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The Death Mist

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Title: The Death Mist
Author: ExcentrykeMuse
Pairings: “Harry”/Voldemort, Draco/Astoria, Draco/OFC, Sirius/OFC, Hermione/OMC
Warnings: incest, slash, dark curses, torture of a muggle, imposed exile, stolen children, framing people for crimes, death (canon), EWE
Summary: Everyone told him he was Harry Potter. He knew better. He was Lycoris Rosier Black. He just didn’t know what that meant.

The Death Mist

Part the First—
“She’s been chasing an answer / A sign lost in the abyss, this metropolis”
—“Waiting for Superman,” Daughtry

They were liars. All three of them.

Magic did exist. He wasn’t stupid. How else could he turn his eyes from dark purple to gray with just a thought, or make his hair, that was sometimes blond, sometimes brown, grow after Aunt Petunia had cut it? It made him seethe with anger.

Hatred boiled beneath his skin whenever one of them said, “Magic isn’t real.”

After one such incident he’d turned his hair neon blue. He got shut in his cupboard for a week for that.

He didn’t care. How could he? He was only proving them wrong. Them. The non-magical people. He didn’t have a word for them yet, but he knew there must be one.

He supposed he was a sorcerer. He couldn’t be a magician. No, that was wrong. Magicians pulled rabbits out of hats and that’s not what he could do. No, he could change himself. Once he had made his finger twist so that it was the shape of a key, and he snuck out of his cupboard one night to steal food from the kitchen.

There were the other small occurrences, too. He could hoard food, and not just hoard it, but make it last for days. One small piece of bread should not be able to satisfy him for three days, and yet it did. At night, even though there was no lightbulb in the cupboard, there would be a ball of light that would shine somewhere over his head.

He only had one book that he nicked from the school library: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. He’d been six at the time. At first he’d barely been able to read it, but then he’d taught himself. Now he’d read it cover to cover more times than he could count. And that’s just what he did, every night. He read about Elinor and Marianne and their trials of love and loss.

They were his first friends.

When he was seven he discovered the public library. They were all liars there, too, but they didn’t know any better. They also thought that magic wasn’t real, like most people, but they did help him in other ways. They allowed him to research.

And he needed to research.

For, you see, he knew that his name wasn’t what everyone told him it was. Of course, Uncle Vernon would call him “Freak” and “Boy”, but they said his name was Harry James Potter.

But that wasn’t his name.

Ever since he could remember, there had been a thin line on his arm. Aunt Petunia, upon discovering it when he was about three, tried to scrub it off in the bath to the point where he had started to bleed.

He’d kept the line hidden after that.

However, the scar began to take shape. Words began to form, but at first they were too small to read. Then, on his fifth birthday, they had enlarged just enough so that he could read them: Lycoris Rosier Black. Toujours Pur.

At first he didn’t know what it all meant. Black was a name, he knew that much. Lycoris was strange but that must be a name. Lycoris Black, then. A name on his arm. And why would he have anyone else’s name on his arm but his own?

So, they were liars, every last one of them. They said his name was Potter and that his mother was Aunt Petunia’s sister but he had seen a picture of her. She was beautiful, with auburn hair and startling green eyes, but there was nothing in his face with its high cheekbones and its aristocratic nose that suggested that he was at all related to the woman.

He’d never seen a picture of James Potter, who apparently was a drunk and Lycoris knew that whoever his father was, he was not a drunk, but he doubted that Potter had blond wavy hair and purple eyes.

No, he wasn’t Harry James Potter. He was Lycoris Rosier Black.

There were no family trees at the library. However, there were dictionaries. Lycoris meant ‘Twilight.’ Toujours Pur was French for ‘always pure.’ Lycoris wondered what that meant. Perhaps it had something to do with all the non-magical people who wandered about on the street.

When he was finished researching, Lycoris read. First he read all of Jane Austen. Then Dickens. Then he was fascinated with science and the make-up of the human body. After studying a diagram of human anatomy for nearly a week, he was able to shrink his stomach so he wouldn’t be hungry as often.

Still, he was lied to.

He chose not to react, however. Soon the Dursleys stopped baiting him with stories about his good-for-nothing parents (who weren’t his parents, after all) and let him get on with his life. They didn’t complain when Lycoris disappeared after school, as long as he wasn’t under foot and was there to cook dinner in the evening.

Lycoris hated them.

He didn’t understand why he had to live with non-magical people when he could clearly do all these wondrous things.

Then the letters started to come.

It was interesting. He managed to snag one and it was addressed to ‘Lycoris Black.’ Clearly someone knew who he was.

However, after being on the run from the letters that invited him to a magical school called Hogwarts (Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon hadn’t realized that he had read one of the letters and kept it in his pocket), a giant arrived at their shack on the sea and gave him another letter addressed to ‘Harry Potter.’

Another liar. Harry hated him.

He went with the giant to Diagon Alley, but soon lost him in the crowd. Finding his way to Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, he stood on a stool and asked the witch if he could have a basic wardrobe.

“Yes, these clothes are drab and a little big,” she admitted. She hesitated. “We offer both Muggleborn and pureblood options.”

There was a boy the next stool over who was watching him curiously.

Lycoris looked down at the woman. He remembered the saying on his arm. Toujours Pur. “I’m a pureblood,” he answered succinctly.

Here, the other boy began to speak. “Can’t you tell by his cheekbones? A Muggleborn wouldn’t look like that!”

“Why, yes, of course, sir. Sorry, sir.” She bundled out of the room.

The other boy had shocking blond hair and a pointed face. He had the same gray eyes that Lycoris sometimes wore.

“Are you a Black?” Lycoris guessed, looking the other boy over. “It’s just, I’m looking for the Blacks and you have gray eyes.”

The boy seemed startled. “My mother’s a Black. I’m Draco. Heir Draco Black Malfoy.” He held out his hand.

Lycoris took it with a small smile. “Might I ask you a question? It’s just, it’s been something I’ve been trying to puzzle out since I was five, and I didn’t have the best resources. I mean, I translated everything, but I still don’t know what it is, and you’re a Black, so you might know—“

“He might know what?” There was a man—a wizard—standing imperiously in the doorway. He had long blond hair and the same pointed features as Draco. His eyes were a steely blue.

“He’s looking for the Blacks, Father. Apparently he has a question for the Blacks.”

“I see.” The man floated into the room and sat down in a plush armchair. He held a cane with a serpent head that looked at Lycoris as if it were alive.

“Well, my wife and I have no secrets. If it’s knowledge from the Blacks you seek, you may ask me. If I cannot help you, I will refer you to her. Come, young man.”

Lycoris looked at him warily. He was wearing Hogwarts robes, pinned up, and closing his eyes, he pulled up he right sleeve to show the brand. He heard an intake of breath. “You see why I need a Black.”

There was a bustle from the door and his sleeve was jerked down. “I think this would be a conversation better for luncheon,” Draco’s father stated. “Tell me, Heir Lycoris, where have you been thus far.” He pronounced Lycoris “LIE-corr-iss,” which made Lycoris a little relieved since that’s how he’d been pronouncing it all along.

“Well, here.”

Draco was looking at him strangely.

“I will go pick up you school books for you and meet you back here. I see there are swatches for robes. Excellent. Madam Malkin, I want it put on the Malfoy House Account. And he needs a set of robes for today and tomorrow immediately.”

She bobbed her head.

“Draco, why don’t you tell your cousin a bit about the Blacks. Particularly about their family motto.”

“Well,” Draco began self importantly, hopping down from his stool. “Mum’s a Black. She’s the youngest of three sisters. Aunt Bellatrix is in Azkaban—that’s the wizarding prison—and Aunt Andromeda was disinherited for marrying a Muggleborn.”

“I see. What’s a Mugglborn? And you get disinherited for that?”

“You get disinherited for marrying anyone but another pureblood—a pure wizard. A Muggleborn is a wizard who has non-magical or Muggle parents,” he explained. He was now circling Lycoris with the color swatches. “What’s in stock?”

“I’ll be back in just a moment,” the witch said, vanishing Lycoris’s robes.

“Then there were Cousins Sirius and Regulus. Cousin Sirius got himself blasted off the family tree, though not disinherited, for running away and Cousin Regulus, well, he was killed by the Dark Lord.”

“You mean You-Know-Who?”

“Purebloods call him the Dark Lord, Cousin Lycoris,” Draco answered.

“Right, who was then defeated by Harry Potter. As if that’s even possible,” Lycoris sighed, remembering his brief chat with Hagrid on the subject.

“Hmm,” Draco responded. “Lord Black, Cousin Sirius that is, is also in Azkaban right now. You’re the only other Black I know of.”

Madam Malkin bustled in with velvet green and then dark blue robes. Draco nodded to her and immediately they were whisked onto Lycoris and were pinned into place. She hummed all the while.

“You’re lucky you ran into me. Mum’s the only Black really left.”

“What about Toujours Pur?”

“That’s simple. Black family motto. It means that the house is always pure. No Muggle influences.” Draco smiled at him.

They fell into silence.

“Where have you been all these years?”

“Surrey. The horrible part.”

The first robe was off and the second one was on. Lycoris liked the texture of it.

“We live in Wiltshire. You’ll like it there.”

“I’ll like it there?”

“Well, of course. You showed up here in rags. You’re a Black. Mum’s a Black. Father and Mother are obviously going to try and gain custody of you.”

“Draco,” his father was in the door again, “we don’t want to overwhelm Heir Lycoris.—Are the robes almost done?”

“Just one more pin,” Madam Malkin said, and then with a wave of her wand, the robes fit Lycoris perfectly.

“Good. You can leave in those.” He pointed to the rags. “We’ll have these three swatches in robes by the end of the week and the rest owl to the Manor.”

“Of course, Lord Malfoy,” she bobbed a curtsey again. “Heir Draco, Heir Lycoris.”

“Now, let us get you some wands,” Lord Malfoy said and he herded the two boys out into the street.

Lady Malfoy was a beautiful witch, who looked like she could be Lycoris’s mother except for her cheekbones. Lycoris was currently wearing brown hair. When Lycoris first stepped into Ollivander’s, she gave a little start and looked over to her husband in question.

“Narcissa, darling, may I present to you, Heir Lycoris Rosier Black. He and Draco met at Madam Malkin’s.” He gave her a pointed look. “Lycoris, this is your Aunt Narcissa, Lady Malfoy.”

“I—“ Lycoris was lost for words. Without meaning to, his eyes turned to gray and her gaze widened.

She stepped forward and placed her two hands on his shoulders. “Lycoris, it is wonderful to meet you. I’m so happy you could spend the day with us.”

“Thank you, Lady Malfoy.”

“Aunt Narcissa, I insist.” She smiled. She looked over Lycoris’ shoulder at Draco. “Now, let’s get you boys your wands.” Aunt Narcissa looked over to the little man who was hovering nearby. “Heir Lycoris first, I believe. He is our guest, after all.”

The little man set to work, taking down wands, talking about the Blacks and their affinity toward Dragon Heartstring, but every wand Lycoris tried simply did not work for him. He felt nothing.

Draco found his wand half an hour in. He’d gotten bored and was trying all of Lycoris’s rejects when a wind rushed around him and silver and green sparks sprang out the end of it.

“Hawthorn and Dragon Heartstring, Heir Draco,” Mr. Ollivander said happily. “An excellent wand, if I do say so myself.”

Still, the hunt for Lycoris’s wand continued for over two hours, both Lord and Lady Malfoy patiently waiting, when Mr. Ollivander stilled and looked at Lycoris.

“When’s your birthday?”

“Today,” he answered simply, and Lucius looked at him in surprise.

“I wonder, I wonder.” He padded off to the back of the shop and came back with a dusty old box. “Holly. Phoenix Feather. Eleven inches. Give it a wave.”

As soon as Lycoris picked it up he felt a surge of magic swell within him. He smiled and waved the wand, sparkles of bronze and blue following in his wand’s wake.

“Excellent!” Narcissa exclaimed. “Perhaps it was your mother, Lycoris, who had an affinity with Phoenix feathers.”

“Perhaps,” Lord Malfoy agreed.

“I remember every wand I’ve ever sold,” Mr. Ollivander said, looking at Lycoris strangely. “Every wand. It so happens that the brother of this wand did great things. Terrible things. But great.”

“Who had the wand?” Lord Malfoy asked as if he already knew the answer.

“He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named,” Mr. Ollivander whispered. “I was certain that if I ever sold that wand that it would be to Harry Potter.”

Lycoris sucked in a breath.

Lord Malfoy noticed. “Well, obviously it was meant for Heir Lycoris. Clearly the evidence is overwhelming.”

Narcissa came up and placed a hand on his shoulder. “Clearly,” she agreed. She smiled between him and Draco. “Now, an early tea, I think. Lucius, dear, shall we meet you there?”

“Of course, dear. I’ll be but a moment,” he said, drawing out his money pouch.

“I can pay,” Lycoris said. “I have money.”

“Speak nothing of it,” Narcissa insisted. “You’re our guest and our cousin.”

Draco offered him a smile. “I never thought I had a cousin before, apart from that half-blood. It was always just me and my sisters.”

“I supposedly have a cousin,” Lycoris offered. “I wouldn’t wish him on anyone.” He thought about Dudley and how he’d probably have to see him later that night. He was going to make the day stretch as long as possible.

Narcissa led the two of them down a side street to a dome of sheer glass and Lycoris stopped dead in his tracks, staring in awe. Draco noticed he had stopped first and turned, smiling. “Never been to The White Witch before? They have the best clotted cream.”

Turning toward them, Narcissa smiled. “Come along, boys. Quit dawdling.”

It turned out the Malfoys were quite important as they were moved to the front of the queue and given a table at the very center where there was a large fountain and soft piano music playing.

The three were seated when Draco said aloud, “Perhaps you should show Mother.”

“I—okay.” Lycoris placed his arm on the table and lifted his sleeve to show the brand.

She sucked in a breath. “Who are you here with?” she demanded angrily.

He shrank back into himself, but she immediately stilled and cleared her expression.

“I’m sorry for my anger. It was not directed at you, Lycoris. Who are you here with?”

“Hagrid brought me. He took me from the liars I’ve been living with for ten years.”

“These—liars. May I ask who they are?”

“Why do you call them liars?” Draco asked curiously.

“They say magic doesn’t exist but it obviously does, and they call me by a different name.”

“Muggles,” Narcissa spat. “Never mind your false name. At least for now. The brand tells the truth when a Black child is stolen. How long have you been with these—people?”

“Since the people who were supposedly my parents died. I was one. There was supposed to be a car crash. Dad was drunk. It was how I supposedly got my scar.”

She looked him up and down obviously not seeing a scar. “And who were these people?”

“James—“ he hesitated. “James and Lily Potter.”

Narcissa dropped her cup. “You were called ‘Harry Potter’?” She suddenly motioned for everyone to remain silent as a server led Lord Malfoy to the table and he took up his seat next to Narcissa. Noticing her distress, he placed a hand on top of hers.

“What’s wrong?”

Narcissa looked into Lycoris’s eyes. “Show me your scar,” she demanded.

Sighing, Lycoris pushed aside his fringe and then, a moment later, revealed his scar.

“Impressive magic,” Lord Malfoy noted. “I believe I’ll pay Fudge a visit this evening so we can start custody proceedings. We have all the evidence we need on his arm and Fudge would be a fool not to grant the request.”

“I—I can change anything about myself,” Lycoris murmured, glancing at Draco. “My hair color, length, the color of my eyes, the size of my stomach, the—“

“A metamorphmagus then,” Narcissa said happily. “It’s an old Black trait. It only further proves your lineage. But whose son is he? I didn’t think that Sirius or Regulus ever married.”

“Well, he’s recognized as a Black on the brand,” Lord Malfoy stated. “One of them must have been.”

“I think it would be far more likely that the Potters would steal the child of their best friend’s disliked little brother instead of their best friend. Wouldn’t Sirius have noticed?”

“I wouldn’t have counted Sirius as the best of guardians,” Lord Malfoy said decisively.

Narcissa sighed before turning back to Lycoris. “Dear, the brand is an old form of Black Family magic. When a child is stolen, it appears on the arm of that child so that there can be no dispute as to the child’s true identity. You are Lycoris Rosier Black. You were never Harry Potter. We—my family—would like to gain custody of you so that you can be with family once again and be brought up with your birthright.”

“But who’s my father and mother?”

“We don’t know,” she answered kindly. “We know you’re a pureblood, a Black, and the only living wizard to carry that name apart from Lord Black, my cousin Sirius. That makes you heir to his title, just as Draco is heir to his father’s title. I promise you that we will find out what happened, though, Lycoris. Can you tell me when you first remember the brand?”

“Always. It was a thin line until I was about five and then on my birthday I could just read it.”

She blinked and looked over to Lord Malfoy.

He dabbed his mouth. “Right. I’ll go see Fudge now.” He stood up. “I don’t think I said it before, Lycoris, but you may call me ‘Uncle Lucius.’ Draco will show you the ropes.” He walked elegantly out of the restaurant.

“What—what does it mean?” he asked, a bit afraid.

“It, it means,” she began quietly, “that you were stolen in vitrus, before you were born. It’s the worst crime, Lycoris, and I am so sorry. Your mother and father might not have been aware that you were even taken.”

Lycoris felt his stomach drop out and the table began to sway but then long-fingered hands caught him.

“I’ve got him, Mother,” Draco stated proudly. He rested Lycoris up against the back of his chair. “I think he needs a bit more food in his stomach.”

“I don’t eat.”

“What?”

“The Dursleys. They don’t feed me, so I don’t eat.”

Narcissa looked crushed while Draco clearly had no idea what to say.

“A bit of tea then,” she demanded. “It will make me feel better and then we’ll have Dobby make a light broth for your supper. We’ll call in a Healer tomorrow.”

Lycoris didn’t know who Dobby was but he knew the protocols when dealing with someone who hadn’t eaten in long amounts of time. He’d read about it in the library.

By the time they finished up shopping, Lycoris had a beautiful black cat he’d named Samhain, at Draco’s suggestion. He wanted to name him Halloween, but Draco said that was terribly Muggle and he should respect his cat more. So, he used the pagan holiday instead, which apparently pureblood wizards still practiced.

He’d had to go in through something called the Floo, which was like riding down a stairwell at lightspeed through a fireplace, and ended up in the marble foyer of some house. He’d landed rather unceremoniously on his backside, and so Samhain had jumped out of his arms with feline grace.

Narcissa and Draco were waiting for him. Draco immediately came and grabbed his hand. “Come. I know the perfect room for you. It’s right next to mine. I don’t think Mother or Father will mind you so closely tied in with the family.”

“Hardly,” Narcissa agreed. “Introduce him to your sisters first, though, dear. I’ll have Dobby bring up your school trunks and supplies. Would you like Proserpine in your room or the owlery?”

“My room,” Draco decided. He was then pulling Lycoris along up a marble staircase to what appeared to be a sitting room. Sitting inside was a witch with dishwater hair and two girls with blond tresses.

“Madam Cecily,” he greeted. “Mother and I are home now. May I have a moment with my sisters?”

Cecily looked over at him with brown eyes before standing and curtseying. “Heir Draco,” she said, sliding from the room.

Lycoris watched the swish of her gown as she left.

Both girls were impeccably dressed. The oldest, who couldn’t be more than a year or two younger than him and Draco, was wearing ice blue robes and had her hair up on her head. The other child was about five and playing with a Pegasus toy that actually flew.

“Lacerta, Io, I want you to meet our cousin, Heir Lycoris Black. He should be staying with us the summer.”

“Draco, there is no Heir Black,” the eldest put in. “You of all people should know that.”

“Well, it appears we were wrong about the subject,” Draco drawled. “Cousin Sirius has an heir and here he is.”

The girl in ice blue rolled her eyes and stood. She then bobbed a curtsey. “Heir Lycoris.”

“Lady Lacerta Malfoy,” Draco prompted quietly. “Take her hand and hold it at around your chin.”

Lycoris hesitantly reached for her outstretched hand and dropped it as soon as he could. She looked at him oddly.

“And this is Lady Iolanthe, the baby of the family,” Draco said with pride, as he pushed some hair away from her face. She sat up and looked up at them with startling gray eyes.

“Lih-cor-iss,” she tried.

“LIE-corr-iss,” he corrected kindly. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

She smiled at him and he couldn’t help but smile back.

“Right. Your room,” Draco announced. “I hope you like purples. It’s a rather gender neutral room. It’s the one next to mine, and across from Io’s. I hope that won’t be a problem.”

“No, no, not at all,” Lycoris said quickly. “I had a room for a few days at the Dursleys’, but usually I just slept in the cupboard under the stairs.”

Draco stopped. “Cupboard. Under the stairs? Well, we’re not like that. If all goes well at the ministry you’ll become a ward of this family and essentially my brother. I’ve always wanted one, you know.”

“Really?”

“Yes. I’m surrounded by girls.” Lycoris was then shown in to a set of apartments. They couldn’t merely be called a room. There was a sitting room with a desk and a full bookshelf for his study. Then, through an inner door was a large bedroom with a four poster bed. He even had his own bathroom and walk in closet.

“Mother’s not one for posters,” Draco explained, “but I tack up some drawings out of books and essays I do particularly well on. I don’t suppose you have photographs, but we’ll soon fix that. Mother and Father have been talking about a family picture since I’m to go off to school, and I’m sure they’ll want you to be in it.”

Lycoris sank down on the bed. “This morning I was sleeping on the floor in a hut on the sea,” he said in disbelief. “And now all this.”

“Yes, well, Muggles are strange,” Draco agreed, sitting down. Samhain was curled up on a pillow. He petted her absently. “Lycoris. Could you show me something? You said you were a metamorphmagus.”

Lycoris smiled, and his hair turned a shocking blond. “Proof enough for you?” he asked, changing back.

“More than enough,” Draco complimented. “I would keep that skill hidden at school. Don’t broadcast it. The headmaster—Dumbledore—likes to collect oddities. They’re his supposed ‘favorites.’ Father told me so. I also wouldn’t tell anyone they used to call you Harry Potter. I’d hide any evidence of the fact.”

“What if Hagrid recognizes me?”

“Change your hair. It should be good enough.”

Lycoris thought. “Do you have a picture of Sirius and Regulus Black?”

“I, yes, somewhere.” Draco hopped off the bed. “Follow me.” They entered a library and Draco immediately honed in on a row of albums on one of the shelves. Finding what he was looking for, he pulled it out and placed it on a table.

There was the handsome face of Sirius Black that was so similar to his own. Regulus, no less handsome, had a different air about him. They both had long black hair that fell to their shoulders.

“Well,” Lycoris said. He turned his now blond hair black, gave it a bit of a curl, and grew it to his shoulders. “This should be enough.”

Draco looked at him with wide eyes. “You look just like Cousin Sirius.”

“Well, I may be his son,” he answered honestly. “I wonder who Mother was. I hope she was kind.”

Draco squeezed his hand. “She could still be out there. We don’t know otherwise yet. I’m sure Father will contact Mr. Rosier soon to try and discover who she is.”

“Yes, that will be nice.”

There was a pop and a strange creature with shrunken skin and tennis ball eyes appeared before them and said, “Masters be home. He be seeing everyone in drawing room.”

He then popped out again.

“What was that?” Lycoris asked in confusion.

“A house elf, our servant,” Draco replied. “You’ll get used to him.”