Got Love? Whether it’s unrequited, extramarital, obsessive or completely otherworldly, this fic’s got it covered. Contrary to public opinion, Severus Snape didn’t die at the Battle of Hogwarts. Although he’s not exactly “alive,” he is on a mission to possess the very thing that eluded him in life: love. While love might be the best revenge, it’s never easy. When murder and madness are part of the mix, desire has teeth—and this kind of love really bites!


18. Darkfall

Part I

"It's worse than I imagined." Minerva, who'd finally joined them, surveyed Filch's wounds with a pained expression. "Did you get a good look at them?"

"Saw the caught in the blast." He shook his head.

"You have to alert the Ministry now," Hermione said.

"I was hoping we could avoid this but you're right, of course." Her hand fiddled with her brooch. "I'll send an Owl at first light."

"You can't wait until tomorrow!" Hermione sprang to her feet. "By then it will be too late!"

McGonagall threw her hands in the air. "What could the Aurors possibly do now? It's too dark to conduct a proper search, even by maximum wand light. Besides, the persons responsible are probably miles away from here by now. You really don't think they'd stay with a body in tow, do you?"

"They took him...they took my Severus," Filch moaned. " smoke..." Sobbing, he leaned against Hagrid's chest.

"We'll find him, Argus, don't you fret." Hagrid patted his shoulders and then, helped him up, shooting Minerva a warning look as he did. "With all they're carryin' they can't apparate, so they couldn't'a got very far," he said, brushing the mud and leaves from Filch's coat. "They'd need a place to hide. Somewhere they knew no one else'd ever go."

Hermione scowled. Based on what she thought she knew, she wasn't ready to believe all of Filch's story and McGonagall's reluctance to take appropriate action only strengthened her convictions.

"Well, there's always the Shrieking Shack," she said. "If the tunnel's still viable, they may have hidden him there."

"Back where we found him...all alone in the dank, in the cold! All alone..." Sniffling, Filch stared glassy-eyed into the shadows.

"It's the perfect hideout! People still think it's haunted, so they won't go there, and with easy access to Hogsmeade, the robbers could hide anything there and smuggle it out at any time," Hermione said. "Please, Professor, you have to alert the Ministry, while there's still time! Tell the Aurors to go to Hogsmeade!"

"It's a good point Miss Granger...oh, but I don't know...I don't like this at all." Minerva wrung her hands.

"I'd say it's all the more reason to get the Aurors here and keep 'em here, if we have to. Whoever did this could be the same as done the Malfoys and we sure don't wanna end up like them," Hagrid said.

"No...Of course, you're right. I'll send an Owl at once. You and Hermione can take Filch back to his room and then, meet me back in my office." Gathering her skirts, she turned and swept up the stairs.

"Did what?" Hermione clutched his coat as he started away. "What happened to the Malfoys?"

"Eh? I thought you must've seen it, t'was on the front page of this morning's Prophet. A bloody business it was and in their own home, too. Narcissa and Lucius are dead. One's throat slit, the other's heart torn out. Right nasty stuff. Sorry you had to hear that, Argus." He stopped to let Filch catch his breath. "Lucky Draco was off with the Parkinsons or he'd have ended up the same."

Hermione stopped, stunned by the news. "Dead?"

"There was another victim outside London. Didn't give her name. All it said was she was Muggle and had ties to Hogwarts. That narrows it down, wouldn't you say?" He snorted. "They're thinkin' it's Greyback done it and it wouldn't surprise me a bit," he said. "I can take Argus from here, why don't you go on and join the Perfesser?"

"I'll meet you there," she said, but the moment they turned a corner and disappeared from sight, Hermione slipped through the great door and into the night.


 Part II

The owl carrying Minerva's urgent message flew out of the tower window. It circled the castle, testing the wind currents. The rain had stopped; the air smelled sweet. The moon struggled out from behind the clouds, tinting the snowy messenger's wings silver as it soared over the ramparts and headed for the lake.

It did not see the dark shape shoot out of the forest below, did not sense the other who only looked like one its kind approaching, until it was too late.

A fury of talons and beak collided with the white owl.

It, along with its missive, plummeted into the lake.




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