DH era. Valerie Powers: the 17-year-old girl who loved Headmaster Snape before he died. He loved her despite being so different from Lily. She becomes a spy for both the headmaster and the Dark Lord. WARNING: 'Punishment' themed. Angst, romance, action and horror genre. Tragic ending.

LACRYMOSA

Out on your own,
Cold and alone again.
Can this be what you really wanted, baby?

Blame it on me,
Set your guilt free.
Nothing can hold you back now.

Now that you're gone,
I feel like myself again.
Grieving the things I can't repair and willing...

To let you blame it on me,
And set your guilt free.
I don't want to hold you back now love.

I can't change who I am.
Not this time, I won't lie to keep you near me.
And in this short life, there's no time to waste on giving up.
My love wasn't enough.

And you can blame it on me,
Just set your guilt free, honey.
I don't want to hold you back now love.

"Lacrymosa" by Evanescence

Chapter One: Headmaster Snape

Amycus Carrow stood before a room of seventh year students being taught the Dark Arts, the class he taught. His eyes bulged practically popping out of the sockets, and as if for the hundredth time screamed, "Miss Powers…COME HERE!"

Out of the twenty students of either seventeen or eighteen years of age, rose one girl, and she moved down the aisle, her head held high, a robust figure sticking out over her robes. Fearlessly, she was standing before the short professor, with a hardened frown, bracing herself for what was surely to come.

"I have told you…not to interrupt any of the errors you claim I make in the subject. I happen to have a great deal of expertise on the subject of the Dark Arts…"

"But what will make you understand that, Powers?"

"Dunno…Actually I do…First stop this experimenting on us…To gain real knowledge in the subject we can't be torturing ourselves!…," Miss Powers spat out without thinking, consumed in her anger.

"You are going to be very sorry, you criticized my teaching, Miss Powers" boomed Amycus.

Amycus raised his wand over his head. "Crucio!"

The girl fell to the floor, screaming and writhing. Most of the class did not really pay attention, they had seen the cruciatus curse performed countless times this term.

Amycus gave a wheezy laugh, but within seconds relinquished the curse. He strode over to his desk, and grabbed a quill, writing feverishly.

The tortured seventh year remained on the floor for a few seconds, and then rose uncertainly, wondering if she had somehow gotten off easy for the day. Usually Professor Carrow of the Dark Arts crucioed her much more thoroughly in front of the class.

A moment later, Carrow returned, slapping the piece of parchment he had written on, slapping it in her palm. "Your suspended from this class, Miss Powers. This letter is for Snape, recommending he expels you from Hogwarts…Or perhaps he can teach the rubbish himself!"

Valerie's mouth fell open, hardly believing her ears. Amycus, crossed his arms, and turned away from her, as if rejecting her as his student.

Forgetting her, he interrogated his class, "Who can tell me the proper way to avoid a curse?"

A boy stood up from his seat and answered mindlessly, as if he'd memorized it, "Through cursing your opponent before he gets you…Other spells like stunning are not effective, even if they ward off opponents."

"Excellent…Five points to Slytherin," Amycus said.

"That's not true…about curses. Stunning is a proper defense mechanism to use!," Valerie couldn't help arguing.

"Is this class about defence? No. Powers, OUT!" Amycus screamed, wildly angry.

So Valerie Powers found her way outside of the classroom, now holding the piece of parchment, in trembling hands. She was terrified. She decided she would have to go to Mcgonagall first, for how else was she going to get past the daunting stone gargoyles?

*****

Minutes later, she was in Mcgonagall's office, hearing a tirade of an explosion from her. Valerie fought back tears of shame for her house, as Mcgonagall took an astonishing fifty points from Gryffindor.

"The Carrows are not to be carelessly dealt with, Powers. They are Death Eaters, meaning dangerous characters. I have told you this before, foolish girl. You better not get expelled, you're my best Gryffindor Chaser!" screamed Professor Mcgonagall.

Valerie, meekly nodded, and then turned to leave, at least knowing the password, in which she would now be forced to confront the Headmaster. She could not believe that the man who killed Dumbledore, would make the password that! Wasn't Snape supposed to be in league with Voldemort?

****

She whispered, "Dumbledore!"

The chasm was opened, and she waited as the spiraling staircase ascended her to Snape's study.

Finally, she was before a gryffin knocker, and she hesitated to open it. Valerie's chest was filled with dread, like a deadweight settling in her chest. She did not want to be expelled, perhaps she could beg for another punishment for her disobedience, like the ones the Carrows had issued her so many times.

She heard an irritable voice sneer, "Enter…"

Valerie hesitated and no sooner had a second past, when Snape's voice repeated the word.

Determined not to be expelled, Valerie decided she would feign repentence from the beginning, before Snape even knew why she was here.

She stood in the beautiful, circular room, and hung her head, looking at the tiles, murmuring, "I'm very sorry to disturb you, professor."

Snape who was not used to having many of the students inside since term began, motioned and said in a unnatural tone, as if he had not spoken for awhile, "Come here, little girl."

Valerie's head snapped up. She did not like to be talked to like a child. Woodenly she obeyed, as she watched Professor Snape. He was sitting at his desk, in the high chair, with a pointed back in it like a dagger. It was dark. He had not drawn the curtains.

An outpouring of rolls of parchment was on his desk, next to a framed photograph of a rather pretty woman with red hair. On closer inspection, Valerie could see the photo was torn at the edge.

"Well…What are you here in the headmaster's office for?," Snape questioned cynically.

Valerie did not answer, but held out her hand, bearing the piece of parchment.

Snape took it and read the untidy scrawl, before setting it down. He raised his wand, unexpectedly, and Valerie jumped as flames shot forth, burning the letter to ashes.

The relief must of shown on her face, for Snape commented scathingly, "Don't take it that I'm letting you off, overriding Amycus's word. I shall not do so…No."

Snape raised an eyebrow, inquisitively at the girl, "Say I do not expel you, Miss Powers. Why should I waste my time when there is a war going on teaching you the Dark Arts?"

Valerie bit her lip and squinted her eyes, struggling to think fast on the spot, knowing she would have to say something good to prevent her expulsion. "Um…I understand that the Carrows methods are pathetic. I've been reading a lot in the Restricted Section, sir, and I've seen how inept Professor Carrow is… I remember last year, when you taught us Defence Against the Dark Arts. You were an excellent teacher, professor."

Snape was not flattered, yet nevertheless, he revealed his stained teeth in something like a smile.

"So you do know a lot about the Dark Arts, perhaps. Yes, I will…try to teach you something. But tomorrow…for unfortunately it says in this letter, that the Carrows demand you to be punished again, that is if I decide not to expel you. As I choose not to…this leaves us in a predicament…You see, I could have the Carrows do what you know they will, as they have done with all rule-breakers…Chaining with Filch's whippings in the dungeons, with prefects crucioing you endlessly during detention…But you've probably had enough of that…Am I correct?"

"Y-Yes, Headmaster. But how did you know that, sir?," Valerie voiced nervously. She herself, was a better Occlumens than that!

Snape tapped his temple with his forefinger, and said imperiously, "Legilimency, Miss Powers."

"I know what Legilimency is!," Valerie retorted hotly, in a challenging way.

Snape glared dangerously at her. Valerie forced her dark blue eyes away from his, stopping herself from daring to stare at his dark brown ones.

"Forgive me, sir."

Snape chose to forget her rudeness, and instead said, "As an alternative, I shall be kind enough to punish you myself…I can think of no alternative, that will satisfy the Carrows other than to inflict either the cane or the outdated birch rod…Your choice, Miss Powers…"

Valerie did not answer, but stood rooted to the spot stunned.

"I'm waiting. Hurry up before I change my mind. Meaning you go through the much worse punishment, the cruciatus, chaining, and whipping scenario."

"Caning. I choose getting caned then!," she impulsively cried out.

Snape made a motion for a corner of the room, behind Phineus Nigellus's protrait. Zooming forth, through the accio spell, was a black slither of something, which he caught easily. His robes billowed out as he approached Valerie, who stood bravely.

In Snape's hands he held a rattan, black-colored rod of a cane. He rose it and it swiped through the air, a flexible arch for a transient instant, whilst a horrible hiss rent the air.

Valerie looked around wondering where she could place her curvy frame over, in the midst of an overcrowded mass of cluttered desks surrounding her.

"Remove your school attire, and bend over," Snape instructed evenly.

Valerie complied, and without thinking she raised her skirt up. She was about to pull her knickers off like she had to do when enduring the prefects' whippings, when she felt a hand from behind stop her. It was Snape's hand, pushing hers back at her side, and then putting her school skirt back in place, enveloping at her knees. She shivered at Snape's cool, yet surprisingly gentle touch.

"I have no desire to see your pink heart panties," Snape said, disgust dripping from his deep voice.

Valerie took a deep breath, and waited for the first blow.

There was a horrible crack, as it impacted the flesh of her bottom, over the skirt and knickers. It's sting vibrated throughout her body, and then it was burning into her skin.

Snape expertly applied the cane. After six harsh blows, he laid the cane down, finished.

Once he was done, he saw the girl was nearly falling over from the quick, successive force of his style of caning.

Snape grabbed her upper arm. Roughly he commanded, "Get up..Stand."

Snape looked over the girl curiously, watching the way she reacted. She had her hands balled in fists, a pained expression on her face, as she was dying to rub the welts that would be there. Despite getting to wear coverings, the rattan cane's bite proved to be excruciating, yet her pain threshold was higher than most.

Valerie glanced up, and saw the portrait of Dumbledore, a tear of compassion trickling down his cheek from the light blue eyes. He had watched the schoolgirl's looks of anguish during the whole process.

Valerie then looked up at Snape and managed bravely, "Thank-you, Headmaster."

Snape's lip curled, with pleasure, as Valerie grimaced, to something almost like a smile. "Should I be under the impression, you enjoyed your thrashing, miss?….Or is this merely gratitude for not referring you back over to the Carrows?"

Valerie blushed, a deep red filling her cheeks. Then affirmatively admitted, "For both. But the former more so, sir."

Snape suddenly felt a passing tenderness for her. "Your lessons begin tomorrow. In place of your usual timetables for Dark Arts class…And remember to present yourself to one of the Carrows, showing them the marks, proving you were punished…"

Valerie nodded fervently, looking up at Snape with respect. His eyes narrowed, taking in her wavy brown hair with streaks of strawberry blonde. He looked briefly into her eyes. He noted how they were such beautiful enticingly hard-staring blue ones, shaped like stones.

He reached for her long hair, and grasped the strands, tilting her head back from the nape of her neck. He felt, himself stoop as if to kiss the girl. Valerie did not seem to register this, but she did perceptibly pick up on the change in his mood, feeling strange.

Instead he released his grip on her hair, and patted the top of her head awkwardly. "Dismissed….Be a good girl. Behave yourself, Miss Powers."

"Yes, sir," she answered strongly, and with that, the Gryffindor seventh year trooped out.

Snape went back to his desk, and stared at the picture of Lily Evans Potter, before going back to his business.

After glancing longingly at Lily's beautiful face, just weeks before she had died, Snape peered above him at Dumbledore in the center of all the portraits of previous headmasters and headmistresses.

"Although cruel…You were merciful given the circumstances, Severus. Undobutedly, she would have been subjected to the cruciatus, had you not punished her instead," Dumbledore insightfully offered.


Note: Please review. There relationship will prove very intimate and unique. I promise, not just this silly caning.