Chapter 7 : Wizards, Wands and the Waltz
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Chapter Seven – Wizards, Wands and the Waltz
“How long will you be staying at
As they leisurely walked down the
corridors of the castle, Jessica kept her hands wrapped tightly around Severus’
right arm and hugged herself as closely to him as possible after hearing his
question. As far as she knew, it was Dumbledore’s belief that she would be
staying at Hogwarts until she had a husband to take her elsewhere.
“I’m not really sure,” Jessica told him
instead. When she looked at him she was tempted to tell him what her uncle had
told her earlier that morning, but then figured that it was too soon to let
Severus in on her deal with needing a protector upon leaving Hogwarts. “As
things stand now, I’ll be here at least until the Aurors are able to find and
imprison the men who killed my mother last summer. Although as long as they’re
unconstrained they’ll be looking for me, waiting for the perfect time to take
me back to-”
Severus dropped his hand on top of hers
when she paused. Her troubled eyes fell to the floor and she sighed at her
frustration. Obviously whatever it was that she wanted to tell him was becoming
a little more difficult than she’d first anticipated.
“Don’t bother with it,” he told her.
“You don’t need to tell me where. It’s probably none of my business.”
“No,” Jessica stopped and turned to
face him. She took both of his hands in her own and pressed their fold against
her chest. “That isn’t it at all,” she assured. “I don’t know where it was that
I was taken. It could have been Siberia for all I know. My uncle doesn’t know
either.” Jessica let out a small sigh and then clapped her hand once over top
of his wishing that she could muster the courage it would take in order to ask
Severus if he knew where it was that the Death Eaters had their hide out. “I
suppose if he did this would all be over by now.” She looked up into his dark
eyes and cautiously thought of the words she wanted to say to him. “Severus,
since we met in the Hospital Wing, how much has my uncle told you about me?”
Jessica asked curiously.
“Not much,” he answered. “Only that you
are Guinevere’s granddaughter and that you were raised in Muggle London before
you were orphaned last summer.”
The sudden look of shock on Jessica’s
face took Snape by surprise. Her shaken reaction had him feeling like he’d
broken her heart already. The grip she had around his hands loosened and she
nearly let go of him.
“What is it, Jessica?” Snape questioned
as he took his hands and cupped each of them around her elbows to hold her
still. “Is that not true?”
Her head shook gently. “He only meant
that my mother’s passed away. Isn’t that so?” she asked. “He didn’t say that my
father’s dead, too?”
Snape’s head nodded back and forth.
“No, he only said that you were orphaned.” He squinted curiously at her concern
and pulled her a little bit closer to him. “What does it matter if your
father’s still alive? You said you don’t know who he is, or even care what his
name is. Have I been mistaken?”
Taking Severus by the hand again,
Jessica walked him over to the edge of the corridor where there was a bench and
sat down with him. She folded her hands in her lap and looked out into the
courtyard where there were a couple of students in robes sitting with their
“It is true, I don’t know who my father
is. I never want to know who he is either, so if my uncle ever mentions his
name I never want you to repeat it back to me. Is that clear, Severus?”
Jessica’s full emerald green eyes looked deep into his own dark eyes and
effortlessly captivated his full attention. He nodded at her and then wondered
if Jessica was going to tell him why such a seemingly ridiculous thing was so
important to her. What harm could come from knowing one’s own parents?
Sensing Severus’ curiosity, Jessica
decided that it might be best if she told him what it was he wanted to know.
After all, out of all the professors of Hogwarts, he was the one most likely to
understand her reasons.
“I know very few things about my
father,” Jessica began. “However, what I do know is enough to make me hate him
more than anything. He’s a cruel, selfish man and he hasn’t got a dot of love
within his heart. He raped my mother so that she would conceive his child who
would share the same blood and powers as Albus Dumbledore. With abilities such
as those, my father’s intentions are to one day use me to serve his master.”
With her last remark, Severus’ mouth
opened slightly and he turned his eyes away for a brief moment. “Your father is
a follower?” he asked slowly.
Jessica nodded her head and watched as
a couple of older students walked past. Once they were out of hearing range,
Jessica returned her attention to Severus and settled his curiosity. “If you
mean a Death Eater, yes. My father is one of Voldemort’s followers.”
It made sense now why she didn’t want
to have anything to do with he father. It had been the Death Eaters who’d
murdered Espiranza Van Eden. And since Severus wasn’t sure of whether or not
Jessica knew that he had once been a Death Eater himself, he remained silent
and took her arm again as he stood her up and continued to walk with her down
the corridor. Even though he was sure such a thing wouldn’t surprise her, the
last thing Severus wanted to do was force Jessica into being reminded of her
father every time she looked at him. Now that he had her, he was going to do
everything he could to keep her. He loved her too much already, and love was
something he never would have permitted himself to fall into before.
Little did Severus know how Jessica
could sense every tiny emotion that passed through him. She knew he’d once been
a Death Eater, she knew he loved her, and she knew how terrified he was of
disappointing her. With a warm and soothing pat over his arm, Jessica smiled up
at him and then intertwined her fingers with his. “You needn’t be so worried,
Severus,” she began. “My uncle assured me that you’re no longer one of them. It
doesn’t bother me at all anymore that you once were. My uncle trusts you with
his life, and because of that, I do too.”
“He’s told you already,” Snape assumed
and continued walking without looking her way.
“No,” Jessica said, much to his
The astonishment forced him to stop and
look at her again. “Then how did you know?” he asked. There were many ways she
could have found out. Madam Pomfrey knew, several of the students knew, or
perhaps she’d just gathered the information herself by means of observing his
dark attire, his sour behaviour and his fancy for the Dark Arts.
“You told me,” she answered.
“I told you?” he repeated and looked at
her through the narrow slits of his eyes. “What are you talking about, Jessica?
I have never told you anything of the sort.”
“Falsehood, evil, and despair,” she
said, reminding him of the words he’d used to describe his life before he’d
been saved by Dumbledore. “The things you said to me yesterday didn’t make it
sound like your association with dark wizards was at all minimal. And in
addition to that, I could sense a lot of hatred coming from you when you spoke
of your past. Your anger was directed at them and at their leader, Voldemort.”
Snape blew a loose strand of hair out
of his view and then tucked the hair behind his ear. “Perhaps,” he began.
“Nearly everyone I speak to sense loathing emotions, and it’s a damn accurate
“No, Severus,” Jessica said and shook
her head. She placed her hands on either side of his hips and looked deep into
his eyes. “You don’t understand. I wasn’t kidding you yesterday when I said I
can sense your thoughts. My empathic and telepathic abilities are very real.
They are a part of the abilities my father intended for me to have.”
“You’ve been reading my mind all
along,” Snape assumed, sounding quite disturbed by learning this new
information. “Every thought and every feeling,” he continued, as he grew
angrier. “Why the hell didn’t you tell me that before? For bloody sakes
Jessica, that’s a personal violation!”
“Severus!” Jessica called out in
offence. She let go of his arms and took one step away from him. Her eyebrows
curved down in anger and she looked him in the eye for a moment.
as a gust of cold wind swept down the corridor, Jessica wrapped her hands
around her arms to block her bare skin from the cold. Snape crossed his own
arms over his chest and looked back at Jessica with the same expression as if
waiting for an innocent speech, an explanation or perhaps just an apology.
haven’t read your mind once!” Jessica confessed.
just said you’re a telepath,” he reminded. “What exactly are you playing at?”
me explain,” Jessica said sternly. “I am a telepath, but in order to
read your mind I have to want to do it. It hasn’t always been that way, but a
long time ago my uncle taught me how to control my telepathic ability so that I
could keep myself from hearing the thoughts of everyone within a few meters of
me. When I was a child there was nothing I could do to keep myself from doing
it. It was overwhelming and extremely exhausting. However, since my uncle
started working with me I’ve always asked permission to read one’s mind,” she
said. “You’re right, it is a personal violation otherwise.”
then, the trio of his least favorite first year Gryffindor students strolled
by. The youngest, Hermione Granger was babbling on about some of Professor
McGonagall’s Transfiguration homework. The other two, Ron and Harry, were both
walking on either side of her but didn’t appear to be listening to a word she
was saying. Snape noticed that Ron was walking with his jaw hanging open and
was looking keenly at Jessica while he passed her. Harry was looking very oddly
at Snape until the professor’s lip curled up in a snarl and drove the young
boy’s stare elsewhere.
watched the three of them until they exited into the courtyard and then looked
back at Jessica’s studious expression. “And what of your empathic abilities?”
he quizzed, using the same cold petrifying voice he used when he challenged his
students to tricky questions. “Have you the same ability to block using that as
decided to disregard the disrespectful tone he was using with her. She knew all
along that he wasn’t going to like being placed in such a vulnerable position.
“It’s not as easy,” she finally admitted. “Some people are especially easy to
block, others are a great deal harder. Then there are those who I can’t block
no matter how hard I try.”
raised an eyebrow at her. “And which category do I fit?” he asked, although he
had a gut feeling he already knew the answer.
knew she didn’t have to tell him. Instead he looked out towards the courtyard
and nodded her head in the direction the three Gryffindors had gone. “The girl,
you hate that you can never catch her off guard or ask her a question to which
she does not have an answer.”
Jessica looked back at him he showed her one tiny nod to ensure her that her
assumption was correct. “Go on,” he instructed.
stepped around him and took his hand back into her own. “The boy with the
glasses, you hate that you feel obligated to watch out for him. Even more than
that, you hate that he may never understand why. Then there was the boy with
the red hair. You just hated the way he looked at me.” Jessica smiled at him
and then stepped up on her toes to kiss his cheek. “It made you jealous.”
unsure of how to respond to all of this, Snape tried hard not to think of
anything at all. However, no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t help but
feel a little bit vulnerable and perhaps even embarrassed for some of the
thoughts he had come up with earlier.
instance, when he first saw her that afternoon, his first thought was of how
much he fancied the way she looked. Her dress was beautiful and flattered her
body perfectly. Such attractiveness drew instant sexual desire. He wanted to
take her. The very appearance of her made him want to call off the tour and
confine Jessica to her chambers so that he could ravish her until the following
ever you feel I can feel, too,” Jessica continued. “However, I have a
particularly difficult time sensing my uncle’s emotions. Even when I’m trying
to sense his emotions I can’t do it. You, on the other hand,” Jessica smiled up
at Severus and gently ran her finger across his brow to move his hair from
falling in his face. “When I first met you I couldn’t sense anything from you
at all, then all of a sudden I couldn’t help but sense your every single
emotion. It’s remarkable, really.”
that a meagre way of calling me a ‘simple minded’ man?” Severus asked, still
feeling uncomfortable with the entirety of this situation.
Jessica assured. “Not at all. You’re a very strong-minded man. I can’t explain
why your emotions have suddenly come across so effectively, but it’s nothing to
do with being simple minded. I’ve met several foolish people in my time and
their emotional strength is just as unique as any other. I can tell you one
thing though; you’re just as strong as my uncle is. It just so happens that he
has the ability to block me from receiving the vastness of his emotions.”
merely raised an eyebrow and filled his head with the usual abundance of gloomy
thoughts and turned back into the grumpy Hogwarts Potions Master. “A part of
what makes the Headmaster unconquerable is his ability to control and not be
controlled by his opponents… even if they are only playing simple mind games.”
not playing any mind games, Severus,” Jessica corrected. “It’s simply an
ability I have which was given to me by my father. He doesn’t intend for this
to be a harmless ability, but it is right now. I’ve never used my abilities to
gain advantage over anyone, nor to cause anyone to feel embarrassed as you are
fell upon them.
allowed for him to think in peace and quiet until they could be alone again.
The next corridor they walked down was long, empty and far narrower than the
rest had been. Jessica and Snape could both hear their footsteps echoing as they
are we going?” Jessica asked him.
something I want to show you,” Snape told her. “It’s just up ahead, the
Headmaster said you’ll probably like it.”
it was that Severus was taking her, Jessica could sense that it wasn’t somewhere
he was accustomed to going. He actually dreaded having to make the trip when an
occasion called for it. Nonetheless, Jessica intended to enjoy every moment of
her tour. She hoped that her guide would enjoy each moment as well.
down the narrow hallway, Snape stopped at a large pair of solid oak doors. They
must have reached up at least twenty feet. He took his wand from his robes and
pointed it at the rusty old lock on the doors. He muttered a spell and the
doors clicked open.
other side of the doors, which creaked very loudly as Snape pushed them open,
was a large marble tiled ballroom complete with numerous instruments in the far
corner. Each instrument was covered with tatty looking cloth on which lay a
thin sheet of dust.
crystal chandelier hung delicately from the centre of the ceiling and sparkled
in the sunlight coming from the brass paned skylight windows above. All across
the ceiling there were authentic paintings of witches and wizards holding their
wands amidst the cosmic stars and planets.
corner of the ballroom had a silver statue of the four founders of Hogwarts
School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. By the side of each statue was the
representing animal. There was the lion curled up next to the feet of Godric
Gryffindor, a badger standing on its hind legs next to Helga Hufflepuff, a
raven perched on the shoulder of Rowena Ravenclaw, and nearest to Jessica and
Snape, Salazar Slytherin stood proudly with the a long snake wrapping itself
around his arms and shoulders.
looked curiously at Salazar Slytherin and the snake he had wrapped around in
his hands. The captivating glare of his eyes seemed to be burning right into
her own. For a moment Jessica couldn’t take her eyes from the statue. It was as
if she’d seen his face once before.
her, Jessica could hear Snape’s footsteps nearing her. Once they stopped she
felt him place his warm hands over her shoulders. He massaged her gently and
then leaned his head over her shoulder. Some of his long black hair brushed against
her skin and left a tickling sensation behind.
his lips no less than an inch from her ear, Severus took in a breath of air and
then spoke softly to her. “Do you know who that is?” he questioned just before
he pushed her hair over to her opposite shoulder and reached his lips even
closer to kiss the nape of her neck.
closed her eyes as she let Severus dot her with soft tiny kisses. Her hand
reached up to touch his and she nodded. “Yes,” she replied. “I’ve seen him
continued to dot his lips along her neck, Severus chuckled teasingly at her.
“You can’t have seen him before, Jessica,” he ensured. “They’ve all been dead
for a millennia. You aren’t that old, are you?”
Jessica answered with a soft giggle. “But I have seen him before. In a dream
perhaps.” Maybe that was why his face looked so familiar. Jessica had been
having an outrageous number of dreams and nightmares since her mother had died.
Not one of them made a lick of sense, but she still remembered the places she
was at and the faces she saw. She was sure she’d even recognize voices if she
heard them for real.
long have you been dreaming about dead men?” Severus asked teasingly.
turned around to show Severus the charming smile she had spread across her
face. He loved to see her looking into his eyes when she smiled so sweetly.
“I’m serious, Severus.” Jessica took one last look into the eyes of Salazar
Slytherin’s statue and tried hard to remember where she’d seen that face
before. “Why did Uncle Albus tell you I’d fancy this room?” she asked
curiously. “Did he want me to see this statue, or did he want you to show me
how well you dance?”
every one of Snape’s emotions began to scream with hesitation. He backed an
inch or two away from Jessica and looked back and forth around at the statues
in each corner. “I don’t dance,” he assured.
smiled scheming at him and began swaying her hips back and forth as she tried
to near him and place a hand on his shoulder. “Then why did you agree to bring
me here, Severus?” Just as she began to swing his body alongside her own, Snape
pulled her hands off of his body and clamped her fists at his chest.
show you the paintings on the ceiling,” he made up. “What does it matter?
You’ve seen it now, so why don’t we move on?” Snape let go of one of her hands
and then proceeded to head towards the doors with one hand still in his.
didn’t budge. Instead she pulled him back into position and smiled up at him
again. “Did my uncle perhaps tell you how much I enjoy dancing?”
Snape told her. “He didn’t mention it.”
then why don’t we? Come on, I’ll show you.”
time when Jessica went to move, Snape stood with his feet firmly planted to the
floor. “I didn’t say I don’t know how to dance, I said I don’t dance.”
why not?” Jessica asked curiously. “There’s no one else watching,” she said and
looked around the empty room. “Except perhaps these guys.” She pointed at each
of the statues in the corner and then smiled back up at Severus. “I know you’re
only afraid of being seen. I promise I’ll let you know if anyone comes near the
is hardly a waltz provoking atmosphere,” he opposed.
Jessica looked around the room and began nodding her head. She took a look at
the orchestra of instruments sitting along the wall and then gradually began
nodding her head. “Hmm, you’re absolutely right,” she agreed and then looked
back at him. “Make the instruments play.”
began laughing under his breath. “I won’t,” he assured.
knowledgeably raised both of her eyebrows at him and then spun around to face
the instruments. “Fine, then I will.”
that moment, Snape’s mouth opened as he continued to laugh. “And exactly how do
you think you can do that? You haven’t got a-”
he could finish, Snape saw Jessica raise her hands and point them towards the
instruments. A second later the cloth covers lifted up off of the instruments
and piled in a corner next to Godric Gryffindor’s statue. Then, a split second
later, the instruments began to play all on their own.
look of satisfaction spread across her face, Jessica turned back around to see
a most bewildered look on the professor’s face. He tilted his head slightly and
squinted his eyes. “You haven’t got a wand,” he noticed. “Perhaps you would
like to enlighten me.”
smiled proudly as she took a bow and curtsied. “An old family secret,” was all
she told him.
slowly began nodding his head. “Impressive,” he said softly.
we can dance.” Jessica took her position with him again and soothingly rubbed
her fingers into his shoulder.
Jessica,” Snape grumbled. “I don’t dance, and nothing you can do will make me.”
wasn’t terribly objected to dancing with her. Jessica could sense it. His
refusal was purely based on the risk of being seen by another professor, or
even worse, one of the students.
Jessica let her hand slide down the front of his black jacket until she had his
hand in her grip again. She looked deep into his eyes and gave him a gentle
squeeze. “You’re wrong about that,” she told him. “Dance with me, Severus.”
voice echoed inside of his head. His body went so numb he could feel the blood
flowing through his veins as if it had thickened. Jessica knew she shouldn’t
have, but at least this was a harmless way of proving that she had the power to
make him do anything she asked him to.
reached his hands up to his collar and unfastened his cloak. A moment later he
hastily threw the material aside and pulled Jessica into his arms. He held her
hand out and then instantly began leading her into the waltz.
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