‘Your wand, Lucius. I require your wand.’

Not content with taking over his home and conscripting Draco, Voldemort takes Lucius's wand for his own

Extract from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

by J.K. Rowling

‘As I was saying,’ continued Voldemort, looking again at the tense faces of his followers, ‘I understand better now. I shall need, for instance, to borrow a wand from one of you before I go to kill Potter.’

The faces around him displayed nothing but shock; he might have announced that he wanted to borrow one of their arms.

‘No volunteers?’ said Voldemort. ‘Let’s see ... Lucius, I see no reason for you to have a wand any more.’

Lucius Malfoy looked up. His skin appeared yellowish and waxy in the firelight and his eyes were sunken and shadowed. When he spoke, his voice was hoarse.

‘My Lord?’

‘Your wand, Lucius. I require your wand.’

‘I ...’

Malfoy glanced sideways at his wife. She was staring straight ahead, quite as pale as he was, her long, blonde hair hanging down her back, but beneath the table her slim fingers closed briefly on his wrist. At her touch, Malfoy put his hand into his robes, withdrew a wand and passed it along to Voldemort, who held it up in front of his red eyes, examining it closely.

‘What is it?’

‘Elm, my Lord,’ whispered Malfoy.

‘And the core?’

‘Dragon – dragon heartstring.’

‘Good,’ said Voldemort. He drew out his own wand and compared the lengths. Lucius Malfoy made an involuntary movement; for a fraction of a second, it seemed he expected to receive Voldemort’s wand in exchange for his own. The gesture was not missed by Voldemort, whose eyes widened maliciously.

‘Give you my wand, Lucius? My wand?’

Some of the throng sniggered.

‘I have given you your liberty, Lucius, is that not enough for you? But I have noticed that you and your family seem less than happy of late ... what is it about my presence in your home that displeases you, Lucius?’

‘Nothing – nothing, my Lord!’

‘Such lies, Lucius ...’

The soft voice seemed to hiss on even after the cruel mouth had stopped moving. One or two of the wizards barely repressed a shudder as the hissing grew louder; something heavy could be heard sliding across the floor beneath the table.

The huge snake emerged to climb slowly up Voldemort’s chair. It rose, seemingly endlessly, and came to rest across Voldemort’s shoulders: its neck the thickness of a man’s thigh; its eyes, with their vertical slits for pupils, unblinking. Voldemort stroked the creature absently with long, thin fingers, still looking at Lucius Malfoy.

‘Why do the Malfoys look so unhappy with their lot? Is my return, my rise to power, not the very thing they professed to desire for so many years?’

‘Of course, my Lord,’ said Lucius Malfoy. His hand shook as he wiped sweat from his upper lip. ‘We did desire it – we do.’

To Malfoy’s left, his wife made an odd, stiff nod, her eyes averted from Voldemort and the snake. To his right, his son Draco, who had been gazing up at the inert body overhead, glanced quickly at Voldemort and away again, terrified to make eye contact.

‘My Lord,’ said a dark woman halfway down the table, her voice constricted with emotion, ‘it is an honour to have you here, in our family’s house. There can be no higher pleasure.’

She sat beside her sister, as unlike her in looks, with her dark hair and heavily lidded eyes, as she was in bearing and demeanour; where Narcissa sat rigid and impassive, Bellatrix leaned towards Voldemort, for mere words could not demonstrate her longing for closeness.

‘No higher pleasure,’ repeated Voldemort, his head tilted a little to one side as he considered Bellatrix. ‘That means a great deal, Bellatrix, from you.’

Her face flooded with colour; her eyes welled with tears of delight.

‘My Lord knows I speak nothing but the truth!’

‘No higher pleasure ... even compared with the happy event that, I hear, has taken place in your family this week?’

She stared at him, her lips parted, evidently confused. ‘I don’t know what you mean, my Lord.’

‘I’m talking about your niece, Bellatrix. And yours, Lucius and Narcissa. She has just married the werewolf, Remus Lupin. You must be so proud.’

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

by J.K. Rowling