Summary: Voldemort has finally been defeated, or so everyone thought, and Harry finds him self in a whole new adventure. Dumbledore is plotting something for that much is certain, Severus is brought a long for the ride.
AU-Magical (disregards a lot of the plot in the books), eventual hp/ss slash. Good!Voldemort/Bella, Evil!Dumbledore, some out of characterness. Will do further notices when needed.
This is technically my second Harry Potter story but this is the first one to be posted. It came to me while finished the first chapter to the other one. I've seen this sort of story written a lot but I figured that I would give it a go because I always find them interesting. All Harry Potter characters featured in this story do not belong to me.
Grin and Bear it
I walk quickly through the darkened hallways of Hogwarts on my way to the office of one Albus Dumbledore. The shadows danced along the walls as the torchlight licked the air gently, all was silent, the paintings snoring softly in the happenstance. I hardly pay any mind to it all, there were more important things to attend to than admire the stillness of my surroundings. Though I will certainly acknowledge how wonderful the calm is, for now anyway. Nothing good will come out of this visit to the Headmaster's office, as if anything ever has...
I climb another set of stairs and turn a few corners before I make it to the archway that the gargoyle guards diligently. I speak the words that rouses the stone from its nap, "Peppermint Toads" the guardian stepped aside and I climb the spiral stair case to the top where I pause. I can hear the Headmaster speaking calmly to an irritated female, females, Molly and her only daughter. There is something else though, near the hinges of the door, a small shuffle and slow breathing, there's a hint of cologne. I narrow my eyes on the spot for I recognize the tell-tale signs of some sort of invisibility. I slowly reach my hand out and attempt to grasp at the invisible person(s), to my surprise it's Potter with his infernal cloak. I glare at him only momentarily as the conversation behind the door becomes heated. Potter has the nerve to bring his finger to his lips to 'shush' me. It is apparent that he wishes for me to listen, though I honestly do not want to.
"I will find Harry, Molly. All will be well I assure you so please calm your self."
"You better, Albus, it has been three months since Harry killed that monster. I want what was promised to me and my daughter. I will not take these excuses you keep feeding me."
The voices became quieter, I can only guess at what they are talking about. Whatever it is, it has to do with Potter. What I know for sure is that I was called up here to locate the boy, no, man. He was right here the whole time from the looks of it. I don't here anything in the office now, it sounds like both females left which means Albus will be expecting me now. I glance back at Potter and glare at him one more time before I take a piece of parchment and a granite pencil from my robe pocket and scribble a quick note to him which he takes and reads it over before nodding at me. Potter wraps himself back into the folds of his invisibility cloak and descends the steps. I straighten my self out of habit and I push the door open to find out whats going on, or at least part of it. Dumbledore always has his secrets, infuriating old bugger.
"Ah, there you are Severus. I need your help, Potter has disappeared and I have a pressing need to speak with him as it is important."
"Whatever for, Albus?"
"Nothing life threatening I assure you. You will let me know if you find Harry?"
"Of course, Headmaster. If that is all..."
"Oh yes that is all, Severus. You may go." Albus smiles at me, there is no twinkle in those blue eyes and the conversation is rather brief, which means this is more serious than he is letting on. Again, I can only guess as to the reason.
"Good night Albus." I turn and walk out the door and down the spiral staircase. I will find out what is going on, one way or another. If Albus won't divulge the scheme hes churning in his cauldron then I'll get my answers out of the brat, Veritaserum or other means. I quickly make my way back down to the dungeons where I have told Potter to meet me.
When I enter my classroom Potter is sitting in an empty stool with his cloak draped around his shoulders which are slumped forward ever so slightly. Hes staring at the wall mindlessly as though it is talking to him, the thought doesn't even register in his mind that I have entered the room. I purse my lips into a hard line and observe him for a moment, his eyes look tired and dull as though he hasn't slept in over twenty-four hours, the bags under his eyes are evidence of that not to mention how pale he has become. Perhaps this has something to do with what ever Albus has cooked up, it's time for answers.
"Potter." I try and keep my snark to a minimum, baiting him this early will just irritate me and we'll get no where. He stirs from whatever he was dwelling on, he turns his head to stare at me before speaking.
"Snape." His voice sounds as tired as his face looks.
"Follow me, the walls have ears." I head towards the lone book shelf standing in the back corner, the alternate entrance to my quarters. Of course it is charmed, the visitor won't realize that they've walked through the passage. He follows me willingly with a nod, quietly too. He seems a little hesitant though, like hes walking into a trap. Potter is studying the shelf as I tap a black leather bound tome with green script on its spine three times, the illusion of books disappears and a door way now stands open for me. I gesture for him to proceed me he freezes for a moment, weighing his options, but he has decided that he'll take his chances; Potter steps through the portal. I follow not a second after.
When I enter, he has a hand on his face trying to get his bearings. The charm can leave the guest feeling awkward for a moment, but Potter has snapped out of the funk pretty quickly.
"Have a seat, Potter." I motion to the sofa as I head for another book shelf that is sitting directly in front of the sofa and the coffee table and standing right next to the crackling fireplace. I really need a drink. I take the tumbler and the good bottle of scotch of the fourth shelf and pour my self a generous amount,
"Drink?" I ask before taking a drink from my own glass. I turn around to see him looking at me with curious eyes before he replies, "Sure." I set my tumbler on the mantle before grabbing another off the same shelf for him, perhaps this will mellow him out enough to get some straight answers. I hand him the glass filled with amber liquid, he swirls it around his glass a couple times eying it. Hes been keeping tabs on just about everything that enters his bubble of security, very peculiar.
"Why were you eavesdropping on a conversation between Mrs. Weasley, Ginnerva and Dumbledore? More importantly why do they think you are missing, when you are clearly not?" Potter stares at me, it doesn't look like hes trying to come up with a lie, he breathes out slowly and replies.
"This has been going on for about a week now, since last Friday evening. I over heard a conversation between the Headmaster and Molly. She was screaming at him, I could hear her from near the gargoyle, rather surprising that no one else heard her really. Anyways I decided that I should go, you know, check it out." I roll my eyes at his last statement, always getting him self into some sort of trouble. "She was angry that Ginny and I weren't married yet or some garbage. Especially now that I 'defeated' Voldemort." I flinch still at the name, cold shivers run down my spine but I keep my self composed.
"The Dark Lord." I growl out, hopefully he'll get the hint not to speak his name in front of me.
"Yea, sorry, the Dark Lord. Anyways she was then rambling on about how her daughter isn't rolling around in galleons or something. Dumbledore was trying to reassure her, telling her that hes looking into a bonding ritual that has no loop holes, that even if I tried I wouldn't be able to find a way out of it. I've been hiding out ever since that night. Walking around in the shadows eavesdropping on everyone."
He's chewing on his bottom lip now, staring holes in to the carpet. I can tell hes genuinely worried. It looks like he has more to say so I stay quiet and wait for it to spill from his mouth. There is silence for five minutes before he speaks again, those piercing green eyes stare through mine as his mouth moves.
"There's more though, before this past week, I was aware that there was some sort of foul play at work. You won't believe who I heard it from." Potter wants me to guess, some names fly through my mind though I am not completely sure. I take a guess.
"I can only imagine. Ronald, perhaps?" He has the nerve to smirk as though he knows something I do not, it's irritating, truly.
"Wrong. It was the Dark Lord." I narrow my eyes and glare at him relentlessly like hes trying to play a trick on me. That Dark Lord informed Potter that there was some sort of plan involving marriage between the Weasley girl and himself? Impossible.
"You lie." I blurt out, he glares at me this time, waiting for the insults that are hanging on the end of my tongue.
"Hardly. It happened in the forest as I walked to my death. It was strange though, he was alone, not another death eater in sight. I didn't know what to make of it, I was utterly confused. He just stood there staring at me for a minute or two before he started talking. 'Potter, come closer' he said. I was angry at the time, really angry. 'No, you are going to die.' I screamed at him, all I could think was that it was a trap and there were death eaters hiding in the trees ready to ambush me when I let my guard down." He paused for a moment to sip at his scotch. I took a moment my self to mull over what he's told me so far, and none of it sounds good. I rub at my left forearm mindlessly. He begins again.
"He just smirked at me like I was insane. It infuriated me even more and I ran towards him in blind rage. 'Calm your self, I only wish to speak to you.' He says before he stuns me mid leap. I couldn't read his face, there was nothing there to read. I was lying there helpless thinking he was going to end it all, I couldn't fight to the death like I had planned originally. He started talking again and it was my turn to think he was finally off the deep end more than he was originally. 'I am not your enemy, Potter. The old fool has tricked you in to a false sense of security. You mindlessly listened to every word he has spoken and yet you haven't thought about what consequences that they have led you towards. He's told you many things about me, shown you altered memories of me. All of them, no, most of them are fabricated lies.' Merlin, if I wasn't stunned I would have started laughing my bloody arse off. 'He has told you that I am some half-blood mad man out to kill muggles and muggle-borns. I became this way because of some horrible childhood I've had. I will not lie to you, my child hood was less than perfect but he set me up many times. All unavoidable and I could not do anything but run in the end. He named me a Dark Lord. Yet he is the true Dark Lord, manipulating everything and everyone around him to further his own agenda.'"
This is ridiculous, I can't think properly, this has to be some sort of trickery. I make my way over to the sofa with my scotch and sat on the left side opposite from Potter, setting my glass on the coffee table.
"It's a lot to take in believe me. I had to witness it first hand and I still don't believe it sometimes. It gets worse though." He tells me.
"'This is what's going to happen, Harry. I am going to remove the stun I have placed you and we are going to talk like civil, adult wizards. I have no intention to kill you at this time.' I couldn't believe it, he wasn't going to kill me? Was all I was thinking, he was sparing my life. He let me lose and I just sat up and stared at him, more like glared. I just couldn't figure him out. 'Now then. He has plans for you, ones that will tie in to his agenda, I plan on foiling them with your help. Though he has outwardly denied it quite a bit at his order meetings and to your face directly, he wants total control of the ministry and he aims to get to that goal through manipulating you. He'll try to marry you off. When that time comes you will hide and I will find you. I will then tell you the rest.' I didn't know what to think then, it all sounded barmy and all I could say was, 'you're serious, aren't you? This isn't some joke you are trying to play?'"
"This all sounds farfetched to me. Especially since the dark mark is gone, how do you explain that if you didn't kill him, Potter?" Everything that I knew about Dumbledore and the Dark Lord was crumbling at the foundations.
"It was all a set up. I didn't actually kill him. He removed the Horcrux that was imbedded in my scar," Potter rubbed at the faded white scar on his forehead. "He explained to me that we were going to fake his death. He told me that he would remove the dark mark from the death eaters, he called Bellatrix to his side. Another shocking spoiler, shes not as mad as she's led everyone to believe. I very nearly slapped my face just to make sure I wasn't dreaming. 'I shall remove the dark mark from all those who I have brought into my ranks. It will serve as evidence that you have "vanquished" me. We will make it very obvious that we were in battle, just for the sake of realism'. It was a real surprise that no one stumbled upon our little shindig while it was going on." He threw his head back and laughed a bit, if Bella isn't mad then Potter surely is.
"After he removed the dark mark we staged a duel and and pretty much ruined the little area of forest we were in, Bella brought a body, which we incinerated with some robes for the added effect. The explosion was the best part I think, it got everyone's attention especially with the other little effects like the really loud shriek. Tom immediately left after we were finished and I just threw my self on the ground a bit away from the fake remains. Thank Merlin that they couldn't prove whose ashes those were other wise I'd be in a great heap of trouble. Now you know the gist of it."
He turned to stare at me gauging my reaction carefully. I really couldn't find the right words to speak, I just stared at the flames in the fireplace with my mouth nearly hanging open. This couldn't be real, all that torture I had to endure in those years of service. That certainly didn't explain why Lily and her Husband are lying underneath six feet of dirt. Nothing fit now, nothing!
"What about my being a spy to the 'light side' then, was that all for naught?"
"Oh he knew, it was obvious, but it sounds like he was keeping tabs on the Headmaster using you as his eyes and ears."
"What will happen now, Potter?"
"I have to hide for one more night. Tom will send me a portkey tomorrow, beyond that I haven't a clue." Potter ran his hands through his hair nervously, like he's waiting for the Headmaster to barge in at any second. He's on edge.
"You should go then, I am sure the Headmaster will come down soon, he usually does when hes in a tizzy. It would not be good for you to get caught if he's planning on using you for some grand scheme." I feel utterly out of character being nice to Ha-Potter, but I find that I have known more than I have since I started working for these 'masters'.
"Of course. Sorry you had to find out this way, I wasn't sure who all knew besides Tom, Bellatrix and my self. It seems like Dumbledore doesn't trust you enough to tell you his plans. I would try and get away from it if you can. Nothing good will come from hanging around Dumbledore in the future." He's giving me a warning to get out while I still can? The nerve. I scowl at him as he heads for the exit, but before stepping out he says, "Good night Professor Snape." and the door clicks shut just as he's throwing the invisibility cloak over his head.
I sag against the back of the sofa letting my head tip back to rest on it as well. Nothing made sense anymore, everything I have done for both of these... 'lords' was for naught. All my carefully laid plans were ruined. I was a go between for them, not a spy! Then of course, they played their parts so well, I played my part so well that I failed to see all the cards on the table. I pick up the scotch that I put on the table and drain the glass, I have half a mind to just drink my self into a stupor. I decide against it as there is a knock at my door. I am quite certain that it is Albus. I banish Potter's used glass and stand up to pour my self a bit more scotch before letting the old man in. I will have to grin and bear it until I can get out of this web of lies and deceit. For now though, it is time to give the old fool a taste of his own medicine. Revenge is best served ice cold and without remorse.
I figured that I would end it there. Please review! Let me know how it is so far.