Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Konichiwa Snape-san


Happy New Year!

I'm still pecking away at chapter 4 of Well Done, My Good and Faithful Servant. However, I still have a bunch of random thoughts rattling around in my brain which I have to express or my head will explode. ...Okay not literally but you get the picture.

Samurai Snape: I've been reading ObsidianEmbrace's excellent fan fic Lily's Charm and Rieve's equally riveting Ghosts and Unfinished Games as well as a whole variety of Severitus fan fic and they've got my brain churning. I've been trying to understand Snape, to figure out his basic psychology. From an astrological standpoint, he's got deeply Scorpionic and Saturnine tendencies. But today it occurs to me: Snape is what you get if you asked William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens to come up with a baby wizard, gave him a loving kiss from Faust and handed him over to a samurai to raise.

His ability to handle the extremes of terror and pain is breathtaking. His ability to handle them with stoicism and haughty disdain is equally so. I am not well educated on Japanese tradition or customs. However, like millions around the world, I am fascinated by the samurai. To me, they were larger than life, bespeaking a nobility that I can hardly conceive of in my comparatively hedonistic Western existence. No, that's not necessarily an objective sentiment, but that's how I feel. To me, the samurai were the type of men who could look the worst possible scenario in the eye and not flinch. When death was the only way out, they didn't fold or beg. They went out as strongly, proudly and unrepentantly they stormed in.

To me, that's Severus Snape.

On another note: Rieve also has an excellent short story called Beltane which is absolutely fantastic. In fact, it's given me an idea on how to handle Snape in my story, Well Done, My Good and Faithful Servant. Chapter 4 remains delayed because I had an amazing brainstorm partially inspired by Beltane the story and the custom. If you've read Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon, you'll have some idea of where I'm headed. That idea is forcing me to revise Chapter 4. So please hang in there with me. I'm still plugging away.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Super Friends and Rice Krispy Elves

Hi all!

Happy Belated Christma-hanu-kwanza-kuh Solstice!

The beginning of Chapter 4 of Well Done, My Good and Faithful Servant continues to elude me (and I live in fear of being hunted down by the folks looking for the next installment of my Superman fan fic Love's Divine). So I just thought I'd share some random thoughts.

1. Are Dumbledore, Snape and McGonagall the Super Friends of Hogwarts? I mean think about it. Dumbledore is the leader, not to mention the only wizard Voldemort ever feared. And if you saw Order of the Phoenix you'd know why. So he's the strongest. The nifty blue robes don't hurt. And although he's not all that into solitude, his office does have a fortress-y quality about it. Not to mention he always prefers to think the best of people. He is clearly Superman.

Snape of course is a no-brainer. He's Batman. His black robes billow out around him like bat wings. He's dark and grim and thinks the worst of everyone. He always seems like he's capable of some pretty lethal violence. And he hangs out with Death Eaters for crying out loud! Okay he's got no utility belt, but he's got a wand and he's always fiddling around with potions; Batman loves a good toxin, especially the ones that knock out the bad guys. And no he doesn't have a Batmobile, but he lives in the dungeons. If we were honest about it, his "bat cave" is bigger than Batman's.

McGonagall, of course, is Wonder Woman. She's a mite older; she could be Wonder Woman's mother's mother. But at least she gets to keep her butt cheeks covered! Sure Wonder Woman gets to do that nifty ballet spin from Diana Prince to Wonder Woman but McGonagall can turn into a cat. Take that Amazon Princess!

So if they're the Super Friends, what does that make Voldemort? Lex Luthor? The Joker? Well he's bald like Luthor. But come on! That face had to come out of somebody's joke kit. Let's just say he's a seriously creepy combo of the two with a pinch of Charles Manson and leave it at that.

2. What the heck is a Hufflepuff?
I mean you say Slytherin, I think of snakes and cunning. You say Gryffindor, I think of lions and courage. You say Ravenclaw, I think of ravens and wisdom. But you say Hufflepuff and I think "Huffle-what?" Sounds like a breakfast cereal. (Would you like whole or skim milk with your Hufflepuffs?) Now don't get me wrong. I love the underdog and the Hufflepuffs are the underdogs of Hogwarts. Even their Head of House gets no respect. Madame Sprout never sits in on Dumbledore's war councils. Oh sure they needed her in the Chamber of Secrets for her mandrakes but did anybody see hide or hair of her after that movie? Heck Hagrid gets more screen time than she does and he never even graduated! And don't try to say Flitwick is equally ignored. He isn't. He at least gets to direct the students' musical performances. And he shows up in the Great Hall for meals. Where does Sprout eat? With the house elves?

Nobody really gives a crap about Hufflepuff do they? It’s hard to make a mark when you’re seen as a bunch of happy little Rice Krispy elves. It’s harder to claw your way out from under a pile of sugar. Cedric Diggory tried and look where it got him: he was Voldemort’s pre-resurrection appetizer. Was that not the saddest, briefest moment of House glory in Hogwarts' history?

But I wouldn't count Hufflepuff completely out. Sure, they can't promise the thrills of Gryffindor, the intrigue of Slytherin or the intellect of Ravenclaw. But keep your eye on them. After all, what did Shakespeare write? “We do sugar oe’r the devil himself.” There’s GOT to be more going on in that sweet little house than meets the eye. Hopefully some creative fan fic writer will invent a sugary devil or two.
Copyright 2008 by T.L. Heard

Monday, December 15, 2008

Chapter 3 Is Ready!

Well shockeroo, I've written Chapter 3 of my little fan fic, Well Done, My Good and Faithful Servant. Whoo-hoo! See what you can do when you binge on Harry Potter movies all day? Of course, my Superman fan fic, Love's Divine, still languishes. In the unlikely chance anyone besides myself is reading this AND is interested in Love's Divine, don't fear. I've actually started rewriting the start of Chapter 4. Once that's done, I will post it rather than wait until I write all 5 scenes of that chapter.

Meanwhile, please enjoy the latest installment of Well Done, My Good and Faithful Servant.

Well Done, My Good and Faithful Servant

Chapter 3

Summary: In reward for service, Voldemort gives Snape something he’s desired seemingly forever.

Disclaimer: Original characters are mine, all else is the glorious property of J.K. Rowling. I make no money from my use of her characters.

Rating: R -- Includes implied violence and sexual situation. Not suitable for readers under 17. You have been warned. Please do not read if this type of material offends you. Thank you.
It had been a long night.

Voldemort was nothing if not thorough – a trait Severus shared, which perhaps went some way to explain the Dark Lord’s infernal favor towards him. Voldemort had not dismissed the potions master until the first rays of dawn began slicing across the sky.

Severus slowly lifted himself off of his student. She wasn’t conscious. With hands trembling from exhaustion and emotions that self-preservation refused to let him name, he sought and found his discarded clothing and began to dress.

Most of the other Death Eaters had long since abandoned the place after Voldemort had given them leave to find their own amusement. A few stragglers remained, sprawled on the grass. They lay sleeping where they’d fallen after groping then servicing each other, inspired by the previous night’s exhibition.

Severus closed his eyes as his stomach lurched. Reflexively, his mind began sorting though the contents of his potions stores. Dreamless Sleep. Bottled Obliviate. Trauma Release. Aura Re-sealer. He mentally made a note to replenish the stock. None would last the day, not if he ever hoped to sleep again.

Voldemort himself had only just left. He’d spent the night lounging on his now empty “throne” as Bellatrix danced attendance. If he wanted food she brought it. If he was thirsty, she held the cup as he drank. If he needed other pleasures, she provided those too with a relish that would have revolted Severus if he hadn’t already exceeded his limits.

He fastened the last button at his collar and bent to retrieve his cloak. He shook the dust and dirt from it and spread it wide as he advanced on Ophelia. There was no question of leaving her here. It was understood that he would take her with him. Voldemort would expect Severus to personally see the Dark Lord’s plan fully executed. So for the next nine months Ophelia was his.

Nothing flickered on his face as his gaze caught the gray-mottled bruises and jagged red edges of dried cuts against her white skin. She was still breathing. But then that had been the plan. He spread the cloak over her and gathered her up. Her body fell limply into his arms.

For a split-second, the memory of his mother’s old rag doll flashed through his mind. It had been a memento, a prize won for her during her courtship with the Muggle man, his father, whose marriage to his mother had caused her wizard family to disown her. The summer Severus had returned from his first year at Hogwarts, his head buzzing with notions of pure-blood sanctity, he’d stolen the doll and thrown it into the alley behind the house. That hadn’t satisfied him though. So he’d gone back out later that night and tossed it around before discarding it once more. When the loss was discovered, his mother had been so distraught that he’d slunk outside yet again to retrieve it. And he had found it. The arms and legs had been dangling by threads, three strands of yarn hair hung from its torn cloth scalp, and wads of stuffing had trickled sadly from the holes ripped in its body.

He’d brought the thing back to her, little more than a pile of scraps in his thin hands. For one horrified, guilty moment he’d nearly laughed as he’d handed it to her. His mother was weeping over scraps. He knew she would try, use all her non-wizard skill – for his father had forbidden doing magic in the house – to salvage it. But he knew it was hopeless. If she hadn’t been crying so hard, he would have told her so. But his throat had closed and the words wouldn’t come. So he’d said nothing and retreated to his room, his blurred vision making him stumble along the way.

Holding Ophelia close, he blinked but his eyes remained clear.

They remained so when he stepped out of the fireplace with her into Dumbledore’s office. Nothing changed as he faced the startled headmaster and gave the briefest possible report before floo’ing with her again, Dumbledore on his heels, to Madame Pomfrey’s infirmary. They remained hard and cold and clear as he answered Pomfrey’s questions.

“Yes, she has the Feratu Cuts,” he said quietly.

Pomfrey gasped and instantly erected the magical shield she’d need to treat them, even as he assured her that the school also had the requisite supply of Aura Re-sealer.

“Were you the only one?” Pomfrey asked as she continued running her diagnostic spells.

“No, there were several who sampled her.”

From the corner of his eye, Severus could see Albus blanch and stare at him. Severus ignored him.

“No I mean for the other…” Pomfrey said grimly.

“Yes,” he says quietly. “I was the only one.”

She nodded once and continued working.

The two men stood in silence as she worked. The infirmary was empty. Severus didn’t recall Albus warning Pomfrey of the need for discretion but he could think of no other reason for the absence of the usual post-weekend Quidditch casualties. He exhaled gratefully. He had no mental energy left to rebuff the curiosity of a stray student and explanations would have been impossible.

Without comment, Pomfrey closed the cuts and spoke the spell that would begin to heal them. She summoned a bottle of Aura Re-sealer and began dabbing it on Ophelia’s wounds, shaking her head worriedly. “I’ve never treated such dark magic cuts,” she muttered distractedly. She waved her wand again, pulled the blanket over Ophelia then stepped away, pulling the bed curtains closed.

She faced the two men. “Her energy is still bleeding out of her,” she said. “If the Re-sealer doesn’t stop it in the next hour, we’ll have to move her to where she can be protected. I won’t be able to shield her here.”

Severus and Albus nodded, neither able to summon a verbal reply.

Pomfrey stared at them for a moment. “Headmaster, you look unwilling and Prof. Snape looks unable, so I’m assuming that I won’t get a full explanation of how Miss Broomall was…injured, is that correct?”

Severus’ lips parted but no sound came out.

Dumbledore came to his rescue. “I think not, Poppy,” he said softly. “At least not today.”

Pomfrey nodded. “Well then,” she said briskly. “If you’ll just step this way professor.” She reached for the potions master.


The nurse and headmaster stared in surprise as Severus all but jumped back, his black eyes glittering dangerously. Belatedly catching himself he spoke calmly if coldly. “Thank you, Madame Pomfrey, I am fine. I am in no need of assistance.”

“Forgive me, Severus, but I must disagree,” Dumbledore countered gently.

Severus almost winced at the effort it took to meet Dumbledore’s calm blue gaze. With a start he realized his eyes were hot and that, without realizing it, he had backed himself against a wall.

“Severus,” Dumbledore continued. “You and your student have suffered extensive exposure to very dark, and, if my suspicions are correct, very old magic. I would be remiss in my duty as headmaster if I didn’t see that both of you received adequate medical care.”

The headmaster stepped closer, extending a hand but taking care not to touch. “Please let Poppy examine you.”

“I’m not a child, Albus,” Severus snapped. “I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself.”

Dumbledore and Pomfrey exchanged a glance. Dumbledore took another step closer. “Yes, Severus, you are,” he said soothingly. “Far too young to understand an old man’s fetches but could you at least humor me? Please?”

“Headmaster!” Pomfrey hissed worriedly.

Dumbledore shook his head sharply, his gaze still focused on the wary potions master. ”Please, Severus?” he repeated.

Severus stared at the frail-looking old man. He knew from hard experience that Dumbledore was anything but frail. In its own way, the force of Dumbledore’s will rivaled Voldemort’s. He could feel that force weighing on him now. Pressure settled in his chest and throat and he could feel sweat breaking out across his skin. Foolishly, childishly, he flattened himself against the wall as if he could evade it. As if a wall could stop Dumbledore.

He shook his head, trying to clear his mind, but the air seemed to grow drier and hotter until it hurt to draw breath. Where was his occlumency training? He had used legilimency on Ophelia the night before. Had the process somehow made him forget how to do the opposite?

Beside Dumbledore, he could see Pomfrey had her wand outstretched and aimed at him but the headmaster’s arm barred her.

Why couldn’t he focus? His eyes narrowed at her. He felt a rush of anger – or was it heat? – surge through him. Was she bewitching him?

Dumbledore’s voice pulled Severus’ attention back toward the headmaster.

“Please, Severus,” he coaxed. “Let Poppy look at you.”

This was foolish, Severus thought. Dumbledore would simply pester him until he agreed. He pulled away from the wall, drawing himself up in an attempt project some semblance of dignity.

“Fine,” he snapped, then blinked as Dumbledore’s hand closed on his own. When had the headmaster gotten close enough to touch him, he wondered.

And then he screamed.


Pomfrey and Dumbledore leapt forward as Severus fell to his knees. With surprising strength the nurse and old man attempted to pull the younger man to his feet, but it was no use. Severus folded in on himself, writhing and crumpling as if bespelled by the Cruciatus curse.

Mutual fear synchronized Pomfrey and Dumbledore’s motions as they waved their wands simultaneously. Pomfrey threw a sleeping spell at him as Dumbledore muttered “Leviocorpus.” Abruptly, the screams stopped, Severus went limp, and his body rose, floated toward one of the hospital beds and landed gently on its surface.

For a moment, Dumbledore and Pomfrey stared at him, breathing heavily from their exertions.

“I tried to tell you,” Pomfrey said finally. “He’s burning.”

Dumbledore closed his eyes. “I know.”

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Archetypes and
Severus Snape
Well I'm still working on Chapter 3 but that doesn't mean I don't have anything to say -- whether it amounts to anything worthwhile is another matter entirely.

I am currently still on my Snape binge courtesy of my ongoing home-bound Harry Potter film fest. I've been watching all five movies on DVD for the last week. (Today's TV sucks anyway.) My favorite character, of course, is the inimitable Severus Snape, Harry's nemesis and the series' anti-hero according to J.K. Rowling. And as I watch the movies I can't help but think about how to define Snape's character.

First, kudos to actor Alan Rickman for his portrayal. From his delicious voice, to his restless, articulate hands, to his stinging sarcasm and his confounding charisma, Rickman's Snape is simply riveting. In my wildest dreams he'd have his own movie. But the closest we're going to get to that is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince which comes out next July.

Second, kudos to the hair and costume department. They have transformed fair-haired, hazel (I think his eyes are hazel; I know they're light-colored) eyed Alan Rickman into the black-haired, black-eyed potions master whose costume echoes the ethos of several ages. The button-down cuffs of the trousers he wears in the first movie evoke the Victorian age of Dickens. The high-collar, gathered sleeves and rows of buttons adorning the front and sleeves of his tunic seem to recall the Puritan dictatorship of Oliver Cromwell. Both the Victorians and the Puritans were known for their public piety while underneath engaging in all sorts of sensual sins and debaucheries. How could Severus, the closet Death Eater/double agent and rejected suitor of Lily Evans, be any different?

I guess that's why I love him so.

Possible Fictional and Historical Inspirations for Snape:

1. Oliver Cromwell, the brutal Puritan military dictator who deposed and beheaded King Charles I and established the English Commonwealth in the 17th century. Snape killed Dumbledore. 'Nuff said. (And if you didn't know that you didn't read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince; so what the heck are you waiting for?!)

2. Roger Chillingworth, husband to adulteress Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorne's masterpiece novel, The Scarlet Letter, set in Colonial America. Chillingworth made it his business to hunt down his wife's lover, Arthur Dimmesdale, the clergyman who fathered Hester's child. James Potter never had to worry about Snape pulling a Dimmesdale, but damn it, he should have been. After all, who's to say Lily didn't have few tricks up her sleeve? That's what the Severitus fan fic writers assume anyway. Thank God! 'Cause really James Potter was a prat. Harry's daddy should have been Snape.

3. Richard III, reviled English king who deposed his nephew Edward V and reigned from 1483 to 1485 before being killed by Henry VII's army at the end of the Wars of the Roses. Richard has come down through history as the supposed murder of his nephew Edward and Edward's younger brother Richard, Duke of York. However, scholars are now divided on whether he was actually guilty of that sin. Say what you want, but Snape never bumped off anyone's kids...that we know of. He did however, take over the throne, so to speak from Dumbledore. The man's got style!

Honorable Mentions:

1. Torquemada, the Grand Inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition. 'Cause, as the members of Monty Python's Flying Circus would say, "you never expect the Spanish Inquisition!" And you know Snape would have all those little Hogwarts brats -- especially Harry and his fellow Gryffindors -- on the rack, confessing their sins at every opportunity. As Filch would say "God! I miss the screaming."

2. Any of the prosecutors from Arthur Miller's McCarthy-era play, The Crucible, about Puritans rooting out witches in Colonial Salem, Massachusetts. Cause the next step after the rack? Burning at the snake, er, I mean stake.

3. Joan Crawford, male version with nobler purposes and a snarkier vocabulary (she had the better shoulder pads though).

4. Any Renaissance-period alchemist (although one wonders if he could have given Faust a run for his money).

(Note: The photo is not my creation; I found it on the web.)

Copyright 2008 by T. L. Heard

Saturday, December 6, 2008

More Harry Potter Fan Fiction

Well I guess that wasn't the end.
I've written another installment of this story. I don't know how many chapters it will contain. I'm just following my muse -- and my love of Snape! I still haven't figured out where this story would fit in the canon time scale. But it assumes the information regarding the relationship between the potions master and Lily Evans is true.
Hope you like it. (Heck, hope you find it.) And if you're feeling so generous please leave a review.


Well Done, My Good and Faithful Servant
By Librasmile

Summary: In reward for service, Voldemort gives Snape something he’s desired seemingly forever.

Disclaimer: Original characters are mine, all else is the glorious property of J.K. Rowling. I make no money from my use of her characters.

Rating: R -- Includes implied violence and sexual situation. Not suitable for readers under 17. You have been warned. Please do not read if this type of material offends you. Thank you.

Chapter 2

It was an art, this.

In the Dark Lord’s world, the giving and receiving of pain was a high art, and Severus knew its most adept practitioner was measuring his every step as he advanced on his “gift.”

With a whisper of sound the black fabric of his cloak slid from his shoulders as he walked. He left it discarded on the ground. He moved deliberately with the prowling gait he used to intimidate his students. Years of espionage had made it almost soundless but no less menacing. His mind began the automatic ritual of dividing itself. With no conscious effort, he mentally hived off the battered, bruised but still human part of himself that shouted, pleaded, begged him to stop. Then he brought forward the detached, coldly clinical observer to which he retreated in order to perform his most heinous tasks. Of course, an assignment from Voldemort was never just a task. It was usually an atrocity, an ordained sin. He began to unbutton his collar.

His hands shook.

That physical fact almost stopped him. He faltered for a moment, the briefest moment, then continued, but he was sure Voldemort noticed the lapse. There was no cure for it but to keep moving. So he did.

As he approached the altar he stopped. Slowly, like a jeweler considering the precise point at which to start cutting the diamond, he circled the stone. Behind and around him, he heard the murmurs of his fellow Death Eaters as their level of anticipation rose. Aside from his status as one of the Dark Lord’s most loyal servants, Severus knew he had a reputation among them for having a certain macabre flair. He had earned it thanks to the exacting and bloody work he’d made of Voldemort’s victims in those damning years before he’d found his way back to the light. He had not always needed to kill, but when he did it had been shamefully easy for him. He was thorough. He’d made an art of it. A clean art.

While some of Voldemort’s followers made a habit of toying sexually with their prey before killing them, he had always abstained. Unable to leave until an assignment was completed, he had stood aside and watched, unable to mask his distaste. He had never had the courage to really examine why they had let him get away with this. No matter. The tables had turned. Now Severus would be the one to play while they watched. He knew his fellow Death Eaters were practically salivating at the prospect of watching him take her. If he did well, then they would at least see their smug colleague brought down to their level. If not, Voldemort would kill him and open up a space for someone else to advance. Either way, they were certain to be thoroughly entertained. There was a rustling as some of the Death Eaters moved closer, unwilling to miss a second of the performance.

As he completed his circuit, Severus’ eyes skimmed over Ophelia’s body. He noted the blood. There was a cut. Several. Just enough to give pain but not to kill. His gaze followed the seeping trails back to their original wounds. Ah. They had made the Feratu Cuts. Of course. And she was a pureblood. The temptation would have been too much to resist. Mesmerized, he extended his hand. He trailed a finger though her blood then brought it to his mouth. Inside himself, his shackled humanity howled. Outside, he shivered and closed his eyes, savoring the taste. The magic imbued in the salty fluid jolted his tongue. How many of his audience had already tasted her, he wondered. Only the select few would be allowed, he knew. But the full meal would be his.

Opening his eyes, he studied her face. Her profile was still. Long tendrils of her hair obscured it. He moved closer. He needed to see her eyes. He climbed atop the altar. She was either too dazed or too tightly bound to resist. Straddling her on his hands and knees, he brought his face level to hers. The panels of the dark high-collared coat he’d unbuttoned hung on either side of him, brushing against her. He could see the pulse fluttering in her throat. He brushed her hair away. She flinched. So. She was still awake in there. She turned her face from him. He grabbed her chin and forced her back. Her eyes, only half open, closed.

“Look at me,” he ordered.

She squeezed her lids tighter.

The palm of his open hand cracked against her skin. She gasped as the force of the blow whipped her head in the opposite direction. Malicious laughter rippled among the crowd around them. He heard Bellatrix’ manic, high-pitched peal among them. Again, he forced Ophelia to face him.

“Look at me.”

She opened her eyes.

And then he felt it. The power in the stone. He’d felt it humming with energy from the second he’d touched it. He’d assumed the dark magic of the Feratu Cuts was doing its work, draining her energy for others to consume. But nothing wizard-invoked could be this powerful. Gods, what more was his master planning? His eyes flicked up and away from Ophelia’s face to find Voldemort’s. The Dark Lord’s smile widened. Severus suppressed a shudder and returned his gaze to the woman beneath him.

Ophelia was watching him.

For a moment he was impaled by the intensity in her eyes.

In the last year he had become afraid to look directly into her eyes for too long. It was embarrassing really. He was an expert Occlumens. He had no excuse for his weakness. But it was hard to erect mental walls against the very thing you most wanted to touch. And he had too many secrets he feared he could not hide. The fire with which he’d incinerate Marius Bentlow if his conscience would let him. The raw, still bleeding wound that held his grief over Lily. The hollow knowledge that he was – and most likely would end his life, sooner rather than later – alone.

Worst of all there was his unfilled hunger for her. The shameful acceptance that this craving would have made the man he used to be abandon his self-imposed restrictions and pounce before Voldemort could even think to issue a command. And the bitter comprehension that no amount of repentance or longing could ever make him the kind of man to whom a woman could safely pledge her life. Ultimately, Lily knew this, he realized, although they had never gone this far. No matter. Here lay the proof before the argument could even have been made. He had hid from Ophelia because he was afraid she would see too much of his charred soul.

But he could not hide now…even as her eyes still speared him.

Lily had looked at him like that. For each step he’d taken when he’d gone down the dark path, he could recall the anguish in Lily’s eyes. He could recall perfectly the times and the places he’d seen it, feel the invisible burns it had left on him. How many times had he seen that look before she had finally given up on him? He swallowed audibly, the sound thankfully lost beneath the clamor of the mob. Voldemort had served him up another feast of loss.

Belatedly he realized he had settled his body on Ophelia’s. She was pinned, although the bonds on her wrists made that a redundancy. His hands had begun undoing her clothing. It was Muggle style. So they had snatched her outside of Hogwarts then. He saw the goose flesh rise on her skin as he exposed her to the cool night air. Her breath quickened and terror etched itself across her face but she didn’t look away. He no longer needed to force her. She didn’t want to risk him hitting her again. Ever the quick student.

He slid his hands across her bare flesh. She shivered. So did he. Somewhere inside himself, something dark he’d failed to subdue crawled forward to savor the sensation, heedless of whatever evil brought it. He leaned down to kiss her and, despite her fear, she closed her eyes. He saw her muscles tense as she braced herself for another hit. Instead he whispered against her mouth. “Keep them open.” She obeyed.

Without warning he grabbed her hair and yanked her head back. She winced but he couldn’t spare her even a hint of reassurance. These ghouls wanted pain. They wanted blood. Beneath him, he could feel Ophelia’s breathing escalate; she was hyperventilating. He fastened his teeth onto her throat. At that she cried out. The crowd around them roared their approval. That’s why he almost didn’t hear her when she spoke, gasping and choking out the words.

“Please,” she begged. “I’m not Lily. I’m not Lily!”

He stared at her in horror. Gods, could she hear his thoughts? And why would she think…That dark thing in his mind, that repellent, starving thing that was enjoying this, spoke quietly, malevolently. You know why. The words reverberated through his mind, bouncing off the confines of his own skull, crashing into each other until they hit their mark. He did know. He didn’t want to. But he did.

He started to shake. Then, with a ruthless effort he made himself stop.

It didn’t matter, he realized coldly, huddling inside himself.

Crudely, he placed his hand over her face, gripping her jaw, covering her mouth. He could stop her words, he noted dully. And other things as well. Her eyes widened. His gaze drilled into hers. He drew a breath to say the spell.

Legilimens,” he whispered.

To Be Continued?