Descent into Darkness

BY : Athey1024
Category: Harry Potter AU/AR > Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 69308
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, nor any of the characters from the books or movies. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.


 



Disclaimer: Don't own Harry Potter. JKRowling does.



First Beta Pass by Clemex



– –



The day after Harry had been dragged out to the Quidditch field to learn the details of the last task, Sirius had written to him asking him what he'd found out. Harry had replied and relayed all of the details he had learned from Mr. Bagman, while leaving out the far more useful details he had gotten from Barty.



Since then, Sirius had been writing him every other day with advice on spells to try practicing and voicing his concerns about the various dangers and speculating on how the plot to get Harry killed, by getting him entered in the tournament, could be played out before the end of term. Sirius was clearly worried about Harry's safety and wellbeing. Harry knew it was entirely invalid and had no fears at all about the upcoming task, but he was still touched by Sirius's concerns.



Sure – if he hadn't gone to Tom all those months ago and joined the man, the third task would have been the event where the Dark Lord had originally intended to abduct Harry and perform his original resurrection ritual, but that plan was obviously out the window now since it would be blatantly counter-productive to their plans. Instead he had given Harry a hard look and told him in no uncertain terms that he would be disgusted if Harry did not win the tournament by an obscene point margin. Harry had laughed.



The first week Sirius sent a letter every two or tree days, but three weeks prior to the tournament the letters started coming daily. Even if they were nothing more than a few brief words of encouragement, a tip or two, or just a muddy paw-print; it was still clear that Sirius was doing everything he could think of to try and help and encourage Harry. Harry was touched.



Harry had continued to send care packages every week ever since the meeting with Sirius after the second task. He had started out by just having the Hogwart's kitchen house elves prepare as much non-perishable food as they could and then shrink it, package it up and send it off with one of the school owls. In more recent weeks, he'd been getting Mixey to prepare things for him since she could go out and buy things that were specifically intended as camp food to last and be easy to prepare.



Tom knew he was doing it but never really commented. Harry knew that Tom didn't exactly hold any fond feelings for the ex-auror. Sirius had been a real thorn in Voldemort's side during the last war. He was dedicated, talented, and creative. He was also, apparently, a very skilled dueler. He had apprehended quite a fair number of Death Eaters during the couple years he worked as an auror for the Ministry.



There were just under three weeks left till the final task and Harry was sitting in Tom's study while the older wizard scratched away at a parchment and periodically reference one of the large tomes he had stacked around his desk. Harry wasn't entirely sure what he was working on, but it seemed important. He had been working his way through a theoretical book Tom had told him to read on magical energy management and conservation during long drawn out battles. He had insisted that Harry wasted far too much energy during their duels and finally grumbled at him to read the damn book.



But he had started to go cross-eyed from all the reading and he was getting a headache. This probably was mostly due to the fact that the book was hand-written in tiny, cramped little letters.



He set it aside, sighed and started to dig through his bag. He pulled out a folder where he'd been keeping the letters from Sirius and started to slowly flip through them. He'd been feeling more and more troubled about his godfather lately. He really wasn't sure what to do about the whole situation.



He had come to terms with the fact that by joining Tom he had essentially abandoned all of the people who had looked after him and cared for him since he first entered the wizarding world, but he found he didn't have a lot of trouble with ditching most of them. Dumbledore was a manipulative bastard who had not only fucked over Harry, but a great many other people, so Harry had no moral problems with considering the older wizard his enemy now.



Ron was an ignorant, childish, and jealous prat. Harry considered him a occasionally-useful friendly acquaintance now more than anything, and that was only to keep up appearances. The more time passed, the more he realized he really didn't like Ron much at all. They really had next to nothing in common. The only shared interest that remained was Quidditch, and even his interest in that had waned considerably. He wasn't even sure he wanted to continuing playing next year. He probably wouldn't, but he knew it would draw a lot of curiosity and suspicion if he quit.



Hermione... Harry really wasn't sure about Hermione. She was bossy and annoying, and exceedingly nosy, but she was also clever, and she did care about him... He was still on the fence with Hermione. He had been ready to put her in the same category as Ron and consider his once-close friendship with her a lost cause, but his companion had been hinting in recent weeks that Hermione could be turned, if he made the effort.



Harry couldn't even fathom this, but the piece of Tom's soul never mislead Harry or gave him bad advice. He didn't exactly spend a lot of time with the soul piece anymore, but it was nice to have him in the back of Harry's mind during some of his classes. Short bouts of discussion kept Harry from going crazy from boredom in his classes. At one point, during a Charms class where Hermione was being especially annoying in her pestering of Ron, and Harry had decided that they were both a total wash, Harry's companion had said to not give up on her so quickly. He basically said to just keep chipping away at her faith in the current authority figures, and she would begin to see the logic in his views. Harry was skeptical, but he figured it couldn't hurt.



However, it was the issue of what to do about his relationship with Sirius that had been worrying him more than the others.



Harry sighed heavily and let the letters setting into his lap.



He felt Tom's fingers lace into his hair and he closed his eyes, feeling some of the tension leave him.



"What is it, Harry?" Tom asked in a soft tone. Harry smiled at it but then frowned lightly.



"I'm... well I'm worried about Sirius."



"Black? What about him?"



"He's still living in that cave outside Hogsmeade. It's just... crap. The only food he's getting is the stuff I'm sending him, but he's still practically starving out there. He sleeps on the ground, and is still living in the same shitty prison robes he escaped from Azkaban in. It's disgusting. Him being on the run like this just... it just sucks."



"I cannot even fathom why he's staying in a cave," Tom scoffed. "Surely he could have found something slightly more hospitable. He's the heir of the Black line. I don't see why he doesn't just go to one of his family's houses. I know there's at least one. From what intelligence I've gathered, I know that after Black was incarcerated Narcissa petitioned to gain control over the family's assets but lost, so as long as he lives your godfather still retains control of them. If he is declared dead, it will probably go to her then."



Harry frowned. "Narcissa? As in Narcissa Malfoy?"



"Yes, your godfather is her cousin."



Harry blinked, gaping slightly before he shook himself and refocused.



"Er, yeah. Anyway, I know that Sirius has stuck to that damn cave because he wanted to be near me. He's afraid that..." Harry barked out a humorless laugh, "he's afraid that you're after me. Or at least some old Death Eaters are. He wants to be nearby to help me out when the time comes. He's doing all of this suffering for me. I just really hate it. Especially since it's entirely unnecessary."



"We've discussed this before. If we hand over Wormtail and get your godfather freed then Black will expect you to come live with him."



"I know." Harry sighed heavily again. "I know it's idiotic, but I can't help but wish he could just stay here." Harry scoffed at how idiotic that idea sounded.



Tom chuckled. "Yes, I imagine that would be difficult to sell. Sirius Black was about as against the Dark as he could get, despite his own magical affinity."



"Wait, what?"



"Even if he fought against it, Sirius Black was a dark wizard. A very borderline dark. Practically neutral, especially after a few years with the Aurors since he refused to use any of the dark spells he'd learned, but there is only so much one can do against that level of hereditary affinity influence."



"Okay, you've lost me. What are you on about?"



Tom sighed and set down his quill completely. "Sirius Black is a Black, Harry. They are one of the oldest, darkest magical family in Britain. If you were to trace their lines all the way back to when humans first mated with magical creatures, almost every creature they descend from was a daemon of some sort. Dark magic is in their blood. In addition to that, I know for a fact from Regulus that he and Sirius received tutoring in the Dark Arts from age seven until they got to Hogwarts, and then every summer afterwards. Sirius rebelled against his family and got himself sorted into Gryffindor – Regulus suspected it was to piss off their father. And if I recall correctly – which I always do – young Sirius ran away from home and ended up living with your father when he was fifteen or sixteen. So that's at least eight years of exposure to the Dark arts, combined with a hereditary propensity for Dark magic. There is no way that Sirius Black could have anything but a dark affinity, no matter how much he personally would have liked to go light, just to anger his family."



Harry was stunned. "Is that another reason why everyone was so quick to suspect him of betraying my parents?"



"Most likely. All it would take is an affintatum reveleo and the natural dark affinity would be obvious. And since all Dark Wizards are Evil Wizards," Tom sneered mockingly with a chuckle, "having a dark affinity would be more than enough for certain factions to instantly judge him guilty. Just one more level to the magical world's ignorance."



Harry sat there quietly for a long time afterwards and Tom finally picked his quill back up and resumed his work.



"Hey Tom?" Harry said, breaking the silence after a very long quiet.



"Hmm?"



"Do you think there's any chance I could turn him?"



"What are you talking about Harry?"



"Sirius. I mean... if I told him the truth about all that Dumbledore's done – all the manipulations and the lies; the fact that it was Dumbledore's doing that got my parents killed, and that left Sirius rotting in Azkaban, I wonder if... if just maybe I could convince him to come to our side."



Tom set the quill down and leaned back in his chair.



"It's incredibly risky, Harry. I don't think you realize just how much Black despised the Dark. And I doubt that having been left to rot surrounded by dementors has helped his sanity any."



"But if I could do it, would you take him?" Harry asked turning a bit and looking up at Tom with hesitant hope burning in his eyes. Tom turned and looked down at Harry for a long time with a blank, calculating look.



"Perhaps..." he said, slowly. "Black was incredibly skilled. If nothing, it would be nice to guarantee he wouldn't be fighting against me. Of course, it's up for debate how much of that skill has stayed with him, and how much of it has been sucked away by the dementors."



"He spent most of his time in Azkaban in his animagus form. The dementors didn't have as much effect on his mind because he was a dog."



"Yes, yes, Harry. You've already told me this."



"Oh! I've got it! What do you think about a swap?" Harry said suddenly.



"What?"



"Pettigrew for Sirius. You're always saying that Wormtail is a worthless piece of trash. He's a miserable minion and he annoyed the shit out of you. It can be our bargaining chip to keep from having to reveal my loyalties straight out. I can go under Polyjuice or something and offer Sirius the information on Dumbledore, and then make the offer that we're willing to hand over Wormtail – with the last year of memories obliviated, of course – if he's willing to come to our side."



"Hmm..." Tom hummed slowly and Harry could see the wheels turning behind his thoughtful eyes. He was planning and Harry grinned widely.



"The only people left who Black is loyal to are you, Dumbledore, and Remus Lupin – correct?"



"Right."



"If we can destroy his loyalties in Dumbledore, that only leaves you and the werewolf. If he shows any indication that he could be swayed at that point you could reveal your loyalties to him as well. It is possible that at that point, he could be fully convinced. At that point, it would also be much easier to sway the werewolf. As a Dark Creature he feels an instinctive pull towards me. The wolf wants to be loyal to the Dark Lord, it is the man who fights it. If we could turn both of them..."



"Yes! Yes!" Harry said excitedly.



"It has potential, Harry, but neither of them have the stomach for what we do. They have both spent their lives denying the darkness within them. Getting them to accept it will not be an easy task."



"I want to try. They're the closest thing I have to family. If there is a chance that I can save them from Dumbledore's schemes and agendas then I have to try."



"Lupin would be a useful resource. A public face to lycanthropy that is non-threatening. Having a werewolf such as him working towards my cause would help build support for the cause of Dark creatures, which would in turn bring more of them to my side..."



"Lupin will probably be harder, but if I can get Sirius to join, I'm sure I can get Lupin too." Harry said with determination.



Tom took on that calculating look again for a moment before a wicked grin began to spread across his lips making Harry suddenly wish he were kissing them.



"And best of all, Dumbledore would likely recruit the both of them when he starts up his little Order of the Phoenix again. They were both members during the last war... it would be good having additional spies inside Dumbledore's midst."



"Yes!" Harry agreed enthusiastically.



"This idea has legitimate merit, but we must tread carefully. Gaining either's allegiances will be tricky and we cannot risk exposing you until we are sure we can convince them, or gain an unbreakable vow of their secrecy."



Harry agreed and the pair began to brainstorm on ideas. After about twenty minutes of discussion Tom stood to his feet and beckoned Harry to follow him as he led the way down to his lab in the basement.



As they passed the door that led towards the hall of cells Harry couldn't help but wonder if Barty Crouch Sr. was still down there or if Tom had finally just killed the man. Tom disappeared inside the lab and Harry quickly hurried after him.



Inside, Tom was standing beside the large work table in the center of the room. All of the potion brewing tools and supplies were shoved to the side or put away. In the center of the table was a stack of parchment that appeared to have a lot of arithmantic equations scribbled across them in Tom's elegant scrawl, and a few other sheets with various rune diagrams.



"What is all this?" Harry asked as he looked down at the complex sheet of numbers and symbols on the table beside him.



"I've been crafting an object. I've been layering some rather complex bits of magic into it and it's taken some work to get all the magic to cooperate together. It's almost done, actually," Tom said absently as he moved aside several things and pulled a very small box forward.



"Crafting something? You mean, like that orb that you had me use on Snape?"



"Not exactly, no. This," he paused and held open the box to show it to Harry. Inside was a silver ring with a thick masculine band and a perfectly spherical green gem set into it. "is for you."



Harry blinked at it in confused shock. "What?"



"As I said, it's not done yet, but when it is, you can key in a very specific set of glamors. Powerful glamors. Not just those worthless childish ones that they teach you in school. It will remember one specific set of glamors, although I'm considering crafting another one that can hold multiple appearances that a person could switch between. For now, this will do. In addition to putting up the fake appearance, you can key certain people into the ring. Anyone that you key into it will see past the glamors and see you for your true appearance."



"Oh! Oh, wow..." Harry said, stunned.



"I've been working on it for you to use during your summer stay here in the manor. By then, more and more of my Death Eaters will be frequenting this place and I am not yet willing to reveal your identity to most of them. Those who will be aware will be selected individually. This will allow you to wander the manor without having to worry about being seen by the wrong person. You will even be able to attend the meetings."



"That's incredible," Harry said with awe in his voice as he looked down at the ring in the box.



"Once I am finished with implementing the last of the spellwork we can set the appearance you wish to use for the glamor. It will also be necessary for you to come up with an alias. There was that alias you were using earlier in the year... Notechus Noir, was it?"



"Oh, yeah... hmm... Well, yes, that is what I used, but I don't think I'll stick with it for this. Too many things were mailed to Hogwarts under that name. I'll come up with something new."



"That is probably wise."



They discussed their plans for a short while longer before it was time for Harry to head back to Hogwarts.



– –



A few more days passed and the populace of the school was slowly growing more and more anxious for the coming task. Exams were also a week away, which was also causing a good amount of tension and anxiety among the students.



Harry was excused from exams because of the tournament but he still studied with the others. He wasn't even convinced he would take advantage of the option to skip out on his tests. He'd come a tremendous way as far as his academics were concerned and he was curious to see if he could manage 'Outstanding's on all of his tests.



That day during a study session that a very insistent Hermione had dragged Ron to, and that Harry had willingly joined, Ron remarked on Harry's willingness to take exams and how utterly insane he thought Harry was because of it.



"If there was any doubt in my mind before, I'm convinced now," Ron started as he shut his transfiguration textbook. "You are completely mental," he said to Harry with absolute conviction.



"Why's that?" Harry asked disinterestedly without looking up from his own book and parchment while he continued to revise his notes.



"Why? Because you've basically got a free pass! I mean, if nothing else good came from you getting forced into this tournament, at least you get out of taking your exams and yet you're still studying! You're mental!"



"Ronald!" Hermione scolded him with a mild scowl.



"What! I'm serious! It's insane!"



"I personally think it's fantastic that Harry's taking his studies seriously this year! You could really benefit to learn from his example!"



"Oh, not this again!" Ron groaned.



"Besides, Ron," Ginny said coming up from behind them and plopping down on the couch beside Hermione, "getting out of exams is hardly the best thing that will come out of Harry being in the Triwizard Tournament. With the lead Harry already has, I'd be willing to bet money that he's going to win. Then he gets the prize money too."



Ron groaned. "Ugh. Don't remind me about the money."



Harry kept his head down, ignoring them, but he couldn't help but roll his eyes.



"What are you going to do with the money, Harry?" Ginny asked in an excited conspiratorial whisper. "I can only imagine what I would do if I came into that much money! It would be amazing." She gave a slightly sad sigh and leaned back into the couch.



Harry just made a non committal mumble and shrugged. The truth was that Harry really wasn't sure what he was going to do with the money. He certainly didn't need the money. The correspondences he'd had with Gringotts in recent months made him more and more aware of just how loaded he was. His trust vault was overflowing with gold, and when he reached his magical maturity he would gain access to the ancient Potter family vault which was considerably larger. He had offered the winnings to Tom, since it was Tom's doings that got him into the tournament in the first place, but the man had scoffed and told Harry that it was his money and he should do with it what he wanted. And that 1,000 Galleons was hardly a drop in the water of his funds.



Harry had again insisted, suggesting that it could go towards the war effort but Tom had told him that the considerably sizable sum of money that had been in Tom's vault during his 'absence' had been gaining interest over the years and was more than enough to fund his war for a while. He was also sure that he would have no trouble getting additional financial support from several of his followers.



So again, Harry was left wondering what to do with the Tri-Wizard tournament prize money.



The next morning, Harry was sneaking through the common room under his invisibility cloak – he had just come back from his morning workout, which had degenerated into a very heavy snogging session, and Harry had yet to check himself over for the marks that Tom always left, so he opted to stay under the cloak until he could get up to the 4th years bathroom, when he saw the Weasley twins huddled in a corner over a stack of parchment.



With exams coming up it wasn't odd to find people studying, but it was odd to come across the Weasley twins studying – especially so early in the morning. It seemed far more likely that they would be planning some epic end-of-year prank than actually studying. If that was the case, Harry would prefer to be forewarned so he could try and dodge it.



Harry crept over to the pair silently and stood just to the side to listen in.



"We're going to need some serious capitol if we're really going to do this," Fred... or maybe George, said with a sigh.



"I know my dear brother. If only Ludo Bagman hadn't renegged on our World Cup bets! We'd have enough!"



"We can still get in some betting in the tournament though."



"Harry's a shoe-in to win."



"He's already in the lead and Ron says he's practically turned into a defense genius."



"True, true... but we still need starting capitol for the bets."



"And we've hardly made up from our losses to Ludo."



Again they sighed, this time simultaneously.



"What do you guys need money for?" Harry said as he pulled the hood of his cloak down and exposing only a floating head and neck.



They both jumped and turned in their seats to look at Harry with wide startled eyes.



"Harry!" they both said.



"What are you doing up so early?" one of them asked.



"And sneaking around in your cloak, no less!"



"Are you up to something you shouldn't be?" they were both smirking at him inquisitively.



Harry chuckled and simply shrugged – which probably didn't come through very well considering that he was mostly invisible.



"That's for me to know and for me to know," Harry said smirking. "So what's your deal? What do you two need money for?"



The twins looked at each other doing that silent communication thing that the pair seemed to do before nodding silently and turning back to Harry.



"You absolutely can't tell mum," one twin said sternly.



"Or Ron. He's absolutely worthless at keeping secrets."



Harry rolled his eyes. "Yeah, I know. Don't worry, I'm much better at keeping secrets."



They snorted. "So we've heard," they said in sync.



"Well?" Harry persisted.



"When we graduate, we're going to start our own joke shop," one of them said.



"We've got a bunch of inventions already down,"



"And a lot more already planned and in the works."



"But we need to do some research and development capitol before we can really get started."



"And even after we've got everything ready, we'll still need a down payment for a shop."



"Or at least rent," they finished, shrugging.



"Hmm..." Harry hummed slowly, giving the pair a long hard look. It certainly wouldn't hurt to have the twins indebted to him. Weasley's were a strictly light family, but Harry got the feeling that the twins were far from having a Light magical affinity. They weren't dark, but they weren't afraid to use questionable magic. And while it was true that they didn't exactly perform all that well on homework and exams, Harry knew they were both brilliant, not to mention incredibly inventive and creative. Would there ever be any chance of him making use of their skills in the coming war, or would that be a pipe dream? Even if it was unlikely, getting them financially indebted to him would be a good first step.



"I can do it," Harry said with a dismissive nonchalance.



The twins blinked at him with obvious confusion.



"Do what?" one of them finally asked.



Harry rolled his eyes. "I can front you guys the money. Hell, if I win this stupid tournament you can have the winnings. A thousand galleons should help get things started, right? In case you guys didn't realize it, I'm the last Potter and have apparently inherited a mountain of gold, and a bunch of property. I'm loaded. I certainly don't need the prize money from the tournament."



"Are you joking!" The other one choked out, gaping at him.



"No that's your job. You're the pranksters, remember?"



"You would really give us your winnings!"



"Sure," Harry shrugged.



"We'll pay you back," one of them said with a determined nod and the other one assumed the same determined face and nodded his agreement.



Harry waved it off, "Don't bother. Maybe I can be a silent partner and you guys can give me free merchandise."



The twins were still stunned but finally they looked at each other for a minute. They turned back to Harry, both looking uncharacteristically serious.



"We won't forget this Harry. And we'll find a way to make it up to you."



"Don't worry about it. Just make sure you succeed at it. Come up with some brilliant inventions and once you get the actual shop started, make sure it doesn't flop."



"We won't let you down, Harry!"



"Yeah, we'll make sure you don't regret your investment."



"Do you need any help preparing for the last task?"



"You're already in the lead, but that's no guarantee that you'll win."



"We'll do anything you need!"



"Help in any way!"



Harry laughed. "Don't worry guys. Besides, even if I don't win – which I will – I'll still give you guys the front money. But like I said – don't worry. I'm going to win." He smirked wickedly and the twins shared a look before grinning back.



They spoke for another minute or two before Harry turned to head up the stairs, just as he reached the bottom of the stairs one of the twins called after he and he turned back to face them.



"Yeah?"



"Is that a hickey we see?" Fred and George asked in sync with a wicked salacious grin on each identical face.



Harry's face went red and a moment later he was scowling back playfully. The twins burst out laughing and Harry shook his head at them before jogging up the stairs.



– –



One week before the task there was an article in the Prophet that caught Harry's attention. Apparently the wizarding world had finally woken up and realized that Mr. Crouch was missing. According to the Prophet his assistant – who just so happened to be Percy Weasley – had been convinced that he had been receiving instructions from Crouch Sr. on a weekly basis, going so far as to insist that he would certainly recognize his own boss's handwriting. Harry found this exceedingly funny since he knew that half of the letters had been sent from Barty, and the other half from Tom himself. They had been coming from two different people, depending on which one of them had had the time to write them, and Percy hadn't even realized.



A thorough search had finally been conducted and people realized that absolutely no one had any idea where Bartemius Crouch Sr. was. Percy had been put under a magnifying glass since then, and had been heavily questioned to determine if he really was an ignorant bystander, or if he had perhaps had something to do with the man's disappearance. Because of this, he would not be allowed to sit in as judge in Crouch's place for the final task like he had for the second task. Instead the Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge would be taking that honor.



When Harry read this, he couldn't help but grin. He'd been hoping for an opportunity to speak with the Minister for Magic again. The last time had been before his third year after he accidentally 'blew-up' his Aunt Marge, and he had been too stupid and naïve to understand what an opportunity it was to gain such a powerful ally at the time.



Tom was positive that Fudge felt extremely threatened by Dumbledore. Fudge had been in office for a very long time, by this point – having gotten elected only three years after the unfortunate events that destroyed Tom's original body. There wasn't a term limit for the Minister for Magic, but after having been in the job for as long as he had, the public could easily get bored with him and want something new – or at least something different.



From his research and the intelligence that he'd collected so far, Tom was convinced that Fudge believed that Dumbledore was after his position. Harry had asked Tom if he thought it was true but Tom didn't think so. He knew that Dumbledore would never give up his position as headmaster of Hogwarts, and that would be necessary if he were to take on the job of Minister.



Still, whether the fear was founded or not, it was still there. Fudge thought of Dumbledore as an adversary, and if Harry could demonstrate to the Minister that he was on his side, it could be extremely beneficial to him.



– –




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