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
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
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
“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
“Do you really think that I will let you go so easily? You are much
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
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
He pushed it out of his mind as he struggled out of the Forest. That
would have to wait.