Title: Behind the Masks
Author: The Bell and the Black Dragon
Rated: PG-13 (violence, language...)
Chapter: The Ninth.
Chapter Title: Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid.

Summery: Severus Snape hasn't had a very good life. What made him decide to make the decisions that he did? What are the reasons that made him turn away from that path? His childhood, I think, had something to do with it. cough(abusive father)cough This is not one of those fics where Severus is ten and we show his life, no, the war wages on, but with one little change. Daddy's back.

Severus Snape was not in a good mood. Tonks was trying to chalk it up to the fact he was in pain. She even went as far as to try and think it was hormones. But no. He simply did not want her there. That was obvious. But why he had to be such a jerk when she was only just trying to help...

He had been the most irritating person she had ever had to spend the day with. He had called her "Mistress Nymphadora." Many women would think this great. Being called "Mistress." It was almost a sign of respect. She told him to call her Tonks. He decided to call her "Mistress Tonks." She hadn't yet succeeded in stopping him.

He knew he could get away with it, as it sounded respectful, but she could tell he took delight in her spluttering for him to stop. She thought back to meeting him at a gathering of the Order. She had heard many things of him, and had respected him greatly for his work. She remembered when she had met him. She introduced herself. He greeted her (called her "Mistress Nymphadora"), but he was a little... stiff.

He had almost looked as if he was mocking her.

Dumbledore had told her of him. Of how he was an ex-Death Eater, double agent, spy, and one of the main catalysts in the overthrow of Voldemort in the First War. From the students who had been staying at the Order she gotten this much: he was apparently cruel, sadistic, and enjoyed attempting to poison his students. She thought it was part of his cover, no one could be that malicious and cold-hearted.

Just when she was wondering what the children said about her behind her back, she actually met the man.

He had a tongue like a whip, and wielded his weapon well. He wanted her job, and there was a time when he would have killed her for it, because he wanted it, she was in the way, or just to prove he could. She knew all about his past. Dumbledore had told her everything. With Snape's permission, of course. He hadn't known her, but had understood that she had to know. She almost looked fondly on his skill. But she looked very indifferently toward him.

She didn't want him hurt, but hadn't really tried to get along with them since their first meeting. But seeing him, after his meeting ... she couldn't ignore him. She wanted to see him safe. But then, she had gotten her wish, hadn't she. She had actually begun cursing Dumbledore under her breath.

Snape was literally driving her stark-raving mad.

She was trying to help him sit up, so he could drink a little chrysanthemum juice, but he kept trying to do it himself, insisting he didn't need help. Then he would promptly fall over again, and it would repeat.

"C'mon, just let me help –"

" –No, Mistress Tonks, I don't n-need your assistance... "

"Ah-hah! You stuttered! You need my help, Snape, come on, I'm just trying to –"

"Well, I don't need you to!"

"STOP SQUIRMING, YOU IDIOT!"

Dead silence.

"Okay."

"Now. I am go

ing to help you up. You are gong to drink your dandelion juice. Then you are going to take a nap. Any questions? Good."

So it was that the dandelion juice was drunk. She wondered at the fact that the moment she began yelling it stopped him doing anything. And there had been a temporary fear there, almost as if he had had people screaming before...

Hmph. Of course he did., Only way to make him do something. She brushed it off as him being afraid of the female anger. After all, "Hell hath no wrath greater than a women scorned... " or something ...

But then he went out and faced Lord Voldemort, defying the evilest wizard ever known. He was the Hitler of the wizard. She didn't think it possible that anyone could be scared of little mini her. So why did he react that way? She remembered what Mcgonagall had told her of Snape's father... she could think it possible... but then, if anything of the sort had happened to her, she knew she might not forget it soon. It was one of those things that didn't pass, but she couldn't say how she knew that. She hadn't been subject to those kinds of tortures in her life.

She had been subject to prejudice of some sorts (for some reason people didn't really trust those who could change their features one at a time, but could make themselves look like anyone they wanted... she never really got why...), but never having her parents abuse her. It was unheard of.

She almost wanted to ask Severus Snape if that was what he was thinking, but, for all her clumsiness, she knew that some things were better left unsaid.

At first he was amazed at the weakness I had been displaying. He couldn't even stand up. He couldn't even sit up. He was acting as weak as his father had always said he was...

No. Just because he's here, it doesn't change anything... You are still able to take care of yourself; you can stand up him, whatever he throws at you...

But he was more determined then ever to get up on his own, just to prove he wasn't weak. He could stand up, unlike all the other times he was left alone on the floor to cry, unable to stand, before he realized there was no such things as tears. There was only weakness.

And he had realized he had to stop being weak. His father left, or rather his mother got the strength to leave, but it was in vain, because the person put in his place was no better. He hadn't had tears for this man. This man, who had married his mother, this man who had beaten him, at the age 14, he had lost his mother because of that idiot. And he had to stay with him.

His violent step-father. It was only when he had run away to the Leaky Cauldron, step-father fallowing, that he begged Tom for a room, and not to let his step-father in. He could still see the understanding and sympathetic look in Tom's eyes, and he gave him that room, and let no on enter, just came to visit, and ask if he was alright.

But he had gotten his revenge. But he didn't look on it fondly as he once had. He was ashamed, how he had asked to be allowed to be the one to do it... . But then, other things had happened. And the tears came back. And then so did he.

He had a job to do and he would do it. But right now, he was having a hard time accomplishing his little self-appointed job. He still couldn't get up.

"C'mon, just let me help –" What, does she think I'm handicapped? I don't need her help!

" –No, Mistress Tonks, I don't n-need your assistance... " Oh god. He had stuttered. She was definitely going to notice that –

"Ah-hah! You stuttered! You need my help, Snape, come on, I'm just trying to –" Damn. She noticed. I better set her straight in this:

"Well, I don't need you to!"

"STOP SQUIRMING, YOU IDIOT!"

His first instinct was to hide. As it was, he couldn't move. But that didn't stop him from flinching. All he could remember was someone else screaming at him. Calling him an idiot. So he just stared a moment, completely terrified, unable to think and speak. He couldn't even see her for a moment. To him, his father was standing right in front of him, hand raised, blaring about how he'd never be anything, how he would never be loved, how he didn't deserve –

And he was back. Tonks was standing in front of him, hands on hips, glaring at him, at ropes end, it would seem.

He was extremely relieved. Extremely. He made a small noise, (thank god it was too low to hear) and whispered, "Okay."

Realizing how weak he sounded, he brought his familiar mask into place. The mask he had had to wear for over fifteen or sixteen years. The mask he could barely tell from himself anymore. He brought his face to its closed state once more, silently regarding her.

"Now. I am going to help you up. You are gong to drink your dandelion juice. Then you are going to take a nap. Any questions? Good."

This is chapter 9. I have just finished it, as of two seconds ago. But I'm not posting it until I have chapter 10 done, because this chapter virtually got us nowhere. I just had to have a chapter showing just how 'great' things were going between them. So now I will start on chapter 10. I have the entire plot of this story. I know where Im going with it, but I can still take in a few thoughts or requests. If there is anything you think that would go well in my story, please tell me.

And I am to righting chapter 10, 'cause they still haven't spoken to each other yet! 8 chapters and still no communication? Well, I tell you, that's gonna change…. That's called 'slowly' leading up to a sequence. I HAVE GOT TO GET US SOMEWHERE NOW!

Click here: ….please? puppy dog face

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