Chapter Edited Extensively 5/29/2016
This story, while one of my more popular works, is an exercise in madness. Do not proceed to read it if you are bothered by references to child abuse, torture, murder, rape, revenge, and generalized insanity.
You have been warned.
To new readers, what to expect: Supportive and deliciously sarcastic Daddy Snape, amused and delightfully vindictive Uncles Sirius and Remus, Crazy (capital C) mentor Aunt Bellatrix, loving Aunt Andromeda, and endearingly scheming Aunt Narcissa. Emphasis throughout will be that just because it's dark doesn't make it evil, just because it's light doesn't make it good, nothing is what it seems and what appeared to be a defined path to follow soon unravels in the presence of a powerful and jaded little girl.
A small girl spasmed in the throes of agony inside the cupboard beneath the stairs of 4 Privet Drive Surrey, England. She was six year old Lillith Dorea Potter, she'd only learned her name seven months ago on her first day at primary school, before then she'd only been known as 'girl' and 'freak'. Her relatives, who on several occasions made it very clear were not her family, had always treated her coldly. Dudley would attack her for no reason, Aunt Petunia would ignore her, and Vernon would...use her.
Today had been the worst of it. Aunt Petunia had taken Dudley out for something of no importance to avoid her husbands predictable ire leaving Lillith the only one in the house when a drunken Vernon had come home from a bad day at work.
This was not the first time the cowardly woman had used her innocent niece in such a manner, but it would be the last.
So little Lillith Potter did as she always had and offered to fix Vernon's dinner, mix his drink, make him...feel better despite how much it disgusted her, but tonight something changed. He'd eyed her for a bit then without any warning the disgusting pig of a man had grabbed her by her long matted black hair and dragged her to his room screaming.
When the pathetic excuse for a human being was finished he'd dragged her back down to her cupboard and thrown her bloody form into the dark space smashing her head against her pathetic little cot. She had laid there, violated in ways she couldn't truly comprehend for hours as the pain between her legs spread, her lifes blood pumping out in weak spurts on the dusty floor.
That's when she heard the voice, "Oh child what have those muggles done to you? You one of the elite, one of the High Ladies? Why are you even here? You are a Potter and the descendant of a Black, you deserve so much more then to be the toy of a bloody muggle." Lillith didn't know what to say to the strange voice in her head, she'd often heard that when you start responding to your own thoughts it was a sign of insanity.
Considering the alternative she quite happily accepted the idea of being crazy and soon replied. "I don't know what I did, it's always like this, my parents were worthless drunks and saddled my relatives with me when they died," the voice in her head felt as if it had reeled back in disgust before deigning to respond.
"Your parents were not killed in a car accident dear child, they were killed by the greatest Dark Wizard in Great Britain, they themselves were the most feared Auror's in all her Majesty's Magical Government. James and Lily Potter were the best of the best, and were only ever defeated by the best, and in the end even they had the last laugh against him."
Despite the blood drenching her ragged gown and her growing weakness she couldn't help but ask, "You...you knew parents, what were they like?"
The dark voice in her head softened its tone, "Dear child as much as I wish to tell you I'm sorry to say you are not long for this world, what the bastard muggle did to you has destroyed your undeveloped body, soon you will die..."
The girl, much to the voices horror sighed in relief, "Oh...good...the hurting stops when you die, right?"
The voice, if it had a corporeal form, would probably be licking parched lips in shock at the moment. "Aren't you afraid of death dear child?"
The girl laughed for the first time, it sounded like a painful gasp from her cracked and blood stained lips. "Afraid? Death is not scary, living is what's scary." The voice paused processing that, scanning the girls memories it honestly couldn't disagree with her which horrified the entity formally known as Tom Marvolo Riddle.
"What if I were to offer you a way to live, to punish those that hurt you, to protect those you loved, and to become the strongest witch ever?"
She was silent for a moment then asked, "Witch?" Ah, fair enough, these filthy muggles would have taught her nothing of her birthright, of her superiority to them in every way imaginable, Tom darkly reflected on what he had planned for the vermin as he answered her query.
"Yes child, magical girls are called witches and magical boys are called wizards, you are a witch, an incredibly powerful witch who had her magic bound by a meddling old man who had no right to place you with these monsters. I know for a fact your mother and father wanted you to stay with either Sirius Black or Severus Snape, your godfather and your mothers best friend respectfully."
The girl smiled as her heart began to beat its last, "I'm magic? I have a godfather? A friend? I would have liked to have met them..."
As her vision began to fog the voice reached a tendril of will towards her, "I'm not a nice person little one, in fact I'm the one who caused your parents to die, but I never wished for a magical child to end up like this and I myself am terrified of oblivion. If you allow it I'll give you my power, my knowledge. You will live and become the strongest most feared witch of your day, or you may die in this cupboard, forgotten by all."
The girl sighed one last time as Death brought her into his embrace, "Will I find people to love...and can I make sure they never feel this?" She spat this out along with flecks of blood, Tom mentally nodded in turn.
"I will be you, you will be me, and we'll never let those we care about fall this far, never again."
Smiling happily the little girl said, "ok" just as her life ended.
As a flash of light encompassed the broken body a dark mist sprayed from the scar on the abused girls forehead and her savaged form underwent a rudimentary healing. Suddenly the heart beat that had just stopped became stronger then ever and the bloodied child sat up.
Emerald eyes that had only ever shown with dull lifelessness now glowed with an inner light of resolve and a hint of bitter hatred, standing she observed her surroundings then nodded slightly, yes she remembered all this. What was new was the revulsion, these bloody muggles, how dare they treat a Lady like common chattel?
Sneering she swept a hand at the locked door sending it crashing against the far wall, the resulting sound muffled by her power so as to not wake the Dursleys. Stepping out she wandered the house casting unbreakable enchants on all the windows and magically locking all the doors, as she finished she took a single lit candle and tossed it on a pile of papers scattered on the floor.
Watching the flames spread she let a smile crawl across her bloodied face, once the sitting room was in a proper inferno she removed the unbreakable charm from a couple windows to let the glass break and allow the beautiful flames to breath. Stepping out onto the front stoop she cast a locking charm on the door and grabbed a full milk bottle and the newspaper off the cold concrete. Looking at the date she realized it was the weekend and Petunia and Dudley were likely both home especially at this hour, taking a swig from the milk bottle she shrugged and walked away from the blazing cookie cutter house ignoring the desperate pounding on the front door.
As she turned to view her handiwork she couldn't help but smirk in appreciation at the fruits of her efforts, as far as impromptu pyres went this one would work splendidly. As people began to gather she heard the voice in her head speak one final time.
"Severus begged for me to spare you and your mother when I went after your family, go to him now, knock on his door and when he answers simply state, "Mum told me if I was ever in trouble to come to you Uncle Sev." That ought to play on the old heartstrings and get us to someone who will look after you properly."
Smirking a bit she asked, "Thanks for the tip, who were you my friend?"
As the voice faded away it stated, "Call me Tom kiddo, take care of yourself," and with that the voice faded as it used its last bit of control over the girl to apparate her before the rundown home of Severus Snape.
The man in question hated his home, he had only come back for the Easter Hols to get away from the little brats that had stayed behind. He felt no interest in watching over the brats when they were in his classroom and forcing him to do so outside of it was laughable at best. As he brooded in his inherited home reading a book in the subdued candlelight he was drawn from his thoughts when he caught the echo of what sounded like an apparation.
Slamming the tome shut the young Potions Master tossed it on his unmade bed as he made for the front door, cracking it slightly he froze in mid-motion, what stood there perplexed him beyond words. There was a tiny slip of a girl wearing a filthy grey nightdress splattered with blood gasping lightly in the cool morning air. Her dark hair was matted and caked in blood and filth, her face stained with ash.
She then looked upon him with bright vibrant emerald eyes and he felt his heart catch as she whimpered out, "Uncle Sev...mum always said if I was to come to trouble to run to you or Padfo..." and with that her eyes rolled into the back of her head as she collapsed.
Severus rushed forward and grabbed the battered child before she hit the unyielding ground, staring down at Lily's daughter Severus let his analytical mind do what it did best. 'Too light, underfed, shows sign of horrible malnutrition and abuse, bruising indicates repeated beatings, blood at her...oh Merlin..." gritting his teeth in rage he let out a short scream before shaking his head.
Realizing he had to get her help immediately he scooped the slight form in a bridal carry and apparated to Saint Mungo's, the nurse on duty took one look at his wild eyed shock and the horribly abused filth stained child in his arms and quickly jumped into action.
"Who is she and what is her relation to you?"
Now on autopilot he replied, "I believe she's my childhood friends daughter, Lillith Potter, she just appeared at my home begging for help."
The nurse gasped looking at the bleeding bundle in his arms, "The-Girl-Who-Lived?! Merlin save us...follow me healer Tonks will look to her immediately."
Nodding Severus followed the nurse into a sterile white room occupied by a woman that looked disturbingly like Bellatrix, although her violet eyes were filled with a kind passion rather then manic energy, and her hair was a soft chocolate brown rather then raven black. The eldest Black sister snatched Lillith from his arms and placed her on the bed without a word, vanishing the girl's clothing Severus had to force down the urge to vomit as he saw the real damage imparted on the child.
The healer growled viciously and glanced to the man who brought her in but her temper cooled instantly when she saw the horror writ across his face, "Please escort the gentleman to the waiting room nurse, this is going to be an all nighter."
Not resisting the pull Severus allowed himself to be guided to one of the hospitals uncomfortable chairs, he stared down at his blood stained hands for a few minutes then for the first time since Lily's death, he wept.
"What have they done to you little one?" He sobbed out, after a time he felt his sorrow harden into anger, no matter what came of this, if the girl survived he would protect her, she was the only piece of Lily left in this world and she would need to be kept safe.
He'd failed the mother, he would not fail the daughter. His resolve set Severus waited on pins and needles, fully expecting the worst and praying for the first time in his life for the best. He wasn't sure when he'd fallen asleep, but when the nurse woke him he was sore in all the wrong places.
She gave him a sad smile as she said, "Your young friends going to make it, Andromeda is the best we have and she was able to repair all the damage although there is going to be quite of a bit of rehabilitation involved. We need your help though, when we tried to look up the child's guardians there was no one listed, when we contacted the ministry we were informed the Potter will had been sealed by the Supreme Mugwomp.
"The only copy the hospital can access is from Gringotts and only those listed in the will can access and execute it, you're listed in the will Mister Snape, would you go so we can help the girl?" Gritting his teeth and holding back a sneer the young man nodded briskly, damned meddling old man. Checking in on Lillith and seeing that she was sleeping soundly he made for the apparation zone in the lobby and appeared before Gringotts.
Sweeping up the stairs as his cloak billowed behind him he was met in the lobby by a very nervous looking goblin who rushed up to Severus smiling weakly.
"Thank fortune, the only people left alive that can execute this will are you and Mr. Sirius Black, but seeing as he was thrown into Azkaban without trial and all post sent to you has been redirected we thought it would never be heard."
Severus's dark eyes bugged out at that, he may despise Black with every fiber of his being but never being tried for his crimes?! He was the bloody heir to the Black lordship for Merlin's sake how was that even possible! Shaking his head the second bit finally hit him, there was only one person in Hogwarts that could redirect a Professors post and that was of course the Headmaster, he wasn't surprised in the slightest.
Suppressing the urge to growl in irritation he asked, "What do you need me for...sir?" He tagged the last bit on due to Lily's rantings about equality and respect but it seemed to please the diminutive creature regardless.
"Well, we've been waiting to read the Lady of Slytherin's holdings from her parents will for nearly five years, but every time we tried to bring it out in the open the Supreme Mugwump slammed it back down, with you here he has no chance to interfere."
Pausing trying to process what he just heard Severus carefully responded with, "The, the Lady of Slytherin?"
Nodding quickly the goblin motioned him forward to a private room, "It's her most prestigious title after all. The Lady Lillith Dorea Potter-Peverell-Slytherin has been denied her birthright since the day her parents had been murdered. Since you're listed on the will as a guardian I can freely tell you she inherited the Potter and Peverell titles from her father and the Slytherin from her mother. With the death of the last Heir of Slytherin, who never claimed his lordship as it turns out, she is next in line and we have much to discuss. Luckily since it's YOU here we can begin the process of her taking her titles."
Severus shook his head for what felt like the thousandth time today, "Why because I'm here?"
The goblin looked surprised before he replied, "Well Mr. Snape, I don't mean to alarm you but you are Lillith's only remaining legal guardian, we've been trying to get a hold of you since November 1st 1981 to take custody of your charge, and more importantly reopen her investment portfolios." Severus felt his jaw drop as the implications hit him. Gathering his wits and recomposing himself Severus returned his gaze to the goblin who began to shift uncomfortably as the mans previously icy black eyes began to glow with an inner rage.
"Tell. Me. Everything."