Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of the characters.
Dust lay thickly on the floor of the musty house. Almost all the floorboards creaked, the wood rotting under the onslaught of termites, likely to collapse any second. The ceiling was damp and dingy; the sound of the falling water drops magnified and echoed through the entire house. The whole place was infested with rats, cockroaches and all kinds of pests. Spiders scuttled here and there and the air buzzed with mosquitoes. The rats were enjoying a feast as rain and wind had carried in garbage of all kinds.
However, their peaceful feast was disturbed as the hinges of the front door creaked ominously and footsteps were heard in the hallway. This was something strange as the old house had been forsaken by humans a long time ago. They all rushed to see who the newcomer was. He (or she) was hooded and cloaked and the face was not visible. The figure was well built and of medium height. The newcomer walked through the hallway, slashing the long cobwebs out of the way which had thickly accumulated due to the presence of tarantulas.
The cloak swished as the newcomer proceeded up the stairs and reached the door of the master bedroom. A tiny mouse crossed the way. Eyes surveyed the mouse with contempt as a pale hand withdrew a wooden stick from the robes and pointed it at the mouse. An incantation was spoken, there was a flash of green light and the mouse fell lifeless to the floor. The stick was stowed back into the robes and a whisper echoed down the corridor:
'I don't deal with vermin.'
A long hand reached out and pushed the door open. There was a musty bed with wobbly legs inside the room. There was also a long couch next to the fireplace which had not burned in decades. On the couch was a small bundle of rags which seemed to be producing a heavy breathing sound.
The newcomer approached the bundle and pulled off the hood. A woman's face was revealed, a woman with thick, shining hair and heavy-lidded dark eyes. She was looking pale and haggard, but her eyes were shining with pleasure and anticipation. She knelt in front of the bundle and whispered, 'My Lord?'
If her voice was raspy as if it had not been used for years, it was nothing in comparison to the next voice emitting from the bundle:
'Bellatrix. It has been a long time.' the voice was extremely high-pitched but did not sound human.
'My Lord.' whispered Bellatrix reverentially. 'Words cannot express the joy I feel at the moment……'
'Enough.' said Voldemort with a tone that made Bellatrix shudder. 'I was rather disappointed when you were defeated by that red-haired idiot of a woman. Maternal rage too much for you to handle?'
Bellatrix looked rebellious and angry. 'Molly Weasley. I will have my revenge on her soon enough.' Her voice promised pain and Molly would probably have nightmares only if she could hear it.
'No.' said Voldemort with a finality that astonished Bellatrix. She looked at her master in wonder.
'But my Lord, I can easily attend to her…..'
'No, Bellatrix. You will not do anything.' repeated Voldemort. 'After the Battle, all my faithful Death Eaters have been captured and put to death. I, myself, am no more than a shadow. If you even dare to get near the Weaseleys, you will instantly be killed. There is no need.'
'But my Lord, will we just keep quiet and do nothing?' asked Bellatrix. 'That poor excuse of a witch,' the word 'witch' was pronounced with particular venom, 'did not have enough power to kill me! I was merely sent into a coma, while everyone believed I was dead! I have finally woken after eighteen years, biding my time, to restore the power of the Dark. And at this very moment, Harry Potter is enjoying a happy life with his family while we are making no move against him!'
'Enough, Bellatrix.' said Voldemort coldly. 'I have made several mistakes and the biggest has been to underestimate Harry Potter. The boy surprised me at the Battle and I did not foresee it. He destroyed all of my horcruxes and claimed the Elder Wand from me. Thus, all my power was lost.'
'My Lord, we can restore your power through the ancient ritual, can't we?'
'No, Bellatrix, it cannot be done. There is no ritual that can restore my body or my power.' Bellatrix looked shocked at this speech. 'Only because I have travelled farther down the path of immortality than any other mortal is why I have still survived. I am fortunate that a Killing Curse was not directly cast upon me. Otherwise, I may have not survived. In any case, my soul is much too damaged to withstand the magical backlash from a Dark ritual. I cannot but admit that Harry Potter has well and truly destroyed me.'
Bellatrix was too stunned to reply. After some time, she managed to say, 'Then, my Lord, what is to be done?'
'I am not yet defeated, Bellatrix.' replied Voldemort arrogantly. 'I am going to strike at his very root! Even if he wishes to, he will not be able to help it.'
Now curious, Bellatrix asked, 'What are you going to do, my Lord?'
Voldemort would have smirked if he could, 'I am going to modify the past, Bellatrix.'
'Modify the past, my Lord?' asked an astonished Bellatrix.
'Yes, modify the past. I'm going to hack at his very roots and without roots, the tree must fall.'
Bellatrix was mystified. After a few moments, Voldemort said, 'I know what is passing through your mind, Bellatrix. Present time-turners can go back in time only up to one week. And the Battle was eighteen years ago. However, in my school days, I had access to the Chamber of Secrets which not only housed the Basilisk but also contained the Chamber of Knowledge which holds the greatest and most valuable information in the entire of Europe, information about the great Salazar Slytherin's experiments.'
'Experiments?' asked Bellatrix.
'Yes, experiments. Salazar loved experimenting in different fields, the most special being time-travel. There is one rule of time-travel: you must not be seen. But Salazar modified that very rule. He created many methods of time-travel. The most interesting way was to transfer the spirit of the future self into the body of the past self. That way you could be seen and there would be no problem.'
'But, my Lord,' said Bellatrix spotting a glitch. 'Wouldn't the thoughts and feelings of the past and future self merge together? What if they have different opinions about a certain subject due to different viewpoints because of experience? Wouldn't they clash with one another?'
'That was the greatest flaw in the entire method, Bellatrix.' replied Voldemort. 'Unfortunately, it has never been tested as Salazar never told about his experiments to anybody and he never tried it himself. So, you will be the first witch to try it.'
'Me, my Lord?' asked a shocked Bellatrix.
'Yes, Bellatrix.' replied Voldemort. 'You will be entrusted with the greatest of tasks ever given to a Death Eater. If you succeed, you will be granted the highest rank and respect ever granted to one of my followers. You will be the next in power, honor and rank after me.'
'If I may ask, my Lord,' said Bellatrix tentatively, 'what is this task I am supposed to perform?'
Voldemort replied, 'I want you to travel into the past in your school-time when you were eleven, befriend James Potter, Lily Evans, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and as many important Light side members as possible and convert them to the Dark side.'
Bellatrix was absolutely speechless, as she comprehended the difficult, if not impossible task entrusted to her.
'If they never were on the Light side in the first place, especially James and Lily Potter, then there is no question of Dumbledore resisting me.' said Voldemort. Seeing that Bellatrix was still not saying anything, he whispered:
'Fascinating, isn't it? The idea of the child of prophecy being born under the shadow. In that case, the prophecy wouldn't even need to be fulfilled, right Bellatrix?'
Bellatrix could only wonder.
A\N: Please review!!