DISCLAIMER: J.K. Rowling owns most of the characters and settings here—I own the rest.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: This story is a riff/AU off my Dark Redemption trilogy, which is a Slytherin/DE-centric SS/OC/WM pairing (with a bit of Lucius Malfoy thrown in). To make a long story short, Macnair is married to an American witch from Salem, whom he stole from Snape after stalking her at the request of Lucius Malfoy. She's been plotting to leave him and escape to America after the birth of their first child.

This one will be a HG/WM/LM hurt/comfort poly fic. It is also AU and is most definitely EWE!

Fancast: Walden Macnair - Joe Mangianello (True Blood) (with a bit of the Rock thrown in for fun).

Please note that the Macnair described in the books is ***nothing*** like that which is shown in the films. (There are 3 different actors: the first in POA is awful, the second in GOH can barely be seen, and the third in OOTP is awful. There's a tall DE with dark hair in DH parts 1 and 2 who is a bit closer, but he never speaks nor is named.)

You will notice that I borrow things freely from both the books and the films as they suit me, however. There is even a bit of Cursed Child tossed in (much as I wasn't happy with it).

Thank you to the lovely ladies of the Death Eater Express FB group, most especially Canimal for Walden's tracking crows, seen in The Dark Mage's Captive. I loved them, and I turned them into ravens...one of the few things that I liked about "the executioner" in the POA film :)

NOTHING ELSE MATTERS

Chapter 1 - Prologue

Walden Macnair was as happy as he could remember in the days after he left Golgomath's secret mountain hideout. Through a combination of gifts, surreptitious spells and Slytherin cunning, he'd managed to successfully convince the most pugnacious giants to return to Britain and fight on the side of the Death Eaters. And when he arrived at his hunting lodge after utilizing a series of highly illegal Portkeys, his father immediately whisked him off to St. Mungo's, where he was able to witness the birth of his second son, Evan Allister. All seemed to be going according to plan. He hadn't been Called since his return, and thus expected to give his report to the Dark Lord at the Halloween Revel, and be rewarded in due course. He'd not bothered to return to his Ministry job.

On Saturday, November 2nd, Walden and his wife Rowan sat in their kitchen having tea. It had been a very lazy morning. Evan had actually slept in, and the couple were waiting for Grandma Macnair to arrive so that they could head to Malfoy Manor for the Revel.

Walden held Evan and burped him. He was pleased to note that his son had the Macnair features and a full head of black hair. He was also rather large and was already showing signs of strength."Let go of my finger, son...I'm going to need it tonight," he added, looking at his wife with a leer.

Rowan winked at him. "Here, let me take him, it looks like he's left a mark on your robes."

"Damn!" Walden stood up, handed the bundled-up Evan to his wife, and then reached behind himself with his wand and uttered a Cleaning Charm. "So, lass, are ye actually up for a bit of fun at the Revel tonight, or would ye rather sit this one out?"

"Oh, I don't know," Rowan remarked. "I thought I'd see how I was feeling later."

"Well, I'd like it if ye'd come with me to the Main Revel, this one's important."

"Well, if you want," she said, non-committally.

"I want...in fact, I wish my mum would hurry up so I could take ye upstairs," he said. Just then, the sound of house-elf feet running echoed through the main hall. A few decorous minutes later, his mother ensconced in the downstairs guestroom with Evan, Walden tossed Rowan over his shoulder, Apparated upstairs, and within minutes after he closed and charmed the door and briefly kissed her, he'd impaled her from behind. However, as he'd had no extra-marital activities during his sabbatical with the giants, within a rather short time, he was spent and shuddering. As the couple recovered, they lay together on the bed. Rowan did not look pleased with the proceedings. "I'm sorry, lass, I'll make it up to ye tonight..." he began.

"I'm not sure I want to participate tonight," Rowan said, abruptly. "I'd rather stay home."

"But-ye have to go! The Dark Lord will want to speak to the both of us."

"The last time we talked about this, you said he wanted to do a lot more than speak with us...and I'm not interested in what he's offering. He's not my type, and I think what he's planning is wrong. Furthermore, I think his kind of magick is wrong!" She sat up in bed and wrenched herself from Walden's grasp.

"Lass, what brought all this on? How is it wrong? For Salazar's sake, do you actually think there's a right and wrong when it comes to magick?" he asked, sitting up. "What kind of a Dark witch are ye?"

"I'm not," she said. "I'm not Dark. I've told you that before!"

"Well, lass, whether ye say ye are or not…ye have the Master's Mark on your arm. In fact, he's going to initiate the Inner Circle wives, come the New Year," he said.

"No!" she said. "Please tell me that he doesn't think the New Year begins tonight," she added.

"In the Celtic calendar, ye and I both know it does, but he follows the Roman one," Walden said. "I have no idea why. So, February it'll be. I'll be happy to have ye by my side," he mused. "Ye've never felt such power. Ye can come with me ta the meetings then, and when we go on raids."

"I don't want to do it. I won't do it."

"Ye will, though. In the initiation, all of us will take ye—I'm not sure if I like that idea, but that's the way it's done."

"I'm definitely not interested in that case. And is that the way it happened for you?"

"It's nae the same way for wizards," he said. "I told ye, there've only been two female Knights. I was there when both were initiated." He paused for a moment, and Summoned a bottle of Scotch from the bedside table, poured himself a drink, and then sent the bottle flying back. He then Summoned a bottle of mead. "Snape was there, too, of course, and Lucius. Funny, he's been around quite a bit lately," and he smirked.

"Who, Lucius? The meetings are all at his house, aren't they? Why wouldn't he be there?" Rowan accepted the glass of mead that he poured for her and drank it quickly, with a grimace.

"No, the greasy bastard. Scared, I expect…our Lord accepted him back, ye know; he believed his stories, but I still doona trust him," he said. "Shall we go in for our bath? Lucius asked us if we could get to the Manor a bit early. We can just Apparate, if ye doona mind," he said.

"I do mind! I told you, I don't want to go!" Rowan grabbed her wand, stood up and started to Apparate away, but Walden was too fast. He leveled his wand at her and snapped, "Imperio!"

"Now," he said, in a low tone, "ye'll come in there with me to the bath and then we'll go to the Manor for the Revel, and I doona want to hear any more of yer Yankee foolishness. We'll serve the Dark Lord together as we were meant to, side by side, me lass. Is that clear?"

Rowan nodded.