Snape felt the unpleasant sensation of Apparition and everything got dark. The only thing he felt was Sarah’s arm and he held it tight. Sarah and Snape Apparated into a small living room. That had to be Sarah’s apartment. Snape looked around. There was a couch, furniture, paintings and a TV. Everything was clean and in place.
Snape hesitated a bit and then asked, “Why did you bring me with you?”
“Don’t say that you’re angry,” Sarah said in a low voice.
“I’m not angry, I’m just wondering…”
“Stop playing a fool! You know very well that we need to talk. Place won’t make any difference.”
To be true, it made difference. Snape did not feel comfortable in her apartment. It had an aura of love and Snape usually tried to stay away from it. At the same time he knew, that they could not stay at Spinner’s End.
“Do you really understand that no one can know about us?” he said.
“Calm down. I have no one to tell.”
“You have to understand that I’m playing very dangerous games. If the Dark Lord suspects something, you’ll be his target to make me talk.”
“I understand everything. I have watched enough movies about spies to know, how hard it is and how dangerous it is for their family.”
“Why do you watch TV?” Snape was amused.
“I have to do something to occupy myself with. I find TV very handy. I can’t understand why wizards don’t use it.”
“I loved TV when I was a child, too.” Snape admitted unwillingly.
“You had a TV? Voldemort’s followers can’t be Muggle-born!” she was completely confused.
“I’m a halfblood.”
“So this is your apartment. Where are we?” Snape quickly changed the subject.
“We are in the centre of London. Only Muggles live here, so no one will recognise you, if that’s what worries you.”
“That’s good for your own safety.”
Snape knew that Sarah wants to ask him something, but she can’t make up her mind about that.
“By the way, we haven’t introduced ourselves properly. Do you know that we have the same initials? I’m Sarah Smith.” Snape knew that it was not what she wanted to ask. She just had to say something to break silence.
“Sarah, how old are you?” Snape wanted to know that very much. He knew that she’s much younger.
“Twenty nine. I’m not a child anymore, don’t worry.”
“You are eight years younger than I am!”
“You’re not old. Everything is all right. Younger men are fools.” Snape still did not feel right.
Eventually she asked, “Severus, why did you say that I can’t be with you because you will ruin my life?”
“Sarah… How can you not understand? I’m much older than you are,”
“I don’t see a problem there,” Sarah interrupted him.
“I’m bad looking,” Snape continued.
“You’re looking good enough for me.”
“I have a dreadful character, I’m cold,”
“You’re not cold to me now.” Sarah smiled with a most warming look, he had ever seen. “There’s something more. I can never know that, but I feel that you’re the one for me. What makes you hesitate? Why are you not sure about me?”
“I’ll say the truth. You won’t like it,” Snape hesitated and said, “I don’t know whether it is you, who I like, or it is Lily, who I see in you. I’m scared that I won’t be able to learn to love again.” Snape looked down. He could not look into her eyes.
“Lily is dead. You can’t live only for her.”
“I know, I can try to get over her, but I can’t get out of danger. I have to please Dumbledore and Voldemort. I risk my life every day!”
“Tell me, what made you become a spy for Dumbledore?”
“Lily. I was a Death Eater. I believed the Dark Lord. I thought that I will have power. Once I overhear a prophecy. It was about a boy, who will vanish the Dark Lord. I told him about it. I did not know that hat boy was Harry Potter, Lily’s son. When I found out that Lily was in danger, I went to Dumbledore. I said I would do anything, if he protects her. It was all useless. She is dead, but I have to fulfil Dumbledore’s orders all my life.”
“Why could not Dumbledore protect her?”
“He did what he could. She was betrayed by a Death Eater, who lives in my house, now, and I can’t even kill him!”
“Sirius Black was in your house?” Her eyes were wide with fear.
“No, Peter Pettigrew was their secret keeper, not Black. He was hiding all these years, pretending that he was dead. He took his animagus form. It is a rat, and he isn’t anything more than a rat. He is the biggest coward I’ve ever met. And talking about him - I have to get back to my house. He will be very pleased to inform the Dark Lord that I have disappeared somewhere. There’s no need for him to know that I was gone.”
“Stay,” Sarah said leaned closer to Severus, kissing him on the lips. Snape was taken aback by her sudden move. He knew it would be right to push her away, but he knew there was no use. He had tried to reason, but she did not care. Severus returned the kiss. He felt her soft mouth opening and letting him in. Sarah put her arms around his neck and they deepened their kiss. He pulled her closer and she did not resist. Being with her felt so right that Snape could not believe it. It was so nice to hold her, to feel her heart beat, to know that she relied on him. She definitely needed a man by her side.
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