To Be a Death Eater, You Must…
Death Eater Principle #1
The Dark Lord is not one to be trifled with. He is evil, and will not hesitate to do Evil Things to you.
Lord Voldemort looked upon the small congregation of Death Eaters. He was mad, and they all knew it, and were awaiting their punishment. The Dark Lord relished moments like this one – in fact, he waited as long as he could before actually punishing them. He enjoyed surprising them with a Crucio or Reducto curse when they were least expecting it – they made such delightful shrieks of pain and surprise, it made his spine tingle with pleasure.
It was five minutes ago that he had stopped berating them for letting Potter destroy the prophecy in the Department of Mysteries earlier that night. Oooh, that Potter, Voldemort thought, feeling Very Angry, I'll catch him one day and make him Suffer… Voldemort began to cackle to himself at the thought, and as he noticed a few of his Death Eaters jerking at the sudden sound, laughed harder.
"AhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhHAHAHAHA!" He swayed in his seat, raising his hands (his Death Eaters began to curl into themselves and one raised his arms up in alarm) and pounding them into the arms of the chair he was sitting in. Voldemort was thinking, AhhhhhHAHAHAHA!
He said out loud what he was thinking. "AhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhHAHAHAHA – " he stopped abruptly and straightened up, staring at what seemed like something but was really nothing.
Ten minutes passed of this, of Voldemort sitting in the Royal Slytherin Seat of Doom™, staring, and the Death Eaters trying to make themselves look as small as possible, before one brave Death Eater stepped forward and said, "My lord?"
Voldemort said nothing. He remained still and unmoving.
Another fifteen minutes passed before a few of the Death Eaters began peeking their heads up to look at their lord. A few began exchanging confused glances.
"My lord?" another tried again.
He didn't move.
There was silence, before someone incredulously asked, "Is he asleep?"
There were a few dissenting voices, but then Lucius Malfoy turned to Peter Pettigrew and demanded, "Wormtail! You would recognize this. You nursed him back to health before his resurrection. What ails our lord?"
Now, Peter Pettigrew, otherwise known as Wormtail, was not a brave man. He was timid, meek, ugly, and terribly confused under pressure. As everyone but their lord turned their eyes to him, his thoughts flailed and for the life of him, he couldn't remember whether the Dark Lord slept with his eyes open or not. So he decided that he had two options, yes or no, and that gave him fifty-fifty odds. He chanced at a guess, and hoped he was right. "Y-yes…h-h-he sleeps with his eyes o-open."
There were sighs of relief that could be heard around the basement chamber of Riddle House. Every single Death Eater could not help but feel relieved that their lord had miraculously fallen asleep right after the failure of losing to Harry Potter. They each felt a sort of warm connection to each other suddenly, full of Love For Everyone™ because they had narrowly escaped being tortured by the evilest of all Evil People, and that kind of thing makes you happy for all the little things. Life Was Good.
Until they heard a cackle from behind them and their lord's high-pitched voice yelling Crucio!
Lord Voldemort looked upon his Death Eaters lazily as they all rolled around in Pain and Agony, feeling as content as a purring kitten. Not that he knew anything about kittens, because certainly the darkest of all dark lord's doesn't or didn't ever have a kitten. Ah, but his Death Eaters were so amusing. Fools. To think that they believed that they could ever escape his Wrath. The glee he felt for tricking them was enough to make him feel better about their stupidity though.
Well, at least to Wormtail's credit, Voldemort thought, closing his eyes and letting the screams of his servants wash over him, he was right about my sleeping with my eyes open…
Death Eater Principle #2
Evil can be defined as Very Bad. The Dark Lord will require for you to be evil. You may not be as evil as him, because he is the evilest of all Evil People. But you have to be Very Bad, or there's no place at the Dark Lord's side for you.
Severus Snape stalked through the halls of Hogwarts, a terrible ache behind his eyes and a throbbing inner arm. Despite this, his mood had been utterly untouchable ever since the Department of Mysteries, even after when he had been hit by the Cruciatus Curse. He chalked it up to one thing: he couldn't possibly feel miserable on the day that Sirius Black had finally snuffed it.
Severus did not think of himself as an evil person. He, just like any other self-respecting man, held grudges and wanted people that he hated to die – like Sirius Black, for example. He expected that maybe he should feel a little bad about it and tried to for a moment, before sniggering at the one percent of him that was Hufflepuff and continuing on his cheerful, albeit pained, way through the halls.
He didn't notice that students had stopped dead to stare at him as he walked by.
Seamus Finnigan was one of them. He peered closer at the Potions Master. There wasn't anything obvious that said Love For Everyone™ on Snape's forehead, but still… There was the way that he was walking; not swooping batlike, but more like he had a bounce in his step… His scowl wasn't a scowl but a mere frown. He wasn't stopping students in the hall and taking points off of Gryffindors for breathing.
There was something Very Wrong going on here.
Seamus being Seamus, was quick to decide that he must Figure Things Out. Making his way through the crowd of slack-jawed students milling in the halls, he raced to the professor's side.
"Hey, Professor Snape?"
Snape didn't even take points off before grunting, "What do you want, Finnigan?"
Seamus smiled as Charmingly as he possibly could, which wasn't very Charming, judging by the return of the scowl to Snape's face. "Ah, I've noticed, along with everyone else – " here he swept a hand over the hall, littered by frozen students "– that there must be something Very Wrong going on. Do you happen to know anything about it, sir, that you can tell us?"
Severus was still feeling Love For Everyone™, because that's what things like the death of Sirius Black did to him, and refrained from taking points away to curiously ask the incredibly stupid boy (for one must be Very Stupid to ask Professor Snape a question – he didn't advocate that "the only stupid question is the one left unasked" thing to his students and thought that after years of his presence in Hogwarts, the little whelps would have gotten the point), "Even if I did know, Finnigan, why in Merlin's name would I tell you?"
"Um," Finnigan replied smartly, "because I asked."
Severus Snape had no answer to that that didn't involve a loud Crucio and Pain and Agony, but as he was a teacher and that sort of thing wasn't Very Good, he forewent it and decided to bear it all to the world. "My arch nemesis is dead and I'm planning to spend the evening making a bonfire out of all of your years' Gryffindor papers from the past five years."
Seamus Finnigan was Confused. "But sir, what if we end up taking the Potions NEWT class next year?"
Severus Snape felt even more Love For Everyone™ as he ruthlessly disparaged the boy of any such notion.
Death Eater Principle #3
An enemy of the Dark Lord is your enemy as well. And as the Dark Lord is the Arch Nemesis of all who are Good and Pure, associating with anyone that is Good and Pure is highly unadvisable. To do so will result in the Dark Lord doing Evil Things to you, and Evil Things always involve Pain and Agony.
Harry Potter continued to stalk through the halls aimlessly after McGonagall had told both him and Malfoy to carry on. Oooh, how he hated Snape! Seeing him had just made things worse. The git hadn't even taken points off, just stood there and looked like he hadn't realized how much Harry Hated him.
"Hey, Harry!" Harry stopped and turned to see Seamus Finnigan jogging towards him. Harry noticed that the other boy was sporting a black eye, but didn't ask from where he'd gotten it.
"Hello," he gritted out between his teeth, unable to get over how much he Hated Snape.
"I just talked to Snape," Seamus said as they resumed walking together, rubbing his eye. "He was – dare I say it – Happy! You should have seen it."
Harry felt his eye twitch.
Out of the eye that wasn't swollen, Seamus saw Harry's eye twitch. "Are you okay?"
"Fine," Harry positively snarled.
Seamus shrugged, and continued. "Well, I asked him why, and guess what? He says his Arch Nemesis snuffed it, and he's going to have a bonfire of fifth year Gryffindor papers tonight."
"What?" Harry was Taken Aback. He felt himself burn at the thought of Snape being glad about Sirius's death. "What about NEWT classes?"
"Yeah," Seamus nodded, "that's what I said."
"What'd he say?"
Seamus rubbed his eye again. "Well, that's when he punched me in the face and told me that he'd renounce being evil and become a muggle before he allowed a Gryffindor into his NEWT classes."
Harry bubbled with Anger. "That git!"
"Yeah, really," Seamus agreed, wincing. "I mean, taking points is one thing, but punching someone in the face…"
But Harry wasn't listening, because that wasn't what he was upset about. He wanted to be an Auror, and for that he needed the Potions NEWT classes! He Would Not Stand For This! So he left Seamus to stand there and turned around and ran after the direction he had last seen Snape walking in.
Finally catching up, having no trouble finding the professor thanks to all the stupefied students leading the way, Harry caught up with Severus Snape.
Severus turned to find himself looking down at Harry Potter, the Ultimate Arch Nemesis. "What is it, Potter?"
"You can't not let Gryffindors in your NEWT classes!"
Severus Snape paused for a moment before answering. "I am Potions Master here, Potter. I teach Potions. As a teacher, I have the right to set standards and prerequisites and regulations for all of the classes I teach." He paused for another moment. "And it just so happens to be that Gryffindors are not permitted to be in my classes longer than necessary."
Severus' patience was waning. He felt his Love For Everyone™ dimming. "Look, shouldn't you be off lamenting the death of Black or something right now? You do remember that he died about twelve hours ago, right?"
Harry's eye twitched again and he glared at Snape. He turned around and Stomped away, feeling like it made everything better, because by Stomping, he signified to the world that He Was Mad. Stomp Stomp Stomp –
"Detention tonight, Potter," he heard Snape's voice call out from behind him.
…STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP…
Death Eater Principle #4
If it is at all within your power, you must make your enemies Suffer.
Albus Dumbledore was feeling Very Sad because he was Old and bending over to pick up all the pieces of his destroyed silver instruments was hard on his back. He would have used his wand to just wave the pieces away, but he was Old and things like that slipped his mind from time to time.
And this time Albus Dumbledore had Messed Up Big Time. He knew it, Harry knew it, everyone in the Order knew it, and Phineas Nigellus knew it.
"You Old Fool," Phineas was saying, "you knew that the puffed up poof needed to know The Truth, and you didn't see fit to tell him. It's all your fault my heir is dead now, and I demand Retribution!"
"What do you want, Phineas?" Albus asked tiredly. He was tired and sleepy and still Old.
"And what does that consist of?"
And because that was totally Doable, Albus nodded and waved his hand, staving off the rest of Phineas' rants. "I assure you, Phineas, that you will have your Retribution. As for now, however, I must remind you that you are a painting and therefore have no power to exact said Retribution."
"…" Phineas said nothing.
Albus sighed and waddled off outside his office, deciding to go visit the dungeons. It was late and Severus had told him earlier that he'd have a fire going and tea prepared. He was stopped, however, when walking through the halls.
"Professor Dumbledore, sir!"
It was Seamus Finnigan.
He had a black eye.
Albus gathered himself together in order to not seem so Old. Though Harry may have seen him for the Old Man he really was, the rest of the students still thought he was Mighty Headmaster, and he liked it that way. "Hello, my dear boy. How are you this fine night?"
"Um, good," Seamus replied. "Except for my eye, it kind of hurts."
"Ah, yes. Have you considered going to the Infirmary?" Why was it that he had to point out obvious things to people today?
"Oh. Um. No. I just wanted to say, sir, that Professor Snape punched me in the face, and that's why I have a black eye."
"…Ah. Well. … Thank you for letting me know. It will be Dealt With."
Albus reached the dungeons a few minutes later. For Some Reason, otherwise known as Instinct, he paused before announcing himself and fully observed the sight before him. Harry Potter was sitting in a chair, left eye madly twitching as he watched Severus feed the large fire with rolls of parchment, one by one.
"What are you doing, Severus?"
Severus Snape straightened out as soon as he caught sight of Mighty Headmaster. "Oh, hello Albus. I'm just doing some cleaning."
"I have noticed that you've been punching students today, Severus."
Dumbledore sighed. "As nice as it is to see you full of Love For Everyone™, Severus, I'm afraid that as my duty as Mighty Headmaster I must suspend you for the rest of the school year."
Severus looked Confused. "But there's only tomorrow left and that's just all the students leaving…"
Death Eater Principle #5
Do not displease the Dark Lord.
"…So the blood traitor said that I still have to go back for the new school year. I was hoping I'd get a year off."
Lord Voldemort nodded understandingly to Severus Snape's plight. He nodded. "That is fine, Severus. The Azkaban escapees are sleeping over too."
And so Severus Snape began to reside at Riddle House, completely and conveniently forgetting that he had his own home for the sake of this story. Days passed, and then weeks, and Severus' Love For Everyone™ slowly faded, before Severus worked up the courage to question his master about something that had been bothering him for a Very Long Time.
"My Lord, do you not get bored?"
"We do nothing here but talk about Potter. I want to kill Potter, I want to Kill Potter, or I want to KILL Potter, you keep saying. I want to kill him too, but don't you ever become tired of saying that all day? Do you not get bored and yearn to be doing something? Like work?"
Voldemort stared at him blankly for so long that Severus worried that he might have fallen asleep.
"I suppose that you do not."
Voldemort continued staring.
Severus also stood still and proceeded not to blink for the next thirteen minutes. Trying vainly to be sudden, he attempted running for the door. Voldemort, apparently, had too much practice with this and hit him with a painful Cruciatus Curse.
"Do not question the Dark Lord!" Voldemort shrieked Very Angrily.
And so it Went On.
Well. Needless to say, that was the last time Severus ever ignored one of the Death Eater's principles.
Never again did he wonder what the Lord Voldemort did in his spare time, other than think about Killing Potter.
That was a Good Thing, too, because what Lord Voldemort did in his spare time was Very Frightening…
"Pss, pss…Evil Kitty, you can come out now," Voldemort said, after Severus had dragged himself out of the room. From behind his Royal Slytherin Seat of Doom™, a small little tabby kitten slinked out and jumped into the lap of the most evil of Evil People, purring contentedly. Voldemort's long, spider-like fingers gently rubbed the kitten behind its ears.
Curling up in his Royal Slytherin Seat of Doom™, Voldemort hugged Kitty to himself and went to sleep. Because that's what Voldemort did when he wasn't thinking about Killing Potter – hugged Kitty and went to sleep, where he dreamed of Killing Potter. It was a difficult life for him – he hated the boy, yet had to think about him all the time. The One Track Mind he had was rather irritating, after a while. First it was hell-bent on Being Evil, and now on Killing Potter…oh yes, and he did occasionally think about Pain and Agony and Suffering.
Ah well. He'd Kill Potter. It was Only a Matter of Time.
Author's Note #2: Um. So that ending sucked. Snape's all tortured, Dumbledore is old, Harry has a twitching eye, Seamus has a black eye, Sirius is still dead, Phineas hasn't had his retribution, and Voldemort still doesn't have a job. It seemed a lot funnier a couple hours ago. Hm.
Review or risk displeasing the Dark Lord.