Severus Snape and The Deathly Hallows
It was a bright summer's day, Snape stood on the grounds staring up at the castle, as the new Headmaster of Hogwarts. Voldermort had already managed to get enough 'influence' in the Ministry of Magic, to get him the position. This wasn't how it should have been, but this was the right place for him to be.
Snape briefly imagined the first day of term, standing on the Headmasters pulpit giving the opening speech. His romanticised version quickly gave way to the reality of looking upon several hundred students; Hufflepuffs shaking their heads, Ravenclaws looking perplexed, Gryffindors glowering, while feeling the eyes of the staff behind him, like daggers poised waiting for their opportunity to strike.
Still, Headmaster of Hogwarts. His feelings about it were conflicted somewhat, but that was common these days.
Snape turned and walked towards the great lake, to the gleaming white casket that now lay prominent on the landscape. He stood in front of it and laid his hands on the cold stone, remembering only weeks before, the funeral. He had attended - but in the forest the far side of the great lake. He couldn't hear anything but he could see row after row after row of sadness, and the great casket shining in the sunlight like a beacon.
"Get away from him.don't touch him, don't even look at him..I don't know how you have the nerve to come back here. You disgust me."
It was McGonagall stomping towards him, wand in hand. Her ranting, like her pace didn't slow down and Snape now armed with his own wand started to back away as she approached.
McGonagall continued to use every abusive adjective to describe her discontent; he was waiting for the word 'scoundrel' to come up but alas it never did. Snape continued to back away from her.
The tirade of insults had raised Hagrids' interest and he came out of his hut to see the commotion, Snape nearly backed into him but spun around at the last minute, swinging his wand from one to the other.
"Back off! Or I'll have you both in Azkaban before the term starts"
"The only reason we are still here, Snape, is to keep the children safe from you and the other Death Eaters you'll be letting in." McGonagall snarled at him "Just give me one reason, just one and I will kill you myself"
Her eyes flashed and her teeth were bared, she made a pretty scary witch. She turned on her heels and returned to the castle leaving Snape standing in the shadow of Hagrid, who stood still, arms folded. His tone was flat and low "If anything 'appens to those kids in your charge, I'll get my dog 'ere to rip your throat out"
Snape looked down at the large black dog by Hagrids side; it licked its' lips and yawned; displaying its large yellow fangs. Snape backed away without saying a word and began to follow McGonagall towards the castle. His pace was slower though, to keep as much distance between them as possible.
So the new Headmaster of Hogwarts unceremoniously entered the castle. 'Unceremoniously' tended to attach itself to many of the events in Snape's life.
"Sherbet Lemons" He'd have to get that changed to something more fitting.. but then, it could stay as it was for the time being.
Snape entered the Headmasters office, it was much the same as when he was last here, speaking with Dumbledore on that night, just hours before. He walked round the room; the bird had gone; the pensive was open, still with a whirl of thoughts floating around. He wondered if Dumbledore had left anything for him, any clue, but he felt uncomfortable prying into a dead mans thoughts. He closed the doors thinking that he would bottle up the memories at a later date and started looking at the paintings for Dumbledore's portrait. Most of the paintings were asleep; some of them had left their frames. But where was Dumbledore? He was sure there was a portrait of him in here.
He flicked his wand, summoning Filch to his quarters and sent the stone eagle down. About ten minutes later he heard the eagle move so he sat imposingly behind the desk waiting for Filch's knock.
"Enter" Filch entered, his demeanour was round shouldered, his face screwed up. There was some wariness about him. Good, Snape thought, I can use that.
"You called for me Professor?"
"Where is the portrait of Dumbledore?"
Filch shuffled where he stood.
"Okay I will rephrase that; Get me a portrait of Dumbledore, I don't care which one or what you have to do to get it" Snape paused briefly and stared him straight in the eye, "Now"
"Yes Professor" Filched backed out of the room.
He slumped in the chair and ran his fingers through his hair. After a while he heard the grinding sound of the eagle, Filch was carrying a large frame which Snape told him to hang behind the desk; he could tell that Filch was curious but offered no explanation.
When Filch had gone, he looked up at the portrait, finally, a friendly face smiled back at him
"Albus" for the first time in too long Snape smiled a genuine smile.
"I take it that if we are back in this room together, Voldermort has power in the Ministry and you are Headmaster of Hogwarts?"
"That is correct"
"Well done, well done" Dumbledore was pleased "That went rather smoothly"
Really? Snape thought, all you had to do was die!
"How are you finding your new position?"
"I hadn't even entered the castle and had already received two death threats!"
"That is to be expected Severus, you did kill me"
"Only because you made me!" Snape frowned
"You know you were the only person I could trust to go through with it, and besides, you didn't have an option or else by now we'd both be dead."
Snape scowled, Dumbledore was right, the unbreakable vow did sway his thought process somewhat. Snape was just fed up of being backed into each corner. There was an awkward silence for a while; neither of them wanted the conversation to get confrontational. Dumbledore tried to ease the tension; "I wouldn't want Hogwarts to be in anyone else's hands in these dark times"
Snape didn't respond. He didn't take compliments well.
Dumbledore pressed on, "We have a lot to do for the school and for Harry, who has Voldermort put with you?"
"Ho dear" Dumbledore winced "But firstly we are going to have to take care of Harry," He began to pace around his portrait in much the same way he used to pace around his office. "You will have to give Voldermort the correct date for Harry's departure from his aunt and uncles, not to do so will raise suspicion when Voldermort believes you are well informed. However you must plant the idea of decoys - that I think must ensure Harry's safety. Try confounding Mundungus Fletcher. And Severus if you are forced to take part in the chase, be sure to act convincingly ... I am counting on you to remain in Lord Voldermorts' good books as long as possible, or Hogwarts will be left to the mercy of the Carrows. You will need to be authentic but do the best you can to keep them on a tight leash"
Snape considered this for a moment "Does this mean I can blatantly show favouritism to my own House whilst needlessly victimising students I just don't like?"
Dumbledore looked concerned but Snape gave him a sly smile and he relaxed. "When will Potter be leaving?"
"It will be Saturday in two weeks time, I also need to warn you that if you intend to go back to Grimmauld Place , Moody has set some jinxes against you, but I should be able to find a way passed these if you do need to"
Snape supposed he would, even if it was just to snoop around Sirius's stuff. "If Moody did them, I'm sure I could break them myself thanks" He said sarcastically.
Dumbledore shook his head at him wearily and said "I still have a portrait in The Ministry, I should really be getting back there to see if there's anything I can learn. I should imagine they will be taking it down shortly." with that he wandered out of the picture leaving Snape alone to contemplate his new instructions.
The afternoon wore on, it was a lot brighter in this office than he was used to, he supposed he could spend the rest of the day clearing out his old office, collecting anything that might be incriminating, or useful, or both.