A/N: I'm sorry this took so long to post, yes Gaineewop has been on my case…but I haven't had a computer till now. Anyway, here's part six. Remember. Read. Then Review.
Dauphina sat up in her bed, cold sweat pouring down her brow. Another nightmare, another wasted night. She glanced over at the time piece on the oak night stand. Eleven O'clock. With a sigh she slid out from between the sheets and slipped her cream dressing gown on over her nightdress. Snape, she knew, would be there within the half hour to wish her good night and continue whatever row they'd had earlier. It was her own fault. The nightmares of her attack hadn't abated at all in the month since. She suspected that the first night he came in, Severus had heard her restless sleep, but she'd lied and told him she never went to bed that early. So now he'd taken to coming in between eleven and eleven-thirty every night.
A small secret smile crossed Dauphina's face as she thought of her former professor. Their teasing, the insults and double entendres they threw about, were becoming legendary among the staff and if Dobby was any indication, the house elves as well. He was certainly her favorite sparring partner. He was one of few people in her life that managed to draw blood from her, and nothing gave her greater pleasure than seeing the usually unflappable potions master stutter and blush, even if she had to be a bit indecent to get that reaction. The game was fun, it was true, but how often he pushed to close to home he couldn't possibly know.
The night they had gone out to the theater, she'd been furious with his lewd suggestions as to the cut of her dress and the assets it revealed. Upon further retrospection, however the blush the came over her cheeks now when she thought of his comments and how close he'd been standing had little to do with anger or embarrassment. The plain fact, which she'd owned up to only in private, was that she wanted him. She wanted him in ways she'd never wanted anyone or anything. And what scared her most was that she felt she may even be falling in love with him.
Dauphina wondered briefly what Pagan would say and then she wondered how her sister was doing and began staring into the night, trying to discern her sister's thoughts and emotions from so far away, as she waited for her late night visitor.
Pagan was sitting at the kitchen table staring at her boyfriend across it and thinking about how lucky she was. Bill had proven time and time again to be caring and sensitive, a wonderful companion and gentleman. Though it had only been a month, their relationship had grown considerably from the first few awkward dates to being best friends and constant companions. Which left them at tonight. The other members of the order were working again, except Bill's parents who still lived in their family home, so Bill and Pagan had the house all to themselves. They'd finished dinner and were now staring at each other across the table. "Let's play the question game." Bill finally suggested.
"What's that?" Pagan asked suspiciously. She'd learned, any time a Weasley, even if it was Bill, suggested something, it was best to know everything there was to know about it before agreeing.
"It's a game an old friend of mine made up when we were boys. First I ask a question and you have to answer it, then I answer it too, then you ask a question and we both answer it…it's a quick way of learning about people."
Pagan nodded and motioned her hand to him, indicating that he should begin the game. "Alright…family first…is Dauphina you're only sibling?"
Bill grinned cheekily. "Well you know how many siblings I have."
"Cheater." She mumbled. "Alright…what's your full name?"
"You mean you haven't heard my mum yell it?" He feigned shock but it dissolved into an easy grin and he kicked his feet up onto the table, dragon hide boots and all. "William Arthur Weasley and yours?"
"Pagan Alexis Lestrange."
"Where did you get that scar? The one on your left eyebrow."
Pagan smiled. "Dauphina. When we were eight years old, Fina and I got matching dolls for our birthday. It was one of my father's attempts to turn me into a lady. About a week later Fina was carrying hers around like it was he most precious child and I was using mine as bait to catch a pixie. My poor dear sister was most naturally scandalized by my use of the doll and tried to take her away. Well, whether or not I wanted the doll in the first place, my toys were mine and I wasn't going to give it to her. We got in a terrible row and in the end ended up with matching scars, although hers, like every thing else about Dauphina, is more delicate and harder to see."
Bill snorted. "Who got the dolls?"
"Neither one of us. The damn pixies snuck off with both of them while we were fighting." This time Bill let out a loud laugh and had to take a few minutes to recompose himself. "Alright then…the flip side of that question for you…since you don't have a scar on your eyebrow. Got any scars anywhere that I should know about? And you have to tell me where they are."
She watched pleased as he turned a bit red, understanding her meaning immediately. "I have many scars from playing as a kid Peg." He finally managed to tell her.
"Hmmm. I bet." She drawled. "Alright. What's your favorite color?"
The 'love me I'm adorable' grin he preferred to use around her was back. "Well I must say I'm developing an unhealthy obsession with auburn."
"Sure it does."
"Bill…" her tone was threatening, but too light to be serious.
"Alright, alright. Black. And I already know yours is blue." He leaned across the table and placed a quick kiss on her lips. "But I wasn't lying about the auburn." He whispered against her mouth, before kissing her again, this time far more passionately.
Despite the headache she'd gained from stretching her connection with her sister and the necklace's amplifying powers to the maximum, there was a smile on Dauphina's lips when slipped back into her body. She was glad to see Pagan so happy. "So glad to see you had a good day." Came the silky drawl from her doorway.
She spun around quickly and noticed for the first time, the man leaning in her doorway, staring at her unwaveringly. "I was checking on Pagan." She tapped the necklace that now hung outside her dressing gown before moving over to the table by the fire place a pouring two small flutes of the dark red liquid out of a crystal decanter. She handed one of the two glasses of port to Severus and sipped the other delicately. "And yes I was careful." She assured him after noticing his frown.
"Excellent Port." He complimented her.
She grinned and the mischievous sparkle reappeared in her eyes. "From my father's private stores. Pilfered before we left home." Snape's only response was to roll his eyes.
moments silence Dauphina started the conversation again. "How was your day?"
"Miserable as it was when I was in here at lunch time."
"Maybe if you weren't so rotten to your students…" She muttered darkly, irked by the cold tone he'd used.
"We are not having another argument about my teaching methods Ms. Lestrange." He snapped.
Dauphina bristled and walked to stand in front of the fireplace. "We are not?" She hissed, her dark eyes flashing dangerously. "I will do as I please Severus Snape. You are not my father, nor my husband and you have no right to order me around! We will speak of whatever I wish to speak of, and if you don't like it you can leave!"
He watched her impassively and when she was done he blinked slowly. "What a charming dressing gown my dear. One can practically see right through it."
A dark blush spread across her cheeks as she looked down to see that he was right. The light from the fire cast just enough of a shadow in the silk gown as to show off a silhouette of her figure. She moved out of the light as discreetly as she could. "No doubt a gift from an admirer who hoped one day to see just that affect…or perhaps it was left over from your days as a harlot?" He continued without watching her movement, sipping his port as though the sight did nothing for him…a rather uncomfortable lie.
"I'm afraid you have me confused with someone else." She responded coolly. Then a smug and naughty smirk settled on her full lips. "Why my dear Severus, do have a dark haired harlot? Have you taken to keeping whores in an effort to sate your unquenchable thirst for me?"
This time he stood swiftly and crossed over to her, standing so close he could feel her tiny breaths on his neck as she looked up at him. "That's exactly it." He spoke darkly, with an intensity that made her breathing stop. "I close my eyes when I lay with them and make believe its you withering beneath my hands." She made a squeaking sound, something akin to 'eep' and with a snort he stepped away.
She turned immediately, putting her back to him. Mostly to avoid him seeing the swirling desire in her eyes or the shaking of her hands. "What a horrid thing to say! You really are the rudest, most uncouth…You're a charlatan of the worst variety."
For a moment there was no sound in the room and Dauphina was beginning to think she was alone. Then she felt his breath on the side of her face, and his lips brushed her ear as he whispered to her. "Don't mess with fire my lady fair, unless you are well and truly prepared to be burned." There was a swish of his cloak and the sound of her door and he was gone.
Snape left the room quickly, and kept his hands as fists at his side hoping to still the shaking of his hands. Her face loomed in his mind, her eyes wide and blacker than usual, her lips parted slightly in shock, begging to be kissed. With a groan he shook his head, trying to dislodge the vision that was sending waves of desire straight to his groin. She needled him and picked, and had gotten right under his skin. She couldn't possibly know how close she'd gotten with her smart ass comments. If he didn't know any better than to think that he'd be able to sate his desire with anyone else, he may have indeed gone looking for a raven haired lady of the night. Many times in the past month.
But he knew it was more than just lust now. He wanted all of her. He'd begun to desire her laugh and her confidence as much as her body, he worried for her and cared about her; but he wasn't about to tell her that. Severus was so deep in thought he didn't notice the other person in the hall until her ran into him.
"Good evening Severus." The Headmaster greeted him pleasantly.
"Headmaster. I apologize. I was thinking and I should have been paying more attention." Snape told the older wizard stiffly.
"That's quite alright. I understand. It's the black hair." Dumbledore informed him knowingly.
Snape looked at him as though he'd finally lost it. "I beg your pardon sir?"
"Oh, nothing dear boy. I was just saying that I understand. Have a good night." And with a bit of a wave and a grin, Albus took off towards his own rooms.
Outside the castle the grounds were dark and everything was still, except the two figures in black cloaks that crept beyond the wall and deep into the forest. As they crept the taller of the two boys seemed to tense, his eyes darting this way and that. Draco hated the forest and he wished there was another place he and his companion could meet their master, but there wasn't, and so great was his love and fear for the wizard that he braved the dense foliage and unseen creatures to convene with him.
The wizard in question was standing in the middle of a clearing, a figure in a black robe with glowing red snake eyes. Draco and his companion, Theodore Nott, bowed low and waited.
"You still don't have the charm?" The snake-like voice hissed.
"Master, we had it in our grasp, but the charm would not come off."
The red eyes turned from them and the anger died to be replaced by a sort of intellectual curiosity. "A protective spell? The charms perhaps can only be removed by the wearer?"
"That is what we surmised, my lord." Draco spoke up boldly. "But we were interrupted before we could persuade her to give up the necklace. And the next day they were gone."
Voldemort was silent through the explanation. But when Draco finished shook his head, glowering darkly. "You've been fooled. One of the girls, Dauphina Lestrange is still in Hogworts. I felt her rather unique brand of magic coming from the castle earlier in the night."
"As long as she remains within the castle, we will find her My Lord." Nott growled. "And she will be punished for her disobedience, I swear it."
The Dark Lord nodded and dismissed them with another warning of the consequences, should they fail.