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PRESENT DUMBLEDORE: You know the rest... how Riddle refused to show remorse and was sent to Azkaban for life... how he walked out, unaffected by the Dementors, and began his reign of terror as Lord Voldemort... How the old blood-purist faction flocked to him, even though he seemd to hurt his allies more often than he hurt his enemies...

Tom Riddle, now Voldemort, stands with two Dementors behind zem. The dementors are looking away. In front of zem, three people kneel – Narcissa Malfoy, Lucius Malfoy, and Bellatrix Lestrange. Voldemort is idly pointing zir wand down, conjuring magic the color of the Cruciatus Curse to flood over everyone. Voldemort isn't looking at them, though; ze is staring into space with the same blank expression as usual. Zir Time-Twister is glowing.

PRESENT DUMBLEDORE: But of this entire story, there is not one piece that I can truly understand. Was Riddle manipulating me from the beginning? Was it all just a trauma response? The only thing I know for sure is that my judgement has been clouded every step of the way...

The narrative frame of Dumbledore describing past events closes. In Dumbledore's office, ze dips a quill pen in an inkwell, using zir burned hand.

DUMBLEDORE: Just as it has been clouded in all matters that touch Harry Potter... {pause} I suppose... {in a very small voice} I suppose I must defer to yours.

We see a huge view of the Authorization for Deadly Force, the tip of Dumbledore's pen, and Dumbledore's burned hand as ze signs it.

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One thing I considered including on this page, but didn't, was an origin for the name “Death Eaters”. The idea was that they were those who would eat anything from Voldemort's hand, even death, if ze chose to give it to them. I liked the idea, but I felt like I was twisting the wording too much. When I write twists on things from the books, I want them to feel natural, not forced.

Still, being a Death Eater is a significant risk factor for being killed by Voldemort. Voldemort personally kills about twenty named characters, and at least two of them (Peter Pettigrew and Severus Snape) were Death Eaters. The vast majority of characters aren't Death Eaters. So there's a pretty good argument that Death Eaters are more likely to be killed by Voldemort than people in general are. Voldemort is willing to kill anyone who is not useful to zem, so you're in danger of being killed if ze's even paying attention to you, regardless of which side you're on. In Voldemort's Children, I don't think anyone is useful to Voldemort.

Voldemort's tendency to kill people is the main reason I didn't have Lily call Voldemort “Wizard Hitler” on page 43. As far as history knows, Adolf Hitler didn't kill people personally (and ze certainly didn't have incredible powers). I did want to have Lily make a Muggle reference, though. (Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality has Harry say “Wizard Hitler”, but it's a flippant comparison, while Lily's comparison is serious.)

Approximate readability: 9.00 (1152 characters, 254 words, 14 sentences, 4.54 characters per word, 18.14 words per sentence)