Rose Among The Thorns: The Third Evans Sister

By Jedi Blu, Lady at Large

Standard HP Disclaimer Applies.

NOTICE: This story was written mostly before OotP came out. I'll be tweaking it here and there, but for the most part, this IS Harry's 5th year. I know, I know…don't you just hate it sometimes?


Preface: Old Wounds

Petunia Dursley looked at herself in the mirror of her dressing table, turning her head this way and that. She was examining her face structure again, admiring it, knowing that while she was not the raving beauty that her older sister had been she was still very unique.

'The world needs variety,' her father had said brightly to her, encouraging her when she was but ten years old. Her sister had received the letter that year, she had been eleven, and it was that year that Petunia was no longer able to shine.

Variety was one thing, but a freak for a sister was a completely different story.

Petunia shuddered, pushing those thoughts from her mind as she fluffed her dull hair and practiced a charming smile in the mirror---not knowing if she had attempted such a thing with a magical mirror it would have cracked.

The Evans family had certainly been full of variety. Lily was the smart one, positively beautiful, refined, elegant, and...a freak in the end with a death that would have been tragic had she not been what she was. Petunia was the quiet one, but she had a calculating mind, and a good ear for politics (or, had she not been defining her 'talent', a good ear for gossip), and was quite the little homemaker. But the youngest sister....

Well, Petunia didn't like thinking of her. She had somehow managed to be the opposite of Lily and yet not at all like Petunia either. She was as surprising to the family as Lily being a witch was.

Suppressing the urge to sneer at the mere memory of that youngest Evans--thank goodness she had long ago disappeared and was presumed dead--Petunia gave her hair one last fluff before going downstairs to prepare her precious Dudders' breakfast before he had to head to school.

.s.L.y.T.h.E.r.I.n.

Rain. It always rained.

The water fell through the trees, rolling off of the leaves in tiny streams. The forest floor was nothing but mud and dead leaves, and all the creatures were safely in burrows or nests trying to remain warm and dry.

All the creatures except for one, that is. Standing underneath a large, mighty oak tree was the lone figure of a human. Gender was difficult to determine, the person wore a hooded cloak that was a deep, almost black, shade of red. This person was soaked through, very wet, and yet did not move to seek shelter.

The rain continued on for a good two hours, and when it at last began to slow, the daylight had faded and all was dark...and wet. The figure under the oak moved at last, slowly, almost as a phantom the person glided through the woods. The clouds rolled by, until at last the moon had space to peek through.

Pausing, the person put small, white hands up to the hood and pushed it back to gaze up at the moon.

Out of the hood spilled deep, dark auburn curls falling to mid-waist level. A face stared up at the moon, a small face, pale, expressionless except for the large green eyes that looked up to the full moon with ... hope, was it? Slowly, her eyes filled with salt-water, one blink sent tears cascading down her pale, hollow cheeks. She had a lot in her past that would give her reason to cry, but strangely only a very few of those thoughts stirred her tears anymore. And the setting had to be right...it was easy to cry after Mother Nature did so.

'Ah,' she thought, closing her eyes as the tears slid down her cheeks, 'Lily loved the rain.'

Lily had loved a lot of things. Petunia sulked no matter what the weather. And she? The Forgotten Sister? She liked the dark, when the moon and stars were revealed, and little else. It had not always been like that for her...only after...after her fifth year in that school.... In the Dark you could hide, no one would see you. She had loved it...no one saw her anyway.

She began her walk again, feelings of nostalgia especially strong at the moment. A burning sensation in her right arm made her wince, but she could ignore it for the most part now. She was on her way to someone who needed her more, which was the best she could do without a broom or being banned from Apparition. She was on her way.

.s.L.y.T.h.E.r.I.n.

He was grateful it was still warm, and growing warmer by the day, it made his life out in the wild less...unpleasant. Having a scraggly fur-coat would soon be a burden, he was sure, in the warm summers of Scotland. He sighed a doggy-sigh, then slumped down next to a small stream to take a short nap.

He wasn't tired, though. For several weeks now he had been taking naps in these woods, he was supposed to stay within a mile's radius of that exact spot until he was contacted to do otherwise—it was a blind-spot to the magical world. Dumbledore had found it for him, put him there where no one looking for him could find him from the magical world. Sirius Black was a secret weapon, a hidden knight almost, in Dumbledore's deadly chess game with the Dark Forces.

Having the uncontrollable urge to stretch, Sirius slowly morphed back into his true form and laid back on the grass, staring up at the blue sky.

The blue sky...almost exactly the shade of his eyes. He smirked, rather bitterly, as he thought about the one person who had told him that years ago. 'Fat lot she knew about the daylight,' he thought. 'She avoided it steadfastly. I sometimes wonder if she meant it as an insult.'

During the summer after Harry's third year, Sirius had managed to regain a great deal of his memories back, or at least fill in a few missing pieces.

Sighing again, he allowed the memories to drift through his mind, some painful, some incredible, all brought tears.

.s.L.y.T.h.E.r.I.n.

He came into his room, slowly, trying not to move more muscles than absolutely necessary. Without undressing he dropped into his bed, face in his pillow, doing his best to just breathe.

Being in the presence of evil took a lot out of a person...even if that person was the bitter, acidic, Severus Snape. He groaned a bit, then rolled onto his back to glare at his ceiling.

School started soon, and that would free him of going to so many of those terrible...meetings. Voldemort wanted him to be in the school, to spy on the place, to be a tool to help him get inside when he had regained all his power.

Severus Snape, quite frankly, would rather swallow his own poison than even think about those terrible meetings. He turned his mind to other things, lesson plans, appeasing the spoiled Slytherin brats, how to protect Potter from outside advances, mulling over the possibilities for the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, and wondering exactly how terrible this coming school year would be.

For reasons beyond him, a face flashed through his thoughts—he held his breath. No, he would not think of her. Never. She was dead, killed, murdered in one of the Death Eater raids by someone who suspected her of infidelity. They had killed her, assuming she was the one leaking information to her sister and Potter. But it had been him....

'Yet another death on my conscious,' Severus thought, grimacing. Try as he might, her image hovered before him almost as if she had come back to haunt him. Perhaps if he thought of her...for just a moment...she would go away for another sixteen years....

'She was so young,' he thought, closing his eyes. 'Misguided, as I was...but I was the one that mislead her.' He was doubly the cause of her death. 'Only trying to get in the spotlight...only trying to shine more than her Prefect and Head-Girl sister.'

.s.L.y.T.h.E.r.I.n.

Dead...all the young ones, with so much potential, died at the hands of evil it seemed.

Sleep, filled with nightmarish images of his past, at last claimed the Potions Master. His last thought before the darkness took his mind was simple, "She was so beautiful...." His body, tensed and ready even in his dreams, lay still on his bed even as his soul writhed in agony.

Albus Dumbledore closed his eyes behind his half-moon spectacles, then opened them to look thoughtfully at the opposite wall of books. Fawkes made a sound, and Dumbledore nodded slowly. "Yes...old wounds must heal before we begin this battle once more. It is time."