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Desires of a Hallow

There is an allure, a seductive gulf of destructive nature entwined about the wand, the stone, the cloak. It is an corruption that bleeds through them and taints all before their path, upsetting wisdom in exchange for dire strength, brewing lust where kindness once dwelt before.

This world grew to curse Grindelwald's name, terrified over what his reign had caused, yet too few have ever wondered what may have been if his desires had not been sowed by the taste of that power in youth; if he had borne the will to overcome the Elder Wand's grasp upon his soul.

Dumbledore... yes, good old Dumbledore, champion of the light and bringer of peace, the great savior who had destroyed his old friend's campaign and rescued us all. Only two have ever doubted the facade he placed before the world, those who had seen the results of that temptation spiral out of control.

And who can ignore Voldemort himself, engulfed in magic beyond his understanding before the stone had ever touched his poisoned hands, unable to recognize the madness staring him in the face day after day?

But the cloak, that was the one that truly mattered. Its reach was long, and its nature slow in acting, as for sixteen long years I wrapped it about my shoulders and succumbed one degree at a time to the power weaving into my heart, lurking within my blood, ruining the man I had hoped to become.

I knew none of this of course, nothing of the Hallows or their cursed makers, not until the prophecy was unveiled. As if awakening from a long slumber the cloak and it's magic enshrouded me, and whispered things I had never known before but could hardly doubt were true.

I could it see it in his eyes that Dumbledore too felt the draw and in a single moment's thought he cast away his mask, reveled in the hiss and groan of the air as the wand rushed forward to his long and spindly hands, the chant already passing through his mind.

But I was quicker, the reflexes honed from several years of quidditch trials, and the red spell reflected off the marble floor as my body rolled aside on instinct; but not entirely my own. His next spell was harsher, no longer caring if he tore my flesh aside if only to take the next Hallow within his grasp.

I had no need of my own inadequate wand. It would never be a match for the strength imbued in his, and no aide would alter his course of action from unfolding yet, and the detonation of a portrait at my back ensured the swish of his third incomplete spell carried no meaning behind it.

I rolled away from the rush of wind and flame, protected in part by my cloak, letting it pitch my body forward as he banished the desk across the tiled floor. One hand gripped the surface as I flew over and allowed me the strength to grow stable in the chaotic flight and land on my knees roughly, painfully, but not in defeat.

He turned in an instant to finish what his work had started; but too late, that single instant too late, for I had never ceased my motions even through the destruction of each knee. The rage burning behind his eyes flared higher as my seeker honed reflexes tore the wand from his minutely weaker hands, and in that moment a low pang of regret registered behind the satisfaction of taking up this Hallow.

My weaker wand appeared in the opposite hand as I banished his body backwards into another portrait of long dead headmasters, finally taking in the shouts and panic as further flame licked up along their walls.

A basic healing charm undid the damage to my legs in a flare of light and a rush of giddiness as Dumbledore pushed up onto one arm, the shame of both his actions and defeat openly displayed. "Thank you for the knowledge... and the gift, headmaster." I told him softly, freezing the fires in place before any more damage could be sown, rationale returning but unaffected by my victory.

With two in my command the power only coursed that much stronger. "James... wait..." he murmured weakly, too slowly. I vanished his desk and descended the stone stairway before he could even finish my name. I knew there was only one last to be obtained and than the prophecy would no longer matter.

~-`~-`~

Lily could feel the changes in me the moment I walked inside our home, the undisguised look of confusion on her face, but it hardly mattered. I loved her still, of course, that much had not yet been altered. But I knew after listening to Dumbledore's brief history lesson just what would become of that love in due time.

And a part of me I had not known existed, had perhaps not even been before tonight, whispered it's hatred of her softly in my heart. "James? What happened? What did Albus say to you?" she asked in concern.

To lie, or not to lie. I could not let her take in the Hallows as I had, sharing them as I once did my cloak so foolishly in blind youth. And then I heard his cries and that whisper grew silent for a time, as Lily turned with a moment's hesitation to look in on our son.

"I'll tell you later." her eyes grew more concerned before exiting the room and I knew then, taking in Harry's whimpers and whines as the sound both soothed the urges and bore a hole within my heart, that he would be the one capable of washing away their stain one moment at a time.

It made the anguish that formed later as he slept quietly all the more powerful. With only two in my possession I could not stop the prophecy from coming true, I couldn't keep either of them safe... but how much safer would they be beneath Albus' Fidelius charm with the third Hallow wrapped about my finger? How long would it take before their blood drenched my hands then?

~-`~-`~

A high pitched voice cast out the first curse quietly, calmly, and the door exploded inward as only so much ash and splinters. His followers crept at an equally quiet pace forward with the occasional note of mirth escaping from behind stark white masks.

Upstairs Lily paced in silent madness, protected by several wards I had forced Sirius and Remus into casting a week prior. It was as much to keep her away from Voldemort as it was away from me, though more than once I had tested the resolve. Only Harry's voice kept them both alive and safe for another night, another hour.

Voldemort himself looked for a moment to stall. His features seemed, perhaps, confused at the sight that greeted the glimmering red eyes. I supposed my own descent must have looked equally familiar if disturbed, hazel eyes long since darkened to black.

The cloak rested over my shoulders and trailed the ground with a wary note of amusement in the way it never stayed still, wavering as if in a wind no one else could feel or hear. The wand tapped against my left thigh to a beat of it's own choosing, reverberating faint echoes of magic in the wake of each. And the last, the final of the Hallows, the ring glinted on my left finger with an inner chaotic gleam.

The Death Eaters at his back looked in around their master's shoulders and took note of me standing around near the staircase like a perfect target, and indeed one of them grew too eager to smote the Potter residence and be done with this deed.

My wand flashed into action and obliterated the sickly curse in mid air, shredding it apart on contact and dissolving the flesh of the one stupid enough to challenge me. The action came so swiftly that Voldemort took a moment to realize I had struck, and that he had lost a follower for it.

After that the battle began in earnest.

~-`~-`~

Lily looked outside the window of the room as the crackle of fire kindling and the smell of smoke began to crop up. She saw several bodies littering the ground in varying states of decay, their masks and black cloaks shredded. A black haired figure slowly crept into sight and turned to look up at her with no small part of loathing ingrained within his features, drawing out another choked cry at what precisely had become of James in the last month.

The smell grew stronger and she watched through the tears as he brought that cursed secondary wand forward, casting another round into the house. A few moments passed before she realized what he had just used, and the terror that had gripped her heart grew higher still.

Fiendfyre ripped through the walls and stairway, eating away at floor boards and tearing apart the remnants of the lower floor. She left the window behind to gather up Harry into her arms and approached the fireplace as swiftly as she could, but the flames remained the same flickering yellow and red even after she threw several pinches of floo powder forward.

Grief stricken and once more near to crumbling she emptied the entire jar into it to no avail, feeling the heat increase below her feet as the house was consumed. Harry awoke at his mother's choked sobs and began to wail again, feeling the danger and pained by the warmth.

A moment later and the floor board gave in and sent them tumbling down into the flames beneath, and Lily only had a few seconds to scream before it was over, her body consumed. Harry never got the chance before he was soaring through the air, a few scorch marks left across his forehead and arms before the cooling charm was cast and easing away that agony.

His cries continued even as James held onto his son with a malignant and stale look behind his eyes. "Ssh, Harry. Someday you too will know these gifts... someday you will bare them too." the voice that spoke was not completely James', just as it was not wholly his instinct to rescue his child from death at the last moment.

After all, James Potter would not live forever, and already his soul was crumbling to their desires. A new heir would be needed in twenty years more.

~-`~-`~

End.

"Desires of a Hallow", posted on January 14, 2011 at 12:05 pm
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