Chapter 5: The Evil Mr. V
I tried very hard not to scream. It wasn't that much of a challenge, since there was a big goon sitting on my back so I couldn't get away, much less breathe. The smell was the worst part though, like over done bacon.
"Little Potter won't be running away on those," Lestrange declared, laughing, as she slapped the burned soles of my feet.
I considered mentioning that I hadn't run away, but crawled and swum, but I didn't want to think about what she'd burn to stop me from crawling. The goon got off me and I pull my feet against me and huddled over them. I was chained up again so I couldn't do much to protect my injured appendages. Still I think curling up in a ball was the best course of action. Curling up in a ball keeps you safe from psychotic sadists doesn't it? Or at least bears? I tired to look unafraid and large, but I was shaking and my nose was full of snot.
"Is little Potter crying?" she asked in a high voice.
I saw her hand coming towards me, and I knew she was going to grab me by my hair again. It wasn't the best idea, but it wasn't really an idea. My head snapped up and I caught her hand in my mouth. I bit down. I heard bones crack over her shrieking. She tried to pull away but I was too heavy and she was off balance. She dragged me around, yelling for the others to help her. Blood was running into my mouth and down my throat. With a final kick, she knocked me loose. Most of the ball of her thumb came away with me.
She kept on shrieking. The goon was coming back towards me. I growled and bared my teeth and he stopped short. A few of the other spectators were exchanging nervous glances.
"What the hell is going on out here?" demanded the Death Eater I'd named Nails, since he was always chewing on said extremities.
Other Death Eaters, who had been sleeping or on guard duty were wandering over. Lestrange shrieking was apparently such a regular occurrence it took a while for her fellow nut jobs to figure out that something was actually wrong. Nails handed her a handkerchief to staunch the bleeding.
"That wasn't a very smart thing to do boy," said MacConkey threateningly.
I was getting very sick of their threats. Doesn't a threat require some chance that the implied bad outcome can be avoided by some action?
"Maybe you should feed me better," I said, grinning to show off my bloody teeth. "Then incidents like this wouldn't happen."
One of the Death Eaters started laughing. The others looked at him, but no one said anything about it.
Lestrange raised her wand and came at me. I knew she was planning to kill me. I thought I would be more afraid, but over the past few days the fear of it was sort of beaten out of me. It occurred to me, as the killing curse started to bubble out of her mouth, that my dying now might work out for the better in the long run. If Voldemort wanted me alive for something, I probably wouldn't want to be there. But even as I was thinking this, the wolf in me was crouching and bunching, preparing to charge to the end of the chains that held me. It wanted to bite her again, to fight and kill and live.
As the green light formed at the end of her wand, the Death Eater who had laughed grabbed her wrist and twisted her wand skyward. The curse flew upward, until it was just a sickly green star fading into the night.
"Our Lord wants him alive," the laughing man said.
Lestrange shrieked something incomprehensible at him, and stormed away.
Another night passed and we changed camps again. Everything was going pretty much the same though, torture followed by no food, followed by more torture. As a cloudy dawn came over the camp, something out of the ordinary did occur. The Death Eater who had laughed when I bit Lestrange, and stopped her from killing me, stopped by with breakfast.
He sat about ten feet away with a bowl of stew, staring at me. I stared back. The werewolf in me hates to back down from a staring contest. The Death Eater stirred the bowl slowly with his spoon, and helplessly my focus slid down to it. I hadn't had anything to eat or drink since I bit Bellatrix, and that wasn't exactly food. And if it was, it was probably junk food.
Slowly he took a big chunk of meat and stuffed it into his mouth. He licked the spoon and then his lips. He scooped out a carrot and looked at it for a long moment. He raised it towards his mouth, watching me watch him eat. Suddenly the gravy sodden vegetable was flying at me. I snatched it out of the air and stuffed it into my mouth so fast even I could barely track the motion of my hands. I didn't bother to chew.
He raised an eyebrow and scooped out another carrot. It was a wide toss, and I had to lunge for it, going out to the end of the chain that tethered me to the ground. I caught it though, and gobbled that down to. He kept tossing and I kept catching, until he seemed unable to find any more vegetables he was willing to part with. I stared at him again, hopping he'd be willing to throw a piece of meat, but he just ate the rest of the stew while I watched. I decided to call him Stew in my head, as I hadn't heard any of the other Death Eaters use his name.
"I don't want you to get the wrong impression about me," Stew said. "I'm not going to help you."
He got up and came a few steps closer, squatting down so he could look me in the eye. "I want to see them take you apart," he continued, his voice dropping to a throaty whisper. "It's fascinating to see what's inside another human being. I wasn't put in Azkaban for being a Death Eater, you know. I was arrested later, for my hobbies."
I could see his eyes, tracking every twitch I made. I could smell him. He wasn't uncontrolled fury and hate like the others. Violence was running through his veins and oozing out his skin, but he knew exactly what he was going to do with it.
"There are two of you in there," Stew said. "There's the thinking one and the one that tears and claws and wants to get out. I'd like to separate them, dig them both out of that wet red squirming creature they live in and make them look at each other." He leaned closer. "Wouldn't that be extraordinary?"
I stared at him. He was close enough for me to sink my teeth into. Our faces were less then a hand span apart. The wolf was shaking me, urging me to go for the throat. I held it down. Whatever this guy was planning he knew what I was capable of, but I didn't know him. Stew could be planning to drag me away from the other Death Eaters and dissect me. That wasn't exactly something to look forward to, but if that happened I might have a better chance of getting away. I wasn't really sure what I should say to a crazy person to encourage this sort of behavior, so I settled for saying something crazy myself.
"Not that extraordinary," I growled. "I already met him. His name's Odd Todd and he eats newspaper and glue if I don't watch him close enough."
Stew looked startled for a moment and began to laugh. Then he slapped me. It wasn't a particularly hard slap, it was friendly even, compared to what the other Death Eaters had done, but I think it scared me more. I had a very strong urge to drag the side of my face through the dirt to get rid of the crawling feeling his hand left behind. He turned and walked away. I wondered then, about the intelligence involved in trying to hit it off with the Death Eaters' self styling version of Hannibal Lector.
That day went by more slowly then I expected. Usually someone would torture me into a stupor and the hours would blur by, but today all the Death Eaters were distracted. (Except for Stew, who now seemed to be sneaking glances at me every other minute.) I heard snatches of conversation from across the camp.
"-tonight, our Lord will reward us!"
"-sacrifice. He'll chose me-"
"-kill the brat himself-"
None of it was comforting, but it wasn't unexpected either. I tested the chains a few times, but they were much more solidly planted then they had been the day before. The stake didn't even budge when I pulled on it. As the sun set they gathered around me. They hadn't packed up the tents or anything else in the camp. Tonight was different. Tonight was the end of it.
Two of the goons grabbed my chains. The stake came loose for them and they dragged me over to the group. I was kicked a few times, but for the most part they were too distracted to put much effort into my discomfort. Another portkey was produced, and I was dragged through another whirling, nauseating vortex.
We landed in a graveyard, amidst headstones and more freaks in robes and skull masks. I thought it was all a bit hokey, but kept all related comments to myself. I wanted to avoid getting my face beat in until I had something profoundly insulting to say, not just some jab about theatrics and all things overdone.
"Do you have him?" called a high hissing voice.
I managed to lift my head enough to see the building I was being dragged towards. It was the mausoleum from my dream. Even the dead snakes on the steps were the same. Smoke and green glowing steam poured out of the slightly open door.
"We do, my Lord!" Lestrange crowed.
"Bring the blood!"
I was rolled over and saw Lestrange leaning down towards me with a knife in her hand. I tried to kick her away but my feet were too bound up, and a boot came down on my throat, making it even harder to insult or assault them. Lestrange stabbed me in the arm. I honestly didn't think I would notice it that much, since everything was hurting at that moment, but somehow that injury made itself known and my vision went a bit dark. Of course it was already completely blurry without my glasses, so I suppose that wasn't much of a loss.
"Get me a bowl!" Lestrange shrieked. "Quickly!"
Miss forethought apparent failed to consider some blood transportation issue. I guess she was brought a bowl because I was turned upside down and the upper part of my arm was squeezed. I was dropped again and Lestrange hurried away, up the steps into that little building. I heard things splashing, bubbling, and hissing. Whatever they were cooking I didn't think I wanted any.
There were gasps from those around me as the door of the mausoleum opened fully. A shadowy figure in black robes emerged from the tomb, and thirty or so Death Eaters dropped to their knees and groveled. I struggled to stand up. This of course drew his attention right to me.
"Ah…Mr. Potter…I was so hoping to see you here tonight," the figure hissed.
He came close enough for me to see then, within arms reach. Even without my glasses I could pick out his features; creepy red eyes, slit nostrils with no real nose, heavy brows, and mutton chops. This was "Lord Voldemort" I supposed. I couldn't see much in common with the teenager who'd regained life through a possessed book my second year of school, but I guess being dead and disembodied didn't do much for his complexion. He was close enough to smell too; sort a dry musty snake smell along with normal human B.O. and mothballs from the old robes he was wearing. Under that was something else though; something familiar, and more then a little ironic.
"New body?" I rasped. I was trying for mocking, but was too dehydrated.
Voldemort raised an eyebrow.
"Yes, and it's thanks to you that I have it!" he said. "Ancient dark magic allowed me to regain my mortal body, the bones of my father, the flesh of my servant, and the blood of my enemy. You, Harry, were the final piece. It's thanks to you, really, that I've regained my power. And all I do now will be because of you."
I guess he was expecting me to feel horribly guilty about all the crazy crap he planned to pull now that he was up and walking again, but being eternally cursed and a dark creature had given me a bit of a wider perspective in matters of responsibility. Blaming the problems of the world on my existence wasn't going to fix things.
Lestrange staggered out of the mausoleum then, and I could smell blood (that wasn't mine for once) all over her.
"Our Lord has risen!" she shrieked, waving a stump where her right hand had previously been attached.
The hand I'd bitten was the one missing, and I was betting it had gone into the spell along with my blood. As if confirming my suspicions I heard one Death Eater whispering to another.
"I don't remember him being this hairy," he said.
I smiled faintly then. This of course wasn't what Voldemort expected, and he leaned in closer, red eyes boring into mine.
"Careful, My Lord!" one of the goons warned. "He bites."
I wanted to draw things out, with all kinds of drama and suspense, but I wasn't feeling that well. I decided to say things while I still had sensation in my face. It would be horrible if my last words were misinterpreted because of muddle mouth.
"I guess I should say welcome back," I said.
Now he was entirely suspicious and there was a crawling feeling in my mind.
"Oh, yeah," I added. "And I hope you like being a werewolf."
Author's Note: Yeah. I know. I've been slacking.