Chapter 1 : Antonin Dolohov: Offered
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A/N: This is GoCalgaryFlamesGo. I want to thank wallflower, who was the wonderful inspiration for this story, and Peachblosom, my lovely beta. Oh, and Alex for coming up with this collab. =)
If you asked the first of Lord Voldemort’s supporters why they had joined his cause, they would answer with a response similar to, "because we wanted to destroy the poisonous grasp of the mudbloods and live in a world the was pure." If you asked Antonin Dolohov, one Voldemort’s initial Death Eaters, the same question, he would answer with, "because Lord Voldemort asked me to."
The heavy rain drummed down on the tin roof of the Hog’s Head. The wind lashed against the windows, tugging at the partially open shutters. Rivers of water streamed down the normally dusty street. The skies had darkened, despite it being only the early evening it was as black as the dead of the night. A bolt of lightening split the sky, momentarily illuminating the empty streets that were devoid of any life. Seconds later, the booming crack of thunder rolled down the mountain and through the streets of Hogsmeade, causing the young occupants of the town to shake with fear. The villagers had fled the streets long ago, locking themselves tight in the comforts of there own homes. Some sought shelter in the Hog’s Head, downing a few pints while they waited for the torrent of rain to let up.
Antonin Dolohov was also in the Hog’s Head, but unlike the other occupants, he was not drinking. A glass of Firewhiskey sat in front of him, but he was merely staring into it. He was sitting in a secluded booth, tucked away in the corner of the bar. He was wearing a thin black cloak, it’s hood swept back to reveal his short, black hair. His face could only be described as disturbing. It was long, twisted and pale, very pale. Set in the pale face, his coal black eyes looked like hollow pits. He hadn’t shaved in a week; stubby bristle was starting to coat his cheeks. A thin, faded scar crossed his forehead, disappearing into his thick eyebrow. Despite his cloak and robes, Antonin Dolohov still appeared thin, looking like nothing more than a skeletal assembly of skin and bones. He was an unattractive man, there was no denying that, but it did not bother him. He cared little for appearance; he saw it only as a burden. By retaining his unpleasant looks, Antonin Dolohov was able to fade into the background. He was a person that someone would look at once, then forget a second later.
Every few minutes, Antonin Dolohov would glance up at the door, before resuming his contemplation of his Firewhiskey. Unconsciously, he drummed his fingers against the edge of the table. Outside, the storm had increased in ferocity, the pouring rain becoming so thick that it was impossible to see more than a foot in any direction. The wind too, had picked up. With a savage gust, it tore one of the shutters from its hinges and flung it out into the darkness. Dolohov shivered instinctively, drawing his cloak closer around his thin frame.
Another bolt of lightening struck the village, coinciding with the sudden opening of the bar door. Cast into light by the lightening, a tall, cloaked man appeared in the doorway. Outside the open door, the wind whistled, torrents of water washed through the street and the thick tree branches snapped in half. Quickly the man closed the door, shutting out the storm. He was cloaked completely in black; his hood pulled over his bloodless face. The occupants of the bar glanced up at him for a second, before shrugging and returning to their drinks. The cloaked man’s eyes traveled the length of the bar, stopping when they noticed Dolohov sitting in the corner. He walked over to Dolohov, sweeping his hood back to reveal black hair as he went.
"Damn weather," he growled, sliding into the booth opposite Dolohov. Dolohov said nothing, simply pushing the glass of Firewhiskey across to the man, who downed it in one gulp. The man tossed the empty glass to the side and looked at Dolohov. Dolohov met his eyes, studying the man’s face. Like Dolohov, his face was pale. It had a slightly waxy appearance. His eyes were tinted red, giving them an eerie look. He was the same height at Dolohov, but not quite as thin.
"What do you want Tom?" Dolohov asked indifferently.
"I have an offer for you," Tom replied slowly.
"An offer," Dolohov repeated. "Does this have anything to do with the name you are calling yourself now?"
"Voldemort?" Tom asked. Dolohov nodded, prompting Tom to continue. "Yes, this has something to do with Voldemort."
Dolohov sighed. " Then I don’t know what you want from me. I’m not a pureblood, Tom."
"Neither am I," Tom reminded him. Dolohov was one of the few people who knew the secrets of his parentage. "I’m not interested in your blood, Dolohov."
"What are you interested in?" Dolohov asked, giving Tom a curious look.
"Your talents," Tom said simply.
"My talents," Dolohov repeated, instinctively touching his wand.
"Yes, your talents. I never forgot when we dueled," Tom added.
Dolohov gave a small smile. "I haven’t either."
The two teenagers squared off against each other. They were both tall, pale and dark haired, but they could not have looked less alike. Antonin Dolohov was focused, his thick eyebrows furrowed in concentration. A gleam of anticipation shone in his black eyes. Tom Riddle was relaxed, his body loose, his face smiling. His also dark eyes were almost mocking.
"On the count of three," another student, dressed in Slytherin colors, declared. Dolohov raised his wand, gripping it tightly. Riddle, who held his wand loosely, raised it a few seconds later. Tom Riddle was confident that Dolohov stood no chance against him. Dolohov was eager to prove himself and by defeating Riddle, he could do just that.
"ONE!" the student called. Dolohov steadied himself, planting his feet.
"TWO!" Riddle straightened his relaxed shoulders.
Immediately, a jet of red light flew from Dolohov’s wand, Riddle was forced to dodge it. Dolohov’s second spell he blocked with a shield charm. Determined to regain the upper hand, Riddle shot a disarming spell at Dolohov, who lazily blocked it. Riddle hesitated, raising his wand, contemplating his next attack. Dolohov was far better than he expected. In all truth, Dolohov didn’t even look as if he was being challenged.
Dolohov was, quite frankly, rather disappointed. Either Riddle wasn’t really trying or he wasn’t the exceptional wizard everyone claimed he was. Lazily, Dolohov twirled his wand, waiting for Riddle to make the next move. He didn’t want to end this yet, toying with his pray was much more fun. And, maybe Riddle would show that talent that marked him as the greatest in the class. Dolohov smirked tauntingly at Riddle, who shot off a stunning spell so fast that Dolohov barely had time to react. Casting a shield charm, Dolohov ducked to the side and aimed a disarming spell at Riddle, who deflected it with a shield of his own. Waving his wand, Riddle conjured several flames that flew towards Dolohov; with a flick of his wand Dolohov transformed the flames into silver knives that switched directions and flew towards Riddle. Riddle vanished the knives, sending a stunning towards Dolohov a second later.
Forced to dodge the spell, Dolohov gave a satisfied smile. This was what he expected from Riddle. Now, he was faced with a challenge. Both wizards were highly competent; each was casting nonverbal spells in an attempt to gain the upper hand. Riddle cast a stunning spell at the exact same moment Dolohov attempted to disarm him. The jets of light collided in the middle and both wizards were forced to duck as their own spells rebounded back towards them. Dolohov recovered first, the spell that left his wand struck Riddle in the chest, knocking him back. Riddle stumbled, clutching his chest. A second later, a jet of red light left his wand; Dolohov deflected it with a shield charm.
Riddle returned to his standing position, wand raised. Opposite him, Dolohov was in the same position. Riddle looked irritated, his face was red and angry. Dolohov, on the other hand, was grinning, his face open and mocking.
"CRUCIO!" Riddle bellowed. Dolohov dived to the side, barely avoiding the unforgivable curse. Getting to his feet, he glared at Riddle, who merely shot another spell off. Dolohov reacted quickly, his shield blocking the spell only inches from his face. The spell glanced back towards Riddle, who carefully stepped away from it. When he looked back up, Dolohov was staring murderously at him, anger coating his face. Dolohov waved his wand, causing several of the shelves lining the walls of the room to shatter into a cloud of dust. Riddle ducked his head, coughing as pieces of wood rained down upon him.
The dust cleared and Riddle raised his head, to see that Dolohov had stepped closer. Dolohov’s eyes glinted strangely. He gave a twisted grin, and slashed low through the air with his wand. Surprised, Riddle looked down to see a thin, purple flame pass through his legs. Then they gave way and he collapsed on the ground. Dolohov smiled triumphantly, kicking Riddle’s wand away from him.
Riddle looked up at Dolohov, shocked. "You won," he muttered, before fainting. The watching students moved closer, exchanging anxious whispers, but Dolohov cast a spell that forced them back. Holding his wand, he tapped the spot on Riddle’s leg where his curse had hit. He said something indistinct and watched as white light left his wand, surrounding Riddle’s leg, before vanishing.
"Enervate," Dolohov muttered, pointing his wand at Riddle’s throat.
Riddle’s eyes opened, he blinked before looking up at Dolohov, a curious expression on his face.
"That was the only duel I’ve ever lost," Tom confessed, watching Dolohov with the same curious expression on his face. "You healed me. Why?"
Dolohov shrugged. "I had to, didn’t I? Otherwise I would have been forced to explain to Slughorn why his favorite student had suddenly died."
Tom laughed. "That would have been interesting."
"He would have murdered me," Dolohov corrected.
Tom looked at him. "I think you could have defended yourself."
Dolohov gave a twisted grin. "Right, and have two murders on my plate. That would go over well."
"Would that bother you?" Tom asked, interestedly. "The murders," he clarified.
"No, murder doesn’t bother me. Although, I would have felt guilty if you had died," Dolohov admitted.
"Good," Tom muttered, thoughtfully tapping his finger against the empty glass. He stayed silent, looking down at the tarnished silver goblet. Dolohov’s gaze flickered through the bar, noting the large number of empty glasses that now littered the counter. Several half-drunk men were sitting on the stools, their comments growing louder and more boastful after each gulp of Firewhiskey. Dolohov’s expression changed to one of disgust, as he watched a beefy, red haired man, leaning to the side and hurl. As the man’s neighbors vocally described their displeasure, Dolohov’s gaze returned to Tom Riddle.
"What are you offering, Tom?" Dolohov asked suddenly, intently watching Tom’s expression.
"A chance for you to use you talents," Tom replied cryptically.
"Care to elaborate?" Dolohov asked, although he was quite sure he knew what Tom was getting at.
"I’m offering you a position, Dolohov."
"A position," Dolohov repeated.
"A position that allows you to make full use of your talents," Tom elaborated.
"You want me to join your Death Eaters," Dolohov stated bluntly.
Tom nodded only once, clearly conveying his meaning.
"I thought you were looking for purebloods," Dolohov pointed out.
Tom shrugged. "I can’t just have purebloods," he admitted, "there aren’t enough of them left."
"Why do you want me to join?" Dolohov asked.
"Honestly," Tom answered, "I want you to join because I know what you are capable of. You have exceptional magical talent; you know more about the Dark Arts then half the magical world combined. I’ve also seen that you don’t object to using the Dark Arts. I also know that you do not mind getting your hands dirty. And, I know that you are willing to commit murder," Tom finished.
"You seem very certain about that point," Dolohov commented.
"Two words," Tom said with a faint smile, "Emerson Brown."
The brown haired man struggled against his bonds. Antonin Dolohov laughed as he watched the man’s futile struggle. Slowly, deliberately, Dolohov raised his wand. The man stopped struggling, his eyes fearfully following the wands upward motion. Dolohov paused the wand’s motion and favored the man with a mocking smile. The man gave him an odd look. Dolohov winked, once, before opening his mouth.
A flash of green light left his wand, striking the man in the chest. He crumpled, his body sagging against his bonds. The fear never left his eyes. Dolohov approached him slowly, curiosity written on his face. Hesitantly, he touched the dead body and quickly withdrew his hand. Brimming with satisfaction, Dolohov turned away.
"Why did you do it?" Tom asked curiously.
Dolohov shrugged. "Just to see if I could."
"And you enjoyed it?"
"I did," Dolohov agreed.
"And you want to do it again?"
"Maybe I do," Dolohov replied evasively.
"I could give you the opportunities," Tom said. "Not just for murder. There would be other opportunities as well. Countless occasions for torture. Theft, I’m sure that will happen. Spying, if you wanted. You have talents, Dolohov, unusual talents. You have a talent for causing pain, a talent that is very rare. I understand that, Dolohov, and if you joined me, I would enable you to use your talent to the full extent of its power. I want you working with me," Tom finished. "I want you to help me accomplish my goal. I am asking you to join the Death Eaters."
Dolohov’s eyes shifted. He looked away from Tom, staring blankly towards the water-streaked window. His expression changed, now it was now one of thoughtful consideration. Tom Riddle watched intently, as Dolohov’s eyes glazed over and he drifted into another memory.
"CRUCIO!" Antonin Dolohov cursed. His eyes danced with glee as the young man shrieked, withering on the floor in front of him. He ended the curse, watching with interest as the man struggled to rise to his feet. Shakily, the man took a hasty step and stumbled, crashing into a bookshelf. Dolohov laughed cruelly. The man picked himself up from the wreckage, his hair disheveled, his clothing dusty.
"Please stop," the man pleaded. "What do you want? I’ll give it to you. I’ll give you anything. Anything at all. Just make it stop."
Dolohov smiled sardonically. "You are giving me what I want," he replied, raising his wand once more. The man gave him a look of utmost fear. Dolohov laughed, feeling the anticipation surge through his veins. The man crawled along the floor, his movements panicked, as he tried to escape the pain that Dolohov was about to create.
"CRUCIO!" Dolohov bellowed, watching with excitement as the man was tossed into the air. He landed in a heap of broken glass, his body twitching as he shrieked from the pain equal to that of a thousand burning knives, each repeatedly stabbing deep into his torso. The blood surged through Dolohov’s brain, he felt ignited as he tortured the man lying in front of him. It was a powerful feeling, one that struck deep within his own soul. He got an immense surge of pleasure, watching the man squirm on the floor, knowing that he, and only he, was the cause of the man’s extreme pain.
Sneering, Dolohov ended the spell. The man fell to his hands and knees, his head lowered, staring at the floor. "Why are you doing this?" the man asked, panting heavily, his eyes still focused on the floorboards. He was trembling; it seemed it was all he could do to keep himself from falling flat on his face.
"Why am I doing this?" Dolohov repeated, thoughtfully twirling his wand. He surveyed the damaged man in front of him. When he answered, his voice was contemplative, as if he himself was not entirely sure of the answer. "I do it because I can. I do it, because I enjoy it. I enjoy causing pain."
The man glanced up, giving Dolohov a pitiful gaze. "You are evil," he said.
Dolohov laughed, raising his wand and striking the man with another curse. This time, when the curse wore off, the man collapsed in a crumpled heap on the floor, unconscious. Dolohov smirked, walking forward to kick the body. "Yes," Dolohov muttered, turning away from the body, "I suppose I am."
Dolohov jerked back from his memory to find himself staring towards a rain washed window. He turned his head back to Tom Riddle’s. The pair’s of eyes met, one set hollow and black, the other pair containing a distinctly reddish hue. Tom’s expression was questioning, while Dolohov’s look was decisive.
Outside, lightning split the sky while the wind howled ominously through the streets of Hogsmeade. The light inside the Hog’s Head momentarily flickered, plunging the tavern into a few seconds of darkness. A hushed silence fell, as the occupants whispered nervously. A crack of thunder echoed through the valley and the flickering lights returned to full brightness. Shrugging at the uncommon occurrence, the no longer sober bar patrons resumed their loud drinking.
Neither Antonin Dolohov nor Tom Riddle had flinched when the lights flickered. They simply sat, perfectly still, neither one looking away from the other. Dolohov twitched, opening his mouth. "I’ll do it," he said firmly. "I’ll join your Death Eaters."
Another crack of lightning lit up the sky, as Tom Riddle smiled triumphantly.
25 Years Later
Antonin Dolohov kicked the body belonging to Gideon Prewett. Next to Gideon lay the body of his brother, Fabian. Both were dead, slain by Dolohov’s hand. The latest additions to his death toll. Smiling with satisfaction, Dolohov turned away from the bodies, instinctively flexing his left forearm. The Dark Mark had been branded onto his flesh for 25 years. 25 years that he did not regret. Dolohov stepped towards the center of the room, returning to the circle of Death Eaters. They surrounded him, praising his talent, some casting him admirable looks. As he shrugged off the hand that proudly clapped his shoulder, Dolohov knew that he made the right decision.