Title – The Price We Pay 1/12

Rating – PG-13/T

Disclaimer – I own none of this, it all unfortunately belongs to Rowling. I just have the honor of using her creations in my story. There will be no slash, sex or profanity!

Summary – After the end of the war Dumbledore frees Snape from the dungeons of Lord Voldemort and the long road to recovery begins.

Author's Note – This is my very first attempt at Harry Potter fan fiction and I hope it meets with your approval. I've been thinking about writing a fic like this after reading all the great fics out there and I finally got the nerve to write it. Of course this is also an AU and I wanted to portray a strictly paternal relationship between Dumbledore and Snape, but expect loads of yummy angst and drama for everyone. All reviews, questions, suggestions and corrections are welcome! Read and enjoy!

The Price We Pay


Pain. His body ached with unnatural pain; the likes of which he had never felt before or would ever feel again. He thought he knew what pain was, after all he was no stranger to pain beginning from his early childhood, but his tormentors invented creative ways to torture his beaten body and send him to new levels of agony. When the cruciatus curse ceased to have the desired effect they turned to other implements of torture. Of course, only the Dark Lord found continual pleasure using the cruciatus, whenever he actually came down to the dungeons to play with his favourite toy. They always laughed at his attempts to scream with his useless throat; it had been silenced long ago with the wave of a wand.

Darkness. His soul was drowning in never-ending darkness and it seemed he would never find his way back to the warm light. The shadows closed in and held him at the mercy of his evil captors. He vaguely remembered being rescued once before from those hands of evil, and set on the path of redemption by the one person who was the embodiment of light and good. But it was so hard to see past the cold darkness most of the time and he could not trust his own memories, as fractured as they were. The darkness threatened to overwhelm him again and with the last remnants of his will he held it at bay.

Loneliness. His mind cried out for company and coherent thought. As a man who treasured knowledge and intelligence above all else he wept silently as his precious mind was torn apart and the pieces thrown to the metaphorical winds. His once strictly ordered mind had been reduced to a mere shadow of what it was through the use of magic, pain and lies. All that he was left with was a crushing loneliness and a longing for what he no longer had. He recalled that he must have been a solitary person by nature because the loneliness did not truly bother him in the beginning. But as days turned into weeks and weeks into months he desperately wished for the company of someone who was not there to cause him pain or laugh at his wretchedness. He no longer tried to keep his shattered mind sane and occupied and passed most of the time in a hazy stupor, oblivious to reality.

- & -

With a small sigh the pathetic prisoner shifted and moaned mutely as the chains around his wrists and ankles rubbed against the raw, bloody flesh underneath. Giving up on finding a more comfortable position, he curled into a ball in the corner of the dark cell and rested his weary head on the cold ground. The cold seeped through his naked skin, into his bones and racked his painfully thin body with weak tremors.

Another prisoner in another part of the dungeons began moaning and screaming for release, promising to answer questions and reveal classified information. With a sudden jerk he became aware of the loud voice and summoned enough alertness to make sure he was not the one being yelled at. Some of the words managed to make sense to him and with a flash of memory he saw himself giving an important report to a group of people in an old, dirty house. The memory was gone as fast as it came and he did not have the energy to try and recall the moment.

Time passed slowly and he finally cracked open his obsidian eyes and wondered why someone had not come to stop the poor man who was screaming his throat out. At least the moans broke up the monotonous silence of captivity. This question sustained him for a minute before he closed his sensitive eyes and sank back into the enveloping blackness.

He drifted along, finding childish pleasure in listening to the various vermin scurry around his cell and in counting the drops of water dripping in the other corner. When the dungeons suddenly fell silent he frowned and turned his head slightly, listening for any sign of his captors coming to play. He waited with weary resignation for the door to open, but instead he felt an ominous feeling squeeze his heart and descend upon the gloomy dungeon.

The captive wizards and witches all stirred as they felt the tell tale signs of powerful, ancient magic being summoned and used. The feeling of immense power intensified and they all shuddered as the currents of magic that surrounded the entire mansion faltered and abruptly vanished. A ripple of dark power passed through the silent dungeon before it was overwhelmed and finally destroyed by a burst of light magic.

Following this strange magical event, a sharp burning pain blossomed in his left forearm. He gripped his burning arm as best he could with his chained wrists and curled into a tighter ball against the incredible pain. The burning in his forearm reached its peak in a white-hot explosion of pain before coming to a stop. The prisoner remained curled in a tight ball for some time, panting and shaking harder than ever. When enough of the pain and shock wore off he was able to move and touched the skin of his left arm with trembling hands.

He ran his twisted fingers across the place where the horrid Dark Mark should have been and was met with unexpectedly smooth skin. There was no evidence of the Mark on his grimy skin, not even a blemish or a scar. He knew there was something very important behind this abrupt and painful removal of the Mark, but could not come up with the reason. Too tired to care or think anymore the miserable man rested his head back on the ground and fell into an oddly peaceful sleep.

To Be Continued

Well I hope you liked this enough to leave a kind review! (Hint, hint)

I will try to update every week depending on reader response and if I have the time. Chapter one will be up in a few days. Don't forget to tell me what you think!