The Sugar Quill
Author: Gryffinjack and Seriously Sirius  Story: Getting Away With Murder  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER

GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER

 

The idea for this story stemmed from a comment made on the forum boards by Versipelles (Tann) at The Werewolf Registry.  We therefore send our utmost appreciation to Tann for his inspiration.  

 

We owe a *huge* debt of gratitude to our betas, who were ready to AK us after reading the first draft of this story due to all the difficulties with the tenses of the verbs.  Hopefully, we have got that all worked out now.

 

This story contains flashbacks.  All references to “Snape” take place in the present time.  All references to “Severus” occur at some point in the past.  Although we find it difficult to think of Snape as “Severus,” we have referred to him that way in an effort to make this story easier to follow.

 

 

The dungeons of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry were always dark and frigid. It was the way the Potions master liked it, especially when he was brewing a particularly difficult potion or hosting a group of Gryffindors in detention. Ironically, it was Headmaster Albus Dumbledore who had requested that he brew this particular potion and bring it with him to the next meeting of the Order of the Phoenix.

 

One of the things that gave Severus Snape the most satisfaction when brewing a potion was the careful regulation of the flames beneath his cauldron to derive the perfect potion.  His favourite moments in making any potion were those involving the oft overlooked embers under the cauldron which were able to provide the perfect subtle twist sometimes needed.  Embers could be quite deceiving: although their surfaces appear as though all of the heat and fire has been extinguished, one needs to look closer.  Beneath that white ash encrusted surface, the flame within still burns brightly, waiting.  Blow a puff of air on that ember and watch as it sparks alive with a flame that burns more intensely and dangerously than ever before.

 

But the embers beneath the cauldron containing the ingredients of this potion must not be enhanced yet.  They must be allowed to smoulder a little while longer before yielding to the flames.  This potion had been brewing too long already to ruin its subtlety at this late stage.

 

As Snape carefully measured and added the ingredients, his thoughts turned to the individual who would be taking this potion. The newly added dark ingredients began to blend together in the cauldron. The steam rose from the vile liquid, curdling Snape’s nose even as the rising fumes made his eyes involuntarily tear up.

 

As the billows of smoke thickened around him, Snape did not notice how white his knuckles were turning from grasping the long ladle so firmly. As he stared down into the murky depths of the cauldron, deep in thought, Snape stirred the mixture, gazing fixedly at his reflection glimmering eerily on the dark, simmering surface.

 

The smooth, constant motion of his arm, the sound as the ladle stirred the thick liquid, the odour, the crackling of the glowing embers ... all were mesmerising. Soon, the thoughts swirling around in his head became more focused. As they did so, a clear image, like that in a Pensieve, formed on the surface of the now mud-like substance in the cauldron before him. He forced himself to concentrate on the thin figure which was growing clearer and clearer before his eyes. Squinting to see the shape better, he gasped audibly as he recognised whom it was.

 

It was Snape himself - albeit a much younger version, in the very dungeon he now occupied. Judging by his appearance, he must have been in his fifth year at Hogwarts.  The teenage Severus appeared to be performing the very same rhythmic motion as the adult Snape: stirring a potion with slow, deliberate strokes. Staring deeper into the depths, Snape saw that his fifteen year-old self was visibly disturbed, his smooth, flawless movements occasionally punctured by a harsh jolt. He noted the rage, hot as coals in a fire, pulsing through the student. He could see the old, familiar hatred that had boiled deep within him almost since the beginning of his attendance at Hogwarts rise to the surface in his younger self. It was a flame that simply would not die...

 

Black, Potter, Pettigrew, and Lupin. They were the cause of the blind, white-hot anger in the younger Severus.. Black had thought himself so clever, taking his intelligence and turning it into Severus’ near demise. Of course, Severus had noticed Lupin's monthly "trips home" back then, but had not been deceived by the stories that were dutifully spread.

 

Severus had noticed something very unusual about Lupin’s “trips" - they had always taken place about once a month. Something had been wrong, indeed, something that had been covered up. It had been his utmost duty to discover just where Lupin disappeared to every month. If the administration were going to allow this complicity to continue, then he, Severus Snape, had vowed that he would not rest until the secret was his and had been revealed to the world.

 

He had started following the Gryffindors around, despite their having been aware of his presence. By observing them, Snape had learnt their habits, which he had hoped would one day enable him to solve Lupin’s mystery and use that information to his advantage.

 

Months had passed.  In typical Gryffindor fashion, the foursome had clung together, protecting the weaker Lupin from having his secret discovered. It did not matter. With dogged perseverance, Severus had eventually discovered that Lupin vanished into the Whomping Willow every month. Somehow, the Gryffindor had found a way to get underneath the deadly tree for some yet unknown purpose.

 

However, Lupin’s reason for playing a go-round of hide-and-seek with the tree did not stay a well-kept secret for long. His deadly secret was soon discovered by Severus.

 

One day when Severus had clandestinely followed at Lupin’s heels for nearly a month, Severus had been accosted by Black, who snapped at him for doing so. How typical of Black to lose his nasty temper when Severus had dared to accuse that precious little Gryffindor, Lupin, of having some dark reason for disappearing under the Whomping Willow at monthly intervals.  Ignoring the consequences and obvious dangers, that imbecilic, conceited Black had actually told Severus how to get under the Whomping Willow – and actually dared him to do so that night.  Of course, Black had known full well that Severus would.  Even worse, Black had known exactly what would be found there. How could he not? He had known it would cost Severus his very life.

 

It did ... almost.

 

That vicious Black, along with the rest of his lot, had intentionally ignored the obvious dangers and had set Severus up to confront that freak, Lupin, in his transformed state.  A murderous, blood-thirsty, filthy werewolf. They had all planned the entire thing. Only Potter’s loss of his nerve and desire to play hero at the last minute had saved Severus from being killed - or worse - becoming a werewolf himself.

 

And what had his illustrious headmaster, Dumbledore done about it? Was that grotesque  werewolf destroyed like it should have been? No. Were the four Gryffindors brought up before the Ministry for attempted murder? No. Were his would-be murderers at least expelled for their actions? No.

 

No. So there had been Severus, the victim of an insidious murder attempt by Black, Potter, Lupin, and Pettigrew, stirring a potion rather than following through with his original plan from the moment he had regained his wits after Potter had saved him. Despite almost being brutally murdered, Severus had not been allowed to go to the authorities to reveal Lupin to the world for the dangerous beast he truly was.

 

Instead, Severus had been ordered to keep their dangerous little secret; he had been ordered to help protect that vicious monster so it could receive the education that only a human wizard should receive. If Black or any of the other Gryffindors had received the slightest punishment, Dumbledore had not bothered to tell Severus, the victim. He had not received an apology from them. Looking back at the scene now, Snape doubted if the Ministry of Magic had even known there had been a dangerous werewolf running around Hogwarts impersonating a normal student. It had been enough to make Severus sick. Even now, looking back after all these years, the knot in his stomach continued to build, regardless of how hard he tried to calm himself.

 

Dumbledore. Damn him! If it hadn't been for his incomprehensible favouritism, things would have turned out differently. But that was fine - since Dumbledore had not been willing to punish Black and his cronies as they had deserved, Severus could wait until they ruined themselves. Oh, he had known they would destroy themselves ultimately, that had been certain. The arrogance, blind faith, and trust they had held in each other, on which the Gryffindors had prided themselves, would be their downfall. And Severus had planned to make sure he would be there to watch it all happen. Oh, yes. To every, single, last one of them.

 

Those conceited Gryffindors had underestimated the patience and intelligence of Severus Snape. Slytherins then, as now, were not all cunning and deviousness. He had waited quietly, not saying a word, and watchedg. Of course, when the opportunity presented itself to assist them in their ultimate demise, well ... a Slytherin always took advantage of a good opportunity.

 

The vision in the cauldron blurred before the present-day Snape’s eyes.  Snape took that opportunity to increase the flame under his cauldron slightly and to add a pinch of a grey powder to the mixture. That done, he went back to the constant stirring of the thickening liquid, once again looking at its surface.  After a couple of minutes, the surface became clear once more. Snape smiled with recognition as he saw a seventeen-year-old Severus watching gleefully as that pale, fat, putrid-faced Pettigrew left him and ran down the hall leading out of the dungeons. It had been one of Severus’ finest moments.

 

For months, this particular member of Potter’s little crowd of idiotic Gryffindors had not seemed happy to be following in Potter’s and Black’s wake. Finally, at least one of them had realised that the sun did not rise and set with Black and Potter. Pettigrew had been more intelligent than any of them had thought, including Snape.  It had become clear that Pettigrew had been the sort the Dark Lord had wanted.

 

Severus’ revenge had been about to begin.

 

 

The adult Snape looked back at the end of his seventh year as the time he had begun to make comments to Pettigrew about how he was too smart to let Potter and Black treat him as if he were inferior.  Stolen moments in the halls, Herbology, the library... all had been  perfect places to slip little comments to Pettigrew when Potter, Black, and Lupin had not been around.  Severus had told Pettigrew that they would all soon be leaving Hogwarts and that it was likely that Potter and Black would look down on him even more once they began their career training. Pettigrew had been all too easily convinced that he would have to start looking elsewhere to get the recognition and advancement he thought he deserved. It had been only a matter of time until Pettigrew came to Severus.

 

Predictably, Pettigrew had come to Severus a month after they had left Hogwarts, practically begging in his annoying manner for help. Severus himself had carefully plotted the course of the conversation, and soon had convinced Pettigrew that the Dark Lord was taking over, and that it would be in his best interests to be on the correct side when things fell into place. The pathetic mass of jelly had straight away set about the task of becoming a Death Eater and endearing himself to the Dark Lord.

 

Severus had been there, delighted witness as the Gryffindors began to crumble. How he had looked forward to their ultimate annihilation.

 

But before Snape had time to savour that memory, the image of Pettigrew had vanished from the potion’s surface.  The liquid swirled and changed once again as Snape continued to stare into it.

 

Snape watched as another scene unfolded exactly as he had lived through it the first time.  Soon, he was looking at an image of himself standing at a corner in Diagon Alley as some unknown old witch shook Severus’ shoulders gleefully and told him that You-Know-Who had been destroyed. He watched as the old witch sobered up enough from her jubilation to tell his younger self that Potter and his wife had also been killed. Interesting. 

 

It had been staggering news at the time.  Months earlier, Severus had managed to bite back his personal hatred of Potter in an effort to save his damned life.  Despite Severus’ warnings to Dumbledore of the Dark Lord’s intentions toward Potter,  Potter had still managed to bungle things.  Damn him! Potter hadn’t even let Severus pay back that wizard’s debt before getting himself blown up.  Not that Severus minded Potter’s death, far from it. It was merely Potter’s timing that was poor.

 

Of course, Severus had pasted an appropriate look on his face for the benefit of the old witch still holding him around his shoulders at the time, but a feeling of accomplishment, of vengeance, had filled his soul. He had left the old witch as soon as possible.  As he did so, a smile had crept over his face, a smile that had kept him warm on what was then a brief, pleasant walk to the Leaky Cauldron.

 

One down. Unfortunately, Potter had somehow reproduced before his death; Severus had shuddered at the thought. The older Snape recalled how he had sworn that one day, he would have to deal with his enemy’s offspring. But not today. Today, all attention had been focused on Member Number Two.

 

For months after Severus’ warning, Dumbledore had suspected that there had been a traitor helping the Dark Lord in his pursuit of Potter. If he had been able to discover and identify whom the traitor was, the Ministry of Magic would do him the favour of disposing of another member of Potter’s lot. So who had done it? Who had betrayed Saint Potter? It had to have been either Black or Lupin; they weren't as thick as Pettigrew. Although Pettigrew had proven himself more intelligent than Severus had thought, he lacked the necessary intelligence and strength of character required to spy on and ultimately to destroy the wizard he had once idolised.

 

Could the traitor have been the werewolf? Possibly. Rumours had circulated to that effect for some time after Severus had renounced the Dark Lord and had started to work for Dumbledore. Lupin certainly was a vile dark creature that had proven himself capable of murder at a young age. He definitely had been a possibility, but somehow, that didn’t seem right to Severus. After all, the monster had needed every friend he could get.

 

Black...Black had been the Potter's Secret-Keeper. Dumbledore himself had said as much. Black, who had reeked Gryffindor loyalty so much that it had dripped from his very pores. Now he had been branded the traitor. Severus’ joy had been hard to contain, especially once he had read The Daily Prophet.  It had given a detailed account of how Black had blown up that pathetic Pettigrew, whom the newspaper had called a hero.

 

Not only had Black obliterated Pettigrew, but he had also managed to blow up a street full of Muggles. The murderous Black had done Severus the favour of destroying Pettigrew. Not that Pettigrew had caused Severus to be as furious as the rest of their lot, but he still had been one of them and had helped plan that murder attempt on Severus back in Hogwarts. Now he had paid for it with his own life. How appropriate.

 

The results had been far better than could possibly have been anticipated. The Daily Prophet had shown a large picture of a wild-eyed Black on its cover as he had been led away to Azkaban for the rest of his miserable life. How fitting. His arrogance and family’s stature had not saved him in the end. In fact, for once the Ministry hadn’t botched things up and hadn't even give Black a trial. That’s how open and shut the case against him had been. At last, everyone knew what Severus had known for years - that Black was a dangerous, vicious wizard who should be locked up in Azkaban with all the other criminals.

 

At last, some justice. Everything had caught up with Black after all, and now Black had been punished for his crimes.

 

That left Lupin. The werewolf was all alone and trying to make sense out of the sudden destruction of his three closest friends, Severus had thought. Lupin would be all alone for the rest of his miserable existence. Excellent.

 

This certainly had been a fortuitous turn of events. And Severus had been there to enjoy it all. It was almost perfect. Almost.

 

This memory had been so strong that it caused Snape to grasp the ladle even firmer in his hand in his anticipation.  His hand was clenched so tightly, in fact, that it slipped off of the ladle, startling him momentarily.  With quick reflexes, he looked down at the cauldron to see that its contents had become cloudy once again.  Angry with himself for letting the ladle slip and ending such a fine memory, Snape snapped his fingers at the glowing embers and flames under his cauldron, which immediately obeyed his command and intensified.  The room was still silent, except for the hissing of the flame and the gentle bubbling of the potion. Grasping the ladle firmly in his hand, he recommenced his agitation of the cauldron’s contents.

 

The brewing potion finally settled on a vision of Severus a few years ago. The anger burned brighter inside Snape as he saw what memory this was. This was the moment when Severus had learnt that Black had somehow escaped from Azkaban. To make things worse, Black supposedly had been headed toward Hogwarts, although the reason for his going to Hogwarts had not been so bad. Potter’s brat of a son was as arrogant as his father ever had been. He even had his own fan club. Yet, despite loathing the attention-seeking brat, it had still been Severus’ duty to protect him rather than treat him the way he and his family deserved. It had been and still was the staff’s duty to protect all of the students.

 

But Severus’ main focus had been on Black, not on Potter’s son. So what had Dumbledore done to protect Hogwarts from Black? Oh, yes, he had finally agreed to let Dementors guard the castle when enough pressure had been put on him - he had had no choice. But that fool had actually hired the werewolf to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts! Imagine - a dark creature teaching a class on how to defend against himself! Snape seethed at the memory.  What had Dumbledore been thinking? Clearly, Dumbledore could not have been in his right mind; he was normally quite an intelligent wizard.  But no matter how much Severus had protested, Dumbledore had refused to see reason.

 

Severus had been proven right in the end, of course. Lupin had allowed Black to enter Hogwarts on more than one occasion, each time resulting in brutal attacks: once on a valued portrait and once on Harry Potter’s minion, Weasley.

 

Had Dumbledore finally learnt his lesson? Or course not. That fool had still allowed the werewolf to remain at his post. Severus had done his best to help the students understand that they were in danger because a foul Dark creature had been teaching them, but unfortunately, none of them had had the modicum of intelligence needed to realise what had been right before their eyes. None of them had looked at their lunar charts or even questioned Lupin’s monthly absences. Idiots. All of them.

 

What had happened at the end of the year had not been surprising. One night, while taking Lupin the wolfsbane potion that Severus had been forced to brew for him, Severus had spotted Potter’s map on Lupin’s desk. One glance at it had revealed its unique ability to show where everyone had been in the castle as well as on the school’s grounds. Lupin’s name had been scrolled on the map in tiny black letters located in the representation of the tunnel under the Whomping Willow.  According to the map, the werewolf had been headed toward the Shrieking Shack. Suddenly, Lupin’s name had vanished.

 

Severus had realised at once what had happened. Lupin had been helping his old friend, Black, just as he had suspected all year. They had been down there plotting their next move, he had been certain. Severus had known he needed to follow them ... follow them and catch them in the act. He had revelled in the vision of the faces of the Minister for Magic ... and Dumbledore... when they saw whom he had captured.

 

Severus had bolted quickly out of the castle and down toward the Whomping Willow, the warm wind blowing his hair in front of his eyes. The fates had smiled upon him as he had made his way to the tunnel. There, lying almost invisible, its fluid folds melting into the gathering darkness, had been Potter’s invisibility cloak. Although Severus had wondered what Potter’s cloak had been doing there, he couldn’t help having another thought, one that had made him smile as he picked up the cloak. How ironic that Black’s once having taught him how to get into the Whomping Willow would now be used to destroy both Black and Lupin instead.

 

The tunnel under the tree had been as long and dark as Severus had remembered it. Sweat had broken out on his face as he raced through the claustrophobic, filthy tunnel all too familiar to him from his own days as a student. Eventually, he had come out into a dusty old building that could only have been the Shrieking Shack. Although he had come close, he’d never been inside Britain’s most haunted building before; he had taken a moment to quietly look around him, even as he had strained his ears listening for any hint of where Black and Lupin were. Voices had been coming from upstairs. As quietly as possible, he had stolen up the dusty stairs and into the room. Those fools had not even had enough intelligence to realise that the sound they had heard was someone under an invisibility cloak. And these were supposed to be some of Gryffindor’s brightest. The idea had been ludicrous.

 

Not only had Black and Lupin been present, but Potter, Weasley, and Granger had been in the room as well. What morons, following a werewolf and an escaped convicted murderer around. Black and Lupin had been going on and on with the werewolf’s tragic tale and how Black, Potter, and Pettigrew had not only remained friends with him, but had become Animagi to help the creature. As if that had not been revolting enough to have been forced to hear, Severus’ would-be murderers had tried to convince the students that the werewolf was not really a monster, and that Black was innocent. It was ludicrous.

 

What was even more ridiculous was that Potter and his gang had been falling for Black’s and Lupin’s pathetic pack of lies. Potter had seemed to inherit his father’s blindness when it came to Black and Lupin. Severus had stood there under the cloak listening silently, making certain that Black and Lupin didn’t harm the students, even those students. It must have come as quite a shock to Black to learn that Severus was teaching at Hogwarts. Severus had taken a certain amount of pleasure in that. It had been the perfect moment for him to bring this charade to an end.

 

The first thing Severus had done was to tie the werewolf up for everyone’s safety. Most satisfying. Next, he had held Black at wandpoint. The lying cur had kept up his charade and had tried to blame Weasley’s rat. Azkaban must really have addled his brain if he had thought such a juvenile attempt would work on Severus. Black could pretend he was not the traitor all he wanted; Severus would have none of it.

 

The students, particularly Potter and Granger, had actually stood there trying to convince Severus that Black and Lupin had been telling the truth. Clearly, Black and Lupin had put them under a spell. They had no idea how lucky they were that Severus had been there to save them and capture Black and the despicable werewolf. Unfortunately, as Severus had been about to lead them all out of the Shrieking Shack and call the Dementors to come collect Black and Lupin, the world had suddenly gone black.

 

When Severus had awoken, he had been on the grounds of the castle. A quick glance around had shown him that Lupin had disappeared, although the three students had still been there, all unconscious, ... and there had been Black ... out cold right beside Potter. Severus had levitated all of them to the castle and to the infirmary, depositing the students in the fairly capable hands of Madame Pomfrey as he "escorted" Black immediately into a separate room to be held until the Ministry officials could arrive.

 

Dumbledore had questioned Black himself while they had awaited the Minister for Magic. Incredibly, Dumbledore had seemed to believe Black’s story, although he had  not admitted as much. Black’s ludicrous pack of lies had even included an absurd attempt to claim that the real traitor had been Pettigrew, whom he had claimed was not only still alive, but masquerading as Weasley’s rat. Black’s creations had turned wilder and more absurd by the minute - Severus had been preparing to enjoy watching the Dementor administer to Black the Kiss he so deserved.

 

When Fudge had finally arrived, he had given Severus the proper credit that had been due him for capturing Black. Snape recalled that at the time, he had thought that soon, all of the wizarding world would know about how Severus Snape, Potions master at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, had caught the infamous criminal, Sirius Black.

 

But then, the unthinkable, the impossible, had happened. Once more, Black had managed to escape. Not only that, but Dumbledore had seemed pleased about it. Once again, Black had gotten the better of Severus and had escaped punishment, a punishment that he had more than deserved.

 

The surface of the potion changed again, this time to the hospital wing at Hogwarts, where Dumbledore had forced Severus to grudgingly shake hands with Black after the Third Task of the Triwizard Tournament. Even after all these years in Azkaban, Black had still been filled with conceit about his own self-importance. Even worse, Dumbledore had trusted both Black and Lupin, even after Black had told him that he was an Animagus, a large black dog, to be exact. So Black had been an Animagus after all. How appropriate for Black to have resembled a filthy Grim.

 

Not only had Dumbledore believed Black’s story of his innocence, but he had felt it necessary to start up the old Order of the Phoenix again and had sent Black to gather everyone together and then to stay with Lupin. Meantime, Severus had been given the far more difficult, and potentially deadly task of facing the Dark Lord again, after Harry Potter had escaped... again. Facing the Dark Lord had never been a pleasant experience, let alone when he had been angry. It had been very dangerous to spy on him for the Order; Severus had known that had he ever been discovered, death would have been the best of his options.

 

The image in the cauldron became unclear once more.  Snape took this opportunity to check the heat beneath the brew; the embers beneath the flames were burning hotly with their fire within. Everything was going perfectly.  When the pool of liquid revealed a new vision, it was of Black and Severus glaring at each other in the dismal kitchen of the headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix. This had been one of the things Severus had hated most about the Order - having to talk with Black and even to work beside him, as if the two could have ever really been on the same side of anything. Black had still let his vile temper get the best of him whenever Severus had forced him to see the truth about what a coward he really had been, hiding while everyone else had risked their lives. The foolish ex-Gryffindor had been so predictable, so easy to goad, and most of all, so amusing to watch when he had got upset.

 

All Severus had had to do was to mention the truth about how useless Black was, doing nothing but relaxing at Number Twelve Grimmauld Place. Asking him how the cleaning was going had especially set him off. Even better had been when Severus would mention Black's wretched godson, Potter. Black had really lost control when he had mentioned the Occlumency lessons Severus had been forced to give the Potter brat. Typical Gryffindor, thinking he knew better, thinking that Severus had nothing to teach the brat and would "disturb" the boy’s precious mind. How dare he! What Black had really feared was that Severus would teach Potter what his precious father and godfather had really been like. Black had had good reason to be afraid.

 

Another vision. This one of Potter in Umbridge’s office, surreptitiously yelling back at Severus that Black had been in danger at the Department of Mysteries. With Dumbledore no longer in charge and his second-in-command injured and in hospital, the only member of the Order around to protect Precious Potter had been Severus. This time, that had meant that he would have to protect the last person in this world he wanted to help, Black. Once again, it had fallen to him.

 

The vision followed Severus as he Apparated to Headquarters. He had arrived there only to find that, unfortunately, Black had not only still been there, but had been quite safe. In order to protect the pathetic brat, Severus had had no choice but to alert Black of Potter’s outburst in Umbridge’s office. When he had alerted Black, Severus had been certain to instruct Black that he, Severus, would alert the rest of the Order and Dumbledore while Black did what he was best at, nothing, and remained at headquarters to tell other members of the Order what was happening. He had known Black wouldn’t dream of remaining still when he had an opportunity to play the hero.

 

This had suited Severus just fine. The deep-seeded hatred, which had been festering since he had been eleven years old, had come bubbling to the surface. The adult Snape recalled how at the time he had imagined how he would sit back and watch Black destroy himself, playing the brave Gryffindor hero, as usual. About the only good thing that damn Gryffindor loyalty complex had been good for - destroying Severus’ enemies. Once out of his hiding place at Headquarters, Black had exposed himself as an easier target for the Dark Lord, his Death Eaters, and the Ministry of Magic. There had been no doubt that Precious Potter would have been fine, but Black... Severus had sworn to himself that he would not actually kill him, but nor would he help to save him. So perfect, so Slytherin. Finally, revenge.

 

Lo and behold, Black's own arrogance had been his undoing. Black at last had died, and at the hand of his own family, no less.

 

One more down.

 

That had left only the werewolf.

 

Or not...

 

The cauldron stirred once again and more visions appeared on its glossy surface to Snape. The next one was a surprise when it had happened. Severus had been at Headquarters with the rest of the members of the Order listening to Dumbledore’s new plans. Black and Lupin had not been lying after all; Pettigrew had still been alive and apparently had been able to transform into a rat. It had not mattered. It had only been a matter of time for Pettigrew - he had had a death sentence over his head if the Order had ever caught him. If he’d been “lucky,” it would have been a life of servitude for the Dark Lord, which actually would have been worse than death.

 

As it turned out, real luck had been with Pettigrew. Kingsley had found him and had attempted to bring him to the Order for justice. However, Pettigrew, coward that he had been, had killed himself.

 

Severus had known that Potter’s pathetic gang would eventually all hang themselves.  His revenge had been sweet because he hadn’t needed to do anything; he had sat back and watched each one of them be destroyed by their own doing... except the werewolf.

 

The steam rose from the potion and curdled the hairs in Snape's nose as he inhaled it. The vision in the potion disappeared and he saw his own reflection once more. He breathed deeply before carefully extinguishing the flame under the cauldron, watching as the glowing red-orange core of the embers cooled and turned cold, the energy having gone out of them.  Satisfied, he reached for a heavy goblet and filled it with the vile liquid in the cauldron.

 

Raising his wand to the potion, Snape whispered an incantation to keep the contents in the goblet safely confined. He then wiped the stem, removing any drops of the precious liquid.

 

Holding the goblet up before him, his thoughts drifted back to the four Gryffindors, his bitter enemies. One by one, they had each met their own fate. All but one. 

 

Dumbledore's own pet werewolf - the flea bitten beast that had once roamed the grounds of Hogwarts and still haunted Snape's nightmares remained alive. But now Dumbledore had asked Snape to make the wolfsbane potion for the monster once more. 

 

The look on Snape’s face was that of a snake silkily winding its way in for the kill, a look of concentrated smugness. Snape felt no regret. In fact, he was doing the wizarding world a favour, one that was long over due. This is what should have happened all those years ago.  He wondered if Dumbledore knew the intricacies of the natural, slow, undetectable poisons that could be added to potions. It didn't matter - his own mission would soon be complete.

 

Lowering the goblet, Snape raised his wand, and Apparated to Number Twelve Grimmauld Place - to give the werewolf his very best potion ever.

 

The End.

//
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