Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J. K. Rowling. No money is being made.
Warnings: This story has Slash.
A.N.: Hey all. I have a request for all of you. I want to publish my original novel, though I'm really low on funds. So I decided to start a new project on Indiegogo. It's a crowdfunding website, one in which I have my projected posted. I'm hoping to get enough funds to have my book published. I would really appreciate it if you would check it out and spread the link in your social networks. You know how this things work, the more people know about it, the more of a chance I have of getting the funds. I only have 23 days left to achieve my goal, so please help me out.
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Chapter 20 – Dark Lord
Harry glanced out of the window of the Hogwarts Express, his mind on the last few days of school. The ceremony for the Tournament went off without a hitch and he had endured it with dignity, even if he had felt more inclined to curse Fudge to Hell. He couldn't stand the man. Anyway, he had endured it and took a couple of pictures for the newspapers. Magic Today had an exclusive interview with the champions, of course, and it had been rather well received by the public. He had come across as a rather gifted student but quite humble. He was the nation's sweetheart and even the foreign dignitaries had been rather enamored with him.
Even so he wasn't that happy with the end of the school year. Fleur and Viktor would be quite far away and he didn't like it. Their bond was deeper now that they were his marked followers and he didn't enjoy the thought of having them so far from him. He didn't even like that the rest of his Court were away from him, but they at least were in the same country.
Especially with everything that would be happening in the summer. Tom had been quite vague, but he was sure that there would be something happening. He wanted his Court by his side when that something did happen.
Besides they had to see how they would behave and react around the Death Eaters. His Ouroboros were younger, but he wouldn't let the Death Eaters walk all over them. He knew that they could hold their own in a fight, but he also knew that they wouldn't win against the Death Eaters. They had to cause a strong impression without causing a fight. It was far more complicated than he thought to achieve that delicate balance.
And speaking about Tom... Tom hadn't contacted him again after their unconventional meeting. Some part of him was wondering why that was, but another part of him was rather grateful. He needed a little time to himself to assimilate everything. It wasn't everyday that you realized that your... crush, for lack of a better word, was a Dark Lord. A Dark Lord that could, quite literally, crush you if he so wished.
Harry was no fool. He knew he was powerful. Far more powerful than any other wizard his age and most older wizards as well. But Tom had something invaluable; Tom had experience and a well of knowledge to complement that experience. It was a deadly combination.
So, yes. Harry was quite aware that Tom could crush him rather easily.
Even so he couldn't deny his attraction to the man. He was fascinating and Harry was addicted to him. He was a drug that Harry just couldn't quit. He wasn't even sure if he wanted to.
One way or another he was hooked.
He sighed and leaned back on his seat watching his Court interact. He had a feeling that this summer would be rather interesting.
Harry was sprawled on his bed doodling his mark on a parchment. He had spent the three days since the holidays began scouring the Black library for any book that could help him understand it better. He had had no luck so far.
He thought about asking Sirius to help him search said library but then remembered that both he and Remus were away. Dumbledore had contacted them about some urgent business and they had been away since. He had no idea what it was, if he hazard a guess he would say that it was somehow related to Tom, but Tom hadn't done anything. There shouldn't be a reason for Dumbledore to suspect anything.
He glanced at the Mark again and sigh. He had no idea how to make it work. He knew that there was more to it than a simple Mark, he knew that. But he just couldn't seem to discover what it was. He didn't have that much time to study their Marks at Hogwarts, and the little he was able to study just made him realize that they were more than simple Marks.
He transfigured the parchment with his Mark into a bracelet and almost dropped it when his magic touched it.
He stared at it in wonder and couldn't stop the laugh that bubbled up his throat.
So simple. How hadn't he thought about it? How hadn't he seen it?
He let his magic infuse the Ouroboros and it came to life. His magic gained physical form.
$Master, what is it you desire?$ the snake hissed at him. His magic.
$I want my Court here. Bring them to me, though if they aren't alone make sure they are alone before you bring them to me.$
$It will be done.$
He felt his magic expand, stretching out into various directions, linking with his Ouroboros. He laugh gleefully, mesmerized by the feeling of connecting in such a way with his Court.
One by one they popped into existence in his room.
They didn't look startled. They looked excited, gleeful. The twins were even laughing. Then their eyes landed on him and they knelt.
"My Lord." they intoned.
Harry stood form his bed and smiled at them.
"Rise." they obeyed and smiled back. "I know how to call you now." he told them.
"We felt it." Viktor said. "A whisper in our minds. Our magic pulling us. That's the call." he sounded awed and Harry laughed joyfully.
"It is." he confirmed, "You'll always be within reach now."
"Did you call us for anything specific?" Cedric asked, looking around and finally deciding to sit on the carpet on the floor.
"No, not really." Harry said, sitting back on his bed and shuffling to the middle to make room for others. "Though now that you are here, we may as well talk about a few things. Do all of you have time?"
They nodded and got comfortable in Harry's room.
"Good, but first," he looked at Wayne, "How are your summer arrangements?"
"They're fine." Wayne assured him, "I have a claim to the vault in Gringotts, since my grandfather was never disowned. And since Sirius agreed to be my sponsor it all worked out. I have a little flat in Diagon, Sirius set everything up."
"What about your parents?" Harry asked him.
"I told them, by letter. I didn't want to see them again."
Harry nodded. He was rather pleased with the outcome.
"Alright," Harry nodded, "Let's focus on our plans for the summer."
"Has Voldemort contacted you?" Theo asked him, leaning against him slightly.
He was quite proud to see that none of them even twitched when hearing Voldemort's name. It would have been rather unseemly if his followers feared the other Dark Lord's name. He would have to train any other Ouroboros to not react to it.
"No, he hasn't. And that is why we must speak. We have to decide how we will act in the meeting when we'll be introduced. They may be older but I will not have them walking all over you."
"Have you thought about our uniform?" Luna asked him and he grinned.
He conjured a dummy with their uniform on and his grin turned into a smirk when he saw their looks.
He had been thinking about how they should look and had quite a bit of fun playing around with several outfits. He wanted them to look completely different from the Death Eaters. There should be no doubt in anyone's mind who were the Death Eaters and who were Ouroboros. He may be working with Tom but they were two different Dark Lord, with different sets of followers, he wanted everyone to know that. He wouldn't be overshadowed by Tom, and neither would his followers.
The dummy had form fitting black dragon hide trousers, a black dragon hide sleeveless top, with a deep green, almost black, jacket on top. The jacket had a somewhat militaristic look with five buckles in silver running down the front. On the shoulders were three silver strips that denoted their position within the Ouroboros. No one aside from the Court would have the three silver strips. Then there were black dragon hide boots, a silver belt, and a black mask. The mask was completely blank. There was no mouth, no eyes, no nose. Just a black blank piece of metal. The Ouroboros would be able to see out of it, but no one would be able to see their faces. It would be held in place by magic.
Harry was quite happy with the look and going by their expressions so was his Court.
"That's for us?" Fred asked him, looking elated.
"Yes. What do you think?"
"It's rather sexy." Fleur remarked a pleased smile on her lips.
"Yes. I thought so too." Harry replied, "I'll be wearing one like that too, though my jacket will be emerald green and it won't have the three strips on the shoulders. It will have a solid ticker strip in silver with our Ouroboros engraved on it. And I'll only wear the mask for as long as we are keeping my identity hidden." Harry told them, "The stripes on the shoulders will denote the rank of the Ouroboros. Three strips; Court member. Two strips; Inner Circle. One strip; Outer Circle. No strip; recruit. The belt has meaning too. Silver; commander. White; healer. Emerald; strategist. Black; soldier. Red; assassin. Blue; intelligence." Harry explained, "There can also be a mix of colors, for instance; silver and emerald. It will depend on the Ouroboros in question. The belt will change according to every raid and depending on what that raid is. The standard color is black."
"That's brilliant." Adrian mumbled, his eyes still locked on their new uniform.
"Yes, it is. We'll know who to seek in any situation, we'll know who is who, without compromising our identity. And our enemies won't have any idea what the stripes or colors mean." Graham agreed.
"They may suspect the more time passes." Marcus interjected.
"True." Blaise stated, "But it will never be anything more than a suspicion."
"Unless we are betrayed." Draco muttered.
"We'll kill anyone who tries." Neville stated fiercely, gaining nods from the others.
"I'm glad that your new uniforms met your approval." he chuckled when he noticed that they were still looking at the uniform, "Want to try it out?" he asked them and laughed when they eagerly nodded, "Alright. Go ahead, they are in that trunk by the door. They have charms on them to fit your bodies, you just have to key them to your magical signature." there was a small race towards the trunk and he shook his head fondly.
"When did you get these?" George asked, slightly stunned.
"Yesterday." he replied, "I conjured it, took a picture, and sent it with Dobby to a seamstress in Germany to get the ones that we are going to wear. Told her what I wanted, which materials and colors and what I needed the belts to do. She sign a contract for confidentiality."
"She works fast." Viktor remarked.
"I paid her double of what she asked if she managed to have all of it done in two days. I wanted to have everything ready in case Tom called."
"Yes, about that, how are we going to act?" Theo asked, escaping the pile by the trunk with a complete set of his uniform.
A smirk spread on Harry's lips and a dark chuckle made the others look at him. They couldn't quite stop the shiver that raced down their spine. Whatever their Lord had planned they were sure that it would leave the Death Eaters stunned.
A week later, while he was lounging on a sofa in the living room reading one of the many fascinating books that were available in the Black library, the communication mirror that Tom had given him warmed up and it took a second for Harry to remember why that was. His eyes widened when he remembered. He took it out of his pocket and as soon as his hand touched it he felt it cool down. When he looked at it he came face to face with Tom.
"Hello, my little serpent." Tom greeted him.
"Hello, Tom." Harry smiled at him warmly. He couldn't quite stop himself. He had missed the man.
"Are you alone?"
"Yes." Harry replied, getting more comfortable, "Sirius and Remus are speaking with Dumbledore. He has been calling them almost everyday. I haven't asked them what he wants yet, but Sirius is always slightly exasperated when he comes back."
"I have to wonder what the old man is up to." Tom muttered.
"Do you think it has something to do with you?"
Tom narrowed his eyes.
"Are you suggesting that one of my Death Eaters betrayed me?"
"Not really, no." Harry denied nonchalantly, "But maybe they were having a conversation and someone overheard something."
"That isn't likely." Tom stated and Harry just nodded. Either way there was no way for him to be implicated so he had nothing to worry about.
"Why are you calling?" he changed the subject, not wanting to linger on something that obviously ruffled Tom's feathers.
"Are you free?"
"Yes..." he replied cautiously.
"Good. Charon is on his way to you, he must be arriving any minute now. He has a portkey for you. It's reusable, it will lead you to me. Then when you go back it takes you to the last place you were, in this case; your home. As soon as you have it, come to me. The activation word his Ouroboros in parseltongue." Tom instructed, "I'll see you soon, little serpent." then he ended the call.
Harry sighed, he better get dressed.
He contained a chuckle when he heard Harry cursing. Apparently he wasn't all that fond of portkeys either.
"Welcome, Harry." he stepped towards the teen, his eyes tracing his face. He had missed him. But it had been necessary. He had needed to organize all of his Death Eaters and he had wanted to do it sooner rather than later. The quicker he introduced Harry to the Death Eaters the quicker they could proceeded with his plans. He had waited long enough. Now that he knew that Harry could get involved he could hardly wait to start.
"Tom." Harry nodded his head, "When will the meeting start?"
"In a little while." Tom told him, leading him towards his study, "I wanted you here earlier so that we could go over anything that you deemed important." he lead them to the armchairs near the fireplace and sat, Harry taking one beside him, "Do you need me to send portkeys to your Ouroboros?"
Harry shook his head.
"No, I'll call them."
"You learned how to work the Mark." Tom stated delighted.
"Yes. It took me a while. I can't believe that I didn't see it sooner. They are tied to my magic, I just have to call them to me. I had to bring my bracelet to life to actually get it." he sounded exasperated and Tom chuckled.
"You are rather young, Harry. It's perfectly natural not to know such things." Tom reassured him, "I do believe that you are the youngest Dark Lord in history, now you just need to learn how to be one. It will come with time, and as you know I'll help you, you just have to ask."
"I suppose you're right." Harry sighed, then he smiled, "Thank you."
"You're welcome. Now, have you decided how you will deal with my followers?"
"Yes. We discussed it. Don't worry." he smirked at him.
Tom chuckled and shook his head. He was excited to see just what his little King would do. Besides, he was a little curious about his Ouroboros. He had seen what they were capable of, but when he had seen them before the Quidditch World Cup they hadn't been his followers yet, they hadn't been complete. Now they were and he was curious about them. They were so young... Not that he feared that they wouldn't fit in. From what he had seen they would get on well with the Death Eaters, they certainly had similar tastes, but he was slightly apprehensive about their meeting. He remembered what Lucius' son had told them. If one of his Death Eaters used the word mud-blood, would the Ouroboros be able to control themselves?
Well, there was no use in worrying about it, they had to learn to work together, not only the Ouroboros but the Death Eaters as well.
"Will you be wearing that?" he asked, looking over the forest green robe Harry had. He had thought that Harry would have chosen something more drastic.
Harry laughed and his eyes gaining a mischievous spark that was rather appealing.
"That would be telling, wouldn't it?" Harry smirked, "Will my Ouroboros be able to come through this wards?" he asked changing the subject.
"They are your marked followers, nothing short of the wards around Azkaban could keep them away. It's one of the reason why the prison is so impenetrable. Outside magic cannot penetrate the wards, so they do not feel the call." Tom explained, "These wards are incredibly strong, but not nearly as strong as those in Azkaban, nor as old. It is believe that the knowledge on how to create wards such as those in Azkaban has been lost."
"How do you plan to take your followers out of Azkaban?" Harry asked curiously. He had no doubt in his mind that Tom would want to get his followers free, but if Azkaban was as impenetrable as Tom was suggesting then he wasn't sure what could be done.
"Well, there really aren't that many choices. We either raid it, or we raid it." Tom told him seriously and Harry chuckled, "I'm just waiting for Lucius to gather all the information I need on the wards and where my followers were placed."
"I'll be going too." Harry stated more than asked.
Tom frowned slightly, then nodded slowly.
"Alright. Will your Ouroboros be going as well?" Tom asked him.
"Yes. It's better to start on something like this than to send them on a raid with a much less controlled environment."
"Yes, I think so too." Tom nodded remembering some of his Death Eaters freezing up in more violent raids, most of them didn't make it past that first raid. "Do all of them know how to cast a Patronus?"
"Well, that makes matters easier. We should pair them with the Death Eater teams. They'll learn how to work together and it's easier for them to have a first raid with more experienced people to help them out."
Harry snorted and looked at Tom incredulously.
"From what I read your Death Eaters aren't really the helping kind of people." he remarked.
"Those that will be participating in this particular raid will be." Tom stated firmly, a dark edge in his tone, "The ones you are referring to are usually new recruits or low level Death Eaters. Those will do anything to get up in the ranks. The others know better. I do not care about their personal relationships but on a raid they will work together and help their colleagues if need be."
"Good." Harry stated just as firmly, "I will not have my Ouroboros endangered by those who are supposed to be their allies."
Tom nodded, he could understand that. He knew that some of his Death Eaters had turned on each other in raids just to get higher in the ranks. He made an example out of those he knew about. Fortunately most learned from those experiences. However with the Ouroboros it could go either way. He doubted that they would be attacked, but the newer recruits may believe that they would be praised if they got rid of the competition, so to speak. Well, at least it wasn't something he had to worry about at the moment. The teams he planned on sending were compost mostly of older members and a few of his Inner Circle that managed to stay out of Azkaban, he knew that those wouldn't do anything as idiotic as that.
"How do you think your Death Eaters will be?" Harry asked him curiously, "It has been more than a decade."
He sighed, his shoulders dropping just a little.
"I don't really know. I depends on which levels they were put. Barty was only there for a year, but it affected him quite a bit. Though I think it was more spending over a decade under the Imperius than that year in Azkaban."
"Barty? Barty Crouch Jr.?" Harry asked him, looking slightly disbelieving, "I thought he died."
"Oh, that's right. I didn't tell you about that. I was supposed to mention it on our date." the last part was said with a smug little smirk on his lips and Harry narrowed his eyes.
"It wasn't a date, you kidnapped me." Harry deadpanned.
"We did have dinner together. Alone in an intimate setting. Though, since you seem to be unsatisfied with our previous date, we could make arrangements for another one."
"You were saying something about Barty?" Harry did his best to ignore the growing smirk on Tom's lips.
"Yes, Barty. He was sent to Azkaban for torturing the Longbottoms. However his mother was dying and begged his father to take her son out of that horrid place. Crouch, no matter how bad of a father he was, loved his wife and fulfilled her dying wish. They went to visit their son and made an exchange while there. His mother took his place, and Crouch smuggled Barty out." Tom told him and Harry was part impressed with Barty's mother and part disgusted with his father, he could guess what followed, "Though instead of giving Barty his freedom, the man put him under the Imperius and kept him locked in his room. He merely exchanged one prison for another."
"Crouch was one of the Judges, though he missed a few events. Something about not feeling well." Harry mumbled, more to himself than to Tom.
"Yes... Sometimes Barty got a little enthusiastic when playing with his father," Tom chuckled darkly, "He had only good things to say about you."
"About me? I never meet him."
"True, though he meet you." Tom said cryptically, "You spent all of last school year with him."
Harry's eyes narrowed slightly and Tom could see his brilliant mind putting the pieces together. He would never tire of seeing those Avada green eyes shine with life.
"Moody..." Harry whispered, wide eyes focusing on him and Tom chuckled again.
"Yes. Brilliant, don't you think?" arrogance practically coated every word.
Harry just nodded, his eyes still a little wide.
"He must be brilliant for Dumbledore not to notice him." Harry remarked, "That's one Death Eater I wouldn't mind getting to know."
"He'll be here later." Tom was a little annoyed though he hid it well, he didn't like that Harry's attention was on someone else, even if in this particular case he agreed. Barty was one of his most valuable Death Eaters for a reason.
"What did you do with Moody?" Harry inquired, not that he cared about the old man. It was simple curiosity.
"He's in the infirmary. We are keeping him alive for a while. He'll have an accident after the Azkaban raid. I want people to have forgotten your little tripe before he dies. With the Azkaban raid and the revelation that there is another Dark Lord, people will be suitably distracted."
"People will be panicked, you mean."
"Panicked, distracted... same thing." Tom replied with a small shrug and Harry couldn't help but laugh.
They spent a few moments in silence, comfortable with each other in a way they had never been with anyone else. It never ceased to amaze him just how different everything was when Harry was concerned.
"I always wondered," Harry started, breaking the comfortable silence, "Why did you come after me in eighty-one?"
Well, he wasn't really expecting that question quite so soon. He contained a grimace and pondered his options. He could always lie, but when Harry found out he would lose him, he was sure of it. But the truth may drive him away as well. He had years to think about the prophecy. Years to decide what to do.
"Before you were born," he started, his decision having been made long before he knew it, he would not lie to Harry, "There was a prophecy-" that was as far as he got before he heard a groan coming from Harry.
"Really? A prophecy?" the amount of distaste in Harry's voice was slightly staggering.
"Yes, one of my Death Eaters overheard a Seer making a prophecy to Dumbledore." Tom confirmed.
"What did it say?" Harry asked calmly, a dark glint in his eyes.
"I..." Tom hesitated for only a fraction of a second, but it was enough for Harry to notice and he narrowed his eyes, "I don't know the whole prophecy." Tom admitted and Harry looked at him incredulously.
"You acted on a partial prophecy?" Harry closed his eyes, "Do I have to tell you how monumentally stupid that was?"
"Considering that I spent ten years as nothing more than a spirit; no, you don't." Tom snarled. He admitted that wasn't one of his better moments, but he had been terrified of the prophecy, terrified that someone would kill him, that someone would be born just to kill him.
"What did it say?" Harry asked him, his voice somewhat gentler, though there was still a slight edge of exasperation in his tone.
"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches... born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies..." Tom recited, he knew the words by heart. They were seared into his mind, "That's all I know."
"Is there a way to hear the whole thing?" Harry asked, his eyes closed and a small frown on his face.
"There is." Tom informed him and Harry's eyes snapped opened, "Though I want to focus on Azkaban first."
"For someone who was so eager to act on only part of the prophecy, you seem strangely unconcerned with it now." Harry remarked.
"Will you act on it?" Tom asked as if he hadn't heard what Harry had said.
"I see no reason to act on two little sentences. How could you know that it even applied to me? Besides, even if it is me, it doesn't say that I will... what was the word again? Oh, yes, vanquish. I doesn't say that I will vanquish you, only that I have the power to do so." Harry replied nonchalantly, "Besides, I rather like you, Tom. I would prefer if you continued to be in good health."
Tom stared at Harry for a few moments, then chuckled. His eyes shone with interest and Harry felt his mouth go dry. Merlin, the man truly was breathtaking.
"Then it's decided, we will go back to the topic of the prophecy on a later date." Tom stated. Harry never ceased to surprise him. He just hoped that Harry kept that same attitude when they finally heard the whole thing. He had decided not to act upon it, even if the prophecy said that he would die by Harry's hand. He knew perfectly well that Harry couldn't win against him at the moment, however if the prophecy said that he would kill Harry... Well, he didn't know how Harry would take that. They trusted each other, but Tom didn't fool himself into thinking that Harry was tied to him. He knew that if Harry wanted to he would leave and not look back. He could only hope that by the time they went after the prophecy that Harry would be his.
"Still can't believe that you acted on only part of a prophecy..." Harry grumbled more to himself than to Tom and Tom shot him a disgruntled look. He knew that he had acted rashly, did his little serpent have to keep rubbing it in his face?
Tom was about to respond when a chime was heard in the room and he contained a sigh.
"My Death Eaters are starting to arrive," Tom told him, getting up from his seat, "Call your Ouroboros, discuss anything you need to with them, then join me. You can make your appearance as you wish, I'm sure you will be able to find me."
Harry nodded and Tom swept out of the room. The moment he was gone Harry slumped a little on his seat. Prophecy... A fucking prophecy! He cursed silently, making a mental note to discuss it with Sirius and Remus, they must have known something about it. At least he hoped so.
He took three deep breaths and sat straighter on his seat. Now wasn't the time to think about prophecies, now was the time to call his Ouroboros, now was the time to step on stage.
He delved deep into his magic, gathering it to himself, then commanded it to search the bonds of his Ouroboros, to call them to him. A silent message was in it, brushing against their minds; 'Come to me.'.
It was nothing more than a soft caress but he knew they could feel it. He could already feel them reacting.
One by one they popped into existence in front of him. He couldn't help but smile when he saw them, their uniforms on and masks in place.
"It's time." he whispered, getting up from his seat and taking of his robe, showing his own uniform underneath. He slipped his own mask on and his followers dropped to their knees.
He smiled, the glee he felt hidden behind his mask.
Yes, it was time.
He was one of the first Death Eaters to arrive. He admitted that he was slightly surprised to see so many of them there. He was well aware that their Lord hadn't called upon all of the free Death Eaters yet. He hadn't even called all of the free Inner Circle yet. So for that many of his fellow Death Eaters to be present was rather surprising.
He couldn't shake the feeling that something monumental would happen that day, something that would change everything.
"Lucius." a voice greeted him. He turned around and saw Teodred making his way towards him, "Do you know why we are all being called?" Teodred asked him softly and he shook his head, "I see." Teodred murmured, glancing at their Lord who was sitting on his throne.
They still had a few minutes till the beginning of the meeting, reason why they were allowed to mingle a little. Lucius was sure that their Lord was giving them time to get over the initial surprise of seeing him, at least to those that hadn't been aware of it yet.
"Do you suspect what it is about?" Lucius asked just as softly, making his way to the front where the Inner Circle usually stood.
"I can guess," Teodred replied, "Though that would be all that it was, a guess."
Lucius didn't push for further answers. There were few people who could accurately guess what the Dark Lord thought, Teodred happened to be one of those people. However he very rarely shared those guesses.
He felt wards go up, signifying that the last Death Eater had arrived, and everyone fell silent. They formed into organized rows and waited for their Lord to speak.
"My loyal followers," their Lord's sinful voice reached their ears, "Welcome." piercing red eyes swept through them, "It gladdens me to see that even after all these years you still answer my call. Though, for a moment, I could not help but believe that you had deserted me." Lucius saw a few of the Death Eaters flinch and he almost sneered; fools, the lot of them, "When years passed and none of you came to my aid... But you all here now, so I wonder... why did none of you search for me then?"
Their Lord's magic filled the room and Lucius had to dig his nails into the palm of his hands to stop himself from shivering. The magic was saturated with such malicious intent that he believed that it couldn't possibly come from a human.
The Death Eater beside him threw himself on the floor and Lucius sneered. Pathetic, weak, fool.
"My Lord," the man, Avery, whimpered, "Please! Please, forgive us!"
"Forgive?" it was a whisper, even so all of them heard it, "Forgive your abandonment? Your betrayal?"
Half of them flinched and Lucius truly didn't blame them. The magic was making it hard to breath even for him.
"My- my Lord, we would never... we never..." Avery stuttered and Lucius almost shook his head. The man had only himself to blame.
"If you would never, then why do you ask for forgiveness? If you never did, then there is nothing to forgive, is there?" if not for the magic around them Lucius would have almost believed that their Lord wasn't angry.
"I... I..." Avery bowed his head, still on the floor, and took one shuddering breath, "My Lord, we failed you."
"Yes. Yes, you did." it was a statement and Lucius didn't even hear the crucio that followed, but he heard the screams. Agonizing screams. And he was only thankful that their Lord had opted for the curse. If he had let his magic run free it would have been far worse.
A minute later, when the screams had turned into whimpered pleas, the curse was lifted. Avery continued to moan and twitch on the floor but no one made any move to help him. They liked living.
"Yes," their Lord continued, sounding almost sorrowful, "You have failed me," it was as if the simple thought was hard for their Lord, as if he couldn't understand how they could have done it and Lucius had to acknowledge the masterful acting. The shame his fellow Death Eaters were feeling was almost palpable, "However that is not the reason why I called you today. I called you here today to share with you wonderful news." their Lord stated grandly and stood from his throne. He stood in front of them looking and feeling larger than live and Lucius felt once more overwhelmed by the man he had chosen to follow, "Not only have I returned to power, ready to continue the fight for our cause, but we gained an invaluable ally!" Alley? Even he was a little surprised, he barely noticed the other Death Eaters' whispers. The Dark Lord didn't have allies. He had followers, some more useful than others but still followers. Lucius glanced at Teodred and saw understanding flickering in his eyes for a second or two before it was masked. "In this past few years," the Dark Lord continued and silenced the Death Eaters once again, "A new Dark Lord arose!" he declared and Lucius could feel the stunned disbelieve that went through every single one of them. "The two of us will show the Light that their time is up. We will bring in a new era where Magic will be free!"
The Death Eaters cheered, even if they were still completely stunned. However they were so completely concentrated on their Lord that only he and Teodred noticed the door behind their Lord's throne open and a smaller figure walk through.
Lucius felt himself freeze in shock. It couldn't be, could it? He glanced at Teodred and saw the same in his eyes. The same knowledge he had. Even so he couldn't believe what his mind was telling him, he had to be wrong.
None of the other Death Eaters noticed the small figure walk upon the dais where their Lord's throne was. They only noticed him when he stopped right beside the Dark Lord.
A fleeting smirk appeared on their Lord's lips and only because they were so close to the front did Lucius see the ravenous look that appeared in his Lord's eyes. Not that Lucius blamed him. The smaller, lite figure looked like sin personified. The trousers looked like they were painted on him. However there was something about the look that left him feeling slightly apprehensive. The whole attire was the right mix between seductive and frightening. He guessed that it was the mask. Death Eaters had masks, but that one... it just made it difficult to look at him. It was a blank slate. They couldn't even see the eyes, they could see nothing that indicated that the being behind it was human. And when the smaller male's magic saturated the air around them Lucius couldn't stop the shiver that went down his spine.
He knew the magic.
He heard a few Death Eaters moan and felt a moment of compassion for them. He didn't blame them, it was taking everything in him not to go down on his knees. He wanted to please the smaller man, he wanted to do everything, anything, as long as it pleased him. He felt the magic squeeze around them all one last time and then retreat.
A dark, seductive chuckle left the small figure.
"Hello, Death Eaters."
Lucius had been right all those months ago, there was only one other being that could possibly compare to his Lord, and now he was right in front of them.
Their Lord chuckled as well and took a step towards the smaller male, almost as if he could not stand to be away from him. He stopped right beside him, but his eyes swept over the lite figure and the hunger in them grew. Lucius had never seen his Lord looking quite so fascinated with anything else.
"My Death Eaters, I present to you, the Dark Lord Thanatos." Lucius didn't miss the pride in their Lord's voice and he was sure that Teodred hadn't either.
"Thank you for the warm welcome," the other Dark Lord said, even though the Death Eaters hadn't done anything aside from staring at him and whispering, "I am sure that my followers and I will have a great time."
At those words the shadows around the room started to move. Several Death Eaters that were closer to those shadows took several steps back, trying to put as much distance between them and the strange shadows without leaving their place.
The shadows grew and humanoid forms started to come from them, dripping shadows in their wake the closer they got to the dais. In a matter of seconds fourteen people were standing in a line in front of the throne, their faces hidden by the same blank mask.
They dropped to their knees, bowed their heads, and had their closed right fist over their chest and their left arm behind their back.
"Ouroboros!" they intoned as one.
They did all of it as one.
The word itself seemed to be saturated with their magic making it sound as if there were many more than just the fourteen kneeling in front of both Lords.
The Death Eaters started fidgeting as moments passed and no one said anything, both Lords just gazing at the sea of people in front of them. Though most of them couldn't help but stare at the followers of the second Dark Lord.
They had been in that same position for going on five minutes and none of them had even twitched a muscle. If Lucius didn't know any better he would say that they weren't even breathing.
"Now that introductions have been made you are dismissed. Go back home with the knowledge that victory is in our grasp!" their Lord exclaimed, gaining a cheer from the Outer Circle Death Eaters, "Inner Circle, stay behind." he ordered, turning around and siting back on his throne.
With an almost lazy flick of his wand he made a second throne appear, identical to the one he had. Lucius was sure that it meant something but he couldn't quite grasp what it was.
Moments later the room was empty, aside from both Dark Lords and, what Lucius suspected to be, both Inner Circles. His eyes strained to the kneeling followers, who still hadn't moved.
He felt Teodred shift beside him and the other Inner Circle Death Eaters move closer together. It pained Lucius somewhat to see their numbers so depleted. It was only Teodred Nott, Severus Snape, Barty Crouch Jr., Mikhail Jugson, Gregory Montague, Julius Pucey, Alexander Avery, Marius Avery, and himself. Out of all of them only Teodred and Alexander had been there at the beginning. They had been part of the Dark Lord's court. But there were so many missing. Most of them in Azkaban. It was sad to see their numbers so reduced. Though Lucius was certain that they would be rectifying that soon enough.
"You, my most loyal followers, my Inner Circle, will have the privilege of knowing the identity of Lord Thanatos." their Lord stated and Lucius could see the excitement the others were feeling. Though he just couldn't feel the same way. He knew who it was, he knew who was still kneeling at Lord Thanatos feet. He knew and part of him wished he didn't.
Lord Thanatos chuckled, and even though Lucius couldn't see them, he was sure that his eyes were sparkling with mischievousness. It was a look he was familiar with. He always had that particular look when he was playing with people.
The mask started to dissolve and the first thing he saw was those killing curse green eyes.
He hared a small gasp coming from his right and he glanced to his side, noticing that Severus looked incredibly pale. He remembered how his son had said that the new Lord and Severus did not get along.
When Lord Thanatos' eyes landed on Severus and a malicious smirk appeared on his lips Lucius felt a stab of pity for his old friend. He did not want to know what Lord Thanatos had running through his head.
"You have known him as Harry Potter," their Lord told them, "From this day forth he will be known as Lord Thanatos. I expect you to treat him as you treat me. He is above you. He is my equal." he stated fiercely, those blood red eyes promising pain if he were not obeyed.
"My- my Lord, please..." Avery, the youngest, looked thorn between glaring at the new Lord and looking imploringly at their Lord. Lucius shook his head, the younger Avery had always been much brasher than his father. From the look Alexander was throwing at his son Lucius knew that the man was worried for his safety. Their Lord had just told them to respect Lord Thanatos as if he were their Lord, and Lucius was sure that whatever was about to come out of Avery's mouth would be nothing of the sort, "He's but a filthy half-blood! He couldn't possibly be a Dark Lord. He's just worthless filth, just like his mud-blood mother!"
Lucius wasn't really sure what to expect, though it wasn't what actually happened.
The fourteen kneeling followers seemed to become shadows and disappeared from few, they hadn't moved, they hadn't seen any wands, they just melted into shadows. Then fourteen pillars rose around Avery and fourteen crucios left their wands.
It happened so fast that none of them had time to react, much less Avery who couldn't even move from his spot before he was hit. Though even if he had moved there was nowhere he could have dodged to avoid the curses. They surrounded him from all sides.
The agonizing scream that left Avery's mouth was bloodcurdling and Lucius could see Alexander grab his wand tightly, though he didn't interfere. None of them did. Lucius didn't think that any of them could have, even if they wanted.
The scream seemed to go one forever and all of them were so transfixed on what was happening that they hadn't seen the teen Lord move. But he was suddenly there. Inside the circle with the screaming, whimpering man and the curses stopped.
Avery continued to whimper. A small broken sound that Lucius had never heard coming from him. He couldn't quite stop the full body shudder that seized him. He couldn't imagine the agony it must have been to be under fourteen crucios at once.
The fourteen stood straight, hands behind their backs, and again were completely immobile. Lucius couldn't keep his eyes on them. They seemed almost unnatural. They moved and acted as one. They... they didn't seem to be individuals at all. It was almost... almost if they were an extension of Lord Thanatos, an extension of his will. It chilled him to the bone. It froze his blood in his veins knowing what his son had become. A look at Teodred showed him that he felt the same.
Lord Thanatos sat beside the trembling man on the floor and pulled his head into his lap. He started stroking his hair, almost cooing at him.
"Did that hurt?" he asked almost tenderly, a soft warm smile on his lips.
Avery whimpered a little louder and Lord Thanatos shushed him, never stopping his ministrations.
"I'm sorry you had to go through that." he sounded so honest, so sad, and Lucius wanted so bad to believe him. "Though it could have been worse." the magic in the room grew oppressive. It centered around Lord Thanatos and Avery. Avery's whimpers stopped and his eyes opened wide. They were filled with terror and Lucius felt another stab of pity for the man who used to be a friend. "It could have been so much worse." and Lucius believed him, "I could have taken your magic from you." there was a collective gasp and more than one of them took a step back. "Well, not really take it," Lucius let out a breath of relief that he hadn't realized he had been holding, "But I could stop you from accessing it, just like this." and the magic in the room surged forward, converging on Avery and the scream that followed would haunt their dreams for many nights to come. No one should ever sound like that. As if their very soul had been taken from them.
"Please!" he sounded so broken, worse than the few he had seen in Azkaban.
"Shh," Lord Thanatos continued to pet his hair and still had that warm smile on his lips, "I'll give it back to you." he assured him, "But you have to learn, we wouldn't want for this to happen again, would we?"
"No. No. No." Avery shook his head, "Please." he begged again and Lucius had to look away.
The magic filled the room again, then it was gone, as if it had never been there. Avery slumped on the floor, tears dripping form his eyes, his body still twitching. Lucius guessed that it was as much form the crucios as from the strain of having lost contact with his magic.
Lord Thanatos got back on his feet, glanced at Avery one last time and went back to his throne. His followers taking position in a single line, their stance just as straight backed and immobile as before.
Lucius took his place back, along with the other Death Eaters and only then did he see his Lord's expression. He had never see so much lust in someone's eyes. There was so much raw need that it left Lucius momentarily stunned.
Though he supposed it shouldn't have surprised him. Their Lord had always had a certain fascination with Lord Thanatos, he could see how the little scene they had witnessed would have affected him.
"As you must have realized," their Lord hissed in a deadly whisper, "Lord Thanatos and his followers know how to handle themselves." he sounded pleased beyond belief and Lucius knew that many of his fellow Death Eaters would be subject to Lord Thanatos for punishment if they failed their Lord.
Their Lord glanced at Avery, still on the floor, then looked at Alexander.
"Take your son, Alexander." he instructed, "He will not be able to cast anything for a day or two. It was a shock to his body and core."
Alexander bowed to their Lord.
"Yes, my Lord." he straightened back up and looked at Lord Thanatos who was practically sprawled on his own throne. He bowed again. A deep, respectful bow. "My Lord." he uttered and Lucius heard Teodred's breath hitch. Both Lords' eyes lit up with pleasure and a genuine smile spread on Lord Thanatos lips. Lucius could hardly look away. Lord Thanatos was beautiful, there truly was no other word for it.
"Dismissed." both Lords told them.
The Ouroboros melted back into shadows and Lucius was sure that as soon as he was home that he would find his son there as if he had never left.
The Death Eaters bowed to both Lords, Severus still looking quite pale, and left the throne room as fast as they could.
Lucius caught Teodred's eyes and nodded when he saw the silent question in them. Yes, they would need to talk. He needed to talk with someone who also had a loved one as Lord Thanatos' follower. He closed his eyes when he apparated away. He could only hope that his son knew what he was doing.
As soon as they were alone Harry laughed.
"That was fun." he exclaimed, jumping from his throne. He completely ignored the hungry eyes watching his every move.
"Fun... that isn't quite the word I would use." Tom remarked, leaning back on his throne, "Though it was interesting."
"Was it?" Harry asked coyly.
He blink when he suddenly found himself pushed against a wall. He hadn't even seen Tom move.
"Must you torment me so?" Tom hissed against his neck and he shuddered. He was barely able to contain the moan that wanted to escape.
"Torment you?" he was rather proud to be able to sound so unaffected. "I don't recall tormenting you. I was simply showing them what would happen if they crossed me."
He hissed when sharp teeth bit into his neck. He glared at Tom, and melted into the shadows, appearing behind his throne.
Tom turned around slowly, his blood red eyes narrowed. Though it did nothing to hide the lust in them.
"And you say you do not torment me." Tom remarked, "How long do you intend to have me chase you?" Harry could feel just how serious the question was. There was no playful teasing, though he could detect just a hint of longing.
"For as long as it takes." he answered truthfully. He wouldn't give in to Voldemort, not until he was sure that Voldemort truly meant it. He wouldn't become the other Dark Lord's plaything.
He smiled at the Dark Lord and melted into the shadows.
He was almost running up the steps. In any other situation he wouldn't have cared, but this once he couldn't be bothered. He had been right. He had been right. He wished with everything he was that he hadn't been. He didn't even knock. He almost stormed into the office, his breathing harsh, his eyes wide, and his skin pale.
Albus looked at him, his smile dropping from his face when he saw him.
"Severus?" he sounded so concerned and he felt the urge to laugh. Albus wasn't concerned enough! He had warned him! He had told him that they should have done something. "Severus, what happened?"
"The Dark Lord called." he stated, trying to calm himself down. He needed to have a level head. He needed to think clearly.
Albus seemed to age in front of him and Severus almost felt bad about the news he was about to give him, almost.
"So it has started." Albus whispered, sitting back down. "How did he look Severus? Was he at full strength?"
Severus took a seat and breathed in deeply.
"He... he seemed even more powerful than before. It looked as if he had been back for a while."
"He may have been. The stone was taken a few years ago. Only Merlin knows what Tom has been doing this past few years."
Severus couldn't quite contain the bitter chuckle that left him.
"Oh, no. Not only Merlin. We know what he has been doing these past few years." he stated grimly, "He has someone with him, someone he called an ally, someone he stated was a second Dark Lord."
All the color drained from Albus' face and Severus knew that the dread the old man was feeling would only rise once he knew just who the second Dark Lord was. Severus didn't think anyone would have seen that coming. Even him, who strongly believed the boy to be dark, would never have imagined him as another Dark Lord, at least not so soon.
"No." the word was laced with disbelieve and Severus didn't blame the old man. "Did you see this second Dark Lord?"
"I did, Albus." he confirmed grimly, "It's-"
He was burning, everything burned.
'Please, please, please, please! Stop it! Make it stop!'
It stopped and a chuckle raced through his mind. 'Naughty, naughty.' a child like voice whispered in his mind and for the first time in years he felt fear grip his heart.
He couldn't tell.
He should have known.
He opened his eyes, when had he closed them?, and saw Albus hovering over him. Worry etched on his face. He would have smiled at the old man if he could.
"C-can't say." he whispered hoarsely, his throat was raw. He grimaced when he tasted blood in his mouth.
"It's alright, my boy." Albus helped him to his feet, and conjured him a glass of water, "Just tell me what you can."
He drank the water, trying to focus his thoughts. He couldn't even think of ways to tell Albus who it was, not even hint at anything. He could feel his blood starting to heat up every time he even entertained the idea.
"The Dark Lord is back. His partner is named Lord Thanatos. They are as bad as each other and Lord Thanatos seems to enjoy punishing those that displease him even more than my Lord does."
"Tom let's him punish his followers?" Albus sounded surprised and Severus didn't blame him. The Dark Lord didn't share. Severus knew that. Severus believed that. That was, he believed that until that day. Until he saw how the Dark Lord looked at the brat.
He couldn't quite hide the disgust that marred his features. How could the boy let that monster touch him? How could the boy give himself to the man that killed his mother? Did power mean so much to him that he would whore himself out to the man that murdered his mother in cold blood?
"The Dark Lord called him his equal. Though Lord Thanatos has his own followers as well. They're called-" his blood boiled and he grunted in pain. It was nowhere near as painful as the first time but he was sure that if he tried to say more it would increase. 'No, no, no. It would ruin the surprise.' again that same voice in his mind whispered, followed by a giggle.
"I can't, Albus." he sounded almost defeated.
"I understand. Do not worry, my boy." Albus tried to assure him, "I'll call the old crowd together. I had warned most of them that something would probably happen. They are ready."
Severus closed his eyes. He didn't want Albus to see the despair in them.
How could he not worry? How could he not despair when their, supposed, only hope was warming the Dark Lord's bed?
A.N.: Hey all. Sorry, I was supposed to have this posted last week, but I had a few problems. Though it's here now and I hope you all enjoy it :) Some things that happened in this chapter will be explained or added to further down the line. Harry is struggling a little with his attraction to Tom, but he isn't in denial anymore, which is a step in the right direction, lol.
I hope you all had fun reading it and I'll try to update as fast as I can :)
Thanks for all your support over the years. It means a lot to me :)