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The Snakes Go Marching
By Silver Sailor Ganymede

The sun has not yet risen and torrents of rain are lashing down their anger upon the earth. One would expect the Hogwarts grounds to be deserted at such a time, for all the students to be tucked up in their beds, drowning not in the flood outside but in their dreams: for most this is indeed the case, but not for all.

Daphne Greengrass has always liked the rain. Most who did not know her – in fact, even those who did would assume that Daphne would have despised the rain because of its ability to ruin her wonderous, flaxon hair. The truth, as ever, is the opposite of what it seems, for Daphne adores the rain. The rain is not garish like the sun; what little light it lets through is grey and calming, the beauteous silver of Slytherin as opposed to the hideous Gryffindor gold.

So it is that Daphne is sitting beside the Great Lake in the rain, making no attempt to shelter herself as her hair is soaked, matted into ropes of tarnished gold. Dark green eyes are reflected back at her as she stares into the depths, showing only endless depths of their own. Worry, sadness, fear; the eyes show too much for Daphne's liking.

Another sits beside her, a girl with hair the colour of fire and eyes like shards of obsidian – Lilith Moon. Lilith is staring at the sky, half in realy, half in a dream as she always is. She is the silent one, the one whom even the other Slytherins hardly realise exist except to mock her sometimes for her distant blood-relation to the Weasleys, forgetting as they so often do that all pure bloods – and the majority of half-bloods are related in one way or another. Blood matters too much to most, Lilith thinks, especially in Slytherin.

"We're going to die you know," Daphne says to Lilith. "It's inevitable. We're all going to die."

"Of course we are," Lilith replies, her voice more like the musical rain than the burning flames she physically resembles so.

"There's no such thing as immortality. Even vampires can die, contrary to what the muggles would say. So why dwell on what's bound to happen?"

Lilith is logical, Daphne emotional, but neither of them can hide their fear. There is no need to now that none can hear. Concealing your true thoughts and emotions is oh-so-draining, even for the Slytherins, who are generally born with silver in their mouths and masks on their faces if the stereotypes are to be believed.

"I know that," Daphne whispers. "But I mean that we're going to die soon. We'll all be finished by the end of the year, you know? We'll either meet with death at the hands of the Light, or we'll become slaves to a fate worse than death at the hands of our master."

Lilith shrugs. She has known this for a long time: too long, perhaps. She is no longer afraid of this, not when she's had to face it so many times beforehand. Why be scared of something that has to happen? There is silence for a moment, broken only by the mournful music of the rain until Lilith finally speaks.

"Our deaths are all we have to face – yet still we snakes go marching in. We have no fear now, do we? We're ruined either way."

Daphne sighs and looks away, knowing that Lilith's silence means she is thinking similar things. No Slytherin is capable now of positive thoughts, not when they know so clearly what the future holds for them.

Over in the east the sun in rising: bringing with it a dawn as silver and tarnished as the Slytherins themselves.