A Legacy for Severus Snape

A lone girl, silent and watchful, stared at the heavens. Only eight years of age, and Vivian Raeven had centuries of sadness behind her black eyes.

Tiny for her age, the under clad and bony child shivered in the cold of a snowbound night. Her Nurse would come soon, to rescue her from Mister Dan's punishment for doing freaky things again.

Nobody wants a freak like me, she thought bitterly, curling her thin lips back into a sneer. That's why she hadn't been adopted yet. Because she was the Devil's child.

Even a Devil didn't want her. It saddened, but no longer surprised her.

Her skin was nearly blue from cold, and her thick black hair wrapped around her like a shroud. It would soon become her death wrap if Nurse didn't hurry, Vivian thought.

Severus watched the viewing pond with silent sympathy… and growing rage. That little girl, stuck without much besides a t-shirt and thin jeans to wear, out in that cold?

How bloody familiar.

Lily had told him that that kid, tiny and frail looking, was his last legacy to the world before death. The young girl was his niece. He ached to see her suffer like this, but there wasn't anything he could do but hope for her survival.

He wished he could do more, but put his hand silently to the pond's surface and sent her as much goodwill as he was able. Severus thought to him, if only I was there, she wouldn't suffer abuse like this…

"If onlies only open the door for regret, Sev."

Without looking, he knew who it was. He let her approach, and wrap a comforting arm around him. Silently, he hoped that his only living relative would survive her trials long enough.

Vivian felt a strange surge of warmth go through her. She hugged herself, savoring the onrush of love she had suddenly felt. Well, love from somewhere was better than none.

Then Nurse, the dear older lady, was there, bundling Vivian in her embrace and hurrying inside.