Four

Ten year old Crispin barreled through Malfoy Manor, Draco hot on his heels. In the intervening years since the boy had been rescued, he had blossomed into a proud, self-assured heir of the Prince dynasty. His father had taken him to Gringotts a few days earlier, to outline all of the inheritances that the Prince family had passed down. He'd also collected the Prince family ring for the boy, and Crispin was now wearing it. It came equipped with resizing charms that would ensure that the circulation in his finger would never be cut off.

The stone in the thick platinum band was a large oval snowflake obsidian, with the crest of the House of Prince carved into the surface. The emblem was a black shield shape, with a white lion rearing back in the center. Above the shield was what looked like the neck and shoulder pieces of a suit of armor, with a ribbed collar around the neck in alternating colors of black and gold. To either side were filigrees going in different directions and alternating in colors of black and white. Omnia Libidine ac Puritatis was engraved around the inside of the band, while the exterior had runes of protection and love.

As Crispin and Draco grew, they were introduced slowly into the politics and plans of the Dark faction. The youngest Snape had no problem adapting to the pureblood beliefs taught to him. He had no love for muggles, having been treated as poorly as he was by, not only his relatives, but the neighborhood as well. Because of the Dursleys' interference while he was there, the children of the neighborhood pushed him around and bullied him, encouraged by Dudley, and spurred on by their own parents. The rest of the adults turned a blind eye to the boy's suffering, thinking he deserved whatever treatment he got, simply because the elder Dursleys told their neighbors that his deceased parents were criminals, and that Harry would be attending St. Brutus' Secure Center for Incurably Criminal Boys. His opinions on muggleborns, though colored to some degree by his teachings, were reserved. He'd never met any muggleborns, so he wasn't sure what they would be like, or what their ideals were.

"Father," Crispin gasped out as he reached Severus. Ebon brows flew into the older man's hairline in concern for a moment. "Save me," the child continued with a mischievous smirk on his face. "Draco is trying to murder me." He darted around his father, hiding behind him as the blond barged into the room, sliding to a halt in front of his godfather and looking at the man sheepishly.

"What, pray tell, are you two menaces up to now?" he asked with a long suffering sigh. The blond scowled up at his godfather, vexed.

"He stole my wand," the child barked, pointing a rigid finger at the brunet behind his father. "Make him give it back." Severus turned and looked at his son, eyebrow arched in question.

"I didn't steal it," he muttered petulantly. "I merely hid it. I left him clues to find it; it's not my fault he's ignorant."

Before Draco could take the other boy to task, Severus beat him to it. "That was completely uncalled for, Crispin, as you well know," the Potions Master barked out incredulously. "You do not insult anyone, and especially not Draco. Now, you are to return his wand to him, and I want you to apologize for what you've said."

Heaving a sigh, and knowing that his dad was right, Crispin slowly walked up to his very best friend and wrapped his arms around the other boy. "I'm sorry you're so ignorant," he said with laughter in his voice. Draco hissed in fury, pushing away from the other boy angrily. Seeing the laughter in emerald eyes, the blond huffed out his irritation and scowled at his best friend. "Truly," the brunet continued seriously, "I'm sorry for insulting you. You're probably the smartest person I know, next to Dad. It was unfair of me to hide your wand, and then give you trick clues so you couldn't find it." He reached into his robe pocket and pulled out the hawthorn and unicorn tail hair wand, handing it to his friend contritely.

Tom had invited Ollivander into the manor to give the children their wands on their tenth birthdays, so that they could practice the necessary spell work before school started the next year. At first, the old wand maker didn't want to; he was afraid of the heavy sanctions that would have been placed on him by the Ministry. However, since the manor was surrounded by ancient, impenetrable wards, the old wand maker had no reason to worry. So he brought a substantial number of the wands he had in stock, and the children were able to get theirs early.

"You brat," Draco huffed playfully, tucking the wand back into the holster strapped to his forearm. "I love playing hide and seek with you; just don't cheat next time."


Severus Snape, under a heavy disillusionment charm, entered the Dursleys' house to see what his spell work had wrought. Vernon was in his recliner, a mere shell of the man that had met Severus four years earlier. His skin hung from his frame in loose folds, and there was a deep sadness in his eyes. Scanning the muggle's thoughts, ebon eyes widened in glee at what he'd found.

Petunia had not believed anything that her husband had told her, hearing every word that came from his mouth as a lie. When he told her that he had to be away for business, she heard that he was going out of town to meet some woman. When he told her that he had to stay late for a meeting, she heard that he was gambling with his buddies at the local pub. This resulted in many, many arguments between them which went unresolved, since she wouldn't believe anything he said.

He was also worried for her. The spells to make her eat more had worked, but not in the way that Severus had planned. It seemed that her thyroid was very overactive, which resulted in her scrawny appearance. When he cast the spells over her, they activated dormant cells in the gland, which resulted in the woman developing thyroid cancer. Everything she ate went to feeding the growth of the disease, and she continued to waste away.

The internists thought that they'd be able to stop the spread in time by removing the gland and her lymph nodes; however, with the additional spells of pain and suffering, the cancer was only exacerbated, resulting in a quick spread to her liver and stomach. The diagnosis had come too late to save her, and she was in hospice, gasping in her last breaths. Marge Dursley had taken in her nephew; the breakdown of her brother's marriage, as well as the looming death of Petunia, had the woman seeking legal help to gain custody of their son. She was happy to do it; she saw great potential in the boy, and wanted to teach him the ropes of professional dog breeding.

Severus left the house, head down thoughtfully. He felt a small kernel of guilt; he hadn't intended for this much suffering to occur to the pair because of his anger. However, an even larger part of him rejoiced, for karma was truly a bitch, and she'd served his vengeance beautifully.


Skulking in the shadows between the stationery shop and Flourish and Blott's, the redhead watched with sad eyes as Crispin made his way to Eeylops Owl Emporium with his father. Her heart quickened as she saw the fine man Severus had become, and she once again lamented her folly in abandoning their son to his fate, if only because she could have used him to bring Severus to her. Fortunately her baby boy survived the attack that night, and he was the spitting image of Severus, with the beauty of the Prince line evident in his face. She was sure that Harry would want to be with her, since she was his mother; she was also sure that Severus would eagerly follow his son anywhere.

The child turned his face up to his father to say something, and she gasped softly at the emerald eyes sparkling with happiness. Tears formed as she watched her son, glad that some small part of herself was present in his features. Constantly seeing her eyes in his son would keep her at the forefront of his mind. Her eyes narrowed when a little blond boy ran up to the pair just before they entered the shop. She saw the distinct Malfoy genes in the child, and frowned as she watched her son enthusiastically greet the other boy. Moments later, her eyes widened in fear as she saw Lucius Malfoy stalk up to the group.

"Harry," she whispered fearfully as she watched the raven wrap his arms around the elder Malfoy's waist and smile happily up at him. "What are you doing with them? What are you thinking, Severus? You can't be seen with them. It'll ruin everything." The group entered the shop, and she crept from the shadows, her glamour in place. Lily made her way to Fortescue's to get an ice cream soda and watch the goings-on in the Alley. She wanted to wait for a suitable time to get Severus alone, so that she could talk to him. She wanted to explain why she had done what she did, and to also warn him of the dangers of associating with the Malfoys.

Forty five minutes later, the group exited the owl shop, Crispin proudly holding a brass cage containing a magnificent snowy owl. The little Malfoy brat had an impressive black eagle owl, and both children looked ecstatically at their purchases. As the foursome passed the ice cream shop, Lily smiled, happy to be able to see Severus up close. She gave a passing glance to the boy, and could see that he looked healthy and alive, and seemed to be very happy. However, she wasn't sure that she should allow either of them to continue to be a part of the Malfoys' lives, and stood from her table.

She intercepted the group before they got much further, staring Severus down as they halted in front of her. "May I help you, madam?" he asked softly, hands automatically going to his son's shoulders protectively.

"I want to talk to you and your son, alone," she said quietly. Snape's eyes widened as he recognized that voice, and he silently incanted the spell that dispelled her glamour. Before him stood Lily Potter, and he hissed angrily, his voice a snarl as he replied.

"My son and I have nothing to say to you," he barked loudly, attracting unwanted attention. Lucius put up a privacy shield and notice-me-not charms to keep anyone from recognizing the woman before them and calling the Aurors. "You abandoned my son to die. With no thought or care for him, you left him there to be murdered. You placed an innocent homeless girl in your stead to die. You left me an ugly, poisonous letter, confessing your crimes in a selfish effort to mitigate your responsibility in his death.

"I found your personal diaries in his heritage vault," Severus continued harshly. "I read what you had actually felt about my son. Your selfishness has exceeded even Lord Voldemort's. There is nothing you can say or do that will ever earn my forgiveness or approbation. Let me warn you now; should you ever try to approach or engage with my son, I will bury you."

"But Severus," Lily tried again, looking with longing at the older man. She had barely glanced at Crispin, and the child had noticed.

"Leave my father alone," he growled, trying to take a step forward. However, his dad's hands were still gripping his shoulders. "He doesn't want anything to do with you. He told me all about you, and I hate you for abandoning me and condemning me to death. I didn't choose to be born, but if I had, I certainly wouldn't have chosen to be your son." The redhead flinched at the hatred she heard in his voice, emerald eyes locking with matching emerald eyes and pleading for understanding.

"Mrs. Potter," Lucius finally said, having reached the limit of his patience with the woman, "I suggest you leave the British Isles, and find somewhere else to haunt. If you persist in harassing Severus or his son, I will do everything in my power to ensure that you are a pariah. I will ensure that you are made an outcast in this country, and, if it's possible, have you up on legal charges that would see you in Azkaban for a very long time. We frown very heavily on child abandonment, and the attempted murder of Crispin Severus Snape will not go unpunished if you do not leave, and never return."


The translation is: Passion and purity above all.