Author's Notes: This story is a one-shot response to ElfFlame's story Dragon's Tears. In order to get the most out of this story, you should read that one in it's entirety first. These stories are a part of the True Revenge series. If you are interested in reading the entire series from the beginning, they are as follows: True Revenge by ElfFlame, Dark Descent by Foodie, De Die In Diem: From Day to Day by Foodie, and Dragon's Tears by ElfFlame, and New Beginnings: Teecie's Story by Foodie. The entire series tells the saga of the Malfoy family from before the HP books even start, to far into the future.
And you know the drill, none of the characters from the books, nor the world of Harry Potter is mine. Only the original characters are mine! Happy reading
After the Tears Fell
"Uncle Sev, I'm bored! I'm tired of staying with Kali and Nili all day long. Can I go with you today?" Reni sat on Uncle Sev's lap while he visited Adriana and her daughters in the living quarters that had been assigned to them since their return from Malfoy Manor. It had been a couple weeks since Snape had gone to the manor with Lucius and brought the girls back to the waiting arms of their mother. Adriana refused to let the girls go back to the property. She also refused to speak with Lucius, and had thrown herself into her work and her children as a way to keep her mind off of him. She'd been taking Teecie to her classes each day, and keeping Kali and Reni in their room with Nili the house elf for safe keeping. Snape considered himself lucky that Adriana was even acknowledging his existence. He hadn't let her alone since the girls had returned, and so she'd been forced to get over her issues with him.
"I'm sorry Renata, but I'm really busy today," Uncle Sev replied, hugging Reni. "But what if you had the chance to go to classes with some of the other students, would you like that?"
"Could I? Would Kali or Teecie have to come too?" Reni asked.
"No, just you."
"Oh, yes, Uncle Sev! Thank you!" Reni cried, hugging him.
Snape sat in complete bliss as his goddaughter hugged him. He loved that he got to see her more often. He thought back to the time when he cared for her as an infant at the school, when she'd been brought there for her own safety. But that had been many years ago, and much had changed since then.
Snape was roused out of his perfect moment by Kali. She had run away from Adriana who was trying to dress her for the day. Four year old Kali stood before Snape, completely naked, and with an anxious expression on her face. "Uncle Sev, mummy says I don't have a pini, is that true?"
Snape turned beet red and looked at the ceiling. "Um...uh...well..." He stammered. Finally able to form words, he called out, "Adriana! Can you please get Kalare?"
Kali had walked over to Snape and leaned against his leg. "Do you have a pini Uncle Sev?"
"Adriana! Now!" He called out.
Adriana came into the room and put her hands on her hips. "Kali! Leave your poor Uncle Sev alone! Now come on and let me put some clothes on you!" She said, gently taking her daughter by the hand and pulling her back to the bathroom.
"But I wanna see-"
"Oh, for heaven's sake Kali! I'll show you a picture, is that all right?" Adriana sounded exasperated as she took Kali to get dressed.
While Kali and Adriana were in the bathroom, two-year old Teecie toddled around the room. Snape watched as she walked towards the fireplace, that had a fire blazing in it. Teecie turned to Snape, smiled and said, "Fire!" then proceeded to walk closer to the fire.
"Ticia! Don't go any closer to the fire," He called out to her.
Teecie proceeded to ignore him and walked closer to the flames. Snape grew frustrated, set Reni back on her feet, and stood up to walk over to Teecie. Snape bent down and scooped Teecie up. "Ticia! I said no! Fire is very bad, no touching!" He said sternly, looking at her with narrowed eyes.
Teecie's lips began to quiver and her eyes filled with tears. Seconds later she was wailing loudly and thrashing around in Snape's arms. "Wanna see fire! Wanna now!" She screeched.
Snape set the wriggling Teecie down and stood in front of her, with his hands on his hips. Teecie looked up at him and put her hands on her hips. Teecie made a move to walk around Snape and go towards the fire again, but Snape bent down and picked her back up. "Ticia Enora Orendes! For once in your life, you will obey me! I said no to the fire, and you will not go any closer, do you understand?" Teecie struggled in Snape's arms as he walked across the room and set her in the chair. He stood in front of it until Adriana emerged from the bathroom with Kali in her arms.
Reni ran over to her mother. "Mum, Uncle Sev says I get to go to classes today with the students!"
"Did he? Well...I don't see why not. I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun, but you'll have to be on your best behaviour," Adriana replied, running her fingers through Reni's wispy silver-blonde hair. Turning to Severus, Adriana asked, "Is everybody ready to go to breakfast?" Severus nodded and picked Teecie up off the chair he was guarding.
As the group walked down the stairs to the Great Hall, Reni talked excitedly to Adriana about the classes she wanted to go to, while Teecie babbled to Uncle Sev about nothing that he could decipher. He did understand, and smiled at her, when she kissed his cheek. "I love you Unca Sev," Teecie said adoringly, laying her head on his shoulder as he carried her down the stairs.
This was the first day that Adriana had felt confident enough to let the girls eat with the students. She'd been taking all her meals in her room with her daughters, but Snape felt it was time for them all to get back into the public, so he'd coaxed Adriana to take the girls to the Great Hall.
Snape led Reni over to the end of the Slytherin table and had her sit by a group of first years, so he could see her clearly from the professor's table. Adriana took Kali to her usual seat at the professor's table and was joined minutes later by Severus and Teecie. Together, they situated the children in their seats and made plates of food for them to eat, then sat down to eat their own breakfasts.
Severus and Adriana talked while they helped feed the girls. Adriana cut Kali's French toast and sausage into small pieces while Severus stirred Teecie's porridge until it was cool enough for her to eat without burning her mouth.
Reni was having the time of her life, away from the adults, and eating with the other Slytherins. She talked to some of the girls while eating bacon, eggs, and toast. As she sipped her pumpkin juice, Reni wondered if any of them knew that the pumpkins the school used came from the farm she lived on. As she debated over whether to tell them or not, one of the girls patted Reni on the head and told her how adorable she was. Reni sneered and decided they were unworthy of knowing such a thing.
Once breakfast was over, Reni looked up at Uncle Sev, who smiled, and beckoned for her to follow the first year students. Though she'd never admit in in a million years, Reni was nervous to be left alone with kids who were older than her, and to be going to classes that she'd never been to before.
The Slytherins' first class of the day that Reni went to was Transfigurations with Professor McGonagall. Reni took a seat in the middle of the classroom and listened to the lesson. They were learning how to turn needles into matchsticks. She couldn't understand how something so tiny could be so hard to transfigure.
Part way through the lesson, Professor McGonagall walked over to Reni and asked how she liked the class. Snape had told the professors that Reni would be visiting the classes and that they were to make her feel welcome. Professor McGonagall looked down at Reni and remembered the infant she'd held in her arms several years ago. She couldn't help but think how much Reni looked like Draco. The similarity was quite striking.
Reni looked up at Professor McGonagall and said, "It is interesting, but I don't see why it should be so hard to turn a dumb needle into a matchstick."
Professor McGonagall smiled. "Well, I can assure you, Miss Orendes, it is much more difficult than you might think. It takes a great deal of concentration to transfigure one object into another. You'll see for yourself in a couple years," She replied. The similarity was very striking indeed, in attitude as well as looks.
As the professor walked away, Reni thought to herself how she'd probably be able to do such a simple task right now, if she had a wand. She was going to amaze her professors when she went to school. She'd be the best witch they'd ever seen, and grow to be the most powerful woman in the world. More powerful, even, than her mother. Because, while her mother was quite strong in her magic, she barely used it. Reni on the other hand, wouldn't hesitate to use her powers-ever.
The next class was Defense Against the Dark Arts with Professor Lupin. The professor was giving a lesson on grindylows. He had a small ugly monster in a tank of water. It had long fingers and green teeth. It's small, sharp horns made it look like the Devil. It glared at the students and gnashed its teeth at them. Reni's heart pounded as it scratched at the glass, trying to get to the students. Reni was sitting in the front of the class, and could see the grindylow looking at her. The grindylow seemed to go crazy, jumping up against the mesh lid of the tank, trying to break through. It kept looking towards her and baring its teeth at her. Reni was scared that it would get out and kill her. Looking around, she saw the other students were absorbed in writing about the grindylow, so she took the opportunity while nobody seemed to be watching, to slip out of her seat and take another seat at the very last row of chairs in the classroom. She could barely see the grindylow now. Breathing a sigh of relief, Reni sat in her chair and tried to calm herself down.
Professor Lupin had watched as Reni went to the back of the room, and went over to sit down next to her. "Those grindylows sure are scary buggers, aren't they? You know, the first time I saw one, I ended up hiding under my desk? But I've never seen one get out of its tank before, so I eventually grew less scared of them," the professor said quietly. "So, what do you think of the classes so far?"
"They've been pretty interesting," Reni replied, looking up at the gray-haired professor. "It's been great to get away from my stupid sisters," She continued.
"Ah, I understand. My oldest boy, Sirius, is always complaining about having to be near his little brother James. But I think they might end up being friends some day," Lupin said, smiling. "So, what do you think you'll like most about learning magic? You'll be going here in just a couple years, so it's not too soon to start thinking about it."
"I don't know really. Mum and father don't let me do much at home with magic. But I do like potions. Uncle Sev sends me ingredients to make potions all the time. One time I made a potion that was supposed to make things grow bigger, and I poured it onto the ground over the potato patch at our farm, and during the harvest, father dug up potatoes that were huge! They looked like small boulders! That was cool," Reni said, smiling at the memory.
"Wow! That does sound cool. Seems to me that you're already a great potions maker," Lupin said. "But hopefully, the school still has some things to teach you," He said, chuckling.
When Defense Against the Dark Arts class was over, it was time for lunch. Reni decided to eat with Uncle Sev and her mum, so she could tell them about her day. Adriana was anxious to see her oldest daughter again. Reni was very excited and talked the entire time about her day.
Uncle Sev talked to Kali about her morning with Nili. She'd spent her time pouring through books. Her favourites were the picture encyclopedias. She couldn't read yet, but loved to look at all the pictures of everything under the sun. But these were Muggle books, so they were limited in the items they had.
Teecie sat next to Kali, eating a bowl of vegetable soup and a toasted cheese sandwich, and making a huge mess. Professor Lupin sat on the other side. He couldn't help but look at her. She was the same age as his youngest boy James. Teecie took a bite of her sandwich and was chewing when she looked up at Professor Lupin. Smiling, Teecie spoke to him. "Hi!"
"Well, hello! Aren't you adorable!" Professor Lupin said, patting Teecie's head.
"Yes I am!" She replied, batting her eyelashes at him. Being two years old, Teecie didn't have a very large vocabulary, but remembered a word she'd heard earlier that day. "Pini!" She said, smiling up at Lupin.
"What?" Lupin asked, confused.
"Pini!" Teecie repeated.
Kali turned around and looked at her sister. "Hush Teecie!" She said, glancing warily at Professor Lupin before reaching over and turning Teecie in her seat, towards her, "Don't talk to strangers."
Professor Lupin looked at Kali and smiled. "Hello, what is your-," But was cut off by Kali.
"Don't talk to me stranger! Mummy!" Kali screeched. She grabbed Teecie and pulled her to her side protectively. "You leave us alone!"
In the blink of an eye, Adriana had scooped Kali up in her arms and was holding her tightly. "Shh," She whispered, "There, there, mummy's here now, mummy's here." Kali sobbed quietly in her mother's arms, burying her head in Adriana's shoulder.
Teecie saw how upset Kali was and started to cry too. Getting down from her chair, she ran to Uncle Sev and held her arms out for him to pick her up. "Unca Sev!" She cried, sniffling. Uncle Sev frowned, bent down and picked Teecie up, holding her on his lap.
Reni sat and looked at the scene her sisters were creating, and hated them for taking Adriana's attention away from her.
Professor Lupin looked on the situation with confusion, but felt horrible over having created it. He'd traumatized a helpless little girl, and he didn't even know what he'd done. Reni, seeing an opportunity for attention, walked over to Professor Lupin and sat down next to him. "See what I mean? They're stupid! All we did was go for a visit with Dragon, who's totally cool, and Kali's all upset. I don't know why they missed our parents, Dragon is so much fun, he's better than them!" She said.
"Ah, I see," The professor said, nodding his head. He wasn't sure what Reni meant, but started to think about it. He knew Adriana had cut Lucius out of her life for the past couple of weeks and was keeping the girls with him. This "visit" with Dragon must have happened right before that. Could it be that this "visit" had been unplanned by one or both parents? Had this "Dragon" taken the children against their parents' will? Judging by Kali's reaction, he'd say yes. "What does Dragon look like?" He asked Reni.
"He looks just like me, but older," Reni replied.
"Ah," He replied. No wonder there was such an uproar in the Orendes family. Draco had taken his sisters, but for what purpose? Not to hurt them, for they were all in good physical condition, though it looked as though Kali might need some counseling. Adriana too. He'd have to talk to Adriana about this.
It took several minutes for Adriana to calm Kali down, but finally she stopped crying and sat in her mother's arms silently. "Kali, that man is my friend. Let's go say hello to him, all right? I'll go with you," Adriana said. Holding Kali in her arms, Adriana walked up to Remus and knelt down so Kali could see him better. "Kali, this is my good friend Remus. Remus, this is my daughter Kali," She said, introducing the two to one another.
Remus smiled kindly. "Hello Kali," He said softly.
Kali clung to her mother, but looked at him. "Hi," She said quietly.
"How old are you, Kali?"
"Four. How old are you?" Kali asked, feeling a little more confident.
Remus chuckled. "Oh, I'm very old!" He said, his eyes twinkling. Trying to get her engaged in a conversation, he said, "So, your mummy tells me all about you and your sisters. She says you like Quidditch and flying. Is that true?"
Kali smiled and sat up in her mother's arms. "Yes! I'm gonna be the seeker for Slytherin!" She replied enthusiastically. "The very best ever!"
"Oh my! Well I'll look forward to seeing you play! And you should ask your mummy to take you to the Quidditch match on Saturday! Slytherin is playing Ravenclaw, I bet you'd love to see that!"
"Oh yes! Mummy can I?" Kali asked, looking up at her mother.
"I suppose so, even though I don't know anything about Quidditch," Adriana replied.
"I can teach you!" Kali replied.
The rest of the day passed pleasantly. Reni loved the Charms class, but was bored to tears by the History of Magic class. Adriana kept Kali with her that afternoon, and while she taught, her daughters drew pictures on parchment with crayons.
That evening, Adriana received a letter from Lucius. He'd sent her letters almost every day for the past two weeks. Though she read them, she hadn't sent a positive response yet. The first letter he'd sent, she'd sent a howler back, accusing him of taking his "sick whelp of a son's" side. After a couple more howlers, she'd finally started to send nothing in response, keeping him wondering over how she felt. She was still very upset that Lucius had lied to her for such a long time, and that her daughters had paid the price, but now could see she missed him terribly at the same time. She thought about Lucius. He was sweet, and so child-like in some ways. After he'd been rescued from Riddle, he'd chosen to live a simple life. But he was still learning how to live as a middle-class farmer, a task that was more difficult than it seemed, especially for a man who had been raised to look down on the world around him, and had been given the best that money could buy. Perhaps he'd just used very poor judgment in dealing with the situation. She had punished him for quite a while, and saw now how her actions were affecting her daughters.
After reading the letter a few times, Adriana found a piece of parchment, and a pen, and slowly wrote a letter back. She told him that he could come up to the school the following day to speak to her. Adriana only had classes the first few days of the week, leaving the rest of her time free to be at home, or in this case, in her living quarters with the girls. Adriana's heart pounded as she sent the letter off with an owl that night.
Lucius arrived in Adriana's fireplace early the next morning. The girls were still sleeping as he whispered a greeting, and held out a bouquet of blue flowers. The very same blue flowers he'd given to Adriana on their camping trip when he'd told her loved her for the first time. Adriana's stomach fluttered as she smelled the delicate blossoms. "May I see the girls? Please?" Lucius whispered, the look on his face showing the pain inside his heart.
Adriana bit her lip and furrowed her brow before nodding her head and leading Lucius to the girls' beds. Lucius bent down and kissed each girl's head, running his fingers through their hair and gazing fondly at them. When he was done and stood back up, Adriana saw tears streaming down his cheeks as he walked away from the beds and into the sitting room. "I've missed you all so much," He whispered.
Adriana sat down in a chair and looked at the floor. "I missed you too," She said quietly. "Christmas wasn't the same without you. The girls have missed you as well."
Lucius sat silently for a couple minutes, trying to think of how to begin. "I...I've tried to think about why I didn't tell you about Draco. I wanted to believe that he was trying to come back into my life. That he'd finally forgiven me. I see now how much of a fool I was," Lucius said.
"Hope is a good thing to have. In regards to your son, however, I'm not sure you should hold out any hope for him. He's beyond hope. The thought of him with my girls makes me sick! I just get so upset thinking of my babies, gone who knows where, without knowing anything about how they are. Not being able to hold them and comfort them. I just needed time to sort everything out. But I think it's time we all went home again. The girls need to be in familiar surroundings, especially Kali. She's been affected the most by this. Poor girl's terrified of strangers now. Teecie, thank goodness, doesn't seem to understand what happened, and I don't think she'll have any memory of it. And Reni...well...I think she'd like to be with Draco still. Part of me is angry with her too. Betrayed by another daughter..." Adriana's voice trailed off as she wrung her hands.
"How can you say there is no hope for Draco? He needs lots of work, but we really made some headway. I just need more time with him," Lucius said, sitting down across from Adriana. "While what he did to the girls was deplorable, they're all right, and they were never in any danger."
Adriana stood up and turned around, crossing her arms. She began to speak to Lucius inside his mind. "We will never see eye to eye about your son. The less we speak of him, the better. I don't see how you can be so uncaring about your daughters. Since nothing bad happened, then it didn't matter? What's wrong with you?"
"What's wrong with me? I have to deal with the fact that I am the father of four children! Not three! Four!" Lucius said, his voice growing louder. Adriana didn't want the girls to wake up, and put charms around their beds to keep them from hearing what was being said. Lucius started up again, more loudly this time, "I owe that to my son. You have no idea what kind of a father I was to him. He deserves a break in this life, and I intend to give it to him. So I choose to forgive his actions, because everything he did is because of the way I treated him. You know full well what I used to be like! But I saved my real self, and the actions that went with being me, for my wife and my son! They didn't deserve that. They didn't deserve anything I did to them. And every day I have to live with it. Each night I fall asleep with my boy's pained expression as he looked up into my face. Every day I see Narcissa's eyes as I raped her. You have no idea what it does to me, to live with that on a daily basis. I don't need a dementor to show me those things, it's already there! How can I live a happy life with you and our girls, while knowing I did that to them? So you wanted to know what was wrong with me? That, that is all that is wrong with me!" Lucius yelled.
Adriana looked at the ground, unable to speak. Tears formed in her eyes that she tried to brush away, but was soon sobbing. None of this was a surprise to her, but she didn't like to think about Lucius's past. It felt like a different lifetime and a different person who had lived through that, not the man she loved. Lucius had changed, he'd decided to become a better person, chosen to rise above the life his father had created for him. Didn't that count for anything? When would he learn to forgive himself?
Lucius looked on as Adriana cried, not sure of what to do. Finally, he stood up, and wrapped his arms around her. He didn't speak, but rocked Adriana back and forth, the way he would with one of his children. Adriana had just stopped crying when they were interrupted by a small voice. "Daddy!" The voice cried. Lucius looked down and saw Kali running over towards him. Letting go of Adriana, Lucius bent down and picked his daughter up.
"Oh, my baby! How are you! I've missed you so much, my little seeker!" Lucius cried, kissing his daughter and holding her tightly to his chest.
"Daddy, I missed you! I love you!" Kali cried, beaming up at her father.
Lucius heard the sound of more footsteps and looked over to see Teecie running over to him with her arms held out for him to pick her up. "Daddy!" She screeched.
Still holding Kali, Lucius bent down and picked Teecie up, kissing her rosy cheek. "How's my little baby doing? Daddy's missed you so much!"
"I missed you too!" Teecie cried, throwing her arms around her father's neck.
Lucius' face beamed as he looked back and forth between his two younger daughters. He carefully shuffled the girls over to the sofa and sat down with one on either side of him. They were jumping up and down on Lucius' lap and screaming and shrieking at him, and he felt as though he'd died and gone to heaven. As he was tickling Kali, he looked up and saw Reni standing before him, looking sullen. "Hello, father," She said, folding her arms.
Lucius unwrapped himself from the younger girls, and left the sofa to kneel down before Reni. "Hello, Reni. I've missed you so much," He said, reaching his hand out and touching her hair. Suddenly, he reached his other arm out to her and drew Reni into a tight hug. "I love you so much," He whispered in her ear. Lucius felt Reni's small body stiffen under his grasp, but was pleased to feel her relax, and even return his hug.
All Reni wanted was her father's undying attention and devotion. Little moments like these brought a slight sense of satisfaction to Reni's mind. Though she'd never show it, she was very happy when her father led her to the sofa and set her on his lap. She was the centre of his universe right then. Teecie and Kali clung to Lucius' arms, looking adoringly at him. Reni wished they weren't there to spoil this time, but unfortunately, they were. They always seemed to ruin any time alone with her parents that she had. Reni often thought about how much better her life was before Kali and Teecie had been born.
Adriana took this time to compose herself once again. She also called out to Severus to see if he'd look after the girls. She and Lucius would need time alone to sort through things. About ten minutes later, there was a knock on the door. Adriana opened it and smiled as Severus stood before her. "Are you all right?" He asked her quietly.
"I've been better," Adriana said, biting her lip. "Will you please take the girls for the day? It would help me out so much," She asked.
"Yes, I'll take them," Severus replied. "Honestly, the things I do for you...," He said, smiling sadly.
Adriana turned to her daughters and told them they'd be spending the day with Uncle Sev, so they needed to go get dressed straight away. Teecie and Kali started to whimper as they thought of leaving their father, who'd only been reunited with them for a few minutes. Reni took their hands and led them to their sleeping area. Several minutes later, they emerged, dressed, and ready to go with Uncle Sev.
Adriana summoned a number of items for the girls and put them in a bag for Uncle Sev. Picking Teecie up and carrying her in his arms, Severus silently walked out of the room with the other girls in tow.
Lucius and Adriana looked at each other for a while without speaking, trying to think of the best way to deal with things. It was definitely going to be a very long day.
Snape took the girls down to the Great Hall for breakfast. He dropped Reni off at the Slytherin table, then took Teecie and Kali up to the professor's table. Kali was able to eat her blueberry muffin and yogurt without creating too much mess, but Snape couldn't see how Teecie managed to get porridge stuck in her hair and her shoes. Snape spent breakfast trying to figure out what to do with the younger girls. Reni would go to classes again, but Kali and Teecie needed to be looked after. Perhaps he could leave them with Nili in the kitchens, but there was the chance that one of the girls could get hurt. A kitchen was no place for a child.
Snape sighed as he realized there was nothing else for him to do but to take Kali and Teecie with him to his office. At least they wouldn't be capable of ruining his office any more than their mother had. He'd only straightened everything out within the last few days, and wasn't looking forward to cleaning up after the children. Snape thought about how his office looked completely new after the "remodeling". He'd had to purchase all new potions sets, books, and furniture, since Adriana had burned all of his old ones.
Once breakfast was over and he watched Reni leave with the other Slytherin students, he cleaned Teecie up and took the girls to his office. He let the girls look around while he unpacked the bag Adriana had given him. He took out stacks of picture books, colouring books, blank paper, and crayons. There were dolls, clean clothes, and nappies as well.
Luckily Kali and Teecie were good playmates and played together on the floor with their dolls, allowing Snape to sit at his desk and get some work done. Every once in a while, Snape would look up to see if the girls were all right. He could never get over how small Kali was. She was two years older than Teecie, yet they were roughly the same size.
After a while, when Snape was engrossed in his paperwork, he was startled by a tugging on his robes. Looking down, he saw Kali standing next to him. "Yes, Kalare, what is it?" He asked, setting his paper down.
Kali looked up at him. "Uncle Sev, why are mummy and daddy fighting?"
Snape bent down and picked Kali up, setting her on his lap before speaking to her. "Well, sometimes mummies and daddies fight, but that's OK. You have nothing to worry about," He assured her.
"They fight sometimes, but this is a real long fight," Kali said. "When they make up, they always go and jump on the bed. Will they jump on the bed again after this fight?" Snape began to rub his temples and looked at the grandfather clock to see what time it was. Ten in the morning...that wasn't too early for a drink, was it? "I wanna know why, Uncle Sev. Mummy and daddy jump on the bed, and when I jump on my bed they yell at me to stop. Do you jump on your bed?"
"Why don't I read you a book?" Snape asked, desperate to change the subject. Picking Kali up and taking her back to where Teecie sat on the floor in a pile of dolls, Snape found a book and sat on the floor next to the girls. "All right, let's see, here we go, All children, except one, grow up..."
As Snape read the book to the girls, they sat down next to him, enthralled in the story. Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, Wendy, Captain Hook, they were all such fascinating characters. In spite of the walls he'd built up over the years, and his many issues, Snape found himself wanting to clap his hands and say that he did believe in fairies, right along with Kali and Teecie, who clapped until their little palms were all red.
By the time the story was over, it was time for lunch. Snape led the girls down to the Great Hall to eat. Reni ran up to the table to eat with him. They talked and ate while the girls sat next to one another, eating. Once Kali and Teecie had finished eating, they left their seats and walked to the main floor of the hall, and began chasing one another around. They didn't notice the small gaggle of Slytherin girls forming around them, cooing and giggling at them. After a while though, Kali noticed the girls, and grew shy, but Teecie liked having an audience. She began to dance around, hopping, jumping, and singing, as the girls applauded for her. "Tell me how get to Sesee Steet," She sang, before bowing to the girls. Teecie smiled. "Yay!" She cried, jumping up and down, proud of her great accomplishment.
Once Teecie had finished, the girls rushed in and started petting her curls and telling her how cute she was. When they started in on Kali, she ran back up to Uncle Sev, who picked her up and walked back down to see what the commotion was. One of the older girls stepped over to Professor Snape and told him that Teecie needed her nappy changed, and she'd be more than happy to help him. Though grateful beyond belief, Professor Snape said nothing more than, "Thank you," to the girl, and telling her to follow him to his office.
The girl found the nappies in the bag of the girls' things. She gently laid Teecie on the floor and lifted her dress, undid her nappy, cleaned her off, and put the clean one on. Teecie giggled the whole time. "Poopy!" She said, laughing and kicking her legs. The Slytherin girl didn't seem too amused. In fact, she looked quite green while she held the dirty nappy in her fingertips.
The girl used her wand to destroy the nappy, then put a cleansing spell on her hands before sitting Teecie back up. She played with Teecie for several minutes until Professor Snape thanked her and sent her off to her next class.
Once they were alone again, Uncle Sev told the girls to colour with their crayons on parchment paper while he worked on more school business. The girls were drawing contentedly, talking and giggling together. Snape couldn't help but look up from his work every few minutes and gaze at them. They were so young and so innocent. He was smiling at the girls when Kali looked up and met his gaze. Returning his smile, she picked up her parchment and ran over to him. "Look, Uncle Sev! I drew you!" Kali cried, holding out her drawing for him.
Snape took the parchment and looked at it. There was a stick figure with 5 long, stringy black hairs sticking straight out of his head. He couldn't help but notice that the stick shape that made his body extended down somewhat between the sticks that made his legs. Kali smiled and pointed to it. "That's your pini!" She cried.
Snape started thinking about the drink he'd have once the girls went back to their parents that evening. A nice glass of absinthe. He could see the green liquid sparkling in the clear glass, and taste the flavour as it poured down his throat. The could feel the bliss he'd be in as he floated away from the day he'd had. As Kali and her obsession with body parts disappeared from his memory.
After a couple more hours, when classes let out, Reni joined her sisters in Uncle Sev's office. She told him all about her fun day with the Slytherin first years. Professor Sprout had shown them all sorts of different mushrooms and their magical properties. Once she had finished telling Uncle Sev all about her fun day, she found some parchment and crayons and started drawing mushrooms and singing to herself, "I want the works, I want the whole works, presents and prizes and sweets and surprises..."
Soon it was time to return to the Great Hall for dinner. At the professor's table, Professor Lupin cut Teecie's chicken into bite-sized pieces for her while Kali picked at a salad, and Reni ate a steak with gusto and talked to Uncle Sev at the same time. Uncle Sev was trying to get Kali to eat a small piece of Teecie's chicken with little success, when Adriana joined them. Severus noted that she looked pale and exhausted.
Once everybody had finished eating, Severus helped take the girls up to Adriana's living quarters. There was no sign of Lucius when they arrived. "Girls, how would you like to go home tomorrow after the Quidditch match?" Adriana asked. "Daddy wants to come up for the game, and then we'll all go home. Does that sound good to you?" The girls were very excited about returning to the property and staying with their father again. Kali was ecstatic that she'd get to go to a Quidditch match with her father and had trouble falling asleep that evening. "I want Slytherin to win, mummy!" She said while yawning. Adriana smiled and kissed her daughter before turning out the light.
After all the girls were asleep, Adriana sat on the sofa and talked to Severus about what she and Lucius had talked about all day long. Adriana had come to see that Lucius had cared very deeply for their daughters and had been sick over what happened to them. She'd also come to understand why they'd been so afraid to let her know that the girls had been taken. Lucius had come to see how it had made Adriana feel to have been lied to for years. She told him the hell she'd gone through while being locked away in Sev's office, unable to help or do anything at all. They'd also come to a few agreements. The girls could return to the property, and Lucius could attempt to forge a relationship with his son, as long as it was not done at the house, with the girls around. And if Draco ever tried to hurt her children again, there would be no stopping her, and Lucius would never see his daughters again.
Severus hugged Adriana tightly and kissed her cheek as he stood up to leave, but Adriana held onto him and began to cry. Severus stroked her hair, and let Adriana cry until she had no more energy for tears. "Adriana," he whispered, "You can do this. You'll get through this. You're so strong." Severus held her face in his hands and smiled fondly yet sadly down at her. "You've had a very long day, so you should go to bed and get some sleep," He said. Snape took a few more moments to look at Adriana before letting go of her and walking away. He still wanted more than ever, to have her love. To be the one she crawled into bed with and made love to each night. To be the father of those girls. Snape hated that Lucius was the man to receive all those wonderful gifts. He hated that he was always the one to help him out. He hated that Lucius was the man who made Adriana so happy and feel so completed, not him. Snape recalled the night, when Adriana had been pregnant with Renata, that they'd almost made love. He cursed himself for having been noble and stopping before it went too far.
That night, Severus dreamt of Adriana, and woke up the next morning, surprised, and disappointed, that she was not in the bed next to him.
Adriana awoke to Teecie's smiling face. Teecie was sitting on her mum and poking her on the cheek gently with her finger to wake her up. "Hi mummy," She greeted Adriana.
"Hello, honey," Adriana said groggily while shifting Teecie off of her and sitting up. "How are you today?" She asked Teecie.
"We gonna see Quitch today," Teecie replied, hopping up and down excitedly.
"That's right, the Quidditch match is today. Who do you want to win? Ravenclaw or Slytherin?"
"Syzin! Syzin!" Teecie pumped her little arms enthusiastically in the air.
By that time, the other girls had joined Teecie and Adriana on the bed.
"How come you don't know how to play Quidditch?" Reni asked.
"Well, when I was going to Hogwarts, proper girls weren't allowed to play Quidditch. We weren't even allowed to fly on brooms," Adriana explained.
"But I thought people think all witches always fly brooms," Reni said.
"Well, that's just a stereotype of witches. It's not always true. We used carpets in my day." Adriana explained. "All right, let's all get dressed and go eat some breakfast. Daddy will be joining us afterwards to walk up to the stands."
The girls got off the bed and ran around getting dressed. Once they were all ready, they left to go down to the Great Hall. Everybody ate a hearty breakfast and chattered excitedly to each other about the upcoming match.
As Adriana got the girls bundled up for the cold day outdoors, Lucius walked into the Entrance Hall, all dressed in green and silver clothes. Adriana carried Teecie while Lucius held Kali's hand and Reni walked with Uncle Sev out to the Quidditch pitch. Uncle Sev had to sit with the other professors, since they tried to be as unbiased as possible, but Adriana sat with her family on the Slytherin side of the stands. Being a Gryffindor herself, she felt almost as though she was betraying her house, but quickly got over it when she saw the happy expressions on her girls' faces.
Kali was enraptured the entire time, jumping up and down, screaming and yelling whenever the Slytherin team made an impressive move or scored. Teecie sat on Adriana's lap, watching Kali, and clapping whenever her sister did. Reni cheered as well for the team, as did Lucius. Adriana still had no idea what was happening, but assumed it was good.
The game lasted for over an hour before the Slytherin seeker caught the snitch to end the game. Lucius picked Kali up and hugged her. "That'll be you someday, my little seeker!" He cried, kissing her cheek.
Adriana looked carefully at the Slytherin team as they flew a victory lap around the stands. "Lucius, there aren't any girls on the Slytherin team," She observed.
"There've never been girls on the team," He replied.
"So...you want Kali to be the first?"
"Of course, she's good enough."
"But...that sounds like an awfully large amount of pressure to put on her. She's just a little girl, Lucius. And Kali's so delicate, I don't want her to get hurt out there. That team looks like they play very roughly. And if they've never had to deal with a girl on their team before, they probably won't be to open to one in a few years. I don't want her to have to deal with all of that."
"Aren't you the one who told me about all that women's lib rubbish? All that 'I didn't march with the Pankhursts just to have you throw that all away!' stuff? I'd think you'd be happy to have your daughter pioneering new paths for girls in Slytherin house. Well anyway, Kali's only four, let's not argue now about what will happen years down the road from here."
"That's true, and besides, Kali might not even make Slytherin."
"Don't even joke about something like that!" Lucius exclaimed. The look on his face was so hilarious that Adriana burst out laughing.
"Daddy, can we go see the team?" Kali asked.
"Oh, I don't know..." Lucius didn't want to be seen by too many people. Being in the stands was all right since there were so many other people around, but he didn't want to go down onto the pitch and have the young Slytherins looking at him and asking who he was.
The look on Kali's face was heart-breaking though, and Adriana felt pity for her. "How about I take you Kali?" She offered, holding her hand out for Kali to take. Together they walked down to the pitch and over to the Slytherin team. Once they reached them, Adriana said, "Hello, boys. This is my daughter Kali, and she's a very big fan of yours. She wanted to meet you."
Kali was beaming up at the boys. "Hi!" She said, waving at them.
One of the boys stopped waxing his broom and walked over to Kali and Adriana. "Hello Kali, my name is Oscar," He said, holding his hand out to shake hers. Kali took his hand and shook it. "So, you liked the game?" He asked.
"It was great!" Kali said, hopping up and down excitedly. Oscar was very handsome with dark chocolate brown hair and blue eyes. Kali grinned up at him and batted her eyelashes at him. "Can I see your broom?" She asked.
Oscar smiled and held his broom out to her. Kali took it in her hands and examined it. "Wow! This is a good broom!" She declared expertly.
Oscar laughed. "Would you like to go for a ride?" He asked.
"Oh yes! Can I mummy?" Kali asked.
"Just be careful," Adriana replied, nodding her head.
"Can I go by myself?" Kali asked Oscar. He looked at Adriana, who nodded her head again. Oscar nodded to Kali and watched with amazement as Kali mounted the broom, kicked off the ground, and sped around the pitch in a blur.
"Wow, she's good!" Oscar exclaimed. "How old is she?" He was even more amazed to find out she was only four. After Adriana told Oscar that Kali was being trained as a seeker, he ran and found a snitch. "Kali, I'm letting the snitch go, try to catch it!" Oscar called out to Kali as he let go of the small golden object.
Kali watched as the snitch started to dart around the pitch. After losing sight of it for a few minutes, she got a lock on it and started flying after it. In order to gain even more speed, Kali flattened her body against the broom. She was only several feet from the ground when she reached her left hand down and felt her fingertips brush against the snitch. She tried a second and third time and didn't catch it until her fourth attempt. Once she'd caught it, she straightened up and flew back over to Oscar and her mother.
By the time she hopped off the broom and waved the snitch at Oscar, the rest of the Slytherin team was watching her with looks of amazement on their faces. Kali handed the snitch and the broom back to Oscar and thanked him before walking over to her mother and taking her hand.
Once they returned to Lucius and the girls, Kali was beaming and beside herself with excitement. "Did you see me daddy?" She cried.
"Yes I did! I'm so proud of you! You're going to be the best Quidditch player in the world some day!" Lucius said, picking up Kali and kissing her cheek. "Let's go home now, shall we?"
Together, the family returned to the property, to pick up the pieces of their lives, and to set everything right again. It would take time to heal all the wounds of what had taken place, but as the saying goes, time heals all wounds, and Adriana, for one, had lots of time on her hands.