Title: All of Those Days
Prompt: Prisoner of War
Rating: Hard R/NC-17
Warnings: See Snarry Games Post for warnings.
Word Count: 12,500 +/-
A/N: I owe a big thank you and an enormous amount of gratitude to auctasinistra for all of the help she gave me on this. I never would have gotten this far with this story if it weren’t for your help. Nor would I have even gotten a decent plot bunny if it weren’t for my team members who let me bounce story ideas and what not off of them. So thank you to all who helped me. Also, I have learned one thing while writing this story. There is a reason why I am majoring in history and not in English; I am not grammatically inclined in any way whatsoever. And I have learned that while insomnia might be good for accomplishing some things, writing a decent Snarry is not one of these things you can do well when suffering from an insomniac fit. ;)
Disclaimer: I do not own them, that right belongs solely to JKR. I just borrow them to keep the voices inside of my head happy. Oh and no money is being made from this. Trust me, the bank is still telling me I have no money L this is done purely for this fandoms entertainment and mine.
Summary: When everything that came before,
who you are, what you were, who friends were and the life you lived has now
been forgotten and all that you can remember is what happened since you woke
up, you try the best you can to remember anything and everything…even if that
means making your enemies your allies, friends, mentors and even in some cases,
All of Those Days
During his first month after he woke up, things were loud and bright and confusing. People rushed all about, names were called, orders were shouted – mostly they were shouted at him. During that first month he became acquainted with the feeling of flesh hitting flesh, mainly flesh hitting his flesh. He was never more alone than during that month when the only feeling he ever got was one of hatred. During that first month he lost a tiny piece of himself; he forgot what it was to be loved.
He paced his cage restlessly during what he thought was his third month there. Something had been happening during those months. Day after day he lost more of himself. He figured it had to be something in the food and drink he was being brought, but he was allowed so little as it was that to refuse it would only weaken him further.
It was dark and it was quiet in that cage and all he could hear was his heartbeat, his steady breathing and the soft sound of his feet slapping the floor. Six paces to the right, stop, turn and six paces to the left. On the third step to the left he saw him. He sat in the shadows, all dark and imposing – watching.
“Who are you?”
The Shadow had no reply. He only continued to watch. During his third month another piece of himself fell away. During his third month he forgot what it felt like to be free.
The Shadow finally spoke to him during what his marks on the wall said was his fifth month. By that time he had forgotten all that came before he woke up to chaos and confusion.
“Do you know who you are?” His Shadow moved out from the shadows and stood in front of his cage.
“I’ll ask again-do you know who you are?”
“Do you know who I am?”
“I do, and in time you will as well. In time you will know all I know.”
During what he thought was his fifth month he discovered – or rediscovered; he wasn’t quite sure – a part of himself. He discovered the part of himself that knew what fear was as the feral smile that spread across his Shadow’s face caused him to back up against the wall of his cell.
After a year in his cage, after a year of six paces to the right, stop, turn, six paces to the left he was let out. Aside from the daily visits that brought with them pain, and at times emotions and feelings he couldn’t name, he was finally let out. He didn’t know that one could feel such joy. It didn’t last long. His Shadow led him down a hall and into an open room. That was when it began for real. He began to know what it was like to have to fight for his life. They chased him, tormented him, and tortured him. Yet, during it all, they also taught him. He learned of the darkness and the power that it held. He learned not only how to use it, whether it be in his spell casting or other magic, but he learned how to embrace it, how to become with it. And through it all his Shadow stood back and watched; a look one could only call curiosity in his eyes.
On the first day out of his cage after year inside of it he found another piece of himself. He found the piece that said learn to fight for life – even this life – or die a slow horrible death
One day, long after he had stopped counting the days with little marks on the wall, his Shadow entered his cage. He had never done that before. The only ones to enter his cage were some of the other nameless ones and the one who brought him food and drink. He watched as his Shadow approached slowly, the dim lighting of the night casting deep bars of light and dark to slide across his face. His eyes widened as his Shadow withdrew what he knew to be a wand.
“Do know what it is to feel the touch of another?”
He stared at his Shadow. He didn’t really know what his name was. He had started calling him Shadow long ago inside of his head, then one day he spoke it out loud. He had feared that it would earn him another beating. He had been told the only time he was to speak was when he casted and when he answered a question directed at him, which didn’t happen very often.
“I’m not sure I know what you mean, Shadow.” He knew again then what it was to know real fear as his Shadow moved closer to him, his lips moving as he flicked his wand.
“Then perhaps it is time that we started that lesson as well.”
He bit back the yelp of terror as he was flipped over onto his stomach and ropes shot out of nowhere, wrapping around his wrists and ankles, pinning him in place. He shivered when his shirt and pants disappeared and a cold chill spread across him.
“Whatever you do boy, do not scream. You shall not like what happens if you do.”
He bit his lip and clenched his eyes shut. He jerked and his hands fisted and he bit through his lip when the first lash of the whip landed across the back of his thighs. Normally he received his punishments with hands, fists and the occasional foot. One time the female had even used a broad flat paddle on him. He hadn’t moved for three days after that one. This was new, the whip and the punishment coming from his Shadow; he had done something terribly wrong and now he was going to pay for it dearly.
By the tenth or eleventh lash his thighs burned from the back of his knees up to the bottom of his ass. He felt something wet and slick slide down the insides of his thighs and felt a new sharp jolt of fear that he’d started to bleed.
He let out a breath as his Shadow paused for a moment, only for that breath to be stolen away in a hiss as the whip lashed across his ass. Seconds turned into minutes, minutes turned into hours, as from then on the lashes varied across his back and ass. He let out a small sigh of relief when he heard the whip fall to the floor, the quiet slap of it managing to return some small level of peace to him. He lay there counting the minutes with his heartbeat as he waited for what would come next.
He flinched when he heard the air around him whistle and when flesh met flesh on his open back side he couldn’t hold back the scream that tore its way from his lips.
“Ah ah my dear boy, what did I tell you? For that, now you will truly be punished.”
He squeezed his eyes shut and tried to hold back the tears of pain that stung them. His eyes flew open and his mouth dropped open in a silent scream as his shadow entered him in one long hard thrust.
“I had wondered if you had ever felt the touch of another and by that reaction my suspicions were confirmed.”
He sucked in rapid gulps of air as he tried to breath around the pain. He thought the fire on his thighs, ass, and back was bad, but none of it compared to the fire that flared throughout the inside of him.
“Shadow, please, what-“ He groaned as his Shadow pulled out and then slammed back in, his fingers digging into his hips and ass harshly, tearing a whimper from his lips.
“That’s it, boy – now you can cry out. Let me hear it.”
He squeezed his eyes shut even tighter as he tried to hold in his whimpers. But after awhile they stopped being whimpers of pain and started being whimpers of other things as hands that had brought pain and blood brought him relief and comfort and something he thought was called ecstasy. It went on for what felt like hours to him. His Shadow would work him up into a frenzy only to bring him back down again. His Shadow would thrust into him painfully at times, his fingers digging into his hips and the slash marks across his ass and at other times he would go slow, his hands fluttering across his back. Puffs of warm air flowed across him and at other times a heavy weight would settle across him as hands and fingers tweaked and pulled at his nipples. After a while he stopped being able to tell what was pain and what was ecstasy as he begged for it to end, begged to be allowed some relief of his punishment. His head fell forward and low whimper escaped as a warm rough hand wrapped around him and brought him off quickly. His cry of relief was cut off as his Shadow grasped his hips tightly and slammed into him quickly. He counted four thrusts before his Shadow held him tightly and a hot warmth spread inside of him.
On that day, long after he stopped counting the days, he learned that to feel another touch did not always mean that it was good.
One day, not long after he learned his lesson about feeling touch he was taken to a room and blindfolded.
“Boy, you must learn to expect your opponents’ moves. To be able to map them out and get them before they get you. Use anything you know of to stop them, short of killing them, that is. I don’t think your instructors would like for you to kill them.” His eyes slipped closed as that last part ghosted across his ear, the low voice sending shivers down his spine, both good and bad.
“Good. Begin.” He waited until his shadow left him before turning in a slow circle, letting his senses flow out into the room. There were eight of them, some in pairs, others standing alone. And that’s when it began. He ducked the first curse, the heat of it sailing just over the top of his head. He was up and firing a curse off into the corner before the other one had even dissipated. He moved swiftly around the room, his senses seeking out and his curses landing as he kept moving. A feral grin spread across his face as shouts and shrieks of pain started to fill the room. He stopped, though, when a familiar presence took up one corner and raised his wand.
“Shadow?” He had no time to think as the curse lifted him off of his feet and slammed him into one of the walls. He fell to the ground, grunting as he heard his shoulder crack.
“Never hesitate. Even if your opponent is someone you think you know.”
He longed to reach up and lift off the blindfold so he could look at his Shadow, see what the other man was thinking, literally; he resisted it though instead turning his head in the direction he heard the voice coming from.
“Those we know and trust are our worst enemies, for they know our weaknesses and can hurt us the most. Never hesitate when a wand is raised in your direction. If you don’t go for the kill, go for the hurt and keep on moving.”
He learned that day that to trust is to die. He never did it again.
“Do you think he’s ready yet?” He lay as still as possible, pretending to sleep as he listened to his shadow and a female discuss him.
“I’m not sure. Although I think it’s time we gave him a name. I’m getting tired of calling him it or he or some other ridiculous name.”
He tried to relax as much as possible as he heard the key turn in the lock and the door to his cage open.
“Get up boy. I know you’re not asleep.”
He opened his eyes and climbed to his feet as he studied his shadow.
“Today is the day we put you to test. To see just how much you have learned and possibly to see how much you remember. Today we make our first move.”
He stood in the corner making sure the darkness hid him completely as he watched the others. He had been told to stay hidden as his Shadow and the others prepared for today’s events. He was excited and yet at the same time terrified. Training with his Shadow and the others was one thing but to face an entire army that was unknown to him was something he had never had time to think about, until now.
Did they use the same magic as him? Did they fight the same way? Would they be as hard, cold, and uncaring as his trainers had been, or would they want to look out for him and comfort him and try to bring him over? Did they train in large circular stone rooms with no windows and very little light like he did, or did they get to know the freedom of the outdoors and sunshine? Did they live in the dark in stone cages like him or did they live in rooms with wood, marble, and glass like the others around him did? Was their base large with many rooms and wings and finer things that he was allowed or was it small, run down and dank like the rumors he had heard from some of the others? Such an unknown was terrifying and yet exciting for him at the same time.
He had been warned that the other side would try to ‘convert’ him, as his female trainer had put it. They would use anything they could to try to convince him that his trainers were wrong and that they were right. But the one thing they didn’t count on was his Shadow. Somehow, through this all, he had come to look at his Shadow as something more. He wasn’t sure what to call it, maybe tolerance, or respect? No, it wasn’t respect, he respected his trainers—well, respected and feared--and he didn’t really fear his Shadow, not anymore. Well, not as often as he use to. There were times, late at night when his Shadow would enter his cage and he would catch a glimpse in his Shadow’s eyes, that made him fear for himself, but it didn’t last for long.
He cleared his thoughts and focused on the other people in the room as the noise level rose higher. He still couldn’t believe that there were so many others. The entire time he had been with them he had only seen his Shadow and the three other trainers he was allowed. He never knew there were so many more of them.
This was it then. He would be going to battle. He couldn’t help the part of him that felt excited at this, the chance to show what he had learned and to prove himself to his trainers--but most of all to prove himself to his Shadow. He locked eyes with his Shadow as one final thought raced through his mind I wonder what will happen to me if I prove myself to them today. I hope it’s a reward and that Shadow delivers it. It would be nice for once if Shadow were to come to me and be with me as a reward, not a punishment.
He moved quickly through the night – the field muddy beneath his feet and the cold chilling him to the bone as the cloudy night provided them with more cover – ducking and moving as bright flashes of light sped towards him. It had been a bit alarming at first, the bright flashes of light; he had only ever trained at night and with a blindfold on. His Shadow had told him once when he had questioned it that it was to help sharpen his senses. If you deprive someone of one of their senses long enough. the others pick up in its place and become more aware, heightened to a new level.
He thought he had been doing pretty well so far. Their enemy was weak. Unlike his trainers who threw everything they had at him whether it be light, dark or spells that fell into the gray area of magic, his enemies only used light spells. He could only wonder how it was they managed to last as long as they did against his trainers and the others. He had left a trail of bodies behind him as he moved around; two red heads were the first to go down. They had been easy targets for him as they had just stood in front of him their mouths hanging open as they stared. He took no time in waiting to see if they got back up he just kept moving.
He could hear some of his trainers cursing and taunting the others. It almost brought a grin to his face – almost. He knew what that was like. Eventually you learn to ignore their taunts and focus only on the magic, but he bet the enemy didn’t know that.
He paused as he heard the shout and curse of his Shadow. That momentary pause was all it took for him to be knocked off his feet. He landed on his back with slight grunt as he blinked up into a sea of red.
He stared at the person above him, trying to regain his bearings.
“Get the fuck off of me.” He bit the inside of his cheek as the redhead scrambled off of him and offered him a helping hand up. He really did grin that time, as he pulled on his hand hard, causing him to fly face first into the dirt.
“You know what the first rule I learned about battle was? Never trust the enemy.” He fired off a Crucio at the red head and moved on, the screams of pain behind him brought a small smile to his face. The farther along he moved, the more actively he had to defend himself. The flashes of spells went the reds and blues of simple stunning or leg-locking spells to the greens and purples of dark spells. He was stopped once again, this time when a female with dark bushy hair moved in front of him.
“Harry? Oh gods, Harry, we thought you were dead.”
He raised his wand, a curse on the tip of his tongue, when his Shadow appeared in front of him.
“Snape? What the hell did you do to him?”
“Nothing that is of your concern, Granger.”
He watched as the female tried to move around his Shadow, only for her to end up flat on her arse ten feet from them. She climbed to her feet, her eyes narrowed in anger as she crept towards them.
“I will ask you again, what the hell did you do to Harry?”
“He no longer exists, Granger, or have you not figured that out?”
He had only seconds to move as the female’s wand rose and she rushed at his Shadow. He moved in front of his Shadow and raised his wand the flash of light signaling his shielding spell had worked.
“Stop.” He was actually shocked when she did as asked.
“What are you doing boy?”
He ignored his Shadow as he moved closer to the female.
“I don’t know who you are but I will warn you now, stay away from me and Shadow.” He couldn’t help but smirk as the female almost tripped over her own two feet.
“Do you have problems hearing? I could repeat it for you, but I see no point in it. I made myself very clear the first time around.”
“What? Harry, I-I don’t-what the hell is going on?”
He could feel his Shadow staring at the back of his head as he shifted from one foot to the other.
“I do believe he explained himself quite well, Granger. Now move along.”
“I don’t know what you did to him, Snape, but I will find out and when I do, I will kill you for it.”
He jumped as a harsh bark of laughter came from his Shadow. He had never heard the other man make such a noise. He wasn’t sure if he should find it was creepy or comforting.
“What makes you think it was I who done anything to him? How do you know this isn’t something of his own doing?”
“Because it’s Harry. Never in this life time or any other would he willingly go over to the Dark Side, especially after what you did to Dumbledore.”
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw his female trainer approaching. She had her wand out and a manic glint in her eye that he had never seen before. The female in front of them didn’t stand a chance. He refocused his attention on the girl in front of them as she raised her wand.
“You know so little of this world, Ms. Granger, and the things people will do when correctly provoked to do them.”
“I swear to Merlin-“
“Enough. Its time we left. Come, boy.”
He could feel his Shadow’s hand resting on his shoulder and that his attention had moved onto something else. It was when his Shadow wasn’t paying attention to the girl in front of them that she made her move.
“Well see about that Snape. Avada-“
He raised his hand and with a shout of NO a flash of green light flew from his hands and engulfed the girl in front of them. She dropped to the ground her eyes frozen open in shock.
“What the – boy, what did you do?”
He glanced up at his Shadow to see confusion written all over his face.
“She was attempting to use the Killing Curse on you. I couldn’t allow that to happen.” He watched as his Shadow moved forward only to be slammed against the shield.
“Come, we must leave now.”
He grasped his Shadow’s hand tightly and chanced a last look around. There were bodies everywhere and many of his trainers and the others were still engaged in battle. The last thing he saw before they disappeared with a flash of green sparks in the air signaling everyone else to leave.
“What do you mean he did it without a wand? That’s impossible, Snape. You know it, I know it, and everyone else knows it.”
“Again, for the last time, Bella. He successfully cast a wanded and a non-wanded spell at the same time. You were standing right there. You saw what happened.”
“Yes, but what I saw and what I believe are two very different things, Severus. It was you who told us to only believe what we could touch, for not everything may be as it seems.”
“I know what I’ve said, and I know what I saw and what I felt. When I went to move forward and check to see if Granger was truly dead I was bounced back off of the shield he had erected. He never took it down.”
He peeked around the corner into the massive room. They had arrived back at the base sometime ago only for his Shadow to immediately run off without him. He had waited outside the doors in the darkened hallways for sometime before the voices had started coming from the other side of the door. At first he couldn’t make them out but he found that if he moved closer and nudged the door open a crack with his foot, he could hear everything. Not that he wanted to hear them. They were all yelling and arguing about him and that never turned out well for him.
“Severus, are you sure of what you saw?”
“Lucius, at this point I’m no longer sure of anything. All I know is what the boy did. There is no way around it. I haven’t seen a caster like him since-“
“Since our Lord? Is that what you’re trying to say, Snape? That that boy is like our Lord?”
“He was given to us for a reason, Bella. You know better than any of us that our Lord did nothing with out a reason or a plan. There has to be a reason for the boy being with us. Maybe this is the reason.”
“I will not bow down to a child, and I sure as hell won’t bow down to Harry Potter. This is insane, what you’re suggesting. I’m still not sure I believe it.”
“What if we saw him do it again? Maybe that would help all of us believe it. You have to admit, Severus, what you’re saying is a bit far-fetched.”
He jumped as Lucius moved into his line of sight and a harsh bark of laughter sounded throughout the room.
“How do you propose we do that, Severus? The girl is dead, and I don’t know about you but I have no desire to play dodge the killing curse. None of us are as young as we use to be. One of us will most certainly end up dead if we start playing Dodge the Curse.”
He couldn’t believe it. In all of the time he had seen his three trainers interact he had never seen the other two disagree with his Shadow, they had always gone along with whatever he had suggested, now though, now he wasn’t sure what was going to happen.
“I truly wonder about you, Bella. We have the training program. USE IT. Now someone go and fetch the boy while we set this up.”
He scrambled back from the door and into the position his Shadow had told him to wait in. He had just crossed his arms when the doors opened and the female trainer came through them.
“Boy, come here.”
He once again scrambled out of position and took off down the hall. He could tell she was in a bad mood and to take any longer to respond to her commands than it took for her to bark them out was a very bad thing.
“Come with me. We need to do some more training with you.”
He wanted to object and ask them to wait-after all he had just returned from the battle as well, and was just as tired as the rest of them-but he wisely held his tongue and followed her into the large room.
“Boy, come here.”
He hurried across the room and took up his spot a step behind his Shadow.
“Now, I want you to listen to me very carefully and do exactly as I say. I want to recreate the scene from earlier tonight, the one where you killed the girl. You will do everything in the exact order as you did there. Do not miss anything or leave anything out. Understood?”
“Yes, but may I ask a question?”
“How am I to do that, sir, when the girl is dead? I didn’t think you could bring the dead back to life.”
“You can not. We have a program that will help you along by recreating the girl, so to speak. Now do as you were told.”
He relaxed and closed his eyes drawing up the earlier battle into his mind. His eyes snapped open as he heard her whining voice. Step by step he did as his Shadow instructed, right down the words he exchanged with her. As before, the same terror and fear rose up in him as she raised her wand to his Shadow, preparing to kill him; and just as before he took her down with a shout and a flash of green light. He heard several gasps and exclamations sound throughout the room as the figure in front of his disappeared and light returned to the room.
“Mother of Merlin.”
He risked a glance at the people standing around him. All of their expressions showed a varying array of shock and surprise, including his Shadow.
“I – for once, Severus, I am at a loss for words.”
“Good. Think of some while I am gone. Come boy.”
He followed his Shadow quickly from the room as rapid conversations sprang up amongst those remaining behind. They had walked for a few moments before his Shadow stopped and turned towards him.
“Do you understand what all of that was about back there?”
“Not really, no. Did I do something wrong?”
“No. You have done nothing wrong. You just surprised us, more than anything else. We were not expecting that to happen.
“Come. You deserve to be rewarded for what you have done.”
He followed his Shadow quickly, a small smile tugging at his lips as he hoped his reward would be what he was longing for.
As he lay in the dark in his cage, sweat drying on him and his Shadow sleeping lightly beside him, he made a promise to whomever was listening that from now on he would do whatever it was he had done over and over again, if only for the fact that his Shadow had shown him something other than indifference that night. He had been shown what he secretly called love.
Things changed after that day, not only for him but also for everyone – but for him they were huge changes. He got moved out of his cage and put into a real room, with a real bed and even a window. He thought it couldn’t get any better than that, but it did. Along with his new room came new privileges. He was allowed to roam around on his own and could even go outside, so long as he didn’t go outside the boundaries set for him. It was on his first day outside in the sunshine that he thought life was perfect.
He had been amazed what lay outside. The grounds although frozen and covered in snow, they were still amazing to look at. They stretched for miles in any direction with a forest bordering on three sides. The sky was blue and even though he was freezing he thought he had never experienced anything so wonderful before, except maybe the house. When he had gotten far enough away he had turned to take a look at his home. It was huge. He hadn’t actually believed the others when they said they lived in different wings from each other but now that he got a look at it he believed them. It stretched for what seemed like ever in any direction and was huge with white columns in the front. It had amazed him that he had been in such a place for so long and only seen stone and darkness. Maybe now that he was allowed to roam around he would be able to see some of the marble, wood and glass that the others spoke of.
It was on his first out that they threw him another curve ball. He got to learn their names and call them by their given names. Bella was his female trainer, the one who made him dodge curses right and left while keeping his shields up and throwing curses back at her. Lucius was the blonde who liked to have him try to break and the Imperius Curse and try to hex him at the same time. Peter Pettigrew was the fat bald man who made his skin crawl. He tried to avoid working with that man at all possible costs. Severus was his Shadow and the one who took over the non-combat part of his training after that day. He had refused though to call his Shadow by anything other than Shadow, it just felt wrong to him. It seemed like so long ago that it happened, his first battle, and yet in reality it was only a few days.
“Redemptio, pay attention. We are not here so that you can stand around and daydream all day. If that is what you wish to do, I can very easily have them return you to your old room.”
That was another thing that had changed as well. He had finally gotten a name. He still wasn’t sure what it meant but it seemed to shock his Shadow when Bella came up with it.
“Redemptio, that’s what we should call him.”
“Are you sure, Bella?”
“It is fitting. Only time will tell, though, just whose he turns out to be.”
“I’m hoping it’s ours, Severus.”
“You, me, and the rest of them as well. Very well Bella, if that’s what you wish to call him, then that’s what he shall be known as.”
“Thank Merlin. I was getting sick of calling him boy all the time.”
He groaned and blinked a couple of times as he focused on the ceiling above him.
“I warned you what would happen should you not pay attention when training with me. You must focus on your enemy at all times, even if you do possess skills that they don’t. Never under estimate them.”
“Yes, Bella,” he replied as he climbed slowly to his feet. It wasn’t the first time he had landed on his arse that day and it probably wouldn’t be the last.
“What were you so deep in thought about, anyway?”
This was another of the changes, one that bothered him some times as well. The respect they showed him. Many of his trainers had taken to treating him like he mattered, even going so far as to hold real conversations with him. It was nice and he enjoyed it, but he still remembered the days where they taught him that everything could be used against him, even his words. Most of the time he was on guard around all of them. The only time he dropped it was when he was with his Shadow.
“Redemptio, are you even listening?”
“What? Sorry, Bella, I missed that last part.” He smirked as she sighed in frustration and stomped across the room.
“Go, leave, we’re done here. If you can’t concentrate for longer than five seconds and won’t tell me what it is that has you so distracted, then just leave.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, go. Get away from me before I change my mind.” He turned to leave and ran straight into a brick wall, or what he thought was a brick wall. With a glance upwards he found it only to be his Shadow.
“Come. Seeing as how you have greatly annoyed Bella, you shall spend the rest of the day with me.”
He winced at the icy tone in his Shadow’s voice and fell into step behind him. They made their way through the long winding hallways in silence, stopping every once in a while when one of the others asked his Shadow’s opinion of something. After a few moments he began to worry, as the hallway grew darker and colder. He knew there were dungeons here, but he had never seen them. At least he thought he had never seen them. There were still bits and pieces of those first few days that were. After a moment’s hesitation, he screwed up enough courage and opened his mouth.
“Silence. I have heard enough from you today. Just follow and keep your thoughts and words to yourself.”
His mouth immediately snapped closed as a sense of dread washed over him. This was his Shadow from before; the one who brought him not only pleasure but pain as well. Intense, mind-blowing pain, and he had a feeling that here in the darkness, where no one else could see them, it wasn’t a time for the former but the latter. He was being punished. Punished like he had been during the first few months here. He was startled out of his thoughts when his Shadow stopped suddenly at the end of the hall. A large wooden door lay opened in front of them, darkness beyond it.
“You are to enter the room, strip and stand in the center. Now.”
The harshness and the coldness of the tone told him that this was not a time to question or disobey. He slipped past his Shadow, his hands already drawing his shirt up over his head as he made for the center of the room. His skin instantly rose with goose pimples as the chill of the room washed over him. He wasted no time in stripping off his trousers and shoes as his Shadow closed the door behind them and lit the few candles scattered around the room. He tried to follow his Shadow as he moved slowly around the room, but was reprimanded and told to keep his eyes facing forward when he turned to do so.
“It seems that, with the privileges we have given you, you have forgotten your place. You were given these rewards because you had earned them, not because you are special or because you deserve to be treated any differently than anyone else. It seems that I have been remiss on my end as well. I have grown rather complacement with not only you but with myself as well.”
“That is all going to change.”
He was about to ask what that meant when he heard a soft whistle ring out. That was all the warning he got before the whip lashed across the back of his thighs. He stumbled and bit his lip trying to hold back the cry of pain and shock the action brought forth.
“Raise your arms and grasp the bar above your head. Do not let go of it for any reason. Also, any protests or cries you make will only add ten lashings to the number inside my head. Understood?”
He nodded, and with trepidation raised his arms up and grasped the bar. He had to stand on his tiptoes to do so and cried out when ropes wrapped around his wrists securing him in place. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath trying to center himself and prepare himself for what was to come. After a few moments when nothing had happened he opened his eyes and chanced a glance around. The blow caught him off guard, tearing a groan from his lips.
“You should know by now that the unexpected is always to be expected.”
He bit his lip hard as the next lash caught him across the middle of his back. He could hear his Shadow moving slowly around the room behind him, his robes swishing softly around him as random lashes landed across his back, arse, thighs and calves.
“Open your eyes.”
He didn’t even remember screwing his eyes shuts as he pried them open. His Shadow stood in front of him, the whip grasped loosely in his right hand.
“Do you feel you have been punished enough?”
What? Was his Shadow actually asking him if he thought he had had enough. He had had enough after the first blow. Confusion must have crossed his face, as his Shadow chuckled softly at him.
“If you do not know the answer, then it is no. Good. It means I can do this.”
His eyes widened as his Shadow stepped back drew his arm back and let the whip fly. He tried to hold back the plea but as the whip lashed at his nipples he gave into it.
“Please, I’m sorry.” That only got him another lash lower on his chest.
“For that you will get five more.” After three he lost count. He thought he had gotten more than five but it had all blurred into one long burning fire. He knew he was bleeding but it didn’t matter, at least not to his Shadow. In some corner of his mind he knew his Shadow got off on this. Making him bleed; seeing him in pain; it was like an aphrodisiac for the man, but for him all it did was show him that nothing had changed. He couldn’t stop the whimper as the bar he had been grasping and the ropes around his wrists disappeared and he fell to the floor. The cold from the floor was a welcomed relief as he lay there for a few moments allowing it to chill the fire coursing through him. He breathed a sigh of relief when he heard the door open and close.
He learned that day that just because things change doesn’t mean everything changes.
There had been a few more battles since his first one, and in each battle he took down more people, pleasing everyone around him greatly. There was one, though, that bothered him slightly. He had had a run-in with him in his first battle and had flung a Crucio at him and kept moving. This last battle it didn’t end like that. It ended with the redhead dead at his feet.
The dead didn’t normally bother him, but for some reason this one did. He had asked his Shadow about it but the man had just brushed him off. It had been like that since his last punishment. His Shadow came to see him less and they hadn’t been together since. He had a feeling it had something to do with the new lessons and his new ability, as they all called it, but it still upset him. This redhead, though, wasn’t like the rest of them. Unlike the female he had taken down, the redhead didn’t go after his Shadow, he came after him. Normally a full out attack didn’t bother him, but for some reason this one did. Maybe it was the way he fought or the things he said – either way it had almost cost him his life. It had cost him more skin in the end. His Shadow had been furious and he had been punished worse than he could ever remember. He woke up to hear Bella shouting at his Shadow, and the rest of them just standing there watching. He never did learn what it was about. Whatever it was, not only was his Shadow staying away, but so was Bella. He was now stuck with Lucius, which wasn’t so bad most days. Since he couldn’t ask his Shadow about the redhead, he would ask Lucius. He waited for a break in their training before approaching the other man.
“Lucius, may I ask you a question?”
“You just did, but go ahead and ask another one.”
“Have you ever been affected by the death of an enemy?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, the last battle, the one where I took down that redhead? I haven’t been able to stop thinking about him. Something about that particular fight is bothering me.”
“That’s just it. I don’t know. Its almost like the way he fought was familiar or something. I honestly I don’t know. All I really do know is that it’s very unsettling and it’s making me nervous.”
“You are letting your emotions and fears cloud your judgment, hence your guilt and unease. You need to learn to separate what you fear from what you know. Everyone goes through it.”
“Yes. We are human. We have emotions and feelings and as much as we might like to try shutting them away and never having to deal with them again, we have no choice. They always have a way of popping up at the worst time, like with you. It is nothing to worry about. Just let it go and in a few days you will see that it doesn’t bother you as much.”
“I understand what you’re saying, but what about this feeling of familiarity? What do I do about that?”
“That is not something I can answer for you. We all go through different things in battle. All I can suggest is to ignore it and keep on going. If you don’t, next time you might not be so lucky.”
He learned that day that everyone suffers from his or her feelings, and no matter how much you try not to deal with them, you have to, or in the end you’ll end up dead, and that was not something he wanted.
He glanced up from the book he had been reading when the door opened and his Shadow stepped through.
“Come with me.”
He put the book aside and followed the other man from the room without a word. The last time he had been told to follow, he hadn’t been able to sit or lie down without sharp pains for two days. Cautiously he fell into step beside him, watching the people around them as they wound their way through the numerous hallways. He let out the breath he had been holding when they stopped in front of the door to his room and his Shadow motioned for him to go inside; curious now, he did as he was told and turned to face his Shadow as he closed the door behind him.
“I-sit down. There’s something I need to say. Actually, something I’ve needed to say for some time I just haven’t been sure of how to say it.”
He sat on the edge of the bed, his eyes following his Shadow as he paced back and forth.
“I wish to apologize for my actions and behavior here of late. I have done things, done things to you that I shouldn’t have, and for that I am sorry. It’s just-“ Severus paused and ran a hand through his hair before turning and coming to a stop in front of him.
“When it comes to you, there are days I am unsure of how to act. Familiar treadings are now not so familiar and you make it worse. I realize that this last time I took it too far, Bella was more than happy to point that out to me, but I shouldn’t have gotten carried away in the first place. I-“
He grinned to himself as he watched his Shadow’s ramblings come to an abrupt halt.
“I said I understand. I had a conversation with Lucius a few days ago.”
“Yes and no. After that last battle I was unsure of myself. Something was off and I didn’t know how to handle it. You were avoiding me, Bella looked at me with sympathy every time she saw me; which might I add coming from her is downright creepy; so I went to Lucius.”
“What was wrong?”
“I was feeling guilty, about that redhead. There was something about him that was bothering me, and I couldn’t shake it, and I didn’t understand why, so I asked Lucius.”
“And this pertains to me how?”
“To make a long story, short he basically said that we are human and as much as we might like to try to and hide from our emotions, we can’t. And that everyone has to deal with them in their own way for if we don’t deal with them, or the next time a similar situation arises, it could be the last time.”
“Yes, well, never let it be said that Lucius isn’t an excellent judge of human nature.”
“So from all of that and from watching you the few times you allowed me to near you, I figured it out. It’s no big deal.” He sighed and lay back on the bed as he felt a weight lift from his shoulders. The situation with his Shadow had been bothering him more and more lately, and now that he had the chance to speak to the other man he felt much better.
“That still doesn’t excuse my actions.”
“No, it doesn’t, but I understand. It was you, after all, who told me that at one point in time we all do things we aren’t proud of. Granted I still have nightmares about the last time. I still see the blood, and hear the ice in the voice, and see the cold and unforgiving look on your face, but I’ve tried to move, and you should as well. From the way Lucius talks, something big is on the horizon.”
“There is. When did you become so wise?”
“With you and Bella ignoring me, the only one I have spent any major amount of time with here lately is Lucius. When he’s not trying to hex the hell out of me he’s actually quite the conversationalist.” He glanced to his right as the bed dipped and his Shadow sat down beside him.
“What were you reading earlier when I interrupted you?”
He snorted and sat up quickly turning to face his Shadow.
“Is that all were going to do?”
“Is that all were going to do? Make small talk? Cause if it is I’d rather go back to reading about what a fool Albus Dumbledore was.”
“And what do you propose we do?”
“Well there are things we do together in the dark of night when no one else is awake. We could try them during the day or I could always go back to my boring book.”
He had hoped the other man would understand what he was asking. Their times together at night had changed somewhere along the way from being the rough cold couplings they had to being something more intimate. Not only were touches exchanged but words were as well. The hard fast pace also changed to fit their moods. It was a change he had enjoyed greatly, but it was a change that also brought about fewer visits in the night. It was something he was still trying to figure out.
He gasped as he found himself pinned to his back, his arms stretched out above his head and attached to the headboard.
“Hmm…this is a good start.” He shot his Shadow a grin as the other man stood at the end of the bed and stared at him. He wriggled his hips a little and his grin grew bigger as his Shadow’s eyes darkened.
“Do you think yourself to be in a good position, Redemptio?”
“Depends on what you plan on doing to me.”
“Oh, there are many things I plan on doing to you. I’m just not sure which one to start with.”
“Well if I might make a suggestion. If any of the things you’re thinking of involve you and me, might I suggest vanishing the clothes?”
Later – much later, as far as he could judge by the shadows in the room – he was struck with a realization.
As much as he and the man might try to ignore it and hide it, they cared for each other greatly. However, he suspected his feelings ran deeper than his Shadow’s.
He had had a few short peaceful days with his Shadow when Lucius’ warning about something big started to happen. He hadn’t known what the man meant at the time, but as the days and weeks passed and his training became more intense and longer, he found out what it was. The others were planning a full-scale attack, one that would decide the war for them all once and for all. His Shadow, Bella, and Lucius had been prepping him on battle strategies and floor plans and ward layouts for days. He had learned they were attacking something called the Ministry. He was still very stupid, for a lack of a more intelligent word on his end, about most things in the wizarding world. He knew the basics like blood purity, social ranking and standing, money, power, and even knew about the Wizarding School called Hogwarts. Everything else was a complete mystery to him and now he found himself deep in the planning’ of what Bella said would be the largest battle fought by either side.
“-crucial that we make it here. If we can not secure the office and the Minister then we have no hope of pulling this off.”
“Bella, for the last time, do not worry so much. Most of them will be too shocked and surprised to do anything but watch and stare. You’ve seen how most of them react to him in battle.”
“Yes I have, and do you not think that the ones who have seen him have told the others?”
“Who’s going to believe them? He’s been missing for three years. Most of them have given up. If anything, the others will pity those who have seen him in battle and blame it on hallucinations from battle fatigue. Trust me, we will have the upper hand this time.”
That was another thing he had learned. He had come across Pettigrew and one of the less important members having an argument in the hallway one day. He had discovered that he had not always been here – that he had come from somewhere else. That the enemy had once been his ally and that his current allies, his trainers, the other members, even his Shadow had been the enemy.. He had wanted to ask questions about it, but the logical side of his brain had stopped him from rushing into anything too quickly. He slipped away for a couple of hours and thought about it. After coming to no decision of his own he had sought out one of the others. Lucius was the first one he came across. He asked him about it, if what Peter had said was true. The answer he got surprised him.
“Yes and no. Its true in the sense that indeed at one point in time you fought beside them, but when it mattered the most, when you lay dying in the middle of a field, they abandoned you. They left you for dead. So we took you in. We healed you; gave you food, water, and clothing. So while yes you at one point in time fought with them and against us it is us who saved your life. Not your so called friends.”
“Why did they abandon me? Why did you save me? Why am I just now learning about this?”
“I can’t tell you why they abandoned you for I truly don’t know, as for us saving you, that was mainly Severus’ doing. None of us know why he did what he did. He showed up one day with you and the rest you know. You would have to ask Severus as to why you know none of this. He was the one who spent the most time with you.”
“Oh. That still doesn’t explain though why they didn’t come searching for me.”
“Redemptio, think about it. When your in battle, and you see one of your comrades fall do you go over to check them and see if they are alive?”
“What do you do?”
“I keep going. Save yourself before you save anyone else.”
“Exactly. We think that’s what happened. They saw you fall and just presumed you were dead. Though we do not claim to know everything that goes on inside of their heads.”
What he had learned that day had disturbed him greatly, but it also explained a lot.
His Shadow and the others had fed him and clothed him and trained him like Lucius said, and now he had rank and respect and honor among them. He had kept the information he had found out that day locked in the back of his mind but he never made any move to learn more about it. Now, though, it seemed that he would have to.
He shook his head clearing away past memories and glanced at the plans laid out on the table before them. He had been lost in thought for so long that he had missed most of the planning and figured it might be a good idea to have at least the basic hint of what was going on.
“May I ask something?”
The discussions around him stopped immediately.
“If I was one of them, one of the enemy like Peter said I was, why am I one of you now, and are they going to try to get me back? And if they do, how will you prevent it?”
He winced and drew back from the icy glare that Lucius shot him and the chaos that erupted around them. People had started shouting at other people. Wands and been drawn and it looked like someone was going to die at any second.
“When did Peter tell you this?”
He could tell his Shadow was angry, he just wasn’t sure if it was with him, or with Pettigrew.
“He didn’t tell me per se. I overheard it. I came across him and someone else having an argument. When I learned that it was me they were arguing about, I stopped and listened.”
“Why have you never said anything before now?”
The chaos that had surrounded them had stopped as everyone focused on the two of them.
“I did. I just didn’t ask you. When I learned all of this I went in search of someone who could answer my questions. The first person I came across was Lucius so I asked him about it. He explained things to me the best he could.”
“What did he tell you exactly.”
“We really don’t have time for me to go over the entire conversation, maybe once this battle is over I can tell you in detail and you can tell me if what he said was really true. There were some things about protecting me and keeping me safe and looking after me after I was abandoned.
Lets just say though, that that day I figured if you were really my enemy I would rather be with an enemy that protects me than with an ally who abandons me.”
“Lucius the boy has been spending far too much time with you. So much so that he has developed and logic.”
“Yes well I do what I can,” the blonde replied.
“It is just as you say Redemptio. We have protected you and we will even on that day. You will have Lucius, Bella, and myself with you to help protect you. Not a one of us will allow you to be taken or hurt in any way unless we are dead. You have nothing to fear. The only thing you have to worry about-“
“Is taking down the enemy,” he finished. He knew the drill by now. He wasn’t to engage with anyone unless they came at him first, and then he was to do what was necessary to survive.
“So where exactly is the Ministry, and when do we attack?”
“The Ministry is located under Central London and, like most of our world, is hidden from the Muggles. And we attack in two day’s time, when they least expect us to – in the middle of the day.”
He nodded as he continued to look over the layout of the building. Most of them would be flooing in while a few of them came down through the city entrance. The idea was to strike hard and strike fast and move out of the Atrium before anyone even realized what was happening. They had their work cut out for them, but if there was one thing he had learned about the people he kept company with it was to never underestimate anyone. If you are determined enough anything is possible.
“So what do we do until then?”
“Relax, especially you. We don’t need you wearing yourself out with training or anything like that. Just relax.”
He snorted and resisted the urge to roll his eyes. That was always easier said than done. He glanced across the table at his Shadow and grin tugged at the corners of his lips. If the look in his Shadows eyes was anything to go by, then his relaxing wasn’t going to be a problem at all.
The last two days flew past for him – then again he spent most of them locked away in his room with his Shadow doing the perfect imitation of a puddle of goo. Now though – now he was nervous, on the verge of being terrified. In a few moments they would all be heading out for the final battle, the one that would determine the fate of both sides, and he wasn’t sure if he was ready.
“Calm down and take a deep breath. You’re going to pass out before we even leave.”
He shot his Shadow a scathing look as he ignored his warning. Now was not a time for being calm, now was a time for panicking, well at least he thought it was a time for panicking.
“I don’t know how anyone can be calm at a time like this.”
“This is not the first battle you have been in; I don’t know why you’re reacting the way you are.”
“Maybe because this one decides all of our fates,” he hissed. He didn’t like this. Not in the slightest. Not only was he putting his life and countless others on the line, but his Shadow was putting his life on the line as well. His dying was not something he wanted to think about. He followed his Shadow with his eyes as the other man approached the front of the room, preparing to give his famous ‘pre-battle speeches.’ Like all of the other times, Redemptio tuned him out and proceeded to lose himself amongst his thoughts.
The past two days had shown him the possibility that his Shadow returned his feelings. Between the rounds of shagging, they spent time talking or playing chess. Things he never saw himself doing with his Shadow, with Lucius, yes, but his Shadow, no. He learned, though, that the other man was intelligent and in more than just Potions. He found that conversation came easily so long as they avoided certain subjects and the most shocking thing of all, he discovered his Shadow had a sense of humor!
That completely blew his mind. It was dry, twisted sense of humor, but a sense of humor nonetheless. He also found out that pain brought his Shadow great pleasure, and learned again that the two could bring you to new heights when combined correctly. He had learned many things, and came to one conclusion – he didn’t care how this battle turned out so long as, at the end his Shadow was standing next to him.
He shook his head, clearing away his thoughts as his Shadow headed back towards.
“Time to go?”
“Time to go.” He fell into line next to the other man as they headed for the huge fireplace on the other side of the room. He, Bella, Lucius, and his Shadow, along with two other groups of three, would be flooing in while the others came in from the street entry. He paused before tossing in his handful of floo powder and turned to face his Shadow.
“Severus, please be safe.” He turned back around, tossed in his powder and disappeared into a swirl of green flames.
He tumbled out of the fireplace, his wand drawn, with Bella right behind him. He wasted no time in taking out the two guards and heading straight for the lifts on the other end of the Atrium. He ducked as a curse rang out behind him and others joined the fight. Bella stayed to his left and his Shadow came up on his right, which left Lucius to cover his back. They headed swiftly into the lift, his Shadow giving the command for the Minister’s office and they all watched as chaos broke out in the Atrium. The last thing he saw before the lift gates closed was Pettigrew falling in a flash of green light. It brought a smile to his face.
“What are you grinning for? This is battle, not play time.”
“You didn’t just see Pettigrew go down?”
“Yes, your point is what?”
“That man makes my skin crawl. It pleases me that he’s now dead.” He smirked at his Shadow as Bella and Lucius started laughing.
“He’s every bit yours, Severus. Never doubt it.”
He merely grinned as he watched the floors go by and listened to the voice chime out the numbers. He tensed and crouched down as they approached the Ministers floor. By now the others had to know where they were going and have sent protection to the Minister. If not they were even bigger fools than he already thought. He crouched down and waited as the doors slowly slid open with a glance at the others he shot out of the lift and stopped a few feet in front of them.
“What the hell are you stopping for, boy? MOVE.”
“Look.” He pointed ahead where the doors to Minister’s office lay in charred pieces, smoke still rising from them.
“Someone beat us to him.” His Shadow moved in front of him, his wand drawn as he cautiously made for the office. Bella was close behind him and he went to move when Lucius’ hand on his shoulder stopped him.
“Wait, let them go in first. It would be foolish for us to rush in and get blown to pieces as well.”
“Lucius, are you calling Severus and Bella fools?”
“I would never do such a thing.”
“Severus was right, you are a damnable brat.”
“I still can’t believe he called me that.” He muttered as he inched forward when after a few moments no sound or movement could be heard from the office. Lucius followed him closely his wand drawn and sweeping from side to side to check for unknown wards. They both jumped when Bella appeared in front of them.
“There’s no one here. You can stop sneaking around like a couple of rats.”
He straightened up and breezed past Bella into the office. The walls had streaks of black all up and down them as well as smoking holes where the stray hex as hit. The desk lay on its side half of it missing and not a person was in sight.
“One of ours didn’t do this, did they?”
“Not that we are aware of. The rest should be spread across all of the lower floors.”
“Then if we didn’t do this who did?”
“I did.” He saw the others jump their wands immediately pointed in the corner as a female emerged from the Shadows.
He glanced at his Shadow before sighing in frustration.
“Another one? How many of them are there? I’m getting tired of fighting and killing redheads, they lose fun points after the first two.” After his first few battles he had asked his Shadow about all of the redheads he had taken down. The other man had just growled and said that there were too many to count and that all they were was a nuisance and that all Weasley’s should be taken care of.
“Hello, Harry. Nice to see you as well.”
He cocked his head to side and watched as the woman slowly approached them. She didn’t make it far though before she met the end of Bella’s wand.
“You would be wise to stop. I really would hate to have to kill you before I get the chance to torture you. You Weaselys always did scream so nicely.”
“You would know, Bellatrix. After all you killed both of my older brothers.”
“Enough. We do not have time for chitchat. Either kill her or restrain her. Either way, make her shut up.”
“Wait, don’t you want to know what happened here? After all wasn’t your plan to take over the Ministry, and instate Harry as the new Minister?”
He moved closer to the female his wand and his magic ready for anything she might try.
“Redemptio. My name is Redemptio. I have no knowledge of this Harry person you speak of.”
She gave a low chuckle, followed by a smirk.
“Smooth move Snape. Erasing his memory. What else did you take from him?”
“They took nothing. Now who the hell are you? You have five minutes before either Bella or I kill you. Start talking now.”
“I used to be your friend at one point in time, Harry.”
“Ah you’re the ally turned enemy. Doesn’t make me want to kill you any less. Your wasting time by giving me useless facts.”
“That’s where you’re wrong Har-Redemptio sorry. I am not an ally turned enemy. I haven’t been an enemy for a very long time. Didn’t you ever wonder why no one came looking for you, why you hadn’t heard about anyone searching for you? Its That man, the one standing right over there told us that he had watched you die. He’s been feeding us information for years about the entire inside on goings of the Death Eaters. I knew you were alive, why else would the Death Eaters keep this stupid war going. If you and Voldemort both were dead there would be no reason for it. With a world falling in the aftermath of a war they could have easily taken over. They didn’t though. They laid low and then one day out of nowhere they attack, with you at their side.”
His grip on his wand faltered as he turned to face his Shadow. The other man’s face was a complete mask, not letting a single emotion through.
“Is she telling the truth?” He watched as that muscle in the other mans jaw twitched telling him he was trying to choose which truth to tell.
“Do not lie to me Severus. Please, I’ve trusted you all this time. Don’t make me regret it.”
“She is telling the truth-“
Redemptio reached out and grabbed Bella’s arm stopping the woman from murdering his Shadow where he stood.
“She is telling the truth to a degree. There was a point in time where I was a spy, for both sides.” His Shadow moved slowly around the room, a shield going up where the door used to stand when he paused in front of it. “It started out with me spying on Dumbledore for Voldemort and then Dumbledore wanted me to spy on Voldemort for him. For a while I did for both. Until it got to hard to figure out which truths the other side needed to know. That’s when I started my planning, first with the fall of Dumbledore. It was easy to take out the old man with as trusting as he was. He never thought that I would betray him; he had such faith in me. He even took that faith to grave with him.
“It was harder to get rid of Voldemort. But I knew it had to be done. He was a delusional old wizard who had lost sight of the original goal of purifying our world. He was more focused on his vendetta against a child. That’s when I realized that if I wanted our world pure, I would have to do myself and what better way to do than to use the figurehead of our world? So you see she’s telling the truth but only the truth that they know. I work for neither side but my own, and yours.”
His Shadow came to a stop in front of him his dark eyes glittering with known truths.
“So you’re the reason I remember nothing.”
“Yes. If you had remembered your old life you never would have gone along with this. You were too blinded by Dumbledore to believe that if our world continued in the direction it was heading in, we would die out. I was not about to let that happen. And now it’s time to do something about it.” His mouth dropped open as he watched his Shadow move faster than he had ever seen. The girl never stood a chance. She fell to the floor shock and surprise evident in her eyes as her blood pooled around her on the floor. He caught a glimpse of sliver before it slipped back inside of Shadow’s robes.
“So you see you have one choice. We can continue to do this my way or the rest of you can join her. What will it be?”
He stood planted firmly in his spot as he thought about everything he had just learned. In the end it came down to one – well, actually, two things. His Shadow was trying to save their world, by using him. Yes, he had lied to all of them, but for a good cause, really. He moved slowly his eyes locked with Severus’.
“I stand with you; if what you say is true then I have no reason not to. I would rather live in your world than one where none of us exist at all.” He turned to face the room’s other two occupants. Bella’s face showed out right rage and anger, but he figured that was because she had worshipped the former Dark Lord, or so Lucius had told him. Lucius, though…his eyes shown a recognition almost as if he had finally figured out a puzzle he had been working on. Slowly both he and Bella moved forward to stand with them.
“Wise decision. I really would have hated to kill the both of you.”
He turned to face his Shadow as a million new thoughts raced through his head.
“Well now that we’ve had a climactic anticlimactic day what do we do now?”
“We go forward. We start to rebuild our world and under the new rule, we start to purify and shut it off from the rest of the world.”
“By naming a new Minister and a new Ministry.”
He winced and rubbed the back of his head and glared at Bella.
“What was that for?”
“You really are very stupid some days, boy. You will be the new Minister and I assume Severus plans for the rest of us to be your new advisors.”
“Oh. So when do we start?”
Of all of the days, weeks, months, even years that he had been with them, he never learned anything as important as what he learned that day. All of those other days had prepared him for one day. That day. Now he had to go day by day and learn all over again. It was something he actually looked forward to. With his Shadow, Severus, by his side he knew that nothing would ever be learnt the same way again.