For the record, Harry is only here for his time-traveling kids. Voldemort can fuck off.
Meanwhile, Saiph decides now is as good a time as any to try and repair his parent's relationship, despite the fact that they haven't even gotten into a relationship yet, let alone signed divorce papers.
Only eleven he may be, but Saiph Asterion Potter was already well aware that he was perhaps the unluckiest person on Earth. It was that Potter unluckiness, and it appeared he was the only one of his siblings to inherit it.
It wasn't even middle-child syndrome - although if he was being honest he could admit a lot of his current preteen angst probably stemmed from that - as much as it was his general existence. Maybe he was born under a cursed star? Maybe the star he was named after was actually a Death Star. Maybe his father was secretly Darth Vader. No, that couldn't be right. Even Luke Skywalker's luck was better than his own. On the subject of his father, he dreaded to think what the man would have to say about his current predicament. Lord Voldemort was a lot of things; patient was not one of them.
Personal shortcomings aside, his father was quickly becoming the only available option for help, and that was saying something, because Saiph was a moody preteen and the last thing he wanted to do was confront his latent daddy issues or admit to still needing his father's help with anything. Which unfortunately he did. Desperately. He was eleven and in his eyes that was practically adulthood, so he didn't need anyone's help anymore. However it was times like this that he was sorely reminded just how inadequate an age it really was.
But he was a Slytherin, dammit. He should be able to solve this himself.
In his defense though, he had never heard of anyone - Slytherin or no - time traveling themselves over two decades into the past.
"Freaking out is not going to be helpful," he reminded himself through gritted teeth. If he thought about it too hard, he might have a panic attack. Or worse, start crying. Even Cassi didn't cry, and she was the baby!
Okay, so despite the fact that asking his father was the most logical and straightforward way to solve this predicament, he was tabling that for last. He supposed he could try to find a way out of this by himself, but realistically that was a stretch. He didn't even think the vast and questionable Black libraries had any books on time travel, and they certainly didn't teach it in Hogwart's first year curriculum.
But they did study it in the Ministry.
Could he risk that, though? His father didn't control the Ministry yet. He didn't even know who was currently Minister. And who knows what could happen to him if they not only find out he's a time traveler, but the son of the Dark Lord and Harry Potter.
On the subject of Harry, maybe he could go to him for help. But as of now Harry probably wasn't all that much older than him. Considering the date on his tempus charm, Harry was probably sixteen. And in Hogwarts. Even if the wards still allowed him passage the chances of Harry having anything useful to say were slim. And if he wasn't in Hogwarts yet, then he would be at those wretched Muggles house, where he said he used to have to spend all his summers. That was even worse. All the same, he desperately wanted Harry right now. Harry might not be able to help him with finding a way back home, but at the very least he would be a warm and comforting presence. And quite honestly he still labored under the delusion that Harry could make everything better just by mere existence.
With Harry a realistic but unhelpful option, Saiph mulled over the idea of telling someone perhaps a bit older. But not someone from the Ministry. Someone he could trust.
All he could think of were Inner Circle Death Eaters; none of whom Saiph knew how to get in contact with, and all of whom would probably send him straight to his father anyway.
It was at this point, still shaky and sick from extensive time travel, Saiph resigned himself to his fate.
His father it was, then.
It was a good thing he and his siblings wore their portkey necklaces all the time, otherwise he wouldn't even know where to start in his search for his father. Ever since that one time Aster managed to apparate herself a whole continent over, their father had gotten a bit paranoid about the whereabouts of his children, and further, how to retrieve them when they managed to get themselves into trouble. He half hoped it would somehow magically teleport him back twenty years into the future, but no such luck.
Instead, it spat him out in the middle of something that looked to be important.
Saiph reared back immediately, lost his balance, and stumbled a bit as he almost fell over. Truth be told he was not a fan of portkeys; he thought they were worse than Apparition. He wouldn't call himself clumsy, but he had none of the inherited athleticism his other siblings seemed to have. Harry had told him once that he wasn't very good with portkeys either, but Saiph couldn't really believe that. Harry was too graceful for that; years of Quidditch had given him a sense of balance that Saiph— in the midst of the unfortunate pre-pubescent growth spurt— could only envy from afar.
At any rate, his eyes grew very wide when he realized just where he was.
An entire table of Death Eaters turned to face him as he appeared at the far end of the table, looking about equally as surprised as he did.
After a beat of stunned silence, Voldemort rose from his chair, decidedly displeased. "What is the meaning of this, Lucius?" He hissed dangerously to his subordinate, narrowing his eyes at the blonde man.
"I— I don't know, my Lord." He managed to choke out, gaze flickering wildly between his Master and the young boy who shared alarmingly similar features with him.
He was not the only one to notice, he knew. It was a bit hard to miss. The child was certainly younger than Draco, making his position here even more anomalous. The boy couldn't be any older than a first year— perhaps even younger. Despite his youth, his features were particularly striking; with a set of classically attractive features that he had only ever seen on his Lord. The eyes, however, were quite different. A breathtaking, electric citrine that he had never seen in anything but the killing curse. And yet the soft, floating curls, the aristocratic nose, the shape of his high cheekbones and the sharp cut of his brows all spoke of Lord Voldemort.
Bellatrix scooted her chair out from underneath the table, much to Saiph's trepidation. Her glimmering black eyes sharpened onto him as she sauntered over, slowly stalking around him. "What an adorable little boy." She crooned. "Are you lost, darling? Did someone send you, perhaps?"
She leaned over, as if to touch him. He flinched away. "You can tell me," she murmured sweetly. "Who asked you to come here?"
"Don't be absurd, Bellatrix." Lucius snapped, interrupting the child before he could respond, although it looked as if the boy had no intention of doing so anyway. "Dumbledore couldn't possibly have gotten that child past these wards."
"And who could have, then?" Returned Rodolphus with a speculative look towards the child, voice pitched low.
A high flush blotted against the elder Malfoy's cheeks. "Well— that's— "
"Why would he send a child?" Narcissa interrupted coldly, coming to her husband's defense.
Rodolphus laughed darkly. "Dumbledore always sends children, don't you know? He's rather fond of them."
A round of low chuckles started about the table, as everyone remembered the events at the Ministry.
Voldemort was not nearly as amused with the reminder. "And shall someone refresh my memory of how, exactly, those children managed to best my fully grown followers?"
The chuckling abruptly stopped.
Voldemort appeared satisfied by their fear. "But alas, we have gone off topic. It appears we have quite a few questions in need of answers; perhaps we should simply ask him, no?" Their Lord continued calmly, the crimson eyes Saiph was so familiar with turning their full attention onto him. The young boy swallowed thickly; it reminded him of the time he accidentally blew up his father's potion's lab. The man had been furious, and yet his demeanor had been so calm despite the fury beneath the surface.
All the assembled Death Eaters turned to him with anticipation.
"Well, child?" His voice was soft like silk and yet so deadly beneath the surface. "Would you like to explain why you're interrupting an important meeting of mine?"
He sounded so much like his father, Saiph would have been relieved if he wasn't so terrified.
His breath caught in his throat. "Well…" His voice was shaky, barely above a whisper. "Um…"
A soft slithering behind him made him jump, startling all the thoughts from his head. Saiph's eyes grew wide as he heard the glide of smooth scales against the marble tiling, and the great bulk of his father's magnificent serpent slid around his legs. Her scales glittered in the wan light, as she twisted back until she could stare up into his eyes. The Death Eaters had begun to shift uneasily at her entrance, a palpable fear rising in the room.
"Who is this child, Master?" She flicked her tongue out at him. "Is he for eating?"
"Nagini," Saiph replied, surprised.
Bellatrix sucked in a harsh breath at the parseltongue. A round of low murmurs made its way around the table at the hushed hissing.
Voldemort's shining ruby eyes narrowed at the sound, and it was only a moment before he was abruptly pushing his chair away from the table and walking around the side. His followers flinched at the sound, but he had no eyes for them.
"Who are you, boy?" He repeated, patience thinning. "And how is it that you speak parseltongue?"
Saiph's gaze returned to his father, eyes growing wide and wary as the man approached. He found himself wrapping his arms around Nagini, letting the serpent curl around his shoulders as if to give him comfort. He hated when his father's full attention centered onto him. He would be the first to admit that his father… intimidated him. Despite the fact that the man had never once really laid a hand on him— he was not deaf or blind. Perhaps the great Lord Voldemort had never turned his ire to his son, but he'd certainly turned it on others. And while the man had never been cruel, he was not particularly warm, either.
"Is he yours, Master?" Nagini spoke in his stead, rubbing her flat snout against him and catching his cheek with her tongue. "He smells like you."
Way to out me, Nagini, Saiph thought, disparagingly. He met his father's gaze nervously. Nagini's comment seemed to have affected him, for he narrowed his eyes thoughtfully. "I— I need your help." He said, rather unsteadily. All the same he was proud of himself for getting the words out at all.
"My help?" His father returned, features inscrutable.
He nodded, dropping his gaze. "I'm lost." He admitted.
"Lost?" Lord Voldemort repeated.
"In time." Saiph added. "I time travelled and now I don't know how to get back."
"I suggest you start from the beginning." His father advised, once he had dismissed his Death Eaters and moved them into a separate sitting room.
It still felt stiff and uncomfortable to Saiph, but he had enough experience with Malfoy Manor to know it was simply part of the ambiance. All the same he felt wary and disconcerted as he burrowed into one of the large armchairs, watching his father summon an elf for tea. Nagini remained in his arms, comforting him somewhat with her presence. At least Nagini still liked him. She had always been fond of the youngest son of Lord Voldemort, if only because Saiph was still at an age where fetching mice for the mighty snake still entertained him.
"I— what's the beginning?" Saiph fidgeted in his seat.
His father only spared him a long, ill-humored look. "Do not try my patience." He warned.
"I'm not meaning to!" Saiph protested, on instinct. He shut his mouth quickly after, eyes growing wide. He hadn't meant to talk back, but they had this conversation at least once a fortnight. Lord Voldemort always grew impatient with him when Saiph found himself nervous in front of the man. He always thought Saiph was intentionally giving him cheek, when in reality he simply had no idea what to say. This of course did nothing but exacerbate the problem.
Saiph curled in on himself further, wishing for Harry. "Sorry." He muttered after a beat. "I didn't mean to shout."
Voldemort was looking at him oddly.
Saiph took a breath. "Um, the beginning… Right. Okay. Well I guess I should start with my beginning— I was born on November 7, 2009." He began, shakily. "To… to the Dark Lord Voldemort and Harry Potter."
He chanced a glance at his father. The man looked stunned, the unadulterated shock clearing out any other expression from his features, making it difficult for Saiph to tell what he was feeling.
"Excuse me?" He returned, finally, voice high with shock.
Saiph swallowed his apprehension, before continuing. "My name is Saiph Asterion Potter. I'm eleven years old. Um, I'm in Slytherin… I just started my first year at Hogwarts. I last remember it being December 14, 2020." He shrugged, helplessly. "And then I found myself here."
But the Dark Lord still seemed a bit stuck at the first part of his explanation. "Potter?" He repeated, at length.
Saiph nodded hesitatingly.
Lord Voldemort said nothing, eventually seating himself in the chair across from him. The tea set between them lay untouched and forgotten.
"Potter." He said, again, frowning. It appeared more to himself than to Saiph though, so the boy said nothing.
His father looked deep in thought, gaze turned away from him. After a few tense moments, Saiph lowered his gaze back to Nagini, petting her snout. She hissed happily. It was even longer until his father spoke again. "How did this happen?"
Saiph frowned at that. "What do you mean?" If this was about his surname, he had no answers to give. To be fair, his real last name was Riddle, but by some unspoken agreement whenever his full name needed to be said aloud it was always spoken as Saiph Asterion Potter. He wasn't sure if that was what the Dark Lord was so hung up about, though.
His father fixed him a narrow look. "How much do you know of our history?" He looked somewhat pained as he added; "Mine and… Potter's."
"Yours and Harry's?" Saiph clarified, surprised. His father nodded grimly. Saiph pursed his lips, thinking. "I know you were enemies." He confessed. "But Harry said it was a misunderstanding."
"A misunderstanding." Voldemort echoed, flatly.
"That's what he said." Saiph defended, wavering.
"That is a grave understatement." Voldemort snorted. "I'm meant to kill him."
"Kill him? Harry?" He gasped, sitting upright so quickly Nagini almost fell to the floor. He'd never heard anything about that! "But why?"
"There is a prophecy about us." Voldemort revealed, impassively. He leaned back in his chair. "And that is not even to remark on our history already; the idea that we are in a relationship of any kind is absurd."
Saiph frowned further. "But it's true." He insisted.
Voldemort simply looked at him appraisingly, tilting his head. "How can you be so certain?"
The idea of this boy being his son certainly had merit. He spoke parseltongue, and if that wasn't enough proof, his features certainly were. They couldn't look more alike if they tried. Of course the eyes were different, but the similarities were obvious regardless. So perhaps the boy really was his son. He could believe that.
But his son with Harry Potter?
"What do you mean? Of course I know! We live together!" Or we did, he thought sadly, before brushing that away. He didn't want to think about that right now.
"You— you two are married," (although he wasn't sure how much longer that would last)
"— You seem happy together, " (or at least they used to)
"— and you accomplish so much together." (whenever they're on speaking terms)
Saiph swallows thickly. "How can that all be a lie?"
How could it all mean nothing? How could it all just break apart like this?
His father looked pensive as he digested this.
"Happy…?" A disgusted sneer curled against his lips.
Saiph scowled. "Fine. You seem content with each other. It works for you two. At the very least, you two are allies that work together to further your aims."
And Saiph was beginning to worry that was all they were going to be now. Just allies.
"And what aims would those be?"
Saiph blinked. "I… I'm not really sure." He confessed, sheepishly. "But I know it's the reason we have Magical primary schools now, and the reason sometimes muggleborns live with pureblood families. And it's the reason why it's really hard to get to the muggle world now." Although that had never stopped Ceph or Aster.
Voldemort digested this thoughtfully. "Interesting…" He murmured. "And what does Potter think of this?"
Saiph shrugged. "He helped you do all that. So I guess he's happy with it. He was the one who put up all the portals."
Portals? What on earth? How was that even possible?
The boy nodded. "To the muggle world. There are a whole bunch around the world, but they're all controlled by— well, by you. You have to get a special pass to go." Saiph gestured grandly. "Harry was the one who split the two worlds apart! And now they exist in separate dimensions, so you have to go through a portal to travel between them."
The man looked very surprised at that.
Voldemort frowned contemplatively. The boy's information was most interesting. So he and Harry Potter ended up working together? He was not pleased with the idea of being in an actual relationship with the boy, but the idea of a partnership sounded quite appealing. It was clear that Potter grew to be an influential and powerful wizard. The idea of actually splitting the wizarding and muggle worlds into separate dimensions was mind boggling. Just what sort of power did the boy have, to be able to do something so impossible? He could admit, he was annoyed to know that his greatest adversary grew to be someone so incredible… but he supposed he could overlook that when the boy turned from powerful adversary to powerful ally. It was clear he and Potter could do great things together.
And the idea of being in an intimate relationship with the boy…
His speculative gaze turned back to the young child in the chair across from him, Nagini curled in his arms.
Well, the Potter boy was still that— a boy. He couldn't imagine being attracted to Potter, let alone bedding him, but he could certainly acknowledge that scenario some time in the future, when the boy was fully grown, and powerful enough to truly be his equal. And obviously their coupling could produce powerful heirs. Despite his skittishness, Saiph was quite clearly powerful. Even at such a young age he had a tangible magical aura; it dispersed into the room with a wavering air of apprehension, but that was to be expected, considering the boy's situation it was only natural for his magic to exude his nervousness.
At any rate, he found himself slowly coming around to the idea. Yes… perhaps a future with Potter was not a bad thing at all.
"So… I guess you guys aren't friends, then." Saiph hazarded, in a small voice, stirring him out of his thoughts.
Voldemort almost snorted. The boy had the gift of understatement.
"No, we certainly are not." He decided to humor him, at least for now. Then he frowned pensively. "And quite frankly, I don't see how anything could change that."
Saiph's brow furrowed. "But it has to somehow, right? It can't be that bad."
"You are vastly underestimating the mutual loathing we have for each other. I have made multiple attempts on his life, none of which I have regretted— " Until now, that is. "And if your story is to be believed, then I also killed your maternal grandparents. We are on opposite sides of the war; that alone makes the idea of any relationship between us absurd."
The young Slytherin frowned at the floor. His father was right. And unfortunately, Saiph didn't know enough about his parents history to know how that all changed. What made them stop being enemies? What made them get married? Hell, what made them start a family together? He wished he had the answers. Maybe if he did, he could fix everything that was wrong with them in the future. Maybe if he knew why they fell in love with each other in the first place, he could figure out what went wrong.
"Mum is very forgiving." He said instead. "You tell him all the time that he's too forgiving. I'm sure he forgives you for it all."
Voldemort stared at him in disbelief. Finally he shook his head. "You are too optimistic, child." He reprimanded, but it was without heat. He leaned back in his chair, observing the boy in front of him with speculative crimson eyes. "At any rate, the subject of your supposed time-travel is far more pressing at present than whatever relationship Potter and I may share in the future."
Supposed? Saiph scowled. "I'm not making it up!" He protested.
"I'm not insinuating you did." Voldemort returned calmly. "But time-travel is limited to a twenty-four hour window; anything further is theoretically impossible."
Saiph opened his mouth to protest again, but Voldemort continued; "However, there may be mitigating circumstances I am not aware of. You asked for my assistance in bringing you back to the future, but I cannot assist you without knowing how it happened."
Saiph closed his mouth. His father had a point.
"I don't really know what happened." He admitted. "I can't remember much… there was sand, and fire, and runes on the ground."
"You have no recollection of the actual event itself?" The Dark Lord pressed.
Saiph shook his head. "I wish I did." He replied, sadly.
Voldemort said nothing, mulling this over. He shouldn't be so surprised; quite frankly it was a miracle the boy managed to get all the way back here in one piece. A few missing memories, especially of the moments leading up to his time travel, were probably to be expected. If anything, he would have expected prolific amnesia from such an event, or an equally as debilitating mind injury. Perhaps this was once again testimony to the child's innate magical power.
"The hour is growing late." Voldemort observed, his gaze flickering to the grandfather clock propped against the wall, and then to the untouched tea set between them. "I'm afraid there's little chance we'll be returning you before morning; I'll have an elf fix a room for you. Pick whichever you like, as long as it's well within my wards."
Saiph nodded absently, disheartened to hear that his problems weren't anywhere close to being solved, but tired enough that the prospect of bed was an enticing one.
He blinked blearily, standing up as he rubbed his eyes. Nagini slithered off him, returning to her master.
"What about Harry?" Saiph asked, suddenly.
Voldemort frowned. "What about him?"
All of a sudden the boy had closed the distance between them and was tugging on the sleeve of his robe. The gesture was so… so childish, Voldemort was too shocked to shake him off. It was like a little kid trying to get the attention of— well, his father. Which would make sense. Because Saiph was a little kid, and Voldemort was his father. The prospect of being a father at all was still bewildering. Not necessarily unwelcomed, but still odd.
"We have to save him!"
Voldemort stirred out of his thoughts at that. "Save him from what?"
"Those muggles!" The boy cried. "His muggle relatives he stays with. They're evil! He said he had to stay with them every summer, and they treated him horribly."
The Dark Lord looked surprised at that. "The boy-who-lived is made to stay with muggles? A magical child, with muggles?" He said, enraged. "Abusive muggles?"
Saiph nodded. "His aunt and uncle." He added. Now Saiph had never heard this story personally, because Harry didn't like to talk about his past, but Cepheus had mentioned something along those lines, and Saiph was smart enough to come to the obvious conclusion. Not to mention, if Harry wasn't with them than he would be with Dumbledore, which would be even worse!
Harry was better off with father; at least that way, someone could protect him while he still needed it. Right now, Harry was not the all powerful Master of Death that Saiph remembered him to be, but just a young boy, not much older than himself.
"This is Dumbledore's doing." Voldemort hissed, more to himself than to Saiph.
Saiph bit his lip. "But how are we going to rescue him? It's warded."
"We'll simply have to lure him out." Voldemort dismissed his concerns, although he had a few himself. Namely, how would he manage to lure the boy out? He had already used their connection to ensnare the boy into his plot by using his godfather; not even Potter was stupid enough to fall for the same trick twice.
However, that was the only means by which Voldemort had to communicate with the Boy-who-lived. He could use Severus, but he didn't want to risk it. His connection with Potter— and the potential it had— must be kept secret. He spared another quick glance at the young boy— his young son. No. No one can know of this.
"How do you plan to do that?" The young boy asked.
Voldemort waved him away. "Leave that to me."
Saiph frowned; the visage reminded him of himself. Except, he didn't think he had ever managed to make such a contrary expression look so endearing. "But I have an idea."
Harry had done a lot of stupid things in his life.
This was definitely at the top of the list.
He knew he was being manipulated; there were only so many times you could have bizarre and oddly emotional dreams that weren't sex-related in one week, before it started to get mildly concerning. It was beginning to hit that point. And he should know from experience that this wasn't going to end well. It was almost as if this entire last year had taught him absolutely nothing; Voldemort was sending him these dreams, for a purpose. Probably a pretty shit one, if the events of this year were anything to go by.
And yet, here he was dodging his way through the Order guards anyway, slipping on his Invisibility Cloak as he walked briskly in the direction of the park.
His steps grew quicker as his thoughts turned over restlessly in his head. He was being astronomically stupid. Hermione was going to kill him, and that was to say nothing of the Weasleys. Or Ron. Ron would probably rip him a new one. Especially after how the fiasco at the Ministry had went down.
But these dreams were different.
They weren't about Sirius, about Mr. Weasley - they weren't about anyone he knew, really. Not about his friends, or the Order… they seemed to have nothing to do with him. Or rather, they appeared to have everything to do with him, but none of it was familiar to him at all.
They were all centered around— Harry. At least, he thought they were. The figure was never very clear, but for some reason his presence, his magic, his voice and his laugh— Harry had come to the absurd conclusion that they were somehow his own. Even if he had never felt his own magic before, and his voice definitely wasn't that deep, nor his laugh so carefree. The older man was definitely an older version of Harry himself. And the scenes… They felt like memories, but they had never happened. Surely they had never happened. And who were those people?
The dreams were full of a little boy, and his love and adoration for Harry. His love for his little sister, even though she was a menace. His idolization of his older brother, his affection for his older sister— and his shy awe and apprehension over his father. He looked at Harry as if he hung the moon or something; he had been an especially clingy child in his youth, and was not any less possessive as he progressed closer to his teenage years. He loved his father, too, but it seemed he had a harder time connecting with the inexpressive and emotionless man. The Harry in his dreams assured him that his father loved him very much, even though he had a hard time showing it.
They were very specific and incredibly vivid, almost overwhelmingly so, yet all of them were captured snapshots of small, almost insignificant moments in time. Moments in time that were so encompassing it felt as if he truly was a part of it. The little boy, scared and nervous as an older Harry knelt in front of him and smoothed out his hair, the whistle of the Hogwarts express behind them and the laughter of all the new and returning students suffused in the smoky air. He leaned into the hand on his head, and Harry smiled endearingly down at him. "What happens if I'm not in Slytherin? What if I end up in Gryffindor?" The boy asks, fretfully. Harry only pulls him close. "What's wrong with Gryffindor?" He asks, amused. The boy leans even closer. "Daddy doesn't like Gryffindors." He confesses, with wide, fearful eyes. Harry laughs. "He likes me, doesn't he?"
Harry, laughing with flour on his nose as he rolled out cookie dough in the kitchen; the little boy propped on a tall stool, adorably focused on cutting the flattened dough into perfect shapes with his cookie cutter; his little sister across from them in her own chair, stealing bits of raw cookie, much to Harry's consternation. "Those aren't for eating yet," Harry chastises her. She gasps, affronted. "Saiph stole some too!" She rats her brother out immediately. The boy by his side sputters, ineffectual. Harry can't help but laugh at them.
It all seemed so real.
It was driving him insane.
That's why he had to meet him. He couldn't understand why Voldemort would be sending him these dreams. They certainly weren't his own, so it must be the Dark Lord. But why in Merlin's name would Voldemort be dreaming of this? Love, affection, belonging and family were the last things Voldemort would ever care about. But they were the first things for Harry.
It's a trap, he reminded himself, even as he continued onwards.
Voldemort is luring you out from safety, the logical part of his head reminded him. He's going to kill you. And you're practically handing yourself over on a platter.
All of this was true, but the thought of the little green-eyed boy in his memories had him turning the corner into the park.
He felt all the breath leave him.
He nearly choked in shock, the Invisibility Cloak almost slipping from his shaking fingers.
Oh Merlin. It really was Voldemort.
He had half convinced himself that he was overreacting; that these dreams were honestly just a figment of his imagination, some kind of realization of his deepest desires. It certainly held plausibility. There was nothing Harry wanted more than to have his own family. To feel the love he could only sadly watch from the sidelines as it was showered on to other people.
But it would be very hard to convince himself that it was all just his imagination when the Dark Lord really was in front of him, confirming the fact that they had been sent by him. Aside from the black cloak and robes, he looked nothing like he did in the Ministry. He looked like an older, but still equally attractive version of the boy from the Diary. Despite himself, Harry could at least privately admit that he had good taste. At least, he assumed he did. Because the boy in the memories looked too much like Voldemort to be anyone else's child, and yet it was Harry that he turned to and called 'Mommy'.
He supposed he shouldn't have been surprised when Voldemort merely tilted his head, crimson eyes easily finding Harry despite the cloak.
"Harry," he said. It was not the normal way he spoke Harry's name, full of anger, or smugness. It was devoid of emotion, oddly inscrutable. As if even he didn't know how he felt about Harry currently.
Harry took a shuddering breath, the hood sliding off his head to reveal his features. "Voldemort." He returned, curtly.
Harry didn't know what he had expected of this meeting.
Well, his death, most likely. Perhaps a bit of torture. Maybe even his loved ones, captured and tortured by Voldemort so the Dark Lord could enjoy watching Harry's pain in person. Or a small brigade of Death Eaters, like in the graveyard and the Ministry.
However, Voldemort was alone.
Harry watched with disbelief as a smaller form peered out from behind Voldemort's cloak.
It was the boy.
His eyes were wet and shining, and such a startling and familiar verdant green Harry had to reel back in shock. He looked as if he was trying to be very brave, and for some reason that was what hit Harry the hardest. He looked so frightened, but refused to cry. He might have had Tom Riddle's features - the angelic face, the tamed chocolate curls - but this alone was enough for Harry to overcome his own denial and accept this child for what he really was.
This reality was further solidified when the child finally tore away from Voldemort, racing towards him as if there was nowhere else he wanted to be but with Harry.
"Mommy," he cried, with an expression of great relief amidst the tearful eyes.
The admission stole his breath away from him. The Gryffindor was stunned into immobility as the young boy launched himself up into Harry's arms. He was so small, and his heart was beating so fast Harry thought he could feel it the same way he could feel the boy's trembling.
"U-Um…" For a long moment, Harry could only feel bewilderment and incredulity.
He'd always wanted a family, but he'd always assumed he would make a pretty pathetic parent as well. He ended up surprising himself, though. For some reason, the awkwardness he always felt whenever he had to talk to anyone was easily pushed aside.
"Hey," he murmured quietly, kneeling down so he could set the boy back on his feet, hugging him closely. "You're okay… you're okay. It's all going to be okay."
This apparently was the right thing to say, because the young boy held him tighter, nodding against his shoulder. He sniffled a little, but Harry thought he was doing an admirable job holding himself together, considering his circumstances… whatever they were.
Saiph tightened his grip, unwilling to let Harry go. It hit him all at once, all the fear and terror and worry that had plagued him ever since he had found himself twenty years in the past. It slammed into him like the Knight bus, but just as quickly it all washed away as Harry hugged him back, Harry's presence making it all melt away.
"Mom." He said again, voice muffled.
Ceph and Aster call Harry by his name, and recently Saiph had decided he was going to do the same. He wasn't a baby anymore, he didn't need to call him mum. (Harry was disapproving about the whole thing; he said it was okay because Ceph and Aster were adults now, but Saiph was still a child. There was nothing Saiph resented quite like being considered a child, so the ensuing argument did not end well.)
But as of right now he couldn't care less. He was so happy to see the familiar face and feel the comforting lick of his magic against his skin. It didn't feel quite the same as it did when Harry was the Master of Death, but it was still obviously Harry's.
Harry stiffened once again at the reminder of who this boy was. He still wasn't quite over it.
"You…" He began unsteadily, pulling the boy back so he could get another good look at him.
His big green eyes were still bright and watery; he was biting profusely into his lower lip, and his striking features were twisted into an expression equal parts terror and relief. His first thought was: he looks a lot like his father. And promptly after: he's surprisingly emotional for the son of Lord Voldemort.
But then Harry remembered his dreams, and the very apparent implication that Harry was his other parent. Suddenly the boy's emotional state wasn't so surprising.
He brushed the boy's hair out of his face, marveling at how tame it was. Nothing like his own, which was thick and unruly and stuck in an artless mess no matter what he did with it. This definitely wasn't his hair. Even the coloring was wrong, a cinnamon brown a few shades warmer than his own. The boy's brown curls felt like thin silk against his fingertips, his forehead still baby soft. Harry smiled warmly at him, as the boy blinked at him and gave another snuffle.
Still, despite Tom Riddle's hair and Tom Riddle's features, there was no mistaking it. "I guess you really are mine, huh?" He said quietly, as he tucked another strand of hair behind his ear.
The boy nodded quickly.
Harry tilted his head. "What's your name?"
"Saiph," he answered, after a beat. "My name is Saiph Asterion…" The boy trailed off, looking rather sheepish. "Well, I think my birth certificate says Riddle. But my Hogwarts letter said Potter, and most of my teachers call me Potter. Oh, but the Goblins and sometimes the portraits call me Black."
Harry blinked. Yes, he supposed that would get complicated.
Harry pursed his lips in thought. "And what do I call you?"
Saiph's brow furrowed. "You call me Saiph." He replied, after a moment of thought. "Or Sai."
Harry laughed. "Well, I guess that's all that matters then, right?" The boy smiled back shyly. "And how old are you, Saiph?"
"I'm eleven." He answered immediately.
"Eleven, huh? So you're in Hogwarts now?"
Saiph nodded again. "Yes." He looked a little bashful.
"And what house are you in?"
"I'm in Slytherin." He replied without missing a beat. A hesitant look darted across his face, and then he leaned in a bit closer. "But the hat wanted to put me in Gryffindor." He confessed, quietly.
Harry remembered his dreams then— not dreams, memories. The boy's memories of his first time boarding the Hogwarts Express, and all his fears and apprehension over his sorting.
Harry had to stifle his laugh at the irony. "It did?" He leaned in closer too. "Did you know it wanted to put me in Slytherin?"
Saiph's eyes grew wide as saucers. "No." He mouth opened with surprise. Then it closed, his lips pursing. "You didn't want to be in Slytherin?" He asked, sounding only genuinely curious and not at all judgmental.
Harry chuckled lowly. "I said, 'not Slytherin, anything but Slytherin'. So the hat put me in Gryffindor." Harry turned the question around. "Why didn't you want to be in Gryffindor?"
But Saiph only shrugged, looking down. "I dunno."
Harry supposed the answer would have to do for now, although he knew there was more to it than that. Daddy doesn't like Gryffindors, Saiph had said, in his dream. However this wasn't really the time or place to get into it.
This just reminded him of where he was right now; kneeling at the mouth of Magnolia Crescent Park, on a dark moonlit path with the Dark Lord only a few paces away.
No, not the right time at all. He wanted to sit down with the boy - with his son - and hear about it all. Why was he so afraid of Gryffindor? Or maybe the better question, why was he so scared of what his father thought of him being in Gryffindor? What did he think of Hogwarts? What was his favorite subject? Was he scared or excited when he first saw the castle? Did he miss him? Write a lot of letters? He had thousands and thousands of questions, and none of them could be properly answered here. Harry bit his lip. He couldn't take the boy back to the Dursley's though, that wasn't even a thought worth consideration. And what would he tell the Weasley's, if he took him back to the Burrow? My son from the future is here, he's really lost and scared so I don't want to leave him alone. Or even leave him with his other father, who incidentally is Voldemort.
But that only left one course of action.
Harry sighed in resignation, turning his attention to Voldemort. "I'm assuming he's staying with you?" He asked, with no small amount of defeat.
Saiph tugged at his shirt. "You're coming with us, right?" He pleaded, with big, familiar green eyes.
Harry sighed again, before smiling crookedly. "Well I can't very well leave you two alone, now can I?"
Harry had to return briefly to retrieve his sparse belongings from the Dursley's.
They were not pleased to see him, and for that matter Harry was equally as displeased to see them. Their mood improved once Harry revealed to them that he would be leaving for the remainder of the summer. He could care less about what they felt, though. He had more important things to worry about. Namely, the young boy and the Dark Lord waiting outside of the house.
When he returned to them they both wore similar contrary expressions. Saiph confessed to disliking the Dursley's greatly, a sentiment Harry shared. He assured the boy he would never have to meet them ever again. From the triumphant look in Saiph's eyes, it was apparently a promise he would keep.
The Dark Lord was staying in Malfoy Manor, with an entire set of rooms dedicated solely to him. The majority of the west wing was under his occupation, leaving Harry with ample space. Voldemort advised him to keep to the warded rooms, lest he run into any unfavorable characters. For once, Harry agreed with him. He had no intention of running into any of Voldemort's followers. Just the idea of meeting Bellatrix in the halls made his blood boil.
Fortunately Saiph's very existence did a good job of distracting his thoughts from Bellatrix, or even Sirius, for that matter.
It was during dinner— which was an incredibly awkward affair— that Saiph confirmed that those dreams were, indeed, his own memories.
"I didn't know how else to get you to believe it was real." Saiph implored apologetically, when Harry finally confronted him about it.
Harry shook his head with a smile. "It's alright, Sai. I was just rather curious - they seemed too detailed to be made up."
Voldemort, who had been dining with them silently, suddenly looked invested in the turn in conversation.
"They definitely weren't made up." Saiph replied, steadfast.
Harry tilted his head. "Why those ones in particular?"
The boy fixed a studious gaze down at his carrots. "I dunno. I just wanted to pick good memories."
Which made Harry wonder if he had a lot of bad ones.
"What memories?" Voldemort interrupted, waspishly.
Harry turned to him, surprised. "You didn't see them?"
"No," he replied, tersely. "I simply passed them along."
Harry's gaze slid back to Saiph. The boy was still staring deeply into his plate, as if he could melt into it if he tried hard enough.
"They were just some of his memories from the future," Harry answered slowly, sending another cautious glance his son's way before his attention returned to Voldemort.
"Nothing much." Harry replied, evenly. "Just some memories of us. Of his sister— "
"Sister?" Voldemort cut in, surprised.
Harry paused, the thought sinking in as well.
Of course, he had experienced Saiph's memories for himself, but he'd sort of forgotten about that fact, overlooking it as simply part of the whole picture of this distant future that hadn't happened yet. It had seemed so right in the memories, so matter-of-fact, that it hadn't registered to him as something he should be surprised about. Out of context, however, it occurred to him just then what that meant.
He flushed a brilliant crimson.
Yes. He supposed Saiph having siblings would of course mean that he and Voldemort… consummated their marriage more than once.
If possible, he flushed even further.
Best not to think about that right now.
Fortunately, the Dark Lord did not notice, too busy interrogating his son. "There are two of you?"
"There are four of us." Saiph corrected.
Voldemort leaned back in his chair, a stunned expression on his face. Apparently he was wrapping his mind around the same mind-boggling conclusion Harry had come to.
"You have an older brother and sister, right?" Harry very studiously did not meet Voldemort's gaze.
Saiph nodded, dropping his fork and pushing his plate away, looking oddly shy once again. "Yes." He answered in a small voice.
Harry only smiled encouragingly. "Cepheus is your older brother?" He nodded again. "What do you think about him?" He pressed gently, even though he already knew the answer.
"I like him." Saiph replied, thickly.
"Yeah?" Harry smiled wider. "And what about your sister?"
"You have two?" Voldemort interrupted, rather demandingly. Apparently sons were fine, but daughters were too much for him.
Saiph's gaze flickered up to his father. "An older sister and a younger sister." He revealed.
"Cepheus and Asterope are twins, right?" Harry continued, softly, reaching over to rub a hand over Saiph's hair. The boy turned to him, his apprehension melting a bit to reveal a small smile.
"They are." He agreed. "I like Asterope too." He shriveled his nose. "I like her better than Cassi, anyway."
Harry laughed. "Why don't you like Cassi?"
"She's a terror." Saiph declared. "And she's nosey. And she always follows me around."
Harry only grinned. "But that must mean she likes you then." He pointed out. "But I guess it's normal for big brothers to get annoyed with their little sisters, right?"
Saiph nodded readily. "Little sisters are annoying." He concurred.
But Saiph supposed as far as little sisters go, Cassiopeia was not the worst. He hadn't realized how horrible girls could be until he went to Hogwarts. They were everywhere. And they were always trying to talk to him. He shivered involuntarily. And they were very persistent, and all they wanted to do was talk about boys and hair styles and shoes and clothes. At the very least, Cassi despised all of those, and would rather to talk to her dead things than to Saiph.
The table rattled slightly, and then all the dishes disappeared. Harry was slightly surprised at that, not used to seeing that happen outside of Hogwarts. Saiph and Voldemort did not appear remotely surprised; Saiph reached over immediately for a macaron just as it popped into existence, courtesy of the house elves. A cup and saucer of coffee appeared in front of Voldemort, and a little Malfoy house elf popped into existence between he and Saiph, looking expectant.
Saiph leaned over. "Can I get a cup of hot milk, please?" He asked the elf.
The elf nodded with an absurd amount of enthusiasm, before turning to Harry. Harry blinked. "Uh— I'll have an earl grey, please."
With a low bow it popped away, and within moments the desired drinks were on the table, along with an extensive serving of desserts.
Harry stared at them in wonder. He'd never seen so many desserts outside of Hogwarts. And the vast majority were things that he'd never seen before. Trust the Malfoy's to serve all sorts of exotic treats for after dinner, he thought with no small amount of exasperation. He tentatively scrutinized each elaborately styled plate, gaze moving from little tea cakes to a rainbow of macarons, to a set of finger tarts.
Saiph, noticing his hesitation, grabbed him a flute of… something.
"You like these." He assured, to Harry's surprise.
Harry supposed the boy would probably know better than he would, and with a shrug he tried it.
Saiph was right.
Harry grinned around his spoonful. "You know me very well, don't you?"
Saiph shrugged, blushing slightly. "I guess." He said.
Another silence descended on them, and Harry wished he could somehow make all this awkwardness disappear. Unfortunately, everything about this situation was awkward. And it appeared they were all going to conclusively ignore the elephant in the room; namely, the fact that Harry and Voldemort were not, in fact, together. In any sense of the word. Actually, up until a few hours ago Harry had thought them mortal enemies.
The boy chanced a glance at the Dark Lord. He hadn't said much at all, preferring to observe the situation in silence. Harry wasn't sure what he was thinking, and trying to get a read on his emotions by studying his facial expressions was a waste of time. And really, Harry didn't feel up to looking at his face. It was just another reminder that everything Harry had assumed to be reality had been upturned completely in the past few hours.
For Merlin's sake, he was sitting here having dinner with his arch-enemy, the man who tried to kill him multiple times, and his eleven year-old son from the future, in Malfoy manor of all places.
Voldemort meanwhile had far longer to digest the situation, but was still at an equal loss as the boy-who-lived.
He understood the time-traveling bit. A time discrepancy this large was unheard of, but considering the child's parents, it wasn't much of a stretch to assume he and Harry could create someone capable of it. At any rate, time-traveling was the least of his worries. Even the boy's general existence no longer shocked him. Even the idea of himself and Harry Potter in the distant future did not concern him. He'd made his peace with all that.
In theory, anyway.
In reality, it was clear he hadn't come to terms with it all that well. The idea of Saiph having siblings still sent him reeling. Four. There were four of them. Why in Merlin's name would he have four? Having an heir, he could understand. Even having two was acceptable; one to be the heir of Slytherin, and one to inherit the Potter House. Maybe even a third, he supposed, if Saiph's words from earlier about being confused as a Black were to be believed. Well, he had said that the two eldest were twins, so perhaps four was an accident. Perhaps they were all accidents.
Maybe that was what really disturbed him— the idea of not knowing what the future would hold. Of being so comprehensively caught off guard.
They were both stirred out of their thoughts when Saiph gave an aborted yawn.
"Tired?" Harry asked.
"No." Yes. But Saiph didn't want to go to sleep just yet. He didn't want to leave Harry quite yet.
Harry smiled fondly at the boy.
So maybe all of this was a total mind fuck. For some reason, Harry couldn't care less in this moment. Saiph was his. His very own family. Maybe he could even forgive Voldemort for their shared past, in the face of their future. He may have taken Harry's family away from him, but he'd given it back, too. He had four beautiful, perfect children. It was more than he could have ever dreamed of.
"Well I'm pretty tired," Harry began suggestively. "Why don't you help me pick a room? And then we can both get ready for bed."
Saiph looked annoyed at the idea of being manipulated so easily, but ultimately did nothing to stop it. "Okay." He decided, grabbing another lime green macaron before he jumped out of his seat.
After a beat, he turned to his father. "Are you coming too?"
The Dark Lord looked surprised he'd even ask. "No." He replied, stiffly. "I have work to catch up on before I retire."
Saiph only nodded, before tugging Harry along. "I'll show you my room." He was saying, as they walked out the door. "And then you can pick one near mine."
Harry laughed delightedly. "Sounds good to me."
Harry stared down at the sleeping form of his son, overcome with an overwhelming fondness for the young boy.
It hadn't taken much to get the boy to fall asleep. He had looked exhausted. Harry supposed being twenty years in the past, and so far away from your family and everything you knew was probably a stressful situation. It would make anyone weary and exhausted, most especially a little eleven-year old boy. All Harry had to do was coax the boy into his pajamas, tuck him into bed, and he was out like a light.
He was so sweet, is the thing. Just a regular eleven-year old boy. He can occasionally be a bit immature, he certainly knows how to complain, but he is not spoilt. If anything, he perfectly acts his age. He was insecure and confused too, and that worried Harry, a bit, because he thinks there's more to the boy than he lets on. There's a certain sadness that lingers in his expression, one that Harry doesn't understand. It looks a bit like longing, or regret.
But for now, his features are smoothed out into something soft and child-like, undisturbed with the spell of sleep. He runs another hand through the unfathomably soft hair, smiling.
It didn't take long at all to get him into bed.
They visited his room first; unsurprisingly there wasn't much to see. The furniture had clearly been there before him, and there were no personal belongings to speak of. He had been there a full week now - that Harry had known judging from the timing of his dreams. It was long enough for Voldemort to procure the necessities for him, but certainly not long enough to make the room look lived in. Not that Harry had expected anything else. After that they explored the nearby bedrooms, looking for one for Harry. Harry didn't mind rooming close to Saiph - better Saiph than Voldemort, at any rate. He didn't know where the man's personal rooms were, and he had no intention of finding out.
That being said, he really ought to find the man.
If only to discuss… recent events.
As much as Harry might be dreading the confrontation, he knew it was inevitable. It was better to air it all out than avoid the subject.
He took a breath, face steeled into determination as he went to find Voldemort.
These days, it was a relief to even hear their voices in the same room, even if it was only to argue.
He leans against the wall by the closed door, listening to the muffled, angry voices volleying back and forth in his father's study. He scrunches his eyes closed, curling in on himself. Something breaks on the other side of the door, a quick pop of exploding glass, and then the heavy thud of something thick and sturdy dropping to the floor. From what he remembers of his father's study, it's probably the glass lamp on the end table, and the book it usually sits atop of. He's surprised Harry broke it; he was fond of that thing.
It's usually Harry whose temper culminates in destructive displays of magic. His father says it's because Harry is too emotional to control over his magic - it's normally at this point Harry retorts that his magic is just a lot stronger. Normally Harry has intense control over his magic, he has to, since it's so violent. But these days his father's very existence is usually enough to turn Harry's calm countenance into uncontrollable rage.
At least Harry is here, he thinks. He's been gone a lot.
Saiph had returned from Platform 9 ¾ earlier that day, exiting the Hogwarts Express with his new friends and about three dozen stories to tell, only to find no one waiting for him on the other side.
It washed over him like someone had poured ice water over his head, all his excitement over Yule break crumbling apart, until he was left with nothing but a forlorn loneliness.
He refused to cry. He couldn't; what would it look like to see the son of the Dark Lord crying by himself on the platform, in front of all these people? All the same the back of his eyes burned, even as he almost refused to believe it. Had they really just abandoned him like this? Harry had promised to see him when he got back, and Ceph and Aster would be home from University by now too.
He could only watch as all his friends ran to their parents, talking a mile a minute about their school year as their parents laughed and hugged them, grabbing their hands and leading them off the platform one by one.
When it was clear there really was no one waiting for him on the platform, he fished out his portkey from underneath his shirt, whispering for home.
The day got marginally better when he realized the only reason Ceph and Aster hadn't come to pick him up was because Cepheus had accidentally blown up three rooms of the house about an hour before they had meant to leave. So his older siblings had gotten an earful, and were now stuck fixing the mess. Aster complained loudly and intermittently about how none of this was her fault, it was Cepheus, as usual, trying out his experiments in places he shouldn't be. Part of the downside to being a twin was that they often got roped into doing everything together regardless. But on the bright side they were always together - they always had each other. Loneliness was a foreign thing to them.
He felt a little better in the face of their excitement; they couldn't wait to hear about his first semester, and tell him all about their Uni term. It would have to wait 'till dinner time, since they were still stuck fixing half the house.
He couldn't help the twinge of abandonment when neither his mother nor his father came to greet him, even though the wards surely alerted them to his arrival.
The reason became obvious when he could hear muffled voices from down the hall, past his room where his father's study resided; if they were heated enough to forget a silencing charm, than they were definitely distracted enough to forget all about picking him up. He put his bags in his room, inching ever so slowly towards the voices, wondering what he was doing. What did he think he would accomplish, barging in there? His father would only stew angrily in silence, and Harry would make obligatory excuses for them. He found himself creeping forward anyway, feeling conflicted.
Saiph pushes off the wall eventually, as the voices die down. At least they're talking civilly now.
Harry finds him in his room later, all the lights off even though he's not sleeping, just curled around a pillow on his bed. The familiar expanse of his magic flutters around him, tickling against Saiph's skin like a comforting caress. Saiph swallows thickly at the sight of him, the fallow crow's nest hair and the striking citrine eyes, cloak of death shimmering and silver around his shoulders. Even without the scythe or hood, he knows inherently death is at his door.
He opens the door quietly, and doesn't wait for Saiph to acknowledge him before speaking.
"I'm sorry I wasn't there to pick you up," he apologizes, sincerely, as he walks over to sit on the side of his bed. Despite the familiar presence, he smells foreign. He wonders where Harry has been. What he does when he's away from them. "We had a whole plan to bring signs to embarrass you and everything, you know, and then -
"Ceph blew half the house up?" Saiph suggested, his eyes peering out from behind the pillow.
Harry chuckled lightly, one of his hands reaching to rub against Saiph's back. "Yeah. Exactly." He gave a dramatic capitulation, and a roll of his eyes. "And of course your father had to raise such a big stink about it," he added, in a way Saiph thought was supposed to be light-hearted and teasing, but fell just slightly flat of it.
Saiph squeezes his pillow harder.
"Is that why you guys were having a row?" He asks, voice small.
Harry looks momentarily surprised that he knows, before he only sighs again, striking emerald eyes sparkling with regret. "Partly, yes." He admits. "I'm sorry you had to hear that."
He shrugs, fixing his gaze on the pillow wrapped in his arms. He doesn't want to say it's okay, because it isn't.
"We're having your favorite for dinner," Harry says after a long beat, tone noticeably lighter as he tries to change the subject. "And Yorkshire pudding, of course. I figured it was only fair because all three of you are coming home for break, so you should all have your favorites. All Aster wants is an 'authentic' fish and chips, whatever that means, so -
"Are you staying?" Saiph blurts out. "For - for dinner."
Harry blinks, looking at first confused, before realization dawns on his face. "Yeah," he replies, smiling sadly. "I'm staying for dinner."
Saiph nods silently.
He wishes more than anything that Harry would stay for dinner - and then stay for good.
What's with all the Kanji? Well this story is part of my 'forever future funk' series, so the title and chapters are named after whichever groovy remix inspired me the most for that particular chapter.
The full title for the story is: マクロスMACROSS 82-99 - 葛城 ミサトYEBISU (YUNG BAE EDIT)
The chapter is named after: Destiny あなたはすれ違う by night tempo
I wouldn't suggest searching for them on youtube unless you're extremely fond of disco lol