The fondness that had been in Severus’ eyes only
moments ago vanished completely. That tender look was quickly replaced with an
expression bursting with perplexity. Jessica slid herself out of Severus’ arms
and continued dressing.
“I’m sorry Severus, but I can’t explain now. I’ve got
to go right away!” Jessica rushed to hurry out of his chambers, but a strong
hand reached out in time and stopped her. He held Jessica back and pulled her
back into his embrace.
“You don’t have to go anywhere.” Severus combed his
hand through Jessica’s hair and looked deep into her emerald eyes. “Voldemort
isn’t coming. It’s impossible.” His hand curved along her jawbone and cupped
beneath her chin.
“To you it may be, but not to me.” Tears squeezed
out from the corners of her closed eyes when he touched her face so delicately.
More than anything in the world she wanted to stay and let him caress her to no
end, but the Dark Mark had warned her, and trouble was well on its way.
“Please,” she begged in a drawn out voice. “Please Severus, let me go. He can’t
find me here with you.”
“Jessica, you’re being ridiculous,” Severus assured.
“Voldemort cannot come to Hogwarts! He disappeared over a decade ago,
some even believe he’s dead.”
“Well I assure you, he’s not.” Somehow finding its
way past the throbbing lump in her throat, Jessica’s voice quivered with fear.
“If you don’t let me go now you’ll see it for yourself. He may even try to kill
“He hasn’t got the strength to even show himself,” Severus
“Well he’s got enough strength to do this!” Jessica
turned her body around and reminded him of what there mere hallucination of him
had done to her. “And if you don’t believe that he’s real enough to do that,
then believe that something powerful enough to do this to me is on its way
here. It’s coming for both of us.” She set her hands down on his bare arms and
squeezed him affectionately. “I wasn’t going to tell you this until tomorrow,
but something else happened yesterday in Diagon Alley. Lucius warned me that if
I give myself to you, Voldemort would kill us both. I can stop that from
happening if you let me go now, please.”
Severus began to let Jessica slip out of his grasp
but quickly pulled her back. He held her by her shoulders and practically
burned holes into her with his black eyes. “You told me you bit him only
because he said I’d just break your heart after we’d slept together.” His usual
tolerance for her eluded him like a cat fleeing from the coming of a rainstorm.
Soon the lovesick Potions Master restored his hostile, monstrous composure and
became the man every Hogwarts student feared. “Tell me what else he said,
Jessica. Tell me right now!”
“All right,” she hastily agreed. It was more a
decision to get out of his quarters as soon as possible than it was to
enlighten him of the exact events that had occurred yesterday in Diagon Alley.
“He told me that my father chose a mate for me even before I was born and that
Voldemort would kill me if I lost my virginity to any man other than the one
chosen for me.
“Now that my abilities have fully matured, Voldemort
will be able to extract them from me once he’s restored his power. He’ll use
them to become even more powerful and to defeat Uncle Albus. But Lucius said
that only my chosen lover will be able to extract my abilities from me. If I
lose my virginity to anyone but this man, every exceptional ability I have will
cease and I’ll no longer be of any use to him.”
Jessica watched as Severus’ eyebrows slowly drew
together and compounded a bitter scowl. His cold, black eyes pointed at her
like daggers and pierced right through her heart. The terror his eyes
frightened Jessica down to the bone.
“Then we’ll be doing you a favour,” he said ever so
quietly and slowly. His voice turned to ice and Jessica could feel her heart
sinking even further down into her chest.
“No, you’re not listening to me,” she said softly.
“He won’t just let me go. You know better than anyone that Voldemort is
in no way remorseful or merciful. He’d kill us both. Lucius said he killed my
father, the man who created me for him! Is that not cold-hearted and callous?”
She swallowed hard and saw that her words were doing nothing to ease his fury.
“Look, last night my uncle promised me that he’d protect me as best he could
from this threat, but I don’t think he’ll be able to. The Mark is burning and I
can feel him coming. I don’t know how Voldemort could possibly know that we’re together right now, but he does, so please let me leave!”
well-built armour he worked so hard to manufacture over the years encased his
heart once again. Severus pushed Jessica away from him and produced the foulest
and darkest of scowls she’d ever seen before. Terror poured over her like a
tidal wave, as Jessica never imagined she’d see another face like that looking
sorry, Severus,” she whispered and felt the tears drip down her warm face. “I
wanted this to happen so much. I love you, you know I do. We can talk to my
uncle in the morning. Perhaps there still is something he can do to help us.”
will not bring the Headmaster into our affairs!” Severus assured with a
fiery tone in his voice. “I am perfectly capable of protecting you
myself, but obviously that isn’t good enough for you, is it?”
wiped her tears away and hoped that he’d make some sort of compassionate and
understanding gesture. His scowl remained and she could feel his heart turning
away from her. “Listen, you still don’t understand,” she said and began to
think of some way she could explain. “Severus, this isn’t easy for me. This
Mark has ruined my life. I know you understand what I’m going through, so won’t
you please just-”
you’re looking for pity you should seek it elsewhere - because you won’t find
it here!” He turned his head away from her and began gathering his clothes from
the floor. “If you’re holding out for some other bloody git, then what the hell
are you doing here with me?” he asked cruelly. “If you’d rather be a Death
Eater’s whore, then by all means - go be with him if that’s what you
want!” Severus gave her one more nasty glare before pushing his arms through
his sleeves and buttoning his shirt back up.
don’t want to be with anyone else!” Jessica declared. “I don’t even know
who this man is! Please Severus, you can’t do this to me.”
done this to yourself,” he told her and carelessly reached for the half empty
bottle of champagne and one of the crystal glasses next to it. “Now get out of
my chambers and leave me alone.”
barely had any time to speak at all before his billowing black robes
disappeared around the corner. The door to his bedchambers slammed shut and she
was left alone in the sitting room next to the blazing fire.
tears poured down her cheeks like a waterfall. She could still feel the bitter
anger and aggravation Severus felt. He was furious with her and among all of
those aching emotions, not one of them resembled heartbreak.
Perhaps Lucius was right after all, Jessica thought to herself. Although as
much as she hated to admit it, she realized that exactly what Lucius guaranteed
would happen, just happened.
love she thought she had, had just crumbled before her.
* * *
soon as she left his chambers the black burning of the Dark Mark ceased.
Jessica’s heart swelled with pain and her eyes numbed from the abundance of tears
she shed. Jessica stood outside the door of Severus’ chambers for a short
moment hoping and praying that there would be some sort of change in his
For fear that the worst was yet to come, Jessica
crawled up the stairs away from his chambers and made way for her own. Her
steps were small and the need to grasp the wall for balance was grave. Curious
eyes from the wealth of paintings along the corridors silently watched her and
she stumbled along.
Just outside of the library, Jessica plummeted down
onto the stone floor and curled her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms
around her legs. With her back tight up against the cold, hard wall Jessica
tucked her head down and her teeth gritted together uncontrollably. Her eyes squeezed
shut and every ounce of pain she felt released itself in a desperate cry.
She sat there crouched up in a tiny ball for what
seemed like an eternity until a sudden presence startled her. Somewhere down
the corridor, Jessica could feel someone approaching. As silently as she could,
Jessica stood up and walked along the wall in the direction of the presence. In
the darkness she kept her eyes peeled for movement and opened her senses to her
The corridor was empty. Beams of moonlight shone
through the large stain glass windows but revealed nothing. He was close
though, so close Jessica could feel him. He could see her, too. Faintly worried
that she’d see him too, the young Harry Potter pulled his Invisibility Cloak
tight around his body and stood perfectly still against the opposite wall as he
watched Jessica’s eyes carefully scan every inch of the area.
“Who’s there?” Jessica asked aloud. She walked
around in circles still looking for him. “I can’t see you, but I can feel
someone near me.”
Her heals clicked against the stone floor and echoed
gently. With her hands folded in front of her, Jessica neared Harry with her
eyes still wandering in every direction. For a short moment he saw her close
her eyes and take a deep breath.
“You’re a student, I can tell. You refuse to show
yourself because you think I’ll give you detention or deduct House points… from
Gryffindor,” Jessica confessed as she tried to focus on the thoughts of young
Harry. “Well good news for you, young man, I’m not a professor so I cannot do
either. You have nothing to fear from me, so you may as well show yourself.”
Feeling more and more nervous with every word coming
from her lips, Harry stepped back as quietly as he could and kept his free hand
covering his mouth. He looked closely at Jessica once she was near enough and
immediately recognized that unique pair of emerald eyes.
‘It’s the girl from Snape’s classroom!’ Harry
quickly remembered. ‘He saved her from the chandelier. Neville was nearly
expelled for that!’
Amazed that she could pick up on his thoughts so
easily without knowing just where he was, Jessica listened carefully to every
word that passed through his mind.
‘I’ve seen her a few times with Snape, I’ll be
she’d go right to him if she saw me.’
“I can hear you,” Jessica admitted. “And if you
don’t show yourself in five seconds, I will tell Professor Snape that
there’s a student wandering the school at night.”
Harry swallowed hard. He had no idea how she knew
this! Regardless, Harry figured he was doomed. If he didn’t show himself,
Professor Snape would come around the corner and probably drag him down to the
train station and throw him on the next train to London.
“Do you promise not to tell?” Harry found himself
A tiny smile crept onto Jessica’s face when she
finally heard a voice acknowledging her. “Yes,” she answered, “I promise.”
“Okay,” Harry said in a hushed voice. He set his
lantern down and then slipped the Invisibility Cloak off his shoulders and
Jessica wasn’t at all surprised to see Harry Potter
there before her. Like many others, she’d heard a lot about him both before and
after he’d arrived at Hogwarts. His sovereign scar brought him fame and legend
as well as the downfall of Lord Voldemort. Quite like Jessica, he would be sought
after by Voldemort’s followers for the rest of his life, and like Jessica, he
needed Hogwarts to protect him from those dark wizards.
Harry swung his Cloak over his shoulder and looked
curiously at Jessica and the way she looked intently at his scar. “Why are you
crying?” he asked her sincerely.
Jessica shamefully wiped the tears away from her
face and nodded away. “It’s nothing, really. I’ve just had an awful night.”
“What could possibly make Christmas awful?” Harry
wondered. He adjusted his glasses and brushed his messy hair out of his face.
Jessica gave a tiny shrug. “I’ve made somebody very
angry,” was all she told him.
“Would that be Professor Snape?” Harry guessed.
Jessica sighed and almost managed a laugh. “You’re
very clever. How did you guess?”
“I’ve seen you with him before a couple of times,
and it’s no secret that everyone makes him angry,” Harry told her. “I know it’s
hard not to cry, but you really shouldn’t take it personally. All you have to
do is look at him sideways and he gets angry.”
Jessica laughed as best she could. She’d never heard
a student say something like that before. All of the students she spoke to in
the Hospital Wing had different stories to tell about him, but none so bold as
“Well, perhaps when you’re older you’ll understand
when someone’s anger is meant to attack you at a very personal level and when
it isn’t. Professor Snape is particularly cross this evening and I can’t
imagine that he’d fancy finding you, of all students, wandering near the
library at this hour.”
Harry held up his Invisibility Cloak. “Well, that’s
why I brought this with me.”
Jessica looked at the silky cloak and shook her
head. “What can be so important that it can’t wait until morning when you can
walk into the library in plain sight?” Jessica asked curiously. She felt a wave
of discomfort coming from Harry and knew instantly that he wasn’t at all
prepared to give an honest answer.
Without even wanting to, Jessica picked up on some
of his thoughts. She heard him as clearly as if he’d been speaking aloud to
her. ‘What do I tell her? I wonder what she’d do if I said I need to search
the Restricted Section. Or, maybe she knows who Nicholas Flamel is.’
Jessica was taken aback by
how easily she read his mind, and without even trying for that matter. Except
for the rare occasions with Severus, she’d never been able to do that before.
“What do you need to know about Nicholas Flamel?” she questioned.
Harry’s eyes popped wide
open. “How… how did you know?”
Jessica covered her cheeks
with her hands and then clasped her fingers around the locket she wore
around her neck. “I’m sorry, I tried not to do it. I’m a telepath, I can read
“Is that how you knew I was here?” Harry asked.
Jessica shook her head. “Not really, I could feel
your presence at that time. I only heard your thoughts after I knew you were
“That’s amazing!” Harry exclaimed. “Can you read
everyone’s mind?” The thought of being able to hear the thoughts of everyone at
Hogwarts excited him. If he could do that, there’d be no need to be sneaking
around the castle at night under the Invisibility Cloak. All he’d have to do is
sit down to tea with Hagrid. Or, he could easily get himself a detention with
Snape and silently listen to him admit to trying to steal whatever was hidden
beneath that trap door!
“Not everyone,” Jessica admitted. “You’re just a
lucky one I suppose.” She bared a hint of a smile and then pushed her hair
behind her shoulders. “But if you need to know something about Nicholas Flamel,
I suggest you speak to the Headmaster. After all, they’re dear friends.”
“Um,” Harry mumbled and bit down on his lip. “I
can’t exactly do that. I’ve already been told I ought not to bother asking
anyone at all about him.”
Jessica raised her eyebrows in quite a refined
gesture. “Ah. And that’d be why you need this,” she said and tugged gently on
the corner of his cloak. “Where did you get such a thing anyway? It’s
fascinating, and quite lovely as well.”
“It was my father’s,” Harry told her. “Someone gave
it to me for Christmas.”
Jessica’s hands found their way to the silver
Slytherin emblem and she began to rub it between her fingers. She was quickly
reminded of the very moment she’d opened the box it came in. There was nothing
in the world Jessica valued more than her mother’s locket. Whether he realized
it or not, Severus had given her the perfect Christmas gift. It would remain
around her neck as often as possible.
“Were you in the Slytherin House when you were a
student?” Harry asked as he watched Jessica caress the ornament between her
“No,” Jessica answered softly. “I was never a
student at Hogwarts. I chose to stay in Muggle London when I got my first
“Oh,” Harry said. “Are your parents Muggles?”
“Not at all,” Jessica said uncomfortably. “This
belonged to my mother. She was Professor Dumbledore’s niece. And I don’t know
my father, only that he was a wizard. They were both killed last year.” Not
knowing how much of an impact it would have on the young boy, Jessica chose to
avoid mentioning anything about Voldemort and how his followers fit into the
murders of her parents. He had murdered both of Harry’s parents as well.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Harry said
sympathetically. “My parents are dead, too.”
“Yes, I know. I’m sorry, too,” Jessica said. “I
remember the day it happened. Your parents were very brave.” She touched a hand
to his shoulder and bared a tiny smile. She caught a glimpse of the lightening
scar on his forehead when he shook his hair out of his eyes. Jessica looked at
the scar and curiously began reaching her fingers out towards it. “Do you
mind?” she asked before touching him.
Harry watched her for a moment and then gently began
shaking his head. “No.”
Jessica looked again at the scar and gently began
tracing her finger over the jagged skin.
It felt hot.
Jessica quickly drew her hand back as a deep, sharp
pain swelled at the small of her back. At the very same moment Harry clapped
his hand over his scar and squeezed his eyes shut.
“Ah!” he cried and pressed his fingers deep into his
skin as if to rub the pain away. It all stopped once Jessica stumbled a few
feet back. With an inexplicable look eyes, Jessica watched Harry as her Dark
Mark ceased to harm her.
“I’m sorry,” she said and continued to take little
steps away from him. “I don’t know what happened. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
“It’s all right,” Harry said. “It happens now and
“I should go,” Jessica said, her voice sounding
quite timid. “And you should get going before you’re caught. I suspect
Professor Snape will be coming this way shortly.”
Harry swung the Invisibility Cloak over his body
again and covered everything but his head. He picked up the lantern and looked
down both ways of the corridor. “I will very shortly. Will you promise not to
tell anyone that I’d gone into the library?”
Jessica nervously kept backing away a nodded her
head. “I suppose,” she agreed. “But only if you promise not to tell Professor
Snape that I allowed you to continue into the library when he catches you.”
Harry laughed respectfully. “Don’t worry about me.
Happy Christmas, Miss…”
“Van Eden,” she finished for him. “Jessica Van
“Miss Van Eden,” Harry said. “Thank you. Good
After that Jessica went straight to her chambers.
She kicked her shoes off onto the carpet by the empty fire and dashed to the
closet to wrap herself in a warm cloak. The room was dark and felt cold and
Jessica lit a single candle and carried it to her
bedside table where she carefully set it down before crawling up onto her
four-poster bed. She sat there in the middle of the bed with her legs tucked up
against her chest just waiting for something to happen. Her arms were wrapped
tight around her legs and her eyes kept jumping around the room as if she were
expecting a ghost to appear from anywhere at any moment.
The only noise in the entire room was the tick of
the antique clock in the corner. Time passed so slowly and eventually caught up
to Jessica. Unable to keep her eyes open any longer, Jessica tipped over onto
the bed and fell into a deep sleep.
The wax candle beside her bed melted down to the
base and burned out. Darkness consumed the chambers. Darkness fitting for the
footsteps that silently entered her quarters and proceeded to her bedchambers.
Still fast asleep on top of the covers, Jessica
remained completely unaware of the man who came and sat down along the edge of
her bed. A warm hand reached out and touched her face, and then a pair of lips
reached down to her ear and whispered.
“Jessica.” Her name slithered off his tongue in the
very voice her nightmares had taught her to fear above all else. Her eyes
popped open and she immediately tried to sit up.
His hand clasped around her neck and pressed her
hard into the mattress of her own bed. Jessica chocked and tried desperately to
pry the hands off of her.
“Shh,” another voice whispered to her. Although the
voice sounded from the same mouth, it housed none of the malevolence she’d
heard when he called her name. “Be still.”
The candle on the bedside table flickered on again
and Jessica stopped panicking when she saw the familiar face beside her,
although it completely blew her mind why he was there in her bedroom at
“Professor Quirrell?” Jessica questioned, as if she
weren’t sure that that was his name.
He nodded slowly. “Yes,” he assured.
“What… what are you doing here?” she asked him.
He smiled, but in a way that made her spine tingle
with fear. “That was a close one,” he said. “A little too close! Your father is
very, very disappointed in you. And even after Lucius tried to warn you…”
Quirrell shook his head again and made little ‘tut-tut’ sounds between
his lips. “You can’t be trusted any longer, so until your father is ready for
you, I’m afraid that my ‘Spell of Slumber’ is all that will keep you
from making such a foolish mistake again.”
Jessica gasped for a breath of air as Quirrell’s
grip around her neck took a sudden tight grasp. “I don’t know what you’re
talking about,” she managed to say.
This caused Quirrell to laugh. He chuckled
repetitively at her and then loosened his grip ever so lightly. “You know
exactly what I’m talking about.”
“My father is dead,” Jessica told him and looked
right into his eyes. “Voldemort killed him.”
For the first time, Jessica saw Quirrell spread his
lips into a smile. He leaned further over her until the purple scarf of his
turban touched the side of her face. “That’s impossible, my dear. Voldemort IS
Just as Jessica was in dire need of a breath of air,
Quirrell pressed one hand so tight against her neck she thought she’d be dead
in a matter of seconds. Then, the last thing Jessica remembered was seeing
Quirrell reaching into his robes for his wand. He held it up above his head and
then violently waved it at her.
“DUMORIER SONNIFERO MALDIRA!”
* * *
There you have it! Were you surprised? Not quite
expecting He Who Must Not Be Named to be the father? I tried to drop a few
subtle hints along the way. I hope they weren’t too obvious! Anyway… I’ll try
to have the next chapter up ASAP, but I have to admit, I haven’t got a very
solid story line for the next chapter… it’s sort of a filler to get to June
when all turns out well. ~ Lara
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