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Masked Heroism by Sam M
Chapter 1 : I. Over the Hill
Rating: 15+Chapter Reviews: 10

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A/N: I, Sam M, am delighted to present to you my newest fic Masked Heroism! It is a post-HBP fic, told from Harry's and Snape's PoV. This is the sequel of my story Dying to Live, but it is not necessary to read it first! A warning: MAJOR HBP spoilers throughout the entire story! This is my version of what happens after the sixth book. The story is as good as done, but updates may be slightly delayed because I'm working on so many stories at the same time, but be patient! I want to thank ANSWR42 of the DA for the perfect banner. Thank you Heleen! Please review, everyone! Thank you. Now onto the read! ~ Sam M,

Masked Heroism
"To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved,"
Written by: Sam M

1. Over the Hill

A man with skin as pale as the moon above him and shoulder-length raven black hair was standing on top of a hill, looking down over the dead landscape surrounding him with a blank and unreadable expression, but in his eyes you could see a raving fire burn. To understand this mans quiet despair would require knowledge of the events that occurred up in the lightning-struck tower some nights before.

The day itself was a reflection of the dark shadow surrounding the man, engulfing him. Dull, heavy clouds spread across the dark sky, over the landscape of dead trees and the remainings of destroyed houses. The air was thick with smoke and there were several clear signs that a big fire had just raided through the area, killing everything crossing its path.

The smell of death hung in the air and above him, the man could see a vague silhouette of green smoke demonstrating a skull with a serpent protruding from its mouth; the same mark he had on his upper arm. The green mist made him think of a pair of lovely deep green eyes.

He ran his hand over that Dark Mark on his arm absent-mindedly, his eyes not leaving the scene before him. All the houses were burnt to the ground, leaving almost nothing left but foundations. It was a miserable sight, but it was nothing compared to the despondent feeling growing inside the man’s heart, but those emotions were well hidden underneath a rough exterior, inside a closed mind. The fire had burnt out.

The screams had stopped and the night’s deadly silence had returned. Suddenly the silence was broken by a low growl coming from behind him. The man turned around slowly with his wand ready in his hand. He was met by two piercing eyes, glowing in the dark and staring at him intently.

“We are finished here, Severus.” The man with the glowing eyes told him with a rasping bark of a voice, stepping closer to him and entering the faint light of the moon. Severus just looked at him, his expression still blank. A scent of dirt mixed with blood reached his nostrils and he wrinkled his nose. He could see the scarred face and fresh blood around the man’s mouth in the dim light of the half-moon.

“I’ll be with you in a moment, Fenrir.” Severus said dismally and turned to look down once more at the dead scene below him. A sigh escaped his lips and his eyes gazed up at the sky above. His hand reached down in his pocket and touched the object inside.

Far away Severus could hear a song. A sad song. Someone was singing out their grief. Severus listened to the beautiful tunes of the lament for a few seconds, before he joined Fenrir Greyback and the others to return to their lord. With the help of a portkey they soon found themselves in the dark wizard’s lair. No one, not even Severus, was positive of their exact location. He could only guess that they were still within Scotland’s boundaries. The Death Eaters entered a ruin of an ancient castle deep in the forest. Dead ivy was climbing the remaining stone exterior of the ruin and grass was serving as floor inside. They soon found their master in the old ruin.

“We have completed the task you sent us to do, Master,” said a female voice from behind Severus. She gave a small bow and awaited her master’s reply.

“Well done. Now when Dumbledore is out of the way,” The Dark Lord stopped and looked at Severus with his red eyes.

“Thanks to Severus, we will finally be able to conclude the last step of my plan.” He hissed and nodded slightly in Severus’ direction. Severus remained expressionless. The use of his deceased Headmaster’s name made images flash before his eyes and a pleading voice, darkened by fright, entered his mind;

“Severus … Please…”

He blinked the images away, but he could feel the anger slowly return. Never had he hated anyone as deeply as he had hated Albus Dumbledore that faithful night up in the lightning-struck tower.

“As you all know, Potter has already started his search for my hidden Horcruxes. It is now up to you to prevent him from finding them.” Lord Voldemort’s raspy voice told them. Severus could almost see the Dark Lord’s gleaming red eyes from under his hood as he spoke.

“I also offer a reward to the one who bring me the son of Lucius Malfoy alive.” Voldemort continued with a throaty voice. Snape looked up, his face still showing a neutral expression. Again he was clutching the object in his pocket, his mind wandering. He could feel Voldemort’s piercing eyes upon him.

Stubbornly he refused to meet them and kept his gaze locked at a single moth. The Dark Lord took his eyes off of him and turned to the other Death Eaters. Severus let his gaze travel over the sky through the hole in the roof. Twilight coloured the sky in a dark shade of red. The colour swept over the heavens like hair in the wind. Red hair. Like a flickering flame, and he was the moth, drawing close to the warmth, only to die because of it.

Memories of that red hair entered Severus’ mind. Red hair and green eyes, staring at him intently, but then, he awoke. Absent-mindedly Severus’ hand once again found the photograph in his pocket. He didn’t even have to look at it to remember what she looked like. The one who was taken away from him. He stole a glance at the photo. He saw her smiling at him. Lily.

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