Who: Snape What: Stumbling across Alecto's handiwork Where: The Quidditch pitch When: Tonight, late Warnings: Some gore, not much.
Severus hadn't been suffering the effects of the Unspeakable's spells the way so many so clearly were (and not a one of them smart enough to keep their mouth shut, not even the ones who ought to have known better), but they had lost him sleep all the same. He regretted ever saddling himself with anything but the one mission. It was tempting to give up student safety as the lost cause he knew it must have been. It didn't really matter. It was a distraction. It brought him out in the middle of the night looking for gaps, an escape, a potential refuge, in places he knew couldn't offer any. The Quidditch Pitch had never been anywhere he really cared to be, but the bleachers did present certain defensive advantages. Silly to be thinking that way when he had a castle, but -
The dark, twisted figure lying on the ground stopped him in his tracks. His first thought was that this new, untested magic had killed one of them, and that he was going to have to contend with explaining away a dead student. As though things weren't unstable enough already. He rushed forward. The body's close gray hair brought on a wave of relief that quickly turned to guilt as he knelt down beside it and turned it over. He might as well not have; the face was unrecognizable, beaten bloody and shapeless. But it was Rolanda without a doubt, the splintered broom lying off to the side like some sort of ghastly familiar.
He stood, brushing his hands warily on his robes, and drew his wand. Cleaning up was the first priority, of course. He couldn't quite bring himself to Vanish the body - she had never been a close colleague, but she had been around for ages, another fixture suddenly removed - and so he conjured up a shroud, soon bloody, and stowed the lot in a shallow grave under the black shadow of the bleachers. Someone might want it, later. Some people were sentimental in that way. The broom he incinerated.
He stalked back towards the castle, feeling more than ever that he was standing over a stewing vat of idiocy that threatened to explode into his face at any moment. Maybe running a school was never very different. Still, it struck him as unfair.