The Program


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Chapter 1: Nine Students Remaining

Summary: The final nine students are either hiding, playing or determined not to play the game. Deaths and betrayals are made painfully obvious.


Class of 1978

Final Nine

S. Black Boy# 2

L. Evans Girl# 5

F. Longbottom Boy# 10

R. Lupin Boy# 11

P. Pettigrew Boy# 12

J. Potter Boy# 19

A. Prewett Girl# 22

S. Snape Boy# 38

M. Zabini Boy# 56


-Nine Students Remain

Boy# 12, Peter Pettigrew prayed that he hadn't been seen. From the beginning of the game perhaps a day and a half ago, he had gone into the small village and had hidden within the oldest house. It had been easy work, all he had to do was break the window, clear the glass off the sill and climb in. The shutters were closed tightly. He had checked all of the other rooms of the house. It was secure. But now he had to leave, there are had been the announcement, Forbidden Zone, sector 12.

A part of him, the part that still believed that his friends mattered, bemoaned his decision in running away. He should have waited in the bush by the school for James. Several students would have come out before James Boy#19. Peter hadn't been willing to take the chance-play the game to win. He recalled Montoya saying exactly that, the director of this sick and twisted game. Play the game to win, kill or be killed. This entire program was designed to break social barriers, end friendships- everyone is equal, no one is better. You're friends will betray and kill you.

Peter was always one to be weak. He wasn't smart like Remus Boy#11, nor was charming like Sirius Boy#2. He wasn't strong like James. If they had decided to play the game! God! It would be Sirius, Sirius would play the game. Peter imagined it; he imagined how Sirius would take watch over the camp. When they were all asleep how he would hold their mouths closed and slit their throats with a shimmering sickle-the grim taking souls and laughing.

No-no he was being crazy now. This game was twisting his loyalties. His friends hadn't been announced on the broadcast at six this morning nor any times yesterday! What if they found a way out of this mess? They could, the remaining students, leave this island and leave the country! Sure, they would be fugitives but they wouldn't be alone! Remus and Snape Boy#38 were still alive they were intelligent surely they would be able to figure something out. And Sirius and Magnus Zabini Boy#56 had loads of family that had opposed the government! Surely they would help once they were free, right?

He knew what he had to do. With his mind made he swung his government supplied bag over his shoulder and clasped the kitchen knife in his hand. Crawling from beneath the kitchen table he set out the back door of the house-

PAP!

He didn't feel it at first no he was too busy with images of his friends and him riding off into the sunset on a boat. James was smiling on the deck as Sirius steered. Remus was reading a book as always. Lily Girl#5 and Severus were speaking to each other, standing incredibly close they always did. Magnus Zabini was by Sirius looking over a map while Alice and Frank Girl# 22 Boy# 10, were watching the sunset holding one another. Peter imagined the new beginning.

It was exactly three seconds before he realized what had just happened. He was falling forward.

PAP!

Another pop this time in his back rather then his neck. The taste of blood began to fill his mouth-must have hit his lung! Damn it! I'm dying! I've been shot! I am going to die! His face hit the ground and slid, the skin at his high forehead peeling back against the wooden stairs. The assailant came from the brush, walked towards Peter and aimed.

The last image Peter saw was of Lily smiling at him. Her green eyes were shimmering and her red hair looked like fire. 'Peter, come on Peter join us!'

Don't mind if I do.

A small hole at the back of Peter's head spurted with blood but Peter didn't feel this, he was already dead the last person on his mind was Lily Evans smiling lovingly at him.

Frank Longbottom kicked the corpse of Peter Pettigrew so that it lay on its back. He got on bended knee and shut the tiny eyes and then folded the hands. He muttered in distaste at the weapon Peter had and tossed it to the side. He grabbed the day pack from the body and riffled through its contents stuffing the half litter water bottle in his own bag and the last remnants of bread.

We walked back into the foliage leaving the Peter behind.

He needed to get out of the Forbidden zone before 12:00 PM

- Eight Students Remain


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Alice Prewett Girl# 22 stared in horror at the scene before her. She hadn't believed it when Sirius Black Boy#2 had told her about the lighthouse but by the looks of it by the smell too he had been right. In front of her towards the stairs leading to the topmost part of the tower was Tae Li Girl# 6-younger sister to Alice's older sister's boyfriend Jin Li. Tae Li was small and sweet. Usually reserved and one of the most beautiful girls in her class Tae's long black hair was mattered in blood and bits of bone from some type of brute force.

Further into the lighthouse she could see the Greengrass twins. Beside them, the bloody hand of probably Genevieve Bones Girl# 4. There were others she was sure of it but Alice had no inclination in even going in. It was Tae's group of friends of course they had been together. And the dead girls all survived by older or younger brothers probably. She didn't know about Bones. Besides, Alice had something more important to do then gawk at the dead. Frank is still alive, she thought, I have to find Frank!

It occurred to her that maybe Frank may not want to be found. Before he had left the classroom she had slid Frank a note as he passed her desk. "Northern most point let's meet" Written right next to the line "we will kill each other". She had been careful having first teamed up with Snape and Lily (who had been waiting for Snape). They three had gone to the northern most point of the island, an empty cliff met them. No Frank, no sign of him.

'I don't think he's coming, Alice.'

'It's been one hour, Prewett. I'm sorry to say but maybe he was attacked on his way here.'

Lily and Snape had waited as long as they deemed safe. They'd asked her to go with them but she had declined stating that she was going to look for Frank. If she died in her search then they should not feel guilty.

"But where are you?" She whispered. "Be safe."

She turned on her heel, not giving the lighthouse another glance. She stared down the grassy knoll and took a deep breath-breathing in the scent of salt water.

She had to find Frank even if he didn't want to be found. She hadn't had the need to play the game since she had been careful in hiding and she didn't plan to play now. She would find Frank and they would kill each other, they would die together.

[Greetings, little warriors! Now to get stared with the announcements, after all we don't want to waste your precious time now do we. Let's start with the boys shall we? Boy number 14 Patrick Parkinson, Boy number 12 Peter Pettigrew. Now for the not so fair sex...]

Alice lost focus. She already knew which of the girls were dead. What shocked her was the announcement of Peter. She was sure that he would have found his friends-having been with Sirius just twenty minutes ago, he had mentioned looking for his friends to Alice. He knew that James and Remus were together-of course he had been with them. He had, however, decided to scout the area to find Peter. He must be on his way back to Remus and James. They must be devastated!

She didn't give it another thought as she tacked off the forbidden zones. After she was done with this she folded the map and made her way down the knoll towards...she wasn't sure where. The game would be over soon and she was sure she was going to die. She wanted to see Frank at least once more before she died, just one more time. I'm coming Frank, please be safe please don't be dead.

As she walked down the hill and straight into the trees it was just past noon. She needed to be more careful, there was at least one student playing to win. If she had to put any money on it, her bet would be Zabini-

-Alice pivoted and stared directly into the barrel of a gun.

PAP!

Alice Prewett fell backward and hit the moist grass with a hard thud. Already dead she hadn't seen Frank holding the barrel of the gun to her head. Ironically, her final thought had not been about Frank but about Magnus Zabini and how he must have been the killer.

Frank looked down and shouldered the day pack. He took a moment in deliberation. He bent down, crossed her arms and closed her eyes. Alice would never know that Frank had betrayed her. Alice would never know that it was Frank that had infiltrated the light house and had killed Tae Li, the Greengrass twins and the rest of the little group of friends or that he had been the one to murder Peter who, coincidentally, had died just beyond the lighthouse in the small cluster of houses below.

Just like Frank would never know that Alice was pregnant and that she had known it would be a boy that she would call Neville.

-Seven Students Remain


Lily Evans Girl# 5 and Severus Snape Boy# 38 sat on the edge of the cliff on the opposite side of the lighthouse. They heard the gunshots but had no idea that Frank had killed the girls in the light house, Peter or Alice.

Since the beginning of the game they had been together. It was something that both were grateful for, Severus especially. When they had both woken in the classroom and had noticed the collars they had immediately known what was going on. It didn't take a rocket scientist to know anyway, they always paid attention in their history class-they had read all about the beginnings of the program, which had begun in 1952, a year after England began its isolationism.

"I'm glad you waited for me." Severus said.

"Me to." Lily rested her head against his bony shoulder, the same way she always did since they were kids. Her red hair was like a curtain covering some of her face. Severus could tell she was crying.

"I think this is a good a place as any." Severus said. He had to force his eyes away from the top of Lily's head and focus on the sky. The sun was in the distance, the blue ocean water was flush against the horizon, and Severus could see the dotting of naval ships ready to shoot anyone down as soon as they tried to escape.

He wanted to have more hope but simply didn't. The game was a simple one. Play to win, kill your friends, your classmates. Severus would have played and might have even won. Trouble was that Lily was in his class. Lily had skipped a year ahead and was in his grade. Lily was in the game with him. He couldn't kill Lily.

Her small hands came around his waist in a tight hug. She was shaking, so sad and so afraid. Severus wished he was better with words. He might just tell her that it was alright, that she wouldn't be alone in this. Never ever alone Lils I'm with you. He couldn't form the words at all.

"Hey Sev?"

"Yes?"

"I was just thinking," Her small voice flitted up at him. "-say you and I played, say that we killed off the rest of our classmates what would we do then? I certainly couldn't kill you I couldn't kill anyone. I think I would be perfectly alright with you killing me."

He lifted his hand and buried it in her red hair trying his best to comfort her. He remembered the week before-they had been to a movie, some romantic comedy he knew right away he would hate. Lily had been excited, he'd paid for the tickets and watched Lily as she watched the movie. Every time she laughed she was pretty. Every time she smiled she was pretty. Even when she almost cried she was pretty.

Severus had been friends with Lily Evans for a long time, since they were babies in their nappies, when Petunia was nice before James Potter and his merry band of idiots began to tease him. Severus had always loved Lily because she was his very best friend. Last week he had realized that he loved her.

"Lily,"

"You have to live." She said suddenly. "You have to play the game to win, you have to live. I'm ending it right here for me, you see. I can't play this game I couldn't hurt a fly and certainly I can't kill you. I can't live without you." She lifted her head, her eyes gazing into his, green and shimmering with tears that began to run down her flushed freckled cheeks. She shoved her assigned weapon, a 9mm Pistol, into his hand. "Please live."

Even when she cried she was pretty.

He tossed the gun over the edge and watched it fall. The water looked warm, Severus thought.

"Well, I assume that you and I both shall not be able to see this to its end." He said. "What say you to a little dip?"

Her eyes were wide, watery but her pretty pink mouth was stretched into a smile that Severus copied which must have looked strange on his pale angular face and with his large nose because she began to giggle.

"Lily?"

She stopped laughing, stopped smiling. He held her cheek in his hand and sighed as he leaned his forehead against hers. He was going to die, they were going to die and somehow he wasn't able to tell her his feelings. Severus, you fool!

But she seemed to understand. She kissed him slowly at first clumsily but soon they kissed boldly open mouthed and passionate. They were going to die they would never get to do this again. They had to do it now. In words he couldn't say I love you, but in actions it was said loudly.

"Severus...I-"

A twig broke behind them shocking them both. They looked at each other, Lily began to cry again.

"Oh God." Remus' hand came to his mouth, his eyes widened at what he saw. He and James were hidden almost entirely by bushes and trees.

"Moony?" James Potter asked from beside him. He hadn't seen anything, he'd been too busy trying to come up with a plan of some sort, thinking about finding Lily and teaming up, getting back with Sirius and the others. He hadn't realized that the sound of his shoe breaking the twig beneath his foot had been what sent Lily and Severus...

"Moony who is it?" He tried looking over Remus only spotting an empty cliff and two day packs. No one was there, but he was sure he had heard voices.

"Cliff." Remus said. "They fell over the cliff."

Lily and Severus' bodies danced beyond the cliff falling into the storming blue water below. Neither knew how to swim, they knew this, they were going to drown, they hoped.

They held onto one another until losing consciences.

Never ever alone Lils I'm with you I'm falling with you. I love you, Lily.

-Five Students Remain


Karin:

I didn't start it from the very beginning because the story just didn't start in my head that way. How this story came to be-and it will be one of my shortest multi chapter stories- it came to be when I was reading the Battle Royale novel. Half way through it the thought struck me, I imagined Severus Snape and Lily Evans in their uniforms (teenagers obviously) with collars being thrust into this world. It evolved-I began to sketch them with their collars with their government supplied weapons (early on Lily had a semi automatic and Severus had a rusted army knife).

Eventually, I began to tinker with other students-obviously Lucius isn't here because he was starting his seventh year when Lily and Sev started their first. Same with the Black sisters and Arthur and Molly Weasley-although I think it might have made the story a bit better if they were in it-I did try to imagine how it would work with tinkering with their ages but it just didn't sit right with me. Also, Alice and Frank-it's never mentioned if they were in the Marauders school year so I improvised. I added Original Characters because they don't describe that many students during this time frame. Although I didn't stretch it too much. Su Li is in Rowlings time line things as someone in Harry's year thus Tae Li is Su Li's aunt. The Greengrass twins here are obviously related to Daphne and Astoria Greengrass and Magnus Zabini is obviously Blaise Zabini's father (though technically since this is an Alternate Universe and Lily has just died...it can be said that he would or will be Blaise's father like Lily would have been Harry's mother but wont be since she died-you get me?)

I shocked myself by killing Lily and Severus. I intended for them to be the Noriko and Shuya of this story but the image of them dying like Sakura and her beau was just too appealing and seemed realistic to their characters. Severus would have played if Lily were not there and Lily would never dream of killing her friends or fellow classmates because it's not in her character. She's too chivalrous and well, too Gryffindor for that. Dying together seemed appropriate-she and Severus kissed like lovers right before the end because they loved one another. It felt almost as though Book Severus got closure with this and dying with her is preferable then dying alone like the original character did (Harry was there but it didn't really count since Sev was imagining Lily and looking into Lily's eyes. I can imagine how alone he felt looking at them.)

Peter seemed likable in the beginning especially when he died. Peter is not a character I like but I tried to keep him honest to character pre betrayal. I think I did it right. Cowardly, weak and frightened-the fact that he imagined dying by Sirius and then berating himself for these thoughts almost makes up for the fact that he thought this in the first place.

It was particularly bothersome when Alice died. I didn't like it at all one bit and I especially hated the fact that she was betrayed by the father of her child (who was also betrayed by Frank incidentally Neville was again separated by his parents). Frank became the major bad guy because he simply chooses not to die. It's horrible that he's become the Kazuo of the story-I really don't see him that way. He did genuinely love Alice but he wasn't willing to die for her-it's basic instinct to protect yourself. Plus it is what The Program was designed to do. It makes you paranoid and to betray your friends. Peter told himself this in the beginning when he berated himself.

I know this might be dumb but I just had to do this. Read, review and don't flame-flames tend to make it impossible to continue and I really would like to finish. So far there are five students remaining. Magnus Zabini, James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Frank Longbottom.

Who do you think is going to come out the winner?