Summary: PreHBP. Harry chose to join Voldemort and is now known as Fillderserp, his most loyal follower and heir. Years later, can Neville and the remaining of the Order of the Phoenix have the strength to fight two powerful Dark Lords?
Disclaimer: This story and characters do not belong to me. The characters belong to the amazing J. K. Rowling and the story originally belongs to Parvati-Blossom, who has wonderfully agreed to let me translate it. If able, you should really consider reading the original version in Spanish.
Warning: Some chapters may contain strong language and images. Torture is a common occurrance in the dark side, please take that in mind.
This translation has been done to the best of my abilities trying to introduce readers to the wonderful story I discovered many years ago. I hope you enjoy it!
London, July 31st, 2004
Six years had passed since the beginning of the Dark Age. Six years in which thousands of innocent people had died. Six years in which the only thing that kept the Magical Community alive was the hope placed on their heroes, on those who had a slight possibility of defeating the Dark Lord and his followers, even if it was remote… It was everything they had left.
Nobody had expected the events of the war to develop in such way. They had trusted that Lord Voldemort would be stopped and killed in just a few years, and that with his death, all the mass murders would also be stopped. But reality was far from that dream. Not only had the Dark Lord increased his power significantly, but he now also had followers who provoked as much fear as he did; followers who had no mercy and were corrupted by the thirst for revenge and power.
Nobody could walk on the streets at ease. Diagon Alley, the preferred place for shopping and entertainment for young wizards, was now often submerged in threatening anxiety, despite the presence of numerous aurors keeping guard day and night. It was the same case for any public area of great fame among the community. The Ministry of Magic was restricted to wizards who had previously proven their loyalty to the Light. Key information was kept by selected people, after many experiences of treason. Yet, nothing worked to prevent the many deaths.
The organization that opposed the plans of the Dark Lord was still the Order of the Phoenix. The old generation together with the new, one who had suffered if perhaps more. Albus Dumbledore remained as the leader, although he was not considered the most powerful in it any longer. With age, magic also decreased in potential. Even if the headmaster of Hogwarts had not lost his mental clarity, and that particular gift for defense strategies, he had stopped being the most powerful.
Other prominent heroes were the brilliant trio of aurors: Hermione Granger, Ronald Weasley, and Neville Longbottom. They were the most effective formula that both the Ministry and the Order had against the dark forces. They were always willing to take on the most risky missions, the ones that most people rejected for the great danger of losing their lives. Nevertheless, they did not fear, but were enthusiastic about the idea as, "what else was the point of being an auror?"
Each one of them had a past to fix, a history that they did not want anyone to repeat. Ron had suffered the loss of many of his brothers during the war. Neville kept having his parents in Saint Mungo, and his grandmother had been brutally murdered some years back. Hermione… Her father had died in one of the Dark Lord's first attacks after her fifth year at Hogwarts, while her mother had not been well ever since. And the three of them had suffered together the death of many close friends.
Among them was Harry Potter.
The Magical Community declared him death since 1998, but they, who had been his best friends, had suffered his death in 1996. The year when the beginning of the end came… That summer, the Harry Potter that they knew disappeared. His personality and character drastically changed as consequence of the death of his godfather some weeks prior. When they were back together at Hogwarts after almost three months without seeing each other, the Harry Potter that they saw was very reserved, and his face had become a mask of unbreakable neutrality. His beautiful green eyes had lost all glow, appearing dark.
During their sixth year, they noticed Harry's new obsession with school, and an increase in his grades that now extraordinarily equaled Hermione's. The girl had justified that change by telling Ron and Neville that their friend had adopted studying as a way of distraction, of protection for himself. The truth had been far from that. For Harry, knowledge was power, and it was power what he needed to accomplish his goals.
None of them had known that Harry had kept his mental connection with Lord Voldemort during his sleepless nights. During their conversations at night, the two old enemies had shared a strange familiarity that with time only increased. Voldemort found deep in Harry a Slytherin of great potential, and he helped him develop his cunning and determination. It was in one of those times that Harry became interested in the Dark Arts. However, nobody ever knew. Not even Dumbledore, whom had not taken his eyes away from Harry through those two years.
In seventh year, the Potter boy was elected as Head Boy. It was in that same year when the bond of trust and friendship that he had kept with Ron and Hermione was completely broken, destroying the golden trio of Gryffindor. Potter enjoyed solitude, so he considered the term 'friendship' as unnecessary in his life. Everyone thought that it would be a matter of time for him to realize how much he needed the company of people who would understand him. But they were all wrong.
Harry enjoyed the understanding of someone, the only being he needed and who would teach him to surpass his previous weaknesses: Lord Voldemort. His loyalty and trust to Dumbledore's side had disappeared after the death of his godfather. In those days, he began to question what he had to do… Dumbledore had only given him sorrow and lies in his life, for which he would give one chance to Voldemort. If he could show him being capable of providing him with what he needed, he would switch to the dark side.
And Voldemort fulfilled all of Harry's expectations.
At the end of seventh year, after the graduation ceremony, Voldemort attacked Hogwarts with his best weapons. The absolute union of vampires to his side, together with that of some giant and werewolf groups, and his loyal snakes were the grand blow. The numerous death eaters took care of the rest.
It was a day of grieving for the Magical Community. The day in which a new generation of wizards saw with their own eyes what that magical war truly meant. And only few survived to tell.
Everyone expected that Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, prestigious Head Boy, and graduating with the best scores, would have been one of the leaders for the defense groups. But that was the last mistake they ever made with regards to the boy. There would never be more expectations of him…
Harry Potter stood to the right of the Dark Lord, the most sought position by death eaters and that at the same time indicated that whoever took it, would hold that greatest protection from the Dark Lord. It also showed that he was the model death eater, the most powerful and loyal of all. That spot had been empty for many years, and Potter held it to this day, never losing it.
The Magical Community preferred to think that the Boy Who Lived had died in the attack. He was now called the Heir of Voldemort, or Filldeserp, the alias that the Dark Lord had assigned him within his Dark Circle. Nobody wanted to associate him with the image of the innocent Harry from his first years at Hogwarts. Only Voldemort called him by his real name on certain occasions.
Voldemort and Potter… It was the public announcement of their alliance what gave way to the Dark Age. The perfect duo to instigate panic in England and the rest of the world… There seemed no way out of the Dark Kingdom that slowly approached. There would be a time in which there would be no one else who could be a strong opponent and everyone would fall. In the mean time, however, wizards supported their heroes, those who remained and had not yet been broken.
"Neville! How dare you miss the meeting?!" Yelled Hermione Granger that same morning, completely outraged.
"Last night I had other things to attend to instead of having to listen to MacMillan's monotonous speeches." Answered Longbottom absentmindedly.
"Would you like to be sanction for your incompetence in your position?" Said his friend, reprimanding him again.
"They wouldn't." Neville said shrugging his shoulders. "They haven't for many years and I doubt it would be good for them now, after that death eater attack at that muggle festival…"
Hermione and Neville were sitting, supposedly working, at the Aurors Headquarters in the Ministry of Magic. The night before, there had been a meeting from their general commanders by request of Minister Ernie MacMillan, which explained the tired and overwhelmed expressions of the aurors that morning.
Hermione Granger had become a very attractive woman who was about to turn twenty-four years old. She was tall, thin and slender, with a delicate and fit body. The very fine features of her pale face were marked by some very inopportune bags under her eyes that made her look older than she really was. At Hogwarts, she had been known by her bushy and graceless brown hair. But she now had it more straight, though the tips were still hard to handle, and it had a particular shine after receiving the necessary caring, which she let fall dignified over her shoulders. As for her eyes, which in the past had shown cheerfulness and tranquility, now appeared slightly sad and reflected the stress she was suffering because of the endless amount of work she constantly faced.
Neville had stopped being the trembling boy from his early childhood. With time, he had shown why he was placed as a member of the Gryffindor House. He displayed compelling courage and loyalty to his own, as well as being a true gentleman to those ladies who deserved his respect. He still possessed the quality of being extremely forgetful, as much effort as he put on trying to stop it. Hermione had the suspicion that it was not in his nature, but a consequence of a memory loss spell that could have been used against him at a young age. His face still showed the round features of his younger years, but with the constant exercise that came with being an auror, he had become a very slim young man. His brown hair and his brown hair color concluded Neville's physical aspect.
"Neville, you shouldn't miss those meetings. Even if we already know most of what they are saying, there are some things that are worth it."
"Oh, really?" Asked a voice behind Hermione. When they turned around, Ronald Weasley smiled at them as a way of saying hello while he walked closer to his two friends. "Tell me, Mione, because maybe I fell asleep during that part…"
Ron continued being the same red-haired and blue-eyed person as always. He was the tallest of the three, and certainly the one who portrayed the most pride. Nevertheless, he was not as haughty as it had been expected of him considering he was one of the most famous aurors. Instead, he had learned to appreciate modesty. His face had a genuine angelical aspect, a virtue granted to him by his freckles, although that did not happen when Weasley fell into one of his impulsive attacks of fury.
"And the two of you are the renowned leaders of the aurors?" Asked Hermione, exasperated.
"Hmm, Miss Perfect has spoken…" Mocked her Ron while he tried to fix that elegant robe he was wearing.
And that is how the trio of aurors was. No matter how serious the topic was, they tried to keep it as relaxed as possible so they would not make their jobs even more tiresome. They were people mature and sensible, but now and then they let themselves be taken by the lack of humor in those dark days. It was what kept them standing. If it was not for that, they would have fallen years before, with the rest of their classmates.
Hermione was the practical one and the main brain, Neville was the power, and Ron was the strategy and impulse. The strategies made out by Weasley usually had no mistakes, although they were not always perfect. Hermione always had a solution for any kind of problem, and she would move by intuition most of the times. And Neville, he was considered one of the most experienced wizards of his time, the Hero that filled the void left by Potter.
"We have to investigate on the last attack on a muggle town." Informed Hermione.
"I don't think it was chosen for a specific reason." Commented Ron. "There were no magical people living there of whom they would have wanted to take revenge on, right?"
"But maybe there was someone important from the muggle side." Said Neville. "Were any death eaters caught in the attack?"
"Hmm…" Hermione searched for a parchment marked by a red line on the left edge among the pile she had on her desk. After looking at it, she handed it to her two friends. "Jugson, Cornfoot, Branstone…"
"They haven't said anything about it?" Asked Ron, frowning.
"You know what usually happens. They are more afraid of retaliation from Voldemort and Filldeserp than of what we could do to them." Answered Neville. "We should apply more drastic measures to get information… Fire against fire, don't you think?" Mione grimaced in response.
"I wished they still feared Azkaban as much as they used to…" She whispered.
"The damn dementors joined the Dark Lord years ago… Since then we haven't found a good substitute, as much as we've tried…" Said Ron, shaking his head. "I wonder what the Dark Lord would do to them if they were to betray him… Although I can imagine it."
"It surely wouldn't be a quick death, Ron." Said Neville after sighing with resignation. "Though I've heard some prisoners say during my rounds that Filldeserp handless all the inhuman punishments… They say he has a special intuition to know whether you are lying to him." Ron and Hermione's expressions darkened after hearing about their old friend.
"That traitor… I swear one day he will pay for everything he has done to us…" Whispered Ron, his words filled with irrational hatred. On the other hand, Hermione looked sad and thoughtful.
"Today he turns twenty-four…" She whispered with longing. "I wish he was still with us, so we could celebrate together…"
"He doesn't deserve it, Mione. I'm sure Voldemort will make sure that today is one of the best days of his life." Hermione smiled bitterly after Ron's words.
"Everything could have been different…"
"But it isn't." Said Neville abruptly, stopping the broken words of the girl. "What could have been doesn't matter, but what it is… and he is Voldemort's heir. There is nothing left of that person whom we knew many years ago…"
"I know." Said Hermione, making a gesture of acknowledgement with her head. "I just wonder why he would have decided to betray us, what we did wrong for him to choose the one who ruined his life…"
"We did nothing wrong, Hermione. It was him. He is the one guilty of what happened. He let himself fall. He gave up, accepted doing what was easy instead of what was right… He will pay for it, and when he realizes what he did, it will be too late."
That was the end of the topic, although mentally the trio continued meditating about it. Both Ron and Neville kept an exclusive place for Harry in their hearts, the area of hatred. Neither of them needed to list the reasons for doing so. The mere idea of having been betrayed by someone they had so cared for, and from whom they had learned so much, disgusted them… Ron would never forget graduation day because of that bastard. The image of his previous best friend standing next to Voldemort still haunted him during sleepless nights.
Could it have been stopped? Could Hermione be right?
Ron refused to believe it. Harry was the coward, the one who had given up, who had not valued their friendship, who had not examined his past, who had not overcome his weaknesses. They simply did not have the blame for Potter's transformation.
On the other hand, Hermione did believe so. They could have made the difference in Harry's choice if only they had shown more understanding for the boy, if only they had supported him and talked to him when they knew he needed them. They had misunderstood everything. They thought Harry needed time to recover, time alone. It turned out the opposite.
If only they had realized before of what was happening to Harry, this would not be happening… If only they had not been content with his monotonous responses to all the questions they asked about his emotional estate, to his problems… If only they had questioned his extreme interest for knowledge and his unnatural silence… They would have been the friends Harry had needed.
They did not think it was so important, they wrongly judged him, they abandoned him…
"Mione, at what time did Dumbledore say to go to headquarters?" Asked Ron, interrupting his work and looking up to see her with his serene blue eyes.
Hermione did not answer, completely submerged in her thoughts. Neville exchanged an alarmed look with Ron. Their friend did not usually deeply meditate during work hours, she considered it unprofessional… She was the most dedicated in their ministry jobs, and now, was she distracted?
"Mione?" Asked Neville carefully. He laid a hand on his friend's shoulder, startling her.
"What?" She asked, realizing where she was.
"Are you okay?"
"Why shouldn't I be?" Asked Hermione dryly. Neville cleared his throat nervously.
"Because Ron asked you a question and you haven't even listened…"
"I'm sorry. What were you saying, Ron?"
"At what time do we have to be at headquarters?"
"What were you thinking about, Mione?" Asked Neville.
"Nothing, nothing Nev. Don't worry. I'm going out for lunch, you don't mind, right?"
Before they even got a chance to respond, the young brunette had stood up and walked out of the door without saying anything else.
July 31st always brought so many memories…
The general headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix were located at one of the best protected places in England. Only the chosen members of it were aware of its location, most of them ignorant of it. That was a security measure that had to be adopted in those times if they did not want to be attacked by surprise.
The spies of the Order on Voldemort's side were rare, but those who took the risk never stopped sending the crucial information about the next moves. Because of that, they had minimized by a third the number of deaths in some attacks.
But nothing mattered if behind that information there was nobody who could help keep the Magical Community safe. That was why aurors from the Ministry or retired that could be trusted were part of the Order. And they not only did not lack defenders, but they also counted with numerous healers within the groups in case immediate attention was needed. Saint Mungo was not safe anymore after it had been almost completely taken over by the death eaters in an attack a few months back.
For that same reason, the Order was the only organization capable and willing enough to even aspire to fight against the ideals of the Dark Lord. In the same way as Voldemort, they also fought for the support from other nations in that British magical war. At the beginning, most had remained neutral until they finally suffered, just like them, the bloody tragedy that the dark forces produced. It was a fight for power and only the one who could subdue the other would win to tell the story.
"Ron, Herm, Nev, here!" Called them a female voice from the other side of the room.
"How are you doing, Ginny?" Asked Neville, giving a sweet smile to the red-hair girl.
Everyone knew how much the auror loved Weasley, but he had never confessed his feelings for fear of putting her at risk and being the one guilty of any harm on her. Some suspected that Ginny felt the same way because of the particular way in which she treated him. Many said they would make a perfect couple, though Ron insisted that they had personalities that clashed.
Ginny Weasley had become a respectable woman. Her red hair reached her waist and sweetly surrounded her face, making her look more innocent than she was. She always had it down. Her almond color eyes often shined with warmth and conviction, constantly encouraging all those whom she looked at. She was of average height, a little shorter than Hermione.
"I am very well, what's new?"
"The Ministry is as boring and chaotic as usual." Ron shrugged his shoulders. "Saint Mungo's?"
"We are definitely no better than you guys." Ginny pointed out. She had decided to become a healer, holding inside of her a bottomless wish to save innocent lives.
"This can't continue like this." Hermione whispered.
"We all wish this to end, Mione." Ron comforted her. "But until those bastards aren't dead, there won't be a way."
At that moment, an agitated Remus Lupin entered the room. Everyone present, who had been divided in different groups chatting about diverse topics, turned to see him, alarmed because of his look. His face was showing an abnormal paleness while he tried to breathe with normality again.
Remus was one of the people who took the topic of war with the most seriousness in the Order. He was barely seen smiling during the day and he generally had a tired or exhausted look. He perhaps saw it as a personal challenge… To show his loved ones whom had died that he would not fall, that he would fight for them and avenge them. If he died, it would be with honor, fighting as all of them.
"They are attacking…!" He informed, breaking the deadly silence.
"What?" Many screamed disturbed while others moaned in fear.
"Diagon Alley and the London muggle area that surrounds it!" He finished saying.
Immediately, the aurors present disappeared knowing exactly what they were supposed to do.
To defend what belonged to them: hope and life.