Author's Notes: Thanks to Soph for the beta. Don't ask me where this one came from, it was just one of those bunnies that was born, refused to let me sleep until it was written, and flowed on to the page over a matter of two days.
Harry opened his eyes slowly and could not stifle the groan that made its way out of his tormented body as the light in the room stabbed at his retinas. He hurt from head to toe; not one part of his body was free from pain; even his teeth hurt. However, at least this meant he was alive, which was something he had not expected at all.
"Potter?" a familiar, yet rather worried voice made it into his consciousness.
"Malfoy?" he replied in confusion.
His inter-house rival had failed to return to school at the beginning of their seventh year three months ago; Harry had not expected to come into contact with him again except on a battle field. Of course as far as Harry knew, he'd been given over to Malfoy to play with; it was the kind of thing the Death Eaters seemed to think was funny.
"Good, you're still your annoying self," Malfoy didn't sound so worried this time, "at least for now."
Harry was very confused; he was pretty sure he should be dead and yet he was somewhere having, what was for them, a polite conversation with Draco Malfoy. He blinked a few times and was rather surprised when his surroundings came into focus; there was definitely something odd about that, but his tired brain could only cope with so many thoughts and he was more interested in where he was and what was going on.
The last thing he remembered clearly was coming out of Honeydukes: there had been an explosion and then everything was a haze of images and sensations; most of them unpleasant. He'd been captured by Death Eaters; that much he knew, and he'd been dragged before Voldemort, but he had not been killed. It had shocked him at the time, he remembered that much, and then he recalled some sort of ceremony, but they had made him drink something and it caused any memories to be horribly distorted.
"Where am I?" he asked as he realised that his surroundings were actually quite pleasant.
"My bedroom at home," Malfoy replied and suddenly came into Harry's field of vision.
His school rival had changed somewhat; longer hair, less of an obvious attitude, and Malfoy was only wearing a pair of trousers, which really should have sent unsettling thoughts through Harry, but instead caused rather peculiar sensations to run the length of his body.
"Before you ask," Malfoy said shortly, "your being here has nothing to do with me and I'm as much of a prisoner as you are."
It was difficult to gain any proper feel for his surrounding looking at everything sideways, so Harry decided to try and sit up. It was not the wisest idea he had ever come up with. Every cell in his body screamed at him and he only managed to move a few inches before he fell back gasping.
"Lie still," the surprisingly gentle tone from Malfoy shocked him, but not as much as when a cool cloth was placed on his forehead; "they've been working on you for two days and you're in quite a state."
That he was not in perfect health was quite obvious to Harry, but that fact brought with it the burning question, which had been bothering him since he realised it, to the front of his mind again.
"Why am I still alive?" he asked with honest confusion.
Malfoy did not reply, but Harry felt the blanket on top of him being gently rearranged. His companion was avoiding his eyes and he reached out and took hold of Malfoy's wrist, demanding attention. The expression in his rival's eyes as grey irises finally met his gaze rather shocked him; he saw sympathy and anger.
"Because death is too good for those who defy the Dark Lord," Malfoy said quietly; "he wants you to suffer."
For a moment they remained staring at each other as Harry let the reality sink in. This was not the Malfoy he knew; the spiteful child was almost gone completely and Harry realised that possibly the Slytherin had finally grown up.
"What did they do to me?" he asked, knowing from the look in Malfoy's eyes that his companion had a good idea of the truth.
Silence descended and for a while Harry did not think Malfoy would answer, but eventually the Slytherin moved. Harry did not try and stop his companion as Malfoy pulled the blanket he had just so carefully arranged off of Harry's chest; the first thing he noticed were dark shapes on his body.
"They have corrupted you," Malfoy said with absolutely no emotion in his voice. Pointing as the symbol on Harry's left shoulder the Slytherin spoke: "werewolf," then he pointed to just above Harry's heart; "vampire," his finger moved again as Harry watched in horrified fascination; "incubus," another move; "banshee," a different spot; "Dementor," yet another; "boggart."
Harry couldn't take any more and he caught Malfoy's hand before he could move again.
"I don't understand," he said, unable to keep the fear from his voice.
"It's Voldemort's idea of revenge," Malfoy said bluntly; "he had them force the essence of everything dark they could into you. Over time the corruption will spread and you will become a dark creature; something twisted and at war with itself; if you are lucky the clash of magic will kill you."
Harry's mind reeled with the horror as he instinctively felt for the magic moving through his body; it made his mind shut down with the sheer terror the ideas caused in him, and he slowly curled onto his side, regardless of how his body complained, pulling the blanket up over the evidence of his doom.
He had no idea how long he lay there, just staring straight ahead as thoughts swirled around his mind, but Malfoy left him alone and for the first time in his life he found himself wishing Voldemort had killed him. Eventually, however, the shock began to recede and he could no longer ignore his surroundings. His mind did not want to come back and face what was true, but he had been trained too well and he could not hold his thoughts frozen for long.
"Why have they put me here with you?" he found himself asking, desperate for something else to think about.
When he looked over at where Malfoy was sitting at an ornate desk, he finally saw an expression on his rival's face that he recognised; Malfoy was sneering, although he appeared to be doing so at himself rather than Harry.
"I think the Dark Lord finally ran out of patience with me," the Slytherin said with a self-depreciating laugh. "You're his revenge on me. Most of the things in you either eat or otherwise consume human beings; I suspect I'm an experiment."
"He expects me to eat you?" Harry was incredulous.
"Or otherwise consume," Malfoy replied as if he was speaking about the weather; "if he just wanted me eaten he would have fed me to his pets by now. I suspect he hopes that you will do all sorts of nasty things to me before you actually kill me."
It was all so horrible.
"What did you do?" it was the only question that Harry could find which did not make his thoughts spiral even further down.
"I refused him," Malfoy said plainly.
"You wouldn't take the Dark Mark?" Harry did not quite understand.
"Oh no," his companion said and held up his arm to demonstrate, "I took that like the good little Slytherin I am. No, Potter, I refused him; I would not go to his bed."
That rather shook Harry out of his despair for a moment as he realised what Malfoy was telling him.
"Voldemort wanted ..." the mental image made his skin crawl, "that's disgusting; he's vile."
"I noticed that," Malfoy replied with his usual sarcasm in place. "Something one can excuse in a leader, but not in a lover. He wanted me as a toy, and there are many things I may be, but I am no one's toy. I was quite surprised he didn't just compel me to obey, but it seems that the Dark Lord likes his play things cowed and willing. He shut me in here until I agree to crawl into his bed; I suppose he must have found someone more pliable and my time has run out."
To his growing surprise Harry found that he actually had respect for his companion as he realised that Malfoy had a backbone. He had not imagined that the Slytherin would be brave enough to defy Voldemort, even in something so distasteful. Harry had no problem with men sleeping with men, but the idea of Voldemort with anyone made him shudder. Some nasty ideas began to occur to him.
"Oh, Merlin," he said as some of the traits of the dark magic forced into him flowed through his head, "he thinks that I'll ... before ... no ... that's ..."
The thoughts were so disturbing that he could not voice them.
"And you probably will," Malfoy said perfectly seriously, "but Malfoy honour will still be intact."
Harry curled up again; he just couldn't take this.
Food arrived at some point, but it was only at Malfoy's insistence that Harry tried to eat anything. He managed to keep it down for about ten minutes before he had to roll over and hang over the side of the bed to be messily sick all over the floor. He noted absently that there was dark blood in with the undigested food as Malfoy pulled him back onto the bed before he could fall into his own waste, and a house elf appeared to clear everything up. Shivering violently he allowed Malfoy to wrap him back in his blanket.
"It's starting," his companion said matter-of-factly.
The shivering lasted for about half an hour before the pain really began and Harry soon lost all sense of his surroundings as he felt his body changing and dark magic warred with dark magic to shape him in its image. He tried to fight it, desperately tried to stop the corruption taking him over, but he was simply not strong enough.
At times he knew that Malfoy was there, pouring liquid down his throat or placing cool cloths on his fevered skin. He could not understand why his rival was helping him, but he welcomed the glimpses of human kindness that, for just moments, broke him out of the hell he was in. Time had no meaning and he had no idea how long it was before the battle took all his strength and he finally slipped back into blissful blackness.
The next time Harry woke it was like casting Lumos; he went from sleeping to waking in a heartbeat, and as his eyes flicked open he took in everything with total clarity. The room was dark except for the light from the fire, but he could see everything clearly, and smells and sounds seemed incredibly sharp in the darkness as well. He could also feel the life of a human being close by; the essence of another life that sang to his soul the same way the human heartbeat chorused in his ears. The presence so close by called to him and slowly he sat up and turned.
Malfoy was lying on the other side of the bed and from the looks of him he had been asleep, but as Harry swept his gaze over the relaxed form he came back to Malfoy's face to find grey eyes looking at him.
"It's over then," the Slytherin said calmly as Harry found himself becoming intoxicated by the sight of his companion.
Malfoy was lying under a single sheet and the way the soft cotton moulded to his form, the Slytherin was naked. It was almost as if Malfoy was a willing sacrifice as Harry took in every detail and his companion did not even shift.
"I don't think you are quite what the Dark Lord was expecting," Malfoy commented as Harry just sat there; "you actually make quite a beautiful dark creature."
Desire and hunger flooded through Harry like a single wave and he closed his eyes, drawing in the smell and essence of the wizard before him. There was no hesitation in his movements as he came back to himself and moved onto all fours, letting his blanket fall off his naked frame. He placed himself above Malfoy, one arm either side of his victim's chest, and looked down at the resigned and slightly afraid features of the Slytherin.
In an abstract way he knew who he was looking at; he even knew who he was, but it was all secondary to the needs he felt coursing through his body.
"So are you going to eat me or have sex with me?"
The quip came out without a trace of a tremor, but Harry could feel the fear in the body below him and it made him smile; part of him revelled in the reaction. Almost casually he reached over and picked up the edge of the sheet, slowly drawing it back, millimetre by millimetre to reveal pale, prefect flesh. He could see Malfoy's pulse beating fast under the delicate curve of the Slytherin's throat, and, as his protection was removed, Harry saw tension slipping into Malfoy's revealed muscles, but his victim did not move to resist.
There was still a section of his nature that allowed Harry to appreciate how much courage it must have taken to just lie there, and as some of his baser instincts told him to hurt this pale helpless creature they were quelled by the quiet surrender. No doubt arose in Harry's mind to counter the notion that Malfoy was now his, but the violence lurking just below the surface was not freed either.
He ran one talon tipped finger down the centre of the hairless chest and paused just above the nest of pale blond hair surrounding Malfoy's flaccid cock. Something in him was not happy about this particular vision of surrender and he moved his hand down slowly, letting his sharp nails slip through the silky hair until he curled them round the unresponsive organ. The only reaction from Malfoy was a sharp intake of air.
"I think," Harry said quietly; his voice sounding strange even in his own ears, "that you should be enjoying this more," and then he pushed magic down his arm and through his occupied fingers.
Now Malfoy arched off the bed into his touch with an unstoppable groan of arousal as Harry flooded his victim with sensation, and lust overcame fear. It was not exactly a subtle seduction even though he knew he could have made it such, but he had no patience for that at the moment. Malfoy was becoming hard under his hand as the Slytherin sank back towards the bed, breathing in short gasps and biting his lip. There was resentment in the eyes that looked at him now; Malfoy had obviously not expected to react like that, or possibly to even still be alive.
"You did not want to be a toy," Harry said, running one nail over Malfoy's sensitive balls, "but I could make you do anything."
The resentment flared into open anger then, although Malfoy did not move; Harry smiled as he recognised the fire of the rivalry he remembered from school. He was torn by enjoying the subjugation of his victim and wanting that spark back; it seemed that different aspects of whatever he was now did not agree.
"I will have you," he said, bringing his face to no more than an inch from Malfoy's, "and I may be dark, but I do not have to be cruel."
The hunger was growing as he held off on his instincts, both to feel this human writhe beneath him and to taste his victim.
"Give yourself to me," Harry said with a growl in his voice that he could not control, "participate, and I promise it will not be play."
Malfoy appeared surprised by that and unsure of how to react; the Slytherin had clearly believed this was completely beyond his control and all he could do was let it happen, yet Harry was offering him a role.
"You are not a passive thing," Harry said, tightening his grip ever so slightly on his victim's cock, "there is fight in you; there is passion: I can feel it," he lowered his face even more so that their noses were almost touching, "I can smell it."
Very tentatively a hand came up to touch the side of his face and Harry released his hold to run his fingers back up Malfoy's chest. As soon as he was free the Slytherin moved and Harry found himself being pushed over on to his back. He could have stopped the move quite easily, but it was the most life Malfoy had shown since Harry woke, so he let his victim have his way and they came to a stop with the Slytherin straddling him on the bed. Harry laughed as the torrent of emotion running though Malfoy fed something deep inside him.
"Are you going to kill me?" the white-blond haired vision of lust asked, leaning on his chest, seemingly desperate for an answer.
"I don't know," Harry replied honestly; he really didn't know what he was going to do from one moment to the next and although he had no desire to rend and destroy his victim now, he had no idea if that instinct would rise to the surface eventually or not, "but I can guarantee you will enjoy it if I do."
He sat up leisurely, Malfoy's weight trying to pin him down being nothing to his changed body. The Slytherin sat back on his legs and Harry ran his arms around Malfoy's sides and up over his back, pulling his victim into his lap with a sudden tug that there was no chance of resisting. Malfoy had no time to react as Harry pulled his head down and crushed their mouths together in a fierce kiss. When he ran his tongue over the Slytherin's closed lips there was no response and so he forced a little power through his hands and, with a moan, Malfoy opened his mouth and accepted Harry's probing tongue.
Resistance melted out of his victim as the kiss progressed and when Harry moved his hand down to cup one firm cheek of Malfoy's behind he needed no extra encouragement to move in to the caress. When Harry moved on to nipping and sucking the Slytherin's neck the young man put his head back and groaned his approval. Running his tongue over the softly pulsing artery, Harry had the urge to bite, but instinct told him that this would be over too quickly if he did that, and other primal urges forced him away from his current prize. He moved on to Malfoy's chest, well aware that he would not be able to resist long if he didn't. The noises coming from his victim were very gratifying as he turned Malfoy's pale, unmarked chest into a map of little pink lines and marks.
When he finally shifted and began to move Malfoy back down onto the bed, the Slytherin did not resist; with his fingers wrapped in Harry's hair and his eyes firmly closed, there was not a lot Malfoy could have done anyway. As if was, as Harry continued his ministration down his victim's body Malfoy sprawled on the bed and let him have anything he wanted. This was the surrender Harry wanted; this was the sustenance he needed: not a cold, weak, fear-based lack of resistance, but a passion filled total inability to stop this.
"By all that has magic," Malfoy exclaimed as Harry descended on the Slytherin's cock with a mouth that had been dying to taste his victim properly since he had woken.
The salty, earthy flavour filled his senses and he swallowed Malfoy whole, wanting more. He felt his body responding in ways he had never experienced before as parts of him came alive that he had not known existed. His tongue swirled around the cock in his mouth as he drew back slightly and then split either side of the turgid erection, gripping and sliding up and down firmly. Malfoy thrust into his mouth, completely at his mercy and Harry felt his whole body pulse with sensation, sending tingling all over his torso, centring on his groin. Now he was moaning as well and he was desperate to drive Malfoy over the edge.
He knew it would not take long to bring the Slytherin to orgasm with nothing more than his adaptive tongue, but it was too long for the part of him dominant at the moment. Laying his hands flat on Malfoy's stomach he pushed the power rushing through his veins into his lover and with something between a scream and a cry of ecstasy the Slytherin thrust upwards and came hard into his mouth. Harry drank it all down, milking Malfoy for everything he had, and by the time he drew back his victim was shuddering beneath him in over sensitised delirium.
He felt powerful and renewed as sexual energy surged through his nerves, but it wasn't quite enough and before Malfoy had even begun to recover Harry found himself moving again. He flipped the unresisting Slytherin on to his front and pushed Malfoy's legs apart. His victim whimpered a Harry picked up a pillow and placed it under the Slytherin's midriff, but Malfoy was too far gone to do anything to slow this down.
Harry might have lost control and taken his victim there and then without preparing him at all, if it had not been for one thing; he looked down at himself and realised that he had changed more than he realised. The reason for the prickling over his torso became obvious as he saw two rows of little spines running from each shoulder blade, down a line around each nipple to finish just above his groin area. However, most of his attention was caught by his very healthy erection, which was bigger than he remembered before he had gone down on his victim and was also glistening from root to tip. It appeared that he came equipped with lubrication even if his partner didn't.
The base, primal part of him wanted to thrust into Malfoy, damage be dammed, but there was also a percentage of him that was still Harry and although he needed this he did not need to be destructive in the process. Malfoy had surrendered and given in and something in him wanted his victim to be writhing in ecstasy not pain.
Running his hand over his own erection his coated his fingers and then spread the cheeks of his lover's arse with his other hand. Malfoy moaned into the mattress as Harry caressed his entrance and then slowly worked a finger inside. The talon like nails on his hands withdrew when he caressed his lover and he worked to prepare Malfoy for what had to come. The moans and small movements he drew out of the Slytherin excited him and his need to take his lover almost overcame his desire not to hurt him several times. Eventually, by the time he had slipped in three fingers, it was too much and he moved himself in to position, needing to possess what was his.
Pushing in slowly at first, Malfoy grunted partially in pain and partially in arousal as Harry breached him and the Slytherin pushed himself off the bed onto his elbows.
"Please," the impaled young man begged breathlessly, "just a moment."
Harry managed to hold still for a few seconds as he felt the tight ring begin to relax around him, but he could not remain frozen for long. Now the need to possess was stronger than anything else and he pushed in further, seating himself in Malfoy to his full length. This time his victim did cry out and tried to pull away, but Harry held him and forced more magic into the Slytherin, causing the cry to morph from pain to delirium mid way through.
All coherent ability to move seemed to have left Malfoy with the cry and he collapsed under Harry, completely limp on the mattress. It also relaxed the muscles surrounding Harry that had tensed up at the pain, and he found himself free to move. A continuous stream of small sounds were coming from Malfoy's mouth as Harry thrust into him, slowly at first, but building a momentum he could not stop. Slick and hard he drove into his victim, his own grunts and growls growing with every movement as any ability to think was overcome by the primal need in charge of his body.
He came with a roar that reverberated around the room and he flooded Malfoy with power, unable to stop himself, as his body surrendered to orgasm. The Slytherin cried out long and loud in response, coming a second time, all over the pillow below him and if anyone heard him they probably thought he was dying. The cry did not end until Malfoy passed out, and it was some time after that when Harry regained enough mental capacity to move off of his victim.
He fell on to the bed next to the sprawled and unconscious Malfoy and dragged air into his lungs in gasps. He had never experienced anything like it in his entire life and he felt sated and content as he watched the slow breathing of his senseless companion. The feeling lasted quite some time, but slowly it began to wear off. Now that the sexual predator in him had been satisfied, other desires began to make themselves known and his attention moved from the soft breathing to the steady pulse he could see and hear.
His tongue had returned to its usual size and shape and he ran it over his lips as he felt fangs slowly descend in his mouth. Reaching out he pulled Malfoy on to his side so that the unconscious Slytherin was leaning against him and with one hand he stroked the hair from the fragile neck. Savouring the moment he lowered his head slowly and opened his mouth; when he bit into the pulsing vein it was almost gentle.
Blood spurted onto his tongue and he drank greedily as the warm liquid ignited entirely different passions within him. As the flavour washed over him so did the essence of his lover and he drank of him as deeply as of his blood. It forged a connection between them and Harry became as intoxicated by the blood and energy of Malfoy as he had been by the sex. He felt like he could drink forever and he wanted the moment to last for eternity, but a sudden knowledge stopped him.
As his drank, his awareness of Malfoy increased in a single moment and a slight flutter in his victim's heartbeat made itself known. Instantly he knew that if he continued to drink the Slytherin would die, but if he stopped Malfoy would recover. Part of him wanted to continue and feel the exquisite moment when that heartbeat stopped all together, but another part of him wanted revenge, and it was not against Malfoy. Voldemort expected him to kill this helpless human and then become part of his dark army; well Voldemort was in for a surprise.
Withdrawing his fangs he placed his fingers on the wounds and let a little healing magic flow from them, then he gently rolled Malfoy back on to his front and made him comfortable, before climbing off the bed. It was difficult; a large part of him wanted to kill and destroy, but he stumbled into the bathroom, out of sight of his victim to gather his mind together. Shaking in his effort to curb his baser instincts he ran cold water into the sink and splashed it all over himself. His skin felt like it was on fire as he tried to deny the urges of his body and he stared at himself in the mirror, trying to find the part of him that was still human.
The spines had faded back to pale, almost iridescent skin and he could not help but recognise that Malfoy had been right; there was something almost beautiful about him. His eyes were still bright green, but now that almost glowed against his black eye lashes and white flesh, contrasting sharply with his deep red lips. His hair was as unruly as ever and yet now it seemed less what could be called messy and more wild. Even to his eyes he appeared ethereal. The marks on his chest where he had been branded with the power forced into his body were still there, but they were faint memories on his skin rather than the black designs he had seen when he had first awoken.
He had been taken and changed into something he did not understand and could only feel, and it made him angry. He let the fury build as he snarled at his own reflection and he curled his, once again, talon tipped hands into tight fists. Voldemort was going to pay and it would cost him his life.
Turning from the image of himself that he no longer recognised, he growled low in his throat and embraced yet another aspect of his darkness. While trotting towards the door he flowed into the shape of a very large wolf and, snarling, he leapt at the barrier between himself and the rest of the world. Reaching down into the dark magic that lived within him now he found another talent and his body shimmered, passing straight through the door as if it wasn't there and re-solidifying on the other side.
A Death Eater in a silver mask and black cloak rounded on him as he landed, but the wizard never had a chance as Harry launched himself straight at his throat. Strong, teeth-laden jaws closed on soft, pliant skin and blood flowed as enamel won over sinew. Shaking his head Harry ripped the crushed larynx from the dying man and a gurgle was the only sound that made it into the corridor.
There was no doubt in Harry's mind that Voldemort was still at the ancestral home of the Malfoys', waiting to see his victory, and all Harry had to do was find him. His senses let him feel the dark magic inherent in the walls of the manor and they also drew him towards the concentration of evil he could feel below. Without any hesitation he began to run towards his goal.
He was completely unchallenged as he made his way down the main stairs until he came face to face with someone he had never expected to see; Narcissa Malfoy was coming out of what Harry thought was the library from the smell of books following the woman and she froze the moment she saw him. Harry snarled at her and his hackles came up as his instincts told him to attack and destroy the threat and the weak human. Hunching down, ready to strike he growled.
"Did you kill him?" Draco's mother suddenly spoke and Harry paused before he jumped. "Has my little boy been sacrificed to this madness?"
That touched the part of him which was still human and he looked into the woman's eyes, seeing suddenly not a threat, but a mother in despair. Fighting his instincts and really not caring what he looked like, he flowed back into the closest to human he could be now. The fact that he was naked really didn't matter to him as he clawed on to what was left of his humanity.
"No," he said, his voice resonating with barely controlled power, "and the guard is dead. Take him and leave; death walks here tonight."
Narcissa appeared totally shocked, but Harry shifted back into his wolf form, the woman no longer important to him. He wanted Voldemort and he cared about little else; nothing else existed for him now, his enemy had seen to that.
Following his nose and other senses he trotted through the hallways, completely sure of where he was going. He moved through the kitchens towards an unremarkable door, which he jumped at using the same ability he had used to leave the bedroom, passing through it and onto the stairs beyond. The stone steps were worn and he could feel the dark wards which hid this old place as he descended to a lower level of the manor.
At the bottom was a small chamber with two very large oak doors, and to his surprise they opened as he approached. Magic whispered at him and he knew that the obstacle had been removed with a powerful charm and he could sense Voldemort very close by.
"Come in, Harry," the familiar, rasping yet sibilant voice called to him from within, "we have been waiting for you."
The fact that he was discovered meant very little to Harry since he had had no plan of sneaking in, in the first place, and, letting his supernatural senses seek around the large room beyond the doors, he loped in casually. Voldemort was expecting a dark creature at the mercy of his inestimable power, but Harry felt absolutely nothing towards his enemy except hatred.
Inside was an almost empty chamber that Harry vaguely remembered; this was where they had done this to him and the rage stirred in his chest. His instincts told him to attack and to kill, but he was not an animal and he had no intention of being prevented from reaching Voldemort. The Dark Lord was sitting in a large throne like chair, surrounded by his masked Death Eaters and Harry trotted across the stone floor, his claws clicking on the hard surface. He turned his head to growl at one Death Eater who dared to move as he approached and the mysterious man froze.
There were two figures close to Voldemort; one female and one male and Harry had no doubt that one was Bellatrix Lestrange and the other Lucius Malfoy, lately freed from Azkaban by his master. Harry was sure both would defend their Lord, but he was also confident he could kill before he was killed no matter what they were to throw at him.
The whole room was full of nervous tension and Harry knew that no one could fail to see the blood still on his muzzle; what they would infer by that he really didn't care. Most of his attention was on Voldemort and the others were only in his awareness for any signs of danger.
"Welcome, Harry," his enemy greeted with a nasty smile, "I see you have eaten already."
A nervous titter of laughter ran round the group at that pronouncement and Harry came to a halt in front of Voldemort; he met the Dark Lord's red eyes calmly, brushing off the probing thoughts Voldemort sent at him as if they did not exist. A Legilimens the Dark Lord might be, but there was so much darkness in Harry's mind now that it was like a blanket of night that Voldemort could not see through.
Caring little about anything but the revenge that sang in his blood, Harry changed back to his humanoid form and he saw Bellatrix shift in appreciation of what she saw. He could sense her interest and he looked at her, letting a smile play at the corners of his mouth as if he appreciated the attention.
"Twice," he said as he turned his eyes back to Voldemort; "you should keep better control of your dogs, the one upstairs tried to obstruct me."
He felt someone move behind him and he twisted and snarled, letting his vampire fangs drop and allowing everyone to know that even when he was not looking he was aware.
"Ah, Mulciber never was particularly bright," Voldemort said without any sign of regret. "Did you enjoy my little gift?"
Harry looked to the masked man he was sure was Lucius Malfoy and smiled, pleased to see the wizard fidget uncomfortably under his scrutiny; that a father would abandon his son to such a fate sickened him even though dark magic flowed through him like a river.
"He screamed well," Harry said casually, biding his time and enjoying the anticipation.
"A very pretty young man," Voldemort said and this time he did sound slightly remorseful, "a shame he chose to defy me. Are you going to defy me, Harry?"
Harry just grinned at the Dark Lord, tipping his head to the side rather coyly.
"What do you think, Tom?" he asked noncommittally.
He did not want to outright lie because it was likely Voldemort would sense that and he was enjoying the game. Letting this end too soon did not appeal to the darkness curling around Harry's soul.
"Harry," Voldemort responded in a warning tone as if speaking to a child, "are you trying to upset me?"
That drew a laugh from the creature that had once been Harry Potter; he was enjoying this more than he cared to admit. The rage was curling around his insides and the violence in him waited just below the surface for him to let it go.
"Would I ever do that?" he asked, moving just a little closer and letting his eyes flick over the wand in Voldemort's hand. "If you don't mind me asking, what did you do with my wand?"
"It is in a safe place," the Dark Lord replied. "Why, did you want it back?"
With a shrug, Harry glanced around casually.
"I'm not sure if it will suit me anymore," he said as if he did not really mean it.
Voldemort would never see him as harmless, but Harry watched as his ruse worked; his enemy now thought he believed that he needed his wand. That the Dark Lord would underestimate him now was clear and Harry tried to appear annoyed, as if he had just realised he had revealed too much; for good measure he hissed at Voldemort.
"Now, now, Harry," his enemy lightly chastised, "I will return it when I believe you are ready, but you must learn patience. You are one of us now, and it will take time to adjust. Wormtail!"
A cowering figure appeared from behind the thone and Harry could not stop the snarl that escaped him as he saw his parents' betrayer.
"Ah yes," Voldemort said at his reaction, "I had forgotten the animosity between the pair of you. I am sorry, Harry, but you cannot have him; I find him far too useful. Wormtail, fetch a robe for our newest member."
At the sight of the man who had caused him so much grief, Harry found that he was tiring of the game. He shifted his weight to his toes as Wormtail scurried off to do his master's bidding. It was time to end this; time to kill and be killed.
"You took my blood," Harry said slowly as if he was thinking something through, "and I find that now I see that in an entirely different light."
He smiled at Voldemort as if he was over his fit of pique; the wizard smiled back at him in his own twisted way.
"I imagined you would," the Dark Lord said as if it was obvious to him.
Harry let the rage free, and he sprang at Voldemort, shocking everyone in the room. He had timed his attack perfectly and there was nothing anyone could do.
"I want it back," he snarled before sinking his fangs into the old wizard's neck.
The blood that hit his throat tasted stale and bad, but it was full of power and it flared into and out of Harry as if he was a conduit. He heard spells being fired off as Voldemort struggled against him, but nothing hit him as power repelled power. The Dark Lord was strong in his new body, but he had given Harry a far greater strength in his attempt to make a weapon and Harry would not let go. Drinking deeply he took Voldemort's strength and pulling back one hand he did what he had been dreaming of in his darkest thoughts all night; he thrust his talons through Voldemort's robes and into his chest, closing around the twisted creation's shrivelled heart.
"Now you die," he hissed as he finally took his mouth away from the bloody neck, and then he pulled, ripping Voldemort's heart from his chest.
As soon as he stopped drinking his protection faltered, but he waited, watching the light die in the Dark Lord's eyes. Two curses hit him, but he barely noticed, and only as he allowed Voldemort's bloody corpse to fall to the ground did he turn to look at the rest of the room. Some were fleeing, others were firing spells at him, but Harry caught one pair of eyes in particular.
"Your turn," he said pointedly as Bellatrix Lestrange looked at him in horror.
The Death Eaters had created a monster, and a monster he would be.
Everything melded into one bloody haze; in the end Harry had no idea how many he killed or how many spells hit home as they tried to get away, all he knew was that he came back to himself hunched in the corner of the smaller outer chamber, covered in gore with no idea how he ended up there. His hunger was sated in all ways and he felt strangely empty inside.
For the second time in as many days he found himself surprised to be alive and this time it filled him with a kind of terror. He had thought of nothing beyond his revenge and yet he was not dead and his vengeance was complete. Voldemort's inner circle had not been able to destroy him and that thought scared him.
Unable to comprehend quite what this meant, he put his head on his knees and he began to cry. A high keening sound issued from his mouth filled with his despair and disgust; he was a monster with a human soul and he had survived. His very existence was a crime against everything that was Light and yet whatever power had created him had seen fit to make sure he had not crossed to where he could find peace. He let out all the pain and anger this realisation brought to him and he did not care who heard; he could not stop the sound of his grief.
He lost himself in his desolation, letting go of what was real as his mind spiralled into the darkness within. Why was the universe so cruel that it could not even let him die?
His cry had changed to a shuddering sobbing when he felt the presence of a wizard close by; he knew it was a magical person and he knew this interloper was male because he could sense it, but he shied away from looking deeper. He fought his survival instincts as he hoped that it was one of Voldemort's lackeys come back to try and finish the job; just one quick Avada Kedavra when he had no defences up at all and maybe it would be over.
However, instead of a green flash of light, what touched him was something soft and warm. Not really sure what was happening he lifted his head slightly to see a blanket being gently wrapped around his shoulders by pale hands. He followed the nearest limb back to its owner and found himself looking into the face of Draco Malfoy; for a moment confusion replace despair.
"I don't understand," he said in little more than a whisper as his sobs died away.
"Neither do I," Malfoy replied with a stark honestly that surprised Harry; "we were halfway to London when I made Mother turn back. I could not just leave you."
There was nothing Harry could say to that, he did not know how to respond and he just sat there and stared.
"Come on," Malfoy coaxed, standing up and gently urging Harry to follow him, "the Aurors will be here soon, and I don't think they should see you like this."
"Aurors?" Harry's mind could not quite grasp what was happening.
He stood slowly, his body strong even though his thoughts were anything but stable, and his companion wrapped the blanket around him firmly as if dealing with a child incapable of taking care of itself.
"When we came back and found everyone dead or gone," Malfoy explained as the Slytherin slowly steered Harry towards the stairs, "I contacted Dumbledore. He is contacting the Ministry and then he is coming here."
That caused Harry to shy away and back towards his corner shaking his head.
"No," he said in desperation, "no, he'll bring the others and they'll see ... I can't ... I'm despicable ... I should be dead."
Surprisingly strong arms wrapped around him firmly and stopped his backwards progress, bringing with them an unexpected break in the panic that threatened to take away his mind completely.
"Listen to me," Malfoy's very firm voice demanded attention, "you are not what Voldemort tried to make. He tried to create a creature from everything that is dark, but he forgot about you. He wanted a killing machine with no conscience that he could bend to his will, but he did not expect the essence of Harry Potter to survive."
Harry looked into his companion's face then, terrified that he would see falsehoods and platitudes in the truth of Malfoy's eyes, but he was startled from his fear as he realised that the Slytherin meant every word.
"Potter," his lifeline said resolutely, "there is darkness in you, but it is not all that you are ... believe me I know first hand."
The offhand tone with which the Slytherin finished made Harry blink at him; it seemed like such a bizarre time for a joke and it bemused him. That Malfoy was showing him kindness after what he had done to him was confusing, that his one time enemy was making light of everything that had happened was just beyond his comprehension.
"You didn't kill me," Malfoy said pointedly as if explaining to a moron, "and you didn't toy with me. If that had been anyone but your honourable, Gryffindor self I would have been in pieces all over that room."
The Slytherin looked at him as Harry stared back and he did not know how to react.
"You really don't understand do you?" Malfoy said eventually as if amazed by this fact. "He took everything that is dark and put it in to you; he leeched the power out of things that kill and destroy for survival and pleasure and forced it into your body; and what did you do with it?"
Harry gazed at his companion blankly.
"You shagged me into the mattress," the Slytherin said bluntly, "had a little taste and then went and carried out the task the Light has been preparing you for since you were eleven years old. You killed Voldemort, Potter; you took some of the darkest powers known to wizards and instead of going on a random killing spree you destroyed the Dark Lord. Does that not tell you something about yourself?"
"Revenge," Harry whispered quietly, "all I wanted was revenge."
Malfoy growled in frustration and began to lead him to the stairs again.
"If it was only revenge," his companion said in a tone that suggested he had given up trying to convince Harry of anything, "then I would be dead a thousand times over and so would my mother. Dark creatures do not curl into a corner and sob their remorse into their hands, Potter, and neither do dark wizards."
Harry didn't really believe it, he could feel the darkness shifting inside him, but he let himself be led up the stairs and then onto the first floor. He let himself be bathed and clothed and the hands that cared for him were a strange comfort. He even let those hands put him to bed and when Malfoy told him to sleep he curled on his side and closed his eyes; but he didn't really believe ... did he?
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