Author's Note: Wow, I never expected anyone to like this story… its getting a bit dark though, just so you know. I like happy and all, but this time during Harry's life is not, so I don't want to write a story like it is…

The freezing wind stung his cheeks as he walked to the meeting place. So much for spring, sure as hell felt like winter to him. It had been a while since he'd been there, and he, for once, actually feared for his life. Sure it was a worthless thing, he was not wanted, but he still wanted to see Voldemort dead. No one wanted him around; he was just the little dog Dumbledore and the rest of the Order sent out in the cold to do his business, not caring if he ever returned. The wind blew even harder and he could feel his lips turning blue. Damn it was cold this night, of all the nights. He loathed the cold. He loathed night. He loathed everything right about now, including Dumbledore and himself for ever getting into this mess in the first place.

The circle was formed by the time he had arrived, but there was an empty space left just for him. How convenient. A bit of rain began to fall from the sky as he assumed his position between Bellatrix Lestrange and Malfoy, his two favorite people. He could feel her eyes follow him as he positioned himself between the two Death Eaters. The mark on his arm seared with pain as the others all raised their arms in the air, as if summoning the Dark Lord himself. Damn was he rusty at this! Malfoy shot him a deathly glance and whispered "Forget something Snape?" He wished that he could use the killing curse right then and there on the little bastard, but he knew that was out of the question. Not to mention, he'd be dead himself before he even finished reciting the curse.

As the ritual proceeded and he glimpsed the Dark Lord, he felt a twinge of fear for all the others at Hogwarts, what if they were attacked? Could he get back in time to warn everyone? What about the students? He was astonished that he cared for someone other than himself that was truly a big step. His mind reeled at the thought of him becoming softer. Stupid. He chastised himself. That was not happening any time soon. As they stood about, reciting some ridiculous incantation, he stopped as he heard a very familiar name. They were reciting names of those who were next to die! In the middle of the circle a witch was thrown in. She looked familiar, but Severus could not place her… she was a Ravenclaw during his year, he knew that…and it began.

The horrible curses, the madness that slowly descended upon her, the inevitable death that she faced, it was an awful cycle, but each meeting one of them had to die. A muggleborn, a mudblood, the "enemies of the heir", they would be the first to go. As the witch lay dying and Voldemort feeding on her life force, a list of names was read, of those who were next. Granger, Hagrid, the Weasleys, they were all on the list, as was one person that he feared for the most. The vengeful way Malfoy had recited her name made Snape's blood run cold. "McGonagall, Minerva". She was too injured to fight for herself; she would die as soon as she returned to Hogwarts. He knew he had to warn her, but as the circle disbanded he received a few very suspicious looks from his "fellow" Death Eaters, and he knew that from now on he would have to tread carefully.

"Don't worry Minerva," he whispered to the sky… "I'll protect you."