Behind the Sneer

Author's note: - I know it's been done before, but not by me. This is the night that McGonagall got stunned from Snape's perspective, (he's not the evil git I usually make him). Now excuse me whilst I go and revive Amanda...

Disclaimer:- Me? Own Harry Potter? I think not. I own ... I don't own anything...

The wind whipped around Severus Snape's face, and strands of long, black hair brushed against his cheeks. He leant against the window sill of Minerva's chambers, and stared across the lake. The two had been playing chess, and as had been tradition for the past fifteen years, Minerva won with absurd ease. After, they had been discussing the latest theory of potions making (Minerva was as adept in the art of brewing potions as he) when she had remembered the article was sitting on her desk.

Brushing away Severus' insistences that he would retrieve the magazine, Minerva had exited her chambers, stating she would be back with ten minutes. Severus tucked his hair behind his ears, and his black eyes roamed over the grounds. A spark of red caught his attention, and his eyes narrowed as he tried to discern what was happening.

His breath caught in his throat as he heard the deep rumble of the Auror Dawlish's voice.

"Be reasonable, Hagrid!"

"Reasonable be damned, yeh won't take me like this, Dawlish!"

Hagrid was swinging his fists, and Severus watched in horror as they connected with one of the Aurors. The man flew back, and hit a tree and crumpled against the trunk.

"Jesus," he muttered, turning and preparing to run to Hagrid's aide.

He had barely taken two steps when light suddenly lit the grounds, capturing the attentions of the corner of his eye. Severus whipped around as he recognised the light as coming from the Entrance Hall, and rushed back to the window. A figure was sprinting across the grounds, and Severus gasped as their voice resounded through the air.

"How dare you! How dare you! Leave him alone. Alone, I say! On what grounds are you attacking him? He has done nothing, nothing to warrant -''

Minerva, no, oh you foolish woman!

Severus let out a growl of sheer anger as Umbridge and the remaining Aurors sent four stunners directly toward Minerva. As if in slow motion he watched as they collided with her chest. She rose from the ground, glowing an eerie red, before she landed hard on her back.

He was running before he heard the soft cackle of laughter from Umbridge, and rushed down the many flights of stairs. He screamed at Poppy as he ran past the Hospital Wing, and for once she didn't question him, and merely followed him at a sprint. The oak doors of the Entrance Hall were still open, and Severus continued to run toward Minerva's prone form.

Her glasses were askew, and her hair had fallen from her usual bun so her waist-length hair splayed about her face. Severus closed his eyes briefly. Minerva was slight, he had always known that, but now he noticed the way her cheekbones protruded, highlighting a weight loss he had never noticed. Her robes hung limp from her body, and he saw in horror that there was a blood stain was spreading across her front.

If she dies, I am going to fucking kill you.

Umbridge was looking down at her, an expression of glee on her face. Severus rushed past her, and quickly felt for a pulse.

"She's alive," he said with a sigh of relief, "Her heart rate's faint, but it's there."

Poppy knelt down and placed her hand against Minerva's skin. "She's too cold," she said, her voice laced with urgency. "We can't treat her here. She needs to go to Saint Mungos."

Severus had picked Minerva up before Poppy had finished her sentence, and was preparing to run back to the Hospital Wing when he felt a hand on his forearm. He looked down at Umbridge's squat figure and suppressed the urge to curse her into oblivion.

"What are you doing, Professor Snape?" she asked in her pseudo-sweet voice that he loathed.

Severus stepped back from her slightly, and tried to school his features into his indifferent expression. Few people knew that he and Minerva was close; and he wished it to remain that way.

"Professor McGonagall needs to be taken to Saint Mungos," he drawled gesturing at Hogwarts Deputy Headmistress whose head was resting against his chest. "As her colleague, I am obliged to help her."

He emphasized the word, and Umbridge smirked as she read between the oblique lines he had painted.

"Of course," she said with an almost predatory look on her face as she looked at Minerva who's skin had become so pale to appear translucent in the moonlight.

Severus nodded curtly, and walked away from Umbridge with Poppy close to him. The second he rounded the corner, he broke into a run, and he and Poppy sprinted to the Hospital Wing which held a direct floo to Saint Mungos.

"I'll follow behind," Poppy hissed as she grabbed a handful of shimmering green powder from a pot above the fireplace. "You go first."

Severus had stepped within the emerald flames before she'd fully completed her sentence, and he yelled 'Saint Mungos.' As he spun, he held Minerva protectively to his chest, taking momentary relief when her eyelids fluttered though they did not open. He entered the sterile hospital and Healers looked up in surprise as he rushed toward them.

"She's been hit by four stunners," he said as he placed Minerva gently on the bed.

One of the Healers gasped as he recognised Minerva, and he immediately summoned various potions toward him, as well as hooking her up to an intravenous line. Severus stepped back and allowed the Healers to work. He quickly found a chair and sat down, his eyes never leaving the dark-haired witch on the bed. He felt a gentle hand on his shoulder and Poppy sat down next to him.

"You should go back," Poppy said softly.

Severus shook his head adamantly. "No. Not until she wakes up."

"But..." Poppy protested.


Poppy fell silent, realising that further insistences on her part were futile, and merely rested her hand atop of his.

"The attack was unprovoked," Severus snarled, breaking the uneasy silence. "She didn't even have her wand out."

Poppy nodded slowly. "They wouldn't have stood a chance if she had her wand out."

Severus laughed harshly, though there was no humour in his voice. "What are her chances?" he asked softly, dreading the answer.

He heard a soft sigh from Poppy and turned to find that the medi-witch had tears in her eyes. "She's 70-years-old, underweight because she hasn't eaten properly for nine months, and she's tired to the point of exhaustion..."

"Will she be all right?" Severus interrupted.

Poppy shrugged. "I don't know, Severus. If there's a witch who can defy the odds, it's Minerva McGonagall, but..." She sighed deeply. "I just don't know, Severus."

Severus hung his head between his knees. I should have gone to get the magazine...

He felt Poppy's warm hand against his back, but didn't raise his head. His teeth ground together, and he made a silent vow to himself.

I will kill her if Minerva dies. The Ministry be damned...

Author's note: - Well I don't know what to think of this one. Please Review! Cheers. Minniequill