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MAJOR DH SPOILER ALERT!!! DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T YET (AND EVENTUALLY INTEND ON) READING HP7!!!

The following is a Harry Potter slash fanfic -- The following contains mature, adult materials not suitable for anyone under the age of 18. If you find such sexually themed materials offensive please do not read on! All characters and names are copyright J.K. Rowling, Scholastic Inc. and Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Ship(s): Harry/Draco
Type: (M/M) Gay
Rating: PG-13

------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter 1

The sound of his footsteps echoed eerily on the chilly night breeze. The air hung heavy over the tiny village and the lingering scent of decay played at the stranger’s nostrils. Certainly, the few people who dared to still call this dying village home had never seen a man like him here before. The few windows that glowed with the promise of hearth fires slammed quickly shut when he walked by as if they feared he had some contagious disease. Humans always fear what they do not know, but what they didn’t know was that they had a far greater reason to fear this man other than his simply being different.

He was covered head to toe in a cloak that was as black as the darkest night, his silvery blond hair blowing out from the edges of his hood. Even in the shade under the dark cloth, the man’s silver-white eyes stared out in a piercing glare that no muggle here dared to cross. That suited him just fine, of course, what business would he have with the simple villagers here; plain, savage, and completely clueless as to the rich history this, now rotting, town held to its name.

This was the village of Sighisoara, Romania. Its simple inhabitants had no idea that the darkest wizard to ever live had once called this place home. Voldemort had once lived here, using the archives of texts on dark magic in the ancient underground libraries to feed his morbid fascination with death and necromancy. The strang visitor was perhaps the only person in this town who knew this – save for one other person. And, of course, it was this one other person that the platinum-headed stranger was attempting to seek out on this dark, dank night.

The regular cadence of his footsteps faltered as he examined a passing doorway. He squinted at the lintel and shook his head before moving on. This wasn’t the right house. The steady beat of his feet on the irregular cobblestone street resumed, only to be interrupted again a few minutes later to the startling sound of a door creaking open. The stranger quickly saw the source of the sound.

A couple hundred feet down the road, he saw the aged, bony hand of an old woman holding open a thick, wooden door. In the darkness, all he could see of her beyond her hand was her straggly gray hair blowing in the wind. The slate-colored strands framed her eyes ;  eyes  that were so clouded by silvery cataracts that she must have been blind. Every other house in this village was crammed side by side, with only a meter or so in between. This one, however, seemed to stand alone on the outskirts of the village, surrounded only by a forest that creaked loudly against the persistent evening gale.

The stranger made no attempt to hasten his steps as he approached her door without a single spoken word. He did not ask how she knew to open her door to him, nor did she ask him who he was. When she had at last closed the door behind him, she prostrated herself with a deep bow. Her sightless eyes twinkled with a sort of otherworldly mirth, and she spoke in a voice that sounded as if it belonged to a much younger woman.

“Malfoy.” The woman smiled, revealing a mouth full of decaying, yellow teeth.

The stranger pushed back his hood, his face plastered with the aristocratic expression of someone who knew they were better than everyone else. As he looked around the small, one room shack, his nose wrinkled slightly in unconcealed disgust.

“Somehow, I expected something a little more…” Lucius paused to choose his words carefully. “stately.” He finished, looking down his nose as he began removing his black gloves.

The old woman straightened back up as far as she was able with her hunched back, still smiling, and stared straight at Lucius as if her sight were perfect. “My master’s house is deceiving, yes.” She nodded slightly, indicating the room with her hands. “But, there would be many questions asked – too many – if the Temple of Life were plain to see even by muggle eyes.”

Lucius eyed her up and down, the old woman’s expression didn’t falter in its mirth. After a slight pause, Lucius looked down at his own hands with a raised eyebrow and got straight to business. “Yes, well… I assume you know why I have come, Belladonna?”

The woman bowed low once more. “Sir, I do.” She admitted. As she stood back up again, she began to speak once more. “For long have I waited in this humble village for he who would fulfill the prophecy to come. It was prophesized that after the Pureblood War a pale man would visit me on a dark night to reclaim the stone.” Belladonna pointed to a clouded crystal ball on the mantel. Lucius’s gaze lingered on it, a look of puzzlement briefly passed over his features before returning to its usual stoic grimace.

“Of course,” She said, her voice becoming slightly ominous while still retaining its joyful timbre. “You realize that I must test you. The powers of the Celyx de Vita are not handed over lightly or carelessly.”

Recognition dawned on Lucius’s pointed features. “The Stone of Life.” He repeated in English, pleased with this discovery. He had planned to follow the Dark Lord’s path to learn what he had learned – to take his place as the darkest wizard to ever live. Few were privileged with the knowledge of where Tom Riddle travelled and what he did during the years he was considered missing. The only other people to know were now dead; Severus Snape, Bellatrix Lestrange, and Narcissa Malfoy had fallen.

Lucius regained himself and stared at the woman, who continued grinning like a coyote under the full moon. “Naturally.” He agreed, smiling himself. “I come from one of the purest wizarding bloodlines in Britain, and am one of the most powerful wizards of my time. Test me as you will, and you will find my skill and intellect will surpass any trial you place before me.”

The woman’s mischievous grin broke into a cackle. “Perhaps I overestimated you, Pale One.” She said. “My test does not require either intellect or skill. All you must do is hold the prophecy. If you are the new, true master of the Stone, you shall hear the prophecy. If not, then I was mistaken.”

Lucius’s pompous smirk transformed into a sneer. The old woman hobbled over to the mantel and used a small stool to bring herself up to height to remove the sphere from its holder. Lucius waited impatiently, weighing the effectiveness of simply killing her now. He fondled the handle of his wand under his cloak, deciding that he could get more information out of her if he let her live.

Shortly she returned to his side and held the crystal in both palms. In turned almost crystal clear as she did, indicating that she was one of the few who had heard the prophecy when it was made. He heard a woman’s echoey voice begin to speak, but it paused as Belladonna smiled and allowed the sphere to roll off her hands and into Lucius’s. However, as it landed, the crystal clouded back up again, the voice of the person who had made the prophecy became mangled and unintelligible.

For the first time since Lucius had walked in the door, the smile faded from Belladonna’s face. She snatched the crystal ball out of his grasp, and with a grace that seemed too great for her age and health, she put it back on the mantel. She stared almost angrily at Lucius through her clouded eyes.

“You have deceived me, Pale One.” She squinted at him and shook her finger at him.

Lucius, however, was un-phased by her anger. “It would appear so.” He said casually, pulling out his wand and pointing it lazily at her. “I guess you should just tell me where you’ve hidden the stone, Hag. Perhaps if you do, I won’t kill you.” He said airily, putting the index finger of his free hand to his cheek as if he were seriously considering sparing her life.

Belladonna, the old woman, looked panicky. She shot a quick glance over to the chest that sat by the fireplace. Lucius had to laugh at her utter lack of subtlety. “You’ll never find where it is.” Her voice shook noticeably, causing Lucius’s laugh to increase.

“I have a feeling I will.” He said through his laughter. “Avada Kedavra!” As he spoke the words, a jet of green light burst from the tip of his wand and rushed like thunder through the air, colliding full force with the sunken chest of the frail old woman. She fell, motionless to the floor. Once she lay dead, the joy left Lucius’s face. He peered down at her with revulsion as he walked over to the chest.

However, his anger flared when inside the chest was nothing more than a few old rags and an old tin teapot. He roared as he stood. The old woman had been smarter than he had given her credit for. His chest heaved in frustration and he was so focused on his anger, that when a familiar voice spoke from behind him he nearly jumped into the fireplace.

“Stupid child.” Belladonna spoke. “You believe my master would have trusted me to this task as a mortal?” She smiled once more her coyote grin. “I may not be able to use magic, but neither am I able to die.”
Lucius looked at her, his stare dripping with contempt. “Well, if you will not die, then you will tell me once and for all where the stone is.”

“What can you do to make me?” The hag countered, grinning defiantly, and putting her hands on her hips.

“I could force you to replay the prophecy so I can kill whoever is supposed to come and retrieve this stupid stone of yours.” Lucius replied, his usually stoic tone tinged with frustration.

The old woman laughed. “Forget it, Pale One. Your presence was prophesized, too. So, I will tell you this.” She paused dramatically; Lucius’s cheeks flushed pale pink in his impatience.
“It is true that the Stone has but one, true master. However, it is possible for another to claim its power for themselves. I must warn you, though, that the trials you must face are intended to break your spirit and your mind.”

Lucius kept his wand pointed at the old woman’s throat. Just because she couldn’t die didn’t mean she couldn’t feel pain. “I think I can manage.” He said through clenched teeth, willing her to continue.

“Yes, well, there are three tasks you must complete.” Belladonna grinned, not in the least bit concerned about the wand held to her neck, ready to attack her at any second. “You must make three sacrifices. These sacrifices will test your ability to judge and value life. The first task is that you must surrender your magical powers; a Sacrifice of Self.” She paused to gauge Lucius’s reaction. Naturally, he was displeased that so soon after regaining his powers he might be forced to go without them again. That dirty mudblood Granger had rendered him powerless and it was only thanks to the brilliance of his bride, Lyssandra, that he had regained them so quickly.

The old woman looked satisfied with his displeasure and continued her explanation. “The second task is a Sacrifice of Others. The number six is considered the number of evil. The number ten is the number of life and rebirth. As such, you must deliver to me the souls of sixty people. That is, six multiplied by ten.” She paused again, and Lucius seemed disturbingly un-phased by her pronouncement. She continued to grin.

“Thirdly, you must commit a Sacrifice of Love. You must deliver to me the hearts of two broken lovers. This is the last task because for many the attachment of love prevents the living from surrendering to the release of death. You must prove that the attachment of love does not hold sway over you.”

Lucius grinned evilly back at her. “Fair enough.” He nodded. “The Stone of Life is worth the lives of sixty-two people, and the sacrifice of my powers in lieu of something far greater.” His voice was impregnated by the promise of great power, intoxicated by desire.

The old woman walked from Lucius to the same chest he had opened earlier and pulled out a bundled up rag. She sat in a rickety chair and began to unwrap it. Soon the glimmer of steel shone in the firelight. Belladonna pulled from the wrinkled cloth a dagger. The jagged blade appeared goblin-made, and set into the hilt was a clear stone. Lucius could see through one side and out the other. The handle appeared to be made of twisted steel, it was almost crude in design, but he could feel the magic of it.

“This is Soul Stealer.” Belladonna announced, gently placing the dagger in Lucius’s outstretch hands. He fingered it reverently. Even without the Stone of Life, this dagger was quite the find and for a brief moment he considered taking the dagger and forgetting about the stone. However, the thought was fleeting with the promise of the power to give and take away life with only his mind and his bare hands.

“You will use this blade to capture sixty souls and return them to me.” Belladonna said.

Lucius looked up at her and nodded. She nodded in return, retrieving from a small box on a shelf behind her another, smaller dagger. This one, however, had a narrower, smoother blade. The handle was a clear quartz vial.

Without a whisper of warning, the old hag plunged the dagger into Lucius’s solar plexus. Lucius was surprised to feel no pain, and watched as the empty vial filled with a substance that looked neither like liquid or gas. The dark green substance swirled gracefully around in its prison. Soon it was filled so completely that the once clear stone appeared to be solid green. Lucius felt the sensation of suction, as if someone were draining him of his blood, leaving him weakened.
When she pulled it out, Lucius fumbled at the site of the wound with his bare fingertips and found his skin unblemished. He fell to his knees, still grasping at the place where she had plunged the dagger into his body, his vision faltered. He felt as though he might pass out as he attempted to regain his strength.

She looked down at the pale-haired imposter. The smile had melted off her face; a look of disgust replaced her grin. Belladonna raised a fist, threw a fistful of black power at him, and announced, “Let the first task begin.”

Just as quickly as Lucius had appeared in her hut, he was gone, and Belladonna could only pray that the true master of the Stone of Life would come soon.
[5]
Okay... I think Alex is going to have a cow when she sees me posting this... If I saw her in person I think she would squeeze me so hard that my internal organs would come out both ends of my body.

Yes, yes -- it is true. I am beginning the daunting task of writing book 9... Please don't be too angry or alarmed if I don't update as quickly or as frequently as I did with book 8... I do hope, however, that this first chapter will sufficiently draw you into wanting to read!

PLEASE COMMENT! I am a feedback whore!
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:iconindia16:
india16 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2009
great very good really like your stories
Reply
:icondee1113:
dee1113 Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2008
Well you have definitely peeked my attention. I love the new character... can't wait to see how she evolves.... now on with he snogging. LOL
Reply
:iconangelicabyss:
AngelicAbyss Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
LOL As you might imagine this project sort of fell to the wayside along with my ever decreasing moods... maybe I will pick it back up again once I get back home. ^_^
Reply
:iconsillybilly123:
sillybilly123 Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2008
YAAY

your writing is amazing and i love how despriptive it is.
I was so excited when i saw you had posted this.
I just LOVED your book 8 and look forward to reading the rest of this ^___^
Reply
:iconangelicabyss:
AngelicAbyss Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks... I hope, like I said, that it's even half as good as the first one was... that's a lot to live up to! Keep your eyes open for updates. ^_^
Reply
:iconsillybilly123:
sillybilly123 Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2008
will do... it looks like it might be.
i was totally in love with your first one.
So if its even half as good ill still love it!!!

i told my mate to read it so she should be soon :P
Reply
:iconangelicabyss:
AngelicAbyss Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks ^_^ I look forward to more readers!
Reply
:iconsillybilly123:
sillybilly123 Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2008
:)

your writing is so awsum

:iconpancakeglompplz:
Reply
:iconhouse-of-creativity:
House-of-Creativity Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
ew, dude. i think i'd be able to control myself a little bit. seein' your guts come out your face would ruin my life.
anyway, i haven't read it yet, but i'm savin' it so i can read it when i'm without internet during the night ^_^ woot!
*joygasm*
Reply
:iconangelicabyss:
AngelicAbyss Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
Okay... well I was exaggerating to make a point... And read soon! I am sad to not have your feedback yet!
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