Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.

The strongest memory

"Blimey, mate! That was one hell of a ride!" Ron exclaimed as the Fiendfire finally engulfed Ravenclaw's diadem.

Draco Malfoy and Gregory Goyle were nowhere to be found, having run away screaming as soon as the brooms landed, and Harry sincerely hoped the idiots will never bother him again.

Harry looked back at the door, feeling expremely sad that Crabbe's stupidity had cost him his life; in a way, even if he had endangered them all, he had provided a great weapon of Horcrux destruction.

He lowered his head, keeping a moment of silence for the fallen Slytherin, whose only moment of greatness had been his last.

Hermione's eyes flickered towards him, in sad understanding, as Ron kept blabbering undisturbed. She decided to be the one to say something stupid for once, something that would distract them and give her best friends the strength to continue their quest.

"I've…uh…been thinking," she started, blushing slightly. "It seems kind of weird, but doesn't it seem like Voldemort is somewhat of a typical teenage girl?"

Harry and Ron gaped at her, waiting for the punch line. So she was doing something right.

"Well…" she continued, crossing her arms as if she were lectured them, closing her eyes and furrowing her brows in apparent concentration. "He has a diary, a tiara, a special cup, a pet he adores and an obsession with a famous teenage boy!" she finished, counting on her fingers.

The mad giggling sounds had begun before she finished her sentence; as she looked down, she saw Ron and Harry actually rolling on the floor, laughing madly while holding their stomachs, tears leaking out the corner of their eyes.

Hermione joined in the laugh as well; it was, possibly, the last moment of free laughter in this battle.

Harry ran down the stairs, the truth ringing madly in his ears. He was the last Horcrux. He was the last Horcrux.

Everything had been a lie. His life, carefully planned, carefully executed by the master behind the scenes. Dumbledore and Voldemort, Voldemort and Dumbledore, always ruling over him.

His heart clenched as the Snitch opened at the close. His parent's cheering did nothing to improve his mood, but he kept them close, kept them with him until the very end.

The only memory he could hang on to, the only thing he had against Dementors…was Hermione's last joke.

"I thought he would come…" came the wondering whisper of the man whose soul piece he had been hosting all his life. "It seems I was mistaken."

"You weren't!" Harry declared with more confidence than he felt.

The Stone lay forgotten somewhere in the forest, hopefully lost for good.

Voldemort fingered his wand, thinking. The boy was too confident for someone about to die. Perhaps…he should Legilimize the boy one more time and see what the idiot felt so confident about.

The memory replayed itself in front of his very eyes, eyes that narrowed in danger. Too drunk in his nervousness, Harry failed to notice the subtle attack, and another piece of information slithered by, unbidden.

'…a piece of his soul latched itself on the only living thing…'

Voldemort's eyes widened in horror. The boy was his last, precious Horcrux.

Meddling, cruel old man!

Harry kept looking at Voldemort, wondering why the man had suddenly lowered his wand, and a terrible thought entered his mind. What if he lets one of his Death Eaters do it? Will the Horcrux die?

"Incarcerus." the man whispered, binding Harry tightly in ropes.

"My Lord?" Bellatrix asked, hoping her Master will let her have a go at torturing the boy.

"Bellatrix, I want you to Apparate Mr. Potter here in the Guest Rooms on the Eastern Wings of the Mannor and guard him until I return. He is not to be harmed." he spoke in his usual cold, clipped tone.

She blinked in confusion at her Master's sudden change of plans, but knew better than to question him, so she grabbed the dazed boy, making sure to stick her long nails deep into his skin and she Apparated them both away.

Voldemort stayed around only 30 more minutes, to go announce the rest of Hogwarts that he had captured and killed Harry Potter. He threw the glasses at his feet, crushing them for all the fools to see.

His Horcrux wouldn't need such stupid contraptions anyway. He was going to correct Harry's vision as soon as possible.

The news of Harry's death created a crying, screaming crowd that he had to silence; alas, young Neville Longbottom had managed to annoy him with his passionate speech; and he had also managed to kill precious Nagini. The shock was too much to handle, and he lifted his wand, preparing to blow the boy into tiny pieces, but as he looked in young Neville's eyes, he remembered the determination she has once seen in Lily Potter. He too had something to protect.

And Voldemort was afraid. He had to go to Harry!

As he spun to Dissaparate, he decided that someday he was going to kill all Gryffindors, one by one, until there was none left.

Harry knew the moment Voldemort returned even before Bellatrix. The waves of barely controlled magic pulsed through dark corridors; the windows trembled before his path, breaking in his trail. Malfoy Manor seemed to scream in pain as the Dark Lord marched towards the Guest Rooms.

"Bellatrix! Out!" he yelled, eyes more insane than anyone had ever seen Voldemort possess.

Said witch fled the room as Voldemort marched inside, eyes settling on a frightened Harry.

"Oh, Harry, don't be afraid of me!" he spoke with what was supposed to be his calm, reassuring voice, but his still insane eyes betrayed him. Harry withdrew towards one of the windows, wondering if he should jump.

"I'll keep you safe, always!" Voldemort declared, flicking his wand to release the binds.

"Nagini is dead?" Harry asked, noting the absence of Voldemort's beloved pet and Horcrux.

"That damn Longbottom…!" Voldemort spewed, new waves of magic attacking the furniture, creating a tornado with all the objects in that room.

"Did you kill him?" Harry asked with a suspiciously strangeld voice.

"No," Voldemort admitted. "I came to you. I must keep you safe, you are my last...Horcrux."

Scared that he'd get caught in the tornado, Harry approached Voldemort and the safe middle of the room.

"I'm sorry." he whispered, closing a hand over Voldemort's white knuckles.

Distantly, he noted that he wasn't experiencing any kind of pain, but he had no reason to rejoice just yet. "It may not mean anything, coming from me, but I know what it's like to lose a precious companion, and I'm sorry."

Voldemort's fingers grabbed Harry's chin, pulling it up. Harry noticed that Voldemort's eyes had softened. Around them, the ruined furniture had began to settle, landing softly on the expensive carpet.

"Promise me, Harry, that you will never leave me. Promise that you will stay safe, and stay by my side forever!" Voldemort said quietly.

Harry faltered at the look of despair in Voldemort's eyes.

"Tell me this isn't worth your life!" Voldemort yelled and Harry flinched.

"I don't want to die," he admitted. "But I don't want to live in misery either. Could we…maybe…make a deal?" Harry asked softly, bracing himself for the Cruciatus that was sure to follow.

"What kind of deal?" Voldemort asked, searching his eyes.

"That depends. If you were to choose, what do you want more? Your immortality? Or the world?"

Voldemort regarded the boy like he had just grown several heads.

"They think you're dead, you know. I told them you're dead," he spoke softly.

"I expected that," Harry sighed. "Please answer my question."

"I want to live," Voldemort admitted, averting his eyes.

"Can you give up on your conquest?" Harry asked.

Voldemort paused for a while before answering.

"I want some changes, but I am willing to reconsider my strategies."

"Could they involve…less torture and murder and more politics?" Harry asked. "I think you'd make a great politician. The greatest Minister of Magic!" he laughed nervously.

Voldemort smirked.

"You might have a silver tongue, Harry. A Gryffindor like you, negotiating with the Dark Lord, what would Dumbledore say?"

Harry's face darkened.

"I don't want to talk about him," Harry muttered. "He never gave you me any chance. Never gave you one either, for that matter. I think we should stop thinking what old men, dead men would want us to do. We live the life we want, right?" he asked, hoping to make Voldemort change the subject.

"What a change in your attitude," Voldemort commented. "Are you really that mad, now that you have discovered your Headmaster's betrayal?"

"You know?" Harry's eyes widened in horror.

"I do" Voldemort agreed. "I used legilimency on you as soon as you appeared before me."

Harry blushed, looking down to see their hands entwined. When had that happened?

"Oh, Harry, one more thing - I am not like a typical teenage girl." Voldemort smirked.

"Oh?" Harry asked, distracted by their hands.

"They don't get what they want. The boy they obsess over will never look back at them, right?"

"Hmm…sure," Harry answered, feeling weird for having this conversation with Voldemort.

"But you are mine and you're only looking at me." Voldemort finished.

Harry smiled.

"If you never stop obsessing about me, I'll never stop looking at you," he laughed wholeheartedly.

If Voldemort was able to joke, perhaps the danger had already passed.

He had given himself over to this crazy man to save the Wizarding and Muggle Worlds; his friends thought him dead and outside the door, an irritated Bellatrix Lestrange was surely lurking around, waiting for the moment she could torture him at will.

A moment that will never come to be.

Harry decided that yes, he will be a reliable Horcrux – the keeper of Voldemort's soul; he would be a nice companion and a friend for Voldemort. He would try to understand the man, understand what he had gone through and what had shaped him into the creature he was today; and he would teach Voldemort about love, maybe, if the man should allow him to.

Harry embraced the thin frame of the evilest Dark Lord, head laying on the bony chest without searching for his heartbeat; he knew he had a long way to go before this man's heart would beat again. But as the man's cold skin was warming up under his touch, he allowed himself to send a prayer to his parents and plea for their forgiveness.

And Tom Marvolo Riddle allowed himself to smile.

AN: This was written for HarryMort Prompt Night, prompt by Isys Skeeter:"Voldemort is like a teen girl. He has a diary, a tiara, a special cup, a pet he adores and an obsession with a famous teenage boy."