WHAT: Attack! part 2!
WHEN: 16 Dec 1997
WHERE: Severus' new 'safe'house.
RATED: Rish for violence and language
When Severus came to, the first thing he noticed was pain. Pain in his nose, pain in his head, and one knee felt bloody on fire. He slumped, then realized that something was restricting his movements, and opened his eyes, blinking blearily. There was light, now, and suddenly he remembered what had happened--he wasn't sleeping, he'd been knocked unconscious, and Bellatrix--
"Hello, Snape." Bella had righted the sofa and had been resting while she waited for Snape to wake up. She had healed most of her external injuries, pocketed Snape's wand, bound him to a chair with the strongest binding spell she knew. She could have easily woken him sooner, but the Cruciatus curse she had endured had left it's mark and her body was tired. She propped herself up on one elbow, mustering a crooked, half-pained smile. "Have you missed me?"
Severus shook his head, wishing his sluggish thoughts would reorder themselves more quickly. "Can't say that I have," he managed, testing his bonds, though as he'd thought he could find no weakness to exploit. She'd have his wand by now, too. Fuck.
"That really is a shame, because I'm afraid you'll find you're stuck with me for now." At least until she got what she wanted, anyway. With that she rolled up into a seated postion, pushed off the sofa with a groan, and made her way toward the kitchen, being very casual and obvious about the fact that she no longer considered him a threat at present moment.
Severus licked his upper lip distractedly, trying to crane his head to keep an eye on her. The blood above his lip was dry, fortunately. He could feel it across his cheek, too, blast her. He had to keep his mouth open to breathe, he had one hell of a headache, and his knee was throbbing so badly he was certain she'd shattered it. Fucking bitch. "What is the purpose of this?" he demanded, irritated by the way his broken nose affected his voice.
Bella chuckled at the way his voice sounded, but ignored his question just to piss him off. Instead she began rummaging through his cabinets, looking for food and tea. There was hardly anything worth making, however. "No wonder Draco looked starved." And then something occured to her. "Where is my nephew, by the way?" She found a box of tea and a chipped mug after inspecting a few more cabinets. She filled the mug with her wand and then tapped it to bring the water to a boil before dropping a tea bag inside.
Well, if she wouldn't answer him, he felt not the slightest urge to answer her. Severus gave up craning his neck to watch her because it was too uncomfortable, facing front again and trying to listen above his headache, just in case she felt like attacking him from the back.
Bella sighed and turned back towards the sofa. She decided she would eat something later, in front of him when he was more likely to be hungry as well. When she reached the back of his chair, she yanked his head back from where she had yanked the hair out of his head last night. "I asked a question. Really, we could do this the easy way or the hard way, it's up to you." Letting go, she made her way back towards the sofa.
Severus hissed as that brought up fresh pain, eyes watching her once she was in view again. "He's not here, obviously." He glared at her. "He told me he was visiting his mother."
"Hmm." Bella sat and brought the cup to her lips, blowing over the hot liquid. Cissa hadn't mentioned anything to her, but they hadn't exactly been seeing eye to eye lately. She would come around, sooner or later. She was a Black, after all. "The purpose of this?" she asked, going back to his question. "What? Why I didn't just kill you?"
He wasn't actually surprised that she hadn't, but he did wonder what she was waiting for. "Just curious," he said, as if they were speaking of trivial things.
Bella chuckled again. "Severus Snape is never just anything." She grinned, eyeing him for a moment before sitting back and taking a sip of her tea. "I need something. That's all." She shrugged and rested the cup on her knee when she felt her hand give a small tremor.
Severus' eyes widened, despite himself. "You need something," he repeated flatly, disbelievingly. "That's all."
"That's what I said," she said nonchalantly.
"You could have knocked."
"This was more fun. Don't you agree?"
"No." Severus scowled pointedly.
Bella met his scowl with a wide grin. "Oh well. To each their own, I suppose."
"What do you want?" Severus bit off, suppressing a growl. It was pointless to indulge in anger when he needed to be finding a way out of this.
"A potion." She took another sip of her tea, and glanced around the room at the rubble from the previous night.
Severus sighed, and spoke slowly, as if she had trouble understanding. "You go to a shop and find the potion section. It's usually clearly marked. Then you find the potion you need, and hand the nice person running the till your money."
She turned and watched him mock her, her grin unwaivering. "Have all the answers, don't you? Good thing I came to you. I don't know how I've managed my whole life without your help."
"One of life's great mysteries," Severus said flatly. "What sort of potion?"
"One that hasn't been invented yet." She paused to let that sink in. "Hmm, not so dumb after all, am I?"
"You are if you think blowing a hole in my roof and attacking me is going to make me interested in inventing a potion for you," Severus said dryly. "Civilized people in full command of their senses realize these things."
"Firstly, I hardly expected you to simply let me in after I have made it very plain that I want you dead. I realized that much. Secondly, since when are you civilized, you fucking filthy half-blood?" Bella's smile was faltering. Her voice remained calm, but flat, and it was apparent he had gotten under her skin. How he always managed that, she didn't know, but for now she needed to focus on staying cool and in control. "Thirdly, you will do what I ask you to. Have you forgotten which one of us is bound to a bloody chair already?"
Bellatrix's ire, her slip in control, had Severus very smug indeed, but he was in too much pain to deliver a witty barb, so instead he only said, "What am I meant to be inventing, then?"
Mollified by the fact that Snape seemed resigned to her task and had not so much as responded to the slur towards his parentage, Bella wasted no time in answering his question. "A potion that would allow a werewolf to transform at will, without a full moon." She said it as if it were the most natural thing in the world, and sipped her tea calmly.
Severus' lip curled in revulsion. "A werewolf transforming at will?" He jerked, as if something within him had snapped. His voice rose with every word. "Werewolves? You speak to me of werewolves?! I fucking hate werewolves! I have to deal with werewolves every other bloody fucking day! Fuck you!"
Ah. This was a position Bella was a bit more comfortable with. Her lips curved upward at his reaction and her voice was ripe with amusement. "Come now, Snape, they aren't all that bad. That Fenrir chap is quite a charming fellow once you get to know him." Her shoulders shook a few times with silent laughter.
Her laughter brought him back to himself, at least. Breathing harshly through his mouth, the sound labored from his useless nose, Severus shook himself. He had to squint to look at her, and it took a few moments for him to reorder his thoughts, evidence of the pain he was in. "Fenrir's only value in life is as a potions experiment. I take it he's the one who wants this."
"No, it's for Dolph," she said sarcastically, taking note of his momentary confusion. "I fail to see how it matters who it's for, really. The way I see it, you don't have a choice."
Severus opened his mouth to ask if Bellatrix had really thought about the consequences of giving the werewolves a potion that would allow them to change whenever they wanted, but then closed it again. Of course she hadn't. As much as the werewolves were working for the Dark Lord, he didn't even think he'd like them being able to transform whenever they chose. "Well then, you've informed me of what I'm to do, haven't you? Release me and leave."
Bella laughed again, this time unable to keep it silent. "Do you really think I'm leaving before I've gotten what I want?"
Severus gave her a flat stare. "Do you really think I can invent such a complex potion in the span of a 'visit' while in pain and spelled to a chair? It will take months for the research and experimentation alone, and that's simply to discover how such a thing might be possible--because I sincerely doubt that there's any research already done in the field. Research, hypothesis, experimentation...and then once a rough recipe is cobbled together, it shall have to be refined and tested. The Wolfsbane potion took years before the correct combination of ingredients was even stumbled upon. I shall need a better facility, access to test subjects, ingredients, information, supplies...and being able to think clearly would certainly not hinder the process." Severus suddenly couldn't stop a tremble he'd been fighting (Occlumency was such a help with 'mind over matter'), and became aware that he was sweating, even though it was quite cold. Buggery fuck, he hoped he wasn't going into shock.
"Not in a visit, no, but months?" There was a small mocking lilt in her voice. "I thought you were supposed to be some sort of potions genius." Her grin grew warm when he finally showed a sign of his distress, her job well done.
"Months," Severus only snarled, unable to come up with any sort of retort for that. This visit was absolutely killing his ego, and the fact that he'd been able to keep back any major reaction to what he'd just been through was little consolation, now he was losing that, too. He closed his eyes and tried to regain control over himself, but he had a feeling he'd run his luck, there.
"Ickle Severus not so perfect, is he?" Bella said, resuming the baby talk she knew he loathed. She brought the cup to her lips and drained what was left of her drink and then dropped the cup to the floor. "Well," she drawled suggestively. Drawing her wand, she made a complicated gesture toward him and the binds over Snape's chest moved, remaining tight enough not to allow him to wriggle out as they snaked back around his arms, tying them together behind him and leaving his chest uncovered. "I suppose I'll have to guarantee your efforts will be sufficient before I leave."
With a mischievous glance, she moved off the sofa to kneel in front of him and reached forward. She gripped the top of his dressing gown, ripped the front open, and then grinned up at him. "Probably never had a woman willingly in this position before, have you?" Pressing her wand to the tip of her finger, she sliced the tip open with a wince that was probably bigger than it normally would have been had her body not been recovering from his curse. "Don't worry, I'll be gentle," she mocked, and then patted his shattered knee a couple of times with a bit more force than necessary in false reassurance.
Severus watched Bellatrix resentfully, plotting all the different ways he'd like to see her die in bloody agony to cheer himself as best he could while she manhandled him--and biting off a noise of pain that wasn't quite muffled when she jarred his knee. God, he wanted her to die. If only he could perfect casting the killing curse wandlessly...
Bella lifted her finger to just below Snape's collar bone and pressed it to his skin. Slowly, she dragged her fingertip across his flesh, leaving an X marked there in her blood. "Gebo. A gift from you to me, Snape." She chuckled. "A contract between us. What do you think? A four month contract? That sounds reasonable. I can't have you doddling, after all. Within four months, this potion, along with acurate instructions on how to produce it, are to be given to me and only to me. I will check up on you as I see fit, and you will allow me to do so without threat of injury. That way next time I can just knock."
The name of the rune finally jogged Snape's attention back to the fact that something bad was happening. He felt anger and righteous indignation and resentment and fear, all at once, and it tried to come out in words, but all he managed was a very angry splutter of breath through clenched teeth. At least now he was trembling with fury, but all he could think of were expletives, a huge torrent of swearing the way he hadn't since he was just a boy unable to control his bursts of temper, and he choked back the words, determined that if he couldn't say anything worth saying, he'd say nothing at all and deny her the satisfaction of hearing him completely lose control.
Severus wildly tried to summon his wand to him nonverbally, thinking that he might actually be angry enough to manage it, not that he had a hand to hold it with. Not that he knew where it was. He felt a surge of hope when he heard a clatter, but he couldn't see where it had gone--if he hadn't actually just summoned Bellatrix's teacup instead.
Bella felt a tug at her side as Snape's wand slid from her pocket and clattered to the floor. She quickly flung out her hand and trapped it against the floor, leaving the finger drawing the runes in place and leaving her eyes trained on him in sick fascination as he struggled not to react. "Ah ah, not yet, Snape. Raidho. Death. I think that one is pretty self explanatory." She shrugged, and drew the second rune upside down on him, just below the first. "If you fail to fulfill the first part of this contract, you die."
This time Severus felt the fissure of dark magic when Bellatrix completed the rune, and he hissed at the tiny tingle of pleasure it brought. He wasn't able to fully appreciate the irony of that as he might've otherwise liked to, so he concentrated on conserving what energy he retained. It would have been more enjoyable to spit vitriol at her and struggle to get free, but Severus was much too practical for theatrics.
"Are you paying attention, Snape? Because this next one, it's my favourite part." Bella was milking it now. "Thurisaz," she said, drawing the last shape. "Change and regeneration. You don't get to just die. That would be far too easy. Upon your death, you will be resurrected as an Infiri, forever in my charge. And when I die, your soulless corpse shall weep for all eternity at my grave." She pulled her finger away and looked at him with a grin. "Part of me almost wishes you to fail so I can have you as my own little mindless minion. You would make me such a lovely puppet."
Severus just stared at her, calming his expression as best he could. "You'll die before I do, Bella. Mark my words."
"Only time will tell," Bella said, steadying her temper at the implied threat in his words. She was fully in control right now, and she intended to relish it. Besides, she could not afford to become too upset to complete her task when she was so close. She raised her finger and dragged it straight through the marks, connecting them with a center line, and then held her hand a few inches away from his chest over them. They burned white hot for a moment as she sealed the contract, and then sank into his flesh leaving a mark that would no longer simply wash off. The line drawn connecting them faded completely into the flesh and disappeared from the surface.
Severus winced in pain, ducking his chin to stare down at what he could see of his chest, which wasn't much, but he could make out the marks as they seared into his skin and became permanant. Severus suddenly had the absurd thought that Remus was going to kill him, so Bella's runes didn't matter. God, he just wanted this to be done with so he could find someone to heal him; the pain was making it impossible to think properly.
Bella grinned at his lack of response. She curled her fingers around his wand and braced her hands on both his knees to press herself up to a standing position, feeling the injured one give quite a bit under her weight. Once in a standing position, she hooked her foot under his seat and tilted it back until it toppled to the ground backward. "Well, it has been a pleasure." She healed her finger casually. "I'll be seeing you." Turning, she made her way to the door, tossing his wand over her shoulder across the room once she'd reached it. "Ta." And with that, she stepped out of the safehouse, Apparating once she moved out of his wards.
Severus snarled as he toppled over backwards, his head hitting the floor and causing a wave of nauseatingly fresh pain to wash over him so that he barely even noticed the pain from his jarred knee. He tried to think of some final, cutting shot, but darkness overtook him once more.