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Chapter 1 : Flutterby Daffodil
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He went into his study, the OWL students’ letters that he would soon be demolishing with his red inked quill under his arm. He easily undid his cloak and let it fall into a heap on the floor as he walked along, headed straight for his desk to spend the rest of his night nursing a Firewhiskey and going through the memories that he held. As he neared his desk, he saw that there was something on his desk. Probably another sympathetic card that would help kindle his fireplace that night, he thought to himself. That was when he saw the thing in question. His papers fluttered around his feet and his focus was completely on his desk.
In the middle of the desk, sitting sharply against his grey and white papers was a simple yellow daffodil. Memories that had long plagued him seized his mind and thrust him back into the world that he had thought he had left behind.
Nineteen year old Severus Snape was in his meager flat, carefully brewing a simple wound closing potion, one that his Master had needed him to brew to help him find his own Mastery dreams. As he carefully cut one of the wigstrout flowers into precise pieces, a knock on his door alerted him of someone at his door. He finished cutting the flowers and put the cauldron on a low simmer whilst he ran his hands over his brewing robes and walked to the door. He finished cleaning his hands with a simple black rag and used said rag to open the door.
On the other side of the door, there was a simple brown wicker basket with something covered by an emerald green knitted blanket. Snape had a single eyebrow raise and mentally reminded himself to thank Mrs. Matthews when he got the chance. The elderly woman was often sent him various treats and food to help him through the long brewing hours that he had.
As he took the two handles of the basket, the blanket fell off the top of the mound that was inside. Rather than see the beginnings of a sandwich or a kind of meat, he was greeted by an angelic child’s face, her eyes closed peacefully in sleep.
He had spent the entire afternoon the next day asking everyone in his apartment complex if they had seen the person that had left this child on his doorstep. No one had seen the mysterious person, though one or two said that they had seen a hooded figure leave the building around the same time that Severus had discovered the child. Severus had not seen the person in question, so he had left the question be and examined the child once she had fallen asleep to try and figure out her origins. She seemed about a month old, at least according to the St. Mungo’s personal that he had consulted that morning. Her hair was a pale white of blonde and from the brief times that she had been awake, she had the most brilliant blue eyes he had ever seen.
Once he saw that the child was probably going to be with him for a while, he decided to try and decide on a name for the little one. While he hadn’t really thought much on a name for the child, he could see that she was a very beautiful child and should have a name that reflected such. One night as he sat in his chair with her lying in his arms, though she was not sleeping at the moment, she was staring at him with rapt attention as if trying to decide if she was to trust him or not. “What to name you, child?” Severus mused to himself mostly, though keeping his eyes focused on her. She blinked her eyes and gave a large yawn, curling herself into him. As he heard the church that was just down the way from where he lived chime its melodious bells, he was struck with a name for this young child that had been so suddenly been placed in his life. “Belle. Belle Lillian Snape.”
He watched as the child grew and progressed through all of the stages of babyhood. Before he knew it, she was celebrating her first birthday, with a little purple cake that Severus had managed to find in a bakery. She clapped her hands against the surface, spraying the food stuff everywhere and all over him and her. Once he made sure that both of them were completely cleaned, he carefully brushed through her soft blonde hair, a ritual that had always lulled the young child to sleep. She rested her head against his chest, her warm baby smell that was mixed with the soap that he had used to clean her wafting into his senses and cleansing his blackened soul for a single moment.
As she grew and learned how to walk, he would try and find time to take Belle on different sorts of outings so that she could expand her horizons. One day, when Belle was almost fifteen months old, Severus had taken her to the city park. They made quite an odd pair, the beautiful little toddler that would laugh and smile at everyone she saw and a very dark man that seemed very disagreeable to anyone pushing the pram. Though, the child gave him the brightest smiles, she cooed and called him “Papa” and he smirked at her in a way that could have been a smile for all anyone was concerned.
She gazed about the park, watching the ducks and the people as they went along. She clutched her plush dragon that she had named Pope Fifi. The “Pope” because she had once seen a person that was dressed in funny clothes and her papa told her that it was a pope and the “Fifi” because she couldn’t say fire yet when she had named the toy and she didn’t want to try and change the name. She giggled as the pram went over one of the bumps in the concrete. She took enjoyment out of anything.
That was when she saw a field of wild daffodils that dotted the bright green grass with spattering of yellow. She pointed them out and looked to her Papa to try and portray what she wanted. “Fowers, fowers!” She cried, her l’s nearly silent in her exclamation.
“Fl-ow-ers.” Severus corrected. “And yes, those are daffodils. Can you say daffodils, Belle?”
“Close enough.” Severus said, parking the pram near the field and lifting her out of the pale white stroller. He set her down gently on the ground and let her toddle off into the field of flowers that had so entranced her. She returned back to him with a handful of the yellow flowers and proceeded to put one of them in his hair and throwing the rest of them in the air so that they rained around them, her giggling permeating the warm day.
The years seemed to fly by and before he knew it, his young Belle was four years old and brighter than a star. She had become his little helper, giving him a light in his darkest of times. When he saw a muggleborn have their lives taken for something they had no control over, when Dumbledore pressed harder and harder on helping in the Order, when Lily came into meetings with a very pronounced baby bump, he could come home to his little daughter who would hug him around his knees, tell him all about everything that had possibly or had happened during her day and not stop for a moment until she gave that baby yawn and he sent her off to get her nightgown and Pope Fifi so that she could fall asleep in his arms.
It was a simple life, a life that Severus was more than happy to live.
It was November third; three days after his life had crumbled around him. He had begged and plead with Voldemort, begged him to let the woman that he had always loved live. He hadn’t thought of the boy or the man that he had held such animosity toward, just the first woman to ever care about him. The Dark Lord had promised to try and save this woman that had obviously taken his most trusted servant’s heart. He had been lied to and Lily was now dead. Belle had been able to tell that something was wrong with her Papa, her six year old mind whirling in shock when he snapped angrily at her whilst she told him about her day. She was so confused and scared, so she had taken Pope Fifi and run up to the attic of the house, wanting to stay away from that person that was definitely not her Papa.
Then there were knocks on the door and a number of robed Death Eaters came into his home, their masks reflecting off of their lit wands. They cursed him and sent him flying into the wall, making him crumple on the floor. They set fire to his house, laughing like the maniacs they were while they did so, proclaiming that the Dark Lord needed him to have his punishment for disturbing him.
He had been lucky. He had been near the window that the muggle firemen broke to find him. Belle had not been so lucky. They hadn’t found her body, but they did find a fire damaged dragon lying forlorn on the dusty attic floor.
He had never told her how much she meant to him. He had not gotten the chance to give her one last hug, one last “I love you”, one last…something. Anything that would make this feeling of hatred disappear and leave him be. It was just another punch in the stomach every time he saw a girl with blonde hair or a pair of blue eyes. She would have been seventeen this year, two years older than that Potter brat. He was almost certain she would have been a potion mistress like him, she had loved to help with the simple ingredients and the simple instructions of the potions he brewed.
He held the flower to his chest and could feel red hot salty tears course down his sharply defined face. A warm hand on his shoulder suddenly broke him out of his reverie. He looked over his shoulder slowly, finding a woman with long blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. “Papa.”
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