Parseltongue/non human speech
Spells/Foreign languages/ Dreams/Text
Tonks didn't even slow down as they passed through Hogsmeads' semi busy streets. She, under Tom's command, didn't notice the occasional hot-blooded teenage boy or girl that wolf whistled at her, or the one man who that dared to flick her breast as she passed him. Following in her wake, Harry could have been on fire and he would still have evaded detection, not that anyone would be able to see past Tonks' herd of followers.
"You should be ashamed of yourself." Harry said. A girl and three boys immediately scampered away, blushing profusely and some of the rest of the following slowed soon after. Tom, on the other hand, simply laughed. Once they were out of town and Tonks' following had dispersed, he reappeared before Harry.
"Complain all you want, your still cooperating and you're still enjoy this. Like the view?" Tonks twirled, bouncing on the balls of her feet, a small feat she probably wouldn't have been able to manage on her own.
Her ample breasts perfectly matched her frame; her lean muscles that he knew were more than sufficient for decking an untransformed werewolf and her cute face, mixed the heart shape that had been bred into the Black bloodline with splashes of the Asian features he loved seeing on Cho. It a view he would normally kill for. After a few minutes of staring and following after her, Harry broke himself out of his trance and glared at Tom.
"Stop. Change her back." Tom only laughed, forcing Tonks to spin on her heel and prance into the trees backwards. However, he eventually obliged, subtly removing the Asian features and decreasing the size of her breasts until she reached a more athletic build. It was just as distracting.
"It's amazing controlling her changes; feeling my will take form in her mind and watching her change to match it. I'm sure you appreciate it more though. Hormones and all." Tom chuckled after this, implying something deeper. Then it hit Harry: Tom was augmenting, if not completely controlling his lust. "You should see how muddled your thoughts are. And how easy it is to change them into what I need." They walked for a few minutes in silence, until something strange happened.
As Harry hopped over a stray tree root, an image of Hermione, her small but enticing breast thrust forward for him. Stumbling into a tree, Harry shook his head trying to force the image away, when another one appeared, this time depicting Cho naked and sprawled across a bed, beckoning him forward. Expecting more coercion from Tom, Harry tried to clear his mind; he was reward was feeling a light, distant pressure before a vision of Ginny, clad only in string-like panties appeared before him, moaning his name.
As the image faded he felt a second, almost phantasmal, invasion into his mind, before a third light pressure brought more visions of Hogwarts girls he would have happily wanked to only a few months earlier. Tonks, skipping and prancing in front of him only made trying to fight off Tom's assault more difficult.
"We're here." Tom abruptly stopped the flow of visions, revealing a dead corner of the Forbidden Forest. The only source of light was Tom himself, though his meager glow only illuminated chunks of plant life frozen is an early stage of death and a massive grey stone disk that sank into the ground at the epicenter of decay.
The disk itself was simple: a flat, even stone circle etched with countless shapes and arcane symbols, most worn by the passage of time. At the very center, a small serpent sat coiled, head facing up to the sky, its mouth agape.
"Where is 'here'?" Tonks busied herself cleaning the disk, first wiping away dirt and dust that had settled in its etchings then scrubbing it with precise cleaning and water spells. Tom never looked away from her, carefully orchestrating her every movement and spell.
"The ritual circle of Slytherin. It's rather well known among purebloods; ignorant ones used come here to mark their children with the symbols of gods, in hopes of attaining some form of divine favor. That nonsense obviously stopped once my reign began, according the few memories my main soul allowed to flow to me." Tonks stopped cleaning and stepped away from it, as Tom orbited the disk ranting.
"I, of course, rediscovered its true purpose and how to activate it soon after unlocking the secret chamber of Slytherin. This is a portal that leads to subterranean ritual chambers; the home of ancient Salazar Slytherin. I can only assume all of the founders have a haven such as this, hidden within the ancient boundaries of Hogwarts, but well away from the actual school, though I have no interest in the others." Tom finally fell silent, and then disappeared altogether.
Tonks lay her hand against the rounded side of the disk and, with a look of utter concentration, chanted an incantation in a language he couldn't identify. Tom, still invisible, took it upon himself to answer Harry's unasked questions. "Arabic. A modified 'wholeness of body' spell that transfigures available materials to match the subject of the spell, then repairs and recreates the subject. It would only be cosmetic when used on an animal or human, but it works quite well on stone."
She chanted, without pauses for at least ten minutes, the sound of her voice eerily solemn, piercing the silence that filled the general area of the alter. But eventually, she finished her work, eyes glassy and her brow dripping with sweat.
"Step into the center and stand next to the serpent." Harry grudgingly obliged. "Crouch and place your middle finger into the serpents mouth; I need blood to finish this spell." With one last look at Tonks, judging the value of her life verses the cost his actions would undeniably have, Harry did so with his left hand, hoping to save his dominant one from permanent damage. With no warning, the serpent clamped down and hidden spikes within its mouth drew his blood. Fighting the urge to jump away, Harry looked up to Tom, only to find nothing.
"Wha-." The world disappeared, first from under his feet, then all around him. Before he could fall, a tugging sensation at the core of his finger, not unlike that of a portkey, began pulling him through the darkness. As he traveled, the tugging grew stronger and slowly worked its way up his hand and, eventually, his arm.
Though he felt he was traveling faster, the force caused no further pain, even as it spread until it yanked at his whole body and he reached what was probably his peak speed. Then, the pull weakened. After a while, it worked its way back to his middle finger and, with no further warning, he was slammed into place onto what he could only guess was another stone disk, considering the incredible pain he felt upon impact.
Tom appeared before him again, grinning eagerly. After a few seconds, Tonks appeared as well, dropping into existence as a sprawled heap. With inhuman resilience, she hopped to her feet looking no worse for wear, even though Harry could have sworn he broke every bone in his body.
"Amazing, wasn't it? Slytherin managed to produce a permanent translocation circle that could not only be used in any basic ritual, but fueled itself with the energies around it, centuries before anyone even dreamed of such a thing. Long before apparation, when risky teleportation was reserved for the only mightiest of mages. Most could only imitate it with the use of a ritual, which often flung them hundreds of feet off target, such has Neb..." He paused, composing himself. "You may proceed."
Harry tried to stand, but his traitorous legs gave out under him. Tom, already floating into the darkness did not turn back, but seemed to sense his difficulty as Tonks reached down and grabbed him by the arm. Then she threw him over her shoulder and jogged after Tom, without a trace of difficulty, maneuvering in the pitch black, century old cavern with him weighing her down.
Or was it a chamber? Harry couldn't tell exactly where they landed, as Tom did little to illuminate their path, beyond the permanent supernatural glow around him. Slowly, a pinprick of light grew in the distance beyond Tom and with it Harry was able to fully appreciate his disturbing surroundings.
Whole skeletons, ranging from those of infants to ones that had to belong to part giants or trolls, lay upon shelves on the stone walls. Some were cloaked in black, silver and green robes with the Slytherin crest emblazed upon their breast; others were suited with armor and weapons of various make.
Still more were modified, with gold, silver and black markings and lines running up and down their white bones, blades or shields attached to their arms. Columns on either side the small group sported skulls with glass and jewel filled eye sockets glinting in the light. One by one, orbs high above their heads flared, bringing light to the bodies, so Harry to feel all the more repulsed by them. Then he remembered who he was on.
"Put me down." Tonks complied immediately and dropped Harry onto the immaculate stone floor. Shaking imaginary dust off, he trailed after Tom and Tonks conflicted over whether he should move faster to escape the hall of skeletons, or slower to delay whatever awaited him when they reached the light.
"Stop. Don't move." Tom ordered, before he disappeared. Soon, the air around Tonks grew warm, polluted by the magic fueling her parasite. As Tom twisted and worked his borrowed magic, Tonks grew paler; after a minute of this, she returned to her natural form and collapsed, unable to draw enough magic or strength to stand or maintain her transformation. Still the heat around them grew more intense.
"Stop Tom." Harry demanded as he knelt by Tonks' side. Even while he was distracted by a threat to her life, Harry couldn't help but admire her beauty. Still, he wasn't distracted enough to forget the strain Tom was obviously putting on her magic. "You're killing her! We have a deal!" Tom gave no indication of hearing him.
Annoyed, Harry reached out and grabbed Tonks' arm, intent on removing her from the situation on his own. The moment he touched her, an intense, bitterly cold hunger arose within him. Though it was slightly painful, the hunger brought an odd, new sensation forward; strange, pulsing warmth, not unlike his heart, surrounded the cold of his hunger, satiating the craving. Entranced the odd sensations, Harry didn't notice Tonks violently shivering under him, until Tom reappeared over her.
"Pick her up and follow." Tom drifted forward, a few meters, before he noticed Harry wasn't following him. "Come. Now."
"No." Harry pulled his shirt off, somehow doing so through his robe, and draped it over Tonks having finally noticed her shivering. "I'm waiting until Tonks recovers. If she doesn't, then I have no reason to follow you. You obviously need me, so you had better hope she wakes up." Tom floated back to them, anger flowing off his incorporeal form.
"You dare…" He lost his words for a moment. "Fine! She will suffer for this then." Tom's hand radiated warmth as he reached down towards Tonks' body. His hunger welling up again, Harry reacted automatically and grabbed Tom's arm with his left hand, the right busy dragging her away. The moment his hand locked around Tom's arm, a starting shock raced through it and, on reflex, Harry almost let go. Surprised, the two wizards looked up at each other; it was only then they realized that Harry was actually holding Tom back.
"How did you..." Tom started to ask, before he ripped his arm away. Harry looked back down at his own arm and amazement turned to dread as a tingling spot on his palm bulged with a dark liquid. The knot of fluid swelled, just barely under the skin, before deflating, spreading the tingling sensation across his hand; soon even that faded. "Enjoy this part Potter." The tingling sensation crept up his arm, until it reached the shoulder. Then, more black knots of fluid appeared.
"This is nothing." Harry spat, groping for his wand. The feeling was akin to a limb falling asleep. Tom only smiled, sure in his revenge. The knots swelled just as Harry grasped his wand and, as he aimed it at one bulbous lump on the middle of his palm, all of the lumps popped, spewing an acrid smelling black sludge down his limb. The warts popping barely felt like a pinch. Harry almost re-sheathed his wand in his waistband, when the skin under the fluid started itching. Then aching. Then burning. Harry jabbed at his arm and yelled "Finite incantum!" to no effect.
"Yes. You are right. It is nothing." Tom said, before disappearing. Harry frantically wiped at his arm with first his robe, then his shirt which he yanked off Tonks, but it was to no effect; the dark spell had already eaten into him and was now running its course. Cradling his arm, which he couldn't even move anymore, in the shirt, and carefully avoiding letting it touch any of his flesh, Harry could only gasp short breaths between hisses of pain.
Then, as suddenly as the pain began, it stopped. Unwrapping his arm, he was struck by a combination of horror and disgust. The flesh on his arm, from his nails to just under his shoulder, had rotted and melted down to the bone; all that remained were his black and red stained bones, dripping with dark ichors and black puss.
Tonks reached down, having stood up while he was preoccupied, and hoisted him up by his hair. "This is the price you pay for your impudence." Tom's disembodied voice scolded, as Tonks lifted Harry, and carried him bridal style through the hall. Harry could only stare blankly at his arm, despite her breast being right beside him.
Not believing the bones before him were his own, Harry reached out and touched them with his right hand, his mind too clouded to consider the danger in his action. His arm was mostly smooth, with bumps and ridges scattered up and down its length; it was still warm. Eventually, they reached a massive antechamber.
The room was huge, with sloped walls that formed a dome above them and slabs of smooth, perfectly sculpted stone scattered across the floor, some circular, others rectangular and still more in other shapes, covering a spread of all sizes, and shapes. Along the walls more halls branched away from the central room, each topped by a skull whose eyes glittered blends of green and silver. Tonks dropped Harry again.
Tom levitated into the cavern from one of the side halls, opaque jars, brushes, chisels and boxes, large and small, following in his wake. With no explanation, he set Tonks and her magic to work again, drawing fresh runes and markings upon one of the larger circular disks.
"What did you do? What are you doing?" Harry asked. He still couldn't believe it. From his shoulder down, he was missing feeling. No. It was more than that. He couldn't tell he was supposed to have feeling there. As he stared, he occasionally felt a flash of pain from his middle finger, from where the teleportation circle drew his blood, but he couldn't fell anything else from the fleshless limb.
"That was a Roman 'Kiss of the Night" curse. It's nonfatal on an extremity, but, as you can see, it is rather potent. It was once popular among necromancers, you know; it's great for removing flesh so you can work directly with bones, but it isn't of much use in a duel since the spell cant travel far from its source. I tested that. Extensively." Tom answered as Tonks arranged bones and clay bowls filled with finely ground powders around them on the floor, along the edge of the ritual circle.
If Harry cared to look, he would have noticed the glowing runes along the sides of the bowls, preserving the potency of the ingredient's magic. "And I'm starting a phylactery. I'll need it to house my soul, so we can go our separate ways; it's somewhat primitive, but since I have no body to lose to undeath, thanks to someone…"
Harry could only stare, as Tom spoke of destroying flesh and manipulating his own soul as if he was discussing a potions essay. As Tom continued, explaining exactly how a phylactery could separate a soul from a body and what its drawbacks were, Harry could almost see dozens of texts giving vague instructions on how he could save himself from death, each in foreign characters, some of which he simply knew where unique.
"Of course, the early Frank ritual-spells for soul channeling aren't nearly as effective as-" Harry interrupted Tom here, completing the sentence for him.
"The West Goth ones from the same era, though the former has more well-known spells, which are often easier than the Goth ones. Evidence of the Goth's mastery of soul magic lives on in Evora-Portuguese mages, and the rare ruins of their ancestors'." Just as soon as he finished the thought, the information behind it was gone, leaving only confusion and irritation in its wake. Tom stared, anger seething beneath his calm smile. With no other warning, the world dissolved, melting into grains of sand that quickly reformed Harry's mind around them. But it was different.
The sky, once a cloudless blue adorned with a golden sun, was black with debris; trees, copses, animals fell like rain. Through the forest Harry could see water spouts and tornados tearing apart everything, funneling to and from a dark splotch in the sky.
"What did you do?" Tom asked and Harry felt pressure surrounding him, choking him. Them it disappeared and the world flashed black. Slowly, it donned on Harry that, though he felt the unnatural hunger once again, he could also feel imprints of memories that never happened to him and the warmth of what could only be magic flowing into him. The cold presence pulled and writhed around him, trying to consume the magic that made the mental world real. And then it found the source of the magic. Tom.
Tom could only scream as his strength faded, before he pulled forth enough magic to reassert his control over the world around them. The black tear in the sky attacked the world more viciously. "No. You could never be that powerful. It has to be..."
The cold feeling and the hunger that followed it rose up in Harry's chest, yearning to tear into the warmth; it was restrained, though by what, Harry couldn't guess. He did recognize the genuine looking fear on Tom's face though, and that was all the justification he needed to release it. He was rewarded with a flood of warmth and strength into the back of his neck and his chest, probably fueled by magic; even the magic keeping him within Tom's mental playground faded, flashes of reality appearing occasionally, as the cold stretched out, absorbing all the magic it could.
"No! You idiot! You-" Tom appeared before Harry and, before he could complete his thought, vanished again. His unspoken words lingered in Harry's mind, despite this, even as the cold presence probed further out, searching for more to feed itself with. '-into yourself.' Reality reasserted itself.
Then Harry noticed Tonks laying before him, still unconscious, naked and practically radiating warmth; the hunger grew more painful, tearing at him unlike anything he had experienced though his childhood with the Dursleys. Before he could consider what he should do about it, his robe, which he had barely noticed until then, lashed out, its trailing end stabbing at Tonks prone body like a sword.
"No!" The moment it touched her, the black material spread, fluidly stretching over her stomach and arms; he wanted to stop it, to force the thing away or curse the robe, but the hunger he felt from beyond his body was fading, instead becoming soothing warmth, a sense of strength and power.
As it spread, he almost became lost in the feeling unlike anything he had ever felt before; for a few seconds, it was all he experienced. Slowly, the hunger faded and, as it did, images and sounds pressed against his mind; the force pushing them weren't nearly as strong as Snape or Tom, though.
With odd ease, Harry batted them away, torn between feeding his hunger and saving Tonks. Someone who explicitly wanted to do harm to him. Slowly, as the rush of magic faded to a trickle, he realized that's what he had been doing the last hour or two; fighting Tom, tooth and nail, to save an enemy. Putting his own life on the line to save an enemy.
"I lost my arm to protect a woman trying to end my life or send me to prison." He chewed that over for a while, the idea becoming more and more hilarious as time passed. He would never play Quidditch again, without a hand to hold the broom. Not that he would ever get the chance to with the legions of enemies waiting to kill him. He wouldn't be able to make use of his wand and a focus at the same time; the only advantage he knew of to having the wand, ring, scepter and eye.
The inky fluid pulled itself away from Tonks and reshaped itself as his robe. It was satiated, and now a feeling of vigor spread through him. True teenaged hormones at work, Harry stared at Tonks chest and happened to notice it was still rising and falling, slowly. She was still breathing.
Releasing his shirt, Harry let his now useless arm fall and clatter against the ground, and drew his wand. He could get revenge for losing a part of himself. A single spell, and all of his enemies nearby would be gone; Tom was dead as far as he could tell and Tonks was in no position to dodge or block the curse. Whatever information Tom wanted to spout while playing mind games was gone and Tonks…Tonks still knew where the Order was now based. And what they were doing to capture him.
"Legilimens." With a rush of magic, Harry saw her mind, swirling mists of thoughts and memories superimposed over the catacombs of ancient Slytherins. Inspired by the instant results, he tried to move forward, to reach one of the clouds of thought, only to be stopped by a thin barrier. He tried again, pushed forward harder and the barrier gave slightly, but did not break. So he tried again, and again, over and over. Slowly the barrier started giving in more and more, until he finally punched straight through it, into the luminescent cloud composing her mind.
For a while, he drifted there, voices repeating snatches of conversation around him, images of her childhood, birthdays, Auror training, friendships, boyfriends and everything else randomly playing as he traveled; it was mostly clutter, but, as he journeyed deeper, the information within each vision, each bit of speech, became more useful.
Then he saw it; a huge, swirling red and black blotch in her mind. Approaching it cautiously, Harry felt it reach out with magic that felt just like his own, able to resist his probing, but not willing to. Without little left to lose, Harry entered it and a third set of images formed over the real world and her mind.
A pale set of hands clutched a silver and gold daggers is it slid across his arms, legs, chest and what he could safely reach of his back. Endless tomes, centuries older than Hogwarts, each outright stating discoveries still ahead of most mages, each in a language composed to keep that single tome indecipherable to all but its owner. Ordering a snake, which he desperately hoped was poisonous, to hide in another boys bed; revenge for a fresh set of bruises and the infinite shame of subjugating himself to another.
One shining moment was all Harry needed to recognize who the memories truly belong to though: Intense fear, pride and awe as he called upon a massive snake, more dangerous than anything he ever dared to experiment with before, in a dark flooded chamber, its eldritch beautify ruined by a battle between his ancestor and the serpent master's best friend. Forcing the basilisk of the Chamber of Secrets to obey his will.
They were fragments of Tom's mind; the bastard managed to store some of his being away just in case Harry killed him again. Harry watched, disgusted, annoyed and enthralled, as Tom took over another students mind and forced the poor boy to slit his own wrists, collecting the blood to use in a ritual on reptiles, merely because he was curious how it would affect making the creatures flame retardant.
It was all there. Every bit of magic Tom had scrounged up as he tried to escape mortality, before most of his peers started learning the facts of life. Every ritual that failed, spell Tom mastered, animal Tom studied and technique Tom practiced until he nearly passed out from exhaustion.
Perhaps he wouldn't have to kill Tonks after all. Yet, that is.
Since I'm moving, I had nothing better to do than clean out my flashdrive. In doing so, I located several stories I never finished and chapters for stories I released. This is one such chapter.
I am currently looking for a beta that, every once in a while, would have free time to proofread my stories for me.