Summary: At the final battle within the Ministry, Voldemort chooses to play a little while longer with Harry before disposing of him. Dumbledore arrives too late and witnesses how his Golden Boy is pulled back towards the Death Chambers within the Department of Mystery's. Thrown through the Veil changed Harry but also gave him a new chance at life.
Disclaimer: Still own nothing as always. It is why I write FanFiction so I may play with these lovely characters, only to give them back once the story is finished.
Warnings: torture, past child abuse, some mild swearing, there will probably be some SLASH like scenes but it won't be a main 'event'.
The Final Battle of Wills
Voldemort's almost insane laughter rang throughout the otherwise silent Atrium. Harry wondered if he should still feel pain since it had been absent for the last five minutes. Voldemort hadn't stopped casting Crucio the moment he arrived. That must have been about half an hour ago. Half an hour since his Godfather had fallen through that Veil within the Department of Mysteries. Half an hour since he had chased after Bellatrix for sending her cousin to the other side. Within those thirty minutes of torture Harry had screamed and twisted, but never begged or cried and the raven head wondered if it bothered the supposed Dark Lord.
The laughter stopped and Harry panted from exhaustion, his eyes staring up at the high ceiling half lidded. "Bella get rid of the vermin below," Voldemort hissed after a few silent seconds. He seemed displeased with something. Harry's fingers twitched as the splinters of his broken wand continued to dig their way into his hand. "It's about time we returned to the mansion."
"O-of course my Lord," Bellatrix panted almost as if she had been tortured for hours herself. Harry suspected it might be something else though, but he couldn't be sure. He had never experienced sex before so he couldn't be sure what a woman would sound like after climaxing. It disgusted him slightly. At least he could still feel something.
The numbing in his limbs seemed to fade as well and so started the uncontrolled twitching of his muscles. Hurried footsteps signalled the departure of one Bellatrix LeStrange. "It is good to have some personal time every now and again, don't you think Harry," the supposed Dark Lord whispered when he moved to lean over the form of his recent torture victim. "But I bet you enjoy all the people hanging around you, don't you? All those adoring people who throw themselves at your feet."
Harry couldn't help himself, he gave a mirthless laugh. "Is that the delusion you've been feeding yourself," the raven head asked in a broken voice, tired from the minutes spend under torture. "Will you sleep better at night if I tell you that I enjoy all the attention? Well bully for you Tom, I have never been one for attention. Every time I enter the Wizarding World I get thrown in front of those hungry wolves to be eaten alive and torn apart when I fail their little quests."
Voldemort hissed menacingly when he was addressed by his old 'human' name. "Hasn't anyone told you that you shouldn't spread such meaningless lies?"
The raven head lifted his right hand, flashing the words on the back of his hand. He was surprised he could still lift his arm and ignored the red and irritated skin around the bits of his broken wand sticking out of his hand. "Many times this past year my dear fellow," Harry muttered, wondering how his delusions could make him sound like he was having a civilized conversation with his greatest, though not necessarily chosen, nemesis. "It is why I choose not to lie about things that don't come back to bite me in the arse."
Harry laughed again and he was sure he looked like a loon right about now. His hand tingled annoyingly, the bits of wand that stuck out of it giving off a warm and prickling feeling. It was almost as if the magic which was supposedly in the wand was transferring into him. Voldemort tsked, making him almost sound human. "It always proves disappointing to speak to those who have been under torture for certain amounts of time," the Dark Lord said slightly whiny.
"Then you should refrain from torturing people Tom," Harry said with a laugh, waving his injured hand as if swatting away a fly. "You wouldn't have meaningless conversations with people about things you have no interest in. Then again, you surround yourself with people like Bellatrix LeStrange so I wouldn't be surprised if you have meaningless conversations all the time." He chuckled again and waved his hand once more. "Keep on track here. Aren't you going to kill me or are you waiting for an audience?"
Red eyes stared at him expressionlessly for a moment longer before Voldemort turned away with a sigh. "Have you stopped resisting already? It's so boring when people stop resisting before their death."
Green eyes glazed over a little as the teenager chuckled lightly. Harry felt oddly lightheaded, not even scared of the man who had hunted his dreams ever since he could remember. For that insane laughter which accompanied the dreaded green light had surely been the man who was currently leaning over him.
A shiver ran down his spine, making the raven head much aware of his painful muscles and bleeding hand. "Seems like you missed a spot," Harry muttered before letting his laughter run out of control. His ribs hurt from the strain the laughter caused and the muscles in his stomach area spasm unpleasantly.
"Shut up and listen to me," the Dark Lord cried out, trying to reach over the insane laughter from the tortured soul. "Crucio!" And Voldemort cast another bout of torture upon his victim. The pain from the curse made Harry's heart beat frantically against his chest, sweat soaking his shirt but the fifteen year old continued to laugh. It seemed like he had forgotten how to cry out in pain.
The curse broke and restarted, being cast in individual intervals of around a minute each. While Harry lay panting on the floors of the Atrium, he wondered if anyone was ever going to show up. Wasn't this his own doing though, rushing off to rescue his supposed kidnapped Godfather? Only to lose said Godfather to that strange looking Veil because the man had wanted to protect Harry. He had dragged his friends into danger because of his hero-complex, but he just wanted to protect his family. Was it wrong to want for everyone's safety at the cost of his own?
When the curse lifted again Harry twisted slightly to look the man who murdered his parents in the eyes. The older man seemed ticked off about something and Harry watched the man mouth his displeasure. All Harry could hear was a strange buzzing though, like a bee trapped inside of his ears. The raven head blinked sluggishly before failing in stopping a sheepish grin. Red eyes blazed with fury and the self-proclaimed Dark Lord reached out to strangle his victim.
If it hadn't been for his throat being crushed Harry would have laughed at the Dark Lord for using 'Muggle' means to eliminate his victim. And while the world steadily grew darker around him and it was getting harder and harder to breath, Harry's mind buzzed into action. In a moment of intense clarity, the same one which had overcome him when he had to fight Quirrell in his first year, the raven head lifted his injured hand and grabbed onto the side of his enemy's head… causing the large splinters of his broken wand to dig themselves into the other man's skull.
It was a gruesome sight as one side of Voldemort's face was blasted to bits by the impact causing Harry's hand to burn severely by the backlash. The arm dropped uselessly across his chest and the man who had murdered his parents dropped dead next to him. Harry turned his head away from the half blasted face with its single red eye and he could already feel warm blood soak into his shirt. He would have felt disgusted and probably tried to get away from the dead body with its spreading pool of blood if it hadn't been for the fact that every movement felt impossible. His hand should have hurt, considering he had been burned before many times over and knew how it was supposed to feel. All Harry knew at the moment was how to breath.
Silently the forgotten hero watched dust float carelessly through the air and he vaguely remembered being able to fly almost as graceful. The fifteen-year-old, who's ink black hair was slowly blending with the dark red puddle of blood, sighed softly as he remembered the first time he was able to fly on a broom. The feeling of air rushing through his hair and the freedom of being able to move freely while still being able to control where he went. Every graceful turn, every exhilarating dive and every high-speed dash.
Lost in those memories, in the feeling, Harry didn't hear Bellatrix return or her outraged and agonized howl of fury. He was too numb to feel himself being pulled along by the woman, flung from side to side as the Order finally caught up with him. His mind vaguely registered the faces of his injured friends and he heard their frantic calls, but there was nothing his body could do. Too numb to feel anything and only able to remember flying through the air, Harry was dragged through the halls of the Ministry.
"Get lost," Bellatrix screeched as Harry took a shuddering breath and tried to concentrate on listening. "Or I will blow this place apart. Lucius, where are you? Get rid of them already! Stay away or I will kill him."
Maybe listening wasn't such a good idea. Why would he want to listen to Bellatrix's screeching? His eyes didn't seem to be working anymore either. Even as he squinted everything remained hazy and out of focus. It made him slightly nauseous. Laughter bubbled out of him as he supressed the need to throw up. That something like that would leave him feeling more nauseous then seeing Voldemort's half blasted face.
He was roughly thrown down some steps and kicked further down when he got stuck between two steps. A soft whisper reached his ears once more and while Harry was sure that Bellatrix was still screeching, he was more aware of those whispers. Flashes of light flashed through his blurred out vision and the raven head recognised them as light from different spells and charms. He vaguely wondered if he should feel worried. Those stray spells could hit him as well. Then again he wouldn't mind being hit by a Stupefy right about now.
The whispers became a little bit clearer and Harry was sure they were speaking in different languages. Some he recognised as French and Bulgarian, remembering the Durmstrang and Beauxbatons students from last year. Others he couldn't figure out as he had never been abroad before, but he was quite sure that he had heard some of them on the news once or twice. Some were hissing in annoyance or anger, while others only seemed sad or even in pain. The feeling coursed through Harry almost the same way as he had been able to feel Voldemort all year long.
A warmth suddenly spread from his left leg and laughter accompanied the whispers. He was moving again and the last thing he saw was a manic grin from Bellatrix before it disappeared. The whispers became louder and louder until Harry was sure that they were speaking normally. The sensation of falling accompanied them and endless darkness drowned out all the light.
"There it goes -"
"Като сащ заедно* -"
"Bježeći sada** -"
"Les larmes ne sèchent plus*** -"
"Falling, forever falling -"
The voices suddenly stopped and if it hadn't been for the fact that he could still hear himself breathing he would have been sure he had turned deaf. Infinite darkness made for a peaceful place to settle, but the air around him filled with the smell of blood. Almost as if he had been falling through water, he suddenly noticed blood spreading out around him. Was it being washed away?
Quite suddenly a different, much deeper, voice spoke. "And who have we here?" the voice asked and Harry shuddered when something deep inside of him stirred. While the endless voice was male, it was filled with desire and passion, something darker and much deeper than any voice Harry had ever heard before. "A human child with a delicious scent. Betrayed, buried, ruined and chained down by his captors. Beaten, broken and dying. What will we do with you?"
Goosebumps littered Harry's skin as a breeze moved over his skin, leaving him feeling exposed and violated. "I have been weighed," Harry whispered, remembering something he had once heard. "I have been measured." The voice sighed softly. "And have been… found wanting."****
"Have you now, human child?" the voice said and another breeze caressed Harry's skin. This time it was more gentle and almost affectionate. Something stirred deep within the raven head and he breathed a sigh of relief. "Then how about correcting those wrongs?"
Harry blinked rapidly before letting his eyes fall close. "But then… I wouldn't be me anymore."
The endless and bodiless voice chuckled, sending a fresh set of shivers down Harry's body. "Do you know who you are though? Human child with broken gifts and a dying body. Nothing you longed for was where you were. There is life in front of you, yet you float here like you have given up. Is that what it means to be you? To give up?"
Opening his eyes again, they flashed golden in the darkness as if sparkling with new life. "I never gave up," the raven head growled between clenched teeth. "Even if it meant I would never be able to see those I love again I would always keep going. I take care of those under my protection. Even if I have been tossed aside I will still keep going."
A bodiless grin appeared hovering above him. "It seems you are not as numb as you thought you were. Will you live again, human child? Will you love and protect again even if you would be tossed aside again?"
Harry breathed out deeply and tried to move his body. He felt weight down and yet light as a feather at the same time. "Break through the chains of death and defeat," the bodiless grin spoke, encouraging him along. "Twist and turn until fate and destiny no longer have their hold over you. Choose your own path and continue to talk with your head held high. This is the way you wanted to go, the road you chose to walk. Now break free and grasp the chance that is in front of you."
With a cry Harry flung himself forward and even though the momentum caused him to fall forward, he crashed into nothing. That was until he fell flat on his face into some soft grass. He inhaled the scent, feeling it tickle his senses. His body felt heavy again, but not quite as restricted or heavy. Everything felt wet, like he had just dragged himself out of a lake. His clothes and even his hair clung to his skin, making him feel a little uncomfortable.
As he continued to lie in the grass, Harry became aware of a few things. For one, his glasses had disappeared completely. When he turned his heavy head sideways he could see quite well though, causing him to blink at the sudden sharpness of the world around him. Twitching the hand he had used to blast apart Voldemort's face it still felt sore and stiff. The splinters on his hand seemed to have been removed though as he could clench the hand into a fist. His muscles twitched a little because of the torture he had been through and he discovered a new injury. His left leg seemed to have been injured at some point.
The sun which had been shining pleasantly on his back was suddenly blocked out and something or someone pricked at his arm. "Oh my, what have we here?" a insane sounding voice sounded, seemingly amused. "Are you dead or dying I wonder?"
"N-neither," Harry breathed, his voice harsh again.
The owner of the thing which was still pricking him chuckled quietly. "Well you soon will be if you don't take care of those wounds. Shall I stay here until then? I can make you look lovely even with those wounds. But then who will come to your funeral but me I wonder?"
Harry breathed out harshly and put all this strength in pushing himself onto his back. He stared sharply at the man who was hovering over him. Unearthly green eyes stared down at him from under a grey fringe and a hat. The man was dressed completely in black, causing his long grey hair to become almost silver in colour. "I'm not… dead yet," Harry growled.
"Oh my," the man said again, his eyes full of curiosity and greed. "Aren't you a most interesting fellow? I wonder if you can tell me any good jokes?"
Suddenly something shook Harry's entire being. As if in a backlash from the Cruciatus Curse his muscles seized up and his jaw rattled. Eyes widened, looking at the blue sky behind the man who was staring down at him with a frown and his mouth half open as if wanting to say something. The last thing Harry saw was a shadow with a large grin hovering behind the man.
A/N: I used a translator website for these sentences. Sorry if it's wrong.
*Като сащ заедно = Bulgarian for 'Taking us along'
**Bježeći sada = Croatian for 'Running away now'
***Les larmes ne sèchent plus = French for 'Tears no longer run'
****For the ones who don't recognise this bit. It's from a film called 'A Knight's Tale'.
Some months later I discovered this on my USB drive and I have no idea what to do with it. So I'm dumping it here for the moment until I can figure out its purpose. Sorry if it annoys people. You can always leave ideas in the form of reviews and/or PMs.