DISCLAIMER: I own nothing in the Potterverse it all belongs to J.K. Rowling
Voldemort isn't evil just very misunderstood. Most of the deaths attributed to him and his death eaters were not done by him or really at all. The ones that were true deaths with victims having surviving family members were in truth killed by the Right Hand of Kali who used Voldemort's fame and notoriety to hide their advent into society.
Dumbledore is not evil, just not all knowing. He is human with human fallibility. Dumbledore misunderstood Tom Riddle's purpose in his drive for additional schooling for Muggle-born and Muggle raised students and ostracized him before finding out that he was actually trying to make valid and purposeful improvements to the Wizarding world. They currently have something of a truce each trying to prove to the other that they are not evil. Their fight is not about blood purity but magical purity and strength.
Special Notes on definite deviations from Canon:
The Potter's were killed not by Voldemort but by the UNKNOWN Dark Lordling and a group that calls themselves the Right Hand Of Kali.
The Longbottom's were tortured to insanity but not by the Lestrange's but by a group of terrorists known only as the Right Hand Of Kali, (whose atrocities are often attributed to the Death Eaters.)
The Weasley's are not dirt poor but more like lower middle class comfortable. No family that is not extremely rich that has 7 children will ever be overly well off. (With 4 kids still in school a private boarding school no less a salary of 40,000 dollars will only go so (and will still leave them looking on the less affluent side) far which is why most middle class families in the U.S. are 2 parent working families)
Chapter 1: The Attacks & The Children
Voldemort was very angry: more attacks blamed on Death Eaters… and none sanctioned by him. While they might at one time have been viable targets they definitely were not any longer. After a moment of deep thought he decides and demands aristocratically, "Wormtail present your arm!"
The rat faced man scurries quickly forward and prostrates himself before his master left arm outstretched before him. Voldemort presses the tip of his wand and uses his magic to summon his most faithful to him. The first two to appear were Severus Snape and Lucius Malfoy followed quickly by Charles McNair, John Avery, Bellatrix Lestrange, Rudolphos Lestrange and Rabastian Lestrange. Daniel Goyle and Kendrick Nott were the last to enter and they immediately fell to their knees with heads bowed.
Nott softly whispers, "Milord."
"You have something to say Nott, do it quickly!" said menacingly by Voldemort.
"Milord, Zabini and Crabbe are unable to come at this time. They were called to Hogwarts earlier by Dumbledore; some kind of emergency concerning their children. They hadn't yet returned when you summoned us."
"Severus can you elaborate?"
Snape quietly explains, "Yes My Lord. Dumbledore was forced to call them and many others in for conferences because of continuously falling grades. My two Slytherins are not the only involved though there are also four Hufflepuffs, two Ravenclaws and six Gryffindors. We know that most underestimate Crabbe and Goyle, but Zabini has never had any problems before and for any Ravenclaws to fail even with provided tutors… there is something definitely wrong in Hogwarts. Because of new policy from the Ministry though, if we can't get these students back up to passing by the holiday finals Dumbledore will be forced to confiscate their wands before expelling them. Dumbledore is extremely displeased with this policy as he would keep any student in school taking remedial courses till they passed if that is what they so wished and could afford. He might even see it in his purview to find them funds if he saw real effort on their part to succeed even if they didn't possess them."
Confused and concerned, "I do not understand why these boys are failing, they both performed very well during the summer program at Slyth Torr."
His own mask slipping Severus Snape answers, "We… I don't know Master. I've tried getting my two snakes to talk but they are very close mouthed. All the students were doing well at the beginning of term but by the one month mark we have 14 failing. This is not normal especially as those from Gryffindor include the Golden Trio. We all know that even though she is a Mud-blood Granger is smarter and more intelligent that most Ravenclaws. Potter has always, no matter what's been thrown at him, landed on his feet. For them to be risking expulsion and the loss of their wands it must be very serious. From what I've witnessed of their behavior lately they aren't even talking to or taking comfort from each other."
Now angry that children are not being cared for properly Voldemort demands, "Lucius you will go to this school and you will question the Professors then you will question students till you have some idea of what is going on. I can think of only one thing that could cause this reaction and if it's what I suspect… Fudge and Dumbledore's heads will both roll when I get through with them."
Severus unthinkingly asks, "Master what do you suspect?" Then fears his master's reaction as Voldemort never likes to be questioned.
Anger and disgust evident in his posture and tone Voldemort answers, "Severus they think the very worst of me for my past deeds, but all I've ever wanted was to help the Wizarding world. I've never permitted brutality on children. It has happened in a few cases I will not deny but those involved paid for their excesses with their lives. What I suspect Severus is that one or more of those in power at Hogwarts are using these children. There is nothing more damaging to a child's psyche than rape and torture. I suspect rape, torture, and possibly even brainwashing. If it is performed properly then you will see no physical evidence. If it is performed properly then they will not talk for fear that worse things will happen next time they are the victim."
Rabastian Lestrange adds thoughtfully, "Since this has only happened this term, I would suspect someone new to the staff before any of the old timers. Perhaps we should do some external research on each professor old and new, as well as internal questioning. Severus, who is new to the staff of Hogwarts this term?"
"There are 3 new professors this term: Clarence Stohl who is teaching Arithmancy since Vector was injured by that Umbridge troll last term, Rudyard Willingham who is attempting to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts and Nalco Monte who is teaching Dueling to 4th years and above. During the first week none of the students seemed impressed by these professors. I haven't had much opportunity to talk with them either as they keep to themselves."
"Can't the old man get a Defense Professor that will last for more than one term? What is the issue with him and that position? It's no wonder the children are getting less and less skilled when he has morons for professors. I couldn't believe it when I heard the children talking about it during the summer session is it true that last term the professor taught only theory and she had the never to give detentions when questioned about how were they suppose to pass owls with no practical knowledge?"
"It's true Master… and it's possible that things happened during those detentions that we not legal, but since no one has come forward Dumbledore cannot press charges."
Lucius inquires concerned, "Is it possible that the ministry is doing this. We know that Umbridge was put at Hogwarts last term on Fudge's order. Could this be a power play to take over the school?"
Voldemort states forcefully, "Rabastian use all of your resources to checkout these professors… also look into what the other professors did during their summer vacation. It is possible that they've been corrupted by some outside source. Lucius you go into Hogwarts as a representative of the School Governors ask any question that will help. I will arrange for special counselors to come to Hogwarts to question those failing and those closest to them. This will not go uninvestigated."
All those in the room were started when he starts hissing loudly and realize that he's calling to Nagini and his other serpentine servants… He speaks to them in parseltongue giving them his orders, "You will all accompany Severus back to Hogwarts you will explore the school unseen and look out for the students he points out to you. You will find out what or who is hurting them… you have one week before I summon you back. IF you find out something before then… come to Severus he will bring you to me." When he's done giving the serpents orders he looks up to Severus, "You will take my children to Hogwarts with you… they will explore and spy. IF one of them comes back to you before a week is up you will bring them back to me immediately otherwise bring them when I summon you for an update in one week." Looking around at the others, "Lucius, Rabastian you have your orders… Bella use your metamorphic ability and that Medi-witch certificate and get placed in that school… Goyle talk to your son find out what is going on… He and Vincent are practically inseparable. I will call you in a week… be prepared! Dismissed."
Everyone was pleased to get away without displeasing their lord… he didn't torture them as was professed by the tabloids just let them know that he was unhappy with their failures; but it hurt to know that you've displeased the one you wish to please the most: perhaps that was the best torture technique of all.