Title: The Living Dead
Rating: PG13-R
Pairing: SS/HP (and probably others in future chapters)
Genre: Action/drama/angst/romance
Warnings: Slash, violence, torture, death.
Chapter 1 summary: Harry Potter and Severus Snape are sent on a mission to Azkaban.
Disclaimer: HP characters belong to the talented JK Rowling. I'm only borrowing them for fun. Original characters are mine, though.


The Living Dead
Chapter I - The mission

Harry woke up early in the morning and the first thing he did was taking Hedwig out of her cage.

"Now that I'll be leaving, I don't think that you'll be needing to stay in a cage anymore." He said as he stroked her white feathers.

Hedwig nibbled at his finger and hooted softly, as to tell him that she was going to miss him while he was gone. Harry understood.

"I'll miss you too." He sighed. "Maybe if I get back alive, you can come and find me... wherever I might be at the time."

He opened the window of his room and let Hedwig out. She flew around the house and returned back into the room.

"No Hedwig. Go. You're free now. Go wherever you want. Hogwarts, the Burrow," he shrugged. "I don't know." He patted her white feathers. "Go wherever your heart desires, this is the least I could do for you."

As if she understood every word he said, Hedwig flew out of the window and after flying around the house for a couple of minutes, Harry saw her fly away. From the direction she was taking, he knew where she was heading.

"The Burrow. Good choice." He said, mostly to himself.

An hour passed and Harry had already packed his backpack. The new mission he was given by the ministry was not one that he would've chosen. But since the Ministry has assigned him that mission and he was supposed to be getting information from former Death Eaters, he agreed. He wasn't sure if he was going to stay alive or not, which made him decide to set Hedwig free. At least until he returned.

The place he was going to wasn't a pleasant one. Although he hasn't been there, but Harry has heard a lot about Azkaban, the wizard prison. He knew that it was guarded by the Dementors, who lived by feeding on the prisoners' souls. He was hoping the Dementors won't approach him while he was there. But despite that, there was one thing that he hated about this mission. His partner was the person he loathed most.

Severus Snape.

Snape tapped on the desk in front of him impatiently as he waited for his companion to join him in order for them to start their trip. He had never gotten over the fact that he hated Potter more than he hated his miserable life as a former Potions Master at Hogwarts. As much as he loathed the position, he still missed the dungeons that kept him safe and isolated from the crucial world he was now forced to live in.

"Damn it." Snape hissed. "Late. As always."

He stood up and paced the room back and forth. He looked at the clock hanging from the wall. It was two o'clock in the afternoon. Potter was late.

"What's keeping him so long?" he asked an auror who was sitting at the other side of the desk.

The auror shrugged and continued reading a newspaper.

Snape kept pacing the room nervously. This mission meant a lot to him. It was going to be his last mission for the Ministry of Magic. He was going to be set free from the nightmares that kept haunting him every night. Being a Death Eater wasn't an easy task. Being a double-spy wasn't any easier.

The current Minister of Magic, Roland Smith made an agreement with Severus Snape. He was to accompany Harry Potter to an investigating mission to Azkaban, and must gain as much information about the hiding place of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named as they could. The plan was to get Harry as close as possible from the hideout and let him deal with the Dark Lord. Snape knew there was a nil chance to get any valuable information from the prisoners there. Considering they were now more like food for Dementors, but he agreed. If they could get any information, and if Harry succeeded in defeating the Dark Lord, Severus Snape was to gain full pardon from the Ministry (they have never gotten over the fact that he killed Dumbledore because that was Dumbledore's plan), and was to be given back his position at Hogwarts as the Potions Master.

"With the Dark Lord gone, your bond to him will be broken. And you'll be free."

Snape considered the words he heard from the Minister. It was what he wanted for most of his life. To be freed from being a Death Eater and with that he'd be free from being a double agent.

A knock on the door caught Snape's attention. He stared at the door with eyes that shot arrows of rage. He was fighting with himself, trying to keep his rage inside of him. But the first sight of Harry walking into the room was enough to pull the trigger.

"WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN, POTTER!" he bellowed.

"Wha...? I..." Harry was caught off guard. He wasn't expecting this kind of a welcome. Not from this room anyway.

"You were supposed to be here an hour ago!" Snape said, finally controlling himself.

"Sorry, Sir. Got caught up with traffic." Harry's lame excuse came out.

"Using muggle transport, are we, Potter?" said the auror who was also present in the room.

"Kinda... you can say that." Harry shrugged.

Snape muttered some curses under his nose as he picked up a small pouch and tied it to his belt. Then he picked up his black robes and put them on.

'Old habits never change' Harry thought, while he looked at Snape from head to toe. 'Still wearing the same old cloak. Greasy old git. I would feed you to the Dementors if I could.'

"Let's go. We're already an hour late, and that is not going to look good on your resume, Potter."

Harry just nodded. He couldn't understand the urgency Snape had. He didn't dare to question the former Potions Master, in case he made the man angrier than he already is.

Not that he didn't want to.

He adjusted his backpack on his shoulders and waved a 'goodbye' at the auror and left. Snape was ahead of him, his black robes bellowing behind him gracefully. Harry had to speed up a bit in order to catch up with Snape.

"So, umm.. Professor?"

"What is it that your pathetic excuse of a brain wants to know this time?" Snape asked in reply.

Harry decided to ignore the insult. "How are we going to get there?" he asked.

"Heard of portkeys?"

"Yep."

"Those." Snape's answer was short and to the point. Normally he would've liked to ignore the question and insult Harry on a higher level, but something kept him from doing that.

They reached the end of the corridor and Snape entered an office. Harry, naturally, followed him in. Harry recognized the room as the portkey registry. The room looked larger than Harry could've thought. There was only one desk, with a young witch sitting behind it, and the rest of the room was full of different objects stacked on shelves. Snape was talking to the young witch who was filling a form. After a couple of minutes, Snape signed the papers and the witch handed him a broom. He turned to Harry and shoved the broom into his arms.

"To the transportation room." Snape said as he walked out of the registry office.

"The what?" Harry asked and followed.

"Honestly, Potter. Have you been sleeping on duty?" Snape snorted.

Harry let out a silent growl. "I've never heard of a transportation room."

"It's new. The Minister has decided to put wards around the Ministry to protect it from sudden appearances of Death Eaters, and he has a special room dedicated to transportation."

"How impressive and stupid at the same time." Harry said and followed Snape to the other end of the corridor, where the transportation room was located.

"I couldn't agree more." Snape mumbled under his nose and entered the room.

"I mean, if word gets out that the Ministry has special rooms for transportation, then the entrance would be much easier for any Death Eater who wishes to get in! I mean, I would've concentrated on apparating in a 'transportation room at the Ministry of Magic' without caring which department I'd end up in. As long as I'm inside, I can get to my goal." Harry talked, mostly to himself.

Snape suddenly turned to Harry, which made Harry stop abruptly and bump into Snape, dropping the broom from his hands and falling back.

"Watch where you're going, Potter!" Snape said and summoned the broom without extending a helping hand for Harry to get up.

"I can get up myself, thank you." Harry muttered and got up on his feet.

Snape put the broom on a table that was put in one of the corners of the room and took out his wand. He pointed it at the broom and said 'Portus!' clear enough to make chills run through Harry's spine. For a second Harry wondered what happened, but shrugged it off his mind.

"We don't have all day Potter!" Snape said, obviously irritated by Harry's presence. "Take hold of the broomstick."

Harry touched the broom and watched as Snape held the broom with one hand and brought his wand closer with the other. As soon as the wand tip touched the broom, Harry felt a familiar tug at his stomach and the room started spinning around him.

A moment later they both landed in front of the gates of the Azkaban prison.