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"Speech."

'Thoughts.'

"~Parseltongue.~"

Spells and potions.

+Chapter 8: Magic+

-Slytherin Castle, somewhere in Ireland. Same day, late afternoon.-

Harry ran and ran and ran, through the corridors and halls and rooms, trying to find a door that lead outside or a balcony or even a window that opened. Eventually he found one on the main level that lead to the back garden. Once outside and standing on the damp March grass, Harry collapsed to his knees. He choked back a sob or gag, he wasn't sure which it was. He was disgusted with himself. He hated how he'd wanted to hurt his uncle so badly, he hated how he loved the way Voldemort's magic felt mixed with his own. He shuddered in remembrance of the intensity.

But he hated how weak he felt too. He realized that Voldemort was right, Vernon did deserve to be punished for what he'd done to his nephew. Isn't that how you always heard about child abuse? A parent or guardian hurting their child, then getting sent to prison for it.

Harry just sat there, panting and trying not to cry. It was all just too much. Too much happening at once. Just yesterday he was at Hogwart's, laughing with his friends, the world was business as usual. He'd been trying to convince everyone that Voldemort was back and he thought Voldemort wanted him dead, and he had to train himself and his friends to be able to fight in battle. Now? Now he was stuck in Voldemort's home, Voldemort wanted to fuck him and get him pregnant, his Muggle family was in the dungeons and so were his godfathers. The creepiest thing was that Voldemort was being relatively NICE to him. Now, he'd almost used dark magic to torture his uncle and he'd LIKED it when Voldemort touched him.

Several long minutes passed, as Harry just sat there, kneeling on the wet and muddy ground, trying to force his mind to work through all the information. His mind was numb and slow; 'overloaded' Hermione would say. The minutes turned into hours, as the cloudy sky got dimmer and it started to rain lightly, but still he sat there. He sat there, thinking things over and dreading going back inside, back to Voldemort. He wondered when the dark wizard would force him to take the next dose of that potion; sometime tonight, was all he knew for sure. Then another realization hit him, blindsiding him as he thought things through. In less than a year, he'd be a father... mother... whatever, he'd have a child of his own. He was only fifteen, would be sixteen. On his next birthday, he would be fat and pregnant. He would be going through one of the most difficult things in his life and he wasn't even sure he would have his friends or family there to help him. Probably not, he'd have been lucky if Voldemort let Remus and Sirius out of the dungeon to be around him. He wouldn't have his best friends to lean on, to cry to or to scream at, he wouldn't have the Weasleys to spoil him with food and affection. No, he was going to be stuck there with smelly old Snake Face and his Corpse Munchers!

Harry could feel his anger starting to simmer, when he heard squelching footsteps coming up to him, and he looked up at the loping figure. "What are you doing out here, cub?" asked the voice of Fenrir Greyback. Harry stared up at him, feeling his mind being blown again. Fenrir Greyback; Britain's most feared alpha werewolf, talking to Harry with a worried tone in his voice.

"I just needed some air," Harry croaked, his hair and clothes were getting soaked through and sticking to him, as the rain got heavier. Fenrir honestly thought he looked like an abandoned puppy left out in the rain.

"Up you get," Fenrir said, reaching to pull Harry up by his arm. "It's getting too dark out here for defenseless little puppies to wander around unattended." He steered Harry around and back into the building. Closing the door firmly behind them, Fenrir snapped his fingers, summoning a house elf.

The house elf that popped up in front of them, Luffy, squeaked in worry and started dragging Harry along down the hall, babbling about the state of him. Admonishing him for staying outside in the rain, admonishing himself for not noticing he was out there, worrying what the Dark Lord would say, but mostly just babbling about getting Harry some fresh clothes and getting him some warm food and a cup of tea. Harry was tugged along up to Voldemort's chambers, where he was shoved through the door and straight through to the bathroom, where there was already a hot bath waiting for him. Before Harry knew it, the house elf had magicked his clothes off and dumped him into the warm soapy water that was layered with a tremendous amount of bubbles. There were so many bubbles, Harry almost disappeared amidst them, since they literally came up to his ears. The warmth woke Harry from his numbed state, and he allowed himself to break down and cry. Harry sat in the huge bath tub, hugging his knees to his chest and burying his face against his knees. He let himself cry for several minutes, until a big warm hand settled on his shoulder. Harry gasped and whipped around to come face to face with a blank-faced Voldemort. Though, he could have sworn he saw a bit of concern in those eyes that were sporting a deep blue.

"Luffy informed me that you'd been sitting outside in the rain," the Dark Lord stated. He sat on the edge of the tub and turned to watch Harry. He observed his soon-to-be lover's face for a few moments. "I know that this is all a lot to take in, that there are many things worrying you right now; your future, the future of your friends and loved ones. But you don't need to worry so much. I intend to do everything I can to make you happy - within reason. So, let me say a few things to ease your mind a bit. I know that you're worried about the task I have given to you, and I can understand your apprehension, but it's going to happen one way or another, so you might as well accept it and get used to it. As for everything else, if there is anything you want or need, materialistically, all you have to do is ask. I can't allow you to leave this castle yet because it is too dangerous, but eventually, I may trust you with more freedom and trust others with your care. And before you ask, no, you may not visit any of your friends, but if you really want to see them, I can make that happen without any harm coming to them. I can bring them here to see you for as long as you want them to stay, then they will be taken home. And if you wish it, I will make sure you have nothing more to do with the war, but you are welcome to help shape the future any way you wish, as long as you do not fight against me, but I will listen if you have any ideas or advice. I have told you my true goals, and they are the truth. I don't want to spill any magical blood, if I can help it, but the Wizarding World needs to change or it will die." Voldemort slid off the edge of the tub, to sit on the floor, so he was level with Harry's face. "I know you want to accuse me of lying, because it would be easier for you to understand, but I know you feel that what I say is the truth. I know you can feel Lady Magic the same way I do, you can feel Her dying just a little bit, year by year. She's withering away. When I was your age, She was so much stronger, but now She seems almost a weak old woman, in comparison. She has had to show Her favor to fewer and fewer wizards, even going so far as to cut witches and wizards off from Her entirely, creating more and more Squibs. Things have to change, Harry. I hope I can count on you in the future to help me make sure Our Lady doesn't die, to help me make Her stronger again. Magic must be used for it to stay strong, Harry, all branches of it must be explored for it to grow. Dark, Light, Gray, and everything in between. As things are, Dark Magic is banned, all of it, when it doesn't need to be. The Ministry should hold those who use it wrong accountable for their actions, not punish us all for the actions of a few. There are wizards who are better suited to using Dark Magic than they are using any other kind, and banning them from using it is only making them weaker and vulnerable. Very few wizards are able to use any kind of magic they wish, I am one of them, but I have an affinity for Dark. I believe you are one of them as well, but you have an affinity for Light. We can't let Magic die because of ignorance. What would we be without Magic?

"Did you know, that there really is no such thing as a Muggle? They are all Squibs, born from a long line of more Squibs. Squib bloodlines so long, they've forgotten their own magical heritage. It's been thousands of years, since Our Lady was first forsaken for false gods. It's only been getting worse since then. More and more nonsense religions that hold no real merit, that serve no purpose other than to comfort all those weak people out there who are too ashamed of their own actions to take responsibility for them. People who are too afraid to help those they care about with their own hands; instead praying to some made up god to do it for them, to comfort those who are too afraid of their own mortality to face it or do something to change it."

"But you're afraid of your mortality, aren't you?" Harry asked.

"A little, but I'm not about to go pray to some nonexistant deity to make my passage into the afterlife more bearable," Voldemort answered, giving a wry smile. "I'm searching for a way to stop it. I'm part way there, but I have yet to attain true immortality. I've attained eternal youth easily enough, but unfortunately, I can still die."

"Why are you so afraid of dying?" Harry asked.

"Why aren't you?" Voldemort countered. The Dark Lord sighed, reaching a hand forward to caress Harry's cheek. "I'm not so much afraid of dying, as I am afraid of dying before I can finish my work. I'm sure there will come a day when I wouldn't mind finally letting go of life, but it won't be for a long, long time." He paused, rubbing his thumb across Harry's cheek bone. "I would like it, if you would stay with me as well."

Harry's breath hitched. "Why?"

"I'm not sure," the Dark Lord confessed. "But, now that you're here, I can feel that Lady Magic wants us together. And who am I to question Her?"

"What about love?"

The Dark Lord stared for a moment, then shrugged. "I don't know, I've never experienced it before." He smirked. "But I hear that's something you're very good at. Loving others."

Harry stared at Voldemort for a long moment, observing the honest and thoughtful expression on the Dark Lord's face, wondering when the last time was that he allowed himself to talk like this, if ever. Coming to a partial decision, Harry spoke. "You'll let me help where I can?" Voldemort's eyes widened fractionally and he nodded. "You'll let me see my friends?" Another nod. "What about Sirius and Remus?"

"They're still in the dungeons," Voldemort answered. "I will allow them out of the dungeons and give them their own rooms, but I'm having a bit of difficulty coming to an agreement with them first. They are fiercely protective of you." He paused a moment. "I suppose I could use that to my advantage."

"You haven't hurt them, have you?" Harry asked, giving the Dark Lord a pleading look.

"Not much," Voldemort confessed. "Only a short Cruciatus Curse when Black tried to attack me."

Harry sighed a little in relief. "Have you told them what your real goals are? The details?" Harry asked.

"No."

"You should. I'm sure they will be much more cooperative if they know you're not just some madman who is bent on killing everyone. Sirius should understand best what it is you want to do, he was raised to be Lord of the Black family, after all. Have you told them about what you want from me yet?"

"No, I figured it might be counterproductive." Voldemort sighed.

"It would be. Don't tell them that yet, let me break that to them. Especially Remus, he thinks of me as his cub. He'll take better to the situation if I tell him, he won't be inclined to attack me. You, on the other hand, he'll try to rip apart." Harry hesitated a moment, then looked boldly into Voldemort's eyes. "I will try to cooperate. Though, I'm not sure what to make of the fact you want to have children with me and I can't guarantee that I won't try to run away when you touch me. And I can't guarantee I won't freak out if you do something weird or unexpected, nor can I guarantee that I won't get angry at you if you do something excessively cruel or manipulative. And please, don't make me watch you hurt anyone again. Even if they are my relatives, even if they deserve it, I don't want to see it. I hate seeing other people in pain." Harry paused a moment. "Also, I do reserve the right to punish or retaliate against your Death Eaters, if they do or say something stupid, or something that makes me angry. I promise not to hurt them. ...Well, nothing that can't be reversed, anyway. That is if and when you decide to give me my wand back."

"Fair enough," Voldemort agreed, his voice carrying a slight tremor of disbelief, and maybe a little humor. "I will have to give you your wand back at some point, and soon, if I want you to continue your education." Harry's eyes widened, and Voldemort hastened to add, "Here. I will teach you the Magic you need to know." Voldemort paused a moment, observing Harry carefully. "You do realize that you're going to have to let me touch you at some point soon? Within the next ten days?"

"Yes," Harry answered, fidgeting. "I just... It's weird. I'm so used to you trying to kill me. There are a lot of things that I may never be able to forgive you for, but regardless, I will try to give you at least some of my trust." Harry swallowed a lump in his throat. "Did you see all of my childhood memories?"

"No, only the ones that stood out the most."

"Did you see what my uncle made me do sometimes, when Aunt Petunia was out shopping?"

He would never admit it, but at that moment, Voldemort felt his heart sink and his fury rise. "No. I thought those Weasley twins were the ones who took your virginity?"

"They were! Uncle Vernon never went that far. He only ever made me use my mouth, and it only happened a couple times, but I still have a slight problem with intimacy because of it. If you'd paid attention to all those so-called trysts you saw, you would've noticed that all the people I was with I had trusted to some degree."

"Even the Malfoy brat?"

Harry snorted. "I don't really trust Malfoy, per se. I can however trust him to be himself. He will always be Draco Malfoy, the insufferable git who will do anything to get a rise out of me. Plus, he wouldn't have been able to brag about shagging me without revealing to the whole school that he's bent, or revealing to his lover that he'd cheated on him. Even though the whole school knows that he's bent, anyway. He and Blaise Zabini try to hide that they're together, but they aren't always very good at it, even if they are Slytherins."

"Malfoy and Zabini?" Voldemort mused, pushing down his fury temporarily.

"You didn't hear it from me!" Harry said. Harry took a deep breath and sighed. "I also didn't actually do anything with most of those people you saw. I made out with a few of them, but I only ever slept with three of them, two of which were the Twins, because I could trust them to take care of me with it being my first time and I knew they wouldn't expect anything more from me. Then the other times after that, it was just to make ourselves feel better with how awful life has been at school this year. Malfoy... I guess our emotions got the better of us. It started out as a fist fight, then somehow it turned into a fondling and snogging session, and it just went from there."

Voldemort scoffed. "He's still going to suffer. Have you warmed up enough?" he asked, changing the subject before he could get even more angry and do something that would destroy the rapport he was building with Harry. Harry nodded. "Then get dressed, it's time for dinner. We can talk more later." Voldemort stood up and moved to lean against the wall.

Harry went to stand but stopped and looked at Voldemort, who was staring at him. "Um, could you turn around or something?" he asked, blushing.

"No," the Dark Lord answered, staring intently at Harry with a huge smirk on his face. Harry blushed deeper, fidgeting and looking away, staying seated with his body hidden underneath all the bubbles. "Don't be bashful, I've already seen most of it and very soon I will see all of it anyway. Might as well get it over with." Harry still hesitated, so Voldemort took the decision out of his hands and waved his wand, unstoppering the drain.

"Hey!" Harry shouted, trying desperately to cover himself with bubbles as the water level got lower and lower. "That's cheating!"

"I'm a Dark Lord," Voldemort answered simply with a smirk, as though this explained everything. Once the water was drained, there were still quite a few lingering bubbles covering parts of Harry's body, who was still curled up in a ball to try and hide his dignity. But Voldemort waved his wand again, vanishing the bubbles from Harry's body. Harry squeaked and tried to cover himself with his hands, glaring up at the smug Dark Lord. Voldemort snagged a towel from the rack and walked over to Harry and handed him the fluffy green bath towel. Harry snatched it and quickly wrapped it around his waist. "Luffy has left you some of my robes for you to wear, they have been resized to fit you. I will see about retrieving your possessions tomorrow. I do seem to have a snooping Potions Master hanging around, I might send him to get your things. As well as your godfathers' things, they'll need them eventually."

"You mean Snape?" Harry asked, following Voldemort out of the bathroom.

"Yes," Voldemort answered, plopping down into a chair to watch and wait for Harry to get dressed.

Harry glowered at him, moving over to the bed, where the clothes were layed out. He glared at Voldemort, clutching his towel tightly around him. Voldemort only smiled, with a lusty glint in his eyes. Harry huffed and turned away, pushing down his embarrassment long enough for him to drop his towel and get dressed as quickly as possible.

'With all these scars, how can he possibly like what he sees?' Harry asked himself. 'Wait, this is Voldemort we're talking about; he likes creating scars, so of course, he would like to see them too. Weirdo.'

The Dark Lord snickered a little behind his hand. Harry snapped around to glare at him. "Stop reading my mind!"

"I can't help it, sometimes!" Voldemort defended, a shit-eating grin on his face. Harry's only response was to darken his glare and think pointedly of an image of himself smacking Voldemort over the head with a heavy text book, the way Hermione always did to him and Ron whenever they deserved it.

Voldemort chuckled at the image and stood from his seat, reaching out a hand for Harry to take. "Shall we?" he asked, observing Harry in the robes that were provided for him. Even resized, the robes didn't quite fit right. He would definitely have to get Severus to retrieve Harry's belongings, or he might just have to invite Narcissa Malfoy over with her personal tailor. He might do that anyway, if only to watch Harry deal with a Malfoy who was exuberantly shopping for clothes, and they'd acquire some robes befitting someone of Harry's status as a bonus.

Harry reached and took Voldemort's hand, wincing slightly as the everpresent pain in his scar flared up.

The Dark Lord squeezed his hand gently. "Yes, I'm looking into that. I can't have you in constant pain whenever I'm near. Though, I believe there is only one way to make the pain stop."

"What way is that?" Harry asked.

"We'll talk about it later, after I've exhausted all other options," Voldemort told him. Harry looked up at Voldemort with a frown. He looked away and decided to drop it, even though he really hated it when people kept things from him. The Dark Lord gently rolled back the sleeve of Harry's robe, to reveal the bandage that was still around his hand, that was now wet. He unwrapped it from Harry's hand and tossed the dirty bandage into the fire, before he looked down at the words carved into Harry's hand. "How did you get this?"

Harry sighed tiredly, letting the Dark Lord inspect his injured hand. It was bleeding again, now that the water had loosened the scabs that had finally formed. "The new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, Dolores Umbridge, she's not a very nice person. I think she hates children, so I don't know why she wanted to teach at the school, even if she was put there by the Ministry. At first she only did this to me in my detentions, but when Dumbledore was run out of the school, she started doing it to all of the students. She made us use Blood Quills to do lines. She never told us how many lines to do, just that we should keep writing them for 'however long it takes for the message to sink in', she said. The other students have only had to do a few detentions with the Blood Quills, so their's heal over pretty well. Mine on the other hand, it won't close up properly anymore, since I've been in her detentions every night for the better part of the school year." Harry stopped and winced, hissing in pain as it seared through his head, this time from Voldemort's anger. He looked up at Voldemort's face, noticing that his eyes had changed to red again.

"She did this to all of the students?" Voldemort asked in a low voice. Harry nodded. "What did she punish all of the students for? It's not possible that all of the students at Hogwart's misbehaved all at once severely enough to deserve detention."

"Well, once she took up the post as Headmistress, she kept changing the rules; making them more and more strict. And she'd made up this group of students that she called the 'Inquisitorial Squad', gave them the privilege to give and take house points and assign detentions; most of the students in this squad were Slytherins, including Draco Malfoy, who takes a sick pleasure in getting anyone into trouble, even playing it up to make it seem worse than it really is. So many students got detention, that she started having mass detention sessions in the Great Hall. And they gave detentions for even the smallest of things. Umbridge herself gave a first year detention simply for having his shoe lace untied. She gave a detention to Hermione for handing in an essay that was too long," Harry started going on a rant. "Ron got a detention for laughing in the hallway. Neville got a detention for tripping over someone else's schoolbag. She gave detentions to anyone she saw holding a wand outside of class, even in class in some cases, even when the person holding the wand wasn't even casting any spells. Detentions were given to any girl who dared to put her hair up in anything other than a pony tail. Detentions for not wearing the school uniform properly, and her idea of improper was tying your tie just wrong enough that it was even a centimeter too long or too short. She walked around with a tape measure in her pocket, for pity's sake! She gave detentions to my friends simply for being MY friends! She even made sure my detentions ran so late, that she could give me more detentions for being out of bed after hours, making me lose not only sleep but meals as well. Needless to say, Hogwart's hasn't been the greatest place to be for the last couple of months. She's been destroying the whole Hogwart's experience for everyone. She removed all the paintings and tapestries from the walls. She had her own voice reciting the rules on an infinite loop all through the corridors, even at night. She turned all the drapes and carpets pink." Harry shivered. "She made all of the moving staircases stay in one place. She's been restricting all of the creatures in the Forbidden Forest. She's expelled several students who didn't deserve to be expelled. She had all familiars, besides owls and cats, banned from the school. She even personally killed some familiars that didn't get sent home soon enough. She banned visits to Hogsmeade. She was even working with the Minister to get Dementors to guard the school on a permanent basis," Harry finished, a frustrated and outraged look on his face. "Can you believe, she was even planning to have all of the ghosts in the castle exorcised?"

"I will deal with her," Voldemort stated. "It's one thing to punish children for doing something wrong. It's a different thing to punish magical children with something like a Blood Quill for doing even the worst of things, but especially if it's for made up infractions. I knew you were getting detentions, but I didn't know they were like this. Mister Malfoy seems to have left this part out of his reports. I will deal with him as well. Killing another wizard's familiar is sacrilege in itself, that she would do it multiple times and to the familiars of children, is another case altogether. And she wouldn't have been able to exorcise the ghosts, since they are all tied into the magic of the castle; the magic that keeps the wards up and the castle standing. She would have to knock the whole building down to get rid of those ghosts. I am sure that castle will be restored to its original state soon enough." He used his wand to conjure up a new bandage to put around Harry's hand. "I will have Severus brew the right salves to heal this." After he finished wrapping Harry's hand, he waved his wand over the bruises and cuts that were still around Harry's wrists from the shackles, healing them in an instant. He then went down on one knee and lifted Harry's bare foot, raising the ankle of his trousers enough so that he could heal the cuts and bruises on his ankle as well.

Harry hid a smile, as the Dark Lord released his foot and stood. He summoned Harry's shoes onto his feet again; clean and dry, thanks to Luffy. They both noticed that the worn old Converse clashed with the pristine black robes, but Voldemort would fix that tomorrow.

Voldemort took Harry's hand again and led him out of their bedroom (yeah, the Dark Lord was now referring to the bedroom as theirs), leading him to the dining room they had eaten lunch in earlier. He pulled Harry's chair out for him, making Harry blush again. Once they were both seated, the food appeared. It was a simple meal, but there was plenty of it to fill their stomachs. Voldemort even put extra food on Harry's plate, now that he knew Harry was used to going hungry, and as a result didn't eat enough at meals.

Once they were finished eating, they retired to the bedroom, lounging on the settee in front of the fire. Harry drank a butterbeer, while Voldemort had a glass of Ogden's Finest Firewhiskey, and Harry told him more about Umbridge, and tried to tell him more about his relatives. Eventually, Harry was in such a depressed mood (worsened by the small amount of alcohol in the butterbeer), that it was filtering over their link, so Voldemort changed the subject; getting Harry to talk about his friends instead. He had to admit that from what he'd heard, he liked this Hermione Granger. She seemed to have the same ideals as he did, only she didn't know it. 'It might be a good idea to get her on my side,' he thought.

"What does Miss Granger want to do with her life after school? Do you know?" Voldemort asked.

"She said she wanted to work at the Ministry, she wants to help change the creature laws. She hates the way house elves are treated, and she hates how Remus is forced to live. She thinks the laws we have for creatures right now are too stifling for those creatures. I can't help but agree with her," Harry said, starting to ramble a little bit from the alcohol. "Remus is a brilliant man, he was the best Defense professor we've had, but he had to resign because too many parents wanted him away from their children. Even though he was taking the Wolfsbane Potion and he was going to a secure location all three nights of every full moon, just to be sure. He can barely afford the Wolfsbane Potion, much less buy himself food or decent clothing. It's completely unfair. The only reason he's doing as well as he is, is because he and Sirius are together. Though, neither of them will admit to that out loud, but they can't really keep something like that from me, or anyone really. They're worse than Malfoy and Zabini are at hiding their relationship. Though, with these potions, I'm hoping the prejudice against homosexuals will go away. Then they could all be together, without being judged. I wonder if Slughorn is going to come up with a way for two women to make babies? That would be easier wouldn't it? Because they already have the right parts for it."

Voldemort smiled as he listened to Harry talk. "It's a possibility, we'll just have to see what the future holds on that front." He put his glass down on the coffee table and moved to sit closer to Harry on the settee. He took the glass from Harry and set it down as well. "You don't seem to have a very high tolerance for alcohol, if you can get drunk on butterbeer."

Harry pouted. "Shut up! I've never really drank any alcohol before. And whenever I went to Hogsmeade, I would only ever share a butterbeer with Hermione and Ron."

Voldemort reached a hand to tilt Harry's chin up, then leaned in to kiss Harry's pouting lip. He leaned back to see the dumbfounded look on the teenager's face, smirked, and went back in for a rougher kiss. Harry gasped and the small amount of alcohol made him want to kiss back, so he did. Voldemort leaned over Harry, pushing him back against the arm of the settee, and letting his hands roam over the body beneath him, as he intensified the kiss. When Harry moaned softly and wrapped his arms around the Dark Lord's neck, Voldemort started to undo Harry's robes. He was just starting to trail kisses down his neck, to the hickey he'd left earlier, when Harry went limp under him. He pulled back and groaned, sighing heavily and sitting back on the settee with a small pout on his face (that he would never admit to), and glared at the sleeping teenager. He sighed again and fished the two phials of potion out of his pocket. He used a spell that mediwizards use on unconscious patients, to summon the potions into Harry's stomach. He gave him both the pregnancy potion and the sleeping draught, then stood and picked up the too-light teenager, carrying him over to the bed and tucking him in. When he was finished, he put one more kiss to Harry's lips, before he turned and left the room.

He made his way down to his throne room and sat in his over-sized throne.

"Wormtail!" he shouted. The sniveling rat rushed into the room a minute later and bowed in front of him.

"Y-yes, M-master?" Wormtail stuttered.

"Give me your arm," the Dark Lord ordered. Wormtail nearly tripped over himself to pull back his sleeve and get closer to his Master. Voldemort pressed his finger to Dark Mark and summoned two of his Death Eaters. "Now, go away. And stay out of the dungeons and away from Black and Lupin!" Voldemort was still angry that he'd found Wormtail down there earlier, torturing the two men. He'd delivered some real pain to the little rat before he forbade him from going into the dungeons again and sent him away. He even allowed Black to laugh at the fat snivelling bastard for a while, whilst trying to convince the two to join him. That conversation ended when he'd refused to speak of Harry, then foolishly healed the two's worst wounds, and Black launched himself at him. He'd left Black twitching on the gritty floor with a promise to visit them again tomorrow.

It took about ten minutes for Lucius Malfoy and Severus Snape to arrive in his throne room. The two bowed at his feet and waited for him to speak.

"What do you know of Dolores Umbridge?" Voldemort asked the two. They both visibly tensed before looking up at him.

"She was the latest Defense Against the Dark Arts professor," Lucius stated dumbly.

"Yes, I know that part," Voldemort hissed. "Severus, tell me what she did at the school. You know I don't mean her occupation, I mean what she did to the school and its students. Is what Harry told me the truth?"

Snape chewed on his lip a moment. "I don't know what Potter said, but most likely it was the truth."

"Did she torture the students? Physically and mentally?" the Dark Lord asked.

"In a manner of speaking," Snape answered carefully.

"Stop tip-toeing around the subject and tell me exactly what she did!"

Snape flinched and gulped. "She made the students write lines in detention using Blood Quills. She also had a tendency to give the students a dressing down whenever she thought they needed it."

"And the school?"

"She changed the castle and classes as she saw fit," Snape said.

"Lucius, was she really trying to get the Minister to allow dementors to guard the school?"

"Yes, my Lord," Lucius answered slowly.

"Why is it that neither of you thought to tell me any of this?" Voldemort asked. "Why did I have to hear of it from Harry Potter, and not my own Death Eaters? The ones in charge of the school? You two?!" He ended with a shout. Neither of them said anything, just looked down at the ground again. "Lucius, I want that bitch brought here, tonight!"

"Yes, my Lord!" Lucius said, standing and leaving hastily when Voldemort motioned for him to leave.

"Severus, I want you to brew the right potions and salves to heal the wounds on Harry's hand."

"Of course, my Lord, but they are quite expensive to produce," Snape said.

"Yes, and I don't care," Voldemort said through gritted teeth. "And you're going to be a good boy and brew enough for the other students at that school, purely out of the goodness of your heart. Do you understand?"

"Yes, my Lord," Snape muttered, barely meeting his Lord's eyes.

"Those children are the future of the Wizarding World and you let that crazed power-hungry quim abuse them!" Voldemort said, leaning forward to growl the words in Snape's face. "You and Lucius, and now Harry, are the only ones who know what I really want to do with the world. You know, that I don't condone child abuse of any kind. From my Death Eaters or from any others, Magical or Muggle. I don't even harm children myself, unless they pose a real threat, which is a very rare occurrence. Now, I learn today that Harry was left to be abused by his relatives, with the scars to prove it, and that all the other Magical children at Hogwarts were harmed by their own teacher."

Snape stayed silent, processing everything the Dark Lord had just said to him. He didn't really know what to say or think. "I... Potter was abused?" he asked. "I'm sorry, my Lord, but I find that hard to believe."

"Believe it," Voldemort ground out. "I looked into his mind and saw all of it! He has more scars on his body than you could fathom!"

"I never saw any scars," Snape made the mistake of saying, looking up at Voldemort.

"He's been wearing glamours, you twat!" Snape looked away again, shocked that his Lord was so angered by this as to do away with his decorum and use such vulgar language. "You and I were both abused as children, but neither of us ever experienced anything like what he has. We were beaten every few days at least, but he got it severely and on a daily basis; from his family and even some of their neighbors! He has scars from where his uncle whipped him with his belt, burns on his hands from cooking food for his so-called family; food that he was not allowed to eat. Burns all over him that look like they were made my cigars. There's a burn on the palm of his left hand that is in the spiral shape of a Muggle stove, burnt badly enough that there is no way he could have done it himself. There are marks on his arms and torso, that are obviously from a knife, in places that he could not have reached on his own. Words carved into his chest and back; words like 'Freak', 'Devil' and 'Abnormal'. There are scars from stab wounds on his chest, wounds that should have killed him, that would have killed him had his magic not been as powerful as it is. In his memories, I saw when his uncle and his poker buddies got so drunk they made a game out of who could hit him hard enough to knock him out, on more than one occassion. Again, the only thing that saved him from death or severe brain damage was his magic!" Voldemort shifted in his seat. "I killed the neighbors that dared to touch him, his Muggle relatives are in the dungeons right now, and I'm going down there to punish them some more... once I'm finished punishing you for failing to do your job. I assigned you and Lucius to watch over that school and its students. Lucius is an idiot, but you aren't, and you let this happen!" With that, Voldemort pulled out his wand and used the Cruciatus Curse on Snape for a little over a minute. After he was done, he stood over Snape's wheezing form, looking him in the eye. "Now, you will brew the potions I asked for, as well as potions for reducing the appearance of old scars. Burn salves should still heal the burn scars, I'll need those too. Skele-gro to get rid of any mishealed breaks that might remain. And any other potions you might think of that will rid Harry's body of any sign of what those beasts did to him. You have one week to get them all for me." He turned and sat back down in his throne. "And, one more thing, I need you to retrieve Harry's belongings from Hogwarts. All of them, if I find anything missing, I will take it out of your hide. Now get out of my sight!"

Once Snape had left the room, Voldemort waited for Lucius to arrive with Umbridge. He, thankfully, didn't have to wait long. Twenty minutes later, Dolores Umbridge was tied up and sobbing on the floor in front of him. Lucius and the Lestrange brothers were standing behind her, their faces the epitome of indifference.

"Thank you, Gentlemen," Voldemort smiled darkly, his red eyes locked on the pink toad woman in front of him. "You may go." Lucius and the Lestranges bowed and left. Voldemort snapped his fingers, summoning the elf that was in charge of the dungeons. "Chopper, take this... thing to the dungeons, please."

"Yes, Master," Chopper answered, disappearing with a pop, taking Umbridge with him.

The Dark Lord waited a few minutes, to calm himself a little, before he stood up and made his way to the dungeons as well. He had a toad to dissect and a fat whale that needed to be parted from his cock.

TBC