The Carrows didn't require any help distracting themselves, but Severus added something to their evening meal that would ensure neither of them dogged his footsteps that night. For good measure, he added a contraception component into the lust potion. He would not be the cause of that family's continued inbreeding.
Disgusting, he thought, floating away from Amycus' window upon ascertaining that his draught had taken.
Severus had no time to indulge in the emotion long, for, while the castle slept, he had work to do.
They're starting to rebel. Unsurprising, really, but I can't allow—
Filch was patrolling the corridor into which he'd slipped into through another window, one too high to be noticed. Severus hovered there until the man had gone, conjuring a mouse to draw away Mrs Norris, who had lingered, her nose twitching. With the cat now suitably employed, Severus landed.
I know it's here somewhere. The Room of Requirement.
Severus strode up the corridor and then down it, concentrating.
I need to help the children. I need to—
A door appeared in the wall then, and Severus didn't hesitate. He entered the room, shutting the door behind him quickly. It was empty.
"No! You can't be empty," he protested.
From the lone window, one as high as the other through which he'd earlier exited and entered Hogwarts, a beam of moonlight shone—and then it moved.
Starting, Severus realised that he was seeing a ghost, several, in fact, appearing in the beam and moving throughout the room—Hogwarts' ghosts.
They stared at him wordlessly.
"Why are you here?" Severus demanded.
The Bloody Baron stepped forward. He pointed at one of his eyes and then one of his ears.
"Eyes and ears, for you're afeard," rang out Peeves' voice, sing-song.
"Yes," said Nearly Headless Nick, floating towards Severus. "You want to help the students, as do we. We'll be your eyes and ears."
"You'll help me after. After what I di—"
"You didn't murder Headmaster Dumbledore," a feminine voice said. "We know that."
"You know that," Severus repeated flatly.
"We know everything about Hogwarts," Nick told Severus, "and no one notices us knowing it. That is how we shall fight. You'll protect the children as best you can? You'll make that pact with us?"
"Yes," Severus replied, without hesitation.
The Baron floated towards him again, glowering.
"What?" Severus asked.
"A warning," Nick replied, "not to hope, I believe—but I shouldn't heed it. Hope, Headmaster, is all you have now."
Leaving the Room of Requirement, Severus reflected upon the fact that he'd been without hope for too long to remember how to feel it. But back up in any form is welcome, he thought.
The ghosts would keep him informed, and there was much he could do with information.
But I won't stop the students from fighting. They still understand what it is to hope, and they'll need all they can get. Children always do.