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Long Before The Order: The Life of Severus Snape by Amandah Leigh

Format: Novella
Chapters: 12
Word Count: 15,156
Status: Abandoned

Rating: 15+
Warnings: No Warnings

Genres: General
Characters: Draco, Harry, Dumbledore, James, Lily, OC, Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, Snape, Voldemort, Narcissa, Tonks, Lucius
Pairings:

First Published: 10/03/2004
Last Chapter: 10/10/2004
Last Updated: 10/10/2004

Summary:
Ever wonder about Snape's life pre-Hogwarts? Want more info re: his life once he's part of the order? How did he become a death eater? This fic just gives you another shot of Snape's life in each chapter...


Chapter 1: Meet The Snape Family
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***~~~***
"Double, d-double, t-t-toil and tr-trouble...fire bur-burn and cauldron, bubble..."

"Well done Sarraiah! You'll be reading like an old pro in no time, my girl!" Stalinus Snape complimented his young daughter. Though he was not smiling, she could tell he was pleased with her.

"I've been practicing, Father!" The little girl exclaimed, grinning.

"That is clear, child." Stalinus picked up a large, tattered book and showed it to his little girl. "Can you read these words, Sarraiah?"

"The Stan-Standard Book of Spel-Spells, Grade One." The six year old beamed up at her father. "The Standard Book of Spells, Grade One!"

"This is what we're starting on today, Sarraiah. I will be teaching you a few simple spells—"

"Stalinus!" An attractive young woman, approximately eight months pregnant, entered the room, a pale blond boy in her arms. "Our daughter is far to young to learn any of those spells!"

"Ebony, if I wanted your opinion, I would have asked for it," Stalinus informed her coldly.

"I can do it Mummy!" The little girl insisted, hands on hips.

"She should be outside, playing, Stalinus. Riding her broom or de-gnoming the gardens," Ebony argued as she set down the squirming boy.

"I ride broom Auntie!" He burst out.

"Not now, Lucius."

"Sarraiah needs to practice if she is going to be as clever a witch as her mother, Ebony. And with any luck, she'll be even better. She needs to get an early start. Malfoy's already teaching simple spells to Lucius, and he's barely two years old!"

"I two! I ride broom! I de-gnome! Auntie?" The little boy, though somewhat whiny, was actually rather cute with his nearly white-blond bowl cut hair and large green-gray eyes. He was quite the contrast to the Snape's little Sarraiah, with her shoulder-length jet black curls, deep brown eyes and skin more pale than any of the Malfoys.

"I said not now, Lucius!" sighed Ebony, exasperated.

"Ebony, take the boy outside, will you?" Demanded Stalinus. "Before he explodes." Lucius was still dancing around, full of excitement. "Me go fly-ing, me goin' fly-ing," he sang merrily.

"That boy is far too chipper to be a Malfoy," Stalinus observed, staring at the boy with a look of extreme dislike. "What do you reckon Dése's been having a fling—"

"Nonsense, Stalinus! Dése would never defy her husband like that! And besides, Lucius looks just like his father."

"Perhaps. But he acts nothing like Folter. I tell you, Ebony, there is something wrong with that boy."

Meanwhile, the little Malfoy was still singing to himself in the singsong voice.

"Lucius go out-si-ide, Lucius fly a broo-oom, Lucius play with gn-omes..."

"We're staying in, Lucius," Ebony told him.

"Ebony," Stalinus raised his voice. "You take that boy outside before I throw you both in the yard! I am sick of being argued against all the time! Just continue, Ebony, just keep it up and I'll show you why it is the man is meant to be in charge," he took a breath and again addressed their child. "Sarraiah, let's turn to page eleven."

Feeling she was finally beaten (and, coincidentally, feeling that she would rather not be beaten) Ebony conceded.

"Alright, Stalinus. Come, Lucius. Let's go out in the yard." She snapped her fingers twice, and a house elf appeared to her left.

"Go and fetch Sarraiah's old broom for Lucius. Meet us outside in a moment. Go."

"Yes Mrs. Snape, ma'am."

The house elf scurried off and Ebony put on Lucius' jacket. With a wave of her wand, the coat buttoned, snapped and zipped itself. Lucius continued to hum his little tune.

"Lucius go hmm-hmm-hmm," he sang out. "Hmm-hmm-hmm-hmm Hmm-si-ide..."

"Come on, you," she ordered, and they exited through the rear doors.
***~~~***
About a half hour later, Ebony was tired and ready to go back in the house. Lucius, on the other hand, was still a bundle of energy.

"If my son is as active as that boy, I don't know what I'll do," she said aloud, patting her huge tummy.

"I flyin' I flyin'!" Lucius called as he swooped by her on the broom for about the hundredth time.

"Yes, I know," said Ebony, rolling her eyes. "Haar Wirbelnd," she whispered, pointing her wand at her head. On command, her hair twisted itself into a tight bun, fastened at the nape of her neck by a shimmery silver cord. It was a spell her grandmother had taught her when she was just a little girl, and it came in handy rather often. The memory of her grandmother made her smile. How long had it been since her death? Twelve years? Twelve long years since she lost the woman who raised her.

"Oh, Großmutter Mitleidsvoll. How I wish I could talk to you now," she whispered in German.

"My husband is...changing, and my daughter is growing to disobey me a bit more each day I think, thanks to her father and the way he treats me, no, undermines me, in front of her. I worry that this baby will be the same. What will my son be like, Großmutter? I wish you were here. I wish you could hear me."

A burst of crying broke Ebony of her little daydream. She tore her eyes away from the clouds above and to the ground, where Lucius was lying next to the broom.

"I fall off!" He explained. "I fall off broom! Bad broom! Mean--Mean old broom!"

"Oh, come here, baby," She whispered soothingly, picking him up and cradling him.

"Put him down," she heard a deep voice command from the doorway. Folter.

"He—He fell off his broom. He's crying," Ebony explained. She wasn't sure why she felt so frightened. It was just Folter, her old friend. Her husband's old friend. But it was the way he was looking at her. She didn't like it.

"Lucius. Toughen up. I will not have my son raised to be weak. Stand up boy. Up!"

When Lucius failed to do as his father ordered, Folter pulled out his wand and muttered something Ebony could not hear. Lucius' legs went straight and ridged. He stood up.

"And quit crying, boy, or I'll give you something to cry about!" He raised his wand again.

"Folter, please!" Dése pleaded, pulling her husbands robes. Ebony could see her husband standing behind his friend. She was surprised to see the slight smile on his lips. Sarraiah must still be in the house, she realized with relief. What was Folter going to do to the child?

"Crucio!" He said, pointing his wand at the toddler.

"No!" Cried Ebony. She moved forward to block the curse, which hit her full force. She passed out. Everything went black.
***~~~***
"Mrs. Snape? Mrs. Snape, can you hear me?" Ebony awoke to see two men, strangers, standing over her. She immediately attempted to sit up.

"No, please Mrs. Snape. It's all right. You're at St. Mungo's. You're going to be fine."

"Oh. Oh..." She tried to control her breathing, but her heart was beating so fast... Instinctively, she laid a hand on her stomach...

"My baby! Where's my baby?" She panicked, realizing that she was considerably thinner than she had been that afternoon.

"It's okay, Mrs. Snape. You went into premature labor. Your husband brought you in. He's in the nursery with the baby right now," one of the healers, the shorter, stockier man to her right, assured her.

"You had a boy," added the thin one with the mustache, "And he's doing just fine. But he needs a name. Shall I send in your husband and children?"

"Wha—Uh, yes. Send them in. Please." Ebony was rather confused. Premature labor? St. Mungo's? What about little Lucius?

The healers exited, and a few moments later, Sarraiah and Stalinus entered. In his arms he held a very tiny bundle. Without a word, he handed her the baby. (She was pleased to see that Stalinus wore one of his rare smiles).

"Oh! Just look at him..." Ebony felt tears welling up in her oak-brown eyes. "Stalinus...Lucius, is he...?"

"He's fine," her husband assured her. "A tad shaken, but very excited about the baby. He and Dése are in the waiting room. It was a very stupid thing you did, Ebony."

"Folter, is he...is he here?"

"He returned to work at the Ministry. He will visit tomorrow. He is not angry with you. I explained that pregnancy makes women over-emotional. He understood." Stalinus glared at his wife, who shifted her gaze to the face of her newborn son.

"Alright then..." She sais with a sigh. Just then the baby squirmed. For a moment she thought he was going to awaken, but alas he remained asleep.

"Awww," cooed big sister Sarraiah.

The baby was much tinier than Sarraiah had been. The elder Snape child had been eight pounds, three ounces; Ebony would venture to guess that the new baby only weighed about six. He was so teeny-tiny! He was pale, as were all the Snapes, but his cheeks still had that red, raw, rosy, "I was just born!" look to them. His eyes were closed in sleep, but she figured they were probably deep brown like his sister's. He had a little tuft of jet-black hair that stood straight up, and the smallest fingers.

"He's perfect," she whispered, smiling at her husband and daughter.

"He's our son," replied Stalinus, losing the harsh, cold look he had donned only moments before. "We should name him. After my father, perhaps?"

"After his father, I'd think."

"Nonsense, Ebony. I've always hated my name," said Stalinus. "and I am not vain nor shallow enough to believe that my son should be cursed with a horrible name simply because it is mine."

"So we will name him after your father." She thought a moment. "Perhaps his middle name could be that of my grandfather...?"

"Severus Geheimnis Snape," said Stalinus proudly.

Ebony smiled. "I like it."


***~~~***
A/N:
A few minor details: Saraiah, his sister, is pronounced Suh-rye-uh. Folter, Lucius Malfoy's father, comes from De Foltering, Dutch for torture, and Lucius' mother's name is Dése, from the French Désespoir, meaning despair. She's in despair because Malfoy tortures her, get it? Stalinus you can probably figure out on your own...Mitleidsvoll, Ebony's grandmother, is German for compassionate (and it's a pretty looking word) and her grandfather's name is Geheimnis, meaning mystery. So they're not real names. But that's okay...Right?



Chapter 2: A Pinkish Purple Potion
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***~~~***
"Wingardium Leviosa! Win-gardium Levi-osa! Win-gar-di-um Lev-i-o-sa!" Saraiah Snape waved her wand impatiently. She was trying to make her brother's book levitate, but Child's First Potions seemed to be stubborn. No matter how many times she uttered the spell, it still would not rise!

"I thought you couldn't do spells outside school anymore! I thought that was the new rule at Hogwarts!" Saraiah heard a young male voice say. She looked up to see her nine year old cousin, Lucius, watching her. The Malfoy's weren't her relatives, really, but their fathers grew up together, as did their grandfathers, and their grandfathers, and so on, thus Sarraiah had called Lucius' parents Uncle Folter and Aunt Dése all of her life.

"Lucius! Where did you go! Look what I made!" Severus ran into the dining room where his sister and cousin were standing, but being he was looking up at them, the seven year old did not notice the book on the floor. He tripped over it and the vile in his hand went flying.

"Auughhh!!!" screamed Sarraiah when the pinkish-purple potion made contact with her pale face and shoulder length ravenesque hair.

"It burns! It burns! Make it stop! Mummy! Father!" She fell to the ground and rolled around, covering her face with her hands.

"No, Saraiah! Shut it! He's home, stupid! He's—"

The back door flew open. Their father stood in the doorway. He appeared even more ominous than usual, as the lightning outside flashed just as he stepped into the room, like a scene in a old horror movie. He was soaking wet from the downpour outside and looking quite menacing in his black and navy wizard's robes.

"What is going on in here?" He demanded to know in an eerily calm voice.

The children were silent.

Stalinus cleared his throat. "I said, what is going on in here? Saraiah? Lucius? Severus?"

No one moved.

"I will ask but once more," he informed them coldly. "And this time, I expect an answer, or all three of you will—"

"It was an accident, sir!" Severus replied, trying to remain calm. "Saraiah was doing her magic and I came in and I tripped over that book—" He glaced down. "Hey! That's where my potions book went!"

"Continue, Severus." Demanded Stalinus.

"Yes, Father. I tripped, and my potion went all over Saraiah, but it's just a cooling potion to aid burn victims, it shouldn't have hurt her, sir. It certainly should not burn! You see, I had the idea when Mum burned herself on the cauldron just before supper last weekend, and recall how she--"

"Severus," said Stalinus warningly.

"Yes sir, well, II was just trying to find a way to make it work faster, to make burn aids works faster, because they take so long...I was reading, nearly four hours to cure a third degree burn from a dragon, and I thought maybe I could..."

"Maybe you could better a potion that has been used by healers for centuries. Maybe you, a second grade student at a muggle private school in London could make a better one?" The way he said "muggle," he spit it out as if it were a foul, dirty word, which, to him, a pureblood wizard, it rather was.

Severus quirmed under his father's gaze. "I just thought I might--"

Stalinus cut him off. "Improve it?"

"Sir?" said Saraiah, who was still sitting on the floor, glanced up at her brother. "He was trying to help, sir." She caught Lucius' eye and they exchanged a Look. Her father almost sounded...amused. Maybe they wouldn't be in trouble after all! Still, Saraiah wished she hadn't overreacted in such a way. It had only tingled after all, it did not burn. 'Why am I always so overdramatic?' she thought angrily.

"What have I told you children time and again? From three o'clock to five o'clock, you study. I said that Lucius could spend afternoons here, provided he follow the schedule as well. Tell me, Lucius, do they teach potions at that private school your father and I spend fortunes to send you two to?"

Lucius sighed. They would be in trouble after all. "No, sir."

"What is it they teach, Lucius?"

"Writing, arithmatic, geography, science...But sir, that school is full of muggles, like you said!"

"That, Lucius, is why tutors visit this house at five o'clock every night to teach you for an hour before dinner, and why you spend Saturday's in class."

"Yes, sir."

"Severus, have you finished your muggle homework?"

Severus paused a moment before answering. If he said no, which was the truth, his father would hit him for sure. But if he said yes...

"Yes, sir."

"Liar!" His father's hand connected full force withthe small boy's face. The power of the blow nearly knocked the child over, but he did all he could to remain standing. His father hated weakness, and Severus certainly wasn't going to appear weak at all, not if he could help it.

"I will ask you again, boy."

"It is finished, father." 'He sees right through me,' thought Severus. 'How?'

"You lie to me, stupid boy? You dare to lie to your father? You insufferable, rotten, no-good...Sarraiah, you and Lucius get out of here. I need a word with my son.

Severus did not see the tutor that evening. He was ordered to skip dinner and remain in his room, which suited him fine, as it was the only place he felt he wanted to be. His cheek throbbed where his father had slapped him, and his lip was swollen from the second hit. His eyes were red and puffy from crying; when his father backhanded him across the other side of his face, he thought he would explode. That was when his mother burst in. Ebony pulled her husband away from her young son and pushed him against the wall.

"Don't you touch him!" She screamed, pinning him back. "Leave him be! He's just a little boy!"

His father freed his right hand and brought in up, back...It came down hard across Ebony's face. Severus could not hold back his tears any longer.

"Mummy! Mummy, no!" Severus cried. He watched, eyes wide and full of fear, as his father twisted his mother's arm behind her back.

"Do. Not. Order. Me. Around. Understand?" Ebony winced in pain. His gripped tightened. "Understand?"

"I understand."

"Severus," said his father, hatred in his eyes and his voice, "Go to your room and stay there the night. No dinner. Go!"

Though he wished more than anything that he could help his Mum, protect her, he knew his place. He went to his room.

That was hours ago, and there lay seven-year-old severus, staring at the ceilling, no dinner in his belly.

Saraiah had snuck up to see him for a few minutes. She assured him that their mother was going to be fine, and their father had calmed down.

"Lucius went home, and Aunt Dése stayed with Mum for awhile. Uncle Folter was here too...He's a bit creepy, that one is. And I'd better get back downstairs. The tutor is here, and she'll be wondering why I'm taking so long in the loo."
Severus was upset and angry, angry at his Father, his Mum, Saraiah, and mostly, at himself.

"Not only did I get my face beat in, I got Mummy in trouble," He muttered out loud. "And worst off," he continued, "My potion is ruined. All my work, all for that stupid pinkish-purple healing potion, a potion that's supposed to help people. Lot of help it did me! It's not fair. Life's not bloody fair."

The hours wore on, and night settled in around the Snape home. Severus noted that there were no stars tonight. Even the weather seemed upset; angry.

Two hours later, the clock in the hall struck midnight. It was still pitch dark outside, and the wind was howling. The occasional flash of lightning preceeded the sporadic clap of thunder.

Severus was nearly asleep when he heard the door to his room open. "Saraiah?" He whispered softly.

"It's Mummy, love. Are you alright?"

In the dark he couldn't see just how bruised his mother's face was, but when he sat up in bed and hugged her tight he could feel her wince from the pain.

"Sorry, Mummy. I'm sorry."

It's not your fault, love. Go back to sleep, mein tapferer kleiner Junge. Schläft ein."

"Good night, Mummy." Severus was nearly asleep already.

"Süße Träume."

"What's 'Süße Träume,' Mum?" The little boy murmered, eyes closed peacefully.

Ebony smiled down at her little boy.

"Sweet dreams."


***~~~***
A/N: A slighly shorter chapter. It's all PG so far, but I'm working on it. Please review! btw, mein tapferer kleiner junge is "My brave little boy."


Chapter 3: Muggle Relations
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It was an awfully hot day, hotter than April days are supposed to be. But the sky was blue and every so often a cool breeze blew, rustling the leaves that were just coming back to the trees that had stood bare for too many winter months. It was two days before Easter, and the Snape children were headed to Hogsmeade, just for fun. Severus was, as usual, very excited about the trip, because hanging around with Lucius and Sarraiah and no parents made the boy feel very grown up. Sometimes she even let them eat lunch at their own tableat Madigan's, the new little café near the owlry.

Sarraiah sat at her vanity in her bedroom, fixing her hair and makeup as any typical teenage girl would before venturing out in public, trying her best to ignore her younger brother, who was standing behind her, hopping occasioanlly from one foot to the other, impatient and energetic as fifth grade boys typically are.

“Can’t Lucius please come with us, Sarraiah? Please? So I’ll have someone to walk around with! It will be so dull hanging around with you and your boyfriend all day long-”

“Severus!” Sarraiah snapped. “Do not breathe one word of Johnny to anyone, do you hear me?”

“Why not, ‘Raiah? You’re sixteen years old, Mum and Dad said it’s okay for you to go out sometimes.” Severus was ten, and as a little brother, it was practically his duty to spend his time annoying his older sister, but alas, Severus was not the average ten year old boy. He rather liked his older sister, and hated to see her get into trouble for any reason.

“You don’t understand, Severus. He goes to Hogwarts but he’s...well, you know." She lowered her voice. "He’s Muggle-born.” She applied a layer of mascara as her bewitched brush and comb styled her hair.

“He’s a Mudblood, then?”

“Severus!” She exclaimed in her most grown-up, disapproving tone. "Mudblood is a horrible word.”

“But Father and Uncle Folter say it all the time...”

“Father and Uncle Folter are wrong, love. You’ll learn that for yourself, someday. Muggles, and muggle borns, can be wonderful, so very wonderful. This fall, when it’s your turn to head to Hogwarts, you’ll meet all sorts of people, and you'll understand. Not that any muggles ever make it into Slytherin House.”

“What is your boy—I mean, your friend in?”

“Ravenclaw.” She put on a dark red lipstick, then proptly wiped it off and applied a pale pink shade. “It’s where the cleverest of Wizards go. And he IS clever. A bit of a hothead though, he’s got a temper, like Father.”

Severus was concerned. “Like Father?”

“Well, no, love, not exactly. Just...a temper. That’s all. Come on, let’s floo to the Malfoy’s and pick up Lucius. We can walk to Hogsmeade from there.”

“Thanks, Sarraiah!”

An hour later Lucius, Severus, Sarraiah and Johnny had arrived in Hogsmeade. All had been properly introduced (though Lucius recognized Johnny from Hogwarts, where the younger boy was a second year and the older was in his seventh). The had already been to Honeydukes, Potion Queens, and All Thing’s Dark, which was having a huge going out of business sale (the owner, a Mrs. Elvira Monical, was soon to be retiring to spend more time with her pets, a Cobra, two Jaguars and a Three-Toed Sloth, interestingly enough).

“Let’s go to the Pendulum Swing next!” Suggested Lucius, to which Severus wholeheartedly seconded.

“Tell you what,” Sarraiah smiled at them. “Why don’t you two head over, and we’ll meet you back at Honeydukes in two hours, alright then?”

“Alright,” the boys agreed in unison. The took off in the right direction, but soon stopped to check out some brand new racing brooms in one of the store windows.

“I want that one!” Lucius announced to his friend. “Look at it, fastest broom yet! The Tailswooper 300!”

“Yeah...” But Severus cared little for racing brooms.

“What do you think of Johnny, Lucius?”

“Johnny? Right old Mudblood if I’ve ever seen one. Narcissa Black, from Hogwarts, you remember her?”

“Sort of.”

“Right, well she has a sister, Andromeda, and she’s already dated two muggles! And one wasn’t even a mudblood, no magic at all, straight muggle. Lives near them, goes to some, well, like we used to go. A muggle school. Narcissa’s parents are thoroughly disappointed of course, but they figure she’s very young yet, and it’s just a phase. A rebel thing, you know the sort. Perhaps it’s a phase for Sarraiah too. One can only hope.”

Severus pondered this for a moment. Was dating a muggle really so bad? Sarraiah and Andromeda didn't seem to think so...But Lucius...and their fathers...

"Severus? I said, one can only hope, eh?"

The ten year old nodded. “Yeah. One can only hope.”



Chapter 4: Hogwarts Express and The Sorting
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***~~~***
He had been to Platform nine and three quarters many, many times with Sarraiah and Lucius. He had seen the Hogwarts train countless times and was even permitted to get on, once, just a couple of years before when his sister had been made prefect. But now it was Severus’ turn to board the Hogwarts Express, to spend a year living at the castle he had read so much about, and to return home only for Holidays and the summer. And he was very excited.

“Severus, come on, we’ve got to board!” Lucius called out, glancing back at his ‘cousin.’

“I love you, little one, and I will see you at Christmas,” Ebony was obviously trying her hardest not to cry.

“Go on, boy, and make us proud.” Stalinus ordered. “Once you’re settled in, you send an owl to tell us how the sorting has gone.”

“Oh Father,” laughed Sarraiah. “Of course he will be in Slytherin! All the Snapes have gone to Slytherin!”

“Yes, well, let’s not break tradition now, all right then? Go on, you two. Get on the train.” Sarraiah hugged their mother and gave their father a quick kiss on the cheek. As cold as he often seen, the look in his eyes bore a stong affection for his little girl, his baby, his angel. Severus often hoped to see his father looking at him with those eyes, but it had yet to happen.

“Goodbye Father, Mother.” He said, hugging his mother and returning an approving nod from his father.

“Please, love, you’re not too old to call me Mummy,” Ebony stated, smiling at her little one.

“Alright then, Mum. See you at holiday!”

And Severus ran off to join Lucius on the Hogwarts train.
***~~~***

Sarraiah had to sit up front in the cart for the Head Boy and Girl, where they would give instructions to all of the new prefects before patrolling the cars, so Lucius and Severus found a spot in the back, where they were quickly joined by three attractive but not altogether nice, teenage girls.

“Hello there,” said the first to enter, a blonde girl Severus recognized as Lucius’ girlfriend.

“You remember me, don’t you? Narcissa Black. Betrothed to your wonderful friend here.” She smiled, a small, tight-lipped smile, and sat down next to her future husband.

“My sister, Bellatrix,” Narcissa introduced the thin, harsh faced brunette whose steely gray eyes made Severus give an involuntary shiver.

“Charmed,” she said, though she certainly seemed neither charmed nor charming.

“I’m Severus, Severus Snape,” the first year said nervously.

“You’re sister is Sarraiah? Head girl, in my class too.” Said Bellatrix. “We were friends once, but now I’m afraid she has much more in common with my other sister, Andromeda, a sixth year. Rather nasty habit they seem to have, this dating muggles. So I do rather relate to you, child. Narcissa and I know what an embarrassment it is to have a mudblood lover in the family. If ever you need a hand, someone’s picking on you for being her relation, you see me. Got that?”

“Um, yeah. Thanks,” Severus was quite confused. Picked on? Embarrassment? Mudblood Lover?

The other girl in their compartment had still not spoken, she simply sat beside Bellatrix, across from Narcissa and the boys, and took out a copy of “Hogwarts, A History.”

Bellatrix noticed Severus’ staring, and she smiled slightly.

“Ellyson Lestrange, a fellow first year,” Bellatrix informed him, nodding at the girl, who did not respond.

“Her father and mine arranged just under two years ago for my marriage to her older brother. Graduated, he did, so I’m looking after Ellyson. Isn’t that right, child?”

Ellyson looked up, but did not respond. Severus couldn’t help thinking that she was a beautiful girl, with long auburn waves that framed her face, clear and pale skin, and sharp blue-gray eyes.

A second later she cast her eyes back down to her book and continued reading, though Severus also could not help but notice that she had yet to turn a page.

“In any case,” Bellatrix continued, “It is nice to know whom who are set to wed. Narcissa, darling, you are quite the lucky one. Few girls know so soon, as the families of eligible young men usually wait to make absolute sure the woman, or girl, is entirely worth their while. I had to wait until my fifth year. Andromeda was set up last year herself, but it fell through quickly after when she was caught snogging that Michael something-or-other up in the astronomy tower. He’s not only muggle-born, but a Hufflepuff too!”

The whole car (minus Ellyson) burst out laughing at this, which Severus naturally joined in, though he wasn’t quite sure why it was so very funny to everyone else. Their laughter was soon interrupted by a knock at the door.

“I’ve got it,” said Lucius, who stood to open it.

“Sarraiah!” Severus exclaimed when he saw his sister standing there. “How nice your new badge looks with your robes!”

“Head girl,” mused Bellatrix. “Fancy that. How are you, Sarraiah? Still with the Ravenclaw what-his-face?”

“Johnny, and yes, we’re still together. Honestly, Bella, I don’t know why--”

“You’ve met my sister, Narcissa? She is to marry your cousin.”

“We’re not really cousin’s,” Lucius pointed out. “It’s just that our families are close, you know, so we’re almost like relatives.”

“And this is Ellyson Lestrange. You will recall her older brother, graduated last year.” Bellatrix continued, ignoring Lucius.

“Hello, Ellyson. Anyway, thought I’d let you know the cart is coming ‘round any minute. Here, Severus, Mum gave me some pocket money to split with you. Try not to spend it all on sweets. Good day, all.”

“Bye, Sarraiah.” Said Lucius and Severus in unison.

Bellatrix nodded at her former friend and current bunkmate. “Good day.”
***~~***
By the time the Hogwarts Express reached it’s destination, Severus had sampled nearly every goodie on the witches’ snack cart, old favorites like Pumpkin Pasties, Chocolate Frogs, Bertie Bots Every Flavor Beans, Ice Mice, Droobles Best Blowing Gum, and a couple of new items, Musical Fruits, (each strawberry, banana and grape plays a different popular song) Lucky Clovers (Taste however you wish them to!) and Caramel Kickers, (plain milk chocolate, shaped like different types of shoes, each one filled with caramel). He wanted to try one of everything, so he did.

Once he stepped off the train he heard a loud voice calling over all of the chatter, “Firs’ Years! Firs’ Years Over Here! Don’ worry ‘bout yer trunks, they’ll be sen’ in without ya!”

Severus looked to his right to see the tallest man he’d ever seen, a huge man with a thick beard and unkempt hair down to his shoulders. The boys eyes widened with apprehension.

“Go on, then, Severus!” Lucius prodded. “That’s just Hagrid, been gamekeeper since he was my age. Won’t hurt you none. See you after the sorting!”

Severus followed the other students into the front hall, where a man who introduced himself as Professor Binns stood before them. He spoke in a drone, emotionless voice, and Severus had to pinch himself to stay awake. He stood close by Ellyson Lestrange, whom he had not yet heard speak one syllable, and tried to pay attention.

“The sorting will begin shortly, and you will each be placed in one of the four houses, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin. Follow me.”

The children filed silently into the Great Hall, several gasping when they first saw the beautiful ceiling enchanted to look like the sky outside. The muggle borns stood out, as they were the ones pointing in awe at the candles hovering about their heads, and shooting nervous glances in the directions of each House Ghost.

Albus Dumbledore stood and introduced himself.

“Hello, Hogwarts students! For those of you who do not know, I am Albus Dumbledore, and this year I am taking over for Armand Dippet as Headmaster of Hogwarts. Without further ado, let us begin the Sorting!”

Professor Binns, a short, heavy man with mousy brown hair and thick gray eyebrows, placed a stool in front of all the students. He rested upon it an old, slightly tattered black witches hat, and stepped back.

“What in Merlin’s…?” Severus overheard a boy behind him murmur. He was not the only confused eleven-year-old.

Professer Binns cleared his throat, and for a moment everyone thought he was about to speak, but alas, it was the hat whose brim-mouth opened wide to let out words:

“A hat I am
But smart indeed
I understand your wants,
Your needs
I will place you
Where you belong
But first sit back
Enjoy my song
Many many moons ago
Before I was tattered and old
I belonged to Godric Gryffindor
House colors red and gold
He, along with Slytherin
Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw
Chose me to do the Sorting
For in student’s heads I saw
I can see if you are brave
Clever, kind or wise
Crafty, noble or pure at heart
I see life through your eyes
For when you place me on your head
I can surely see
Whatever house you should go to
That is the job of me.”

The Great Hall burst into applause as the Sorting Hat finished it’s song, and again Professor Binns cleared his throat.

“Avingdale, Joslin!” He called out, and a tiny, pudgy blonde girl stepped forward. She sat on the stool and placed the hat on her head and…

“Ravenclaw!” The hat shouted, and the table to the right of Severus began to cheer and applaud their new first year.

This went on with the A’s, as Axgrind, Gjennomsnitt, became the first Slytherin.

“Your name is what?” Severus heard Lucius call to the boy over the cheering of his fellow Slytherins.

“Just call me Ax!” The burly eleven-year-old replied.

Then came the B’s.

“Black, Sirius!” The hat called out, and Severus’ head snapped up. ‘Black? Any relation to Narcissa and Bellatrix?’ He wondered.

But if they were at all related, neither Bellatrix nor Narcissa showed it, though they did seem rather shocked when the hat shouted:

“Gryffindor!”

The Gryffindors cheered and congratulated Sirius as he took a seat at their table.

Severus watched the sorting in awe and apprehension. What if he, too, was sent to Gryffindor? Or worse…Hufflepuff! He couldn’t imagine the shame his father would feel…He would probably be disowned! Disinherited for sure!

“Evans, Lily!” Severus looked up to see a beautiful little girl walking slowly up to the hat. She seemed sweeter, and somehow more fragile than the other girls there. Severus quickly erased pretty Ellyson from his mind, and replaced her face with this new girl…This Lily…

‘Please send her to Slytherin, Please send her to Slytherin,’ He found himself praying silently. ‘When the Neptune did I get so interested in girls?’ He pondered next. ‘And what the bloody hell is taking her so long?’

The hat was indeed spending an awful lot of time with Lily Evans. But at last it’s brim widened as it announced…

“Gryffindor!”

S, for Snape, was of course awfully far down the line, so Severus had to wait a rather long time for his name to be called. He watched as Ellyson joined Slytherin, then Luipn, Remus (‘What a stupid name,’ Severus couldn’t help thinking) became a Gryffindor. Pettigrew, Peter and Potter, James joined the Gryffindors too, and Queenly, Aurora became a Ravenclaw.

‘R, then S!’ thought Snape with nervous excitement. He was getting impatient.

“Raison, Liesl!”

“Ravenclaw!”

“Rayne, Sherona!”

“Slytherin!”

“Royale, Richard.”

“Hufflepuff!”

“Sampson, Sally!”

“Hufflepuff!”

“Sampson, Stanley!”

“Hufflepuff!”

“Saunter, Jezebel!”

“Slytherin!”

“Seltic, Kristle!”

“Gryffindor!”

“Sindelle, Rodger!”

“Ravenclaw!”

and finally….

“Snape, Severus!”







‘Please be Slytherin, Slytherin, come on, hat, Slytherin, please Slytherin…’

‘You are indeed clever, but Ravenclaw would hardly suit you. Your sister asked for Slytherin too, as did your father…Wise, very wise, and a real drive to succeed. Cunning? A bit, a bit.. Resourceful, desire to be powerful, that drive to succeed…Yes, yes, I do think I have made my choice. You would most certainly do best in…

“SLYTHERIN!”

Severus let out a breath he hadn’t realized he was holding, and rushed off to the Slytherin table to join his sister and Lucius.

Slytherin, Slytherin. Father would not be ashamed after all, no disowning Severus today, not today! Slytherin. Good.

“Knew you were one of us,” Bellatrix said to him as he sat down beside Lucius.

“Knew it the second I saw you boarding the train.”


Chapter 5: The Following April
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Hogwarts was better than Severus had imagined, though he had to admit he wasn't crazy about the amount of homework. He had a few friends, his roommate, Ax, was an interesting caracter, and of course he had Lucius around to keep him company. But as much as he liked school, he was glad to go home for Easter break, because it meant spending a little time with his sister, whom he hardly ever saw at school as she avoided the common room and often ate meals with her Ravenclaw boyfriend, and he also got to see him Mum, who had clearly missed him an awful lot.

So there he was, home for the weekend. It was April again. Another hot day in April. And Severus was again in Hogsmeade with his sister and friend.

The difference was the mood. The year before, they had permission to be there.

But ever since the Snape’s had learned of their daughter’s involvement with the muggle-born Johnny Cavedweller, things had changed.

Sarraiah was no longer Daddy’ Little Angel.

And she no longer lived at home.

Just after her seventeenth birthday, Sarraiah, who had been forced to break up with her boyfriend Johnny, decided that she would be better off away from home, so she packed her trunk, grabbed her Tawny Owl, Caramel Kisses (CK), and took off. She sent a letter with Tawny about a week later to inform her family that she was living with her boyfriend, and would be spending all Hogwarts breaks with him. “Sorry Mum and Father,” she had written. “But I need to live my own life, free of prejudice, boundaries and ridiculous rules. Kiss Severus for me and tell him I will see him at school. I’ll write again soon.” That was over Christmas break.

Nearly four months had passed since she had written that letter, and she had had very little contact with her family since then. But on that hot April day, two days before Easter, she picked up the boys and brought them to Hogsmeade.

“So Sarraiah, why is it you never ever write to us?” Eleven year old Severus had asked her the moment she entered the house. "And at school, you never talk to me, even when I see you in the halls!"

“Sorry, love. Johnny thinks it best if I limit contact with my family. He feels that you, or rather, Mother and Father, are a terrible influence on me. But I do see you at school all the time!”

“You hardly ever speak to me! Just nod in the halls or say a quick hell in the common room!”

“Well, Johnny prefers that I...Come on, Severus. Let’s just go and get Lucius, alright?”

Severus sighed. He hated feeling that he was losing his sister. And he hated even more to think that it was all her boyfriend’s doing.

“Severus? You’re coming?”

“Yes,” he replied, grabbing a handful of Floo Powder. “I’m coming.”
***~~~***
The trip to Hogsmeade was uneventful, and in all the trio had a fun day, visiting the pet store, spending severul knuts at Honeydukes, and even checking out the Pendulum Swing. But there was something...off...about Sarraiah, which worried her brother. Lucius, however, did not notice.

Chapter 6: Unexpected
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“Well, you know,” fourteen-year-old Lucius Malfoy was saying, “If you add a bit of that one to this one, it will most definitely explode.” He gestured to two small viles on the table in front of him.

Severus raised his eyebrows. “Is that so? Because according to my calculations once we added the blood of hippogriff to the mix the whole thing became harmless.”

Lucius scowled. “Go on then, if you’re so genius. Try it.”

“I will!” The twelve-year-old exclaimed.

“Severus!” Both boys froze. Ebony! Snape’s Mother! Home early!

“Quick, Lucius, help me clean this up! If she finds we got into it after she told us not to-”

Ebony slipped quietly into the room and stood behind her son.

“Uh, Severus?” said Lucius, staring at his aunt.

“Come on, Lucius!” He was placing potion bottles into their suitcase-like carrying case, carefully but as fast as he could. “Help me get this put away before she sees it!”

“No,” said Ebony, “We wouldn’t want her to see it, would we?”

Slowly Severus swiveled around to face his mother.

“Oh. Hi, Mum. We were just...um...we were...”

“Just clean it up. Honestly child, I do not know where you got this potions obsession. But I suppose it’s better than being obsessed with the dark arts. Not that you aren't overly excited about that too”

“I like the dark arts!” Exclaimed Lucius, jumping up from his seat. Despite being in only his second year at Hogwarts, he was already nearly as tall as Ebony, who stood about 5’4.

"I know you do," she said, smiling.

"Mum, I like the Dark Arts plenty! And i'm good in that class, in Defense, really I am!" Severus assured her.

"I know that, love. Your marks speak for themselves. Now, let’s put this all away before your father gets home.”

But it was too late. His father was home. No more than ten seconds after the words left her mouth, they heard the front door slam. They froze.

Stalinus Snape entered the dining room. He saw the potions. He saw the child. He saw his wife. And he did nothing. He said not a word. Rather, he slumped into a chair and held out his hand to his wife. In it was a letter.

Ebony took it and began to read out loud:

Mr. and Mrs. Stalinus Snape,

We regret to inform you that on this Tuesday, the Fifteenth of August, your daughter, eighteen-year-old Sarraiah Lucia Snape was killed-”

Horrified, Ebony collapsed into a chair beside her husband, unable to go on.

Lucius took the letter from her and continued:

“Was killed by Muggle-Born Hogwarts graduate Johnny R. Cavedweller. She was shot (using a metal muggle weapon called a “gun”) and despite efforts, muggle healers, called “doctors” were unable to save her. The Ministry of Magic is handling the case, and Cavedweller currently resides in Azkaban. We at the Ministry Security Branch will surely and sincerely miss Sarraiah; a memorial service will be held honoring her this Saturday, the Ninteenth of August. Again, we are terrible sorry to inform you of the death of your loved one, Sarraiah Lucia Snape. Isabella Penswallow, Security Advisor to the Minister.”

Lucius looked at Severus, who seemed to be in shock. He was standing, perfectly still, expressionless still holding a blue potions of some sort in his left hand. Lucius gave the letter back to his Uncle, who crinkled it, then smoothed it out again. Ebony said not a word. The rilence said enough for all of them.

The distraught quartet stayed in the dining room like that for nearly an hour, as Stalinus crinkled the letter, Ebony sobbed, Severus stood, and Lucius watched. Sarraiah was gone. Gone!

Damn Muggles.


Chapter 7: Love, Hate, and Memories
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Of course, a memorial service had been held for Miss Sarraiah Snape. Family and friends attended, as did the Minister of Magic, Sarraiah's former classmates, and several Hogwarts professers. Severus wore his best black formal robes, and took his place between his mother and father beside the casket. The people who came to pay their respects to the family did so, offering their sympathies and giving tissues and hankies to Ebony, who stood watching the procession silently, as tears streamed endlessly down her pale cheeks. Stalinus refused to cry in public, and he had ordered Severus to bottle his tears as well, but the 12 year old boy knew that upon their return home his father would most likely break down into sobs again, as he had the previous two nights. This frightened Severus more than he would ever admit, to see his father cry. And it made him feel something, something deep in the pit of his stomach, something he had never felt before.

He had seen his mother in pain many times, which was often his father's doing, and he thought he hated it. He also thought he hated his abusive Uncle Folter, whose treatment of Aunt Desé and Lucius made Stalinus seem like a cuddly teddy bear. He thought he hated his History teacher, who gave him a C-, thus causing the school to revoke his Honor Roll privileges, like lunch in the courtyard, which meant he had to eat alone as all of his friends had better grades. He thought he hated the color orange, Muggle science classes, the lady next door who smelled of cats and cheaply made broomsticks, but now he realized he hated none of this, none of these people and things.

He felt it in the pit of his stomach for the first time. It was filling him, taking over his body, consuming his mind and eating away at his soul. It was hatred he was feeling, truly feeling, for the first time. He hated that boy—that man—that person who had taken Sarraiah away, first from her home, then from her family, and now from their world. He had never loved anyone as he had Sarraiah. Sure, sometimes he was jealous of her good grades, her popularity and the way only she could make their father smile. But she was his cool, protective, fun big sister. He loved her so much...And now she was gone, thanks to one stupid muggle with a gun who pretended to lover her too...

Severus couldn't help himself. As much as he loved his sister, he hated that...that...that...MUDBLOOD!

Just as Severus was beginning to think that he could control his anger no more, the Minister of Magic began to speak from his podium at the front of the room.

"If everyone would please have a seat," he was saying, "We will beging the ceremony."

"Come, son, and sit by your cousin," Stalinus directed young Snape, who took his place in the front row beside his friend. Stalinus sat two chairs down, with Ebony between the pair. Desé and Fotler sat beside Lucius.

"Today we are gathered to remember a wonderful, kind, bright and promising young witch, Sarraiah Lucia Snape, who was tragically taken from this world far too soon..."

The Minister's speech continued for some time, though Severus hardly paid attention, and then Professer Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts, went to the podium. He spoke of Sarraiah in school, how happy she was, how attentive and smart, her good marks, her attitude, her excellent work as a prefect and later as Head-Girl. He told a couple of stories about her, one that made Severus laugh, which he promptly felt guilty for.

"Don't feel bad, chum," Lucius whispered to him, "You can let it out. It was funny." Sometimes Severus wondered if his pal could read his mind.

Sarraiah's best friend from Hogwarts said a few words next, but had to be accompanied back to her seat by her mother when she could no longer continue to speak as grief overwhelmed her and she, too, began to sob.

Sarraiah's boss after that, Professer McGonagall, and Aunt Desé also spoke, and then it was over. The casket was closed, and the people began to file out of the room. It was over. Sarraiah was gone. Forever.

Severus stood up, said goodbye to Lucius and the Malfoys, and waited for his parents. His father was the last one out of the room.

And sure enough, once back at home, Stalinus began to sob.

"Goodbye, Sarraiah," whispered Severus before he fell asleep that night. "Süße Träume."



Chapter 8: Life Goes On
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"And Hazardlo goes for the goal—and the Quaffle is in! It's good!" Lucius circled the goal post on his broom twice before flying over to Severus.

"Severus, old boy, we are going to dominate this year. Slytherin will win the Quiddich cup. I know it." Lucius grinned confidently, then dove back to the ground to retrieve the fallen Quaffle.

"We haven't even had tryouts yet," Severus pointed out, "and here you are, thinking you're Fyedka Hazardlo! What if Gryffindor—"

"Forget Gryffindor! Their streak is over! It is our turn now." Lucius flew back up so that he was eye level with Severus.

"But what if I don't get on?" Severus asked, finally voicing the fear he'd been harboring since the previous spring when he learned that three positions would be opening this term, including Chaser, which was just what Severus had wanted to be since boyhood. He was now in his fifth year, and he felt it was time he represent Slytherin House on the Quiddich Pitch as well. After all, Lucius had been on the team since the age of thirteen. He was a Chaser too, and a very good one at that. Severus had tried out once before, in his third year, for Seeker, but alas, tiny Alexand'r Omnious had gotten the coveted spot. Both of Alexand'r's older brothers had been seekers, as was his grandfather, great-grandfather, and his father before that.

"That's why we practice, dunderhead!" replied Lucius, matter-of-factly. "And besides," he added with an air of confidence, "You have to get on. Taai is captain and he likes you and you know his sister really likes you—come to think of it, maybe you should ask her out before trials—"

"No way! I am not going to ask out that little hag simply because her brother is Captain! Have you ever seen Lelijk? Have you?" Severus shuddered. He couldn't stand Lelijk, who, in addition to being horrible unnatractive, was mean, annoying, loud, and rather obnoxious. No, Severus much prefered kind, pretty, delicate girls...Like that Gryffindor, Lily Evans. But she would never look twice at Severus, not when boys like James Potter and Sirius Black were around. Of course, she didn't seem to fancy James much...but still, he was so much cooler than Severus, tougher and more athletic...If she had a choice...She did have a choice...

"Hello? Severus? Are you paying attention?" Lucius was saying. Severus tried to remove her picture from his mind's eye.

"I'm going to let you take the Quaffle now, and I'll be keeper. Don't mess this up now, work hard. I won't go easy just 'cause you're my chum, got it? You're a fifth year now, and this is serious. It's now or never. And besides, it's my last year, and we've been planning to be part of the Slytherin team, me and you, since forever. Here, take this," He handed over the Quaffle, "and let's begin. Give me a seconds head start, will you? Now...go!"

They practiced well into the evening, until their Head of House, Ashgrai Gninnuc, came out to the pitch to tell them it was time to go in.

"Today is Saturday," Lucius said to Severus as they were packing up and heading in behind Professer Gninnuc. "Hufflepuff trials are Monday, then Ravenclaw next, and we're Wednesday—"

"Because first place last year has tryouts last, and last place goes first, and so on..." Severus supplied.

"So we have until then for you to be perfect. You were good tonight, I won't lie. But you need work."

"Can't we practice tomorrow?" asked Severus as they entered the Great Hall and made their way down to the dungeons.

"Maybe late late in the afternoon, but I promised to spend the day with Narcissa. It's our anniversary you know."

"Congratulations," Severus said, but by his tone it was clear that he hardly cared. "Hey, is it true Lucius?"

Lucius frowned at his fifteen-year-old friend.

"Is what true?"

"Her sister, Andromeda? She's engaged to some Muggle?"

Lucius scowled. "True indeed. Bad enough a mudblood would be, like all those ones she dated here, always going for the Mudbloods, but this guy, this Ted, he's eighteen and he has no magic in him at all I don't think. The Black's are not at all happy about it, but they still think it's just a phase."

Severus nodded. "I hope so." He looked just as disgusted as his cousin. "Sometimes magic and Muggles just shouldn't mix." ("Right, Sarraiah?" He didn't say).

"By sometimes," said Lucius, "You must mean never. Magic and Muggle should never mix."

Severus thought again of Lily Evans. Again he pushed her from his mind. "You're right, Lucius. Never."


***~~~***
A/N In case you're wondering, Taai is Dutch for tough, and Lelijk is Dutch for ugly...I love incorperating other languages when making up names! Oh, and Gninnuc is pronounce Ninnuc (nin-uck) b/c the G is silent. It's 'Cunning' backwards. Because I'm weird like that.

Chapter 9: Late For Class
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He had better hurry if he didn’t plan to be late for class. And he definitely did not plan to be late for class. Defense Against the Dark Arts, with Gryffindor, was to be held on the third floor that Tuesday. He rushed up another flight of stairs.

“Should be bloody against the rules, having class in a different room every day!” He muttered to himself, angry that the headmaster allowed such nonsense. Professor Comett began teaching at Hogwarts in Severus’ third year, so one would think he’d be used to her little oddities by now, but alas, he was not. Starting with her fifth years, her OWL years, Professor Comett thought it made sense to change the location of every class on a whim, because “If ever you need to defend yourself against such dark magic as I have seen, you will need to be entirely prepared, which means being able to perform to the best of your abilities in any setting, whether or not it is a place in which you are comfortable.”

“I’m going to be late!” Severus exclaimed, dashing up the last few stairs to the third floor (making sure to jump the trick stair, of course). The tower clock’s chimes let him know that class was beginning at that moment, and he was, indeed, late.

He darted down the corridor towards the room-of-the-day, when suddenly—

“Peeves! Get out of here, Peeves!” That fat brainless poltergeist, with his ugly orange bowtie and huge stupid grin, was floating about four feet about Severus’ head, a large tin tub of water in his fat transparent hands.

“Don’t do it! Don’t do it Peeves, so help me, or I’ll—”

But it was too late. Peeves turned over the bucket, and ice cold water rushed down from the ceiling, soaking the fifth year student. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the bucket crashed down after it...landing right on Snape’s head.

“Ahoy there, what is this?” Severus heard someone say behind him, and he froze. He recognized that voice—but why wasn’t he in class?

“Lookie here, James!” The voice of Sirius Black called out. “What have we got?”

Severus wrenched the bucket off his head and turned to face his adversary, James Potter, whose reverberating laughter cut through Severus like a steak knife slices through butter.

“Clear off, dunderheads!” Severus said hotly, but the pair only laughed harder.

“What do you know, come late to class, and get a free show in the corridors!” Sirius glanced up at the still hovering poltergeist. “Thanks much, Peeves, for brightening our dreary day!”

"Shut it, Black!"

“’Bout time you got a shower, eh, Severus?” said Sirius, laughing. “Should be thanking Peeves here, really. Of course, next time you might do with a bit of shampoo and some soap.” He was laughing so hard there were tears in his eyes!

"Too right!" Agreed Potter, sniggering. "A bit of shampoo could certainly help the appearance...And maybe a bit of magic too?"

"A nose job, you think, James?" Asked Sirius, raising his wand.

"Don't you dare! You'll be expelled!" Warned Severus, wringing out his sopping hair.

"I don't think I'd be able to perform the spell, so you'd best do it chum! I'm laughing a bit too hard for that!"

“It’s hardly a time for hysterics, James,” said a third voice, as Remus Lupin rounded the corner. “Go on, get to class. We're late enough as it is.”

“Oh, come on old chum!" Protested James. "Let us enjoy the lad a bit—er, I mean, we’re only trying to help!”

"Yeah!" Sisius raised his wand again. "Let us help!"

“Sirius,” said Remus warningly. “I was made prefect for a reason, and I do not want to have to take points from my own house, nor do I wish to assign you detention. Come on, let’s go to class. We’re late.”

“Alright, alright,” James conceded, smiling. “Class it is. Coming, Snape?”

Snape said not a word, but merely glared at the trio.

“Let’s go.” Black said, and let his friends down the hall and around the corner to the classroom. Peeves flew off after them, blowing raspberries.

“Dammit!” Severus cursed, tossing his soaking books to the floor. “Dammit, Dammit, Dammit, Dammit, Dammit.”

“What’s the matter?” Another voice. Another Gryffindor? Snape whirled back around angrily to come face to face with...Lily. Lily Evans, the kind, pretty girl he so often admired from afar.

“Do you need a hand? I’m a prefect, I could—”

“No, it’s alright. I just need to dry off and all—I’m late for class...”

“I know, Severus. I’m in your class.”

She called him by name! For a brief second, he felt the urge to smile, but, remembering Potter and Black’s obnoxious jokes and reverberating laughter, he held back.

“Grab your books and hold them close to you,” Lily said. She was smiling at him, but not in a mean way, not in a teasing way. In a nice way. She really had a beautiful smile.

“Go on now, get your books.” Severus picked up his books and held them to him. Lily picked up her wand and with three sharp flicks and the words “Wasser Werde Gegangen,” he was dry.

“There now, isn’t that better? If you’re still coming to class, I can give you a pass, it's part of my prefect privileges. Come on.”

He started to follow her, but then he paused. The whole class must have heard about his misadventures with Peeves, and they were probably still laughing at him now. Did he really want to go to class?

But, oh, to walk in with Lily Evans, to see the look on Potter's face...Everyone knew that James fancied Lily, but that she refused to have much to do with him...To walk in with Lily Evans, like friends, and see Potter’s face...

“Severus?” Class it is.

“Coming, Lily.”



Chapter 10: Going Home
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Classes continued on, as usual, and soon school was out for the summer again. Gryffindor beat Slytherin for both the Quiddich and the House Cups, much to the unhappiness of Lucius and his teammates. ‘But at least I made it on the team this year. At least I made it,’ Severus constantly reminded himself during that deciding match against Gryffindor.

And he only had to hang out with Lelijk a few dozen times.

Silently, Lucius and Severus boarded the train together for the final time. Lucius cast one last look over his shoulder at Hogwarts (“I may come back, but I’ll never answer to those bloody professors again!” He had informed the other Slytherin boys the night before. “One day, I’ll own this school. They’ll work for me!”) and climbed aboard.

“It’s going to be different next year, really different,” Severus said to Lucius about twenty minutes into the ride.

“I’m just glad to be free. ‘Cept I’m not really free because I have only one year to get established and all that, then I have to marry Narcissa.”

“But you like Narcissa. I’d think you’d be happy about marrying her.”

“Well, sure, I like her, but you know, once we’re hitched, the fun’s gotta stop. I mean, not totally stop, but I'll need to cut the affairs back a bit, though I figure what she doesn’t know…”

Severus suddenly realized what his chum was saying.

“Wait! You cheat on Narcissa? What do you do?”

Lucius laughed. “I know you’re inexperienced, mate, but you must know what we do—”

“But with who? Someone else? Someone here?”

“Well…” Lucius leaned forward and lowered his voice.

“That girl in your year, the once who doesn’t talk.”

“Ellyson Lestrange?”

“Bellatrix’s sister-in-law. We’ve never quite gone all the way, she’s a nervous little thing, and she’s afraid to get in trouble, but she’s fun for a bit of snogging down in the dungeons, and she’s really intimated easily so she’ll do almost anything if you scare her enough.”

“My father mentioned talking to her father about arranging us,” Severus informed Lucius hotly. “She could be my future wife you know!”

“Well, be glad to know she’s still clean as the purest wizards' blood then. And she’s rather good at what she does do, little as it is!” He laughed again. Severus clenched his teeth, and said nothing.

“Of course, if you’re looking for a little cheaper a girl, Sherona Rayne is in your year too, and she’s quite good, and she’ll go far as you like provided she likes you too. And I bet she could like you. She has a preference for dark hair, though she did make a rather appreciated exception for me.”

“Sherona Rayne?” Severus knew the tall blonde well. She was more attractive than the typical Slytherin female, with a deep tan, cerulean blue eyes and a body that would make Jessica Rabbit jealous. Severus relaxed and smiled slightly at the mental image. “So, Sherona, eh? She’s…shaped.”

“Sure is!” Exclaimed Lucius, leaning back in his typical over-confident, cocky, “I’m so wonderful” attitude.

“What sure is?” A female voice asked, as Narcissa, Ellyson, Ax, Alexand’r, Taai and Jezebel entered the car, followed a moment later by Vincent Crabbe, a sixth year, and Zander Flint, in his seventh year. Crabbe, Zander, Ax, Taai, Lucius, Alexand’r and Severus made up the Quiddich team.

“Bit crowded now!” Alexand’r called out, laughing.

Ax agreed with the Seeker. “Plenty of room, though!”

“Not a problem,” announced Lucius. “There’s a lap for every girl!” He pulled Narcissa into his lap, and the two began snogging quite passionately.

“Care to live up to you name, Jezebel?” Taai asked the short, clear skinned beauty of Vietnamese decent. Giggling, she plopped down on his lap.

“Oh, Taai, you hopeless romantic!” She cried overdramatically, and soon they were French kissing too.

“This is a crazy group,” said Ax, “but I’m afraid the girls are a tad outnumbered here. So Ellyson here gets a choice, that she does!”

Ellyson blushed deep crimson. “I think perhaps Severus should decide my place, as he could very well be my future husband,” she said quietly, smiling at Severus. “But whatever he decides, I must say it is hardly proper for anyone to be vying for my hand in his presence, and it is also rather forward and horrible for anyone to assume that I would just attach myself to him because he demands so. Right, Severus?”

“Come here.” He ordered, and she did. “Get up, Zander. My possible future wife would like very much to sit by me, I think, and to be honest I’d rather be smooshed in next to her, if you don’t mind.”

“Hey,” Zander said, laughing as he stood up. “I was off to find the snack witch anyway. Crabbe? Alexand’r? Ax? Follow me, we’ll find an empty car and talk Quiddich.”

Crabbe appeared confused. “But everyone’s already sitting. Where are we gonna find an empty car?”

“If it’s not empty, we’ll empty it dunderhead. Come now, let’s go.”

Crabbe nodded his thick head slowly, and squeezed past the kissing couples on his way out of the car. “Right then. See you at the platform.”
***~~~***
Severus’ mother was waiting for him when he exited the train. Standing beside her was his aunt, Desé, and Bellatrix.

“Hello, Mum, Aunt Desé.” Severus greeted them. “Why’re you here, Bella?”

“Picking up the sister-in-law.”

“Yes, Severus love,” his Mother began, “Where is Ellyson? I though your father wrote to tell you—”

“We might be getting married. I know Mum. We sat together on the whole train ride, but she wanted to go and say goodbye to her friends, okay with you?”

“Of course, son.”

Bellatrix checked her watch and sighed. “Good of her to keep me waiting, eh? And where are my sister and Lucius?”

“They’re coming too,” Snape assured her. “Ready to go, Mum? I’m tired.”

“We’ll wait for Ellyson and your cousin. How did you do on your OWLS? Feel you got good marks?”

“Good enough.”

Desé absentmindedly gathered her blonde-gray hair behind her and fastened it into a bun with a flick of her wand.

“There he is!” She exclaimed suddenly.

“ Lucius! Over here!”

“Hey there Mum! Bellatrix, Aunt Ebony.”

“Taking me home, Bella?” asked Narcissa, taking Lucius’ hand in hers.

“You and Ellyson. Where is she?”

“Here I am! Sorry, Bellatrix!” The tiny girl bounded over to the group, her snowy owl balanced on her outstretched arm. “Meet Weathers. I just bought her off Sherona Rayne, her Mum says Weathers is too bright, and the Muggle neighbors will notice her, plus she didn’t have permission to buy an owl at all, and so she had to sell her. She gaver her a dumb name, Snowflake, but I thought that was stupid, so I figured when does it snow? In Winter. In winter, there is a lot of snowy weather. So I named her weathers and I’m sure my Mum will let me keep her! She’s gorgeous, isn’t she? I just love her!”

“That,” said Severus with an air of disbelief, “If the most I have ever heard you say in one go.”

“Oh? Sorry, didn’t mean to go all off like that, I’m very excited, that’s all.”

“Let’s get going, kids. Some of us have husbands to get home to. You’ll understand soon enough, Narcissa.”

“Bellatix, about husbands?” Desé began cautiously. “You’re sister Andromeda, is it true she…”

Belltrix disapprovingly snorted and threw back her shoulder length hair. “Married a muggle, she did! Ted Tonks is his name, and she’s already got in the family way. If you ask me, she was in the way before the wedding, if you know what I mean. In any case, she’s thoroughly knocked up, and subsequently disinherited, of course. Mum and Dad are terribly disappointed. They really thought it was just a phase. Sad, really. She had such potential.”

“Sad indeed,” Desé agreed, clucking her tongue. “Tsk tsk tsk.”

“We had better get going…” Snape’s mother announced. “See you all later. Come over for tea sometime, Ellyson, or join us for dinner. You’re always welcome.”

“Thanks very much, ma’am.” Ellyson smiled shyly at Severus. “Good summer.”
***~~~***
A/N
I've started putting pg-13, because as Snape is growing
up things are going to change, and that includes the rating. Thanks for reading...Please review!

Chapter 11: Isn't That Tom Riddle?
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Severus received the results of his OWLS back over the summer, and was pleased to see that he had done well in nearly every subject. The only exception to his excellent marks was awful Transfiguration, but both his mother and father were satisfied by their son’s grades.

Ellyson came over at least once a week over the summer, for which Severus was grateful, because without Sarraiah and Lucius around his days were rather lonely. He spent nearly every waking hour alone, either in his dark, dull room, studying, or down in their cold gray basement, experimenting. Lucius did manage to send his childhood pal an owl every now and again, and Severus rather enjoyed knowing what his chum was up to. Lucius was working to “get established,” which seemed to be going well, judging by the fact that it had taken him but a month to get hired by the Ministry.

Severus quickly discovered that he hated being home, thus whenever an errand had to be run, Severus offered to do it himself, rather than sending his mother or one of the house elves out. His father’s busines was faltering, as it had been for years, ever since Sarraiah had died and left in her wake two very depressed individuals living in Snape House. His mother had taken to Muggle knitting, and though she wasn’t very good, Severus honestly appreiciated every fraying scarf, lopsided sweater, and awkward-fitting pair of mittens she made him.

His entire childhood, pre-Hogwarts, was spent in this house, so one would think he’d be used to the quiet, but somehow this silence was different than the hushed stillness of his youth. That quiet had been in some way peaceful, calm and sophisticated. This new, ominous lack of noise could only be described as…austere…harsh, and, in some strangely present way, cruel.

And so Severus spent the summer listening to his father curse and sigh over the failing business, watching his mother knit itchy socks, and occasionally visiting with Ellyson or writing to Lucius.

Until a vaguely familiar stranger dropped by and changed everything.
***~~~***
August Third started out like any other day. Severus awoke early, but lay in bed until the sun was fully risen. “Why should I get up if it hasn’t?” He wondered aloud.

He read for about an hour, then ate breakfast as prepared by Tuttles, their old, tempramental house elf.

He kissed his mother good morning when he passed her on the stairs on the way back to his room, and nodded hello to his father a moment later as he shoved the heavy mahogany door to his bedroom open.

Pushing a dark, slighly greasy strand of longish raven-black hair away from his eyes, Severus looked his room over, trying to decide how to spend the day. He chose to go back to his reading, and plopped down on his thick, comfortable black and moss-green bedspread with his book, The Many Murderous Methods of Man, by Khanderveld Bankins. One hour and three chapters later, he heard someone knocking on the door downstairs. He knew that an elf or his father would surely answer it, so he didn’t bother getting up.

The person (or persons) knocked again.

“Anyone planning to get that?” He yelled moodily, turning the page.

More knocking.

“Hello!” He stood up, tossing his book back onm the bed.

“Okay then, I’ll get it!” Thouroughly annoyed, he stomped down the stairs and reached the first floor just as his father flung open the door. Severus was about to head back upstairs when he heard a familiar voice behind him say:

“You know, old chum, Ordinarily I would have just apparated into your room, but as you can see, I’ve brought a guest.”

“Lucius!” Severus said, turning around to see his friend, who was standing with Folter and a vaguely familiar brown haired man. “I haven’t seen you since—”

“Too long, mate, far too long! Been a bit busy with Elyyson, have you?” teased the tall pale blond, laughing. Severus couldn’t help noticing that his friend seemd to be doing quite well, in his obviously new olive green wizarding robes, his long hair tied back in a low ponytail. “Hey,” Lucius continued. “Let’s talk somewhere, shall we? Got a bit to tell you that one can’t put in a letter, you know what I mean?”

But before they could leave the front foyer Severus’ father, who had been quietly conversing with the other men, stopped them.

“You are men now, and you will be involved in adult coversation, not traipsing away to your room to gossip and play,” he said coldly, black eyes staring hard at his son, unblinking. (“We do not now, nor have we wever, gossiped and played!” Severus thought to himself in classic teenage fashion) Stalinus did not notice the highly offronted look on his son’s face as he continued. “Follow me, gentlemen, we will be more comfortable talking business in the study.”

Lucius and Severus exchanged a glance, then follwed their fathers and the brown haired man into the first floor Study.

When they were all seated, and Stalinus had served each of the men a glass of Brandy, Folter stood to introduce his comrade.

“Severus, I do not believe you’ve been fully introduced to my friend here,” Folter began, but Severus interrupted him.

“Oh!” He said, having just figured out where hehad seen the man before. “I knew you were familiar, and I’ve been trying to place you! You’re Tom Riddle, are you not? We met when I was younger…didn’t we?”

The corners of Tom’s mouth lifted slighly, but his ‘smile’ left Severus slightly unassured.

Folter cleared his throat, and glanced from the bron haired man to Severus. “You have met him before, yes, but you will come to know him by another name. This, Severus, is Lord Voldemort, and he is a very important person to know.”

Severus raised one dark eyebrow and looked to the man with skepticism. “Lord Voldemort?” He said, still somewhat unnerved by the man’s small ‘smile.’

“That’s correct, Severus,” said the man, rising from his seat and putting out his hand. “The Dark Lord Voldemort am I, and you’re uncle is right, I do believe I am someone you will soon be glad to know. You may not realize it yet, Severus, but there is a war brewing. I imagine that Muggle-Lover Dumbledore is keeping it pretty well hushed over there at Hogwarts, but I feel my followers, and their families, should know.” The Dark Lord returned to his seat.

“You see, son,” Stalinus began, once again turning his harsh eyes to his boy, “Tom—er, Voldemort, the Dark Lord, has been a friend of the Snape and Malfoy families for some time. His views reflect ours in so many ways…” Stalinus’ expression turned, if possible, colder and angrier at the start of his next sentence. “He never would have let that Covedweller Mudblood off so easily, as the ministry did! No, he would have cursed him good. A regular Unforgivable. Every Unforgivable, thrown at him at once, that’s what he deserved, starting with ‘Crucio!” and a grand finale of ‘Avada—’”

“Have you ever used an Unforgivable Curse on another living creature before, Severus?” Voldermort interrupted. Stalinus took a swig ofBrandy as the younger Snape shook his head. “You will,” said Voldemort, confidently. “What about you, Lucius?”

“No, Sir.” Lucius replied. “but if by your orders I have to, I look forward to pleasing you to the best of my abilities. Sir.” The Dark Lord ‘smiled’ again. He was obviously pleased.

“You’ll have your chance. I saw that you both had very high marks in Defense Against the Dark Arts, but unfortunatly for the magical youth of Britain, and the world, you are never taught to use the curses you are defending yourselves against. And I don’t suppose they ever curse you, so that you know how it feels? Of course not! Dumbledore would never agree to that, would he? Never!” Voldemort stood again, extermporaniuosly dewlivering an empowered and passionate speech that much reminded Snape of the Shakespearean monologues he had read in his youth. “I will teach you all you need to know to belong to the real world!” Voldemort assured them. “Simply say the words, and I will brand you both my followers, members of my most elite group, my innermost circle! And you will be glad you’re there, you will! Dumbledore may have defeated Grindelwald, but good old Albus was in his prime then, and Grindelwald was far less powerful than I at his best day and on my worst! Yes, Lucius, you can be inducted by the weekend if you so desire, and Severus, the moment you step off that Hogwarts train for the last time—I’d let you join now, of course, but I can’t risk Dum,bledore preparing to stop us before we even have chance to strike, that would be…” He took a moment to collect himself before going on. “In any case, you will be glad you’ve joined so early, and you will be best fighting for us, on the better side, the pureblood side, the darker side. The winning side. Your sons will be Christened into the group, and their sons, and so on, as I will personally oversee each one’s bringing up into the dark organization. I call them my Death Eaters, and you can be one of them. Both of you.” With that, Voldemort again sat in his chair, and tipped back the rest of his Brandy.

The Study was silent a few moments, when finally Lucius spoke. “I, for one, would be honored and proud to call you Master, my Lord.”

Stalinus glared at Severus, who was still a tad too dumbstruck to speak.

“Severus?” Stalinus prodded, and Severus tried to collect himself.

“Yes,” He stammeed, “I, uh, also, would be proud, and…glad, to call you, uh, Master, Lord Voldemort. Sir.”

“Good, good!” Voldemort stood again, a more pronounced but still entirely eery smile on his lips. “In that case, my work is done for today. You will both attend this weekend’s meeting, though you understand, this will be your only one for some time, until you leave that institution, Severus. I feel I should allow you to witness the induction of your cousin and Father, just as your father watched as Folter received the Mark just two weeks ago, but I cannot risk further…you understand, of couse. I will see the three of you this weekend. Bring your wife, Stalinus, and Lucius, your mother is welcomed. You are getting married soon?”

“Next year, My Lord. To Narcissa Black.” Lucius informed him.

“Good family, the Blacks. Shame about that other one…You bring your future wife along, if her father has no objections. I daresay, he’ll be there as well, and needn’t worry… The Mark, this weekend. Until then.” With a distinct POP, Lord Voldemort was gone.

“What Mark?” asked Severus, to which no one said anything.

After a pause, Folter stood up, and finishing his Brandy, said, “Come, Lucius. Work to do. I believe your mother invited the Blacks are to dinner this evening.”

Folter and Stalinus shook hands and whispered back and forth a moment, then, with a POP, Folter apparated away.

“I’d better get out then, don’t want Narcissa hanging about sans moi,” said Lucius. “Bye then.”

POP. And Stalinus was left alone with his son.

“Not a word to your mother,” Stalinus instructed, then he, too exited with a POP, leaving Severus alone in the Study.

“What Mark?” He said to no one in particular. He went to the cabinet, pulled out the Brandy, and poured himself a glass. He downed it in one gulp, then glanced around the room, still confused over what had just happened.

“What Bloody Mark?”
***~~~***

A/N and this begins Severus’ real descent into the dark world of Death eaters…mwahahahaha! :)


Chapter 12: The First Meeting...And The Dark Mark
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***~~~***
Both Lucius and Severus waited anxiously for the weekend. Folter had warned his son of the excrutiating pain he would have to endure in order to receive the Mark, and he ordered the 18 year old not to, under any circumstances, show weakness when branded.

“If you cry, or even cry out, so help me, Lucius, I will curse you myself!” Folter told his son on Thursday night. Severus had stood back and listened, silently, as his uncle continued to threaten his cousin. “When I am done with you, ‘crucio’ will be the only word left in your vocabulary, and pain the only emotion left in your feeble body. This family cannot take the shame of a weak and fragile son, and I will not have some spineless pansy as my heir. Understand?”

“I will not cry, Father. I will be strong, and make you proud, as I always do.” Lucius said with an air of over-confidence.

“Don’t get an attitude with me, Lucius!” said Folter, drawing his wand, which he always kept in the right side pocket of his billowing black robes. Lucius instinctively tightened his hand on his wand, both hidden inside his robe pocket. But his father did not point the eleven inch instrument of Mahogany and Dragon Heartstring in the direction of his hardheaded son. Instead he held it by his side, and called out, “Cylindra!”

Severus was confused (emotion of the week!). Cylindra was one of the house elves, the old cook, who had been with the Malfoy’s for decades.

The tiny house elf entered at once, wearing a torn formerly white ripped up pillowcase she had obviously fashioned herself some time ago, and carrying a wooden spoon.

“Cylindra, my son Lucius wished to witness first hands the results of the Unforgivable Curses. I shall need an elf to try them on. Rather than chose three, and perform a different curse on each, I have decided that one of your offspring would suffice. Which do you wish me to take?”

“Oh, Mas’r! Please! Not my chil’r’n! Not mine, Mas’r! Cylindra instead! Cylindra is old house elf, no use to you soon, as Cylindra is dying each day already! Please, take Cylindra, Mas’r!”

“Nonsense. My wife, though I do not often worry about pleasing or angering her, would be most upset to lose you, as she is so fond of your cooking and, er, personality. I will take one of the younger ones, give me one of your sons, and this way, when you die, your daughter will still be around to do the cooking. Go, and fetch one. I will expect you back momentarily…Or I shall kill each of them in front of you. Go!”

Cylindra the house elf sighed, obviously torn. “Yes, Mas’r. As you wish.”

Lucius sneered at his father. He honestly hated bearing such a striking resemblance to the older man; sometime Lucius hated his own reflection simply because it reminded him so much of the older Malfoy.

“That’s really necessary, Father?” He asked, but it was not meant to be a question.

“You will see what dishonor will get you if you embarrass me Saturday.”

“But Uncle, to do that to Cylindra, it’s so terribly cruel,” Severus began, but, upon catching sight of his Uncle’s glare, he broke off and stared defeatedly at his hands.

About a minute passed before Cylindra returned, but it felt like an eternity to Lucius and Severus.

She was followed closely by her two sons and daughter, who hopped forward to clutch her mother’s trembling hand.

“Cylindra is here with offspring, Mas’r.”

Folter Malfoy smiled cruelly. “Which did you chose, Cylindra?”

“Father!”

“You have made your choide as I demanded, have you not?”

“Mas’r!” The smaller male house elf stepped forward.

“Mas’r, Kicker has offered to be the one. Kicker will do it.” Lucius couldn’t helped thinking about how much he hated to hear them refer to themselves in the third person.

“Kicker it is then,” said Lucius, pointing his wand at the elf.

The other male house elf, Rockers, rushed forward with grim expression and grabbed Cylindra’s other hand. She and the female, Shadowling, were already sobbing.

Kicker’s face was stoic as the Master Malfoy placed him under first the Imperious Curse. He made Kicker dance about, flip around like a fish out of water, and break a vase over his abnormally shaped head, cutting his big ears with shards of glass. The teenagers watched silently as Folter lifted the Curse.

Aiming his wand directly at the little house elf, he cried, “Crucio!”

Severus could hardly stand to watch.

When that bit of torment was finally through, Lucius was almost glad to hear, “Avada--” but the second word was inaudible over the screeches, screams and cried of the other three house elves. There was a flash of green light, and the littlest elf lay motionless on the cold wooden floor. “Good night, Kicker,” Severus whispered to himself.

“Don’t embarrass me,” Folter spat at Lucius, then turned on his heel and headed back to the kitchen.

“Cylindra!” The pair heard him call from the attached Dining Room. “See that my desert reaches me in my study momentarily. And tell that girl of yours to get that mess off my floor. I’ll take tea with my cake.”

“Yes, Mas’r.”
***~~~***
Severus was quite sure that Thursday Night would stay burned in his mind for a long time…But he’d much rather have horrible images burned into his mind than a horrible scarring brand burned into his arm.

But in less than two years, he would have one to match those of his father and Lucius.

Ebony had agreed to come to the meeting (she had little choice, once Stalinus made the decision to tell her of their induction to the Death Eaters he insisted she come along and watch). She and Narcissa joined Desé and the other women off to one side of the field where the ‘ceremony’ was performed. Narciss’s sister Bellatrix was there as well; her husband had already been inducted.

“Why our Lord refuses to let women join, I’ll never understand,” she whispered bitterly to Severus as she went off to join the women while he was permitted to stay and watch with the men.

It didn’t take all that long, and, though it took all of his energy to maintain a semblance of dignity and strength, Lucius did not cry. Afterwards, the group was allowed to remove masks (those who were already members arrived wearing them) and mingle with the other Death Eaters, thwier wives, and other underage Wizards and Witches who were in attendance. Severus greeted Sherona Rayne, who was there with her parents and newly inducted older brother, Kalus. He also spotted The Goyle and Flint families, and admired Taai’s brand.

“Good to be of age, eh?” The older boy had quipped. “No pain, no prestige though, right? No prestige, no pwer. And who doesn’t mind a little pain for a lot of power?”

“Righto,” Severus had agreed, feeling oddly out of touch with his old friend. ‘You saw him just two months ago, Severus,’ he told himself, ‘and he’s still the same Taai. Why are you so—” But whatever Severus thought he was “so—” was nonessential, as he didn’t have time to chastise himself further, Voldemort was speaking, and everyone knew to turn attention to him immediatly.

“It has been brought to my attention by this woman here,” Began the Dark Lord, motioning for someone to join him on his platform, “That some certain females feels they are worthy of joining my Death Eaters.”

Severus, and several other people at the meeting, gasped. Bellatrix Black!

“Mrs. Lestrange feels that she is just as loyal a follower as any, and wishes to be branded with the Dark Mark. I have made a deal with her…If she is able to withstand the pain of the Mark for a full three minutes, I will allow any woman who, in the future, proves herself worthy and loyal to me to become one of my Death Eater, and I will welcome Bellatrix into my elite circle."

"She'll never stand the pain!" Severus heard Lucius hiss in his left ear.

"If not," the Dark Lord went on, "this young lady will not only ruin it for any women who would like to join later, but she will also be most horribly cursed, tortured until she knows her rightful place as a woman. Have I your blessing, Lestrange?”

Bellatrix’s husband nodded curtly, glaring at his wife.

“So be it.” The Dark Lord lifted the young woman's arm, and began to administer the Dark Mark...

. . .

And Bellatrix Lestrange became the first female Death Eater.
***~~~***


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