Re: Trio, Dumbledore, Severus Snape, Peter Pettigrew
Ron nearly ran straight into Harry's back as they approached the end of the corridor. The only thing that saved him from bowling him over completely was the squeaking sound his shoes made on the floor as he screeched to a halt. He looked over (maybe through) Harry into the open-looking hall in front of them, and his breath caught in his throat. Snape. All the Order members were at Hogwarts, but here he was, with - not Scabbers, you idiot - with Pettigrew, and a full-on Death Eater get-up, everything but the mask, which Ron supposed just wouldn't have fit over that stupid nose of his -
Snape cursed when he saw them, and sunk his hand into the folds of robe gathered around Pettigrew's neck. He hauled him through one of the doors with him, slamming it behind them both, shutting out the sound of Pettigrew's high-pitched protests. Ron started after them without really thinking about it. Why were they here? How many more of them were there? They'd got the sword - was that what they were after? ... Was his dad here? Should he even be following them, with the Horcrux where it was? The last time they'd been here, they'd fallen straight into a trap. But if this was the exit, they didn't really have a choice. He jerked the door open, steeling himself against the darkness inside, and waited to be cursed. When it didn't come, he stepped inside, out of breath and holding his wand a little shakily in front of him, waiting for Harry and Hermione to follow.
Hermione was frozen for a moment. But it also wasn't as if they couldn't go after them, because Snape had managed to take them through the door that they had to go through to get to their escape route. Snape.... what was he doing here with all the Order at Hogwarts? It was a ridiculous first thought,though, and Hermione put it together with the Death Eaters above and opened her mouth to say it except that beside her Harry breathed, "No one's at Hogwarts at all." And Hermione went silent, and took her wand out again.
She looked once at Ron, and then at the door. "We have to get out of here," She said, and then she opened it.
"Lumos," Lit up the the area just around her, not enough light to cover the entire large room beyond the door.
Snape hadn't expected them to be smart enough to let him be, of course. He had hoped, but the disappointment wasn't too much of a shock. He gave Pettigrew a kick to shut him up. With him here watching, there wasn't much of a choice but to put on a decent show. If he had to incapacitate Weasley and Granger to make sure of his position with the Dark Lord, he was more than willing to do it. He could find some way to explain himself to the Order, afterwards. Dumbledore would vouch for him, as he always did, and the rest of them could complain as much as they liked; it would make no difference. He winced slightly at the sudden light, and swept his wand in their direction, sending a dangerous-looking jet of red over their heads to warn them off.
Ron ducked, pulling Hermione (and what he could grab of Harry) down with him to avoid the spell Snape had sent at them. His own hastily shot-off Stupefy missed its mark and clattered ineffectually off the wall.
Hexes or no, they had to go through that room, and Hermione was at least aware enough to realize that Snape had fired over their heads on purpose, and the hex he used was one she'd read about. It wouldn't have done more than light them up impressively and singed a bit if it had hit. Still, the Horcrux pulled enough to make her pretty damn annoyed that he'd done it anyway, Order's spy or not she was going through that room.
Reading abou that spell was good enough luck, though, because she remembered how to cast it and she sent the same spell their direction, and the yelp she heard told her she'd found Pettigrew. She hoped it burned.
"Come on!" She hissed at them, trying to stay down and then rushing in to the room.