Disclaimer: While Harry Potter is not mine, everything original like the slave castes is not to be used without permission
Warnings: slavery, male/male pairing, manipulation, Voldemort
This is the sequel to "Reign of Darkness".
If you ignore the warnings, please do not embarrass yourself by leaving a review complaining about those things I expressly warned about.
One late evening in autumn, Severus Snape stood at the entrance gate to the Dark Lord's new palace and had to fight hard to keep his face impassive and his eyes flat.
The palace walls were made of white marble and the protection magic weaved into the very stone was strong enough to make the very air vibrate. The palace was built in the form of a pentacle, yet another ward for protection. There were seven floors, all of them with large crystal windows and ornamented balconies.
The park surrounding the estate was huge and well cultivated. Severus was sure that were one to wander through it one would unerringly find small lakes in secretive places and beautifully crafted fountains in open spaces.
It didn't look like the kind of place any Dark Lord would call his home, let alone the darkest one for many centuries.
This palace looked more like something a king would build for his descendants, a place that would serve as home for his lineage for many millennia to come.
Just one look at the offensive and absolutely flawless wards that were placed on the estate however convinced Severus that the Dark Lord did indeed plan to stay here.
It was yet another one of those changes that took place in the last four years that was atypical and didn't fit with what Severus knew about his former Master. If he hadn't known the Dark Lord so well, he would have suspected that someone was pulling the strings in the shadows.
The dark haired man had been surprised and not a little wary to find an invitation to the first official ball during the Dark Lord's reign of darkness in his daily mail. If it weren't for the information that the ball would be held in honor of the Dark Lord's consort, Severus would have refused outright. As it was, he was too curious about the consort's identity and his place in the Dark Lord's chain of power to resist.
Steeling his features and strengthening his Occlumency shields, Severus ran a hand down his deep red dress robes, that displayed his family's coat of arms proudly just above his heart in golden thread, and entered the palace with the next flock of guests.
Menials dressed in customary brown on brown uniforms and wearing the legally proper dark brown collar branded with their owner's coat of arms around their necks guided the guests through a short hallway to the grand ballroom on the first floor.
The floor was made of white marble, too, interspersed with mosaics in black, green and blue, depicting the most famous Wizarding tales. The very few pictures on the walls were of empty landscapes, but Severus didn't expect anything less of the Dark Lord. It would be too easy to get a portray to spy on the inhabitants.
The ballroom was huge and looked like something out of a fairy tale. White marble everywhere one looked, richly decorated with red, blue and silver flowers, chandeliers made of the most precious metals and jewels were hanging from the ceiling.
A couple of small round tables on the far left provided tired or hungry guests with privacy, the buffet were situated at the very back of the room. There, too, Menials were seeing to the guests'needs.
The thrones on the raised dais on in the right middle side of the room were still empty. The host and guest of honor hadn't made their appearance, yet.
Couples were already dancing across the rest of the floor, a picture of swirling robes in many colors and laughing faces. As if the war had taken place millennia ago and there was nothing wrong in the world. It looked innocent and content and it made Severus'stomach churn with acid.
The Potions Master glided through the room with natural grace, avoiding dancers and old acquaintances alike, his dress robes billowing behind him. He sat down at one of the small tables and glared venomously at anyone who even looked like he or she even contemplated sitting down next to him.
Letting his gaze rove around the room he discovered that some of the guests had brought their Registered Courtesans as escorts to the social main event of the year. Though only a handful of them wore revealing clothes, the RCs were easily discernible by the bright purple collars the law required them to wear around their necks, arms and feet.
At least no one had been tasteless enough to bring a Birther. As soon as Severus noticed just how ordinary the terms and those people's position seemed in his mind he was utterly disgusted at himself.
The old form of slavery that the Dark Lord had enforced after the war had undergone some severe changes in the last three years. Where before the slaves had been totally at their owner's mercy, their lives were now ruled by iron laws and regulations.
After graduating „Nimue's Elementary School"every slave took an evaluation and inclination test to determine his or her future career. They were then sorted into one of the three newly invented slave castes: Birther, which was the highest and most respected rank in society with the highest pay, too; Registered Courtesan, which was the second rank and gave the slaves the social standing that had been given to squibs in the past; or Menials, which was the lowest rank and placed a person only slightly above house elves.
Birthers completed their secondary schooling at „Nurse and Care"where they learned everything there was to know about health, pregnancy and childcare. They also received conception tattoos, charms and spells that were branded into their magical core and manifested as artful tattoos on their skin. Birthers graduated on their seventeen's birthday, when their magic had stabilized enough to ensure a save pregnancy and were most often contracted directly out of school. In the rare case that didn't happen they took temporary residence in the Nac district near St. Mungos.
Registered Courtesans completed their schooling at „Fay's Pleasures"where upon graduation on their sixteen's birthday the slaves drafted their contracts and moved to the pleasure district in Diagon Alley. There they were provided with two room apartments and worked with various customers till they were longtime contracted.
Menials, those slaves that were neither pretty nor magically strong enough to be either Birthers or RCs, completed their secondary schooling at „Servant's Hall". They graduated on their fifteen's birthday and were then brought to the Markets were they stayed in small cubicles till they were bought.
Those three castes, though only coming into existence three years ago, were already deeply anchored in the minds of the population. People thought of it as ordinary and natural. Since there were strict laws regulating the care and pay of Birthers, RCs and Menials no one thought of it as slavery anymore. Slaves didn't get paid nor had rights; therefore those three castes weren't a form of slavery.
While the new system had lessened the misery of the war slaves Severus knew it was even more dangerous than the old one. If people didn't think of something as cruel or unjust they wouldn't demand it to be changed. Never before had the Dark Lord thought of ways to appear legitimate or manipulate the ordinary people by protecting wizards and witches of lesser standing by law.
Severus was roused out of his thoughts when the music stopped and the lights dimmed. It seemed like their host had finally arrived.
The Menial at the entrance doors announced the distinguished couple: „Lord Voldemort and his Lord Consort. "
Silence fell on the room, wizard after wizard and witch after witch bowing deeply as the couple walked top the raised dais in the middle.
When the couple took their seats, the music started up again and the lively dancing continued.
Trying to get a better look at the mysterious consort without making it obvious, Severus stood up and walked to the buffet.
The Dark Lord sat on the right throne, wearing robes of a royal blue, embroidered with his coats of arms. A small golden circlet adorned his forehead, engraved with silvery glowing runes and tiny jewels.
Sitting to his left was a young man who wore green robes embroidered with the Dark Lord's coats of arms. A silver circlet adorned his forehead, engraved with silvery glowing runes but without the jewels. As far as Severus could see, the man had black shoulder length hair that was bound in the neck. The man's posture made it impossible to get a look at his face.
Both the Dark Lord's and the Lord Consort's magical aura were breathtaking. The two men radiated pure magical power and Severus wondered where on Earth the Dark Lord had found a wizard of equal power and why he hadn't killed him instead of courting him.
The word „equal"sent an unpleasant precognition through him. Severus still remembered the prophecy regarding the Dark Lord and his equal. And the Dark Lord had only marked one person in his life.
In that very moment the Lord Consort turned his head and stared directly at Severus. Arctic green glowing with the light of Avada Kedavra bore into wide obsidian ones, swirling with confusion and astonishment.