Disclaimer: We do not own Harry Potter, it's themes, settings or characters. It all belongs to JK Rowling, we just borrowed it for this fanfiction.
What You Left Behind
Chapter Four: Confessions Of The Devil's Underling
Severus' eyelids fluttered open as he lifted his head wearily. The weight of it was so incredible it felt as if it would snap his neck. His surroundings were dark and hazy and he groaned, closing his eyes tightly and opening them again, attempting to focus. He had no memory of what had happened, or where he was, and as he attempted to remember, his head ached dully. Inches from his face he could make out a blurry shape, and as his pupils fixated on it, it cleared and he saw that it was a man with white hair. As the face came into focus, he realized that Harry Potter was sitting in front of him, watching him with interest.
"Good afternoon Severus." Harry said warmly. "I take it you slept well?"
A fire shot through the ex professor's eyes as he stiffened, holding himself up straight. His mind was clear now, he remembered the raid, Potter and Black attacking, Malfoy being struck. He remembered being captured. Seeing the gloating look of satisfaction on Potter's face was one thing that Severus could not stand, it made an anger and hatred rise up in him that he had felt all the days of his life. He glared at his ex-student; the media and the Ministry's pet. The tragic hero of the wizarding world; the Chosen One; the one who destroyed Voldemort.
"You can't keep me here." Severus said smoothly, keeping his voice even.
"I think you'll find with the evidence we have, I can." Harry replied casually. "It would be in your best interests to start talking, Professor."
Harry was sitting directly in front of Severus Snape, leaning forward so that his face was only inches from the prisoner. Their eyes were locked in a deathly stare as Harry began questioning the man for the first of many times. The room that encased them was dark and dimly lit with torches. It smelt damp and decayed. Severus could hear water dripping slowly from a crack in the roof, and the scuttling of nearby rats. A flicker of light passed through Severus' eyes before he spoke in a smooth tone.
"How about this? You tell me what you know, and then I'll know not to tell you what you don't." Severus said darkly, sneering at his former pupil.
Harry smiled and sighed as he rose from his chair in front of the chained man. "You see these walls, Severus?" Harry motioned to the dark damp stones. "These have been impertubed. They have every enchantment placed on them known to wizards so that you will never get out unless I let you. And you see that big mirror? The only person who can see us through that hates you even more than I do. I have the means to make you talk Severus; I suggest you don't force me to show my hand."
The ex potions master spat at the boy. "You don't have the guts to torture me, Potter. It's not in your blood. You proved that back at my house when you wouldn't even shoot to kill. You're pathetic, and you're wasting my time and your own."
"Dead men can't talk, Severus." Harry replied silkily, giving the chained man a knowing stare. "There is no use in killing you – yet."
"Don't you have a wife and child to go home too?" Severus asked boredly, before receiving feigned enlightenment, "Oh wait, that's right. No wife..."
Harry stiffened. "What do you know about the events of the St Mungos Massacre?" he asked abruptly.
"Oh no." Snape tisked, his eyes shining maliciously. "We're not still stuck on this, are we? Six years Potter, anyone would think you would have given up by now, clearly you aren't going to find any new evidence."
"We know you were there, Severus. We have evidence that ties you and Draco Malfoy to the scene. Start talking."
"And what evidence would that be, Potter? I don't think you have any proof at all." Severus replied calmly. "You know as well as I do that I was a spy for the Order."
"What was Albus Dumbledore's involvement?" Harry fired back.
"Dumbledore?" Snape said in an interested tone. "What makes you think Dumbledore had anything to do with it?"
"Dumbledore is involved Snape. I know it, you definitely know it. What I don't know is how and why. That's where you come in."
"If you have this 'so called evidence' that ties me and Draco to the massacre, why have you failed to throw us in Azkaban for the past six years?"
"It's rather difficult to throw someone in Azkaban when they've gone to ground, Severus. We got an anonymous tip off this morning of your whereabouts." Harry said increasing his volume and his anger. "I hope you enjoyed your freedom, because you won't be seeing daylight again for a very long time. Start talking."
"I have nothing to say…" Severus was cut short by the back of Harry's hand which sent him hurtling onto his side on his chair.
"What was that Severus?" Harry asked sweetly as he waved his hand, the chair righting itself with a dazed Severus looked up at Harry in surprise. "I said I have nothing to -" Harry slammed his fist into the professor's stomach before the words could leave his mouth and knocked the wind out of his chest. Harry then took this opportunity to remove a small vial from his pocket and uncork it while Severus was preoccupied. He advanced on the professor, who was gasping for air and yanked his head right back, holding his nose closed with one hand so that the Professor's mouth came open, and then poured the clear liquid down the gasping man's throat. Severus swallowed awkwardly, then coughed, spluttering saliva over himself as Harry released his greasy hair, his head snapping forward. The ex-professor's eyes glazed over slightly and became transfixed on an invisible point in the room.
Harry dug his hand into his robes and removed a long piece of parchment and a dark colored quill. Waving his hand, the parchment became stationary in mid air and the quill snapped to attention, hovering over it ready to record the prisoner's statements.
"State your name please." Harry requested of the prisoner.
"Severus Snape." The greasy haired man replied in a dull tone.
Harry watched the quill jump to life and start recording the details of the conversation to date with accuracy before asking his next question. "What is your date of birth?"
"The Ninth of January, 1960." the prisoner replied.
"Now…" Harry said quietly as he sat himself down again in front of the dazed looking Professor. "Tell me about the planning and execution of the St Mungos Massacre. What was Dumbledore's involvement?"
Severus' eyes seemed to fog over in a bizarre fashion and then, after several moments, he began to speak in a monotonous voice. "Dumbledore came to me with concerns about losing control of Harry Potter. He proposed a plan."
"What plan?" Harry asked, barely breathing.
"He expressed to me that the only way he believed he could regain Potter's co-operation was to remove his family from him. He told me that Potter was married, and was expecting a child any day. He said we needed to eradicate them to bring Potter's anger and hatred for Voldemort to the surface." Severus elaborated in an even voice.
"And - how did he propose you eradicate them?" Harry asked, his soul draining away through the bottom of his stomach.
"He told me to take the information about Harry's wife expecting to give birth within the next few days to Voldemort, and propose that the death eaters take his wife and kill his child to get at Harry. He knew Voldemort would not pass up the chance to injure Potter, so he left it in the Dark Lord's hands. The Dark Lord has no idea that Dumbledore was the one who came up with the idea. Dumbledore thought that as soon as the remaining members of Harry's family were out of the way, he would devote himself to destroying Voldemort."
"The remaining members?" Harry asked slightly disturbed.
"Dumbledore made sure Potter's parents would be out of the way at an early age when it became apparent that they would not allow him to become what he had to become."
The room began to swim in and out of focus as Harry slid silently to his knees. His head was buzzing uncomfortably, yet there was now a sickening clarity to his thoughts. The piece he had been missing all his life was suddenly knocked into place, and at last everything made sense. Harry was brought back to reality by a horrible gasping, raspy breathing sound, and as he looked up to see who was making it, he realized that it belonged to himself. His cheeks were streaked with moisture, which he quickly brushed away.
"What did he do?" Harry asked in a cold voice, the painful lump in his throat growing larger with every word spoken.
"He asked me to convince Peter Pettigrew to secretly join the death eaters. That was the first step he said, and my only part to play. The rest I can only speculate."
"Feel free to speculate, Severus. What did Dumbledore do?" Harry asked again darkly.
"It is my belief that he convinced Lily and James not to choose Sirius Black or Remus Lupin as their secret keeper." Severus said involuntarily. "I believe he set them up to choose Peter, knowing that Peter, enjoying the power he felt in being a death eater, would not be able to resist handing that information over to Voldemort. Dumbledore made sure the Prophecy came about, instead of protecting Potter from it, as he promised Lily and James he would."
"He made sure Voldemort found the Potters?" Harry clarified, his stomach clenching uncomfortably.
"He went to all lengths to make sure Harry Potter would be found and marked, and to make sure that the boy would be under his influence and away from any loving relative that might stand in his way." Severus agreed.
"Did Dumbledore know that Sirius Black was innocent?" Harry asked in a dangerously quiet voice.
"Dumbledore made sure Sirius Black went to Azkaban." Severus replied emptily. "He knew Sirius would take Harry in as Lily and James wished, and keep him from a life of fighting, just as his parents would have done. Dumbledore said he could not allow this, and when Pettigrew framed Sirius Black, Dumbledore was the one who whispered in the ears of the important parties that he should be sent to Azkaban without trial. When Black broke out of Azkaban, he had to make Potter think he was on his side, so he helped him to help Sirius escape Hogwarts. Afterwards, he was forced to keep Black close, in fear of being found out."
Harry nodded slowly, taking a deep breath. "And Kingsley Shacklebolt's attack on Potter? Was that Dumbledore's doing too?"
"Dumbledore arranged it. He said Potter was far too powerful, and that immediately after Voldemort was destroyed, if Potter lived, he was to be destroyed. Dumbledore said he posed a significant threat and could no longer be kept in check after Voldemort was destroyed. Shacklebolt was told to kill Potter. Except he screwed it up, he was far too weak, and now he's in hiding. He came to Dumbledore asking for protection, but Dumbledore refused to acknowledge him for fear of being incriminated." Snape elaborated with a hollow stare.
"Harry?" A voice came from behind him, and he turned to see Sirius in the door way.
Harry turned and walked to him. "What is it?"
"I've got something you need to know about. It's important." Sirius said eyeing the dazed looking Snape behind Harry. "I take it you got him talking?"
"You have no idea." Harry said quietly. "Where's Hodgkins?"
"HODGKINS!" Sirius roared down the corridor. "Are you alright, Harry?" he asked on a sidenote, noticing that his partner looked significantly paler than when he had entered the room half an hour ago.
Harry grimaced as his ears rang with Sirius' yell. "Must you do that?"
Sirius grinned. "Sorry. You should know me by now, if I scream they always come running."
No sooner than Sirius said so, a barrage of scuttling footsteps rumbled up the hallway towards them and within seconds a young man with shaggy blonde hair appeared panting heavily. It took him several moments to regain his breath before he could speak. He stood doubled over, his hands resting on his knees, and he looked up at Sirius with a wide grin. Sirius shook his head in despair.
"You rang?" He asked with a grin.
"I want you to take over the interrogation of this prisoner." Harry said rubbing his temples wearily. "I've already questioned him myself, but I have a feeling we've only just cracked the surface. He's under the influence of Veritaeserum. Get all you can from him."
"Yes Sir." Hodgkins replied disbelievingly. "Thank you Sir."
"And Hodgkins?" Harry called, catching the door as the boy disappeared into the room.
"Don't go easy on him." Harry said darkly.
As the door swung shut, Sirius clapped Harry on the back. "He's going to be kissing your ass for weeks now, you know that right?"
"He's a good Auror, just not as battle hardened as the rest of us. His time will come." Harry defended the boy. "Let's get back to the office. I don't think that your information will shock me as much as mine will shock you."
"Did grease ball come up with the goods?" Sirius asked with a snicker as they walked toward their office.
"He knows things we weren't even suspecting, Sirius." Harry said quietly. "I think you should go first, this conversation might take a while."
"Alright." Sirius said, looking at Harry in concern as they sat down on opposite sides of Harry's desk, "Dumbledore made an outing yesterday afternoon, and Tonks followed him to a muggle household."
"A muggle household?" Harry repeated in surprise. "Did she see the occupants?"
"No." Sirius replied regretfully, "But she did say she felt it was significant by the way he was acting. He kept looking around to make sure he wasn't being watched or followed."
"Could she find it again?" Harry asked thoughtfully.
"She gave me perfect directions." Sirius said with a small grin.
"I think you better go check it out, Sirius." Harry said finally, "But be careful. It could be dangerous."
"Alright, but first," Sirius said catching Harry's eye, "what did Severus say?"
"Many things," Harry said with a sigh, "Dumbledore is far more involved in this than what we originally thought, Sirius. The nature of his involvement is far more sinister than I could ever have imagined. Dumbledore was the brainpower behind the St Mungos Massacre. He relayed the idea to Snape to present to Voldemort."
"What?" Sirius asked in disbelief. "It was his idea?"
Harry nodded slowly. "Although he only intended there to be two victims; Ginny and Lily."
"Are you telling me he set it up to kill your wife and child?" Sirius asked in horror.
"Exactly." Harry said quietly. "He felt he was loosing control of me, that I was becoming to family orientated. He feared I would turn my back on him and the war and that he would be left to fight Voldemort alone, so he planned to remove the remaining members of my family. He told Snape about his concerns and told him to tell Voldemort where my wife and child would be. It went from there. Dumbledore should have known Voldemort would not walk out of there without more casualties."
Sirius sat stunned. "Are you sure you killed the right dark lord?"
Harry sighed running his hands through his white hair. "There's more. Much more. He is single-handedly responsible for nearly every disaster in our lives."
Sirius' eyes widened in surprise. "Not Lily and James? Surely not- he wouldn't."
"I'm afraid he did." Harry said quietly. "Dumbledore asked Snape to convince Peter to join the Death eaters. Then he convinced Lily and James in less direct measures that Peter would be the best choice as Secret Keeper. He set them up, Sirius. He knew they would never allow me to fulfil my destiny, so he got them murdered. Then he got you thrown into Azkaban without trial to keep you away from me."
"That son of a bitch." Sirius muttered under his breath.
"And no. I don't give you permission to go and drop him with a jet of green light, even though he may deserve it. We're going to do this the right way Sirius. And that starts with you following up on Tonks' discovery." Harry said firmly. "You've done your time already Sirius, I won't let you go back."
Sirius slammed his fist into Harry's desk so swiftly it shook the walls. "He got them killed Harry, and me banged up for it!"
"Which is why we're going to make sure he rots in Azkaban without his soul." Harry said darkly. "I won't rest until the world knows what he did to my wife and parents. If we take him out now, that will be lost forever in the injustice of his murder."
Sirius nodded silently before rising from his chair. "We better get him soon Harry. We better get him soon."
The dim afternoon light was fading to dusk as Sirius appeared with a crack in the midst of a large cluster of bushes. He stood on the edge of a large park that was not far from where Tonks saw Dumbledore visit a muggle household. Sirius' head was still reeling from the discoveries Harry had made from Snape's interrogation. He had known Dumbledore had to some extent been involved in the massacre, but never in his wildest dreams had he imagined that the old man had done this much to destroy Harry's life, and all in the name of freedom for wizarding and mankind.
Despite the fading light, many people were still mulling around the streets, and Sirius had to wait for the opportune moment before he could step out of the bushes. The last thing he wanted to do was startle a crowd of Muggles by stumbling out of a hedgerow. When the coast was clear, Sirius squeezed out through a gap in the foliage and brushed down his leather jacket, checking his hair before he strode off the edge of the footpath and walked quickly across the road, his fists stuffed heavily into his jacket pockets.
The brisk afternoon air of Portabello bit at his cheeks which were now rosy as he walked swiftly down the winding lane towards the mystery house. Sirius had to admit the sleepy little town was a quaint place, and, if he really thought about it, the perfect place to hide out, or keep something hidden. Dumbledore certainly wasn't stupid, he knew how to keep the Aurors guessing. Looking up Sirius saw the old fashioned street sign that read; Riddington Place, and frowned. This was the right place, all he had to do now was find number six.
Logically he could only be three houses away, so he continued cautiously down the street, not knowing whom or what would be waiting for him when he rang the doorbell of Number Six Ridding Place. He could not help but snort at the thought of anything evil or slightly dodgy hiding out in the house when his eyes met the flowery letter box with an elegant number six drawn on it in curly writing. The beautifully kempt rose gardens that adorned the front yard too increased his disbelief. A small gate and a narrow pathway wound its way toward the front door which looked homely and welcoming. Sirius found himself wondering what a proved lunatic could possibly be hiding in such a place.
Then of course there was the idea that this was all a carefully constructed rouse, to avoid unwanted attention. Noiselessly, he cast a disillusionment charm over the house, to see if it had been made to appear as a mere muggle household. The spell revealed nothing that Sirius could not already see. Slightly relieved, he dropped the spell. Dumbledore had not created a false image for the place. Sirius frowned slightly, the lines on his forehead deepening as he unlatched the gate, clasping his wand edgily inside his jacket pocket as he edged toward the door barely daring to breath….
Harry sat alone in his office, staring absently at the portrait of Ginny sitting on his desk. No matter how many times he went over it in his head, he could still not believe that it had been Dumbledore's intent to eradicate his family. Dumbledore, his mentor, his guide right from the time he had discovered he was a wizard, had sold out his family, the only family he had ever known, to Voldemort. Harry was still in shock, he had not yet experienced the anger he knew would come, the grief that would follow it, the homicidal rage that he knew Sirius would be responsible for bringing him down from. No, all Harry Potter felt at this moment, was dead.
He stroked Ginny's photograph gently, and she smiled up at him sadly, eyes full of concern. Harry squeezed his eyes closed. Her life had been stolen from her, cut off right in its prime. Rightfully they should have spent the rest of their days together, growing old, raising Lily, maybe even Lily's brothers and sisters, but never would that happen now. She had been slaughtered, not even for something that she had done, merely because she chose to marry him. In his heart, Harry had always blamed himself for Ginny's death, for the fact that Lily no longer had a mother. Everyone always told him there was nothing he could have done, but Harry disagreed. He should have been there.
Nearly an hour passed as Harry was consumed by his thoughts, only to be abruptly disturbed by a small, timid knock on his office door. Harry looked up distantly, heard words leave his mouth, then saw, to his surprise for he was expecting Sirius' return, Hodgkins looking very uncomfortable.
"What is it, Hodgkins?" Harry asked curiously.
"It's - Well. The prisoner Sir." Hodgkins said uneasily, avoiding eye contact.
"What of Snape?" Harry asked suspiciously.
"Well, I think you should come, Sir. Only - he's - he's said some things that - Well - I think you should come Sir." Hodgkins said finally.
"What has he said?" Harry questioned him carefully, his eyes flickering.
"Well sir -" Hodgkins began awkwardly.
"Spit it out, Hodgkins." Harry snapped impatiently.
"Sir - It's about your wife -"
Sirius peered awkwardly through the kitchen window. He had just knocked upon the door of number 6 and had not yet heard approaching footsteps. Perhaps it was his eagerness to find out what the mystery was behind the door that was making him so nervous. A planter box sat in the window sill of the kitchen and bright yellow flowers gleamed at him happily. The kitchen appeared well loved and even more well kept. Suddenly the noise of footsteps drawing near broke his train of thought and he staggered to straighten himself on the doorstep. Tightening his grip on his wand in his pocket, he put on an over exaggerated smile as he attempted to look cheerful for whoever was about to open the door…..
Harry's stomach felt like lead as he walked hesitantly back into the interrogation cell holding Snape. The fact that Hodgkins had refused to say anything about what Severus had revealed to him about Ginny made Harry feel slightly sick. Did Snape know where her body was? Had he been the one that had murdered her on Voldemort's orders? Harry looked down at his hands and found that they were shaking violently as he seated himself in front of the dazed looking professor. His stomach felt sick, and he felt light headed, he wasn't sure how much more of this confession he could take. After several long moments of aimlessly staring at Severus, Harry found his voice.
"W- What do you know about Ginny Potter?" his voice quivered.
Severus' eyes lolled to attention and focused on Harry. "Albus Dumbledore instructed me to keep her out of harms way….."
The lock clicked, the brass handle turned and as if in slow motion the door was slowly pulled open. Sirius drew a deep breath to put on his most charming smile and begin his long rant about being new to the neighbourhood, when he looked up and froze. Instead of his charming smile his mouth dropped open in disbelief and alarm, his eyes burned furiously and his stomach felt as if it had dropped right out of his body. Weightless with shock, and speechless to boot, he could only stand and watch as the person in the door frame mirrored his reactions almost exactly….
"What do you mean, out of harms way?" Harry asked, strengthening his voice slightly.
"The whole point of the exercise was that Voldemort would believe I killed her, but Dumbledore would have her in his possession, as collateral if you will. If anything ever went wrong and he needed a bargaining chip, Ginny would be his ticket out of trouble." Snape replied.
"What?" Harry asked in confusion, "But she died that night."
"Oh no," Severus replied, "She did not die. She was taken away as the Massacre ensued. I was the one who stunned her, and took her to Dumbledore. Voldemort had instructed me to take her away and torture her to death, and to this day he believes I did. The common conception that she died was also created by Dumbledore. The plan all along was to keep her alive to control Harry Potter at some point later down the line. I was told that he obliviated her memory so that she would not seek you out. He keeps her in hiding. She has no idea of who she really is, but I assure you, Ginny Potter is very much alive and well…."
Her face, once rosy, paled to the point where she looked almost ghostly, her eyes were full of shock and amazement. Her hand fell lifelessly from the door handle, dropping heavily to her side as she staggered slightly, leaning against the door for support. Her mouth moved endlessly but no words emerged that Sirius could make out; it was all raspy, hyperventilating gasps. The shock of what Sirius was seeing was almost too much for him to bare. His thoughts whirled, his stomach lurched and his eyes became blurry, forcing him to rub them several times before he would believe she was really there. But she was. Her faded red hair and sharp green eyes were unmistakable to him, and she could never forget his face.
Author's Note: Sorry for the long wait guys, I hope this chapter makes up for it. Thank you all for your wonderful reviews, patience and feedback. I hope you all like this one, The next will be out Asap, so don't worry. Thank you all again so much for your continued support, Until next time,