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I Waited For You, In The Shadows Of Time

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Chapter 1

In the Tapestry of Fate, golden and silver threads weave away, coming together and spilling apart, continuing the grand design that had started since the beginning of time. Every once in a while one or two threads glow brighter than the rest. Every once a while some threads find their way to each other, no matter how many times they are cut off and renewed to bring forth a new design

Among those, there were two such golden threads, pulsing bright and heavy; two souls whom destiny introduced each other to in such a way that it dictated the fate of an entire world. Their meeting held no simple greeting, but an explosion of events to mark them both irrevocably and to twine their souls irreparably. But even the one who painted the cloth painstakingly with old, old knowledge didn’t predict the way those two souls would intermingle with each other so closely that soon there might as well be only one thread rather than one. Their paths were separate as were the color of their souls and yet the threads never parted from each other for more than a breathing period.

All threads of time run parallel, breaking apart on instances marked common, and thus never meet each other again. Each changing thought starts a future that wasn’t to be moment earlier and every single action divides the time into separate threads marked with every minute difference, never to be reversed. The universe must have once started as a unity at the beginning of time, but now it was an amalgam of decisions of the mortals and whims of the rest.

One warm summer evening on the hills of Scotland, marked such a detour in the designs of fate, all for a single change in one’s action.  Then two souls who had been parted by time and death irrevocably find each other again, but this time there would be no hand of prophecy to guide their paths. Some might it call it sheer chance, others a hand of fate. In the end, the choices were all their own.

A darkly dressed man in his early thirties left the Castle of Hogwarts School of Wizarding and Witchcraft in a decidedly foul mood. He had applied for the recently vacated teaching post of Defense against the Dark Arts as was his intention after having been refused once by the previous Headmaster. He was freshly graduated then, brimful of confidence in his abilities, but the then wizened headmaster, Armando dippet, had very kindly advised him to experience the world first. After all, he was a prodigy of that time, Prefect and Head boy with connections that could easily give him a very lucrative post even in the Ministry of Magic. He had goals different than merely being satisfied with the position of a subordinate however, and he had shocked many of his old professors with his inferior career choice. In the end, he had taken that advice and now he had experienced the world; he had met the secluded mages of Europe, he had delved into magic so ancient that their written forms had fallen apart and traipsed into forbidden Arts of Magic that ordinary wizards would hardly ever have any courage to.

But all that had mattered naught to the headmaster Albus Dumbledore, who had only expressed a subtle disappointment over his actions. As if the old self-righteous man had any right to condemn him so! He was more than qualified for the post, but what did it matter in the end, when he had been dismissed with an implication that he never had any chance from the beginning? Rage had bubbled steadily in his veins and he had felt humiliated at such a blatant rejection, for a moment he had so wished to wipe that knowing glance out with his yew wand. In the end, his hand had stayed and so did the relative health of the headmaster. Same couldn’t be said however for the castle itself as an hour later he left the castle with a dark satisfaction soothing his fury, after having cursed the position so that none might hold the post for more than a year. The revenge might have been petty, but so very gratifying. Irked as he was, the passive acts didn’t hold enough sway over the enraged mind and he strode out to the ground with a dark cloud deepening his steps.

It was one of those pivotal moments that determined the direction the future would take, one of those instances that historians quoted as the most defining factor directing the flow of time, because the moment the man left the castle, it would be the beginning of a new era heralding the rise of the most powerful and terrible Dark Lord in the Wizarding history. Of course it was always to be so, for some men’s fates are as unaltered as words on a stone, but nothing set it definite more than right that moment when a man upon his rejection from a desired career had no more distraction from his ultimate ambition of conquering the Wizarding world.  In another reality, the man would take his leave without another glance at the sprawling castle and rendezvous with a group of ‘friends’ who would be eagerly waiting for their Lord to return and congratulate on his triumph. After all, nothing less could have been expected from him. But this time it was not to be so, this time the man instead lingered.

Swayed by nostalgia and memories of long seven years as a Slytherin student faltered the decisive steps and instead directed them to the rocky shores of the Black Lake. The gleaming light of the setting sun reflected softly off of the placid surface and the man was reminded of the night when he had his first glimpse of Hogwarts, resplendent in its beauty with countless lights streaming from it to spill off on to the night. He had been breathless at the incredible sight, a slight possessive longing stirring in his heart. But no matter how much he wished otherwise, it was only a school, controlled by other authority figures and it could never be entirely his. He had learned that painful lesson early enough.

As deep in the thoughts as he was, the brooding man was snapped out of his musing and he stiffened to attention, when he became aware of another presence just over by the forest. He needn’t have bothered with the unnecessary caution though, since the other was completely oblivious to the fact that they had company. Taking advantage of the other’s distraction, he turned his unfiltered observation upon the unknown figure unabashedly.

The first thought that brushed his mind was how very lovely.

And indeed, the man was enchanted by how enthralling he found this unknown being and he was momentarily grateful for other’s lack of attention as he avidly, greedily familiarized himself with each and every nuance of the lithe body. Ignorant of their avid watcher, the person continued to look out at the slowly darkening sky with such melancholy on the lovely, pale features that even the cold heart of an inferius would ache in sympathy. Long dark tresses floated down their back, unbound and untamed, swaying slightly in the Scottish breeze. Clad in a pale simmering blue robe, the person was nothing short of an ethereal figure illuminated in the dying light. Their features were pale, chiseled as if by an attentive hand of sculptor, in sharp contrast with such dark hair but no less engaging. It was a beautifully sorrowful sight, surely a dream of every soulful painter.

Greed found a home in the scarlet eyed man, drawn as it was by the man’s avarice for this alluring being, stirring in the tainted heart of one who would carefully nurture the bottomless monster and one who would never try to turn away from the whispers of temptations. Lust went side by side with its brother, enchanting its prey and capturing it in a chokehold as it would forever covet for the one.

He had seen many beauty personified in his travels and many who were capable of alluring the strongest willed person even to their death. He had never fallen prey to such siren’s call or a veela’s allure, secure in his mental fortitude. He could say for sure that this person was no creature, for to be able to work their thrall they needed an eye contact or a direct notice at the very least. No, there was nothing of mental manipulative magic that could capture him.

 Even so, the creature was so incredibly beautiful, wrapped as it was in its own melancholy. Despite the fact that he could feel very clearly that it was a wizard, and yet he was reluctant to call it one. Instead he wondered if it was not an unknown creature of exceptional beauty and in front of him was the only one of such kind or maybe even last of their kind. Surely he would have somehow heard something of such enchanting creatures otherwise? And yet it was so clearly a wizard, what with their magic crackling in the surrounding air curling about their host, unrestrained.

Marveling at the potent sight, he was very careful so as not to startle the lovely creature, for its magic was snapping possessively around its unguarded host warning away any potential intruder that might harm it and its own. The unintended display was impressive to say the least. Magic of untrained children was wild and undirected, lashing out at the nearest outlet in an attempt to engage itself, while that of the trained adults was highly wound up in its core and disciplined, only slipping out at the times of great emotional or magical distress. Then there were those who had a rare affinity with their magic, and which was a common trait among those with powerful potential. Contrary to the norm, their magic was disciplined, but also in a semi sentient symbiotic relationship where it responded with their hosts as if it was a tangible part of theirs. Such was its behavior, when the excess magic leaked around their wizard, wrapping them in a reflective aura imitating the mood and character of their hosts.

 It was very easy to be intimidated by a powerful wizard, when the magic that trailed off of them practically charged the atmosphere with their intensity.

How he had come upon such an incredible opportunity, power wielded by such an enchanting creature, he didn’t try to wonder about. Instead greed and lust curled about his heart whispering in dark tones, of possessions and claims. Never before had he felt such powerful desire and had it been anyone of less fortitude they would have wondered about a spell being cast. But he was confident in his capabilities and in his magical prowess. So when the whispers of a faint stirring of an obsession coiled like a snake, he didn’t ignore it.

Tom Riddle was never one to deny his desires.

With slow and steady steps he approached the still distracted celestial being, so as not to startle them and provoke their magic to lash out at an undetermined intrusion. But no matter how careful he was in advertising his slow advances without resorting to outright brashness, the creature didn’t heed the footfalls of its visitor or the agitated hissing of its own magic, so entrenched it was in their misery. Thus there was nothing to be done about the creature from being so startled, when Tom called in cooing voice, ”Are you all right?”

Magic spiked in emphasizing anxiety and midnight dark tresses whipped around as the being turned around to face the one who had come upon it so unexpectedly, and Tom held himself still at the sight of impossibly wide, if a little wet,  green eyes. It was almost destructive, this sudden need that rushed inside him, to capture, to have, to own entirely. With inhuman strength of will, he resisted the lure of the siren like eyes and kept his approach obviously non-aggressive. His hands were open and non-threatening, and well out of the proximity of his wand holster, his steps were small while he kept a keen, attentive gaze upon the lovely creature. He was treating this situation as he would, upon encountering a wild, skittish doe. Off-handedly he wondered if it wasn’t indeed the same, for the eyes of the divine being in front of him were certainly as innocently charming as that of the afore mentioned animal.

He stopped, some feet away, when his query took a timid step back.

When instead of answering him, the lovely one continued to gaze at him absolute surprise and ill disguised horror, he prodded it with a soft voice,” I am sorry for startling you.”

And it jumped lightly as if until that moment it hadn’t realized that the person standing in front of it was indeed real.

Pink lips parted uncertainly as if to say something, but then closed. Green eyes were fixed upon his features in an expression akin to horror and disbelief, Tom couldn’t help but feel slightly offended at that expression,” Am I so repulsive?”

Pretty eyes widened in horror of different kind,” No, no! I didn’t mean to offend you or anything! I just wasn’t expecting anyone here.” He finished lamely. Before he could even start thinking about the words uttered, Voldemort focused on the soft voice of the angel. Whispery thick and raspy, it was slightly distorted, undoubtedly resulting from the recent melancholic period, but enticing just like the rest of the creature. It was as if the creature belonged to a species designed to lure and seduce. And the Dark Lord had indeed been captivated, instead of resisting the siren call he was determined to make the divine being the jewel of his court. And he was quite sure, that it would shine brighter than all stars.

Nonetheless, his logical mind functioned, quite detached from the internal maelstrom that was twisting and turning in the fractured soul and Voldemort didn’t believe the words of the little creature, whose face as open and honest as possible betrayed their own and practically radiated uneasiness. He understood though, his rituals hadn’t really been generous to his physical body, but he had never once regretted it. Some sacrifices were necessary if one wished to achieve pinnacle of glory. Physical beauty was the least of his concern when he could accumulate greater goals. Now, it seemed to be rather detriment in the goal of capturing this flighty little creature but it wouldn’t be for long, he was confident of it. He was capable of ensnaring people’s will and mind without the use of a skin deep attraction or magic.

He was more than proficient in turning any and all situations to his advantage.

“Then you wouldn’t step away if I were to take one forward, would you?”

It would have. It certainly wanted to. The thoughts were playing clearly for him in the wide eyes even without having to resort to Legilimency. But pride stalled its limbs and the pale face stared at him resolutely even when their magic was raging around him frantically, like a caged bird desperate for freedom.

Voldemort hid a smirk. So easily manipulated was the lovely little creature. It was fascinating how often pride overrode self-perseveration, as if it was better to fall with head held high rather than to bend but be alive. Not many chose pride of course; the proof was in the number of followers he had accumulated who, too intimidated by his power preferred to follow him without even a token of protest. He didn’t complain that much, as it was all for his benefit. Nevertheless, he quite liked this stubborn angel, seeing how he himself was guilty of more than pride.

“But I won’t force you to tolerate something you would rather not.”

The lovely face crumpled with guilt.

Voldemort almost wanted to cackle with glee. So innocent was this little creature of his. In any other he would have scoffed at how easily the little creature could be persuaded into his will. But in this instance it was not the same. The divine being in front of him didn’t feel like the ordinary mortals he often associated with. No, it was someone detached from this world, untainted and devoid of impurity. It glowed with a brightness that even their magic seemed to resonate.

He couldn’t wait to possess the little creature and corrupt it himself.

Another sharp burst of lust went through him at that thought. So delicious would be the final result, he was almost impatient to taste it. But the preparation needed careful management and he knew he would savor that as well.

The little creature curled within itself. Maybe in another circumstance it would have reacted with a little more resolution, but the misery from earlier seemed to seep into every other of their emotions.

“I didn’t mean to offend you. I was just surprised and you caught me at a bad moment.” The creature spoke in a soft voice looking away from the intense red eyes, slim hands wrapping around their body as if to ward off a chill, even when it was quite warm in the rapidly approaching dusk.

Voldemort hummed and took a careful step forward but the angel took no notice,” I feel like I am supposed to apologize for that. But I can’t. Seeing how I was well aware of your state of mind when I approached you, it wouldn’t be sincere.”

Green eyes sparkled wetly, remnant of their sorrowful countenance, not really understanding and innocently confused,” Then why did you?”

“I couldn’t just let a person be to their despair knowingly, now could I? That wouldn’t be very noble.”

Much to his surprise, suspicion immediately stiffened the creature into sharp attention and it spoke,” Really?  And, you would be so concerned for all unfortunate people that you came across? “

He smiled humorlessly,” what is so hard to believe? That I stopped by to help someone or that I might be a good person?”

Inwardly he wondered at this caution from the little creature and almost frowned visibly as its body tensed even further. This development was most unfortunate, but he was patient at the moment, slowly unraveling the mystery that was the exquisite little creature it was. After all, he could hardly be expected to manipulate someone fluidly unless he knew all the weaknesses. The fact that the seemingly innocent one seemed so guarded against him was curious and he wished to find out if it would be true against all or whether he was a special case. He was less inclined to believe the later hypothesis considering they had never even met before and there shouldn’t be any probable cause for alarm.

But no matter how improbable a factor, he never discarded a possibility until it had no more ground to stand on. He followed the same rule with people as well actually. He wouldn’t outright dismiss someone as long as he could still think of a way they could be of his benefit.

Green eyes narrowed,” Yes, actually.”

Voldemort hummed, not at all offended. He couldn’t be seeing how he wasn’t really, a good person that is.

“You seem awfully suspicious of me, considering we just met.”

Voldemort watched with no small amount of delight as the lithe body stiffened further with agitation and a small flash of panic glazed the exquisite features before it stammered out a viable explanation.

“It would be rather foolish of me to take a stranger at his word.”

It would be rather, really. And, in another circumstance he would have been approving of this self-preserving trait. But at that moment it was hindering him from establishing a line of trust that he could base further communication upon with the object of his desire, and he didn’t feel quite so benevolent.

“It might be so. But it would be a rather lonely life if you would be so dismissive of all before you could actually get to know them. Caution is admirable as long as it doesn’t encase you in a well of solitude.”

The little creature moved their shoulder in a dismissive manner. A plebian gesture, Voldemort supposed, but fitted the bold, expressive way of the pretty thing.

“I guess.” The syllables seemed to be coated in doubt.

“I suppose you still don’t believe at my genuineness.” Manners dictated that he is offended at this continued disregard, but he couldn’t help but feel amused.

Green eyes were slightly chastised, but they were determined nonetheless,” I didn’t mean it as a slight to you or anything…” And the tone was anything but apologetic.

The soon-to-be Dark Lord couldn’t really justify his actions at that moment. If it were anyone else, he would have weaved a charming picture of patience and faith, to slowly win them over by means of actions. He had played long games enough times to know that not all fall instantaneously to his docility and well-mannered behavior. He could have done the same. But somehow, he realized this little creature would never be swayed by his honey coated words or by his public persona. Perhaps his mind had been too annoyed by the constant suspicion the creature regarded him with while his entire being howled with the need to claim, to possess, to make it submit. If directly confronted with the demand to explain at a later moment, there would have been some logical line of reasoning.

 But truthfully, his steps were taken almost impulsively, the prowling monster within him refusing to let their query back away anymore.

“No, you didn’t…” The Dark Lord practically purred while slowly advancing,” And how delightful it must be for you, to know that you were not entirely mistaken.” He smirked at the bewilderment in the beautiful face.

“Wh-What?”, the question was almost swallowed by a gasp, when the little creature noticed the almost predatory gleam in the scarlet eyes.

“You were right in that I would certainly not have involved myself at all for anyone. But I couldn’t help it, not once I saw you.”

“You could have, you know, just ignored me and walked away.” was the pouty reply from the impudent lips.

Voldemort laughed softly, at the boldness the creature was displaying, at the brazen confidence. Perhaps, the wayward little doe didn’t understand the kind of monster it was facing, seeing how recklessly it was provoking him with such carelessly thrown words.

“Hmm… no. Not really. I couldn’t have. My body practically refused to move after I saw your lovely features marred by your grief. It might not have been out of sheer humanity and I might not have been here for any other person. But my lovely little angel, I came here because I was drawn by you. Whether you were in the best of mood or not, I would have come regardless” Voldemort cooed softly as he slowly circled the little creature.

The celestial creature glowed softly in the rising darkness, its breaths coming fast. “Why?” The voice was so full of plaintive and bewilderment, Voldemort was hard pressed not to tug the little tempter into his arms.

“Does it matter, lovely?” The Dark Lord was admittedly delighted at the broken countenance; at the way the little creature seemed to unconsciously seek his reassurance to be grounded and he would be happy to provide it, with himself as the only stability that the little creature could find. “Does it matter why, when you could have someone you could lean on regardless of the circumstances? What it would matter except the trust that I want to be the one, the only one,” The greed within him growled in warning,” that would be with you in every instances.” He twirled a soft dark lock between his thumb and forefinger.

“I don’t understand.” As he turned his newest obsession around to face him, there was no suspicion in the dark green eyes, only confusion and slight fear.

And the Dark Lord inwardly rejoiced at the victory while at the same time intrigued by the fact that the bare truth had seemed to be more efficient in influencing the wild creature while no charm or persuasive words hadn’t been able to and that it didn’t seem to be as alarmed as it should have been at his aggressiveness.

The creature seemed to be expecting it.

How interesting.

But that was a puzzle to be perused on a later day, now he needed to focus on the enchanting little beauty that he was determined to possess him all for himself.

“There is nothing to understand, lovely,” He smiled at him, both to reassure the fidgety being and at the knowledge that the creature was too off-guarded to object the endearment.”All I want is,” ‘you’ “to take care of you. Would you give me the chance, angel?”

There was no choice, not really. But he supposed it would be polite to make a request that was a warning at the same time.

The creature was indecisive and slightly overwhelmed,” I-I don’t know.”

He understood. He really did. But it didn’t matter a Knut to the monster in his chest that was pacing in agitation.

The night had fallen, he couldn’t tarry any longer. And he needed to step away before the creature did, if only to upset its balance it a little more.

“I understand. I will give you some time to think. No doubt, you would be exhausted from all the excitement of the day. I will find you” He laughed at the indignation in the pouty lips. His glance drifted downward, but he controlled himself.

And now for the one last memory, that would settle him irrepressibly into the creature’s thoughts till the next meet.

“Sweet dreams, my lovely.”

Thin lips pressed lightly down on warm forehead and with a last hungry view of the utterly stupefied creature, he turned on his heel and left with fingers that had been clenched into fist and lips tingling with a want for more.

He licked his lips to savor the innocent taste that would hopefully be enough to pacify the beast for now.

--

Harry Potter sat in a cocoon of fluffy, warm pillows against his back, in front of him, surrounded by them actually as if they would protect him from any attacks as the flimsy things kept their ward in their midst while they stood in a mockery of a castle. Green eyes were wide and dazed, as they looked at the creamy blue wall, but not really seeing. His thoughts were in turmoil and past images swirled around, blurring their edges in a way that he couldn’t distinguish where the end began.

He wondered detachedly if he was in shock.

Perhaps it was that realization that guided the first coherent thought of the night.

‘In the name of Merlin and Morgana, What just happened?’

He had gone to Hogwarts in an innocent excursion, or perhaps not that innocent. Nevertheless, he had wanted answers or at least something that resembled an answer. He had, notwithstanding the lack of academic enthusiasm, thrown himself into the research to find a single line that could allude to the extraordinary situation that he had landed himself in.

 After all, how many in the Wizarding World or otherwise could claim to have travelled to the past without the time turner and certainly not just a few hours or days, but almost half a century?

 At first, he had been exasperated, quite certain of the fact that this was in practice actually impossible and that he would soon find himself home, in his reclusive manor. And then, days passed by and weeks winked at him but he was still stranded in this strange land. He had been alarmed, then terrified and rapidly started on trying to find a way back home. He would have neglected even his basic needs if not for the fact that it would be impossible to. He had had to establish an identity, because he needed a place to stay and also find a way to more than just survive. That was not including the fact that he also needed resources to actually fund his research.

 Meanwhile, he needed to stay invisible.

No matter how frantic he was in burying himself deep in the research, he had no intention of changing something in the timeline and affecting his own existence which might turn this whole affair into a cycling paradox and even the thinking of which gave him a headache that no potion could dissipate. 

But it had all been for naught. Time Travel was strictly the domain of Unspeakables and they guarded that knowledge jealously. There were no published texts that hinted at the sands of time, least of a possibility that could even begin to compare with the said situation.

Then, in a brilliant stroke of inspiration, Harry had contacted the centaurs. He was not really sure of the whys and he couldn’t even explain how he had convinced himself but he was sure it was right.

It was not meant to be his salvation, though.

There was hope, fragile and silver in the back of his mind that shattered at the centaur’s words. The magical beings were terse and unhelpful, full of cryptic words but somehow Harry knew from the pity in their words that there was nothing left to be done.

With that, the fragile stability that he had established on a vague hope had dissolved, leaving him scrambling for a meaning that would ground him at least temporarily until he had found his center again.

Then, the last sanctuary he had in terms of his anonymity, of the knowledge that no one actually knew of his existence vanished when The Dark Lord Voldemort formerly known as Tom Marvolo Riddle had appeared when he had been at his most vulnerable. One would have thought that the man wouldn’t have bothered with someone with so obvious display of weakness and yet, the man hadn’t scoffed. Harry hadn’t been able to dispel his attention, not with his fragility nor with his caustic behavior.

It wasn’t supposed to happen. He knew he would have quite a difficulty to find a way to create a portal that would get him back to his timeline without having disrupted it in any way. Alright, the possibility was less than minuscule, but that was still less complicated without having added the budding Dark Lord into the arithmancy. Now, if he would change something even in the slightest, there couldn’t be any chance that he could return unscathed.

What was the man doing in Hogwarts anyway? Clearly, he had already graduated and by quite some years too. What were the chances that the both of them had decided to visit the place on the same day. They had different purposes with separate venues to be in, Harry in the forbidden forest and Voldemort in the castle. They had met in the only common place possible to meet: the black lake. The coincidence had too narrow of a possibility to feel comfortable.

And it wasn’t supposed to happen. He had even managed to evade the notice of Albus Dumbledore by directing his request directly to the centaurs, for even as they claimed the Forbidden Forest as their own and it was a part of the Hogwarts the headmaster held no authority over them. The entire thing was arranged carefully so that he would come across no wizard, or even a human being.

But all that was what the analytical part of him had determined before being swallowed by the tides of his emotional state.

Harry had always been very emotionally driven, and even dead, cold logic often failed to calm him in his most raging times. Time had calmed him somewhat, but hadn’t erased it completely. After the meeting with the centaurs he had already been in a frayed state, the agony of a hopeless existence enveloping him so entirely that he had subconsciously let go of the tight control he held upon his magic. He was tired of trying, helpless after the failures and above all, so confused that he had been entirely caught off guard at the appearance of Voldemort.

Now, he remembered, the pensieve memories that the headmaster Dumbledore had shown him in his sixth year, where Voldemort had approached the man to apply for the vacated post of Defense against the Dark Arts. He had been refused of course; the headmaster couldn’t with good conscience put the budding Dark Lord in a position of authority over malleable young minds. Now, Harry could clearly remember the faded memories of a face once seen in a pensieve and most recently the pale of a Dark Lord.

This was the Dark Lord; there could be no question about it. He was not Tom Riddle, the Slytherin prodigy of Hogwarts, an all around good student any more. Now he was Voldemort, the dark Lord who was concentrating upon amassing a group of followers only to lead them into an era of terror and destruction upon the Wizarding World. He had already shredded his soul, Harry couldn’t be sure how many times, to warrant himself a safety precaution from the one thing that he so feared; death. His features had already twisted and shifted. The eyes had lost their natural hue and had taken the permanent bloody hue of scarlet that only the darkest of rituals could bring. The skin was pale as freshly fallen snow and his fingers were spidery and long. His features were not as devastatingly good looking as they were once before, but he wasn’t the frightful monster of that all hallows eve who had strode down the streets of Godric’s hollow either.

He…he wasn’t supposed to take notice of him. But Voledemort had, in the most inexplicable way. Harry was still rather unsure of what exactly had happened. But he had felt like he was falling, without an anchor to ground him. He would have been even more vulnerable if it were not for his magic that was even then guarding him most devotedly. After he had seen Voldemort however, he was even more on guard. He hadn’t fallen for words of concern and polite remarks.

But the man hadn’t attacked him.

Had he continued with the spiel of being a good Samaritan, Harry wouldn’t have given him a second glance, but somehow the man had shed the polite persona to show him what he really was: a ruthless predator. That took, not exactly trust, but something for the Dark Lord to bare himself to someone who wasn’t already branded as one of his death eaters.

Then the man had whispered sweet promises in his ear, grounding and at the same time taking apart everything he knew to be true and granted. He had in a way bound himself to him, speaking to him in the hissing, velvety tones that had sounded nothing like the high, cold ones that Harry was used to hearing.

This was a strange amalgam of man and monster, of knowledge and intrigue that he knew and yet he didn’t. He recognized the cruel tone, but the soothing words were unfamiliar. He knew the man behind the mask of public humility and yet there was also man who laughed simply out of amusement and not just from watching someone being tortured. He couldn’t coincide the man in front of him with the one in his memories; one who had been prophesized to be his mortal enemy and another who spoke to him in a tender voice that Harry didn’t know he was capable of. But he could still recognize the one from a past long gone, and a future yet to be written with the charming personality and Slytherin behavior.

Then there had been the strange occurrences that had happened in the dark glow at the later part of the evening. The absolute chaos had been so upsetting that his mind automatically shied away from those memories. Only his body had started trembling, with a hot flush darkening his cheeks.

It was strange, confusing, all together frightening and Harry just didn’t have any strength to take it anymore. He only hoped that the man wouldn’t be able to actually find him considering Harry hadn’t given him his name or address of any sort. It was only a small relief in the absolute disastrous evening.

Harry clutched his pillow in a desperate stranglehold. What would it mean for him that he had caught the eye of one of the major players in the politics and future of the Wizarding world?