Unexpected Truce

Magnitude of Power

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Harry Potter.

A special thanks to The Lonely God With a Box for beta'ing my story.

Warning: It is implied of physical abuse in this chapter. Nothing Graphic. This story will NOT deal with sexual abuse.

A/N: Here is Chapter 14. I hope you enjoy it. Please take the time and leave the review.

Chapter14

Albus knew he could just apparate back to the school, but it was such a calm night, he decided to walk. He was at the edge of the school grounds when he saw something in the distance that did not look right. In the distance, there were flames at the edge of the forest. He thought it rather peculiar. It was coming from Hagrid's hut. Even if the half giant had a fire going in his chimney, it would not be that bright. Albus swiftly walked over to the blaze. When he reached the hut, it was completely engulfed in flames. Albus produced the Aguamenti Charm and doused the flames. Once the fire was out, Albus quickly searched the grounds.

“Hagrid,” Albus called out.

No answer. Albus walked up to the hut and with the wave of his wand the debris by the door was gone. Carefully Albus walked in the charred hut and searched for his former student. Very softly he cast the Lumos to bring a little light to the burned out husk of a hut. By the look of everything, there was nothing that could be saved. He lowered his wand and turned to leave the hut. On his way out, something that was laid out in the corner of the hut caught his eye. Slowly, he walked over to whatever it was and when he saw he heart just broke.

There lying, seeming like he was in his sleep, on his bed was Fang. Hagrid's boar hound. Who would do such a thing? Albus thought walking out of the hut for the last time. He walked to the end of the walkway that headed towards Hagrid's place and turned and faced the charred remains of what use to be the Gamekeeper's home. With a flick of his wand, Albus, not wanting anyone to just stumble on to this, destroyed the last of the house. His heart was heavy, but the only bit of consolation was that Hagrid was not in the ruble, like Fang was. Which meant that Hagrid could still be alive. Now what state he would be in, is a different story, but he's alive. Which gave the Headmaster a little hope.

After the hut turned to dust, Albus erected a large wreath in honor of Fang. A lone tear as Albus walked away from the memorial and headed back to the castle. Seeing Hagrid's hut in that dismay, Albus was very worried to what he would find when he got to the school. When he got to the school, what he found showed he that something really bad happened while he was away. Two of Hogwarts guards were standing at the door. As he got closer towards the school, he could see that the guards were starting to brandish their weapons and the last thing he wanted was to start something tonight.

“I am Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, Headmaster of this school. You will let me pass.”

The stone guards made no movement for a few seconds and then a loud rumble and they stepped aside allowing the Headmaster passage through the front door.

Albus prepared himself for the worse, when he walked in the school he was surprised to see it had little to no damage. Nothing more than the usual wear and tear of the old school showing its age. He allowed himself a small sigh of relief that there was no damage in the school. He was just starting to relax when a piece of parchment floated towards him. He opened it and read it. His face fell. He rushed up the stairs and headed for the Infirmary. When he got close, he saw Poppy walking out of it.

“Oh Albus,” Poppy sighed when she saw the Headmaster. “You got my message. He's in here.”

“I just arrived back,” Albus said. “What has happened? You have Hagrid, then?”

“Hagrid?” Poppy stopped at the door and looked at Albus. “No, Severus.”

“Severus,” Albus was now confused.

“Yes,” Poppy sounding very tired. “He almost depleted his magical core.”

“What?” Albus rushed in the Infirmary and saw Severus resting on one of the beds. For the last two hours, Albus had been trying to figure out what was going through his potion master's mind. Why did he not return Harry like he was suppose to, and now, here he lay almost dying. What was going on?

“Poppy,” Albus said not taking his eyes off his Head of Slytherin. “Tell me what has happened?”

“Albus,” Poppy said walking over to stand next to Albus. “I really don't know. I was here. Then I felt the castle move. I knew there were only a few people that can move this castle. Minerva being the only one that was currently inside the castle. I was surprised to see Severus, but I had to get him down here before he did any more magic.”

“What did he do?”

“He destroyed Minerva's chambers.” Poppy reached into her pocket and handed Albus a small piece of parchment. “He had this clutched in his hands when I got to him.”

Albus took the parchment and read it.

“Merlin's stars,” Albus gasped. “That may explain what I saw outside.”

“What did you see outside?” Poppy looked up at Albus.

“Hagrid's hut was in flames when I got back from Hogsmead. In searching for Hagrid, I found Fang, dead.” Poppy gasped. “Hagrid's whereabouts are still unclear. He wasn't at the hut.”

“Do you think he's still alive?” Poppy asked.

“I'm hoping he is, Poppy,” Albus said. He looked at the parchment one more time and then looked at Severus. “How long do you think Severus will be under?”

“I don't know, Albus,” Poppy said. “That's up to him. His body is in shock right now. It took so much just to get him to rest. We have to find out who took Minerva and why? If not, I fear what Severus will do when he gets his strength back.”

“I as well, Poppy. I as well,” Albus looked at the parchment again. “And this was the only thing that was left?”

“Albus,” Poppy said looking up at him. “Severus destroyed the entire chamber. Her chamber is in complete ruin. The last time I've seen anything like this was when Minerva told you that she was adopting Severus.”

Albus' brow creased at her admission.

“You knew about that?”

“Yes, Albus. I knew. Remember, I treated Severus. I know what damage he was in. I was here when she saw the damage.”

The horseless carriages let the students out at the front of the school as it does every year. This year, sixteen year old, Severus, stumbled out of the carriage that he rode alone. He knew that all the other children were already in the school. He chose to stay behind. He was planning to sneak to the potions lab and brew himself up some healing salve and potions. His dad was very thorough with his end of summer beating. There wasn't a part of Severus that didn't hurt. He was glad that he had packed the herbs and ingredients to make what he needed. He just hoped no one would stop him. He didn't think he had the strength to talk with anyone.

He made it up the first flight of stairs that led to the Great Hall. He really didn't want to go that way but because he wanted to get to the potions' laboratory he knew he had to go that way. He was just about to make the turn to head down the side hallway when...

Mr. Snape.”

Severus put his head down. He really didn't want to talk. Not now. He decided to act like he didn't hear his name being called.

Severus Snape,” Minerva said. “You will stop right now and face me.” Her voice was low but stern.

Severus took a shakily breath and turned and faced his Professor. When he turned and faced his professor, he heard her gasp. His ears began to burn with embarrassment. She was the last person that he wanted to see him like this. He knew he looked bad. His dad did not care where he hit him, so his face was bruised, badly.

Minerva knew when she didn't see Severus walk in with the others that it was worse than she feared. She had warned Albus that he should not return to his father over the summer, but as always Albus would not listen. She walked up to the boy who had stolen her heart. She always worried about Severus. She didn't like that he was a loner. She was happy that he and Lily were at least friends.

Severus,” Minerva's voice was much softer. “Come, let's let Poppy look you over.”

Please,” Severus begged. “Just let me do it myself. I don't want anyone else to see.”

Minerva walked up to Severus and put her arms around his shoulders and brought him to an embrace.

As much pain as he was in, and as much as he didn't feel that he deserved her care, right now, he could care less. He missed Minnie this past summer. Minnie, Severus was allowed to call her that since his, second year, but only when they were alone. Oh, did he miss these hugs. Minerva just stood there and held Severus for as long as he needed it. After a minute, Minerva held Severus out at arms length. With one hand still on his shoulder, Minerva cupped Severus' cheek softly and lifted it so that he was now looking at her.

Severus,” Minerva said. “It will be fine. I promise.”

With great trepidation, Severus allowed himself to be led to the Infirmary. Walking all the way there seemed to take no time at all. Severus did not want to face the medi-witch. He just wanted to heal himself and forget that this summer ever happened. The last thing he wanted was for her to run a diagnostic on him, which he knew she was going to do.

They walked into the Infirmary, and Minerva led Severus to the far bed at the end of the hospital wing.

Poppy,” Minerva called out. She felt Severus tense up. She gave his shoulder a reassuring squeeze. They got to the bed and she sat Severus down on the bed. Not once did Severus look up. He was too ashamed.

Poppy walked out of her office when Severus and Minerva were walking to the end of the wing. When he sat down, she was already there with her wand out.

Severus closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He knew Madam Pomphrey was casting the diagnostic spell on him. He knew once they saw that dreadful parchment they would know how awful he really was.

He heard the gasp come from both witches. He tightly closed his eyes. He did not want to look up. He felt someone sit next to him on the bed. He just knew the yelling would start, but he was surprised. He felt arms wrap around him and pull him into an embrace.

Oh Severus,”he heard Poppy say. “Why didn't you tell us how bad your dad beat you?”

Severus looked up at Poppy and saw tears in her eyes. He looked around and did not see Minnie.

Where's Minnie?” Severus whispered out.

She's about to fight for you, Severus.”

To this day, Severus never knew how much those words affected him. Tears flowed freely from Severus' eyes. Poppy just held him and let him cry.

Once Minerva saw that parchment she knew what she had to do, and there was only one answer she was going to accept. Albus was going to grant her guardianship over Severus and allow her to take him from his dreadful father.

Minerva walked up to the gargoyle.

Let me pass.” she demanded.

Password.”

Minerva arched her eyebrow, then lifted her wand and within seconds the gargoyle exploded out of the way. Minerva made her way up the spiral stairs and to the office at the end of the stairs.

She let herself in, parchment in hand.

Albus,” Minerva said. “We need to talk.”

TBC


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