Orion was tense and alert, cautious to the extreme about this meeting. Maybe he should warn Hayden? He shouldn't remain quiet; this was all going to go horribly wrong. As doubts swamped him, why else would they be meeting up somewhere like this? As the door opened, he saw nothing, just the shrieking shack. That bad feeling returned with a vengeance. He made the decision to back the fuck out, reaching over for Hayden, but before he could get them out, a mass swirling balls of magic flew at them with alarming accuracy.
Orion managed to grasp a hold of Hayden's wrist, which luckily was his left wrist – since he'd later recall he'd had his wand out – and tugged him, attempting to get him down. To enact the manoeuvre he'd been taught, for evasive action. The training he'd undergone as a youngster, dictated that if there were too many spells coming his way – or spells he didn't know – he was to roll away, duck, anything to avoid them. It wasn't being a coward; it was being very smart with your abilities. Live and fight another day.
For that single second, it was like trying to pull stone, immovable and stalwart, Hayden would not be budged. Not that he got to think about it long, before the bombardment of spells loomed ever closer. He cursed himself for being an utter fool, he should have spoken up.
He expected that to be his very last thought, as the spells were inches away. Then they bombarded them, and he thought that was it, lights out. Just after he had begun to really live his life. Then he felt pain in his back as it lashed into the Shrieking Shack doorway, and painful ringing in his ears.
After the pain and horrific ringing in his ears, the next thing that Orion sort of became aware of was his inability to breathe right. The first coughing fit kickstarted Orion's own, as decades and decade's worth of dust and smoke was circling both the Shrieking Shack and everyone's lungs.
"You alright?" Hayden asked, voice breathless, anticipation mingled with worry. He was worried about Orion, but not overly so. After all, he could see Orion was just fine, perhaps a little winded, he was too. The anticipation? Well, that was easily explained…he'd spent practically all his life fighting battles. Stretching out his hand he hoisted the still disorientated and stunned wizard to his feet.
The boy born as Harry Potter had never known peace. As much as he wants it…there will always be the thrill of a fight in him.
Orion grunted and coughed a little as he was swung upright in a tight grip, somehow not surprised by Hayden's excitement. He'd seen him this way before, during the fire, the adrenaline had anticipation thrumming through Hayden regardless of the possible outcome. He would do well on the duelling circuit the idle thought crept through Orion's mind as he flicked out his wand from his holster.
"Purifico!" Orion cast the spell, wand easily dancing to the wand movements the incantation required. He tensed, alert and ready to defend himself, as the smoke and dust began to clear, he saw whom was all there, not that he could say he was surprised.
Half a dozen wizards were there, six, which included Tom Riddle.
"Praeligo!" Hayden followed right behind him, binding the wizards who had accompanied Voldemort here. Tom, it seemed had taken the worst of the hit, probably because he was closest to them.
A smirk worked its way onto his face, it seems Tom always seemed to be caught in the backlash of spells.
"Lestrange, Rosier, Avery, Mulciber, Nott," Orion spoke, his voice filled with fire, staring them all down, half of them were family – of a sort – not majorly close and lucky for them, had their own fortunes. They knew they were in trouble, they stared at the floor, unable to meet Orion's gaze, they clearly hadn't expected him.
Dark magic, Orion realized, startled a little, Hayden knew his share of dark magic, otherwise there were dozens of other spells he could have used in its place.
He was making a statement, Orion thought in awe, shivering a little in delight, the enamour he felt deepening further still. His gaze sharpened when he saw Lestrange move, but he was unsurprisingly still tightly bound. Still contained. He was no threat to them.
"That's it?" Hayden asked, sounding disappointed, "That's the extent of your little gang?" the first of the wannabe Death Eaters. "Voldemort?"
Orion froze, his gaze wrenching from the others to stare at Hayden in surprise. He'd not actually told Hayden about that name. Really, he shouldn't know either. Too bad for the group that he was always quiet and listening. He'd heard them all refer to Tom as Voldemort a time or two. That was a massive understatement really.
'They were a motley collection; a mixture of the weak seeking protection, the ambitious seeking some shared glory, and the thuggish gravitating toward a leader who could show them more refined forms of cruelty' Hayden recalled the words of Albus Dumbledore from when he was sixteen-years-old.
"All of these purebloods at your beck and call, and you still thought you'd get the better of a Lord? Especially me? I am Lord Peverell." Hayden called out, the areas where the walls had held caused an echo. His wand held aloft, and with it, his Lordship ring. "Do you think for a second those pathetic spells could render a Lord cut down?" he noticed that the five wizards looked more resigned than surprised. Oh, oh, they'd tried to tell him, presumably because of this morning's paper. So, some had a clue he wasn't just a Peverell, but a Lord. Anyone with half a brain would have realized it he supposed.
Tom stood, proud and tall, his formally brown eyes flashing red in his burgeoning madness. He had a wound the size of a small egg on his forehead, blood spattered over one side of his face. Already, the bonds that had confined him had disappeared, Tom had always been powerful, and that was with the Horcruxes destroying and eating away at all he held dear. His magic, his looks, his mind.
Tom Riddle licked his lips, grimacing a little at the taste of the copper his actions elicited. Eyes flaring even more when he noticed that Peverell had Dumbledore's wand. The very wand that Dumbledore was seeking so vehemently, reminders in the newspaper of a reward for it's safe return. Desire and avarice suffused him, he was basically taunting Dumbledore, had entered Hogwarts and taken the wand without the old fool noticing. The power he must wield…to get by even Dumbledore was breath-taking.
Orion narrowed his eyes, making a low growling sound deep in his throat, irate and a sliver of jealousy rearing its ugly head. Which stunned Orion, he'd never been jealous a day in his life, anything he's wanted he got. He'd always known he'd marry Walburga and well, he'd never had anything to be jealous of in his life. He blinked owlishly; an uncomfortable realization was the fact Tom was rather attractive. Even with those new red eyes of his.
It didn't matter that Tom and Hayden were cousins, very, very, very distant cousins. With enough biological distance that they could work. That acknowledgement made something in him twist uncomfortably. The urge to stand in front of Hayden was strong, obscure his view, especially knowing there was no official Betrothal between them.
Hayden's stance indicated a deep distrust. That kind of distrust hadn't even been there for him. Hayden was neutral towards people he hadn't met so far. Yet here he was, deeply distrusting of someone he had never met? It spoke of good instincts, but Orion knew there was more to it than that.
What had Hayden seen of Tom Riddle aka Voldemort?
"I'll let you keep your wand," Hayden said imperiously, sounding very much like Tom, as he turns further into the room. "As for you…you've all got three minutes to get your asses out of here before I have you all charged with assault." Waving his hand and every single one of them were swiftly unbound.
"Not only for attacking Lord Peverell, but Heir Black," Orion declared, glaring at them, considering their parents were all 'friends' they knew they weren't coming out of this unscathed. Honestly, he didn't know what they were thinking, it's not like they were at Hogwarts anymore. They weren't kids anymore, bloody hell, attacking a Lord…what were they thinking?
The collectively flinched at the reminder, none of their confidence or boasting anywhere to be seen. They glanced very briefly at Voldemort, who was glaring at Hayden with vengeance in mind. Orion had his wand held aloft, ready to use it, and considering next to Voldemort he was the best at defence – and had (the Blacks collectively) one of the biggest collections of books in the world – they didn't dare try anything.
Not when Orion was just begging them to try something, anything.
Subdued, Avery and Nott retrieved their wands – with a little bit of searching – and followed Lestrange, Rosier and Mulciber out. Using the broken-down sides of the shack to get out, not daring to cross Orion. Judging by the grip he had on his wand and how pissed he looked, they weren't risking it.
Hayden didn't even twitch, trusting Orion at his back entirely. Even against five opponents, it said a lot about Hayden's belief on his abilities and trust. Or did it? Perhaps Hayden was right, they didn't know each other.
"How cognizant even are you, Tom?" Hayden asked, "Smart enough to realize your looks are starting to wane with the type of magic you're casting? Smart enough to realize your Intelligence is being chipped away every time you cast that spell? Smart enough to realize your powers are bleeding out of you?"
Orion narrowed his eyes, speculation wafting from him in droves, now just what sort of magic had been used? He'd never heard of magic that could do something like that. The urge to ask Hayden was so strong, strong enough that he had to bite his tongue to stop himself from asking. He would never have thought of the real reason in a million years.
"How dare you! Do you know who I am and what I'm capable of?" Tom haughtily declared, eyes flashing red intermittingly, remaining brown the rest of the time. The only show of rage were those eyes flashing, gingerly touching his head, trying to remain alert, but he was feeling rather dizzy.
Hayden zeroed in on him doing that, it explained why he'd been so quiet, so unresistant to them sending the other Death Eaters away. No, that's not what they were, they'd been coined the Knights of the Walpurgis before the press called them Death Eaters and that was it. The name stuck, and the Death Eaters probably enjoyed the fear that their name inspired. They had at that point, been prepared to do whatever they had to in order to get their points across.
Sick and tired of the Muggleborn and Half-blood's stripping away at their heritage, their life, their choices and determining what magic they should and shouldn't use. Going so far as paganism being banned. Which only half of it was banned right about now, but they were closing in on banning all of it if Dumbledore got his way.
Not that the pureblood's cared, they continued to celebrate, they were Pagans, end of story.
Orion listened attentively, eyes widening and almost bugging out by what he was hearing.
"Tom Marvolo Riddle, self-proclaimed Dark Lord Voldemort, and an idiot," Hayden hissed out, only slightly surprised he had succeeded. Normally he needed a snake or an image of one to look at to activate the ability. Feeling a pang of concern for the wizard – of all things – seeing him look so out of it. Was he waiting to surprise him and try and kill him? Or was it genuine?
Orion swallowed thickly, shifting minutely, well, he was learning something new about himself. He found himself attracted to Hayden speaking the language of the snakes. Biting the inside of his lip, groaning inaudibly, could he get any more perfect? He'd known they were related, but it hadn't dawned on him that he had the ability to talk to snakes. Was there anything Hayden couldn't do? "You never told me you could talk to snakes," Orion couldn't help himself; he'd remained quiet as long as possible.
Hayden glanced at Orion, very briefly but knew better than to take his eyes off Tom Riddle. A bitter and grim smile crossed his face, "I told you we didn't know each other all that well," and would Orion want to get to know him more once they were done?
Tom watched the byplay, intrigued, watching Peverell intently, if he didn't know any better…he'd say the wizard was just like him. Looking down at the large chunky ring, pensive and envious. His own family ring – unbeknown to him it wasn't the family Lordship or Heirship ring – had no such protections. Recalling the spells they'd fired stopping, hitting a shield, before rebounding back, and everything had become hazy.
Still, he was smart enough to know when he was beat, all he could do now was be cautious. His attempt to kill Peverell had failed spectacularly, he had not expected Black to be there though. Which made him cautious, he was well aware of the…influence the Black family had. He would confess himself jealous of that, but he'd never admit it.
"Accio Tom Marvolo Riddles Diary, Gaunt Ring, Salazar Slytherin's locket and Helga Hufflepuff's cup!"
"Avada Kedavra!" spat Tom, reacting wildly and immediately, alarm clouding him, someone knew his secret. Someone who couldn't possibly know his secret, and he could not let him leave alive. Which meant he would need to kill Orion Black too, but nobody would ever figure out the truth.
Hayden was swift in his actions in raising up a piece of wood, that had splintered off from the rest earlier. It slammed into the green spell, rendering it null and void. There was no magical shield for the Unforgivables, but actual objects could and would do the trick. "Accio!" summoning his wand as opposed to expelling it from his hand.
Orion attempted to move, to raise his wand, only to find that he was cocooned in Hayden's magic, unable to help. Fury lashed through him along with a healthy doze of fear, he couldn't move, which meant if anything came their way, he was screwed.
Hayden grasped a hold of it, and it immediately flared brightly, "Interesting, very interesting," he muttered the very same words Ollivander had. Just for theatrically sake, of course, Tom wasn't the only one who could be a Drama Queen.
Furious indignation plastered itself across Tom's face, his admittedly attractive face.
Orion watched the four summoned items drop into the broken shack; he couldn't help but be awed at the sight of Helga Hufflepuff's cup. It had been lost for a while; he'd reckoned it had been melted down. Such innocuous items, they didn't seem all that troublesome. Yet Orion felt they were central to why Hayden was really here…why he'd agreed to meet with Tom in the first place.
This had been no means a family reunion, neither had planned it to be as such.
"Creating Horcruxes, what were you thinking?" Hayden scowled in annoyance, ignoring Orion's shocked gasp. "Never mind, we all know what you were thinking." All he'd probably seen was the word immortal and he'd been drawn in hook, line and sinker.
Orion blinked, before blinking rapidly, as he digested what Hayden had just said. Horcruxes, he thought in horrified fascination, as he glanced at the items. There was no known way to destroy Horcruxes, except remorse. He eyed Tom dubiously, there was no way Tom felt remorse for anything.
Then he realized Tom had killed at least four people…on purpose, to create these Horcruxes. He knew the ritual for such magic, and it was…horrendous. A tale of warning. A sense of disbelief consumed Orion, it wasn't the fact he'd murdered anyone, not really. It was the fact he'd done it just because. It wasn't in revenge, self-defence or anything like that. It was to break his soul it fractions…his soul. A shudder of revulsion crawled up his spine, recalling the chapter from the book he read on Horcruxes.
More specifically, the consequences of such magic being performed.
Loss of magic
Basically, everything Hayden had mentioned already earlier. He felt sick, just thinking about it, he had read his share of books, of magic long since forbidden. The Secrets Of The Darkest Arts, sat in his family library. Nothing quite prepared him for the reality of the fact someone had made four horcruxes if he was guessing correctly.
Four? Orion was numb, it was bad enough creating one, halving your soul…four times, dear Merlin. Tom had always been intelligent…devious and wickedly smart. Why would he do what he did? It made zero sense to Orion at all. It wasn't as if the dangers weren't explicitly stated. Those books warn of the danger, they're there to discourage you from being idiotic.
Flaring his own innate magic out, removing the spells Hayden had put on him to keep him out of the confrontation. Stretching out, glad to have full control over himself again. Especially knowing just exactly what Tom Riddle was capable of.
Murder. He wasn't about to stick around frozen in the corner. "Next time you do that, I'll retaliate." Orion's smooth voice warned Hayden. Let him see how it felt to be entirely confined and restricted against his will. Oh, he knew Hayden meant well, didn't mean he would tolerate it from anyone let alone his partner.
Hayden inclined his head in silent apology, but Orion did not fail to notice that he hadn't promised.
"Four horcruxes, what have you done to your soul?" Orion asked aghast.
Hayden flashed back to the train station, of the mutilated soul he'd seen, and a shudder of utter revulsion coursed through him. His magic darkening the shack with the horror of what he'd seen. "Believe me, you don't want to know." his tone had taken a haunted quality to it.
Tom wanted to get away, grab his wand and leave. He ascribed to the idea of fleeing to fight another day. He didn't see it as cowardice. Unfortunately, Tom didn't believe he'd be able to walk in a straight line. Or at all if one had to argue the point. He was too woozy; he'd expanded what was left of his energy on attempting to deal with the danger present to him. His gaze couldn't leave the Horcruxes, he was vulnerable in a way he hadn't felt since he was sixteen-years-old and under Dumbledore's thumb.
Since he had sincerely asked Headmaster Dippet for the Defence Against the Dark Arts post. Unfortunately, the wizard had said he didn't have experience. Well, he aimed to show him experience, he'd go further than anyone ever has where it comes to the Dark Arts. Who better to teach them?
The dizziness got too much for Tom, who slumped back unable to take his own weight. Blinking blearily, what the hell? He thought, red suffusing his cheeks as he stared up at Hayden and Orion. The humiliation of being beaten, of being humbled a bit too much for the wizard.
Hayden knelt down, this was it, he could kill him, he doubted Mort really cared. Mort detested what Tom had become, as surely as he knew the colour of his own hair. He didn't like people upsetting the balance, and whoa where did that knowledge come from? He stared thoughtfully into those terrified red eyes, exhaling slowly, grudgingly, acknowledging that Myrtle was an accident, but the Riddle's were not. He was already killing people.
For years and years, he'd been a hero, expected to kill to save them all. To defend them all from the darkness that was Voldemort. Ironically really, he hadn't actually had to kill Voldemort. No, his own spells had rebound. Perhaps Mort was right, maybe he didn't have it in him to kill.
Here he was standing over Tom Riddle who hadn't quite completed the transformation to the Dark Lord Voldemort. Yet.
Was there any real saving him?
Orion stood at Hayden's back, caution, curious and perplexed in equal measures. Nevertheless, the knowledge he would get answers enabled his patience. He had his wand out at the ready, even if he did know a great deal of non-verbal and wandless magic. Although, he'd only use it in the event of an emergency.
"My name is Lord Hayden Ignotus Haidar Peverell, and I am a necromancer, and I will know Tom Riddle…if you attempt to make another Horcrux." Hayden said tone surprisingly soft but firm. "If you do, I will kill you myself, and you'll never see it coming." Pressing his wand against Tom's temple, showing him his deaths, his guise, the constant defeats against a young child, practically powerless.
Showing him that the road he was traversing down…would result in his defeat.
It was not easy, and luckily Orion was in the right place and noticed, gripped his side tightly, and encouraged Hayden to lean into him while he regained his equilibrium. "You're going to let him live with four Horcruxes?" Orion whispered, his breathe brushing against Hayden's ear, causing him to shiver in his hold and Orion couldn't help but be deviously delighted by it.
"Figite me totum et anima una!" Hayden cast at the diary, which shrieked horrifically, as the half piece of Tom Riddle's soul raised from its resting place and slammed back into Tom Riddle with a speed of a ricocheting bullet. Who responded by raising his hand and shouting "NO!" but the spell cared not for anyone's personal feeling and thoughts.
Orion tightened his grip in surprised disbelief, that shouldn't have been possible. There was nothing in the book that spoke of reuniting the soul except genuine soul deep regret, remorse. He wasn't surprised by Tom passing out, it couldn't be easy having your soul returning to your body like that. Had he created something just for this?
"Figite me totum et anima una!" Hayden cast it again, this time aiming for the smallest portion of his broken soul. Trying to take it easier on Tom's body since he'd already been hurt before. He aimed for the Hufflepuff cup, reckoning that would have been last, he would have done the Slytherin locket as soon as possible.
The screeching if anything, became louder and shriller, Orion wanted nothing more than to silence everywhere. Unfortunately, he didn't dare try to use any magic in the face of his new and unknown spell that seemed to be able to return soul pieces back to its host.
Tom arched up in clear agony and screamed like nobody had ever screamed before.
Hayden swallowed, eyeing the other two, if that was how it felt getting the smallest piece back…would he survive the other two? Inhaling sharply, he would do what he set out to do, seen as he wasn't going to kill him. Leaning down over him, he pressed his fingers against his wrist.
"What are you doing?" Orion asked, disliking just how close Hayden was to Tom at the moment.
"Attempting to make sure he has a pulse!" Hayden told him, grateful when he felt one.
"There is a spell for that you know," Orion said haughtily.
Hayden laughed, nudging Orion with his head against his leg, as he smoothly got back to his feet. "Are you honestly jealous?" he asked teasingly, only for his breathing to hitch at the grey eyes possessively latching onto his own screaming 'yes' very loudly.
"Figite me totum et anima una!" Hayden cast, his voice sounding little breathless, aiming the spell at Slytherin locket. Swallowing thickly, recalling Regulus' last taunt, praying that it would never happen.
He would make sure Sirius and Regulus would have a good life, a fulfilling life where they got to do whatever they wanted, and didn't grow up in an…oppressive environment. They hadn't been abused per se, but they hadn't been happy and their mother was oppressive and domineering and Orion…Merlin, Orion hadn't stood a chance.
Nothing but a puppet for Walburga to order around.
Orion cringed before the Horcrux began to shriek and wail as magic wrenched open the fastening and the soul piece ricocheted over to Tom and sank into him. He couldn't believe he was seeing actual pieces of soul as they submerged back into a body. It was…insane, he didn't think his parents would even believe this.
"Figite me totum et anima una!" and with grimness he aimed it at the last horcrux, the Gaunt ring. Or rather the resurrection stone, imbedded in a ring, and had been coined the Gaunt ring for generations and generations.
The soul screeched as it rose from the cold corroded ring, and Hayden couldn't begin to describe how grateful he was that this spell overrode the self-protection imbedded in the soul. They had been horrific enough to ensure as a seventeen-year-old let alone now. Then again he was stronger now, at least he liked to pretend he was.
"Will I see to it that he gets to St. Mungo's?" Orion offered up, after almost five minutes of tense silence. Hayden was tenser than a coiled spring, he wasn't sure why, but Orion felt it had nothing necessary to do with this situation. "Hayden?" he said, squeezing his hip, a vivid reminder that he wasn't here alone.
Hayden swallowed, wrenching himself out of the thoughts of being crouched down there, as Severus Snape died. He was an awful teacher, one that had saved his life so many times. He hated and respected him, a lot. "Um…jus…just repair the shack." He told Orion, kneeling down at the items taking the cup, with every intention of it being returned to the Smith family. Setting it aside, he picked up the resurrection stone out of its setting, and flung the gaudy disgusting metal away. He slid the stone into his pocket, not daring to glance up to see anyone.
Picking up the locket and diary, he approached Tom, and cast a few spells, sterilising the wound, cleaning it, then healing him. He dug into his pocket for his little case of potions, before giving Tom a blood replenishing draught. Putting the diary on his chest along with a letter, he wrapped the locket and its chain around Tom's hand.
Hayden could already feel the shack warming up, just as Orion incredulously asked, "You cart around a first aid kit with you?" nobody he knew did such a thing. Not even Potions Masters do, the few he knew. Nobody of note, of course, but he knew them nonetheless.
Hayden glanced up and smiled, it was a sad tired smile, but one nonetheless. Fiddling with it, the vial set aside at the top to be cleaned out, he put it away, and pressed his face into Orion's chest. Praying to Mort that he didn't lose him, smiling genuinely when those strong and warm arms wrapped around him.
"Let's go," Hayden said, voice muffled, as he squeezed Orion extra tightly, trying to remember everything. Expecting the worst but hoping for the best despite the fact hope had all but been killed out of him by Ginny.
They left Tom sprawled on the floor unconscious, with a letter, the diary and Slytherin's locket. It was the least he deserved, really.
A/n – I had like 20 tabs open while writing this chapter lol 😊 trying to piece together when the Horcruxes were all made. Now that I got conflicting information over apparently Gaunt ring was made into a Horcrux before the diary if what I'm reading is to be believed…😊 it was not fun at all. So, if you have more an accurate reading and the Horcruxes weren't meant to be made yet, my apologies but it's staying like that I'm not editing the story again (I forgot about Helga's cup and totally blanked, luckily, I realized what I was doing) so phew! 😉 luckily though, I can soon start focusing on what I want to write 😊 not on what history I can piece together about everything I mean can you believe it's a whole decade between Tom leaving Hogwarts and Dumbledore becoming headmaster? Ten whole years! I didn't realize that, and didn't put it in Lord Of Time! What did Tom see exactly? What has Hayden shown him? will it bring danger to them all? Or without the horcruxes will he see that he's been saved? Or will Hayden inevitably have to kill him?
Disappointed to see Tom not being more Tom? and the fact the Knights just left? for some reason that's the way the muse wanted to go, he's not the all powerful wizard he is in harry's time...he's just a leader of gang of teens :) maybe I went too far and made them look weak in the process but it is what it is xx R&R please
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