Disclaimer: I'm not muscling in on JK's turf - just gambolling on it, like a spring lamb, having fun working out the literary and psychological puzzles which she is having fun setting us
#19: Broken Glass
[In which all that glitters may please a magpie, even if not necessarily golden.]
N.B.This started life as half of a very long chapter, but I eventually decided to split it at this point, both because of its length and because the second section is mainly taken up with action. However, the two chapters still form a single arc which ends where it began. The second half should be ready in a week or two.
"This," Severus said severely, gesturing emphatically with a chip and inadvertently sprinkling Lynsey with brown sauce, "is one of the crowning glories of Muggle life. Nothing we have can touch it."
"Even the grey-and-drizzly part?" she replied, turning her collar up to keep out the chilly droplets as they sat there side by side on the same harbour wall where she had sat with Harry and Remus four months beforehand, eating battered cod and chips out of greasy paper, and staring out at the overcast sea. June was always an unreliable month, here in Scotland.
"Especially the grey-and-drizzly part. Eating hot food in cold weather - " He scarfed the chip down and licked the sauce off his fingers. "In the wizards' world I would be expected to use a Warming Charm to keep out the cold, Impervius to keep out the rain, Scourgify to clean my hands - "
"Yes, I see - like wearing a condom over your whole life."
"'xactly. It was part of why I liked to swim in the loch, to feel the cold on my skin..."
"It occurs to me to wonder," Lynsey said, "why Dumbledore thought Harry would be a better person to go and collect those Grimoires from the Merchieftainess than you."
"Maybe he wasn't as all-knowing as he liked people to think and had forgotten, or never knew, that I used to go down there. Maybe he just thought of Potter first because he always - Ah - !" He made a broad gesture with his chin, taking in the air all around them. "Do you feel that, dropping like a stone?"
"Yes." She could sense the atmospheric pressure falling away, a sudden lightness almost like flying. "It'll be raining soon."
"The glass is falling hour by hour," he declaimed, in a shivering voice like a cold breeze off the sea, "the glass will fall forever, // But if you break the bloody glass you won't hold up the weather."
He sighed, squinting into the wind to watch a little boat tacking into the harbour, and studiously not looking at the sheer drop which lay four feet behind their backs. "I always liked that - that ideal of falling, that dissolving into the rain - and I suppose you might think I had a bellyful of being raw and naked to the wind, when I was - last year, but even so it was - artificial. Knowing that they could heal me and start over again, that they could undo the consequences of their actions - "
"Like some sort of video game - one with realistically horrible sensation, but still divorced from the real world." The batter was excellent, golden and crisp, and she bit into it sharply, a minor relief of tension.
"Combined with the fact that that lot are all such fucking play-acting poseurs - "
"All twirling moustachios and chaining nubile young women to the railway line?"
He nodded, peeling off a piece of the scalding-hot fish and blowing on his fingers, as the grey shadow of the rain swept towards them across the sea. Beyond him, in the distance, Lindsay could see Tonks, dressed in her, Lynsey's, old scarlet academic gown and apparently having an animated conversation with thin air. "But you really engaged with me from the first, I could tell - you were focused on the situation not - " He gave a little hiss of frustration. "I'm not explaining this well, but you weren't - Lucius and that lot, it's as if they're always listening to a script, watching themselves playing a part …"
"And you know why that is, don't you pet?"
"Mmm." He grinned at her suddenly, revealing irregular teeth made even more villainous-looking by a coating of brown sauce. "Because their own personalities are so fucking boring that playing along to a Gothic horror script is the only way they can generate any interest. Come on - we'd better run for it, or we're going to get soaked."
"Was Tonks talking to who - whom I think she was talking to?"
"Well that all depends on whom you think she was talking to, doesn't it?"
"The chaplain - the one that drowned. In his hat. I mean - not that he drowned in it, he just wears it. Students see him sometimes, or his shadow - in his hat."
"Mm. Yes." He gave her a quick smile, an apology for his terseness, although he looked half asleep, lounged on the sofa with his bare feet stretched out before him. "Looked like a clergyman to me, anyway." He was still very thin, but he had lost the famished, desperate look which he had worn when he'd first moved in with her.
She had prayed to the Trickster, she remembered, there on the strained edge of the dark, and the Trickster had heard her: they had had the breakdown, and now they began to build back up. There were no easy solutions, her professor was still deeply traumatised and perhaps always would be and his skin was grey and papery from loss of sleep, but some crisis had been reached and passed; his rage and desperation were less and it was easier now to break the grip of nightmare, and to talk him back to something like normality once she had him awake.
His students were sitting exams, as best the makeshift school could manage it, and after that came the end of term and the students going away for the summer - except that many of them now seemed to have nowhere to go to, and Severus and the other staff were trying to organise something which would give them somebody they could turn to over the long holiday, if the need arose. For those whose schooling had come to an end, it was still his duty to write references although it was not clear whether a reference from the man who killed Dumbledore would cut much ice any more.
Having his feet massaged every night, although the purpose was primarily medical, seemed to ease his tension more generally, by overwriting the horror of the bastinado and of his own helplessness in the hands of his torturers with something kind and pleasant, until the memory of pain became less all-consuming and he began to accept that he was a person who had a right to expect kindness, instead of being always armoured against attack - even if he still half expected that his expectation of kindness might turn out to be false. For Lynsey's part it was nice to have somebody warm and (when he wasn't freaking out) sensible and steady to curl up with, who would soothe her when she was feeling fraught - even if he was himself usually what she was feeling fraught about.
Massaging his feet also had considerable erotic potential, and one thing very often led to another. He had overcome at least some of the blocks which had prevented him from relaxing into sex, although the strongest block, the one which made him feel that being seen naked and aroused would lead inevitably to mockery, still haunted him. With a tightly wound combination of nerves and lust he agreed to an exercise in mutual observation, but sitting naked with her back to the footboard of the bed and her feet pressed sole to sole against Severus's reminded Lynsey unhappily that his soles were still rather hot and sore, despite all her best efforts.
The peppermint lotion she used on his feet was something else which had proved to have unexpected erotic applications, and she would soon have to order another bottle; but in truth he hardly needed extra encouragement. She hissed and bit at his shoulder, feeling the heat and pressure of him moving and sliding inside her as the busy little centaurs stamped and lunged in the corner of her vision, and Maddy Prior's voice slid up and down the scale, singing good luck to lovers everywhere:
"So off to the greenwood went they
And it's off to the greenwood went they,
And he tapped at the bush and the bird it did fly in
A little above her lily-white knee.
Her sparkling eyes they did turn round
Just as if she had been all in a swoon,
And she cried, 'I've a bird and a very pretty bird
And he's pecking away at his own ground.'
Here's a health to the bird in the bush,
Here's a health to the bird in the bush,
And we'll drink up the sun, we'll drink down the moon,
Let the people say little or much."
This close to the summer solstice and this far north it was never truly dark even at midnight, unless the sky was very overcast, but Severus blew in like a breath of night, his black cloak flapping around him, and the scent of rain followed him in. His expression was grim and tight-lipped. Lynsey made him a cup of coffee and let him drink half of it before making an interrogative noise. He scowled at her over the rim of his cup, pulling a sour face.
"I suppose Nymphadora was right," he muttered, emptying the cup in one long swallow and then setting it aside with a decisive click. "Involving Scrimgeour is a sensible move, but - damn, but it goes against the grain."
"Is he... being unpleasant?"
He flashed her a fleeting smirk. "He's being positively obsequious, and I suppose I should enjoy seeing him eating humble pie - I do enjoy it - but I can't forget what the bastard did to me. Just the sight of the old bastard gives me the willies."
After the life that he had led, especially over the past six months, there were, she thought, far too many things which had horrible associations for him. "Well," she said, "the thing I set on him will give him the willies - but less so if he atones by being nice to you, so you can probably trust his change of heart. See it as a triumph."
"I suppose so - but I'd be happier if it was a real change of heart, if it was because he really thought that what he'd done to me was wrong, and it wasn't just something you'd astrally strong-armed him into. Not that I'm not grateful. If I can't have a change of heart I'll settle for a change in behaviour, and the photographer from the Prophet will be with us tomorrow to 'immortalise our new-found entente', if you can believe that." He lounged to his feet and drifted into the living-room, where he flopped on the sofa and kicked his boots and socks off, stretching out his skinny legs and settling his long bare feet into the pile of the carpet. Lynsey joined him with the remote and put the telly on to show a Scottish folk music compilation. After a few minutes Karen Matheson's square, joyful face filled the screen and Severus sat forward, suddenly alert.
"That's the woman who sang Coisich a Run?"
"Yes," Lynsey said uneasily, but far from being distressed at the memory of his captivity his expression was eager, almost greedy.
"My God," he said softly, as Matheson's thrilling dark voice sang about the latterday Clearances and the turning wheel of history that had displaced the old Gaelic way of life. "The power in her - just like Prior - it's pouring off her. You can almost touch it."
"Not a power your Ministry would recognise, I think."
"No, quite, but this is - this is what the - He was after when he started collecting Muggle psychics, wasn't it? Only he was looking in the wrong place, for which I suppose I should be grateful."
"He should have gone to the live-music bars and the ceilidhs, yes."
"It reminds me of what you did when we were... there, in the Caves, when you sang up power. Prior, this one, you can see that they're almost dancing as they sing, the same way you did. But these women", he said, his eyes bright with a wild kind of desire which Lynsey recognised, "they aren't really performing a ritual, are they?"
"Not consciously, no, but nevertheless, the way they dance... you feel that the land sings and dances through them. Prior uses that half-dance as part of her performance and she knows she's singing for England, she's calling the past...." She nodded to herself, feeling the music pulling at her like a tide. "And this, this one is singing Scotland, and we can sing her too."
"I thought we might go out," he said. "If you haven't already started cooking. Only I found this little Thai place...."
"I was going to do chops, but it's a bit late to start...."
They walked through the half-dark, arm in arm under the watchful eye of Kingsley Shacklebolt, who was pretending to be a visiting former student and rather preening himself on how well the scarlet robes suited his colouring. Lynsey wondered how long it would be, if ever, before they could dispense with the bodyguard. Even knowing why Kingsley was there on the other side of the room, knowing the danger which still pressed against the window-pane, looking for a way in, Lynsey wondered in frustration how long it would be before they could go for a walk together without having to feel guilty about inconveniencing their watcher. Not that Kingsley, busily slurping his way through a bowl of spiced soup at the Order's expense, looked as inconvenienced as all that.
Severus looked tired and half asleep, but unusually relaxed, for him. As when they had first come off the boat in Bamburgh, when he had been fresh from Azkaban, eating in a restaurant with a friend represented an island of civilised refinement, a time-out rest from whatever stresses he was under. As he pored over the menu, displaying the elegant turn of his broad, still-scarred wrists, one half of Lynsey's head thought that he was piercingly lovely and that she could sit and gaze at him like this forever, while the other half remained aware that Severus's beauty was very much a matter of taste.
Becoming aware of her watching him, he glanced up and gave her a fleeting but unexpectedly sweet smile. "We should do this more often," he said. "It's refreshing to be able to eat prawns or chicken without the cats sitting on my feet."
"There's a Jewish saying," she said, watching him as he turned a cup of jasmine tea in his long fingers, seemingly admiring the play of light through the fragile porcelain - and he seemed to her eyes to have the limpid clarity of an illuminated manuscript, there in the lighted room with the knowledge of the half dusk of a Scottish summer night gathering against the window-pane behind her. "The world is a wedding: snatch and eat, snatch and drink."
He gave her a quizzical look, working that one out, and then inclined his head to her, making a curtailed gesture of acknowledgement with the cup. "We take our pleasures where we can find them," he murmured, and she thought about hot trout sandwiches in a snowy wood, and a man who was willing to earn himself a beating in Azkaban just to prove that he had succeeded in getting on his guards' nerves. And she had thought, she remembered - she had seen him spilled out against the snow with his white, white skin and his black, black hair and her black and gold dress cloak, back there on the other side of Azkaban, and had thought of him as a magpie, that snapper up of whatever glittered. She hoped - and it was a strong hope, not a fragile one - that that capacity for taking pleasure in small things would be the saving of him. One for sorrow, she remembered with a shiver, two for mirth // Three for a funeral, four for a birth // Five for heaven, six for hell, //Seven's the De'il his ain self.
Or should it be Seven for a secret never to be told?
When he went to settle the bill, Lynsey privately wondered how easily he could afford it, but said nothing. Far better for his pride to take turn and turn about, rather than do anything to suggest that he wasn't a free agent who could pay his own way.
"Allies Against Evil!" trumpeted the headline in The Daily Prophet. The photograph showed Severus and Scrimgeour side by side with their arms round each other's shoulders, each wearing a distinctly uneasy expression.
"You want Lupin to commit us both to paint for all of bloody eternity? Nearly eternity?"
"He seems the logical person to ask - he's a good artist and a wizard and he, um, knows us both well enough to really - " It occurred to her that given Severus's regrettable history with Remus, "capture" would be an unfortunate word which might remind him of unpleasant associations. "To really do us both justice."
"Justice. You know how - how bloody sinister his vision is - "
"And your point is?"
"We have them." He looked as weary as he sounded, leaning on his elbows on the kitchen table, his skin grey and pulled tight across his bones, but it was the weariness of the victor in battle, it seemed, not the victim. "Bill Weasley - he's succeeded in persuading his employers to allow him access to the Lestrange vault to 'neutralise a clear threat to the security of the bank', and we have the locket and the Ravenclaw crown safe."
"The kettle's just boiled - coffee?"
"So assuming Dumbledore was right, that just leaves the snake and - maybe - Harry himself. Have you...?"
"Not yet. We don't really know whether He can tell when a Horcrux is destroyed, or not, so we don't want to denature these until we're ready to detect whether He makes another one in response."
"I thought you said that because you - that he knows your lot know about the Horcruxes?" Severus nodded jerkily, his mouth tight. "So won't he, well, check up...?"
"He doesn't know that Dumbledore and Potter penetrated his cave and took the locket - which in any case was the wrong one, because Regulus Black had substituted it...."
"I remember you said. You know that hall just along the road is called St Regulus Hall, don't you?"
"Yes. Anyway that - the retrieval of Regulus's locket, followed by the discovery that Slytherin's locket had been removed nearly twenty years ago - that all happened after the last time I had a proper conversation with Dumbledore, so I wasn't able to betray - And He, so far as we know, doesn't have access either to Hogwarts or to the Lestrange vault, so he has to, to some extent, trust to luck. He knows, thanks to me, that we have the ring, and he knows we are looking, but... because of the potential for crippling damage to his soul, he probably won't move to make another Horcrux until he has evidence that we have found what we were looking for."
"Yes, I see."
"He has Nagini, after all, thanks to your - misplaced tender-heartedness."
"And if he didn't have her," Lynsey snapped, pausing in the act of pouring, "he'd have jumped the gun and made more Horcruces before you were ready to detect them."
He inclined his head to her, acknowledging the point. "When we do destroy the accursed things - we're going to try Ronald Weasley's idea of exposing them to a Dementor. Thanks," he added, as Lynsey handed him the heavily sweetened black brew.
"How do you plan to - to summon...?"
"If it is true that they are drawn to pain then I suppose that I could be... bait." Lynsey nodded unhappily. "Once it has come - Potter and I are working on a scheme to trap it into a bottle made from the Protego spell. And there's a sentence" he said, pulling a face like somebody biting into a bad nut, "that I never thought I'd hear myself say. But containment is essential because - well, the goblins won't let us remove the Hufflepuff Cup from the vault, we'll have to denature it in situ, but I can't see them letting us take the locket and the tiara into the bank either, given their... contamination, since the whole thrust of Weasley's argument was that it wasn't safe for them to have a Horcrux on the premises. So we're going to need to use the Dementor at two different sites - or summon two of the bloody things, of course." He gulped at the coffee as if he needed to take it intravenously.
"The concern," he said with a sigh, "is whether it - the Dementor - will work against Him, and also whether the bloody murdering bastard is even capable of feeling a thousandth part of the pain he inflicts on others to make his soul a worthwhile meal if - if you're right about the damned things feeding on pain. But, well, his pride, his arrogance is so great...."
"You think that the soul-bits will feel plenty of negative emotion just because they know they've been found out?"
"Indeed. His rage if he feels that anyone has bested him is - terrible, and there's nothing positive in it, unless he can find some poor bastard to take it out on." He shivered, and Lynsey nodded.
"Which, in this case, shouldn't be an issue... do you think that exposure to a Dementor will, um, clean the, the Horcrux out of Harry?"
"I don't know - but I'd be afraid to try it, even as a last resort. From what he tells me he's come close to being Kissed at least twice and the - it - it's still in him, or on him or whatever it is. It's conceivable that if he actually was Kissed, if he let one of the bastard things um, 'go all the way with him', it would strip the Horcrux out of him instead of the him out of him, but...."
"But it could just as easily go the other way?"
"Quite. And since that would be, so far as we know, an even worse outcome than my having to kill him, especially as we would still have to destroy the, the body to kill the thing left inside it, all the time knowing that his soul...." He set the mug down, clumsily, and caught at the edge of the table to stop himself from swaying, before rallying slightly. "The brat is surprisingly able, but working with him is a strain on several levels, especially knowing that I might have to kill - "
Lynsey settled on the kitchen chair opposite him and contemplated his soberly. "Is that why you're so worn-out?"
"You would think, wouldn't you, that working with Potter would be enough to exhaust anybody... but no, it's the - the proximity - " He shuddered suddenly, sliding the still-hot mug along the table to clutch it against his chest, and muttered " - cold - ".
She wondered about pneumonia and relapses, and after a moment's thought she rose and went out to the airing cupboard in the hall and fetched him a warmed-through dressing-gown which she fussed around his shoulders. He gave her a thin smile.
"I'll be fine, I just need to get warm...." He sat up straighter and pulled the heated fabric around himself. "I shouldn't complain, I suppose - it seems to affect Potter even worse than me, it causes him actual pain - but proximity to anything which is so closely associated with, with Him - in fact I wonder now if that wasn't what set us against each other from the outset, that each of us could sense the taint of Him in the other."
"Not so tainted now, pet."
"Indeed, thanks to your inspired bit of battlefield surgery. But then He - his touch has even worse associations for me now than it did before - before all that. In the Caves," he said, with a visible flinch, and Lynsey nodded. "And he - it - the Horcrux tries to get into your head, to make you even worse than you were already - it tried to set Potter and me at each other's throats, and only the threat of Dobby kept us from hexing each other. Lovegood had to take our wands away. It doesn't seem to affect her," he added distractedly. "She just smiles."
"She seems very... self-contained."
"As an almond. But me - it was almost like a Dementor - in fact, it was worse than a Dementor, because now when I think of Dementors I think of - well, considering what happened the last time I encountered one the thought of them makes me feel positively smug, and I also know that if you're right about them, my feeling smug should be enough to keep them away from me so they hold no - well, let's say not as many terrors for me now. But this - " He made a vague gesture, as if to brush something away. "It tried to make Potter think that he was failing his friends, that they would all die in the war and it would be his fault and he could save them if he only surrendered, and me...."
Without being asked, Lynsey fetched a bottle and added a slug of whisky to the remains of his treacly coffee, and he knocked back a swig and drew a deep breath. "It told me that I was worthless, weak, despised, that I was unable to resist Him on any level and it was pointless even to try. I don't think - I don't think there's any feedback from the primary fragment to the Horcrux, I don't think these - disembodied pieces know what the - He did to me six months ago in any detail or they would have had me reliving every sordid bloody act but they have His ability to read the soul, to infiltrate, to find the fracture points - which I suppose is why it doesn't work on Lovegood, since she doesn't seem to have any."
"Whereas you, on the other hand...." She smiled at him, unhappily. "You're very strong, you really are, but I can see that you're - laced with fractures."
He nodded tightly. "My father fractured me from the outset and I thought that I - that I had mended, more or less, but then all that with, with Lucius and Macnair and that lot, it just re-opened... it put me back where I had been before, as if I had it all to do again, and the Horcruxes just - reminded me of that. Reminded me that my own father - "
"That explains why you're looking so grey around the gills, then. I'm not surprised you feel cold, especially as - well, your health is still not a hundred percent."
Her professor nodded wearily. "This progress with the bank is a triumph," he said, "it really it is, and I suppose I should be overjoyed - but I am so tired of having to be constantly braced to meet some new crisis. I just want this war to be over, and if I have to die to achieve that, at least it will mean an end to it all."
"You have to keep going until you've won, though, you know you do." He nodded again, his mouth pulled down into a sour line. "And, well, you're very much admired, not despised, and not just by me."
"Perhaps." He frowned, remembering. "The strange thing was that Potter and I - once Lovegood had defused the situation we, well - I told him not to give himself airs, that he wasn't so damned important that other people would live or die just from his actions, and he told me I was an overbearing yobbo who ought to be kept in a kennel, and I told him not to confuse me with Lupin...."
"And that cheered you both up no end because it was just the reverse of what the Voldie-gobbets had been telling you, and plus you always enjoy getting a dig in at Remus?"
"Quite. It made me forget for a moment that even my own father - I suppose it's to be expected that the - that He would play on that, even in this... fragmented form." He downed the last of the alcoholic coffee and then held the mug out peremptorily, demanding more. "These pieces were separated from, from Him before I was born, so they're just extrapolating from the sort of thing He would expect from a working class oick like me, plus whatever may leak out around my mental shields, what there is left of them, and his own prejudices."
Lynsey busied herself with the kettle. "I remember you said," she said, "that he hated his own father, so I suppose his, um, splinters would home in on any sign of a bad relationship with your dad."
"He killed his own father - which I suppose encouraged me to feel... in sympathy with the bastard. At first." He hitched up the edge of his robe and began rather neurotically to trace one of the scars which snaked across his right thigh, following the silver line of it with one long finger.
"He - my father, that is - he didn't feel he'd done a proper job on me unless he could see blood," he muttered, not meeting Lynsey's eye. "That one - that one was from a belt-buckle, but he preferred the cane for the most part. A fact which, I may say, I must have been stupid enough to confide to Lucius at some point - since he took great pleasure in having Crabbe or Goyle re-create a little piece of my childhood for me. Repeatedly."
"Yes. That was the point at which I - at which I first began to plead for mercy - as if Dads hadn't already taught me that no-one would have mercy on an ugly thing like me. But at least my father didn't finish off by... but that was about the only good thing you could say about the old bastard. One of my earliest memories - perhaps the earliest - from when I must have been perhaps two years old, is of kneeling by the bed with my father's hand on my neck, forcing my face into the mattress, and being beaten until the cane broke in his hand. I have no idea what for - I doubt whether I knew then. When I was older - you could still buy them in those days, and when he broke one on me he used to send me out to buy the new cane he was going to finish thrashing me with."
"Gods, that's nasty."
"Yes. That - horrible sick anticipation made the whole thing ten times more bloody terrifying." She was looking at him in profile as he spoke, and indeed he looked as dry-mouthed with dread as a man staring into the pit of Hell. She could see the pulse in his neck race and jump. "Forcing me to collude in my own punishment was part of his campaign to break my spirit."
"Didn't work though, did it?"
He turned to her with one of his brilliant, glittering looks. "Not even close!"
It was an image which disturbed her more than it appeared to do him. Since she was physically in love with the man, the quasi-sexual - actually sexual, she gathered, when it came to the unholy duo of Grab'n'Coil - nature of that particular torture made her especially queasy, so that she couldn't look at the pale skin of his buttocks and thighs without seeing the black bruising and welts which had been there when she helped Poppy Pomfrey to treat his injuries, and visualizing the agony and humiliation that had gone into making those marks. She had never been gladder in her life of the fact that she seldom dreamed.
When she had finished massaging his feet, working the scented oil into all the delicate, damaged little muscles, and had set out the supplies for the night (there had to be always water and a few biscuits available, in case he dreamed of his desperate thirst and hunger in the caves), she crawled under the covers with him and was surprised to find him shrugging off his nightshirt.
"Thought you were feeling cold?" she said sleepily as she settled down beside him.
"I am, but not just - " He flushed, embarrassed. "Need the skin contact," he muttered. "Something human."
"C'm'ere then." She turned to face him, unbuttoning her own nightdress, and drew him close against her; relishing the moment, whatever its cause. She too, she thought, was learning to take her pleasures where she could get them.
She woke to find him lying on his back beside her, whimpering in his sleep and shifting restlessly, as if unable to be comfortable or to keep still. When she tried gently to wake him he rolled over against her and wrapped his long arms and legs around her as if she was the only floating log in a flash-flood, still making the same thin, broken sound and refusing to wake. Pinned down and held fast, Lynsey could hardly breathe and knew that his grip would be raising bruises. She looked around rather wildly for inspiration, then flailed out with one arm until she found the glass of water on the bedside table, dipped her fingers in it and then pressed her cold, wet hand firmly into the middle of Severus's naked back.
He came awake with a yelp and stared at her wildly, breathing hard. "What was that for?" he demanded indignantly.
"You were kind-of, ever-so-slightly strangling me."
He relaxed his grip and looked down. "I'm sorry," he muttered. "I was just...." He shrugged, compressing his lips to a thin line.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
"It - it was nothing, really. Comparatively speaking."
"It didn't look like nothing."
"It was just - sometimes when they - Macnair, and that lot - when they were... doing other things, they'd set up something to, to keep me in pain without effort on their part, and without doing any life-threatening damage, until they were ready to resume playing with me. Sometimes a Shocking spell like - like what you saw. In the Caves. Or or impaled or just - letting my weight tear my shoulders out of joint. But the favourite was when they - they tied my hands up high behind my back so I couldn't get any purchase and then sat me astride a narrow edge, not quite sharp enough to cut, weighted my feet and then just - just left me, so that my own weight.... It's a ridiculous thing still to have nightmares about, it was - some people do that sort of thing for pleasure, even, but it - "
Lynsey reached out and fussed a strand of hair off his face, anxious and tender. "People who do that sort of thing for pleasure know it has limits, though. They know it won't go on for longer than they can really stand it. And there's all the difference in the world between things you want to do with people you want to do them with, and things you don't, even if they're physically similar."
He nodded once, brusquely, the sharp jut of his cheekbone moving under her hand. "It wasn't - compared with a lot of the other things they did I suppose the pain wasn't so severe but it was so - hour after hour after bloody hour and I was so tired and being left like that, it was a, a mockery of rest and I couldn't get away from it, they bound me so I couldn't get off the bloody thing or even shift the pressure more than a quarter of a bloody inch, I was already sore - down there - and I couldn't get any rest or relief from it and it didn't matter if I - if I screamed or cried or begged, there was no-one even to hear me except when they came to - to jeer and the pain just got worse and worse, especially when they - "
He tightened his grip round her again, less crushingly than before, his lean belly pressed skin to skin against hers so that she could feel the cold shudder of terror in his gut, and dropped his head down against her shoulder. "It wasn't - just the once, you understand. By about the, the fourth session I started babbling for mercy just at the sight of the bloody thing. And I can still - feel it, it bruised me so deeply I think it must have damaged nerves even Poppy can't heal and - I know it's - ridiculous, just bloody psychosomatic, but dreaming about it, it just makes me more aware - it starts it hurting again. I still can't get any ease."
Lynsey held him tightly, patting his back in absent-minded, automatic affection. "If it's that kind of - of crushing nerve damage, it should right itself eventually but it could take a few years. In the meantime...." She drew back from his embrace a bit, the better to place her fingers under his slightly stubbly chin, tilt his face up and press her own lips briefly against his. "I could try if I could kiss it better. If you liked."
He blinked at her for a moment, still trapped somewhere in the dismal barbed-wire tangle of memory, and then his expression lifted and his long mouth curled into a wicked, speculative smile. "What an... excellent suggestion" he purred, flopping over onto his back with an air of smug, complacent expectation.
Shaking off sleep, Lynsey sat up and smiled back fondly. "Making a virtue of necessity," she murmured, sliding her still-cold hand under the sheets to find his flesh already stirring and wakening under her fingers, "which is the mother of invention...."
Yet another example, she thought, of his capacity to find his own amusements where he could.
Later, lying curled together, she remembered that even when he had been laid out on the bed before her in Poppy Pomfrey's makeshift ward, bruised black and bloodied from head to heel, he had still contrived to be as languidly relaxed as a cat under the healer's soothing hands.
"... I was thinking," she said, "that you never - even when you must have been absolutely bloody terrified - I know I was - and in agony and everything was so - you never became anhedonic. You always enjoyed anything good that was going."
"'m Slytherin," he mumbled sleepily. "We grab what we can get, always. 'Snatch and eat', remember?"
"Hold still!" Remus said sharply, as Severus bared his teeth in irritation. "I need to capture your essence."
"And I find that thought so reassuring...."
The thought on everybody's mind, but on nobody's lips, Lynsey thought, was that now might be the only time there was in which to capture that essence from life. A battle was surely coming, and the odds of Severus surviving it were no better than fifty percent - and the werewolf's prospects were not that much better.
Later, Lynsey sneaked a look at the canvas while Remus was in the lavatory. His preliminary sketch made Severus look deadly dangerous, while at the same time light and almost skittish - a stalking black fox indeed. Her own face, shown standing behind and beside her lover's shoulder, hung against the dark background like a lamp.
"Celebrating payday, then?"
"Mmm." He set his purchases down carefully on the coffee table. The Nokia 'phone and the brandy were only to be expected, but the second-hand acoustic guitar was something new.
"I didn't know that you played...?"
"I haven't for a long time, but I learned it from - from her, when I was a boy. From Lils. The summer that we were fourteen, before it all began to go wrong. Her parents paid for her to have lessons, and then she taught me."
"You don't find that it reminds you too much of - sad things?"
"I can't be forever worrying about whether things have bad associations or not," Severus snapped. "If I did, I'd never get any damn thing done." Cradling the instrument against his chest, he began to pluck softly at the strings, listening to each note and then fiddling with the tuning keys. "In any case, I couldn't resist it. A Hohner, no less, and going for just a few pounds."
Years out of practice, his playing was hesitant and stiff as he began to pick out the notes, singing softly:
"I met my love by the gas-works wall;
Dreamed a dream by the old canal.
I kissed my girl by the factory wall,"
- and it felt almost indecent to witness the raw emotion in his face at that moment -
"Dirty old town, dirty old town.
Clouds are drifting across the moon;
Cats are prowling on their beat.
Spring's a girl in the streets at night,
Dirty old town, dirty old town.
I heard a siren from the docks;"
sang the clear voice like a history of loss, his long fingers moving hesitantly across the strings,
"Saw a train set the night on fire.
Smelled the spring on the smoky wind,
Dirty old town, dirty old town...."
"Not", he added with a sigh, "that we had docks - too far inland - but you could hear the sirens marking time at the mills, when there were any still working, and there were barges on the river."
Lynsey was dimly aware, as she was aware of alien customs in Papua New Guinea, that some women would have been jealous at the idea of their bidey-in getting sentimental over the memory of a first girlfriend who had been the love of his life, but she felt only tenderness for the lost little girl and the ragged, neglected boy who had loved her.
"What about you?" he asked. "You know where I grew up - in this freezing little two-up-two-down with a coal hole and a cold tap and an outdoor lavvie - but I don't know about you."
"Well - we moved a few times, but the longest time when I was a kid was when we were in this place in west London... it was probably built in the Fifties, no earlier than the Thirties anyway, so we had a proper bathroom, but the place wasn't that much bigger than yours, I suppose three up, three down if you include the kitchen and the bathroom." She did not want to say that it had been a house filled with laughter, feeling obscurely ashamed to have been happy when he had not been. "But the thing about it was, we had two storeys but the whole thing was up in the air, above a row of shops. Instead of a garden or a, a normal street, you came out of the front door - which was downstairs when you looked at it from inside the house - into this wide sort of plaza in the sky, ten or fifteen feet above the ground, and there were - kids' trikes and potted plants and people's washing on the line, all hovering above the lane at the back of the shops."
"Oh! That sounds... almost like Diagon Alley in a way." Lynsey made an interrogative noise. "I mean that - that floating semi-detached little enclave, attached to the Muggle world at one corner but not occupying a normal space.... I'm not explaining this very well."
"No no - I can see just what you mean, and yes, it was just like that. Because it was like a street, but not where a street would be, it was like being suspended - a bit like The Land of Green Ginger, if you ever read that. I noticed", she said, "when you were singing about Cokeworth, that you didn't include the verse about chopping the town down with an axe?"
"No, never, it - " He made a gesture of frustration. "However bad some of it was, it's still my place and, more importantly, hers. And it would be the height of arrogance to want to destroy a whole town, however grubby and run-down, just because I personally wasn't happy there. It's not as if - it wasn't a, a concentration camp or a plague pit, some people were happy there, the mills weren't even all that Satanic and it would probably - 'scrub up well', as they say."
"Like you," Lynsey said. "You scrub up very well." He grinned at her, looking piratical.
Severus stretched and sighed. "That's the last of them," he said, dropping the final parchment onto the stack of Potions exam papers on the kitchen table. "And not a bad crop, all things considered, although I shall have to inform Jenkyns Minor that Chili niter doesn't mean a cold sleepover."
"Is that the end of the school paperwork for the summer?"
"Not quite - as soon as the NEWT and OWL results are in for the school leavers - you understand, they're marked at the Ministry - "
"It's the same with Muggle schools, yes - the big state exams are marked off-site."
"Mm. Anyway, once that's done I have to write the references for those of my little snakes who are leaving this year - and try to be fair, even to the ones whose fathers.... Actually I was thinking I might rough out the references on the computer, and then just tweak them once the results come in, instead of having to do it all in a mad rush at the last minute."
A shadow passed by the kitchen window, descending the area steps, and a moment later a tentative knock on the door revealed Remus, his hair slicked with rain. Severus unclenched his fingers from his wand, brushed the pile of exam papers to the side to join the DADA papers he had marked the previous night, and steepled his fingers. "Lupin." he said flatly. "To what do we owe this... pleasure?"
"Don't mess about," Remus replied mildly. "I thought I'd better do a bit more work on the portrait, just in case - Am I in time for lunch?"
Later, as the point of his brush danced across the canvas, he asked, "Have you made any progress at the Ministry?"
"Somewhat. The Minister has kindly allowed Granger and Percy Weasley access to the paperwork so they can see what is needed to set up a new Taboo and I am - I think that I am - reasonably sure now that I have isolated a group of phrases which are unique to that particular spell - "
"So that Kingsley can interdict the Horcrux spell without the Taboo immediately being tripped by forty-seven people casting laundry charms."
"Hardly that, but - yes, there are similarities, in fact, with the spell used to imbue a portrait with the potential for animation when the subject - when the subject dies, so if I don't choose the Taboo phrase with care you could find yourself an accidental target. And as appealing as that might be in some respects...."
"It sounds," Lynsey said, "as though that supports the idea that the portrait contains an actual piece of the subject's soul or a, a pocket incarnation of it - it's not just a copy. Because, I mean, when the Horcrux is made it's not a copy, is it - an actual piece of the subject's soul is snapped off to make it."
"That's right." Remus nodded, and she remembered that he too was qualified to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts, for a given value of "qualified". "It sounds as though the process must be similar, except that when a portrait is animated it's the subject's own death which powers it and, well - I've researched the spell" - his mouth tightened for a moment at Severus's muttered I should bloody hope so - "and my impression is that it copies - clones? - a portion of the subject's soul rather than subtracting it... So, oh master," he added lightly, "as well as cloning a piece of your soul and painting it into the canvas, I imagine it may not be long before you're ready to denature the Horcruxes we have and provoke the snake-faced one into making more... have you decided who you want to do it?"
Severus gave him a long look, probably, Lynsey thought, deciding whether or not to answer. "Bill Weasley, obviously," he finally admitted, "and in the case of the Cup, whoever the goblins want to send." He sighed and made as if to raise his hand to his mouth, then resumed his original position when Remus tcch'd at him. "Myself. Potter, because of his, ah, special connection, and I suppose that means including the other two legs of the tripod. Luna Lovegood, because she of all of us seems to be the most resistant to the things' malign influence, and possibly Longbottom who is also fairly resistant, although I haven't definitely made up my mind in his case. We need somebody" he muttered, almost as an aside, "who can be relied on to hang on to their marbles, and after what happened last time I don't see either Potter or myself in that rôle... and I am reluctantly persuaded to include Ginevra Weasley, even though she will not be of age for another few weeks, because she of all of us probably knows the - knows Him the best."
"You're not planning on including Alastor Moody? I know you have your differences, but - "
"The Horcruxes play on their victims' paranoia," Severus snapped. "I'm not taking someone who's already paranoid."
"Minerva - "
"Minerva, I am reluctantly persuaded, does have some affection for me but our house rivalry is too deep-seated: the Horcruxes could too easily turn us to vying with each other instead of co-operating. Most of the others are either too emotionally labile or their skill-set just isn't relevant: Filius, for example, is brilliant in a duel but this isn't the sort of situation where you can just fire off a hex, and I'm afraid that his - " his mouth twisted as if he had bitten into a bad nut " - his pity for me could be used against both of us."
"If you're going to be using Dementors - " Lynsey began, and Severus inclined his head slightly.
"I have wondered," he said, "with both of you - both of you have, in your separate ways, relevant combat experience, but...." He winced visibly. "I am reluctant to run the risk that the Horcruxes might turn either of you against me."
"I should be flattered," Remus murmured, and Severus glowered at him.
"Whatever our personal differences in the past, I prefer you as a colleague than as an enemy or a rival - but it's because of those past differences that I fear the Horcruxes might turn us against each other."
The other man shrugged. "I said I was your dog, and it doesn't matter if the Dark soul makes me resent you, or makes you kick me in the belly, I'll still be your dog and we can sort the rest out later." He grimaced suddenly. "Assuming, and I mean this most sincerely, that it isn't close to full moon when it happens. If the full moon is up, or close to it, then even if I've taken the Wolfsbane and I'm somewhere shut away from the moonlight, there are still certain conditions - if I cut my lip and taste blood, for example - which can still bring on the change, and even if I turn into a true wolf and not into - that - I could only get under your feet," he added lightly, "or start rogering somebody's leg."
"You think exposure to the Horcruxes might bring on your time of the month?"
"Oh yes. Even without the moon, when Filius wafted the Ravenclaw diadem past me, I could feel the wolf... rising."
"You're trying to creep me out again, aren't you?"
"And what if I am?" Remus snapped, baring his teeth, his brush poised forgotten in midair. "There are some things you bloody should be creeped by. And God knows, you've told me often enough how weak I am and you're right. I'm not afraid that it will damage my relationship with you, whatever the hell that is, but that it will undermine me and make me useless to you." Lynsey could see Severus visibly fighting to hold back a catty remark. "I wish I could do what you two do," the other man said, "and sing myself brave - "
Severus gave him a hooded, thoughtful look, and then shifted out of his pose, holding up his hand to forestall Remus's protest. "It's not as if you don't already know what I damned-well look like," he muttered under his breath, as he fetched the Hohner and poised himself on the edge of the couch. "There's a song which - well, which has disturbed me on so many levels since I first heard it, but you, on the other hand...." His expression pinched, he struck his fingers across the strings with a sudden harsh discord and began to sing in a low, purring voice.
"And it's hi ho hey, I am the bold marauder,"
and Remus's head snapped up, his nostrils flaring -
"And it's hi ho hey, I am the white destroyer.
For I will show you silver and gold, and I will show you treasure,
And I will show you thunder and steel and I will be your teacher."
Remus winced, visibly, and Lynsey wondered if the wince were for himself or Severus, since they had both taught under less than ideal circumstances.
"And I will show you grotto and cave and sacrificial altar,
And I will show you blood on the stone and I will be your mentor,"
It was, from what she had gathered, Dumbledore who had been the mentor, Harry who had been led to the grotto and cave and Dumbledore himself who had been the sacrifice, but then there had been blood on other stones in other caves, a whole roomful of blood and bloody footprints leading away from it, and it wasn't surprising if Severus looked a little ill ...
"And night will be our darling and fear will be our name.
And it's hi ho hey, I am the bold marauder,
And it's hi ho hey, I am the white destroyer.
For I will take you out by the hand and lead you to the hunter,
And I will take a fury to wife and I will be your father."
The werewolf's expression was now inscrutable, his eyes slotted, and Severus looked as if he might be going to throw up, but he sang on, grimly, steadily.
"And we will go to ravage and kill and we will go to plunder,
And we will wave a widowing flag, and I will be your mother,
And Christ will be our darling and fear will be our name."
And it's hi ho hey, I am the bold marauder,
And it's hi ho hey, I am the white destroyer.
For we will sour the winds on high and we will soil the river,
And we will burn the grain in the field and I will be your lover.
And we will dress in helmet and shield and dip our tongues in slaughter,
And we will sing a warrior's song and lift the praise of murder,"
His voice suddenly cracked and shook, and Lynsey could see the shivers chasing up his arm.
"And death will be our darling and fear will be our name.
Oh it's hi ho hey, I am the bold marauder,
And it's hi ho hey, I am the white destroyer."
"God," Remus said hoarsely, as the music ended with one final crashing chord, "I'd forgotten about that."
"You have - heard it before?"
"Sirius - one of his little rebellions was to cultivate a taste for Muggle music, and that song was around in second year, I think. Looking back," he said, frowning, "I suppose it probably inspired us to start using the 'Marauder' tag - but hearing it like this, now, properly, it makes me wonder what the fuck we thought we were playing at. And I can see why you - God. It might be the Death Eaters' theme song, mightn't it? Although it seems different, somehow - I thought the lines about the hunter and the altar went together...?"
"This is... a new version," Severus replied, "done about ten years ago, with the lines re-arranged to form a more logical progression. I had to buy the tape, even though it haunts me - because it bloody haunts me.
"When I first heard the original," he continued, almost too low to be heard, "I thought it mocked me, it was your... triumph, your - relentless pursuit of me, set to music. It was Sirius, after all, who led me to the hunter, and my father who channelled the Furies - and perhaps if they had not I might not have gone looking for death and fear to be my darlings. At that point, it seemed to sing to me of what I wanted - the hunt in the dark, Lynsey called it, freedom, revenge, a lover, strength - but it was my bloody blood on the stone, in the end." He shuddered, and then made a visible effort to compose himself, to sit up straighter and go into lecturing mode.
"Nevertheless, if you can embrace that view of yourself, that sense of your bloody little Marauders as strong and deadly instead of the spiteful low-rent thugs you really were, it will give you a sense of power with which to shield yourself. I know how seductive and powerful that - that feeling of yourself as a striding destroyer can be - how it armours you. But remember you're my dog, and don't get bloody carried away."
"Thanks. I think. I don't know if I...."
"As a last resort," Severus said, "if you feel yourself being - subsumed."
"God. You have a stunning voice," he added. "Do you want me to include the guitar in the painting?"
"Yes. If you would." Severus replied rather faintly. "And some picks."
"I always liked that song," Lynsey said. Both men gave her a wary, shifty look.
Later, as she cradled her professor's wounded feet, trying with love and skill to put right at least some of the damage which had been done to him as he sprawled on his back on the couch with his arms flopped out loosely like an unusually homely image of the Crucifixion (blood seeping from the elegantly sculpted ivory soles, there in a little bubble of light at the heart of the chalk), she murmured "If you want me to come with you and help you to herd the Neggies, the Dementors, I'm sure it would be all right. Even if the Horcruces made us have a fight, it wouldn't last - I can't imagine myself staying angry with you for long, once they stopped messing with our brains."
"But what if they turn me against you - I couldn't bear - "
"Shhh. I'm a big girl, and I know what Neggies do. I'd get over it in a few hours, I promise. And it's not like you're going to curse me - Luna would just disarm you again."
The warm weight of him lay across her, inside her, pinning her down to the mattress until she squirmed under him as he lay perfectly still, kissing her languidly. "Move, damnit, boy, you’re driving me crazy!"
"You were the one who said that it was all about oneness and closeness and that the quest for sensation was purely secondary" he purred, nibbling at her ear.
"Then I’m achieving oneness with a wicked tease!" she snapped, trying without much success to wriggle under him, hotly impaled and fixed in place by him as she was.
He rolled his pelvis very slowly, which only made things worse, and grinned at her. "But of course – ah! Stop that - no fair tickling!" In a moment they had tumbled together onto the floor in a tangle of sheets and limbs, still locked together and both of them cackling like hyaenas.
I have found a wonderful photograph of the harbour causeway/pier at St Andrew's, here. From this I can see that the walkway part is about ten feet wide, not twelve, and that I had forgotten that after rising to a height of around six feet above the walkway, the wall along the left side then clearly dips back down a little (look at its height relative to the people walking alongside it) before it gets to the steps leading up to the high, narrow, scary part at the end. I have altered the description in chapter 8 to allow for this.
One of the many minor cultural distinctions between the east and west coasts of Lowland Scotland is that east coasters usually dress their chips with brown sauce, which is provided automatically by the chip shop, while west coasters usually prefer tomato ketchup.
"The glass is falling hour by hour," from the poem Bagpipe Music by Louis MacNeice.
The harbour pier in St Andrew's is occasionally haunted by a man in a hat. He is rumoured to be a chaplain who was due to arrive in St Andrew's but never got there, owing to his ship having sunk.
The part about buying a cane is based on a woman I heard on the radio many years ago, reminiscing about her control-freaky, abusive mother who used to do exactly this. I never forgot it because I thought it was so strikingly psychologically horrible.
We do not actually know if Severus's parents were outright abusive, or merely dysfunctional. We know that they fought in front of him and that the tensions at home were enough to put him under severe stress; that his father was either angry or depressed; that his mother was sour-looking as a girl; and that on his first trip to catch the Hogwarts Express, at a point where you would have expected him to be frothing and bouncy, he stood next to his mother with his shoulders hunched, suggesting that he associated proximity to her with being either hit or shouted at. Beyond that, we don't know: the ridiculous clothes in which he is sent out could be a sign of neglect or even of deliberate humiliation, for example, or they could just mean that either his mother or himself is making a clumsy attempt to approximate wizard robes using Muggle clothing. It's perfectly possible to give him a canon-compatible childhood in which his father is depressed and his mother tired and irritable, but no worse than that.
On the other hand, his general jumpiness and vigilance tend to suggest abuse, although that could just be the result of being badly bullied at school. More significantly, he puts up with Dumbledore's offhand manner and occasional forays into outright emotional abuse without it affecting his loyalty, and we see when he is eleven at King's Cross that he is not disturbed by Lily's anger with him over her quarrel with Tuney, nor apparently able to understand why she is so upset about Tuney's anger with her. He himself is frequently angry and unpleasant to his students, yet Harry's safety is his primary goal and we see that he sprints through the darkened school in his nightshirt because he thought he heard a student scream, and charges through a closed lavatory door without checking what threat might be on the other side, because he heard a girl's voice shout "Murder!". This quite strongly suggests that he comes from the sort of family where people are frequently and unpredictably aggressive to those closest to them, such that he has no expectation that the people who are closest to him will actually be pleasant to him, no assumption that unpleasantness from somebody he is close to is significant, and no automatic urge to be pleasant himself to people he cares about.
Anhedonic means "without pleasure". People who are very depressed or traumatised often become anhedonic, meaning that they lose the ability to feel any kind of emotional lift when they experience something which would otherwise have given them pleasure, such as a favourite food or piece of music. But we can see in canon that Snape is both a deeply traumatised and emotionally labile person, and one who takes an unholy glee in his own verbal cleverness and his ability to blast Lockhart off his feet.
The European magpie, a completely different animal from the Australian bird of that name, is a very handsome black and white crow, notorious both for its predatory behaviour and for its fascination with small shiny objects. It holds a significant place in British folklore, where it appears among other things as a representative of the Devil who has to be placated by saying "Good day my lord" if you see one, and "Good day my lord, good morrow my lady" if more than one, and is the subject of a famous counting rhyme with many variants, of which probably the best-known is:
"One for sorrow, two for joy
Three for a girl and four for a boy
Five for silver, six for gold,
Seven for a secret never to be told."
The magpie is used as a metaphor for humans who like to collect small objects or pleasures.
Dirty Old Town is a song written in 1949 by Ewan McColl, and covered by among others the Dubliners and the Pogues. According to Pottermore, Spinner's End is in a town or suburb called Cokeworth.
The Land of Green Ginger is the name of a street in Hull, of uncertain derivation, and has been used as the title of various books and plays, including a very witty 1937 children's book by Andrew Langley which features a flying island which floats above the landscape, and anchors itself in a different place whenever it settles.
Chili niter is an old term for sodium nitrate.
The Bold Marauder was written by Richard Fariña, ostensibly about the Crusades but by analogy also about America's role in Vietnam, and first appeared on the 1965 album Reflections in a Crystal Wind by Richard & Mimi Fariña. It is probably best known from the nearly identical cover version from John Kay's 1972 album Forgotten Songs and Unsung Heroes which, like the original, is sung as a sort of flat chant. The most musically-lively version, however, which is the one which I heard first and which Severus sings here, is the one from Michael Longcor's 1988 filk (SF-based folk) album Lovers, Heroes & Rogues, in which the lyrics have been re-arranged into a more logical progression and the tune has been given a bit more bounce and rhythm. You can hear the original Fariña version here, the John Kay one here and the Longcor here.
All my WIPs will be updated eventually, although Lost and Found may have to wait until Dyce's kid starts at school. The long delay in producing this chapter has been partly due to the fact that I was concentrating on getting the Map of Hogwarts project, which I have been working on since 2005, ready to post. This is a series of essays examining the layout of the castle grounds, of Hogsmeade, the Forbidden Forest etc. as they appear in the books rather than the films, culminating in maps which are compatible with every canon reference which mentions what is visible from where, how long it takes to get from A to B etc.. The interior of the castle has still to be worked out and will probably take another couple of years, but all of the exterior has been mapped.
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