Receiving the Mark

They knew. He began to shudder. They were calling for his blood now. At this odd time Snape remembered one of the last conversations he'd had with Lily Evans. He had been lurking outside of her house the summer after they had graduated from Hogwarts. He wanted to see for himself if what he had heard was true. One particular part of that conversation stuck in his mind.

"And what would your death eater pals think if they knew your dad wasn't a wizard?"

Severus's pale face became paler as Lily spoke. He didn't say a word.

She did. "That scares you doesn't it?"

"You - - wouldn't."

"Try me." All the anger she had for him two years before became fresh, and the feelings that might have crept back into her heart were all gone again.

Disbelief shown in Snape's face as well as disbelief. 'She wouldn't.' He once thought she'd never go out with James Potter, but she had done that. He was dumbstruck.

"Leave," Lily commanded. "And don't let me catch you sulking around here ever again."

Before she turned to go back inside Lily could see something else in her x-friend's eyes, pleading. She thought it a plea of 'don't tell,' but it was a plea of 'why? Why do you hate me so?'

"You're lucky James didn't see you."

At this the plea in Severus' eyes turned to anger and hate. Lily went back inside. She didn't look to see if Snape had gone, it was taken for granted. Despite all, he always did what she asked of him.

Now a few weeks later, Severus stood surrounded by a group of people who had just been told the truth. Not by Lily, to her credit she did never tell, anyone. Still they had found out. The secret he had kept from them for eight years. It was the dark lord who told them Severus Snape was a half-blood. He was about to find out the answer to the question of what would his death eater friends think if they found out.

"Half-Blood?" Everyone murmured. His 'friends' were the most shocked of all. They were the first to have their wands aimed at him, waiting for the dark lord's orders.

"Crucio!" Malfoy slipped. "That's for all the years you've lied."

As Snape writhed on the floor he could read the death eaters' thoughts.

'I let a half-blood be a groomsman in my wedding.' Lucius thought with a shiver, 'And planned to make him my first child's godfather.'

Even more disgusted was Bellatrix, 'I let that foul thing touch me?' She was relieved now that he had stopped her advances before they went too far.



Even one, 'Mudblood!'

Other such thoughts could be found on the others' mind.

"Let me kill him," Bella stepped forward. "For you my lord."

"No, no, my friends," Vodemort said calmly. "I have no intention of killing Severus. He is too valuable."

"But - - "

The dark lord's hand went up to stop the rebuttal. "You do not understand as I do." Vodemort began to circle around Snape. "Think about it." He grabbed a large tuft of Snape's long hair and pulled him to his knees. Then he snapped the young man's head back as if he were going to slit his throat, but didn't. He let go. Snape tried to recover his composure as the dark lord continued his vulture like circling. "Who but a half-blood knows first hand what vermin muggles are? Severus has shown through his actions that he wishes to purge himself of that filth that runs in his veins. Who but a half-blood understands more than any full-blood can know the reasons wizards must rule over the mudbloods? Growing up among them. Living with them. Still he has lied to me." Vodemort's wand pointed at Snape with the cry of, "Crucio!"

Snape was thrashing on he ground again. But he actually sounded as if he were laughing. He had just realized something. He was not the only one whose blood status had been uncovered. The others were just too stupid to realize it.

"He has proven himself worthy in all other respects," the dark lord stated. "Why should we hold against him this one understandable lie?"

This time Voldemort's hand grabbed almost half of the front of the black tee shirt the young wizard had been wearing. After all, his arm had to be exposed for the ceremony that might not take place at this point. Snape was yanked to his feet again as the dark lord cross-examined, "You won't lie to me ever again, will you Severus?" His grip tightened.

It was the truth at the time when Snape said, "No my lord."

"If you do you know what will happen?" Voldemort's face was in Snape's own.

"Yes my lord."

"Now ask me Severus." Voldemort's grip loosened but wasn't completely gone.

Snape held out the underside of his left arm exposing the pale flesh. In a pleading voice he asked, "Purify me."

He waited. Vodemort's wand stabbed into his forearm and the dark lord cast the spell that would brand Snape as one of his own.

The first part of the mark was a jolting searing burn but nothing more than anything he'd felt before. Then something else happened. Not only was the dark mark growing and burning into the skin, but it also felt as if a snake itself were crawling, chewing, its way along the path of the design. This pain increased. The pain was more intense than the crucio curse, but it was quicker. In only a minute the dark mark would forever mar the arm of Severus Snape. His wish had been fulfilled. He had received the mark. He was now something to be feared. He was a death eater.

The End