Lucius traced his fingers over the wrist of his wand arm. The lines left by the Unbreakable vow stood pronounced over his pale skin. With this mark, he realized he carried a mark on each of his arms.

At least, he took the Dark Mark willingly.

Perhaps he was ignorant of what he was stepping into at the time but he had taken the Dark Lord's mark proudly. At the time, he thought the Dark Mark was a symbol of power. It took him years to realize it was only a mark of ownership. The Dark Lord marked his followers because the Dark Lord saw his followers as his property. The Dark Lord owned the life and fate of his Death Eaters.

To a larger extent, the Dark Lord owned his followers and their families.

He had witnessed the Dark Lord easily wipe out the families of those who displeased the man despite years of leal service. The Dark Lord only cared about power and obsessed over servitude too much. This was not what Lucius thought the Death Eaters were supposed to be. He thought he was fighting to reclaim his world from the pervasion of muggle culture and radical ideas. He thought he was going to fight the muggles and their muggleborn offsprings who dared to steal the sacred magic from the world.

'How naive I was to think such nonsense.' Lucius lamented as he pulled the sleeve of his left hand to see the strengthening Dark Mark.

Lucius looked at the Dark Mark and then at the mark left by the Unbreakable vow. Out of the two marks, he certainly feared the recent mark left by the vow. The Dark Mark has yet to be the death of him but he feared rightly for his life as he took a dangerous vow.

He had joined the Dark Lord out of loyalty but also because of his father, Abraxas Malfoy. His father was a powerful leader who had worked wonders from inside the Ministry. The Dark Lord even held Abraxas Malfoy in great regard for unseating Nobby Leach, the first muggleborn Minister of Magic.

At that time, it was a huge blow to the Pureblood cause for a muggleborn to have taken the highest office in the Ministry of Magic. Leach was also a threat to the Dark Lord who had planned to unleash his campaign to take over the ministry.

'Who'd have thought this incident would draw the ire of another group whose goals are yet to be made clear.' Lucius thought.

"Why the long face Lucius? Shouldn't you be happy that your family is no longer under the threat of living in the streets?"

Lucius glared at Damien Greengrass who sported a smug grin on his face.

"You've made a slave out of me with the vow. Should I be grateful for that Greengrass?" Lucius snarled.

"You should. If Potter had his way you and your family will be left penniless and you'd be forced to serve a life sentence in Azkaban or worse the Dementor's Kiss. The boy has a vindictive streak which was a surprise to me. Nonetheless, he has been a very useful tool to bring you down." Greengrass boasted which made Lucius all the more incensed.

He could not accept the fact that he was brought low by a snot-nosed brat who was supposed to be Dumbledore's infallible stooge.

"Mr Potter certainly has surprised all of us. But, we are not here to talk about Potter. It is you Lucius, the man of the hour, who has taken my interest."

A sickly sweet voice cooed which made Lucius flinch. He could feel the witch's presence behind. It was as if he was in the presence of the Dark Lord but much more worse. He could feel the oppressive magic tightly coiled under the witch's control bearing down upon him. With the Dark Lord, the magic was always chaotic and looking to crush him underneath its weight.

However, Lilith's magic had a suffocating effect but it also looked to peel off his skin and get inside him rather than crush him with its power. If he felt small in the presence of the Dark Lord, now he felt like there was no purpose to his existence.

The worst thing was that he has no idea just who this witch is. Not for a moment did he think Lilith was the true name of the witch. While he may not have extensive contacts in other European communities he certainly had enough pull to know of any emerging dark wizards, especially one with this much wealth.

"You have been a terrible guest Lucius. After all, where is the appreciation for saving you from a disastrous debt?"

Lucius kept his head down afraid to attract the ire of the witch.

"I thank you, my lady." Lucius mumbled out his 'thanks'.

Truly, what else was he supposed to do other than swallow his pride and be a good servant for Lilith. The woman was dangerous, far more dangerous than the Dark Lord. At least, the Dark Lord was an unhinged rageaholic maniac. He could see what could trigger the Dark Lord's rage and act accordingly. But, Lilith has now forced his obedience through the Unbreakable vow. There was no room for ambiguity when it comes to dealing with Lilith.

"You know, I've imagined this moment for a long time. Your grandfather dealt my plans a heavy blow when he conspired and brought down Mr Leach from his post. Did he tell you how he accomplished that slave?"

Lucius gritted his teeth at the degrading way Lilith was addressing him but there was nothing he could do. For all intents and purposes, he became a slave the moment he swore himself to Damien Greengrass.

"He did not, my lady." said Lucius, swallowing his pride for the sake of his continued existence.

"Well, I shall tell you. Your father with the help of Lestranges and Blacks spread lies that Minister Leach was a spy for muggles. Of course, some foolish allegation alone was not going to unseat the new Minister. Your father and his Death Eater friends assassinated Leach's family and allies. It was the prelude to Voldemort's rise." said Lilith, circling Lucius with a cruel glint entering her eyes.

"Uncle Benedict also lost his life because of the Dark Lord." Damien supplied his two cents.

"Ah, yes. Benedict was one of my favourite students. And I avenged him by wiping out the Malfoy blood from the rest of Europe." Lilith smirked coldly.

Lucius' eyes widened in horror at the witch's claim. Also, how could Benedict Greengrass become the student of Lilith? The witch might be a madwoman but she looked like she was in her early thirties.

"Why are you surprised, Lucius? You know of no witch who is a famous immortal?" Lilith asked amusedly.

His eyes widened in realization.

"You! You're..."

Suddenly Lucius felt his throat contract and pain started flaring up in his heart.

'The Vow.' he hastily remembered as pain flared up all over his body. He felt as if he was being torn apart all over. He was just about to keel over dead when suddenly the pain vanished and it was as if everything was just a figment of his imagination.

"Aww. Did you forget about the vow Lucius? You are not allowed to mention me in any form or manner. You should keep that in mind always if you value your life." said Lilith, rolling her eyes uncaringly.

Lucius was now truly scared. He was in the presence of one of the most powerful witches of all time. A witch that has immense wealth on her beck and call and also a confirmed immortal. The Flamels were dangerous, very dangerous in fact that most of the wizarding world rightly feared them and went out of their way to not antagonize the couple.

Many dark wizards and Dark Lords have tried their hand at killing off the Flamels for their wealth, knowledge and influence. Yet, all have failed and fallen before the immortal couple.

The most dangerous aspect of the Flamels is that no one clearly knows when the couple achieved immortality. The common belief is that they are nearly 700 years old but this could not be verified as there is almost no hard evidence to support this information. Information provided by chocolate cards was not exactly a reliable source of information.

All everyone agreed upon was that the Flamels are rich, immortal and powerful sorcerers. Even the Dark Lord at his height of power never went after the Flamels. At least, he was not aware of any such attempts. The Dark Lord is known to be secretive on such matters.

Keeping all this in mind, Lucius became keenly aware he was in trouble here.

"I beg you. Leave my family out of this. Whatever grudge you hold against my father my wife and son had nothing to do with it. Even I don't know much about my father's doings." Lucius begged on his knees.

He looked to Damien Greengrass for some form of sympathy and support which never came.

Lucius was suddenly lifted off the ground by an unseen force and was pressed against the wall. His limbs flailed around helplessly but he stopped as Lilith came closer to his vicinity. He gulped at the fiery glint of magical power in her green eyes.

"You cannot shirk the responsibilities especially when you are the beneficiary of your father's actions. Because of you and a bunch of other idiots, my plans suffered a serious setback. You are going to fix it if you prefer to see your family alive and well."

Lucius could do nothing else but nod desperately hoping against hope to garner some goodwill for his family's sake.

"I'll do whatever you want my lady. Whatever you want!" he cried out in desperation as he felt the foreign magic coiling over the surface of his skin, for what, he did not know and he was not looking forward to finding out.

Thankfully, Lilith withdrew her magic allowing Lucius room for breath.

"Good. I want you to be a fly on the wall Lucius. When Voldemort rises, I shall help you to be of use to the Dark Lord. If you are a good boy and follow my instructions without fail, you and your family can lead a peaceful life."

Lucius could hardly refuse an order and it was an order. He either obeyed or he and his family die. So, he readily agreed and received his first set of instructions.

Life as a slave started for Lucius from that moment.

XXXXXXXX

"It won't be long before Potter and Tonks realise Malfoy escaped their trap. They will investigate how Lucius slipped away." Damien commented, knowing well not to push his boundaries with Perenelle Flamel.

"Why Damien? Are you afraid of Potter?" asked Perenelle, an amused tilt to her lips as she looked at her ally.

"You wanted the boy on your side, my lady. I'm afraid this won't give Potter a good first impression." said Damien.

"I doubt Mr Potter will be too much bothered. If he is, then he has yet to rise to my expectations. This is no time to worry about teenage boys Damien."

"I understand my lady. It's just that..." Damien trailed off.

"Ahh." Perenelle nodded in understanding. "You have finally found your Parselmouth to lift the curse."

Damien nodded.

"The only sane one as you know my lady. There have been many Parseltongues over the years but none sane or powerful enough to lift the blood curse."

"And are you sure?" asked Perenelle turning away from Damien with a peculiar look gracing her face.

"My lady?" Damien frowned.

"Are you sure Potter is the one? There have been many other Parselmouths. All of them were unstable or useless." Perenelle commented, her eyes trained on the fireplace where it continued to ebb away the wood.

"Potter is strong for his age. There is a certain finesse in his magic. Bathsheda was quite thorough in her observations about the boy."

"Hmm. I see." she absently said while she stared into the fire lost in thought.

"My lady, is something wrong? Are you perhaps not in favour of involving Mr Potter any further?" asked Damien, troubled by the long silence of his patron.

"Nothing of that sort Damien. I was just lost in thought." said Perenelle, shaking herself out of the stupor. "Do as you like with Potter."

She went back to staring at the fire. She wondered why she was suddenly overcome with a sense of concern. Perhaps she was losing her touch. She hadn't cared for her daughter so why should she care for her grandson.

After all, one who's born in fire will not wane under the sun's heat.

If she is to acknowledge her grandson then he'll have to prove his worth to her.

'Show me you can stand on your own with your shoulders back. Show me you have the power to bear the weight of this world and show me the might of your magic. Show me that you are exceptional. Stand before me and face me as an equal on the strength you built. Then and only then shall I acknowledge you as my blood Harry James Potter.'

AN:

To read in advance; pat(r) eon. C (O) M/Dragonspectre.

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