Also available as: Epub
A Mother's Love
A/N: I do not own Harry Potter. Nor any of the other characters or situations associated with Harry Potter. Or much of anything else.
"How is he, Poppy?"
"He's in intense pain, as is to be expected," the nurse sighed as she examined the young boy sleeping in the bed. "Evidence of multiple curses including, but not limited to the Cruciatus, and signs of possession. It's a wonder he was able to walk."
"Yes, I witnessed some of what he went through," Dumbledore nodded, "and I stupidly made him wait in my office while I dealt with other things. Rest assured, tonight was the very last time I will risk him in any way."
"I hope you're right, Albus," Poppy said as she continued to work on healing her patient. The nurse pulled away from the sleeping boy as his famous scar split open and a roiling dark… something escaped before seeming to writhe and evaporate, leaving behind in the place of the prominent scar, little more than a zigzag red line.
"So," Albus breathed. "It has finally worked."
"What do you mean, Albus?" Poppy asked, looking up to see the back of the Headmaster's robes as he hurried from the Medical Wing.
Dumbledore made his way from the Hospital Wing moved purposefully toward his destroyed office. He could not blame Harry for what he had done. Considering the boy's life and, indeed the things Albus, himself, had inflicted upon him, it was amazing he didn't explode into a rage on a regular basis. He entered his office and surveyed the damage. Albus raised his wand and cast, watching in satisfaction as everything was put right. He then went to his desk and extracted a half-full bottle and a pair of tumblers, then turned on the spot and disappeared with a snap.
--- A Mother's Love ---
Only to return to reality outside of a dilapidated country house.
Albus paused to get his bearings and did not fail to notice the bodies near the door. Tom, it seemed was in a bit of a mood. Inside the house, he found more of the same. Body after body littered the floor and walls. The only body in the master suite on the first floor was that of Bellatrix Lestrange, a look of shock frozen on her face. Approaching the huddled form quietly sobbing in the corner furthest from the door, Albus conjured a matching pair of his favorite chair with a table between them. He placed the glasses onto the tabletop and uncorking the bottle poured three fingers of the amber fluid into each glass. "Bad day Tom?" he asked conversationally as he took his seat.
Tom Riddle looked up in shock, his reptilian face shining in the light of the room from the tears that still flowed free. "Why are you here, Dumbledore? What have you done to me?"
"I am simply here to explain what is happening to you, Tom. As far as what was done to you, I have done nothing. No, your current condition is the work of a young witch named Lily Potter."
"Potter?" Riddle asked as he pulled himself from the floor into the vacant chair. "But I killed… I killed her…" the Dark Wizard almost collapsed in the chair, seeming to fold into himself. "James… Oh, god! I killed James."
"Yes, you did, and of course, Lily as well," Albus pointed out.
"What…" Tom's mouth worked but words did not come out for several seconds, "What did she do to me?"
"First, you have to admire the amount of study she put into defeating you," Albus said. "You know, she spent most of two years behind a Fidelius charm. She spent almost that entire time researching you for weaknesses, and she believed she found one."
"She postulated, that since you were conceived under a love potion, you were vulnerable to love."
"That's absurd," Tom sniffed through his tears.
"Is it?" Albus asked before gesturing toward the corpse of Bellatrix Lestrange. "Why did you kill her?"
"She killed Sirius Black!" Tom spat viciously. "She needed to die for that!"
"Why would you care about Sirius Black?" Albus asked.
"His death hurt Harry," Tom responded, "They all hurt Harry. All the Death Eaters. They all had to die!" Riddle's eyes going wide when he realized what he had said.
"Indeed, Sirius' death did hurt Harry," Dumbledore agreed, "and sadly, they did need to die."
--- A Mother's Love ---
"An amazing young woman, Lily Potter. You know, she postulated that you were using some kind of phylactery without ever having come across any documentation on Horcruxes. It seems the concept of soul containers has made its way into Muggle fiction and was part of a game she had taught many of her classmates to play. A marvelous concept really, I spectated at several sessions of her 'Dungeons and Dragons' games and was shocked by how much of magical reality has made its way into Muggle fiction."
"And I killed her," Tom sobbed.
"Yes, you did," Albus agreed, "but not before she laid the foundations for your defeat."
The old man leaned back in his chair, lifting his drink to his lips and taking a moment to savor the flavor. "You see, she knew that if you ever pierced the Fidelius, her family was going to die, so she set forth to try to protect their child. She went as far as creating new spells and even incantations to use against you and protect young Harry. She had the ingenious idea of using English phrases for the incantations so as to hide them."
With trembling hands, Riddle took the tumbler Albus had poured for him and raised it to his lips. "So, it was Lily Potter who engineered my defeat?" He whispered. "But she was dead before the boy did whatever he did."
"I thought much the same for the longest time," Dumbledore admitted. "It took me most of a decade to unravel the spell chain she constructed with the help of her husband, her son, and of course, you, and that was with her notes. Such a marvelous intellect, just imagine what she could have done given the opportunity."
"What did she do to me?" Riddle demanded.
"The first part of the spell was evoked by James Potter. He knew he could not match you in a fight, but he trusted his wife to allow him to protect his son, so he fought you to gain her the time she needed. You mistook the incantation he used for a warning."
"Lily, take Harry and go!" Riddle recited from memory.
"Exactly," Dumbledore nodded, refilling both of their glasses. "Lily identified the destination for his magic to flow toward, take Harry, identified the target of the protection, and go! Linked his life force to the protection. When you killed him, the protections for Harry were anchored to the boy."
"As he intended, your fight with James gave Lily the time she needed to complete her preparations. You entered the nursery and raised your wand to her."
"Not Harry, please, have mercy, have mercy," Tom remembered.
"Have mercy, evoked twice," Dumbledore nodded. "Lily gifted you with her emotions, her love for her family, you killing her bound her gift to you. Her working theory was that after her emotions were bound to you, you would be unable to harm her son. She had a formidable mind, but she lacked the experience to know that her emotions would only grow in you with exposure to Harry."
"Which started when James' protections destroyed Quirrel, and grew when I used his blood in my resurrection," Tom nodded, his tears finally stopping.
"And finally brought to final fruition when you possessed him last night at the ministry, and you saw the pain of loss that has defined Harry's life. His mother's love consumed you utterly, making her loves, her hates, her dreams, yours." Riddle nodded again,
"And the third part?" Riddle asked. "What was it that destroyed me?"
"That part you evoked yourself. Part of Lily's preparations was to add a level of protections of her own to Harry," Dumbledore smiled, "Her notes called it 'belt and braces'. The 'lightning bolt scar' was a runic trap she designed. She knew that you habitually used the killing curse, so your use of 'Avada' armed the trap, and the first syllable of 'Kedavra' triggered the trap to release its destructive magic, destroying your body and wrecked the cottage. Unfortunately, the trap also served as an anchor for a portion of your shredded soul. This accounts for the linkage you've had with Harry, as well as the intensity of your current feelings for him."
--- A Mother's Love ---
Tom sighed longingly. "Can you… can you tell me about him?"
"Harry is a rather driven young man," Albus said with a smile. "I rather worry about him being able to find his way in the world now that you will no longer be waiting in the shadows for him, but I believe his friends will help him. Miss Granger, for example, clearly loves her friend. I have had to obliviate her twice when she, quite on her own, developed a plan remarkably similar to that of Lily Potter and planned to give her life to protect Harry."
"So, this Granger girl is his girlfriend?" Tom asked. "Lucius' reports gave the impression that she was more of a… pet."
"Obedience is not a trait that Miss Granger has in abundance, and the young man who tries to dominate her will be in for a rude awakening, something young Draco has experienced several times," Albus laughed quietly. "No, I do not believe she and Harry are a romantic pairing, at least not yet. This year he appeared to start taking an interest in Miss Luna Lovegood."
"A Lovegood?" Tom asked in shock.
"There is no need to worry, their new relationship has not gone that far, Harry has not yet had to learn the lesson that so many young men his age get about sticking their dicks into crazy," Albus nodded. "Though I believe Miss Ginny Weasley is planning on supplying that lesson given the opportunity."
"He's only 15," Tom protested.
"He's only 15 and one of the most famous young men in Magical Britain," Dumbledore pointed out. "Many young women find that interesting, and many young men would take full advantage of that interest."
"But not My Harry," Tom.
Albus raised an eyebrow at the claim of ownership. "Perhaps not, still it will be a temptation."
"What will you do with me?" Riddle asked. "Everything I've done, everyone I've hurt…"
"I'm not doing anything, Tom. It's up to you. Look into your soul and ask yourself, what would Harry want?"
Riddle nodded and emptied his glass before reaching for the bottle and pulling his wand from his sleeve. "Ha!' he laughed unexpectantly, "suddenly it all makes sense."
"What makes sense, Tom?" Albus asked.
"I never really understood why I waited until late May to execute one of my plots against Harry. I told myself that it was due to the upcoming summer solstice, or a particularly potent new moon, but no, none of that was the real reason."
"I had noticed your pattern and I must admit I wondered about your reasons," Albus noted.
"I always waited until the end of the year," Tom explained, "because, at some level, I was always concerned about his education."
Albus rose from his chair with a smile and left the room, and was utterly unsurprised when the green flare of a killing curse flashed from the master suite before he made it to the bottom of the stairs. Perhaps it was time for Miss Granger to 'find' Lily Potter's notes.
A/N: Recently, somewhere, I'm not sure where I encountered a discussion online where someone suggested that a story where Tom got a bit more than immunity to Harry's touch by using his blood in his regaining a body might be fun, with Voldemort suddenly having an overwhelming need to protect Harry.
Being a firm believer that anything worth doing is worth overdoing I got to thinking, what if it started well before the Graveyard? And what if Tom had more than a desire to 'protect' Harry (as funny as that might be) but ends up actually loving Harry?
At one time, I considered having 'Mother' Tom abduct Harry and attempt to have a familial relationship with him, but I'm already accused of ripping off Rorshack Blot for many of my stories and The Blot did write the definitive versions of this idea with his stories that had a slightly more delusional than Canon Bellatrix 'adopt' a panicked Neville and attempt to make the world's cutest Dark Lord out of him while gathering him a harem. An idea that Augusta Longbottom is strangely okay with because of the possibility of hordes of Great Grandbabies.
So, I went the 'Tom can't deal with his new perspective of what he's done' version above.
Also, this is an attempt of writing a version of Dumbledore that isn't the Manipulative Bearded Bastard that I (and canon) usually present.
This story has been marked as suitable for adult readers only.