Disclaimer: J.K. owns Harry Potter, of course.
A/N: It might seem a bit rushed in spots, which is how it's supposed to be since it's from Aurora's pov. I believe I explain anything that is confusing. Enjoy. :D
She stumbled again to her feet, ignoring the stabbing pain in her ankle from tripping over yet another exposed tree root. She had to warn them. She had to tell them. Only after that could she rest. Once more she went flying forward, slamming hard against the ground. She cried out instantly, shaking her head a moment later before scrambling back to her feet. She could rest later. She had to warn them.
Her eyes darted wildly about the dense forest as she neared its edge. Her heart thumped violently against her ribcage, as if it would burst out of her at any moment. She could smell the sickly scent of blood that caked her from head to toe. Her nerves were afire from the numerous bouts of the Cruciatus Curse she had withstood from her—she shook her head, ending that thought. She needed to stay focused. Staying focus would keep him alive. She was sure of it.
Rushing up the hill, she caught the blurs heading towards the castle. She could hear the sounds of laughter from them. She was almost there, almost in reach. Her breath caught in her throat as she pushed herself forward, onward, always onward. There was no other option.
She heard the gasps as some of the blurs caught the sight of her. She ignored them. She had to. Grabbing the first blur she could, she pulled it close. She barely noticed how badly she was trembling, unintentionally shaking the person in her hands
"Save . . ." Her voice was rough from the screams that had erupted from her not two hours ago. She mustered every bit of strength she had. She had to tell them, to warn them. She couldn't fall apart, not yet. "S . . . ave," she cried. "No, no," she muttered as her voice faltered. She didn't have time for this. She had to tell them. She pulled the blur even closer so that they were almost nose-to-nose with one another. When the blur yanked back from her, her hands clamped tight against the blur's face, a young man she could tell. "Sev . . . Severus, save . . . Severus!" Her vision blurred as she finally succumbed to her injuries. She hoped to Circe that the blur understood. Otherwise, they were all in grave danger.
Much later, she felt the tingle of a cleansing spell as the blood was removed. Slowly, she started to come back around to consciousness. The scent of antiseptics filtered into her nose, alerting her immediately to her location, the hospital wing.
"Have you learned our guest's identity yet, Madam?"
"I have," the matron responded softly. "She is whom she appears to be, Albus. I've compared my scans to her last physical. She is Aurora Sinistra."
"I've ran the scan numerous times, Albus. She is Aurora Sinistra."
"I see," the wizard replied with a definite frown. "If you'll forgive me, Madam," he said, his boots thumping against the stone floor.
"My dear, you may open your eyes now. It's just us," the matron softly said, placing a compassionate hand on her shoulder. She said nothing when the witch flinched.
"I know. You don't need to prove your identity to me, Aurora. I know." The matron's head turned slowly when the doors to the hospital wing opened. She gave a soft smile towards the tall, dark-haired wizard in black flowing robes as he stalked into the main area with another batch of potions in hand. She caught his eyes flicker over to their guest ever so slightly before he frowned and headed off into the matron's office.
When the heavy oak doors to the main area opened again, Madam Pomfrey whirled back around, her smile faltering. Her eyes, however, glanced towards Albus, noticing that he was giving off no signs that anything was out of the ordinary. So, she forced the smile back to her face. If Albus was going to play it cool, then so would she.
"As you can see, we have a bit of a conundrum on our—"
"That's not me," the witch lying on the cot snarled, nearly rising to her feet. She was clearly outraged as she glared at the woman who looked exactly like her, well, minus the light pink marks that were the only things that remained of her previous injuries. "That thing is not me! I am Aurora Sinistra!"
The replica witch glanced to her left towards Albus. She wore a look of someone who believed she was being pranked. Her dark eyes then glanced back towards the witch on the cot. However, before she could even say a word, she was cut off.
"I'm rather certain there's a perfectly good explanation for all this. You likely were subjected to an experiment from your time with Voldemort a few weeks back," Albus calmly said, still smiling pleasantly at the witch standing next to him.
"Yes, either that or she's a Polyjuice version of me," the witch next to Dumbledore replied with a rather bored look.
"We have considered that," Dumbledore replied quietly. His blue eyes slowly went to the witch on the cot. "However, there are only trace amounts of an unidentified potion in her system."
"There you have it then," the witch said with a self-satisfied grin. "Whoever this is likely had some potioneer brew an undetectable Polyjuice." Her head then turned towards the dark wizard walking out of the matron's office. "Severus, perhaps you can lend your expertise. This thing is pretending to be me," she explained, motioning lazily towards the witch on the cot.
The curly dark-haired witch sitting on the cot glared at her doppelganger. Her hands were clenched into tight fists by her sides as her teeth grit. Only when her duplicate reached towards Severus's robes did she fling herself at the other witch. She screamed as if a mad woman, clawing, slashing, anything she could to force the witch to release Severus. Uncontrolled spells bounced around the room, sending the spectators to throw up shields or at the very least fall to the floor.
The witches rolled about, fighting one another to the death it seemed. They pulled one another's hair, screaming since it hurt like hell. They scratched the other's face, hissing through the pain. They slammed each other against the glass cabinets full of potions, sending it crashing to the floor and spraying broken glass every which way.
Finally, one of them stilled, while the other kept the repetitive stabbing motion with the large piece of glass in her hand. Blood had sprayed about from the numerous gashes, but the witch still didn't stop. She was too far lost in her fury to do so. She only stopped when hands seized her before she was thrown back onto the cot roughly.
"She's dead," someone said horrified, sounding far off in the distance.
She stared at Severus, ignoring the matron who examined the witch lying in a puddle of blood. She brushed off Severus's glare in response to her staring. He'd understand when this was all over. He'd understand that she did that for him, to keep him safe. She could tell that he was clearly uncomfortable with being there, but she couldn't figure out why. He had seen her kill before.
"It's Bellatrix Lestrange," Madam Pomfrey announced as the witch lying on the floor transformed into the recent escapee of Azkaban.
"Aurora, my dear," Albus softly said, staring at her as one would a terrified child. "What happened?"
She, however, ignored him, choosing to stare at Severus instead. Why was Severus glaring at her? Didn't he understand that she had done that for him? Her eyes then narrowed on the wand in his hand. He seemed almost—no—no—Severus Snape was never anxious.
"Aurora, my dear," Albus repeated quietly.
Still brushing off his attempts to get answers, she stood. She watched Severus's glare deepen almost instantly at her action. Why was he glaring? What had she done wrong? She then noticed him tapping his finger against his ebony wand. No—no—no—it couldn't be. She took a step forward towards him, noticing his body tense instantly. There was only one way to know for certain. She grabbed his robes, ripping them open.
With a deep growl, he smacked her hard across the face, tossing her back onto the cot. He was clearly outraged with her. Clenching his teeth, he growled once more.
"That'll be coming out of your pay, Sinistra," he snapped, quickly buttoning his robes.
She touched her cheek, feeling the warmth from the mark. Her eyes darted behind Dumbledore for a moment on the approaching man before she glanced towards the elderly wizard. Swallowing slowly, she held back her emotions.
"That's . . . that's not Severus, Albus," she whispered, feeling herself tremble.
"What the hell are you talking about, Sinistra?" the dark-haired wizard snarled. "Of course it's me. What? You expected a pat on the back for ripping open my robes like some deranged woman?"
She turned away when the spell hit him in the back a moment later. Severus or not, she couldn't watch someone who looked like him fall to the floor. She felt her heart clench painfully in her chest. They had gotten to him already. She was too late.
"Is he?" the new voice asked.
"There's definite Polyjuice in his system," the matron replied. She then tapped her wand against the unconscious Severus Snape's head. Her spell shimmered down the length of his body, forcing him to reveal his true identity.
The shoulder length black became long pristine white locks. The angular face then morphed into the smooth pale face of Lucius Malfoy.
The others in the room instantly tensed. However, none said a word when the matron cast her reveal spell on each of them. None of them changed into another person. Madam Pomfrey was still Madam Pomfrey. Albus Dumbledore was still Albus Dumbledore. Remus Lupin was still Remus Lupin.
"You, um, you sent me on a mission," Aurora softly said barely above a whisper. "To spy on a few of the known Death Eaters. They were lying in wait, Albus. They, um, they captured me, brought me before Him, forced me to bow in front of Him." She slowly glanced towards the older wizard. "He knew who I was, that I was an Order member sent to spy on his followers." She looked away, feeling her insides clench painfully. "He wanted me to reveal everything about the Order. I refused." She sounded dead to the world now as she continued. "He knew . . . knew of my feelings for Severus." She hugged herself for strength. "He said that Severus would be next if I didn't tell Him everything. I-I refused. I refused."
"It seems they already had Severus, though," Remus quietly said, frowning. "You likely were to be killed by Malfoy when discovered." He then sighed. "Which means that Severus is probably with You-Know-Who right now, likely receiving the same treatment you did."
"Gather the Order, Remus," Dumbledore softly ordered. He said nothing when the shabby looking man turned on his heel and quickly rushed out of the room. His blue eyes fell on Aurora again, clearly saddened. "My dear, we'll get him back."
"You better," she replied coldly. "Or I'm going to redecorate this castle with your blood!"
Later that night, Aurora sat on the sofa adjacent to Severus in his sitting area. She said nothing when he downed another glass of Firewhiskey and poured himself another. After what he had been through, he could drink an entire case full and she wouldn't say a word. She watched him close his eyes, leaning his head back and sigh.
After the Order had rescued him just ten hours earlier, he had been made aware of all that had transpired in his seventy-two hour capture. He knew how Lucius Malfoy, the bastard who had played a part in bringing him into that world of hell in the first place, had assumed his identity, doing a fairly well job at it, too. He learned how Bellatrix acted like Aurora, somehow acting a bit less insane for a few hours. He heard (only because he had forced it out of her) what Aurora had endured while in captivity. His teeth clenched more than a few times when she mentioned the words 'Death Eaters,' 'Dark Lord,' and 'Unforgivables.' The only thing she had learned from him about his captivity was that his torture was purely mental.
"Do you want me to bring you anything?" she softly asked.
"Did I ask for you to?" he replied, his jaw clenching slightly.
She shook her head, knowing that he'd be upset if she did answer vocally. She waited patiently for him to calm himself again, understanding that his Occlumency barriers were nonexistent. She watched him throw back another glass of Firewhiskey before he poured himself yet another one. Sighing, she rose. It was likely time for her to take her leave. She said nothing, no goodbye, nothing. She knew he didn't want to hear it, not after the seventy-two hours he had. So, silently, she walked towards the closed portrait of Salazar Slytherin, who guarded Severus's rooms.
"How?" he asked, his voice sounding rougher than ever before. His long pale slender fingers curled more around his drink as he waited.
She stopped just before the portrait would have opened and turned back towards him. Drawing in a slow breath, she sighed. "Because I know that you'd never hurt me, Severus," she softly whispered. She waited for a moment, watching him not react. She then smiled softly, walking out a moment later.
A/N: Thanks for reading. :D