Hello there. I know that it's been a long time since you last read this story, and well, due to the way things have been the last year I can't blame you if you thought that we had in fact abandoned it. I have not. I will assure you that I have started on Chapter 13 - Sick of the Lie and have finished Chapter 12 - In Places No One can Find. Please enjoy what I have written here for you, my darling readers. Zarra.
Prior note follows:
As there were issues regarding this previously, here is a short breakdown of the characters by house. Please take notice that only those in Italics are key players to the story whether now or in the future.
Britholden – Lucinda Riddle, Luna Jinxy, Jemma Mariposa, Melinda Bulstrode, Belladonna de Russou, Marisol Morley, Indiga Montoya, Mandy Brocklehurst, Emily Shivas, Tanya Solenda, Sabina Weilsey, Severa Valfoy.
Slytherin – Richard Jannen, Draco Malfoy, Lara Flintlock, Mary Krause,
Gryffindor – Frances Kuiper, Harry Potter-Snape, Ronald Weasley, Vale Keys, Mr. Adler, Kathryn Wolff,
Ravenclaw – Elaine Cronk, Amanda Morse,
Hufflepuff – Feiffer Goodwin,
Piagera – Cleo Zilbergeld, Hermione Granger, Saris Lange, …
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"Don't want your hand this time, I'll save myself. Maybe I'll wake up for once. Not tormented daily, defeated by you. Just when I thought I'd reached the bottom, I'm dying again. I'm going under."
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Chapter 10 – Going Under
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October 13, 1998 – one month after the GH Quidditch match
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Slamming the door to their dorm room in Ron's face after dinner did absolutely nothing to calm the rage burning its way through Harry's veins, his father, the bastard, wouldn't even acknowledge him. It's not like he wanted to kill the man or anything. All he wanted to do was talk to him, to tell him what he and Alendi had discovered, but of course Snape wouldn't even grant him five minutes to talk.
"Damn him… and damn me for wanting him to care." Harry muttered as he stormed into the Gryffindor common room.
When Harry turned he saw one of the other first year students, a bright young Texan formerly of Malgram School.
"What do you want Wolff?"
"Just to talk, you seem upset. Of course the cussin' might
have had somethin' to do with it." As she shook out her pale
hair, she laughed. "And I told you to call me Kathryn, or Katie
whichever you prefer."
"You are an odd one, you know that right?"
"Of course. Now what were you upset about, or do I have to tickle you into telling."
Harry's lips quirked into a soft smile, "Just Potions."
Kathryn frowned at him; "Don't you go giving me that Mister Harry Potter, it's got to be something bigger than just Potions class to be getting you this riled up."
"Can we go somewhere private to talk about this then?"
"Sure, I know the perfect place."
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'What the bloody devil does Potter think he's doing, barging into my office like that. Couldn't he tell that I was busy? He nearly ruined the Wolfsbane I was making for Lupin.' Severus was more than a little upset about Potter interrupting him while he was working on a potion. Naturally if it had been anyone else he wouldn't have reacted as badly, but he had been treating Potter with contempt ever since he first stepped foot into Hogwarts' Great Hall, and he wasn't about to stop just because the boy was a university student now.
A knock on his door interrupted his musings. "Severus may I come in?"
"If you must."
Alendi leisurely walked through the Potions office, examining the various containers lining the walls, stalling for time, until she could delay no longer. Her dark violet robes whispered softly as they brushed against the stone of the floor and the wool of Severus' pants as she reached his side. "I noticed that Harry was a bit upset with you at dinner. Care to tell what that was about?"
Alendi sighed and sat on the edge of his desk, preventing him from going back to his grading. "Severus."
The slight edge of warning in her voice prompted him to reply
warily. "Potter showed up during my official office hours wanting
to 'talk' and interrupted me during a delicate phase of the
Wolfsbane potion. So naturally I ordered him to
Heaving a sigh, Alendi shook her head. "Severus all he wanted to do was talk to you. It is no crime to want that."
"I know that, but you very well know how I am when I am in the process of making a potion. You are the same way yourself."
"Not all the time. And if it is a student, I at least let them tell what it is that they want before I kick them out of my office. Besides which, you really should be nicer to him. I doubt that there are very many people out there who truly understand you the way he and I do."
Having had her say, Alendi slid off of his desk and padded across the room, her braid swinging gently against her back. With a soft sigh the portrait partially closed behind her, allowing Severus to hear a pop indicating that Alendi had shifted into her animagi form.
India would be prowling the school tonight.
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Pulling Harry across campus came as no small task for Kathryn, as Harry had taken exception to being dragged around the school like a satchel.
"Where are we going?"
Kathryn turned to look at her housemate. "You'll know sooner if you'd stop kicking up a hissy fit like a wet cat." With that said she pulled on his arm, once more dragging him along behind her.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
Rolling her eyes Katie let go of Harry again, with the exception that this time she kept walking. "You wanted somewhere private to talk, so that's where we're goin'." Pointing to the Victorian house directly in front of her, she continued. "That's where we're goin'."
Letting out an agitated sigh, Katie walked back to her still companion. Grabbing his arm she pulled him the remaining meters to the door of the house and knocked softly.
A moment later the door opened to reveal the face of fourth year Jemma Mariposa. With a quick look at the pair and the space behind them, she asked for the password.
Nodding, she motioned them into the house. It wasn't until the door was shut firmly behind them that she spoke again.
"Welcome to Britholden. What is your business with our house young Gryffindors?"
Kathryn bowed her head slightly to the older girl. "We needed someplace to talk where what is said will go no further than the room we are in."
Jemma smiled at that; "You are in the right place then. Whatever is said in Britholden goes no farther than the door, and nowhere beyond. Provided it is said in confidence."
"Naturally." Jemma motioned for them to follow her up the stairs. "You may use either the upstairs common room, or if you want more privacy than that affords, you can use my dorm room."
Harry followed silently behind the two young women as they lead him upstairs. Even though he was inside Britholden house for the first time, he had no interest in the lavish surroundings, his mind far more occupied with the how and what of what he had been dragged here to tell the other Gryffindor.
Coming to a stop at the top of the stairs, Katie looked around the well decorated room, taking in the small intimate gatherings of tables and chairs, spaced far enough apart that the conversation at one grouping would not be easily overheard at another. "I think this'll do. We can talk at that table over by the window."
Jemma took note of the distracted look on Harry's face as she turned to go. Touching his arm softly she leaned over and asked quietly, "Do you want me to stay? Would it make it easier if you had more than one person to talk to?"
With a surprised look, Harry nodded, he had not expected that the older girl would care enough to want to listen. "Thank you. But if you don't mind my asking, why would you care enough to stay and listen to me pour out some sob story?"
Jemma looked surprised at the question. "Well you need someone to listen to you, and because Professor Dragnon and Miss Vesdemort seem to like you well enough, so you must be alright. Besides you're cute so why wouldn't I listen to you."
Her answer caused the two Gryffindors to start laughing quietly. Harry smiled warmly at the older witch, "Thank you. I think I needed that."
Jemma held up her left index finger in front of her face in a shushing motion. "Laughter is good for the soul, no matter what your father may say on the matter."
Harry paled to the point that his naturally pale skin was now a ghostly shade of white. "How did you find out?"
Jemma's eyes showed her concern as she answered. "Have you looked in a mirror lately? You two look nearly identical when you scowl and sweet Merlin, it's pretty obvious to those who know to look for out of the ordinary things that you are more than his match in everything. Not to mention how obvious it is when you two are standing next to each other."
The young blond Gryffindor standing next to Harry looked lost at this point. "What are you talkin' about?"
Harry smiled slightly at his companion, his skin starting to return to normal, his mysterious emerald eyes tinged with sadness as he gazed deep into Kathryn's own ice blue ones, the same shade as Draco's own. "That is what I wanted to talk to you about." Sitting in one of the plush velvet armchairs, he stared out the window at the distant Quidditch pitch, which was brightly lit for one of the house teams' practice. After a moment of staring pensively out the window, he turned to look at the two young women who were now seated in the other two seats of the grouping. "Professor Dragnon and I have been working on a Parentus Revalus potion for the past month. Miss Riddle's tutoring was a cover Alendi came up with, so that I could get the ingredients without anyone noticing, and to help me improve my technique. The Parentus Revalus potion is very difficult and I had to brew it on my own. Alendi was pretty much there to make sure that nothing blew up while it was being made and to explain to me what I was botching up. We went through six attempts before I could brew it properly. My father is the resident potions master in this family, not I. I'll never be as good as he is at potions, but then I suppose he's not as good at Transfigurations and Charms as I am. At least that's what Alendi says."
Kathryn's eyes grew wide with shock as she realized what he was telling her. "Professor... Professor..."
Harry smiled sympathetically, "Yes Professor Snape is my father. Even though I've suspected it for several years, it was still quite the shock to receive confirmation of my suspicions."
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The next day dawned bright and clean, the sun casting a brilliant gilded glow across the University. The air was crisp but pleasant, though it warmed steadily through the morning. When the noon hour came, the day had evolved into a comfortably warm day, with plenty of sunshine and a few fluffy white clouds lazily drifting overhead. Deciding to take advantage of the exceptionally good weather, which was rare for October, Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Kathryn decided to take their lunches outside to the commons. It seemed that they were not the only ones to do so, as it proved difficult finding a somewhat private place to sit. Finally selecting a large oak, they settled down to eat and talk, never noticing that there was someone sitting in the branches of the tree above them.
"So Harry, mate, what was that all about last night? I mean you slammed the door right in my face and you wouldn't talk to anyone at dinner and then you disappeared for most of the night."
Harry gave his best friend an apologetic look and struggled within himself to gather the courage to tell his two best friends what was going on. "I was upset. I had just learned some… delicate… information, the night before. And before dinner I had gone to talk to someone about it, but they wouldn't listen and threw me out of their office."
Katie placed an arm around Harry's shoulder and encouraged him to lean into her using soft strokes of her fingers on his arm. After a moment of silence Harry slumped into her petite frame relaxing as much as he could with tumultuous emotions flowing through his veins, disrupting his breathing to the point that he started to hiccup. The soft murmuring of Katie's voice calmed him further, as did the hand Hermione placed on his knee. Though he could see that her expression was confused, her concern and love for him eclipsed it and Harry could feel himself start to smile softly as his hiccups subsided.
"Come on Harry, you can tell us what it is. We've been through so much together that I'm sure whatever you have to tell us can't destroy what we've built together. You are our friend and we love you, and we always will."
"Yeah come on mate, you can tell us anything. I don't care what it is, even if you're going to tell me that I was right for once and Hermione was wrong. Even though we all know what that means," Ron added with a wicked grin, jokingly referring to a long ago conversation.
Hermione responded to that by slapping her boyfriend's arm and smiling encouragingly at Harry. "Whenever you're ready, we're here for you."
Harry took a deep breath and promptly winced when he hiccupped at the same time, causing his stomach to ache quite painfully. Once he had caught his breath he started to put the whole painful experience into words. "You remember the conversation we had last year about how I wasn't looking like my father anymore, but was looking more like someone else." Looking pointedly at Ron, he watched as understanding lit in his best friend's eyes, and then when he promptly started to laugh his head off.
"I don't understand."
Ron for once having beaten Hermione on the uptake, motioned for Harry to not say anything further until after he had had his say. "You might happen to remember that was the conversation where I," Ron puffed out his chest, only to be hit in the stomach by Hermione, "Hey! Anyways that was the conversation where I mentioned that Harry looked more like Snape than he did James Potter. You said that that wasn't possible."
"What does that have to do with this conversation?"
Katie smirked, "Everythin' I'm afraid."
Ron's smile widened, "Exactly. What it means Mione, is that I was right and you were wrong and Snape is Harry's father."
To the amusement of everyone sitting in their group and to the immense surprise of the young man in the tree, Hermione became completely flustered and cursed very loudly. "Damn! Damn! Double damn! Triple damn! FUCK!"
Ron leaned over to talk to Harry and Katie quickly, "And here she is always telling me not to curse and then what does she do, she curses."
This comment sent Harry and Katie into fits of laughter, Ron smiling triumphantly, while Hermione stood completely unhinged swearing to the point that even sailors would be blushing.
The young man sitting in the tree above them smiled in secret amusement before with a small pop he transformed into his animagi form and flew from the tree. The group below taking no notice of the small pure-white falcon as it soared above them for a moment before wheeling around to return to Slytherin House.
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Later that afternoon, after classes were over for the day, Draco returned to Slytherin House, for once silent. Ignoring everyone in the common room, Draco wandered through the twisting dungeon-like hallways that lead to all of the house bedchambers. His own was up several flights of narrow spiral staircases, at the top of the house's only tower. It was a room few ever chose to live in and had, before he had gotten a hold of it, been in the worst shape of any of the chambers. Now it was a lush hidden away paradise that only Draco knew the password to.
The once tattered and torn window and bed curtains had been replaced with fine, heavy silk ones; the decaying four-poster bed had been replaced with a carefully crafted canopy bed, and all of the old battered furniture had been replaced with items taken from storage at his parent's home. Each of the pieces had been handpicked by Draco from his late grandfather's collection, each a work of art. The worn rug had been replaced as well, with one that was far more suited to the room's new spirit.
Draco had transformed the room into a chamber that any Slytherin or Britholden would be proud to reside in.
All of the wood furniture now consisted of lovingly crafted purple-heartwood, and the tattered curtains and bed sheets were replaced with vibrantly colored hunter green silk ones. The armchairs and cushions on the window seat were upholstered in a brilliant royal purple. The stone walls had been enchanted to look like a forest clearing, the door invisible when closed. The window, along with its accompanying cushion-heavy window seat, took up nearly an entire wall of space, and was the only noticeable exception.
It was into these cushions that Draco curled his petite frame, after he had carelessly tossed his schoolbooks onto his impeccably made up bed. After having thought of nothing else during his afternoon classes, he could honestly say that he believed Weasley now, not that he had before. When he had first heard them speaking he couldn't believe it, wouldn't believe it. He had thought of it all through his afternoon classes. His inattention in class had resulted in a detention, but he could not find it within himself to care, for he had clearly seen that his previous perceptions of Potter were not in fact true, but were instead lies built up to change the truth of who Potter really was.
"I guess I can't call him Potter anymore," he murmured softly to himself, "But I can't call him Snape either. What do I do now?" Delicate tears started to flow over his aristocratic cheekbones and down alabaster shin to be absorbed into the depths of plush velvet and satin pillows.
Nearly an hour later a knock on the door startled Draco from his musings. Quickly wiping the remaining tears off of his cheeks, he conjured a mirror to inspect the damage wrought by his tears. The face gazing back at him was as pale and delicate as ever, perfection in its grief.
"Draco are you alright?" The voice of the Slytherin Prefect brought Draco out of his revere.
"May I come in? I'd like to talk to you."
Draco quickly placed the mirror face down on his nightstand as he artfully arranged himself in a nearby armchair with one of his hastily grabbed textbooks open in his lap. "You may enter."
If the prefect had expected to find anything amiss when he entered Draco's private haven, then he was sorely disappointed, for Draco did not look distraught as he had anticipated. Instead the young Slytherin looked quite well, if a little tired, the open textbook indicating that he had been enraptured with his reading when Richard had knocked. But as every Slytherin knows, appearances can be and often are highly deceiving. "I understand that you received a detention in one of your afternoon classes today Draco not to mention that you missed dinner. Would you care to explain?"
The steel edge, so reminiscent of his father prompted Draco to answer truthfully for once. "I was distracted. I overheard a conversation this afternoon that… it wasn't what I was expecting to hear. I've spent all afternoon thinking about it and… Well it's rather personal and I'd rather we not talk about it."
Richard nodded slowly, "Don't let it distract you further, or your studies will be affected. Contrary to what some may think, I believe that you were placed in this house for far greater purposes than to be a mere businessman or politician. I believe that you will be great, but not in any way that has yet been anticipated." Richard turned to leave. "And get some rest you look exhausted."
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"I've got to breathe, I can't keep going under."
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