I own nothing.

The Most Loyal

It's dark and damp in the alleyway, we're all but smothered in blood and mud, rain is trickling down my collar and the cut on my side won't stop bleeding no matter what I do. We're desperatly quiet listening to the tromp of Ministry boots outside our hiding place.
Which is behind a row of overflowing dustbins, the stink is unbearable but at least it masks the smell of blood from the Aurors.
Blood, mostly mine.

We can't move, we can barely breathe, one false move and we knock something over.
The stifling summer night is making my sodden robes itch as the torrent of rain comes down. I'm blindingly exhausted from being sent out day and night on assignments.

I almost miss Azkaban.

For some reason I'm thinking of the kids in Hogwarts who want to join the Death Eaters. They think it's actually fun to do this shit.

Well kids, you'll be in for a rude awakening.

You talk about the Dark Order, the killings, the torture, the power.

Especially the power.

You talk about how you will be the most loyal follower of our lord, how you will be the best at the unforgivables, how you can out-duel Aurors, beat everything the Ministry can throw at you, risk Azkaban, even die for the cause.

You'd laugh when I tell you that living for the cause is the hard part.

Not only the torture you'd receive for failure, I'm talking of the actual assignments you get.

Killing; a vital part of what being a Death Eater entails, is not much fun. You might think it was but chances are you're thinking how much fun it would be to kill a mortal enemy. Most of the time you aren't.
You're out in some blasted muggle backstreet breaking into homes and Kadavra-ing muggles you've never seen before. The knowlege that there is a point to it other than killing is poor consolation after you've almost drained yourself to unconciousness casting Avada Kedavra thirty-odd times.

Torture; again it is fun when it's a mortal enemy screaming and twitching and begging under your Cruciatus, but again it gets old.
It's messy too, hold anyone under the Cruciatus too long and blood vessels begin rupturing, making the victim bleed from every orfice. Not much fun when the blood splatters on the hem of your best robe.

Plus the noise makes you ears hurt, nails on a blackboard is nothing compared to a woman under the Cruciatus.

And the power, yes that is a promise, our only reward.

But only after you've fought your battles and won, battles ugly with blood. Blood isn't pretty, trust me, it gets everywhere and is almost impossible to wash out, it makes the ground slippery and within seconds the whole place stinks like a charnal house.
Only after you've crawled under the boots of those higher up the ladder than you are and been kicked by them, kissed the hem of the Dark Lord's robes and otherwise abased yourself disgustingly.
It's only after that, if you've battled through all that and still taken on Aurors, Order members and Azkaban Dementors, that you can call youself truely loyal.

Suddenly the appeal is pretty lessened, eh?

Dumb kids.

Rodulphus turns around. His face is masked in mud, his expensive robes torn beyond repair when we had earlier tried to crawl under muggle barbed wire. He looks as tired as I feel.
"They're gone." His voice is hoarse from shouting curse after curse. "We'd better leave."
He, Rookwood and I crawl out from behind the rubbish tip, carrying Rabastan between us, he copped a stunner while we were running and fell into a muggle pond. He's still out cold and half drowned so we have to carry him.

Rodulphus grins at me suddenly, I grin back.

We must be insane to be this loyal.

Skull Bearer.