“My Lord,” said Lucius, looking pained. “My Lord, Google is insisting on a real name. They say your name, sir, is not a real name.”
Voldemort looked annoyed, but not by Lucius' words. More that the man was speaking at all. In order to subjugate the Muggles, he knew he would have to play with them on their media – moving picture papers weren't going to win over Muggles. Not to mention, going on this Internet would bring him world-wide. Forget about dominating just this tiny island. He could – and would – have the world.
“What?” he said, unwilling to hide how trite he found Lucius at the moment.
“Er, they say that you cannot go by Lord, my lord,” said Lucius, who had the temerity to look upset about the whole thing. Voldemort would no doubt take it out on him.
Sure enough, the Dark Lord puffed out, looking incensed. “And how do you fix this Lucius? I find it hard to believe that I am the only Lord out there.” The others would fall to his title, soon enough.
Lucius looked helpless and lost, “My lord, this isn't something that is just changed. The policy is set by – by Americans.”
Voldemort nodded, but his fists were clenched. Americans. Of course. Ratty useless lot. Even had a sub-part Hogwarts over there they attempted to educate all their children with. America was a weak source for magical power. Not by Muggle standards, but Voldemort would worry about the American Muggle Leaders – or whatever pathetic name they called themselves – later. For now …
“Bellatrix. You and Lucius will go to America and take care of the Muggles and this policy.”
This was a surprise to Bellatrix, who had been watching the whole incident with amusement. The smile disappeared from her face.
“What? My Lord, no, I am needed here; Potter and his-”
The Dark Lord waved his hand, “Potter is at Hogwarts. The others are providing sufficient information. We will be fine, Bellatrix, unless you wish to disobey an order?”
Cowed, and looking angry about it, Bellatrix demurred. It was now Lucius' turn to look amused.
“Well, who are we looking for?” she snapped at Lucius. She could take her anger out on him, and there was nothing he could do but take it.
Lucius looked over at his laptop – he hated the thing. He had been ordered to learn it, and so he had, but he hated it. He hated everything about Muggles, especially their technology. But it was what had been ordered, so it was thus. He sighed over at Bellatrix; great, she was going to be grumpy the entire time they were in America. After a few pecks on the keyboard – how did Muggles do it? The letters were in entirely the wrong order – he had his answer.
“Lawrence Page,” he said. “He is the CEO. There may be more, but we'll start with him.”
“Good,” said Voldemort, before Bellatrix could speak. “Go.”
Lucius didn't believe in hell, not really, but if there was a hell, it was definitely Muggle California.
Bellatrix thought all Muggles were hell, so she wasn't as pained as Lucius. She was pained enough to not have any snarky comebacks to his annoyingly chipper directions across the American continent.
Seven. It had taken seven fucking portkeys to get to Google Headquarters in California. Americans were crazy for not splitting into separate countries. Fucking Americans. Bellatrix was too exhausted to have some proper fun with the Muggles here.
To say that Lucius was taking advantage of Bellatrix's mood was an understatement. He even, for a brief, fleeting moment, had felt sorry for the poor American witches and wizards in California, who had to travel so far to get to Ilvermorney. It hardly seemed fair. Then he remembered that British witches and wizards were the best in the world and he stopped.
They strode through the front doors of Google, stunning anyone in their way. No-one stopped them from throwing the doors to Larry Page's office wide open, wands out.
“... let me call you back, Brad, something's going on here,” Larry said into the phone, placing it down without waiting for a response from Brad. “What … is this?” he asked. His knee tapped across the panic button under his desk. He'd insisted on extra security measures a few years ago, and the security company had insisted on doing up his office as well. For Larry, it was a mild inconvenience, until today. Now he was extremely glad they'd insisted on it.
“Undo the Real Name Policy,” said Lucius. “Or else face the consequences.”
“Er,” said Larry. “I'm now the head of Alphabet and besides we've-”
“Alphabet? You're in charge of the messed up keyboards?”
Larry looked helplessly at the woman, hoping she would prove saner. “I'm not? Your friend, I don't understand – the Real Name Policy has been relaxed, of course, and we still provide exceptions on a regular basis, so if I can have your names, maybe we can figure this out?”
It ended as a question, but Larry was in shock. People who looked like they belonged in a dungeon were standing in his office, pointing sticks at him. As in actual sticks, not even guns.
“Lucius, you idiot,” the woman muttered.
Larry swallowed hard. Maybe going through the woman was the best approach.
“Lord. Voldemort.” Lucius said, pressing on. “He needs a Google account. Fix it. Or else.”
Bellatrix rolled her eyes. “Lucius, you old softie. Crucio.”
The screams of Larry, the head of Alphabet, were music to her ears. She held the curse for slightly longer than she should have, stopping only when Lucius moved towards her.
“He's fine,” she muttered, before he could say anything.
“We need him to fix this! We can't scramble his brain!”
Larry was on the floor, shaking. He'd wet himself and now he didn't dare to move. Whatever the woman had hit him with – not a taser, tasers didn't hurt this badly – might have stopped, but every heart beat pushed more pain through his body.
“Please,” he begged. “Please, I'll-”
“Drop your weapons!”
Thank god for the security team. Larry watched as six of the finest from the security team filled the room, guns drawn.
“Fuck,” Lucius hissed. Any second now, Bellatrix was going to start shooting; moving quickly, he grabbed her arm and disapparated them out.
“They're just Muggles!” Bellatrix screamed when they reappeared outside the complex. “Our Master will not be pleased with you!” She crowed this second bit, recovering from the shock of the unanticipated disapparation.
It was a typical Bellatrix tantrum, but it didn't last as long as they usually did, for which Lucius was grateful. He snarled at her, “You idiot. And completely ruin our chances? No, you heard the man inside. He's in charge of the alphabet, not of what we need. Killing him would only cause they to consult with their Ministry. It is imperative that we-”
He was stopped by Bellatrix poking him with her wand. “Next time? I get to kill as many Muggles as we want. And since we've failed, we're taking the long way home.”
Lucius couldn't disagree with that.