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"WHAT?!" Lily shrieked at Severus. "You! You signed me up for WHAT?!" She threw another book at him. This one barely missed him. "Couldn't keep your dirty nose out of my business for too long, could you? Had to find another way to control me! What the fucking hell is wrong with you?!"

"Would you stop that!" Severus managed to deflect that book, it was a matter of seconds before she would hurl the next one.

"I said I want nothing to do with you! And this is what you do?! Keep back!" Lily picked up the next book. "Leave me ALONE!"

"Why can't you bloody understand that I – "

"I didn't have a choice!" She mocked him and took aim. "Save your breath, I don't want to hear another word of it! Go to Malfoy or whoever oversees this madness and tear up the contract!" Lily threw the book. "I'm not doing it!"

Severus managed to catch this one and he roughly tossed it aside. "Are you out of your mind? Do you know what would happen to you if you're forfeited? Why don't I just hand you over to Rosier and his friends? I'm certain they'll take better care of you! Or better yet, why don't I just kill you now to get it over with?!"

"Oh, you would bloody love that, wouldn't you?" Lily groped around for another book, but the shelves on her side of the room were empty. All the books laid on the opposite side in a dusty heap. As a matter of fact, Lily wiped out her side of the bedroom. All his belongings, minus the heavy furniture, were piled on his side of the bedroom. There was nothing left for her to throw at him. Spilled potions, broken glass, ripped parchment and splayed books.

"I'm not going to do anything! I just want you to sit down and listen for one fucking minute!" Severus gripped one of the armchairs. "Are you about done destroying my shit? Throw something else, and you're Evan Rosier's problem! Sit."

Lily clenched her fists and bitterly stared at him. How dare he speak so condescending. Nothing would please her more than to be as far away from Severus as possible. Nonetheless, the idea of being partnered with Rosier was enough incentive to sit down in the armchair. "This is beyond fucked up, and you bloody know it." Lily grumbled under her breath. "There is no way in hell I'm participating in this abomination."

"Have you calmed down now?" Severus sat across from her. "Good. Now, before I was interrupted, I did mention the silver lining."

Lily rolled her eyes. "I fail to see how being stuck as your roommate again is a silver lining. That worked out brilliantly last time, didn't it?"

He shot her a nasty look at that remark. "As I was saying; we won't have to do anything. I signed us up for the last slot. And the slots are spread out over six or more months. Last time I checked, there were about three or four volunteers ahead of us. That gives us two years at the very least."

"Two years?"

"Maybe more. It's going to take some time to yield results; that is if the program isn't dropped before then."

"Two years." Lily glared at him. "A lot can happen in two years. Alright. Say the program is dropped. What happens to the breeders and their offspring? They won't set us free, for sure. The Malfoys aren't interested on keeping us as anymore, so we can't go back to being servants."

"How did you know?"

"I eavesdropped, it's not exactly a secret. Now, tell me, what happens after the program is dropped?"

"That would all depend on the outcome of the program. With any experiment; there is always risk, variables that could go wrong. I can't imagine the other servants would take too kindly to being partnered. There will be outbursts of rebellious behavior, deliberate complications and maltreatment, possibly suicides. And of course; the end results. If the results aren't nearly as perfect as Rosier promises; it's going to cost him his reputation along with all of us involved."

Lily gritted her teeth. She didn't give a damn about the reputation of a sadistic Death Eater. "Don't pussyfoot. Answer the bloody question. What happens after?"

"What answer do you want? You already know."

Lily ignored the nervous tension in his voice and pressed on. "What happens to me?"

"I haven't bloody thought about it!" He shouted, slamming a fist on the armrest. "Is living that much of a fucking inconvenience for you?! Why can't you get it through your head that living up here is better for you than dying down there?!"

"Better for me?! Or better for you!" Lily matched his volume. They were in another angry silence. Severus didn't dare repeat his confession. It was already bad enough that he would be reminded of her rejection every waking hour from now on. The circumstances were grim, she loathed him, but he was willing to give it all to keep Lily safe. Lily, on the other hand, refused to acknowledge the gesture. Showing a shred of gratitude would give him power over her. "Two year later, say the program continues and we're next on the list. Then what?"

The air went cold. Severus dropped a cigarette, but didn't pick it up. He was foolish to hope Lily wouldn't address the disturbingly obvious ultimatum. "Well … that's … erm …" He started slowly. "We're going to have a rather awkward conversation …" The disgusted look on her face was enough for him to shut up.

Lily didn't say anything; trying to clear her mind of the image. She changed the subject. "I don't fancy the idea of being locked up here for two years." She looked around the room miserably. "I'm going to be bored as shit up here …"

"You can start by putting my room back together." He said dryly.

Lily stared at him. Words couldn't describe how badly she wanted to strangle Severus. Wherever she went, he would be right behind her and simultaneously two steps ahead. Manipulative, controlling, and annoyingly cynical. Once more, Lily would be trapped with him. Sharing a room last time was frustrating. However, since she was no longer a servant, she could roam the castle, eat, and use the lavatory whenever she pleased. This cramped tower bedroom was already too small for one person. Forcing another was a bloodbath waiting to happen. "That's your half of the room now, I'm not picking it up." She decided not to be a passive roommate.

"Seriously?"

"If you want me here so badly, bloody deal with it. You've got your half of the room, I've got mine."

Severus huffed at her. "Like you have shit to put on your side, anyways. Are you going to be cheeky with me the whole bloody time?"

Lily ignored him. "I also want the bed transfigured into two. You're the one with the wand, so you'll have to figure that one out …"

"I'm not changing the damn bed! It's going to be cramped enough in here already without two fucking beds!"

"Two smaller beds, idiot! You're barking mad if you think I'm sharing a bed with you. I guess we're back to switching nights then …"

"Absolutely not! I'm not sleeping in a fucking chair for another night! This is my room!"

"Fine!" Lily stormed over to the bed and started building a wall down the middle out of blankets and pillows. "Your half! My half!"

"No, no! The desk is on your side! I need the desk more than you do! We're switching sides."

"Fuck you! I'm not sleeping by the door! I want the side with the window!"

"I've had enough of this!" Severus drew glowing lines on the floor that divided the room into thirds with his wand. "You get the side of the bed with the bloody window! I get the side with the fucking door! The fireplace, chairs, and desk; open territory!" The glowing lines disappeared, but left black, charred marks behind. "We're done arguing about this!"

Lily wasn't done, but didn't think it wise to test him further. She just blankly stared out the window while he sorted through his things by hand and repairing whatever she destroyed, cursing and muttering to himself. He had too many things. Only mere weeks after Lily cleaned out his room, Severus somehow managed to return it to its messy chaos. Old books, cigarette butts, and parchment. Somehow, he managed to get his hands on more items since her absence. The smell of stale smoke was a minor comfort compared to the moldy basement. Lily looked out of the window and daydreamed about exploring the forest below.

While Severus reorganized, he found a folded piece of parchment. A note. It wasn't in his handwriting. It must have been slipped under the door while they were arguing.

WATCH YOUR BACK, HALF-BLOOD.