"So your birthday is coming up soon."
Harry jumped backwards as he heard the voice. He had been petting Nagini and by no means wanted to be caught actually getting along with the snake… he had a reputation to uphold.
Voldemort narrowed his eyes. "I saw you."
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"I know you two are getting along, don't try to hide it."
'Master! Snakeling is much nicer than before! He is much more polite!'
Harry rolled his eyes, 'Would you shut up?!'
'He's being nicer is he?' Voldemort said with an evil smirk towards Harry. 'Tell me about it.'
'No, that's really not nec-'
'Snakeling is a lot nicer! He pets well…'
'Ah, I bet he does…'
"You can stop now you know. You've made your point."
"What ever do you mean Harry?" Voldemort said innocently. It was an odd sound coming from the Dark Lord.
"Just say 'I told you so' and get on with it."
Voldemort smirked, "So as I was saying, your birthday is in a few days."
Harry paused. "What? It is?"
"Mhmm" Voldemort said as he sat at his desk, Nagini slithering over to him.
"Oh…" So I've been here around a week? Maybe a little more? Harry thought, trying to add the days that seemed to mesh together.
"Just thought I'd mention it."
"Uh, thanks. So, I have another question about the horcrux."
Voldemort looked at the boy hesitantly. Harry had had a lot of questions about the horcrux at first and Voldemort was afraid to get the boy started again. Last time Voldemort was sure Harry asked questions for two days straight.
Harry huffed. "I'll keep it short this time."
"Alright then, go ahead."
"So, I've been thinking the past few days and, well, I was just wondering…" Harry's voice trailed off.
"I just, I was wondering, ugh. Ok, so you said Dumbledore knew of the prophecy too right? About me being the one who could defeat you? So that's why I'm everyone's 'Savior' and why I was, er, am, so important to the Order. That makes sense and all but, why do you think they had me fight? They used to send me into battles against your Death Eaters even though I've only been practicing magic for a couple years… I didn't understand. You would think they would have trained me more before sending me out to find you right? Do you think- do you think Dumbledore sent me out into battles on purpose?"
Voldemort looked curiously at the boy. "You aren't making sense."
"I mean, do you think he purposefully sent me out to fight too soon? Knowing I would probably get hurt, or even die? Do you think he knew about the horcrux?"
Voldemort was amazed. Harry was wise far beyond his thirteen years. "I am certain Dumbledore knows of my horcruxes. He's been attempting to destroy them for years. Luckily he's only gotten to one… but nevertheless, I would not put it past the old fool to do as you say. Dumbledore is old and bothersome but even I must admit that he is intelligent, I would be shocked if he had not figured out you were one of my horcruxes."
Harry flopped into one of the large armchairs behind him. "Dumbledore knew…" he said quietly, "He knew that I had to die in order for you to die… that's why he sent me out to fight. He wanted me to die."
"Dumbledore is not the man you think he is, Harry." Harry smirked at the choice of words. He had heard that phrase from Voldemort once before in a time that seemed so long ago… a time when Dumbledore was a hero and Voldemort was the enemy, a time when everything was so confusing. Things weren't as confusing and grey for Harry anymore...
"I just thought he really supported me, that he really thought I could win. Instead he sent out a child to fight your army so that he wouldn't have to kill me himself… so that someone else could do it."
Voldemort walked over and took a seat in the chair opposite Harry. He could feel Harry becoming closer to him, understanding more each day of what was going on around him, understanding the lies he had been fed for so long.
"I remember the first few times I went out with some of the Order on missions, most of them disagreed with the decision to let me go since I was so young. I guess they trusted Dumbledore though… I guess they thought he knew what he was doing…"
"I don't intend to use you as a tool Harry. I won't use you like he did."
"I know." And somehow Harry knew it was true.
The two sat in silence for a minute as Harry contemplated his situation. Little by little all the things he thought were true were either changing or becoming lies. How could he have trusted Dumbledore for so long? How could he have put such blind faith into one person? He should have known better. It was as if Dumbledore and Voldemort had switched places. Suddenly Dumbledore was the man who had been trying to kill him for years, and Voldemort was the one now protecting him. Harry's world had done a complete 180 degree turn in such a short amount of time, but something seemed right about it now. It was as if suddenly everything made sense, deep down he knew he was in the right place. He was supposed to be with Voldemort. That didn't mean Dumbledore wasn't pissing him off though.
"It just- it just makes me so fucking mad!"
He stood from his seat. "Well, IT DOES! How could he?! How could Dumbledore have lied for so long?! How could I have been so stupid?" The boy's hands were gripped tightly in his hair.
"Harry." Voldemort stood from the chair and put his hands on Harry's, gently trying to pry the boy's fingers from his dark hair.
"GAH! How did this happen?!"
"Harry, I think you forget you're a child. You grew up fighting for the Order, absorbing their views, their lies. You understand more now because you're older, wiser. Even I did not know of the horcrux until recently… do not blame yourself, things change young one."
"I won't let them use me anymore. I won't."
Voldemort had to repress a slight smile. "I am glad you understand the truth now. I want you safe, which you will not be with them."
Harry shook his head. Fucking Dumbledore… "OW!" Harry gripped the side of his head where Voldemort had flicked him roughly.
"What did I say about your language? Do not forget I can hear you."
Harry simply rolled his eyes as he rubbed his sore head.
"For someone so young you truly do have a mouth on you."
"I hardly curse!"
"I meant your stubbornness and attitude. But yes, your Muggle curses are irritating to say the least."
Harry gave Voldemort a look. "I think you're being dramatic."
"Don't look at me like that. You have the potential to be extraordinary Harry, but no one will listen to a wizard spouting Muggle curses everywhere."
"So I can curse as long as it's not with Muggle words."
"That is not what I said."
"That's what it sounded like."
Voldemort whipped his wand out before Harry could take his next breath. "I will be happy to show you curses you've never dreamed of if you do not silence yourself."
Harry's eyes crossed as the tip of the bone wand moved closer to his forehead. He knew Voldemort wasn't entirely serious, but at the same time he wasn't going to push the man too far. He raised his hands innocently, "Ok ok ok. No need to get all Dark Lord on me, I'm not a Death Eater."
Voldemort's jaw clenched. Standing up to his full height, Voldemort placed his hand on the top of Harry's head and stepped forward, pushing the boy backwards and behind him onto the floor.
Harry landed face first onto the floor. "HEY! I'm your horcrux remember! You can't hurt me!"
Voldemort continued towards the door. 'Nagini, do me a favor and eat him.' He said over his shoulder to the snake resting by the fireplace as he exited the room.