Chapter 2: To be, or not to be cursed!
Harry followed the man through several corridors passing some house-elves who quickly ducked away in fear. He gave them a passing glance but mostly ignored them. They walked down a few more corridors before they reached a rich ornamented oak door.
“This is your room but if I were you I wouldn’t make myself to comfortable because I doubt that the Dark Lord will keep you here for very long,” he said with a smirk.
Harry glared at him obviously contemplating whether he was worth being cursed or not. Avery visibly gulped because of the gaze when a voice behind them appeared.
“Are you questioning my decision Avery?” the Dark Lord asked in a silky tone though his eyes were ice cold and demanding.
“M-my Lord…surely not…I-I’m sorry it is not m-my position to ask,” he now was white as a sheet.
“Good and now leave.”
The man quickly bowed and hustled away before the Dark Lord might curse him.
“Come on Harry I want to talk to you in private,” with a waving of his hand, the door opened and revealed a large room. It was elegantly furnished. White marble floor on which old and expansive looking carpets lay, dark wooden bookshelves covering the walls full of old and dark books, several high back armchairs around a table in front of the fireplace and a large desk in front of the window. Everything was in the same dark brown wood as the shelves with dark green, black and silver decorum. A door lead into another room, probably the bedroom.
While the Dark Lord sat down in front of the fireplace, Harry looked around when his view fell on a huge mirror. His eyes widened in surprise when he saw his crimson red eyes for the first time. He went over to take a closer look.
“Cool,” he whispered in awe, which let Voldemort who observed him meticulously chuckle lowly.
That remembered Harry that there was a Dark Lord waiting for him and one didn’t let such a person wait. He walked over to him where he slowed down a bit helpless not knowing how he should behave before he shrugged and took a seat. Voldemort would let him know should he do something wrong of that he was certain.
“What was it you wanted to talk to me about, my Lord?”
Voldemort observed Harry closely who now sat opposite of him with crossed legs, his hands resting in his lap and quite relaxed.
“You fascinate me. Normally no one would approach me and even demand things. Also now…others would sit there cowering in fear praying that I don’t curse them but you…” he took out his wand and twirled it between his fingers but Harry’s only reaction consisted in raising an eyebrow.
“That might be because I do not fear you, my Lord. Respect? Yes. Loyalty? Sure. Fear? Definitely not.”
Voldemort narrowed his eyes. “Is that so? Crucio!”
The torturing curse connected with Harry but the result wasn’t what he expected. Instead of starting to scream as Malfoy did earlier, he just closed his eyes. I seemed that he even embraced the pain that rushed through his body. He hold up the curse for over a few minutes, even intensified it but Harry’s reaction stayed the same. Everyone else would be a drooling vegetable by now. Finally, he lifted the curse and Harry took a deep breath.
“Interesting,” the Dark Lord mused. “I never saw someone surviving a curse this strong and over this amount of time not to mention being in a sane state anymore. Really interesting.”
“My Lord, unfortunately I don’t know much about this curse to give you an answer to this. What I found out on that graveyard though was that if you instead of fighting it you embrace it, even use it to fuel your own anger and hatred…it doesn’t stop from hurting…far from it but…” he shrugged helplessly not knowing how to describe what he felt.
Voldemort now contemplated what might happen, when he hit Harry with the killing curse but he wasn’t stupid and since he didn’t want a repeat of what happened when the boy was one year old he left it be for now. This was also one of the reasons he didn’t outright kill him in the throne room.
That was when a tapping came from the window. Harry looked up and found Hedwig sitting outside. He got up and opened the window but Voldemort wasn’t pleased to see the bird as it seemed and pointed his wand at her. Hedwig completely unimpressed by the threat launched into the air, flew a circle in the room before gracefully landing on Harrys left shoulder.
“What is that for an owl,” Voldemort demanded to know with an ice-cold voice.
“That’s Hedwig she belongs to me and don’t you dare to hurt her,” he gave him an intense glare back.
“You…up to now I found you lack of fear quite interesting but enough is enough. Crucio!” he snarled.
Hedwig again lifted into the air and flew a straight attack on Voldemort. Harry in the meantime only stood there observing them as if there was no torturing curse rushing through his veins. Voldemort who was distracted by the sudden pecking of the bird stopped the Cruciatus Curse staring at her in hatred.
“Avada K…” he spat out.
“Crucio,” Harry bellowed.
Voldemort never anticipated the one thing, being attacked by one of his followers not to mention with the Cruciatus Curse. One to most people unknown fact is that he never once had been the victim of the Cruciatus Curse himself. So it was no wonder that when the curse hit him he went down onto his knees grinding his teeth in order not to scream. Harry held up the curse for a few seconds despite the mark on his arm hurting like hell because of what he did. It was a small security measurement Voldemort implemented to prevent attacks like the one at the moment but Harry was unimpressed by it.
Harry finally lifted the curse before crouching down before the Dark Lord who was breathing heavily so that he could look him straight into the eyes.
“I swore to be loyal to you but one thing I won’t tolerate from anyone, not even you and that is hurting Hedwig. Did I make myself clear?” he growled.
Voldemort stared back before he stood up with one swift movement while grabbing Harry at his throat, jerking him upwards and slamming him into the bookshelf behind him. The whole thing sent a shiver down Harry’s spine but not one of fear.
“What is with that damned owl that you would risk your own life for it?” he spat at the boy.
“She is the only living being I met up to now I ever cared for, that never betrayed or questioned me” Harry croaked because Voldemort was nearly cutting of his air supply completely but he hold the gaze the Dark Lord was giving him not even blinking.
Voldemort hold him for a few more seconds before he finally let him go.
“You should be grateful that I’m in a good mood because having you as my follower will give me every advantage I need. But should you ever dare to attack me again you’ll wish I killed you when you stepped into my throne room,” he snarled at the boy before with a last glare at the owl that now sat on one of the chairs cleaning her feathers he left the room.
“Avery will take you to Gregorovitch in the morning,” he added before closing the door behind him.
Harry stood there a few more minutes collecting himself. Once he was sure that he could move without collapsing, he dragged himself into the bedroom where he ungracefully collapsed onto the bed. Hedwig landed right next to him far more elegantly.
“Ah girl…what did I think when attacking him?” he finally asked.
Not only that. He felt strange ever since he had seen the Dark Lord in his throne room for the first time since the graveyard and it had grown worse when he had been alone with him. When Voldemort had casted the Cruciatus on him he had wanted to show him that he was strong, that the curse didn’t affect him but that was a lie. He didn’t cry or collapse because of it but it hurt like hell never the less. It had taken him his entire willpower to maintain his mask of indifference.
But why was it so important for him to prove himself in front of the Dark Lord? That already had been the case at the graveyard. He had wanted to prove that he was worth the attention.
Harry sighed. “Something definitely is wrong with me.”
Hedwig affectionately nibbled at his ear but Harry already was asleep.
In his own rooms, Voldemort paced around. There was definitely something with the boy he couldn’t pinpoint. He could understand the boy’s desire to get stronger and away from Dumbledore, he himself wasn’t any different. In addition, that Harry came to him to achieve his goals he also could understand to some point but where he was at a loss however was what happened when the owl arrived. Not only had Harry dared to attack him because of that damned bird but also he was still alive. The mark was not only a method to call his followers but also some twisted version of a magical oath. Every person wearing the mark attacking him would be dead in an instant or at least lose their magic but it hadn’t worked on the boy, as it seemed. Yes, it had looked as if it hurt like hell, which he could tell from how the boy had clenched his hand but despite that…had he not cast it correctly? Surely, something he would have to investigate.
Then there had been his own physical reaction to the boy when he had pinned him to the shelf. He had felt every little movement Harry had made and it…had aroused him? No that couldn’t be true. No one was able to get a sexual reaction from him and he had given it up a long time ago. Everyone thought that Bellatrix had been his “whore” but that was a complete lie. It seemed that his means to gain immortality also made him unable to gain sexual arousal through any means. He didn’t care though since he had far more important things to take care of. Then what was it he had felt when he had Harry pinned down beneath him? Another thing he would have to investigate and his tutoring would give him the perfect opportunity. Moreover, since when did he refer to the boy as Harry and not his last name Potter? He never called someone by his given name to keep a certain distance to his followers but he had called him by his given name earlier. Something was definitely wrong and he would find out what.
Deciding that today he wouldn’t come to any satisfactory conclusions, he got changed and went to bed himself. It was long after midnight after all and he had been about to finish the meeting when Lucius entered together with Harry.
The next morning Harry was woken at eight by a house-elf who informed him that breakfast was ready in the main room and that Avery would take him to Gregorovitch at nine. Harry quickly got up and walked into the bathroom to do his business feeling completely sore. While standing under the shower to relax at least a bit he thought about what had happened in his room yesterday. Again, he came to no good reason for why he had attacked Voldemort of all people or better yet, why he still was alive. It was a fucking bird for Merlin’s sake. Sure, she was the only one loyal to him but was that enough to risk his own life for her? Definitely not. Then there was how he had reacted to Voldemort’s touch. It hadn’t been a gentle one but having been so close to the man, inhaling his scent…it had sent a shiver of pleasure down his spine.
Shaking his head, he stepped out of the shower. Either he was a masochist now or he went insane both not something he would look forward to. He quickly dried himself, put on the robes he had worn the day before and went into the main room. On the table in front of the fire where he and Voldemort had sat…he quickly banned this train of thoughts before it could advance any further. Walking over he tucked in and in no time he eliminated the quite huge breakfast. Once he was finished, the plates vanished.
Having a few more minutes before he would have to go to Gregorovitch together with Avery he stood up and looked at the books in the shelves. Finding one about dark curses, he picked it up and sat down again. He managed to read the first chapter when someone knocked. Walking over to the door and opening it, he found Avery standing outside.
“Are you ready,” the man said with disdain. “Don’t you have anything better to wear?”
“Did it appear to you yesterday that I travelled with heavy luggage?” Harry snarled letting raw energy jump between his fingers. “Now move on before I decide to use you for some target practise.”
“Oh, please go on all the earlier I get rid of you,” Avery retorted with a predatory grin.
That he would have regretted had he the time for it but with reflexes trained from being seeker for four years Harry threw the energy at him, which let him cry in agony. This though was different from the Cruciatus Curse because it only affected the brain and not every nerve in the body. Clawing at his head Avery turned and tossed laying at the floor while Harry kept up a constant arc of the energy. The screaming however attracted Voldemort.
“What is going on here?” he demanded to know.
“My Lord, it seems that Avery here is thanks to a severe case of headaches unable to escort me to Gregorovitch” Harry replied with a sadistic grin towards the man on the floor.
“I have the feeling that you have some participation in this,” Voldemort gave him a sharp glare.
“Maybe…maybe not, who knows? May I request to be escorted by Professor Snape, my Lord?” Harry bowed his head.
Voldemort looked at him in contemplation. “Very well give me your arm.”
Harry hold out his arm with the mark on it and the Dark Lord gripped it pretty tightly before pressing his thumb on it. All the time he looked the boy straight into the eyes. Harry knew that he read his mind but didn’t even try to prevent it. Reaching a certain memory Voldemort’s eyes went slightly wider before he narrowed them. Finished with the summoning he tossed the boy’s arm aside before placing his wand tip under Harry’s chin forcing the boy to raise his head slightly.
“Let me tell you this. I won’t take up with this any longer so either you stop your behaviour or you’ll be in for a world of pain, did I make myself clear?” with his free hand he grabbed the boy’s chin firmly to force him to look him in the eyes no matter what.
Harry felt his mind invaded more viciously now but he let it happen. There was no way for him to block it anyway. “Clear, my Lord,” he finally pressed out.
The Dark Lord looked him into the eyes for a few more seconds before finally letting go. “Good.”
Just at that moment, Snape arrived bowing low before Voldemort. “My Lord, you called?” he asked rising an eyebrow upon the sight Avery gave. With a look on Harry’s face and the smile the boy sported, he knew exactly what happened or at least got a very good grasp on it.
“Yes. Escort Ha-Mr. Potter here to Gregorovitch he needs a new wand,” he instructed cursing himself inwardly for nearly slipping again with that brats name. What was wrong with him? Normally he was a composed man but ever since the boy had stepped into his throne room, something changed but he didn’t know what and to a certain point, it scared him. It was like he was under a compulsion to not kill the brat and he didn’t like it even a little bit not having control over something.
Snape on the other hand was surprised and shocked. Did the Dark Lord really nearly call him Harry? The good spy he was the slight stumbling over the name hadn’t gone amiss. Filing it away for later contemplation, he nodded. “Consider it done, my Lord,” he bowed again. “Come Potter, I don’t have all day.”
With that, Snape walked down the corridor from where he had come followed by Harry. He didn’t say a word or even seemed to acknowledge the boys presence. Only once they walked into the entrance hall he turned around and gave him the floo address of a manor in Germany before he turned back around and went through the floo.
Harry shook his head upon his professor’s antics and followed him. Landing on his butt, he growled. He hated floo traveling and the snickering from Snape didn’t make it any better. Giving him a glare which silenced the man effectively he stood up trying to get rid of the residues from the floo travel. To his luck, Snape showed mercy with him and with a flick of the man’s wand he was clean.
“We need to talk,” Snape suddenly stated without any preamble.
“As much as I agree with you I doubt that our Lord will tolerate any delay.”
“Indeed. I know you’re able to cast a fully-fledged Patronus do you know how to send a message through them?” he rose an eyebrow.
“I highly doubt that I’m still able to cast that certain spell. As you might remember I crossed a line yesterday that should make it impossible.”
“No better way to find out than trying,” he made a move for Harry to do so not doubting one moment that Harry would be able to cast it without a wand. Whoever could cast a Cruciatus without one could also cast this spell.
Harry did as asked and thought about his happiest moment. Though since the day before that moment had changed, his happiest moment now being the moment he set free his emotions. Doubting that it would work he tried nonetheless. “Expecto Patronum!” he shouted.
To his utter confusion, the spell worked however, not the way he might have predicted. Instead of the silver white stag he expected now a pitch-black quite large snake appeared.
“Er, what?” was his very eloquent answer upon seeing that.
Even Snape who blinked a few times in confusion didn’t know what to say at first. “Well, that is…enthralling but since it still seems to work you can send me a message with it. Just order what and to whom to deliver it and it will come to me. Should you have some time within the next days call me.”
Not losing any more time Snape grabbed Harry’s wrist and apparated them both in front of Gregorovitch’s shop. Harry surprised by the sudden apparition stumbled but quickly got a hold over himself.
“A warning would have been nice,” he growled.
“Why? To miss your incredulous face?” Snape smiled while entering the shop.
Harry followed him after putting some dark sunglasses on he transfigured out of some rubbish he found in his robe not wanting anyone to see his change of eye colours. To his surprise, this shop was completely different to what he expected. Here weren’t boxes over boxes pressed into shelves. No, Gregorovitch had a nice little but mostly empty shop. Only a desk stood there in front of three large glass cabinets displaying a few selected items like wand holsters or polishing kits.
“Good morning and welcome to Gregorovitch’s wands and accessory w’at can I do for you?” an older man speaking a heavily accented English came from his office behind the shop rooms. “Ah, Mr. Potter w’at a pleasure to meet you. How can I be of help?”
“My old wand unfortunately broke and I need a new one. Though since my old one was a premade one from Ollivander’s I have no idea how this works with custom made ones,” Harry explained.
“Ah yes, yes, I know Ollivander…great wandmaker but unfortunately extremely constricted regarding se core materials he can use. Se process is quite simple really. Se wand lengs results from a few measurements I will take. For se materials, I have here two tablets, one wis se woods and one wis core materials. You sen hold out your hand and let your magic flow. Once you feel attracted by a material you pick it up and wenn you’re finished I will craft se wand from w’at you picked,” the man explained.
Harry nodded and stood still in order to get measured. When Gregorovitch had all he needed he placed the two tablets on the encounter and gestured Harry to continue. He did as he was asked holding his hand out. First over the woods, it took some time but in the end, he picked up the elder wood.
“Interesting. Not many people are capable of wielding an elder wand since sose wands only respond to se most powerful wizard in seir vicinity. Please proceed wis se cores.”
He now hold out his hand over the core materials and after some time picked up three of them, a liquid, something that resembled a dark grey cloud and what looked like the hair of an animal.
Gregorovitch gulped visibly. “Sestral hair, Dementor Essence and Basilisk venom. I fear Mr. Potter sat I have to decline crafting sis wand,” he said with fear tainted voice.
“And why is that Mr. Gregorovitch?” Harry inquired.
“Mr. Potter, you s’ould get to know sat sere are a few rare combinations no wandmaker s’ould craft because se resulting wands would be much too powerful and could harm or even kill se wielder.”
Harry took a deep breath before taking his sunglasses down. “Do I look like I care?” he simply stated his magic flaring around him.
Snape who up to now stood a step behind him stepped further back. He wouldn’t stand in the boy’s way should he decide to unleash his power he wasn’t suicidal thank you very much.
Gregorovitch also took two steps back until he bumped into one of his glass cabinets letting it rattle fear written all over his face. “M-Mr. Potter, I-I have to apologize b-but I can’t do sis.”
Harry stepped around the counter and up to the man looking him straight into the eyes. Even nearly one head shorter than the wandmaker he was intimidating. “Mr. Gregorovitch, you will craft this wand or do I have to…convince you?”
He ran his right index finger along the man’s face barely touching him, which let the man tremble even more before holding it in front of his chest with one swift movement. “Crucio” Harry said in a bored voice. He hold up the curse for about five seconds before he lifted it. There would be no use in ruining the man’s ability to create his wand after all. “Shall we try again? Do you craft my wand now or not?” he waited a few more seconds for the man who was now lying on the floor twitching from the curse to reply but when he said nothing… “Cruc-“
“Okay, okay, I will do it but please don’t curse me again,” Merlin this boy was powerful even without the wand and he feared what he would be able to do with it.
“And don’t you dare delivering half-hearted work. You craft it like you would craft any other wand understood?” Gregorovitch nodded. “Snape, give him a pain relieving potion so that he can get to work,” he addressed the potions master gesturing towards the man still sitting on the floor.
Snape obeyed not wanting to be the target of the next curse giving Gregorovitch not only a pain-reliving potion but also one he had invented against the aftereffects of the Cruciatus curse. Once the pain and trembling vanished, Gregorovitch stood up and quickly went to work in order not to give the boy the reason to curse him again. Harry in the meantime sat down on one of the chairs the wandmaker provided for his customers replacing his sunglasses. Snape sat down right next to him stiff as a poker.
The man looked at Harry contemplating whether he should say what he wanted to.
“Spill it,” Harry simply said when he had enough of the indecisiveness of his teacher throwing up a few privacy charms.
“I beg your pardon?” Snape blinked confused.
Harry looked at him in disbelieve. “I can clearly see that you want to say something but fear that you might get cursed for it. There is nothing to worry about because you won’t so spill it,” Snape rose an eyebrow hearing that. Harry sighed. “You might not believe it, Professor, but you’re possibly the only person on this planet who’s safe from me. I mean how many times did you safe my life already? Twice? Thrice? I might be many things…evil, perhaps even a bit insane but one thing I’m definitely not…so stupid as to believe that I would be here without you and I also do not forget or ignore life depts.”
That definitely surprised the potions professor. “Why never saying something, Potter?”
“And probably got you into an awkward position? No thank you, it was good as it was. Despite that, could you please stop calling me Potter? We are not at school anymore and I doubt that I will return for the new year,” Harry snorted.
“You couldn’t have let me decide that and what should I call you instead of Potter?” the man now sneered.
Harry now looked at him fully “Harry should be more than sufficient and there was nothing to decide. What do you think Dumbledore would have done should he get to know that I acknowledge the life debt you hold over me? Probably abusing the situation and blackmailing you into using it in order to get me doing something. Though I assume that the Dark Lord knows about it.”
“How comes it…Harry?” he doubted that the boy had told the Dark Lord on his own. Not that he was overly worried about that fact. It was doubtable that the Dark Lord would abuse this in any way since he already had a hold over Harry on his own.
“We had a little mind reading session this morning before you arrived,” Harry admitted.
Snape looked at him shocked. Everything the boy knew was now also in Voldemort’s possession? He didn’t know whether this was bad or not.
“Nothing to grow grey hair over I don’t know anything of value and the Order’s headquarter is under a Fidelius charm,” he shrugged.
“But why? Why joining the Dark Lord?” he couldn’t wrap his head around this. The man had killed the boy’s parents and he had nothing better to do than to become his follower?
“You’re joking right? Do you know what Dumbledore did to me? For ones, he was the reason I have been abused ever since a certain Halloween fourteen years ago. Then do I have to remember you what happened during the last four years at Hogwarts?”
Snape just wanted to reply something upon that revelation when Gregorovitch came back into the show room with a pitch-black wand in his hand.
Harry cancelled the charms with a waiving of his hand and walked over to the counter. “Ah, my wand I guess?”
With shaking hands, he reluctantly hold it out. “If I may say it is a masterpiece. 13” elder wood wis Sestral hair and Basilisk venom as se core soaked wis se Dementor essence.”
Harry ripped the wand from the man’s shaking hands and instantly felt the power rushing through his veins. Oh yes, this wand was so much better and more powerful than the one he had gotten from Ollivander.
Snape who felt the power rush within the boy decided there and then that Dumbledore could go to hell. If he thought the power he had felt in the throne room was impressive, it was nothing in comparison what he felt now. With this boy on his side, it wasn’t the question of if but more when the Dark Lord would win ultimately. No blackmailing in the world could convince him to betray the Dark Lord ever again, not as long as Harry was loyal to him.
“I’ll need a wrist holster to. Black dragon hide preferably,” Harry snarled.
Brought out of his stupor upon feeling the power of the boy he started to rummage under the counter pulling out the requested wand holster. Quickly fitting it to the boy’s forearm, he stepped back.
“Is sere anysing else I can do for you, my Lord?” he asked fearfully addressing him with the title normally reserved for Voldemort.
“No. How much?”
“Twelve Galleons, my Lord,” he bowed curtly.
Harry smirked upon that. Yes, he could become addicted to the fear he induced to everyone but unfortunately, that wouldn’t work. For now, it would have to do to scare the living daylight out of the Death Eaters. Taking out of his pouch twenty Galleons, he placed them on the counter. “I hope this little…encounter stays between the three of us, clear?” he flared his magic at the man amusedly seeing that he nearly pissed himself.
“C-clear, my Lord.”
Now Harry grinned fully, not a nice grin but a very intimidating one that promised horrendous pain should this get out in any way. “Good.”
He turned around to Snape and looked at him expectantly what was covered by his sunglasses though. The man however knew what Harry wanted and grabbed his forearm in order to apparate them back to the manor from where they would use the floo. Upon arrival at Voldemort’s manor Harry turned around to Snape while taking the sunglasses down.
“Professor, I hope you understand that our talk from earlier is far from over” he said looking him straight into the eyes.
“This thought didn’t even occur to me. As said send a Patronus over and I’ll meet you and please call me Severus.”
Harry turned around and went down the corridor to his room because he needed to use the toilet. When he came out of the bathroom, he saw the Dark Lord sitting in front of the fireplace obviously waiting for him.
“I assume you got your wand?” he inquired.
“Took me some convincing but in the end Gregorovitch complied,” he took his wand out of the holster and hold it out to Voldemort for him to pick up.
Voldemort chuckled. “I can imagine how you…convinced him. A powerful wand take good care of it especially since elder wood is known to be picky about whom it obeys” he tried out the wand only to ascertain that it didn’t work for him.
“I doubt that I will come across someone who would threaten my hold over the wand in a foreseeable future” Harry snickered taking the wand back only to shoot a ray of red light towards the door hitting a rat right between the eyes.
He walked over and picked it up at its tail holding it between two fingers. “It seems that this manor is infested with rats.”
Raising an eyebrow the Dark Lord looked at the rat. “I think you just killed Wormtail.”
“Doubtable since it was only a stunner” he revived the rat holding it in front of his face. “Should I find you snivelling in my rooms ever again you will wish I only hit you with a stunner,” with that, he opened the door to his rooms and threw the rat out in a high arc. He could hear him squeaking loudly before the rat vanished around a corner.
“I’m sorry my Lord, but I don’t like vermin in my rooms,” he said while walking over to him and sitting down.
“Use him for target practise all you like as long as I’m not near. He is only here because he helped me with my resurrection but otherwise he is useless. Now that you have your wand, we can start with the training. Follow me,” Voldemort stood up and left the room Harry right behind him.