DISCLAIMER: The Harry Potter world
and characters belong to J.K. Rowling. I am not JK Rowling. (Duh) I'm not
making any money from this, this is merely amusement. Yada yada yada. You get
A/N: Again, thanks to my wonderful
Beta readers, Wombat and Iviolinist. Couldn't do it without you guys. A
billion thanks to Jo for creating all of this. And thanks to anybody that
has reviewed my story or will review this; the feedback is greatly
A Death Eater's Tale. . .
At the entrance to the
castle, a man with dull, thin hair and a sour look on his face stood holding a
paddle-like object aloft. A long line of students waited in front of him.
As each one approached the door, he passed the paddle over their robes. The
paddle crackled and squeaked, after which he shoved each student inside
the doors. As he jabbed one boy, the paddle began to shake and wail with
pockets!" the man cried triumphantly.
"I havenít got
anything, Filch." The boy, a third year, looked nervous and tried to push
past the man.
"My Secrecy Sensor
never lies, boy!" the man seized the boyís tie and pulled him away from
the door. "Empty your pockets!" Without waiting for a reaction, the
man thrust his hand into the boyís robes pocket ("Hey!") and pulled
out a small bag of grenade-like objects.
the man exclaimed with distaste. His grimace morphed into an evil grin as
he threw the bag into a sack that lay beside him. "None of these in
my school this year." The boy frowned and walked into the school
reluctantly, muttering to himself. The line moved slowly, with occasional
outbursts of protest from those in front. When David reached the head of the
line, the paddle wailed again. David smiled mischievously as he pulled a pink
heart-shaped bottle out of his pocket.
"It's for Myrtle,
sir," he said, coughing to cover his laughter. Filch seized the bottle and
frowned as he held it up to the light.
"A love potion wouldn't
set off my Secrecy Sensor, Wellington," he growled.
"Well . . . er. . .
it is a bit of a secret," David fought to keep a straight face.
Barty wondered how long he had been planning this. Filch glowered at David and
threw the love potion into his sack, shoving him into the castle.
growled and Barty stepped forward, trying desperately to swallow his laughter.
Behind Filch's back, David pulled a bag of dungbombs out of his other pocket
and winked. Barty, Edith and Bryan all passed by Filch without incident and the
four walked confidently over to the Great Hall. The Great Hall was bursting
with students greeting each other loudly and warmly as they found seats at
their respective House tables under the watchful eye of the Hogwarts
Professors, who sat at a long table at the head of the Hall. At the center of
the table, a tall old man with shoulder-length white hair and a matching beard
sat in a large gilded chair and gazed down his nose at the students, his eyes twinkling
behind half-moon shaped glasses.
Barty and his friends
lingered by the doors of the Hall. They looked out over the younger studentsí
heads as the crowd in the Great Hall slowly began to be seated. "I wish we could skip the Sorting," David said,
shaking his unruly curls out of his face.
"You know we
canít," Edith said, sighing.
we could," David said with a joking air, "but that
would land us in detention."
"Iím afraid I donít
fancy a detention this early in the term," Edith said playfully.
"Iíll drink to
that," Barty added and they all laughed.
standing up," Bryan noted. "We should go sit down."
They walked over to the
Slytherin table. When the occupants saw them coming, four seats quickly
appeared at the center of the table. As they sat down, they were greeted by
eager smiles and whispered greetings. Barty nodded nobly at his admirers as
Dumbledore gestured toward the doors of the Hall. Professor McGonagall walked
briskly into the hall with her lips set tight. She was followed by a large
group of children who looked around the hall with wide eyes, looking scared out
of their wits.
Barty sighed and rolled
his eyes; the Sorting was so boring. He looked up at the enchanted ceiling,
watching as a cloud moved across the sky. A small tug at his robes jerked him
back to reality. He whipped his head around, but there was no one behind him.
All of the people around him were staring intently at the front of the Hall. What
on Earth . . . Barty thought, furrowing his brow.
"What are you
looking for, ickle Crouch?" A mocking voice whispered in his ear. Barty
closed his eyes; he knew that voice. He knew that voice all too well. Bellatrix
. . . Bellatrix Lestrange . . . "Have you made a decision?"
"Why are you
here?" Barty whispered. He looked anxiously around, but no one had heard
him. He noted that the Sorting Hat had begun to sing.
Bellatrix answered simply.
Cloak?" he asked nervously.
she answered. "Have you made a decision?" she repeated.
"Yes, but -"
he glanced around again, but everyone was still focused on the Sorting.
"We canít talk now," he whispered. "Do you remember where the
portrait of Helga the Haggard is?"
"Right after the
"Donít be late,
little Crouch. I do not have time for teenage pranks. Iím sure there are older,
more qualified wizards -"
there," Barty cut her off. If she replied, Barty didnít hear her, due to
the tumultuous applause that rang through the hall. ĎOlder, more
qualified, wizards,í Barty scoffed at the idea. What right has she
to say that I am not worthy? Iíll show her. Iíll show all of them. Iíll show
. . . Him. Barty gulped involuntarily at the thought of the Dark Lord.
". . .itís done
better, I think," Barty jumped at the whispering before realizing that it
was David. Get a hold of yourself, Crouch, he told himself sternly.
Sylvia," McGonagall called, reading from her list of names which Barty
noted was unusually long this year.
"Here we go
again," David said, sighing.
cried the hat. Applause erupted at the table along the opposite wall. Barty
sighed and again began his examination of the ceiling. The cloud was now
inching toward the moon.
cried the hat. Barty clapped halfheartedly and returned his attention to the
cloud. Slowly it floated toward the moon. Barty cheered it on, thinking that if
only that little cloud touched the moon, everything would be all right.
Suddenly, as if reacting to his thought, the cloud began to move down, and
Barty realized it was going around the moon. He crossed his arms across his
chest and stared dejectedly at his goblet.
At long last, after
ĎWyatt, Rodneyí had been sorted, Dumbledore stood up. "Welcome,
students, to another year!" he said, his eyes twinkling merrily.
"However, I feel that the best time to listen to speeches is on a full
stomach, so letís eat!" As he said the last two words, the platters
along the House Tables were suddenly filled with food. A few of the first years
gasped, but the older students just smiled and dug into the food.
Barty wasnít hungry. He
stared at his empty plate.
"Are you going to
eat something?" Bryan asked as he reached for a second chicken leg.
"Are you all right,
Barty snapped. Bryan eyed him suspiciously , but accepted Bartyís answer
and returned to his food.
Barty wished momentarily
that he hadnít snapped at Bryan, but he was not going to take it back.
He reached for his pumpkin juice and took a quick sip. He set it down and began
to mentally prepare for his future conversation with Bellatrix.
ĎWhat is your decision?í His mental image of
Bellatrix was quite beautiful, Barty noted.
ĎWhen and where?í His mental self
answered, calm and cool.
ĎYou speak boldly,
ĎNo, I speak simply. Who
would dare stand up to the Dark Lord?í
ĎSo you are a coward,
ĎNo. That may be a reason
to join Him, but it is not mine,í Barty doubted that he would be
so confident in reality.
ĎThe Dark Lord awaits
your service. Long has he noted your exceptional talent -í
Barty shook the image
away. That, he thought, admonishing himself, was a bit far-fetched.
He was disgusted by his own vanity. He looked up at his surroundings and realized that
Dumbledore was talking.
"-On that note, I
bid you all a good night!" The hall was full of the deafening sound of
scraping benches as the students got up and headed toward the doors. Barty
stood up and began to follow the rest of the students.
voice from behind Barty stopped him.
"Do you know the
password?" A slightly chubby boy with black hair looked back at Barty. It
was Harrison, the sixth year Slytherin prefect.
"No. Go ask
job. Youíre the senior prefect."
Bartyís eyes narrowed in
annoyance, and he rose to his full height. He towered above Harrison, who
shrank somewhat under his icy glare. Before Barty could say anything, the other
sixth year prefect, a girl with mousy brown hair, (Barty couldnít recall her
name) ran over to them and said, eagerly,
no! Itís all right; Iíve already asked Slughorn!" She grinned up
expectantly at Barty, who shot her a look of contempt.
She nodded eagerly.
"Well, what is
it?" he snapped sharply. Her broad smile shrunk slightly and she looked at
"Oh, itís . . .
itís . . . "
"You forgot it
already?" Barty growled impatiently.
"Oh, no!" She
blushed. "Itís venomous tentacula! Iím sorry. It slipped my
Barty rolled his eyes
and walked away. He had bigger things to attend to. "Where are you
going?" Harrison asked accusingly.
"To the common
room," Barty said. I thought that was rather obvious . . .
"What he means
is, why arenít you helping with the first years?" A much lower voice said
from behind Barty. "You are a prefect, are you not, Crouch?"
Barty knew that voice.
His hands clenched into fists as he turned around to face Chris Smith, who was
smirking confidently. "I was leading the way, Smith," he said icily.
"Surely that was apparent."
Smith said mock-pleasantly. "I was only ensuring that you were attending
to your duties." He walked away with a peculiar bounce in his step. Barty
watched through narrowed eyes as he returned to his large group of Gryffindor
snapped. "Letís take the bloody midgets to the common room!" He
stomped off toward the doors of the Great Hall. He pushed past a group of third
years and even walked through the Bloody Baron in his haste. Shivering from the
blast of icy cold, he hurried off in the direction of the Slytherin common
room. After few minutes, he stopped and looked behind him. Nobody was coming.
He took his wand out of his pocket and tapped a nearby doorknob.
he whispered. The lock clicked and he quickly slipped inside the empty
classroom. He shut the door behind him and pressed his ear up against it. He
heard footsteps and tensed.
"Where did he
go?" Barty heard Harrison ask.
know," A soft girlís voice said. Barty recognized it as that of Alicia
Lee, the other seventh year prefect. "Maybe heís waiting for us at the
"Heíd better be,"
Harrison said gruffly.
Iíd like to hear you say
that to my face, Barty
thought. He heard the sound of numerous feet slapping against the stone floor
and scattered conversation truncated by laughter. As the sounds grew fainter,
Barty relaxed. After a few minutes of silence, he quietly opened the door and
slipped out into the corridor.
Bartyís feet were eerily
quiet as he hurried down the corridor. He wound his way through the halls,
hardly noticing the few people he passed. He picked up speed as he neared the
corridor where Helga the Haggard hung. His heart raced, thumping so loudly that
Barty worried it might wake the sleeping inhabitants of the surrounding
Before Barty turned down
the corridor where Helga hung, (and Bellatrix would be waiting) he stopped
and leaned against the wall. He took slow, deep breaths and tried to slow his
heart. I canít look nervous, he thought anxiously. As his breathing
slowly returned to normal, Barty righted his robes and tugged at the tie around
his neck. He ran his fingers through his hair and checked twice that his
shoelaces were tied. Wishing that he had a mirror, Barty took a deep breath and
turned the corner.
As he had expected,
the corridor was empty. He looked about nervously. Loud snoring echoed from the
painting of a destitute-looking medieval woman.
Bellatrix," Barty said shortly.
"Didnít your mother
ever teach you manners, boy?" Barty couldnít tell where the voice was
coming from. He looked anxiously around, but the corridor was still empty.
"You should use titles of respect when addressing your elders."
Barty detested being
treated like a child. "Very well," he said sarcastically. "Madam
Death Eater, will you please reveal yourself, that we may have a
filled the corridor, and she appeared in front of Barty.
"You amuse me,
Crouch," she said. Barty could not deny that she was beautiful. His
thoughts strayed, however, to the image of a different girl with long dark
hair. He locked the thought away in his mind. If Bellatrix used Occlumency
against him, that was the last thing he wanted her to see.
"You are easily
amused, then," he snapped.
clicked her tongue. "Well, we must proceed to the intended topic of our
little meeting." She let the Invisibility Cloak fall to the floor and
walked closer to Barty. He smelled expensive perfume as she drew near. Her dark
eyes bored into his own.
Dark Lord has any interest in you is beyond my comprehension," she
began. Barty stiffened. I donít have to take this; not from her. "I
can only assume that it must have something to do with your father." Her
lips turned up at the ends, but he couldnít call her expression a smile.
"I certainly hope
so," Barty said. Well, it would be a perk . . .
Bellatrix raised her
eyebrows at him. "Good, good," she said, rolling her eyes. "Can
"Good. Do you know
where the Malfoy Manor is?"
"Midnight- on the
fifteenth. Two weeks."
"You had better
be," she sniffed. "The Dark Lord will know if you are truly
"He wonít be
disappointed," Barty said confidently.
Bellatrix laughed; her
laughter rang out through the corridor so loudly that Barty worried someone
would come investigate it. She picked up the cloak at her feet.
"Iíll see you next
Saturday, then," she said as she disappeared from sight.
Barty held his breath as
he walked away. Is she following me? He snuck a glance over his
shoulder. What are you expecting to see? If sheís following you she wonít be
visible! Bartyís unease lingered. It wasnít until he reached the stairway
that led to the common room that he finally gasped for air.
Maybe sheís right about
nasty voice said in the back of his head. Maybe you are just a coward.
Barty softly. He reached a stretch of bare stone wall. "Venomous
Tentacula," he muttered and the wall slid away, revealing a long room
filled with an eerie green light. A fire crackled in the in the fireplace, but
the chairs surrounding it were empty. He heard the scraping of stone on stone
as the wall slid shut. The dim light of the common room had a calming effect on
Barty yawned and strode
over to the winding staircase in the left corner of the room. He slowly climbed
the stairs, suddenly realizing how tired he felt. At the top he turned
left and entered the dormitory he had slept in for the past seven years. He
noticed that it had a new sign nailed above the door, which read ĎSeventh
Yearsí in ornate script.
Barty collapsed on his
four-poster bed. Bryanís snores echoed through the room. Barty looked up at the
ceiling. A few soft rays of moonlight illuminated the initials he had carved
there in his third year. Barty slid his hand along the headboard until he found
the scorch mark from a duel he and David had fought in their fifth year.
Sighing, he rolled over onto his side and a dreamless, peaceful sleep came