Chapter 1: A fatal decision made
It was in the middle of the summer holidays between Harry’s fourth and fifth year at Hogwarts. He had won the Triwizard Tournament in the last year and had witnessed the resurrection of Lord Voldemort but the last part he had never told anyone, especially not Dumbledore. Said idiot had assumed it however since Harry had come back a bit disarranged and with a dead Cedric Diggory. Then that idiot had started trying to convince everyone and their mother that he was back with Harry as the witness. The end of it had been that the ministry and the newspapers discredited Harry calling him a liar and attention seeking.
On top of that had come the Dementor attack in little Whinging and the farce of a disciplinary hearing in front of the entire Wizengamot for the use of underage magic. At that time he hadn’t said a word and had let Dumbledore do all the talking. Dumbledore in the end had managed to protect him and had get the accusations against him dropped but Harry was fed up.
He was fed up with being thrown into dangerous situations without being prepared, he was fed up with Dumbledore and his manipulations and he was fed up with the ignorance and stupidity of the wizarding world. So he had decided he would have to do something.
Two days after his arrival at Grimmauld Place his time came. The order was in a meeting, his “friends” trying to listen in and no one was looking after Harry. So he left as fast as he could leaving behind everything except his wand, his invisibility cloak, some money, his vault key, a piece of old parchment and Hedwig the only living being he had ever cared for. He was determined to go to the one person he was sure could help him getting rid of all those idiots and their Greater Good, Lord Voldemort.
The only problem was that he had no idea where the Dark Lord was hiding but luckily, he knew a person who would be able to bring him to the man. He knew from the cemetery that Lucius Malfoy was a Death Eater and he would be easy to find, if not for him then for Hedwig.
Harry stood at a street somewhere in London when he called for the Knight Bus. He asked them whether it would be possible to bring him to Malfoy Manor and luckily, half an hour later he stood in front of huge gates belonging to an even bigger manor. After passing the gates, he went up the driveway until he stood at the front door. Missing a bell, he just knocked and a few seconds later a house-elf opened the door wanting to know who he was and what his business would be. Harry told him his name and stated that he wanted to talk to the head of the house, Lucius Malfoy.
It took a few minutes in which Harry stood in the entrance hall of the manor giving the exclusive and priceless furniture and decor not even a glance until Lucius Malfoy apparated in with a sneer on his face obviously wearing his Death Eater regalia.
“What do you want, Potter?” he growled.
“I want to meet the Dark Lord,” Harry replied in a tone as if he was commenting on the weather.
This let Malfoy Sr. stop midway in surprise and disgust.
“Did Dumbledore and his pawns send you?” Malfoy asked suspiciously.
“That old goat doesn’t even know that I left or that I’m here so no he didn’t. I came on my own free will because I need to talk to the Dark Lord” slowly but surely he grew impatient.
“I know that you are a Gryffindor but voluntarily running to your death is new, even for you,” Malfoy had a sadistic grin on his face.
Harry started to laugh. “I doubt that the Dark Lord will kill me when he hears what I have to say and even if he does…I don’t care as long as I get away from that old goat and that sheep flock called ministry,” he sighed.
He very well knew that it was more than likely that Voldemort would kill him the second he stood before him but he had to take the risk and should he really be killed…well either way he would not have to deal with Dumbledore anymore so he did not really bother. The only living being he still cared for was Hedwig and she was flying around London probably getting something to eat.
Malfoy thought about this for a minute before he agreed. It was Harry’s funeral not his and if the boy was so desperate to die he could gain some benefit out of it by bringing the boy to his master.
“Okay I’ll bring you to him but you will have to give me your wand first,” he finally said.
Harry shrugged and gave his wand to Malfoy knowing that there was no other way. To tell the truth he did not care much since he did not intend to fight the Dark Lord.
Yes, if the events of the last four years had made him one thing it was unconcerned. Unconcerned about what others thought, unconcerned about rules, unconcerned about the health of others…hell he didn’t even care if someone died or not, which the death of Cedric Diggory had clearly shown. Some part of him even mourned that he hadn’t been able to kill the guy himself, or Barty Crouch Jr. as it was. Okay for Barty his feelings were split. On the one hand, he hated and wanted to kill him for all he had put him through with this thrice damned Triwizard Tournament, on the other hand he was grateful because that brought back the Dark Lord and gave him the option to choose.
Harry now followed Malfoy to his study from where they took a portkey somewhere else. Harry briefly wondered why they took a portkey and didn’t apparate like Malfoy did earlier but in the end, he didn’t care. When they landed, Harry looked around. It seemed that they landed in another manor but again the only thing Harry cared for was to meet the Dark Lord.
They went through several corridors before they stood in front of a large black door. Lucius knocked and then entered followed by Harry. It was a large hall they walked into with Death Eaters standing left and right while on a pedestal Lord Voldemort sat in his entire glory on a throne, he obviously burst right into a meeting.
He looked different from the last time Harry saw him. Now he hadn’t these snake like features anymore and Harry had to admit that he looked pretty handsome with his high in a healthy manner pale cheekbones, the pitch black hair that framed his face and fell over the shoulder, a full slightly red mouth and these crimson read eyes. Voldemort looked like an older version of Tom from the Chamber of Secrets but then so much better. With the way he sat, leaning back, the legs crossed and his hands folded in his lap as if slightly bored by the meeting…he shook his head to ban those thoughts, he wasn’t here to adore that man.
When they entered, everyone went instantly silent looking at them.
Malfoy went up to the pedestal and kneeled in front of the Dark Lord. “My Lord, I bring you Harry Potter. He came to me because he wished to speak to you,” he told obediently.
Voldemort was torn between outright killing the boy and intrigued, that he came to him voluntarily because he wanted to speak to him. In the end, his curiosity won. He knew what was said about curiosity killed the cat but he couldn’t help it. It was one thing he never expected, Harry coming to him voluntarily and what could it hurt to hear the boy out before he died? There were about fifty Death Eaters together with him in the room after all so the boy did not pose any real danger to him, not that it would be any different were they alone.
“You can go Malfoy,” he dismissed the man with a wink of his hand and Malfoy went to his rightful place within the rows of Death Eaters.
“So what do you want Potter,” he sneered looking a bit like Snape at that moment.
Harry stepped forward and kneeled before Voldemort in the same manner like Malfoy before which earned him some whispers from the Death Eaters in response before silence fell again.
“My Lord,” he looked directly at Voldemort. “I want to become one of your loyal followers.”
Upon hearing that, a shuffling went through the rows and several Death Eater started whispering again louder this time while others took a sharp gasp. Voldemort in the meantime rose one of his eyebrows, leaning forward and looking at Harry in interest but before he could reply anything to that Harry continued.
“I want to become one of your most loyal and devoted followers under one condition,” murmurs started to rise again. “You personally train me. I don’t want to be that old goat’s pawn ever again.”
Hearing this the rumbling grew even louder. Fearful thoughts were exchanged while others grew angry. How did this imbecile brat dare to ask such a thing from their Lord? They expected him to be dead within the next seconds but nothing the like happened to their surprise.
Now Voldemort was really curious. He ignored the ramblings of his followers while intensely looking at Harry when Malfoy spoke up voicing what many others thought.
“Don’t you dare asking such a thing from our Lord you brat. Show some respect!” he spit out before starting to laugh.
This was the point. Since the visit of Hagrid in the shabby hut on that small island where he learned that he was a wizard he supressed his feelings. Well, would he be honest it was ever since that old coot dumped him with his relatives. His true feelings, all locked away and hidden behind a mask of friendliness, concern…whatever the others wanted to see. Now all the real feelings came to the front. Anger, hatred, rage…bloodlust. Every single one he had successfully supressed for so long, too long, burst out of him when he finally cracked while turning around to Malfoy.
He faced Malfoy his eyes no longer that emerald green he inherited from his mother but a crimson red very like the ones of the Dark Lord only a shade darker sparkling with fury.
Malfoy instantly fell silent, paled visibly and gulped supressing the instinct to back off from Harry because he very well knew from his dealings with his Lord that this was a weakness he couldn’t show. He looked at his master hoping he would stop the boy from whatever he was about to do. The Dark Lord however sat there his head propped on his palm with his elbow on the armrest looking more interested in what would happen even looking amused with a small smile curling his lips. Therefore, Malfoy looked back at Harry while panic started to rise within him when Harry rose his right hand with a devious smile on his face.
“Crucio,” was the only word he said in a calm and steady voice as if he was holding a conversation but it was a promise. A promise to Malfoy and to himself to never stop, never tremble and to never retreat. It also was a promise to himself that he would never ever again be weak and laughed at.
Malfoy’s screams of agony echoed through the otherwise deadly silent hall when the Cruciatus Curse hit him. It was very much on a par with the one of the Dark Lord himself and the boy casted it wandlessly, not to mention for the first time. Wasn’t he under the effect of the curse Malfoy would have been astonished by it.
Gasps were heard from the other Death Eaters seeing this. Oh, how they underestimated the boy. A Cruciatus this strength without a wand…even the Dark Lord wasn’t that powerful and he had decades of experience. It also seemed the boy casted it without taking any effort and they started to question where he learned it, surely not from Dumbledore.
Harry in the meantime even intensified the strength of his curse with a twist of his hand leaving Malfoy whimpering on the floor when he registered a movement behind the man. He looked up and at the other man recognising him instantly as Professor Snape. Smiling at him wickedly, he hold up the Cruciatus all the time.
The eyes of Snape on the other hand were wide in shock and the man himself pale as a bedsheet, shaking like a branch in a storm. His entire façade had come down with one single action of the boy. He stumbled a step back away from Harry, away from the rage radiating from him knowing very well what he had done to the boy over all those years. Also knowing that if he wasn’t extremely careful he would be the next one crumbling under the Cruciatus Curse, or outright dead.
Harry only stopped when he heard a coughing coming from the Dark Lord. Malfoy had long lost consciousness and laid on the floor drooling, convulsions shaking his body as an aftereffect of the curse. A few seconds longer and it would have been questionable whether he would get back up ever again. With a last smile at Snape, he turned around back to the Dark Lord.
“I’m sorry, my Lord,” he said with a bow. “I got a bit side tracked but it felt so good to set all those emotions free after all these long years under that old goat Dumbledore. I have to thank you for giving me this opportunity.”
Voldemort looked at him before he started to laugh quite loudly, which startled quite a few of his followers, the Dark Lord never laughed.
“Normally I would have killed you without even thinking about it for torturing one of my followers as well as for daring to ask such a thing from me. However, you caught my interest and the pros of having you as a devoted follower at my side definitely outweigh the pros of killing you, if only to see the look on that old fools face when he finally registers that he never had a hold over you,” he snickered. “So I accept your condition. For you becoming my follower I will personally train you.”
Yes, that was a very good arrangement. This boy was powerful, perhaps even more powerful as he himself was and when he could gain him as a follower no one would be able to defeat him ever again, or think about opposing him. So yes, the only logical decision was to accept even if it meant that he had to train the boy personally.
Voldemort stood up from his throne in one fluent move and went down to the boy. “Lift your left sleeve,” he commanded.
Harry did as he was asked and held his bare forearm to the Dark Lord.
“Morsmordre,” he intonated while pressing the tip of his wand against Harry’s arm.
With a sharp pain, the dark mark appeared on Harry’s forearm who didn’t even flinch but grinned widely.
While Voldemort sat back on his throne, Harry went up to the still shaking and unconscious Malfoy and took out his own wand the man had put in the inner pocket of his robe. He held it out with an outstretched arm and the tip pointing at himself as a sign that he didn’t intend to use it before with a swift movement broke it and incinerated the two pieces burning them to ashes in seconds.
“What did you do that for?” Voldemort didn’t know what to think of it.
“My Lord, this had several reasons. First, that wand had never and would never have suited me well. It was mediocre but never more. Second, I wanted to cut off any connection I had with Dumbledore and it happens that the feather that was the core of this wand was from Dumbledore’s phoenix and I don’t want to give him any hold over me as small as it might be. Last, it was also to show you my loyalty putting in to account that my wand was the twin wand of yours thus upon destroying mine giving you back the power to proceed with me as you please,” with that he knelt down in front of the Dark Lord again.
Voldemort was truly astonished. The boy not only came to him voluntarily in full knowledge that he would most likely be killed, but now also threw away the only protection he might have had against him to prove him his loyalty.
“You would need a new one,” he said hiding his true thoughts and feelings while giving the boy a sign to stand up again.
“I fully plan with your approval, my Lord, to approach Gregorovitch for a new one.”
The Dark Lord nodded. “Do so tomorrow morning, I want to start your training as soon as possible. Now go. Avery assign him the rooms next to mine. Potter you will wait there for new orders and take that shaking idiot over there away,” he bellowed his orders.
Avery and two other Death Eaters bowed shortly before setting into motion. Harry also bowed towards his new Lord before turning around and following Avery. The other two grabbed Malfoy and now dragged him out of the hall.
Voldemort smiled. Yes, this has been a very good day, unexpected but very good.