Chapter 6 – A New House
Severus and Harry appeared outside a very small house. There were no houses around it. No neighbours to nose around. Just clear space.
Harry, having no pre-warning they were going to Apparate seemed quite disoriented.
Severus looked at his surroundings to make sure nothing seemed amiss before walking towards the front door.
There was a small wooden gate that went along the street. But it did not look inviting. The paint had all chipped along it, many of the wooden planks had broken and there looked as though termites had gotten to it, leaving holes all over it. A small wind would be assumed to just knock it over, yet it was still standing.
Behind the gate were just dead plants, and dried up grass. Overall helping to make the house look very much abandoned.
Severus lifted his wand, feeling it safe to use it now. After a minute of a complicated sounding spell, the door in front of them opened.
Severus stepped inside, putting Harry down onto the floor.
"Are you hungry Harry?" Severus turned to look at Harry as he just walked a bit more into the house.
Harry seemed to take in the house first. Its bare features. There were no pictures anywhere, no little collectables hanging on the walls, no indulgent things people these days had, just the bare minimum.
Harry looked up at Severus and shook his head, feeling tired above anything else.
"Good, because I doubt I have any food." Severus muttered, beginning to open doors and such around the house.
As he walked past Harry, who was yet to move, Harry finally said something. "Where's Sirius and Remus?"
Severus stopped to look the boy over, before he gazed up into his eyes. Shuddering, Severus continued to walk around, more to keep from meeting Harry's eyes then anything. He always found it hard to lie to Lily, and when Harry had her eyes, he seemed to find it hard to lie to him as well. Some spy he was.
Shaking his head at his thoughts, he answered Harry's question, sounding as truthful as he could.
"They're with Dumbledore. You'll see them later."
Severus looked back at Harry to see him nod while he tried to cover a yawn. Realising the boy must be tired, Severus walked into the only bedroom the house had. His own, leaving Harry as he saw him walk over to a chair where Severus remembered he normally ate his meals at.
Severus saw everything where he had once left it. A bed in the middle of the room, a set of draws in one corner which held some clothes, and a small dresser next to his bed.
Severus sat down on his bed, next to the dresser and picked up one of the two frames holding photos. The first one was a picture of Lily and him working in the Hogwarts library, every once in a while Lily would look up and smile at him before going back to her own work. The next photo was of his parents. It had been taken just before they had died.
Severus sat and stared at the photos for a small while longer, before putting them away in a draw. The then composed himself and left the room in search of Harry, who was half asleep sitting awkwardly on the chair.
Severus walked up to him and carefully picked him up and took him back to his room.
He took Harry's jacket off, and laid him atop of his bed, and went to remove his shoes, only then realising Harry had none, which wasn't too surprising since Severus had grabbed him from his bed. Only then did he realise how cold Harry must have been, when he had put him down in the tunnel. And yet, the boy had not said a word.
Shaking his head, Severus pulled the covers up from under the boy, and then placed them over Harry, who looked as though he was now trying to stay awake.
"You should try to get some sleep. I'll just be outside this room if there is a problem."
Harry nodded before finally drifting off into what looked like a deep sleep.
Severus shut the door as quietly as he could, and then walked over to the same chair Harry had been sitting in, letting himself sit down. He spent his time wondering what the Death Eaters were up to. They didn't have a leader anymore, why were they attacking now? The most likely answer to that was it was revenge, and what better time then when the Ministry of Magic was in shambles. As soon as a new minister was elected, it could prove to be hard to do something like this.
He also couldn't help but think about Sirius and Remus. Even though Severus doubted very much he would care if they were killed tonight, he did know Harry would, and to take another blow like that, well he wasn't sure Harry would be able to handle it.
What happened next was all a blur for Sirius. Curses were being thrown from what seemed like every direction. He was barely able to block them all let alone send his own back.
He felt weaker at every hit he received, but wouldn't give up. Motivation to keep going continued to come to him as he thought about what these people had done to his best friends and his godson.
After finally getting a few down, he realised there had only been seven with them, one of those was now dead and two were unconscious. Unfortunately for Sirius, Remus seemed to be badly hurt, and Sirius knew that he wouldn't make it out of this duel alive if he kept going.
Sirius edged his way towards Remus until he was finally close enough to him to touch, and seeing the green curse make its way to his friend, Sirius pushed him as hard as he could out the way just avoiding the curse himself.
Remus hit the floor hard, banging his head harshly on the ground, enough to knock him unconscious.
In was now one onto four.
And even though the odds were against him, the lack of skills for these final Death Eaters seemed to be working for him. He even managed to move so quickly that one of the Death Eaters hit his own person.
Finally there was only one left, and Sirius fought with him until there was nothing in him left, and with one final curse, the green shot from his wand and hit the Death Eater in the chest, stopping him dead.
Sirius hadn't wanted to kill him, but felt he had no choice.
He rested for a moment, falling to the ground and resting his back against the wall behind him. He closed his eyes and was almost asleep when he heard a noise from the back of the house. He looked over at Remus to see if he could tell if these were more death eaters, but found his friend was still unconscious. Sirius awkwardly crawled back over to his friend to make sure he was alright.
By the way Remus was talking before, there were going to be at least another three Death Eaters coming, one included was Pettigrew. But even though they had beaten the odds against all the Death Eaters that did come, Sirius had a bad feeling there were still more somewhere in the house. Especially since Pettigrew was still to be found.
The noise of footsteps became louder as they got closer, and Sirius' heart grew heavier. There was no way he could take on more Death Eaters, not only could he not wake Remus up, but he too was hurt. He could only hope that Severus and Harry had escaped alright.
He turned his head sharply as the first people responsible for the footsteps came into the room he was currently in.
Severus suddenly jolted up from the table where his head currently laid, not even aware that he had dozed off. He looked over at his old clock, only to realise it had stopped working, and what appeared to be along time ago.
He stood up and stretched, only then seeing how dark it was outside. He must have slept for quite a while.
He started to walk towards his bedroom door to check on Harry when he remembered that he had forgotten to send a message to Dumbledore to tell him where they were. He was sure the headmaster must have been worried.
Severus continued to walk over to his bedroom door, deciding to check on Harry first. He poked his head through a small gap, seeing Harry still fast asleep.
Feeling glad that Harry wasn't awake he was about to go in further to get some parchment when he heard a pair of footsteps behind him.
Severus spun around to see a man he didn't recognise in front of him, wearing all black, the moon shining through a window in such a way that his face remained hidden, but the Death Eater mask he held in his hand was still quite evident.
Severus stood a bit straighter, hoping to block any view of Harry.
"Who are you?" Severus demanded.
"I am a friend." The man's eyes narrowed at the door Severus was trying to block.
"A friend?" Severus looked at the man suspiciously.
"Yes, a friend that could have easily killed you by now, but didn't."
Severus looked down to see the man holding a wand to him. "I guess getting some sleep will have to wait." Severus paused, hoping that was enough to stop the man looking curiously at the door. "Would you like a drink?" Severus closed the door fully and lead the man away from the room, and over to a small couch
"No, I'm quite alright." The man sat down opposite Severus, finally letting his hand holding the wand fall to his side.
The room still remained dark. Severus preferred it that way. He felt that if this conversation should turn wrong, he would have somewhat of the upper hand, knowing where everything was and being well accustomed to the dark.
"Where have you been Snape?"
"Been?" Severus asked.
"We have long been looking for signs of magic at this place, and up until the Potters murder, there has been none from here, and no sign of you."
Severus took a sharp intake of breath, not from the accusing look from the Death Eater in front of him, but from the reminder that to all that didn't know or love her, Lily's death was just another name to add to the Dark Lord's murder list.
"I haven't used magic here since this morning, when I removed the wards." Severus seemed to be talking to himself, rather then the man in front of him.
"We have been a bit pre-occupied Snape. Now don't change the subject, where have you been?"
"I'm afraid that is none of your business."
The death eater growled in anger. "Don't tempt me Snape, for I will kill you without hesitation."
Snape turned his head a bit to the side, as if analysing the man in front of him, who now had him at wand point again. Snape doubted very much the man could kill him. Even just looking at the way he held his wand was enough to tell him that. His grip was loose, and it was pointed slightly to the left. So all he would have to do is dodge the curse and fall to the right, and then whip his own wand out from under his sleeve, and he was sure the duel would be over. But a duel would be dangerous and since he was unsure who he was talking with, it was going to be unpredictable, it would be loud, and would more then likely wake Harry up and then all hell would break loose.
Severus sighed aloud, as if saying this would cause him great pain.
"I have been with Dumbledore, he was-" Severus stopped for effect, before continuing on. "-was very suspicious of me after the death of the Potter's. I've been trying to keep my cover from being exposed."
The Death Eater looked at him carefully, as if unsure what to believe.
"There is a rumour Snape, a rumour most disturbing. A rumour that you were a spy, a spy not for us, but for Dumbledore."
"Dumbledore?" Sirius gasped, feeling the relief overwhelm him. Never in his life had he ever felt so happy to see the old man. He stood and stumbled a few paces over to Dumbledore before again collapsing from exhaustion.
"Sirius? Are you alright?" Dumbledore rushed over to him.
Sirius shrugged off Dumbledore's concern. "M' fine."
Dumbledore looked at Sirius doubtfully for a moment before letting his eyes wonder the room. Finally asking Sirius a question. "Where's Harry? Is he alright?"
"Harry? He isn't with you?" Sirius, who had looked like he was moments from falling asleep, suddenly jolted up.
Dumbledore narrowed his eyes in thought. "With me? What do you mean? I haven't seen or heard from Harry since after the funeral... Was he taken?"
"But... But Snape..." Sirius trailed off, trying to make sense of what was happening.
"Severus? What about him?" Dumbledore looked around the room, seeing no sign of him. "Where is he?"
"Didn't he tell you to come?"
"I haven't spoken to Severus since after the funeral as well. The ministry alerted me of a break-in here. I'm sorry to say it took them quite a while to figure out what was happening."
"I... But... He... I don't..." Sirius then started to hit his head with his palm repeatedly, muttering to himself "Idiot."
"Sirius?" Dumbledore kneeled down beside Sirius, grabbing his arm to stop him from hitting himself any further. "Sirius what is it?"
"I knew we should have never trusted Snape. The lying bastard! He's taken him... If he lays a finger on Harry I'll never forgive myself..."
"What do you mean Sirius?" Dumbledore asked calmly and patiently.
"We let Snape take Harry. He should have contacted you by now..."
"How did they get out without getting caught?"
"A secret passageway, at the end of the hall." Sirius answered, absentmindedly pointing in the direction where he had told Severus to go. "We have to find him Albus. We have too..."
"We will Sirius, we will. Now are you sure they made it to the passageway unharmed?" Dumbledore looked down the hallway Sirius had pointed to, seeing scorch marks everywhere.
Sirius opened and closed his mouth a few times. "I... they would have had to pass through us to get to them..."
"And no one else would have known about the passageway?"
"No, just Remus, James and..." All colour in Sirius' face left. "Oh Merlin. Pettigrew knew."
Dumbledore looked gravely at Sirius. "So until we know otherwise, we will have to assume that Severus and Harry have been captured."
"It would explain why you haven't heard from them, and why there wasn't as many Death Eaters attacking us as Remus had said there was..." Sirius looked like he was about to start to panic.
"Remus? Where is he?" Dumbledore asked.
Sirius quickly looked over at where his friend was before. Now there were a group of Aurors surrounding him, bandaging him up as best they could.
"Ah, I think we should go back to Hogwarts. Set up a plan from there. Poppy can take care of you both."
"Hogwarts? But what about Harry? We have to look for him. We can't just-"
"Sirius, calm down. I'm sure Severus will do everything in his power to prevent any harm from coming to Harry. But you will be of no help if you go looking when you are hurt. Now let Poppy get you back to normal, and then we'll go from there."
Reluctantly Sirius nodded, accepting Dumbledore's help to get up onto his feet. This was going to be a long day.
Severus tried to cover any signs of shock, and panic and instead let a smirk fall out. An evil smirk, one he was forced to put on when he saw muggles being tortured, and killed.
Smirk still intact, he spoke. "Me? Spying for that muggle loving fool? You are kidding me aren't you?"
"I never joke Snape." The death eater replied in a hiss.
Snape could feel the man's eyes on him as if they were burning his skin. His hold on his wand tightened as he prepared himself for a duel that would surely come.
"But I also tend to not believe rumours. Normally they are started from jealously, and before you even hear it, have been twisted beyond belief." The man spoke calmly now; all hostility towards Severus was out of his voice.
Severus raised an eyebrow, feeling relieved on the inside. "Then why bring it up at all?"
"Because I don't trust you Snape. I never have, and I doubt I ever will. This rumour has neither leaned me toward either. But I do need your help. A lot of our fellow competent Death Eaters have been caught, leaving us with less than worthy help."
The Death Eater stopped, as if expecting Snape to say something, but when he didn't, the man continued.
"Pettigrew has already taken what few good men we had, and tried to bring revenge down on the Potter brat-"
"Tried?" Severus cut him off, hoping to find out how that situation ended.
"Yes. He found out where the boy was living, and blindly attacked." The Death Eater growled at the wall behind Snape.
"I assume by your reaction he failed?"
"The boy was nowhere to be seen. Aurors arrived before they could fully search the house. Idiots, the lot of them. If they had waited, we could have formed a better plan, with more resources and still taken them by surprise. Now the boy will be long gone, and almost impossible to find again."
Severus, deciding if he kept questioning about the attack may raise some suspicion, decided to change the topic.
"So why do you need my help?"
"I have a plan, one involving some of the Death Eaters in Azkaban. If we have no competent Death Eaters here, then we shall have no choice but to get the ones we did have back."
"No one has ever broken out of Azkaban, why would this plan of yours even work? Why should I risk myself getting caught, when I have evaded the Ministry for this long?"
"No one has ever tried to break in though. My plan is flawless, and I am confident with your full support and help, it can be reached."
"Don't you think its just time for us to move on with our lives? The Dark Lord is gone. We are free-"
"You do not believe in the cause anymore?" The Death Eater stood up, looking at Severus in disgust. "Makes me wonder if you were ever truly faithful to the Dark Lord, or if you only stayed with us out of your own pitiful fear."
Severus too stood up, feeling a bit unsure as to what to say.
"If you're not with us Snape, then you're against us."
"I will help you of course, as long as I feel the plan has no holes. But what will I get in return for helping you?"
"You will live to see another day."
Severus resisted the urge to roll his eyes at the man, and instead nodded his head. "Then please. Sit back down. We can discuss the plans as to which you believe will work."
"Like I said before Snape, I don't trust you." The man paused for a moment before continuing on. "And I may have no choice but to do so at this time, but don't think I won't take my precautions with you-"
"Point. What is your point?" Severus snapped at him.
"My point is-" the man hissed at Severus, taking a small step forward. "- that I will not divulge this information, until I must. Therefore, you will be notified when I am ready about the plan."
"Then why come to me now? Why not wait until you were ready to tell me this plan?"
"Because I was unsure how long you would be here for, and you have an easy way of disappearing."
"How will I be notified in the future then when you are ready?"
"How you usually are."
Severus raised an eyebrow. "How am I usually notif-" Severus stopped, as his gaze followed the man's eyes down to his arm, the arm holding his tattoo. "Impossible. Only the Dark Lord could-"
"I do not have time for this. Once you feel it, come to the same place we last met at, from there you will find a portkey that will only work for you, then you will be taken to our new head quarters for the time being. From there we will decide when the best time for attack shall be."
Severus nodded at him. "Dumbledore may be suspicious of me, if I disappear all of a sudden, and then there is an attack at Azkaban. Do you still want my cover with him?"
"We may still need you to spy on him. I trust you will think of something."
Snape shook his head, but still muttered a quiet "of course." Before the Death Eater took his leave and left the house.