A Forgotten Youth: Chapter 6

"What is your name?" Alexander hissed quietly to the snake as he glided back to the dungeons.

"I do not have a name master," it hissed back.

"Would you like me to give you one?" Alexander said gently stroking the serpent's head that was draped on his wrist.

"It would be an honor to be named by the heir of Slytherin, master."

Alexander managed a strained smile, not liking the fact that the snake called him master. It reminded him too much of the relationship between Voldemort and his servants. Pushing those thoughts aside, he racked his brain through all of the Latin terms Salazar had taught him.

"Anguis," he said finally. "Do you like it?"

"Very much so. What does it mean, master?" The serpent hissed contentedly.

"It is the Latin meaning for serpent. Not very creative, but I thought it suited you, my friend," Alexander gave a small smile, stopping just short of the portrait to Severus' rooms. "I'm afraid I will not be able to converse with you in front of others. I apologize, but it is too dangerous during these times. I will be happy, however, for you to talk with you in my rooms whenever you wish."

"Whatever you should desire, master."

Alexander winced slightly and walked through the opening portrait. He found Severus, sitting on the couch and staring, unseeing, into the fire. His elbows were resting on his knees and his graceful hands were steepled in front of his face. The man once known as Harry Potter watched as one of those pale hands drifted down to his forearm and randomly rubbed.

* Voldemort must have called him last night * Alexander realized, his eyes softening in sympathy. "Is your arm bothering you?" He inquired quietly.

Severus' face twitch slightly in the cheek as a sign of suppressing a startled movement, and the glance jerked sharply from the fire to where his hand lay resting on his forearm, and up to his apprentice's mismatched eyes. "It's fine. Nothing but a momentary irritation." The potions master snapped, eyes briefly flashing with apprehension.

Anguis chose the moment to raise his head, poised for attack, and hissed, "Nod if he is master's friend." Alexander nodded slightly glad that the onyx eyes had snapped to the snake.

He took a moment to recognize it, before quickly rising and moving back a step. "That's. "

"An Inland Taipan?" His pupil supplied. "Yes. It is. I wasn't aware that you had studied them."

"I haven't. Since some potions require snake venom, I have had to learn their properties and affects. My instructors, however, made it quite clear that the Inland Taipan's venom is rare to come by and very unstable. Not much information has been recorded, so I was warned of actually using any," Snape said quietly, eyes never leaving the creature as he took a cautious step forward.

"I am caring for him for Hagrid outside of his classes. Beautiful, isn't it?"

"It is," Severus agreed, closing the gap between him and the apprentice slowly.

Alexander raised his hand slightly, and then stopped, glancing at Severus and adding, "If I may?" Snape froze, not understanding what the younger man was asking. The older man's eyes watched like a hawk, but remained tense and unmoving. Alexander's hand continued its path and gently grasped the surprisingly soft hand. The hand immediately tensed even more, and Snape let a choked sound slip through his lips at the contact.

"Lead me to where you wish me to go, Master." Anguis hissed softly. Alexander complied, using his other hand to trail a feather light touch across Severus' arm. The snake followed slowly, tongue tasting the stranger's scent. Once the snake was loosely wrapped around Snape's forearm, unknowingly covering the dark mark, Alexander disengaged his contact with his potions master.

Severus Snape still refused to even bat an eyelash. Amused Alexander once again picked up the man's hand and let it hover over the snake. Snape stroked the snake cautiously at first, and then relaxed when the snake only hissed almost contentedly.

"Does it have a name?" Snape questioned.

"Anguis." Snape nodded in approval.

"You should ready yourself. Class starts soon," Severus said while slowly situating himself on the couch, still petting the reptile. Alexander nodded, and made his way to his rooms to gather some clothes.

Once he had walked into the bathroom he glanced at the image of himself in the full-length mirror. Immediately he mentally groaned. His scarred arms had been exposed because of his sleeveless shirt. * At least my arms are not nearly as bad as my back. Thank Merlin the students didn't say anything! * He thought as he stripped for his shower.

Severus looked towards the bathroom as his pupil walked out. Alexander stopped and looked down at his attire which consisted a robe that was of the blackest material, but totally opened in the front, exposing his regular clothes: an untucked button down black shirt that had the top few buttons open, exposing his pale, well defined chest, as well as a pair of plain black slacks and the usual black boots. The long, slightly damp hair hung loose down his back for once, nearly reaching the top of his butt.

"Too casual?" Alexander asked uncertainly, trying to read Severus' expression.

"No," Snape said gruffly. "Go get your things, class starts in ten minutes. You will not be assisting these classes, so I recommend beginning your own research."

Alexander nodded slightly and fetched his leather notebook, quills, and ink. Afterward, he grabbed the most recognized and informative book on snake's venom and its chemical properties.

After walking to the potion's room in silence, Snape stopped just outside of the door where voices were drifting through. Wordlessly, he extended the arm where Anguis was coiled, and Alexander carefully retrieved the serpent. Immediately, Snape burst through the door and began barking orders to the students.

Alexander glided in menacingly and went to the empty table in the back where he promptly began reading the book he had borrowed from Severus' library. Occasionally he would find an interesting fact that was most common with snake venoms, and he would scratch it into his research notebook.

Several class periods passed by unnoticed, and Alexander was deeply immersed in a chapter deep within the middle of the thick book, when a looming shadow fell across the pages.

"It is dinner time. Perhaps you'd care to join me?" Snape asked, lacking the usual bite, looking curiously down at Alexander's notes. The young man nodded, and shrunk his things, placing them inside his robes.

As they began the walk to the Great Hall Snape made an attempt to engage him on the topic of his research. "You were immersed in your research," Snape spoke curtly.

"I was just taking some general notes on snake's venom and its chemical properties. There really is nothing on the Inland Taipan, so I think if Anguis is willing to help, I will push my research in that direction." Alexander said, looking thoughtful.

"Hmm," was all he got from an equally thoughtful Snape. "That would be an interesting topic. It would be very hard though since there is no information to actually lead you in any direction. This project could be fruitless."

"That is a risk I must take then. I don't believe we would have much of anything today if people didn't take any risks," Alexander replied.

Snape's lips shifted into a smirk. * Touché. * During dinner Alexander actually picked at his food, annoyed with Salazar for berating him in his head for not eating much. After several minutes of mentally sulking, he realized that someone kept peering at him. He faltered as his cold, stone-like eyes met the warm hazel eyes of one of his father's best friend.

"Hello," he began warmly, holding out a hand. "I'm Remus Lupin, the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. You must be Severus' apprentice?"

Severus turned slightly to listen. "Alexander Moris," Alexander said, taking his ex-professor's hand in a firm handshake.

Immediately Alexander's sight was clouded by darkness. A moon passed, full and luminous. A howl sounded. Then the unbearable pain of a transformation erupted through Alexander's body.

Snape and Lupin watched, eyes wide in confusion as Alexander tore his hand from the handshake and clutched at his head. Severus laid a hand hesitantly on his shoulder, and watched as his apprentice slowly lowered his hands, and weakly looked at him. Severus stared into the one green eye waiting for some kind of hint as to what to do.

Slowly, Alexander rose and began to walk steadily out of the Great Hall. After several seconds of blinking at the back of the dark figure, Lupin and Snape also left, following wordlessly.

Upon walking into Snape's personal quarters, they were met with an alarming sight. Alexander was leaning heavily against the wall, taking raspy, gasping breathes. His sickly colored face was shining with small beads of sweat.

"Alexander," Severus whispered, unable to control the small amount of concern from seeping out as he quickly made his way to his pupil. "Make yourself useful Lupin, get me a cold cloth," Snape growled as he placed his hand against Alexander's forehead and felt fever.

"Of course," Remus replied, shocked at his colleague's show of emotion. Conjuring a wet cloth, he wordlessly handed it over to Snape who promptly pressed it to Alexander's forehead. "A-Alexander," Remus began uncertainly. "I apologize for whatever I did, but I can assure you it was not intentional."

"Y-you did nothing," Alexander gasped, heavily lidded eyes glancing at him.

"But, then what-?" Remus questioned.

"I am a seer of sorts. If I come in contact with another person and they have a high amount of anxiety in the future, I will see it. Whatever happens to them happens to me. I feel their emotions and their pain. I trust you'll be transforming soon?" Alexander added softly.

Remus' eyes widened. "You-you felt the pain of a transformation?"

Alexander only waved him off before he could worry too much, "I have felt worse, it is nothing your should worry yourself about. It only startled me since I was unprepared."

Letting go of the subject since the younger man seemed to be weary of discussing any more of the pain that is experienced, Lupin settled on asking, "Have you told Dumbledore?"

"Not yet. Perhaps sooner than I wished though. I've waited because if Voldemort were to ever get the knowledge, I'm sure he would want to recruit me," Alexander said. * It feels good to talk with someone, * Alexander thought and glanced over at a disgruntled Severus. * I should do it more often with Severus. *

Remus shook his head and smiled sadly, "Lily said the same thing."

Alexander's head snapped around, which did not go unnoticed by the potions master. "Who?"

"Lily Potter. She was a seer as well, but only several people knew of this. I believe she only made one prophecy before she died," Remus explained, sadness swirling in his eyes.

"If I may ask, do you know of the prophecy?" Alexander pressed.

"I do not know of it, but Dumbledore does. He was the only one she told," Remus shrugged and stood up. "I'm glad we talked, it was like talking to an old friend."

* If only you knew Moony. * Alexander thought giving a small, sad smile.

Before walking out the door, the werewolf turned and added, "You should come with Severus to the Dueling Club he's helping me with. I'm sure we could find something for you to do."

Alexander nodded and watched the older man walk out.

"I trust you're feeling alright now?" Snape's bark broke through his thoughts.

"Yes, thank you." And feeling on the daring side added, "I'm feel like going for a walk, perhaps you'd care to join me?"

Expecting cruel words, he was surprised when his master's eyes widened slightly before returning to their veiled state and added ever so softly, "As a matter of fact, I would."

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Preview of Chapter 7: The next chapter will start off a few weeks later, and it will show how the relationship between Master and apprentice has developed so far. Some action will happen hopefully, maybe a little Voldie to spruce it up.

Hello, hello! Oh my, it has been a while. I am so sorry about the delay, and hopefully it will never be THIS long again. And another apology on the 'shortness' of this chapter, but Chapter 6 turned about to be more of a connecting chapter (It got boring to put it bluntly). Thanks to all who kept reviewing, and those who even e-mailed me! I appreciated it a lot. Thanks again, and please R/R to let me know what you think!

-Magami