characters are the creation and intellectual property of j. k. rowling. no profit is derived from this work of fan fiction.
Rated R for violence
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the unspeakable universe:
Blood, Bone and Honour
Snape had earned the right to be there, had paid for it with blood, bone and honour.
From "The Waiting Room"
November 1996; 6th year
Wormtail was laughing. Giggling, in fact, giggling like a schoolgirl. Snape remembered the sound from a million potions classes: an irritating, wheezy little giggle that rang out whenever Black did something allegedly amusing.
A sycophantic giggle.
How utterly appropriate.
Appropriate, too, that Wormtail should be holding the knife, poised above Snape's right hand. Above the index finger.
Yes. Very appropriate.
"A knife, Pettigrew?" he asked. His voice was hoarse from the screaming, from the torture he'd already experienced, but he couldn't sit silently while Wormtail mutilated him. "Did you use a knife? Or your wand, Pettigrew?"
The hand holding the knife shook.
"Or do you only answer to Wormtail now?"
It had always bothered him, those inexplicable nicknames. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs. Now it made sense, made perfect sense, and there wasn't a damn thing he could do about it.
"Have you abandoned your name, Pettigrew? Voldemort did ... he used to be Tom Riddle. The pride of Slytherin House. What would your friends say, Pettigrew, if they saw you toadying to that Slytherin..."
Wormtail licked his lips. "You only hate me because I'm loyal to the Master. You were weak, you betrayed him ... you betrayed all of us."
After all these years of slinking around, dealing in lies and deceptions, it felt almost good to acknowledge his true allegiance. Not good enough to compensate for the pain that ensued from discovery, but good.
"I did betray you. And now I'm paying the price. Just like you did."
All they ever found of Pettigrew was his finger. He'd always found it slightly amusing, because as loyal as he was to Dumbledore, he could never bring himself to like Potter and his crowd.
He could never forgive them for laughing so much when there was nothing, nothing at all to laugh at.
Wormtail giggled, and for a moment, Snape thought he was going to drop the knife and leave. But then he recovered, and brought the knife down with a swift, clean stroke.
Snape felt a wave of pain, a burning sensation. He couldn't see his hand, but he knew it was covered in blood. Red and dripping, spilling over onto the table and against his legs, a viscous, warm liquid (not so cold blooded after all, he thought wildly). And behind the heat and the blood, he could hear Wormtail wheezing and giggling.
He didn't cry out.
At least he could say that.
Wormtail's hands were shaking madly now, and he seemed even more unbalanced than before, but he managed to draw his wand and cauterise the wound.
"All done now," he said
softly. He held up Snape's finger, long and white, with a broken fingernail
from his first hours in the prison. "All done ... my Master will send it
to Dumbledore. A message for Dumbledore and Harry. They'll understand.
Harry's a smart boy, I know. He'll understand." He started to walk away,
but turned back. "You understand too, don't you? First a finger ... and
then an arm ..." He held out his silver prosthetic. "Then we'll see. Maybe
you'll be dead soon. If you're lucky."
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