The 500 Pieces of Bartemius Crouch

He stands in his workroom and sees his doom. The body is still and silent on the floor. The cauldrons stand ready.

This will be messy. He strips off his robes and spells them to safety.

"Accio knife."

The knife comes to his hand like a lover, and he kneels, naked, beside the void of Bartemius Crouch.

Begins to cut.

The skin first, carefully, because human skin has uses other than disguise.

The flesh from the bones and the bones from the flesh. The flesh to be frozen, the bones to be boiled, the organs to slide into the preserving potion for later use.

The skin to be stretched and scraped clean and dried.

The hair and nails to be capped in jars.

The eyes and the tongue to be dried and crushed.

The blood to be scattered.

He is all over blood--blood on his arms, over his chest, spilling between his legs like a woman, or like he's been swimming in it.

He washes the intestines carefully.

Caps the jars. Covers the cauldrons.

Freezes the flesh.

Cleans up the evidence himself, rather than calling the house-elves.

Scrubs blood from his limbs and his chest and his genitals.

Albus will say the dementors took the body.

No one will suspect Severus Snape.

Not even Voldemort, when he looks into the face of his faithful servant Bartemius.

He shakes his hair back and smile