Harry Potter and Co. belong to Rowling
A Snake In Sheep's Clothing.
Chapter 14. Till the end of time...
At Grimmauld Place…In the early hours of the morning….
Lord Black clutched the bottle of fire whiskey as he stumbled into bed. The Dark Lord had been angry when Lucius had not answered any of his calls…good thing Bella had been there to appease him or they would have been in deep trouble. Well at the least the girl had her uses, he mused smugly. Lifting his head from his pillow, he peered into the corner of the dark room. Had something just moved?
Later that morning…Malfoy Manor….
Severus frowned as he thought over what Lady Gytha had recounted. No wonder Lucius had been so mean to him, he supposed he should be mad but he wasn't, at least not at Lucius. How could he? Lucius had been a victim, right? The dark-haired boy crossed his arms and frowned even harder. Wait a minute! He had every right to be mad, to want to make his bonded miserable for being so stupid. So why couldn't he? Feeling a guilty knot in his stomach, Severus grimaced. If the bond thingy was anything to go by, Lucius was probably ready to throw himself in front of a bus. If there were buses in the Wizarding World, that is. The young Lord sighed and pushed his hair out of his face. Three days ago he could still get mad at him, so what had happened? He looked at the door from under his lashes. He really did want to see him. He just wished he could give him a piece of his mind too.
Tiberius who had been watching the expressive face intently tried to help, "Are you all right My Lord?"
Severus shrugged his shoulders in defeat. "It doesn't seem fair cousin."
Tiberius arched an eyebrow in question. "What doesn't?"
"Lucius made a terrible mistake and I can't bring myself to be mad at him. I know I should but…it's really strange." Severus admitted in exasperation.
"It's odd indeed…but always remember that what you feel is exactly what he is feeling."
"I know but I want to scream at him." Severus muttered looking down. "He was supposed to protect me, wasn't he?" he continued in a slight trembling voice.
Tiberius heard the hurt and grimaced. "Yes…but the bond wasn't strong enough yet. That's why he was bewitched so easily," he explained. "The shock of seeing you injured helped snap him out of it. Remember, he carries the mark of this new Dark Wizard…marks are a dangerous thing. He's only fourteen after all. If the bond between the pair of you grows quickly and strong enough, you might help him cancel out the connection with his master."
"Lucisu has no Master!" the young boy hissed angrily. "He's my mate! He's mine! We belong to each other! Not to that-! To that-! He's mine!" Severus finished too angry to continue.
Tiberius blinked at the outburst. He had been led to believe that Severus would be the passive partner, but the vehemence with which the child spoke told him that things weren't as everyone thought. He looked at the troubled onyx eyes in understanding, "…and now that he is no longer bewitched…he feels that way too."
Severus felt his face growing hot with embarrassment and looked away. "He better," the young boy grumbled pushing the hair out of his eyes. "Gods! I sound like a girl."
"No my Lord," the squib contradicted. "You sound like some one who cares for his bonded." Severus harrumphed and lay back on his pillow; his unwavering eyes on the door.
in another part of Malfoy Manor...
Had the witch said no?! Lorne stilled himself and stepped back before he gave into his instinct to throw the painting into the fireplace. Lady Gytha ignored the other portraits' protests and looked at the blonde with an arched brow. Malfoys were all the same! Thinking they could buy everything and everyone!
"Why would he be unavailable Madame?" the head of the Malfoys asked moving to the large arm chair he normally used. No wonder Phineas hadn't married the woman!
"The Snapes will not become breeding mares for the Malfoys Lord Malfoy." The witch began point blank.
Lord Malfoy sneered lightly before taking a seat. "I have received proposals for three Snapes and have put them aside for the good of both of our families. I wonder what the Lestranges, the Barttersons, or the Hortons may want them for."
The three names stopped Lady Gytha in mid retort. The Lestranges were the worst kind of Purebloods, it was rumored that they experimented with muggles and squibs! The Battersons were known for developing dark spells and the Hortons were paupers and opportunists! Maybe she had been a bit hasty.
Lord Abraxas watched the witch as she digested the information before continuing. "If we do not receive the same consideration, then do not expect any in return. My cousin's offer is honorable, I will not allow him or I to be insulted because of your pride."
Lady Gytha bristled at the tone, "I don't take kindly--"
The tall blonde arranged his robes meticulously and cut in. "Come Madam, let's not bicker. In these dark times cooperation is of the outmost importance."
"You need Severus' signature on the bonding contract." The witch countered delaying her answer.
"And I will have it…all I'd have to do is ask Lucius to request it." The blonde said pleasantly.
"You would use your son to get what you want." The witch scoffed.
"As you use your Grand-nephew to get what you want." The aristocratic blonde retorted. Lady Gytha rose from her chair and looked down at the Abraxas but the blonde raised his hand. "I call for a truce Madam. Neither one of us is a fool so I'm sure someone like you sees the importance of strong alliances."
The witch pursed her lips and crossed her arms before her. An Alliance? Very well…but so help them if they tried anything underhanded. "We won't be used."
"The risk in protecting the house of Snape is not a small one."
"It isn't, but then you didn't expect everything for nothing, did you?"
"Indeed not but be careful that you aren't guilty of the same thing,"Lord Abraxas continued. "Fate seems to have entwined our houses, who are we to stand in its way…as I said we should not bicker. I will look after my son-in-law's house, as is my duty, but do not stubbornly oppose something that can only prove beneficial to both of our families."
Yes, she supposed another marriage between a Snape and Malfoy could be beneficial. Better them, than any of the three the Wizard had mentioned! Jutting her chin, she swallowed her pride this once. "What do you offer for him?"
"The standard Madame." Lord Abraxas answered. He had thought of offering a bit more but after the woman's impudence he could do nothing that might be interpreted as weak.
Lady Gytha looked from Abraxas to Lorne Malfoy and gave a short nod. Tiberius could've done worse she supposed.
"Excellent. I will have the contract drawn up and present it to Severus tomorrow afternoon. You may if you wish speak to Mr. Snape and appease any objections that may make my son-in-law hesitant in signing."
"There will be no objections, unlike others; Snapes do not lapse in their duty to their families." The witch replied with an icy smile.
Lord Malfoy bit his tongue at the jab. Lucius' lapse in his duty was not something he would soon forget.
Lady Gytha shrugged and put the matter from her mind. It was almost twelve. The evil bastard should be dead by now. "Now to other things…"
Lord Malfoy and Lorne walked Lucius to Severus' room in silence. Lucius had bathed and changed but to Lord Malfoy he looked haggard and ill at ease. Lorne's findings had shaken his son. "He is feeling better but must remain in bed for another full day. Make sure you get him to do it; he needs as much recovery time as he can get. He was injured in the lower abdomen but is almost healed. Precautions must be taken to avoid any future injuries Lucius." Lord Malfoy finished warningly.
Lucius nodded silently and tried to calm himself. He could feel Severus through the bond and was relieved that the warmth he had taken for granted only a few weeks earlier was still there. Of course Severus would never be able to refuse him but that only made his sense of failure and guilt worse. He took several calming breaths and tried to ignore his ancestors who looked at him from their silver and gold-framed portraits. Absent-mindedly he wondered what they were thinking. "He knows what happened?" Lucius asked sounding far calmer than he felt.
Abraxas nodded, "Lady Gytha has enlightened him as to recent events."
"I see." She's probably injected some of her own venom into the story, he thought as he spotted the witch moving through several paintings. Her dark eyes hadn't stopped piercing holes into him but he didn't care, his only worry now and for the rest of his life was Severus. When they came to the double doors that led to his and Severus' rooms, he stopped and looked at his father for permission. With a wave of his hand, Lord Abraxas opened the door and stepped aside. Lucius' eyes met Severus'. After the slightest hesitation, he stepped inside, his father and Lorne followed.
Severus breath hitched slightly when he sensed Lucius' approach. Seconds later the double doors opened, Lucius stood before him looking calm and collected. Severus was not fooled and easily picked up the deep feelings of guilt and pain radiating through their bond. Wanting to comfort the errant teen, the dark haired boy gave a slight nod and only then did the hesitant blonde advance.
Lucius' approach was cautious if not outright nervous. "I hope you are better," he said quietly. Severus looked small, pale, and so very slight that he wanted to take him in his arms and never let go. How could he have been so foolish? His heart ached at his folly and he lowered his eyes guiltily.
Severus hadn't known what he would say, but when he saw his bonded so obviously distraught he knew he couldn't let his guilt continue. Maybe one day he'd be able to fight and yell at him but not today. "Feeling better," he answered. "And you?"
When Lucius heard his bonded's voice, a relief washed over him. "The effects have been nullified. I apologize for my actions. They put you in danger."
Severus frowned and looked at the two figures behind Lucius. His father in law and a wizard he did not remember, not to mention Lady Gytha were boring holes into the teen's back. Lucius had probably gotten it good, and Severus couldn't help but bristle. No one had a right to make Lucius suffer! "I should've noticed something was wrong and not fought."
Lucius eyes' widened in shock. Severus had not been at fault. "It was my fault Severus." He said firmly.
Severus nodded and looked down. He was so sad and happy that he knew he was going to cry. Gods why did everyone have to be there!
Sensing the young boy's turmoil, Lucius took charge. He might be weakest and most foolish Wizard, but for Severus he would learn to be strong and cunning. "If we could have some time alone Sirs." He called out over his shoulder.
Knowing Lucius was well enough, and Severus was safe, Lord Malfoy nodded to Tiberius and the three left room.
Sensing Lady Gytha's presence; Severus looked up and with a deep breath asked for privacy. "Madam if we could be alone."
Lady Gytha looked from Lucius to the young Lord and agreed albeit reluctantly, "Very well child. I will be back when you are no longer engaged."
"Are you all right…I mean really all right?" Lucius asked as soon as Lady Gytha retreated from the painting.
Severus shrugged and leaned back on the pillow. "My stomach is really sore…and I feel a little warm."
"Is there anything I can do?" The young teen asked looking down at the tired boy. He wanted nothing more than to take Severus in his arms and comfort him but he didn't have the guts to do so without the boy's permission.
Severus sighed tiredly and nodded, "Can you lie next to me? …I missed you…"
"So did I…" Lucius murmured feeling his eyes begin to sting. "I wanted to come when I realized everything I had done…I treated you horribly…I'm so sorry." The errant teen trailed off arranging himself on the bed and pulling Severus into his embrace.
Finally feeling wanted and safe, Severus leaned onto Lucius' chest and smiled. "You're much better than the pillow."
"I'm glad I'm good for something Severus." Lucius murmured trying to control his emotions. He wanted nothing more than to bawl like a little baby for what he had done. He closed his eyes tightly, but it was to no avail. Tears escaped his silvery eyes and ran down his cheeks. When Severus saw their trail he touched them. "We'll be all right Lucius, we're together. Nothing can hurt us. We'll be together always, just watch." He whispered laying his hand over the arm that carried the dark mark. Lucius was his and no one else's. Severus felt the pull of sleep and fought it. "Lucius?" he asked.
"Yes?" the blonde responded running his hand through the dark hair.
"Do you love me?"
Lucius' magic touched Severus'. "…'Till the end of time," he whispered.
At the same time….Grimmauld Place
Sirius Black and his brother sat for down for lunch hungrily. Their father had failed to show up for breakfast and they had had to go without. It was not uncommon for the Wizard to miss breakfast after a late night. Sitting down at the empty table, they hoped the Wizard would show up for noon meal. When twelve o'clock came and went they got up with angry glares.
"I'm hungry Sirius." A young Regulus whined, grabbing his empty stomach.
"Not the only Regulus…let's go to the kitchen maybe we can get something away from Kreacher."
"Blasted elf…worse than father." Regulus grumbled following Sirius from the table.
Somewhere under Grimmauld Place…
Jaret Snape moved as fast as he could through the dark tunnel. Gods almost there! Feeling the warm air from the noon sun, he moved faster. His new shape was odd but he was glad it had been him and not his mother or father who had done the deed. His mother was pregnant and his father would not have been able to move about with his lame leg. When the asp finally slithered out of the small passage, Genner took the snake and slipped it inside a pouch he carried under his robes. Walking as fast as his feet could take him, the potions master made his way back to town. The potion would wear out in a couple of hours, and Jaret would need his rest.
At one thirty the death of Lord Black was made public. The Wizard had died in his sleep or so it was reported.
Several hours later….
Tiberius Snape looked at Lady Gytha feeling betrayed. "I don't see why I-?" He began nervously.
"It's not for you to see Mr. Snape. Lord Snape would benefit from your presence here."
"Yes of course." The squib doctor agreed weakly. Marriage with the Wizard! But why him! It was insane! "But I'm sure I can help without having to-"
"It is a good match Mr. Snape. Beneficial to everyone involved."
"But I have made no plans to marry, I have my life." The doctor said. "Besides I will no longer be a Snape…" Tiberius protested.
"Once a Snape always a Snape…" Lady Gytha said with a shrug. "Lord Snape will be presented with the contract I trust you will appease his misgivings so he is not hesitant in authorizing this union."
"Madam-" Tiberius began but was cut off when Lord Malfoy, Lorne and Percival Malfoy entered the room.
"I trust you have spoken to our esteemed doctor." Lord Malfoy began looking at Tiberius curiously.
"Yes…and the proposal is accepted." Lady Gytha announced looking at Lorne Malfoy with an anrched brow.
The squib doctor nodded wishing he were elsewhere. How had this happened? He thought looking at the poker-faced Wizard that would be mate. Oh Gods! Married!He tightened his fists and looked down lest his fury show on his face.
"Well it seems we have two things to celebrate today Madam." Lord Malfoy remarked sitting down while his cousins flanked him on either side.
"Lord Black?" The witch asked with a predatory smile.
"Was reported dead at 1:30." The blonde announced.
End Part One.
Thank you for your patience.
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