Author's Note: Okay, so this is quite AU. Note that Draco is on the 'good side' in this story, that's why Voldie speaks of 'his betrayal'. I'm still working on the plot, ít'll be quite a long story. There are 7 children in the end as there are 7 sins and 7 virtues, if you look closely each will possess one of those sins & virtues. The chapters after this will be from the point of view of one of the children, a different child every chapter.
That was about it, I think. Oh yes: Review !! It makes me all happy and heehee it inspires me to write more XD.
Children of the Dark: All the Lost Souls
There were eight of them. Eight couples, each of them terrified, appearing lost and out of place in the large, wealthy sitting room of the Malfoy Manor. Rabastan Lestrange and his young, new wife Celia, an unequal opponent for her sister-in-law Bellatrix. Celia was carrying twins. Next to them, the Avery's, the Mulcibers, the Macnairs and the Dolohovs; all of the women a protective hand over their swollen abdomens; the man looking tight-faced at a spot on the wall, all to avoid the red gleaming eyes at the head of the table. Theodore Nott and his wife Melusine appeared equally ready to run out the door any moment. Besides them, a proud-looking Amycus Carrow. He and his 15 year younger wife were too expecting their first child. Well past his forties now, it was an occurrence no one had counted on anymore. The man had never had much luck with the ladies . Last were the Malfoys. Narcissa, barely three months pregnant with their second child, looked ill and exhausted. Paler than usual, sallow almost. She was a mere shell of the beautiful woman she had once been. Her husband's complexion was equally unhealthy, but both were relieved to have conceived another child to make up for the disappointment the other has caused the Dark Lord.
"My faithful followers" the Dark Lord spoke at last. None of the women dared to look up at them. Bellatrix Lestrange, seated beside the Dark Lord with her husband Rodolphus, was the only one. She had nothing to fear, for she was not carrying a child.
"You have been privileged to conceive and carry the next generation" Voldemort continued. "Merely because I have allowed you this privilege". His terrifying, red eyes looked at the pregnant women and their husbands before him. "I am not oblivious to the need of infants. They are the future. They will serve me after your deaths, after your ability. But they are also" he paused to let his eyes wander slowly to the Malfoys "a chance of more betrayal, a chance of more blood treachery we detest so. This, we must foresee. Foresee, and prevent."
"What do you have in mind for them, my Lord?" Bellatrix asked, with an eye on her sister's petrified expression.
"The children will grow up in a secluded environment, where they cannot be influenced by things that can lead them to making crucial mistakes. They will grow up to be my Death Eaters, and only that. They will be completely pure".
There was a distinct silence among the eight pregnant women and their husbands. Some faces read utter disgust and outrageousness, others were blank.
"Naturally, since the children all descend from good Pureblood families I see no reason for my plan to fail. These infants you carry now will be my future army. However, there will only be room for two girls. Alecto and Bella are the only women who have served me well. I see no use for more females."
Another noticeable shiver went through the crowd; the thought of being the parents of a third, fourth or even fifth girl now seemed dreadful and tragic. In the silence one could almost hear the desperate women plead for a boy, merely to be able to keep their child alive. It wasn't hard to tell they all wanted this to be over, but then the Dark Lord addressed them again. Not all of them, this time.
"Lucius, Narcissa". The pair looked up at their master with a frightened look. "So far your posterity has not proven to be particularly useful. Draco's defection to the side of the Order of the Phoenix has left me with great doubt as to allow you to carry out the pregnancy of another child".
Narcissa's complexion appeared even paler than before and her fatigue from all the exhausting things happening around her house lately was clearly visible on her face as well.
"But" the Dark Lord continued, "I have made the decision to give you another chance. A second chance to have a child to serve me well. I hope you realise what great an honour this is".
"Yes, my Lord, a great honour" Lucius replied for him as well as his wife. There was some perspiration on his, equally pale as his wife's, forehead and he sat rather stiff in his chair, more so than usual, for his state of fear caused him to tighten the muscles in his body.
"Very well" Lord Voldemort concluded, seeming ignorant to the shiver that went over his followers every time he spoke. All his followers, except Bellatrix. Her features were remarkably relaxed and the only effect the Dark Lord's voice seemed to have on her was that it brought her into a state of intrigue. She alone listened eagerly to his every word. When Voldemort dismissed the assembly she was also last to get up after he had long since disapparated. Once in the hallway Bella quickly approached her trembling sister. "Cissy" she said, grabbing Narcissa's arm. The look she gave her was rather glassy, as if she wasn't really there with her mind.
"Cissy, the Dark Lord was right. This is a great honour, think of the impressive future your child will have!" Bella spoke hastily.
Narcissa merely nodded slowly, and kept glancing at the place where the Dark Lord had stood only moments before. When the silence between the sisters continued, Narcissa suddenly turned around and headed up the stairs, to her room, where it would be safe and where she would not have to think of the dreadful things the future held in store for her little baby.
Six months later, when all eight women had successfully given birth, the couples found themselves in the same position around the table, the Dark Lord again at its centre. The only difference was there were now nine infants among them.
"Today" Voldemort started. "We celebrate the birth of the strongest links of my future army. Five strong, healthy boys have been born, and four, equally healthy, girls. Though as I have said before; there is only room for two".
Narcissa, who was one of the four women that had given birth to a girl, held her baby close to her. She had been so relieved when the birth was over; it had been a very difficult labour, but she and the baby were both all right now. A little frail still, perhaps, but healthy. Yet now there was this horrible fear of the Dark Lord hurting, perhaps even worse, her girl. As if it was not bad enough yet that he wanted the children to grow up away from their parents.
The other three women, Melusine Nott, Ophelia Carrow and Eileen Carrow all clutched their baby girls to their chests; appearing equally terrified and desperate as Narcissa.
"Amycus" Voldemort said eventually, after letting them all in fear for a few more moments.
"Yes master?" Amycus, usually a strong and confidant Death Eater trembled like a leaf now, like perhaps his victims were known for.
"What have you named your child?"
"Isis, my Lord. After the goddess of the underworld".
Voldemort nodded shortly before speaking again. "Alecto, your sister, was the second woman to ever join my ranks. So far she has served me well. Her blood runs through your child's veins. She may live".
The relief washing over the Carrows was clearly visible. The trembling stopped and was replaced by a relaxed and content expression. Amycus even produced something near to a smile. His wife looked less happy, still clearly shaken by the position she was in, and could have been in, yet relieved.
"Thank you… thank you master" Amycus started, but the Dark Lord put his hand up in order to silence him. He moved on to the next.
Narcissa, Ophelia and Melusine all gave Eileen glances of envy; they all three wanted to experience her relief, her luck. Yet only one of them could. It was no secret then, that they would give anything to trade with a mudblood, a blood traitor, or even a muggle, if that would give them a chance of a happy life with their newborn baby. Time ticked on very slowly, achingly slow, as they waited for the Dark Lord to speak the next name. One more would be saved, the remaining families torn apart with the inability to ever heal. All three women and their husbands wanted him to continue, so that this dreadful waiting would pass, but they also wanted him silent. To never speak, to not disturb any of them. Leave them be. Melusine's child was already four months old, how would she be able to give it up now? And Narcissa and Ophelia; they had only given birth this week. No matter how old the babies, they were all as attached as possible to their daughters.
"My Lord?" Lucius' voice too knew a slight tremor, a sign of weakness. He did not look up to his master, his eyes only on his newborn daughter.
"What shall the name of your daughter be?"
Lucius hesitated for a moment before replying, glancing at his wife holding the infant. "Helena".
Voldemort chuckled, a humourless, cold sound very unsuited in this situation. "Helena. Ah yes, she was the most beautiful woman of Greece, was she not?" he said, referring to the Greek Mythology, time of the Trojan War.
"Yes, my Lord." Lucius replied, a little helplessly. At loss for more words.
"Your Helena has the same blood as my Bella, my warrior. Your sister-in-law, and my most cunning Death Eater. Let's hope she will not turn out like her brother."
Lucius looked up at last, an expression of disbelief in his eyes. "Master?"
"Yes, Lucius, you have heard well. Your child too shall live".
"Thank you, my Lord" Lucius said, still full of disbelief and relief. After all his failures he had not expected another chance, but he would take it with both hands, naturally.
The other two couples and their baby girls sat helpless and trembling in their seats, waiting for the so feared next words from their Dark Lord.
The other two, Bella, Rodolphus, take them away.
Without hesitation the middle-aged, heavy-lidded woman and her equally dark appearing husband rose from their seats and took the still officially unnamed infants from their mothers. The two fathers sat dead still, focusing on one point on the wall opposite them, trying to place themselves out of the situation. The women had more trouble controlling themselves; both tried to cling to their daughters desperately, as if they could do anything against the Dark Lord's judgement. Their cries and screams of powerlessness hung heavy in the air of the Malfoy Manor and it did not leave when Voldemort eventually had them removed from the room as well. The silence that followed was only broken by the muffled sound of Narcissa's quiet sobs, emerging from nothing.
"My Lord" she said, letting herself drop to her knees in front of Voldemort's chair, her baby asleep in its mother's safe arms. "I beg you… please". There was no direct response to her words, for everyone knew Narcissa as a very controlled, preserved woman who was wonderfully skilled in never displaying any sort of inappropriate emotions. It just seemed very unreal to have her weeping so uncontrollably on the floor in front of all these people who knew her as a highly respected elite-woman.
"Don't do this to us… my child… I…" Narcissa couldn't even say what she meant. The child started to wake up, startled by its mother's expressed pain, yet unaware that its own life was being threatened at this very moment.
The Dark Lord grimaced, still as cold as every time he did so, as cold as everything he ever did. "Narcissa. I have allowed your daughter to live. Surely you are grateful for this?"
"Yes, my Lord, yes, of course. But I need her close… I cannot…" the blonde trembled at Voldemort's feet with her newborn girl making soft baby noises, not quite a cry.
"I have chosen your child to live above others, and it is not enough for you?" there was a threatening look in his eyes now as well, but wasn't it there always?
'No, master" Narcissa whispered helplessly, her eyes directed on the floor in shame. "My child" she merely added.
"Get up" the Dark Lord stated coldly, and she complied, what else could she do?
"I do not justify your behaviour now, nor do I understand it. Your husband has proved lately, since I have allowed you to carry out this pregnancy, that he is indeed capable of being a good Death Eater. These past few months he has been more help to me than some of my other followers" he paused to let his eyes wander over the other present Death Eaters, all shaking in terror. No one had forgotten what he had just done with Nott's and Mulciber's babies.
"For this you both will be rewarded" Voldemort finally continued to Narcissa, who still had tears pouring down her face. At this, however, she looked up.
"You will be the one to take care of the children. They will need this, especially during their infancy. But mind you, Narcissa, do not weaken them by unnecessary things such as love. They must not know who their parents are for this very reason, and that includes your daughter. Do I make myself clear?"
"Yes, my Lord" Narcissa said softly, recomposing herself as she became aware of her position. It was so unlike her it visibly frightened even herself.
"Very well. Lucius, Rodolphus, and Bella of course, you will teach the children. Everything they need to know, and I will not be satisfied with anything less than that. When they come of age they will join my army, so by then I expect them to possess the Dark Arts fully."
"Naturally, master" Bellatrix replied and her husband and brother-in-law followed her example.
"The meeting has ended" Voldemort said, now to all the ones present. The tide was high too, the children needed to be fed. But not by their parents. This was it, this was the end. They would not get to see their parents until they came of age, and that was very, very far away. It was torture, to each and every one of them, yet no one dared to say anything, afraid they would follow the faith of the Mulcibers and the Notts. Rather healthy and alive than dead, even if that meant they would not be able to raise the children by themselves. The six couples brought their newborns to the wing in the Malfoy Manor they would live in, and were allowed to say a little goodbye. Not too long, for otherwise they would become too attached. Goodbyes were short, but long remembered. It was torture, and all of the mothers and fathers, no matter how faithful a Death Eater they were, felt hatred against the Dark Lord that infamous night. They would all deny it, but it was there. And it was torture.
Narcissa sat in the nursery feeding Helena, her sweet little Lena. She was already three months old, and everything about her was perfect. From her blond little hairs to her ten tiny toes. Narcissa fed her, changed her, and held her more than the others, more than allowed. Yet she could not call herself her mother. The baby swayed her little arms through the air playfully when she had finished drinking her milk. Lena looked happy, not in the least troubled like her mother. She had everything her little heart desired, but that of course wasn't much at this age. She had food, toys, and a mother. Though she did not yet know that her mother would soon have to stop whispering sweet nothings into her ear when she cried at night. Very soon. When she would talk, and remember things clearly, it would have to stop. But it wasn't there yet. For now, Narcissa could tell her everything she wanted without the fear of it being discovered. So when her daughter cried, she walked around in the nursery, rubbing her little back, giving her the love any baby needed.
"Shh, little one. There's no need to cry, mummy's here".