Lord Voldemort was a man of many qualities, some good, some not. He was patient, in the way of a spider secure in the knowledge that in time, it will feed on the flesh of its foe. Thorough, in the way of a poisoner preparing his personal antidote, knowing that the sloghtest misstep could spell doom. Inventive, in the way of a theif forever planning the perfect con. Brutal, certainly – it was a requirement for any aspiring Dark Lord. Cunning, without doubt – No individual who so favored his ancestor Salazar Slytherin could hope to avoid being so. What he was not was cautious, nor prone to reflection once a course of action was decided. This is where the trouble started, though most assuredly not where it ended.

It had taken the better part of a decade, much longer than it should have. Rituals of the scale needed to prepare for the chosen course of action were by their very nature a trial for even the greatest wizard – indeed, many had been designed specifically to be so, in order to prevent their becoming commonplace. However, it ought not to have consumed more than five years at the very most to gather the components, forge the artifacts, and secure the sites needed to perform the trio of magical rites needed to allow Lord Voldemort to accomplish what he planned to tonight. Damn Potter and his accursed followers. They'd grown entirely too adept at ruining carefully-planned Death Eater operations. Still, all was in readiness, and the wizarding world's self-appointed master was not about to quibble tonight of all nights.

The very distance to the ritual site was daunting, or would be without Apparition. Nearly seventeen miles of twisting, rocky trails separated the tower he'd raised atop the tallest mountain in the world, Everest itself, from the nearest magical settlement, but that was entirely a moot point. Tonight, events would be set in motion, and the world shattered and reforged in Voldemort's image.

"I call upon you, warrior without peer, and you the lovely poisoner. You of the sharpened sword and you of the shadowed hand, I command your obedience.

Black stormclouds filled the sky above the isolated tower perched precariously on the mountaintop. Lightning came flashing down every few seconds, accompanied by a tremendous crash that shook the very roots of the titanic peak, while rain and sleet and snow lashed the figure standing atop the tower. Despite the elements' fury, his head remained unbowed, his face set against the biting wind. He was chanting, softly but insistently, each word marked with another flash of lightning and roar of thunder.

" I call upon you, demon made flesh, and you his father. You of the gilded death and you of the honeyed knives, I command your obedience."

The words grew louder, the pauses between them shorter, the lightning almost a steady stream of energy as it blazed down onto the topmost pinnacle of the tower, a black-veined marble edifice that would have reminded an onlooker of a spearpoint, had anone ever been foolish enough to brave the mountain trails to see it.

" I call upon you, darkest of ladies. You of the unknowable power and of the midnight soul, I command your obedience."

"In the name of Light and Darkness and Blood and Power, I call and command you. So mote it be."

And, with a final crescendo of blinding light and deafening noise, it was done.

Blinking confusion from their eyes, five figures arose from the snow-covered ground. Two women, one golden-haired with eyes the color of sapphire and one with locks as dark as a raven's wing covering delicately pointed ears, two men, as near identical as made no difference in black formal clothing, and a tall, heavily muscled man with wings and a strange weapon appearing to be a cross between a sword and a staff, all unsmiling and all radiating a degree of power that made Voldemort want to laugh out loud. Success, after all this time! Soon, he alone would rule.

Breathing deeply, the blonde took in her surroundings. Slowly, but with all the terrible beauty of a building tempest, her sapphire eyes subtly shifted to a midnight blue closer to black than anything else. There was something in those eyes that promised pain on a level that would make the Cruciatus appear a mere pinpribk by comparison, once she decided on a target.

Voldemort suddenly felt very insecure. Doing as any proper Dark Lord would, he Disapparated.

"Prince Saetan, attend." One of the suited men bowed, golden eyes flashing ominously.

"My Lady." His voice was honey, but with an unexpected bite – as though he fully expected someone to die before the day was out.

"That man who just disappeared. He is tainted. Clearly, this place needs our help just as much as Terreille."

"Indeed, Lady." That was the second suited man. A more polished version of the other, while the first was stunningly handsome, this one was almost too beautiful to be real, with a restrained sensuality that pulled at the senses of those around him.

"Prepare yourselves. We're going hunting."

AN: Just a short introduction for something that bit my muse and refused to let go. What does everyone think of the Black Jewels characters in the HP-verse? More specifically, any bets on how long Voldemort and company will survive against someone much more dangerous than they could ever hope to be?