Disclaimer: not mine.

This story came from one shot "Riding the Tail of a Dragon."

I dislike a story that needs an explanation as to its existence, however, here is mine.

Severus's mother was a witch; however, she lived as a Muggle, with her Muggle husband, in a Muggle neighbourhood. As this story begins, Severus has lived longer as a Muggle than as a Wizard. I would think it to be a natural leap to think that he interacted with, and formed relationships with those people near him. I also think it quite likely and highly probable that a young teenager would try to "fit in" with others his own age.

I also wanted to say at the beginning, that being in the character of Professor Snape, when here he starts as a seventeen year old is asking quite a bit. Give me a break.

One last thing. Severus was an abused child, and one way an abused child copes, is to forget the trauma. This may lay forgotten for years, or it may rise to the surface as healing begins.

Thanks for your indulgence.

New Beginning: The Same Refrain

Severus had once ridden on an old wooden roller coaster down near Spinners End. Hopping on the train with some other neighbourhood boys, he had taken the thirty-minute ride to the park. Every seaside park had a coaster back then, back when he was a child. They, the coasters, seemed old. Even ten long years ago, they had seemed old.

Muggle boys used the Roller Coater near Spinners End as some sort of right of passage. This was their journey into manhood. They would slick back their hair, roll up the sleeves on their tees, and stride right up to the queue. Plunking down their money, they would happily buy their perceived chance to die.

The screaming and shuddering cart, hurling around the far loop they said, made you look death in the eye . As the sea rushed to meet them and the track seemed to disappear, they knew it to be true. Then the slow cranking and lurching to the top started again, each creak of the gears chanting earth bound, earth bound. At the very peak, at the summit, the plunge began again. The small flimsy cart dropping so swiftly each boy knew he would die, or in the trying, would see death's smile.

Severus remembered this the night Lily died. He walked through the rubble of what had been hers and saw the broken spines of the coaster the year the storm had tried to wash it away. The storm hit at high tide, pushing great swells over the foundation, twisting the structure and finding its weakness and brought it crashing down in a graceful ballet.

Severus had missed the sight of the broken monster as it lay on the beach. He was away at school when the great beast fell. He had missed the thirty-minute train ride to see the destruction. Now he walked his way over the broken spines of her house and thought that this must have been how it looked. He had not missed much. Broken wooden beams and twisted metal, and small unidentifiable scarps of human existence littered on the ground.

His mind would not let him see that this was her house, the one she shared with Potter. She raised her son in this house. This could not be where she slept, or ate, or where she had loved. His mind screamed that this wreckage must be of something else.

He had also ridden the roller coaster but had found no fear in it. His rights of passage he took elsewhere, wearing a black robe and half silver mask. They led him to a grassy meadow, while the evenings mist still showed. They forced him to his knees, stripped off his shirt and flogged him. This was in lieu of plunking his money down, his ticket had burned into his flesh, for him to use over and over again. His was not a mere one-time right to ride.

He had not felt the sudden drop of the Roller Coaster in such a long time that he had forgotten its feel. The sudden feeling of insides riding up, of breath not filling lungs, the sound of a seashell held to long to his ear, the smell of her hair as she leaned into his shoulder.

"Severus," he heard a voice call his thoughts back, "Now. Hurry the Aurors come."

Nodding at the ground, he spat. Then turned and grinned at Malfoy as they apparated out.

"We need to be quick," Lucius said. He hurried up to the Manor taking off his Death Eater robes as he went. "He can't be gone. Not like that, not by some cock sucking Mudblood witch."

"Perhaps it is a ruse," Severus spoke in an even cold voice. "Perhaps that is what he wants them to believe."

"I would know of such a plan," Lucius spat at him. "He confides in me."

Opening the door, Lucius threw his robes at an elf and strode into a sitting room with Severus following.

"Did he confide in you his plans for the Potters?" Severus's hand wrapped around his wand he held hidden in the folds of his robes as he prepared for Lucius's answer.

"No, that is just it." Lucius began to pace in front of his fireplace as an elf set out whiskeys. "Something is not right."

Severus relaxed his grip on his wand and pushed it back into his sleeve.

"It seems that other than losing the battle, nothing has changed." Severus had answered slowly as he poured out the whiskey and knocked his back at once.

"The baby lived. Her bastard child lived," Lucius raged.

"I do believe they were married Lucius," Severus smirked and poured his second glass suddenly cold at the knowledge that her son lived.

"He was born in the seventh month." Lucius paced as he thought. "He must be destroyed."

"As was the Longbottom child," Severus said quickly, wanting to throw the glass he held. "Was he not born in the seventh month as well?"

"The boy was not at home. His parents, it seems, have put him in hiding. I told Bella to question them."

"When is she to question them?" He asked, and wondered why he should care.

"It is being done as we speak," Lucius said then turned to look at Severus as he paused. "Why the sudden interest my friend?"

"I am trying to piece together what has happened to my Lord. Without him our dreams are dead."

"Not dead, just postponed," Lucius smirked. "Get rid of those robes. My elf can hide them here in the Manor."

"I will take them with me." Severus watched Lucius carefully. "In case the Lord calls I may have need of them."

"He will not call you fool." Lucius almost yelled at him. "I tell you, he is gone."

"Lucius?" Narcissa's voice came from the hallway. "May I join you?"

"Of course," Lucius said as he shot Severus a warning look. "We have a guest."

"Severus," she spoke to Severus but did not take her eyes off her husband. "I am so glad you could join us."

"Narcissa, we are famished," Lucius said easily as he tossed his robes into a dirty heap on the floor. "Run along to the kitchens and have something prepared for me."

"Yes Lucius." She crossed the room quickly and flung her arms around his neck. "I was worried onto death for you."

"My dear," Lucius said stiffly. Then pulled her back roughly and scowled at her. "We have a guest. This is most inappropriate."

"I am sorry," she reddened as she spoke, quickly looking at Severus. "I was worried for both of you."

Severus watched as she fled the room. This was so unlike the Narcissa he thought he knew. She had openly thrown her arms around her husband in a show of public emotion. No pure blood witch would do this thing. He wondered what had happened to his Narcissa, his first friend in this strange world he had joined.

"Is she still ill Lucius?" he asked cautiously, remembering the fatigue he had seen in her.

"She lost the child." Lucius was still looking at the door she had run through. "It eats at her like a cancer."

"She has Draco." Severus raised an eyebrow, surprised that Narcissa had conceived another child so soon.

"She envisions filling the bedrooms," Lucius said flatly.

"I will send a calming potion for her." Severus saw a lack of emotion in Lucius. His witch was the only thing that always brought life to his eyes. Now Severus only saw lifeless grey.

"This was the fourth she flushed away," Lucius spat. "Three before Draco, now this."

"Perhaps she needs merely to rest. I have some potions that are said to help a witch's stamina, an aid to nutrition. I will send them for a few months time. If you exercise caution until then she may have enough strength to try again."

"Stay out of this friend," Lucius warned. "You do not know all that has gone on in this house, or what she does in the secrets of her bedchamber or with whom."

The shattering of china brought both wizards' wands to the ready. Narcissa stood in the door, white and frail, a tea service at her feet. She stared at Lucius, she head shaking, her eyes spilling tears down her cheeks.

"You bastard," she hissed. "They were yours. You know I have been with no other. It is you that can not say the same."

Lucius was across the room to her in four strides. The back of his hand crashed against her cheek sending her to the floor. Severus, without thinking, pulled his wand and Lucius lay sprawled on the floor as well.

Hurrying over to Narcissa, Severus gently helped her up and led her to the sofa. He kept his wand ready in case Lucius struck at his back.

Severus went down on one knee in front of the witch and softly pressed his finger to her cheek. She winced and pulled away as he pointed his wand to heal the fracture, her tears wetting his hand as he held her chin. Turning just his upper body he saw Lucius stand and search for his wand.

"Let it go Lucius, we have lost enough this evening," Severus said in a low warning voice.

"How dare you do this in my own home?" Lucius seethed, but quit his search for the wand. He knew he had gone too far in angering the younger and stronger wizard.

"You broke her cheek," Severus said flatly, as he stood in front of Narcissa, crossing his arms and sneering at Lucius. "Perhaps now I see why she can not carry to term."

"This is none of your business Severus."

"You have made it so," Severus said evenly. "I stood too long and watched my own mother beaten, I will not watch you do this to her."

Lucius looked at Narcissa and then walked over to the whiskey. When he could stand her gaze no more he turned form her with a grimace and poured his drink.

"Lucius," Severus called his only friends name. "You need to put this right and end this now. If you hit her again I will take a wizard's oath that it will be your last time."

Lucius looked to Severus, then down and into Narcissa's eyes. He looked back to his whiskey, disgusted by the sight of Severus attending to her.

"Cissy," Severus said, using his pet name for her. He turned back to the witch and kneeling down to her, laid his forehead against hers. "I have to know if he has any justification in what he says."

"No, Severus," she pleaded. "Trust me, he has none. You know me better than this."

"You will take a truth potion?" he asked quietly enough that Lucius did not hear.

She nodded quickly and looked into his eyes. He could feel her relief and hope pour out as he stood up and turned to Lucius.

"I will take my leave now," He said with a glance at Narcissa. "I have some brewing to do. Lucius I will send but three drops of a truth potion in the morning. By noon, you will trust you wife again. I suggest that you remember my oath."

Severus returned to Spinners End. He brewed the Veritaserum for Narcissa halving the strength and holding up the completed vial, he wondered to himself. He believed the witch. He knew her so well, better than any other in this world or the other. She would never open her legs for another. Yet at the same time he believed her, he prepared her for lies. Sending off three drops in a vial small enough for an owl, he returned to the sitting room to drink.

Now, almost a full three months later he sat, drank, and remembered what he had lost that night. He fell asleep in his chair that became a cart, which steal chains dragged up hill. He heard the chat earth bound, earth bound.

His dreams were disjointed and unplaced in time. There was nothing to fear but the horror he felt, and the voice telling him "no harm," as the cart climbed higher. He heard the chant of no harm, no harm, no harm, as the gears grew larger and pulled harder all the while making him want to look over his shoulder, but he knew he could not. Then his dream turned and crackled green, bathed in light. Two babies lie alone in a grassy misty field , walking over the horizon two witches turned to each other, held hands and walked away as the babies screamed. The Dark Lord walks by and smiles at him as white mist turns and a third child floats by in a river of red. He heard a voice say this is the fourth she has flushed away.

Severus sat up and tried to stand gasping for air. He fell on his knees and vomited out whiskey and hope. For the first time in his memory, he felt tears on his cheeks that did not fall together with his father's fists. Wrapping his arms around his waist, he rocked him self back to sleep.