I mentioned in the end notes that I would come back and edit this chapter to improve it; well I have to some extent. Enjoy!
Notes: Harry's POV and this chapter is plot heavy. I also went back and edited Chapter Five and Ten; some things were left out and they were driving me mad so if you want go back and have a look. Enjoy Lovelies!
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. I will make no money from the posting of this fic.
The expected pain never came; instead he was questioned under Veritaserum and given choices in regards to his future. He was shocked and it confused him and Bill hated to be confused. The Dark Lord was a mystery to him and he grudgingly admitted that he was curious about the snakelike man but after this encounter Bill was unsure if his curiosity would ever be sated now.
He feared he may have pushed the other away with his harsh questions and distrustful attitude. That thought did not make him feel as happy as it should; he felt wrong, he should not be interested in the man who tore his family apart but he was.
Groaning in frustration he lay down on his cot and snuggled into his new sweater, trying to quiet his mind so he could get some sleep. Hopefully, he could talk to the man again and this time he wouldn't chase him away; it seemed that for all his coldness the Dark Lord wanted someone to talk to.
HIs last conscious thought was that maybe that someone could be him.
Harry leaned against Draco as their little family, consisting of Lucius, Severus and Draco, listened to Marvolo's plan; it was a gamble, surely, but if it worked it would eliminate his father's need to hide in the shadows. Finally, the crimson eyed man would step into the spotlight and become the great political figure Harry knew he would be. All they needed to do was get Marvolo through his trial with a verdict of Not Guilty.
The only reason the Dark Lord's plan had a chance in hell of working was the considerable support Marvolo had accrued in the Wizengamot and the fact that Dumbledore was out of the way. Neville, the soon to be Lord Longbottom upon his seventeenth birthday, was at present currying favor amongst the remaining Light families and Harry was confident his brother in all but blood would be successful in steering those families to their way of thinking and voting.
After all now that Dumbledore was exposed as a liar, a thief and a co-conspirator to child abuse the Light had no one to follow, leaving them milling about like sheep without a shepherd; essentially they needed someone to follow now that their esteemed leader was gone. Neville would covertly drop hints and suggestions about the Dark Lord's true goals and how could they truly trust what Dumbledore said about the man?
Neville was simply planting the seeds in the Light families' heads; he would not shove rhetoric down their throats or strong arm them into voting in the Dark Lord's favor. It would be more effective if Neville gently planted the suggestion to them and allowed them to come to the right conclusion without Dumbledore's damned influence.
Lucius still had Fudge wrapped around his little finger and the Minister would follow the Malfoy Lord's lead in this. Much could be said for contributing campaign funds at the appropriate times. Not to mention the article Rita published went a long way in endearing the bumbling Minister to the Dark Lord, if not for Marvolo's assurances about Fudge's reasoning in denying his return the man would have likely been sacked.
Madam Amelia Bones was another issue but not of great concern. The older woman was unbiased and fair to a fault, leading them to believe that no matter how much she wanted to convict the Dark Lord she would not do so without appropriate evidence of the man's guilt.
Harry did feel a bit bad about their duplicity in regards to Madam Bones; she was everything that was right in the Ministry and they would use that to attain their goal. But this was war, a bloodless one at the moment but a war nonetheless, and sometimes you had to do what you had to do to succeed; the end in this case did justify the means.
The only family that would present a problem, according to Neville, was the Ancient and Noble House of Doge; the old codger Elphias was Albus' friend from way back at Hogwarts. The man truly thought the sun shined out of Dumbledore's arse and if the murmurings around the Wizengamot were anything to go by Elphias wanted to vote Not Guilty at Dumbledore's trial, completely ignoring the evidence against the ex-Headmaster.
Fortunately, the old idiot was too much of coward to go against the whole of the Wizengamot even for his best friend's sake. In the end if the fool wanted to vote against Marvolo's innocence then he could do as he saw fit but Elphias would be in little company; most of the Lords and Ladies were already slowly swaying over to the Dark's way of thinking.
These Lords and Ladies, for the most part, gave their support by leveraging their politcal weight and influence for their cause. Few of them actually were marked Death Eaters and from what Harry knew Marvolo preferred it that way; if they were not marked they could move about freely, collecting more support and fostering more connections for the Dark Lord.
Harry would be using his political clout, as well as his considerable popularity, to drop his own hints about Marvolo. Namely, if the man was so evil why was Harry alive and well? Why were no raids being conducted now that Dumbledore was out of power? The coup de grace on the ex-Gryffindor's part would be suggesting that Dumbledore orchestrated the raids and attacks merely to discredit the Dark Lord and spread panic.
After all where was the Headmaster's evidence of Marvolo's guilt? It was brilliant; from what his father said the Wizengamot had no evidence against him merely supposition and that was not enough to ensure a guilty verdict. Once Marvolo was found innocent the Wizengamot could not re-arrest or re-try the man; like the muggle courts the Wizengamot also had double jeopardy attached. So the key was to get the court to charge Marvolo with everything they could think of so in the future no new charges could be brought up.
If the crimson eyed man was asked during his trial where the Lestranges and Rookwood were Marvolo would claim ignorance, stating he had no clue where they were at the moment. And it would be true in a sense; when the Dark Lord went to stand trial the Lestranges and Rookwood would leave for a place unknown to Marvolo, allowing him to tell the truth or a version of it under Veritaserum.
Not to mention the Dark Lord already mentioned in the Skeeter article that he did not know where the escapees were. Harry was truly astounded sometimes at the depths of his father's planning. Seriously, it seemed the man was always ten steps ahead of all of them but he was the Dark Lord so it was expected.
Another reason Marvolo would deny knowing where his allies were was so Lucius would not fall into any kind of trouble for harboring the escaped convicts. As much as people respected Lucius they also were suspicious of him; everyone knew, even if they couldn't prove it, that Lucius was a supporter of the Dark Lord. Many people might go on a not so wild goose chase to try and pin something down on the Malfoy Lord.
Also, Marvolo would be moving into one of his properties before he turned himself into the Ministry, again circumventing his interrogators from learning the truth of where Marvolo was living for the past year and a half.
Harry was happy; he had no desire for his fiancée's family to get into trouble for being loyal to the cause and assisting their Lord and his allies.
Once his trial was completed and Marvolo was found innocent he would be standing in as Counsel for the four Death Eaters when the escapees turned themselves in; Auror Carrion would of course watch over the four Death Eaters while they were in custody, making sure no one poisoned them before they had their rightful day in court. Carrion would also attend to the Dark Lord when he turned himself in, ensuring that no one could hurt him in any way while in custody. Harry had not met the young Auror but Lucius assured him that the young Auror was loyal to their cause and he came from a known Dark damily; this settled most of Harry's nerves, at least his father would be in good hands.
The crimson eyed man even had a plausible explanation for the escape of the Lestranges and Rookwood from Azkaban. The Dark Lord planned to use the Dementor's abandonment as his reasoning for his followers escape. Essentially, his father would charm the Wizengamot and lead them to believe that the escapees were so confused they wandered out of their cells when the Dementors revolted and began to Kiss the remaining prisoners before they left the cursed island. Somehow the escapees found their way outside and in their confusion they somehow made it off the island; magic was a weird thing sometimes.
Any questions to the four Death Eaters would be met with lies even under Veritaserum, as long as they went over what they should say the four of them should be fine. The Dark Mark bound the Death Eaters to secrecy and ensured loyalty to the Dark Lord. When any questions were asked the Mark would nullify the truth potion, allowing whoever was being questioned to answer as they saw fit. Harry was astounded that the Mark could do all that, it truly was an amazing bit of spellwork on his father's part.
Another thing working for the four defendants was the fact that all of the people who witnessed the attack on Alice and Frank Longbottom were dead. So no living witnesses were floating around to provide testimony regarding what they saw that night. Fortunately for the Dark Lord's plans the Wizengamot would not use memories unless they were sworn to be accurate and as the Lestranges nor Rookwood ever had a trial Marvolo doubted they had sworn memories to use as they would have been deemed as unnecessary to collect all those years ago.
The other issue was the Dark Mark on the four convicts forearms. It could not be removed without harming the person's magical core as the Mark was bound to their magic but it could be covered up using Parsel magic. Harry knew the spell and potion combo his father wanted to use to hide the brands and it was incredibly complicated. But Harry was confident in his father's spell casting and Severus' talent in potions.
Marvolo then moved on to explaining another part of his plan; this part Harry agreed with entirely. Before the snakelike man turned himself in he would drink a Restorative Draught brewed by Severus. The draught would bring back the man's former devastatingly handsome good looks, giving them another, albeit small, advantage over their neigh sayers.
The wizarding world was fickle and flighty, often seeing only skin deep and looking no further. A good facade was important when dealing with their world, the evidence of this could be seen in the less than fair treatment of any magical beings that did not fit into the definition of normal; Hags, Werewolves, etc.
All the emerald eyed teen could do was thank Merlin that Marvolo was a handsome man; would be once again once the potion took effect. Harry was looking forward to it. He often thought he resembled the sixteen year old Tom Riddle that emerged from the diary in second year. Maybe a bit shorter and slimmer but the resemblance was close enough for most to believe Marvolo was Harry's real father.
That brought happiness to the raven's heart. He finally fit in somewhere with people who accepted him and it wasn't acceptance for the sake of it. Severus would never warm up to someone for anything other than his own desire to. Lucius would sweet talk you but the aristocrat would never inconvenience himself unless he truly cared and Harry knew the elder blonde had gone out of his way on several occasions for Harry's sake.
And Draco, well Draco was the most special and surprising thing in his life aside from Marvolo. The tall blonde made him happy and he felt loved when he thought of the grey eyed male. It was a beautiful feeling, the feeling of being completely loved and he cherished it deeply. Anyone who tried to take these men away from him would meet a dreadful end.
His father's voice brought him out of his musings; "Harry, we need to find out what Arthur and Shacklebolt have decided to do. If they chose to take the oath we need to administer them. If they chose one of the other options, which is imprisonment or death, we can take care of that as well."
"I would like to take care of everything today before I take the Restorative Draught; Severus is not sure how long the potion will take to bring me back to my former appearance or if the process will be painful, leaving me weak and needing time to recover from my transformation."
"Of course father. As I recall Bill will be taking the oath and staying here in the Manor, correct?" A curt nod from the crimson eyed man was his affirmative response to Harry's question. Lucius spoke up now; "Marvolo, what exactly will you have them say? It is quite a risk letting the elder Weasely and Shacklebolt loose if they chose the oath."
"We have to make sure they cannot turn around and hurt our cause or us in anyway." Severus responded quickly; "I've thought about it and in this case it would do to be broad; cover everything and leave out nothing by not being specific. For example, have them swear they will not interfere knowing or unknowingly in the Dark Lord's plans."
"That should cover them passing on any information dealing with Marvolo, the Death Eaters, our allies or even Harry." Marvolo looked thoughtful before speaking; "Indeed, that would be for the best. Now for this I just need Harry to accompany me. Severus will you begin the finishing touches on the potion so I can take it tonight before I retire?"
The intimidating dark man nodded, kissing Lucius on the cheek, before he made his way to the potions lab in the Manor. Draco watched his second father leave with a look of barely concealed curiosity and longing in his eyes. Seeing these emotions in the normally stoic Malfoy heir caused the Dark Lord to chuckle lightly; "Go on Draco. I'm sure Severus could use your assistance."
The younger blonde stood quickly and almost made it out the door before turning around and quickly kissing Harry on the mouth before bidding goodbye to the others. Lucius laughed outright as soon as Draco left the room; "My son is more Severus' than my own despite his looks." Marvolo and Harry joined him and laughed quietly, knowing that Lucius' words were true.
Once they calmed Lucius stood and mentioned an appointment with the other Lords on their side. Today would be the day the blonde Lord would discuss the plan for Marvolo to turn himself in and stand trial. Harry knew most would be hesitant to go along with it but all of them would in the end; the Dark Lord was not stupid and if their Lord believed that this plan would work they would have faith in him.
Both males sat in Marvolo's study while the elder sorted through his thoughts, soon enough the tall snakelike man was standing, gesturing for Harry to join him. The walk to the cells was short and quiet, each of them consumed by their own thoughts. The emerald eyed teen was thinking about his upcoming wedding and all the details that entailed.
He wouldn't even try to discover what his father was thinking of; that would only lead to madness. For all he knew of Marvolo he also knew there was so much he had no idea about; the man was truly an enigma but he loved him nonetheless for it. You don't live the life Marvolo did and not come out with scars and damage. Harry was just happy the crimson eyed man was starting to come out of his shell a little bit.
In what felt like the blink of an eye they were standing in front of Shacklebolt's cell. The younger waited for his father to undo the wards surrounding the door before they both stepped inside; Shacklebolt watched them wearily, probably waiting for them to go back on their word and begin the torture.
Harry was sorry to disappoint Kingsley and stepped forward; "Kingsley, we've given you several days to make your decision. What do you choose? "The dark skinned man looked pained for a moment; "I would like to remain here. I will not take an oath and allow myself to be bound by it. If I see something wrong I will not back down from it and look the other way."
The Dark Lord stepped forward; "Then you've made your choice, Shacklebolt. You will remain here until I achieve my victory. Once that happens you will be released, in the mean time you will be fed and cared for. If you need anything, such as books, let the elf looking after you know."
Kingsley looked a bit surprised at the offer of books but slowly regained his bearing; "Of course, if that's all then." Harry snorted in amusement; it was quite funny that Kingsley was dismissing the Dark Lord; "Kingsley, I think you will be quite surprised when you're released and see how much better out world has become under the Dark Lord's leadership."
"Dumbledore was not a good man, not even a decent man. He was monster and he has been found guilty by the Wizengamot but you wouldn't know that as you don't get the Prophet here but I'll send the back issues so you can see with you own eyes what I know is true; Dumbledore was a manipulative, lying bastard who treated his people like pawns or lambs for slaughter."
"Now if you excuse me my father and I have other business to attend to. I have a few last words for you Kingsley; think for yourself and see with your own eyes, you'll find the truth for yourself. When you do I will be more than happy to explain my reasons for joining the Dark Lord and leaving the Light." Shacklebolt just stared, not saying a word but Harry saw the wheels turning in the intelligent man's eyes.
Knowing this was the best he would get from the Auror the raven turned and left the cell. Marvolo re-warded the door and stepped to the next cell. Arthur Weasely looked horrid, thin and beaten down; Harry almost felt pity for the man. He knew the elder red head was a good man albeit naive to trust Dumbledore so readily.
The Dark Lord stepped forward and asked Arthur what he chose to do. The broken man replied that he would take the oath and leave them be, he just wanted to spend time with his remaining son Charlie. Harry broke in and explained that Bill was still alive as well along with Percy. The change was instantaneous; Arthur's eyes lit up and a small smile broke out on his face.
The Dark Lord rolled his crimson eyes and handed Arthur his wand, a calculated risk but both Harry and Marvolo knew the red head would not attack them. When the imprisoned man lifted his wand with an expectant expression on his face the Dark Lord began to speak, his Yew wand raised in the same position as Arthur's.
"I, Arthur Septimus Weasely, swear my loyalty and life to the Dark Lord Voldemort, also known as Tom Marvolo Riddle. I will make no moves against the Dark Lord or any of his agents. I will not stand in the way of any of his plans be it willingly or unknowingly."
"I will not involve myself, directly or indirectly, in the organization known as the Order of the Phoenix. I will not raise my wand or attack the Dark Lord or any of his allies. I will not speak, or communicate in any way, anything that may be detrimental to the Dark Lord's plans, the Dark Lord himself or any of his allies. My failure to abide by these rules will result in my death by strangulation. So I have spoken, so mote it be."
Once Arthur stopped speaking the familiar white light glowed between Marvolo and the red head before it flashed and slammed into each man. The red head gasped before his breathing regulated while the Dark Lord looked unaffected but Harry knew the man was a bit unstable at the moment and would be until the Oath settled itself in his core.
Knowing his father needed a moment Harry took control; "Tempy!" The little elf as always popped into the cell; "Yes, master Harry! What can Tempy be doing for yous?" The emerald eyed teen smiled at his little elf; "Tempy, please take Arthur back to the Burrow and make sure he has enough food to get him by for a few days."
The little elf nodded and moved to Arthur's side and with a crack both of them were gone. Marvolo turned and left the cell door; Harry followed behind him and left the door open now that no one was inside. He watched his father hesitate outside of Bill's cell and it made him wonder why Marvolo hesitated like that.
Did the crimson eyed man's interest in Bill stem from more than pure curiosity? It was something to consider. Now that Marvolo's emotions were awakening it may bring about a desire to have a partner, someone to talk to and hold.
However, his father's choice certainly could have been better; Bill's family was killed by the Dark Lord well that wasn't entirely true. Rabastan had killed Ginny, at least he thought he did but then again the little bitch could still be alive and acting as Rabastan's newest pet. Greyback would eventually kill Ronald but for now the bastard was alive if a bit lacking in body parts.
So really the only family Bill lost was his whore of a mother and the Dark Lord hadn't killed her merely gave the order to attack the Headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix. Maybe Harry should inform Bill of this fact; the red head may be more open to Marvolo's interest if he knew the crimson eyed man hadn't killed his whole family.
Indeed, Harry would do just that once the oath was given and Bill was out of the dungeons. The raven anted his father to be happy and he would do whatever he could to make his father happy. He had a feeling Bill would make Marvolo happy and allow him to open up in a way the elder man couldn't with Harry, Draco, Lucius or Severus.
Plan in hand they finally stepped into Bill's cell. The oath went quickly and before the red head could speak to the Dark Lord the red eyed male was gone, leaving a confused Harry and disappointed looking Bill behind. Harry looked hard at the blue eyed man; "I don't know what you did to my father but rest assured we will talk once you've showered and rested a bit."
"Trust me Harry I have no clue what I did but I want to figure it out. Just give me a bit of time and then we can talk all you want." The raven nodded and called Tempy, once again giving orders to his elf. Once Tempy and Bill were gone the teen began to think more on Bill and his father's reactions to the other.
Something happened that much was clear but what was it? Marvolo wasn't on to avoid people, nope, the man didn't believe in being subtle if he had a problem he would meet it head on and generally with violence.
By the fact that he ignored Bill and left the man's presence as soon as he could made Harry think it had something to do with emotions and feelings. If that was the case then it could be difficult; the Dark Lord was not emotionally in touch and if he felt hurt he would close off and revert back to the way he was.
That was something Harry could not abide by and resolved to make it right, whatever it was. Leaving the now empty cell the raven made his way to his room to think about what he would say to Bill to make the red head see that Marvolo was a changed man and truly did care for people; hopefully Bill would listen to him and keep an open mind.
I am not pleased with this chapter; it feels a bit scattered to me but alas it is the best I can do but at some point I'll come back when my muse isn't being a twat so I can improve it.
All Mistakes Are My Own!