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A Child of Opportunity by LilliaSnape
Chapter 9 : Galleons and Letters
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 12

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A/N and Disclaimer: Okay, first off I am sooo sorry for not updating sooner! With the holidays, writer's block, and a recent grounding I have had very little time to write. I am so sorry! I hope no one has given up on me! For those of you who are still hanging in there thanks, I love you guys! Anyways, onto the really author's note. In this chapter I have gotten a lot closer to the real Order of the Phoenix. By that I mean I took a lot of the dialog from the actually story. (Specifically the section where there is and exchange between Severus and Sirius.) I do not take credit for any of JKR's work. It is hers, and hers, alone! Anyways, I also took a certian event and made it out of chronological order. I did this for the purpose of the story line. You will see what I mean when you get there, don't worry. Anyways, I hope that this two things do not bother anyone! Enjoy! 

Sunlight streamed through the ancient green shutters covering the tiny window. Lillia sat up in the bed, rubbing her eyes. She glanced around the room guiltily. Somehow she had managed to have a night free from the dreams. She smiled to herself, but something told her not to push the dreams out of her head. Something told her that she still wasn’t safe. It almost scared her, not having the dreams. It was like sleeping with a nightlight after many years in the dark.

“Unworthy swine! Dirty blood! Fornicators of filth! Oh, the poor house of my fathers!” The wretched woman’s wail carried upstairs with ease. Lillia had to strain to hear the others.

“Go answer that bloody door, Sirius!” that was Molly, but her kind voice sounded unnaturally sharp.

“Brilliant, Mum!” this was one of the Weasley children, no doubt.

Lillia, feeling guilty for oversleeping and feeling like she should be doing something, pushed the covers off of her legs and let her bare feet hit the threadbare carpet. Her eyes drifted over to the stacks of books and parchment. A suitcase was open and several rolls of parchment were sticking out of the top of it. She leaned in for a closer look. One piece was unrolled and the paper hung over the edge of the case. She pulled it out of the case, glanced at the doorway, and hoped that Mad-Eye wasn’t looking her way. In deep black ink in the center of the paper was a picture of a skull with a serpent curling out of its mouth. Her eyebrow rose. “Must be stuff about him…”she muttered to herself. She reached her hand out to investigate further when she heard a knock at her door.

“Yeah, sorry.” she shoved the paper deep into her back pocket and jerked away from the open suitcase.

“Sorry?” Sirius’s face appeared as her eased the door open. He eyed her suspiciously. “What are you so jumpy about?” He laughed.

“Nothing. I’m just used to being up at the crack of dawn is all.” She forced her face to relax.

“Well, Professor Snape is here to see you. Wouldn’t tell me what he wanted with you. I figured it was better not to press the matter, after all we are supposed to be trying to fool the bad guys, eh?”

She didn’t like the way he said that. But she figured it would be better if she didn’t say anything about it. “Wonder what he wants.” her voice held a suspiciousness that she didn’t have to force.

She followed Sirius down the stairs and into the hallway. Severus was waiting at the front door. It seemed he did not want to step any farther than the threshold. “Professor?” she inquired.

“Yes, I need to speak with you.” he looked past her at Sirius. “I expect we can take the meeting room. You wouldn’t mind, would you?”

Sirius narrowed his eyes. “No, of course not.” he spun and left them standing alone in the corridor.

“What are you doing here?” she asked. “I don’t have to go back to him, do I? Why did you just bail on me before?” She felt her temper rising.

His eyes passed over her without passion. “You really have no faith in anyone, do you?”

“I should hope not!” she snapped.

He turned his cold eyes away from her and began walking down the corridor. He led her to a big door across from the kitchen. With a tap of his wand the door swung open. Inside was a massive table, twice the size of the one in the kitchen, surrounded by large straight-backed chairs. He took a chair near the middle of the table. She resigned to sit in the one across from him.

“Now,” he said sweeping his dark hair from his eyes. “First of all, I had to just abandon you here. It was necessary to see how you were going to behave on your own. I won’t always be around to prevent you from saying foolish things around the Dark Lord. You are going to have to learn how to use your own judgment to keep yourself out of trouble. Now to answer your other two questions, yes you do have to go back to see him. You will be expected to report back to him with any information that you have gathered from the Order. This shouldn’t be too hard once you get in the knack of it. I will be instructing you on what to say to him and how you are supposed to behave.”

“But, he is so… powerful.” she whispered. “Isn’t he going to be able to tell if I am lying?”

“Yes, of course he will be able to detect when you are attempting to deceive him. But we have ways of trying to prevent that from happening. Have you ever heard of Occlumency?”

“Yes, I think that I’ve read something about that. Isn’t is a way of protecting oneself from having your mind invaded?”

“Roughly worded, but yes. Occlumency is the magical defense of the mind against external penetration. It is an obscure magic, but highly useful.”

“How am I supposed to learn how to use this magic? It sounds like it would be difficult.” Lillia said.

“It is indeed difficult; however, a student like yourself should not find it beyond your abilities.” Severus nodded. “This way you should be able to conceal your thoughts and feelings from the Dark Lord. Dumbledore has decided that I should be the one to teach you. And you won’t be studying alone.”

“Who else are you to teach, Professor?”

“Potter. In fact, I should send for him right now.” Severus rose from his seat. “Wait here.”

“Wait! Professor, when am I going to have to report to the Dark Lord?”

“It depends on your progress with Occlumency and his determination to see you.”

“Oh. I see. Exactly how determined is he right now.” She asked.

“He is a bit preoccupied at the moment, but it will not be long before he decides that you are needed.” He replied before sweeping out of the doorway.

Lillia sighed and ran her hand over her back pocket to feel the parchment beneath. She knew that the Dark Lord was going to be playing an important role in her life, and she didn’t like it. She felt a chill wash over her body and she jerked the hand away from her pocket. She didn’t like being a pawn in this battle against good and evil. It was too much like some of the cheap Muggle fantasies she used to read as a child. Once you are in one of the adventures, they didn’t seem quite so sweet.

She felt the massive door behind her swing open and was thankful that she had removed her hand from her pocket. She could still feel the icy outline of the Dark Mark burning into her skin. Shaking her hand she turned back to the conversation that was being held around her.

“I’m his godfather! I c an do as I please in my own house!” Sirius’s voice was raising well above a conversational tone.

“I’m here on Dumbledore’s orders,” said Severus, whose voice was barely above more than a whisper. “but by all means stay, Black, I know you like to feel… involved.” *

“What are you suggesting?” said Sirius, rising from his chair, allowing it to fall backwards with a loud bang.

“Merely that I am sure you must feel- ah- frustrated by the fact that you can do nothing useful for the Order.” Severus sneered. *

The room settled into a deadly silence. Sirius flushed a deep red. Severus’s lip curled triumphantly. Lillia frowned. “I think that I am going to leave now. There really isn’t reason for me to be here any longer. Thank you, Professor.”

Sirius and Harry glared at her for the respect that she was paying someone that they held in such small regard. Severus ignored them. “Fine, you may leave.” The softer tone that he had used before had vanished and was replaced with the same professional hardness that she was familiar with in class. “Here, he passed a large, dark green bag across the table to her. The Dark Lord figures that you will need more than the one outfit that you have been wearing. You will need exceedingly nice clothes for when you must make an appearance in front of him, but you can worry about that later. For now just get what you need. Also, you won’t be borrowing supplies from the school any longer, you are to purchase your own at Diagon Alley.”

“Oh,” she said without the slightest hint of emotion. “Sure, I’ll do that then. Thank you.” Feeling numb, she closed the heavy meeting room door behind her. She dreaded to think about how many Galleons were in the heavy velvet sack, but she knew that she had never held so much money in her life.

Once she was back in Lupin’s room she spilled the contents of the bag onto the carpet. For a moment she was confused. She had thought that wizard money came in three colors: gold, silver, and bronze. But there was only gold here. On closer inspection she realized that she had a sack full of Galleons. Her stomach began to swim. She heard the front door slam and Mrs. Black began screaming once more. Her eyes never left the large pile of money. She knew that in that one pile there was more money that the whole Weasley family had put together, but it didn’t make her happy. It made her ill.

“What the hell is Dumbledore thinking?” Lillia looked up to see Harry standing in the doorway of her room.

“Uh, what are you talking about?” she asked, bemused.

“I, uh. Whoa.” Harry was looking down at the pile of Galleons.

“Oh! Um.” Lillia began cramming the gold coins into the velvet sack. “Just… what do you want?”

“Don’t be embarrassed. I was suprised about my money too.” He whispered, still in shock.

“Yeah, but your money didn’t come from a murderous freak!” She spat.

“No, but mine did come from parents I’ll never remember.” He muttered.

“Yeah, but at least you know that their money isn’t tainted with the blood of innocents. Hell, if you weren’t so lucky this could be the money of your murderer!”

“Yeah, I know. But that’s not your fault.”

“I don’t care! I don’t want any of it!” Once she finally had the remainder of the coins in the bag she tied it tight and threw it at Harry. “You take it!”

“Listen,” he said uncomfortably. “Use the money. You know that you need it. You’ve always gone without. And besides, at least his money will be going to a good cause and not murder.”

“Oh! So now I’m some charity case? Thanks a lot!”

“You know, you’re not the only one who has to wear other people’s clothes. I wear my cousin’s stuff all the time.”

“Yeah, I bet!”

“Don’t believe me, it doesn’t matter to me! You’re the one being stupid!” he exclaimed angrily.

Lillia looked down at the shirt that she had been given at Snape’s house. “Uhg. You’re right. I’ll just have to make do with it. Besides, who ever heard of people complaining about having too much money?”

“Yeah, who ever heard of such a thing?” he agreed.

“So, what did you come in here for anyway?”

“Uh, what? Oh! Can you believe we have to take those lessons with Snape?”

“Hum, I dunno. Actually, I’m relieved.” She replied honestly.

Relieved? How is that even possible?” he asked bewildered.

“Well,” she said, dropping from her knees and onto her bottom. “I was just asking you about this supposed connection to Voldemort, and I think that we need to protect ourselves as much as possible.”

“But why can’t Dumbledore teach us?” he asked.

“Well, because he’s an extremely busy man.”

“Yeah, but why does Snape have to teach us?”

“Because, if you haven’t noticed, he is extremely gifted in that sort of magic.”

“The magic of lying?” Harry demanded.

“Well, precisely!”

“But he hates me!”

“I honestly can’t help you there.”

“Of course not! He positively loves you. Even Hermione is jealous of you grades.”


“Well, she is!”

“Really?” Lillia’s eyebrow rose an inch. “Nice.”

“Harry!” It was Hermione’s voice calling from down the hall. She opened the door to see the sitting on the bed. Her eyes narrowed. “Our letters from Hogwarts have just arrived.” She said. She tossed Lillia’s letter onto her lap. “I made prefect, Harry! Isn’t that wonderful? I need to borrow Hedwig if that’s all right with you. Mum and Dad are going to be ecstatic! Well, open your letter, I bet you made prefect too, of course you did, Dumbledore always has favored you!”

At that moment Ron came bursting through the door, his face a bright shade of red. “Uh, hey guys. I made prefect…”

* These lines of dialoge were taken from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling. pg 518.

A/N: I hope you liked it! I know it's a little messy, but I think that it will get better soon! PLEASE REVIEW!

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