Chapter 1 : Princess of Darkness
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Chapter One- Of All Students, Why Me?
It was a day that I thought would never come, the very last day of classes and what better way to end it then with double potions with the Gryffindors and our Head of House. Nonetheless, dear Professor Snape still made us do work. He was always like that, the miserable git. He always took pleasure in seeing us all hot and sweaty in the dungeons on the hottest day of June just before we were leaving for good. Ah, hell, thatís what the man was known for and not a thing would make him changes his ways. So we may have been moaning and groaning about doing work, but we Slytherins would party the night away later on in the evening. Still, Slytherin or not I felt a sort of loneliness inside myself.
I suppose I was always lonely though. See, I was never like the rest of the Slytherins. They all liked to maintain their superiority and lost their focus on their studies. Instead of paying attention to their foolish ways, I concentrated on my schoolwork, though, hoping that one day it would get me somewhere. I had such high hopes that Iíd get some majestic position in the Ministry of Magic one of these days because of my hard work. I didnít really want to go to Masterís School (the equivalent of Muggle universities in the wizarding world), every wizard and their brother, pardon the expression, was going there and I really didnít want to be with kids that Iíve been with for seven years already. Understandable isnít it?
Apparently my hard work meant nothing, though. I wasn't going onto Master's School like most students were just because I didnĎt want to. Nor was I going into the work field because I hadnĎt been offered a position. Even more disappointing was the new academic apprentice program at Hogwarts. It was a new thing that Professor Dumbledore had started this year. A teacher could choose an academically excelling student to become their apprentice for the next eight years of their life. Quite a long time if you ask me, but I wouldn't have minded it had I gotten selected by one of my teachers. All of the teachers were in favour of it surprisingly, even Professor Snape. Now that was a surprise in itself. Snape actually agreeing on something. Being an apprentice was out of the question considering it was the last day of school and if any of my teachers were even considering me for the position they would have asked me already.
What surprised me even more was everyone's plans for their future. Draco was going onto Masters School, and no doubt Pansy was going with him. She stuck to that boy like glue, I tell you! Draco had grown up just a bit I could see. He wasnít spending his time picking on the Gryffindors, because I caught him in the library at least twice a week, but I never spoke to him. He had teased me enough in my earlier years at Hogwarts to bother him now. But Pansy was terrible. For the past seven years I watched her drool all over him and cling to Draco. Absolutely disgusting. I don't think he liked it much either, but she never would stop. There was no doubt sheíd become and obvious Death Eater. I honestly hoped that she died doing it. Sorry to sound cruel, but thatís just how I felt.
But more then that the three Gryffindor "heroes" were finally splitting up. Big surprise isn't it? The Golden Trio would be no more. All three of them were going in different directions. Hermione Granger was selected to be Professor McGonagall's apprentice. No big surprise there! It was obvious McGonagall favoured the little brat. Oh, not that I disliked Granger. I donít dislike her, I just think sheís annoying sometimes, always giving pedantic answers in class just to win the favour of the professors. Iíd have to get to know the girl before I could honestly say that I disliked or liked her, whatever the case may be. Itís not like I had time to talk with the girl. If I was even seen talking to her Pansy would beat the crap out of me. And one thing I didnít want, was Pansyís nasty hands on me!
Ron Weasley got offered some position at the Ministry. I can't exactly remember which at the moment though. I believe it was something closely related to or in the same field as his fatherís line of work. Not that I knew that one either. I didnít associate with the kid. I never knew him or anything. Probably didnít matter much anyway. He was only known for his hand-me-downs anyway.
Harry Potter, to my surprise, turned down two Quidditch offers to play on popular teams and an apprentice offer in the field of Defence Against the Dark Arts from Professor Lupin, who had been with us since our sixth year, to go onto Master's School with the intention of becoming an Auror. It was really something I didnít expect from the kid. I expected him to ignore the problems of our world and play Quidditch and use his already famous name to make him even more popular. Sounds like something Snape would say, yes, but no, my feelings about Potter had nothing to do with the beliefs Snape had. Snape always thought him to be a trouble maker, my view wasnít the same. I thought he sacrificed getting in trouble for breaking the rules for the sake of saving the school. It was just a difference of opinion, but I still didnít exactly like Potter. He still was a famous little boy for something he didnít remember. Why should he be famous for something he didnít remember? It made no sense to me, but what the hell! It wasnít my life to toy with.
Speaking of my life, I had no plans whatsoever. No life or future ahead of me at all. All the work I had done in my seven years at Hogwarts had gone to waste. I tried so hard not to fall into the Slytherin "goodness" that plagued Pansy, Draco (except for the last two years) and the other Slytherins of my year. Everything I worked so hard for was now gone. I had no dreams, no ambitions, nothing. What a waste it was! I couldnít understand it though! I had the second highest grades among the seventh years. Granger of course had the top grade. I envied her so for that. But still, you would think that the salutatorian of the class would be offered something of importance for being so academically talented.
"Miss Zabini, would you kindly remain after class when it is finished," the icy voice belonging to Professor Snape broke my thoughts. Damn him for ruining my concentration on things. I swear he scares me when one moment your in deep concentration and then the next minute your jumping a mile high out of fright!
"Forgive me, Sir, I was lost in my work, what did you say?" I lied to my own Head of House. I couldnít help it. I really didnít want him to think I was spaced out and not paying attention, because I was partially paying attention, but thinking about my future which was at stake. He favoured us Slytherins and I knew very well he would not scold or punish me for my lack of attention and awareness like he did with the Gryffindors. He would never punish one of us in front of the Gryffindors either. Sometimes it was an advantage to us, but other times I couldn't stand it. The inequality between that of Gryffindor and Slytherin house was appalling, in truth. The detentions he gave them and not us was astounding. It really was unfair. Most of the time we had instigated the conflict.
"I asked you to remain after class, there is something we need to discuss," he repeated for me, but he did not look at me. There was a hint of recognizable scolding in his voice when he said the word "asked". Yes, he was mad at me for my lack of attention when he was speaking to me and he knew damn well I was lying. I was a Slytherin, and we never got punished; only favoured. Something I knew about him, though, was that there was some variable that in a way forced him to favour us, because I did notice some of his looks and glares that he threw at students of his own house when they weren't looking. I was much more observant than most people.
Finally the bell rang ending the very last class of the year, and nearly everyone shouted and cheered. The last class of our seventh year was over. This was it. I saw the Gryffindors scramble out of the classroom with the Slytherins following and pushing them. I waited until they all left before I approached Professor Snape's desk. I couldnít help but be a bit nervous. He hadnít bothered me once in seven years of my life in his class. Who would have figured that on the last day he would finally notice that I was even there.
"Have a seat. This may be a rather long discussion," he gestured for me to sit. I did so wondering what this was about. I didnĎt even like his tone of voice. It sounded very foreboding. "Miss Zabini, as your Head of House it is my business to know what each of my students intends to do after Hogwarts. You are the only one who has made no plans, yet, as far as I know. I would think that a girl of your intellect and ability would have found a suitable future for yourself by now?"
I folded my hands on my lap, "I appreciate your comment, Sir, but no I have not decided what I would like to do with my future yet." I sort of looked down at the ground, practically ashamed of myself for not finding an alternative in case things didnít work out.
"I can't deny that I am slightly disappointed in you Miss Zabini," he said leaning forward starring at me persistently. Head of House of mine or not he still had the distinct ability of scaring me to death. Just the very glint of his black eyes scared me. His piercing stares could instil fear in the very marrow of my bones. I kept my calm though. This discussion did not entail a threat within it, giving me no reason to be afraid.
"I... I'm sorry you feel that way, Sir. Truth is, I didn't expect my work to amount to nothing as it seemingly has done."
"I wouldn't say that it amounted to nothing just yet, Zabini," he spoke in a questioning and suspicious undertone. Again with the emphasis on words. I hated it when he did that.
"Sir?" I questioned him. I wasn't exactly sure what he meant by that. In my eyes my work had amounted to nothing. I had no future ahead of me, but he seemed to think otherwise of my situation. Now it was starting to get suspicious.
"Tell me something, Miss Zabini, do you like working with Potions as you have done in class for the past seven years?" Oh dear... donít even tell me where this was going.
"Yes, Sir, I do," I replied truthfully to him. I was beginning to get the hint of where the conversation was going, but I really could not be sure.
"Do you like Potions enough to possibly make a career out of them?" he asked.
"I would assume so, Sir. I never really thought about it in those terms, but yes, I daresay that I would," I paused, but he said nothing, not one word to suggest where this conversation between us was going. "Sir, may I ask what the purpose of this discussion is?" It was when I got up enough courage to take a good long look at him after asking him this that I saw his black snake skin bound grade book in his hands before him.
He was looking at grades, my grades. He took a breath of the summer dungeon air. "The top grades of Slytherin House and the only one to come close to you in my class is Miss Granger. However, this seems to be your best subject above all of your other subjects required at Hogwarts, is it not?"
"Other than Defence Against the Dark Arts, yes, Sir, it is my best subject."
"I assume by now, that you've heard of Headmaster Dumbledore's new apprenticeship program here?"
Now I knew where this conversation was going. It all came together and began to make sense. The talk of my grades and my future. Snape was going to ask me to become his apprentice.
Suddenly I had somewhere to go and a future before my eyes. Snape wanted me to be his apprentice. I wasn't sure whether to be thrilled that I now had a future ahead of me or terrified at the very thought of spending the next eight years of my life with Professor Snape, a teacher who ignored me during my seven years at Hogwarts until this very day. "Yes, of course I've heard about it."
"Many of the teachers are not choosing to have an apprentice, very few are," he told me, "Madam Hooch, Professor Vector, and Hagrid have decided to select their apprentice from next years group of seventh years when they come back to school. I'm pretty certain Hagrid has the intentions of asking the young Miss Weasley to become his apprentice. As she, like her brothers, is not gifted with Potions, I heard she is rather talented with Magical Creatures. On the other hand Professors McGonagall, Flitwick, Sprout, and to my unfortunate knowledge, Professor Trelawney have chosen their apprentices. I was debating weather to choose one myself, but now I think I have made my decision."
I spoke not a word. He slammed the book shut and threw in to the corner of his desk then leaned back in his chair studying me with his cold, black eyes. "Well, Miss Zabini, what do you think?"
I knew what he meant but was unsure if this was what he truly meant. "About what, Sir?" I asked stupidly. I knew he was thinking about asking me and by the question he just asked I could almost guarantee that it was his intentions to ask me to become his apprentice. Yet, Professor Snape was a peculiar man if I said so myself. One could never be sure exactly what his intentions were.
He stood up at once out of irritation and annoyance and came around the desk. "Oh come now, Zabini! I didn't think you were that stupid! You knew damn well what I was going to ask before I even asked it!" His comment angered me slightly. Why in the hell did he have to be so damn sarcastic? If it weren't for his horrible attitude, I might of actually liked the guy.
"Unlike you, I don't like to make assumptions, Sir, especially when it comes to you. You happen to be a very unpredictable person." He glared at me because of my negative comment about him, but he wasn't that angry. I had paid him back for the nasty comment about me that he made not two seconds earlier.
He nodded his head slightly to himself with his eyes kept on me. "You're more observant then I thought, Zabini. So are you interested in becoming my apprentice?" he finally formally asked me.
I hadn't anywhere else to go. This was the only thing I could do, and I liked it. The only drawback was him. I took a deep breath, "Yes, Professor Snape," I said accepting his proposal. What was I getting myself into? This could very well be the biggest mistake of my life. I wasnít exactly fond of the man. After all, he barely acknowledged my presence when I was a student. Why should he start now? Truly confusing man, I tell you, and scary might I add.
"Very good," he said sneering and put a hand on my shoulder as if to say that I had made a wise decision. I shivered at his touch. His hand was freezing cold and I could feel it through my robes. I desperately wanted for him to just take his hand off of me. "You do know that your apprenticeship with me entails you spending most of your day accompanying me and that you'll have to have full focus at every moment, and that you are to spend any free time you get, if you get any that is, with the other apprentices unless I tell you otherwise."
"Yes, Sir," I replied.
"I will come collect you from your home a week from today. You are dismissed then, Apprentice," he said taking his hand off and going back to his desk. I only nodded and left his classroom. I didn't turn around or look back. Eight years of my life ahead of me and I was to be spending it with a teacher who paid me no mind during my seven years at Hogwarts and instead paid all attention to that brat, Malfoy. Never once had he acknowledged that I was there; I often wondered if he knew I was alive. I hated him for that, I did. He made notation of every other Slytherin in his house besides me. Can you imagine how crappy I felt because of that?
Question my feelings if you want, but I'm not like the other Slytherins. Care to know why? Because unlike the rest of them I don't care to follow in my parents footsteps and I donít suck up to teachers like the rest of them did. Not following me yet? I don't live with my parents. I live with my adoptive parents, but I know who my real parents are and what they've done. They are one of the only reasons I'm a Slytherin in the first place, but my adoptive parents that raised me were Gryffindors.
My real parents are the Lestranges. Yes, the same Lestranges that are in Azkaban because they were loyal servants of You-Know-Who. Yup, they abandoned me when I was little baby Blaise Lestrange. Then I was adopted by the Zabinis and given a home as well as their name. I had high hopes the day I got sorted that when my name (Blaise Zabini) was called that the Sorting Hat would place me in Gryffindor, but no. The Sorting Hat knows everything and therefore knew I was a Lestrange.
But because I was raised by Gryffindors I shared some of their beliefs. For example, the whole Slytherin belief about "Pureblood" wizards and witches is bullshit. Take the Granger girl for instance. She's the top of the class and of Muggle blood. Now that completely disproves Slytherin theory! So want to know another reason why I'm a Slytherin besides my bloodlines? It's because I do desire to prove myself and to have power, but gain power through knowledge and respect not murder and threatening. Not to mention I can be a sarcastic bitch like old Snapey. Yeah, he's a bitch too. He looks like a girl and has a bitchy attitude, but he's not that old.
Well, the End of Term feast was that evening. It was time to get ready to leave Hogwarts... well not forever......