Twenty-one days


evil minded


Fourth year at Hogwarts


Death Eaters besiege Hogwarts. A spell from Dumbledore is going astray. A cauldron explodes during potions class. And the old castle unfolds its own magic. Can some students survive the next twenty-one days?


Did you see Severus alive at the end of 'The deathly hallows'? no?

Do you think I would have had him died if I had written those books? no?

Then you know that 'Harry Potter' does not belong to me … nor does Severus … regrettably … he belongs to J. K. Rowling …


M – Not suitable for children or teens below the age of 16

Author's Notes:

Uhm … ok … I have to admit … English is not my language by birth … so … please do not kill me while reading … neither for the bad English I use, nor for what I am writing …


Story contains references to child abuse.

Child-abuse is a really serious thing, it is an evil thing and there are a lot of children in our world that really would need help without being helped, and closing our eyes and pretending it does not exist, is no solution …

I only say - remind yourself of your feelings, of your sympathy, and of your understanding … and handle people, children as well as adults, which are showing any signs - whichever - of once being abused … with understanding and with help …

what does not mean I am not as evil as I pretend to be … ^.~ … believe me - I am …

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Chapter one

Day one - Monday, second of September

Prologue - How all of this began

Cursing silently Harry asked himself why this year the first of September couldn't have been a Friday. He would have the entire weekend then to recover before he had to go to his first classes. Not that those two days really would be enough to recover completely, but at least he would have been able to sleep through the weekend and catch up most of the sleep he had missed at the Dursleys. And with a bit of luck he would have been ready to eat more than half a toast without throwing up. Not to mention the fact that maybe his injuries would have healed at least enough so that he would hurt only when he moved and not even without moving.

But as it was – the first of September had been Sunday and now the first day of classes was Monday - and thus he had to fight himself through the entire week, knowing that it would be much harder for him to deal with his tiredness, his weakness and his injuries as he wouldn't have much time to rest.

And to make things just worse, the first class they had today – was double potions, with Snape. Just what he needed.

He hadn't slept well last night, had been plagued with nightmares and still he was as tired as he had been yesterday evening. But, well – that wasn't anything new. The first night back at Hogwarts was always like this after all.

However, it would be a hell of a day, and most likely a hell of a week and he suppressed a groan while he sat at one of the desks in the back row of the classroom, Ron sitting at another desk beside him and Hermione on a desk beside Ron. He always searched a seat in the back of the room, knowing that he wouldn't have anyone in his back then, knowing that he wouldn't have to look over his back then, knowing that he only had to concentrate onto the rows of desks in front of him.

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"You know, Albus, I don't understand why in Merlin's name Alastor wanted to teach the Slytherins separated." Minerva shook her head, gazing at the headmaster with mistrust in her eyes. "He even suggested he could teach the three other houses together as long as he had the Slytherins alone. I don't understand it."

"I can assure you, Minerva, whatever motivation Alastor has, it will be a reasonable one." Albus answered, smiling slightly at the deputy headmistress. "But whatever reason it was, it simply isn't possible. He cannot teach one house separated and the other three houses together. Hogwarts has its structure and even Alastor has to bend to it."

"What I am glad for, Albus." Minerva growled. "Honestly, I do not really trust his motivations. It isn't as if he asked to teach Gryffindor separated."

"What is it that you're trying to say, Minerva?" Albus asked, not really understanding.

"If you remember correctly, then I have told you during the holidays that I do not trust Alastor." Minerva huffed at him. "He acts strange lately."

"Alastor has always been strange and he has always been overreacting, Minerva." Albus answered. "But he always has proved himself trustworthy. He is one of the Order members."

"I do know this, Albus, but that doesn't ease my mind." Minerva shook her head and sighed heavily. "Alastor always might have overreacted with his 'constant vigilance' but honestly, the stunts he pulled lately are just not like him. He isn't himself."

"So, what is it you suggest?" Albus' eyes watched her with a serious gaze. He knew that he could trust Alastor, but he also knew that he could trust Minerva's gut feeling too. The fact that she was an animagus and a cat at that, had often given him the impression that she somehow had a seventh sense.

"I just want you to watch him closely, Albus." Minerva answered. "As will do I."

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"I do hope that Barty is ready." McNair whispered, as if someone would be able to hear him here between the trees of the forbidden forest. Well, no one knew what kind of wards the old fool of a headmaster had erected around the castle's grounds.

"He simply has to be ready, and now silence. Crabbe and Goyle, you stay between the half-giant's hut and the forbidden forest, covering our attack with a bit of a havoc." Lucius Malfoy gave out his orders with his usual cold voice. "Nott and McNair, you stay outside, watching the front doors and ensuring a safe retreat after the attack. The rest of you will follow me towards and then inside the castle. Wands out!"

They all obeyed immediately without so much of a question on their lips. Crabbe and Goyle went towards the edge of the forbidden forest, immediately casting fireballs that flew towards Hagrid's hut, causing some explosions while the rest of the Death Eaters went along the edge of the forest towards the castle, staying as long as possible in the tree's shadows before they had to cross the open field to reach the castle. With a bit of luck they would be unnoticed by Dumbledore and his crowd of teachers as they were approaching from the castle's left side while Crabbe and Goyle just attacked the half giant's hut.

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"If you add the salamander blood before the potion turned green then you will have your cauldron exploded, Mr. Nott." Snape growled darkly, gripping the boy's wrist and startling the fourth year Slytherin with that action who tried to get his wrist out of the Potions Master's harsh grip momentarily before he noticed that it was only his head of house and relaxed.

Snape knew that he had startled Theodore, and that was something he didn't wish, but if the cauldron exploded now, then not only Nott would be hurt but other students as well. And if he had to startle a student in order to prevent such, then be it. Even if it was a student he knew was jumpy in the first place.

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"I am sure your worries are unnecessary, Minerva." Albus said, giving away a heavy sigh. "But I can assure you that Severus already will have an eye on Alastor. You know …"

"What in Merlin's name …"

Minerva had been standing at the window and she had seen the fireballs flowing from the forbidden forest towards Hagrid's hut and a second later both of them could hear the sound of an explosion and the large building stood in flames.

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"Quickly now, we have to cross the field." Lucius commanded. "At the first sign of hexes - cast whatever you can think of. I do not mind what it is as long as it is at least successful."

They did cross the open field that led to the front of the castle, Lucius in the lead, Nott and McNair at his sides and followed by the rest of the Death Eaters. The blond Death Eater was smiling when he felt the rush of adrenaline flooding his system. That it was what most of the others didn't understand. The feeling of the adrenaline running through his body whenever he was in the front line, leading an attack, knowing that he could die easily, but hopefully wouldn't.

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And then three things happened at the same time.

Outside at the grounds, in front of the entrance doors, Death Eaters appeared, casting spells at the heavy wooden doors, knowing that the attack was in vain the moment the castle sent out a red glower.

Inside the castle Dumbledore and McGonagall tried to cast the counter spells, knowing that they had lost the moment the castle shut itself off.

And down in the dungeons Crabbe's and Goyle's cauldron exploded.

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Hearing a cauldron to his left bubbling and sizzling dangerously and knowing that the potion was about to explode, Snape turned on his spot and cast a shield charm around the exploding cauldron as quickly as possible, hoping that he was in time to prevent the accident. How was it that Crabbe, Goyle and Longbottom got their cauldrons to explode whenever he turned his back on them to concentrate on another student? And why did those stupid idiots have to add the salamander blood too early before the potion turned green? Making the same mistake he just ten seconds ago had prevented Nott from doing and explained it?

Gritting his teeth in frustration he looked around and with another wave of his wand the smoke that had settled over the cauldrons was gone. None of the students were injured, they only had been startled. Potter especially, he noticed and his gaze darkened. The boy always was as jumpy as was Theodore whenever he came back from the summer holidays and he wondered what exactly he was up to, that would make him so nervous.

The nervousness Theodore always displayed shortly after the holidays had a reason. Not so the nervousness Potter displayed. Potter never showed fear in the first place. Not even yet while being jumpy and nervous. He rather looked – angry, irritated, and annoyed, even at his friends.

Even now he was not scared. The boy's breathing was rapid and his hands shook violently, his face was pale to death for a moment and he had to close his eyes and to take a deep breath in order to get himself back under control, but there was not the same fear in his eyes that the other children who were as close to the exploded cauldron as was Potter showed on their faces.

Yet, the brat was pale. And he seemed to be tired. And more bony than he liked.

Well, yes. Potter always had been scrawny somehow, but the skinniness he wore since he was back from the holidays was just ridiculous and he even had considered to have a word with Minerva when he had seen Potter last night at the welcoming feast so she may take the boy out of classes for a few days, just to be on the safe side, to make sure he ate and slept enough for some time so that his body could recover. From whatever it was he had to recover in the first place.

"Class dismissed." He growled darkly, his voice making clear that there was no room for argument or hesitation and that they better left within the next thirty seconds if they wished to survive the day - or the next five minutes.

With another flick of his wand the potion was gone from the cauldron and the floor surrounding the area where the explosion had happened, and the now defect cauldron itself floated towards the sink. The last remaining fumes slowly went into nothingness and the moment he had the damage done to the classroom under control he could see the students still lingering at the entrance door to the classroom.

"What exactly did you not understand when I said class dismissed?" He asked, his voice deadly calm.

"Well, sir." Draco took the courage to turn and address his head of house. "The door is locked."

"Locked?" Snape asked in annoyance. "And which imbeciles of you did lock the door?"

"Well, no one of us, sir." Pansy Parkinson answered. "I reached the door first and it already was locked then."

"Make room!" Snape snapped impatiently. Could this day get any more wrong somehow? He wasn't even stupid enough to try the door handle but pointed his wand at the lock instead, murmuring a quiet "alohomora", wondering why the idiots hadn't tried this one by themselves. But nothing happened. The door still was locked.

Frowning he tried a few more unlocking spells before he turned towards the students, casting searching looks at their faces, trying to find something like guilt in their eyes. But again, there was nothing.

Wordlessly he turned back towards the door, trying every remaining spell that came to his mind and that might somehow unlock the damn door. But again without any success. He just couldn't open the door.

Knowing that there was no spell left he turned back towards the students.

"Floo." He curtly said, quickly striding through the classroom towards the fireplace and grabbing the tin with the floo powder from the mantelpiece, he threw the grey powder into the hearth. "Headmaster's office." He growled, mentioning one of them who stood nearest to step into the fire. It was Theodore, but once more nothing happened. Absolutely nothing. The grey powder fell to the ground and mingled there with the ashes from the fireplace.

"Get back out, Mr. Nott." He said, sighing heavily. "You all will stay here in the classroom and there will be no fighting. I will go to my office and contact the headmaster from there."

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Well, it wasn't that he'd had more success with the floo in his office and swiftly he went towards the door that led to his private quarters, but that door too was locked and silently he cursed under his breath. Of course he tried every unlocking spell he knew but again the door remained close. Even Marlow Venenatus, the old Potions Master who guarded the door to his chambers was absent from his frame and again he cursed silently. Where was that old fool?

The fact itself, the fact that Marlow was not there told him enough. The old wizard was not a social man either, just like him, he never left his frame – normally. And the fact that he had left now, was proof enough to Snape that something was very wrong, whatever this something was.

"Zilly." He quietly called his house elf. Maybe Zilly could reach the headmaster and get back a portkey or something similar to get the students out. But yet again, nothing happened. Zilly did not come and that too was not normal. Zilly, who was his personal house elf since he had been a small child was more than loyal and he knew, even if the small creature was set free since a long time now, when it concerned his work as a spy in a dangerous war, he always could trust this particular house elf.

Well, he didn't know what exactly was going on right now, but whatever it was, they were cut off from every means of transportation out of the classroom or the office and for a moment he considered the situation.

Most likely they soon would be missed and then Albus would come and get them out of here. Probably the dungeons door could be opened from the outside. Maybe just an outside student had played a prank on them and locked them in.

'Then you would have been able to open the door with a simple spell.' A small voice in his head argued.

Well, whatever the situation was, the headmaster would be able to solve the problem from outside, he was sure.

But if not, well, every potions laboratory had to hold a small kitchen, a single bathroom with a toilet and a shower, and a rest room. And therefore – this laboratory too held those rooms of course. They surely would survive a few hours.

'And what if it will be a few days?' The small voice in his head asked and he quickly brushed this idea aside. It surely wouldn't take a few days until they were missed and the headmaster had found a way to either get inside or to get them out. His only problem right now would be to keep the students calm.

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Harry looked up when Snape came back and he watched the man for a few seconds. Snape was standing in the doorway to his office, his arms folded in front of his chest and his mask firmly in place. Nevertheless he could see something like concern and something else he couldn't place radiating from the dark eyes of the Potions Master and immediately he knew that the man had not been successful. Well, somehow he had known. He was Harry Fucking Potter after all, enemy to damn Voldemort and weapon to blasted Dumbledore and of course he couldn't have a break.

When he came back to the classroom he could see them all standing around in groups, just as he had left them ten minutes ago and he sighed a sigh of relief. They hadn't killed each other yet. They all turned their eyes towards him and their faces were pale, shocked and they definitely were scared, his Slytherins showing their fear less, the Gryffindors showing their fear more clearly - aside from Potter. The boy even nodded in understanding before he – Snape – even shook his head to indicate that he had not been able to use the floo in his office either and the mask the boy wore never changed. But they all were alright still.

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To be continued

Next time in Twenty-one days

the first night

Added author's note

thank you for reading - and yes, I would be grateful if you took the time to review this story and this chapter, thank you ...

House cup:

At the present time it looks like this:

708 - Gryffindor - Head of House: Catlady

701 - Slytherin - Head of House: evil minded

576 - Ravenclaw - Head of House: Arithmancy Master

340 - Hufflepuff - Head of House: still a free post