Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, unfortunately...
A/N at the bottom
Chapter 1: The Good, The Bad and the ugly.
Harry could not quite believe it. He was back in courtroom ten, chained to an uncomfortable hard backed chair that would make even McGonagall tremble. At least this time, he really was guilty, he thought to himself glumly looking out across the foreboding room.
In front of him, sat the full Wizengamot with Dumbledore himself at the forefront. It was somewhat surprising to see the cold stare Dumbledore reserved for enemies directed at him. He should have expected it though, the man never had the stomach to kill.
Turning away from him, he gazed up at the spectator alcoves. He could see Ron, his face as pale as a sheet shaking with rage and indignation. Next to him sat Hermione, her hand on his shoulder. Her face reflected her boyfriends emotions perfectly. Catching his eyes, she gave him a weak smile, at least she wasn't against him he thought sadly.
The muttering inside the courtroom came to an abrupt halt as Dumbledore slammed his gavel onto the table a few times. "Order please, this trial will begin." He stared piercingly at Harry, his eyes full of disappointment and even a flicker of regret.
Harry simply smirked back at him. Perhaps it was the surprisingly elating feeling of dark magic or just the fact he didn't care anymore, but he felt no apprehension in baiting his former idol.
To Harry, Dumbledore had taken a tumble from loving grandfather to spineless wimp.
Clearing her throat, Amelia Bones shuffled a few pieces of parchment and rose from her seat. "We are here on the 20th of August 1998 for the trial of Lord Harry James Potter Black." She looked up from her papers, frowning straight at Harry for a few moments.
"Lord Potter Black is hereby accused of the murder of Rabastan Lestrange, and Marcus Avery , the use of unforgivables, and torture and assault upon various people uninvolved in his fight. How does the accused plead?"
Harry sat up straight in his hard backed chair, the iron chains clinking as they tightened around him threateningly. Mustering his courage he looked back at the Wizengamot, his eyes hard.
"He bloody well shouldn't be! They killed my sister!" Bellowed Ron from the stands. He was now standing shaking with anger, his fists clenched at his sides while Hermione desperately tried to pull him back down.
"I will ask you to keep silent, , or you will be ejected from this courtroom." Said Dumbledore mildly, gesturing to Amelia Bones to continue.
"The actions being judged today are those of Lord Potter Black." She said coolly. "The accused seems to show no regret, nor does he deny the facts. What is the Wizengamot's verdict?"
It took them a total of three minutes to agree and remove the silencing charms around them. Dumbledore rose and looked down on his greatest failure. Sadness and regret settled down inside him as he lifted up his gavel. It had to be done, he did not like it but he would not take the risk of having another Tom.
"Life in Azkaban, no parole."
Pandemonium erupted in the room. Between the unhappy cries of his supporters and the applause of those who wanted him locked up and gone for the rest of his life, Harry could make out little of what was going on. He saw Hermione once more, now clutching a stiff and cold looking Miss Weasley's arm and sobbing into it. He wondered if he would ever get a chance to see her again, or maybe her children. He would like to see her children.
Of course, that was if he even survived.
The huge doors shut behind him with a resonating clang, sealing his fate for good. He looked around the dank entrance hall of Azkaban prison dully. His new home, though he doubted he would be seeing much past 4 stone walls and a door if Dumbledore got what he wanted.
A snarl set itself on his face as he unsuccessfully tried to control his anger. Harry had done what was right, he had done a good thing in riding the world of those Death Eaters and avenging Ginny! But all Dumbledore did was look at him like some failed experiment.
He vaguely wondered if he'd ever escape like Sirius. But quickly pushed that thought out of his mind. He didn't want those cursed Dementors to have even more to feed from. Hope was not something he could afford.
The guards had taken over from the Aurors and were now dragging him over to a portly man seated at a small desk.
"'Ere Ernie, we got a new one for you."
With a sigh, he picked up his quill and pulled a new form towards him, never once lifting his eyes. "Name?"
"Harry James Potter Black." Answered Harry quietly. He could already feel the deadening cold of the dementors, and was beginning to wonder if his vengeance was worth the punishment.
Ernie's eyes flicked up in surprise, widening partially as he spotted the scar.
"Oh, I almost forgot Ern, he's to be put in the Maximum Security cells, Chief Mugwumps orders."
"There ain't no more room there what with all the Death Eaters, Sean." Ernie ground out impatiently, browsing a list of numbers.
"I've got a cell on level thre-"
"Ernie, this if the Chief Mugwump, do you want to go against him? Just stick him in with the old man, that un's on the brink of death anyway."
Letting out a long suffering sigh, Ernie rolled his eyes and nodded, waving them past him quickly.
The guards brought Harry down a maze of corridors, going ever deeper into the bowels of Azkaban. He tried to remember the way at first, but he quickly lost any sense of orientation, especially when the dementors presence was felt once again.
"Not Harry, Not Harry, please not Harry!"
Hissing in anger, Harry slammed up his meager occlumency shields, and the voices faded from his mind, for the moment. Finally they entered a dead-end hallway, and he was dragged down it quickly. Obviously the guards didn't like being here too long, he thought with a small smirk. He peered into the cells, curious about which death eaters had been sent down to this hell of hells. However, most were simply lumps of rags, curled up tightly on their pathetic excuses for a cot.
"Potter?" Rasped a voice full of disbelief. Harry snapped his head around, he would recognize that voice anywhere.
"Lestrange.." he snarled, baring his teeth and jumping towards her cell, the guards powerful left hook quickly put a stop to that and left him gasping on the floor.
Mad giggling filled the air as Bellatrix watched him, her eyes filled with evil mirth. "What did itty bitty Potter do to get sent down here with the bad boys and girls?" She said in her honey sweet voice, clutching the iron bars of her cell door with skeletal hands.
"I tortured your brother in law to death, bint." He riposted viciously, his body burning with hate for his godfathers killer.
"Well well well, it looks like the baby grew up an ickle bit. Did Potty like playing around?" She laughed again, subsiding into harsh coughs. Harry couldn't help but be stunned by her absolute lack of concern for her Brother in law. He would have thought she had at least a bit of compassion for her relatives.
"Enough." Growled the guard, smacking Bellatrix's hands off the door bars with his wand, making her to jump back from him, giggling insanely, nursing her already bruising fingers.
The two enforces lost no time in tossing Harry into his cell and slamming the door shut again. A feeling familiar to wards being set down fell over him as he rose, trembling. The dementors were coming, he could feel it.
Glancing around the cell, all he could make out was a small pile of rotting straw, a lump of rags and a miniscule window near the top of the wall. He almost cried out in surprise, falling back on his rear when the pile of rags rose up and the most intense green eyes he had ever seen faced him, brighter even than his. He shifted uncomfortably, rather unsettled by the silent stare.
The man before him was thinner than he thought possible, had a huge messy beard and lanky hair filled with grime. His hands looked like oversized spiders as he rested them on the ground, edging off the cot to get a closer look at Harry, who edged back.
"What do we have here, a visitor?" The man croaked in a voice that couldn't have been properly used for years.
"Cellmate." Said Harry hesitantly, unsettled by the hungry gleam that settled in those unnatural eyes. He wasn't about to complain though, being able to have someone to bear the terror that was Azkaban with was a greater relief than he had expected. He certainly wasn't going to have any nice chats with Bellatrix.
"I see...They really must have forgotten me then." The man said gleefully. "Excellent, excellent…" He rasped, settling himself back on the straw.
"Er...How long have you been here?" Harry wasn't sure what to make of the stranger, even though it was quite incongruous to strike up a conversation in Azkaban of all places, it would take his mind off the approaching dementors.
A long pause followed his question, and Harry was beginning to think that the man had simply fallen asleep - or died - when he breathed in deeply.
"Been too long for an old man like me to count off the years..Though I've been here much, much longer than our lovely Bella nextdoor. A true looker that one." He says with a smirk. "Don't you think Bella dear?"
"You probably couldn't even get a mudblood harlot to touch you, you wreck." She said in a mocking voice.
"Shut up, you bitch." Growled Harry, smacking the wall between them with his fist.
"Oh dear, I believe I might have touched ickle Potty's nerves." She crooned in delight. "How are my dear cousin and niece?" She said, her cruel snickers echoing down the hall. "Last time I saw them, not so good."
"Shut up!" screamed Harry hatefully, banging his head against the door violently, while the old man watched on in amusement. "I'll kill you for what you did to them!"
Bella was about to answer, when Harry's cellmate rose unsteadily and walked over to Harry, waving his hand randomly in the air, shutting off any incoming sound. He sat down heavily next to Harry, breathing hard.
"I think it would be unwise for you to continue such a pleasant discussion, you should conserve your energy.
"How did you do that?" Asked Harry, his eyes wide. If this man could do wandless magic in his own cell, he could certainly break them out!
"Ah, I learned to manipulate a tiny part of the wards in my cell some time ago, I have had a long time to study them. Unfortunately, the door had refused to budge yet." With a dramatic sigh he stuck out a filthy, black nailed hand.
"Azor, a pleasure to meet you."
Harry hesitantly shook it, almost expecting Azor to jump at him and try to eat him, so powerful was the hungry look in his eyes.
"Pleasure to meet you, I'm sure. Now, I must warn you that the dementors will be here soon and though these wards will dull their effect on me, nobody has keyed you in, so I am afraid you will have to suffer the brunt of their power. You shall be vulnerable unless you are a very talented occlumens, or me."
"Why don't they affect you?"
Azor rubbed his hands together, leaning forward to whisper into Harry's ear like a child telling his best friend a secret.
"The wards aren't to keep them from affecting me, Harry. They're to keep me from affecting them..."
One month later
Harry was a wreck, the dementors had happily been replaying his worst memories non-stop, dissecting his mind for every terrible thing he had ever gone through. He had long ago given up on the concept of sleeping and had lost track of time the same day.
He wasn't sure if he had been here for a day, a month, a year..All he knew where the horrors he had lived in his life, and who he had to blame for being here. His throat had long ago gone raw, but according to Azor, who seemed completely unphased by the dementors, he had said quite a few nasty things about Dumbledore.
Right then, he was curled up in a corner, rocking back and forth as he relived the terrible moment of his godfather's death over and over. He could hear Bellatrix screaming in the cell next to him, for Azor had removed his silencing charm.
Then, all of a sudden it stopped. The feeling of despair receded, and the biting cold fell back. Harry cried in relief as his mind cleared for the first time in days, he almost fainted when it began functioning again, so pleasurable was the experience.
"And how are you on this fine day..Or night..Day..Ah, what does it matter?"
"What..?" groaned Harry, turning around to look at Azor through half closed eyes.
Azor waved his hand absently at him and turned to a crack in the wall, his finger stroking the air about an inch away from it, reverently.
"I could help you escape, Harry."
"How? You're an old wreck in the most secure place in Azkaban." He spat out bitterly, clutching at his tattered robes, desperate for even a scrap of warmth. He almost felt bad about speaking in such a tone, but honestly, what could Azor do? And he had stopped caring by now...
"Well...that is where you come in. I will die soon, of that I am certain. And if I die in here, my soul will just float around, trapped by the wards until Azkaban crumbles into rui- Well, dust. It's already a ruin, wouldn't you say?" he paused, looking fervently at Harry. "Bah, I ramble, there is a way for you to escape."
"I have found a weakness in the wards. Voldemort shook this prison to its foundations when he broke out his death eater scum a few years ago, or months...I lose track of time easily. The complacent fools who guard this hell did not even bother to check the protection surrounding my cell." He scoffed and scratched his beard, turning to face Harry fully.
"Then what are we waiting for? Break us out and let's be done with it?" Harry was beginning to think there was much more to Azor than just bright eyes and a surprisingly eloquent tongue, but that would have to wait.
"All in good time, lad, all in good time." His eyes were now hard, blazing with purpose. "Come here." He grunted, motioning towards Harry.
Nodding slowly, Harry edged forward, rubbing his filthy stubble nervously. "What are you going to do?"
The only answer he got was nigh on insane cackle, and a sickly green flash of light as two spindly hands slammed into his forehead. He let out a bloodcurdling scream, before all went black.
Albus Dumbledore sat quietly in his office, his fingers laced together carefully under his chin. Ever since he had tossed Harry into Azkaban he had felt an unpleasant niggling of doubt deep down. Had he done the right thing?
Of course he had, he was never wrong. He could simply not risk another Dark Lord so soon, and what he had seen of the crime scene had horrified him.
Harry hadn't simply killed them, he had torn them apart with excruciating slowness. He thought he was seeing the work of Bellatrix Black for Merlin's sake!
No, guilt would simply not do. He had done the right thing.
His fire flared green and out stepped Arthur Weasley. The balding man turned to Dumbledore and nodded politely. He, like all the others was quite subdued by Harry's actions. He looked terrible, but he had done what needed to be done.
"I passed your message to the Aurors, Albus. They sent Harry to the maximum security cells." He said in a subdued voice.
Dumbledore looked at him, his eyes twinkling. He needed to ease his friends guilt, this was for the good of the Wizarding world.
"I know you loved your daughter Arthur, and I must say I am glad that her killers are gone. But surely you see as well as me that we could not risk Harry delving deeper down this path? I understand your guilt, but we must take no risks. We could not allow a cold-blooded killer free rein."
Nodding dumbly, Arthur turned away once more, and was about to step into the fire when he turned around. "Oh, I just remembered Albus. They said they had to put him with some old man in a maximum security cell, there weren't any others left." He frowned, looking down at the slip of paper in his hand.
"I took the liberty of making an inquiry. I didn't want them killing each other. What's strange is that I found nothing about him...No name, nothing. Nobody even knows for how long he's been in there. I thought you should know."
"Yes, thank you Arthur…" That was interesting, he'd have to make inquiries of his own about this mystery cellmate…
AN: Hey everybody! This is my first fanfiction so I hope you all enjoy it. :) I'm here to learn so please don't hesitate to post constructive criticism. Any flaming will be ignored.
If you have any questions, ideas or concerns about my story either post a review or PM me and I'll try to get back to you as soon as possible.
This story won't have any bashing, and it will be a Dark!Harry/Bellatrix pairing. He WILL stay dark.
Sorry for the short chapter but it was more of a prologue than anything else, the next ones will be much longer.
I will post one chapter every week. Expect the next one on Saturday, reviews are appreciated. :) I won't hold this story hostage but they sure are encouraging and/or helpful.
Credits to Pseudolirium for the art