AN: Hey, I'm back and have this recap to keep you updated. Sorry.
Previously on Not Nearly As Young
Chapter one: Arthur Kirkland accepts teaching job from Dumbledore for a Muggle History Class. Snape is pretty rude and Arthur is nervous about protecting Harry against Sirius Black. He knows something's off with the ministry but doesn't exactly know what.
Chapter two: Arthur meets with Wills (Wales) in a coffee shop. It's raining and they argue. Wills thinks Hogwarts is a bad idea, but Arthur doesn't care. He's sick of the Kirklands and being a nation. He's also rude to waitresses.
Chapter three: Hermione's worried about her friends and about everything in general, in France. She's still a bit freaked about being Petrified. She sees an owl and gets a letter from a different owl and worries about Harry after he blew up Aunt Marge.
Chapter four: Harry, the Weasleys, and Hermione get on the Hogwarts Express in Platform 9 ¾. Ron and Hermione argue about Crookshanks. They meet sleeping Lupin, Merlin the cat, and their new professor, Arthur Kirkland. They all smell him and are a bit freaked out. A Dementor comes and Harry faints.
Chapter five: Back in London, Wales is in charge and Scotland is angry about it. Alastair (Scotland) calls William, Davy, even though his name changed 300 years ago. They're all kind of put off by Arthur, even though he left the day before. France sleeps naked in Arthur's bed after a drunken celebration with Spain the night before. It's unclear exactly how he got there. There's a hint of Spain/France and Scotland/France. And Wills goes to work and Alas entertains Francis (Frankie).
Chapter six: Arthur's exhausted and sees Thestrals. Malfoy makes fun of Harry, but Arthur stops all shenanigans. Minerva take Harry and Arthur for medical help, which both refuse. Arthur's rude to everyone. Hermione gets a timeturner. Hagrid, Kirkland, and Lupin are announced as teachers. Lupin and Arthur become friends, as well as Arthur and Hagrid. Arthur quotes Hamlet and used to be really short, and the kids congratulate Hagrid. FYI he's not that short now, but used to be for a really long time.
Here, have this HP focused chapter.
Chapter Seven: What the Snake Knows
The thick sent of mold and death hung stale in the air of the dark, windowless room. The only light came from a swaying chandelier, flicking dully above the heads of forty cloaked men and women. They stood compactly around a long table, stained with violent blood. Their sweating brows bent in fear. Each of their hands twitched anxiously; all except one. A women with wild darting eyes and long, dirty curls jutting out from beneath her hood stood by the head of the table, admiring her work, which dangled from the framed painting above the mantle at the head of the table. Blood dripped from its bare, twisted toes. She grinned and wiped a dot of red off her forehead.
Fear and awe filled the hearts of the rest, as the waited for their leader. The room was filled with silent regret.
Someone swallowed audibly. All eyes turned to Sigmund Tugwoode, whose Adam's apple bobbed desperately along the lines of his throat. His eyes were wide with fear, staring at the women who had not removed her gaze from her swinging masterpiece. Severus Snape's narrowed his eyes at the man standing beside him, whose gaze begged wordlessly at anyone. Snape scoffed. One word shot through his mind: coward.
Snape forced himself to look around the room. He forced every detail of his setting into his mind, sketching an imaginary map for later. At the head of the table, was a throne. It smelled of mildew and raw metal, with visible damp, burgundy stains on the white upholstery. The table itself was split and crooked. It's splintered cracks rippled from an askew epicenter. Burgundy splotches splattered the rest of the room, mirroring the ruins of the once-grand table setting. Just about everything was wrecked. Walls had gaping holes in them, revealing plywood and the pristine kitchen on the opposite side. The door hung on its hinges, barely grasping onto the tattered wall of which it belonged. Shelves and paintings had been thrown around wildly, as if in a sadistic tornado.
Above the throne was a painting, slashed diagonally through the subject's face, of a regal looking man, with beady eyes and enormous scepter. The remnants of the subject's face flickered past the chandelier's light, still grinning unmoving, as it always had been. Finally, Snape forced himself to focus on the woman's masterpiece. It swung lazily in front of the portrait, alongside the light source. The corpse wore a Muggle's white suit, which was not covered in the same burgundy that was all over the dining room. He, for the body had been of a Belgium Muggle political figure, was hanged brutally by his ears. One arm swayed innocently by his ankles; the other was gone completely, hacked off indolently by a bloody curse. His eye lids and mouth were sewn shut with Muggle thread: a symbol of his blood status. Snape studied the limp body in detail, before allowing his eyes to drop to the unlit fireplace below. Sooty footprints scattered across the floor.
Thirteen years. The words bounded through Snape's mind. It had been thirteen years since any of them at seen their leader. Thirteen years since the half-blood hanging from the ceiling had heard about his former vocation. Thirteen years since the woman had heard the voice of her master in her dreams. Thirteen years since their faded tattoos had burned.
(He had been sitting in his office, admiring the peculiar bubbling of a frothy Bulbous Blots Remedy. The darkness of the dungeon contradicted the mid morning sun outside in Hogwarts grounds. A bored eyebrow rose when his door creaked open. Filtch's car poked its head into Snape's office before disappearing again.
He clucked his tongue, in an attempt to catch her attention, but she was busy. Her spotted brown tail swung idly above her thin body. Mrs. Norris trotted up the stairs, looking for her target. A sigh escaped Snape's lips, as he stood up from behind the large, gold cauldron. His black robes billowed around him as he took three deliberate steps before a faint stinging irritated his forearm. Snape stared awestruck at his covered arm.
"But…" His voice attempted to object, as if it could stop the burning on his arm. The cauldron behind him spilled over, allowing a purple mixture to soak his desk and flow onto the floor. It sizzled angriliy as it splashed on the wood, but Snape took no notice. Instead, he ripped back his sleeve, to reveal an inked snake wiggling along his arm. Lips tightened into a thin line. It was time. He was needed.)
The air was heavy with controlled breathing. The woman began to hum an old children's song, her foot tapping along with the tune. All eyes avoided her wandering gaze, until she decided to re-focus on the gently swinging corpse above her head. She allowed the blood to drip onto her cheek without complaint. A light smile graced her features. Snape figured she would have been very pretty in any other circumstance. Everyone else seemed to be thinking something else.
No one knew what to expect. Some, like Snape, had already been given orders disguised and obscured, but orders nonetheless. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was an opportunity to the Dark Lord and Snape had a way in. Some days, when a black owl, with grey beady eyes studied him, knocked relentlessly on his bedroom door, with a neat scroll tied to its leg, Snape wondered who was really giving orders. But when he was read the four letters inscribed on each scroll and bring them to his true loyalty in mid-morning staff meetings, his doubts would be crushed. Orders to follow orders were always followed.
Despite thirteen years of nothing but masked demands, every single wizard or witch knew He was back. It was evident in their shaking fingers and dry, swollen throats. Each was waiting, waiting for anything.
There had been rumors, of course. Some even said that the former professor Quirell, nervous, stuttering buffoon he was, had been involved, though Snape was unsure. He heard the boy's story and Dumbledore's too, but did he believe it? There was no clear answer. The Stone seemed so petty for the Dark Lord. It's properties only allowed the living more life. What could it do for the dead?
The thoughts of the death eaters echoed Snape's, but not a soul would voice them. Not even the brave women in the front, with her sly smile and earnest eyes. She would only enjoy her past glory and the agony of the dead man. She constantly lived in the past, not bothering with what His return might bring. Snape hardly noticed her humming fade and her head cocking to the side.
A sliver of light broke through the room. Snape's head snapped in the direction of the opening door, which shrieked violently against the floor. All eyes turned to the silhouette pushing the ruined door out of his way. His face hidden by folds of black fabric, but Snape could feel his mousey eyes flick across his face. He carried something long and unmoving. Its tail dragged lifelessly along the floor
The woman grinned wickedly. Tugwoode gasped, his hands shaking by his sides. Snape's eyes bore holes into the coward's back. Lips pulled back into a sneer under his hooked nose, before returned his gaze back to the new arrival. The man in the doorway held a long, green snake. Its tail flopped lazily onto the ground, eyes closed in placid patience. The man placed the Dark Lord's snake onto the wobbling table. She slithered to the center, hissing with her flickering tongue, and coiled into long spiral. Eyes still closed she opened her mouth, revealing jagged teeth.
A voice sounded. Loyal Followers, the voice rasped. Tugwoode whimpered with recognition. The snake's head swayed serenely in a rhythmic motion. It took a moment for Snape to realize that the voice was coming from the gaping mouth of the snake. You are what is left of my following. You are all but my unfortunate minions who reside in Azkaban.
The room was silent. The chandelier slowed almost to a halt, properly illuminating the snake's features. Nagini's mouth seemed to move faintly with each word, as if she were the one speaking. Her scales shimmered in the candlelight viperously as she danced gracefully to an unheard tune.
All eyes zeroed in on the snake's mouth. Someone coughed loudly. A hacking noise, which shook nervously, caused the snake's head to whip to face the direction. It stilled, facing the frightened man. Tugwoode's eyes widened and his face went green.
Crouch! the Dark Lord's voice commanded. The cloaked man who had carried the snake kneeled, bowing his head humbly to his master.
"Yes m'lord," he answered, eyes downcast. The snake's head did not move, but its open mouth curled upward slightly, mimicking a smile. Tugwoode froze. Kill the coward.
Before the voice even finished its sentence, a flash of green light erupted in the room. A loud crash and Tugwoode was on the ground. A gasp like a dying fish. Silence.
"Yes, m'lord," Crouch repeated and returned to his kneeling position. "Anything m'lord."
The room stayed unnervingly still, before the snake's small head swayed again to an unheard tune.
Loyal Followers, the raspy voiced continued. By this time next year, I will be stronger and more powerful than I was ever before. We will rise once again, to purify the magical race. We are the evolved and we will, as nature intended, destroy the weaker race. By this time next year, we will be feared again. We will be united under the State of Voldemort.
Snape's eyes were fixed on the snake as he took in His words. Each line, he repeated in his head, ingraining them into his memory. There was a plan, Snape knew that much.
You each have a task, the voice continued. Severus?
"Yes, my lord?" Snape's voice was even and steady, his eyes fixed on His words.
Tell me about Hogwarts.
"There's been talk of The Triwizard Tournament returning next y—" Snape's cold tone was interrupted.
Triwizard Tournament? The voice was filled with dismal amusement, tinged with annoyance. Barty, you're influence is growing, hmm?
Snape's brows furrowed, as his thoughts attempted to connect. He ran his fingers across the familiar texture of the sides of his robes, concentrating on his mission at hand.
"It appears so, m'lord," Crouch was still kneeling beside the table. His head bowed close to the ground as if to stiff the aging tiles. His knees wobbled with his body weight slightly but he did not move. "I did not know, m'lord. Forgive me."
I will forgive you this once, Crouch, but do not mistake me for being merciful. The Dark Lord's voice sounded impatient and irritated. Crouch lifted his face slightly to make eye contact with Snape. His glare was full of disgust, hate, and surprised distrust. I trust you will be more thorough in your future reports.
"Of course, m'lord."
Continue, my dear Severus. The sweetness was covered with anger and sarcasm.
"Of course, my lord," Snape repeated the lines of the scolded Crouch, before straightening himself and looking directly into the closed eyes of the snake. "The school year has been going as usual, although the new additions to the staff have made my job harder. Remus Lupin—"
Yes, the wolf. Voldemort mused.
"Yes, my lord." Snape acknowledged with a curt nod. "He's become somewhat of a problem. He's allied himself with the Muggle history teacher. Their intentions remain unclear. Lupin is often discussing things with the headmaster." Snape's tongue flicked across his top lips, as his eyes shifted away momentarily. The rehearsed line bounded back into his mind, and awkwardly tumbled from his mouth. "Things in secret."
The snake hissed lightly, background noise to the tisking of the Dark Lord. And this Mudblood teacher… His voice hitched, waiting for an explanation.
"He's strange," Snape attempted at an explanation. His lip quivered slightly. "Like he's disconnected with magic and in sync with it, simultaneously."
His name is Kirkland, yes?
One of Snape's eyebrows lifted in honest curiosity. "Yes, Sir Arthur James Kirkland of London."
Sir Arthur James Kirkland of London, the voice repeated. Malfoy, see what you can do.
"Yes, my lord," the deep, proud baritone of Lucius Malfoy agreed, with a subtle bow. His long, ash blond locks dangled outside his cloak.
Sir Arthur James Kirkland of London, He repeated. The room was silent. Severus.
"Yes, my lord?" Snape hardened his face. He could feel the eyes of the others locked on him, watching his unchanging expression.
Your focus has changed. The snake's head wilted slightly, as if tired. Its mouth slowly closed, hiding venomous teeth. The imaginary sound was gone. Nagini, the snake, slowly rested her head on top of her coiled skin. The room was silent, as Barty Crouch Junior, stood from his kneeling position and slid his arms under the large snake. His glare landed on Snape, as he walked from the room. Snape's eyebrows rose and he committed this moment to memory.
Updates will probably continue to be irregular, but I'm back? Thanks for everyone who reviewed, followed, and favorited! If you have any questions, issues, or comments, please leave them in reviews, and be signed in so I can reply maybe(?).
So the story continues!