Click here to see how Ari Marmell thinks this fight will go down
How we think the fight will go
A hollow clang filled the courtyard, echoing off the surrounding towers that stood silent sentinel over the duel. The skull-like helm rattled around on Corvis Rebaine’s head like a hard-struck bell, but did not come off.
Corvis Rebaine—The Warlord, The Eastern Terror—laughed. One long, amused chuckle. “Meet Khanda,” he said. The amulet around his neck flickered brightly—not with the silver light of the moon, but with a crimson light cast by the demon trapped within.
/Hello, Serverus. A nice try. Really. But you’ve a lot to learn. You wield magic like a little kitten. Has anyone ever told you that your face glows lovingly when you’re angry?/ Khanda said. Not a sound, but a voice in their heads.
Though Snape was tall, Corvis towered over him. The hulking warrior’s armour was spiked and bone-plated and so black it seemed to suck the light from the very air. Snape’s cloak and greasy hair looked grey in comparison. The deathly visage of his helm nearly matched the lightly glowing tattoo on Snape’s forearm. Visible through the gaping jaw of the skull, a slight smile touched Corvis’ mouth, just a twinge at the corner of his lips.
“Care to try that again?” said Corvis. Confidence dripped from his voice. The leather of his greaves creaked slightly as he hefted his enormous demon-forged axe.
It’s name was whispered by fearful lips the world over. Though thousands had met their end on its blade, there was not a single notch or scratch to mar it. Most men couldn’t wield it with two hands. The Warlord held it easily with one.
“The Eastern Terror?” Snape snarled. “Should those in the West have no fear?”
“And Half-Blood Prince? Ooh, this full-blooded warrior trembles!” Rebaine started to slowly circle the Wizard, each heavily booted foot carefully picking its place among the rough cobblestones of Hogwart’s courtyard.
/You both have rubbish nicknames. So stop this little pissing match and fight like real men—with swords and wands, not insults and witticisms…which you have no talent for./
“Shut up, Khanda,”
“Conjunctivitus!” A flick of Snape’s wand. “Impedimenta!” Another flick.
Suddenly the world dimmed around Corvis. Like a heavy cloud had passed over a half-moon at midnight, Snape was no more than a blur of black against the courtyard. Like a fresh painting of a moonlit castle splashed with water.
The Warlord swung his giant axe in the direction of the black shape, but the attack crawled through the air like it was cutting through water. Not a vicious charge on horseback, but a slow stroll through the park with a baby carriage.
Suddenly Snape was gone. The black shape disappeared and Sunder slammed heavily into the fountain in the middle of the courtyard, cutting through the ageless stone like it was nothing. Gradually, the spell slowing him lessened, until finally, it broke. The mobility in his arms returned. He spun, eyes searching the courtyard.
/Your grandmother could swing harder than that!/
“And that’s my fault? Counterspell, you useless thing!” Corvis raised a hand, gauntleted fist clenched tightly.
/Oh, please! Let me!/
Hellfire erupted from his fist. Khanda put all his sardonic, demonic glee into the blast and its light filled the courtyard, tearing into every shadow. The heat of the blast set flags to flapping and leaves to shrivelling. The bolt of Hellfire consumed Snape, raising all of Hell’s burning flames to the spot where the black Wizard stood.
Snape appeared across the cobblestones, untouched by the fiery magic, his wand drawn and aimed at Corvis. “Sectumsempra!”, his greasy voice exploded into the courtyard, ragged at the edges—angry, euphoric.
Several clear clangs rang out as Rebaine’s armor was struck by a succession of what felt like heavy sword slashes. The Warlord stumbled slightly under the assault, but was unharmed by the piercing attack.
Corvis looked down to see the crimson amulet, Khanda, lying on the cobblestones. The leather cord severed cleanly by Snape’s spell.
/Well…been nice knowing you./
A flick of Snape’s wrist and the amulet was whisked into the air and out through an arch in the courtyard wall. It fell, fell, fell…finally splashing into the lake far below Hogwarts Castle. Corvis grasped feebly at his naked neck. His armour felt looser now. Sunder felt heavier. Scrambling, the Warlord drew on his own small command over magic. Rubble from the cracked Fountain flew at Snape, peppering him with small stones.
/You attack with gnats? The Eastern Terror, indeed./ Even from the lake below, Khanda’s acid wit was strong and biting.
Without warning, Corvis threw himself at the lanky Wizard, knocking him to the ground. One gauntleted fist slammed heavily into Snape’s face, shattering his teeth. Blood gushed from his crushed nose.
“A Wizard bleeds like any other man, I see,” Corvis growled.
Under the weight of Corvis’ sustained assault, Snape still fumbled with his heavy cloak, digging in one of the many pockets. He drew out a small flask, silver and shaped like a waterdrop. Corvis knocked it from his grasp, but not before the Wizard swallowed the contents.
Snape began to change, his arms growing longer, his nose even bigger. Muscles bulged on his back, his legs thickened to the size of tree trunks. With newfound strength, Snape tossed the heavy Warlord aside. Corvis skittered along the cobblestones, coming to a crashing halt against the leaking fountain.
Corvis wasted no time. He stood, gathered himself, and flew at the monstrosity, swinging Sunder with all the might left in his aging arms. The blade bit into Snape’s leg, splitting the blue, bark-like skin, clanging off the bone inside. He wrenched the blade free. The wound in Snape’s leg sealed almost as quickly as Corvis drew out the axe blade. The muscle and skin knitting together. Not even a scar.
/Hah! Looks like you’re about to pay a terrible troll for your mistake, Corvis!/ Khanda called from the lake below.
Snape now towered over the Warlord. His nose was big as Sunder‘s blade and his ears stuck out the side of his head like an elephant’s. The troll stooped and picked up a huge boulder from the rubble near the fountain. “No magic to save you now, muggle.” Unlike the rest of his body, Snape’s voice had not changed.
One huge hand swung out at Corvis, trying to take of Corvis’ head with a fell swipe. Corvis met the attack, deflecting the blow with Sunder. His arm rang and his fingers nearly dropped the axe, but he held on. Corvis chopped at the troll, slamming the backside of Sunder into the monsters crotch. This only seemed to anger the thing further. The boulder came next, swinging down from high above, trying to crush Corvis flat as a squished cockroach. The Warlord rolled sideways, but the huge rock caught his leg. He fell roughly to the stone, his head slamming hard against ground. The skull-like helmet flew off, no longer protected by Khanda’s magic, and clattered away into a shadowed corner. Salt-and-pepper hair framed a weathered face.
A defeated face.
“You are done, old man,” Snape yelled. He was reverting back into human form. Lanky black hair fell into his eyes, robes—tattered and torn—hung from his skinny frame. A huge bruise covered his leg. He walked gingerly to the ruined fountain, one hand grabbing his sore crotch. The Wizard picked up his wand from where it lay among the wet rubble.
Corvis tried to heft his axe, to stand. He made it to one knee, then fell hard against the ground. Blood was running down his forehead, seeping into his eyes. His ears still rang.
Snape muttered some nonsense words, flicked his wand.
Corvis Rebaine’s world flashed green.
Predicted Winner: Severus Snape
NOTE: THIS MATCH ENDS ON SUNDAY, MARCH 13TH, 2011, AT 5 PM, ET
Severus Snape image courtesy of Grant Gould. Corvis Rebaine image courtesy of Larry Rostant
Aidan Moher contributed to this Cage Match