Where: Riddle Manor
Riddle Manor was dark and gloomy, illuminated only by a single ray of moonlight coming from a window, shining on a man writing on a desk. Bellatrix Lestrange entered the room nervously, looking around. The large empty antechamber echoed her footsteps as she tentatively came forward. A glance at that shining window showed there was no moonlight tonight, as it was being covered by heavy clouds. The window was bewitched to produce the effect, and done so expertly. She stopped about twenty feet from the man at the desk.
"Ah, Bella," Voldemort said, placing his quill back into the holder and closing the inkwell beside it. He regarded a piece of paper he had apparently been writing on and leaned back. "I'm sure you're wondering why I've called you."
Voldemort nodded, and rose to his feet, and a large serpent slithered around his ankles. "Good answer," he rasped. "Answer this then, won't you? I know what you and Pettigrew have been up to all these months: primarily trying not to get caught with the others, but do you know what I've been doing?"
Bellatrix, a tall and very handsome woman whose looks have been ravaged by years under the care of Dementors, licked her lips nervously. "N-no. I mean it's none of my busine-"
"I've been wondering how my carefully laid plans, including the plan of releasing you lot from Azkaban in the first place, even as I was in my non-human form, could be SHATTERED by a group of CHILDREN!"
His voice of rage echoed through the chamber, and Bellatrix visibly shuddered underneath it. After several moments of silence she started to move her lips before finally croaking out, "I-I-" but Voldemort interrupted her.
"But you need not answer. Water under the bridge, don't you think?" He offered her a reptilian smile and started walking about her. "Tell me of the status of the recruits."
"The recruits are eager to take your Mark, my Lord," Bellatrix answered quickly. "A few of them are very talented, one or two might even surpass me one day, though they are still years off from being anything remarkable-"
"Muscleheads," Voldemort whispered, before looking into Bellatrix's hurt expression. "No offence, my dear. I appreciate what prowess you bring to the battleground. My pretty little goddess of war. And yet, your husband was decently powerful in the arts as well, and the others, who now reside in Azkaban. Save for me, all it would take would be a few waves of the old man's wand to put the Death Eeaters away, no matter how talented they are. We need something else. If we could find those like Lucius, those with a few brain-cells between their ears-"
"There is one!"
Voldemort turned quickly and bore his eyes into Bellatrix's, revealing her completely. He did not like to be interrupted. She whimpered, but amazingly was able to go on.
"Th-th-there is a young recruit in the Ministry, m-my Lord. She's ea-eager and willing too. And clever...and...."
She trailed off as Voldemort lightened a bit and smiled. "She works in the Department of Records? As a document analyser?" He didn't keep his eyes off her and let his Legilimency do the rest. Bella knew better than to block him out when he was this eager. "Something...Glass?"
Bellatrix nodded. "Nepenthe Glass. Uh she's about 26 I believe and...well we could pull her out of the Ministry and-"
"NO!" Voldemort roared. "No. Think about this. Do you know what they keep in the Department of Records?"
Bellatrix thought for a moment, before brightening her eyes in thought. "That book?"
"That book," Voldemort said with a grin. "The book that records the name of wizarding children and the records of their family when they are born, specifically children eligible for training at Hogwarts. A book of names of wizards, mudblood, halfbreed and pure, their occupations, where they reside."
Lestrange was smiling a bit now, obviously excited, and obviously thinking hard. "It will be difficult for her to get that book out of there, it is rumoured to be Charmed never to leave the Department...but I should be able to-"
"Why bother taking it out?" Voldemort said with a shrug. He started to move back to his desk. "Glass, pureblood, correct?"
"Of course, my Lord."
"Hm. And a document analyser. Have her copy the text and send them to me. Specifically-" he raised a long, pale and clawed finger to make his point, "-Thos e born 1980 and after. All families, not just the non-pure."
"Targeting those bloody children, my Lord?"
Voldemort chuckled as he took his seat. "Not the children. Their families. England must learn to fear me again, and they will. One household at a time." He took up his quill and dipped it in the inkwell, knowing Bella was still standing, still having something to say. "Yes?" he hissed.
"S-So many names, my Lord...it-it'll take a while."
Voldemort smiled and scratched a single word into the rough parchment. "Tell her to take her time to do it right," he said quietly. "I'm a very patient sort of man."
A sharp hiss from Nagini signified the end of the conversation, and Bellatrix bowed deeply, before hurrying out of the room. The snake slithered her way up the chair and around Voldemort's thin shoulders to watch his writing. The smile never left his face, but he didn't say another word. The room was filled with the echoes of the scratches against his parchment.