"A what?" Voldemort just stared. Harry was suddenly terrified by the crimson eyes- they were uncharacteristically panicked. "WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?"
"What is that?! What does that mean?! Answer me!"
"Nothing. It means nothing."
Harry instantly knew. "That's the reason you keep me here isn't it?! The reason you lock me up! Why you're so hell-bent on 'protecting' me!"
The two just stared each other down, neither budging. Suddenly Voldemort let out a breath that sounded as if he had held it for years.
"You're my horcrux, Harry."
"What does that mean? What is that?!"
Voldemort seemed hesitant to continue but said, "A horcrux is a piece of a person's soul residing in another object." Harry just stood dumbfounded, completely confused once again. Voldemort sounded tired, like he had been dreading this moment for his entire existence. "You are my horcrux, Harry, which means you have a part of my soul inside of you."
Harry's mouth dropped, not even beginning to comprehend the madness spilling from Voldemort's mouth. "What?"
"Many years ago I heard of a prophecy that involved myself… myself and you. That prophecy is the reason I went to Godric's Hollow that night when you were a baby, it is the reason I attempted to murder you. The prophecy proclaimed that you had the power to defeat me, and understandably I wanted to make sure that never came to fruition." Voldemort paused.
"Well then what the bloody hell happened?! Why did everything change?! Why did you stop trying to kill me?!"
"Because I found out you were my horcrux. I could not kill you once I knew, quite the opposite in fact- I needed to find and protect you immediately. You have a part of my soul Harry…"
Harry's mouth was still open in shock. "…you have got to be kidding."
"Unfortunately I am not. Do you now understand why I did not wish to tell you earlier?"
Harry just stared for a few moments before bursting out, "Wait, I HAVE A PART OF YOUR SOUL?!" It was as if the words had just now sunk in fully.
"HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?!"
"OH MY GOD. WHAT IS HAPPENING?! HOW IS THIS- WHAT IS- WHAT IS GOING ON? HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?!" Harry screamed, clutching his chest like he could suddenly feel the part of Voldemort inside him.
"If you will just let me explain I can-"
"NO! I DON'T WANT IT! GET IT OUT OF ME!"
Voldemort looked at the panicked wide eyed boy and suddenly struggled to repress a chuckle.
"ARE YOU LAUGHING?!"
"No." Voldemort said, his usual stoic face returning. "You don't understand Harry, it is not something I can just take out of you. It's not something I can take back."
"Well you have to do something because I am NOT living with you inside of me!"
"You have been for almost your entire life."
Harry stared at the man- how was this even possible? Why him? Why did everything always happen to him?! "Oh… my… god…"
"I have been forced to keep you protected because if something should happen to you, then that part of my soul would die as well. I cannot let that happen."
"So you don't care at all about me? Just your stupid soul?!" Why did he sound so defensive? And why the hell did it matter if Voldemort didn't care about him?
"Does that upset you?"
"I- NO! I just…"
"I never said I do not care for you, Harry. You are incredibly annoying, but yet I haven't exactly minded having you around the past few days… excluding your little stunt with the Death Eaters."
The small joke seemed to erase the tension in the room.
"…did you just admit that you like me?"
"Never. I said no such thing."
"I can kill your soul you know, you better like me."
Voldemort's slight humor was gone in an instant. "That's another reason why I do not allow you out of this room- I do not trust you not to harm yourself, either intentionally or unintentionally."
"Hm." Harry took a deep breath as his body settled, his mind still flying.
"You seem calmer now… I did not wish to tell you- you now see why I kept it from you."
"I just… I'm still confused. I don't understand this cruxing thing."
"You'll be pleased to know that Nagini is another of my horcruxes."
"WHAT?! You have more?!"
"Yes, not that it's any concern of yours."
"So what does that mean? Is that why Nagini and I don't get along?"
Voldemort cackled, "Oh no, you two don't get along because you're both too stubborn for your own good."
"Well we probably got that part from you and your stupid soul…"
The amusement vanished from Voldemort's face. "Unnecessary and untrue."
Harry raised his eyebrow in a challenge. "So anyway, I have a piece of your soul inside me? What does that even mean? If it comes from you I'm surprised it doesn't hurt."
"If you push my patience too far I will make sure it hurts." Voldemort crossed his arms. "And it simply means that your body protects that portion of my soul. As long as you are alive then my soul is as well, if you die it dies. You protect it."
"Like you protect me."
Voldemort looked curiously at the boy, "Yes. It also gives you special abilities, such as the ability to speak Parseltongue."
"That comes from you?"
"Yes, it does. You should thank me for the opportunity to speak with Nagini so often…"
"Hmph. No thank you. You could've kept that part. So how all of a sudden did you find out I had your soul anyway? Wouldn't you kinda know that from the start?"
"I simply put the signs together. You and I have always been connected."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, even from the start- your wand for instance. Our wands are brothers, they have the same core."
"Yeah, I remember Mr. Ollivander telling me that."
"Exactly. And then there's the fact that I can read your mind-"
"I don't like that part so much."
Voldemort continued as if not interrupted. "Plus I can feel you, and by that I mean I can feel your emotions through the mind link, which is how I knew about the Dementor attack- I could feel your fear. I knew something was different about you quite literally from the beginning… the fact that I could not cast the Killing Curse on you for one. In the end I simply put the pieces together."
Harry shook his head and walked over to one of the armchairs in the room and plopped down, placing his elbows on his knees and holding his head in his hands. "My head hurts…"
"It is a lot to take in, especially after all that has happened today. We can discuss it another time."
Harry stared at the floor, trying to soak it all in. His mind was a whirl of information and confusion, but at the same time things made a bit more sense. He finally understood why Voldemort was so protective of him, and he honestly couldn't really blame the man. It was weird, but now that he understood it was a huge relief. He was still confused about what the horcrux meant and what it entailed, but he didn't feel angry or sad or anything, for the moment he simply felt relieved to finally know what was going on. Harry hadn't noticed Voldemort's presence until he felt a hand in his hair.
For once Harry didn't pull away, instead he sat unmoving, staring at the floor. There was an unfamiliar part of him that felt different, something which felt like it had been there but that he hadn't noticed before… or maybe he had, with the voice. He felt warm. He felt it as soon as Voldemort touched him, something in him felt relieved, like it wanted Voldemort to be close, just like when the voice would visit him. Whenever it was near Harry felt warm, protected, entranced.
"This is weird." He mumbled.
"Yes, yes it is."
"So is that why Nagini says I smell like you?"
From his seat behind his desk, Voldemort rubbed his temples and sighed. "You sure do have a lot of questions about this…"
"Well it's a part of your soul! It's weird! I think when a person plants a part of their soul into another person they deserve an explanation!"
"Yes, I believe that is why you 'smell' like me to Nagini. You are a part of me after all. The night I brought you here after the Dementor attack she almost immediately sensed the horcrux. I suppose you could say she's your 'sister' in a way…"
"Um, no. Don't tell her that. She's annoying enough as it is without complaining about being 'related' to me."
"Fine. You two are 'connected' then. She's attracted to you, which is one of the reasons I believe you two annoy each other so much."
"EW! She's attracted to me?! A SNAKE?!"
"No, Harry not-" Voldemort covered his face with his hands. Sometimes he forgot the boy was only twelve. "Just never mind. We're not discussing this any longer!"
"NO! No more!"