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Chapter 6 : Formidable Abilities
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Chapter Six – Formidable Abilities
Sunday morning Jessica found herself preparing for her guided tour several
hours before her guide was even due to arrive at her door. Unable to sleep past
the crack of dawn, Jessica sprang out of bed, showered, had breakfast and spent
considerable time preparing for the afternoon awaiting her. Severus had
promised Jessica a tour of Hogwarts followed by a private lunch in his own
chambers. He was expected to be at her quarters any moment now.
as she had dozens of times already that morning, Jessica sat down at her vanity
and glanced at herself in the mirror again to ensure that her dress selection
would fit the likings of the Potions Master. She wore a deep dark green
short-sleeved dress that flowed in a slender fit all the way down to the floor.
Having a way of knowing that Severus liked green and that he was especially
attracted to her, Jessica allowed the dress she wore to smoothly flatter her
sound of soft knocking on the oak door quickly drew Jessica’s attention.
Feeling only a little disappointed that it wasn’t Severus on the other side of
the door, Jessica let out the breath of air she didn’t realize she’d been
holding and stood to greet her first visitor.
in, Uncle Albus,” she called as she made her way to the door.
slight high-pitched creak, the door cracked open and Albus Dumbledore casually
made his way into the open room. He smiled under his snowy white beard and
looked at his grandniece through his spectacles. “My dear Jessica,” he began as
he smiled. “You look absolutely lovely today.” When she reached him, Dumbledore
put a hand to Jessica’s blush cheek. “Absolutely lovely,” he emphasised.
you, Uncle Albus.” Jessica placed her arms gently over his shoulders and gave
him a welcoming hug. The long thick hair coming from his beard brushed against
her skin and tickled her neck. “It’s good to see you again. How was your
quite splendid,” he answered cheerfully. “I was delighted to have Severus drop
by my office this morning after breakfast.”
spoke to him?” Jessica exclaimed a little more excitedly than she had intended.
A little embarrassed of her odd infatuating behaviour, Jessica turned her head
away for a moment and brushed the fanatical smile off her lips. “I’m sorry,”
she apologized. “I didn’t mean to sound so-”
be silly, my dear. I quite enjoy seeing you in such high spirits. Your need for
a piece of happiness is quite overdue.” Dumbledore nodded slowly and smiled at
Jessica’s keenness. “Yes, Severus and I spoke for some time. As it was a matter
concerning you, I thought it would be best to speak to you today before you see
due to arrive any moment now,” Jessica told him. “What is it about me that you
and he spoke of?” Feeling very anxious to hear what it was that was making her
uncle feel so delighted, Jessica led Dumbledore over to the maroon leather
upholstered couch and sat down with him. She cupped her hands in her lap and
watched him intently. “Did you tell him about my mother or father?”
settled himself into the couch and sighed as he crossed his legs. “Oh no, most
certainly not,” he assured. “Only you have the right to explain the legacy
between your parents.”
can I?” Jessica questioned. “I don’t know who my father is.”
you don’t,” Dumbledore agreed and nodded his head. “However, a name is not
significant at this time. It’s what you know about him that will help Severus
understand your inheritance.”
wrapped her hands around the bare skin of her arms to warm herself. A fire was
burning in the corner of the room, but Jessica could barely feel the heat
coming from it. “Then you haven’t told him about my abnormalities either?”
Jessica,” Dumbledore corrected. “Your abilities are not abnormal. There are plenty
of witches and wizards who possess the same talents as you do, dear. There
certainly isn’t another witch or wizard who possess as many abilities as you,
but they are all out there. Those abilities are neither abnormal nor unwanted.
Unusual or uncommon, yes; but certainly not abnormal. I don’t want you to feel
like all of this is a burden to you, Jessica.” Dumbledore raised his eyebrows
at her and tilted his head in her direction. “Do you understand?” he
Jessica nodded her head and fixed a small smile on her face. “Yes, I understand
uncle,” she assured. “It’s just so overwhelming at times. I just wish I could
wake up one morning and be rid of it all. Then perhaps they’ll leave me alone.”
head nodded sympathetically. “I know, Dear, I know.”
stood up and went to the coffee table next to him. He picked up an empty teacup
and saucer and poured a hot cup of tea from the kettle for Jessica. When he
brought the steaming cup over to her, he sat back down next to her and put a hand
to her arm. “You’re nearly freezing, go on and drink up before Severus comes.”
smiled as she accepted the hot drink and thanked her uncle for it. He went sat
back into the couch and adjusted his spectacles. “When you feel the time is
right, you’ll have to tell him about the abilities you possess.”
suppose I’ll have to,” Jessica said. “But there’s something I don’t quite
what is that, my dear?” Dumbledore asked curiously. His eyes squinted slightly
as he listened to her.
strange, really,” she began. “The first three times I met him, I couldn’t sense
his presence when he was near me. He practically snuck up on me every time, and
normally I get a feeling when there’s someone around me. Even when I ran right
into him in the dungeons, I didn’t know he was there until I heard his voice.”
does sound a bit odd,” Dumbledore agreed. “However, I think there’s nothing
unusual about it. You have a very difficult time sensing my presence when
you’re unaware that I am near.”
true,” she continued. “Although half way through our conversation in the garden
last week, I all of a sudden started picking up on his emotions. Ever since
then I’ve been able to sense him coming near the Hospital Wing, then
disappearing shortly afterwards. I thought I was losing my mind, but then one
evening when I felt he was near I peeked my head out the door just in time to
see him leaving again.”
the courage he had to speak with you I suppose,” Dumbledore guessed.
she told him. “There were many things he felt as he was walking away, but not
one of those feelings was pleasant. They were all frustrating and painful
nodded as he came to understand why Severus would make so many attempts to
confront Jessica and then walk away from it all. It was a classic Severus Snape
battle between his yearning to become noticed and yearning to remain unnoticed.
this may come as no surprise to you, but Severus’ purpose of seeing me this
morning was to ask my permission to court you.”
court me?” Jessica repeated after swallowing a half sip of tea. She felt quite
surprised that Snape would want to bring the Headmaster into the middle of
their growing relationship. “What did you tell him, Uncle?” Jessica set her tea
aside and leaned her arms forward over her lap as she anxiously awaited his
hands went up in front of him and he shrugged. His bottom lip curled downward
and then he smiled. “I saw no reason to deny him the privilege. I don’t think
that just because of who I am to you gives me the right to decide who you can
or cannot involve yourself with. After all, Severus is a grown man who’s well
in his prime, and you’ve reached an age where thoughts of marriage and starting
a family ought to be surfacing. Regardless of what I think, the choice is
ultimately yours. If you feel that Severus is worthy of your love, a courtship
might be in your best interest.” He paused for a moment. After leaning over
towards Jessica and pulling his spectacles down his nose, he peered at her eye
to eye and lightly pat his hand on her knee a couple of times. “But for what
it’s worth, I think the two of you will make a marvellous pair.” Dumbledore
winked at her and took his hand away.
cupped her chin in her palm and gently tapped her fingernails against her cheek
as she pondered. She looked out the window as a couple of birds flew by and
then remembered the small souvenir Severus had given her yesterday. The green
handkerchief he had let her keep was sitting on top of her dresser next to the
smoothly extended her hand out towards the dresser and in the next instant she
had the handkerchief in her grasp. Dumbledore had watched the small piece of
material soar all the way from the dresser into her hand. He then smiled as he
watched his grandniece look at Severus’ initials in the corner once more.
memory of seeing Severus smile for the first time as she wiped her tears away
played again in Jessica’s mind. She loved thinking about that moment. So far it
had been the only time Severus hadn’t felt angry about one thing or another. At
that particular moment just before their kiss, all he had felt was pride and
certainly managed to capture his heart quickly,” Dumbledore mentioned.
“Severus’ need for affection is long over due. I can’t tell you how pleased I
am with how you’ve handled his manner.”
surly wasn’t easy,” she said. The corners of Jessica’s mouth pulled her lips
into a smile and her eyes rolled playfully. “However, you’re forgetting one
thing, Uncle Albus. You’ve no need to tell me just how pleased you are. As
difficult as you are to read, I can still read you, ” Jessica admitted
and smiled again. “Ever since I told you I met him in the Hospital Wing you’ve
been anxious for something like this to happen. I couldn’t understand why at
first, and I suppose I still don’t quite understand why you’ve been so anxious
for a spark to ignite between the two of us, but every time his name has been
mentioned this last week I’ve immediately felt a growing sense of excitement
coming from your end.”
smiled proudly and began to chuckle quietly. “Yes Jessica, I’m very happy to
see that Severus has taken a special interest in you. Furthermore I have to
admit that I wasn’t expecting such an interest to develop so quickly. Such
behaviour is quite unusual for Severus.”
gaze gradually fell to the floor. For the next few moments she was reminded of
the fierce emotions that poured out of Snape’s heart as he confessed the love
he felt for her. The excruciating pain it caused him to say those ten simple,
yet loving words was nearly unprecedented. There was something more that just
the fear of losing her that had to be responsible for such fierce emotions.
emotions are growing stronger, Uncle,” Jessica began in a soft voice only a
notch louder than a whisper. “I tried my hardest to shield myself like you
taught me, but other than the emotions I sensed from my father last summer,
I’ve never felt anything so powerful before. It pained me to tears when Severus
told me how he felt. I’ve never experienced the sensation of such love mixed
with hate and anger all at the same time. If this is the way I’m going to make
him feel every time we’re together, I don’t see how either of us will survive the
relationship, especially if I continue to become even more sensitive to his
emotions. Frankly, I don’t know how I survived the summer. If it hadn’t been
for Professor Quirrell, I don’t think I would have.”
there’s one thing you need to know about your father, it’s that he will never
intentionally endanger your life, Jessica,”
Dumbledore ensured. “At least not yet. Not until the intentions Lord Voldemort
has for you are complete.”
“And then I’ll be as useless to him as my mother was,” she quickly
concluded. The anger that sounded in Jessica’s voice was still just as intense
as had been over the summer when she had first been brought to Hogwarts after
witnessing the Death Eaters take only a couple of seconds to mercilessly murder
nodded his head patiently and closed his eyes for a short moment. Before
speaking, he took a deep breath and lifted his pointer finger importantly. “Do
you remember, Jessica, when I told you that Severus knows plenty about adapting
to changes in one’s lifestyle?”
she answered softly. “I know what kind of changes he’s gone through. He used to
be one of them.”
of who?” Dumbledore asked childishly, pretending not to know the blatantly
obvious answer. He tangled his finger in the length of his silver beard and
revealed a hint of a smile.
saw right through his act of ignorance and frowned at his unwillingness to be
straight with her. “Come on Uncle,” she said seriously. “I know you know
exactly what I’m talking about. Severus said some things to me yesterday that
gave me sufficient enough reasons to believe that he used to be a Death Eater,
just like my blood father.”
Dumbledore said immediately and raised his finger once again at her. His smile
disappeared and the look in his crystal blue eyes turned serious. Jessica knew
right away she had said something wrong. If she hadn’t, Dumbledore’s emotions
never would have taken such a drastic change in such a short instant. “Severus
was never anything like your father. There are many things your father did that
Severus would have given his life to stop himself from doing, and in a sense,
that’s exactly what he did. Severus risked his life to break free of the circle
surrounding and devoting themselves to the Dark Lord. Your father will never
break free, he’ll never change, and he’ll never demonstrate the paternal love
and affection you deserve. He’s chosen to reserve the vastness of his emotional
commitments solely for the Dark Arts. He’s dedicated his life to assist in the
growth and strengthening of Voldemort. And as unique and as much as you are
loved and cherished by others, your entire existence is evidence of that
doesn’t know who my father is, does he?” Jessica questioned.
Dumbledore’s head shook. “No, I don’t believe he does. He was still quite young
when you were born. Until last summer, your existence has been kept secret even
from the majority of the remaining Death Eaters.”
gave an understanding nod and pressed her head into the back of the couch. She
lifted her eyes to the ceiling and took a moment to give some serious thought
as to whether or not she wanted Snape to learn the name of the Death Eater who
illegitimately brought her into the world of magic solely for the purpose of
using her for the formidable talents she possessed in order to serve the Dark
interrupted her thoughts by standing up and looking down at Jessica
judiciously. His head nodded back and forth a couple of times before he spoke
to her. “Because of who you are Jessica, you will be sought after by the dark
wizards day by day until the time comes where your powers will no longer be of
use to them. And we both know that such a day may never come in your lifetime.
Therefore it will be necessary for you to remain by the side of a wizard
capable of protecting you from this danger. You understand that now, don’t
Jessica softly said with a boldly affirmative nod. After all that had happened
over the summer, Jessica now understood how necessary it was for her to have a
wizard to protect her at all times.
believing that she could take care of herself resulted in a situation that only
led to the cruel cold-hearted murder of her mother, Espiranza Van Eden.
Jessica’s eyes fell to the floor and a memory quickly flashed before her eyes.
the middle of the night, three dark wizards barged into her mother’s home in
London. Their presence awakened Jessica at once. However, as little time as it
took for Jessica to realize that they were there for her, it was already too
late. She opened her bedroom door in just enough time to see a Death Eater pull
his wand from his robes and point it at her mother who had emerged from her own
bedroom only seconds earlier. The bolt of blinding green light struck
Espiranza’s heart and sucked the life out of her in an instant. That was the
last thing Jessica remembered before awakening in the presence where she first
heard her father’s cold malevolent voice. Although he was weak, Jessica could
still feel the emotions of sheer evil pouring out of him.
won’t be around forever to protect you,” Dumbledore continued, “I don’t fancy
the idea of it either. To restrict you to the grounds of Hogwarts for that many
years wouldn’t be fair.” His hands rose in consideration and he shrugged his
shoulders again. “Severus knows enough to know how to protect you from those
who will never cease to track you down. I would die a very peaceful man if I
knew you had a man like Severus by your side.”
that what you told him this morning?” Jessica asked inquisitively. Jessica
stood up from her seat on the couch when she saw that Dumbledore was beginning
to walk towards the door.
exactly,” Dumbledore replied. “But I’m sure he got the picture.” A clever smile
spread across his face and he winked at his grandniece as she walked at his
what did he think of your subtle hint?” Jessica asked.
stopped and turned around to face her. The smile was still spread across his
jolly face. “You’re the empath my dear, not me. Perhaps you can enlighten
me once he has been indulged in your abilities.”
I will,” Jessica said. “I told him yesterday that I could sense his emotions,”
I suppose that’s a start,” he told her.
moment later, Jessica took a breath in through her mouth and held it as she
remembered how she had used her powers to force him into expressing his true
feelings. “Yesterday I did something to him that I shouldn’t have,” she
admitted. “I bewitched him into telling me how he truly felt about me. The feelings
were there inside of him and it was driving me mad that he wouldn’t just admit
that he wanted to be with me. I know I shouldn’t have done it, it was awfully
selfish of me, but I had to hear him say the words.”
knew that deep down inside, Snape needed to hear the words, too. He also knew
that it wasn’t selfishness that drove Jessica into bewitching him.
course I’m going to have to tell him what I’d done to him,” Jessica continued,
“but I’m quite certain he isn’t going to be very happy about it.”
know Jessica,” he began with his finger held out in front of himself. “I don’t
want you to be afraid of telling him about any of the abilities you possess. As
I said before, in the wizarding world these gifts are uncommon, but not
abnormal. I can guarantee you that Severus won’t stop feeling the way he does
for you once you tell him.”
nodded in appreciation and then held her arms out to give Dumbledore a hug.
“Thank you, Uncle.” He squeezed her tightly and pat her back a couple of times.
“Thank you so much.”
* * *
next we’ll see how the first date goes. Then, more about Jessica’s father.
After that I’ve got plenty of suspense to throw in before the end of the school
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