Chapter 14 : The American Ministry
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Severus had a headache, in truth; he had had a headache since he arrived six days ago, and his need to return home sounded in his head like a hammer to a brick wall.
He rubbed his eyes until his eye lids stung and he immersed his concentration in the cauldron of bubbling solution in front of him. He had had enough of America, the generosity and impassively nice attitudes of the Ministry members unnerved him.
He had been shown the Ministry’s Potions Division, and had been introduced to nearly all of the staff, each of them shaking his hand with wide smiles, so eagerly pleased to meet the famous Potioneer Severus Snape. He had smiled tightly at the first five people to shake his hand, and then gave up and kept to his usual steely disposition.
He had been shown the lab in which the illegal, and most dangerous experiment had been conducted, and had seen the Potioneer guilty of making such an explosive solution.
The idiot’s name was Wilbur Grubbins. A young Wizard with radical ideas about a massive Wizard and Muggle war that was due to happen in the near future, and in his research of Muggles and their weapons he devised an experiment in which he mixed the Muggle elements of the flammable weapon Napalm, and other magical solutions which ended up blowing the Potions Division building to smithereens. It was easily re-buildable of course, but that was not the point.
The man had lost his job, and was to serve six months in the Wizard Prison, Janus-Bridge. Which was located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Although the explosive solution had blasted a whole building, no one was fatally injured, and there was still a vast amount of the stuff left, and it was Severus’s job to study the liquid and then safely get rid of it.
Although it was a foolish idea, Severus had to admit that it was still rather brilliant. The Muggles certainly could create Weapons capable of destroying thousands, but mixed properly with Wizarding solutions would cause an even greater effect. Country’s by the dozens could be wiped out with such a potion, and equally, there could be mixtures discovered to bring country’s back to life. It may work either way.
There was a knock on his door, and it opened up before he permitted entry. One of the American Minister’s under studies stood there with a trademark smile.
‘The Transport Team are all set up Sir, I was told to collect you so we can get this ordeal finished’ he said with a deeply southern accent. Severus nodded and stood up from the chair he was in.
The man held the door opened for him and followed him out. They were to take a portkey to the place in which the hazardous material would be taken. The man stopped in front of an empty vase in the centre of the parlour leading off of Severus’s room. He looked down at his watch and said brightly.
‘Two minutes Sir’ they waited in silence.
Severus had spent the last five days studying the solution; it was highly temperamental, and extremely flammable. He had taken tests and swabs and written out his full report. He had discovered that the only way to get rid of it was to copy the Muggle way of ridding the world of radioactive chemicals… which wasn’t really ridding the world of them but instead burying them deep in the ground.
The American Minister had arranged a spot in which to bury the chemicals, and then, when they were down deep enough they would be detonated in a controlled explosion to make sure they were destroyed thoroughly.
Severus looked at the tall crystal vase, and thought of home, thought of Hermione by herself in the house with Silas in her arms and Aurora colouring. How he would love to be there now.
He remembered his last words to Hermione, remembered her eyes begging him to stay safe, remembered her kiss burn upon his lips, remembered Silas sleeping soundly in his bed, and remembered Aurora, remembered the picture she had drawn of the Monster in her dream. It sent a sudden shiver up his spine.
‘Sir!’ the man said frantically with his finger on the rim of the glass, Severus copied him. And in a second the vase turned a bright blue and he was pulled scrupulously by the navel through nothingness in an endless blur until his feet slammed into some kind of unsteady ground.
He stumbled and looked around, he was in a vast dessert filled with sand, and the high sun was burning into his black clothed back in less than a minute. He followed the man towards a crowd of Ministry Officials, and he shook the Ministers hand.
He was a very tall Wizard, with short grey hair and violet coloured eyes.
‘Everything’s in order Snape, the material is ready to be buried upon your call’ Severus nodded and looked at the group of wizards that were ready to pile sand in a huge hole in the ground that went down around 500ft.
He gave one nod of his head, and immediately the Wizards began to replace the sand. As Severus watched, a horrid jolt seemed to ripple his insides. He was unsure what had caused it, it was an odd feeling. And he could only recall ever feeling it once before in his life.
It was the night Lily had died. That same churning jolt had made him bend over and vomit when it shook through him. Something was wrong, something somewhere was wrong.
He watched as the sand quickly filled the massive crater in the ground, he watched as a Member of the Magical Defense Squad walked forward and knelt down, pointing his wand about an inch into the sand.
‘Upon your order Snape’ the American Minister said again.
Severus could feel his hands start to tremble when he gave another sharp nod.
‘REDUCTO MAXIMA!’ the man shouted and the earth gave a slight shudder as the charm was blasted through the sand down towards the chemicals buried deep beneath.
There was a silence, and a slight hush of wind before a massive shudder made them all stumble on the spot. Again, as a muffled exposition traveled through the sand and Severus was knocked back a jolt shook through him, that same horrid squirm that wriggled from his stomach up to his head, telling him that he must return home now, right now!
He turned to the Minister ‘I must leave!’ he said frantically ‘I need another Portkey quickly!’
The Minister looked at him with a concerned expression ‘What’s the matter?’ he asked, Severus lost his temper.
‘For Merlins sake I need to go home, right now, I need a Portkey!!’ the Minister looked taken aback as he shook his head.
‘We haven’t arranged for anymore Portkeys for the next hour, this is the priority Snape, this needs to be dealt with before anything else’ he said, Severus glared at him, and the Minister thought his face might just melt off in the wake of such a fiery stare ‘you would have to fly back North about 150 miles before you could apparate to the Ministry, you can’t here, it’s a non-apparition zone’ the Minister whispered gruffly.
Severus shoved past him and ran towards a Marquee that had been set up a little distance away, he was quite aware of the crowd of Officials staring at him, whispering about him, but he didn’t care. All he cared about was getting a broom and flying back towards the American Ministry so he could floo back home.
Something was wrong, horribly wrong, and quite suddenly the fear of losing everything like he had done once before rose to his eyes in the form of tears.
Firstly I am so, so sorry for such a late update! I have barely had time to sleep over the last couple of weeks, let alone have some leisure time! I hope this chapter is okay? I would love to know what you all think? And I am just about to update 'Starless Eyes' too, for any readers reading that one too!
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