Disclaimers and Notes

First of all, this Disclaimer will be for the entire story, so please pay attention.

I am not J.K. Rowling. I have never been J.K. Rowling. I will never get to be J.K. Rowling, because there is only one of her, and I alas, am not she. Therefore, this story is not intended to infringe on the copyright of JKR's esteemed novels, or the movies made by Warner Brothers. I am making no money from this story and I am intending this story merely for the purpose of entertainment.

Secondly, I have fallen to the cliché that if you cannot beat them, join them. In all my reading of fanfiction, I have run across many stories dealing with Severus Snape, and his family, or lack thereof. While I have enjoyed reading some of the stories where the sister, brother, cousin, daughter, son, niece, nephew, or other member of his family appears and becomes part of Snape's life, many caused Snape to change his personality dramatically, sometimes so much that he was no longer recognizable as the snarky potions master we know and love. So, here is my attempt to portray my favorite character accurately, while weaving my own story.

Third, there are situations in this story that involve abuse and the ill-treatment of children. It should go without saying that I do not condone abuse, murder, or other dark actions, but if you are wondering, be assured I don't. They are necessary to my story however, so they must appear. If this bothers you, you should select another fanficiton, probably one that does not carry the rating of M. It is there for a reason.

Fourth, I have read so much fanfiction over the last five years that sometimes I cannot recall what is canon and what is fanfiction. I have tried to stick to the canon, and have given credit where it is due.

Finally, I hope you enjoy. I have been crafting this story for several years, and while it is still growing and changing, I have a destination in mind. This is to assure you that I will not abandon my story, or ramble about with no plan for chapters on end. If you would like to share your response to the story, I invite you to review, and I will respond to you. Though, I will warn you, undeserved flames will be consigned to the fireplace to roast marshmallows, as there is no other productive use for them.

Krew

Evanesce: verb. Fade away; disappear gradually; vanish

Evanescence of Life

1. It was a Bright and Sunny Day

It was a beautiful summer afternoon, but Severus Snape wasn't paying attention. He had bigger things on his mind than blue skies or warm sunshine. His black robes swirled around his legs as he walked to the Apparation point.

For two years he had been trying to return to Voldemort's good graces so he could resume his spying, but he had been unable to get near the inner circle. Actually, he hadn't been able to get near any circle. When the Dark Lord summoned him, it was as one of the lowest, newest recruits, fit for the most demeaning tasks, and not trusted with any information beyond what every Death Eater knew. His reports to the Order had been sketchy at best, but that would hopefully change soon. He had a personal meeting with Voldemort the next day; it might be his opportunity for reinstatement. That it could also very well be his opportunity for a slow and painful death, he tried to ignore. That was the chance one took when asking to meet personally with Voldemort.

"Severus?" Snape made a face before turning around. He had almost escaped.

"Yes, Albus?" The headmaster was striding across the lawn; with the I have a favor to ask you that you may not like look on his face.

"Severus, I have a favor to ask you." Snape smirked slightly. Not that Dumbledore's face was that hard to read, but he had been right.

"What is it, Albus?"

"I was wondering if you could call on a prospective student after you finish your errands in London."

"Headmaster, I don't know that I am the best representative for Hogwarts." I'd scare the family out of their wits, and that's if they don't know who I am, he thought.

"You are the best in this case." The twinkle in Dumbledore's eyes was beginning to send a feeling of worry through Snape. What was the joke he was missing?

"Who is it, another Death Eater family?"

Dumbledore grimaced at the thought.

"No thank you, we've quite enough of those." Dumbledore peered over his glasses at Snape. "Severus, it's your family. Your niece."

Snape jerked back as though struck. "Who? Albus, I have no family."

"The student in question is the daughter of your half-sister, Severus."

"Ann has a child? One who's old enough for Hogwarts? Never mind, Albus, I haven't seen Ann for twenty years, at her request. I'm not the right person to go. Send someone else."

"Severus, no one else has the time to do it." Now the look in Dumbledore's eye was one of disappointment and reproach.

"And I do? Albus, that's very insulting"

"Severus, you're whining."

"I'm not, Albus; you don't understand. Make someone else do it, or go yourself. I'm not going."

"Yes, Severus, you are. I am not asking you to go, I'm telling you to. You don't have to mend the relationship with your sister, or plan to have Christmas dinner with them. Just go and see if your niece got her letter, and see if they have any questions. We should have heard from them by now." Albus turned and walked away before Snape could protest again.

Snape sighed in defeat, then realized that he had an entirely different and valid excuse.

"Albus!" He shouted, "I don't even know where they live!"

Dumbledore's voice floated back across the grounds, voicing no hint of the satisfied smirk on his face.

"23 Upper Oldfield Park, in Bath"