|Behind the Masks
Author: enigmalea PM
AU, started before HBP. Ginny has graduated what will she do with her life? Rating to be safe for darkness and romance. GinnySnape pairing. If you don't like this pairing then don't read it. Please R&R otherwise!Rated: Fiction M - English - Drama/Romance - Severus S. & Ginny W. - Chapters: 11 - Words: 28,618 - Reviews: 68 - Favs: 21 - Follows: 33 - Updated: 02-03-06 - Published: 06-04-05 - id: 2422789
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: This story will eventually contain a Ginny/Snape pairing; if you think that is gross don't read it. Further, please be aware that there is only 22 years difference in their age (based on JKR's birthdates for them cited on http/ and I'm married to a man 26 years my senior. Any reviews about how such a pairing is gross will be taken personally…..
Disclaimer: I don't own the Harry Potter series or any of its characters. If I did I would be rich, and I'm not so….
Behind the Masks
Ch. 1 – The Apprentice
It is a perfect day to Ms. Ginerva Molly Weasley – damp, dreary, slightly chilly. Ginny loves these days because she didn't have to pretend to be happy and people leave her alone about it. She didn't have to answer the question "What's wrong, Ginny?", because everyone was unhappy on horrid days. She didn't have to put on that fake smile she hates wearing.
Ginny should have been happy today – she was graduating from Hogwarts. Everyone else was happy – their seven long years of hard work was finally over. But Ginny couldn't be happy; she wasn't naïve. The world outside could be cruel and evil and you have to fight to survive. To make matters worse, everyone else had plans and she didn't. She had no idea what she wanted to do with her life.
She had to face it – she was lost. No career goals; no one true love; hell, she didn't even have real friends. She had people to joke around with, and complain about professors with, and she could always trust Harry and Hermione with her secrets, but she couldn't trust anyone with her true self – save one person.
Now she had to leave that person at Hogwarts, while she spreads her wings and flies away. But she didn't want to. She had learned to hide at Hogwarts - no one noticed her; she didn't stand out as a Weasley, because she didn't stand out at all. It was all calculated. She let people see what she wanted them to see; she was an actress. She had spent so much time acting, she didn't know how to be herself.
It was so difficult for her - the first Weasley girl in generations. Bill, Charlie, Percy, Fred and George all had goals; even Ron had a goal - to help Harry Potter stay alive - but what was she to do?
There was no time to think about it now. She has to go out on to the stage and act again. Graduating at the top of her class had been easy with no Hermione to compete against, but now she has to give a speech to inspire her fellow students. What can she say to them? They know what they were going to do. So she has the cliché speech "Today is the first day of the rest of our lives…. Blah… blah… blah." At the end, the crowd will clap, everyone will congratulate her, her brothers will tell her how smart she sounded, her mum will cry, Hermione and Harry will hug her, and Harry will try to hide the slight blush creeping up his neck. But none of it would feel real, because she didn't feel real, and she hasn't – not since Tom Riddle.
It was that time of year again – time to consider all of the graduates and determine if there was anyone with the drive, knowledge, and desire to become a Potions Master or Mistress. Apprenticeships for these things are not handed out on a whim. His last offer had been turned down, because Ms. Granger wanted to take a year to travel and study the history and magic of exotic locales. He had a student in mind, but he did not know if she would accept.
When she first appeared outside of his office, he had half a mind to turn her away, but she had come to him, feigning ignorance on a potions assignment. So he had "helped" her, until she began jabbering on about Quidditch. After several failed attempts to get her to stop, he promptly threw her from his office shouting "Ms. Weasley, if you ever decide to embark on thoughts of schoolwork again, I will be willing to entertain you, but until such time, I must ask that you leave me in peace and quiet."
The next day she had returned and again and again. Always it resulted in the same endless chatter about Quidditch and her being forcefully removed from his office, until one day after finishing her potions assignment her light brown eyes locked with his black eyes, "What was it like for you?"
"Being with Tom."
That simple question had become their bonding. They talked for hours and continued the next day and the next. Pretty soon, they were talking of more than Voldemort. He was her mentor, in secret of course. He could do nothing to have the Slytherins he lorded over question his loyalty, for that meant piquing the interest of the Death Eaters.
He sat from the sidelines and watched Ginny grow into a striking young lady. She performed well in classes, played as Gryffindor's Chaser, joined the Hogwarts School Choir, and the fencing club (of which he was head). She had proved herself to be talented in many areas. Yet, she was completely inconspicuous. Quiet in class, likely to not try too hard so that she didn't stand out, she was just there – the tag along. All in all, she was much like Snape himself.
He sat and listened as she gave her speech – what was expected of her and nothing more, nothing spectacular. He fought hard to conceal the smile threatening to show. She was so predictable.
At the end of commencement the students and parents melded into one giant undulating crowd. Severus Snape made his way resolutely to Ginny, where she was surrounded by her mother and father, her brothers, and Harry and Hermione. "Congratulations on your accomplishments Ms. Weasley. Arthur, Molly, you should be proud." He turned swiftly on his heal and disappeared into the crowd.
Ginny Weasley smiled a true smile for the first time in seven years.
Ginny awoke to the noise of the Burrow. She stretched in bed, much too lazy to exit the warm cocoon she had made for herself. She made it through an entire night without having to use Dreamless Sleep – a remarkable feat as of late. She yawned, tossed on her clothes, and made her way quietly downstairs.
"Mornin' Snuggle Bug," came Charlie's chipper voice, "'S 'bout time you woke up." She frowned at her older brother.
"Mornin' Dragon Breath," she took the seat next to Hermione as her Mum shot her a warning look. "Sorry, Mum, I'll never call dear old Charlie Dragon Breath in your presence again.
The pure chaos that was the Burrow felt comforting. The boys were being the boys – without Percy of course, he had returned to the Ministry immediately after Ginny's graduation ("Important business. Important business. Congratulations Ginny. Sorry I must be going so soon."). It was like Harry had taken Percy's place, only he was younger and more likeable. Hermione and Ginny sent each other exasperated looks at the boys antics, and Mrs. Weasley was, well , Mrs. Weasley ("Charlie when are you going to grow up?"; "Fred, George, if I hear that noise coming from your side of the table one more time I'll… I'll…"; "Harry! I never would have expected this from you!")
The ruckus only stopped when Mr. Weasley came running down stairs, late as usual. "Can't stop now everyone, running late," he grabbed a piece of toast and gulped down some juice, "Bill, Fred, George, Charlie, Great spending time with you boys, you should come to visit more often…"
"Wait!" cried Mrs. Weasley. "Ginny got a letter today in the owl post. I thought you might like to hear it."
Mr. Weasley beamed and took a seat at the table. Everyone turned to look at Ginny as her Mum handed her the letter. "Why didn't you tell me before now?"
The front read: Mrs. Ginny Weasley, The Burrow, near Ottery St. Catchpole, Devon in handwriting she did not recognize. She flipped it over, opened it, and began scanning the letter to make sure it wasn't private when she saw that the stationary read: From the desk of Severus Snape, Potions Master Second Class, Head of Slytherin House, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Hmph, she thought, I should have known it wasn't private coming from him.
"Well?" asked Bill.
Ginny cleared her throat and began reading.
"First, let me say that the offer I am about to give you is not to be taken lightly… Blah Blah… You have proved yourself to be an excellent student… Blah Blah… It is with great respect and honor that I offer you the position of Apprentice, if you should so wish to pursue the title of Potions Mistress. Thank you for you consideration, S. Snape."
Congratulations were given all around and Mr. Weasley headed off to work before Ron finally voiced his opinion. "You can't possibly be considered taking that greasy git up on his offer, Gin!"
"Well, I think it's time for us to be going," Fred suddenly said.
"Right," said George. "We don't want to miss the train to Hogsmeade."
"Time for Bill and I to go, too," Charlie stated. "Mum, Ginny love you gals." Kisses were given all around.
Ginny clearly heard Bill whisper to Ron,"Nice knowin' ya lil' brother. Good luck with sis," before all of her older brothers ran for cover.
Ginny turned on Ron. "Ronald Weasley," she said sounding just like her mother. Ron flinched. "I can't believe that you would say that about Professor Snape. After all those times he has saved your life… besides, I rather like Potions. I certainly wouldn't mind having the title of Potions Mistress, even if I have to spend more time with Professor Snape. Further, I am old enough to make my own decisions, thank you verymuch!"
"But Gin, he's a Slytherin."
"And you, Ron, are an ass."
She stormed from the room taking her letter with her. Of course she would become Snape's apprentice. Who wouldn't?
A/N: So, what do you think? This is my first fic…. that I actually like enough to post. It is much longer, and I have already started writing the next few chapters. I would love reviews, though, so that I know if it is even worth me continuing. This fic is going to get much darker and contain much more drama and a lot more romance. Please take the time to review. Much like the rest of my work, I don't know if I'll finish it unless I get some reviews. Thanks for your time.