Chapter 3 : Chapter 3
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“Are you telling me that you haven’t accomplished anything?” Voldemort paced around his circle of followers.
“No, my Lord. I can not find anything about a spell that lets two persons share fates,” Severus Snape said, his head hung low.
“This is unacceptable!” Voldemort roared. One of the candle sconces on the wall exploded.
“Well, he did say that he and Hermione came up with a spell to do this,” Lucius said.
“I can not acknowledge that as an answer, Malfoy! You too Severus!” Voldemort shouted, pointing at the two disappointing men. With a huff, he turned and started to leave.
“Keep working!” he shouted as he slammed the door behind him. Voldemort walked quickly to his bedroom, looking to see if the Death Eater pledge had finished repairing the broken objects Harry had left in his wake. His jaw dropped to see the raven haired boy standing in the middle of his now immaculate room.
“Hey Dad! What do you think?” Harry turned and grinned at his father. He held out his arms to display the Death Eater robe he was wearing. It would have looked good on him, black always being a good color for everyone, especially a boy with a scar. But had it been about three sizes smaller, it would have looked even better on him. Harry turned, showing off the gauzy black fabric hanging from his limbs.
“Just feel this fabric! Smooth as a baby’s bottom it is! And here, it gets better!” Harry grabbed the Death Eater mask from the table and put it on his face. “I look just like you!” his laugh muffled from behind the mask.
“Potter, get out of those robes! You look ridiculous!” Voldemort held up his wand and accioed the mask to his waiting hand.
“Well if I look ridiculous in Death Eater robes, how do you think my father looks?” Harry’s lips turned up in a smile. “and another thing,” he pulled up the long sleeve of his robe to display a crudely drawn Dark Mark on his forearm. “Don’t you think you could have made this mark more socially acceptable? Some barbed wire or a scorpion perhaps?”
“That’s it Potter, I’ve had it up to here with you!” Voldemort raised his wand to Harry’s face. Harry frowned at the tip of the instrument of magic before pulling it down with a hooked finger.
“Ok, I was going to let the name thing slide, but I’m getting rather annoyed by it. My name is Harry Riddle and I would prefer it if you called me Harry or Riddle. Please.”
“There is only one term I wish to send your way right now, Harry.” Voldemort raised his wand again, the tip touching Harry’s nose. Harry’s shoulders softened.
“Go ahead. It’s your funeral.” The statement hung in the air and Harry could see his father contemplate his position. Kill Harry Potter, and die along with him. Let Harry Potter live and suffer his idiosyncrasies and mannerisms for the rest of their time together, however long that might be. He had come too far to just give up on his quest right now. Voldemort sighed and lowered his wand before stalking out of the bedroom. Harry smiled and turned to the full length mirror to admire the robes again.
“Not bad,” he murmured.
“Can you believe that Harry invited us over? And for Voldemort’s birthday party?” Hermione said as her and Ron stood outside the doors to the house. She held in her hands a package wrapped in bright paper and sparkly ribbon.
“Yeah, this ought to be memorable.” Ron reached up and knocked on the wooden doors. A few moments later they opened. Silver eyes bulged out as they took in the sight of his old school enemies standing on the doorstep.
“What are you two doing here?” Draco scowled. Ron sneered and started towards him.
“We were invited!” Hermione grabbed Ron’s arm and pulled him back.
“C’mon, Mione, just this once,” Ron grumbled.
“Remember what I told you Ron,” Hermione said quietly. Ron’s gaze shifted thoughtfully before his features softened into something that resembled peace. He smiled and chuckled blissfully to himself. Hermione smiled sweetly to Malfoy before pushing past him into the house.
“What are you laughing at Weasel?” he called after Ron.
“Oh, just thinking about ferrets!”
“Ron! Hermione! Glad you’re here!” Harry jumped off the stairs and ran to his friends. After some brief hellos, Harry took them into the room where the party was being held. House elves scurried around, decorating the room with sparkly balloons and pastel streamers.
“Harry! You look absolutely smashing in those robes!” Hermione laughed as she sat the package down on a table.
“Thanks!” Harry beamed.
“I was joking,” Hermione said.
“Oh, right!” Harry laughed again and quickly took the black robe off. Crabbe slipped silently through the doors and approached the trio. “Oh! Hey guys, you know Vincent!” Harry pulled him up to the group. Ron nodded warily at him before his attention was drawn to the plate of cinnamon rolls on the table by Hermione’s present.
“Hey, are those to eat?” Ron walked over and picked one up.
“Yeah, help yourself! There’s plenty more things the house elves are whipping up for the party today!” Harry picked up the gift and shook it. “So what did you bring, Mione?”
“Oh, well I couldn’t think of anything he wanted. I mean, what do you buy a Dark Lord for his birthday? So I got a gift certificate from Dervish and Banges and wrapped it up in a few different boxes,” Hermione explained. She had gotten the idea from her cousin who did the same thing on Christmas a few years ago. The box she received must have been as big as she was, yet it contained only a book. Harry laughed.
“That’s brilliant!” Harry and Hermione chatted for a while as Ron and Vincent helped themselves to the cinnamon rolls.
“So uh, what’s the story with those two?” Vincent asked quietly, nodding to Harry and Hermione.
“Oh, he’s got a little crush on her. For a while actually. Can’t work up the bullocks to do anything about it though,” Ron said before he sunk his teeth into the flaky pastry.
“Ahh,” Vincent watched his school mates as they chatted. Harry laughed at a joke Hermione said, playfully shoving her shoulder. He noticed Vincent just behind her as his hand lingered on her arm. Vincent grabbed two cinnamon rolls and held them up to his ears.
“Leah!” he mouthed to him as Ron pointed to Hermione. Harry’s smile quickly vanished as he realized what they were saying.
“What is it?” Hermione turned and saw Vincent hand a cinnamon roll to Ron, who eagerly accepted it. Hermione rolled her eyes.
“Gluttons. Gum?” she said, turning back to Harry. Harry shook his head at the piece of cherry flavored chewing gum. No way could Hermione be his sister. She doesn’t look anything like him. Although they both do have the same unruly hair. And now that Harry was thinking of it, he could see some red in her hair. No! No way! Hermione isn’t his sister! She looked too cute to be his sister, chewing her gum, blowing the occasional bubble as she situated her gift with the others. His thoughts were interrupted by the house elves scurrying even more. They all dropped what they were doing and rushed to the door. The four teenagers turned to see Voldemort had just entered the room. The house elves all congregated around him and began to move him back out of the room.
“Potter! What is going on here?” Voldemort yelled, his eyes appearing more and more like two shiny maraschino cherries as he took in each sparkly decoration.
“Your birthday party!” Harry said.
“Happy Birthday!” Hermione stepped forward with her gift. Voldemort struggled against the dozens of tiny hands pushing on his knees.
“Get away from me!” he shouted to them as he kicked two out of the way. Hermione gasped and ran to them, helping them off the floor. “Who are you?” the Dark Lord looked down his nose at her.
“You!” Voldemort leapt towards her. “You did this to us! I want you to tell me how to undo this spell! This should be added to the list of Unforgivables!” Hermione looked at him with wide eyes. She looked to Harry as if asking permission of something, then turned back to Voldemort, blowing a couple bubbles in his face.
“Well! Tell me!”
“She can’t Dad.”
“What do you mean?”
“I obliviated her after she performed the spell. Because we both realized how much damage this spell could cause if it was used by more people, we both agreed that only she would know the specifics of the spell. Then after it was cast, I would erase it from her memory,” Harry explained. “To protect everyone, you know.”
Voldemort looked again at Hermione. The rage and frustration he had been feeling this past week pouring out his eyes at her. If only she knew what she had done. If only she knew what consequences her actions had. He bore into her eyes, his mind reaching out to hers, searching her memories for anything. Anything at all. Hermione stood strong under Voldemort’s gaze, as she knew what he was trying to do. Calmly, she blew a bubble. A huge one. The thin layer of gum spread thinner, then burst. Bits of pink chewing gum exploded onto Voldemort’s face. He became frighteningly still and silent as the crowd of house elves around his knees gasped. Hermione cleaned the gum off her lips with her tongue and continued snapping and popping it in her mouth. Harry winced.
“Think happy thoughts, Dad,” he said quietly to him, sympathetically rubbing his arm. “Come on, let’s go get you cleaned up before your party.”
Voldemort stood in the corner of his party room, scowling at everyone who approached to wish him a happy birthday. Not surprisingly, this put everybody at the party very on edge. Just a handful of people seemed to really be enjoying themselves.
“Well, I think we’re all here, why don’t we start passing out the cake?” Ron said.
“No, we’re just waiting on one more guest. Hermione, remember your promise!” Harry said after eyeing the door. Hermione rolled her eyes through a mouthful of potato chips and French Onion dip.
“What promise?” Vincent asked.
“Let’s just say that Hermione doesn’t really care for this person I invited to the party and I made her promise she would behave herself,” Harry explained.
“I’ll behave if she does,” Hermione grumbled. Voldemort couldn’t help but overhear this exchange. Harry invited somebody that Hermione absolutely hated? Considering the type of person Hermione was, this told Voldemort that he and this mystery guest might get along swimmingly. Suddenly the sound of trumpets filled the air. Harry’s head shot up in surprise.
“Hey! That was supposed to happen whenever Dad walked in the room! Not when someone rings the doorbell!” Harry turned to Hermione. “What happened? You said you had that fixed!”
“Sorry, maybe that Obliviate did something funny to my head,” Hermione said, rubbing the back of her head.
“That was the doorbell? Who else is here?” Vincent asked. His question was soon answered as the doors to the room swung open. Standing in the doorway, decked out in the height of London Wizard fashion was the one and only, Rita Skeeter.
“Mr. Voldemort, it’s wonderful to finally meet you!” Rita stepped forward and strongly shook the Dark Lord’s hand. Hermione stuffed a chip in her mouth and rolled her eyes.
“Ms. Skeeter wanted to do a piece for the paper about us. She was thinking it would inspire other broken families to come back together,” Harry explained, Voldemort still being rocked by Rita’s handshake.
“If The-Boy-Who-Lived and the Dark Lord can do it, anyone can!” Rita laughed. “Shall we get started? Oh! Wait!” That’s when Harry noticed Rita’s assistant standing behind her with a package. A large basket wrapped with seafoam green tissue paper. “This is for you!” she pushed the package into Voldemort’s arms. “It’s a set of assorted teas, scented candles, and therapeutic stress balls. Now you don’t have to open it in front of me and feign surprise and delight!” Rita flashed him her trademark toothy smile. Voldemort stared back at her, his expression ever so stoic. Rita leaned to Harry.
“Please tell me he looks better than he did under the turban,” Rita murmured out of the corner of her mouth.
“It’s a matter of opinion really,” Harry whispered back. “Perhaps we could do the interview after a few guests have left?” he suggested.
“Does this mean we can start serving cake?” Ron walked up to the group, sipping some punch.
“Sure!” Harry ordered some house elves to hand out cake while everyone started to take their seats.
“Hey, this cake isn’t that bad!” Crabbe senior said through a mouthful of red velvet cake. His son seemed to be in agreement through his own mouthful. Voldemort sat at the head of the long table, surrounded by dozens of pastel boxes. The party guests included all of the Death Eaters and Harry’s friends. The two groups were getting along so well, Voldemort sniffed his punch more than once to make sure nobody slipped a mood lifting potion in the punch bowl. Nobody even noticed the house elves clearing away the Care Bear plates. Harry paused in his conversation with Hermione when he saw his father sitting silently in his chair.
“All right everyone, what do you say about opening some gifts?” Harry stood and walked over to Voldemort. He picked up the first gift and sat it in Voldemort’s lap. With some encouragement and a little more punch, Voldemort opened his first gift. Alright, maybe there was a little something extra in the punch. Soon, he came to Hermione’s gift.
“A box?” he said as he opened the box. Hermione giggled.
“Keep going!” she said. Voldemort continued and about ten minutes later, he was holding the small piece of parchment that represented twenty galleons of merchandise at Dervish and Banges. With a sigh, he tossed it off to the side and reached for the next gift. An hour later saw Voldemort with a new set of robes, a pair of socks from Dobby, a couple more gift certificates, which reminded him to hex the person who bought him the hour massage, the stress relief kit from Rita, a blue teddy bear, a new journal with Dark Lord Voldemort engraved on the cover, a scrapbook for a family tree, some treacle tarts, and many other trinkets that Voldemort couldn’t remember. Harry was sure to write down the name of the gift giver and the gift they gave however.
“Why do you insist on recording who gave me what?” Voldemort sneered after he emptied his glass.
“So you know who to write the thank you notes to,” Harry answered matter-of-factly as he scribbled a description of a dress robe.
“Thank you notes?”
“Yeah, you have to thank people for the gifts. It would be rude if you didn’t!”
“Mr. Voldemort! If it’s convenient for you, perhaps we could start the interview now?” Rita asked as she noticed only four other people in the room. Ron, Vincent, Hermione, and Harry.
“Great!” Rita and her Quick Quotes Quill perked up. “My first question is for Harry really. Harry, how did you come to find out about your lineage?” Harry recalled with fondness the genetic tests that affirmed the identity of his father. His voice caught in his throat as he read the letter his mother had meant for Voldemort to receive. Rita fanned herself as the emotions welled up inside her at the sound of the heart-felt words.
“Oh! One couldn’t find such romance in the letters of Heloise and Abelard!” Rita sighed.
“Heloise and Abelard?” Voldemort’s eyebrows, if he had eyebrows, that is, crinkled together.
“Abelard was a French muggle professor who lived in the Middle Ages. He had an affair with one of his students named Heloise. They were forced to live their lives alone, but they did write these insanely romantic letters back and forth. The letters are still considered to be the birth of romantic love.” Hermione explained with an enamored sigh. At least her and Rita could agree on something. Rita sniffed as she composed herself.
“Alright, Mr. Voldemort, how do you feel about the endeavors of your army, now that you’re a father? Have your goals changed at all?” Rita asked.
“Of course not! And I am not his father! I shall strive for immortality just as I always have!”
“Oh, he still can’t believe it is true can he?” Rita asked Harry. Harry closed his eyes and nodded. “What about you Harry? Surely you have no intention of murdering your father?”
“No, of course not! I’ve lived my whole life without one. I can’t throw that away now!” Harry laughed.
“Then what are your goals for the future?”
“Well, um, I guess I’ve never really thought about it. Until about a month ago, all I could see in my future was defeating Lord Voldemort, and well, now here we are!” Harry smiled and grasped his father’s hand. Voldemort jerked and drew his hand back. Rita smiled.
“It takes a while to get used to such intimacy!” she said with understanding.
“I was thinking I could lead a group of Junior Death Eaters. We would be the ones to research and discover new ways to prolong life. We would assist the Senior Death Eaters as much as we could. I have already spoken about this to Vincent Crabbe.” Harry nodded his head towards his newest friend. The Quick Quotes Quill picked up speed with this new information.
“And what do your friends Ron and Hermione think about this? Aren’t they going to help you to?” Rita asked.
“No, they are going to stay connected to the Order. We’ve decided it was time that we all pursued our paths, no matter where they might lead us.”
“But friends working on opposing sides? How do you expect that to work?” Rita’s quill was scribbling like mad now.
“Oh, well. You see, we wouldn’t really be on opposing sides,” Harry started to explain.
“What?” Voldemort gasped at this. Harry continued as if he hadn’t heard him.
“We would each be working towards our own goals, and if our paths happen to meet, then so be it. We’ll work out any disagreements with the upmost diplomacy.”
“Now wait one minute Potter! Even if you are my son, I will not have you coming in here and taking over command of my army! You have no right to suddenly change the nature of my mission without discussing it with me!” Voldemort stood and pointed his finger in Harry’s face. Harry huffed and shot out of his seat.
“Don’t yell at me Dad! And please stop referring to me by that name! You always do that and that’s the one thing I’ve asked you not to do! Is it so hard to call me Harry?” Harry yelled, his face reddening. “I’m only trying to be included in your life! I know how important this is to you! I just want to make you proud!” he finished. As the words
left his mouth, Harry’s face screwed up with emotion and unshed tears. He quickly turned and ran out of the room, failing at his attempts to silence his sobs. The room was silent as Voldemort blinked. His cheeks burned as he saw the rest of the people in the room avoid his eyes. Rita raised an eyebrow as her quill quickly scribbled a few more lines.
“What are you writing?” Voldemort asked.
“Nothing!” Rita smiled and gathered her parchment and quill. “It was a pleasure Mr. Voldemort!” she said before exiting the room, her assistant scurrying after her. The only people left were Ron, Vincent, and Voldemort. Hermione had ran after Harry to console him. Ron and Vincent watched Voldemort as they slowly chewed on some left over birthday cake.
“What are you looking at?”
“Nothing!” Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum said as they grabbed a last slice of cake for each of them and ran from the room.
A/N: For those of you counting at home, I used methods 7, 14, 20, 31, 33, 40, 45, 59, 69, and 100 of the 103 ways to annoy Lord Voldemort for this chapter. It is still my goal to use every one of them, plus a few of my own. The next chapter may or may not include the use of air horns, paintball guns, and plastic food wrap. Just a little heads up! Thanks for reading!
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