FYI: There will not be an update next week because I am participating in Gish this year and I'm putting all my creative energy into that. Be back in August!
Chapter 151: Gloria's Flight
"What have you done?" Severus cursed as he rushed past Dumbledore, leaving the wand where it lay, and fleeing after his fiancée.
Unfortunately for Severus, Gloria knew the hospital far better than any of them. She disappeared before he'd even exited the room, people staring and pointing, and whispering their shock, as they pointed him in the direction of her flight. Sadly, he never quite caught up with her.
After what seemed like an hour of searching he finally made his way to the street level, having lost himself in the tangled maze that was St. Mungos, but once again at the entrance where they arrived he found neither his fiancée nor the car that had brought them to this place. Looking up and down the street in desperation and panic, Severus was at a loss and ready to lash out at anyone who may approach him.
"Aparate with me to Poppy House," Dumbledore said as he appeared at his side. "Or rather the street before the house. She isn't here anymore," he finished and grabbed Snape's arm to force him to listen.
Angry and afraid, Severus bit his tongue but did what he was told and a moment later they were on the street in Leinster Gardens, just away from the facade of the house. Without another word Severus bound toward his London house, taking the stairs two at a time and bursting through the doors. He caught Peter Pairywhether off guard by his arrival and the sheer look of fury in his eyes.
"Where is Gloria?" Severus demanded frantically.
"She didn't come here. Harry was dropped off about an hour ago but we were told that she had stayed with you at the hospital. Mother and Father were about to force their way down to the hospital to assist, especially with Gloria's history, but George would not have it and left before they could follow. What has happened?" Peter asked fearfully.
"I don't know exactly," Severus said. "Is Harry safe?" He asked.
"Yes. He's in the dining room with Willowmina having his lunch," Peter responded and his eyes wandered past Severus to Dumbledore who entered house.
"Where did she go?" Severus demanded as he saw Dumbledore.
"I assume home," he replied as the telephone in the hall rang. "If that doesn't mean here, then Rosenshire perhaps?"
"She's fled to Rosenshire," Peter answered the assumption after a short conversation with the person on the line. "That was Molly Weasley. Gloria has gone back to the country."
"Pack up this house as quickly as possible and follow her," Severus ordered and stormed past Dumbledore into the street, his fury evident, and before Dumbledore could catch up he was gone again, disappeared from the street before the house.
In another instant he was running up the lane that lead to the Burrow. Molly Weasley greeted him at the door with little Ginny on her hip.
"Severus stop!" She ordered and stood her ground before him. "You need to calm down," She said. "Gloria and her brother arrived here in a near panic. She was distraught and her brother made the decision to get her back to where she needed to be. They both took the Floo Network and I assume will not be at Callingwood when you arrive but George has every intention of returned for you. Gloria does not need your anger right now. She needs you calm, understanding, and ready to listen to her ordeal. And as much as we admire Dumbledore, you need to tell him to stand down. From what I understand, in the very brief explanation I was given, he is in the wrong and should not have done what he did to that poor woman," She finished, still on the front porch as the Wizard in question appeared down the lane. "Go tell him to stay in London or return to Hogwarts until you have soothed that poor woman's troubled soul."
"Thank you Molly," Severus said as he breathed deeply to settle himself but his anger still raged in his features. "Expect the rest of my household soon. I fear they will inundate you shortly. They are all leaving London for Rosenshire as soon as they are packed. And I expect to move the Longbottoms as quickly and quietly today as we can possibly manage. It is no longer safe for them in London."
"I assumed as much and have contacted Arthur already. He is, just now, arriving at the hospital to facilitate," Molly said and watched as Severus turned and rushed back down the lane.
"You are not to enter Willow House until I have summoned you," Severus growled at the man as he approached. "You have betrayed her, upset her and traumatized her, and now you have caused her to flee. I will not have you making this any worse then it already is. What were you thinking?" He demanded as Albus stopped in his tracks and stared dumbfounded at Severus' forcefulness.
"I believed that Gloria would save the Longbottoms' lives," he confessed. "And she very likely did."
"And yet you betrayed her. Why?" Severus asked, his teeth grit in anger as his words came out more like a hiss.
"Gloria Pairywhether is one of the strongest, most brilliant, witches this world has ever seen. That kind of magic touches a soul only once in a generation. She has the magical capacity of our forefathers, more than you or I could ever imagine. She has the power to create," Dumbledore answered.
"And so, because you are you, you think you have the right to force her to do something she doesn't want to do?" Severus asked indignantly. "Just because the magic is there does not take away her free will to deny it if she chooses to."
"I had not planned for her to set foot in that hospital. I had hoped that you would come to assist in the moving of the Longbottoms and once they were within the protection of Willow House and the magic in Rosenshire, it was my intention to tell her that the sigils were present and that she could save them. I had not expected the Lestranges to come directly to the hospital or that Gloria would follow. I also believed that should you arrive, and with the connection that has formed between you, you would be able to wield her wand and, to an extent, complete the same tasks that she did, perhaps not with he same strength or dexterity, but you and her are bound and therefore her magic is yours."
"And so, you lied to her, and you kept her wand and had it with you for just such an occasion," Severus accused. "What gave you that right?"
"Even without the wand, Gloria would be able to perform the magic because it is so deep within her. Any wand will do, yours would have likely been even more receptive to her now that there is love to bind you. But I kept this wand and carried it with me always because of what it can do, has done, and what it can prove to this world and these people who question her," he explained.
"Albus, what are you saying?" Severus asked.
"A wand holds onto every spell that a person with magic performs. It chooses the witch or wizard but in Gloria's case a wand, any wand, she touches, especially now that her magic is so powerful, would choose to function in her hands because of the sheer power she possesses. This wand is her first and by honing her craft with it and learning the beginnings with it, it remembers everything that Gloria's magic ever was or will be. With the proper spell work, this wand will destroy itself to tell the truth about Gloria and will replay everything she was forced to do. This wand holds everything that Carthridge made her do, even that Horcrux."
"But Carthridge forged the Horcrux, not Gloria," Severus said. "What good does it do?"
"That isn't entirely true. The only person that can make a Horcrux to hold the soul and prolong life, is the person who's soul is locked away. Gloria made the Horcrux. She may not have known it, or given her consent, but she made it. This wand, before today, could have been used in court. It still could, to prove without a shadow of a doubt what Carthridge did to her. If Euphegenia does not gather the right evidence for the trial tomorrow, it was always my plan to destroy this in front of the whole Wizengamot for the sake of the truth. But now that Gloria has acted, has saved the Longbottoms, and has made yet another new discovery, I am not sure it should be destroyed, and perhaps, with this wand, the magic of the Horcrux can be reversed."
"That choice was never yours to make," Severus said and angrily snatched the wand out of Dumbledore's hands. It issued a brilliant, blinding, white light as he touched it that startled him. "What is happening."
"It's the love magic, Gloria's magic," Albus answered. "You may wield her wand and know its power but only a fraction of the power that she possess.
"I can feel it," Severus said in shock.
"She is so much more powerful then any of us," Albus said. "If we cannot find a way to release Harry from his curse, I believe that Gloria may be the last best hope for him," he confessed a truth that angered Severus ever further.
"How dare you manipulate me in such a way," Severus cursed. "Why would you tell me that?" He yelled at the top of his lungs, tears in his eyes. "Gloria's peace of mind or Harry? You are a cruel man."
"I am sorry Severus but it is the truth. You have no idea what power she possesses because she has suppressed it and you have her completely to yourself. Gloria Pairywhether could save us all."
"No," Severus said in a rage. "I'll not tell her that, nor will you, I forbid it!"
"She is already aware of her power. She's simply in denial."
"And if that is how she wants to live, then so be it. Find another way to save them both. This is on you now. You will save them both. Find another way and do not show your face at Willow House until I have summoned you to our company," Severus spoke with the full force of his fury; an anger he had never felt in such a way before.
There was a part of him that hated Albus Dumbledore for ever setting sights on him. For putting these events into motion and though the love he felt for Gloria was pure and true, the knowledge that he had gained spoke of the plan Albus had had all along.
Holding his tongue once more as to not spew accusations and hatred at Albus any longer, Severus turned and stomped back up the lane to the Burrow where Molly had witnessed the whole of the exchange. When he reached the porch where Molly was standing he turned only slightly to shoot one last angry and condemning look at Albus but the man was gone. Grumbling to himself, and without ceremony, he followed Molly silently into the house and together they witnessed George Pairywhether appear from the flames.