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The Moment of No Return.

A/NI am hoping and really trying to get this story to a point where Silvana is settled before submissions stop for HBP. There should be one last chapter before that happens and I will do my utmost to get that chapter written and posted before the 15th. BJ

And in today already walks tomorrow. ~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Lucius Malfoy leaned back in the armchair and studied his opponent while he thought about his next move. She was yin to his yang in every possible way. He was blond, she was dark. He was blue eyed, she was brown eyed. He was cunning and wicked; she was gentle and kind. And many years ago he had loved her for it. Before Narcissa, before he had found his soul mate, Silvana Snape had been the object of his desire, both in mind and body. When he used to take the trips to Snape Manor with his father to visit the abominable excuse of a father Severus and Silvana had had to endure, he used to watch her play outside. He used to offer her a smile as her long, dark hair caught on the breeze when they were children and he was too young to understand the significance of his feelings. He used to watch her weave in and out of the trees and run like the wind as if she didn’t have a care in the world. Before their fathers became involved theirs could have been an innocent love, but the moment passed Lucius Malfoy by far too quickly, and sins devoured the innocence in more ways than one.

He took her purity but not her heart on her 21st birthday. He wanted her as his possession. Lucius honestly thought that by taking her bodily, against her will, he would experience the innocence of youth that had been lost to him in the years before. He discovered he was wrong. He found he could not gain her love in that way. He found in taking her virginity forcefully, in taking all she had to offer, he felt an emptiness he had not expected to feel. Regret, perhaps. An emotion he had never experienced before and rarely felt again in his lifetime. Not getting what he wanted was an alien concept for this man. A moment’s wicked triumph that left a bitter after taste in his mouth. In that moment after he ruined her, Lucius Malfoy swore he would never sully another Pureblood woman again. Other lesser women, of course, were a different matter.

The regret lasted only hours. His fury at her deception, and the humiliation of the family having to announce her refusal and subsequent disappearance from the Wizarding World made any regrets whittle away into nothing. The rumours that he had killed Silvana grew and he did nothing to disquiet them. He would secretly vow to avenge his hurt pride and dented ego. Lucius Malfoy would not sit by and idly let a mere woman get the better of him. This was not to be borne. Pride and honour came first in the Malfoy household, and soon after Silvana disappeared he was betrothed to the beautiful Narcissa Black. A stunning beauty, exquisite, apparently compliant, and above all, she was the exact opposite in every way of Silvana Snape. Perfect solution to a difficult problem. But he would not forget Silvana. He would deal with her when the time came.

He looked across at Silvana now and tried to see in his eyes the little girl with the long flowing hair from years ago, but he could not find her. The innocence was lost, and there before him sat a woman, not a girl. A woman who despised and resented every breath he took, and yet she needed him in that moment. He held all the cards once more. Malfoy was always in control and his oversized ego loved it. For a fleeting moment he wondered about the woman underneath that austere façade, whether she was still as soft and sensual, but then remembered how she had found him and thought no more. Narcissa; his love and his life; his partner. His everything. The reason he was and the reason he would be. She was everything to him. She still knew so little of his early past, and the one thing she must never know was the truth about this woman before him now and his little ‘indiscretion’. His secret life. Lucius saw the steely glare of his opponent, for in the end that was what she was, and made his move.

“So poor, dear Severus is incarcerated and you come to me for help, Silvana. My, my we must be desperate. Now, what do I claim as a reward if I do you this service?” Silvana shook her head, already irritated by his familiar arrogance.

“ You do not change, Lucius. Cut to the chase. My patience will wear very thin with you. You said you knew Severus was innocent. Explain what you meant by that.” Lucius smirked.

“Isn’t he always? Poor innocent Severus? And yet he is more cunning and devious than all of us put together. For years he has managed to double deal, and squirm his way into our lives and still both Dumbledore and Voldemort treat him as a son. How clever. Oh how I envy him.” Silvana looked uneasy. He knows Severus is a spy and yet he has remained friends with him. This is not the Lucius Malfoy I know. Something is not right here. I do not trust him. I can never trust him. Silvana narrowed her eyes and studied Lucius warily, wondering how to treat him.

“You are irritating me, Lucius. Do not play me for a fool. Tell me the information that you claim to have and then leave me be. We do not have time to waste.”

“It is not that simple,” he said, with a cold, austere expression across his face. Why does that not surprise me? thought Silvana.

“Go on,” commanded Silvana, her voice showing her frustration with his games, her teeth chewing at her lips from inside.

“I need some reassurances before I go ahead with this knowledge.” Silvana sat upright and listened intently, keeping her cool, though despising his every demand.

“Tell me what they are and they will be considered.” Lucius scowled.

“You will do more than consider before I reveal all that I know.”

“I will be the judge of that.” Lucius studied her and saw the same determination that Severus had shown on various occasions over the years. The Snape family had spirit, that was certain. A fortitude of mind that could only be matched by the very best. Lucius paused for a moment and then decided he would not break her down. He started to reveal his demands.

“I want assurances that no information that I give to you tonight will be used in recrimination or attempt to punish the perpetrator.” Silvana shrugged, revealing nothing.


“I want no record to be kept that I was ever here, and my name will not be mentioned to anyone of authority, or within the Order of the Pheonix, apart from yourself and Severus. I want him to know of my good deed, of course.” Lucius waited for a reaction. Still there was nothing. He laid his final card on the table, keeping his poker face.

“And in helping you with this, and as you are now back in the Wizarding community, I want total immunity from any accusations you may wish to make against me from the events our past. This is my way of apologising for our…misunderstanding. I want a personal assurance from yourself that my wife, your brother and anyone else will never hear about our…coming together.” Silvana finally showed emotion in her face, her lips twitching with rage as she heard him describe not only the event that changed her life, but the death of her husband and son as if it were a mere triviality.How dare he treat this as if he can barter for his own life while Severus suffers? How dare he presume I have not told Severus already?Silvana’s mind whirled with emotion, and she struggled to contain her thoughts. She wanted to help Severus, but these demands were unreasonable. She needed to tell Severus the truth, and her trump card was evident now she had discovered Narcissa had no idea about Lucius’ violent past. She gripped her wand and sneered, though her hands trembled with anger.

“You talk about my life as if it means nothing to you. Why should yours mean anything to me?” Lucius scoffed at her bravado, knowing she was bluffing.

“Mine may not mean anything to you, but your brother’s does.” Silvana shrugged.

“Perhaps sacrifices have to be made in times such as these. You should not go unpunished for ruining my life. I should have come back years ago to wipe that smug expression clean off of your face, Malfoy.” Lucius stood up and turned to get his coat.

“Then I can see I am wasting my time being here, Silvana.” Silvana stood, her eyes blazing with anger holding the wand to his throat, the wood brushing against the sensitive skin, making Lucius swallow when he saw the anger in her eyes.

“Sit down Lucius. I have not given you permission to leave this house. You should remember who has the wand here. Who is in control.” Lucius slowly sat back down, a wicked look across his face.

“Then I have your word on these matters?” Silvana shook her head.

“I did not say that. All these years I have suffered at your hand but I have never understood why you felt the need to twist the knife as you did when you had found your own happiness.” Lucius frowned and glanced at Silvana, wondering what she was talking about.

“I will not be drawn into some charade, Silvana, and time is short. Will you give me your word?” Silvana paused for thought before she answered.Two can play this deception, Lucius.

“I will give you my word, as a Snape, that I will agree to your terms. Now tell me how you can help my brother.”

“Patience is a virtue, Silvana. I suppose your word will have to do.”

“And time is of the essence, Lucius. For all you know Aurors could be on their way here this very minute. It works both ways.” Lucius swallowed hard and nodded, knowing she could well be right. He narrowed his eyes and began to reveal what he knew.

“I have yet to find out exactly why, but it seems the Dark Lord has been less than happy with Severus and I. He has decided to punish us.” Silvana raised an eyebrow, looking curiously at her guest.

“And you are still alive to tell the tale? Perhaps a slow and painful death from me is not needed. How interesting Voldemort will do my work for me,” Silvana mocked, enjoying Lucius’ discomfort, sounding very like her brother.

“Yes, though I fear death by your hand may be the easier option. I have been making plans to…further my position in the world...without the Dark Lord. It seems that this has been discovered, along with Severus’ own deception, and this is the beginning of our punishment. Part of mine is to be forced to live from day to day without the opulence I am used to, and Severus is shunned from the Order, never to be trusted again, and yet also seeming to serve the Dark Lord compliantly. He loses the trust and attention of everyone he values. His own sister is the only one who believes him...or does she, really?” Silvana ignored the comment, though it wounded her. She damned him under her breath for getting far too close to the truth and steered the subject back on course.

“So how do you know about the mysterious communications if Voldemort does not trust you?” Lucius lowered his head and sighed.

“Another of my punishments. While he left me for dead in Azkaban the Dark Lord recruited my son to carry out his deeds.” Silvana gasped at this news and mocked him.

“Draco? I would have thought you would be proud of the boy, Lucius. So like his father, joining the heady ranks of Death Eater. How very sweet.”

“I would not wish him to become subservient to such a creature. He is above that. At least he was, and it breaks Narcissa‘s heart to hear of his plight.” Silvana frowned. Was that compassion she witnessed in his blue eyes or was he feigning it?

“My heart bleeds. How is Draco working for the Dark Lord?”

“Narcissa became suspicious after hearing about Severus’ resignation and she has talked to our son on and off since Severus left. Today she met him in Hogsmeade, and he confessed to assisting in a plot to weaken and control Harry Potter.” Silvana narrowed her eyes, not trusting her companion completely.

“How did he do this?” Lucius smirked and stared straight at Silvana.

“Only the Dark Lord would try something that had been tried before. He asked Draco to plant a book in Harry’s possession. A book he would use day in and day out. This book would be a communication to the Dark Lord but done in such a way that no one would ever know. This was how he has been able to bend Potter into making decisions and plans. This is how he eventually wanted to bring him to our…their side, but then I believe he saw another way. He could punish Severus by losing that trust he has with Dumbledore, and then plant a few rumours about him in the Ministry and ‘Hey Presto’ - Severus incarcerated and the Order lose their spy. Much easier than killing him, of course. He may need to use him later on. This all works to his advantage, Silvana.”

Silvana shook her head, amazed at what she was hearing. Can I trust that he is telling the truth? It all seemed so far fetched and yet so simple it may just be true. But how? How did they do it?”

“Do you know how they have communicated with him? We did not find anything when we searched.” Lucius shook his head.

“Alas, poor Draco was not privy to that level of information. He was merely the delivery boy.”

The delivery boy? When did I first see Draco Malfoy? Silvana’s mind raced back to her first day at Hogwarts. That first day of my Potions lesson with Harry. He left a book! A Potions book. He did it right under my nose. So cunning! So like his father.She glared at Lucius, still not sure how to take him.

“Why do you tell me this now? Why, when after all these years that you have tormented me, and then only a few years ago destroyed all my hope, would you help me now?”

“Destroyed your hope? You have lost me, Silvana. You left and I lived my life. Do not flatter yourself that I cared, or ever gave you a moment‘s thought.” Silvana shook with rage at his insolence.

“You cared enough to kill them. To kill my hope and dreams. Why did you have to kill them Lucius? Why? Did I really dent your ego that much you had to stoop so low?” Lucius frowned, though he grew alarmed at her anger, knowing she still held a wand pointed in his direction.

“You are delirious, woman. I have killed no one connected with you.” Silvana shook with anger, her voice raised and edged with contempt.

“My husband and my son. My child, Lucius. Or have you killed so many that another two on your list that day just fade from your memory.” Lucius looked genuinely shocked.

“I do not understand, Silvana. When? Where? This is really getting us nowhere!”

“Do not play games with me! I saw you there, your hair against the sun. He came to find you, Lucius! I begged him not to and I knew if he did you would try and find us. And so you did. But to kill him?” Lucius’ stunned face made Silvana stop her rant. She stared into his eyes, so cold and yet now flashing with an emotion she could not make out. Silvana delved a little deeper into his mind and as she did so she gasped.

He genuinely doesn’t know. But how can that be true? Is he so accomplished an Occlumens now that he can lie in this way? I saw him from a distance but I would know him as if he were standing as close as he is right now. Silvana lowered her voice to a whisper and watched Lucius’ face carefully.

“Yes, a child, Lucius. Surely you remember that killing? The child that came to search for his father, confused and angry with me for hiding the dreadful truth of his birth. He hated me! He hated me for lying about his background and when I told the truth he hated me more. He came to you hoping to find a father whom he could identify with. How could you? How could you do that? How could you kill your own son?”

Lucius Malfoy sat in his chair and looked at the glittering eyes of the woman before him, who waved her wand precariously. Her words cut him in two like a knife. He thought about all she had just said and it did not seem real.My own son? Surely she lies. I only have Draco. And yet why would she lie to me now? It cannot be true.

“I came here to help your…brother. I do not…a son? Our son? It is not true. I did not kill any relation of yours.” Silvana looked at his uncertain face scornfully.

“Are you sure, Lucius? Is that why you came to my aid tonight? To gloat about what you did? To tell me a pack of lies and then rub salt into my wounds by telling me you know nothing of the son you killed in cold blood? As her wand inched closer to his throat, Lucius stood up sharply and shouted at Silvana.

“No! Your brother is worth more to me alive than dead and it is in my own interests to keep him that way, I admit, but a son? A son of ours? A first born child. I did not know.” Silvana hardened her stance and continued to aim her wand at the now seated Lucius, who held his head in his hands, exasperated and confused.

“That was no excuse to kill him. What harm had he ever done to you? You were the one that did harm, Lucius. That is how he came about!” Lucius raised his head from his hands and shook it slowly.

“I did not kill him, Silvana. Whenever it was, however it may seem I did not kill your son. I swear to you.”

“But I saw you, Lucius! I saw you. Nearly three years ago, Ireland, the sun shining in the forest, you chasing them, our son and my husband, me screaming for mercy. They got to the clearing and you aimed at them. You never gave either of them a chance. He never stood a chance against you! You, his own father! I did everything I could all through his life to protect him from you and you still found us.” Silvana broke down in tears, exhausted from her explanations. Lucius watched the tears fall and closed his eyes.

“I was not there, Silvana. Think of me what you will, and you have every right to hate me for all those years ago, but it was not me who killed your son…our son.” Silvana wiped away her tears and whispered,

“But I saw you.” Lucius stiffened and narrowed his eyes, his tone cold and abrupt.

“You saw who you wanted to see. It was not me.”

Silvana’s mind whirled with emotion. She was confused and disorientated, having lived for so long with one belief, and then receiving this body blow to contradict everything she believed. She tried to regain her composure and focus on all that had happened, but one question raced through her thoughts time and time again. If not him, then who? She looked at the clock ticking slowly on the wall as the seconds passed her by, teasing her, reminding her of the actual task in hand. She had done all she had needed to do. She had to act fast now. She stood up swiftly, still aiming her wand at Lucius, who looked like a crumpled shell of the arrogant man who had entered her home not a few moments ago.

“I must inform Dumbledore and retrieve the book. You will leave now.”

She motioned for Lucius to leave, but as he stood he paused, making her nervous. He looked into her dark eyes, watching and waiting. A child born from such wickedness. A Pureblood heir before my own. Another son. Why could nothing of mine be born from purity? Another child. How Narcissa would have loved another child. Lucius turned around and calmly questioned her.

“What did he look like?”

“I’m sorry?” Silvana looked taken aback, shocked by his questioning.

“Our child. What did he look like? Was he fair or dark?” Silvana shook her head and screwed up her face as if annoyed he had dared to ask her this now. She answered him in short, sharp tones.

“Fair, like you. A constant reminder for me, though thankfully he had my temperament and not yours, at least not until he was older.” Lucius smiled, and nodded, his face softening a little.

“A perfect child, perhaps. His brother was the same.”

“He was my life.” She paused to see Lucius lost in thought and suddenly felt overwhelmed with this bizarre connection she felt to him. A gratitude he could help her, a hatred long borne, and rightly so, and yet also a sudden stir of compassion for him. Silvana swallowed hard, burying her unnatural feelings.

“His name was Colm. And, despite how he came about in this world, I loved him with all my heart. He was a handsome young man when he died.” Lucius stepped forwards, though Silvana’s alarm made him stay back. He took in a deep breath and looked her in the eye, a serious and calm look across his face. Silvana held her wand out in front of her.

“ Colm” he mused. “A good name. I would have liked to have seen him for myself,” he muttered, wistfully, though pulling himself back with a jolt and the normal sneering expression upon his face. “ I will leave you now. Do with this information as you wish, but ensure your brother’s safety at all costs. He may be more of an ally to me now than ever before.” Silvana nodded, her nerve beginning to crumble as the realisation of what she had found out tonight began to strike home.

“There is one more thing. All I say to you is that before my life is through I will find out who killed our child, Silvana, and when I do they will feel the full extent of my wrath. You can be sure of that.”

Silvana nodded mutely, stunned into silence by the man she had always hated, always mistrusted as she led him through the hall and out of her home. Yet now she was more grateful, and more confused than she ever had been in her life. She watched as he stepped out of the house and into the shadows, his hair a faint reminder until that too disappeared from view like a wisp of smoke on the breeze. She looked around her and then firmly closed the door behind her, leaning against the solid oak panelling, closing her weary eyes. Was he telling the truth? Could she really trust him? Silvana took a moment to take stock of all that had happened and steadied her breathing. As she leaned against the door she was disturbed by a sudden knock from the other side and her pulse rate shot up as she panicked. Could he be back? Why? Should she open the door?

She decided she should, slowly turning the ornate brass work of the locks she had just fastened until she heard a click and the door released. She opened the door slightly and her shoulders immediately relaxed as she saw who was standing on the other side. Silvana opened the heavy door and with her body wracked with sobs she wrapped her arms around her lover’s neck and breathed in his comforting scent. He had come for her at last.

Unlike the last time she had spent time alone with Lucius Malfoy, her knight had finally come to take her away. The moment she had waited for all her life had come. Remus Lupin had come to take her with him. She would not return to Snape Manor again.

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