Disclaimer: You know you want it… But you can't have it!
A/N: It's a new chapter, and so soon (yeah, right)! I'm sorry about the long wait, but Harry Potter just isn't as inspiring as it used to be. I hope you'll at least be pleased with this chapter. There's a surprise ending! Please ignore any mistakes- I haven't spoken to my beta in months, so I didn't want to bother her.
The beginning of this chapter takes place a few days before Ron and Hermione's escapades over London—just so you guys aren't confused. If the italicized part still doesn't make sense, go back and read the chapter about Draco Malfoy.
It was dark, and it had been that way for quite some time, in fact. All was silent, and there was no sense of sight or touch or smell. His surroundings rarely changed, although, in recent months, such a movement had indeed occurred. The world was now small, closed in, and the electric tingle of wards surrounded it. But then, one day, there was light, and fingers reaching and grabbing. A torrent of feelings and thoughts rushed in… curiosity, a touch of wariness, and then dim confusion… Starving strings of magic, weakened from disuse, tried to cling to the other entity, desperate to search its soul. A scatter of images was its reward.
Silver hair and pale skin, dimly lit dungeons, moving staircases, black robes and green-striped ties, a head of scruffy black hair and a pang of resentment, burning emerald eyes, a dark forest, the bleeding flanks of a snow white unicorn, a stooped figure slurping the precious liquid… the sweet, heady scent of Dark magic… the boy's blinding fear…
The tide of confusion grew stronger, a sense of wrongness was perceived, and the other entity pushed. An old emotion arose then, amusement at the pitiful fight, but he released the boy, nonetheless. His strength was not yet returned, although a taste of the boy had helped. Detachment. The darkness crept back in. Silence… but for now, patience was there as well. He would wait. The light would come back soon and, with it, another's thoughts… But next time, he would not let them go so easily…
Hallie shot awake in a cold sweat, a foreign glee simmering in her belly even as she wiped the moisture from the back of her neck and squinted against an oncoming headache. A pulse of pain emanated from just above her right eye, and Hallie didn't even think of her scar until her fingers were running over the jagged mark.
'Just what the heck was that?' she wondered, feeling rather disgruntled about the interrupted sleep, and forcing down any remaining unease from the dream. The fear was fading quicker than Hallie would have thought possible, and the oddly familiar images were slipping through her fingers faster than the rubies in the Gryffindor Points Counter during first year Potions. She tried to concentrate on the remaining details, until a hungry rumble interrupted her thoughts.
Hallie glared weakly at her empty stomach for reminding her of things better left unsaid. Her neck wasn't feeling too great, either, but Hallie knew that was the consequence of falling asleep sitting up. She was leaning against her bedroom door with her legs curled beneath her, and her cheek sticking uncomfortably to the wooden surface.
Hallie groaned and tried to glance at the window while moving her neck as little as possible. A dark, gloomy sky greeted her, and the occasional flash of lightning illuminated the new iron bars. The shadows cast upon Hallie were quite fitting for the isolation and imprisonment that she had been enduring ever since the Masons came over for dinner. She had never believed that life at the Dursleys' could get any worse, but then, Hallie had never been locked in any room—including her cupboard—for three days straight. The four walls of Dudley's second bedroom were beginning to close in on her, and Hallie had never wished so desperately to have her dawn to dusk chore list. At least preparing the Dursleys' meals ensured that she would get a scrap or two to eat. Now, Hallie was living off of stale bread and whatever canned item her aunt happened to pluck first from the cabinet.
She hadn't seen a soul for days; unless she counted watching the neighbors through the barred window (Hallie still wasn't sure how they missed that abnormality). Her only company of late had been Petunia's infrequent visits to let Hallie use the toilet, and Dudley jeering from the hall and rattling the seven padlocks on her door for fun. Sable was laying low since the pudding incident, although Hallie had seen him once on the tree outside, and she asked to him to keep an eye out for Hedwig. The snowy owl had vanished after flying out the window during Dobby's visit, and Hallie could only hope that her uncle hadn't found Hedwig first; he was always threatening to shoot the poor bird.
If Hallie was lucky (which really wasn't often), then maybe someone would rescue her before the summer ended. They were at least bound to notice when she didn't turn up at the feast on September 1st. Her presence as the Boy-Who-Lived was practically a requirement now, and Hallie's only optimism was that most of the new Muggleborns wouldn't know of her. Then again, if they were anything like Hermione, they would have purchased her entire biography and started researching curse scars even before the Sorting…
Relating to the matter of her two best friends, Hallie was glad to have solid proof that her worries had been unfounded. After Dobby's thievery, Hallie knew that they had dutifully written once a week, twice in recent weeks, and had sounded quite concerned in their letters. Actually, the ones from Hermione, after pestering her about homework, had degenerated into scolding and threats if she didn't reply soon. Ron's had been of a similar vein, although he was working to bribe Hallie with a visit to his home—after warning her about his hero-worshipping sister. His last letter had been more serious, though, and Hallie almost didn't recognize Ron's tone. His words had seemed a little suspicious, and hinted that Hallie would be coming to the Burrow regardless of whether the Dursleys gave permission or not.
Hallie thought that was a fine promise. Bloody hell, even Snape could drop in for tea and it would make her day. Anything was better than spending another day with her loving family.
And speaking of…
Aunt Petunia's clicking heels preceded her down the hall. Hallie used the opportunity to plead her case once more in a polite and logical manner.
"OPEN THIS BLOODY DOOR!" Hallie screamed. The footsteps stopped. "YOU CAN'T KEEP ME HERE! JUST YOU WAIT UNTIL SEPTEMBER! MY FRIENDS WILL COME FOR ME—THE ENTIRE FREAKY WIZARDING WORLD WILL STORM THE FRONT LAWN, BLAST IN THE DOOR, AND THEN TURN YOU ALL INTO TOADS! THEN I'LL GLADLY HAND YOU OVER TO MY POTIONS PROFESSOR—THAT'S RIGHT, I SAID A MAGIC WORD! WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT, HUH? LOCK ME UP? MAGIC IS REAL AND I AM A WITCH—SOMEDAY YOU WILL ALL SUFFER MY WRATH!"
Hallie cackled a bit for effect, knowing she sounded like a lunatic. She felt a satisfied grin stretch across her face as blood pressure returned to normal, hearing hushed and frantic muttering outside her room. Loud and violent threats had become the norm since her imprisonment, and Hallie knew that appealing to the Dursleys' fear of wizards on Privet Drive was still her best chance. They may be able to explain away the barred window as keeping their mad little niece under control, but get a few oddballs in black robes outside, and rumors of a cult would spread like wildfire. Hallie might be powerless in this instance, but the fans of the Boy-Who-Lived were rabid beasts (as she well knew). She was seriously tempted to try a little more magic if it would summon the Ministry, but Hallie was wary enough of getting expelled.
"QUIET DOWN IN THERE, GIRL!" her uncle roared, thumping the door that Hallie's head still rested on.
So much for that; Vernon was just too bloody stupid to back down.
The footsteps continued, and Hallie heard quick, light breathing behind the door. Before it occurred to her to what would happen, Hallie found her meager lunch shoved through the cat flap and onto her legs. The plastic tray tipped to the floor, and cold, chunky chicken soup began soaking into her jeans.
Any further cursing on Hallie's part went ignored by her relatives. They were apparently unworried; their hatred of Hallie far overrode common sense. In spite of that, Vernon found himself clutching his favorite club under the covers that night, while Petunia tossed and turned, throwing furtive glances at the owl-free sky. Dudley, on the other hand, slept rather soundly until his own personal bogeyman crawled out of the closet, yowling as it chased the mouse sniffing candy wrappers.
Sable fought his own battles, while Hallie checked the loose floorboard once again and plotted.
As far as she was concerned, any rescue attempts were taking far too long, anyway. Gryffindors were not known for their patience.
The downstairs clock chimed the hour (half past two in the morning), and all was silent in the Dursley residence—Well, as silent as one could get if you didn't snore like a lawnmower. Bed springs creaked, her uncle grunted, and a car horn honked in the distance. All else was quiet.
Hallie grunted and wiggled the screwdriver. Just a little more and she would…
The last metal pin popped out, and the door, unsupported by its hinges, wobbled and swung right out. Hallie gasped and struggled to hold the heavy wooden slab, carefully letting it slide to the floor, leaving only a soft creak to disturb the silent house. The door still remained connected by the useless padlocks outside, but the only barrier between Hallie and freedom was gone.
Sable crept forward, looking smug in a way that no animal should. Hallie had to give him credit, though. Her familiar had smuggled the screwdriver right from under Vernon's nose that morning, and then passed it through the cat flap once her relatives were asleep.
Hallie withheld a triumphant snicker for time being. She bet they never expected her to ignore the seven padlocks and simply remove the door!
'Take that, Vernon! I didn't even need magic for that—just one of your precious tools! Grunnings' finest indeed!'
Hallie grabbed the ratty pillowcase at her feet, stuffed with her most prized possessions: her cloak, photo album, amulet, and wand. None of the items had been of any use in her escape, but at least Hallie didn't need to worry about another warning from the ministry.
Whispering softly for Sable to follow, the two magical beings departed, leaving only a broken door and a smattering of paint chips as any trace of their presence.
Juggling her belongings, Hallie tiptoed through the dark hallway and down the stairs. A few minutes' work with two bent paperclips, and the single lock on the cupboard clicked open. It was almost too easy, and Hallie only regretted that she would miss her family's reactions in the morning. Vernon would have an aneurism when he found the door. Hallie would have gladly left gifts for both Petunia and Dudley, as well, if she only had the time. Unfortunately, dragging her trunk from the cupboard was neither easy nor quiet. Hallie's throat tightened in dread at the thought of being discovered.
She placed the trunk flat on the carpet, and then balanced Hedwig's cage on top, keeping her pillowcase thrown over one shoulder. Sable obliged her by crawling into the cage and settling down. Grabbing the handle of her trunk, Hallie started dragging it slowly towards the front door. Her eyes glanced back every now and then to make sure she was going straight, but then she looked back at the cage and sighed. Hedwig still hadn't returned…
Hallie fumbled with the locks on the front door and finally stepped out onto the porch. She carefully pulled the door shut behind her. With the Muggle hellhole finally at her back, Hallie let out a breath of relief. The tension of an entire summer lifted from her shoulders.
No more second bedroom.
No more cooking and cleaning.
No more lousy meals.
No more bloody Dursleys.
She was free.
…So, now what?
A noisy rumble interrupted Hallie before she could dig her herself too deep into despair. For a moment, she thought it was plane somewhere above, but then she realized that the shadow passing overhead wasn't all that large… just very close.
Hallie was about to be hit by a car—a flying car. Somehow, it didn't surprise her.
The only option in those short, life-flashing-before-her-eyes seconds seemed to be huddling into a tiny ball behind her trunk and ducking her head, shutting her eyes, and praying to Merlin. It worked well enough as the car landed roughly in the front lawn, bouncing and skidding to a halt just meters before her nose. Hallie glances up anxiously, eyes immediately finding the disaster area that was once the Dursleys' prize-winning lawn, as well as the mud splatters dripping all down the company car.
Bugger, Hallie was going to regret missing the horror which that evoked.
"Hallie, is that you?"
Her head snapped up in shock at the very familiar voice.
"Ron?!" she asked incredulously.
It was indeed her best friend, the redhead whose face she had not seen in over a month. Ron was hanging out of the driver's side window, waving eagerly as he scrambled to open the door, and finally spilling out onto the ground in his haste.
"Hallie, you're okay!" He sounded almost accusing as he said it.
"Er, yeah…" Hallie thought back to the unhinged door upstairs, and tried not to glance at the bars quite visible on her window. "So, what are you doing here?" she finally asked.
Ron threw up his arms in a huff. "Rescuing you, of course! We got worried when you didn't answer any of my letters. I thought those bloody Muggles had killed you, or something!" He glared at the ground, and Hallie noticed his ears turning slightly red.
"Ah, well, as you can see, I'm still alive!" Hallie grinned, and tried not to laugh. She felt an unfamiliar warmth in her stomach. Her friends had definitely not forgotten her. "About the letters—Well, it's a long story about a crazy house-elf, and my even loonier relatives… I really am glad you show up, though! It certainly took you long enough!"
Ron shrugged and reached out to help Hallie with her trunk. "The twins were planning to bust you out themselves, but they blew up their bedroom again, so Mum was keeping an extra eye on them. Besides, I figured you wouldn't want them to find out you're really a girl—Do you have any idea what they would have done with that sort of blackmail?" He shuddered, from personal experience, no doubt.
They finally reached the car, although Hallie's trunk was now rather dirty from being dragged through the deeply-gouged lawn. Hallie started to haul it into the back seat as Ron explained 'borrowing' his dad's car, when she noticed someone rather startling in the front passenger seat.
"Hermione?!" Hallie gasped, recognizing the bushy-haired girl immediately. How in the world had Ron convinced her to fly across England in the middle of the night?
"Hermione, it's great to see you!" she smiled widely. "I can't believe you're here! Hermione Granger, breaking all the rules—It seems we've finally been a good influence on you, eh?"
Surprisingly, Hermione didn't try to refute the notion, instead remaining oddly stiff in her seat. Her bushy hair seemed even bit more frazzled than usual, and—was her face a little green? Hallie grabbed her shoulder and shook it slightly.
"Er, Hermione, you in there? Ron, what's wrong with her?"
Ron scratched his nose sheepishly, and tried not to look at his catatonic friend. "Er—the car ride was a little rough on Hermione…"
The sickened Muggleborn finally showed signs of life as she twisted her head sharply to glare daggers at Ron. Her mouth opened and closed in soundless fury, but Hermione kept one hand hovering near her face to suppress her nausea.
"A little rough, Ronald?!" she choked out. Thankfully, her shriek was muffled enough not to attract attention. Hallie shot a nervous glance back at the house, both to check on her relatives and to avoid Hermione's gaze as her wild, bloodshot eyes turned on Hallie. "Oh, you'd better have been in mortal peril, Hallie, do you hear me? Never in my life have I done anything so stupid—I can't believe I let you talk me into this, Ronald—And I thought you had some idea how to drive this thing! My seventy-year-old grandmother frightens me less behind the wheel—and she's half blind! Do you have any idea how much trouble we could have been in? Property damage aside, the number of laws we've broken… We were nearly killed—and worse, we could have been—"
"Expelled," Hallie and Ron finished predictably. Hallie rolled her eyes, knowing that Hermione was fine if she could rant that much without puking.
Ron tried to reign in his temper as he got in behind the wheel. "I get it already, Hermione!"
"Well, then, I'd better make sure you keep it, Ronald—"
"I don't know why you're so mad—we didn't even hit that bloody pigeon—"
"What about the billboard then—"
"The Muggles will have it fixed in no time—Who cares about some stupid guy in a suit, anyway? That James Bond looked like a right prat—"
As the argument degenerated into over who was best suited to drive back—not that any of them actually had a license, but Hermione, at least, new how to work the pedals—Hallie couldn't help but lean back into her seat with a happy sigh, and laugh a little at her friends. As long as they made it back in one piece, then her summer was already looking up.
Severus Snape crossed his legs irritably, and took another sip of disgustingly sweet tea. He would never understand the point of buying foreign tea that tasted like billiwig wings steeped in sugar when a simple cup of Earl Grey would do any day. Nevertheless, he swallowed as quickly as he could without scalding himself, and nodded politely to his host.
"Do forgive me if it isn't to your liking, Severus, but I wasn't expecting you to drop by this morning." Narcissa Malfoy raised a delicately sculpted eyebrow as she settled back after filling his cup. At her side, Mrs. Parkinson simpered, fluttering her eyelashes ridiculously and puckering her pug-like face. It was only with the greatest of control that Severus withheld his sneer.
"Yes, well, I was hoping to speak with Lucius," he finally said.
Actually, Severus would like nothing better than to go back to his lab and work on that burn paste Pomfrey was so insistent on storing. In his opinion, any dunderhead that was burned in his class deserved to suffer the pain of their idiocy. Unfortunately, Dumbledore didn't agree with his stern teaching methods; it was also Dumbledore who forced him out of the pleasantly cool dungeons at such an ungodly hour to run errands. As if playing politics with Lucius Malfoy wasn't tiresome enough during peace times, Severus was forced to play minder to the bane of his existence, Harry James Potter. Simply because a few of the old man's trinkets decided to go off last night (probably detecting one of that squib's damn kneazles again), Severus was being sent after the Malfoys to pay a visit to Petunia Dursley. His itinerary that day could not get much worse.
At least his godson was suffering alongside him.
Severus's eyes glittered with hidden amusement as he watched Draco on the settee across the room. The soon-to-be-second-year was trying not to spill his tea while fending off young Pansy Parkinson's overzealous affections. Frankly, no child could have appeared as lecherous as that chit as she attempted, once again, to sneak one of her clawing hands under his godson's shirt. Draco sent him a look across the room, half pleading and half glaring for the lack of assistance.
Severus smirked and put down his unfinished tea. Uncrossing his legs, he turned to Narcissa, completely ignoring the boy, and asked, "Is Lucius not here?"
"I'm afraid not, Severus." Her voice was coolly distant, but Narcissa seemed genuinely unhappy with the answer. "He left on some business to have a rare item appraised by Mr. Borgin."
Severus wondered about that. Anyone with half a brain knew that Lucius had been selling off his property in Knockturn Alley, yet somehow eluding the Aurors every time they tried to catch him. The aristocrat was cunning and unpredictable in a way that made him far more dangerous than the average pureblood sycophant. Lucius looked out only for himself and his money, even when it came to the Dark Lord. It kept him alive and out of prison during the first war, while the most dedicated Death Eaters were currently rotting in Azkaban under twenty-four-hour guard. That wasn't to say that Lucius wasn't loyal to the Dark Lord; he was a pureblood fanatic if there ever was one, and Lord Voldemort represented everything that Lucius viewed as worthy in the Wizarding World. He was one wizard to be watched carefully, which was the only reason that Severus continued their farce of a friendship; it certainly wasn't for the witty conversation.
"Well, then I suppose I'll try to speak with him another time," Severus finally said, drawing himself back toward the present. "Thank you for your hospitality, Narcissa, but I must be going—I have quite a few potions to finish before the school year begins." He nodded toward the other woman, "Madam. Draco, Miss Parkinson, I will see you both at the Welcoming Feast."
Severus stood, and an elf appeared to lead him out.
"Good-bye, Uncle Severus, thank you for visiting," Draco called in a tight voice. "I hope you'll come again—soon." The last word was just on the edge of a growl, and Narcissa sent her son a sharp look of reprimand. The Parkinsons, of course, noticed none of this. Those two were prime examples of the downside to pureblood inbreeding; magic could only fix so much.
Leaving in a billow of black robes, Severus hid a grimace. While watching his arrogant godson sulk was always interesting to watch, he was not looking forward to his next stop. Curse Albus Dumbledore for sending him—Why not Minerva, or that oaf, Hagrid? He was sure the old codger enjoyed making others miserable. In Albus's own words, however, it was a splendid chance for a reunion. Right, because Severus would love nothing more than to see Petunia Evans again, that bitter little bitch with the equine features. Merlin, give him patience, or she would be hexed in five minutes flat.
After exiting Malfoy Manor, Severus sent the house-elf away and continued on his own to the apparition point. With a flick of his wand and a twist of his boots, Severus vanished from the immaculate Malfoy gardens, complete with live white peacocks, and reappeared beneath the shade of a broad oak tree on the side of Number 4 Privet Drive, staring at an ugly plastic lawn gnome. Grunting in displeasure, Severus turned on his heel and headed for the front door, never glancing up to see the iron bars on the second floor window.
As he crossed the front yard, Severus was forced to pick his way through two muddy trenches that cut through the grass and stopped just short of the front steps. The disastrous marks sparked something in his memory, but Severus didn't care for the cause. Suffice to say, Petunia had really let herself go if such a mess didn't infringe upon her obsessive compulsive cleaning habits.
Reaching the door, he rapped it three times.
No one answered. Severus thought, and with no small amount of relief, that perhaps the Dursleys weren't home. He glanced toward the driveway to check for a car and was taken aback. There wasn't a car, so much as a mound of mud-covered metal.
Severus checked the number on the house again. Yes, it was the right house, but something rather odd was going on…
He knocked again.
Severus was growing irritated by the lack of response, especially when he spotted the kitchen curtains twitching suspiciously. He glared at the vague form behind them and hit the door more forcefully. To his satisfaction, a set of footsteps approached, and he heard the locks undone. The doorknob slowly turned, and the wooden slab creaked inward…
A sour, pinched face appeared in the crack behind the door, and Petunia Evans—now Dursley—straightened up from her cautious crouch immediately as she recognized Severus Snape in all his freakish glory.
"You!" she spat, eyes narrowed with loathing.
Petunia had changed little in the years since they had last seen each other. She was still tall and bony, with stringy blonde hair and watery blue eyes. A white apron was tied tightly around her narrow hips, and Petunia carried a soapy frying pan in one gloved hand, which twitched ever so slightly, as though she wished to swing it at her old friend's face.
"Yes, me," Severus said with a humorless grin. His fingers tingled for the touch of his wand, but he forced the urge to curse her back.
The door slammed in his face.
Severus was seated on another couch, this one of cheap polyester, and bracing himself for another cup of awful tea. After some effort on his part, and a few cryptic words from Dumbledore that even he hadn't understood, Petunia was forced to let Severus inside. She then left him with her brutish husband and scurried into the kitchen, her heels clicking smartly.
Staring at the overweight Muggle before him in a way that clearly made the man uncomfortable, Severus planned his next move. He only needed proof that Potter was alive and in residence, and then he would gladly go back to ignoring the pompous brat until September. The stupid boy was probably lazing about in his bedroom… Wouldn't he get a shock to see his favorite professor downstairs? Severus felt his lips twist cruelly at the thought, and the Muggle—Vernon—squeaked unbecomingly, his puce complexion paling to a pinkish grey.
The clinking of china set down with more force than necessary heralded Petunia's return. Vernon seemed a touch less anxious with his wife in the room; he obviously had no idea what a wizard was truly capable of. Petunia was not about to stop Severus, old acquaintance or not. The only reason he didn't simply read their minds and Obliviate them was that Dumbledore wanted him to handle the Muggles delicately for Potter's sake.
Severus took his cup—noticeably chipped—from Petunia with a brief smirk. Vernon grasped his with shaking hands, and poured something from a bottle into the tea—brandy, no doubt. Severus lifted his drink to his mouth, but stopped to stir it, watching the tea leaves dance to the bottom of the porcelain. From the corner of his eye, he caught Petunia's unnatural attention on his cup, and placed it back on the table with a disdainful sniff.
"Thank you, Petunia, but why don't you take this back and try again?" He cut her off before her thinning lips could spill her indignation. "And I could do without the rat poison this time."
Petunia froze, and her husband choked on his brandy. Vernon darted a nervous glance at his wife, trying to exchange silent communication. Petunia ignored him with the air of spoiled brat, thwarted, but not guilty in the least. She snatched the tea with a huff, and stalked back into the kitchen.
Vernon was once again alone and the victim of Severus's ire. Even without consciously utilizing his Legilimency, he could hear the man cursing both his wife and Potter in his head; fitting, that the boy would take his share of the blame once Severus left. Determined to get this over with, Severus straightened to his full height and glared down at Vernon.
In his most authoritative voice, he barked, "Enough of this, Dursley, I'm here to see the boy."
No other words could have made such an impact on Vernon. The man went impossibly still at that; not even his three chins quivered. Severus raised a speculative eyebrow, and was prepared to use Legilimency to get his answers, when the man acted in a way he could never have expected.
Vernon leapt out of his chair, causing the teacup to fall to the floor and shatter. Eyes wild, Vernon turned his head and bellowed up the stairs, "DUDLEY, RUN FOR IT!"
Then, before Severus could even get the first syllable of a stunning curse out, he found himself tackled to the floor by three-hundred pounds of raging Muggle.
"YOU STAY AWAY FROM MY BOY, FREAK! I WON'T STAND FOR THIS RUBBISH! PETUNIA, CALL THE POLICE!"
As he fended Vernon off with one hand and aimed his wand with the other, Severus made a mental note to deduct a few thousand points from Gryffindor for this.
Damn Dumbledore for sending him on this fool's mission…
Damn Vernon Dursley for loosing his bloody mind…
And damn Petunia for sneaking up on him with that frying pan!
Levicorpus yanked Vernon into the air, screaming and cursing, and still trying to wrap his meaty fingers around Severus's throat. Accio pulled the soapy frying pan from Petunia's grasp, and a quick Petrificus Totalus saved him the aerosol can aimed at his eyes.
'But most of all,' Severus thought as he stood over the petrified Dursleys, a thunderous expression on his sallow face, 'damn that Harry Potter!'
Twenty minutes later, Severus Snape left the Dursleys' home with more questions than answers. After listening to their useless threats and Vernon's declaration that he had no nephew, Severus was of the mind to write the entire family off as mad; the only other option was just too fantastical! On the other hand, this was Potter… The boy—or should he say girl—would do anything for a little attention. Would the Boy-Who-Lived really go that far, though? To disguise her gender and fool the entire student body— Severus halted his footsteps as a violent reminder of the Marauders flashed through his mind. He didn't know what James's hell spawn could be thinking, but she wouldn't get away with it for long. He would look into the matter once school began, and Potter would rue the day she was born if he found even a scrap of evidence. Of one thing was Severus certain: the entire situation had that old man's manipulations written all over it!
In Need of a Beta 7/15/13
Thank you all for reading, and I apoligize to those of you left hanging for an update. I have been entirely too distracted by real life lately, but I am trying to rediscover my love for writing. At the moment, I am working on a new story (yes, another one) in the Harry Potter category. And I am in need of a Beta to bounce ideas back and forth with-and for a virtual slap in the face every time I hit writer's block. Any takers? This will be another alternate reality story, but with a far more extreme twist than my past endeavors. And we can only hope that my writing has improved after a college degree (fingers crossed). Just PM me if you are up for the challenge.