I faced the large white mansion, wondering how to go about entering. I supposed that Lucius and Narcissa were no longer Death Eaters, so it would be okay if I knocked on the front door.
I walked up the stone pathway and lifted the large brass knocker and knocked three times. A maid answered the door and gasped when she saw me.
"Alyssa Potter!" she said. "I am so thankful to you for vanquishing You-Know-Who."
I blushed, not knowing what to say.
"Thanks. Er, is Draco in?" I asked.
"Yes, come inside," she said, holding open the door. "I'll go get him. Make yourself comfortable."
"Thanks," I said.
The maid disappeared and I paced around the large foyer. I stopped when I heard footsteps. I looked up and saw Malfoy coming down the marble staircase.
He stopped walking and stared down at me. "Hi," was all he said.
"Hi," I said back. "Can we talk?"
Malfoy shrugged and started walking back up the stairs. I took that as a yes and followed him up to his room. Malfoy closed the door behind us.
"Remember the last time I was here?" I said, laughing a little. Malfoy didn't say anything. He sat down on his bed and I sat next to him.
"I get it that you're still mad at me," I said, "but there's something I really need to talk about and you're the only person who I can talk to."
"You're the only one that won't judge me."
"So you're using me again?"
"No!" I said. "And I wasn't using you before. I like you. A lot." Malfoy didn't say anything. "And I know you like me too," I added. Malfoy was still silent. At least he didn't deny it.
"I'm not mad at you," said Malfoy. "I understand why you didn't tell me you were handing yourself over. I was being selfish. I wasn't thinking about what you were going through."
"So can we just put that all behind us now?" I said.
"Yeah," said Malfoy, and I smiled.
"But everything with you is always so complicated," said Malfoy. "I feel like there's always going to be stuff that you're going to hide from me."
"There is something that I'm hiding," I said. "Something I haven't told anyone, but I chose to come here to tell you. And I can't promise that I will be able to tell you all my secrets, but hopefully my life will stop being so complicated now that Voldemort is dead."
"Okay," said Malfoy. "So what's this big secret of yours?"
I took a deep breath, then said in a rush, "Snapesmyfather."
"What?" said Malfoy, laughing.
I sighed and closed my eyes. "Snape is my father."
I opened my eyes. Malfoy was staring at me, dumbfounded.
"Very funny," said Malfoy.
"It's true," I said. "Sadly enough."
"You've known this whole time?" said Malfoy, astonished.
"No. I just found out a little while ago."
I told Malfoy everything. I told him all about the diary and how I'd given it to Snape after I'd found out I was going to die. I told him about my conversation with Snape after I'd just killed Voldemort and I ended by telling him about my recent encounter with Snape.
Malfoy was silent the whole time I was talking. When I finished all he said was, "Wow."
"That's it? That's all you have to say?"
"I always knew there was a darker side to you," said Malfoy, grinning.
"Shut up," I said. "Do you have anything of value to say?"
"Give me a moment. It's a lot to take in," said Malfoy.
"Do you think I'm being too harsh on him?" I asked. "Should I forgive and forget like he wants me to?"
"Since when do you do what others want you to do, especially Snape?" said Malfoy, and I laughed. "But, I mean, you know me. I think he's a great guy."
"I'm sure that has nothing to do with the fact that you're his all-time favorite student."
"Look, I know Snape treated you like crap," said Malfoy. "I remember. I laughed along."
"Oh, I remember," I said.
"I treated you like crap too, though," said Malfoy. "But look at us now. You forgive me, right?"
"Yeah, because I know now that you treated me that way because you liked me."
"Actually, I didn't start liking you until I was thirteen," said Malfoy. "Those first two years I was just a plain old asshole." Malfoy laughed.
"You were a kid," I said. "It's different. And the stuff you did to me wasn't nearly as bad as some of the stuff Snape did."
"I don't want to talk about it."
Luckily, Malfoy let it go.
"I think you have every right to still be mad at Snape, but holding this grudge may do you more harm than good," said Malfoy. "You've never had parents. Don't you want a father?"
"I have Sirius," I said.
"He's not really your father," said Malfoy.
"He's been much more of a father to me than Snape," I retorted.
"Fine," said Malfoy. "What about when second semester starts up in a few weeks? What then? You can't avoid Snape. He's our teacher. And don't give me some bullshit crap about not returning to Hogwarts."
I opened my mouth. "How did you know?" I said.
"I know you better than you think," said Malfoy. "And I'm not letting you do that. You're not giving up your future, your education, and your social life for Snape. Because that's what you'd be doing."
"You're right," I said. "But I just can't imagine facing Snape every day pretending he's just my teacher."
"You don't have to pretend."
"I don't want anyone knowing the truth!"
"No one has to know," said Malfoy. "All that matters is that you two know."
"Maybe you should put yourself in his shoes," said Malfoy. "Think about what he's gone through these past five years. His whole life, as a matter of fact."
I was quiet. After a few minutes I said, "I should get going." I stood up, but Malfoy grabbed my hand and pulled me back onto the bed. He leaned over and kissed me. I kissed him back for a few seconds, but then pulled away and said, "I do really have to go. I don't want the Weasleys to worry."
Malfoy sighed in defeat. "I'll see you at school, right?"
I paused. "Yes," I said. I walked to the door, but turned back before I opened it. "And maybe before then if your lucky." Malfoy grinned.
I left the house and Apparated back to the Burrow. No one was in the kitchen or living room when I got back. It was pretty late, so I assumed everyone had gone to sleep. I went up to Ginny's room, where I had been sleeping and entered quietly in case she was asleep, but the she was still awake, reading a book on her bed.
"There you are!" she said. "Where have you been? And don't lie and say you went to see Sirius because he came over here to tell you that he's picking you up tomorrow."
"Really?" I said, excitedly.
"Don't change the subject," said Ginny. "Where were you?"
"I went to see Malfoy," I said. At least that was partly truthful.
"Is something going on between you two?"
"Yeah," I said, smiling sheepishly. "I think we might be dating. Or at least we'll be together when the semester starts up again."
"Oh my god, I cannot wait to see how people react to this!" squealed Ginny. "A Gryffindor and a Slytherin dating? That's unheard of! Maybe that'll end the feud between Gryffindor and Slytherin!"
"I hope so," I said.
"Except there will still be Snape docking points off of Gryffindor every chance he gets."
"Not anymore," I mumbled.
"Why would you think that?" asked Ginny.
"Er," I said, at loss for words. I hadn't meant for Ginny to hear me. "Just that, you know, he was against Voldemort. Me and him were on the same side for once. So maybe he'll change his mind about Gryffindor."
Ginny just shrugged. "I'm going to sleep. Turn off the lights when you're ready."
"Kay, good night," I said.
I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth and wash my face. I went back into the room, put on my pajamas shorts and a big t-shirt, turned off the lights, and got into bed. Like so many nights before this, I lay awake on my back, unable to fall asleep. All the things that Snape and Malfoy had said ran through my mind.
I remembered what Malfoy said: Maybe I should put myself in Snape's shoes. Think about what he's gone through.
Snape's childhood hadn't been a good one, just like mine. From Snape's memories that I had seen, it appeared as if his parents constantly argued and neglected him.
Snape had truly been in love with Lily. I couldn't deny that fact. And a stupid decision he made as a teenager had cost him her love. He then had to watch her choose James over him and feel the guilt of causing her death. And he still loves her to this day. And I was a constant reminder of Lily's death and that Lily had chosen James. I could not even come close to imagining how he must have felt seeing me every day for the past five years. And still he risked his life every day to protect me.
Was I being too hard on Snape? After all he had to go through, how could I really blame him for acting insensitively towards me?
Snape loved Lily. Did that mean he could one day grow to love me too? Could I ever love him?
I drifted off to sleep, my heart feeling considerately lighter than it had felt in a while.
After breakfast the next morning, I went back up to Ginny's room to pack up all my things since Sirius would be there soon to take me to Grimmauld Place to live with him.
"Alyssa! Sirius is here!" I heard Mrs. Weasley call from the kitchen.
I picked up my trunk and went downstairs to meet Sirius, who was waiting for me in the foyer.
"All set?" said Sirius.
"Yup," I said. Mrs. Weasley, Ron, and Fred were hanging around there too.
"I'm sure I will be seeing you all very soon," I said to them, but I hugged them all good bye anyways.
"Ready?" said Sirius.
I nodded and was about to Apparate, but Sirius grabbed my shoulder.
"We're actually not going to Grimmauld Place," he said.
"Where are we going then?" I asked.
"Take my arm," said Sirius. I did as he said, and Sirius turned on the spot and with a crack, we we had left the Burrow.
We landed on a rural road surrounded thickly by trees.
"Where are we?" I asked.
"Follow me," said Sirius.
I followed him down the dirt road until we reached a quaint, two-story cottage with a beautiful rose garden in front.
"Oh my god! Is this our house?" I asked.
"Indeed, it is."
"It's perfect!" I said, giving Sirius a huge hug. I ran up the stone path to the front door and went inside, Sirius right behind me. I walked down the small hallway into the kitchen and dining room area and stared around, a wide smile plastered to my face.
"The living room is back there," said Sirius pointing. "And there's a bathroom over there. Let's go upstairs. I'll show you your room."
I eagerly followed Sirius up the stairs and into my new bedroom. I gasped with delight. It had a hard wood floor with a cream colored area rug, and the walls were painted light purple. There was a shiny wooden desk, bookcase, and dresser, and my bed was covered with a purple quilt and soft, fluffy pillows.
"Thank you so much!" I said.
"You like the purple?" asked Sirius, sounding unsure. "We can change it."
"No, purple is good," I reassured him.
"Good," said Sirius, smiling. "Want some help unpacking?"
I had been living with Sirius for two weeks, and everything was great. There were only a few more days until I had to go back to Hogwarts. I was looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time. It would be so strange going back after all that had happened this year.
I went into the living room and plopped down on the couch, wondering what to do with my afternoon. Sirius was at a job interview, so I was alone. I was contemplating going to the Burrow to visit Ron when I heard a knock on the door.
I looked through the peephole in the door to see who it was. It was Snape. For some reason, I was not surprised.
I opened the door. "Hi," I said.
"Hello," said Snape.
"Er, do you want to come inside?" I asked, opening the door all the way. "Sirius isn't here."
"That's okay. I'm just stopping by for a moment. I just wanted to be sure that you are coming to back to Hogwarts on Monday."
"Yes, I've decided to go," I said.
"I'm glad to hear that," said Snape.
There was an awkward silence.
"Er, how'd you know I live here now?" I asked.
"Hogwarts keeps records of where all students live," said Snape.
"Oh," was all I replied.
"I'll be on my way then," said Snape turning to go, but then he turned back around and looked straight into my eyes.
"I'm sorry," he said.
I stared back into his eyes, which didn't look so black anymore.
"I forgive you," I said.
Snape's whole body seemed to relax and his face softened.
"I'll see you in my N.E.W.T. Potions class, then," said Snape.
"Maybe I'll actually be able to pass this year," I said, chuckling.
"There's a chance," said Snape, chuckling too. "But don't think I'll be going easy on you."
"I wouldn't want it any other way," I said.
Snape smiled. I think it was the first time I had ever seen the man smile.
"You were always one hell of a potion maker, Alyssa," said Snape, and then he Apparated.
I closed the door, smiling too. Maybe some day I'd be ready to tell the world who my real father was. Or maybe not. I had no idea what the future held for me. But right now, the it wasn't looking so bad.
A/N: Please review! This is where I was planning on ending the story, but if you want me to continue I'm going to need A LOT of reviews. Also, feel free to tell me what you want to see happen in the reviews. Thanks!