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All Of The King's Horses

Chapter Text

The street was very quiet leading up to number 4 privet drive, no one was around everyone was tucked into bed; no sound was heard save for the chittering chatter of cicadas and the occasional bark of a dog from a neighbor’s yard.

The thick humid heat of late July coiled in the air like a vast smothering fog.

In the second bedroom adorning the right of the house closest to Dudley’s but far smaller in size he turned over on his cot, his overly large blue hand me down number seven sports jersey stuck stickily to his chest and underarms as he shifted on the bed.

His lower half was fairing no better as sweat soaked matching loose navy shorts hung low on his narrow hips exposing tan skin to the eye of any on looker.

At least they had taken the bloody bars off his window this summer, so he could finally open the damned thing for hopes of even the inkling of a breeze of wind to flow through it.

Wiping the back of his hand over his raven fringe he rubbed messily at the throbbing of his famous scar. His fingers tapped aimlessly against his bedspread which really only consisted of a thin scratchy sheet thrown over an old dusty twin sized mattress that uncle Vernon had found at a garage sale somewhere.

Wishing he could cast a wandless tempus charm he groaned, it should be only more than a minute more. He could be patient after all he’d spent most of his life waiting for something more, anything at all and where had that lead him?

You’re a bloody fucking wizard Harry! Oh and by the way, you have to defeat an evil dark lord who has a legion of bat shit crazy followers. But no rush really, I mean you’re only a teenager. No one really asked if he’d wanted to defeat anyone either. This wasn’t Star Wars or the Lord of the Rings damn it.

All the evil dark lords of the world could go bugger them selves with their wands for all he cared.

He blew out a frustrated sigh making Hedwig let out a curious but sleepy hoot from the corner of the room in her cage. Smiling gently to her she crooned before shifting on her perch and falling back asleep.

Things seemed to slow down and speed up all at the same time. The sweat coating his body suddenly chilled as more beads of sweat sprung forth and beaded on his skin making him shiver. His heart sped up ricocheting against his rib cage as if wishing to leap right out of his chest.

When Ron had briefly spoke in passing conversation that some witches and wizards went into a weird magical inheritance on their sixteenth birthday he hadn’t really been paying much mind to it. Hermione on the other hand had been listening in rapt attention jotting down anything she could get out of the conversation that proved to be useful.

He let out a soft whimper as his blood lit in his veins feeling like molten lava pulsing throughout his body.

“Fuck...” He bit his lip drawing blood.

Dark splotches were encroaching on his already bad vision as he desperately squinted his eyes blinking as wetness leaked out the sides of them down his temples.

His head felt like it was going to explode, his scar pulsed unhappily as if in time with his distress.

He felt something tingling, a building at his very core. Then suddenly everything was swallowed up in an inky blackness and he knew no more and let go.

________________________________________________________

Wild flowers bloomed every which way in the valley, as crisp white clouds filtered in over head. A soft warm enchanting breeze is felt as the twinkling of a bell is heard.

A tall inky black cloaked figure appears in the middle of the field of flowers standing out like a sore thumb.

A woman with floor length hair seemingly spun of pure gold sits before the odd figure. Her skin the color of the rich earth, her eyes the color of the greenest leaves. She wore a simple white sundress.

She smiled up at him as she wiggled her bare toes in the soil “So what do you think? Do you think he can do it?”

“Well you know me, I do love my bets. What would you wager on this mortal’s venture?” Spoke the cloaked figure.

“Tisk, I don’t dare bet on my poor magi! But perhaps, just this once. This one seems especially interesting wouldn’t you say?” Giggled the girl her voice sounded bemused.

“I don’t know what you see in your little magi, they are killing you as time goes by.” Growled the male.

She lets out a soft sigh her eyes soften taking on a sad look, “Oh, but they are worth every bit of the pain that I go through. I love my children, you should too. After all you had your favorites, those brothers for instance. You gave them treasures did you not?”

“And I regret it to this day, no magi has tried to collect all three artifacts since. I fear the outcome if they dared to try, no magi has even come close to being worthy of my gifts.” The male sniffs indignantly.

“I bet that Harry James Potter, can reforge Tom Marvolo Riddle anew sane and whole; thus changing the course and the flow of time and outcome of the withering wizarding world so says I so mote it be.”

Letting out a choked noise of shock the male snorts, “And if he does not, you wager too much.”

“Then I give you both Tom Marvolo Riddle and Harry James Potter to reap for your own benefits, consuming their souls would bring you joy would it not brother?”

“Gaia you are too generous, you know not what you offer.” He frowned.

“Or perhaps I know what you do not know, and will not see hmm?”

Death chuckles softly, “Very well my beloved sister, I agree to your terms.”

“Oh good, I thought you would be a stick in the mud about it.” She giggled again.

“So what will you do with him?” He murmured watching the glow of the blue soul, marred only by a tinge of blackish red that pulsed in the very center of it.

Gaia cupped the soul gently in her small hands, “For one I think Tom deserves a gift.”

Death snorted yet again, “A gift? Of what sort?”

Smiling wickedly Gaia blows on the soul and the blackish red tinge pulsing in the center dislodges and floats into the air, “Now you wicked thing, you go back to your owner won’t you?”

The partial glowing piece of blackish red soul emits a low garble of hisses before zooming out of sight.

“Did you just do what I think you just did?”

“If you mean to ask if I just sent a sliver of Tom’s soul back to him? Then yes, yes I did.” She grinned, “He won’t be completely insane now at least, and that should help the poor dear see that Harry isn’t trying to harm him.”

“That was not part of our bargain dearest sister.”

“Oh, dear are you afraid of losing already?” She chortled before leaning down to kiss the blue soul still cupped in her palms.

“Hmph...I should think not.”

“Good then, now Harry will have a fair chance where as before he would not have.” Letting go of the blue soul she whistles softly, “Go home now Harry may you follow your heart and not be afraid of where it leads you.”

The blue orb floats lazily in the air unsure at first before like the one before it zooms off to it’s body and owner.

“Let the games begin.” Smirks Death.

Chapter Text

The rain seemed to have come from nothing at all. Pelting against the closed glass of the window pane as thunder crackled over head. He wasn’t quite sure what had awoken him.

Perhaps it was the sudden lurch of breath escaping him. Or maybe it was the feeling of something painfully clicking into place as it wedged deep into his very being digging until it met his magical core becoming one with it.

Crimson eyes opened half laden and dazed, now sporting flecks of grey blue. Just what in the name of Morgana had happened? He could neither recall falling asleep, nor could he remember the last time he had been weakened by such a mortal aliment such as sleep to need to do so.

The warm scaled body of Nagini shifted as she tasted the air with her tongue, "Master? You smell less sick now, after you passed out I kept your body safe and warm.”

Frowning Voldemort rubbed his face only to slowly pull his hand away from his face to stare at it in a mix between confusion and wonder. His skin was no longer a horrific translucent paleness, but the alabaster pale he knew from his young adulthood. His fingernails were no longer sharp and disfigured to resemble claws, but trimmed proper and normal.

Groaning softly at the pain he felt in his chest and head he turned to his familiar “When did I pass out Nagini? What happened exactly?”.

Thankfully nothing more seemed to have changed save for a few physical attributes.

The snake warily watched her master curiously, “You have fur again as well so that you know, I always thought you looked rather well with that odd fur that you were born with a top your head.”
Sighing in frustration at her sidetracked comment he attentively carded his long fingers through his newly grown short dark brown hair, “…You mean hair Nagini, but I have no time for your insistent ramblings.”

Making a hissing sort of chuckle Nagini bobbed her head up and down in a nod as she continued, “Master fell to the floor very abruptly after stumbling into the room from your new study that the snooty blonde human gave to you. I had been minding my own business lounging in my nest eating in the corner of the study when suddenly a glowing circular light appeared out of thin air and rammed into your chest.”

His frown deepened into a confused grimace, “Circular light…? What did this light look like? Do you have any more information about this said “circular light” Nagini?”

Nagini looked thoughtful for a moment before tasting the air with her long thin forked tongue, “It smelled like Master, and even hissed at me before fusing with you.”

Voldemort sat up from the floor careful as to not shove off his familiar to the cold floor, nevertheless Nagini hissed in annoyance at being moved from the warmth of his chest.

Draping her around his shoulders, she curled around his arms and waist with ease, “How much time has passed?”

His familiar looked at him dumbly her yellow silted eyes annoyed as if he had asked her a stupid question, “I cannot be sure, but I think it is early morning hours now Master, so you have been out for quite some time. Also, Master….I must say I am disappointed to say you look decidedly more human. Did the ball of light take away your beauty?” If the snake could pout she would be doing so.

He snorted as he slowly got to his feet and made his way toward the full length mirror in his bedroom.

Stumbling back a step from the mirror his crimson eyes widened comically. He had not quite lost the serpentine look to his features, he no longer had silts for a nose for one but his cheekbones were still rather hollow looking. All in all he had seemed to have spontaneously regained some of his past good looks from his younger adult years making him look somewhere in his early to mid thirties.

“This ball of light or whatever it was…I think I might in theory know…but no…it could not possibly be.” He ran a palm down his face in frustration his anger getting the better of him, “That damnable boy was this his doing?"

“You smell more fleshy now Master, perhaps it took away your pretty scales and made you more humanish?” Nagini questioned sadly before looking curious again, “Boy? You mean the young hatchling that smells like you?”

Now it was his turn to be confused, he looked down at his familiar, “Why do you call him Hatchling? Potter would have no reason to…resemble my scent in any shape or form!”

Nagini bobbed her head again letting out a chortling hiss at his anger, “Because Master, he is like me.”

Voldemort’s heart nearly stopped beating before speeding up in a frenzied panic, “Like you?! When were you going to clue me in on that little tid bit of information Nagini?!”

His magic swirled and crackled around the room as the mirror before him cracked and shattered, the candle flames in the room burst higher before snuffing out in a wisp of inky smoke plunging the room in complete darkness save for the occasional jagged streak of lightning that passed in the skies outside the window.

The snake huffed out a hiss her yellow eyes glowing in the darkness as she glared into her Master’s angry crimson ones, “Well you were always the smart one Master, I figured you knew! After all you were in his mind recently were you not?”

He collapsed into a chair and cupped his face in his hands covering it completely as he seethed trying to control his anger.

”The young hatchling reminds me much of the young you Master. He is powerful, craving attentions from anyone who will give it to him, trying to prove himself to be better than all of the others around him. The hatchling smells of brokenness, the sharp and bitter sickness of hidden wounds, and of you.” Nagini continued when he did not speak.

“I cannot believe I missed it, all of this time wasted trying to end a piece of myself no less! He must be protected at all costs not harmed. My little human horcrux Harry Potter this shall be ever so interesting, don’t you think Nagini?” He smirked behind his hands as a familiar insane gleam glimmered in his eyes.

Nagini hissed happily as if crooning in response, “I shall protect him Master. Does this mean he shall be coming to live with us?”

“A very valid question my dear.” He smiled a charming smile reminiscent of a young Tom Riddle.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

“My lord has been taking a while has he not? Perhaps someone should check on him?” Lucius ventured softly to his right at a certain potion’s master who was seated at the long dining room table across from his family.

Draco shifted nervously to his left as if his skin was bound too tightly over his bones; the undersides of his eyes were lined deeply with bruising blackish blue from lack of sleep.

Narcissa herself sat primly her back straight like an iron rod, her hands folded but white knuckled in her lap.

Lifting a black eyebrow Severus scoffed snorting slightly, “Do I look like a house elf?”

Snickering in an unhinged way seated beside her sister Bellatrix giggled and snorted loudly covering her lips with her hand, “Severus Snape trying to makes jokes, never thought I’d see the day! You should definitely try it more often. I don’t get any enjoyment anymore out of these lil’ get togethers; there’s not nearly enough screaming happening for my tastes.” She grinned a vicious toothed smirk at his instantaneous black storm cloud of a scowl.

Bellatrix frowned after a moment, “But wait a mo’ you aren’t wrong are you! My lord has been rather quiet tonight.” She nibbled on her bottom lip until it began bleeding.

“One of us will have to go to check on him, it has been several hours and he still has not graced us with his presence for the appointed scheduled meeting.” Narcissa spoke crisply her nose turned upward in a mocking way.

“You want one of us to go and check on one of the most powerful dark lords in history, to wake him perhaps from a nap? Like one would a child? Cissa’ do try to be serious.” Severus sneered as he barred his teeth.

“Now, now Severus no need to be rude. We are all friends here after all.” Narcissa breathed out, her icy dark blue eyes only letting on to her annoyance and anger.

Lucius placed a calming hand on his wife’s thigh before speaking, “Nevertheless—“

The sound of bare feet walking against hardwood floor draws their attentions right away.

“Oh look, the snooty blonde’s spawn is here! May I have a bite of him Master? Pretty please? I promise not to poison or kill him.” Nagini hissed excitedly from his shoulders her keen yellow eyes watching Draco with interest.

“No you may not, the Malfoy spawn may prove to be useful someday after he’s grown out of his sniveling coward ways.”

Sitting at the head of the table Voldemort scratches the underside of Nagini’s neck rubbing her scales in a way that makes the familiar calm.

Bellatrix is nearly out of her seat her hands flat on the table, her dark near obsidian eyes full of awe, “My Lord, is…is that you?”

Everyone seated at the table seemed transfixed and in shock.

“Would anyone else but Lord Voldemort be able to calm Nagini?” Voldemort rolled his eyes at the question.

Seating herself again Bellatrix nodded looking thoroughly chastised, “NO! Of course not my Lord! Only you have that power….” She trailed off as her eyes roamed his face obvious lust hazing off her like a bad perfume.

“My Lord, if I may…?” Severus begins.

A wave of a hand from Voldemort to continue is all that was needed, “How, have you…” The potions master swallowed thickly, “How have you managed to regain your looks?”

Using wandless magic Voldemort makes goblets of wine appear in front of everyone seated, though no one dared make a move to touch or drink from them.

Smirking some he looked Snape in the eye, “Now Severus, that would be telling. And you do not have anything of value I would want to trade to impart such knowledge.”

“B-but my Lord I---“

With the swift movement of his hand he pulled his yew wand from his robes faster than anyone could blink and pointed it at the dark greasy haired man, “Crucio” Falling back from his chair and into a painful twitching twisted heap on the floor Severus howled in pain, though he was being far quieter than most that were put under this certain unforgivable by Lord Voldemort.

Flicking the yew wand upright after a minute or so, the unforgivable ceased, “Any other questions?” He surveyed the table’s company his wicked eyes glinting with a promise of pain to anyone who spoke out again.

Panting from where he was on the floor Severus hung his head and grit his teeth in agony from the aftershocks of the curse.

Draco was paler than a sheet of paper, all blood having fled his face after seeing his godfather being held under the curse.
“No, my lord.” Lucius spoke as he bowed his head.

Narcissa in turn bowed her as well, as Bellatrix eagerly nodded showing willing submissiveness all the while watching him from under her eyelashes with unsuppressed glee.

“I want the Potter boy found immediately; It has taken far too long of a time to find his summer location.” His eyes swept over Snape’s form who had only just now managed to sit upright, “Severus. Do tell, what has Dumbledore said to you in regards to the boy’s whereabouts; do speak up and speak clearly. I also I do warn you, do not lie to me for I shall know if you are not so forthcoming.”

Snape knelt clumsily before the dark lord, his shoulders shaking from exertion to keep from crumpling over in the after effects of all his nerves being caught on fire at once, “My Lord, all I know is that in the summer months he lives with his aunt, uncle, and cousin. I know not his location, and besides the wards woul—“

A mere flick of the yew wand had Snape withering in pain yet again, “I said no lies! Lord Voldemort is losing patience, now let us try this again shall we?”

Gasping for air Severus groaned trying not to scream as the curse was again lifted, “P-Please…m-my lord I do not…” His lips were wet with blood from biting his tongue and lips in a stubborn attempt to keep himself from screaming.
“As for the wards they are of no consequence anymore, I have Potter’s blood ruining within my veins once I step foot on the grounds the wards shall inevitably fall.”

Snape's resolve crumbled, his mind became more incoherent as his courage left him entirely, “Number 4….Privet Drive… Little Whinging, Surrey.”

Smirking widely Voldemort curls his fingers around the bottom of Snape’s chin to look him in the eyes, “Now, was that so very hard?”

Pushing Snape’s face away roughly Voldemort stands, “Clean yourself up, and get out of my sight.”

“Y-Yes My Lord…”

“What of us My Lord? Do you need help in retrieving the boy?” Lucius questioned softly his head still bowed.

“I will collect the boy myself, as it would seem that you are all becoming quite incompetent as of late.” With that he swept out of the room his robes flowing out behind him as he disappeared from sight with a resounding crack.

Chapter Text

Waking was like being set on fire, everything hurt and itched. His bones ached in time to the uncomfortable burning sensation his skin was enduring. His senses came back all at once, hitting his head like a sledge hammer in the mid swing of a full force of a strike.

Harry’s mouth felt as if it were full of cotton, and to make matters worse it was dry as desert sand which nearly made him gag. Licking his cracked and chapped lips he shivered now at the cooling sweat on him, he felt freezing. Which he decided as an afterthought might be a bad thing considering it was summer.

Thunder boomed outside his window, jarring the teenager from his run on thoughts. Finally giving notice to the rain that was pouring in from the open window he cursed and stood on wobbly legs quickly nearly falling in the process of trying to slam it closed.

Harry didn’t notice the shadows dancing in the corner of his room, nor did he give notice to what stepped out of them.

For a long pause Voidemort stood very silent and still as he surveyed the boy scrambling from his cot toward the window. But the moment was broken as soon as it started when Harry turned back around and blinked at him owlishly in the dimness of the room.

“I don’t suppose I’m still asleep am I? But then again if I was why in Merlin’s saggy tits am I dreaming about you of all people? At least you've got a nose this go 'round…” The teen rambled out nervously.

Frowning deeply the dark lord moved forward quick as lightning his slender long fingers quickly taking hold as they wrapped themselves around the teen’s too thin of a throat. It was like holding a baby bird in his palm, fragile and easily broken or ended, “Dreaming? If only you could be so lucky Potter.”

Dazed cautious emerald orbs gaze upward into menacing crimson eyes as the taller of the two’s grip tightens ever so slightly. The brave Harry Potter, the boy who lived who defied him time and time again remained slack and lifeless in his hold. It would only be too easy to snap the pitiful whelp’s little neck. But those eyes, why did they effect him so?

“Are you ‘gonna kill me anytime soon tonight or can I sit down for a five minute break?” Harry rasped out sassily as if tempting fate.

Voldemort’s grip loosens before his hand fell away entirely, his eyebrows furrow together in confusion and annoyance, “You still think this is just a bad dream Potter?”

Harry ambled toward his bed and sat down gingerly before eyeing Voldemort, “I dunno my dreams tend to be a tad more scary and painful to be honest. Dark lords who suddenly grow hair and noses are decidedly less scary than bald noseless ones I guess? I usually can’t wake up from my night terrors until Uncle Vernon or Aunt Petunia throws something at my head.”

The boy’s explanation gave Voldemort pause, this version of Harry Potter was nothing like the one he’d previously encountered, he was almost inferi like in nature and wholly lackluster personality wise. Where was the so called Gryffindor fire he was used to facing? The deviance and bravery, had it all been some elaborate act he was forced to don every time they fought?

“You look confused.” Harry spoke after a moment as his hands gripped the fabric of his shorts in a fidgeting manner of ill ease, “If you’re here to kill me I guess you would have done so already, so that just makes me curious as to why you're really here?”

The teenager rubbed his fringe gingerly his skin still burning ever so slightly.

Growling the older wizard took a step forward again, “Lord Voldemort is the one who questions others, not the other way around boy.”

Snorting softly Harry’s lips twitched upward ever so slightly as he blew out a strained breath of air in amusement, “I never could get over how you sometimes speak in third person. Where the hell did that come from anyway? Is that something they teach in “How to become a Dark Lord” class? I really must be awake…I doubt I could come up with all these details on my own.”

“The hatchling is ill Master, he smells of the sweet scent of fever.” Nagini spoke from his shoulders, “His scent is clouded and has changed….he is no longer quite like me; but I wonder if he has still retained some gifts...”

Stalking up to Harry, Voldemort splays one hand over the thin pale jagged lightning scar on the teenager’s forehead.

Flinching expecting to feel immense pain at the touch Harry’s eyes clench shut.

“If you let me in it will hurt far less, if at all.”Came the silky drawl of Voldemort.

Feeling a slight painful tugging at his natural mental shielding Harry grimaced in pain but tried to relax as his mind’s walls were forcefully shattered.

“Be more gentle Master, he is untrained and not in the best of conditions!” Nagini hissed angrily.

“There is an imprint of soul magic lingering about enough to still leave the connection we both hold, but the horcrux as a whole is gone. How it was removed without damaging the host I have no idea…” The Dark lord pulled his hand free of the flushed fevered skin of the youth before him.

Harry opened his eyes in confusion speaking accidentally in Parseltongue instead of english, “Host…? What’s a horcrux?”

Nagini’s golden silted eyes shot to the boy’s emerald ones, “Speaker! He is like you Master. I knew he was to be treasured.”

Frowning somewhat Voldemort glares down at Harry his crimson eyes glinting with veiled interest, “So it would seem.”

Glaring dizzily back at the Dark lord Harry frowned deeply, “I am right here you know, don’t speak about me as If I’m not even in the room!”

Chuckling darkly Voldemort curls his fingers around Harry’s wrist in a forceful bruising hold pulling the fevered teen to his feet, “You would like to be addressed properly is that it Potter?”

Cringing he tugged feebly against the taller wizard’s grip on his arm, “I’m not an object, I may be a freak but I’m a proper person.”

Voldemort’s lip curled back in a wordless growl his eyes flashing dangerously, “You will watch your tongue boy, before I pull it out of your mouth in punishment.”

Without warning they disapparated with a booming crack that which the teenage boy was more than certain had probably woken up Harry’s relatives.

Though that was hardly something he should be worried about at this moment in time he supposed.

When the swirling colors of scenery formed and pieced back together again Harry had the strongest urge to vomit but held it back behind tightly closed lips and gritted teeth. That was the very last thing he should do right now! To puke on the Dark lord; that was a death sentence if he ever did hear one.

Immediately upon arriving, his wrist was freed but unfortunately for Harry he didn’t seem to know where his balance had gone to and toppled to the floor with a thud.

“Get up.” Snapped the Dark lord menacingly.

“Master, help him! Do not be mean to the hatchling!” Nagini hissed angrily.

“Fuck you, I take it back…I’m gonna puke all over you once I can tell which one of you is real.” Harry slurred, “And I ‘dun care if you kill me for it.”

A chuckle almost escapes him at the boy’s foolish bravado, but he quickly stamps down the urge to do so in overwhelmed disgust.

Scowling down at the lump of a teenager at his feet he spoke, “You are extremely lucky that your worth is proving to be far more than you could ever hope to currently understand.”

A sharp inhalation of breath is heard and a flurry of footsteps.

Next thing the boy knows he feels a strong callused hand smooth back the messy fringe on his forehead, it felt cool and nice against his fevered skin.

Voldemort shushes Nagini with a palm to her head, before eyeing the two before him and speaking, “Ah Severus, good to see that you are still present; tend to the boy and have him delivered to my quarters, and do tell Narcissa to get him out of those dreadful mundane rags.”

“My…lord…?” Severus spoke uncertainly.

Voldemort turned toward the stairs case, “Do not make me repeat myself again.”

“Yes my lord.” Snape responds softly, his pale face going slack and emotionless.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

“What is Potter doing here?” Draco spoke in a hushed curious tone to his mother as she gathered some clothing of her son’s that he had long since grown out of.

“Did you not understand what the Dark lord spoke of earlier? He was going out to collect young Mister Potter.” Narcissa eyed her son warily before walking into the hall.

Matching her pace quite easily Draco frowned deeper scowling childlishly, “But shouldn’t he be dead or something? Why is Severus healing him of all things? Why isn’t he in one of the dungeon rooms?”

Looking sideways at her son she sighed tiredly her ice blue eyes solemn, “Did you want him to be Draco?”

The blonde teenager looked taken aback by the question and quickly fell silent.

Did he want Potter to die as a prisoner of war? Or to be the Dark lord’s play thing? He didn’t really know what he wanted; I mean this was his arch rival of all things. He was supposed to get his karma; he was fucking scarhead for Morgana’s sake!

But this all seemed so wrong now that it was happening in reality.

“Was he truly and badly hurt? Is that why you said that Severus is healing him mother?”

“All that I was told was to get him fresh clothing, you will have to ask Severus for yourself Draco.” Narcissa spoke softly as if lost in her own barrage of thoughts.

-------------------------------------------------

In all his years as a spy Severus Snape never once thought he would see the day that the Dark Lord Voldemort, would spare the life of Harry Potter for even a moment. Let alone ask for him to be healed, and taken care of like a valued important guest.

Perhaps he had other uses for the boy? Did he even want to imagine what those uses would be?

Severus frowned looking down at the Potter brat. He looked so much like his father, yet at the same time he did not. His personality was every inch James Potter, for that he was certain. But there were times he would catch rare glimpses of the specs of Lily that the boy had inherited that shown like dappled sunlight through passing storm clouds once and a while.

He supposed that was more than likely the only reason that he even remotely cared about the damnable teenager at all. For Lily, always. He would protect the boy if need be, even at the risk of his own well-being.

The door creaked open and in walked Narcissa with Draco at her heels.

Narcissa looked conflicted as she gazed upon the famed boy savior of the wizarding world. Her icy blue eyes flickered up to Severus, “How is he fairing Severus?”

Scowling some Severus looked over the long list of aliments on hologram of the scanning charm screen, “He has spiked a high fever, there is a festering blood infection that would have killed him in the next day or so, a few bruised ribs, and it would seem on top of all of that he came into his inheritance magicks tonight.”

Harry Potter looked incredibly small on the large king sized bed, dressed in sweat soaked oversized muggle clothing that looked like it could fit three others inside the garments with him.

Looking aghast at the details Narcissa gracefully walked forward and started casting a wordless scourgify and other quick cleaning spells at the sick teenager; she busied herself to helping the boy change out of his soiled clothes.

She only gave slight pause at seeing the boy's protruding ribs, the intense bruising literally his too pale skin, and at the old scarring that the clothes had hidden from view. Gathering her wits quickly she replaced the old oversized rubbish with clean green silk pajamas embroidered with a cursive DM on the breast pocket of the shirt.

Draco’s face reddened as his mother stripped Harry, before paling as he took a good look at the emaciated form of his rival, “But...this isn’t what he’s supposed to go through…I mean he’s a bit of an overbearing jackarse Gryffindor but…this? How did he even get this bad? He’s supposed to be the savior of the Wizarding world for bloody fucking sake! Doesn’t that mean he’s to be treasured and spoiled and what not?”
Severus shared a knowing look with Narcissa before looking to Draco, “It would seem many misconceptions were born from past grudges that altered the way that we saw Harry Potter. It pains me to even utter these words, but we may not even know the real Potter at all.”

“Either way the boy is far from spoiled.” Narcissa snips at her son in a chastising tone, who in turn had the decency to look ashamed.

Moving toward the right side of the bed where Harry lye motionless, Severus gathered several potion vials in hand, “Draco I need your assistance while giving Mister Potter his potions. Support him from behind and make sure that he does not move.”

The blonde teenager swallowed thickly and opened his mouth as if to protest but the combined glares of both his mother and godfather made his mouth snap shut with a click of his teeth.

Hurriedly Draco climbed up onto the bed; he then moved behind the smaller ravenette as he hoisted him up off of the mattress, he aligned Harry’s back with his chest. Draco looped his arms gently around the undersides of Harry’s arms.

Uncorking potion after nasty smelling potion, the potion’s master managed to pry the unconscious brat’s mouth open wide enough to help him drink them without choking.

Harry coughed and sputtered weakly his eyes opening ever so slightly in a delirious green daze, “W-what..?”

“Hush now, go back to sleep little lion.” Narcissa soothes as she smoothed out the back of his bird nest of a hair style.

“Mmm…” He moans softly before drifting back under the blissful painless current of unconsciousness.

“How many potions does he need Severus?” Draco spoke worriedly despite his effort the curb it from his voice.

“He will need six in total at this present time, but if his infection and fever persists he will need two every four hours until his body stabilizes. You may lay him back down now.”

Stilling some Draco nods as he slowly shifts Harry back down against the pillows and eases off the bed to stand beside to his mother.

“What do you think the Dark lord wants with him mother?” Draco ventures to speak after a minute or two of pure silence.

“One can only imagine what is going on in such a wicked mind…” Narcissa whispers more to herself than to anyone else before adding a bit louder, “Quickly, we should leave the room before he arrives.”

“B-but mother…” Draco trailed off looking conflicted.

Severus places a strong calming hand against Draco’s shoulder, “If the Dark lord wished to kill Potter, he would have done so already before any of us could have stopped it. Heed your mother’s words and leave before anything else happens.”

Draco took one last backwards glance at Harry before rather reluctantly stepping into the hall leaving the other teenager behind.

Looking to Harry himself, the potions master sighed, “It would seem that you have more allies than enemies on your side than you would first assume to believe Potter.”

Chapter Text

The first thing Harry could properly articulate about this current moment in time was that it was fucking hot where ever he was. It was positively scorching!

His blood was a lit in his veins as if set on fire as it pumped a slew of magma up into his heart. Breathing burned, and was a task in its self; his insides churned unhappily as a wave of nausea over took him making his eyes snap open blearily.

“Nnnn…” He licked his dry cracked lips gritting his teeth to hold back the urge to vomit over the bedside. Pushing himself up onto his elbows was very difficult seeing as he felt as if the duvet over top of him weighed a couple tons.

Sweat beaded at his brow with strain as he blinked rapidly trying to make the room stop spinning and to get his eyes to come into focus. Slowly but surely a large beautifully decorated silver and green bedroom came into view before him.

Gradually sounds followed past the dull thrum of the blood rushing against his ear drums. He could also hear birds chirping and chittering from the branches outside of the window nearest to him. Thankfully the curtains were tied shut keeping out the harsh brightness of the sun.

The room was sparsely yet elegantly furnished, a dresser and a desk on one side of the room, as well as a few lavish armchairs all consisting in rather Slytherin looking color choices. Managing to push himself even further up onto his elbows Harry let out a puff of heated breath.

Where in great Morgana was he? His memories were a bit wonky at best all he could remember was dreaming up Voldemort and Nagini popping into his bedroom at number 4 Privet drive in the middle of the night.

But that couldn’t be right could it?

The doorknob turned and clicked open; the sound of long wizarding robes making a gliding rustling swish against the floor snapped him out of his thoughts. Confused emerald eyes met dark disdainful obsidian and in that moment Harry knew he hadn’t been dreaming.

“Snape?” His voice croaked out as loud as his dry throat would allow.

Frowning slightly Snape eyed him up and down briefly; an unidentifiable emotion flickered like a thin veil being layered over the older man’s features before it was replaced by his professor’s usual blank disinterested and condescending look of disgust when it came to dealing with him, “Potter, good you are awake. I will not have to attempt to force feed you the next batch of potions.”

The confusion must have shown on his face because the potion’s master let out an annoyed huff of a sigh and motioned to the bedside table where several bottled potions sat awaiting use.

“P-Proffesor what—“

“If you could refrain from your insistent incompetent drivel, I will explain before your pea sized brain explodes in its attempts to figure everything out.” Snape sweeps into the room agilely before picking up three potions and uncorking them delicately.

Looking back down at him Snape then seats himself in a chair next to the bed, “To put it quite simply the Dark Lord brought you here in the early morning hours, for what means I know not. I was ordered to correct all your aliments while Narcissa watches closely over your recovery.”

Harry eyed the potions warily, “Must I really take those?”

Holding back a bit of a sneer Snape sighs before glaring heatedly into Harry’s fevered emerald orbs; which were almost glowing eeriely in the candle light of the room. Not to mention without the boy’s usual horrid round wire rimmed glasses to obscure them from view they were much larger in appearance and far more noticeable than ever before, “If you do not intend to perish in the next few hours from blood poisoning, fever, and infection; I would think yes, you most certainly do Mister Potter.”

Taking the potions one by one Snape handed the fevered teen each to down as quickly as possible.

Harry grimaces and gagged but drank every last drop of each potion. He then held out the now empty vials in shaking clammy hands to the potion’s master when he had finished.

The potion’s master collected the empty vials and re-corked them before pocketing them and standing. He moved across the room and toward the door, only ever briefly looking back at Harry for a split second of hesitance before leaving the room without so much as another word.

Before he knew it Harry’s eye lids grew heavy and he drifted off to sleep.

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How much time had passed he could not say, but when he awoke again he knew right away that he was not alone. There was a long thick scaly body wrapped loosely around his torso and tangled interwoven with his legs underneath the blankets and sheets.

He came to realize quite quickly that the large warm winding snakelike body wrapped almost in a protective manner around his middle was none other than Nagini, the familiar of Voldemort. Her smooth scaly pale head was resting seated over his heart; he saw her tongue absently tasting the air every so often. But strangely enough he knew that wasn’t the presence that he had felt. Squinting his eyes to the right side of the bed he saw the ever imposing form of Lord Voldemort sitting in a chair, reading a book of all things peacefully as if they were just best friends and not arch enemies.

Harry took in the facial changes in the Dark Lord’s features, the older wizard’s face was now very aristocratic and dare he say handsome? Very reminiscent of his days as the ever gorgeous Tom Riddle whom once walked the halls of Hogwarts in the nineteen forties. The nose though, Harry still wasn’t used to seeing the usually serpentine like man not so snake like. Boy he really must be delirious if he was calling Voldemort handsome!

Looking up from the darkened well worn old pages of the tome he was reading Voldemort’s crimson eyes caught his wandering gaze, “I had expected you to be loud upon waking, you never cease to surprise me Harry Potter.”

Harry continued to be silent for a moment trying to assess the moment and what he could possibly reply to that, “Urm…I’m not normally loud upon waking up unless it’s from a night terror and well I oddly haven’t had any since well…since you um…brought me to where ever here is?”

Nagini shifted as her gold silted eyes flicked open as her tongue tastes Harry’s cheek making him tense slightly, “The hatchling is awake? He smells much better than before Master, not as sickly. No need to fear me hatchling, you are safe from my poison. Besides you are far too thin to eat, there is no meat on you for me to enjoy.”

Harry let out a wary hiccuping startled sort of laugh before easily slipping into parseltongue, “Well Nagini that is good to know I guess…but why are you on top of me?”

Nagini crooned at him her golden eyes lazy and amused as a snake could appear to be, “Because you are warm, and needed my protection young hatchling.”

Voldemort closed the old tome with a dusty snap making Harry look back to him, “Severus has informed me of your list of injuries and aliments prior to our journey here to Malfoy Manor. For being Dumbledore’s golden boy you sure have a knack for being mistreated and neglected by your supposed kin. What I do not quite understand is why you have chosen to say nothing to anyone about it.”Heated crimson eyes narrowed to silts.

Frowning some the teenager squirmed under the crimson gaze of his supposed enemy, “It was just a fever, Snape was over exaggerating. I’ve had plenty worse, at least I didn’t black out for days this time. ‘Sides if it got too bad I would have just asked Aunt Petunia for some tablets of aspirin.”

Voldemort studied Harry’s face and mulled over his words. His anger only grew by the whitening grip of his long elegant fingers gripped against his dress robes on his knees. Which in turn sent spikes of pain through Harry’s scar.

Wincing something fierce Harry groaned, “Fuck….bloody hell you need anger management! Stop sending your pissed off feelings through our connection!”

Blinking slightly Voldemort’s anger slowly dissipated and a wall was slammed down like a door promptly shutting the connection between them.

Panting some Harry glares, “Why are you so angry anyway? You’re the one who kidnapped me shouldn't I be the one angry here? By the way, why aren’t I dead yet?”

Snorting Voldemort picks a bit of invisible lint off of his robes, “Do you wish to die Harry Potter?”

Blinking owlishly Harry eyed him oddly, “Is that a question? Or an option of some sort? Like a “What’s behind door number two” kinda thing?” He rambled back at the Dark lord.

Looking at him just as oddly Voldemort’s eyebrows furrowed in confusion, “Door number two…? Stop speaking in riddles boy, speak plainly or not at all!”

Sighing the raven teen frowned, “For starters I dun’ think anyone in their right state of mind wants to die so readily, so why would you ask in the first place? Secondly isn’t it like your life long Dark Lord Mission and aspiration to have my head on a silver platter, or to I dunno...gloat over my cold dead corpse?”

Frowning a bit before steeling his expression Voldemort lifted an eyebrow, “For someone who states that he does not wish to die, you are standing on very thin ice with your questioning ways boy. Lord Voldemort does not take kindly to rudeness. You seem not to fear for your life at all, you lack self preservation. Why might the golden boy of the Light side of the war, the very savior of the wizarding world be so flippant about his own well being?”

Harry looked away from the questioning crimson gaze of his supposed enemy. His fingers gripped the bed covers in a white knuckled grip before he looked back up at said crimson eyes. His own emerald ones looking somber and battle wary, worn, and tired; too much so for someone of his age group.

“Perhaps I’m tired of the fighting. I’m tired of being walked on, battered and bruised. I’m tired…of everything lately. Sometimes I just wish to sleep and not wake up at all ever again.” He murmured softly before continuing, “So many people have died because of me already. How many more will I add to the list by the end of this?”

The dark lord seemed to absorb everything he was saying like a sponge, a strange expression flickering over his face before disappearing so quickly Harry wondered if it had been a trick of the candle light.

“I may not want to die, but I guess I’m not afraid to? Does that make sense?” Harry questioned suddenly confusion weighing heavily on his tired features.

Nagini hisses softly, “The little hatchling is broken minded Master, we must fix him! Show him he is to be treasured and revered!”

Harry laughed softly as he ran his pale fingers under the underside of the large snake's chin rubbing her scales gently, “Why would I be treasured or revered by the dark side of the war? The death eaters want my guts smeared across the walls, well at least Bellatrix might…”

Frowning deeply Voldemort stands abruptly, “Nagini, watch the boy make sure he does not leave this room, as for visitors make sure no one but Narcissa or Severus enter other than myself.”

Bobbing her head slightly to the side Nagini turned her gold silted eyes to her master, “As you wish Master.”

“Oi, you kidnapped me and brought me to the Malfoy’s of all places?! You owe me a bloody well good explanation as to why I’m here and not being tortured of in the dungeons….”

Lifting one elegant eyebrow at Harry, Voldemort held back a snort in response, “Would you rather be in the dungeons? That can be arranged for you Potter.”

Squirming a bit Harry looked like he just bit into a rather sour lemon, “Urm…well no I suppose not…but you aren’t making any bloody sense! You are Lord Voldemort, the most powerful dark lord of the wizarding world….and kind of my enemy? Why are you treating me so strangely?”

Voldemort turns showing his back to Harry so he cannot see the expression on the dark lord’s face.

“Lord Voldemort does as he pleases; no explanation is needed nor necessary to those involved.” The dark lord then sweeps out of the room quickly leaving Harry with even more questions now than when he first began.

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Narcissa has long since prided herself in not questioning how the Dark lord’s mind worked the majority of her life thus far, but even she had her exceptions. The boy being here raised many red flags. His presence was already causing a stir among the inner circle, not to mention her own family members.

She could tell that her sister was up to no good and already plotting something amongst herself with the many voices trapped inside of her warped little mind.

Draco was a ball anxiety and conflicted feelings on the matter, though for the life of her she could not bring herself to fault him. Her Dragon was a very sensitive boy, he always had been even as a small child. To see the tables turned so oddly and fast on all of them all it was no wonder her son was confused as how to act or feel about it all.

Sighing she tucked a stray platinum blonde tress behind her ear as she walked toward the usual bedchambers of the Dark lord. She knew he was likely not with Potter at the moment, so it was safe for her to take care of some of the boy’s needs in the meantime.

Knocking once before entering she steeled her back straight as possible before walking primly into the room taking in her surroundings. The air was thick with the scent of sweat; wrinkling her nose in disgust she cast a wordless scourgify as well as a couple other cleaning charms to clear the mess and stink of the room and on the boy.

The dark lord’s familiar was watching her lazily as if daring her to come closer, while the boy slumbered snoring only ever so softly it could barely be heard and she would have thought him dead other than for the steady rise and fall of his chest.

Edging carefully toward the bed she surveys Potter’s appearance.

The boy, no, young man she mentally corrected herself was looking less and less of the Potter line as he grew. Especially without the traditional eye wear and bad eyesight of that said family. His raven locks seemed sleeker a tad longer, highlighted with very dark hues of burgundy here and there so dark that it almost went unnoticeable.

Clearing her throat she eyed him, “Potter.”

Blinking sleepily the teenager stirred ever so slowly before opening his eyes completely.

She nearly gasped at the color of his eyes, they reminded her very much of the killing curse. Biting her lip she frowned minutely, “Are you very much awake now?”

Sitting up slowly he eyed her curiously, “Mrs.Malfoy…?”

Sighing she nodded, “I’ve been tasked by the Dark lord himself, to make sure you are well and taken care of. How are you feeling today?”

Blinking some he replied softly, “Well I don’t feel like I was hit by a train anymore, so that’s always a plus I guess? Why are you asking?”

“As your caretaker I’m to see to all your needs and aid in your recovery that Severus is not in charge of; such as your malnutrition problems.”

“I eat just fine thanks.” Harry snapped back his hackles rising instantanously.

“Your ribs would say otherwise Mister Potter.” Narcissa states crisply making him wince in defeat before she continued on,“If you are amenable to the idea and are capable of physically walking without much strife, I would like you to come to the dining hall and join Draco and I for lunch.”

He stared at her as if she’d grown a second head out of the side of her pretty pale neck, “You want…you want me to eat lunch with you and Malfoy jr.?” He sputtered out his mind not completely comprehending the invitation.

Rolling her icy blue eyes Narcissa nods again and then speaks as in a tone of voice that one would use when speaking to a very small child or someone far less intelligent than one's self, “What is your answer Mister Potter? It is not so terrible of an idea, and I am more than sure you are to be quite hungry by now.”

Frowning some he was about to reject said offer but his stomach took that very moment to give him away very loudly in protest of his decision.

Waving her wand she magics some of Draco’s old clothing out of thin air, “Dress into these, I will give you a few minutes to change. I will be waiting outside the door, do not dawdle I will not wait all day for you to grace us with your presence.”

Walking outside of the room she closes the door behind her.

This was odd even on her side of things. Potter being here would be the start of a chain reaction. Whether it would be a good or bad one for the entirety of the wizarding world she could not foretell, but there would be consequences. That much she knew for certain.

Great changes and consequences for both sides of the war indeed, may the Gods have mercy on them all.

Chapter Text

After Narcissa had left the room Nagini uncurled from around his body and slithered into the discarded bedding where the warmth of Harry’s body having previous been still lingered on the bed.

Pausing momentarily he stood barefoot on the carpet his toes wiggling for a moment before he decided to stop stalling and change from his sleep clothes into the garments given to him by Draco’s mother.

This all felt like some very odd dream.

As if he were Alice, from Alice in wonderland; but instead of falling down a rabbit hole or through a looking glass he had fallen into an alternate universe.

One where all his previous notions of the Dark side of the magical war and it’s inner workings seemed to be turned completely upside down on its head.

A snort passed from his lips as he blew some of his bangs out of his eyes and rolled them.

I mean come on now! In what universe did Lord Voldemort in all seriousness not want to kill him? Why would the most powerful Dark lord for centuries kidnap him from his horrid relatives in the middle of the night? Not only to have him healed, but tended to like a wounded baby bird that had fallen from a high branch on a tree; With having Malfoy jr.’s mother and Snape help heal him of all people? Life couldn't suddenly be any weirder if it tried.

The majority of it lacked sense or meaning, not to mention the last time he’d come face to face with Voldemort well; he had been decidedly less sane in ways of conversation and more unforgivable curse flinging with his yew wand at his person.

But then again his dreams never tended to be weird. Depressing and scary yes perhaps, but weird as fuck not so much. He couldn’t come up with half this shit on his own. So he most certainly was not asleep still; nor was he imagining any of it.

Which really only meant one possible thing, that it was all really seriously happening for whatever insanely odd reason. I mean apart from his many labels and aliases given to him by the wizarding world he wasn’t even that special or remarkable in anyway. I mean he barely passed his O.W.L’s for Merlin’s sake, and that was with the begrudging help of Hermione.

Sighing his run on thoughts tapered away.

With shaky clumsy fingers he began to fasten the silver buttons of the emerald silk dress shirt he’d been given. It was a tad big on him, but he was kind of grateful for it not being four times his size as per usual of all his hand me downs from Dudley. Fingering the lovely material briefly in wonder at the smoothness, he then pulled on the black denim jeans.

He briefly wondered why Malfoy had owned and previously obviously worn muggle jeans but perhaps it was becoming a newer fashion in the wizarding world as well?

Nagini lazily watched him from the bed, “Young hatchling you clean up rather well. You will have to grow out your head fur though; it currently resembles that of a bird’s nest.”

Trying to hold back a chuckle Harry shakes his head making his messy raven fringe fall into his eyes yet again, “Why thank you Nagini, but my…urm head fur as you call it, well it never really looks anything but messy. I’ve never really thought about growing it longer to be honest…”

Tasting the air with her tongue she lifts her head to stare in his direction, “Well perhaps you should! Master has always preferred long head furr on his lovers.”

Nearly choking on his own spit Harry makes a bit of squawking noise at this admission from the snake familiar, ”If anything I’m his e-enemy, Nagini honestly! Those are the farthest and strangest most categories to pair to one another!

Running a hand over his flushed face he shook his head again and took a calming deep breath.

Nagini then looked a bit confused, “Do you not find Master appealing? I mean even I must agree that he has lost a bit of his beauty what with his pretty scales having spontaneously disappeared….” She mused glumly for a moment before continuing, “You should really consider it though Hatchling; I know for sure that you would be the most perfect and compatible mate for Master to make a clutch with.”

Suddenly feeling light headed Harry pales, “A c-clutch?!? I’m not even sure that’d be possible even with all the magic around us….”

Nagini almost seemed to smirk shrewdly at the young teenager, “Do you not know how the act of reproductive activities between mates works little one?”

Harry was sure he was turning crimson at this point in time, “I’m not having this conversation with a bloody snake of all things….”

A crooning sort of hiss of laugh erupts from Nagini as she bobs her head, “My hatchling is so pure, I will have to have a talk with you one of these days when Master finally decides to show his true intent towards you.”

“…..That’s it I’ve gone off my rocker, completely cracked I am!” Harry mutters to himself as he turns away from the laughing familiar, “I’m bloody fucking Alice in Wonderland….”

Nagini snorts at his dramatics, “Well should you find any white rabbits, I demand them to be given to me at once.”

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The moment he exited the Dark lord’s room and closed the door behind him Mrs.Malfoy made a soft prim sigh which was the only given indication of her annoyance at him taking so long.

“This way Mister Potter, please make note to walk carefully. There may not be any moving staircases in my home but you strike me as someone who could prove be overly clumsy given the chance. So again I cannot stress the subject enough to be careful with your movements.” Narcissa states swiftly as she leads the way down a spiral staircase of white and grey marble.

Rubbing the back of his neck self consciously he padded barefoot after her carefully as to not somehow fall down said staircase and break his neck in the process. That would be his luck too. He could see it now, “Boy who lived killed by marble staircase in the home of the most Noble and Ancient house of Malfoy!” read all about it on page 1. through 6. in the Daily Prophet.

Shaking said thoughts away he took in the scenery he had not been able to the night before. Several curious moving portraits gawked at him as they made their way down stairwell; all of whom he could only guess were long since deceased family members of the Malfoy’s seeing as they bore striking resemblances to Draco and Lucius.

The manor all in all seemed elegantly bitter and cold. It felt not very well lived in enough to have that special warm homey feel that good proper homes had. You know the feeling you get when you actually have somewhere to actually call "home"; such a place where it brings about a cozy almost safe feeling of inner belonging. The only place that currently gave him such a feeling was Hogwarts.

Finally stepping off the stairs they came to a long front hall that forked to the left and right, the right leading into a long hallway, and the left leading into the front pallor.

Narcissa lead him down the right hallway. They passed several more whispering portraits of curious family members in their portraits, one in particular who looked like a sterner version if possible of the current Head of the family, Lucius Malfoy. Underneath this man’s portrait in gold plated slanted script was labeled, Abraxas Malfoy.

“A Potter eh? Not the normal sort that you would see in these halls.” The long blonde haired man in the portrait states before Narcissa can usher him past, “Though I must say, you have the most remarkably ominous eyes. That hue does not belong on the face of a Potter.”

Frowning some Harry eyed the man for a moment about to open his mouth but was cut off by Narcissa, “Do come along Mister Potter I do not have all day. Pay no mind to my Father en-law’s portrait his curiosity has shown no bounds when it comes to strange new things, even death has not seemed to have changed or swayed that fact about him.”

Smirking some at his daughter en-law, Abraxas merely snorts before locking his cool mercury eyes with Harry’s emerald ones, “Come back to speak with me if you get the chance, it tends to get a tad boring with only one's self to keep you company when your supposedly close family members do not even pay you much attention. Run along now little snake in lion’s clothing.”

And with that Narcissa motions for him to continue on their way. For what seems like at least thirty minutes of endless hallways they finally come to a large beautiful dining room.

The room is stunning in a mixture of silvers and creams for the walls and curtains. Intricate crystal glass sky light windows for a ceiling can be seen over head as sunlight beams down to spot the table cloth with rainbow prisms of light.

The glass stretches down over the one wall in a greenhouse like effect to the right forming two doorways that he could only guess would lead to the garden that can be seen just outside of it. All in all he had to click his mouth back shut in awe of it all.

A slow smirk seemed to appear on Narcissa’s face at his reaction but it was gone before it seemed to appear, and she smiled in greeting to her son who was already seated at the table.

Draco Malfoy looked pale and gaunt; although he stood a good head taller than him Harry was still pretty sure he could probably take the silvery blonde in a brawl if he needed to in this point in time.

Malfoy jr.’s blue silvery grey eyes were fixed on him almost in a hungry way that made his skin crawl. He didn’t exactly like the attention he usually got from such a stare, but coming from the older teen it made him all the more on edge.

“Please take a seat Mister Potter.”

“Yes Potter, do sit you’ll catch flies with your mouth just gaping open like that.” Draco snidely spoke up.

Nodding some Harry took the seat furthest away from the youngest Malfoy which was unfortunately next to Narcissa.

“Mimpsy!” Narcissa called sternly.

A sharp crack is heard before a very small and young seemingly female house elf wearing a sack of sorts for clothing appeared out of thin air next to them, “Yes Mistress Malfoys? What can Mimpsy be gettings the esteemed lady of the house?"

“I will be having the French onion soup and a garden salad with a balsamic vinaigrette.” Narcissa spoke before looking to Draco, “What would you like my dear Dragon?”

Shifting some Draco eyed the house elf with distaste before speaking, “A roast beef sandwich on rye bread, and a garden salad as well.”

Mimpsy then held her big lavender eyes up at Harry in question, “And you sirs? What would the guest sirs be wanting for lunch?”

Harry swallowed nervously, “Urm…It doesn’t really matter really um…just a sandwich of any sort will do. And maybe treacle tart afterwards that is if it’s not too much trouble please? Thank you.” He smiled to her.
Mimpsy’s eyes watered around the edges and got saucer sized, “O-Of course guest sirs! Mimpsy can be doing that! Woulds the guest sirs be wanting a roast beef sandwich like the young Master?”

Blinking Harry shrugged and smiled before he nodded, “Sure.”

Mimpsy then holds onto her ears for a moment then nods and apparates with a pop to the kitchens.

Narcissa eyes Harry for a moment, “Ah yes, that reminds me you lost us our past house elf did you not?”

Flustering a bit He coughs into his hand, “I…well Dobby really was a special case to be honest…I never really wanted to free him…it urm just sort of well happened that way?”

Rolling his eyes Draco sips some water, “Potter is just a walking disaster ready to happen mother. He’s very used to breaking rules and not getting in trouble for it.”

Frowning Harry glares heatedly across the table at Draco, “Odd that kinda sounds like you Malfoy, what with Snape eating out of the palm of your hand at school.”

Glaring back with just as much heat Draco nearly snarls before his mother clears her throat giving him a warning look.

Looking a bit flustered and ashamed of his actions in front of his mother Draco attempts to straight out his shoulders and calm down before eying Harry, “Why is he even here? Why are we pretending that this is normal?”

Snorting Harry lets out a soft laugh, “Well when you figure out why I’m here and still alive, do share it with me ‘cause I’m kinda curious as to why I’m not dead as well.”

Draco gives him an odd look at his words before sharing a look with his mother.

Their food suddenly appears on the table before them without warning almost making Harry jerk back in surprise. He mentally berates himself, it’s not like he’s unused to food suddenly magicing itself right in front of him! I mean the Great hall’s tables did that all the bloody time back at Hogwarts.

Attentively he picked up a slice of his roast beef sandwich and sighed in pure happiness, it had been weeks since he’d actually had more than the few mere measly scraps after the Dursley’s dinner and he was going to enjoy it.

Again the youngest Malfoy was watching him strangely.

He tried to ignore it as he silently tucked into his food.

“Make sure to eat every bit of food on your plate Mister Potter.” Narcissa spoke crisply.

Between a few mouthfuls of food he responded, “Yes Ma’am.”

Grimacing at his manners she merely shook her head and began eating her own food.

Soft footsteps echoed in the hallway adjourning the dining room before stopping at the doorway.

By the look of Draco’s sudden paper white paleness Harry could only assume who was now currently standing there.

Narcissa stood abruptly from her seat her leaving her lunch barely touched, she bowed deeply, “My Lord, what can I do for you?”

Chuckling silkily Voldemort eyed Harry who was now sitting as ridged in his chair as Draco was, “Do no fret Narcissa, I was merely wondering where the boy’s whereabouts had gotten to. Seeing as he is still here and not elsewhere away from the manor as first previously thought my mood has shifted toward the better it would seem.”

Draco then stood shakily and bowed mechanically like a broken wooden toy soldier on wilting puppeteer strings, “My Lord.”

Sweeping into the room Voldemort wraps a long pale hand around the back of Harry’s neck, “Do calm down Potter, if I wished for you to be dead you would be so. Now finish your food like a good boy.”

Bringing his hand to the top of Harry’s hair he carded his fingers through it slowly.

Harry’s pupils dilated some in fear and shock before a shiver ran down his spine, “I…um….”

Voldemort lifts an eyebrow at Harry before withdrawing his hand from the teenager’s hair, “Eat, or would you rather I force fed you?”

Shaking his head Harry manages to get a better hold over his emotions and picks up the remaining piece of his roast beef sandwich off of the plate.

The Dark lord then surprises everyone by taking a seat directly next to Harry.

Narcissa and Draco share a nervous look before seating themselves again.

“My lord….? Might I ask a q-question?” Draco mumbles out boldly.

Crimson eyes dart to the blonde teenager, “I doubt I could stop you from doing so even if declined young Draco. For it would seem that your grandfather Abraxas's natural inquisitive curiosity has taken root in his grandson as well.”

Pink flushes Draco’s cheeks briefly, “Why, my Lord is…Potter here exactly..and not….” He trailed off confused as how to finish or properly articulate his words.

“I asked him that already, he’s a right pain in the arse about explaining it too.” Harry finally speaks up finding his courage yet again.

Both Draco and his mother pale at the raven’s words not knowing how the Dark Lord would react to such an outright blatant show of disrespect towards him.

Voldemort’s crimson eyes flashed dangerously gleaming in the light of the room like a fire's flame dancing and glinting from twin candle lights.

His magic in the room was almost choking for a moment as it surged up around them all wrapping possessively around Harry like a translucent cloak of vibrating energy causing the teen to squeak in alarm.

And suddenly as if someone suddenly opened a window to let the pressure out, the magic eased up and collected back into the Dark lord’s magical core.

Rich laughter rang throughout the room.

Three sets of equally identical shocked faces eyed Voldemort, for it was him who had laughed.

And not the maniacal insane laughter that haunted most of their dreams, but a normal genuinely nice sounding mirth filled boom of laughter.

Seemingly catching himself finally Voldemort calmed and smirked, “Harry Potter is here for my entertainment and my entertainment alone. His life belongs to me, therefore he is mine.”

“I don’t belong to anyone but myself thanks.” Harry volleyed back at him sassily.

“Oh, it is so very endearing that you would think so Harry Potter. Unfortunately for you, much fun is yet to be had I would think.”

Standing the up Dark lord’s gaze lingers on Harry briefly before looking towards Narcissa, “Send the boy back to my rooms after he finishes. I will not tolerate his absence for longer than that.”

Blanching some Narcissa nods, “Yes my Lord, shall I send for Severus? I think he has several new potions for the boy to take.”

Mulling it over for a moment Voldemort nods with a flick of wrist bidding her to do so, “I shall be in my study should you have any need of me.”

Nodding to him again Narcissa bows stiffly, “Yes my Lord, of course.”

“Oh and Young Draco….” Voldemort turns toward the door but his head is tilted back toward Draco’s direction, “Do keep poor Potter company I fear he’ll wander into trouble if left unattended to.”

“Yes my lord, I will do as you request.”

“Good; and Potter try not to cause too much trouble whilst I am gone. Or there will be consequences.” With a swish of his robes Voldemort was gone from the dining room.

The temperature in the room seemed to steadily rise back to normal again.

Letting out a bated breath he hadn't know he’d been holding Draco sighs in relief, “Well that could have been worse…he seemed relatively in a good mood….?”

Narcissa shook her head for a moment, “One can only tell for how long though.”

“He’s gone from murderous psychopath to clingy ex-girlfriend in the span of second….” Mutters Harry.

Gawking at Harry, Draco snorts, “Do you have a death wish or something Potter? Talking to him like that? I mean I knew you were a stupid Gryffindor but seriously! I almost pissed myself on your behalf!”

Snickering Harry shrugged, “I dunno for some odd reason he doesn’t scare me so much anymore.”

“He doesn’t scare you….? Are you that bloody insane?” Draco barked out.

“Heh I really don’t know whats up or down anymore, I mean I just had lunch with my arch rival so that kinda puts everything oddly into perspective you know?” Harry mused blinking.

Rubbing a hand over his face Draco sighs, “Potter you will be the death of me, I can just see it now.”

Narcissa sighs, “Draco bring him back to our Lord’s chambers, and perhaps keep him company until Severus returns.”

Frowning slightly Draco looks about to argue but decides better against it, “Yes mother.” Looking back at Harry he sneers, “Come on Potter, wouldn’t want you to get lost would I?”

“Fuck you Malfoy.”

“I’m not sure you’re worth the effort or time Potter.”

Turning scarlet Harry growled, “Oi, that’s not what I meant you bloody well know th—“

“Shut it scarhead and follow me.”

Glaring at the silvery blonde teen’s back he followed rather reluctantly.

Perhaps he could ditch Malfoy along the way and perhaps finally get some answers as to why he was really here.

Chapter Text

The labeling of awkward didn’t quite cut it to describe the silence that now hung over the two teenagers in the room. Harry was again seated on what he could only assume was Voldemort’s personal king sized bed.

Nagini was wrapped around him lazily and quite possessively as her tail trailed down his legs and into the warmth of the bedding.

Her chin was rested against his right shoulder as she tasted the air disgustedly, “I do not understand why the annoying blonde child spawn of Master’s servant is here, he reeks of terror. Do I not provide enough entertainment and company for my hatchling for you to be occupied and content?”

A snickering snort softly escaped Harry as he scratched the underside of her chin rubbing her scales in a way that made Nagini tilt her head and hiss happily at the attention, “Voldemort ordered him to keep me out of trouble; I’m guessing I’m not supposed to wander around on my own.”

Nagini made a snorting hissing noise, “Well I suppose Master knows best after all…but I cannot say I approve of it.”

Upon hearing the hissing of the conversation Draco paled in the corner of the room where he was seated in one of the winged arm chairs; open on his lap sat a large leather black bound potions book that was no doubt either borrowed from Snape, or perhaps was from the vast collection of books in the personal Malfoy family library, “Must you….talk to it?”

Snorting again Harry flicked his emerald gaze toward the grey silvery blue of Draco’s, “First off Malfoy, Nagini is not a “it” and I really doubt you should be calling her such, seeing as she can understand English as well as her own language.”

Paling even further Draco glared heatedly at him, “Also what’s with the no glasses bit? I at first thought that you had lost them, but now it seems like you can see properly without them. Are you trying to finally improve upon your appearance by getting rid of those horrid gigantic spectacles of yours?” He sneered turning his nose up into the air primly.

Blinking the raven rubbed the back of his neck self consciously, “I kind of forgot I wasn’t wearing them to be honest.” He frowned a bit to himself, “Do I really look so different?”

Coughing some to clear his throat behind his hand the Malfoy junior sniffed indignantly as his cheeks stained pink ever so slightly, “Don’t get ahead of yourself Potter, glasses or no glasses you’re still an unattractive, awkward, ugly, knobby kneed lanky mass of limbs. Who’d ever find such a mess attractive besides a Weasley is beyond me.”

Rolling his eyes Harry shrugged at being called ugly which gave Draco a bit of a pause. Usually Potter was easily riled up so easily by his insults, what had changed? He frowned deeply his lips twitching into a sneer again.

“I just woke up and didn’t seem to need my glasses anymore, weird I know…but not as weird as finding out magic truly exists at the age of eleven I suppose?” Harry murmured before adding as an afterthought, “Nothing really surprises me much anymore after that.”

It was Draco’s turn to blink in confusion, “Pardon…what? Say that again Potter?”

Looking equal parts confused and slightly annoyed the raven tilts his head at him lifting an eyebrow in question, “Which part? The waking up with perfect vision for the first time in my life, or the part about learning magic was real at age eleven?”

Draco just gawked at him, “How can you just come out and say you didn’t know about magic until you were eleven?! Weren’t you a spoilt child brought up by your muggle relatives? Surely they’d have told you beforehand…?”

Harry’s eyes widened marginally before he snickered and burst into peals of almost hysterical sounding laughter as he held a hand to his stomach, “Oooh…oh now that’s a bloody good one!” He rubbed the edges of his eyes free of moisture, “I still can’t get over that rumor! What is with you Slytherins and thinking I was a spoiled brat throughout my childhood? Honestly between you and Snape you’d think I’d grown up in a happy and safe environment or something.”

Draco bit his lip pursing it looking as if he had bitten into a particularly bitter tasting lemon against his will.

Shaking his head Harry smiles bitterly his eyes dulling with an emotion Draco couldn't quite identify, “No Malfoy I was not spoiled. I’m seriously lucky, even now to get fed over the months of summer vacation. Haven’t you ever noticed how I’m always decidedly thinner upon the start of each school year? Then again you probably haven’t, people only see what they want to believe don’t they?”

They fell into another tense bout of awkward silence for a few moments before the blonde stiffly broke it by speaking, “I…I can’t believe I never noticed before…” He looked truly angry at himself his eyes a lit with a rage Harry hadn’t ever seen before.

Smiling sadly the raven shrugs some, “Don’t worry so much about it, it’s not as if we were or are even friends. Besides, not even my real friends know the true extent of my home life. I mean had hoped that eventually they’d piece together the clues. Hermione is rather clever when she wishes to be after all. But Ron though? He saw the bars on my bloody window, so I’ll say it again. People only see what that want to, and even then…I’m not quite sure what I’d really say if either one of them brought it up in a proper conversation to be honest….”

“You have b-bars on your damned window?!” The blonde Malfoy heir was positively shaking now, with rage or disgust Harry couldn’t quite place. Perhaps it was a bit of both?

Turning his liquid mercury looking eyes at the raven suddenly with such intensity it surprised the other teen, “Something tells me that is not even the worst of it, is it Potter?”

Staring blankly back at him Harry sighed, “Look, we aren’t friends Malfoy; let us not pretend to be okay?”

Frowning Draco stiffened some at the statement and slowly licked his lips in a bout of nervousness as he shifted in his seat leaning forward slightly his gaze heated, “Well, well what if I wanted to be?”

Before Harry could answer the doorknob of the room clicked open and in swept Severus Snape, a scowl alit on his face as per usual.

“Severus!” Draco called urgently as he stood upright stalking forward toward the Potion’s Master., “Did you know about Potter’s home life? He had fucking bars on his window for Morgana’s sake! Goddess above…I can’t even imagine what else…”

“I believe the word “had” should be remembered.” Harry helpfully reminded, “They were pulled off by the Weasley twins a while back, and they weren’t replaced. So it’s pretty much a normal window now.”

Dark obsidian black orbs rake over Harry’s appearance taking in every new and different aspect that the boy’s magical inheritance had brought about. Without his usual bulky glasses it was hard not to see Lily in the boy. It pained him to see it, angered him even, but the raven teenager was all Lily in every angle of his face no matter how hard he tried to see James Potter in it.

Not to mention, his coming of age inheritance had seemed to enhance everything of hers; the new unmistakable dark red hue to the boy’s hair was proof of that much. He could clearly also now say he saw the Black side of the family tree shining through. The sharp cut of his cheek bones, the reddish pink hue that had taken root in the boy’s fuller lips, all tell tale signs of pureblood features the boy had decidedly lacked beforehand.

“Sev?” Draco murmured drawing the potion’s master from his thoughts.

Frowning deeply Severus snapped his gaze to Draco, ““Regardless of Mister Potter’s past grievances and experiences we have a more pressing matter to address.” Snape frowned at his godson before looking back to Harry, “The Dark lord will be here soon, I am to only give you your daily potions. Then Draco is to leave with me from this room afterwards.”

“B-but we can’t just leave him here…this…this is….the Dark lord’s bed chambers is it not?” Draco rambled out intelligently.

Plucking three vials of potion from his robe pocket Snape placed them down on the bed side table next to Harry, “Take these now Potter, if you wish to keep feeling better.”

Frowning a bit Harry nodded rather reluctantly before shifting Nagini off his lap and onto the billowing mound of several fluffy pillows next to him. Grabbing the potions he grimaced before uncorking each one and downed them all the while making a disgusted face, “I don’t suppose you could somehow make them not taste like earwax and vomit flavored Berty’s and Bott’s jelly beans, on your next go in making them?”

Sneering a bit Snape then sighed and pressed to fingers in annoyance to the bridge of his nose in a showcase of his inner frustration, “Potions are not meant to taste like sunshine and rainbows Potter, you will have to just make do with them as they are.”

“So Voldemort is on his way back from his study I take it?” Harry questions next an odd expression on his face.

“Correct, and what he does with you after that is out of my hands at said moment.” Severus admits slowly the words feeling like molasses in his throat as he speaks them.

“Well…I guess if he wanted to kill me he’d have done that already?” Harry whispers out.

“How can you be so damned despondent? Where is your bloody Gryffindor courage and stupidity that you usually display like a badge of honor?!” Draco spits out angrily his silvery gaze flashing with fury.

Harry sits silently for a moment trying to collect the maelstrom that was his thoughts.

As if sensing his sadness Nagini hisses soothingly at him and nuzzles the side of her chin against his arm.

Smiling sadly he rubs her scales before looking up solemnly at both Snape and Draco, “Maybe I’m just a tad tired of being brave.” He finally says softly.

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After the door clicks shut behind them in the hall Draco looks helplessly at his godfather, “There’s truly nothing we can do? W-what if…what if he’s tortured what if…what if he’s r-raped…?”

Severus pales dramatically at the last statement and looks at the ground for a good long moment before lifting his unreadable gaze to his godson’s frantic one, “Unfortunately at this moment in time there is nothing we can do. All that we can do is stand by and pray that the gods are merciful tonight, and that our lord is in a pleasant mood.”

Draco shook his head at this silently distraught in pure disbelief, “This isn’t how it’s supposed to be Severus…he…he’s not supposed to be here at all.”

Severus’s mouth twitched into a grim line, “There is nothing that neither you nor I can do to change this, it is in your best interest that you just stay silent and out of our lord’s way. Like Potter previously stated, if the Dark lord wished to kill him Potter would undoubtedly be ten feet under already.”

“But there are some things that are worse than death…” Draco says softly.

Hesitating slightly Severus looks back at the door to Voldemort’s room briefly.

Without another word Severus leads the way down the hall away from the Dark lord’s bed chambers, and away from Harry Potter the boy who lived.

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“So I am to guess no rabbits of any kind were found on your adventure in wonderland?” The questioning hissing laughter of Nagini asked curiously as she was now coiled on the chair Draco had vacated.

Snorting Harry manages a smile, “No, I’m afraid I did not find any talking white rabbits for you to munch on.”

“Pity, I always did like the sound of the white rabbit from that book. It would have been a very interesting and satisfying meal other than the annoyance of the talking it would do.”

“Where did you hear about such stories anyway? That’s from a muggle book after all.” Harry looked at her quizzically.

Letting out a hissing snort of laughter Nagini lazily watched him, “Master has always liked books of any shape and form, be they muggle or magical in nature; though he might not readily admit so aloud to the former.”

Before he could properly respond and voice his surprise or dubiousness of her statement the door clicked open and in swept the Dark lord, his long black robes swishing behind him almost soundlessly as he walked.

Crimson eyes flecked with icy blue find him immediately.

Swallowing thickly Harry watches him in return his emerald gaze nervous.

Magic flows out of Voldemort in torrent like waves as it crackles through the air weighing down against the raven in a powerful thick blanket of possessiveness.

Hesitantly slow the teenager’s own magic rises up out of his very core and rushes to meet the dark lord’s in a battle of defiant dominance.

A spike of something akin to pleasure shoots through his scar; as splotches of black spot his vision. A coiling heated pool of warmth curls at his bellybutton in arousal.

Letting out a soft pant his magic is nearly consumed as the dark lord’s magic wraps and intertwines with Harry’s.

Cool long fingers curling around the side of his face cupping it tenderly draws him back into himself like an anchor suddenly being thrown into the ocean. Blinking rapidly he now see’s Voldemort is on the bed kneeling in front of him in between his legs which are spread apart ever so slightly.

Voldemort’s thumb brushes over the very edges of his lightning bolt scar and another shudder rolls down his spine like drops of water and his mind starts to fog over at the sheer breathlessness that it brings him.

“Interesting..” The Dark lord’s silky tone of voice echoes through the silence of the room.

If he hadn't been so dazed the teen would probably have felt quite a bit embarrassed at his own reactions.

“W-what….why….” Harry manages out keening again when the thumb brushes in soothing circles over the middle of the scar.

His trousers suddenly feel a bit tighter than they should normally feel as he pants softly, “S-stop…”

Feverish hooded emerald stare into amused heated crimson before the Dark lord chuckles, “But Harry, we’ve only just begun.”

Harry steadies himself as his hands come up to fist at the older dark brunette’s black robes.

The older man leaned closer until the teen could feel the Dark lord’s heated breath against his neck, the cool fingers left their place on his scar and moved toward the pale arch of his neck instead curling in place as if to begin strangling him.

The fingers curl loosely around the back of Harry’s neck, as Voldemort’s second hand splays over the teen’s heaving chest right over his heart,

Pushing gently the hand on his chest propels him backward until his back hits against the pillows easing him slowly into the softness of the bed.

Glowing crimson eyes bore into his own, and slowly but surely Harry felt his consciousness ebbing, “Sleep, little lion. Sleep.”

Harry’s last thoughts before drifting off are jumbled and distorted. He couldn’t fight off the alluring hypnotic pull of the Dark lord’s magic which was coiled around him. The will to fight fled him and he knew nothing but darkness and the glowing glitter of ruby red eyes.

“Awww, Master I thought you were finally going to mate and breed with him.” Nagini’s disappointed voice issues from behind him in the arm chair.

Frowning deeply Voldemort sits up straighter and throws a glare over his shoulder at his familiar.

Turning his gaze back to the now softly snoring raven haired teenager before him his glare faltered.

Trailing a thumb over the lightning bolt scar that adorned the teen’s forehead he smirked slightly at the slight jerk of the teen’s hips rising up as Harry arched his back and leaned into the touch even in slumber.

A mewling sort of moan issues from the raven.

It was curious, the last time he’d touched the boy in such a manner it had had the total opposite of effects. He was quite sure that his touch had brought the teenager great pain in the past; definitely not the pleasure that the boy now seemed to be experiencing.

He eyed the semi hard on that the teen was pitching through his jean clan lower half.

Rubbing a hand over his face the Dark lord frowned at his own actions.

This was his enemy of all people and things!

Sure it was an interesting turn of events but the teen was still his foretold end.

Which indeed now complicated matters greatly.

“Your souls have touched, they were interwoven so tightly together for many a year master, if anyone has the right to be called your mate it is him.” Nagini states her voice amused at his inner struggle, “You shall see, my hatchling is more than worthy.”

Sighing the dark lord unclasps his robes from his shoulders and sets it aside on another chair. Flicking his hand in a fluid motion of wandless wordless magic the teen on the bed is now in night clothes.

Choosing not to answer Nagini in the slightest he settles on the opposite side of the bed next to the boy who lived.

Slowly he lifts the boy up and tucks the covers over the teen’s body and then closes his eyes.

Gods willing he would make sense of things better after some rest.

Chapter Text

As far back as he could remember he had never really been one for dreams. Only Morpheus knows if he had ever been gifted anything even remotely resembling dreams, but he couldn’t seem to recall any of them if he had.
Anything even in semblance of them was always gone by morning leaving no traces behind in their wake.

So his apparent situation was rather puzzling to say the least.

Surrounding him were rolling lush grassy hills, a valley filled to the very brim with what seemed to be wild flowers ranging throughout all the colors of the rainbow. A warm gentle breeze blew past him and he suddenly knew that he was no longer so quite alone.

Soft silver bell like laughter sounded from directly behind him, making him turn around sharply toward it.

He was greeted by an ethereal looking being; her floor length golden ringletted tresses flowed delicately about her like angel feathers in the breeze. Her wide glowing green eyes vibrated with amusement and hidden untold power, “Tom, it is truly a wonderful thing to now see you outside of the haze of the insanity that had taken you away from me so long ago.”

She smiled at him gently almost in a maternal manner that had him on edge.

“Where am I exactly?” He stated bluntly his crimson eyes narrowed harshly.

Giggling softly the small seemingly young woman gracefully glided forward in seconds. She was suddenly inches away from him, so close that he could feel the warmth and power radiating off of her like a thrumming furnace.

Almost taking a staggering step back in response to her advancement he forced himself to stay his ground stiffly his eyes glaring down at her untrustingly.

Smiling sadly at him she gently leans up to cup the side of his face with her one smooth hand, “My poor Tom, you’ve been so very lost haven’t you? But don’t take to heart those negative feelings that wage war inside of you. I have given something back to you that you sorely needed returned.”

Flinching back from her touch he did then stumble away from her this time as if burnt by the gentle gesture of affection, his eyes blazing, “Given back what?” he bit out.

“Oh Tom, I think you know.” She looked to him hurt flashing over her features momentarily before her eyes grew even sadder before they hardened slightly and she spoke again with a chastising tone, “I did not give your magic just for you to slice your soul to ribbons in an idiotic, consequential, dubious quest of immortality.”

His blood turned to ice in his veins, “Who are you?” He managed out in a harsh bark.

Laughter twinkled out of her small body yet again making him bristle in response.

She again looked at him with those sad stunningly familiar looking green eyes, “I am Gaia, but I think you would know me best as lady Magic, or perhaps the Goddess above. I am Magic as a whole, the very core that sustains and births the magics of the entire wizarding world. Magi such as yourself, are and always will be my most precious and beautiful children.”

Mulling over the new information given to him Tom frowned, “Why am I here? Wherever it is that here is.”

“Full of curiosity as always, you have always thirsted for knowledge Tom. I should think, that it is one of your more better qualities.” Gaia spoke gently with such fondness it made his stomach clench uncomfortably.

“You are here, and here is there I suppose?” She giggled, “But mostly you are now where you belong.”

Growling he stalked forward stopping short just a step away from her, “Enough nonsensical chatter and riddles!”

Smiling despite his apparent anger Gaia seemed quite calm, “You have many questions don’t you Tom? But I think you know some of the answers already, deep down.” She places a hand over his heart, “Here…it’s beating again, and can you feel it’s thrum in your chest can't you?”

Pure utter puzzlement fell over his features, “I have never felt these things before, even as a child happy feelings never came easy to me. If you truly are my creator as you claim to be you should know that much.”

Retracting her hand she looked utterly heartbroken, “You made it none the easier to feel, after you ripped yourself to tatters one piece at a time Tom.”

Wetting his suddenly uncomfortably dry lips he frowned deeply, “My horcruxes were necessity. I could not die, I had and still have many plans that are of great import. I cannot be so easily swayed by death. I am Lord Voldemort I am a conqueror of death.”

her green eyes glow harshly for once, “All things die Tom, even you will die eventually. Thus is life.”

“I shall not die so easily.” He remarked back bitingly.

“If you choose to stay on this path, you will not only doom yourself but another.” Gaia speaks sadly her eyes taking on a odd misty sheen to them, “Harry Potter, will forever be intertwined in your fate and destiny Tom. No matter the out come of what you shall eventually decide, he will be there with you. Whether Harry is to be your end, or to be your beginning is entirely up to you. Please, do not make me see you fall back into insanity and ruin…I beg of you.”

Everything around him began to haze like old film grained memories sputtering to life as they fought against slowly being eaten away around the edges.

“Harry is the key Tom, please if anything remember that.” Her voice faded away like a wilo-wisp as everything bled to white and suddenly he jerked awake with a start.

------------------------------------------------------------

The ceiling of his bed chambers was the first thing he saw after his eyes blearily came back into proper focus.

There was a strange comforting warm weight curled into his side that made his eyes widen in alarm before he found himself calm instantly at the sight.

Harry Potter who was completely dead to the world around him was snoring ever so softly his raven auburn tinged mop of messy locks burrowed into Tom’s chest; a leg and arm wrapped haphazardly over the Dark lord’s body clinging to him like a sea limpet. One of the teenager’s hands were gripped tightly to the silk of his dress shirt in a death grip.

Unable to comprehend the situation a soft hissing laugh brought him out of his musings.

“Did master have a nice sleep?” Nagini asks as she slithers her body up the bed and tangles over the two of them; her long tail curling around one of his legs in the process.

“No, I did not…” He rubs his face harshly in frustration.

He had no idea of what to make of his…dream?

Could he even call it a dream he wondered.

It had been so real he could practically still feel the vibrations of the after effects of the woman’s powerful magic even now.

“My hatchling is quite the cuddlebug it would seem.” Nagini muses in an amused and adoring hiss.

Snorting some he tried to detach himself from Potter’s body.

“Mnnnn…” Murmured Harry softly as he nuzzled his face deeper into the fabric of Voldemort’s shirt and rubs his lower half against the older man desperately.

Stiffening Voldemort frowned again still trying to remove said limbs that were still wrapped around his torso, “He’s like an octopus.”

Nagini laughed a hissing laugh, “He is precious Master, we are keeping him correct?” She tilted her head at Voldemort in hopefulness.

Blowing his hair out of his eyes in growing annoyance, “He is not a pet Nagini.”

“No, of course he is not! He is your mate after all.” Nagini remarks sagely.

“He…he is not my mate as you so bluntly put it.” Voldemort almost sputters out indignantly as an odd jarring feeling rises up inside his chest that he cannot even begin to understand.

“Well obviously not yet, you are being stubbornly slow about mating with him Master. For someone who has held your soul for so long, you cannot possibly get any closer to being; what is it you humans call it again? Ah yes, soulmates I think?” Nagini rambled on.

Snorting at the mere notion of Potter possibly being his soulmate; was pure utter nonsense.

“Nagini did you happen to eat a rat that had ingested rat poisoning again? You are making little to no sense my dear.” Shaking his head he looked to Potter.

The boy was still very much asleep surprisingly enough.

“Master thinks I am wrong, but I am never wrong. You will see soon enough.” Nagini states confidently.

Emerald green eyes blink open hazily, “Whazzgoin’ on?” Harry mumbles out his voice husky sounding and thick with sleep.

Blinking more the sleepy fog seems to lift from said eyes and the boy lets out a startled yelp. He backs so far away from Voldemort that he promptly falls off the edge of the bed with a resounding oof and a thump in his haste to get away.
“Morgana’s tits….what…?” Harry squeaks his cheeks dusting pink, “Why were you….and why did you let me….”

Standing Harry sat in a chair by the window looking owlishly at the dark lord in a silent sort of accusation.

“Why was I what Potter?” Voldemort drawled while smirking widely at the younger wizard.

Turning bright red all the way to his ears Harry sputtered, “You made me almost cum in my pants….and then I wake up to….cuddles?” He asks as if unsure as what to label what he had awoken up to.

Lifting a well sculpted eyebrow Voldemort’s smirk deepens, “Did I Harry? Teenagers are so very sensitive these days. A mere touch in the right place has you overwhelmed.” Snorting the Dark lord continues, “As for the “cuddling” that was entirely your fault. I was on my side of the bed when I fell asleep. I awoke to you rutting against my side like a harlot and wrapped around me like an octopus.”

Gaping his mouth open and closed a couple of times in disbelief, “I…I…was not! I didn’t…I didn’t ru—“ He stumbled over his words, “I didn’t hump you….Merlin….this is so fucking weird.”

Running a hand through his hair he sighed and then squinted at Voldemort unsurely, “Why did you sleep next to me anyway? I didn’t even know that you slept…I kinda figured you were like a vampire or something and didn’t need to…” He trailed off.

Rolling crimson eyes the Dark lord sat up better on the bed and smirked wider, “I am still in fact very much human Harry; I do need rest, just as any other human being would.”

Snorting back at him Harry snickered “Could have fooled me, what with your old snaky reptilian no nose persona before…you didn’t look very human…no offense?”

“I had a nose.” Voldemort bites out glaring heatedly at him.

“Yeah...sure you did…tell yourself whatever makes you feel better at the end of the day I guess?” Grinned Harry in utter amusement, “If it makes you feel any better you look totally handsome now…kinda like the sixteen diary version of you did….but a bit older.” Harry seemed to realize what he’d said aloud because his face pales before going red again, “Not that I care what you look like that is!”

The Dark lord’s lips twitch upward at the admission, “My, you are full of compliments today aren’t you? Given the situation one would think you wouldn’t be so flippant with flattery toward your greatest enemy.”

Harry paused, his cheeks still faintly pink around the edges, “Yeah well…either way I’m gonna die so it doesn’t really matter as much what I say anymore now does it?”

Frowning some at the statement Voldemort stood from the bed and walked around it toward the chair Harry was situated in.

“Oh no my dearest little lion…I am not going to kill you.” He tenderly trails a thumb over the lightning bolt scar on Harry’s forehead electing a soft moan from the teen.

“I am going to consume and devour you.”

Glowing crimson eyes bore into panicked and alarmed emerald.

“Wait w-what?” Harry managed out, his back flush against the back of the chair uncomfortably, “Why do you keep….touching me?”

“Why indeed…” Murmurs the Dark lord before he turns away from the bewildered teen. Pulling on his robes Voldemort moves toward the door, “Don’t get into any trouble Harry, or there will be consequences.”

And with that he was gone from the room leaving Harry very confused yet again.

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After an hour or so of stewing in his own thoughts he walks over to the dresser in the corner of the room and opens a draw looking for something respectable to wear.

“Black, black, black, more black, and red….he needs more color to his wardrobe scheme.” Harry voices aloud before deciding on a long sleeved red silk button up shirt and black pants made from some kind of stretchy smooth material. Both of which were huge on him.

He had to roll up the pant legs at least four times, as well as knot the side of the pants to keep them from falling off his hips. The shirt looked more like a dress on him and hung loosely around his shoulders showing off his pale collar bone.

He looked at himself in the mirror, he sighed unhappily. He knew that he looked positively ridiculous but he had no choice he didn’t have his wand on him to use a shrinking charm.

“Oh well.” He muttered.

His stomach grumbled hungrily reminding him he’d only eaten once in the past few days.

A knawing hunger ate at his insides as he walked into the hall looking around curious but cautiously.

“Where the hell is the kitchen?” He wondered annoyed as he descended the marble spiral staircase.

“What in the name of Merlin are you wearing Potter?” Came a drawling scathing voice from his right.

Not even having to look he knew who it was, “Malfoy.”

Snorting Harry rolled his eyes, “Well I don’t exactly have any clothes here to wear, so I took some of Voldemort’s.”

Paling dramatically Draco balked, “Y-you...you..…did what!?!”

“Would you rather I walked around naked?” Harry remarked, “I mean its bloody freezing here. Plus I’m not sure I’m willing to be an exhibitionist in a place so badly heated. Haven’t you guys any fire places? I mean this is a mansion right? Why is it as cold as the dungeons at Hogwarts?”

Pink flooded Draco’s pale face, “Have you gone mad or hit your head in some way Potter?”

“I’ve never really been normal but I don’t think I’m insane, at least not yet?” Harry wondered in thought, “Anyways where is the kitchen? I’m starving.”

“…the kitchens are down the hall.” The Malfoy heir motions, “You’ll get lost trying to find it though, so I might as well just show you myself to save you the trouble. Come along Potter I don’t have all day to lead you around, I'm not your nanny.”
Annoyed Harry nods and followed after the taller teen down the hall.

----------------------------

Walking in silence for about ten minutes they came to the double doors of the kitchens.

Draco pushed open one doors and held it wider for Harry to follow.

Lovely aromas filtered around the kitchen as several house elves scuttled about making different things.

Mimpsy the house elf from earlier noticed them almost immediately and came rushing over to greet them, “Masters Draco and Harry sirs! How cans Mimpsy be helpings you?”

Harry smiled gently to the female house elf, “Can you show me to a stove that you aren’t using?”

Looking at Harry oddly Draco lifted an eyebrow, “What are you doing Potter?”

Mimpsy looked intrigued but nodded and lead Harry over to one of the stoves not being used, “What else can Mimpsy be doings?”

“Oh I just need a few ingredients I’ll manage though you don’t need to do anything else, Thank you Mimpsy.”

Mimpsy pulled at her ears in distress and wonder, her big violet tennis ball shaped eyes watery and wide, “Master Harry be remembering Mimpsys name?”

He just smiled to her and began moving about the kitchen with skilled ease, grabbing vegetables, eggs, bacon, beef, and rice, “Hmmm well there is one thing you can help me with, do you guys have any soy sauce?”

Blinking Mimpsy looks confused, “Mimpsy does not know what soy sauce is? Mimpsy can goes to asks the head house elf though!”

Laughing some Harry nods, “Thank you Mimpsy.”

After getting a few pans, and pots set out Harry started cooking leaving Draco gaping at him, “Wh-what are you….are you actually going to cook?!”

Blinking back at Draco, Harry shrugs and nods, “House elves are nice to have around I guess, but I’m too used to making food, it’s weird to not make it on my own I suppose?”

“What are you making exactly? And what is soy sauce?” Questioned Draco curiously he looked dumbfounded.

Before Harry could respond a larger female house elf came scurrying over with Mimpsy at her tail, “Greetings and salutations Master Harry! I is being Jilly! Mimpsy is saying you wants Asian cooking stuffs? Soy Sauce?”

Smiling to her Harry nodded, “Yep.” He said popping the p as he spoke.

Jilly opens a drawer and holds out a large bottle of soy sauce to him, “Is that beings everythings that Master Harry be needings?”

“Oh damn I forgot I need rice cooking wine…” He deflated, “I don’t suppose you have any?”

Jilly blinked, “No…but Jilly cans be gettings some!” before he can protest she’s gone with a sharp cracking noise.

“Soy sauce is an Asian condiment and seasoning agent of sorts.” Harry supplies to Draco as he begins chopping the beef and vegetables for the stir fry. “As for what I’m making? Well have you ever had beef and broccoli stir fry and fried rice?” He grins.

“Potter we live in England, why would I eat Asian food before now?” Draco drawls embarrassed he had no idea what kind of food this was.

“Well when I get the chance, when the Dursleys are away I look up fun recipes to make. I don’t get to make whatever I want very often but they do go on vacation every June so…” Harry voices out softly, “This recipe is a Korean/Japanese based fusion with a bit of my own ideas thrown in.”

Jilly appears a second later placing down the rice wine bottle, “Here you goes Master Harry.”

“Thank you Jilly, Mimpsy.”

Both house elves gushed happily at the praise and wept before nodding their heads.

“Geez Potter are you always this nice to the help?” Draco questioned as he took a seat and began watching Harry finish prepping the ingredients.

“House elves are people too, besides…besides they kinda reminds me of myself in a way. I can’t not be nice to them.” Harry murmurs out and scratches the back of his head nervously.

“Ehhh, like yourself? How so? They are insignificant sniveling little creatures who’s only purpose is to serve us.” Draco spouts out not caring that several of the house elves were watching and undoubtedly listening to said conversation.

Frowning deeply Harry scowled at him, “Look, they are pretty powerful when you think about it. They have magic just like us, they can do powerful wandless magic even. That’s pretty impressive to me at least.”

Frowning back at him Draco looked disgruntled, “Well when you put it that way…”

“Look why don’t you just go Malfoy, I’m good on my own. You don’t have to stay watching me if you're so annoyed.” Harry said as he waved Draco away.

Scowling Draco stands, “Fine Potter it’s not like I wanted to be near you anyway. Have fun with the house elves being your only company!” He states curtly before exiting.

Turning back to the food Harry sighs.

It’s not like he needed a friend in Draco anyway.

Damn this day was getting weirder and weirder by the minute.

He went back to cooking not noticing the pair of dark eyes watching him from the doorway.

Nor did he hear the quickened steps of said person before it was too late.

“CRUCIO!” A woman shouted viciously as she cackled the all too familiar evil laugh of his nightmares.

Then he knew nothing but white hot raw pain shooting threw his veins like lava, his blood felt as if it was trying to claw it’s self from his body as he landed in a heap on the kitchen floor.
Twitching and drooling as he screamed his back arched as his voice tapered off into a soundless scream; his eyes dulling and leaking with tears.

Chapter Text

An insane giggling manic cackle brought him slightly out of the burning haze of pain as the curse was slowly lifted. He couldn’t recall why or how he had gotten on the floor.

His nerves felt as if they were on fire, it hurt to breathe, it hurt to think. He had never felt such pain before, not even as a child growing up with his uncle beating him with his belt. Or that time aunt petunia had made him burn his hands at the age of six while he was cooking with oil at the stove.

No this was a pain far worse than anything he’d ever experienced before. It almost made him feel suicidal with a desperate desire and need to beg for it all to stop.

A long walnut wood based wand trailed down his burning cheek leaving him shuddering in the aftershocks of electric pain, as his eyes opened hazily.

“Awww is ickle baby potty in pain? Not so powerful now are you potty? Down on your back like a lil whore, you look so good on the floor where you belong! With the filth.” Cooed the woman above him, her demented black brown eyes were filled with a vicious sort of glee as she stared down at him heatedly.

“Nnng…”He managed out in response.

“What to do with you…what to do with you…killing you so soon wouldn’t be any fun. So perhaps something a bit more humiliating would work hmm? What do you think? Sounds fun no?” Bellatrix keeps tapping her wand against his cheek, digging it into his skin roughly she grins in an unhinged way that makes Harry’s insides churn with nausea.

Lifting her wand again, “I think I’ll use a spell that our dear old Severus created! How does that sound hmm? Now how did it go again?” She taps her wand against her own cheek manically as if in thought before smiling viciously, “Oh yes, I remember it now. SECTUMSEMPRA!”

Crying out in pure agony Harry throws back his head in a strangled scream as several large slashing gashes appear all over his arms, chest, torso, and legs. All of which began to bleed profusely pooling blood all around him on the floor.

“Ooooh you cry out so prettily! Let's do it again, shall we?” Bellatrix coo’s out softly again as if proud of him, “Such lovely red blood….bleed more for me won’t you baby Potter?”

“CRUCIO!” She calls again in a sing song voice.

Blood gurgles in the back of his throat as his mind goes positively blank. Suddenly it's as if everything cracked and broke apart, until he felt something he knew deep down was dreadfully important inside of him shatter completely. He was oddly fuzzy feeling, through all the pain he felt something prickling at the back of his mind. Alarm, anger, confusion, and finally fear; but none of those emotions were his own.

An overpowering crackling of possessive magic crashes down around him in thick tingling waves. He felt it slowly and gently cloaking his body in a protective blanket like cocoon. Harry could almost feel the warmth of it past the buzzing of pain that was still alight in his nerves underneath his skin.

He vaguely hears the double doors of the kitchen burst open with a resounding crack as it smacks against the wall upon opening. A scuffling is heard as well as several hissed shouts of “Crucio” are spoken which ends in Bellatrix’s delirious screams of pain.

“ --otter—arry---an—you—ear---e—“Someone was holding and cradling him now in their lap, the person was so close that Harry could feel the frantic thrum of their heartbeat against his back. They were now speaking to him urgently. But he couldn't understand anything being said to him. Whoever it was they sounded really scared. What were they so afraid of he wondered.

He tried to listen, but everything was slowly fading away. He could barely feel anything anymore; it kind of felt like being surrounded in cotton. He was so blissfully numb. His eyes grew half laden as they begin to close against his will.

The last thing his mind registers are two panic filled crimson eyes.

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Severus Snape had never hated himself more than he did in this very moment in time.

His own curse spell, the very dark magic he had created in his youth out of boredom, hate, and curiosity; had nearly cost the very life of Lily’s precious child. The only piece of her he had left, almost snuffed out by his own damned creation.

“Potter! Harry! Can you hear me?!” Voldemort rambles out in a rasped voice as he shook the boy gently as possible, “Come on now Potter you are stronger than this, don’t you dare close your eyes. Answer me boy!”

The boy merely gazed back at him in a hazed sort of confusion his eyes glazed over and glassy.

The moment seemed to stretch out and felt like an eternity in the span of a second to the Dark lord, before to his alarm the boy’s eyes fell shut and he went completely limp in his arms.

Snape took that moment to scramble forward past the heap on the floor that was Bellatrix, he rushed over and knelt down next to the Dark lord who currently had Harry situated in his lap.

There was blood was everywhere; the boy was bleeding out as the seconds ticked by. Soft ragged breaths fell from the boy’s lips in pained gasps.

Turning his flashing crimson eyes toward the potion’s master Voldemort‘s grip on the boy grew tighter,” Fix him immediately! This is your god forsaking curse is it not? No healing spell I have tried has worked….the wounds just will not close..” The dark lord spoke with an underlining edge of desperation and fear weighing heavy in his tone.

Taking out his wand from his billowing black robes Snape shakily lifted the wand toward the majority of the damage, which was on centered on Potter’s chest, “Vulnera Sanentur.” He murmured three times until the skin began to knit back together right before their eyes.

Narcissa lets out a anguished startled gasp as she entered the room taking in the sight before her.

“My Lord…” She murmurs softly in fear for the boy’s life.

Bellatrix from her spot on the floor seemed blissfully out of it as she giggling madly, her body shivering from the afterglow of pain she’d felt from the Dark lord’s repeated crucio. She was now sitting up swaying back and forth slightly looking every bit unhinged and mad.

Snape began repeating the counter spell process over and over until all said gashes faded to a soft white pink scarring.

The potion’s master then stood shakily, “I will go gather some pain relievers; I also need to scan him for mental damage my Lord.”

Hissing angrily Voldemort issues a low sentence of parseltongue that sends chills down all their spines save Bellatrix’s who shivers for another reason entirely.

Slowly the Dark lord regains enough self composure after taking a deep calming breath. His one arm snakes around and encircles Harry’s waist while the other hooks carefully underneath the teen’s knees. Standing with ease he lifts the raven haired teen up bridal style holding him securely to his chest in such a protective manner that it makes Narcissa and Snape gape in shock and bewilderment.

“Come to my chambers immediately after you have collected said potions.” Voldemort orders lowly his voice cracking like a whip.

“M-My lord what do we do about…my sister?” Narcissa questions softly unease rolling off her in waves.

The Dark lord’s crimson eyes flash dangerously and get a heady sort of feral murderous insane glint to them, “Put her in the dungeons I shall deal with her myself shortly.”

Paling some Narcissa nods and bows her head in response.

“I did it all for you My Lord! He screamed so beautifully toward the end it was sooo delicious.” She hiccups in an insane fit of giggles her pupils blown wide giving her a crazed look, “The vile filthy halfblood got what he deser—“ She was cut off by Snape who stalked forward snarling.

His body was positively shaking with rage as he flicks his wand at her, “Crucio!”

Bellatrix let out a strangled noise biting her tongue and lips till blood spilled out from mouth and dribbled down her chin.

Dropping to her knees Narcissa held her sister as still as possible while her sister’s limbs flailed about before she eventually went limp.

Lowering his wand Snape is left panting his cheeks red with his anger.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Without another look behind him Voldemort swept out of the kitchens and toward his rooms, all the while holding Harry tightly to his chest in a death grip as if the boy would simply disappear if he were to ever let him go.

His body was shaking in a toxic witch’s brew of negative emotions. Voldemort could barely think straight his thoughts were jumbled and erratic at best. He had previously been in his study when he had felt Harry’s pain through their connection. His magic had all but flooded from his body in search of the younger wizard's own instinctively.

Harry’s magic at that point had been going wild, lashing out and making the lights over head flicker, as well as making several glasses in the kitchen burst and shatter to pieces. Voldemort could never have imagined or prepared himself to have been ready for what he had found upon locating Harry.

Ever since his resurrection ritual, he had had only one goal; to kill Harry Potter, the boy who never seemed to be able to die properly. No matter the circumstances or danger of the situations he had been put through, despite whatever the Dark lord had thrown at the damnable teenager it never seemed to bring him any closer to death.

Speeding up his pace he climbed the staircase hurriedly.

When this particular goal of his had changed he could not truly say for sure. But upon seeing his so called fated equal, his mortal enemy inches away from death’s door, just did not sit right with him anymore.

A dreadfully cold icy stone had dropped into the pit of his stomach at the mere sight of it all. It just screamed with a level of certain wrongness that made his chest ache unnaturally with a feeling he could not even begin to comprehend or unravel the meaning to.

Everything in his body screamed that the boy was his! He was to die by his hand and his hand alone. No one else was to take that right away from him.

Absently he rubbed a thumb over the sweat soaked fringe of the raven as he finally slowly eased the body of the teen onto his bed.

Wandless and wordlessly he banished the blood soaked clothes Harry was wearing leaving the boy in only his undergarments. Casting several cleaning spells on him he then delicately dressed the boy by hand into some sleep clothes. Noting with more anger as he eyed the pink scarred over marks of what the cutting curse had left behind.

The boy’s whole body was littered with them, from head to toe. And he wasn’t sure how he felt about that.

A rush of footsteps brought him out of his musings.

Snape hurried toward the king sized bed and slowly lifted the boy upright with one arm looping behind him to prop the teen up while his other hand skillfully one handedly uncorked a greenish blue pain reliever potion especially equipped to handle and ease the after effects of the Cruciatus curse.

Carefully he helped the unconscious teen down said potion. A few sputtering choking noises later Harry settled seemingly calmer having gotten most of the potion down.

Voldemort was sitting on the bed next to Harry just staring at the boy with an unreadable expression over his usually well composed face.

Murmuring softly Severus cast a scanning charm over Harry’s forehead. A Small translucent blue bubble like screen appeared over it listing out several issues in silvery script.

Paling some the potions master cursed under his breath.

“What is it? What does it say Severus?” The Dark lord rasps out his voice sounding as if he’d been screaming too much.

“…Mister Potter is currently in magically induced coma of sorts, one more second under the Cruciatus and he would have become brain dead or broken minded enough to never be the same again.” Snape cancels out the scanner spell and the bubble pops and disappears, “There is no saying when he will wake…it could be tomorrow, it could be weeks or even months from now. It is all up to him now.”

“Leave us.” Voldemort spits out viciously.

“My Lord…” Snape starts to protest.

“Do not make me repeat myself; I am not in the most best of moods at the moment do not test my patience.”

“I…I shall return in the morning my lord. Call upon me should he worsen dramtically in any way.” Snape bows and leaves the room rather reluctantly.

Nagini slithers onto the bed hissing in a distraught manner, “My poor Hatchling! What has happened to my hatchling! He…he smells of death…he will not truly die will he Master?”

Curling her body around Harry’s frail form she hisses forlornly.

“He will not die. He is not allowed to die until I am done with him.” Voldemort finally answers her his crimson gaze never leaving Harry.

“Do you hear me little lion? You cannot die until then. Lord Voldemort commands it of you.” Whispers the Dark lord as he cups the side of Harry’s face with the palm of his hand, “I will not allow it.”

Harry remains silent save for the slow and steady rise and fall of his chest; his eyes moving slightly with dreams underneath their lids.

______________________________________________________________________

Blinking he frowned. Where was he?

All around him was an eerie odd grey mist like fog, he couldn’t see anything past his face in front of him.

“My, my so close. Yet so far away aren’t you Harry James Potter?” Spoke a silky male voice from somewhere in the haze around him.

Stumbling backward wildly Harry looked around frantically, “W-who…who’s there?”

A dark chuckle meets his question in return.

“And where, where is this? Why am I here?” He voices out anxiously.

“You are in the in-between of life and death. A place stuck in the very middle, a place not meant for the living to wander so precariously into little magi.” Spoke the voice again.

“P-Please I can’t see anything…who is there? Who are you? And why am I in such a place? Am…am I dead?” Harry trembles as he asks the darkness around him.

The shadows shift near him and two glowing gold cat like eyes stare out at him from the pale face of an unearthly looking man. His beauty too unparalleled and haunting to put into words, “I am Chaos, otherly known to you magi as Death.”

“Then…I am dead?” The raven whispers.

“So eager to die, I wonder…what if you were dead? Then what would you do little magi?” Asks Death curiously.

“Well, if I am dead I cannot do much of anything about it now can I?” Harry murmurs his emerald orbs gazing unafraid into Death’s golden orbs.

Death looks oddly puzzled for a brief second before chilling laughter escapes him, “Oh my, you are an interesting one aren’t you? Most would beg for their lives to be restored by now; but not you apparently.”

The fog and darkness fades from around them and suddenly they are in a wildflower filled valley.

A beautifully stunning woman rushes forward her long golden hair trailing behind her as she envelopes him into a tight warm embrace, “Oh, my poor sweet magi,…my Harry.”

Soothingly she rubs his back in gentle circular motions making all his nervousness and anxious feelings flee instantly.

Turning a heated glare to Death the small woman glares the mightiest of scary glares Harry has ever seen on someone so tiny and so kind looking, “You brother dearest were not meant to trap him in purgatory. Our deal is not up just yet.”

Rolling gold eyes Death merely smirks, “Would you rather I had left him to his own shattered mindscape? He would never have a chance of waking if he were to wander forever lost in the cracks of his own mind.”

Biting her lip some Gaia sighed as she let go of Harry who seemed quite confused.

“So am I not dead? And…who are you exactly Miss..?”

She smiled gently to him in an adoring way that made his stomach fuzzy feeling, “You are most certainly not dead my dear Harry; as for who I am? I am magic its self, but you may call me Gaia.”

“Miss Gaia…” His eyes widen, “Lady Magic…?”

Nodding she smiles again.

“Why am I here?” He manages out.

Her smile saddens as her eyes well with tears, “You were attacked my sweetling. It was unavoidable unfortunately. What is the last thing that you can recall?”

Harry’s eyebrows furred as he thought carefully, “Pain and warmth I think…? And…someone was talking to me. Holding me tightly, they seemed really scared about something but I couldn’t make out what they were trying to say.” He mumbles out.

“Oh I have no doubt Tom is very troubled and scared at the moment. He never was good with expressing himself.” Gaia giggles.

“Ehh…Tom…? As in Tom Riddle Jr.? As in the Dark Lord Voldemort?” Harry squeaks out his voice uneven and shrill, “W-Why would he be scared for me?”

“Why indeed.” Death speaks finally frowning, “The man has only thought of his own self preservation and survival since birth. What major factoring change brought this about I wonder?”

“Harry, my dearheart you know that you cannot stay here. You need to go back eventually.” Gaia speaks softly to him as she smooths back his bangs gently.

“Back…? How do I even do that? I don’t even know how I got here in the first place…”

“Sister….he doesn’t have to go back if he doesn’t wish to.” Death pipes up smirking, “He can choose to die if he so wishes. What do you say Harry? Would you like to see your parents again? Hmm? Sirius even?”

Harry’s eyes widen as a conflicted icy bout of anxiousness floors him at the said questions.

“You are not playing fair brother.” Gaia all but growls out, “Harry must return, it is not his time and you very well know that.”

Death merely shrugged, “The boy has lead a terribly tiring and sad lifetime thus far! I am merely offering a bit of peace and happiness to him.”

“I…I….I’m not….” Harry stumbles over his words.

“Pick wisely Harry…” Gaia says soothingly, “You will surely see them all again in the end, but know that now is not the time for such a reunion.”

Panicked crimson eyes flash into his thoughts. Voldemort had been scared, no terrified for him. But why? Could he really move on not knowing what had brought out such a reaction from the Dark lord?

Something deep down didn’t feel right in doing so. He had to know why the dark lord even gave a shit about him let alone why he was worried enough to show true emotion other than anger and hatred toward him.

“I’ll go back.” Harry says as he stands straighter.

Gaia smiles wider, “I knew you would make the right choice in the end.”

Leaning forward Gaia kisses his forehead.

“Goodbye my sweet Harry, until we meet again.”

Everything spiraled around him twisting in color until it vanished completely into mist.

Chapter Text

Waiting, he found was quite a hard thing to do or accomplish; especially when one is emotionally conflicted or constipated for the first time in their life.

And in order to wait, one has to have the patience and faith that whatever it was that you were waiting for would eventually come to fruition or happen the way that you first planned it would end up.

Unfortunately for him, he had noticed lately that he was lacking any sort of his usual iron clad will power when it came to dealing with the so called savior of the Wizarding world, the one annoyingly known as Harry Potter.

The mere presence of the teenage boy now sent his thoughts ricocheting off the walls of his mind like crazed rabid dogs out on the hunt for the scent of wild game. The normal reactions to his enemy had all been but erased and warped now, entirely turned upon their heads.

Did he even truly consider Harry Potter to be his enemy any longer?

And if he did not, then when had such an important thing changed so spontaneously? Or had it been a gradual shift in thought that he had not noticed? Perhaps the start of it all had been that cursed rainy summer night in the boy’s shabby barely furnished bedroom.

The place where he truly looked into the boy’s tired emerald eyes and caught a glimpse of something innately familiar that he could not quite place his finger on. For it was a peek into the true Harry Potter lurking beneath the surface of the guise of bravery that he used to wear like a well crafted mask.

He could not even recall a time when emotion had ruled him in such a way. Not even as a child, or a hormonal teenager had he been afflicted by the accursed things this much.

Never, had he worried for another person’s safety above or apart from his own. Self preservation and his quest for immortality had always been at the forefront of his plans. To cheat the guardian of death, was to be the king of eternal life. Or so he had thought.

-------------------------------------------------------

The sound of a soft but jarring knock rapping against his bed chamber doors had a mask of indifference slipping blankly over his face in an instance.

Standing up from the silver and green antique armchair next to his bed, Voldemort crossed the room in rapid strides before opening the door half way to peer into the corridor.

The dark tired obsidian eyes of Severus Snape looked back at him, silently awaiting invitation for entry into the room.

He stepped aside after a long tense moment between them.

The potion’s master glided into the room his long black robes billowing behind him like slithering shadows skirting the ground as he went, “I assume there have been no changes?”

Severus stopped just before the bed and cast a blue non verbal status bubble charm over Potter to scan his personal state of healing.

The boy himself looked every bit the part of a male Snow White. Once golden sun tanned skin now an almost pale alabaster in color; his tussled raven auburn accented locks were spread out in a haphazard birds nest against the pillow behind him.

For all reasoning the teenager looked dead, save for the slow but steady rise and fall of his chest beneath the thick emerald blankets that lye over top of him.

Voldemort does not speak, but his silence speaks volumes all it’s own. He retakes his seat in the armchair, dropping his head into his hands he his rubs his temples trying to sooth the ache beneath his fingers.

“My Lord, if I may be so bold as to suggest that you rest? You have barely left this room, save for meetings, and you have not slept to my knowledge for any part of your duration here.” The other wizard spoke cautiously.

Ignoring the potion master’s statement entirely, the Dark Lord’s crimson eyes flashed dangerously up at the other man in reply, “It has been two weeks. I said to heal him, not let him waste away in a magical coma that even I cannot reach him in.”

The greasy black haired man bit the inside of his cheek to keep himself from speaking.

Looking to Potter himself; his face paling ever so slightly as he eyed the readings of the status charm.

Standing abruptly the Dark Lord looms closer to Severus’ right as he too checks the charm’s read out. Potter’s organs were apparently slowly shutting down, and there was no rhyme nor reason as to why.

Eyeballing the Dark Lord’s direction he spoke carefully but a tad bluntly,“If he does not wake soon, I cannot say for certain if he will wake at all my Lord.”

Severus administers a nutrition potion to the slumbering boy, “You may need to seek help outside of myself. I can only heal the hurts that I can see. Unfortunately for Mister Potter, his mind may be more shattered than we realize. It is quite possible that he himself does not wish to wake. As you know I am not a certified medi wizard, nor do I specialize in mind healing.”

He dared not to look at the dark lord’s grim expression; choosing instead to gaze at the floor at the patterns in the carpet.

“So, his prognosis is to die then?” Voldemort voices questioningly, his voice sounding oddly hollow and exhausted.

Frowning Severus finally looked up, nearly gaping at what he saw.

The Dark Lord was now running long fingers over Potter’s infamous lightning bolt curse scar in an almost endearing manner that seemed more akin to an action that would be shared between lovers than between two sworn enemies.

Clearing his throat Severus spoke again, breaking whatever intimacy of the moment before it could go any further, “There is perhaps one more thing that we can try.”

“Do it, whatever it is.” Voldemort states at once without hesitance.

Warily Severus gazes at Potter again, “It may do more harm than good my Lord.”

“It would matter very little at this point, the boy is skin and bone; he will wither away soon if nothing is done to remedy the fact. I still have many questions that need answering. He cannot die just yet, not by another’s hand.”

Swallowing down the growing lump of unease thickening within his throat Severus looked the dark lord in the eyes, “The Somnium coniunctionem potion although recently created is our best bet, it connects dreamscapes. It allows the broken minded to become interconnected to another for a duration of five hours at a time. A bridge of sorts will form between your minds; once there you will have to find the root of the problem, there will be much inconsistency. You cannot dawdle, the more time you waste the harder it will be to find the core memory.”

“Core memory?” Voldemort questions his voice dripping with morbid curiosity.

“The core memory, is basically what is sounds. It is essentially the memory that Potter remembers the strongest and most vividly, he will be there.” Severus whispers his tone tapering off.

A mutual understanding of silence passes between them as the realization of what should be Potter’s core memory.

“Once you find his core memory, you must convince him to return. He is more than likely caught in an infinite memory loop.”

“Gather the potion needed.” The Dark Lord orders briskly as he waves the other man away and sits on the edge of the bed next to the boy.

Bowing some Severus nods curtly, “As you wish, my Lord.” With that he sweeps from the room as soundlessly as he came.

As soon as the other wizard leaves, Nagini uncoils from around Potter’s waist.

The snake’s large scaled head pokes out from her self made nest of comforters warmth, her luminous gold silted eyes glowing ominously in the dimness of the room,“Master? You will save the hatchling, won’t you?”

“If you mean that I intend to wake the brat up, then yes Nagini I will fix him.” Voldemort states coolly his eyes never leaving the quietly resting raven.

Letting out a hissing hitch of a laughter Nagini rests her head over Harry’s heart protectively, “Humans, I will never understand the lot of you. Can you not feel that insistent tugging pull of your soulmate when they sit just mere inches from your face? Master, you are not stupid. Do not act as such.”

The Dark Lord merely stays silent, losing himself again to the onslaught of his many circling thoughts.

---------------------------------------------------------

Draco and Narcissa await Severus in the hall as he exits the Dark lord’s quarters.

“Well? What happened? Did Potter wake?” Draco asks anxiously his mercury eyes thickly underlined with dark bruising circles from lack of sleep.

Severus’ lips form the thin grim line of an annoyed scowl, “Does it appear that he has Draco?” Sweeping past him the potion’s master makes a bee line for Lucius’ private potion’s laboratory and stores.

Narcissa sniffs impatiently as she follows him, Draco trailing after her like a helpless puppy, “What did the status charm say today? You seem truly disturbed Severus. It is quite unlike yourself, if I must be frank.”

Descending the stairs to the Malfoy personal ingredient and potion storage cabinets Severus leafs through the more rarer potion section until he finds a clear bottle filled with silvery green liquid, “Potter’s current state is grim at best. His vital organs are shutting down faster than I can heal; and I cannot seem to pin point any just cause for such a situation. His magical core is draining, and if he does not wake up in the next twenty-four hours, I would suggest that you say your goodbyes.”

Draco pales drastically to an almost sickly gray hue, but his eyes spark with an odd icy electric kind of rage that is very unlike him to direct at his godfather, “How can you be so bloody glib? Say our goodbyes?! You are a Potions Master of the highest level and regard! And you are just giving up on him?!”

Narcissa places a cool calming hand against her son’s shoulder, “But you haven’t, have you Severus? Given up that is?” She voices curiously at her long time friend.

Frowning Severus glares down at Draco before giving a jerky but curt nod to Narcissa, “I have not.”

Letting out a breathe of relief Draco sighs as he eyes the potion in Severus’ hand, “Than what else is there to do? How is the potion that you are holding supposed to help him?”

Narcissa speaks up instead, her eyes gleaming with untold knowledge of the situation her son did not seem to grasp fully, “The Somnium coniunctionem potion; my what a rare, dangerous, and unorthodox attempt at a solution.”

“Eh? I’ve never heard of such a potion!” Draco wonders aloud his nose wrinkling, “Dream connecting? How is that going to wake up Saint Potter?”

Severus sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose to ease the tension arising behinds his eyes, “The Dark Lord will be using it, to rifle through Potter’s little humdrum mind to reach his core memory. Potter is stuck in a state of broken mindedness. In order for him to wake, a mind healing technique and potion are unfortunately necessary evils.”

Draco shivers, “I can’t imagine the Dark Lord rummaging through my brain, I don’t envy Potter that’s for bloody well sure!”

Narcissa nods mutely slightly paler than she was before.

“Now if that is all, I must return to test said potion.” Severus states before walking past them.

Draco fidgets where he stands before calling after his godfather, “Keep us updated!”

Severus’ shoulders stiffen briefly, he says nothing in return only continues on his way.

The cheery atmosphere of a morgue greeted Severus upon entry to the master bedroom.

Voldemort looked up as soon as the potions master opened the door. Instead of reprimanding or cursing Severus for entering without knocking the Dark lord merely nods to him.

“My Lord, I have brought what you’ve asked of me, but I must warn you. Using this potion might have unknown consequences on both your parts.”

Frowning slightly Voldemort’s eyes flash wicked and dark turning almost black in color, “I did not ask for warnings Severus. Do not try my patience tonight, for I am not sure that I could reign in my temper enough not to kill you in an unwarranted bout of rage.”

Swallowing thickly Severus’ Adams apple bobs uncomfortably in the column of his throat, “Yes, of course my Lord. My apologies.”

Waving him off Voldemort seats himself fully next Harry, leaning against the many pillows behind him. He eyes Severus expectantly in silence.

Moving forward Severus helps the sleeping raven on the bed down half of the potion in hand without letting him choke. He then hands the remainder to the Dark lord.

“Once you are in his dreamscape, I implore you not to get distracted. The longer you stray, the less time you have to find his core memory. Time will not flow the same there as it does here.”

Drinking the other half Voldemort closes his eyes, not fighting against the numbing cotton like current of fuzziness eating away at his senses.

Before he knew it he fell away into the awaiting arms of white nothingness.

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The first thing that came back to him was sound.

The extremely soft pained sniffling sob of a small child trying their hardest to withhold their cries, filtered through foggy film grain like memory around him meeting his ears like an unwanted static.

Blinking his sight was bestowed upon him next, for he could see the tiny shaking form of a child before him.

The scruffy unevenly cut wild black mane of a six year old Harry Potter came into view.

Many cobwebs hung in the corners of the ceiling filled to the brim with several spiders skittering about overhead.

Lustrous wide emerald orbs full of tears bore into his own crimson.

Voldemort took in the many dark purple and yellow bruises, and deep crusted over cuts that littered the small figure crouched in what seemed to be a tight compact crawl space underneath the stairs.

Thankfully he was standing outside of it, for the child could barely fit inside of the space let alone adding the height and mass of an added adult into the equation.

The Dark Lord wrinkled his nose at the smell of infection, blood, and the soiled overly large garments the younger wizard was sporting on his person.

Harry bit his dry cracked lips and winced letting out a sharp breathe, his tiny hand rubbed over sore prominent ribs.

“I won’t cry...I won’t...” Little Harry whispers stubbornly not letting his tears fall.

Before Voldemort could think of how to continue or what to do next, the scene melted and fizzled away like thick steam over a cooking pot on the stove.

Snippets of images, and audio flew past him giving him a nauseated feeling of whiplash before the scenery settled again.

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This time a dreary almost empty public park came into view.

A large dreadfully fat boy around the age of ten, with thickly coiffed dirty blonde hair and beady dark beetle blue eyes stood over a slightly older Harry than the last memory.

The pudgy boy’s one meaty fist was clenched tightly against the younger's shirt, while the other punched the raven squarely in the face repeatedly.

The crunching, shatter of glasses breaking sounded next.

Two other boys with dark brown hair and russet red held Harry’s arms and legs in place so he couldn’t move.

“L-Let me go Dudley! I swear….I...I don’t know how it ha-happened! Honest!” Harry warbled out around bits of drool and blood that had now begun to fill his mouth, “O-one minute I was in class and next I w-was on the roof...” Tears clung to his lashes thickly.

Dudley let out a snicker, “D’awww is my baby cousin just the cutest liar or what?”

Piers grinned a sharp toothed smile as he grinned down at Harry his vicious dark gaze a muddy brown, “I think Potter just likes the attention! I hear some people are just cracked in the head to begin with you know? At least that's what my Ma always says!”

Dennis snorts snickering some, “Poor kid’s been a nutter since we met ‘em big D! Just leave ‘em be, I ain’t gettin’ in trouble for a lil wanker like ‘im.”

Laughing Dudley shoves Harry roughly against the side of the slide’s metal ladder rail causing Piers and Dennis to let him go, “Seeing as you’re my cousin I’ll let it go, you can’t help being crazy after all. Mum says it’s just in your blood. You can’t help being dirty.”

Harry lets out a sharp cry as his back collides harshly against the metal stairs of the slide behind him, he sinks to the ground his shoulder shaking in pain and rage.

His one green eye swelling up into a nice shiner.

The three older boys circled the younger, all of them cackling like a small pack of hyenas.

But before they could do anything else the street lights began to blow out one by one.

Piers’ eyes go wide in panic, he looked around wildly in fright.

Dennis staggers back away from Harry as if he were a monster about to eat him, “HE’S A FREAK!” He bellowed at the top of his lungs before tugging on Piers’ hand to get him to run away.

Piers swallowed thickly before turning to Dudley who stood transfixed a look of horror on his face, “Dud, we gotta go, leave the freak behind!”

The leader of the group seemed to snap out of his daze and gazes into Harry’s frightened but defiant eyes, “No wonder your parents are dead, I wouldn't be surprised if you caused the accident yourself. You’re just a bad omen Potter.”

And with that Dudley high tailed it with his two cronies at his side.

Nine year old Harry Potter let out a shuttering breath, his teeth clenched tight as he closed his eyes just before the sky broke open into a down pour; it was almost as if the clouds were crying in his stead.

Voldemort stood numbly, an odd sense of deja vu and familiarity with the situation before him.

Thoughts of Mrs.Cole having priests come to the orphanage for an annual exorcism simmered at the back of his mind like brush ready to catch fire.

Or Billy Stubbs and his moronic little friends beating the crap out of him for the mysterious death of his rabbit hanging from the rafters.

The similarities between their childhoods were uncanny, the abuse, the bullying, the neglectful and harmful adults.

Oddly enough they had forged vastly different paths for themselves in the end.

Despite the torment, despite the pain, Harry had remained pure in a way he never could imagine being himself.

Such purity should be coveted, protected, and cherished; and he found despite the deep rooted hatred he thought he felt for the boy, he wanted to do all three.

This scene soon fades too from view like the ones before it.

How many of Potter’s memories would he have to trudge through to get to the root of the problem? Severus warned not to waste time staying in one place, but there was seemingly no order to the disarray of memories.

Taking a deep breath he steels himself for what is to come.

The boy would not die, he would not allow it.

Walking forward into the mist, he is again swallowed whole.

Chapter Text

“It’s been five hours, has there really been no improvements? No signs of Potter waking?” Draco sighed dramatically at Severus who sat across him at the dining room table.

The older wizard was nursing a glass of firewhiskey in hand.

Severus’ expression was one of pure annoyance and exhaustion.

Th potion’s master hadn’t been sleeping much these days, between playing lap dog to Voldemort, feeding Dumbledore any information he could, and worrying about Potter he had little time to ease his mind.

Taking instead to practice meditation to keep himself focused if not rested.

“I often wonder if your droll little mind can even grasp the concept of listening, for you do not seem to do it very often in my presence.”

The blonde teen glared exasperatedly at his godfather, “Sev, don’t make me call father.”

Snorting into his glass Severus shakes his head, “Oh dear me no, what ever shall I do if you get Lucius? I am shivering in my boots, from the fear of it all.”

Groaning the younger lays his head against the table in defeat, “You sometimes hold too much sass for one person.”

“Hmm, so I’ve been told by many a person.” Smirks Severus before he downs the contents of his glass and stands swiftly.

Draco looks up his mercury eyes worried and conflicted with many emotions, “C-can I help with anything?”

Looking down at Draco, Severus’ obsidian eyes sharpen slightly, “If you truly wish to help then collect me a nutrition potion, a calming drought, a blood purifier, and a blood replenisher.”

Draco nods eagerly before rushing off to do so.

Shaking his head Severus looked at a grandfather clock standing in the corner of the room ticking away freely.

If only they had more time.

But time as it always was, is fleeting; and poor Potter never seemed to have enough of it.

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Unfortunately the sickening sour stench of sickness was the first thing to come to him.

Not sight, nor sound, that came later.

Next the sound of someone retching came, complete with the splash of it hitting wood flooring.

Which was accompanied by a high pitched shriek of horror and gag of disgust, as well as an unmistakable soft whimper.

A young Harry Potter of an indiscernible young age was crouched on the floor clutching his stomach.

The boy’s face was grayish in color, raven hair slick and crazy matted with copious amounts of sweat, his emerald green eyes hazy with fever and fear.

Large stomping footsteps made themselves known before a heavily set obese man came into view, blocking Harry momentarily from Voldemort’s gaze.

A horse like wraith of a woman was still shrieking to the side, “MY FLOORS! MY BEAUTIFUL FLOORS! I JUST HAD THEM POLISHED, NOW THEY ARE ABSOLUTELY RUINED!”

Her thin angular face was pinched with revulsion at the sight of her nephew and the usually clean floor covered in vomit.

“Ughhh it stinks Mummy! Make it go away now!” A younger Dudley whined and tugged at her apron childishly.

Potter looked dizzily around the room taking in the information slowly before paling more if possible after the situation dawned upon him.

“Vernon don’t just stand there! Do something!” The woman wailed.

The man was turning a purplish red in anger, now towering over the young wizard.

Before the small boy could stop him, Vernon had hauled him up by the roots of his hair causing him to cry out in pain.

Harry’s hands clawed desperately at Vernon’s hands to no avail, he was dragged to his feet forcefully and painfully.

“UP YOU GET BOY! FETCH THE BUCKET AND MOP! CLEAN UP YOUR FILTH THIS INSTANT!” Vernon boomed out, his angry spittle hitting the boy in the face.

Harry stares back at his uncle with a mixture of hatred and fear before he wrenches Vernon’s grip from his poor head.

Stumbling on wobbly limbs the boy does as he’s told.

Voldemort watches with a hollow expression, his crimson eyes narrowed.

Shaking his head he looked away and began walking again.

Although this was an unfortunate memory indeed, this would not be where he found Potter.

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Upon exiting the memory, he found himself followed by soft laughter.

The darkness that swirled around him stirred gently, like wisps of smoke spewing from a fire pit.

The hidden mirth, it sounded purer somehow.

All of the memories sounded distorted as if eclipsed by water, rippling against his eardrums.

But not this, no this felt real.

“You’re going the wrong way you know.” Chirped the voice to his right.

Voldemort turned abruptly towards the words said to him.

Standing not even two feet away, now stood an eleven year old version of his sworn enemy.

The boy was clothed in his first year Hogwarts cloak, and school uniform; the garish red and yellow of Gryffindor splashed across the front.

In his hand he held a lantern of sorts, with the odd golden insignia of a blooming Phoenix on the glass pane.

Inside of it held a tiny flickering blue flame, that seemed to waver every so often as if it were about to go out.

Squinting at the child Voldemort lifts an eyebrow, “Oh, is that right?”

Tilting his head to the side, Harry snorted at him seemingly unafraid, “Well duhhhh, I wouldn’t have said you were lost if you weren’t.”

“And...who might you be, if not whom I am seeking for?” Voldemort questions.

Smiling sadly now Harry rocks back and forth on his heels, “Well, I’m still him you know, just not the one you’re looking for. Then again I don’t matter either way, my time is gone. And his will be ending if you don’t find him. Now if you stay in this corridor you’ll never find the core memory. You might as well follow me, I know the way.”

“A Potter that speaks in riddles...the world’s wonders truly never cease. Very well, lead the way boy.” He nods to the preteen.

Nodding the younger grasps a hold of Voldemort’s hand.

Tugging him forward, the dark void begins to fade from view; it melts into a well lit corridor lined with rows and rows of labeled doors.

Sparing them a curious gaze Voldemort hesitates every so often when an anguished scream, or yelp of pain sounds from behind a door.

The younger tugs insistently at his hand bringing him forward and away from the doors, “You can’t help them now, they are just past echoes.” States the preteen factually in a very odd blunt tone that doesn't’ suit him.

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An overwhelming sense of sorrow makes him stop at one of the doors, where the name Cedric Diggory glittered in gold on the door.

That name sounded unfortunately familiar.

Before the younger could stop him, he pushed the door open.

He was hit full force in the chest with unrestrained heart wrenching pain and sadness that choked at his throat as if it were barbed wire sinking into the flesh there.

The preteen materialized next to him frowning, “I told you not to wander.”

The scene before them was one he knew all to well.

This was the Little Hangleton graveyard, the site of his resurrection.

The babbling cauldron bubbled malevolently before them as Peter Petigrew carried a small cloaked form towards it.

A fourteen year old Harry Potter stood hunched forward and squinting.

He clutched harshly at his head where his lightning bolt scar was beginning to throb and bleed, “Aghhh,the cup Cedric!”

A taller boy with light brown hair, about sixteen years of age stood next to the younger teenager questioning him worriedly, “Harry, what is it?”

“Get back to the cup!” Harry insisted through his pain.

But Cedric did no such thing, instead he held his wand bravely and threateningly up at Peter, “Who are you? What do you want?”

“Kill the spare.” Rasped a low serpentine like hiss, despite the lowness of the order it seemed to crack like a whip.

Without hesitation Wormtail held up his free arm, brandishing the pearly white yew phoenix wand of Lord Voldemort, “Avada Kedavra!”

The green hue of the killing curse flew from the tip of the wand, impacting right into the older teen’s chest.

Cedric Diggory was dead before he had even hit the ground beneath his feet, he did not have the chance to cry out in shock or fear.

His usual dark blue eyes were now a milky gray.

“NO! CEDRIC!” Harry screamed in horror.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The scene became film grained and bubbled like acid had eaten away at the edges of the memory.

Voldemort and his young guide were thrown from the memory, the door slamming shut with a resounding crack.

“…I am beginning to wonder if this boy has any happy memories at all.” Voldemort whispers, his hands white knuckled and clenched at his sides.

The eleven year old beside him is silent for a moment, “He’s quite like you in that regard I suppose? Hogwarts was the only place he was ever really happy, and even there you stole bits of that happiness. Taking chunks of it here and there as the years went along until there was little to none left.”

He looked wonderingly at the small boy before walking away from the door, “Why did I get sucked into that memory? I did not wish to view it, but I somehow felt compelled to open the door.”

Harry shrugs, “Well maybe you feel guilty? You felt every bit of what he was during that memory didn’t you? Must have been hell for you, seeing as you don’t like feeling well…anything.”

Grimacing Voldemort growls slightly, “I do not feel any guilt, the boy was in the way, so I made sure that he was promptly dealt with.”

Smiling sadly Harry simply looks up at him, “Then why do you look so unnerved?”

“Stop asking questions, and lead me to the boy!”

“Then stop getting distracted.” The younger responds but does as he’s told, he turns and continues leading the way.

“I feel a bit out of depth.” Voldemort mutters under his breath.

Harry rolls his eyes, “Marvolo used to say that too, then again he’s gone now so I guess you’ll have to do.”

His eyes fill with confusion at the mention of his middle name.

“Ahhh but you didn’t know about him until recently now did you?” Harry chortles, his emerald eyes sparkling with the hilarity of it all.

“You speak of my accidental horcrux?” Voldemort inquires gruffly, trying to keep the curiosity from bleeding into his tone.

“Mmmhum, Marvolo has been here since that night. He was mostly cranky but he had his rare moments of not being an asshole too I suppose.” Harry grins before frowning as he looks into the lantern where the flame wavers again,“We don’t have much time left I’m afraid. He’s giving up.”

“Potter is?” Voldemort glares down at the dimming lantern, “Then quickly guide me through this Circe forsaken maze of horrors so I can do something about it!”

“Geez you’re just as ornary, if not more than him...” The preteen grumbles out, “I’m doing my best with what I have been given. You’re lucky I’m here at all to lead your dumbass or you’d have been lost until you died. And we both know how much you fear death!”

“Hurry up then boy, Voldemort is losing his patience.”

“Well Voldemort can walk in circles and speak in third person all he likes then but I’m already taking the short way!” Glared the younger, “Now, kindly do be quiet.”

Voldemort stays silent for a bit longer until they come to a silvery blue door labeled Sirius Black.

The unhinged familiar cackle of Bellatrix sounds from behind it, as well as a scream of pure anguish.

“This. This is his core memory?!” He sputters uncharacteristically.

“Core memories are ever changing, they evolve over time. This wasn’t Harry James Potter’s core memory last year, and it probably won’t be his core memory a year from now either. The core memory as you know is the memory that person feels the rawest, and harshest with all of their inner self. But, yes this is where he is.” The younger smiles sadly, “Now,do you want to help him?”

Voldemort steels himself and nods, “I have come to retrieve him, he will not die this way.”

The younger rolls his eyes, “Well, you’re going to have to wait, because you have to take a test first to even be able to enter into this final room.”

Eyeing the preteen oddly now he takes a step backward, “You, you are not Potter; Are you?”

Smirking the young boy tilts his head to the side, “No, I am not. Took you long enough though to figure it out.”

The boy’s features rearrange themselves getting sharper and trimmer losing it’s baby fat, and his body stretches to a height that even towers over Voldemort in length.

Emerald eyes fade to a glowing gold, long inky black hair falls in waves to their hips.

The body before him is cloaked in living, moving shadows; the lantern in the being’s hand hung freely from it’s pointed gloved hand.

“Who…? What, are you?” Voldemort murmurs softly, already dreading the answer he will be given.

The tall, beautiful, ethereal like man chuckles deeply in a way that thrums and echoes all around them, “You, Tom Marvolo Riddle Jr. know me quite well. And I cannot say I am very happy with you my dear magi. Especially after your many attempts at thwarting me. But you may call me Chaos, it’s a tad less dramatic and flashy than Death is.”

Paling greatly Voldemort stumbles backwards as if burnt, “You...it cannot be….”

Gold eyes narrow wickedly in their malicious delight, “Oh, but I truly can be. Now do get up, dear Tommy boy. When this lantern goes out, so does with it the soul of one Harry James Potter.”

Gesturing to the lantern, Chaos motions for Voldemort to come forward again.

“Or are you giving up on him too? I would not blame you, so many have before you. After all does the boy not deserve a peaceful passing?”

Swallowing thickly Voldemort takes a small step forward, “What is my test?”

Smirking a half smile half smirk Chaos speaks, “Are you very sure that you wish to save Harry?”

Frowning Voldemort eyes the god before him, “Why ask me such things? I am here am I not?”

“Ah, ah, ah, but you are faltering. How can I measure your merit of wanting to save his soul when all of your instincts are telling you to flee? Why even the name you gave yourself is against you! What says you oh mighty Lord of Flight of Death?” Chaos snarks in a sing song mocking tone, “I can send you back if you so wished it.”

“I am not leaving here without him.” He speaks evenly without a shred of reluctance.

Chaos’ gold eyes narrow in anger losing all merriment from them, “Very well, but you will do best to remember that I gave you a way out, but you refused.” Snapping his fingers a second door appears, this one labeled Tom Marvolo Riddle Jr, “Run along now Lord Voldemort, you have an important guest to greet.”

Voldemort edged toward the door, forcing his feet to walk onward.

His hand grasped the knob in a death grip, before he yanked it open.

A blinding light met him before two dark blue gray eyes stared back at him from the face of his sixteen year old self.

“Oh, so you opened it after all. I had voted that you wouldn’t. I suppose that means I lost, how intriguing and odd.” The teenager states flippantly as he stands from the desk he was situated at, “Don’t just stand there, Lord Voldemort. We have much to discuss.”

Voldemort tries to shake himself from the shock of seeing a doppelganger of his past teenhood.

The teenager’s gray blue eyes fleck with crimson and the boy switches to parseltongue, “I’ve been waiting a very long time for us to interact. I apologize for the lack of fealty on my part to you, but you are not what I wanted for us.”

The door shuts behind Voldemort.

“Now sit, won’t you?” Tom smiles a charmingly disarming smile.

Chapter Text

---------------------------------------------------------------

An old antique, green leather arm chair appeared in front of the desk that his teenage self was seated at.

Tom Riddle Jr’s smile turned a bit more sinister, and far less charming school boy by the seconds that ticked by, “Does it need repeating? If so, by all means please, do sit down.”

Finally snapping out of his own thoughts the Dark lord scowled at his teenage self, “Lord Voldemort does not take orders, especially not from figments of the past that have no right being here in the first place.”

Rolling his crystal like gray blue eyes, Tom simply snorts and crosses his legs as he steeples his fingers together on the desk, “Oh? And here I thought you would be more forthcoming with your questions. Must I drag them from you like pulling teeth from a cavity riddled child?”

Growling Voldemort tries to tamp down his growing rage, “Am I not here to be tested? Or is my true fate to be annoyed to death by a spoiled brat version of myself?”

Smirking some, Tom tilted his head, “Well, I suppose that is entirely up to you Lord Voldemort; but do know that while I have no qualms with you, I am not loyal to you any longer.”

The Dark lord lifts a slender eyebrow in curiosity, “And who might inspire such loyalty from you now, if not myself?”

“Why, Harry Potter of course.” Came the instant reply followed close behind a dazzling toothy smirk, “I have against all odds become rather attached to him over the years; he’s rather interesting when you know exactly where to squint.”

Frowning Voldemort eyed him closely, from the pristine Slytherin robes and uniform, to the glimmering shine of the prefect badge pinned to his chest, “You are not the horcrux that I accidentally made inside of the boy, are you?”

Grinning widely in a wolfish like grin with rows of shining perfect teeth, Tom replies, “You are correct in your assumption, I am indeed not that particular horcrux shard.”

“The one Death called Marvolo, that is who was previously left behind is it not?” The Dark lord inquires.

“Ah yes, my predecessor. I suppose that is what he might have called himself.” Tom agrees.

“You do not belong here.” Voldemort states evenly, his tone commanding and final.

Tom chuckles silky, his eyes flecking a menacing crimson more and more as he speaks. He was not at all affected by his future self’s need for control, “Oh? And why might that be? Who exactly might you be to say where I do and do not belong? After all you quite literally scooped out half your soul; like cutting off a cancerous tumor like mass. And for what? The ability to cheat death. You, Lord Voldemort no longer get a say on what I do or say.”

“Where is your true vessel horcrux?” Bristling Voldemort growls viciously still not sitting in the seat set out for him.

“I guess that depends on who you ask? But knowing your true question meaning, I would have to say that it has long since been destroyed by a basalisk fang in the hands of a foolish twelve year old boy.” Tom remarks with an almost forlorn sigh, “As you can see, I am here for good unless you reabsorb me like you did for Marvolo.”

Voldemort’s head whips back as if physically slapped, “I adsorbed a horcrux shard?”

“My, my you are slow on the uptake. Did making so many horcrux stunt our brain cell growth as well as our sanity?” Tom volleys back at him; looking at Voldemort with pity and out right disgust, “Come now, you must have pieced some of this altogether on your own Lord Voldemort. Did you think that you magically simply woke up with more sanity, and a bit more hair without do cause?”

Scowling at the joke at his expense Voldemort finally sits, “Enough of this circling back talk! What is this test I must accomplish?”

“Back to that are we? You sure do flip flop more than what I am used to. Then again I am not too surprised about your limited attention span. You are after all working on less than half a soul at the moment.” The teenager replies with an annoyed huff of a laugh.

“Answer me! I did not come here to be teased and insulted by the specter of a mere child of all things!”

“Fine I shall tell you. But you will find that you will not like my answer; Of that much I am certain.” Tom states as he looks Voldemort straight in the eyes, “You must promise to re-adsorb all of your horcrux.”

Voldemort stays silent for a moment of great hesitance before responding, his face contorting some in it’s indecision, “No, I cannot. As interesting as the Potter boy is, he is not worth losing my chances at permanent immortality.”

The teenager’s magic thrashes and whirls about the confines of room they are in; gales of blackish red send papers scattering off of the desk.

Tom closes his eyes for a moment before he reopens them and takes a deep calming breathe before he can even speak, “Do not make the mistake of trying to end him. I have been there, and surprisingly I regret it immensely. If I could go out into the world in your stead I would protect him with all that I am. We have so much we could accomplish! Do you not see his worth? Together, we would be unstoppable, you just need to open your eyes to possibilities you have forgotten. He could remind you, if you would only let him.”

The younger stood abruptly rounding the desk to stand in front of Voldemort, his eyes turning fully crimson now, “You are a foolish, broken, splintered, version of the person once called Tom Marvolo Riddle. You are not worthy of the immortality of which you seek. Lord Voldemort you will forever live only half a life, as a soulless abomination, if you kill Harry. Is that what you truly seek?”

The Dark lord’s magic rises up in ominous deadly thrums, snaking around his past selves’ magic in a poisonous black miasma of angry energy. He too stands, towering only ever so slightly over his sixteen year old self, “I do not wish for him to die.”

Tom glares back at him, “You cannot have both Lord Voldemort, so I do not believe you. You doom him with every breath that you take, and with every word against his well being that you speak. You are a charming mask of duplicity, wrapped in thick barbs of uncontrolled rage. I am ashamed of what we have become. This, this is not what I had wanted. No, what we had wanted I should say. You must remember that much can’t you? Or have you truly forgotten all that which is important to us?”

“I remember the want and need to be greater than all around me; I have gained more power than you can ever possibly imagine!” Voldemort hisses out with fierce pride.

Tom smiles sadly at his older self, his gray blue eyes severely disappointed, “No, you have gained nothing but loneliness, and empty power that will eventually erode as your mind surely will.”

“Do not look upon me with such eyes! You are just a horcrux, you are are place holder, nothing else. You over step your boundaries; Potter has corrupted you somehow! I would never look at someone with such eyes!” Voldemort howled and backed away from the younger as if he were scalded by hot water.

Tom only follows him as he backs away, his eyes luminous in the ever encroaching darkness around them, “I am what you made me to be yes, but Harry Potter has shown me what I could have been. And we could have been so, so much more than you are currently Lord Voldemort. You are a failure in every way, and you have now taken the last remaining flickering light that could have steered you back onto your rightful path. You have snuffed his pure light out. I can only pray to Circe that you are happy with your choice.”

The teenager leans ever closer in the final moments, “Oh and by the way, if you don’t want him, I will just have to find my way to him instead.” A Cheshire like sharp grows on his face, “Go now, knowing that you had the chance to save your soulmate, but chose selfishly instead.” Tom’s gray blue eyes were the last thing Voldemort saw before jerking away, falling backward into the abyss.

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Chapter Text

Coming back was disorienting, much like an out of body experience of astral projection gone horribly wrong. It was a feeling one would associate with whiplash; suddenly being slammed back to reality and being. Needless to say it was far from pleasant.

A metallic taste filled his mouth upon opening his eyes. Coughing raggedly he wet his lips with his tongue to somehow ease or clear the nasty taste.

His throat felt like sandpaper, scraping painfully as he swallowed thickly.

Blearily Harry peered around the room.

The Dark Lord’s quarters were surprisingly empty, and dimly lit save for the glow of an odd iv bag full of light blue liquid that led down a cord into the top of his hand; and a few candles almost burning out on the beside table.

“My, you really aren’t looking so well are you Harry? Though I suppose it could have far gone worse; you’re welcome by the way.” Came a velvety voice to his right.

Blinking his emerald eyes, a feeling of dread filled him as his sluggish brain pin pointed and cataloged where exactly he’d heard that voice before.

A sixteen year old Tom Marvollo Riddle in all his glory, sat in one of the winged back chairs next to the bed, sporting his school robes and Slytherin colors like a war banner, “Cat got your tongue darling?”

“…H-How…? I killed you…I stabbed the diary with the basalisk fang…” The raven rasped out in horror.

A soft silky chuckle escapes Tom; no it was the diary memory He reminded himself stubbornly.

“Funny thing about that, you merely destroyed my vessel. I simply found another more accommodating place of residence, that’s all.” Tom replied slowly with the patience of someone talking to someone far less smarter than themselves.

Harry's breathe came in and out in rapid spurts of uneven gasps, “N-No…I stopped...you...” He trailed off as black splotches ate at the edges of his vision.

What was happening? Was he dying?

As if reading his mind, which was totally possible given the circumstances, Tom spoke, “You are not dying. Though you are being a bit dramatic. It appears to be a panic attack of sorts, nothing too worrisome. Make sure you even out your breathing slowly, you should be fine soon enough.” The bed dips some and a long elegant hand rubs gently up and down the pattern of his spine, “There, there. It’s not so bad Harry. After all, you’re still alive hmm? That is a victory if there ever was one; and we have so much to be thankful for.”

Harry stiffens at the unexpected sudden touch, clenching his eyes closed he tries to calm and block out the unwanted presence next to him and the warmth the caresses brought about to his lower stomach.

“Now you’ll hurt my feelings if you keep this up, Harry. And after I saved you, this is my thanks?” Huffing a fake sigh the other teen pulls back his long fingers ghosting the air next to Harry’s face,

“Very well, I’ll give you some time to adjust to the idea. But only a little. After all I am patient, unlike him.” Tom whispers softly against the shell of Harry’s ear, electing a shiver from the raven.

And just like that Tom’s overwhelming magical presence and weight on the bed next to him disappeared.

Harry almost missed the solid chest pressed against his back; he really must be going crazy.

First hallucinations, now panic attacks.

What was next? White straight jackets and padded cells?

When Harry came back to himself he realized there was a screeching status charm going off that someone must have placed upon his person. It bounced off the walls of the otherwise silent room, before the door to the bedroom slammed open cracking against the wall loudly.

Severus Snape literally seemed to fly into the room, like a bat out of hell. Which had the situation been less stressful for Harry, he might have laughed out right at the potion master’s frazzled appearance.

Wide obsidian orbs bore into his glassy emerald green ones, “You’re awake...” The older man’s voice gravelly at best, having seemed to lose all it’s usual smoothness. Disbelief was painted across his face.

“Can’t...breathe…” Harry manages out before another wave of claustrophobia hit him.

Rummaging quickly in his robes Severus hurriedly glides over, and forces a calming drought down Harry’s throat none too gently.

An oozing warm blanket of calm sluggishly works it’s self throughout his veins. It took a couple of minutes to fully take effect.

Swallowing thickly Harry sits up in bed his eyebrows furrowed, “What just happened?”

Severus eyes him warily before taking the seat Tom had previously vacated, “Many things happened, it’s a bit troublesome to list them all to you at once Mister Potter.”

Frowning more Harry glares slightly, “It’s all in a jumbled fog of images, Bellatrix cackling, hitting the floor, pain, and someone holding me I think...was that all a weird dream…?” He rubs his forehead trying to piece everything together properly.

“Unfortunately for you, everything you recall is fact.” The potion’s master states calmly, and almost too out of character.

“Where is Voldemort…?” Harry asks warily.

Clearing his throat some Severus’ mouth twitches unpleasantly into a sneer, “Must you repeat his name aloud where ever you go? Do you truly not know the power of names?”

Snorting Harry shrugs, “It’s not his real name anyways.” he mutters out.

The door to the room opens and in walks the Dark lord himself, looking a tad paler than the last time remembered seeing him. The older wizard’s magic was overflowing into the room in an almost choking oppressive grip that crashed over their heads like a mighty tidal wave of pressure.

Severus flinches back a bit, instantly cowering his head in a show of submission and respect.

Dark crimson eyes clash with emerald green, sparks of an electric current of magical energies slink inward and infect Harry’s mind making him feel light headed.

There was a sharp pulling tug against his weak occlumency shields before something almost foreign yet darkly warm and familiar rose up to meet the Dark lord’s attempts at intrusion.

Panting Harry’s scar ruptures, dripping blood half down his face and into part of his vision.

It seemed to happen in only seconds, before the strength of Voldemort’s efforts waned and ebbed like sand running out of an hour glass.

“What. Was. That.” Voldemort bites out viciously as he stalked forward to wrap his hands around Harry’s throat, restricting his air flow.

“M-My Lord...please, the boy has only just recovered enough to wake.” Severus states pleadingly, though even with his plea, he stood still as an iron rod; making no attempts to stop him.

Harry gasped and gulped soundlessly as he clawed at the Dark lord’s grip helplessly before his hands fell to his sides.

But than a very weird thing happened, emerald green eyes bled to an odd glowing ruby red, not as dark as Voldemort’s eyes, but just as formidable and wicked.

With a flick of Harry’s hand Voldemort is thrown back against the far wall.

Voldemort is stunned momentarily, he shook his head dizzily.

Harry stands up and locks eyes with him and speaks, “Did I not warn you? Did I not say it clearly and plainly enough, for your shattered and addled mind to comprehend?”

The voice coming out of Harry’s mouth was different than the boy’s true one, it made the Dark Lord pale in horror and shock.

Because this voice was very familiar one he could never forget even if he tried, after all how would one not recognize their own voice?

Smirking some Harry’s now ruby eyes glint maliciously, “Yes, I have control of him at the moment. That’s terrifying to you is it not? Good, it should be. Because I could end his life at any moment in time with just a slight of the hand should I see fit to do so. But you already know that, you’re not entirely imbecilic. That fact being known that I could kill him, but do not should tell you something important Lord Voldemort.”

Severus stood rooted to the ground he stood upon seemingly at a loss on what to do. His obsidian eyes were hooded and calculating as he tried to piece together and assemble the situation properly in his brain.

Harry’s head tilts to the side and grins all of his teeth glinting, “So this is the one who helped you hmm? He must be an elite potions master to provide such expertise.”

Voldemort growls and calmly steps forward, “The boy’s life is mine to end, and mine to handle as I see fit. Not yours, abominations like you get no choices.”

“Oh an abomination now am I? Funny that you ended up making plenty of us unsightly errors in the long run. Slowly shaving away at your sanity with each splintering piece of your soul. And whats more priceless and hilariously delicious, is that I have more of your soul now than you do at this current moment in time; which would make me the dominant soul shard.” Harry states glibly a cat like smile touching his lips.

“You hold no body, you are merely a parasite clinging precariously to an unwilling host.” Voldemort snarls out, “Never will you be dominant over me! I CREATED YOU!”

“I am without body momentarily yes; but things change in the blink of an eye my friend, do not underestimate me. After all, I am you and we always get what we want in the end now don’t we?” Harry murmurs out silkily smooth before his eyes rolled back into his head and he collapses like a rag doll against the bedspread in a heap of limbs, blood smeared down his face and chin.

Severus rushes forward doing a status charm, and a couple others, “Scourgify.”

The blood vanishes from the teenager’s face leaving a swollen and inflamed looking scar on his forehead.

“Get out.” States Voldemort deadly calm.

“But My Lord...” Severus starts.

The Dark lord’s yew wand lifts upward “CRUCIO!”

Severus cries out in agony though he manages to remain standing long enough to bow stiffly and stumble from the room with long since practiced skillful haste.

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The door slams shut behind him leaving the unconscious teen and dark lord alone.

Nagini slithers out from her hiding spot in the room’s closet, where her nest is, “Master, why does the hatchling smell even more like you than previously?”

Voldemort walks over to the bed and sits in the chair next to it, he stares hatefully at the teenage boy on his bed, “An unforeseen anomaly has occurred, one I had not calculated on happening.”

“Does that mean there are two Masters now?” Nagini wonders in awe of the very idea.

Voldemort tugs painfully at Harry’s hair lifting the boy upright into a sitting position.

Harry groans and whimpers at the manhandling his eyes opening half laden he speaks raspily, “Let go of me...”

A necklace of bruises was forming darkly against the pale column of Harry’s throat.

“What have you done boy?”

Frowning Harry glares hotly at Voldemort, and pulls free from his grasp, “Nothing other than get kidnapped by you, get almost killed by your shitty crazy death eaters, and somehow get possessed by a younger version of you that won’t leave me alone. All of which was not on my to do list thank you kindly.”

The teen shifts some on the bed as Nagini piles herself into his lap wrapping around his middle. Her snout bumping against Harry’s cheek as her tongue tastes at him, “I told you to become Master’s mate, not to house more of Master’s soul shards!”

Harry shook his head, “Well it wasn’t like I had much choice in the matter, seeing as Riddle seemed to have hitched a ride in my head since second year.”

Voldemort’s nostrils flare at the name Riddle but he stays seated, keeping his hands now to himself.

Eyeing the Dark Lord Harry mutters out, “What is Riddle anyways? Some kinda memory come to life? I’ve never heard of such a thing possessing people.”

Swallowing thickly Voldemort tries to calm himself, “What do you know of soul magic? Little I assume.”

Harry frowns and scours his mind for any memories of such a thing being taught at Hogwarts, but he came up blank. Grimacing he admits defeat, “I’ve never heard of it before. Nagini said I had a soul shard in me...does that mean...oh ew...is part of your soul inside of me? How the hell did that happen?”

Rubbing the bridge of his nose Voldemort sighs, “The night I murdered your parents I presume, the backlash of the killing curse, and my turning into a specter with no body of my own. Part of my soul must have attached its self to the only other living thing in the room. A Horcrux, it is a type of soul magic.”

“…Do you think Dumbledore knows?” Harry whispers out, as a cold bout of dread knotted his insides.

Smirking the Dark lord grins viciously, “But of course he knows, Dumbeldore always knows what we do not wish for him to. It’s like his super power.”

Harry lifts an eyebrow, “Did you just make a joke? I have a piece of your sodding soul stuck in my scar, and you’re making jokes?” He let out a breath in a soft half hysterical puff of air and laugh.

Frowning at his own behavior the dark Lord stands, “Nagini, watch him.”

“Yes, Master.” Nagini hisses out happily from the teenager’s lap.

“I don’t need watching I’m not a five year old.”

Voldemort ignores him and walks toward the door, “I have research to do, try not to instigate any other attacks on your person in my absence. And if you must leave this room, do not do so alone.”

“You’re not my keeper, I can do as I please.” Harry snapped back at him.

“Unless you wish to be put in the dungeons you will do as you are told.”

Harry slumped back against the pillows dejectedly glaring at his arch enemies’ back, “Fine, but only because I don’t fancy getting offed by Bellatrix anytime soon.”

The door shut as the Dark lord exited the room, leaving Harry to his many unwanted thoughts.

“His mind is degrading more than I realized.” Tom remarks, spooking both Harry and Nagini as they look up.

Tom is again seated in the chair next to the bed, “Ah, this must be the lovely lady Nagini, the pleasure is all mine.”

Nagini tastes the air, “I forgot how charming Master could be. But I suppose Master is Master no matter what shape or form he takes.” She states simply and rests her head on Harry’s shoulder comfortingly.

Harry scoffs at that, rolling his eyes, “Yeah well excuse me if I take Riddle over Lord Tantrum.”

Snickering Tom smiles at Harry, “Oh? It’s nice hearing that you prefer me Harry. After all, we have much to discuss and plan.”

“Plan…? Why do I get the feeling that these plans, won’t be exactly wonderful on my end of things?” Harry remarks leering at Tom.

Bracing his chin atop his right hand Tom balances his arm against his knee and assumes what looks to be a pose of pure innocence, “Now why my dear, would you assume that?”

“Well I dunno, maybe because the last time we met you set a twelve foot thousand year old basalisk after me?”

“Bygones really, I have already forgotten. Let us put it behind us, can we not start over anew little one? I promise this go around, I won’t harm a hair on your head.” Tom promises with a hand over his heart in the guise of a solemn swear.

Eyeing him dubiously Harry sighs, “No matter what I say you’re not going to leave me alone, are you?”

Smirking some Tom leans forward a bit into Harry’s personal space, “Ah, well you see, that’s not really in the cards for either of us Harry. Even if I got my own body; I’ve grown rather attached to you, you see? I can not possibly be parted from you now, it’s already too late for that I’m afraid.”

Harry’s heart sped up as Riddle leaned towards him, “W-what do you mean too late?”

Chuckling softly Tom reaches up and tucks a stray messy curl of Harry’s behind his ear, “We are soul bonded, now Harry. I’m sure you’re smart enough to figure out what that entails hmm?”

“Soul...bonded…?” Harry mutters out his emerald eyes boggling in shock, “You mean like soul mates? How can we possibly be such a thing?”

Wrinkling his nose some in distaste at the word Tom caresses the under side of Harry’s swollen scar, sending a jolt of both pleasurable heat and pain through him.

Shuddering Harry hisses out a breath of air.

“Soul mates, what a tacky little fairy tale namesake. No, no. What we are, is something so much more Harry. We are the same, forever to be interchangeable, and interlinked through this and our next lives. Don’t you see? We will be so good together, so very powerful.” Tom licks his lips and runs his fingers down the side of Harry’s neck grazing the bruises on it with his nails jarringly.

“Pity I didn’t give these to you. I could have made it less painful, and more worth your while.”

Harry shivers, “I um...” the smaller teenager swallowed uncomfortably.

“Like I said, think on it won’t you?” Tom’s voice is like pure silk.

The taller boy stands, “Rest now, we’ve got a lot to do. And I need you at your best.”

“Don’t tell me what to---” Harry began to say, but Riddle’s magic wrapped around him like a thick blanket, and he soon felt himself falling away into the awaiting arms of slumber despite his efforts not to.

“Watch over him won’t you Nagini?” Tom whispers to the familiar.

“I have my orders from Master, I will always obey.” Nagini hissed out, “Besides, the hatchling needs me.”

Smiling some, Tom scratches the underside of Nagini’s chin, “That he does.”

And with that he disappears into a thick red haze that absorbs back into Harry’s sleeping form.

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