Joining the Dark and First Dates
Harrison had spent his entire life priding himself on being able to control his emotions and push down any feelings of nervousness he might have. However as he sat in his bedroom at Riddle Manor sitting across from Fred, George, Hermione and Neville he couldn't deny that he was both nervous and hesitant. It was two weeks into summer vacation and after many conversations with his father they decided that it was time for the four to find out who Harrison really was. Tom had been hesitant to allow Harrison to tell them, especially the Weasley twins, but in the end he agreed that if Harrison were to train them to be ready for a war than they needed to know the truth. Harrison didn't tell them why he wanted them to come over, only that it was extremely important. The four stared back at Harrison with a mixture of curiosity and confusion as he stared impassively back. He was finding it difficult not to turn around and look into the corner where he knew his father, Lucius and Bellatrix were hiding under disillusionment charms just in case any of them react badly or attempted to flee and tell Dumbledore. Harrison glanced to his right where Luna was sitting and then discretely to his left where Daphne was before putting on a look on nonchalant indifference.
"You're probably wondering why I asked you to come over," Harrison said as his eyes flickered between George, Fred, Neville and Hermione. George and Fred exchanged curious looks while Neville nodded his head.
"Yes," Hermione responded as she bit her lip. Harrison cleared his throat and leaned back slightly.
"Before I tell you I want you four to know that I honestly do care about you," Harrison told them seriously. Hermione frowned and the twins' brows furrowed. "I never meant to lie to any of you, technically I didn't I just didn't tell you everything. What I'm going to divulge will most likely anger or confuse you and I'll understand if what I tell you causes us to severe our friendships. I won't hold it against any of you but I will tell you now that if we decide to part ways you will be obliviated." The twins' shock was displayed openly and Neville took on a worried look.
"What?" Hermione said breathlessly. "Obliviated? Why would we need to be obliviated? What did-"
Harrison held up a hand and shook his head slightly. "Listen Hermione." She reluctantly closed her mouth. Luna gave him an almost imperceptible nod of encouragement, it didn't surprise him after all just several days prior she told him that the four of them wouldn't stop being his friend because of this. Harrison however knew her visions changed so he wasn't going to take her word as law. "You've all met my father Tom Riddle, yes?" The four nodded, Neville's almost hesitant. "I'm not going to drag it out or wrap it in a pretty bow, if it were me I'd want to here it laid out before me." Harrison waved his hand and letters appeared in between the two couches, the letters appeared to be made of flickering flames that glowed bright even though the room was sunny. Tom Marvolo Riddle appeared before them and the four looked confused. Harrison waved his hand once more and the letters rearranged themselves to say, I Am Lord Voldemort. "When my father attended Hogwarts around fifty years ago he came up with the name Lord Voldemort, however the only ones who know his true identity are the ones who follow him. My father is the Dark Lord." Harrison watched as their faces morphed from shock into various other expressions. Hermione looked as though Harrison had crushed all of her dreams, the twins looked betrayed and Neville looked like he had just been handed a death sentence.
Hermione didn't know what to say, she just found out that one of the people she considered to be a best friend had been keeping the worlds biggest secret. How can Harrison be the son of You-Know-Who? He was supposed to be a psychotic mass murderer who killed people for fun and hated both Muggles and Muggle-borns. And then her eyes widened more when she realized...I met him...he kissed my hand. It didn't seem possible but then images flooded into her mind...Images of all of the Slytherins treating Harrison with nothing but respect, even the seventh years back when they were only eleven...All of the money he had and spent like it was no big deal, of course it's no big deal, You-Know-Who was supposed to be crazy rich or so the rumors said, apparently that's one rumor that's true...The way he has more confidence than any other soon to be thirteen year old she'd ever met, even Draco, well Draco's more arrogant than anything, but of course You-Know-Whos son would be confident...He's powerful, crazy powerful, no one else she knows can do wandless magic, well except for Dumbledore, but he's well, he's Dumbledore.
Hermione shook her head, she didn't believe that it was possible. Harrison was always so nice to her, he defended her against anyone who made fun of her even his fellow Slytherins. Harrison gave her sweets that were sent by his aunts and he encouraged her to stand up for herself. Harrison always seemed to normal, he didn't seem like someone who was raised by a mass murderer. Harrison was the first friend she ever had, growing up no one wanted to be friends with the bushy haired know-it-all. Harrison made Hogwarts feel like a home and she couldn't imagine going there without him. But if his father was You-Know-Who then why was he friends with her? Did he have ulterior motives for being her friend? Her eyes widened, was he going to kill her?
"What?" Hermione asked faintly, she was paler than Ginny had been in the Chamber of Secrets. "Your dad can't be h-h-him." She shook her head as tears pooled in her brown eyes, the thought that the boy she truly cared about might want her dead was heartbreaking. "That can't be true." She put her right hand over her mouth.
Neville felt the blood leave his face as the fiery letters disappeared into thin air. Harrison was the first person Neville had considered a friend, the first person to stand up for him. Harrison was also the first person who told him he could do anything he wanted. Neville had felt like nothing more than barely above a squib before Harrison. And now he was finding out that the boy he considered his best friend was the son of the person responsible for starting a war. He wanted to scream and throttle Harrison but at the same time something was stopping him from doing so but he couldn't quite place it.
"You were supposed to be my friend," Neville said quietly in a hollow voice.
George blinked in shock before betrayal flowed through him. He had considered Harrison to be a younger brother of sorts, he cared about him and had severed his relationship with Ron for him. Was it all a lie? Did Harrison care about him and Fred at all or was it just a game? Did he use me for information on Ron or my family? Was anything he ever told me true? George's mind flashed to Harrison's earlier words about caring for them. He looked at his twin who looked equally shocked before looking back to Harrison. He wanted to hear an explanation before reacting. He knew he should be surprised that he was thinking rationally but something inside of him was telling him not to hex first and ask questions later.
"What?" George said, for once his voice sounding somber.
Harrison didn't want to admit it but he internally flinched when Neville spoke. He hadn't planned on caring for the Weasley twins, Hermione or Neville when he sought to befriend them. He was going to befriend them to pry information from them or some other means but he genuinely cared about them all. He wasn't evil just dark and he was capable for caring about others outside of Slytherin. Besides his best friends in Slytherin and now Luna the four in front of him were his closest friends. He didn't like the looks on their faces and Hermione's made him want to hex someone to within an inch of their life. He was prepared to stun any of them if they were to get violent but none of them moved, they all seemed frozen to the spot.
"Please tell me this is a joke?" Fred said quietly, his tone unreadable.
"It's not," Harrison said his voice full of conviction. He turned away when Hermione's face crumbled and Neville looked ready to pass out. Daphne gave him a small smile and reached over to squeeze his knee, she had a look in her blue eyes he couldn't quite place before she pulled her hand away.
"How can you pretend to be our friends?" Hermione sounded like she would break down any second. Harrison could see her body slowly begin to shake with suppressed sobs and he internally cringed, he didn't like the feeling so he pushed it down.
"I'm not pretending," Harrison practically hissed causing Hermione to flinch. Harrison closed his eyes before slowly opening them. "My father isn't how the Ministry and Dumbledore portray him."
"So he doesn't kill Muggles or Muggle-borns?" Hermione asked harshly before she flinched when she realized what she said. "I-"
"Don't," Harrison cut off whatever she was going to say. "My fathers Death Eaters have killed many Muggles and Muggle-borns I will not deny that, however he's also killed Half-bloods and Pure-bloods. I know that you probably don't see killing as right, you grew up differently than myself. However when it comes to Muggle-borns and half bloods he kills those that go against him, that's the same reason why he kills pure bloods. Before I was born yes he did want to annihilate all Muggles and Muggle-borns but after he had me he changed. Now he knows that you need new blood or else we will die out. Muggle-borns who are talented, powerful or smart can be just as useful and sometimes more so than Pure-bloods, my father knows this now. When it comes to magical blood now he kills only those who are on the opposite side, the opposing side from us, which would be Dumbledore and those with his beliefs. This is a war and my fathers Death Eaters aren't the only ones killing people, Dumbledore, the Ministry Aurors and the Order of the Phoenix do as well."
"The what?" Fred asked and Harrison could tell that the question had accidentally come out.
"The Order of the Phoenix is a secret organization that Dumbledore founded when my father first came into power," Harrison explained. "It's filled with those on the so called Light side who fight against my father and his Death Eaters. It's filled with Hogwarts professors, Aurors, Ministry members and some others who believe that Dumbledore and his beliefs are right. And before you go off praising Dumbledore, know that he isn't as holy as he would like everyone to think. You know of Grindelwald, the Dark wizard that Dumbledore defeated?" George and Fred nodded absentmindedly. "Well Dumbledore and him were friends and if what my fathers sources say are true, than they were more than friends," Harrison told them and he saw the twins' eyes widened almost comically. "Dumbledore dabbled in the Dark Arts when he was younger, however after his sister was killed him and Grindelwald went their separate ways and years later Dumbledore defeated him."
"He had a sister?" Hermione asked, it seemed she couldn't help her thirst for knowledge. "I've never read that anywhere." She looked at Harrison skeptically.
"Yes," Harrison said. "He also has a brother, Aberforth, he owns the Hogs Head in Hogsmeade."
"His brother owns a pub?" Fred asked, Harrison could see a small amount of the old prankster returning. Harrison knew he needed to keep talking to he did.
"Yes, he does. When they were younger Dumbledore, Grindelwald and Aberforth got into a fight, one of them accidentally killed his sister Ariana, to this day they don't know which one did it," Harrison said and Hermione gasped.
"Is that t-true?" Neville asked warily.
Harrison rose his hand. "I Harrison Salazar Riddle swear on my life and magic that everything I've told you since you arrived here today and everything I will tell you until you leave Riddle Manor today is the truth. So mote it be." Harrison was engulfed in a white light as the twins, Hermione's and Neville's eyes betrayed their immense shock.
"You just- you just," Neville stuttered out, he resembled a fish gasping for air. "That- oh..."
"I've read about that oath," Hermione said in a rush. "That's very dangerous!" He could hear worry in her tone and he felt a small wash of relief, they were taking this better than he thought they would.
"I need you four to know that I am speaking the truth, that oath is the only way you four can be certain. I want you to just listen, I'm not going to hurt you four as I do," Harrison told them. "Back to what you came here for me to tell you. My fathers goals are simple, he wants to change the Wizarding world for the better, yes I know that no one can know for sure what's best," Harrison said when Hermione went to open her mouth. "But my father wants to change the way things are done at Hogwarts, he wants to improve the education. When Hogwarts was founded Dark Arts and Defense Against the Dark Arts were both taught, along with many other classes. The Hogwarts curriculum is pathetic compared to what it once was, which is one of the reasons why I've been tutored and trained since I could walk." He could see the four of them paying rapt attention, they appeared to be calming down now that they knew he didn't want to kill them. "I won't lie to you Hermione," Harrison said with a significant look towards her. "My father does think those with Pure-blood and good breeding are better than the rest however he wants everyone with magical blood to be a part of the Wizarding world. But he doesn't like Muggles and he never will, he would put up with your parents but he would never be friends with them. Politeness for my sake is all he'd ever be towards them and he would never consider associating with other Muggles. He doesn't even like going into Muggle London, he thinks Muggles are beneath him and not worth his time. Although I'm sure that more Muggle-borns will die than Pure-bloods, but that is most likely because Muggle-borns rarely ever follow my father." Hermione nodded slowly and she seemed to be taking in everything he said.
"Who else knows?" Hermione asked. "About your father being You-Know-Who, besides the Slytherins?"
"Besides the Slytherins there are a few Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs who know but that's because like the Slytherins one of their parents is a Death Eater," Harrison answered. "Everyone who knows at Hogwarts knows because one of their parents follow my father, you're the first ones with non-Death Eater parents to know."
Hermione nodded as she listened, she was slowly becoming less freaked out by the fact that You-Know-Who was Harrison's father. She wanted to run and scream and never go near Harrison again but she couldn't, she truly cared about him no matter who his father is. They've been friends for two years and she didn't want that friendship to end. Part of it may also be the fact that she has never been very fond of Dumbledore, something about him always seemed off to her. But the main reason was that she cared about Harrison more than she could explain. She wanted to always be there for him the way she knew he'd be there for her. Although she had doubts that she could join Voldemort, she wouldn't betray Harrison. Her fears slowly ebbed away as she realized that Harrison wouldn't intentionally hurt her, she could see it in his eyes. As long as Harrison was around she would be safe.
"My father wants to take over the Ministry and wizarding Britain to build a better society," Harrison continued. "Eventually he wants to have power throughout the entire world, but those are his long term goals and there's no need to go into those now. He already has people in every department in the Ministry and in other occupations." He stopped and looked at Luna, he gave her a slight nod. He thought it would be better if she explained about her seer abilities.
"I'm a Seer," Luna stated matter of fact and Harrison internally groaned. He told her not to state it so blunt. Harrison watched as incredulousness came over the Weasley twins faces and Neville looked like he didn't know what to think.
"You can see the future?" Hermione asked for clarification. There was surprise, confusion, wonder and curiosity in her tone.
"I see possible futures," Luna said cryptically and Neville's brows furrowed. "I have dreams and sometimes even visions when I'm awake and they show different possibilities. With every choice a person makes the future changes. I've seen a world where Tom wins and it is the best possible future."
"You're saying that You-Know-Who-" Hermione began but Daphne cut her off.
"Either call him Mr. Riddle or Voldemort," Daphne told her. "You-Know-Who is a ridiculous name said by pathetic people who fear a mere name." Hermione looked insulted but she didn't say anything to her.
"Okay," Hermione said slowly. "Mr. Riddle will make the world better?" She sounded hesitant to believe that.
"Yes," Luna said as though it was as simple as two plus two. "It will be a long and dangerous road but if Tom wins as I know he can than the world will be better for it."
Hermione took a deep breath. "Well I still want to be your friend," Hermione said after a moment of silence. "It'll take me a few days to completely process everything but I do want to be your friend. I've never really picked a side before in the war, I mean I've heard people at school talk about either being Light, Dark or neutral but I never considered myself to be any. Right now I'd have to say I'm neutral, but I want to be on your side. I don't agree with everything your father does, especially because my parents are Muggles but I don't agree with how the Ministry is run. And if Hogwarts used to have a better education I don't see why we can't improve the education we're receiving right now. I might not ever be able to kill but I can help with something else..." She trailed off before looking Harrison square in the eye. "You were my first friend and I don't want to stop being your friend." Harrison felt relief and elation, he had grown attached to Hermione. However his relief was short lived when he realized that he didn't know where his other three friends stood.
"You stood up for me," Neville said as he looked down at his intertwined hands. "It's my turn to stand up for you." He looked up at Harrison and gave him a shaky smile, Harrison was surprised but smiled back. He honestly didn't think this would go so well.
"We're in." The twins said at the same time.
"Our parents don't respect us," Fred said solemnly.
"We want to open a joke shop," George said wistfully.
"We don't want to work for the Ministry," Fred grimaced. Harrison smiled knowingly and the twins exchanged confused looks.
"Bill, Charlie and Percy are Death Eaters," Harrison said with a smirk. He hadn't planned on saying it so bluntly but he was too happy to care. He knew his father wouldn't approve of being so open but he wasn't Voldemort, he was a twelve year old who felt like he had the weight of the world leave his shoulders.
Tom scowled as his son blurted out that the three oldest Weasley sons were Death Eaters. He had always known that his son showed much more emotion than he had when he was young but he had still raised his son to keep his emotions in check around outsiders. His scowl slipped when it hit him that those four were no longer outsiders, he didn't know how he felt about them being in the know. He had scanned their minds using Legilimency to check for legitimacy to their words and they all spoke the truth. All four of them deeply cared for his son and they truly wouldn't betray them. He was slightly surprised that he instilled so much trust and respect in those four in just two short years but also proud.
He sent his magic out making sure it only hit Harrison, he saw Harrison glance back at him and he knew his son received the message. Those four didn't need to be Obliviated. He hoped for his sons sake that none of them decided they couldn't handle being in the Dark. He didn't want to kill someone his son cared about but he was the Dark Lord, if any of them so much as did something to betray Harrison, himself or the Dark side, he would kill them slowly and painfully. He sent his magic out to hit Lucius and Bellatrix, they had traitors to interrogate. When that Rycroft woman told Lucius about James Walsh being a double agent he spent the next two weeks searching non-stop for any other traitors. He found several men who had been foolish enough to spy on him for Dumbledore, they currently resided in the Riddle Manor dungeons. Unfortunately from them he learned that Dumbledore was recruiting more heavily than he thought for the Order.
"What?" Fred yelled causing Tom to focus back on his son and his friends. He blocked out the horrid language the other twin used as he silently and invisibly led his two Death Eaters from his sons room.
"They're Death Eaters?" George said incredulously.
"Bill and Charlie maybe," Fred said sounding like his old self to Harrison's relief. "But perfect prefect Percy?" He looked so incredulous Harrison had to suppress an amused smirk.
"Apparently they were sick of your mother and Dumbledore," Harrison said and the twins grimaced at the mention of their mother.
"Yeah," George said, his lips twisted.
"Mum can drive anyone to join the Death Eaters," Fred said seriously before pausing. "Wait-"
"The Dark Mark," George said slowly. Neville and Hermione both went wide eyed and the latter grabbed her left forearm. Harrison frowned wondering how Hermione knew where the Mark went but then he remembered who he was thinking about.
"You four don't have to take the Mark," Harrison assured them and they all looked relieved.
"I won't even be thirteen for several weeks," Neville said worriedly in a rush. "I can't be a Death Eater, and I don't think I can kill anyone."
"You four won't be expected to be Death Eaters," Harrison told them and they looked confused. "My close friends will be apart from the Death Eaters, you four and my best friends will be higher than them." The four looked gobsmacked. "Not now of course but when you're older." He paused and looked at them seriously. "This is war, people will die on both sides. You won't be expected to kill now but eventually you won't have a choice even if you were to stay on the Light. People on both sides will kill and be killed. If you're fighting against someone would you stun them? No, you wouldn't because they're friend could enervate them. You need to either seriously wound or kill them, preferably the latter if you can. This is why this upcoming school year you four will have training with me in the Room of Requirement twice a week."
"Training?" Neville asked confused and Harrison almost smiled at his naivety.
"Dark Arts training," Harrison clarified and the twins exchanged interested looks. Hermione looked torn between interest and wariness while Neville looked down right hesitant. "We'll start with the basics and slowly move up to the harder spells. You can't expect to survive only learning the stuff we do in school, you need to learn as much as you can." Harrison spent the next hour explaining more about his fathers goals, what they would learn and how Harrison and his best friends were learning how to become Animagi. They were all shocked that Harrison had more than one form and even more shocked that he already had one of them mastered. Daphne and Luna would interject on occasion and the four recent additions to the Dark side were beginning to be more comfortable with the idea of joining Voldemort. Harrison knew Hermione and Neville most likely found it easier than many would because he was their first friend and that's a strong bond. The Weasley twins had always liked pushing boundaries so that wasn't much of a shock either. But he was shocked with how calm they became and Hermione seemed interested in learning new forms of magic the more she was told about the differences between Light and Dark spells. She was annoyed to find out that some spells were considered Dark because they required anger to cast.
Before they left Harrison gave them all beginning theory books for the Dark Arts disguised as books on Charms for the twins, Transfiguration for Hermione and Herbology for Neville. They had been charmed by Tom that morning in Parseltongue, no one but someone who spoke the snake language could undo the spells. As they left Hermione hugged Harrison for almost a minute and she blushed as she pulled away. They all promised to write after their thoughts were more settled and they swore to read the books by September first.
"That was easier than I thought," Harrison told Daphne and Luna once Neville had exited via the Floo.
"I'm not surprised," Luna said as she curled up next to Harrison. "I saw this once before." Harrison nodded absentmindedly, he barely heard their voices and Daphne and Luna began to talk about Viktor. Viktor Krum had just been recruited to play for the Bulgarian National Quidditch team. He heard them say that his first game was in September before he completely blocked them out. He hoped he had done the right thing in telling his friends who his father was, he didn't want to see any of them die.
Loud music blared in the large ballroom at Malfoy Manor, ice sculptures in the shape of golden snitched littered the room and Happy Birthday Harrison floated near the ceiling in twinkling green lights. If you looked closely you could see that the flashing green lights were really tiny fairies. Harrison's eyes scanned over his friends who had come to celebrate his thirteenth birthday. The Weasley twins were dancing so wildly that people were forced to move away from them. Hermione was talking to Jenna while Neville spoke with Padma Patil and Lisa Turpin. Harrison was glad the Weasley twins, Hermione and Neville came. They had exchanged letters since he told them who his father was but it was good to see that they still acted the same around him. The only difference was that Neville would take on a nervous expression every time he looked at Tom which wasn't surprising.
Harrison moved to the side of the dance floor where he twirled a golden goblet filled with Butterbeer as he watched the recently well endowed Susan Bones dance with Padma Patil and Lisa Turpin. It was hard not to notice that the thirteen year old now had large breasts and her hair seemed to fall in a way that made her very attractive. Harrison may not be your average thirteen year old but he was still a hormonal teenager even if he had only just become one.
"She looks pretty doesn't she?" Luna asked genuinely catching Harrison by surprise.
"I beg your pardon?" Harrison asked with an air of disinterest. Luna looked at him as though she could see right through his mask and knowing her she could.
"Susan," Luna said as she swayed off beat to the song by the Weird Sisters. "You should ask her out, she would say yes." Harrison frowned as he glanced at Susan, she was wearing purple dress robes that brought out her light brown eyes. His eyes followed her slim arms as she raised them above her head and shook her hips from side to side. Harrison had been contemplating asking her out but he wasn't sure if it was a good idea or not, after all she didn't know who his father was. He looked at Luna who just tilted her head to the side before flouncing off towards Daphne and Tracey who were standing by the drinks table with the Warrington twins. Harrison straightened his black and silver tie before striding towards Susan. His friends greeted him verbally or waved as he walked by, and Violet kissed his cheek causing Lucian Bole to wolf whistle. Harrison stopped behind Susan and she continued to dance, not noticing that he was there. He glanced downwards and had to tear his eyes away from her backside.
"Susan," Harrison said leaning towards her ear. She jumped and spun around, she blushed as she looked into Harrison's amused eyes.
"You scared me," Susan said as she placed her hand over her heart. "Did you come to dance?" She smiled nervously.
Harrison smirked. "No, I came to talk to you." He leaned towards her. "In private." Susan's blush deepened but she nodded. Harrison gestured for her to follow and she did so, he led her towards where he had been standing before. He could see Draco and Blaise watching him with amused smirks on their faces, he sent a glare in their direction.
"What did you want to talk to me about?" Susan asked, a hint of nervousness in her tone. Harrison had been given a lot of advice about girls from asking them out on dates, that was one of the advantages about having older friends. He decided to follow Marcus' advice and just be blunt.
"Would you care to accompany me tomorrow to Diagon Alley, on a date?" Harrison asked smoothly, he gave her a charming smile once he was done speaking. Susan looked surprised but that soon turned to a pleased expression.
"A date?" Susan asked for clarification. "With you? Tomorrow?" Harrison's smile grew and Susan's blush deepened.
"Yes," Harrison responded. "It would be my honor if you would accompany me." Susan turned as red as her hair which was surprising because she normally didn't blush that much.
"I'd love to," Susan said quickly. Harrison took her hand and kissed her knuckles.
"Shall I Floo to Bones Manor at noon?" Harrison asked as he lowered her hand.
"Yes," Susan said breathlessly. Harrison who had lowered her hand but didn't release it grinned as he pulled her towards the dance floor. She didn't seem to notice, she was smiling like Christmas had come early. Two hours later Harrison watched as Susan walked through the Floo with a promise that he'd see her tomorrow. Several wolf whistles caused Harrison to turn around, Draco, Blaise, Theo and Leo were smirking at him. Blaise had a look of perverse amusement in his eyes and Draco looked smug.
"So you finally asked her out?" Leo said as he walked towards his best friend. "It's about time."
"I wonder if you'll get lucky tomorrow," Blaise said wagging his eyebrows. Harrison scowled as Draco chucked.
"Don't be a pig Blaise," Pansy snapped as she walked into the room followed by Cass, Daphne, Tracey and Jenna. "We're only thirteen." Harrison saw Daphne's eyes flash with several emotions but they were gone before he could decipher them.
"Congratulations Harrison," Jenna said kindly before Pansy and Blaise could begin to argue. "I'm sure your date will go well." Harrison smiled at Jenna before scowling as his guy friends continued to hound him even with the girls snapping at every dirty thing they said. By the time he went to bed that evening he was both excited about tomorrow and annoyed with his friends.
Harrison stepped out of the fireplace at Bones Manor, he looked around and saw that he was in a sitting room. There were plush tan couches with dark brown throw pillows, pictures of the Bones family hung on the walls and a gold chandelier lit the oval shaped room. He patted down his bottle green dress robes as he scanned the room, he saw a tall woman with grey hair and hazel eyes staring intently at him. He recognized her from the Daily Prophet as Amelia Bones, she wore black robes and she looked like a stern woman. He smiled a dazzling smile as he walked towards the woman who was obviously attempting to scrutinize him. He made sure not to let any negative emotion show even though he wasn't fond of the woman, she caused too much trouble for his father. When he told his father he had a date with Susan Bones he wasn't very happy about it but he knew it would be a good opportunity to gather information so he allowed it. However he gave Harrison a warning to be on his guard, Amelia Bones was a smart and savvy woman.
"Madam Bones," Harrison greeted pleasantly. "I'm Harrison Riddle, it is a pleasure to meet you." Amelia took his hand and surprise and amusement flashed through her eyes when he brushed his lips against her knuckles.
"Mr. Riddle," Amelia said kind enough. "My niece has told me all about you." She gestured to the couches. "Please sit, Susan will be down momentarily." Harrison nodded and took a seat on a leather chair while she took the one across from him.
"Please Madam, call me Harrison," he told her charmingly. She gave him an almost imperceptible smile.
"Harrison," Amelia said as she crossed her legs. "Tell me, did you enjoy yourself last evening? Thirteen is an important birthday after all." Harrison made sure to keep the smile on his face.
"I had a wonderful time," Harrison said putting the perfect amount of emotion into his tone. "The best part of all was when Susan agreed to go on a date." He injected genuine emotion into his tone and Amelia's face softened slightly. Before Amelia could ask another question Susan walked into the room, her red hair was in soft waves and she wore a white sundress with silver sandals. Her smile shown with happiness as she practically bounced into the room but there was nervousness obvious in her expression. Her nervousness became more pronounced when she saw Harrison stand up.
"You look beautiful," Harrison smiled as he walked over and pulled her into a hug.
"Thank you," Susan said quickly before blushing. "You look beautiful too." She turned bright red when she realized what she said and began to stutter. Harrison felt amused but he also found the look on her face cute and he decided to put her out of her misery.
"Thank you," Harrison said, not allowing any amusement he felt to show through. He glanced back at Amelia who was looking at Harrison approvingly. "Was there a specific time you wanted her to be home Madam?"
"Please have her home by eight," Amelia instructed before she bid them both goodbye. Harrison grabbed the floo powder for Susan, she stepped inside the fireplace and disappeared. A moment later he was spinning through the Floo network, he felt himself stop and he walked out at the Floo pub. The Floo pub was half the size of the Hogwarts Great Hall and it was filled with nothing but fireplaces. You could Floo from anywhere to the Floo pub in Diagon Alley for free and Floo home for a small fee. He saw that Susan was brushing her hair out with her fingers, when she saw him she immediately stopped. Harrison walked over to her and grabbed her hand taking her by surprise. He had the feeling she wouldn't grab his hand first so he decided to do it. He thought she looked even cuter when she was blushing, he reached up and tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear revealing small diamond earrings.
"Where would you like to go Susan?" Harrison asked as he led her from the Floo pub.
"Well, I am slightly hungry," she said sounding a tad bit embarrassed. Harrison thought for a moment before heading down towards a small Italian restaurant he often goes to with Draco and his Aunt Narcissa.
"You told me once that you loved Italian food," Harrison told her. "So how about we go to The Olive?" Susan smiled and nodded her head.
"That sounds nice," Susan told him. Harrison led her passed adults doing their weekly shopping and teenagers catching up with their friends. Several giggling children ran past them and he saw a group of older boys ogling the newest broom, the Firebolt through the window of Quality Quidditch Supplies. Harrison smirked, his father had given him that broom the previous day for his thirteenth birthday. They stopped in front of a tiny restaurant with floor to ceiling windows that showed the inside of the restaurant which looked quite empty, there were several white circular tables out front. They walked inside and were instantly seated by a young woman who was much too cheery in Harrison's opinion. The restaurant played quiet Italian music and the smell of fresh bread wafted throughout the place. The table they sat at was covered in a white silk cloth and a candle floated in the center with a three inch long flame. Grapes and odd looking flowers dangled from the ceiling and almost everyone there appeared to be on a date, the whole place screamed romance.
"This place is beautiful," Susan said in awe as she looked around. "I've walked by here before but I've never been in."
"My Aunt Narcissa loves their bread," Harrison told her as he unfolded his white linen napkin. "Growing up she took Draco and I here quite often despite the more romantic atmosphere." Susan followed Harrison's example by placing a napkin on her lap.
"Hello, my name is Maura and I will be your waitress today," a young woman who wore her white-blonde hair in a plait said cheerily. After ordering their food Harrison and Susan began talking about anything and everything. Susan told Harrison about growing up with her aunt, her parents had been murdered by Voldemort himself when she was one. Harrison genuinely felt uncomfortable when she said that, he knew of course and he didn't feel bad for them. Her parents chose to fight against his father, he just felt uncomfortable pretending to care. He really did want to date Susan but he wasn't expecting her to tell him that right away. He quickly changed the subject and told Susan all about going to Quidditch games with his father, Draco, Lucius, Rodolphus, Rabastan and Leo when he was younger. It was her turn to be uncomfortable, she looked it whenever he mentioned someone who he knew Amelia thought was a Death Eater. Soon they moved to other things that neither had a problem with and by the time they had finished their lunch almost two hours later they were laughing.
Harrison and Susan walked hand in hand down Diagon Alley. They ran into several of their friends from school including Terry Boot and Anthony Goldstein who they saw in front of Flourish and Blott's. Harrison and Susan browsed several stores and Harrison bought them both ice cream cones from Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlor. Harrison felt carefree as he and Susan lost track of time in Avalonia's Antique Shop.
"Look at this," Susan giggled as she picked up a gaudy tiara covered with fake diamonds. Harrison grimaced, it was the ugliest tiara he had seen and he had seen many of them thanks to him attending various balls and charity functions.
"That's not as hideous as this," Harrison said as he wrinkled his nose. A huge phoenix pendant hung on the handle of a dresser, it looked like the sort of thing only a schizophrenic or Dumbledore would wear. Harrison continued to browse the shelves, he stopped when he spotted a simple necklace with a dangling cursive 'L'. The 'L' was encrusted with what looked like black diamonds. He looked around to make sure no one was within his line of sight, he waved his hand and the necklace glowed white which meant the diamonds were real. He unclasped the necklace and observed it closely.
"What's that?" Susan asked as she walked up behind him. Harrison turned around to face his date.
"Luna's twelfth birthday is on the tenth," Harrison told her. "I haven't bought her anything yet." Susan smiled as she looked at the necklace.
"It's pretty," Susan told him. Harrison returned the smile.
"I know," Harrison responded. He held out his hand, she grabbed his and they walked to the register.
At ten till eight Harrison and Susan stepped out of the fireplace at Bones Manor. Harrison discretely looked around, Amelia was nowhere to be seen. Harrison looked back at Susan and noticed that she was nervous, her hands were opening and closing at her sides and she subconsciously licked her lips.
"I had a lovely time," Susan said in a rush before blushing. Harrison was used to her blushing now, she had done it quite frequently that day.
"So did I," Harrison said as he stepped closer towards her so they were less than a foot apart. Harrison glanced up and his emerald eyes locked with her light brown ones. She closed her eyes and leaned towards him, he did the same and their lips met in a gentle kiss. He moved his right hand so that it was resting on the back of her head. After several seconds he pulled away and he saw that she was redder than Ronald Weasley and she was wearing an overly large grin.
"I liked that," Susan admitted. Harrison smiled, his hand still resting on the back of her head. He leaned towards her once more, this time their lips pressed harder against one another but Harrison didn't try to deepen the kiss. He may be a jerk half of the time but he wasn't going to push Susan at the moment, especially with today being the day they both had their first kiss and her aunt being in the house. Harrison let his hand fall down to his side.
"Will you be my girlfriend?" Harrison asked and Susan looked a mix of surprise and happy. Harrison knew it was only one date but they had been friends for two years and he didn't want to wait until they had gone on more dates.
"I would love that," Susan said happily and Harrison grinned.
Harrison flipped through the black dragon hide note book. His father stared at him from the opposite side of Tom's desk, a glass of Firewhiskey in his hand. There were thirteen identical notebooks stacked on the desk in front of him. The names Draco, Blaise, Leo, Theo, Daphne, Tracey, Jenna, Pansy, Cass, Luna, Hermione, Fred, George and Neville were written on the spine in neat silver lettering. Harrison sat the notebook down and looked up at his dad.
"These are brilliant," Harrison said seriously. "And you're sure no one will be able to read what we write in them?" Tom looked at him through narrowed eyes and Harrison looked at him sheepishly, his father hated it when he questioned him.
"I'm sure," Tom said stiffly. "All you must do is write the name of the person who you'd like to write to on the first line of the page, as long as they own one of these notebooks. Only the one who you intend to receive the letter will. If you want everyone to receive the letter than put no name on the first line. Only the one who owns the book may read the contents and after an hour the words will disappear. I charmed each of them to match the magical signature of you and your friends with a Parseltongue spell. I also have one, as does Lucius, Bellatrix, Narcissa, Rudolphus and Rabastan. This will be much easier than sending letters and Dumbledore won't be able to read anything we send this way."
"I'm surprised you made Hermione one," Harrison said as his eyes flickered to the notebook on the bottom. Tom's lips thinned as he pushed his glass to the side.
"I knew you would want her to have one," Tom told him, a slight hint of disapproval in his tone. Harrison knew that even though his father was allowing Muggle-borns into the world he wanted to create he still wasn't their biggest fan, especially not when Harrison was close to one.
"Thank you for these," Harrison told him as he began putting them in his black silk pouch with the exception of his and Luna's. He looked back at his father and noticed that he once more looked like he was in a bad mood, he had looked that way almost all summer. Harrison had spent some alone time with Tom this summer and that was the only time Tom didn't seem frustrated but right now he looked annoyed. Tom hadn't told him exactly why he was like that, only that it had something to do with Dumbledore, the Order and some prisoners who wouldn't talk. "Are you okay father?"
"Yes," Tom answered smoothly. Anyone else would've believed him but Harrison didn't, but he knew better than to ask. Tom was a master at evading questions he didn't want to answer. His father stood up, waved his hand and the glass of Firewhiskey disappeared. "I have business to attend to, I'll see you in the morning. If you see Luna tell her I said good evening." Harrison watched as his father swept from the room, his robes billowing in a fashion that reminded him oddly of Snape. Harrison picked up his and Luna's notebooks and headed up to his bedroom. He looked down at the dragon hide covers and momentarily wondered why his father hadn't made Susan one, her and Harrison had been dating for almost a month now. He assumed it was because Tom didn't know if she could be trusted since she didn't know who Voldemort really was yet.
Harrison reached his room and spent the next three hours double checking to make sure the house elves packed all of his things properly. When he pulled open the compartment of his trunk that held his books he had to stun his Care of Magical Creatures book. He scowled, his father had told him the oaf Hagrid was going to be teaching that class. It had made sense, no one else would be foolish enough to assign a biting book. His father also told him that the werewolf Remus Lupin would be teaching at Hogwarts, but he still wouldn't tell him who would be teaching History of Magic or who the Deputy Headmistress would be. Harrison had been shocked to find out that Hagrid and Remus would be teaching at Hogwarts, Hagrid as the game keeper was bad enough, but a werewolf? Dumbledore was practically asking for something bad to happen. Harrison's friends hadn't taken the news any better, he thought Draco was going to explode with how red the usually pale boy had turned. They all asked their parents why Tom, Lucius or someone else wasn't doing something about it. They all responded by saying something along the lines of it helping to show what a fool Dumbledore is. Harrison stopped complaining after that, it would show the world that Dumbledore had poor judgement if because of one of them a student was hurt. Especially after everything that had happened over the past two years.
Since the day after Harrison's birthday, Susan had been coming over almost every day. Harrison would train in the mornings, spend time with his friends in the afternoon and then Susan would come over or he would go to Bones Manor at night. Amelia surprisingly allowed her to stay over until ten and Amelia allowed him to stay at Bones Manor until eleven. Normally afterwards one of his guy friends would come to stay the night or he would go to one of their houses and they would rag on him. Blaise especially liked to make sexual jokes about the new couple even though all they had done was make out. During a trip to Diagon Alley a week after Harrison's birthday, he was with Susan and Draco when they ran into Susan's best friend Hannah Abbott who was invited to join them. Harrison was surprised when by the time they returned home Draco and Hannah were officially a couple. Draco had told Harrison before he thought she was cute but Harrison was surprised he would date a Hufflepuff, after all he couldn't recall a time when Draco said anything nice about any of them.
"No one is coming for you," Tom said, his voice as cold as ice. The old man sat with his back against the stone wall, his hair looked as though it hadn't been washed in weeks and small cuts littered his body. He looked to be slightly over one hundred years old and his eyes which once were full of life were now hollow and lifeless. "Tell me Mr. Doge," Tom said mockingly, "what kind of friend is Albus Dumbledore? You've been locked down here in this cold dark cell for over a week and he hasn't even realized that you're missing. Why should you continue to protect him? Tell me what I want to know and I shall let you go." The old man laughed bitterly.
"No you won't," Elphias Doge said, his voice sounded hoarse. Tom's blue eyes flashed red and he pulled out his wand which he pointed in the center of Elphias' chest.
"Tell me now," Tom commanded. He had been questioning Elphias daily, several of his inner circle Death Eaters had as well but the man had refused to speak. Several months ago, Harrison's last day of his second year to be exact one of the lower members of the Order of the Phoenix had told Tom that something big was stirring in the Order. However only Dumbledore and a select few others knew, he had called in Snape but he hadn't been told although he knew who had been. Minerva McGonagall, Alastor 'Mad-Eye' Moody and Elphias Doge were the only ones Dumbledore told. Snape told him that Dumbledore said he didn't want to upset him until he knew for sure, this of course made Tom very interested. McGonagall was always near Dumbledore and Moody would die before he ever gave anything about the Order away so Elphias was his best shot to find out the secret Dumbledore thought is so important.
"Never," Elphias said stubbornly, although less stubborn than the day before. Tom's lips curled into a cruel smile, he turned towards Lucius who had been standing quietly to the side and nodded. Lucius exited the room and came back a minute later with a screaming girl, a blonde girl no older than sixteen.
"Let me go!" The girl screamed at the top of her lungs as she struggled against Lucius. Tom waved his wand and the girl fell to the ground as rigid as a board. Elphias' eyes were wide, Tom knew he didn't know the girl, after all she was a Muggle but he was sure the older man knew what he was going to do. Tom strode towards the girl and waved his wand, she flipped over so that she was on her back.
"Now Elphias," Tom said silkily. "Either you tell me what Dumbledore finds so important, important enough to only entrust the secret to three people or," his cruel smile expanded, "we'll have some fun." He twirled his wand. "Several interesting ideas come to mind, some of the new recruits need some practice with the Imperius curse. Shall I have them attempt to Imperio you into raping the girl?" The only part of her body the young girl could move were her eyes and they went wide, he knew that if she was able to move she'd be screaming bloody murder. Elphias Doge paled whiter than a ghost as his eyes landed on the girl whose eyes looked at him pleadingly. "Or shall I kill her and another girl every minute until you talk?" He pointed his wand at the girls chest. "Which option do you choose? I won't lose any sleep with either of the final two options." Elphias closed his eyes.
"Forgive me Albus," Elphias said quietly and Tom's smile turned into a triumphant smirk. "Albus always believed in the greater good," Elphias said with a faraway look in his eyes. "He believed that if one person got hurt it was a tragedy but it was insignificant in the grand scheme of things. He's a good man but he can sometimes be blinded by his beliefs, like everyone else." His lifeless eyes flickered to Tom whose smirk transformed into an annoyed scowl. He wanted to hurry the man along but he couldn't risk him choosing not to speak if he did so he just listened. "Ever since the night the Potters died he-," Elphias trailed off as Tom's expression morphed into a stoney mask and out of the corner of his eye he saw Lucius' face do the same thing. He had a bad feeling about what Elphias was about to say. Elphias swallowed and closed his eyes briefly. "When James and Lily were found dead along with baby Harry, Albus was horrified. He had been close to the Potters, but once he had time to gather his thoughts he came to the conclusion that something was wrong but he couldn't fathom what it was." Elphias looked like he wanted to stop speaking but after a glance at the still frozen girl he continued. "Now he knows," he once more swallowed, "Harry Potter is alive."