If you even clicked on this than I would like to thank you for giving this a chance seeing as this is the first of its kind! Yes!
I don't own Harry Potter. I don't own Courage the Cowardly Dog. I believe one belongs to CTN while the other belongs to a very nice woman by the name of J. K. Rowling.
Warning: long as Hell, profanity, improbability
It was in the middle of the Order of the Phoenix meeting that it happened. Remus did not really acknowledge the lone figure in the corner, no one really did. They didn't know his name or why he was on their side. He didn't speak to anyone and ignored any that tried to speak to him. He would come in the house, black cloak swirling around his thick boots like the wings of some dark angel (or bat as Sirius would say) and sit with his hood low over his face. They didn't know his hair color or even the color of his skin for that matter. He wore thick black gloves and, no matter how hot Sirius made it, he never removed a single layer of clothing.
"He's a spy for us," Dumbledore would say. That was all they knew of the Mystery Meeting Man. Of course that got James and Sirius suspicious once they realized that to be a spy the man would have to be a part of the Death Eaters. That didn't sit well with the other two so they tried various, underhanded things to unmask him. None of them ever worked, as if the man knew their pranks and knew how to dodge them.
That was when it happened. The man was leaning against the wall to Remus' left as he gave his report when a quiet gasp of pain reached his ears. He stopped speaking and watched as the man strode to Albus, cloak swishing around his ankles. Whatever he said to the old man was too low for even Remus to hear it but Albus nodded and urged the man away.
"He has business to attend," Albus said as eyes turned to him in question.
"Oh, no, wait!" Lily cried, jumping from her chair as much as a six month pregnant woman could jump. The man stilled but did not turn around even as the young woman's hand landed on his shoulder. Lily smiled brightly, happy that the wool cloak emitted a type of warmth that only a living body could have. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she thought him nothing more than a spectral. Gently, she placed a bit of force to guide him into a turn so that he was at least facing her. Once his eyes—well she thought so—were on her she held up the brightly wrapped parcel in her hands.
"Christmas is in ten days and I know that we are in the middle of a war but, what you do is valuable and I just wanted to thank you some... how…" Lily stopped, smile wavering for a second as his hands didn't rise to take it.
To say that everyone in the room was utterly flabbergasted at the redhead's gall would be an understatement. Not a single soul in that room had discussed the holidays, what with a madman running about and even if they had, none of them would have gotten a gift for the Mystery Meeting Man.
"Wait, darling, I have something for you too! It's not much but I thought it would be nice for you to have something warm," Alice Longbottom shouted as she pushed herself to her feet. The expecting woman bounced over in all her pregnant glory. The man took half a step backwards as he was faced with two women holding gifts out to him. A few sounds came from the man's throat as he obviously fought for something to say. If any of them were waiting to hear his voice they were sorely disappointed as he merely nodded and took the two parcels carefully.
He opened his cloak, putting the gifts inside then pulled out a small vial. He paused and threw the vial down as hard as possible. To their utter surprise and joy a plethora of colors and cheerful tinkles erupted and swirled around the room.
"That's a Christmas Carol!" Peter stated, mystified. In their amazement, none of them noticed as the Mystery Man slipped out of the front door.
"It has come to my attention that there is a traitor in our midst," the man hissed as he stood before the gathered nine before him. Their hoods were drawn high over their head but a wave of an unnaturally pale hand caused the hoods to fall back by a strange gust of wind. The faces of the nine were hidden by silver masks that held eccentric swirls though they were each different in markings.
"I shall give the traitor a chance to redeem his soul by coming forward and confessing," the man continued. He stopped pacing and faced the nine though two seemed to breathe easier seeing as they were women and the traitor was obviously a man. Voldemort waited, eyeing each mask. However, no one stepped forward; no one said a single thing. "Come do not be shy!"
Not a single man or woman of the Inner Circle shifted to step forward not that Voldemort truly believed that the traitor would. That's what a traitor was—a coward to a cause that he once believed in. They were hypocrites that became too scared once a bit of blood was shed or a life was lost. They were disgusting idiots that did not deserve to live much less wear his mark!
"Anthony Zabini, step forward," Voldemort ordered, pearly white teeth bared in a disgusting smile on his pale but handsome face. The man stepped forward, broad shoulders straight and proud. The man was nearly built on muscles and there was no mistaking that this man was a man of physical power. "If there was anyone in our Circle, who would you think is our traitor…?"
"The Gryffindor," the deep voice did not hesitate nor did it shake as the shorter man drew closer. Blood red eyes bore out from the handsome, white face and glared into the light brown eyes inside the mask. Anthony took a deep breath mentally and held steadfast, not flinching as a sharp nailed hand came up and ripped his mask from his face.
"Do not give me that generic answer! I know for a fact that he is loyal—something that I cannot say the same for any of you. Dig deep in that thick skull and come up with a better answer!" Voldemort wrapped his hand around the darkly tinted throat and gave a small squeeze. He could feel the man's Adam's apple working under his palm.
"It… it would not be Narcissa nor Lucius Malfoy for she is expecting as of now and she cannot risk your wrath over even the slightest of things. Bellatrix is your consort. I am not a fool and my wife does not take part but we know that she would not oppose you. Lestrange brothers are devoted to their core. The six of us… we are the most loyal. However there is Black and Snape to consider. One has shown hesitance when you order him and the other has a deep love for someone that is a known fighter for the light," Anthony worked out.
A smile that was less nasty and more becoming spread over the shorter wizard's face. The dark skinned man was correct in his analysis. He had thought on it for days before and it was true. Severus, although useful with potions and spells, always showed a hint of hesitance when it came to killing directly. Regulus' brother, Sirius, was a known member of Order of the Phoenix.
"Regulus and Severus step forward," Voldemort commanded, pushing Anthony back in line with a bit of magic seeing as the man was bigger than he. The two men came forward, their faces completely blank even as their masks were torn off. Neither wavered when their hoods were yanked off their heads nor when their faces were roughly grabbed.
He looked into the empty, dark eyes that belonged to his valued potions master, searching for any signs of traitorous thoughts though he resisted the urge to push into the young mind before him. He had discovered that nothing caused the younger to release his mind shields so it would simply be a waste of time.
Then his brown eyes located the stormy blue eyes that belonged to Regulus Black. The man was the youngest of their followers that had joined the Inner Circle but he was a true symbol of the Black legacy. His stoic eyes did not flinch, not even as the older man pushed at his mind's defense hard enough for several memories to surface but not completely go inside.
"I cannot decide which of you betrayed our Cause so I have a proposal," Voldemort shrugged and stepped away from the two men. Regulus let out a mental sigh of relief while Severus was still holding his breath. Voldemort was on the brink of insanity, the young Potions Master could see it in the man's eyes, and he was paranoid at the moment after ripping his soul so many times. The fact that the Light did not seem to be crumbling did not soothe the man's ire. A spy in their midst would cause him to eliminate any suspects… even the one that was not a spy.
"Shanzi and Danzo," Voldemort called out. Two beings materialized from the darkness behind the Dark Lord. One was a woman of average height and curvy build. Her face had an elaborate golden mask with two large, black horns that covered the top half of her face. She barely wore clothing—a lion clothe decorated with a small human like skull and a cloth that covered her breasts just barely. Her dark legs and arms were decorated with gold bands. In her hand she held a tall staff with three smiling, demon like skulls stabbed onto the top whilst a snake slid from her arm to the staff. In her right hand she held a wicked dagger that practically wept with dark magic and the blood of those she had slain.
The other was a man with slanted red eyes and long white hair that flowed around his shoulders in a mystery window. Compared to the woman, he appeared normal in nature with his tailored suit however, there was an aura coming from him that practically chocked all those that gazed at him with its evil intent.
"Shanzi is a witch doctor from the bowels of Africa—while most of the continent has been westernized; there are clans that still practice the Old Magick that has been known to be a little… dark. Danzo is a half-demon spawned from the lions of an arch demon and mad witch," Voldemort introduced them as if they were the most normal things in the world. Regulus felt his leg give a harsh jerk almost as if his legs wanted to run but his brain told him that it would be stupid to do so. He stared straight ahead and remained calm.
"You have five minutes to run starting now."
Okay so remaining calm did not truly work for his mouth still fell open as he gaped at the Dark Lord.
"Are you telling me that my cousin is to be hunted down like an animal and put to death by your two dogs?" a voice suddenly snapped. Regulus and Severus had yet to move from that spot, staring at the two beings that were smiling such twisted smiles that it was impossible to not allow the fear to run through their young bodies.
"Hold your tongue woman. Your cousin may very well be the spy for the Order and if he is not, he cares for his brother enough to think of betraying me," Voldemort said calmly. "Four minutes."
Severus ran as fast as he could, forcing his legs to go harder than he ever thought possible. Sweat poured down his body and pooled on his forehead. His heart pounded in chest, nearly bursting through the strong bones that protected it.
He looked around the dark and deserted streets, trying to assess his surroundings even for a brief second. He didn't know which one was hunting him. There wasn't one that he would prefer but he knew from experience that knowing his hunter would bring him that much closer to not dying.
Severus prayed for Regulus to have some kind of way of surviving. After all Severus had been running for nearly two days and he had yet to stop for long. He had even gone as far as to escape to America. He had an uncle that had the necessary protection that would allow him to rest for a day or two so that he could replenish his body and tell the Order of his failure and the spy within their circle.
A hearty chuckle sounded behind him ripped away any thought of resting. Whirling around, Severus saw nothing but stretching darkness and—
"Shit…" Severus would not call it a whimper. He did not whimper but he knew that there was more fear in his veins than blood at the moment. Not seven feet away stood her. The witch doctor and Severus was not ignorant when it came to different branches of magic.
Old Magick was difficult but it came natural to certain bloodlines. It could summon demons and control ghosts. It could rid a body of pain but cause suffering while also controlling the weather. Severus had a distinct feeling that this woman, Shanzi, would not be healing him nor did he think that she'd make it rain.
"You are strong young man. Not muscles but strong in mind and with magic. You are clever and will be much fun to chase… difficult unlike your brother Englishmen. The half-breed will find him before week is out," the witch doctor said, her voice sturdy and thick.
"How long… how long am I to be chased?" Severus asked, throat suddenly dry. The witchdoctor smiled and removed her mask, showing a lovely face covered with a white paint but her eyes were horrifying in their round soullessness.
"The hybrid man has told us… half of month or first to die. Half of month gone, you are free but stay out of his way," Shanzi stated. Severus nodded, heart still pounding in his chest. He would have to disappear for half a month. As Shanzi raised her left hand and began to chant Severus realized that Narcissa was wrong about one thing. He and Regulus were not going being hunted like animals by dogs. They were being hunted by wolves.
Severus swallowed hard and observed as calmly as he could in such a situation in which a witchdoctor was obviously about to cause havoc. Behind her he could see the shadows morphing and twisting. Ten pair of red eyes stared out at him from the darkness and white teeth began to snarl out at him. He was sure that a few cackles were going around in the darkness.
"Demon hyenas…" Severus whispered. Shanzi let out a deep laugh that came from deep inside her belly. A white smile erupted on the full lips that Severus could still see. It wasn't a nice smile by any means and it sent shivers down Severus' damp back.
"You are correct. You should run clever man. Run and pray to your god that the sun rises all the faster," the woman warned and suddenly she was gone with little more than the crack of thunder. Severus cursed under his breath and took off once again.
"Damn fucking idiot! I told you he wouldn't be out for long!" the woman hissed harshly as she gingerly gripped the bundle in her stick thin arms. She looked down at the large parcel she held in her arms, wincing as dark eyes began to flutter back into consciousness. She turned to the man who had been just been inches behind her but was now several feet away and scowling heavily as she continued her curses.
"Listen woman, it was your demon seed in the first place. I gave it enough tranquilizers to put down a small elephant," the man sneered, glancing up at the skies as a loud crash of thunder sounded. He turned back to the woman only to watch as she let out a shriek and dropped her burden.
"It woke up! I told you it wouldn't be enough. I told you we should have burned it in the oven but no—you wanted to have it… well, fuck it maybe it'll starve out here on its own. No one would want such a freak. Let's go," the woman urge, rushing over to the stocky man. His face was already warped into a sneer but it darkened as the woman began to pull on his large arm. "Matt we have to go!"
"Jacqueline, we should do this right! The church will exorcise it or kill it—leaving him here gives it a chance to follow us," the man protested, eyes narrowed with hatred as he gazed at the shivering blanket. The blond rubbed a hand through her hair and looked back at the blanket she had dropped.
"Shit… fuck… listen… listen! He… it woke up. He's… its stronger now and—I'm leaving with or without you dumb ass," Jacqueline growled, ripping her arm out of the strong grip. Matt opened his mouth, obviously ready to protest more but didn't have a chance as a demonic cackle sounded in the still night. The blond woman let out a whimper and began to run, followed soon by the man.
"Watch where you're going, idiot," an old man grumbled after them seeing as Matt had barreled right into the thin man and his heavyset wife. He didn't bother to reply or warn them of the type up creature in the alleyway. If they were unlucky enough to notice it or touch it, then that was their problem… not his.
Severus cursed and dodged a well-aimed lunge from his demonic pursuer, getting nicked from a jagged claw that would have torn his backs to shreds if given the chance. He had placed his wand in his sleeve long ago, not wanting to risk draining his magic uselessly and being too tired to run. Actually, his burning lungs and protesting muscles were nearly at their limits as he thought on preserving magic. He would have to find a place to hide.
Severus ducked turned the corner sharply, listening as a couple of yelps sounded as the beasts ran into either the wall or each other and darting down the street. He had to—shit! There were people walking in his and the beasts' direction. Severus cursed once again and threw himself into the alleyway. Five feet in, he tripped on something.
"What in blazes?" he cursed as the bundle clung to his leg. Harsh breaths erupted from Severus' throat and he reached out, taking the sheet in his head and pulling it as hard as he could. What was under the dirty blanket surprised him more than anything—it was a boy. A boy that would be killed by the hyenas should he leave him there. Severus didn't have time to decide whether or not he wanted to protect the obviously abandoned child.
"Be quiet, boy," he ordered, grabbing the child and pulling him as close as he could. Severus murmured swiftly under his breath, eyes closed as he concentrated and prayed to all and any of the Gods that this would work. Severus could feel the cool shadows wrap around his body and drag him and the trembling child he clutched under their protection. Soft whispers swirled around them repeatedly until, urging them to stay forever. The boy gave a whimper and Severus felt a small hand clutch at his soaked shirt.
"I know that you are scared but you can't speak… shh, don't make a sound and keep your eyes closed," Severus urged, his deep voice rumbling even as he opened his own eyes. He placed on of his hands gently over the boys eyes and rocked as much as he dared without disrupting his spell. He looked around the shadows, used to their whispers already and the feel of them reaching out. He ignored them and watched as the demon hyenas stepped into the alley.
Many thought that the dark was only good for spawning evil. Even though the demons had stepped from the shadows upon Shanzi summoning them, they did not live there. Severus was quite fluent with the language of the shadows and he knew that it would protect those that truly needed it. It would hide him from all those that tried to harm him for as long as his magic could bear.
Severus winced when a knobby elbow from the child bumped into a cracked rib. He looked from the hyenas now prowling the alleyway down at the child, seeing him perfectly in the darkness. He was an odd looking child with bright, retina damaging pink hair. He was of fair complexion and looked to be around ten years old but… was he covered in bruises? No wonder the brat was shivering hard enough to make his bones rattle.
"They're gone…?" Severus said to himself softly as the demons suddenly took off to the other side of the alleyway and somewhere away. He briefly wondered as to why they had run so fast but then the shadows began to mutter with disdain and he understood.
The sun was rising.
So yes, I screwed with the timeline JUST a little bit! I wanted Severus to spy before Harry was born.
Let's see… I did human-Courage… you wanna know why? Cause I can. You see how I did that? He'll be his same spaz self with those damn… hand morphing shadows. God, I need a hobby.