Author: John Sexton
Genre: Harry Potter Slash
Love your feedback via: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please donate, to keep Nifty alive!
Chapter Thirty-Three -- Draco's Betrayal
Salazar Snape sat atop the Astronomy Tower, which had become his place of sanctuary, his retreat, since that terrible Halloween night.
The tower clock had just struck ten and the brooding youth had eaten nothing since the wake in the Great Hall that afternoon.
The moon was in its third quarter and would not rise for another half-hour. Surprisingly the clouds had cleared to reveal a black, but crystal-clear, night sky.
The boy sat with his back against the southern pylon and his long muscular legs draped over the edge of the precipice. His eyes flitted occasionally from the rising constellations to the grounds below, where Dumbledore's crumpled torso had lain, sprawled out across the manicured lawns just two nights earlier, at almost exactly that same time.
Salazar's gaze dropped to his lap, where he cradled the old man's wand in his right hand and the Snitch, Harry Potter's first trophy, in his left.
Sals knew, instinctively, that Dumbledore had been pleased... no!... he had been relieved... when Sals had taken the wand from him, forcibly, just before his own father had slain the legendary warlock, with the Killing Curse, on that very spot!
Amidst the tension of those tumultuous events, Sals had been afforded no opportunity to determine why Dumbledore had been so gratified by his actions. Yet, despite both his and the old man's mental and physical exhaustion, at the time, the boy had simply known that the old man's fears had been allayed.
In fact the more Sals thought about it, the more he had convinced himself that Dumbledore had begged him to take the wand.
No Legilimency had been involved, it had been far more subtle than that. Or had Sals simply convinced himself of the notion, to alleviate the guilt of his complicity in the old man's murder?
That was what had plagued the youth all day, as he brooded the afternoon away in his solitude. Well that and the damned Snitch. What the fuck was that all about?
Why would Albus Dumbledore want Salazar Snape to have Harry Potter's Snitch, so badly that he would leave it, AND THE SWORD OF GRYFFINDOR!, in his Will?
Did the old man believe that Sals would be able to give it to Potter?
One thing was certain, at least in Sals's mind, if Dumbledore had left the Snitch to Potter, the Ministry would have seized and kept it. So Sals was its custodian... but why?
As the Eastern horizon began to glow, foreshadowing the moon's imminent appearance, footsteps could be heard on the cold stairwell below. A solitary set of footfalls.
Salazar's initial reaction was anger that his solitude was about to be broken.
Every senior knew where he was... where he had been for nearly the past two days. So whoever was about to intrude on his seclusion was either extremely ignorant or incredibly brave.
But as the footfalls became louder, a grin creased the handsome, young warlock's face; he knew that sound, the gait, the pattern, only too well.
Sals never looked up as the footsteps grew closer...
"A Knut for your thoughts..." the silver-tongued tones broke the silence gently, as soft, pale fingers traced their way across the back of the dark-haired wizard's neck.
"A Galleon wouldn't even get you very far!" Sals lamented, "I have no idea what that wily old bugger wanted me to do with this!"
Draco glanced down at the Snitch, as he knelt down behind Sals, and continued to tease the fit youth's neck, this time with his supple lips.
"I wish you wouldn't sit on the edge like that, I know you're as clever as Merlin, but that's just tempting fate!" the blonde whispered in the shell of Sals's ear.
"Besides... I know why you're doing that, but gazing down there," he indicated the ground below, with a nod, "won't help... you know it's what he wanted, at least he knew it had to happen, it was his contribution. Severus knew that; it's why he obeyed Dumbledore. Time to move forward, Salazar!"
The Ice Prince of Slytherin kissed Sals's neck, until the handsome youth acceded to the blonde's entreaty, and swung his legs back onto the ledge.
Sals moved around behind Draco and sat on the cold stone floor, with his back against the inside of the pylon. He pulled the blonde against his chest and wrapped his arms around him, in a tight embrace.
"I've just spent the last six hours in the library with Hermione," Draco wailed miserably, as he held the ancient text up to Sals, "and I still have no idea what this all means.
"I know Beedle the Bard was the subject of children's stories... not that I'm familiar with it!" Draco paused and laughed bitterly. "We didn't do `bedtime stories' at The Manor," he elucidated, "but this is more than a kid's tale... even the bookworm is stumped!
"But never fear!" the blonde added reassuringly, "we haven't given up. If there's a message in here, she'll find it. That witch doesn't know when to quit!" he laughed, a little more confidently.
"So what's with the Snitch?"
"I think the old man wanted me to give it to Harry Potter!"
"Glad you think that's funny, blondie!"
"I don't think it's funny," Draco snorted indignantly, "it's fucking hilarious!"
"You would say that!"
"Well, the old bugger might have been onto something," the Ice Prince teased, "if anyone could give it to Potter it would be you!"
"Very funny... I'd rather give it to you!" the handsome youth teased Draco salaciously.
Sals nuzzled the blonde's neck, as he wrapped his arms tight around him and crushed his chest with his biceps. Then the Adonis jerked his hips up off the cold stone floor, pushing his prodigious groin up hard against the lithe blonde's arse.
"I bet you would, you brute! What if I decide to put up a fight?"
"I was hoping you'd say that!"
"Come on then, Big Boy... give it your best shot!" the blonde challenged the super-fit Adonis.
Breakfast in the Great Hall on Monday morning was a cacophony of tense chatter, with noses buried in multiple copies of the Daily Prophet.
The headline, that Rufus Scrimgeour was dead... murdered, was the sole topic of discussion.
None of this really surprised Salazar Snape, Severus had already warned him that it was inevitable.
Sals knew that it was the work of Voldemort. The only aspect of the murder that did surprise him and his father had been the timing; it had come much quicker than expected.
Of course the impact on the Wizarding population, in general, was shock and fear. This was a clear indication that the Dark Lord was gaining the upper hand. A result of that perception was widespread panic.
Another half dozen students, mainly half-blood and Muggle-born, had been withdrawn from the school; they had all returned to their homes on the early Hogwarts Express, just before breakfast.
Seamus Finnigan had just left his final class for the day, when he received an owl from home. He was relieved, because for the past three days he had been trying to convince his mother that he should be allowed to stay at Hogwarts.
"Yes!" he exclaimed gleefully, as soon as he unfurled the parchment attached to his owl's talon.
"Good news?" Dean asked enthusiastically.
"Yeh, me marm has finally said okay!" the Irish lad crowed.
It had been a strange day, to date. With Dumbledore and Slughorn both dead, and Professor Severus Snape had been missing all day as well, the Potions and DADA classes had all been study periods in the library.
By three o'clock, Madam Pince had been ready to start flaying some students alive; Seamus had been one of them.
Salazar was not letting on if he knew why his dad was missing. But Seamus knew better than to try to get that out of the fit young warlock. Besides he didn't want to risk pissing Sals off and jeopardising their shower liaison later that night.
The dark-eyed, young warlock's mood had matched his countenance of late, and he had spent the last few meals at the Slytherin table, in virtual isolation from the rest of the students, in a sullen huddle with Draco Malfoy, and flanked by Greg and Vince.
So it was that none dare push him for details.
When the students assembled in the Great Hall for dinner that evening, they were all chatting wildly that the head table was unoccupied, with not a teacher in sight.
At precisely six o'clock, the entire teaching staff entered the chamber from the anteroom, behind the head table, in front of which they stood.
They had been led into the room by a man, whom few students recognised, save for his recent photo on the cover of the Prophet. He was the new Minister for Magic, Pius Thicknesse, a broody man with deep set, hooded eyes and a sinister grin that seemed permanently etched into his stony countenance. He was the consummate politician.
Professor Minerva McGonagall was looking particularly black.
The new minister addressed the assembled pupils...
"As some of you may already be aware, I am Pius Thicknesse, the newly appointed Minister for Magic. I have come here, tonight, to announce the appointment of the new headmaster of Hogwarts, Professor Severus Snape!"
A buzz shot through the student body, a mixture of shock and confusion. It had been the widely held consensus that Professor McGonagall would take over from Dumbledore.
Thicknesse waited for the chatter to abate before he continued.
"A new Board of Governors of Hogwarts was elected yesterday, and they have unanimously approved Professor Snape's appointment. With the recent loss of Professors Slughorn and Dumbledore, the board has also appointed a new Potions master and a new Defence Against the Dark Arts professor."
The minister turned towards the teachers assembled behind him, and held out his hand towards the new appointees.
"Please welcome Professor Oliver Wood back to his alma mater and Professor Amycus Carrow."
Seamus nearly wet himself with the news that Oliver Wood had returned to Hogwarts!
The twenty-year-old, former Gryffindor Quidditch captain was a god. The same could not be said for Carrow, who was a squat, lumpy looking wizard with a lopsided leer, and hooded eyes.
The minister continued his introduction, after the students' mixture of enthusiastic applause and buzz of incredulity died down.
"Professor Wood has just returned from a year studying and teaching at the Durmstrang Institute, where he was an understudy professor in Potions to the legendary Professor Komen Sukmoyoff."
A titter of sniggers and some overt laughter rippled across the hall, but the minister was clearly not impressed by the students' bawdy reactions. He glared at the house tables before he continued.
"Professor Wood will be teaching all of Professor Slughorn's Potions lessons. While Professor Carrow will become the new Head of Slytherin House, as well as taking over Professor Snape's Defence Against the Dark Arts classes, in the lower years, to help lighten your new headmaster's teaching load."
Seamus had followed Oliver Wood's Quidditch career, after he had left Hogwarts. This was because he had played in the same league as Seamus's home team, the Kenmare Kestrels.
In Wood's first year as a professional he had been playing Quidditch for the Puddlemere United seconds team. But despite having been captain of Gryffindor, Wood had soon realised that he was never going to make it as a professional. He decided, instead, to further his studies and pursue a career as a teacher.
Seamus had heard nothing more about his hero, after that. But seeing Wood back in the Great Hall, the leprechaun was delighted. He had been smitten by Wood since his first year at Hogwarts, when the burly fifteen-year-old had already been appointed captain of the Gryffindor team.
Draco Malfoy left Hogwarts on the early Express on Saturday morning.
He was returning to the Malfoy estate in Wiltshire, where he was to meet with the family solicitors. Amongst other matters, his primary objectives were the reading of his mother's Will and the official passing of the estate over to him, due to his father's incarceration in Azkaban.
The Estate would be held in trust till his seventeenth birthday, next June, when he would come of age.
The trip back to King's Cross Station was a torturous experience for the young blonde. The fear that tormented him throughout the entire journey was that Voldemort would be at the manor.
He already knew that the hideous creature had killed his mother and aunt there, in the family library.
The foul monster had been using the Malfoy estate as a base of operations for his recruiting drives in the area. The other attraction of the manor was its proximity to Stonehenge and the Wiltshire Downs.
Draco's relief was palpable when his chauffeur assured him that the Dark Lord had not set foot on the estate since the murders. The subsequent ride from King's Cross to the manor was far more relaxed than the train trip.
Once they arrived at the manor, Draco retired to his rooms, with instructions that he was not to be disturbed until the arrival of the family's solicitors.
He gave further instructions that they would meet in his father's office and not in the library. That was one room that Draco was adamant he would not enter.
Salazar was on the Astronomy Tower, brooding yet again. The handsome young warlock was frustrated and angry with what he had learned while Draco had been away.
With his father now occupying the headmaster's office, Salazar had access to the Sorting Hat, once more.
Just as Scrimgeour had indicated, when he had read Dumbledore's Will to Sals and Draco, the Sword of Gryffindor was indeed missing from the office.
The Sorting Hat had informed the angry young warlock that Dumbledore had removed the legendary relic from its pride of place in the headmaster's office the day before Halloween.
This news had angered and frustrated Salazar even more. Not only had the boy been completely oblivious to the fact that it was already missing, the next evening, when he and Dumbledore had left to retrieve the fake Horcrux. But the hat claimed to know nothing of its whereabouts nor the old man's motive.
To make matters worse, neither his father nor McGonagall were able to shed any light on the missing sword.
Salazar's anger and frustration had not abated one iota, when he spied the petite blonde making his way along the path far below, from the front gates of the school to the main doors of the castle.
The light was fading, and the sun had already set. Sals had been sitting up there, in solitude, since lunch.
Salazar smiled as he heard the familiar footfalls on the stairs to the tower. He lifted his long legs up over the ledge and shifted his back against the inside face of the pylon.
"Glad to be back?"
"More than you could believe!"
The cute blonde knelt down in front of the Powerful young warlock and kissed him passionately. Then Draco nuzzled Sals's ear and whispered...
"It had its rewards, though!... you'll be glad to learn that my Legilimency training has paid off."
"Really? How so?"
"Well, the place was almost deserted; only four of our servants remain, not including house elves, of course. I was relieved to discover that Voldemort had returned to Riddle House, as I had been assured by my solicitors that he would.
"But he has been keeping a prisoner in one of our dungeons; Garrick Ollivander, no less!"
"That is interesting," Sals perked up with this revelation. "I wondered why he'd been abducted. What would Voldemort want with a wandmaker?"
"My thoughts exactly!" Draco answered with a wicked grin. "All that training at Dragonera finally proved worthwhile. Voldemort had left Ollivander at the manor, under the watchful eye of our gardener."
The blonde became quite animated as he narrated his tale.
"I had initially considered using Legilimency on Ollivander, himself. But decided that it would be more prudent to probe the gardener."
"That was very wise, Draco," Sals concurred. "If Ollivander is still being held in the dungeon, he almost certainly has been able to resist Voldemort's considerable skills as a Legilimens."
Draco smiled broadly, proud of his tactics.
"Yeah, that's what I figured. The gardener is a low grade Death Eater, and not too bright. He seemed unaware of my probing of his mind.
"He didn't know much, but he was at least aware that Voldemort had been interrogating and torturing Ollivander; he was desperate to discover the identity and whereabouts of the legendary Elder Wand."
"`The Elder Wand?'"
"Yeah!" Draco smiled wickedly, "and I think Hermione might be able to shed some light on that."
"I'm starting to think I was right to convince that foul bastard not to kill you, after all!" Sals quipped.
The blonde swung around to face the tall, dark Adonis. He eyed Salazar seductively.
"So, Big Boy, why don't you show me just how much you missed me!"
The next morning started in chaos and trepidation, as the students throughout the entire school were woken at precisely six o'clock and told to assemble in their common rooms by six-forty-five.
Once the Gryffindors were assembled in their house common room, a very ashen faced and grim Professor McGonagall informed them that the Minister for Magic had decreed that the Wizarding World was entering a `Period of Austerity.'
The phrase confused most of the students until McGonagall explained that this meant that there were to be restrictions placed on how wizards and witches were expected to behave. Furthermore, while these restrictions applied to the general wizarding population, they were expected to be even more stringently observed at Hogwarts.
"Professor Snape will outline the changes in detail, at breakfast this morning," McGonagall stated flatly. "For the present you only need to be aware of the following restrictions.
"There will be no talking in the school corridors!"
That garnered a rush of gasps of disbelief, and a few guffaws and nervous titters of incredulity. But McGonagall's reaction was swift and grim.
"This is no laughing matter, Miss Brown! Mister Creevey! Infractions will not be tolerated, and repeat offenders will be subjected to corporal punishment!"
There were further gasps from the students, as recollections of last year under Dolores Umbridge came rushing back. The room grew tense.
"You will march from here to the Great Hall in silence, in step, in double-file... that is in pairs Mister Abercrombie!"
That brought a little light relief, at the rather slow young wizard's expense, until McGonagall reiterated, in her most shrill tones...
"I repeat: this is no laughing matter!... Once in the Great Hall you will take your place at table, eat in silence and await Professor Snape's further instructions.
The Gryffindors were stunned, as they approached the Great Hall, to find the other houses marching silently along the corridors, under the same instructions.
The students ate their breakfast in stunned silence, as the teachers patrolled the aisles.
There were the occasional gasps of shock, and some sniffling from some of the younger students as copies of the Daily Prophet were delivered by the students' owls. Oddly enough, no letters or other deliveries were made.
The headlines spelled out the grim news in stark reality, and the grim visage of the new Minister for Magic, Pius Thicknesse, seemed to dominate every page.
Curfews were in place in all Wizard towns and villages throughout the country, and there were multiple reports of Muggle deaths, violence and disasters on nearly every page.
When most of the students were finished eating, the new headmaster, Professor Severus Snape, rose to his feet and addressed the student body from his lectern.
He announced that all meals would be conducted in silence, unless one of the staff or senior students were delivering a lecture or reading a text to the assembled student body.
Homework and set study would be supervised in the Great Hall every evening from six-thirty through to nine, and every student was to bring their books with them to dinner.
Curfew would be strictly enforced from nine at night till seven in the morning, no exceptions.
All outgoing and incoming owls would be censored.
Students were not permitted to assemble in groups of three or more anywhere except their own common rooms and dormitories.
All excursions to Hogsmeade were cancelled.
Students would march to and from classes and assemblies, as they had this morning: in silence and in double-file.
As Professor Snape outline these stark new restrictions, several students were glaring at Salazar Snape, as if he was to blame for these new conditions. But he could hardly blame them. Most of them were too young and too na´ve to realise that this was being imposed on them all from the outside.
Hogwarts was effectively now under the control of Voldemort, through his puppet, Pius Thicknesse.
The week that followed, at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, saw the atmosphere within the school, among both students and staff plummet.
Gloom, strict regimentation and violence became the order of the day. This was particularly so from individuals like Amycus Carrow, the new DADA professor, whose classes were more Dark Arts than Defence Against the Dark Arts, and the ever spiteful and bitter old Squib, Argus Filch, who now patrolled the hallways more vociferously than ever.
Draco and Hermione spent most of their spare time that week -- which was a rarity under the new regime -- poring over ancient Runes, in their quest to decipher `The Tales of Beedle the Bard.'
They were lucky enough to be able to access the library before dinner, and to wheedle a study exemption during certain set homework sessions in the Great Hall.
The blonde had been helping the bookworm by looking up certain esoteric Runes in Spellman's Syllabary and other ancient reference texts, while she worked on the more basic readable text.
It was late on Friday Night, just before curfew, and they were tucked up in the library, when Hermione finally nudged Draco in the ribs.
"That's it!... That's it, Draco, look!" she exclaimed excitedly, earning a deadly glare from Madam Pince.
"Look!" she repeated, in hushed but no less excited tones, pointing at the Runes, "`The Elder Wand!' This is what we've been after, it's the `Tale of the Three Brothers!'"
"That's great, Hermione," Draco whispered, bleary-eyed, "but I'm off to bed..." he yawned, "explain it to me after breakfast."
Saturday morning, after breakfast, in the security and secrecy of the Shrieking Shack, Salazar Snape convened a meeting in which Hermione and Draco sat down with Luna, Neville and Ginny, to explain what they had discovered.
"`The Tales of Beedle the Bard' is more or less a cross between Chaucer and Aesop," Hermione began.
This did little more than garner some blank stares.
"A more recent Muggle example might be Hans Christian Anderson, or even more so, the Brothers Grimm," the Muggle-born witch explained further.
That seemed to register with Sals and Luna, but it drew a blank with the other pure-bloods. Hermione huffed a little disparagingly.
"Anyway," she pushed on, "it's essentially a collection of short, usually unrelated, stories. They are mostly ancient legends, fables, you could say fairy tales."
"Oh yeah," Ginny finally caught the Muggle-born witch's drift, "Mum used to read some of those stories to us when we were little."
"Yeah," Neville agreed, "most of the old kids' stories are supposed to be the Beedle's, aren't they? `The Fountain of Fair Fortune...' `The Wizard and the Hopping Pot...' `Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump...'"
"Excuse me?" said Hermione laughing, "we haven't come across that last one yet." Then she became more serious. "But we have found a reference to an `Elder Wand!'" she exclaimed.
"Whether it's the legendary `Elder Wand' that Voldemort is after, we're not sure," Draco added. "But it's the first reference that we've found; and he's so desperate to find it that he had Ollivander kidnapped and has him locked in a dungeon."
"Dumbledore gave Draco this book for a reason," Hermione rationalised, "and the significant thing is that at the top of every page of this story... `The legend of the Three Brothers and the Quest for Immortality,' there is a symbol. It's not a Rune..."
"Certainly not one that we can find a reference to..." Draco added with an air of frustration.
"And it is not part of the original text;" Hermione continued, "it has been drawn by hand on the top of each page, but only for this story, nowhere else in the book."
Luna leaned closer, when Hermione held up the text for them all to see.
"That's the Deathly Hallows," she declared in her usually calm tones.
"But there's no mention of any `Deathly Hallows' in the story!" Hermione declared.
There was an air of impatience in her tone that implied that she was not prepared for another one of Luna's unbelievable claims.
"Well there wouldn't be, would there," Luna replied, seemingly oblivious to Hermione's scepticism. "It's only a children's bedtime story. That's why Dumbledore marked it, to bring it to your attention!" Luna explained, as if talking to a child.
"So, you're saying that the story is true?" Hermione asked, making little attempt to conceal her contempt for such a notion.
"Of course!" Luna replied, as though it was obvious.
"That's ridiculous " Hermione began; but Salazar cut her off...
"Luna's probably right, Hermione! Most fairy tales, fables, legends... call them what you will... have some basis in fact. It's all a matter of degrees.
"And in this case," the Adonis continued, "the evidence is with Luna!"
"Evidence?" Hermione replied incredulously.
"You're holding part of it in your hand, Hermione! As you just said, Dumbledore gave that book to Draco for a reason; he almost certainly marked those pages himself.
"Voldemort believes in the existence of the Elder Wand, so much so that he has abducted and imprisoned one of the greatest wandmakers of our time, in an attempt to discover its whereabouts!
"We know that the Invisibility Cloak exists. There is no denying that the cloak that Harry gave me is no ordinary invisibility cloak. Dumbledore revealed that fact to both of us, when he gave it to Harry and when Harry gave it to me!"
"But a Resurrection Stone? You surely don't believe "
"Hermione, how much of what you know today, would you have said was ridiculous or impossible, on the day that you received your Hogwarts letter?"
She said nothing; her only reply was her scarlet complexion.
"Exactly..." Sals responded gently.
Luna went on to explain that Antioch, Cadmus, and Ignotus Peverell were the three brothers of the story, and that legend said that the wand, the stone and the cloak had all been lost to history.
Finally Luna explained the Deathly Hallows symbol, by constructing it on a sheet of parchment...
"The Elder Wand," she said, as she traced out a vertical line down the parchment. "The Resurrection Stone," she added a circle over the line. "The Cloak of Invisibility," she enclosed both inside a triangle.
"The Deathly Hallows," Luna concluded.
Salazar immediately began to wonder if the Snitch might contain the Resurrection Stone! But he said nothing of it to anyone.
The young Adonis also considered the possibility that he might already be in possession of all three of the Deathly Hallows, the first person ever to have possessed all three. That was something that none of the three brothers of the legend had managed to achieve, as an individual!
But the thought that the Quest for Immortality was over, that being in possession of the Deathly Hallows, he might very well become the greatest wizard of all time, even greater than Merlin himself, was too daunting to contemplate, let alone comprehend!
It was a secret that he would not, dared not, reveal to anyone; not his beloved father, not Draco, no individual. If he was right, this was even more dangerous than the deadly secret of the Horcrux, that he alone shared with the darkest monster that the world had ever encountered.
"Well," the stunning youth declared, "it's obvious what we need to do next. I have to talk to Garrick Ollivander, without delay!"
Less than an hour later, Salazar Snape and Draco Malfoy stood alone in the Shrieking Shack.
With a loud crack Dobby, the house elf, appeared before them.
As soon as the elf caught sight of Draco, he cringed and hid his face from his former master's son. Then he looked up at the young blonde defiantly.
"Dobby is a free elf now, Draco Malfoy is no longer his master!"
Draco smiled at the elf, but it was an uncomfortable moment for them both, and the gesture was strained.
"Dobby," the young pure-blood addressed the elf in a stilted tone; he was clearly ill at ease.
"I am well aware of your status, and that Harry Potter freed you from your servitude to my family. I know that you were not treated well at Malfoy Manor, and I understand that you resent my treatment of you.
"I was a child, back then, Dobby, and I knew no better. But I have grown up a great deal in the past few months. I would like very much to win your trust, and one day you might come to see me as a friend."
The elf eyed the young blonde suspiciously, until his attention was drawn towards the tall, dark wizard at Draco's side.
"Thank you for coming here, Dobby," Sals addressed the elf deferentially. "Hermione explained that we needed your help?"
"Dobby, is pleased to help a friend of Harry Potter's," the elf replied, while still eyeing the blonde with some trepidation.
"Good," Sals replied, "we need you to rescue a wizard from Malfoy Manor. Are you prepared to return there to perform that task for us?"
"Dobby can Apparate into and out of the manor, Salazar Snape, Sir."
"Good, bring him here as soon as you can, Dobby."
"He is being held in the lower dungeon," Draco explained. "I'm pretty sure he is the only one there, his name is Garrick Ollivander."
With a loud crack Dobby was gone.
"I think I have a long way to go, before I have any chance of winning that elf's trust," Draco lamented.
Before Sals could respond, there was another loud crack and Dobby had returned with the ancient wandmaker in tow.
"Thank you, Dobby," Sals replied, but one look at the old man told the young warlock that Ollivander was in need of the skills of Madam Pomfrey.
The wily, young warlock dared not attempt to get Ollivander into Hogwarts, as he could not risk news of the old man's rescue getting back to Voldemort.
Instead he sent Dobby to fetch the school nurse, and decided to try to make the old man as comfortable as possible, in the safety and seclusion of the shack.
When Madam Pomfrey had finished her ministrations and returned to the castle, Sals and Draco sat down with the wandmaker, who looked much stronger than when he had arrived with Dobby.
Sals offered the old man sanctuary in the shack, until such time as it was safe for him to return to his shop. The old man gratefully accepted the offer.
"Mister Ollivander, Sir," Sals enquired, " can you tell me why Voldemort had you abducted and was holding you captive?"
The ancient wandmaker studied the young warlock intensely before he answered.
"He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named wanted to know why he could not defeat Harry Potter with his wand. I explained that their wands were Brother wands, having the same source as their core."
"Was that all?" Sals questioned the old man further.
It was obvious that the old man knew he was dealing with a powerful young wizard. He hesitated before he answered...
"He is desperate to discover the whereabouts of a wand, a legendary wand of great power."
Salazar Snape peered deeply into the old wandmaker's reddened, watery eyes.
"You told Voldemort that Gregorovitch had the wand!"
The old man looked horrified.
"How did you ?"
"You told Voldemort that Gregorovitch had the wand!" Sals repeated, "the Elder Wand... didn't you?"
Before the wandmaker could formulate a response, the Adonis pulled a wand from his cloak and handed it to the old man, handle first.
"Would you look at this for me please, Sir?" the handsome youth asked politely.
As soon as the wood touched Ollivander's fingers, his expression betrayed him...
"Elder wood... could... could it be?"
"Thank you, Sir," the boy spoke softly, as he retrieved the wand.
"If you require anything, Mister Ollivander, any time of the day or night, just call Dobby, he will happily attend to your every need."
Two weeks had elapsed since Hogwarts had been subject to the austerity measures imposed under Pius Thicknesses's Ministership.
It was Saturday night and well past the Hogwarts nine o'clock curfew, when Draco Malfoy knelt at the foot of the dais, in the `Throne Room' of Riddle House.
For the first time since he had been assigned the onerous tasks of securing access to Hogwarts and killing Dumbledore, he was before the monster at the top of the dais, completely alone, totally sentient, fully clothed and absolutely petrified.
"M-my L-lord," he stumbled, despite his great resolve.
The terrified young blonde was sure he would soil himself before this night was out. But, at that moment, that was the least of his worries.
"Tell Us," the foul monster hissed, the sarcasm dripping from his sibilant tongue, "Our pretty young thing, to what do We owe the pleasure, and better still..." the inhuman fiend's red slits glowed like coals, "why We should spare your life?"
"I bring you a gift, M-master! Something that I believe shall please you! Something that I have managed to steal from Dumbledore's grave!"
Without raising his gaze from the floor, Draco reached into his robes and withdrew his hand.
The petite blonde lifted his smooth, alabaster fingers up towards the dais, and presented their contents, handle first, to the foul monster."
"You bring Us a wand?" Voldemort hissed incredulously.
"Not merely a wand, Master... this is the legendary `Elder Wand,' My Lord!"
If you are enjoying this, you might like my other two Nifty stories...
This is a two-chapter Potterverse short story [complete].
This is on-going and I'm updating it as I write Salazar.
All feedback is appreciated via: email@example.com