This story is the product of my own mind (muddled though it may be). The characters are, sadly, not mine. They belong to J. K. Rowling. I just play with them, and bend them to my will occasionally. Occasionally they see fit to take over the story, and then I am at the mercy of their will.

Warning: Child abuse.

Gold

By: Mikee

Voldemort was dead. 'The Boy Who Lived' fulfilled his duty, and had killed the evil beast. All that remained of Voldemort's reign of terror was a small renegade faction of Death Eaters. Few though they were, their number was still sufficient to cause worry. Feared too, was the possibility that one of them might think highly enough of himself to believe he was powerful enough, and persuasive enough, to try to become the new "Dark Lord."

Professor Snape left Hogwarts right after dinner to check on rumors that a new Dark Lord was on the rise. He was understandably nervous. He had thought his spying days were over, yet here he was again sneaking out in the dead of night trying to infiltrate the forces of evil in a bid to destroy them before they could establish a stronghold. As he neared the gates of Hogwarts' grounds he felt as if he was being watched. He spun around, but saw no one; he strained his ears and heard nothing. Yet he couldn't shake the feeling... The feeling he was being watched, and watched closely.

*******

Professor Snape returned to Hogwarts in a flurry of billowing black robes. He was returning from his late night assignment to spy on said group of would-be Death Eaters, and was in a hurry to brief Headmaster Dumbledore about the latest developments when a most peculiar sight caused him to unexpectedly change his course.

There under the clear midnight December sky, all alone was a glowing gold… something. It was not like anything he had ever seen before. It appeared to be solid but at the same time gaseous; it was stationary, glowing near the center of the Quidditch Pitch. It seemed to draw him closer, it felt as if it were overriding his will, almost as if it were some sort of new Imperius curse, but it lacked the negative connotations of being controlled, there were no malevolent overtones to this something.

Almost without being aware of how he got there, he found himself within yards of the odd gold glow. He stood transfixed, staring dumbfounded, watching as it undulated, and vibrated. The aura it emitted was warm, soft, and peaceful. He couldn't seem pull his gaze away from the sight. He moved as if to take a step closer, but found himself stopped by force, or forces, unseen.

He didn't know how long he stood there, but stand he did, until finally the glow dulled, and eventually faded away. Left in the place of the golden glow, sitting cross-legged, was his one-time nemesis, Harry Potter. His eyes were closed, and he moved not a muscle. He looked as if dead. Once the gold had fully dissipated the invisible force keeping Snape away lifted, and as it did, Potter slumped over.

Cautiously, Snape advanced, eyes wide, mouth open, hands trembling. He knelt beside the sill form of his student. He slowly reached out a hand to the child, and found the air around him warm even in the chill of the pre-dawn winter morning. He laid a hand on the boy's shoulder, and Harry stirred but didn't wake. Snape levitated the boy and took him to the Hospital Wing.

Upon arriving at the Hospital Wing, Snape removed Harry's robe, jeans and shirt, and put him to bed himself. He spelled the bed to sound an alarm if there were any change for the worse in the boy's condition.

He stood beside the hospital bed as the boy slept, and he wondered just what it was he had been witness to. What had the boy done, how had he done it, and why? His head felt dizzy with unanswered questions. He only stayed there a few minutes when he remembered he was to meet with the headmaster. Taking his leave, he glanced once more at the prone form on the bed and saw just a flicker of gold flash and die as he stepped out the door.

Snape met with Dumbledore and told him all he learned. "Albus, I can't believe the meeting. It was nothing I would have expected, yet it answers one question that has nagged us since Potter arrived. Minister Fudge is, and has always been, a Death Eater."

"Severus, how is it you didn't know before?"

Severus sneered as he answered, "Albus, you know we always wore hoods. Even Voldemort didn't trust us to know who each other was. Fudge is trying to take over the post of Dark Lord. We both know he's stupid. He has no real cunning, and his underlings are stupid as well. Unless he recruits someone with brains we will be able to stop them quite easily."

"What are they planning? Are they still after Harry?"

"No, I don't think so. Potter was only important to Voldemort. He has nothing Fudge needs to quash. I think Potter is safe…."

"Severus, you're holding back. What is it?"

"Albus, I'd rather not say right now. I need to gather more information. Once I know what I'm talking about you will be the first to know. For now please…"

Albus raised a silencing hand, "I trust you, Severus. I'll leave it to you."

Snape just nodded one curt nod, rose from his seat and retired to his chambers puzzling again about Potter and what he had done.

******

AN: This is just a little story I had running around in my head… Please be kind. Thank you