Tom’s realisation that night after visiting Hermione had made him decided the next morning hat he wasn’t going to go back, curse or no curse.
He couldn’t let feelings like what he had experienced get in his way, especially feelings about somebody else.
Feelings became weakness and weaknesses became somebody else’s power.
So he had completely distanced himself from anything to do with her. No longer did he go and watch her house. No longer did he pay her any more midnight visits. No longer did he try and envision his future with her following loyally by his side, in fact he banished any thoughts of her at all. Any time he felt himself thinking about her he immediately changed his train of thought.
He didn’t realise how much he did think of her until he had to stop doing so.
At first it was difficult to do so. The first few days he had to fight the urge to see her, it was like an itch that grew worse and worse as the days went by. But he stuck with his decision and forced the aggravating feelings down until he was able to ignore them completely.
The only silver lining about his change of attitude was that now that he wasn’t devoting any time to her he could once again invest all of his time in his quest for power over the Wizarding world. The need for distraction came at a good time as Tom was finding that his and his followers efforts within the ministry were often being thwarted by another rival group of wizards who called themselves 'The Order of the Phoenix’.
Tom scoffed when he had heard the ridiculous name and could have guessed in one who the leader was of such a group and he was unsurprised but also furious that it was again Dumbledore in his way of achieving his goals.
After finding out about the Order he had come up with an ingenious plan to infiltrate Dumbledores order with one of his own. Severus Snape was a long standing follower of his who was aptly skilled at both Defence Against the Dark Arts and Potions and whats more had no convictions of use of the dark arts that Dumbledore could use as ammunition to refuse him a job.
Tom had instructed Severus to obtain a teaching position at Hogwarts and gain Dumbledore’s trust by offering information on Dark Witches and Wizards the Order was after. Fortunately Dumbledore hadn’t taken much convincing and had figured that Severus would be a valuable asset to Hogwarts teaching staff as well as the Order after having known and been an associate of many of the Dark Wizards they were searching for.
Tom was pleased with himself for his cunning plan however he was still having troubles with the Order even with Severus working from the inside.
Currently he was working at getting some of his more loyal followers out of Azkaban. Bellatrix Lestrange, her husband Rhodolphus and his brother Rabastan had been involved in an incident on the night of Halloween.
A few weeks prior to the incident two Aurors and members of the so called Order, James Potter and Frank Longbottom, had conducted a raid on the Lestranges house, under the opinion that they were involved in a recent attack on a muggleborn witch and her young family. There was no concrete proof that the Lestranges were involved, however the two Order members were convinced and had gone in wands blazing and had attempted to stun and use Veritaserum on the Lestranges to get a confession.
The Lestranges managed to escape to Malfoy Manor without any fatalities, however had procured many injuries from the attack. After spending time resting and healing at the Manor the three had made a plan for revenge. They had received a tip from a close friend of the Potters on their whereabouts and Bella, her husband and brother in law had paid the Potter’s a little visit, torturing the husband and his wife in revenge for the raid. They had also planned later on that night to visit Longbottom and his family.
Whilst the torturing was occurring the potters young infant son had been present in the room and had exhibited a powerful but accidental magical outburst that had infact saved his parents from death. The magical outburst had severely stunned and knocked the three Lestranges unconscious long enough for the other Order members to arrive responding to a patronus Lilly Potter had sent before being tortured.
Although the Potters weren’t killed the amount of torture they had suffered had unfortunately affected their minds so badly they had turned into mere shadows of their former selves and had been admitted to the ward for Magical Maladies and Injuries in St Mungos where they continued to remain.
Their young son had been taken into the care of his godfather Sirius Black and the Lestranges had all been sentenced to life in Azkaban without even a trial.
Tom had been fuming when he had heard of their recklessness. He had had half a mind to leave them rotting in Azkaban as punishment for being so stupid and not thinking through their actions or how it would reflect on him.
Many knew that the Lestranges were very loyal friends of his, with them even going as far as to call him the ‘Dark Lord’ in the open, although most viewed the name as the ravings of insane inbreds and thankfully didn’t think much of it, there were some who listened. They were also well known for devoting themselves to their ‘Dark Lord’ in any way they could, especially if that way involved the use of the Cruciatus Curse or other such methods.
Their open favour for the Dark Arts was one of the reasons Tom had also thought of leaving them to Azkaban’s clutches. Although he himself was also closely aligned with dark magic he knew when to reveal his alignment and when to not, an understanding the Lestranges often lacked. And although he did need followers, he valued intellect and stealth above the ability to torture someone.
But even he had to admit that a pureblood witch like Bellatrix with a large Gringotts vault could and most likely would be valuable to him in the future.
So he had spent the last month working closely with Lucius, who was a very esteemed member of the ministry that had quite a large sway, and who was also rising quickly in his own ranks for his intelligence and loyalty, trying to get the Wizengamot to agree to a trial for the three Lestranges.
Tom huffed frustrated as he again read over the ministry letter Lucius had just handed him.
‘Dear Mr Malfoy,
We regret to inform you that your request for a trial for the Azkaban Prisoners, Bellatrix Druella Lestrange, Rhodolphus Eduardus Lestrange and Rabastan Acturus Lestrange, has been denied upon review from the Wizengamot Council.
Bartemius Crouch Senior, Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.
Normally Tom would have just broken the three out of Azkaban and been done with it, however Lucius, had advised him that it could be achieved in alternative ways that were also less incriminating.
The only problem was that request for a trial kept getting denied time and time again.
Tom and Lucius both knew it was because many of the members of the Wizengamot were quite fond of Dumbledore and viewed him often as the saviour against dark wizards everywhere. However Lucius was also a very favourable member of the Ministry. Being from an ancient wealthy pureblood line opened a lot of doorways especially as Lucius was now the 'poster boy' for pureblood families everywhere. Having married a young beautiful witch from another esteemed family and having a young son who was only a few months old had many people not believing that Lucius could at all be aligned with the Dark Arts or a Dark Lord as the Order often claimed he was. After all what father and mother would want their young baby boy being surrounded by Dark Magic.
“What are you thinking Tom?” questioned Lucius as he watched the man’s growing anger at being denied a trial again.
Lucius was one of the only people who dared call him Tom to his face. The only other’s being his father Abraxas and wife Narcissa. As Tom had watched both Lucius and Narcissa grow up from young eager children to quick thinking and skilled adults he had a closer relationship with them and had even taught them many of their magical skills.
“I’m thinking we are still getting no where with the trial, and need to try a different approach, especially as we know that Crouch is a close friend of Dumbledore.” he said frowning at the signed name on the bottom of the letter.
“So something must be done about Crouch then.” Lucius said, never missing a beat
“Indeed, and I think I may have the answer, however it will depend on his loyalty and your ability to manipulate within the ministry Lucius.” Tom said looking at him.
“You know I have a rather large input within the ministry, what is it that you need me to do?” He asked curious at what the Dark Lord was planning.
Tom motioned for Lucius to sit down in the seat opposite him as a plan began forming in his head and he voiced his ideas to him. He quickly agreed it was a clever plan that should give Tom more of the power he seeked and if done correctly should not lead back to them in the slightest.
“Ahh Cornellius wonderful to see you.” Lucius drawled as he sat down across from the plump man.
“Lucius, it’s been too long, far too long, tell me how is your wife and son going, are you treating them well?” Fudge asked taking a large sip of his brandy.
“Both are splendid, they are in France at the moment visiting Narcissas mother, unfortunately I was unable to go with them but they will be returning home for Christmas.” He offered, pouring his own drink from the bottle he had ordered for the table.
“Good to hear, very good. I say, what is it that you wanted to talk to me about? I must admit I was rather curious when you said it was to do with the election.” Fudge said crossing his hands over his large stomach.
“I wanted to ask you, and forgive me if I am over stepping, have you ever considered running for the position of Minister for Magic.” Lucius charmed, drawing out the words Minister for Magic.
Fudge looked shocked at his word’s as if it was not what he had expected.
“Why Lucius I was expecting for you to tell me that you would be running for Minister, not that I should run.” He said joyfully as if it was a funny joke.
“Now come now Fudge you know I am far too young to be running for Minister, and as you said before I have my wife and son to think about, both of whom need my attention right now.” He said waving away the idea. “You on the other hand Cornelius, would make a great candidate, years of experience, head of your department, nobody would question it, and you see I have heard some rumours…” Lucius said emphasising the word rumours knowing Fudge could not resist gossip especially if it was about him.
Lucius learned forward as if what he was about to speak could not go beyond them and smirked when Fudge followed suit leaning in as well.
“…I have heard some rumours that many in the ministry have been asking why you haven’t been given the position already. They don’t understand why a Wizard of your talents would be stuck being only head of a department when he could be Minister for Magic, they much prefer you to Crouch’s hard demeanour.” Lucius spoke more quietly eyes locked with Fudges.
Fudges eyes gleamed as he listened to Lucius words and the prospect of what he was saying sunk in.
Lucius quickly downed the rest of his drink knowing it was now time to leave having planted the seed.
“I’m afraid Cornelius that I have a rather important meeting to attend and so I must be off, but think about what I have said, you know that you would be a shoe in candidate and I would be more than happy to help you in your progress to Minister over these next few months. I will speak to you again soon, good day to you.” Lucius said dipping his head.
Lucius rose from the table, hearing a muttered good bye from Fudge who seemed lost in his own thoughts. He smirked and walked from the restaurant, Oh it was just too easy, he thought happily.
Tom watched silently as the young man who looked so like his father came towards him, one of his followers on either side.
The man’s eyes moved slowly around the drawing room, scanning the ornate details before landing on him and curiously running over his appearance.
He stopped a few feet away before Tom motioned for the guards to leave and for the man to sit down in one of the chairs.
“I had heard rumours of your appearance.” The man said.
Tom’s eyes narrowed slightly at the lack of respect but remained cool headed, knowing that the man before him was a few screws loose and also that he was needed for the upcoming plan.
“Yes well now you have seen for yourself.” he spoke crisply.
The man only tilted his head to the side as if trying to solve a puzzle.
“I suspect you are wondering why I have summoned you hear Mr Crouch?” Tom asked taking his own seat.
“I admit I was curious what the Dark Lord could possibly want with myself.” He said flicking his tongue out slightly and touching his lip.
“Do you still wish to be a part of my… regime.” Tom said choosing his words carefully.
“What do you want me to do?” He asked intrigued, sitting more upright then before.
“I need a favour from you, that will contribute greatly in my quest for power and change within the Ministry.” he said cooly not revealing too much just yet.
“What will I receive in return?” Crouch asked picking at a seem on his robes.
Tom’s eyes flashed coldly at his demand.
“Let me rephrase Crouch, it is not a favour it is an order, what you will receive in return is your life and I may be inclined to give you something else, a mark perhaps, of loyalty to my cause, if you do not disappoint me that is.” Tom said icily emphasising that it wasn’t a question but a demand he was giving to the young Crouch Junior.
Crouch’s tongue flicked out again touching his lips as he seemed to be considering his response.
“What is it that you want me to do?" He asked again.
Tom nodded once before slowly explaining the plan to him that Lucius and he had discussed.
Tom looked down at the four men kneeling before him in black robes, two of which were in dark silver masks obscuring their identity from the other robbed men.
The room was dark except for a few lanterns lit nearby. He had refused any one else to be present at the ceremony except those receiving the mark.
He moved in front of the first man. The oldest of the four with silver blonde hair that was thinning slightly.
“Hold out your left arm.” He said in a quiet voice making sure not to speak the man's name.
Abraxas did as asked and Tom brought out his wand hovering it over the underside of his forearm and grasped his arm in place.
“Nigrum marcam de morte” he spoke carefully, moving his wand in an intricate pattern.
Tom gripped Abraxas arm tighter as he attempted to pull away, screaming at the burning pain that ripped through him. Tom watched intently to see if it would work. He had created many spells and charms before but none like this.
Slowly an inky black image began to appear on Abraxas arm, firstly a skull with large long fangs that opened its mouth to reveal a long hissing black snake that slithered over his skin and intertwined its long body before finally coming to a stop in its movements when the mark was completely filled in.
Tom smirked triumphantly. It had worked!
He let go of Abraxas who had stopped his screaming but was now groaning in pain and clutching his newly marked arm. He fell slightly to the side his body shaking as he tried to hold himself upright and not appear affected by the pain.
Tom ignored him and moved on to his right in front of the next man who would bear his mark. If the man was nervous it was unnoticeable as his face was covered by the mask that was similar to the one his father wore and he held out his arm confidently without being asked to do so.
Once agin he spoke the enchantment and watched as the same mark appeared, ignoring the screaming cries of Lucius as his grin widened.
He moved along to the third man, who wasn’t wearing a mask and surprisingly did not look nervous at all but only eager and curious to receive such a gift from his Lord.
“Crouch give me your arm.” He spoke commandingly.
Crouch held out his arm to him watching and listening intently as Tom spoke the incantation and waved his wand. He let out a cry of pain but bit his lip trying to muffle any further screams and continued to watch as the black snake slithered across his skin.
Finally Tom moved to the fourth person. An olive skinned man with long curly dark hair and beard and dark brown almost black eyes. He was clearly nervous as he kept glancing at Tom and then at the other three participants who were all hissing small groans and clutching their arms in pain.
“Karkaroff give me your arm.” He commanded.
Hesitantly Karkaroff held up his shaking arm and Tom grasped it tightly before repeating the process. Karkaroff’s screams drowned out any other sound in the room and Tom was glad he had put silencing charms on the room before completing the process.
After the last mark had filled itself in Tom walked back a few passes turning to face all four who were now mostly slumped over and shaking from the pain.
“Stand all of you.” He commanded waiting for them to get to their feet.
There were more groans of pain and agony as they shakily stood.
“Take these and leave us.” he said holding out two small vials of dark blue liquid to the two Malfoy's. They grasped the vials and left the other men to discuss whatever it was their Lord intended.
Tom handed another vial to Crouch and Karkaroff, watching as they eagerly unstoppered them and poured the substance down their throats. The affect was almost instantaneous. They stopped hissing in pain, colour returned to their faces and they were able to stand upright once again.
“Th- thank you my Lord.” Karkaroff stammered out breathlessly.
Crouch did not utter a thanks but inclined his head in his direction.
Tom waited for the two men to compose themselves once again before he began his speech.
“I have kept you two behind because I need to instruct you on these marks I have given you. As I informed you earlier they are a mark of your loyalty to me. You are the first four to ever receive my mark and are now recognised as my most loyal followers. When anyone who is of my service see’s this mark they will know what it means and show you the upmost respect.” Crouch and Karkaroff looked surprised that they were apart of the first to receive the Dark Lord’s mark.
“But” Tom continued "…not only is it a mark of loyalty it is also a summons. When I wish to summon you, you will feel a burn from this mark calling you. When you feel this burn you will apparate and it will take you directly to my side.” Tom explained as the two men listened to the ingeniousness of the mark.
“Both of you have received this mark for the service you are going to be providing to my cause, which I also wish to review with the two of you.” Tom instructed conjuring chairs for them to sit on and go over one last time the plans that lay ahead.
Early January 1981
Lucius sat stoically amongst the other members of the Wizengamot. All though to most he seemed quite calm and almost bored at being there, inside he was rather nervous. Today was one of the most important days for their goals and he was hoping that all would go according to plan.
He waited patiently as the last members who were going to be present at Karkaroffs trial filed in and took their seats before finally Barty Crouch Senior took his stance at the head of the Wizengamot.
It hadn’t been hard to get Karkaroff to be given a Trial by the council. Tom and Lucius had simply constructed a scene where Karkaroff was found imperioing a ministry offical to get information on a wizard he had once had a quarrel with. After being caught red handed by another ministry worker he was held in questioning by the Aurors. They were originally going to send him straight to Azkaban without a trial until he had told them that if he was given a trial in front of the council he would give valuable information on known Dark Wizards. The Aurors couldn’t refuse such a prospect and so had set up the trial to take place three days later.
Lucius watched as Karkaroff was brought up into the large cage that sat at the centre of the room. He had large bags under his eyes, his hair was stringy and he looked fearful as he gazed around the room of witches and wizards.
“Igor Karkaroff you have been found using an unforgivable on a Ministry offical and have been brought to Trial upon your own request, stating that you have evidence of use to the Ministry. Should your testimonial evidence be consequential, council may be inclined to stamp your sentencing. Do you accept these terms?” Crouch spoke reading from a pile of papers in front of him.
“I do sir.” Karkaroff said peering out from behind the iron bars of the cage.
“What is this evidence you have?” Crouch asked glancing at a piece of parchment handed to him by the Witch sitting next to him.
“I have names sir.” Karkaroff spoke nervously
“Names?” Crouch asked frowning at him.
“Names of Dark Wizards I know to be in connection with the recent attack on Mudblood's.”
“Do not use that term here Karkaroff!” Crouch said angrily.
“My apologies sir.” Karkaroff stammered.
“You may go on.” Crouch replied stiffly
“There was Rosier, Evan Rosier, I had heard that he was part of the attack and murder of the Mudbl-muggleborn Wizard in Hampshire of last year” He said quickly correcting himself.
Crouch was again handed another piece of parchment this time from a Wizard on his other side.
“Rosier is dead..” Crouch said in a tone that showed he though this was a giant waste of time.
“Dead… I did not know” Karkaroff said hopelessly. Lucius grinned, Karkaroff was playing his part perfectly.
“He was killed in a duel amongst Auror’s obtaining him for his arrest. If that is all the witness has to offer…”
“NO no please…!” Karkaroff shouted pleadingly.
Tom and Lucius had specifically chosen certain people they knew to be already dead, in Azkaban or who had been paid off for the claims Karkaroff would make so no loose ends where found by rattling off unknown wizards as evidence who could testify against the claims.
“…There was Rockwood..” Karkaroff said hesitantly.
“Augustus Rockwood, of the Department of Mysteries?” Crouch asked curiously.
“Yes yes the same! He passed information on Muggleborn locations to those wizards who wanted to see them killed!” Karkaroff said in a rush.
Crouch paused for a minute.
Rockwood was an old friend of Lucius’s who he had given a hefty sum of money too as compensation for being accused as an accomplice to Dark Wizards.
“Very well, council will deliberate, until then you will be sentenced to two years in Azkaban.” Crouch said dismissively.
“NO no wait please please I have more!” Karkaroff shouted pleading with Crouch to hear him.
“What about Snape, Severus Snape!” he said leaning his whole head as far through the bars as it could get.
At this point Dumbledore stood up.
“The council is very much aware I have given evidence of this matter, Severus Snape was at Hogwarts teaching when the attacks occurred and therefore could not have been apart of them. Furthermore he is also a member of my own Order of the Phoenix and has had Veritarserum consentingly used upon him and has not admitted to any such attacks under its use.” Dumbledore spoke confidently.
Tom and Lucius had counted on this, it was another angle of theres to see how well trusted Severus actually was in the Order and from the display Dumbledore was giving it appeared Severus was well and truly apart of it.
“It’s a Lie!” shouted Karkaroff.
“Silennnnce!” shouted Crouch banging his metal gravel.
“Unless the witness possesses any genuine evidence of consequence this sessions is now concluded.” Crouch said raising his voice clearly growing impatient.
“Oh no no, I have heard about one more..” Karkaroff said a grin slowly forming on his lips.
This was it! Lucius thought. This was the moment Crouch would be humiliated in front of the whole of Wizengamot.
“What’s that?” Crouch asked impatiently.
“The name..” Karkaroff said.
“Yes?” Crouch asked.
“I know for a fact that this person was not only behind the killing of the Muggleborn witch Hannah Jones and her family but also was present for the torture by means of the Cruciatus Curse of Auror and Order member James Potter and his wife!” Karkaroff shouted making sure every one heard him in the room.
“The name, give us the reached name!” Crouch demanded
Lucius watched as a young man dressed in formal Wizarding attired rose from the stands and began to quickly make his way through the witches and wizards.
“Barty Crouch….” Crouch seniors eyes widened and the whole room froze.
“…Junior” Karkaroff said eyes glittering and a smirk on his face as a collective gasp resounded through the room.
Lucius watched as Crouch Junior tried to run through the stands before a white light hit him and he fell onto piles of files and paper, conveniently right in front of his father, before Aurors swept on him holding his arms behind him as he struggled to get free.
“Hello Father.” He said snidely, grinning up at the shocked expression of Crouch Senior.
“You are no son of mine” he spoke quietly, all colour draining from his face as chaos was erupting around him and his son was dragged away shouting and kicking.
Lucius watched the whole debacle grinning to himself before he excused himself to go and tell his Lord of their success.
Two Weeks Later
Tom sat at the dinning table of Malfoy Manor reading over the front page article of the Daily Prophet that an owl had dropped off only moments ago. Across from him Lucius was doing the same, and his wife Narcissa was sat to his left cooing at Draco who was situated in a high chair next to her.
Crushed Crouch By Rita Skeeter
‘Barty Crouch Junior has been sentenced to life in Azkaban upon the findings that he was responsible for three seperate incidents of the use of the unforgivable’s. Including two attacks on Muggleborns, one where an entire family of four was murdered. As well as partaking in the torture of Auror and Order of the Phoenix member James Potter and his wife Lilly Potter nee. Evans. Aurors have found that not only was Crouch partaking in the torture of the Potter’s but in fact was at the head of the attack, which he claimed was to, “Get rid of the Mud-blood potter bitch.”
These claims are shocking revelations to the Ministry who previously convicted Bellatrix Lestrange nee. Black, her husband Rohdolphus Lestrange and brother in law Rabastan Lestrange of the aforementioned crimes. Crouch has confessed that they were infact present for the torture however not willingly contributing, as he had convinced them by means of the Imperius curse to join him in his quest. The shinning of the light on Barty Crouch Junior’s dark soul have no doubt been the sole contributing factor to Crouch Seniors resignation from the Election running for Minister for Magic taking place at the end of January of this year.
The withdrawal of Crouch has now cleared the way for Cornellius Fudge Head of the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes to take the lead in the Election who now seems to be the clear favourite of the general public. ’
Tom watched as Lucius finished reading the article moments after him.
Lucius smirked and then held up his glass motioning for Tom to do the same.
“To change.” Lucius said rising his glass in Tom’s direction before taking a sip.
Tom followed suit, noticing Narcissa had also picked up her glass and taken a sip at Lucius words.
“Too change.” He said smirking.