Pain. Utterly indescribable, unbearable pain was the only thing that he could comprehend. Where was he? Who was he? At the moment he didn’t know. All he knew was that white-hot knives were piercing every inch of his skin, that was practically on fire. His head was about to explode, or maybe implode, he wasn’t quite sure. There was this screeching noise that was piercing his ears, which he realized was coming from him when the excruciating pain suddenly stopped.
“Severus,” he hissed as he walked across the room petting a giant snake that was draped over him. “Do I accept failure?”
“No, My Lord.” Though he did not dare look up, he could feel the piercing glare that the Dark Lord was shooting him through the snakelike slits that were his eyes. “Then why do my Death Eaters return to tell me that they were not capable to complete the tasks that I assigned them?” Apparently he was not the only one to fail the Dark Lord today, which explained why the torture from the Cruciatus Curse was much more intense than usual. “All I wanted was for you to acquire a teaching position at Hogwarts to spy on that dumb old fool Dumbledore. Was that too much to ask?” He had to contain his shiver that crawled down his spine at the hiss of Nagini, who seemed to want to comfort her Master.
“No, My Lord, but I overheard crucial information, a prophecy, from the interview for the new Divination teaching position.” The air was now charged with a different kind of intensity. “A prophecy?” He felt a heavy presence trying to penetrate his mind. He thought of the memory he knew that the Dark Lord wanted to avoid further mental torture.
“The One with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches...Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies...”
“I cannot be defeated! Not by a measly prophecy. Not by an unborn child. Even if I have to kill every family with a child born at the end of July myself.” Severus’s lips thinned because he was sure that he would.