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Book 1:
The Tale of Two Rings
Chapter 18:
Soul for a Soul

(Keep track of the days at the end of Chapter 17--it was the end of the 2nd day after Harry's death)
(It might be important!!!)

-Draco Malfoy-

I stepped out of the silver door. Odd, I thought that I would feel like falling or flying but it was neither. It was just like stepping through a door. The cold was the first thing I noticed, followed by the enormous manor. You could probably fit ten Malfoy Manors in this one. It towered so high it broke the clouds and went on and on for as far as the eye could see in all directions.

"Sabastion Tower," intoned Talon as he strode to the door of this mammoth of a building.

"Earlier you said the four of us would go to earth but the 'king' did not come?" I asked while trying to catch up to Talon.

"The imp, young Draco, the imp." Talon did not knock or anything, he just walked right in when the doors opened by his presence alone.

Inside it was nothing short of grand. Everything was on a scale so that a giant could use it, even the doors. Most everything was of a black marble or crystal of some sort; all that was made of wood was made of an enchanted oak. Quickly a man was at the door. I could not see his face from my angle but he took Talon's cloak as Talon asked to see the 'lord of the house', then the man drifted off.

"Are you going to tell me how we are going to help Harry?" I asked, the wait killing me.

"You will just have to wait and see. Hopefully his soul has not passed."

I raised an eyebrow, "Passed?"

"Gone to heaven or Hell."

"And if it has?"

"It will complicate things... a lot. Now no more questions little one."

The stern look Talon gave me reminded me of something my father told me about minding my own business or to suffer the consequences. So I remained silent 'til the familiar face of Lord Sabastion showed. A boy of about 5 with bushy jet black hair was following him. I was not too concerned about Sabastion, as I had seen him before today. The boy, however, I had not. The boy was dressed in Muggle clothes and he obviously did not like it. He was also wearing a collar of some sort around his neck.

Sabastion came to a stop in front of Talon and gave the old man a nod before they embraced, as old friends. "I see you have brought my nephew with you." He frowned at me. "I am sorry Draco I was unable to stop it," he told me. I don't think he knows that I know what he is talking about.

"I want to see his body."

He gave a small start at that but then nodded. "Yes. Of course."

"No!" Talon intervened. "Draco you will follow Faron to your room where you will stay the night."

"But!" I started to protest

"No buts! You are my apprentice and I have say in such things!"

"Come Draco, once he has made up his mind he does not change it," Lord Sabastion told me as he turned to lead me down the halls of his 'large' house, if you could call it a house.

After a while I could not stand it any more, "Who is the boy, Uncle?"

"He is yours to name," came the simple reply.

"I don't understand?"

"It is Tom Riddle, or rather, he was."

I stopped following my uncle and just stared at the boy.

"Impossible!" I was outraged. I just knew that Voldemort was behind Harry's death, but how could he be if he was here in the body of a very innocent looking five-year-old boy?

Sabastion, too, stopped and turned to look at me. "After I had learned of Harry Potter's death I had the council vote against him and then have him enslaved." A half smile appeared on his face.

"So he did kill Harry?" My fists were clenched at my sides and turning white with my grip. I just wanted nothing more then to wrap my hands around his throat and squeeze the life out if him...while kicking and screaming a bit at him.

"Yes and stripped off his powers because of it." Sabastion glanced at the boy the same time I did and we both caught the shudder that went down the boy's spine.

"You mean Voldemort is...is a Muggle? That is all you did to him? Take his powers? You should have killed the bloody wanker!" I was pissed to say the least. How could they let him live after what he has done to Harry? 'You know how Draco.Tthey are all Dark Lords. They probably threw a party when they got the news of Harry's death.'

I suddenly could not stand the presence of 'Lord Sabastion' any more and turned on my heels "If you need me, uncle, I will be in my room!" With that I stalked off.

"Draco, you don't know...."

"Spyro will lead me," I cut Sabastion off.

******

The night was uneventful and very boring. I could not sleep at all. I spent most of the night reading the books that were in the room, all of them were on 'Necromancy', and with talking to my new familiar about his home plain of Hell. Spyro's stories turned out to be more entertaining than the books. But they were just that, stories. Anyone that believed anything an imp said is a complete nutter. I had long since decided to ignore the boy lying in my bed. The more I even acknowledged his presence the more I wanted to drag him down into what Sabastion called his parlor for a little one on one torturing.

'Help me!' it was whispered right into my mind, weak and scared. It could only be Harry. 'Save me please!' Pleading. Desperate.

"Spyro where is he?" I asked the imp who heard it too because of my link with him.

"Past the River of Styx in the domain mortals call Hell."

"Harry in Hell? Never!"

"That is where he is master."

I got up from where I was sitting at my desk and grabbed my wand. I then opened my trunk, getting out my 'Silver Dragon' Robes and my other enchanted items.

"Take me to as close to the river of Styx as you can, Spyro."

The imp muttered very venomously, "Harry is dead. Let him burn in Hell. I don't see why we have to go save him."

My glare caused him to open his demon gate and I walked through it with him on my shoulder. After we emerged from the gate it closed behind us.

"You going to get us killed over this boy!"

"Shut up Imp!" I walked over to the edge of the black water and in a loud clear voce spoke, "I wish to cross." After a few moments of waiting a ferryman and his ferry came into view. I thought off-handed of the old saying: 'The living can not cross the river of the dead for only the dead will pass.' As the ferry stopped by the bank close enough for me to get aboard I called out to Spyro who was hiding from the ferryman. "Spyro I need to be dead, yet not."

"Why tell me?"

"A lich or Vampire, which ever is closest to us."

"Master wants to find a lich or vampire?" Spyro asked his voce trembling with the idea.

"Yes."

"Spyro can feel a Vampire is closest, but why?"

I didn't answer the little winged demon; instead I pulled out one of my rune cards. After muttering a few words the card glowed and then I glowed for about a second or two then the card vanished.

"Lead me to it."

******

After leaving the ferryman back at the river we walked about 2 hours through what could only be some hellish demon-world desert. How it could be both cold and hot I will never know. I could still hear Harry's pleas in my mind for they were getting desperate and to tell the truth I was, too.

The Vampire we came upon seemed to not like the area any more then me. She was cursing her luck when we came upon her.

"I can't believe that wizard could actually cast that spell, where in hell am I anyway!"

Apparently she did not know I was here as I listened to her curse when I spoke up, "You, milady, are in Hell! That is where."

"Hell you say? Then what are you doing here, mortal?" she asked me as she finally looked in my direction.

"Trying to find a way to cross the River of Styx." I started to walk closer to her. "Actually you can help me with that milady."

She was rooting though my mind. I could feel her do so, and again I did not like it! 'Learning anything new?' I thought to her and she just looked me in the eyes.

"You have a lot of nerve for a mortal," she smiled at me. "I like that in my prey."

"Oh, so I am prey now?"

All of a sudden she was behind me with her lips to my ear. "Oh yes little one. All mortals are prey," she whispered.

"What if I could get you home?" I whispered in return.

"What is in it for you?" her breath moved down my neck, trying to get a reaction out of me but failing.

"You were in my mind you know what I want," my voce was still calm even though this woman was now groping me.

"You are no fun, boy," she frowned to the back of my neck.

"Well, will you, or not?" I asked getting a little impatient.

"How can I trust you will uphold your part of the bargain?"

"You can't, but the small hope I offer is better then being stuck in Hell, is it not?"

She did not answer me; instead I felt a pain in my neck that quickly gave way to an odd sort of sensation. It no longer hurt actually it felt rather good even though I was starting to get light-headed and feeling weak in the knees. My mouth became dry and my vision started to blur. I remember something wet being placed to my lips and it was liquid and I drank from it for the longest time 'til I passed out from the pain that was starting to take my body.

******

I can't believe that I am spying on him again! Why can't we just be together? "It's because you're too stuck up to apologize to Harry and his friends and take a chance on being nice to them." The thought stabbed at me and I shuddered at the thought of being nice. Instead, I was spying on the little tart again and for unknown reasons, he was wearing only his boxers. I watched as he made his way towards the Forbidden Forest, wondering why he was going there dressed the way he was. "Why is he going there at all?" I asked myself quietly. Silent and curious, I crept along behind him, admiring him from a distance. Suddenly, a robed figure pounced from the cover of the darkened brush and lunged at Harry, knocking him to the ground. Tossing away rationality and acting instinctively, I drew my magic reserves and started casting lethal spells at the robed man. As I approached the lifeless body of my victim it was Harry Potter, my love.

"No!" I screamed in pain "No!" 'I killed the only thing that means anything to me, the reason I live, the reason I breathe! I can't live with Harry!' I fell to my knees crying tears of blood into my hands and they did not stop and the pain only deepened.

I was vaguely aware of being moved but it did not matter. I killed Harry. My Harry. I killed him. He is dead.

I slowly got to my feet. Looking down at the body of my dead love, tears still falling from my eyes. "Wake up," I whispered pleadingly to him begging him to be faking, praying I am wrong. I felt cold metal on my finger and looked down to see the silver band on my finger. I brought it up to my lips and kissed the ring. As I did so my mind cleared and the illusion faded.

Standing before me was the woman vampire looking at me with wide eyes. "The embrace?" I asked. She just nodded. "You are a sick woman. Out of all the things I could have seen why this?"

"Because this is what will come to pass," she whispered to me.

"Never," I spoke my words soft and kind but firm.

******

At that moment my eyes shot open. My silver eyes flushed with a red cloud.

"You need to rest for the embrace to take hold the quickest," she told me as she moved around to face me.

"So I can be subject to your twisted dreams? No, I don't have time to rest I must go." I started to get to my feet when she firmly grasped my shoulders.

"You, fledgling, will do as your mistress commands and sleep." Her eyes went wide as she found her command had no effect on me. "How?"

"Control rune," I whispered as I shoved her hands away from me.

"How dare you!" her look was becoming predatory and she started to prepare herself for a fight.

I just smiled as she started to run forward. As she ran for me I converted myself into ectoplasm (ghost form).

I don't know why or how but it seemed a natural instinct as I became insubstantial and ghostlike. In the end the only thing that remained was a wispy outline of my former self. She literally flew through me. As I turned around she was picking herself up off the ground looking at me in a daze. Just then an idea came to me and I put my hand inside her chest and concentrated on becoming corporal again. As I began to become solid she screamed in pain as my hand and arm forced a wound to appear in her chest as my hand closed around her heart crushing it. Her screams were starting to fade as she fought to stay upright and conscious. I slowly pulled my hand, dripping in her blood, out of her, and she fell limp at my feet.

I remembered my DADA classes that the only way to be truly sure a vampire is destroyed is to turn the body into ash. So pulling my wand from my robes I whispered 'Incendio' and the body burst into flames. I just watched as the fire died leaving only ashes in its wake.

"Master?" Spyro asked unsure weather it was really me or not.

"Shut up you damn flying rat!" the comment was out of my mouth before I could silence it. 'I am going to have to learn how to control this new temper of mine.' "Let's go back to the River of Styx now that I can cross." I was feeling weak and sleepy. Maybe I should have done as she asked and slept, but, no, Harry needs me. I have not time for rest, not yet anyway.

******

I had to call the ferryman back over when we arrived at the river, Spyro sitting on my shoulder. As I boarded the ferry, the ferryman, 'a skeleton of his former self' I laugh in my mind and a smile graces what I have left for lips, held his hand up expecting payment. After placing a Copper coin in his hand he began guiding me to the other side, I left Spyro over there for he is still living and can not cross. Well he can but he would be dead by the time he gets to the other side.

The other side of the river was not a desert like the side I just came from. This side was more like a cavern, completely stone. The heat was stifling though; it is a feeling that is easier for the undead to ignore. I would hear a scream every now and then as I followed the path that my ring led me on. I could sense I was getting closer to Harry but I could also sense I was getting closer to something evil and powerful and definitely not friendly.

I came to a door carved into the side of a mountain pass that I was traveling down. On the other side of the door is the direction that Harry was in, or so that is what I felt. The door however was warded with 13 magical wards. I began casting the 'Erase' spell Talon had made sure I learned. I was only able to erase 3 of the 13 before my magic reserves were depleted. I would have to rest or sleep for a good 8 hours before trying again. It did not help that I was only strong enough to cast the spell 5 times before I am depleted. I sat down in front of the door, almost tempted to open it without removing the other 10 wards. However I know my limits and you don't take chances in Hell.

After waiting 8 hours I stood back up and attempted to remove at least five more of the wards, if I can cast the spell perfectly each time. But no such luck. I was only able to drop another three of the ten leaving seven wards still in place on the door as I sat down again. The third go at the door was the worst yet--only one of the remaining seven fell to my power making me think I would never get it. This only heightened my respect for ward breakers as I sat for the third time. My fourth attempt went about like my first, dropping three more of the six wards remaining leaving me with only three left. 'If the pattern holds I will be able to enter the damned room in about 8 hours.' I thought bitterly to myself. On the fifth attempt I only managed two out of the three but I was able to cast the spell six times instead of five which meant that I was getting better with that spell and I only had one ward left. On my sixth attempt and second casting of the spell the ward vanished and I nearly jumped for joy! Nearly 48 hours spent on trying to get into one damned door! 'Wait two days? I am so sorry Harry!' I opened the door and rushed into the room.

Inside the room was a maze that took me another three hours to figure out. The closer to the center of the maze I got the louder the screaming became. So much so, that I had to cast the silencing charm around me to keep myself from going deaf. But Harry's voce in my mind did not fade and his cries for help became even more desperate as time went on.

As I got to the center of the maze I had finally calmed my one 'dark' mind enough that my eyes had lost their red glint and were back to the silver gray that I am used to. However, I was becoming more and more aware of a thrust that was creeping into the back of my mind. The thing I saw standing in the center of the maze made me forget the thrust at least for the moment. It looked to be a young Dragon not real big, but still, at 10-feet-tall it was big enough to kill me if I was not careful. The disturbing fact was that the dragon was only bone. I started backing away from the dragon the moment I saw it and I hoped with all my heart that it had not seen me. 'Calm down Draco! Surely if Harry can take on a dragon and live to tell the tale, then so can you.' Even encouraging myself I still had a bad feeling about this.

I saw my target. I could sense Harry just on the other side of a silver porthole in the center of the room with the dragon pacing back and forth in front of it. Just then I felt a pull in the back of my mind just like when I had turned all ghost-like. I decided rather quickly that a bone dragon could probably hurt even a ghost. Things just did not add up though. I was missing something, but what? I thought about this a while from the safety of hiding around the corner out of the dragon's view. That is when it came to me. The pull in the back of my mind was not the same as the one for the ghost form. Maybe it was another power that could help me pass the dragon?

I chanced a glance at the porthole and cleared everything from my mind but that pull and my desire to be in front of the porthole. After a while of concentration I felt something in the air around me give way as a silver porthole opened in front of me at the same time as another one was opening in front of the other porthole, so close were they you could not see between them. "Dimensional Door..." I whispered as my face made its way into a grin.

Stepping through the porthole was an odd experience nothing like the other silver door that had brought me back to earth. This one was much more violent and when I stepped out I could only think how much I just wanted the room to stop spinning and for the floor to make up its mind on an angle. After the floor evened out and the room stopped spinning, the desire to make a rather untidy mess on the floor with my last meal was still ever so present but I forged on. Harry pleas in my head were more important then whether I spewed or not.

After pulling myself together I looked around the dim lit room to find the only thing occupying the room, (and it was not Harry to my displeasure!) was a pedestal in the center of the room. I slowly approached it not knowing what to expect from the ruby that lay on the black velvet on top of the pedestal. The red glow of the ruby could not make it good though. Looking down at the gemstone I could see Harry trapped inside it. Fire was lapping at his form while a whip made angry marks on his body. The image was sickening and nearly made me lose the last of my control over my already queasy stomach. I quickly picked up the gem and darted back out the way I came.

I noted after picking up the gem that my mind quieted as the gemstone changed colors from red to white. I did not falter in step though as I stepped out of the porthole that I made, and continued though the maze with dizziness and all. I did not stop 'til I made it to the door that I had removed all the wards on. There standing at the door was a 'Raveler' (an eater of souls). The wards on the door were likely to have been put up to keep creatures like it out.

"Step aside!" I hissed at it.

*You have something I want. I will let you pass after you give it to me. * It was talking to me through my mind but that did not phase me in the least.

"What is it, pray tell, that I have that you want?"

*The soul of Harry Potter. * The Potter part was drug out in the way that my father sometimes spoke the name.

"Lucius?"

*Yes Draco it is I, your father. *

My voce got a deadly edge to it, "You have some nerve showing your face around me old man!"

*You can't kill me Draco I am already dead thanks to you. * He almost sounded hurt.

I just glared at him as I pulled the part of my mind forward and opened a Dimensional Door behind him and in front of me. I left him in my dust using my new vampire strength to outpace him to the river. If I could make it across the river I would never have to see him again.

I pulled the copper coin from my pocket and gave it to the ferryman just as my father came into view, but it was too late for him. By the time he got down to the lake side I was already halfway across.

On the other side of the river I found Spyro waiting for me, or rather hiding from everything. "Take me back to Sabastion Tower now Spyro."

"Get what you came for then, Master?"

"Yes..." a small smile played across my face.

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