Death's Heir- Prologue
Bright green eyes darted frantically behind thick framed glasses, hoping no one had seen what he had almost done. What was he doing?! What was he becoming?! Was this really going to make him the next Dark Lord, like everyone had been alluding to when they had learned of his ability with parsletongue. He didn't want to be evil. More of a freak. Deep down he thought he might be though. With all these changes he had been experiencing lately. Most recently the meal he had nearly made of Ginny Weasley when they had been left alone for a bit in the infirmary.
It had had such an odd feeling. He had crept closer to her bed, opened her mouth slightly, and felt as if he was taking a deep breath. It was as if he were trying to suck the air from her lungs. He had gone halfway through the motion before realizing what he was doing and backing off in fear. He had stumbled back to his bed and hid under the covers. When he had been brave enough he had peered around, which brought him to this moment.
No one was there though, and he heaved a huge sigh of relief. He thought it over a moment. This wasn't the first time something odd had happened to him. Really it had begun after he'd tried to stop the snake from going after Justin. The way that the Parsle words had moved silkily over his tongue had been divine; like sweet honey on his taste buds. Not one person had believed him when he had stated that he was trying to help Justin, not egg the snake on.
Then there was the time during the small Quidditch match he had started with Ron, something they often did whenever they had free time. It was just practice, but as the heat of the day began to beat down on them, he found that he was feeling hot. Ridiculously hot. He could tell Ron was no where near sweating as much as himself.
The twelve year old had shrugged it off however and continued to play. Halfway through the game, though, he asked Ron if they could take a break. He wasn't feeling good. Nauseous. His head felt like little miners were pounding away at his skull with mini mallets. His skin was red, like a bad sunburn, on every exposed inch. When Ron saw how badly sunburned Harry was, they quit their game and hurried to see Madame Pomfrey. She had been unable to explain away his symptoms as anything other than heat exhaustion and sunburn.
Still, she gave Harry the needed potions and placed him in a bed to sleep it off. The next day he was fine
Hermione had been kind enough to find a sunblock spell for him, claiming he might have an over sensitivity to sunlight. And they had continued as if nothing had happened.
A few months later the Chamber opened. He had talked to the Tom memory from the diary. Then, while talking with Tom, everything seemed better. He felt as if he had found a friend who could accept all of him. Even if they never showed it, Hermione and Ron were terrified of him, now that his Parsle ability was known. Tom though...Tom had explained a lot about what was happening, what his snake speaking gift was. It wasn't something to be ashamed of. Harry had felt so much better, he was even looking forward to the next Quidditch game. That is, until he found out it was being held in the heat of the day.
He told McGonagall that he couldn't play because his apparent sun allergy hadn't been remedied. The cat animagus had promptly excused him from the games whenever he needed, but it was impossible to play in the dark, so he had quit, hoping that he could play next year once all this had been figured out.
Harry had gone to breakfast the next day amidst glares from his house. Ron and Hermione seemed concerned, especially when their fellow Gryffindor begged off eating, claiming nausea.
The bushy haired girl had gazed at him with worry in her eyes. Harry winced. He had been trying to hide how strange he really was. He avoided the questions she obviously wanted to ask all that day. He awoke the next day and felt as if he were starving! It was such an abrupt turn around from yesterday's nausea that it gave him pause in between hurried bites of bacon. He just barely managed to stop himself from gorging on his food like Ron did, but it was an absurdly close call. What was happening to him? At the Dursley's he was conditioned to small meals. He'd never eaten in his life, like this.
His eye twitched at the lack of manners and occasional flying bits of food from his friend beside him. Gah! Having his own manners compared to Ron's eating habits was a ghastly thought, forcing him to slow down, much to his stomach's discontent. The redhead looked exactly like Dudley. He wondered briefly if Ron would be mad if he called him 'Ronniekins' like his siblings did. It was strangely reminiscent of Aunt Petunia's various sickening nicknames she had developed for Dudley over the years.
Then he shook off the thought, appalled that he might be thinking bad things of his friend. Ron was not like Dudley. He may not have the best take manners, but he was a good friend.
He had quickly finished his meal, careful to eat slowly and avoid looking like a slob, and made his excuses to his friends, escaping their worried stares.
When he had reached the dorms he was stunned to see the room demolished. Harry stared in shock before rushing to his bed and over turned trunk, dread filling his gut. It was only his things that were scattered around the room. His mattress was hanging off his four poster lopsided, his table drawer jerked out and tipped over, his trunk upended and even his pillows slashed open with what seemed like desperation.
What thief could have done this? He didn't have anything worth taking except...his stomach dropped and he started looking through the various books and pillow stuffing littering the floor frantically. Tom's diary was gone. Stolen. He was devastated. His only friend...gone.
Sometime later Hermione had been petrified, and Ginny Weasley taken to the Chamber. Ron had demanded he rescue his sister. After all Harry was the boy-who-lived, he could do anything.
Harry had obeyed despite his own fear and had reunited with his friend Tom, coming to discover the truth of the mysterious boy. Tom had allowed him to leave with Ginny's life in tact, and he had returned completely exhausted, so bone deep tired he felt he could sleep for years. Ron and the Weasley's had celebrated the return of their youngest child, over looking the frightened and envious boy watching on.
Dumbledore had then shuffled him off to the hospital wing to get him looked over but Harry had the impression that it was more to get him out of the way than anything. He couldn't complain though.
Pomfrey, of course, had swiftly placed him in bed, giving him calming draughts. When the lost and newly found redhead joined him, she had slipped Ginny a healing potion. Once they had been cared for in a timely fashion, she set about unpetrifying everyone who had been victimized but he didn't see the results of her efforts. Harry had drifted off quickly, sleeping for the rest of the night. When he woke, this morning he had felt so famished. He crept out of bed and...
He hid beneath the sheets of his hospital bed, trembling and unable to staunch the press of tears against his eyes.
"What is happening to me?"
Dumbledore's eyes narrowed. He watched as Harry hid beneath his covers, having seen what the young Gryffindor had almost done. So his suspicions were true. The child really /had/ been tainted. By the looks of it the Golden Boy had been tarnished, infected, with Dementor blood. Filth. He needed to keep this under wraps. Voldemort couldn't find out. If Harry was indeed part dementor, and Voldemort was able to get his claws into the child, then the Dark Lord would have the other Soul-Suckers on his side at once.
Especially since children of dementors were rare. He had to make sure no one found out. Not even Harry. If the child came to him with questions he would turn him away.
Suddenly Dumbledore's eyes widened.
He needed to protect his students. Any one of them could fall victim to the terror that the boy-who-lived had become. They must be warned of Harry's evil.
"I know Ron,but I think we should check on him. He's been so sick lately!"
Hermione's voice wafted up to the older wizard's ears and he smirked smugly. Oh this was priceless. This could work. The rumors would surly be started that's to the loudmouthed Ron at the very least. Straightening, the headmaster turned and stepped in the children's path. Startled, they stopped and gave the older male small smiles.
"Good morning Miss Granger, Mister Weasley."
"Good morning, headmaster. We're on our way to see Harry."
"Ah yes. About Mister Potter. I need to speak with you. I thought I should warn you that I just had something confirmed about him last night." he lied effortlessly
Take the bait. Take it.
"What about, sir?"
"I'm afraid that your young friend is not who you think he is. He has been hiding something from us all. It seems that in the Chamber of Secrets the light within him dwindled and he has succumbed tithe darkness of the Dark Lord. I'm so sorry." he adopted the sorrowful grandfather mask.
Ron seemed puzzled.
"But...he helped Ginny!"
Solemnly, the headmaster nodded.
"Yes. When Voldemort went to school here, he tried to fool a lot of people into thinking he was a kind-hearted individual. He was even Head Boy, one of our best and brightest students. But it was all a lie. I thought that if anyone should know the truth of this it would be the two of you. His brand of corruption can be contagious after all and I would hate for either of you to give up such promising bright futures for an unfortunate accident that could take everything from you. He has accepted the Dark Lord's evil into him. You two should avoid him from now on, lest you be corrupted too."
Hermione and Ron looked scared and they exchanged glances. He knew Ms. Granger had her eye on working in the Ministry and even a twit as young as her could tell that being tied to the less than fortunate or Dark, would send her career crashing down around her before it even started. And Weasley had always been nothing but a jealous brat. They would be easy to sway.
"Is that why he's been feeling so sick lately?"
Dumbledore inwardly rolled his eyes. They were so far off base. Whatever, he could work with it.
"I'm afraid so. It was the evil in him acclimating to his body. It seems that he has been Lord Voldemort's disciple for some time now and his master was awakening the Darkness inside him, even transferring some of his own powers and taint into Mr. Potter. I'm afraid the friend you knew is dead. What is in his place now is nothing more than the seed of the Dark Lord. A monster in his place."
Hermione firmed her chin. It appeared that it took less than he'd thought to change their perspectives. Foolish children.
"Thank you headmaster. We'll tell him our friendship is over and then warn the other Gryffindors."
Ron nodded his agreement.
The two lions made their way inside the infirmary to confront the abomination inside and Albus Dumbledore finally allowed himself to smirk, his twinkling eyes triumphant.
He turned and walked out the doors of the waiting room, making his way back to his office. He had a teachers meeting to call. He'd leave the children to Hermione and Ron for now.
Harry blinked in confusion. Hurt. What- what was happening?
"We have decided you aren't worth the trouble. You almost got Ron killed, and even Ginny barely made it out. It's too dangerous being your friend."
The rave haired twelve years old turned his emerald eyes to Ron only to find that his fellow lion sported a similar expression to the bushy haired girl. Disgust. Hatred. Even fear. Harry flinched. This wasn't happening. He was only having a nightmare.
"But... What about all we've been through?" he squeaked, trying vainly to quell the urge to cry.
Hermione scoffed while Ron snorted.
"A lapse of judgement on our part, I assure you. Don't talk to us again, freak." Hermione snapped with a huff and stormed out of the room.
Ron spat in Harry's face and sneered, giving Harry an expression worthy of Draco Malfoy.
"Stay the bloody hell away from my family, demon!" and he stalked out as well.
Harry was stunned. Ill. He should have realized his friendship was too good to be true. He was too strange to have friends. Ha family was right. He was a freak. A nobody. A waste of space. He was once more alone.
It was all he deserved.
Harry finally gave into his need to cry and sobbed. The pain ate at his heart, tearing him apart. What was he? Would he ever have anyone that would want him? Was there anywhere he really belonged?
He burrowed beneath his covers and felt a coldness creep into his limbs, spreading outward from his body, as if he was being cocooned in a bubble of ice. Instead of freezing, the cold seemed to welcome him, calm him. It was soothing and a welcome comfort. He didn't fight this cold, his own magic, as it wrapped him up in its tendrils of energy. His sorrow was eased and he fell into a fitful sleep.
Through it all his magic continued to pulse and surround him, keeping him tranquil.