DISCLAIMER: All recognizable belongs to J. K. Rowling

This is a sequel to "Blood ties". Don't read further before reading that story. Rating may go higher mainly due to brutality and darkness.

This story will be shorter than the previous one (at least my plan shows so… Or rather: "Blood ties" were longer than I planned) and the chaps won't probably be posted so often. Sorry. Reason: I've started my master's thesis. I'm busy!

Well, mainly a bunch of dialogues and musings, I hope not too boring.

THE BEGINNING

Everything has changed. Snape is his father and Carmen his half-sister. His mother was a Dark witch, a Cracker, a thief who tried to kill Voldemort with a Dark spell. The Malfoys are his relatives, though quite distant ones. Both Lucius and Draco are Death-Eaters-Turned-Traitors. Draco will receive a new identity soon so he'll be safe at last. And Harry Potter has never existed. A Boy-Who-Lived is a half Alpha vampire half human called Serpens Wolfgang Evans-Snape. Serp is a Cracker like his mother and a unicorn Animagus like her. Serp has been taught the Killing Curse by Lucius Malfoy.

And then…

There was a battle with a mad ex-Death Eater called Godric Angriff, Son of the Snake. Serp Evans has taken part in it as a Cracker. He'd have died if his father hadn't sent Lucius Malfoy to protect him. It was Lucius who helped him to break down the defense system. It was also the first time Serp killed. Yes, of course Harry Potter had killed a basilisk, that's true, but during that battle he used Avada Kedavra against a human for the first time in his life.

And now he's sitting on a windowsill, gaping at the falling snowflakes. It's Christmas today but he doesn't feel happy at all. He feels as if he died.

And he's right. Harry Potter is dead. All his life is gone and another boy has taken his place. A half-Alpha-half-human called Serpens, a son of a Dog of War and a Cracker. He's but fifteen but a killer.

War runs in our veins

We learn to fight

Earlier than to speak

His sensitive ears catch the song of the Dogs. Some of the fighters have already left (mainly these who wanted to celebrate Christmas at home) and the rest is preparing to depart. Serp is watching Spanish Aurors leaving the castle and Disapparating. Soon they'll be all gone. The Priestesses of the Two mount their enormous Sleipnirs and ride through the gate; only the Highest Priestess remains and watches her fellows leaving. Her time in the Temple is over; she must start her life anew.

Serp sighs. He can't decide what he feels.

"Oh, here you are."

"Regulus?"

"I've been looking for you, Serp. You shouldn't be alone now."

"Everyone's busy now. I didn't want to disturb them."

"If your father were conscious, he wouldn't allow you to be alone."

"Why? Does he really care so much? He sent me to that battle!"

"He didn't want that."

"I know." – sighs Serp. "But what will I do now? My friends won't understand me now!"

"But we will."

"Who? Malfoy the Death Eater, Magnus the Cracker or Carmen the ex-Jaguar?"

"They would. I understand you, too."

"You don't understand anything."

"Everyone remember their first Avada Kedavra all their lives, I assure you. Don't worry, you won't be prosecuted…"

"But I've done it. Nothing will change it. How can people go on after this?"

"People are stronger than you suppose."

"Right. May I have a private question, Regulus?"

"Yes?"

"How did you… After Voldemort… You know what I mean."

"You mean my four nights in his tender mercies." – Auror's face darkens suddenly. "It took weeks to heal physically and much more to heal really." – he whispers. "All I can tell you is that all they are raving about hell is rubbish. There are no evil demons at all. We create hell ourselves." They're sitting for a long, long time in silence, just observing the snowflakes. Their musings are interrupted by Blaise. She and her fellow Mordred were Hogwarts' students but now they're in Artanigra, a wizarding school in South America. She's an Invoker like Carmen and also an Alpha.

"Hi" – she smiles. "We have to leave now. Please, give Professor Snape this." – she hands Serp a small packet. "It's from me and Mordred. Tell him that Artanigra is a great school but we miss this castle… And we miss our Potions' Master, too. Wish him Merry Christmas from us when he wakes up – if something like that is possible under these circumstances."

"All is falling apart" – sighs Serp. "They're all leaving."

"Nothing lasts forever." – replies Regulus quietly.

"Nothing must remain." – murmurs Serp.

"Wise philosophy." – answers the Auror. "Throw away all your previous hatred, fear and prejudice or you'll go mad."

"Easier said than done."

"I know it only too well."

Meanwhile in the stables

"Panthera!"

"What, Lucius?"

"You're going to stay, aren't you?"

"I can't come back to the Temple."

"Don't kill me for this but I'm glad you can't." - smiles Malfoy.

"Lucius, I know you like me but I'm not created for… You know, normal life and so on. I'm a good woman to have a romance with but not to live with. Let me go."

"I won't."

"Let me go." – she replies sternly. "I'm not from your world, Lucius. I'm not even a human. These days were fantastic, keep them in your memory if you want but…"

"But what?"

"I was the Highest Priestess and though I had to leave the Temple I'll always remain what it made of me."

"That's good." – murmurs Malfoy, trying to hug her.

"Don't be a fool!" – she barks. "I'm leaving!"

"Where are you going, then?"

"I don't know yet." – she shrugs. "A good sword and wand will always find some way to make money."

"Is hundred Galleons per month enough?" – he asks. "I need a helper with my Sleipnirs."

"Don't be stupid." – she sighs.

"I'm not." – he replies. "But you shouldn't lick the boots of everyone who pays for your services. You should have your pride. I want you to stay. Stay, please. I need you. What if Draco gets in trouble? No one will help him!"

"No."

"If you don't want my offer Dumbledore asks you to stay; the school needs guardians."

"Right then." – they shake hands. "But tell him I want a hundred, Lucius, and not a Knut less."

In the Headmaster's office

"They can't stay here. It's illegal, Albus!" – shouts Fudge out. "No Dogs of War can remain in this castle! I agreed for them only because we had no other choice!"

"I know." – says Dumbledore. Fudge is right – the Dog gangs are indeed illegal organizations. "But I ask you for the Aurors then. I think Regulus Magne would help me with that. The school needs the guardians, Cornelius."

"I can agree for the Aurors but these barbarian bandits must leave!" – snaps the Minister.

"These "barbarian bandits" have saved us, Cornelius. They risked their lives for us, remember."

"Pity they didn't hack each other to death." – murmurs Fudge. "I'd arrest them all but…"

"Don't even think about that." – says Dumbledore sternly. "They wouldn't come quietly and you are aware of that, I suppose. We don't need more bloodshed, do we? And we shouldn't make new enemies, we have many of them already."

In the Transfigurer's house

Draco, being a vampire, can't see himself in the mirror but he knows he's taller now and that the Transfigurer has given him a new face, more square and with sharper features and auburn, wavy hair; only his eyes are the same as before because it'd be very difficult to change them. Lucius hands his son a bunch of documents.

"Your new identity" – he explains quietly – "You'll come back to school after Christmas holidays. If I had been wiser you wouldn't need it now. I was an idiot. I didn't want to hurt you, Draco."

"I know." – replies the vampire. – "But I won't come back."

"What do you mean?" – asks Lucius, astonished.

"I'm leaving, dad."

"Leaving? To Artanigra? If you want to change the school I won't oppose…"

"No, I'm not going there. I'm leaving for Asian Federation."

"Draco, you can't!"

"I can and I will. They need a Healer, dad; I'll work in the biggest hospital and receive the best education. They've already agreed to hire me. Don't try to stop me, I'll do that with your consent or without it."

"Draco, you don't have to…"

"I can't stay at school, don't you understand? Not after all that!"

"It wasn't your fault!" – shouts Lucius out.

"I know but I want to get rid of my past." – replies Draco firmly. "I'm grown-up. Let me go. I'll do it anyhow but I don't want us to part as enemies, dad. I'm not much safer here, you are aware of that. Being a Healer is a gift and I shouldn't waste it."

"So be it." – says Lucius and his voice is trembling slightly. "But owl me often, son."

"Be careful, dad." – smiles Draco wryly. "Be very careful. Don't try anything stupid."

"I've done many stupid things in my life." – whispers Lucius. "I think I can't do anything more stupid."

In the hospital wing

Snape's eyes have sprung open.

"Where am I?" – he whispers.

"Hogwarts, Severus." – says Dumbledore, looking at him.

"Why? What happened?"

"Don't you remember anything?" – asks the Headmaster.

"The last thing I remember is Lily in her Animagus form, galloping to save me."

"It wasn't Lily." – says Dumbledore – "but your son."

"Serpens?" – Snape runs his fingers through his hair. "Right, it couldn't be Lily; she's dead. Oh, no!" – he shouts out suddenly.

"What's wrong?"

"Her Lapis Animae!" – whispers Snape with fear. "Her diamond. I've lost it! I must have lost it in the battle."

"We'll look for it, Severus."

"If the Dark Lord finds it, he'll use it to revive another person." – says Snape. "I don't like it." He still has Seth Slytherin's letter and reads it again:

Hail to the Reader!

You, who read it first, beware, it will not bring you luck.

You, who read it second, rejoice, my heir.

I have broken through the gates of death, bringing my husband back to life. It can be done by a powerful witch or wizard, but you who read it, remember this: you can revive only three people in your life.

First, you must prepare the potion.

Ingredients:

Dark Phoenix blood, one glass

2 Unicorn hearts

Yew fruits, 5 ounces

And so on and so on… And finally:

Lapis Animae of a dead person

You, who read it first, beware, it will not bring you luck. Only a fool revives his enemies. We, Slytherins, do not forgive when you hurt our children.

You, who read it second, my son, rejoice. The first revived one will bring you the fame of a Basileus, you will lead to victory the army England has not seen for centuries. The second revived one will be the joy of your heart. I would have destroyed this documents, if I had not known it would bring you what you miss most. My son, my flesh, I do not know how many centuries part us but I want to give you back what you have lost. You are a Slytherin like I am and I remain loyal to my own family. I know your pain, I lost my love and rejoiced when I brought it back. Follow your path and have no fear; many ancient families will perish in your times but the Slytherins will not.

Seth Victoria Slytherin-Hengst

"Well?" – says Snape slowly. "What do you think about it, Albus?"

"I'm not sure" – replies Dumbledore – "But it seems obvious that you were the second reader of this letter: you are her descendant and the first revived man has given you that fame indeed."

"The snow was melting because of blood." – whispers Snape. "I haven't asked for that fame. Why can't I live in peace? It's like in this song: war is in my veins. No matter how hard I try, I'll never have a normal life."

"Honestly speaking, Severus" – replies Dumbledore – "If you read the annals carefully you'll see that wars happen very often. Our times aren't, unluckily, an exception. But tell me this, my Basileus" – he smiles at Snape – "Who will this second revived person be? Who do you miss most?"

"Isn't it obvious?" – growls Snape. "If he forces her to obey his orders this castle will fall. The defenses let Animagi in; they let Death Eaters in; they let EVERYONE in."

"Who is most competent to solve that problem?"

"A guy with waist-long straw-blonde hair who keeps swooping round the stables with an ex-Priestess." – murmurs Snape. "The best Architect I've ever seen but his loyalties, Albus… The Architect knows a lot about the fortress he protects. Far too much. It's up to you whether you risk to trust him or not."