a/n. This is a response of Severitus's challenge, which is a very good one... I know that lots of people have done these stories, but that just means that it is a good challenge! Which it is.

Disclaimer: H. P. characters, terms, objects, settings, etc. aren't mine; I'm just using them for my own entertainment. I'm not profiting off of them.


Chapter 1: Reinitiation


It's for Albus... It's for Albus...

Severus Snape stood in the center of the ring, facing Voldemort and aware of the many pairs of eyes afixed on him.

"So you want to rejoin me, Severus?" The Dark Lord's glaring voice pierced into Snape as if it could detect every dark secret hidden in the cold but frightened eyes.

"Yes, Master," Snape answered Snape in a trembling whisper.

"What was that?" Came the cynical answer. "I believe I didn't hear you."

"Yes, Master."

"Ahh... So, you dare to call me Master after more than fourteen years of unfaithfullness to me? Yes, I know of your little exploits with the light side. Those little meetings... Dumbledore's favorite spy, who made known my plan with the Potters?"

Snape steadily drew a rattling breath. "I do not deny it, Master. I was young and foolish. When I started teaching at the school, I was eluded to the Light's ways. When I felt my Mark burn again I... had a new insight into what was right, so to say... but I could not come... It would only have aroused suspiscion, Master, only unwanted suspiscion that would have deprecated any attempts of becoming a useful spy for you."

"I see... young and foolish you are, Snape. Young and foolish, like the rest of my Death Eaters who walked free and made no attempt to find me..." Voldemort's cold slits for eyes sweeped the circle behind Snape."But they have paid their price... Now, if you tell me what use you can be to me, then you will be allowed to pay your price as well." Voldemort's lips curled into a devious smile.

I..." Snape shook as his voice drifted off. "I have a secure position at the school, Master. Dumbledore himself trusts me... I could tell you anything. I do not have to sneak around for the gossip of the Light side. I can carry out your work at Hogwarts and be a spy working next to Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore." It is just an act... just an act... I can turn to Albus for help, he asked me to do this...

"And you will not turn to Albus Dumbledore for help again?" Snape only bowed his head. "Answer me!" An unsettling breeze blew the dirt from the ground like rising smoke.

Snape lifted his head, and, with a jolt of confindence, looked Voldemort in the eye through the dark slitted Death Eater mask and loudly answered, "Yes, Master!"

"Crucio! Are you sure?" The gust picked up to a roaring wind, twisting up ash-colored Death Eater robes around their bodies and whipping their hair around with them. The Death Eaters started clapping in chorus, chanting out the wind's screams into the brown sky.

Through jolted breaths and shattering shrieks, Snape shouted, "Yes Master!"

"Answer me again! Crucio!" As Snape's white-hot pain doubled, the Death Eaters' clap grew louder and the torrent continued to to whirl up the leaves like a tambourine to the beated chant.

"YES!"

And, suddenly, the storm stopped, leaving a deathly silence of drooping branches and Snape's stuttered breath.

Voldemort, leaning casually on a nearby oak, twirled his wand and chuckled. "Yes, Master, you mean."

After a long breath, Snape gasped, "Yes, Master." He wondered, as he peered into the still sky, if the storm had been only a fragment of his imagination.

"Looks like you've paid your price. Now, you must prove to me your loyalty. The Tuesday of the second week of August we will be attacking the Ministry's meeting between its Department of International Relations and a similar group from the Scandinavian Ministry. During the fight, as I'm sure there will be one, I want you to kill the Department's young head, Percy Weasley. Do that."

"Y-Yes, Master."

"Then get back to your place. Welcome back, Severus."