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Kjkit - Harry Potter and the Marcello School
Chapter 5 - Voldemort's circle
Chapter 5: Voldemort's circle.
Severus Snape swore silently as his arm burned for the eighth time that evening. The frequency and number of the hails meant only one thing; that Voldemort was waiting for him. He pointed his wand and the flames beneath his bubbling cauldron subsided as he grabbed at the large leather bag that was resting besides his desk. He figured that the mission that evening had not gone well, and he suppressed a smile as he headed down a long torch lit corridor to the main hall, anticipating that Dumbledore had received his warnings in time and that he was now being called to treat the wounded.
His happiness was short lived, however, as he opened the large doors that led into the main hall and saw the large circle of Death Eaters that stood in the customary circle, without their hoods and masks.
He stepped forward to his place to the right of the large chair that stood at one end of the circle, and fell to one knee. He lowered his head to the man that sat there and murmured his apologies.
"I don't want to hear them, Snape." Voldemort hissed. "I would've thought that you of all my followers would have been the first here to celebrate our achievement this evening."
Snape's blood ran cold as he raised his head and followed his master's finger to a bundle of muggle clothes in the middle circle.
"Potter?" he whispered.
"Indeed!" Voldemort acknowledged excitedly.
"But ... how...?" Snape caught his breath, and managed to replace his mental mask over his emotions. "What about the wards that I told you Dumbledore had placed over him?" he asked in a less shaky tone.
Voldemort laughed again, as did a number of the Death Eaters around the circle, men whom Snape recognised had been drafted onto the mission. "It seems that Mister Potter here was able to deal with those for us." He stepped down off his raised chair, and made his way to the unconscious bundle in the middle of the room. He pushed the body with his foot until it had turned over and Snape was able to see Harry's pale face, half of it covered with dry blood that seemed to originate from his scar. "He produced an energy surge, stronger than anything I have ever seen, I admit, but I was able to tunnel the power into apparating the team back here." He paused and smiled a little. "It seems that Mister Potter and myself could make quite a formidable team if I could convince him to join our ranks."
"But what if he doesn't want to join ... our ranks?" a small voice asked. Snape's eyes briefly rested on the cowering figure of the man they called Wormtail before snapping back to focus on Voldemort's answer.
"We have ways to persuade him." The Dark Wizard replied. "If not, then I have stumbled across some ancient magic that should allow me to take on Mister Potter's strength and powers, and be able to control them how I will." His smile returned. "But we can always allow him to decide."
He spun to face Snape. "I trust you brought your potions with you?"
Snape nodded. "Of course, my master." He said, bowing his head again.
"I want you to wake up our young guest. I want him to be fully aware of the options he has." He smile turned into a grin that sent a shiver down the potion professor's spine. "And as I suspect he will not be willing to join our ranks without a fight, then I would like him to be aware of the pain he has put me through these past fourteen years."
Snape stepped forward with his bag and knelt by the still body. Closer up the boy looked sicker than he had thought. "Did you not try to enervate him?" he asked as he opened Harry's eyes and shone a light from the end of his wand into them, seeing how his pupil's responded. Then he rested his hand lightly against his student's neck and slowly counted his weak pulse.
"Of course!" Voldemort spun and returned to his chair, obviously an effort to not curse the potion master. "But Harry has not been harmed, he is just exhausted from the power he has produced this evening. A simple enervate charm would not be able to keep him conscious enough for what I want him to suffer tonight."
Snape nodded, and opened his bag, pulling out a couple of vials and reading their labels before finding one and holding it to the light.
"I will start him off on weak doses." He replied, and held up his hand as Voldemort started to enquire why. He knew that he was treading a very fine line in speaking up against the Dark Wizard, but he also knew that he was the only one in the room that was able to produce the potions that Voldemort required. This allowed him an element of freedom, which was probably why Voldemort accepted him back in the first place. "This way," he continued. "I can increase the dosage without fear of an overdose, allowing him to stay awake longer so you can have your ... fun." He mentally shuddered at his last words, but the others in the circle seemed to accept his reasoning.
Snape then raised Harry's head, resting it slightly in his lap as he pulled the top off the vial, and the pulled at the back of his neck, letting the boy's head fall back and his mouth open so the potion could be poured freely into his mouth.
Once Snape was sure most of the thick liquid had disappeared down the boy's throat, he stood up and made his way back into his place in the circle. "He should be awake in about five minutes," he confirmed at Voldemort's questioning gaze. And held his breath hoping that he was right.
True to his prediction, the pile of clothes in the middle of the room began to stir within a couple of minutes, and Voldemort called Lucius Malfoy forward to conjure up a post to which Harry was stood up against and chained. A few minutes after that the boy's head rose from its hanging position, gazing blankly at the circle of men around him.
"Welcome to my home, Harry Potter." Voldemort said, stepping forward until Harry's unfocused eyes were able to identify him. "I'm sure you expected something grander, but as of yet I haven't had that much time to redecorate."
There were a few sniggers around the circle of Death Eaters, but these were halted as Voldemort held up his hand, leaning closer into the semiconscious boy to try and identify what he was mumbling.
"Speak up, boy. Let us all hear what you have to say."
"What do you want with me?" Harry's voice was hoarse as if his throat was dry, but as he spoke Snape noticed a determined look pass through his bright green eyes that pulled Harry's chin up defiantly and seemed to give him strength.
"I want to continue the conversation we were having at you caring family's house." He replied. "You do remember what you did back there, don't you Harry?"
Harry frowned slightly. Even though he was feeling better, and the potion was steadily improving his condition, Snape could see that his brain still wasn't working at full pace. He sneered slightly, thinking to himself that even if the boy did become fully capable of thought, it would not be that much better than that of a snail.
"You came to Privet Drive," he said, his eyes moving as if he was mentally replaying what had happened barely an hour before. "You had set off the charms around the house, and Dumbledore arrived, and then there was a big explosion..." His eyes bulged briefly and the boy looked up at the Dark Wizard. "The Dursleys?" he asked.
Voldemort laughed. "Do you remember what caused the explosion Harry? Don't you remember the surge of power that destroyed the house and brought us here? Don't you remember where that power came from?"
Harry's eyes narrowed in anger. "The Dursleys!" he repeated. "Where are they? What did you do to them?"
"Me?" Voldemort mocked that he was insulted. "Why, I did nothing to them, my dear boy." He said. "But your fears are right, they are probably dead by now. Killed by the shock wave that came from you!"
Harry shook his head in disbelief and met Voldemort's gaze. "They can't be dead." He said. "I set a shield up around them. To protect them."
Voldemort took a step forward so that he was looking down into Harry's face. Snape could see there was a battle of wills going on between the tall figure of the Dark Lord with his red eyes and snake like face, and the young lad who, Snape realised with a shock, had grown a lot in the couple of weeks since he had last seen him at Hogwarts. More amazingly, Snape realised that the boy was able to clearly focus on the wizard standing in front of him even though he was missing his glasses.
Voldemort suddenly broke the growing build up of tension with a nod. "In which case the likelihood that they survived is pretty high." He said quietly. "Don't you see, Harry? You can achieve anything you put your mind to. You just need someone who can open your mind."
"And you think you can do that, Tom?" Harry's voice was hard and cold. But this didn't deter the Dark Wizard in front of him.
Voldemort reached out his hand and gently ran it down the side of Harry's face like he had in the graveyard over a year before. "Of course I can." He said with a smile. "Look what I have motivated you to achieve before now."
"The only thing you have motivated is my hatred of you." Harry spat, thrashing against the chains that held his hands above his head. "You are nothing but a murderer. You won't win, Tom."
Voldemort's eyes flashed angrily at the use of his real name and he raised his hand to slap Harry around the face. The boy barely flinched, however, and Voldemort let his arm fall again, taking every ounce of effort he had to calm his voice. "Sometimes anger is a very powerful source of motivation." He said. "Join with me, and we can develop this together. You can provide the raw power, and I can focus it on achieving our goals."
"Your goals, you mean." Harry spat back, his emerald eyes flashing angrily. "I will never join you. I will never become like you."
Voldemort lost his patience and grabbed Harry's chin in his hand. "But you are like me, boy. Or do you not realise that yet?"
When Harry didn't reply he spun around and pointed to one of the Death Eaters standing opposite Snape. "Very well." He said, taking his seat once more. "If you do not wish to join us, then I see that we shall have to try and convince you."
The Death Eater that he had pointed to stepped forward, bowing his head slightly to his master before cracking his knuckles and allowing a hungry grin to appear on his face. Snape gulped slightly. He had seen what Avery was capable of when torturing his victims, and it turned his stomach to think of what he was about to do to the boy. He glanced around him, trying to think of a distraction, before Avery could get near to Harry.
Harry. Snape's eyes fell onto the chained boy and was shocked to see his bright eyes staring into his. With a nearly unnoticeable movement, Harry gave his head a quick shake. Snape frowned slightly, wondering if the boy knew of his loyalties. Maybe he had recognised the significance of his conversations with Dumbledore and his visits to the Order's headquarters. He sneered slightly, his eyes still linked with those of his student's. Maybe the boy was able to think after all. Then with a shock realised that the boy's eyes were telling him not to try anything, to keep his cover. Damn that Gryffindor pride, Snape thought, and turned his attention to Avery who had pulled two knives from his belt and was now brandishing them threateningly in front of Harry, who stared back without any emotion in his face.
Snape watched with growing horror and Avery went about his business, slicing at Harry clothes until the baggy jumper and dull grey t-shirt that the boy had been wearing had been cut away, exposing his tanned and maturing torso.
Then Avery let out a small laugh as he allowed the point of his blade travel across Harry's body, as if he was trying to find the best place to start his torture. Snape watched as Harry's eyes followed the blade, and then raised themselves to stare at Voldemort defiantly as Avery finally nicked his skin against his ribs, allowing the small trail of blood to make its way down to Harry's waistband.
Avery's work lasted over the hour, starting off with hundreds of small nicks of the skin until Harry's front was shining all over with the tiny streams of blood that ran down, and then taking pleasure in larger strokes, joining his first cuts in some twisted child's game of dot-to-dot. The potions master felt a rush of pride as not once did Harry cry out, but it was clear after the hour that the potion Snape had given him had worn off, and that the blood loss was making the boy dizzy and weak as his head began to weave slightly on his shoulders.
Not long after Harry's head had fallen forward for the last time Voldemort called for Avery to finish. The Death Eater looked hurt as if the Dark Wizard had taken away his favourite toy, but obediently stepped away and accepted the praise given with a small bow as he once again took his place in the circle. But the hungry looks he kept sending towards the now unconscious boy made Snape seethe with anger and he knew that once his true alliances were revealed, he'd make Avery pay for his sadistic nature.
"My followers, I can assure you that you will all get the chance to take out your pleasures on our delightful guest." He smirked slightly as he ran a hand over Harry's oozing chest, covering his finger tips in blood. "I may even give a prize for the man who can amuse me the greatest in his activities." He raised his fingers to his face and held them to his nose for a couple of moments as if inhaling the scent of the boy's pain. "Snape!" he turned and stared at the potions master. "You will follow Crabbe and Goyle down to the dungeons where you will treat Potter." He held up his hand to Avery's protests. "I did not say I wanted him healed, Avery" he hissed. "I just want him to be aware enough for the next session." He turned back to the boy and wiped his blood soaked fingers down the side of Harry's face. "By the end of the week I want him shaking with fear every time he enters this room." And with that he walked passed the post, walking through the double doors and disappearing into the corridor beyond.