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Chapter 5 : Disasterous Arrival
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A/N: I don't own anything, you all know that!
Severus reached the Beech tree right around the time they were set to meet. Lily set underneath, smiling at him as if it were completely normal for him to meet her under the tree. She was tall with a slender face, full lips, emerald, striking green eyes, and fire red hair.
“Severus!” She said, seemingly happy to see him.
“Hello. You wanted to see me?” He asked quietly, still not sure why he was there in the first place.
“Yes, well, I just wanted to check that you were okay. I mean, I know it’s been a few months since that episode outside Herbology and all, but I wanted to make sure that everything is….okay.” Severus narrowed his eyes at her. This was highly unusual.
“I’m fine,” he said indignantly, horrified that anyone would think he was in need of help.
“I know that idiot Potter and Black say things that might make you upset, but you shouldn’t listen to them.” This was too much for him.
“Who are you to tell me how I should feel or who I should listen to? I’ve seen you with them before, laughing and such. How am I to be sure that you weren’t joining in on their taunting of me, or even worse, taking part in one of their stupid jokes.” Lily was taken aback, and she lost a bit of her composure.
“Look, I just wanted to tell you that you aren’t alone. You’re quite brilliant you know. I’ve seen you in the library, and I’ve watched you work in class. I thought maybe you could use some company.”
“Well you thought wrong, didn’t you. I don’t need help from anyone.” But as he said these things, his eyes softened a bit.
“Everyone needs a friend, Severus.” He did not answer her, but tipped his head, bid her good day, and walked huffily back to the castle.
Soon, it was time to leave Hogwarts for the summer. Severus absolutely dreaded the summer. Hogwarts was his home, and going back to a life without magic was terrifying to him. When he arrived back at platform 9 ¾, he couldn’t see his mother standing anywhere. He had no money, no way to get a train ticket home, no way to get back to his house. He had no floo powder, no broom, and he wasn’t old enough to apparate. Severus stood among happy smiling faces, hugs, kisses, words of greeting. But he was not angry. Severus was very worried about his mother. If she was too weak to come to the station, would that suggest she might be on her death bed? She’d never let him down before. Well, in some ways, anyway. He grabbed his scuffed trunk and began to walk through King’s Cross station to try and find his mother. She knew how to get onto the platform, of course, but maybe she’d stopped at the restroom. He sat waiting for her until nightfall, but she did not show. He realized that she wouldn’t be coming, and he had no way to reach her. He lived at least two hours away from London; there was no way he could walk home without dying of hunger and thirst before he reached his destination. So he stayed there, a fifteen year old boy sleeping on a bench outside the train station.
When he woke the next morning, the station was on the move again, and someone had dropped a sixpence into his left hand while he had slept. He felt dirty and greasy, and he wanted nothing more than to board the train and get back to Hogwarts as fast as possible. Maybe Dumbledore would take pity on him. Just as he decided to find away to contact the school, an old man in a very nice tailored suit stopped in front of him.
“Severus Snape, I presume?” Severus looked into the old man’s vaguely familiar face.
“Yes….” He said hesitantly.
“Come now, let’s get your things, I’ll be taking you home.” Severus didn’t think to question the man. He knew he’d seen the face before, so perhaps it wasn’t a total stranger.
“You know where I live?” He asked stupidly, grabbing his trunk and following the man.
“Indeed I do. Your mother is very worried about you. She wanted to be here to pick you up yesterday, but she is sick in bed.” Severus’s heart pounded. There was a million questions he wanted to ask.
“Who- are you?” He asked as they reached a shiny black car. The man popped the trunk of the car.
“I thought that would be obvious.” Severus looked up into the man’s eyes- his mother’s eyes- his eyes.
“Grandfather?” He asked uncertainly. “But-but why?”
“I haven’t seen, nor spoken to my daughter in years. Do you know what that does to an old man’s heart? To see his only daughter walk into a death trap? I-I couldn’t bare to look at her. Get into the car, Severus.” Severus obeyed, completely astounded by the events taking place. “She’s very sick. I’ve offered to pay for a stint in St. Mungo’s, but she won’t hear a word of it. She’s very strong-willed, my Eenie.” Eenie? Clearly this was a pet name for his mother but, the only person he’d ever hear call her anything but Eileen was-
“I’m sorry about your father’s death. For your sake, anyway. But my Eenie, she gave herself away to that filthy muggle, and now our pureblood history is ruined on him. You were supposed to be pureblood, Severus. You bare my name, and I hear you are quite brilliant. But you were supposed to be…supposed to be….” He trailed off, and Severus was not at all offended, for he shared the same feelings with his grandfather.
“I understand, grandfather. But why did you abandon us? We’ve been living in a shambles. Look at me! I’m laughed at because of my second hand robes and books, but we can’t even pay to get these old ones tailored, let alone pay for new ones!” Severus said hotly, staring down his grandfather, who was in the back seat with him. There was a chauffer in the front, driving them to their destination. “I don’t know anything about you, or the rest of my family, or anything. Who are you, anyway!”
“I suppose I deserved that. But what you don’t realize is that as soon as your father left, on your command- your grandmother and I were so proud- I tried to offer her financial assistance, but she wouldn’t take it. She said she was on her own, didn’t need anything from me or her mother. Too proud, I guess. Too proud of her own horrible choices, and she didn’t want to come back to where she belongs, in the wizard’s world.” Severus did not feel bitterness toward his mother; in fact, he respected her even more for trying to raise him solitarily. Though this man who shared his blood spoke truths to him, he began to resent him all the same.
“You told my mother you’d never care to meet me. Why are you here? Why have you come? What do you want from me?” He snarled, looking into the old man’s startled eyes.
“Ah yes, you have some of your mother’s spirit in you I see. Well, first and foremost I am here to collect you as your mother was too ill to do so herself. I-“
“Then why didn’t you come last night? Why did you force me to sleep on a bench like an old beggar?”
“Because I didn’t receive word that you had come until just early this morning. I rushed to you as soon as I could, of course. I’m sorry Severus. But you must listen to me. Your mother is very ill. She won’t even visit those filthy muggle doctors. Of course you know she continues to live like a muggle. Severus, you’ve got to help her, you must convince her to come back to live with us, her family. She moans all the day and night for that dirty Tobias, and the most ironic, sad thing about it all is that he had found happiness where she never could. Yes, I know he had an affair with some muggle and bore a daughter. He found happiness where Eileen never could.” Severus pondered this for a moment, knowing deep in his heart that he could never persuade his mother to leave and visit a doctor or her childhood home. “I’ve been visiting her off an on for the past couple of months. You see, even though we denounced her, told her we never cared to see her face again, it was the hardest thing we’d ever have to do. We thought if we went to such extremes, she would come to her senses and come back to the world we had set up for her. But she wouldn’t hear of it, and of course, as you know, the Prince family is a very proud one.”
“Pride can ruin even the best of us,” Severus said, staring at his grandfather. “You know, growing up, I wanted nothing more than to change my name to Prince. I hated this dirty muggle common name, and I despise the man who gave it to me. But by denouncing her, you denounced me. How could you even for one minute think that I will take pity on you and do whatever bidding you please?”
“Severus, do not be bitter, do not show hatred towards me,” his grandfather said sternly, losing his calm demeanor.
“What the hell makes you think that you can stop me from doing whatever I feel is right? When I met you so many years ago, you did nothing to show that you wanted to be my grandfather. You disowned me in front of my face, after my mom tried to make amends with you. How do you explain that, if you claim that you’ve been hurting all the years she was away?” Severus felt warm, thick anger rising through his veins. He had only felt such a hatred towards one person.
“Well you see, and you mustn’t judge, Severus, you look so like your father. The shape of your face belongs to Eileen, and her eyes as well, but the rest of you…that nose, those lips. Those were his, Severus. When we looked at you, we saw only him, saw only her mistakes written across your face.”
“And I’m to be blamed for the way I look? I’m to be cursed away from my family because you couldn’t handle my appearance? Surely you would have reconsidered if I’d decided to wear a paper bag over my head to protect your poor pureblood eyes from my hideous muggle appearance. I ask you now, who is really the adult in this car? The person who lost his father, threw his abusive, no good father out of the house, or the person who refuses to look at and love his grandson because of his appearance. Superficiality does not even begin to touch you, grandfather, for you have surpassed even the greatest of my father’s sins. At least he hated me for what I was, not how I appeared.” Severus was breathless with contempt for his grandfather now. “You’re a coward who uses people to get where you want. I’m not buying into this game.”
“You hold your tongue behind your teeth, boy,” said his grandfather with violence. “You know nothing of the circumstances you speak. You’re just a stupid little boy. Now I am through trying to reason with you- you will bring your mother to me. I will care for her, and you can have your filthy little muggle house. You can visit her on weekends. I’ll not have you dirtying my house. Your grandmother would die if she knew that I was even speaking to you now. You are nothing but a dirty halfblooded mistake. A mistake. That’s all you ever were, that’s all you’ll ever be. Severus Tobias Snape, the half blooded failure. I don’t need you to lecture me on right and wrong, what is good and evil in this world. Mark my words, boy, soon there will be another person powerful enough to show everyone in this world what is right and wrong, and when he does, I’ll make sure he comes after you. The Dark Lord has no patience for muggles, mudbloods, and even halfbloods like yourself. So if I were you, I’d stop trying to prove myself and start cowering in a corner.”
This threat did nothing but fuel Severus’s desire to hurt his grandfather. He couldn’t use magic, but oh, to use an unforgivable curse right now, how fantastic that would be.
“You wish to hurt me, do you? The Cruciatus curse? Ha-ha, clever boy, you really do know your stuff. But you are not powerful enough to even knock me on my back. Oh, I’d love to see you try. But you must really, really want to hurt the person you’re cursing and, well, you don’t want to hurt your dear old granddad do you?” He said, laughing wildly. Severus was confused; how did the man know what he was thinking. Surely he can’t be proficient with Legilimency. Severus had read about this gift in an old text book. Legilimency and it’s opposite, Occlumency, were two very valuable skills in the wizarding world, and Severus planned to become well versed in both of them.
“Do you know, boy, that I did not come all this way to pick a fight with you. If it had been up to me, I would have left you there to rot, but seeing that Eileen puts such a high price on your head, I had no choice. I do love my daughter very much. I have chosen to forgive her for her misgivings, but you, I am sorry to say, do not have such an advantage.”
“What makes you think I give a shit about what you think about me?” Severus snarled at him.
“You watch your language while in the presence of an elder! Do you even know who I truly am? I have a very important position at the Ministry of Magic! We have the Minister himself over for tea every Sunday! To think that you are using such foul language in the presence of a ministry official. If you so much as draw your wand at me,” he said as he watched Severus reach back to the pocket of his warn out trousers, “I can have you expelled so fast your head will spin. And I can do it without ever claiming ownership of you.”
“You don’t own me you stupid prat. You think that just because your blood runs in my veins that you own me? You think that because you work in the Ministry that I should cower in fear and squeak mournful apologies at you, while sobbing what a no good, stupid little boy I am? That’s what you’re looking for, isn’t it, Grandaddy? Well, I have news for you. Like it or not, we are family. And when you are dead and gone- which by your appearance, I judge to be soon- I will be here as a Prince- well, excuse me, half a Prince- carrying on your legacy. And when my mother is gone, it will just be me. So you can talk down to me all you want, but someday I’ll be all that’s left of your precious bloodline. And for the record, I am not afraid of you. I am afraid of no one.” His grandfather stared, his mouth agape.
“You think it wise to be afraid of no one? How foolish. While you may not fear a person in particular, I guarantee at some point in your life you will feel fear like you never have before. When that happens, and I assure you it will, you are going to roll into a ball and pity yourself until you crack.”
“No, you see, grandfather, I am not like you.” And the conversation was over. Twenty minutes remained for Severus’s journey home, and he almost fell out of the car when he arrived at his mother’s house. He burst through the front door.
“Mother? Mother I’m home, are you okay?” He ran to her bedroom, but her bed was vacant. “Mother! Where are…ANSWER ME!!!” He demanded loudly.
“Severus! No need to shout, I’m right here!” Eileen Snape said cheerfully, sticking her head out of the bathroom.
“Mother, what are you doing? Shouldn’t you be in bed?” Severus asked, thoroughly confused.
“Bed! Now, why would I be in bed? I’ve never been better. Now listen, I’m going to go on a trip, I need you to stay here and watch the house.”
“Trip- Mum, no!! You don’t need to be going anywhere! You’re-you’re sick, you shouldn’t be walking. Come on, get your nightgown on, I’ll pull the sheets down-“
“Severus, don’t be stupid, I’m fine.” Severus stopped where he was. Never, in all of his fifteen years, had his mother ever uttered the word stupid at him.
“What’s wrong? Clearly you aren’t feeling well, if you’ll just let me-“
“I’m fine! Now you’re going to need to feed yourself, of course. I don’t have any money to give you, maybe you should ask your grandfather for some, Lord knows he’s got enough!” She laughed merrily, as if there was nothing wrong.
“What- oh my- Mother, when is the last time you saw Grandfather?”
“Oh, about three days ago. Said something about an important trip, and when did I ever tell Daddy no!” Severus’s face was screwed up in confusion.
“Since you married my Father, that’s when you told him no forever! What the hell is wrong with you?”
“Severus! I’ll not have that kind of language in my presence. Now, I’m going to go with your grandfather.”
“No! You can’t! I-I haven’t told you about my last month at school. Come on, it’s quite thrilling, sit down and I’ll tell you,” Severus pleaded.
“I do not have time for your silly child games, I have things to attend to!” Eileen said sternly.
“What has gotten into you?” Severus left the room and ran to the front of the house, where his grandfather’s car still sat. “WHAT DID YOU DO TO HER?!” He screamed at his grandfather. “What have you done to my mother? She’s acting rather strange, as though someone has put an imperius curse on her.”
“How dare you accuse me of using an unforgivable curse. You have some nerve!” Severus’s grandfather rose from his seat in the car and made his way into the house.
“Eenie? Almost ready?”
“Yes Daddy, I’ll only be a few more minutes!”
“You sick son of a bitch! Why are you doing this?”
“Because my Eileen is worth more than the pitiful muggle life she is living. She deserves more than this house, more than you. And I am prepared to give her more. Unfortunately you’re not part of the plan.” Severus stood with his mouth agape. He ran quickly to the back of the three room cottage.
“Mum, come on, let’s go fix dinner together, like we used to in the old days.”
“Not now you silly little boy, I’ve got to get moving!”
“Mummy, please let’s go into town and look in the store windows, pick out what we wish we could buy for Christmas like we used to! Mummy, please don’t do this, please! MUMMY! Don’t walk away from me, PLEASE!” But his mother pushed him out of the way.
“I don’t have time for this, Severus. Now your grandfather has sacrificed so many things to allow me back into his presence. I was dirty and filthy, but he’s going to purify me, make me a good witch again. And then everything will be as it should have been!”
“Mummy, no, you don’t mean that, come on, sit down with me and we’ll play Wizard’s Chess. Please Mummy, PLEASE please come here, don’t leave me, DON’T LEAVE ME!!!” He said, emotion swelling in his throat. He pushed the tears back with success.
“You didn’t really think I’d stay with you, did you?” His mother said, lugging a trunk behind her. “You have my blood in your veins, but you are unclean, and you cannot be fixed, Severus. I am so sorry to leave you, but it is the way things should be.”
“Mum, Mum, he has you under the imperius curse, fight it, mum, PLEASE! I-I’m your only SON! You don’t want to leave me, please don’t leave me.” He stood in her way once more. Eileen drew her wand with a foreign smirk across her face, and pointed it at Severus’s throat.
“Do not make me use this, boy. I will. Don’t think for a moment that you will stop me.”
“Mummy, please. I love you, please please don’t do this. Don’t leave with him, stay here and take care of me, please!” Severus whispered.
“You are no son of mine.” She put her wand back into her robes and pushed the boy aside. Severus watched the only person who had ever understood him walk out the door. He swallowed as he felt tears bubbling inside him. He was not going to cry, he was not going to make a total fool of himself because his Mum disowned him. He barely heard the car drive away, barely heard anything. He was vaguely aware that rain had begun to fall. He was hungry and thirsty, and he didn’t have enough money to survive. He would have to ask someone to help him. He ran outside to the same spot he had when he threw his father out of the house. The rain had soaked his clothes and clung to his white skin. He eventually fell over a tree root and landed in the mud.
“Oh God Oh God Oh God Oh God,” he repeated quietly, hugging his legs to his chest. Gone. She was gone, and he was alone. Someday he would get his revenge, oh yes, but what was he to do now? He was glad it was raining outside. He wished it would drown him and cap his sorrows. Each word he said wasn’t more than a quiet plea, and the weight on his chest was unbearable. He couldn’t breathe, hiccoughing gasps plaguing his respiration. His stomach swarmed with hot fear and tears stung the corners of his eyes as he rocked back and forth like a small child. His head swam with what if questions as the world circled menacingly above him. The rain beat down on him as his panic surfaced in great sobs. His body quaked as he moaned in terror. His mother had abandoned him, although not of her own will, he was sure of it. She had been annoying, even a pest at times, but she was all that Severus had ever had, and now she was gone, lost to his own bloodline. His panic attack was consuming him. The beating of his heart echoed through his ears and trying to hear anything else was impossible. His face was contorted in agony as he tried to get up. Failed attempt after failed attempt, he threw himself on the hard ground and screamed into the earth. He hoped to God no one was watching. No one should see this terrible weakness. This was his last thought as he passed out cold from lack of oxygen and pure fear.
Severus woke a few minutes later, shameful of his actions. He had an idea that his grandfather had been right; someday he would feel fear, but never did he expect it to come so soon. His body ached all over, and he had several cuts and bruises from unruly trees as he’d run by. He got to his feet, glad the panic had subsided. He had never felt anything like it in his life; he thought he would never be able to breathe again. It was there Severus decided that he would never again let himself feel such emotion. During this rain storm, Severus decided to learn to hide his emotions behind occlumency. This weakness, he reasoned, could be deadly. Never again could he risk this panic happening to him. But it wasn’t just that; never again would anything his Grandfather had told him be true. Severus Snape was going to amount to more than a failure- he was going to be very powerful, and one day, he would be able to get his mother back and take vengeance. On a tree stump in the middle of the storm, he sat and thought his options through. He could stay in this house and try and find a way to earn money for the next two months. Or, he could find a way to his grandfather’s house, wherever that was, and kill his Grandfather and Grandmother. He struck that one out quickly- he wasn’t aloud to use magic outside of school, and Severus Snape was no barbarian. The final solution was to write Dumbledore; he hated himself for trying to ask outside help, but he didn’t know what else to do. His head of house, Professor Slughorn, was a nice person, but Severus doubted he’d give a shit if one of his students was in true peril. He could be, after all, in the presence of Forneus Niklaby, the inventor of some God forsaken potion that Slughorn found interesting, or anyone else that could let Slughorn extend his connections. Severus wouldn’t dare write Professor McGonagall or anyone else from a different house. He didn’t have any other relatives, or at least any that he wanted to speak of, and he didn’t dare write to Malfoy. If he found out who Severus truly was, or the state in which he lived, the consequences would be disastrous. He didn’t dare write any of the Black family either, for fear that Sirius would be the first to find out, call Potter, and come make more of a fool out of Severus than he already felt. Killing wasn’t an option, Severus had no skills in order to get a muggle job, and he wasn’t about to steal anything. His only option was Dumbledore. So, he set back to the house to try and find something to eat, and to owl Dumbledore.
A/N: Hey all, hope you liked it, I hate to trouble you, but could you please review??!!
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