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
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.”