Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling owns Harry Potter.

A/N: You'll likely recognize the deleted scene from HBP and some lines from the book. Those lines clearly aren't mine. In addition, this story is going to be a bit different than my usual ones in the fact that I'm going to show clips of big events (some that happened in HBP with a twist, and some that didn't). This story is Aurora and Severus as usual for me. In fact, Aurora and Severus married in the summer before OOTP. This story also includes one scene that includes adult themes, so be warned. Lastly, each chapter title is from a song. The first chapter's song is "Pretending" by the Glee cast. Enjoy. :D

Pretending

A tall man with shoulder-length black hair stood in front of three massive windows, looking out at the threatening skies. He could feel in his blood the deadly change that was coming. He swallowed slowly. As darkness moved across his face, he glanced down towards the stone floor. His face held a somber look, one that he wore well in private. When the light finally broke through, he closed his eyes, savoring in its warmth. Unconsciously, his thumb rubbed the underside of his silver wedding ring. Opening his eyes when his entire face was bathed in the light, he stared out the windows again. He was barely breathing, feeling his stomach clenching painfully.

His left arm jerked suddenly, the stain on his soul feeling as if it was being re-seared into his forearm. Closing his eyes for a moment, he pictured the faces of the three people in his life who meant something to him. He then inhaled slowly, turning away and walking down the aisle to leave his classroom. He was doing this for them, not himself.

He briskly strode through the silent and hallowed halls, his heart thundering in his chest. His thumb quickly resumed its rubbing of his wedding ring. If there was another way—no—no, that would do little good now. This was the only way. He had also given his word. Unlike some people, he always meant it, always.

Taking the steps two at a time, he ascended up the tower. He could hear movement above him, knowing that for once it wasn't students attempting to snog the life out of one another. He was just about to reach the observatory when he caught movement in the alcove underneath it. Drawing his ebony wand, he walked towards the green-eyed, messy-haired sixth-year who was pointing his wand upwards. He remained perfectly calm when the young man slowly lowered his wand, moving it to point it at him. He would not hurt the young man, not Lily's son.

He slowly brought his index finger up, pressing it against his lips as he stared at the young man. One of them needed to trust the other, so he slowly lowered his wand, ignoring the voice in his head that said the young man was just like his father. Harry, the young man, was nothing like his father, just as he was not anything like his own father Tobias. When Harry slowly started to lower his wand, he turned away from the young man, ascending up the remaining steps.

"NOW," screeched Bellatrix Lestrange, somewhere off to the left of the observatory.

"No," he firmly stated. He slowly strode onto the observatory, the wind sweeping his hair back dramatically. He stared down where he knew Harry was watching. For Harry, he was doing this. His heart thumped loudly against his ribcage as he prepared himself.

"Severus," softly said his mentor and the reason he was in this horrid situation.

Slowly, his head rose to stare the blue-eyed man in the eyes. He wanted the man to see how much he hated him for this. Only he knew he didn't hate the man. Compared to the Dark Lord, the headmaster was at least kinder most of the time.

"Please," the white wizard simply said, his eyes holding no twinkle for the first time in awhile.

Raising his wand swiftly, he pointed it at his mentor, mustering up the hatred he needed to complete it. "Avada Kedavra," he casted, his voice slightly wavering at the end.

With a sickly green flash of light, it was over. Standing there at the top of the Astronomy Tower, he silently watched the elderly wizard fall backwards off the edge onto the courtyard below. Lightning then flashed, bathing his pale face in its brightness. He whirled around a moment later to leave the tower, his black robes billowing behind him menacingly.

As he did, he grabbed the young blonde who stood to his immediate left in complete horror and shock, yanking him with. He ignored the tightness in his chest, the pain and the fear. It was over. He had done his job, just as it was expected of him. They quickly rushed down the spiral staircase, heading out of the castle at blazing speed.

Walking through the Great Hall, he felt himself start to tremble, his emotions threatening to overtake him. He brushed them back instantly, not allowing that to occur. Emerging through the large oak doors into the Entrance Hall, he stunned the first man and was about to do the same to the woman when he recognized the woman's dark curls as she turned around.

"Severus?" she softly whispered, staring at him with complete confusion on her ashen face.

He sensed someone raising a wand behind him, causing him to whirl around. Reacting first, he hissed, "No magic." He caught the Death Eater's surprise at his words, but he frankly didn't care. "Unless you wish to deal with me," he growled, glaring at them.

"Fine," gruffly replied the Death Eater, lowering his wand.

Another Death Eater, Fenrir Greyback, rushed past him, smacking the woman hard across the face before Severus could even say a word. When she fell towards the stone floor clearly unconscious, Greyback grabbed her upper arms to keep her upright. "Is that better for you, Snape?" he snarled, baring his yellow teeth. "Don't worry. I've got your little whore." He then tossed her onto his shoulder effortlessly. "Now, how about we get the hell out of here before the rest of your little friends show up?"

Severus clenched his teeth tightly to keep from snarling some choice words at him. However, Fenrir was unfortunately correct. They had to hurry. So, breezing past the werewolf, he headed out of the castle towards the outer edge of the Anti-Apparation wards. He would deal with the consequences of his actions once they regrouped.

As they neared Hagrid's hut, he heard "Snape, he trusted you!" from Harry. He whirled around, staring up at the young man. He turned his head back when he heard the explosion behind him. There were too many things going on that he was starting to lose focus.

"Go on," he yelled towards the blond and his other companions.

"Incarcerous," cried Harry, sending his spell at him.

Severus easily blocked it with his nonverbal shield. He could feel the hatred radiating off Harry as he approached. The young man had the look of revenge on his face, clearly wanting an eye for an eye.

"Fight back," roared Harry, raising his wand again. "You coward, fight back!" he yelled.

"DON'T CALL ME A COWARD!" bellowed Severus, his left eye twitching. He wasn't a coward. Harry would learn that in the end. Even if Severus had to shove it down his throat to prove that he wasn't. He then watched the young man fly backwards as Bellatrix sent a spell towards him. "NO!" he hollered, whirling around. "He belongs to the Dark Lord." He watched her craze-filled laughter die on her tongue before she rolled her eyes and ran off to join the others.

The wind fanned his robes out then, giving him the appearance if only for a moment of a dark angel. He waited, watching Harry lay on the ground before turning slowly and walking off.

"Sectumsempra!" yelled Harry, sending the dreaded spell at him.

Severus whirled around, effortlessly sending a nonverbal at the young man and waving off Harry's spell. Harry had thought he was an enemy? The young man clearly needed to use his brain for once in his life. As he watched the young man twitch on the ground in sheer pain, he slowly approached.

"You dare use my own spells against me, Potter?" he asked, frowning down at Lily's son. "Yes," he drawled. "I'm the Half-Blood Prince." He slowly inhaled, kicking Harry's wand away from his hand. He then turned around, heading down the hill. There was so much he should have said to him before leaving, but there just wasn't enough time. There were after all only so many times he could tell the young man to close his mind, knowing the young man wouldn't listen anyway especially now.

Severus arrived at the wards a moment later, Apparating directly into Malfoy Manor. He glanced towards the gathered people, noticing that a blonde woman was now tending to the unconscious curly-haired woman who now as lying on a black leather sofa.

"Good, good, welcome, Severus," said the Dark Lord as he walked into the room with a smile. His red eyes glanced towards their guest, frowning slightly. "Who brought her here?" he growled, glaring at his followers. "The old coot was the main objective. That was it. Who brought her here?"

"I did, my Lord," Severus replied quietly, bowing slightly.

"Why?" he demanded, sneering at him.

"She came across us as we were—"

"Why did you not just stun her and continue, as was your orders to do, Severus?" he snarled.

"Because she is pregnant with my child, my Lord," Severus answered quietly.

"Your child?" the Dark Lord replied, his voice less harsher now. "What is she to you exactly?"

"My wife," he responded, forcing himself to remain at ease.

"Your wife," repeated the Dark Lord before chuckling. "A pureblood I take it, yes?"

"Yes, my Lord," he answered.

"Very well," the Dark Lord simply said. "Lucius, see to it that Severus's wife is cared for."

"As you wish, my Lord," the older blonde wizard replied, slowly inclining his head respectfully.

"Oh, and, Lucius?" the Dark Lord called out, smirking dangerously. "Prepare the master bedroom for Severus and his wife. Seeing as how you and your son both failed spectacularly with your objectives, it is only fair."

Lucius's gray eyes snapped towards Severus before he frowned and nodded his head once. A moment later, his body went rigid with pain in his eyes. He then panted as the spell was released.

"Yes, my Lord, forgive me," Lucius said, panting.

"To the rest of you, you will show Severus and his wife the same respect you would show me. Is that understood?" He openly smiled when a flurry of 'yes, my Lord' rang out. "Excellent," he stated. His eyes then narrowed on the unconscious witch's face. "Who is responsible for the marks to her face?" he hissed, his anger quickly returning.

"I am, my Lord," answered Fenrir, his eyes downcast.

"When she awakens, you will apologize immediately," the Dark Lord ordered. "In fact, your fate will reside with her. Whatever punishment she wishes for you will occur. Is this understood?"

"Yes, my Lord, I understand," the werewolf replied uneasily.

"Narcissa, see to it that she is cleaned up properly." The Dark Lord then inhaled, seemingly drawing the air from everyone else's lungs. "If anything occurs, however, know that I will not hesitate to kill you. Understood?" he asked, glancing at the blonde witch.

"I do, my Lord," she said quietly, bowing her head with a slight tremble.

"I'm glad to see that you learned your lesson, Narcissa." The Dark Lord's red eyes slowly moved over to her son. "Draco, I am most disappointed in you. However, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. You will wait hand and foot for Severus and his wife while they are here. Whatever they wish you will see to it, Draco." He slowly walked towards Severus, resting a hand on his shoulder. "I am very glad to know that old coot died by your wand, my son. It seems almost fitting, doesn't it, considering how he believed until the very end that you were his?" The Dark Lord chuckled softly. "I have great plans for you, Severus, for the upcoming months. For now, though, rest with your wife and unborn child. You have deserved it, my son." Quietly, he walked away, leaving Severus with a chill in his soul.

~DE~

It felt odd being in the master bedroom of Malfoy Manor. It felt like an invasion of Lucius and Narcissa's privacy truthfully. However, Severus knew that they had cleaned their rooms, stripping it of everything that was Malfoy-like. It just felt odd.

He glanced towards his wife, frowning. The large bruise on the left side of her face was a deep purple with red edges. He winced sympathetically. He was well aware how upset she'd be upon waking. He didn't blame her one bit, though.

Unfortunately, he couldn't heal her with magic. In fact, other than Portkey, Apparation, and Floo, any sort of magic would be harmful to the baby. He knew that expectant mothers were sensitive to magic, but even Madam Pomfrey had said that she had never seen it that bad before. His frown deepened when he heard her moan softly. She likely had a million questions for him. He was not looking forward to this.

However, he drew in a calming breath, walking towards her before sitting on the edge of the bed. He winced when her moan was a bit more pain filled than prior. He waited patiently, though, for her to wake, ready to accept whatever she was going to throw at him.

"Severus?" she softly whispered, her chocolaty warm brown eyes staring at him.

"Afternoon," he greeted her quietly, holding up a white towel that was wrapped around ice. He slowly moved closer to her, gently pressing it against her bruise a moment later. "I apologize."

"For him striking me or for being with them?" she asked, staring at him.

"For everything," he answered softly.

"Severus, what did you do?"

"You're likely going to need to—"

"Please don't brush off the question. Severus, please tell me. What did you do?"

He sighed, closing his eyes. Harry's words echoed in his head. Dumbledore did trust him, which was why his life was so fucked up now. It would have been better for everyone if the man hadn't.

"I can't answer that, Aurora."

"Why can't you?"

He glanced up at her, staring into her eyes. While Lily's green eyes had always demanded the truth from him, Aurora's always made him feel so damn guilty. He opened his mouth to answer her, only to be cut off by the doors opening. Saved by the Dark Lord, now there was irony.

"You're awake, excellent," the Dark Lord said, smiling widely. He then glanced towards Fenrir.

"Um, I, uh, I apologize for harming you earlier. I should not have struck you. It was wrong of me to do so. So, again, many apologies," stated the werewolf with his metaphorical tale between his legs.

Aurora stared at Fenrir for a moment before glancing towards Severus. She seemed genuinely confused by his apology. She then shook her head.

"You're apologizing to me?" she asked, scoffing.

"Yes, I am," Fenrir replied, licking his lips nervously.

"Why?"

The werewolf glanced at the Dark Lord and then back to her. He grimaced slightly, as if the entire conversation was causing him great pain. Considering that the apology was based around the threat that the Dark Lord cared little about what occurred with him, it was no wonder he was groveling and lowering himself to almost pathetic levels.

"I, uh, reacted—"

"No. Why are you apologizing to me?"

"You're Severus's wife," he simply stated.

"So that puts me at a higher status?" She then shook her head. "Well, you know what? Take your apology and shove it up your arse." Her brown eyes glared daggers at him. "In fact, you know what you could do that would make me feel better? How about you cast the Killing Curse on yourself and do the world a favor?" she snarled.

Severus closed his eyes, knowing that she had just said it in anger not understanding that she had just sealed Fenrir's fate. For a split second, he thought about speaking out for the werewolf, but decided against it. The werewolf had after all struck his wife, among other transgressions that Aurora was likely thinking of instead of him hitting her.

"Excellent idea," the Dark Lord drawled, clapping his hands together. "Run out of the room, Fenrir. You're done here."

"My Lord, please," the werewolf begged.

"I said that you're done here," snapped the Dark Lord, glaring at him. "Now do as she says, or else I will do it for you." He raised an eyebrow when Fenrir remained where he was standing. "As you wish," he simply stated, shrugging as he flicked his bone wand at the werewolf, his curse striking him in the chest. Emotionlessly, he glanced towards Aurora. "Forgive me for that. I'll remove it shortly." He then walked towards her. "May I?" he asked quietly, smiling softly almost charmingly. When she agreed, very confused now, he gently kissed her cheek. "You are a very beautiful witch."

"Thank you," she quietly replied, narrowing her eyes on him.

"Ah, yes, you are wondering what he did. Understandable, yes," the Dark Lord said. "Your husband killed Dumbledore for me, my dear. I could not have planned it any better." He then glanced towards Severus. "I shall require your presence in the morning, so enjoy your time with your wife until then." He then simply walked towards the door, Fenrir's dead body levitating behind him. The door closed behind him a moment later.

"Albus is dead?" she whispered, staring at her husband.

"Yes," Severus replied.

"Why? Why would you—I don't understand. Why?"

"Those were my orders," he quietly said.

"So, you-you're really His?" A horrified look crossed her face before she choked back a sob. "No, no, you can't be His. You can't be." She then covered her face, her hands slowly lowering and cupping around her nose and mouth.

He wanted to tell her that she wasn't wrong, but he couldn't. It was one of his many secrets that he couldn't tell her. And he hated himself even more for it.

"I'm sorry," he said, walking into the bathroom and closing the door behind him.

A/N: Next chapter is entitled "Hurt" and set during the Malfoy Manor events in DH.