For the Lost Snakes
Two years had passed before she knew it. She stuck her nose to her books, focusing solely on her studies. Severus had attempted to atone for his Mark, giving her a pendant necklace that she had been wearing every day since. He had apologized profusely to her, stating that as long as she wore his necklace that he'd never be Voldemort's fully. However, she knew it was a lie. One didn't just wake up one day and get out, certainly not alive at least. So, they pretended as if it hadn't happened. She also rekindled her friendship or attempted to with Reg. Neither of the two were quite the same with her, but they at least were speaking to her.
However, Severus had left Hogwarts to move onto University. They barely wrote each other because it was too dangerous, but every now and then, she'd receive a note from him. He never wrote much, just to say he was still alive.
"So, figure out what you're doing next year, Aurora?" Reg asked, walking beside her as he brushed back his long hair.
"Probably going to Rome," she replied quietly.
"Rome? Well, I guess it's far away from here. I can see the attraction."
"It has a rather nice Astronomy program."
"Ah, yes, forgot about you and your stars," he said, laughing loudly. The laughter died on his tongue when they neared the stern looking witch waiting at the bottom of the stairs. "Um, well, I'll see you later, Aurora." He inclined his head towards the woman before walking off in the direction of the Slytherin common room.
"Miss Sinistra, follow me please."
"Of course, Professor," she replied softly. She silently followed her towards the Transfigurations professor's office. The walk was rather short since both witches were walking quickly. Once they both reached the room, the door closed behind them. Aurora glanced down as she took her familiar chair in front of her professor's desk. "Is something wrong, Professor?"
"No, dear, everything's fine," Professor McGonagall replied, smiling softly towards her. "This will be your last night in the castle so in essence my last time I'll see you."
"Unless I return here to apprentice or something," Aurora offered softly.
"I take it then that you are still wishing to become an Astronomy mistress?"
"That's the plan," the seventh-year said with a laugh as she nervously ran a hand through her thick curls. She slowly drew in a breath. It had been awhile since she had spoken with her. "I'm planning to go to university in Rome. It has an excellent Astronomy program and supposedly some of the best instructors."
"Well, I wish you the best of luck, Aurora."
"Thank you, Professor." She then glanced around the room, chewing on her bottom lip. For some reason, she still had the childish feeling that she was in trouble. "Is it hard, Professor, letting go of us after the year?"
"Some years it's heartbreaking. Other years it's just, well, sad. However, I typically like to think that you're all going onto a better place when you leave these halls."
"We're going out into the war, though, Professor. How is that a better place?"
"You, my dear, are leaving all this," she pointed out.
"I wish—I want to do something, Professor."
"Aurora, you are."
"No. I want to help." She sighed, shaking her head as she ran a hand through her hair again. "Professor, there has to be a way to fight back against the Death Eaters. I mean, hell, they're being recruited out of here."
"You know this?"
"I'm a Slytherin, Professor. It's common knowledge down there in dungeons." She frowned. "He's praying on the, well, weak. He likely promises them the world, giving them nothing in the end. He said . . . he told me that he could give me Severus."
"Severus Snape, you mean?" asked McGonagall. "Why would you—oh." The witch then inhaled slowly before nodding to herself. "Does he know of your feelings?"
"I'm afraid that I've made it rather obvious, Professor, but he's made it clear that he's not interested in me like that." She then fished out her necklace. "He gave this to me to wear, though."
"It's very beautiful."
"It is, isn't it?" she replied, smiling. "I'm going to add a pendant I think." Her eyes glanced towards the window as she stared out it. "It's like he's always here with me, you know?"
"Yeah," she said, nodding. "He just . . . I don't know . . . He makes me feel safe."
"Then are you going to meet up with him soon?"
"He, well, he's occupied with other things currently. You know, how this darkness has taken its toll on people, so he just, well, vanished."
"I'm sorry to hear that, Aurora."
"Yeah," the seventh-year replied, frowning. She then stood up, shaking her head out of frustration. "There just has to be something we can do, though. I mean, we can't just sit here like targets, waiting for them to come, Professor. We—there—I can't just go off and forget about this. I need to do something, help somehow." She noticed her professor's eyes narrow on her.
"What do you mean?"
"He has his Death Eaters from all walks of life. Surely our contrasting force isn't just the Aurors, who are typically from rich, snobbish pureblood families?"
"Forgive me, my dear, but are you suggesting that there is another group?"
"There has to be." She then sighed, shaking her head. "Professor Dumbledore fought against Grindelwald. Their duel is legendary. So then, it's rather idiotic to assume that he's just sitting back on his arse being headmaster and letting the Ministry handle things. I mean, he's Dumbledore."
"Sounds as if you believe there's some secret group he's overseeing."
"There has to be, Professor." She frowned, starting to pace back and forth. "The Aurors and Ministry are full of bureaucratic imbeciles. He'd be a right old coot to place the fate of the Wizarding World in their hands. So, he has to be doing something. Of course, he can't be seen doing anything or Hogwarts would be attacked."
"Is that right?" Professor McGonagall replied.
"Yes because that would put the fear in everyone. Voldemort thrives and likely gets off on fear. Fear makes us to stupid things. It makes us sit in our towers, praying that someone else will save us. It makes others who are brave rush off and get themselves killed. Fear does that, and he's just spreading more of it across the land." Aurora continued to pace in front of the desk. "So, Dumbledore has to have a group." She drew in a deep breath. "Fear can be extinguished if there is hope. What we need is hope and that comes from the headmaster. Who is more powerful than him? He could . . . well, slaughter Voldemort if he wished it if they met up."
"Then you believe they haven't met up?"
"No, Professor Dumbledore has to be plotting. He's likely gathering students after they leave the halls too. So, then he wouldn't approach Slytherin. He'd approach all others but it out of fear that they would betray him. It's a wise idea, but foolish to assume that no Slytherins aren't good." She then turned, not realizing that she was talking to herself now. "Then again, he is a Gryffindor. The prejudice is deeply rooted in the blood of all who pass through these halls. So, he'd need others, ones who he could trust, so likely staff members."
"It sounds to me, Aurora, that you have several questions for the headmaster."
"And you're one of them," the eighteen-year-old stated, glancing up and staring at her professor. "You're his deputy. He trust you to run the school in his absence, so he'd trust you enough to . . . to what? You do something for him, for this group. What is it? Please, Professor."
"If there was such a group, Aurora, I could neither confirm it nor deny it because I likely would be under a vow of some sort, don't you imagine?" she stated, placing her folded hands on her desk.
"I have to go. Thank you, Professor." Without another word, she rushed out, heading towards the headmaster's office. She had to find out if it was true. For Severus and for Regulus, she had to help.
A/N: It's probably not one of my best works, but... thanks for reading.