The scream of fury was followed by a rigid silence. None of the Death
Eaters twitched a muscle.
They all stood patiently, quietly watching the Dark Lord, waiting to
see his reaction to what had just happened...and for an explanation. No
one, however, dared ask for one. A Death Eater who had been hit by Harry's
Impediment Jinx was just recovering.
The silence continued for a few more seconds.
Finally, Lord Voldemort, with his wand lowered, walked toward the spot
where, moments before, Harry Potter had grabbed the Portkey and disappeared
His pitiless red eyes were seething. The Dark Lord was, however, not
merely dealing with rage; he was also contemplating the event that had
just occurred with his wand and the boy's. At the time that it had happened
he had been too astonished to make true sense of it. The regurgitation
of his victim's shadows had removed that astonishment and made way for
something else...something that made Voldemort momentarily sick when he
now thought about it...he couldn't deny it...he had actually been...afraid.
These thoughts passed through the Dark Lord's mind in a fleeting instant.
They soon made way for something else. The presence of his Death Eaters
came back to him. He felt their eyes on his back.
Even though he knew that they wouldn't dare question him or raise a
doubt concerning his power, he knew without a doubt himself that that
indeed would be the issue coursing through their minds.
Lord Voldemort turned and blankly surveyed his servants. He walked forwards
and those in front of him scattered slowly like frightened sheep. With
a small wave of his wand he signaled for his Death Eaters to surround
him. They obediently did so.The coldness that the air had borne when Voldemort
had delivered his speech to the Death Eaters had now been replaced by
an atmosphere of fear so overwhelming that it threatened to glue his servants
to the ground.
Voldemort let the silence work to his advantage. He briefly weighed
his position. When he finally spoke, it was but two words, "Priori
The Death Eaters waited for him to continue. Voldemort did. "The boy
apparently possesses a wand that bears the same core as mine...a phoenix
feather from the same bird. How he has such a wand is intriguing. But
when two such wands duel each other the result is what you just witnessed."
"So," said Voldemort softly, "once again, Harry Potter escapes me by
a lucky chance."
The undertone on the words 'lucky chance' was subtle, yet forceful.
The Death Eaters didn't miss it. They nodded fervently to show that they
understood and acknowledged his point.
"However, I am quite sure," hissed Voldemort in his cold sibilant voice,
"that some of you seriously question the existence of my former power."
The Death Eaters shook their heads quickly.
"Perhaps a slight display of the same would be required to quash these
doubts," said Voldemort, completely ignoring the uneasiness that was becoming
quite apparent in the circle.
A Death Eater broke forward from the circle and knelt before Voldemort.
"Master," he said, "I, for one, don't require further proofs of your immense
power. My Lord, you've already proved yourself to be mightier than any
wizard alive. You have conquered death and returned to us. I, at least,
will follow you unswervingly in your quest for the rise of the Dark Order."
Lord Voldemort looked down at the Death Eater who had spoken.A sneer
formed and maintained itself on his serpent like face.
"Of course, Nott," said Voldemort, "I could expect no less from you".
A smile formed on Nott's face, partially hidden by the mask.
"No less from a creature who abandoned me for thirteen years and says
I more times in a sentence than the very incarnation of conceit."
The hidden smile on Nott's face vanished.
The Dark Lord looked up from the Death Eater and said, "Take your place
Nott. Mere words will not make you a faithful servant of Lord Voldemort."
Nott stood up with all the dignity he could muster and resumed his place
in the circle. It occurred to him as he did so that the Dark Lord should
be the last person to criticize one for being vain.
The Dark Lord's gaze swept the circle quietly. He waited for one of
his servants to say something. Finally, another figure stepped forward
slightly from the circle.
Voldemort stared shrewdly at him and whispered, "Yes Lucius?"
Lucius Malfoy spoke swiftly but with a slight hesitancy betraying the
lack of his usual confidence. "My Lord, forgive me for raising this issue,
but it is a matter that greatly concerns me. That meddlesome fool Potter
overheard you address some fellow Death Eaters and myself directly by
our names. Potter will undoubtedly inform that Mudblood-loving Headmaster
and the Ministry of your restoration to power and our names while doing
Voldemort's eyes flickered, but he gave a very thin smile. Lucius Malfoy,
however, looked wary. He knew that the Dark Lord's expressions could be
deceiving. Voldemort noticed that four of the Death Eaters in the circle
were fidgeting uncomfortably; Avery, Nott, Crabbe, and Goyle. Clearly
this had not occurred to them. Voldemort was not surprised; knowing well
that they were not quick. Macnair, he observed, was still standing stolidly.
The Dark Lord was aware that Walden Macnair's composure rarely cracked.
He was a Death Eater who derived extreme pleasure from violence and torture;
a quality that appealed to the psychopathic tendencies of Lord Voldemort
himself. As for Malfoy's evident concern for his own skin; he chose to
ignore it entirely.
"Indeed, Lucius," said Voldemort," it was not my desire for the wizarding
world to learn of my rebirth in such a manner. I would have preferred
the element of surprise. Be that as it may, it is futile to dwell on what
might have been. I consider it imperative, however, that the boy be killed"
"It is possible of course that my faithful servant at Hogwarts will
take the matter into his own hands and dispose of him," he said slowly.
"Who is this servant, master?" asked Malfoy.
"That, Lucius, is hardly information that I would be willing to disclose
to you yet," hissed Voldemort in a quiet tone.
Malfoy comprehended and fell silent.
"As I said", continued Voldemort, "I want repayment for your lack of
loyalty before I deem it fit to place you in my inner circle again Lucius.
As for your name coming to the notice of the Ministry as that of a Death
Eater, I only see it as retribution for thirteen years of renouncement
...and so should you."
Malfoy bowed his head quietly. He then looked up again and said, "My
Lord, I was merely pointing out that my apprehension would jeopardize
putting my resources to your disposal."
Lord Voldemort threw his head back and laughed mirthlessly. "My cunning
friend, you've always been able to tailor words to your advantage. I admire
that. And unlike Wormtail here, you're not incessantly subservient to
the point of making one retch."
Suddenly, Voldemort drew out his wand. Lucius Malfoy flinched.
"That is not altogether wise. Do not test me, Lucius."
Malfoy stepped back into the circle.
Voldemort surveyed him for a few more seconds before letting his eyes
move skywards. "So Death Eaters," he said, "for the time being I suggest
you return to your abodes and feign ignorance. It should not be too difficult.
You already have a decade's worth of practice. I will summon you again
in the near future. Be ready. Wormtail, you'll stay. Lucius, I would like
a last word with you."
The Death Eaters surrounding Voldemort began Disapparating, their cloaks
swishing in the stillness of the night.
Finally, only two Death Eaters remained. Lord Voldemort approached Lucius
Malfoy and stood before him. Malfoy was a tall man but still quite a few
inches shorter than the Dark Lord. Voldemort observed him quietly before
speaking. "If my memory serves me correctly Lucius, which I am sure it
does, you had a son about a year old the time I fell, did you not?"
Malfoy drew a quick breath before answering clearly, "Yes, my Lord.
He's now fourteen and at Hogwarts."
"Hogwarts, Lucius?" said Voldemort, his face bearing mock puzzlement,
"why place your son at a school run by a 'Mudblood-loving Headmaster'?"
"It was my wife's decision, master. I personally wanted him at Durmstrang.
They are much more liberal in their curriculum and more conservative in
their admissions. However, the idea of him so far away tormented her."
He said the last words with a sneer.
"Durmstrang? My faithful servant at Hogwarts tells me that its Headmaster
is Igor Karkaroff," said Voldemort.
"Yes, my Lord," replied Malfoy.
"A coward," said Voldemort," he will pay. "He spoke more to himself
than to his minion. "As for your son, Lucius", he continued, "I would
like to meet him".
"Why, my Lord?" asked Malfoy quickly. The words shot out of him
before he could stop them. The Dark Lord was rarely questioned. He was
usually obeyed. Lucius bit his lip behind the mask.
"Because Lucius," said Voldemort with his soft cold tone, "I would like
The Dark Lord did not intend to let Lucius Malfoy know just then as
to why he wished to meet his son. Voldemort derived pleasure from observing
discomfort or pain, be it physical or emotional, in his enemies or his
servants. Even his faithful servants were at times subjected to this treatment,
though less frequently. To Voldemort, Malfoy's son served as a useful
link to the interior of Hogwarts. His faithful servant Bartemius had already
informed him that the heirs of some of his former Death Eaters attended
Hogwarts. Lucius's son was amongst them; Crabbe,Goyle,Parkinson, and Nott
being a few of the others. Voldemort chose to use Malfoy because he knew
that unfaithful and essentially cowardly though Lucius may be, he was
cunning...and his son was more than likely to have inherited his father's
Malfoy bowed his head and said quietly, "Yes, my Lord. I shall bring
him to you...at your command."
Voldemort smiled. Even though Malfoy was nothing more than one of his
servants, there was a satisfaction to be gained in seeing a man as proud
as Lucius bend. "Very good. You may go, Lucius".
Malfoy Disapparated. Now, only Voldemort and Wormtail stood upon the
cemetery grounds. Voldemort seemed to completely ignore Wormtail's presence.
He turned and looked up, surveying the night sky with its twinkling stars
set against the jet-black background. The anger that had coursed through
him after Harry Potter had escaped had still not dissipated. It smouldered.
He had subdued it in front of his Death Eaters. He knew that an undue
display of anger was not a sign of strength...but of weakness. However,
the fury behind being overpowered by a fourteen year old boy in a duel,
was threatening to overwhelm him. He felt like torturing someone with
the Cruciatus...killing someone with his Killing Curse.
He stared into the darkness and uttered, "You'll die Harry Potter.
You and all you care for."
There was a slithering and hissing and Voldemort looked down. Nagini
was twisting herself gently at his feet.
He hissed at it, "I have been away far too long Nagini."
The serpent hissed and spat as it slowly and smoothly began to climb
Voldemort's tall frame.Voldemort stood unperturbed for a few moments before
silently walking over to the large Yew tree.A breeze had developed and
it quietly rippled through the graveyard causing a few leaves to fall
upon the Dark Lord's softly billowing robes. His gaze fell upon the small
church in the distance.
"This time however," he hissed, "This time I will unleash such
terror that will make Grindelwald look like a choir boy."
He signaled to Wormtail. Lord Voldemort drew his wand and together with
his petrified servant and slithering pet, he Disapparated.
The gentle breeze continued to blow through the yard; the dust of the
late Tom Riddle's bone mingled with the blood of the Dark Lord's servant.
These along with the giant cauldron were the only signs that 'He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named'
had risen again...for the time being.
Disclaimer: None of its mine. It's all JKR's.