Title: The Return to the Fold
Warnings: implied dub-con
Summary: Prompt- 98. Voldemort/Snape, the night of Voldemort's return to power.
Disclaimer: JKR’s sales would be higher if she put them through these kinds of paces. Honestly.
Author's notes: Hugs and kisses and all that to softly_sweetly for the beta read.
Written for prompt #98:
Voldemort/Snape, the night of Voldemort's return to power. (suggested by mieronna)
“Severus,” said Dumbledore, turning to Snape, “you know what I must ask you to do. If you are ready… if you are prepared…”
“I am,” said Snape.
He looked slightly paler than usual, and his cold, black eyes glittered strangely.
“Then good luck,” said Dumbledore, and he watched, with a trace of apprehension on his face, as Snape swept wordlessly after Sirius.*
Severus strode through the halls of Hogwarts, his face set into a mask of indifference. He ignored the weeping and emotional children in favor of readying himself to meet the Dark Lord, and more importantly his ire, once again. Dumbledore asked him to return. A right the man had been freely given when he’d provided sanctuary and redemption for Snape so many years before.
He entered his chambers, locking and warding the door behind him, and moved straight to the trunk standing at the foot of his bed. With a heavy sigh, he opened the piece of luggage and delved deep into its hidden depths, searching for a specific set of items; items he’d hoped against hope he’d seen the last of some fourteen years before: a robe, a mask, and a Port Key cleverly disguised as a crest ring.
Severus took a moment to meditate, to strengthen his Occlumency shields against the upcoming trials. Downing a potion, a combination of a calming draught and pain reliever, Severus donned his Death Eater garb and activated the Port Key to take himself outside of Hogwarts’ Apparation constraints. Concentrating on the Dark Mark, the black outline swollen and bleeding an angry red into the surrounding skin, Severus followed the call and vanished into the night.
Severus landed with a solid thud. The first thing his eyes landed on was an array of tombstones. One in particular, the ground in front of it turned over and disturbed, a rope dangling around the mildewed stone, stood out. Here, he muttered to himself, here is where Potter was held. He blanked his face and moved past the milling Death Eaters, catching snippets of their whispered conversations as he made his way directly to the Dark Lord’s side.
“Did you see him? Was it the ritual that did that to him?”
Severus snorted and moved on. Goyle never did have complete use of his facilities. A characteristic he’d unfortunately passed on to his son.
“What was that with the Potter brat? I’ve never encountered such an occurrence before.”
Severus slowed his pace. Mulciber wouldn’t understand the significance of what had happened. However, his companion, Lucius Malfoy, would.
“Priori Incantatem? It only happens when the wands are matched. Apparently, there is more than meets the eye where Harry Potter is concerned.” Lucius slapped his cane lightly against his thigh. “I’d never have pegged such opposite personalities to have brother wands.” Lucius glanced back; grey eyes looking to where the battle had taken place. “Dealing with the boy will be that much harder, snapping his wand may be the only recourse in handling the situation.”
Severus listened to the retelling, hoping against hope that Potter had exaggerated the night’s events. He found, however, if anything the brat had down played them. That thought set his feet to moving again, his heart racing in feared anticipation of what he would find once he reached his Master’s presence.
The sound of screaming, a long, drawn out shout of pain, guided Severus’ feet automatically to Voldemort’s side. Dropping to one knee, he said, “Welcome back, m’Lord.”
“Severus,” Voldemort hissed, “I had not expected to see you tonight, if ever.”
“My apologies,” Severus whispered, “It, unfortunately, took time to escape Dumbledore’s presence.”
The Dark Lord chuckled low in his throat. “I’m sure it did, pet. I’m sure it did.” Long white fingers trailed through the hair covering Snape’s face, brushing it back to expose the hooked nose and bland features. “But you are here now. Tell me, my servant, how did the old man react to the news?”
“He is scrambling, m’Lord,” Snape knew, to keep himself safe, the truth had to be woven with lies seamlessly, “The school is in an uproar over the death of the Diggory boy. Potter is secluded, for now, in the hospital wing.”
“Upset his delicate sensibilities, did I?”
Severus snorted; no matter his allegiance with Dumbledore, he shared the Dark Lord’s hatred of a certain green eyes menace. Savior or not, Severus enjoyed seeing the brat taken down a peg or two. “Indeed.” Severus chose his next words carefully, “He, m’Lord, Dumbledore, is calling in ‘the old guard’. I can only assume that you will know of what he is referring to.”
The fingers twisted painfully around lengths of the greasy hair, yanking until Severus was looking directly into the Dark Lord’s crimson gaze. “You still are not within the ranks of his inner confidants?”
“I’m sorry, m’Lord,” Severus winced as the hand tightened more, “I could not gain his trust when there was no more information to provide.”
Voldemort relaxed his grip minutely. “Perhaps there will be a way to change that with my return.” He returned to threading his fingers across Severus’ scalp tenderly, almost seductively. “Before you return we will have to garner a few details, a morsel to wet his appetite, for you to pass along.”
Severus couldn’t help but wonder who the Dark Lord would offer as a sacrifice this time.
Voldemort used his hold on the lank hair to pull Severus to his feet. “Be gone,” he snapped at the remaining Death Eaters. “I have private matters to discuss with Snape.”
Private matters, Severus thought with a shudder, had a myriad of definitions where the Dark Lord was concerned. It could be as elementary as discussing what information he was to pass to Dumbledore and the Order. However, the hand at Snape’s back, guiding him through the ramshackle house and into a back bedroom, spoke of a different scenario all together. The fingers wrapped against his jutting hipbone told Severus without a doubt that the Dark Lord would be reclaiming him, remarking him in every way possible.
Closing his eyes, hearing the door snick shut, a locking charm added, Severus whispered, “And so it begins.”
*Quoted from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, page 713, US paperback edition