|snarryhols (snarryhols) wrote in snarry_holidays,|
@ 2007-12-02 18:18:00
|Entry tags:||fic, rated: nc-17|
Evoking the Past, for captain_tulip
Title: Evoking the Past
Word Count: 9,000
Warnings: Violence, Sexual Situations
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters.
Summary: Snape must help Harry find a serial killer before he strikes again.
Authorities Baffled By Cornwall Murders
by Juanna Ria 1.11.00
LONDON (DP) -- Another body was found early Sunday morning by Muggle police in south-west Cornwall, says Ministry Officials. The death toll is currently at five, all males between the ages of 15 and 26. Police say the 24-year-old victim had been placed in the alleyway behind Ellis entertainment pub hours before discovery, the position of the body "vulgar" and "obscene". The Ministry has refused to make a statement at this time, which leads many experts to believe that no suspects have been questioned.
Who are these phantom experts? Harry wondered, dropping the newspaper to his desk and leaning back in his chair. Pain suffused with stressful nerves, and it created a throbbing ache in the center of his forehead, spreading to his temples and around to back of his head. He sighed and rubbed his forehead with a hand, closing his eyes in a brief moment of thoughtless relaxation.
He allowed his breathing to slow, forcing his heart to beat at a normal rate. Leaning forward once more, he rested his arms on the desk, cradling his head with two strong hands. An empty cup stood beside his left elbow, stained from the caffeine-laced tea he had been drinking. A sense of restlessness eclipsed his thoughts, and he had begun to tap aimlessly with his fingers against a stack of files when someone knocked quickly on his door.
"Come in," Harry said hastily, standing up to welcome his new visitor.
Dean Thomas entered in a quick fashion, his brow creased and eyes filled with doubt. Without saying a word, he sat down in a chair facing Harry, and dropped a thick case folder to his desk. The heavy paper made an ominous thud, and Harry looked down, his eyes reading the name Thorfinn Rowle on the title flap.
"So, you have heard," Dean said, motioning to the newspaper on his desk. "A disaster, this whole thing is. Five victims -- and how far have we come?"
Harry nodded. "We have made progress, though -- at least we know who's doing it."
Rolling his eyes, Dean exclaimed, "That was the easy part! We just need to find the bastard."
"Anything new?" Harry reached down and opened the folder, flipping through the first three pages. He had read it all to the point of memorization.
Dean's eyes flashed quickly to his face at the question. "There is something new -- sort of."
"What? What is it?"
Pausing, Dean looked down at the floor. "We may have someone who can help us find Rowle. Maybe." His hesitation confused Harry.
He blinked at Dean, waiting for him to continue. After a moment of silence, Harry finally asked, "Who?"
When Dean looked up, his eyes focused on the wall, not on Harry's face. "Snape," he said cautiously, as if the word was laced with poison.
"Snape," Harry responded slowly, his mind stalling. He stared at Dean, unable to grasp the situation. His eyes widened. "Snape is killing all those men?" Astonishment was clear in his voice, but he could easily accept that Snape was the murder, not Rowle.
"No!" Dean responded quickly, his eyes finally resting on Harry's face. "I meant that Snape could help us find Rowle."
A strange disappointment settled within Harry. Shaking his head, he said, "How? I don't understand."
"Rowle was a Death Eater, right?"
"Right, but I --"
"We have reports that they were seen together."
Harry stilled, his brow furrowing. "When?"
"Few months ago, I'd say. Down in Knockturn Alley."
"What in the hell were they doing there?"
"Dunno, the witnesses say they just met at a pub for about fifteen minutes. Then Rowle left."
"What did Snape do?"
Dean shrugged. "Finished his drink casually. Apparated about a half hour later."
"Doesn't seem like a man who has a lot on his mind. I wonder what they talked about." Harry walked around and sat on the edge of the desk, crossing his legs at the ankle.
Reaching into his pocket to finger what appeared to be a phial, Dean said, "Well, it seems like we can find out their conversation."
"What's in your pocket?"
Dean withdrew the phial and handed it to Harry. "The barmaid's memories. She heard the whole thing."
"Anything interesting?" Harry inspected the memories with care.
"That's the thing. I didn't want to look at them before I talked to you."
Harry's attention was drawn back to Dean. He thought for a moment. "Ah," he said, nodding with the realization, "You want me to confront Snape."
"You are the only one who stands a chance. He'd tear anyone else apart."
"And he won't do that to me?" Harry's eyes glittered with interest.
"Of course he will. But at least you know how to deflect his scorn."
Harry laughed. "His scorn? The man is an utter bastard. He hates everyone, especially me."
Shrugging, Dean answered, "You are the only one who has experience dealing with him on a personal level. We need to get him to open up, maybe by anger or weariness. We need someone who knows how the man works."
Harry parted his lips in surprise. "And . . . you think I know how he works?"
"Maybe -- maybe not." Dean paused. "You speaking to him is our best bet."
Leaning back on his desk, Harry crossed his arms over his chest, his eyes searching Dean's face as he thought. "I should -- go to his house? Knock on his door and say what? That we desperately need his help?"
"If you think it would work."
Harry made a sound and pushed himself from the desk, his hand tugging at the end of his hair. "I don't know! Maybe! It's not like Snape and I are best mates here."
"You could always bring up Dumbledore."
He gaped at Dean, his eyebrows raised and jaw unhinged. "Are you mad? Bring up Dumbledore -- that's a sure death sentence!"
Dean didn't seem affected by his reaction. "Why are you so sure of that? If you say something along the lines of Dumbledore would have wanted you to do it or . . . you know."
Shaking his head, Harry thought Dean insane -- unstable. Obviously this man had no inkling of how Severus Snape worked. But you do . . .? He blinked away the question, and turned to the window of his office. Walking around his desk, he approached and looked out of the window, inspecting the Muggle activity below.
He balanced himself against the wall and unhooked the latch, allowing the afternoon sun to stream into the stuffy room, deeply breathing in the London smog and wet garbage odor. The yellow rays heated his cheeks, reddening them and forcing light sweat to appear along his hairline. He closed his eyes briefly and tilted his head upward, his forehead soon creasing as the thought of seeing Snape again entered his mind.
It had been years since Severus Snape had even occupied his thoughts. All he knew of the former Death Eater was that he was still alive, unprisoned and shunned by society like most who had followed Voldemort. Years and war separated him from when he had been Snape's scared pupil, and it confused Harry as to why he was apprehensive of questioning the old potions master.
Harry was an adult now -- a confident man with a serious profession. So why was his stomach twisting at the moment? Why were his palms suddenly sweating and his head spinning?
"Ah," Dean said, looking down at his watch, "I must see Luna downstairs about the loose dragons in France. I trust you will look at the memories?"
Harry turned to him and motioned to the phial on his desk. "I'll drop them into my pensieve right now."
Nodding, Dean stood and shook Harry's hand before exiting the room. Harry watched him leave, and he bit the inside of his lip in thought, ignoring the pain in his stomach. Looking at one's memories had always been something the Ministry did, especially when it came to murders. If a witness came forward there was no doubt that a sample of their silvery memories would be taken from their head. Biases and incorrect sightings were just too prevalent, and Harry and the other Aurors wanted to be positive of their evidence.
As it was, Harry didn't know why a sense of anxiety surged through him at the idea of plunging into this woman's head -- to see Snape for the first time in years. His hesitancy angered him -- Harry saw it as a weakness that had lay dominant in past years. Severus Snape would not terrorize him now.
Taking a deep breath, Harry walked to his desk and pulled out his pensieve, setting it carefully beside the Rowle file. The faded runic markings on the side still baffled Harry, but he ignored them as he grabbed the phial and twisted the top off, spilling the contents into the basin. Without thinking, he plunged his head into the liquid and was soon falling through darkness.
He landed in a crowded room, filled with a smoky substance that was issuing from the numerous pipes of tobacco, which dangled from the rotten and yellowed teeth of the men who occupied the bar. He had to suck in a quick breath, his lungs unaccustomed to the thick air and seedy smell. The scent of mildew and termite-infested wood added to the feeling of misdeed and danger. Squinting through the glare from the blazing lanterns, he spotted Snape and -- what appeared to be Rowle sitting not far from where Harry stood. He suddenly was aware of a woman standing next to him, her eyes focused on the two men and her head tilted toward their low voices.
Moving closer to hear, Harry was struck by how weary Snape appeared. It was an expression -- a weakness -- that Harry had never witnessed on the man's stricken features before. It surprised him, and something like apathy surged inside him. He then noticed Rowle -- small and pudgy, his face round and his eyes dark with an emotion Harry could not recognize. The two men leaned close to one another, their hands splayed out before them on the stained table and almost touching. Rowle spoke in a deep, quick whisper. He laughed, but Snape's intense expression did not change.
"Why did you ask me here? I do not care about your ventures," Snape said abruptly, obviously repulsed by Rowle's greedy humor.
Rowle's face fell into an austere expression, one to match Snape's. Pausing, he said with a slight grin, "You know why." Harry caught sight of his chipped teeth.
Snape blinked, then sneered violently. "I'm done -- you should be embarrassed to even consider it."
"You are the one making the assumptions." Rowle smiled broadly, his expression creating a sickly feeling deep inside Harry's stomach.
Snape's cheeks reddened slightly. "Stop wasting my time." His words were rushed.
"I need to get away. Thought you would want to come with me."
"What would ever give you that idea?"
Rowle's eyes flashed, and his mustache twitched. "There is nothing here for you!" Spittle issued from his mouth.
Snape smiled. His teeth gleamed in the dark light. "Now, who is assuming."
Standing abruptly, Rowle glared down at Snape. "You fool," he said quietly, disgust finally appearing in his features. "Stay, if you want. Stay and rot with your regret."
If his words affected Snape, it did not show on his face. He merely stared back at the man, obviously waiting for his departure. Without another word, Rowle flung his traveling cloak around his shoulders and stalked off, leaving a full glass of beer on the table. Snape stared down at his hands, his eyes black and unreadable. He stayed like that for a long moment, then blinked and took a deep drink from his glass. Harry noted that his hands trembled slightly as they grasped the glass, his knuckles white and the veins in his wrists straining.
Harry didn't realise when he stepped closer, but he did see the way Snape's lips moved slowly, as if he spoke words only he could hear and understand. It was a powerful moment -- Harry was struck by how lonely and pathetic Snape appeared. He side-glanced the woman next to him, and she had the same, disconcerting expression on her broad face. Harry began to fidget uncomfortably, and his palms sweat considerably -- he didn't like the feeling. He needed to get away.
Summoning all of his strength, he pulled himself out of the memory, falling to the floor of his office. He heaved a deep breath and wiped cool sweat away from his forehead. Now, all he needed was the courage to confront the man.