Grazhir :: Harry Potter :: Control Issues :: 17 :: Arthur & Molly Weasley

17 • Arthur & Molly Weasley

Before Voldemort could really react Molly was saying in as sharp a tone as she could manage, “Arthur, you spineless fool! Don’t you dare give this despicable creature any reason to think you regret your actions. I knew I was right to have misgivings all those years. Oh, I wanted to believe you were nothing but a child forced by circumstances into a cruel role. But I was right to think you’re nothing but a foul beast that would bring my family to ruin. Every year it was more of the same, with my poor babies in danger because of you. Albus was right to shackle you, you little freak!”

By then Harry was completely distraught, only able to let tears slip down his face. Voldemort surged to his feet and said, “Enough, you stupid cow. Crucio!” She screamed in agony, then burst into loud sobs from the aftereffects once Voldemort released the curse. He quickly slapped her back into a coma, then obliviated her of the past few minutes.

Seconds later he had Harry pulled onto his lap in his own chair, cradling him gently. “Harry, love, please don’t let her upset you like this. It’s only because you cared for her once that she can. Do not let her win.”

Harry didn’t say anything for several minutes, instead soaking his shoulder with tears and trembling in his embrace. Voldemort occasionally shot a fierce glare at Arthur for starting this, though the man just watched them with silent remorse, making no further attempts to speak.

“I’m sorry,” Harry whispered eventually. “I didn’t think I—that anyone would. . . .”

At some point during his breakdown Harry had reverted to his natural appearance again, and fit quite comfortably on Voldemort’s lap. “Sincerely repent?” he suggested gently, stroking his mate’s hair and neck.

“Yeah.” Harry sat back a bit and presented him with a teary countenance. “Does he . . . really mean it?”

“You know I can tell when people are being untruthful. Yes, he does.”

Harry looked off to the side for a moment, another tear escaping, then said, “I don’t know what to do, Tom. I can’t let him live, but. . . .”

Voldemort nodded. “You can, however, give him a merciful death should you choose.” His mate pressed in close again so he held him, stroking his hair soothingly. Another few minutes went by before Harry pulled away and slid off his lap, then wiped at his face and took his own seat.

“You are going to die,” Harry said quietly.

Arthur nodded.

“But before you do, I think I ought to tell you a few things. Ginny isn’t dead. She is presently in an induced coma, much like your wife is at the moment, waiting until Neville Longbottom is cured of the drug addiction Dumbledore forced on him. Once that’s done, they’ll both be leaving the country and starting a new life at my expense.”

A faint look of hope touched Arthur’s eyes, but he remained silent.

“Bill and Charlie are also alive. What you saw were constructs, not them. I know they weren’t a part of any of this, so I’ve not gone after them. I used their likenesses to hurt you, that’s all. It is true, however, that Percy is well on his way to becoming a rather mindless creature.”

And then Arthur did speak. “Did he really. . . ?”

Harry nodded. “Yes, he did, and was. Percy was very afraid of losing his job. You may recall a conversation you had with him once, about how the minister might be using him? Well, suffice to say, Percy truly did glory in the idea of servicing that man in order to retain his job, and what little power he had personally. His role in my slavery was peripheral, so I won’t kill him, though you might think it would be kinder if I did.

“As for Ron, well, he is dead. The man seen running about causing trouble was not your son, it was me. He died the same night Hermione did, and yes, that was really her body. In any case, Ron never joined Lord Voldemort as we implied.” He paused, then added, “Is there anything you want to say before. . . ?”

Arthur heaved a sigh and said, “Thank you for explaining, and I think I can guess why Ron has died. I can’t take back what I’ve done, Harry, and no amount of apology will ever make my choices right or erase them, but I am sorry.”

Harry nodded and raised his wand, but before he could cast anything Arthur spoke again, having turned his head toward Voldemort. “Please take care of him. You’re all he has.”

Voldemort tilted his head to the side and arched a brow, slightly suspicious despite knowing the man was sincere, then nodded.

“Avada Kedavra,” said Harry, without fanfare.

Voldemort was not the least bit surprised that Arthur’s lifeless face showed only peace, not fear. “Harry?” he said, turning to look at his mate.

Harry was tearing up again, but managed to say, “I think I need to take a break.”

“Then you shall. Go ahead on up to the office and let me cast a few spells here to keep things in order, and I will join you in just a minute, all right?”

Harry nodded and rose, heading off toward the stair silently.

Voldemort waited until his mate disappeared, spelled Arthur’s corpse into stasis, then cast an area spell to force everything to maintain its present condition. He did not want Harry to continue things later and have Molly Weasley realize a huge time gap had occurred due to a change in the intensity of odors or anything else that might be taken as a sign. He also took the time to place a barrier of sorts outside Percy’s cell to protect him from the already befouled atmosphere.

Once upstairs he pulled Harry to him and stroked his hair. “If you wish to go home and come back to this later, we can. She will certainly keep for some time.” His mate sort of nodded against him so he summoned a cloak over, one with a hood, and helped Harry into it, then led him back to the house and up to their bedroom.

Harry undressed rather slowly, then sat on the edge of the bed. “I’m sorry.”

“What for?” he asked, shedding his own clothing in favor of a simple robe.

“I didn’t mean to fall apart again.” Harry gave him a sad look.

Voldemort shook his head and took a seat as well. “That only proves they did not destroy you, nor did you destroy yourself. You still have a heart. And, Harry, the only thing you should ever apologize to me for is if you step on my foot or burn something you cook for me—things like that.”

Harry was startled into laughter, his expression lightening considerably. “I feel kind of silly, I guess. I’m a dark lord for pity’s sake. I shouldn’t be crying at the drop of a hat, and certainly not in front of the damn victims.”

He reached out to grasp Harry’s chin and turn his head to face him. “Don’t be daft. These were extraordinary circumstances, and I am the last person who would think to criticize or remonstrate. And don’t you dare try to protest and remind me that I am a fellow dark lord.”

Harry surprised him completely by saying, “You love me?”

Voldemort caressed the side of his mate’s face with his thumb and nodded. “It’s your fault entirely that I remembered I actually had a heart, Harry. And I don’t want to hear any complaints that I’ve fallen in love with you, all right? You’ll simply have to learn to live with the fact that nowhere does it explicitly state that we dark lords cannot have feelings.”

His mate gave him a sweet smile. “If you say so, I’ll believe it. You don’t lie, and though you are kind about it, you don’t hesitate to tell me when I’m being an ass.”

“I don’t lie, to you,” Voldemort affirmed.

“I think . . . I might finally be able to believe in love, and believe that what I feel for you really is love.”

Voldemort barely prevented a fatuous smile from exploding across his face. He spent a brief moment berating himself mentally for feeling almost girly again, then leaned in to give Harry a gentle kiss before releasing his chin. “Maybe I should fetch myself a light snack and we can just laze about for the rest of the evening pretending to be shiftless ne’er-do-wells.”

Apparently, that was not entirely the right thing to say, as Harry frowned at him. “A snack? You’ve not eaten in hours and you’re talking about a damn snack? Wine does not count as food, Tom!” Harry pushed off the bed and hauled Voldemort up, then dragged him off to the kitchens.

The next thing he knew Voldemort was being pushed into a chair at the table with an accompanying baleful stare, then Harry was off rummaging in the supply cabinet and tossing things onto the counter almost haphazardly. Within minutes he was presented with a salad and a glass of juice to start him off, along with another fierce look before his mate went back to cooking with a vengeance. Voldemort chose not to complain of his treatment. If it made Harry feel better to take care of him and helped him regain his equilibrium, so be it, and besides, his cooking was divine.

A bit later he was presented with . . . well, he wasn’t sure, actually. The confusion must have shown on his face as Harry piped up, “It’s Thai. Vegetables, chicken, and a combination of oyster and garlic sauces. Rice if you want it.”

Voldemort decided not to inquire as to where some of the ingredients had come from. He could only assume Harry had been sneaking things into the house when he had not been paying attention. A fork was shoved into his hand a second later, so he began to eat, quickly falling in love with the dish and giving his mate a look of appreciation and approval.

“I knew you’d like it,” Harry said with a hint of smug pride.

“I wouldn’t dream of doubting your choices when it comes to cooking, my sweet,” he said diplomatically.

Harry snorted, but chose to backtrack rather than comment directly. “I am sorry, really. I know you don’t mind, I do, but I dislike when I fall apart as much as I like how well you take care of me. So, thank you, too.” He bit his lip, glaring when his lover paused in his eating, then said, “Mm, I really had fun dueling with you, even if it was just pretend. Do you think there’d be value in doing so in front of our people?”

Voldemort had another bite, absently savoring the taste while he pondered. It might well be interesting to have a real duel in front of the Death Eaters, just to remind them that it wasn’t just Lord Thanatos that was skilled in the arts of fighting. Granted, he could admit to himself that Harry was actually better than he, but then he had not been trained so brutally, nor so specifically.

“I suppose Molly can wait until tomorrow. Besides, I’ve had an idea just now and I’ll need to arrange for it anyway.”

He looked up and nodded, then forked up more of his meal, a part of his mind wandering slightly even as he took in what Harry was saying, and wondering how exactly his mate planned to capture the white king. After all, with the possible exception of Cornelius Fudge, Harry’s list was just about finished aside from that particular thorn in their sides. Anyone important, anyway. And that made him wonder just what they would be doing once Dumbledore was dead.

“I know that look,” Harry said suddenly. “You’re thinking about Dumblefuck again.”

“Sort of,” he dared to say, then immediately filled his fork again.

“What? After?” When Voldemort nodded Harry said, “Oh. Well, like I said, I don’t care if we stay, but I suppose if we did, we ought to have some idea how to go about things. Like . . . tearing the Ministry down and building it back up as something that made sense. Speaking of which, are there any laws on the books regarding incubi?”

Voldemort blinked, and after a moment, shrugged.

Harry sighed, then brightened as his lover finished up his meal. He leapt to his feet and whisked away the dishes, setting them in the sink before slinking back over to perch on the edge of the table and lean back slightly.

“I will have someone bring back a complete list of all current laws in effect, Harry.” He paused, giving his mate a once over, then smiled slightly. “I think it’s time for my dessert, love, and your dinner, don’t you?”

Harry licked his lips and shifted, spreading his legs apart and reaching down with one hand to fondle his cock as his other went back to brace himself. Voldemort stood up quickly and pushed his chair over, then sat back down, right between his mate’s legs. A second later he gently removed Harry’s hand and pushed it away, urging him to lie back on the table. He began his so-called dessert by sliding his hands along his mate’s thighs and gliding his tongue along to follow one, licking his way up Harry’s inner thigh and just barely brushing against his scrotum before heading back down to nibble at the side of his mate’s knee.

He spent quite some time on that alone, feasting on the soft flesh presented to him at either side, before gently pushing his mate’s legs up and bracing the backs of Harry’s thighs against his palms. Voldemort ducked his head in order to tongue-fuck his mate’s anus, then slowly worked upward, pausing for some time to give Harry’s scrotum due attention, rolling those soft globes around in his mouth.

Harry, of course, was writhing around on the table making all sorts of delicious noises, and had even taken to fondling and pinching his own nipples, his head tossing back and forth restlessly. Voldemort gently lowered his mate’s legs and scooted his chair forward to begin sliding his tongue along Harry’s cock, pausing to lick away the already seeping fluids, then engulfing him.

Harry arched up off the table with a particularly loud moan and slid a hand down his chest to his stomach, which Voldemort promptly took with his own, threading his fingers into his mate’s. And while he had not initially intended to, Voldemort found himself working his mate’s cock with a mind toward orgasm, becoming quite enamored of the idea of being able to take him shortly at as easy of a rhythm as he wished while Harry recovered for round two.

It was, after all, quite rare that he was able to make love to Harry for any length of time; his mate’s charms tended to urge him toward completion much more quickly than he might like. So he used his tongue to excellent effect as he fellated his mate, slipping several fingers of his free hand into his ass to further stimulate him. And when Harry did lose control, Voldemort felt almost as though his fingers were going to be broken given how strong his mate’s grip was.

Voldemort milked Harry dry, then laved him clean with his tongue, only then rising and pushing back his chair so he could position the head of his penis and sheath himself smoothly. A glance at his mate showed that Harry was completely blissed out, but still responding, his brief slackening of movement picking back up with every stroke Voldemort made. By then he was fairly certain Harry had done no permanent damage to his hand.

And yes, for these blessed moments, Voldemort was able to indulge himself for the first time in a while, setting a pace that would allow him to draw out the encounter until he was good and ready to seek completion. Then he almost groaned with something other than pure pleasure when he realized that Harry’s cock was stiffening again so quickly, but could not bring himself to be upset.

Much sooner than he would have preferred he was aggressively thrusting into his beloved while stroking his mate’s cock, one hand still bound up with Harry’s, and Harry, still quite young and able (and possibly simply because of his nature) exploded a second time, arching and bucking off the table to the sound of Voldemort’s encouragement. And then, he came as well, tightly holding his mate’s hand to steady himself against suddenly weak knees and briefly failing vision.

*

“Nothing to say, Arthur?” Harry inquired solicitously, then shook his head regretfully. “I see not. Well, in that case, I suppose we should move on, eh? And since you can’t be bothered to say anything, you’re the next to go, my darling surrogate parent.”

Voldemort thought the golem his mate had altered looked just like the man, so it should certainly be good enough for what Harry had in mind. And on that note, Harry aimed his wand at Molly and clearly intoned, “Imperio.” Her expression went from sullenly tearful to vacuous, and then she blew him a kiss.

Harry smirked and nodded, clearly feeling much better about things in general, and released her from her bindings. While she was picking herself up from the floor he slipped a blade from a sheath strapped to his thigh and levitated it toward her. She took it as soon as it was in reach so Harry stepped back and sat down in his chair.

Molly turned toward her husband and advanced, proceeded to yank down his ragged trousers and castrate him, then toss the testicles aside where they hit the floor with a dull thud.

“That’s what I like about the imperius curse,” Harry commented. “They might have that nice floaty feeling, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t aware of their actions. And anyway, she’d already emasculated him in spirit, so why not for real?”

Molly then began stabbing her husband repeatedly, outwardly oblivious to his cries and grunts of pain, sticking him like a pig that needed tenderizing, or as though she were reenacting a scene from Psycho.

“And look,” he continued. “Now, this is a woman who was such a matriarch, ran her household with quite nearly an iron fist wrapped in velvet, so you’d think she would have an iron will to go with it. But. . . ? Obviously not. Why, I bet the aware part of her mind is screaming right about now and recoiling in horror at these evil things I’m forcing her to do.”

She faltered slightly, which made Harry grin, then resumed her orders, working her way up his legs and to his stomach. She plunged the knife deeper there as she struck, wrenching the blade up and down each time, then proceeded to carve the word ‘weak’ into his chest before plunging the blade into his heart a few times. The last thing she did was place the tip under his chin, then bash it in using her fisted free hand as a hammer.

Harry tilted his head from side to side a few times, then directed her to step back. A potion vial was floated over to her, and she took it, knocking it back quickly. It took less than a minute for her to collapse to the floor. “Brilliant!” Harry said. “And now you’re paralyzed, Molly mum, and free of that nasty curse. You even fell just the right way. You’ve got a lovely view of your husband like that, now don’t you.”

He turned to Voldemort and said, “It’s almost a shame, her age. If she were younger I could have sold her off as prime pure-blood breeding stock, though she is a bit on the hefty side. Really, I know that producing sprogs has one gaining weight, but I don’t understand why she’s never bothered to regain her youthful figure.”

“Bastard,” she managed to force out.

“No, I’m afraid not. I have it on good authority that my parents were actually married, Molly mum,” Harry said good-naturedly.

“You forced me to kill my husband,” she tried to shout, the paralyzation potion preventing her from inhaling deeply enough to manage it properly.

“Yes, and that just goes to show how weak willed you really are. You put up a good front, though, obviously, but faking it doesn’t cut the mustard in situations like these. Poor Molly mum, her worst fear come to life, and she helped! Her entire family is dead. And do you know what?

“Should it come to pass that the media found out about you stabbing poor Arthur like a demented psycho, the minister might not bother to worry about a trial. After all, you already have two sons who’ve gone to the Dark Lord. It’s not such a stretch for people to believe you did, too. I also bet a Dark Mark on your arm would be very convincing to Fudge.”

“Dumbledore will make you pay for this.”

Harry laughed. “He’s already made me pay, Molly mum. I’ll give him a fair return on that investment, believe you me. You know, it really hurts that you all thought I was so incredibly brainless, and so easily subdued. Dumblefuck should have paid more attention the day I confided that the sorting hat wanted me in Slytherin.”

“I’ll haunt you,” she threatened, “for the rest of your miserable life.”

Harry laughed again. “No, I don’t think so. You see, it isn’t just the Ministry that knows how to confine a ghost to certain places, so should you make the mistake of trying to become one at your death, I’ll be very sure to find you a nice place to haunt, a place where you can’t be a bother to anyone, and in fact, will drift around until the end of time alone, unwanted, and unable to spew your lies and hatred. So, if you’d like a forever of sheer, impotent boredom, be my guest.

“You know, I wonder. You lot got quite a bit of my money, too. I wonder if I could put forth a claim and seize the Burrow based on that. I used to think it was such a wonderful home, so magical and cozy, but now I’m thinking it would be more fun to burn it to the ground. Perhaps I could bury you all there?” Harry shook his head and flicked his wand, levitating her off the floor, then rose and re-secured her onto the rack.

“If it weren’t for the fact that I bear a very personal grudge against you, Molly mum, I would ask Lord Voldemort to allow his dear friend Antonin Dolohov to come visit you and play. After all, that man killed your brothers, so he might find it to be highly amusing and satisfying to complete the set. Still, I think I’ll reserve that task for myself.

“And since I hold you in such contempt, I’m going to do something to you that most magical persons would consider to be unforgivable, and I’m not referring to a spell, Molly mum. I’m going to do something to justify your thoughts, something loathsome, despicable, and something that shows my utter lack of regard for you as a person.” Harry summoned over rather a lot of wood and began stacking it around the base of her rack, absently commenting as he worked, “Consider it a preview of hell.”

And when he was finished Harry cast incendio with a nasty grin and resumed his seat. “It’s almost a shame,” he said as flames began to lick at her ankles, “that I gave you that potion. We shan’t be able to see you struggle as you’re consumed by fire. Oh, that reminds me.” Harry cast another two spells, this time to prevent death by smoke inhalation or shock.

It took . . . a while for her to die, her cries of pain echoing throughout the dungeon. Harry was able to quietly cast a spell to protect him from the sickening stench of burning flesh given that she was so handily distracted. And when she was finally gone he waited quite some time before he did anything, then turned to Voldemort and said, “If you would like to put the body in stasis—what’s left of it, anyway—and see about making sure if she pops up as a ghost that she’ll not go anywhere, I’ll see to cleaning up.”

*

Moony was delighted to have a new friend. Harry delivered Percy to him late one evening and after updating a few things sat down to explain the new arrangements. “Moony, Weatherby here is your bitch. He will obey you in all things, I’ve made sure of it. He doesn’t exactly belong to you, but that will come more into play later on, after I’m sure he’s adjusted to his new home.

“Now, you have my permission to play with him as much as you’d like right now, with one glaring exception. You are not to order, ask, or allow Weatherby to fuck you. He can suck your cock, you can suck his, and you can fuck him, but he isn’t allowed to fuck you. He’s the bitch. Are we clear so far?”

“Yes, master,” said Moony softly.

“Good. For the time being there’s no limitation insofar as time goes, but once I open up this park to visitors, you will understand that Weatherby is off limits to your advances until nightfall. During the day he’ll be bitch for any Death Eater who wishes to play with him, all right?”

Moony nodded, casting a rather lustful look Percy’s way. Harry rather thought that his pet didn’t need to find his new plaything attractive, just willing, and he was obviously dying to get laid again given how long it had been since his last reward.

“Obviously, if you would like to be fucked, you’d have to see if a Death Eater was willing to oblige you, not Weatherby. Either that or you’d need to continue using that toy I so thoughtfully provided.”

Moony looked slightly disconcerted, but nodded his understanding.

“Unlike you, Moony, Weatherby doesn’t have a choice along those lines. He will submit to anyone and his entire existence revolves around providing sexual pleasure to others. You must ask to be fucked, so if you don’t want someone burying their cock in your ass, that’s perfectly all right. I told you before I wouldn’t let anyone hurt you, and I meant it.”

Moony shifted a bit and tilted his head. “Why is he like this?”

Harry smiled and reached out to stroke Moony’s hair briefly, almost affectionately. “Because, pet, he likes it. He spent years being Fudge’s bitch of his own free will, and reveled in it, enjoyed being used and ordered around. And while he helped me along the path to enslavement, it wasn’t directly, so I see no reason to actually kill him. If you don’t wish to play with him, that’s your choice. It’s not like I’m going to force you to.

“He only answers to Weatherby, and he can’t speak any longer. He seems to have forgotten how,” Harry said with a smirk. “Also, I am counting on you to make sure he gets enough sleep at night, eats properly, and so forth. If he gets out of line you may cuff him, and if necessary, knock him out, but I expect you’ll let me know if anything has happened when I come each day to visit, or if you suspect there’s a problem of any kind.”

“I will,” Moony assured him, then glanced at Percy and licked his lips.

“You know, if you want to play with him now, go ahead.”

Moony did not need to have his arm twisted. He had Percy pinned to the ground almost immediately, asserting his dominance with strength, then straddled his chest and growled, “Suck me.”

Percy eagerly complied, beginning to fellate him with what looked like a fair amount of skill as Moony lurched forward to hover over him on all fours and rock his hips. Harry absently noted that his pet seemed to be filling out nicely and had developed the start of a nice tan from his daily (though protected) exposure to the sun.

Only a few minutes had gone by when Moony pulled away and nudged Percy to roll over so that he might fuck him senseless. And then he paused, looking at Harry with quite a bit of uncertainty.

“All you need to do is touch his collar and say ‘prepare’ for him to be ready, pet,” Harry said, answering the unspoken question. “A nifty little enchantment if I do say so myself.”

Moony gave him a faint smile and turned back, set the head of his cock at Percy’s anus, then reached up with one hand to do just that before pushing forward slowly and covering Percy’s back with his chest. When Harry did leave a short time later, a very sated Moony was curled up around Percy, who seemed quite content himself.

*

They were at, for lack of a better term, a party, though it might be more accurate to say revel, as there was an entertainment portion scheduled for a bit later in the evening. Voldemort might have been bored senseless were it not for the fact that he and Harry were presently secluded in an alcove, hidden from view by extravagant curtains and a few spells, and his beloved was on his knees having a snack.

It was all Voldemort could do to stay upright against the onslaught of Harry’s tongue and fingers, which were currently coaxing him along handily toward an explosive culmination. And were he the type, being discovered might have been cause for embarrassment given that his trousers were puddled around his ankles. However, the idea of anyone breaking past his spell work was laughable, so he could enjoy both the ministrations of his beloved and the knowledge that they were being extremely naughty with hundreds of people within hearing distance.

It was one of those times when he felt like he must have done something right in his life to have such a loving, loyal, and trustworthy mate at his side. He could probably fill several parchments with complimentary adjectives to describe Harry, but that thought went clean out of his head when climax claimed him, his knees turning to butter in a heartbeat.

A minute or so later, after fixing Voldemort’s clothing, Harry rose up with a slight grin and kissed him on the corner of his mouth softly. “You taste even better now that I’ve begun cooking for you,” he whispered.

Voldemort might have responded to that, but voices filtered in from the next alcove over, an oddity to be sure, as anyone with any sense would have erected privacy charms. Harry turned his head, then tilted it like a bird.

“Uncle Sev,” they heard. “How could he have possibly been captured and tortured like that? I still don’t understand it.”

Harry looked at him and arched a brow, then mouthed, “Draco?”

Voldemort nodded as another voice, this one dull and ponderous, said, “I dunno.”

Harry rolled his eyes and cuddled up to his lover, and Voldemort gladly wrapped his arms around his mate and kissed the top of his head.

“Our lord hasn’t said a word, and I thought Sev was really important. And for that matter, what about our master Lord Thanatos? He’s not human, he can’t be.”

“Cold,” a third voice said.

“Yes, bloody cold. Is it even possible to cross a human with a damn dementor?” Draco said. Then a snort followed by, “Right, why do I even bother. It’s not like either of you two have the brains to hold a decent conversation. Merlin, where did our lord find that man? There’s no possible way he’s a normal wizard.”

The clearing of a throat was heard and the sound of people shuffling, then a harsh voice. “Draco, you are a fool to bring this up again, especially where any imbecile could overhear. You risk losing your life over base curiosity, and it is not your place to question either of our masters for any reason. I will not hear of it!”

“But, father,” Draco whined, obviously not all that worried about lurkers.

“No, Draco. You will not raise this issue again, here, at the compound, or anywhere else for that matter. I cannot believe you would take such risks. Are you so eager to die?”

Voldemort heaved a sigh and looked at Harry, who was sporting a malicious look, then removed the spell work from their alcove and slipped out, his mate right behind him. Two steps brought them to the next and the curtain was whipped aside rather dramatically. “Any imbecile?” Voldemort inquired archly.

Two of the four occupants paled drastically and prostrated themselves, the dullards following their lead a few heartbeats later, and Voldemort could tell that Harry was employing inverse thrall when at least one of them whimpered.

“What have we here?” Harry said in that creepy dead tone he reserved for special occasions, coming to stand at Voldemort’s side. “Four little minions discussing things they ought to know better than to talk about, not to mention being foolish enough to forget to secure their privacy? Tsk, tsk, gentlemen.”

Voldemort rather thought that Lucius was torn between slitting his own throat and strangling his son judging by the way his hands kept clenching. “Crabbe, Goyle, get out,” he ordered, then waited until they lumbered off. “Lucius, you will attend me in my office tomorrow morning at nine.”

“Yes, my lord.”

“And you, Draco Malfoy. . . . I will have to think up something very special for you by way of punishment. For the moment, however, I think you need to curb that tongue of yours.” Harry whipped out his wand and shot a spell at Draco that was quickly followed up by crucio for two minutes. “You will report each day to my office, Draco Malfoy, once your duties at the training facility are complete. And since you can’t speak, you can show your understanding by touching that lovely forehead of yours to the floor whenever you might be moved to respond. Are we clear?”

Draco instantly did that, raising his head a second later, but not daring to meet anyone’s gaze.

“Splendid. In that case, what say we all amuse ourselves with this evening’s entertainment?”

“An excellent suggestion, cosire,” Voldemort said, then turned and entered the ballroom proper, striding gracefully toward the throne-like chair set aside for him. Harry joined him shortly, taking his own seat, and Lucius appeared and snapped his fingers.

A squad of Death Eaters rushed off, returning a few minutes later with a string of captives, something that Voldemort noticed caught his beloved’s attention rather keenly.

“Sturgis Podmore,” Harry said quietly. “He is mine.”


Associated Snapshot: Indiscreet