Disclaimer: Harry Potter and everything related is the property of J.K. Rowling and anyone else who has claim to a piece of Harry's fame (Oh, God, I'm rhyming. Stop me before I begin to speak in rhyme!)

Disclaimer 2: I own the plot and Saerry Snape. Nothing more, nothing less

This story is a branch of my other HP story Harry Potter and the Dark Defenses. My original character from that story (Saerry Snape) is the main character in this one. But instead of being seven years after the trio graduates, it's their fifth year. And Saerry's twenty years old. Here's the twist. She's thought to be dead.

ON TO THE STORY! Okay, the prologue but hey, its part of the story….

Prologue

**Memories**

Fifteen years ago…

Fire crested the night sky as the great manor owned by the Snape family burnt. Those wizards and witches that lived around dared not try to stop the fire.

The Dark Mark hovered above the house, showing all that could see it that Voldemort's Death Eaters had been on another raid and had killed again.

In the chaos of it all a young girl of five years of age stumbled away from the flames. Tears streamed down her face as she cried silently. She was the only survivor of the fire in Snape Manor. Her parents had been killed by one of the Death Eaters while she had hidden in her older brother's room. As the fire had started she had fled.

Now she stumbled towards the forest that lay behind the manor. It was the only place she could think to go.

Wiping tears from her eyes, Saerry Snape gathered her somewhat singed robes in her hands and ran into the forest. Away from the fire. And away from all that she knew.

At the same time, Severus Snape stood on the Manor's lawn, horror filling his black eyes.

His parents, his little sister, all gone. All killed.

Fighting the urge to cry, to simply let go, he turned and walked away. All he had ever loved in his life was gone.

Now all he had left was his so-called loyalty to Voldemort and his loyalty to Albus Dumbledore.

Blinking back a lone tear, he Apparated away.

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Three days later…

Severus Snape could barely believe his ears.

Voldemort was gone. And little Harry Potter had been the one to do it, when other wizards and witches could barely stand against the Dark Lord.

He was glad Voldemort was gone.

He was free now, except for the Dark Mark on his arm, which could get him thrown in Azkaban.

But Dumbledore had promised to keep him from that fate.

Yet he almost wanted it. He had nothing else to live for.

Except maybe the Potions job Dumbledore had offered him. He could take it and probably live a fairly good life. Or he could not and live the life he'd been living since he'd graduated from Hogwart's and joined Voldemort.

Sighing Severus decided to take the job.

It was what his parents and sister would have wanted.

A/N: And there you are ladies and gentlemen. The prologue. What do ye think? Good? Bad? Medium? Needs some fava beans and a Chianti? *grin* Heheh. Maybe not that last one. lol Anyway, Chapter 1 is in the works. And remember, if you read don't forget to review. Just press the little box at the bottom of your screen. It costs nothing and its no skin off yer teeth! ^_^.