Reaching Through Time
Chapter 12: Blood Bond
Time continued to move forward for both Harry and Tom. Every weekend while Tom was at school, Harry would visit him and learn about all the magic that Tom had been studying. It took a lot of convincing, on Harry's part, before Tom finally trusted Abraxas enough to tell him what was going on with Harry.
What really convinced Tom to trust Abraxas was the magic oath the young Malfoy offered to make in order to learn the secret that Tom was keeping from him.
In the end Tom didn't require the magic oath.
With Abraxas in the loop regarding Harry's time travelling, research started moving forward a little faster. The young Malfoy was able to help Tom narrow down what sorts of books that Tom would need to find. Abraxas was also extremely useful when it came to training.
The summer after Tom's first year had a surprise for the young Riddle. The Malfoy's had located Tom's only living magical relative, that was not in Azkaban, and had taken him to meet his uncle. It took little effort to convince Morfin to give up any guardianship rights he had over his nephew. The same could be said for the Riddles when the Malfoy's figured out that they were Tom's paternal relatives.
So by the end of summer Tom had been adopted into the Malfoy family. The ritual bound Tom by blood to the Malfoy's. He wouldn't be the heir, that was Abraxas' place, but he also would never be alone or without family ever again.
Tom did decide to keep his Gaunt name though, which the Malfoy's were fine with.
The Malfoy elders did offer to adopt Harry as well, which left Harry feeling warm and happy, but he refused as gently as he could. When the time, meaning when Harry turned 11, Tom and Abraxas had a plan set up so the Malfoy's would have a reason to offer adoption once again.
Meeting Harry during the weekends became easier when Tom and Abraxas entered their 3rd year and were allowed to visit Hogsmeade. They still had to be careful about a particular blue eyed professor, but with Abraxas' help Tom was mostly able to keep under the radar.
Tom's third year was also the time when he started noticing something off about Harry. The younger boy started getting fatigued easily, but Tom attributed that to the more difficult spells that he and Abraxas were teaching Harry. All Harry needed was an hour or so of rest and he was completely well again. After awhile though Harry started getting more and more tired even when he wasn't training.
If the fatigue had been gradual, or at least predictable, Tom would have noticed it faster. As it was sometimes Harry would be overly energetic and wouldn't show any signs at all. Sometimes he even had more energy and power then the young wizard rightfully should have had.
Harry's first collapse happened during the summer after third year.
"He needs to go back to his time Tom." Abraxas whispered quickly as the healer his mother had called for inspected Harry. "All the time jumping is wearing him out."
Tom hissed ever so softly. Even Ladon and Ophion were arguing over what was going on. "Harry hasn't been this drained in years. He's been perfectly stable since we first started training when he was 5!"
Abraxas shook his head wearily. "Time magic is still a big mystery. Who knows what years of time travel would do to the magical core of someone as young as Harry!"
The sound of people moving around in the hall made Tom press a hand to his adopted brother's mouth. Even with Abraxas' mouth covered Tom threw up a quickly silencing spell so no one in the hall would hear them.
But that didn't mean they couldn't hear what was being said in the hall.
At first the words from the adults were quiet, but that was rectified when Abraxas used one of his more useful spying spells that enhanced what the could hear.
"-core is in chaos. I honestly don't know what to tell you Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy." The healer was saying quickly as she relayed what her diagnostic spells had told her. "I've never seen such a powerful magical core before, especially in someone so young. But that's the problem; there's so much rapid growth that Harry can't maintain it."
"It feels like his magic is draining away though." Mrs. Malfoy's voice was filled with worry for the young boy that was in her charge for the summer.
There was a moment of silence before the healer spoke again. "It is. It feels like someone is purposefully draining his magic, but I can't follow the direction of the flow at all. It just vanishes." Again silence and Tom had a feeling the healer was shaking her head. "His core is trying to compensate by forcing growth so that there's more power, but-" Her words hung in the air.
Tom shot a glare at Abraxas before trying to focus in on the adults again.
"Not now Abraxas," Tom hissed, but was stopped when Ladon actually bit him on the ear to get him to listen to the Malfoy boy.
"There's an owl with the Gringotts emblem at the window." Abraxas had only noticed it because the blasted bird had started tapping quietly.
Tom spun around and went to the window swiftly. Over the last few years he and Harry had been getting periodical letters from their 'benefactors', courtesy of the Goblins at Gringotts, and each time the letters revealed info that was desperately needed shortly afterwards.
Throwing open the window, Tom accepted the letter that the owl was holding out and didn't even bother to thank the bird as it took off right away.
Several things could be happening right now, and letters have been written for each situation. If you're reading this particular letter then you don't have much time.
Get Harry to Gringotts as soon as you can and get the blood binding ritual done. A particularly nasty Wizard in Harry's time is attempting to drastically weaken Harry. It's part of a plot that involves making Harry into some sort of weapon.
Your only other option is to prohibit Harry from travelling into the past until he's 11. If you do that though his life may be in danger.
You've done well up till now, don't let your anger get the best of you.
Sure enough Tom's temper was flaring up as he read the letter.
Someone was trying to harm HIS Harry?! He wouldn't just let that happen.
"It's time to enact our plan Abraxas." Tom's eyes were pitch black as he stared up from the letter to look at his brother.
When the letter was passed to him, the edges ripped from where Tom had gripped it so hard, Abraxas read through the words swiftly. "I agree."
Later Tom would find it rather fortuitous that the blood adoption ritual was always done at Gringotts.
At the moment though all Tom could think about was the plan he and Abraxas had made which would give Harry a home with the Malfoy's.
"Mother. Father." Abraxas stepped out of the room he and Tom had been ease dropping from and walked up to his parents. The healer bowed and went back into Harry's room to continue to monitor his health.
"Abraxas dear, did you want something?" Mrs. Malfoy tried to sound calm, but her voice wavered ever so subtly with worry.
Looking back at Tom to make sure he was prepared, Abraxas took a deep breath and nodded. "Tom needs to speak to you. About Hadrian."
The two adults led the two teens into Mr. Malfoy's study down the hall. Tom waited to speak until everyone was sitting.
"Harry asked that I not tell you this, but..." Tom quickly glanced away to look like he was worried about something. "When his parents died in an accident he was sent to live with his relatives. They...they abuse him." His hands clenched into fists and Tom had to keep himself from getting too angry. He really didn't need to pretend for this part of the story. "They hate him. He nearly died when he was little because of them."
Mrs. Malfoy's hands were up over her lips as Tom relayed the story of what had happened with the dogs that one Halloween night.
"Why," Mrs. Malfoy's voice was shaking even more now. "Why didn't he tell us? Why didn't he want us to know?"
Tom shook his head angrily and refused to look at either of his adopted parents.
"Because he was scared." Abraxas' words were soft and he put a comforting hand on Tom's shoulder. "They are muggles. Tom and Harry told me his magical guardian was doing what he could to help Harry, but he never really did anything except make the portkey. But now..."
It was well known that Mr. Malfoy was a quick thinker. He often times thought up the worst case scenario and planned for it.
"Hadrian wasn't scared of his muggle relatives. He was scared of his magical guardian...wasn't he?" With Tom's short and quick nod Mr. Malfoy cursed. "The healer said Hadrian's core was being drained. I would bet every galleon I have that it's this magical guardian."
Quickly Mr. Malfoy stood up and strode out of the study and back down the hall towards Harry's room.
"Father-" Abraxas jumped up to follow, but his mother reached out to stop him.
"He's going to have the healer scan for any magical signatures on Hadrian dear. All spells leave imprints, including draining spells."
Mr. Malfoy returned quickly after that. "We can't leave him to his relatives any longer. As soon as Hadrian is well enough, we are going to Gringotts to have the guardianship changed. If we have to blood adopt him to break the guardianship then that's what we will do."
There was a quiet rage building within Mr. Malfoy, the likes of which Tom had seen only once before. Even though the man was standing straight, his words were even, and he looked calm Tom knew he was beyond angry.
"I'm sorry we didn't tell you." Tom whispered quickly. He didn't want that man, the man that had adopted him and given him a home, to be angry with him.
As soon as those twords were out of Tom's mouth the tension in Mr. Malfoy's shoulders vanished and he went from angry to regretful. "You were respecting Hadrian's wishes Tom. None of this was your fault."
And yet a large part of Tom believed it was. Even though the letters had all recommended they wait, that Gothrack had suggested they wait, Tom could have insisted Harry stay in the past. Harry could have had a home with the Malfoy's, been happy instead of having to deal with his relatives on a regular basis. Tom had been selfish when he'd agreed to let Harry travel back and forth; all so he could be with the younger boy as often as he could.
"Tom." Tom felt his shoulders as they were grabbed and he blinked in confusion. Mr. Malfoy had taken a hold of him and was bending down to look him in the eye. "This was not your fault. Only the one doing this to Hadrian is to blame."
Yes. Mr. Malfoy was right. The real person to blame was the one draining Harry! Tom couldn't let his anger get the best of him; he needed to think clearly.
"Mr. Malfoy?" The tense silence that had settled around them was broken when the healer came back. "Hadrian Smith is awake."
Instantly Tom was out of the study and racing back to Harry's room.
Little Harry was sitting up in his bed, his eyes closed and his breathing gentle. When Tom climbed up onto the bed Harry's eyes slipped open and he smiled.
Harry's eyes were brighter than normal and it worried Tom. In the boy's pale face those bright green eyes seemed to glow.
"We're doing the blood binding ritual." Tom whispered hurriedly before the Malfoy's could join him. "When they offer to adopt you, say yes."
Harry worried at his lower lip, his teeth biting into it gently. "You sure? I feel fine now. Maybe I've just been over extending myself."
The younger boy disliked the idea of not being able to see Tom throughout the year just as much as Tom did.
Tom shook his head hard and held Harry's hands tightly. "No. We're doing this now Harry. You're in too much danger back there." He'd show his friend the letter later when they were alone.
That was the last thing Tom was able to say on the subject before the Malfoy's walked into the room, the healer wandering in just behind them.
As the Malfoy's spoke with a hesitant Harry about them adopting him, Tom's attention wandered. Through his connection with Harry, Tom could feel the magic being drained from him. From what he could feel, the amount being drained wasn't a lot, but it was possible the healer had done something to stem the flow.
Thinking of the healer, Tom looked over at her. In her hands was a little crystal that was glowing softly. "What's that?" Tom whispered his question to Abraxas only for the boy to shrug.
The healer must have noticed Tom looking at her, because she smiled and wandered over. "Did you have a question?" She looked tired, but the worry she'd been showing earlier over Harry's health had all but vanished.
With a nod Tom pointed at the crystal in the woman's hands.
"Oh? This little crystal is taking a sample of the magic that is draining Hadrian's core. The longer I let it work the better of a sample I will have."
Tom frowned and squinted his eyes at the crystal. He was sure it wasn't doing anything to Harry, but Tom wasn't as sensitive as his friend was about this sort of thing. That didn't stop him from focusing on the crystal to try and figure out what the magic inside it felt like.
"Hopefully we'll be able to match the magical signature in this crystal to the witch or wizard that's hurting your friend." The healer continued to say as she held the crystal up to get a look at it. "It might take some time, but we'll find the person doing this. Stealing from another's magical core, especially a child's, is highly dangerous. When the person is found they'll be tried for attempted murder of a minor."
"That's enough." Mrs. Malfoy hissed as she caught on to the conversation Tom and the healer were having. She and her husband were helping Harry to stand up on his own. "We're going to Gringotts now. It would be appreciated if you came as well."
The two women rapidly discussed things quietly as Tom went over to help Harry, who looked to be having a hard time staying upright. Mr. Malfoy was on Harry's other side, watching carefully for any signs that the small boy would fall.
The fastest way would always be apparition, but the question was could Harry handle it?
The choice was made for them when Harry faltered and he started to faint again. The draining on his magic core was growing stronger again and this time it caused blood to drip from his nose.
"Hold you to me now." Mr. Malfoy said quickly as he took hold of Harry. Tom grabbed hold of his adopted father's arm. Out of the corner of his eye he spotted Mrs. Malfoy taking hold of Abraxas.
With a crack all the Malfoy's, Tom, Harry, and the healer were gone. Swiftly they appeared at the apparition point in Diagon Alley.
"Just a little longer now." Mr. Malfoy was whispering gently as he lifted Harry up into his arms and carried him through the street ignoring the strange looks they were getting. He had little care for what others thought when a child in his care was in danger.
The goblins reacted quickly when the Malfoy's swept in with a barely conscious Harry. Gothrack was summoned and the group was led to a ritual room that was being prepared.
"We need a blood adoption ritual." The healer was telling the goblins, who were pretty much ignoring her in favor of actually doing their jobs.
"Set Mr. Smith here." Gothrack indicated the stone table that was at the center of an intricate circle of runes. "This shall stabilize him for the ritual."
Mr. Malfoy eyed the runes before setting the boy down. "Those seem a bit excessive." Especially for a simple ritual that only required a potion and the blood of the parents and child that were to become a family.
"A precaution." Gothrack waved a hand negligibly as if he didn't care.
Tom knew what those runes meant, even if he couldn't actually understand them. They were for the blood binding ritual that would keep Harry anchored in the past. When Tom had gone through the blood adoption it'd been a quick and simple affair.
"Please don't argue with them dear." Mrs. Malfoy whispered quickly to her husband. The sooner this was all done and taken care of the sooner Harry would be safe with them.
If there was one thing that earned Tom's respect for the Goblins, it was how they were masters at manipulation. While several goblins distracted the adults with the blood adoption potion and paperwork, Gothrack worked swiftly with an assistant to work the blood bonding ritual that Harry was in the middle of.
"Hand." Gothrack growled out as he reached out to Tom. Instantly Tom's hand was out with his palm up. A dagger was sliced swiftly and cleaning across Tom's palm and the blood that dripped down fell onto the runes below him.
The goblin did the same with Harry's palm and then whispered an incantation.
There were enough spells designed for discretion around them that no one noticed the runes as they lit up or the wispy thread that connected both Tom and Harry grow and turn gold. For the moment that it hovered in the air between the two boys it looked more like a gold chain then just a thread.
Harry let out a little sigh and some color returned to his pale cheeks. Tom could still feel some of his magic draining away, but at least now it wasn't as noticeable. In fact, if Tom focused on Harry's magic, he could kind of feel the direction it was going.
"Blood adoption potion is ready." The other head goblin that had been distracting the Malfoy adults spoke up once he spotted the blood binding ritual was done.
With a nod Gothrack took the goblet that was being cared over to him. The potion inside it swirled oddly between silver and dark red.
With quick movements Gothrack used his magic to help Harry sit up and then held the goblet to the boy's lips. The boy only needed to drink a few drops for the potion to take effect, so once Gothrack was sure enough was consumed he handed the potion away to another goblin.
The blood adoption potion worked through Harry's system and within minutes his color had returned and he was resting peacefully. His magic core was low, but at least now it wasn't being actively drained. With time and rest little Harry would be back at full strength and then some.
As it had with Tom, a few of Harry's features changed as his body accepted the genetic tweaks that the blood adoption gave him. With how young he was, and with how his body was still growing, the changes wouldn't be immediately obvious until his teens.
"Tom?" Harry's words were whispered and tired as his now pale green eyes opened to look around blearily. He reached up and tried to adjust his glasses only to pull them off. His eyes went wide and a grin split across his face. "I don't need my glasses!"
"Of course not." Abraxas said with a huff. "Malfoy's have exquisite eye sight."
"Indeed." Now that the danger had passed Mr. Malfoy was once again completely cool and composed.
Unlike the adults, Abraxas had witnessed everything. He'd already known about what had to be done so it wasn't a great shock to him.
Most of the goblins had left, leaving only Gothrack to watch over the wizarding family. The healer checked over Harry only to confirm that his magic was safe and that he needed rest to recover. A few restorative potions wouldn't hurt either.
In Northern Scotland a particular blue eyed wizard was extremely confused. For a moment or two his magic had gotten such a huge boost and he had no idea from where. The arrival of the magic had been sudden, but before he could figure out where it had come from the link had been severed.
Dumbledore was less concerned about gaining the magic and more concerned about how powerful the boost had been. The tiny amount he had gotten had powered up his magic so much that the spell he'd been experimenting with caused various glass vials and pitches to not only shatter, but turn to dust.
If he'd had just an extra second Dumbledore could have taken a sample of the unknown magic, but as it was he hadn't had enough time between his shock and the sudden cutoff.
With a bit of concentration Dumbldore reshaped the glass dust back to the items they had been previously. There was no hope to save the potions or any of the liquid ingredients so he was forced to use a cleaning spell to remove what was left.
For now he put the strange magic from his mind. It was a mystery he would be unable to solve at this time, and he had other concerns and duties to attend to.