Rated RHP/DM HP/TR
Hermione Granger sat quietly next to her old friend, petting his hair as he leaned into her for support. “Harry...” she whispered, keeping her eyes over his as he sniffled in her arms. “It’s going to be alright. Don’t worry. I know he’s acting harsh, but I don’t know how I could persuade him. After all, he is Albus Dumbledore.”
Openly crying now, he rubbed his nose vigorously with his sleeve. “He‘s going to take it all away!” he cried between hiccups. “Tom and Draco are all I know now! They’re what keep me alive! They’re the ones I love…”
“Shh, it’s okay. I know, dear, I know. I‘ll see what I can do.” She doubted she could do anything but the boy seemed so vulnerable, she had to comfort him in some way or another.
Harry sat up a bit, glancing quickly over to the side of the cot where he had let the wand slide to. He adjusted the thin cotton sheet over himself acting as if he needed to draw comfort from to himself when, in actuality, he was really trying to concealing the wand carefully. Even if she was his friend, she was also the enemy now. She sided with that bloody old bastard. But still…
He looked into Hermione’s eyes then and sniffled one last time. “’Mione, you need to know that he’ll come for us- for Draco and me. He’s more powerful than he was before. I don’t want you to be here when that happens.”
Hermione shook her head sadly. “He can’t get in here. Besides, I work for the Order now, I have to help. I’m really sorry Harry, but I have to.”
“But what if he did?” Harry asked, rubbing his swollen eyes. “It would be suicide to stick around then. I don’t want to see you get hurt.”
She patted his thigh reassuringly. “Get some rest. I have to go to the interrogation room now, but I‘ll be back shortly.” she said, brushing a soft kiss on his nose before leaving him to sleep.
As she walked out the door, she missed the glint that flashed in his eyes as he watched her. Tom would come.
Sirius pulled on his black dragon-hide boots, a pair Remus had borrowed from him a few days before the Peter Pettigrew incident 15 years back. They were a graduation present from his mother, and he loved them. It was all he had left in the world of his past and today was the first time he ever thought to put them on. They did make him look snazzy, but it was more than that. It was about memories. Memories are all you half left of the past. And something told him today was about to be one of those peculiar days he would remember for the rest of his life- if he lived long enough to be able to remember.
Even so, he wasn’t going to harm anyone. His goal was to help get Harry out, he told himself with an unpleasant sensation at the pit of his stomach. No one will be harmed he hoped, except maybe Dumbledore, the old git. Just remove the wards, get the boys out and leave. That was his job. He honestly didn’t care about the other’s jobs, it was better not to think about it. Sometimes it was better not to think at all and just do it. Go in, get Harry (and Draco), and get out.
He pulled his sleeve up to his elbow, and studied the mark on his forearm with disgust. It didn’t hurt anymore, that had stopped months ago. And yet, it still hurt. Every time he looked at it, it hurt him deeply. It felt like a mark of guilt and maybe it was.
Remus refused the mark several times since their stay at the Riddle House began. The mansion’s owner never allowed the werewolf a moments rest, but he didn’t seem to mind much now. He cared about the boys. He helped train Draco and grew quite fond of him very quickly.
That was fine with Sirius; he liked the interaction between the two. They shared a sick sense of humor and an oddly particular fancy for banana sherbet. He preferred chocolate.
He didn’t mind all the time his godson spent with the boy either. Draco seemed to melt in the boy’s eyes whenever he was around him, showing care and loving to his friend like no other. Harry had that affect on people. Even the great Lord Voldemort showed a similar reaction when with Harry- yet evil he is, evil he’ll be. He did not crumble like Draco did, but oddly enough it was okay.
As he strapped the buckles onto their places, Severus Snape entered his chambers, fresh from the Ministry’s custody. “It’s nearly time, Black. All the Death Eaters are here, waiting on you and the wolf.” he said emotionlessly. Sirius had to admit: the man had composure. But damn he was irritating!
“Yeah, I’m coming. Give me a minute.” he replied, keeping his disgust from showing.
Harry felt the stirring in his head, wandering smoothly around, opening doors, shifting memories. He jerked up, bolting upright on the cot, shaking his head with disbelief and alarm. “Stop it!” he shouted loudly, as a wild panic began to set in.
The feeling strengthened, blocking his thoughts as it closed several doors in his mind shut, locking away his life. “Dumbledore?! You promised I could see Draco first!” he screamed blindly, feeling his memories began to fade. He promised. Dumbledore had promised.
He lunged for his wand and brought it close. Scanning the tiny cell room anxiously, he waited for anyone or anything to happen. He could feel his tears blurring his vision; he started to hyperventilate. This couldn’t be happening already. It just couldn’t. Dumbledore promised that…no…Tom. Where was Tom?! He said he’d come!
A voice sounded in his head then. A soft, relaxing voice that calmed his nerves and made him think of something familiar. It soothed him and he knew Tom was coming.
As the voice spoke, the words weaved around his mind mixing his thought and relaxing him completely, guiding him. Harry nodded his head as he wiped the burning tears from his cheeks. “I will.”
Tom would save him.
Tom stood at the boundary of Hogsmeade, followed by over 30 of his most faithful Death Eaters. The full moon had risen, resting directly over their heads, casting off an eerie glow to their white masks.
Remus half-stood off to the side in full werewolf form looking deadly. The others seemed slightly anxious about his joining their excursion, but they had nothing to worry about, he had taken his potion. He crouched down, baring his teeth, strands of hot saliva leaked from the corners of his canine lips. Only Sirius stood along side him, nervously fidgeting around, playing with his wand in his hands. He wasn’t afraid of the werewolf- hell, he was as comfortable as could with be a werewolf; he was just edgy because of the mission.
“I want you to head to the Shrieking Shack when the wards drop. It‘s imperative that you do this as soon as possible.” Sirius whispered almost inaudibly. Remus heard it easily enough and began to shake his head. Amber irises locked onto his closest and only friend, pleading to stay at his side.
“Just do it!” hissed Sirius, baring his own fangs and glaring out at any other Death Eater who dared to look his way. Just because he had the Dark Mark too didn’t mean he was one of them.
Tom smiled to himself as he felt the emotional uproar Harry was causing inside the castle. He literally felt the magic stream out through the stones, drift into the air, and filling him with energy and hope. “Get ready my Death Eaters.” he shouted, pulling out his wand and directing Lucius over to him.
Lucius ran up quickly, trembling with excitement. “Yes, my Lord?” he asked anxiously.
Tom smiled, keeping his eyes fixed forward, staring into nothingness. “Everything is in place, just as I said. You know what to do. I have to concentrate on other things now.” he said, walking off into the darkness alone.
He was coming.
Bill and Charlie sat idly by as they waited outside the interrogation room. Dumbledore seemed to be in a foul mood and had politely asked them both to step outside, while he loomed over his silver eyed bounty.
“These poor kids...” said Bill in a half whisper, “They don’t even know what they’ve gotten themselves into. Being thrown into the middle of a brewing war- pawns to both sides. Harry still looks likes he’s 12 years old. Just the sight of him breaks my heart.”
“Don’t worry, Bill. I got a letter yesterday from a man who cares very much for the boys. If anything happens, I know what to do.” replied Charlie, reassuring his sibling by squeezing his shoulder. “Just stay close and gather up Ron and Hermione to us; I’ll take care of the rest.”
Bill nodded absently, wanting to believe his brother’s words, but knowing there was little hope. He could feel the impending magic loom over the castle as it darkened in his mind. Why could no one else feel it? Why did everything seem so calm and relaxed? Surely, someone would have ran down the corridor by now, screaming aloud with the force he felt himself, splitting his veins open with sheer anxiety.
“I feel it, too.” whispered Charlie, as if reading his brother’s mind.
The door in front of them opened slowly, and Albus signaled them both inside.
Draco was standing in the back of the room, arms crossed over his chest and glaring daggers at the two men. “Just when I thought the day couldn‘t get much better, then in walks more Weasleys.” he breathed, dropping his arms and stepping forward to them.
“When will the torture end?” he asked sarcastically, raising his hands upward as a gesture to God. He didn’t believe in God.
“He is ready to return to his cell, please make sure that he does so.” said Albus passively.
Hermione, sitting back on her dreaded bench, stood up in protest. “You promised Harry he could see Draco!” she said sternly. “The poor boy is anxious!”
“I cannot allow that any longer. Now, please escort this boy back to his room.” Albus replied, waving his hand to dismiss them.
“Why not?” shouted Hermione, feeling betrayed and angry. How dare he?! For the first time in her life, she wanted to hit Dumbledore will the strongest curse she could think of.
“Miss Granger, never question my reasons. This boy carries the Dark Mark, a direct link to his Master. I can’t afford to take any chances over that. I’m going now to take care of Harry, he won’t remember he was told he could see this child anyways.” said Albus, pulling his wand from his pocket and walking calmly to the door.
Draco leapt forward, but Bill and Charlie gripped his upper arms before he could reach the Headmaster. “What are you talking about?” he shouted frantically. “Don’t you hurt him, Dumbledore! I swear to Mordred I’ll rip your heart out if you touch him! Damn you!”
Hermione’s hands flew up to her face in shock and sadness. Her heart pounded in agony, tears flowing freely seeing Draco so torn by the threat to his love.
“Draco, you need to relax. This won’t help anything.” soothed Charlie, giving the boy’s upper arm a tight squeeze.
Harry’s cell door opened with a loud thud against the wall. Albus and Ron stepped inside, seeing the boy kneeling in the corner, speaking gibberish to himself under his breath. Seeing the wand gripped tightly in the boy’s hand, Albus gasped loudly, quickly disarming him.
Harry lifted his own head up then, feeling the air around the room, around the dungeon. Reaching out farther with his mind, he suddenly sensed the disapparation wards crumbling around them.
Ron pulled his friend up to him, hugging him into his chest as he whispered soft words into the boy’s ear, hoping it would snap Harry out of his ramblings. “He’s speaking parseltongue, Professor.” he said, looking over to Albus, who seemed to be ignoring him.
The old man lifted his wand over his head, and apparated perfectly to the other side of the room, and winced.
Finally he looked at Ron. “Put him on the cot.” he directed the redhead, who reluctantly nodded, numbly placing his entranced friend on the mattress and stepping back a few paces.
Albus frowned, shaking his head sadly as he pointed his wand directly at Harry. “I’m so sorry, my dear boy. I never wanted you to be so involved.” he whispered, feeling a single tear fall from his non-twinkling eye, disappearing in the thick, white beard. “Obliviate!”
With the outer wards remaining intact, very few wizards in existence wielded the power to apparate into the castle through them- fortunately, Lord Voldemort happened to be one of them. Smiling to himself as he straightened his cloak out over his shoulders, he palmed his wand, and walked calmly out of the empty Great Hall.
He was coming.
Draco dug his heels into the floor as the Weasley boys moved slowly down the hall, Hermione in tow. “Hey, Granger,” he exclaimed, looking over his shoulder to her, “I know how I treated you in the past, but someone made me see my errors about it, so I’m going to give you a small piece of advice right now, if you’ll have it.” he said, feeling the intense burning over his forearm, hoping he really understood what it meant.
“Listen to your heart. I know you care about Harry and I know he loves you. Just be ready, and listen to your heart.” he said, feeling the Weasley boys’ grip loosen as he spoke.
Hermione wiped her tear-streaked face off with her fingers, staring at her enemy in raw confusion. She nodded slightly then, not quite understanding his words, but knew deep down she would when the time came.
The grip tightened again, and Draco turned his head back towards the door to his cell, walking with the boys willingly.
A shrill voice sounded out over every room and corridor in the castle. Minerva McGonagall had announced loudly for all students to stay in their common rooms until further notice, and all teachers report to the Main Hall.
Tom passed by the Main Hall unnoticed, while various professors scrambled around, directing children to their dorms and lining up by the front doors. No one had a clue as to who he was, it was impossible to even think someone who looked like that could possibly be Lord Voldemort. Voldemort was rumored to be ugly and he- well, he was not.
Walking stealthily through the dungeon corridors, he zoned in on his boy easily. He could feel Albus’ powerful magical signature somewhere close, but it was moving, drifting to the upper levels of the castle then.
Stopping at the cell, he blew the steel door from its hinges and stepped inside, greeted by a very shocked young woman. He looked her over with a snort, as she racked her brain over who this person standing over her might be.
Tom spotted Harry then, staring off at the wall, sullen and dazed.
His Harry. He had come for his Harry.
“Harry, my sweet...” he said with a small smile, waving his wand over the boy, hissing out a few indecipherable words Hermione couldn’t understand.
Harry looked up to Tom as the spell fell over him, releasing a single memory stored behind one of the locked doors. Feeling the sudden wave of remembrance and relief, he stood up on the cot and walked over it, falling into his lover’s arms. “I knew you’d come for me.” he whispered faithfully, hugging his arms around the man’s chest, feeling safe once again. His Tom.
Tom smirked as he scanned over the cowering girl once more. “Allow me to introduce myself, if you hadn’t guessed by now- I am Lord Voldemort.” he mused to himself as he watched her brown eyes widen in disbelief and her small frame tremble in fear.
“And who might you be?” he asked, picking up Harry and feeling his boy wrap his long legs around his waist, not willing to let go of his Tom ever again.
Hermione forced herself to stand, knowing it very well could be the last time she did it, but her strong Gryffindor bravery refused to allow her to die on her knees.
“I- I’m Hermione.” she managed to say, and Tom’s eyebrow cocked in interest.
“Ah,” he said in tone of remembrance, “Harry’s friend. He missed your birthday. He seemed so upset about that.”
Hermione stood silent, her mouth opened and closed several times, but no words were able to form any longer.
Harry turned his head towards the small, young woman, looking her over carefully with an untrusting stare. “My friend? I don’t understand,” he said, shaking his head, “I don’t know her.”
Tom chuckled loudly, as he shifted Harry’s weight over his arm. “Of course you don’t, kitten. That’s no longer necessary.” He resumed his stare over the girl once again, and narrowed his blood-red eyes. “No need to remember silly muggleborn girls who betray their friends. No, no need to remember anything anymore, except me.
“As for you-” he said, flicking his wand at the girl, “if I see you out there, you’ll be the first to fall. Now run away and hide, little one.”
Albus passed through the Main Hall, throwing the main doors open with one swift flick of his wand. “These wards must stay in place,” he said with his back to the teachers, “if they fall, we’ll be forced to fight to protect the students.”
Draco sat forlornly on the floor of his cell, allowing Ron and Bill to sit on his cot. This was probably the first and only time he would let a Weasley have better accommodation than himself.
His mark was shaded black, meaning his master was near, but as of yet, the only signs of panic shown by anyone in the castle was the quick announcement.
Ron rested his back against the stone wall the cot was up against, as he willed himself not to feel sorry for the amazing bouncing ferret sitting across from him. He and lord knew who else had had their way with his best friend, twisting facts, bending knowledge, changing ideals. Being the manipulative bastard that he was.
“Malfoy.” he said, “What potions did you use on him?”
“What are you talking about, Weasel?” he replied, making an impatient noise in his throat.
“To make Harry like you, tolerate you.” he smirked. Bill elbowed his brother square in the ribs, shushing him soundly.
Draco rolled his eyes and returned his thoughts back to the pain in his arm.
The cell door opened then, and Charlie burst through, panic creased over his forehead. “We have to go now!” he shouted, grabbing his youngest brother’s upper arm, wrenching him off the cot. Bill jumped up with a start. “He comes with us, get him up.”
Ron reached out, gripping Draco’s wrist with his hands. A loud gasp emanated from Charlie then, and Ron froze in mid pull, looking into the Slytherin’s face as his lips curled up into an evil grin.
He was here.
“Draco, there you are my boy.” a voice said. “Would you be so kind as to take Harry for me? I have some things I need to do.”
Everyone locked their eyes on the very tall man standing in the doorway, thrusting his wand deep into Charlie’s throat, holding Harry protectively in his other arm. “Back up, all of you.” he growled, narrowing his eyes, “Let the boy through.”
All three brothers backed up, and Draco stood proudly, smirking over at them. “Thank you for coming, my Lord.” he said respectfully, keeping his direction at the Weasleys, watching their jaws drop in unison over his words. The tables had turned.
“Take him, Draco.” Tom repeated, setting Harry on his feet as Draco walked backwards toward them, “I‘ll deal with these three.”
Tom looked over the red haired boys and recognized them instantly. “So, you must be the Weasleys. Fortunate for you I made a deal over your lives.” He smirked. “Unlike the rest of you, Harry has been a true and loyal friend. He only thought of your well-being.” He decided that he liked seeing the guilt on the boys’ faces. But not just their faces, the muggleborn girl’s face too. And it would give him great pleasure if Dumbledore had the same expression.
Getting back to the task at hand, he eyes narrowed. “If I see you out in the battle, I’ll kill you myself. It would be wise for you to stay here.”
Draco snickered, cocking his head in their direction as Harry stood next to him, looking at all the unfamiliar faces- Draco was unaware that his face was also included.
“Tom, can we go now? I don’t like it here at all,” he said warily, jerking back as the silver haired boy next to him reached for his hand. “You know I hate being in the presence of strangers.”