This was actually supposed to be a one-shot. Only, it became longer and longer until it was over 9000 words and still not finished... so I decided to post it in parts. No idea when it will be finished since I ambusy with school, but I've hope that it will be finished before the new year...
Summary: When Harry starts to get sick, the only one who can save him is his worst enemy.
Warnings(for the entire story, so be warned!): slash (malexmale), non-con (though not rape, you'll have to read to see what I mean...), torture, character death.
These are the major ones, I'll add new ones if necessary. Note: though it says slash the graphic scenes can only be found on my AO3 account!
Pairings: HP/LV (maybe RW/HG)
Disclaimer: The rights belong to J.K. Rowling and whoever owns the films!
Yours in Sickness.
oOo: a small time jump
oOoOoOo: a change in POV.
It had all started at the beginning of his sixth year, well around that time anyway.
It had actually started on July the 31st, his birthday. It had been a remarkably cold day and the Dursleys had forced him to do the garden, in just a shabby T-shirt and Dudley's old, faded, hole-filled shorts – which were luckily just over the knee for him. It had been warm enough when he has just started but a couple of hours later – when the temperature had dropped slightly and a slight drizzle had started to fall – it had been far too cold for that kind of clothing.
Almost five hours after he had started on the garden – which also meant that it had been five hours since he had last eaten something – he was finally finished. By that time, he was completely soaked thanks to the rain, his stomach hurt thanks to his hunger for food and he was shivering because of the cold. It was completely normal that he had a cold after that.
At least, that was what he thought at the time anyway.
His cold had started out with just sniffing and sneezing, the normal symptoms for a completely normal cold.
The Dursleys had blamed him for getting a cold – not that they would've blamed anyone else let alone themselves – and they hadn't been willing to spend their money to buy him anything to get better. But they had given him an extra blanket – which was old, smelled mouldy and was slightly damp – to make sure that he didn't actually get sick.
But it didn't help.
By the time Dumbledore came to pick him up to bring him to the Burrow – which was about two weeks after his birthday – his cold had worsened to such a degree that his nose was always running – blowing it didn't even help anymore – and that he started to feel slightly ill. Not in such a way that he couldn't do anything, but enough to feel weak and sleepy.
Mrs. Weasley had tried to cure his cold with standard Pepper-up potions – courtesy of Madam Pomfrey – and home-made food – mostly soup – but nothing helped and the steam of the Pepper-up potion only hurt his ears and made his nose feel funny.
After the first few failed attempts she just forced him to stay near the fire – covered by a heavy blanket and surrounded by his friends and things to entertain him with.
By the time they were to take the train to Hogwarts, he had come down with the flu – and a bad one at that.
Mr. and Mrs. Weasley had managed to convince Dumbledore that it might be better to have Madam Pomfrey check him over before the others arrived by train and he was sent to Hogwarts early by floo.
She had checked him over – at least three times to make sure that she hadn't missed anything – but she couldn't find anything beyond the fact that he had the flu, was slightly malnourished due to the fact that he just couldn't force himself to eat beyond the small amount he had and had a slight fever. Normal symptoms for a normal flu.
But everything she tried – everything from spells to potions – failed to work their magic and he stayed sick.
And now, four weeks into the first semester and two weeks after he had been forced to stay permanently in the quarantine ward of the hospital wing – as they still didn't know what was wrong with him beyond the obvious – he was bored.
He wasn't that sick that he couldn't do anything.
His fever wasn't that high that he was really cold – just a little, but he could always wear more clothing to keep warm – and he just had a headache, slight stomach-ache and an annoying cold – which he could ignore easily. So why was he locked away and forced to stay in bed all day?
Snape came by once every two days to give him a potion in an attempt to cure whatever he had, but – while some of the potions managed to make him feel slightly better for a short while, it depended on which potion he gave him – he still hadn't found a cure yet.
The worst thing, however, was that he hadn't been allowed to see his friends – Hell, he hadn't even been allowed to write to them in fear that he might spread his disease – even though they had spent weeks with him while he had been sick.
All he could do was read and hope that they found a cure quickly, before he died of boredom.
It was two weeks later – six weeks after the semester had started – that Dumbledore visited him.
It was the first time that he visited him since he had gotten ill – if one didn't count the day that he dropped him off at the Burrow – and the first thing Harry noticed was the blackened right hand and the big, ancient-looking ring he wore on a chain around his neck.
The second thing he noticed was that he seemed to feel slightly better as soon as the headmaster neared his bed, his headache seemed to be fading until it was just a very dull throbbing, his stomach-ache seemed to disappear altogether and his coughing and sneezing seemed to diminish until he only sneezed or coughed every minute instead of every ten seconds. All in all, it was a strange and wonderful reprieve from his annoying flue.
"What happened to you hand?" he asked curiously as soon as Dumbledore sat down next to him.
"Nothing for you to concern yourself over, my dear boy," he said genially as he carefully slid the wide end of his sleeve over his hand, "just an old man's slow reflexes."
Silence fell as Madam Pomfrey entered his room and handed him one of the few potions which made him feel temporarily better.
"How do you feel?" Dumbledore asked seriously as soon as she left.
"Quite well actually," Harry answered, "I feel better then I felt in days."
"That's good to hear, my boy," Dumbledore said, a pleased smile on his wizened face, "now, about your schooling: we've decided that miss Granger, together with our resident headboy and headgirl will help you with the subjects you've missed before they will help you understand the subjects your teachers are treating on the moment."
Harry must nodded in understanding and Dumbledore left soon after.
Strangely enough, his flu reappeared just as fast as it had disappeared.
But three months after that conversation everything turned out to be far worse than they had expected. Harry was far too ill to do anything but lay in the bed and sleep and rest and nothing they tried helped anymore, not even Snape's experimental potions.
The weird thing was that every time Dumbledore visited he did feel better but neither Madam Pomfrey or Snape understood why.
The latter had finally stopped sneering and snarling at him two months into the semester when he found out just why he had gotten sick in the first place but that was the only positive thing that had happened to him so far.
Dumbledore on the other hand had started to visit him more often in which he would regard him with weird, unreadable looks. Besides that he had started to ask questions about when he had gotten sick and how his scar had felt since he had gotten sick.
The strangest thing was that he had started to bring him valuable trinkets which actually made him feel slightly better. An ancient looking – but still beautiful – diadem now lay in a magical protected box on his bedside and an oddly shaped locket hung around his neck.
A weird note had been inside it when he had opened it but Harry had been far too ill to care and Dumbledore had taken it away.
Something had changed but he didn't quite knew what.
It felt… similar to something he had felt before but he couldn't quite remember what. Something niggled in the back of his mind meaning that whatever it was that he couldn't remember was important.
Now if he only could remember what it was.
His red eyes narrowed as he contemplated what it could mean.
He was quite sure that he didn't have important plans planned that should take place in the winter, nor did he need to find some important or ancient item.
So that meant that it had something to do with him personally. The only thing he could think of was either he himself or his horcru- His eyes widened as he suddenly knew what he felt and what it meant.
A couple of years (two and a bit to be exactly) after he had turned Nagini into a horcrux the body of his faithful snake had started to fall apart. Apparently a body could survive when it had less than one soul, but not when it had more than one soul.
Her own natural magic – as if he would have chosen a non-magical snake as a vessel for his soul – had protected her up until that point but after a while something had changed – probably her feeding him some of her magic so he could possess a larger animal – and her magic couldn't keep her safe anymore.
His eyes narrowed again as he conjured the image of all of his horcruxes in his mind. Not one of them – besides Nagini – had a living being as its vessel. So why did he have the feeling that one of the vessels was falling apart?
He decided that he would check upon his horcruxes as soon as he could before he dismissed that particular thought process – and the feeling.
He had called for Snape twice in ten minutes now and the hook-nosed potion master still failed to arrive.
He pressed his wand against the bared mark on Wormtail's arm for the third time – enjoying the rush of power it gave him and the expression and mew of pain the rat-like man couldn't hide – before he pressed it against his arm once again for good measures.
A soft pop almost five minutes later alerted him to the arrival of his wayward Death Eater turned spy and he immediately turned his wand towards the source of the sound.
"Crucio!" he snarled and he watched in grim satisfaction as the man sank to his knees and screamed as the curse hit him.
"I hope you have a very good reason for being late, Severus," he said softly, maliciously – his voice sibilant and cold – as he lifted the curse of the greasy haired spy. Nagini hissed softly at the man before she rested her head back on his shoulder.
"I do, My Lord," the man answered, his voice not even showing the slightest amount of the pain he should be feeling, as he climbed back onto his feet remarkably steadily, "Dumbledore had me brewing potions for Potter."
"Wormtail, leave!" Voldemort barked and the sniffling rat fled the room visibly grateful, "what kind of potions?"
"Potter is ill," Snape said, a blank look on his face, "and it's unknown what he has. Dumbledore has me brewing new, experimental potions which should cure him."
Voldemort just stared at him, lost in his thoughts and memories. Potter being sick with some unknown illness was… fortunate. But he had the sinking feeling that he knew why.
He and Nagini shared a mind link – meaning that he could access her mind and that he could possess her – and that he could make her feel whatever he wanted to feel by means of using his limited range of emotions – the only ones he knew were the ones he experienced: sadness, loneliness, longing, hope, want, jealousy, hatred, hunger for knowledge and power, satisfaction, disgust, pleasure, care, happiness, madness, anger and desire.
But he was also aware that he could access the boy's mind – he had given him a fake vision last year that ended with the death of one of the light's staunchest follower – and that he could make the boy feel pain when he thought about him or touched him and that the boy could access his mind even though he had some of the best Occlumency shields in existence.
All of this added only to the feeling of dread he still felt – even after he had checked upon his horcruxes and found three missing, Lucius probably still felt the pain of the Cruciatus curse days after he had cursed him in his anger – and the only conclusion he could come up with was that he had somehow turned the boy into a horcrux.
He had two options now.
One, he could secure the horcrux and keep the boy as some kind of pet or slave.
Or two, he could let the boy die – which meant the destruction of his horcrux – and have one less enemy to defeat. This option was appealing as it also meant that he took the wizarding world's one hope to win the war and the poster boy of the light side.
But he had already lost three horcruxes and he rather liked being – and staying – immortal. Besides, it would be such a heavy blow to the wizarding world and the light side – especially Dumbledore – if he were to show of the boy as his pet.
"Severus, tell me everything you know about his conditions," he commanded the man as soon as his mind was made up.
"He is sick, nothing I tried works," the dour man told him and Voldemort shot a mild pain curse at him.
"That was not what I asked, now was it?" he asked him cruelly and Nagini raised her head and hissed menacingly at the potions master in respond to his mood.
"No, My Lord," Snape said, "the boy has a high fever, coughs and sneezes a lot, has a stomach ache and throws up, can't stomach food, he has diarrhoea, he throws up blood – which also leaks from his eyes and nose at random intervals – and both his urine and his faeces contain blood."
"His body is falling apart," the Dark Lord concluded.
Severus didn't react but he didn't have to.
"What is Dumbledore doing to safe his boy wonder?" Voldemort asked curiously and Nagini – reacting to his emotions – leaned her head forward.
"He gave him… trinkets," Severus told him hesitant.
"Trinkets? What kind of trinkets?" Voldemort asked sharply and Nagini reared back.
"A locket, a ring and a diadem," Snape answered almost confused.
"Show me!" Voldemort demanded and he raised his wand until it was just centimetres away from the dour man's nose, "NOW!"
It was halfway February when they finally acted. Dumbledore had been desperate enough to let Snape take the boy somewhere – Snape had apparently told Dumbledore that he knew of a magic plant that could cure almost everything, the major drawbacks: it was very rare (it apparently only grew in one place in Europe) and the boy had to ingest the leaves as soon as he had harvested them for them to do their magic – and Snape had brought him and his horcruxes straight to the manor he used as his headquarters.
Once there he had ordered the dour potions master to lay him on a bed in one of the many rooms the manor held before he had commanded the man to leave.
Nagini had almost immediately joined the boy on the bed and together they studied his once greatest enemy.
The boy appeared to be even more sick than that he had seemed to be in Snape's memories and he was pale, wraithlike thin and too small for the clothes he was wearing. The sheer size of the bed only dwarfed him further.
His breathing was erratic and shallow and it sounded raspy and wheezily as he inhaled and exhaled through his mouth.
Every couple of seconds his body was wreaked by heavy coughs and multiple small trails of blood leaked from his mouth, his ears and his eyes.
Next to him and on his body laid his horcruxes – the ring was on a necklace around the boy's neck, as was Slytherin's Locket and the diadem laid next to him.
Nagini's tongue flicked out of her mouth and back a couple of times before she said, ":He smells like you, master. You, death and decay.:"
":Does he now?:" Voldemort responded absently as he kept his gaze on the boy.
":Will you save him?:" his faithful snake asked.
":Yes, I will,:" he answered her as his gaze connected with hers.
":Like you saved me?:"she asked.
He ignored her question as he drew his wand and pointed it at the boy.
"Enervate," he said softly and the boy opened his eyes slowly and drowsily. The normally lively, fiery green eyes were now glassy, dull and filled with the pain the boy felt and it was very clear that the boy wasn't aware of what was happening around him.
":Death is upon him, master,:" the snake hissed softly from her perch next to the boy before she uncoiled herself, slipped of the bed and slithered towards the door where she stopped and remarked, ":you must be quick if you want to safe him.:"
She left the room through one of the many small holes the manor had, leaving him alone with the decaying and dying form of his accidental horcrux.
"It seems that it's just the two of us now," he mused as he neared the bed and carefully touched the burning face of the boy.
The boy keened softly in pain and made to move away from him but he just raised his other hand and kept the boy's face between his hands as he made his way onto the bed.
"Lets save you, shall we?" he muttered cruelly and a dark smirk appeared on his lips.
So, what do you guys think? Please leave a review to tell me if you liked it (or hated it... as long as it ain't a flame :P)