It was almost impossible to feel comfortable while members of the Malfoy family monitor everything that Severus did in the premise of their property. He had lost the respect and trust of a family that held him in such high regards for a long time. Not that it bother Severus much, he has dealt with his fellow professors alienating him for killing Albus for the past year. The only thing that really upset Severus was that the Malfoy family has finally done what the rest of society had done to Severus ever since he was just a boy: Act as he was beneath them. The very same people who Severus has known through their darkest hours: murder, manipulation, and the early treatment of "their prize possession", Draco.
****He observed his friend, Lucius. He was desperate to give their master a good report.
"If you were to tell me where I can find the McKinnons, we'll spare your wife."
"But I don't know where my brother is hiding his family. Please don't hurt her."
"Wrong answer." Lucius turned to the wife, who was bound. "Avada Kerdava."
"No! You didn't have to kill her! Angie was innocent."
"Then tell us where they are, and maybe we will spare the rest of your immediate family. Maybe is the key word." Lucius held his wand to the man's only daughter. She was only eight.
"You can find them in North Ireland. My brother has property up there."
"Good." And this movement had surprised him, they had got what they came for. "Avada Kerdava." He could only stare at his friend in disbelief, he had killed a child. An innocent child. Lucius must have been bitterer about Narcissa's miscarriage than he had realized.
"Why would you do that? Just kill me now." Lucius finally turned to his friend, Severus could see such satisfaction dwelling in his eyes.
"Put him out of his misery already. We need to move on to our actual target." Was all Severus could say to his friend. Lucius was happy to oblige. ~~~~~~~~
"Severus, he won't even look at me anymore." Narcissa whispered desperately, as baby Draco slept in the other room. "He says that a good mother wouldn't let filthy house elves take care of the baby all day, but then he won't help me. All I need is a break, that's all I ask for."
"I don't know what to say Narcissa, and quite frankly I'm not sure why you seek my advice about something I have no insight on." This woman needed a calming serum, she was positively overwhelmed from motherhood. Suddenly, Draco's cries could be heard from the other room and Narcissa physically shook.
"I just don't know what to do Severus. I'm starting to have these thoughts and I can't help but be ashamed for thinking like this."
"About what?" She directed him to the room that the baby was crying from. Lucius pretty much had Narcissa at the beck and call of the child. There was a cot in the nursery for her to rest on. She had grabbed a small pillow and gestured down to the baby.
"Sometimes when Draco cries, he doesn't stop. He just doesn't ever stop. And all I can think of is, how good the silence would be. I can never get him to calm down, I'm such a horrible mother." Severus observed her stroking the pillow she was holding as she stared down at her crying son. "But maybe I could end all the pain, and keep the silence. Draco deserves to be treated better, treated by angels." Suddenly, Narcissa fell onto the ground, he had backhanded her harder than he had ever done in his life. She was absolutely bonkers. He picked up the crying baby awkwardly, and handed it to a house elf. "He'll be so mad!" He pulled the woman from the floor. She was completely broken. He began to shake Narcissa.
"Don't you EVER talk like that AGAIN!"~~~~~~
He had talked to Lucius about his distraught wife, and had given them several serums to curb the problem the couple had been ignoring, Narcissa had anxiety and was depressed after she had Draco, a deadly combination. Lucius hadn't questioned him for bruising his wife; Lucius would have done much worse if she had expressed her thoughts to him. Narcissa had soon returned back to normal and had become the ideal model of a good mother. The Malfoys had developed such a respect for him and what he had done for their family, and now they treat him with disdain. He had never held these moments against the family and how he view their characters. They were their darkest moments indeed. But now, should he have?*****
"Good morning father." The sound of his daughter's voice brought Severus out of his angry musings.
"It's raining." This remark caused Severus to earn a sneer from Narcissa who was sitting across the study. "But I suppose it is." Meredith stood in front of Severus until he pointed to the closest armchair to him. A smile beamed on her tired face.
"Is there anything I can do for you, father?" Severus took in the sight of his daughter, she looked weak and had grown so thin. She skin was very ashy and the dark lord's branding was even starting to get dimmer. The dark lord had exhausted her mind to the fullest extent, he wanted to her to complete her elixir before he had another encounter with Potter. Besides her physical being, she was remarkably dressed. Probably Narcissa's doing, despite her current feelings with him.
"No." Her face sadly dropped. She started to nervously play with her hair, which Severus hadn't noticed at first. It was much shorter than he had remembered it. "I just came to check in."
"Well it's getting better. Less of my pets have been dying, so I'm making progress. Draco is healthy." Severus had forgotten the dark lord's motivation, Draco the ferret.
"That's not what I asked." Her head had dropped in shame. She had spoken out of turn and about the wrong subject. Narcissa intently moved closer to the edge of her chair, as if to whisk Meredith away from him. Severus clenched his fists, nosy bat. "How are the Malfoy's treating you?" This had caught Meredith off guard, as well as Narcissa. How dare Severus question her abilities as a hostess!
"Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy have been very kind to me. But I don't care much for Ms. Bellatrix, I mean Mrs. Lestrange." Severus coughed, he nearly laughed at the thought that anyone would address Bellatrix so proper.
"Nobody does." Narcissa had rolled her eyes, she had heard people bash her sister more times than she could count. For a few moments, the three of them sat in silence. Nobody knew really what to say, especially Severus. Narcissa stood up.
"Meredith it is time to go back to the chamber." Narcissa's gaze had been meet with the nastiest glare, Meredith was upset her time had been cut short. "The dark lord wouldn't want you to be distracted for long." It killed Narcissa to request her to leave. The girl desperately wanted to see her father and Narcissa had to be the one to end it so abruptly.
"I'll be back around the holidays." This caused Meredith to carry a small smile as she walked out of the room. Within a second Narcissa was next to Severus, implying him to stand.
"I don't think that it would be a good idea, if you came back so soon."
"Why is that Narcissa? Would my presence ruin your family's out dated traditions?"
"I'm not trying to pick a fight with you Severus. Meredith needs to concentrate."
"It's all about your family getting back in good graces with my daughter's help!"
"Severus I told you that I do not want to row with you. I am just telling you the facts."
"Okay. Okay. Then tell me why her hair is so short? I highly doubt she hacked it off herself." This was the point where Narcissa could no longer look into Severus's eyes. There was several reasons that Meredith didn't like her sister, not that Narcissa could condone Bellatrix's behavior. She was just trying to get Meredith in the mindset of how real her situation was.
"No she didn't."
"That's what I thought. I will be here during the holidays regardless how you feel. Hospitable my arse!"
"Severus that is enough!" Narcissa was getting to her whit's end. Lucius came barging into the room upon hearing his wife's distress.
"Don't tell me what is enough!" Severus's finger pointed right at Narcissa's face. Lucius pushed his wife back, taking a protective stance between the two.
"Severus, I believe you should leave."
"What you believe Lucius and what is actually going to happen are two different things. I will do as I please."
"Not in my home Severus. And I certainly don't appreciate you talking to my wife in such ways. We don't have to allow your presence in our home."
"What the home build on manipulation and preempted murder!?"
"Severus. Don't." Lucius pleaded. It was something he wanted to spare his wife of reliving again.
"What you don't want me to bring up your skeletons in the closet? You look down on me as if your hands are clean!"
"Severus please stop." Narcissa cried. There was too many people lingering in their home. Too many people would hear of her darkest hours.
"So you're telling me that you and your wife are going to drop a twenty year friendship over some memories that your wife saw outside of context? I could say the same about Draco. I wonder if he would think so highly of his family after he knows what his mother almost had done to him." Narcissa had reached out passed her husband and hit Severus as hard as she could. Severus had caught her hand midair, his blood was beginning to boil. "HOW DARE YOU!" He couldn't stand for someone to put their hands so willingly on him again. He was no longer a weak boy as in his youth, people didn't dare put their hands on him now.
"Let's just calm down for a minute." Narcissa shoved her husband out of the way.
"How dare I? Severus, I didn't want to do that. But at one time, I needed the sense slapped back into me, now I am trying to return the favor." Severus dropped her hand, he was in a loss for words. "Leave my home, Severus."
"Narcissa." She had cut him off.
"Get out now. When you regain your composure we may speak about this at a better time." Snape had apparated from their home on spot. The Malfoys sighed, things were slowly starting to unravel for them, as well as their friend.
There was no remorse, no feeling of life wasted. His foot had come into contact with his latest victims. A man that he had no personal connections to, but had refused his gracious offer of servitude. He was trying to rebuild his army, the beginnings of war have begun. A battle between himself and Potter was imminent. As his numbers were starting to swell, The Order's numbers were quickly dwindling. Voldemort himself had dispatched several of its numbers over the last several months, which caused him to swell with pride for the feat. But as his pride seemingly could not falter, his confidence was more than ever beginning to crumble. His thirst for immortality had become increasingly more violent, he had to get one over Potter. As much as his protections and prior precautions were remarkable, that fool Dumbledore and Potter had discovered his secret. His power was fading with the destruction of his horcruxes. His followers knew nothing of his ailing, but they knew something was amidst. The fear of his wrath had kept them at bay from seeing these faults, but soon he would need to correct this ghastly problem. Severus's daughter had been the light at the end of this dreary existence. Her work was promising him of something he would never have to fear again: DEATH. But her progression had been slow, and quite frankly, very disappointing. This recent excursion was trying to find an assistant for the girl to bounce ideas off of. Great minds could only be strained so far before a mistake was pending to happen. Personal experience had shown that he, himself, has done his own version such of a mistake. Countless nights spent finding the Potters, he quickly wanted to destroy the threat as soon as Wormtail had given him the vital information of their whereabouts. If he would have taken the time to rest and think of his plan, he would have realized the ancient magic that could be initiated and his "death" wouldn't have been due to his arrogance. She had to get the elixir just right, he didn't want to die because of some bloody thing she missed.
"What!" He never wanted to be disturbed out right.
"There is a problem." Anger began to bubble inside himself, what happen now?
"Seems that Potter eluded us once again."