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If Harry could have he would have gasped at the sudden changes that occurred around his body. He stared with wide eyes at the dimly lit sky as frigid air bit into his skin. "Potter, if I release you, you must be silent."
Harry stared at the man unblinkingly wondering why he couldn't feel the usual fury that most often accompanied the man's presence. Snape measured him with a long gaze before releasing him from the spell with a short curt nod. Harry swayed precariously and felt nausea roll through him again forcing him to his knees as he retched. Snape let out a string of curses as Harry stared into the frosty brown grass. His stomach was empty though and aside from the wretched cramping and sour taste of acid in his mouth nothing came out.
"Here Potter." Snape said thrusting a bottle under his nose. Something foul breached his senses but the nausea faded readily at the force of the smell and soon he was left gasping and shivering. He flinched visibly when a hand settled against his forehead and gazed wildly up at Snape who was cursing again. "You have a fever." Snape said quietly. "Not surprising really." He said before doing something Harry had never expected him to do and sweeping him up into his arms carrying him swiftly while muttering a warming charm. "Where is your wand?" He demanded quietly as Harry struggled to gain control of the shaking that had suddenly overcome his body.
"Dursleys." He managed his teeth chattering together. Half of him wanted to think that Snape was taking him to Voldemort, that the man was betraying the headmaster like he always knew he would. The other half, perhaps the more logical half asked him why Snape seemed to suddenly care about his wellbeing.
"Where Potter?" Snape encouraged. Harry gasped as there was a sudden shift in the air and warmth poured over him. He gazed around blankly for a moment at the stone walls and the high ceiling before answering meekly.
"Cupboard under the stairs." He nearly whispered. Dark eyes shot towards him glittering brightly.
"The one from your memories?" Snape demanded. Harry flushed in shame.
Of course, Snape represented his shame.
"Yes." He said still reeling at the implications of this revelation. What would happen to him? When he'd seen Bella-
Stop, don't think about it.
"I know everything now Potter or at least I believe I do." Snape said his expression grave and pained. "I should have done something long before it got this far but like a fool I believed the headmaster." He said fire igniting in his dark eyes. Harry found it entirely too hard to focus on the man and shivered violently a sharp pain slicing through his head causing him to gasp. There was a flash- Voldemort standing beside Lucius Malfoy gazing down at Bella's mutilated form and Peter's purple swollen face the silvery hand still wrapped around his neck- Harry came back to himself with a loud breathless sob.
"Potter!" He could vaguely hear Snape calling him, dark eyes urgent, but before he could focus on it he was being drawn back into the vision- Voldemort staring down at Hermione's body with a faint sneer kicking her side. Harry could understand his thoughts clearly, at least some good has come of this- and it sickened him to think that Voldemort was anywhere near her. And then Voldemort was slipping out of the house, pointing his wand at it, and setting it on fire.
"No!" Harry came back to himself with a lurch looking wildly around him for the flames that he knew were consuming Hermione's home, her body. He let out a broken sob feeling as though he would fall apart at any moment.
In his minds eye he could see Luna smiling dreamily at him holding out her hand. In the palm were several beads, large colorless glass ones with strange etchings on them. The walls surrounding her were decorated with these beads making a mosaic of wonderful and terrible colors. Harry reached out with a shaking hand and settled it over hers letting tears fall in his mind that he could never let slip free outside of it. A faint glow surrounded their hands and Harry felt the beads vibrate and grow warm. When he pulled his hands away the beads were dark blue with streaks of bright killing curse green flashing through them.
Harry blinked slowly surprised to find himself in a bed Snape sitting beside him an array of potions sitting on the night stand. Harry shook his head slowly and swallowed wondering where he was and if he should run.
"You've been receiving visions from the dark lord again haven't you?" Snape said quietly.
"Occlumency doesn't help." Harry said looking away. For a moment Snape was silent.
"What?" He whispered his voice shaky.
"It doesn't work, I learned it on my own and it doesn't work." Harry said shaking his head.
"That's impossible." Snape said his voice empty. Harry shook his head.
"Bella tried to get into my mind and she couldn't, I don't suggest you try by the way." He added defensively. Snape frowned.
"Potter-" Harry looked away.
"Do you have my wand?" He demanded holding out his hand. Snape's mouth snapped shut and an annoyed look crossed his features but with a roll of his eyes he reached into his pocket and pulled out a slim wooden case handing to Harry. Harry sighed as he snapped the lid open and his hand wrapped around his wand filling him with warmth and satisfaction. He shivered slightly and was surprised at the warm heat that began to mist over his aching eyes. "Safe." He hissed before he could stop himself from clutching the wand to his chest. He hadn't realized just how terrifying his world was without his wand, there was no doubt in his mind that he would never every leave it anywhere again. Snape's gaze softened surprisingly and a the frown became less harsh and more forgiving.
"Yes Potter, you are safe." The man said quietly. "But I don't know how long you will be safe, I've taken a great risk in bringing you here especially knowing the link you share with the dark lord." He said his eyes flashing with alarm. Harry nodded.
We'll have to leave.
Dolly echoed the thought in his mind and Harry found that he agreed completely. He had his wand; if he could get his invisibility cloak then he would be fine. "The rest of my things?" Harry didn't notice the slightly superior tilt that Dolly was fond of or the flash of shock in Snape's eyes before they narrowed in slight suspicion.
"I've placed your trunk in the closet though if you need anything I suggest that you request my elf Dippy, your body has not yet recovered from the sleeping potion you ingested." He said curiously. Harry might not have noticed his earlier slip but he did notice the pout that crossed his lips and it startled him enough that he stilled. He realized belatedly that he'd crossed his arms over his chest expectantly and that his back was ramrod straight his posture graceful. Was he becoming like Dolly? He was even more startled then by the hope that suddenly filled him. Did he…want to be Dolly?
The thought caught him off guard because it was his own. He wanted to be Dolly he realized belatedly. He was tired of being Harry Potter, he was tired of being weak and pathetic, he wanted to be Dolly.
"Potter are you quite alright?" Harry glanced up at the man and noticed that his arms had slackened and that his back had returned to its former slouch. Slouching, distracted, unintelligent, freak who couldn't protect himself from muggles- Harry flinched at his own assessment of himself.
"I'm fine." He said distractedly. Snape snorted.
"No, you aren't fine Potter, but you are too exhausted right now to fix that." He said with a slight sneer. "Sleep Potter, tomorrow is as they say, another day." And with that the man stood and slipped out of the room closing the door behind him. Harry stared at the door for a moment before looking around drowsily at his small but clean room. Snape was right about one thing, he was tired, very, very tired he decided as he caught sight of his trunk. He could disappear when he was in better health, for now…let Snape think that he was too damaged to leave. He winced slightly at the decidedly Dolly-like response. Merlin what was happening to him? He shook his head sleepily and laid back on the pillows closing his eyes. He slipped easily now into Freak's smaller form and carefully wandered the maze of his mind. He checked his walls patting them gently and shivering at the dark electricity that he could feel coming away from them.
Killing Bella hadn't even left a dent in the raw energy that ran through his walls, they were just as strong, and if anything a little bit more terrifying. He passed the guardians of his mind one by one sometimes pressing his hands to them and pushing out feelings, Snape's form merely smirked at him as he began to pour the vials into a cauldron and expertly brew more defenses for his mind but Harry ignored him and continued on. He halted however when he got to his fury.
Freak stared at the ashes that had once been Bellatrix Lestrange and Harry knew without a doubt that this change meant something, something that was changing him. His mind was built on his own subconscious thoughts and feelings, it was built on his very personality and his fury…that thing which he had counted on to contain it, to mute its potency- was gone. He stared at that space for a long time. Should he replace Bella? But with who? There was no one Harry had hated as much as he hated her; there was no one whose image brought up pure and raw fury the way hers did. That place was empty, vacant, and he didn't know what to do with it. He gazed at it for a moment longer before continuing cautiously.
Luna smiled dreamily at him as he approached and Harry was startled to notice that her place had deepened, had become a room of its own which looked suspiciously like Borgen and Burks in Knockturn Ally. "Sorrow is a powerful thing Harry." Luna said quietly before holding out a very large jar. Harry frowned.
"What do you mean?" He asked watching as she pulled out a large velvet bag and pulled marbles from it.
"Think about it." Harry jumped to see Dolly right beside him arms crossed as a sly smile sat on her lips. He'd never seen her in the maze before though he'd often wondered why not. As his shock wore off he found himself concentrating on what Luna had said and then Dolly's response to it. "Come on Harry." Dolly said with a nod. "You know why, you just have to put the pieces together, think back to when we realized that we were a wizard, what did Hagrid ask you?" Harry frowned and stared at the marbles as Luna held them out to him. They were always clear when she pulled them out, until he filled them with-
Harry's eyes widened and suddenly it made sense, Dolly slipped her hand into his and rested her head on his shoulder.
"Have you ever done something when you were really angry or upset…" Harry said softly as he thought of Hermione and settled his hands over the marbles. "Some of my magic is being stored away with my emotions and memories."
"Like casting a spell." Dolly said softly. "Only the energy doesn't disperse after the spell is cast, it's being stored away." Harry watched the marbles fill slowly before looking up at Luna whose smile became mischievous.
"Some of it I put into the walls, the rest I'll keep in here." She said looking around the room. Harry nodded with a small frown.
"That's a lot of sorrow…" He said wearily as he looked at the shelves that lined the walls. Dolly slid her arms around him.
"Harry, you have sorrow, use it, the only thing that is keeping you from being me, is you, let it go, put it away, that's why we created this place remember?" Harry nodded slowly.
"It's a lot of marbles…" He said hesitantly. Luna smiled widely before reaching under the counter and pulling a large crate up onto the counter.
"Don't worry, I can handle it." She said cheerfully. Harry nodded and carefully held out his hands hovering them over the pile she set before him.
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Severus Snape was no fool, in fact he prided himself in his scholarly abilities, which was why, when he stepped reluctantly into Harry Potter's room he knew that the world as he knew it was changed forever. Harry Potter's body was levitating, this alone was nothing to be worried about, many witches and wizards suffered from sleep levitation it was a rather common sleeping disorder. But, coupled with the fact that Potter's head was covered with a heavy blue veil of energy and the reality that the room felt as though a Dementor had passed by…needless to say Severus Snape promptly dropped the tray that he was holding. Harry Potter, the boy who could hardly lift a meager shield to protect his mind the year before was a mind mage.
Severus felt himself fall back into the chair staring in awe at the boy.
It had been his own personal dream to become a mind mage, in fact he'd studied it extensively, he knew nearly everything there was to know about mind magic. But as Harry Potter floated above the bed Severus Snape felt his dream was crushed. He'd always stubbornly refused to acknowledge the small footnote at the end of every book he'd ever read on mind magic. He'd refused to believe in those few damning words.
True mind mages were born.
He felt his eyes slip shut and realized now that the reason Potter couldn't learn Occlumency was because Occlumency as made by those who were jealous of the abilities of the mind mage. Mind mages didn't need it. The brat probably stumbled through a few books and in his frustration managed to awaken the dormant trait. It was obvious the boy thought he'd taught himself the fool! Severus sneered in disgust and stood abruptly.
Whatever pity he'd felt for the boy was quite gone now!
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Harry woke with a start as a stinging hex was leveled at him.
"Ow!" He cried out blearily before turning an accusatory stare to Snape who sneered.
"It's a quarter past eight in the evening, you've been sleeping for two days now, I'll not see you starve." Snape said sharply before settling a tray across his legs. Harry yawned widely and rubbed his eyes wincing as the contacts he'd been wearing shifted across his gritty eyes.
"Two days?" He slurred. "What day is it?" He asked as he scooted the tray closer to himself.
"Sunday." Snape said with a sneer. Harry felt his mouth drop open.
"The downside of drinking a very rare and borderline illegal potion." Snape said dryly. "I estimate that Granger gave you the potion shortly after your arrival, she of course did not think of certain ramifications such as the idea that your body might have needed to sleep for weeks or months. Had she thought of this she would have realized that in that time you would have starved to death or died of dehydration. Somehow you managed to ingest the antidote however; I am guessing that you threw it up." He said quirking an eyebrow. Harry nodded slowly and Snape nodded sharply. "The potion she used if I am correct which I am certain that I am, is a potion that will linger in your bloodstream until your body has rested as much as it needs to, almost like a magical coma which is the preferred treatment, however as I said before, dehydration and starvation would have claimed you." With a graceful motion Snape set a vial of familiar potion on the tray. "Since you threw up the potion it was rendered useless, luckily you weren't in a precarious situation when it wore off completely. I have managed to make another antidote, however you will need to consume this one after you eat so as not to vomit up the hard work and effort I put into making you a new dose. Questions?" Snape said curling his upper lip. Harry shook his head.
"Good, now eat your meal before-" Snape suddenly went incredibly pale and Harry shivered as a trickle of ice cold slid through him. He blinked in confusion at the feeling until Snape clapped a hand over his left arm and Harry suddenly understood. Harry frowned, usually when Voldemort called his men Harry could feel it as though the dark mark was in his scar, this time though…He watched Snape storm out of the room without another word and jumped when a giggle filled his mind.
Harry closed his eyes, he might as well prepare for the pain. He slipped easily into his maze and Freak jumped when Dolly was suddenly there beside him grinning widely.
"Harry come look!" She said excitedly before dragging him forward. Harry felt another shiver race through him and gasped at the feel of it but Dolly continued without pause. Harry frowned as she dragged him in front of a door that he couldn't remember ever being there, a bright red door with an ornate handle. "Open it." She said with excitement. Harry frowned but did as he was told pushing it open cautiously. What he was met with was a large empty room, aside from the door there was nothing else, just white walls- his eyes caught sight of something and he stepped forward.
A splash of darkness on the wall.
As he drew nearer he could see that the spot was more like a tarnished mirror, a very small bit, and as he looked closer…
It took him a moment to realize that he was suddenly not looking out of his own eyes. He'd been drawn into a vision…except it wasn't quite a vision; he was Voldemort this time, not Nagini the great snake or some outside thing.
Harry jumped backwards panting harshly and Dolly laughed gleefully as he watched with wide eyes as veins of electric red pulsed along the walls.
"W…." He couldn't even get past the first syllable. Dolly giggled delightedly before gracefully seating herself beside him.
"That potion that Hermione gave us did something Harry darling, that's why I'm here!" Harry stared at her in shock.
"But you're me." He said blankly. Dolly looked at him seriously and a slow clever smile stretched across her lips.
"Exactly Harry." She said simply. Harry didn't understand, he truly didn't but if it meant that he didn't have to feel the grip of the crucio then he supposed it couldn't be all that bad. "You should get back Harry, eat and take your potion; the curses will only feed the walls now they can't hurt us." Dolly said pecking his cheek.
Harry snapped back to reality and panted slightly as he stared blankly at the food on his plate. He winced as a sharp pain flashed through his head but realized with some relief that it wasn't his scar. Warmth trickled down his upper lip and he cursed as he lifted his napkin to his face and pressed it to his bloody nose. Vaguely he could hear the high pitched cackle and the slight thrill of dark heady magic, but there was no pain. Pursing his lips he waited for the bleeding to cease before hungrily making his way through his small meal. Harry sighed in contentment as his belly protested meekly against the amount as small as it was. He was no stranger to having to get used to eating again after all, as he thought about it he lifted his night shirt and frowned at his caved in stomach. He could count his ribs…but, he thought as he traced the faint line that had once been a vicious cut, at least that had healed up. He would be able to leave soon- his eyes caught sight of something on his bedside table and he gasped softly.
Long, tapered, slightly knobby but bearing the marks of wealth- Bellatrix Lestrange's blackwood wand hummed idly almost as if it was purring.
As he stared at it a million thoughts raced through his mind. He tried desperately to remember everything Hermione had told him about wands after the Priori incantatum incident in the graveyard. Wands…wands….wands…
His eyes widened in realization. A small tidbit of information that he'd barely paid any attention to except that he'd been afraid that it would happen to him, if a wand was lost in a duel it could transfer ownership to the winner of the duel and would become for all intents and purposes their wand.
The wand chooses the wizard.
But how did it get here?
Shakily he reached out his hand gasping when the wand jumped from the night table and leapt into his hand. Harry let out a cry as pleasure unlike anything he'd ever felt before poured through him leaving him panting and flushed.
What…what the duce was that!?