The dark night sky seemed to show that something horrible had
happened. Yet, it could never truly tell the atrocities laid forth on
that sinister night. Two figures tore along the forgotten roads that
lead to the deepest fears of most mortals. No words were exchanged, for
there were no words that could explain what had just occurred. The most
callous act of betrayal was nothing compared to what Professor Snape
had just done.
Draco Malfoy felt Severus Snape’s hand tighten
around his arm as the two rounded another shadowy corner. There was no
time to pause. Draco made a motion to speak, but Snape quickly silenced
him with a single glance. The Unbreakable Vow had been forged and
completed. The impossible had been accomplished and nothing would ever
be the same.
Albus Dumbledore was dead.
his body shudder. The Dark Lord would not be pleased with the course of
action he had failed to take. His mouth grew dry as he recalled the
last words Dumbledore had spoken to him. Even in his gravest hour, he
had offered him solace and protection.
“This way,” Snape hissed as he started towards another direction.
Draco glared at him. “Where are we going?”
didn’t answer. The further they traveled the more winding the road
became. This was a place Draco had never seen before. Was Snape taking
them into hiding? Didn’t he realize that nobody could hide from the
“I’m not going any further until you answer me,” Draco said sternly as he snatched his arm out of Snape’s grasp.
“I’m taking you to your mother,” Snape said in a low murmur.
Draco narrowed his eyes. “Why?”
“Foolish boy!” Snape lashed out. “Do you realize what has just happened?”
“Yeah,” Draco retorted. “You did the job I was meant to do. You disobeyed a direct order from our Master.”
Snape’s cold dark eyes locked on to Draco’s false face of confidence.
“Murder isn’t as simple as it seems, is it?”
“I would have killed him, if you--” Draco started.
“You failed! If I hadn’t killed Dumbledore, you would be dead. He doesn’t accept failure,” Snape spat viciously. “He may still…”
Draco fell silent as the fear that was in his eyes spread across his face. “So, where are we going?”
He couldn’t finish; his mouth was too dry.
Snape turned back towards the trail. “There isn’t much time.”
dark figure of Snape had almost disappeared from sight before Draco
found his footing and trudged behind. The trail finally started to
narrow and a small cottage appeared in the darkness. As the two
approached the door flew open. A woman dressed in a long hooded clock
ran towards them.
“Is it over then? Did you?” she pleaded desperately.
“No,” Draco said in barely more than a whisper, “Professor Snape did, because of your Unbreakable Vow, Mother.”
threw her head upwards and a look of agony stretched across her face.
She stood motionless for a moment before lowering her head to face
“He’s safe and what had to be done is done,” Snape said quietly.
Narcissa closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. “Thank-you, Severus.”
stared, with a look of disgust, at his mother. This was her doing. Her
motherly intuition had consumed her. She had not realized death haunted
them whether he succeeded or failed.
“The Dark Lord will not be pleased,” Snape began.
will understand. Dumbledore is dead, and it doesn’t matter who killed
him,” Narcissa argued. Desperation crept into her voice as her hands
Snape frowned, “You must leave and go into hiding. Draco will be punished for his failure. He is expendable.”
“I’ll accept my punishment. I will not run,” Draco spat as his mother let out a pointed sob.
“Don’t be a fool,” Snape replied. “There are things worse than death.”
please, Draco, listen to me. Severus is right; we have to hide. The
Dark Lord will take you away from me. I’ve already lost Lucius.”
yanked his hand from his mother’s grip. “It isn’t my fault. I had
Dumbledore right there. I’m the one who figured out how to get the
Death Eaters into the castle. I’m the one who disarmed Dumbledore. I
was about to do it, but you had to push me out of the way. This is your
fault, not mine.”
“I suppose you always lower your wand before you cast a spell then?” Snape retorted.
Draco didn’t answer.
“We can go to France; we have relatives we can hide with,” Narcissa said suddenly as she clapped her trembling hands.
swallowed hard. “The Dark Lord will expect that. Did Lucius have any
place where he could hide in case something like this happened?”
Narcissa shook her head, “No, he was the Dark Lord’s servant until the end. He would never run.”
“And neither will I,” Draco said in a short voice.
Narcissa knelt down and grabbed her son’s hand again. “Please, don’t leave me. He’ll kill you, Draco. Then, he’ll kill me.”
“You had nothing to do with it,” Draco snapped as he stared at his pleading mother.
narrowed his eyes. “She had everything to do with it. She is a traitor;
she disobeyed the Dark Lord’s orders. She convinced me to do the task
if you could not.”
Narcissa glared up at Snape, “I had no
choice. He is only a child. There was no way he was going to succeed.
The Dark Lord knew that it was a fool’s errand.”
“Do you honestly think it matters? The reasons?” Snape asked in a patronizing tone.
Narcissa suddenly released her son’s hand and her head fell.
Draco took a deep exaggerated breath.
have a place where you can stay,” Snape suddenly said. “It isn’t in
England and it’s among-- you won’t be able to use any magic at
“No magic?” Draco said resentfully. “Are we supposed to live as Muggles then?”
Snape nodded as he attempted to help Narcissa to her feet.
“I’d rather face the Dark Lord’s wrath than live as a Muggle,” Draco snarled.
lip twisted. “I can arrange that, but I sincerely doubt you mean it. If
you had let me help you during the year, it would have never come to
Draco made a motion to move towards Snape but his mother held a firm hand against his shoulder.
“No, Draco. Severus is just trying to help us,” Narcissa pleaded.
dark sky gave a great rumble as the clouds began to build. Snape took a
narrow breath as he pulled a small scrap of parchment out of his robe.
“You haven’t much time,” Snape said slowly as he pushed the parchment into Narcissa’s hand.
“How do we know he won’t tell the Dark Lord where to find us?” Draco asked in an accusing voice.
raised his eyebrows in annoyance. “Use your head! Don’t you think if
that had been my intentions I would have taken you directly to the Dark
Narcissa left no time for the quarrel to continue. She quickly kissed Severus’ cheek and whispered a soft ‘thank-you.’
didn’t let his eyes leave Snape’s face. Narcissa quickly grabbed
Draco’s arm and without another parting look, Disapparated both herself
and her son.
The loud crack echoed in Snape’s ear. The anger
raging inside him for the past several hours had not lessened and he
knew that the Dark Lord would not be pleased with him. He could only
pray that Dumbledore’s murder was enough to appease his master.
could run. However, running would mean all he had sacrificed and done
would be in vain. No, running away was not the solution. The Dark Lord
would hunt him down and strike him dead. Draco was right about one
thing: there was no way to hide from the Dark Lord.
took one last fleeting look at the cottage. It could very well be the
last sight his eyes every saw. If he lived, he would still be punished.
He could feel the pain searing through his veins even now.
“Is this what you wanted, Albus?” Snape said suddenly. “I’m exiled and Potter will not rest until your murder is avenged.”
wind howled loudly as if it were answering Severus’ plea. A distant
rumble of thunder seemed to break the barriers of time. He knew his
lingering would soon come to a close and he would face fate. As if
chance’s humor had run thin, a sharp pain burned through his sleeve. He
slowly pulled the cuff of his robe and revealed the charred flesh that
burned black into his skin.
He didn’t hesitate. His eyes
closed and his mind left behind all traces of the past few moments.
Suddenly, the cottage was gone and a dank low-lit room replaced his
A figure cloaked in black, whose eyes glowed with insanity, approached.
Bellatrix’s voice was barely above a mumble, but Snape didn’t need to hear her words to know the question she was asking.
“Now is not the time,” Snape said briskly as his eyes scanned the walls of his master’s abode.
Bellatrix grimaced. “I’m just asking. Are they?”
“Yes,” Snape said quickly, signaling an end to the conversation.
nodded as her eyes cut towards a room at the far end of the corridor.
“He’s not pleased. I knew the Vow was a cursed scheme. If he knows I
Snape glanced at Bellatrix and made a motion to walk towards the room.
“It’s true? Dumbledore is dead?” Bellatrix pushed.
“Yes,” Snape replied. He tried to keep his voice from catching in his throat but Bellatrix didn’t seem to notice.
“And Draco? He didn’t?” Bellatrix asked, already knowing the answer to the question.
nodded, “I did it for him. It had to be done and my time at Hogwarts
had expired. I seriously doubt the Board of Governors will allow the
school to reopen.”
Bellatrix nodded. “Word travels quickly.”
conversation had reached its end. Snape didn’t pause as he approached
the room where he knew his master was waiting. At first he couldn’t see
much in the dim light, but an inhuman sound caused his eyes to wander
into a corner where a single throne-like chair rested. A long coiled
creature lay at the base.
“Ah, Severus… I’ve been expecting you.”
Snape swallowed hard and lowered himself into a bow. “My Lord.”
“You deliberately disobeyed my orders,” Voldemort began.
Snape felt his eyes betray him as he watched the demon-like man curl his fingers around his chair.
“I ordered Draco to dispose of Dumbledore. Your position had great strategic importance.”
Snape drew in a deep breath, “My Lord, I apologize. I feared the boy could not complete the task.”
“And where is young master Malfoy?” Voldemort taunted, almost reading Snape’s mind.
held back a smirk as a blank page replaced the truth. “He has
disappeared. Potter attempted to stop us from escaping after the task
was done. I pushed him ahead and ordered him to Disapparate once past
the barrier. I assumed he would go to his mother’s, but I did not find
him, My Lord.”
“But, Albus Dumbledore is dead,” Voldemort asked.
Snape nodded, “He is.”
“You have disappointed me; something caused you to act against me. Tell me, what was it?” Voldemort said in a sharp voice.
came to me and asked me to help Draco with his task. I was tricked into
an Unbreakable Vow. I thought the boy would be able to complete the
job, but I had to be prepared in case he wasn’t,” Snape replied,
lowering his bow as his heartbeat increased.
me, Severus,” Voldemort replied. “However, the task that was assigned
is done so there will be no punishment at this time.”
“Thank-you, you are most gracious,” Snape said, not daring to rise from his bow.
“Do not mistake my mercy for weakness. Next time I will not be so patient,” Voldemort hissed.
nodded, slowly lifting his head. He knew he was not safe yet. The Dark
Lord was known to change his mind even after handing down a verdict.
is one more thing,” Voldemort said in a sadistic tone. “Bring Draco and
Narcissa Malfoy to me as soon as they are found. To help lure them out
of hiding—make sure Lucius Malfoy meets an untimely demise. I think we
have sources inside Azkaban that can carry that out.”
Snape said instantly, “It will be done.”
“I know it will,” Voldemort said without hesitation. “I do not appreciate failure.”
nodded respectfully one last time before making a swift but appropriate
exit. His face twisted with disgust, as he dared not look back at the
room he had just left. A lesser wizard would have had his mind turned
to mush and his deepest secrets revealed. However, Snape was not an
ill-trained wizard by any stretch of the imagination.
“You’re still alive,” Bellatrix said as she suddenly reappeared in front of Snape.
Snape smirked, “Disappointed, Bella?”
“Deeply,” she said as her eyes narrowed. “You have orders? What are they?”
“They do not concern you,” Snape said coldly.
“If they concern my family, they concern me,” Bellatrix pushed as she stepped in front of Snape and blocked his way.
closed his eyes, praying the regret would not surface. “What does
family mean to you? You have made your allegiances perfectly clear.”
“Does that mean yours are not?”
“How dare you question me?” Snape roared.
Bellatrix scowled, “You do not frighten me and you do not fool me. I know what you’re all about, Severus.”
you now?” Snape continued. “Then you are much wiser than I give you
credit for. I don’t know where your sister and nephew are? If they are
sensible, you’ll never know either.”