“So what do you have for us today?” Severus asked, mildly uninterested. He attended these meetings only to stay good with his fellow Slytherins. He had told Malfoy last year that he’d join forces with this new Dark Lord, but he only said this so that he could keep his friends. For Severus, friends were hard to come by.
“Well, Lucius has reported to me that a few muggles were slaughtered a few nights ago for pure enjoyment. And also, Georgio Markane, a little known auror was killed after he found information on the Dark Lord’s whereabouts. He was killed before he had time to run his mudblood mouth off to anyone. And also, some witch named Marlena Prince was killed last night. She was apparently trying to leak information to the ministry. Her husband of course is high ranking ministry official Howard Prince, and the blood traitor was trying to get out of her marriage. The little whore. Anyway, Death Eaters were dispatched to the scene and she was taken care of. We were also told to watch for new developments, but nothing so far. That’s all I know.” Rodolphus Lestrange had finished his summary, grinning as though he’d just been appointed captain of the quidditch team.
“Wonderful updates! Exquisite ground the Dark Lord is making! If only we could leave this damned school and get out there to help,” Bellatrix said quietly, staring up at her boyfriend, Rodolphus.
“In good time, Bella, in good time. Now, this meeting is officially broken, go about your business before we get caught!” Rodolphus and Bellatrix promptly rose from their chairs and walked over to the fire place, clearly intent on snogging the rest of the night. The rest of the group rose until all that was left was Narcissa and Severus. As he was about to leave, her heard Narcissa’s small voice.
“I wish she wouldn’t do that in front of me. She knows what I’m going through.” Severus stopped and turned to face the stunning blonde.
“Bella. She always does this in front of me. Don’t get me wrong, I love my sister, but sometimes she just has absolutely no empathy for other people’s problems! I’m sorry Severus, I am troubling you with my worries. It’s just that….I miss Lucius so much! He’s out there, side by side with the Dark Lord himself, and any day an auror could catch him and kill him! And then what am I to do?” Severus did not know what to say. Cold, stony Narcissa Black was opening her heart out to him.
“Narcissa, the Dark Lord protects his followers if they show him loyalty. You of all people know that Lucius is among his most trusted, and he only came into service less than six months ago! Surely you don’t think that the Dark Lord finds him expendable?” Severus could feel the lies coming from his mouth as he said them. Any of the dullest minds in Hogwarts could have heard this and rolled over dead from fits of laughter. The Dark Lord was well known to torture and kill those who made the tiniest mistakes in his service. If Lucius were to truly make a mistake, he could be dead before the conversation was over.
“Thank you Severus. You’re right, Lucius is a very trusted friend of the Dark Lord, and it was silly of me to think otherwise. I’m going up to bed now.” She smiled at Severus and left the common room. Severus shook his head, gathered his things, and walked up to his room. While the conversation with Narcissa had been invigorating, something else that night had caught his attention. Marlena Prince, wife of Howard Prince, a well known ministry official. This statement kept playing over and over again in his mind as he got ready for bed. Surely it couldn’t be his grandmother. After all, his grandfather had made clear that if she had known that he was talking to Severus, she would be very upset. Surely….surely he wasn’t keeping her hostage too? Severus’s thoughts slowly turned to his mother, and a pang of guilt and anger began to rise through his heart. Is it possible that, if his mother wasn’t already dead, that she was now in the service of the Dark Lord because of his Godforsaken grandfather? Severus threw his head against his pillow, deep in thought. If it was the last thing he did, his grandfather would be dead. And he would die at Severus’s hands. Severus turned over, trying to find comfort in an otherwise cold and cruel world. As he began to drift off into sleep, his last thoughts turned to Elise Aguirre. Maybe he would talk to her tomorrow. But maybe, he’d just roll over and die. Either way, she’d never know he had ever been alive in the first place.
“And who can tell me why concentration is important while transfiguring a rose into a canary?” McGongall asked during their transfiguration lesson on the next day. Severus rose his hand.
“Yes, Mr. Snape?”
“Utmost concentration is essential to this transfiguration because the change between petals and feathers is particularly difficult. In order to accurately perform the change, one must concentrate on the color, shape, and texture of the feathers of the canary, otherwise the bird will transfigure with petals as wings.”
“Very good, thank you for that perfect recitation from your book. Ten points to Slytherin.” Severus looked down at his parchment. He ought to know the answer- he’d read it at least twenty times in the library. And so, they all got to work on their transfigurations. Severus’s was quite good, but he noticed that he was one of the only ones in the class to get it on the first or second try.
“Miss Evans, ten points to Gryffindor for being the first to transfigure your rose. Mr. Snape, ten points to Slytherin for being the second. And- POTTER! BLACK! What do you think you are doing!” Everyone in the class turned to the two trouble makers, who had successfully managed to land themselves in detention by turning their roses into some foul smelling flower. The stink that was coming from it refused to leave the room, and so the class had to adjourn early because of them. Severus sighed, gathered his things, and began his walk down to the Great Hall for lunch. As he was leaving the room, someone bumped into him from behind, and all his materials spilled from his arms to the floor.
“Geez, Snape, watch where you’re walking!” he heard Black snicker down the hall. Severus sighed and began to pick his materials up.
“Don’t listen to them, they are just two great prats with absolutely nothing else to do but be annoying!” Severus turned and stared into the chocolate eyes of Elise Aguirre.
“Stupid Stupid Stupid!!!!! Say something say something!! Sound grandiose, sound intelligent, sound attractive!!” Severus’s mind was racing.
“Let me help you get this cleaned up,” she said, bending over to collect the parchment.
“Er- I bought my parchment in Diagon Alley.” Severus could have slammed his head against the doorway until he sustained a cerebral hemmorage and died from utter stupidity. “YOU IDIOT!!! I got my parchment in Diagon Alley? She’s going to think you have pumpkin juice for brains!! Just run away…no, no, don’t run away, you need your transfiguration essay. Stay, but don’t say anything else. No, you have to talk just…be youself!” Severus continued to talk to himself, but all thoughts were silenced when Elise looked up at him and smiled.
“Did you? So did I, and I got my quills there too! Scribbulus Everchanging Inks always has the best prices and the best quality, don’t you think?” Severus stared at the girl.
“I-er-yes.” She handed him his materials.
“Ok, well, gotta go down to lunch, see ya around, Severus.”
“I-bye-er-Elise.” She smiled and turned, her hair flipping behind her. She was like an angel. And she knew his name. Severus’s heart was pounding a hundred meters a minute, she did indeed know his name. He was in heaven, and Elise was his guardian angel. Severus nearly ran all the way down to the Great Hall, and he spent the remainder of lunch glancing discreetly toward the Gryffindor table. Oh, if only he could talk to her again, but not too much in one day. He didn’t want to seem desperate. Still, things were about to get interesting at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
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