Disclaimer: I own nothing, save this plot.
I know it's sad but true.
Anything you recognize
Belongs to You-Know-Who.
A/N: Welcome back! I know that it has been a long time…Nearly forever! I thank you for your patience. For all new-comers to the Mediphagic series, you may wish to go back and read the completed first book to catch yourself up to speed. For those who read and reviewed my first story, thank you!
The semi- full moon cast a silvery glow across the enormous bath chamber. Angeline held her watch up to the lantern and squinted her eyes. It was ten minutes til midnight, and still there had been no sound. Angeline replaced the gold pocket watch on the stand and slid down into the water until her head was completely covered. A shattering sound, greatly distorted by the water, caused her to jump slightly and raise her head again. As she strained her ears, she heard the familiar padding of feet across the floor. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, pause. A door opened and the closed.
Angeline raised herself out of the water and reached for the white towel hanging from the wall. She dried off and slipped into her night gown, replacing the towel on its peg. At first, she started to lie down but quickly decided against it. Curiosity and concern were driving her, and without thinking, she had wrapped her robe around her and moved silently out the door of the bedroom and down the stairs toward the living room with her lantern in hand.
It had been five weeks since Snape had brought Angeline and Harry to his estate, and almost every night had been the same. The first night, Angeline had almost fallen asleep when she heard Snape yelling from across the hall. She had dashed over to see what the problem was only to discover that Snape had been talking unintelligibly in his sleep. When she woke him up, he was quite saturnine and distant. On subsequent evenings, she had opted to lying in bed and listening silently as he thrashed about in his room across the hall. He usually woke himself up and would pace the floor methodically and then everything would become relatively silent again.
As Angeline tip-toed down the stairs, she wondered how it had all come to this. She knew surprisingly little about Snape's past, and she respectfully refused to ask him too much about it for fear that it could cause more tension and problems. She understood all too well that the past could be a disturbing thing.
Snape was attempting to bind a gash on his hand when Angeline entered the room. Without saying a word, she reached out and took the bandage from him and began to skillfully bind the wound. She pinned the wrap in place and looked him questioningly in the eyes.
"I'm sorry that I woke you," Snape began in a hushed tone. Then after a closer observation, he furrowed his eyebrows and added flatly, "Your hair is wet."
"You're awfully observant," she whispered sarcastically. Snape frowned, and she added, "Perhaps tea is in order." When no objection was given, Angeline swept silently into the kitchen.
Snape stood and made his way to the window overlooking the mountains. His mind wandered as he stared out across the scenery. After the Dursleys had been killed, he had brought Potter to his home, assuming that after he had talked to Albus, the boy would be placed in the custody of a ministry official or even at the school or the Weasley's, but Dumbledore had instructed him that for his safety, Snape's home was the best place until a new secret keeper could be found and other arrangements could be made. Snape had grudgingly agreed but made it clear that he was not happy with the decision.
Snape sighed and examined his bandaged hand. He wanted so much to be able to lie down and sleep perhaps not even open his eyes ever again. Every night since his last encounter with Voldemort had been saturated with horrible nightmares, and although he had been taking a dreamless sleep potion nearly every night since then, they no longer had an effect on him. He would doze off, and the dreams would start almost immediately. He would wake up and remain awake for as long as he could stand it, nod off, and then the cycle would begin again.
"A knut for your thoughts." Snape jumped slightly and turned. He wondered briefly as to exactly when she had become so skilled at sneaking up on him.
"I beg your pardon?"
"Never mind," she said while pouring the tea into two tiny, white cups. She handed one of the cups to Snape and then sat down on the sofa. She pulled her legs under her as Snape sat down in the armchair across from her. Even though they were in the same room, Angeline could sense that Snape's mind was miles away.
A tiny, sleepy looking house elf stumbled into the living room rubbing her eyes. "I is be seeing the light on in the kitchen. Does Master be needing Gabbey, Sir?"
When Snape said nothing, Angeline answered the elf. "Thank you very much, Gabbey. It was considerate of you to get out of bed to check on us, but we're fine."
"Yes, ma'am. If you needs me, just call." The tiny elf yawned and scurried out of the room. Angeline assumed it must be odd for her to have Snape back in the house after so many years.
Angeline sat her cup down and watched Snape for a few moments. He looked absolutely terrible. There were dark circles under his eyes, and he was extremely short tempered. It hurt her to see him this way, but Snape wasn't the type to accept pity. "Severus," she began uncertainly, but he did not look up. She then walked over and sat down on the arm of his chair and placed a hand on his hand. She took his cup from him and sat it down. "Severus, what is it that's bothering you?"
"Snape furrowed his eyebrows. "Nothing," he replied tiredly.
"Nothing? Severus, you're not sleeping at night, you're too tired to concentrate There has to be something I can do to help."
Snape knew that she was struggling to keep her voice from wavering, and it angered him. He knew that he had to endure the current torment that he was receiving, and in his opinion, he deserved much more because of his past sins. The one thing he did not deserve was her compassion or her pity. She did not deserve to suffer with him. "No," he said rather bitterly and pulled his hand away from her. He hated himself for the hurt look in her eyes upon his action, but pushing her away was the only way he felt he could be fair to her. She had suffered so much, and he refused to burden her with something she could not change. "I should clean up the lantern I knocked over while it is still on my mind. Good night."
Angeline watched him disappear up the stairs. She slid down into the chair and drew her knees up to her chin. She sighed miserably and ran her hand through her hair. Just as she decided that it was time to make a trip to see Dumbledore, a tawny owl flew through the window.