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I don't own Severus Snape or any of the other Harry Potter characters that may appear in this work of fiction. They're all owned by Jo Rowling and, as such, she's the one who makes all of the money off this. I make nothing. I simply do this because I shouldn't be allowed to roam the streets. Please don't hurt me.
Into the Shadows
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Expand Author's Story Note
Expand Author's Chapter Note
It was cold and dark in the cemetery, no moon to light the grounds with its silvery light. Instead, he was haloed by the harsh, flickering light of torches sat in cast iron holders in a circle around him. Between the metal spikes that skewered the ground, there were black robed figures staring down at him with ill-concealed contempt in their eyes. A lesser man would have had his head bowed in silent supplication, but not him. He was to face his greatest challenge. It would likely mean his death. He planned on facing it head on, his honor and pride still in tact. Or at least what little of those two things he had left.

No one spoke, leaving the depressing scene cast in pained silence, long shadows stretched and dancing across the near frozen ground. A few brave flakes of innocent white floated down from the heavens, most of them melting away into nothingness almost as soon as they were spotted. A few tiny flakes landed and stayed for a moment or two before finally changing into beads of moisture that slid down to the ground and soaked into the dirt beneath his knees. Despite the fact that he was sure he would be dead before the sun rose, he was bathed in a curious sense of calm and peace. There was nothing that they could take from him. Not any more.

He stifled a groan when his head throbbed painfully in reminder of how he'd gotten into the situation he was in the begin with. He'd been visiting Diagon Alley, stocking up on a few personal supplies. He hadn't really been paying attention to his surroundings. If he had, he might not have ended up where he was now. As it was, he'd just stepped out of the Apothecary and onto the street. A pair of women had bumped into him, offering profuse apologies upon realizing it. It had been while he was accepting their apologies with something less than grace that there'd been the heavy blow to the back of his head. Pain had shot up into his skull and blossomed brilliantly into something that had left him blind and in searing agony for several long moments. Then blissful darkness had come to take place of the pain and he'd gone down face first to the side walk.

Even now, the bruise on his cheek pulsed with dull pain. The back of his head was splitting and he could feel the crust of dried blood on his scalp and caked into his hair. It was, at best, an ignoble situation. At worst, it was meant to be far more humiliating than anything he'd been subjected to in his life. And there were so many of those. This was one that he'd rather not be in. To be honest, he was sick and tired of kneeling on the cold ground, waiting to be sacrificed on the alter of madness like a trembling virgin. Or a mindless sheep. Or trembling, mindless virgin sheep.

A low murmur swept up and down the group surrounding him and he felt himself straighten. He knew what was coming and he was prepared for the confrontation, no matter what it brought. From the corners of his eyes, he noted that the group around him sank to their knees, heads bowed in respect to their lord. He refused to lower himself any longer. He kept his head up, his eyes locked forward on the clearing before him.

Voldemort stepped out of the shadows, the flames of torchlight flickering across the sickly pale flesh of his bony face. His eyes, red as blood and glowing, were pinned on the figure before him. He didn't spare a glance for those around him. He stopped when he stood directly before the unbowed man. "So, Severus," he snarled and motioned to their surroundings. "Don't you think this is an appropriate place for you to meet your end? A solemn and lonely cemetery. Perhaps someone will find your body before the buzzards have chance to pick your bones clean."

"Your threats no longer frighten me," he sneered. Death would be a welcome relief to the constant pain of the summons and the lasting effects of the Cruciatus that plagued his system.

"No? Well then," the cold, hateful sound of the Dark Lord's voice crawled down his spine like the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard. "Shall we end this here and now?"

"Please. I do so detest the sound of your voice," Severus snarled. Voldemort made some kind of noise in the back of his throat, a choking that spoke of rage and anger. He whirled and stalked to the edge of the circle, once more facing the center of the ring.

"Then allow me to introduce your executioner," Voldemort said in a hissing voice. His arm extended to the empty place beside him. A figure appeared there. The heavy fog swirled around his boots as he stepped forward from the damp mist. Severus' eyes traveled up from the feet, past legs clad in thick black trousers, over the chest covered jumper, to a pair of glittering green eyes shining brightly behind the glass of round spectacles.

"Potter," he ground out between clenched teeth. Voldemort lifted a hand to rest in an almost congenial manner on the boy's thin shoulders. A gloating kind of smile twisted the boy's lips up in an almost maniacal way. "I should have known. What did the bastard offer you to turn you against your goody goody friends?"

"Power, Snape. What else is there to offer?" the boy replied, his hand reaching into his robes to fetch out his wand. Potter pointed the tip at his chest without blinking. Severus didn't plan on dying like a coward. He held the boy's gaze steadily, his lips tipped up in a sneer. "I hope you're ready to die."

"Make it good, Potter. You would not wish me to survive the first attack. There would not be a second," he growled out.

A look came into the boy's eyes and his fingers tightened on the on the grip of his wand. "As you wish," he replied on a whisper. "Avada Kedavra!"

At the very last moment, the wand shifted position and putrid green light poured out to wash over the Dark Lord, showing clearly the startled expression that had come to his face. Loud shouts sounded in the clearing behind the circled figures and soon, wands could be seen pointing in every direction. Potter walked over to him, pointedly stepping over the prone figure of Tom Riddle and held his hand out to the Potions Master. Severus took it grudgingly and allowed the boy to help him to his feet.

"Thank you for not letting me die, Mr. Potter," Severus told him, then hesitated. "It was..... a good plan."

"I'm just glad you listened to me. Now, let me take you somewhere and buy you a drink. You look as if you could use one," that infamous grin spread over his face. Severus scowled, but followed him anyway. A drink sounded the perfect end to a perfect day.
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