Format: Pensieve Memory
Relevance: Ministry transcript of a pensieve memory taken from the mind of a captured Death Eater, showing Voldemort interacting with selected followers, and evidence of his approach to the dark mark. The Ministry observer remains anonymous.
Item 11099344A (a)
The following is a transcript of the memory as viewed via pensieve by two officers from the department of magical law enforcement and myself (in the capacity of independent observer) on the 2nd April 1980. No tampering is evident since procuring the memory, however prolonged exposure to dementors, the mental state of the prisoner, and the proximity of two dementors as the memory was extracted despite my express wishes did, in my view, contribute to the confused and sometimes unintelligible nature of the memory. Further information on the circumstances of harvesting can be found in my report numbered A3992 (b), a copy of which has been included with this transcript.
Emphasis is shown in italics.
Memory shows a dark room, two windows: one boarded up, the other cracked but intact, a high ceiling and panelling on the walls which dates the interior of the house to the late 1800s. The walls are dark and display mildewed paintings, both deserted by their subjects. Two leather couches have been pushed to opposite sides of the room, and on one a man in his thirties is seated. He is dark haired and looks at ease, though anxious that the dust on the sofa does not mar his immaculate robes. He says nothing for the duration of the memory, but we can be reasonably sure that he is Evan Rosier (see file R21). The only other occupant of the room is prisoner 88758. He is pacing agitatedly and glancing every now and again towards the tall wooden door which stands ajar at the far side of the room. Light spills from the gap, and from the shadows which pass in front of the light source, we can estimate than within the room there are four people. Three have been identified as Bellatrix Lestrange (file L57), Marcellus Mulciber (file M20a- i) and He Who Shall Not be Named (hereafter referred to as Voldemort for the purposes of clarity). The fourth occupant has yet to be identified.
The subject takes little notice of the voices emanating from the room, but they are quite audible. There appears to be some disagreement between Lestrange and Mulciber: they bicker across one another for some minutes before falling silent, presumably at some gesture from Voldemort. After a long silence he speaks.
VOLDEMORT: You are mistaken, Bellatrix. [long pause] They see it only as a sigil, a sign of violence. They look up into the sky and fear – they are incapable of seeing the true meaning of any symbol: their lives are rife with metaphor and they have lost the truth of their sight. [a pause, a quiet tapping] So when I ask you to cast my mark into the sky I am not asking you merely to alert these animals to my presence. I am infiltrating their consciousness. I am insinuating myself into their very reality - I am to them because of that mark, that brand into their existence. It is not merely a sign of your devotion. [quiet chuckle] I can see that for myself without any need for heraldry.
[Here there is a snort from Mulciber, and Lestrange begins to hiss an insult. Outside Rosier laughs and catches the eye of prisoner 88758. We can surmise that at this point Voldemort stands and moves to the far side of the room to the door. Mulciber, perhaps in a show of bravado, takes the seat he has vacated.]
VOLDEMORT: So let me say again, I will not tolerate the misuse of the mark. Not from any one of you. The word itself, morsmordre, that word must be your god just as I must be your god. Whisper it to yourself as you fall asleep, whisper it as your devotion, your prayer, your invocation, your incantation. What none of you realise is that its power rivals mine. More: its power is where I draw my own from. The power of words, Lestrange, is more than the power of the wand or the fist. These are mere urges toward greatness compared with the power of language, of words and of symbols. Realise this and you will begin to grasp what it is to have true power.
[Long moment of silence. When Voldemort speaks again his voice is lowered dramatically.]
There are places, do you know, where the people believe the universe itself is the product of the speech of some god. Some believe even that it is itself an utterance. Let god speak the word of life, they say. Let him speak the rain. [Voldemort moves into view, shaking his head.] This is what you all fail to grasp. If this moment, now; this life that you all cling so desperately to is a word, called like any other into the darkness, there must be other words. A word means nothing unless everything else is also named. And what am I? The speaker? [a long pause. The others in the room remain silent, Lestrange letting a slow smile cloud her face. Four seconds of a woman crying in front of a bay window are superimposed over the image of the room.]
No. Even my own ascendancy has not progressed so far as yet. Some other word perhaps? But you are all words yourselves; dull, clumsy conglomerates of sound falling half-shaped from the lips of an infant. Am I perhaps some other language – some other mode of thought? These muggles, they stamp out their own languages, one by one. And each of these has words untranslatable into any other; concepts lost with the silencing of their thought. Languages corrupt one another just as disturbed water settles to a level mirror, so languages blend and will form one grey uniformity of thought – one uninspired lexicon.
But I am different. I am the indrawn breath, the moment of light. I am the silence between words. They dare not speak my name.
[Prisoner 88758 looks up at the door. There is silence from within. Through the crack Mulciber’s face is half visible. His smile is beatific. At this point the memory is once more subject to what I might term interference. Fourteen seconds of what appears to be the prisoner being debriefed after a mission – perhaps interrogated would be a better term – by an unseen man supersede the memory in question. When it is restored, a loud humming sound blocks all noise. Rosier is nodding towards the door at the far side of the room. The prisoner is shaking. Memory ends.]
END OF TRANSCRIPT