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"This story is dedicated to my enemies. Your absence leaves the world a bleaker place and I miss you all so much" – Lens of Sanity

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Choose: the rest is in the details
by Lens of Sanity

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Chapter One: The First Day of the Rest of Your Life

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Landing heavily in an undignified heap, the familiar disorientation of Portkey travel began to ebb slowly away from the black haired boy, as he lay crumpled on the mossy ground. There was something intrinsically wrong with magical forms of transportation, beyond that of a broom he simply could not get the hang of them at all. Under normal circumstances it would be fine, but this evening the boy felt a lack of dignity washing his actions, making them seem amateurish in the extreme.

From the deck the fourteen year old, offered the overly mundane name of 'Harry Potter' by his long deceased parents, raised his hand and whispered a quiet word. A big red bar of magic jumped from his thin stick of holly, and another boy dropped to the floor without any fuss whatsoever. Harry suppressed a groan and warily got to his feet, eager to be on with his evening.

Harry allowed himself a moment to stare down at the prone form of a sixth year Hufflepuff boy by the name of Cedric Diggory, before taking the time to sweep glance about his surroundings. Truly he was in the gloomiest of places, eerily lit by the fading sunlight of early evening, the moss covered tombstones and weather worn monoliths of the cemetery were certainly lacking in the sense of grandeur he had been expecting.

A bare handful of seconds passed before the boy became aware of a careworn, pudgy man he knew to be named Peter Pettigrew, or Mr. Wormtail as his onetime friends would have titled him. Harry did not have the time necessary to think back upon all the choices made leading, all but inevitably to this meeting. Nevertheless a fleeting sense of nostalgia broke over him as it became apparent in an instant, this scene would most assuredly have been unrecognisable, had certain things come to pass in a bare fraction of altered ways.

Once again Harry's arm came to bear, with weapon in hand, pointed directly at the oncoming man's chest. He thought back to days not too long ago, hiding out from his relatives in the luxury suite he'd been gifted with for those ten sweet years, under nigh smothering care, pleasant days with family who always made time for their dear adopted son.

Ha.

Perhaps not so much.

Harry cast his mind back to brutally being woken by the thump of his morbidly obese cousin's weight as it slammed into the stair, the one which acted as ceiling, directly above his slumbering head. And the memory, as always, of his forehead meeting the cross beam. A swift jolt of pain was such an enjoyable way to start the day after all.

A scant instant had passed since the unkempt, pudgy man had been noticed by the boy, and all the warmth he felt for that beloved cross beam poured itself through his magic, along with six choppy little syllables; Avada Kedavra, the two words had such a satisfyingly angular sound to them.

Briefly Mr. Wormtail's eyes did show a flash of surprise the instant before they glazed over in death, and his body fell unceremoniously to the floor, unmoving and useless.

As the bundle in Pettigrew's arms tumbled to the unforgiving ground, Harry's scar burst in purest agony. Bloody buggering hell, but he hated that so very much, and swimming in the torturous haze Harry forced himself back to his feet, double checking his cocky and self assured grin as his did so. Staggering over to the small, gnarled body, Harry prodded the hideous thing with one steel toe capped boot.

"Looking good there, Tom ma boy," Harry informed him cheerfully. It took tremendous effort to ignore the blood streaming into his eyes, and the all consuming pain which was doubtlessly popping brain cells.

"Potter, I will kill you and all those you care about!" Hideous baby Voldemort squeaked pathetically from the floor.

"Well that is not very peaceable of you now is it Tommy?" Harry said. Getting down on his haunches the fourteen year old continued. "And here I am, capable of destroying that little thing you're wearing with noting but the touch of my fingertips."

Harry brushed the cowl from around the withered and scarred head, gods but the thing was disgusting to look at, even when Harry was being careful not to touch it.

The menace and rage the Dark Lord was feeling wrenched upwards a few notches in both pain and intensity, but Harry slammed his eyes closed and fought it off.

"Lord Voldemort," Harry began, voice changing to slow, serious, and most of all precise tones "I believe it is time we talked."


I wonder where it all changed. Heh, no I don't, at least not really.

How about it Black? Raise a glass, for all the times we never had…

Cheers.


The tiny grizzled body Voldemort inhabited looked thoughtful, maybe. It was quite difficult to guess the facial expression of such a twisted horror, but the agony running through Harry's forehead seemed to lessen slightly and he got the distinct impression of thoughtfulness, an otherworldly sense of understanding owing to close proximity with the Dark Lord.

"Talk?" Voldemort half stated, "You wish to talk?"

"Of course," Harry said, holding fast to the cocky grin. The fourteen year old took a few moments to prop the baby Voldemort against one of the gravestones, marked with the name 'Charles Pikal,' a Muggle man who had died in 1972 at the age of 37 apparently. "You once told my former Professor, Quirinus Quirrell, that there was no good and evil only power, do you remember?"

He got the distinct impression Voldemort was gazing deeply into him from across the clearing, it was an uncomfortable sensation similar to being around Snape for any length of time, yet Harry did his best to ignore the feeling as anything less than confidence would likely get him killed.

There was an extended moment in which the Dark Lord was presumably in deep contemplation. "Interesting," He spoke after a time. "Yes I do remember, I also remember you spurning my offer of an honoured place at my side."

"I'm afraid I want a little bit more than a simple 'honoured place' Tom," Harry said, ignoring the stab of agony released on voicing the man's Muggle name. Seeing the tiny Dark Lord was about to protest Harry interrupted, "It's your name idiot, get over it… Anyway, I am totally open to performing a little ritual of Bone and Blood and Flesh, but I want something in return."

"Young Crouch," Voldemort stated his conclusion. "You got to young Crouch."

"Erm," Harry began uncertainly. "Yeah, I had a bit of a conversation with him last night, so I know of the ritual…"

"I am aware of that." He responded dryly.

"How can you possibly be-"

"Lord Voldemort always knows."

Harry was about to make some disparaging comment or other about this claim, but seemed to think better of it. "Fine, you always know. Whatever."

"So what is it you do desire Harry Potter?" Voldemort asked. The ritual he intended to complete this evening had a little leeway, but they could not dawdle too long and still hope for success.

"I am not content to simply be another one of your senseless followers," Harry began. "I need to learn magic, proper magic, and it seems to me having a powerful and talented Death Eater would be more useful to you than a weak and useless one."

The Dark Lord over mused this claim, "Why precisely do you wish to learn? What is your primary goal?"

Harry smirked, "I want to kill Dumbledore, and you alone can train me in the magic I will need to know, otherwise I'll never stand a chance."

Harry said this looking the most feared individual in the world directly in the eye.

"You truly wish to kill Dumbledore?"

"Yes," he confirmed. "Thought that might be down your particular alley Voldemort, groovy or what?"


"It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends."

Too right Dumbledore, if nothing else I've got your back on that one.


"Do you have any advice?" Harry asked, carefully levitating the bundled figure, wand pointed and intent focused.

"You claimed to already know of the ritual," Voldemort's absent response came sibilantly.

"Yeah, I know the three ingredients, and the words I'm supposed to use, but I've never done one of these dark rituals before. It makes sense to ask someone who's experienced in this sort of thing"

"Ritual magic is incredibly conducive to one's ends, efficacious even," the Dark Lord informed him. "Correctly performing one can be surprisingly straightforward, and is virtually always lacking in any kinds of pyrotechnics ignorants often assume should accompany the magic."

Harry thought this through for a while as he carefully moved over to the huge cauldron, see he was learning stuff already, doing this was obviously a marvellous idea.

"So I plop you in and just get on with it?" Harry would swear he felt the Dark Lord rolling his eyes. "Fine, but if it doesn't work you can't whinge on that I didn't ask first."

Approaching the cauldron Harry took it off 'simmer,' and waited a short minute in silence, the liquid heating very fast, its surface not only bubbling but beginning to shoot out fiery sparks in all directions. Eventually the mist and sparks coalesced into a bed of fluid diamonds, resting atop the sharply glowing potion.

"What happened to the lack of pyrotechnics?" Harry muttered. "The thing looks pretty cool to me."

"Put me in and get on with it," Lord Voldemort commanded.

"Promise me again," Harry retorted.

"I will Mark you as soon as the ritual is complete, and have you trained enough to kill Albus Dumbledore."

"Marvellous Tom," Harry smiled, "I see this as the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

Locking with the crimson eyes of the scarred and bald headed baby-abomination, he nodded before proceeding to dump the thing into the glittering, diamond-like solution. Harry skipped lightly over to Mr. Wormtail's corpse, humming the song 'Common People' as he did so. Myron Wagtail having agreed to send him a pre-release copy back during the Yule Ball, and leaving Harry unable to get the tune out of his head.

Hefting a long bone about a foot and a half long, Harry inspected what was certainly Tom Riddle Senior's femur, with an undisguised interested. Clearing his throat he began to enunciate his lines. "Bone of the father, unknowingly given, you will renew your son."

The potion turned blue, but as that was probably supposed to happen, Harry simply raised the excessively ornate silver dagger to the smallest finger on his right hand. "Flesh of the servant, willingly given, you will revive your master."

Yeah, that hurt like fucking crap. The blade with its edge clearly sharpened to an unnatural keenness, sliced through his little finger effortlessly, only it caused Harry to viciously bite down on his tongue to keep from screaming out. Also, he strongly disliked the whole 'Master' comment, he'd have to do something about that, maybe Voldemort would let him use 'Chief' as a form or address.

It would be worth asking, Harry decided, right as he took note of the burning red colour to which the potion had changed.

Still humming a few bars of the annoyingly catchy song, Harry moved back toward the sixth year he'd stunned earlier. Two sets of Incarcerous ropes just to be sure, made certain the boy would not be able to escape, and Harry sent as weak an Ennervate as he could, barely waking the Hufflepuff.

"'Sup Cedric?" Harry asked brightly.

"H-Harry?" He answered blearily. "What, where am I-"

"Never mind that," Harry cut in. "Your Mum was a Death Eater during the last war wasn't she?"

"WHAT? No!" Diggory swore. "We would never join He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named."

"Good to know," Harry muttered, stabbing him in the arm with the same ornate dagger, collecting his blood on the tip. Sauntering over to the gigantic cauldron and the bright red potion, Harry enunciated his final line, "Blood of the enemy, forcibly taken, you will resurrect your foe."

There was wind, a brilliantly bright white light, and a bunch of other effects which Harry decided were quite impressive. At that instant he concluded this ritual must not be a very powerful one, if what Voldemort had said was true, the more efficacious rituals probably wouldn't look anything like this. At the end of everything, standing seven feet tall if he was an inch, Lord Voldemort was knee deep in the remnants of his rebirth potion, fully alive once again.


Honestly, sometimes I've just got to admit it to myself, best laid plans and good intensions aside…

Fuck it. You want the truth?

I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing, and well, gotta say, I'm loving every minute of it.


"Crucio"

"Gyah!" Harry's screams tore his throat as wave after wave of agony wracked his body, driving all vestiges of sensibility from his mind.

The gap between one moment and the next, bare fractions of a second, the gulf of infinity spread wide across all creation, and the pain, the agony just kept mounting. Torturous misery cascading and building upon the pain of previous eternity, Voldemort was not letting up, and had Harry been capable of thought he would have probably spared some effort worrying about ending up with the Longbottoms, safe and sound in St. Mungo's, happily in blissfully insanity.

The twang of adrenaline rushing through his veins signified he'd likely just been Ennervated, yet Harry didn't dare open his eyes. Gods damn it to hell but he was hurting, every joint and muscle, under his fingernails, a pounding head, and even the blood thumping through the capillaries of his eyes, all of it screamed in protest, objecting the shear impossibility of such suffering.

Spitting out a gob of coppery saliva Harry managed to find his voice, raw and croaky though it was, sounding damaged even to his own battered ears.

"Grumpy in the mornings eh Riddle."

"Crucio."

Yeah, saying that was probably a mistake. Nevertheless, ten thousand years of pain and suffering later, Harry was prone on the ground, sightlessly looking up at the sky. Nine fingers remaining and body wracked with the aftershocks of brutal Cruciatus exposure, Harry raised his bare left arm toward the corpse-like, seven foot figure of Lord Voldemort.

He paid particular attention, through the haze of sweat and pain, toward the hissing sounds of Parseltongue as the magic of the Dark Mark knitted together with his arm's pale flesh. Harry didn't understand exactly what was being said, nor how the magic was working, but all the details he could hold were forced into his memory for later inspection.

The process didn't exactly hurt, uncomfortable maybe but not painful, like ants crawling across your naked body, or perhaps the sensation was what it felt like to be an expensive piece of parchment when it was crunched up into a ball and thrown into a wastepaper basket. A scant few seconds of discomfort and a sexy black tattoo shone brightly on his left arm, midnight skull with the tongue of a coiled snake. Harry didn't speak as the other Death Eaters were summoned and he was slowly allowed back to his feet.

"How about 'Chief' that's a cool nickname right?"

"Crucio."

Harry rolled and dove behind a tombstone, avoiding a third Cruciatus Curse by a mere fraction of an inch. The marble headstone he was crouched behind vanished in a cloud of dust and grit, Harry found himself banished viciously across the cemetery, impacting after a long flight on a weathered old mausoleum. Pushing himself to his feet with the four fingered hand, Harry was about to open his mouth with another irreverent comment, when that inevitable third curse hit him squarely in the chest.

Damn it.

"Harry, Harry. I must say, you can take a beating better than any man I have ever known," Voldemort seemed to be allowing his tone to slide from rage to amusement in spite of himself.

"Well…" he began, coughing up another gobbet of spit and blood, "my cousin will be delighted to hear your praise Tom." Seeing the Dark Lord about to force correction once again Harry waved him off, "Later, I need to tell you about the Riddle Diary."

Voldemort's eyes widened in recognition right as the Death Eaters began Apparating into the graveyard, one at a time, summoned as they had been by Harry's new Mark.

"What took you all so long you worthless fucks?" Harry demanded, standing tall, paying no heed to the twitching pain still thumping through his body from time to time. Again catching the Dark Lord's lips quirking in amusement Harry continued, "I swear to hell, you guys dawdle like that again and I'll kill each and every one of you before Big V can get anywhere near you."

"Harry," Voldemort interrupted.

"Present."

"I do not think you truly understand what it means to be a Death Eater."

"I don't?" Harry asked in confusion.

"You cannot go around giving nicknames to Lord Voldemort."

The teenager thought this over for a little while. "But if I'm scarier, more loyal, and have superior usefulness compared to the other Death Eaters, don't I get a little leeway?"

"Crucio." 'I guess that's a no, and fucking hell, four torture curses, not a good sign.' "I still think Big V has a certain style about it though," Harry muttered, mostly under his breath. When Voldemort was about to curse him again Harry interrupted, "Can I at least kill Lucy Malfoy?"

Watching this byplay the summoned Death Eaters clearly did not know what to think, attempting to stand at attention, obviously forcing themselves not to shuffle nor ask questions. Of the Inner Circle present, the robed figure who was almost certainly Lucius Malfoy looked by far the least comfortable, what with the casual request for his murder bandied about as if it were everyday.

"Is there any particular reason you wish to harm Lord Malfoy Harry?" Voldemort asked with interest, "or is it simply to do with your schoolyard rivalry toward his son I seem to remember took up a vast quantity of your time."

"Nar, Draco is an idiot," the newest Death Eater replied. "Lucy set into motion events which forced me to stab Salazar Slytherin's Basilisk two years ago. I just really want to kill him for making me do that."

The implication of this statement was clearly not lost on Voldemort, with Harry correctly guessing the Diary had some personal importance, and that the Dark Lord would not be happy at the use to which the elder Malfoy put the object.

Wasting no time Voldemort proceeded to turn to the member of his Inner Circle in question, he didn't say anything, just looked at the masked man for the longest time. Harry got the strange impression that some kind of magic or other was being utilised, even if he had no idea what, the limits of which admittedly being far from the fourteen year old's grasp.

"Interesting," Voldemort hissed to himself.

"So can I kill him?" Harry asked again.


"I would remind you that it is not prudent to appear less than fond of Harry Potter, not when most of our kind regard him as the hero who made the Dark Lord disappear."

About the only thing Lucius ever said which was worth hearing if you ask me.


The aristocratic man did not appear fond of glib remarks, nor did he take a curse with anything approaching Harry's poise. Unfortunately the twitching and freshly tortured man was quite alive as he returned to the ranks of Death Eaters crowding in a half circle, under the boughs of a mighty yew tree. Harry honestly couldn't quite believe the snivelling subservience shown by these powerful dark wizards, all bowing and declarations of eternal loyalty, nevermind the reflexively enthusiastic use of the honorific 'Master.'

Leaning slouched against the gnarled bark of the yew tree, Harry watched in a contemplative silence, as Voldemort talked and declaimed to his servants. It had been thirteen years since any of them had seen him and the Dark Lord appeared keen to let them know he was displeased, some were Cruciated absently, most begged, and a few idiots even tried to make excuses for their actions.

Avery was a man of above average build, easily forgettable in appearance, and if his ridiculous attempt at getting his Master to forgive him was anything to go by, he wasn't firing on all that many cylinders either. When the man was allowed to retake his place, after being informed he owed thirteen years of loyalty for all the time spent 'disloyal' thanks to Voldemort's incorporeal state, the Dark Lord finally got around to formally addressing Harry.

"So my friends," Voldemort began, "I trust I will not need to introduce the newest member of our family?" There followed a little shuffling but none of the Death Eaters dared speak. "How would you like to share your tale with us Harry? We would all be interested in hearing how you came to be here this glorious day."

"I admit to having a minor disagreement with a Mister Bartemius Crouch," Harry told them with a small smile. "The bastard Obliviated me seven times this year. Seven!"

In a piece of outstandingly dramatic timing a one-legged man with a huge, crazily spinning magical eye, Apparated into the darkened clearing. Several wands came up, a curse on a number of people's lips, and Harry barked, "Stand down you fools. He is with me."

Surprising even themselves the Death Eaters obeyed this command without thought, only catching on to what they'd done after the fact. The scarred face of Alastor Moody clunked his way toward the green eyed teenager and stood to attention. "He got away," was the man's only comment.

"It seems my secondary plan failed Voldemort, more's the pity I suppose," Harry stated to their leader. "Highmaster Karkaroff appears to have escaped."

"Hmm," Voldemort swept toward the grizzled Auror, with a few swished and absolutely no incantations, a buzzing of invisible magic poured out of his long pale wand, spiderlike fingers deftly keeping the stick in motion. "Weak," he commented. "Your curse would have held for little more than a day."

"It was the first time I've done it on a human being, give me a break," Harry groused. Alastor Moody's face and body rippled and flowed, contorting and changing until a much younger man was standing, looming over a fallen wooden leg and a sightless neon blue eye. "Expelliarmus," Harry shouted as Crouch's eyes narrowed in fury and he began to raise his wand to attack.

"You put me under the Imperius boy," the now wandless Crouch growled.

"So I did, and you failed to capture Karkaroff so we're even."

"What in the name of Merlin's balls is going on?" That idiot Avery exploded in confusion. Everyone in the graveyard looked at him and he seemed to deflate under the combined stares. Eventually Voldemort waved for him to spell it out for the group.

"Short version," Harry began in a carrying voice. "Barty was under orders to get me into the Tri-Wizard Tournament. He Obliviated me a bunch of times over the course of the year when I kept figuring out he wasn't really Mad-Eye Moody, but because I'm such a badass the Memory Charms didn't all hold. I overpowered him and smacked him with an Imperius Curse last night. After a fun little interrogation where I found out about today's ritual, I ordered him to capture the Durmstrang Highmaster. And as he is an incompetent he predictably failed. I'll bet you anything the real Moody is still alive as well."

Harry glared at the blonde man who eventually spat, "Yes the old man is still alive. He had to be for the Polyjuice to continue working."

"Excuses, excuses," Harry responded with a carrying whisper, causing the Dark Lord to laugh at the byplay. "Admit it, I did pretty well…"

"That you did Harry." Voldemort began.

"…Sort of like a younger, prettier version of yourself maybe?" He interrupted the praise.

"Crucio."

Yeah, interrupting the Dark Lord was probably a mistake, he'd have to try and remember that in the future.


"There is no good an evil there is only power and those too weak to seek it," one told me.

"The truth, it is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution," the other informed.

Well maybe I could give a yes to one of those, but I have nothing save contempt for the other.


Harry woke the following day embraced by sheets of black satin. After the initial incomprehension which accompanies any return to consciousness in an unfamiliar environment, he came to one conclusion, all consuming in both its clarity and magnitude.

Being evil rocked.

If someone had told him years ago that all he had to do to wake every morning surrounded by black satin bed sheets atop a goose down pillows, was become evil, he'd have done it so very long ago it would be laughable. 'Hey Harry, you get to stab your cousin and wake every morning on a huge feathered mattress. Are you down with that, even at six years old?' His imagination self asked his fictional younger self. 'Sounds like a plan to me,' his fantasy six year old counterpart responded with a terrifying smile.

A second implication struck him and Harry was forced to bark a loud laugh, alone as he was in the cavernous, opulent room. He was sleeping in Lord Malfoy's private bedchamber, and that was just too funny, it was only a shame he wasn't in bed with Lord Malfoy's wife because that would have really completed the image to perfection.

You know it was strange, back when he realised in which direction his life was going, what he would inevitably do in that graveyard, he'd half convinced himself there would be some kind of evil hangover the day after. As though he'd come to his senses after all the excitement was over, and suddenly decide to plan and scheme his way out of the current mess. Gods but he'd been stupid.

"I should have gone evil years ago," Harry spoke aloud, in a tone laced with wonder, smoothly getting out of bed as he did so.

He padded naked and barefoot across the large room, starkers because Harry firmly believed all evil people slept naked, and he found what he was looking for. Shrugging comfortably into an emerald green dressing gown also made of finest satin, Malfoy family crest embossed on the breast as well as across the shoulders, he strolled out of the room. Today was going to be a good day, he could feel it, deep in his mercenary soul.

"Is there a shower around here Narcissa?" He asked, coming across a woman of patrician beauty who reminded Harry of the Ravenclaw girl he'd taken to the Yule Ball, although this woman was blonde rather than sporting the Ravenclaw's locks of darkest brown. Mrs. Malfoy's chin raised half an inch and she put on an expression which clearly implied she was conversing with scum, unwashed scum at that. "Hey now, it's not my fault the Dark Lord has a twisted sense of humour, and I was even being polite even though I don't need to be."

Narcissa held the imperious glare for a few seconds longer, probably due to the insulting attire Harry was wearing, before pointing down one corridor. "That way," the woman said shortly, spinning around and speaking no further. If being evil got you a rear three quarter like that, he was more convinced he'd made the correct decision than ever.

About an hour later Harry strode into the main room Voldemort had seized as his own, new robes flowing about his shoulders, all the clothes he'd been wearing for the Third Task having apparently been burnt, save his angular steel toe capped boots. Vacillating between awaiting the Dark Lord's pleasure with stoicism, and interrupting the man's silence, the decision was taken from Harry as the red eyed gaze turned directly to him, causing that uncomfortable Snapeish feeling once more.

"You will be leading a team in seven days," Voldemort told him after a time.

"Okay," he responded nonplussed. "I thought you were going to teach me some curses though?"

"If you believed that you are a fool." Harry couldn't help a frown but didn't interrupt which was probably for the best. "You are a child with precious little magical training. If you wish to learn such petty magic, consult a library or ask one of the other Death Eaters. In fact, I will ensure a copy of my old training manual is sent for your perusal, and will expect to see swift progress on your own."

"So if you are not going to teach me spells, what are you going to teach me?" Harry asked respectfully, this was precisely what he was here for after all.

"Magic."

"Of course," he replied to this vague answer.

"Tell me, do you have any skills or magical traits?"

"I am a Parselmouth like you, although you probably knew that already," Harry said. "Last year I learned I have a touch of the metamorphmagus trait, but I can only lengthen my hair and doing it takes tremendous concentration. Other than that, my best subject was Defence because I seem to have a natural 'feel' for spells, and can pick them up quickly."

"Your Imperius was pathetic, but we shall get to that," Voldemort told him when it became clear Harry had done talking. "James Potter was an Animage if memory serves."

"It is possible I am too, but I've never had the opportunity to check," Harry said this with enthusiasm. He'd wanted to be an Animagus ever since his third year Professor had told him the story of his own Hogwarts days.

"Do so," Harry heard this as the command it was, and barely managed to catch himself from asking something stupid like 'how.' It was obvious that most of his learning would be done on his own time and under his own steam, so figuring out how to check if he was an Animagus was now a much higher priority.

"Your presence among the Death Eaters is to be kept secret for the time being," Voldemort told him. "Only the members of the Inner Circle who joined us last night and a handful of others are to know. You are not to alert Lucius' boy to your status, nor any of the recruits. Severus has similarly returned and you are not to find yourself in the same room as him under any circumstances."

Harry's mind span out a few theories as to where the Dark Lord was going with this line of thinking, jarring after a time on one annoying, obvious realisation. "You are sending me back to Hogwarts?"

"It is a possibility. For now, you will be out of the country for most of this summer anyway, consequently the secret will not be too difficult to keep."

"If I may ask, where am I going and what do you need me to do?"

"After a week to cement my position and gather some fresh recruits, you will travel to northeastern Europe and make contact with the Giant tribes."

"I get to negotiate with Giants?" Harry asked with a grin, "Damn V, how cool is that!"

He ducked, the lightning fast Cruciatus missed him by a hair, and winking Harry fled from the room.

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