Two years and three months later, chapter 7 is here. I apologise for the delay with this chapter, pre-Hogwarts years are harder than I thought they'd be. I have no excuse, other than my other stories were calling for me. That, and I've been reading other people's stories. There is such a variety to chose from, there is no possible way that one person can read every single one of them. However, I have tried very hard. I hope you enjoy this chapter.
Summary: Has anyone ever wondered how the Slytherins first became parseltongues? How did the knowledge on how to create a Horcrux first come to be? What if that knowledge wasn't lost? Harry Potter died that day in the Ministry of Magic, but what if he could get a second chance? What if the knowledge of a spell only used once could give him another chance, one that wasn't doomed to failure? A destiny predicted before the founding of Hogwarts is about to come to play, and the rise of the Third Serpent Lord has only just begun...
Salazar Pollux Black
Chapter 7: Division in the Family
Last time: Harry Potter's soul was sent back through time where he was reincarnated as Sirius Black's twin brother Salazar. The twins are close for the first few years of their lives. As time goes on, however, Sirius becomes distant to his family and Salazar is hailed as the perfect pureblood child. Sirius and Salazar have an adventure in London where Sirius learns about the good side of muggles, and Salazar is attacked by a muggle. The two differences in opinions is the first big argument that the twins have. Salazar starts to research ways to protect himself from muggles by learning about their strengths and weaknesses. Sirius refuses to believe that muggles are bad.
Salazar discovered that he could speak parseltongue, much to Sirius' horror. Sirius has distanced himself from his brother, under much heartache, because he believes that Salazar will be stronger without him. Sirius also found an ancient scroll that spoke of the rise of the Third Serpent Lord, but has told no one of his findings.
The following year was tough on everyone. After Orion had found out from Regulus that his oldest had used magic against Salazar, Sirius had been instantly disinherited. He wasn't disowned, the Blacks weren't that cruel, but instead Sirius had lost his title of Heir to the Black Family. That title was transferred to Salazar who hadn't spoken to, or so much as looked at his brother, since it happened. To prevent any more trouble within the family, Sirius had been sent away to live with his Uncle Alphard on the other side of the world. His name was no longer spoken within the Black Family.
Salazar had picked up the Heir Training quickly and at all the parties that he was exposed to he was praised highly. Orion couldn't have been happier for his son. Despite the strained relationship between the twins, Salazar had appeared to put it all behind him and devote his time to becoming the perfect Heir. His magical training continued as it had before, and his side research into the violence of muggles progressed steadily. He had researched all past wars in the muggle world and what was being done to prevent more wars. The development of advanced weaponry seemed to have prevented another world war from occurring, but ongoing battles of terrorism between neighboring countries continued everywhere.
A few months after Sirius had been disinherited Orion bought a snake home for his son to talk to. His intent behind the gift was so that Salazar would not only become more proficient at speaking the language, but would also learn from the wisdom of the snake breeds. The snake he bought was a Death Adder, a newborn breed in captivity, and one that would be loyal to its owner…especially one that speaks its language. Salazar had been thrilled and had immediately taken the snake to his room so that they could bond and talk about everything on their minds.
The snake's name was Seraphina, and she informed her new owner that she had a genetic memory from her parents and all those before her. This overjoyed Salazar as he was able to learn forgotten spells and history, all from a snake's point of view, but it was something that humans had forgotten over time.
Bellatrix graduated from Hogwarts the summer before Salazar turned ten with top scores on her NEWTs. She was to be married over the Yule Holidays to Rodolphus Lestrange, and while she was proud to marry a pureblood, she admitted to Salazar that she had no affections for the man. Salazar was a little upset about the fact that Bellatrix would marry someone, for he had admired her for as long as he could remember. Sometimes he liked to imagine that he would be the one to marry her, but that hope had been crushed when the Contract went through two years previously.
As she was now no longer in school, and working like a Mudblood was beneath her, Bellatrix had taken over the final stages of Salazar's Occlumency Training as she was quite gifted with it. She was also an excellent teacher and Salazar prospered under her tutelage. She had even enlisted Salazar's assistance in preparing for her wedding, as she wanted everything to be perfect and didn't trust her future husband.
Andromeda had just finished her Fifth Year, and her OWL results only emphasized her academic prowess. She was ranked number two in her Year, being bested by Anderson Greengrass. He came from a respectable Pure-blood family, and thus coming second was no shame. However, when she came home from school she admitted to Salazar that she had fallen in love with another student, one who was not her intended. She never mentioned his name, and Salazar never asked for it. What he did ask for though, was her intentions. He was firmly of the opinion that she should speak to her parents, for if the man she loved came from a good family, they could rewrite the Contract with his family instead. Andromeda called him sweetly naïve and changed the subject.
Narcissa had just finished her Third Year at Hogwarts, and while she excelled in Charms, she wasn't the best in her Year. She was still in the upper percentile, but her interests lay in becoming better acquainted with her future husband, and learning the best way to please him. Her father was pleased with her initiative and awarded her with a book on The Best Way to Please Your Husband. Salazar had stared at the book in confusion, but Narcissa had hidden it from him with a red flush to her cheeks.
Salazar was excited about going to Hogwarts, even if he would have to wait another two years. Sirius would return to the Family Manor the summer before they were to go to Hogwarts, but until then he would remain away. He had been invited to Bellatrix's wedding, but he was to be as unobtrusive as possible on threat of torture. Salazar wanted to see him, just to see how he was coping, but he had been warned that Sirius wouldn't be able to return. There was also the fact that Sirius hadn't sent one letter in reply to the hundreds that Salazar had sent. Even if they couldn't be together physically, Salazar still wanted to be able to talk to his twin. But it was not to be.
By the time the Yule Holidays had arrived, and the younger Black daughters had returned from Hogwarts, the wedding was just about ready. Salazar had been given the honor of holding the marriage rings until they were needed, and as Heir to the Black Family he had been dressed in his absolute best. He was proud of his cousin, and wanted her day to be perfect. As the Head of the Black Family, Orion would be "giving away" Bellatrix instead of her own father, but Bellatrix had been thrilled.
The wedding was to be held in France, where the Black Family had a chateau large enough for their family, and the Lestrange Family. The reception would be held in the same place and the house-elves had been working non-stop to make everything perfect. If there was anything out of place, the house-elf responsible would be killed. Kretcher was overseeing the others so Salazar knew that nothing would go wrong from the elves.
"Are you ready Bella?" Salazar asked, knocking on his cousin's door. She had stayed the night within Grimmauld Place, at Orion's request, so that when she woke up she would have everything she needed. Andromeda and Narcissa were to assist her in putting her gown on and make sure that she would be the most stunning witch there.
"Come in Sal," Bellatrix ordered, her voice warm when she spoke to him. Salazar opened the door slowly and as soon as he saw his cousin his jaw dropped in amazement. The gown that Bellatrix wore was form fitting at the waist and flared outwards around her legs. It wasn't overdone like the way muggles did it, but when she moved it looked like she was floating. Her sleeves were off the shoulder without being too revealing, and covered her arms to her wrists. The dress, while pure white, was also adorned with golden jewels that brought out the brown in her eyes. Golden bangles hung across her slim wrists, a golden choker was tastefully placed around her neck, and a golden tiara assisted in keeping her dark hair off her face and holding her veil in place. Her hair was pulled back, mostly, and hung down her back in dark curls. She was, to Salazar, the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
"Your face will freeze like that Salazar," Andromeda warned, laughter in her voice. "What do you think of Bella's dress?"
"You look beautiful Bella," Salazar breathed, closing his mouth as he realised how rude he was being. "Rodolphus is a lucky man. If he ever treats you wrong, you let me know and I'll straighten him out."
Salazar was being perfectly serious, and the three sisters understood that. Bellatrix smiled at him gratefully and started to walk out the door, which Salazar held open for her. He took her hand and led her down the stairs to present her to his father. They would portkey to the chateau, and once there the women would make sure that everything was perfect and then Orion would give her away.
"You look simply radiant Bella dear," Walburga stated as soon as the quartet appeared. Bellatrix nodded her head towards her aunt with a smile.
"Thank you Aunty Walburga," she said. "Your tiara is perfect for me."
"Yes, you will do the Black Family proud," Orion interrupted. "Now, everyone grab ahold of the portkey and we'll be on our way."
Six hands settled upon the wedding invitation and upon the activation word, Black Chateau, they were whisked through the portal to land in Bellatrix's change room. They all landed on their feet, though that could have been because Orion had a hand on his son's shoulder. Salazar was as graceful as any pureblood, but it seemed that as soon as he was expected to travel using magical means, all his gracefulness disappeared and he ended up on his face.
Orion and Salazar were kicked out of the room to go and wait near the door to the reception hall whilst the women made the last minute adjustments. Salazar fiddled with the two rings in his pocket, just to make sure that he had them, but ceased all movement at a single look from his father.
Before the wedding began, Salazar was to make his way to the front of the hall where he was to wait. After the vows were spoken, he would hand over the rings and step back next to his father. More words would be spoken and then they would all step forward to congratulate the newly married couple. Dinner would be served at exactly eight o'clock, and once the meal was over Bellatrix and Rodolphus would dance their wedding dance. Another hour or so of dancing and the guests would make their way home. Rodolphus and Bellatrix would make their way to one of the Lestrange Family properties where they would consummate their marriage, and then they would return to live a pureblooded married life.
"This brings back memories," Orion suddenly admitted. Salazar looked at his father in confusion.
"The wedding?" he asked, tilting his head to the side slightly.
"Your mother and I were married in this chateau," Orion continued. "She looked stunning. I had known her my whole life, knew I was to marry her. She is older than I am, and yet she still carries herself with dignity and beauty. I was blessed to be given her hand in marriage, just as I hope you will be upon your wedding day."
"Do I have a Contract yet Dad?" Salazar asked, half curious and half apprehensive.
"Your mother and I are looking for an appropriate match," Orion told him. "There are many fine young purebloods out there, but it is finding the right girl that is the hard part. You need to be compatible, she needs to be suitable, and I personally also want you to be happy. The woman you marry will be expected to carry on the Black Line."
"And you haven't found one yet?"
"Not yet, but we are looking. Now, the ladies are almost ready by the sounds of it. Go and make your way to the front. We are about to begin."
Salazar nodded to his father and walked through the doors with his head held high. He recognised many people in the audience, and those he was friendly with he nodded to. Everyone else he ignored. He tried to keep an eye out for Sirius, but if he was there he was pretending to be invisible, because he couldn't be seen. Rodolphus looked up sharply as he entered, his dark eyes fierce as he stared at the boy. He was dressed in immaculate black dress robes with the Lestrange Family Crest on the front. He was tall and fairly large, and his face was decidedly neutral. For some reason Salazar shivered. He didn't like the man about to marry his cousin.
Once he was standing at the front he turned so that he was facing the doors, waiting for his father and the bride to make their way down. Everyone in the audience followed his lead, their attention turned away from the groom. Moments later the music started up, the orchestra coming to life as if beckoning the bride from where she was waiting. Salazar didn't move a muscle as the doors opened again. Andromeda and Narcissa, both wearing identical robes of light blue, waltzed down the aisle gracefully to wait on either side of it at the end. Salazar could hear the sighs from several men in the audience as they stared at the younger sisters, but soon that changed as Bellatrix made an appearance.
If possible, Salazar thought her more beautiful than just moments previously. Her gown positively glowed and the gold sparkled, catching the lights tastefully. Her right hand rested on Orion's arm, her veil covered her face, and it was like she was floating towards the end of the hall. She was like an angel who had fallen from the stars. A quick glance at Rodolphus showed that he approved of Bellatrix's appearance, but something about his smirk made Salazar really uncomfortable. Bellatrix's face was blank, the perfect pureblood wife, and Orion placed her hand in Rodolphus' with a nod. He walked away from the couple and stood behind Salazar, his hands resting on his shoulders comfortingly.
The wizard presiding over the wedding started to speak, his voice projecting easily without the aid of magic. The vows were simple, and before too long Salazar was called forth to hand over the rings. They were both resting in a ring box, and he presented it first to Rodolphus, and once he was done he presented the box to Bellatrix. A short bow later and he was by his father's side again. He was worried, but he didn't know why. His own father had chosen Rodolphus to be wed to Bellatrix, and he trusted his father to take care of the family.
Orion and Salazar were among the first to congratulate the couple, but then they stepped back so that they could greet all the other guests. Instead Salazar looked around, searching for his twin. Regulus popped up by his side with a smile, and started to drag him away from the adults. Salazar smiled at the younger boy, more convinced now than ever that his brother was empathetic. Regulus led him to the back corner of the hall, and that was where he finally spotted Sirius.
Salazar hated to think it, but the time away from the Black Family Home had done Sirius a lot of good. He looked happy and healthy, his skin was tanned, and his eyes shone with mischief. Salazar just hoped that he hadn't planned anything for the wedding. Sirius looked over at his brothers, and while he smiled, it wasn't the smile that Salazar was used to.
"Hello Sirius," Salazar greeted, stopping a few feet away from him. Regulus did the same, his greeting softer and shyer than Salazar's.
"Hello Salazar, Regulus," Sirius greeted. "You both look well."
"As do you," Salazar grinned. "How is life with Uncle Alphard treating you?"
"He's great. I know I'm not learning the same stuff that you are, but he's teaching me a lot. And, I can fly a broom."
"He let you fly?" Salazar asked enviously.
"Yep," Sirius confirmed, his grin widening. "It's nothing like I imagined. It's so much better. I can't wait until I'm in Hogwarts. I want to try out for the Quidditch team."
"That's great Siri," Salazar praised. He was glad that their conversation was going well, their last one had been atrocious. "Have you met any other children?"
"No," the grin slipped from Sirius' face. "Are there many here?"
"Well, Great-Aunt Dorea is here," Salazar explained. "She has a son about our age, I think. The Malfoys are here, the Longbottoms, and I'm pretty sure the Prewetts turned up. And, the Weasleys are hiding in the back I guess. I heard that Arthur Weasley is interested in Courting Molly Prewett, and that's the only reason he's here."
"Memories the names did you?" Sirius asked curiously, with the hint of a sneer in his voice.
"Yes," Salazar said, ignoring the sneer. "I think you'd like James, Great-Aunt Dorea's son. He's a prankster at home as well. Frank Longbottom is an alright boy, from what I can gather his mother is overly protective of him. I'd avoid Lucius Malfoy if I were you, he's only interested in Cissy and will sneer at anyone else who stands in his way."
Sirius nodded, hearing the suggestion in his twin's voice. He looked towards where Salazar was indicating with his head. There was a boy who was about their age, ten, who hadn't bothered to brush his hair before turning up. From the way Salazar spoke, that was James Potter, and Sirius vowed to meet him before the end of dinner. A little further down from the Potter's was a boy with brown hair, and he appeared to be a little older than them. Sirius guessed that he was in his First Year at Hogwarts, and promised himself that he would meet up with him as well.
"Um, it was good to see you again Sal," Sirius mumbled once. Salazar nodded and then Sirius disappeared into the crowd to meet the other children Salazar had suggested.
"I still love you Sal," Regulus murmured, squeezing his brother's hand in sympathy. Salazar smiled down at his and started to lead him back towards their father.
"Thanks Reggie," Salazar murmured back. "Don't ever change."
Regulus nodded but said nothing more. Looking back once Salazar saw Sirius talking animatedly with James Potter, and felt like he had just lost something. His heart ached as he saw the two boys together, but for the life of him he couldn't figure out why it bothered him so much.
A year had passed, but for Salazar it didn't feel like a year. In a mere nine months he would be going to Hogwarts for the first time, but for the past twelve he hadn't seen Bellatrix at all. She had left the dinner with Rodolphus and never been back to visit him. He was worried, but his father had brushed away his concerns when he mentioned them. According to Orion, some newly married couples, who had been married under a Marriage Contract, spent the first few years pretty much on their own so that they could get to know one another. There was nothing strange about Rodolphus and Bellatrix disappearing for twelve months. Cygnus and Druella had received letters from their daughter, so it wasn't like she had died, and her name was still on the Black Family Tree, showing that she was still living.
At that moment in time Salazar was sitting on the stairs next to Regulus, listening to the row that was occurring in the living room. It turned out that the boy Andromeda was interested in wasn't a pureblood at all.
He was a mudblood.
Ted Tonks had been a Hufflepuff one year above her, and they had been dating secretly for two years. During her last and final year they would meet in Hogsmeade and act like any ordinary couple whilst avoiding anyone from the Black Family, or someone who would tattle. It was all coming to a head now, as the mudblood had owled Cygnus and asked for his daughter's hand in marriage. That hadn't gone down well at all.
Cygnus had dragged Andromeda to Grimmauld Place and now both he, Orion and Walburga were screaming at Andromeda. Salazar was disappointed in his cousin, a mudblood was one step up from a muggle, and they were filthy creatures that deserved to die. The mere fact that Andromeda had fallen in love with one was like a black mark against their family. They would never be able to live down the shame of having a mudblood in the family.
"I don't care!" Andromeda yelled, her voice echoing through the house clearly. "I love him! He loves me! And with or without your blessing I will marry him!"
"You will marry Warren Goyle and be happy about it!" Orion roared back. "Have you no family honor? A mudblood?!"
"He is a wizard!" Andromeda snapped back. "He is strong and gifted!"
"You walk out of this house young lady and you will be disowned from this family!" Cygnus snapped at her. Salazar and Regulus shared surprised looks. Not even Sirius had been disowned, he'd only been disinherited.
"Fine! You're all a bunch inbred fools anyway!"
Salazar jumped when he heard the unmistakable sound of a hand slapping someone's face. He was positive that Andromeda had just been hit, but whether or not her father or Orion had done it was something that Salazar couldn't predict. For a moment there was complete silence, and then Andromeda left the dining room with her head held high and slammed the front door closed behind her. The two young boys didn't know if they should leave or not, and in the end they remained seated in the entrance hall.
"Who do you think hit her?" Regulus asked.
"It doesn't matter," Salazar told him. "Andromeda has shamed us. She has chosen a mudblood over the family. There is no greater insult. Always remember Reggie, Family always comes first."
"Well said nephew," Cygnus spoke. The two boys looked at their uncle before standing together and walking down the stairs.
"Are you alright Uncle?" Salazar asked.
"I feel I should have seen this coming," Cygnus admitted. "She has been willful from the very beginning. Where did I go wrong with her?"
"It is not your fault Uncle," Salazar told him firmly. "She has chosen to disgrace herself, you had nothing to do with that. Both Bellatrix and Narcissa have become perfect Black's, and Bellatrix has married a pureblood and done us proud. Our former cousin has chosen to leave us, you are not to blame for giving her everything that she could have needed. She is just ungrateful and a blood traitor."
"Well said Salazar," Orion told him, exiting the dining room with Walburga. "I intend to have her removed from the Family Tree. Missives will be sent out explaining that she is no longer Family. We will not abide by the shame of having a mudblood associated with our proud family line."
Walburga nodded seriously and swept passed her husband and children, disappearing to the room that housed the Family Tree. They watched her leave in silence, and flinched only once as a loud explosion echoed through the house. They knew instantly that Andromeda was no longer a part of the family.
It didn't take long for every member of the family to be informed of Andromeda's choice. Salazar wondered how Sirius was taking the news, knowing that Andromeda was his favourite. He also wondered if Sirius would ignore the family and write a letter to her. It wouldn't surprise him, and he also promised that he wouldn't ask. What he didn't know couldn't hurt him.
One good thing did happen, and that was the return of Bellatrix. She returned to Grimmauld Place in February to hear the story from Orion as opposed to her father. Salazar waited until she had heard the story before joining her. He asked about married life, how she was, how Rodolphus was, and what she was planning on doing now that she was married. All throughout the conversation he couldn't help but notice how distant Bellatrix was. Her face held none of the passion that he had become accustomed to seeing, and her eyes were cold. Every few minutes she would run her hand over her left wrist, as if it pained her, but when he asked about it she snapped at him.
"Something is wrong with her Dad," Salazar told Orion later that night. Bellatrix had refused to stay and had gone home to her husband. "Surely you noticed it as well."
"I did Son," Orion admitted. "I'm going to invite her and her husband over for dinner tomorrow. Her behaviour is quite peculiar."
"What if something bad happened to her?" Salazar continued. "What if Rodolphus did something to her?"
"I will handle it Salazar, I promise."
Salazar nodded, trusting his father impeccably. He left the room and went off to find Regulus and possibly work on his magic a little more. His snake, Seraphina, had given him a lot of knowledge of the old days and the magic that had been lost. She knew more history than any history book in the Black Library and at night she would tell stories of the Serpent Lords. It was these stories that Salazar loved more than any other, and he figured that at that moment he knew more about Alexander Foul and Theodore Slytherin than any human alive.
Regulus had started his training as an empath, and a part of his training was affecting the emotions of those around him. It was disconcerting when Regulus practiced on him. Sometimes he would be perfectly comfortable, other times he would be really angry, or afraid, or hysterically happy. After a while Salazar had requested that he practice on someone else.
"Hey, Reggie?" Salazar began as he entered his brother's room. "I have a favor to ask."
"What do you need Sal?"
"Tomorrow night Dad's inviting Bella and Rodolphus over for dinner," Salazar began, making himself comfortable on his brother's bed. "Could you watch their emotions? There's something wrong with Bella, but I don't know what."
"Sure," Regulus promised. He was sitting on his desk chair and studying a book on what appeared to be potions. "There's something about Rodolphus that I don't like either. I'll watch them both carefully."
Salazar nodded in relief, glad that he wasn't the only one who had noticed something different with his favourite cousin.
At dinner the following night, Salazar watched as his family interacted with each other carefully. Regulus was sitting as close to Salazar as was allowed, but from the moment that Regulus had entered he had stiffened in fear and apprehension. Salazar knew that they wouldn't be able to speak until later, but Regulus' reaction had been more than enough warning for him that something was wrong.
Polite conversation was made throughout the meal, but it wasn't until after that more information was given. It turned out that the Heir of Slytherin was starting to make his move, even though he hadn't given his followers a name. Rodolphus was a proud supporter, and constantly called him "the Dark Lord".
The conversation had come up when Orion asked what Rodolphus was going to do with his time. Romulus Lestrange, his father, was a man who couldn't stand the Ministry, but he did attend Wizengamot sessions in order to better the standings of purebloods in England. It was through Romulus that Rodolphus became associated with the Dark Lord.
"He truly is a man after the betterment of purebloods," Rodolphus explained. "He is gathering followers so that we can finally crush the muggles under our boots where they belong. I know that he is recruiting the giants, and I hear rumors that he is trying to recruit the werewolves. There will be none who can stand against him."
"And his intention towards us purebloods?" Orion asked, one eyebrow lifted in uninterested silence. "I will not bow before one whose intentions are unclear."
"He will bring the purebloods into the future," Rodolphus continued happily enough. "His power is great, none will stand against him. Join us, with the support of the Head of Black Family, thousands will tremble when they hear his name."
Salazar scrunched up his nose at the thought of bowing to anyone. His eyes searched Bellatrix's curiously, wondering how she had been encouraged to join this Dark Lord. From what Seraphina had said, 'Dark Lord' was a title that was given to those magically strong in the Dark Arts and had control over the magical creatures of the world. There had only been two authentic Dark Lords in history, everyone else just disgraced the name.
"What is his stance of the Dark Arts and magical creatures?" Salazar asked curiously, his eyes returning back to Rodolphus. From the corner of his eye he saw Orion nod in approval. Orion had been Salazar's first tutor in the Dark Arts and had done his research.
"He is a Master," Rodolphus explained, his eyes glittering with awe and insanity. "None could best him with the darkness."
"And magical creatures?" Salazar prompted.
"They are but animals," this time Rodolphus sneered. "Created to do the bidding of wizards, nothing more."
Salazar nodded, disappointed. He admired the Dark Lords of the past. Alexander Foul and Theodore Slytherin had been strong magically, and they had trusted the magical creatures of the world. They obeyed them, not because they asked them to, but because they respected them. With that answer, Salazar knew that this so-called Dark Lord was nothing but a fraud that needed others to do his dirty work.
"Does this Dark Lord have a name?" Salazar eventually asked.
"Lord Voldemort," Rodolphus breathed in reverence. "He will lead us to the future. Will you fight with us?"
Orion looked at his two sons, his wife and then at Bellatrix without any expression. Salazar shook his head. He had no intention of joining this Dark Lord. Regulus followed Salazar's lead; his brother could do no wrong in his eyes. Walburga shook her head as well, for she only ever bowed to Orion. Bellatrix didn't move, didn't give any indication that she had an opinion. Finally, Orion shook his head.
"No, the Black Family will not join him."
"What?" Rodolphus asked. He seemed sincerely shocked. "Why not? He is what we've been waiting for!"
"I will not serve a wizard who shows no respect for the creatures of magic, nor one who resorts to the Dark Arts to gain followers," Orion continued. "Did you think I would not notice the difference in my niece? Allow her to speak of her own free will."
Rodolphus' face became twisted and ugly in his anger. Orion met his gaze calmly, and no matter how much Rodolphus pretended otherwise, Orion was a formidable wizard who could still hold his own in a duel. Rodolphus flicked his wand in disgust and Bellatrix gasped. Her eyes cleared and she leapt up from the table away from her husband.
"Bella?" Salazar asked in concern. "It's alright, you're safe here."
"Sal," Bellatrix breathed, her eyes studying everyone in the room. She flinched when she met Rodolphus' eyes.
"Were you aware throughout our conversation, my dear?" Orion asked with equal concern to that of his son.
"Yes," Bellatrix told him. "You were speaking of the Dark Lord."
"And your opinion, please?"
"My opinion cannot matter anymore, Uncle Orion," Bellatrix told him, her face darkened in shame. "I have joined his cause, there is no turning back from that."
"Explain," Orion growled, his voice darkening. In response, Bellatrix rolled up the sleeve on her left arm, revealing a tattoo. Salazar leaned forward, in equal parts horrified and fascinated. The tattoo was a skull, that part was clear, but from the mouth of the skull was a snake. The snake was moving around slightly, and when he tilted his head to the side and listened, he could hear the snake whispering what was happening. He deduced that the Dark Lord was linked to each tattoo and from that he was able to know what was happening to each follower.
"You have been branded?" Orion asked her, his anger clear. "A daughter of the noble House of Black has been branded?!"
"Uncle," Bellatrix begged. "I had no choice."
"There is always a choice, niece," Orion told her. "But I have a suspicion about why you were branded." He turned back towards Rodolphus with a glare. Rodolphus flinched but otherwise listened as Orion spoke. "I will not join this wizard, but I will not oppose him either. The Family will always come first."
"If that is your choice," Rodolphus said, nodding his head. "Bellatrix, come. The Dark Lord will wish to speak with us."
Rodolphus spun out of the room towards the fireplace. Before Bellatrix could follow him Salazar lunged forward and gave her a hug. Bellatrix returned the hug tightly.
"Be careful Bella," Salazar warned. "This wizard may be strong, he may be the Heir of Slytherin, but remember he is not a true Dark Lord. Don't lose yourself following his cause, please."
"I will be careful," Bellatrix promised, even as Rodolphus called for her angrily. "Remember, I am a Black. We are practically royalty. Now, good luck at Hogwarts this year. I will try to write to you."
Salazar nodded and released her. She gave him one final affectionate smile, and then she disappeared. Regulus appeared at his side, his arms wrapping around Salazar in comfort. Salazar turned to Orion and Walburga, and allowed his anger at Rodolphus to be known.
"He used the Imperious Curse on her! A daughter of our family, and he forced her to bow down before a lesser wizard!"
"He is said to be the Heir of Slytherin," Walburga told him.
"Then why not use his own name?!" Salazar demanded of her. "Why use a moniker?! Lord Voldemort? Really? No Heir of Slytherin would use such a ridiculous name. And his refusal to respect the magical creatures is just absurd. The Dark Lords of the past, the true ones anyway, have respected magical creatures far more than they have respected wizard-kind."
"This I know, Salazar," Orion told him. "I too, have studied the Dark Lords of the past."
"What I know, I know because Seraphina has told me," Salazar corrected him. "She has the memories of her ancestors, and her ancestors served both Alexander Foul and Theodore Slytherin. No other wizard since these two Lords has come close to their power and influence."
"You speak of the Serpent Lords," Orion correctly deduced. "It is only a matter of time before the Heir of Slytherin adds that title to his name."
"No magical creature will bestow that title upon him," Salazar warned him. "The Serpent Lords respect all magical creatures, not just the ones of darkness. They call him Dominus of Aevum quod Nex, or just Dominus."
"The Lord of Life and Death," Orion mused. "Seraphina told you this?"
"The snakes in our backyard called me Dominus!" Salazar admitted. It had been the only part of his story he had neglected to retell when he had first discovered his ability to speak parseltongue. "Dominus of Aevum. They felt my awakening!"
"You?" Walburga went really pale, and Regulus finally let go of Salazar. They were the only two in the room who appeared to take the news poorly, but Orion was the one who understood how terrible the magical world had to have been.
"Then we are worse off than I thought," he said. "For the Third Serpent Lord to arise…the world we know is about to change."
"But you are still a child," Walburga murmured. "My son. The danger this will pose to you."
"Then he shall be kept hidden," Orion decided. "Until the time is right, the only ones who will know of this will be us in this room. This Lord Voldemort will destroy our world, of this I have no doubt. But from the ashes of his destruction, my son, the Serpent Lord, will arise and create a future for us that will not only benefit our kind, but reshape our world. Of this I have no doubt."
"Dad," Salazar sighed. "I'm eleven years old. What can I do?"
"If the snakes in our yard were correct all those years ago, then I believe that you will find a way," Orion told him. "Use the next seven years of Hogwarts to find out what exactly is wrong with our world. When the time comes, you will make me proud. I know it."
"And know this, my darling son," Walburga told him. "You will always have the support of the Black Family. Whatever you do, you will have us."
"I have never needed anything else mother."
"And you will have me," Regulus told him. "I think muggles are just as horrible as you do, so whatever you do, I will back you all the way. Granted, I have to wait another year before going to Hogwarts, but when I get there I will have your back."
Salazar smiled. He already knew one thing that he wanted to do, and that was free Bellatrix from the Dark Lord. No one should be branded to ensure loyalty. And if he could manage it alright, he would ensure that none of his classmates succumbed to him either.
He would save his world from muggles and false Dark Lords alike. That he promised.
The time of the Third Serpent Lord was almost here.
So, my most recent chapter. What did you think? The next chapter will be the First Year of Hogwarts, that I can promise. I've already got some idea of what I want to do, but it's writing it down and keeping up to date with my other stories and what is going on in my life. I will try to update again before another two years pass, but other than that I have no promises on when I will update. Also, if there are any pairings they won't appear until Salazar's fifteen or so. To me, eleven is just too young.
If there is anything you want to see, don't hesitate to leave a review!
Until next time!