Disclaimer: Nope, not mine. Not yet anyway. Seeing as the plot came from a particularly deliciuos dream I had the other day, I may just steal that part back, and create my own little world to host it later. But she can keep the characters.
Authors Note: Just for those of you who are new to my fics, and I'm sure there are some out there, here's the score: I do not 'do the happy.' What does that mean? If you want a fluffy feel good ending I'll let you know when to stop. This particular fic will by pseudo-happy for a while, so it's only fair to warn you it will not last.
A Pissed Off Eskimo Presents:
He Defines Me
Severus Snape, Potions Master at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, death eater for the Dark Lord, and spy for Albus Dumbledore had been waiting for this battle a long time. He'd been waiting nearly fifteen years, in fact, since the first day Voldemort had proclaimed Riddle House to be his headquarters. Before then, there had been meetings in various locations, for safety reasons, which changed at the least monthly, sometimes weekly depending on how active the light side was at the time.
Then, only days after the death of the Potter family, He had called them to a meeting and announced that they needed a secure location for their headquarters. Not that Severus didn't agree, or that it didn't make his job as a spy sudenly look much easier (it was hard to pinpoint a location for attack, when it constantly changed), it was just strange.
What was stranger still was that when he saw the house he could have sworn the Dark Lord had finally gone completely bonkers. It was large for a muggle house, two stories and quite expansive, but it was a muggle house, in a muggle village, somewhere out in the middle of muggle no where.
'The strange' had not stopped there. Voldemort had insisted Narcissa Malfoy help him decorate. Severus had been there discussing a particularly difficult potion the Lord wanted when she'd arrived, carrying her tiny son, Draco, with her. Apparently she was to start in his bed chambers, as he was having great difficulty sleeping. Something about the Dark Lord losing sleep over the decor of his suite was unsettling at best, the fact that it was becoming visibly apparent, dark circles under his eyes and occasionally what looked like food on his robes, was enough to convince Severus he had indeed gone insane.
She had decorated the house in a short time, but still spent hours of every day in his private chamber. The Death Eater grape vine had it that Lucius approved of whatever she was doing. The grape vine also had it that what she was doing was teaching him to change, feed, hold, and rock Draco to sleep. The best any of them could come up with was that it was some kind of stress relieving therapy.
Within a few months things had calmed down and Narcissa's visits slowed, then stopped, and not a word was heard of it again. Voldemort appeared to be getting his 'beauty sleep' again, though he had the occasional bout of crankiness, and he spent a great deal of time in his room.
In the end, what had taken fifteen years to find the location was that, despite the fact he was worn, tired, and spending a great deal of time with a woman learning about babies, he had not neglected his wards and various obscuring charms. It was impossible to tell where the place was unless you were apparating, for which you needed a clear mental imagine of your destination, or you were one of the chosen four or five in His inner circle, of which Severus was not.
The damned war was getting tiring for everyone involved. It waxed and waned, one moment the Dark Lord seemed sure to win, and next, the Light shoved him back, and he hunkered down for a year or two planning. It was annoying to those caught in the middle, who's line of loyalty was hard to pin, damned frustrating to those like Severus who were spies, and walking a thin rope just to keep themselves from getting caught, and it scared the shit out of anyone who, like the Potters, were willing to take an obvious stand against him no matter who was currently winning.
The Potters death had not, as the Lord expected, taken a devastating toll on the wizarding world, it had been just the opposite. The small family of three had become martyrs. Shortly after their deaths was the first time Voldemort had been forced to take a step back and regroup. It was the last thing anyone of them, Severus included, had expected, and it was the beginning of the trend that would plague them for so long.
He'd been sure, along with many of the Aurors, that this was surely the end. That by attacking at his base of operations, his long standing headquarters, that they would finally crush him. Better yet, Severus was counting on him refusing to budge and getting killed.
The battle had lasted a stunning ten minutes. There were some very valid reasons for retreat; they had been caught by surprise, they were tired and worn, and He had been handing out punishments just before the Aurors attacked. Severus had been far too grateful for their timing, there were only four others between Him and His wand, and those four weren't on the list 'who-could-be-a-spy.'
As soon as the fight had been initiated he'd found an Auror he knew to be a in the Order and began flinging spells in her direction, though purposefully wide of her actual person. She had seemed annoyed at first, until she'd realized it was him. They had been at the game the majority of the time, hoping no one noticed that only their sloppiest, most harmless spells were actually hitting.
He had just noticed that he, along with the other death eaters, had fallen back nearly to the house and it was most definitely time to check on the situation. Giving the girl an almost apologetic look, he threw a well aimed Stunning charm and made a rush towards Lucius, who was helping the back line keep the wards up around the house.
Seeing Severus rushing in his direction, Lucius looked back at Voldemort, "We have to retreat!" Much to the spies disdain, the Dark Lord nodded, turning around to head into the house. Trying desperately to maintain his concentration and speak clearly at the same time, Lucius looked over his shoulder, "My Lord, we can not afford the time, leave it."
His face darkened with rage, and Severus stepped back a pace, adding his own weak influence to the wards while listening intently, "I will not leave it behind, Malfoy."
"Then have someone else get it, you need to get out of here now. As my lord and Master I will not see you get caught over some fool possession."
For a moment, Severus expected Him to curse Lucius into the netherworlds, but he simply scowled instead, "You may be my right hand man, but do not speak to me that way. Snape!" Turning his head, and dropping what little magic he was maintaining, Severus turned to the Dark Lord and nodded, "Go to my room, get what's there and bring it to me. Do not fail."
Without waiting for a reply He walked away to announce their retreat. Lucius looked over his shoulder, breath gasping, "The wards will hold for ten or so minutes. When they drop, apparate to Malfoy Mansion, I'll meet you there and we'll take it to the new headquarters."
Marching into Riddle House, Severus looked around the halls to ensure that they were empty before removing his death eaters mask. Damn thing was stuffy, it impaired vision, hindered breathing, and was an over all bad idea, but most of His supporters preferred the anonymity is provided.
He'd half made it to the Dark Lords private room when it dawned on him that he had no clue what 'it' was. He had some idea of what it might be, as he'd heard occasional talk or gossip of a pet of some sorts, but he'd never seen it, and did not know what kind of animal it was, or where it might be hiding as the house was violently shaking.
He opened the door to the Dark Lord's room, allowing himself a moment to take in the surroundings. The bed was set against the left most wall, large and imposing, but what caught his eye first was the large cage on the floor at the foot of that bed. Whatever 'it' was, it was a decent size. Sweeping his eyes around the surprisingly small room, he noted the bookshelf against the back wall, a high back, overly large chair in one corner, a dark haired boy peering around from behind that chair, and a amour against the right wall. There was a door to the right as well, probably leading into... Wait, a boy?
Looking back at the chair he saw whoever it was duck behind, as though hoping he hadn't been seen, "Who's there?"
"Are you a death eater?" The voice was small, but slightly deeper than he'd expected, at half glance it had appeared to be no more than a young child. When he got no response, the boy slowly began to stand up and turn around.
For nearly a full minute, Severus was stunned beyond breathing. It was a teenager, perhaps around fifteen, he had varying lengths of dark brown hair, the longest to his chin, and the shorter so disarrayed it was impossible to tell the length. His skin was ivory pale, as though he had never been in the sun, and completely unblemished, and there really wasn't much that couldn't be seen. All the boy wore was a pair of loose fitting leather shorts, a thin collar of some sort, thick leather wrist and ankle cuffs with metal hoops attached, though none were shackled to anything at the moment, and what appeared to be a... nipple ring? His eyes were a sparkling green, wide and trusting, as he scanned Severus. "You are. What's going on? I've never seen you before."
Not sure how to reply, Severus stared a little longer, gathering his thoughts. There really was no mistaking it, no matter how unlikely it seemed, this child was the 'it', this was what he was suppose to deliver to Malfoy. The boy took a slow step forward, "Mister, what's wrong? Where's Master? Is he hurt?"
Shaking his head to clear it, Severus asked the first thing that came to mind, "Who are you?"
"Who am I?" The question rolled off the boy's tongue as though it were unfamiliar or tasted foul, "I'm Master's pet. Who are you?"
It had an arrogant sound to it, and Severus was half tempted to say something arrogant in return. However, he held back, trying to determine the best course of action, "Do you have a name?"
"I don't think so."
He sounded more shades of innocent than Severus had thought possibly. But there was something familiar about him, something that just didn't fit with the scant clothing and collar. The house shook again and the boy gripped the chair, crouching down, "What's going on? The house never moved before."
Severus took a deep breath. He couldn't take the child back to the Dark Lord, it was a nonexistent option, but he would have to come with a very good excuse soon. Voldemort would not be pleased at losing his pet. "All right, listen to me. The house is being attacked, and I was sent to fetch you, so you'll have to trust me."
Shrugging, he came over and stood next to Severus, "Whatever you say."
As the wards crackled a final time and died completely, Severus felt the wash of energy, and quickly performed the apparation, sending them tumbling to ground outside Hogwarts. Tumbling because when he's tried to place an arm on the child, he'd been leached onto, gangly arms wrapped tightly around his waist, head tucked against the man's chest as though he were frightened.
Seeing no one in the immediate vicinity, Severus took his cloak off and draped it around the boy, who looked at him as though he were insane, "What's that for?"
"Decency?" The look in the boy's face told him he had no clue what Severus was talking about, "Just walk, this is Hogwarts. You'll be staying here."
Dumbledore and Severus stood on either side of the door to the Potion Master's living room watching the boy sitting cross legged on the floor contently watching them back. He hadn't moved in the ten minutes they'd been standing there, just watched them, as though they were the most interesting thing he had ever seen. When they'd first gotten to the room the child had immediately relaxed, letting up his death grip on Severus and trying to remove the robe until he was ordered to sit down and not touch anything.
Severus had expected a battle over that. Any normal fifteen year old would not have been able to keep their hands off the various parchment and items laying around the dungeon room, but this one just sat there, and stared back, perfectly happy.
After the ten minute mark past, though, he lost his patience, much to both men's relief. Albus had been filled in on what Severus knew, and it was haunting to know they were staring at someone who had been in close contact with the Dark Lord for years, a child no less, it was horrifying to watch said person act as though they hadn't a care in the world.
Standing up, he stretched his arms over his head, the cloak falling back behind his shoulders, revealing his bare chest and long legs. Rushing forward, Severus pulled his arms down and began buttoning the robe while Albus adjusted from the shock. An innocent little creature like this was wearing leather and a piercing. Stopping at the fourth button down, Severus looked down to meet the boy's gaze, hoping he could find a way to explain what was and was not appropriate, but instead found himself facing someone long dead.
With the black cloak buttoned at the neck line and hiding the shocking body underneath it was much easier to concentrate on the face. That same face that had haunted Severus for years. The face of James Potter.