Chapter 1: Fair is Foul and Foul is Fair
Dark and difficult time had been predicted and they had now fallen. Darkness was everywhere and hatred was the foul disposition held by nearly everyone. It wasn't likely to be happy in a disheveled world, in fact, it was nearly impossible for everyone and every thing no matter what side you belonged to.
Word of Dumbledore's death reached far and wide. The magic community seemed to sigh with sadness and despair. With his departure the darkness stretched over everything. The Dark Lord and his followers became more and more prominent in every day life. It was the good forces that had retreated now.
The ministry of magic had thinned greatly in numbers, as more people went back to the dark. Azkaban prison was now deserted and the Dementors had free reign over the night. No one could stop them from using their powers however they chose and many people; both magic and muggle were being subdued by the Dementors kiss. It was no longer safe for anyone.
The order of the Phoenix had taken over as defenders of the good side as the ministry was desperate for any help they could get. What was left of their employees remained to take on the ever growing problems. Their biggest concern was the muggles, the non magical people that were witnessing much more magic than ever before. The Dark Lord's powers had spread so much that even the muggles weren't safe and the Death Eaters showed little concern for the life of the non magical people, in fact, they used the muggle involvement to help further their other plans. It was with these people that the dark followers created the distractions they needed.
Still with all of the destruction and devastation for both the magic and muggle worlds, the Dark Lord was still unsatisfied. To many time Harry Potter had slipped through his hands and still he could not find a way to be rid of him for good. There was far too much protection around him now, first with his mother and now the Dumbledore, more secrets of old magic began to spring up. Clearly Dumbledore was far wiser than Voldemort could ever dream of being. Harry was still safe with his aunt and uncle and as long as he returned to Hogwarts, as long as Dumbledore's body was close by, Harry would be safe and a great burden to the future of the Dark Lord's plans.
It was not a happy time for man or beast. Everyone, including the muggles, seemed frantic. People traveled in packs and never looked anyone in the eyes anymore. Lord Voldemort himself was always in a frantic rage, never knowing exactly why. He had been growing stronger than he had ever been, stronger than he had every dreamed, but with this power came the paranoia of losing it all again.
One peculiarly cold evening, in the middle of the summer, far outside the city of London, a gathering of dark wizards and witches congregated. Global dark wizards had been coming together to marvel at the power that the Dark Lord had been gaining. They gathered deep in the darkness of the forest, awaiting the arrival of their Lord. His powers now stretched far beyond the boarders of the UK, his reign of terror was now moving onto the global scale and yet he remained grounded in his home land. This was his own tribunal, his most trusted advisors from all over his kingdom.
After Dumbledore's death, and the loss of Azkaban as a safe holding, the ministry of magic lost holds on many of the dark wizards they had imprisoned, Lucius Malfoy being one of them. On this night, for the first time in quite a while, Lucius was reunited with his wife Narcissa. They were among the group gathered. Narcissa's sister Bellatrix was also gathered with them. This would be the first time the women faced the Dark Lord's tribunal and they were not on good terms. Lucius remained a good distanced from his wife. Rumours had started, that she had disgraced the Malfoy name and went against a direct order from Voldemort himself.
The two women huddled together, in fear, as the rest of the wizards and witches stared on disapprovingly.
"You are some piece of work Lucius," Bellatrix hissed as she watched him pass them proudly, "can't even protect your family and act as if nothing ever happened."
"I am not the one defying the Dark Lord's orders," he hissed.
"Feed your own son to the wolves," said Bellatrix growing angrier by the moment.
"He would have been a great addition to my flock," Fenrir Greyback said as he smiled back at Lucius.
"You stay away from my child," Narcissa cried as she looked horror stricken at Greyback.
"If I find him first," he laughed hungrily as he licked his lips, "it would make him much stronger you know."
"Lucius, you can't let this happen," Narcissa begged her eyes now filling with tears; "he's your son, your flesh and blood."
"There is nothing to do until he is found, woman, and even then why should I help a coward," Lucius said coldly.
"You are one to talk Lucius," Bellatrix hissed as she held her sobbing sister, "as I recall I was the one who landed in Azkaban for staying faithful and I would do it again. But you, oh no, you change your ways to stay out of that place, renounce what you knew. You deserved what you got by being thrown in there. It was a shame that your son didn't have you to show him how to do it properly. You deserve whatever darkness befalls you."
"I'll welcome it," Lucius said calmly as he turned away from the women, "men need not worry about the maternal instinct." he chuckled to the others.
"Say that to my face Malfoy," Bellatrix yelled as she drew her wand, "I'll show you how maternal instinct works against rubbish like you," she hissed, the end of her wand glowing already.
"Now, now Bella," Malfoy smiled, "what would you know about maternal instinct, you've never had a flock of your own," he laughed, "the Dementors sucked that out of you along with your looks and all of your strength while you were under their charge. I would guess that your maternal instinct is much like theirs."
The group of wizards burst into laughter. Bellatrix's face grew red with anger, her wand ever glowing, never taking her eyes off Lucius.
"Ah, now my children," a high cold voice penetrated the darkness, "let us not allow divisions to grow between us," Voldemort said as he took his place in the circle. A high backed stone chair popped out of the earth as he moved in on the quarreling family members, "now what is the meaning of this family feud?" he asked looking around.
"Please my Lord, forgive my treachery," Narcissa cried as she through herself at the dark Lord's feet, "please, spare a mother for her desperation to protect a son."
"Get away from him you filth," Malfoy yelled as he watched his wife with displeasure and disdain, "you haven't got the right to speak to him after what you have done!" he yelled as he pulled the sobbing woman away from Voldemort.
"Now, now, Lucius," Voldemort said calmly never taking his eyes of Narcissa.
Her eyes however had fallen on Lucius, filled with hatred and anger toward him now, "you have no right to speak to me that way you coward," she hissed as she stood and pulled herself away from him, "turn you back on your own son."
"I have no son!" Lucius yelled into her face, losing his temper for the first time completely.
"Silence," Voldemort yelled.
The whole of the tribunal had fallen silent now. Fenrir Greyback sat close by the action licking his lips and loving every moment of the quarrel. Wormtail stood shivering at the dark lord's side never taking his eyes off the three beings in the center.
"Bellatrix," Voldemort said looking to the woman who's wand glowed red, "lower you wand, and rejoin the ranks of the tribunal, you are pardoned and I am pleased with your faithfulness to me all these years. Please step aside."
Bellatrix looked fearfully at her sister for a moment and then fell back into the darkness of the grand jury gathered in the forest.
"Lucius, Narcissa, come and stand before me," Voldemort hissed as a large snake crept up the side of the stone chair he was sitting in and curled around the top and sides, watching ever more closely, "you've returned Malfoy now that you have been freed by my Dementors. I can't say it pleases me to see you back. How can you make me see that you have learned from your treachery against me?" he said as he glared at Lucius.
Malfoy's mouth fell open, he had not expected this reaction from the Dark Lord. He fell to his knees before Voldemort, "I have always been faithful, my Lord," he said, "I have always done as you bid and I have never renounced you."
"But you have!" Voldemort yelled his wand pointed at Lucius, "you who walked free and never sought me out, you who worked with them and lied about what you had done, changed your ways they believed and now here you are. Beg me," Voldemort ordered.
Malfoy fell to the ground and kissed the hem of Voldemort's robes, "forgive my treachery, my Lord, I am faithful to you and you alone."
"I can see that," Voldemort hissed disdain in his voice, "renouncing your own son, I hate fathers like that," he said and gave Lucius a swift kick in the side.
Lucius rolled over in pain as Voldemort stepped over him.
"As for you Narcissa," Voldemort said as he walked up to her and looked her in the face.
She fell to her knees never taking her eyes off of his.
"You went against my order to your son. It was to be Draco that killed Dumbledore. Why did you stand in my way?" he asked calmly.
"It was too much for a young boy," she said as she stood again terrified, "I believe he is faithful to you, my Lord, but I don't think he is yet ready for the task at hand. You cannot blame him for his father's cowardly behaviour but simply enough he's only a boy," she said, tears in her eyes once more, "he'll prove himself to you in time."
"That boy Potter can face me, he's of the same age," Voldemort said matter of factly.
"But not even Potter would stand against Dumbledore," Narcissa stated before she even knew what had come out of her mouth.
Voldemort fell silent for a moment. He walked back to his chair as Narcissa stood alone in the center of the circle, "many of us are not brave enough to stand up to Dumbledore," he said finally his voice softer, "have we found the boy yet?" he asked.
"No my Lord," Narcissa said, her voice shaking as a tear rolled down her cheek.
"Lucius get up," Voldemort yelled as he watched Malfoy stir on the ground, "face your wife as a man should."
Lucius slowly got to his feet. He looked at his wife filled with disgust and murder in his eyes.
"Narcissa," Voldemort said softly as he watched the two of them before him.
"Yes my Lord," she said as she turned to face him again and bowed.
"What would you do for me to forgive you and your son?" he asked.
"Anything," she said desperately.
"Would you kill for me?" he asked.
"Anyone, anytime, anywhere," she said more forcefully.
"Would you give your life to save your son's?" Voldemort asked.
"In a heart beat," Narcissa said proudly.
"So, you would kill anyone and die yourself if I simply said yes I forgive you for showing the love of a mother?" Voldemort asked.
A silence grew around the circle.
"Yes," she answered.
Voldemort raised one of his eyebrows, "you would kill even your husband?" he asked.
A flash of green light erupted in the circle, and before Lucius knew what hit him he laid dead on the ground before Lord Voldemort. Narcissa held tight to her wand as she looked even more strongly at the Dark Lord.
"Excellent," Voldemort whispered as he watched the snake unfurl from around him and move slowly across the grass toward Lucius' body. "I have other plans for you Narcissa, but they can be discussed in private," he whispered as he stood and pushed her wand down from its ready position. "I do not hold anything against you or your son," he said now standing beside her. "Let it be known," he bellowed to the group gathered around them, "This is what I see as faithfulness to me. And should you not obey me, let Lucius Malfoy be your example. You are to find the boy Malfoy and bring him back to his mother, unharmed!" he said as he looked strongly at Fenrir Greyback. "You may all leave me now. I will summon you when I need you," he added and turned back to his chair.
One by one people began to disapparate away from the circle. Narcissa was about to leave when she turned back to the Dark Lord once more.
"You I want to stay a moment longer," he said
And she did as she was told.