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Kjkit - Harry Potter and the Marcello School
Chapter 7 - To break free
Chapter 7: To break free
Two days later, Snape was still hoping for the moment when he could get word to Dumbledore to let him know about Harry. He had long before decided that an owl would be impossible as Voldemort had increased the security around the old Riddle home in case Harry somehow managed to escape the prison which held him and attempted to make a run for it. The increased security also meant that the potions master was unable to secretly apparate out of the grounds to spread the word himself. Instead Snape was trapped in the building, concentrating on producing more and more potent healing potions to keep Harry alive for the next torture session.
The torture sessions were held regularly. Well, as regularly as Harry's return to consciousness was, which was becoming less and less frequent Snape had noted with worry, even with the increased potency of his potions. Every Death Eater had had his chance on the boy, subjecting the boy to a variety of curses and hexes that sent a ripple of laughter through Voldemort's inner circle every time Harry cried out in pain.
Snape was currently on his way through the dark corridors under the Riddle household, his hands clutched around two large vials of potions. The smaller one in comparison would hopefully reduce the painful effects of the 20 long minutes Harry had been held under the cruciatus curse that morning, the other would hopefully provide the boy with a means of escaping, providing of course, that the boy still had his wits about him. Something that Snape almost believed impossible.
He swept his way through the dark passage that led to Harry's cell, not letting his act down for a second. Even though he had his heart in his throat he could not allow his nervousness to show, lest someone should suspect the contents of the larger vial and take their suspicions to Voldemort.
He paused as he neared the boy's cell, his eyes wide with shock as he realised that the door was slightly ajar, and with a leap of hope he silently prayed that the boy had come to by himself, however impossible that may be, and that he had managed to escape.
But his hopes were dashed as he heard heavy breathing and some muttered words within the cell. He pushed the door open further with his foot, allowing the light from the torch on the wall beside him to fall on the two figures on the floor in the middle of the room.
"Avery!" Snape spat out. "What do you think you are doing?"
Snape watched, his head bent back slightly and he looked down his nose at the figure who staggered to his feet, pulling his cloak back down and turning to face the intruder, hatred and hunger flashing in his crazed eyes.
"Getting my pleasure's worth out of the lad before he becomes worthless. Why? Do you wish to join me Severus. It'll be much more... pleasurable with three."
Snape shook his head slightly, realising what sadistic ritual the Death Eater was about to conduct. "You're sick." He spat. "Get out now, and hope that I do not let Voldemort hear of this."
Avery stepped up to close to Snape and looked deep into the potion master's eyes. "Why, I believe you are going soft, Severus. I remember a time when you wouldn't think twice about taking a young girl's flower against her wishes."
Severus mentally shuddered at the image of the one time he had committed rape in front of the other Death Eaters. He had been young at the time, and the memory of it still threatened to clear out his stomach. Even though the horrific sounds of the girl's screams passed through his mind, his face remained expressionless. "But that is not a young girl." He said. "And he is not yours. He belongs to our Master. Any extra sessions you want with him you shall conduct on your time, with his permission, not when I have been ordered to bring the boy back to life. Understood?"
Avery snarled, and for the first time Snape noticed the redness of his teeth and mentally cringed. "Clearly." He hissed, then turned, blowing the unconscious body a kiss before pushing past Snape and out into the corridor. "Keep that thought, Potter." He muttered as he left. "I'll be back before you know it."
Once he was out of sight, Snape sucked in a deep breath of relief and took a few long strides to the body on the floor. Harry torso was still bruised from the morning session of curses, but there were now the new additions of Avery's teeth marks around his neck. The image made Snape urge, nausea turning his stomach as he thought of what might have happened if he hadn't walked in the moment he had.
He gently took the boy's neck, tipping his head back so that he could pass the strong healing potion through the swollen and split lips. The boy spluttered, and Snape smiled at the good sign.
"Good lad." He said. "Wake up now." He knew that under normal circumstances he would never talk to Harry in such a way, but down deep in Voldemort's dungeons, Snape knew the boy needed all the support he could get.
The teenager was clearly struggling to break through into consciousness. His head rolled slightly with the effort, and small moans escaped his parched throat. "Just open your eyes for me, Harry, let me know you're with me." The boy struggled to comply, and a few seconds later Snape was blessed with two identical orbs as Harry blinked his way back into reality.
"Professor?" Harry's weak voice broke and he started to cough, a small stream of blood running from the side of his mouth. "It hurts." He said, rolling his head away from the Hogwart's professor, trying to hide the tears that were forming in his eyes.
"I know, Harry." Snape said softly. "But you have to stick with me, okay? I'm going to try and get you out of here."
Harry's head spun back, his gaze meeting the Death Eaters. "How?" he whispered. "You can't let them know...about you."
Snape smiled grimly. "I think my time here is running out, Potter." He said. "As Avery said, I'm going soft in my old age."
He noticed a small smile cross Harry's face, before he started to cough again.
"What's so funny?" Snape asked once the fit had passed. He was still supporting Harry's head gently in his lap and the boy looked up at him.
"I would never have thought you would try and help me." The boy said. "After the way you've treated me all these years."
Snape shrugged. "Don't think this will change things when you get back to school" he said, and Harry smiled again.
"If I get back." He murmured.
"Yes, about that." Snape glanced up at the door to make sure no one else had taken it upon themselves to visit the boy. "Harry, I have a potion here, there is a lot of it, and it's not going to be easy to keep it down, but you have to try, okay?"
"What is it?" Harry asked, pushing weakly against the floor in attempt to sit up.
Snape watched at his futile efforts, hoping that his plan was going to work. Over the past forty-eight hours the trust Harry had shown in Snape had grown immensely as his strength ebbed. Snape was sure that if he hadn't been here, the boy would probably be worse off than some of the people that were currently residing in St Mungos. He felt he now owed it to the boy to get him out and safe.
"It's going to make your magical powers come back." Snape said. "The reason Voldemort is doing all this to you is to prevent you having the time to recuperate by yourself, this should speed up the process. Once you feel strong enough, I want you to apparate out of here. Get to Hogwarts. I'll meet you there as soon as I can."
"But, I don't know how. And what about the wards?"
Snape shook his head. "Harry, you apparated all the Death Eaters here after their attack on your home. And do you have any idea how strong those wards were around Privet Drive? You can break through it. Just imagine the grounds of Hogwarts, picture them clearly in your mind and wish yourself there."
Harry looked at the potion Snape was holding out to him. "I don't know if I can." He said.
"Dammit, Potter." Snape resorted back to his mask and glared at the boy. "For once in your life have some faith in yourself and get this potion down you."
Harry slowly took the potion, stunned into silence by Snape's outburst. "Its hard to have faith in yourself when your professors pour your best efforts down the sink." He muttered, but still raised the large vial to his lips and downed the potion as best he could.
Snape nodded encouragingly as Harry's chest began to heave. "Keep it down, Harry." He raised his head to the door as he heard footsteps. "They're coming," he said in a quieter voice. He leaned into the urging boy. "They'll take you back upstairs. Don't try anything until you feel strong enough." He took Harry by the shoulder and made the boy look into his eyes. "Don't waste this chance, Harry, it's going to be the only one you get."
The boy nodded, holding his belly firmly as his stomach threatened to evict its contents.
"What did you do to him this time, Snape?" The potions master looked up to see Lucius Malfoy looking down at him.
"He's getting worse." He replied calmly, rising to meet Malfoy's gaze. "The potions I am giving him can't get much stronger."
Malfoy nodded, never letting his eyes leave Snape's for a second. "Indeed." He said. "Crabbe, Goyle, please escort Mister Potter upstairs for his next session." He pushed open the door to let the two large men to carry the pale and sweaty boy through. "Would you care to join us, Severus?"
Snape mentally shivered at the venom in the rich Wizard's voice, but nodded at his false request. "After you, my dear Lucius." Was his reply and he followed the silver blonde Death Eater out of the cell and down the dark corridor to where the other death eaters were waiting.
He took a deep but hidden breath as he took his place in the circle, watching the Hogwart's student carefully as he was once more chained to the post, hanging from his shackles as Crabbe and Goyle stepped away. He could still see the heaving in the boy's chest as Harry concentrated on keeping the potion down. Snape just hoped that the potion would take effect before any of the Death Eaters had too much time to inflict injuries that would incapacitate the boy, making him unable to apparate out of there.
His hopes rose when Harry raised his head, his dull green eyes meeting those of the Dark Lord before a snarl escaped his lips. "You monster." He screamed, struggling against his bonds. "You will not get away with this."
Voldemort laughed. "And I suppose you think you can do anything about it." he returned, and with a quick spin turned to Snape. "It seems you have increased the dosage of his healing potions."
Snape watched as Harry continued to struggle and nodded. "It was necessary, my Lord." He replied in a steady voice. "Anything less potent would not have made him aware of his surroundings, something you specifically asked me to ensure."
Voldemort nodded, and had a small smile on his face. "Indeed, I did, Severus." He turned, walking around the circle in his small ritual of choosing a Death Eater to perform the torture in this session. Behind him Snape shuddered slightly, unsure of the secret smile the Dark Lord had shared with him. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Malfoy smile in a similar way, and Crabbe and Goyle, in their subtlety were laughing between themselves. The humour worried Snape. It was almost as if they knew something that they were unwilling to share with him. He quickly thought about the past couple of days, retracing his steps to see if he had made any obvious mistakes to disclose where his loyalties really lay, but his musings were interrupted when Voldemort shouted out a name he had been dreading. "Avery! Do your worst!"
Snape saw Harry send him a fleeting look before the boy stared stonily ahead. He was no longer looked nauseous, and Snape could see he was now standing on his own two feet rather than relying on the chains that held him to the post to hold him up. "C'mon boy." He muttered under his voice. "Get up the courage and go!"
Avery in the meantime had made his way to stand in front of the teenager. "Did you keep your mood for me, my pretty?" he asked, running one finger down the side of Harry's face. Snape admired the boy even more when he didn't flinch. "If not, we can soon bring it back." He pulled out his wand and held it towards the boy who defiantly stood up straight. "Laceratus Restoro."
Above the pounding in his ears Snape could almost hear the skin tear as he watched the boy's face creased with intense pain. Almost instantly he could see the trails of blood make their way down his skin as all the wounds that Avery had inflicted with his first encounter with the boy reopened.
"Good." Voldemort called the Death Eater back, who returned to his place in the circle, clearly wishing that he could spend more time with the boy. "Now, onto other business..."
Snape gulped slightly as the Dark Wizard walked towards him, stopping only a few feet away and staring into his eyes. "For a long time, Severus, you have managed to prevent me from entering your mind to see just how loyal you are. Your Occlumency skills are very impressive. However they have resorted to my testing your loyalty in another way." Snape held his breath as one of the Death Eaters in the circle opposite stepped forward, bending low in respect of the Dark Lord. "You have been followed for a long time now, Severus. And I must admit that the reports that have been returned to me have been less than amusing."
"My Lord?" Snape asked questioningly, though his eyes never left those of the small man with a silver hand who was standing just behind the Dark Lord.
"I am sure you are aware of Pettigrew's remarkable party trick." Voldemort continued, taking to pacing around the circle. "And it is remarkable how few people notice a rat stalking along the corridors of such places such as Hogwarts. Makes you question the cleanliness of such a prestigious place."
Before he knew it Snape felt two Death Eaters step up behind him and take his arms. "And whereas his word has never been the most trustworthy, I admit that the idea that you have been telling our movements to that muggle- loving fool Dumbledore have become less than impossible."
"My Lord..." Snape repeated as the grip on his arms tightened and he felt himself being forced to the ground.
"Do not fear, Severus." Voldemort said quietly from where he was standing near Harry. "I will let you live. Though what you might see as quality of life now will be nothing more than a dream when I am through with you. I want you to take a message back to Dumbledore for me. I trust you are listening?"
Snape nodded, his eyes darting around the room for a possible escape route, but each time his eyes were drawn to the bound boy standing against the post, his green eyes glowing strangely bright through the stream of blood that ran down his face from the scar on his forehead.
"Tell him that Harry will not be the annoying student that you have taught these past few years for much longer. By the end of the week he will be standing by my side, his growing strength and power will be mine to control. Assure Dumbledore that the wizarding world will feel the wrath of the two of us before the end of the month. Do you understand?"
Snape nodded, but he couldn't tear his eyes from Harry to look at the wizard before him. There was a strange glow around the boy's hands that were tied above his head and he could see the boy's lips murmuring silent words.
"CRUCIO!" Snape screamed as the curse hit his body, his muscles convulsing against the pain inflicted upon him. Before long he heard the unforgivable being repeated, until he was sure that all the men in the circle were holding him under the curse. But beyond the pain he could hear another voice whispering to him. It was vaguely familiar, but Snape was unable to understand how he was able to hear the words over his own screaming, nor recognise its origin whilst under the curse. All he could do was reach out to the voice, willing himself to understand what was being said to him. "Be safe! Remember Hogwart's!" With a start he recognised the words of Harry Potter, and a fleeting image of the Hogwart's lake reflecting the image of the old castle flittered through his mind before he fell with a jolt into a dark abyss where he felt nothing.