Disclaimer: Of course, I don't own this. That right goes to the talented JK Rowling. Hope you enjoy

Fall of the Servant

A tall man in black robes with a skull-like mask confidently strode towards the clearing. He immediately noticed the others, whom like always grinned maliciously at him as he continued towards them. He, however, as always ignored them. The others were fools if they thought for a second he would fail again. He made sure that would not happen even again. As soon as he saw the dark snake-like figure calmly walk out of the shadows, the man quickly fell to his knees and bowed his head out of respect.

"My Lord, I have the information you require about the boy." He continued to bow his head for what seemed to be forever in silence. However, he was not worried, though, not in the least. As long as he kept up his mental barriers, he was safe. He could feel the figure's sinister eyes scrutinize his appearance, but he remained quiet. He could wait. Several more minutes passed by before he finally received his reply.

"Tell me, Severus," the figure hissed in his familiar snake-like way. "Tell me why after last time I should trust you, Severus. You have given me false information before, Death Eater."

Severus remained quiet, though. He knew apologies would not help him. It only showed weakness, so he kept his head bowed down to the ground. More silence greeted him for a few more moments before he noticed the figure's slow walk towards him. There were only two reasons the figure would walk towards him, either to punish or to reward him.

"Rise, Death Eater." Severus did, but continued to avert his eyes. "What news do you bring?"

"Since your return, my Lord, the boy has suffered from frequent night terrors. The old fool believes there may be a connection between this and you, my Lord." Severus then bowed his head again.

"And what do you think, Severus?"

"I think the boy lies, my Lord." Pure hatred oozed in each word he spoke. "However, if it is true, then this works to our advantage."

"Yes, yes, it does. Doesn't it?" The figure then chuckled softly as if something he thought was hilarious. "My most faithful servant, I have a mission for you." The figure then remained silent for a few moments before he softly hissed again. "Earlier this evening, I sent a group to a clearing just outside of Nottingham. They have not returned."

Severus immediately felt the sudden urge to snarl, but ignored it. He had been aware for some time that the others had kept vital information from him. To hear it so bluntly though made his blood boil. He understood the mistrust. He had made a mistake, a calculated one of course, but still a mistake. However, he had made up for it, or so he thought.

"Go there immediately, my trustworthy servant, and take care of the situation. And to ensure that you leave no survivors this time, Death Eater—Blake, Pike, accompany him."

Severus only bowed his head again before apparating away in his Death Eater robes. As soon as he touched back on the ground, he threw a glance towards the two who had accompanied him. He slightly growled, but immediately stalked towards the clearing with his wand drawn. He hated it when the others had to watch him closely. It made certain things…difficult.

"Let's just find those blasted idiots and get back, all right? This place is…disturbing," Blake muttered quietly behind Severus as they continued.

Severus had to agree with the young man. Something about the place did seem unsettling. His dark obsidian eyes, however, kept their constant darting back and forth in the moonlight in hopes to find some movement. Hell, he'd settle with anything. After five minutes of searching, he finally growled and shook his head furiously. None of the men had found anything of anyone have been there recently.

"Are you sure this is where they were supposed to be?" Severus snarled towards Pike.

"Yeah, positive," Pike growled back. "There ain't that many clearings to choose from. Are there, Snape? Then again, what do I know? I've only been faithful to the Dark Lord for 10 years, whereas you've only recently rejoined."

"Are you questioning my loyalties?" Severus quietly hissed through his tightly clenched teeth.

"Will you two knock it off?" Blake yelled before he stepped in between both men. Looking rather paranoid, he then glanced around the clearing. A twig snapped a few moments later in the woods. He immediately pointed his wand towards it and sent a ball of light from his wand towards it.

"What are you doing, Blake? Nothing's there." However, before Pike could say anything else, his eyes narrowed as he saw it. "Snape?" he quietly whispered, captivated by the scene where Blake's ball of light had lit up in front of the three men.

"I…see it."

"Bloody hell," Pike muttered.

Perfectly arranged into a circle were the bodies of six Death Eaters. Blood had collected around the horrifying sight in such a way that it made it look like the bodies were in a lake. The three living Death Eaters slowly took another step. Blake then glanced down at one of the bodies. He immediately felt his stomach lurch as he saw the badly damaged dead man's face. Part of the man's face was missing.

"What…what could do that?" Blake asked rather shakily.

"I am unsure."

"Well, that ain't an animal. That's for sure." Pike then glanced at Severus. "Order trying a new weapon that you accidentally forgot to mention, Snape?" He snarled and sneered, which sent spittle towards the usually unsettled man.

"No. They wouldn't do this," Snape replied in a deathly quiet voice.

Another twig snapped off in the distance. The sound was closer this time. All three men immediately sent a wide variety of spells towards the sound. However, no such luck in hitting anything other than the pine trees.

"Come out and face us, you coward!" Pike bellowed when it became quiet again.

"I don't…I don't like this. Let's just go back before…something happens," Blake softly pleaded.

"I ain't going back a coward. Just suck it up, Blake. It's probably just an," Pike then paused as he thought of possibilities. "An illusion, yeah, that's what it is, an illusion. The Order's probably doing it to scare us. They probably didn't tell Snape because they're like us, can't tell which side he's on."

Severus, however, wasn't listening to the men bicker. Every now and then, he caught a figure in the forest, but it always disappeared before he could cast a spell. Whatever it was, he could tell it was fast…and was watching them as if waiting for something while it paced back and forth in the tree line. Suddenly, it stopped. He felt a chill instantly sweep through him. Whatever it was, it was staring at him now. He was just about to speak to alert the others when he noticed that the shadow had disappeared.

Severus's dark obsidian eyes immediately narrowed. He could feel the familiar feeling of dread sweep over him. He then heard a light thump behind him, which made him quickly whirl around to the others. As soon as he did, however, an invisible force hit him hard in the chest. Mere seconds later, his back slammed against a solid object with a sickening crack. He screamed out almost immediately from the sheer pain that raced up his spinal column. He didn't know how it was possible, but the pain was worse than an hour-long constant duration of the Cruciatus Curse.

Glancing towards where he believed his two companions were, his heart stopped. Blake lay in an unnatural position on the ground in such a way that Severus could see his face. The young man silently and weakly begged him to help. He couldn't decipher what it was at that moment, whether the horrifying look in young man's eyes reminded him of one of his Slytherin students or just the good part of him finally showing up, but he tried to reach for his wand that laid a few feet from him. As soon as he tried it, though, he noticed that he couldn't move. His lack of mobility forced him to watch helplessly as the darkness settled into Blake's baby blue eyes. He had watched people die before, lots of times in fact in his early Death Eater days, but he felt something this time in his chest.

Choking back the bile, his dark eyes glanced towards Pike. The man lay badly bloodied, but he looked as if he still had a fight in him. Severus's eyes then met Pike's dark green eyes. Pike slowly mouthed an 'I'm sorry' to him before he blended into the black mist. As soon as he saw the vacant area, he closed his eyes. He would have tried to apparate too, but he knew it was worthless to try since he couldn't move. He could still feel the figure's eyes on him, patiently watching him to die he guessed. He couldn't say how long it was the figure remained, just staring at him, before finally the figure left. The next thing he felt was a hand on his shoulder as it gently shook him. His eyes fluttered open, and he softly smirked at the twinkling blue eyes behind the half-moon spectacles that stared at him.

"Albus," Severus weakly whispered.

"Let's get you home, my boy," the white wizard softly replied before both men apparated.