Disclaimer: Not mine.
A/N: Sorry if this disappoints, but this is what has been planned from the start. First some name info: the names Ara and Corvus are both constellations (I wanted to keep with the Black family tradition). Please review and I hope you enjoyed the ride this took. Oh and if I didn't say before...forgetfullove on youtube made a trailer for my story "In the Rain." It's wonderful...please go watch it and leave her a kind word.
No one escaped the war totally unscathed. If the wounds were not physical then they were emotional…burying the damage deep within the psyche boiling like a slowly simmering cauldron of poison.
Still their lives moved on…time quickly passed…and the war quickly became something the parents remembered, but the children learned about in Binns' History of Magic.
A memorial wall was erected on the grounds of Hogwarts bearing the names of those lost in the war…lost by the hand of Lord Voldemort whether it was directly or indirectly done. James and Lily Potter were at the top of those names. It was a long list. No one who experienced that war could enter the grounds of Hogwarts without stopping…without stopping and caressing those names that meant the most. Harry often visited the old school and stood before the wall staring at the names of those he knew…Remus Lupin…Nymphadora Tonks…Molly Weasley…Ron Weasley…the list was horrendous.
The Snapes though…in order to never forget…to never allow anyone to forget…held an annual ball in memory of those fallen angels. Despite the sad story behind the ball it was always held with an air of celebration…their lives would not be sacrificed in vain.
Hermione Snape's laughter filled Severus deep down with joy and wonder that he survived the war…that he had a life and a family with this brilliant woman. Draco remained a friend through it all. He helped to fund the Memorial Wall and was a benefactor for several scholarships enabling underprivileged muggle-born students to attend Hogwarts. Hermione was quite proud of him and felt if Lucius were there, he would be proud of his son as well.
Harry Potter stood amongst the tight knit group with his wife…a woman Hermione still did not like nor get along with totally, but she tried. Severus sneered at the dark woman on Potter's arm. She wasn't the same insane Bellatrix she once was, but still…there was something Severus couldn't quite put his finger on. The child standing with them…holding on to her mother's skirt was no more than ten with her father's startling green eyes and her mother's dark unruly hair. Severus glanced at the girl…bad feeling there…always had been. Perhaps the insanity in Bellatrix during those early days was something subdued within her…something she passed to the child?
"Hey! Come back here!"
It was amazing how the young girl's voice could rise above the music in the hall, but Eileen Snape was so like her mother in that way. Eileen was running toward them, black wavy hair bouncing on her back…tinkling laughter of a happy child, of his happy child echoing in Severus' ears. She ran between the adults only to find herself swept up in the arms of her father. She looked up at the man that was her father…the man she got her nose and hair color from. Severus raised one eyebrow letting the child know this was not the time nor place for running about in such a way. As this was happening, Corvus Malfoy, the one chasing her, came barging in behind Eileen. Potter's child, sulky eyes watching through thick eyelashes stuck her foot out tripping the young Malfoy.
"Lily Ara Potter," Bellatrix exclaimed.
Draco reached down helping his son up to his feet…his son--the only immediate family he had left as his wife had died giving birth. Draco was shaking his head realizing that even his and Potter's children would never really get along. Eileen looked away slightly ashamed at her behavior.
"Severus, she is only six years old," Hermione admonished him.
With a quirk of his lips he slightly bounced the young Snape.
"Come have a dance with me," Severus said causing his daughter to smile delightedly.
Hermione smiled as she watched Harry and Bellatrix take Lily off for a "talk about her behavior" and Severus held Eileen up in his arms…her little head resting on his large shoulder as he danced around the ball room with her. It was quite a sight in comparison to his normal demeanor.
Rabastan walked up to Hermione and Draco, tossing an arm over her shoulder. From where they stood they saw the displeasure on Severus' face at the scene.
"He still doesn't trust me alone with you," Rabastan exclaimed.
"Well, that should be expected," Draco said. "The best man's speech at a wedding usually doesn't include hitting on the bride."
Rabastan dropped his arm from Hermione and shrugged his shoulders.
"Eileen has fallen asleep on Severus," Rabastan said. "I'll take her up to bed and then we Elders need to talk."
Hermione, slightly worried watched Rabastan approach Snape.
"Hey, Little Princess," he cooed to the little girl. "Let Uncle Rab take you up to your bed…Mummy and Daddy will be up shortly."
The girl mumbled her assent as Severus passed the young girl off to her "Uncle Rab."
When Rabastan approached the group again Hermione, Severus, and Draco each bore a look of concern. Across the room Ginny and Blaise Zabini waved a hello to them all.
"What is it, Rabastan," Hermione asked.
Rabastan sighed…not liking what was coming.
"There have been deaths, Princess. The deaths have all been pureblood or somehow tied to a pureblood or halfblood believed to have supported Voldemort. And a new mark burns at each death…evidence of a new dark lord rising."
Severus nodded his head in understanding.
"Gather the Knights…we meet in an hour."
Rabastan nodded and turned, running off to send the signal to them all.
Hermione stood amidst the crowd of partygoers…a memorial party for the war of the past. Her eyes scanned the crowd. So many people she knew and it could be any of them. It had to happen eventually. After all, there was no good without evil.
But who could it be?
Who was seeking revenge in the most horrible way?
Her eyes scanned the crowd. Ginny was gliding across the dance floor in her husband's arms…Corvus was fighting with Lily again…Rabastan was whispering in a Knight's ear…Severus was rushing up the stairs to check on Eileen…Lavender Brown…all the surviving Weasleys…pranks erupting from the twins' little corner of activity…Harry and Bellatrix smiling at each other, dancing in each other's arms…it could be anyone…