An ancient prophecy, a rogue military arm and technological experiments of questionable ethics will all make for the biggest change the wizarding world has yet seen.
Author notes: AU, OC
Beware the child of lightening for it is far easier to destroy than to create.
He will be announced and marked with green thunder
His destiny will be to destroy and to unite
Creating from the ashes a sum greater than humanities destroyed parts
Beware the child of lightening for it is far easier to destroy than to create.
The steady sound of rain pounding onto already soaked and sodden earth gradually intruded Harry's sleep deadened mind causing him to become aware of the soaked hospital gown that clammily clung to his otherwise naked body. Broken masonry dug painfully into his spine contrasting sharply with his normal waking habits, uncomfortable but rarely painful.
Filling his lungs with air that smelled strongly of damp earth that seemed to have been cleansed of any dust or pollens, Harry revelled in the fresh breeze which tickled his face and angled the rainstorm. It was rare that he had the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, raining or otherwise.
As his position jammed between piles of rubble and over broken stonework became increasingly uncomfortable, Harry tried to think how he could have arrived at such a desolate and uncomfortable place. Maintaining his steady breathing and closed eyes he tried to reconcile his deadened muscles, overwhelming exhaustion and bruised bones with his location and strange clothing or lack there off.
A quick ordering of his thoughts allowed him to examine his last memories before he discovered himself, alone, apparently abandoned and in pain. Growing up he had always wondered what he had done to deserve his aunt and uncle and lived in hope that he would be rescued by someone kind and loving. However, over the last few years he had slowly come to the realisation that he hadn't done anything and that the world was just cruel.
In his mind he could see the shades of red that adorned his uncle's face in great splotches and the deep purple that coloured his neck. It was almost funny how he could gauge his uncle's temper and it's severity by the colour of his face. That night had been particularly painful, his uncle had become a master at causing pain with the minimum of evidence to show for it over the years and when Vernon had finished his painful beating Harry had been locked into the cupboard underneath the stairs, his room for the last nine years.
Harry frowned at the blank hole in his mind where the memory finished. The ancient mattress that had been wedged in when he had become too big for his crib had muffled the moans of pain which stubbornly broke from his throat. But nothing else....
A wave of exhaustion swept through him as he stirred trying to find a more comfortable position away from the wreckage, now satisfied that he was alone and would not incite any more punishments, only to jerk up in shock as his hand found a shard of glass that easily and painfully cut into his palm.
"What the hell! Uncle Vernon must have been really mad to do something like this," Harry mumbled as he stared at his surroundings. He had always assumed that it would just be a matter of time before his uncle and aunt tried to dump him somewhere. Probably only after they had accidentally beat him to death, it accounted for the gap in his memories at least, though he was a little disconcerted that he had misjudged his uncle's temper that night.
Shaking the picture of a man in combat fatigues pointing an automatic weapon in his face from his head he stood up unsteadily making his way slowly out of the wreckage. It must have been quite the impressive facility in its day, now however all that stood were scorched frames, entangled metallic framing and rubble. It looked like a cluster bomb had hit it recently, a perfect place to dump a body.
Ignoring the feeling of unsteadiness and weakness Harry started walking towards the edge of the ruins and tried to decide what to do. If as he suspected, his uncle had beat him to near death and dumped him to die, did he really want to return to Privat Drive? Where else was there, where else could he go?
Although he had tried to make the most of the resources available to him around the house, he simply did not at his age know enough to survive on his own. 'Oh, there's the police and other non-governmental agencies I could go to,' he thought casually, not seriously considering it as a valid option. After all, from his experiences of authority he would not trust them not to make his situation worse.
Harry stumbled as he pictured himself strapped into a bed with a number of men dressed in white coats leaning over him talking in mumbled voices. 'What was that,' he thought as the picture vanished like a half remembered dream, 'My aunt and uncle refused to even take me to a doctor let alone a hospital even when Vernon cracked a rib and I was spitting up blood, must be an over active imagination.'
Still, the hole in his mind was deeply concerning. Ever since he had started to order his mind he had found it increasingly easy to remember things. Never had he felt such an absence within his thoughts.
Harry sighed in depressed defeat, he really did have nowhere to go and his youth would go against him in trying to live alone even if he did have the knowledge. 'I never did worry about my age - it never really made any difference to my life anyway,' he thought sourly as he picked up the faint sound of a busy street over the sound of the rain.
Struggling against exhaustion and pain, Harry slowly started in the direction he thought would lead him to people and thus back home. He doubted anyone would help him get back to his aunt and uncles home, no one had ever helped him with anything in his life. But, a busy road meant signage and he could find his own way. Straining with the weight of his water soaked gown in the unsteady and muddy ground he just concentrated on putting one foot after another. His muscles felt like they would peel from his bones at any moment and he would have liked nothing more than to collapse in a ditch and die, but then those bastards that called themselves his guardians would have won.
Exhausted as he was, Harry didn't even notice as he collapsed at the guard rail at the edge of the road or the dark car that pulled of the road to investigate the what looked to be a bruised and bloody 11 year old. His last thought was that he thankful that his uncle had restrained himself from doing anything too permanent over the years.
"Damnedest case I've ever seen," Frank growled looking through the case file of the young boy resting beyond the one-way screen in the interrogation room. Cigarette smoke hung oppressively around him as he took another agitated puff. "His guardians report him missing after a home invasion gone sour and he turns up twelve months later, almost to the day wearing a torn and blood stained hospital gown and covered in old bruises. Very suspicious, are you sure this is the same boy?"
"Sure chief," slightly younger than the greying man beside him Daren still had a wealth of policing experience to draw upon. "Blood work came up clean - it's him alright, unless there's another missing relative of the same age and description that we don't know about. We never did get a recent photo from the guardians though. I almost had myself convinced that the fat bastards had made up the whole thing up to cover a murder; guess I jumped the gun on that one."
"Mmpphh," Frank drew in another deep breath of the acrid smoke before exhaling in a sigh. "Abuse maybe, they had enough photos of their own boy and they never could satisfactorily explain where the boy stayed but he is clearly not dead. Still, wherever he was over the last year wasn't a holiday; does he still claim that he can't remember where he was?"
Frank shook his head in disappointment, the mystery would remain unsolved it seemed. The boy was found and there was no clear evidence of criminal activity. With the case load and funding situation being what it was today it was easier for everyone to believe that he had somehow injured himself.
"Have you contacted the Dursley's yet? I imagine you've already confirmed that they have legal guardianship?" He asked quietly even though logically he knew the boy couldn't hear him. It seemed sad that the boy couldn't remember, though hardly surprising. Kidnap victims far older that this little kid with the winning green eyes repressed their experience. The brave little boy with the wild black hair and piercing green eyes had wormed his way into everyone's heart at the station and with clean dry clothes he even looked human.
"They'll pick him up tomorrow, said they couldn't get here sooner. Did anyone ask him about abuse? He shows classic symptoms" It was almost a rhetorical question, the question of abuse was one of the first questions that would have been asked once he was cleaned up. Besides even he could see the wariness in the boys eyes and the way he answered any question asked of him with apparent directness and lack of inflection or emotion was worrisome. As was the lack of usual complaints he would have expected from a boy of his age, anyone could tell that he was in pain.
"I'm gonna look into it myself." Darren nodded at the gruff old man he wouldn't expect anything less, child abusers where the lowest form of scum and the boy sitting in the interrogation room, huddled beneath a blanket had been abused as sure as the sun set in his opinion.
"So where do you think he was all this time, that hospital gown could have come from anywhere and all the medical facilities are frequently checked for missing patients?"
Frank just shook his head, puffing on the roll of tobacco, he hated mysteries as much as his old partner did but this case at least was closed. "I'm with you, too many damned unanswered question. Questions, which I will answer even if I have to work in my own time." The old man hawked and spat in the bin, expressing his disgust and helplessness at the situation. He would keep an eye on the boy and he knew Darren would put the word out as well.
Vernon Dursley may be an important man in and around Privat Drive but when he found proof that he had abused the kid - nothing would save him.
"Are you incompetent as well as stupid?" Standing in the middle of a lightly furnished office a middle aged man with grey edges in his hair yelled in anger, disbelief and amazement at three men standing defiantly in front of him. Each had a hardened appearance of a combat veteran who had survived too many years in a meat grinder.
The room was richly furnished, though not extravagantly, a large mahogany desk seemed to act as a barrier between the three men and the middle aged man raging at them. A small window created more shadows in the small office than it lightened and the walls were painted a neutral white and adorned with religious and historical paintings in gilded frames.
"Your telling me that subject 001-C could have simply walked from the destroyed facility and we not only had no way of stopping him but now, due to your ineptitude in basic security procedures but we know lack the ability to find and recover him." Standing in front of the rich mahogany desk, the hardened veterans were decked out in impressive black and gold trimmed uniforms. The middle aged man looked impotent before them until one caught a glimpse of his flashing eyes and whitened knuckles permanently burying any thought of impotence.
"Let me reiterate what you have all told me," he continued. His voice reduced from flashing anger to deadly calm in an instant, "a traitor who has now turned up dead is responsible for deleting irrecoverably all backup records that we had from facility XC-933." Once the three veterans nodded, not letting any trace of fear or apprehension show on their faces the middle aged man continued.
"Then, before I was informed of a breach in security or the experiments with subject 001-C was halted, an explosion which completely destroyed facility XC-933 occurred killing the research team working on the project and destroying any evidence that we could have used to track our missing subject." He slowly rose from his chair in displeasure, emphasising his point.
Not even a droplet of perspiration could be seen on the faces of the three men being reamed out like cadets, yet the tension in the air was thick enough to walk on. "The explosion somehow managed to momentarily scramble remote security Sir," one Veteran bravely added casing the man to stalk from behind his desk to confront the three soldiers.
"Ahh yes, further evidence of your disgraceful incompetence. Find IT, and until you have provided me with a detailed report about what went wrong all work is to cease and records secured," he commanded dismissing the three soldiers as he collapsed into the chair behind his desk. He didn't watch as the hard faced men quietly exited his office.
"So, was I convincing," he asked with amusement not even looking up from the paper work on his desk, all evidence of his earlier rage missing. The importance of the work he was doing was incredible and if he hadn't been the one to sabotage the program he would have been REALLY upset.
"Maybe a little too convincing, are you sure that they will be able to find him. We were very thorough," a heavily cloaked and masked figure purred from the corner of the room. Even the three combat veterans, who had been trained to spot and analyse even the smallest details would have missed the figure as he stepped from the shadowed corner.
"I see your still underestimating my men just as you underestimated the reaction between HIS magical core and the nanites," the man laughed swinging his chair around so he could look at the cloaked man in the corner. "I give them two years even without us interfering. Are you sure it will be enough? The child is still very young. Even with the treatment I have my doubts since it is still very experimental as we have already seen. Even though that explosion was beneficial it was still unexpected. My men probably won't tell me but they still don't know what it was."
"Put all doubts aside old friend, he has already started to grow into the man he will become and by the time your men find him he will be ready to start fulfilling the destiny he was born for. I will not even have to interfere but watching will prove just as interesting in the long run." A sinister chuckled echoed through the room until it was suddenly cut of with a startling and unexpected 'pop'.
"I'll never get used to that man just disappearing like that," the greying man muttered as he turned back to his desk. "But you forget 'OLD FRIEND'" he sneered, "we will both bow to him in order to survive what is coming."
Harry once again found himself in the unenviable position of being curled up on a rotting and mouldy mattress in the small space beneath the main stairs of number 4 Privat Drive, his room and home since he had moved in with his aunt and uncle at just over one year of age.
It was treatment had he expected from his aunt and uncle. Although he had been missing for just over a year, as soon as they had retrieved him from the police station they had punished him for the inconvenience of picking him up. At least they hadn't beaten him as part of his punishment this time, they seemed to have been unnerved by some of the looks they had received from the police when picking him up. - Good.
He knew that he didn't disserve the beatings and neglect his blood relatives put him though but there wasn't much he could do about it until he grew up a little bit. Size inferred power in a household where beatings were a regular occurrence. It was the only power he could even hope to achieve until he broke the bonds that tied him to Privat Drive since he had never experience anything but bias on the behalf off those older than him in matters of his treatment at home.
His room was definitely smaller than he remembered, adding credence to what he had been told. The gap in his memories covered the twelve months that he had been missing, and no mater how he strained he could not fill the blanks within his head. The missing time didn't bother him as much as the lack of memories of his time away from the Dursley's. Life didn't change all that much on Privat Drive, for him anyway. 'I could go missing for twice as long and not miss anything important,' Harry thought with frustration and not a small amount of longing.
Only two images kept protruding on his consciousness from the time he had been missing, a clear image of facing down a masked man bearing an automatic weapon of some kind and one of lying in a bed with a number of men in white coats examining him.
On further reflection and examination of the first image he decided it had to be when he was first kidnapped, he could picture himself huddled under the stairs wedged between the mouldy mattress and the back of the cupboard. His aunt, uncle, cousin and the police had told that him that he had been missing for twelve months.
So if he was to trust the flash of memory, as he was inclined to, it was unlikely have to been while he was missing; placing it at the beginning of his ordeal. 'This man whoever he is had to be the one who abducted me,' Harry thought deep in thought as he further scrutinised the memory.
The man who abducted him held himself with a straight military bearing and his clothes where too precise to belong to someone off the street. Then there was his mask and weaponry to consider, living underneath the stairs and having his learning and experiences suppressed as it was didn't give him much to compare the technology to, but the mask and gun looked both hi-tech and expensive.
Definitely not a home invasion gone wrong like he had been told by both his guardians and the police, there was more going on than he was being told. It was clear that he had grown an inch or two and filled out some from the way the room under the stairs had shrunk, he had even put on some muscle. The cupboard under the stairs had never been real big but now it was just cramped.
'So,' he thought to himself 'I was probably fed enough where I was. Been given enough exercise that my muscles didn't atrophy, meaning I wasn't locked up, perhaps I was better off wherever I was.' Even as he thought it he dismissed the idea, here he knew the boundaries of his prison. How much he could get away with and how far he could push his uncle. Harry couldn't even remember the place he was trapped over the last year of his life. For all he knew it could have been worse.
And while the two police that dealt with his case had hinted at abuse Harry knew that he would never admit it while he could look forward to a new school in the coming year. Wherever his aunt and uncle decided to send him it would mark the beginning of a long journey to gain his independence and escape the servitude he know found himself in by gaining access to information.
Education he knew was the only way to escape the prison of ignorance he found himself in. A new school would allow him to rebuild himself an image for himself rather than the one created by his aunt and uncle, something that he hadn't been old enough to do when he had entered his last school.
The real crime his guardians were responsible for in his opinion was not that his uncle regularly beat him or that his aunt neglected his health and wellbeing, those were rarely permanent and could be fixed, if not easily. 'No', he thought with anger. 'The real crime that I will hold my aunt and uncle to account for is the restriction of enough education to live without their abusive support that they provided and I hope they burn in hell for it.'
Out of necessity, Harry had taught himself with the limited aid of teachers how to read and write. What information there was available to him at libraries on history, society and the law was devoured. But he had to be careful about what people saw him do and learn because his actions were regularly reported to his guardians and that was never a 'comfortable' experience.
Thus he could never ask questions, request or buy books, or even bring them home to read. He shuddered to think about the reaction if he out scored his cousin in any kind of sport or exam or gained a reputation of being somehow smarter than Dudley. Hopefully more would be overlooked at his new school due his age. It still wouldn't do to show how much he did or didn't know but if he was ever to break free of the mould that his relatives put him in then that would be a good first step.
Harry had come to the conclusion a few years ago that the world was a cruel and lonely place to live and that he wouldn't be able to trust anybody but himself. Adults, if they didn't beat him would often report his behaviour to those who would. Even those that at first appeared to by nice to him to try and gain his trust always had ulterior motives that were rarely advantageous for him and often ended up being a painful lesson not to open up and trust others.
Kids his own age were often worse than the adults, they seemed to have an innocence about them that was easier to trust and yet he could always see the seeds of deviousness that all adults seemed to possess.
Harry, once again trawled through the memories of his short life, cataloguing them and often reminding himself of small facts that he had forgotten or overlooked that may become useful in the future. It was something that passed the time and created a feeling that he was doing something that hurried the time when he would be able to leave Privat Drive and strike out on his own.
Shifting on the mouldy mattress into a more comfortable position and relieving his feet which were rapidly falling asleep from the lack of room he Stoped his internal dialogue into his treatment at the hands of those that should have looked after in favour of examining the second flash of memory he could remember from the time he was missing.
Clip boards and medical equipment he had not noticed before became more obvious. Too many doctors surrounded his bedside for something as simple as a broken bone or an infection. Either he had been extremely sick or there was something unusual about his sickness.
Where was he and why was he found now? He had overheard the police talking about already checking all the hospitals and medical centres for him and except for the continued soreness in his muscles and incessant itching under his skin he could feel no evidence of enduring sickness.
When combined with 12 months that no one could account for, it painted a confusing picture that he was determined to piece together. From his own experiences, if he wasn't able then it wouldn't get done since no one would be interested in helping him.
"THUMP" the sound of the front door slamming open surprised Harry, anyone else would have jumped but he had long since stamped out such reactions. Besides there was barely enough room to shift his weight around in the cupboard let alone room to jump around.
Not to have trained himself against reacting to the unexpected would have proven unhealthy in a household where his uncle was always looking for an excuse to exact punishment in the form of a beating or additional chores. Pausing his frustratingly fruitless task of trying to crack the void within his memories or attempt solve the mystery of his absence he strained his ears towards the muffled yelling in the living room.
His uncles booming voice, normally so clear in throwing out orders was now muffled and seemed full of uncertainty anger and... fear. Harry winced in anticipation since he often bore the brunt of his uncle's uncertainty but his eyes shone with curiosity because it was ...strange to hear the tremor of fear in the indistinct booming.
"CRACK" Harry blinked as the voices suddenly broke off at the sound of furniture splintering and he heard his uncle demanding that he come out and meet an important guest. Although Harry felt a lot better after a decent nights sleep he was still very sore from waking up on a bed of rubble and the wiggling that was required to escape the small enclosed space beneath the stairs had him grunting in discomfort.
As much as he revealed in the small undercurrent of fear in his uncles voice he was a little apprehensive of anyone that was capable of putting it there. "What can I do for you uncle?" he asked in a tone that he had perfected over the years; it was the one he had developed through years of experimentation which was the least likely to provoke a reaction from the fat man.
His expression was devoid of any inflection or emotion and made him sound like some kind of automaton but he didn't mind. He knew that one day there would be a reckoning and he was counting the days. Besides he knew that his eyes still sparkled with emotion, something that his uncle either didn't seem to mind didn't notice.
"This man...er...Hagrid, is taking you out for your birthday. I expect you back before dark now..." Vernon was clearly stumbling, an artificial grin plastered on his face. 'Someone made uncle Vernon do something without resorting to violence,' Harry thought with amazement. 'Or minimal anyway,' he thought glancing at the splintered dining table. That is something I definitely have to learn.
'But what exactly is going on and since has Unlce Vernon ever remembered my birthday?' he asked himself without letting his frustration show. 'Heck I even had break into the principles office to get a look at my file to find out how old I was.'
Turning to look at the man beside his uncle Harry understood why he could hear the small traces of fear in his uncle's voice. Hagrid stood half again as tall as Vernon Dursley and just as wide, but where as Vernon was grossly overweight, Hagrid was slightly muscled with little fat. 'Well I guess it's no mystery how he intimidated my uncle then,' Harry thought with disappointment. 'I guess it's back to weighting to grow a little.'
"Come on 'arry, we have lots to discuss bein' yer 11th birthday an' all." Keeping his face expressionless Harry limped after Hagrid out front the door ignoring the way the jolly expression on Hagrid's face melted into one of anger at the expression on his face and the sparkling in his emerald eyes. He was too busy thinking about what possible reason his uncle had for sending him out with Hagrid and why so close to his 11th birthday. 'Uncle Vernon has never mentioned my birthday before so why now? Who is this Hagrid, I've never seen him before and I doubt my uncle has either judging from the heated exchange. So where are we going?'
Stilling his thoughts as Hagrid stopped a few paces from the front door Harry waited patiently for the answers he knew were coming. "'arry, you're a wizard and Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, great man he is, would like to invite you to attend." Hagrid ended his proclamation with a flourish as he produced a letter with a red wax seal clearly displaying an intricately scripted H.
For the first time since he was seven Harry felt his face twist with emotion as a dangerous sneer crossed his face. This was the opportunity he had been preying for 'perhaps the world isn't as cruel as I thought, just filled with cruel and devious people.'
When the trillions of nanites, nano-machines which culminated years of specialised research and more money than some countries earned in a year, entered his body some through his mouth, some though his eyes, but most through the pores of his skin they immediately started to behave as they had been programmed to. Communicating with a fraction of a picowatt they started to enhance the bodies own processes and where possible improving them, repairing damage where it found it and correcting faults both genetic and endemic.
But within the fraction of a second that it took for the nanites to distribute themselves randomly throughout his body unnoticed by the bodies own defences, they found his magical core. Something that was both unknown and clearly integral to the bodies function and also completely outside of the nanites programming, how to repair or improve upon something that was completely unknown to it.
Attempting to resolve the deficit with its programming, the nanites adapted, forming the beginnings of intelligence between the trillions of individual parts. It took a further ten minutes, an eternity to the budding artificial intelligence, to finish analysing the newly discovered and unrecorded phenomenon before coming to a startling conclusion.
In order to fulfil its parameters, it would have to completely destroy the magical core and rebuilt it with itself forming an integral part. This action would allow for a continual improvement, rapid repair in case of any damage and rapid access.
Less than a nanosecond later a large magical and electromagnetic explosion was registered destroying a large medical facility and knocking out any recording or tracking devices for miles around. By the time a team of investigators arrived all they found was a pile of rubble in the middle of a rainstorm.