Author's Note: I'd like to use this way to let you all know that the continuation of this fanfic is finally up and running. Direkt links don't usually work on this site, so I'll just post part of the prologue to get you going and let you know the story's title. This is for the benefit of those, who use story watch, not author's alert. I hope there aren't too many of you who'll get a double notification now. The new story is called "The Silver Cat" and will definitely contain a resolution to the love story, which some of you, I think, expected to see here already. I just felt I needed to give our two professors a little more time to get comfortable with their own feelings. ... Mwahaha. Okay, maybe I'm just a sucker for un-Disney-like relationships. Might be the case. But the intention of The Silver Cat is definitely to create some romance. At some point.
That said, I'd like to use this opportunity to thank you all for reading and reviewing and letting me know whether or not you would be interested in a sequel. Your enthusiasm is what kept me going in the writing of this during the past months. I hope you'll enjoy the outcome. Thanks!
The Silver Cat
"I don't have to tell you, of course," said the lady calmly, as though explaining Arithmancy to a very small child, "that your presence in this house constitutes a huge imposition on myself and my husband. Especially as it now seems as though it will be rather prolonged."
"Rather shorter than expected it seems," Severus threw in, "by about three or four years."
"Well, rejoice," remarked the lady dryly. "That leaves only about six or seven years to go, does it not?"
"I was given to understand that you agreed to this arrangement," observed the Snape, attempting to catch her gaze out of habit.
"And so I did," said the woman. "Mainly on my husband's behalf, who is very intent on satisfying our daughter's wishes wherever he can, I have to say. But I have begun to see a certain benefit in the endurance of a constant liability to my status and reputation under my roof. Pureblood society has its rules, you know, with which you are, of course, more than acquainted, judging from your former circle of acquaintances."
"Lucius Malfoy has been a good friend," replied Severus, very interested in what kind of benefit she could be talking about. "He was able to overlook the, ah, shortcomings of my blood status in exchange for closeness, companionship."
"You want me to believe that Lucius Malfoy would be as foolish as to put his personal desires over political and societal considerations?" For the first time, the lady seemed honestly surprised. "Don't be ridiculous."
"We were young," Severus concluded calmly. "Boys can be foolish."
"Very much so," agreed the lady smugly. "Indeed, it is much more fashionable to have daughters these days, although this is one of the few things my good friend Lady Warrington-Selwyn and I cannot seem to agree upon. Well, but if it is only companionship you have to offer, I am afraid the two of us will not have much to discuss tonight."
"You will find that there a quite a lot of changes in a man between the ages of thirteen and thirty-eight," said Severus calmly.
The lady sneered at one of the torches. Her gaze was directed stubbornly at anything but Severus, who found that this probed his patience more than anything else in this conversation. If she would only look at him once more… perhaps he might attempt to revive some remains of his Legilimency after all? It seemed worth the risk.
"A man," said the lady quietly now. "Hardly. But you must feel that way, of course, having a life expectancy of a mere… what, a century, perhaps?"
"A little more," said Severus curtly, feeling his blood beginning to boil. This was new. And unpractical. "Halfbloods have been known to live up to one hundred and fifty years or more."
"That is astonishing," remarked the lady dryly. "Well, lets hope this counts for you as well. The Princes are one of our oldest lines, of course, and surprisingly pure in blood before you came along, if I may add. You realise that my husband is a practical historian and in the fortunate position to double-check on these matters?"
"Yes…?" said Severus through clenched teeth. "I must say, I don't quite…"
"I don't remember asking for your opinion," cut the lady in, flicking her wand for more tea. Severus felt an unpleasant tingle gush through his body. This commonly happened when someone performed magic spells in his close reach, but the strength depended on the spell caster.
"The Princes are a good line, and it is wasted on your Muggle father, if I may say so," said the lady sharply, finally seeming to freely speak her mind. "I intend to remedy this and I will require your assistance in doing so."
"In what way?"
"I have a proposal to make, Halfblood," replied the lady, her attention directed at nothing but her tea now. "And I advise you to listen carefully. This is a singular opportunity for you to secure your place in our society without resorting to, ah, Death Eater means, now that the times of constant bloodshed are hopefully over."