"You see, his mother and I used to have lunch together every Sunday. When he was about five, she started taking him along. The first time I saw him, I commented on how beautyfull he was. I mean, Mr. Snape was all right looking, but he had this mean temper. I don't know what she saw in him. And she was this complete airhead, well-intentioned but gave way under pressure. She was no supermodel. She had this frizzy, not-quite-red hair. Her olive complexion kind of made up for that, though. It was his father who had pale, pasty skin."

"Anyway, she started bringing him to lunch. Like I said, a more beautyfull and happy child you couldn't find anywhere. That's why I noticed that he suddenly became melancoly. And I said before that the whole world seemed to be sad with him, and it was true. It's not like it rained or anything; as I remember, it was quite sunny, but it was cold, like a winter sun, you know? No birds seemed to be singing, no crickets, it just seemed so quiet, along with him. He just sat at the table we were at, staring down at his lap. I asked his mother about it, and she said it was nothing."

"But it wasn't, was it?" Harry asked.

"No," Nancy answered. "It was far from nothing. But she refused to talk about it anymore, so I dropped it. I didn't think about it much after that, until one night when I was baby sitting him. His mother and father had gone out for the night, so I agreed to watch him. He had made a bit of a mess on his clothes. He was really upset about it, so I helped him change into something else, intending to wash his shirt before his parents got back home. But I noticed a strange bruis on his arm. I continued looking, and I found another one on his back. This immediately got me suspicious."

"When they got home, I asked them about it, but at first they refused to talk about it. I kept asking about it, so eventually, Mr. Snape yelled that it was none of my business and threw me out of their house. Of course, by then I couldn't just let it go. The next time she and I got together, I demanded to know where those bruises came from. She finally told me that her husband had taken to beating him when he misbehaved. Even though I suspected it, I was shocked. I mean, how could you beat any child, especially your own? Especially one as special as he was. I just couldn't understand."

"What did you do about it?" Harry asked.

"Well, first, I asked what she planned to do to get him to stop. She just said that he'd eventually come around. After that, I contacted the Ministry of Magic. They checked out the situation. Both the parents even went to court. But, they won the case. I tried to do a follow up, but they got a very strict restraining order. They said that if I even called, I'd be arrested for stalking. After that, there was nothing I could do," she answered. Just then, the Weasleys called to them.

"Well, I'd better get going. It was nice meeting you, and I wish you good luck," Harry said, holding the picture out to Nancy.

"You keep it," She answered. "I'll always remember him. I'm glad I met you. Don't let people get you down, hear? Now you'd better run," she said, looking at the Weasleys waiting for him. Harry smiled at her and left with the Weasleys.