Harry Potter and The Sword of Light.

Chapter 1: A Sinister Night.

The night air held a chill that was foreign in late July, even in the Russian steppes, deep within the forbidding plains of Siberia. He could not feel it, however, nor did he notice the lack of insect sounds, or the crunch his booted feet made as he slowly marched toward an ancient building, far in the distance.

He heard nothing, he felt nothing except bliss. Slowly, ever slowly he advanced, until he passed what seemed to be a section of a large snake writhing on the brown grass, just passed a subtle line on the parched ground. His eyes glanced downward, and wondered about the piece of a serpent for just a moment, before the bliss returned, and he continued his march forward.

After what seemed to be an eternity of joy, though it was just one hundred yards of absentminded walking, he came upon yet another faint line I the turf, and upon crossing it, he noticed a rather large lump on the ground, covered in a dark cloth. Rather curious, he stepped over to the strange mass, and kneeling down, pulled back what turned out to be the hood to a robe.What he discovered beneath caused him to fall into a seated position, as he jumped backward.

It was a human being, or at least it had been at one time in the recent past. It was sprawled out on it's stomach, head turned to the side, exposing a face that was as still as the evening had been, but contorted by rage and pain. His heart pumping wildly, he jumped up and began to scream, but a small voice in the back of his mind called back to him, coaxing him to rejoin it in paradise. Trusting the voice, he rejoined it, blissfully marching forward and leaving the corpse to the night.

The ancient structure loomed closer and closer as he ecstatically walked into the still Russian night. Soon, an acrid stench assailed his nostrils, causing him to feel sick to his stomach despite how happy and uncaring he felt. He quickly approached a smoldering pile , urged on faster by the Voice. Yet another line appeared in the grass, just over which lay the source of the stench. Crossing the line, his head seemed to clear a bit. The memory of the smell slammed into him like a ton of stone, one that he had hoped never to experience again, bringing forth the horrors he wished to forget.

It was the Reek of Death, the same he remembered from his time in war torn areas. The putrid, sickly odor mixed in with the heavy scent of melted fabric was more than his stomach could handle, despite the distant joy he felt in the back of his mind. No matter what he experienced in his long forgotten life, it was too much and he became ill, and needed to wait a few minutes before turning once again to the distant building.

The sight of the place left him with a strange feeling of déjà vu'. It was feeling of dread mixed in the with the familiar. He had to understand why he felt that way, this nagging in the pit of his stomach. Something deep inside was urging him forward to discover the answer. The urging in his mind grew stronger, as did the feeling of dread deep within his chest.

His curiosity got the better of him, however, and he realized that he needed to see what was within the forbidding structure. Walking slowly at first, the voice in the back of his head kept telling to go faster and faster. He broke into a run, until suddenly, he was there! He looked up, his jaw agape in wonder and dread.

Before him stood two wooden doors that were so dark that they appeared to have been carved from solid night. Illuminated by the light of the full moon, he saw that wooden figure were carved upon the door that were so realistic and lifelike that he could have sworn that they were alive and motioning to him. Peering even closer, the little figures looked a lot like elves and gnomes, all pointing in his direction, and seeming to try to wave him back away from the door. They mouthed silent protests at him as he slowly reached for one of the huge iron rings that hung from the doors at shoulder level.

As soon as he touched the metal, he pulled his hand back as if he had been bitten by a snake. It was hot! This was unbelievable, he thought to himself. Stepping back a few paces, he looked around for any signs of recent habitation.

The windows were filthy, and sealed by a thick layer of grim. Touching the glass, he felt no heat radiating from inside. Craning his neck, he looked up at the roof, and saw absolutely no smoke rising up from the chimneys. The fireplaces were obviously not the source of the heat emanating from the ring.

His eyes seemed to still be playing tricks on him, however. He spotted movement along the edges and corners of the roof, or at least he thought he had. He knew that there were stone gargoyles up there, it can't be them, they couldn't move. Could they? Before the questions could properly plant themselves within his mind, the nagging came to the surface again, beckoning him to step up, once more, to the doors. He had to know what was inside this great place.

Once more, he stood before the great ebon doors, and grasped the huge iron ring. The heat returned, and grew more intense the longer he held on. His instincts screamed at him to release it, but he ignored them, his need to know overrode his common sense. All the graven images on the doors screamed in silent protests, frantically waving and gesturing to him to stop, but these, too, he ignored.

The door refused to budge, as he pulled on the ring with all his might. He was getting to the point to where he was about to give up, the effort and pain was too great, when the voice came back once more. It chided him as a coward, and telling him that he was unworthy of the reward that awaited him on the other side of the portal.

This caused something deep inside to arise and meet the challenge. He renewed his efforts with vigor, putting every single ounce of strength he possessed into the cause. Veins popped out on his face and neck as he threw his entire body into the effort. The tiny voice continued urging him on, calling him very vile things to get him to keep going and never stop.


With a sound like that of a close strike of lightning, the door suddenly gave way, slowly opening on it's huge, rusted iron hinges. As the doors parted, a blast of hot, fetid air issued forth from the widening black fissure, swiftly followed by a steady stream of ice cold vapor that raised goose bumps on the exposed flesh of his arms.

He released the iron ring with great difficulty, as his hand was severely burned from the prolonged touch of the ring, but he felt no pain, for the nerves were completely destroyed. Nor would he have noticed if they had still functioned, for the sight before him left him totally stunned.

The door revealed a void to pure black, the only other color even present was the white of the mists that continued to stream out into the nighttime air. He had a sense of foreboding, telling not to step any closer, as if he had an extreme fear of the dark. However, the voice in the back of his head was screaming at him to step over the threshold, while what seemed like a thousand tortured voices in the wind warned him to hold his ground.

His curiosity, and the voice in his mind, won out, and he stepped across, not knowing or seeing what awaited him on the other side. It was like stepping into a completely alien world, but it was a leap of faith, and he prayed no harm would come to him. Engulfed in total darkness, his faith was rewarded, and suddenly, there was light!!

It took several moments for his night eyesight to clear, the sudden illumination had temporarily blinded his night adjusted eyes. When his eyesight cleared, so did his mind, as he looked upon what was before him.
The huge expanse before him brought forth a flood of memories, now unbidden and unwanted.

His name was Mikhail Raimius, Father Mikhail Raimius to be exact, and he was standing in the one place on Earth that he had sworn he never would set foot ever again. It was the Cathedral of St. Godric, and it was all that was left of the Monastery where he had spent most of his life. It, alone, had survived the attack that had leveled the monastery over twenty years ago, and had killed most of the monks.

Mikhail realized he was holding his breath, and scolded himself as a novice. Slowly, he released it, and started breathing as normally as he could under the circumstances. Something had caused him to return to this cursed place, and he was curious to know what it was.

Cautiously, he moved forward, as he glanced around the familiar surroundings. With the exception of a thick layer of dust, it was exactly as he remembered. Rows upon rows of roughly hewn pews stood before him, forming a wide aisle down the middle of the huge chapel. This lead to the raised platform, upon which stood the alter.

Moving further down the aisle, he stared at the altar, the center piece and focal point of the entire place. It stood about three feet tall, and was covered with a blood red velvet cloth, trimmed with a gold border, and bearing golden griffins at the corners. It colors were somewhat muted by the accumulated dust of twenty years, but was stirring none the less.

A golden brazier rested upon altar, holding a blazing fire that lit up not just the area around the alter, but the chorale area and the bishop's pew, which stood about twenty feet away. He marveled at the sight, when something finally clicked in Mikhail's mind.

It was lit! He spun on his heels and stared at the ceiling, all the braziers were lit! Every single golden dish, hanging by huge chains suspended from the thick timbers that supported the roof, contained a blazing fire! This was the source of the light that had blinded him when he first walked in, but they were not lit when he first opened the doors. This brought a fresh flood of memories to the surface. He remembered why he never wished to return here.

Bishop Ivanov had called him back from his missionary work in a war torn area of Eastern Europe with an urgent summons. This had suited Father Raimius just fine, for he had seen more than his share of death and misery in the five years he had been posted in what was referred to by the residents as " Hades' Prep School". What had puzzled him, however, was the urgency of the summons. He immediately set off for Siberia.

He had arrived too late, it seemed. The monastery and all the outlying structures were burning, the only place undamaged was the cathedral. Dead brothers were scattered about, most of which had smoking patches in their chests, while a few showed no obvious sign of death, only a look of sheer terror etched forevermore upon their still faces. Even his years on the outside had not prepared him for this. He had thought of their little outpost as a safe, secure home. Why would anyone do these things? The brothers had meant no harm to anyone.

Seeing that the Cathedral was undamaged, he hoped and prayed that some of the brotherhood had sequestered themselves inside, as a safe haven. Mikhail sprinted the remaining distance to the chapel, tore the huge doors open with an ease he never had before, and ran inside, hoping to see some life within.

He was sorely disappointed. The only one within the chapel was Bishop Ivanov, and he was in poor shape. Laying on the floor, blood thickly coating the side of his face, the bishop looked up to see who had come in, and relief quickly spread on his face. Mikhail ran over and knelt on the ground, cradling the dying monk as the bishop desperately told Mikhail as much as he could before he passed away.

Mikhail tried to comfort the old man, to get him to relax and wait for help, but Ivanov was adamant. He told Mikhail that the monastery had been attacked by dark forces, and it was imperative that Mikhail follow his instructions, else Darkness would overtake Mankind. He told Mikhail to take his staff over to the Bishop's Pew, and insert the staff into the hole he would find in the floor behind it. Mikhail agreed to do so if Ivanov would rest and try to save his strength. The bishop just nodded his head.

He stood up, after laying Ivanov into a more comfortable position, and walked over to where the staff was lying on the marble floor. After picking it up, he walked back over to Ivanov to show him that he was doing as he was asked to. Mikhail stopped short. Bishop Ivanov was lying quite still, his eyes open and unfocused, and his chest no longer heaving for breath. Mikhail cursed softly under his breath, and went over and said a prayer to St. Godric to look over the soul of his departed friend.

Mikhail was standing in the spot where his friend died twenty years ago. It was also the same spot that had changed his life forever. Turning to his right, he walked over to the Bishop's Pew, looked behind it, and saw the staff exactly where he had left it that horrible evening. Half of it had sank into the floor, where it was quite impossible to ever pull it out again, it had actually seemed to become one with the floor. The sight brought a new memory, one of pain and betrayal.

When he had inserted the staff into the hole, several things happened. The top of the pew flipped open, revealing a book, inscribed on the cover the words 'Read Me'. As he touched the book, as searing pain coursed through both of his forearms, and what felt like a heavy weight pressed down upon his neck. He pulled his hands back, and tore back his sleeves to see what was wrong. He had two smoking scars, one on each forearm. The one on his left arm was the shape of a griffin, exactly like the ones adorning the alter cloth. The other, on his right, was of two swords crossing behind a shield. After a moment or two, the smoking stopped, as did the searing pain.

Mikhail noticed the weight around his neck, and reaching up, felt the cold metal of a chain. He opened his shirt, revealing a golden medallion that rested on his breastbone. It was the same one he remembered Bishop Ivanov always wearing. Mikhail tried to remove it from his neck, but it would not budge. He crossed back over to his dead friend and saw that that Ivanov's medallion was gone. Next, he pulled back the bishop's sleeves, revealing identical scars to the ones he now wore.

Totally bewildered, Mikhail once more walked over to the pew and touched the book, this time without the corresponding pain he had received earlier. He opened the cover, and was almost knocked from his feet by the waves of sheer force that seemed to pour from the bound pages. Blood chilling screams came from nearby, raising the hair on the back of his neck. Mikhail started reading, and didn't stop until the book was finished, several hours later.

Mikhail looked up from the book, his mouth agape in astonishment, and tears streaming from his eyes. He could not believe what he had just read. Turning the book back over, he started re-reading it. Over the next several days, he read the book as many times as he could, still not wanting to believe what was in it's pages. It seemed that everything he had been taught his whole life, starting from the age of five when he first joined the monastery, was a total lie. It was the ultimate betrayal. Now, it was up to him to keep the secrets, to pass them on to the next generation, and protect mankind from darkness.

It was too much for him to handle. After a week in the Cathedral, Mikhail cautiously stepped, once more, into the outside world. He ran. He ran for years, looking over his shoulder, wondering if the person seated next to him knew about the secret, wondering if he was in mortal danger from the shadows that played in cities in late afternoon. He was, literally, too scared to stop.

Mikhail turned once more toward the altar. He thought about how silly he had been in those days, trying to hide from an enemy that had never come. It wasn't until the past few years that he finally realized that the unseen enemy didn't even want him, they wanted what was inside the cathedral, and it was the cathedral they were focusing on. He had gotten on with his life, starting a small church in a small town, and opening a home for the local orphans. He had a small flock, but he didn't really wish for anything larger. He was happy and content. He had even been interviewed by a magazine that wished to know about his early days, and about……..

A pain shot through his head, and he shook it to try to will it away. What he really needed to do now was to ensure that what was hidden was removed and hidden again in a safer location. To that end, Mikhail walked over to the altar, carefully removed the hot brazier, then tore back the alter cloth. Before him stood a rather large block of wood, apparently carved from the same type of wood as the doors, and covered in what appeared to be Norse Runes. It had two holes, both about twelve inches in diameter, and eighteen inches apart, in the side facing him.

Since the knowledge had been burned into his brain so very long ago, Mikhail knew exactly what to do. Kneeling, he stuck an arm into each hole and waited. He didn't have to wait long. The runes surrounding the altar started to glow with a fiery light, and with a growling sound, a smaller block of wood arose from the center of the altar. It, too, was covered in runes, and had a small, circular depression on top.

Mikhail gritted his teeth a bit before removing his arms from the altar. After doing so, he looked down and saw the scars had been scoured from his flesh, leaving a large, raw patch on each arm. No matter, he thought to himself. He then heard a clicking noise, and the chain around his neck shattered into a thousand fragments. The golden medallion fell into his one remaining good hand. Standing back up, he placed the medallion, face down, into the hollow carved upon the smaller block.

The runes covering the smaller block started to glow with a bright blue inner light. Mikhail stood back as the block started to sink back into the altar block. As it drew flush with the top of the altar, there was a deep rumbling that seemed to come from every point in the room, then, with a large, resounding crash, the front of the altar fell forward and shattered into a myriad of pieces. Jumping back a bit from the sound of the noise, Mikhail walked back toward the altar, only to notice that his medallion had actually melted and burned its way through the altar. Shaking his head, he walked around and stepped down from the platform that held the altar, watching his step so as not to trip over the large fragments that now covered the floor before him.

Finally, he looked into the hollow area the front of the altar had revealed when it fell. Within it lay a large, golden cylinder, about four feet long and ten inches in diameter, covered in yet more runes. He cautiously reached in, not knowing what to expect, and gently pulled the cylinder from it's long time resting place. Much to his surprise, it was very light, and very easy to move. He pulled it to his chest, and started inspecting it. It was totally covered in runes, except in one little spot that contained a slot, reminiscent of a keyhole. He puzzled over this for just the briefest of moments, then slowly turned back toward the door, without a second glance to his surroundings, and marched out. Now that he had the package, he would never return to this place, if he had anything to say about it.

When he re-crossed the threshold, the nagging came back to him, urging him to make as much haste as he could, away from the Cathedral. He had barely gone twenty paces when he felt heat blaze up behind him, but he kept on walking. He never saw that the cathedral had burst into flames the moment he had left the building, and the flames were now spreading rapidly through the ancient wood. The further he walked, the less he seemed to care about anything, he only felt peace and bliss. He didn't even care who he was any longer, he only knew that he had to keep walking.

Finally, he reached the line in the turf that he had crossed first earlier in the night. He no longer knew who he was, nor did he care. Before him stood ten figures, all dressed in black, hooded robes, huddled in a tight mass just beyond the line, encircling yet another robed figure. He crossed the line, and there was suddenly movement from the group.

" Master, the Muggle has returned with the package," called out the shortest, most rotund figure in the group. The figure in the middle turned toward the speaker.

"Yes, Wormtail, this I can see! Do you think me blind?" the tall figure sneered back at one called Wormtail. "Go and retrieve it!"

At this the Wormtail bowed and scurried away from the group toward Mikhail. He reached up and tried to take the package from Father Raimius, but Mikhail's arms remained locked around the cylinder, something deep within was refusing to let go.

Growing angry, Wormtail growled," Give that to me, Muggle!" as his arm shot out from under his robes and struck a backhanded blow to Mikhail's face. This blow was powerful enough to knock Mikhail down, causing him to drop the cylinder at Wormtail's feet. He landed on his back about five feet away, totally stunned. Wormtail just looked down at his silver hand, grinned, then bent over to pick up the cylinder. He ran swiftly over to his master and presented him with it.

" Excellent!" hissed the voice of Wormtail's master, "most excellent, indeed!" He slowly turned the cylinder over and over, reading the runic covering, until he noticed the slot. " It seems we need a key. The Muggle must have it, search him!"

Mikhail shook his head, as the fog finally seemed to lift from his consciousness. Rubbing his aching jaw, he slowly sat up and spotted the robed figures before him. He froze on the spot. It seems they had finally found him. " What are you doing with that?" he yelled out in surprise as he saw what the taller figure was holding, " You must not touch it!"

Mikhail jumped to his feet and charged the crowd, catching all of them by surprise. Well, almost all. The figure holding the cylinder reached out from under his robes and pointed a small stick at Mikhail. A small jet of red flame shot out of the end, raced across the short distance between them, and struck Mikhail squarely in the legs. He hit the ground, his legs no longer functioning, and cascades of Hellfire were sending ripples of intense pain throughout his body. Father Raimius heard screaming, and realized that it was himself.

" Wormtail, you fool!" screamed his master, "You have broken the curse!" He pointed the stick at Wormtail and fired yet another jet of red flame, striking Wormtail directly in the chest. Wormtail fell to the ground and screamed in agony.

" Master, please forgive me!"

" Silence, fool! Lord Voldemort neither forgives, nor forgets! Lie there and suffer in silence!" Voldemort turned back toward Mikhail, red eyes glowing from under his hood. "Tell me, Muggle, where is the key?" Mikhail responded by calling Voldemort a very nasty name. His followers stirred and tried to charge forward, but Voldemort held them back.

"Hold, I say! We still have need of this scum! Now," he turned back to Mikhail, " Where is the key? I shall not ask again!"

Mikhail slowly sat back up, his legs were still numb, but the cascading fire in the rest of his body had slackened. He focused on the one called Voldemort. "There is no key."

A angry hiss escaped from under the hood, and Voldemort's followers had become angry yet again. Voldemort pointed at him yet again, but he was interrupted by Mikhail.

" We merely watched over the artifact, or at least we did. What is inside was a mystery to us, we only knew that we were to protect it."

"You lie," replied Voldemort, in his strange, hissing voice. "The key must be in the cathedral! Where is the medallion you wore around your neck?" he demanded.

"It is still in the altar," Mikhail replied, motioning over his shoulder. He took a quick glance behind himself, and finally saw the roaring bonfire that used to be the Cathedral. "Oh dear lord!"

One of the hooded followers broke from the pack and headed toward the cathedral, "I shall go retrieve it, milord!"

"No, you fool!" cried out Voldemort," Come back here this instant!" but it was too late. The very second the hooded figure crossed the line in the turf, it cut loose with a scream that could wake the dead. It doubled over in apparent agony, hit the ground with a resounding thud, and became quite still.

Voldemort strode forward, pointed his wand back at Mikhail and muttered a few words under his breath. Mikhail found himself floating in the air, arms outstretched, and totally unable to move.

"It would have done you no good, you know," Mikhail spat at Voldemort, "The medallion melted when it opened the altar. It is utterly destroyed. There…is…no…key!!…." he sputtered as he felt an invisible hand grip his chest tighter and tighter.

The glowing red eyes studied him for a moment, before Voldemort turned away, placed his wand back within the confines of his robe, and walked back toward the group. Mikhail suddenly felt himself drop and once more fall rather heavily upon the cold hard ground, knocking the breath out of him.

"Unfortunately for us, I do believe you, Muggle," Voldemort called back to Mikhail, " I see naught but the truth in you eyes and mind, about the key, that is. As for the contents of the cylinder, you and I both know what lies within, and that truth frightens you. Don't worry, your fears are not in vain, for all shall fear Lord Voldemort soon!"

Voldemort turned back to speak to the group as Mikhail struggled to get back up to his feet. Wormtail still writhed upon the ground, his gleaming silver hand stuffed between his teeth to prevent sounds from escaping. Voldemort kicked Wormtail in his side as he passed by him.

"You may arise now, Wormtail, and have more care of what you do in the future. I trust this lesson has been properly applied?" Voldemort said in a very condescending tone, to which Wormtail vigorously nodded his head in agreement as he got back up to his feet.

"What shall we do with the Muggle, my Lord?" asked one of Voldemort's followers, in a clearly feminine voice, though one laced with cruelty.

" Come now, Bellatrix, you know exactly what must be done," Voldemort snorted, "He has seen entirely too much, and has thwarted our plans now for many years. He must be dealt with as anyone would deal with a beast that has outlived it's usefulness."

The one called Bellatrix threw back her hood, revealing a face that still showed some of the gauntness the years in Azkaban prison had etched upon her, that the few brief months of freedom had yet to erase. Her black and gray hair was pulled back into a tight ponytail, clasped by a small silver skull. Her eyes still burned with her fanatical devotion to Lord Voldemort. With a sinister smile that slightly deformed the large, jagged scar on the left side of her face, she pulled out her wand and proceeded to stalk toward Father Raimius. Voldemort held out a hand, however, to stop her.

" Now, now, Bellatrix, let us not be greedy. As much as I would dearly love to watch you have your particular form of…amusement… with this Muggle, we neither have the time nor the luxury to do so," Bellatrix's face fell as Voldemort spoke to her as one would an over excited child, "I, myself, would truly love a chance to play, as well. However, the night is growing short, and I have need to get this home as soon as possible," he said as he patted the cylinder cradled in the crook of his arm.. " Let one of the acolytes have the pleasure this night, and truly join us in our holy cause."

Bellatrix scowled a bit before saying, "We have but one acolyte left, my Lord. The others were used to test the barriers. Even Johann Cestus is dead, sire. It was he who tried to get the key for you."

" Then send the acolyte forward, wench!" Voldemort snapped with venom, and a glare that could melt steel. " Do not question me again!" Bellatrix went pale as she flinched back and covered her scar with one of her hands, She had been on the receiving end of Lord Voldemort's anger before, and had no wish to do so again. She turned and motioned the acolyte forward.

Mikhail had finally gotten back to his feet, all be it on a set of unsteady legs. There seemed to be a lively discussion going on in the group, with it ending as a small figure broke from the circle and walked over toward him. Mikhail wondered if he would be strong enough to overpower the person if he got close enough. Though he was weakened, Mikhail knew more about personal combat that just about anyone else he could think of. Spending years in war zones and on the run can do that to a person. He was pretty sure he could use the person as a hostage to get back the artifact. He readied himself.

However, his luck now was just as it had been earlier in the evening: rotten. The hooded figure stopped a good twelve feet away, too far for him to do anything in the state he was in. He watched as the figure reached up and removed it's hood, revealing the face of a young man. By the light of the raging inferno behind him, Mikhail saw that the young man had a head full of red hair, and a light dusting of freckles. A pair of black, horn rimmed glasses sat upon his nose, but the eyes were not visible due to the reflection of the bonfire's flames. This gave the young man a look that was purely demonic.

Slowly, the young man raised his wand and pointed it directly at Mikhail. He then spoke the last words Mikhail would ever hear in this life.

"Avada Kedavra!!"

A jet of sickly green flame leapt from the tip of the young man's wand and quickly crossed the short distance to Mikhail, and struck him squarely in the chest with a bright green flash. Mikhail hit the ground, his eyes lifeless, with a smoking crater in his chest. Father Mikhail Raimius, the last Bishop of the Order of St. Godric, was dead.

The young man smiled to himself as he lowered the wand. He had finally proven himself to his master. Turning back toward the group, he started forward when he felt an intense burning on his forearm. Pulling back his robe's sleeve, he saw what the cause was. The figure of a skull with a serpent protruding from it's mouth was now permanently etched within his flesh. It was the Dark Mark. He had been accepted. Smiling even bigger than before, he returned to the group. As he approached, Lord Voldemort called out to him.

"Yes, yes, very good! Very well done indeed! Was it your first?" commented Lord Voldemort. He knew and understood the power of praise, as well as pain. The proper mixture of the two can create a fanatic that can and will follow every order and command.

"Thank you, My Lord! Yes, it was my first, I had hoped I would be able to do it properly," the young man replied with his sniveling, self important little voice. "I am glad I could be of some use to you, My Lord."

" Indeed you are of some use to me, young one." Voldemort replied in a lordly manner. "Welcome now our newest Death Eater! You now belong to me, body and soul, and with me you shall know such power and rewards the likes of which you never dared dream before. Come now, we must be going."

Bellatrix glowered as Voldemort turned to lead the Death Eaters away. "Oh, how utterly boring! A straight simple death? There was no joy in it! No excitement! No cruelty! What is the point of killing Muggles if there is to be no pleasure in it?" Wormtail just nodded his head in agreement as he slinked behind Voldemort.

" Lord Voldemort was absolutely correct in making his decision," the newest Death Eater told Bellatrix in a very condescending tone of voice." After all, we are in a hurry, and we have no time for useless theatrics. Honestly, I don't understand people like you who are so set in their ways that they refuse to bend in a better direction. If I have said once I have said a hundred times……."

Bellatrix spun around and cut him off, " How dare you lecture me, you post-pubescent slime?! I'll have you know I have served Lord Voldemort since long before you were born! I'll not stand here and be preached to by a newbie as if you were my equal! I have a good mind to reduce you to a quivering pile of jelly on the spot!" she screeched at him.

" That is enough!" bellowed Voldemort as Bellatrix was pulling out her wand to make good her threat. " I shall not have my Death Eaters fighting amongst one another like a pack of Muggles! Nor shall I allow anyone to question the ..entertainment value.. of my commands! Is this understood?" he hissed as his red eyes locked on Bellatrix. She went a deathly white.

" Yes, My Lord!" all the Death eaters said in unison, bringing a slight smile to Voldemort's face.

" As I expected. Now, before we depart, we do have one last order of business to attend to. Our newest Death Eater has yet to tell us under what name he would like to be known. There has been a bit of concern about his current one. A bit of a stigma, I believe?"

The young man with the red hair came to a stop. He faced Lord Voldemort directly." Thank you, My Lord. Seeing how my family's misfortunes stem from my father's love of all things Muggle, I hereby renounce his name, and shall take up the name of a good, pure blood family. Though there were some misguided individuals on my mother's side who chose to oppose our sacred quest, it is an old wizarding family. From this point on, I wish to be known as Prewett, Percival Prewett."

"A sensible choice, Percival. Indeed, your father has brought shame upon his family name, and you are quite right in abandoning it. Let it be known," Lord Voldemort announced, " that you are a Weasley no longer, but a noble crusader who wishes to restore the name of Prewett to our good graces." Percy smiled even broader than before, and bowed low at the waist to Lord Voldemort.

" Come now, we must be off!" Voldemort commanded, and as one all the Death Eaters vanished with the resounding crack of imploding air. All that was left was a rapidly warming evening, a raging inferno, and a thousand years of shattered dreams.