|The Silver Cat
Author: crockywock PM
Believed dead and bereft of nearly all his magic, Severus Snape is now in hiding. He once again has to navigate through the maze that is pureblood society, despite being confined to Minerva McGonagall's childhood home. SS/MM, sequel to The Prince's Tale.Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Romance - Severus S. & Minerva M. - Chapters: 32 - Words: 79,750 - Reviews: 150 - Favs: 33 - Follows: 53 - Updated: 11-13-11 - Published: 03-31-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5857451
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Note: We've reached the end of another fic and I haven't had the time to thank each and every one of you for your wonderful, thought-provoking reviews. I would like to do so now and I would also like to add how much I enjoyed discussing fanfiction, Harry Potter, and literature in general, as well as entirely different topics with some of you via PM!
I truly hope that I have answered all the major questions many of you had while reading this. I did go through all the reviews again to make sure I answered at least those which I had planned to answer all along. I'll admit, though, that there were some I didn't know how to address at all in the context of this story. To make up for that, you are very welcome to let me know any wishes you have for the future of this fic/series and I'll do my best not to disappoint you. I would very much like to work on a sequel for this, actually, despite Pottermore's most recent "revelations" (grmpf), but, as always, that depends on my real life writing time and, of course, on people's interest.
In any case, thank you very much for all your kindness, your patience, and your support! All of it is greatly needed and appreciated.
"101 Magical Medieval Maladies" by Jean McDonald – Excerpt II
Squibcidents, more often than not, are permanent and deprive a person of the pleasure of feeling or performing magic for the rest of their life. Sometimes, however, especially if the magic has disappeared as a consequence of a near fatal injury, theurgic systems will start to regrow. Most of the time, this completely surprises the individual in question, because they have not counted on ever regaining their magic. They then suddenly find themselves performing accidental 'first' signs of magic again, a little like pre-school wizarding children. It is a very pleasant occurrence and perhaps the greatest mystery of our times. How does magic develop in the human body? I may write my thesis on this, come to think of it...
Above the door, in Muggle-style plain fashion, a 70s government agency clock was pinned, ticking its way through the hours, filling the room with a regular sound, which kept Severus from nodding off entirely and Minerva, it seemed, on edge. At least, she had been sitting on the edge of her chair the entire time, he noticed. Tense, but composed, as ever, clutching a tartan handbag with the documents they had been required to bring: Their birth certificates, as well as a decree absolute of Minerva's divorce.
Severus had thought she would not have needed to mention having been married at all, what with wizarding marriages being completely independent from Muggle ones, but his wife-to-be had reminded him, gently as always, that wizarding law did not provide for divorce at all so that, at the time, she had had to get married to Topaz under Muggle law again only to then be able to file for divorce some time later. The two of them had been living in separate households for over a year by then.
For hours now, the Register Office had been stuffed to the brim with people of varying origins – all of them Muggles, Severus mused, but by far not all of them indigenous to the British Isles. By quarter past six, then, Minerva and he were the last ones to still sit and wait. The whole, half-lit corridor had cleared and was beginning to seem a little spooky now that there were no voices echoing down from its 70s-style concrete walls. Surely, they had come to the right place? Severus looked around repeatedly to make sure that they had really found the right place to come to.
Minerva seemed less on edge than she had the entire time when there had still been Muggles around, but she, too, seemed desperate for someone who could advise them as to how long they would have to wait now. She was so organised, Severus thought, it made her nervous not to know exactly what would happen. Even though she had been through this process before, apparently, the circumstances had been different. The need had not been as great, he knew, and the terms not as unclear.
They were in love with each other, he suddenly realised for the umpteenth time, not without a very familiar warmth rising inside him, but it was an adult love, not a youthful, overly passionate one. Not the heat and the longing which he had craved to see in Lily for so many years... it was less than that... and more, much more. They were careful with each other and polite and considerate. Marrying was reasonable, not a necessity – certainly not proof to the world that they were worthy to live as a couple. Quite the contrary, in fact. It was difficult to be proud of your marriage if the world around you seemed to despise you for it. But he could be proud of their love – would be proud of their love, he resolved. His parents had been in a similar situation once, and there had been no reason for them to be proud even of their love. This was, he realised, the one difference that he could make, his one attempt at not failing at life and marriage, as his parents had. (Luckily the question of ever having children was out of the picture, as Minerva had assured him when the topic had come up.)
"Do you think she forgot about us?" Severus said tensely as the ugly clock crept towards half past at an unperturbed speed. A thought had suddenly occurred to him through all his musings: "We're here on extremely short notice, after all."
"She will come," said Minerva quietly, sounding touched by his apprehension. "She promised we could do this today and I feel that she was the right person to confide in. We have been friends for a very long time."
Sure enough, a few minutes later, a white-haired woman with a bunch of notes in her hands opened a door and peered round to look at them as though surprised to see that her service was still required at this late hour. She looked very confused indeed and was pushing a strand of hair behind her ear repeatedly. When she looked into Minerva's face, however, a smile spread on her face and she stumbled a few steps towards them, outstretching one hand while balancing her notes on the other.
"Dear me, can this be Minerva McGillivray and her husband-to-be?"
The younger witch looked up and stared at the newcomer in confusion at first, but then her face changed to show honest excitement and surprise, too.
"Arabella! Merlin, I didn't recognise you at first..."
"Well, I don't blame you," said the other woman slyly. "After all, fifty years more or less don't seem to make much of a difference to you magic-laden folk. I couldn't help growing a few grey hairs here and there, though. Come on in! There is no one here except for me and you and my secretary today, but he is busy tidying and locking up. We are practically alone."
"Thank you," said Minerva hoarsely. "We appreciate this."
"Any time," replied her friend warmly. "I didn't think I'd live to see the day when I could do you this kind of personal favour, Minerva. Such happy circumstances. So, regarding the formalities of giving notice of your marriage... we already discussed the date, of course."
"Today in fourteen days," said Minerva tensely.
Arabella Figg nodded and noted this down. Severus watched her every movement, intensely curious to see one like him, one who had possessed magic once and was now without it. One, who had made it in the Muggle world despite the knowledge that there was another, better world out there. Argus had never quite coped. How did she do it?
"The two witnesses?" continued Minerva's friend, her voice very matter of fact, and Minerva told her.
"Would you like any special announcements or a personalised text?" enquired the squib then. Severus realised that they had forgotten to discuss this. A brief exchange of looks with Minerva brought instant agreement, however.
"Just the standard phrase, please."
"Are you sure?"
When all formalities had been discussed, Arabella Figg finally looked up from her documents, smiled at them and handed over a stamped copy of everything she had just written.
"I'll see you in two weeks then," she said cheerfully. "A small, humble event, no advertisement in the newspaper, no ostentatious decorations or proclamations. You two simply wish to be married without too many people taking notice. Is that correct?"
"Yes," said Minerva quietly, and Severus, too, nodded.
"Yes," he repeated, taking Minerva's hand. "Simply married."