Harry stared out the window in his room for a long moment. The wind blew the willow tree gently, rustling the tall grasses. The sun was dying, its light a fiery red orange in the sky, slowly bleeding into the horizon. Harry gripped the back of the chair, his fingers brushing over the gold ribbon tied there. He fingered it absentmindedly, thinking about how in just a few hours, this world would be devoid of one more piece of evil.
“Harry!” a voice shouted up the stairs, startling him.
Harry jumped, accidentally snapping the brittle ribbon wrapped around his fingers. He bit his lip as he looked down at the half that remained in his hand. Surely that wasn’t important, was it?
“Yes?” he called back while scooping up the other torn half.
“I am ready. Have you gathered what I told you?”
“Yeah,” Harry replied. “I’ll be down in a moment.”
Harry looked at the tattered pieces of ribbon for a minute before shoving them into his pocket. Grabbing his wand, Harry headed downstairs to the potion lab. Now was the time to bring Voldemort one step closer to death.
Harry scooped the crushed herbs into two stone bowls and three wooden bowls once he had arrived. When Snape had finished drawing a pentagram on the floor, he set a bowl at each point. With a wave of his wand, Snape lit the candles surrounding the circle in which the pentagram was inscribed.
“Put the cup in the center,” he instructed Harry.
Harry did so, placing the small golden cup in the exact center of the pentagram. He stood back as Snape prepared to read an archaic spell from an equally old book. Just as he got ready to speak, Harry interrupted.
“Are you sure we should do this?” he asked hesitantly.
Snape looked at him. “You were the one who was so eager for it in the first place.”
“Yes, but not like this. I mean, I know we need fiendfyre, but... alright. Let’s just do it then. This thing is just creeping me out, that’s all,” Harry admitted.
“Preveci graniar, omioubi caravesi, helliantro brannium,” Snape chanted. He repeated these words over and over again. Slowly, not breaking the stream of incantations, he set the book down and withdrew a silver dagger from within his robes. Moving to the edge of the circle, Snape went to cut his hand.
Harry had a sudden violent flashback of the graveyard where Wormtail had sacrificed his hand, had made a blood sacrifice-
“Stop!” Harry cried, wincing at the rude interruption of the sensitive spell.
Snape’s eyes flashed with anger as he cut off the spell and looked at Harry. “What in Merlin’s name did you do that for? One more second and the magical backlash would have killed us both.”
“One more second and it would have been worse than that if you’d have finished,” Harry insisted. “It wasn’t right. That was Dark magic, wasn’t it?”
“Suddenly squeamish, Potter? If you didn’t want to go through with it, you should have said so earlier so I could have locked you in another room,” Snape snapped, still irritated.
“No,” Harry protested. “It’s not right to destroy such a Dark object using such a dark spell. I have the horrible feeling that it would only make it grow.”
Snape rolled his eyes. “So we are giving up hours of work for a feeling. Well, who am I to protest? You are, after all the Chosen One,” he said snidely.
“Stop,” Harry said assertively.
“Why, because you canno-”
“Stop!” Harry insisted, hand flying to his scar. He squeezed his eyes closed against the pain and saw flashes of disorienting scenes. Harry looked down into an enchanted mirror of sorts and watched the happenings through Voldemort’s eyes. It was dark, so dark, but he could make out a mass of tangled, curly hair.
“Take that side, Avery,” Bellatrix commanded. “And remember, we are only to hold them until the Dark Lord arrives.” The knot of people around her began to dissipate. “On my signal. We are to hold them,” she reminded the gathered Death Eaters, “but there is no reason we need to be gentle.”
Harry saw her lips curve into a vicious smile before the scene vanished.
Harry’s eyes flew open. “We have to get out of here. Now.”
“What? Why?” Snape demanded, heading for his wand.
“Voldemort- he’s coming. He’s excited. Death Eaters- they’re outside the house right now,” Harry gasped urgently. “Come on!”
Harry lunged into the chalk circle for the cup, knocking over a few of the candles onto the cold stone floor. Wrapping two fingers around the small gold handle, Harry pulled it out and hurried to the door where Snape was already advancing carefully, wand raised.
The house was quiet, far too quiet. Harry’s frayed nerves jumped at every step they took, boards creaking beneath their feet. Adding to the tension was the fact that the house was black as pitch; Snape had insisted that the only light in the near vicinity come from the candles around the circle.
From the corner of his eye, Harry saw something move in the shadows. He raised his hand to fire a spell at it but Snape stopped him. Pulling Harry close, he cast a charm around the two of them, whispering, “Muffliato.”
A bright blue hex shot from Snape’s wand at the moving shadow and someone fell with a loud crash. Harry’s head immediately whipped around in fear that someone might have overheard.
“They didn’t hear,” Snape whispered.
Harry simply accepted this, figuring he would have time to ask later. They moved out of the hallway, still quite a ways from the door. A bolt of light whizzed past Harry’s head and he ducked instinctively, pivoting to fire back. On the second floor balcony that overlooked the hall in which they stood was a the far too familiar figure of Bellatrix Lestrange. Harry shot a Stupefy at her with the hand not holding the cup. Before it hit, however, she had melted back into the shadows.
There must have been others up on the balcony for soon he and Snape were subjected to a barrage of hexes, curses and other spells which Harry could not identify. Harry dove behind the small wrought iron bench against the wall and watched Snape hide in the doorway that led to the sitting room. Harry poked his wand up through the tiny holes in the bench to fire back and saw Snape pop out every so often to shoot at the balcony.
“Harry!” Snape hissed from around the corner. “I’ll cover you, get to the door!”
The hallway that led to the door was an opening about ten yards from where Harry was hiding. Why did this house have to be so big?
“When I’m there, you come, I’ll cover,” Harry whispered back.
Blindly trusting, Harry launched from his hiding space and sprinted down the hall. Spells shot his way but he blocked them with a wave of the wand. Rapid fire spells shot at the balcony from Snape’s position and soon enough, Harry was relatively safe in the other hallway.
“Now!” he called, hoping that whatever had stopped the Death Eaters from being able to hear them was still in effect.
There was nothing from Snape’s doorway.
“Snape!” Harry called. The only response was a crash and a grunt of pain. Harry couldn’t tell from whom it had come. Harry didn’t stop to think, he simply reacted by hurrying back into the hall, headed for Snape’s doorway.
He was forced to cast shield after shield to block to curses that came flying at him. Harry moved on pure instinct, reaching the doorway miraculously whole. A man in hooded robes was grappling hand to hand with Snape and Snape was bleeding from the cheek.
“Petrificus Totalus!” Harry shouted, hitting the Death Eater square in the chest. The moment that the spell had left his wand, something hit his other hand. The cup clattered from his hand, flying across the room and sliding to a clanging stop at the end of the hallway, past the doorway for which they were heading.
Harry and Snape shared a look then sprinted for it, blocking spells all the while. When they reached the doorway which Harry had left in favor of saving Snape, Snape pushed Harry into it.
“What are you doing?” Harry demanded, trying to hurry back out. The cup was still far away; there was no way that Snape would survive going to get it alone with all of the Death Eater fire concentrated on him.
“Go!” he told Harry. “Get out! Go!”
“No!” Harry shouted back. “I’m not leaving you here!”
Snape growled, pushing Harry into the adjoining hallway and then hiding there himself. With a look at Harry, he leaned around the doorway and shot a stream of fire at the cup at the end of the hallway. A huge snake formed from the flame, engulfing the cup entirely. An unearthly scream sounded, echoing around the hall and shaking the walls. The fire still flowed from Snape’s wand as if it were liquid. Snape flicked it, trying to cut off the spell. Instead of doing so, a new form, this time a dragon, shot up to the balcony. The screams of the Death Eaters as they ran or burned sent chills up Harry’s spine.
“Cut it off!” Harry cried.
“I can’t!” Snape admitted, swearing profusely. “Go!”
Harry hesitated one more second before finally obeying. He ran down the hall, reaching for the door handle before he even got there.
When Harry looked back, all he saw were flames.
Severus couldn’t stop it. The flames were sentient, consuming anything and everything. He couldn’t stop the flow from his wand and couldn’t put them out. As the fire licked up at his shoes, Severus took a step back and as a last ditch effort, threw his wand to the flames, still spurting fiendfyre. It made no difference. The fire was at his back now, at his front, encompassing him. Severus closed his eyes and felt the heat on his face, waiting to die. He hoped that Harry had gotten out alright.
AN: Well, I said I was going to wait until closer to June 1st to post this, but I couldn't hold off any longer. I was just too excited. And I apologize for the short chapter, but, gee, look how epic that cliffhanger is!
Now, if you would like to find out if Snape lives or dies, I beg you to favorite (and like, if you want, but only favoriting is necessary) this movella! This round of the writing games involves both number of favorites and the vote of judges, so even though I'm in the lead (as far as I know) it's anyone's game! If you're still unsure, just think of Snape... poor Snape...how could he escape?
Choose wisely. But I digress; thanks for reading!