Chapter 3 : Chapter Three
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Severus had been white as a sheet when she had awoken. She had insisted she was fine but she knew he did not believe her. He seemed to realize that her tears had nothing to do with the lump on her head and everything to do with his strange tattoo. How could she tell him? She had made an excuse about wanting to take a walk and had left him staring after her.
Camilla jumped as one of the former Hogwarts headmasters began to snore inside his portrait. She cursed him and stuck a new piece of hair in her mouth. Where was Dumbledore? It seemed like an eternity had passed since Professor McGonagall had gone to fetch him.
Suddenly, the door to Dumbledore’s office opened. Dumbledore entered and smiled warmly at Camilla. “Ah, Mrs. Snape,” he said, “Lovely to see you. Minerva said you needed to speak with me?” He sat down behind his desk and leaned forward, placing his fingertips together and gazing at her with concern in his eyes.
“Yes,” she began in a shaky voice. “I don’t know how or why, but Severus has lost his memory. He can’t remember me or anything about himself. And tonight…” she trailed off, choking back a sob, “…tonight the Dark Mark—“
Dumbledore’s eyes widened. “Voldemort has summoned him? Tonight?”
Camilla shuddered at the sound of his name. “I suppose so.” She looked up at Dumbledore in desperation. “What are we going to do? Severus doesn’t even know anything about You Know Who! How is he supposed to meet with him? He’ll be killed!” Camilla said, breaking down and sobbing uncontrollably.
Dumbledore sat back in his chair and inhaled slowly. “This is a dilemma, indeed,” he declared. He tapped his fingertips to his lips, his brow furrowed in concentration. He appeared to be deep in thought for a lifetime before saying, “We do not know if Severus has lost his ability to do magic. His powers may not have left him at all.”
Camilla eyed Dumbledore skeptically through her tears. “What are you saying? Do you actually think he will still have the ability to practice Occlumency?”
“It is possible. If Muggle-born witches and wizards can perform magic at a young age, well before they are aware of their gifts, then it is not beyond the realm of reasoning to think that Severus could as well.”
“So what are you suggesting?”
“Bring Severus to me and we shall find out if his powers have remained. If they have, then he will be able to meet Voldemort as planned.”
She stared at him for a moment in disbelief. “Dumbledore, I can’t do that,” said Camilla angrily. She felt her emotions start to get the best of her, but she didn’t care. This is my husband, she thought. All Dumbledore cared about was making sure his spy was still able to do his job. He didn’t seem to care if Severus got himself killed in the process. There was no possible way that Severus would still be able to carry on the façade he had maintained for so long without his memory.
“You can’t expect Severus to carry on spying for you in the state he’s in. He will be killed!” Camilla cried.
Dumbledore’s eyes widened slightly but he seemed otherwise unconcerned by her outburst. He sat there, as serene and calm as ever. “Camilla, I assure you that I have Severus’s best interests in mind.”
Camilla leapt up. It took all the restraint she had to keep herself from hitting the old man. “Dumbledore, I respect you. I do. But you have gone too far this time. Severus may be nothing more to you than a tool to get to You Know Who, but he is my husband and I love him. I’ve sat by and watched you use him for a long time and I never said a word. I told myself it was necessary, that it was for the good of us all. But I will not let you do this. I will protect him because no one else will.”
Camilla stood there, shaking with anger and staring at the old wizard. He suddenly looked tired. He removed his glasses and rubbed his eyes, sighing slightly.
“You are right in a way,” he said with a sad smile. “I never meant to use Severus, but I have put him through much more than he deserved. He never complained, however. He did it all of his own free will. He seemed to think he owed it to me and to Harry for the things he had done. It was his way of assuaging his guilt, I think. Though, I’m not sure he will ever forgive himself.”
Camilla felt her anger start to dissipate slightly. She collapsed back into her chair. “I just don’t want him to get hurt. I can’t lose him,” she said, tears stinging her eyes again.
Dumbledore smiled. “Trust me. Trust Severus. He will be fine.”
“I’ll tell him what you said. It’s his decision, not mine,” Camilla said in an empty voice.
“Then I will hope to see him soon.”
Camilla was chewing her hair again when her husband returned home. She had tried to dissuade him from going, but he seemed to think it was best to find out if his powers still remained.
She was not sure what she would have him do. They could try to hide somewhere, but she doubted there was a place where Voldemort could not reach them. As much as she hated the way Dumbledore treated Severus, she knew that if Severus did not go to meet Voldemort tonight it was certain that he would be killed.
She jumped up as he slammed the door shut and stared at him in anticipation. “Well…?”
Severus scowled and brushed past her. He made his way to the kitchen and began searching the cabinets. Finally, he found what he was looking for. He poured himself a large glass of something called Firewhiskey and gulped it down. It burned his throat but achieved its desired effect.
He was suddenly aware of her persistent presence, of her eyes boring into his back. “Well, what?” he hissed.
“What did Dumbledore, er…find out?”
“Well after numerous ‘tests’ he discovered that I still have my powers. Not that I know what that means.” He drained his glass and proceeded to refill it quickly.
Camilla gazed at him, concerned. “What sort of tests?” she asked.
“It was quite pleasant, I assure you,” he said, bitingly, as if this was all Camilla’s doing. “Have you ever had your mind probed repeatedly? Had someone gain complete access to your thoughts?” He grimaced at the memory.
“Yes, I have,” Camilla said quietly.
Severus wondered about this, but said nothing. Dumbledore’s actions had confused and enraged him. The old wizard appeared pleased after entering Severus’ thoughts. He did not know how he had done it, but he had found himself unconsciously manufacturing thoughts and memories that would have surely pleased the old man while carefully tucking away the dream of the man with the red eyes so the twinkling blue eyes would never see it.
Dumbledore then proceeded to tell him that the wizarding world was at war. Severus discovered that he was a spy: simultaneously a member of the Order of the Phoenix and one of Voldemort’s most trusted Death Eaters. Voldemort had summoned him tonight using the Dark Mark and would be most displeased if Severus did not come when called.
Dumbledore had concluded that since Severus could still practice Occlumency and retained all of his former powers, he could still meet with Voldemort without compromising his position as spy for the Order.
Severus, however, did not agree. From what Dumbledore had said, this Voldemort was dangerous and he was not willing to risk death for a life he did not remember.
He looked up from his glass. “I appear to be equipped to meet with Voldemort tonight.” Camilla turned white at mention of his name. “However, I am not going.”
“Severus, I know what I said before, but I think that if you don’t go tonight, you will be killed.”
“But he will kill me if I do go, for I cannot remember who the bloody man is!”
“He’s not a man,” Camilla said, her voice shaking. “He’s…he’s evil. He cares about nothing but power. He will not think twice about killing you if you disobey him.”
Severus sighed. Camilla crossed the room and stood in front of him. She gently took the glass from his hand and placed it on the counter. She gazed up at him with tears in her deep brown eyes; a delicate finger traced the lines of his face. “I know you don’t remember, but I love you and I don’t want to lose you.” She smiled faintly. A single tear escaped and rolled down her cheek. “But I believe in you. I know if you go tonight that you will come back to me. You always do.”
He saw the pain in her eyes and wanted desperately not to care. He could walk away now, move to somewhere remote and start over. But he could not. Damn her, he thought. “Very well,” he conceded reluctantly. “I will go.”
“You’ll need to Apparate,” Camilla said, wiping her face.
Severus smirked. “Yes, apparently that is one of my many talents I still possess, according to Dumbledore.”
“Well,” she said, smoothing the front of his black robes with a wry smile, “that is fortunate.”
Not knowing what possessed him, he suddenly took her hand and brushed his lips against her fingers. She looked up at him quizzically. “Goodbye, Camilla.”
“I will see you soon, “she said with resolve.
Severus turned quickly and exited. He made his way outside the castle grounds, took a deep breath and Disapparated.
A/N: Thanks again to my betas, Seventh_Child and LariLee for making sense of this.
I confess! I love reviews! So how about one? : D
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