Title: Love and Honesty

Author: Raven

Disclaimer: If it were mine, man I'd be flying high.

Summary: OOTP spoilers...Severus becomes Dudley Dursley's and Harry's tutor for the rest of the summer after the end of 5th year. What secrets are revealed?


Severus Snape could smell fear. The stench of death and pain radiated from the people around him. He was a Death Eater, a slave of the risen-again dark lord, a puppet of Voldemort. But he was also a spy. It had been many years since any spy had worked his way so far into that evil. But Severus had mastered that prowling walk, that mask of lies, a long time ago. He was a spy, and he was a damn good one. The potions master of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry slipped into his place in the circle and waited with the others.

It had all began 18 years ago, with a foolish decision made by a foolish mind. Young Severus had been 17, fresh out of Hogwarts, and he had been hungry for power. He wanted revenge on everyone who had made his life hell. And Voldemort offered him that power on a silver platter. Once he realized the bad part of this "agreement" he already had the mark blazing on his arm and he knew it was far too late. People didn't just change their mind and back out of the deal. He had wanted to become a Death Eater, and a Death Eater he had become. Severus Snape could find no way out of this hellhole, so he turned to where he knew he could find an answer; to where he always found an answer. Severus turned to Albus Dumbledore. And the wise old headmaster welcomed him with open arms. That day, 18 years ago, September 13th, Severus Snape had been inducted into the Order of the Phoenix.

There was a small pop, and Lord Voldemort appeared in the center of the circle of his followers. There were many blank places in the line, places where now imprisoned Death Eaters had once stood. Snape especially noticed Lucius Malfoy's empty place. Dumbledore had been particularly pleased that that thorn had been taken from the bush. "This was a failure that I expect shall never take place again," Voldemort hissed.

"No, master," everyone murmured.

"The Minister was in the palm of our hand, following through on Lucius' every whim, fulfilling our every need. And now he has had the information shoved under his nose and tossed around like a Quaffle in a Quidditch game. There is no way he can deny my existence now. There is no way he can't believe that I have returned. This game is getting harder to play. Severus," he said, turning towards the man, "How is this being taken at Hogwarts?"

Severus replied, careful not to look Voldemort in the eye, saying, "It is as we expected, milord. Everyone is in shock. The entire student body was milling around at the end of term, asking the Potter boy if the Daily Prophet was telling the truth. They all wore black as if their mothers had died and half the time they were white as the ghosts with fear. They've panicked."

"As we thought," Voldemort mused. "Students return to school soon and the castle is empty, but watchful. If we plan to make a move we cannot do it now, right under the nose of Dumbledore. We shall wait until he is distracted by the start of term. And in the meantime, we shall need to break our Death Eaters out of jail. I will devise a new plan for the third ever Azkaban breakout. It needs to be original. You may take leave."

Everyone bowed and disapparated to their separate homes. And Severus Snape strode off through the Hogwarts gates towards Dumbledore's office. He had to report.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: When posting chapter 10, I accidentally made a mistake and posted it as the prologue as well as chapter 10, so here I am fixing that mistake. My apologies!