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 4 summary: As Voldemort meets with the prisoners, Snape decides to say something that might save him and Harry.
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 IV - Voldemort

"Looks like our favorite couple has finally woke up!" Said Lucius with an evil smirk on his face. "I guess morning is the best time for you two to join the celebrations."

"Lucius, wha-" Snape started talking but Lucius cut him off.

"Shut up, you traitor!" Lucius said with gritted teeth.

The look on Snape's face was not one of fear or anger. It was blank. All expressions were gone from his face as he stared into Lucius' eyes. Who was he to call him traitor?

"I am no traitor, Lucius, and you know it!" Snape said. It was almost a hiss.

"Not a traitor, are you?" Lucius took a step closer to Snape. "Let's see if this refreshes your memory."

Lucius put his wand on his temple and a shimmering white string came out. He was extracting a memory, then he put the tip of his wand on Snape's temple and the memory entered Snape's head.

A moment later, Snape's eyes widened in shock.

"See, my traitor friend?" Lucius said. "Too bad that the Dark Lord wants both of you alive and intact. Or I would've taken off those badges right away."

"How come you're not affected by the Dementors?" Harry asked.

Lucius shot him a look full of hatred. Then he grinned. "Sure you realize that the Dark Lord is highly fond of Dark Magic, Mister Potter." Lucius said. "I'll tell you a bit of the details. There's a potion that has the exact effect of those badges you're wearing. The blood of a traitor is the key ingredient for this potion to work. Extracted straight from their liver."

Harry froze. He looked at Snape who looked pale and obviously shocked.

"Whom?" Snape asked, almost whispering.

Lucius' grin faded from his face. He adjusted his cape and held his cane tightly. Harry could see Lucius' knuckles turn white.

"Who was it, Lucius?" Snape asked, a little louder.

"One of your old students." Lucius replied. His face expressionless.

Snape gasped. "Draco." He whispered. "You took blood from your own son to make a potion for everyone but himself!" He yelled.

"Don't," Lucius stepped closer to Snape and held his wand at his throat. "Raise your voice at me." He pressed hard at Snape's throat. "Traitor!"

A Death Eater came running and whispered something in Lucius' ear. Lucius smirked.

"Well, looks like the Dark Lord has arrived." He said, "We are going to pay him a visit." He turned to the Death Eater. "Bring them along." He said and walked out of the room, heading to where Voldemort was waiting.

As they reached the end of the corridor, they headed to the staircase and went down. Harry could feel his scar itching, and he couldn't scratch it because his hands were tied. When they reached the bottom of the staircase, they went into a room that was large enough to be a ball room. It was round and empty. There were only two chairs in the middle, and several Death Eaters were gathered there, surrounding the chairs. When Lucius entered the room, followed by Harry and Snape and the other Death Eater, the crowd split in two, making way for them to pass. They walked in, led by Lucius and they reached where the chairs were. Voldemort was standing there, in front of the chairs. He looked at the prisoners with a wicked grin on his bony face. Harry's scar started throbbing and he could feel it burning as they got closer.

When they were finally there, the Death Eater pushed Harry and Snape into the chairs and they sat down, and none of them tried to protest. Harry was sweating now. His scar was hurting and he couldn't do anything about it. Snape looked at Harry and noticed him flinch at the pain. He kept staring at Harry, hoping he'd look back.

'Look at me, Potter!' Snape said in his mind. He was trying to get Harry's attention to give him some instructions before Voldemort could do or say anything. But it was too late.

"Well, well." Voldemort said. "I see you've brought me a present, Lucius."

Lucius bowed, "I only serve to please you, my Lord." He said, without lifting his head.

"Well done, Lucius." Voldemort replied. "You shall be awarded generously as soon as we finish our little chat with our guests."

"My Lord is always thoughtful." Lucius said, still bowing.

"You may rise, Lucius." Voldemort said. "Now," he turned his attention to Harry and Snape. "I see that our guests are a bit uncomfortable in their seats." He smirked. "Well, I think that's a good thing."

Severus kept looking at Harry, trying desperately to catch Harry's eyes. But Harry had his eyes shut tightly because of the pain his scar was causing.

"Severus, Severus." Voldemort said, and Snape finally turned to look at him. "I've heard that you have betrayed me. Now, why is that?"

"I haven't betrayed you, my Lord." Snape replied, bowing his head.

Voldemort turned to look at Lucius. "Is that so, Lucius?"

"No my Lord." Lucius replied. "Severus has helped to keep Potter sane. A faithful Death Eater would only keep Potter alive for you to finish him off. But not sane."

"Good thinking, Lucius." Voldemort said. "You have earned yourself another prize."

"My Lord is most generous." Lucius said, taking another bow.

Voldemort turned his attention back to Snape and looked straight in his eyes. Snape did his best to block Voldemort from getting into his mind. He managed to conceal the part of his memory where it was related to him being a spy for the Order. He hoped that Voldemort won't sense it, but he was wrong.

"What do I see there?" Voldemort said. "Our own Severus Snape is hiding information from his Lord?"

"No, Master." Snape said, looking at the floor. "I would never hide anything from you."

"You know that you're a bad liar, Severus." Voldemort said. "Why is it that you had black spaces in your memory?" He took a step forward and stood in front of Snape. He lifted Snape's face to meet his eyes. "What information are you hiding from your Master, Severus?"

"I assure you, My Lord." Snape said with a shaky voice. "I am not hiding anything from you. I would never hide any valuable information from you."

Voldemort let go of Snape's face and stood back. "Well, we'll see about that." He took out his wand and pointed it at Snape.

"Crucio!" Voldemort yelled and red sparks emerged out of his wand and hit Snape straight in the chest.

Snape curled and screamed in pain, and fell off his chair. But that didn't stop Voldemort. He waved his wand and the curse stopped. Snape was breathing hard. His muscles aching because of the curse.

"Are you hiding any information from me, Severus?" Voldemort asked.

"No, Master." Snape replied through gritted teeth.

"LIAR!" Voldemort yelled. "CRUCIO!"

The curse hit Snape again and he screamed in agony. Voldemort started laughing loud enough to fill the room with his voice. Snape kept tossing and turning around, trying to ease the pain, although he perfectly knew that it was impossible.

"This is what you get for shutting your mind against me." Voldemort said.

A few minutes later, he waved his wand again and the curse stopped. Snape was shaking now and gasping for breath.

"Looks like our friend here needs a little.. motivation in order to talk." Voldemort said and turned to Harry, who was staring at Snape with a shocked look on his face.

While Voldemort was speaking, Snape opened his eyes and looked at Harry's eyes. 'Finally!' he said to himself.

"Whatever he does, do not open your mind to him!" Harry heard a voice in his head. It was Snape's voice. "Don't let him in! Remember your training!" Harry nodded slowly, and Snape took that as a 'yes'.

Voldemort turned his attention to Harry.

"Harry Potter, we meet again." Voldemort said with a sneer.

"What do you want, Riddle?" Harry asked; looking at the red slits in front of him.

He realized that was not a wise question to ask as soon as he saw Voldemort getting angry.

"There is no one by the name 'Riddle' in this room." Voldemort hissed and pressed the tip of his wand at Harry's scar, which started hurting more. Harry felt like his head was going to blow.

"Damn you, Riddle!" Harry said with gritted teeth. He decided he's not going to give in.

"I said there's NO RIDDLE IN HERE!" Voldemort yelled and pulled back. He pointed his wand at Harry and yelled: "CRUCIO!"

Harry screamed in pain. His body hasn't fully healed from last night's encounter with the Cruciatus Curse from Bellatrix. And this time, it was added to the pain he felt from his scar. Voldemort kept laughing and his followers joined him. He didn't lift the curse for a while, and instead, he turned to look at Snape.

"Now, Severus. Are you going to say what you were blocking from me?" He asked.

Snape was too shocked to answer. He kept looking at Harry with his mouth open from his spot on the floor.

"SNAPE!" Voldemort yelled, which made Snape turn to him. "Now that's better." He added. "Now, what are you hiding from me?"

"I have nothing to hide from you, Master!" Snape said, hardly managing to keep his voice low. He wanted to scream at the dark wizard in front of him, but he managed to keep his mouth shut, as to not cause any more damage than there was.

"Crucio!" Voldemort yelled again. His wand still aimed at Harry, who was shaking and screaming in pain.

"STOP IT!" Snape yelled. "Please stop it! You're hurting him!"

Voldemort raised an eyebrow. "Hurting him? Is this a soft spot I see in you, Severus?" He repeated his assault to Harry who was starting to lose consciousness. But Voldemort didn't stop. He sent another curse at Harry.

"ALL RIGHT! ALL RIGHT!" Snape yelled at the top of his lungs. "I'll tell you what you want to know!"

Voldemort waved his wand and the curse stopped. Harry lay on the floor, unconscious, blood dripping from his nose and ears.

Voldemort walked to Snape's side. "Speak." He said.

"I.." Snape started and closed his eyes tightly. He had an idea but wasn't sure if it was convincing enough to trick Voldemort. But he decided that it's worth it. If it was going to save him and Harry, then all is good. If not, well, they were dead anyway.

"I do not have all day, Severus." Voldemort said. "I have a lot of people to kill, you know. So, speak!"

Snape pushed himself into a sitting position and looked at the floor as he spoke. "I blocked parts of my mind from you because I was ashamed."

Voldemort tilted his head to a side. "Ashamed?"

"Yes, my Lord." Snape said, managing to get a blush on his face. "It's a personal memory, my Lord. I seek your forgiveness."

Lucius looked at Snape with a raised eyebrow, while Voldemort's attention was fully directed to Snape.

"I.." Snape continued. "I.. am.." he took a deep breath. "I'm gay."

"You're what?" Lucius was shocked.

Voldemort laughed. "Gay? Severus Snape? Gay?" he said as he continued laughing. "My oh my. Our own Severus Snape is gay."

"I still don't see what that has to do with Potter." Came the voice of Bellatrix from the crowd. "He was so eager for the torture to stop!"

"Indeed he was." Voldemort said. "Well, Severus? What do you have to say about that?"

Snape took a deep breath. This was working. "Potter is.." he took another deep breath. "He's my lover."

"Whoa!" Bellatrix said. Everyone in the room gasped.

"What the hell are you playing at, Snape?" Lucius said, grabbing Snape's collar.

"I'm telling the truth." Snape said and looked at Voldemort's eyes. He sent him a visual message of when he was covering Harry's body last night in the cell with his robe, and when he held Harry in his arms trying to comfort him, and when Harry was holding him, trying to keep him warm.

"My, my." Voldemort said, obviously surprised by what he just saw. "And why have you kept this from me, Severus?"

"I was ashamed, my Lord." Snape said, looking down at the floor again. "I thought that if you knew, you'd take him from me. I couldn't let that happen."

"You know that he wants to kill me, don't you?" Voldemort asked.

"I would have never allowed it, my Lord!" Snape said, raising his head. "I would always do something to occupy him from going to his missions. And whenever he managed to sneak away, I used to modify his memory so he wouldn't tell any information to the Ministry!"

Voldemort turned to Lucius and gave him a questioning look.

"Potter has never managed to bring any information that was useful for the Ministry, my Lord." Lucius said.

"Interesting." Voldemort said. "I assume this happened last night. That doesn't prove anything."

Snape looked at the floor. "The other memories are more of a.. private sort, my Lord."

Voldemort laughed. "Very well, Severus. You are forgiven." Snape was about to start celebrating by his victory. "However," Snape's heart sank. This was not good. "Potter needs to be punished."

"I beg your mercy, my Lord." Snape said.

"You want me to show mercy to my mortal enemy?" Voldemort asked.

"No, my Lord." Snape replied. "I'm only asking you to let me have Potter back." He looked at Voldemort with pleading eyes. "I cannot survive without him."

Bellatrix let out a snort, which reached Voldemort's ears. He shot her a warning look, which made her hang her head down.

"Tell me, Severus." Voldemort said. "Are you in love with this boy?" he pointed at Harry's unconscious body, and Snape nodded, hesitantly.

"Well then, I wouldn't want to break a family of my follower. Even if a member of the family is my enemy." Voldemort said.

"But, my Lord.." Lucius said and was instantly shut up by Voldemort.

"I will hear none of it, Lucius." Voldemort said. "I will not break the union of this family. Now, untie them and send them home."

Snape let out a deep breath that he didn't even realize he was holding. Two Death Eaters started untying them, and Snape stood up and bowed to Voldemort.

"Thank you, my Lord." He said.

"Do not thank me now, Severus. Take your lover and go home." Voldemort said.

Snape picked up Harry and started walking to the door. But was stopped by Voldemort's voice.

"You might need these to get home." Voldemort said and threw two wands at Severus who only opened his hand and the wands rested in his palm as he had summoned them.

"Thank you, my Lord." He bowed again and left the room.

Voldemort turned to Lucius and whispered. "Kill Snape as soon as he reaches his house and bring Potter back to me. And I want Snape's head to be sent in a pink box to the Minister's office."

Lucius grinned. "I always knew my Master was wise."

Snape walked as fast as he could with Harry in his arms. He couldn't believe that his plan had worked. Now all he had to do is to go home. He walked out of the gates of Azkaban and stopped. Why did Voldemort let them go so easily? Sure he didn't believe the story about him and Harry. Or did he? Snape looked back and sighed. He needed to be careful. Voldemort might send his men after them. He needed to apparate to somewhere safe. Somewhere no one would never find them.

Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place.