"A friend is one who believes in you when you have ceased to believe in yourself."
The death eaters, each wearing plain black robes, and a white mask, with hoods up, formed a circle around their lord. They felt something different in the room, like a wave of terror had been lifted. Some of them even smiled a bit.
Harry Potter waited, and examined the death eaters. They all looked the same, all alike, but he could notice subtle differences, such as posture, and size. As he examined them one by one, names came unbidden into his mind. Crabbe, Malfoy, Rookwood, Flinch, Goyle… Harry marveled at the number of the death eaters that showed up. He had assumed there were only twenty or so death eaters. He was wrong.
The chamber was huge, bigger than the great hall of Hogwarts, bigger than the Chamber of Secrets even. And in a circle, close to the white walls, the death eaters lined up. They did not bow, and but they showed their respect through the lowering of their heads and even Harry could see the awe in their eyes. The death eaters had a sense of speed, and the whole process took less than a minute.
They had assembled. Now it was Harry's turn to shine. He briefly remembered Peter's advice about torturing the last person. Harry was happy to do so. One less death eater. But he knew he could not do the crucio spell properly, his attempt in the Department of mysteries was pathetic. That would give him away for sure.
Peter stood to his side, looking proud and confident. Harry felt a brief surge of annoyance at him, and then the beginnings of a plan emerged in his mind. It was cunning, and no doubt influenced subtly by Voldemort's shadow of knowledge.
Harry mustered all the rage and anger he had ever felt. He started getting very angry. The death eaters could see it on his face, they shot each other dark fearful looks. They were used to this mood, of course. It meant pain.
"Peter. Take your place in the circle." Harry spoke in a hoarse, and cold voice. He marveled at his acting skills, and watched Peter hesitate. "Is there a problem, rat?" He hissed.
The death eaters were watching, so Peter did the only thing he could do. He bowed, "Not at all, my lord." He walked over to an empty spot, and joined the circle.
Now it was time for rhetoric. Harry had a lot of spare time in the summers, and sometimes he had pretended he was some great dark lord. Quite fun, playing make believe. His only form of entertainment in the Dursley household.
"Death Eaters." Harry hissed quietly. The chamber was as silent as death, and his voice had echoed. "You will notice on your left hand, the dark mark is moving. Look at it." The death eaters, grim faced, looked, even though they knew what was there.
Harry simply watched them, and once they were done with the looking, he started to explain. He was making it up as he went along, trusting his luck. That was what kept him alive anyways, and he assumed he had a great deal of luck to survive attacks from the most feared man in the world.
The death eaters grew unnerved by the silence, and they looked at the silver haired right hand of Voldemort, Malfoy. Lucius Malfoy stepped forward, and took a bow. He said in a strong, self assured voice, "My lord. What is the cause of this?"
Harry wondered how they thought he was Voldemort. He was not standing in the shadows, they could see him clearly: A dark figure with a shadow on his face. Harry did not know however, that Dumbledore was the one weaving the illusion and simply watching. He was curious but also ready to take Harry out should things go wrong.
"The cause is not important. But don't get afraid, and start having… reservations about your positions when the mark fades. I am researching things that might have strange effects on my magic. My strength is like a ball, bouncing up and down.
However I need to know what my minions are up to." Harry let out a smile, though the death eaters could not see. "Report to me one by one starting with this end of the circle in my rooms. Petigrew will show you the way." He gave a nod in his direction. "For now, you are dismissed. Talk amongst each other, and… enjoy yourselves."
The death eaters were shocked, and a bit amazed. "Is this some kind of joke?" Some of them wondered aloud when Harry left in a brisk pace.
As soon as Harry left the chamber, he canceled the spell on his face. It was stuffy. His face was white and covered with sweat. All he could think of was, "I ruined it. I messed up. The death eaters are sure to know now and I'm going to be captured and tortured."
He took deep breaths, gathered up his courage and walked to his chambers. He once again cast the nifty shadow spell. It was actually quite a simple charm that he had learned in year 3 but he wondered why he had never used it. He waited for the first death eater to arrive. Maybe he could intimidate them one by one but all of Harry's confidence had left him. He felt weak, like a little kid. Public speaking was definitely not his top ten list of things to do.
Peter led the first death eater in. Harry had banished the bed in the corner and with a simple transfiguration spell he expanded the room. For a brief moment he wondered where he had learnt to do this. It doesn't matter, he said to himself, and conjured two chairs. One was a black armchair with snakes along the armrests, and the other was a simple wooden chair. Harry seemed a bit surprised. How did he do this? He had just waved his hand, and a picture had formed unbidden in his mind. Voldemort's avada kedavra…. He wondered to himself. Looking at the frail and old death eater, he shook himself out of his thoughts and concentrated on his task.
Harry nodded to Peter, "Wait outside." He ordered. Then he turned his attention to the death eater. Peter looked reluctant, but a glare from Harry's direction sent him out. Harry shut the door with a wave of his wand.
The death eater conjured a small table in between them with some tea. He twinkled his eyes. With an amused smile, he took off the mask.
AN: Real life got in the way of updating my story but now I think I'll be able to pick it up again. Expect frequent updates:)
review by the way because I love to hear from my readers.