1. Chapter 1 by HPSSFan
2. Chapter 2 by HPSSFan
3. Chapter 3 by HPSSFan
4. Chapter 4 by HPSSFan
5. Chapter 5 by HPSSFan
6. Chapter 6 by HPSSFan
“Be quiet and listen carefully” A voice sliced through the darkness, making Harry’s head pound with pain.
Harry couldn’t see, was something covering his eyes? Was he in a dark room? He could feel the cold hard floor beneath him. His body felt like he was on fire. He felt dizzy and weak. Was he sick? Was this a fever dream? No, he could remember the Quidditch World Cup. Where were the Weasley’s?
Harry started to move, panic coursing through his body. He needed to make sure that his friends were okay. Pain racked his body. His left shoulder hurt, actually his whole left arm hurt. Harry moaned out in pain.
“Stop moving and listen.” The voice spat. It was not a voice that Harry recognized.
“Who are you?” Harry mumbled, cataloging the metallic taste of blood in his mouth.
“It does not matter. Answer me, boy. Are you ready to listen?”
“Where am I? Why can’t I see?”
“You must do everything that they say. Everything they ask, you need to answer right away. It is the only way you will survive this. Do you understand what I am telling you? You are messing with dangerous people who would have no greater pleasure than to make your death a long and torture filled one. If you do what they say, they may let you have a quick and painless death.”
“Where am I? Who’s dangerous?”
Harry felt warmth start in his stomach and spread through his body. It was comforting, what he thought being tucked into bed by a parent felt like. He thought he heard a door swing shut as pain left his body. He was unconscious within seconds.
Snape let the hard wood door shut behind him. Waving his wand in front of him, he cleared his throat. It sent chills down his spine to hear his muggle father’s voice come out of his body. The only comfort was knowing that it was the magic that caused that change. He stowed his wand as he silently walked up the staircase to the main house. He paused on the top stair, took a deep breath, and continued into the house. There were sounds of joyous laughter mingled with agonized screams.
Turning away from the noise, Snape stalked toward another staircase. His footsteps echoed as he moved up a marble staircase. HIs mind cleared with each step as his face hardened. The advice that he gave to Harry was honest. They were both dealing with dangerous people. Every single person would be glad to kill them. Killing was a sport for the death eaters. He was sure that the muggle he heard screaming would have a slow death. Now, it may have been unethical for Snape to lie by saying that there was a possibility that Harry would survive this on his own. Snape would give him a slim chance to survive. In the end, they both could end up dead.
Snape’s cloak snapped around the corner as he made a sharp right. He strode to the fourth door on the left and rapped on the door. He opened it when he heard nothing behind it. A group of four people, one woman and three men were sitting in high back chairs around an unlit fireplace. They all turned to Snape.
“He’s ready. It is time for the Dark Lord to rise.”
They were celebrating in the tent when they heard the yelling.
“Sounds like the Irish got their pride on.” George stated
“Stop!” Mr. Weasley demanded. “It’s not the Irish. We have to go now.”
The group ran out of the tent to waves of people running past them. Screaming covered the crowd. Harry could see the glowing of fire, a flash of people in masks and black cloaks. There were people floating above the crowds
“Fred, George, Ginny is your responsibility.” Mr. Weasley roared over the screaming.
Fred, George and Ginny followed the flow of people as Mr. Weasley ran in the opposite direction.
“Come on, Harry.” Hermione urged as she pulled his shoulder to follow.
Harry began to jog, keeping up with Ron and Hermione. He was being jostled from behind as more people joined the group, sprinting away from the people in masks. A tent a few feet in front of Harry exploded in fire. The screams of terror crescendoed around Harry as he slammed into the back of the wizard who stopped in front of him. Harry crashed to the ground in a tangle of limbs. He could only see the sea of scrambling feet and was unable to stand up. A foot stomped down on Harry’s left arm, causing pain to launch through it. Harry covered his head with his right arm, unable to bring his left arm to him. He had to get up or he would be trampled to death.
When the storm of people seemed to thin out, Harry pushed himself up to a standing position. His arm dangled at his side, it was most likely broken. He turned to see that the people in masks were getting closer to him. He took note of the long black cloaks, pointed hoods and skull like masks as he turned to run. He jumped over tent stakes, lungs burning as hard as the fires he passed.
“Potter, you need to listen to me.” The same voice said, waking Harry up.
“Who are you?”
“It does not matter. You need to trust me.”
“How can I trust you if I don’t know who you are?”
“I am the only one who will be able to get you out of here.”
“Where am I?”
“The death eaters captured you. They have the information that they need. They
will not be asking questions. They are out to kill you.”
“And how are you going to get me out of here?”
“If I can get you back into this dungeon, I can get you out of here.”
“And why should I trust you to outsmart the death eaters?”
“I have been outsmarting them for decades.” The voice spat.
“And yet you are here.”
“By choice. I have a role to play and so do you. You need to stay strong. They will unleash unimaginable torture on you. Focus on getting back here and you will be safe.”
“Why should I trust you?”
“You have no choice but to trust me.” The voice cut through the person.
Warmth spread over him once again, darkness cloaking his consciousness once again
Harry heard and felt a tent next to him explode into flames. Searing pain roared over Harry’s back as he was thrown into the air. He crashed hard on the ground, left arm crumpling under him. His glasses flew off his face, landing a few feet from him. Crawling, Harry pulled his wand out of his pocket. He was going to fight back if it came down to it, despite being hurt. A blurry outline of a boot appeared in his vision accompanied by the familiar sound of his glasses being squashed underfoot. Pain erupted through his body as another foot stomped down on his left shoulder. His vision darkened as his hearing dimmed, all he could hear was the sound of his own screaming.
The figure in front of him crouched down. Harry looked up. Dark eyes seemed sunken in contrast to the off white, bone mask. The unearthly black hood made the skull seem like it was floating. The masked wizard grabbed a fist full of Harry’s hair and wrenched back. Harry’s neck bent backwards to an uncomfortable degree. Harry saw a streak of pale blonde hair peeking out from under the black hood. He recognized the slow, deliberate way the dark wizard move Harry’s hair to reveal his scar
“Malfoy.” Harry spat
The masked wizard cocked its head to the side, studying the younger wizard. The foot on Harry’s shoulder pressed down harder, causing his vision to become pinpoints.
“It’s him. Let’s go.” A cold voice announced as Harry lost consciousness.
Harry woke up howling in pain. His scar felt like it was about to split wide open. Letting his head fall, he took a deep breath to quell the rising nausea. The floor was a black tile, scratches giving the tile a weather character filled look. Harry had his feet firmly on the floor as if he was standing, but his body was curved to the left. His shoulder and arm screamed in pain. He picked his head up slowly, looking up. The stone ceiling was high, well over 30 feet. Harry’s arms were spread above him, a rope attached to each wrist. Harry couldn’t see where the ropes attached, but he knew that they were the only things keeping him up. There was a large slash along his forearm, blood streaming down towards his elbow.
Harry worked to straighten himself despite his body screaming out in protest. He could feel the skin on his back crack as he moved slowly, pain throbbing into his toes. Then came the smell of burned flesh and smoldering cloth. The smell itself was enough to make him retch, but Harry took some breaths through his mouth. Trying to ignore the smell, Harry began to inventory his surroundings more.
The inky night sky could be seen through the sophisticated rectangular windows. The wood and stone room would have been cold had it not been for the warmth emanating from the large fireplace. The stone fireplace cast shadows that danced through the dimly lit room. Those same shadows illuminated the sizeable group of people that stood a distance away from Harry, surrounding him. There was one man who stood in the middle of the group.
The man was tall, his cloak seemed to billow around him mystically. His skin seemed transparent. His web like veins were visible even at the 15 foot distance he stood from Harry. The man was bald, face was flat. Where his nose should have been, there were two slits. His red beady eyes seemed to glow harshly in the room. He seemed to be addressing the group of, what Harry assumed were, his followers.
“Voldemort.” Harry gasped before spitting blood onto the floor.
“Ah, Harry. I had almost forgotten you were here.” Voldemort stated. “How nice of you to finally join us.”
“But, how are you...I thought you needed another person to survive?”
“Well as it turns out, fear can be a powerful motivator for even the most cowardly of followers” Voldemort sneered, gliding closer to Harry.
Harry could see Wormtail standing among the group, as well as the man that Harry had been seeing in his dreams. The blonde hair of Lucius Malfoy stood out among the darkness of the room.
“It also turns out that you have some very powerful blood. When dear sweet Lily Potter gave her life for her only son, she provided the ultimate protection. I could not touch him. It was old magic, something I should have foreseen. But no matter, things have changed. I can touch you now.”
Voldemort had been within arms reach of Harry. Reaching out, he had jammed his finger into Harry’s scar. Harry screamed out in pain, body writhing against the restraints. The group began to howl with laughter, jeering as Harry’s pain grew in intensity. Voldemort withdrew his hand after a few minutes, creeping behind Harry as the boy’s body sagged against the ropes.
“The only question left is...what to do with you?” Voldemort wondered out loud.
“What, you don’t want to kill me?” Harry questioned
“There is no doubt, Harry. I will kill you. But it would be too easy to kill you now. I want you to die with a wand in your hand.”
“So give me my wand and I will destroy you again.” Harry challenged.
“Tsk, Tsk, Harry. I know that Dumbledore has taught you better manners than that. Crucio!”
Harry’s body felt like it had been struck by a live wire. His body jerked as unknowable pain danced across his muscles. He refused to cry out in any more pain. He would not give Voldemort the satisfaction. The pain was withdrawn as quick as Voldemort had cast the spell. Harry panted, taking deep breaths through his nose. He had never heard of the incantation crucio, but Harry was very sure that it was illegal. The pain made Harry nauseous.
“Come now, Harry. It isn’t much fun if you don’t play your part.”
“Go to hell, Voldemort.” Harry stated forcefully between breaths.
Harry felt the electricity hit his body again. Through the fog of pain, Harry wasn’t sure how long he would be able to keep this act up. The pain was nothing he would ever be able to describe or imagine. Past painful experiences with the Dursley’s flicked through his mind and he knew deep down that this was the worst pain he would ever experience.
“You have a lot of ruined lives, Harry.” Voldemort stated as he removed the curse. “So why should I enjoy all this fun. There are so many people who would like to thank you for how you impacted their lives.”
One by one, Death eaters lined up in front of Harry. Each one of them having some variation of their own form of torture. Most decided that the Cruciatus incantation was acceptable. Others decided to give a few quick flicks of their wands, causing a slicing pain that Harry could only equate to being cut with a knife. He felt hot liquid streaming down his body knowing deep down that he was bleeding.
Harry had lost count somewhere around sixteen death eaters. He had no idea how many of them actually existed. As they continued their assault on him, his pain grew unbearable. His jaw hurt from clenching. His lungs burned for air. He was wishing that death or unconsciousness would come quick. He didn’t know how much more he was going to be able to take. While there were slight differences in the severity of pain, it still all hurt. Past and present seemed to blend itself. Harry thought for sure he was going to go mad.
Trust me. The voice had stated. I’ve been outsmarting them for decades.
Harry could hear the voice ringing through his head. What else had the voice said.
You need to stay strong. Focus on getting back here.
There was a pause, there was no one in front of him. He was able to catch his breath, feel his body scream in agony due to the torture he was undergoing. He could see the darkness waiting on the edges of his vision. He had yet to actually scream out in pain. It took everything in his power to keep that up. His body was weak, slumped against the restraint. He could feel the loss of blood taking its toll on his mind.
“What about you, Severus?” Voldemort hissed in the silence.
Snape approached the center of the group, standing in front of the boy.
“Snape.” Harry wheezed.
“Thank you my lord.” Severus addressed Voldemort.
“This boy and his father has caused you almost as much pain as they have caused me. It is only right that you should get your revenge.” Voldemort offered.
“You are correct, my lord.”
“Snape...Please.” Harry moaned, looking up at him through the blood and sweat in his eyes. “Please kill me.”
“It is not yet time for you to die.” Voldemort snapped.
Snape removed his wand from his robes, glaring maciously at the trapped boy.
“Crucio.” The deep baritone voice commanded.
Harry’s body violently jerked, the pain the worst that he had felt yet. He could feel muscle start to tear itself from his bones. He felt a hot heat begin to burn in his stomach. A roar of pain tore itself from Harry’s throat. He could hear Voldermort cackle with enjoyment. Snape flicked his wand again, removing the spell almost as fast as he cast it.
"That was hasty, Severus." Voldemort commented as Harry's body slumped once again. He was so weak, that he was unable to pick his head up. He could imagine the sneer of hate on Snape's face.
"The boy has endured much torture. He should be of sound mind when he meets his death." Snape retorted.
While Snape was addressing Voldemort, Harry felt the same wave of warmth that he had felt in the dungeon. Was the owner of the mysterious voice nearby? He felt his pain subside momentarily, still lingering but not as powerful.
"That is very considerate of you. The time for his end awaits."
Snape melted back into the crowd as Voldemort snapped his wand. Harry's body crumpled in a heap as the ropes holding him up vanished. Breathing heavily, Harry peeked his eyes upward. His wand clattered on the ground in front of him.
“Now come on Harry. You have to have more fight in you than this. Your skills are legendary after all.” Voldemort jeered.
You have no choice but to trust me.
Harry slowly pushed himself onto his knees, looking up at the wizard. He could feel the heat in his stomach spread through his body. He could feel the sweat pouring down his face. He thought he could smell something burning. He was sure that smoke was rising off of him.
“How strong are you, Tom, that you can’t fight me without having your followers torture me first?” Harry countered, reaching out for his wand.
Harry saw malevolence flood Voldemort’s blood red eyes.
“Crucio!” Voldemort yelled.
Harry knew it was coming and he readied himself for the pain. The curse had overtaken the wave of warmth he had been feeling. Pain racked his body once again, yet he would not move. He would not convulse in pain any more, would not lay on the floor in pain. He had to stand up to Voldemort.
“Stupid boy. Stop fighting it. You will only make him mad.” The mysterious voice appeared in his mind.
“I’m not going to let him keep doing this to me. I have to fight him.” Harry thought through the haze of pain in his mind.
“You’re going to get hurt.”
“I already am. Unless he kills me, there is not much more he can do.”
“Do not speak that of which you do not know.”
“I'm not going to give him the satisfaction”
Harry felt his body start to burn from the inside out. His mind started to go blank and darkness began advancing on his vision. The internal pain felt like he was standing in the middle of a fire. Its intensity grew exponentially with every second the crucio incantation was held. As Harry began to black out from pain, a stunning blue light cut through the black. The light seemed to be coming from somewhere behind Harry. It was so bright that it illuminated the dark mansion room. He could hear Death Eaters murmuring in concern. Harry bowed his head, looking through the hole between his body and arm. There was no source of light behind him. The light seemed to be coming from him. The pain in his body reached a crescendo. The blue light exploded forcefully from his body, changing to a deep auburn color. The death eaters shrieked in fear. Harry could hear a concussive blow as his body collapsed to the floor, darkness taking over his vision as the color dissipated.
He had heard about what had happened to the Longbottom’s. They were tortured to the point of insanity, but Severus knew the whole story. There was an explosion and they were found to be the only survivors. The explosion, he found out, was caused by this glowing force that came from the couple. It exploded outward and destroyed the building they were in. The death eaters who tortured the Longbottom’s had gotten out of the building before it collapsed. Severus, in the coming years, had tried to discover the true magical origin of what had unfolded. He was never able to put a name to it. The destructive force most closely resembled the power of an obscurial, but the key difference was the use of magic, not the repression of magic, that had caused it.
So, when Severus had seen Harry start to glow blue, he knew what was coming. So did the Lestranges and Barty. They were the first ones to react, backing up hastily and doing their best to escape the room. Severus knowing he needed to get Harry out of Malfoy Manor, ducked behind a large stone pillar to deflect as much damage as possible while observing the chaos. Other death eaters pulled out their wands, beginning to slowly migrate to the nearest exit.
The doors slammed shut of their own accord, as if a strong breeze had occurred. Death eaters attempting to flee found that the doors would not budge, sealing everyone inside. Suddenly, the blue glow changed auburn and erupted forcefully into the room. Severus cast a shield charm, only to find himself thrown backwards. Whatever the magical cause of this force, it was so powerful it could not be deflected. Impacting the wall, he heard the sharp crack of his head snapping against the wall. He watched as other death eaters, more unprepared than he, were thrown into the air or across the room. He did not see what happened to Voldemort, who had stood stoically in the same spot.
There was a structural groan that could be heard around the room. Severus looked at the pillar he had originally standing behind to see that there was a sharp line through it, like a knife through butter. It shifted slowly in place, the groaning coming from the movement of rock against rock. A glow of yellow caught Severus’ attention off to either side of him. Small fires had sparked throughout the room. He had to get Harry out before either danger killed him. He could see Harry laying in a bundle in the middle of the floor. Severus moved slowly, the room spinning slightly from his head impacting the wall. As he started to crawl, the room began to shake. Cracks had formed along the ceiling which was unable to support the floors above.
Severus moved faster, half crawling half throwing himself towards Harry. When he had traversed the one hundred foot gap between them, Severus pulled out his wand. He drew a circle around the two of them, mumbling protego totalum under his breath as he did so. A translucent shimmer formed around the two wizards when the shield charm had been finalized. Severus knew there was no way to get out of the manor until its destruction unfolded. Severus pressed his fingers to Harry’s neck, feeling a thready pulse under them.
“Come on, Harry.” Severus verbalized
He waved his wand over the boy thrice, muttering a few healing spells. Severus kept his eyes to the ceiling. The protective enchantment would keep them safe for the time being, but if the onslaught of collapse was too great, it could become overwhelmed and fail. He snagged the boy’s wand, storing it in his robes. Severus pressed his fingers to Harry’s neck again, seeing some color return to Harry’s pale face. The pulse, while still thready, was noticeably stronger.
Severus’ attention was quickly pulled from the boy as he could feel the ground shake. Debris began raining down from the ceiling, trapping death eaters in concrete. He could feel a pressure like force as large chunks of the ceiling hit the protective enchantment. It was like a bad storm, beginning as a drizzle and crescendoing to torrential downpour. Unsure of when the enchantment would fail, Severus moved to cover Harry with his own body. He could see the stone pillars collapsing around the room. They fell like dominoes, one after another sounding an earthquake. Severus looked up, watching the closest pillar topple in their direction. He said a silent pray for the shield charm to hold as the pillar made contact. Severus could feel the pressure squeezing in closer to him as the pillar deflected and rolled to the floor. The charm was close to failing. Another pillar fell in their direction. Severus braced for impact, waiting for the protective enchantment to fail. The pillar hit and rolled to the floor. Severus felt the pressure pop, notifying him that the charm had finally failed.
He would have recast the protection, but the onslaught of structure was too much to move. Concrete, brick and steel careened down around them. Severus shoved his wand into his robe sleeves, covering Harry’s head with one arm before covering his own with another. The debris assaulted Severus’ exposed body. Pain ripped through Severus’s body but he did not cry out. He breathed through it, gritting his teeth, waiting for the collapse to stop. The pain suddenly stopped but Severus could still hear concrete hitting the floor. He felt warm in his core and he knew that he was using magic to protect them. He had somehow wandlessly and wordlessly cast a protective charm.Severus gave himself a moment to be impressed. He was a master at wordless magic, but had never been able to perform wandless magic. Despite knowing that, he refused to move in case his conjecture was wrong.
It became eerily silent. He took three deep breaths before moving. Severus looked up, seeing a haze of dust float through the air. He could not detect movement from anyone in the room. Attempting to move off of Harry, pain ripped through Severus’ leg. He turned his head, noticing part of a pillar trapping his leg. Severus swore to himself out of pain and frustration. It would be much more challenging to get Harry out with a broken leg.
“Reducto.” Severus’ voice echoed, blasting the debris from his leg.
Severus’ vision turned dark. He knew was magically weakened. While he was planning on using a levitation charm, he knew that there would not be enough energy to apparate the two of them. He breathed deep, which caused him much pain. His vision returned to normal. Severus moved off of Harry, groaning as his body groaned in pain. He propped himself into a sitting position to survey his leg. His pant leg was torn and he could feel it swelling. He was able to wiggle his toes but not without pain.
“Ferula.” Severus pointed his wand.
Bandages wrapped tightly around Severus’ leg. It would splint it for the time being, until he could obtain better care. Severus knelt and turned towards Harry. Rolling him over, Severus surveyed the boy. He seemed to come out of the collapse unharmed, Severus’ body large enough to protect him. Severus wrapped his arms under Harry’s armpits, around his chest, and stood. Slowly he began to drag Harry out of the room. He took his time, stepping over debris gingerly as he had to transfer weight onto his broken leg. He dragged the boy through an exit where a door should have been. This short distance was already enough to make Severus out of breath and sweating with exertion. The pair moved through what would have been the entrance way and out into the night air. Severus set Harry down slowly. Severus fell to the ground, trying to catch his breath. The chill of the night air felt nice on his warm, damp skin. Severus looked at what was left of Malfoy Manor. What use to be an elegant mansion was now a decrepit skeleton. Jagged walls of the first floor was the only thing left to see.
The exterior landscape was still in pristine condition. The fence and outer hedges were still standing without any evidence of harm on them. It was this outer layer that held the anti-apparation charm. Severus resigned himself to taking one more deep breath before returning to his mission of getting Harry to safety. It took him seven minutes to drag Harry the length of a quidditch pitch to the outer gate. Once outside the gate, Severus grabbed Harry’s arm and they apparated.
Landing hard on his back, Severus inhaled deeply. His world spun quickly, his body shaking from effort. He could hear Harry groan, the first time Harry had shown a sign of life since this whole escape began. Severus rolled over fast, throwing up in the grass below him. He crawled over to the other side of Harry, trying to stand. Almost instantly, Severus crumpled back to the ground. He was in so much pain, his body unable to regulate itself. He knew that his magical core was straining. He would eventually lose consciousness. He turned to see the vastness of Hogwarts castle towering above them. Severus searched through his robes trying to find his wand. He hoped that it was somewhere around them, coming loose from his hand on impact.
Severus removed Harry’s wand from his robes as his vision darkened quickly. He flourished the wand in the air, a high pitched screaming of the caterwauling charm reverberating off of the stone castle walls. Severus felt his eyes roll into the back of his head as his body became limp and he fell unconscious.
Soft light roused Severus into consciousness. He laid still, eyes still closed, letting his senses search the environment for danger. HIs body hummed with dull pain. He heard no voices, no walking. Despite hearing that there was no one around, he could feel a presence. He felt warm despite hearing a soft breeze rattle against the windows. Soft sheets laid under his fingertips. Deciding that he was somewhere where danger wasn’t imminent, Severus opened his eyes. He looked around as he winced, his body stiff and sore. Brown stone walls shimmered in the light. A man in majestic purple robes sat in a chair off to Severus’ left, reading The Daily Prophet
“Albus.” Severus muttered in a hoarse voice. He noted his throat was very dry.
“Ah, Severus.” Dumbledore remarked, lifting his head to look at the man in bed.
“We know.” Dumbledore replied, folding the paper in half and holding it up for Severus to see.
Growing Number of Disappearances Since Appearance of Dark Mark: What Does It Mean?
“How long have I been out?”
“A little more than a week.”
“A week!” Severus exclaimed, attempting to sit up. “Where is the boy?”
“Alive, thanks to you.” Dumbledore motioned forward.
Severus turned to his right slowly, feeling his body groan in protest. Harry was laying in bed, blanket covering up to his chest. Scabbed wounds littered the boy’s pale face. His breathing was shallow and mechanical.
“How is he?” Severus asked, laying back down.
“Still in grave peril. His condition has changed little since he first arrived here. There are some aspects of his injuries that are indeed puzzling. We were hoping that you might be able to shine a light on what happened.”
“I’m…” Severus cleared his throat. “I’m not exactly sure how it went down. The attack at the World Cup was only meant to scare people. For weeks before the attack, Pettigrew had been saying that Voldemort had been speaking to him. He was saying that there was a way to bring him back. Most of those he reached out to dismissed him. When they came back with Harry, Pettigrew revealed that he had gone out of look for the Dark Lord and that he had found him. It only took moments for the most fantatical followers to urge that we use this ritual to bring him back.”
“And he returned. It wasn’t a long set up. They just needed to make sure that the boy would be able to survive the ritual long enough to bring back Voldemort. When he came back...Potter was already severely injured. They tortured him, mercilessly. I did the best I could to make sure that he maintained some sort of sanity. Each death eater got a turn to torture him.”
“And you…?” Dumbledore inquired.
“I had a part to play!” Severus snapped. “I did what I had to in order to rescue the boy!”
“And then he started to smoke.” Severus interrupted. “It was the same thing that happened with the Longbottoms. He began to glow blue and it became an explosive force. I’m not sure how many of them made it out alive. I’m not even sure Voldemort is still alive.”
“It would seem he is given the disappearances that are occuring. The Ministry of Magic is unaware of what caused the destruction at Malfoy Manor but they are curious about the gathering of various dark wizards and known supporters of You-Know-Who.” Dumbledore informed him.
“The incredible power that exploded from Harry, it is a power I have never seen before.”
“It is a rare occurrence called Onero Conrobor. It is something documented as far back as Joan of Arc. It is what happens when one’s magical core becomes overloaded and unstable. It occurs under extreme magical duress. It would seem that Harry has indeed experienced that.”
“What else is known about it?”
“The very few testimonials that we have are not first hand accounts. It seems to be from eye witnesses. At the time, these were not taken as truthful. Those giving the accounts seemed to be of not sound mind or body.”
“What of the magical beings that go through this phenomenon?”
“There is nothing documented. Those few who have studied it seem to be under the same conclusion that there is little chance of survival.”
“What?” Severus asked as he sat up quickly.
The room slanted violently as a wave of nausea swept over Snape. Dumbledore was suddenly standing by the bed.
“Severus please, lay back down.” Dumbledore implored, placing a hand on Snape’s shoulder and applying gentle pressure. “You still have not fully recovered.”
The potioneer laid back down heavily, muscles straining for control over his body. He could feel his muscles shake. His face was damp with sweat.
“Poppy has him under a magical coma. He is being observed around the clock. In the meantime, I will have Poppy bring you a sleeping draught.”
Snape realized he was too weak to argue with the old man. Dumbledore patted Snape’s shoulders reassuringly before walking away. Severus turned to look at Harry, trying to notice changes. Harry had returned to a normal color. His wounds were healing. A door opened and Severus turned slowly to look.
“Poppy.” Severus began
“Your leg has healed nicely but I am placing you on bed rest in the Hospital Wing for the next week. You are not allowed to do any magic, your core is still very weak.”
“Poppy, what about Harry?”
“He has improved since he got here. He is able to tolerate breathing on his own for a few seconds now. His cuts are healing quite nicely. It will be a long road.” She handed Snape a glass. “Drink this.”
Severus took the cup, bringing it to his lips with a shaky hand. The liquid that passed his lips was warm and tasted distinctly of lavender. He handed the cup back to Poppy, feeling his body begin to relax of its own accord.
“Now rest, Severus. Mr.Potter is being cared for diligently.” Poppy said as Severus slipped off to sleep.
A week had passed since Severus woke up in the Hospital Wing. He had been tossing and turning throughout the night, restless with energy. It was still early in the morning, the sun had barely begun to rise when Severus heard voices in the hallway. He recognized the soft docile tones of Dumbledore and the erratic ones of one Sirius Black. Severus groaned in annoyance. What unfair thing was Black complaining about now?
Severus threw the covers off of his body and swung his feet over the edge of his bed. He gave a slight wince as his feet touched the cold stone floor. Pushing off the bed, he felt his leg groan in protest. While the bone had been completely healed, his muscles were unaccustomed to carrying his weight still. He could manage walking for fifteen minutes before needing to rest. The need for rest was annoying. There were important things that Severus needed to attend to.
As Severus gingerly walked closer to the large oak doors of the Hospital Wing, the voices of the men arguing grew louder.
“I need to see him.” Sirius bellowed.
“Now is not the time for that.” Dumbledore replied.
“I’m so sorry, Albus. I did try to tell him…” The voice of Lupin began
“I don’t care. I have a right to see him!” Sirius interrupted.
Severus pulled the door open, announcing his presence.
“And do what, Black, interrupt the healing environment with your unbridled chaotic energy.” Severus poked.
The scene before him would have been comical, had it not been for the people involved. Dumbledore was still in his night robes. Remus was dressed in his regular traveling cloak, though it was looking more distressed. Remus seemed to be holding back Black, who was dressed in his “well mannered high class wizard family” attire.
“Go wash your hair, Snivellus.” Black retorted
“Sirius.” Remus hissed, trying to hold him back
“Ah, back to the childish remarks.”
“If I was in my right mind…”
“Ah, so Azkaban took its toll, did it? Anyways, if you were in your right mind, you would be thanking me.”
“Thanking you? You’re the reason…”
“That Harry is alive.” Dumbledore stated softly, cutting through the argument.
Black continued to glare at Severus, nostrils flaring with rage. Lupin stood in between the grown men.
“Severus risked his life to rescue Harry. He is the only reason that Harry is alive. The boy never would have made it out of Malfoy Manor alive.”
Black’s face twisted into a red grimace as he held back his retort.
“Breathe.” Lupin commanded.
Sirius let out a breath through pursed lips as he turned back toward the headmaster.
“I still have a right to see my Godson.”
“Actually you don’t.” Severus interrupted before Dumbledore could answer.
“That is not for you to decide.” Sirius exploded.
“Actually it is.” Snape chirped, removing a document from his night robe.
He handed it to Dumbledore before Sirius could hastily obtain it. He looked over it studiously before handing it to Remus. Snape felt a sense of satisfaction in watching Sirius’ face turn a royal purple with outrage.
“You’re saying that Harry is…” Remus began.
“My biological son, yes.”
“And that Lily…” Dumbledore continued
“Is his mother, yes.”
“This is bullshit, Lily would never!” Sirius exclaimed
“Lily would never do what, Sirius? Try to find support in an old friend?” Snape argued
“Sleep with you.”
“Why? Because she believed I was the enemy? The true enemy lived in her home.”
Sirius stepped towards Severus. Remus stepped in between the two wizards again.
“What are you implying, Severus?” Dumbledore inquired.
“I’m not implying, I know for a fact that Potter was abusing Lily.”
“Liar!” Sirius roared.
The wizard lunged. Remus, who had been blocking Sirius’ path, reacted out of instinct. He shoved Sirius in the chest with a surprising amount of strength. Sirius let out a yelp of shock, tripping over his feet and landing on the castle’s stone floors. He looked up at Remus in shock.
“Will you stop reacting like a child, Sirius?” Remus asked before turning around. “What are you talking about, Snape?”
“I’ll show you.”
The rain was clicking lightly against the window of Severus’ Herefordshire home. It was late, he was getting ready for bed, when there was a knock on the door. At first, Severus mistook it for a rumble of thunder. He looked out the window, noticing a shadow standing in front of his door. He pulled his wand out of his robes as he approached the door. There shouldn’t have been a person for miles and it was late. He raised his wand as he opened the door.
“Lily!” Severus exclaimed, lowering his wand.
Lily Evans was standing on his front stoop. Her clothes and hair were damp. She was shaking.
“Sev.” Lily replied in a shaking voice.
“Come in.” He ushered her through his doorway.
Now in the light, Severus could see the fresh bruises on her face, a cut on her head. She carried one of her arms gingerly. He could see tears forming in her eyes.
“Oh my god, Lily. What happened?” Severus questioned as he reached forward towards her face.
She jumped in fear, wincing slightly as she did. Severus drew away slightly
“I’m not going to hurt you, Lily. I promise.” He reassured. “Can I take a look?”
Lily shook her head in agreement. He reached forward slowly. As he cupped her face, Lily jumped again.
“It’s okay, You’re safe.” Severus reminded her as he examined the bruise and cut.
Severus could feel anger boiling in his stomach. Someone had hurt Lily.
“I had nowhere else to go.”
“It’s okay. Let’s clean you up a little.” He instructed, guiding her into his living room.
Lily sat gently on the single chair in the room. She sat down gently, wincing as her arm moved. Severus went over to the display cabinet. He removed a first aid kit from a drawer. Turning around, a wave of shock washed over him. Lily was sitting in his living room. It had been years since he had seen her. While Severus was sure that the circumstances behind her being here were not positive, he was still overjoyed by seeing her. He pulled the coffee table over in front of Lily and sat on it. Lily was staring off into the crackling fire.
“Lily.” Severus called, not wanting to spook her by physically touching her.
Lily turned and looked at him.
“Sev.” She whimpered. “I’m sorry. I didn’t have anywhere else to go.”
“Lily, do not apologize. Do you want tea or water?”
Lily shook her head no. She was trying to hold back her tears.
“What happened?” Severus asked as he started to open his first aid kit.
“James came home...He was drunk...We had a fight.” Lily informed between frantic breaths.
“Did he do this to you?” Severus asked, turning back to Lily.
She nodded her head. Lily burst into tears as she threw her arms around Severus’ neck in a hug of desperation. Severus wrapped his arms around her back, squeezing gently as her crying crescendoed. She was holding him like he was the only thing keeping her tethered to life.
“I’ve got you.” Severus whispered softly, gently rubbing her back.
Severus held her for what seemed like hours. He could feel her tears soaking his black shirt. He felt her chest heave into his, gasping for breath. He repeated you’re safe to her in an attempt to calm her. He was aware that he was getting blood on his shirt, but it didn’t matter. Lily needed comfort. He was able to give that to her. She began to quiet, sniffling softly into his shoulder. Severus loosened his grip so she could pull away.
“Sev, your shirt.” she sniffled.
“Pay no mind to it. It is just a shirt. Let me clean you up.”
Severus began dabbing rubbing alcohol at the cut just above her eye. She hissed in pain as he cleaned the blood off of her face. He was trying to keep his anger to a simmer as he imagined what had occurred earlier that night.
“It isn’t a deep cut, so that is good.” Severus commented. “Let me get you some ice for your bruises.”
Severus stood up slowly and walked into the kitchen. Turning the faucet on, Severus pulled down two tea cups. He filled the pot, placed it on the oven and turned on the flame. He placed two hands on the counter. Images of what Potter might have done to Lily flashed through Severus’ mind. With each image, Severus could see red creep onto the edge of his vision. His anger reached a boiling point. The tea pot screamed as Severus swiped his hand over the counter, sending the teacups flying into the opposite wall. All Severus could hear over the hissing teapot was his own heavy breathing.
“Sev.” Lily called softly.
Severus took a deep breath before replying.
“It’s okay. I just dropped the cups.” He pulled his wand out of his robe. “Reparo.”
The teacups rebuilt themselves on the counter. Severus poured the tea into the cups, grabbed a bag of ice, and brought everything into the living room on a tray.
“Here is some tea, Lily.” Severus stated, placing the tray on the table next to him.
He handed her the ice bag. She placed it gingerly on her face.
“Now let me see that arm.”
She gingerly moved her arm towards him, wincing in pain as she extended it. Severus prodded gently, noting where she hissed in pain. He pulled his wand off the tray and waved it over her arm. Lily’s wrist began to glow orange, her arm just above glowed red. He waved it back over, causing the colors to disappear. He flicked his wand over his shoulder, causing the display cabinet to open. A bottle of skele-gro floated over to the pair. Severus gently laid Lily’s arm in her lap to grab the bottle out of the air. Severus poured the proper dose thinking ‘That son of a bitch broke her arm.
“Here drink this.” He handed the cup to her. “It seems that your arm is broken and your wrist is severely sprained. Skele-gro should mend the injuries over night.”
Lily drank the cup whole before looking at Severus.
“Thank you, Sev.”
“You are welcome and you are always welcome here.”
There was a moment of silence between them. Severus cleared his throat before speaking.
“Lily, what happened?”
“Sev…” She whimpered.
“Do you want to file a report?”
“No Sev, I’m not filing a report.”
“Is this the first time?”
Lily shook her head yes
“I know how scary it is,how lonely it feels. You know what my father did to me, Lily.”
“But what, lily? He didn’t mean to...He was drunk….You made him angry. I know all of those excuses. Abuse is still abuse. You don’t deserve that.”
Severus could see tears growing in Lily’s eyes.
“Lily.” Severus whispered gently “What happened?”
Lily pulled the ice back off of her face, placing it on her lap and fidgeted with the ice cubes. Patiently, Severus let silence fill the room.
“James went out.” Lily squeaked so softly that Severus would have missed her speaking had he not been looking at her. “And he got drunk. James came stumbling in the house. I don’t even know what he started yelling about. He usually does when he is drunk so I ignored him. He kept getting angrier and angrier. I wasn’t feeding into it and it was making the situation worse. He came into the living room and before I knew it, he grabbed me. I jumped up and started yelling at him. As soon as I started yelling at him, he punched me.”
Lily took a deep shaky breath, tears streaming down her face.
“It all happened so fast. I kept trying to get away and he kept pushing me around. I ran up the stairs and he said something about running away from him. He caught me at the top of the stairs and threw me into the wall. Then, I think he pushed me down the stairs. I managed to run out of the door. I kept running, I didn’t stop. When I was far enough away from the house, I just apparated. I wasn’t even really thinking of a specific place. When I landed, I was outside of your house. I could see you in the window.”
No one spoke as Lily began weeping again.
Severus breathed as he came out of the memory. The emotions of that night were still fresh. His legs were shaking from exertion. He looked over at the other three wizards. Remus and Dumbledore had astonished looks on their faces. Sirius’ face held nothing but contempt
“The next morning she went back.” Severus explained, taking a seat in the nearest chair. “She swore if it happened again, she would leave him. She showed up at my house a week later with her bags. Lily stayed for about a week, but it was during that time when Harry was conceived. If you still don’t believe me, we know that the ministry conducts heritage testing upon birth and keeps the records in the department of mysteries.”
“This...has been fabricated. It’s a sham!” Sirius stammered
“While I am as shocked as you, there is nothing within the memory that would appear that it has been altered.” Remus commented.
“And I figured I would spare you from seeing the actual memory where it occurs.” Severus smirked.
“But James…” Black began
“Lily told James that he was the father. So naturally, he would have you named Godfather.” Severus interrupted
“I will look into the matter.” Dumbledore announced softly, cutting through the argument. “Until this has been fully investigated, Harry will not be having any visitors.”
“But…” Sirius attempted
“That is my final word. Harry is still alive and being well cared for. There will be no more discussion on the matter until it can be investigated. If you have nothing else Sirius, I suggest you and Remus should leave. Severus, you should be resting.” Dumbledore ordered as he stalked over to his desk.
The older wizard began writing at his desk and did not speak. Remus and Sirius left via floo. Severus left of his own accord, leaving the headmaster on his own.
Poppy weaned Harry off of the healing magic later that morning. He began breathing on his own. Despite that progress, Severus knew that it could still be a while until Harry woke up. His magical core, the life force of a wizard, was still very weak. Magical beings with diminished cores have been known to be unconscious for months. It could take years for a core to be fully healed.
Severus was sitting in a chair next to his hospital wing bed, parchment and books were littering the bed. He had made a quick stop by the library to grab a few books on his way back to the hospital wing this morning. He had a hypothesis brewing in his mind, but he needed to make sure it was plausible. He had been doing his best to focus for the last few hours. This was a challenge given the interruptions by Poppy encouraging Severus to stand up and walk around. He heard a heavy oak door open. Severus looked up, about to tell Poppy that he was about to get up and walk around. To his surprise, Dumbledore was standing in the doorway.
“Headmaster.” Severus acknowledged.
Dumbledore walked over without answer. He found a spot on the bed without parchment and perched lightly.
“When did you know that Harry was your’s?” The headmaster inquired
“About six months after he was born. I was in a store in Godric’s Hollow getting supplies. I turned around and caught a glimpse of Lily. She was with Potter and Harry. I didn’t approach her but just observed. I saw Harry, could see the lack of similarities between him and James. I knew right away that Harry wasn’t Potter’s.”
“I know you don’t need affirmation on the situation, but you are correct that Harry is yours. So as Harry’s father, what is happening moving forward?”
“I don’t want his life drastically altered more than it has been. I won’t tell Harry that he’s mine for now. When the time is right, he will know. I want him to still be at Hogwarts for his fourth year.”
“Even with the triwizard taking place?”
“It won’t be a distraction for him. Harry will be aware that he isn’t allowed to enter the tournament. He won’t be able to do magic. His studies will all be theoretical. While he is unconscious, I don’t want Black anywhere near him. Harry can make his own decision after he regains consciousness.”
“Severus, you know there is a possibility…”
“Yes, I’m aware that he might not wake up. But he will. The boy is much stronger than that.” Severus argued, motioning towards Harry.
There was a moment of silence between the two men. Dumbledore's eyes wandered down to the books on the bed. He picked up a book with a quiet chirp.
“Legilimency? What could a wizard of your great ability be inquiring?”
“A hypothesis I am working through.” Severus replied sharply.
“You think you will be able to pull Harry out of his unconsciousness?”
“If not pull him out, at least see how he is progressing through it.”
“But his core is already very unstable.” Dumbledore countered
“Yes it is, but we have seen that it responds to medical magic. Medical magic is a non-invasive magic. Legilimency on an unconscious subject is also non-invasive, so it should not have any effect on his core. If anything, it might be something that he could feed off of.”
“Use your core to replenish his?”
Dumbledore mulled the possibility over in silence. He hummed momentarily, tilting his head back and forth before responding
“It is a very uncharted territory.”
“It is.” Severus agreed
“It has some probability. Tread lightly when you bring this up to Poppy. You know how protective she is of her patients.”
Severus nodded as Dumbledore stood up and silently excused himself. The potions master sighed before standing up slowly to take a walking break. He paced back and forth in the hospital wing, attempting to mull over the legilimency theory in his head. His thoughts occasionally strayed where he would not allow them for the longest time: Lily.
This morning was the first time that Severus had consciously thought about Lily. It hurt too much to willingly think about her. Sure, she would come to him in his dreams every once in a while. When she did, Severus found himself distraught. On that halloween night, when Severus had first learned about her death, he could not believe it was Voldemort who killed her. He thought it was James. That abusive bastard. It was only when The Dark Lord could not be found that Severus knew that his fantasy was a fallacy. After her death, he was able to shove his emotions away. He was already well trained to do it with Occlumency, so doing it for this situation was no different.
Now, Severus could feel his emotions starting to boil. Anger, helplessness and sadness all vyed for his attention. Helpless because she still went back to Potter. Helpless because he couldn’t protect Lily. Sad because, after everything, she still picked Potter over him. Sad because she was dead.
The emotions threatened to overwhelm Severus. He shook his head as he paced, as if he was shaking the feelings out of it. He paused, turning to look at Harry. Severus could see his hooked nose, Lily’s cheek bones in the face of the boy. He knew that Harry shared Lily’s eyes. They seemed to haunt Severus during Harry’s first year.
Severus sighed, stood up straighter and shook out his left arm. This reflexive routine quickly cleared his mind. He marched back to his seat and got back to work. He needed a little bit more information before bringing this idea to Poppy.
The sound of doors slamming shut woke Severus. There was the shuffling of feet and a sound that he couldn’t place. Severus noticed that it was dark as he straightened his stiff joints. He did not remember falling asleep in the middle of his work. His body was not a fan of that decision.
Poppy flicked through Severus’ vision as she rushed towards Harry. The wizard turned to look at the boy. Harry was twitching in his sleep, arms and legs bouncing occasionally. Severus could hear him whimpering softly. He could also hear the sounds of a muffled alarm blaring behind the doors to Poppy’s personal quarters.
“What’s wrong?” Severus questioned, standing up quickly.
“I don’t know. The observation alarm went off in my quarters.” Poppy commented, looking over Harry.
Severus felt his breath catching in his chest as the moments of silence ticked by. He watched as Harry kept twitching, his whimpering getting louder. He noticed the boy’s eyes dancing underneath his closed eyelids.
“Whatever is wrong isn’t medical.” Severus stated, breaking the silence.
“What do you mean by that?” Poppy asked
“Have you found anything that would suggest that Harry is suffering a medical emergency?”
“No, but his vitals are way out of appropriate range.”
“He is suffering a nightmare.”
Poppy picked her head up, looking for Severus to explain.
“He is in REM sleep. His eyes are moving, which is the first time that has happened since he has been here. His muscles twitching are seen in regular sleep patterns. His vitals are out of range because he is in a state of fear.”
“That may be true. But we need to keep him stable.”
Severus noticed wisps of smoke rising off of Harry.
“His core is still too unstable to handle it, hence the smoke.” Poppy informed
“I can get him stable, if you will let me.”
“And how do you propose that?”
“Let me use Legilimency to either stop the dream or guide him through it.”
“You want to….” Poppy began incredulously
“I want to use a non-invasive magic on this boy, who has already responded well to non-invasive magic, to keep him from dying. Unless, you have another solution” Severus interrupted, spitting his thoughts out quickly, as Harry started to smoke more.
“But your core?”
“Should be stable enough, at this point, to handle it. If not, I know that I will be in excellent hands.”
Poppy threw her hands up in excatberation, unwillingly giving permission to Snape to implement his idea.
“Legilimens.” Severus mumbled under his breath and slipped into Harry’s mind.
Severus was standing back in the dining hall of Malfoy Manor. Actually, hanging was a better descriptor. Severus was in the same place as Harry was on that night. Harry was there as well. Severus knew that everything he was seeing was from the perspective Harry was dreaming in. So Severus was hanging by his wrists in the empty room. There was no crowd of death eaters. Severus could feel the hair stand up on the back of his neck. Despite seeing an empty room, he knew there was someone else with him. That person was dangerous.
A figure stalked out from behind Severus, entering his field of vision. This person was dressed like The Dark Lord, dark green robes billowing as he walked. This person did not speak while his back was turned. Severus felt panic rising in his chest at the uncertainty. This stranger, finally in front of Severus, turned around. The sight only stood to confuse Severus. This person had similarities to Voldemort: opaque veiny skin and red eyes. The shape of this man’s face was wrong though: round and fat. This person was also in the process of balding. This second person was a mystery to Severus, but Harry knew him. Severus could feel his anxiety increase tenfold. He noticed a belt in the predator’s hand. Severus could feel his body beginning to heat up. He needed to separate himself from this perspective and end this dream.
“Potter.” Severus called as he began moving his body, which instantly cooled
He stood up and walked next to the grotesque man. Now that the perspective had changed, Severus could see Harry dangling. His body was cut in various places and he was smoking.
“Professor?” Harry questioned weakly.
“Potter, this isn’t real. It’s time to wake up.”
“Professor, I don’t know…”
“Potter, quit groveling. You are having a nightmare. Your body is safe at Hogwarts but your own mind is threatening to overload your core and kill you.”
The creature next to Snape brought its arm above his head. He swung down quickly. The sound of leather against flesh punctuated the air. Harry let out a groan through clenched teeth. His body seized in pain. The smoke began coming off of him more ferociously.
“Potter, you have control over this dream. Find a way to change the dream now.”
“I’ve never been able to do that!” Potter yelled back.
Severus needed to find a way to get the boy to take control and he had to do it fast. Severus felt himself start to heat up again. He could feel the field of vision in the dream narrow. He was losing the Legilimency connection.
“I’m sorry to do this, Potter.”
Severus strode towards Harry, rolling up his sleeves. He felt the boy’s chin crack as Severus upper cutted him.
Severus stumbled into the chair, unstable from the force of being expelled from the dream. Unable to gain control, he fell onto the ground in a tangle of limbs. He could hear yelling. There was a commotion above him. He attempted to get up, his vision clouding from the smoke rolling off his body. Collapsing onto his back, he squeezed his eyes tight trying to get the room to stop spinning. His vision started coming across as flash images as he picked his head up. He was beginning to black out.
A flash of white and purple fought near the bed. A deep breath. The smell of smoke. The sounds of someone shouting orders. The room spun. The feel of cold stone against his body. The sounds of someone being comforted. A deep breath. A sense of calm and panic intermingling in his mind. A flash of purple coming near him. The sound of his head finally hitting the ground. Black.