Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Second Fiddle

Barking Mad

by Crucio_Crusade 3 reviews

Harry Potter is aware of the wizarding world. The only problem is he grew up apart from it. When he explored the magical world, he found danger, wonder, and friendship.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama - Characters: Harry, Hermione, Neville, Voldemort - Warnings: [!] [?] [V] - Published: 2006-10-16 - Updated: 2006-10-16 - 3446 words

Disclaimer: This fan fiction was based on the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling. I do not claim ownership on any character created by J.K. Rowling, and no money is collected from this story. This is one way I show appreciation to J.K. Rowling's works. Other names or places on this story are fictional. Any similarity to actual name is purely coincidental.

Chapter 17: Barking Mad

Magnus Philter carefully peered one last time through the Apothecary's glass pane door. The street was empty. Knockturn Alley looked gloomy as usual. There was a time when most shops were open at this time of night. But, since the rebirth of the Dark Lord, nobody wanted to stay open late at night. If it wasn't safe during the day, it wouldn't be any safer during the night.

He slowly straightened up and heaved a deep sigh. His face looked thoughtful. He glanced once more at the encompassing darkness outside before he turned his door sign to close. He sadly walked behind his counter and proceeded to take inventory. It seemed the young man forgot to come back, he thought. But, at the back of his mind, he knew it wasn't the reason.

He made several mistakes in his younger years. They were mistakes that cost him the lives of his parents, brother, sister, wife and children. His most valuable treasure, his family, was sacrificed in the name of expediency. Back then, he firmly believed Lord Voldemort would bring the New Wizarding World Order. Even though he couldn't participate because of back injury, he fully supported the Dark Lord's exploits. But instead of glory, it brought him pain and misery. The Dark Lord took, and took, and took everything from him until there was nothing left.

It was in this deepest and darkest moment of his life that he decided to reclaim whatever dignity he had left. He decided to make the Dark Lord pay for his transgression, to him and to his family. He became an anonymous informant for both the Ministry and the Order of the Phoenix. He was successful so far. Nobody suspected him, a feeble old man. Even the Dark Lord himself was fooled.

Philter stopped writing for a moment. He laid down his quill on the countertop and sat down to rest. He felt bad for the young man he sent to Budleigh Babberton. Normally, he would have sent any information before an attack actually happened. But this time, there was no way the information would immediately reach the proper authority. He hoped the smart young man would asses the situation and run for help.

The determine face of the young man momentarily flashed through his mind. He didn't even know his name. But then again, it was easier that way. Knowing the young man's family name would only increase his guilt. Because then, he would know whose family he deprived of a son, a brother, a nephew, a cousin even though the young man was seeking vengeance himself.

A loud rapping on the glass of the door broke him from his guilty musing. For a moment, an unexpected feeling of hope swelled in his heart. Could it be the young man was alright after all? The loud rapping sound repeated, more urgent this time. "Alright! Alright already! I'm coming. There's no need to break the damn door. People these days... always in such a hurry," Philter grumbled loudly as he walked slowly towards the entrance. He could make out a black-cloak covered figure standing listlessly outside. He fumblingly unhooked the door latches and warily turned the handle.

The black-cloak covered figure swiftly swept past by him. "Are we alone?" asked a squeaky voice of a man. Philter quickly closed the door and looked at the back of his visitor. The figure continued walking around the Apothecary, making sure nobody was lurking about. "Well, old man? Answer me!"

"Yes. Yes, we are alone," Philter replied, annoyed. "Who would come here at a time like this?"

The black cloaked figure ignored the rhetorical question. He continued to inspect the premises. After checking the adjoining room, he walked back to Philter. He regarded the old proprietor for a moment before he hesitantly dropped his cowl. It was Peter Pettigrew.

"What can I do for you Peter?" Philter asked coolly as he slowly walked behind his counter.

Peter followed him. "The master is in need of your service. You must come at once," he commanded with a noticeable squeak. Philter unemotionally gazed at the ratty face of the Death Eater. Peter's attempt to act tough would have worked if he didn't twitch his nose so much or dropped his gaze at a staring contest. As it happened, his arrogant attitude only made him look pathetic.

Without any further delay, Philter collected all his medical potions. Lord Voldemort didn't want to be kept waiting even if he's asleep. What could have happened to the Dark Lord to require his healer skills? He tried to get some answers from Peter. But, the Death Eater was as tight as a clam. "I'm ready," Philter said simply. Peter took out a quill portkey, and they disappeared.

Malfoy Manor was a country house built on a barren hilltop. It overlooked the village of Wiltshire, west of London. The house was built by Baron Brutus Malfoy in 1475. The twin staircase towers and the house's façade were fashioned in a Renaissance style of a French chateau. After several generations, the house as well as the interior designs, was later altered to follow British architectural style.

Inside a large lavishly decorated Victorian-style sitting room, a few witches and wizards were gathered around a roaring fireplace. The atmosphere was subdued. It looked as if everyone was lost to his or her own thoughts. They had been waiting for an hour and a half. And still, no word from that decrepit healer, Philter, about the condition of their master.

"What's taking him so long?" Bellatrix impatiently stood up from her chair which she placed near the fireplace. She restlessly paced in front of the fireplace. Concern and worry were evident in her voice. It wasn't so much for her master but for herself. She did fail to protect the Dark Lord. She felt a twinge of fear at the thought. She stopped and stood at the side of the fireplace across from her chair. She moodily looked at the people gathered in the room.

Narcissa Malfoy was sitting calmly in a sofa beside her son, Draco. Gunthar occupied a large armchair as well as Flint. They both looked pensive. Wormtail was standing near the window looking at the quiet village below. Once in a while, he would squeak and looked nervously around the room. He couldn't seem to decide which part of his body he wanted to scratch first. Three other Death Eaters were talking quietly to each other while standing guard near the doorway.

Bellatrix agitatedly turned to watch the hypnotic dance of the flames. She raised her left hand and lightly touched the nonexistent scars on her left cheek. Without so much as a thought, she caressingly traced them with her fingers. Her thoughts unconsciously raced back to the scene at Budleigh Babberton. It wasn't the first time they were defeated in battle. And, she knew it wouldn't be the last. What bothered her the most was getting a beating from a mudblood werewolf. She would never forget his face. Again, in her mind, she saw the mudblood's face transforming into a werewolf. She still couldn't believe it. It was impossible, not without the full moon. Her private musing, as well as the unconscious caressing movement of her left hand, halted when a hesitant voice spoke aloud.

"Excuse me everyone..." She turned around slowly. Her fear, this time, couldn't be denied. The decrepit healer was standing uncertainly inside the room. "The Dark Lord is alright. He is resting right now. It will take another three days of bed rest for him to fully recover. I suggest you make his bed rest as comfortable as possible. Now, I need someone who will administer the potions to our master."

She saw the old man nervously gazed around the room. Her flagging spirit lifted at the news. Perhaps, there was still time to appease her master. She immediately considered several plans to capture the mudblood boy while her master was indisposed. She was busy considering her options, when her attention was caught by the entrance of another figure. Her eyes grew wide in surprise. Then, with as much grace as she could muster, she respectfully bowed her head and kneeled using her right knee.

Lord Voldemort, who was wearing a new black cloak, stood arrogantly surveying his kneeling minions. He looked paler than his usual pallid color. The wound on his left shoulder had been completely healed. There wasn't even a bite mark. When he was sure everybody's heads were bowed, he took a shaky step towards the armchair near the fireplace on his left. For some reason, he felt cold. His legs shook a little with every step he made. He still felt dizzy and weak, but his pride wouldn't admit such weaknesses, even to himself. He gratefully sat on the comfortable chair and contentedly soaked in the heat of the fire.

He leaned back his head and closed his eyes for a moment. Images of one Harry James Evans invaded his mind. Tonight, his Death Eaters witnessed not his glory but his humiliation. He was bested by a mudblood boy. Although no one of his Death Eaters would talk about the duel within his hearing distance, nevertheless, stories would spread out and might even reach the ears of that fool Dumbledore. Something had to be done. The upstart mudblood boy should be dealt with at once. His uttered promise at the duel must be fulfilled.

He tiredly opened his eyes and found his minions still kneeling with bowed heads. He was pleased. His Death Eaters had shown their proper manners well. "Arise, my servants!" His harsh voice was heard across the room. Everyone stood and dutifully faced him. He raised his hand and nonchalantly waved it towards the other chairs. "Sit everyone. Make yourselves comfortable," he generously ordered. He saw everyone uneasily sat down, confused at his odd behavior.

"My Lord, if I may speak..." Voldemort turned his head to Bellatrix who was sitting at a distance slightly to his left. He slowly nodded. "I request your permission to hunt the mudblood boy." Voldemort's demeanor hardened. But, before he could speak, a voice objected vehemently.

"That honor doesn't belong to you." He saw Gunthar stood up, enraged. "If there's anyone who has that right, it belongs to me." Bellatrix also stood up. Rage burned in her blue eyes. It would seem his two top Death Eaters were going to fight over this mudblood boy, he thought, amused. He made himself more comfortable and watched the scene with a smug smile on his lips.

"My Lord!" Voldemort exasperatedly sighed and turned to Flint who had also stood up. He had a look of outrage. "You have already assigned that task to me. I see no reason why these two would make such a claim." Gunthar and Bellatrix stopped arguing and turned to look at Flint. Their faces clearly showed curiosity and surprise.

Voldemort lazily studied the new recruit. He was one of the brash young Death Eaters who was always eager to please him. "I don't recall giving you that order," he said silkily. He saw Flint start to fidget. After a moment of silence, he began to feel irritated. He hated to be kept waiting. "I am waiting, Flint. Aren't you going to explain yourself?"

"My Lord, if you recall, you asked me to bring you James Potter's squib son." Voldemorth thought for a moment. He did give that order to Flint. And, he also remembered this fool failed miserably to accomplish that simple task. His eyes narrowed as he nodded for Flint to continue. "Harry Evans, the...the mudblood boy you dueled, is James Potter's son, my Lord."

Cold rage burned in Voldemort's eyes at the unexpected information. For a long time, he wanted to kill Potter's first born son. Potter's son might not be the child in the prophecy, but he could still be a danger in later years. But because the Potter boy was a squib, Voldemort never actually bothered to look for him. He thought Dumbledore and Neville Longbottom should be dealt with first. Now, he regretted ignoring the boy's existence. Their duel proved him right after all.

"Why didn't you tell me this before our duel?" Voldemort asked in a sinister way. Flint didn't answer his question, but merely bowed his head. "Bellatrix, punish this stupid fool. I think he hasn't learned his lesson yet."

A horrible scream ripped the silence inside Malfoy Manor. Every Death Eaters watched in fear and nervousness as Bellatrix gleefully tortured Flint. Voldemort grinned madly. He happily watched the young fool screamed and writhed in pain under the Cruciatus Curse. He let it go on for a few heartbeats. When he was satisfied Flint has suffered enough, he ordered the witch to stop. He saw Flint turned on his side and curled himself into a ball, crying. Two Death Eaters hesitantly came forward and picked up Flint. They carried him outside with the old healer in tow. There was a pregnant silence after the horrible screaming. Everyone silently waited for the Dark Lord to speak.

Voldemort leaned back on his chair, very pleased. He really enjoyed hearing scream of agony and pain. It always lifted his spirit. It made him feel alive. He smiled malevolently. He wondered, for a moment, if he should punish another one of his servants just for the heck of it. Then, he remembered hearing another scream of agony and pain... his own. His smile turned sour. His black heart burned with rage.

Voldemort looked hard at his two servants vying to capture Evans. "It will be Flint's task to bring me Potter's son." There was a loud protest from Bellatrix and Gunthar. He commandingly raised his right hand to silence them. "Until he delivers Evans to me, he will be continually punished. I have another task for you two." Gunthar and Bellatrix uncertainly looked at each other for a moment before returning to their seat. When Voldemort was sure he had everyone's attention, he continued. "I want you two to go to every werewolf tribe in England. I want you to find out if someone from the Twilight Wolves Tribe still exists. And, in the event, you do find someone who belongs to this tribe. I want you to bring whoever it is to me, alive. You may take with you twenty other Death Eaters..."

"My Lord, if I may ask..." Voldemort looked at Gunthar, annoyed. He didn't like to be interrupted when he's speaking. And this fool, on top of his failure to fulfill his simple mission, dared to interrupt him? He would have to think of a more creative punishment for this one. He didn't speak but waited impatiently for his servant to ask his question. "Has our mission something to do with finding the cure for the werewolf's bite?"

"No. It does not." Voldemort smirked as he saw the confuse expression on his minions' faces. He knew exactly what they were thinking. He was bitten by a werewolf. Therefore, he would search for a cure so as not to turn into a werewolf himself. They were simpletons. If what he suspected was true, Harry Evans was not a werewolf.

"My Lord, if you would explain it to us. We don't understand." Gunthar asked with a puzzled expression along with everybody else.

"Tell me. Have you ever known a werewolf transform outside of the full moon?" Voldemort waited for a heartbeat. Gunthar or anyone for that matter didn't answer his question for fear of being wrong and thus, punished. "Isn't there anyone here who will answer me?" he asked in an irate voice.

"My Lord, werewolves transform only on the night of the full moon." Draco Malfoy answered boldly. He remained steadfast even under the penetrating gaze of the Dark Lord. His mother, Narcissa, firmly restrained herself from admonishing his son in front of their master.

Draco could be useful in the future, Voldemort thought. He returned his gaze to the room at large. "Wizards and witches have never seen a man transform into a werewolf, at will, for over a thousand years...until now." Everyone was mesmerized as the Dark Lord weaved his tale of dark creatures long gone. "Long ago, there was a group of men and women, who could transform into a werewolf, at will. They belonged to a tribe known as the Twilight Wolves. They were not really werewolves. They were animagi with the ability to halt their transformation into a half-man, half-wolf. Their full form was a wolf, a very large grey-white wolf. They were formidable foes, alone or together. The more powerful members of this tribe even have the natural ability to become invisible. Werewolves everywhere acknowledged them as leaders, the alpha tribe."

"But, my Lord, the Twilight Wolves were a myth. It is just a story told to every werewolf child," Wormtail exclaimed without a thought. "My former friend, Remus, told me as much." He stopped talking when he noticed the silence in the room. He looked nervously at his master who was glaring at him. He shrank back in fear.

Voldemort continued to glare at Wormtail. This rat dared to presume to know more about the Twilight Wolves than him. "Bellatrix, teach that rat a lesson in manners."

"Master, please, I beg of you. Have mercy, please, master." Wormtail fell on his knees and prostrated himself in front of Voldemort. Voldemort merely looked in disgust at the ratty Death Eater. Bellatrix proceeded to torture him. Unlike Flint, Wormtail looked so pathetic that Voldemort couldn't even derive simple pleasure from his scream. The Dark Lord ended the torture just to stop the annoying scream. Wormtail was crying pitifully when he was dragged outside by another Death Eater.

The remaining Death Eaters were nervously silent. Gunthar found the courage to ask his master another question. "Please, master, not all of us are as foolish as Wormtail. Would you tell us what happened to the Twilight Wolves Tribe?"

Voldemort had a faraway look on his face. "Nobody knew what happened to them. The Twilight Wolves Tribe joined Salazar Slytherin in his fight against Godric Gryffindor. When Slytherin lost the battle, the Twilight Wolves simply disappeared. Some believed they all died in the battle. There were some who believed they went their separate ways."

There was a moment of silence as everyone thought the Dark Lord would tell more of his story. When their master remained quiet, Gunthar bravely asked his question. "What about you, my Lord? What do you believe?"

For a moment, everyone thought the Dark Lord wouldn't answer. He seemed to be falling asleep with his half-closed eyelids. "I believed the wizards hunted them to extinction. They were too powerful to be left alive."

"But, you do not think all of them were killed, my Lord?" Gunthar hesitantly asked further.

"No... not all of them were killed obviously. Some of the Twilight Wolves might have intermarried with wizards or witches. Otherwise, how will you explain Harry Evans?" Voldemort inwardly felt disgusted at the thought of a wizard and a werewolf marriage. It was an abomination he would happily put to an end.

Voldemort winced when he felt a sudden spasm of pain on his left shoulder. He slowly raised his right hand and lightly touched his sore left shoulder. He, then, noticed the concern on his servants' faces. He smiled arrogantly. He had nothing to worry about the werewolf bite. Harry Evans was not a cursed werewolf. He firmly believed Evans was a Twilight Wolf.

However, there were several questions plaguing Voldemort's mind. He knew Potter's first born son was a squib. How did he acquire his magic? Was he really a Twilight Wolf? If he was, who was teaching him how to use his abilities? It couldn't be Evans' stupid father, James Potter. If Potter was a Twilight Wolf, he would have known a long time ago. No. Someone else was doing it. In any case, that half-blood boy had to die before he reached his full potential. If left unchecked, Evans could sway werewolf tribes, everywhere, to his side. Voldemort knew he couldn't afford to lose his werewolf allies. He had to know more about Harry James Evans.
Sign up to rate and review this story