Lucius Malfoy was in a difficult position.

He was convinced that Severus was sent to Azkaban to free Bellatrix. This posed many problems for him. He could go to Dumbledore, but he was afraid the old coot would do something rash. He could go there himself, at the risk of facing the Dark Lord's wrath.

But even if he somehow got to Severus, what would he do then? Bellatrix has had days to recount the situation. She must have realized that Severus took the boy. The moment she tells the Dark Lord that she had been on watch for Severus, he would make the connection. How could they get him to believe that Potter had gone missing prior to Snape's arrival? And even then, would that explain why Severus was at Potter's house before the Dark Lord's order? Difficult indeed.

Sirius Black had escaped Azkaban and as much as Malfoy hated to admit it, Black may be the best person to talk to.

Severus' was currently doing his best attempt at a silent sprint. Octillary had accompanied him to the 4th floor, but now he was on his own. He has made much progress, making it to the 11th floor without issue. The transparency spell was doing its job, and Snape had a firm hold on his robes to keep them from bellowing as he ran from one blind spot to the next. The easy part was done. Floors 12 through 20 would be far more difficult, if Octillary's words were anything to go by, and he's been accurate thus far. Floors 12 and 13 were the most dangerous, with guards and dementors constantly making rounds. The 12th floor was connected to the courtroom, which further created the risk of an unanticipated third party. The floors were now connected by spiral staircases, instead of hatches. However, the staircase to each floor was separated to make it more confusing for prisoners. Once he reached the 20th floor, he had direct access to the skytower, he just had to get there.

Holding his breath, Severus made his way up the staircase to the 12th floor and instantly knew that there was a problem. Any remnants of warmth was sucked out of the air, and he knew a dementor awaited him at the top of the staircase. Dementors don't need to see, they sense, and that thought alone was enough to draw the dementor in Severus' direction.

Occluding as much as possible, Severus slowly started to make his way back down the stairs. After taking a moment to breathe, he started to think. He could try to wait the dementor out, but who knew how long that could be. It might even be stationed there permanently. Staring at the map, he searched for another way up, with no luck. He wanted to punch something, it was so frustrating. He didn't even know what he was going to do with Bellatrix once he got to her. He had zero confidence that she would have the discipline to make it back down without alerting the entire prison.

As he stared at the chips of paint on the wall in front of him, he remembered, this prison was ancient. There had to be another way up. Fishing out the older map from his pockets, he immediately located a hatch to the 12th floor, and silently cheered before he realized that the hatch was directly on top of him, 30 feet on top of him. Would he be able to successfully levitate himself up without alerting the dementor? And then, could he trust the he would be able to make it through the hatch without being seen? It was far more risky. Even with the dementor, the stairs would be a safer option.

Severus stood there for several moments, trying to determine the best course of action. This was the most critical point of the plan, and he would not get a second chance.

As if the situation were not difficult enough, the sound of footsteps began to emanate from the stop of the stairs. Thinking fast, Severus levitated himself up towards the ceiling and hoped for the best.

"Azkaban! What for?!" Harry was confused.

"I believe the Dark Lord has sent him to retrieve Bellatrix. If it were anywhere else, Severus would have been able to use his Patronus. It must be Azkaban." Dumbledore responded solemnly.

Harry took a seat next to him, observing the fortress the headmaster had built. "What are we going to do?" he asked, feeling somewhat responsible for the predicament.

"We, my boy, are going to head back inside for some dinner. How do you feel about squid?"

Holding his breath, Severus stared downwards as the heavily dressed man towed the dementor down the stairs behind him. Immediately, the dementor lashed upwards in the direction of Severus, much to the guard's dismay. Yanking on its chain, the guard continued to drag the dementor forward even as it struggled to move away. As they exited into the hallway, Severus knew that this was his chance. However, the man's clothing is what caught his interest. The apparel covered him from head to toe. If Severus could get his hands on it, getting to the tower would become immensely easier. Carefully lowering himself to the floor, he followed them into the hallway and grabbed onto the dementor's chains. The guard barely had a second to turn around before he was petrified, as Severus used his other arm to carefully lower him to the ground.

Unfortunately, the dementor had plans of his own. He immediately latched onto Severus, pulling the light from beneath his eyes as he desperately began to remove the man's headgear.

Bullocks, he thought to himself as he was overcome by blackness.

Hey guys, I just wanted get a feel for how you guys expect the characters to be as you continue to read.

On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being most evil and 10 being as kind as can be, please rate the following characters:











This would really mean a lot, and help me figure out a few things.

Thanks a bunch!