(Regurgitating the Summary Part I)
This story contains slash elements (Harry Potter) and is rated 'R' for a reason (i.e. sexual situations, violence, strong language, and the author's tendency to wax poetic about bloody well everything). If you have difficulties tolerating relationships between two consenting adults who happen to be men, I would suggest you smack that back button at the top of your screen like there's no tomorrow and head on out of here before permanent damage is done to your fragile little mind. Also, this story has a fat lot of nothing to do with my other HP story, The Losing Side, and as such the events contained within either story have no bearing on each other whatsoever. That said, and assuming anyone stuck around past the first few sentences, thanks so much for coming and enjoy the show.
(Regurgitating the Summary Part II)
This story occurs in a world that exists as a result of Voldemort's triumph over the forces of Good. A world in which the whole of the muggle population of Great Britain has been crushed beneath the boot of their oppressive master. Where those who would not live beneath the reign of such a master lurk in dark places, hiding and scurrying and planning and waiting for the time when they will be able to rise up and seize control of their world once more. We enter the story five years after the final battle during which the last great stronghold, Hogwarts, fell before the Dark Lord's forces. Five years after the death of the child-hero known as Harry Potter during the last battle which had occurred directly following his seventh year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As such, this story contains spoilers for all four books. Thank you and have a nice read.
To Rule in Hell
A Harry Potter Fan Fiction
Chapter 3 - The Underground
There weren't many dreams left in this world. This world of shattered glass and bitter, broken souls. This world of waking up each morning to feel death all around like an old friend or an old adversary. Always there, just a step behind or a step ahead. Breathing and sighing and screaming all through the day and night. It was a grim, horrible, creeping evil and it was their reality. The reality of those who still refused to submit to Voldemort's rule. Those who still lived, if existing could be called living at all. For theirs was a meager existence carved out in the cracks and dark places beneath the streets of London.
The days when they could live freely in the light of the world above ground had all ended in a moment.
In the space of a heartbeat.
Or a wand's spell.
At least that was what he'd been told.
For him it had all ended at the end of curse.
He'd awoken three days later... changed. Not so different than he was now, but a world away from what he'd been before.
Or at least that's what he'd been told.
It had been two years before he had begun to remember the person he had been before. For those first two years, they'd kept him closeted away. Shut away from the world as it underwent its great change. Two years spent in a darkened room... for his own good.
Funny how people always seemed to be locking him away in closets. Under stairs, in Potions classrooms, and finally in an converted utility closet deep in the maze of the London Underground.
He'd spent most of that first year strapped to a bed and screaming to be released. Screaming, because there was somewhere he was supposed to be and it seemed a matter of great importance that he get there.
The second year he'd learned that screaming didn't help matters, if anything it made his guards anxious and that was the last thing he wanted. So he was patient. So very patient and silent for nearly a year. They'd been unnerved by that as well. Apparently there was simply no pleasing some people.
Hermione had told him he was suffering difficulties from the aftereffects of the magic which had saved him. She'd said the amnesia was only natural.
Of course, she wasn't exactly sure what had saved him from death this second time. So who was she to say what was natural. And what was... unnatural...
"Harry, how are you feeling?"
"Harry, won't you eat something?"
As if that name meant anything to him then. It meant little even now. It was a title.
He'd been released from captivity during the third year when they had judged him sane enough to walk amongst the others. To speak to them without disturbing them too much. Because, after all, he mustn't disturb the poor, abused souls who haunted these underground chambers. Because they'd had it so. much. worse.
So much worse than being strapped to a bed.
So much worse than those dreams.
Oh yes, he'd had some memories during those first terrible years. That was one of his most closely guarded secrets, because it had been his clue to discovering what and who he was now.
Memories of skin.
Smell of wood smoke and autumn and rain.
Taste of blueberries.
Soft breathy sighs and deep, resounding moans.
A groan and a curse.
And blood... there had been blood.
Blood and scars. Teeth and nails scoring tender flesh.
And that's why he lived.
He'd known it than as surely as he knew it know. Somehow he was alive because of that bond.
It might not be the whole truth of it, but it was definitely a part of it.
And he'd hated Draco Malfoy for that even before he'd been able to remember that cursed name.
Because he'd known even then that he'd rather be dead than tied to that bastard, no matter how good he smelled or tasted.
His brain was still spinning in a million directions at once, trying to make sense of something which simply couldn't be true.
The dead did not walk.
The dead did not talk.
The dead did not engage in clever repartee with the living.
The dead did not look sexy and dangerous.
They were, after all, the dead.
Thus it was not a possibility that Harry Potter was dead and he was an idiot for even thinking about this. Especially when he should be thinking about escape plans.
Yes, he would definitely have to escape. Certainly it would be in his best interests to do so, despite the fact that in doing so he would be forced to reveal that he wasn't nearly the idiot he played at being. Still, Potter already knew the truth. Or at least some of it. He couldn't seem to hold to his carefully crafted image around that bastard. He was twenty-three years old and yet somehow the moment he was confronted with that face, that voice, he was again an awkward teenager striking out at his first and best enemy.
The carriage they'd been riding in had come to an abrupt halt moments after Potter's pronouncement and the bastard had actually had the nerve to smile as he'd shoved the bag back over his head. He'd fought a bit and been knocked unconscious again for his efforts. When he'd awoken he'd found himself locked in a small room which looked rather like a utility closet, strapped to a bed. He did not appreciate the reminder of his days in St. Mungo's and by the end of this he would make damn sure Potter knew just how much. He was suddenly rather glad Potter was alive, because now he would have the extraordinary privilege of killing the smug bastard himself.
He worked his wrists gingerly, testing the strength of his bonds and finding, much to his delight, that the straps were both old and well worn by the efforts of the bed's last occupant. Not to mention that they weren't tight enough, almost as if they'd been custom made for someone else. Someone with slightly larger wrists and hands than he. Draco wondered vaguely who it had been as he began the laborious process of working his hands free.
It was strange. He'd never figured Potter for the type who condoned imprisonment and torture. Then again, he'd never figured Potter for the killing sort either, but he'd seen the killer in those brilliant green eyes as they'd sat together in the darkness of the carriage. It was more than obvious that Potter had undergone a few changes during the past five years.
Draco sat up taking a moment to rub his chafed wrists and work his aching shoulders before freeing his ankles from their straps and standing up. He couldn't sense any magic in the room. No wards, no charms, nothing. Which might help explain why Potter's people hadn't been found and exterminated yet. It had become simple during the last few years to track magic.
Every wizard had a unique signature to their magic. Once you learned to recognize that signature it was simple enough matter to trace the wizard's path through the spells they'd cast and since most wizards in the early days had warded their homes it was an easy task to find them and exterminate them. Rogue wizards were smarter these days. Never using magic in their own homes, never even using magic to defend themselves in the vicinity of their own homes.
The last batch of wizards that had kidnapped him hadn't been quite so intelligent as Potter's bunch. They'd used magic. He'd had little trouble tracking them down again after he'd managed to escape. And they'd paid well and dearly for the things they'd done to him.
Just now, however, was not the time to think of such things. Now was the time to think of escape.
Harry Potter gazed at his reflection in the mirror, scrutinizing his appearance for the first time in years. He could remember a time when his appearance had seemed a matter of great importance, but it seemed another life. With something which might have been called a smirk on any other man, Harry realized that, in a sense, that was the exact truth. It had been in another life. A life in which he had been a great hero for something he couldn't even remember. A life in which he lived and died on the side of right. His only mistake had been a single night. A night which tasted of heaven and hell in his memory. A single night spent in Draco Malfoy's arms.
His hair had gained some control over itself in the last few years, and it curled about his face in licks and waves when dry. Just now it was dripping wet and plastered against his cheeks and forehead, obscuring the mark of fame upon his forehead. It was still black, with the exception of two locks of white hair which stood outside starkly against the darkness. Tokens of his death, or so it would seem. His chest and arms were streaked with pale, twisting scars. A silent testament to the torment his body had suffered beneath Voldemort's wand, hidden by the black turtleneck and pants he had donned for his trip topside. If he'd known it would rain, he might have scheduled the trip for another day. He hated the rain.
Fingertips trailing over pale skin, whispered words and gasps of surprised pleasure. The satisfying discovery that Draco Malfoy was a screamer. The sound of rain pounding against the sill, the distant chill in the air that never quite cooled their heated skin.
"You just... had to... give me your... damn password... didn't you?" He accused, drawing back enough to shoot Harry a tired glare. His blond hair was plastered against his sweaty forehead, his breath coming in ragged gasps.
"I didn't give you my password, Malfoy."
"Might as well have. I was standing right fucking there when you said it."
"Shut up, Malfoy."
"I don't take my orders from you, Potter." He grumbled, pressing a hard kiss to Harry's eager lips.
Harry shook away the flash of memory, running a shaking hand through his hair. His image in the mirror looked tired. Black circles were holding court in the bags beneath his eyes. He considered slamming his fist into the glass, but thought better of it. He could do without the lecture from Hermione about how long it had taken to procure a regular muggle mirror. Most had been destroyed during the first year following Voldemort's final victory, or so he had been told. After all, muggle mirrors were "clean" mirrors. A clean mirror had no purpose yet and there were any number of spells which could be cast upon such a mirror, not the least of which was a handy locator spell which wasn't much good unless the person you wished to locate wasn't under in a place warded against such spells.
Harry glanced away from the mirror as the bathroom door burst open to reveal a very pissed off Ginny Weasley. She looked livid, her cheeks nearly as red as her hair had once been. Her hair had been dyed black shortly after Harry's 'death' because red simply drew too much of the wrong kind of attention. It marked as a Weasley and that was a very bad thing in this new world they lived in.
The black didn't mesh well with her pale skin, but Harry still thought of her as rather beautiful. They'd dated once during his sixth year at Hogwarts. In fact, they'd just broken up an hour or so before he'd ended up locked in that fucking closet with Draco Malfoy. His expression darkened somewhat at the thought as he continued to regard the furious girl in his doorway. "And a good morning to you, Ginny."
"Seamus just told me that you've captured Draco Malfoy."
"What the hell are you planning to do with him, Harry? Do you even realize how crazy it is to kidnap the Minister of Britain's basket case son? Do you? It's practically suicide, Harry. The last group that attempted anything like this was slaughtered. Slaughtered. And not with magic either, I saw the reports. They couldn't even identify half the bodies."
"I am aware of that, Ginny."
"So what the hell were you thinking? Or was this Hermione's idea? The two of you, I swear... Do you think Lucius Malfoy's temper has cooled in the last four years? Do you?"
"I don't think Lucius Malfoy was the one to blame for that little incident, Ginny."
"Oh, no. We are not having this conversation again, Harry. I don't care what you and Hermione think, Draco Malfoy is harmless. I've seen the reports and we've had him under surveillance for years. He hasn't given one sign that he isn't exactly what he appears. You know that. He's a victim as much as anyone else in this stupid world."
"He is not what you think he is," Harry replied, tossing his towel over the shower rod before striding past Ginny into his bedroom.
She followed him and when she spoke her voice held a familiar not of regret, "I remember a time when you would never have walked around naked in front of anyone, Harry."
"Yeah, well, I don't." Harry spat, jerking open his closet and digging out a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. "I don't, Ginny, and I swear to all that is holy that if you launch into yet another tired 'it was the best of times' diatribe, I'm going to hurt you."
Ginny sighed, taking a seat on the edge of Harry's neatly made bed and watching the dark-haired boy as he dressed. She didn't bother averting her eyes, she'd seen him naked often enough that it hardly mattered anymore. Sometimes she thought that his close brush with death had killed something in him. Broken parts of him that might never be repaired. "Look, Harry, I'm sorry. I didn't mean anything by it."
"Save it. Skip to the part where you continue to lecture me on the dangers of having Draco Malfoy imprisoned here," Harry replied, jerking his t-shirt over his head before turning back to face Ginny.
"I don't understand what you're hoping to accomplish Harry. He can't possibly know anything and he's just going to cause us trouble."
"I think you're wrong, Ginny. I think you're all wrong. I talked to him on the way over. He's been playing the fool and I want to know why."
"Harry, I know you think he's the antichrist, but do you really think he's clever enough to fool the entire world?"
Harry chuckled softly, "Of course I do. He was my rival, wasn't he?"
"Well, aren't we in healthy ego today?"
"Seamus? Where did Charlie put him? And where is Charlie by the way?"
Seamus glanced up from the pile of reports he was looking over, "Charlie went out to buy a bottle of whiskey to celebrate. I wouldn't worry about Malfoy. Charlie strapped him to the bed in..." Seamus flushed, his voice faltering a bit as Harry's eyes turned cold. "Um... well... he locked him in the... uh... you know."
"I do know," Harry replied, his voice deadly soft. "I do know that I have expressed my opinions on the use of that room more than once."
"Sorry, Harry. Hermione's orders."
"Figures," Harry spat. He may be the 'official' leader of their little band of refugees, but it was Hermione who held the real power. Hermione who had lead them after Dumbledore's death and thus Hermione's orders they were the most accustomed to following. After all, Hermione had been their designated leader for over two years, until the great Harry Potter had 'recovered' from his injuries well enough to take over the position Dumbledore had wished for him to hold. Hermione was only his advisor now, but you sure as hell couldn't tell that sometimes. Something which was all Hermione's fault in his opinion. There were many reasons that they didn't get along, but this was certainly the most obvious. "You can tell that bitch that she's at fault for losing him."
"Why don't you tell that bitch yourself, Harry?" A cold voice cut in from behind him and Harry slowly turned about to face the girl who in another life had been one of his very best friends.
They were the exact same height which made glaring at each other easier. Which was... rather convenient since they seemed to spend much of their time doing precisely that. She was pretty, as she always had been from what he could remember, but the stern nature of her expression gave her a severe cast that she hadn't had as a child. Her brown hair had been chopped short so that it only barely brushed the high collar of her shirt. Her dark gaze spoke of authority. It was the gaze of someone not used to being disobeyed or questioned.
Harry for his part, didn't flinch in the presence of her deadly gaze. Instead he matched glare for glare, his hands resting firmly against his hips. "We've lost him already and it's your fault, Hermione."
"How exactly do you figure that? He's locked in a little bitty room and strapped to a bed."
The words were meant to hurt and they did their job well, but Harry forced himself to smile, "Go look for yourself."
"Seamus. Keys," Hermione spat, taking her gaze from Harry only when Seamus had dropped the master keys into her outstretched hand. She strode across the room to the closet, inserting the familiar golden key into the lock and turning it. While Harry watched with an amused gaze, Hermione shoved the door open, her eyes widening as they lighted on the empty bed. The straps hung loose from the bedposts, still locked into their familiar loops.
As she stared at that bed, memories washed over her in a flood. Memories of the boy she had once loved in silence. Memories of Harry, happy and smiling with his arm around Ron's shoulders on their graduation day. Before they had both been lost to death.
Memories of her cautious joy at Harry's miraculous awakening. Memories of Harry's eyes, black with hate. A stranger's eyes in such a heartbreakingly familiar face.
She turned to him now, this madman who she had once called 'best friend'. She didn't hate him. Could never hate him. But it hurt so much to look at him. To hear him. Because though he looked like Harry and sounded like Harry, he wasn't the same man she had loved. He was just a walking, talking reminder of how things had once been and never could be again.
"Where the fuck is he?" Hermione spat, folding her arms across her chest.
"Gone. I told you so," Harry smirked, flopping down in the chair next to Seamus and propping his feet up against Seamus' paper-strewn desk.
"Gone," Hermione repeated, turning her gaze toward the sandy-haired Irishman who seemed to be making a concentrated effort to blend into the scenery. "Seamus, who's had access to this room since Charlie locked him in here?"
"No one. I've been sitting here doing paperwork since Charlie locked him in there. No one has come or gone."
Hermione nodded roughly, turning her gaze on Harry once more. "Where is he, Harry?"
"How would I know?" Harry replied, folding his arms behind his head and leaning back in the chair.
"Don't you even start with me, Harry Potter. How did he get out of that room?"
"Those straps were custom-made for someone with larger wrists then he, not to mention the fact that they were rather well-worn from all the struggles of the previous occupant of that room. No doubt he had little trouble escaping his bonds. After that, it was a simple matter of crawling up into the vents and high-tailing it out of here. Not exactly rocket science, Hermione."
"And exactly how do you know all this, Harry?"
"Do you really think I stayed locked up in that room like a good little boy for two years? Come now."
"You smug bastard. Why didn't you tell me this before? Did you want him to escape?"
"I remember saying, rather specifically, that it would be a mistake to lock anymore smarter than the average rock in that room," Harry replied, his smile fading. "And, no, I didn't want him to escape. You really shouldn't have contradicted my orders, Hermione."
"Fine. We'll talk about this later. Right now, I want you to get out there and find him," Hermione ordered briskly, careful to keep her face expressionless. She could always cry later. When she was alone. After Draco Malfoy had been re-captured and imprisoned correctly.
"Yes, ma'am," Harry hissed, dropping his chair back onto all four legs and standing. He gave Hermione a mock-salute before stalking from the room with Ginny and Seamus on his heels.
~ to be continued ~
Heh. And I thought I wouldn't get any writing done during finals. Heh. :)
Many thanks to: Keeper0124 (*lol* Here's one and the other will be along as soon as possible. ^_-), Kay, Liz (Thanks. ^_-), Arwena (The writing style is different, but I think Draco has this inherent cruelty to his personality which shows up in his banter with Harry both in TLS and TRiH. I think part of what makes H/D so interesting is the dynamic between the two characters and I do so love writing clever repartee between the two. ^_-), Jewel, Earthquake, Aurora, Angela, Orange, Plumeria (*grin*), Anonymous Persons, Girlie-O (No, TLS has not been abandoned. It's just in beta. Check my livejournal for updates on its status, cookies, and other misc. junk), Jen (*lol* I've always been here, you just have to know where to look. ^_-), yiota (Yes, I plan to update this story as often as possible and since it isn't quite as much of a gigantic monsters as TLS that means it should be updated at least every couple of weeks), AngelKity, chrisseee667, Moonchild (*grins* Thanks so much! I love questions. See below for answers. ^_^ Also, phobias tend to fascinate me to no end as they are a type of fear which has no reason and brokers no argument and I find that fascinating.), The Red Dragons Order (Very cool pen name, btw), Kay, Anne Phoenix, Lyansidde, Sparks, MistWalker, Crimson Nightmare, Radical Ed, Moonchild, Sideproject, Jinsei (*grins* I'm so with you on the support of the darker side of things.), Demeter (I love playing with the lovely grey line that lies between good and evil. This fic gives me a chance to do that. ^_-), Katma, bwaybaby79, ChibiWhiteFerret, Maya (I made you fancy Harry? *huge grin* I'm so proud of me. ^_^), Cher, Jen, Arwena, Darklites, Tariel (*grin* Your review made me laugh for about twenty minutes. Yes, I've heard My Child and I like it a hell of a lot. DDevil is another of my favorites.), Jessica, Lucinda K, Amalin, IckleRonnikins, Someonesgurl, Clayr, black_ink, Connelly, Abaddon, and Kristina.
Why do you always have to do such a cliffhanger at the end of your chapters? (ShingamiStar) Because I have masochistic tendencies. Actually, because that's just sort of where it ends up. I write each chapter and will suddenly hit a point where my brain just says, 'Nope. No more. It has to end here'. I've learned not to argue with it, as it always tends to win. :)
Did anyone else ever apply the 'kissing a dead fish' image to Harry? (Moonchild) Hm. Not that I'm aware of, but anything's possible. :)
How did they get into the closet in the first place? Why does Harry have his own room? How does Draco get there? (Moonchild) These are all answers which will be revealed in the coming chapters. I made the decision when I began writing this story that since this particular night was something that haunted them for several years, I didn't want to tell it all in one simple flashback scene. Because it's not something they would think about all at once. They wouldn't sit back and play the entire evening back moment by moment. Instead certain events, smells, tastes, sounds; will bring certain pieces of that night to the forefront of their minds at different points in the story. Because that is the nature of memory. Take for instance your first significant relationship. You don't think about it from day-to-day, during the casual course of conversations and events, but then you'll be walking down the street and pass a man or woman and the scent of their cologne will invade your nostrils and, unbidden, you might think back to that relationship. Perhaps you'll remember how their arms felt around you or how you cried when you broke up. Or perhaps the memory will be more specific, like a hand brushing hair out of your eyes or how sometimes you used to curl up together on the couch and watch cartoons. Emotions will come with the memory, as is the way of things, and you will feel perhaps a momentary twinge of sadness or anger or regret. Then the moment will pass and you'll be walking down the street once more and remember that the past is just that, the past, and though it can hurt, it isn't real, and you go on about your business and perhaps forget that you even had a moment when you were locked and forgotten in the grasp of a powerful memory. For Harry and Draco, that night is like a puzzle which has been completed and lies on the great table of memory. Yet when they look at it, they don't see the entire picture. Instead they see a single piece or a series of pieces or perhaps get a general impression of the full picture, but they never see the entire picture at once.
What about other countries? What is going on there? Is the rest of the world wizard-free? (Moonchild) There are approximately seven countries currently under Voldemort's rule. England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Bulgaria, Egypt, and Turkey. These were all countries that, towards the end of the war, had a high population of Voldemort-supporters. When he came to power, Voldemort established his domain over these countries and signed a treaty with several major countries (including the US, France, Russia, and Germany, amongst others) which created an uneasy peace between them. The world lives in fear of him, because there is no true defense against someone who can apparate into your bathroom and kill you in an instant and there is no way to kill a ghost. Voldemort has, since his triumph, disappeared from sight only emerging when the need arises. Only his Ministers know his true location.
So he was killed and now is risen from the dead? If he really did die, who brought him back and how, and, most importantly, at what price? (bwaybaby79) Errr... I'm not really at liberty to say. I will simply say that there is a price for everything and the truth of his 'resurrection' is a much more complex story than even Harry could guess. -_-
So -- how is it that Draco's last night as Hogwarts was at the end of 6th year? (Plumeria) To state the answer simply, since it will be covered in more depth in future chapters, Draco never graduated from Hogwarts. He left Hogwarts the next day. (He was planning to leave that night, but he didn't get all that far. -_-)
Chapter 1- Draco remembers that the Night took place in the room he'd had as a prefect. Chapter 2- in the flashback, Draco comes to Harry's room. Am I misinterpreting something? Was there really more than one night? (Plumeria) There was only one night. In Draco's memories of that night (Chapter 1) he never mentions Harry's name which is fine during the vast majority of that section except when we hit the sentence: 'Finding at last the best solution to their bitter rivalry in the darkened private room he'd lived in during his time as a prefect.' Unfortunately, I originally wrote this chapter in a version of FrontPage which had conflicts with the ff.net servers when it came to italics. I managed to fix these problems using a newer version of FrontPage, but missed one particular correction. The sentence should read (and does now): 'Finding at last the best solution to their bitter rivalry in the darkened private room he'd lived in during his time as a prefect.' -_-
(It just blows my mind on a daily basis that I even have a policies section. -_-)
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