twenty-two

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cw : minor descriptions &
scenes of torture.
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THERE WAS NO FIRE that could ever counter the unadulterated irateness in Voldemort's red eyed gaze.

When Voldemort was in a room, he commanded it like a general of war while yielding the power and loyalty of a King. If he did not speak to you directly, you do not speak unless you're willing to have your tongue cut off; or worse. If the Dark Lord was not speaking, he expected pure silence.

This was worse than those few times Celestia had been in his presence. His anger was vigorous, an essence in its own right, standing with them in the room. Looming over them, caressing them, watching them.

It was silent fury, a ticking time bomb until he exploded. He was waiting, purposely setting them on edge. He wanted the fear on his subjects faces, and he got it. He stood behind his usual seat at the head of the table, his followers seated before him.

Celestia's wand was tucked into the waistband of her pants, hidden by the coat she wore loosely. Her hands were placed carefully on the table, wringing her hands together facilely. She did not want to make any sudden movements, or make him believe she was armed, unless a simple action would make her take the brunt of his fury. Other Death Eaters were doing the same around the table.

Bellatrix and Narcissa flanked both of her sides, a seat vacant besides the latter, where Lucius had once sat. He was here no longer, thrown into Azkaban after the battle at the Department of Mysteries. Celestia fought the urge to tap her fingers against the dark, wooden table or fidget with her fingers.

At last, Voldemort spoke. His voice was as she had never heard it before, his voice somehow cold but burning with fury; his words enunciated with a slight hiss, as if he himself had finally succumbed to snake form. "You complete, utter, bovine, morons. Months had gone into planning this, and yet you let Potter thwart my plans again? How moronic can you all be?" Words laced with fury, the previous questions not needing an answer. "What happened?"

No one was enticed to answer. Their gazes all averted to the pristine dining table they sat around, heads bowed as they received their scolding. Though, his last questions had not been rhetorical, and he wanted answers.

"I said, what happened?" repeated Voldemort through his clenched, yellow teeth.

The room fell silent again, the fire crackling behind Celestia, lined against the wall was the only sound that filled the room for many moments. It was Bellatrix who was brave enough to speak, putting herself at the brunt of his temper.

"Everything was going according to plan. Potter arrived, determined to find my blood-traitor cousin, just like you believed he would, and stumbled across the prophecy. Imprudently on his part, astute on yours, My Lord, he picked up the prophecy," began explaining Bellatrix.

"Then, what went wrong? How did you imbeciles fail to retrieve the prophecy from a mere fifteen-year-old boy?" demanded Voldemort.

Beside her, Bellatrix gulped. Celestia knew little of the plan in which she had stumbled into by arriving at the Department of Mysteries. Only tidbits she had picked up over the day leading up to this meeting; they had lured Harry to claim a prophecy that Voldemort wanted.

"Lucius stepped out and demanded the prophecy, he refused. We were prepared to use force, but we feared that it may break the prophecy in process—" continued Bellatrix.

The Dark Lord interrupted her with a hiss. "Yet still, it ended up smashed against the ground."

"Yes, My Lord. After her initially refused, Potter believed himself and his friends powerful enough to duel against us. Spells broke out, shelves toppled, and the children dispersed. We followed them, and we were able to corner them within the Death Chamber. That was when the insufferable Order members appeared as backup. There, chaos ensued. We all tried to receive the prophecy, but somehow Potter ended up breaking it without any of us seeing," finished Bellatrix.

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