A/N: So, this was stuck in my head recently, and I wrote it out longhand up to about chapter three. Then,I decided to post it in chapters. So, here you go. Rating is for slight language and voilence, but there's no sexuality at all, so, yeah.
Disclaimer: I own nothing... especially not Harry Potter
Chapter One: Mistakes in General
I still remember the day I found him; down to the very last drop of blood, and every word, and the string of life-changing events that occurred because of it. Looking back, it was a pretty – no really – stupid choice to make at the time, and I should never have done it. I should have gone straight to Dumbledore, but I didn't. I took matters into my own hands, I always do; call it a fault, if you like.
I had been about to leave the castle, having given a report to Dumbledore on certain irrelevant subjects to the story. I remember looking out the window and remembering all of the events that had once taken place in my years at the school. The day had been bright and beautiful – a summers day, to say the least. As I hurried along the corridor I glanced out the window nonchalantly, but I saw something I did not expect to see. I did a double take and back-pedaled to the window, not realizing that the first of a series of life-altering events was falling into place. Someone was staggering up towards the castle, obviously in very much pain.
I did not immediately recognize who it was, for he was stumbling as he clutched his side, his incredibly long hair swaying about his face. From my spot at the first-floor window, I could tell that he was bleeding profusely from his nose, and his robes were torn and dirty.
"Wait a minute," I breathed, my eyes widening in realization, "That nose…!"
I spun around and sprinted towards the front door for help, not stopping to think about how much danger I could have possibly been putting myself in. As I pushed open the giant door and ran outside, the man swayed, spun on the spot, and fell to the ground.
I gasped as he landed in a heap from his not-so-graceful plummet and when I finally reached him, his breathing had become erratic and his eyes were clamped shut, his hand still clenched over his side.
"You need help!" I exclaimed out loud, knowing that he wouldn't hear me and that I was making an obvious observation anyway.
When he didn't reply, though I hadn't been expecting him to, I grabbed him by the arms and prepared myself to drag him across the ground. To my surprise, however, I found that his dead weight was incredibly light, and that he couldn't possibly weigh more than a hundred pounds. So, I did the second stupid thing. I dropped to one knee, heaved him up over my shoulder and, wobbling slightly, carried him outside the gates and apparated to Godric's Hollow.
I appeared in my kitchen, still holding the limp, unconscious figure. Adrenaline pumping, I carried him over to my bedroom and carefully laid him down on my bed. I stepped back and took a deep breath; I had not seen him in years and yet he looked the same, under the wounds and blood. Only, there was something different about the starved, sunken look in his face, and that brought me back to reality. No twenty-five-year-old should weigh less than a hundred pounds; he needed help, and fast, for he was still breathing inconsistently. I ran out and into the kitchen, where I momentarily forgot that I was a witch and started heating water on the stove. I realized my panicked error and drew my wand from my pocket, pointing the wand at a bowl on the counter. Hot, steaming broth erupted from the tip and I held it over the bowl with one hand while I turned off the stove with the other.
I hurried back to the bedroom, my medical kit and the bowl of soup drifting behind in my wake. When I entered the room, though I had been gone for a mere minute, his expression was pained and his breathing was worse than ever…but he was still alive, and as long as he was alive, I could help him. Trying not to panic, I waved my wand and the medical kit floated next to me, and the soup landed gracefully on the desk across the room. I opened the med kit, opened the front of his robes, and began to search for his worst wound. It didn't take long to find; it was big, bloody, and looked like a knife wound – the one he had been clinging to as he stumbled across the school grounds. The wound didn't frighten me half as much as the fact that I could see each and every one of his ribs, and his stomach was oddly caved. I wondered what had happened to him, why he had been hurt so badly, and how they managed to get him. Back in school, he had been up to his eyes in dark curses and could defend himself magnificently.
"Ah Sev," I whispered with pity as I applied some disinfectant to his stomach wound, healed it as best as I could, and wrapped it in a bandage, "What have you gotten yourself into?"
My question was answered as soon as I pushed up his left sleeve to mend a hand wound. There it was; a tattoo-like brand with a skull and a snake protruding from its mouth. I shrieked in alarm and stepped back, letting his sleeve fall down and cover his dark mark. I was scared. Tears filed my eyes as I realized just how stupid I must have been to take him home in the first place instead of bringing him to someone of higher authority. I covered my mouth with my hand to stifle the scream that threatened to come fourth. He stirred, and I nearly jumped out of my skin.
"I've got to get help," I told myself, "there's a Death Eater in my house!"
I turned to run for the door when a weak voice caused me to freeze in my tracks.
I turned around to see that Severus had opened his eyes and was struggling to sit up, gasping for breath. I backed away a step toward the door.
"Don't get up!" I commanded, my voice shaking, "Or I'll get someone! I know kung fu!"
I was screaming at him, frightened into using muggle threats. Of course, kung fu would do me no good on a Death Eater.
"I wont hurt you," he gasped, closing his eyes and swallowing hard, "Just please…help me."
I was taken aback. Back in school, Severus would take help from nobody, and offend whoever tried to help him. He really was helpless. I took a hesitant step forward, trying to see if he was telling the truth. The look in his beetle black eyes were telling me he would do no harm, so I headed back to his bedside. I watched him apprehensively, blood trickling down his face, and when I picked up my wand, he let out a breath and fell back upon my pillows.
"You're going to have to take that off," I pointed out, plucking at his disgustingly grungy robes.
He sighed and sat up. I helped him remove the top of his robes without agitating his newly-healed stomach wound, so that he was sitting there in a pair of trousers and shoes. He laid back down, as if removing his robes had exhausted him. As I tended to the rest of his wounds, his breathing slowed and returned to a normal pace and he closed his eyes in relief. As I was tying a bandage on his hand, which had a nasty cut on it, he looked over my head at the steaming bowl of broth.
"What happened to you anyway?" I asked casually, untying my failed knot and starting over.
"I'm feeling peckish," he said in a casual voice to match my own, "Give me some food and I might tell you."
I shot him a glare, pulled the knot tighter than I usually would have, and then I went across the room and picked up the bowl. I handed it over carefully to him, and he took a long sip, his eyes closed in ecstasy as the nutrition spread through his deprived body. I sat down at the foot of the bed after finishing with the last of his wounds.
"What happened?" I asked quietly.
Severus took another long sip of broth while he pondered his thoughts.
"I tried to quit," he said in what would have been a bitter voice, "and, you don't just quit being a Death Eater. But I'd had enough with their shit."
"How long had you been a Death Eater?" I asked.
"Seven years," he replied, "and I've been held captive for a bit over a year now."
I gaped, and then I felt an unpleasant twitch in my insides as I thought of what had happened to me a little over a year ago. Severus took another sip and continued.
"They kept me alive with just enough food each day, bread and water, mind you, and made sure I always ate – a fate worse than death, to be forced to live in such a horrible condition as you slowly wear away. In case you haven't noticed, I have been on the verge of starvation. Occasionally, your ex-buddy Wormtail would slip me an extra piece of bread, but eventually he was killed."
I didn't say anything for a moment, but stared at him and saw his frail frame and every one of his ribs. I cleared my throat, remembering the emotions I had felt when Sirius, Lupin, and I had found out that Wormtail had been responsible for the deaths of many Order members, and the betrayal and basically the death of... anyway, we had found his body later in a warehouse; he had apparently tried to get away from Voldemort, much like Severus had.
"I couldn't live like that," I said weakly, "Not for a year."
Severus shook his head, drained his bowl in one last gulp, a replied, "I didn't want to. Escape was always on my mind, but I was in a room where you couldn't apparate, and they snapped my wand upon entry."
I gasped. "No!"
"I got to the point where I didn't want to live anymore. I began to plan my own suicide."
He saw the doubtful yet shocked look on my face and continued, "Oh yes, I was going to take my own life. You would, too. One day Nott threw a plastic nail file at me and jokingly said I could try and file myself out like muggles in jail. We both knew that the bars on my door window were impenetrable and enforced with a steel charm. So, instead, I put the file to better work when nobody was watching."
I glanced at his wrists, but saw no marks of suicide attempt.
"But you didn't—" I said, staring at his wrists, but he cut me off.
"I never managed to finish my plan. You see, I wanted the quickest way possible to do it, and I saw once on a muggle vellytision show that a muggle bit his own wrists. Well, if you could do it with dull teeth, than I figured that you could do it faster with extra-sharp teeth. I took the file to my mouth."
He exposed to me his canine tooth, which was sharpened to a fine point.
"They caught me in the act, tortured me, and then put me on around-the-clock surveillance to make sure I didn't kill myself. Now I couldn't die, so I went back to trying to escape."
I pulled myself onto the bed completely and tucked my legs beneath me, my attention focused completely on the man sitting before me. I clasped my hands in my lap to show I was listening.
"Today, I got my chance. Crabbe was in the middle of giving me my food when a fight broke out between a few of the men and Crabbe, being the ignorant fool that he is, rushed out to join, completely forgetting that he had left the door open. Needless to say, I ran for it; I only needed to get outside the prisoner's place to apparate out, but they saw me running. They all started firing hexes at me, but I managed to dodge a deal of them using legimency. I did get a few nasty scratches on the way, though, as you saw."
He gestured to the bandage going around his waist and I grimaced.
"I should have brought you straight to Dumbledore," I said, shaking my head, "It was irresponsible of me to take you in."
"Well, my original intention was to seek aid from the Headmaster, who has always been forgiving. But this might actually be better," Severus replied, stroking his chin, "They cannot find me here, for they have no inkling of where I am, and this is the last place they would suspect. Your house is still under the protection of the Fidelius Charm, no?"
I nodded, wondering for a moment why my house was the last place for them to expect. My house had been put under the Fidelius charm after… well, Dumbledore figured I would be a top priority on the Death Eater's hit list. I twisted the diamond ring on my finger uncomfortably and bit my lower lip. Severus seemed to notice my discomfort and also looked uncomfortable. We sat in an awkward silence for a moment before I spoke up.
"You can stay; I don't mind," I said slowly, standing up and opening a dresser drawer.
I pulled out a male set of robes and tossed them to him. He caught it, looking surprised.
"There's clean sheets in the linen closet in the bathroom," I said, turning to walk out of the bedroom.
"Thank you," He said stiffly, but with a hint of relief, "I appreciate it."
A/N: This gets a bit more interesting, and possibly amusing, so stick around for chapter two, why dont you?
Reviews, are, as usual, appreciated.