Five Minutes

Chapter 57

Disclaimer; I don't own the wizarding world of Harry Potter or any of the characters in it. I wish I did. But I don't.

Hello reader!

Just an answer to hpgirl1551's question. I assume you mean the one in Florida so no I have not been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter though I am desperate to go so if anyone knows my fairy god mother, tell her that's my wish. I have however been to the set tour up near London which was absolutely EPIC! I recommend it to anyone who loves Harry Potter as much as me and even to those who, (for some deranged reason), can't stand it. It's a brilliant day out and, because it was so awesome and, well, because its Harry Potter, I'm going again with my friends from Uni so YAY!

And to Awesomeme. Don't worry! :) No need to apologise. Love you for your continued support!

Anyway, here's chapter Fifty-Seven!

Hope you enjoy it!

Chapter Fifty-Seven

Those who expected James Potter and Lily Evans to be all over each other now that their relationship was out in the open for everyone to see were sorely mistaken. Anyone who believed that the change would be easy to spot was wrong because, although they hadn't known about it, it had been there all along; from the beginning of the school year. There was no change to find. James and Lily had been successful in keeping their relationship hidden and, although it had been declared to the school now, they still managed to keep it that way; not secret, just private. So those who had hoped to catch their head students in a compromising situation, snogging in a broom cupboard, a deserted passage way or something similar, were disappointed. All they saw was a couple who didn't have to hide everything anymore, not a particularly packed subject for gossip like they had hoped.

Their relationship was out in the open for everyone to see for the last couple of weeks before the school broke up for Christmas and they had found a routine to settle into. They rather enjoyed it. Not at first because they did attract stares. After all, James had wanted Lily from day one and she had hated him. It was unusual for that sort of association to develop into a relationship but it seemed to have worked for them. After they got used to the stares though, well, after Lily had got used to the stares, they were fine. For her, routine helped.

They walked down to and ate breakfast together every morning but, much to the disappointment of the gossip mongers in the school, they were never alone. They ate with their friends. Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew and Hestia Jones were always with them, (not Alice as she ate breakfast with Frank). They were almost like a big group, something which Hestia wasn't too happy about because Sirius kept stealing her toast. She coped with it for Lily though. After all, what are best friends for? It didn't stop her whacking Sirius when he tried to reach over to her plate though.

They didn't eat lunch together. James sat with his friends and Lily with hers. But after they had eaten, they spent the rest of the lunch hour in each other's company. You could spot the two going for lunch time walks around the expansive grounds, even in the rain which seemed to be there thing; walks in the rain, (a small source of gossip for those who thrived on it). They walked hand in hand or with James' arm wrapped securely around Lily's waist, something which earned her a few jealous glares. She had gotten used to then though. She had had to. Not that that had stopped them bugging her.

The only free periods that Lily spent with James were the ones she already spent with the marauders anyway. The same free periods she had spent with them the previous year as they were the ones where she was on her own; Hestia and Alice being in Divination. In those free periods, the group went on as usual, the only thing particularly changing being how they were sat. Before, James would lounge across the couch in the common room, Sirius would sit on the armchair next to him with his feet plonked up on the small table they were surrounding, Peter would be sat crossed logged on the floor behind the table but in front of the fire place, Lily would be sat in the cushy armchair opposite Sirius and, completing the circle, Remus would be sat on the other end of the sofa where James was. Now, Remus had taken the armchair Lily usually occupied so that she could sit on the couch with James, his arm around her but not always. Sirius and Peter stayed where they were.

James would wait for her outside her Ancient Runes lesson, the only lesson they didn't share, and would walk her to dinner carrying her books. (She had a lot of books for Ancient Runes.) But just like at lunch, they didn't eat together. Instead, Lily ate with and spoke to Hestia and Alice whilst James ate with Sirius, Remus and Peter, messing around with Sirius, pulling stupid little tricks on those around them, trying to get them to, for example, turn around to look at something which wasn't there. It was their little source of amusement; the gullible ones. After that the marauders would either go to the kitchens to let Sirius eat more food, sneak out to Hogsmeade to go to the three broomsticks or, very infrequently now, the room of requirement. Lily stayed with her friends.

In the evenings, they sat together in the common room, sometimes talking, sometimes just sitting together. Lily would be reading a book and James would have his arm around her, twiddling her deep red hair that he liked so much through his fingers. Then he'd get bored just watching her and would start bugging her until she put the book away or, more often than not, hit him with it. After that he would try to convince her to take a walk with him which she would sometimes agree to straight away but not always, especially when she was deep in a book. She'd make him wait until she had finished the part she was on.

But through all this, someone was always there with them, whether it was Sirius or Hestia. Remus, Peter or Alice or just someone hoping to catch them doing something gossip worthy. They were only on their own for their patrols which they either did properly, walking around the school for rule breakers or people out of bed after curfew, or not, becoming rule breakers themselves and sneaking off somewhere private and hidden together.

The biggest thing they did alone which did send gossip ringing through the school was go into Hogsmeade for the final weekend before they broke up for the Christmas holidays. It was the first time they had gone out into what Lily called the 'real public' together. It was their first date out in the open outside of the walls of Hogwarts and was rather exciting, not just for themselves, but for anyone who seemed to catch wind of their plans. James had ditched, (as Sirius put it), Remus Sirius and Peter for his and Lily's first 'real public appearance' together which Remus and Peter had no problem with. Sirius did. He already wasn't particularly pleased that James' life had begun to revolve around Lily. He had gone into his usual dramatic state for a while theatrically yelling that it was the end of an era but had eventually, if a bit begrudgingly, wished James on his way asking him to buy him 'something pretty' as way of apology for 'ditching' him. Lily didn't have the same problem. Hestia and Alice had dates of their own with Sean McEvoy and Frank Longbottom respectively.

So she and James had walked down to the village together for the first time in December, a light spattering of non-settling snow falling to the ground. He took her to The Three Broomsticks and bought her to lunch in true 'date fashion'. They had stayed in the warm pub for a couple of hours in a secluded corner until Sirius tried to interrupt them with yet more insinuations which they withdrew from at the first available moment in favour of doing some Christmas shopping. They bought presents for their friends and family. James wouldn't let Lily buy him a Christmas present, (which she didn't take notice of), but instead insisted she pick something out for herself which he could buy her. After around forty minutes in the book shop, after spending ten minutes trying to choose between two books, she finally made a decision. Not that it particularly mattered as James bought her the other book too when she wasn't looking. After their Christmas shopping was done they went down the back alleys again until they came out to what James had dubbed 'their oak tree' to which Lily had said, 'you're very possessive over trees', making him laugh.

But through these two weeks, they still hadn't labelled each other as theirs. Both were too stubborn to be the first to call the other their boyfriend or girlfriend. So even though others had started to refer to them as 'James Potter's girlfriend' or 'Lily Evans' boyfriend', they still had yet to use those labels themselves. James referred to Lily as his 'casual fling', even though she was anything but, and Lily referred to James as 'a pain in the arse' which, in all honesty, was invariably true anyway. It was James Potter after all. Nobody much cared about their lack of formal declaration though. Nobody, that was, but Hestia, who had known about them far longer than anyone else, (besides perhaps Remus). She thought them both extremely stupid and she took every opportunity to tell Lily this. She was telling her this now as they were packing, ready to go home for the Christmas holidays.

'You're just too stubborn!' Hestia said to her as she chucked her clothes haphazardly into her trunk.

'That's your opinion.' Lily responded, neatly packing her own trunk. She had a system. Admittedly her system had kind of gone out of the window this year because her parents had asked her to stay at Hogwarts for Christmas, something which she was disobeying, and she had left it until moments before they were supposed to leave for the train to finish her packing thanks to James and his distractions. Usually she had a system in which she swapped all her clothes around at home, winter for summer etcetera. But this year she didn't really have to pack anything to take home and swap because, as her parents thought she wasn't going home, they had already sent and received clothes via parcel. All Lily needed to take home was what she wanted to wear and any Christmas presents she had been given.

'My opinions right though!' Hestia defended, fully believing it, 'Wasn't he pushing you to admit you were his girlfriend before everyone found out about you two anyway? Didn't he want everyone to know that?'

'He wasn't exactly pushing me.' Lily sighed as she grabbed a couple of books from her bedside table and placed them into her book box in her trunk, neatly but hurriedly. She was very aware that they had to leave for the train soon.

Hestia gave her a look.

'Ok so maybe a little.' Lily conceded, picking up another book and waving it around in reluctant admittance, 'But he wanted me to be able to tell everyone I was his girlfriend. Not him. He won't call me that until I call me that.'

'Which you won't.' Hestia stated.

'Only because he won't call himself my boyfriend first. And he won't do that until I call myself his girlfriend and I won't call myself his girlfriend until he calls himself my boyfriend.' Lily explained.

'And that's not stubborn because…?' Hestia asked sarcastically with raised eyebrows as she closed her trunk and buckled it up, finished with her packing.

'Alright so, perhaps it's a little bit stubborn-'

'A little?' Hestia repeated in disbelief, a little breathless laugh escaping her. She went to sit on Lily's bed next to her trunk as she continued. 'Lily, that's practically the definition of stubborn!'

'Yes because the dictionary uses me and James specifically.' Lily said derisively. She had finished packing now and closed her trunk, doing the large buckle up over the top of it. She dragged the huge suitcase off of her bed and put it on the floor so that she could join Hestia sitting on her bed.

'It might as well.' Hestia commented, shuffling a little bit further onto Lily's bed as there was now more space. The two girls sat crossed legged facing each other. 'Is it a power thing?' Hestia asked.

'What do you mean?' queried Lily, wondering exactly what Hestia meant by 'power'.

'Well,' Hestia began, 'do you think that, subconsciously, you're both thinking that whoever manages to hold off calling the other their girlfriend or boyfriend the longest has the most power in the relationship?'

Lily frowned at Hestia. 'No.' she said with a shake of her head, 'I think it's just us both being stubborn.'

'Which you admit now?' Hestia asked.

'Yes.' Lily agreed.

'There!' Hestia said loudly, clapping her hands together once and rocking backwards slightly as she had just proved a point. 'Admittance!' she went on, 'It's not that difficult. Just do it.'

'No.' Lily denied, once again being very stubborn. She knew Hestia was right in theory. It wasn't that big a deal and it seemed as if she and James were definitely making a mountain out of a molehill but they couldn't help it. It was just the way they worked. They were both stubborn. That was clear to see from James' persistent attempts at asking Lily out over the years, refusing to give up and Lily's rejection of him, refusing to give in. They had passed that, obviously, but had now moved on to a different kind of stubbornness. Lily thought Hestia didn't get it at all.

'I don't get what the big deal is!' Hestia exclaimed.

Lily was right. Hestia didn't get it at all. She didn't get the reasons behind hers and James' stubbornness revolving around this issue. Not that Lily fully got them herself but, she was closer to the situation so she understood more. It wasn't a power thing. At least she didn't think it was. They were definitely both just being stubborn but didn't want to admit it to each other. She listened to her best friend go on with an exhausted face.

'I call Sean my boyfriend.' Hestia said, 'He calls me his girlfriend. And we haven't been dating as long as you and James have.'

'I'll say you've been on like three dates with the guy.' Lily pointed out worriedly.

Hestia had only been on three dates with Sean McEvoy, the first two of which were rudely ruined by Lily and James anyway in a bid to keep their relationship a secret. Lily was extremely surprised that they had even managed to make a third date after what had happened on their first two. She was worried that she had ruined things for Hestia through the business that surrounded Joshua Hunt, (he was Sean's friend after all), but obviously not. Obviously Sean didn't held nothing against Hestia which was good of him in Lily's opinion. Things could have gone in a very different direction for her. Still, Lily thought she was moving rather fast with him.

'And?' Hestia demanded.

Lily looked down at the quilt on her bed and began drawing circles on it with her forefinger, something she did when she was nervous or uncomfortable. She was now the latter as Hestia had a blazed questioning look. Lily continued though, voicing her concern quietly. 'Don't you think it's a bit soon to be calling him your boyfriend?'

'No.' Hestia stated. She might not admit it but she was stubborn too. Not as much as Lily, but a little bit.

'Ok.' Lily said.

There was a pause. Lily looked down at her hand circling on her bed and Hestia pursed her lips for a couple of seconds before taking a deep breath and continuing.

'If we can label each other than why can't you and Potter?' she asked eventually.

'I guess we're just different to you two.' Lily shrugged.

'I guess you are.' Hestia said.

Again, there was a pause. Lily didn't know what to do. She and Hestia had never had pauses like this before. Usually you couldn't stop them talking. But this was different. There was something tense in the air. Lily had no idea how to move past it because it had never happened in the past. Credit to Hestia though, she did.

'Ok.' Hestia said, wanting to get back to her original question, 'Tell me this.' she then went into one of her 'visualisation' routines. 'You're at your sister's wedding. You're parents notice you. And after the, 'what are you doing here?' conversation there's going to be the 'who's this?' conversation. How are you going to introduce him to them?' she said, using different voices for the questions she assumed Lily's parents would pose to her.

Lily thought about it and said simply, 'I'll say, mum, dad this is James Potter.'

'He's my…?' Hestia pressed on.

'Extremely, annoying…' Lily began, thinking fast, knowing what Hestia wanted her to say. So she wouldn't say it. '…casual fling.' she ended smugly.

'Now you're just using Potters terms.' Hestia said. She knew that was how James had been referring to Lily. He had been doing since they had made their relationship public. When they met in the common room in the morning he'd say, 'morning casual fling', before going down to breakfast. His friends would laugh and Lily would reply with 'morning pain in the arse', but Hestia would just roll her eyes.

'Why is it so important to you for me to admit that he's my boyfriend?' Lily asked with a sigh. She looked at her watch and realised that they needed to be heading down to the entrance hall so that they could catch the carriages that would take them down to Hogsmeade Station and the Hogwarts Express.

'Was that you admitting it?' Hestia jumped in with a smile and bobbing eyebrows.

'No.' Lily stressed. She got off her bed and picked her trunk up, motioning for Hestia to do the same with a nod of her head in the direction of her best friend's trunk. 'That was me asking you why it's so important to you for me to admit it.' she continued, reiterating her question from before.

'It's not important to me it's important to you.' Hestia clarified, doing as Lily had motioned for her to do and grabbing her trunk also.

Lily thought about it for a second. 'No it's really not. And we need to go catch the train.' she said, starting to carry her trunk towards the door of their dormitory. It was quite heavy. She sincerely hoped that James had waited for her in the common room so that he might carry it for her.

'With?' Hestia insinuated, following Lily to the door, dragging her own trunk.

'Alice.' Lily said over her shoulder to Hestia with a smirk. She wouldn't give Hestia her way. After all, Lily was a very stubborn person.

Severus sat on the Hogwarts Express staring dully ahead at nothing in particular. His mind was blank. He focused on nothing. Not the soft empty seat in front of him, the two second year students in the carriage with him or the chilly window which he was leaning his head against in a coma-like state. The clack of the trains wheels on the rails below echoed through him. He could feel every jerk and clank of the train rack through his body as it sped through the countryside to take him back to the home he hated. Every minute he was on that train, he hated. And the last two weeks he had spent at Hogwarts, he hated.

He had endured two extremely long weeks in that castle watching James Potter's relationship with his beloved Lily being flaunted and pushed in his face. The castle was huge, but never when you wanted it to be. That castle, to Severus during the past two weeks, had been the smallest place on earth. He had been forced to see them together every day. He had been forced to see the boy he loathed and despised with every fibre of his being, with the girl he loved with all his heart. It killed him every moment, every minute, every time he saw them together. When they had breakfast, when they went for walks at lunch time, when they sat together before their potions lessons started and when Potter met her at the end of her Ancient Runes lesson. It killed him.

He had tried to stay away. He hated looking at it. But he had no choice. When they weren't in front of him, James Potter taunting him with the fact that they were now together, (for Lily would never do such a thing), his mind flashed with images of them. Images which burned the back of his retina and which he desperately wished he could clear his head off. But it was no use. They were permanently etched there for him to view whenever he didn't want too. And he never wanted to see Lily with him. He tried replacing James Potter with himself but it was no use. Severus doubted that he would ever be able to rid himself of those images.

Through those two weeks, he hardly spoke to anyone. He didn't talk to his fellow Slytherins or fellow death eaters, for fear they would figure out the cause behind his depressive and angry state. He didn't speak to any of the Professors in the school unless spoken to, volunteering no answers to questions in classes unless he was asked specifically for them. Perhaps most importantly, he didn't speak to Lily. He hadn't spoken to her in ages because she was no longer his friend. The last time he had spoken to her, was the day he had used his own spell, Sectumsempra, on James Potter. The day he believed that James Potter had upset his Lily. The last day he had spoken to her. That day was etched into his mind probably as deeply as the images of the new couple together. Severus wasn't sure which one was worse.

He didn't try to stop her like he wanted. He didn't try and find her alone and demand an explanation for what she was doing. He didn't try to remind her that she had promised to hate James Potter forever. He didn't try to remind her of some of the choicest insults she had thrown James Potter's way over the years, her constant rejections of James Potter or the hexes that James Potter had used on him. He reminded her of none of this because she already knew it. If he even tried to reiterate these things to her, he knew he'd push her even further away from him that she already was. So he did nothing. He didn't even try to separate her from James or her friends, to try and break her trust in them like he had been planning to and trying to do since the beginning of the school year. He literally did nothing. He didn't have the energy to.

So for the whole journey, he sat in that compartment. He wasn't alone for it thanks to the second years in his compartment but he felt alone. He felt completely isolated from the world and, for the first time since that night he had spotted Lily and James in the corridor together, his mind had no angry images of them flashing through it. He had no images of Lily alone either. No memories that he shared with her and no imaginings which he wished were true. There was nothing for the whole train ride and he couldn't say that he wasn't grateful that his mind had decided to give him a much deserved break from this heart breaking topic. It wasn't to last though.

When the train pulled into the station, Severus stayed sat where his was. His head was still resting against the window, refusing to move. The two second years who were sharing his carriage, grabbed their stuff from the overhead storage space and clambered off of the train whilst Severus, still sat where he was. He made no attempt to retrieve his stuff and leave the Hogwarts Express. He didn't want to step onto platform nine and three quarters because it was a step closer to going home. He just breathed evenly, his hooked nose and greasy hair pressing against the window, his warm breath steaming it up when her exhaled and sucking the condensation it caused away when he inhaled. His eyes were relaxed as he watched the platform. Then he became conscious of what he was seeing.

He saw Lily first, her deep red hair whipping across her face as she climbed off of the train. Her trunk was handed to her by someone on the train who stepped off after her. Of course it was James Potter. He got off of the train after her carrying his own luggage and the two walked a little bit further into the platform to make way for others getting off of the train. They were followed by Hestia Jones who gave a quick hug to Lily before disapparating, obviously to go home, Peter Pettigrew who, even though he could apparate now, was met by his mother to escort him home, and Remus Lupin and Sirius Black who stayed around James.

Severus watched Lily talking to James Potter, a smile on her face. He watched as Sirius Black pranced around the pair, obviously bugging them, the expressions on their face clear as day to confirm that fact. He watched as Remus Lupin stood by, politely looking away and around the platform so that the couple could make their private goodbye, a courtesy that Sirius Black wasn't paying them. He watched as Sirius Black stopped next to James Potter, a whiny expression on his face. He watched as James Potter rolled his eyes and roughly covered his hand over Sirius' eyes for a couple of seconds whilst he pulled Lily into him for a quick goodbye kiss which she allowed herself to be drawn into. He watched as she pulled apart from him smiling, her right hand on his cheek, her thumb running across his bottom lip to wipe her lip-gloss off of him. He watched her smile at him again stepping back from him and saying some last words to him before grabbing her trunk and disapparating on the spot. Her parents had not come to pick her up.

Then, all Severus was left with to watch was the marauders. Three boys he loathed and despised. He sneered at them through the glass as Sirius pushed James head to the side, obviously mocking him about Lily. Then, suddenly, Sirius Black was staring straight at him, watching him sneer and stare at them. Severus watched as Sirius elbowed James and spoke to Remus, calling their attention to Severus and the audience he was giving them from the train. Severus watched as James Potter and Remus Lupin followed Sirius Black's eye line to him. Remus looked neutral. Sirius Black was laughing. But James Potter. James Potter was staring straight back at Severus, meeting his loathly sneer with an arrogant smirk; a smirk that Severus knew the meaning behind all too well. That smirk was James Potter saying that he had won. He had had victory. Severus had lost. That was what the smirk said.

Severus had venom in his eyes as he sneered back. The boys looked his way for only about five more seconds before Remus spoke to Sirius and James. What Remus said, Severus wasn't too sure about, but it obviously had something to do with leaving as, moments later, he disapparated. James and Sirius did the same seconds later but not before looking back to Severus for one last time; Sirius saluting tauntingly and James Potter smirking yet again and raising his eyebrows once. It made Severus blood boil and when they had disapparated he hit the window with his fist in anger, the bang of it capturing the attention of people on the platform, the other side of the glass.

He brought down his hand, still scrunched up in a fist, and took a deep shaky breath bringing it to his lips. He closed his eyes and tried to calm himself down, knowing he had to clear his head and leave the train for he had places to be. He had places to be and people to see and things to do. His mind had to be free of Lily and the pain she was causing him. His mind had to be free from James Potter and the pure white-hot hatred he felt towards him. He had to protect himself and his thoughts and he needed to start now because as soon as he got off of the train and onto the platform, he would have to disapparate to a place he admittedly didn't want to go to right now. But he had to. So he steeled himself, pushed up out of his seat, grabbed his trunk and left the train.

He stepped out onto the emptying platform. Only people saying long goodbyes and families talking to each other were left. Anyone who could apparate out by themselves had done so by now and those who were meeting their families the other side of the barrier had left. Severus had no family to meet. So, by himself, he turned on the spot and disapparated, being hooked behind the naval and pulled into his bedroom down Spinners End; the loneliest place in the world to him now.

His bedroom looked the same as it had when he had left it. One lonely single bed with crusted sheets in the corner. One splintered desk with scratches and engravings on it pressed against the window, the only source of light the room received, the white paint on the window frame flaking away and the wood rotting. One chair in the corner, the stuffing falling out, the legs scratched to high heaven as if by a cat. But no cat had lived there. Just Severus, his mother and his late father. A miserable house. Sad and lonely and Severus was glad to be leaving it.

He threw his trunk on his bed and, for the second time in five minutes, turned on the spot and disapparated, being hooked behind the naval and pulled out of his bedroom to a different world altogether.

He came out in a forest or a wood; he wasn't sure which. It was shrouded in overgrown trees and weeds littered the floor along with patches of wild flowers. In front of him, amongst the unkempt nature, was a small mouldy looking wooden shack which looked as though it would fall down any second. Severus headed towards it, knowing this was where he was meant to be. He had been here before and the look of that shack was extremely deceiving. Severus knew this now and strode confidently towards it. When he was within a foot of it he felt a cool breeze wash over him. He welcomed the breeze on his face for he knew it meant he was accepted. The protection measure in place which meant only people with the dark mark, or people who were with a person branded with the mark could enter had allowed him through. He was a death eater.

He strolled confidently inside of the shack, the inside of it being a lot different to its outside. Inside, the shack was a grand hall. Expansion charms had been used and it had been decorated royally. It had high raised ceilings which had oak beams running across them. It had stone walls which were lined with candles which were being held in place by carved, wooden, human arms and in the centre of the room taking up most of the space was a long but wide wooden table. It was reminiscent of Hogwarts.

The table that ran the length of the hall was full. There was a space left for Severus, obviously the last to arrive, (bar Voldemort himself). He had moved up the table. When he hadn't been branded with the dark mark on his left arm, the black tattoo covering the expanse of his forearm, Severus had been restricted to sitting at the very end of the table near the door, as far away from Voldemort as possible. Now he was in the middle. Not quite respected and trusted enough to be sitting at Voldemort's side but not looked down on as much, forcing him to the end. He was accepted now and deserved his spot in the middle.

Voldemort entered the room and the quietly chattering death eaters were now deathly silent at his presence. He took his time walking to his seat, his snake Nagini slithering dutifully by his bare feet, as if she were a dog. The room was in awe when he finally sat down on his throne like chair and began to speak.

'Welcome my friends.' he said in a whisper which everyone could hear. He commanded the attention of the room, 'We have some new comers tonight.' Voldemort gestured to the back of the room where three new and nervous people sat.

Severus recognised them, though names escaped him. They were Hogwarts students. Fifth years if he wasn't mistaken.

'My friends,' Voldemort carried on, 'meet Bartemius Crouch Jr., son to Bartemius Crouch Sr. head of the Department of International Magical Cooperation at the Ministry. He will be most useful for us, providing us with as much information as he can about his father's dealings in the Ministry and how other countries are…receiving us.'

There was a silence as everybody in the room looked to the boy Voldemort was referring to. In the darkened, shadowed room, his skin glowed milky white, his brown eyes set deep into his face and alight with excitement at being there. He had straw blonde hair which didn't suit him. He looked weak. Severus doubted how long he would last, as were many around him.

'Meet Rabastan Lestrange.' Voldemort continued, motioning to the boy opposite Bartemius Crouch Jr. 'He is younger brother to Rodolphus Lestrange who we all know has a particular…talent for muggle baiting.'

The death eater crowd chuckled darkly at the 'sport' which they all enjoyed to play before looking over to Rodolphus' brother. Severus had to crane his neck to see him as he was sat on the same side of the table as he was. He had slick brown hair and green eyes. Severus noticed his eyes looked dead. Not like other green eyes he had known which glittered with life. He was stocky. He looked as though he could take a good beating. He probably could.

'And finally,' Voldemort said, 'let us meet Bellatrix Black's younger cousin, a keen enthusiast who had followed my work for many years; Regulus Black.'

Severus' head snapped to look at Regulus Black who was sat next to Bartemius Crouch Jr. How Severus had not recognised him before he didn't know. He was very much like his brother. He had black shoulder length hair, hereditary in the Black family, and a stubbornly handsome face though not as handsome as his brothers. He was smaller than his brother also and his eyes, though grey, lacked the shine of mischief that his brothers had. You could tell that he was the younger brother of one Sirius Black. It was easy to spot and Severus instantly disliked him for it. He disliked him for something which Regulus couldn't actually control. He reminded him of Sirius Black far too much, the boy who had mockingly saluted him on platform nine and three quarters only ten minutes ago. It wasn't his fault, but it was an instant feeling of loathing. Severus looked away, unable to look at him a moment longer, and focused his attention up to Voldemort who was speaking again.

'We are now being ignored.' Voldemort said succinctly, stating the obvious fact, 'The Minister paid no heed to our message. The death of his assistant in his own office has been explained away. It was not even reported.'

'My lord.' said a bored voice near his left hand side.

Severus looked to see who it was. He recognised him. He had steely grey eyes and bleach blonde hair which glowed in comparison to his pale complexion. Severus recognised him. He had been a Slytherin Prefect during Severus' younger years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His name was Lucius Malfoy. Severus listened to him continue.

'I have heard word from one of your Imperiused subjects.' Lucius said, 'It seems the Minister of Magic himself has ordered the Daily Prophet to cease printing and news of our movements. It seems he would prefer the wizarding community to think that he has everything under control and that there is nothing to worry about.'

'Well then,' Voldemort answered, 'we will attack in broad daylight now then. We will attack a muggle neighbourhood. We will attack in the city.'

There was a murmur of agreement from all of the death eaters around the table, Severus included. He was just thankful that he was about to be a part of something worthwhile. This was what he had been waiting for. For three whole months he had waited for this opportunity and now that it was here, he vowed to do his upmost best for Voldemort and prove to him how loyal a subject he could be.

'The Minister does not have everything under control.' Voldemort's voice rang through the hall, 'He doesn't want the wizarding world or the filthy muggle world to worry! Well then…let's give them something to worry about…'

Thanks for reading!

Update on the 9th of June 2013 and they will be Christmas chapters! In June...

Well I've never been one for tradition! :p

Galindaba

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