That Fateful Halloween

October 31, 1981

Chapter 1 - The Traitor

It was a dark and stormy night. Well, maybe not stormy. But it was certainly dark. And a cold breeze glided ominously through barren tree branches. Unexpectedly, the stillness was broken by a sharp crack, accompanied by the appearance of a man.

Severus Snape, for that was his name, moved purposefully through the trees, quickly finding a path that lead to a rather forbidding manor house. He felt vaguely relieved to be far away from dunderheads for the moment. He'd passed a terrifying two months, trapped in a classroom filled with moronic teenagers who mostly seemed intent on blowing themselves up. Earlier today, Mr. Ralts had actually mistaken a erumpent horn for dragon horn and came within a hairsbreadth of destroying the entire classroom. Snape scowled. Ralts was supposed to be a N.E.W.T. level student! And even a first year should not have made that mistake! Not that first years were ever allowed near such expensive and potentially explosive ingredients. Snape shuddered at the thought.

Tonight, Snape had managed to escape Hogwarts for a few hours, ostensibly to collect moondew for the school's sadly neglected potion's stores. Of course, it could be collected any night, but the moondew collected on Halloween night would be higher quality. And Snape did have some of the fresh moondew beneath his Death Eater's robes, but he knew that the Dark Lord would expect a report on Dumbledore's latest activities. So, here he was at headquarters, ready to deliver his report before returning to Hogwarts and a couple hundred sugar-laced teens.

Ignoring the main entrance, Snape strode to a smaller side door and reached out to knock before abruptly spinning about with a snapped Petrificus Totalus. Without lowering his wand, Snape slowly advanced on his downed foe. Long arched eyebrows rose together as the dark wizard pulled back the other man's hood.

"Peter Pettigrew. What an unexpected pleasure. I'd be quite delighted to show you inside." With a practiced sneer, Snape smoothly disarmed his enemy and bound the shorter man with a flick of his wand before un-petrifying Pettigrew. "But first, I'd like to know just how you managed to find this place, and to what we owe the pleasure of your company.

Pettigrew's Adam's apple bobbed as he swallowed. "Please, I'm on your side!" Snape stiffened slightly; had Dumbledore been foolish enough to reveal Snape's role the outspoken Gryffindors in the Order? Especially to someone with a mind as unguarded as Pettigrew's…

"Indeed? Do you truly believe that?"

"I serve the Dark Lord too! Please, I mean it." So, at least the little fool didn't know about Snape's loyalties. Snape merely raise a skeptical eyebrow in response.

"I mean it! Look at my left arm! I swear I'm on your side!" Idly, Snape noted that Pettigrew's voice become progressively higher and squeakier as he become more and more nervous. He reminded Snape of some sort of rodent sometimes…

"Really Pettigrew, have you already forgotten my simple question. Why were you skulking about this place?"

"I belong here! I'm a Death Eater too! Just look at my arm." Black eyes met Pettigrew's watery ones and Snape was able to detect honesty in them. So, Pettigrew was the traitor…

"You…belong…here?" Skepticism would terrify Pettigrew even more. And part of Snape was enjoying Pettigrew's fear. Another part of him was horrified that Pettigrew would betray his friends so callously.

"Yes! I've done more to help him than any of you! I should be able to come to headquarters like the rest of you."

"Oh really? And what exactly have you managed to do for the Dark Lord?"

"I've done what no one else can do! I've given him the Potters!" Snape froze in horror. Lily…

"You've what?!" They were supposed to be safe, behind a Fidelius Charm…

"They made me their Secret Keeper. They think they're safe, but I've given him their location…"

"When!?"

The rat-like wizard cringed a little; Snape's yellow teeth were bared, his normally empty black eyes wild. But, then he drew himself up bravely. "Why do you care?" Snape moved the tip of his wand to Pettigrew's throat.

"Two days ago. I think he might be planning to finish them off tonight. He wouldn't let me meet the other Death Eaters until the Potters had been taken care of…"

Snape interrupted him. "Where are they?"

"Who?"

Snape gripped the front of Pettigrew's robes and pulled at the same time keeping his wand at the short wizard's throat. His mad eyes locked with Peter's. "The Potters, you dolt. Where are they?"

Pettigrew didn't doubt that a refusal to answer would mean instant death. "Godric's Hollow. Lily and James and Harry can be found at Godric's Hallow."

Snape dropped him and raced for the Apparition barrier. All he could think was that Lily was in danger. If the Dark Lord knew the Potter's location, he could be there already! Snape could only hope that he would arrive in time to warn Lily.

Disclaimer I do not own. Obviously. Given this is a fan fiction site.