Hey!! This was fast, wasn't it? Well, you have Lycoris to thank for that. I told her I'd write and get this up today if she got her story's next chapter out by today. And she did, so I did! :o
Anyway, not everything in this story will be as it seems. Especially when it comes to my main characters, whom'll you'll figure out as we go. You're also going to want to kill me for a future twist in the story. DON'T. Just keep my warning that not everything can be taken at face value in this story.
Also, I'm gonna play with the chapter titles, so keep an eye on them. And if there is a "Next Chapter: ____" that means that there will be a next chapter.
If you would like me to e-mail you when new chapters go up, just tell me. If you want me to do so everytime a new one comes up, let me know that too. I won't mind, I'll just be glad you are enjoying the story. As always, I love CREATIVE Critism. Non-creative criticism annoys me beyond belief and you don't want that. Especially since I've a bad tendency to be emotional when stressed and I'm always stressed during the school year. ::Evil grin:: You only thought Voldemort was evil until you've met me when truly angered. Also, please don't ask me to do something with the story. I don't mind the occasional, "Get on with it already!" But plot twist suggestions are not something I like. I'll tell you when I need an idea or two. I also do not mind being asked for a certain story that you want written, but wanna read rather than write. I just hate being side-tracked when I already know where I'm going with a plot. Thanks!!
Disclaimer: None of the characters in this story are mine, I'm just borrowing them. Only the story plot is mine. Suing me is a waste of your time, money and health as all I have are the huge debts from having been in college for three years.
Voldemort had been kept waiting for a week now. Voldemort did not like to be kept waiting, a fact which Wormtail had been made aware of quite often during the past week.
Wormtail scurried down the hall to his master's chambers wondering how he'd ever ended up as he was now. He sighed as thoughts of a sandy haired werewolf and two laughing raven-haired boys popped into his mind. For the millionth time since he had escaped Sirius and Lupin's wrath, Wormtail wished he had been just a little bit braver, just a smidgeon stronger.
He missed the good days back when he was a Hogwarts student with three great close friends and the fervent hope that he wouldn't make Professor McGonagall too angry with him in their next lesson. She had always seemed to believe that he she just gave him enough homework, he'd get a little better at her course. He never had and she had never let up.
He stopped walking when he reached the door to his master's room and stood shivering pitifully, knowing his master was fully aware of his presence and not knowing whether he was in a mood that Wormtail should knock or shouldn't knock. After a moment, the decision was made for him.
"Wormtail," came the high voice of You-Know-Who. Wormtail shivered at the malevolence in the grating voice, realizing too late that he should have knocked.
Wormtail hesitantly opened the door and stepped into the room. The Dark Lord's malevolent red eyes glared at his servant as he twitched in his nervous way.
"M-m-master, they have finished the labyrinth," Wormtail told him in as steady a voice as he could manage.
"Excellent," the figure of terror exclaimed.
The Dark Lord swept quickly past Wormtail as he made his way eagerly to the door. Once there he stopped and turned. Wormtail tried not to flinch as he knew what would follow.
"Crucio," his master said lazily.
Wormtail's feeble efforts to be strong crumbled suddenly and he fell to the floor in blinding agony. There he writhed for a few seconds, screaming his throat raw.
"Now, Wormtail," the Dark Lord said as though he had not just cursed a man into inexplicable agony just moments before, "we have a hunt to prepare. Come!"
With that command, the Dark Lord swept from the room and Wormtail struggled to rise and follow.
After a minute of struggle, he finally changed into his rat form and ran after his master, all the while thinking, 'Why did I join him again?'
Severus Snape walked quickly from the castle, his hand tightly wrapped around his left arm and the darkly glowing mark there. He scowled at everything along the path, though most of the things he passed were no more aware of him than the Earth is of her inhabitants.
Snape wished he could have remained in the castle a little bit longer, he was still somewhat weak from his adventures of the week before and his worry over the still comatose Harry Potter had not helped his weakness any. The boy slept unaware of anything that went on around him, making Snape spitefully wonder if perhaps he was actually awake and was simply milking the worry for all it was worth.
He immediately felt regretful at these thoughts, but his expression only darkened and his steps quicken.
Snape reached the edge of the anti-apparition field and took a moment to glance back at the castle behind.
'You had better be awake, boy, when I get back,' he thought, a felling of extreme unease overcoming him at this thought. He idly wondered why before he realized he was stalling, which would only make the Dark Lord angrier.
Snape sighed and let the magic course through him. He watched the countryside around him quickly fade away into the sight of the deatheaters who surrounded him.
Panic replaced the magic in Snape's veins as he realized that he had been found out. Or perhaps, just suspected of being a spy? Dare he hope?
Snape realized that the most likely probability was the former, but decided to play his role until the bitter end. If he did this just right, he might just survive the night. If not...
"What," Snape snarled at Lucius Malfoy, who simply smirked and looked over Snape's shoulder at something.
Cold gripped Snape's heart as he realized who stood behind him. He wasn't even given the time to turn before the pain began to work at his very bones, trying to break him into micro-splinters.
He fell onto his side, screaming unintelligibly as the pain seemed to bore into him. It continued for what seemed an eternity before mercy and blessed relief reclaimed Snape for their own. Sweet fresh breath flowed back into his lungs as they labored to supply his weak body with the necessary oxygen.
"Master," Snape gasped out, "what did I do? Master..."
"You have betrayed me, haven't you, Snape," the Dark Lord asked him rhetorically.
Snape answered him anyway.
"No, my lord. Never, my lord. I am loyal to you and only you forever," Snape ground out desperately as he began to try to grovel. It was a task he found revolting, but was made easier by the true fear that had overtaken him. It was human nature to want to survive and preserve one's life. Severus Snape was no exception.
"Don't lie to me," the Dark Lord screamed as he cursed Snape again. This torture was shorter this time, which terrified Snape further for some reason.
"Get up," the Dark Lord demanded.
Snape obediently rose unsteadily to his feet, his newly healed body screaming in protest.
"You helped Harry Potter survive a week ago," Voldemort accused his servant.
Snape shook his head in protest, "No, master. I was simply trying to bring him back-"
"Then where he is, Snape," spat the dark lord.
"I was injured and was found by Black and Lupin. I could not defeat them so I let them think-"
"Silence," commanded the disfigured dark creature as his red eyes glowed madly. "You are a spy. The reason I have not already claimed both the Wizarding and the Muggle worlds as mine."
Snape began to protest, but a quick spell left him gagged and bound.
"Bring him," commanded the dark lord as Snape fell into Malfoy's rough hands.
"Yes, master," Malfoy said with an evil grin as he lifted the teacher into the air with his wand.
The fear began to fade into numbness as Snape was floated along a long winding path through a thick forest. He knew he was in shock, but found he could no longer care. His life was over, what did it matter?
Suddenly horror squeezed Snape's heart to a near stop as he saw the large opening in the bushes ahead of him. He hoped wildly that they were going anywhere but here. Here was not something anyone could survive. He doubted even Dumbledore himself could survive this place.
"The Labyrinth of the Damned," said the dark lord gleefully as Snape was unceremoniously tossed inside. "Can you survive what no one else has?"
Voldemort laughed at what he obviously considered to be a very funny joke. His deatheaters nervously laughed with him.
He stopped suddenly, the deatheaters snapping silent as well at the lack of the high, piercing laughter. The wand lifted and Snape flinched as a burst of green light flared from its tip, engulfing the entrance.
"You know the rules," Snape heard his old master say through the bushes. "Can you survive to make it to the only available apparition site in the center of the maze?"
Laughter sounded as Snape shrugged off his suddenly loose bonds and began to run into the maze, afraid to think of what might be ahead of him and terrified to think of what would soon be behind him.
Next Chapter: He Slips on Blood...