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a/n: thanks to Jackie (padfootandprongs91) and Jessi_Rose for helping me through this. And to my other SAYS family for listening to me as I talked about this.
a/n: thanks to Jackie and Lyn for helping me with my summary. You both rock.
a/n: thanks to infairi for the awesome title and banner.
a/n: Thanks To JKR for creating the world that Harry Potter and Characters live. With out her work this story would not be here.
also to snotori for editing. You rock.
Chapter graphic made by jessi_rose








It had happened ten years ago on a hot summer night. Now, the dark haired man, his hair slightly gray from the passage of time, sat mournfully beside a tombstone on that fate filled anniversary. One innocent life had been taken and two more had been changed; irrevocably intwining their fates.

"Cissa," he caressed her name chiseled into the stone with his long fingers. "I miss you." His brow leaned upon the cold rock and Severus Snape allowed his memories to flow of the only woman to have loved the man inside him.

Their friendship had started the day he had called Lily Evans a mudblood. In his humiliation and embarrassment, he had struck out at one of the only peers at Hogwarts who had shown him any compassion. ‘Strike first before being stricken’ had been in grated into him from childhood by his embittered pureblood mother.

He had run off to the owlery to stay hidden and weep over his open wounds. Someday, somehow he knew he would get back at James and Sirius for all their cruel pranks.

Hearing footsteps from outside, Severus sank deeper into the corner. Princes, even half-blooded ones, don't cry. Then he saw her, the Slytherin princess, Narcissa Black. Her long pale blond hair trailed down her back and flowed with the gentle breeze and he watched as she attached a letter to her owl, Widge. "Deliver that to Lucius at the Malfoy manor," she told the bird as it flew off. She leaned against the sill watching the owl till it disappeared from sight. Turning to walk out she catches sight of the black haired boy.

"Severus?" Narcissa knelt down beside him. "You okay?" She gently brushed back the hair from his face.

"Yes," Severus mumbled. He hated that Narcissa had seen him this way; tear stained face, and his nose all dripping from crying. He wanted to pull away from her, but something inside him prevented him from doing so.

Pulling a handkerchief from her pocket, Narcissa gently dried the tears off his cheeks, and then handed it to him. "Blow," she ordered. His cheeks turned an ugly shade of red, but he did as she commanded. "Now, tell me what happened?" He shook his head no. "Now, Severus..." She sat down next to him in the muck of the owlery and again tucked the stubborn piece of dark hair behind his ear. "Tell me." she looked into his eyes.

"You will just laugh. I have been laughed at enough today to last a lifetime."

"Sirius and James, I take it?" she guessed. "Their pranks can only hurt you if you let them."

"It goes beyond that. I called Lily Evans a mudblood and all she has ever done to me was help." Another tear trickled down his cheek. "Someday--" he started to say then stopped because even though Sirius was a blood traitor in the Black family's eyes, they were still cousins.

"Someday what?"

"Nothing!" Refusing to say more, Severus stood up. "Let's get out of here."


***





Another year passed and their relationship stayed merely as friends because as much as Severus liked Narcissa he knew that her parents were planning to marry her to the pureblood, Lucius Malfoy. As time passed he knew he wanted more, but being a half-blood meant he stood little chance unless Narcissa chose to turn away from her family.

The turning point came in their seventh year. They had a planned study date, and he was in the Room of Requirement at the appointed time. Severus had about given up on her, when an hour later, she entered; crying.

"Cissa?" He dropped his books back on the table, wrapped his arms around her, and drew her onto a small couch that suddenly appeared.

"My parents, Lucius--" she hiccuped. "They want an immediate wedding once NEWTS are over and school is done." She buried her head into his shoulder. He could feel her tears soak through his robe and her shudders as she cried.

"Isn't that what you wanted?" he asked holding her closer.

"No," she mumbled into his shoulder. "I know what is expected, but I didn't think it would be so soon. Why bother even with NEWTS if I am not allowed to pursue a healer's post at ST. Mungo’s?" she questioned looking up into his eyes. "Why can't I just be what I want? Now I know how Andromeda felt."

"Andromeda?"

"My sister. Well, she choose a Muggleborn and she no longer exists on our tree." She looked at him sadly while drawing her fingers through his black hair and instinctively did what she had desired for months now. No longer fighting it, Narcissa drew Severus' face to hers and kissed him.

Severus’ heart skipped a beat and he kissed her back. His hands tangled in her long blond hair, holding her head close as they kissed. "Cissa?" Hr breathed out as he drew back to look into her eyes.

"Shh, we've been fighting this too long." She slowly unbuttoned the top of his robe and pulled the knot from his tie. The small couch they had been cuddling on suddenly became a bed. Narcissa giggled. "See... Even the room knows what we want."

"Cissa--" Narcissa laid her fingers on his lips and he gently bit them arousing both of them. "Cissa, this changes nothing. Malfoy will kill you--"

But she kissed the words right out of his mouth. "Lucius only wants me for my pure blood. You think he hasn't snogged while waiting for me?" She laughed bitterly. "I only have these last few months to have what I want. And... I... Want... You!!!" Narcissa said slowly and decisively.

Severus stopped fighting, allowing her words to seduce him as a dangerous game begun.

He drew her closer, and holding her head between his hands, he kissed her deeply, tangling his tongue with hers. One by one, each of their robe’s buttons became undone. Slowly, their garments became a pile beside the bed. Naked, Severus held Narcissa close and stroked her pale skin as his lips sucked at the nape of her neck. It was heaven. He felt her hand touching him and he felt ready to burst. He groaned and lowered his hand to grasp hers to stop her. "My luv, you know not what you do." But when he saw she did know exactly what she was doing he quietly breathed out an anti-conception spell. She said it with him knowing the consequences of forgetting were dire.

Severus tore his eyes away from her beautiful form. "Are you sure?" he asked once more; making one hundred percent certain she wasn’t about to do something she would regret later.

Narcissa looked deep into his eyes, and nodded. Rolling her onto her back, he entered her. He heard her small gasp of pain and felt her legs as they wound around his naked torso. All too soon, he felt himself shudder in release as she gasped hers. Rolling over, he held her close as they fell asleep.

The very next day, Severus began teaching her occlumency. He feared for her safety if Lucius ever decided to explore her mind.

"Clear your mind of thoughts. When you feel my attempts to enter your mind, you block them," he instructed. "Begin now," he said seriously.

He gave her a few minutes to clear her thoughts, and then he began his journey into her mind. She's not blocking me!! he thought as he got in. Suddenly he turned, his cheeks flushed and his body aroused from what she had let him glimpse.

"Cissa!! Please try. This is important." He kept his back turned, trying to calm himself down. Merlin, Cissa! He breathed deeply. What does she even see in me? I pale in the shadow of Lucius. He bowed his head for a moment before turning at the touch of her hand on his shoulder. "Lets begin--" but was stopped as she placed her fingers on his lips.

"Attraction, my love, is not what is on the outside." She place her hand on his chest, right over his heart, "But what is in here. Looks are superficial and fade with time." Narcissa reached up a hand and pulled his face closer to kiss him. She then wrapped her arms around him, laying her head on his chest listening to his heart as it beat. Knowing every beat brought them closer to the end.

She felt his fingers as he lifted her face to look her in the eyes. "Cissa, thank you," he breathed, kissing her softly before pulling away from her. "Let's begin again," and the lesson began all over. It saddened him and pleased him how well, with time, she learned to protect her mind from him.


***





Time passed and the two star-crossed lovers saw each other very little for fear they would be caught.
The last time Snape had talked with Narcissa before she and Lucius brought their only child, Draco, to Hogwarts was the evening he met Lord Voldemort. It had been a Death Eaters meeting at her sister Bellatrix's house. That was the night he felt betrayed by her. The older wizard's skill in Occlumency had been far stronger than their younger skills. Lucius had used Severus' attraction to her to bring him there. There Severus was brought to the seductive influence of the Dark Lord. To accept the power he was offered, he knew he must forever give up the blond haired beauty who looked at him with down-caste eyes.

Knowing now what he had not then, his eyes filled with unshed tears. "I'm sorry, my love. I should have questioned instead of blaming you. I guess our primitive Occlumency lessons could not block a seasoned wizard like Lucius." His hand caressed the tombstone while tears slide down his cheeks. His shoulders heaved with his quiet sobs. "I turned you away for false promises of glory."

In a way, Albus Dumbledore had provided them a few more precious moments in time. Because of his Death Eater status, he was named her go-between with the Order. Using his status as Draco's head of house and professor and his professed loyalty to their Dark Lord, he was able to pass her Order messages safely. Or so they had all thought.


***





"Professor!! Professor!!" A frantic voice could be heard from the fire.

Severus had at first glanced up irritably from his potions book. Not many people knew where he was, after all he was now the wizardry world's most wanted for killing Hogwarts beloved headmaster. Only a few of Dumbledore's trusted knew the truth; the Aurors Nymphadora Tonks and Kingsley Shacklebolt and the new Order of the Phoenix leader, Remus Lupin. This voice, whom he knew well, should not have knowledge of his whereabouts, unless his mother told him.

"Draco? How may I help you?" Snape got up to walk quickly to fire.

"It's well," Tears and hesitation pouring through the words, "Well, cousin Tonks said I should floo you to come to the manor as soon as possible... It's Mum."

"Tonks? Cissa?" Severus was confused. "Draco, explain please."

"Well, Mum is--" The voiced stopped. All that could be heard was the young man crying.

Severus could feel his heart stop pounding. Picking up a handful of floo powder and throwing into the fire he said "Malfoy Manor!!"

With a cough, he arrived to stand before young Draco Malfoy surrounded by Tonks and Kingsley. Tonks had her arms around Draco, his head buried in her chest; crying. Without a word, Tonks nodded her head towards the sitting room. Tears could be seen on her cheeks also.

Snape slowly and almost painfully walked to the door of the sitting room. That's when he saw Narcissa. She was lying on the cold hardwood floor, her body twisted in an odd angle and her eyes open, unseeingly staring in death. With a cry he flew to her side and cradled her now cold form in his arms. He took his hand and drew it down her face in a caress as he closed her eyes. A tear rolled slowly down his face, dripping into her pale blond hair. "Why?? Why??" was all he could manage to say.

"Lucius killed her," Kingsley said quietly. "He found out about her Order activities." The Auror placed a hand on Severus' shoulder in comfort.

"How? We had been so careful." Severus continued to rock Narcissa's body as he held the tears in. Where had they been careless? Thoughts of revenge filled his head.

"It was my fault, he was angry at my failure in not killing Professor Dumbledore. She stepped in front of me as he threw a Cruciatus curse." Draco showed Severus the gemmed phoenix charm on the thin gold chain now clutched in his outstretched hand. "This fell out of Mum's pocket. They argued and he killed her."

Snape watched as the young man tucked the charm into his own pocket.

"Severus, its time for you to take Draco to Grimmauld Place. It is still safe for you both there," said Tonks her eyes still red with tears.

Snape kissed Cissa's brow and held her close for another brief moment. Their plans of marriage after the war was over and the Death Eaters vanquished was gone.


***





"But, my love, I avenged us both. Lucius died at my wand for what he put Draco and you through." Snape allowed himself a small smile at that memory. It had taken Draco and him two years after the war ended to find Lucius hiding away from the Aurors in a Death Eaters' hideaway in Bulgaria.

The fight had been horrific. Unforgivable curses flew threw the air. He watched as Neville Longbottom, Tonks and Draco had taken on Bellatrix Lestrange. Pride welled up in his breast as Neville's killing curse hit the old witch straight in the chest, knowing Neville's childhood pain of what she had done to his parents was finally over.

Himself; he had went straight for the autocratic Lucius. Ignoring the taunts and dodging the spells the older wizard had hurled at him, he stared him straight in the eye and shouted "Avada Kedavra!" The hate behind the spell threw the corpse across the room and smack into a brick wall. The dead wizard's snake headed cane falling from his hands to the floor with a clank.

"You would be so proud of your son. He has become an Auror and ironically, he is partnered with Harry Potter." Snape breathed in deeply the scent of the dark red rose he held in his hand as he laid the flower on the shrine and magicked it to never die. Like his love for that extraordinary woman who in life he had never been able to claim as his own.

Snape felt a touch on his shoulder. "Dad, it’s dinner time and your Cissa refuses to eat without her poppa Sevi," Draco Malfoy said to his honorary father.

A small four year girl with pale blond hair and a smile that rivaled her grandmother’s peered from behind her father's legs. Severus smiled as he stood up and held his arms wide as young Cissa ran to him.

Cissa was his first grandchild and the way Draco was going he would have several more before he passed on to be with his love but for right now being a father and a grandfather was all that he needed.

Snape held the happy four year old close to his chest and nodded at Draco telling him he was ready to which both men disapparated leaving behind the tomb of the beloved woman who left her mark on their world and is now remembered by a stone reading:

"Narcissa Black-Malfoy

1960-1997

Mother of Draco Malfoy

and

The Beloved of Severus Snape"

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