Severus Snape is the Half Blood Prince
Snapes deepest desire was to apparate to the coldest darkest dungeon of Azkaban. In a cell so small it was not possible to stand or lie, where the only sound were the cries of mutilated men and the only sustenance was the slime that grew on the walls. Where the Dementors sucked out any trace of humanity, leaving the wretched remains of twisted shredded souls.
But he was expected elsewhere.
He apparted into the warm candle lit receiving room of Malfoy Manor, Where Narcissa had been anxiously waiting for their arrival. Most of the other Death Eaters had stood waiting in anticipation. Bellatrix was cackling and laughing as she circled the room.
Draco flailed "You had to take it away from me didn't you! It was my mission mine! You just could stand that the Dark Lord had entrusted this to me and not you!" He hissed and spat in Snapes direction
"The job needed to be done" Snape replied coolly, "And our time frame was, limited"
"Draco its over" Narcissa said softly putting her hand on his shoulder "Its over son"
Draco locked eyes with his mother and they held each other tightly, tensely, their arms ridged like some force was about to put them apart, their faces screwed up with pain and relief. "I'm so proud of you" she whispered.
Narcissa looked up at Snape, she mouthed the words "Thank you" and he replied with a slight twitch to his lips.
The great door opened slightly and the head of Nagini pocked into the room. She slid her way across the floor towards the waiting Death Eaters.
"The Dark Lord is coming" Bellatix crowed.
The Death Eaters shuffled and jostled with each other at the appending arrival of their Lord. Narcissa pulled Draco to arms length, wiping the dirt stained tracks of tears from his face. " Now listen, stand tall and be proud. Don't show any sign of weakness, and hold you head high"
The heard the footsteps approach, definite long slow strides, a rhythm that imprinted itself in their nightmares.
The door swung open seconds before Lord Voldermort walked through it.
"Please tell me the deed is done! That Dumbledore is dead"
"He is dead my Lord he is dead" Draco eagerly announced.
"Though not by your hand!" Greyback gruffed
"Snape did it" Bellatrix shrilled.
Lord Voldermort looked towards Draco, "So the house of Malfoy yet again again did not complete their task"
"Sir.." Draco uttered, barely a sound from his lips
"Do you not appreciate the responsibility"
"Lord.." Draco stutted his lips quivering
"If I may interrupt" Snape said calmly. "Draco repaired the vanishing cabinet with exceptional skill, the plan to invade the castle was on Dracos instruction. When I arrived on the scene, Dumbledore was already trapped. Retrospectively, I believe if I hadn't had interrupted Draco, there would have been no hesitation on his behalf."
The was silence, everyone in the room awaited the response of The Dark Lord, no one dare breath. The snake weaved its way in between legs, sliding over shoes. Snape felt Narcissa gently tug on his cloak but both looked straight ahead.
"The deed is done" Snape said, in a low voice, barley moving his lips
Voldermort then let out a chilling laugh, "The deed is done! Dumbedore is dead!"
"Dumbledore is dead!" Shrieked Bellatrix over and over as she began to dance around the room.
"Then it is time to feast and celebrate the being of a new order" Lord Voldermort announced
Narcissa jumped into action, summoning the house elfs, issuing instructions for a feast fit for a Lord.
"Dumbledore it dead!" Voldermort shouted with his hands in the air as he left the room and the others followed.
"It always has to be about you doesn't it" Draco snarled at Snape
"You know as well as I do, you were never going to go through with it" Snape snarled back as he whipped passed him on his way out of the room.
"Murderer" Draco said slyly as he followed him into the banquet hall.
Snape ignored him.