much at the same time." Harry scrunched his face up and asked, "Demon?"
"How did you find one?" Tom asked, his voice had an edge in it that almost made Harry shudder, "What could have been so bad that you made some sort of deal with a demonic soul?" Harry's eyes widened comically as he realized Arae had told Tom very, very little. Harry took Tom's hand in his own and tugged, pulling the man towards the two chairs.
Once both of them were sat down Harry spoke, "Arae isn't a demon, she's a goddess. No!" Harry held up his hand as Tom tried to interrupt. "She really is a goddess."
Crimson eyes were narrowed at him as he Harry spoke but then after a moment they widened, "That is whom you were worshipping in the Forest." It wasn't a question but Harry felt himself nod before what Tom said truly hit him and his mouth dropped open.
"How do you know about that!?" Tom waved it away as if it were of little importance but Harry merely glared at him until Tom relented with a sneer, "A Hufflepuff followed you, I suspect you will learn about it later. Her and the little Malfoy heir have become friends."
Harry nearly laughed the whole idea was impossible. A Hufflepuff girl had followed him and then befriended Draco? Draco befriended a Hufflepuff? "The real question, Tom continued, breaking Harry from his disbelieving thoughts, "here is how you got ahold of a demon?" Harry shifted in his chair, fidgeting. He hadn't practiced this. He hadn't even thought about how he would tell Tom everything. This wasn't supposed to happen for another two years, when he had proved himself. With a sigh Harry pulled his legs to his chest and rested his chin on his knees.
How could he make Tom believe that Arae was a goddess? How could he even begin to explain the horrendous, despair filled past that had required her help? He couldn't just blurt it out, yet how could Harry make Tom believe…. The elder wizard showed just how far he had come since Harry had returned to the past as he sat there, almost patiently, waiting for Harry to speak.
After a few minutes of only the sound of the fire popping in the background Harry had an idea. Emerald eyes slid shut for a moment and Harry sucked in a deep breath and let it out nervously. He hadn't ever done this before, this was complete invasion of privacy and could be extremely dangerous, but not only was Tom the most accomplished Ligillimens alive, he was Harry's soul mate. They were bound soul, body, and mind. Hopefully the latter part truly would protect them from anything going wrong.
Harry opened his eyes after another breath and looked Tom in the eye. It didn't take long, maybe thirty seconds, for the elder wizard to catch on and when he did Harry felt his slight shock flicker through him for a second. Tom's touch was like warm brush of wind against Harry's Occlumency walls and Harry took one last hesitant breath, not breaking their eye connection, before letting Tom in.
Harry followed his soul mate inside, barely feeling his body slouch slightly as he retreated into the farthest part of his mind. Tom was already there of course, looking rather shocked at where he stood. Harry didn't blame him, it was on rare occasions one ever went this far deep into a mind and when they did the chance of damaging the mind was high. The mindscape was past the Occlumency walls, farther down than the stray thoughts, and beyond the office Harry had created to store his memories. The mind scape was blank box in appearance, its color varying for everyone and it not only held the essence of who you were, but in a tome back at Grimmauld it said this was also the level in which soul mates could share their minds with their other half. The telepathy, which would come later when the bond was finalized, was only the beginning. Tom and Harry had the precious ability to actually share their memories with each other without the use of time consuming pensieves.
"Harry-" Tom drawled warningly, knowing exactly where they were and not liking it at all.
"It's okay, our bond protects me. You won't hurt me." Harry cut him off before thinking of a couch. A black loveseat appeared to their left and Harry motioned to it. "Everything you need to know…well, it's a lot. You're going to want to see it anyway." Tom pierced Harry with a long curious gaze before he nodded sharply and sat on the loveseat. With a deep breath Harry sat next to him and curled his legs back up near his chest. "Um, just remember we're in my mind. I'm protected, but I don't know the boundaries of that protection. So…" Harry looked away, "try and stay sane."
Harry didn't wait for a response, he wanted to get this over with, or maybe leave entirely while Tom watched which wasn't possible. In order for Tom to see this Harry had to be there too. The wall ahead of them shimmered and Harry glanced at Tom as the man sat up even straighter and his emotions screamed focus. After a few seconds of shimmering the wall rippled and color appeared, producing the first image, Harry's first memory.
"This will be your new room," Petunia Dursley snapped, still upset at the state of her living room. "This is where the freaks belong," a long, bony finger pointed inside the dark cupboard under the stairs. Little four year old Harry Potter looked up with large tears welling up in his eyes, "But I dun wanna go in t-there!" To Harry the cupboard was a dark and scary cave like in the picture books his auntie read to his cousin at night, for all he knew there could be a dragon lurking in the black space. Harry felt the slap to the back of his head from his aunt and it knocked him forward. Clutching his blanket Harry fell onto the fold up cot his aunt and uncle had placed in there. Harry finally let his tears fall; he didn't want to be in here. He hadn't meant to make those glass things break. He didn't want to be a freak.
Harry tore his eyes away from the wall and let his forehead rest on his knees. He hated those fucking muggles. Loathed them. His hatred for them grew even after he had returned to the past, when he had started living with the Malfoys and seeing how children should and were raised. Just listening to the various memories play made him itch to slaughter them mercilessly. On the fourth memory, the one about accidentally turning his teacher's hair blue, Tom had surprised Harry by wrapping his arms around Harry and pulling him into his lap.
The punishments that followed had Tom tightly gripping Harry, one arm firmly wrapped around him while the other hand rubbed Harry's back. Harry only snuggled into the warmth, wishing desperately that it was Tom's own body once again, but he knew what it was like to be trapped in a body you didn't belong in. So Harry simply pushed the fact that it was Quirrell's body out of his mind and focused on the fact that his soul mate had him wrapped in his arms.
"My powerful little mate," Tom whispered a few minutes later and Harry looked to the wall to see what he was talking about. "Apparition so young…and no harm? Very powerful indeed."
The rest of Harry's childhood went by in a flash and all too soon Harry's was bombarded by Tom's confusion. Fury licked through Harry's veins as Tom watched the muggles drag him all over England trying to escape the Hogwarts letters and more confusion crushed him. Harry actually started watching again as Hagrid turned his umbrella on Dudley.
It was there that the scene paused, Dudley's fat, terrified face plastered on the large wall and Tom stopped stroking Harry's back. "Dumbledore did not send that oaf to retrieve you." Harry cringed at the cruel ice that was in Tom's voice.
"He did," Harry got up from Toms lap and stood.
"No he did not, I know that because I was there when McGonagall received your letter and Dumbledore was most upset that he didn't need to send you aid for your supplies." Harry sighed and looked towards the wall, pulling up a different memory.
"You want to know how I met Arae, the goddess? Here watch, then you'll understand." Before Tom could respond the wall rippled and new picture came up. A twenty six year old Harry stood in the parlor of Grimmauld Place balling up a newspaper in anger. Harry flinched when he saw himself. He had been gaunt then, his cheeks hollow and the bags underneath his eyes a dark purple, making his blood shot eyes stand out even more. His hair was a tangled mess and his robes were wrinkled in the extreme. All in all with Harry clutching a bottle of fire whiskey, he looked horrid, and was barely recognizable.
"What is this?!" Tom his furiously, not taking his eyes off the screen as the older Harry grabbed his cloak. "Me."
A cocktail of emotions exploded inside Harry and it took every ounce of determination to chase them away and keep Tom level headed. Harry watched himself onscreen as his face crumbled at the sight of the trio leaving the Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes.
At the same time Tom's mind was reeling at what he was watching. There was no such shop in Diagon, two of those people were but eleven years old right now and the third he didn't even know! As if his brain refused to come to any conclusions, Tom stood there, still as statue, watching the screen without a single thought.
"Honestly Hermione," Tom watched the red headed woman speak, her voice layered in aggravation, "how could he be like this when he doesn't even know? He's completely oblivious to what we did and he's still being a whining git. I'm a much more suitable partner than that- that monster."
"I don't know, Ginny. Harry's always been a tad, er, hopeless. He was so easy to manipulate, but I think that's because we were his first friends." The one who looked like the annoying mudblood in his class giggled and then hiccupped rather loudly, causing the trio to burst into a loud laughter. It was beyond obvious that these three were highly intoxicated. Tom's crimson eyes narrowed as his brain still refused to do anything other than watch the picture play out. "Remember what Dumbledore said," The brunette witch continued, trying in vain to not slur her words, "that soul mates, even if unaware, never get over the death of the other. He might be like this forever."
The brunette witch bumped the red headed witch with her hip and winked with a grin, "I know of a jealousy potion you could try, Ginny. Harry would sniff out a love potion but if he's jealous of you then he'll likely fool himself into thinking it's because he loves you." Tom found his attention on Harry in that moment; his sunken, bloodshot eyes were narrowed in a hatred rarely seen and the man's wand was mere inches away from the witches head, poking out from under the invisibility cloak. Do it, Tom found himself thinking, kill her.
"I can't believe we pulled it off. Even now when it's been a few years. Potter killing his own soul mate! When I was finally alone I laughed for hours! Dumbledore was a genius for pulling the whole thing off even in death. Though, I would have killed my soul mate too if they were a Dark Lord, or even a bloke. I always knew Potter was gay...I just didn't think he would still be dark if he fought against Voldy. Oh well cheers to nine happy hears without the evil bastard!" The words halted both the Harry on the screen and Tom's little thought process.
Harry had killed him? That simple question opened the floodgates and Tom's mind spun. In mere seconds Tom knew he didn't need to watch the rest for answers. But he did. He watched the deathly skinny, gaunt Harry collapse in the middle of the cobblestone street, sobs wracking his body. It wasn't long before she appeared. Tom's mind went wild at the thought; Harry had told the truth, she was a goddess. He had strangled a goddess.
"However, there are ways for me to return to strength, which is where you, my dear, come in. I have enough power left to give you the opportunity to extract the revenge you desire, to change it all and never feel the loneliness, the heart ache, the emptiness you feel ever again."
Harry watched Tom worriedly. The elder wizard hadn't moved a single muscle since this had started. In fact, if it weren't for having to force him to stay calm Harry would have feared Tom had been petrified. When the memory ended with Harry waking up in the cupboard Harry let the wall go dormant and return to its natural grey. Then he waited.
Tom was torn, completely severed down the middle. Half of him wanted to storm up to that wall and watch the large gap in between the small boy in the cupboard and the gaunt, sickly looking drunk he had seen. This part needed to know what happened. How had Dumbledore pulled this off? How had a mere…how had a mere school child defeated the greatest wizard of all time? How had his horcruxes been found out? How had he let them be destroyed? How had he never known that his soul mate was killing him? Had Harry been by his side and deceiving him? No, that idea was tossed out immediately. There was no way he would have not noticed that. So that only meant…that meant that Harry had joined Dumbledore and they had defeated him. By the looks of it Harry had befriended the same Weasley twit that had almost killed him and the Ravenclaw mudblood. This part of Tom sneered and demanded answers and bloodshed.
The other half...the other half of Tom was new. He found himself wanting Harry in his arms. He wanted to…talk. Tom physically sneered, breaking his statue like form. This new side wanted to reassure himself that Harry was safe in his arms, far away from the manipulations of Dumbledore. The man would die…Voldemort would make his death agonizing. He would watch the man's spirit break before he would let the man wither, a plaything for his Death Eaters.
Harry watched Tom as he tried his best to quell the explosion of emotions, but he couldn't douse them all. His own fear and worry was eating at his core as he stared at the man who sneered at the grey wall. Doubt started to creep into Harrys mind as he stared at the cruel sneer that twisted Tom's lips.
"Tom? I-" Harry froze, staring wide eyed at a glare so murderous that he hadn't seen it since Weasley had killed Bellatrix.
"Never." A chill ran down Harry's spine at the pure venom that dripped from the elder wizard's voice. Harry could only nod dumbly, words failing as his mind and body reacted oppositely. His mind was scared, scared that he had only made the situation worse. Harry's body on the other hand was fighting its prepubescent state with urges of a more mature body. Harry mentally slapped himself, only he would find a murderous Voldemort sexy.
"Well I'm not calling you Voldemort all the time," Harry said, not filtering his words. It was actually comical to see the look of shock that crossed the man's face and Harry let out a maniacal little giggle. "Marvolo," the elder wizard said stiffly after a moment of thought, "shall suffice."
"I'm Marvolo and I talk like a robot." Harry mimicked, continuing his crazy laughter. Marvolo's confused and annoyed look only made Harry laugh harder. "I do wonder if I have damaged your brain."
Harry shook his head with a smile, "You haven't done anything."
"Exactly," Marvolo smirked, "my presence alone is too much for your simple mind to bear."
Harry felt his mouth drop open, "Did you- Did you just make a joke?"
Crimson eyes rolled and Harry about keeled over in shock, "Yes well we couldn't very well talk about our situation with that atmosphere. It was either fix my mood or fix Dumbledore's existence." An airy, manic giggle left Harry breathless and he stared at Marvolo for a few moments. He hadn't ever witnessed anything like this.
"I wish you could but he's not allowed to die until I say so, which will be…" Harry trailed off pretending to think, "When his soul is shattered into pieces."
Marvolo's eyebrows rose marginally, "I wasn't aware of any soul that resides in the old fool."
"What?" Harry cocked his head to the side in confusion, everyone had a soul.
"He was ginger before he became so decrepit." Harry lost it, he burst into side-splitting laughter. The grey room went blurry as his eyes watered and he had to collapse on the couch to keep himself from falling on the floor. Marvolo's lips twitched upwards into a ghost of smirk, pleased with himself. He couldn't remember the last time, if he ever had, felt like making someone laugh or making a joke. The only jokes he made were usually twisted and cruel.
Of all the times to be joking, now would probably be the worst. Marvolo knew they didn't have forever, as much as he hated it someone was bound to come looking for either of them especially since it was Samhain. It was Samhain. It was this day ten years ago that Marvolo had killed Harry's parents and attempted to kill Harry. Ten years ago to the day that he had lost his body. Yet here he was, in Harry's mindscape learning of a failed life and second chance. Of a soul bond that had changed him far more in the last three months than Marvolo had ever been changed before.
Marvolo supposed he shouldn't dwell on killing his mate's parents, Harry seemed completely unperturbed. However he conceded that Harry did look to be mid to late twenties in that last memory, he was not the boy he appeared. Harry was also suspended in a body that did not fit him. Crimson eyes roamed to a now lounging Harry, he was still grinning and his eyes were closed. Long black hair had been tousled but the famous lightning bolt scar was still visible. Marvolo had the most foolish urge to trace it with his finger, to –
"Ehem," Marvolo cleared his throat, and his mind. Emerald eyes snapped open and Harry's head rolled to the side to look at him. "I think we have established the fact that you are indeed from the future and that we should, for our own best interest find goddess Arae and worship her spectacularly tonight. As you did, without my consent, bind me to her did you not?"
A smirk threatened to curl Marvolo's lips as Harry glared at him, albeit playfully. "We have also agreed Albus Dumbledore is to suffer a most horrific death, after he has seen the error of his ways." When Marvolo felt his mate's sadistic excitement his lips did curl, perhaps there was hope of teaching his mate dark magic after all. He had feared, somewhere in the recesses of his brain, that after being strictly a light wizard Harry would be uninterested in the beauty and power of the Dark Arts. He would have to investigate this further.
"Now we should proceed with watching exactly what happened in the time between your obese muggle pig finally attaining a tail and the moment you saw the three undesirables leaving the shop in Diagon." Harry's dread settled into the pit of Marvolo's stomach like a boulder sinking to the bottom of an ocean of panic. Marvolo ground his teeth and flooded both emotions out with a cool calm that he was barely able to collect. He was certain the worst had yet to come and he prayed to the new deity he was bound to that he could keep his grip on his sanity while watching his worst fear, his own downfall.