Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Always

Chapter 2

by Rinso 0 reviews

Chapter 2

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst,Drama,Romance - Warnings: [V] [?] - Published: 2020-03-10 - 1888 words


October 31, 1981, Diagon Alley

Hallowe’en Eve was coming tonight and the autumn had turned brisk and cold. The morning had come with frost and winter chill. Severus Snape couldn’t care less, as he strode through the wynds of Diagon Alley, his black robe billowing behind him. Inside of him roared a fire of anger, terror and determination; he had no time to ponder the weather.

How hard could it be to find one man? he asked himself. He was supposed to be good at this! Instead he was wandering aimlessly like a complete dunderhead, wasting away Lily’s precious hours. Then again, his timetable was ridiculously short. The Dark Lord wasn’t one to dally. He could attack tonight. Or tomorrow. For all I know, he could be killing them right now… Nobody among the Death Eaters had mentioned something, but then again, the Dark Lord wasn’t about to give this task to just anyone. He’s not a fool. He knows that buffoons like Mulciber or Crabbe would just as likely fail, and he wouldn’t trust the good ones with a task of such a magnitude. Lucius is too self-serving, the Lestranges are insane, Rookwood is a spy in the Ministry so he won’t risk him, Dolohov was wounded when they attacked Bones’ family… No, the Dark Lord will want to do it himself, the arrogant bastard…

If the task was to be given to the Death Eaters, Severus wouldn’t have been so worried. Lily could take care of herself… and as much as he hated to admit it, Potter wasn’t a weakling either; he might be the most repulsive creature to ever walk the Earth, but he knew how to fight. But no, this was a fool’s hope. Yes, the Dark Lord rarely bothered personally with the attacks, even if it was about members of the Order of the Phoenix. Edgar Bones had been a member of the Order, and an Auror to boot, and yet he and his family were murdered by a mere gang of Death Eaters.

But now it won’t be like this. This damned prophecy… He wanted to throttle himself but it was no use. I won’t help Lily if I’m dead. The Dark Lord will kill me anyway but I must buy her a chance before that. And to do that, he had to find him.

Hours later noon was passing, and Severus was no closer to achieving his goal than he had been at dawn. He felt as if a deathly fist was beginning to slowly crush his lungs. If he failed to find him in time…

Then something caught the corner of his eye and he turned his head sharply to the right. He couldn’t be sure – scores of witches and wizards were swarming the streets around him like beetles – but he thought he had glimpsed a familiar head of mouse-brown hair.

Severus headed in the direction he thought he saw it, roughly elbowing the crowds out of his way. I have no time for patience and courtesy. He craned his neck left and right, up and down, and over his shoulder. He was almost running and skipping over the larger cobblestones. His eyes were darting in every direction, skimming over worthless people and scanning the corners suspiciously. He felt the cold touch of panic along his spine. Where is he? I’m sure I saw him, where is he?!

Suddenly, Severus’ eyes landed on The Leaky Cauldron. Could it be? He had to take a gamble. If he went to take a look inside the inn, he would lose any chance to catch him if he was still somewhere outside. But there was no time for indecisiveness.

He entered slowly in the inn. The first few steps before his eyes adjusted to the gloom and the smoke puffs were filled with dread. Oh, Merlin, let him be here, please… Then his breath froze in his mouth.

Just a few feet away, Peter Pettigrew was paying old Tom for a pint of lager.

Severus released his breath with a hiss. Thankfully, the inn was quite full and Pettigrew didn’t hear and turn around. Snape felt like he could, for the first time in his life, howl with laughter and mirth. Merlin, is this how hope tastes? So, so sweet…

He hastily composed himself and retreated into a corner where he could watch Pettigrew but not risk being seen by the vermin himself. The small man downed his beer quickly and asked for another with a tremulous voice. Good, the more drunk he is, the easier it will be. Severus was still aware that time was terribly short, but he thought it would be more prudent to wait until Pettigrew left the inn. It would not do to attract attention.

As Pettigrew drank another pint, Snape managed to come with a plan that was sure to work. He mercilessly probed it for holes, as he waited his disgusting ex-schoolmate to finish drinking. I must be prepared for every possibility, for every chance of failure. Failure was not an option, not anymore. Lily’s life was in his hands. I wonder how would she feel right now if she knew that? He remembered that accursed day when their friendship had ended. She’d be appalled, most like. As is her right, I betrayed her. He wondered what she’d say if she found out that it was Sev who told the Dark Lord about the prophecy that now threatened her baby. Suddenly, he felt so filthy that he wanted to scream.

Two beers later, the afternoon winds were screeching outside The Leaky Cauldron. Finally, Peter Pettigrew decided he’s had enough to drink and stumbled towards the exit. He walked right past Severus and didn’t notice him at all, the small, vermin-like eyes focused dead ahead. Severus was ready. He had long ago pulled out his wand and held it prepared on his knees.

Silencio,” he muttered softly. The spell hit Pettigrew and he didn’t notice a thing. He fumbled to open the door. Snape was right behind him.

The coldness of the last day of October washed in both their faces, clearing Snape's mind. Peter Pettigrew stretched his stiff back and was about to walk away when a cool hand with long fingers clamped around his shoulder. He tried to curse as he turned his head around to see who the intruder was, but no sound came from his mouth. Then his beady eyes met Snape’s black ones.

All the color disappeared from Pettigrew’s face.

“Hello, Peter,” Severus drawled. “Long time no see.”

Snape hugged him with one arm, as if they were old friends. None of the wizards and witches around paid them any mind – after all, people stumbled like this all the time from the inn.

Then Snape disapparated them away.

With a crack!, the two men appeared in the small living room at Spinner’s End. In the same moment they did, Severus released the smaller man who stumbled away and opened his mouth in a silent scream. I have no time for this. He pointed his wand at Peter.

Imperio,” he said and Pettigrew suddenly stood still, as if he had been replaced by a wax replica of himself. With a flick of his black wand, Snape removed the effect of the Silencing Charm.

Severus eyed the immobile Pettigrew. “I will ask you some questions and you will answer them. You will tell me the absolute truth. You will obey all my commands. Do you understand?”

“Yes,” Pettigrew’s voice was devoid of his usual mouse-like chirruping, sounding completely hollow.

“Is your name Remus Lupin?”


“Is your name Peter Pettigrew?”


Severus nodded with his head towards the ancient sofa near the window.

“Go sit on the sofa.” Pettigrew obediently headed that way, but froze in place when Snape said, “Wait. Sit on the floor.” He obeyed. Severus was pleased. Not that he doubted that the Imperius Curse would do the trick, but he had to be sure. Veritaserum would have worked just as well, but he had no time to brew or go shopping. The Imperius would have to be enough.

Snape decided to dive straight ahead. The wretch was completely under his control and time was short. Lily, remember Lily, what does the law mean when her life is in danger? Nothing! Not that Severus cared much about using the Unforgivable Curse. I won’t live to be imprisoned in Azkaban either way. He took a deep breath.

“Are you the secret keeper for the Fidelius Charm the Potters use to hide from the Dark Lord?”

“Yes.” The answer came without any hesitation. Snape hissed with relief. Even now, even in these horrible times, his intellect had saved him!

“Where are they?”

“Godric’s Hollow, in a cottage near the river.”

Severus glanced to the window. The afternoon was waning away, soon to be replaced by the evening of Hallowe’en. Godric’s Hollow… Good, I could probably arrive there before midnight.

Severus was just about to tell Pettigrew to leave and forget about their conversation, when a thought occurred to him. The man was a vermin, and during all their years together at Hogwarts, Severus held a special place of loathing in his heart for him – the weak coward who could never compare to him, but who would be brave enough to snicker at Snape’s humiliation as long as he stood behind Potter and Black. Suddenly, Severus thought that Peter Pettigrew was a terrible choice for a secret keeper. No, the whole idea hinges on the fact that everyone knows just how pathetic he is, including the Death Eaters. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to be sure…

“Does anyone else know about their location?”


Severus’ heart sunk. He tried to speak, but no sound came from his mouth. “W-who?” he finally managed to croak.

“You-Know-Who,” the calm voice the Imperiused man made the phrase even more horrifying.

“You betrayed them…”

Snape had not meant this to be a question, but Pettigrew answered all the same, “Yes.”


“This morning.”

So that’s why he was trying to drown himself in beer? Never in his life had Severus wanted more to hit a person with the Cruciatus. By Merlin, he was going to make the little rat scream… No! There is no time! Think of Lily! For God’s sake, forget revenge and think of her, you moron! Besides, there was something that Snape could do to make sure that Pettigrew got what he deserved.

He composed himself and with a voice that was cold as ice said, “You will go to Hogwarts tonight. You will ask to speak with Albus Dumbledore. If he asks why, tell him I sent you. Then you will extract your memories from today and will ask him to see them with you in his pensive. Then you will wait patiently for him to decide what to do with you. Do you understand?”


“Go, I don’t want to look at you anymore.”

Silently, Peter Pettigrew stood up and walked away. He never saw Severus crumbling down on the floor with a cry of utter desolation and horror.
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