Thanks a lot to everyone that is following this fanfic and favourited it. My gratitude to Vladimir Mithrander, cjolde, darknesslight13, pinkypong, Lilac Moons 96, Color o life, Shadowstrider14, Ivykinz888, pinkypong, Charliee Keely Warmer, Lady Saorsie Baldwin, Juli Greenthorne, Kerru, IndigoEye, Live-to-forgive, WickedPan, jabsher12, erikablair, zamik, PinkMusicalCherry, BluC1026, pinkhairedwiz, Reader-anonymous-writer, Vindictive John Dark Fantasy, Fairygirl34, Mila Pink , Elis1412, FanWarrior16, FallenAngells, The Silent Stalker, ObliviousFanatic, alc219 ,WHY (the guest), DarkAnglesan, EJ, Procrasty, mangoarcher1802, Princesa Vampirica, Haraldr, , Shadoween, Lecterhannibal and the guests for reviewing it. Your opinion matters a looooooooooooot to me.
Harry turned on his side and looked at Voldemort, who was seated in a chair beside the bed and completely immersed in a book,
"Tell me again why we're here?"
Voldemort turned a page and spoke without looking up,
"You have asked me that question for the umpteenth time in the past three hours."
Harry was lying on a hospital bed. Voldemort had brought him here because the doctor was known as the world's best oncologist. The doctor had run all the tests and scans on him anew and now they were waiting for the reports. He was about to touch the IV attached to his arm when Voldemort slapped his hand away. Harry cursed verbally and spoke,
"There is no bloody need for this."
Voldemort closed the book and sighed,
"Harry, I need this."
Voldemort caressed his cheek and Harry allowed himself to relax,
"You are the most precious thing in the world to me and the only reason I brought you here, to the world's best oncologist, is because I am clinging to the hope that there might be a cure, that there might be some hope of you recovering from this."
Harry closed his eyes and Voldemort sat down beside him on the bed and kissed his lips,
"Don't get your hopes up."
Voldemort's arm snaked around his waist and Harry rested his head in his lap,
"Harry, I do not want what happened to me to happen to you. Immortality is not what it seems like. It is a curse that I cannot allow you to bestow upon yourself."
Harry opened his eyes and stared up into Voldemort's crimson ones,
"How did you gain immortality?"
Voldemort smiled and gently carded his fingers through his hair,
"I created horcruxes."
Harry pursed his lips and spoke,
"You'll have to explain that to me."
Voldemort chuckled softly and pressed a kiss to his temple,
"A Horcrux is the word used for an object in which a person has concealed part of their soul... Well, you split your soul, you see, and hide part of it in an object outside the body. Then, even if one's body is attacked or destroyed, one cannot die, for part of the soul remains earthbound and undamaged."
Harry took Voldemort's hand in his and entwined their fingers together,
"How did you split your soul?"
Voldemort pursed his lips and his body grew tense,
"Well, first a wizard has to deliberately commit murder. This act is said to be one of supreme evil, and results in the murderer metaphysically damaging their own soul. A wizard who wishes to create a Horcrux would then use that damage to their advantage by casting a spell which would rip the damaged portion of the soul and encase it in an object."
Harry kissed his hand,
"How many did you make?"
Voldemort hold tightened on him and he spoke gently,
For a moment, they just sat there in silence and then Harry asked,
"Your eyes…your previous form…they were all side effects of the process, right?"
Voldemort nodded slowly and held him closer,
"Do you see now why I cannot let you do that to yourself?"
Harry closed his eyes and nodded. The cogs were beginning to turn in his head though and he mused,
"What happens if someone destroys one of your horcrux? Will you feel it?"
Voldemort shook his head and spoke,
"I am not certain, but it will severe one of my ties to immortality and if someone manages to destroy all of them then I shall die."
Harry cursed loudly and tried to get up. The IV tugged at his arm painfully and he cried out at the unexpected pang of pain. Voldemort laid him down, adjusted the IV and demanded,
"What happened, Harry?"
Harry closed his eyes and bit out as he tried to control his breathe,
"Dumbledore…Your memories in his office…He was looking for your horcruxes…That bastard was looking to destroy you…"
Voldemort smiled brightly and kissed his forehead,
"Relax. Just breathe."
Harry focused on regulating his breathing as Voldemort stroked his hair,
"I knew what he had been after when you told me that you destroyed the memories."
Harry held his hand and spoke,
"Are they protected?"
Voldemort's smile brightened and he pressed a kiss to the ring on his finger,
"I know one of them is."
Harry looked down at the ring and laughed,
"I knew it looked familiar."
Voldemort chuckled and pulled the covers over him again,
"Yes, it was a Gaunt family heirloom. I turned it into a horcrux when I murdered my father."
Harry closed his eyes as the memory he had seen in Dumbledore's office played on the forefront of his mind and then he saw it and he couldn't believe what a fool he'd been. His hand automatically went up to his neck and he kicked the covers again as he struggled to get up. Voldemort physically held him down and sighed,
"What happened now, Harry?"
Harry held Voldemort's gaze and whispered,
"I've been incredibly stupid."
Voldemort chuckled and pushed his hair away from his forehead,
"And what did you do?"
Harry couldn't stop running his hand over his neck. He'd been wearing the locket, the night he'd passed out at the club and Deus had taken him to the hospital. Had Deus known what it was and stolen it? Well even he wasn't sure of what it was yet. He held Voldemort's gaze and asked slowly,
"Umm…one of your horcruxes wouldn't happen to be Salazar Slytherin's locket now, would it?"
Voldemort's eyes widened with horror and he spoke in a low voice,
"How do you know that?"
Harry dug his fingers into his neck and murmured,
"I bought it a couple of weeks ago, right before the ball. In fact, I was wearing it at the ball and even after that. I think I misplaced it a couple of days ago when…"
He broke off in mid-sentence. He couldn't tell Voldemort about Deus, so he spoke,
"When I had to go to the hospital."
Voldemort's gaze was intense when he asked,
"You misplaced it? Are you certain that it was the original?"
Harry looked away from him and took in a deep breath. He couldn't wait to get out of here and ask Deus about where he had put the locket,
"Yes, it was the original. I felt it's heartbeat."
He closed his eyes as he felt rage pouring off Voldemort,
"I'll find it."
Voldemort released him and rose to his feet,
"How do you expect to find it?"
Harry sat up straight and just as he was about to yank the IV out, the doctor stepped into the room. The look on his face told him everything he needed to know, and he was sure that Voldemort's hopes of there being a cure were going to dashed to the floor.
The talk with the doctor went just as Harry had expected. All through it, Voldemort wore a glamour to hide his crimson eyes but he could see it flicker as he was slowly consumed with rage. Harry thought it was a small miracle that the doctor managed to leave the room unscathed. As soon as the doctor exited the room, Voldemort let the glamour drop. He looked like he was going to kill someone. Harry pulled the IV out as slowly as possible and spoke,
"I told you not to get your hopes up. I know I won't survive. Every time I cough, I'm rudely reminded that I'm here on borrowed time. Drawing in every single breath is a bloody fight for me and I'll lose that fight sooner or later. I can't fight forever."
Voldemort pinned him to the bed and put his hands against the mattress on either side of his head. Pain and anger radiated from him in waves until he vibrated where he stood. Harry watched as he took in a deep breath as if trying to control himself,
"Do not talk about this as if it means nothing."
Harry pushed him away and rose to his feet,
"It means everything to me… This life with you means everything to me. What do you think I'm fighting for? Who do you think I'm fighting for?"
Harry's knees softened, and he would have collapsed on his knees if Voldemort hadn't grabbed him and held him up,
"I get that you're mad at me for losing the locket but if I'd known what it was, I would have defended it with my life. I would have done anything to…"
Harry couldn't finish the sentence as Voldemort claimed his lips with his and kissed him hard,
"I am not mad at you."
Harry huffed and turned his head away,
Voldemort's expression softened, and he led him back to the bed and sat him down,
"Fine. I am mad at you but I am mad at myself more. I should have informed you about my horcruxes when you told me about the memories. This is my fault, not yours."
Voldemort pulled him to his chest and ran his fingers over his back,
"This is too much, Harry. How can you be so brave?"
Harry felt Voldemort's tears soak his shirt and he couldn't hold back his own. He tried to keep his tone as light as possible and spoke,
"Hasn't anyone ever told you not to cry in front of the dying person. And you're The Fearsome Dark Lord. What will your death eaters think if they see you crying on my shoulder?"
Voldemort gritted out through clenched teeth,
"They will say nothing if they value their lives and as for you…you are not going to die. There are other means to gain immortality apart from Horcruxes and we will explore all of them."
Harry hugged him tight,
"All of them?"
Voldemort kissed his cheek and murmured,
"Every single of them."
Harry wiped away Voldemort's tears and kissed his nose,
"You look awfully adorable when you cry."
Voldemort growled and lunged at him, but Harry pulled back and jumped to his feet. He forgot he wasn't steady on them and nearly stumbled and fell again. Voldemort was holding him up in the blink of an eye and spoke in a low, gentle voice as he pulled him up into his arms,
"You are my life, Harry, and I will do anything to protect you."
Harry wrapped his arms around his shoulders and nipped at his neck,
"You look even more adorable when you say all those sappy lines."
Voldemort chuckled softly and bent his head down so that their foreheads touched,
"Oh, so you consider my proclamations sappy? Perhaps, I should find someone else who truly appreciates them."
Harry narrowed his eyes at him and growled,
"No! You're mine and I reserve the right to snarl at every bloody woman who looks at you and I sure as hell have the right to take my sword to every single man who tries to flirt with you."
Voldemort pushed his hair away from his forehead and grinned maliciously,
"Well, it is a good thing that I am the fearsome Dark Lord. The chances of women staring at me and men flirting with me are less than zero."
Harry laughed humourlessly and spoke,
"Yeah, well my threat goes for every person you stare at or flirt with. I should be the recipient of all your sappy lines."
Harry turned his head and exposed his throat so that Voldemort could trail kisses down it,
"I believe I can outmatch you in your possessiveness, Harry."
Harry closed his eyes as he savoured the kisses and hummed softly,
"I don't doubt it."