March 9th, 2004, 4:19 am
A while back I stopped updating my
'Elaina' (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=21679) Story and with good reason, it had degenerated so much from my original idea that it was no longer fun to write. I have spent the last while reworking and rewritng this story in the hopes of making it better and more enjoyable for all conserned. While updates are most likely going to be no where near as frequent I hope that by working at a slower pace I can bring this story to light in the way that I want it to be and the way I think it should be. So enjoy and leave me some FEEDBACK (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?p=822425#post822425) as to what you think!
Wait I nearly forgot.
Disclaimer: Characters and places in this story do not belng to me. They are the property of JKR I am only taking them out to play with for a little while. This work is just for fun. I intened no profit what so ever. Please don't sue.
Ok now on with the story...
March 9th, 2004, 4:20 am
Prologue - July 1996- The War Begins
She ran, slipping and sliding on the wet grass, tears obscuring her vision. A small figure lost in the vastness of battle. A butterfly among giants. Her breath came in ragged gasps, lungs aching with every step she took. Still she ran, flying with no place to flee. No way to fight the mounting chaos that surrounded her. Screams echoed in the broken stillness of morning, an unholy symphony of pain and terror. Explosions brought flashes of light, illuminating the early morning scene in all its surreal glory before allowing it to be plunged back into the shadows of predawn. People ran, screaming, fighting, and hiding in the mists around her. Everything seemed to be a dream. An awful nightmare, made all the more terrible be the knowledge that it was real. That she would never awake from the grisly scene of death and destruction that reigned before her eyes.
Feeling a hand grab at her the girl twisted, trying to break free. Loosing her footing on the uneven terrain she fell – and in that moment everything changed. Time seemed to draw to a stand still. The movements of the dueling figures to slow. Through the fog and pain of battle her gaze fell upon another. A small figure whose eyes glowed like pinpricks of emerald flame. In that moment a bond was forged, an unwitting alliance begun. A power began to flood up out of the very earth, building and radiating out from between the two figures.
With pain racking her small frame, blinding her sight, and consuming her mind, a scream ripped loose from her lips. A sound so inhuman, so unnatural that it seemed impossible to come from such a child. More eerie and frightening however was the sudden, echoing silence the followed, holding suspended in the red dawn, as the girl embraced the darkness that enfolded her.
March 13th, 2004, 6:01 pm
A/N: Thanks to Mme J. for correcting my french.
Chapter 1 - Graves
A small, quaint looking cemetery stood at the top of a low rise. A peaceful place. Large elm and oak trees stood around its parameter, like guardians watching over all those who rested with in the bounds of its wrought iron gates. Birds sung away in the trees and the warmth of the July sun beat down upon the back of the invisible figure who walked slowly up the hill towards graveyard. Severus Snape lost in his own thoughts had no idea why he had allowed his feet to wander this way. His business in this town was over and he had other matters to attend to.
Gradually the quiet intonation of a minister’s sermon and the soft weeping of a huddled group of mourners made brought Severus out of his own reflections and he paused in the shade of an old oak tree. It seemed so strange to see such grief on such a beautiful day. Not even a cloud in the sky. He somberly watched the minister finish the burial service. The mourners gradually drifted away into small groups, speaking softly amongst themselves, until at last only a single desolate looking figure to stood staring down at the graves. A bird sung softly in the tree above his head. Another war. Another set of casualties. Just a taste of what was waiting to come. Severus supposed he should feel some remorse for the pain of the families of these latest victims of the Dark Lord’s cruelty. But he did not. To him they were just another set of losses in a world full of loss.
Idly he allowed his black eyes to wander across the green grass and weathered tombstones to the two fresh dug graves, a single granite stone proclaiming their occupants. Severus bushed back an errant lock of his long, greasy black hair, reading the epitaph.
JAMES PHILIPPE SAVOIE SERAPHINA AZRAELA SAVOIE
March 13,1957 --- July 21, 1996 September 22, 1956--- July 21. 1996
Vous ne serez jamais oublies
Severus turned, his long strides carrying him away from the graveyard. He knew those people. Had known them. Once, long ago in another life, he had even been friends with them. Vaguely he realized that they must have been killed on the last Death Eater raid, but how? Last he had heard they had been on the run living in France. Severus walked faster, keeping the invisibility cloak pulled tight around his frame. It wouldn’t do to be spotted. Though by all appearances the only ones who might see him would be the grieving mourners. Severus felt slightly shaken by the knowledge that he had known of the attack and yet he had not known of the danger it might pose. If he had known those two would be killed would he have done anything? For a vain moment to join the muggles huddled around the graves, to pay his last respects to those two people. Then he threw the thought out of his mind with just as much violence as those now dead had once thrown him out of their lives. Once he would have risked everything to save them. Could have saved them. For no matter what arguments might have laid between them, some ties could override even the most horrible of betrayals. But now it was too late. With out even one backward glance at the fresh dug graves Severus apperated to Number 12 Grimauld Place to report his latest findings.
Arriving at Grimauld Place he was immediately ushered into the kitchen, Molly Weasley clucking over him. “Where on earth have you been? The meeting was supposed to start a good twenty minutes ago. Moody was getting set to launch a search party. Any way your here now.” He glared at her, knowing that it wouldn’t do anything, as they passed through the doorway. Severus quickly slid into the last open seat, between Tonks and Minerva at the large, scarred wood table in the center of the kitchen.
Albus smiled at him. “Ah good now that we are all here the meeting can start. Emmeline you have the latest report on muggle disturbances I believe.” He said looking at a stately middle aged witch.
Emmeline Vance stood up flipping through a small note book. “Yes, that last attacked was noted by the muggle media. The Ministry is trying to pull it off as a natural gas explosion, however the whereabouts of several muggle witnesses are still unknown. We are currently working with the muggle government to ascertain if...” Emmeline’s sentence was cut off by a knock on the door. Remus Lupin, who was sitting closest to the door, quickly opened it, and stepped out into the hall, his voice rather irritated. “What is it? You boys know not to disturb a meeting.”
Severus heard one of the Weasley twins, he wasn’t positive which one, answer “This owl here. He was trying to peck us to death. It seems to have an important message or something.”
“Alright then” Remus stepped back into the room. A large tawny owl flew in after him, gently setting a plain black envelope in front of Severus before gliding back out of the room.
Severus picked up the letter, already knowing what news the would find. Black envelopes always contained bad news. His reception could only mean one thing. The epitaph on the tombstone hadn’t been a lie - they were dead.
He unfolded the plain parchment with in and skimmed the contents quickly; a notice of death. That was all he had expected. His gaze dropped to the last paragraph.
Mr. Snape, as per the will left by Mr. and Mrs. Savoie, custody of their daughter will transfer to you. A hearing for the transfer of guardianship has been scheduled for the 24th of July at 10:00am in the Department of Social Services. Located on Level One in the Ministry of Magic.
Dept. of Social Services
He started to reread the last paragraph again; there was no way he had been left guardian of the Savoies’ daughter, no way at all. The Savoies hated him, or at least they had every reason to do so, and there was no way either of them would have been crazy enough to name him guardian to their daughter.
*I would be delighted and excited to recieve feedback (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?p=827784#post827784) of any kind. Just so I know what people are thinking.*
April 8th, 2004, 7:55 pm
*Whew! It's here. My next update. I think. Sorry about the long wait! I really did mean to have it up much sooner. Oh well. Here goes the next bit.*
Chapter 2 - Guardian
Severus stood in a small waiting room for his hearing to begin. The beginnings of a foul mood coming on. He really wanted to be any where just so long as it was not here.
A motherly looking witch bustled in, “Ah good morning. You must be Mr. Snape. I am Athene Thompson.” she said by way of an introduction. “If you’ll come with me you may meet your ward and we can go over the necessary paperwork.”
Severus stonily followed the woman down the hall to a door about halfway down the corridor. “After you.” She said with a consolatory smile holding open the door.
Severus wasn’t sure what he had expected but the small, pale, dark haired figure staring out the window wasn’t exactly how he had expected his ward to be. She just looked so broken, there wasn’t any fire in her at all. He watched as Ms. Thompson walked over to the girl. “Elaina,” she spoke gently, “He’s here. Why don’t you come and say hello. Alright?” The girl hesitantly stood up and like a zombie moved towards him. He studied her as she walked, her features held elements of both her parents, and yet she didn’t exactly look like either one of them.
Finally after what seemed like a life time, though it was most likely no more then a minute, then he spoke in a low voice. “You’re Sera and Jims’ daughter, Elaina?” the way he asked it making it seem more of a statement then the question it was. The girl hung back but gave a slight nod. Turning her dead looking eyes upon him for the barest moment.
“Yes, Mr. Snape this is your ward, Elaina Savoie.” Mrs. Thompson cut in. “Elaina,” she said calmly “This is Severus Snape, your uncle.” she finished placing added emphasis on the last word.
The girl looked quite confused at this. “I have an uncle?”she glanced questioningly at Mrs. Thompson. Then cocked her head sideways as if to study him.
Mrs. Thompson sighed. “Yes Elaina. Haven’t I already explained that to you several times today? This is your Mother’s brother Severus.”
The girl must be some kind of simpleton Severus thought to himself while listening to Mrs. Thompson’s explanation. He didn’t particularly look like his sister but it wouldn’t have taken a genius to figure out which side of the girl’s family he was related to.
The girl listened to Ms. Thompson’s explanation then looking straight at him spoke in a low voice. Soft and yet full of conviction. “Mum had no brother. She had no family at all.”
Severus wanted to beat his head against the wall. This was going to be even more difficult than he had imagined. He would have expected his sister to turn the girl’s thoughts towards hate for for the family. Hate he could deal with. But denying their very existence? A headache was beginning to form in his left temple. Why hadn’t he seen it? Of course it made made perfect sense or would have to Sera at any rate. What better way to escape the past then to pretend none of it had ever happened? Still, how on earth was he ever going to explain any of this to the girl as it was rather apparent she knew nothing of the family history? Not that he particularly felt like enlightening her. But still having her know something was better then nothing. Right?
Finally mustering as much calm he could he spoke. “I can understand why your mother might have said that. However no matter what can you agree to the fact that I am now your guardian?”
The child only stared at him before giving a deep sigh and nodding her head.
“Well that’s settled then.” Mrs. Thompson spoke. “Elaina if you would like you may go collect your things while I go over the necessary paperwork with your uncle.”
The child gave yet another nod and slipped quickly out of the door, leaving Severus wishing he could do the same. The paperwork was long, tedious and left him silently cursing whatever impish fancy that possessed the Savoies to leave him custodian for their child.
Finally peace he thought as Mrs. Thompson left to go make appropriate copies for the various record departments.
Running his fingers through his long hair he sank into a chair and muttered to himself. “What have you done? You hate children.” Well maybe not hate after all he did work as a teacher. Perhaps the best way to describe his feelings was toward youth was uncertainty and a level of dislike. Still he had no business taking over the guardianship of a fourteen-year-old girl. No he could not use that excuse. Even if he wasn’t her only family he would have done it. There was no way he could allow his sister’s child to be completely alone. No matter what his students may say about him he did have a conscience. At least when it came to family.
A soft knock on the door brought him out of his thoughts. It was time to go home.
*Please leave feedback here (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?p=849451#post849451). It would be very welcome. *
April 24th, 2004, 7:21 pm
Chapter 3 - What!? (Part 1)
Severus watched his ward as she ate dinner, reflecting over the events of the past week. Things had actually gone much better then he had been expecting. The girl was exceedingly quiet and well behaved. Almost too well behaved. Not that he minded really. It made his life easier that way. He kept to himself and she kept to herself. Appearing only for meals or when he asked to have a word with her. It still felt odd to have another person in the house. But he supposed he would get used to it eventually. His biggest worry was what to do with her when he had to go on another mission for the Order. Maybe he could just leave her at home? Hopefully though he would have to do anything too big until school started up again and he wouldn’t have to worry about it.
Feeling that this was a good of time as any other Severus decided to ask the girl a few questions while she finished up her meal. “About this year’s schooling,” He began.
Her only response was a soft “Uh huh.”
“You will be attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Normally students are not allowed to join in part way through the schooling, however after speaking with the Headmaster he agreed to let you in.” Elaina just stared at him like he had gone mad. Ignoring her look of absolute bewilderment he continued. “However before term starts you will need to take some placement tests to see what level you reached through your home schooling.” He paused “You were home schooled correct?”
Elaina now looked increasingly worried. “Well, umm, no not exactly,” she started off tentatively.
Severus furrowed his brow in concentration. Then he remembered she must have grown up in France. “You went to Beaubatons?”
“Where?” Now Elaina looked puzzled.
“Beaubatons Academy.” He spoke slowly in increasing irritation. “The Primer Academy in France for the Magical Arts. You’ve never heard of it have you?” He said watching the look of blank confusion on her face. “You didn’t go to Durmstrang did you?” Severus severely doubted that she had. If his sister had still had any of her brain left she wouldn’t have sent her daughter there in a million years. At least not if she was still trying to protect herself and her family.
“No, I haven’t heard of that school either.”
Trying to keep the vexation out of his voice. “So where did you go?”
“Well um, well as I was saying I wasn’t home schooled.” the girl looked slightly apprehensive now. “I really don’t know why you seem to think that. But any way. I, well I just went to the local school”
“And which school might that be?” Severus drawled out. As far as he knew there was only one other school that taught any magic in Britain and it was in Ireland so for Elaina Hogwarts was the local school.
“Stone Wall” She replied softly.
Severus was confused. “That isn’t one of the Academies.”
“Yes,” I know it isn’t. I really don’t know where you are getting this idea that I went to some sort of Private school from. I just went to the local secondary school like all of the other students from the neighborhood.”
All he could do was stare at her in shock. He couldn’t have heard her right. “ Are you saying you went to a Muggle School?” he growled.
She scooted her chair away from the table slightly in apparent alarm. “A what?”
Severus was now very confused and becoming furious with the girls evasive answers. “A school for non-magic folk.”
Elaina sank back in her chair, making herself smaller as though trying to be invisible to his gaze. In the barest whisper she responded. “Yes.”
*If you enjoyed readin this (or even if you didn't) please leave me some
feedback (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?p=877330#post877330). I would really appreciate it. Hopefully I will have part 2 up with in a couple of weeks but I won't make any guarntees as I am impossibly busy with school right now.*
May 8th, 2004, 5:07 am
Chapter 3 -What?! (Part 2)
His black eyes flickered over her. Was it possible? Hair plaited back in twin braids, wearing a pair of blue jeans and a simple dark blue t-shirt it was true the girl didn’t look much like a witch, but then most magical teens preferred muggle dress during the holidays so he hadn’t really thought about it. Could it be the girl was incapable of magic? That she wasn’t a witch? He had to find out.
Trying to keep his voice calm he continued. “Why may I ask were you attending a Muggle School?”
Now she just looked curious. “Why not?”
“Because....” Severus felt his patience wearing thin. He really should not have to deal with things like this on top of the rest of his life. “ If you are a witch, though by your reactions I am beginning to doubt it, you must learn how to control your magic. All witches must learn how to control their magic. If they don’t they become a danger to themselves and any one around them. That is why all students who have magical ability are sent to a school where they can learn how to manipulate and control their magic. If for some reason they can not come or their parents do not wish them to attend a boarding school then, if the parents have suitable ability, the students may be home schooled. However, never will a magical child attend a muggle school. It just isn’t done.”
Elaina digested this new information for a moment. “So you doubt the fact that I am a witch. However I must ask you what made you believe that I am one in the first place. That is not normally a thing that is expected of some one.”
She wanted to know why he though she was a witch. What was wrong with the child? He gritted his teeth. “Because of your family you silly girl. Or don’t you know that you mother belonged to one of the oldest wizarding families in Britain?”
The girl had the audacity to look offended by his answer. Her voice was soft. “My parents are the exact reason why I went to a ‘muggle school’ as you call it. As for a witch never attending one, well I have attended one for my entire life and I suppose you could call me a witch if you were so inclined, though to be truthful, I normally do not think of myself as such.
Severus kept his voice just as soft as hers. “And why may I ask do you not consider yourself a witch? Can it be you can’t do any magic and that is why to normally sane people would have made the decision to send you to a muggle school?”
Her blue eyes flickered for just a moment. “Leave my parents out of this. They made their choices for the best possible reasons. I do not understand all of them. Nor will I ever, but I trusted their judgment and will continue to do so. As for magic...” A smile played about her lips, though it did not entirely reach her eyes. “Who among us can do magic? Real magic I mean. There is not a single person on this earth who can ‘do’ magic. Magic is not something that is done, that can be taught from one to another, or learnt out of a book, magic, real magic, is something that is experienced maybe but a handful of times with in a single lifetime. Sure there are people like you who believe that magic is all in the waving of a wand and what powers lay inherently with in a person that can be brought out with time and training. The kind of thing like turning rats into teacups. “ Her voice dripped with scorn. “But that is not magic, that is just more of an abstract science that some have the natural ability for and others do not. Real magic can be experienced by anyone, anywhere, muggle or not, because it is not something that is learned and not even something in side of you really. It just is. “
Severus couldn’t believe it. How dare she say that his magic was nothing more then foolish wand waving. Was he not the Professor who lectured his students every september about the very fact that magic was an exacting science where a wand was not always needed? But this luancity to say that muggles could work magic. True there were a few stories of muggles being able to achieve astonishing things in desperate situations but that was entirely beside the point. He was beginning to feel that not only did the girl need a sound lecture but that she might also very well be a bit addled in the head.
“Now that your little temper over what magic is done, would you care to answer the question I asked in the first place?” He kept his voice soft and dark. “Why, if you are a witch, would your parents send you to muggle school rather then have you train up properly among your own kind?”
*Ermmm sorry for the odd break and the minor cliffie. But it was either post this wait a bit longer and force everyone to read a much longer post. It wasn't going to be more then a 2 parter but Elaina and Severus sort of got carried away once the converstation got started. Part 3 should be up with in the next couple of days.*
May 9th, 2004, 6:47 pm
* Alright so there wasn't actually that much more. Oh well. Here goes part three.*
Chapter 3 - What?! (part 3)
Elaina’s eyes flickered. “Because I was among my own kind. Or have you not heard a word I have just said? Muggles are no different from us except by the difference that we have a few abilities that they do not. But then I also believe that they just might have a few that we do do not posses, there by making us entirely equal. After having this conversation I think that I am beginning to see why my parents had enough sense to send me to muggle school. While I have always thought that I went to Stone Wall because my father taught there and it would seem weird to send one’s child to a private school when he taught public school. Maybe the real reason they did so is because if all wizards are like you, then they have a very skewed perspective on what worth really is. Because it seems that they measure only by the ability of ones magic. Not on the ability of ones character, or on ones other talents.”
Severus had to bite his tongue to keep from lashing out at her. He spoke slowly. “I see.” And he did. Her Father. Of course he should have guessed earlier but he thought that his sister would have had the sense to stand up to her husband on her daughter’s schooling. Or at least made sure the girl received some proper training. But apparently not. Still what could he have expected? Sera had always been rather short sighted where Jim was concerned. Abandoning her family and turning her back on tradition for him. Alright so he couldn’t blame her for wanting to get away. He had too. But that didn’t mean she had to run away with a no good muggle boy and get herself disowned. Hell that fight she’d had with their father must of been felt miles away. Still his sister had never done anything by halves. It was one of the reasons why she has made such a good recruiter for the Dark Lord and why he had always stood in her shadow at home. It was also the reason she had had to flee the country in order to avoid death. Word had spread fast about her betrayal of the Dark Lord and of her family. Maybe she had just allowed the girl to go to school as a muggle in order to protect her? Severus wasn’t sure. It made sense on one level but on another it made none at all. Muggles were virtually defenseless against a wizard attack and growing up as a muggle wouldn’t have prepared the girl in any sort of way for the life she would eventually have to lead. Unless of course it had been Sera’s intention to allow her daughter to forever live in the world of the muggle, denied of her heritage as a witch? His head hurt. Trying to make sense of his sister’s actions even before he hadn’t seen her for almost 20 years was confusing. So he might as well not try to fathom her thought processes of a few years ago.
Elaina appeared to have run out of steam and was looking increasingly apprehensive over his silence.
Severus needed to think. How was he going to deal with all this?
“You may leave,” He barked at her. “We’ll discuss this later.” He then turned at walked out of the kitchen, returning to his office in the basement.
May 12th, 2004, 3:21 am
*Yes another update already! Hopefully they will becoming more frequently now that I am no longer killing myslef with school. :)*
Chapter 4 - Memories(part 1)
Severus pulled an old, mangy looking box off of one of the top shelves in his office. He hoped that by going through its contents he might be able to jog his memory and fins some clues to Elaina’s up bringing.
On the top contents of the box was a small photo album. He lifted it out carefully. A picture fell out of one of the back pages. A copper-haired girl sat on a park bench. She smiled out of the picture and waved at him. It was a picture of his sister from about two weeks before she ran away. She would have been nineteen, almost twenty. It was three days after this picture was taken that he had found out about Jim. Sera had snuck out of the house - again - he had been the one to find her trying to pry open a downstairs window to get back in again.
“Oooo some one’s gonna be in trouble.” His fifteen year old self had snarled into her face as he had opened the window for her.
“And some one’s going to keep his mouth shut if he knows what’s good for him.” She’s snarled right back, grabbing his arm as she’d climbed through the window.
“Where were you this time? Your boyfriend’s?” He’d taunted her in jest. Never expecting the answer.
Her blue eyes had examined him closely, then she answered. “Yes.”
Severus had been astonished. “What?”
“You asked. I answered.” Sera told him coldly.
“Since when did you have a boyfriend?” He asked in shock. Most of the boys that he had known from school had been afraid of her mood swings. They had wanted her, but kept their distance out of fear of what she might do to them had she not reciprocated their feelings.
Her flippant answer was no supprise to him. “Since when is my personal life any of your business little bro?”
“Dad’s gonna kill you if he finds out. “
Sera took a deep, shaky breath and calmly agreed. “Yes he would, he would kill me with out hesitation if he found out.”
“You do realize I’m joking right?” Severus had told her back.
Her eyes had grown big and her posture changed suddenly as she dropped the guise of regal detachment she normally wore around him and everyone else. “Sev, listen. I am not joking when I say that he would kill me.”
“Aw come on he may throw a fit because he didn’t know. And you would most likely be grounded for the next couple of months for sneaking out. But he wouldn’t really kill you. In fact he’d probably be delighted to know that you are finally thinking about your future.”
That next moment something in her face made him realize the utter seriousness of her statement. Her words came out in a rush as she made her confession to him. “No Sev, he would kill me. So would everyone else. That’s why no one can know. No one at all. I’m gonna get out of here Sev. I can’t live this way any more. I can’t go on her. I’m living a life of lies and deceit. I know that you don’t understand what I am saying. But you’ve got to listen to me alright? You can’t tell anyone about this. No one at all. Just pretend everything is absolutely normal. I wish you hadn’t found me, but you did and that is why I am telling you this. You deserve to know something - even if you are just my good-for-nothing git of a brother. Do you understand what I am saying?” He nodded slowly even though her really had no clue. “If you breath even a hint of this night to anyone I will personally see to your punishment and it won’t be pretty.”
Normally he would have pushed the issue, but since she was being so open, so serious he didn’t. “Alright but tell me one thing, who is this guy?”
A small smile had played about her lips, and her eyes drifted off to another place when she answered him. “Jim, his name’s Jim.” With that she slipped away from him and out of the room.
May 18th, 2004, 12:12 am
*Alright still not sure I am entirely satisfied with this yet, but I am not sure if I can work out the kinks. So here goes with part 2.*
Chapter 4 - Memories (part 2)
Severus looked up from the picture and tried to remember what happened next. He hadn’t thought about these memories for such a long time. They always brought up bad feelings.
It had been late August, on a lazy Sunday afternoon. He could remember sitting downstairs in the large parlor room, staring out of the window, feeling bored and lonely. His father’s voice had boomed through the house. “Where is that blasted girl?” His father had become increasingly irritated with Sera since the months after her graduation. At first he had been proud. His star child had immediately sworn her allegiance to the Dark Lord, along with a number of her classmates of rank and prominence; and was rising through the ranks, becoming noticed by higher ranking members. But then, also, with her induction had come her increasing refusal to obey his demands. Sera had begun to take to long wanderings. No one was ever quite certain where she was disappearing to. At first both Severus and his father had just assumed it business for the Death Eaters, hobnobbing with friends with in the pureblood world, fulfilling her duties to her family. After the night were he had found her sneaking through the window however, Severus had begun to wonder if not a few of these disappearances had been to see “Jim”. Whoever he was.
A growl came from behind him. “You, boy go find your sister.” He had turned around to find his father glaring down at him. “Now!” His father had roared.
Severus remembered scuttling out of the room as fast as he could. How was he supposed to find his sister? She never told him where she was going. But he had best make the appearance of searching for her else his father would throw another temper.
The young Severus followed the path that went out to the pond. When they were both much younger Sera had often gone to the pond when she wanted to be alone. Maybe she would return there again? Severus didn’t have any better ideas. Slowly he crept along looking for any sign that she might have come this way. As he neared the bend in the path he heard soft laughter ahead. She was out by the pond! Feeling bitter resentment to her sneaking off and him being forced to go look for her Severus decided to sneak up on her. He slunk through the bushes ready to ambush her from the opposite side of the pond.
He caught a glimpse of Sera’s coppery hair through the trees. Then his heart stopped. She wasn’t alone. He peered through the bushes. there was some one with her. He crouched down and watched as a young man wrapped his arm around Sera’s shoulder and gently placed a kiss on her cheek.
“It’ll be alright Ser,” He heard the man whisper to his sister. “You don’t need to cry.” The man wiped tears from her eyes and enveloped her in a hug.
Severus felt unidentifiable emotions creep up in his chest but also a twinge of fear. She had dropped her mask with this stranger - and she was afraid of something. Sera never showed any fear. Not even when their father fell into one of his rages and threatened to beat her senseless, not when their mother had disappeared, not when she was picked on by students at school, never. So he did the only thing he could think of to get her away. He jumped out of the bushes and lunged at the stranger.
The next thing he could remember was hitting the ground as the man whirled around, knocking him over. His sister reached out and grabbed the man’s arm before he could do anything more. “No Jim, it’s alright.” Then she struck out at him. “Severus what on earth were you thinking?”
All he could do was glare back at her. Sera shot him a dirty look before turning back to Jim. “Look I’m real sorry about this. I’d like to apologize for my brother’s behavior. I had no idea he would find us.” She gave him a look of disgust. “Or that he would try anything like that stunt.” She added after a moments hesitation.
“It’s fine. You alright kid?” The man said offering a hand to Severus.
Severus just glowered at him. “I’m fine.” he mumbled, pushing himself out of the dirt, ignoring the proffered hand. He glared at Sera. “I don’t even know why I bothered to come look for you. It’s obvious you don’t want me around.”
Sera had the indecency to look hurt by his words. “No Sev, its just...” she trailed off.
“It’s just I’m your annoying, worthless brother. Yeah I know.” He spat out bitterly.
“Severus you’re not worthless.” Sera gazed down at him in shock. “I know dad says that, but it’s not true. You can be something if you want to, if you just work at it. I know you can. You’ve got brains, you just need to use them.”
Now it was Severus’ turn to be amazed. Mostly Sera ignored him unless she was mad at him, in which case she was usually threatening to torture him with something or other. “Oh don’t looked so shocked. Just ‘cause I act like I hate you doesn’t mean I do.” She turned and looked at Jim. “This is why I have to get out of here. Not just for my own sanity but also so I can help Sev.”
Jim just nodded his head. “I know Sera, you don’t have to explain to me again.”
About this time Severus remember why he had come looking for Sera in the first place. He shifted from foot to foot. “Dad’s looking for you he blurted out.”
The color drained from Sera’s face, she turned to Jim. “You better get going, I don’t want him to see you. Go back home I’ll come later. We just need to follow the plan.”
Jim nodded his gaze never leaving Sera’s eyes. “Be careful alright?” With that the young man kissed her quickly and walked off into the woods.
Sera gazed wistfully after him for a moment before turning back to her brother. “I leaving Sev. Now. Tonight. I don’t want you to worry about me. I’ll be fine. That is why I am almost glad you found me, so I could tell you the truth. Jim, he’s a muggle Sev. and that, that is why I can’t go on living here. We’re all just a bunch of hypocrites going on about the sanctity of blood. And know what?” She flashed him a shaky grin and wrapped her arms around herself. “That’s all it is. Blood. Just a bunch of cells moving through our bodies to fill them with oxygen and the like, and all of us, wizard and muggle bleed the same.”
Severus could only stand there and look at his sister in shock. When she had said their father would kill her for seeing Jim he had truly thought she was joking. Now he understood she was serious, as serious as could possibly be.
“Severus,” She looked down at him, her dark blue-black eyes growing wide with the intensity of her emotion.
“Before I go there is one thing I want you to do. I want you to promise me just one thing. No matter what happens, no matter what people say, no matter what, promise me you won’t become a Death Eater.”
“Because they are not what they seem. Because you are not that horrible of a person. Because you would hate it there, at first it might be fun but then you would come to see as I have seen the hypocrisy of their nature, the evil in their actions.” She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “You have to promise me, please, Severus, just promise you won’t join.”
Severus had never seen Sera look so serious about anything before in his life. He didn’t know why she wanted him to promise, and yet he had agreed to her words anyhow.
Sera smiled at him. “Thanks Sev, I’ll send you an owl just as soon as I can.” She started to walk away from him.
“Where are you going?”
She flashed him one last smile. “You did say Dad was looking for me right? I thought I’d do the civil thing and say ‘goodbye’ before I leave.”
Severus dropped the picture back down on his desk. He had hidden out in the woods until the yelling had stopped. After that day he had never seen Sera again.
May 24th, 2004, 5:33 am
Blah I have writers block so instead of an update you get a pretty picture as I posted a piece of "why?" related art in the Gallery.
Sera Pic (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?p=935082#post935082)
June 7th, 2004, 4:02 am
*K, this next chapter I am going to have to do in little bits and pieces. Here is the first one.*
Chapter 5 - School Supplies. (part 1)
There was no help for it, no other way out. He was going to have to go shopping. For the past fifteen years Severus had largely managed to avoid going to stores, getting what he needed by mail order or small shops where no one would notice him, but now he was being forced to go to Diagon alley and it was all Elaina’s fault.
He had assumed he would just mail order a set of the basic core texts for her and be done with it. Unfortunately that was before he found out she owned next to nothing in the way of school supplies. She didn’t even own a wand! He had discovered that bit of disgruntling information just this morning when she asked if she could borrow his for the practical section of her placement exams. Grudgingly he had allowed her to do so, but he wasn’t happy about it.
Since he was already in London Severus supposed he might as well drop by Diagon Alley today. Just go in grab the few supplies she would need and leave. When would that blasted girl be done with her exams? He was becoming quite sick of the Ministry waiting room.
“Well I’m done.” Elaina held his wand out to him. She looked rather green. Exams that bad? he wondered.
“Good.” He gave his wand a quick examination before slipping it up his robe sleeve. It wouldn’t do him any good if she had somehow managed to bungle the wand’s abilities.
He stood up and crossed the room quickly, trusting that the girl would follow.
* Please leave me some FEEDBACK (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?p=917887#post917887) on your feelings of the story's progession. Please, I would really like some.*
June 24th, 2004, 9:46 pm
*Thanks for keeping with me through these long waits. Still not sure if I have the students down right but I don't think they are going to get any better until I've had to write them more.*
Chapter 5 - School Supplies (part 2)
The dark, smokey interior of the Leaky Caldron greeted Severus. The bar tender flashed him a startled look but other then that quick glance no one recognized him or if they did they paid him no attention. “We’ll buy your wand first.” he growled behind him.
“In a pub?” The girl squeaked.
Already they were through the main room and slipping out the back door. “In the alley.” The wall of bricks rearranged after a tap of his wand. Elaina stood frozen at his side. Something akin to awe on her face. “Close your mouth you’re not a fish.” he snapped.
Standing out side Olivanders holding a bag marked “M’Lady’s: Robes for Women and Girls” Had to be one of the most embarrassing things Severus had ever had to deal with in his adult life. You were the one who refused to go inside though, the stupid voice in the back of his head reasoned with him. “Shut up” He growled mentally before going back to murderously glaring at any passerby who even dared to glance at him. At least none of his students were here. That was the only comforting thought he could come up with. No annoying, bratty students to laugh at the sight of their terrifying Potions Master reduced to holding the shopping bags of a teenaged girl. How the two of them hand ended up shopping for clothes before looking for her wand was still something that he was trying to figure out.
“Hey, Look Harry isn’t that Professor Snape?” A girl’s voice asked.
Severus looked up an spotted a bushy-brown-haired girl a small distance down the street. He’d thought too soon. Figures that Miss Granger would be able to spot him in a crowd. He quickly slid the shopping bag behind his legs, hopping the folds of his robes would keep it out of view. The two boys next to her looked up. He could just barely make out the response of the tall red head, a Mr. Ronald Weasley. “Nah, can’t be. You know he never comes here. It would just be unSnapelike of him to show up in Diagon. Besides what would he do? It’s not like he’s allowed to dock points during the summer months.”
The brown haired girl glared at the redheaded boy but her voice was too low for Severus to catch her reply. He quickly scanned the area. If those three were walking through Diagon alley pretty as you please some one had to be watching them. After all of the fiascos they had been through been through it would be a strange irony for three of the wizarding worlds most valuable students to be picked off while shopping for school supplies. A short distance off he spotted both Molly Weasley and Remus Lupin. He guessed that there were also other members of the Order scattered through out the rest of the street.
The three students walked closer to him. He raised his voice slightly. If they were going to notice him it might as well be on his terms. “Well if it isn’t Hogwart’s worst trio of rule breakers out to cause more problems in the world. You should at least pay attention to your surroundings. I could have picked you off at this distance and disaparated before anyone even knew what happened.”
Mr. Weasleys’ mouth dropped open. “It is Professor Snape.”
“How observant Mr. Weasley. Who else would you be expecting?”
The black haired boy standing at the redhead’s side glared up at him. “What are you doing here? I thought that you had better things to do then hang out in Diagon looking to yell at me.”
“Tut, tut Potter, If I were you I would watch my mouth. Wouldn’t want to end up in St. Mungos twice in a single summer now would we.” He kept his voice soft. Taunting his least favorite student always had to be done carefully. The boy glared even more fiercely at him. “Besides I do have more important things to do then yell at you and your little friends so you might as well scat before I change my mind. And remember be careful I am not going to come to your aid.”
Miss Granger grabbed Potter’s arm. “Come on Harry... You too Ron.” She added with a glance at the other boy.
* Part three should be up with in the next couple weeks.*
July 1st, 2004, 7:39 pm
*Just as a note this will be my last up date for about a month. On Sunday I am leaveing town and won't be back for a good 3 weeks. So no updates for a while. Hopefully I will have the rest of chapter 6 done by the time I get back though and will be able to start updating shortly there after. Thanks for reading. ~AH*
Chapter 5 - School Supplies (part 3)
About five minutes later a rather pale and shaky Elaina walked out of Olivanders. A black box tucked under her arm.
“You get your wand?”
“Well then lets go get you books and leave.”
“Can I sit down for a minute?” He barley heard the whisper over the sounds of the street.
“I don’t feel very good. Those wands gave me a headache.”
He sighed in exasperation. He did not want to spend anymore time in the Alley then he had to. Still she did look extraordinarily pale.
“Fine you sit. I’ll go get your books.” She mutely did as she was told sinking into a bench just a few feet down the street from the wand shop.
Muttering under his breath Severus quickly made his way down the street to Flourish and Blots for the rest of Elaina’s school supplies. For once happy that his job as Potions Master for the school meant that he would not have to procure any of the basic potions ingredients from the Apothecary.
Quills and parchment he grabbed off of a shelf near the front of the store. It wasn’t until he reached the back of the shop that Severus realized he had not a clue as to all of the books Elaina would need for the upcoming year. He mentally ran through the list. One Thousand Herbs and Magical fungi, and Magical Drafts and potions he knew she would need for his own class. Professor McGonagall always stuck to the same series for her Transfiguration class so that was easy... just grab a copy of The standard Book of Spells: Grade 4 ... She would need a A History of Magic for Binns’ history class. But in all honesty Binns would never assign anything that would be found in the text book and doing his homework a waste of time any way. Charms... He grabbed the required text off the shelf. He stopped and pondered. That just left Astronomy and any elective classes she chose to take. He’d order elective texts later after he found out the results of her placement exams. Right now there was of way to tell what classes she had even qualified for. From the amount of times spent on her examine and the length of time it had taken her to chose a wand he was guessing that she hadn’t qualified for very many.
He quickly made his way to the front counter and purchased the stack of volumes from a rather startled looking cashier. He had a vague recollection of her face from somewhere. Then it hit him - Susanna Bristol. He’d had her as a student his first year of teaching. No wonder she looked so bewildered to see him buying basic spell books.
Elaina was still sitting on the bench when he returned. Fortunately she no longer looked quite as pale. Unfortunately she look as though she were nearly asleep. “Elaina,” He spoke softly. “I have your books.”
“Alright, can we go now then?” she muttered, rousing herself from the bench.
Wasn’t that what he had wanted to do all along? “Of course.”
July 30th, 2004, 4:03 am
*Yay! I'm back. Here is the 1st part of chapter 6. the second should be following shortly.*
Chapter 6 - Hogwarts
The remainder of the summer had passed rapidly. Too Rapidly for Severus. Already he was back a Hogwarts. Doomed to begin another year teaching brattish children the incratracies of the subtle art of potion brewing.
He walked up the stone steps, pondering what the forth coming year might hold. The current war meant that many parents were choosing to keep their children at home. Severus had yet to decided whether that was good or bad. Good because it meant less annoying students for him to teach, bad because it meant that the war was not yet over, that he must still put his life on the line and continue to walk the knife edge his profession demanded.
His eyes flickered over Elaina’s reserved face. She revealed none of what she was thinking as she gazed up at the castle. “Welcome to Hogwarts,” He spoke with the barest trace of sarcasm lacing his voice.
A woman’s voice greeted their arrival. “Severus welcome back. Albus said you would be along shortly.”
“Hello Minerva.” His greeting was almost warm. Minerva McGonagall was one of the few of his coworkers for whom he genuinely held respect.
“You must be Miss Savoie.” she said looking down at Elaina. “Well come along then, Albus said he wanted to see the pair of you up in his office just as soon as you arrived.”
“I don’t suppose you have any clue why?”
“Not the faintest idea.”
“You can leave your trunk over there.” Severus gestured to the far wall of the entry before watching in slight irritation as Elaina proceeded to slowly drag her trunk towards the wall. He sighed and whispered softly “locomotor trunks.” His pair of trunks whizzed off towards the wall.
Elaina’s yelp was unexpected. “What did you do that for? Are you trying to make me die of fright?”
“I hope that comment was meant to be facetious.”
She just shook her head and glared at him “What do you think? One can’t really die of fright. It’s just an expression. Alright? Just don’t do that again with out warning me. Sending trunks whizzing by ones head is a sure way to give some one a heart attack.”
So she thought one couldn’t die of fright. Poor child really was out of her depth in the wizarding world.
His only response was a dignified glare as he motioned her to proceed down the corridor. He would deal with her erratically displayed temper later.
[i] As before FEEDBACK (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?p=1139519#post1139519) is much apreciated. Thanks for reading. :)
July 30th, 2004, 5:02 pm
*It was either now or Saterday afternoon. So you are getting the 2nd part sooner then was expected. Part 3 will be up with in a week. If not sooner.*
Chapter 6 (part 2)
The Mahogany door slid smoothy open allowing Severus to sweep into the Headmaster’s circular office.
The silver-haired, almost feeble looking man behind the large desk in the center of the room looked up. “Ah, good afternoon Severus, I assume your travel went well.”
“As well as can be expected when traveling by Knight Bus.” Severus responded, his voice carrying a bit of sourness to it. If he’d been by himself he could have flooed or better yet, apperated. Unfortunately Elaina was too young to apperate and he had held no desire to chase her down after she managed to lose herself in the floo network. He just didn’t trust her timid, scatterbrained mind to handle that sort of travel with out serious mishap.
Headmaster Albus Dumbledore just gave him a small smile. “Well that is all well then. Now on to my real reason for calling you up here.” The Headmaster’s gave Severus a look he couldn’t quite read. “Since you are here a week early I thought that it might be best if Miss Savoie were sorted now rather then at the sorting ceremony. That way she might have a chance to adjust to her new settings before the castle is once again filled with students.” He paused. “That is if it alright with you Severus.”
“If you think it would make more sense then by all means go ahead.”
He heard Elaina shift slight behind him. “Umm... excuse me.” Her voice was back to it’s normal timid softness. “What exactly do I have to do to be sorted? I am not really sure what that means.”
Albus’ eyes sparkled for a moment. “Just try on the Sorting Hat. It will decided where you will stay whilst you are with us here at Hogwarts.”
Elaina’s look clearly showed she considered the Headmaster to be mad, but after a quick glance at Severus she gingerly took the hat from Albus’ grasp and placed it on her head.
The hat took a very long time in Elaina’s placement and for a few moments Severus was inclined to wonder if the girl really was as muggle as she acted. Perhaps she really didn’t belong in Hogwarts. However after what seemed an eternity of waiting though it couldn’t have been more then five minutes the Hat gave its pronouncement. “SLYTHERIN” It bellowed.
To say Severus was startled by the Hat’s choice would be an understatement. He had pegged Elaina down as a true born Hufflepuff. Not necessarily the brightest but willing to please and to work hard to accomplish her goals. Inwardly he groaned. Not only was she a new student and therefore an outsider, Elaina was also reserved and timid. The rest of the house would be sure to tear her to shreds in less then a week. It was the way Slytherin House worked. You had one shot to prove your worth. In the first hour a new students measure was taken and their place with in the house hierarchy was decided. Not only that but she was half-blood. Another reason why she should be in one of the other houses. No half-blood had ever passed through Slytherin House. It was the haven of the old blue-blooded families of the wizarding world. Elaina was doomed and, unfortunately, as the Head of Slytherin House he would be the one who would have to pick up the pieces.
He glanced at Albus to see the Headmaster’s reaction. The man’s blue eyes were veiled and his expression thoughtful but he did not look overly concerned by his ward's unusual placement.
Severus watched the girl’s eyes as she quickly handed that hat back to Albus. There had to some reason why the hat had placed her in Slytherin. What it was though, he didn’t know.
August 5th, 2004, 10:06 pm
*So my sister won't hurt me...*
A/N: This really didn't turn out as I was expecting but it is done.
Chapter 6 (part 3)
Dinner that night proved to be a quiet affair. As was typical of the week before term started. Only the Heads of Houses had arrived so far, though additional teachers would begin to arrive with in the forthcoming days.
The other staff made polite conversation amongst themselves and Severus was content not to join in. Elaina answered any questions asked of her with the bare minimum required to be a polite answer and spent her time chasing a blob of mash potatoes around the edge of her plate with her fork.
The polite chatter was beginning to give Severus a headache. There were more pressing matters to be discussed and everyone knew it. Well with the exception of Elaina. Though she seemed to have tapped into the restless mood, and therefore was a bit more fidgety then normal. She dropped her fork with a soft clang. Klutzy girl!
Then oblivious the the looks glanced her way she picked up the fork and studied it. Almost as though confused by its slipping from her grasp. She dropped it again. Picked it up, stared, and repeated the action. A small smile formed about her lips and she looked up. “There’s magic here yah know.”
“Thank you for that brilliant observation Miss Savoie. I assure you we are all enlightened.”
The girl’s eyes flashed. “No, really, there is. “ She dropped her fork again. “The metal clangs a true note rather then just noise.” She scanned the hall. “I can feel it.” She shivered slightly. “This whole hall is weighted with magic. It is in the very stones.”
None of them were quite sure how to react to this strange pronouncement. “The castle is very old.” Albus began. “Over time the stones do absorb some of the magic that is practiced with in their walls. For those of us who live here it is easy to forget through familiarity with the sensation. In time I am sure you will become used to it as well.”
Elaina seemed to accept this explanation and went back to pushing patatoes around her plate. Severus however, wasn’t sure the headmaster was being completely honest. Something in the man’s gaze showed deeper thought then a errant remark from a student usually aroused.
However none of them bothered to think more about Elaina's bizarre remarks, nor Albus’ answer, as the dessert course appeared and everyone was lead to tuck into their favorite delight.
August 13th, 2004, 1:18 am
*An' nearly a year after its conception the music globe makes a cameo apearance. :lol:*
Chapter 7 - A Meeting
After dinner Severus joined Minerva and Albus in an informal Order meeting. Albus had his music globe playing softly when Severus entered his circular office but turned it off as their meeting started.
“I would have expected to be contacted at least once by now.” He began slowly. “Normally the Dark Lord doesn’t go this long between summoning. Since July however, he has been strangely quiet.”
“Yes, he has been quiet. That is what worries me.” The headmaster furrowed his brow in concentration, blue eyes deep in thought.
Minerva placed her teacup down on its saucer. “Perhaps the with the arrest of more Death Eaters in July his forces have been significantly weakened tsuch hat he is afraid to risk a more open attack.”
Severus shook his head. “No, not enough were arrested to make a difference. It was only a small handful of people, all of whom were relatively new recruits. They shouldn’t have been a large enough loss to make any difference to his plans.”
“Yes,” Albus glanced down at his set of notes. “And that brings us back to square one. We still don’t know why he has fallen silent.”
All of them paused to reflect. There had to be something that they were missing. But what was it?
Minerva’s voice was the first to break the silence. “Did we ever figure out the motive for the last attack.”
Severus shook his head. “Does he need a reason?” He felt his lips pull themselves into a sardonic smile. “Isn’t causing murder and mayhem cause enough?”
“Yes but if he was after causing chaos why is he not attacking?”
Albus’ voice was quiet. “Perhaps this is merely the clam before the storm. Perhaps he is just trying to lull us into a false sense of security.” He paused his eyes suddenly flickering with thought. “What if this silence is his plan? We have been banking on his movement towards chaos and disorder. Voldemort can create just as much panic by not doing anything at all because the rest of the wizarding world will be waiting for his action and therefore be stuck in a period of nervous anticipation. What if he is waiting for us in our paranoia to begin to cause our own destruction?”
Severus considered the old man’s words. It was a perfect plan. The Dark Lord didn’t need to actively destroy them. They were entirely capable of destroying themselves. It also took the least effort on is part and kept the remaining Death Eaters relatively safe whilst awaiting further action. But something still didn’t seem right. It wasn’t his Master’s style to wait in the shadows when his powers were strong. A lack of subtlety and patience had always been one of the Dark Lord’s weaknesses.
At last all he said was “Perhaps.”
Gradually the conversation wandered onto more ordinary matters. The new security measures that the castle would have placed to help reassure nervous parents to their children's’ safety, speculation on what the new students would be like, how the old students would have changed over the summer. The common place, normal things of school life.
Severus felt himself relaxing into the conversation as the evening wore on. Finally Minerva stood up and stretched out her back. “As enjoyable as this evening has been. I really must be off if I want to finish the last of those class assignments before tomorrow.”
Both men nodded and bided her “Goodnight”. As the door softly clicked behind her departing figure Severus stared at the polished wood of his chair arm.
The head master cleared his throat. “Severus, I was wondering if you might answer a couple questions before you leave.”
He raised his head. Puzzled at Albus’ request. “Of course.”
“It’s about your niece,” The headmaster began. “What she heard and felt at dinner wasn’t normal.”
Severus snorted. “When is anything having to deal with her?”
Albus shook his head. “No, I mean her comments about feeling the magic of Hogwarts. Can you feel anything?”
“Me, Headmaster?” He asked. “A little I suppose. I think most people can feel that there is something different, perhaps even special about this place, but I really don’t see what that has to do with anything.”
“That’s what I’m getting at.” He paused and tepid his fingers. “That is all most people feel. That there is something unique about this school, about this very place. For Miss Savoie however, I sense something different. She feels more then she let on at dinner. When she said she felt the magic of the place she wasn’t lying.”
Severus had to resist the temptation to glare at the man in front of him. As fond as he was of the old Headmaster her really could be quite erratic at times. “Legimancy isn’t fool proof. If she believed that she was feeling something then it would appear to all accounts that she did because there would be nothing with in her mind to counter act that perception.”
“I wasn’t thinking of legimancy Severus.” Albus gently reprooved. “All you had to do was read her body language. She was uneasy about something and not just her life or being surrounded by her future teachers. I think that in any other place she almost would have enjoyed being surrounded by adults. Strange as that may seem.” He again and refolded his hands. “This school was built in this location for a reason. Do you know what that reason was?”
How on earth had their discussion managed to degenerate into a history lesson? “Safety I presume.”
Albus smiled. “Yes, safety was a large part of it. However there was an even greater reason. The land upon which this school now stands has always been a place of magic. Early witches and wizards came here to perform rituals because of the relative ease in which magic can be done.” He sighed. “What I am trying to say is that I think your niece may actually be able to sense the magical currents that run under the school and the surrounding land. I was wondering it you might have any idea as to why? It really is very rare that I have known a student who can sense them to any degree. Let alone to such a degree that they feel it something worthy to comment upon.”
Severus’ mind was drawing a blank. “No, Headmaster I really can’t think of any reason why she might be able to feel anything different about the school. Perhaps just her general lack of exposure to magic has made her more sensitive to its presence?”
“That might be. Still I think it might be best if we kept a watch on her for the first few weeks.” Severus noticed that Albus’ suddenly looked very tired. “Just to make sure she doesn’t try anything foolish.”
“Very well.” Severus inclined his head. “I wouldn’t worry about it to much though. If anything the dratted girl needs a close watch kept on her just to insure she doesn’t end up stabbing herself in the eye with her own wand. She didn’t even own her own until I took her shopping for one.” He could see the Headmaster was fighting back a small smile. “And she was quite shook up by the experience of buying one.” Severus gave into his own small, rueful, smile remembering his own experience of buying a wand. “But then, I guess Olivander can have that effect on those not prepared for him.”
“Too true. Well now that that’s settled I suppose both of us should be making our way towards bed.” Severus glanced up at the clock.
“Yes it is getting rather late isn’t it.”
August 29th, 2004, 5:44 pm
*This is a little bit later then I'd planned to have this up but the chapter sort of grew on me.*
Chapter 8 - Anwen
The rest of the week fled by fairly quickly. Necessary ingredients were ordered. The school was nearly ready to begin the fall term. Only a hand full of the teachers were left to still arrive as Severus walked slowly towards the staff room. Only six hours left before the castle would be over run with students, and he intended to spend those last few hours relaxing.
He pushed open the door only to find that some one was sitting in his chair. He looked closer. He didn’t believe it, but it couldn’t be any one else. Her eyes were tired and there were a few thin strands of gray in her chestnut hair but he could still recognize that face. “Anwen?” He asked in genuine surprise.
Anwen Loomis smiled at him and a few the thin lines smoothed from her face. “Hello Severus, it has been a while hasn’t it?”
“Something close to twenty years would count as a while yes.” Had it been that much time? That little? That long? “What brings you to Hogwarts?”
“Dumbledore.” She answered softly. “Who else?” She laughed. “No one else would have asked me to teach here. That’s for sure. And most certainly not Defense Against the Dark Arts.”
So she was the new defense against the dark arts professor. That was unexpected. “Of course,” He replied. Trying not to let any of his jealousy creep into his voice.
The two of them just stared awkwardly at one another for a moment, unsure of what to say, where to begin.
She was the first to break the silence “So how’s life?”
“It’s been better.” Severus replied curtly. Then after a pause. “But it’s been worse.” He muttered softly, more to himself then to the woman before him.
Anwen just lowered her eyes and nodded her head understandingly. She gave a rueful little smile. “Know how that goes.”
Severus sat down in one of the other chairs. “Well, I’ve got work to do.” Actually, he just wanted some quiet time to think and, if he was lucky, a chance to read the new book he’d picked up during his brief foray into Hogsmead.
Her chestnut head bobbed, “It’s alright, so do I.” And she gestured to a small pile of papers on the table. “Annoying syllabuses.”
Severus gave a curt nod of understanding and sunk back into his chair then pulled the book from under his arm - Fall of the Roman Empire: A Comparative Analysis of Muggle and Magical Causes. Definitely not the sort of book most people would expect him to read as he had a rather high level of distaste for History. It always been his sister’s forte. Never his. Still he thought perhaps there may be some strange bit of informational value in the tome. If it turned out to be too horrible for him to read Severus supposed he could use it to help himself fall asleep.
The two managed to spend a good hour or so lost in their own thoughts. The only sounds the scratching of Anwen’s quill and the quiet flick of paper as Severus turned the pages of his weighty tome. The peace was interrupted by a soft knock.
“Come in” Anwen called out.
Severus looked up, wondering why one of the staff would bother to knock. His wondering was answered when the door opened a crack and a familiar dark-brunnette head poked in.
“Excuse me, but would you happen to know where Professor Snape is?”
At least the girl had remembered to use his title. Not very many people knew the two of them were related so it would have been awkward if she had asked for her ‘uncle’.
If Anwen was startled by the appearance of a student, let alone one still decked out in muggle clothes, several hours before they were due to arrive she hid it well. She simply smiled. “He’s in here.” She turned “Severus you have a visitor.” She gave him a rather questioning glance as he waved Elaina in. He returned with his own - later.
“Well? What is it?”
“Erm.... Sorry to bother you sir, but I have a question about my homework.” After the arrival of Elaina’s scores she had been sorted into the appropriate classes and given a portion of the summer homework to complete.
“It’s about my potions assignment. You see, look here.” She pulled a piece of paper out of her pocket. He glanced down at the sheet and tried to figure out what was so impossible for her to comprehend about the assignment. It really shouldn’t be that difficult for her if the level of “4th year with excellence” she had earned in the subject on her exams was true. Severus immediately wished he hadn’t. Every inch was covered with miniscule scribble. The question was neatly printed at the top of the page, but that was all he could make heads or tails out of.
“I can see why your lost,” he growled. “Your handwriting is impossible to read.”
“Oh,” She looked momentarily startled. The gave him a rueful little smile. “I forgot that most people don’t understand my shorthand. These are just notes for the essay. Don’t even try and understand them ‘cause quite frankly there’s no way you will. My real question is about this.” She pointed to his own handwriting at the top of the page. "It says that my essay is to be 36 inches. How many pages is that?”
He stared at her. How many pages is that? What was she talking about? It was 36 inches just as her instructions said. “Just what’s written. 36 inches.” He tried not to snap at her, but could tell he’d failed by the way she recoiled.
“Oh alright,” She looked hurt. “So just three and a half, mmmm no, four pages single spaced with one inch margins and single sided?”
Severus wasn’t quite positive what she was babbling about but thought it best to just get rid of her. “That sounds fine.” Besides if it wasn’t fine, he reflected, he could always mark her down for it later.
“Alright” She looked relieved. “I guess that answers my question then. I best go get writing.”
“That would be wise, yes.” Severus gave the girl a quick look over. She really was dressed rather bizarrely -- even for wearing muggle clothing. A black t-shirt bearing the legend “drummer girl” in bold lettering had been paired with a knee length black skirt. Combined with pigtails ending in red ribbons and knee-high red and black striped socks she looked rather peculiar. “And so would be remembering to change into your robes before dinner.”
Elaina didn’t look too pleased but she didn’t complain. “Of course sir.”
She turned to leave. “One more thing. I would like for you to meet me outside the Great Hall fifteen minutes before the feast starts. Is that understood?”
“Yes, sir.” She replied dully.
Not a minute after the door clicked softly shut did Anwen begin. “Well?” She asked.
Severus glared at her. “Well what?”
“Don’t get smart with me Severus, you know what I’m asking.”
“Her name’s Elaina Savoie.”
Her brown eyes widened in surprise. “ I know that name.”
He couldn’t quite keep the bitterness out of his voice. “Yes, you would. Wouldn’t you?”
Something flickered across Anwen's face, but it passed too quickly for Severus to identify.
“So what’ she doing here? Your sister isn’t exactly what I would call stupid.”
How could he break this to her? Anwen Loomis had been more her friend then his. They had been of the same age and had known each other since the start of schooling.
“Sera’s dead Anwen.”
The woman leaned back in her chair. Obviously startled and more then a little bewildered. “W-what?”
“She and Jim,” He spat out the name. “Were killed last July.”
Seeing the look of pain cross her face his voice softened. “I’m sorry.”
She shook her head. “I know you two weren’t close but I’m the one who should be telling you that. Not the other way around.”
He could see the tears gathering in her eyes. “I lost Cosette the first war, now that the Second is upon us it seems I’ve lost Sera again.”
* Squishy Fuzzies to all who leave FEEDACK (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?p=1209139#post1209139). Pretty please!*
September 3rd, 2004, 3:23 am
*Thank you for all of the lovely feedback! (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?p=1279675&posted=1#post1279675) It is much apreciated. :D And here a day earlier then expected...Chapter 9. *
Chapter 9 - A New Year
A quarter to six Severus strode towards the Great Hall. Pleased to see that although Elaina hadn’t lost her pigtails she had at least toned down her attire and was now clothed in wizarding robes. She stood fidgeting by the door as he came up. “Wait here.” He warned her.
She nodded, though from the look on her face it was rather apparent that she really had know idea what he wanted from her.
Quickly he moved from the Entrance Hall and out the front doors scanning the line of horse less coaches that weren’t really horse less. He’d forgotten about the Thestrals. He quashed down the memories that threatened to surface and went back to searching. A blond head followed closely by two brown disembarked from a coach a bit down the line. Severus walked quickly towards the boy, robes billowing in his haste. “Malfoy, Come with me.” He barked.
“But, Professor I...”
“Now.” The boy turned and gave an elegant toss of his head to the two boys standing behind him. They quickly disappeared towards the direction of the Great Hall.
Severus moved hurriedly back to the Entrance Hall, where Elaina was already getting a few curious looks from the incoming students.
“Mister Malfoy, this is Miss Savoie. She is a new student in Slytherin. Miss Savoie, Mister Malfoy. He is one of the House’s Prefects. I trust he will be able to help you settle in.”
He didn’t like the speed at which his niece's eyes were whirling. “Malfoy.” She muttered before pegging the aristocratic boy with a keen glance. “Are you by any chance related to Lucious Malfoy?”
Clearly this is not what young Draco had been expecting. “Yes.” Severus noted the carefully neutral tone in which the boy answered. “Why do you want to know.”
“Just wondering,” She shrugged. “My Mother said she knew a Lucious Malfoy in school that’s all.”
That was interesting. Sera admitted to knowing Lucious Malfoy and yet she neglected to inform her child of so many other more important things. Severus would never be able to fathom how his sister’s mind worked.
“Mr. Malfoy, why don’t you show Miss Savoie to the table.” Severus phrased the question as a statement.
The boy smirked. “Sure thing Professor.” Before turning back to Elaina “Savoie’s an unusual surname. I don’t believe I recognize it.”
Thankfully the girl showed more presence of mind then Severus had thought her to have. She didn’t mention that her father was a muggle. She just shrugged her shoulders. “It’s French-Canadian.” She answered following him across the floor. “My dad was born in Quebec. Or,” she qualified. “At least I think he was. I don’t actually remember what year my grandparents moved to Britain.”
Severus filed the information away for later reference. There was still so much he didn’t know about the girl or her parents, and if there was one thing he disliked, it was not knowing.
September 9th, 2004, 3:43 am
*Yes, a pitifully short update...*
Chapter 10 - Dumbledore’s Request
“Severus, would you please come to my office?”
Severus followed Professor Dumbledore towards his office, wondering what exactly the man wanted to speak to him about. As far as Severus was concerned nothing untoward had happened during the sorting ceremony and start of term feast.
“You are probably wondering why I’ve called you up here.”
“Well, yes. If you don’t mind me saying so.”
Dumbledore smiled benignly. “I have a request to make of you Severus.”
Carefully he weighed the Headmaster’s words, trying to figure out what would be asked of him before it was said. “Yes, Headmaster.”
“I want you to know now that you don’t have to do this, however I would like it if you would at least consider what I have to say.”
Why was he beating ‘round the bush? Why wouldn’t Dumbledore just come out and say what he was thinking?
His blue eyes connected with Severus’ black ones. “Would you be willing to work with Harry on Occlumency again?” Severus opened his mouth to refuse - There was NO way he would work with that arrogant brat again! - but Dumbledore cut him off. “There is no need to answer me now. I don’t want you to make a rash decision. I just want you to think over the matter.”
“And when would you be requesting an answer?” Severus growled. He would be perfectly willing to give his reply now. It would be a definitive negatory.
Albus moved as though to ponder the matter. “By next week I should think. But there is no need to rush yourself.”
“Of course.” He bit back a harsher retort.
Later, back in his own rooms, Severus paced. Why had Dumbledore asked him about Potter? The man clearly knew what his answer would be, or rather he should. Severus had explained about Potter’s impudence the previous spring when Albus had questioned why the lessons had been ended. If the Headmaster was so dead set on having Potter learn the impossible, well not impossible, just extremely unlikely - the boy could get lucky after all- task of shielding his mind and controlling his emotions, he could teach it himself.
Yes, but that wasn’t the way the Headmaster’s mind works. Severus reminded himself. The man seemed to have the mental idea that Severus could get past his dislike of Potter if they were just forced to spend more time together, if would recognize the similarities between their lives. It was so Gryffindor of the man. Unfortunately, Severus couldn’t understand why Albus thought their lives were similar. They weren’t and that was that.
September 22nd, 2004, 3:49 am
*Because this way we can pretend I'm updating and I can now get all of the radomness out...*
Chapter 11 - What will happen? (Or perhaps a better way of putting it. What has happened.)
As you can see by my chapter tittle I really have no clue where this chapter is going. I know that one more chapter is needed before I get to chapter 12 and all of the fun that it contains but I can’t for the life of me figure out how to pass the time and get the information out that needs to be gotten out. Therefore I am going to take a break from my normal narrative style. I feel that perhaps it would be easiest to just simply inform you of what happens between chapters 10 and 12 and then go from there. Hopefully it will make life easier on all. Here is what goes on.
*Snape is coxed (or perhaps cohered?) into teaching Harry Occlumency. He will be teaching Harry once a week on Monday nights whilst Dumbledore will give Harry additional lessons on Wednesdays and Fridays. Not that knowing of those additional lessons is really important but they do happen.
*Harry and Severus have another bad time with one another. Which I Savoie really isn’t that unusual. Severus is now in a foul temper.
*There are several random scenes none of which are really that important they just show normal school stuff going on. Still here are a few random excerpts.
First lesson of the year NEWT Potions. Severus glanced over his role sheet. Potter! How on earth had that dratted boy made it into NEWT level potions, he was abdominal. Wasn’t it enough that Severus had to teach him Occlumency once a week? Apparently not.
I guess this is why school and fan-fiction should not be allowed to mix. It does some seriously weird stuff. My English notes resemble a entertaining story and my story resembles a biology outline. :P At least I didn’t get confused with something like maths. Could you imagine? “Evaluate each expression for a=-1 and b=-2....” Now THAT I’m sure would have you laughing hysterically wondering what drugs I managed to pick up, or falling asleep trying to figure out why I was posting my homework.
Oh bloody hell. Here I am getting majorly off topic again. I really ought to be working on my story. (Well alright, I REALLY ought to be working on my character sketch for “Game of Catch” but honestly that will take 5 minutes and rambling here is vastly more entertaining to me at the moment.
Sadly this is what my though processes somewhat resemble whilst thinking about this story. Well any work currently. I am so glad Mrs. F. didn’t read through our notes on that last assignment. I took notes alright. A whole page worth of ittty-bitty ones even. Normally when
I get loopy my handwriting gets very large but for some reason last night it got very small. And rambling. I had notes, somewhere, buried beneath what could of passed off as an exercise in stream-of-conscience writing. Oh well. At least I got credit for having the assignment done. Speaking of credit, that reminds me, I need to get my project proposal for history in soon so I can begin work on my first project. (Note: the history class I need the credit for in order to graduate was cut. Unfortunately there are still a small group of us who haven’t ever take then class. We now have to design our own “class” that will fulfill the requirements. Ugh. I guess I will be fun once I get to work but the planning is a beast.)
And I’m back again, a few days later and much closer to sanity. Though that may be debatable. At any rate my internet is down for some bizarre reason. It has me really frustrated too because I wanted to get more research done on my crazy ideas concerning the blast in North Korea. I have over a page worth of information but I would like to be able to look at those satellite photos and perhaps compare the location of the nuclear reactor with where the blast actually occurred. *Sigh* I am probably really boring you all aren’t I? I know, I know. Go get to work on you story. Blah, fine. I’ll see what pops into my head that has to deal with what happens in this chapter.
Wheee.... I might as well just post this and get on with the next chapter since I know where 12 is going. Lets just call 11 my unlucky number and allow the story to proceed happily in the forth coming chapter 12. Which should, hopefully, be coming quite soon. Sunday perhaps? (If I’m not to wiped by getting home at 2:30 am after compition that is.)
*Note: I really don't expect any feedback at all on this. If anything it will be loyal readers wondering where my sanity has gone. Still if you decided you are bored enough to comment you may do so HERE (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?p=1342846&posted=1#post1342846)
And just as a reassurance Chapter 12 will be entirely back to normal. Whatever that means.*
October 13th, 2004, 12:14 am
Chapter 12 - Potions Class
Friday of the after the first week of classes. It would surely be a good day. No Potter in this class and Severus might even be able to take a bit of a break from work over the weekend. He would still have those essays from his third year class, but they wouldn’t take him an inordinate amount of time to mark them up.
Everything looked to be a fairly decent sort of day, if one of his could ever be called that.
The dungeon halls rang with voices as Severus’ fourth year potions class hurried down to his room at the appointed hour. The Slytherin students boisterous and cheerful, the Gryffindors sulky and pessimistic.
He held up a hand for silence as they scrambled to find seats. Quiet fell and he scanned the faces before him, pondering what failures and successes this particular class might hold.
“Today you will be given a short exam to test your knowledge of potion strength indicators. I trust you all studied them over the summer.”
Nervous looks flew around the class room, and angry mutters were clearly heard from side of the room where all of the Gryffindor students had clustered.
“First however I will be collecting your summer work.” The stunned look of incomprehension on a few faces made Severus want to sigh. There were always a few who never seemed to remember to even complete the easiest assignments.
Severus flicked his wand and neatly levitated his pupils’ essays from their desks to his own. Another flick of his wand. “The questions are on the board. You have until the end of class to complete the exam.”
He strode back to his desk as the students frantically whipped out quills and parchment. A little quiz was always a good way to remind his pupils of how little they had learned. For the majority they promptly lost all of their accumulated knowledge the minute they left Hogwart’s grounds for the summer holidays. This would give him a base line as to how low their levels of intelligence had stooped this term.
He pulled a stack of essays towards himself. Another glance at the class. Miss Lennox was obviously struggling with the simple questions he had put forth. Her blond head moved nervously around as she stared at the page.
Pick up his favourite quill for marking, the one with deep red ink, and began marking the essays he had just collected.
Creevey, Dennis was the first name on the stack. The young Gryffindor’s rambunctious energy was evident in the swirls of his writing. Quickly Severus read through the introduction. The boy, rather astonishingly Severus privately thought, actually had a fair grasp of the concept of strength indicators, but his spelling left some thing to be desired.
Severus scanned over his class again. Monitoring their progress. It was evident from the speed at which she was writing Miss Arndelle had in fact studied over the holidays, but then from what little Severus knew of her family life studying was probably all the girl had to do to keep herself occupied and out of trouble. He paused for a long moment on another of his Slytherin’s, Mr. Goule, the boy’s brown head was bent deep over his parchment and it was painfully obvious how hard the boy was struggling. If Severus was the kind of man who held great amounts of compassion he might have felt sorry for the boy. As it was, he refrained from showing any emotion. Pity would only destroy the weak. Not aid them.
The Professor pulled another essay off the top of his stack and continued marking. Much as it pained him to admit, at least a few of these Gryffindors showed potential. Not a great amount understandably, but they at least grasped the concept and could, to some degree, perform a basic analysis of the topic.
Another monitoring glance of his students. Severus would be darned if a single one managed to cheat on one of his tests. All were working dutifully.
Back to marking essays. Severus reached for the next parchment only to find a thin packet of sheets. Curious he pulled it towards himself. What student had bothered to turn in this mess? Printed at the top of the page in a neat, rounded script were the words
Potions, 4th year
Essay- Strength Indicators
At least this explained her bizarre question about page length. Why she had bothered to use lined paper when he had bought her parchment over the summer was confounding however. He began to read already deciding that any mistakes in this essay were going to be marked down severely.
If a potion’s pH can be determined it is then possible to find an appropriate neutralizer. While this is not true for some potions this ruling will hold for the majority. Strenght Indicatiors play and important role in indentifying the pH level of a potion and as such offer insights into methods of neutralization. . .
Severus blinked. Her essay was trash. Honestly, he didn’t know why he’d hoped for anything better then trash, perhaps it was just his pride that the students of his house usually had much higher standards in the particular realm of potions then did pupils sorted into the other houses.
October 25th, 2004, 1:40 am
*A Big thanks to all of those who have left me feedback. It is sincerly appreciated.*
Chapter 13 - Tears and Heart Ache (Part 1)
September the twenty-second dawn cool and clear and Severus Snape awoke feeling almost relaxed. At long last a Summoning had finally come from the Dark Lord two days previously. It now appeared that Minerva’s earlier speculation about the arrests of he young Death Eaters were in fact true. Though Severus did have a suspicion that the Dark Lord had not told the full story of what had happened. Not that the wizard ever did. Still having suspicions confirmed or denied had gone a ways towards easing some of his stress. His double nature had yet to be discovered and he could be sure of his safety for at least a little while longer.
Though there was still the knowing problem of gaining information. His main contact with in the Death Eater circle had been Lucious Malfoy, now that had been shipped off to the wizarding prison of Azkaban Severus had the feeling that he was being left out of more of the inner circle plans then he cared to contemplate.
He banished the thoughts of spying and intrigue from his brain and forced himself to begin concentrating on the current day. Today was Monday. That meant he had a double period with the second year Hufflepuff/Ravenclaw class in the morning and his seventh year NEWTs after lunch.
Severus glanced at his clock. Six-thirty, he had half-an-hour to grab breakfast before finishing off the lab preparations his classes required.
The day passed in rapid blur and before he knew it evening had come and Severus was sitting in his office meticulously grading papers. A soft knock on the door. “Come in” He barked his habitual response.
Potter stood in the doorway managing to look both nervous and defiant all at the same time. What was Potter doing here? Monday. Oh Lord he’d forgotten. Occlumency lessons.
“Sit.” He barked again. Severus swept the papers off of his desk. Quickly riffling through another stack to reach the notes he’d prepared for this lesson.
“I trust you’ve been studying.” Severus’ tone indicating that he thought Potter clearly hadn’t.
“Er, uh, yes sir, I have.”
Hmmm... maybe the boy did have more motivation this year after all.
Severus doubted it.
“We shall see.”
With those brief words of warning the Potions Master unfolded himself from his chair and murmured the incantation. “Legilimens”
Nothing at first. Then gradual tension. He could feel the boy’s mental shields. Severus exerted the power of his mind and the barriers began to fall away, yet he could feel Potter viciously fighting trying to prevent his mental walls from crumbling. With one last thrust he broke through. Memories began to play before his eyes.
A boy of about nine scrubbing floors. . . A younger child mocked by laughing students. . . A teenager pulling up a floorboard. . .
Severus broke off the mental contact. Potter was kneeling on the floor of his office.
“You lasted a full minute Potter, perhaps you are improving.”
Green eyes flashed in anger and Potter rose to his feet.
“Again.” Severus barked. “This time focus.”
Another battle for entrance into the boy’s memories. Once again Potter landed on the floor as his control collapsed and visions spun before Severus’ eyes.
“Try again, Potter.” The boy had kept Severus a few seconds longer then the first time.
The attacks continued over and over again Severus worked to breach the boy’s mind and Potter struggled to repel him. Eventually a good three-quarters of an hour passed.
Severus faced the boy, one more attack and then he’d give him a break. He raised his wand, but before he could cast there was a sharp rap on his door.
“Take a seat.” he quickly snarled to Potter. No one could find out what he was training the boy in.
He barked out “Come in.”
The door opened revealing a livid Professor Loomis. “What seems to be the problem Professor?” He asked partly out of curiosity, partly to rib Anwen for disturbing him.
“I believe these are yours.” She snapped out, gesturing behind her to the figures of two Slytherin students.
“That much I can figure out. Yes.” He drawled recognizing Draco Malfoy and, he blinked, his niece? “But why you have brought them to me is another matter.”
“I discovered these two engaging in a duel of sorts in the third floor corridor. “
Severus interrupted. “What do you mean by ‘of sorts?’”
“Mister Malfoy had his wand drawn. Miss Savoie however seemed to feel more comfortable with the muggle style of dueling.”
Well that explained why there was blood dripping from a cut on Malfoy’s cheek, but it didn’t explain the cause.
“I’ll deal with it in a moment.” He turned his attention away from the two miscreants to focus on the Gryffindor who was watching the proceeding with a not entirely disguised interest. “You may go Potter. Do not forget your detention next Monday night. I want you here seven pm. Tardiness is unacceptable.” The boy looked at him in confusion for the barest second then nodded. “Yes, Professor.” He quickly exited the Potion Masters office. Severus gave a quick nod to Anwen and she slipped out behind Potter’s rapidly retreating figure.
“Now,” Severus drawled. Fixing the two Slytherins with a piecing stare. “Either of you care to explain why two students such as your selves would be bickering in such an unbecoming manner?”
Malfoy had the gall to look sheepish and affronted. “Mister Malfoy. I especially would enjoy your explanation. What would cause a prefect to indulge in such rule breaking with a member of his own House?”
“She’s not one of us.” The boy spat out.
So that was it. Not one of them. He knew integrating his niece into the swirling complexities of Slytherin House would be difficult at best. He should be grateful that the problems had waited this long to occur.
“Really? Mister Malfoy.” He raised a black eyebrow. “Why would that be?”
“No one knows who Savoie is.”
“Exactly Mister Malfoy. You do not know who she is. Therefore you can not presume that she has no place in this House.”
The boy’s mouth snapped shut. It was obvious the arrogant brat had never bother to look at it under that light.
“Savoie,” He fixed his attention upon the girl. “Anything you would like to add.”
Her eyes flashed angrily in the direction of Malfoy’s blond head. “Nothing polite sir.” She whispered, shaking her head.
“Very well then, Miss Savoie please wait in the hall while I have a word with Mister Malfoy.”
“Yes Professor.” His niece turned and moved to the open the door. “Oh and Draco,” She paused. “If your really so curious about my family I suggest you use the library. Some of the old year books may come in handy.”
“You father’s not in them though.” Draco scowled pointedly.
His niece smiled, though it didn’t quite catch in her eyes. “No he wouldn’t be. My Mother, on the other hand, most certainly appears.”
Typical Slytherin. Severus thought with out some bitterness. It always came back to blood. Back to the intricate politics that formed the frame work of Pureblooded society.
Severus could not decide to be pleased over the way his niece had told off Malfoy or worried over how deep of water she was jumping into. The Malfoy’s were not a family that stood to be crossed. Not even the incarceration of Lucious Malfoy could prevent their power from falling completely.
“So Malfoy,” Severus played up the charm slightly while still allowing his displeasure across. “Any questions you would care to ask before your punishment is decided?”
“Who is she?” Normally Severus would have docked a student for forgetting his tittle but he always allowed Malfoy to take a few liberties now and then. It was more important to strengthen his position with Lucius Malfoy and his ilk then it was to always address the proprieties.
“Why does it matter so much?”
“No one knows who she is.” Malfoy growled.
“I do.” Severus said simply. “And that really is all that matters.”
“But what of her family?” The boy protested. “No one knows anything about any Savoie family.”
“Simple. Her father was educated elsewhere.”
It was a true enough statement.
“Though I can assure you her mother came from good enough family.”
Severus had to resist the urge to allow a twisted grin to form. If you could call his family that. Never mind that fact his sister had been disowned and had no claim to the family name. But Draco had no way of knowing that. According to the majority of records Seraphina Snape never existed. Of course, a nagging thought broke in. the Hogwart’s year books would be one of the few places that Aleksander Snape would not have had the power to purge his daughter’s name. And his niece had just told Malfoy to go look through the year books. Brilliant. His inner voice commented. Just brilliant
“Over all it doesn’t matter that you know who she is.” He paused. “I do an I can assure you that she will not cause problems.”
But was he really sure of that? No.
Severus pressed on. “There is still however the matter of your rule breaking. Dueling in the corridors is not allowed.”
“Yes, sir.” The boy sulked.
“I expect you here for detention this Friday night. Six o’clock. Do not be late.” He summarily dismissed Malfoy. “I suggest you have Madam Pomfrey and look at that cut. Tell Miss Savoie to come in on your way out.”
*Well that was the first half. Part two should be up with in a week or so. Feel free to leave Comments (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?p=1421737#post1421737) of any sort.*
November 2nd, 2004, 4:17 am
*Part two is here, and, since this chapter has decided to grow significantly, part 3 will becoming later this week or beginning of next. It all depends on how much writing time I manage to squeez in.*
Tears and Heartache (Part 2)
A few seconds later his niece arrived in front of his desk looking at him with slight trepidation.
“Sit.” He growled. She sat.
He gazed at her, letting the seriousness of her offense sink in as well as give himself time to think. Malfoy had actually been easier to punish. He knew the rules with that boy, but as yet he had not given much consideration to Elaina.
“Miss Savoie, Mister Malfoy was kind enough to supply me with limited details as to your conflict. Is there anything you wish to add in your own defense?”
No? Well that was unexpected. Severus could not remember a time when a student did not presume to at least give a halfhearted attempt to rid themselves of discipline.
“Alright. Your detention will be held tomorrow night at seven pm. in my classroom. Understood?”
“Of course sir.”
Severus looked at the girl closely. His niece did not appear to be the least bit perturbed over receiving a detention, if anything she looked relieved.
Finally he let out the question that had been bothering him since Anwen had explained the situation. “What possessed you to go after Malfoy in muggle fashion?”
His niece shrugged. “He drew his wand. He expected me to do the same so I just retaliated in an unexpected manner. Magically there is no way that I could beat him in a fight. But I figured that throwing a book at his head would keep him off balance long enough for me to run.” She looked down. “Or it would have if Professor Loomis hadn’t walked in.”
Severus was privately impressed with her explanation. The girl recognized her inferiority in the realm of magic and was willing to work around it. Even if her methods were more then a bit unorthodox.
“Secondly,” he asked. “Why did you tell young Draco to go look through the year books? Did you pause to consider what he might find?”
The corners of her mouth twitched but his niece did not smile. “Yes, actually.”
When no further response was forth coming he prompted her. “Really? I rather doubt that. Consider the amount of trouble that could happen if, and when he discovers the name ‘Seraphina Snape’.”
She gave him a disgusted look. “Honestly. I did. Notice I gave him no indication as to what year of book or what house to look under. Draco isn’t the brightest bulb out there. He has several hundred photos of teenaged girls to look through. Any one could bemy mother and truthfully he is going to have a hard time figuring it out from those photos. As far as I can tell I do not look like her at all at the same age. And as for the name ‘Seraphina Snape’, I still don’t see any problem. I mean just because she’s in the year book doesn’t mean I have to be related to her.”
Severus disregarded her “brightest bulb” comment. Some muggle nonsense he presumed as he rather doubted she was referring to Malfoy and tulips in the same sentence. “How can you not see a problem, Miss Savoie?”
Anger flared in blue eyes. “What have you got against any one finding out you have a sister any way? I honestly fail to see why that should cause any problems for you. I’ve kept quiet through all of the badgering about my family history. I can understand that you wish to keep out relationship out of common knowledge. I respect that. But why do you refuse to even talk about anything of your family? You condemned my parents for never mentioning word of you. Ever . When you treat them the exact same. You never say so much as a word. It is like they never existed in your mind. Why do you hate them? Why do you have to erase their names from history? WHY? WHY? WHY?” She was nearly shouting.
“ENOUGH.” Severus roared.
Elaina’s mouth snapped shut as Severus towered above her. “You know nothing of the circumstances. Nothing at all.”
“Exactly!” She bellowed back, her lost voice regained. “I know nothing. Nothing at all. Yet whenever I even conceive to ask you a question you refuse to answer. How can you condemn me for not knowing that which you refuse to provide?”
With that his niece swung around and stormed out of his office with out so much as a backward glance.
November 28th, 2004, 8:44 pm
Tears and Heartache (Part 3)
Severus stormed out of his office. He needed to get out. Needed to let off the rage before he returned to human company.
The blasted child. She was playing with fire and had no idea that it could burn her. Could not she realize that maybe it was safer for her not to know? The child thought there would be no trouble with anyone finding out about his sister. Oh yes no trouble at all. Well other then jeopardizing his already precarious position with in the Death Eater circle and the Dark Lord’s sphere of influence. If Seraphina’s name was found questions would be asked. And the answers would invariably lead to the story of the young woman who dared defy the will of the Dark Lord and then had the gall to live after her crimes were said and done. Not much longer to connect his name with hers. Her reputation had tainted his own when he entered the Death Eaters as a young man fresh out of school. Severus had been forced to work three times as hard as any of the other recruits to gain the respect of the Inner Circle. He could not allow his hard earned trust to be destroyed by his sister’s memory. During school he had forced himself to rise above her level a vain attempt to prove his father what Severus had known all along. Aleksander Snape’s Golden Child was nothing more then Pyrite. While he, Severus, the younger child, the forgotten son had the power to be as sharp as an obsidian dagger and twice as strong.
Severus snorted. He supposed it had been natural to yearn for a little of his parents attention.
Oh true before his official schooling had started there had been the lessons. Lessons in the Dark Arts, in subtlety and intrigue. But that had never brought him the attention he had wanted, they were just teachings after all. Those early teachings had set him apart from his peers. Even among the pureblooded families a youngster could know too much. Just as he had. His knowledge had distanced him from the day he walked through Hogwart’s doors. His house mates had distrusted him. The scrawny little boy who had known more then many seventh years. But Sera... Sera had tried to protect him them. Not overtly, that would be to damaging to her own reputation. But she had been there. Never explicitly standing up for him but exerting her own Subtle Pressure upon those who crossed the line. If anything his sister had been possessive. No one was allowed to damage her younger brother except her. Unless of course, Severus reflected, she gave permission. Which she had in fact done on e more then one occasion.
Before he knew it Severus found his feet mounting the twisting staircase that lead towards the top of the Astronomy Tower. The the only good thing about this Monday was there would be no class practical going on. It would be the perfect deserted place for him to think.
The slight breeze against his skin helped to dissipate some of Severus’ anger. A waxing moon hung low on the horizon, just beginning it’s climb into the night. Severus looked away. For others the sight of a fall moon was no doubt calming. For him it served as a reminder that he would need to finish the batch of Wolfsbane Potion by the end of the week so Dumbledore could send it off the the Order’s resident werewolf.
He sighed. Life was never easy. Severus accepted that. He almost reveled in it. Ease brought sloth and he could not tolerate weakness. Still he occasionally wished it would just let up for a moment. Allow him drop his carefully constructed mask and be human for an hour or two. He did not think he could handle much more time then that. And, if he had to be honest with himself, Severus did not mind his mask so much. It was after all still an extension of himself, the rage he allowed to project from himself was just an exaggeration of the frustrations and grievances he held with the world.
He paced along the ramparts for a few steps. The movements relaxing the tension from his body. His life had never been simple. Never. Even as a child he had been aware of the tangled complexities that hid beneath the surface facade of a wizard’s life. Now his sister was dead. Up until that summer he had barely spared her a thought in over fifteen years. Now he was stuck with her daughter. A complication to his already complicated life. He leaned against the wall and ran a hand through his hair. What had possesed her?
He was no longer certain whether his tried brain was referring to his sister’s idiocracy of leaving him her child or her child’s idiocracy in refusing to listen to reason. It didn’t really matter any more. He could not find the reason for either. After a time he gave up even trying, long experience had taught him the reasoning through the inner workings of the fairer sex's mind was a time wasting puzzle that would never be solved. He stared at the stars instead, allowing his mind to drift slowly.
The cold was beginning to work its way through Severus robes. He wasn’t sure just how long he had spent gazing into nothingness. He felt much calmer though. He shook his hair away from his face and turned to walk back down to his quarters. In the process he tripped.
What on earth? Severus bent down and retrieved the offending object. A single shoe, most likely belonging to a female, and a young one judging by the small size of the shoe.
Some student was either out, or had been incredibly careless upon leaving the tower. Who ever they were Severus decided that they would be losing major house points. There was no excuse for such carelessness.
Severus felt the hair on the back of his neck stand up slightly. Some one was approaching him. Though not in range yet, his instincts were too acute for that. Carefully he replaced the shoe and slipped back against the tower wall pulling his robes over his hands and raising one arm to mask the white of his face he slipped into the shadows; where he stood awaiting the errant pupil.
A moment passed before he heard the barest of footfalls and a slight sniffling. A figure moved near to his hiding spot, indistinct in the low light. This figure knelt down and picked up the shoe he had so recently dropped and slid it on to one foot before rummaging around for its pair.
Severus started to move forward but then held back as the girl spoke. “Joyeux Anniversere Maman.”
January 21st, 2005, 12:26 am
*AN: My apologise! This was actually finished a few weeks ago but I had forgotten about it. RL has been rather crazy of late and I am not sure when it will get back to normal. Expect updates to be sporadic at best. I have finished outline up through spring break but I do not know when I will have the time to type it out.*
Chapter 14 - Detention
The knock came at exactly one minute to seven o’clock. “Come in.” Severus barked with out bothering to look up from his marking. He finished off his sentence before facing his niece. “For your detnetion you will be scrubbing cauldrons. With out magic.”He added. “Leave your wand on the desk and get started. Cauldrons are on the back counter. Cleaning supplies are in the sink.”
The girl nodded mutely, dropped her wand on the desk and walking silently towards the back of the room.
Severus returned to his marking of essays listening to the steady sound of cauldrons being scrubbed.
From time to time Severus glanced up to ensure his neice was still doing her work. It was actually rather surprising how well this detention was prgressing. No firewroks, hysteria, muttered complaints about his attitude, or slacking off were to be found from her direction and in turn he was able to rapidly progress thourgh his marking with out worry.
At seven fourty-five his niece announced that she had completed her scrubbing. Severus was astounded. With the number of cauldrons he’d left out it should have taken her close to two hours, and hour and a half was the quickest he’d had a student complete the task. He checked to ensure her wand was still on the desk. It was. A thin length of whirled, dark-brown wood.
“Would you like me to dry them and put them away as well sir?”
He crossed the room and examined her work. All of the cauldrons were cleaned to at least satifactory levels. His niece remained staring at him.
“Finish cleaning up the supplies, put away the cauldrons and get out.”
Rather then scranmbling to put away the supplies as most students would have done, Miss Savoie took her time, carefully deposting the scrubbrush and sponge next to the sink and gentley placing the cauldrons back upon their shelves.
Severus handed back her wand and sat down behind his desk once more, listening to the sound of her footsteps as she retreated from the room. There was the slitest hesitation in her steps just before he heard the door open softly and then click behind her back.