Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J. K. Rowling. No money is being made.
Warnings: This story will have Slash, violence and torture.
Chapter 5 – Future Sins
He closed the door behind him and in a matter of seconds he had all kinds of wards in place. That had been close. Really close. He slumped against the door and sighed, completely ignoring the wizard in the room that was staring at him, he was far too old for this.
He looked up and met the wizards' eyes, who quickly dropped to his knees and bowed his head.
He couldn't help but raise an eyebrow, looking at the man incredulously.
"What the hell Barty?"
"I am sorry my Lord, if I had known you would be coming I would have-"
"Barty!" he interrupted, "There was no way you would known I would be coming since I hadn't been planing on it. However your quarters were the closest ones I could hide in." he explained, "Now, will you tell my why the hell you are calling me Lord? And for Merlin's sake, stand up, will you?"
Barty looked at him as if he had never seen anyone like him, however, much to his relief, he stood up.
"My Lord told me I had to obey your orders as if it were his own." Barty replied and Harry nodded.
"Yes, he told me that. That doesn't explain why you were calling me Lord."
"I assumed it would be required, since he told me that you should be treated as he is." Barty replied looking slightly bewildered.
"Oh Merlin..." groaned Harry, "Don't. Don't call me Lord. At least don't do it when it's just the two of us." he grumbled, "You are to only one that knows the truth. So I'll be coming here a lot, even if it's just to went. Or if I need a little bit of escape from the other students."
Slowly Barty nodded, he looked as if he still couldn't believe what Harry was telling him. However Harry was pleased to see him relax, if only a little bit. It was better than nothing in his opinion.
"So... you're hiding?" Barty asked after a few awkward moments of silence. Harry almost thanked Merlin when he saw the teasing light in Barty's eyes. He really wanted to see the Barty he had glimpsed in his previous life.
"Since I didn't enter the tournament most of the girls are going around the castle trying to console me. Apparently it is a traumatizing experience and I need a shoulder to cry on." he scowled, "There is nothing scarier than girls... well, fan-girls." he must have looked truly horrified because Barty actually chuckled.
"Let me get this straight," Barty said, "You face the Dark Lord without even looking nervous and you are afraid of girls?"
"Not just girls Barty!" Harry exclaimed, "Fan-girls."
Harry was rather pleased with himself when Barty laughed. He smiled and sat on one of the free armchairs near the fireplace. It took a second or two but Barty took the seat next to his.
"You are taking this rather well." Harry remarked.
Barty actually snorted.
"I'm taking this well?" he asked incredulously, "Are you joking? I'm still half expecting to wake up and realize that this is all a dream. How else could the Boy-Who-Lived have joined the Dark Lord?"
"I didn't really join him..." muttered Harry and was somewhat shocked when Barty jumped out of his armchair.
"That's just it!" he exclaimed, "You aren't even a Death Eater! He said you were his equal." Barty looked at him sharply, "What could you, a fourteen year old brat, have done to be the Dark Lord's equal?" he sneered, a fanatical glow in his eyes, the insanity that he usually kept concealed when he paraded around as Moody shinning through.
That was the Barty that Harry wanted to see. The one who he had glimpsed the night of the third task.
"Does it matter?" he asked calmly, leaning back on his seat.
Barty snarled and pulled his wand out. Though Harry saw his aim faltering slightly when he saw the utterly unconcerned look in his eyes.
"I rather like you Barty," he commented, "Though if you try to curse me... well, maybe you'll learn why he considers me his equal. Though I guarantee that it won't be an enjoyable experience for you."
Barty lowered his wand slightly, his eyes lost that insanity for a moment and looked sharper than before.
"You're different." the Death Eater murmured, completely lowering his wand and putting it away.
"Not as suddenly as you did." he argued, taking his seat again, "You are a completely different person than you were a mere week ago."
"My... were you keeping such a close eye on me that you would notice something like that?"
Barty scoffed, a small smirk appeared on his lips.
"Didn't have much of a choice, did I?" he asked, "There were so many rumors about you that I had to observe you closely to see which ones were true."
"Really? And what did you make out of all that observing?" he was honestly curious, he had no idea that Barty had kept such a close eye on him. He had suspected of course, but he was hardly in a position to ask him in his previous life.
"Honestly?" when Harry nodded Barty continued, "I wasn't sure. Sometimes you appeared to be just an average student, though sometimes there were these occasions where I felt that you were more..."
"Of course the Imperius! Do you actually think that it's normal for a fourteen year old to be able to fight an Imperius? Well, let me tell you... it isn't!"
"Now... you scare me."
"I scare you? I didn't do anything. How the hell am I supposed to scare you?"
"I was there when Severus started screaming like he was under the Dark Lord's Cruciatus, I may not know what you did, but I am certain it was you. I saw how your magic made the room colder and how the shadows danced around you."
"You were?" he was sure that Barty had only appeared after all those things had happened.
"I entered with everyone else. I just used a few spells to remain hidden." Barty told him, "I wanted to see how you would react. It... it wasn't how I had expected it." Harry was slightly impressed. The spells Barty had used had to have been quite good, otherwise he would have sensed him. It had become an ingrained habit during the war, knowing where everyone was at any given time. It could mean the difference between life and death.
"What makes you think that I was responsible to whatever happened to Snape?" he did his best to sound as innocent as possible. He had no problem if Barty found out that he was indeed the one who had done it, but he was curious about what made him think that he was the one responsible. If it was something someone else had noticed... well, it could lead to uncomfortable questions. From the look on Barty's face it was quite clear that he wasn't buying his innocent face.
"It was your smile. When he went down your smile reminded me of the one the Dark Lord has when he's torturing someone." Barty told him, his eyes looking slightly vacant. "What did you do to him?" the question was no more than a whispered. Barty didn't even seem to be talking to him.
"I don't really like Snape." he answered anyway. It didn't really matter to him if Barty knew, quite the opposite in fact. He wanted to have someone with whom he could talk about anything he wanted, "I don't like people like him."
"Like him?" Barty asked, and Harry was pleased to see that he was completely relaxed.
"People only loyal to themselves." he snarled, not able to completely hide the bitterness in his voice.
Barty's eyes narrowed and a shrewd look appeared in his eyes.
"He isn't loyal to my Lord?"
"He is loyal only to himself. Don't worry," Harry added when he saw Barty's look, "Tom already knows."
"T-t-tom?" Barty stuttered. "He let's you call him Tom?"
"You know his name is Tom?" he asked just as surprised. As far as he could tell most of his Inner Circle didn't know his name had been Tom Riddle.
"Of course!" Barty exclaimed, looking smug, "My Lord told me the truth about himself."
"Well... that's somewhat unexpected." Harry muttered, "As far as I could tell, Tom doesn't like it at all. I know for a fact that Lucius and Bella have no idea about his true name."
"Unexpected?" Barty asked incredulously, "Unexpected is knowing that you call him by his name." there was a little bit of awe in his tone. However the longing that briefly flashed in Barty's eyes was unexpected.
"Barty... do you like him?" he hadn't gotten that impression in his previous life, but Barty had been given Veritaserum and before that Harry had been more than a little out of it.
"What?" Barty actually squeaked and Harry almost chuckled, "Don't... don't say that! I'm not Bella!" he was almost pouting and Harry couldn't believe that this was supposed to be the one of the most feared Death Eaters in Tom's service. Though maybe he shouldn't be all that surprised, he himself had some moments where he was far from the mature, deadly man that he had become.
"Then why the longing?"
"The Dark Lord... he trained me. He looked after me. My father couldn't care less about me as long as I didn't shame the family or did anything to jeopardize his career. I started to see the Dark Lord as a father figure. Even though I knew that he never looked at me as more than a follower. I didn't think anything of it because he treated everyone the same way." Barty looked to be lost in memories, and there was a slightly bitter smile on his face, "Then you appeared." his eyes focused on Harry again, "He has been obsessed with you from the beginning." Barty informed him. "He didn't even consider Longbottom when he heard the prophecy. I asked him why, you know? He just said that he had this feeling about you. A feeling!" Barty sounded more than a little exasperated, "And then he became obsessed with killing you. And now, out of nowhere, he declares you his partner. His equal. He let's you do things that no one was ever allowed. Why are you so special? Why are you so close to him? How did he open up to you?"
Well that did explain the longing. He knew that feeling quite well. Having family that didn't care about you at all, you would try and find that love and acceptance anywhere you could. It was the reason why he had been so willingly blind to Dumbledore's manipulations. Why he had forgiven Ron after he had betrayed him in the middle of a war. Though, unlike Barty, he had chosen people who, no matter how flawed they were, could love him back. Fortunately Barty hadn't become bitter with Tom's inability to see him as a son. From what he could see Barty didn't even blame him.
"Tom and I," he started saying before he had truly thought about it, "We know each other rather well. He accepts me as an equal because I know how to kill him. On the other hand he knows the truth about me. He knows the true me, not the Boy-Who-Lived or the Gryffindor Golden Boy. You could say we respect each other and know how to destroy each other but we chose not to do it."
"You can kill him?" there was a hard edge to his tone.
"Yes, I know how to kill him."
"And he let you go, just like that?"
"He trusts me." Harry stated simple. Completely believing it. Tom had given him his soul. In any other situation it would have been a rather sweet and fluffy statement, however in their particular case it wasn't. Tom had given him his soul. Twice. The first time may have been an accident but the second was a deliberate move, a proof of trust.
"He doesn't trust anyone." Barty refuted.
"I'm not just anyone." he stated it without any arrogance or smugness. It was a simple fact. He wasn't just anyone.
"I suppose you aren't." whispered Barty.
Harry smiled at Barty's easy acceptance. If only the other Death Eaters would be as simple.
Harry thanked Merlin when a knock to the door interrupted Snape's glaring. He didn't mind all that much if the bastard tried to use legilimency on him again, but, apparently, Snape was being cautions. He just glared and sneered and took points off for breathing. At least the bat hadn't told Dumbledore about what he had done. Well, he didn't think he had. Dumbledore wasn't given him the evil eye, nor was he looking at him with those twinkly blue eyes full of disappointment.
It was Colin Creevey and Harry remembered why he was there. The Weighing of the Wands. He had completely forgotten about that. A small smirk appeared briefly on his lips, he could hardly wait to meet Rita.
"Yes?" Snape said curtly.
"Please, sir, I'm supposed to take Harry Potter upstairs." Snape stared down his hooked nose at Colin, whose smile faded from his eager face.
"Potter has another hour of Potions to complete," said Snape coldly. "He will go upstairs when this class is finished."
Colin went pink.
"Sir - sir, Mr. Bagman wants him," he said nervously. "All the champions have got to go, I think they want to take photographs..."
He almost chuckled when he remembered just how embarrassed he had when Colin said that the first time. Though glancing at Ron he saw that he was behaving just as he had in his previous life.
"Very well, very well," Snape snapped. "Potter, leave your things here, I want you back down here later to test your antidote."
"Please, sir - he's got to take his things with him," squeaked Colin. "All the champions..."
"Very well!" said Snape. "Potter - take your bag and get out of my sight!"
Harry took his time packing his things. Snape didn't scare him anymore. Besides what could Snape do to him? Put him in detention? Also the infamous POTTER STINKS badges were nowhere to be seen, so he really didn't care about the sneers that the Slytherins were directing at him.
The walk towards the classroom they would be using was far longer than Harry remembered. Though it could be because Colin hadn't stopped talking for even a second since they left the potion's classroom.
When they finally separated Harry almost sighed in relief.
"Ah, here he is! Champion number four! In you come, Harry, in you come... nothing to worry about, it's just the wand weighing ceremony, the rest of the judges will be here in a moment." Bagman said as soon as he closed the door and Harry almost winced. He had forgotten just how cheerful the man was. "We have to check that your wands are fully functional, no problems, you know, as they're your most important tools in the tasks ahead," said Bagman. "The expert's upstairs now with Dumbledore. And then there's going to be a little photo shoot. This is Rita Skeeter," he added, gesturing toward the witch in magenta robes and Harry had to fight to keep the smirk from his face. "She's doing a small piece on the tournament for the Daily Prophet..."
"Maybe not that small, Ludo," said Rita, her eyes on Harry. "I wonder if I could have a little word with Harry before we start?" she said to Bagman, but still gazing fixedly at Harry. "The youngest champion, you know... to add a bit of color?"
"Certainly!" cried Bagman. "That is - if Harry has no objection?"
'No, no objection at all...' Harry purred in his mind.
"Lovely," said Rita, and in a second, her scarlet-taloned fingers had Harry's upper arm in a surprisingly strong grip, and she was steering him out of the room again and opening a nearby door. "We don't want to be in there with all that noise," she said. "Let's see . . . ah, yes, this is nice and cozy."
It was the broom cupboard and Harry chuckled. For the first time since she saw him Rita stopped talking and actually looked at him.
He smirked at her and her fake smile faltered a little.
"Hello Rita." he said politely, leaning against the wall, "I was wondering if you would be the one to cover the Tournament. I heard a lot about you."
Her smile was back and he felt like cackling.
"Oh? I had no idea you were a fan." she said, trying, and failing, to look seductive. He almost sneered, he wouldn't touch her even if she were the last being on earth. He may shag both females and males, the war had made him pretty open minded about whom he took to his bed. They had looked for comfort wherever they could find it, but he did have standards.
"Yes, fan..." he murmured, "I'm really impressed with your skills," he said, smiling, "Especially your skill in transfiguration." he saw her pale and smirked. "So... about this interview..."
"Oh, yes." Rita pulled herself together. She took out a roll of parchment and her quill. He was pleased to see that it wasn't the Quick-Quotes Quill. At least she was smart enough to understand where she stood without him having to spell it out for her.
"So, Mr. Potter,"
"You may call me Harry." he told her containing a chuckle. So different from his first interview.
"Harry than, what do you think about being entered in this dangerous tournament?" she asked him.
He smiled and was as polite as he could be, it was the perfect opportunity to get the public on his side, specially now that he had Rita on a leash. If she behaved he would never have to tighten said leash. She had a rather vicious quill, he wanted her to use it, as long as he kept her claws in when dealing with him.
This time, when Dumbledore barged in, their time together had been far more profitable. She got an interview and he would get good publicity. Rita would make sure of that.
"Dumbledore!" cried Rita, with every appearance of delight, far more truthfully than the previous time, "How are you?" she asked, standing up and holding out one of her large, mannish hands to Dumbledore. "I hope you saw my piece over the summer about the International Confederation of Wizards' Conference?"
"Enchantingly nasty," said Dumbledore, his eyes twinkling. "I particularly enjoyed your description of me as an obsolete dingbat."
Harry had to contain himself to stop himself from snickering. He would have to ask Tom if he had seen that article. He was sure that he would find it just as funny.
"I was just making the point that some of your ideas are a little old-fashioned, Dumbledore, and that many wizards in the street -"
"I will be delighted to hear the reasoning behind the rudeness, Rita," said Dumbledore, and Harry almost pouted, he wanted to know what the wizards in the streets thought about those ideas. Not that he trusted anything out of Rita's mouth or quill, but it was better than nothing. "But I'm afraid we will have to discuss the matter later. The Weighing of the Wands is about to start, and it cannot take place if one of our champions is hidden in a broom cupboard."
The Weighing of the Wands was just like he remembered, and he was quite happy when they were done with it. He had far better things to do. Still that night when he went to bed he had the felling that he had forgotten something.
He remembered quite clearly what he had forgotten the following afternoon when he was again hiding in Barty's quarters.
The article about him that Rita had written was quite tasteful and it had achieved what he had intended. However, much to his annoyance, it had only increased the obsessiveness of his fan-girls and now, to his horror, there were even fan-boys present in the hordes of students that tried to comfort the poor Boy-Who-Lived.
Though, no matter how horrible that particular situation was, it wasn't what he had forgotten. He had been playing with Barty, though said Death Eater would have called it tormenting, testing his elemental powers on him when an owl with a bright red envelope landed near him.
He stared at it in horror for a few seconds, he even ignored Barty's snickering so focused was he on the dreaded envelope. He even glanced around to see if there was someone, anyone, aside from him to whom the owl could be delivering said envelope.
It started smoking and, with a shacking hand, he untied the letter from the owl. The second it was released of it's burden the owl flew away and the letter exploded.
"HARRY JAMES POTTER WHEN I'LL GET MY HANDS ON YOU I'M GONNA... GONNA... I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'LL DO BUT I'LL DO SOMETHING! ARE YOU SET YOU TO GIVE ME A HEART-ATTACK? IS THAT IT? BECAUSE LET ME TELL YOU, YOU ARE WELL ON YOUR WAY TO ACCOMPLISH JUST THAT!... Well, now that I got that off my chest I feel much better," the howler continued in a normal voice and Harry almost sighed, he was far too shocked to feel relieved that the screaming was over, "Why didn't you tell me that you had been entered into that Tournament? After you told me about that dream you had at the beginning of the summer..." there was a sigh, "I'm sorry I shouted, but I'm worried about you Harry. I'll be in Hogsmead shortly, when I'm there I'll send you a letter so that we can meet. Don't even try to talk me out of it. I'll see you soon pup. Oh, that's right, don't worry about people hearing what I said, there's a charm on it, only people who know the truth about me and who you trust will be able to hear what it says. Everyone else will hear a love confession from a fan-girl... payback for worrying me pup."
Well, now he knew what he had forgotten. He hadn't told Sirius about the Tournament. It didn't really surprise him that he had forgotten. He had been thinking about a lot of things and even though he had promised his dad that he would be thinking about telling Sirius the truth, he had been delaying it. He hadn't seen Sirius in so long. Even now that he had lived his life, had children, Sirius was still a wound that he wasn't sure had healed. He hadn't really dealt with Sirius' death and after the war everyone was so focused on moving on that he just went with it. And now... Now he didn't know how he would react to seeing Sirius again.
"Well... Black always had an impressive set of lungs on him." Barty muttered and Harry had to make a real effort to hide his shock. Barty had heard what Sirius said? He trusted Barty? He hadn't expected that. He hadn't realized that he had gotten so close to the man. Though maybe it shouldn't surprise him, Barty was the person, aside from Tom, with whom he could be himself without fearing the consequences.
He chuckled when he saw Barty's little smirk.
"You can say that again," he muttered, "He must have gotten it from his mother." he remarked, remembering the infernal painting of Walburga Black.
Barty got a faraway look then started laughing.
"You know what?" he said between crazy sounding chuckles, "I think you're right. I was friends with Regulus, Black's brother, I met their mother." he shuddered a little when he said that and Harry could empathize. If the painting was what it was, he would rather not meet the real thing.
"So, what are you going to do?" Barty asked him when he calmed down.
"Do? About what?"
"Black. Does he know that you joined the Dark Lord?"
"He doesn't. No one, aside from you, knows."
He saw Barty's sympathetic look and almost scoffed. He didn't need his sympathy. He knew that it was likely that he would lose all the friends he had when people found out that he had sided with Voldemort. They would never understand. He hoped they would never have to know why he became who he was. What he was. He wasn't a naïve child anymore. Even if they cursed his name, the day he was born, he didn't care. Not anymore. He hadn't cared for a very long time. Even so he wouldn't lie to himself. He knew it would hurt a lot the day that they fully turned their backs on him, but he also knew that it wouldn't break him.
"I need you to cover for me tonight." he suddenly said. "I'll be staying away from Hogwarts for longer than usual." it was time to set plans in motion.
All playfulness vanished from Barty's expression and he bowed his head.
"As you wish, my Lord." he replied and a malicious little smirk appeared on Harry's lip, it was time to change the world.
"Nice article." was the first thing Tom told him when Harry entered his office.
"I know." he replied, sprawling in the armchair in front of Tom's desk. "The place looks different." he remarked, looking around. He had noticed as soon as he entered the old Riddle Manor.
"Well, now that I actually have a body I can take care of the Manor's state."
"I'm just surprised that you would actually do it. As far as I know you hate everything related to your father."
Tom sighed and leaned back. Sometimes he forgot just how well Harry knew him. All his dark secretes were no longer secrets, at least not to Harry.
"I do." he replied, looking into those deadly green eyes, "But it's time to make this house my own. I don't want to lose anything to them." he replied and Harry nodded.
Yes, he could understand the desire. He had felt the same, hadn't he? When the muggles were killing them left and right. He hadn't left his home, he hadn't let them take more from him than they already had.
"I'll be warding this place tomorrow." Tom informed him, "I'll need your blood to add you."
Harry smiled at him. These little things Tom was willing to do showed just how much he was trusting him. It was... heartwarming, for lack of a better word. He truly hadn't thought that Tom would be willing to do as much as he was doing. He had thought that Tom would simply decide not to kill him and little more than that.
"I was wondering," Harry started changing the subject, knowing that Tom still wasn't all that comfortable with being more... humane, "Do you want to go hunting?"
That caught Tom's interest immediately.
"Hunting?" trying to sound nonchalantly, though not able to completely mask the excitement in his eyes.
"Yes. I think it's about time that we spend some quality time together." Harry remarked.
Tom laughed, his eyes shining with sadistic glee. That smirk and those ruby eyes made him look demonic and a malicious chuckle left Harry. He knew that he would enjoy their games far too much.
"By all means... start the hunt, my dear Harry." Tom almost purred.
He knew that something was wrong the moment he woke up. He was in his room, he knew that, however it felt wrong. As if something was there that shouldn't have been.
"He can feel us." a cold, deadly voice said. Startling him so much that he almost jumped out of his bed.
"Yes, a gift from the blood that he hates and envies so much." another voice remarked.
Something in their tones made him shiver, he knew, just as he knew that something had been wrong, that he was in danger.
Slowly a light lit his room and he saw two people stand side by side. One look was all it took. He knew who they were.
He may not be able to do magic, but he grew up during the war in the Magical World. He had been eleven when the war ended, and twelve when his parents left him in an orphanage.
He recalled his father coming home one day, looking as if he had seen a demon. He told his mother that he had seen Him, that he looked like a fallen angel, though he had the eyes of the devil. The Dark Lord.
The other one... well, even though he had never seen him the scar gave him away. He was their Savior. The Boy-Who-Lived.
For a moment he believed that he was having a nightmare. It was the only explanation. One of the people he was seeing was supposed to be dead and the other... he doubted that there was any reason at all for them to be together aside from it being a horrible nightmare.
The voice was soft, he swore there was almost a tenderness to it. Though all thoughts flew from his mind when the curse hit. He screamed.
Harry chuckled when he heard the inhumane scream that was ripped from the man's mouth. How long had he longed to hear it? How long had he dreamed about it? He didn't recall, he just knew that it was even better than what he had imagined.
On some level Tom knew that Harry wasn't the same boy he had met. He knew that he had changed. But nothing drove it home as much as watching him crucioing the man in front of them. It wasn't even the fact that he was torturing the man, it was the look in his eyes. They were shining with savage elation and Tom was sure that he had never seen anything more captivating than that expression.
There was something just so wrong with seeing the Boy-Who-Lived torturing someone.
Maybe that was why he like it so much.
Harry canceled the curse and chuckled again when the man curled in on himself, whimpering and begging.
"Do you want to have a turn, Tom?" he offered generously.
"Well aren't you generous?" muttered Tom, "I thought that we were going hunting... This isn't really a hunt." he remarked.
Harry nodded solemnly, completely ignoring the man that was trying to crawl away from them.
"You're right." he replied, "I apologize. I promised a hunt, and a hunt you'll get." he said seriously.
He quickly stupefied the man and transfigured him into a small wooden figurine. He put it in his pocket and turned around.
Tom knew what Harry was asking when he turned towards with and held out his hand. Before he even really thought about it he took his hand and prepared to be side-along-apparated. That, more than anything else, showed just how much he trusted him. He acted without analyzing every bit of information. It was very unlike him. Though he guessed that Harry was unlike anyone he had ever met. It was bound to affect how he acted around him, wasn't it?
They appeared in a forest clearing and he looked around curiously.
Harry took out the figurine and set it on the floor. He transfigured it back and canceled the stupefy.
"If you can get out of this forest you'll live." Harry told the man, "You have a five minute head start." when a few seconds passed and the man was still sprawled on the floor looking at them with terror written all over his face, Harry made shooing motions with his hands, "Tick-tock..."
The man scrambled away from them as fast as he could, tripping more than once. Harry's chuckles following him in the otherwise silent forest.
"I have dreamed about this for such a long time." Harry muttered.
Tom nodded. Even though Harry hadn't told him who it was, he could guess.
The squib who had doomed them.
"You never told me his name." Tom remarked.
"His name is Jason White. His birth parents named him Lucian Jason Bletchley."
Bletchley? He knew that family. They were pure-bloods, dark. However they had never joined him. He hadn't known that they had a squib child.
"Ready for the hunt?" Harry asked him, a slightly maniac smile on his lips and he couldn't help but chuckle.
Harry cackled and ran into the forest, feeling Tom following him.
He followed the weak feel of magic coming from White. He almost felt overwhelmed with the adrenalin flowing through him. He let his magic flow and felt Tom's join his. He knew that Tom was enjoying the hunt just as much.
Tom suddenly stopped and Harry looked at him curiously.
"Either he got lost, or he's trying to mislead us." Tom told him. He closed his eyes and understood what Tom meant. The magical trail was leading in three different directions and it was impossible to tell which one was older since they couldn't have more than a minute or two of difference.
"The first one to find him wins?" Harry suggested.
"Hmm... What do I win?"
"What do you want?" he asked almost warily.
"I want you to comply with one request from me. Just one, without any complain." seeing Harry's expression he added, "It won't be anything that would bound you or harm you in anyway. I don't think your father would allow that even if I tried."
Harry relaxed and smiled.
"Alright. What do I get than?"
"The pleasure of my company?" Tom suggested and Harry laughed.
"Really, Tom... I do wonder if you would be able to pleasure me." he laughed again when he saw Tom's expression and ran in the direction he had been taking. He couldn't believe that he had actually said that, but he couldn't resist. And honestly... Tom was quite handsome. Though he had no intention of starting anything with him. He may have regained his sanity however that doesn't mean that he was any more connected to his emotions than he had been. He had always been a detached kind of person. If he didn't know any better he would say that Tom was a sociopath.
He shook his head and focused on the hunt.
He knew he had taken the wrong one when he noticed that the trail was backtracking. He cursed and upped his speed. He wasn't worried about Jason escaping, but he didn't want to lose to Tom. Who knew what he would ask for.
However as soon as he focused on another trail he heard a horrifying scream throughout the forest and cursed. It looked like Tom beat him to it.
He followed Tom's magic and found them soon after.
White was writhing on the floor, trying to rip his skin off.
He stopped beside Tom, observing his work.
"What did you cast on him?" he asked curiously.
"Just a curse that makes him believe that there are bugs under his skin."
Harry looked at him impressed. He knew the curse, it usually didn't have such effects. It was more of a prank curse than anything else.
However when he saw Tom's smug look he scowled. He had almost forgotten that he had lost.
Tom canceled the curse and they let White recover his breath. They couldn't end their fun to early.
"Why?" White whispered, looking terrified.
"Why what?" asked Harry, though he knew what he meant.
"Why are you doing this?"
"You are being punished for your sins." Harry replied.
"Sins? What sins? I didn't do anything!" Harry was surprised to see that White was able to yell at them.
"No. No, you didn't." Harry whispered, "And you never will." he stated fiercely. "Do not think that I don't know what is in your mind. How you hate us because we have what you don't. Do you think I will allow you to destroy us? Do you think I will let you live knowing the danger you pose to us?"
"I don't hate you." White screamed, "Please don't hurt me. I'll never do anything to you, to anyone. Please!" the last was no more than a whimper, his strength having finally left him.
"You do. You envy us. Do not lie to us." Harry snarled and White curled in on himself. "You are going to die for your future sins."
"No. No, no, no, no. Please." White whimpered.
"Crucio!" Harry snarled, hating seeing White looking so pathetic. He had no right to beg. No right to look so defenseless.
"If you don't ease up on the curse his mind will break before we kill him." Tom remarked, though he did nothing to stop Harry. He knew what he must be feeling. He didn't need to live through the war to know just how bad it had been. To know just how much suffering the man in front of them had caused. It would be Harry's choice what they would do to him. He understood the need for revenge. He would just make sure that Harry, his equal, didn't get lost in it.
Harry took a deep breath, slightly surprised at how he calmed down instantly as soon as he heard Tom's voice, and ended the curse.
"Have a turn." he told Tom, smiling when he saw the sadistic pleasure in his eyes.
As he watched Tom torturing White he had to admit that Tom had made it into an art form. Every scream was like music and Tom moved with a fluid grace that made it almost look like some sort of dance. He hadn't thought that it was possible for torture to be so hypnotically beautiful.
"What do you want to do with him?" Tom asked after he had suspended White in the air in front of them.
"Kill him." Harry answered as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"Yes, I imagined that. However what I was wondering is; do you want people to know that he was murdered or would you prefer if people though that he just passed away in his sleep from a heart-attack or something similar."
"Does it matter?" Harry asked, honestly he just wanted him dead.
"It will influence which curses we use on him."
"I don't care. Be creative."
The smile he got in return could only be described as evil, and he knew that there was something wrong with him when the only thing he thought about said smile was that it looked rather adorable on Tom.
"I created this curse a week before I had that little incident that destroyed my body. I never had the opportunity to try it out. Want to see how it works?" he asked, and Harry had to laugh when he saw just how much Tom looked like an overexcited child that had been told that he could have all the sweets in the sweets shop.
"Sure." he replied with a smile.
"Ukate Bidragen." Tom whispered and a bright purple light shot from his wand and hit White.
Harry watched fascinated as strips of skin were ripped from White's back. It was a rather slow process and truly agonizing if the screams coming from White were anything to go by.
"You created this?" Harry asked, a little bit of awe in his tone.
He may be almost eighty but he had never created any spells. Before the war he had been busy with being an auror and had dedicated himself more to the Dark Arts and their defense. During the war it was all about surviving. After the war... well there hadn't been an after.
"You truly are the most brilliant wizard to have been born." he muttered.
Tom could help but feel smug. He was a vain man, knowing that Harry found him brilliant was a big boost to his ego. Not that he needed one, of course, but it didn't hurt.
"Though that wasn't Latin, was it?"
"Of course not." replied Tom, looking curiously at another strip of skin that fell to the ground. "Not all spells are in Latin. Do you know why we associate words with our spells?"
"It's because it is easier to direct the magic to do what we want. We are more focused if we think about the word, more focused on what we want, more focused on our will." Harry replied, partially ignoring the screams and whimpers coming from White.
"That's correct. That is also the reason why most of them are in Latin. It is easy to learn and by knowing what the words mean it becomes easier to direct the magic. However that doesn't mean that we can't use other languages. Many families that have their own spells create them in different languages. In most cases it's to stop other people from using them, or at least from using them correctly. Pronunciation is the key in many of those situations. Though, as you know, when you become well enough acquainted with the magic and if your focus and will is strong enough, you don't need the words."
Harry nodded. It made perfect sense. He knew most of that, of course, but he had no doubt that Tom was much more knowledgeable than him. Besides, Tom was a genius.
"Let me try it." he said and Tom nodded, canceling the curse on White.
"Ukate Bidragen." the curse hit White, however Harry knew immediately that he hadn't cast it quite right. The strip of skin wasn't torn from White completely. It was just hanging there on his back. He ignored White's whimpers and looked at Tom.
"You have to pronounce it a little bit better." Tom instructed him.
It took two more tries but by the end of it Harry was able to cast the curse perfectly.
He studied the man hanging in the air in front of them with morbid curiosity.
"Did you do something to stop him from losing consciousness?"
Tom looked rather pleased with himself.
"Yes and that stops him from dying, at least for a while."
"What did you do?"
"I tied him to my magic. He won't die as long as my magic is feeding him."
"Please. No. Please..."
Harry chuckled when he heard White's pleading.
"Please what?" he asked, chuckling.
"Let me die." was the rasped reply and Harry laughed.
"Do you think death will be a mercy for you?"
Tom stopped a shiver from racing down his spine. Harry's enemies would never find peace, would they? To many death was a mercy, freedom. But for Harry's enemies... They would suffer till Harry was through with them. It didn't matter if they were alive or death. He had this feeling that if hell didn't exist then Harry would make one for those who he believed deserved it. Did that make Harry the Devil?
Not for the first time Tom was thankful that he and Harry were no longer enemies.
"Let me assure you... it won't." Harry's voice was cold, merciless and Tom felt a smile tug at his lips. He would never admit it but he liked this side of Harry. This dark, twisted person he had become.
He was sorry that Harry had to suffer as much as he had, but he was happy that Harry became the person he was now. Twisted, dark, cruel, merciless. Just like him. But most of all, just as broken as him.
"Why don't you show me some of what you know?" Tom asked him.
Harry chuckled and shook his head.
"I never really tried torturing just for the fun of it." Harry admitted.
"You should try it. It's really therapeutic."
Harry snorted and threw Tom a boyish smile.
"If you say so." he looked at White again and his smile became feral, "Defodio."
An ear shattering scream echoed through the forest as White's right eye was gauged out. It dropped to the forest floor with a wet sounding plop.
"I may not known many torturing curses. But I can be rather creative with the spells that I do have."
"I can see." Tom almost whispered and Harry was surprised when he turned around and saw the hunger in his eyes. He looked away and focused on White, doing his best to erase how those blood red eyes looked.
The last thing he wanted was to become attracted to Tom.
A light blue light left his wand and he heard the bones in White's left arm shatter. A second later another blue light lit the night and he heard White's right arm shatter. He chuckled. So Tom wanted to play.
"Accio." he summoned the shattered bones from the man's left arm, almost ripping the arm apart.
A moment later the same happened to the right arm.
He laughed and turned around to look at Tom. Tom had this gleeful look in his eyes and looked so young and full of life. He couldn't help but admire him.
He raised his wand, still looking at Tom, the tip glowing bright green. Tom mimicked him.
"Avada Kedavra." they whispered in unison.
White's lifeless body fell to the forest floor.
"That was fun." remarked Harry and Tom laughed.
"Shall we go home?" he asked and Harry nodded. Not even wondering when he started to think of Riddle Manor as home.
A quick apparition later and they were in Tom's office, sitting in the armchairs by the fire.
"Did you come only to go hunting?" Tom asked, after he had poured himself and Harry a glass of red vine.
Harry shook his head and leaned back on his armchair.
"I think we need to plan a few things. Especially regarding Sirius."
"What about Black?"
"One of your horcruxes is in Grimmauld Place. The best way to get it is through Sirius. Though we would have to tell him the truth. At least the truth about me siding with you."
"We?" Tom couldn't help but sound slightly incredulous. He remembered Black. It was far more likely that he would start to curse him as soon as he saw him instead of listening to him.
"Yes, we. We are partners. This kind of decisions... we make them together. If you don't feel comfortable with telling Sirius that you are back, then we won't." part of Harry was hoping for Tom to say that he didn't want Sirius to know.
"What do we do if he doesn't accept this?"
"You know that there are thousands of ways to make sure that he doesn't talk."
Tom took another sip of his drink and sighed. He wanted to say no, he truly did. Though he knew what Black meant to Harry. He had already taken so much from him, he didn't really want to take any more. And Harry was right, there were ways to make sure that Black wouldn't talk.
"When do you want to tell him?" he ask his equal and saw Harry close his eyes and take a deep breath. He almost smiled, for someone as powerful as Harry he sure was insecure about the most ordinary things.
"I'll be meeting him next Hogsmead weekend, I'll bring him here then. Is that alright?"
"Yes. You'll have to come by tomorrow so that I can tie you into the wards and give you control over them. Are you that nervous about it?" he asked Harry.
"I don't know." Harry answered after a few seconds. "It's been such a long time since I saw him. I just never really dealt with his death. I don't know how I'll react. A part of me is afraid that I won't care one way or another." Harry admitted, "I don't want to lose my humanity."
"Harry..." Tom took a deep breath, "You aren't human. You may have been born human but now... you are Death's son."
"I know." Harry sounded somewhat broken, "I just... I am afraid that I'll lose myself in that, do you know what I mean?"
Tom nodded. He knew exactly what he meant. From what Harry had told him... he had lost himself to Voldemort. He had created Voldemort for a reason, though he had never wanted to be only that, to be a mess of anger and hate and little else.
"I do." he said, "I don't know if it will happen or not... though I can promise to do my best to bring you back if you do lose yourself." it was the least he could do, since Harry had brought him back as well.
Harry saw the sincerity in his eyes and smiled. Siding with Tom was fast becoming one of the best decisions he had ever made.
A.N.: I wanted to have this out sooner, but it was my birthday and then Christmas and I just didn't have all that much time to write. I hope you all like this chapter :) I had a lot of fun with Tom and Harry bonding.
Hope all of you had a great Christmas and that you have a great New Year.
Happy Holidays :)