The ending of a oneshot, without its beginning or middle. Harry defeats the Dark Lord Voldemort with a terrifying new ability, but loses his humanity along the way
A Dark Drabble.
Four loud cracks then a small woosh of displaced air announced the apparation of Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters. The death eaters remained still as the Dark Lord approached the tent. The night was dark, no moon was present in the night sky, and only the dim light that spilled from inside the tents allowed Harry to see the motion of the Dark Lord's robe slithering across the damp, leaf covered clearing. His Death Eaters remained stationary, statues.
The Dark Lord spoke. From the tree cover Harry could hear his high voice, its piercing tone, but not its content. Occasionally he caught snippets of words. Words like 'mudblood', like 'purity', words that would've upset Harry quite some time ago when there were mudbloods he cared about.
It was luck indeed that brought Harry here. He'd been resting in the shadows, just beyond reach, enjoying the soft murmurs of their voices. Their talk must not have been a happy one; to break taboo often enough to draw out Lord Voldemort was no easy task.
Harry stayed silent and still, searching out the shadows surrounding the closest Death Eater. A woman, she would be his first victim. She was close to the edge of the clearing, nearest to the thick plant cover that enclosed him. Lord Voldemort continued to speak and no person was facing his direction. Boneless as a serpent he slithered along on his belly before rising supply in her lee. His knees an inch from her own, his torso to her back, his lips a breath away from the nape of her neck. They could almost be spooning. He tilted his head slowly to his left and gazed down. Left-handed. Her wand hung limp, her muscles relaxed. He softly inhaled through his mouth and she shivered.
He snaked his hand around her fist and pressed his right to her forehead - sweat-damp in the cold. Quick as thought her brought her fist up, her wand into her throat, her windpipe closed. He wrenched her head backwards so that her eyes faced the starry sky. Her head rested on his shoulder and it was beautiful. Her primal urge to walk backward almost caused her to fall and Harry gracefully, obligingly led her into the solitude of the forest. He was a kindly usher. Her footsteps and grunts were quiet if not soundless. Nevertheless, they disturbed Voldemort.
His pale face and red eyes spilled malice as he turned in Harry's direction.
"You have something to add, Edgecombe?" He hissed, "You think you can orate better than Lord Voldemort to these blood-traitors?" He was silent for a moment, his face turned to the ground, "Lord Voldemort shall oblige. You shall ignite the first tent." There was silence a moment longer, before a Death Eater cumbersomely trod toward them.
"She's gone, My Lord," a voice Harry recognised as Dolohov's announced. The Dark Lord spat something unintelligibly and Harry could feel Dolohov's anxiety as if warmth, as if sunlight, on his frosty cheeks; muscles bunched beneath the Death Eaters' stiff robes, his stance was tense, and Harry could almost taste the blood flowing through his constricted vessels.
"Search for her." Was the reply and Dolohov relaxed. Harry's face turned down in a grimace. The burly Death Eater came stomping through the undergrowth, his boots landing not a metre from Harry's own face and the body of Edgecombe. Harry breathed a sigh of relief as he passed. The cracking and snappings of fallen plant limbs gave Harry cover, a delightful layer of sound to sidle under and penetrate the clearing once more. Two Death Eaters remained and, of course, the powerful and terrible Dark Lord Voldemort. Harry would make them choke on him.
"Lord Voldemort always knows, my Death Eaters, always. She was a small fish seeking refuge in the shadow of a shark, but Lord Voldemort has seen your hearts. Lord Voldemort always knows. Incendio!"
His bone white wand spluttered and spat flame that caught on the starchy fabric of the tents, and consumed them. The horrid flames cast a dirty hew of yellow all over the scene, and Harry was exposed, wiggling madly away on the snow it was their sadism that saved him, the three were rapturously gazing at the burning tents, Lord Voldemort's shrill cackling mingling with the screams of those trapped inside.
A man, barely out of boyhood, erupted from the tent gasping at the air and retching. Smoke followed him through the entrance and was transfigured lurid green as the killing curse struck him. He fell, dead. Only his face remained in the flames, slowly cooked. Harry was enraptured by the sight, fascination gripping his heart. When almost all the sandy-blonde hair had been burned free from his corpse Harry found the spell broken. He had thought his time in Azkaban had hardened him to any sight, that his terrifying new ability had then robbed him of any humanity still in his possession, to be disabused of such a notion disturbed him. Emotions were easier to deal with as an animagus.
He became a mole tunnelling through earth. Slowly his forelimbs pulled earth from the fore to the rear and his back legs packed it in tight. His whiskery nose twitched and snuffled through the clods of the soft forest humus. He paused. His back could feel a slight weight, right over his spine, a heaviness in the shallow earth above.
He rose, a man. He was outside the earth, rough boots on his shoulders. An unlikely hybrid, nature repelled and they separated in a cluster of falling limbs. Harry dived straight through the air and rolled, his face scorched in the heat of a burning tent. He dived once more into the cool welcoming arms of the earth.
The shadows and the darkness in this forest were as welcoming and loving as the shadows had been in the frigid stone corridors where he learned his art. Their light touch enclosed every part of him, tighter and more intimate than any act of tupping, more expressive of love. They accepted him and whispered their affection, always. Affection had been in short supply in recent years.
Harry lightly scratched an opening into the world. His eyes were dim, but no noise disturbed him, no sound of rage and anger announced themselves. He became a man, lying just ahead of the first burning tent. He was bathed in light, and heat, he almost keened for the love lost. Ahead of him the Dark Lord inspected the gaping wound in the earth below. He was barely ten paces distant. Enclosed in promiscuous light, Harry was apparent to any who'd look.
He lay, cheek plastered to the ground and his bare toes wiggling near the flames. Seconds ticked past sluggishly, a sedate dance, in time with the beating of his heart. The last scream faded slowly, stretching out and thinning in the air like the wail of a banshee, and then there was only the crackle of flames.
He raised his eyes from the ground and saw Voldemort waving his wand, in the business of warding. Soon he would turn and begin warding in another direction, and any direction other than the one he was currently facing would be the end of poor Harry Potter, noble Harry Potter. Harry's wand was snapped, and far away, but he was not without magic.
He inhaled and expired, slowly and steadily. At first, nothing visible occurred, but slowly, as the temperature dropped, tendrils of mist started to emerge from Harry's pursed lips as he exhaled. They engorged and filled the air with a frosty chill. In moments, the fog began to occlude the farthest reaches of the clearing. Thickening still, the Death Eaters and their master were lost to his sight. When the flames behind him were a vague dream of heat and warmth Harry stopped. The world was now constant and unchanging, a swirling Pensieve silver. The world was a memory, and all that remained were the vague murmurs of frightened Death Eaters. Their master made none, but enclosed in ambiguous shadow, Harry knew the Dark Lord would be secretly afraid. It was his nature to fear all that he would claim to command.
A wave of crashing and panting came from the deeps ahead of Harry, the sound giving way to leafy squelching as he came into the clearing, but it was too late for Dolohov. Twin flares of green shone through the mist, and a soft thump on the very edge of hearing was all the lament he would receive that night.
"Dolohov." The Dark Lord confirmed, angrily. A crack echoed, almost immediately followed by a second. "Treacherous swine!" Voldemort shrieked. They had disapparated! Uncontrollably, Harry laughed, it spewed and slobbered from his lips even as he ran. Tears of mirth spilled, fighting through the grime to join with the mucus that crusted over his top lip. Flashes of green, yellow, red, blue and purple shot through the air around him, beacons; he haltingly, maddeningly made his way closer to the Dark Lord. Every curse that sought him out made an eddy in the sea of silver and a brief window of the dark lord's face. He was so close, he could see the whites of his eyes.
Suddenly, like an apparition, he was below him squatting down on his heels. They could see each other plainly now. Voldemort's wand cut downward, tracking Harry's face, but Harry cut upward catching his wrist. He ascended inexorably, youth faster than age. Voldemort's face was a rictus of fury, and of contempt but not a trace of shock in those livid eyes. Oh, how Harry desired to see shock on that wicked face. Voldemort tugged his hand free and Harry let him. He used the motion to place both hands behind the wizard's shiny, hairless skull. His finger's interlaced and Harry seized Voldemort's lips with his own. There, in the widening of his eyes was the shock Harry wanted. In the only moment the Dark Lord had to save his own life with his free wand he froze. Already, Harry sucked. The inertia was great, like trying to pull a plane with his teeth, perhaps the second greatest effort he had ever exerted, but slowly he felt that tell-tale thrill, the first movement of the soul, and Harry knew he had won. The same indomitable will that he had displayed in his fourth year would serve him here. He had the will to out-kiss a dementor, and the Dark Lord was no greater challenge.
It began in the tongue. The essence that permeated every cell, perfectly spread and divided, thinly providing the spark of life, began to leave the body and flow through their connected lips. Next followed the teeth, and the cheeks, up through the throat came the organs and the limbs, the heart of the man. Finally, with a reverberation that always made his teeth ache, the soul present in the brain was detached stickily from the membrane of the skull, bringing with it the identity and the ego of the wizard.
Voldemort collapsed limply to the floor. His chest continued to rise and fall slowly, but one leg was trapped under the other awkwardly and no intelligence was present in those dark red eyes. Harry stooped down and slapped his face, a pale red mark marring the body. He slapped the other cheek with the other hand, and then repeated, again and again, increasing the ferocity of the blows he rained down. A snarl overcame his face. He took the fallen wand from the floor beside its master and stabbed it as hard as he could into the body's cheek. The wand splintered but did not snap and so he drove it down again on top of the repulsive snake-like nose. It shattered, and only a stub remained in his hand. He cast it down contemptuously. He could gain no reaction here.
Slowly he knelt on the shoulders of the former Dark Lord. The skin of his neck was weak and warm beneath Harry's fingertips. The silver glow that had so suffused the skin previously was gone, and he was now just a bone white. Harry pushed his thumbs deeply into his throat, and stared into his eyes. There was no spasm, no instinctual reaction to the lack of air. Stillness in life then stillness in death.
Harry fell back onto the cold floor and wiped the fluids off his face with the back of his hand. Never before had he abused a body after the soul was gone. He shivered in the cold, his knees drawn up to his chest. What was there now? The last year he had skulked in every forest, cave and brook he stumbled across up and down the length of the British Isles, sullenly awaiting a prophesised death. Deep inside him had burned the hope that on his death, or his enemy's, he would find redemption and resolution, but the world around him seemed much the same as it had not twenty minutes ago.
With no change in the world, why should there be any change in Harry? For him there could be no return to the ordinary wizarding world, he was forever outside and apart. He straightened up, the vitality of a fresh soul beginning to fill him, the fraility that had possessed him a moment before banished.
One great wizard was his. It was time to complete the set, next he would claim Albus Dumbledore. He turned and strode back into the forest on silent feet, the soul-lust hot in him one more.
A/N: An idea that came to me, that I wanted to write and just get out of my head. R&R: Especially with regards to pacing.