Heart of Darkness

Harry looks for Snape’s hiding place. It’s not a very nice place. In fact, it’s not a place at all.


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3. 03

 

 

3

 

I have found a guide, you write, silently adding to yourself, albeit a very distracting one.

 

It is she who takes your hand and walks you through a dreamscape of swirling fire-lakes and ice-crusted caves, jumping fearlessly over the crumbled bones of skeletal bridges and skittering, free-falling rocks. When she laughs, with her head and shoulders thrown back, you find your eyes frequently straying to her chest, flickering to her wet lips and onto her too-knowing eyes.

 

She laughs at you, often.

 

‘My white knight,’ her too-old eyes latches on to you as she licks her red, wet lips. ‘So soft-spoken. So shy. Would you like to feel me up?’

 

Somehow you find your hands on her breast and your mouth tracing a line from her jawline to the beating hollow of her pale, pale neck. She makes sounds, such sounds in your ears as makes you wonder if perhaps you are both in your own head instead; and perhaps it is you who is mad.

 

She licks her lips and leans forward. ‘I could ride you like a horse,’ she whispers into your heated ears. ‘And all you have to do is want me to.’

 

You nod. You are mute with desire, parched with sudden thirst as she pulls you up and presses her body against you. ‘Come.’

 

Meekly you follow her through the door that suddenly appears- a door of iron, studded with cruel, blackened hooks. There is an urgent weight in your pocket which you brush away. Its summons was of no consequence. It could wait.

 

She leads you past a foyer with a small pond of dark water in the center, and up an intricate stairwell. Your gaze follows the scarlet dripping upwards and see that in place of a grand chandelier; a complicated string of beating hearts, hung on black hooks. There’s a sleepy cadence to the rhythmic beating hearts and the soft patter of blood dropping into the pool, like a Japanese musical fountain. You feel your eyelids grow heavy by the ebony banister, listening to its unknown whispers.

 

‘Not yet,’ the female Severus say softly, and take both your hands in her flawless white ones. You tear your eyes away from the glistening mobile, and move reluctantly on.

 

*

 

The heady scent of incense, its snake-like coils undulating from the ceiling. The ripple of red beads as the curtain parts. The unicorn horn goblet with its lightly spiced tonics. Her silken thighs, cool to the touch, eyelids heavy and rolling. Her entire body is a flexing, serpentine musculature.

 

‘How badly do you want me, Harry?’

 

Her fingernails, sharp and delicate on your chest; tears out a groan but no answer. Her eyes are red crystals in the dark as she purrs, ‘Tell me that you want to stay. You can stay forever, with me.’

 

You place your hands on her hips and close your eyes. You remain mute.

 

*

 

You see the child Severus tip-toeing to you, looking around nervously for his female counterpart’s return.

 

He speaks in Parsletongue. ‘She has you in thrall.’

 

You nod hazily, although you can barely understand what you’re agreeing to. ‘Yes. Yes.’

 

The young boy touches a finger to his lips to indicate silence, and motions for you to rise. ‘The Red Queen does not understand Parsletongue,’ he hisses. ‘We must escape, now.’

 

You frown. ‘The Red-‘

 

Child Severus takes your hand. ‘Speak only Parsletongue. We must hide.’

 

You nod dumbly and allow yourself to be lead. The boy urges you down the curling banister. You look up to see red droplets of blood running faster; falling insistently into a violent and discordant harmony. Whispering rhythms of the hook-suspended hearts beat faster and faster in your ears the further you descend.

 

You stumble on a step, almost overpowered by the beating noise that echoes your heartbeat.

 

Severus tugs on your arm. He seems unaffected by the palpitating noises, looking frequently back towards the red chambers that the pair of you had just vacated.

 

‘I can’t,’ you gasps finally, too dizzy to move. ‘I need to sit.’

 

‘You can’t sit, we can’t stay here,’ Severus insists, and glances behind him again. ‘She’s coming.’

 

You look down, at the blood that is suddenly seeping through your pants. A steady trickle runs down the stairs, a dark, sinister stain upon the white marble. A gurgling noise make you both look down onto the foyer below, where the fountain is overflowing, splashing dark red puddles on the floor.

 

‘Get up,’ Severus said, tugging you up. ‘Let’s go.’

 

You make your way down the now slippery stairs, the child’s tiny body supporting your much larger frame. The metallic stink of blood soak up your calves, clogs your nostrils, drips on your face.  

 

Severus looks apprehensively at the six corridors in front of them. ‘I don’t know which one to take.’

 

‘Which one did you use?’

 

‘They weren’t there earlier.’

 

Unable to stand, you sink to his knees and place your hands on your ears to block out the sound. ‘Just pick one.’

 

‘I don’t know!!’ Severus shouts, tears glinting in his dark eyes. ‘I don’t know.’

 

‘Severus,’ you slur, close to swooning. ‘The decision.. doesn’t matter. Only that you make one.’ But the child is paralyzed with fear and indecision, tears running down his face.

 

‘Severus, choose.’

 

The entire ceiling rains with blood, the pool sloshing past the boy’s waist. You feel your eyes roll involuntarily as you slide into the warm, waiting pool bellow, barely cognizant of a shrill scream of denial, and of being dragged, inch by inch…

 

You lose consciousness.

 

*

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