Chapter 20

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Harry had artfully skipped the festivities that Voldemort had planned in order to celebrate his newly acquired rule. He was laying back in the bedroom that he had been allocated, his head was resting against the headboard as his eyes stared blankly at the wall in front of him. He hated this. He hated the way the death eaters were celebrating downstairs. He hated when he imagined how happy Voldemort would be now that he acquired his first goal. The dull sound of music and cheers filtered into the room from downstairs. Harry groaned loudly and laid down. He pulled a pillow over his head to muffle the sounds further. It worked for a while until he heard the door open.

Harry had no tolerance to deal with whoever it was. So, he kept the pillow over his head and kept his eyes closed tightly. Voldemort spoke sternly,

"Get up, Harry. It is time for dinner."

Harry spoke sternly,

"I'm not hungry. I told you I have a headache."

Harry felt the mattress dip as he felt Voldemort sit down on the bed,

"I can have a potion arranged for that."

Harry knew Voldemort wasn't going to leave until he got what he wanted. So, he tossed the pillow at Voldemort, sat up straight and looked at Voldemort, who was wearing a pleased smirk as he held the pillow,

"I am expecting you downstairs in five minutes."

Harry groaned out in frustration as he watched Voldemort go. He put on his shoes and socks and moved his fingers through his hair. He had no interest in socializing with Voldemort's minions. He wondered why Voldemort even wanted him to mingle with them. It was definitely a recipe for disaster and he would make certain of it. Harry practiced his smile in front of the mirror and stepped out of the room.

Exactly five minutes later, Harry was standing in the midst of death eaters and tolerating disapproving glances from them. Harry wore his well-rehearsed smile unfalteringly and felt overjoyed when it unsettled the death eaters. Voldemort noticed him and he also noticed the glares Harry was receiving from everyone. He raised his wand and instantly the music stopped, causing everyone in the hall to grow silent. He ushered Harry forward and Harry calmly made his way to him. When he was standing a few inches from Voldemort, Voldemort addressed the crowd,

"I feel deeply saddened by your behaviour towards Harry."

The death eaters fell on their knees and murmured apologies and assurances. Harry drew an inch closer to Voldemort, leaned forward and whispered in his ear,

"How about you make them kiss my feet?"

Voldemort chuckled softly,

"I shall not."

Harry was feeling extremely reckless. Voldemort had dragged him here; the man should suffer the consequences of it. He resisted the urge to bite Voldemort's ear and instead growled in his ear,

"That's a challenge."

Voldemort hummed leisurely,

"What shall I get in return?"

Harry stepped back from Voldemort and licked his lips enticingly. He knew he was treading on a very thin line. He had no intentions of letting Voldemort anywhere near his lips again although his heart craved it intensely. Harry hoped none of that longing had shown on his face and raised his eyebrows at Voldemort, signalling him to get on with it.

Voldemort smirked cockily and tilted his head to regard Harry for a second before turning to his death eaters,

"As assurance, I expect you all to kiss Harry's feet and accept his rank at the ministry and amongst you."

Harry wanted there to uproar amongst the death eaters. He wanted them to rebel against their master. But instead, Wormtail crawled forward and kissed Harry's feet. Harry was momentarily dazed. He hadn't expected them to give in so easily and internally cursed their unwavering loyalty towards their master. He chanced a sidelong glance at Voldemort and realized that Voldemort was wearing a rakish grin. Harry prevented his own smile from slipping as his heart began to panic. Voldemort had fulfilled the challenge so effortlessly. He hadn't expected that.

Harry tried to push his mind away from that thought and anticipated the moment when Bellatrix would kiss his feet. It didn't take that long and Bellatrix was the last death eater to approach him. Harry's smile widened and she would have killed him with her venomous glare if it were possible. Hesitantly she knelt in front of him. Harry watched her as her lips brushed against his shoes just barely and hoped that Sirius was watching this. He felt some of the fire in his heart cool down at the sight of Bella in front of him. She was about to rise when Harry turned to Voldemort and spoke,

"I want Bellatrix and Umbridge as my assistants."

Bellatrix rose to her feet abruptly and grabbed Harry's neck. He felt her long nails sink into his skin and kicked her hard in the stomach. She hadn't expected the attack from Harry and stumbled back. Harry crooked his finger and invited her to attack him again. She collapsed back on her knees as she saw the livid expression on Voldemort's face and began begging for forgiveness.

Harry touched the spot where Bella's nails had sunk and felt amused to see blood on his fingers. It only served to satisfy him that he had gotten on her nerves enough for her to physically attack him and provided him with the chance to attack her.

He cocked an eyebrow at Voldemort. He wanted an answer from him about his demand right now. Voldemort spoke,

"If you seek my forgiveness than you shall assist Harry with his job at the ministry."

Bella looked like she had been backhanded and the wind had been knocked out from her lungs. Harry wanted her to argue. He wanted to have the pleasure of seeing her writhe as Voldemort crucioed her for her insubordination. But she did no such thing and kissed Voldemort's feet in adoration,

"I live to serve you, Master."

Voldemort patted her head slowly and dismissed her. He raised his wand and the music began playing again as an indication for the festivity to resume. Once the death eaters had relaxed and conversation broke out around the hall, Voldemort stepped closer to Harry,

"So far you have had all your demands met, Harry. But now I believe that it is my turn."

Harry worked hard not to let his façade fall. He knew that there was no way out. He would have to honour the agreement no matter what. He had offered Voldemort one kiss if he completed the challenge, hadn't he? How bad could it be?

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