Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or Twilight. If you don't know who does own them then I can only assume you've been living under a rock for the past decade or so.
Chapter One: Bow to Death
The cavernous chamber hidden far beneath the busy streets of London was cloaked in swathes of shadow and lay smothered by the heavy cloak of silence. One might even say it was 'as silent as the grave'. If one were inclined towards the melodramatic that is. Though given the centrepiece of the room it was a phrase perhaps a little too close to the truth for comfort.
In the centre of the amphitheatre-like room was a pit, and in the centre of the pit was a raised dais. It was on that dais that an archway stood.
The archway was simple in construction, a pointed thing of cracked and crumbling stone. It had an aura of unfathomable age and appeared so ancient and decrepit that it was a wonder that it even remained still standing at all. But this was no mundane relic.
What stood it apart from any other crumbling ruined ancient structure was the tattered veil of ethereal ebony cloth that hung within. Despite the complete stillness of the chill air it fluttered slightly, as if touched by an unseen hand.
A solitary figure stood upon the dais peering pensively into the face of the artefact known to the Department of Mysteries simply as the Veil of Death. He stood tall and resolute, deceptively thin frame wrapped in robes of inky hue, hood shrouding his sallow and inhuman features from view.
Death had always fascinated him, even as a child. It was the great unknown, mysterious and unknowable. He respected it and yes, feared it too. Not that he would ever admit that uncomfortable fact to anyone, of course. Still, to watch the light leave an enemy's eyes, to see their soul cast into the void and know he held power over life and death… ah, now that was an intoxicating experience indeed.
The silence was not just broken but shattered as the plain black door was utterly disintegrated by an onslaught of spellfire. A red-robed figure barrelled into the room, wand held aloft, the expression of determination clear to be seen upon that youthful face. A collection of pouches hung from the belt cinched around the waist of his robes, a ruby-pomelled silvery blade adorning his left side.
Emerald eyes lit upon their target. The black robed man turned slowly, a deliberately casual motion. A swirl of dark cloth settled around him.
"Mr Potter. I have been expecting you."
The Dark Lord Voldemort drew back his hood, exposing waxy skin drawn tight over strangely reptilian features. Slitted red eyes seemed to glow faintly in the gloom.
"Harry Potter. The Boy-Who-Lived. Come here to me now to die, your saga begun at my hand and now come full circle. Poetic, isn't it?"
A cruel smirk played across that pale visage as sibilant tones dropped from thinned lips.
"Will you accept your fate gracefully, Harry? Kneel before Lord Voldemort and he shall grant you a swift death."
The young wizard gritted his teeth and growled out a response, the spark of rebellion lighting behind circular frames.
"Not going to happen, Tom. Your evil ends here, today."
The Dark wizard hissed in affront, slitted nostrils flaring, drawing himself up like a disturbed viper. Crimson eyes narrowed in anger.
"The name is Voldemort, Potter. You would do well to remember that."
Then, abruptly, he laughed. The high, cold sound raised the hairs on the back of Harry's neck. The unnatural resonance trailed like ghostly finger-tips down his spine.
"But no matter. You cannot truly be naïve enough to believe that you, a mere schoolboy of no remarkable talent could possibly defeat I; Lord Voldemort - the greatest sorcerer on Earth. The very notion is ludicrous."
The Dark Lord's lip curled into a sneer of disdain as he looked down his malformed nose at the young man who had been such a thorn in his side. He watched with interest as his adversary visibly swallowed an angry retort.
"Been working on managing that temper of yours I see. About time. Well then, since you've clearly made your mind up to be difficult about this, then I propose that we at least go about things in a civilised fashion. I trust that I need not remind you again how we begin."
A thin shaft of pale yew appeared in his hand, drawn quicker than the eye could follow. Yet he did not attack. Instead he leaned forwards in an elegant bow, arms out to the sides as if inviting assault.
With a look of obvious displeasure Harry stiffly followed suit. Albeit not nearly so deeply, and taking care to keep his wand up front in a defensive posture.
An incandescent flash of light burst from a wand of carven holly, chasing back the creeping shadows with its radiance. The flare was followed by a shouted invocation.
Ruby light blazed a trail through the air, only for the Dark wizard to catch it upon the tip of his own wand and bat it aside with a casual flick of his wrist. His arm blurred into motion as he responded with a volley of vibrant green bolts.
"Truly Harry, I am disappointed in you. You wasted a perfectly good opening with a second-year charm of all things."
He shook his head mockingly.
"Why, if I didn't know any better I'd think you weren't taking me seriously!"
Voldemort cackled his amusement as he watched Harry duck and dodge frantically. The beams of death-magic slammed into the floor all around him, fragmenting stone and sending little fountains of shrapnel flying.
Harry's wand dipped, twisted and whirled in a complex pattern as he began to chain a succession of spells together. Incantations flowed unceasingly from his lips in a soft murmur. Multicoloured streams of magic were sent lancing towards his foe as he began circling the room.
"Suffoca…" A darting greyish bolt.
"Gelida Hasta…" A spear of ice spun out the air and flung itself forth.
"Lacero…" An angry blood-red crescent.
"Malleus Caeli…" A nigh invisible distortion that stirred the still air into life.
"Perforo…" A shining spike of silvery energy.
"Flamma Orbis…" A fiery orb roaring hungrily.
The Dark Lord moved with inhuman swiftness and serpentine grace, waving his arms like a master conductor as magic bent to his will. Curses were redirected midflight to disperse with muted flashes as they gouged scars in unyielding stone. Spears of ice shattered in midair, obliterated by precisely focused bursts of eldritch power.
"Not bad Harry, not bad at all."
The ebon-clad sorcerer reached out his hand and simply plucked a small fireball from the air. It hung suspended between grasping fingers, long and slender like the limbs of a spider. The heat it radiated did not seem to bother him in the least as Voldemort brought the seething orb up to his face.
He observed the flickering tongues of fire speculatively for a moment, continuing to negligently deflect away the incoming bolts of magic with his other hand.
"But not good enough."
And then he blew.
A wide column of flames surged forwards gleefully, a roiling torrent of sorcerous fury. The younger wizard let out a yelp of dismay and sprinted to the side. A warding motion flung a hemisphere of rippling silver energy behind him as he went.
Enchanted fire skittered harmlessly off the Shield Charm's reflective surface. It fell upon the floor with a thwarted hiss, melting a glassy indentation into granite before being extinguished.
Harry whirled and with a jabbing motion flung an orange-red bolt. The Dark wizard waved and, predictably, it swerved away to strike the ceiling with a fizzing ping. Instead of dissipating however it rebounded, darting down on an intercept trajectory.
Yew spun in a tight swirl producing a small circular shield of electric blue that absorbed the hex before vanishing.
"That's the spirit, Harry!" Voldemort announced. Then with a flick he intoned. "Bombarda."
The misty blue sphere of the blasting spell careened towards Harry like an errant bludger.
He weaved to the side and countered with a flurry of conjured knives that sliced through the air at great speed, only to disintegrate when touched by a rust-brown pulse.
The fight continued in much the same vein for perhaps a minute more. In that time the young wizard circled nearly halfway around the chamber and had descended several levels both while dodging and in an attempt to close the distance and give his enemy less time to respond. Though this was of course a double edged sword.
In that time he had noticed something peculiar. Whilst the Dark Lord's reactions were incredibly almost supernaturally swift most of the spells he used were actually fairly basic. Strongly cast to be sure, but not overly difficult or power intensive. In fact the shield charm he'd used to block the Rebounding-Arrow Hex was the most powerful yet. And even then that was a standard part of Auror training, nothing he could not do himself if he were so inclined.
As Ollivander would say: 'curious… very curious….'
"Getting weaker in your old age, are we Tom?" He taunted, sending a volley of cutting Curses.
Voldemort jabbed imperiously at the overlapping crimson arcs. With a sound like a pane of glass being shattered they exploded into a shower of sparks and intangible dust.
He laughed, sounding genuinely amused.
"Boy, to deal with you I don't need anything but the basics. I merely wished to test what the vaunted 'Chosen One' was capable of." Condescension veritably dripped from his words.
"I confess myself… disappointed."
Harry scowled before hastily hopping down another level. A beam of lurid emerald light whooshed overhead, striking behind him with an audible CRACK of fractured rock.
"You know what your greatest weakness is Voldemort?" He called out challengingly.
Slipping a hand into his pocket he surreptitiously palmed the dozen pointed shards hidden there, taking care not to cut himself. The flash of another Sunburst Charm forced his opponent to shield his eyes momentarily. This disguised the metallic glint as darts dropped soundlessly to the floor before him.
"Very well Potter, I'll humour you." He replied in a sibilant hiss, acting as if he was performing some great act of benevolence. "Just what precisely is my so called greatest weakness?"
"Arrogance. You're so convinced of your own superiority that you refuse to take any threat seriously. It makes you careless and someday it will be your downfall."
Voldemort snorted in derision, drawling his reply through a curled lip.
"It is not arrogance if you can actually back up your words with action, it is confidence. And I most certainly can, just ask Dumbledore."
He smirked coldly then.
"Oh wait, you can't – because I listened to him beg for mercy as I personally tore the old fool limb from limb. A pity."
Harry forced magic through the channel of his wand with sheer stubborn will, not daring to let speech or movement betray this chance.
Tendrils of magic invisibly reached out and touched their targets. Glinting spikes of viciously barbed steel whined through the air.
They passed unimpeded through a gust of wind that by all rights should have scattered them. The Dark Lord's eyes widened almost imperceptibly, betraying his surprise.
A lashing tongue of vermillion flame whipped out in a sinuous arc and struck the missiles from the air. Molten droplets scattered all around. They dropped hissing to the cold ground and lay there glowing a sullen cherry colour. All but two that is.
The first struck Riddle full in the left shoulder, causing a reflexive spasmodic tightening of his grip. He reached up and tore it from his flesh with a grimace.
Through the rip in his robes Harry could see a wound seeping blood that seemed a shade too dark. In the moment it took for the enemy wizard to raise the offending object into view the jagged hole had sealed up as if it had never been there at all.
The spike was perhaps two inches long and superficially resembled a common nail. It was much sleeker however, and possessed two wicked barbs. On the head was inscribed a rune of binding. Slender fingers grasped the glinting shaft firmly. He could feel the magic bound within humming just below the surface. Enchanted then, but for what purpose?
The second spike had impacted him in the navel and buried itself deeply into the softer flesh there. A spidery hand probed at the area only to discover it had already healed over. Blast. That would need surgical removal later then. How damnably inconvenient.
Pulling away he caught a glimpse of his fingers. Lurid red stood out in stark contrast to his pale skin.
Utilising Voldemort's momentary distraction Harry spun his wand and weaved in a precise and intricate pattern, murmuring the incantation for a very old spell. The air buzzed around him as he poured power into the enchantment.
White strands of luminescent energy erupted from the ground at the sorcerer's feet and coiled around him. Unyielding threads grasped at him, binding him tightly around ankle, wrist and throat. A faint odour of cooking meat rose as Light magic burned into the construct of Dark magic that was Voldemort's body. Yet he hardly noticed.
Opponent safely confined for the moment Holly wood dipped and spun as a chain of destructive curses were flung forth.
"Flammasectum, Ossus Diffringo, Exsanguis, Colliquesco!"
Potter had made him bleed.
A flaming arc, a yellow-streaked indigo jet, a maroon burst and flash of harsh blue-green all sped through the air, a deadly barrage of lethal magic.
Rational thought evaporated as rage consumed him. Snake-like eyes flooded with power, burning a hellish scarlet- no mere trick of light now. The uncharacteristically polite and affable demeanour vanished in an instant as the Dark Lord's magic manifested in roiling mass of coiling shadows. Inky bolts flickered through it, an unnatural storm cloud.
An enraged wordless scream of fury tore from his throat as a vast churning tidal wave of raw magic exploded out of him.
Binding strands of light shattered into nothingness and curses winked out, their energies subsumed and dispersed by the seething immensity of the disruption spell.
Though it had no physical force behind it still it knocked Harry to his knees and drove the breath from his lungs. The room shuddered and tiny showers of dust drifted downwards. The ancient wards protecting the sanctum groaned in protest, flinching like an injured beast.
From the corner of his eye Harry caught a glimpse of the Veil. Cerulean pinpricks of light danced across the arch's surface, its diaphanous contents whipping and boiling in a frenzy of motion.
An eerie screeching sound, much like nails down a chalkboard attracted Harry's attention. His eyes widened at the sight of a burst of dark purple light speeding towards him.
He dove desperately to the side, screaming out the first shield charm that came to mind.
A semi-transparent white dome appeared around him just in time. The Devastation Curse slammed down, releasing a concussive blast and a wave of intense heat. Were it not for that last minute shield those would undoubtedly have killed him despite having gotten far enough away to have avoided a direct impact. If he hadn't moved a curse that powerful would have torn through his shield like tissue paper.
The shield flared brightly as it resisted the hail of shrapnel and searing heat. The kinetic force of the shockwave flung him spinning, shield and all, to land awkwardly a dozen feet away with a pained grunt. Were it not for the insulating effect of the charm he'd likely have broken an arm at the least. Instead he merely had a rather impressive collection of bruises to look forward to.
He spared an apprehensive glance at the molten crater filled with coils of luminous vapour that he'd narrowly escaped becoming part of.
And nearly missed the wagon sized ball of white hot flame that swirled in an almost liquid like fashion. With no time to dodge and uncertain how well his shield would hold up against the oncoming sphere of burning death he raised his wand, gripping at his wrist supportively with his free hand in preparation, and cast.
A tremendous burst of water erupted from his wand, near enough to constitute a small river, and intercepted the fireball at an angle. He felt his reserves of magic drop substantially with that massive conjuration, the force of the water almost causing his wrist to buckle despite his precautions.
The elements collided with a seething hiss, producing a billowing cloud of scaling steam. Somehow, impossibly, the fire continued to burn even when fully submerged and continued its forward movement. Though unquenched it was deflected aside, splattering to earth and flinging incandescent globules all around. It ran downwards flowing like syrup, the streams of white fire eating away at granite.
Hastily Harry cast the strongest shield he knew, a large transparent barrier in the form of a stylised medieval shield. It shone electric blue, the Gryffindor lion emblem roaring its defiance.
It immediately darted to block a green streaked urine yellow beam which rebounded with sound that greatly resembled the ringing of a gong.
It flitted protectively around independent of its master's will as he funnelled his strength into maintaining it. In the space of a single second it blocked no less than four further curses. A blue pulse sprung back and a black arc skittered off to the side, carving a foot deep slice into the rocky floor. They were followed by a dirty brown wave that slid down and away, then a dark cored bloody orb.
The air rung with the reverberating aftershock as the powerful curses were repelled, the telltale icy slickness of Dark magic's taint polluting Harry's surroundings. He noted with concern that his shield now sported fine cracks spreading outwards from its centre.
A wide pink beam slammed him, sending ripples across its surface. The shield flared brightly as the spell's heart pulsed red. Then it shattered into luminescent shards which exploded outwards, partially deflecting a dark jet.
Harry staggered as fatigue washed over him, missing the whitish dart that sank into his chest. A startled scream of pain was wrenched from his lips as his wand abruptly detonated in his grip.
Splinters of holly drove into and through his hand as it spasmed in agony. A fine spray of red droplets splattered all around him. He clutched the maimed appendage to his chest heedless of the hot streams of blood running down his arm to drip from his elbow.
Awkwardly he drew the sword at his waist left-handed; clumsily he batted a Flaying Curse away with the flat of the blade. A dark blue jet threaded with yellow zipped in under his guard too quickly for him to react. It impacted his elbow and produced a pained yelp and a sickening snap as his forearm broke. The shining goblin-silver dropped from nerveless fingers with a clatter as the arm bent gruesomely.
A grey blur slammed pounded into his stomach and drove him to his knees. He dropped retching, the pain of his injuries making him shudder. An invisible grip, a giant's hand, seized him roughly and yanked him through the air over the Dark Lord's head then sharply downwards to land crumpled at his feet.
Voldemort regarded him neutrally, the seething fury of moments before locked tightly away behind steel-hard Occlumency barriers. His crimson eyes betrayed a glimmer of malicious glee at the bloodied and beaten state of his opponent.
"How does it feel, Harry; knowing that you are about to die?" The Dark Lord asked silkily.
"How does it feel to know that all your struggles, all your sacrifices were for naught? To know that everyone you love will suffer and die because you are a failure?" The poisonous words were whispered in velvet soft tones.
"It is polite to answer your betters when they ask you a question, Potter." He hissed. "But perhaps you need another lesson in manners. Very well, I shall oblige you. … Crucio."
Hot razorblades cut into every nerve ending, his very blood burning like acid under the onset of the Cruciatus. Harry screamed and thrashed. He did not know long it lasted, likely no more than a minute, but it felt like hours. Voldemort laughed icily then with a casual wave ended the spell.
Harry trembled as the aftershocks of the curse stimulated nerves burnt raw. Nevertheless he forced out rebellious words through bruised and swollen lips.
"Screw… you… Tom."
"Harry, Harry, Harry. Defiant even until the end I see. You may be a fool but I must confess, I admire your courage." He shook his head as if admonishing a recalcitrant child, bald pate gleaming in the dim lighting. A tiny beginning of a smile tugged at the corners of his lips.
"But it is the end now. Goodbye Harry Potter. Avada-"
For Harry time seemed to freeze in a single crystallised instant, a bead of familiar green light blooming upon the tip of the Dark Lord's pale wand.
His magic was all but exhausted; he had full body bruising, a shattered left arm and several cracked ribs. His right hand was little more than a mass of shredded and perforated flesh, and he had most likely suffered some degree of nerve damage from that Cruciatus. There was no doubt in his mind that he was about to die.
He felt a small thrill of surprise at the realisation that this did not bother him. Oh he didn't want to die of course, but found that the concept did not scare him. But damn it if he was going to die then he was going to make damn sure he was taking that snake faced bastard with him.
He drew deeply on the last flickering embers of his magic that remained, gathered them into a burning orb at his core and employed every ounce of his Occlumency skills to force a diamond hard purpose upon it. Magic hummed beneath his skin and he threw it out with a mental cry.
"… Kedavr- ugh."
Voldemort halted mid-incantation, his eyes bulging in shock as with a wet shlick Gryffindor's sword plunged into his back. A gasp escaped, the exhalation bringing with it a fine spray of blood which speckled his lips. Slender digits touched disbelievingly at the foot of bright metal protruding from the right side of his chest.
Harry began to laugh hoarsely and the look of shock on Voldemort's face gave way to profound irritation. Hairless brows drew together in a scowl as his gaze darkened.
"Potter," He said flatly, his breathe a wheeze. "You are without a shadow of a doubt the most acutely aggravating individual that I have ever had the misfortune of meeting. Tell me, did you honestly think you could kill me a sword of all things?"
With that he slashed his wand and the blade simply dissolved, melting into silver mist. It ran downwards and evaporated away. A gout of blood poured freely for a moment before the same unnatural regeneration kicked in sealing the wound.
"Not with a sword, no." Harry chuckled scratchily. "But basilisk venom? I'm willing to bet that's something even you can't recover from."
"Basilisk?" Voldemort looked startled at that, and then realisation dawned. "Of course, the Chamber – and the blade was goblin-silver. Clever." He admitted grudgingly.
A full body tremor ran through him and he glanced at his exposed forearm assessingly. The veins were an unwholesome black, clear evidence of the poison's spread. Even as he watched mottled bruising bloomed beneath his skin.
"Aggravating indeed." He muttered. "It will be irritating having to go through all those rituals again to prepare another suitable vessel. But know this: your trickery may have deprived me of this body Harry, yet it is but a momentary inconvenience. I told you once before that I had gone further than any other down the path that leads to immortality. Clearly you were not paying attention."
A twitch sent his wand clattering to the floor. He frowned.
"It seems this body's usefulness has reached its end then."
The elder wizard closed his eyes momentarily in concentration. Power rose in a thick shroud around him, tinged with the oily slickness of Dark magic, an almost tangible presence. It built up to a crescendo then, abruptly, just vanished. Confusion and a hint of panic flitted across the Dark Lord's serpentine features as he staggered. A fresh round of hoarse laughter attracted his attention.
"And what, pray tell, is so amusing Potter?"
"And either must die at the hand of the other. You're dead, Tom. You just haven't realised it yet."
"I know all about your Horcruxes, all six of them."
"How do you … the diary. No matter, the others are safe and hidden, I have made certain of that. It would be physically impossible for you to have found them, let alone destroyed them."
"True." Harry admitted. "Though not for lack of trying. That doesn't mean I couldn't work around them however."
A spark of panic lit in Voldemort's scarlet eyes.
"What did you do to me Potter?! Tell me!"
"Horcruxes work by forming a safety net of sorts. They anchor the core of your being so that should your body be too damaged to support it, it does not get immediately drawn into the beyond. This allows you to wander freely as a wraith until you can arrange for a new vessel. What I did was bind you to your current one."
BIND. The word reverberated around the Dark Lord's mind. The image of a faintly glowing rune appeared n his mind's eye. He collapsed, clutching at his stomach.
"When that twisted body dies… so do you. And your precious little anchors? Well those go down with the ship, so to speak."
Harry bared his teeth in a vicious grin, clearly relishing the unique opportunity to gloat.
"I told you that your arrogance would be your downfall." He added smugly.
Voldemort's eyes blazed with fury as they locked gazes once more. His magic responded to its dying master's command, lashing out in a burst of raw force that effortlessly launched Harry through the air. Directly towards the archway.
Desperately he reached for the emergency portkey at his belt, adrenaline allowing him to briefly ignore the shrieking agony of his shattered arm bone. Fingers wrapped around the nondescript object.
Dear Merlin please let this work.
Ordinarily no portkey would stand a snowball's chance in Hell of working this deep within the Department of Mysteries thanks to the uncounted layers of wards; but Voldemort's little temper tantrum earlier on had clearly damaged them, and severely at that. Though they still stood the enchantment was, for lack of a better term, fractured. Hopefully just enough to allow for an unauthorised portkey activation.
He snapped the chain.
The familiar hook-in-the-navel sensation began to form just as a deathly chill brushed at his spine. And then Harry's world was torn asunder.
Lord Voldemort watched with vindictive pleasure as his most hated adversary soared between crumbling pillars and vanished in a scintillating rainbow flare.
He slumped forwards, his strength expended. A pallid cheek pressed into cool stone. A susurration of sound emerged from cracked lips, less even than a murmur.
"Damn you… Harry Potter…."
With that the unholy light fled from slitted reptilian eyes, his chest at last stilling.
And so Tom Marvolo Riddle, the self proclaimed Lord Voldemort and one of the greatest sorcerers of the age breathed his last. He died as he had lived all his life, alone.
And in that empty, scarred and corpse-strewn room the Veil whispered ever on, ever on.
A/N: And that's chapter one.
Before some bright spark feels the need to point out the obvious, yes I am indeed aware that despite being a labelled a crossover there's no sign of the Twilightverse yet. Have patience, I assure you that it will start next chapter. I just had to actually get him there first. My original outline had the chapter end just after a vampire encounter but when I got around to actually writing it down this seemed to be a more natural point of transition.
The purpose of this chapter was to introduce the protagonist, showcase a little of what he's capable of, and conclude the annoying business of the Prophecy so we can move on. Not to mention devise some at least semi-believable means of transporting Harry where I needed him to go. This was the eventual result.
Most questions about the backstory will be answered in flashback form over the next few chapters. Though I'll endeavour to keep them brief and to the point since I personally find long and rambling flashbacks rather irritating.
Why did I decide to write a Twilight crossover? Because I need a considerable amount of practise before attempting my HP/DA:O epic and Twilight is something I can honestly say I don't give a damn about. Sounds counterintuitive I know but there is method to the madness. It frees me to write whatever the hell I like without worrying too much about screwing it up like I would if it were something I was properly a fan of.
Besides, my dislike of the books and several of their characters aside I can't deny the setting has a fair bit of potential. With some rather powerful vampires possessing all sorts of psychic powers, shapeshifters who can turn into giant telepathic wolves and mentions of uncontrollably rabid ACTUAL werewolves what's not to like?
Though I still maintain the sparkling is a silly idea.