Disclaimer:

All Hail J.K. Rowling, Queen of the Harry Potter Universe!! She owns it all and I am just a mere muggle admiring her work. Not to forget Bloomsburry, Scholastic Books and WarnerBros and all others with copyrights. There. Don't sue me. Please.

Author's Note: Hey, I am back! Sorry for the delay, life got in the way. Finals and all... All right, this part will be explaining how Severus and Narcissa got to that point in the first part. I know that many of you have rather negative opinions about Narcissa in general but do give me a chance. Maybe I can convince you otherwise.

As the beginning, Narcissa and Severus meet... (Do you know that part in the game, 'Pacman' where Ms.Pacman and Pacman come from the different corners of the screen and meet in the middle and a writing appears above, "They meet"? It just sort of popped into my mind now, not that there is love at first sight or anything close to it in this chapter. Hehehe let me go and play Pacman for a while. You know what, I sometimes end up enjoying games like Tetris and Pacman a lot more than PC games with great graphics and big mysteries......oh forget it, I'm just being me and talking too much.)

~COLD MASKS AND LOST SOULS~

by Coesius

Part-II: Finding The Light

Chapter-1

"Not Slytherin Material..."

The boy stepped inside the empty compartment aboard the Hogwarts Express and sat down with relief; finally away from the over critical and forceful gaze of his father. Glancing outside the window he saw him standing there looking proud and impressive. He was a tall man with sharp features, dark hair and darker eyes. He had the family's characteristic long crooked nose, while his mouth was a thin line, sneering and scorning as always. Despite his severity he was mesmerizing; his height, broad shoulders and imposing stance, demanded you notice and respect him. And fear him. The boy flinched recalling an obviously disturbing memory.

The boy closely resembled his father. Despite his young age, he was only just starting Hogwarts, his face had already adopted the haughty and proud expression of his father. His, daring, scornful, and severe stare made him look every bit the perfect heir to his father. Outside, another man walked toward his father, an demeanor similar to that of the boy's and his father's surrounding him, labeling him for what he was; a member of one of the Slytherin pureblood families. The man's silvery blond hair and pointed features spoke volumes for which family he belonged to. Malfoy.

The hatred between the Malfoys and the boy's family was legendary and age-old. There had been a time when the members of these families drew their wands without thought when they met each other; cursing each other before any other words were spoken. Those times were behind them now and their rivalry had taken the form of political games. Malfoy and his father spoke a few words, none too pleasant nor too impolite. It was not the words that mattered but the tone they were spoken with, the boy knew to well how easily an innocent word became an insinuation.

It was one of many talents that came with the family name. Allowing his attention to wander from the conversation outside, the boy thought about the coming year; going to Hogwarts meant he would be away from The Manor for the longest period of time to date. He was already beginning to love it. He smiled, a half smile that he allowed himself very rarely, as he got out his book, "Ancient Coding and Guarding Curses for Tombs and Temples." He had bought it from Knockturn Alley during one of their frequent trips there, wrapped carefully in paper and pushed in a bag with his new robes. Strands from his long, greasy and jet-black hair fell before his eyes as he bent his head to read, his normally cold and wary eyes flared up with a passion that was restricted to such reading. Such reading and potion brewing. That was one thing he was grateful to his father for, the huge library in the Manor and the lab that he was given free access to on his 9th birthday. Since then, the lab had been his lair. When an ordinary boy his age should have been playing Quidditch outside, he would be enveloped in the steams and smokes he created while he worked. His father didn't care as long as the boy didn't destroy anything he wasn't meant to. He wasn't supposed to be an ordinary boy.

Suddenly the door to his compartment opened and a girl his age rushed in, her face flushed from running and her waist-long golden locks disheveled by the wind. Her deep blue eyes looked around, sparkling. She smiled when she saw him,

"Oh hello, how are you? My name is Narcissa Valar. I can't believe it, I almost missed the train. Imagine what would happen if I did! Especially in my first time to Hogwarts, oh it would have been extremely embarrassing. But anyway, you don't mind if I sit here, do you? You shouldn't sit alone after all..." in what seemed to him like a second or even less.

He looked at her with wide eyes as she sat down without waiting for his reply, still smiling widely. It was murderous to speak that fast! Since he was born he had been taught the values of well-spoken words. He had learnt how to emphasize each syllable with several different tones according to different situations. He could insult, intimidate, compliment or challenge someone with exactly the same words. And this girl came and mutilated all those words! And as if that was not enough, how dare she sit down without even waiting for his response!! He stared at the
girl with one of his hardest stares that managed to get even some adults to wince. She was actually very pretty. Her golden hair, her perfect face and blue eyes were enchanting. Too bad she seemed to lack any sign of intelligence. Despite the fearsome and harsh stare, the girl seemed unruffled,

"Something wrong?"

Now, he was frustrated. Barely containing his fury he replied slowly,

"No, nothing at all." between clenched teeth.

He wanted to read and he wasn't going to let this girl get to him. She paused slightly and then started again,

"Oh OK. How do you think we will be sorted? I am really nervous about
it, you know. I wonder which house I will be in. My whole family was in Slytherin so I guess I, too, will end up there."

He snorted. Slytherin. Ha. The girl was barely Hufflepuff and there she was, saying she'd be in Slytherin of all houses. Slytherin was his house by birth right, he could hardly be in any other house; knowing his father, he couldn't afford to. He wondered about the girl's family, her name already half forgotten. Did he know them? He should if they were pureblood families. Begrudgingly, to sate his own curiosity, he asked,

"What did you say your last name was?"

The girl pulled herself up with a proud look, wholly uncalled for he noted, and said,

"Valar".

The boy stared at the girl this time with pure shock. This...this girl was a Valar? Surely not… Her from one of the richest and most influential pureblood family lines? The Valars had always been important to both his family and the Malfoys through out their on going feud; which ever side they supported decided which side would win that particular round. And Valars were clever enough to know their importance and kept generally neutral becoming more and more powerful as each sides slowly destroyed the other. But Valars' history didn't reach as far as Malfoys' and his family's did, so they were playing a very dangerous game, so far they had been skillful and successful. So far.

With slight mirth the boy, guessed this girl would end that as soon as possible. A family member not sorted into Slytherin would destroy the family's reputation and this girl was definitely not Slytherin material. He smirked, pitying the poor family and this girl, she would surely be killed in an attempt to cleanse the honor of her family, a familiar practice.

"I see" he murmured. "Well, I wish to read and I like silence while I am reading so if you insist on staying in the compartment kindly remain quiet," his voice silky and dripping with mock politeness.

The girl stared at him with a suprising intensity before letting her face break into a broad grin, her eyes returning to their innocent sparkle and said,

"Oh OK, no problem. I like reading too, you know. But I like fiction more and you seem to be reading non-fiction. Do you-" she cut off seeing the look she was receiving.

At least, she is clever enough to know when to stop, he thought, returning to his reading. The girl shrugged and got out a magazine, which he smugly noted from the cover, was filled with fashion pointers and wizards who were deemed 'handsome' by the witches who read the idiotic magazine.

After some time, the girl -Narcissa was her name, wasn't it?- put the magazine away and looked out the window. The boy peered over his book and tried to read her guarded look, her eyes were dark and somber; an expression, he decided judgmentally, that shouldn't be in the eyes of someone who enjoys reading teen magazines. What held his attention was disturbing; the look she had in her eyes was one he remembered from his rare glances in the mirror. The girl took one sidelong glance at him and paused before, slowly smiling and returning to her original carefree stance. The boy dismissed what he knew he had seen as imagination, unwilling to explore the questions that had quickly come and gone in that brief moment. He returned to his book but a few minutes later, he was distracted by the girl again who had started humming an abstract tune. Her eyes were closed, her head resting against the back of her seat. She was tapping her fingers against the windowsill and slightly shaking her head in rhythm with the melody she was humming. He was irritated to see the girl so uncaring and happy, not to mention breathtakingly beautiful. Pushing that thought away,

"Do you mind?" he said, sharply.

The girl immediately stopped and opened her eyes abruptly. There was a sudden flash of anger in her eyes, gone before the boy noticed, and she said,

"Oh sorry, I forgot."

"Obviously," he retorted

The rest of the journey was unexpectedly quiet. The girl minded her own business and so did he. A middle-aged witch came in with the food cart

"Anything off the cart, dears?"

The girl's happy shriek ran through him as she got up and hovered before the cart, obviously trying to decide what to buy. The witch turned towards him,

"What about you, dear?"

"No, thank you. I am not hungry." he said curtly and went back to reading.

The witch shrugged and turned towards Narcissa who was already ordering various sweets and snacks. A bit of this, a pack of that and some more of the other... Her arms were soon full with food which she dumped on the seat beside hers. She paid the kind witch and then sat down pulling her legs up under her and leaning, her back to the window. She smiled contentedly and started eating. She chose the chocolate frogs first and started nibbling one's head as she opened the others to get the cards.

"Hey! I got Newt Scamander! He is the author of one of our books you know. It' s called, 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' ... And let's see... oh it's Bowman Wright, I already have him. He developed the Golden Snitch. Want to swap? I need Edgar Stroulger, inventor of the Sneakoscope, and Cassandra Vablatsky, she's a famous seer. Do you have them?" she said excitedly.

"What?" he said, irritated and a little confused.

He hadn't been listening, the bits he had heard making little or no sense. He didn't like sweets and chocolate and had no interest in something as futile as card collecting. It seemed like pure stupidity to get all excited about some senseless and cheap cards. He already knew of all the greatest wizards and witches of history that were worth knowing from the books he read.

"I was asking if you would like to swap Bowman Wright with Edgar Stroulger or Cassandra Vablatsky, if you have them of course?"

"I don't collect cards." he replied annoyed at how she obviously took it for granted that he would be collecting cards.

"You don't? I don't believe it!! Ah, but you must. Here take one and you can start collecting, it is a lot of fun. I am almost finished with collecting them all but of course they keep adding new cards which makes it even better. Here, come on take it!"

He pushed her hand aside with an impatient gesture,

"I have no time for such foolishness. Now, if you will please be quiet…" thinking, Didn't this fool of a Valar see that he just wished to be left alone?

"No need to be so rude, you seem to need a bit of cheering up, " she paused and rummaged in the papers surrounding her. "Here, try some of these, they're delicious" handing him a piece of pumpkin pastry, ignoring his black look.

"What the hell is wrong with you? Don't they feed you at home? Clearly, no. But oh, eat until you're sick for all I care." He paused, standing up impatiently, "All I'm asking of you is that you are quiet, is it really too much for your little brain to comprehend? And if it is, why don't you just leave?", towering above her, his eyes glinting dangerously.

"You could have said so from the beginning," and added when she saw his eyes flash with frustration, "All right, I'll be quiet from now on, happy?" The pastry still in her hands she gave him an apologetic smile and turned her attention to the magazine she had discarded.

The boy opened and closed his mouth several times with frustration before sitting down and within minutes was again lost in his book.

"We will be reaching Hogwarts in five minutes' time. Please leave your luggage on the train, it will be taken to the school separately," the sudden announcement jerked the boy back to his senses. Narcissa looked up,

"We better put on our school robes fast then, I forgot all about it."

The boy nodded, watching as she pulled her robes over her head and ran a hand through her waist long hair, the golden strands gleaming in the light. He looked at her and then taking a deep breath, began to pull his own robes on. Catching his reflection in the window he realized he was paler than usual; but was relived to see Narcissa fiddling with her hair, he was not the only apprehensive one. As the train finally stopped he felt the fact that this was the beginning of a very important portion of his life in all his being. His hands had gone cold, a sure sign he was tense as he stepped out of the train into the cool night air which always had a calming, reassuring affect on him. He heard a booming voice, reaching him over the crowds of people,

"Firs'-years! Firs'-years over here! Firs'-years follow me!!"

He closed his eyes briefly and opened them again, took a deep breath and started to walk towards the voice and the light coming from the lamp the huge man was carrying. Suddenly he felt a hand on his shoulder. It was Narcissa,

"You didn't tell me your name."

"Snape. Severus Snape." he replied. (*Bond. James Bond.* lol... )

"Oh. Well, good luck." she said, her twinkling eyes standing out in the darkness around him.

Severus gave her a small tight smile and turned away, walking towards the huge man calling them. Narcissa looked after him, shrugged and then she, too started walking...