Chapter 2 : You Know Who
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I gulped, eyeing my floor length dress ropes in distaste. My mother had picked them up yesterday, on her way back from work at the Leaky Cauldron. They weren’t anything I would particularly like, but in the haste of everything that had happened lately I didn’t dare voice my opinion.
I reluctantly returned down the long creaking stairs and entered the kitchen, a cavernous room with a long and busy table, almost every chair was filled. A delicious and expensive looking dinner course was spread out along it, though nobody had started eating yet. They were all waiting for the ‘special guest.’ I gulped, my stomach filled with terror. I approached my mother and brother at the far end of the table. Everyone around them gushed with excitement and prattled on about how wonderful it was that he was coming.
“Come along, Eileen.” My mother patted the seat next to her briskly. I sat down silently. She handed me a glass of firewhiskey. I eyed it, surprised. She nodded at me sharply, her sunken eyes narrowed. I took the glass from her and took a small swallow. It burned my throat, but it’s not as if I hadn’t had firewhiskey before. I tried to look shocked at the taste of it. My mother was satisfied with my reaction.
She didn’t offer a glass to my brother, Nathan. He had helped himself. Next to him sat four empty glasses. He didn’t even bother to clear them off the table. He had no shame. I was still a little embarrassed about my brother’s drinking problem. That was always one of the insults hurled at me by my fellow Death Eater’s from school. Bellatrix especially went on about my “useless drunken brother.”
Nathan didn’t even seem worried about how tonight’s meeting was going to shame on all of us, that we would have to face the wrath of He Who Must Not Be Named, The Dark Lord, You Know Who, Lord Voldemort. I winced. My insides shook and curled with fright and my eyes darted to my mother’s face, wanting to be comforted, and assured. All there was only a sad emptiness inside her. Her eyes didn’t even looking grieving. They were just blank. The only sign of her being uneasy was the dark bags under her eyes, revealing sleepless nights.
My mother stared back at me, expressionless. I lowered my gaze to the decorative table cloth. I traced the patterns of it with my fingers, my hands shaking. I didn’t even notice as someone took the chair on the other side of me until I felt his warm breath against my ear.
“Alright there, Sweeney?”
I jumped, my eyes skirting around nervously to meet the face of Regulas Black.
“I’ve been better.” I forced myself to respond, my voice sounding winded. I tried to conceal my shock. He was risking angering his hag of a mother by approaching me, asking if I was alright. I wondered if the others had noticed my apparent uneasiness.
“He’s going to kill my family.” I added under my breath, my voice barely audible. Regulas gave a sharp turn of his head.
“Times will be tough, but he won’t kill you. He might assign you almost impossible tasks, or provoke you into saying something wrong.” Regulas hissed. He was giving me advice. “Whatever you do, don’t speak unless spoken too. Never disagree with him. He is not merciful.”
I stared at Regulas, bewildered. “Why are you helping me?”
He answered with a small, bitter smile.
“I know what it’s like. Having your family’s purity questioned, thanks to my dear brother.” Regulas’s tone sounded disgusted, but his eyes showed certain sadness as he said this.
I opened my mouth to reply, but he just gave me a curt nod and returned to his mother and father at the other end of the table. Walburga eyed me venomously, her beady eyes held my gaze, it was as if she was mentally cursing me for speaking to her now only son, considering she had blown the other one off the family tapestry.
I broke her intense stare by eyeing the doily table cloth once more.
I didn’t look up as a loud crack entered the kitchen, silencing all the chatter before every man and woman erupted into a cheering applause.
My heart was beating so hard it felt like it was going to thrust itself right out of my chest and writhe on the floor in front of me. I tried to settle my breathing.
His face wasn’t at all what I expected. I tried to no avail to hide my wide eyed reaction. I was sure the Dark Lord could feel the fear radiating off me.
“Sweeney’s,” He hissed his voice extremely snakelike. I cringed as his piercing glare remained hooked on me. I saw almost amusement flash across his face as I continued to stare at him fearfully. A deer caught in headlights. That’s exactly what I felt like.
Nagini slithered across the table, wrapping her coil body around candles and various plates as she made her way towards my family. She turned her head towards The Dark Lord and hissed something to her.
He gave a sharp nod of his head and responded in Parseltounge. It sent shivers down my spine. Nagini retracted from our end of the table, slittering back to her master, I let out a shaky breath, thankful that at least for the moment I wasn’t the snake’s dinner.
“What do you have to say, Sweeney’s, about the actions of William?” The Dark Lord said calmly. It was a dangerous sort of calm. A few of the other families let out small laughs, Walburga Black among them, her barking laughter audible from across the table.
“W-w-we are ashamed.” My mother stuttered, her eyes firmly fixed on the table clothe, as if she were to combust into flames if she met the gaze of The Dark Lord. My Dark Mark burnt against my forearm, a searing pain almost. I held back a gasp. The Dark Lord says nothing for a moment, just lets out a humorous laugh.
“Ashamed?” He repeats, smiling. My stomach turned. “How to you suppose you can redeem the actions of your husband, Carolyn.” Voldemort addresses my mother directly.
“I’ll do anything, My Lord.” She said, shakily. I hold my hands together tightly underneath the table, wishing more than anything I could be somewhere else, or someone else.
“Look at me, Carolyn.” Voldemort hisses, his tone much less civil. My mother’s head snaps up to immediately face him.
“My Lord,” She responds, quietly. He smiles.
“Much better,” He said, stroking Nagini fondly. “Why shouldn’t I feed you and your children to Nagini, Carolyn? Will you all be useful to me?”
“Yes, My Lord. P-please don’t harm my children.” My mother lets out an involuntary sob, her body shaking.
“They must prove themselves useful to me, or I will kill them . . . slowly.”
AN: Thank you for reading. I finally got my banner up! I edited some grammar in the first chapter, and I’m ready to start some new stuff. Great plans for this story! Leave a review! Please!
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