Disclaimer: Harry Potter and other canon characters belong to JKR I'm only having some fun

Chapter 17 Misery Loves Company

D.M.L.E. Holding Cells

Severus Snape sat and held his head in his hands and looked back over the previous twenty-four hours, how could things go so wrong so quickly? He surveyed his surroundings, an eight foot by six foot stone cell, a steel door with a hatch for passing food through. The furnishings consisted of the concrete platform with a wafer thin mattress, covered by a single woollen blanket, on which he now sat, the pillow was as thin as the mattress. The only other item of 'furniture' was a metal bucket with a lid.

He started to reach into his pocket when he realised he didn't have one, he had been stripped of his clothes and dressed in a hospital style gown. Feelings of despair started to overcome him, but with great effort he raised his Occlumency shields and calmed his thoughts.

When he was calm he summed up his situation, the Aurors had him, and neither of his masters would raise a finger to save him. Voldemort was angry with him and he wasn't held in enough esteem to be considered for rescue, Dumbledore had warned him that he would have to distance himself from him until the storm in a teacup, as he was calling the accusations made against him, blew over.

What was puzzling him was why he had been arrested, Dumbledore had assured him that his leaving Hogwarts would be the end of the issue, he had been cleared of the Death Eater charges years before and couldn't be tried on that issue again, not unless he was actually caught wearing Death Eater robes, then it hit him, he had been wearing Death Eater robes, that must be it, but how had they known, was there a spy in the Dark Lord's ranks?

He broke from his reverie as he heard the hatch on the door open, he saw eyes looking through the hatch and heard a voice say.

"Prisoner Snape, please stand and face the wall, now spread your arms out with the backs of your hands against the wall."

He complied with the instruction, the next thing he felt was a cold metal bracelet tighten round one wrist, as it did he felt all resistance drain from his body. Soon both hands were cuffed behind his back and he was led from his cell.

Headmasters Office, Hogwarts.

Dumbledore sat in his office, the reports back from the portraits were truly disturbing, Costello and his friends had been fair in their statements but they had been damning, a curse out of nowhere had struck Costello causing a nasty cut to his arm. Potter had arrived and put a temporary dressing on the wound and sent them off to Madame Pomfrey. But worse than that, every sixth year from the Defence Class had spoken of what had taken place, even the Slytherins had to admit to the curse being fired without provocation, and many of them had spoken about the animosity shown towards Harry Potter right from his first Potions lesson by the former Hogwarts Professor.

Most disturbing of all was the fact that the portraits had been silenced by Potter and Granger while they gave their statements, he didn't know what they had said, he'd need to try and get information from another source, maybe the Creep, no Creevey brothers would overhear something in the Gryffindor common room.

As he was contemplating this the gargoyle informed him that he was about to receive a visitor, and not one he particularly wanted to speak to, Amelia Bones.

"Ahh, Amelia," he started

"Director Bones," she corrected.

"Director Bones, I trust your visit has went well?" he asked.

"Yes, it has, as I'm sure the portraits have informed you." She replied.

If her statement surprised him he didn't show it.

She looked him straight in the eye, daring him to try and use Legilimency on her and continued. "It is my duty to inform you that your former Professor, Severus Snape, is going to be arrested for the assault on Mr. Costello. There have been other allegations made against him of which I will inform the Board of Governors, they may wish to take matters further."

"Can I inquire to what allegations have been made against Professor Snape, and by whom?" asked the now slightly nervous Dumbledore.

"The allegations against Mr. Snape are mainly about his treatment of those students not in Slytherin. While most of them are school related, and will be dealt with by the Board of Governors, taken as a whole it seems he has systematically abused students over his years as a member of Hogwarts' staff."

"But, Director Bones," he began "Snape had to abuse non-Slytherins to keep up appearances with his ex-Death Eater colleagues, otherwise they would have suspected him of being a traitor."

"Nonsense, Dumbledore, you know as well as I do that there were as many Death Eaters from the other Houses as from Slytherin, how did him persecuting the children of the other Houses make any difference, that and he has cost us a generation of Potion Makers, did you know we have had to start importing some of the more intricate potions as there are too few people available in this country to brew them in sufficient quantity? You've really let him screw things up, with the statements given by other students, his abuse of Lord Potter has been most vindictive."

"Well Severus had a feud with Mr. Potter's father, he seemed to carry it forward to the son."

Director Bones interrupted him, "And you let it continue, you let an adult persecute a child, and now you want to employ someone else who has a grudge against Lord Potter, that's if the Board ratify Shacklebolt's appointment, did you forget they could review your choice of staff just because they haven't done so recently?"

Dumbledore paled, he'd forgotten that the Board could veto staff appointments, in all his years at Hogwarts he'd only known it to happen once, he'd need to act fast if he wanted to keep his new Defence Professor, but how?

He started to wish that Fawkes was here, the phoenix had disappeared before, but never for so long and had always returned when he needed him. He really missed the calming influence of the bird's song.

D.M.L.E. Interrogation Area

Severus Snape looked at his jailers and tried to raise his Occlumency shields to hide his deepest secrets, and found he couldn't, what he didn't know was that the handcuffs he now wore were the latest development from the Unspeakables, they were charmed to lower the magical abilities of whoever wore them. Visually they were identical to the ordinary cuffs used by Aurors, the only people aware of their hidden powers were Amelia Bones and her two Deputies all of whom had been questioned while wearing them to ensure their loyalties.

His interrogator's face was hidden by an obscuring charm as was standard when questioning Death Eater suspects, too many Death Eater suspects and sympathisers had got off on technicalities during and after the last war and many of the interrogation staff had turned up dead soon afterwards.

The interrogator as standard procedure dosed his prisoner with Veritaserum not knowing the potion was actually just water and started his interrogation, "Interview with Prisoner Severus Snape, former Potions and D.A.D.A. Professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Prisoner, do you understand why you have been arrested?"

"No," replied Snape, "I was stunned without warning and when I recovered I was in what I assume is a holding cell, stripped of my possessions. Where is my legal representative?"

"As Gringotts have frozen your accounts you can't afford representation, however a member of the Wizengamot is monitoring these procedures and will step in on your behalf if they think our questioning is unfair. Their identity is being kept secret to protect them."

"So you admit that the Death Eater robes and Mask you were found with are yours?"

"Yes."

"Are you a Death Eater?"

"Yes."

"How long have you been a Death Eater?"

"Nineteen years, two months, five days, twelve hours, six minutes and twenty-three, no twenty-four, no twenty-five."

"Quiet!"

'Damn Veritaserum not always helpful!' though the interrogator

"Are you a spy for Albus Dumbledore?"

"No, but he thinks I am."

"Elaborate!"

"My Lord sent me to spy on Dumbledore, I passed information about Death Eater attacks to him, but always just too late or vague for it to be useful, or if it was accurate about Death Eaters that my Master wanted rid of."

"What information did you pass to You-Know-Who?"

"Everything I could lay my hands on, but my Master was careful to only use information that could come from anyone within Dumbledore's Order."

"Prisoner Snape, on your own admission, you are now charged with being a member of a banned organisation and will be sentenced accordingly at the next meeting of the Wizengamot. Describe in your own words the incident with Lord Potter."

"Which one?"

"Explain what you mean."

"Which Lord Potter, James or Harry?"

"Lord Harry Potter."

"There have been many incidents, the first one was during the Welcoming Feast of his first year when I used Legilimency on him to find out how I could humiliate him in class."

"The latest one."

"Dumbledore appointed me as Defence Professor to see if I could curb Potter as he was getting too powerful and knowledgeable for him to control, the Dark Lord was pleased and requested that I test the brat to see how powerful he was. I had heard rumours that he had been training with his friends last year, but that he was no better than average, my Godson had informed me that Potter had been pampered by previous Defence Professors."

"When Potter and his whore entered the classroom I fired a cutting curse at him, he dodged the spell and then left the classroom as he had heard someone cry out when my curse hit them. When the arrogant boy returned he somehow persuaded the entire class except my Slytherins that dodging spells was as effective as using shields. To prove the brat wrong, I set up a demonstration between him and Nott, I had primed Nott to expect this the night before and asked Zabini to interfere if he thought Potter would win."

"Potter won, I later found out that three Gryffindors had stopped Zabini from interfering after they saw him block Potters first attack."

"So you did not intend to hit Mr. Costello?"

"No."

"What damage would your curse have done to Lord Potter had it hit him?"

"It would have gutted him like a fish, the Potters would have finally been out of my misery."

"Prisoner Snape, you are now charged with causing Actual Bodily Harm to Mr. Costello and with the Attempted Murder of Lord Harry Potter and/or Ms. Hermione Granger, as witnesses state they can't be certain which of them you aimed at."

"Was Headmaster Dumbledore aware of your abuse of Lord Potter?"

"Yes, he told me before Potter came to Hogwarts that he was an arrogant child who was spoiled by his relatives and had everything handed to him on a plate, he wanted the arrogance drawn out of him. The Headmaster wanted to be sure that Potter would see him as the only person in the Wizarding world who would defend him. It would have worked if it hadn't been for that pesky kid."**

"Explain!"

"The Granger bint, she kept Potter in line and encouraged him."

"Okay, what about other students?"

"The Headmaster told me to humiliate and intimidate as many students from the other Houses as possible, he also asked me to sow dissent among the other staff by accusing them of being biased against each other's Houses, it was working right up to yesterday."

"What happened?"

"The Deputy Headmistress got to the Points recording book and announced what I'd done to the other Head's of House before the Headmaster had a chance to Obliviate her as he usually did when she complained about my bias, the others bonded against me, he would have put it right by the end of the week, but I was asked to resign before that."

"Why were you asked to resign?"

"The Headmaster didn't want the Board or the Education Authority to investigate, and he somehow had lost his influence on The Prophet and had no influence on the wireless news, especially as Costello's father works for them."

"Interview ends."

In the shadows, a figure grimaced and quickly disappeared to report to his superior, and the member of the Wizengamot went off to report on what their Chief Wizard had been up to.

Amelia Bones Office

Amelia Bones, Professor Tofty and Hogwarts' Board member Clearwater read over the copies of the statements from the students and staff of Hogwarts, to say that they were shocked would have been an understatement.

Bones had heard much from her favourite niece about that 'horrible Professor Snape' but as she could remember some of her own Professors from her time at Hogwarts, had put it down to the usual youthful moaning about a disliked teacher.

Clearwater was equally shocked, his granddaughter had mentioned Snape from time to time but again he'd dismissed it as schoolgirl gossip.

Tofty just sat and shook his head, he had seen things slipping over the years but hadn't been anything able to do anything about it, his Department worked at arm's length from the school, and every time he'd tried to raise it with Dumbledore he'd been dismissed and Lucius Malfoy had blocked his attempts to raise it with the Governors, maybe it was time to change things.

As they were about to finish their meeting, Bones' secretary knocked and entered and passed a copy of the notes from Snape's interrogation. Amelia's face took on a frown, then a glower and finally a glare that had the people in her office looking at her wondering what could make her angrier than reading the Hogwarts' statements had.

Malfoy Manor

A non-descript owl arrived at Malfoy Manor and was relieved of it's message by a battered looking house-elf. The elf took the message to her former mistress, Ms. Narcissa, and left before she could be cursed or forced to punished herself, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named wasn't the only person in the house who was liable to shoot the messenger.

If she had known that her logic was the same as a house-elf's Narcissa No-name would have cursed the elf out of humiliation, but she didn't know, so she picked on the first Death Eater she saw and commanded that he take the message she had received to their Lord.

Greg Goyle Snr. was as bright as his son (think 40W bulb) and gratefully accepted the message and hurried off to present it to his Lord and Master. He knocked the door to the throne room and waited until he was asked to enter, it had taken a few times, but he had learned better than to rush in, he again waited until he was motioned forward to the throne (another hard learned lesson) and passed the message to his Master. Proving he hadn't the sense of a house-elf, he waited as his Master read the missive from his spy in the D.M.L.E.

My Lord,

Snape has been arrested and questioned under Veritaserum, he has admitted being one of your followers and spying on the Muggle loving fool (the writer knew better than to even write Dumbledore's name if he didn't want to be cursed) for you.

He is scheduled to appear before the next session of the Wizengamot and is facing charges pertaining to an incident at Hogwarts and has also been charged with being one of your followers, he couldn't deny it, he was caught wearing his robes and with his mask in his pocket while returning from your exalted presence.

I await your instructions.

Your obedient servant

As he read the message Voldemort's ire rose, his eye caught the only fool, er, follower in his private chamber and he lashed out "Crucio."

Goyle writhed under the curse and as he did his IQ fell another few points, not that anyone would really notice. As for Goyle, he actually found it quite arousing, now if only he could remember what to do!

Voldemort reached out and grabbed Goyle by the arm and pushed up his sleeve pressing on Dark Mark. He concentrated on the treacherous Snape quietly burned out his brain, those fools hadn't asked about where he'd been, little did he know that Snape had been seen entering Malfoy Manor and that even now surveillance was being set up.

D.M.L.E. Holding Cells

In the duty office, klaxons started blaring and lights started flashing, every member of the Custody Staff on duty rushed to the only occupied cell, there on the floor lay their prisoner. They looked at each other and the Team Leader started issuing orders. He sent his deputy to contact the Aurors, St. Mungo's and MoM Security, three others he ordered to start checking the detection wards and to lock down the facility, while he and the others checked their prisoner.

As they cast the basic diagnostic charms the results they were getting were not good, Snape was breathing and his heart was beating, but his limbs were loose, by the stench and the puddle on the floor they knew his bowels and bladder had emptied, it was going to be a long night.

They noted that where the Dark Mark once was there was now only a dark splodge, their first and only clue to what had happened.

When the Aurors had finally finished checking, double and then triple checking everything, the staff of the Custody Suite had been cleared. The Mediwizard sent from St. Mungo's confirmed that Snape showed all the signs of over exposure to the Cruciatus Curse but they came to the conclusion that somehow Voldemort had used his Dark Mark to inflict the damage.

Headmaster's Office Hogwarts

Albus Dumbledore's head jerked round as the fire roared to life and a head appeared and a voice asked, "Can I come through, Professor?"

"Certainly, Auror Gold, how can I help you?" he asked as one of his informants stepped from the fire.

"Professor, I've just come from the Holding Cells, Snape has been transferred to the Long-term Care Ward at St. Mungo's, somehow You-Know-Who has wiped his brain. Unfortunately he had already given a statement and admitted being a Death Eater, the rumour is that he confessed to always being a spy for He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named."

Phineas Nigellus faked sleep in his frame while he took note of everything that was being said and Phyllis Derwent rushed off to St. Mungo's to check out the new patient and reported back to Dumbledore within minutes that it was as Gold said.

**Acknowledgement to Hannah-Barberra