This is a story I'm hoping to turn into a multi chapter fic (when I find the time). Completely AU. A world without Muggles, set in the middle-ages.
14th Century, Briton
The oak chair was uncomfortable. Tom stared at Lucius from across the small square table, the two of them in the dining hall.
Lucius uncorked some wine, filling Tom's goblet. "You talk of committing a great sin, Advisor Riddle."
Tom raised an eyebrow. "Do I?"
The Malfoy heir's face was blank. "Kinghood is a birthright. The King is appointed by fate and to betray your King is the greatest of sins," Lucius replied smoothly.
"You speak the truth. Though I never took you as a God-fearing man?" Tom took a sip of his drink.
Lucius' thin lips faintly quirked upwards. "Many would fear for their eternal soul."
Tom crossed his legs, leaning back in the chair. "But what if Grindelwald had no claim to the throne?"
The other man stiffened, his grip tightening around his goblet. "I don't quite understand your meaning, Advisor."
"Are you familiar with Briton's history, Lucius?"
The blond man bristled. "Of course…the French are not as ignorant as the English like to believe."
Tom's magic flared in warning – he would only tolerate so much outspokenness. Lucius flinched.
"My apologies, Advisor. The wine, it clouds my mind." A strained smile flashed across the Malfoy heir's face. "I confess I am not as entirely fluent in the history as I would like to be."
"A forgivable offence," Tom replied lightly. "Very well; Grindelwald's grandfather conquered Briton 160 years ago. Before that, our country was governed by The Founders Small Council, made up of the descendents of the Original Four Founders."
The Royal Advisor took another sip of his wine while Lucius listened attentively. "The Grindelwalds killed nearly every descendent of the Original Four they could find and they made sure not to marry into any of the four families, meaning they had no claim to take the throne." Tom shot his host a pointed look. "So how can a king with no birthright be a king at all?" he asked, waiting patiently for Lucius to digest this and reply.
Lucius smiled coldly. "He is a false king."
There was a brief silence.
Tom drained his beverage and placed the goblet on the table. "What do you want most in the world, Lucius?" He clasped his hands together on his lap.
Lucius paused as he stared down into his goblet, hunger entering his eyes. "There are a great many things I want, Advisor, but they are all things that fade," he stated, finally looking up to meet Tom's gaze. "My father is upstairs dying from Dragon pox. What will his legacy be? A fleeing Frenchman with only gold to his name?" Disdain flashed in his gaze. "A Malfoy deserves better. I want a title and a legacy."
Tom smirked. "You aim high." He shrugged. "Very well, I always reward loyalty. However, are you sure there isn't something else you desire?"
Lucius' jaw tightened, a glimmer of surprise in his eyes. There were a great many things the Malfoy heir was good at hiding, but love and lust? Tom shook his head. Every man had a weakness and Lucius was no exception.
"Did you know, Lady Narcissa has had her first blood, just three days prior? She's a woman now, all ready for bedding," Tom informed him callously. Lucius cringed. "So tell me, how far are you willing to go to get what you want?"
The King's Royal advisor, Tom Riddle, despised Sundays - Temple prayer in the morning was painfully dull. The only thing that held any interest for him was the building itself, with its gold painted walls, detailed stained glass windows and carvings—placed in a diamond shaped insignia—of the Sun, Moon, Saturn and Jupiter.
"…The most unnatural thing in this world is a child born without magic," the High Minister Fudge preached to them all, the sound-magnifying charm causing his droll voice to boom unpleasantly.
Tom glanced to his side; as customary, he and the other nobles sat at the front, while the peasants remained a respectable distance behind them – most were forced to stand at the back.
His majesty King Gellert Grindelwald's eyes were dull from boredom. The crowned Prince Anselm was sat on the King's right hand side; his betrothed, Narcissa Black, quietly beside him.
"…Magic is a force that surrounds us! It is in our blood and nothing is more sacred than blood," Minister Fudge drawled, holding up the Holy book of Fate to emphasise his point. "We must not forget that when we offer our sacrifices to the Lords above."
Tom felt his mind starting to grow numb. Did people honestly buy into this drivel? He would never understand religion, but he could believe in the preachings on destiny and birthright.
He had just turned thirty and the heir of Slytherin would no longer remain in the shadows.
His eyes flickered over to the King for a second, before they moved onto Lucius Malfoy.
The pair of icy grey-blue eyes met his and Lucius gave an ever slight nod of understanding. Tom glanced back at the podium, watching as Fudge continued to ramble on.
"James Potter is the one rumoured to be leading the rebellion," The King addressed Tom, the two of them in the King's council chambers. "It seems Dumbledore's spirit lives on." The King's gaze was almost wistful.
"Be that as it may," Tom drawled, coming to stand at the King's side. "This Order of the Phoenix, as the rebels are calling themselves, are gathering more allies. They want to stop the persecution of the Squibs."
The King slammed his fist against the wall. "Why they sympathise with such disgusting creatures is beyond me."
Tom smiled grimly. "Indeed. But regrettably, Lady Lestrange's murder of Alice and Frank Longbottom has only incited more anger among the Squibs."
After killing a few Squibs and Squib-offspring, Bellatrix was in disfavour with the public. Frank Longbottom was something of a Squib sympathiser; even going so far as to marry one. By killing him Bellatrix had only worsened the situation and caused more outcry among the Squib community.
"Be that as it may, the Order must be crushed swiftly and quietly," Tom said.
Grindelwald glanced at him warily from the corner of his eye. "I agree; we'll need someone to infiltrate them."
Tom nodded, his gaze falling pensively on the tapestry that hung on the wall. The tapestry was of the Goddess Fate, a beauty with fair-skin and long dark hair, holding a balanced scale.
"They won't accept strangers; peasants are…cautious to outsiders."
"Who do you suggest?"
"James Potter is quite close friends with Remus Lupin...Mrs Lupin was once one of our most loyal fighters."
The King frowned. "That doesn't reassuringly mean that I can trust her?"
Tom smiled disarmingly. "Her mother, Andromeda, is in prison for being unable to pay her late husband's debts, we don't need her trust to control her."
The Fates Temple was very different in the evening; the 500 pews stood empty, except for a few lone worshippers who came for personal prayer.
Tom grimaced when he knelt down in one of the pews.
A slender woman in plain purple robes soon came to kneel beside him, a grey scarf covering her short pale blue hair. Tom's face became blank, making sure not to appear to acknowledge her. "Mrs Lupin, your hair is blue," his voice was low and cold.
The woman made a small squeak, her hair changing to a light brown. "I'm sorry," she whispered. "Sometimes when I'm nervous it goes a bit-"
"Did you get the message?" His eyes narrowed impatiently. Nymphadora Lupin (nee Tonks) may have once been a fine combat warrior, but she was as clumsy as a Flobberworm! Her shape-shifting abilities were one of her very few good qualities. After all, Polyjuice potion could be somewhat unpredictable at times.
Lucius had said she was the best shape-shifter he could find; how pitiful.
"Yes," Tonks replied solemnly. "…I've already found the Squire."
"Good. You'll be contacted within the next three days." Tom reached into his robes, pulling out a spherical bottle with emerald green liquid inside. "It's called the Drink of Despair," he said quietly, fighting a smile that threatened to slide onto his face. He placed the potion in front of his knees on the stone floor.
A troubled look flashed across Tonks' face, her gaze focused ahead.
Tom sighed deeply. He used his finger to draw a triangle, signalling the end of his pray. "Give the Prince my regards." He stood up, not giving her a second glance,and left her kneeling in front of the pew.
The city went into mourning when the tragedy struck.
The crowned Prince Anselm was killed in a hunting accident.
The King killed the messenger boy.
Tom met Tonks in a dark alley the following night. "Did you deal with the Squire?"
A grim look was etched on Tonks' face, her eyes sunken and tired. "I made it look like a suicide."
He smiled. "Good girl."
Tonks snarled at him.
"Tell Mr Potter he'll be receiving a visit from an old friend – oh and tell your husband to keep his pack of wolves in line, people are starting to notice," he instructed.
Tonks nodded stiffly. "I will..." She gritted her teeth. "When will I be able to see my mother?" Her eyes darkened.
Tom's eyes eyes filled with frustration. He sighed. "The only reason The King believes you are loyal, is because we have your mother as blackmail. If I remove that bargaining piece, then he'll assume you've gone rouge, do you wish that, Mrs Lupin?"
Tonks lowered her gaze. "No."
Tom's eyes became icier. "Then continue to play your part and your mother will be set free."
The shape-shifter nodded in resignation.
Pawns could be such a handful sometimes.
Bellatrix stroked his chest as the two of them lay in his bed, tangled up in green silk sheets.
"Will you let me torture him before he dies?" she whispered in his ear. Her dark frizzy hair tickled his cheek.
He looked at her sternly, the dark magic caressing them both. "No, it needs to be done quickly, Bella." Tom smiled coyly, stroking Bellatrix's cheek tenderly – she melted into his touch, like a House-Elf yearning for praise; how pathetic.
Bellatrix scowled. "He is a false king, a traitor; let me make an example out of him." She looked at him imploringly.
His smiled tightened. "No," he said, darkly. He grasped her jaw, squeezing painfully. Bellatrix tensed. "Are you questioning my orders, Bella?"
She gulped. "Never, my lord," she replied reverently. The former warrior leaned into his painful grip, kissing his hand. "My loyalty is to you alone."
He let go of her jaw, eyeing her curiously. How far did her devotion stretch? What was she willing to sacrifice? He smirked.
Bellatrix never did anything in halves.
Ealdorman Cygnus and his wife Druella Black's cold corpses were found alongside their cousins, Walburga and Orion Black.
The Aurors reported that their aging House-Elf, Kreacher, had poisoned them – the elf had thought the poison in the upper cabinet was milk.
Fifteen year old Regulus Black was now head of the family (since his traitor older brother had been disowned three years prior).
Tom soon found Regulus was very eager to please.
James and Lily Potter didn't like Tom very much, a feeling which was mutual.
"We're not your hired assassins," Lily said firmly, her green eyes as hard as flint.
"Mrs Potter, freedom comes at a cost," Tom's eyes landed on the bump in her stomach—the redhead protectively held her large belly—and he smiled at her pleasantly. "How else are we meant to better the world for future generations?" He sighed in exasperation. "When we allied together, I thought you understood that?"
James' eyes narrowed, his hands curling into fists. "The children of those nobles are innocent. Now get out."
Tom smothered his growing anger. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Mrs Potter's bulging stomach; how easy would it be to rip her open and drag the foetus out? Just to see the absolute horror and devastation on the Potter's faces – he almost smiled, but restrained himself.
"Bellatrix was a child once too," Tom said softly. James gritted his teeth, his face heating up in anger. "Mrs Potter, is it correct that your parents are no longer with us?"
That sparked a candle. "Get out of my home!" James shouted, withdrawing his wand.
Lily closed her eyes, willing her tears not to fall, then let out a shallow breath. "We will not murder children," she said calmly.
What a pair of idealistic fools!
James squared his shoulders and stepped in front of Lily – who already had her wand drawn.
A hint of red shone in Tom's eyes. "Mr Potter, I think you should calm down, or have you forgotten who's been keeping this organisation afloat?"
James let out a hollow laugh. "So what, you think just because you've helped us out a few times that you own us?" The Head of the Potter family took a step closer to him. "We may have needed your help in gathering information about the King, but we're not your puppets."
Tom smiled crookedly. "How curious. Tell me, Mr Potter, how much do you trust the men in your company?" James became tenser. "Because loyalty is quite a fickle thing."
"Mr Riddle, I think you should leave," Lily ordered, her eyes swimming with suppressed rage. She placed a hand on James' shoulder. "Or I might just forget my manners."
He held back his magic as it flared dangerously. They had no idea who they were dealing with.
Tom looked at them both intently, then said in an unnervingly calm voice. "…Very well, it appears our allegiance has come to an end."
They were fools, pitiful, weak fools.
The dark wizard smiled at them thinly, taking a brief look around their humble little home. "I'll let myself out."
It had been a mistake allying with the Order of the Phoenix. Tom had thought he'd be able to corrupt and perhaps sway them down a darker path. The Potters turned out to be more stubborn than he'd anticipated.
But it wasn't like Tom needed them anymore. He'd only needed them as a distraction for the King, something to spark resentment from the peasants and lower the King's approval.
"My Lord." Lucius bowed to him. They had decided to meet in the underground Crypts of the castle. Grindelwald was still busy trying to crush The Order—which had only sprouted like weeds—to notice the treason happening under his very nose.
Tom stayed in the shadows as Nagini curled around his leg; he gently stroked her skin. "Did you find them?"
Lucius kept his gaze lowered. "No, my Lord. They must have have been sent a warning beforehand."
But who would dare...? Wait...the Shape-shifter! Oh, she would pay dearly for her betrayal, he'd make sure her death was slow, of course he'd kill her last after he made her first watch her husband, son and mother suffer.
Tom gritted his teeth, his grey eyes changing to red. "Didn't I tell you to not let them out of your sight!"
Lucius flinched, bowing even lower. "I-I did, my lord, we placed Anti-Apparation wards around their home, w-we watched them like hawks…but…they just…disappeared-"
The head of the Malfoy family writhed silently on the damp floor. Tom's eyes were scarlet. A small smile played on his face as he watched Lucius squirm.
Yes, allying with the Order had been a grave error on some part, but he'd deal with them at a later date. He still needed to kill the remainder of Grindelwald's kin and those who were most loyal to the King. Tom didn't have much time left to finally complete his plans; everything needed to click into place at the correct moment.
If Grindelwald died before his kin were dead, then one of them could seize the throne. All their deaths would need to occur within a short period of time.
He lifted the curse and the Silencio spell.
Tom looked down at the grovelling man; oh, what a change a few months made. The dark wizard was impressed by his work; he delighted in the fact that everything he touched broke.
"I'll have Baron Nott and Sir Crabbe search for the Order. I want you to find the Lupin family and Ms Andromeda." Tom frowned when something occurred to him. "I'll have the Lestranges keep a tighter watch on Lady Narcissa - they may only be cousins, but her delusions of family loyalty will cloud her senses."
"Of course my Lord." Lucius gingerly rose to his feet. "…But I can assure you, Lady Narcissa would never be so reckless."
Ah, trying to protect his beloved, how revolting. Why did love make men fools? Tom was unpleasantly reminded of his whore of a mother.
Lucius stiffened, his eyes filling with fear.
Tom's servant collapsed to the floor, writhing and squirming like a headless chicken.
"Remember, you have thirty minutes." Tom handed the Polyjuice potion over to Bellatrix.
The witch nodded, smiling wickedly. "Yes, my Lord." She practically purred out the title.
He hid his sneer, keeping his expression blank. Bellatrix drank the potion. Before his eyes she transformed into a lithe angel faced boy who looked around seventeen.
"You remember the Squib's name?"
Bellatrix wrinkled her nose – which looked ridiculous on the boy's face. "Nigel Wolpert." Her voice sounded unusually soft.
Tom handed over the small bag of money. "Make sure to show him this, so he thinks the brothel owner was paid."
Ah, Bellatrix, she was a prime example of how love turned the strong into weak willed buffoons.
It had been so easy, painfully easy.
They had burst in to find Bellatrix (Polyjuice potion gradually wearing off) straddling a naked Grindelwald. The former King's throat was slit and the blood stained dagger was in her hand.
He'd brought along three guards, Baron Nott and Head Auror Dawlish as his witnesses. He had told them he had heard word of a plot to assassinate the King, orchestrated by the remaining Blacks who were looking to make a grab for power.
When Tom had pointed his wand at the dark witch, only then did realisation shine in her eyes.
Bellatrix fell on top of Grindelwald's warm corpse.
Tom didn't understand why some people found murder unnatural.
When he was sixteen and had killed his pathetic Squib of a father, murder had never felt so right.
Some people didn't deserve to live; it was that simple. People were like chess pieces; they each had a certain role to fulfil and there were only a certain number of pieces you needed to play the game
The King's body had still been warm when Tom denounced the Order of the Phoenix as traitors.
Tom stepped onto the podium, the wind brushing his green and black robes. All eyes were on him, as if he was the answer to all their problems, and the sad fact was that he was their only answer.
The Royal family was dead.
He was the last legitimate descendant of the greatest of the Original Four, Salazar Slytherin.
It was his birthright to rule over Briton.
And they ate it up like the mewling pigs they were.
The next time he addressed the people of the city, they were cheering, as all were gathered in the Temple for his coronation.
Newly appointed Ealdorman Lucius Malfoy stood at his right side. Narcissa hung onto Lucius' arm like he was her life-line.
Tom decided to forgo the crown; it would send the wrong message. He was kneeling in front of the altar, reciting the sacred oath, before High Minister Fudge finally addressed the crowd.
"Do the people of the land want such a ruler?"
There was the tiniest second of hesitation.
"We wish it and grant it!" The people replied in unison.
Tom got to his feet and smiled at them. "Thank you, Minister Fudge," he said, the blood red cloak heavy on his shoulders. The room fell silent. "But I fear such titles as king are too…archaic."
Some people in the crowd started to look confused and nervous.
His smile stayed stuck in place. "…I am your Lord protector; this is the dawn of a new age, where any man, rich or poor, may be remade into something greater." There was a low murmuring of excitement. "I have been reborn; therefore Tom Riddle is no more - only Lord Voldemort remains!"
If they were shocked or afraid, they hid it with thundering claps and praises.
The cells beneath the castle were cold and infested with Dementors.
He almost didn't recognise her when he arrived at her cell. In only four days, she'd changed so much. Her hair was greasy, her eyes sunken, making her face look gaunt and skull-like.
She looked withered and frail.
When she looked up at him, her eyes shone with despair.
He twirled the Elder wand in his hand; it wouldn't work for him.
"Bella...didn't I warn you to be more discreet?"
She didn't utter a word.
He sighed deeply. "You made it too easy." Nagini trailed down from the low ceiling, and then slithered through bars of the cell. "…Any last words?"
Bellatrix's eyes narrowed in anger, then she spat at his feet.
Nagini lunged at her, while Voldemort passively looked on. Her blood soaked the filthy floor. He smiled when he felt the Elder wand's magic stroke his own.
And just like that, the last piece slid into place.