The Sugar Quill
Author: zzzFF 579288  Story: Inside Aragog's Lair  Chapter: Default
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Inside Aragog’s Lair

Inside Aragog’s Lair

 

Severus Snape stumbled into the clearing, falling to his knee.  The spiders fell away into the

shadows, leaving him alone. 

 

“What are you doing in my forest, boy?” came a voice from directly in front of him.

 

“I came looking for someone, but I wandered deeper than I meant to.”  His voice trembled

violently, despite his efforts to stay calm.

 

“Who is it that you were looking for?”

 

“His name is Remus Lupin.  I know I saw him come in here.”

 

“I know of no one with that name.” They stood in silence for a moment.  Then the hoarse, low

voice came again, this time closer. “My name is Aragog, and these are my children.”  The spiders

around him moved slightly as if to remind Severus of their presence. 

 

Severus heard a rustle in the large trees.  Out of the brush came the largest spider that he had ever

seen.  It was nearly the height of a horse and extremely ugly.  An icy chill swept through his thin

frame as he looked upon the creature.  Severus took a hesitant step backward, put his hand in his

pocket, and wrapped his thin fingers around his wand.

 

“You think to use your wand against me,” said Aragog.  “I can stand against the small spells that

you would know.”

 

“Indeed?” asked Severus with a smile.  He took out his wand and pointed it at the nearest spider.

“Avada Kedavra,” he said.  Instantly, the spider fell to the ground, never to rise again.

 

“Dare you kill one of my children?” roared Aragog.  “You shall pay for that!”

 

The gigantic spider advanced on him quickly, but Severus was faster. “Petrificus Totalus!” he

shouted, and Aragog was frozen in place.

 

“I am more powerful than you thought. I will not hesitate to protect myself.  Remember that

when I release you.”

 

Severus removed the spell, but kept his wand raised.

 

“You are very powerful indeed.  But your magic is not what you believe it to be.  Beware of it.  It

may lead you down paths you do not wish to take.”

 

“I think I know what I am doing better than you do,” said Severus acidly.  “Have you seen

anything strange in the forest?”  Severus was becoming nervous, even though he knew that he

could kill Aragog at any moment. He wanted this interview to be over as soon as possible.

 

“No, nothing stirs withing the Forest that I do not already know about.  And I know about a great

many things.”

 

Severus became very curious.  “For example?”

 

“There are some new creatures in the Forest: a stag, a rat, and a dog.  They have been here

frequently, but they never reside here for long.  Does that help you in your search?”

 

“I don’t know, yet. Perhaps.  Why do you tell me this?”

 

“I thought that you might know of who they are.  The rat, especially, is terribly burdensome.  He

gets into the most unlikely places.”

 

“I don’t know who they are, and I wouldn’t tell you if I did.”

 

They stood facing each other in silene.  Severus thought through this new information about the

rat, stag, and dog.  It could be very helpful to him in solving the mystery of Remus Lupin, but at

the moment, he had no idea how.

 

One of the spiders on Severus’ right moved, waking Severus from his reverie.  He pointed his

wand anew at the horse-sized spider.  “If you don’t mind, I will return to the castle.  You have

given me much to think about.  I do hope that we never meet again.” Severus began to back

away.

 

“Do you really think that I will let you go so easily?  You are much mistaken.”

 

The smaller spiders that had surrounded Severus closed in on him.

 

“Do you really think that you will catch me so easily?  I could kill all of your children in a second

if I wanted to.  Would you cause the destruction of your entire family?”

 

Aragog hesitated, then the spiders stopped.  “I shall allow you to go this time, but I am gaining

strength daily.  Next time, you will not be so fortunate.”

 

“There won’t be a next time, I assure you.”

 

Severus, still with his wand out, backed out of the clearing and into the forest.  Once through the

trees, he began to run as fast as he could toward the castle.  He knew that Lupin came in the

Forest, but he was not willing to search any more for him tonight. 

 

He slowed to a walk, his side aching with the strain of running.  His arms and legs were shaking.

He knew that he had been practicing the Killing Curse for a reason.

 

For some reason, though, Aragog intrigued him.  How could a creature learn how to

communicate with humans?  How was it that Aragog seemed to know so much?  Aragog’s words

concerning his magic haunted him.  It may lead you down paths you do not wish to take. Could it

be true?

 

He pushed it out of his mind as he struggled out of the Forest.  That would have to wait.

//
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