Title: Through Other's Fate (Part 3/?)
Summary: A new player appears on the side of the Dark Lord, and Severus is the only one who can find out who he is and what he is after.
Fandom: Harry Potter
Archive: anywhere you like
Rating: R to NC17
Authors notes & Warnings: slash, violence, rape, language, (it will be mpreg), gender-bending Post-HBP
Disclaimer: I do not in any way or fashion own HP or anything else. I'm making no money from this.
Beta/secondary: Bell Witch
Severus was fidgeting on the bench, his body aching from his recent assault. He focused on Miss Granger, gesturing for her to sit beside him. She girl--young woman--moved toward him with a shy smile on her face.
"I knew you wouldn't betray the Headmaster and the Order, but after what Harry said happened with… in the tower, I wasn't sure anymore." She bit her lower lip and averted her chocolate brown eyes for a minute. Their eyes met again and Severus was surprised to see trust there. "But you saved me--us--many times. And again tonight, from what I heard in the cupboard. From what Harry and the others said, you've had every opportunity to kill him. But you didn't, not even that night when you had nothing to lose."
Severus watched her face a moment, surprised. First, she was saying that she trusted him, which was more than he could expect. Moreover, she was thinking rationally in spite of the fact that she was still in shock, although by the events of the night or the remembrance of Dumbledore he wasn't sure. He knew somewhere deep down that he'd always liked this girl--not that he'd ever tell her or anyone else. He smirked, an amused smirk. He doubted that the girl--young woman--could make a difference, but he needed her as much as she and the Order needed him. He should not scare his only contact with them away.
"Well, well, Miss Granger, what a clever witch you are." He tried to sound sarcastic, but with Miss Granger's voice it didn't really come out as he'd hoped. They needed to finish this conversation before anyone found them. "But I am sure you are full of questions."
He put up his hand to stop her before she could begin asking them. "As I said, I am sure you are full of questions, but we haven't much time so you will need to make do with only three at the moment."
Hermione looked thoughtful for a moment, and then nodded as though confirming something to herself. "Have you any Veritaserum?" she asked, her voice trembling a little as though she didn't really want to ask the question.
"Why, Miss Granger, I am hurt," he said with mock horror as he pulled out a tiny, unbreakable glass bottle holding what appeared to be water. Miss Granger examined it carefully, then nodded her acceptance as he watched in amusement. "I am delighted to know that I have your approval." He nearly smiled as she blushed at his words. She returned the bottle and he took three drops. He closed his eyes and waited for it to take affect, then opened them again.
"You can begin."
"Good. What's your name?"
"Are you…" she stopped suddenly and her face took on a faraway look that was her typical expression when thinking hard on some problem. "Are you willing to help us defeat Voldemort and his minions, to help the Light side win this war?"
"Yes, I am willing to help with that, as well as to find the Dark Lord's Horcruxes." Seeing her surprise, he rolled his eyes. "Albus told me many things about them and I helped him learn almost everything he knew of the Dark Lord's early years. But I fear that my knowledge will be wasted, unless someone will listen to me. Someone whose word they would not doubt."
"I thought you'd want something like that," she said thoughtfully.
It pleased Severus that this girl didn't make more trouble than needed. He'd chosen her bravery and mind, and he'd chosen well. Miss Granger's voice pulled him from his musing.
"My last question for now: why did you have to kill the Headmaster?"
"It is a good question, but I'm afraid I don't have the full answer. I can tell you that the Headmaster himself bound me with a Wizard's vow to follow his every order: he ordered me to kill him, when the time came. He told me that I would know when that was. When I stepped onto the tower, Albus used Legilimency to tell me to kill him. But now I have a question for you. What was Dumbledore's most well-known philosophy? Hmm, Miss Granger?"
"That death is not the end, simply a new adventure beginning," she whispered, her eyes confused. "But, then, why the plea…" she suddenly stopped her question.
"I see you have found the real question--why would a man who did not fear death beg for his life? Why did one of the most powerful wizards of our time wait to be killed when he could have easily overpowered a teen-aged boy, or even four Death Eaters if need be? I don't know the answer to that. He had his own plan, one that we mere puppets can't see. But I would not be surprised if Albus appeared again, alive."
"What? It can't be, the Headmaster wouldn't do such a thing!"
"The Headmaster was sometimes too much a Slytherin for the safety of everyone near him. Combined with his Gryffindor mania for saving the world… As for my last question, Miss Granger, when did the Killing Curse ever blast the victim's body? They drop where they stand."
She nodded to him. "I need to think on it."
Severus' body started to change back--the hour was finally over. A tremor ran through him as he adjusted back to his own anatomy. A hiss escaped his mouth as a sharp pain shot through his abdomen. He felt Miss Granger's hand on his shoulder and looked up at her worried face through the curtain of jet-black hair.
"Are you okay, sir?"
"Yes. It is simply not a pleasant thing to change gender." Moreso if you are wounded as well, he grimaced to himself. "But I am fine now."
"Sir, I thought, I mean… it wouldn't be wise if people saw us together. How will we communicate?"
"We will use a charmed notebook. Are you familiar with charmed mirrors? No? What about the Muggle computer? I have charmed two notebooks such that what you write will appear on mine and vice versa. Mine is spelled so I alone can see it--I advise you to do the same."
"And where will I say I am getting all this information?"
"I am sure that if you told them you found a spying spell they will believe you."
"Yes. It might work."
"Good." Severus fidgeted again. His lower back and stomach were hurting and his system was full of potions. How he wanted to go back to his dungeon and put aside the memories of the last hour or so and just sleep. "Before I forget." He pulled out a small notebook and handed it to Hermione.
His Mark started to burn. "Be careful, Miss Granger," he said as he stood up. With a last glance at the girl, he Apparated away.
"You too, Professor," whispered the young woman, but he didn't hear it.
Severus Apparated to the Dark Lord's mansion. The once beautiful Riddle Manor now looked like the background for an old Muggle horror movie. He strolled through the empty corridors toward the room where the Dark Lord held audiences with his Death Eaters. As he reached the entrance, he stopped for a moment to adjust his robe and pull his mask from his pocket. He resized it before putting it on.
With a deep breath, he opened the door and stepped inside. The magnificent ballroom, once filled with laughter and joy, now emitted only darkness. Three decades of pain and suffering and the use of Dark Magic and rituals had left their mark on this place. Faint shivers ran down Severus' spine.
As he moved toward his master, Severus' eyes locked with the deep red gaze. Out of the corner of his left eye, he caught sight of the one person whose face he truly didn't wish to see--Darien. Severus knelt before his master and kissed the hem of his robe.
"My Lord, how may I serve you?" he whispered with as much servitude as he could. He felt a long-fingered hand begin to stroke his hair as one would pet a cat. Then the Dark Lord pulled slightly and Severus raised his head.
"I like to see your face, my faithful one."
Severus moved to obey and took off his mask, looking straight into his master's eyes. Voldemort watched for a minute, then turned his gaze elsewhere and continued to talk. "I have a new mission for you and Darien. Tell me what you know of Merlin's Heart."
"There was a legend that said it could give back life, how or to what it did not say." Severus tried to recall more information, but found none.
"Yes, that is which is seek. You will work together and find it, or I will be more than displeased with you," he hissed.
Severus shivered. There was no doubt in his mind that both their lives depended on success. He looked at Darien's face and could tell that the other man knew as well what they risked with failure. He was surprised that Darien did not seem too pleased with the assignment. Who would be? The Dark Lord's dismissal pulled him from his musing.
They left the throne room and Darien whirled to face him. The move was quite intimidating, and Darien's height--half a head taller than Severus himself--served him well. It didn't help that Severus' body shivered at the too-close presence of the other man. In normal circumstances it would not have been a problem, but the night's experience was too fresh in his mind. He stepped back, making a greater distance between them and saw the satisfied smile on Darien's face.
"Snape, meet me at noon in the library," he snarled, and stalked away.
Severus raised an eyebrow. If he weren't so tired, he'd teach a thing or two. But he'd been awake for forty hours. He rubbed his eyes with his hand as he started to move toward his rooms. If he was lucky, he could have a few hours rest, perhaps even sleep as well.
Hermione apparated not far from Grimmauld Place. She was so tired: the happenings of the last few hours were just starting to penetrate her mind. The possibilities of what could have happened to her if Professor Snape hadn't rescued her had just started to surface, and they weren't too encouraging.
But she was safe and sound, and soon she would be around Order members who could guard her and keep her safe. It was good to think about. Hermione hoped that they weren't too worried--she hated to worry people. Especially Mrs. Weasley, who had been like a second mother almost as long as she'd known her.
She was afraid that the boys would do something stupid when the heard about the attack. With Harry's guilt, one never knew what he would do. He'd go through Hell itself if one of his friends were in danger. And Ron would go after Harry.
She was now near hysterical. She ran up to the house and opened the door. Everything was calm and silent--almost silent. Faint warm and cheery noises coming from the kitchen caught her ears and she ran toward them, not caring if Mrs. Black's portrait woke as she passed.
She hurried so quickly that she nearly fell through the kitchen door. And she stopped as the people at the table looked at her in surprise. They were sitting down to an early breakfast.
Remus jumped to his feet, and Molly looked at her in worried surprise. Moody's magical eye rolled inside his head to orient on her.
"Hermione, dear, what are you doing here wearing only your nightshirt?" asked Mrs. Weasley with concern as she moved toward the girl.
Hermione's mouth fell open in utter shock. A voice in her mind whispered to her. They didn't know, they didn't know! Oh my god, oh sweet Merlin, I could have died, or been tortured, and nobody would have come to rescue me! Not the Aurors, the Order, or Harry or Ron. She stood completely still. The first tears ran down her shocked face blurring her vision.
"Death Eaters," she mumbled, her voice cracking as sobs wracked her frame. She felt Molly Weasley's embrace and heard Remus floo off to alert the rest of the Order. Then Molly directed her out of the kitchen to her bed, sitting near while Hermione cried herself to sleep.
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