A/N: In my story "The Best Defense", one of the letters to Harry states that Severus Snape was found bound and gagged, his wand broken, and totally insane. As much as Snape is the person I love to hate, I started thinking that he deserved a bit more print space than just that. This is also written to try out an idea that I may or may not use in my regular story.

Whatever Happened to Severus Snape.

Spinner's End

Severus Snape was in a foul mood. But then again, he was always in a foul mood. He was forced to flee with that idiot Draco Malfoy after the confrontation in the Astronomy Tower. Draco and Snape had been forced to go into hiding in the Highlands, then made their way to England. The Dark Lord had summoned him no less than three times, each time he appearated to his master, then returned to Draco.

The first time had been the worst. Voldemort had tortured him unmercifully. Of course, Voldemort had no mercy, so this was only natural. He was very upset that Snape had been the one to kill Dumbledore rather than Draco. He raked Snape's mind to try to locate Draco, planning to kill him for not only failing in his mission, but also not responding to his call. Snape had put the false image of Draco running away in a different direction upon their escape from Hogwarts. Finally he let Snape go.

Now Snape was hiding in his house, acting like the ideal Death Eater, while Draco was staying in the crawl space under the house. Snape knew if Malfoy was found there that it would mean both of their lives, but he just did not know how to get rid of him. If he did what he was tempted to do, which was to just kill the boy, then the Unbreakable Vow that he had made to Narcissa to protect Draco would kill him also. As far as Snape was concerned, Draco was nothing but a 17 year old, blond haired boil that was riding on Snape's butt. He started as Malfoy came up through the trap door from the crawl space.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" he hissed. "Do you want to get both of us killed?"

"I don't care! If I have to live my life under there I would just as soon die." Draco whined. "Haven't you been able to get hold of my mother?"

"No, and I don't believe that I ever will. She is also on the run from the Dark Lord. She has probably run so far from here that she will never be found. There is a mother's instinct to protect her offspring, but your family also has another wonderful instinct that overrides all others, and that is self preservation. She is no fanatic like Bella, she is more like Pettigrew. A real Slytherin. Bella is just insane."

A pop sounded outside. Snape looked through the window, then spun around to face Draco.

"Speaking of, get back down the hole. It's Bella. Go, now!" Draco scurried back under the house, and Snape strode to the door and opened it.

"To what do I owe the displeasure of seeing you, Bella?" Snape sneered. Bella looked at him coldly.

"I'm here to pass a message. The Potter brat has disappeared. The Dark Lord thinks that he is either dead or has been driven insane. Now it's time to start cleaning up in our own ranks. Our Master has charged you with finding Draco and Narcissa Malfoy. Find them and bring them back. Do not kill them, the Dark Lord wants to make an example of them." With that, Bella turned and left.

Durmstrang Academy of Magic
Three months later

Snape sat back in his chair. He was consulting with the Headmaster about the Draco Malfoy problem. He had been traveling all over Europe with Draco hidden under an invisibility cloak, pretending to search for his traveling companion and Narcissa. It had been a trying time for the former Potions Master. He could not for the life of him remember what redeeming quality he had ever seen in Draco. Maybe it was the fact that Draco hated Harry Potter almost as much as he, Severus, did. Thinking back to the last three months of constant whining, Snape decided that it was not enough.

The Headmaster Karkaroff, a former Death Eater himself, smiled at Snape. "Your Malfoy problems are over, my friend. Out of all of the places you could have gone, you stumbled onto the right one. Before Narcissa fled, she tapped into the family vault and transferred a lot of money here. She knew that she would need a bolt-hole to run to. She has been here since Dumbledore's death. I tell you though, she has been driving me insane about wanting to find her son. So you have solved both of our problems."

Snape was pleased, but wary. "What do you plan to do with the pair of them?"

"I have made arrangements for their sanctuary in the United States. They will escape with their lives and enough money to live comfortably there. They will not be allowed to do magic, ever again. They will have their wands confiscated and they will have the magic binding spell placed upon them. Anything less than that would bring them to the attention of the Dark Lord. They will be leaving tomorrow."

Snape breathed a sigh of relief. His problem with Draco was now solved, all he had to worry about was his own life. He was tempted to flee Europe also, but he did not have the resources to do so. Being a teacher at Hogwarts, as prestigious as that position was, did not pay that well. And he had been unemployed for months. He did not even have access to his vault. Life was so unfair. Had he known what Draco's mission was prior to making that Unbreakable Vow, he not only would have refused, he would have strangled both Draco and Narcissa with his bare hands. He had been forced to kill the only friend that he had ever known, the only one who ever trusted him.

"Very well. I am getting weary, and would like to rest." Karakov gave Snape the directions to the room he would be using and bade him good-night.

The next morning

Dressed as muggles, they traveled to the airport in Sofia. Karkaroff had taken their wands and done the magic binding spell on Draco and Narcissa. He then placed a spell on them that would create an aversion to all things magical. This was tricky work, because he could not trust them not to have the binding spell removed by some American wizard as soon as they were able to locate one. The amount of money they had could buy a lot of friendly magic from a capitalistic witch or wizard in the United States. This way they would avoid wizards and witches like the plague.

After seeing the pair onto the plane, they left the airport. They never saw the tourist with the camera. Since they did not see her, they never noticed that the camera was a wizarding camera. They also did not notice the uncanny resemblance she had to Bella Lestrange.

The next day

Snape and Karkaroff were walking along the shore of Durmstrang's lake. Karkaroff had just offered Snape his chance to escape. "Severus, my friend, why don't you come to work here as my Dark Arts teacher? It would keep you out of England and allow you to build up enough money to make a new life for yourself."

"Don't you mean Defense Against the Dark Arts?"

Karkaroff laughed. "No, I mean Dark Arts. We teach them here. Magic is neither good nor bad, it is what you do with it. You would teach them the Dark Arts, then you would teach the defense against them. Our students can decide for themselves which path to take."

"AVADA KEDAVRA!" A beam of green light hit Karkaroff in the chest. The light went out of his eyes and he dropped. Snape spun around to defend himself, but found himself facing the combined wands of six Death Eaters. One of the Death Eaters hit him with a full body bind.

"You traitor! I should have known that you would try to hide out with another traitor." Bella Lestrange smiled. "The Dark Lord wants to see you. Now." Snape stood there helpless while one of the other Death Eaters relieved him of his wand, took Snape's arm and forced his finger to touch the portkey that would return him to his former master.

The next instant Snape found himself face down in front of Voldemort. The only good thing about this was that he did not have far to fall when Voldemort screamed "CRUCIO!" and the red light hit Snape. The only hope that he had was that he might be able to feed Voldemort false memories to back up his story. That hope vanished a moment later when Voldemort lifted the curse and placed a photo in front of him. The photo was of Snape and Karakov bidding good-bye to Narcissa and Draco as they climbed aboard the airplane.

Snape knew he was dead. His only hope now would be that it would be quick. He decided to attempt to goad Voldemort into losing his temper and killing him. He stood up painfully and sneered.

"Oh, Master… " He put extra emphasis on the word Master. "You are such a dupe. I have been helping Dumbledore foil your plans for years. You think you are a great Legilimens, you are an amateur. I have fed you what I wanted you to see since before the Potter baby banished you. And as much as I despise Potter, he and Dumbledore will put an end to you."

"Liar! Potter is either dead or driven insane. And you killed Dumbledore yourself."

"You are only fooling yourself. You cannot kill the brat. And Dumbledore is still alive. You have to have hatred in your heart towards the person that you cast Avada Kedavra in order for it to kill. I did not hate Dumbledore, in fact, I almost worshipped the man. He was my only friend, the only one who ever trusted me. He gave me something that you could never give me. He gave me life and redemption. I do not know where Albus is, but he most assuredly is not dead. He is honored because he is an honorable man. You on the other hand are being mocked in the street by little children." Snape sent an image toward the Dark Lord of some children playing jump-rope in the street, chanting;
Little Tommy Riddle,
Bad, bad boy.
Hurt the kids
when they took his toys

Stupid Tommy Riddle
Run far away
'cause handsome Harry Potter
gonna get you today.

Snape miscalculated. Voldemort was seething alright, but he did not send the killing curse that would have put Snape out of his misery. Nodding at Bella and the other Death Eaters, Voldemort addressed Snape.

"You think that's funny, my pet traitor? I could kill you, like I did with Pettigrew when he delivered that absurd death sentence from the Wizagamot, but that would be no fun at all. Let me show you MY idea of fun." With that, all of the Death Eaters and Voldemort leveled their wands at Snape and cried out with a single voice.

"CRUCIO!"

Severus Snape descended into a bottomless pit of pain. He left his sanity in that pit, but not the pain.

James Bakkus was on duty in the Magical Law Enforcement office when the call came in that one of the most wanted wizards in Britain had been found in Knockturn Alley. He grabbed his partner and they appearated to the scene. They found Severous Snape, bound, his broken wand laying next to him, babbling uncontrollably. There was a sign reading "Traitor" pinned to his robe.

"I don't know what happened to him, but the sign is correct. He was a traitor." Bakkus said. "Killed the very man who got him cleared when he went on trial after You-Know-Who's first defeat. Whoever did this should get a reward."

"It looks like they used an Unforgivable on him though." Bakkus' partner, Jerry Grimes went over and examined the prisoner.

"I'm not going to say anything if you don't." They grabbed Snape and began to hustle him away. "Do we take him to St. Mungos?"

"No, we have a standing order that if he is located, he goes straight through the Veil. He was convicted in abstentia for Dumbledore's murder and the death penalty imposed. We just need to call the Minister and have him sign the death warrant." With that, they appearated to the Ministry.

Ministry of Magic
Department of Mysteries.

"Severus Snape, having been found guilty of the cold blooded murder of Albus Dumbledore, the Wizagamot has sentenced you to death, to be carried out immediately. You shall be cast through the Veil and you shall be judged by the Court of the Dead." Snape snickered. He knew what was happening, he just had no control over his ability to react to it. They were going to kill him for killing someone that he knew in his heart was still alive!

The two Aurors grabbed his bound arms and walked him to the Veil. With a sudden shove, he was through. He found himself in a large, completely white room, his hands no longer bound. There was a high bench, and a dozen people sitting on the bench. They would be his judges.

"Severus Snape, you have been tried and sentenced by the living for the murder of Albus Dumbledore. We shall now take your testimony." Two creatures that Snape had never before seen or even heard about came forward and placed their hands on his head. Every memory that he had came to the forefront.

"Severus Snape, it is the decision of this court that you are innocent of the charges of which you have been accused. The wizard Dumbledore is not here to testify against you. The court accepts your defense that the killing curse could not have taken Dumbledore's life since the required hatred was not there to make it effective. We must confess that we also have no knowledge of the whereabouts of Albus Dumbledore, but he is not in the land beyond life. You are free to leave this court and enter into your eternal rest. This court is dismissed."

Suddenly Snape was no longer in his black robe. He was clothed in glowing white, his hair was no longer greasy and matted, instead he found himself clean, shaven and with a feeling of well-being flooding through him. He turned to the door to leave. He did not hear the voice from the gallery.

"Dammit James, I told you that Snivillus would beat the rap again!"

"Don't worry, Padfoot. We have got a long time to find out what the truth is. In fact, we have all the time in the world."