"Severus."

Constance climbed out of her warm bed and instantly felt the cold of the day hit her. She reached for her dressing gown and found that Severus had placed a warming charm on it. She smiled.

Despite his faults (that Sirius was constantly pointing out to her) Constance was certain that he really cared for her. But once again she had woken alone, fallen asleep in his arms and woken to find him gone.

She had no idea where he went on these occasions, but with Voldemort in power, she was becoming increasingly worried. She walked down the stairs praying that Severus would come home safe. So many didn't.

At the moment Severus was all she had.

Her sister, Belletrix and brother in law were forever telling her what a wonderful Death Eater she would make. But it was her choice as long as she was under Dumbledore's protection. Andromeda was married and currently attempting to raise a child, sho looked completely different every time Constance saw her. Her cousin, Sirius was too wrapped up with his bitch of a wife to worry about his own family.

She couldn't blame him.

She didn't exactly care for her family.

Constance headed into the Living Room and discovered Severus fast asleep on the sofa. He looked knackered.

She smiled again. He really was a darling asleep.

She pulled off his boots and cloak, then collected a blanket. She was just working on his shirt when she discovered the white bandage.

He had come home one night a few months ago with the bandage wrapped tightly around his upper arm. She had tried to get him to let her tend to whatever it was, but he stubbornly refused. And placed a sticking charm on it. Now the spell was gone. She could just take a peak at the wound, it couldn't hurt, Constance lifted the knot and it came away easily, the material fell away to reveal pale skin that was marred with a tattoo.

The Dark Mark.

She recoiled without even realising. He was a Death Eater.

"No." Her voice was hoarse.

Severus was a light sleeper, he woke.

"Constance, what's wrong.?"

She saw he own reflection in the mirror and realised, with disgust, she was paler than usual.

"Constance, what is it.?"

She pointed with shaking fingers at the snake entwined with a skull on his arm.

"Oh god. I didn't mean for you to find out like this."

"Were you planning to tell me at all.? You've permanently damaged your...."

"Typical you Connie, faced with the Dark Mark and you worry about damage to the skin."

"That's not funny Severus. You permanently damaged yourSELF.!!"

"Constance, I'm sorry. Please don't overreact. Belletrix said you were planning on becoming one, I wanted to be sure that it was even remotely safe. I don't want them to hurt you."

"Severus, Belletrix was lying. They all did, but I never wanted to be a Death Eater. I hate them all."

She physically softened and her heart warmed again.

"You became a Death Eater to be sure that I was safe."

He couldn't meet her eye. So he nodded.

"There really was no need......but thank you Severus. It means a lot. But, where do we go from here.?"

"To Dumbledore". Her head shot up.

"Are you sure.?"

"Yes, I'll turn myself in. I'd rather be a spy for him than a Death Eater. I hate them too. And it means that you'll stay."

She smiled and nodded. Then she screamed. The scar on his arm had turned a deep crimson colour and it seemed to burn deeper into his skin. She turned and ran. Outside the house she Apparated to Hogsmeade. The early shopper gave her funny looks, she was only too aware that she was wearing nothing but a bathrobe. Once in the Three Broomsticks Constance used the Floo network. "Albus Dumbledore."

In a flash of green smoke she was safely in Dumbledore's office. The man himself was sitting behind his desk with a pot of tea, and his eyes sparkling. It was almost as if he had been waiting for her.

"Please sit down Miss Black. Tell me what brings you to the school.?"

She sat down and took the cup that was offered.

"It's Severus. He's.......he's....a Death Eater." Dumbledore did nothing but raise his eyebrow. His damned eyes were still twinkling. She continued.

"Did you know Professor Dumbledore.?"

"No, Miss Black, I did not know. What has he said.?"

"He said he'd turn spy." Now at least he looked taken aback.

"He would risk his own life to give us a slightly better idea of their plans.?"

"Yes."

"Then ...why did you come to me in a dressing gown first thing in the morning and without him.?"

"I.....saw the scar on his arm burn, I panicked and ran," she looked at her ensemble. "And I didn't exactly have time to get dressed."

He rose slowly from his seat and vanished. The first time he had done that she had tried to follow, managed to apparate her shoes to an unknown location and was duly reminded by a smirking Severus that no one apart from the Headmaster could apparate in and out of the school. A few moments later he reappeared with Severus next to him. Apparently he could also bring people with him.

"Constance, I'm sorry I scared you."

"I'm sorry I ran. You know my family motto 'The weak hearted are the weak blooded'. Now I suppose I really am the disappointment of the family."

"Nonsense Miss Black. I happen to know that your sister and cousin hold you in high regard." Dumbledore motioned for them both to sit.

"Severus, Miss Black has brought it to my attention that you have become a Death Eater, is this true.?" He spoke calmly.

"Yes Professor Dumbledore." He felt like a student again.

"And you intend to join my spy rink.?" "To keep Constance with me. Yes"

She clasped his hand and he returned her reassurance.

"Miss Black, if is all the same with you could I talk to Severus alone.? We need to set up some guides, means of communication that sort of thing....."

"I'm sorry Headmaster, but I would rather stay with him......."

"Miss Black, you are not an amazingly skilled occulemens, any one of your family could read your mind and destroy our entire communication. Severus could then become in immediate danger."

She nodded slowly. It made sense, annoyingly. She stood in synchronisation with Severus. He hugged her and she clung to him as if it were their last goodbye. For all she knew it could be. Dumbledore was powerful, but he couldn't follow Severus everywhere and he did have a war to fight. Severus wasn't his priority. He was hers. He was hers a thousand times over. She loved him. It was the first time she'd said it to herself. She realised she was still holding onto Severus and that Dumbledore needed to talk to him. She pulled back and whispered in his ear. "I love you. Good luck."

She then walked to the fireplace and flooed herself home. The first thing she saw was that he had tidied up what she had gotten out earlier. Constance was at a lost end. The only thing she could do was carry on like normal. At two o'clock she heard a commotion at the fireplace, someone was trying to get in. Constance wasn't worried. They had a lock on the fireplace that allowed them to identify the visitor before they entered the house.

"Who's there.?"

"Constance, it's Minerva. Let me in.!"

She sighed. Minerva would undoubtably be here with some soothing wards of comfort and advice. She appeared out of the fireplace looking slightly more ruffled that usual. Minerva immediately moved to Constance and grabbed her in a tight hug. For the first time that day Constance felt the full power of what had occurred. Severus Snape, the man she loved was in serious danger. He had become a Death Eater for the sole purpose of protecting her. Then he had turned himself in; all for her.

She felt the tears roll down her face and once they started, they poured. Minerva understood, she simply held the young woman as she wept. Minerva had already lost someone to the dark side. Her one tie lover had become Lord Voldemort himself. She refused to call him that, she always referred to him as Tom.

For nearly half an hour they sat, Constance weeping into Minerva's ever damper shoulder.

"Constance, it'll all be alright."

"How can it be.!!?" "Because Albus is a wise man. He will help Severus come back, he may always have that scar on his arm, but he will be on our side."

"As a spy Minerva, you know the danger he will be in."

Minerva tried to reply but Constance cut her off.

"If people like Lucius or Belletrix find out he's a spy, Voldemort will kill him. The most painful way possible."

"Albus will not let that happen. Severus will not be killed and you won't be harmed either."

"I don't care about me.!!! I'd rather die than let them hurt one hair on his head."

"You don't mean that dear."

"Yes I do.! I love him.! Minerva, I love him.!" Minerva was shocked to say the least.

"And I know that nobody likes him and that he's not exactly the nicest person...."

"It doesn't matter to me dearheart, as long as he makes you happy."

For the rest of the afternoon they sat together talking, unaware of what Dumbledore had planned for Severus. They knew he would be angry, but turning himself in had to score the ex-Death Eater some points. Not long before sunset Minerva left.

Constance was once again left alone in the house. She busied herself by cooking, an old and useful habit. Around nine o'clock Severus reappeared in the fireplace. He looked pale and drained. But he seemed in a better mood. He ran straight to Constance and grabbed her in an embrace. Together they stood, holding each other for a few minutes. Eventually the silence was broke.

"Are you going to tell me or do I have to ask."

"Do I have to.?"

"Yes."

She led him to the nearest seat and waited for an explanation.

"Dumbledore has set up many forms of communication, I will never be completely lost. But I can not tell you much more. He's right. You're a useless occulemens."

He said the last line with a smirk and it earned him a playful hit on the arm.

"We're going to be alright, Severus. I know it. We'll pull through his war together. I meant what I said earlier you know."

"I know. You are also a useless liar, I could tell it was genuine," he looked away. "And I love you too."

She leaned on his shoulder and he stroked her hair. They sat like that for a while. Content.