Tom makes a critical mistake while in Azkaban, but will his plans survive or crumble?
Speaking of them...
Sirius looked more haunted this morning than the last ten years combined could bring upon him. Bellatrix, on the other hand, had a look of fascination yet mingled worry, and of course hunger beneath it.
A dementor gliding by paused and turned to face them, leaning closer until they could hear its rattling breath. "I have such darkness within me you would perish trying to bring it to the surface." Tom turned to face it as well, eyes cold and hard, though his voice was that same dangerously soft tone.
"Come closer if you dare try me." he added, staring up its hood to where the eyes should be. The dementor could feel no fear radiating from this one, unlike the other prisoners, and it was confused by this.
"Begone if you have nothing to do for me." he ordered it, looking away and back at the cold stone wall. The dementor recognized the tone of dismissal. It felt out of place from one of them.
Leaning further into the cell, the dementor reached a scabbed hand through the barriors towards him. Tom smiled a grim smile and approached it without caution. "You want to test me? Then here... raise the darkness from my soul, dementor, and let us see which will survive the onslaught!" he growled, shifting emotionally and dropping all Occlumency shields as he attempted Legilimency.
No Wizard or Witch had ever willingly done such a thing before, to try and dive into the mind of the soul sucking dementors.
In an instant a thousand nightmarish memorys rushed to the forefront of Toms mind and was shared with the creature, torturing and killing, hellish rituals performed, tearing his soul to form a Horcrux over and over again...
The aura of black magic briefly shimmered into sight around his body as he stared sharply into its dull, dead eyes.
The magic rushed through Tom and into the dementor as the memorys continued, forcing its way in and supercharging the other.
Humans have never heard a dementor scream in anguish or pain before, only annoyance from a Patronus charm as they are repelled. No dementor has ever heard one of its brethren do so, either.
Dumbledore descended from the headmasters office down the circling flight of stairs and emerged before the stone gargoyle that guarded it.
He found himself staring at a hall of blood. Blood on the walls. Blood on the pictures. Blood on the floor, ceiling, and statues.
The entire hall was painted red with it, and after only a moment of frozen horror, he entered his animagus form and soared rapidly along to the Greathall, fearing what he would find there...
It was destroyed.
Spell damage was clear as some kind of battle seemed to have occurred overnight. Only a few bodys lined it, but they were mostly teachers. One half-giant in particular was seated in the headmasters chair, bent over the table and pale skin chalk white from blood loss.
Every now and than his attached arm twitched briefly.
Dumbledore felt something within him snap; break; falter. A message had been written in the blood of students or teachers, or both, and it was painted on the walls behind the teachers table.
"Voldemort sends his regards, Albus Dumbledore." it read. Dumbledore could do little but return to his Wizard form and lean back against the doorway, dumbstruck and, for now, broken.
Tom leaned against the cells barrier, panting and hating himself for it. In his left hand a burnt black cloth was tightly clenched. Its owner no longer had any need for it.
Tom Riddle was the first living human to successfully kill a dementor in over a thousand years.
The original was Merlin.
This deed did not come without its costs, however. Toms entire magical core had been drained to virtually nothing over the course of the five minute struggle as he overloaded the dementors ability to absorb.
He was close to being sick, and the wandless warming charm he had cast the night before was quickly fading to nothing, allowing the bone-piercing chill to soak into his body once more.
Now, virtually a squib for the next few weeks, Tom slid down to his knees. The battered black cloth of the dementor, torn from its sizzling corpse as it was burned to ash from the intense magical energies rushing into its body, had slid through after Tom grasped onto it to keep from falling backwards as he was drained, fatigue rushing up to meet him.
Now he allowed it to drag him into what was guaranteed to be a fitful unconsciousness.
Sirius, loath as he was to approach the Boy-who-lived after last nights late revelations, still felt an attachment to him as the only living flesh and blood of Lily and James potter. Even if Harry no longer existed.
But Bellatrix reached him first. She leaned down and pulled his exhausted frame forward, a terrifying grin stretching her lips. "My poor dark lord.. " she whispered, leaning down and kissing him.
He would have flayed her alive had he been conscious to.
Sirius, on the other hand, happened to be for him. Bellatrixs right arm was embraced in his left hand and he dragged her away. "Leave him alone, you demented bitch." he growled. She tore her arm free and scowled. "What do you care, Black? You heard him; why don't you kill him now?" she responded, that same grin appearing on her face.
Sirius eyes hardened even as his face fell. He looked back to Toms body and shuddered. "I knew you couldn't do it. He's mine now, Black, and you'll never see your precious itty bitty Potter again!" she cackled.
Azkaban Prison, 11:39 PM the previous night.
Tom stood up and turned to face both Sirius and Bellatrix. "I may not have a wand now, but I am still very much capable of performing magic. If you dare try to defile my form in anyway as I sleep, Bella, I will dissect you. The same to you, Black." he stated in a soft tone of absolute finality.
Sirius looked incredulous at the statement but Bellatrix started laughing. "Tell me, Bella, do you know why they put an eleven year old in Azkaban?" Tom questioned as he approached her, a cold fire glinting in his eyes.
She stopped laughing and reached for the sharpened shaft of wood she had smuggled inside ten years before, carefully concealed beneath her robes now.
Tom smiled in a feral manner at her as she lunged a moment later, bringing it up to strike at him. In an instant she was knocked backwards into the wall by a simple wandless banishing spell, throwing her head into the harsh stone wall. He caught the piece of wood as it flew from her hand and snapped it in half.
"They put an eleven year old in Azkaban because he committed a crime worthy of it, Bella. The Unforgivables are aptly named by the foolish Ministry Wizards running this government, but they will fall in due time." he told her.
"Harry Potter died one year ago. I was born that night, and I intend to erase this world as we know it. Wizards and Witchs will rule over the muggle beasts as we should by right of blood purity. Already I have set into motion things as they were meant to be, and no bloody prison will hold me for long! Mark my words, Bella, Black, I will bring down those responsible for putting me here." his voice had descended into a low hiss of hatrid.
"My loyal Death Eaters will return to me and together we will end the secrecy our race has forced itself to hide behind." he added, looking into her eyes and, a moment later, forcing his way inside.
By the time he was done she was practically foaming at the mouth. Crawling forward on her hands and knees, she kissed the hem of his robes with a look of fear and adoration. "My lord..." she said pitifully. "Forgive my hast actions..!" she begged.
Tom looked down at her calculatingly. "In time, Bella, in time."
Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry, 12 noon the following day.
It took nearly half an hour before his shock wore off and Albus Dumbledore felt something other than abject horror. By that time the screams of the surviving students had begun.
He felt a cold fury burn into life in the pit of his stomach. He spun on his heel and, with a flourish of his wand, sealed the Greathall and began herding the students outside.
"ATTENTION!" his voice boomed over the gathered crowd, far smaller now than it was yesterday.
"This school has been attacked by means unknown, and it seems apparent to me that only a handful of the students have survived!" he began. "I suspect Voldemort is behind this, a form of revenge for yesterdays actions." he continued.
"As I was to annouce today, our former Defence Professor was housing the remnant of Voldemorts soul through means of the darkest of black magics, and he was taken to a closed off trial, where he was found guility and executed!" he paused a moment. The crowd was dead silent.
"Harry Potter was also found guilty. He was privately sorted into Slytherin early yesterday morning, after a terrible ordeal pertaining to Mr. Malfoy senior.. but that was a mere deception. Mr. Potter has been involved in equally dark magics, and his soul has become terribly tainted." Dumbledore again paused, struggling to proceed even as he knew it must be done.
"He used the Unforgiveables against Mr. Malfoy in order to throw us off of his trail, but he made a vital mistake yesterday: he confided his plans in Professor Snape, who, at great personal risk, came to and informed me of what was going on. Mr. Potter has been sentenced to life in Azkaban for his crimes." Dumbledore might have sighed yesterday, but after the bloody massacre that had taken place somewhere through out the night, he was changed.
"It is my belief that Voldemort has managed to take over another Wizard or Witchs body in order to lead this attack against us so secretly, for he is one of the few students to explore virtually every inch of this grand school over the course of his seven years here..."
"I tell you this because I have no other choice but to send you home and inform the board of governors about this incident. It is likely Hogwarts will never open again, and I strongly encourage you to stay away from the foreign school of Durmstrang." he closed his eyes as he said this, feeling as though a knife had pierced his heart.
"Of the surviving Professors, I ask that the heads of house ensure your students safely arrive at Platform 9 ¾. Of the others, please follow me. I intend to go over every inch of this school and, if Voldemort or his agents are still in place waiting to finish their job, we shall see to it they meet there end on this day!" he finished with a harsh tone, eyes hard and lacking any trace of his trademark twinkle.
Ministry of Magic, 9 AM, three days following.
Scrimgeor signed his name to the sheet of paper before him, the final signature needed. Hogwarts had been officially closed, though the ones behind the attack, if there were any beyond Voldemort himself, were never found.
The land was to be sold to the highest bidder in a closed auction for only the pureblood families, who would have the option of demolishing the school in its entirety or keeping it around for tax purposes.
Or so the official bill stated, but underneath all of the complicated double-talk, whoever bought the land was free to do with it as they pleased.
One Severus Snape was the highest bidder.
But that was not the most important of the recent events, no. With Toms core drained so severely, all previous acts of semi-permanent magic, such as the Imperius, faded. Fudge was free.
He had immediatly attempted to inform the head of the Aurors about what had occurred and promptly fallen dead at his feet by violating the terms of the Unbreakable Vow.
As such Auror Scrimgeor was elevated to temporary Minister status. "Don't like this one bit, you know." he scowled as he looked up at Snape today, handing the piece of paper back over. "Your opinion matters less to me than the former headmasters, Minister." Snape answered with a sneer.
"With all the manipulation of this organization I have little faith you will do any better than your predecessor." he stated, turning on his heel and exiting before Scrimgeor could respond directly, though he did call after him.
"Just you wait, boy, one miss-step, one violation to that contract of yours, and I'll have your ownership revoked over night!" he growled. Snape didn't acknowledge this in anyway.
Azkaban, 12 AM, four days later.
Word travels fast through the Wizarding World. Even as far out as Azkaban. One week after the closing of Hogwarts, and Tom Riddle learned his plans had utterly fallen apart.
Fudge was dead, a traitor to the Unbreakable Vow. Hogwarts land now belonged to Severus Snape, who had betrayed him to Dumbledore. Hogwarts was going to be reopened as a private school only for a select few pure bloods, after it was rebuilt to accommodate the smaller numbers.
And he, Tom, was now stuck in Azkaban indifferently because the only one who could have freed him was now dead.
Loath as he was to admit it, he had only himself to blame; by destroying that single dementor, he had used up nearly all of his magic, making him as powerful as a squib, even it it was temporary. He had figured himself invincible and was so sure he would be free shortly, that he did not stop to think about his actions until it was too late.
His magic would never return to its previous heights while trapped here, capable of succumbing to the power of the dementors, and he had only sped up his weakining process by draining the core...
"Damn you Albus Dumbledore!" his scream of rage was heard at least two floors away.