Petunia Dursley sat quietly on her knees as Lucius walked around her, laughing maniacally, rubbing his hands together. If he had a moustache, he would have twisted it in his fingers to complete the effect. As her fear grew steadily, he began to feel something radiating off of her. Frowning, he stepped closer, prodding her thigh with the toe of his boot. “Eh? What’s this, then?” he asked, feeling the energy grow stronger each time he added pressure with his toe.
“Interesting.” he said, studying her face. “You’re giving off latent magic, woman. Did you know you were a witch? You certainly look the part, anyways.” She shook her head nervously, shunning his words as if they were a weapon. “It’s not powerful, hardly noticeable actually, but I feel it.”
The cell door opened suddenly, and Draco walked in holding his hand up to his father. “Sorry to disturb you, but I need to bring her to Voldemort’s room, father.” he said, reaching down with his other hand, grasping Petunia’s arm.
“Yes, I was about to see him about her, myself.” Lucius replied, walking out with the two, slightly annoyed his personal victim turned out not to be a muggle. “Ah, well.”
Severus stood over Harry, checking his vital signs, as Tom looked on. “He’ll be awake soon, I would have used a weaker potion if I would have known he would have to be awakened so soon after.” he said, tapping Harry’s face with his fingers, coaxing him to open his eyes.
Draco and Lucius soon arrived, pulling Petunia along with them, before pushing her into the middle of the room. She stood there, timidly looking around at her captors before zoning in on her nephew laying lifeless on what appeared to be an operating table. She took a step forward, before stopping herself, realizing the men standing over him were now looking at her.
Tom snarled as she advanced in his direction, holding out his wand. “Stay back, muggle. You can’t hurt him anymore. We’re to make sure of that today.” Her eyes squeezed closed as she awaited the curse. Something Lucius had done to her several times already.
Tom paused, seeing her weak, defensive stance. “Pathetic. Now you know how it feels, muggle. Not holding the power, believing yourself to be stronger than a wizard.”
Harry began to stir, struggling to open his eyes. He heard the voice booming over him, echoing against the walls. Tom. He needed to talk to Tom. His fingers began to bend, pressing onto the table beneath him slowly, trying to give himself leverage. “He’s waking up.” someone said. Light began to appear as his eyelids fluttered open.
Draco walked over, helping Harry up into a sitting position. He peered around the room, his vision slowly coming into focus, settling his gaze on Tom. He stared at him for a while as his memories flooded back into his consciousness.
Tom grinned at him, it wasn’t a pleasant grin, it had a tinge of something to it he couldn’t pick up on yet. Perhaps it was the eyes. They were illuminated, the green flecks that sat deep around the edges had been wiped away forever, as if crimson had been painted over.
“Tell him, Harry.” Draco said behind him, giving him a slight shove on his back.
Harry nodded, looking around the room clearly now, seeing aunt Petunia standing in the middle of it, holding herself in a hug, staring back at him with tears streaming down her cheeks. “No!” he shouted, leaping from the table and running over to her, throwing his arms around her waist. “She’s not like them, Tom. She’s like me. Please don’t hurt her.” he said with a slight whimper.
Tom growled deep in his throat. He shouldn’t have woken the boy, it could have waited. He should have known he’d grovel over that pathetic muggle.
Petunia gasped, looking down at the boy holding her tightly. Her body shook wildly, feeling the power from the child flow over her skin, something she hadn’t felt since the last time she touched him, more than ten years earlier. It had frightened her so much then, the feeling of magic she knew he possessed, and that she might possess as well, she had decided never to touch him again.
Standing there with him now, she let it flow over her, gathering it around for protection against the four men walking over to them. She placed her hands around his shoulders, pulling him into her breast, something that felt so foreign to her, but so right at this point.
Tom closed his eyes, sensing the great bond flowing over the room. “She’s a witch.” he said softly.
Harry turned around, looking puzzled. “She isn’t, she hates magic.” he replied, oblivious to the energy flowing between them.
Tom stared at the boy with a very angry look on his face. How could he be so blind not to feel it. He was clearly creating a shield around the two of them, weak as it was, it was there. The Dark Lord’s head began to stir, feeling the magic he held lightly flow away from him, erecting itself in the shield.
“She is a witch,” Lucius interrupted. “I could sense it earlier. It’s dormant and weak, but the magic is there.” He smiled proudly for discovering it first.
Tom walked over to them, grabbing both their arms, separating them from each other’s hold. “Witch or not, she deserves to die. I’m taking Harry to his room, get on with this.” he said. Something was odd, and he needed to keep them apart. He yanked Harry back, dragging him to the door as he struggled, reaching out for his aunt.
“Tom, listen to me!” he shouted madly. “She didn’t hurt me. She’s innocent. It wasn’t her goddamnit!”
Tom froze, his face contorted into a snarl as he shoved Harry up against the door, holding him against it. “I suppose you’re asking me to spare her life! You are truly pathetic. When are you going to begin to understand the power we hold over others? You let this bitch and her fucking muggle family do this to you! You are so weak it makes me sick.” he shouted, holding his face inches away from the boy’s.
He was surprised by his own anger towards him. He hadn’t felt this way since he had gotten here, but he seemed so insolent now, disobedient. He was using magic against him, against his Death Eaters. He’d have to punish him later for this.
Harry glared back, holding his stance against the Dark Lord. “I said she didn’t hurt me. She saved me. She came in and stopped him.” he said calmly, holding his breath after finishing.
Tom released his grip from the boy, stepping back a few feet. “You mean the night Dursley tried to rape you?” he asked, holding his anger briefly.
Harry nodded his head rapidly. “He didn’t just try to rape me, he was killing me. If she hadn’t stopped him, I’d be dead.”
Hitting Tom like a brick, he understood suddenly why Harry would protect someone who neglected his needs like he was neglected in the orphanage, not that it pissed him off any less. “You owe her a life debt, don’t you?”
Harry nodded, his body trembling with uncontrolled fear and anger, suddenly softening. Tom sighed, turning back to the witch. “So, this is true, witch? You saved his life?”
Petunia was awestruck. The man speaking to her felt of evil radiance, raw energy flowing through his veins, seeping from his pores. His beauty only intimidated her further, as she cast her eyes down, averting his gaze. He stepped closer, taking her arms, lifting her up to face him. He wasn’t exactly gentle, but she felt no pain. Her heart pumped blood throughout her body at an alarming rate, sweeping away any signs of aggravation she could be caused any longer.
“Answer me.” he said quietly, glaring down at her face.
She looked up, into his snake-like eyes, nodding her head, breathing hard through her nose. “Tell me why you stopped it, then.” he asked her, expecting a vocal response this time.
She swallowed the bile rising in her throat, coughing lightly. “Be--because I was a-afraid for him.” she replied softly, looking down again at her feet. She cried harder, horrid memories of her home filling her eyes.
Harry hadn’t been the only victim. She had been beaten numerous times for showing magic, long before Dudley was born, or Harry came to them. She hated her sister for being better than her... for getting her Hogwarts letter when she didn’t.
She hated Harry for getting his letter, and tried not to pity him when Vernon turned his rage to the boy whenever he returned home. Touching him was out of the question. Loving him wasn’t even thought about. These were the rules, and she would never break them.
“I couldn’t let myself love him, Vernon wouldn’t allow it.” She continued. “The night though, that night... I heard him. He was crying and screaming. There were noises, so loud I couldn’t block them out. I had to do something. I was so afraid he’d hurt me, too. I knocked on the door, thinking maybe it was another nightmare, he gets them so often. He started shouting for help, and my legs collapsed under me, but I pushed the door open anyways...”
Harry stepped forward. “That’s enough!” he shouted.
Draco walked over to him, resting his hands on his shoulders, coaxing him back.
Lucius frowned, wanting to hear the rest. He gestured lightly for her to continue, before Snape glared over at him, mouthing the word ‘disgusting’ and shaking his head. He shrugged his shoulders, mouthing ‘What?’ back at him.
Tom dropped Petunia to the floor, stepping back, facing Lucius. “What am I supposed to do now? Let her go? Send her off on her merry way?”
Lucius held up a finger to fill his master’s head with his own suggestions, but he was cut off as Tom whirled back to the woman. “You do realize I am going to murder your husband and son, don’t you? Would you rather die, too? I could make it painless.”
Harry jerked away from Draco’s hands, running over to his aunt again. He helped her up, and braced her weight on his shoulder as he walked her over to the table he woke up on. “Sit down, aunt Petunia. No one is going to hurt you.” he whispered to her.
Snape walked calmly over to the table, waiting for Tom to either allow him to sedate her or help kill her.
Tom sighed deeply. He wanted so badly to kill the mudblood, but felt something he couldn’t remember feeling this strongly before... guilt. He watched as Harry caressed her hands, holding them on her lap. He felt the energy, saw the lights appear, streaming around theirs arms, wrapping themselves around their fingers. It was happening again. That strange shield covering them that blinded his vision was reappearing.
Severus looked down, gasping as the lights flickered over the boy and his aunt. Lucius recognized it immediately and nudged his son, pointing. Harry and Petunia looked at each other calmly, not noticing them whatsoever.
Tom broke their grasp again, wrenching Harry back, angrily. “Severus,” he began, as Snape stepped up, watching the magic fade away the moment their hands broke contact. “Make Mrs. Dursley comfortable. She is spared. I’ll need her alive for further testing.”
He then turned to Lucius and Draco. “Start with the boy, I want to save the other for Sirius, see if he’s got what it takes.”
Lucius grinned excitedly, grabbing his son’s hand and pulling him out of the room, shouting “Thank you, Master!”
Harry’s eyes grew wide as he looked up at Tom, hearing the name ‘Sirius‘. What in the hell did he mean? He opened his mouth to speak, but his arm was jerked back behind him and he was again thrust towards the door by Tom.
“I’ll deal with you upstairs.” he hissed.
Sirius looked down at his forearm, growing ill. He had done it. It burned and itched and looked bloody awful, but there was nothing he could do about that anymore.
Remus sat sideways on a chair, legs draped over the arm, staring over at the fire he made in the fireplace. His hand cupped his chin, as he tapped his finger along his cheek, deep in thought. He wondered silently how Sirius felt, to afraid to ask at the moment. He had only woken up a few moments before, not remembering what he had done, and now sat blank-faced on the bed, staring at his arm without saying a word. So many questions needed to be asked, and yet he could hardly find his tongue to ask them.
Sirius winced as he touched the burned flesh, tracing the lines of the skull and serpent, feeling it come alive on his skin. “It hurts.” he said under his breath. “It hurts like hell.”
Remus broke his hypnotic stare from the fire and shifted his body on the chair, so he faced his friend. “Can I get you something for it?” he asked politely. Sirius shook his head, still watching the mark.
Gathering his courage, the werewolf stood up, crossing the room and resting on the bed next to the new Death Eater. “So, what does this mean? Do you have to kill people? Serve him like a slave?” he asked as his cheeks turned red with anger.
“Shut up, Remy. Don’t patronize me.” he replied swiftly. “It’s done. You and Harry will be safe now. Don’t worry, you don’t have to take the mark.”
Remus was beside himself with anger. “You made a deal for our safety? Was this deal anything like Harry’s? Are you going to whore yourself to the Dark Lord, too?” he shouted, standing up.
“Shut up, Remus!” he shouted back. “I just woke up and I’m a bloody Death Eater, let me get used to this, okay?” His eyes filled with tears as he leaned back into his pillow. Remus bit his bottom lip, and climbed back on, laying down next to him. He laid there quietly, feeling very guilty about what he’d said, hurting his friend like that.
“Siri..” he began in a hushed voice. ” I can’t believe I said that. I’m so sorry. We talked about this, I know you didn’t have a choice.”
Sirius closed his eyes, rolling to his side, away from Remus. “Don’t pity me, and to answer your question.. I’ll do whatever I’m told to.”