Chapter 7 – The Meeting

I awoke rather suddenly. As I groggily tried to recall what had disturbed me from my slumber, I found a lurking pain in my scar so intense that I started to scream. Oh God, how it hurt! With watering eyes, I sorely wished for the pain to go away! As it started to subside, I at last recalled where I was supposed to be. The meeting! Father wanted to present me to his Death Eaters tonight. How could I have forgotten? I rushed out of the library and down the flight of steps. I have no idea how it happened but, somewhere along the way, I must have panicked about my outfit for as I approached the throne room, I no longer found myself wearing my attire of red robes from earlier that day. I was now dressed in my royal robes, instead of my common ones.

My robes were a dark shade of navy blue. The buttons and clasps were gold as were the seams, thread, and inner lining. This robe had miniature eagles and lions alternating on the buttons. While my common robes were made out of a light cotton material, this robe – my royal robes – were made out of soft velvet.

As I neared the throne room my heart went into overdrive furiously pumping the adrenaline flooding my veins. The doors were open and it then confirmed my earlier assumptions – I had missed my cue and Father was furious! I slowed and tried to catch my breath as I came within 5 feet of the door. Embarrassed, I stepped into the room and awaited the reactions of Father and his followers.

"RIDDLE!!" No mistaking that voice. Father called me forward using the name we had planned earlier and I cautiously approached. A few days ago, I wouldn't have been caught dead doing what I was right now. I further surprised myself by doing something the light side would be ashamed of doing. I knelt. I knelt down on one knee and turned my gaze to the floor. It wasn't a bow but I was none the less giving a sign of respect to my father. I was trying to say 'Look Father! I'm a good boy, see? I know my place is to be the submissive son, the prince. Please don't hurt me!' I knew before I had even entered the room that I was going to be punished and punished severely. After all, Father and I hadn't become all that entirely close yet as we had only been together for a few days.

"Well! Now that my heir has finally saw fit to join us here this evening, perhaps we should continue the meeting by showing him what happens to my followers when they disobey my orders!" By now, Father was talking in such a low voice that it sent shivers up my spine. I shuddered and he continued to address his servants.

"For the purpose of this punishment, you may treat him as his former self: Harry Potter. However, this shall be a one-time only occurrence – I hope!" The last part was directed at me as I gulped down my fear. I knew what was coming. Without further warning, "Crucio!" Father attacked. So did his Death Eaters. Hexes and curses of varying degrees and pain levels were tossed towards me and I writhed and shrieked wishing it was over. After an eternity, it finally stopped!

"Well now! I hope my heir has learned his lesson! I don't want to have to repeat it!" growled Father. I stared at my shoes numbly.

"Of course not Father. It won't happen again," I weakly replied. Here I dared to glance at Father to see what his reaction would be. Our eyes met and somehow, through our bond I guess, I got the feeling that it was ok. Was it just for show?

Come! Take your place by my side.

Holy crap! I had forgotten we could communicate through the bond. Hesitantly, I went to take my place in the circle at Father's right hand. This put me between Father and Snape. On Father's other side stood Malfoy Sr. If my suspicions were correct, and I'm sure they were, you could tell a Death Eater's status by where he stood in the circle. The unfortunate soul, who was the newest member, was standing directly across the circle from Father.

The meeting waged on and I stood where I was watching and listening. Father tortured a few more idiots who couldn't even follow simple orders like "do not move from that spot" and "don't let him out of your sight". It was sad, really. Occasionally Father would allow Snape or Malfoy to torture a few Death Eaters who were so far down the chain that they weren't even worth Father's time.

Finally the meeting drew to a close. I was wondering if Father would ever get around to marking the Death Eaters with my mark. Come! Geez, what's with the one-worded commands? I guess now was the time to do so. Stepping forward into the center of the circle and pulling me with him, he addressed those gathered around.

"And now, I have one final item to bring to mind tonight. You all know to obey my orders without question or hesitation. My word is law. Well, my heir will have the same authority. You will obey him as you would me for anything he tells you, I have probably already told him to tell you. Furthermore, you will take his mark. It will work the same way mine does. Torqueo Vestigium!"

Without warning, Father cast the spell that would brand my mark into their skin. With a unanimous cry of pain, almost every follower clutched at their left forearm, just under the spot where their currently existing mark was visible. Snape and Malfoy however, did nothing to indicate the pain they were surely in. The ability to ignore such pain must be one of the reasons why they are the highest ranking Death Eaters.

Everyone, with the exception of Father and I, now sported two marks. The first mark belonged to Father – the skull with the protruding serpent for the tongue. The second mark belonged to me of course. It was a lion with a eagle sitting on its back, wings spread. The prominent feature of my mark was the serpent that wound itself around the bodies of the two creatures as if trying to strangle them. It was the king of my mark, each animal showing my blood lineage, and the serpent showed that that was the part of my heritage that I was choosing to act upon.

The meeting was over and everyone was dismissed. Slowly and with exhaustion and lingering pain I forced myself to go upstairs to my bedroom. Too tired and sore to do much of anything, I hastily cast a quick scourgify on myself. With the dirt gone, I changed my clothes and fell into bed. Just as I was about to drift off into a fitful sleep a knock came at the door.

"Come in!" I mumbled sleepily. Father entered and I looked at him with one eye. He sat at the edge of the foot of the bed and spoke so softly that I wasn't quite sure if I was hearing him in my head or not. At least he wasn't speaking parsletongue – I don't know if I'd've been able to understand!

"I can see that you're tired. We will discuss tonight at breakfast tomorrow. Here, take this, it will help with the pain." He handed me a vial of pain relieving potion. I think that's what it was; it did relieve some of my pain. Father got up and left my room and I drifted off into a dreamless and pain-free sleep…

A/N: Yah, I know – way too long before an update! I'm in my first year of university so I'm having problems updating at a decent interval. Sorry! I switched pov for a more interesting turn of events. Torqueo Vestigium is latin for branded mark. I hope you guys and gals enjoyed this chapter. Cream puffs for every reviewer! Till next time!