Power. Ambition. Fear. There were a multitude of reasons why I decided to take my place among the ranks of the damned. Oh yes, a vast plethora of reasons why I felt it necessary to sully my hands with Muggle blood for the greater cause. The true cause, so I believed. He taught us so much. The words of His Black Gospel, the Sermon of Truth-- of Power and Purification--echoed in our ears long after we'd forgotten the cause. He taught us to fight. He taught us to kill. I had never seen a corpse before then. My dreams are now plagued with them...

Now, nearly twenty years later, the screams still wake me at night, embedded in the blackened depths of my conscience. Hundreds upon hundreds of innocents, slaughtered like cattle and left to rot as the flies ate away at their flesh. Muggle children made to bleed to death with the simple flick of a wrist. It was so effortless, really, taking a human life. A small price to pay for the benefits it would reap. We'd thought we were heroes. We were nothing more than murderers.

And so, it was partially out of remorse that I'd enlisted to aid Dumbledore in his quest against the Dark One. Some remote sliver of compassion left in me felt the burning need to atone for my youth's folly. I'd also felt the need to reciprocate the honest devotion to which Albus has shown me, even in my darkest moments. To paraphrase a colleague of mine, Dumbledore is indeed a "great man".

With this in mind, I will ask you to be merciful in your judgment of me and my life's work, as I cannot be considered of the most sane or balanced lot of individuals. I am not a hateful man, just a hardened cynic and a brazen realist. Trust me, all too often has it come in handy...