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 6 – Picking up the pieces
Harry couldn't quite contain the groan of dismay when he woke up on the morning of the Hogsmead weekend. He was really dreading his upcoming encounter with Sirius. He wasn't ashamed to admit that he was rather scared. He didn't want to face his godfather alone. Why had he told Hermione not to go with him? Oh right, because he was going to tell Sirius that he had joined Voldemort. Who's bright idea had that been? And, more importantly in his opinion, why the hell hadn't Tom talked him out of it? He was supposed to be sane now.
He sighed. There was no need to delay the inevitable. It wasn't as if he was going to his execution... it was just a talk between godfather and godson. Nothing more. He snorted, sure... nothing more.
He got out of bed, ignoring Ron's glare, and proceeded with his morning ritual. He should be out of the castle before the other students started to leave, it would decrease the risk of any of them seeing him and possibly follow him.
He was almost out of the castle when he abruptly stopped. A little smirk appeared on his lips and he turned around, almost jogging up the stairs. He couldn't take Hermione, but that didn't mean he had to go alone.
A few minutes later found Harry bursting into Barty's bedroom, startling the man and having to dodge a curse that was fired at him from the sleepy eyed Death Eater.
"Really, what is it with you and Tom? It's always cast first and ask questions later." Harry grumbled, sending a small glare at the man on the bed.
"Harry?" Barty asked, squinting at him. Harry would never say it out loud but Barty did look quite cute, "What are you doing here? How did you get in?" he was looking a little more awake. He sighed and shook his head, "No, never mind. I don't want to know. What are you doing here?"
"I want you to come with me to Hogsmead." Harry told him, "Not as Moody." he added, "Just use some glamor till we reach the place we are going, and then you can be yourself."
When Barty did nothing more than stare at him, he sighed.
"You have ten minutes, I'll be waiting in the living room." he informed Barty and turned around. He chuckled when he heard Barty curse and stumble out of the bed.
Five minutes later Barty was leaving the bedroom, grumbling under his breath. Harry smirked, it was so much fun to aggravate Barty.
"Ready to go?" he asked, after he saw the glamor being cast. It was still Barty, but younger, maybe around seventeen, with slightly fuller cheeks and darker hair. It were rather simple changes but it was doubtful that anyone would recognize him as Barty Crouch Jr. especially because he was supposed to be dead.
"Yeah." Barty muttered, he clearly wasn't a morning person, "Just where are we going exactly?"
"Oh... you know, just meeting Sirius." he replied, leaving behind a spluttering Barty.
"Why are you taking me to meet Black?" Barty asked as soon as they were out of the castle, keeping his voice low. There weren't that many people around, so the probability of being overheard was rather low, but there was no reason to tempt fate.
"Does there have to be a reason? Maybe I just want to spend some time with you and I'm using Sirius as an excuse."
Barty looked at him incredulously, then he snorted.
"You may be rather attractive, but I enjoy being alive." was the muttered reply.
"What does that have to do with anything?" Harry asked him perplexed. True he hadn't expected for Barty to play along, but the second part of the answer was slightly puzzling.
Barty stopped abruptly, his eyes widening when they looked at Harry, then he started laughing.
Barty got his laughing under control. He shook his head and a small fond smile appeared on his face. One Harry hadn't seen on the man yet. Barty was quite attractive but that small smile made him look gorgeous and Harry had to stop himself from blushing. He silently cursed his hormones and his pale complexion. He was ashamed to admit that the blushing wasn't something he had been able to control, not even later in his life.
"Let's go meet that godfather of yours." Barty said, grabbing his hand and dragging him along, he looked far more enthusiastic about it than he had moments before. Harry followed along, doing his best not to notice just how warm Barty's hand felt and cursing his hormones all the while.
As soon as they approached the path that lead to the caves he stopped short, his grip on Barty's hand tightening slightly. Barty stopped as well. He looked back at Harry and, even though it was masked, worry shone in his eyes. However Harry saw none of it. His eyes were fixed on the black grim-like dog that was sitting on the path. His breath caught. Padfoot.
Harry looked up, a little startled when he noticed just how close Barty was.
"Everything is going to be fine." Barty whispered.
"How can you be so sure?" he hated how insecure he sounded. He had lived through war for Merlin's sake, this thing shouldn't be affecting him so. But it was, it always would, because it was Sirius.
Barty's big, warm hand settled on his cheek. His thumb caressed his cheekbone.
"Black loves you. He will always love you. He may not understand, he may not agree, but I know that he will never stop loving you." Barty replied, his voice was so gentle that Harry let himself be engulfed by it. He was far to tempted to trust those words. He took a deep breath and smiled at Barty.
"Thank you." he muttered, getting on his tip-toes and kissing his cheek. He chuckled when he saw the slightly stunned look Barty had.
He looked back towards Padfoot, who had noticed them and was wagging his tail, looking like an overgrown puppy. He smiled and pulled Barty along.
"Hey Padfoot," he whispered when they were close enough, "Lead the way."
Padfoot tilted his head to the side, his eyes landing on Barty. The question was clear in his eyes.
"I trust him, he knows the truth." was all Harry said. He almost winced when Padfoot just turned around and started leading them to the cave he was hiding in. He was afraid that kind of trust would disappear as soon as Sirius found out the truth.
As soon as they were inside the cave Sirius changed back and had Harry in a hug before anyone could blink. He felt Barty tense beside him, but aside from that he was glad that the Death Eater didn't react.
"Sirius," Harry whispered, hugging his godfather back, "Missed you."
"Missed you too, pup." Harry chuckled when he heard the dreaded nickname. He had missed it. Sirius let him go, then turned to look at Barty. "So, who's your friend?"
"His name's Barty." said Harry, completely ignoring Barty's incredulous look.
"Nice to meet you, Barty. I'm Sirius Black, mass murderer extraordinaire." Sirius gave a dramatic little bow, a demented grin on his lips and Barty actually chuckled.
"Well, at the very least the Black madness didn't skip you." Barty muttered.
"Be nice." Harry chided, though he was chuckling as well.
Harry conjured two small couches and sat down on one, dragging Barty down with him. He missed Sirius wide eyes at this. Sometimes he completely forgot that he shouldn't be able to perform certain spells.
Sirius sat down slowly, looking at Harry with curious eyes.
"How are you, Sirius?"
"I'm fine." Sirius replied, waiving the concern away, "I may not be able to sleep in some five star hotel, but it's much better than Azkaban. How are you, Harry? Do you have any leads about who entered you into the Tournament and why they did it?"
"Actually... I know who put my name in the goblet and why they did it. It's all been taken care of. That's one of the things I wanted to talk to you about. Though I'm not quite sure where to start."
"Usually the beginning is a good place." Sirius said after a few moments of silence, he looked far more serious than usual. For a moment Harry had forgotten that Sirius had an incredibly sharp mind, since he usually was rather laid back, but now it seemed that he was completely focused.
"Right... the beginning..." Harry muttered, "I don't know if that is the best place to start." he admitted, "Let me ask you a question, why do you hate the Dark? Because it's the Dark or because of their policies?"
Sirius gaze sharpened, then his eyes narrowed.
"I'll assume that all of this is related and you actually have a reason to ask that." seeing Harry nod Sirius leaned back on the couch, he looked at ease though his eyes gave him away, "Alright. I hate the policies. I am a Black, no matter how much my mother wished I wasn't. My magic is more inclined towards Dark magic. Even so I couldn't, I don't, agree with their policies." Sirius sighed, his shoulders slumping a little, "Your parents knew, of course, they never held my magic affiliation against me."
"And if their policies changed?"
"I doubt that Voldemort would change, Harry, and the Dark is Voldemort." he replied seriously.
Harry nodded, slightly lost in thought. That answer revealed far more than Sirius probably wanted. Though it was much better than what Harry had hoped for.
"Do you trust me, Sirius?"
"With my life." the answer came without a second thought and Harry felt his heart swell. He could only hope that after everything was said and done that would remain the same.
He held out his hand for Sirius, hoping he would take it without questioning it. He did and Harry almost sighed in relief.
"You too Barty." he said, holding his hand out for Barty, "He put wards up, you aren't keyed in."
Barty nodded, understanding where they were doing, and took his hand. Not a second later there was a low pop and the cave was empty, save for a slumbering hypogriff.
"I didn't know you could apparate." was the first thing Sirius said as soon as they landed.
Barty snorted, ignoring Harry's death glare; which should be somewhat commended. His death glare was a thing worthy of nightmares, or so he told himself.
"You will learn rather quickly that Harry is able to do many things that most people don't know he can. It's better for your sanity if you just go with it." Barty remarked.
"Do you want me to curse you?" Harry asked pleasantly, when he noticed just how ineffective his glare was being. "You can drop the glamor now." he added, keeping his eye on Sirius.
A second later Sirius' eyes widened and he took several steps back.
"Crouch?" it was no more than a whisper, "You're supposed to be dead."
"And you are supposed to be the Dark Lord's right hand. Funny, I don't remember seeing you anywhere when my Lord called." Barty snarled back. He was a little touchy about his supposed death.
"Barty." it was enough of a warning for Barty to bow his head, giving a silent apology. They both knew that it wasn't the best of times to aggravate Sirius.
It was also enough for Sirius to focus on him.
"What's going on Harry?" it was a demand, though Harry was grateful that Sirius hadn't drawn his wand.
"It's a long story." Harry replied, "Just... hear me out, alright?" Harry pointed towards an armchair, almost begging for Sirius to take it.
"Alright." Sirius replied slowly, taking the offered seat.
"I joined Voldemort." Harry stated bluntly and Barty snorted.
"That was rather short." the Death Eater muttered, earning a glare from Harry.
"I'm not a Death Eater." Harry continued when Sirius did nothing else but stare at him, "I don't have his mark," he showed him his unmarked forearm, just to make a point, "I'm his equal. A second Dark Lord, if you will. Though I do not agree with most of the policies that Tom had in the previous war. I do not believe in blood purity." Harry made sure to stress that last bit, "I abhor muggles, not because they are muggles but because of what they can do." he stopped then, letting Sirius digest all the information.
"You joined Voldemort." Sirius whispered, "You joined that monster?"
"He's not a monster, Sirius." Harry told him firmly, "You may not agree with my choices, but I must ask you not to call Tom a Monster. He is a magical prodigy, he's a genius, the most brilliant wizard I have ever meet. If there is anyone on this earth able to save us from the muggles, it's him"
"I'll call him a monster because that is what he is!" exclaimed Sirius jumping to his feet, "You don't know anything about the first war, Harry. All the atrocities he committed. People are afraid to say his name for a reason, Harry!"
"Sit down!" Harry ordered, his voice cold and harsh. Sirius was shocked into compliance, "Don't talk to me about atrocities, just don't." he doubted that anything Tom could have done could ever compare to what the muggles did to them. "It was war. He did what he had to do. I don't agree whit many of the things he did, but I do understand why he did them. However we aren't here to talk about the first Blood War, we aren't even here to talk about Tom. We are here to talk about me, about my choices."
"Yes, your choices," Sirius said, his eyes dark, "Let's talk about those choices."
"Will you actually listen to what I have to say, or will you ignore it completely and cling to your preconceived notions?" Harry asked him, a slightly bitter edge slipping into his tone. His dad could have told him just how difficult talking to Sirius was going to be.
"I'll listen." Sirius replied, his eyes warming a little.
"I brought Voldemort back. I wasn't threatened, I wasn't imperiused, I was acting on my own free will. I did it because I believe that Tom is the only one who could save our world." Harry sighed and leaned back on his sofa. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, "What do you think will happen when the muggles find out about us? And they will find us." a small bitter smile appeared on his lips and he continued when no answer came, "They'll kill us. They'll treat us as animals and experiment on us."
"They wouldn't..." Sirius started, but a harsh laugh from Harry stopped him.
"They will. Things haven't changed. There was a reason why we separated or societies. The same base emotions that made them hunt us then will make them hunt us now. They fear us, so they'll kill us. The only difference is that they have much more powerful weapons now. When they hunt us, when they declare war on us, we won't survive." Harry stated firmly, his eyes darker than ever.
"How can you be so sure of that?" Sirius asked him, narrowing his eyes.
"It's basic human nature." Harry replied.
"No... That's not it." Sirius muttered. "You're speaking as if you know, as if you lived it."
Harry's smile was bitter and somewhat self-deprecating and Sirius eyes widened slightly.
"Barty... Go get Tom for me, please. He should be in his office." Harry ordered before Sirius could say anything else.
"Yes, my Lord." Barty replied, getting up from his seat.
"You said you trusted me." Harry said as soon as Barty was gone, "Then trust me in this, Sirius." he almost begged, "I'm not asking you to join Voldemort, I'm just asking you to trust me. I know what I am doing, and the war that is coming will be nothing like the first one. Our target isn't the magical beings, it's the muggles. We have no intention of harming magical beings, however if they get in our way..."
"You are asking me not to get in your way." it was more a statement than a question, but Harry nodded anyway, "I... I don't know if I can do that, Harry. He killed James... Lily..."
"I see..." whispered Harry, closing his eyes.
Abruptly he got up from his seat, leaving the small parlour, not even noticing Tom as he passed him by the entrance.
No matter how much he had told himself that he was prepared for Sirius to reject him, a small part of him couldn't help but feel hope. He wanted Sirius with him, even after all these years. Blindly he found his way to Tom's office and fell into his usual armchair. He closed his eyes and tried to get his emotions under control.
He almost jumped out of his skin when he felt a pair of arms wrap around him. The panic stopped as soon as it appeared, the familiar scent invading his senses. He couldn't really place what it was, but he knew it as well as he knew himself.
"Father." he whispered, relaxing into the strong arms holding him.
"Shh." Death whispered, his arms tightening around Harry, "Everything's alright."
"He doesn't want me." he hated how broken he sounded.
"Of course he does." Death assured him, "That mortal loves you with everything he is. It's just a big shock."
"I'm sorry." Harry whispered after a few moments of silence, "I'm supposed to be old enough to not behave like an angst ridden child." he didn't want to disappoint Death, he wanted to be strong, he had to be strong.
He squeaked, a very manly squeak mind you, when he was picked up and deposited on a rather comfortable lap. He couldn't help the blush that painted his cheeks when he noticed that he was sitting on Death's lap. It didn't help that he was a rather small teen, thanks to the loving care of the Dursleys. He hid his face in Death's neck when he realized that he didn't really want to leave his new sitting place. When a hand started petting his hair he almost melted into a puddle. This was something he had always wanted when he was younger. To be comforted like this, it was all he had ever wanted.
"Harry," Death said in a soothing voice, "Your soul, compared to my own, is nothing but a toddler. It recognizes me as it's father, it is natural that it would seek comfort from me." Death explained patiently, "It is an instinctual reaction. Nothing to be ashamed of. Truthfully, I enjoy it very much when you do seek me. You are my son, Harry. I will always be here for you, always care for you, always comfort you. If you break down I'll pick up the pieces. Do you understand?"
"But I'm over fifty years old. I had children of my own."
"I know." Death told him, still petting his hair, "But that doesn't change the fact that you are incredibly young to me. You are my little one, my child. Even a thousand years from now I will still treat you as such. Besides, your body is fourteen years old. With everything that it entails."
Harry couldn't quite contain the groan that left him. Oh, joy. He had forgotten just how his hormones affected him in his teenage years. He valiantly ignored Death's chuckle.
"Not funny." he muttered. All he got in reply was another chuckle.
"Are you feeling better?" Death asked, after a few moments of silence.
"Yeah." Harry whispered, "Thank you for coming."
"It was my pleasure, little one. Though I would appreciate it if you called me the next time you feel like this." Harry nodded and was slightly shocked when he felt Death kissing his mop of black hair tenderly, "Good. Now go talk to your mortal. Call your parents, they'll talk some sense into him." Death got up and put Harry on the ground, shooing him away with a fond chuckle.
Harry grumbled a bit, then straightened his back and left the room.
That had been exactly what he needed. He wanted Sirius with him, he would make sure he got him, even if he had to use slightly underhanded methods to achieve it.
He stopped in his tracks when he reached the living room he had left Sirius in.
Tom was sitting in his previous seat, glaring murderously at Sirius, who was sitting stiffly in the same place that Harry had left him. He was unbelievably pale and Harry glimpsed Sirius' wand beside Tom. He almost sighed when he guessed what must have happened.
"Tom." he called softly, gaining their attention.
Sirius relaxed minutely and the concern in his eyes made Harry smile.
"Harry," he glanced at Tom when he heard his name, "Are you alright? Did he do anything to you?" it was rather well masked, but Harry heard the concern underneath his tone and had to stop himself from smiling at Tom.
"I'm fine." he said, taking a seat beside Tom, "His reaction was somewhat what I expected." he admitted.
"So, will we be taking care of his memories? Or assure his silence?"
"Not yet," he looked at Sirius and smiled, "I want to try something else first."
Tom wanted to ask what he planed on doing, however when he saw the ring on Harry's finger he snapped his mouth shut and prepared himself for what was coming. He really wasn't all that comfortable with it, but if it brought Black to their side then he wouldn't complain. Besides he knew that it would make Harry happy to have Black with them, and even though he would never admit it, he wanted Harry happy.
"Really Paddy, must you be so difficult?" came the slightly exasperated voice of James Potter.
Black's reaction was quite amusing. He jumped from his seat, gaped at the Potters for a second, then lost all strength in his legs and crashed to the floor. Though he refrained from chuckling when he saw the glare that Harry was aiming at him.
"Wha-... James? Lily?" Sirius' voice was a barely heard whisper, though the incredulity could be heard with crystal clear clarity.
"Hey Paddy." James replied in a soft voice, a fond smile on his lips.
"How?" Sirius asked getting back on his feet, taking a few steps towards his friends, though he stopped just out of reach. It was as if he was afraid of getting to close, afraid that if he touched them they would disappear.
"Our Harry is rather talented and powerful." James replied, with a mischievous grin, his eyes filled with pride.
Sirius turned sharply to look at Harry.
"You did this?"
"Yes. Though I can't hold them here for long. They are dead. Their place isn't here." he told Sirius, "Hey mum, dad." he greeted them with a smile.
"Hello sweetheart." his mother beamed at him, "Your dad and I have been keeping an eye on you, we are so proud of you, love. Never doubt that." then his mother turned a little and smiled at Tom, "Thank you, for looking after him. He does need it. I swear it's those Potter genes that make him get into all sorts of trouble." the last bit was grumbled and she threw a small fond smile at her husband. Tom just nodded his head, looking slightly uncomfortable and Harry chuckled, "And you," his mum continued turning to look at the corner of the room, where Harry noticed Barty was standing, looking completely flabbergast, "You've been good to my baby too. Thank you."
Barty seemed to pull himself together and bowed.
"You're very welcome, ma'am."
Lily gave a delighted laugh, her eyes shinning brightly.
"Oh, I like him. So polite."
James glared at Barty.
"Don't you go seducing a married woman." he grumbled.
Lily shoved him a little, glaring at her pouting husband.
"Don't be daft, James. I'm clearly not his type." she stated, smiling mischievously.
Barty's cheeks pinked a little and Harry couldn't help but laugh. His parents were the best.
"It's really you." Sirius whispered, making Harry and his parents look at him. He was looking at the two shades with awe.
"Yeah, it's us." James nodded, "Though we can't stay long, as Harry said we don't belong here. We just came because you are being difficult."
"Yes, Sirius." Lily glared at him, "If you hurt my baby more than you already have I'll come back to haunt you, do you hear me, Sirius Black?"
Sirius actually cowered a bit. He looked helplessly at James.
"Sorry, Paddy," though he didn't sound all that sorry, "You were on the brink of breaking our baby's heart. We don't hold a grudge against Tom for killing us, you shouldn't either, especially because Harry joined him. We know why, we approve of his choices. Harry is Dark, Sirius, but he does have a good heart. He will protect those he loves. He represents the Potter values quite well. Lily and I couldn't be prouder of him."
"The first war ended, Sirius." Lily told him gently, "Let those grudges die with it as well."
"Stand with our son, because we cannot." James smiled sadly.
"I will." Sirius whispered, "I promise."
"Good." James replied solemnly, "He will need you. Don't let him drown in who he will become. Make him enjoy life as a child should. Challenge him to a prank war, teach him the ways of the Marauders. Hell, recruit Moony to help you, that old wolf needs a bit of cheering up as well."
Sirius laughed, his bark like laughter, and shook his head.
"Moony became a professor, James. He's all proper now." he teased.
"Yes, I saw that. Moony and I will be having a serious conversation." James said shacking his head, "Defecting to the side of the proper and all that."
Lily looked exasperated and smiled fondly at them both.
"You both never grew up." she threw her arms up and winked at Harry.
"Grow up?" both males asked, looking scandalized, "Never." then they dissolved into laughter.
"We have to go now, Paddy." James said after they got their laughter under control, "Take care of our Prongslet and of yourself."
"I will." Sirius promised, his eyes filling with tears.
Both Potters smiled at him, then turned towards Harry.
"Bye, love." Lily whispered.
"Have some fun as well, baby. We love you." James smiled, then they were gone.
For a while no one said anything. None of them moved. Then Sirius stumbled to the sofa. He looked at Harry, his complexion paler than usual.
"You are a necromancer."
Well... Harry hadn't expected that. Was he a necromancer though? In a way he was, wasn't he? Though not really. Could he control the dead? He had never tried. Maybe he should ask his father.
"In a way." he replied. He was so not ready to tell Sirius that he had been adopted by Death.
"Thank you." Sirius whispered, "For letting me see them again, for letting me talk to them."
"You're welcome. But, Sirius, I can't call them all the time. Their place isn't here. They belong with Death now."
"I... I know. I just needed this."
Harry nodded. He could understand that. He would have given anything to see his loved ones one last time. To say goodbye to his children. But he knew it wasn't possible. They were in a different time-line. They would never exist in this one. As long as he lived in this one it would be impossible for him to see them. Besides, he wasn't sure he would have the courage to face them
"I won't stand in your way." Sirius whispered, "I know that you aren't telling me everything. And I don't understand why you joined him, or how you brought him back. But I won't stand in your way."
Harry sighed in relief, slumping slightly in his seat.
"Thank you Sirius."
"You're a necromancer." Barty whispered, a little over an hour later, when they were both back at Hogwarts.
Sirius had agreed to stay at Riddle Manor until the following day. They had agreed to meet there the following night so that Sirius could take them to Grimmauld Place. He had looked at Harry suspiciously when he found out that Harry knew about the place, but to Harry's relief he hadn't asked questions.
Tom had grumbled a bit about the new house guest, but he promised to stay out of Sirius' way, as long as he didn't cause trouble. Harry was hoping that both men survived the day.
"Does it bother you?" Harry asked. He knew that even most Dark wizards didn't stray to those magics. Death was something to be feared and respected.
"No, not really." Barty said, after a moment, "It just makes me curious about you. You are not what I expected. I fear you, but I find you fascinating as well. It's almost like what I feel with my Lord, but different."
"I'm just Harry." he had never felt less like just Harry.
"No." Barty replied, he looked sad, almost heartbroken, "You want to be just Harry."
"I think you really are my favorite." Harry said, a small smile on his lips. He chuckled when Barty blushed slightly.
"You should go." Barty stated, looking away, "The Hufflepuffs will be looking for you. Those two seem to like you even more than they like Diggory."
"You're right." Harry sighed getting up from his seat, "I'll see you later."
Barty slumped on his seat as soon as the door closed behind Harry.
"Idiot." he mumbled into the empty room.
A.N.: Well, here's the new chapter. Hope you all like it. I'm sorry it took so long to update, but my laptop is still broken. I'll do my best to update as fast as I can but it is probable that the updates will be a little slower. Next chapter will have more Sirius, more Tom and more Barty. Te first task will also take place and Dumbledore will make his first appearance and Harry will show him that he isn't his little Savior anymore. Tom and Harry will discuss plans and set a few of them in motion. So, there will be a lot happening next chapter and it will be longer.
On another note, thanks for all the reviews and alerts. I'm really happy that you all like Death's son. I never expected that it would be so well received.