Despite the fact that it was actually a nice day in July, the sky was a roiling black-and-purple mass that looked like a pot of seriously deranged Jell-O. It looked that way because um because there needed to be a dramatic backdrop for Our Boy Voldemort thinking Very Evil Thoughts. But we don't need to talk about the reasons for scenery being the way it is, hmm?
Anyway, to cut a very tedious and long-winded introduction short, the sky was currently black-and-purple colored, and Voldemort was thinking Very Evil Thoughts. So evil were those thoughts, in fact, that his mirror &endash; a very nice antique that Lucius Malfoy had thoughtfully picked up at one of those Muggle yard sales &endash; crumbled into dust when it came into contact with his malevolent scarlet gaze. Damn it. That was the tenth one this week.
"Wormtail!" he bellowed as loudly as his annoyingly high-pitched voice would allow. "Get your fat ass in here!" No. Wrong phrasing. Definitely not quite right for his image. Maybe, "If you aren't in here in thirty seconds, I'll rip out your spleen and feed it to Nagini?" Mmm nah. It lacked that dignified, menacing air that was so crucial to a Dark Lord. Decisions, decisions, decisions.
Voldemort's ruminations about word choice were cut off by the arrival of Wormtail in all his wheezing unglory. "Yes," wheeze, wheeze, "My," wheeze, "Lord?"
"Ah, Wormtail," Voldemort said with sarcastic expansiveness. "So glad you could make it. I hope I'm not keeping you from any important social engagements?"
Wormtail colored. "No, My Lord."
Voldemort's lips curved into a mirthless smile. "I'm delighted to hear it. Now be a good little minion and get me a new mirror. This last one seems to have," he spared a careless glance behind him, "met a rather unfortunate end."
Wormtail bowed jerkily and turned to go. "Yes, My Lord."
He waited patiently for Wormtail's pathetic sobs to subside. "I don't believe I gave you permission to go, Peter," he said silkily. Wormtail went rigid at the sound of his given name. "You really should pay closer attention, you know. Send in MacNair when you leave. I believe that he has information about that other matter we discussed earlier in the summer."
Wormtail jerked back as if he had been struck. "About the Cake, My Lord?" he said hoarsely.
Voldemort smiled patronizingly. "Yes, Wormtail, about the Cake." He paused, the smirk of amusement still hovering about his lips. "Now, run along and play."
As Wormtail scurried out of the room, the Dark Lord shook his head. It was so hard to get good help these days.
There was a knock on the door. "Come in," Voldemort called.
MacNair stepped into the room, holding that ridiculous axe he insisted on hauling around everywhere, and bowed. "You sent for me, My Lord?"
"Ah, MacNair. Our resident Ministry animal molester."
MacNair's chest puffed out as though he had just been praised instead of insulted. Then again, the man had never been very bright. Of course, it might just have been a side affect of all those full frontal lobotomies that Snape had performed on him when they had been at Hogwarts together. "Yes, My Lord."
"You have information about the Cake." He didn't bother to make it a question. If MacNair didn't have the information, he would never have dared come back.
"Yes, My Lord," MacNair repeated. He handed Voldemort a sealed package. "This is what I found."
Voldemort arched an eyebrow. "Is it "
MacNair smirked. "Yes, My Lord. It is."
"Good." He broke open the seal after probing it with his wand. "You may go."
After MacNair had strutted out the door, Voldemort removed the package's contents. Oh, yes, it certainly was what he had been looking for. So innocent an item, but one that would bring down the world. He stared at the pink, frilly apron, not caring that mad, high-pitched laughter was issuing from his mouth.