~ Chapter Fifteen ~
Silas couldn't believe his luck. One second he had all the blessings in the world. His family had come together and he'd even found his mate pushing the bond along further. Everything was looking like only positive outcomes were to head his way. The next moment he would be struck down with the worst news he could possibly imagine. In his life it had been a never ending cycle and remained true even in his life with the Malfoys.
The good news that morning had come in the form of a letter mainly because his parents still didn't know he continued to keep contact with the Weasley twins. Marvolo had permitted the twins to watch over him without taking the Dark Mark. His mate was truly looking out for him in every way possible. He was certain that Marvolo had initially desired to mark them however the twins proved they were more than capable of working without it. Fred and George had been accepted by Marvolo and that was one step closer to uniting his past and current self, melding them so only Silas remained. The next step was to inform his parents.
Silas knew he should have informed them first but honestly he was far more concerned about the bad news that had been delivered. His brother was being stalked by his other mate. It was Draco's sixth year at Hogwarts and the Defence Professor was Severus Snape. The man was relentless not only in teaching but also attempting to speak with Draco. Certainly he had every right to do so as the Head of Slytherin however this was pushing the point. Snape stopped Draco at every turn to question him about numerous on goings at the Manor.
He hadn't outright mentioned it yet but everything was pointing towards Silas and his desire to see him. No one in their family was quite pleased about that when Draco sent a letter home the very first week explaining everything. So Silas made certain to inform his parents of Marvolo's decision and his continued friendship at a more appropriate time.
Of course this didn't alleviate the concerns Lucius and Narcissa were plagued with. They had every right to be concerned given the lengths in which Snape had attempted to get to Silas the first time. The very person they were attempting to keep away from one son had decided to latch on to the other. It certainly wasn't the best of positions to be in for any of them and it only added strain onto the family.
"Lucius, we can't leave him there!" Narcissa cried.
They were in the lounge room, Lucius pacing away while Narcissa stood wringing her hands. Only Silas sat calmly. Nye lay curled in his lap preening under the attention Silas was showering him in. Yet the worry was still there buried, revealed only by the darkening sky outside.
"The earliest we can possibly remove Draco from Hogwarts is Yule, Cissa. Even the Board won't listen to me should I attempt anything sooner. Draco will have to make do with what he has." Lucius responded.
No one was pleased about this, the clouds outside rumbled in discontent.
"Lucius…" Narcissa whispered.
Silas couldn't help but feel for his parents. They'd just managed to push Snape out of their lives at the Manor and yet he was still there. In the back of their minds he was still playing with them. It seemed that as long as he was alive the Malfoy family wouldn't be able to find peace.
"Would the Dark Lord be able to help us in this situation?" Silas questioned.
Lucius frowned but didn't reply. Honestly he didn't know how to answer his son's question. They may have been in the Dark Lord's favour recently but that didn't generally mean the man would come to their aid in such a matter. Certainly he would drop anything for Silas but Lucius couldn't quite say that same manner would apply to the entire family. The Dark Lord would only do so in order to keep Silas happy yet that didn't appeal to him either. Narcissa gripped his arm.
"It wouldn't hurt to ask though, right?" Silas continued. "If I were to ask him for help he wouldn't deny me."
Lucius' frowned remained. It certainly would be a last resort if nothing else came about.
"I don't want you to push your relationship with the Dark Lord further if he isn't prepared for it. If he is unwilling to aid us he might not be as open to your relationship as you need. I think it matters little who the request comes from at the moment." Lucius finally spoke.
"What If I knew the words to the prophecy, would that make a difference?" Silas jumped in.
Lucius choked whilst Narcissa ran to wrap her arms around the teen.
"We don't desire to place you in harm's way to save another Silas." She reassured him. "I don't want you to give the Dark Lord something that might affect everything you have come to love. We don't want you to mention anything of the such."
The fact that Silas still thought so little of himself spoke wonders for the emotional abuse piled on him in the care of the Light. Lucius would love nothing more than to destroy everyone with ties to Silas' terrible behavioural patterns yet he was somewhat fond of his Aunt. Regardless of what he thought of her, the fact Silas cared meant she and her family were off limits. The Order of the Phoenix on the other hand weren't as lucky. Lucius would destroy them.
"But would it-"
"Silas we aren't using you in such a way. There will be other avenues to peruse." Lucius affirmed.
His son frowned.
"But you just said there was little we could do to help him for now. What else is there to try?"
Lucius chuckled and sat down beside Silas an arm wrapping around his shoulders.
"Yes, I said there was little we could do. I didn't however say there was nothing we could do."
Silas blinked, uncertain as to what his father was hinting at. Nye yipped noticing his attention was elsewhere. Returning to his petting, Silas turned towards his father with a frown.
"What is that we're going to do then?" he questioned.
A smirk appeared on Lucius' face. Silas knew this face, though on another. This was a face for mischief. Fred and George often wore this face whilst they were preparing a prank. He'd even noted it on Sirius' face on a number of occasions when he thought no one was watching. Hope soared as his father replied.
"Severus will soon find it is unwise to antagonize anyone from the Malfoy family."
A smirk crossed Silas' face. Malfoy's and revenge, this would be interesting to witness.
Marvolo couldn't help but frown as he watched the clouds tumble around the sky. Anything weather related concerned him. Silas after all wasn't well known for his control of emotion. Whatever was occurring with his little Nymph certainly had taken its toll on the youngest Malfoy. However Marvolo couldn't do anything whilst sitting here and yet he couldn't leave yet either. No, he needed to speak with Fenrir Greyback before he could go to see Silas.
This meeting was one of high importance. He couldn't move forward without the support of the werewolves. Certainly having other creatures on his side would be a boon but the werewolves were a clinching factor. If he had them it didn't matter if the others decided to remain neutral. They were a power house all on their own. With one of the largest groups of creatures on his side he would have everything he needed. Then Dumbledore would have no place to cower.
"My Lord, Greyback is here."
Marvolo dismissed his minion and waited hands clasped for the wolf to arrive. He needed this to go well and having cowering followers around just couldn't grant the same atmosphere. Certainly it proved he held quite an amount of power but it didn't preset the right front.
"Dark Lord," Fenrir greeted as he entered the Dining Room.
Returning the greeting in a similar manner, Marvolo indicated Fenrir could be seated wherever he desired. This room wasn't meant to hold large meetings however for the two of them it was enough. Privacy would be maintained.
"It would seem past time to hold a discussion concerning mates and their necessity within this arrangement." Marvolo opened.
Marvolo was no fool. Before discovering his own mate, he had believed the wolves didn't really need to have any protection when discovering their mate. He'd merely believed they would be capable of handling everything alone or at least within their own packs. He'd been wrong however especially as he'd watched Silas. It had taken his family rallying behind Silas before he could escape from his own handlers. If anything it would be more difficult for that of a werewolf to gain their mates should they have reluctant relations. The laws needed working.
"It's about time this discussion took place. I've been waiting for you to make time for it."
It was a direct slur. If the Dark Lord didn't believe something was of importance it wouldn't be discussed. Usually he kept all creature related matters to attend to last. He'd realized however that prioritizing in such a manner wasn't doing him any good. He let the slur slide.
"Mates are quite important to werewolves are they not?" he asked.
Fenrir snarled. "If you say anything otherwise you'll have to call a few of your Death Eaters to deal with a corpse."
Marvolo sneered. Both knew it would be Fenrir leaving as a corpse. Not that it did either any good. Both needed this agreement to go well as without each other they would fall to the Light's leanings for muggle safety. It was purely unacceptable.
"What is that you need from me regarding these mates?"
Jumping straight to the point diplomatically appeared to be the easiest place to start. Having two dominant people within one room didn't create a very peaceful meeting especially if it ran for any length of time.
"We want what all creatures want for their mates." Fenrir huffed. "We want to be able to have them believe when the dominants say we'll protect them. We want submissives to be believed when they offer nothing but security. But most importantly we don't want to be rejected when we do find that one person who only helps to complete us."
Hearing this spoken from Fenrir gave Marvolo thought. Certainly Silas had spoken vaguely at the beginning what he wanted from Marvolo but to find this was true for many other species as well only made him sympathetic to their cause. He at least now understood where the creatures were coming from better. Having Silas by his side only seemed to improve his standing.
Glancing outside, the sky had only continued to darken since breakfast. The sky swirled in discontent making Marvolo frown. What was happening with Silas?
"What you can do," the wolf continued, "is help pass legislation within the Ministry explaining and aiding us in this quest to secure peacefully mates for any creature."
"I only have a very limited amount of control on the Ministry."
This wasn't entirely true. He had quite a grasp on the Ministry but he couldn't move yet. There wasn't enough information or support to move freely and change so many problems within their world. Dumbledore needed to be removed from the picture before anything could be changed for good.
"Once Dumbledore is out of the way, I will have a firmer grasp on the Ministry and will be able to bring these changes forward. Until then I will aid you in any way possible."
Fenrir frowned. Marvolo knew he was being rather easy to accept this. In the past he'd pushed these issues aside but he wouldn't any longer. This wasn't just something that he could do any longer. Silas when he found out about this meeting would want a positive response especially to this situation. Outside, the sky rumbled.
"You seem in a hurry Dark Lord."
The question was rather loaded with many things unsaid. Fenrir had a rather unappealing grin spread across his face. Stiffening, Marvolo chose to reply as honestly as possible.
"My mate is waiting for me."
The wolf scoffed, disbelief pouring off him in waves.
"Mate? I didn't realize Dark Lord's had mates."
"Truly, I belong to him."
This seemed to give the werewolf pause. Greyback knew the Dark Lord had no creature blood flowing through his veins. Yet it was the way he had spoken that had caught his attention. Having said Silas didn't belong to him even though he was obviously the dominant meant Marvolo had respect for his mate not many non-creature dominants possessed.
"What creature is your little mate then?" Fenrir questioned in the silence.
"He is a Nymph… a Water Nymph to be precise."
The atmosphere changed. Marvolo tensed, waiting for the wolf to attack and yet he merely continued to sit before him. Mentioning Water Nymphs appeared to have a rather strange effect on the other creature. Greyback's face was stony yet contemplative as he spoke.
"Many will side with you if this was known amongst the creatures."
Marvolo nodded. Of this he already knew. Water Nymphs were creatures rare enough to be considered great in even the most reclusive of circles. Most Nymphs were kept secreted away because they sold for quite a substantial amount on the black market.
"Why haven't you spoken this to those you wish to court to your side?" the wolf enquired.
"It is not what my mate desires as of yet."
Greyback easily accepted this replying, "Then I shall respect their wishes for now."
"See that you do."
The darkness spread into the room the only warning the wolf would receive. Should he go behind the Dark Lord's back and spread this news before Silas was ready then he would end up dead for all to see.
"If that is all Dark Lord then I have to return to my pack."
Marvolo waved him off. He desperately desired to see Silas.
Severus was not a man to say he was easily beaten. Any Slytherin always had the determination to achieve their hearts desire. It was one of the sole reasons many were sorted into Slytherin house to begin with. Obtaining Silas however was proving to be his greatest challenge yet and one he couldn't quite achieve.
The Malfoy's had tightened ranks. Silas had never made it Hogwarts instead starting to be tutored at home. While this displeased him there were ways around it. He might not be able to get to Silas but he did have a better chance of getting to Draco. The elder Malfoy still attended Hogwarts and even better belonged in his house and in his Defence Against the Dark Arts class. Seeing Draco wasn't a problem. Getting him to speak about his family on the other hand was.
The brat refused to speak about anyone in his family citing reasons perfectly valid by Hogwarts rules. Home life was only ever interfered with if a teacher suspected abuse. No one could say Draco Malfoy was being abused so he had no ground to push further. However he had seen Malfoy send away a letter to home and it concerned him greatly. Lucius would soon get involved and he would be out of his league. Playing Slytherin games with someone more experienced than he wasn't a way to gain victory.
"Severus, are you paying attention?"
The ex-spy snapped to attention as the surrounding Order members all frowned in disproval. He sneered at them. Of course he wasn't paying attention. Every single Order meeting so far had been about Silas. Yet no new information had been presented. All they did every week they met was rehash old information as if it would get them anywhere.
"Of course, Headmaster, however unlike some of these imbeciles I do not need to continue whining about how I'm unable to reach Silas by owl. Malfoy Manor is known quite well to have difficult wards to bypass. Mail from the Weasley family, a family of well-known blood traitors would never penetrate a pureblood manor." Severus explained as if speaking to a child.
"In the same manner, I doubt any mail from anyone within the Order will reach Silas. Lucius is rather protective of his children. Should anyone attempt to make them feel uncomfortable in any setting he will lash out as any typical Slytherin. Subtly will come first, within the words of a warning, after that it will increase to threats until slowly he pins you down with a false move and you can't do anything but comply. He will utilize his power to keep his family from harm."
Worry crept through his tone. Severus knew this was soon to be his own fate. Pushing Draco certainly hadn't endeared the Malfoy's to him. They'd already managed to destroy his job as a spy. He'd be on the Dark Lord's death list and he wouldn't be gifted a swift painless death either.
In fact he was willing to believe no one in the Order would be gifted with such knowing as they did of Silas nature. It mattered little who Silas held as a mate. The fact they knew and could identify or speak Silas creature status to the wrong person would be the death of them. Their only hope was having Severus gain the upper hand on this other mate. With them out of the way, they would win; they would be alive to see the remainder of their lives. That was what mattered. Yet uncertainty mounted.
Standing, Severus excused himself and swept from the silent room. Not many people wanted to speak after that wonderful news. No one had thought of that before, and bringing it up now certainly didn't liven their spirits.
Apparating brought him to Hogwarts where he walked the remainder of the way to his quarters. He wouldn't attempt to speak with Draco. Perhaps tomorrow he would try another method, a method perhaps that didn't rely on Draco at all. But until then he needed time to think, he needed time to plan and act like a true Slytherin once again since he wasn't doing such an excellent job currently and everyone could see it.
He didn't stop moving until he spotted the letter sitting harmlessly on his coffee table amongst other mail. The insignia was that of the Malfoy family and he cringed. He hadn't moved swift enough. Defeat stared at him in the form of a letter and all it entailed. With a sigh he sat down and opened the letter with a grim face.
Severus Snape, it has come to my attention recently you are singling out my eldest son. Whilst I may not be able to remove my son from Hogwarts curriculum as yet, I am still able to send my concerns to the Board of Governors about you and your relationships regarding students.
Severus paled. That hit hard. Certainly what Lucius was threatening wasn't accurate however Slytherins had a way of sneaking the truth amongst lies and making it work. The wording might have been to do with his atrociously acidic behaviour towards students but others would read differently. The word relationships only brought up topics of romance for many people and for a professor, that wasn't permitted. The Board of Governors would have no choice but to remove him should he continue pursuing Silas or with his acidic mannerisms.
The letter fell to the floor. Feeling defeated, Severus closed his eyes and leant back into his arm chair. Nothing was going as planned. Everything was moving forward yet not as he desired. He couldn't even begin to understand where it all went wrong. What was he going to do?
If, as he desperately desired, he pursued Silas, Lucius would act on his threat. Even if he attempted to fix the bond between him and Draco, Lucius would still act. Any move made towards any Malfoy at this time would simply be a waste. He'd end up in Azkaban again and this time it would remain that way. Dumbledore would have no reason to save his life as his usefulness as a spy was gone. The Dark Lord wouldn't break him out because he'd enjoy watching Severus suffer for his betrayal. No Azkaban was where he would remain.
He couldn't do it.
The threat of Azkaban looming overhead wasn't worth risking his life for. Having Silas for a mate would have been perfect however he would have to do unmentionable things before he could claim his mate, things in which he couldn't even begin to think about. Severus didn't want to fall into that dark abyss where everything in his life was skewered by past deeds. The Dark Lord and those deemed dark could work with balancing that emotional wreck, he could not.
His only choice was to give up pursuing Silas. True happiness might never be granted to him but he would be content and away from Azkaban's frigid walls. In itself, that was a major motivator.
Yet he had promised to protect Lily's child at all cost. Silas was still Lily's child and he was still in danger with Dumbledore searching for him. The Order wouldn't be able to see the necessity of allowing Silas to live his life. They could only see a Dark Lord and what he was capable of doing and Harry Potter their saviour. Even though the prophecy no longer fit the boy they believed in it rather foolhardily.
Severus sighed. His next decision wasn't going to be easy. He needed to pick a side. He needed to just stick with what he desired. Silas had chosen and now, so did he. Either way, he couldn't remain here.
He'd been teaching with a negative attitude for such a long time he couldn't even begin to understand where a good professor should begin. All he wanted was his potions. Perhaps that was where he could begin… A small determined smile cracked on Severus' lips. He knew what he needed to do.
Silas was edgy. Clouds overhead rumbled in discontent, swirling around in overly odd formations. Lucius and Narcissa had reassured him everything would be okay. They had told him the letter they sent off would deter Snape from making any more moves. Yet in the back of his mind something still concerned him and he couldn't figure out what.
Severus Snape wasn't a person who would give up easily and yet Silas wasn't really a person who could say he knew the man. Perhaps his ex-potions professor would give in to the subtle threats Lucius had revealed. Perhaps it would warn Snape away from their family for quite some time and yet there was a niggling feeling in the back of his mind telling him Snape wouldn't be out of their lives for very long.
Silas sighed. Even if his feeling should be proven accurate, it meant his trust in his family wasn't as strong as he'd hoped. Their word even after everything they had done for him wasn't enough to settle his concerns. Eventually, Silas knew, he would settle down with this idea of family but obviously today wasn't the day.
By the edge of the wards, Silas couldn't see the manor which housed the Malfoy family. It was something of a relief. The constant worry hanging in the air was enough to stifle even the most outgoing of people. At least outside he was able to breathe fresh air and take in the nature surrounding him. Though he loved them dearly, family as he'd discovered could be overbearing during times of great stress.
Tall willows cascaded around him, billowing in the breeze. Though the clouds remained strong occasionally they parted so sunshine could fall through the curtains and warm Silas' skin. The peace this simple act caused was enough to grant Silas some time to think without the threat of interruption. It was bliss until a rustling caused him to start.
Shooting up from his seated position, Silas sated out behind the wards. No one should be able to enter the wards without his father's permission and yet that wouldn't necessarily stop certain curses from entering. After all one couldn't protect from every curse imaginable. Perhaps sitting here hadn't been the smartest of ideas…
Just as he was about to turn and run a shadow emerged from the scrub without a wand.
"Snape?" Silas spoke incredulously.
The man was the last person Silas expected to see here after the last encounter. Yet he didn't come across as threatening. Instead he had several leaves stuck in his hair along with numerous cuts and scratches from the brush. If anything the man appeared hurried like he'd run from a terrible attack. Frozen, Silas could only watch as Snape neared the wards yet didn't cross them.
"Silas, I would like for you to listen to me."
Silas frowned. Certainly that wasn't the best words to use as Snape hadn't truly appealed to him in any way. Yet the words didn't come across as demanding. Instead they came across as a plea.
"What do you want?" Silas questioned.
Haunted eyes pierced through him, causing Silas to stumble back against the tree he'd been leaning against.
"I want another chance… just another chance…"
This chapter is shorter than what I usually write which actually disappoints me as well as you. There might be a ton of spelling and grammar mistakes and for that I apologize Uniwork seems to be kicking my butt. Not much action or Marvolo/Silas either but things will be picking up shortly. I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.