Chapter 23 – Alastor Moody

An oppressive silence fell over the Headmaster's office. Dumbledore tried to enjoy one of his beloved lemon drops, but the anxious aura surrounding Minerva, Filius and Pomona was making it difficult for him to do so. Alastor "mad-eye" Moody, current Hogwarts' professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts and ex-auror was late for his appointment. While waiting, Severus watched the door avidly, his mind analyzing everything he knew about the ex-auror, especially what he knew about the incident right before the start of the school year.

There's something wrong. Something fishy. Snape thought . And it's quite obvious that whatever it is, it's related somehow with this damned tournament.

When Alastor Moody finally showed up, it was like a Dementor had come with him. The room's temperature seemed to have dropped down, making everyone in the office uncomfortable. Mad-eye didn't seem to notice the tension amongst the other professor, he calmly sat in the only vacant chair, right in the middle of the room, with Dumbledore in front of him and surrounded by the four head of houses.

"You wanted to see me Albus?" asked Moody. Severus didn't buy his peaceful looks.

"Yes, yes." Answered Albus. "It has been brought to my attention that you intend to perform an unforgivable curse inside of Hogwarts. Multiple times. On my students." Albus couldn't believe he had been so truly fooled, but looking at the man sitting in front of him now, it was very obvious that he wasn't his old friend. There was just something wrong with him.

"I thought you'd given me carte blanche, Albus, you said I could teach in wherever way I choose. What better way to prepare the children then to show them what they'll face outside?" was Alastor's defence.

"I did give you carte blanche, my friend." Say Dumbledore with a smile that could be seen as benevolent but it was actually hidden a predator smirk.

"In that case…" said Moody as he got up and turned to the door.

"I didn't say you could go." Albus voice had a steel feeling to it "we have another matter to deal with."

Slowly Moody sat again, taking his faithful flask from his pocket. Before he could drink, though, Severus took the flask from him.

"I have something else for you to try, Alastor." The potion master handed him a small vial full with a clear liquid.

"Veritasserum? Why would I drink that?" his magic eye was going all over the place, looking for a way out.

"Because I'm asking you to." Answered Albus getting up and walking around the table to stop in front of Moody.

Severus gave him the vial with the truth serum and looked at Moody expectantly.

"Now, please, Alastor."

Dumbledore had barely finished talking and Moody was up and desperately trying to reach the door.

"This is absurd, Albus!" he yelled trying to force the door open.

He had to get out of there that instant, so Moody pointed his wand to the closed door a bombarda spell ready to be said.

But Severus was faster, in less than five seconds he had disarmed and tied the suposed ex-auror up, making him sit again.

Dumbledore sighed, disapointment clear in his eyes. The headmaster administered the three drops the potion required and saw as the non-magical eye of Moody became cloudy.

"What is your name?" asked Albus.

"Bartholomew Crouch Jr."

The other five people in the room looked at him with shocked eyes. Severus was the first to come back to himself and examine the flask he had taken from the imprisoned man. With just the odor that came out of the flask he confirmed his theory.

"Polyjuice" he confirmed to the others.

"Where is the real Alastor?" demanded Dumbledore.

"Locked in his own trunk!" cackled Barty.

"What do you hope to gain by impersonation Moody?" Dumbledore continued to interrogate.

"I'm going to bring my master back!"

"How?" asked McGonagal.

"Potter will help me bring my master back to his full power! Mwahahahahaha" his cackle was getting worse, and every time he did it, it made the professors wince.

Hearing those words, Severus didn't know what to do. His instincts were telling him to run and find his son, make sure he was safe, but they also told him that the best way to protect Harry was to stay and find all he could from Barty.

One look in Dumbledore's direction was enough to help him decide to stay. Hearing the mad man's plans were much more important at that moment. Harry was safe for now.

"And how did you intended to take Potter out of Hogwarts?" asked Severus, his voice firm even if he was nervous inside.

"I was instructed to infiltrate the school, the Dark Lord doesn't reveal all his plans unless it's necessary."

He was lying. Severus was sure of it. He would need more than that to be able to act at the right moment.

"Winky!" called Crouch Jr.

And then it was chaos. With a pop the little house elf appeared in the office and with a look at the imprisoned man she was by his side and then they were gone. Severus wanted to scream, frustrated. They might have saved the real Alastor, but they had lost the chance to find out what Voldemort was planning. Worse yet, Crouch Jr. would undoubtedly tell his master all about Severus' "treason". In a few minutes they had lost the imposter and the spy. The school year couldn't have started with worse presages. In less than a month the castle would be full of foreigners, and one of them was a known death eater. Yeah, that year would be a tiring one.

WHOSSONWHOSSONWHOSSON

Two days after the whole Crouch Jr. fiasco, the real Moody was ready to start his teaching career. His disappearance for two days was explained as a strong bout of the wizarding flu. Seeing as his teaching style wasn't all that different from Crouch's, most of the students didn't realize that anything was different, except by the fact that as soon as Alastor was inside his classroom, he announced that the practical lesson about the unforgiven curses were canceled by orders of the headmaster.

Harry Potter wasn't like all the other students. Draco Malfoy could also be seen with a victorious smirk on his face after the announcement, almost like he had something to do with the headmaster's decision. Harry had not only notice that but also the worried looks some of the staff sent each other. Something had happened, and Harry wanted to know what. Moody didn't seem like someone who would change his methods just because Dumbledore had asked. And the green eyed boy's suspicions only grew with time and observation. Something weird was happening, and Harry couldn't stop thinking that Voldemort had something to do with that.


A/N: Hello there! sorry about the long wait... hope you all like this chapter! and please, review!