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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! :)

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