How exactly did Barty Crouch Jr. join the Death Eaters in June 1981?
WolfAngel'JR at FanFiction.Net (bendaimmortal here).
WolfAngel'JR & DrRockter.
Voldemort is viewed and written by DrRockter and Barty Crouch Jr. is viewed and written by me, AngelJunior. This is our role-play game topic, which I fixed into a fanfic mostly form my Junior's point of view, translated it into English and changed the title. DrRockter doesn't have a pen name here. I have her permission to publish this.
We don't own the Harry Potter world, Barty Crouch Jr. and Voldemort but they belong to J.K. Rowling. This is non-profit fanfiction. No copyright infringement intented.
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My Junior's looks come from the young Brittish actor Jamie Bell, at this era particularly as Griffin from the movie Jumper. (Hence, the picture.) This is part of my BCJ fanfic series. This story takes place in June-July 1981.
Voldemort's looks during this First War era turned out a bit AU in my fanfic universe because his player wished it so and I chose to use this story for the series. He does look somewhat inhumane, but not as much as Rowling described. Resulting in, he is not automatically recognizable to those who don't personally know him. :A/N
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"If you talk with a demon, you may lose your faith. Every word is designed to trap you."
The Destroying Angel
Chapter 1: The Candidate
The dark and pressing atmosphere of Knockturn Alley felt especially dark and pressing tonight. Not even the witches and wizards living in the alley dared to step outside, not even for a night at the local pub!
But there were three shapes in the darkness, dressed in long, black capes. The man walking in the front was almost slithering, he was trembling and seemed to be on the edge of a panic attack. He tried to act braver than he was but tonight his master frightened him more than ever. Had he dared, he'd cursed the day he joined the Death Eaters.
In the middle was walking a tall, imposing man, his face hidden within his black hood. He oozed dignity and self-assurance and no one at the moment dared to defy him and his status. You-know-who was on the move that night. The third man followed the other two with glassy eyes, joyful smile on his face.
Eventually the dignified man stopped at the end of a side alley, to a place that connected with the Knockturn Alley. The happy man stopped, taking a place beside him like a faithful dog. The trembling, frightened man stopped immediately when he realized his master had too...
"Master.." he stammered, "i-isn't.. my Lord.. w-what if the Aurors hear about t-this?" Voldemort seemed as if he didn't even hear, but lifted his hand to silence the man. He lifted his face as if to listen though he had heard nothing.
"He's here soon, Nicory," Voldemort said after a while, "best if you start right away."
"B-but, my Lord... they know
"They don't know anything," Voldemort hissed, feeling a bit annoyed, "get yourself together, Nicory, and do as I say."
"Y-yes my Lord," the man said, straightened up and stepped to Knockturn Alley. Voldemort raised his wand and set the Auror at Nicory with a simple order; 'kill him'. A fire caught the Auror's eyes and he attacked Nicory without mercy. The battle had begun.
Voldemort stood aside, watching the situation develop as he waited for a certain young person to arrive at any given moment. He couldn't be far anymore.
Voldemort had gathered followers throughout the years, but so far he had no significant source of information inside the Ministry of Magic. He wasn't getting enough information about the Aurors' and other Ministry members' actions, this keeping him from rising to total power. He was close though, he needed only one man on his side, and the Ministry would fall.
The man was Barty Crouch Jr.
A young man looked angry and lost when he apparated at the other end of Knockturn Alley, dressed in a black cloak, hiding his face under its hood. He knew exactly where he was and what for. He was lost only inside.
Barty Junior wasn't 100 percent Death Eater potential – that had the older Barty taken care of. The family was proud of their pure blood, but never blinded to their equal status in the colourful human race. That value was the reason why even now he wasn't consciously considering joining the Death Eaters, but these days that value was only a tiny spark smothered by the flame of thirst and bitterness. For over a decade he had searched for his father's approval as the boy he was, only to hear his father wish his life away and rewritten. He had managed to push the bitterness aside and try to live as his father hoped. In the end even that didn't seem to be enough. Junior had come to the conclusion that he'd never be good enough for his father, and the desperate fight for the man's attention during the worst years wasn't helping - especially as the family was breaking with the mother slowly dying. His last year at Hogwarts Junior had spent mostly planning how to make his father's life as hard as he felt the man had made his? How to tread down his dreams like he felt the man had done to him?
Throughout the past few years when father had gone on about muggles' rights, Junior couldn't help but occasionally think of how much easier everyone's life would be if the world did form out of only witches and wizards. There wouldn't be annoying laws about underage magic, the children could be themselves anywhere and any time, and he himself wouldn't have come to dream of any dreams but the kind that would be useful for the wizarding society and perhaps he would've better fulfilled his father's expectations. The thought had taken over easily for he had grown distant to his muggle friends from his childhood and found his best friends from Hogwarts. Friends, of which the closest just happened to be purebloods like him. Of course the thought was selfish, and he had usually felt ashamed of thinking with such a black-and-white and of wishing to go where the fence was lowest.
But as he wandered through the dark, unnaturally silent alley, his subconsciousness only fired up his need for a completely new life wherein at least someone appreciated him and his efforts, all his talent and not just the bits they happened to personally like – for a life, wherein he wouldn't feel alone or be in his father's shadow. He thought it was only a beautiful dream, so he had decided he'd go through life alone and stand only on his own side. His main goal was to destroy his father's ambition. Surely the boy still loved his father and longed for his approval, but for a long time he had no real desire or interest to show it. Bitterness combined to how he had nothing to hold on to resulted in his desire to make his father fall hard and from high, grew day by day. A feeling of power, he believed to help him bear all that he was missing. That's why he had stuck his nose into the heart of Knockturn Alley. Father hated and despised the dark arts and all those who practiced them, so this would be the perfect place to start from.
Just before he was to turn around a corner, someone ran past him and was followed by a blinding, green light that hit way too close to Junior's hood, and as these days a green light usually meant the killing curse, it had him immediately take shelter behind the corner. His wand he had held in his hand all along – these hoods weren't too safe anyway. Soon enough another man ran past him, and Junior recognized him immediately as one of Ministry's oldest Aurors – the most respected and feared right after Mad-Eye Moody. The Auror said the feared words, pushing Junior into conclusion that he was chasing a verified Death Eater. The Aurors were allowed to kill instead of capture. Without these little details Junior might have just moved on and forgotten about it.
Now he leaned against the wall, keeping an eye on the situation. He laughed at the man who didn't appear to be one of the bravest Death Eaters. First of all, he seemed to focus more on running away than fighting and second of all, his face was so pale that Junior could see it from the distance even in that darkness. Junior's gaze followed the man as he climbed the fire stairs up to the roof of a nearby building, losing the murderous Auror for a moment. Here Junior saw one tiny chance to terrorize his father's chances to be promoted. If the best of Aurors began to fail, people would start to question the Law Enforcements leader…
"Hey, dude! It gets really cold there! The Death Eater went that way!" he shouted after the Auror, and with his wand pointed at the direction he himself had come from, casting a spell. A hallucination of the Death Eater ran away at the other side of the alley when the Auror reached Junior. As Junior pulled his hood down, the man recognized him as his boss's son and trusted the information, heading the appointed direction. The real Death Eater on the roof stared at the situation, confused and without the slightest intent to come down.
For a moment Junior considered which charm to cast after the man, thinking for a second too long. As he tried to obliviate the man to make him forget he'd been chasing a Death Eater, the man turned around and the spell missed. Just in time Junior realized that this trick probably made the Auror believe he was a Death Eater in disguise, which seemed to become the case though in reality Voldemort cast another Imperius Curse on the man. Another Avada Kedavra split the air, this time aiming at Junior. Silently he created a wooden door between himself and the curse, and as it caught fire, Junior wondered why the Auror didn't speak a word and used only the killing curse. Self-protection sense however kept him focused on survival. Just before he disappeared behind a corner, he cast another silent spell at his "enemy" and with a wide grin on his face he ran wishing he could stay and watch - for according to the scream, it had hit. The Auror's hair was on fire good and well.
Chuckling to himself, Junior looked for a good place to keep on bullying this Auror for he started to get excited with the idea of making this man as ridiculous as possible in the eyes of the Ministry and possibly the society. Rita Skeeter's eyes seemed to be everywhere or if they weren't, she created a scandal out of the most insignificant hint, even if it meant ninety-nine percent fiction. His smile faded as soon as a cruciatus curse flew too close to the top of his head, reminding him how Daddy dearest fought fire with fire. That perhaps this should be taken a bit more seriously. Growing serious, he cast the disarming spell but missed. Junior was very talented but not dumb – he was fully aware he couldn't stand for too long, against a professional Auror with a many decades' experience. At least one tiny disgracing effort wasn't worth the risk.
Voldemort had taken notice of how little words Junior used when defending himself against a murderous Auror as well as how the kid seemed to be enjoying the battle. Voldemort moved to the other side of the street so not to be in the way. He grew more and more interested in the situation. Barty Crouch Jr. seemed to be better wizard than he had believed him to be. The sooner he got the boy on his side, the better. Voldemort however felt a slight sting of suspicion inside him; the boy was talented, indeed, but might he be too talented? Added to magical power the boy showed some sort of faculty of judgment, cunningness… Cunningness…
Junior took much more distance and at the next killing curse he turned around, cast the stunning spell but fell to the ground, lifeless. Further away Voldemort became worried and a bit annoyed, and the Auror believe he'd indeed hit – (he was aware of being the second best Auror at the Ministry), and didn't see the light in Junior's eyes on the dark alley, and even less how Junior carefully lifted his wrist to point the wand at the man. Junior was reached not by a man but a little, fat chicken. He hadn't given the man even the dignity of being a cock.
"That's about it", Junior stated calmly as he got into sitting position. "What do you think, will it be the Ministry? I'd be interested to hear what kind of a report you give to your boss about this night…" He grinned at the chicken pecking the ground although it didn't understand a word as also the brain and understanding had decreased to the level of a chicken.
Voldemort was pleased with the boy's performance, though of course some tuning needed to be done. First of all, no one
at his service would transform the enemy into a chicken. Whereas it might be a blow at the Ministry, it would also be very disgraceful to the Death Eaters and himself. He and his authority were to be feared and no one should make it questionable. But now it was time to take action, for all had gone pretty much according to the plan – apart from Nicory who would receive his punishment in time.
Voldemort stepped around Junior to stand behind him and lifted the invisibility charm off of himself.
"Very impressive," he said with a calm voice, staring at Junior with his dark eyes. He stepped closer cool and calm, glancing at the chicken, expressionlessly.
"Yes, you fought well for such a young one," Voldemort said, sounding thoughtful and valuating and then lifted his face towards the boy, "what would be your name, young man?"
Voldemort glanced quickly at the Death Eater still on the roof, who took the hint and disapparated away. Voldemort was left alone in the company of his young candidate.
"Thanks a lot", Junior stated pleased with the praise, after glancing who he was talking to, without recognizing him, and got up from the ground. Voldemort had barely noticeable smile on his face for the boy's pleased tone about the praise but he felt disappointed that he didn't seem to have recognized him while Voldemort had thought every single witch and wizard would by now.
"And it was quite a nice little fight... Although that, apparently a Death Eater, didn't seem to appreciate it..." Junior snorted. For a moment he watched the chicken disappear into the shadows and decided to look for a solution for his problems from the Ministry. He turned to take a good look at this man before even considering giving him his name. Junior squeezed his wand tightly in his hand but seemed otherwise calm. The man didn't seem threatening, but still as he couldn't possibly be from the Ministry...
"And excuse, me but I reckon names are best kept as a secret these days, regardless of how pure one's blood..." he stated calmly, gesturing with his free hand that he wasn't going to reply and then started towards the main streets, away from the alley – but he didn't completely turn his back on the stranger and was ready to defend himself at all times. Voldemort could accept that he didn't get an answer but not necessarily completely the fact that Crouch was about to walk away without paying any more attention to him. Voldemort let his deep gaze stay on Junior's face.
"This war is full of nutcases and I plan to live through it to see how it ends – preferably on my own side alone" Junior announced as he went, looking at the older man from the corner of his eye.
"People decide whose side we are on" Voldemort answered after a while. As if to support his words, he glanced at Crouch without turning to him. He too decided to walk away… or rather, 'walk away'. He took a few steps to the opposite direction than Crouch Junior, sure that a young boy's interest would stir and he'd carry on the discussion... After all the boy had shown some sort of curiosity by staying to fight an Auror a moment earlier… and the way he talked about Death Eaters. The fearlessness... If the Death Eaters or Voldemort didn't scare him, they interested him. At least Voldemort viewed the matter in this black-and-white manner at the time.
"Besides, if the boy chose to leave, Voldemort could arrange another 'meeting', if needed. For Voldemort didn't have the slightest intent to ask the boy to join him. His intent was to make the kid believe it was his own idea .This way Voldemort would keep the upper hand and the boy would never realize that he was needed. Voldemort didn't need anyone, he himself was needed. Without him those miserable Death Eaters would be nothing…
"What's your point? In itself that would be unusual attitude for someone your age" he said, turning around to face the man but continued walking slowly. "I mean, it's usually teenagers who let the crowd decide for them or care what other people think" he went on with a sting in his tone.
"Besides, you look like a guy who knows perfectly well whose side he's on and why..."
Voldemort, pleased with the situation going on according to the plan, turned to look at Junior.
"It's not about an attitude, boy," he said with a calm voice, letting the slight mockery slide.
"I have chosen my own…hm… side a long time ago," Voldemort said lightly, "I'm on my own side
." Voldemort cast a short, meaningful look at Junior as he spoke the last words, and then turned his thoughtful gaze somewhere up, not focusing it to anything.
"In fact you look somehow familiar" Junior said and didn't notice how he hadn't left to speak to himself but started approaching the man again – still always ready to defend himself.
"I just don't recall meeting you before. Do you happen to be almost related to a celebrity, say, in example, to our current judge, Bartemius Crouch?" he asked half carelessly, still carefully approaching the man, the true degree of his curiosity revealed in his gaze which he kept in the man's face. He couldn't catch the realization that this man's being just oozed numerous same characteristics as his father's – that it wasn't about any specific outside look matter. Voldemort was pleased to notice he hadn't just stopped to chatter but was approaching him. The question had him turn his interested look back to Junior. He wasn't sure if it was a joke or an obvious hint? Voldemort stared at him and didn't blink.
"That's it!" Voldemort exclaimed as if he had just realized something, "you're Crouch's son!" he gave a laugh and shook his head.
"I hardly know your father," he said, nicely answering the question the boy had thrown half joking, "and I doubt I'm related either, sorry. A talented wizard he is, however..."
Voldemort was silent for a moment and then shrugged for a sign that the discussion was over. He turned around to leave, but only to provoke the boy to carry on the discussion… It was now highly important that Crouch himself kept asking, kept on the talking... gathered information for himself, made his own conclusions about Death Eaters and Voldemort. Voldemort only needed to talk about his own business a bit better and of course question the Ministry.
In his mind Junior reviewed the events since the battle ended up until to this point. He kept approaching slowly. The man had done nothing to him though he had battled an Auror and even at Knockturn Alley. Instead he had praised his fighting skills. He claimed to have chosen his side long ago. He reminded him of someone but didn't know the father. All this pointed nowhere less than to the dark side.
"You didn't attack or run away when you saw me fighting an Auror Making you a Death-" he started but ate his words as he recalled the way the man had spoken of being on his own side and as he realized why he looked so familiar.
"No...!" he said, almost certain of being right. There was a hint of excitement in his tone. But he stopped, clenching to his wand and kept his gaze at the man's face. "You're him
." he went on, only a slight doubt in his tone, for the pieces didn't quite fit yet. He raised his wand just in case.
Voldemort stopped with a wide smile on his face, which he however wiped away before turning back to the young man. Clearly things were going his way again and Crouch had finally recognized him, although it had taken outrageously long - at least in Voldemort's own opinion.
"But it doesn't make sense. You know who I am, but you haven't even tried to kill me yet. If you are Voldemort, why the heck wouldn't you want me dead?" Junior announced his conclusion and confusion, certain of that whoever this person was, he wasn't going to kill him tonight or else he would've done it already. And he said the name of the Dark Lord like any other name, there was no fear or anything else negative emotion. His father had never feared the psychopath at all – he couldn't even afford that, and thus the boy hadn't been taught to fear either.
"Put the wand away, boy," Voldemort ordered very calmly and steady, but Junior dismissed it as a joke. Voldemort wasn't afraid, the Ministry people and those on their side didn't have the nerve to use the Unforgivable curses in fear of a punishment. With the exception of the Aurors who had all the rights to kill the Death Eaters. But this boy either likely wouldn't even try to kill him. He would just get in trouble with his father who likely thought of everything illegal as penal.
However, the boy's fearlessness did make Voldemort thoughtful. Of course fearlessness was only a good characteristic, but his own self-centred nature wanted every single living creature to fear him. Even his followers had to fear him so that his upper hand and authority would be secured. Still he thought the fearlessness to be delightful and nice change to the typical meetings.
"Why wouldn't I want to kill you?" Voldemort repeated the question, "I'm asking you, what makes you think I would want to kill you?"
Voldemort had his own inkling about it and generally people assumed he killed every enemy he met but this assumption was somewhat misleading.
"Because I'm basically an enemy and supposedly on my father's side" he started with the obvious. "And because some might think that my death would destroy my father and bring someone less eager to his place." His tone turned colder as his reasoning went on for he started to remember how alone he felt. Because there was no sense in just listing reasons for why someone should kill him, he added. "But in truth he probably wouldn't even notice… if even cared." Of course the truth was different but he could only speak what he himself believed to be true.
"People don't decide anything for me. I'm independent, because I have no reason to support my father." He kept his eyes at Voldemort for he had no reason to trust Voldemort just because the man claimed no interest in killing him. Junior had made the conclusion that the man had somehow come to the same conclusion throughout the years and thus saw no use in killing him.
The boy has no reason to support his father, Voldemort thought. Was there something between the father and son that the son felt resentment for? He had taken a look into what was going on in the Crouch family but even he couldn't or didn't care to find out everything.
"You've got quite a black-and-white view of this world, boy," Voldemort said, still remaining calm, "and I draw a conclusion from your words that you believe everything the papers tell you. I can't blame you though, but I'd wish for a better judgement." To Junior, it was about carelessness about the truth more than about believing anything. Though, of course believing played its part – he was his father's son more than he wanted to be, and added to that he simply didn't have anything to base his opinions on than the media. But he didn't care how people interpret his reasons as long as his life wasn't at stake. Voldemort took a short break, thinking how to continue.
"Of course, the Daily Prophet is naturally on the Ministry's side," he said slowly, "but even though you're basically and according to the papers and thus in the eyes of the society my enemy… Actually you're not. Why? Because I always need a reason to kill and you have not, for now, brought up any characteristic for why I should kill you. You're not a muggle, or a mudblood... You haven't even threatened me in any way and I doubt you ever will. The fact that you're your father's son doesn't mean a thing to me."
Voldemort took a short break again.
"Besides you just defended a Death Eater against an Auror..." he added and snorted coldly.
"Perhaps people don't decide for you but they will register you on either side sooner or later. Think of it; you're already now automatically on your father's side because he happens to work at the Ministry? This is completely their and the media's painted picture of you. No one asked you what you think; they assume you're on your father's side because you're his son. People have defined you, whether you want it or not."
The truth hit Junior in the face and threw him into a hopeless interest in Voldemort's mind, for his father's way of thinking didn't fascinate him right now. And because father had never taken that neutral point of view and because he'd never thought Voldemort could do that. Barty Junior wanted to know who exactly he was supposed to fight against.
"So..." he started, looking the way he was planning to leave but as he continued he turned to look at Voldemort."What, according to you, is the truth about you?" His eyes told of sincere curiosity but not of will to embrace anyone's values and opinions. The poor boy was lost between need for independence and longing to belong to something.
Voldemort thought of his answer for a moment, letting his gaze along the street. The question was like straight from his plan, but now that it was really asked... He wasn't so sure anymore if he wanted to answer it - at least not as widely as he had once planned to. If he told all about himself, he'd lose part of himself with it. Besides, no matter how much he wanted that boy on his side, to fight against his father... He still couldn't be sure that the boy wouldn't right after this discussion run to his father, telling all about it.
Finally he turned his gaze back to Junior.
"As I said, the Prophet gives a very biased image of my undertakings," he then said, "the Prophet supports the Ministry's idea that I'm nothing more but a cold-blooded murderer, who only wants to kill. That idea isn't really even part of the truth..." Voldemort took a short break to think.
"My goal is to create a society, that forms only of wizards and witches," he said, "Imagine how much easier our life would be if there were no muggles. I have never accepted the idea that we must hide what we are. Doesn't everyone have the right to be what they are and yet still we have to wear their clothes, in their world, always careful so that the wizarding society wouldn't be revealed."
Voldemort took yet another break, and gave out a sigh.
"If there were no muggles, wizards could lead a normal life... Freed of liability for muggles. I don't know what your father has taught you about muggles," Voldemort said, "but I don't think you can deny how much easier place the world would be without muggles."
Junior's look melted into open and understanding and for a moment he didn't remember who he was talking to. This was exactly how he had slowly started to think of the world when he had started Hogwarts, growing distant from his childhood muggle friends and from muggle world in itself for most of the years – and had to notice how much more pleasant life was when there was no need to pretend and hide what he was. However, equality, tolerance and 'with great power comes great responsibility' had been rooted into him well. He just had never been too good in taking responsibility... even for his own actions.
"Have to admit that I agree. I have for years..." His gaze had moved into the darkness of Knockturn Alley. But is it a goal worth killing for? Muggles hadn't hurt him in any specific way except perhaps seeming to be more important to father than his own family. Voldemort exulted in his partial win, but it fell awfully short in a horrible way.
"But you don't just kill them, but torture too - even muggle-borns and not just their muggle relatives. The purity of blood is most important to you, they say. If so, why? Where does such deep hatred come from?" Junior wanted to know as he looked at Voldemort again.
The boy had started to lecture him
about torturing and about killing muggles and muggle-borns. That in itself wasn't so much the reason for Voldemort's annoyance as was the personal question that had followed. How did the boy dare
to tent him about his reasons for his hatred of muggles. He screwed up his eyes as he stared at the boy intensively. There was a spark of hate in his eyes but in the darkness it was barely noticeable. Junior of course had understood he'd gone into personal business and thus kept an eye on Voldemort's being especially well.
"My reasons to hate muggles will remain my business" Voldemort said, still remaining deeply calm, "everyone has a right to their opinions, I don't force-feed mine to anyone. Those who follow me think alike but most likely they have also their own reasons." Even though the man was calm, inside he was considering different ways to teach that cheeky kid a lesson. He really was impressed by the boy's earlier battle and some of his characteristics and that fearlessness, but the line had to be drawn somewhere. Poking around certain kind of information was against good manners.
"Or do you wish to tell me your life story?" Voldemort added, "because if you think like me, you must have your reasons." He had to remain calm and pass on the punishment this time, if he wanted the boy to believe in his motives. But if the kid carried on the cheeky behaviour once he'd joined his force…
"You said you have for years, done what?" Voldemort asked, staring at the boy, still considering. The boy still had a wand in his hand and it still pointed at him.
"Put your wand away," Voldemort repeated sounding a bit fed up, "if I really wanted to kill you today you'd likely be dead already. You do realize that?"
"Alright, alright… It's just that I asked for the truth but I feel you told only part of it. And no, I really don't want to tell my life story." He snorterd. Still he found he enjoyed talking about the war's cause with his father's worst enemy. And the little warning bells seemed to be broken, as he continued.
"I meant that I've agreed for years that without muggles this world might be a better place to live in. Especially for myself. Dad and I might have been spared many fights if there were no muggles and he dragged as to live here and fed me his somewhat contradictory values and dedicate his life to-." he spoke with increasing anger, but then bit his tongue. This was no use; he'd just be driven to think more and more of certain words from five years ago. Even though he cut off, Voldemort had heard more than he had even hoped for. He didn't comment on any of it even though he could have. Junior made efforts to think of something else and remembered Voldemort's last words. Still his ill mood and hurt showed through.
"And yes, I do realize that, but I'm still not going to put it away. Why does my holding the wand bother you?" he asked, again in a questioning tone, clenching to his wand a bit tighter.
Voldemort gave a fed up sigh. Kids.
"Anyone would be bothered if the discussion's other side pointed a wand at them," Voldemort answered as he pulled out his own wand and aimed it directly at Junior's face.
"Or does this not bother you?" he hissed, staring at Junior intensively, his wand arm steady.
Within a second Junior's ill mood flew out of his mind's window. His being got all the vigilance back and he lifted his arm hand to a level on which he could defend himself if needed.
"Ok, well... Very funny. Perhaps a bit
different matter! Behind that wand is many decades older wizard, who probably knows all the dark curses in the world and one doesn't even need a wand for all the spells. You're not seriously comparing this to me and my wand" he spoke as if he was debating with a big brother or something. Voldemort gave a joyless laugh. Finally the kid had realized at least something
"Yes, this is a bit
different," Voldemort admitted, "but if you think of it beneath the surface, it's not that different. I don't know you, nothing more than I've learned during this short discussion. When you fought a while ago you showed abilities that raise you above many wizards; you used silent spells. It's an undeniable sign of a talented wizard." Voldemort snorted coldly, "I don't believe you could do any special damage, but caution is a good friend these days, wouldn't you agree?"
Father had praised him and his skills and powers as a wizard in particular, but each and every time it had been related to getting the boy do with his life something the man himself though the best, instead of praising for no particular reason or out of personal pride. This of course decreased the feeling of genuineness of the praising. Voldemort, whose motive were the same, however made it seem genuine, thus it registered to Junior in a completely different way.
"How about I don't just put my wand away but go away, stop wasting you precious time in your mission. As much as making the world a better place is fascinating, I've been thinking to better only my own personal world tonight. I'm not even sure why I'm still talking to you, even though we have very little in common" he spoke a bit less calmly than before. Anyone would lose a bit of self-assurance if being pointed a wand at by Voldemort – no matter how much he claimed not to kill. Perhaps his renewed will to leave the situation wasn't so much out of Voldemort and his wand as it was of his subconscious voices of which the other was warning and other rejoicing at a chance to get back at his father in the ultimate way. This paradox had him stare at Voldemort without really seeing, instead of disapparating immediately.
"Oh, boy," Voldemort said, "you just don't want to believe it but we have more in common than you think."
It was Junior's turn to give out a fed up sigh. He apparently had said something that had revealed something more in common. "Like what? How could I believe something I don't know?" He'd had enough of riddles and dancing around the means.
"As far as I know we have in common the vision of a better society and pure blood in our veins" he started. Voldemort had made his statement in such all-knowing tone that it had Junior go on without any caution.
"Did you have a dying mother and a selfish father? Did you grow up feeling like you'd deserve something better?" His tone was sharp and disbelieving for even though he realized other people were victims of the same or similar circumstances, he didn't think it likely this one in particular was one of them. And yet in the back of his mind he was thinking, so what if he was...?
"Well, of course we're not from the same starting points," Voldemort said. For a moment he considered if he should tell the boy about his childhood – actually answer the personal question - and decided to. After all it was somewhat public information as a certain professor at Hogwarts knew more about him than was necessary. He also came to decision that it might help him in winning this boy's trust.
"My mother died soon after my birth," Voldemort said, "I never met her. My father was a muggle who didn't want me but I was sent to a muggle orphanage, wherein I grew up until my eleventh birthday." Voldemort took a little break and added:
"And yes, I do feel I'd deserved something better," he said, taking a short, intense break, "I would've deserved a mother… I would've deserved a father, who would've wanted to raise me. I can't blame my mother, but my father could've kept me instead of sending me to a muggles'
orphanage. No child should go through such nonchalance." The last sentence just slipped. The little Tom Riddle Jr. had momentarily taken over, but vanished as quickly as he had come.
"Perhaps now you understand better me and my hate of muggles," Voldemort added in a very quiet and cold voice.
Junior finally put his wand down and immediately after him, Voldemort did too. He even put his completely away, becoming seemingly defenceless.
"Good", Voldemort said.
" Junior stated and his tone oozed that he thought the story the most interesting thing in the world. His gaze wondered into the darkness of the Knockturn Alley, again. His heart that still belonged to his father in some essential aspects didn't remember it at the moment nor did it care about anything but what he just heard and about the vengeance of which the boy now had a bright vision. A small, cold and very pleased smile crept on his face. Barty Jr. felt absolute loyalty towards Voldemort even before he had decided if the idea was as great as it seemed. There was a new spark in his greyish-blue eyes, as if he thought he may have found a purpose for his life. But he still had many reasons not to run head over heals into the fire. What if he was revealed to the Ministry? Would it be worth it in the end? Would this painfully tempting new way of life be any better than the current hellhole? Did it have anything more to offer than the sweetest revenge?
His intense gaze was fixed into the darkness. He was leaning towards the wrong side of the abyss' edge, but made real efforts to keep his balance – because he was his father's son.
"Tell me..." he started half to himself, until he turned his eyes to Voldemort's face with all new kind of light.
"This very useful and fascinating cult of yours... Media can not tell us anything else than is shown outside. If I wanted to join and got in to your army, in which all ways it would change my life - apart from the obvious of course?"
Even though the discussion still included a little if, at the latest now Voldemort knew he was clearly winning. Deep within Junior already wanted to become a Death Eater. The boy wouldn't let himself think so just yet, but it couldn't be far.
"It would depend on how much you'd be in the practical work towards the goal," Voldemort answered truthfully, "and on how loyal you'd be to me and my goal. It would be in your own hands how all of it changed your life. For sure is that Death Eaters belong together and once joined me, a person is always part of something bigger. You may be in a little or very, very much."
Voldemort was silent for a while again, thinking of his words. If he now carried on the right words that boy was practically his…
"But each Death Eater is an individual, a persona," he said, "my standard is very high by now. I won't take just anyone, surely you understand why without a need to explain."
"Of course", Junior commented on it. Each moment the path possibly opening ahead of him felt more and more right. This man had shown him remarkable appreciation and respect even during such a short discussion, so why not later too? And he wasn't bothered at all that the bond would be for life. Of course he had no idea what killing and torturing felt like. But it sounded like his opinion would really matter as well in common things as in his own part. 'Always part of something bigger... An individual, a persona... I don't take just anyone...'
"I could express myself without constant evaluation?"
Voldemorti smiled a little.
"Of course evaluation would be constant," Voldemort stated, "I must hold on to some standards. But if one acts irreproachably and gives the cause everything, he gets respect and appreciation. The longer one is a Death Eater and the more loyal one is, the better light I see him in. Of course," Voldemort took a break and moved his gaze into the ever darkening night.
"Loyalty will be rewarded," he said, looking back at Junior's face, "but disloyalty will be punished for. Becoming a Death Eater can't be out of a whim, it has to be given everything and, as the media too says all the time; once a Death Eater, always a Death Eater."
"But yes," he said in a moment, "as I said, each Death Eater is an individual and thus does whatever he does the best - as well in a group as alone. Thus it could be said that Death Eaters get to express themselves without constant criticism. I do keep an eye on my followers, but if there's no reason for doubt, there won't be a need for critic."
"I repeat myself," Voldemort added once more, "It all depends on you."
Voldemort kept his face somewhat empty, but in his thoughts he was exulting in the win. There were a few little details that made him thoughtful; first of all, even if he did win Junior on his side, could he be totally sure to trust him as he needed to? The boy was the judge's son, it was undeniable truth. Secondly he was thinking if things were happening too fast? He was pleased with the boy's suppressed excitement, but he wasn't sure if he wanted to accept the boy so quickly. Should he prolong the game a little? Test the boy and his true will. Let him understand that he really didn't take in just anyone... Try to get the boy to prove himself..? On the other hand if he took the boy in immediately after he asked it, it would be the point of no return and he could work the boy into whatever he wanted... But when the boy would be a Death Eater, he could put the boy truly kill and torture muggles and he'd see the true Barty Crouch Junior. The boy would have no choice but to do as he was told unless he wanted to find out the consequences of disobedience.
On the other hand, he could test the boy right here before taking him in and then more afterwards… supposing the boy was smart enough to ask for a place among Death Eaters.
Junior didn't recall being more sure of anything in his life. Still, regardless of his hate, bitterness and (at the moment) readiness to go extreme, his love for his family and especially for his father and longing for his approval, and the love he had received from his family, were so strong and been with him for all his life, that he knew them to stand between him and complete devotion to Voldemort. This he believed to be the most deceptive part of his inner life, so he closed it away into darkness, sure of that sooner or later Voldemort would try to penetrate his memories and emotions and interpret them. And this was what he wanted – he felt his father deserved as extreme betrayal as he could possibly come up with on Voldemort's side. He wouldn't let anything ruin it, and was grateful for his immense skill in Occlumency.
He drew a deep breath and took an eye contact, his voice was steady and sincere.
"So... Would I stand a chance in joining your force? I assume I'm not the worst possible choice since you've used so much time in talking to me and answering my every question. You can be sure this is not a whim of any kind. I'm not suicidal - my intent is not to be killed by an Auror or you." He took a short break during which he remembered something that might be useful.
"When I was fourteen, I studied dark curses, because they fascinated me and I took the practical studying on other students too. I had something to say to my father but he apparently thought that was just a whim. He forgot about it. I want to do something that he'll never forget, something that destroys him should he ever find out. It's not my goal though, for the longer I stay in the dark the more use I am for the society, you and myself."
"Loyalty is not a problem. The Sorting Hat pondered long between Slytherin and Gryffindor, but sorted me into Gryffindor because I valued most courage, daringness – and loyalty. And I still do."
Voldemort was overjoyed for the win. He got the judge's son on his side. The boy asked openly, with bright eyes and straight back to join his force. The mention of studying dark curses made Voldemort believe he was serious. That the boy had studied them earlier (and even at so young age!) was an undeniable proof of deatheaterness not being a whim to him, no matter how much Voldemort would try pushing him that way.
So what indeed would he do with the boy now that the time for the final answer had come?
He chose to lean towards questioning so not to give the boy a dependent image of him.
"On the surface you let on that you're not waste of space," Voldemort admitted, "you've made some sort of impression on me tonight, but your latest words have made me question your motive. Why exactly do you want to join the Death Eaters?" Voldemort took a break and studied Junior's face very carefully to notice even the slightest reaction as well as it was possible in the darkness
"You talk a lot about your father and of how you want to revenge him something, you want to destroy him. Yes yes, as we've agreed we have a lot in common, but now I've got a feeling you care a whole lot less about my goal than about giving your father something to think about." Voldemort silenced for a moment.
"I'm not interested in your father, not at all," he continued, "I am interested in the Ministry but I have no reason to revenge anything to your father, so in that light, if I've understood correctly, we don't have a common goal."
"So you tell me now, exactly and considered, Barty Crouch Jr," Voldemort said in demanding tone, "if you truly want in, then why? And if I did take you in, what would I benefit of it? How would you stand out among other Death Eaters for your good?"
"I see", Junior stated calmly. The questioning didn't affect his being in any suspicious way, because even though Voldemort had been so very right and by that had Junior reconsider his application, the man had sounded as if he thought it was the only reason he wanted in. Junior raised his eyebrows, accepting the tone. His calm being remained also because he dared to assume, he wouldn't be the only Death Eater to who his own goal was more important than the leader's. It was so to anyone sane. And there was massive number of Death Eaters in Britain. Not all of them could be from the same starter point. Heck, some Death Eaters had claimed being under the Imperius curse or having been blackmailed in! Junior was too well informed about many Death Eaters' behaviour and attitude once caught, which automatically revealed the degree of their passion about Voldemort's goal. Junior had a valid reason to assume the vast majority of Death Eaters didn't give a crap about Voldemort's goal when it really was put into test.
Then he did as he was told; considered carefully before starting to talk again. He fingered his wand in his hands and seemed to be just rearranging bright thoughts into a clear entity. While doing so he grew distant and moved his gaze to the alley's darkness.
He threw himself back to everything he had felt during his teenage years instead of holding on to just the strongest one, the emotions related to his father-relationship. And because all he was about to go for essentially sprung from selfishness and during this longish discussion, deatheaterness had become a sort of an obsession to him – the words came out with deep emotion and genuinely after all, even though they didn't come as straight from the heart as the first part had.
"Of course the motives related to my father are important to me and strongly driving because they're hopelessly personal and tormenting to me, whether I want it or not. And I also can't change the fact that since I was born I've been raised with values completely different from yours, resulting in me selfishly thinking of my other problems first. But the fact that I've given in to living in this society, really doesn't mean that I'd have blindly accepted the values and happy with them."
Only then, after getting himself for the time being, to care more about Voldemort's cause than he really cared, he took an eye contact again, after managing to lock away the hesitant and careless emotions. It was relatively easy with his Occlumency skills combined to how much he wanted to be a Death Eater and how he knew what Voldemort wanted to hear. However, fortunate to both of them, there was good amount sincerity in Junior's words about Voldemort's motives too.
"You too have acknowledged how talented I am for my age. I know I'm also exceptionally powerful in magic. A question has bothered me all my life: What good are all these powers and skills if I can't use them in all their potential, whenever and wherever I wish? As I said before, I have for years wished that I or any other wizard or a witch didn't have to hide – that we could live free." Now he let on he cared more about the freedom of magical expression than he really did and left untold how he used to dream of working among muggles in arts. These details he also hid away from his mind. Completely sincere was that sometimes he was genuinely and extremely frustrated in hiding his true nature as was that he genuinely felt that his life would've been better if there were no muggles. Thus on that he weighted in his reasoning.
"The existence of muggles has made my life too difficult for too long. And why?"
He took a little break to put weight on the question, his eyes still fixed into Voldemort's.
"I'm fully aware that it's not just because of my father. The Ministry of Magic has made a pointless and ridiculous problem out of muggles hating and fearing what they don't understand. It shouldn't be our problem. It's nonsense to respect lack of understanding and support it by hiding the truth."
Now there was a cold smile on his face.
"The Ministry talks about equality and human rights but at the same time they've stripped us off of an essential human right and make us live in the muggles' shadow. I see no equality in that. I want to belong to this world instead of hiding in its shadows just because a bunch of ignorant fools might get upset." Junior spoke with increasing passion. He no more listened to whatever reason he had left for now nor to his heart because as he was trying to convince Voldemort he came to think of just how much bitter truth was behind his words. While he also deliberately hid yet partly genuinely forgot that it wasn't all that important to him.
"It makes no sense to hide when we have the power and they have the attitude problem. Now that I think of it, purifying the blood is an excellent way of making sure this will never happen again. I care
about your goal and I want to fight for it. I wouldn't ask to join if your goal didn't interest me as much as my own because I could easily revenge my father all by myself – I don't run out of creativity that easily. But I don't think one person can make a difference for the entire world. As a Death Eater both of my goals could be reached. And just like my father and apparently you, I too believe that extreme always makes an impression."
He was silent for a moment, in order to let Voldemort consider all that had been said, and to think if he really had to state the obvious… but he chose to answer the last questions anyway. And after all this was his personal favourite part of his reasons as they again had much to do with his father.
"I could help a lot in tearing down the Ministry's defence and almost in any matter related to the Ministry. Our judge leads the war against you and he does it in as extreme way as possible and he's damn good at his job. But he has at least one weakness. Me."
The boy's cold smile twisted into a grin.
"He desperately wants his son to follow the path appointed by him. I believe he'll welcome me with open arms to just about any job at the Ministry. Most certainly I would get a place at the Department of Law Enforcement. I might hear
and then tell
you all kinds of stuff and do
all kinds of stuff without anyone suspecting me. Dad wouldn't want to and the rest wouldn't know or dare to. Quite simply: The Ministry of Magic must fall in order for your goal to be reached and I don't think you can ever find a better weapon than me."
He left untold and hid from his mind that he was exceptionally talented actor. It would be a lot of use as a Death Eater but generally not something to be revealed seeing to who he was. Acting was nothing like lying. Even Voldemort couldn't tell well acted emotion from a genuine one and Junior didn't wish to cause unnecessary doubts after the somewhat sincere reasoning he had given.
Junior gestured with his hand that he wasn't going to add anything unless asked to. The boy studied him, curious and all the more self-assurent.
But to Voldemort's mind rose once again the thought of how easily the boy was turned. They hadn't been talking even for an hour and already the boy had started to consider turning against his father as extremely as it was possible. How long would it take for the father to win his son back on his side? No matter what the boy said, it seemed as if he… loved the father regardless of all the hate and bitterness. Bitterness always had a strong starter point. Disappointment felt always worse if it was caused by someone very close to you… So what would the father need to do to get his son change his mind? To give the boy really more attention from time to time, to praise him occasionally… To encourage him in his choices? If Voldemort had got the boy under his spell so quickly, the father would probably achieve the same even faster.
So Voldemort would need to be very careful with his words in the future too, continue manipulating even after the boy had joined the Death Eaters. He would have to give the boy within a short time much more than the father had given him in eighteen years. It was quite a challenge to even Voldemort, but he believed he could do it.
He could read the boy like and open book. He spoke a bit too much about his family. It would be easy for Voldemort to offer him what his family didn't. He had to respect the boy's decisions, encourage him in his actions, support him in his choices and... do it all better than Daddy dearest, the judge. He would need to treat the boy better than he did the other Death Eaters, for the start at least.
He had to win the boy's eternal loyalty for himself; the father had to be left with nothing.
Voldemort was silent for a while, studying the boy's determined face with interest. It read courage, curiosity, devilishness... bitterness.
Voldemort moved slightly, tilting his head in thoughts.
"I understand, of course your personal motives go ahead mine," he said after a while, "it's quite... humane. I either wouldn't be here and thinking as I do if I hadn't thought my own business the most important. But as a Death Eater you should learn to push your businesses aside and take care of them only when you're not taking care of mine. If I ask you to do something, then my businesses are more important than yours, no matter what the situation." Voldemort took yet another break to think.
"Alright," he finally said, "you've convinced me… for now." Voldemort took a break, keeping his eyes on a bit too self-assurent Junior.
"But as a newcomer you have to convince me with actions too," he said, "but as a Death Eater, of course, you can't afford many mistakes. No one can. But, as I said before, loyalty will be rewarded. I trust you've heard of the Dark Mark," Voldemort added, "it's a mark that connects the Death Eaters and links them to me. It's also… a kind of a tool with which I summon my most loyal followers together. On the contrary, a brave Death Eater may summon me. In any case... you're not getting it yet, but you will eventually; after you've convinced me with actions instead of just words. Consider it as the first practical reward."
"Since I can't be part of the meetings before getting the mark, what do you want me to do now and up until then?" Junior asked and seemed ready to do anything. Voldemort himself couldn't be so sure that the boy knew what he was getting himself into but it didn't really bother him. Once he'd be a Death Eater, everything would go well in any case. Either the boy would bring him information from the Ministry until the end of time… or would get caught and destroy the judge Crouch. In any case, the Ministry of Magic was in danger to fall - it would be only a matter of time, when.
"Actually," Voldemort started to answer the question, "I want you to decide what you'll do. Be creative, like you wanted. Do something for me that you believe increasing your chances to get the final approval. Use your imagination. I believe you can come up with something very interesting, very valuable." Voldemort smiled very slightly.
"But do not go into the Ministry yet," he added as a condition. "I trust you understand that I can't yet trust that you won't tell your father and on the side the entire Ministry about this night. Your time as the most important member of the Ministry will come, but not before you're ready. Once the Dark Mark is in your forearm, you're an insider."
"You get one week," Voldemort said, "to do whatever it is you're going to do. A week from now, you apparate to the graveyard in Little Hangleton, to the tomb stone of Tom Riddle. I'll be waiting for you there and hope you'll give me a reason to be proud of your doings."
And If you're interested, check out my Barty Crouch Jr. fan videos at my YouTube channel, BCJFanVids. Or the other fics in this series, I have them all here and at FanFiction.Net as AngelJunior. Most of the current were refered to in this chapter. :A/N