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Prologue~

The Darkest Mark

She walked down the cobblestone path leading to her grandparents manor while in one hand, holding a plate of fancy looking cookies, and in the other, her twin sisters hand. She knew not why her father had refused to come along, and why her mother was nervously running her hands through her hair every minute or so. Her grandparents where family, so why were her parents acting up so much? 

 The girl's twin sister seemed not to notice as they walked up the clean cut steps up to a dark blue door, the girl's mother heaved a sigh. 

 Before any of the three went to knock, the door opened to reveal a small and feeble house-elf. The elf squeaked out and opened the door wider.

"Mrs. Jeanette!" the elf said, the big tennis ball-like eyes shimmering "so good to see you! Rozy has missed you!"

The mother of the girls, Jeanette, forced a tight smile.

"It is very good to see you too Rozy," she replied warmly while walking past her daughters and through the door with such confidence, the girl was starting to question that her mother had been nervous at all "I believe Mother and Father are expecting us . . . ?"

The little house-elf, Rozy, let out a high-pitched squeak once again before confirming Jeanette's suspicions and beckoning the trio forward. The little girl's followed after their mother.

Rozy eyed the girls before smiling at them, her eyes (if it was even possible) were growing wider than they had before.

"Mrs. Jeanette!" Squealed Rozy glancing admirably at the twin girls "Are these your daughters? They're so lovely!"

"Ah, yes," Jeanette said smiling down at her daughters "girls! Be polite and introduce yourselves."

The girl's sister stepped forward and grinned at Rozy.

"I'm Melinda," she said "but call me Lindie please."

Rozy nodded and complimented her on her fine dress robes, before turning to the girl who was eyeing her mother curiously. The girl's gaze then snapped to meet Rozy's and she replied quietly,

"Aurelia." She said in an almost hushed tone.

"Such a beautiful name for a beautiful girl!" Rozy complimented, before leading Jeanette, Lindie, and Aurelia down the hallways and out into the main part of the house. Once they reached the living space, Lindie gasped beside Aurelia, while Aurelia stood rather shocked at the sight.

The room was simply huge, and had a theme of dark blue and bronze. The couches looked so expensive that Aurelia was afraid that if she sat on them she'd ruin their perfect touch. There were priceless pictures dangling from the wall, all lined up in beautiful bronze frames. Aurelia was glancing around the room before she met the eyes of a tall women who sat on the couch, she wore expensive looking gray dress robes, her dark auburn hair (which seemed to be graying a bit) was pinned back in a bun so tight that not one hair went askew, she had a menacing look in her storm gray eyes, Aurelia felt almost sick looking at her. This couldn't be her grandmother?

"Jeanette," said the lady in a daunting voice while pushing herself up off the coach and walking over on light feet "It is nice to see you."

Aurelia wasn't sure if the ladies words were sincere or she was simply masking her true emotions.

"Mother." Jeanette said with an almost vacant expression, underneath her hard face, Aurelia could see the harshness in her mother's usually warm chocolate brown eyes "It's been a while."

The lady nodded sharply before her gaze feel upon the twins. A forced smile found a way to her twisted ruby-red lips as she stared at the girls.

"And these girls must be your daughters," said the lady, which was indeed Aurelia's grandmother, in a clipped tone "forgive me, with you both being identical, I seem not to know which is Melinda and which is Aurelia. Do enlighten me."

Melinda answered first.

"I'm Melinda," she said very quickly, Aurelia could sense her sister was nervous through her trembling legs and wide eyes "but I prefer to be called Lindie."

Their grandmother's face twisted into a grimace at the sound of Melinda's nickname.

"I think," she said in a harsh tone "That Lindie is quite a childish nickname, Melinda suits you just fine, no need to give yourself such a barbaric sounding name."

Lindie's eyes flashed wearily before her gaze met the ground, from behind her, Aurelia heard her mother.

"Mother," she seemingly hissed, their grandmother found her mothers gaze and let off a cool smirk before looking down at Aurelia with those flint-sharp eyes.

"And you are?"

Aurelia bit back a fierce remark and lifted her chin to meet her grandmother's gaze bravely.

"Aurelia," she said in a soft tone, quite like the one she used with Rozy, but this time, the softness had hidden meaning. Aurelia's grandmother clicked her tongue in disapproval.

"That is not how one should present them self in a normal meeting," said her grandmother not approving "perhaps you should learn some manners, Jeanette," her focus turned on her daughter "How could you raise your girls to act like this? One has a childish nickname, the other has absolutely no manners, Jeanette, please reconsider how you're raising them."

Aurelia saw her mother's jaw lock in place, frustration met her eyes, and she could see her mother swallowing a harsh remark before replying.

"Mother," said Jeanette in a menacing tone "they are children, they will learn manners in time."

Aurelia's grandmother snorted before turning and walking away, not before calling up the stairs.

"Charles! Jeanette and her daughters are here!"

A moment's pause, and the sound of footsteps descending the stars could be heard. Aurelia was finally met with the face of her grandfather, Charles, only seconds later, he had a mean scowl on his face and grayish-black hair, his eyes were a dark brown, he was tall and rather thin, and he, like the women, wore gray dress-robes.

"Jessamine," he said in a drawled out tone to his wife who walked over and stood beside him "You should have called me down sooner."

Jessamine sniffed "They just got here, besides, meet her daughters, the one with the braids in her hair is Melinda-" Lindie stiffened at the use of her real name "and the one with the curly hair is Aurelia."

Charles eye's flashed before he glanced down at the girl's with a wide grin, the grin however, was not friendly, but dark and hiding emotions.

"Bonjour mes petites-filles," he said softly in French "it is lovely to meet you both."

Aurelia wanted to roll her eyes, but decided it was not wise. Melinda glanced at her shoes, Jeanette looked at her parents expressionless. Charles turned to his daughter, and the scowl seemed to return to his face once again.

"Jeanette," he said in a sharp tone "I see you were wise in not bringing the Mudblood with you-"

"Don't call Jonathan such a vile word," Jeanette's face contorted into one of rage "He may be a muggle-born but he is head Auror, and we both know that he's filled Azkaban with You-Know-Who's followers since Harry Potter triumphed over him."

Aurelia realized that this was a subtle meaning to something as her grandfather's face looked almost shocked, before turning to it's normal mean façade. What was a Mudblood anyways? And why was her grandfather calling her father such a word?

"Whatever you say, Jeanette," Charles hissed "I'm sorry that I can't help but be disgusted that my pure-blood daughter married such filth, and that my grandchildren are indeed half-bloods!"

Jeanette's shoulder's bristled and she gritted her teeth together. Jessamine noticed her daughter's discomfort and smirked. Aurelia, despite not getting the heavy end of these harsh blows, was hating her grandparents even more and more as time went on, and she now realized why her mother had held them back for so long. Melinda realized it too, as she stared at Charles and Jessamine with a look that could kill.

Suddenly, the tension that had been raised by both sides was cut, as a groggy-looking house elf walked through a door on the right of the living room and bowed to the family before muttering to them,

"The food is ready, Master Sombre," said the house elf in monotone "Drescher would be pleased to welcome you all to the dining room."

"Fine," snapped Jessamine walking over, not before snatching the plate of cookies from Aurelia's grip and walking towards the door "Drescher, go upstairs and clean, your service is needed."

"Of course Madame," said Drescher bowing once again "Drescher lives to serve Monsieur and Madame Sombre." Then he disappeared around the corner and up the stairs. 

Aurelia, Lindie, and Jeanette followed Jessamine into the other room were they were sat at a long dark wood table for lunch. They ate in silence, Charles grumbled over his food to Jeanette, but she never responded. Aurelia could never remember a situation so awkward and haughty as the one she was in now. She glanced up at the wall to see what time it was, she certainly didn't want to stay for tea, if anything she just wanted to go home.

Charles forced out a smile and said to Jeanette,

"Why don't you and your mother go into the kitchens and talk, I know Jessamine was meaning to tell you a couple of things," he said in a manipulative nice voice that Aurelia could see right through, Jeanette raised an eyebrow at her father has he continued "and I will take the girls upstairs to show them some pictures, It is certainly not a bad idea."

Jeanette looked hesitant, but Jessamine dug her polished nails into her daughters arm and basically dragged her out of the room and through a door that led, as Aurelia assumed, to the kitchen.

 Charles smirked and beckoned for the girls to follow him, Melinda and Aurelia exchanged a  glance before following their grandfather back into the living room and upstairs.

Aurelia noticed, as she walked up the stairs and onto the second floor, that the hallways were long and narrow, they like the living room, were fit with many paintings and pictures. Aurelia looked from side to side to glance at them, Melinda did too, that was until Charles grabbed them both by the arms with a bruising force and heaved them into one of the side rooms.

Charles threw the girl's across the room, and both Aurelia and Melinda landed on the floor with a thud while Charles drew out a long, vine wand and muttered many different spells, Aurelia heard him cast one that she had seen her father cast multiple times to silence the world outside their home in Godric's Hollow.

"Silencio."

Aurelia frowned, why would he silence the room and lock the door, her stomach seemed to drop, and she suddenly felt very scared. She looked at Melinda and noticed she was trembling, then Aurelia looked around the room.

There weren't any windows, Aurelia noted, the room was lit by candles that hung off the wall. The floors were a dark, polished wood, while the walls were painted a dark bronze color. There was a desk beneath a hung portrait. The single portrait was on the wall opposite the door, in the picture, Aurelia noticed, were her grandfather, grandmother, and many others standing in many rows wearing dark cloaks. What was this room, a study? Why was it even important? However, Aurelia cast those questions out of her mind as Charles slowly turned to the pair of girls, his wand still gripped tight in his hand and pointed at them. His face twisted into a sadistic smile, Aurelia wanted her mother and father, but realized that she and Melinda were all alone.

"The Dark Lord may have gone," said Charles in a low voice before picking up his pace and walking over to his granddaughters "but does not mean he will not rise again someday! It also does not mean I can not brand you with his blessing, or teach you what it is like to serve the great, the forever powerful Lord Voldemort!"

Melinda was shaking silently next to Aurelia, petrified, turning, Aurelia could see tears running down her sisters face.

Suddenly, the name, Voldemort, hit a memory. Aurelia had heard his name once before, her mother had said it to her father, and they had fought over it, but was this Lord Voldemort something to fight about? Aurelia tilted her head to side as she watched her grandfather go on a psychotic rampage over this 'Dark Lord'.

Charles grin curved into a sneer "I cannot believe that Jeanette married your filthy Mudblood father!" He hissed before bending down and getting into the twins faces "How my Lord will be displeased with me when he returns, but no matter-" Charles drew his wand at the girls again "I will teach you what it is like to serve, what it is like to have his mark, and by the time Jeanette and that stupid mudblood realize what I'm doing, we'll be gone, far gone away from them. . ."

Melinda started wailing.

"M-Mummy!"

 "Silence!" Spat Charles "Clear your tears! It is time for you to see the mark of the great!"

Aurelia watched in horror, as Charles clasped the sleeve of his gray dress robes on his left arm and tugged upward, revealing a faded mark in his skin. It was a skull and a snake, the skull's mouth was open revealing the snake slithering out, the mark, although it had no ink to it like a tattoo should normally have, left a chilling feeling in Aurelia. Despite that the mark was the same shade as Charles skin, shallow and pale, she knew that the mark on his skin was dark, the darkest mark of them all.

"You shall know what it is like to have the mark on you, to summon your master, to please him-" Charles rant faded off once again, before he seized Aurelia's arm suddenly and pulled up the sleeve of her own dress robes. Aurelia's eyes widened in alarm and she screamed and started to writhe in her grandfather's grasp.

"Stay still!" seethed Charles, and when Aurelia would not oblige, he drew the arm with his wand and pointed it at her.

"Crucio!" He hissed.

Aurelia gasped, it felt as if a thousand sharp needles were penetrating her skin, beside her Melinda gasped and started to scream, before the pain took course and all Aurelia could hear were her own desperate pleads begging Charles to stop. Charles let out a dark chuckle as Aurelia screamed and flopped on the ground like a fish out of water. The pain was taking over her eyesight now, dark circles appearing in her eyes, as if she might pass out . . .

However, Aurelia wasn't lucky enough to pass out in such an awful state. Her grandfather released the curse and grabbed hold of her once again.

"I'm sure you'll not disobey me again, hm?"

Aurelia did not respond, but she watched as he drew his wand closer to her tiny wrist, her lip trembled, to be branded with the a mark at the age of six. How could she carry such a burden? Aurelia closed her eyes, tears falling down her cheeks, waiting for the poke of the wand on her wrist, waiting for more pain, but... It never came.

The room seemed to explode out of thin air, Aurelia gasped as she felt Canrles arm that held her release her, and she feel into the grip of Melinda, who was now crying and shaking her and asking if she was okay.

Aurelia's sight blurred, but it came back after a second, and she found that there were more presences in the room. Her mother, a few of her father's Auror friends from the Ministry, and her father himself, holding up a dark yew wand pointed directly at her grandfathers chest. Charles chuckled.

"You think you can catch me?" He seethed "I know Jessamine has already fled, and perhaps I will do the same but I will never stop repeating the Dark Lord's messages to everyone and everybody who can hear me."

Jonathan, Aurelia's father's eyes flashed to his daughters, and there was a pained look in his eyes as he saw the twins curled up together shaking and crying, before his lip curled in disdain at Charles.

"You are a lowly excuse for a human!" Jonathan snapped "I'm going to have such joy bringing you to Azkaban, using an unforgivable on a six year old! Talking about He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named in a glorious way! Do you have no shame?"

Charles jeered at Jonathan.

"The Dark Lord's words shall be law one day," his eyes flashed dangerously and he cowered at Jonathan "You will see, Mudblood, he is your superior, his mark will be tattooed all over the magical world one day! Just you see!"

And with that, Charles disapparated before any of the Aurors could attempt to capture him, but Aurelia did not care, all she could think about was the skull and snake mark etched into Charles's skin, and how even without a touch of black, it's darkness swept her mind.

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