DISCLAIMER: Even if I told you I possessed HP, you wouldn't believe me – and you'd be right

PLZ read: this is labeled Snape & Harry but Draco will play an important role, too. Severus – Lily friendship will be important. I plan quite a lot serious talks, forming relationships etc. but also action and lots of angst. So: strange things start happening to Harry and Snape is the only one who can guess what's going on. He saved Lily and Harry once and… Will Harry forgive him that? Will he accept who he really is? (not quite what you're thinking!) Will he and his new "family" learn to live with their new abilities? The problem is that sometimes enemies turn friends but also friends enemies. What will Ron and Hermione say? Will they accept a "new" Harry? Not to mention MOM's morons….


Words in # # are telepathy.

In this chap POVs of 3 people will appear. I hope you guess who's who ;-)

Privet Drive 2nd July, 1995, morning

Good my beloved family has left me alone for a while. They'll be back soon but still a bit of freedom is better than nothing. They've left a MOUNTAIN of clothes to iron, though – but at least nobody is looking at me as if they expected me to blow the house up at least. Suddenly, somebody knocks the window. It's a bird with a parcel but it isn't an owl – it's a giant, black eagle! Who on Earth uses such beasts to deliver post?! I open the window and let it in. The bird drops the its load and flies away. It's magnificent, really. Impressive. I lift the parcel – it's very heavy so no wonder the sender used such a bird – an owl would be too weak. Still, why not two owls? I climb upstairs to my room and open the package. To my great surprise, it contains bottles with potions, carefully wrapped in cloth so they wouldn't break and an envelope. I recognize one of the potions – it's a Dreamless Sleep Potion but I don't know the others. I open the letter –oh, yes, this familiar, neat script I know so well. What does he want of me?!

Mr. Potter,

According to Professor's Dumbledore orders I'm sending you potions that may be helpful for you. The green one is Dreamless Sleep Potion; you should be aware how it works. DO NOT overdose it – doubling a dose doesn't increase the potion's effects. The colorless one is a tranquilizer. The last one is Heavy Duty Pain Potion; it is able to block Cruciatus curse and to wipe its aftereffects off.

So he knows about my nightmares. Strange he doesn't seem happy because of that.

Do not overdose any of them. If you run short of them, send me an owl. If any doesn't work properly, inform me at once; I'll send you another one. Your connection with the Lord is a very rare bond; very little is known about such magic, so some potions may malfunction. These potions do not cause any side effects normally so if you notice any strange symptoms, let me know at once.

Destroy this letter.

Tonight I'm coming back to the Lord, so I advise you to take Dreamless Sleep and double dose of Heavy Duty Pain Potions as I expect his loyalty test.

If you had any problems with your Muggle relatives, inform Professor Dumbledore or me. You're in the age when strong negative emotions may cause uncontrolled magic outburst.

S. S.

PS. I'm sending you a Crystal of Hope that belonged to your mother. It is a great help in dark times.  

So, this eagle belongs to Snape! Fits him, by the way; he himself looks like a great predator. I hide the potions under the loose floorboard; Dursleys wouldn't be glad, seeing "freak" medicines. I look at the crystal he sent: it's a transparent, colorless stone on an ordinary leather string. I squeeze it in my hand and literally feel warmth radiating out of it. Snape wrote it belonged to my Mum… Did he know her then? Sure, he was at school with her but he was in Slytherin and she in Gryffindor and friendship between these Houses is a rarity. On the other hand, if he had something that belonged to her, they must have been close. He and my Mum, friends? I can't believe it. Maybe he helped her as Dumbledore's spy and she gave him a present? I find it strange, though. I decide to send a letter to Sirius, asking him whether he knows something about their possible relationship. I want to know whether she could like him.


Dark Manor 2nd July, 1995; 10 30 pm

I Apparate near to the infamous Dark Manor. My heart is thumping but my face remains completely emotionless. I sniff the cool, wet air – the night is beautiful… It won't be anymore soon. I possess my sharp senses again and it's a wonderful feeling. Years ago a spell was put on me, blunting them to a "normal" level; I had to prove I'm harmless. Harmless! You don't have to possess sharp senses to be a monster! Still, I could understand the council – after all, I was a Death Eater. Moreover, I was a Dark Prince and an Alpha. They had their reasons not to trust me. Now, when the spell has worn out finally, the world is colorful and beautiful again, even here. Flowers, leaves and grass have their pleasant scent again; the world of sounds is full of thudding footsteps, flapping wings and hushed voices of trees again; the night reveals its secrets to me like it did before the spell. Still, this night won't be beautiful. This summer will bring only pain, hate and lies. Let it be. It was my choice, after all. What will come will come. I notice the dark silhouette before the Lord notices me. If I knew how to kill him… My hands clench and unclench. No, I mustn't show any emotions. Hush, stupid voices in my head! No escape. I will face his wrath. I'm not afraid of pain; I'm used to it. It isn't my first time, or the last, probably. I've always been a punch bag for somebody. For my aunt, for the Lord and for the Aurors. I'll survive; it's bloody hard to beat life out of an Alpha. The thing I'm terrified of is his loyalty test. I've never joined killing sprees; I told him I had studied Dark Arts too long to waste my curses on defenseless, stupid Muggles. I said I wanted a more difficult preys. I don't know why he tolerated such an insolent answer but he only laughed and sent me to hunt Aurors. Brunhilde, the Dark Princess, did the same, by the way. No, we weren't noble. We used torturing curses and we killed without mercy. We were just too proud to do easy things. We wanted challenge.

So, he'll force me to use curses against a Muggle, probably. A Muggle child, maybe… The very thought makes me nauseous. OK, I used many heinous curses but I never enjoyed that like many others did. I used them only when he ordered me to and I never laughed. I never killed unless under his order, too. And they say I'm a monster! Maybe I've seen too much death since childhood and I was cursed and beaten too many times to enjoy watching this slaughter. Or maybe there's not enough human in me and too much "beast" to enjoy such cruelty. They called me "an animal" sometimes and I was angry then but maybe it was a compliment: animals kill to live, they don't live to kill – unlike a HUMAN I am to face. Here he is. His scarlet eyes stare at me with hatred. I sink to my knees…


The vision

What is this man doing? He's really come back to Voldemort! No, I'm going to watch this again… Why? What have I done? God, this arrogant Snape, kneeling in front of this madman, his long, black hair brushing Voldemort's boots… Death Eaters are proud and arrogant – why do they agree to be treated like slaves? Why did Snape, years ago? What did Voldemort promise him to give?

"Snake" – hisses the Lord. "Back at last." I expected him to curse his servant but he didn't even draw his wand. "My slippery Dark Prince." His voice is quiet and soft but there's something in it that makes your marrow freeze. I have to watch this but I know I'm not there; it's only a vision, he can't hurt me but I don't know how Snape manages to be so emotionless. "Well, well, well" – continues Voldemort – "You've always been the greatest Slytherin of them all, Snake. Double agent… Serving me but selling some information to Dumbledore, just in case. My slippery beast, my Snake. And what happened? Dumb Dumbledore vouched for you indeed; gave you the job; trusts you. My Dark Prince managed to lie himself out of trouble; more – my enemy trusts him… And that's the ONLY" – he stresses this word – "reason he's still alive." Snape is still on his knees and he doesn't dare to look into the scarlet eyes. I just can see that his hands are clenched tight. "So, Snake" – Voldemort approaches him – "if you prove your loyalty, I may forget" – he smiles nastily – "your audacity. You'll be my spy at the school; you'll also give Dumbledore tales I'll prepare for him. And, of course, potions. Is that clear, my Snake?"

"Yes, Master." Snape's voice is quiet and lacks any emotions.

"But this time I won't tolerate your tricks."

"Yes, Master."

"What a pity I won't be able to send you for raids… You're my Dark Prince, my dog of war, so what a pity…" WHAT is he raving about?! What does this mean? "It'd be too risky. Dumbledore would notice and I want him to trust you. Still, when we'll get rid of him, I'll unleash you, my beast." So Snape was his killer? I must warn Dumbledore. I don't trust Snape. Maybe he worked for Dumbledore only to ensure his own safety if Voldemort falls? The latter seems to think like that.


We descend to the infamous dungeons. Well, it seems he's already prepared a victim for me. His accursed loyalty test. If you're ready… If you're prepared… No, I am not. I know a spy is worth a hundred of fighters; I realize that's better than doing nothing – still, my every nerve is screaming in protest. I've never cursed anyone unless ordered and I've always hated his bloody shows. I just wonder who… Hell. Not a child. Not a Muggle. Igor. Igor Karkaroff. This time you won't lie yourself of trouble, man.


So, that's how "loyalty test" looks like. Karkaroff is yelling like an animal and begging mercy; Snape has already cast a dozen of different curses or so; I had no idea there are so many of them, I knew only Cruciatus…

I wake up suddenly. It was only a vision. Luckily, I obeyed Snape's advice and took the potions in the evening. At least I didn't feel anything. Still, this vision was terrible; good I have this tranquilizer of his. I take a deep draught. It's bitter and burns my throat but it does help. I feel calm and peace creeping in my veins, enhanced by Crystal of Hope. It's shining in the darkness and its gentle light is so warm. I take another draught of a tranquilizer, blessing the art of potions brewing. "I can teach you to bottle fame, brew glory…" The overgrown bat wasn't raving. Oh, my… Is he really a spy? If so, I do pity him. He has to obey this monster, Voldemort. On the other hand, he's a Dark Prince. What does it mean? It seems he was high in the Death Eater organization. So maybe he's lying to Dumbledore? He was casting all these curses so easily – but, unlike Voldemort, he wasn't laughing…

My pajamas are drenched with my sweat. I get up to change them. Strange uncle Vernon hasn't burst in yet – that means I wasn't screaming. I bless these potions once more – he'd have smacked me for waking them up. As if I wanted that.


"Avada Kedavra" The end, at least. Igor was a bastard, but still… Come on, he did such things to the others and enjoyed that – why should I pity him?! Impaled upon his own sword, stupid git.

The sun has already risen; I must have spent a few hours in that dungeons. I thought it was the whole eternity. I know a few dozens of curses and I had to use them all several times. I'm coming to Hogwarts now and drink a glass of vodka. No, the whole bottle. As much as I'll manage, to unconsciousness. Enough, Dark Madman? No, I can see it in your scarlet eyes. I know what happens next; I know why are you summoning all of us. Luc has told me you were punishing all of us, one by one. No wonder, by the way – these cowards didn't even try to help him when he was in trouble and now he's releasing his wrath on them. I am in trouble, like seven hells; Madam Pomfrey will be busy with me. This bastard knows that I'm an Alpha and he's always been more brutal to me than to the others. I'm a half-animal, after all. OK, we heal quicker than humans and we can survive more severe injures than they do. Still, I can feel the pain like other Death Eaters! He thinks I can keep my mouth shut during Cruciatus or a Tormenter because I'm an Alpha. Rubbish. There's no difference between us and humans in that. I've just had a lot of experience…

They're Apparating. Nott, Avery with his wife, a few guys I don't know, probably the new ones. Pettigrew! So, this story with a rat was true indeed! The Malfoys, three of them. THREE?! NO!!!


He's summoned us again. Luc and Narcissa are nervous – why in the middle of the night? It's five o'clock! I have to come with them whether I like it or not. Professor Snape has been warning me it would look like that – listening to orders, cruel punishments, pain… Oh, no. Another show. The next "slippery" Death Eater to be punished. It makes me nauseous, you know, especially since the day my senses sharpened suddenly. I simply woke up a week or so ago and they were different. I hate noise; I can't stand these yells… The smell of blood is so strong that it strangles me. Who's that, hell, that the Lord summons all of us on this unusual hour? He must have been guilty indeed. Here he is. I can see his face. No. It must be a nightmare. Not him. Not Snape. Not our El Diablo. We, Slytherins, call him like that, you know. I knew he was a Death Eater; I should have realized his turn would come. I've already seen some punishments and people were terrified while he is peaceful. He steps into the middle of the dark ring and halts there, with his arms folded on his chest. He is looking at us and his eyes are blank. No fear, no anger, nothing, as if you were looking into the Hogwarts lake at night – you can't see what's hidden under the surface. The Lord announces the number of curses and the hushed murmur runs through our ring but El Diablo doesn't even wink. The Lord will lead the show himself. No. It must be a nightmare. Snape looks at me. I can't endure these emotionless gaze of his.



Triple Tormenter.

He's mental. He'll drive me insane. I'm an Alpha… My nerves are like human ones! He wouldn't treat a human Death Eater like that.

But I'm an animal.

Animals feel pain, too, you know.

I wish I were a human – I'd faint faster, probably.

It hurts… I don't even try not to scream.

Oh, my, a short break. Many new recruits. I recognize some of them; I'll let the Aurors know. The old crew, too… He was stupid to lead the show during the day; my sensitive eyes recognize many of my fellows; after all, even in complete darkness I'd distinguish timbres of their voices. Another three to cast a curse together. Is he really mental?!

DRACO. No. Not my Dragon. I've promised Athene when she was dying to protect him and I failed. Athene knew I betrayed Voldemort and thought I did the right thing and I allowed this boy to join this madman. Draco's hands are trembling slightly. You brainless brat, cast this bloody Cruciatus!!! Do you want to join me, fool?! He shouts the word out.




Purple fog wrapped around me. Fire devouring my flesh. Let it end.



Even for him, who's a real monster.

Draco, don't cry, you idiot! Good you have your mask on so maybe they won't notice. Don't cry. Another turn, another triple curse. Infamous Bone Cracker, crushing your bones and then regrowing them.

I can't breathe.

I'm falling.

I hate the Lord, I hate the Death Eaters. I hate the Mark burnt into my flesh. I hate my parents for selling me to him. All right, they had their reasons. They served powerful Dark Wizards all their lives and they knew they could orphan me in any moment. They were dogs of war and their death is usually sudden and unexpected so they found me a powerful wizard I could cooperate with. They did their best; it's just my fault I turned traitor. I was the Dark Prince so a VIP among Death Eaters; it was my bloody decision to betray Voldemort. My parents couldn't have known that. Still I hate them. I hate myself. I hate the whole world!

A break again. Calm down, Sev. You've had enough martial arts lessons to know how to deal with pain. Easy, he doesn't want to kill you, after all. Calm down, if you don't want to show your real, Alpha face to all the Death Eaters. It's wiser to keep such things secret. We posses three forms – human-like one, real, Alpha one and an animal one – so we are all Animagi. Voldemort would be rather angry if I showed what kind of Animagus I am. The first time I transformed I nearly killed two Aurors and Professor Dumbledore had to obliviate them. If I killed half of the Death Eaters by my transformation, Voldemort would finish me off. He's nearly immortal so none of my forms would be able to harm him, unluckily. Ups, he beckons another one… McNair. It won't be a curse, I daresay.


Is he going to kill Snape?! I can't look at it. Tears are running down my face uncontrollably. Good I have this mask. I hate him. I hate Voldemort. He's hurting the only human who likes me, who loves me. No Slytherin likes me; they all love my money. If I grew poor, no one would pay attention to me anymore, I'm aware of that. The teachers are usually prejudiced against my House; many think we're all evil. I've even heard Flitwick talking that all kids sorted to Slytherin should be expelled at once. Rubbish. There are many Slytherins who aren't Dark. There were Dark ones among holy Gryffindors, like that Pettigrew, who sold his closest friends. I wouldn't sell El Diablo, even for a Mount Everest of gold. He's always cared about me; at first, I thought he favors me because I'm Malfoy but later I realized he cares about every Slytherin, rich or poor. He's always had time for us; I've spent countless hours in his lab, talking about everything. He was silent most of the time, allowing me to speak. I've been observing him during his work and that's why I decided to study Potions. He agreed to give me extra lessons and taught me many things I had no idea about. I was stupid to tell Luc I want to be a Potions' Master. This bastard went mad and beat me black and blue. No, he isn't abusive usually – only sometimes he has attacks of fury. It's better to avoid him then. He wants a better career for me than that. Better. A murderer, probably. I hate him. I hate Luc, this bastard who's laughing now. I've always hated him. OK, he gives me money and I've always had everything gold could buy but he's never loved me. He's cold like an iceberg. I thought he cared about me at least even if he didn't love but now I'm not blind anymore. He's a heartless scum who loves only himself. I hate his laughter. I hate Voldemort's mad cackle. I hate Narcissa. I hate them all. I hate the Mark on my arm. I hate myself. El Diablo won't forgive me. I've tortured him. This McNair and his knife… Cuts Snape's arm to the bone and rips the wound with his hands. I can't look at it. I can't! I want to escape. The smell of blood drives me crazy. Snape's yells are still ringing in my head. Death Eaters' jeers deafen me. El Diablo looks into my eyes suddenly, commanding me to stay calm. He's right, I can't help him. His blood is gushing, staining McNair's sleeves. No. McNair's touch is staining Snape's skin. Another cut. He doesn't even wink. How can he endure it like that?! McNair rips his flesh but he only gasps. I can't look at all this blood. I'd kill McNair if I could.

#He's already dead.# These words weren't spoken. I've heard them in my head but I know who said them. El Diablo. I don't get it. #Remember what I learnt you during our private lesson? Alphas' blood is a strong poison. He won't see the sunset.# He is an Alpha? Hell, so we've chosen a proper nickname! Why is he telling this to me, by the way? An Alpha. Gosh. Does he really look like these in the books when he transforms?

#I'm sorry, Professor. I didn't want…# I try to contact him but to no avail. I can't look at this anymore but Voldemort doesn't seem to stop. He's raving about disloyalty… He's insane! I hate him. I hate the Dark Mark. I hate myself.

#I'm a real traitor. I hate him. You see who he really is. He isn't as great as many think; he's just a bloodthirsty monster. All he wants is more death, more destruction and more evil. I hate him. He calls all this slaughter "Dark Arts". What arts?! He's just a great butcher…# Another connection that hits me like a sledgehammer. He's a traitor. He dared to oppose Voldemort and he's enduring this hell to cheat him…


Another curses and blows. Crabbe, you brainless git, your hands are red with my blood, idiot. Vengeance is sweet…


Sing to yourself. Do not concentrate on pain.

Luck, Ruler of the world

Changing like a moon

Waxing, waning

Turning life upside-down…

Does he really believe I'm made of steel?

More pain.

He's insane. I'll transform soon; I can't control myself anymore. Damn.

Purple fog.

Waves of scarlet sea.

Inferno. The ninth ring of hell.


We are the flow

We are the ebb

We are the weavers

We are the web

We are the cliffs

We are the waves

We are the masters

We are the slaves

We are the day

We are the night

We are the battle

We are the flight

Yes, sometimes your fate is in your hands, sometimes just the opposite. Good I'm an Invoker and it helps me a bit. Old Guapeza would be proud of me. She's the greatest Invoker of the world.

Suddenly music bursts out in my head. Carmen de la Esperanza, the famous Song of Hope, sung in Spanish - an Invoker must have made a connection with me. Who? How? I can see the girl singing – she's but a teenager but her song fills my brain, not allowing the pain in. Who's she? Joanne? No, she wasn't an Invoker but the girl resembles her. I must be seeing things.

Joanne's face.

Joanne's dark skin.

Jo, my love. I don't know who I loved more – Nemi or her. Doesn't matter, they're both dead.

Dead. All my friends are dead.

Joanne, murdered by Voldemort. She sacrificed her life for her family, who hated her.

Rowen. He was in the wrong place in the wrong time. Ro, the best of our five.

Lily who died to protect the child of a man who would have rejected her if he knew about her past. Who was so jealous and dared to insult her.

Nemesis. Devil alone knows what happened to my Seer. I haven't seen harfor ages.

Eyes of a singer, blue, like Joanne's father's ones.

Another curse.

Blue eyes, blue and fathomless like Hogwarts lake on a sunny day. Her black robes, billowing in the wind.

Another kick.

Her black hair, straight and waist long. No, Jo's hair was curly. I see things.

I see things.

I see things.

Pain, but dulled with her song. I can hear the Song of Hope, sung by somebody who resembles Jo. She didn't have a sister. It must be a coincidence. A delusion. Still, she's singing and the pain has lessened. I'd believe Guapeza made a connection but a teenager?! Why? Who am I for her?

Another curse. Will Voldemort never end?! Draco, you brat, don't try anything stupid!

Warmth. Warmth radiating through my body. What? First an Invoker and now a Healer?! It's a very rare gift. There was only one in England – Athene Malfoy but she's dead! I have hallucinations. No, it's really the Healer's help. Who's that?! I know Athene could present her gift to another person if she wanted and I asked her whether she had done that. She said she did indeed – to somebody who'd use it well. She seems to be right. Most real Seers are out of our kin; I'm not one but I do possess an intuition that helps me a lot. I have visions sometimes, too. Maybe Athene saw something… Somebody who'll use it well.


A Healer.

An Invoker.

Song of Hope.


At last it's over. My, am I to Disapparate now? My fellows are, one by one. I catch the glimpse of Draco's pale face before he's gone. Poor boy. I hate Luc. Children shouldn't turn Death Eaters, for hell's sake! Come on, Severus, the Headmaster must be really worried. How many hours have I spent here? At least twelve. I need some rest but finally I manage to Disapparate.

(the end of all POVs in this chap)

Ecuador, 3rd July 6 am. English time (so 2nd July 10 pm Ecuador time)

"CARMEN! CARMENCITA!" Guapeza tries to wake up the screaming girl. "Carmen, what happened? Did you have a nightmare?" Carmen is a strange girl – she's just seventeen but she's already a great Invoker. Guapeza is said to be the best one in the world but her granddaughter will beat her soon. Well, Carmen Esperanza isn't her real granddaughter – she's a child of Guapeza's distant relative. The woman brought her baby to Guapeza and asked her to look after the girl. Guapeza agreed to bring up Carmen till the end of the war but her mother never came back. Guapeza knows the reason – Voldemort… She'd have informed Carmen's father but she hadn't asked who he was and the guy never came. Maybe he was murdered by this madman, too. So, Guapeza has brought Carmen up, sent her to the best South American school of magic – and discovered the girl is the best Invoker she's ever met.

The girl stares at her with her eyes full of incredible terror and shock.

"They're hurting him." – she whispers – "They're hurting him."

"Whom? Carmen!" The girl has jumped put of her bed and is running down the stairs (honestly speaking she jumped off them and landed on the ground floor.) She wraps her cloak around her shoulders and bolts into the jungle. "Carmen!" Guapeza follows her but the girl is much too fast. She's running across the dark, thick forest, making no noise at all. It hits the old Invoker suddenly – the jungle is gloomy even during the day and it's night right now! How can Carmen run without stumbling? Guapeza calls her dog but the animal can't find the track. Strange… Suddenly pieces of the jigsaw start to fit. The Head of Carmen's House has written to Guapeza that the girl tended to leave her dorm at night and swooped in the Forbidden Jungle; Carmen has always been very fast and agile – she is a Quidditch Captain… And many other details. Why hasn't Guapeza guessed that before?

She walks across the jungle, swearing under her breath. Carmen has probably run to the best place an Invoker can use for incantations; there she is indeed, on the top of a steep rock, singing Song of Hope. It's obvious for Guapeza that her granddaughter has made a connection with somebody and is now supporting this person. Who can it be? Who managed to call for help from a long distance?

The moon appears from behind the clouds and casts its pale light on the girl. She looks strange – her mother was a mulatto and her father must have been white. She's inherited her blue eyes from his grandfather; they are big and full of uncanny beauty – they're fathomless and can pierce you like two daggers. Her hair is so dark that it shines navy-blue, like raven feathers but it isn't wavy, like her mother's, but straight and sleek. Her pure voice goes higher, echoing in the forest. Heavens, this girl is a genius. If she were a Muggle, La Scala and Metropolitan would be her realm. Guapeza stares at her silhouette, wondering who called for her help. Such things happen usually among friends or relatives. Suddenly it hits her. She taught a man years ago and then his son. The former was good; the latter more than that. All fits together. He could be. He must be. But it means… Guapeza decides to send him a parrot at once before Carmen causes a real trouble. Good it didn't happen earlier.

Surrey, Arabella's Figg house 3rd July 7 am.

Arabella Figg forces some potion into Harry's mouth. The boy had a fit but luckily Severus had sent her proper potions.

"Harry" – she whispers. "What happened?" The boy stares at him with his eyes filled with horror.

"Snape" – he whispers. "Voldemort." He's still shaking.

"What?" Harry's told her about the nightmare he had last night and that he took the potions that allowed him to fall asleep again. It seems their effect has worn out and the boy made a connection with You-Know-Who once more. Mrs. Figg gives him another dose. Good the potions are able to stop the vision. Good the Dursleyes has left very early this morning and they didn't witness this. "He's expected that." – says the old witch, helping Harry to stand up.

"How can Voldemort be so cruel to his own servants? He's called Professor Snape a beast and who's he himself?! I've had some nightmares before but he never treated any Death Eater like that! Triple curses and everything…" Arabella nods. She knows the reason. "Why did he call him a Dark Prince? A dog of war?"

"Severus' parents were so called dogs of war, Harry. It's a name wizarding fighters use for themselves, you know, I mean these who serve anybody who pays for their curses."

"They were mercenaries?"

"Yes, and so were his father's parents."

"I didn't know wizards have professional soldiers. And the Dark Prince?" Arabella sighs.

"I'll tell you but don't share this with anyone, please. Before his first war, You-Know–Who had chosen four kids, two boys and two girls and branded them with the Dark Mark when they were small. These children have been taught the Dark Arts since a very early age. Five is a very powerful magical number, you can find it in every Arithmancy book. He and his four best servants, his Riders of Apocalypse."

"And Professor Snape is one of them?"

"Indeed. He was branded when he was five."

"Excuse me?"

"Strange, isn't it? The others weren't much older. They were all really brilliant and talented wizards; he made a good choice indeed and they were powerful and dangerous. Imagine that – your own parents agree that you'll be branded and they allow such a man to teach you the Dark Arts."

"I thought I'm unlucky because my parents are dead but now I'm glad I didn't have SUCH ones. They sold their child to Voldemort!"

"They did their best in their opinion, probably." – sighs Mrs. Figg. "They were Dark wizards; they wanted their son to be a powerful one, too."


So, it's now YOUR turn to review!

Guapeza – a Spanish word, that means "a beauty" but also "courage" or even "insolence"

Carmen Esperanza – indeed "song" and "hope"