1994-11-4: The Prisoner of Azkaban

Participants:

Snape_icon.gif

Guest Star: Abigail Bateson

Scene Title The Prisoner of Azkaban
Synopsis Severus Snape visits the infamous prison to speak with a different Prisoner of Azkaban.
Location Azkaban, North Sea
Date November 4, 1994
Watch For Angry Dementors
Logger Snape

The waves of the North Sea roar and crash viciously, the forbidding and deathly cold waters enough of a deterrent to drive back anyone who might seek to brave them after escaping Azkaban. But to those who wish to break in? They are a necessary obstacle that must be overcome.

Amidst the pounding torrents of salt water is a boat, a small thing perhaps only big enough for two people. Whatever colour it was, it has been scaled green by the salt air and the wood is cracked, worn and grey. Yet where it should be torn apart by the bitter sea it presses forward diligently, rocking upon the waves slightly but seeming to carve straight through the centre of the largest ones.

Upon the deck of the boat stands a figure clad all in black, his long hair pasted against his sallow face by the sea - droplets of water dripping from a long, hooked nose. He stares forward with eyes like endless tunnels, waiting to reach the rocky shore of his destination.

High above the prison, the Dementors fly with their aerial acrobatics keeping watch. Some of them dip a bit lower, but they never seem to get low enough to spot the man inside the boat nearing the lower level entrance to the prison. Inside the prison, on the mid-level, inside a small cell, a young woman sits, staring blankly at the wall.

Once the boat bumps against the rocks, Snape steps over the bow and onto terra firma. A hastily-cast charm secures the vessel and he continues on his way, pausing in the great and oppressive entrance to the tower to brandish his wand.

"Expecto Patronum."

And a silvery doe springs forth from the end of the wand, seemingly constructed entirely from brilliant strands of silver and white light. It trots along ahead and he follows after it, recalling the plans for the place - recalling where to go next. He makes his way up towards the mid-level.

Inside the halls of the prison a few dementors roam around, keeping a monotonous watch on all the prisoners. However, as the Patronus appears, they are quick to vanish, and hold their distance from Snape. As if knowing what he is there for, one of them slowly hisses and points to a door.

Snape stares impassively at the Dementor's rotting hand, noting the gesture towards the door and reaching out to open it. As he steps into the cell the Patronus takes up a position by the door, laying down upon the floor and standing guard against the oppressive chill of the Dementors. He locks eyes on the figure of the prisoner he is looking for, frowning.

"Abigail Bateson."

As if the patronus' protectiveness is enough, the young woman lifts her gaze slowly from the wall. Drooping eyelides, tired from years of having all happiness sucked from her, raise and allow her blue eyes to meet the owner of the voice.

"Severus Snape." she hisses, pushing herself up to a less-slouched position. "What do you want, traitor?"

"Answers," Snape says in reply, not offering her an argument or word against being called a traitor, "Before the Ministry takes them."

His own voice is equally venomous; arms folded over his chest - apparently unconcerned by the bitter chill of having been very recently drenched in the North Sea, "A book that the Dark Lord took from you. I need it."

"As if the Ministry hasn't already taken everything?" Abigail retorts, glancing around at her surroundings. With the Dementor's effects temporarily at bay, she's more familiar with her surroundings. At mention of the book, she cackles loudly. Almost maniacally.

"You think the Dark Lord /took/ it from us?" she says, cracking a wicked grin as she stands up and moves around the small cell. It's slow, shuffling steps as she really hasn't moved much in these years. "He didn't /take/ it from us. We gave it willingly just as we gave our service to him for eternity. But you wouldn't know anything about that, would you?"

"Hold your tongue," Snape hisses in reply, "Your ignorance as to my motives is of no concern of mine. In what fashion can I serve him locked away in here? Do you think he will count those who were taken by the Ministry and locked away to stare at walls like brainless trolls as his most trusted followers? Or those who remained at their posts even when all seemed lost?"

"I require that book, Abigail. There is magic in there I cannot imagine you are capable of understanding. If you know where it is, you had best tell me or it will be lost forever. Locked away in some Ministerial archive where it cannot serve the purpose it was written to serve."

Blue eyes narrow accusingly at Snape, as Abigail snorts derisively. "I stayed at my post. Right up until the Aurors came and ransacked my family's house. You…however," she pauses, shifting her expression to a smirk, "chose to run off to that little safety of a place called Hogwarts. Sold your soul to Dumbledore in exchange for your freedom. Believe me when I say you will be the first to fall when the Dark Lord returns!"

Again she cackles, throwing back her head and allowing her black hair to fly at all angles. "Magic I can't understand? My dear confused child," funny since she's probably only a few years older than him, "I helped write some of the magic in that book. But, if you're looking for a location, I'm afraid…you're out of luck. I do not know where it lies now. It was in the Dark Lords posession last I saw."

"We shall see," Snape says simply of the speculation on his fate, arms remaining crossed, "Where did you last see the book? Where was it when you last saw it in his possession?"

"The last time?" Abigail grins, as she probes her memory for it. "The last time was Little Hangleton. At the Riddle House. Just before…" she pauses, looking long and hard at him to see his reaction, "…the attack on the Potters. Tell me, how is young Potter? I imagine he's at least in Hogwarts by now."

"For the time being," Snape answers, sealing away the knowledge of where the book was last seen in his mind, "And under Dumbledore's protection, too. But we shall see how long that lasts."

He lowers a hand to his forearm, covered though it is by his sleeve. He looks thoughtful for a moment.

"Dumbledore always did have a weak heart for the Potters." Abigail laughs, shaking her head. "Not for long I suspect. As I see you already know." Yes, she noticed his hand moving for his forearm. She's less hesitant than he is and has her sleeve up in a quick motion. "You see it, don't you? Darker than it has been since his downfall."

"I have seen it," Snape replies flatly, not lifting his own sleeve as he reaches into his cloak and once more draws his wand, "And I know very well what it means. Preparations must be made."

He turns for a moment as though he is about to leave, perhaps attempting to take her by surprise. He spins suddenly, robes flying up about him like the wings of a horrible bat, and points the wand square at his fellow Death Eater.

"Obliviate!"

Abiigail laughs crackily. "You don't think preparations aren't already being made? Just because you haven't been told?" Another snort. "You're more lost than I thoug…" she trails off as he turns to leave. Her long thin arm reaches out, as her face turns to fear now. Just as she seems about to plead…the spell hits her.

And everything Abigail Bateson just talked about…is gone.

Snape doesn't waste time waiting or trying to extract thoughts from her with Legilimency beyond a cursory glance over her mind. It is bad enough that he had to come here to ask this question let alone deal with the suspicions of his former compatriots made all the more deadly by his looking for the book.

He turns, letting the doe lead him out of the cell and back down to the shore.


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