"They've got Padfoot! They've got Padfoot at the place where it's hidden!"

Potter was screaming at me frantically, his face an ashen white. I didn't care. And I deliberately stopped listening. My face a blank, I only processed his words superficially. My training in my childhood, then my youth and finally as a death-eater-turned-spy had perfected my ability to ignore the meaning of anything that was said to me, until I was somewhere else.

A blank mask was easy to hold onto then.

"I'm afraid I have no idea what he's babbling about." I replied coolly to the pink blob in front of me. My mind was screaming at me to listen and I shoved it away with another comment - always better to focus on the right here and now. Or you start dying. "Always was an unintelligible student."

She'd taken the diversion. Now to get back to my rooms. It was getting hard to breathe. Potter's words wouldn't stay locked away. I quickened my steps. I had to reach my rooms! Voldemort had Padfoot. Black. He had Black in the department of mysteries. NO! My mind exploded with fear and denial. No! No, Potter thought Voldemort had Black there. He could be wrong.

Feverishly I knelt, my hand shaking half the powder out of it before I even reached the grate. "Sirius! Sirius!" My voice shook, but I couldn't help it. The sound of footsteps thundering down the stairs. My heart was in my mouth and making it difficult to breath. The kitchen door crashed open. Black was suddenly kneeling in front of me.

"What is it? What's wrong? Snape?"

"I-" I sucked in a great breath of air, I felt extremely dizzy.

"Shh. Calm down." Sirius had put his hands on my face. He had a very concerned look on his face. I thought I might faint. "Stop it Snape. Breathe. Calm down."

I nodded, feeling the coolness of tears on my cheeks. "Potter said-" I broke off, my sanity returning. I narrowed my eyes at him. It could be a trap. "Tell me what you told me that night."

Sirius looked momentarily confused. Then a look of understanding passed over his face. "I told you you could always come here if you had nightmares." He paused, and I felt my body finally returning under my control again. "Severus."

I nodded and swallowed with difficulty. "Right." No point in wasting any more time. "Potter said, he is under the impression," I sneered slightly, "that you have been kidnapped by Voldemort and taken to the department of mysteries." A pop next to me informed me of a message. "Hold on." I withdrew back to my rooms and took the phoenix feather hovering next to me.

Harry has left the grounds Severus. Miss Granger, Mr Weasley, Mr Longbottom, Miss Weasley and Miss Lovegood are with him. AD

My breath caught in my throat. I felt anger and fear burning in my gut. White fingers gripped the feather, bending it and crushing the delicate burrs. I stuck my face back through the floo. "It would appear Potter and his masquerading band of idiots have decided to go to rescue you." I watched, hurt and angry and frustrated and terrified as the colour drained from Black's face.

"I'm going to get him." He stood up.

"No! Black, don't be an idiot! Mad-eye and Shacklebolt will do it. They're at the ministry already anyway. You're not supposed to leave the house." I suppose something must have shown in my face.

"Fine time for you to finally decide you did want a father from that weekend Snape." His voice was too light, too steady. A marauder ready for the adventure. "I'm not leaving Harry to Voldemort Snape. I'd never forgive myself."

"He'd never forgive himself either if anything happened to you." I answered weakly.

He gripped my shoulders then. "We'll talk when I get back ok? Go wait at the school in case Harry changes his mind. Look after the other kids." A brief touch of his lips to my forehead. And he was gone.

A tear splashed onto the cold grate in Grimmauld place before I withdrew. I couldn't forgive him after that. He'd lied to me.

AN: Thank you all so much for reading this story. I've loved reading all your reviews. I'm going to post alternate endings/re-agings and follow-ups under another heading if any of you are interested. The first should be up very soon, since it's almost finished. Any ideas or challenges will be much appreciated! Thanks, Tabbiecatx