"Shut up." Peter yelled, "Your mummy and daddy aren't coming for you. They think you're dead."
"Mummy!" the little boy screamed again, tears streaming from his eyes.
"Shut up!" he yelled again as he knocked on the door to the house.
"What is all the commotion?" the door was jerked open and a haughty looking woman glared down at him.
"I've got the brat." Peter begged, "You have to let me in before someone hears."
"That's what silencing spells are for you idiot." She sent the spell and the boy's mouth was still calling and tears were still streaming but nothing was heard, "Bring him in. Go to the library."
Peter scurried down the hall and entered the room indicated. The boy was still squirming and screaming but not a sound was heard. The rat like man stopped just behind the chair that was facing the fire, "I have him my Lord."
"I heard." Voldemort sneered, "Good thing Bella has a brain that works well enough for two."
"I'm sorry." Peter was shaking so bad even the baby quit squirming.
"Get the brat out of my sight Bella." He ordered, "You raise him so that he will kill Dumbledore. I do not want to see him at any time in the future."
"Yes my Lord." Bellatrix Lestrange grabbed the baby from the rat and whisked him away.
"When he has fulfilled our purpose Rodolphus I want him dead." He instructed.
"As you wish my Lord." The man followed his wife from the room.
"Lucius." He called next.
"My Lord?" he approached and got on his knees.
"I want you to make sure your son befriends the boy." He instructed, "I want him punished for anything he says that is contrary to our way of thinking."
"Yes my Lord." He slipped back into the crowd.
"Things are proceeding well." He laughed; it was a high and cruel sound.
Seven year old Volans Orion Lestrange did not squirm in the chair he sat in. It wasn't allowed. He sat still. He ate politely. He talked politely. He even played politely. But that was only with his friends. Everyone else was sneered at and looked down upon. At least that was the theory. He'd never been anywhere to sneer or look down on anyone. He watched every word and every action that came from him. It wouldn't do to let anyone know what he was thinking. Not even his friends could be trusted. He knew that from experience.
Once, only once, he had said his mother was mean. He had told Draco that while they were playing. That evening he'd gotten severely punished for speaking badly about his mother. Draco had told his father everything they had spoken about. He knew Draco was not a real friend now. He was the same as everyone else, untrusted because he only looked out for himself. Volans was the only person who was going to look out for Volans. It had been a hard experience to learn from but he had learned.
He had only been six when that had happened. He was glad he hadn't told him anything really important. He had only said the truth about his mother, but if Draco was going to repeat everything then he couldn't tell him the stuff he only suspected and certainly nothing he truly felt.
He suspected that he had been kidnapped. He was sure he could remember a woman with eyes like his. He dreamed about her and she was searching for him. He always tried to get to her in the dreams but he could never quite reach her. He knew he was supposed to adore the Dark Lord but he didn't. He feared him. He'd never met the man but every time his mother spoke of him he had done something terrible. Hurting and killing people seemed to be his favorite pastime. He knew that was why his mother loved the man so much. She enjoyed hurting people. Killing just ended her fun. She was insane; the paper had said she was. He didn't dare ask her what the word meant but she had laughed when she read it.
"Volans go clean up. Draco will be here to play in ten minutes." Bellatrix ordered.
"Yes Mother." He knew better than to say anything else. Too many times already he'd felt the pain from her wand.
An hour later found Volans beating Draco at chess. Draco wasn't happy about it, "You better let me win."
"Why?" Volans asked unconcernedly.
"I'll tell them you said something bad." Draco smirked, "Then you'll get beaten again."
Volans paused for a moment. Was the torture curse worth winning in chess? If he let the brat get away with this now it would only get worse. The distraction from thinking all this made him lose the game anyway. Draco smirked thinking he had gotten the best of his younger friend.
"Look Father, I won!" Draco crowed, "My chess lessons are paying off."
"Well done Draco." Lucius praised his son, "Why don't you go outside and play now."
The two headed out and were just at the door when Volans stopped, "I have to use the loo, I'll catch up in a minute."
"Hurry you don't want to keep me waiting." Draco smirked.
Volans turned his back to the blond boy and rolled his eyes. As he walked back the way he came he heard the adults talking. It only took him a moment to realize they were talking about him.
"Bella dear you really can't compare the two of them. Draco is a pure blood and will always be better than Volans. He's lucky you took him in a raised him like a pure blood, but he'll never be as good." Lucius spoke in a condescending manner.
"I know, I shouldn't expect more than he can give." She sighed, "I so hoped I could beat it out of him."
"At least he's only losing to Draco." Narcissa comforted her sister, "He'll still be able to beat out any other half blood or mud blood out there."
"That he will." He could almost hear the cruel smile on her face, "Or the consequences will be dire."
"At least I won't have to kill him." Rodolphus muttered, "He won't be able to kill off Dumbledore at this rate."
"I don't think he expects Volans to win." Lucius added, "I suspect the Dark Lord will wait until Dumbledore has killed him and then we will tell them who he really is. I do believe it would destroy him."
Laughter filled the room as the boy backed away, the need to use the loo was totally forgotten. He quickly caught up with Draco and the two of them mounted their brooms. He was so distracted that Draco flew rings around him. It was all he could do to maintain his appearance. Dark blond hair that matched his Father and brown eyes that matched his mother was the only way Draco had ever seen him. It was only in his room late at night that he would drop all the changes and see what he really looked like.
His mother had noticed his ability to change his appearance early in his childhood. He was able to change his hair in length, color and texture, his eye color and he could grow or shrink about three inches. She had pushed him hard during his training on its use. It had been torture but he had found his limits. He only had four hair colors, black, red, brown and a dark blond but he could make it disappear and he'd be bald or he could grow it to half way down his back. His eyes could be green, blue, hazel or brown but he was never able to change their shape.
By the time the Malfoys left that afternoon Volans was exhausted and went to bed early. He wasn't able to sleep though. He just kept running the conversation through his mind. He didn't understand it all but he did understand that he was not their child. He was actually thankful for that bit of information. He also understood that he was expected to kill someone, which wasn't really surprising once he thought about it. Last they didn't think he'd win that fight. He sighed wondering what to do. If nothing else he would at least keep the knowledge a secret. It wouldn't do if anyone knew that he knew those things.
Luckily it was a few weeks before Draco was able to come over and play again. The day was set to flow just as the one a few weeks before. The time at home had actually been better. His mother hadn't been as hard on him in training. He was still pushed but when he couldn't do something but he wasn't punished quite as severely. He dutifully lost every game to Draco as they played. But he never won easily. He made him work for it. By the time he had left Volans had decided on a path.
"I will let them continue to underestimate me." He thought to himself, "This way I can get to be better than Draco and they'll all be shocked when I get to Hogwarts and beat the socks off him. Maybe then my parents will want me back."
On the morning of his eleventh birthday Volans stood at the window where the owls delivered mail and waited for his Hogwarts letter. He hadn't been able to sleep for his excitement. Draco had spoken of nothing else but the school for the last two play dates. They had made plans to sit together on the train and they were sure to get sorted into the same house. Slytherin would have two new students. Then Volans would shock them all by being the best in their year.
"What are you doing?" Bellatrix asked as she entered the kitchen.
"Waiting for an owl." He replied, "I should get my Hogwarts letter today. It's my birthday."
"Hogwarts?" his mother laughed, "You are not going to Hogwarts."
"Durmstrang then?" he asked, that would be almost as good.
"No you are going to be home schooled." She laughed, "I have to leave so get your breakfast and get out of the way."
Volans turned and left the room dejected. He was too depressed to eat breakfast now. Draco was going to have a field day rubbing in the fact that he was going and that Volans would be at home like a baby. Four years of crawling under Draco was for nothing. He wouldn't get there and show him up now.
"Out of the way boy." His father roughly shoved him into the wall as he passed, "Bella where are you we need to leave now."
"Volans you will be home alone. Behave." That was the only instructions she ever gave him.
He'd been left home alone many times over the last years. Alone was figurative, the house elves were there but they were never nice to him. They never let him do anything. Mother and Father were leaving all the time to go on raids. The Dark Lord was still trying to take over the wizarding world like he had been forever. Volans kept his thoughts deep behind his occulmancy shields. It wouldn't do if his mother ever found the thought where he hoped the man would never win.
Volans always read the Daily Prophet after his parents were through with it. They had made him do that for years saying he needed to know the dire shape their world was in. He agreed it was dire. While the Dark Lords army was advancing it was slow but very destructive. He was always secretly glad when the Order, the paper always mentioned, would win unfortunately it was always followed by a brutal training session with his mother. When his parents won it was a different, but just as horrible, aftermath. They would drink to their success. They would drink all night long. If Volans ventured out on those nights he had learned to stay very far away. His mother was a vicious woman when sober but far worse when she was drunk. His Father was the same. He had been tortured many times for being near them at the wrong time.
These were the things on his mind as he did his best to stay out of the way of the house elves. It had been a long and boring day. Bedtime had finally arrived and he climbed into his bed and fell asleep quickly. Sometime during the night he was woken by loud noises. He got up quietly and snuck to the stair way and listened.
"They fought like crazy people." Rodolphus complained, "They captured fifteen of our younger group. The Dark Lord is going to be so angry."
"Well it's a good thing we are here then." Narcissa's voice floated up to him, "Put her on the couch and I'll begin the healing."
"Make sure it leaves a scar." Bellatrix said in a voice laced with pain, "I do not want to forget this night. That mudblood won't soon forget it either."
"What did you use Bella?" Rodolphus asked excitedly, "I didn't hear it."
"Let's just say there won't be any little Potter's running around." She cackled evilly, "It was my special curse just for mudbloods. I've wanted to use it on her for ages."
"I love that one." Rodolphus laughed with her.
Volans knew the spell he knew how to reverse it too. He'd heard of the Potters before, his parents were always complaining about them. If he could just get away from here he'd heal her and maybe they'd take him in so he didn't have to come back to this awful place. One thing was for sure; if he ever left, Mother had better never see his face again. If she did it would be the last thing he saw before the green light would hit him.
"She fought like a demon tonight." Rabastan commented, "The four of them did."
"It's the date." Narcissa told him, "His birthday. Today and Halloween are the two days they act crazy."
"I'd forgotten." Rabastan nodded.
"I didn't." Bellatrix stated, "It's why I picked her."
"I didn't see the rat." Rodolphus said thoughtfully, "Did either of you see him?"
"He was probably hiding under a rock." Bellatrix grumbled.
"You know they can't find him alive." Narcissa stated, "They'd know the boy is alive. You know Peter can't keep a secret when he's in danger. If you thought they fought hard tonight think again. If they knew where he was or just that he was alive I don't think we could stop them."
"We need to step up Volans' training." Bellatrix sighed, "I am going to home school him so he can learn the right things. It's time he started learning the darker stuff. Maybe then he can throw off the stigma of his birth."
Volans slipped back to his room as Narcissa began the healing spells. He wouldn't learn anything else tonight. He wished Peter the rat would get found out, he wasn't supposed to know he was a rat animagus. He'd never liked him when he visited. Next he wondered why those people had fought so hard. Who was the boy they spoke of? He hoped he could find out so when he left he'd have something to trade for his safety. Maybe just knowing the boy was alive somewhere would do. He had no inclination at all to learn the darker magic she was talking about. He would just have to find a way out sooner rather than later.
"It's really too bad you're not good enough to go to Hogwarts." Draco sneered several days later.
Volans didn't reply. He knew the real reason he was staying. It was the reason he'd never been outside of his Mother's circle of friends. He had been kidnapped and he was being hidden. They were going to force him to be just like them. When he had to start using the dark arts he thought it would drive him insane like his mother. When he couldn't control his own mind any longer they would have the killing machine they wanted.
"I'll write you of course, I wouldn't want you to miss anything." Draco rubbed it in a little deeper.
"When do you leave?" Volans asked finally getting into the conversation.
"September first the express leaves at eleven on the dot." Draco grinned, "We depart from platform nine and three quarters at Kings Cross station. But you have to be smart enough to actually find the doorway."
Draco was stupid enough to have forgotten that Volans only started losing games and things after he had been threatened. The idiot actually thought he was better at everything. Sometimes Volans found it harder to lose to the moron than it was to win. At least he was able to challenge himself with something.
"Have fun." He nearly smirked at the gloating face of his longtime friend, a term he used loosely. Friend was actually pushing the extreme end of their relationship.
"Maybe you should come to the platform and see me off." Draco threw out as he left.
"That sounds like a good idea." Volans thought to himself and suddenly a plan was formed as he followed the blond from his room.
"You know the mudbloods would never find their way if they weren't sent a guide to help them." Draco tried to sound superior.
Volans shook his head thinking, "You'd never find it if it wasn't for your parents there to guide you."
Sometimes the arrogance of the people he was around surprised him. They never seemed to realize that someone had to show them once upon a time. No one just knew how to do magic or fly on a broom. He was sure that any of them would be totally lost in the muggle world. He thought he would actually pay money to be able to watch Draco stumble around out there. The idiot would never make it in the world without magic and his father's name. Magic alone wasn't even enough to help him.