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Chapter 16 : A Secret Meeting
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Severus drummed his fingers on the old wooden table of the kitchen table in the Burrow. The room was in silence, each pair of eyes looking rhythmically between Severus and each other, all looking curious and confused at what this sudden secret meeting was about, and why funnily enough, it did not involve Hermione.
Harry and Ginny stepped in to the kitchen and took two seats at the end. Harry looked at everyone else, and then at Severus.
‘What’s going on?’ he asked.
‘We’re just waiting for Mad-Eye and then we will get started’ Kingsley said, smiling at him. Harry furrowed his brow at the lack of Hermione’s presence and turned to Ginny who looked equally confused. James was pressed against her in his blankets, fast asleep with his thumb in his mouth.
Severus continued to drum his fingers, he kept his gaze on the table top. It was hard to think that this table had once held a dying Ron, he had seen it in his head as clear as crystal, seen Hermione’s memory of Ron’s last moments as if he had seen it with his own eyes. Yet to think he was here, here where all of these people sat so apprehensively at all sides.
There was a bang at the door, and the familiar clunk and padding thud of Mad-Eye’s footsteps. He entered the kitchen and gave a huff of hello before pulling out a chair and sitting down. His magical eye swiveling and glaring at Severus before moving onto every other member of the Order at the table.
‘Get a move on Severus, there were some hoodlum muggle boys down the road from me who aren’t to be trusted when they have their hoods up. The buggers set light to my garden hedge the other night!’ Moody growled.
Severus took a deep breath, and raised his eyes to look into the concerned faces around him.
‘There is an issue I would like to raise about one member of us… who I think is not as safe as you may want to believe’ the other’s brows furrowed, and Severus knew now that he would have to indulge his information fully to make them understand.
‘In this war, the tyrant was never just Voldemort’ he began ‘It seems that Draco Malfoy was taken very much under his wing, and now, the threat has moved away from Voldemort… and onto Draco’ Molly scoffed.
‘He’s just a boy, and he is locked away in Azkaban isn’t he? What danger could he be to anyone?’ she asked haughtily. Although she liked Severus very much, she had not quite wanted to forgive him for taking Hermione away from them so soon after her youngest son’s death, the very same night in fact.
‘Yes, Draco has been locked up in Azkaban for weeks, and we have only ever known of one person escaping the place’ Kingsley looked at Harry ‘Sirius’ Harry nodded.
‘But, Draco is dangerous, he may know the very secret to escape Azkaban because Voldemort may have given him the clues, the knowledge. We shall never know what Voldemort taught him!’ Severus said angrily ‘What we can go on is the traits Draco would have picked up off of him, one of those characteristics being obsession’ Severus stared at Harry, you stared back stonily.
‘Voldemort was obsessed with you, Potter. Killing you was what he lived for, and just as much as he was fanatical with you, Draco was just as obsessed with something far different. He was bent on discovering the identity of the person I was hiding, and believe me he knew I was hiding someone in my house. He wanted proof, to knock me off Voldemort’s right hand, he wanted his prize, his token’ Severus paused and gulped ‘Hermione was it. She was the thing he had dreamt about for weeks, she was the very prize he desired and when he found her, nothing else mattered, not even his views about Muggle born’s mattered when he first laid eyes on her. He saw her as his, his prize, his token, and nothing more’
‘But why are we meeting here, why is she not here now?’ Harry said, a slightly irritated edge to his tone.
‘Because, if ever Draco was to escape, he would have no other objective than to find her. And believe me, his fears of re-capture would be as little as an ant is to the moon. He wouldn’t care, all he would want is her, and I doubt it would be easy to stop him. This meeting is to make sure we all know about Draco. And although danger as surpassed the rest of us, she is still an obstacle in Death’s path if he ever decides to show up’
The table grew quiet, and everyone stared at Snape with mixed looks of apprehension and appreciation. He really did love her, no matter what he might say against it.
‘Hermione knows this herself I think, but it is best to just keep this meeting a secret. This meeting is not for her, it is for us, to warn us all about what may happen if Draco ever escapes’
‘But what makes you feel like he may escape Severus?’ Arthur said, taking his pipe from his lips.
‘I hate to say it’ Kingsley said ‘But two months in Azkaban has done next to nothing, he is perhaps, a little paler… but that is all’ whispers broke the silence of the table and Severus resumed his drumming on the table top.
‘Like I said’ Severus said bitterly ‘We will never know what seeds Voldemort planted in that boys head, all we know is that if there is ever word of Draco escaping. Hermione is to be moved, far away, so no one can give away her position. It’s an early plan, a foundation that we can work on if ever that time arises. I want your word that you will help me’ he looked around the table at both the wide and narrowed eyes of everyone.
He felt so naked, so vulnerable to their stares. At last the great Severus Snape has exposed himself, exposed himself to the world. At long last everyone’s knows he is a fraud, he has failed his main role as the surly, bitter man that everyone hated. At last it was known that Severus Snape could feel, hell, Severus Snape could even love. He had a beating heart in that cold exterior!
‘Of course we will’ Harry said, Ginny squeezed his hand on the table and nodded. The action was copied throughout the table.
Harry, Ginny, Mad-Eye, Kingsley, Luna Lovegood, Neville Longbottom, Molly and Arthur Weasley. The group nodded in unison and Severus gave a tight, awkward smile before getting to his feet and leaving.
She wasn’t out of danger yet, not by a long shot. But he had the help of the Order on his side, and that was the best chance she had.
He arrived home, and closed the door behind him, only to hear a shrill scream coming from his bedroom. He sprinted up the steps as fast as he could and burst through his bedroom door.
Hermione was writhing, twisted and sweating on their bed. The covers coiled around her arms and legs as she thrashed about. Severus let out a relived sigh as he saw she was only dreaming. He walked to her and shook her shoulder gently, tears were streaming down her sweaty cheeks.
He caught flashes of her dream in his head unintentionally, it was Draco, it was always Draco. He was on top of her, his scarred face leering between shadows, his teeth bared as his hands roamed violently over her body.
She screamed again and her eyes snapped open, she threw herself into Severus chest, so hard that it must have hurt her. She curled herself against him and he wrapped his arms around her, brushing her hair with his fingers as she panted, still trembling.
No, she wasn’t out of danger yet, but perhaps one day she would be. Perhaps one day even her dreams would stop, and she could have peace. I'm sorry, i'm sorry, I took a spur of the moment week to Spain funnily enough and got back today so I know I owe you 2 lovely chapters! And here is the first one! I hope you enjoy this flashback, I would love to know what you reckon?
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