Well, here is it, the last chapter of Power of the Dark Side posted before my birthday on the 11th... now you know what the best gift would be, right? That's right, Fan art on my deviantart profile... but I'll settle for lots of reviews for this and my other stories that I update just before my birthday on Thursday. So please, show your appreciation! Review!

Chapter Two

An Interesting Development

July 24th, 1991. Seven Years Later…

Darth Veneficus ducked, twisting to slash at the lightsaber training droid he was facing early this morning. Springing to flip over the droid, the eleven year old Sith apprentice stabbed, pouring his rage and hatred into the strike, snapping back and reorienting himself to counter attacked when his crimson blade was parried. The droid was completely void of personality, simply built and instructed to attempt to kill the young boy with the yellow lightsaber it was constructed with, while Veneficus struggled to combine the raw fury of Juyo with the mobility and fluidity of Ataru.

Another leapt into the air, and Veneficus kicked the droid in the head, slashing its Lightsaber arm at the same time, severing the limb completely and knocked the armless body to the ground. Defeated, the droid simply powered down, and the whirring and sparking of the mechanical body growing silent as the semblance of life left it. Shutting down his saber, the young Sith left the enclosed courtyard, walking toward the entrance of Darth Millennial's secluded manor in the city of Great Hangleton, owned completely legally under the Sith Lord's disguise of Alexandre Blackmoore, a wealthy and reclusive noble from a conveniently extinct line of British lords, and Veneficus was his adopted heir, Galen Malkaris.

At first Veneficus was rather resentful of them returning to Earth, especially after Millennial showed him some of the wonders of the greater portion of the galaxy, but this was far better in the end for them both. As Millennial couldn't go out and about too much for fear of drawing unwanted attention, the young boy was sent out often to act as a go between his master and those whom they dealt with, allowing Veneficus to learn to adopt personas and manipulate others with supreme ease.

Once inside the spacious manor, Veneficus quickly headed to his small quarter and toweled off, changing out of his soaked training garments and into a light tunic and trousers before heading for the library and his master's study. He had fallen into a kind of routine between being sent out to do his master's bidding, consisting of studying, training and learning all he could about the Earth and the galaxy at large.

This particular morning, however, Veneficus entered the library to find his master staring at a giant barn owl that had apparently flown into the room. The three eyed mutant glanced at him as he entered, then gestured at the bird, "It has a letter for you, my apprentice, under your old name…"

Veneficus froze, confused out of his mind. They had done everything to erase all knowledge of the boy Harry Potter from the world, Vernon, Petunia and Dudley Dursley becoming the first three murders of Darth Veneficus, initiating him officially as a Sith Lord and an heir to the legacy of the Darth Bane. But there the letter was, shining green ink clearly writing out the name that they had supposedly blotted out of existence.

Mr. H. Potter

The Largest Guest Room

Blackmoore Manor

Great Hangleton

The envelope was thick and heavy, made of yellowish parchment, with no stamp. Turning the envelope over, and the Force steadying his nerves, Darth Veneficus saw a purple wax seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger, and a snake surrounding a large letter H. Ripping the envelope open, the young Sith unfolded the letter, written on the same yellowish parchment.


Headmaster: ALBUS DUMBLEDORE (Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)

Dear Mr. Potter,

We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.

Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31. A representative will arrive after we receive your response to guide you in collecting your books and equipment.

Yours sincerely,

Minerva McGonagall,

Deputy Headmistress

Veneficus glanced at his master, one eyebrow raised, "Is this some sort of sick joke?"

Millennial just kept staring at him in silence, slight amusement on his face mixed with his typical analytical gaze. Veneficus used the Force to send the letter over to his master to read while he wracked his mind to figure out how this could have happened, who could know his past that they hadn't dealt with?

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Darth Millennial waited after he quickly read the letter for his apprentice to regain his composure. Darth Millennial had taken the past years on the backwater planet to familiarize himself with many of the languages of this planet as well as cultural and historical information so that he could blend into the world and vanish if necessary. Millennial did not expect Jedi or anyone who may threaten the Sith Order to come this far into the Unknown Regions, but paranoia had saved him before in the past.

Meanwhile he had fervently trained his apprentice, and was impressed with how well Veneficus progressed. He had taken to the lightsaber he had acquired from Darth Cognus like a fish to water, mastering the different concepts and maneuvers with ease. What the boy lacked in strength he made up for in speed and ferocity. Darth Millennial only saw that the boy lacked a certain amount in his defensive skills, but if the boy was worth the time he was being given, he would realize this fact soon enough and correct it.

The boy finally stopped his frustrated blustering and spoke rationally, "So, what do we do about this?"

Returning to the moment, Darth Millennial met his apprentice's eyes, "I see no problem in allowing this... representative... to come. If anything we can learn who knows about your past and eliminate them if necessary, or use them if they have anything of value to offer. I suggest you respond and allow this bird to return the message to this McGonagall person…"

"Very well master…"Veneficus replied, and left to compose the response, the owl taking off to follow. Millennial was left alone in the library, and he too decided to depart the room, his studies driven from his mind for the moment. The mutant made his way to his private study, and opened the door with the subtle touch of the Force, revealing the cache of Sith Holocrons and manuscripts that had been gathered or created by all the Sith Masters since the time of Darth Bane.

The power of the Dark Side was always strong here, and Millennial only occasionally allowed his apprentice to enter, and only for brief periods of time, as they boy would not be able to resist the temptation the massive amount of knowledge posed. Not that Millennial blamed the boy, but he was simply not ready yet for most of the secrets that the study held. Millennial sat in his high back leather chair and slipped into a meditative trance, pondering on the letter his apprentice had mysteriously received.

Sinking into the ebbs and flows of the Force, Darth Millennial surrendered to the visions that flew through his mind. Prominently feature in the mass of potential future events that swam in his conciseness was a very old man, with white hair and a long beard, wearing the most ridicules robes that Millennial had ever seen. Worst still, the old man felt like a Jedi, yet radiated that same strange power that had held the shield protecting his apprentice all those years ago. A dangerous foe indeed if Millennial knew anything from his many times of looking into the future. All the other figures he saw seemed to pale in comparison to the threat to the Sith Order that that man was, and Millennial knew if they ever encountered this man, he and Veneficus must tread carefully to destroy him without exposing themselves.

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Veneficus tried to put the mysterious owl and its letter out of mind for the next week, but inevitably the thought would intrude in his meditations and studies. He would not allow anything to break his concentration during his lightsaber training, as that would mean mortal peril, and he therefore spent a lot of time drilling sequences over and over, or sparring with a droid or Master Millennial to keep the irritating thought from his mind. He was still far from perfecting his hybrid form, but Millennial was clearly impressed with his progress, even if the three eyed human did not express it.

Veneficus was studying a small datapad on the rise of Darth Bane when the unknown representative arrived, knocking on the large oaken door. Millennial was busy in the library, and Veneficus thought it may have something to do with disguising his rather noticeable third eye from the visitor, so the younger sith stowed his datapad away and answered the door, using the Force to cover the more obvious effects of the Dark Side from his body. It was a simple task; having been one of the first things his master had drilled into him before allowing him to venture out of the manor to perform missions for Millennial.

Opening the door slowly, Veneficus saw a greasy haired, pale man standing there in a flowing black cloak, not too dissimilar from the ones that he and Millennial wore when they were on out in the more remote parts of the galaxy. The man looked down his hooked nose at Veneficus with a barely restrained sneer before speaking, "Harry Potter, I presume…" he said in a bored voice.

"And if I am?" Veneficus replied, not liking this person immediately, and finding it difficult to conceal his displeasure.

The man didn't answer, but continued after a short pause, "I am here to speak with you and your guardians about your Hogwarts letter and acquiring you supplies for September the first…"

Veneficus checked his senses in the Force about the man. He seemed unarmed and to be telling the truth, so he opened the door wider to admit him. "My guardian, Lord Blackmoore is in the library, I'll show you to him, if you'll follow me…" he purposely let the sentence hang, tempting the man to fill in his name. The man did not, but simply followed Veneficus to the library, where they knocked softly on the door.

"Enter," came the voice of Millennial from within, and Veneficus stepped aside to let the man enter before him.

Darth Millennial sat in his usual chair before the large desk, several books propped open before him. Veneficus could sense the Dark Side concealing the obvious unusualness of his master, and he was not surprised that the unknown man did not even notice.

"Greetings, Sir," the man said in a neutral voice, "I am Professor Severus Snape, Potions Master of Hogwarts, and the representative who has been asked," he drew the word out with mild sarcasm, "to guide young Mr. Potter in his introduction to the magical world."

"I see," Millennial responded, equally neutral, "And we are to exactly believe what this letter," he held up the letting addressed to Harry Potter, "states about a school of… magic?"

"Yes, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is not some joke meant to rob people of money and time, but is indeed a school of magic, which does exist…"Professor Snape said, clearly used to answering the question.

"You don't mind me harboring some disbelief to this, as it is a rather hard concept to accept…" Millennial said offhandedly, playing the character of a skeptic majestically.

"Understandable, most muggles, or non magical folk, don't really understand the concepts of magic, and Mr. Potter's case is definitely not unique," he again drew the word out, "but if you allow a small demonstration, I can validate what Hogwarts claims."

Millennial nodded, and Snape drew a long stick from his robe pocket, pointing it at one of the other library chairs, muttering what sounded like Latin and causing the chair to transform with a loud popping sound into a fully grown pig, and back again with another series of words. Veneficus was impressed, but also upset that he did not find or realize that the man had been armed the entire time.

"Impressive," Millennial said, continuing to play his part, "I only wonder where and how we are to get the necessary things for Harry to attend your prestigious school… one doesn't simply walk into London and find a store with magic books." He added with an amused smile.

"I am available to take Mr. Potter, and yourself if you desire to accompany us, to the place where you will find everything you need to attend your seven years at Hogwarts, and money will not be a problem in this case," he added, as if to forestall a question that Veneficus knew Millennial wouldn't have asked, "Mr. Potter has a small fortune left from his parents, set aside specifically for his use in schooling, before they died."

"Well," Millennial said, standing and offering his hand to Snape, "I can't say I have any objections, and as Mr. Harry Potter's guardian, I officially grant him permission to attend Hogwarts."

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Severus couldn't quite put his finger on it, but something felt off about Harry Potter and his guardian, who were following Severus as he led them to the entrance of the Leaky Cauldron after arriving in London via the Knight Bus to London. There was some sort of unnatural coldness to the boy, and his face was paler than Severus', like he never had seen sunlight in his life. They were both well toned, if their tailored suits gave any indication, and Severus couldn't shake the uneasiness he felt whenever Lord Blackmoore's eyes met his, as if there was something he was missing. And then there was the eerie calmness in which they both accepted what Severus explained to them about the Magical world. It was unnerving to say the least, but Dumbledore had ordered him to escort Harry bloody Potter around Diagon Alley for an afternoon, and Severus really had no choice in the matter.

At least the reaction of Harry Potter entering the Leaky Cauldron entertained Severus somewhat, as the entire bar seemed to spring on him, shaking his hand and bowing to him. Eventually Lord Blackmoore cleared his throat loudly and everyone looked toward the intimidating man. "As much as young Harry may enjoy your fawning attention…" the man said coldly, eyes glinting like ice, "We have important business to take care of, and you are all holding us up, now… clear away and let us pass."

It was a tone unlike anything Severus heard before, commanding with an extra edge that cut like a razor. The crowd dispersed, opening the way to the back door and out into Diagon Alley. Severus activated the gateway, before guiding them in silence through the throng of shoppers toward the marble building of Gringotts bank. The goblins scrutinized the key to the Potter inheritance vault that Severus has given them for a long while before taking the three humans down to the subterranean cache of gold set aside specifically for Harry Potter's time at school.

The boy looked pointedly at his guardian when the door was opened, as if silently asking permission to enter and take a portion of his gold, and apparently received an answer, because Severus saw no change in the disturbing man's pale face as the boy piled fistfuls of gold into a leather pouch supplied by the goblin who had led them down.

Back on the surface, Lord Blackmoore turned to Severus. "So, now that we know where to go and how to access my ward's wizarding funds, may we be left to our own devises as we explore this interesting marketplace?"

"As much as I'd love to grant that request," Severus replied moodily, "I have strict orders to, at minimum, escort Mr. Potter to Ollivanders to obtain his wand, at which time I will no longer be responsible for guiding him, and may leave you to your own devises…"

Potter frowned, but Lord Blackmoore simply smiled passively, "Well, perhaps that should be our first purchase, so that you may depart with the most possible haste…"

Severus grunted, and turned toward the crowded mass of bodies in the narrow street, heading for Ollivanders.

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Millennial declined the invitation to enter the wand shop, opting to wander for a short while and gain his bearings in the foreign market. The pallor skinned Snape was indeed an unpleasant man, clearly prejudiced against Veneficus for reasons unknown, but Millennial decided that was for the boy to find out in his own time and manner.

As the Dark Lord walked down the crowded street, masking himself with the power of the Force and casting a shroud of unobtrusiveness around himself so that others gave him no second thought, he felt drawn to a particular side street off Diagon Alley. The street veered off into a darkened avenue between a pair of large buildings, and the Sith Lord could see several unsavory persons lurking out of natural sight. The sign nearby read 'Knockturn Alley' and Millennial felt the scant trace of the raw Dark Side somewhere in its depths.

Suddenly, a powerfully built blond man drew the mutant Sith Lord's gaze, walking with a gate of self importance and being trailed by an almost miniaturized version of the same said man, clearly the man's offspring. The pair was heading directly for the same street that Millennial was observing. Quietly, the Dark Lord trailed after the father and son, listening in on their short conversation when the boy complained about some childish fancy.

"Not now Draco…" the parent said sternly, staring the boy down and pausing in his stride, "I have important business at Borgin and Burkes before we can do any shopping, and anyway we're coming back in a few weeks when your mother is available to acquire your school supplies…"

"But Father, I…" the boy interrupted, but with another cold glare the boy froze under his father's domineering gaze, "Yes, Father." The boy finally said.

Just at that time, Snape and Veneficus returned, and unmasking his presence, the elder blond-haired man glanced in their direction. Clearly recognizing Snape, he changed directions and headed over, his son obediently in tow.

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Draco smiled as Lucius led him to his godfather, Severus Snape. The happiness of getting to speak with his beloved godfather was abated by the Potion Master's company. The younger of the two was clearly Draco's age, but he and the older man had something… off… about them. They were both pale, whiter even that Severus, and they had a wary, untrusting sort of look about them, as if they expected to be attacked at a moment's notice.

"Ah, Severus, how unexpected to see you today," Draco's father drawled casually as they approached. "I was under the impression you weren't to be a Diagon until later this week…"

Severus clearly did not look like he was enjoying the company of the other two Draco noticed, and eagerly engaged Lucius in conversation, "Ah Lucius, yes I had planned that, but Dumbledore has appointed for me to help guide young Harry Potter around Diagon Alley today, with his guardian…"

The older man did not acknowledge Severus introducing him, but Draco was too busy gaping at the boy to notice. Under the long fringe of messy black hair was indeed the jagged scar that marked the Boy-who-lived. Draco was impressed, somewhat. The boy clearly did not know who he or his father was, and neither did it seem had his guardian. They just stood in silence, eyeing Draco and his father until Lucius held out a congenial hand to the elder of the pair. "Lucius Malfoy," he said coolly, and the other man took it briskly in return.

"Alexandre Blackmoore…" he replied, an icy tint to his voice, as though he was above such pleasantries.

"Blackmoore?" Lucius said, slightly confused, "As in the Pureblood family Blackmoore that was completely killed off during the war with Grindlewald?"

Neither Potter nor his guardian reacted to the veiled accusation. "Some… ah, rumors were greatly encouraged to hide our family from the ravages of war…"Lord Blackmoore replied, smirking slightly as Severus raised an eyebrow.

"Well," Lucius said, growing uneasy, "We have some business to attend to, so we must beg your pardon at our abrupt departure. Perhaps I'll send you an owl to formally engage correspondence with you and yours Lord Blackmoore. Good day Severus, Mr. Potter…" and with that the Malfoy patriarch retreated, not so softly pulling Draco in tow as they went down Knockturn Ally.

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Millennial watched as father and son Malfoy retreated into the gloom of the side alley, leaving only Snape to disturb them. "Well, Professor, Harry has acquired his wand, and as that was all you needed to oversee, you are free to depart as well."

"That I am…" Snape replied, but the Dark Lord felt through the Force that the man wasn't truthful, and was under orders to oversee their entire journey through the wizarding market. That was unacceptable, so Millennial pushed out lightly with the Force, touching the mind of the potions Master with an edge of dominion as he spoke, "You presence is no longer required, and you will return to your home, not remembering the specifics of your visit with us."

Not bothering to answer, Snape turned and left, heading for the entrance to the main part of the alley, disappearing through to the dingy bar where they had entered.

"Now that he's dealt with…" Millennial said as Veneficus grinned, "We can investigate this place to our own satisfaction. But first, something the other man, Malfoy said has me concerned, and we need to investigate back at Gringotts…"

"Of course Master…" Veneficus said, following dutifully as the Sith Master led the way back to the white marble building.

Once inside, Millennial found an unoccupied Goblin and strode up to the high desk, "May I help you sir?" the goblin said irritably and the Sith Lord smiled slightly before replying, "Alexandre Blackmoore, I'd like to access the records of my family's vault, as well as check on the assets of my ward and heir Harry Potter."

The goblin frowned, but beckoned the pair of them and led them to one of the back offices. Opening the door for them, the goblin announced, "Nagnok is the representative in charge of the vaults in question, he will be more than able to assist in anything you wish to do today…" and with that, the goblin simply walked away.

"Enter," came a goblin voice from within, and Millennial obeyed, quickly followed by Veneficus. Sitting at a barren and highly polished mahogany desk was a goblin, much older than the one that they had addressed out in the main part of the bank. "How might I assist you today?" he said as they entered, more pleasantly than Millennial had expected.

"Alexandre Blackmoore," Millennial said, taking a seat across the desk as the goblin waved him to do so, "I'm here to claim the vaults left by my family when we fled the rise of Grindlewald…"

"Ah, the Blackmoore vaults have been sealed for far too long, and Gringotts would be very pleased to continue business with you and your family," Nagnok said, nodding happily, "However, we must, for the insurance of the vault, check to see if you are indeed who you claim, as many have tried to claim lost or forgotten vaults in the past…"

Millennial smiled as he lazily waved a hand in front of the Goblin's face, "You have performed your test and have determined that I am indeed heir to the Blackmoore family and all that they own…"

The goblin's eyes glazed for a moment, before he slowly repeated the message, finally snapping out of the trance. "Well, now that your identity is assured, we may look through our records for all the vaults you inherit Lord Blackmoore."

"While you are doing so, would it be too much trouble to also find out what Mr. Harry Potter, as my ward and heir, also inherits from his deceased family?" Millennial said, gesturing at Veneficus.

The goblin scrutinized the boy, eyes sweeping his hairline, before nodding, "Not a problem at all, your Lordship. One moment please." The goblin stood, and leaving them in his office, bustled out of the room.

Veneficus looked confusedly at Millennial after the goblin left, "Master, why do we care about the funds of some dead family?" he asked calmly, and Millennial spread out his senses in the Force to determine when the goblin would return as he answered.

"Because my young apprentice, if the family fortune of Blackmoore are mine, no one can dispute my identity as Lord Alexandre Blackmoore, in either this magical community or the world at large. I will inherit all their wealth, as well as anything that would have belonged to them, such as property and other important possessions that will designate me as who I claim to be." He explained.

"Nothing without purpose…" Veneficus murmured as the goblin returned, returning to his seat and pulling out several small golden keys before addressing either of them.

"You, Lord Blackmoore, have inherited over a dozen different vaults, but as most are minor family vaults they have been automatically transferred into your larger vaults, leaving the three largest. The Blackmoore family vault," He pushed one key toward Millennial, "the Lorisha royal family vault," a second, equally small key joined the first, "and finally the rather large Ravenclaw vault," a third key, slightly larger and silver slid to meet the other two. "Together the total wealth equals over a fifth of the active capital of Gringotts."

Millennial took the three keys and pocketed them, as the goblin then turned to address his apprentice, "You, Mr. Potter, have the Potter family and inheritance vaults, and are in possession of the key already. In addition, from your godfather, Sirius Black, you inherit the Black Family vault, as the surviving members are incarcerated for life. As you are unofficially head of the Black family by inheritance, you also receive the LeStrange vault," two keys were pushed to Millennial, on a small key ring with the Potter crest stamped on it. "Also, by bloodline, you inherit the Gryffindor vault, and the Perevell vault," two of the old fashioned silver keys were attached to the key ring. "And finally, by means of conquest, you inherit the Riddle, Slytherin, and Gaunt vaults for defeating the Dark Lord as an infant." Two gold keys and a third silver joined the growing amount on the ring.

"Approximately, Mr. Potter, you own or represent over one third of the active moving wealth within this building, and have many properties and investments that would keep you living very comfortably for the rest of your natural life." Nagnok said with a steely grin.

"Wow…" Veneficus said, unable to control his reaction.

"As Mr. Potter's standing guardian," Millennial said, and Nagnok turned back to him, paying far more attention than he had previously, "I would like to merge several of his vaults' contents for convenience's sake."

"Of course Lord Ravenclaw, which vaults do you have in mind?" the goblin replied respectfully.

Together Millennial and Veneficus decided to merge the Potter vaults into the Gryffindor vault and the LeStrange into the Black, as well as the Riddle and Gaunt Vaults uniting into the Slytherin vault. That left him with four vaults for them to observe as well as Millennial's three vaults.

The carts took them to the deepest vaults first, down at the very bottom for the Slytherin, Gryffindor and Ravenclaw vaults. The sheer mountains of money were rather impressive, the Dark Lord would admit, but he was far more interested in the many tomes and volumes housed in the ancient vaults. Finding an enchanted trunk that had a magically expanded interior, the two Sith Lords started the slow process of sorting out what books they would take with them back to Blackmoore Manor and what they would leave as unnecessary at this time.

During this time, Darth Millennial came across the Ravenclaw signet ring, and choosing to fully engage the role of Lord Ravenclaw, slipped the ring on his finger. The ring started to fight him, trying to slay him with powerful magic, but Millennial had anticipated something of the sort, and simply overpowered the artifact with the unlimited power of the Dark Side, forcing the ring top accept him as its new owner and officially setting him as Lord Ravenclaw.

The two Sith also found several interesting items during their time in the depths of Gringotts, including the deed to Hogwarts School in Millennial's vault, along with several Force sensitive crystals and talismans, and finally a very old cup with small badgers as handles in the new Black vault. Veneficus was hesitant to remove it, but at the same time felt drawn to it, so Millennial snatched it for research. At he grasped the cup it gave off a strong dark aura, that Millennial felt that he should have recognized, but couldn't quote place.

Finally, Millennial filled a rather large pouch with as much gold as he could put into the magically expanded bag, and both he and his apprentice left the bank, bypassing the dragon guardian at the bottom of the caverns, and back out to the winding streets of Diagon Alley. They had arrived with Snape during the late morning, and it was now almost evening, and a few of the shops were looking deserted. Luckily, many of the shops seemed to be opened late into the night, so the two Lords of the Sith strolled casually down the street, window shopping for several less important things, entering and taking closer looks at more interesting stores.

They purchased the rest of Veneficus' school supplies, as well as several dozen things to furnish the manor house, to make it seem more of a magical dwelling to the casual visitor. Millennial insisted that his apprentice have his vision magically corrected, as it removed a major flaw in his defenses, and the younger boy had no arguments against the process. They purchased three more of the magical trunks, each with seven different compartments opened by keys or preset passwords, as well as a pair of owls, a snowy for Veneficus, and a massive great grey for Millennial. They packed their current purchases into the trunks, shrunk them with the preset words, and sent them off with the owls back to Blackmoore Manor, leaving them unencumbered for the last stage of their journey, Knockturn Alley.

"Be careful in this part," Millennial warned the younger Sith, "I don't want any unnecessary accidents that would lead to unwanted investigations…"

"Yes Master," Veneficus said, eyes alert for any signs of movement as they entered the darkened alleyway, following the faint signs of the force as the navigated the winding roads. None attempted to harass them, most feeling the power of the two strangers and instinctually avoiding the potential threat. They were led finally to a small shop near the end of the alley, which Millennial recognized from what he overheard from Lucius Malfoy. Borgin and Burkes was a rather dirty shop, filled with a lot of strange and somewhat menacing objects.

Not bothering to tell his apprentice to not touch anything, Millennial pushed inside and walked directly up to the counter, the bell that jingled alerting the proprietor to a new customer.

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Veneficus stalked off when his master confronted the shop owner, asking very jaded and veiled questions to ascertain what each other had to offer. The boy's attention was first drawn to several crystals in a small glass container that radiated subtle Force energy. The crystals were many different colours, and seemed to glow as the young Force user approached. Just then, a small voice spoke out, drawing the Sith Lord's attention away once again, "SSSStupid humanssss, why don't they pay attention to me? I need ssssomething to eat, or I'll esssscape and kill you with my venom."

Veneficus saw a ruby red and black snake, locked in a glass cage, staring blankly out at the rest of the store from its confinement. Approaching he heard the snake speak again, "What doesss thiss one want? Doess the sstupid human want to gaze upon my beauty, or ssimply sssee what they could make from my poisson?'

Not knowing why he could understand the serpent, but decided to try some flattery with his newfound skill, Veneficus said, "Oh, I would much rather look upon you and your beauty than use your venom for anything. You're far too gorgeous for that tiny cage, aren't you?"

That caught the snake's attention, "It ssspeakss? Why did the wonderful human not sssay anything before? What I would give to be the companion of sssuch a handsssome ssspeaker ssuch asss yoursself…"

The young Sith saw the flattery for what it was, but decided to try prying some information from his newfound serpentine friend. "What sssort of breed are you, my sssmall wonder?"

"I am a powerful Indian Ruby Cobra, mossst deadly and magical sserpant in the easst." The snake declared, flaring its hood and rising to show off. "My name isss Zychre."

"Well, Zychre, I am Lord Veneficus, and I want you asss my familiar." The young Sith apprentice declared, moving to lift the top of the cage as the snake hissed in joy.

"Hey you!" yelled the store owner, "Don't open that cage, that snake is highly venomous and deadly!"

Veneficus ignored the fool, lifting the serpent out of the cage, smiling as the long body coiled around his forearm. "That's fine, I wish to purchase this fine specimen."

Several dozen high priced purchases later, including a second, nontraceable wand for the young apprentice, Darth Millennial and Darth Veneficus left Knockturn and Diagon Alleys, taking a muggle cab back to Blackmoore Manor.