The Cruciatus

Disclaimer:
sigh Harry Potter does not belong to us.

Author's Note:
This is the second combined effort of Snow Raine and Xxpresso, which was attempted at the same time with 'Past Midnight'. Having been suddenly addicted to the fifth book, expect lots more of these one-shots :)

Annoyed Note:
Seems that fanfiction.net had denied all usage of stars, underscores, and all sorts of those stuff that I usually need to make pictures at the bottom of the page to scream 'please review'. Now I can't do a single picture unless I construct one using 'o'. Temporarily offended, I'm going to hide in a cave until someone coaxes me out...

Based on:
At Umbridge's office after getting caught trying to use her fireplace, Book 5
Severus/Harry friendship
(We have sat down and debated a lot on this, but realized that we don't have much options, seeing that Dumbledore wasn't in school, McGonagall stunned, Sirius at the Black Manor and Remus not available. Hence, the only guy obtainable was Snape. So there. Unless someone wants tiny Professor Flitwick...)

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"The Cruciatus curse ought to loosen your tongue," Professor Umbridge said quietly.

"No!" Hermione shrieked. "Professor - it's illegal!"

"No one would necessarily need to know about this," Professor Umbridge began to smile, a horrid wicked one.

"You are so disgusting," Harry told her.

Umbridge ignored him but instead pointed her wand at his forehead. "You forced me to, Potter. If you would tell me who you were contacting, this would not be necessary."

Harry glared at her, feeling utterly at sea without his wand, slowly rising to his feet using the desk as leverage. Behind Umbridge he could see Hermione trying to shout something but Bulstrode had her mouth clamped shut. Ginny was screaming as she tried to stamp on her captor's foot while Neville started to turn purple again in Crabbe's hold.

"Let him go, you witch!" Ginny screamed.

"You forced me," Umbridge seemed oblivious to the scuffle behind her.

"With pleasure," Harry glowered at the dumpy professor.

"Crucio!"

A stunningly bright red light shot out from her wand towards Harry. Due to the short distance between them, the light hit Harry in a split second, right at his forehead. The force of the collision brought Harry flying past the desk to slam into the wall.

Hermione and Ginny delivered ear-piercing shrieks while Neville and Ron spluttered in horror. Luna's eyes registered brief surprise. Harry landed on the floor hard then still engulfed in the red light, he started to convulse as he fought to keep himself from screaming in pain.

"Professor!" Hermione cried as she tried to get Umbridge's attention.

Dolores chose to ignore her as usual, focusing on holding the spell. "Are you ready to talk now?"

"In case you didn't notice, he's in too much pain to answer!" yelled Ron.

"Pain?" Umbridge took a few steps towards Harry. "Then why isn't he crying for mercy?"

"Because he is not like you?" Hermione snapped, tears starting to flow down her cheeks.

"Wrong answer, Miss Granger," said Umbridge, gritting her teeth. She repositioned her wand towards Harry and shouted clearly again. "Crucio!"

Everyone watched in horror as the second curse hit Harry. Even the Slytherins seemed unnerved by the madness in Umbridge's eyes as they unconsciously loosened their hold on the struggling Gryffindors. Taking the opportunity, Ginny turned around quickly and slammed her knee into the place her captor would hurt most. Diving towards Malfoy, she knocked into him and both of them fell onto the floor.

"Give me the wand!" Ginny shouted as she tried to reach into Malfoy's robes.

Hermione twisted around and hit Millicent in the face with her head, wincing as she did so. Her head was going to hurt after this. Millicent yelled in fury, letting go of Hermione to clutch her bleeding nose. Ron, not going to be outdone by the girls, stamped on his captor's foot with a sudden burst of strength enough to break a few toes. Escaping, he threw himself at Malfoy, helping Ginny to snatch Harry's wand back.

Hermione, Ginny and Ron turned as one towards Umbridge, each holding Harry's, Hermione's and Draco's wand in their hands.

"Let him go!" Ron snapped.

Neville who was still struggling, opened his mouth to warn them as Draco, Goyle and Millicent were trying to advance on them. Hermione turned swiftly and pointed her wand at them. "Petrificus Totalus!"

All of the Slytherins fell to the floor in full body bind, motionless. Neville hurriedly pushed Crabbe's hard arm away to choke and quickly stand beside the other Gryffindors.

"Furnun..." Hermione began, sensing that Umbridge wasn't about to pay them any attention sooner.

"What the hell is happening here?" Professor Snape's annoyed voice sounded as the door opened with a loud bang. "I could hear the commotion corridors away!"

"Professor Snape!" Ron gasped half thankfully.

Snape didn't look at Ron, his eyes snapping towards Professor Umbridge and the thrashing Potter on the floor, his movements starting to be feebler as moments passed.

"Professor Dolores Umbridge!" shouted Professor Snape as he ran over to the pair. Drawing out his own wand, he yelled, "Stupefy!"

Umbridge's eyes flicked with brief surprise before breaking her hold on Harry and jumping aside to escape the spell.

"Potter? Potter, can you hear me?" Snape lifted Harry's head to lean on his shoulder, pushing the sweaty bangs away from Harry's face. Using his other hand, he loosened the tie and slapped Harry's cheeks gently. "Potter, answer me!"

"Severus Snape! What are you trying to do?" Umbridge screamed.

"What am I trying to do?" Snape snarled. "What are you trying to do? Casting an Unforgivable Curse on a schoolboy!"

"Pro...Professor," stammered Hermione.

"Shut up, girl," Snape snapped turning back to Umbridge. "Have you any idea what effects a prolonged Cruciatus Curse can give?"

Neville turned a bright red.

"Professor!" Ginny, Hermione, Ron and Luna both started hysterically. "PROFESSOR!"

"WHAT!?" Snape shouted.

"Harry's....his...the scar!" Ron blurted.

Snape quickly turned back to the boy in his arms. True enough, the famous lightning shaped scar was leaking blood in amazing speed. It streaked down to cover his entire side of his face and Severus hurriedly tore off a section of his robes and pressed it tightly to Harry's scar. "I assume the curse was aimed at his forehead?" he snarled at the Gryffindors.

"Twice," whispered Ginny.

Professor Snape's face hardened.

"Put that boy down." Umbridge's voice was dangerous as she aimed her wand at the Potions Master.

All of the occupants in the room stared at the Hogwarts Inquisitor.

"What are you trying to play at?" Snape snapped. "Do you realize what you have just did?" Shifting Harry so that he fully leant on his shoulder, he used his left hand to continue holding the now bloodied cloth to his forehead, he withdrew his wand with his right.

"Nothing you would know, Severus Snape," hissed Umbridge. "This boy chose to use my fireplace and refuses to tell me what for."

"Does this call for the use of the Cruciatus?" Snape spat back.

Umbridge gave a high pitched laugh. "Oh yes."

"Stupefy!" Five blinding jets of red light shot directly at the back of Umbridge and with a horrorstruck look on her face, she fell forwards and toppled onto the floor, passed out in merely inches away from the professor and Harry.

Professor Snape did not betray any emotions as he looked up to see five breathless teenages, holding their wands with shaky hands. Neville, staring at the unconscious form of Umbridge, combined with the knowledge that he had just performed a stunning spell successfully was too much and he too fell into a deep faint at Ron's feet. Ron looked down at him then looked back at Professor Snape.

"What are you staring at?" snapped Professor Snape turning his attention back to the unconscious teen leaning on him. "Potter! Wake up!"

Hermione, Ginny, Ron and Luna approached them softly, kneeling down beside them watching quietly.

"Harry Potter!"

Harry started and blinked fuzzily at his professor, obviously still in pain.

"Do you feel alright?" Snape asked curtly.

"Do I look alright?" Harry managed a glare, coughing.

"One plus three divided into two. What's the answer?" Severus continued snappily.

"What?" Harry closed his eyes again, groaning. "Solve it yourself, I'm not quite in the mood..."

"Potter!" shouted Severus, sensing the boy was going into another lapse of unconsciousness. "Answer me!"

"Professor, don't you think..." began Ginny, unsurely.

"Crazy people can't do maths," snapped Severus.

"He's checking whether Harry has gone crazy from the curse," whispered Hermione to Ginny, her face pale.

"HARRY JAMES POTTER!"

Harry jumped. "TWO! TWO ALRIGHT!" He dissolved into another bout of coughs.

Severus softened. "Where does it hurt?"

"Everywhere," Harry closed his eyes again.

Severus rose, lifting Harry with him. "Hospital Wing then. Granger, please kindly undo the spell on my Slytherins, thank you. Weasley, stop gawking at me. Lovegood, drag Mr. Longbottom along. I suppose this excitement has been too much for him."

"Um..." began Hermione. "What about...Professor Umbridge?" She half spat it out, obviously forcing herself to ask.

Severus didn't bother to turn and look at the woman face down on the floor. "Leave her."

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Authors' Note:Thanks for reading, review please!