Descent into Darkness

BY : Athey1024
Category: Harry Potter AU/AR > Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 69307
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.


 



AN: The last chapter. Woo. Crazy. This will mark the end of book 1. The sequel is already in progress. If you go to my author page there is a link to my fanfiction forum where I post updates on my progress.



When I post the sequel to ffnet, I'll add an announcement chapter to this story, so if you put this on Alerts, you'll get notified when the sequel is posted.



– –



Harry felt notably down for the next few days. Tom noticed but didn't remark on it. They both knew why Harry was feeling the way he was feeling, and they didn't need to discuss it.



Now that exams were done, Hermione and Ginny had returned their focus full-swing to translating the last few passages of the Old Aldric book. It had taken a backseat to the mountain of homework that had lead into revision and then exams.



The day before the end of term feast, Hermione and Ginny gathered Harry up after breakfast and hid themselves away in an abandoned classroom as they pulled out the last of the translation and handed it to him.



With a mixture of anxious trepidation and excitement, Harry picked up the bound parchment notebook and began to read.



The Record of Tarsang the second, son of Morac.



G.t 14407



I have spent much time studying and recording the details for prosperity, of the greater magical creatures of this realm in preparation for our final departure. I wished to understand the actions that had been taken by this worlds Magic in its attempt to save it's Children and I think I can finally sum up my findings into something simple, to serve as my contribution to this text.



Goodness and understanding was needed in this world's greater magic users. Empathy, justice, and freedoms would help the half-creature Men thrive, and so those strong in the magics of Light were given the task of empowering these attributes. But Magic saw that those powerful in the Light would be more lenient towards the non-magical Men. They would fight for these non-magical beings 'rights', since they are the underdogs. They are weaker, and will forever be in need of someone to stand up for them and protect them, and it would be in the nature of the Light wizards to take up such a task.



It was foreseen that it would be the Light magical half-breeds who would risk true exposure of magic to the non-magical Men. They would believe that all humans had the right to magic, because it was the just and fair thing.



However, the fact remains that if non-magic Men gain the power to wield magic, then the End will befall this world and all will perish.



And so Dark magic was given power to keep the Light magic in check. To keep the Light from getting too powerful, and from exposing everyone, and thus, losing the magic for all.



It is in the Dark's nature to covet the power of magic and keep such a power to themselves. To seek it out in every form and to hoard it. The Dark would not want the power to spread to the non-magics because it understands that they are not worthy of the power, and them gaining such a power would be disastrous for all.



This world's End will come in one of two ways. The non-magical Men will steal magic, and use it to destroy all that exists, or the non-magical Men will destroy themselves with their own strange brand of magic, conjured from their too-fast-gained knowledge of sub-physical world and their 'science'. If the End is brought about by the non-magic sciences, the magical creatures of the world will have the chance to shield themselves from the fall-out and they will have the chance to survive. However if the end is brought about by the forces of magic, no one will be saved. All will die.



It is a tragic end, and one I hope this world will manage to escape. I wish them my best as my family and I make our final preparations for our departure. I am saddened that I will never know the fate of this world and it's inhabitants that I have grown so fond of.



Harry sat there staring at the page for several long minutes after he had finished reading it. It didn't really give him any new information. Basically a rehash of what he'd already figured out or at least guessed at.



Harry was broken from his pondering by the sound of Hermione sighing heavily and sinking down into a chair opposite him.



"I don't even know what to think about all this..." she said with a slightly dejected tone.



"It's not really anything new," Harry said shrugging. "Basically repeating what we'd already read earlier in the book."



"Yeah, I guess... it's still just difficult to take it all in. Do you really think it could be true?"



"Honestly?" Harry said, looking at the two girls, who were looking back at him expectantly. "Yes. I think it's true."



– –



The end of term feast was as spectacular as all of Hogwarts feasts always are and Harry collapsed into bed that night with an extremely full stomach. He had slipped down into the Chamber once that early morning just to make sure he didn't leave anything behind down there that he would want with him. He had hardly gone down there at all in months though, so there really wasn't anything he was in need of.



The next morning when Harry and his classmates made their way across the grounds to the front gates where the magical carriages were lined up to take them all down to Hogsmeade Harry came up short as he blinked owlishly at the skeletal horse-like creatures pulling them. He'd never been able to see the things pulling the carriages before, and for several moments he was completely confused.



It took him a minute to realize that no one else saw anything different at all. Then his brain turned back on and he finally recognized what the deathly looking creatures were.



"Thestrals..." he breathed under his breath as realization dawned on him. Once considered death omens because of their rather horrible appearance and the fact that they can only be seen by those who have witnessed death.



"Hmm?" Hermione had asked but he shook his head, dismissing it and pretending that nothing was up.



Of course he could see them now. He had killed someone in a rather brutal and horrible fashion. He was rather intimate with death now. He had caused it. But it made him wonder why he'd never seen them before. He had, after all witnessed his parents death, and if that couldn't count because he was too young, there still remained the fact that he'd witnessed Quirrell die... again, by his own hands. Hell, he had literally killed Quirrell with his own bare hands.



So why the bloody hell was he only able to see the thestrals now?



Harry shrugged it off. It didn't especially matter much. It was just one of those illogical things about magic that never really made much sense no matter how hard you tried to work it out in your head. Although, Tom would probably have a perfectly reasonable explanation for it.



Harry followed his friends onto the train, wishing he could just bypass this part and simply take his portkey to the manor house, but knowing he couldn't. Ginny hung out with them for a short while before heading off to meet up with some of her friends from her own year, leaving Harry alone in a compartment with Ron and Hermione.



"Oh hey, before I forget –" Harry started after the other two had been talking for some time about summer plans, "you two can send me owls to this address." Harry pulled out two pieces of parchment and handed one to each of them.



They both looked at him curiously before unfolding the notes and looking at what was written.



Hermione was the first to speak. "France?" she gasped.



Harry chuckled and shrugged. "Yup. Did you know that France has no restriction for underage magical use?"



"I – wait, it what?" Hermione asked, coming up short.



"Yeah, witches and wizards can use magic all they want in France – as long as it's not being done in front of muggles, of course – and they won't get punished or anything, even if they're not 17 yet."



"Wait," Ron started, "so you're running off to France so you can perform magic during your holidays? Do you even speak French?"



"No, and that's not why I'm going anyway. It's a coincidence really. It just so happens that the place I'm going to is in France and therefore I can perform magic this summer. Besides, that address isn't where I'm actually staying. It's a hired post box. A house elf will be retrieving my mail every few days and when I have outgoing mail, I give it to the elf and she'll bring it to a public post and sending it out with one of the owls there. Hedwig is just going to hang out with me all summer. She'll probably get a bit bored, not being able to deliver any letters, but the grounds are supposed to be pretty big so she'll have plenty of flying room."



"Wait, I don't get it... why are you going through all that?" Ron asked.



"The wards around the place I'm going to be staying doesn't allow owls to come in to deliver post."



"And... why?"



"To prevent anyone from using an owl to track me. No owls, no risk of tracking charms."



"Wow..." Hermione said, blinking in surprise. "Whoever you're staying with is willing to do all that just to make sure no one tracks you down with an owl?"



"They had those wards up already. I told you guys way back when I first mentioned all of this, that the place I'm going has some of the most powerful wards a private property can have."



"And you really can't tell us where you're going or who you're staying with?" Hermione asked, clearly looking worried.



"No can do. Merlin, chances are you two will both be getting visits from Dumbledore within the week as he starts desperately trying to track me down and haul me back to the Dursley's before the wards completely collapse there. If you don't know where I'm going, there's no way he can find out from you. It's just easier this way."



Hermione sighed and folded her arms over her chest but didn't persist in arguing. Ron just frowned.



"You can pass that address on to Ginny for me, right Ron?" Harry asked.



"Yeah, sure," Ron grumbled.



"What's up, Ron?"



Ron ducked his head, still scowling a bit and mumbled under his breath.



"What was that?"



"It's just you've been spending a lot of time with my sister this year and now you're going to be writing with her over the summer too?" Ron finally said, raising his head.



Harry blinked at Ron and had to fight to refrain from rolling his eyes. "Ron, she's a friend. She can write to me if she wants to. I mean, it's not like you have to worry about me fancying your sister or something. She's got the wrong plumbing, and I'm already pretty attached to someone else."



Ron's face went red and he blanched a bit before looking away embarrassed. Suddenly understanding seemed to dawn in his eyes. "You what?"



"Huh?"



"What do you mean you're attached to someone?"



"Oh well... I'm sort of seeing someone."



"What? Since when? Who?"



"Er... for a while now. I mean, it started out as a friendly thing but sort of slowly morphed into something else. And as for who, I can't tell you who for the same reason that I can't tell you where I'm going this summer."



"It's one of the Beauxbatons boys!" Hermione exclaimed suddenly with a gasp. "The mystery boy you refused to tell me and Ginny about – it wasn't a boy from any of the houses, it was a boy from Beauxbatons!"



"Er... no, actually. But... well, nevermind. Like I said, I really can't give you any details that might lead you to where I'm staying, Hermione."



"Huh? Wait a minute, Hermione. You knew?" Ron exclaimed looking at Hermione and then back at Harry with hurt. "How come you never told me?"



"The only reason that Hermione and Ginny know anything about it is because they caught me sneaking in after having met up with him. If that hadn't of happened, even they wouldn't have any idea. I've kept this super secret because I don't want to risk his identity getting out."



"Wait, Harry!" Hermione yelled, suddenly. "No clues to where you're staying? I thought you said that his family didn't know he was, you know... But it sounds like you're going to go stay with him this summer. How..?"



"Oh his mum knows now. He told her. She's good with it, and with me being there. Don't worry, this is going to be fine. Still, we don't want to risk his name getting drug through the tabloids as Harry Potter's boyfriend so I'm still not willing to let it get out who he is."



"So you didn't trust me to keep it a secret?" Ron interjected in, still looking hurt.



"It's not that Ron, but we still have no idea how Rita Skeeter was spying on us, or if whatever method she used is still available to someone else. I just didn't want to risk anything. And then there's the whole Dumbledore questioning you two thing to try and figure out where I'm staying..."



Ron didn't look entirely appeased, but he did at least let it drop. Conversation turned to Hermione's plans for her holiday with her parents and she was startled to realize that while she and her family would be in Italy, she would be legally allowed to use magic. She'd had no idea and found the idea thrilling.



Draco did not pay Harry his normal Hogwart's Express visit, but Harry wasn't the least bit surprised by that. He doubted that Draco would know how to act around Harry right now, anyway.



Finally the train pulled up at King's Cross station and the three of them collected their luggage and exited into the platform. Harry shrunk his trunk using it's automatic shrinking feature, since he technically wasn't supposed to be able to use his own magic away from Hogwarts without getting caught, and then he grabbed Hedwig's cage. The Grangers were waiting there and found Hermione right away. Harry bid her farewell, and wished her a good holiday. By that time, Molly Weasley had appeared and had started gathering up her brood of gingers.



"I'll see you September first Ron!" Harry called out as he began to slip away.



"Oh, wait, Harry dear!" Molly Weasley called out and Harry groaned internally before turning around and giving her an innocent but confused smile.



"Yes, Mrs. Weasley?"



"Are your relatives here?" she said looking around the crowd curiously.



"I'm meeting them further away from Platform 9 ¾. They don't feel too comfortable this close to so many of 'my lot'. You know how they are."



"Well if you'd just wait a few minutes we can walk out with you."



"No, that won't be necessary Mrs. Weasley. Besides, Uncle Vernon will get upset if I keep him waiting."



Molly Weasley looked torn as she looked back and forth from the twins and Ginny, and Harry.



"I've really got to get going. Thanks for the offer though," Harry called out as he resumed walking away towards the archway that would lead into muggle King's Cross. "See you in the fall Ginny! Ron! Bye Gred and Forge!"



"Bye Harry!"



"See ya later!"



"Have a nice holiday!"



"And thanks again, Harry! We really owe you one!" one of the twins called out as Harry grinned back at them over his shoulder and finally disappeared through the arch. Harry had given the twins his winnings the morning after the impromptu awards ceremony and from what he understood, they had already started to owl order loads of different ingredients and things. If nothing else, the twins would be good for a laugh.



Harry quickly made his way through the crowds of muggles before seeing an 'Employees Only' door, propped open slightly by a broom. Harry slipped his cypress wand down his sleeve and into his hand and discreetly cast a 'notice-me-not' charm on himself as he slipped in through the door. Once he was positive that there was no one around to witness anything, he made sure he had a firm grip on Hedwig's cage, turned on the spot, and apparated away.



He reappeared with a soft crack! in the entry hall of Riddle Manor. He grinned and heaved a big sigh of relief. It was summer holiday. He was free. It had really worked.



"Shall I be taking master's luggage up to his room?" a squeaky voice sounded from behind him, making Harry spin around in surprise. Standing there was Mixey, looking up at him with those huge tennis ball-sized eyes and big flappy bat ears. Harry grinned down at her.



"I can do it myself. I've already got my trunk shrunk down in my pocket."



"Then gives it to Mixey and I's be taking it up to master's room," she insisted with a nod of her head.



Harry grinned in mild amusement down at her and shrugged. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the matchbox sized trunk and handed it over to her, followed by Hedwig's cage. She graciously took them, bowed low, and disappeared with a soft pop.



Harry chuckled quietly, but it turned into a relieved sigh as he felt the familiar magical presence behind him.



"You're not wearing your ring," Tom said.



"Gah! I knew I forgot something," Harry said, smacking himself on the forehead and reaching into his pocket where he had stored his glamor ring. He slipped it onto his left-hand index finger as he was turning around and smiled up at the handsome man that had come to mean such an immensely different thing to him during the last few months.



Tom was looking down on him with an amused smirk as Harry shrugged sheepishly.



"How was your train ride?"



"Long and annoying," Harry said rolling his eyes. "I can't even tell you how many times I wished I could have just used the portkey or apparated straight here instead of having to bother with the damn train."



Tom chuckled and took a few steps forward. Harry felt his skin tingle with anticipation as the other man drew closer and instinctively gravitated towards him. Within the blink of an eye, Tom had gathered Harry up in his arms, one hand behind his neck and tangling long slender fingers into the long, shaggy fringe at the base of Harry's neck, and the other in the small of Harry's back. Harry's arms came up and wrapped around Tom's neck, his fingers lacing together where they met.



"All mine for two whole months," Tom breathed as he pulled Harry's face mere inches from his own.



"I'm yours forever, if you want me," Harry breathed back; the words escaping his lips before he even registered them in his mind.



"Of course, I want you, pet. But that's not what I meant," Tom said pulling back and smirking down at Harry with mild amusement.



"It's still true. I'm yours," Harry said, looking up into Tom's deep red eyes with such an intensity that it almost gave the elder wizard pause. They shared a long, lingering look before Tom bent down and gently brushed his lips against Harry's.



§Mine.Tom hissed, causing a powerful shudder to course through Harry and a wide grin to spread across his lips..



§Yours,§ Harry hissed back.



Tom pulled back completely and took a step away.



"Come, Pet. We shouldn't linger in such a public place. It isn't likely, but my followers have free reign to come and go in this part of the manor and I would rather not be seen by them while in this form."



Harry blinked at the sudden shift and realized that Tom was still, well, Tom. Harry smiled softly, realizing that the man had stayed in his natural form to greet him, even at the risk of being seen that way by someone else in what he considered his 'weaker' form.



Harry nodded his head, smiling softly up at Tom, the other smirked back and headed up the stairs. At the top of the stairs, Tom paused and turned to look at Harry over his shoulder.



"Oh, and Harry?"



"Hmm?"



"Welcome home."



– End Book One –




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