The epilogue is set two years after chapter one.
Green orbs crossed the eyes of the defeated people of Hogwarts. He saw hurt, disbelief, betrayal, and turned away, understanding all of them. He recognised most of them, even though they had changed, grown up. It was sad that their lives would end tonight. Two years ago, he had been kidnapped, and this was one of the few times that he went to 'the outer world'. It was not like Voldemort stopped him anymore, no, but there was simply nothing left for him. Falling for a Dark lord had its consequences after all. This was the first time he went out as himself, and the first time he saw his friends again.
"You betrayed us." Someone whispered, and he clenched his fists, though did not defend himself. It was true.
"Harry?" a voice said, and the teen turned around to look at Hermione. "Why did you leave?"
"Not voluntary." He replied softly. "However, I stayed there because I wanted to, and that indeed gives me no right to call myself anything less than a traitor."
"Why did you stay?" she asked, hurt.
"Out of love. A love that is greater than the love I feel towards the world." He remarked, and she lowered her head and reached up to scratch her shoulder, causing the chains to clatter.
"Do you agree with this?" she asked him, and with sadness, he gazed at the rest of the Hall, where all students were chained up, the teachers being held under shot by Death Eaters and Voldemort who smirked arrogantly at all of them, Dumbledore's twisted corpse at his feet.
"Then defy him!"
"No. I would fail anyway."
"You have the power to defeat him!" she hissed with desperation.
"But not the will." He told her, and she stuttered, her eyes wide.
"How? How can you love that someone so much that you forsake everything you ever stood for? Who is she anyway? Some high-ranked Death Eater? Is that why you won't defeat You-Know-Who? For God's sake, Harry…"
"God has nothing to do with me, Hermione, for I fell with the devil. Fell for the devil even" He said bitterly. "And there is nothing that will change that."
"We trusted you!" Someone shouted, and Harry flinched at the look Ron threw him. "We trusted you and you sold us out!"
The last statement made Harry's eyes flash in fury. "I did not. I simply stood back, and if you throw all your hopes on one fourteen-year old child, then you are all pathetic!" he spat, and turned on his heel to stalk out of the Hall. Instead, he was stopped by a cold hand that curled around his arm.
"Stay." Voldemort commanded softly, and Harry's shoulders slumped.
~Don't order me around. ~ he hissed, knowing he was speaking to deaf ears.
Their relationship had developed oddly. When the effects of having a crush had worn off, they had settled with a kind of… twisted love, yet it was deep and utterly satisfying to both of them. If only Voldemort would give up being so damn dominant all the time… Well, at least he didn't have to call him Master any longer…
~You will do as I say, and I… request you to stay. ~
Harry actually snorted at that, and turned around with a sly smirk on his lips.
~And what will you do if I won't? ~
~I'll have to punish you… ~ Voldemort smirked, licking his lips slowly while twisting Harry around. ~Come, my love, their words mean nothing. The new world I will create will be at your feet. ~
~I don't need the world. ~
~What do you need then? ~
~Would I sound too sappy if I said you? ~
"It would, now come." Voldemort said, and guided Harry to the head table, where he himself sat down on Dumbledore's seat and motioned for Harry to sit next to him. –on the left side, which did not go unnoticed by said teen. –
~What am I, your bloody spouse?~
~Are you not? ~ The man replied nonchalantly, arching an eyebrow, and Harry froze, looking at his lover with disbelief. ~Oh come now, love. Did you truly think I would have kept you by my side if I didn't want you there permanently? Speaking of which, I'll have to make you immortal very soon… ~ he hissed, and raked his nails down the side of Harry's neck, his face a thoughtful frown. ~Why so shocked? ~
~I just, had not expected… ~ Harry whispered, feeling touched and very thrown off.
There was no need to say more. His mind was still an open book to his…husband? –who had no qualms at all with throwing an occasional glance in Harry's thoughts. They'd had some quarrels about privacy, which Voldemort all won with the argument that if Harry had nothing to hide, there would be no need why he couldn't look, under the guise of 'getting to know him better'.
~Well, it did help to get to know you…~ Voldemort softly said, and played with a strand of Harry's hair.
~There were some things that you didn't need to know. ~ he said darkly
~Don't tell me that you didn't enjoy their screams… Harry, I've seen much bad in this world, and caused even more of it, but even I wouldn't lower myself to abusing a child that had come to be under my care. ~
~And a Muggle child? ~
~I would not have taken it in in the first place. Now, let us stop this conversation, lest you would get some ludicrous ideas~
~I won't. Somehow, I think neither of us would make a good father. ~ Harry remarked dryly.
"Good. Now, I believe it is time for a good speech." He said as his eyes followed one of his followers who had just come back from carrying Dumbledore's corpse away. –probably ordered to throw him out in the forest to rot or something, if Harry knew Voldemort's sense of humour well enough. And he did. Too sadistic for words.
The Dark Lord rose and glared darkly at the students, who cowered at the sight.
"Students of Hogwarts." He said slowly, his hands planted on the table in front of him while he leaned a bit forward in an intimidating pose. "This school will undergo some radical changes from this moment. Magic is magic, and power is might, so you will be taught the most powerful magic that is known to the world, no matter if this was previously thought to be… too dangerous. If someone does not agree with this change of curriculum, then that person does not belong in this world, in my, world. Last month, the Ministry came to be under my command, so unless you wish to face great –legal- punishment for defying my word, and thus, the law, please speak up, and I may spare you. Keep silent and resist me later, and inevitable death will be your penalization. For those who want to help me in creating a better world, be welcome and safe here in this castle.
Like everyone, you too shall have to register yourself and your bloodline. Opportunity to do so will be tomorrow afternoon in the dungeon next to the potion classroom. Lessons will be canceled tomorrow because of this. Lastly, I wish to direct myself to your professors… Will you stay, or will you leave?" he asked, looking at the teachers.
Mc. Gonagall was the first to speak, but not after giving Harry a piercing look. "We will answer you, if you will answer one of our questions. What is Potter doing here?"
Voldemort looked over his shoulder and crossed looks with his lover, who nodded and stood.
"I am here, because I wished to be. I wished to know what would become of this school, which I have called home for four years, and because I wanted to know what would become of my peers and… former friends." His gaze softened as his eyes landed on Hermione, Neville, Ron, Dean and several others.
"Do you agree with his views Potter?" the Transfiguration professor asked, and Harry smiled sadly.
"I do not wish to comment on that. The war is no longer my responsibility, and it really doesn't matter what I think regarding it. You should know one thing though. Anyone who tries to stand in his way, will be killed, and if you defied him in an attempt to harm him, you will be killed by me personally."
~Enough. There is no need to make it sound like I need any form of protection. ~
~I would protect you though. ~
Red eyes softened. ~I know you would. Which makes you all the more foolish. ~
He turned back to the professors and addressed them again. "So, you got your answer. Your choice?"
"I will stay, if only to protect the students."
"And will you teach them what I deem proper?"
Mc. Gonagall's mouth was pressed into a thin line, but then she sighed in defeat. "If that is your wish, High Minister."
The rest of the teachers agreed, though some more reluctantly than others. Afterwards, every student was called to pledge loyalty to the Dark Lord, or neutrality at least. The first to be lead away was a Gryffindor Harry did not know, and he averted his eyes when it was the turn of his friends. Some chose to stay anyway, but Harry knew it would be just a matter of time before they would start to rebel, and he feared for their lives. It would have been better if they let themselves be punished now. –though he did not know what was worse, being stripped off your magic and left in the Muggle world as a Squib, or death.- Hermione was smart and chose to leave. Harry watched her go and silently wished her a good life. He would probably never see her again.
When everything was done and the house tables were considerately more empty –with the exception of Slytherin-, Voldemort walked back to Harry with a lazy pace.
~Time to go home. My followers will take it from here on. ~
The teen got to his feet and closed his eyes when an arm came to rest around his waist. The horrible feeling of apparation was soon over, and he blinked when they landed in the bedroom. With a slight smirk, he reached up and brushed his lips over Voldemort's. Said man claimed his mouth rather roughly after that and Harry shoved a hand under his lover's top robe while shrugging the outer robe off.
"Impatient?" the man said, amused.
A hand forcefully gripped his jaw and sensually slid his tongue over the other's. Harry entwined his fingers in the man's hair and deepened the slow kiss while caressing the pale skin of Voldemort's chest with his finger pads. His lover drew back and undressed while Harry did the same, taking the offered hand when they finished to be led to the bed. Upon lying down, Voldemort rolled half on top of the teen and licked a line up on the bared throat. With half-mast eyes, Harry took in his lover, all composed perfection, with the only indication of his need the clouded, dark red eyes and the stiffness that prodded his thigh rather harshly.
"Yeah?" Harry breathed, wriggling to get a bit of relief, but not succeeding for he was efficiently pinned down.
A dazzling, soft kiss was placed on his lips and for the first time in two years, were the words voiced which both of them had thought for a long time.
~I love you, and I will never let you go. ~
Harry was silent for a while, shocked. Then, he moved and hugged the other fiercely.
~I never want you to let me go either. ~
He had fallen in love with his cage.