A new regime. A darker era. A stronger generation. The Boy-Who-Lived did not exist. Voldemort attained the final victory, and thus, gained limitless power. As a feared authoritarian figure, he rules both the wizarding world and Hogwarts in the shadows, killing without restriction. Anyone declared to be treacherous is condemned to death. When a talented Harry Potter, brimming with impressive potential, arrives at Hogwarts, he attracts the unwanted attention of the Dark Lord. Following a magnificent duel, Harry is blackmailed into becoming Lord Voldemort's apprentice. Forced to confront his fate, Harry attempts to tread the dangerous waters of a Pureblood hierarchy. A tale weaved around jealousy, fate, victory, hatred, love, angst, and above all, ambition.

Disclaimer: Harry Potter will never be mine. I can only wish.

This will not be romance, and will definitely not be SLASH. It's a mentorship between Lord Voldemort and Harry Potter.

He strode elegantly across the ballroom, the handsome young man, keeping to the gloom. He appeared to be in his late twenties, at the very most. His flawless face with its prominent cheekbones and beautifully sharp features was half hidden by the dancing shadows cast by the flickering wall-torches, yet something did not ring true.

His mouth twisted faintly on that pale skin as he brooded, silently. The cold blue eyes, like pools of swimming ice shards, seemed to have a sense of cruelty to them, yet despite the man's relaxed appearance, they were vigilant. The dark hair, combed smoothly back, gave a refined look. He looked perfect…too perfect – in an almost sinister sort of way.

There was an air of sophisticated authority in the way he held himself that even the most oblivious of people would distinguish.
To an ignorant observer, it would seem as though the young man went completely unnoticed; the swirling dresses and preened black dress robes moving to the slow and melodious music on the dance floor catching most of the attention. To the experienced eye of Lucius Malfoy, however, it was obvious that every one in the room was only too conscious of the young man. He saw the guests subtly flicking glances at the figure in the shadows; every time the young man moved at least one person would involuntarily flinch. Lucius didn't even think of blaming them.

After all, that one young man was why they were all here. He was the solitary reason why anybody was here; not just at the ball – but the thing as a whole. Lucius' own position as the Minister of Magic had been arranged by the man. And, Lucius knew, Bellatrix's new job as Hogwarts' recently appointed Deputy Headmistress was entirely owed to him. Lucius snorted inwardly to himself; Bellatrix would not have resorted to teaching children for anyone but the Dark Lord. If it wasn't for the Dark Lord, none of them would be sitting on such top stations in the wizarding world. In fact, they'd more likely be sitting on the rotted floors of the cells of Azkaban.

Lucius, in his entire life, had never been more honoured to serve anyone as he did the Dark Lord. As he had promised, the Dark Lord had brought them a triumphant victory. They had crushed Dumbledore and his stupid Order. Lucius now smirked as he recalled all of this, still relishing in the glory of that one moment. It would never grow old for him.

It hadn't been easy, of course, which only made their victory sweeter. There had been harsh times – when Dumbledore had been on the very verge of winning, when nearly the entire Inner Circle had been imprisoned in Azkaban, when Voldemort's desperate plotting had taken over his nights – but in the end, Lucius thought, they had pressed on and it had all been worth it.

Luckily, he, himself, had never been captured and sent to Azkaban. One look at Bellatrix and one thought of all she had endured in the wizarding prison sent Lucius recoiling. If a few years had taken so much out of the Dark Lord's best lieutenant, he hated to think what it would have done to himself.
Yes. He was lucky, very lucky. Lucius swept his eyes across the room; Rodolphus, McNair, Rabastan, Bellatrix, the Carrows, Rowle, Crabbe, Goyle… These few years, after their supreme attainment, had been their greatest moments of glory. It couldn't have been better.

Lucius smiled. Draco, this year, was going to Hogwarts. Draco, at the tender age of eleven, would experience a new era that was bright with the shining potential the Dark Lord planned. His son was even luckier than himself. The timing was perfect.

Thinking back to the Dark Lord, Lucius frowned in bewilderment. This was a celebration – one that Voldemort had arranged, no less. Why was the Dark Lord spending the entire time skulking in the shadows, then? Bellatrix, his Inner Circle, and Lucius himself, were all waiting for the Dark Lord to join them. It certainly wouldn't do for the Dark Lord to think that he, Lucius, had forgotten all about his master. Halting at that thought, Lucius cautiously stepped towards the dark figure that was the most powerful sorcerer of all time.

"My Lord…" Lucius murmured softly, stopping at a respectful distance. "We're all waiting for your magnificent presence."

Voldemort, in all his icy glory, looked up at Lucius. Then to the Death Eater's immense horror, narrowed his eyes.

"Complaining, Lucius?" Voldemort hissed. "Are you taking for granted the presence I grace you with? Do I have to do it nowadays?" He laid delicate stress on the words. Lucius withdrew, trying to maintain his composure. "Of course not, my Lord! I was merely suggesting that perhaps you'd like –"

"Of course not," Voldemort repeated. "I have no obligations whatsoever that I owe to my Death Eaters. And you'll do well to remember that."

"Yes, my Lord…I understand. But just tonight… this is the third anniversary since your magnificent victory… I thought perhaps, since you called this celebration, that you'd…" Lucius stopped abruptly.

He knew he should have retreated. But perhaps his mind wasn't in its usual coherent state – perhaps he'd had too much to drink that night… Whatever it was, Lucius cursed himself as soon as he spoke those impudent words.

Voldemort didn't like those who were pushy. And least of all, those who were pushy towards him. Obviously, no one in their right mind would dare be forceful with Lord Voldemort, which was why Lucius knew he was in trouble. The term 'pushy' suggested assertiveness and although Lucius hadn't quite been assertive, he knew it made little difference to the Dark Lord.

"Tut, tut, Lucius. I've long ago realised I'm been too lenient with you ever since…how did you put it again? Oh, yes, my 'magnificent victory'. But I didn't think I would need to redeem my leniency so soon. Perhaps I was wrong."

Lucius Malfoy barely hid a gulp as his eyes crept towards the long and spidery fingers that casually twirled the Dark Lord's yew wand.

"Think about that, Lucius." Voldemort chuckled softly. "Ironic, isn't it? The great Lord Voldemort being something as belittling as wrong. But…when I truly am wrong, I make sure I am correct next time."

Lucius avoided that cold pair of piercing eyes that seemed to look through him stonily with ease.

"Look at me, Lucius…" Voldemort said.

Lucius forced himself to look into that handsome face. It was so young. With a few features so similar to the Dark Lord's former snake-like appearance, yet so different. After their long-awaited victory, Lord Voldemort had made himself a potion so advanced that he had managed to regain the striking look that he owned before his Horcruxes were made. It wouldn't do for him to look so menacing now that the wizarding media interviewed him at least once a month.

"Do you think I should correct you, Lucius? You're becoming too demanding. Can't have my reputation as a somewhat strict overlord ruined, after all." Voldemort's pronouncement hung in the air, daring a challenge.

"That – that won't be necessary, my Lord," Lucius stammered. "I…please forgive my rudeness."

"Lord Voldemort doesn't forgive, nor forget," Voldemort answered. "Remember that."

"Of course, My Lord."

"Do you think I should punish you in front of our guests?" the Dark Lord inquired quietly. "It will make for a good drama."

Lucius knew he wouldn't ever forget what Lord Voldemort was like, even with that handsome look that had, or so he'd heard, charmed so many of the girls at Hogwarts. For someone who had never personally experienced Voldemort's Cruciatus Curses, it would indeed be easy to forget, and be captivated by the Dark Lord's charm. Lucius was charmed too at times, but that didn't mean he ever would forget.

Voldemort was one of those rare people whose charisma alone could be so persuasive that the young and old, male or female would want to do everything in their capacity for him. Lucius knew his master would be able to make a crowd of a million people do his bidding without a single use of the Unforgivables. The Dark Lord however, was extremely fond of persuading his followers using more direct means than natural charm.

"Please, my Lord…I didn't mean any harm. Forgive me."

"So it was a mistake? A mere slip of the tongue?"

"Yes, my Lord," Lucius confirmed.

"Hmm…I do not tolerate mistakes. You know that by now."

"Yes, my Lord. I promise you, I won't do it again."

"I know you won't," Voldemort smiled. "But tonight…I think I'll…"

Lucius awaited the inevitable punishment with dread. He marvelled at how Voldemort could make several seconds seem like a century.

"Tonight, with so many guests here…I do not think I will. It might ruin the festive spirit. I would not want to be a killjoy," Voldemort said.

Lucius stared, almost speechless with relief.

"Are you going to thank me at all?"

Lucius hurried to express his gratitude.

"You're dismissed, Lucius," Voldemort called shortly. There was a hint of amusement to his voice, however. "Remember that Lord Voldemort does not forgive, nor forget."

Lucius' relief dimmed a little at the ominous warning. He half expected a Cruciatus Curse to come flying at him while his back was turned. With Lord Voldemort, you could never be sure of anything.


"My loyal Death Eaters…" Voldemort called.

A thick silence immediately fell among the guests.

"After some polite demands from one of you, I have decided to address you. This is the third anniversary of our victory, as all of you know only too well. I myself am very thrilled. However, I confess myself disappointed at the small number of you who have completed the missions that I requested of each of you."

The silence became suffocating.

"I, personally, wouldn't want people thinking that while my followers are so adept at dealing with the more violent missions concerning assassination, they become incompetent idiots when it comes to the more sophisticated politics. And I know none of you are idiots. Great Britain does not need any more mindless fools. I will start vanquishing them myself if their numbers do not diminish sometime soon. And while I object to idiots no matter where they belong, Lord Voldemort objects most to having idiots in his campaign."

Everyone heard the veiled threat only too well. Voldemort probably wasn't incapable of killing off those followers who were too weak to be of much use. McNair visibly shivered.

"I will be dealing those who have still not accomplished what I expected of them at our next meeting. We must not spoil the little parties that we only hold once in a while."

Voldemort smiled to himself as he watched a few unfortunate members of the crowd tense even more. Alas, he had achieved what he wanted, because most of the guests relaxed noticeably. It wouldn't do for them to be so tense on this night, that they wrecked it for him. Despite that he'd never admit it, he actually looked forward to these anniversaries.

"I'd like to thank Lucius for being a generous host tonight, allowing this anniversary party to take place at Malfoy Manor, and I'd also like to congratulate him on gaining the position of Minister for Magic only seven or eight months ago. It is very useful for our cause."

Down below, the crowd stirred. Every one of them knew that the position had been bestowed upon Lucius by Voldemort who pulled a few strings.

"Isn't that right, Lucius?" Voldemort smiled. "Narcissa will be pleased. As well as young Draco."

"Thank you, my Lord, for your kindness," Lucius said.

The Dark Lord waved a hand at the people for them to calm themselves before continuing.

"I'd also like to congratulate Bellatrix for becoming the deputy headmistress. It is quite an accomplishment. Did I tell you I didn't even manage to get a Defence Against the Dark Arts position when I tried out for it? The old codger thought I'd taint the minds of his innocent students."

A few people laughed. The loudest of all of them was Bellatrix's own cackle.

"I won't be congratulating Alecto Carrow for becoming headmistress of Hogwarts, because I already did so two years ago. However, I must express to you all how good it is for three of my proud Death Eaters to work at the school I myself grew up in. Bella, don't look so depressed."

Bellatrix flushed at Voldemort's joke. A couple of Death Eaters tittered.

"Let's not forget out dear Potions master. I offered the DADA position to him earlier this year, knowing how much he wanted it, but our dear Severus decided he'd stick to Potions. I understand his decision entirely – after all, it is where his greatest talents lie. After Severus' refusal, I turned to Alecto and she took up the extra burden."

Voldemort glanced at Snape, who nodded courteously up at him in acknowledgement.

"One thing I'm very much looking forward to is to see the newest talents at Hogwarts. Alecto, reserve a seat for me at the staff table at the Welcoming Feast, will you? I'll be taking a look at the latest potential in Slytherin House. I'll be spending a lot of time at Hogwarts this year, with all the political games under control. They can get terribly annoying sometimes. Alecto, Bellatrix, Severus, report any notable behaviour to me; I'll be very interested. Alecto, Muggle Studies and Dark Arts are both still mandatory? Splendid."

Voldemort's eyes suddenly glistened as he came to the thing he had waited the whole evening to finally say. "Bellatrix and Severus, stay behind when it's over. We need to talk about our…ah… newest possible additions. Things have taken an urgent tone. It is beginning to look slightly critical for my further advances. Guests, enjoy yourselves for the rest of this lovely evening."

With that said, the Dark Lord moved gracefully across and out of the ballroom, his black robes flapping behind him. The huge double doors banged shut, leaving behind only a tint of the dark aurora that had been so stifling.

Severus Snape and Bellatrix Lestrange would spend the next few hours anxiously wondering what was in store for them.

I work try harder if my writing does not satisfy. And I will also try to answer any questions my readers have so far. I welcome any kind of feedback. I'd like reviews, please. I hate spending hours writing only to receive 0 reviews. The 0 keeps repeating itself: 0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0.
A round of thanks to anyone who will give this a chance.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter will never be mine. I can only wish.

This story is presently under reconstruction; because recently I've gained an absolutely wonderful Beta whom I have to thank for all that has been improved. His name is Hippothestrowl. This may be why some titles, such as 'Death Eaters' will not match with those later in the story (I changed 'deatheaters' to 'Death Eaters').