Summary: PostHBP, not slash. Sugar and spice and everything nice... Severus Snape and Mad Eye Moody meet unexpectedly. Will the murdering spy and the paranoid auror unite to get a job done to save the war?
Rating: PG-13 ( T )
Disclaimer: All characters you recognize are owned by you-know-who. No, not Voldemort, JK Rowling.
"In life, we shall find many men who are great,
and some men that are good,
but very few that are both great and good." -Colton.
"Sugar and Spice"
By: Chernobyl Ghost
. . . .
Chapter One: The Snake in the Grass
The ex-professor stepped closer and bowed low before his master. His greasy black hair fell forward and hid the man's face from view. "My Lord."
Voldemort waved his hand at the man to let him know he could rise. Red eyes shone brightly from inside the skull of the darkest wizard ever known. It was nearly impossible to tell from watching if the monster, as some would call him, was angry or contented. The twisted face of the Dark Lord would always reflect hatred, no matter what mood he happened to be in. Severus rose slowly and practically glided over to Voldemort's right side. Never once did he raise his head to the monster.
The Dark Lord spoke in a low tone to Severus as they waited for the other Death Eaters to arrive. "I find myself expecting Lucious to be the first to arrive as he did before his days in Azkaban. He was the one I could depend on to get things done no matter what obstacles stood in his way. Nevertheless, it is better to be rid of his attitude for a while. You know how to stay quiet. That is what I like most about you, Severus. You can follow directions and keep your mouth shut."
"Thank you, my Lord." You evil, life-taking, manipulating piece of...
"And, of course, you've proven yourself loyal to me with the destruction of Dumbledore. I now have only the Potter boy to take care of, and it's all thanks to you, Severus. I am most pleased." The Dark Lord glanced down at the figure to his right with narrowed eyes. Now it was time to add the kicker. "I have no doubt you will remain with me until the end as my highest ranking follower, under Wormtail, of course."
There was not a flinch or squeak at all from the figure. There was not a movement in the slightest to indicate eagerness or shame. There wasn't a way of knowing whether or not the ex-professor was truly with him. Certainly, the man had murdered the old fool, but that was after spending sixteen years in the same castle with him. One can never be too careful.
"Yes, my Lord. I am as loyal as they come." Loyal, yes... to you, never again. "I shall stay until the end." Until the end of my life or yours... whichever comes first.
"I'm glad to hear that, Severus. Now, we have other things to discuss." More Death Eaters had apparated by this time, and they were filling the room quickly. There were low murmurs of conversation among the groups of dark wizards. Voldemort watched them from atop his throne with a grim smile.
"My loyal followers..." The murmurs died instantly. "It has come to my attention that the precious savior of the Wizarding world has misplaced one of his little friends-"
"-Not surprising without that old bat gone," came a reply from someone in the gathering, and several others voiced similar things from around the room.
"And," Voldemort continued, "as always, his loss is our gain. There's no doubt that the little brat is out looking at this very moment-"
"-Do you want us to find Potter, my Lord? It would be my pleas-"
"Crucio!" Voldemort sent the curse at a small fellow named Travers in the back. By this time, the Dark Lord's "smile" had turned down, and his eyes were once again narrowed at the crowd. "The next of you to interrupt me will find themselves a seat next to Lucius in Azkaban! Is that clear?"
After frightful replies of "Yes, my Lord." and "Yes, master." and one "Do we get food at these things?", they were silent once more.
"As I was saying," Voldemort began again, "Potter will be out looking as we speak. Therefore, you must find his little friend before he does." The Dark Lord gave another glance to his right at the figure who still had his head bowed to the ground. "Do I have any volunteers?"
This time, the figure did move. There was the slightest twitch of the figure's index finger on the left hand. That had been exactly what the Dark Lord was waiting for.
Severus raised his head at last as a few of the other Death Eaters yelled out pleas to do Voldemort's bidding. He could just barely hear someone ask, "Why do we want to get Potter's groupies? What good would that do?" Because, Severus replied silently in his head, he'll go right for it. Nothing will stop that idiotic Gryffindor from trying to save one of the members of his fan club. It's the perfect trap, and he will fall for it all over again.
"Which one is it, Master?" Bellatrix shrieked happily from somewhere in the group. "Is it the mudblood girl? Oh, I want her! Please, Master, let me go after her!"
"It is not the mudblood. It's the other one. It is the Weasley boy," Voldemort spoke loudly over Bella's high squeals. That voice could give anyone a headache.
Turning to the Dark Lord, Severus spoke in a dark tone, "My Lord, let me find the dim-witted Weasley. After six years of wanting to strangle the boy in my class, I can barely take it a second longer."
"Which one?" Bella piped up again in a less gleeful shriek. "I thought they all were dim-witted!" That got a few laughs from the other Death Eaters, and also a, "What does 'dim-witted' mean?" from the small man in the back who was trying his best to cese the twitching caused by the Cruciatus Cruse.
"Severus," Voldemort turned his head slightly to the figure beside him, "you will go. You've earned it after all." There were some who agreed, and there were others who showed their disappointment at not being chosen.
The short male Death Eater in the back, Dumpling Travers, whispered to the person in front of him, "What did he do?" Thankfully, someone knocked him on the side of the head to shut him up. There wasn't another pointless question out of the man for the rest of the night.
Why does he even keep that imbecile around? Severus thought, but said aloud instead, "Thank you, my Lord. I will not fail." He bowed low again in front of Voldemort.
"You had better not," his master warned.
Severus felt a slight shiver run down his spine, but made no moves that even suggested it. It would not do to break his cover after just regaining it. Well, after regaining some of it. The Dark Lord had given him several indications that told him he was still under suspicion. It didn't even matter that he'd killed the Albus Dumbledore! There was not much trust to go around for Snape, the one who had constantly failed to dispose of the brat Potter. There's no time to think of this now! Severus berated himself as he rose from his bow.
For a brief moment, the Dark Lord's red eyes locked with Severus' black ones. This time, Severus could not help the tiny squirm he made as the shivers came. The Dark Lord turned his gaze to the gathered Death Eaters, feeling satisfied that he could still get a scare out of the Potions master, and announced, "This meeting is over. Amycus, Alecto, you two shall stay behind."
Aside from the two called, and Severus, the Death Eaters left for the exits to apparate away. "Severus," Voldemort addressed the figure to his right. "You will travel to Goul Lane behind the Skull and Dagger, where Weasley was seen with the brat before he vanished. Search for any trace of who or what took him. My informative seems to believe that this kidnapping was staged by the Ministry fools because of a refusal to cooperate from our wonder boy Potter. Do not return until you have Weasley with you, am I clear?"
Informant? Minerva, who have you been letting in... "Yes, my Lord," Snape replied.
"You may go."
"Thank you, my Lord."
Without another word, Severus Snape left their presence. The two others knelt, shaking under the gaze of the Dark Lord. "You two," Voldemort began, "will follow him. As soon as the Weasley is found, one of you bring him here, and the other will keep watch on our ever-so-loyal snake in the grass. Am I understood?"
"Y-yes, m-m-my Lord."
"Good. Now get out of my sight!" With terrified squeaks, they rose and were out of the door in less than five seconds' time.
"Alastor! Alastor, get up! ALASTOR MOODY!"
"Wha'! Lumos! I'm up, what's wrong? Relashio!" Mad Eye growled as he hastily removed the coverings of his warm bed, his wand raised in one hand. He scrambled over to the small table next to him and removed his magical eye from a small fish tank full of sparkling water. With a grunt, he popped it back into place and stood shakily.
After putting out the flames he'd unnessisarily set on his bedroom door, he glanced around his bedroom for the source of the yelling. Both eyes stopped and he lowered his wand as he saw the head of Minerva McGonagall floating in green flames. "What is it, Minerva? And please, you don't have to scream, my ears still work properly."
"Alastor!" McGonagall cried. "Alastor, we need you over here now!"
"All right, I'm coming, I'm coming," he replied. After grabbing his cane, he Flooed directly to Headquarters.
He was just barely half a step into Grimmauld Place when he was pounced on by Minerva. He staggered as more shouting came at him. "Alastor, there's been a kidnapping! The Weasley's youngest son was taken!"
Alastor gave a frustrated sigh and held up a hand to try calming Minerva's yells. It had no effect whatsoever. "Taken? When? Where? Minerva, calm down and tell me what's going on!" McGonagall huffed and strode off toward the kitchen, indicating he should follow. That was when he noticed.
HQ was total chaos.
People were running about everywhere - upstairs, downstairs, outside, inside. The noise of all the arguments going on hit Alastor like a frying pan in the back of the head, and he nearly had to cover his ears to hear himself think. Somewhere on an upper level of the house, there was an explosion and the sound of glass shattering. A redhead, whichever Weasley it was, sprinted up the stairs before Alastor could even blink.
"Merlin's beard," he growled to himself as he clunked into the kitchen.
"Oh, Alastor, you're finally here!" He heard Molly Weasley say, and then she continued the sobbing that could always get to the core of old Mad Eye. McGonagall was sitting next to her, rubbing her back with one hand and her own temple with the other. Now he understood why he'd been nothing but screamed at all morning so far. Minerva most likely had gotten tears three times as worse from Molly alone.
Alastor gazed at the Weasley mother for a moment before clunking to her other side and taking a seat. "Molly," he said in his gravely voice. "It will be all right. We'll find him, don't you worry." Which, he knew, was a completely useless thing to say to her. Alastor was sure that she'd worry even after her son was returned to her.
"Moody." He looked up at Minerva as he was addressed. "Mr. Weasley was last seen-" Here Molly gave a particularly loud sob. "-outside the Skull and Dagger. Look for signs of where he could have been taken, and by whom."
Mad Eye nodded and stood to leave. Harry Potter stepped in at that exact moment; no doubt he had been listening at the door. "I'm coming," he stated firmly, his chin held up a little more than normal.
"No," Alastor returned in just as bold a tone. "You are not." Moody tried to get past him, but Potter just stood in his way again. With a deep growl, Mad Eye rested both eyes on the teen. "I'd move if I were you, Potter."
"I was there when it happened. I can tell you where to look," Potter offered, staying in place.
"If you were there, why was your best friend taken?" Mad Eye shot at him. He saw a gleam of hurt flash in those green eyes, but it did not last long.
"We'll split up to-" Potter began, but Alastor cut him off.
"And that," he snarled, "is why you are not coming. Constant vigilance, Potter!" With that, he shoved the Gryffindor to the side and passed through the doorway. As he thunked away to the Floo, Mad Eye was taking a guess at how long it would be before he was followed. He wasn't going to fool himself. Potter would always be Potter, and when it came to that kid, there was just no telling him "no". That fact was even truer when it came to his closest friends.
As he twirled away in the green, Alastor Moody wondered what else could possibly go wrong for the Light side. So many things had happened already: murdering spies, feuding families, rebelling ghosts! What was going to be thrown at them next?
In the days to come, he would regret ever wondering what the future had in store for him.
Author note: Tell me your thoughts, if you would.