Disclaimer: All HP characters are the property of J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., and any other entity who may lay legal claim to the Harry Potter Universe. No profit is being made with the writing of this fiction, and no harm or insult is intended or implied.

A/N - Written in response to leogryffin's 30 Minute Challenges on Live Journal. Theme – lyrics from "King of Pain" by the Police.

Pairing: Snape/None

Of Vultures and Carrion Crows

A blue bowl of sky. A drift of faceless clouds. I suppose there are worse things to look upon when awaiting the long sleep. My eyes hurt. The blue bowl tilts sometimes, and sometimes it is nothing more than a thin line of light between my blistered lids.

It's morning now, and the torture has not yet begun. But soon I will stretch before an unrelenting heat, naked and split beneath the rays of a summer sun. My cradle is a slab of black rock, worn to a smooth glass by the effects of time, wind and isolation.

The birds wait, hovering mourners who watch me with avid eyes as I lay crucified on the rock. My delusions of grandeur would see them as eagles and I as Prometheus as we bond in an eternal circle of pain and torment. I feel my lips crack as I attempt to smile. I will allow myself this simple device. A god who betrayed gods for the good of man. A man who betrayed a monster for the good of himself. There really is no comparison, but there are none who grieve for me, or wish other than my punishment.. Those who might have are but dust and I shall soon join them. so I will wax poetic to myself, spread accolades on my waiting grave and whisper my own prayer for the dying in a croaking voice.

The birds will watch me pass, and Garm awaits at the Gate. I can feel spears of heat across my naked thighs as my torturer wheels across the morning blue. Dark wings cast shadows across my dried eyes as carrion eaters dance aerials above me. Who will peck out my liver, I wonder? A sentinel crow? A cloaked vulture? Or the triumphant serpent who sentenced me to this death? And did it matter?

I have lost track of time here, kept company only by the rustle of impatient wings and the silent twist of stars in the merciful cool of night. I grow thin in spirit.

The shadow of wings pass over me and I squint in the glaring light. For all that I am nearly blinded now, I can see one thing clearly, a hope that my destination draws close. There's a little black spot on the sun today.

(Completed in 25 minutes)