As the summary says, this story is an exploration of the idea of a female character in the place of Severus Snape. I named her Blair, which is a Scottish name meaning battlefield, a name I though fitting for a person as internally distraught and morally torn as this character is. Everything outside of Snape will be canon; except for the relationship between Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks, which will be cut out for reasons I'm sure you can guess. It will be a story in five separate books, representing the five major stages of Blair Snape's life.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to J K Rowling. This is my way of worshiping her, by toying with her awesome characters.
January 9th, 1960
The pain—it was unlike anything she'd ever experienced. Like her entire being, not just her body, but her very soul, was being torn in half, slowly and painfully, fracturing more and more with each passing second. Eileen had been told, yes, and she'd prepared as best she could, but there were no words, no exercises, and no bloody books that could equip a woman for childbirth. There was no way anyone could accurately describe the sheer agony—
There was this nurse at the end of her bed, with platinum blonde hair that shown painfully in the fluorescent light and a voice highly reminiscent of nails on a chalk board or the like, repeating that word, push, over and over and over in that high pitched tone, this almost panicked mantra that had begun the moment that labor had started and had yet to stop, or even slow. Merlin, did the woman think she was stupid? Of course she knew she had to bloody push!
Eileen could feel it now, this tearing between her legs, this presence there, both physical and magical, and she threw back her head on the pillows, biting her chapped lips as hard as she could, gnawing at them, forcing herself not to scream. The noise was pressing against her teeth, filling up the back of her throat, and she could feel bile rising rapidly to join it. She tangled her fingers in the stark white sheets and exhaled loudly through her nose.
She wanted her wand, if only to put some sort of silencing charm on the muggle nurse. The dull pain between her eyes, so insignificant compared to what was happening below her waist, told her she had quite the migraine coming on that had nothing to do with the fact that she about was ten seconds away from giving birth to her first child and Eileen, for what it was worth, just wanted a bit of quiet when it actually happened.
"Oh God! It's coming!"
There was crying now, but Eileen could tell both by the timbre of the voice and the blood running down her chin that it wasn't her own. The nurse was fumbling, there was a doctor nearby, though where she was too exhausted to tell, and the pain was lessening, descending slowly but surely from the splitting, consuming agony she'd been in moments ago. The tiny voice was screaming for all it was worth and another nurse, a brunette with a much kinder, rounder face, was cooing softly, telling the baby that, "Everything was alright."
Was it? Eileen was too spent to really tell.
"It's a girl," the doctor said softly, kindly, and she looked again towards the brunette nurse. Her vision was still blurred, but she could see a small pink mass in the slight woman's arms. Someone was pushing her hair off of her face, someone else was pulling her gown down, and Eileen blinked rapidly, forcing her eyes to see.
"Bring her here," her voice was hoarse and muffled by the way the blonde was now wiping the blood gently from her chin, aggravating the holes she'd left in her bottom lip slightly. The brunette smiled and Eileen's vision sharpened slightly as she began to approach and leaned forward to place the baby in her shaking arms.
She's smaller than I thought she'd be, was the first thought in Eileen's head as she surveyed the small, pink body, the tiny, surprisingly slender legs, the miniscule fingers that closed and opened and closed again. There were fine, damp black hairs on her soft head, rose lips, blushing cheeks and—
"Mr. Snape," someone was saying, "congratulations. You have a daughter."
Tobias was approaching, hovering awkwardly off to one side with his hands buried in his jeans pockets, his shoulders hunched and his dark hair hiding his eyes. Eileen could tell he was staring though, and waiting. She knew he thought their child, their witch child, would start putting on displays of uncontrolled magic the moment she came into the world and was probably trying hard not to panic and running through a hundred different excuses he could give for anything that may or may not happen. Eileen knew better, it would be a couple of months before the baby in her arms could so much as activate her magic, let alone use it, but she'd never bothered to set her husband straight and wasn't about to at the moment, what with all of his fellow muggles in the room. Instead she busied herself with gently brushing the sparse hairs on her daughters head and adjusting the blanket the brunette had wrapped haphazardly around her.
"She doesn't look like either of us," Tobias commented after a moment, his voice low and hardly overjoyed. Eileen wasn't surprised, his tolerance towards magic was limited and he hadn't been too happy when she'd explained to him that her pregnancy would lead to a little witch. He'd been growing more and more distant lately and she was surprised he'd even come to the hospital with her at all, let alone was in the actual room with their daughter.
"No," Eileen replied softly, running her fingers over the round, rosy cheeks. The baby cracked open one eye and Eileen swallowed, "Wait," she felt rather than saw Tobias freeze; he was standing closer than originally thought, "She has your eyes," she informed him as one, tiny black eye stared tiredly up at her.
Tobias made a strange noise, something like a mix between a chuckle and a groan, but before he could actually reply, the brunette approached, smiling and gazing at the little girl.
"Do you have a name?" she asked softly, reaching out to push the blanket off of the baby's left cheek with one, careful finger and leaning forward to properly smile at her. Eileen paused, glancing at Tobias in question, but her husband merely stared, a clear sign that he did not have an opinion on the matter. She took a deep breath, looking down at her daughter, and paused, searching for a proper answer. She didn't want to leave the matter hanging; she hated the idea of bringing her baby home without a name.
"Blair," she said finally, looking again at Tobias, who merely nodded once, shortly and turned away towards the doctor and nurse who were marking up the chart at the foot of the bed. Eileen turned back to the brunette, "Blair," she repeated firmly. The child in her arms shifted and a tiny hand pressed up against her heart with a strange sort of insistence.
Eileen pressed the baby—Blair—into her chest and dissolved into tears.
It was a strange adjustment, for both of them.
Tobias, Eileen noticed immediately, was reluctant to touch Blair, let alone hold her. She knew why, of course he was growing more and more paranoid of the magic, after all, even Eileen was getting surprised at how—quiet the little girl was being. It'd been a month and surely, surely, if she was anything like the rest of her magical family, if she was the Prince her mother suspected she was, she'd start giving off signs.
One day, in the middle of a diaper change, Tobias entered the nursery to hover awkwardly in the corner beside the changing table, his hands buried in his pockets and his dark eyes fixed on the little girl as she simply lay there, waiting for Eileen to finish.
"Is she even awake?" Tobias asked after a long moment, as Eileen finished taping the diaper in place and lifted Blair into a sitting position. The child blinked up at her, almost lazily, and let herself get maneuvered without any sort of movement in response.
"Of course," she picked the baby up and turned away from the table, starting towards the nursery door, "She's a mellow baby," she continued, "Don't complain."
Tobias blanched, "Believe me, I'm not," he grumbled as he followed her out the door and into the hallway, sounding very much like a toddler himself.
Eileen was halfway to the stairs when she realized she had forgotten Blair's bottle on the window sill of the nursery. She cursed softly and turned, nearly running into Tobias's chest as she did, but stopped dead as he caught her upper arms, keeping her upright, her eyes locked on the sight behind him, stunned despite the fact that she'd expected it and soon.
Hovering at her eye level, about two feet behind her husband, was the bottle.
Tobias caught her look and turned, stepping back when he caught sight of the bottle, his dark eyes widening. Eileen watched him carefully as the formula drifted closer and then slowly, into her outstretched hand, frowning when he almost flinched backwards. Blair was quiet against her shoulder, completely still and completely unaware that she'd brought the bottle with her.
"That's my girl," she cooed softly, ignoring the still-stunned look on Tobias's face. Blair whined a little in response.
Tobias wasn't sure, but he was beginning to get the impression that his daughter knew way more than she let on.
She was six and a half months now, it was late June, and she was just sitting there. Just sitting there in the grass while he was supposed to be watching her and making sure that she didn't, as Eileen put it, "roll off somewhere" and staring at this one blade of grass with this particular intensity.
"Blair," he said pointedly after a long moment of stillness, "What is it about that grass that's so interesting?"
Alert black eyes flicked to him, before turning slowly back to that blade of grass. If Tobias hadn't known better, he'd say the little girl was frowning, maybe even scowling as she stared. His nerves got the better of him then, as her displays of magical ability, while only few and far between, had been growing in intensity, from a bowl of pancake batter exploding all over the kitchen, to every light bulb in the living room going out in the middle of a particularly nasty tantrum over, strangely enough, a book that Blair had been, apparently, staring at and wanted to complete her survey of. He knew it was rather ridiculous, as he edged backwards a few inches; she was six months old, for god's sake, but the girl was also a witch and, for all he knew, she wanted that grass to burst into flame.
They sat like that for about five minutes, Blair staring at the grass, Tobias staring at her, before the back screen door was pushed open and Eileen was approaching, holding a picnic basket and smiling knowingly.
"Blair," she scolded, sitting down beside her husband and drawing Blair's eyes away from her grass once again, "You're scaring your father."
Blair looked at her, then at the picnic basket, and crawled towards her parents, grass forgotten.
Tobias tried not to look too relieved.
A/N: I know it's starting slowly, but I promise, within a few chapters, Lily will be around and we'll be heading off to Hogwarts. I know I made Blair seem like a strange child and Tobias less than abusive or whatever, but he's going to start withdrawing as Blair keeps growing and Blair will start coming out of her shell and reacting to her father.
Also, I apologize for the birth scene. It was necessary.
So please review, if you're interested in seeing this continue. Thanks.