A/N: I'm so very sorry for the delay of this chapter, the editing took longer than I thought. To make it up to those you voted and waited for this chapter, I will post the next chapter next week, all I need is your support for the story and your lovely reviews...

Also, check out my other stories namely Dark Secrets and To Love and be Loved if you like my writings and if you like a strong and a very OOC Harry and Severus and basically everyone else. But the characters are still the property of J.K. Rowling, only the plots and some OC's are mine to claim.

To those who voted for TLBL in the polls, don't worry. The story will not be abandoned but will only take lomger to update. Please stick with it as I will do my best to make it an excellent read.

Now on with the story...!

Disclaimer: Not mine... how many times must I say it for you to stop pestering me?!


Chapter 2

"Do you not spy for the Order?" asked a strained voice.

"My Lady, I am loyal to and to you alone," replied a man who was lying so low on the floor that his black robes blended perfectly with the dark floor.

"CRUCIO!" exclaimed the woman seated on a throne-like-chair, causing the man on the floor to writhe and scream in pain. The others gathered in the large chamber watched in disgust as the condemned man failed to even show his worth by resisting the urge to beg like a common wizard. After a full minute, the curse was let up, leaving the man a crumpled heap on the floor, whimpering like a sick child.

"If there is one thing I hate the most, it's having to repeat myself over and over again, Rogers. Either you tell me honestly where your loyalties lie or pay the consequences for your betrayal."

"My Lady … I beg you … have mercy …." the man called Rogers cried, groping the robes of the woman that led like an iron vice.

"I am merciful, Rogers, many Death Eaters can attest to that. But unfortunately for you, my mercy will get you nowhere." However before the Dark Lady could even cast the curse that would end the pathetic man's life, the man was already screaming. Initially, she thought the man was being over eager about being tortured that it almost made her want to laugh but then blood slowly started seeping out from every possible opening found on the man and she knew immediately what was happening; for there was only one child in England who could take pleasure in seeing blood, tons and tons of blood. But, except for a small few, the other Death Eaters didn't see to realize that whatever was happening was not the doing of their Lady and shuddered in fear.

The man's tortured screams escalated to exceedingly new heights as every single one of his blood vessels were forced to burst. It lasted for five minutes and soon the only signs that that showed that someone had just been tortured were the stillness that wrapped everyone and the pool of blood that was now flowing freely everywhere.

The Dark Lady stood up from her throne-like-chair and surveyed the dead man's body below her. "You've had your fun, Erebus, now show yourself!" she said curtly, lifting her gaze to search the room for the said child. Shuffling could be heard from behind the ranks of Death Eaters and a little boy with shoulder length black hair appeared from the shadows. Surprised gasps escaped from the Death Eaters' mouth and bowed as one to the only known son of the Dark Lord Voldemort and the Dark Lady Moraga; the sole heir to the Dark throne.

A devious smile was playing on young Erebus' face as he walked through the sea of black clad wizards; all of whom cleared a path for him in the middle, much like Moses in the Red Sea to give him quick passage.

"Good morning, mother." said Erebus, playing up his innocent voice once he was through the crowd and before the Inner Circle, who where all giving him amused looks, and his mother, who looked none too pleased with him. Even though he was still young, barely eleven, he had long ago proved his abilities to all at the tender age of three. Unlike every other witch and wizard at that age, whose first outward experience with accidental magic was limited to that of levitation or conjuring, Erebus did something unheard of. One of the lower ranking Death Eaters had been tasked to look after him while his mother and the Inner Circle went on a raid. But unfortunately for the man, Erebus did not find him making ridiculous faces funny at all and the next he knew, the man was screaming in pain, all the bones in his arms having been dissolved. From then on, no one but the Inner Circle had the nerve to even get close to the violent child.

"Would you care to explain this, child?" the Dark Lady asked pointedly.

"I was bored …" Erebus shrugged.

The Death Eaters shuddered collectively at the thought that this petite boy, who barely reached up to their waist, found casting a Blood Seeping Curses entertaining. The Dark Lady closed her eyes and sighed heavily before addressing her son.

"What have I told you about interrupting meetings?"

"Unless it was something of importance, you told me not to," replied Erebus, overstepping the dead body to get closer to where his mother and a few of the Inner Circle stood.

"You better have something important, Erebus, you just lost me a Death Eater," said the Dark Lady, turning to the dead body in disgust.

"Come on, mother; don't tell me you were planning on keeping him alive. You do know that he's been passing information on our manor's location to the Order for months. Plus the number of times I've seen him searching for escape routes when he thinks no one is looking in the last hour alone should tell us more than enough about where his loyalties lie," said Erebus.

"That is beside the point, Erebus. And why in Salazar's name did you think a Blood Seeping Curse was necessary to deal with him?" asked the Dark Lady, impressed that her son was able to notice those small details when she herself only noticed them close to the end though now was not the time to impress that upon her son.

Erebus merely shrugged at the question and rummaged his cloak for the object he had been meaning to give to his mother. Upon seeing exactly what it was Erebus was holding out, the Dark Lady's eyes darkened and dismissed all but the two Death Eaters that stood just behind her.

"When did you receive this?" Lily asked, lowering the hood that concealed her face whenever she stood before the Death Eaters.

"This morning after breakfast. You told me to come see you straight away once I've gotten it," replied Erebus, putting emphasize on some of his words.

The Dark Lady frowned at her son's tone but decided not comment further since he had actually done nothing she hadn't specifically told him not to. "Have you read it?" she asked instead.

"No," said Erebus with a shake of his head. "I thought you might want to be there when I do."

"Very well, let's hear what it says."

Erebus tore open the red seal that protected the contents of the envelope and pulled out a bunch of parchments that contained the same spidery emerald writing found on the front of the envelope. Choosing the parchment that was on top of the others, Erebus began to read aloud.

HOGWARTS SCHOOL OF WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDY

Headmaster: Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc.,

Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)

Dear Mr. E. Riddle,

We are pleased to inform you that you have a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.

Term begins on the 1st of September. We await your owl by no later than the 31st of July.

Yours sincerely,

Minerva McGonagall

Deputy Headmistress

There was complete silence after Erebus had finished reading the letter. A part of him was excited at the prospect of attending one of the most prestigious wizarding schools in Britain but the idea of being surrounded by hormonal teenagers who had little or no control over their abilities was enough to make him reconsider his decision.

After a while, the Dark Lady took the letter from her son's hands and turned to speak to the man beside her. "What do you think, Severus? Does Dumbledore know who he is?"

At being addressed, the man removed his green mask to reveal a face with sharp features, dark cold eyes that had the tendency to make others who didn't know him think of dark winding tunnels, and dark long hair that reached all the way to his shoulder. Severus took the letter that the Dark Lady was handling to him and perused it one more time before giving his two Knuts on the matter.

"All Hogwarts letters are written by a magical quill that is kept hidden deep within the castle. Not even the Headmaster or the Minister can access it without proper authorization. That in itself is extremely hard to get since only the castle itself can give out such authorization. I believe the last time Hogwarts allowed its Headmaster entrance to what is rumoured to be called the Room of Calling was two hundred years ago and that was because the Headmaster's brain was addled with in a duel and kept forgetting the names of all his students."

The others in the room sniggered at the thought of the unfortunate old man.

"Then it is safe to say that the old man doesn't really know who's who during the sorting ceremony in their first year?" asked the Dark Lady Moraga, moving away from the dais and into a more secluded part of the chamber, her two followers trailing her.

"The old coot only appears to be omniscient when he mostly suffers from annoyingly good luck," said Severus with a sneer that elicited a hearty laugh from the other two in the hollowed chamber.

"Don't worry, Lily, he'll be fine. Severus would be there to look after him. Dumbledore won't have a chance to get his hands on Erebus," said a man with long blonde hair.

"Lucius it is not Dumbledore I worry about, it is Erebus. He is so much like Tom that I fear what he'll get up to when situations arise," said Lily in barely a whisper so as her son, who was absentmindedly playing with a loose thread on his robes, wouldn't hear them.

Lucius took this time to look at the little boy he loved as his own son and understood exactly what Lily had been trying to say. "He's a very special child, Lils, he'll be the one to sway this whole thing around," he said, watching as the said boy seemed to be at ease being so close with a dead body and was even pulling faces at it.

Erebus, who had now been waiting patiently for the adults for half an hour, knew better than to interrupt them when they were having a serious discussion. But since this time it was about him, he was slightly annoyed that they were not considering his opinion at all on the matter. Tired of having to stand and stare at Rogers' mangled body while the others discussed about what would happen to him, Erebus made his way to the centre of the chamber where two large chairs were placed atop a raised platform. The one on the right was the seat his mother had sat on prior to his unannounced entrance while the one on the left, the larger of the two, had been vacant for sometime now.

He made his way to the vacant seat and due to his unnaturally small stature, was immediately engulfed by the large piece of furniture. Sitting in the throne-like-chair, he saw the dozen smaller seats that surrounded the other two in a semi-circle; the seats of the Inner Circle. From the many stories both his Godfather and Uncle Luc had told him, it had been years since the Inner-Circle of power was complete; the last time being during the reign of his father, the Dark Lord Voldemort.

It was during these times that he wished his father could be here to tell him what to do, but he knew the man was always searching for ways to get his body back and if he did come back to the manor, he would only return for days at a time. The last time his father was home was during his 10th birthday and he had told him then that his searches were coming to an end and that before he, Erebus, could finish at Hogwarts, he would have returned to his body. The thought of seeing his father in his true form once again made him smile, and even though he was raised the way he was raised, he was still like any other boy who craved for his father's affection. His Godfather and many uncles have done wonderfully over the years, being the father figure he lacked, but he still missed the kind of pride and affection only the Dark Lord could voice out whenever he saw him.

He didn't know for how long he sat there, waiting for the adults to come to a decision when he felt a hand gently prodding him.

"Mm …" he mumbled.

"Wake up, child," said a soft voice.

Erebus' eyes fluttered open to find that he had somehow fallen asleep on the Dark Lord's chair and his mother had pulled him onto her lap. "When did I fall asleep?" he asked, moving out of his mother's lap and onto the remaining space on the large chair his mother had not occupied.

"Probably when you thought that Tom's cold hard chair was comfortable enough to snuggle up in." Erebus turned to find both his godfather and uncle smirking at him.

"So, Reby, are we finally going to ask the elves to change your soft comfortable bed into one of these?" his godfather asked, tapping his wand on another similar chair. "That's the tenth time this month."

Erebus blushed and cringed inwardly at the horrible nickname his many uncles had bestowed on him when he was only a baby, and unfortunately for him, the name had stuck. Luckily for him though, his mother chose that moment to speak, therefore saving him from his godfather's ribbing.

"Alright, Sev, no one's going to ask the elves to change anyone's bed." said Lily, though she too was trying not to laugh at the childish expression her son was giving his godfather. Rarely did she see her son allow himself to act like a normal boy his age and, when he did let his guard down during those rare moments, she would cherish them like nothing else.

Erebus decided to change the topic of conversation hoping to bring an end to his uncles' ridiculous smirks. "So have you come to a decision?"

The question had the desired effect and the adults all turned to each other as if making a final confirmation. Then finally his mother spoke. "Yes."

"And?" prompted Erebus, looking in turn at his uncles and mother.

"We've decide to let you go to Hogwarts," his mother answered.

Erebus' spirits rose but not as much as he'd expected and it must have showed on his face because all three of the adults were now watching him in concern.

"Do you want to go to Hogwarts, Reby?" asked Lily, scooting closer to her son.

Erebus watched as all the adults' attention focused on him and he considered his answer. In one hand, he had never been as far as two days without being at least with his mother or uncles. From a very early age, his mother had taken it onto herself to make sure her son knew everything there was to learn about wizarding cultures in other countries and therefore took him on all of her excursions. It was only very recently that he opted to stay in the manor whenever she left for somewhere he'd been before. But even during those occasions, at least one of his uncles would be left behind to care for him and teach him. To say that Erebus Riddle was well travelled was putting it mildly, very mildly.

But on the other hand, since he'd rarely been away from his family for long periods of time, he wanted to take this opportunity to prove himself capable of taking care of himself. He didn't want to only appear before the Death Eaters as a privileged kid with an aptitude for curses and spells but someone worthy to carry on the name of his father. He also had thirst for the vast amount of knowledge he'd be able to get at Hogwarts; taught by a professor or not.

"I would like to go to Hogwarts, if you allow it mother," said Erebus slowly.

"There is no need to be so formal, child. We have already decided to let you go. But remember to listen to your Uncle Severus and make sure I don't receive an owl from him telling me you've gotten yourself into trouble," said Lily looking straight at her beloved son.

"Yes, mum," smiled Erebus cheekily.

"Now, brat, why don't you go find that cousin of yours and tell him the good news?" Lily pushed her son lightly of the chair to get him on his feet.

Erebus uttered a quick thank you to all the adults and gave them all a brief hug before dashing out of the chamber without making it look like he was running out. Once the heavy wooden doors that lead to the audience chamber closed behind him, Erebus was greeted by a tirade of voices.

"What took you so long? We've been waiting here for almost an hour. Did they allow you to go? Did they?" blurted a young boy his age wearing a black neck shirt and pants over a bottle green robe. The boy was a near copy of his father down to his sleek platinum blonde hair.

"Breathe, Draco," said Erebus, smirking.

"Shut up. Now will you tell us already? Anna here wanted to barge through the doors if by the next minute you haven't come out yet!" exclaimed an annoyed Draco, slapping the edge of Erebus' shoulder.

"Hey," cried a smaller girl who was standing beside Draco. "I didn't say I was going to barge in. Just to take a peek."

"I'll believe that when I want to, Anna," replied Draco causing the girl to glare balefully at him.

Annabel Lestrange was the only child and daughter of Bellatrix and Rodolphus Lestrange; both Inner Circle Death Eaters. She was a year younger than the two boys but that didn't prevent her from hanging out with them. In fact the boys take great care not to get her riled up too often since she was an exact replica of her mother, both in temperament and in attitude. She, like Erebus and Draco, enjoyed casting curses that were hardly permitted by the Ministry every now and then on Muggles that their parents brought in for stress relief.

"So did they allow you to attend Hogwarts?" asked Anna, turning to Erebus who was trying not to laugh at her cousin's fearful expression.

"Yes. They did. I can go to Hogwarts," said Erebus, smiling from ear to ear.

Draco and Anna both erupted into wild cheers, all dignity forgotten, making the portraits stare incredulously.

"Oh Erebus, we're going to have so much fun at Hogwarts. Those idiotic Gryffindors won't know what hit them," said Draco, swinging his arm to clasp Erebus around the shoulder.

"Don't forget about me," piped Anna.

"Of course we won't, Anna, torturing won't be as fun without you. We'll make sure to reserve the best curses for when you join us next year, won't we, Ray?" offered Erebus to the pouting child.

"Definitely, cousin," agreed Draco, trying to get back on his cousin's good graces.

The three children of Darkness walked jauntily down the halls, arm in arm, discussing the mayhem they would cause upon the Griffins in the seven years they would be in the school. But of course methods of discretion were a must, for after all, if they couldn't put the blame on anyone other than themselves for the troubles they would cause; they wouldn't be able to call themselves Slytherins now would they?

sSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSs

He was a having a peculiar dream about a man with long white hair when he felt the hangings on his bed being drawn open and his blanket was pulled away from him in one swift movement.

"Argh …" he groaned sleepily, shielding his eyes from the rays of sunshine that assaulted his face once the hangings on his bed were drawn.

"Wake up, Reby. We're heading off to Diagon Alley this morning to purchase your school supplies," said a familiar voice.

"Sev …'M still sle'py." Erebus managed to mumble as he pulled the pillow from under him and put it on his head.

"You wouldn't be this sleepy if you'd listened to us last night and stopped playing Hang the Muggle before the crack of dawn." Erebus felt one side of his bed sag downwards and knew that the man was now sitting in front of him. All the answer he could give the man was yet another sleepy groan. But at that precise moment, if he hadn't know that there was no old woman in the manor, he would have sworn that he'd just heard one scream shrilly from the other side of the hall.

"I believe one unlucky kid just had a good dosing of ice water poured on him," said Severus barely able to contain the mirth that was threatening to break through his face at the sight of his godson bolting out of bed and looking frantically around the room.

"I'm up! I'm up!" exclaimed Erebus, glaring at his godfather, who already had his wand pointed above his head.

"Spoil sport," he heard his godfather mutter under his breath as he stowed his wand back into his robes. "Alright, get up. Breakfast is ready and we'll be leaving at ten."

Severus left the room leaving behind a sulking godson muttering about greasy godfathers who revelled in torturing helpless, innocent godsons. A grouchy Erebus arrived in the dinning room for breakfast already dressed in midnight blue robes over a pair of black pants and dark blue polo shirt, to find his cousin drenched from head to foot, staring daggers at his father who was innocently sipping a cup of coffee while reading the morning's Prophet. Sitting beside the dripping Draco, Erebus mumbled a tired good morning and waited until the elves brought him his plate. Once his plate appeared before him, he picked on it with the gusto of a dying man, all the while trying not to join in Draco's dark mutterings.

After awhile he turned to look up who else was in the room. Both his Uncle Severus and Uncle Lucius were there conversing among themselves as well as his Uncle Stan. But when he turned to look at the other end of the table where his mother usually sat, he found his mother's seat empty and that her meal was half eaten. That must mean that she had just been called for an urgent meeting; about what, he had hoped wasn't too much of a problem.

By the time they'd all finished their breakfast and in Draco's case, changed into drier articles of clothing, his mother had yet to make an appearance.

"Uncle Sev, where's mum?" asked Erebus as his godfather helped him put on a light weight cloak over his robes since it was still summer after all.

"She's gone off for a meeting and told us to go on without her. She also said she would meet as at the Leaky Cauldron once her business was done," said Severus, straightening out his own attire after he'd finished with his godson's.

"Alright, are we all ready?" asked Lucius who was holding his son's hand and his snake topped cane in another.

Severus took Erebus' hand firmly in his and making sure that his wand was still in his robe pocket before saying, "Let's go." and all four of them Apparated to a secluded area in Diagon Alley. As soon as they got out of the Apparition point and into the main street, the charismatic group headed first towards the giant marble building that housed the wizarding bank, Gringotts.

As they were making their way up the steps of the bank, Erebus felt the hand holding him grip his more tightly and looked up to see that his godfather had a look of worry in his eyes, masked by the mask of indifference he portrayed in public. Erebus looked around to see what had caused his godfather to look so worried and he couldn't believe he had missed the sight of a gigantic man walking down the steps of Gringotts.

The large man caught sight of his godfather and his face that would have looked friendly and approachable had it not been for his size, hardened and his beady black eyes looked warily at them.

"Good mornin' ter yeh, Professor Snape," greeted the large man, though the smile on his face didn't reach all the way to his eyes.

"Good morning to you too, Hagrid." replied Severus.

"I didn't know yeh had any children professor." The giant called Hagrid pointed at Erebus.

"He is my godson, Hagrid. We are off to buy his supplies for the new term," said Severus though it was obvious he didn't like the small talk the other man was making.

The two Malfoys who had dawdled behind earlier after meeting a familiar face now reached where they were, and Erebus was able to make out his uncle's low silky voice.

"My my, Hagrid. What a surprise meeting you here of all places," droned the senior Malfoy eliciting a furious look from the large man.

"Malfoy," growled Hagrid, unconsciously patting a lump on his moleskin coat. Severus' eyes narrowed at the action but decided to put it all on the back of his mind and end their meeting now before Lucius could do something unnecessary to the half-giant.

"Why y –"

"It was nice meeting you, Hagrid. See you when term starts," said Severus, cutting whatever it was Lucius had planned on saying.

Hagrid's gaze reverted back to the professor and inclined his head slightly. "See yah, Professor." With that Hagrid left the four of them.

Erebus turned to look at his cousin to silently ask what the whole scene had been about but all Draco did was give him a negative shrug of the shoulder. Inside the Grand Hall of Gringotts, Lucius led them to a counter in the furthest part of the room. The goblin that was situated in this part of the building was one that was familiar to all of them. Many would say that goblins would never willingly help protect a wizarding family and their fortunes, let alone work with them. But this particular goblin and many more in the higher echelons had long ago sworn their services to his mother and father, the Lady and Lord's of the Dark. If the Light ever got wind that their stupid missions to the Goblin Kingdom to create peace treaties between the two magical races was all a façade, mad chaos would ensue.

"May the fortunes gold and silver be with you, Master Gargarok," greeted Lucius in a half body bow.

"Ah, Lord Lucius, Lord Severus, Young Lord Draco and Young Lord Erebus, it is a pleasure seeing you again and may your endeavours be eternally fruitful," replied the goblin in the same manner.

After half an hour, the quartet found themselves outside the bank and under the summer heat, their money bags considerably heavier than before.

"Now, can we trust to leave the two of you alone to get your own supplies?" asked Lucius.

"Yes, sir," came the twin reply of the boys.

"Very well, we'll meet up again in Ollivander's in two hours then we'll all head for the Leaky Cauldron for lunch," said Severus.

Erebus and Draco's first stop in getting their supplies was Madam Malkin's where they met their friend and fellow future Slytherin, Blaise Zabini together with Pansy Parkinson and Millicent Bulstrode. After their fittings, which turned out to be quite uneventful except for the part where one of the assistants had accidentally prickled Erebus on the arm and unsurprisingly, the assistant left bawling loudly minutes later, leaving a satisfied smirk on Erebus' face, the two of them headed for the Apothecary.

Being the godson of a renowned Potions Master and the actual son of two seasoned brewers, Erebus took to Potions, like most of the things he knew, like a fish in water. He was no where near the level of brewing his godfather and father possessed but he could definitely brew potions many would consider impossible for a child his age to brew.

Draco on the other hand preferred the analytical arts of Arithmancy and Transfiguration. His brewing abilities were in par with that of Erebus', having been tutored in the same art privately together with his cousins, but he wasn't as passionate and tended to brew only when needed. So even though both boys had a talent for the subject, the stench of the Apothecary was still too overwhelming for them to stay any longer than necessary for them to buy their Potion ingredients.

With regards to the pet rule Hogwarts imposed on all its students, Erebus chose to purchase a charcoal black raven he had named Jafar to be brought alongside with his familiar, a boa constrictor he had received from his parents on his seventh birthday. Back then it had been a considerable size of two and a half feet, but now it was about half way through its full length of twelve feet. Draco on the other hand chose a fierce looking brown speckled eagle owl that amazingly seemed to get along with Erebus' smaller raven.

After purchasing the necessary supplies for their respective new pets, the two boys headed to Flourish and Blotts, their packages magically shrunken in their pockets. Inside the bookstore, Erebus caught sight of a bushy haired girl making her way to the counter, a stack of books piled up in her arms.

"That girl could make a run for your money, Reby, the way she reads books," quipped Draco, following Erebus' line of sight.

"Shut it, Ray. You're no better than me," said Erebus, elbowing the blonde in the gut.

"Oomph …" gasped Draco as Erebus' elbow made direct contact with his stomach. "Was that really necessary?" He was rubbing his middle as he followed the dark haired boy through the rows of books.

"Whining doesn't become you, Draco." piped Erebus. He glared at the bushy haired girl, who was watching them, as he went through the shop.

By the end of the two hours allotted to them, their pockets were bulging with loads of shrunken packages and, much to Draco's pleasure, Erebus did end up walking out of the bookstore laden with twice the number of books they were supposed to buy.

"We were about to send a search party for the two of you," said Severus with a frown when they met up with them outside Ollivander's.

"Erebus here decided that today would be a good day to buy half of the books in the store," said Draco, dodging the hand his face would have received from the dark haired boy.

"Well, let's get this over with, we'll be meeting Lily for lunch in half an hour," said Lucius, heading to open the shop door causing tiny bells to chime somewhere in the cluttered shop.

"Why can't we just buy our wands at Harper's in Knockturn Alley? His creations are better suited to us," said Erebus in a whisper, hating the cheery look the shop held despite its cluttered state.

"Your mother decided that you would first use legal wands while at Hogwarts. She didn't want Dumbledore getting suspicious of the both of you. But when the two of you come of age, we'll take you to get new wands, that way your second wands won't register in the Ministry," replied Severus to the boy's query.

Erebus thought about it and found that he understood the logic behind his mother's decision but that didn't mean he liked the idea. They were all brought back to their surroundings by the presence of someone watching them from within the shadows of the small room. A quick movement to his left made Erebus turn towards that direction and a smirk slowly played on his lips.

"Mr. Ollivander, either you stop these pointless charades or we'll go elsewhere for our wands," he said causing everyone to look suspiciously at the direction he had spoken to. Moments later, and old man with a crown of wiry white hair appeared with a deep frown on his face. He was wearing a pair of slightly worn out robes and he was staring straight at Erebus.

"In all my years of selling wands, no one has ever figured out where to look for me. The surprise I give them is part of the experience in getting their first wands," said Mr. Ollivander, not wavering in his gaze of the boy's red rimmed green eyes.

"I'm not known for following the norm, Mr. Ollivander," came Erebus' calm reply.

Mr. Ollivander felt something unnatural as the youth stared back at him, and his frown intensified before taking his eyes of the unusual boy to see who else had come with him.

"Ah, Mr. Snape. Ebony. Twelve inches. Three drops of dragon blood and a Basilisk scale core. Slender yet sturdy, exceptional at duels," said the old man, animated at the sight of a former customer. Severus nodded stiffly and the old man turned next to the senior Malfoy.

"Mr. Malfoy, I believe yours is Chestnut, eleven inches. Dragon heartstrings and a scale from a Horntail core, both from the same species."

"And it has served me well all these years. But now it is their turn," said Lucius silkily, gesturing at the two boys.

"Yes, yes. Very well, gentlemen, which one is your wand arm?" He pulled out a long measuring tape with silver markings from his pocket. Draco held out his right arm and although Erebus was ambidextrous, he only held out his right hand. They'd all been taught earlier on that the less the enemy knew of them, the better it was. Now, he really had no idea were old Ollivander stood in the war but it was better safe than sorry.

The annoying tape measure flew all around them, measuring their outstretched arms in every possible angle. When the tape measure started measuring the length of their noses, Mr. Ollivander called out to it and it crumpled in a heap on the floor. With a wave of his wand, several long thin boxes started pulling themselves off the shelves and landing themselves neatly in a pile on top of a spindly stool that stood before them.

"Right then Mr …" Mr. Ollivander looked questioningly at Erebus for the first time.

"Riddle. Erebus Riddle," said the boy, a ghost of a smile on his face.

Mr. Ollivander's eyes widened. "Well … er … Mr. Riddle, why don't you give this a try?" He pulled out the box on top of the pile and offered Erebus a brownish coloured wand.

Erebus looked incredulously at his godfather, who just gave him a nod, urging him to give it a try, before taking the offered wand. But the second his hand took hold of the wooden wand, Mr. Ollivander snatched it back at once and shook his head, leaving the two boys to stare confusedly at each other.

"Mr. Malfoy, why don't you give this a try?" said Mr. Ollivander, handing a new wand to the blonde boy. But just as with Erebus, before he could even try it, Ollivander snatched it from him as well. This process lasted for quite a long time, each time the wand being snatched away before either boys could even test them.

Erebus also noticed that the longer the wand selection got, the more animated the older man got. He turned around to see that both his uncles were getting a little impatient, his Uncle Lucius checking his pocket watch with a frown on his face. The pile of discarded wands was nearly twice as tall as the stool in which they were placed when Mr. Ollivander left them for the back room, a thoughtful expression on his face.

"Did it take you guys this long to get your wands?" asked Erebus in frustration once Mr. Ollivander was well out of earshots.

"I believe what your Grandfather Abraxas did was he brought along a bottle of wine and some paperwork to finish while he waited for me; apparently lengthy wand selections run in the family," said Lucius

"You couldn't have told us that before hand?" cried Draco. "And if you knew we were going to take this long, why didn't you bring anything like grandfather did?"

"Who said we didn't? I happen to have brought along with me a bottle of Madam Rosmerta's finest mulled mead. It's not very grand, but you can't deny its wonderful taste," said Lucius in a matter-of-fact tone, pulling out two shot glasses and a bottle of clear brownish liquid. Draco and Erebus stared incredulously at the two men who were supposed to be their role models but before either of them could comment on their behaviour, Mr. Ollivander came back from the back room carrying yet more boxes that looked as if they had been in storage for far too long.

Finally after what seemed like the hundredth wand, Erebus found his match in an oak, twelve inches, Basilisk fang and phoenix feather. Mr. Ollivander looked slightly disturbed at the revelation of his wand but before Erebus could make out what had caused the reaction, Mr. Ollivander had shrugged it off and was continuing to service the younger Malfoy. Draco took slightly bit longer but in the end he got a hawthorn, ten inches, Shortsnout scale and unicorn hair.

They paid a total of fourteen galleons for their purchases and headed straight for the secret archway that would lead them to the Leaky Cauldron for a well deserved meal. The Leaky Cauldron was jammed packed with Hogwarts students and their families, either on their way back from the Alley or are about to head to the Alley.

Lucius caught sight of a family of red heads crowded in one corner and couldn't help but sneer at how pathetic they all looked. He had never thought it possible for a woman to actually bear that many children in quick successions until he met the Weasleys. They really were a disgrace to Purebloods everywhere; no sense of dignity at all.

Tom the barman led them upstairs, away from the noisy main room, and into a more secluded private parlour where a woman with short brown hair dressed in an elegant dark red robe was waiting. Even though the woman looked differently, Erebus would never mistake the look in her eyes for anyone other than his mother. He freed himself from his godfather's hand and ran towards his mother's open arms.

"We missed you at breakfast this morning," said Erebus, giving his mother a hug. The others walked into the room in a more sedated manner, though Draco did march up to his aunt and gave her a kiss on the cheeks.

"I'm sorry, Reby. There were urgent matters I had to attend to," said Lily, lifting her son onto her lap.

"I'm presuming that since you made it here in good time that your business went well," said Severus seating himself on a chair across mother and son.

"You can say that, Sev. But let's not talk about that now, its lunch and I'm positive these two are exceptionally hungry after their wand selection."

"You knew too and you didn't tell us," sulked Erebus. "I think my hand is still sore from the number of times Mr. Ollivander snatched those wands from my hand."

"I too didn't know back then that our family had such a reputation for being extremely fickle when it comes to choosing a wand so don't get yourselves into a pickle over it and we'll get both yours and Draco's hands checked over when we get home," Lily said quelling her son.

Erebus opted to stay quiet after that; he really did miss his mother this morning and he wasn't about to ruin their afternoon by asking her why she made them purchase a wand in Diagon Alley instead of a wand in Knockturn Alley.

"Luc, where is Cissa? I'd have thought she would accompany you for the trip," asked Lily after surveying who else was in the room.

"She had to attend a charity lunch on behalf of the family," replied Lucius.

Lunch was a very light affair, with a few insults thrown here and there about a certain Muggle lover and his followers, and soon all five of them had Apparated back to the Manor.


A/N: What did you think? Like my portrayal of the characters so far? And for those who recognize the plot, it was inspired by Tiro's "A Different Life". I suggest all of you to go read it. It's wonderful. And although this story is inspired by Tiro's work, the plot is different and I've made it my own.

You know what to do now, read and review and 'til next post...

dan4eva