Disclaimer: I'll say you this much, I'm not J. K. Rowling!
Rate: Rated T just to be safe
Summary: Every one was pawn in the chess game of Voldemort and Dumbledore. But what would happen if this pawns decide to take matters in their own hand? What if they had their own planing? What will happen when their plans make conflict with others? Rated to be safe...
Warning: There is possibility of violence, bloodshed, and drug abuse in future, not any thing explicit! Don't like it, don't read it!
A/N: Thanks to everyone who reviewed, favorited and added this to their story alert. And thanks to Alethea27 and little-Medium-sized for their help to edit my mistakes! I hope you enjoy! R&R
And Moi, you guessed wrong! My first language is neither a Slavic one nor a Romanian one! :P
Just The Dead Are Unsaveable
Chapter 2: Just The Dead Are Unsaveable
"Now is not the time for this. I'm certain everything will be fine, and when all of this has ended, you will laugh at your present thoughts and worries," he said smoothly.
The most complicated issue in the Dark Lord's service that one never gets used to is that one never knows if your "friends" are willing to suffer in your place. Or when they would make you suffer, saving
themselves just to move higher in his ranks.
"Perhaps-" whatever Narcissa was going to say was interrupted by a house elf that suddenly appeared before them with a pop. "I'm sorry my lady, but the library is on fire…"
Severus and Narcissa rushed out of the door and within minutes they were standing in front of the library. "Tissy!" Narcissa called, staring with wide eyes at the fire. The same elf that had informed them about the fire appeared with a pop immediately. Narcissa didn't take her eyes from the library – Severus could see the reflection of the flames in her eyes. Very much like the flames of anger that was burning within her.
"What happened?" She asked through gritted teeth.
"Masters… they got angry…" the elf started punishing herself as she was stammering.
"Stop it! And explain – clearly – what happened…. AND THOSE IDIOTS ARE NOT YOUR MASTERS!" Narcissa snapped forcefully; the anger was now evident in her voice.
"They wanted more wine and when Tissy didn't obey immediately, they started to hex everything, and the library caught fire. Tissy is very sorry, Lady." The small house elf rambled clearly, heeding her mistress's request.
Narcissa shot a look at Severus that said, 'What did I tell you!' Turning back to the flames and then to the house elf, she asked in a whisper, "Who?"
"Mr. Yaxley and Mr. Goyle," the little house elf answered fearfully.
Narcissa looked back at the library and ordered with an emotionless tone, "You will put your hands in boiling water for creating such a mess and you will-"
"Is that necessary?" Severus asked, cutting her off. Narcissa looked at him sharply.
"Are you questioning my actions?" she inquired with narrowed eyes, "I'm Lady of this manor and I will deal with my elves as I see fit."
Severus couldn't help but roll his eyes and said in an irritated tone, "No, Narcissa, all I'm saying is that there is no need to take your anger out on this elf even if you can't do anything to those half-wits that created this mess."
Narcissa stared at him a moment longer before she sighed. She turned to Tissy and said, "You can go now, there is no need for you to punish yourself." She then looked at Severus with an 'Are you satisfied?' look on her face. Tissy didn't stay a second longer, fearing that her mistress would change her mind.
Severus looked up and down the corridor; there was no sign of Yaxley or Goyle. "Can't expect more from those cowards," he mused. He drew his wand and casted several spells over the fire, but it didn't change. "It isn't a magical fire," he said with a frown. "What were they thinking, playing with fire in a library full of flammable substances?" He thought and then said aloud, "We can't put the fire out with water as it will ruin the books that haven't already been ruined. What do you suggest?"
"If they have been damaged then they are most likely beyond repair and there is nothing a little water could do to worsen their condition. Let's just get this over with," she drew her wand and together they shouted, "Aguamenti!" Clear jets of water burst from the tips of their wands on onto the fire.
After some time, the fire went out and all that remained was smoke, soot, wet, burned books and furniture. With just an exchanged look, the witch and the wizard stepped into the destroyed library, barely able to see a few feet in front of their faces because of the smoke lingering in the air. They quickly waved their wands and the air became clear once more, with another wave in the same manner the library was embraced with light. With another look at each other they slowly made their way towards the bookshelves.
"The sofa, table, and other furniture were ancient and expensive, but they are able to be replaced," she said while staring almost sadly at the books. "But… but those books were rare, some of them were the only existing copy. Most of them were the oldest books that could be found in the Wizarding World. This collection of books was one of the things that the Malfoy's were always proud of.
"I know that they had several preserving charms on them to keep them safe from many different kinds of damage, including magical fire and water – that's why I said that water couldn't worsen their condition – but I don't think very many of them had preserving charms against non-magical fire. Why would they? Lucius thought that Muggles couldn't invent anything that could harm us."
Severus tried his best not to snort at this declaration, "You have no idea just how harmful Muggles can be to us, especially to those who underestimate them." He thought to himself.
"What were those idiots thinking? Why, in Merlin's name, would they set fire to the library?" she turned towards Severus, fuming with rage, and in the light that he and Narcissa created, he could see her face turning redder and redder. For Lady Malfoy who was never without her cold, emotionless, mask, it was a new sight.
"It must be a deep wound to the Malfoy pride," he thought. Severus was upset too, but for an entirely different reason than the Malfoy pride being wounded once again. Even though he was supposed to be Narcissa's friend, he couldn't help but watch in amusement as she acted like a two-year-old… not that he could blame her. If some dunderheaded Death Eater set fire to his library, the idiot would be the one to clean it up and restore it.
He knew that the only thing left for her was to have a reason to be snotty towards others and be able to look down upon them. And that was why she was angry. In a span of just a few minutes she had lost her last viable reasons to look down her nose at the other Wizarding families.
He turned away from her and looked at the room in general, searching for anything that would indicate why a fire had started in the library when the dimwitted Death Eaters obviously couldn't have started it with magic. Something across the room caught his eye, and he slowly made his way towards it. There was certainly something laying on the floor; something that the flames hadn't converted into a pile of ashes as they had for several books. It was covered in soot no surprise as the entire library was covered with the sticky black residue. Judging by its shape, it wasn't something one would normally find in a library.
He knelt on one knee and reached for the object intending to pick it up. Just as his fingers brushed it, he jerked his hand away, because it was still rather hot and he cut his middle finger in the process. After that, he could simply guess what it was. He pulled his handkerchief out of his pocket and used it to pick up the broken glass. Careful, he cleaned the soot off of it and without a doubt, it was a piece of a broken wine bottle. "Seems to me like someone wasn't fond of their drink, and decided to dispose of it," he said sardonically as he slowly turned his head and looked Narcissa in the eye.
In a second, she was standing at his side and looking at the broken bottle in his hand. Severus stood up and handed her the glass carefully, mindful of how sharp the glass could be. "That would explain why the fire wasn't magical," he muttered more to himself than to her.
"That's why they wanted more wine; they had broken what they had!" she was muttering, her anger flaring again. "These wines are elf wine, the best and most expensive wine! If they had bought the wine themselves, they would never have wasted it!"
Severus knew that if he didn't stop her soon, she would never stop. And there was still the possibility of the fire coming back to life; with Muggle fires, that was always the case. The smart thing to do was eliminate anything that could possibly start another fire.
"We should separate the books that are burnt from the other and charm them against Muggle fire, should this ever happen again. We should also look out for sparks." He said with a shrug.
"You are right. Let's put the damaged books in a pile near the door so we can get rid of them later," Narcissa said, and then gestured to a spot near her feet, "and put the others here."
Severus was tired and he had classes in the morning to teach. But how could he not help his friends when they needed him? Books. His only friends that he knew would never betray or leave him, no matter what he did or said. Books had been there for him through it all, during the unfairness of his life and the loneliness. No one would ever think that he, Severus Snape, The Great Bat of the dungeons, The Greasy Git and Death Eater could ever be sentimental about anything, let along books. Not that he tried to prove anyone otherwise. But he liked books and respected them. Well, perhaps not all of them, there is books written by idiots like Lockhart. But he respect most of them and on a few different occasions, he had deducted points from any unlucky student that he had caught treating a book badly – they most likely thought that he had done it for no reason, giving the student population more reason to think him as a bastard and greasy git.
Severus had even gone as far as to pull his Slytherins aside and warn them about how they were treating their books, never saying anything of the like to them in front of others, hoping to gain their trust and respect. So, perhaps one day, he could save them from their families and the Dark Lord.
They started their work; it was tiresome and progressed slowly, and Severus knew without magic it would have been worse. It was pre-dawn when they finished. Narcissa thanked him and he acknowledged it with a nod; bidding each other farewell, Severus started towards the door, his cloak billowing behind him. Near the door, he stopped abruptly and looked back around the room. Narcissa was busy with a pile of undamaged books with her back to him and hadn't noticed that he had yet to leave. He had a feeling that he missed something here, and he didn't know what. His searching eyes fell upon a pile of burnt books; until that moment he hadn't paid attention to the books that he was separating. He hadn't looked at the books that the Malfoys had found important enough to have all sorts of protective charms on them, and the books that they hadn't found worthy enough.
He slowly made his way towards them, all the while thinking that he should be on his way to Hogwarts, getting at least an hour or two of sleep before having to prepare for another day of dealing with dunderheads. But he couldn't help it; the feeling that he had missed something here was still persistent and if it wasn't for same feeling he was dead long before then. He had to take a look at some of his friends, before they took their final trip to the trash.
He looked down at an unknown friend on top of a pile; it was a thick book with a badly burnt leather cover. A history book by the feel of it. Severus picked it up and started shuffling through it. Every two or three pages, he would stop and look at the moving pictures or drawings, or he would read a line or two before going on to another page.
One of the moving drawings in the book caught his attention; it was a man with long black hair and black robes standing between two dragons. A white and silvery Frost dragon with penetrating icy blue eyes stood on his left and a bronze and brown Fire dragon with glowing red eyes on his right. The man had a golden lightning sword in one hand and a blood red wand in the other, standing on a cliff, fighting the two dragons. The Frost dragon shot frozen shards of breath at the man and the Fire dragon, while the latter set everything on fire. The man with long black hair then succeeded in throwing the Frost dragon over the edge of the cliff and into the abyss, and when he turned to fight the Fire dragon, he found himself trapped between the gargantuan dragon and the edge of the cliff, facing certain death whichever way he turned. The picture then froze and started over again from the beginning.
Severus stared at the picture, deep in thought, unable to tear his eyes away from it. After some time, he snapped out of his thoughts, shutting the book softly and set aside, looking at the next book his eyes fell on.
It had a thick black cover and half burnt yellow pages. There were no words or any markings that Severus could see on the cover, aside from the places that the fire had ravaged. He opened the book and looked at the inside cover, finding a title:
"Just the Dead Are Unsaveable"
Advanced Healing Magic for Advanced Wizards
He read it again, and again, his mind working furiously, trying to decipher what this could mean. Suddenly a tiny candle of hope lit in his stone heart. Could it be possible? Could his soul be saved? Could-
"Severus! I thought that you had returned to Hogwarts," Narcissa's surprised voice broke his train of thought.
"I should be going," he said while casting a quick glance at the pile of books, two in particular. "Might I take these two books?" He asked, gesturing with his head towards the other book that he had looked at moments ago.
Narcissa looked at Severus with a mixture of surprise and curiosity, "Of course. But what use do those half burned books have?"
He shrugged, "Every now and then curiosity gets the better of me, and as you already said these books are rare and ancient books." Severus said smoothly.
"Okay, take them. If you become curious of any others, please take them." He got the feeling that she was mocking him, but what did he care? "It isn't proper for high level people in society and ancient purebloods like the Malfoys to have half burned books in their library, no matter the quality of what lies within them. We wanted to throw them away, anyways."
After several years of calling the Slytherin dormitories his home and living amongst Death Eaters, Severus was used to hearing this kind of dialect. But what really caught his attention were the last few words Narcissa said. What did she mean by "we"? It wasn't like Narcissa had anyone else in her house except those idiots who had started the fire. He didn't say anything and put her comment away to muse over later when he had more time. He had far too much to do already, and he seriously doubted that he had enough time to waste on what Narcissa Malfoy had said… but he was still curious
With a sharp nod and a "'till later" he left the library in three long strides, not wanting to stay there any longer than necessary. After exiting the manor and striding confidently past the iron wrought gates and the Anti-Apparition wards, he spun on the spot and disapparated.