Chapter 1 A Long Anticipated Awakening
A horrible pain shot through his neck as the snake's sharp fangs pierced his throat, sinking into the jugular, reminiscent of a pain he suffered long ago, one he survived, and Snape screamed in agony as he failed to push the cage off himself. His knees gave way as Nagini's poison took effect and the Potions master fell to the floor.
He could feel hot blood gushing from the wounds left by the King Cobra and tried to stop it, seal it off before his very life spilled out on the dusty floor of the Shrieking Shack. Everything was becoming darker, dimmer, his limbs feeling like lead weights.
He vaguely heard the Dark Lord utter something, then he left. Just like that. As if he was nothing. He laid there, blood pumping over his fingers, staining the floor and the dust.
He had failed. Harry hadn't received the final message he was meant to know. The Wizarding World was doomed.
Suddenly something moved and Snape's black eyes shifted desperately. He saw Harry Potter appear from nowhere, a cloak in his hands.
It wasn't too late . . . not too late. He had to tell him! Snape tried to speak but only a gurgle came out, because of the blood filling his throat. He coughed, expelling some of it and tried again.
Desperation gave the dying wizard strength and when Harry bent down to look at him closer, Snape grasped the front of his robes and concentrated, willing his secret forth, willing that which was hidden to make itself known. He felt it seeping, flowing . . . bubbling forth . . .
There was still hope.
Between the gurgles and rasps he managed to speak to the stricken boy, who wore a look of terror on his face.
"Take. . . it. . . . Take. . . it. . . . "
Suddenly a silvery-blue substance gushed from the Potions master's mouth, ears and eyes. A flask appeared, conjured from thin air and Hermione was there, thrusting it into Harry's hand as she stared down at Snape. Harry used his wand to fill the flask with the substance that was neither liquid nor gas, but seemed a combination of both.
Snape felt cold. Death was here, loosening his grip on life, on the boy's robes. He looked up at Harry, dying, but wanting to see . . . longing to see just one more time . . .
"Look. . . at. . . me. . . . " he whispered to Harry whose green eyes affixed themselves on the dilated black orbs of the professor, and witnessed that dark light which fueled the man . . . go out, the hand that clutched him thudding to the floor.
Severus Snape was dead. Killed by Nagini by the order of her master, Voldemort.
Harry started as Voldemort's cold high voice sounded close to his ear before he realized it reverberated everywhere. Everyone would hear him clearly. He told Harry to surrender and everyone would be spared. The Dark Lord gave him one hour to turn himself over or he would kill everyone.
"It'll be all right," said Hermione wildly. "Let's—let's get back to the castle,
if he's gone to the forest we'll need to think of a new plan—"
She took a final quick look at Snape's body then hurried back to the tunnel entrance, Ron following her as Harry gathered up the Invisibility Cloak and looked down at the dead wizard, shocked at the way he had died, and why.
Then he too returned to the tunnel and crawled through.
Snape lay there in the dust, alone, pale and bloodless, irreversibly unconscious, unaware of the world. For all purposes, he was dead. But death is a process. There is Somatic death where the individual will not awaken, but the body dies in increments, on a cellular level . . . a Cellular death, and it was beginning.
The wizard's heart stopped, what little blood remaining, curdling in his veins. His respiratory system was also defunct, his brain deprived completely of oxygen. The delicate nerve cells began to expire.
And something else was awakened by the body's death.
Something hidden and latent within the Pituitary Gland, something coiled and thwarted years ago, something caged and imprisoned by the Potions master, its destiny deferred. But now, now it was free to claim the body and uncoiled, permeating the cells, changing them, reanimating them, creating something new but older than man himself.
It raced through the veins and capillaries, opening their collapsed tubing, gulping at what small remnants of blood remained. It would need more.
It always needed more. Life required blood.
It gushed through, filling the errant lungs, swelling them not with air, but with darkness and power, and poured into the heart, which shuddered, then compressed, forcing it through the rest of the body, the beat becoming stronger, heartier . . .
The wizard's body shuddered and spasmed as the muscle tissue reawakened and the holes in his throat sealed themselves. The dead organs began to function again, although altered for a different kind of processing. A different kind of purpose. But the conversion was not without its price, not without its cost . . .
Snape's eyes flew open and the wizard convulsed as his body seemed to ignite, covering him in a searing, burning, white-hot heat. His mouth worked and a wrenching scream that seemed to reverberate from the bowels of Hell itself filled the Shrieking Shack as he seizured, his arms and legs flailing wildly.
Near the end of the tunnel, Harry paused.
"Did you hear that?" he called to Hermione and Ron.
Hermione half turned toward him.
"I didn't hear anything, Harry. Come on, we've got to get back to the castle," she urged, climbing out of the hole helped by Ron.
Harry looked back down the tunnel, hesitating. He was sure he had heard something.
"Come on!" Hermione hissed, her face reappearing.
"All right. But I know I heard something," Harry said, climbing up.
Snape contorted, twisting, turning and rolling about the floor as the parasite that was hidden in his body for many years unfolded and finally made its claim. He had thwarted death that time and so, it waited. Now its moment was here. The host was prepared and the symbiotic existence would begin. In exchange for the wizard providing what was needed, the parasite would give him Life Eternal . . . as long as its other source of power survived and remained linked. If that power faded, the host would once again become mortal.
But She had survived for thousands of years. There was no reason to think She would ever die. Not the Mother.
Snape stopped convulsing and lay still as a corpse on his back for several moments. But he was aware. It wasn't a truly conscious awareness. There were no thoughts in his head. It was more of an animal awareness . . . and the awareness was attuned to one thing.
Suddenly the wizard rose in a frightening manner, using neither limb nor muscle, simply rising from the floor to his feet in one arcing motion, as if he were a board stood up by an invisible hand. The night was full of sounds and scents. Distant heartbeats.
It was the heartbeats that interested him.
The wizard cracked his neck, first one side then the other, then he rolled his shoulders, his dark eyes filled with an even greater darkness. He looked toward the tunnel, then flashed forward into the darkness, flying through the small space unimpeded, faster than was humanly possible. He was on the grounds in less than five seconds.
Now he could smell blood, but it was stilled blood from the bodies of the fallen. Blood without life. He needed no dead things. Then he heard the heartbeats, coming from all around, small alluring drumbeats in the night, the rhythms both quick and slow. His dark eyes adjusted. He could see the outlines of bodies on the ground, shimmering and darkening as they cooled. In the distance he saw three living people moving toward a building. He could catch them, but hesitated.
There was a reason not to kill them. He couldn't fully register why, but their blood had to stay in their veins.
His sight shifted as he looked toward the Forbidden forest, deep within, through the trees, brush and other obstacles. There were many of Living there, huddled around fires. In the center was one with tainted blood, one that radiated power. One that made him hiss with hatred. To drink from that one would be death.
A pain shot through him, and he doubled over for a moment. He had to feed. He had to find strength. The night sky was showing the approaching dawn. Instinctively he knew dawn meant his own death. He had to flee that cursed light, find some dark, safe, quiet place to den. But first . . . he had to feed.
Severus Snape stood there a moment longer, then streaked toward the forest . . . and his sustenance, moving so fast he couldn't be seen by the normal eye, his blood-soaked robes rippling behind him. It was almost as if he had apparated. He entered the woods, flashing from tree to tree until he was on the outskirts of a clearing.
A fire burned in the middle of the area, its flickering light falling over a crowd of silent, watchful Death Eaters. Some of them were masked and hooded; others showed their faces. Two giants sat on the edge of the group, their massive shadows covering the scene. A man dabbed at a bleeding lip.
Snape snarled at the sweet scent of it. In the center of the people stood the Tainted One. The wizard felt great hatred as he looked at the Dark Lord who stood with his head bowed, his thin hands folded over a wand. He looked as if he were praying. Behind him floated an orb, inside the orb an undulating snake.
Snape snarled again. He hated them both, though he did not know why. He would kill them without a need to feed if possible. But for right now . . .
His eyes darted to the left. Someone was breaking away from the group and walking deep into the forest. Someone alone. Someone full of Life.
Silently, Snape disappeared.
"What a time to have to take a shit," Death Eater Henry Shufton grumbled, walking through the forest and looking for a place to squat. He found one, threw his robes up over his shoulder and proceeded to unbuckle his pants. Lowering his trousers and underwear, He squatted, grunted then made a face.
"Damn it," he said, "All this killing is constipating me. Shit!"
Suddenly, all the little sounds of the forest ceased. The Death Eater looked around uncomfortably; having the feeling he wasn't alone. The moon filtered through the woods and he felt around his robes for his wand, found it and held it at the ready as he continued to attempt to empty his bowels.
His heart began to pound and suddenly he hissed, "Lumos!"
The area around him lit up and he saw someone standing about twenty feet away from him. He pointed his wand toward the robed figure.
"Who's there?" he called. "Speak up, or die!"
Suddenly the person was only five feet from him. Henry looked up into the pale face of Severus Snape, who looked down on him soberly.
"Aw, shit, Snape. You almost scared the shit out of me," the wizard said with a sigh of relief, "Though if you had it would've been a big help. What are you doing out here?"
Snape said nothing, but continued to look at him. Henry farted.
"There she goes," he said, completely unfazed by another wizard's presence while he took a dump. It must be a man thing.
Snape shifted, and Henry looked up at him. The wizard's lips were drawn away from his teeth, which glistened in the wand light, unnaturally long and sharp . . .
Henry screamed as the snarling wizard flashed forward, catching him around the throat with one arm and taking him deeper into the forest. The scream stopped abruptly.
Several Death Eaters looked up, and two or three rose to go investigate.
"Stay here," Voldemort hissed at them.
"But the scream," one Death Eater said.
"The night is full of screams," the despot hissed, "We are many. There is nothing to fear. Stay here while I contemplate and wait for Potter."
The Death Eaters returned to the fire.
Snape lifted his head from the now still body in his arms, and dropped it like a discarded piece of parchment. He licked the blood from his fangs and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. As he was feeding, he was aware he could do something to change the one supplying his blood, but he wasn't moved to do so. Henry Shufton wouldn't be coming back.
Now that he had fed, Snape's head began to clear and he was himself again . . . relatively speaking. That bastard Voldemort had murdered him. He looked down on Henry's body and pulled out his wand, transfiguring the corpse into a stone, picking it up and flinging it into the woods. He looked toward the castle and the lightening sky.
He had to get to the subdungeons. Then he could think his situation through.
In an instant, he was gone, speeding toward the castle . . . and safety.
A/N: Weird little one-shot for now. Lol, what a way to bring Snape back eh:::Snort::: I wish I could blame this one on being high or something, but I can't. I was stone sober. Lol. Thanks for reading.