Thanks once again to those of you who have taken the time to read this story and review it.
Thanks as well to June for all of her help and suggestions.
All canon charachters belong to JKR.
Chapter 5 â€“ My friend.
They arrived at Hogsmeade and were able to walk to their position near the Three Broomsticks virtually unnoticed, two six-year-old children holding hands like brother and sister. If anyone stopped them, they planned to say they were going to meet their mother at the Three Broomsticks. Along the way they stopped at Honeydukes and got a few chocolate frogs and some salted pretzel spheres. Inside Madam Rosmertaâ€™s, both of them sat quietly at a table with a window overlooking the street, hoping nothing would happen, yet preparing themselves if it did.
At a quarter past seven all hell broke loose. Just north of their position Severus saw a huge fire explosion coming from one of the newly developed city blocks. Hermione jumped as she heard several more explosions coming from the direction of Honeydukes. They ran outside into the street, and saw the Dark Mark appear in the sky above them.
â€śThis is worse than I thought it would be,â€ť said Severus. â€śIt looks like he wants to level the entire town.â€ť
â€śWhere are the Aurors?â€ť asked Hermione as she looked in every direction, but finding it hard to see due to all of the smoke now forming around them. There were people running around all over. Some were calling out to loved ones, others running from Death Eaters.
â€śWe need to get moving.â€ť Severus grabbed Hermione by the hand and pulled her along behind him. They stayed close to the edges of the buildings. Severus tried to cast a Disillusionment Charm around them but it failed to work. Heâ€™d been a Death Eater spy for years, but he remembered only now that the Dark Mark rendered spells such as those ineffective. He ignored the warning voice in his mind that said the Adulescens Denuo potion might rob him and Hermione of their memories â€“ and magical knowledge.
As they rounded a corner the smoke began to grow denser. Within the smoke they saw flashes of green, indicating that this time around, the Death Eaters werenâ€™t interested in torturing; instead, they were there to kill as many people as they could.
â€śI canâ€™t see anything,â€ť hissed Severus, as he pulled Hermione close to him.
â€śIâ€™m scared, Severus,â€ť she said as she let go of his hand and wrapped her arms around his waist.
Severus found a corner and settled them both down on the ground. He held her tightly.
â€śDonâ€™t worry, Hermione. I wonâ€™t let anything happen to you,â€ť he said as he nervously looked ahead of him, seeing the shadows of several Death Eaters coming towards them.
â€śWell, well,â€ť said a visibly rotund Death Eater. â€śLooks like weâ€™ve found ourselves something for the Dark Lord to amuse himself with this evening.â€ť He drew his wand and stunned both children in front of him.
Severus and Hermione blacked out, never having a chance to reach for their wands or run away.
Several hours later they both woke up on a cold dank floor. As he sat up, Severus immediately began looking around for Hermione.
â€śHermione, where are you?â€ť he called out, not being able to see in the dim light.
â€śIâ€™m over here,â€ť she called as she heard him moving towards her.
He sat down next to her and they leaned into the wall, holding on to one another.
â€śItâ€™s my fault weâ€™re here. Iâ€™m sorry,â€ť he said.
â€śNo, donâ€™t blame yourself. I wanted to come, and Iâ€™m glad I did.â€ť She squeezed him tightly against her. â€śI would have been worried had you not come back.â€ť
â€śAt this point, neither one of us may get back. It seems weâ€™ve lost our wands as well,â€ť he said grimly as he laid his head against hers.
Upstairs in Voldemortâ€™s throne room several Death Eaters were drinking and talking about the raid. They seemed to have had the upper hand at the beginning, but were chased away by the Aurors that showed up shortly after the raid began. Many of their own members were captured, and the few that escaped did so just by the skin of their teeth.
Lucius was kneeling at the Dark Lordâ€™s feet, reporting what had transpired that evening.
â€śDamn them all to hell.â€ť Voldemort lifted his wand and Crucioâ€™d two of his followers. â€śEvery time I take one step forward, they come and push me two steps back!â€ť he roared.
â€śLucius, this was to be the end of Hogsmeade,â€ť Voldemort looked at the still writhing and screaming Death Eaters in disgust and released them from the curse. â€śDamn Dumbledore and his Order and those goody-two-shoes Aurors.â€ť He closed his eyes and rested his head against the back of the chair. â€śNo matter, that just means I shall have to get more creative. Perhaps a visit to Hogwarts is in order.â€ť
â€śYes, my Lord. Iâ€™m sure seeing all of his studentsâ€™ bloodied bodies littered about the castle will make him tuck his tail between his rickety legs and run away.â€ť
Voldemort looked at Goyle. â€śWhere are those children you brought back with you?â€ť
â€śIn the dungeons, my Lord,â€ť said the overstuffed and now drooling man. Heâ€™d been into the ale since they got back from the raid, and was now hoping his words werenâ€™t slurred.
â€śBring them to me, I am in need of some entertainment.â€ť Voldemort waved Goyle away, and sent the remaining Death Eaters to gather Muggles for the next days entertainment. The Dark Lord looked back down at Lucius.
â€śYou may go, Lucius. I will discuss with you my plans for Hogwarts at a later date.â€ť
Lucius nodded and backed away from Voldemort, who was ordering the sole remaining Death Eater to bring him food. When Lucius was finally able to turn his back to Voldemort he frowned. He thought heâ€™d made sure none of the other Death Eaters who were at the raid brought back captives. Heâ€™d lost his taste for torture so long ago. It was now, several years after his son and wife had died, that he regretted so much of his past. Many lives had been lost tonight in Hogsmeade, but thanks to the information heâ€™d been able to get to Severus, many more were saved. He stayed at the back of the room, waiting for Goyleâ€™s return.
Lucius was the other and now only spy embedded within Voldemortâ€™s ranks. It was he who had turned his friend Severus in to Voldemort, albeit not by his own choice.
Lucius had been a faithful Death Eater for many years. During Dracoâ€™s sixth year at Hogwarts, Luciusâ€™ son was being used as his punishment for the debacle at the Ministry of Magic, which was when he was captured and sent to Azkaban. Voldemort surely expected Draco to die trying to kill Dumbledore, but the young Malfoy didnâ€™t. Instead, Severus, after having made an Unbreakable Vow with Narcissa to protect the boy, had worked with Dumbledore to create a plan to make it look as though Severus had killed the Headmaster.
It was shortly after Severus ran out of Hogwarts dragging Draco behind him that his friend came for Lucius in Azkaban. The night Lucius finally escaped from Azkaban, Severus told him everything. He told him about his work as a spy, and about the plan Voldemort had for Draco to kill Dumbledore or die trying. If Draco succeeded, Voldemort wanted Severus to kill Draco and Narcissa, but only at a later time. But Voldemort never gave him the go-ahead; in hindsight, they should have realized it was because Voldemort wanted to do the deed himself.
As Lucius listened to his friend, he began to feel sick. All he had known, all he had been taught to believe was now imploding inside of him. At the time, Luciusâ€™ plan was for him to just hide out with his family at Malfoy Manor, doing some research to aid Severus in the search for the Horcruxes. Even Draco had to hide from the Ministry, because of his work in bringing Death Eaters into Hogwarts.
But his first night of freedom from Azkaban, just before Severus found his first of several Horcruxes, Lucius woke up to find Death Eaters in his home. After years of sleepless nights in Azkaban, heâ€™d fallen sound asleep in a hidden library in his homeâ€™s basement; what woke him was his wifeâ€™s scream. By the time Lucius came upstairs, his family had been slaughtered. Narcissa and Draco lay in a pool of blood; standing over their bodies was Voldemort along with four Death Eaters.
As befitting his aristocratic upbringing, Lucius kept his face void of emotion, all the while screaming inside. He looked at Voldemort and smiled.
â€śMy Lord. You have done me a great service, for I have found myself growing tired of their weakness.â€ť
Voldemort came to Malfoy Manor because his informants told him Lucius had escaped Azkaban that night. Thinking any wizard who could do that was a worthy servant after all, Voldemort decided to welcome Lucius back into his ranks of most faithful and trusted.
Within a week, Severus brought Lucius to Albus, who was still in hiding himself because he was supposed to be â€śdeadâ€ť by Severusâ€™ wand. Lucius was inducted into the Order; and from that moment on, Lucius fought just as hard as Severus to bring Voldemort down. The Boy Who Lived and his friends went to university, as Albus told them to. This was almost four years ago.
Less than six months ago, sensing that the end of the war was drawing near, Albus and Severus came up with a plan. Seeing that the Horcruxes were gone, and Voldemort was still alive, Severus knew that the only way to bring Voldemort down at this point was to weaken him enough so that when he finally faced Harry, the Dark Lord would be gone for good with just a simple Killing Curse. But to make a potion powerful enough, Severus would need to do research. He needed time, and he couldnâ€™t afford to be called upon by Voldemort each time the evil wizard had a wild hair up his ass.
The plan went without a hitch â€“ well, almost. Lucius was to bring Voldemort information that Severus was a spy for the Order. Severus was summoned and questioned by Voldemort. At that point, Severus didnâ€™t need to use his Occulmency skills; he allowed Voldemort to see everything, including Dumbledoreâ€™s faked death. That night he was closer to death than he had ever been before. Had it not been for the Draught of the Living Death heâ€™d taken earlier that evening, Voldemort would have kept on torturing him until he really was dead.
Lucius kept Severus from being dismembered. When Voldemort ordered several Death Eaters to bury Severus in different graves, Lucius followed the Death Eaters and Stunned them all. He then Obliviated their memories and took his friend back to Hogwarts himself. When Lucius came back to the other Death Eaters, he implanted an elaborate false memory in each of them and made them think they had indeed buried the traitor in different graves.
Now Lucius stood at the back of the throne room. He waited to see the children Voldemort sent Goyle to retrieve. He heard a raucous going-on and looked to his left. There was Goyle, walking back into the room with two thrashing children, one clasped under each arm. Lucius looked closely at the boy, who looked familiar, very familiar. Lucius thought back and tried to remember if heâ€™d seen any young children at the Ministry of Magic lately. As he continued looking at the boy, he thought the child looked very much like Severus had at that age. While they first met at Hogwarts, Lucius was a sixth year Prefect and saw pictures of Severus as a child while Severus was a first year, away from home for the first time.
Goyle dropped the children at Voldemortâ€™s feet.
â€śOomph.â€ť Severus looked up at Goyle and scowled. â€śNeanderthal.â€ť
Lucius straightened immediately at the boyâ€™s use of the word â€śNeanderthal.â€ť It was a word Severus frequently used to describe Goyle. He moved closer.
â€śSuch a big word for such a small insignificant child,â€ť said Voldemort as he eyed Severus and then Hermione. He scrunched his face in distaste. â€śI despise children, especially those who do not know their place.â€ť He rose quickly, and Severus and Hermione took a step back. Severus moved his arm in front of Hermioneâ€™s and pushed her behind him. Voldemort laughed.
â€śAh, I see we have a little hero in our midst.â€ť Voldemort bent down until he was eye-level to the boy in front of him. â€śIs she your widdle girlfriend?â€ť he said in a taunting manner.
Severus narrowed his eyes, and then punched him in his non-existent nose.
â€śAAHHH!!!â€ť Voldemort recoiled. â€śYou little brat!â€ť Voldemort grabbed Severus by the arm and threw him across the floor violently. He then grabbed hold of Hermione, but she started to struggle and tried to break loose.
â€śLet me go!â€ť yelled Hermione as she punched his body with her small fists.
Severus picked himself up and ran towards Voldemort.
Lucius stood in the back of the room, trying hard not to laugh at the sight before him. Voldemort was being bested by two children. Goyle and the other Death Eater didnâ€™t know what to do; they feared the Dark Lord might be insulted if they tried to help. So they stood there while their master struggled with the two fighting children.
â€śLeave her alone, you ugly snake! Sheâ€™s my friend!â€ť Severus yelled, then punched Voldemort square in the balls.
The Dark Lord let out a gasp and doubled over in pain. Severus grabbed Hermione by the hand and they began running for their lives. Voldemort lay gasping for air. He pushed himself up slightly and hissed.
â€śDonâ€™t just stand there, you idiots! Get them! Throw them in the dungeons. Iâ€™ll deal with them later!â€ť He knew he would need his strengthening potion before he did anything to them.
There were only three Death Eaters in the throne room at that time. Since Voldemort had sent the rest to gather Muggles for the next dayâ€™s entertainment and Peter was tending to Nagini, it was up to Goyle to assist Voldemort to his feet. Lucius and the other Death Eater were the only ones left to go after Severus and Hermione.
â€śThere they are!â€ť yelled the dark-haired Death Eater next to Lucius. He took out his wand and pointed it at the little girl. â€śCrucio!â€ť
Hermione fell and began convulsing. Lucius tripped the other Death Eater and the curse was broken. Severus rushed to Hermione and gathered her in his arms. Lucius Stunned the other Death Eater as he walked quickly to the two children.
â€śHermione, itâ€™s okay,â€ť Severus whispered. Hermioneâ€™s body was shaking and her face was contorted in pain.
Lucius kneeled down next to the whispering boy, who now turned and looked at him with tears in his eyes. â€śLucius, you have to help me, please. We have to get her out of here.â€ť
It was then that Lucius finally realized it was actually Severus in that small body.
â€śSeverus? What in the name of Circe have you done to yourself?â€ť he asked in wonder.
Severus shook his head.
â€śItâ€™s a long story. Please, Lucius, she needs help now.â€ť Severus heard Hermione groan, and then looked down at her. Her eyes were open and looking at Lucius in horror. â€śItâ€™s okay, Lucius will help us; you have to trust him.â€ť
Lucius picked up Hermione and stood. He looked back towards the Death Eater heâ€™d Stunned.
â€śSeverus, take my wand. Thereâ€™s a cupboard around the corner here. Put him in there. Iâ€™ll deal with him later.â€ť Severus did as Lucius asked, and they walked down the hall quickly. Lucius looked around every corner for anyone who might see them. After several more turns they were outside. Lucius looked down at Severus.
â€śTake hold of my robes,â€ť Lucius instructed.
Severus grabbed Luciusâ€™ robes and they immediately Apparated away. When they reappeared they were in front of number twelve, Grimmauld Place. Lucius climbed the stairs as Severus followed. Severus opened the door and they walked in. Just as Lucius was approaching the stairs with Hermione in his arms, a tall young woman with red hair came out of the kitchen with her wand pointed in his face. Her hand was shaking as she looked at Lucius, then at the two children with him.
â€śWhâ€¦whatâ€™s going on here? How did you get in here?â€ť she asked shakily.
Severus came from behind Lucius and grabbed her wrist angrily.
â€śMiss Weasley, would you please save the theatrics for later? Hermione is hurt and she needs help now.â€ť
Ginny looked down at a pint-sized version of her former Potions professor.
â€śSeverus, leave her be; she obviously doesnâ€™t know about me.â€ť Lucius continued up the stairs. He looked over his shoulder quickly. â€śMiss Weasley, your father tells me you are studying to be a Medi-witch. We are in need of your services.â€ť
Severus went up the stairs after Lucius and Hermione.
Ginny was dumbfounded. Sheâ€™d gotten to Grimmauld Place that morning and had been studying all day. She was in the middle of making herself a late dinner when someone had come in. Knowing that no one else was expected that evening, she readied her wand and went into the entry way, only to find Lucius Malfoy standing before her with an unconscious little girl in his arms and a very angry little boy. A girl with bushy brown hair, and a boy with dark lanky hair and a scowl. Ginny suddenly realized that Harry and Ron hadnâ€™t been joking with her when they told her that Hermione and Professor Snape were the victims of a potions accident that had made them into children.
â€śMiss Weasley, we need you now!â€ť yelled Lucius from the top of the stairs.
Ginny immediately ran up the stairs and into the room were Lucius had placed Hermione.
â€śShe was hit with a Cruciatus Curse. Her body is only six years old. You have to help her,â€ť said Severus desperately.
Ginny sat next to Hermione on the bed. The brunette looked ashen and was visibly trembling. Ginny turned and looked at Severus and Lucius.
â€śIâ€™ve set up a small lab in the attic. I have some healing potions.â€ť She noticed the distressed look on the small professorâ€™s face. â€śSheâ€™ll be fine. Despite being her size, Hermione is strong.â€ť Ginny then stood and began to walk out of the room. She noticed that little Severus immediately sat down next to Hermione and took her hand. Ginny smiled and looked at Lucius, who had been looking at the two â€śchildren.â€ť
â€śPerhaps I can make us all some tea while Miss Granger regains her strength.â€ť Lucius walked out of the room, followed by Ginny. Once outside Ginny grabbed Luciusâ€™ arm. He turned and looked at her.
â€śWhatever questions you have, if I can answer them I will, although I do need to get back to cover my tracks,â€ť he said. â€śBut please, help your friend and mine first. I will return shortly.â€ť Lucius then continued on his way down the stairs.
Ginny did indeed have many questions, but he was right. She needed to help Hermione first.
Inside the room, Severus caressed Hermioneâ€™s hand. He felt his mind zoning in and out. At times he felt his mind working as an adult, but ever more increasingly he felt himself thinking like a child. He hoped that both he and Hermione could last long enough to take the counter-potion before their memories were forever lost.
â€śHermione, wake up. Talk to me,â€ť he begged. Her body was small. She was a child. In his Death Eater years heâ€™d seen many children killed by a well-placed Cruciatus Curse.
â€śPlease, donâ€™t leave me, please,â€ť he whispered to her, as tears ran down his face.
I hope you liked this chapter. I\'ll have more soon.
Someone pointed out to me that I had Draco alive in the first chapter. That\'s my bad. I started this story thinking I\'d have something for Draco, but have since decided on another way to go, so I had to kill him. I hope that didn\'t confuse you guys too much and I\'m sorry for not being more vigilant about that. But my muse has taken me in a different direction, and he simple will not shut up about it. You know how men are.
Sometimes the best things come in small packages by ancientgir