Harry Potter and the Curse of V'adian
Of Prophecies and Promises
Standard Disclaimers Apply
A/N: This takes place after Order of The Phoenix. I must stress to any who have read Harry Potter and the Soul of the Serpent that the character of Katherine is not the same. Similar, but not the same. Now read, review, and enjoy!
WARNING: MINOR HALF-BLOOD PRINCE SPOILERS!
"Please, take a seat, Severus."
Severus Snape glared disdainfully at the bright pink chair and settled slowly into it.
"I do not know why you insisted on meeting here, of all places, Albus."
Dumbledore inclined his head.
"I was under the impression you lived near here," he said.
"I do, but surely a muggle café…you have not forgotten how to apparate?"
"I would sincerely hope not, Severus. No, the reason I invited you here tonight was so we would have a certain amount of privacy. I have a matter of great importance to discuss with you."
Severus immediately dropped his look of aggrieved inconvenience. He knew he would not have requested this meeting for no reason. He nodded.
"Very well. I suppose now would be the best time to tell me of any news you have, as you know I am travelling to Italy later in the holidays."
Dumbledore inclined his head again; the action irritated Snape.
"I am aware of that. But I am afraid the matter of which I must speak to you is of great importance. It may mean the difference between us winning or losing this war."
"Indeed? And what is it that is so important?" Snape asked. He hated Dumbledore's round-about way of speaking. But he was in luck. It seemed this was the question that Dumbledore had been waiting for him to ask.
"Ah, Severus, I am glad you asked that, very glad indeed. I am in great need of your opinion and expertise. You see, it is quite a tale, and it begins with a night over fifteen years ago. You remember, of course, this night?"
"Of which night do you speak?" Severus asked, face paling.
"Do you recall the night on which I learned of a prophecy, one that has greatly changed the course of events in the life of a certain boy?"
"I do, Albus, though I fail to see why that is of any importance in the present."
"Oh, but it is everything, Severus. Have you not wondered why I kept Sybil Trelawney in my employ for so long?"
Severus sat up straighter, suddenly intrigued.
"She has made another?" he asked, clasping his hands under his chin.
Dumbledore nodded gravely.
Again the reply was a nod.
"Though it is unfortunate, what she had to tell of the future."
"In what way?" Severus asked, eager for information.
"I shall show you. Please wait a moment."
With a swift movement, Dumbledore withdrew his wand from his pocket and cast a subtle charm over the two of them, and as Severus had experienced so many times before, the glances of the muggles in the small café slid straight over them.
Another charm, and the salt shaker on the table was returned to its' original form. Severus stared down into the swirling contents of the Pensieve.
Dumbledore prodded the silvery contents, and the ghost of a memory rose up from the surface. Snape sneered at the reams of glittering jewels hanging off of the small woman with the magnified eyes, but the expression dropped from his face as she began to speak. Her voice was harsh and loud, and Snape stared at her in concentration.
"In twelve days hence, on the eve of the new month, he will be born…As the seventh month dies…the world will welcome a new power…"
Snape frowned as she halted, her words interrupted by another, softer sound that issued from her mouth, as though she were breathing out of her mouth.
"He will be born…to renew the power of the fallen one…return him to his rightful strength…"
Her voice faded away, and Snape looked up enquiringly, but his question was halted with a raised hand. Seconds later, the harsh breathing sound resumed, and again she began to speak.
"He will return…the Dark Lord…to his power…"
She paused once more and the sound of her breathing rose almost to a hiss, before she resumed for the final time.
"Twelve nights hence…he will be born…and he will be of V'Ardian…"
Snape looked up sharply at these words, and Dumbledore looked pleased at his reaction as the figure slowly lowered into the swirling silvery mass. Dumbledore leaned forward and rested his chin on his steepled fingers, his stare penetrating Severus.
"You recognise the name then," he said, and it was more of a statement than a question.
"Yes, I do."
"Then you would agree that this is not the best position for us to be in?"
Snape considered the question. There were so many questions that were left unanswered. He chose his words carefully when he replied.
"I admit that this is…an inconvenience, if you will. It will certainly delay our victory, though I cannot say by how much. Tell me, if a prophecy is made, must it be fulfilled?"
Dumbledore nodded again, and he looked old and weary.
"It is regretfully that I must say yes," he responded, bowing his head.
"Then I begin to lose hope already," Snape said, scowling.
"I will tell you again, Severus, that you must have more faith in him," Dumbledore said, a hint of warning evident in his calm voice.
"The boy can barely brew a simple sleeping potion, Albus! You expect him to defeat the Dark Lord after he is returned to his full power? I for one am extremely sceptical."
"I fully trust that, when the time comes, he will succeed."
Snape's scowl deepened.
"Will you tell him? Hie protection will no longer be in place after his sixteenth birthday. It may be something he needs to know."
Dumbledore was silent, seemingly pondering the issue.
"When the time comes, I will. He needs to be aware that there is more than one person wishing for his blood. However, we shall leave him with a little more childhood."
Snape gave a cynical chuckle.
"I don't believe he has had much of that for a while, Albus."
Dumbledore raised an eyebrow in reply.
"My dear Severus, is it possible you are actually feeling some compassion for him?"
Snape rolled his eyes.
"I was merely pointing out that, although he has the IQ of a five year old, he has the experience of a much older wizard. I highly doubt the prophecy will come as anything of a revelation."
"It is strange that you say that, Severus. You know that he is connected to Voldemort. Do you think he will know there is someone else?"
"I have no desire to think about the way Potter's mind works. I can only hope he is not as hopeless as he appears to be."
"Very well. I respect your opinion, Severus, even if I do not agree with it. But the hour is growing late, and we must move on to other matters. I must know if Voldemort becomes aware of this person. But I think it would also be to our advantage if he knows that I am also aware of it. You may give him the basic details. I believe I can trust you on this?"
"Certainly, Albus. I will find out anything I can. In the mean time, I shall require the necessary items for my trip, if that can be arranged."
"It will be ready for Monday," he said, as Severus rose from his seat. "And I trust you will look into this for me?"
Snape gave a curt nod and turned to leave, but Dumbledore spoke once more.
"I will tell you now, Severus, that the time may come when you will have to prove your allegiance one way or the other. I ask you now not to hesitate when that time comes. Though it may not be the easiest, or seem the wisest, I know you will make the right decision."
Snape looked at him searchingly, before turning and striding back out into the cold muggle street, cloak swirling behind him.
It was just as he was relaxing that the brisk knock sounded on his front door. It was not the loudness of the knock that startled him, but the fact that in the whole time he had lived in the small, shabby apartment in the middle of Surrey, he had never had so much as one visitor. It was for this reason that he approached the door cautiously, his wand tight in his hand.
Severus Snape took pride in the fact that he was a man not easily surprised by anything, so when he opened the door to find two dishevelled Death Eaters on his doorstep, he morphed his face into a small smile before greeting them.
"Narcissa- Bellatrix. What a lovely surprise!"
"Rubbish!" Bellatrix spat, before pushing past Snape into his house. "How you could live in a dump like this, Snape, I will never understand."
"And I do not expect you to," said Snape, turning. His eyes followed her as she stalked into the living room and spun around, eyeing the small area with disgust. Snape turned back to the other sister still outside.
"Narcissa, please come in. It is unwise to linger on doorsteps too long these days."
She nodded and silently moved passed him, and he looked into the deserted street before closing the door. He ushered the two women into the living area and offered them seats on the decrepit-looking lounge.
Bellatrix sat with a grimace, but Narcissa stayed standing and turned to face Snape.
"Severus, this is no social call," she said, pulling back her hood. Snape saw that her eyes were wild, troubled, and her blond hair was escaping its bun.
"I gathered as much," he replied, casting a glance at the sour face of Narcissa's dark-haired sister. "What have you come here for?"
"I need your help, Severus! Surely you have heard-"
She was cut off by the angry voice of Bellatrix.
"We should not be here," she snarled. "If our master knew…"
"Bella, please, if you are not going to help be then be silent or leave!"
Bellatrix scowled at her sister but remained silent, except for one remark.
"I don't know why you're even asking him, he's not trustworthy."
Snape cast a disdainful look at her before turning his attention to Narcissa.
"Please, go on," he gestured.
"Draco is in trouble!" Narcissa said in a rush. "I need you to help him. If you do not, I know he will fail, and then he will die. I can't bear to lose him, Severus! He is my only son, and with Lucius in jail…"
Snape turned and walked to the window.
"Your sister is right, Narcissa. If the Dark Lord knew…you are betraying his trust."
Narcissa gasped and ran up to him, pulling him around to face her.
"You won't tell, will you? You can't!"
"It is lucky," Snape said loudly, speaking over her, "that I already know of the plan, otherwise you would be in a severe breach of the trust that the Dark Lord holds in you."
"You know?" Narcissa whispered, her voice hushed. Bellatrix looked as if she were about to speak, but refrained from making the insulting comment Snape had been sure was about to come out of her mouth.
"He told you?"
"Yes. As it happens, I am fully aware of his plans for Draco, and I can understand your reluctance for him to take this task."
"He has done it as revenge for Lucius' mistake at the Ministry, I know it! It isn't his fault."
"Be that as it may, this is Draco's task, and he must complete it. he has no choice."
Narcissa looked close to tears.
"But you can help him!" she said desperately, begging.
"Very well. I will guide him if he asks for guidance, and I will help him if he requests it, but I can do no more."
Relief was etched into Narcissa's features.
"Will you make the Unbreakable Vow?" she asked breathlessly.
Snape hesitated for only a second as Bellatrix's face registered a look of shock.
"I will. Perhaps Bellatrix will consent to be our Bonder?" he asked, looking over at her. She stood and made her way slowly over to the pair, who clasped their right hands together. Bellatrix touched her wand tip to them and Narcissa began to speak.
"Do you, Severus Snape, consent to look over my son, Draco Malfoy, and ensure that he comes to no harm?"
"I will," Snape intoned.
"Will you ensure that he does his best to complete this task, and aid him if the need arises?"
"And, should he fail, will you complete the task for him?"
Snape hesitated for only a second before murmuring his reply.
Chapter Two: Of Isolation and Immortals