Harry sat frustrated on the floor with his wand, trying in vain to learn from Voldemort's old transfiguration schoolbook. He had only been able to perfect one or two spells in a matter of weeks… It wasn't going well. At. All. He never could have imagined how difficult it would be to teach himself magic. He needed help. What he needed was a teacher.
He had been contemplating it for a few days and decided to speak with Voldemort about it. The Hogwarts year was about to begin and he needed to keep pace with the other wizards and witches his age, he couldn't stay at a second year level forever. He had to learn.
There had been a few times in the past couple of days when he wanted to bring it up to Voldemort, but the time had never been right. Whatever was going on in the Wizarding World was causing the Dark Lord to return to his chambers each night with quite a sour temper. Harry had been the recipient of a stinging hex quite a few times over the past week.
Harry lifted his eyes as he heard the door opening.
"Done with your Lordly duties?"
Voldemort shot him unamused look. "Yes, as a matter of fact." Harry stayed where he was seated on the ground, leaning against the end of the bed, as Voldemort walked over to him. Harry had to repress a smile as the man ran his long fingers through his hair- which was something Voldemort always seemed to enjoy doing.
When the Dark Lord pulled his pale hand away Harry stood to his feet. "Uh, I wanna talk to you about something."
Voldemort was still standing beside the bed as he now ran his hand along Nagini's scaly head. "And it pertains to…?"
"Magic?" Voldemort repeated, quirking a hairless eyebrow.
"Well, I've been thinking…"
"Never a good thing." Good, sarcasm. Voldemort was only sarcastic when he was in a good mood.
"Not funny." Harry took a deep breath, bracing himself to defend his proposition. "Anyway, I've been thinking. If I'm going to stay here I need to learn more about magic." Voldemort stood silently, waiting for the boy to continue. "The book… it's great and all, but I haven't really been able to learn from it. I can't teach myself, I'm no good at it. It's been weeks and I've only learned a couple new spells."
"Yes, so I've noticed." Displeasure laced in the words.
"Well, I need help. And I also need to learn more than just transfiguration. I know you've been busy lately since the Order attacked and you're trying to take over the world and all that, but you did say you would get me more books my level. Also, I think I should be allowed to leave this room."
Voldemort looked up to the boy with a faux disapproving frown, "Demanding are we?"
"No, just bored. I've been here over a month. You can't keep me in here forever."
"With that attitude I just might," Voldemort said, looking back down at Nagini to hide his smirk.
"No! You can't! Seriously, I can't stay in this room the rest of my life and you know it!"
Oh did Voldemort love getting the boy riled up. "I can do as I so please Harry Potter, don't forget that."
Harry sighed, "Please."
"Are you begging me now?"
"Sounds that way to me."
"It's not fair. I haven't said anything about leaving the room for over a month!"
"Except when you decided to run off on your own and almost get yourself killed by my Death Eaters."
"That… ok, that was a mistake. But since then I haven't said anything and I haven't been out except on my birthday. I also have been responsible with my wand- I haven't even tried to hex Nagini!"
"Yes, that is truly surprising… And who do you think will teach you more about magic?"
Harry paused, this was the tricky part. "Uhhh….. you?"
Voldemort broke out into a laugh. "You think I have time to teach a boy about minor spells and curses?"
Feeling slight offense Harry grumbled, "Well… you could make time." Voldemort just stood and crossed his arms. "You could make time for your most important horcrux right?"
With a dramatic huff Voldemort mumbled under his breath, "Oh sweet Merlin…"
"Really though! I would try really hard! I would practice! I would be good, do whatever you tell me to do."
"You hardly listen to me as it is."
"I don't think so Harry."
"Please… I really want this." Voldemort looked at the boy. Could he really refuse Harry anything? Was it truly that big of a deal? If he were the boy he'd want the exact same thing. "You never know, I might be able to help you one day."
Voldemort's expression turned serious and he wondered if Harry truly meant that. It was a conversation for another time.
"You promise to listen? If I'm going to make time to teach you Harry you had better take it seriously."
"I will! I promise!"
"I'm not playing around, Harry."
Voldemort shook his head dejectedly, "Alright."
"YES! Thank you!" Harry shouted as he hugged the man.
Voldemort shooed the boy away as if he were an unwelcomed pest. "Go, get away."
"Aw, you don't mean that."
"Yes I do."
"You like me…" Harry teased.
"One day I will feed you to Nagini I swear."
Excitedly Harry said, "So when do we start?"
"Tomorrow I suppose."