A/N:So, the Heroin Diaries is turning out just as amazing as I expected. It's what keeps me occupied on break at work (otherwise I might try to drive somewhere and waste my money/gas).


Dead Boy's Ballet

Chapter Four: You're Not Alone if You Don't Love This Anymore

In the stages of grief it seemed Severus was stuck on Anger.

He hated the 'loved ones' who appeared as if out of thin air. He loathed his father for killing his mother. He was mad at her for not leaving before it was too late.

His mother's funeral was a muggle one- a small one as well. At the visitation her body was laid out at the head of the room like an alter, people crying hopelessly before it. Horribly enough, Severus didn't know many of the people who had come to pay their last respects.

Truthfully, he didn't care to know these people as he stood next to his mother's cold figure. They hadn't been there to see her tears as her husband drank himself into a remorseful, sobbing stupor. They hadn't seen that man's fury when he was sober. Yes, his father was a much nicer person drunk. All he did then was sit around and moan about how he had failed them.

It was sobriety that brought out the abuse. Severus supposed that was when he realized that he was an utter failure who couldn't even provide for his family.

Lily stood at his side, holding his hand carefully as if she was afraid that if she ever let go he might disappear forever. Maybe she was right to think that. As a young child, Severus had been terribly lonely- the tiny scars that were barely visible on his forearms testified to that. He hadn't resorted to that in years, though.

"I'm so sorry for your loss," murmured a woman claiming to be an aunt as she pulled him into a gentle hug.

The dark haired boy muttered out a soft 'thanks' even as he struggled to not pull away from the woman.

At the back of the room he saw the Slytherin Prefect, Lucius Malfoy, trying to look as inconspicuous as possible. Snape didn't really know him, but he had agreed to accompany Severus and Lily here (Dumbledore was afraid that they might get into some sort of trouble being here alone, not to mention the fact the Snape was a now a ward of the state and had no family to return to). The small wizard was grateful, even if he wondered what on earth Malfoy hoped to gain from this act of kindness.

He didn't cry as the visitors greeted him, not even when this man that he had never met stood up and gave a eulogy for his mother. He simply sat at his place in the front row and tried not to think of the pretty woman lying in his mother's casket that was wearing a false smile and too much make-up and looked nothing like the woman he had known.

Tears swam in his eyes as her casket was lowered underground. Six feet under, the amount it took the scent of a decaying body not to attract the attention of predators. How much too late that was. Eileen Prince had caught the affection of one many years earlier.

Lily hugged him and Lucius moved up next to him as if daring someone to try and hurt Severus while he was on watch.

And then it was over and the temporary marker was in its place in the freshly dug dirt. How lonely it looked when surrounded by huge headstones and bright flowers. Just like his mother to suffer everything alone.

"I could have saved her, Lily. I don't know how, but I could have saved her."

-.-

Sanders appeared only a day later. He was sitting in the Great Hall at lunch, picking at his food in an attempt to ignore the eyes that were watching him. Yes, I know you think I'm not handling my grief normally. Now leave me alone. Thanks.

Severus had gone back to class that morning. He regretted it about three minutes into first period Herbology. By now the whole school knew what had happened to his mother- and they all felt the irrational need to ask him how he was doing. At the fifth person he resorted to snarling 'get the hell away from me,' which only ended up losing points for Slytherin. And if the students were annoying, the teachers were positively intolerable. If Sprout ever hugged him again and told him that she understood how he was feeling (she had lost her parents at a young age as well), he might hex her. If Slughorn wasted any more time in Potions to sing the praises of Eileen Prince, he just may slip some poison into the man's morning tea. And Dumbledore- he had gone from taking points from Severus's house at every opportunity to pulling the boy aside in the hallway to tell him that his office door was always open. Snape told him that he doubted he'd ever be that desperate for someone to talk to... and lost Slytherin more points.

Sanders had fortuitous timing, really. Just as he was wanting an escape from those worried gazes, the CSD (Crime Scene Division) Auror shows up like a genie called from its bottle. He looked at Severus from the entrance of the hall and nodded. That was all the invitation the boy needed and soon both were away from the anxious, prying eyes.

"What have you learned?" Severus asked before the man even had a chance to open his mouth.

"There's a great deal of evidence to implicate your father." Sanders grinned a bit sheepishly, as if knowing that it wasn't really news to the boy. "The trial will be held in three week's time. If you do not feel up to testifying… that is certainly your decision." Snape nodded, but didn't answer the unspoken question.

As he turned to take his leave from the Auror, the blond man called him back. "There's also another matter to consider, Mr. Snape.

"Your guardianship is going to be put to the courts if we cannot find a suitable caretaker for you." He still said nothing. "The Ministry is reluctant to put you into foster care at this age, you see… They believe it would be detrimental to your development as a wizard. Not only that, but it appears none in your family are willing to take on an almost-grown boy."

Severus winced. "I see."

The older wizard sighed. "Families really suck sometimes, don't they?"

"What would you know about it?" this came out as a resentful mutter, not the calm tone he was aiming for.

"My parents gave me up for adoption when I was three months old, then disappeared for the next seventeen years of my life. When I was a day from eighteen they came back and told me they wanted to be a part of my life again." He laughed bitterly. "I was happy with my new family and told them to never speak to me again. They didn't, of course, because they died in a train accident that night."

"Why are you telling me this?"

Sanders looked almost angry for a second. "Because, kid, no one bothered to tell you that you aren't alone."

-.-

The library had always been a haven for Severus. When the Marauders were targeting him more than usual or the Slytherin common room was too full of angst he ran here. Like a favorite hiding place, Lily could find him here with little trouble.

So, when he looked up to see her green eyes he was not in the least surprise. "Sanders said they're ready for a trial," he told her when normal polite things evaded him.

"Are you?" she asked him.

He shook his head. This boy knew better than to lie to his redhead best friend. She saw through it every time. "They are also talking about my guardianship-"

"That's why I'm here, Severus," Lily cut him off. "I told my parents what happened with your mom and, well you're free to say no, but they want to adopt you."

He stared at her. Several moments passed and he still couldn't find the words to speak. Finally she spoke again. "Yeah, I guess it would be a bit weird living with a muggle family and all."

"You know it isn't that, Lily!" He shook his head. "I just didn't think…" that anyone would want to adopt me. "That would be great."

A smile lit up her face. "Good. Mum's already got the blueprints out to add a new room to the house. I guess she really misses being an architect. Oh, I better go write home!" He watched as his exuberant friend practically ran out the door.

As he sat there with his books he realized that he was going to have a real family this time. He had been to the Evans household many times since he had met their daughter. They had always treated him well; before he had just assumed that it was for Lily's benefit. No parent would go this far to make their child happy- or he thought no parent would, as comparing his family to a normal one was a bit like comparing buttons to beetles.

He cared about his friend a great deal. Maybe it was even love (he didn't have a good compass on such things). When they were younger the pair had attempted some sort of childish relationship, because it was what all the older kids were doing. Of course it didn't work out. They were more like brother and sister than anything else.

And now they really would be.

Trading in his old dysfunctional family for a better new one was like a dream: a mother who baked cookies filled with love, a father who brought home a steady paycheck and two sisters who bickered and fought but stood by each other to the end. Severus didn't know how he was supposed to deal with that kind of family unit.

Would they see that he was damaged and try to throw him back? Would they find out he was too much to handle and…

"Is it true?" the hissing voice brought him back to the library. Lucius Malfoy.

"What?" He was certain that he hadn't done anything to upset the older boy.

Lucius roughly pushed a pile of books out of his way and sat down in the seat Lily had vacated. "You're going to be adopted by muggles?"

"Yes. Although I don't see what it is to you."

He rolled his eyes. "Magical guardians would suit you far better, Snape. It was your ridiculous muggle father that was the crux of your problems…"

"They aren't all like that, Malfoy." Severus shook strands of black hair out of his face. "Lily's parents have always treated me kindly, which is a lot more than I can say for the majority of the older witches and wizards I've met."

The blond boy stared at him as if he'd just grown a third arm. "My father wanted-"

"I'd preferred to be with someone I knew." Lucius nodded sharply. He could accept that, Snape supposed. "Look, if you're really that concerned you can visit me there sometime. Lily's mum makes the best salmon… it may not be what you're used to of course."

The Prefect appeared so stunned that he realized that Lucius must not have been invited to stay at anyone's house other than for shallow business-type reasons before. Certainly not a muggle household, at any rate. There wasn't as much horror there as Severus expected, though. Maybe the Malfoy heir wasn't quite as brainwashed as many of the other Slytherins.

"Severus, our housemates aren't going to like this."

"They'll just have to get over it, then. Anyway, at least half of them are afraid of me. The others know I live in a muggle area- what difference will it make now that I'm living with two muggle parents instead of one?"

It was unfortunate then, that were there ever was a rule-book on how to be the perfect Slytherin rule number one would have went something like this:

Thou shalt not claim kinship to muggles.


TBC

A/N: And the Slytherins aren't the only ones with problems with this arrangement.

Dumbledore will be back with a vengeance in the next chapter. . Oh, and the journal Sev stole from him will resurface.

There will be no SSLE in this story. Sorry, I just hate the pairing. I think canon!Lily was perfectly matched with James.

BTW: there are five stages of grief in the Kubler-Ross model. Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance. Severus will probably be angry for a while, because for someone with so much hate as him this would be the hardest stage to surpass. I will likely only show snippets of the other stages, though not bargaining or denial as I believe those usually happen before someone dies.

Next time on Dead Boy's Ballet: People aren't pleased with Severus's decision to be adopted by the Evans and Dumbledore weighs in. And with the trial coming up- Severus must prepare himself for his final confrontation with his father.