Author's note : This is my first time venturing into the world of 'Harry Potter' fan-fiction, I usually dabble in the realm of Middle-earth so I apologise in advance for any inaccuracies, I'm no expert so I'll just plead artistic license ! Please take note of the rating of this fic, there will be violence, there will be torture, if that's not your thing please stay away !
Any and all feedback will be greatly appreciated thanks !
Disclaimer : Characters etc. sadly are not mine but J.K.Rowling's, no harm is meant, no money is being made...as if !
Chapter One ; Detention
Severus Snape found himself grinding his teeth in frustration and annoyance once again as he stood in the candle lit entrance hall of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
His black eyes had just caught a glimpse of the four enchanted hourglasses keeping track of the House Points and he was less than impressed with the amount of glittering green emeralds resting in the Slytherin glass, even more annoying however, was the considerably greater amount of sparkling rubies in the Gryffindor glass. This would be just another item on a long list of things vexing him today.
Bad enough that Dumbledore insist that he be the one to escort tonight's detention victims to the Forbidden Forest, which unsurprisingly consisted of the usual suspects, Potter and his equally annoying side-kicks, Weasley, Granger and Longbottom, but now to top it all, it seemed as if his so-called work colleague, Remus Lupin was expressing an interest in tagging along.
"One would have thought you spend enough time roaming around the forest as it is Lupin," the Potion's Professor sneered in reply to the polite request.
"Nonsense Severus," Lupin smiled as he pulled on a pair of gloves, completely unfazed by the less than subtle insult, "what could be more refreshing or pleasant than an evening stroll in your company?"
Harry Potter and his friends couldn't help but look to one another in stunned silence. Each one wondering if their Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor had finally cracked up. How could anyone in their right mind find walking around the Forbidden Forest at night, refreshing ? And more incredibly, how could anyone ever consider Snape's company to be pleasant ?
It was then that they witnessed Snape's combined look of fury and utter contempt as he appeared to glide across the stone floor to within a hair's breath of Remus Lupin, it was an expression he seemed to have specially reserved for the seemingly timid Professor. He coldly appraised Lupin from his scuffed yet polished brown shoes, past his heavy faded robes, which he knew concealed a shabby brown woolen cardigan with sagging pockets, all the way up to his marred and prematurely aged face.
"Don't... push me... Lupin," he growled threateningly into the other man's ear, then spun around to face the students.
"Each of you, take one of those," he ordered sharply, while pointing to several oil lamps resting on a long wooden table, "and some of those," he indicated to the near by clean and empty specimen jars, pruning shears and dragon-hide gloves.
"You shall spend tonight's detention replenishing potion ingredients, a fitting punishment it would seem, considering the amount you waste due to your continuous ineptitude."
Each of the third year students did their best to stifle their groans of dismay as they collected the pieces of equipment and carefully placed the items into small hessian satchels. Once they had everything, they heaved the satchel's leather straps over their heads and allowed them to rest comfortably on their shoulders.
"Follow me...and do not fall behind," he warned.
The Potion's Master walked briskly ahead, leading the small silent party out the entrance hall, across the court yard and out through the main archway. Once outside, the massive wooden doors closed behind them causing the two large flaming torches on either side of the wall to flicker slightly from the draught.
High above them, night's dark velvet curtain was steadily pulling itself across the heavens, distant stars flickered like tiny fire-flies and the waning moon peered out at them from behind dark moisture laden clouds.
"After you Severus," Remus gestured with a slight wave of his hand.
Snape bit back a snide reply and silently congratulated himself on his self control, he would not make a scene, not here, especially in front of Potter and Co. but it was galling him how much this man was affecting him. He was annoyed, yes but there was something else niggling at the back of his mind and he was slightly disgusted that it might be fear.
Merlin, he loathed this man...this creature...on so many levels.
Doing his best to ignore Lupin, with one small flick of his wand, Snape lit the student's torches, then they all made their way down the path and across the damp grass. The dark forest loomed ever closer and soon they were walking past Hagrid's hut. Unfortunately the humble dwelling was in complete darkness as the half-giant was away on business on behalf of the Headmaster.
A ghostly mist pooled around their ankles as they stood by the edge of the forest then just as they were about to enter the dense darkness, suddenly and without warning, the heavens opened above them.
"Bloody brilliant," Ron grumbled in utter misery.
Enormous rain drops pelted their heads and everyone was forced to pull their cloak hoods up to protect themselves.
Instantly seeing the advantage in their currently dire situation, Snape made a suggestion.
"It would seem as though this may continue well into the night, it may be prudent to split up, thus getting the job done in half the time," he stated while glaring at Lupin, daring the man to contradict him.
"Good idea," Remus nodded in agreement, "Mr. Weasley, Miss. Granger you can both come with me."
Ron could not prevent a huge smile of relief from erupting all over his face. Despite the weather, the night was actually looking up, he didn't have to spend his detention with the greasy git. He looked to Hermione who for some unfathomable reason, was not smiling but then he followed the direction of her gaze and saw the looks on both Harry's and Neville's faces.
Neville looked as though he had just received a long, slow and painful death sentence. Harry just looked annoyed and he was.
He was annoyed at Remus Lupin for sticking him with Snape.
He was annoyed at Snape for dragging them off into the Forest.
But most of all he was annoyed at himself for getting caught in the first place.
Ron, feeling some what guilty now, bit his lower lip then mouthed a silent 'sorry' in Harry's direction. Harry just nodded back in understanding.
Snape couldn't help but feel his own ire rise a little at Lupin's suggested groupings, he was less than thrilled at having to keep an even closer eye now on the boy-wonder and the incompetent Longbottom, still he would be free of that blasted werewolf.
"Fine," he reluctantly agreed, "collect as much aconite, asphodel and knot grass as you can, I also need nettles and use the containers to gather some tube worms and black beetles."
"No problem Severus," Remus smiled from beneath his heavy hood, "shall we meet back here in an hour ?"
The Potion's Master pulled out his pocket watch and checked the time.
"Yes fine, one hour," he agreed curtly, then turned away and without hesitation entered the Forbidden Forest.
"Best hurry along Harry, Neville, remember...do not fall behind," Remus advised as he watched Snape retreat into the gloom.
With exaggerated sighs and sagging shoulders both students complied and entered the forest carefully making their way through the dense undergrowth as they headed for the tiny glow pulsating at the end of Snape's wand.
"See ya soon !" Ron shouted after them.
"And be careful !" Hermione pleaded.
The two remaining students looked anxiously to their Professor.
"Right," said Lupin as he rubbed his gloved hands together, "lets get started shall we."
With a quick "Lumos.", he entered the forest and began to head off in a different direction but the lack of footfalls behind him quickly halted further progress.
When he turned around Ron and Hermione were still glued to the spot with looks of guilt and nervousness flittering across their expressive faces.
"Oh come on, it can't be that bad," their teacher encouraged, "and it's only an hour, they'll be fine... besides if I had to spend time wondering about the forest at night, there's no one I'd feel safer with than Professor Snape."
Ron and Hermione looked to one another in amazement. It was clear that Professor Lupin had a totally different view of their Potion's Master, even though the snarly git hardly ever said a civil word to him.
Personally, Ron thought he would feel safer traipsing around the forest with a giant spider than Snape...and he hated spiders !
But there was nothing they could really do now to improve their friends predicament so they followed their Professor, who some how managed to remain cheery despite the deluge.
"So...who wants to be responsible for collecting the tube worms ?" Lupin asked, unable to keep the mischief from colouring his voice.
But all he could hear were more groans of dismay.
Well that's all for now, hope you've enjoyed it so far, I'm afraid it does get a bit gorey from about chapter three on, but if you like that sort of thing...well stick around and please do let me know what you think of it many thanks !