Based on a challenge I by Tendrarinstat, the rating will go up later. This will be highly AU, especially with the advent of HBP, but Harry will not be doing a cross over. Dumbledore is evil, Voldem...
On a side note, what's a spoiler?
Truth of the Matter
Chapter 1: Bonds and Binds
10th September 2005
'Harry Potter...Harry Potter...' A voice in my head? 'Harry Potter...' High and cold, I know him, 'Tom. What do you want? Torment me some more? Wasn't the Ministry enough?' No wisecracks? 'That is another matter, dear boy, for now I wish you to merely listen to me and hear what I have to say. Is that too much to ask of you?' Could go much further wrong really, and who's to know what he wants to tell me? 'Very well, I'm listening.'
Harry Potter lay in his bed in the 5th Year dormitory of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. A few moments earlier, he seemed to be in a nightmare, tossing and turning, moaning in pain. Now that sub-consciously he'd come to an agreement, not that anyone else would know, his body calmed and his head lolled to one side, clearly asleep. His mind was a different matter though.
'I don't know how much Albus has told you, so I'll start at the beginning of it all. The ritual I used to create the new body for myself is a minor necromantic ritual, and does not result consistently enough for me. However, due to the lack of options I didn't have a choice, and I was reborn with a permanent weakness to fire. The worst thing about it, though, was that I found I could only use the ritual once, and so I can't create another body for myself.' He paused here and seemed to become unfocussed for a moment, 'Albus injured me badly with his fire whip at the Ministry, and my body is deteriorating slowly. With potions I have managed to slow the dying process, but the end is inevitable, I will soon die.
'However, that is not my point. I have a wealth of knowledge that even Dumbledore doesn't know about. True some are black arts, and some are merely dark, but he hasn't the first idea about them. I wish to pass on my knowledge and skill to you.' Hmmm, interesting, 'What's changed Tom? Wouldn't one of your Death Eaters be a better choice? In fact, where are we now?' the voice cackled merrily, 'Little has changed Harry, I still regard only two wizards with any sort of respect, you and Albus. I chose you because I don't have a link to Albus, and without it passing the knowledge would be impossible with the time I have.
'To answer your last question first, we are in your mind. I came down the link because I needed to speak with you. You accepted, no matter how temporarily, and so we're in your sub-conscious. For your second question, do you really think I'd pass my knowledge onto the worthless pieces of junk my Death Eaters are? Even then, I know several are spies from Albus's camp, so if you don't want my knowledge then I shall find another heir, possibly one of the neutral Slytherians. I need someone who can think for himself rather than follow blindly.' he paused momentarily, 'You don't have to answer me now, dawn will break soon. Just think about this: If Albus had really rushed to aid you, Sirius Black would not have died. Good day, Harry Potter' It was a strange feeling, and Harry felt like something was missing when Voldemort retraced his steps back through the link. Sighing, he got up and decided on a walk round the lake to help him think.
"Seraph Zabini. I knew you'd come." He was lying on a bed of stone, chilling waves emanating from the surrounding stone walls. It was a small room, designed for him to rest between audiences with his Death Eaters and other such matters. The only other occupant in the room closed the door softly and pulled up a stool before sitting beside the snake-like skeletal man on the bed, "Tom Marvolo Riddle. How long it has been. 40 years? 50? And yet we still remember."
Lord Voldemort chuckled at his friends words, "Probably closer to 50 actually. You were Professor of Charms the year I finished, and I saved you when one of your experiments went awry. You've had a life debt to me since then I haven't collected, but I intend to soon." A worried look crossed his companion's face for a moment, "Not to worry, I won't be asking you to kill anyone, at least not directly. If it comes to it, yes, but if all goes as I plan then I just need you to help someone learn. It's a simple plan really, nothing as elaborate as my original plans for world domination. I'm dying. I'm dying and I wish to pass on my knowledge. You know more about wandless magic and mind magic than anyone else alive right now." Seraph nodded and smiled, "Now that, I can do. In the meantime, while waiting for you to finally snuff it, I shall unload the burden of your Death Eaters."
Voldemort spoke as Seraph rose and made his way to the door, "Not to worry Seraph, I can take care of that myself. In fact, I'm already taking care of it." He chuckled darkly and Seraph shook his head, "Leave it to you to plan things so carefully. Let me know when it's time." He shut the door quietly and Voldemort closed his eyes, "Oh trust me, you'll know when it happens. It'll be so obvious you wouldn't miss it if you were blind."
Two cloaked, shadowy figures met outside the main entrance chamber, conversing softly. They were harder to hear than finding a needle in a haystack, but someone heard them anyway, "The snake is mid to down, the beard needs to know." The speaker turned and made in one direction, the other pulled out a portkey and was gone. Seraph Zabini may not have agreed with Voldemort on many things, but loyalty was another issue altogether, "Going somewhere, Death Eater?"
The cloaked figure whipped round and threw out a stunner, reductor, and blasting curse. Seraph merely waved his wand in a circular motion, and dispersed the 3 spells before snapping off several stunners, of which all but one caught the Death Eater. Seraph smiled to himself and levitated Snape into Voldemort's room, "Tom? I believe you'll be interested in Snape's most recent activities. I found him speaking with one of your other Death Eaters about your most peculiar illness."
Lord Voldemort frowned at Snape, "Enervate. Severus, I am most disappointed in you. I thought you of all people would understand the importance of loyalty? Perhaps not; no matter, I've modified the Dark Mark and need a test subject. I'm sure you'll be more than happy to help me out, won't you Severus?" His voice was lower this time, but just as cruel, snapping out his wand faster than should have been possible, and softly spoke an incantation that would ultimately end his life, "Moresmodrus Riddle."
Albus Dumbledore sat at his desk staring at the image his pensive displayed. The Tome of Ravenclaw was clear in his memory from the time he saw Seraph Zabini, the one time Charms Professor, reading from it. It was like a block of wood in its covers being made of oak, but edged in gold and the pages inlaid with an adamantine skeleton to prevent it's destruction. The spine, however, was probably the most interesting feature, and looked like cloth, though Dumbledore knew better and saw it as a piece of a Plane-walker's Cloak, further enhancing its already incredible value.
A Plane-walker was a type of Demon, last recorded to be successfully summoned by one of the founders. It was a sort of prophetic demon, with its walks through time and what not. When summoned properly, the Demon would give the summoner one of its cloaks to walk planes with. Dumbledore was sure the rest of the cloak still existed, but didn't know where it was. In addition to allowing plane travel, the cloak protected the user from all spells, though only for a period of time before needing to be recharged.
Albus was still searching for Seraph Zabini, who he last knew to possess the tome, and had in fact questioned Blaise discretely about it several times. Unfortunately, the Slytherian girl knew next to nothing of her ancestor and he'd left it at that. Sighing he tapped his pensive, stopping its replaying memories and sending it back to the cupboard he kept it in. He closed his eyes and reviewed his plans, which had incidentally not gone so well.
First there was the prophecy, and with it a path to power for him, power over the peoples' will in so many ways. His name still turned many heads, but he knew it was next to nothing against people like Harry Potter and any of the Founders, let alone Merlin, who was still used as an expletive. He popped a lemon drop into his mouth and sucked slowly, letting the calming elixir settle his thoughts and bring his grand plan to the surface. The Order of the Phoenix was probably the best idea he'd had since Riddle, and would allow him another facet in the public eye, that of a capable leader, even if not official.
The second asset he needed was Voldemort, who was probably the most powerful wizard to walk the planet since the founders. He, however, had his own advantages and intended to use them to their fullest. Killing Riddle would allow him the second facet, that of a powerful person, and someone not to cross even in the political arena if only for fear of the consequences outside of it. That, however, was put in jeopardy by the prophecy, though he finally thought of a way around it, and an alternate victim to create his third facet.
Harry James Potter. Soon to be Harry James Potter-Black. He was probably the lynch pin in his entire plan. If Harry killed Voldemort, then he'd be the most powerful in the public eye, not Albus Dumbledore. If he harnessed his power over public opinion the Harry would be the great public leader, denying Albus his most important facet. Harry was the one who'd possess mage sight and see through the glamour on his owl and realize Fawkes didn't actually exist.
He sighed again and rearranged his thoughts, he hoped that with the prophecy revealed, Harry would realize there was really only one person who could help him, and that was Albus. After all, who else would know him well enough to even offer help?
An unknown and in fact undetected presence sensed his thoughts and sighed almost audibly, "you have no idea Albus, you have no idea."
The next night was not too different for Harry. As he slowly drifted into unconsciousness, he felt something moving down the link. In a moment, Voldemort's skeletal form was revealed in his mind's eye and Harry inclined his head respectfully. Tom Riddle smiled thinly, 'Good. It appears that you know much subconsciously already. But it matters little at this point. I have come for your answer. If you accept my help, I will begin your initiation lesson tonight. If you refuse, I will withdraw and never contact you again. This I swear on my magic.'
Harry concentrated, and a tea table appeared, along with two chairs and tea set, 'I accept. I have thought much about what you last said, and have in that way missed much of my time both in the classroom and on my own. I see the great advantages possessing your knowledge will give me over the next Dark Lord, if I have to fight him.' As he spoke the two sat and drank the mental tea. Tom Riddle sighed and put down his cup, 'I haven't much time, probably a year if I lay idle, half if I exerted myself at my usual, and a few months if I put all my efforts into what I'm about to embark on.
'Firstly you must understand that all magical beings have an understanding advantage over the average muggle. Your friend Granger is the exception to the rule. The wizard's brain is biologically fully developed at the same time as the muggle brain, but develops the magical advantages later, finishing at 16. I will teach you like a normal teacher till your birthday. The morning of the first of August I will use a ritual, and transfer all my knowledge and memories to you, by which time you'll have developed enough to accommodate the sudden influx.
'On to the lesson now, the first thing you must learn from me is that a base of operations if very important. A stronghold of sorts allows many things, including a storage facility and centre of operations. I believe we both know the perfect location. Therefore I will start you off on advanced charms, and give you the knowledge of the first one I want you to master, the Fidelius Charm.' Harry gasped at the name, but didn't stop Voldemort from turning his hand over and pressing a thumb into the point between his wrist and hand. Information flooded Harry's mind, the memories of learning, practicing, failing, and eventually succeeding poured into him and he blacked out.
Voldemort sighed and slowly got to his feet. He'd expected this, so he turned and left, absently wondering why exactly he was doing all this.
A figure watched Harry silently, gently stroking his fringe. The figure was quite obviously female, with feminine curves that would have shown if she hadn't been wearing an invisibility cloak. Glancing at Harry's bedside clock, she decided she needed to leave. As was her new habit, she pulled back the cloak and kissed Harry on the forehead before leaving.
As her bright red mane of hair flashed through the swiftly opened and closed door, she reassured herself that Harry wouldn't mind her borrowing his Invisibility Cloak. Reaching her own bed, Ginny Weasley tucked the cloak under her pillow and was soon asleep.
A/N: There you go, not my first H/G anything, except that I intend to finish this one. R/R please? My muses have been hiking all over the room and aren't any help.