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Title: Mistaken Judgment
Author: atruwriter
Rating: R
Genre: Adventure/Romance/Drama/Angst
Warning(s): Strong Violence, Sexual Content, Coarse Language
Disclaimer: I own nothing Harry Potter related!
Summary: Voldemort has devised what he believes to be a foolproof plan to finally destroy Harry Potter. But when he takes who Harry treasures most, he soon realizes how mistaken he was in his judgment of just what Harry would do for Hermione Granger. 


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Prologue

Hate is the coward's revenge for being intimidated.” - George Bernard Shaw

Tom Marvolo Riddle, more commonly known as Voldemort, sat in a high backed chair inside his poorly lit office, his fingers weaved together in an arch in front of his chin as he thought over how to deal with his one and only true adversary. He had the windows darkened so he didn't have to put with the grating light of the sun, something he would deal with as soon as he had control of the world. A simple clouding charm could do it, constant gloom and nary a beam of light to irritate him again. The environment would surely suffer, but he could magically change that, or use Herbologist slaves to recreate whatever he destroyed. He would control it all, and the sun had no reason to be exempt from his power. Slapping his hand down on the desk in annoyance, he found himself sneering into the dim office, wishing one of his Death Eaters were there for the sole purpose of being able to take his anger out on someone else.

He should be feeling triumphant. The old fool Albus Dumbledore was dead, his funeral had passed and his pathetic hero Potter was probably crying his soul out right now. He should be laughing over the misery he'd just caused the wretched Boy-Who-Wouldn't-Die but he found it pointless. Even without Dumbledore, Potter was likely planning on continuing his Headmaster's work and trying to find a way to destroy Voldemort right then. He wasn't afraid of the ridiculous boy. Of course not! He was the darkest wizard of all time. His name was feared by everyone. People trembled at the mere thought of him. He grinned savagely just at the thought of how much power he wielded by simply being.

His grin faltered to become a grimace, however. Despite the fact that he was well known as being the most cruel and darkest of all Lord's, he had an adversary that was well known to have defeated him once before. Harry Potter, the pathetic Boy-Who-Lived, was in a prophecy to be the one to rise against him. Voldemort was taking no chances, even if he did believe that Harry was really just a little boy with far less talent than he was said to have. Dumbledore was obviously a fanciful coot if he truly believed that a little boy could defeat the darkest wizard ever to rise. Whatever happened that first time the Potter boy lived, he didn't understand entirely, but he wouldn't let it happen again. He was going to destroy the boy before he could get it into his head to do something at all dampening on Voldemort's campaign.

It seemed his every attack on the wretched boy was tossed aside meaninglessly. For six years he'd been planning and scheming pathetic Potter's demise and still he hadn't managed to kill him. If it hadn't been for the almighty Dumbledore and the insufferable mudblood Granger, he might well have had victory all ready. The brainy Gryffindor girl kept Potter from tripping up far too often and he had half a mind to get rid of her sooner rather than later. Still, he had to admit, if only to himself, that Potter managed to get himself out of numerous scrapes with his own genius. Voldemort wasn't sure just yet how he did it, given that his potential was sorely lacking, in his opinion. The fact remained that Potter was still alive and Voldemort was still seen as the Dark-Lord-Who-Couldn't-Prevail. It was time he finished it once and for all. Six years of kipping off wasn't getting him anywhere. He had to hit him hard, hit him when he was still down.

Voldemort barked to one of the men patrolling the halls to get Malfoy for him. After escaping Azkaban, Malfoy was smart enough to beg forgiveness and return to his Lord. His youngest son, however, did not complete the task put to him. Snape was forced to kill Dumbledore instead, and for that the youngest Malfoy had to suffer. Because he needed the Malfoy men and their service from their future families was important, Voldemort only had Narcissa killed, before Draco's eyes. It took all of his willpower not to Avada the pathetic weeping boy as he struggled to save his silently crying mother as she was tortured by both her own husband and Voldemort himself. Narcissa Malfoy managed to take the curses and hexing with hardly a noise, likely used to it already by Lucius exercising his superior place above her. Voldemort still enjoyed the stricken expressions that crossed her once beautiful face. Finally, when bored with it, and seeing that Draco was simply slumped now, his mind almost broken, Voldemort finished her off with an easy flick of his wrist and a well-placed Avada Kedavra, pocketing his wand when she fell limply to the floor. Draco hadn't spoken since, instead holing himself away in his private quarters until Voldemort had need of him. Lucius, on the other hand, had barely batted an eyelash, and was still very much loyal to Voldemort. So it would quite obviously be up to his second in command to help him with his problem concerning Potter.

He sat tapping his long, misshapen and yellowed finger nails against his desktop, waiting for Lucius to arrive and finding himself irritated when he didn't appear immediately. He had no patience, he knew, and it was an impossible task for anybody to appear out of thin air since apparition wards had been put up for safety. However, he couldn't ignore the fact that he was far too important to be left waiting any longer than he deemed necessary. So as the door opened and Lucius strolled into the room, Voldemort threw a harsh Crucio in his direction just to make himself feel more relaxed. Watching as the white-blonde male writhed in gnarled torture, Voldemort found himself grinning insanely, taking far too much pleasure in the pain of another. He took deep satisfaction as the screams echoed around him, an almost intimate and sexual pleasure coursed through him. He was a sick being, he knew, but that didn't dampen his mood in the least. He finally let Lucius up when he remembered that he had called on the man out of need to cause agony to another; one who was not on his side.

He waited for Malfoy's panting to quit and for him to gather himself enough to stand, leaning against a chair for support. A few minutes passed and Voldemort was finally able to speak to Malfoy as he intended. “Something needs to be done, Malfoy,” he snarled, his eyes thinning in irritation. “The boy may not have Dumbledore, but I doubt he's given up yet.”

“He's... He's shaken, milord,” Malfoy said, his voice hoarse and his breathing unsteady. “This would be a good time to strike. To destroy him while he's down. To--”

“Do not tell me when it is time, Malfoy,” Voldemort interrupted, his voice dangerous and warning. “I know when it will be time and he is not as shaken as you may presume. I can feel him,” he said, shaking his head, his mouth curling with disdain. “He's planning... Discussing, figuring things out... Yes,” he hissed, baring his teeth in anger. “He's not given up just yet. No... No, he's got his mudblood and his traitorous pureblood with him and they're readying themselves for something... big.” He stood up, his legs pushing the chair back in his haste. “I want him broken, Malfoy. I want him begging for death and asking me to just kill him already. I want him to show how pathetic and useless he really is,” he snarled, pressing his hands palm down on the desk, his nails digging in enough to scratch the wood. “How d'you propose I get that?” he asked, cocking his head and glaring the servant into thought.

“Kill another,” he said suddenly, as if scared that if he didn't say something he'd die before his brain could function. “He has a girlfriend, the Weasley girl. Or perhaps that disgusting Muggle family of his, he'd--”

“No,” Voldemort interrupted, shaking his head. “No, he doesn't like the filthy Muggles at all. Hates them only a little less than he does me,” he said with a satisfied smirk. “And not the Weasley girl either,” he muttered, had he a nose it would have been wrinkled with disgust. “She's nothing but an infatuation. Something to distract him. It'll hurt him, but it won't break him.” He shook his head, grimacing at the lack of solution given. “Something bigger, Malfoy, think harder. WHO? Who would make the great Harry Potter fall to his knees and beg for death?” he asked, his voice hissing and dark.

Swallowing thickly, Malfoy stumbled back a step but tried to cover it by standing up a little straighter, lifting his chin and appearing deep in thought. “The only two he's close enough to for that would be the traitorous Weasley boy or the mudblood Granger, milord, but--”

“Yes,” he agreed, his head bobbing agreeably. “Yes, I want the mudblood, Malfoy.” He grinned evilly, just thinking of how little Potter would react at the news that his precious little mudblood had been taken. “Think of it. Think of his pain,” he said enjoyable, a fire lighting behind his eyes. “His best friend ripped from his grasp, no trace of her at all.” His mouth curled in a dark smirk, “Bring her to me. Let him suffer. Let him wonder where she is, what's happened to her. He'll curl into a little ball and wither away,” he said, letting out a piercing laugh that shook the walls around him.

“D'you want her dead, milord?” Malfoy asked, lifting his brow uncertainly.

Voldemort straightened his back so he was staring down at Malfoy as if he were a miserable speck. “Keep her alive,” he told him, shaking his head. “We'll let that disgusting little filth wither away in the dungeons,” he said gleefully. “Watch as the so-called brightest witch of her age falls apart. Left with nothing and no one. Knowing that her precious Potter is out, dying at the thought that he was the reason she was here. Knowing that nobody would come for her.” He laughed, low and sharp, “Sacrifice the one for the many, Malfoy.”

Malfoy smirked, his face betraying his own enjoyment at the idea of Hermione Granger suffering at the hands of Death Eater's. “When, milord?” he asked.

Voldemort sneered in though, before turning and barking out for Pettigrew. They waited in silence, Voldemort stewing in his bit of glee over the dirty little mudblood's capture weakening Potter's resolve. Finally, the door opened and Pettigew slipped inside. His shoulders were stooped and his fingers were moving erratically beneath his chin, the silver glinting beside his dirty, long nailed human hand. He sucked on his long front teeth a moment in anxiety and looked back and forth from Voldemort to Malfoy, waiting for him to be called upon.

“Where are they now?” Voldemort finally asked, enjoying for a moment the way his minion shuddered and sweat like a terrified little rat.

“They're celebrating, milord. A wedding between the disfigured oldest son and the pretty French girl,” he told him, nodding vigorously. “Potter and his friends were setting it all up together with the Weasley family.”

Voldemort nodded, frowning. “What other news have you brought me?”

Peter shifted on his feet, his eyes turning around and around nervously. “They've been talking, I couldn't hear all of it. Always in whispers, always away from everyone else. They're suspicious, their eyes are always searching for interlopers.” He nodded, scowling. “Yes, but I know, I know that she will be going home tomorrow. Yes, she's off to see her Muggle parents and then she'll come back to Potter and the weasel. Off on some journey that was never explained, sir,” he said, his voice becoming meek as he admitted his folly in finding out their grand plan.

Voldemort nodded, his eyes thinning to even smaller slits. “The Granger girl is going home tomorrow to visit her parents, eh,” he said malevolently. He lifted his jaw, smirking at Malfoy, “Go then, while the family is sitting down for dinner,” he ordered maliciously. “Kill her parents, take the girl. Leave no trace of her, but make the parents murder obvious enough. Make sure the message gets across, Malfoy,” he told him darkly, his eyes glinting.

Malfoy gave a sharp nod of understanding. “Will that be all, sir?”

Voldemort snapped his head to the door in a motion for him to leave. “Do not fail, Malfoy, or this shall be the last assignment you receive,” he snarled, his meaning obvious.

“Of course, milord,” Lucius replied, his voice shaking slightly before he left the room.

Before Pettigrew could leave the room, Voldemort threw a bone shaking Crucio his way, grinning to himself gleefully as Pettigrew writhed against the ground, his rat like face twisted in agony. He closed his eyes, inhaling a deep breath and letting it out as a pleasurable sensation coursing through him. All would be well by nightfall. Harry Potter would find himself one Headmaster less and one best friend missing. Tom grinned out into the dim room, if his judgment of Potter was right, then the boy wouldn't be able to survive one more loss. The filthy mudblood was the finishing touch. He'd be able to destroy the trash that was considered bright beyond all measure as well as the boy who so many thought far too much of. The day was good, even if the sun was far too bright. His earlier enjoyment of Dumbledore's death was renewed and he couldn't help but laugh crisply into the emptiness of the room as Pettigrew passed out from pain. Potter would die in an agonizing mess of loss and he would triumph, once and for all. All hail Lord Voldemort!


Go to Chapter One...

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