I knew this would happen. I bloody knew it from the moment she turned up here and now everything is ruined. Sirius would always act all cagey whenever I brought her up but I just thought that was because he just didn’t like her. I bet she’s been throwing herself at him for months now. I knew I should have been at that party last night but the Minister’s ball was something I could not miss. My job was already on the line and Merlin knows I need it more than ever now, as Mother reminds me every day.
“Is Sirius up?” Lupin asked as I entered the kitchen. “I told him not to drink so much last night. Do you want me to go and get him?”
I ignored him and grabbed a half empty bottle of firewhiskey. After pouring myself a shot, I turned back to Lupin. “It’s gonna be a long day,” I sighed before downing it.
“It wasn’t what it seemed,” Sirius muttered unconvincingly as we walked up the long drive to my childhood home.
“It never is,” I hissed back as I knocked on the large wooden door.
“Mistress Crystal,” Pinky, our ancient house elf, squeaked as the door swung open. She stared down nervously at her shoes and refused to look up once she saw Sirius standing next to me, “You must e Mister Black. My Mistress Claudia is just freshening up. She requests that you make yourselves at home. You must excuse Pinky, Pinky has to finish the foods for Mistresses and guests.” Pinky disappeared with a small click and I grabbed Sirius’ hand softly.
Our house was rather large but after my father died, Mother had locked off the whole of the East wing and most of the West claiming the house was too big for just the two of us. The rooms that were left unlocked were usually covered in dust and had a variety of magical pests residing in there owing to the fact that all of our house elves, minus Pinky, had been sacked around the same time as Mother had locked off most of the house. Thankfully, it seemed Pinky (and most probably Mother) had cleaned the dining room from top to bottom in preparation for today.
“Is that you?” Sirius asked, pointing at a portrait above the fireplace.
“Yes, on my 17th,” I grinned remembering how Mother had spent hours perfecting my look.
“You looked beautiful” Sirius whispered as he wrapped an arm around my waist. Every part of my brain was screaming to push him away but I couldn’t help how my body tingled at his touch. “Who’s the boy in the picture?”
“That’s Christian,” I laid my head on Sirius’ shoulder, “He’s only in the picture when Mother’s not in the room though.”
Sirius opened his mouth to speak but was cut off by the door swinging open.
“Crystal, darling,” Mother exclaimed as she pulled me away from Sirius and into her arms. My mother’s perfume was almost suffocating and her clothes still had an almost mothball-like smell about them. When she released me, I saw she was wearing robes of midnight blue, her most expensive ones that hadn’t been worn since before father died. “Sirius Black,” Mother grinned as she crossed the room.
“Nice to meet you Claudia,” Sirius smiled that dazzling grin that makes any female weak at the knees.
“Likewise,” Mother kissed Sirius on both cheeks before smiling at him and taking her seat at the head of the table. Both Sirius and I took our seats and he reached out to hold my hand across the table. “How is dear Walburga? We were quite close back at school.”
“I wouldn’t know,” Sirius said stiffly, “I was disowned a while back.”
I gasped audibly and Mother shot me a warning look. How did I not already know this, I thought angrily and couldn’t help but think of how this could ruin everything.
“Being disowned isn’t as final as it sounds,” Mother said brightly and there was a small trace of bitterness as she continued, “Wizarding law is very complicated.” Both Mother and I glanced at the portrait in which I now stood alone.
“I don’t understand,” Sirius frowned.
Mother cleared her throat and made herself comfortable before speaking. “Walburga knows full well that there is no absolute way to disown and cancel wizarding inheritance laws. You see, magical bloodlines are unchangeable. Any direct descendent of a magical family is forever entitled. Muggle law pretty much ignores bastard children but we do not,” Mother glanced at the portrait once more. “You, Sirius Black, will be entitled to a per cent of the Black estate no matter what Walburga and Orion think about it. You’re also the first born son so that weighs your case even more.”
Sirius just sat there looking gobsmacked and I felt a wave of relief; this wasn’t a waste of time. I glanced over at Mother and she nodded slightly at me with a small smile.
“Now, where is the food?” Mother called out to Pinky.
“Don’t you ever try to take me for a fool again, Sirius Black,” I hissed as soon as we made it back to his house.
“I already told you, nothing happened between Jessica and me,” Sirius sighed as he dropped down onto the sofa. Apparently, Lupin and that bitch Jessica had gone to James’ house for lunch today; evidently we weren’t invited along.
The few hours we were at my Mother’s house, I’d pretended everything was fine; she didn’t need to know about any complications and I was perfectly happy letting her believe Sirius and I were getting on today. Sirius had constantly tried to corner me and plead his innocence but every time we found ourselves alone, I would walk away. There was no way he was getting away with it that easily.
“Why would I cheat when I’ve got you?” Sirius asked as he started kissing my neck.
“I guess that’s true, I mean, she’s nothing like me,” I said proudly and Sirius murmured in agreement.
“So, are you gonna tell me who this Christian is?” Sirius asked in-between his kisses.
“My brother,” I shrugged uninterestedly.
Sirius stopped kissing my neck and his head shot up, “You have a brother?” He asked incredulously.
“Half-brother,” I corrected. “He’s two years older than me and half muggle. He turned up on the doorstep when I was 15. My father had a lot of mistresses before I was born and Christian’s mother was apparently his favourite; he visited them almost weekly until I was about 4 because Mother had had enough of it but he continued to give them lots of money. Then, Christian turned 17 and decided to find his daddy. Mother was heartbroken; she never thought that my father had been so careless during his affairs and she never dreamed the bastard child would show up on her doorstep during one of her dinner parties. Although, she did welcome him into our home after she found out Christian’s mother had died a few months earlier.”
“Your father actually had a child by his mistress?” Sirius interrupted ad shook his head in disbelief. “My dad was never that stupid; my dear old mother would have murder him herself if there were any other children out there.”
“Apparently, they thought Mother couldn’t conceive,” I shot back defensively. “Anyway, my father died when I was 19 and Christian was 21 and that’s when things got nasty. A lawyer was assigned by the Ministry to divide our assets; Christian, being the first born and being male, got the bulk of our estate. It was something to do with his ‘deprived’ childhood. The house was legally my mother’s through her family so he couldn’t have that and Mother and I were left with barely enough to live on. Christian went travelling and we haven’t heard from him at all in the last 6 years.”
Sirius said nothing as he wrapped his arms around me and pulled me into his chest.
“I love you, Sirius” I whispered.
“Is Petunia settling in to married life well then?” I asked my mother while she put away all the bridal magazines we had been looking at over the past three hours. I’d left James, Jessica, Remus and Peter at our place while I came to see my mum; this was the first New Year’s Day I’d been able to spend with her since I’d started school owing to the fact the train always left on January 1st. My mum was absolutely thrilled at the fact that both of her daughters were creating families of their own and she couldn’t wait to experience a magical wedding (something I was intrigued about as well).
“Vernon just got a promotion and they’ve put down a deposit on a house of their own already. It’s a beautiful three-bedroom place in Surrey. She’ll have a house-warming party next month and you’ll get to see it then,” My mum smiled fondly.
There was no way in hell she’d invite me anywhere near her house, I thought bitterly.
“She’s moaning that she’s not pregnant though. She can’t understand why it hasn’t happened yet,” My mum continued with a slight frown.
“Well, they’ve only been married for a few months, did she expect to have a bun in the oven already?” I muttered. “What happened to wanting to just enjoy life with your husband first before bringing a baby into the mix?”
“So I’m guessing that your engagement has nothing to do with a little surprise in less than nine months’ time,” My mum chuckled as I made a face.
“Oh, Merlin, no!”
“I do love your little sayings, darling. That seem so exotic to me.”
I glanced down at my watch and gasped, it was already almost 7 and there was an Order meeting at half past. “Mum, I’ve got to go but I’ll drop by sometime next week. I’ll make sure all the protection on the house is as strong as humanly possible. Please be careful,” I pleaded as we walked over to the front door.
“Of course,” My mum kissed my cheek softly. She waved goodbye as she shut the door and I turned to cast as many protective spells as I could over the house.
Once I was done, I decided that I’d walk round the corner to find a safe and empty place to disapparate since it was an unseasonably nice day. Walking down my old road felt like a trip down memory lane. I passed the wall that Petunia had fallen off of and broken her arm as a young child. The housing estate on the other side of the road that we used to ride our bikes through was practically unchanged and some of my old friends’ mothers waved and called out to me as I passed through. Once I reached the park, I felt a chill run down my back and couldn’t help the glance to the tiny houses that resided on the other side. Those houses were perpetually dirty and there was an air of neglect around both the houses and the people who lived in them. One of those desolate buildings was where Severus Snape had spent his childhood and I suddenly wanted to run back home to my mother in that same way that I had that very first time I’d gone to call for Sev at his house.
I ran down the road with my long hair flowing behind me. Mummy had wanted me to put my hair in pigtails today considering I was going down to Sev’s house and she wanted me to look presentable. The braids were pulling too much on my scalp and the moment I was out of sight of the house, I’d pulled my hair free and wrapped the bands around my wrist making a mental note to redo my hair before I went home tonight. I passed Tuney sitting with some older girls on a wall and she scowled at me but I couldn’t care less today; I was spending my day with Sev and he was gonna show me more magic and tell me more about Hogwarts. I ran even faster; my starch white trainers pounded the pavement as I tried to control my breathing.
Sev’s house was right on the end of the row and was the only fully detached house there. The walls were supposed to be white but had turned an ugly shade of grey and the curtains were always drawn. I had to admit this house scared me a lot but I knew Sev was expecting me and I couldn’t let him down. My steps slowed as I got closer to his front door and I was barely putting one foot in front of another by the time I reached his gate. I pushed it open and I half expected the loud squeaking noise would alert my best friend to my presence but his door remained shut. It took all my courage to raise my fists and knock twice on the door; there was no doorbell or fancy knocker like the houses on my street had.
“Wha’ d’you want?” A deep rumbling voice demanded as the door swung open forcefully.
“Hello, Mr Snape, I’m a friend of Severus’. He told me to call for him today,” I attempted to sound confident but my voice cracked and I felt very afraid.
The man just stared at me and I tried not to wrinkle my nose at the smell that emanated from him; he smelt ever worse than my daddy did after his last work party. His trousers had holes of varying size all over them and there was dried blood on his knuckles. He ran a hand through his unwashed hair before letting out a loud burp.
“Who’s at the door?” A timid voice called out and there were soft footsteps coming towards us. “Tobias, who’s at the door?”
“Ginger girl,” The man grunted before turning to the small women who I assumed was standing behind him. “Apparently, your son invited her,” He spat.
The woman pushed her way past the man and smiled warmly at me, “You must be Lily. Severus said you’d be dropping by. How are you?”
“I’m fine, thank you,” I whispered as I caught sight of her black eye and cut cheek.
“BOY!” The man yelled and there was more shuffling until Sev appeared. The man turned muttering and retreated back into the house.
“Hi, Lily,” Sev muttered as he made his way out of the door. “I’ll see you later, mum.”
The woman smiled nervously at the two of us before she turned and shut the door. Sev tried to pull me as far away from the door as possible but we couldn’t escape the yells that emanated from behind the now locked door.
I knew I should have just gone back inside after casting the spells and apparated from there but my mum always got so scared by the popping noise and the fact I would disappear from in front of her very eyes.
“Lily,” A voice called and I froze at the entrance of the alleyway I’d chosen to disapparate from. Severus Snape himself stood behind me with a dark hood pulled over his head. I glanced down to see his hands were free of his wand and both were held up as if to show he was not going to hurt me.
Just turn and apparate, I urged myself but for some reason I could not leave this spot. I couldn’t turn my back on my childhood friend despite the things he had said and the things I knew he had done.
He glanced down at my hands and visibly sagged. “So it’s true then? You’re engaged,” Sev muttered with a grimace. “You’re engaged to him.”
I nodded, “How did you find out?”
“I saw the announcement in the Prophet and your mum told mine last week.”
James had insisted that there was an engagement announcement in the paper so that everyone would know and he could prove all his doubters wrong.
“I’m sorry Lily,” Sev stepped closer to me. “I should never have said what I did. You know that I don’t think of you in that way. You know me.”
“I knew you, I don’t know you anymore. What are you doing round here anyway? Shouldn’t you be with your friends doing Merlin knows what to innocent people?”
“My father died. I had to come back to help my mother out. She was distraught.” Severus looked away from me as he spoke and I could have sworn I saw a small smirk on his face.
“How did he die?” I asked, praying that my suspicions would be wrong.
“The muggles suspect that he bought some dodgy alcohol from someone. They think he was poisoned but are having trouble finding anything that could have had that effect on his intestines.”
I gasped and suddenly wanted to be as far away from this monster as I possibly could be. I wanted to be with James.
Severus closed his eyes and rubbed his temples. “I must admit that I’m hardly distraught about this. My mother doesn’t see how this can benefit her. She doesn’t see how much better her life will be now. I think the muggles have a clinical term for someone who falls for their abuser; of course she was already in love with him so I’m not sure it would work in this situation.”
I took a small step backwards and Severus looked up sharply. “I need to go now. James will wonder where I’ve got to, especially in the current climate.” I said sharply.
“Lily, I can protect you much better than he ever can. I know what’s coming and I can save you. I won’t ever let them get to you.” Severus pleaded as he took a step towards me.
“Why do you even care? I’m just a mudblood to you anyway,” I spat as I pulled my jacket tighter around my body. Severus flinched at that word and opened his mouth to reply but I cut across him. “Do they even know you’re half muggle yourself? I can’t imagine your master would be too happy to find out that little nugget of information.”
“I’m a Slytherin; that in itself is enough proof of my blood status for most of my friends,” Severus said and I scoffed. “And my father is no longer living, regrettably,” He added as an afterthought.
“Well, it was nice catching up, Severus but I’ve really gotta go now,” I said firmly as I begun to focus on my house and prepared to apparate.
“It’s going to get much worse. They’ll start coming for people like you and once they get the power they want, you won’t stand a chance,” Snape pleaded as I disapparated.
After showering and dressing, I paused outside Sirius’ door with my fist raised ready to knock. Yesterday morning was terrible; I’d woken up bruised and hung over on the floor of Sirius’ room. All I could remember from the night of the party was a massive argument between me and Sirius. I’ll admit I was ashamed; of what I’d said AND the fact I’d lost control so badly. I couldn’t let my emotions get the better of me- I’d proved that continuously over that last year.
Shaking my head slightly, I decided against talking to Sirius and continued down the landing. “Oi,” a voice called before I managed to reach the stairs. I spun around hopefully but froze as soon as I saw Crystal. She was glaring at me and her hair was all messed up.
“Don’t you own a brush?” I sneered as I turned back to face the stairs but Crystal grabbed my wrists. Her grip was like a vice and I tried not to flinch away from her. She was wearing what I recognised as one of Sirius’ shirts; one I knew that he absolutely hated which was obviously why she was allowed to wear it. I waited for her to speak but she just stared at me. “Well, as much fun as this is, I don’t fancy spending my whole day in the hallway with you, so…?”
“You stay away from Sirius,” She hissed. “He wouldn’t want someone like you in a million years.”
I actually laughed. I seriously couldn’t help myself.
“Sweetie, I already had him so obviously he did want someone like me…many, many times. In fact, I vaguely remember him telling me that I was the first girl he ever loved,” I grinned spitefully at the stupid bitch as she gasped and dropped my wrist. “Oh, didn’t you know? Ah diddums,” I patted her head.
And I left her standing alone in the hall with her mouth hanging wide open.
“I’d close that pretty little mouth if I were you, you’ll catch flies,” I called back while barely suppressing my giggle.
A/N: Sorry for the long wait again, I kept meaning to post but real life just gets in the way sometimes no matter how much I try to ignore it! How do you guys like Crystal's POV? I've been looking forward to writing her for a while cos she's a total bitch and I get to tap into another side of my personality lol. Thanks for reading and I hope you guys enjoyed it :)...Drop me a review if you want me to clarify anything or you wanna let me know what you think :)...I love you all!! Haha x
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