Sweat coated her brow as Bellatrix shot up from bed, her breathing ragged as her nightmare flashed behind her eyes. The death of James Potter, Lily Potter's sacrifice for her son, and the attempt on Harry Potter's life. That was all it would be, an attempt. A failed attempt to take the life of a babe, resulting in the loss of the Dark's leader. She could feel it, all the hard work and horrible things people had done going to waste. It wasn't just a dream, she could feel in her gut that it was more than a nightmare. It was a warning.
"Rodolphus!" She screamed, trying to stand on her shaking legs. "Please, Roddy. We need to go."
Ever her loving husband, Rodolphus rushed into the room at her panic. He came to steady her in his arms before asking what had brought such panic to her sweet sleep. She told him as best she could, still too frazzled by fear to recall everything perfectly. She knew he wouldn't believe her, their lord was the only one who saw her visions as more than fits of hysteria. And he was the one she needed to tell. He needed to know what she'd seen before he ran headfirst into the disaster at that house.
"But he's your sister's guest this evening, remember? He needed a word with Lucius."
"I don't care," she cried. "I'll take what punishment he demands, but I must warn him now."
Knowing that fighting against her was useless, Rodolphus wrapped a night robe around his wife's quaking shoulders and walked her to the floo network. Each step made his chest tighter. Their lord did not like disruptions, and a foolish "vision" from his wife wouldn't be worth it to him. But she wouldn't have slept, eat or drank until she could tell him what she thought was so important, and he'd hate to see his wife in such a way. So they flooded to Malfoy Manor.
On arrival, the house-elves were in a panic over two more guests, when they were struggling to keep on top of the extra person. The Dark Lord, with a bad temper and a knee-jerk reaction to torment house-elves when bored. Rodolphus paid them no mind as he continued through the house, practised grace slightly staggered by holding up his wife as he travelled the familiar route to the drawing-room used for entertaining. Predictably, the Malfoys were perched on the loveseat while their lord took the large armchair by the fire. All three people turned to stair, Narcissa paling at the sight of her sister's state.
"Bella, by Merlin, what's happened? You look like death."
Her crazy little giggle chilled the room in her classic way, relaxing her husband slightly as she stepped away from his hold. She ignored the lord of the manor and her sister, not caring about manners while she had important news for the imposing figure in the armchair. In the close quarters of his inner circle, their lord allowed his fearsome glamour down, showing his full head of black curls and the chocolate eyes that looked to her with only the lightest fondness. As much emotion as he could ever show to anyone. She knelt at his feet and begged for him to hear her vision. While the others showed their natural disinterest, the Dark Lord watched her tell her story, and its unfortunate end.
"Please, my lord, don't risk everything for this boy. There must be another way to deal with him."
"And what, pray tell, do you suggest I do instead? With a child destined to kill me, Severus says."
Everyone gulped, his tone was not to be messed with. So Rodophlus thought. "Perhaps if he was raised correctly, he wouldn't be a threat to you, my lord. If his parents were loyal Death Eaters, like my wife and I, and taught him right, he'd become an asset."
Bellatrix nodded eagerly. The theory had merit, and with the Lestrange's as parents, Harry would be as loyal as could be and well-trained as a soldier for their lord's army. He would become the last push to sway the whole war in their favour. Yet the Dark Lord just raised a perfect brow and asked if that was the whole plan, or if they had a contingency for when the boy wasn't cut out for the torture and killing of being one of his Death Eaters. Not many could, and it was for that reason their numbers were so few.
"If I may suggest, my lord?" Narcissa spoke, "As his guardian, my sister could enter him in a betrothal contract with you. You always said you didn't want to marry a pureblood because you weren't one yourself and there was little point. The Potter boy is a half-blood, and already blood adopted by our useless cousin Sirius Black."
Bellatrix nodded again, suddenly resembling a puppy to her lord. "Exactly, that just means he'll be powerful, more family magic in his blood. And we'll homeschool him, he'll be intelligent and capable. Worthy to be a Dark Lord's consort."
"With our family magic also, he won't have a choice but to have power and natural skill," Rodolphus added. "We'll raise him right my lord. And with the blood of so many attractive people, he'll no doubt grow into a beauty that won't shame you to stand beside you."
Lucius spoke up also, noting he was the only one remaining silent. He pumped his ego with a comment on his capability to write a strong and thorough betrothal contract and the proceeding marriage contract for the boy to sign when he was ready. He also offered his son as companionship for the child, someone to push the importance of the match on him that was of his age.
Voldemort didn't interrupt them, he merely listened. He'd made a skill of detecting a lie, or an exaggeration of someone's skills when presented to him. He wanted to feel the sincerity of his minions' words, the plan coming together in his mind as they listed the benefits of a betrothal with the boy. It was no secret among his closest followers that he had no desire for women, yet he had no desire to sully himself with anyone he considered unworthy. It was the main reason he still held that singular slice of innocence. He knew what to do, in a sense, but never had the practice.
"Very well, you've convinced me." He smirked, eyes shining on the room. "I'll outline what I desire of him for the betrothal contract tomorrow, Lucius. Bellatrix and Rodolphus, prepare for the child. He'll be with you by the week's end."