(Phew, it's been a while. My bad. I had written this chapter once before but I hated it so I'm rewriting. I haven't written any fan-fiction in such a long time, so I'm really not sure how this will turn out. Hopefully a hell of a lot better than my last awful attempt.)
Begin the end; Placebo
Look me in the eyes, say that again.
Take me to your chest, and let me in.
Give me mouth-to-mouth, and make amends.
Knock me off my feet like heroin.
No need to disguise or to pretend.
Don't misconstrue and don't misapprehend.
There's nothing left, no fortress, to defend.
And tonight's the night that we begin the end.
You and I kept looking to transcend.
The fact that I was breaking to your bend.
But this is now, and, sadly, that was then.
And tonight's the night that we begin the end.
Almost two months had passed since Harry had joined with the Horcrux. He had attended his 'Lessons' with Moody, and sat through increasingly mundane meetings with the Dark Lord, who simply swooped into his mind, looked around, waved a few spells and sent him home.
Which was fine, Harry supposed, he had just figured that something different might have come from this. He was still unsure of what part he played now, of who he could trust.
The original panic that came from Voldemort returning to power had settled, and he had barely been asked about the kidnapping, Even Hermione and Ron had left it well alone, probably because they feared he might start foaming at the mouth again.
The first task of the Triwizard tournament was coming up in the next week, and Ron was still sulking about, convinced there was no way they could win with a Hufflepuff at the wheel. Harry didn't care.
He had yet to discuss much of anything with the Dark Lord, ranging from the kidnapping right up to the occasional memories that rocked him off his feet when he was at his angriest. He had seen something close to thirty of Voldemort's memories, ranging from boring to intense, depending on how severe Harry felt at the time.
He hadn't felt the Dark Lord's presence at all, though the man had said that Harry would if he wanted him too.
Which clearly he hadn't. Harry wasn't stupid enough to assume the he hadn't been in his head, watching.
Instead of disturbing him, the thought comforted him. The more he thought about it, nothing made him feel safer than having the Dark Lord in his head, keeping watch.
His anger had not subsided, and was just as quick to blow up as a bomb. Harry didn't know when, if ever, it would fade.
He sat currently in potions, a class that ate away at his tiny self control more than any other thing he had to deal with.
Harry fought the urge to roll his eyes, and turned his head to stare at the professor's greasy hair.
"Yes, sir?" The dark haired teen asked, watching the oil glint in the torch light.
"I wasn't aware that my lesson bored you so," His tone said the opposite. Harry wasn't sure what he was supposed to say in response, so he stayed quiet.
After a moment it became clear that he was meant to say something after all, because Snape was still glaring at him, waiting.
"I'm sorry professor. I had something on my mind. It wont happen again," He grit his teeth and willed himself to be polite, he didn't want a detention. It was something he tried very hard to avoid since he and the Other had combined, his anger wouldn't see through a detention with the Potions Master.
"Do share. What could possibly be more important than the draught of adaptability?"
Fucking anything, his mind hissed, and a little grin formed on his lips.
My left testicle, he tried again, sucking his front teeth in attempt not to say what he was thinking.
"Nothing, sir," Was all he had, and Snape wasn't impressed.
They glared at each other before Harry realised that he had been staring right into the professor's eyes. The. Whole. Time.
And now that he knew this, he also knew that he couldn't look away, the surest sign that the Potions Master was in his head, forcing his eyes to stay where they were.
The more he forced mundane thoughts the more they would not come, his brain flashing to things that it shouldn't, the seeping runes on his chest, the drip drip dripping, red red eyes locked on his, Strange conversations about combining and death. A blackened creature humming the tune to 'baa baa black sheep,' while trying to lick Harry's cheek. Harry holding his wand to the sky-
OUT! Something commanded, forcing Snape from his mind and sending Harry's heart racing.
The teen blinked at the professor, who's eyes were wide and shining. Harry's hand twitched at his side, the wand in his pocket seeming to burn a hole. What should he do now? Kill the man? He couldn't deny that he wanted to, his anger bubbling as fiercely as the panic he now felt. Surely he hadn't seen anything too incriminating? Just things that could be passed off as effects from the Other. Which Dumbledore knew about.
He didn't see anything.
But the voice, who Harry assumed was the Dark Lord watching his back, that was not something that the Headmaster knew about. Harry didn't know if Snape knew about what had happened to him, but a booming angry voice was suspicious. Something that he might bring up with Dumbledore. And the old man would know straight away what that meant, even if the potions professor didn't.
He would know that he had failed in his attempt in suppressing the Other.
And that was not something that Harry wanted to happen.
Harry blinked down at his desk for a moment longer, barely hearing the whispers around him, the blood pumping in his ears was so loud.
"If it's alright with you, sir, I think I might be going," Harry stood before Snape could say anything, swiped his stuff off his desk and into his bag, slipping out the door before anyone had the chance to stop him.
Once he was out, he didn't know where he was going, only that he had to get out of there fast. He also didn't know how long he had before Snape went to Dumbledore, or even if he would. He had always thought that Snape had been one of Voldemort's supporters, but the way the Dark Lord had told him to avoid he and Dumbledore both had him second guessing.
His feet led him to the edge of the forbidden forest, where he lent against the base of a tree, sighing.
He didn't know if the Dark Lord was in his head right then, but he didn't figure it was a bad idea to seek counsel, considering he was drawing a blank.
Well. That went well, He began, hoping the man was actually there.
It could have been worse. Was the reply, wispy and faraway. Almost melodic. Harry's stomach bounced, pleased that the Dark Lord could hear him.
Harry agreed that it could have gone differently. He could have stupidly thought of any of his many meetings with the Dark Lord, or conversations with Moody.
You should go and speak with Crouch. It's almost time for our meeting, and he may be able to help you more than I can, considering our distance.
Harry didn't want to go back into the castle. He didn't want to chance passing Snape or Dumbledore. He kept picturing the headmaster and all the faculty waiting at the door, armed and ready to take him down.
But surely that wasn't the case? They wouldn't attack him would they?
The image of Ron and Hermione's betrayed faces swam across his vision and he groaned. What would they think? There was no way they'd just accept that he was the Dark Lord's willing Horcrux. They'd fight just as hard as he had.
And then what? Would they lock him away? Kill him?
They wouldn't kill you. The Dark Lord told him, shaking him out of his thoughts. He noticed that he had clenched his hands hard enough to draw a small amount of blood.
But what happens? He asked. He hadn't thought about it before now. Being caught out hadn't been a real threat. Now that there was a chance that the Headmaster might find he failed, a fear bubbled in his gut, an uncertainty that made his mouth taste of metal. The voice in his head had no answer for him, and the ring tightened on his finger, as it so often did.
His mind raced with scenarios now, each worse than the last.
Why wouldn't they kill him? If there was no way to remove the Horcrux, wasn't that the second best plan?
"-All the kings horses and all the kings men," The matron tried her hardest to keep the place cheery, to keep the children occupied, and maybe for a moment make them forget their current situation.
There was no cheer in this place, though, and reading childish nursery rhymes only occupied the younger orphans.
Every room in this place was dull, the wallpaper brown, making everything appear in sepia, no matter the weather.
Tom hung back, half hidden in shadows, watching the matron, his face a mixture of pity and annoyance. She tried too hard. Even with him. While everyone else gave him a wide berth, she attempted to get to know him, even looked the other way sometimes when he scared the other children. Stole their toys.
She knew he was there, and she kept glancing at him, as if she was trying to coax him out of his corner, to come and sit with the smaller children. He scoffed quietly, though his leg did twitch in that direction.
Nursery rhymes were for babies. He wasn't a baby.
The Dark Lord hadn't shown him any memories from this far back. He had seen a few, sharp and fast, from the Horcrux, but he had never seen the Dark Lord as a child, no more than five, listening in on nursery rhymes while he told himself that only babies liked them.
It was a bizarre thing to witness. He had always seen the Dark Lord as something to be feared. There was something so vulnerable about the memory he had just been shown, like it was some secret.
Harry didn't say anything about it, not sure what he should say, and worried that anything he did mention might offend.
So he stood, brushed his pants off and headed back towards the castle.
Moody had told him, without so much as batting an eyelash, to not worry about Snape at all. Which had made Harry blink stupidly for several moments, his mind refusing to believe that it would be that simple, because it never was.
But he accepted it, taking the charmed floo powder and nodding, hoping he was right, though a sick feeling was spreading in his gut.
If they didn't find out now, when would they? Would he have warning? Could he escape? Would he want to escape? What would he do if it came down to a fight between himself and the ones he loved?
Could he even do it? Could they?
He threw the powder into the fire without being able to answer his own questions, forcing them back down in his head.
He hoped he wouldn't have to worry about it for a long time.
He tumbled out of the fireplace with his usual grace, the Dark Lord was in his red throne like chair, and Harry remembered a kid Tom Riddle, leg bouncing as he resisted coming out of the shadows to sit with the other children.
Somehow he wasn't as intimidating as he once has.
He took the seat he always took and waited for the Dark Lord to do what he normally did, casting spells and watching his memories to ensure that no one had tampered with him.
"Moody said that he would take care of Snape." Harry told the man when he was done.
Voldemort blinked at him, as if he was waiting for the teen to say more.
"Can he do it?" He pressed, feeling as if this warranted more action, more worry than it was getting. He felt like he was the only one concerned.
"If at any time I feel as if you are threatened I will destroy everything that dares to try and harm you. You are my Horcrux. A piece of my soul, ensuring my immortality. Do you honestly believe I would allow you to be found out?" The Dark Lord was replying to Harry's thoughts, not his words. He bit his lip and nodded.
That was good enough because it had to be. He had no other choice than to rely on the Dark Lord to protect him from the people he loved, because they would surely turn against him if they knew.
The most infuriating part was that none of this was his fault. He hadn't asked for any of this, and had fought it all the way. And now here he was, sitting before Voldemort, having a civil conversation.
He was dismissed, and when he rolled back into Moody's office, the man wasn't there. Harry took this as a good sign, and crept out into the hall, keeping an eye out for anyone that might question what he was doing in the empty room.
He knew that when Ron and Hermione found him he would have to explain what had happened. They would pick and prod until they knew what went on between him and Snape.
He found them first, sitting in the courtyard and whispering to one another. He sat by them and they both turned to look, both expectant.
"He was in my head. He- he dug up a lot of memories. From when they took me."
Hermione's eyes widened, and Ron's followed a moment later.
Harry thought it was best that they believed Snape had only dug up some nasty memories, instead of nearly stumbling on his biggest secret.
"Oh, Harry! That's horrible! You have to tell Professor Dumbledore. He cant do that!" His bushy haired friend looked incensed on his behalf, and Harry was about to refuse, but he nodded instead.
"I'll go and talk to him after dinner," Though he had no intention to do so. He told them that he would go alone, but he wouldn't go at all. There was no point in influencing the Headmaster into talking with the potions master. That was totally against what he wanted.
The three of them made their way back into the castle, Hermione preaching about the outrage of it all, Ron frowning hard.
He was just glad that neither of them insisted on coming with him to the Headmasters office.