A/N: Alright ladies and gents. You certainly have no disappointed and I was very pleased to see how many of you reviewed, account holders and gusts alike. For all of you, my works are in fact on AO3 now as well and I'll be starting to post this one on there likely by the end of the day or tomorrow at the latest. The title of this chapter is also a story written by tyger666. Really good fic by the way and on a similar vein to this one. Also it just occurred to me that I forgot to put warnings on this fic so here they are.
Warnings: Character death, slash, violence, cannibalism.
Disclaimer: I own nothing at all but the sweet nothings in my ear. And maybe a hedgehog.
Chapter Three...Death Waits For No Hero.
Voldemort's hide away was your stereotypical aristocrat manor in the same way that Big Ben was your stereotypical building. It was enormous, a sprawling complex made to not only withstand attack and blockade but to house many of his followers. Listening to the Dark Lord give an impromptu tour of sorts was amusing and surreal. There was apparently a training grounds of sorts on the Western side and a labyrinthine set of dungeons and tunnels below that held some of Voldemort's more noisome experiments and escape routes should the fortress ever be overtaken. It was a piece of magical, architectural beauty and everywhere he walked, Harry felt the call of the dead and forgotten here in this place. They were thick in the air as if he could reach out and pluck them like heavy fruits out of the empty space. Ghosts may not be rotting carcasses but they left an imprint, an imprint of hate and terror, delicious terror. Their fear was like a cream filled candy on the back of his tongue, quivering and ready to burst at any moment. The Shade wrapped around his arm shivered in delight.
The Dark Lord had relinquished his wand back to it's owner. Harry was anxious for a moment that he would be unable to do magic any longer. Could the dead still use magic if they were left in their old bodies? It was an interesting thought. Now that he couldn't feel pain, he had the chance to do some experiments on himself to satiate his curiosity. It was strange to be caught in a body that didn't feel temperature changes or pain. Most emotions were currently out of his scope of experience, save for rage and curiosity. He could still feel in the physical sense but some things were lost to this form of his. Harry was eager to learn if pleasure evaded him as well. First things were first though. He raised his wand and with an unneeded breath of as much trepidation as he was able to feel, cast a quick drying and warming charm on himself. His magic came slightly sluggishly at first as if waking from a deep sleep but came nonetheless.
Voldemort lead him to a private study and called for a house elf to bring a tray of fruits and dessert. Gesturing for Harry to sit on one of the plush lounge sofas, the man retrieved a snifter of fine Bourbon and two glasses from a cabinet behind the large mahogany desk. The room was bathed in a soft firelight that glinted off of the glasses and allowed the shadows to rest lazily about. The Shade slipped away through those shadows to, Harry supposed, explore their new base of operations. Voldemort tossed back his first drink before pouring himself another and filling a glass for his new ally. The food tray appeared without a wait and the Dark Lord waved him towards it.
"Help yourself, Harry."
There was some sort of chocolate cake and biscuits as well as assorted fruits decorating the tray. Any normal teenager would devour the collection. Harry himself would have normally jumped on the chance to eat such rich, delicious things. That was when he had been alive, though. Now, such things held no interest for him. The sickly sweet smell wafting from the tray was distasteful and altogether unpleasant. So that was a no on typical teenager food. Perhaps meat would sit better with him. He would have to wait and see if he needed sleep until later.
"I don't think this body needs human sustenance any longer."
"I see. So what will you do now? Dumbledore left you to die, as good as murdered you himself. He is safely ensconced in Hogwarts, though." The man's voice seemed unconcerned and empty though vermillion eyes were watching the Inferi Lord shrewdly.
Harry steepled his fingers in front of his face, his emerald eyes narrowing as he stared into the fire, unaware of how disturbing the light made his already hollow and pale features. He could follow Dumbledore to Hogwarts but what good would that do? He wasn't even sure what the boundaries of his own death were yet. Dead was dead but how much of what was typically considered dead counted in his situation? How much of what he experienced as his unlife was contributed to the Horcrux inside of him and how much was part of his turning? His body nearly hurt with the heavy ache to return to ground, to the dark cold waters that had spawned him. Without the knowledge of his own limitations and needs, it would be nothing short of foolish to follow to Hogwarts and take on the Headmaster on his own ground. No matter how much he wanted his revenge on Dumbledore, it was likely going to have to wait. He could likely do it on his own but it would be very difficult. No, his place was here until he could gather allies and find his own limitations. Gaining Voldemort's trust came first and he could only do that by admitting what Dumbledore had told him. He had kept his being a Horcrux out of his explanation. Harry wasn't even sure what he was going to do with the information, let alone how the Dark Lord would react. It all depended on Voldemort at this point.
"I will stay for now. I'm not entirely sure what the limitations of my body are yet or what needs I may have. I'm sure that my Shade will give me those much needed answers but for now, I must admit something that I was hesitant to before. The reason that Dumbledore left me to die was that he claimed that being eaten by Inferi would likely take care of the soul piece, a fact that he was clearly mistaken on for the locket and I are still here. Dumbledore told me that I was the eighth Horcrux. Your soul sleeps inside of the scar you gave me fifteen years ago, I assume. It explains the connection we share, why I can feel your emotions occasionally. He is seeking them out to destroy them. He seemed to think he could take care of two in one visit."
Voldemort stiffened, standing from where he had collapsed into a throne-like, high-backed chair. He was still for a long moment, his fists clenching and unclenching. What must it be like, to lose a piece of your very soul? Did it feel like a little death in itself until you had no soul left? It must be a strange and painful thing. Harry had experienced death of the body but his soul remained intact, cold as it was. The Dark Lord began to pace, clearly thinking over his options. It seemed something he would be at for some time. Harry didn't mind. The dead only had time. Ten minutes passed before the man turned back to him, answers on his lips.
"Lily Potter. She was the sacrifice the ritual needed. I'd done it so many times already...No matter. I'll have Bellatrix gather the vessels and bring them here for safe keeping. You'll be staying in the suite attached to my own if that pleases you. The library will be open for your use as well."
"That will do nicely, thank you."
Voldemort returned to his seat slowly and the two of them sat in companionable silence for some time. The clock on the wall chimed one in the morning, seeming to draw the living wizard from his quiet reverie. His drink had long been forgotten beside him. Harry gave him a long slow blink of question when he stood, offering the Inferi a hand up. The teen took it without hesitation though his eyes were still brimming with curiosity.
"Shall we finish sealing our arrangement before the night ends?"
Harry gave the man a lingering grin, full of dark promise.
"Lead the way, my Lord."
Voldemort's bedroom was only a few short doors away. The study, Harry realized, must have been the man's private office. It was dim there, lit only with a series of small green lights that cast an eerie light over the room. Peculiar but not altogether unpleasant. It was a soothing light on eyes that had been submerged in water darker than midnight for Merlin only knows how long. Come to think of it, Harry wasn't sure how long he had been dead for now.
"What's today's date?" He asked, seemingly out of nowhere.
Voldemort raised an eyebrow at him, giving the boy a rather peculiar look.
Four months. Four months he had been gone. Had anyone missed him? Had his friends spared a thought towards where he'd gone? Had the Dursley's waited for him at the train station? Had they been glad when he didn't show up? He supposed that it would have been a depressing train of thought but melancholy simply wasn't an emotion he possessed at the moment. Neither was trepidation, really. After all, weren't normal teenager nervous when they were about to lose their virginity? Here he stood though, allowing his once enemy to lead him to the bathroom to wash before he was ravished with no sense of anxiety at all. It was strange to not feel anything where he knew an emotion should have been. Voldemort began to unwrap him as if he were a candy, the clothes he died in dropping unceremoniously to the floor. Harry laid a hand on the strip of bare skin where he had slowly plucked each button free from his undershirt and shivered. His flesh was warm, warmer than Harry's even with the warming charms on and his heart beat like a hammer against his skin. It was half amusing and half surprising. Somehow, Harry had expected the Dark Lord's heart to be as dead as his own, but here it was, beating, pumping his life's essence through quivering veins. Voldemort was a great man but only a man nonetheless. He could be injured, killed. He had yet to face that final journey. Harry didn't find the journey all that thrilling, personally. For a single moment, feeling Voldemort's heart beat against his hand, he envied his life. He wanted to curl up and huddle against his warmth. Like a candle flame in the darkness.
Voldemort's fingers ran down the teen's sides like spiders, bringing a more pleasant shivering to the surface. Crimson eyes were piercing, burning into his flesh as surely as fiendfyre would. It took the Inferi a heartbeat to realize that the Dark Lord had been speaking.
"Shall we bathe then, Harry?"
It probably wasn't a bad idea considering he'd been sitting in festering water with a thousand rotting corpses for four months...but the moment that he laid emerald eyes on the full, steaming bath tub, all he could see was his screaming, terrified figure being pulled into the frigid lake, Dumbledore smirking as he left him to die. He resisted when his new ally tried to tug him into the water after him and sat himself down on the side of the tub.
"I'll just shower thanks. I'm not all eager to get resubmerged in the same element that I died in. All I see is that damnable man leaving me there to die."
Voldemort gave him a blank look in response, a considering look.
"You really do hate him now."
Was it such a surprise? How could he not hate him? He'd stolen his life, robbed him of the only thing he'd had for his own. He'd ended his life before it even truly began, silenced so many milestones and experiences he should have had and now never would. Dumbledore had made him into a monster, so a monster he would get.
"I'm seriously considering eating pieces of him and making him watch before I finish him off." The thought brought a sly, disturbing grin to Harry's face, a smile that brought no doubt to the Dark Lord's mind that the boy would do just that if given the option.
Harry stood and made his way to the shower nearby. It wasn't long before Voldemort followed. Arms slid around his wait, fingers circling his belly button tantalizingly. The teen glanced back at him shrewdly, a smirk slithering onto his mouth like a forked serpent. He allowed the man's attentions, closing his eyes to better enjoy the sensation of human hands sliding over his skin once more. It had been so long since he had felt the touch of a warm body, even just the barest of brushes. The heat that trailed across his skin from skillful fingers and blunt nails had him arching gladly into the Dark Lord's waiting form. Any second thoughts he may have had as a human had folded away with the beat of his heart, revealing something grotesque and new beneath. Harry felt a hand trail a soapy line down his thighs, shuddering in excitement. He reached back to pull his new ally into a searing kiss, pleased suddenly that the warming charms kept his body as natural feeling as possible. Voldemort tasted sinful and suddenly, the Inferi wanted to taste it all. Not in the same way that he wanted to devour Dumbledore but in a way filled with desire and the promise of sweat soaked sheets. It was as if a dim light in his brain was being turned up, increasing the radiance the more the man possessed his body. Every sweep of crimson eyes, every caress and flick of tongue and teeth. He would be covered in possessive bites tomorrow but the thought only raised that brightness, a strange kind of undefinable awareness within him, even higher. Harry smirked as he was pushed into the smooth marble shower wall. He could get use to this.
A/N:Unfortunately, due to FFN's adult rating witch hunt, that's where I have to end it. I'm not terribly gifted at writing more graphic stuff anyways but if anyone's interested in continuing the scene for the Ao3 version of this story, just PM me! Figured I'd post this as a graduation gift to myself today lol. Enjoy!