Absence of Light
By Mysterious Muggle
Then. (Four years ago)
Donovan practically skipped as he moved along the path. His fingers trailed
along the high fence beside him, and his smile threatened to split his face in
two. He performed an impromptu drum solo on the letterbox, took a bow and
continued towards the house, which was painted orange by the light of the
setting sun. She was standing at the window, smiling and shaking her head. He
just grinned wider, unaware that in a few short hours, it was all going to be
walked slowly through the darkened room. There was barely enough light to see
by, but he didn’t mind. He knew the room like the back of his hand, and the
darkness seemed…well, somewhat appropriate. People like him didn’t live in
brightly lit, bustling rooms. People like him wore black, spurned company, and
lived in the dark. It was the way of things.
Not that they had
always been that way, he admitted, but things change, and he’d long ago given up
fighting these particular changes. As he pulled on the long black cloak he
habitually wore, he thought back to happier times. He paused momentarily, and
then shook his head, clearing it of distracting thoughts. Now was not the time.
It was never the time. He had sworn again and again to stop dwelling on the
past. A past that could not be changed. But that knowledge never stopped him
from wondering how it could have ended up if things had been different. He was
willing to bet that he wouldn’t be here, now. Preparing for what he was about
He slipped the
ring onto his finger, and almost stopped himself remembering the night he had
gotten it. Almost.
body of her assailant slumped lifelessly to the ground, like a puppet with its
strings cut. Nick heard her scream, but
it seemed distant and muffled. He lowered his wand and walked over to the body.
Just before he lifted the mask, he looked back. She was standing there, looking
shocked and shaking slightly. He turned back and lifted the mask off the
cry of anguish echoed over the darkened hills.
Stewart sighed and rubbed her eyes. She was seated in her office, which held
little more than a small desk, some filing cabinets and a few chairs. There was
a clock sitting on the desk, but she had turned it to face away from her. She
always found it distracting when working late. The only illumination came from
a group of candles hovering just above her. Paperwork overflowed from the desk,
and some had ended up on the floor. She wasn’t in the mood to pick it up.
She hadn’t joined
for this. You didn’t become an Auror so you could sit in a cramped office
writing reports. She understood that reports were necessary, and agreed that
they needed to be done, but she didn’t mean that she should do them. The
advertisements and posters talked about the action, about the fighting for a
cause. They never once mentioned all of this. Still, she knew what she was
stared blankly at the piece of parchment currently vying for her attention for
a few more seconds, and finally threw her quill down in disgust. It was too
late at night to be doing this sort of thing. But the powers that be wanted as
many people available as possible. Something big was happening, Anna knew that
much. But all she wanted to do now was to sleep through it.
stood up and stretched. Time to grab a bite to eat, she thought. Reports can
wait. Reports will wait. She reached the door just as it swung open. The
man framed in it was not a pretty sight, but she was used to it by now.
Alastor,” she said wearily. “What’s up?” Alastor Moody’s expression was
difficult to read. But then, with a face as mangled as that, it’s always
difficult to read, she thought.
down, Anna,” he said in his usual deep growl “There’s someone you need to
motioned to someone outside, just around the corridor. Three men walked in, two
of them Ministry agents; flanking the third like he was a prisoner. The third
man’s face was covered by a piece of cloth that had been thrown over his head.
Moody turned back towards Anna and said, “We thought it was time you met our
spy.” He stepped over towards the prisoner and pulled the cloth away.
was glad she was sitting down. She felt like she’d seen a ghost. “Severus…?”
she asked in disbelief.
Snape looked into her eyes and nodded. “Hello, Anna,” he said in a quiet voice.
“It’s been a long time.”