Finding Him in a Bookstore
by Kiley S. Jensen
I flipped through the worn copy, going to the immortal page, 687. "Always," I breathed, closing my eyes as I imagined the scene within the book. It had been four years since I had first heard that word fall from Alan Rickman's lips, and eight since I had read it; however, it still affected me the same way it had the first time. "That never should have happened, not to you- not after all you had done. That never should have been your reward," I whispered, wiping away the tear that threatened to fall.
"Aren't you a little old to be reading that?"
At the sound of that voice, I dropped my book, managing only to gasp instead of scream in surprise. I spun around and silently prayed it was true- that the person I thought it was was really there. My eyes gazed at him, the aquiline, Roman nose, alabaster skin, and the depth-less black eyes. It was him, he looked so much younger, maybe a little over two years older than me. "Is it really you?" my voice full of desperate hope, my face deathly pale.
"You have me confused with one of your dunderhead friends, you insufferable woman," he scowled down at me.
I smiled up at him, "It is you!" Before I knew what I was doing, I threw arms around him, sobbing into his chest. "You're here- you're alive!"
"Remove yourself from my person at once!" he sneered, shoving me away. "Of course I am alive, now if you will move- I would like to purchase my book." He pushed past me, and I could imagine how it would look if he was wearing his billowing cape and robes.
He whipped around and shoved me against the bookshelf behind me. "Who sent you?" he growled, his eyes burned into mine and I had never felt more terrified in my life.
"I-I-I-I," I babbled.
"Is that all you can say?" he hissed, "Now try again, how do know of me?"
"I know... I don't know how to explain it. But I know what are, Professor Snape," I made sure to emphasize his proper title.
"You have the subtlety of a-" he began to drawl.
"-Gryffindor, yes, I am well aware of that. Now will you please get your hands off me. I may be a Muggle, but you don't scare me."
That seemed to surprise him, but only just. "How much do you know?"
"Keep your nose out of other people's business." he sneered, contempt dripping from his voice. He released me, but still towered over me.
"Don't quote the Marauders- it's distasteful. I am not here to hurt you, I want to-"
"-You want to what, exactly? Help?" he snarled.
"Yes, I know what happened. If you are the age I believe you to be...then I know what happened in October, I know what happened to Lil-"
"Don't you dare! Don't you dare speak her name, you filthy Muggle!" he growled venomously.
"Yes, I am a Muggle, but I have a name Severus Snape." I said softly, "But I can say her name- I can even say the Dark Lord's name. Before you storm off, can you answer this- how are you here?"
"Time Turner, I created a golem to go to the Shrieking Shack to die that night. I am here to escape my world, I-" he stopped himself. "So, if you have a name what is it?" he purred silkily.
I poorly hid my blush, but managed to say shyly, "Kiley, Kiley Jensen."
"Well, Miss Jensen, I expect to see you around- I intend to find out who you are and how you came to know me." With a sweeping turn, he strode away and out of my sight.
I leaned against the bookshelf with a sigh, "Kiley, what have you gotten yourself into?" I had just had a conversation with the one and only, Severus Snape. The man whose memories still made me fall in love with him, even though he was technically old enough to be my father. But here he was, and he expected to see me again. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and dialed Michaela's number.
"Moose! I found him- he's here in Ashland!" I exclaimed.
"Kiley, who are you talking about?" Michaela sighed in exasperation.
"Severus, I found my Severus. Remember when we saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two? How I said I would find my Severus?"
"Vaguely, so I take it you just finished talking to him?"
"Yes, but I don't think it will end the way I want it to. So how are things on your end?"
"Pretty good, I guess. Nothing new or exciting happening...what about you, Miss SOU student?"
"It's amazing here, Michaela, Chelsea and I love it here! Plus, my red house is still for sale, so the dream is still alive. I love all my classes, and everything at SOU is wonderful! I've got to go, Chelsea's expecting me back at our apartment. Bye, love you!"
"Love you too, Miss Kiley."
That was a week ago, and I had yet to see Severus again. I got rid of all my Gryffindor shirts, and my sweatshirt- a desperate attempt, I know.
"Kiley! Stop primping in the mirror! You've been like this all week!" Chelsea hollered at me through the door.
"Chels, I don't know what you're talking about, I merely want to look my best!"
Chelsea snorted loudly, "Please! The last time you were like this, you were-" she gasped. "Tell me who he is!" she demanded as she pounded on the door.
"I don't know what you're talking about," I repeated, I looked at myself one last time in the mirror before walking out of our bathroom. "How do I look?"
"Like you're hunting down a man, who is he? I thought you weren't interested in anyone!"
"I am merely seeking out an old acquaintance. I haven't seen him in a week, so I am having my fantasy time. Last time I saw him-" I paused as the memory flashed in my mind, "Let's just say that our meeting wasn't the greatest. I wouldn't exaggerate when I say I think he abhors me."
"Sure, honey, I'll believe when I see it. Well I have to go to class, have fun at work!"
The drive to Bloomsbury Books seemed longer than normal, maybe it was because I couldn't get my mind off Severus. "Get yourself together, he will never want anything to do with you!" I scolded myself as I drove into the employee parking lot.
Work for once was boring; I strummed my fingers against the counter top as I tried to read the copy of Jane Eyre in front of me.
My head shot up and I tried to look nonchalant about the sound of his voice, "Yes? How may I help you?"
"I am in search of a book, but I haven't been able to find it on my own." Severus spoke softly, his voice ensnaring my entire attention right from the start.
"What is the title you are looking for? I will, um...hellp you as best I can," I replied warmly.
"Lovely," he drawled, "I am in search for a copy of Julius Caesar."
"I am sorry, but we are completely sold out." I apologized.
"And why is that, Miss Jensen?" he quirked a sardonic brow.
"Julius Caesar is playing at the theater this fall, so everyone has bought us out. Wait!" I exclaimed, "Come with me, I have a copy you can have. Follow me." I unconsciously took him by the hand and pulled him behind me.
"Just where are you taking me?" he droned.
"To my car, you can borrow my copy that I have had since high school. Come on, I'm not going to hurt you, I am not like-" I stopped myself from slipping.
"You're not like who?" his voice was deathly quiet.
"I am not like Bellatrix."
His scowl appeared, "Do you know how easily I could kill an insolent girl like you?"
"But you won't, you're too good of a man to kill me. As much as you may hate it, I know quite a lot about you."
"You know nothing about me, Miss Jensen." he murmured, "You may think you know me, but you are wrong."
"Ah, here you are!" I climbed into the trunk of my car, not really listening to what he was saying to me. I handed him the worn book, "Please take good care of it, that book holds many memories for me."
"I will, have a nice day, Miss Jensen."
"Wait, Severus- may you come and join me for some tea or something like that?" When he turned and looked at me sternly, I added, "As friends only of course!"
"I don't see why not, when are you relieved from your work?"
"At five, meet me at Mix at half past?" I asked hopefully.
"Until then, Miss Jensen." With a dip of his head, Severus walked off.
As I walked back into the bookstore and resumed my place at the counter, I couldn't help but let out a contented sigh.
"So who is he?" Shannon asked.
"Pardon?" I asked in surprise.
"Who is he? Mr. Tall, Dark, Brooding, and Dangerous- does he have a name?" she looked at me expectantly.
"He's... an old friend. We haven't seen each other in what feels like a lifetime, and it feels like we are meeting for the first time all over again." I chuckled.
"If you don't give me a name, I will force it out of you," she warned darkly.
"His name is Severus-"
"Oh, so he is the one that started your whole Severus obsession, is he?" she smirked.
"Yes, he is the reason I fell in love with Severus Snape- he still is." I explained airily.
"He has a way about him, but his hair looks a little too greasy for me. Anyways, what did you give him from your car?"
"His hair is greasy because of his- oh never mind! I gave him my copy of Julius Caesar, that's all." I replied testily.
"That's all? You won't even let me touch that book, and you just gave it to him like it was nothing! Did you exchange digits?"
"No, and if I did, I wouldn't tell you. I do believe you and I have work to do- so let's get to it. I need to reorganize the romance section today, unfortunately." I shuddered, I still hated that section with a fiery passion. "I loathe these, they're all the same! Fabio this, and Fabio that," I snorted, "Fabio isn't even attractive! He's hideous!" I organized the books as fast and efficiently as possible, not wanting anything to do with these smut filled pages some called literature.
"I'm still hurt you haven't told me anything in detail about Severus!" Shannon whined.
"Well, I am sorry for not being sorry."
"I hate when you're verbally ironic- thought you ought to know."
"Get used to it, it's not going anywhere," I replied wryly. I got behind the counter and resumed my previous pose before Severus had arrived. "So how are things with you and Kyle?"
"He is pissing me off! That's how things are with the two of us! Why won't he propose already? I found the ring a month ago!" Shannon seethed.
"Shan! You didn't!" I looked at her with surprise. "You went looking for your own engagement ring?"
"I couldn't help it, Kiley! He had bought a new pair of shoes that he had yet to wear- and after two months I got suspicious. So I opened the box, and inside was a bunch of tissue paper around a Tiffany's box. I didn't peak though- I swear!" Shannon defended herself with a somewhat frantic air.
"Didn't your mother ever teach you not to swear?" I chortled.
"No, but she did teach me to swear," Shannon giggled.
I rolled my eyes, "You are hopeless," I sighed. I looked at her with a slight scowl, "Shannon, you better let him propose his own way- or so help me I will never tell you anything about my relationships!"
"As if you tell me anyway! Fine, fine! Stop scowling at me- holy crap you scowl more and more like that Alan Rickman guy everyday! But let's just hope it is going to be soon! I don't know how long I can wait!" she signed in frustration.
"Hush up! At least you have a man!"
"What happened between you and Ryan? I thought he was going to be coming up next week- you seemed so excited when you found out."
I walked over to a messy bookshelf and began to organize, not saying anything to her yet. "I don't know, Shan... I remember how I was completely head over heels for the guy since my sophomore year in high school; however, even thought we are together in a way- I find it...lacking somehow." I whispered, "I feel like, I don't know...ashamed? I find nothing wrong with Ryan, but I am starting to not feel the same way I did."
"Kiley, that's nothing to be ashamed of. But you need to be honest with him, but most importantly you need to be honest with yourself. Just talk to him, he seems like he would be willing to hear you out, and this doesn't mean that it is the end of the relationship. Ryan's a great guy, he'll understand." Shannon explained, she never looked me in the eyes, but it felt as if she did.
"Thanks, Shan." I replied gratefully.
The rest of my shift passed with only having a slight rush of customers looking for books. As Shannon and I closed up shop, I couldn't help but wish I could apparate and save myself the nerve-wracking drive to Mix. I drummed my fingers nervously on the steering wheel of my Volvo, casually looking for Severus as I parked. I walked in and saw him sitting at a table away from the other customers. "Hello, Severus," I greeted him warmly.
Severus rose to his feet and pulled out my chair for me, "Miss Jensen," he spoke smoothly. He sat back down in his seat after I was seated.
"I trust the rest of your day went well," I smiled politely at him.
"Yes, I spent the most of it in my apartment reading; tell me, Miss Jensen, do you always write in your books?"
A blush crept up to my face and I said in embarrassment, "I tend to write my thoughts on Shakespearean literature in the text itself- I hope that didn't draw away from your reading."
"On the contrary, it was most insightful; I particularly enjoyed your thoughts on page fourty-six with Antony's line, 'The evil that men do lives after them;'. As I recall your words were, 'The evil will always haunt them- a wound that never heals, the stain that never fades...always tainting purity.' Very astute, Miss Jensen."
"Please, call me Kiley. Thank you for the compliments," I replied, a light blush creeping onto my cheeks.
"It was a mere observation, not a compliment. I will call you by your first name when I see fit, Miss Jensen."
"Excuse me one moment, I am in need of some hot chocolate." I rose to my feet, bristling slightly at his words.
"Hey ho, Kiley! Want the usual?" Mike beamed at me from behind the counter.
"Hi, Mike, and yes please! It's great to see you, how's Amie?" I grinned at him.
"She's great, thanks for askin'! One sixteen ounce hot chocolate; extra hot, whip, and chocolate coming up! I'll even throw in a mixed berry scone since I know those are your favorite."
"Thanks, Mike," I smiled at him. As I waited, I could feel Severus' eyes on me. I glared at him occasionally, if he wanted to be snarky- I would return the favor.
"Here you are, Kiley." Miked handed me my order and when I handed him my money, he shook his head, "It's on me- take care!"
I smiled at him one more time before returning to Severus, "Severus, what is it like?"
"I assume you mean Hogwarts? Full of dunderheads, and my time there as a student was anything but enjoyable. But besides that, it is the only place that truly ever felt like home to me- nothing can compare." he spoke softly.
"I wish I could see it, I have been picturing it in my mind ever since I was six...I am sorry for what they did to you when you all were students, Severus." I finished sympathetically. I put my hand over his as another way of expressing my feelings.
He jerked his hand out from under mine, glaring at me with transcendent disdain, "I do not require, nor want your sympathy. I don't even know who you are ,yet you treat me like a long-time friend...you are more of a contemptible Gryffindor than I thought, you impertinent girl."
My cheeks burned with anger, "Yes- I remind you of the House you hate, so what? But I will have you know that I can be just as much a Slytherin as you! I am not like them- I am not like her- I won't turn from you because of harsh words!"
"You speak of something you know absolutely nothing about!" he growled.
"I know everything! Why can't you see that? I know how she betrayed you for him. If you're going to keep pushing me away then fine- I give up, I won't try to get to be your friend. If you want to give this a try, I will let you come to me. I want to know the real you, because I know this person before me isn't. Good bye, Severus, if you want to find me- my apartment is just past the university on the second floor of the first building." I managed to choke out as angry tears obscured my vision. I got into my car and smacked the steering wheel angrily. "Cure you, James Potter and Sirius Orion Black!" I hissed. They were the reason he like this; all their pranks and teasing made him cautious and afraid to trust anyone. "You're such a great man, if you would only let people see that...but you are such a git!" I drove back to my apartment in silence, brewing over what had just happened.
"Hey!" Chelsea greeted me warmly as I walked through the door.
"Salut," I muttered flatly, I dropped my keys on the coffee table and dropped onto the couch.
"Bad day? You were in such a great mood when you left this morning, what happened?"
I lifted my head up, "Do you really want to know?"
I told her everything, from when I first met Severus to what happened in Mix. "So now, I am stuck waiting, and we all know how I love to wait. Did I do the right thing, Chels?" I asked worriedly.
"We'll just have to wait- I mean he might do anything. Don't worry, everything will work out one way or another. Besides, Ryan will be here before you know it! That will keep your mind off things!" Chelsea said with a smile.
"I guess so, what do you want for dinner? I was thinking about grilled chicken with cheesy rice and steamed asparagus- sound good?"
"Yeah, I'm starving!"
It was almost four in the afternoon eight days later, and I yet to even hear from Severus. I had done it, I pushed him away- he was probably gone forever, and he had condemned me.
"What is your problem today? For like the past week you have been completely morose!" Shannon hollered, throwing her arms up in the air.
"Don't know what you're talking about," I argued half-heartedly.
"That's exactly what I mean! Look at you! You're moping around like some schmuck!"
"I pushed him away! I am a complete idiot!" I slammed my fist on the book I had been trying to read. "I have to find him and apologize!"
"That will not be necessary, Miss Jensen."
I looked up, joy etched into my face as I saw it was truly Severus. "Severus! I am sorry for what I said in Mix-"
"-Your apology is not necessary, I have already made my decision." he paused for what felt like four lifetimes, and that terrified me. "I have decided that we may pursue our friendship," he said finally, "I was wondering, perhaps, if you wanted to take a walk once you are done with work?"
"Severus, I would love to." I smiled a smile that seemed as bright as the full moon. "I get off work in about twenty minutes, do you mind waiting?"
"Not at all," he replied, he strode languidly over to one the chair and took a seat.
I walked into the backroom where Shannon was no doubt eavesdropping once she had heard Severus come in. "We are going for a wa-"
"-lk. I know, I heard," she grinned at me, "Go on, I can close up by myself."
"Thanks." I walked back out to Severus and gave him another bright smile, "We can leave now, actually."
We walked in silence as we strolled through Lithia Park. "Miss Jensen, you are a very peculiar Muggle." Severus said suddenly.
"You are a very peculiar wizard, Severus." I countered.
He rolled his eyes, "Don't be so smart, it is everything but becoming."
"Oh, look! They are having their fall concerts in the park- want to go dance?"
"I think not...what are you going to school for?" he asked, changing the subject- not that I was surprised he did.
"I want to be a writer, so I came here to SOU; I love everything about it here, it suits me in every way- even that disgusting fountain brightens my day. So are you still brewing potions?"
"Yes, I am. Potions have always been a part of who I am, and I refuse to give it up." Severus looked at me as we walked, "You remind me someone, but I just can't recall who."
We ended up walking through the park many times that night, and by the time I got home, Chelsea was asleep.
I had a dream of what I imagined the Final Battle to be; there was so much blood- it was everywhere, and I saw the bodies. Remus, Tonks, Fred, and the one that shook my soul- Severus.
He was not lying on the floor of the Shrieking Shack, but stumbling towards me. His throat was torn open, and his precious blood was falling unrestrained. 'Kiley-' he managed to whisper, his breathing was ragged and wet from his blood filling his lungs. He tried to make it towards me, but the task was too much; Severus tried to drag himself towards me, but couldn't.
I rushed towards him and fell to my knees, 'Severus, stay- please. Don't close your eyes-'
'Kiley-' he rasped, 'Look at me.'
I gazed pleadingly into his eyes, 'Severus, please stay! Just stay awake, stay with me- that's all you have to do. Please...'
'Kiley-' his eyes went vacant, and he ceased breathing.
'No! Severus, wake up- WAKE UP!' I screamed. I pounded on his chest, but he did not stir. I collapsed against him, and pressed myself into his bloody, mangled robes.
"Kiley? Kiley! Wake up- you're going to be late for your classes!"
My eyes shot open and I let out a gasping breath, "Huh?"
"You were having a nightmare, and besides- you were going to be late to your classes if you didn't wake up soon."
I got out of bed and dressed, "Bye,Chels! See you after you get off work!"
"Oh wait, Kiley! Your 'baby' came yesterday and I rolled it into the garage for you." Chelsea let out a laugh as she saw me race down the stairs and into the garage.
There it was, my candy apple red Vespa. I had been wanting one since high school, and now I finally had one. I grabbed my matching helmet and sat on my Vespa, I put the keys in ignition and turned it on. A smile lit up my face as the engine started with a clean pur. I shifted into first and came out of the garage.
Everything about riding on a Vespa through town made Ashland ten times better, if that was possible. I saw Jake parking his car as I pulled into the student parking lot. I parked in the spot beside him, "Jakey, look what finally came!"
"Kiley, ever since my mother told you my nickname that time you over to her house with me dinner- you have tortured me with it. The least you could do is go out with me," Jake flashed me his "dashingly handsome" smile.
"Oh Jakey, I know you want to go out with me, but I'm taken-"
"-Ah yes, the elusive Ryan Gewondjan. I think a duel for your hand in marriage is in order once he arrives." Jake suggested.
"How archaic of you, but I am a woman of the twenty-first century with a mind- believe it or not. Jake, you really need to lay off writing medieval era pieces, they're affecting what is left of your little brain. Come along, we don't want to be late for class."
"Nice Vespa by the way," Jake chuckled, "It seems that you distracted me with your beauty."
"Jake, if I had a wand- I'd hex you, unfortunately- all I can do is...this!" I punched him in the arm.
"Ow! That's my writing arm!" he exclaimed indignantly.
"Jake, you're right handed..."
"I've converted! I'm now left handed!" he smiled.
"You're ridiculous," I sighed. Class hadn't started yet as we walked in, I took a seat next to Diana and Jake took the one beside me.
"One of these days, Kiley, you're going to realize you are hopelessly in love with me." Jake whispered.
"Jake, the only time that will happen is if you write it- and it better be pure fiction and absolutely no smut or so help me I will strangle you in your sleep!"
"Is that your excuse for trying to get into bed with me? Ow!" Jake clutched his head where I had smacked him with my notebook.
"Anyways, Di- I got my Vespa! Won't it be great for carrying my books and groceries around?"
"You're hopeless- how many times do I have to tell you I know absolutely nothing about vehicles!" Diana sighed.
Class went by smoothly, and I was enjoying the new project I had started. I was walking back to my Vespa with Jake, when I saw someone leaning against my bike. "Excuse me, you are on my bike." I called out tersely.
"My apologies, Miss Jensen. I was only waiting for you to be dismissed from your classes."
"Severus! I didn't recognize you- you cut your hair!"
"You sound disappointed, Miss Jensen." he smirked.
"Oy! Who is this?" Jake interrupted.
"He's a friend of mine, Jake." I turned back to Severus and asked, "I see you have a bike of your own, would you like to go for a ride?"
"I don't see why not, let's go now." Severus threw a long leg over his bike, a Kawasaki Ninja. He turned on the motorcycle and it gently roared to life, and he pulled his helmet over his head.
I looked longingly at his bike and him while his back was to me. He looked fantastic in the black shirt, dark denim jeans, and the helmet which was stormy grey like his bike and completely hid his face.
We rode through town until we reached the top of the hill; we pulled off the road and looked down at the town below us.
"It's beautiful, isn't is?"
"Yes it is, Miss Jensen. I trust your day went well."
"Severus, what is it like...flying on a broomstick?" I asked, breaking the fleeting silence that had settled between us.
"Why do you care about something like that?" he asked in return.
"I have always want to fly on a broom, it must be one of the most amazing feelings in the world! I've had so many dreams about flying, feeling the wind screaming in my ear as I race through the sky. Please, tell me what it's like," I pleaded.
"Just as you described, believe it or not, but I do enjoy flying." Severus replied quietly. He kept looking out as he spoke, "I never enjoyed flying at Hogwarts though, Black or Potter would put a jinx on my broom- so I never got on a broom unless it was completely necessary."
"You didn't deserve what they did to you, and someone should have stopped them. Why didn't anyone ever try to stop them?"
"They feared being treated as I did. The Marauders were some of the most popular boys in school- people worshipped them." Severus spat venomously, "I bet even you would have."
I glared at him and argued, "No, I wouldn't have! Those boys were down right cruel and I would have stopped them, Severus!"
"You say that now, but I bet you would have fallen for one of them." he disagreed.
"Severus Snape, you listen! I would never fall for gits like Sirius and James! Besides...they would never fall for a girl like me."
Severus' head jerked to look at me, and I was afraid his head would fall off at the velocity of it. He looked at me, and I felt a pressure in my skull.
I imagined my mind being guarded with a shield like the ones erected at Hogwarts for the Final Battle. The presence was shoved away and I was livid, "HOW DARE YOU! HOW DARE YOU TRY AND READ MY MIND!" I stormed off to my bike and tried to start it.
Severus' hand wrapped around my arm, "I...apologize, I should not have done that to you. I just...couldn't understand you for once."
"That shouldn't give you the entitlement to read my mind, Severus! You could have just asked me, I won't lie to you." I spoke quietly.
"If you can forgive me for trying to read your mind, would you feel up to accompanying me to dinner? Before you answer that question, can you answer me this- how are you an Occlumens? You managed to shove me out, and quite successfully too."
"It's complicated, I don't even know how I could explain it. Where would you like to go eat?"
"I have a place in mind, follow me." He got back on his bike and that's when I realized that he had been holding my arm with such gentleness it made me want to melt into a puddle onto the ground.
We pulled up to my favorite pizza place in town, Martolli's. I beamed brightly at him, " I love this place!"
"Yes, I find myself coming here often too, what would you like?"
"Well what do you like?"
"I prefer to get the Hawaiian toppings, and I take it by the sickening look of elevation that you do too." He held the door open for me and followed me in. He strode up to the cashier and ordered, "Two slices of Hawaiian, two salads, and two drinks."
I went to hand the cashier my share of the bill, but Severus stopped me. He handed the cashier his money and then led me to a table. "You seem to know a lot of people," he observed as I waved to Sharlee who was sitting on the far side of the pizzeria.
"Only because of school- and I don't hang out everyday with all the people I know, but we're close."
Our number was called and Severus got our food; we ate in silence, comfortable with each other's presence and not needing to make small talk. "Thank you, Severus for the wonderful evening. But I need to get home, I have classes again tomorrow morning." I rose to me feet and gave him a hug out of one of my many reflexes. I let out a small laugh when he tensed and leaned away from my embrace.
"Allow me to escort you home, Miss Jensen." He walked beside me and we got on our bikes.
As we parked in front of my house, Severus looked at me, his far away look making me believe that he was deep in thought.
"Good night, Severus. I really enjoyed going out for dinner with you." I gave him one last smile before rolling my Vespa into the garage.
"Good night, Miss Jensen," Severus replied to my retreating figure.
"Hey, Chels! How was your day?" I greeted her slouched over figure that was sitting at her desk.
"Obviously not as great as yours," she muttered tersely.
"Chels, what happened?" I set down my keys and helmet on the coffee table then walked over to her.
"I am just missing Jacob, that's all. We haven't been able to see each other in four months! It's frustrating, that's all."
"I have heard through the grapevine that is my boyfriend that Jacob is planning on showing up next week." I explained and I had to contain my laughter at the "sickening" look of happiness that erupted on her face.
"Yeah, and if that's true; I was thinking we could go on a double date to the theater together." I replied with a grin.
"Definitely! Oh, I hope he is really going to come up! So was that Severus I saw pull up with you?"
My grin grew into a smile, "Yes, that sure was. He tried to read my mind, but I blocked him."
Chelsea took a sharp intake of breath, "No! Really? How did you do it?"
"Just like he told Harry- I closed my mind...I imagined the wards that covered Hogwarts at the Final Battle, and I shoved him out. I was so angry, but somehow he managed to calm me down. Then he took me out for Martolli's." I retold the previous events that led up to the present quickly, "He surprises me constantly- I never expected him to actually want to be a friend..."
"Count your blessings, hon! My day seems oddly better now, and I think going out for some ice cream is in order- you game?"
"As if you have to ask!"
We got back late from Mix, and the entire night was spent laughing and reminiscing about middle school and high school. "Hey," I murmured as Chelsea made her way to her room. "Do you want to spend the night in my room like we did when we had sleepovers?"
"Let me go grab my pillow!" she disappeared from view and raced past me after she reappeared. She hopped onto my bed and looked at me expectantly.
I sat down beside her and hooked an arm with one of hers. "This makes me miss Tamie, we should have had way more sleepovers with her when she was here." I sighed.
Chelsea nodded in agreement, then began to laugh, "Do you-do you remember when we were in France and all you did was yell at the Parisians when we went to go up the Eiffel Tower? I don't know who was more mortified, me or Tamie!"
"Oh hush! You got a kick out of it because you wanted revenge from the AP Euro trip. Besides, Tamie laughed along with me!" I defended myself, but a smile had crept onto my face.
"You still have a different reason for why you do it every time I bring it up...I wonder what the next excuse will be...Tamara told me she was going to try and visit before she has to go back to Université." She let out a deep yawn, "Good night, Kiley."
I snuggled closer to her and murmured, "Bon soir, Chels." My eyes closed, and we fell into Sleep's welcoming arms.
The morning was not as rushed as yesterday; Chels made breakfast and told me she was going to enjoy her day off work. "Have a great day in class- tell everyone I say, hi!" she said loudly as I headed out the door.
As I opened the door, I let out a scream of delight and surprise. A broomstick was leaning against the railing, but this wasn't an ordinary broomstick- this one flew.
A not was attached to the handle, I quickly tore it off and opened the envelope. Immediately I recognized his organized, spider-like hand writing.
Don't be a dunderhead and kill yourself on this.
A wolfish grin flashed across my face, and I raced inside to put my new broom and then got on my Vespa. I parked further away than I normally did; not wanting to draw unwanted attention to Severus if he showed up when I was through with classes. I sat beside Diana and began to scratch away in my writing notebook.
"Who was that guy Jake said was leaning against your Vespa yesterday?"
"He's an old friend of mine, and he likes to surprise me. Jake is just being overly protective as usual." I answered vaguely.
"Does this old friend have a name?" she asked intently.
"Of course." Again, my explanation was vague. I smirked slightly as Diana's exasperation with my short answers. I continued to write away in my notebook and refused to look up at her.
"Are you going to tell me his name?" Diana leaned closer and looked at me with the look.
"His name is Severus, Mooom," I drawled.
"No sass, and thank goodness I am not your mother!" Diana chortled.
"Could have fooled me," I muttered. I noticed that Jake hadn't taken his normal seat beside me yet. "Di, where's Jake?"
"Late, I suppose- oh! Look, here he comes! Holy crap! What happened to his face?"
"Jake! What happened to you?" I asked in a mortified whisper.
"I don't want to talk about it," he growled. One of his eyes was black and swollened shut, and the other was nearly black; his top lip was split open and was still oozing. His entire body language was sour and angry.
"Jake- you got in a fight! What happened, you never get in fights!" Diana whispered, concern filled her dark brown eyes.
"Drop it, Diana- you too, Kiley. I told you, I don't want to talk about it." He violently opened his backpack and pulled out his notebook.
Diana and I exchanged a concerned glance, but we did what he asked and dropped it...for the time being.
Class went by slowly and I missed having Jake talking incessantly in my ear. I was walking out to the parking lot, when I heard Jake calling my name.
"Kiley, wait! I need to talk to you." he jogged up to me, with a serious expression on his face. "You need to stay away from that guy."
I scowled at hime and retorted, "I don't think it's any of your business, Jake." I knew who he was talking about, and I had the feeling that Severus was the reason why Jake looked like this.
"He's dangerous, Kiley- I can feel it! You need to stop hanging out with him!"
"No! Severus is my friend, and I am fully aware of what kind of person he is! He may seem dangerous to you, but I know he is a good man, Jake. You aren't my father or my boyfriend, so stop trying to dictate my life!" I shrieked angrily at him.
"Is everything all right, Miss Jensen?"
"Severus!" I exclaimed happily, I turned and smiled brightly at him. I noticed that his knuckles were bruised, and some had skin split. "Muggle drawling?" I asked low enough so that way only he could hear me.
"You have Mr. Arrington to thank," Severus sneered at Jake over my shoulder.
Jake growled and began to advance towards Severus, but I shoved an arm out and stopped him. "Jake, stop. I don't want you fighting Severus! You both are my friends and I don't want to choose between the two of you. But I will if I have to." I warned the both of them. I turned to Jake and explained, "Jake, I cna pick whatever type of friend I want; Severus would never hurt me, and you need to realize and accept that. Jake, trust me on this, please."
I could see the battle going on in jake's head and he was glaring at Severus who had stepped to be closer to me. "Fine." Jake forced out, he glared at Severus one last time before he stormed off.
"How charming, the boy cares for you." Severus chuckled, and somehow managed to make it sound like a drawl.
"Severus, please- don't mock him. Despite the fact that I told him I'm not choosing sides- he thinks that I chose you." I sighed in frustration.
"In a way, you did. Here you are with me, it seems that you have made your choice."
"Severus, when you are done being such a git, come find me." I got on the back of my Vespa and left him standing there in the parking lot.
I looked back and glared at him before tearing out of the parking lot. I knew Chelsea would probably taking photos to add to her website, so I didn't have to worry about trying to sneak my broomstick out of the apartment. I walked into the woods behind our apartment building with my broomstick in hand. I took a good look at it this time, and realized that it was a Firebolt. "He bought me a Firebolt," I couldn't help but grin; I set the broom down on my left. I took a deep breath, placed my hand over the broom and commanded, "Up!" The broom rose smoothly into my hand and I felt a warmth spread to my hand from the broom. I threw my leg over and stood there, afraid to literally take the leap. I pushed off the ground and let out a triumphant laugh; I leaned forward and raced forward. All I had to do was pull in the slightest direction and the Firebolt would follow it. I zoomed around the field and my smile took up my entire face; the sound of the wind screaming by and whipping through my hair, was a feeling that I could never truly describe.
"Having fun?" a rich, amused chuckled sounded from behind me.
I turned around in a tight 'u' and saw Severus on a broomstick of his own. "Yes, this is better than I could have imagined- thank you, Severus. I hope I can make it up to you someday. I am sorry for being so cross with you earlier, you were stating what I was trying to convince myself didn't happen."
"It's fine, Miss Jensen, I admit that I was somewhat- slightly in the wrong." He flew closer and whispered, "Care to race?" he smirked playfully.
"You are on!" I leaned forward and shot off. I looked back and saw Severus on my tail.
We ended up neck and neck, but right at the end Severus pulled ahead and beat me. "Oh my, Miss Jensen, it seems that you lost." he laughed.
"Did you just laugh?"I asked incredulously.
"Believe it or not, I am human." he replied sarcastically.
"Op- nevermind, you're back to normal. You had me worried there for a second!" I smiled at him. A cold breeze blew through the field, and I shivered as goosebumps rose on my skin.
Severus pulled off his wool coat and placed it around my shoulders. "Put it on," he ordered gently.
I slipped my arms into the sleeves and laughed when the hem of the sleeves went well past my fingertips. I inhaled deeply, smiling as his scent filled my nostrils. He smelled like...I didn't know how to describe it, it was just...Severus.
"Are you through with inhaling my jacket?" Severus mused.
I blushed and replied bashfully, "Yes."
"It is getting late, Miss Jensen, allow me to escort you home." He slowly descended and waited for me on the ground.
I did the opposite, I pulled up and rose high into the sky. I dove down and let out a whoop of glee; however, the ground was approaching faster than I anticipated, and I began to panic. I couldn't do anything as cold fear seized control of my body, I pinched my eyes shut and awaited the sickening collision.
"Arresto Momentum!" Severus' wand was out and aimed at me in less than a moment.
My brook stick stopped it collision course, and my eyes rolled into the back of my head, and I only remember falling...
I let out a groan and my eyelids cracked open and I saw him. Severus had his arms around me, and was leaning in close. "Kiley, how are you feeling?"
"What happened? Where are we?" I asked as I slowly looked around, not recognizing the earthy tones of the room around me.
"We are in the guest bedroom of my apartment, Kiley. I have been administering you potions for the past five and a half hours to see if they would help you gain consciousness." he explained gently, "How are you feeling?"
"You called me by my first name," I smiled dreamily up at him.
"That does not tell me anything about how you are feeling." Severus sighed.
"I'm fine, a little dizzy- that's it. What time is it?"
"Four in the morning," he repied quietly.
"Have you been up this entire time? You need to rest!" I chided him.
"I am fine, it is you who should be resting. Go back to sleep, Kiley."
Despite my wish to stay awake, my eyelids were drooping lower and lower, "You called me 'Kiley'," I whispered, my voice laced with sleep.
I awoke to the sun shining on my face through a window and I slowly sat up and saw that Severus was sleeping in a chair at my side. I brushed the hair out of his face, failing to resist the temptation to trace his fingers.
His hand shot out and grabbed my wrist with bruising force. When he looked up, his grip lessened, "It's a-"
"-Reflex." I finished for him, "I'm sorry, I over stepped the boundary- but I couldn't resist."
"Are you hungry?"
"A little bit, but I can go home and eat."
"You will do no such thing, I am fully capable of making you something to eat. Now, what would you like?"
I nibbled my bottom lip as I thought, "Can you make me some French toast with berry purée on top?"
"Very well, stay here. I will return shortly with your food."
I lay in bed, looking around and saw that my Firebolt was leaning up against the wall. I smiled, "He saved my life." I thought out loud.
Minutes later, Severus returned balancing a tray in his hand, "Here you are," he set the tray in front of me; when he pulled back, his sleeve rode up his arm, revealing the end of his Dark Mark.
"Can I look at it?" I asked tentatively while trying to gauge his reaction.
His otherh and slowly pulled up its sleeve, "Go ahead," he murmured quietly.
I leaned forward and gazed at his Dark Mark; the serpent exiting the menacing skull, dark and conspicuous against his alabaster skin. Around the edges of his Mark were darker, as if irritated or angered in some way. "Can I touch it?" I whispered.
Severus' eyes widened slightly, "It doesn't...repulse you?"
I shook my head, "I know that you have changed...and you could never repulse me, Severus." I pulled him closer, and looked back down at his arm. My fingers ghosted over the Dark Mark at first, afraid to cause him pain, "You are a brave, honorable man, Severus."
"No," he said firmly, "I am a foolish man. In my rage and jealously, I ended up killing my best friend and my-" he stopped himself, pulled his arm out of my grasp and rolled down his sleeve back over his Dark Mark.
"I know how much you love Lily," I breathed, and I hated that no matter what, he would always love her.
"You need to eat your breakfast, it is getting cold. Then I will take you home." Severus spoke stiffly, rising to his feet and stalking out of the room.
I smacked myself in the forehead, "Great job, Kiley" I huffed, "You take one step forward- only to take ten back!" I picked away at my French toast, not really in the mood to eat anything anymore. After I ate as much as I could, Severus still hadn't returned. "Severus? I am ready to go now," I called out.
He appeared within moments and pulled me to my feet. He shrunk down my broomstick and placed it carefully in his pocket. "Come along then."
I rose unsteadily to my feet, my legs felt like they were made of Jell-O. I took a few steps forward, but my knees caved and I fell.
Severus' arms wrapped around me and he asked, "Are you sure you are well enough to go home?"
"Yes, I'll be fine- just help me."
Severus kept a secure arm around me as he walked us to a parking lot.
"You have a car?" I asked with raised brows.
"Yes," he drawled, "Believe it or not- I enjoy driving, Besides, you are in condition for me to apparate us to your aparment."
I looked around the parking lot, trying to discern which car was his; definitely not the mini-van or suburban, and a truck didn't suit him at all. "Which car is yours?" I finally gave up and asked.
He smirked and pointed, "That one."
I turned and just about died; his car was a 2011 SS Chevy Camaro. "You're joking right?"
"Hardly." he chuckled.
I turned ym attention back to the Camaro and let out a sigh. It was beautiful; gun metal grey exterior and black leather inside, and I desperately wanted to drive it. "Can I drive it?"
"Most certainly not- you are not in a condition fit enough to walk. What makes you think that you can drive?"
"Because it's a Camaro!"
"No," Severus opened the passenger side's door and picked me up. "Here you are," he placed me in the seat.
"I am capable of getting in and out of a car, and you are no fun." I scowled at him, folding my arms and pouting slightly.
"One can never be too careful. If I am no fun, then why do you seek out my presence so diligently?" he purred silkily.
I blushed and tried to hide it, but I am sure he could see by the smirk that seemed to set into his facial expression.
He walked around and got into the car. He grinned roguishly, "No comment, Kiley? I'm surprised." he let out a rich chuckle.
I smiled dreamily up at him, and I leaned against his shoulder, pressing my cheek into his strong shoulder.
He looked down at me and then started the car, "Let's get you home." The beautiful pur of the engine and being so close to Severus quickly lulled me to sleep.
"Kiley, you need to wake up."
"Uh uh," I mumbled. I didn't want to get up, I was still too tired.
Severus carefully picked me up and carried me to the door, "Kiley, do you need to unlock it?"
"Just go...in," I muttered, I clung to his shirt as I was in the state between being awake and asleep.
He must have known which room was mine by the conspicuous amounts of books that overfilled my bookshelf and lay on my floor. He lay me down on the bed and tried to release himself from my grasp.
"Stay," I pulled him into bed and snuggled against him. The last thing I remember is wrapping my arms around him and resting my head over his heart and listening to the beautiful sound of his beating heart.
I awoke to the feel of someone pressed against me; I snuggled into them, and the person smelled like Severus. "Severus," I sighed happily.
"Yes, Kiley?" a sleepy reply came.
"Thank you," I slowly opened my eyes and saw Severus was actually in bed with me- it wasn't a dream. "What are you doing in my bed?"
"You pulled me into your bed, I assure you. I will take my leave since the idea of sharing a bed with me repulses you." he snarled.
"No! That's not what I meant! I've just...never shared a bed with a man before."
"You expect me to believe that?" he sneered incredulously.
"Believe it or not- it is the truth either way." I snapped.
"I believe you," he answered quietly, "Would you like me to leave?"
Before I could reply, Chelsea burst into the room, "Kileilelani Lenikeni Jensen! Where were you last night? You had me- who in the name of Hades is he?"
"Chelsea, this is Severus, Severus- meet my best friend Chelsea." I sighed, pinching my temples in an attempt to ward off the incoming headache.
"You better explain things to her before she implodes. I am going to leave since your friend is so upset at my presence here." Severus glared darkly at Chelsea before he stalked out of my bedroom.
"Sorry about that, I am sure he really isn't mad at you." I apologized to her with a sheepish smile.
"Care to enlighten me as to why he was in bed with you?"
"Nothing happened, I promise. I was out in the field behind the building and I fell off the broom Severus gave me."
"That doesn't explain how he ended up in your bed, hon," her nose crinkled as she tried not to laugh.
"Well, he was bringing me home and he put me in bed- that's when I latched onto him like a Grindylow and pulled him into bed with me."
"Woah! Let me get this straight, Severus Snape was pulled into bed against his will by you- and you're alive to tell the tale?" Chelsea exclaimed, gesticulating wildly. A smug grin suddenly settled on her face, "Oh he so like you!"
"He tolerates my presence, that is all."
"Tolerates your presence? You are so full of it! You are even starting to talk like him- you like him-"
"- Of course I like him! He is a really great friend once you get to know him, and if he lets you." I replied.
"You are giving me excuses, Kiley. I know you, and I know you have been all stars and hearts about him since were sixteen."
"All right, I really like him- but remember one major, significant detail? He will always love Lily."
"Of course I do! But just because he always will love Lily doesn't mean he can't love you more." Chelsea smiled encouragingly.
"Impossible, you know what he does because his love for her. A love so great, so powerful- that no thing, no one can ever have his heart because it will always belong to Lily Evans-Potter."
"Fight for it! You are just as beautiful and loving as she is- if not more! You can forgive him if he insults you or gets at angry at you over little things, and we can't say the same for her." Chelsea exclaimed.
"I'm not going to fight for something I have no claim on. I don't want to talk about it anymore, I will just have to learn that Severus will only be my friend. I am going back to bed, see you when I get up." I rolled over and closed my eyes, slowly falling asleep.
I slept the entire day and night away, and the next morning I finally got up. "Morning," I yawned as I walked into the kitchen.
"Sleeping Beauty awakes!" Chelsea laughed.
"Ha ha ha, aren't we funny this morning?" I grinned.
"Oh! I almost forgot, Severus came by while you were sleeping and dropped off a note for you."
"Where is it?" I spun around in a circle, looking eagerly for the note.
"It's right here, in my hand." Chelsea grinned, revealing a hand she had been hiding behind her back.
"Hand it over and save me the energy it takes to tackle you if you don't." I held my hand out, I immediately began to read as soon as the paper hit my skin.
Hope your friend isn't too upset, see you soon.
"Soon? How soon is soon? What is the time equivalence to soon? Wh-"
"- Kiley, you're rambling! Just calm down, come on- we need to go grocery shopping."
"Fine." I mumbled. I grabbed my wallet and car keys, "My car?"
"Sure," Chelsea grabbed her purse and walked out of our apartment.
We drove to Safeway in a companionable silence, and that's when I asked her, "Chelsea, what does it mean when you've technically chosen someone over a best friend?"
"You chose Severus over Jake, didn't you?"
"How do you know about that?" I looked at her as I grabbed a grocery cart.
"Jake stopped by the other day and when I told him that you were out and about- he glared and muttered something about what a butt Severus was." Chelsea ended with a laugh.
"Thanks for letting me know, Chelsea." I sighed.
"Hey! It slipped my mind because the first time I saw you in twenty-four hours- I found Severus in your bed!"
"Please do keep your voice down, Miss Sandige, I would prefer if you refrained from shouting my name. And it is Professor Snape to you."
"Come now, sir- lighten up."
Chelsea and I did a turn about and found Severus, and none other than Draco Malfoy.
"Draco Malfoy? But how in the name of Hades did he end up here?" I exclaimed.
Draco glared at me, "How would you know who I am, you filthy-"
"-Draco," Severus growled. "Kiley knows everything- well, almost everything there is to know about our world. Refrain from insulting her or Miss Sandige."
"Severus, how does he know where you are?" I asked quietly.
"I told the Malfoys about my plan. Let me formally introduce everyone, Draco, meet Kiley Jensen and Miss Chelsea Sandige."
Chelsea only managed to stare at Draco and so I spoke for the both of us, "Pleased to meet you."
Draco dipped his head, "Likewise- Miss Sandige, are you going to say anything?"
Chelsea blushed and sputtered, "Pleased to m-meet you, Mr. Malfoy."
"Please, call me Draco." he flashed her a crooked smile.
"Then call me Chelsea," she smiled shyly at him.
"I am going to let you two talk, I have the grocery list, and I will see you around, Malfoy." I rolled the grocery cart away and left Draco and Chelsea to their own devices.
I was straining to reach the Mini Club Crackers on the topmost shelf and couldn't even reach a box on my tip toes. "Blast my shortness!" I muttered angrily.
"Blast, your shortness, Miss Jensen?"
I spun around and smiled sheepishly at Severus, "Yes, because of my shortness I cannot reach the Mini Club Crackers!"
Severus smirked down at me, "Allow me to help." He walked up to me and reached up for a box.
My face turned scarlet as Severus pressed his body against mine. I tried to step away, but my back was pressed up against the shelves. I couldn't resist taking in a deep sniff of Severus' scent.
"Here you are," Severus smirked again, he placed the box into the cart. "Kiley, are you feeling all right?"
I cleared my throat, "Um, yeah- I am fine. So is Draco visiting you alone?"
"No, Lucius is here as well. Kiley!" he snapped, "What is wrong? And do not tell me it is nothing because you are paler than the bloodless corpse."
How could I answer him? I was terrified to think that Lucius Malfoy was really out there- and that meant...Bellatrix Lestrange was out there. My knees gave out and I fell to the floor. "She-she-she-" I blubbered incoherently, "Does she know?"
Severus knelt down beside me and looked at me with an expression that was foreign to his face- concern. "Kiley, tell me." The way he demanded in that silky in that silky baritone voice made me unable to resist.
"If Lucius knows, then Narcissa knows- does that mean Bellatrix knows?" I whispered. I looked at Severus with fear rolling off me in waves. I didn't want to know that someone as evil and twisted as her actually existed in the world.
"I don't know if she knows- why does it matter?" he asked.
"Because I don't want her to any other people than she already has. Can you-"
"-Kiley, calm down. Bellatrix probably doesn't know because I made sure the Malfoys would keep it a secret. Why does she worry you so much? You have never met her." Severus pulled me to my feet and stared deep into my eyes.
"I'm not worried- I am terrified because I know what she is capable of. I know what she has done to good, innocent people who deserved nothing but to live their lives without her dark interference. No one should receive pleasure in the way she receives it- she's evil, Severus. And I am scared for you."
"Why should you be worried about me?"
"Because you're my friend, Severus, and I don't want to see you get hurt." I whispered, my face grew hot from my blush. "I don't want to see you lying on the floor with your own blood about you like some demonic corpse statue." I blinked away a tear that threatened to spill.
"I can take care of myself," he replied gruffly and he scowled slightly me at me.
"I know you can, but sometimes everyone needs to be taken care of or watched over. Thank you for you help, Severus, I hope to see you soon, and do be careful." I gave him a small, brief smile and then began to push my cart down the aisle.
"Kiley, join me for dinner."
I stopped and turned back to him, "But Lucius and Draco are there- I don't want to impose." I replied.
"No, you are going to come. I want to introduce you to Lucius."
I couldn't help but once again concede to his wish. I sighed, "All right, when do you want me at your apartment?"
"Six. Good bye, Kiley."
I couldn't help myself but get dreamy-eyed whenever he said my name, "Good bye, Severus." I gave him one last smile before he left. I went to the fresh produce section and was reaching for the ginger when Chelsea reemerged. "How did talking with Draco go?" I asked without looking up.
"I don't think I have laughed that hard in far too long! I noticed Severus stalked off at some point in our conversation, did he catch up with you?"
"Yeah, he did. I am going to his apartment tonight for dinner."
"Oh that will be fun!" she replied with an excited smile.
"I am terrified! I am going to meet Lucius Malfoy!"
"Oooh, that is not fun." Chelsea murmured, "But you can take care of yourself just fine."
"But this is Lucius Malfoy, an inner-circle Death Eater, we are talking about! I don't think I can even think about being in the same room as him!"
"Kiley, I doubt Severus would allow anything to happen to you while you're in his home." Chelsea said softly.
I looked at her, "I know that- but try telling that to my fear that refuses to listen to listen. What if I end up alone in a room with him?" I asked in a small voice.
"It's simple- don't end up in a room alone with him. Besides, I doubt Severus will let you out of his sight! I mean look at what just happened, he trailed after you not a minute into you leaving!"
"Don't start that again! Come on, let's just finish shopping and then go home so I can be a mad panic about to wear in the privacy of our own home." I grumbled, I gave the cart a harsh push and walked briskly down the aisle. "Nothing is going to happen, nothing is going to happen." I chanted under my breath.
"I don't know why you get so touchy about the weirdest things," Chelsea grumbled.
"Sorry, I'm just on edge... I will try not to take it out on you." I mumbled, "Do we need anything else?"
"Nothing comes to mind, nice- changing the subject." Chelsea mused.
"Anytime," I chuckled. I smiled at her and couldn't help but continue to laugh.
"People are going to think that you are mad as a hatter if you keep that up," but she couldn't resist laughing with me.
"Funny thing is, I am- and so are you. We two people are off out rockers- so that makes us amazing!"
"I don't why you are making such a big deal about this," Chelsea sighed at me as I was examining myself in front of the mirror in yet another outfit.
"I don't want to embarrass Severus-"
"-Yet you meet Ryan's parents in your old basketball jersey and sweats, with your Nike shoes. And no make up.'
"I hardly consider Ryan's parents like Lucius Malfoy." I sighed an pinched the bridge of my nose, "I am going to go with what you said earlier." I grabbed the dress and flats from my closet and quickly pulled them on. "Any jewelry?" I hollered from the bathroom as I put on my make up.
"Black stud earrings, and then your black butterfly necklace." she yelled in reply.
"You're a life saver!" I zipped out of the bathroom, gave her a peck on the cheek, and headed out the door.
The drive nearly drove me insane; all I could think about was in a matter of minutes, I would be in the company of Lucius Malfoy. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't keep him out of my mind- it was maddening. I stayed in my car after i had pulled up to the front of Severus'. "Right. I can do this. Courage, have some of that Gryffindor courage Severus is always complaining about." I finally got out of the car after another minute or two of nervously strumming my thumbs on the steering wheel. "Be strong, don't be such a Hufflepuff!" I chided myself as I hesitated knocking on the door. Eventually, I did knock and tried not to look terrified.
"Punctual as always, Kiley. Please, come inside," Severus greeted me as he opened the door. he led me into his kitchen and pulled out a seat for me. "Dinner is ready, let me go get the dishes and we can begin."
I kept my head down and stared at my hands in my lap, I could feel two pairs of eyes looking at me- but I refused to meet either.
"Hello, Kiley," Draco said, breaking the tangible silence.
"Hello, Draco," I replied quietly and I still kept my eyes on my lap.
"Dinner is served," Severus announced smoothly, He placed the food strategically on the table and then sat down beside me.
"Thank you for the meal, Severus, it looks delicious." I said politely.
"Yes, Severus, you have outdone yourself this time," another voice mused, and the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. So that was what Lucius Malfoy sounded like, not at all pleasant.
I played with the food on my plate, taking an occasional nibble and avoided drawing Lucius' attention to me.
"Kiley, are you feeling all right? Do you need me to brew you a potion, you've barely touched your food?" Severus asked gently.
"No, I am fine, but thank you for the offer." I failed to not smile dreamily at him, and Lucius seemed to have caught it.
"My my, Severus, she certainly isn't your usual type. I thought you only bedded red heads-" he drawled lasciviously.
"-Excuse me, I need to go to the restroom." I interrupted, swiftly rising to my feet and walking to Severus' bathroom. once the door was locked behind me, I collapsed against it. Is that what Lucius thought I was, Severus' bed warmer, well, to put it lightly? I breathed in slow, deep gulps of air in an attempt to calm my temper. I could easily imagine punching Lucius right in his pompous, aristocratic nose; however, I didn't want to embarrass Severus or upset him. But if Lucius tried to push any lines, I would take the risk. I got back on my feet and exited the bathroom.
Lucius was waiting out in the hallway, and I got the feeling that he wasn't waiting to use the restroom. "Did I upset you? Please forgive me," he murmured in an attempt to be alluring.
I didn't say anything, just sent him a wary glance and made to return to thee kitchen.
He threw an arm out, barring my way. He clicked his tongue is disapproval, "Come now, my dear, why don't we get...acquainted?" he purred leeringly. He leaned in and tried to kiss me.
"I don't think so," I pushed his head away, once again trying to leave- but had no avail.
"You go to Severus' bed so willingly, yet you refuse to do the same for me?" His hand traced my jaw, making me feel sullied and repulsed, "You really are pretty for...a Muggle, I must taste you."
I slapped his hand away, "Don't touch me." I growled.
He let out a cold laugh, "Well isn't the Muggle whore brave?" He advanced towards me, and that was when I struck.
I rammed my elbow into his nose and kicked him as hard as I could in the side of his knee. As he fell to the floor cursing and clutching his nose, I ran. I burst into the kitchen, my chest heaving. Not even when Severus came into my view did I stop my departure.
"Kiley, where are you-" Severus began.
"-I am not a bed warmer and I will not cower down to the likes of that monster!" I screamed at him. I grabbed my coat and keys, then turned back to Severus, "Good bye, Severus."
But I didn't, I slammed the door behind me and got into my car. I sped off from his driveway and blasted music to keep my mind off of what just happened.
When I burst htrough the front door, Chelsea yelped, "Kiley! What are you doing home?"
I shook my head in an attempt to shake away the tears, but they still fell- I fell into her arms. I clutched desperately clutched at her and let out an angry sob.
She rubbed soothing circles on my back and held me close, "Cry, that's it- let it all out."
I buried my face into her and cried all the fear and anger away. After what felt like hours of crying, I explained why my sudden departure from Severus' occured.
"Kiley, you defended yourself and faced your fear!"
"Yes, but Severus hates me now," I mused darkly.
"I highly doubt it, I mean-"
The ring of my cell phone cut her off, "Hold on." I murmured and without checking the caller ID, I answered it, "Hello?"
'Hey, beautiful! It's Ryan!'
"Oh...Ryan, what's up?" I asked lamely.
'Just calling to say I am on the road and that I am going to stay at your parents' for the night and then I will be at your place by noon!' he explained happily.
"Ryan, what are you talking about?" I sighed.
'I can't believe it! You forgot I was coming up to see you! Hey, are you all right? You sound like you've been crying.'
"That completely slipped my mind, a lot has been going on. I am fine, I have had a long day- that's all. Is Jacob coming up with you?" I flashed Chelsea a knowing smirk and wink.
'No, something came up and he can't. He told me to tell Chelsea he's sorry. Hey- I'll call you later, love you!' Ryan hollered into the phone.
'Bye,Ryan." I hung up my phone and I gave Chelsea an apologetic smile, "I'm sorry, Chels, but Jacob isn't coming."
"I figured out as much when I saw your face." she sighed. "I wish I could say I am completely disappointed- but I'm not. I have plans anyway."
"Now who are you going to hang out with?"
Chelsea blushed and mumbled, "DracoMalfoy."
I grinned a grin worthy of the Cheshire cat, "I'm sorry, but I didn't quite catch that name."
"Draco Malfoy, all right?" she glared at me, daring me to try and weasel her out of it.
I let out a triumphant cheer, "I knew it, I knew it! I knew you were falling for the little ferret!" I clapped my hands and beamed at her.
"Don't call him that!" she exclaimed indignantly.
"I hope things work out for the two of you. Just watch out for Lucius- he is slippier than an eel, and I messed up everything because of that ridiculous excuse of a human." I dropped my head into my hands and let out a depressed sigh. "I really have mucked things up, haven't I? All because of that miserable, foul, loathsome, evil, pompous son of a bludger!" I slammed a hand on the wall.
"It's not like Draco will ever see me like that-"
"-Funny, that's how it is with Severus. Looks like we're both in the same dilemma. At least Draco hasn't met Astoria-" I began.
"-That's where you're wrong. He's mentioned her at least twice." Chelsea explained flatly.
"What did he say about her?" I raised ab row, which only made me think of Severus- but I pushed the thought of him away and refocused on my best friend.
"He said that they had just met at a dinner his parents had dragged him to. But you should have seen the look he had in his eyes," she groaned.
"What, have you never seen the look of revulsion before?" I chuckled. "Besides, he got put into the same situation his parents did. Arranged marriage," I replied.
"How do you know that?"
"Pottermore, it was one of the discussions that we had with J.K. Rowling. His father-" I paused and cleared my throat nervously, "Decided that he was wasting his life away and so Lucius went to the Greengrasses and signed the contract that same day. But before that, Astoria and Draco were forced to be with one another for a few months before they were married."
"But even now, I don't stand a chance. Lucius selects only the best for his son." Chelsea looked down at the floor.
I cupped my hands around her face, "Well guess what, hon? He didn't pick the best for his son because I am looking at the most amazing thing Draco Hyperion Malfoy could have." I smiled warmly at her.
"Funny, that's what I have been telling you ever since you met Severus in the bookstore. Seriously, we have major handicaps when it comes to romance."
"Well as they say, love is blind." I laughed, "I can't believe I can say I elbowed Lucius Malfoy in the nose!"
We laughed hysterically until we were leaning against one another and clutching our sides.
"Do you know what we should do right now?" Chelsea asked suddenly.
"I'll give you a hint, 'I can't- it's permanently glued to my skin.' " Chelsea laughed.
"You read my mind! I'll get the DVDs, you go make the popcorn!" I exclaimed as we leapt to our feet.
We watched episodes of the Avatar until we fell asleep against each other on the couch.
The next morning Chelsea left for work and I went to my only class for the day. I was talking with Diana as we walked, when Jake brushed past us. I grabbed him gently by the shoulder, "Jake, can we talk- please?"
"What is there to talk about?"
"You know what we need to talk about," I pulled him to the side. "jake, are you still made about your confrontation with Severus? Why won't you just talk to me about it?"
"Of course I am still mad about it! The entire you were talking to me that jerk was staring at you or smirking at me. He doesn't want to just be your friend, and I'm sorry for being a good friend and worry about you!" he spat angrily.
"The worst thing in the world, I am sure. How dare a guy find me attractive, and maybe I think I want to be more than friends too! Jake, I have had a lot of crap hit the fan these past few days and I really need to be able to talk to you again," I finished softly.
Jake looked at me for a few seconds before he said, "Okay, but please remember that I only want what's best for you. Now come here and give me a hug." he laughed and wrapped his arms around me.
I hugged him back fiercely and couldn't help but whisper, "I've missed you too, Jake."
Class was back to normal; Jake teased me about drawing doodles in my notebook, Diana found out about Ryan arriving and wanted to go out for dinner.
"Oooh, Jaaaake," she sung under her breath and smirked at him.
"What evil scheme have you concocted now?"
"You, me- dinner." Diana smiled impishly.
Jake's eyes looked like they were going to pop out of his head. "Are you asking me out to dinner- as in, a date?"
"Yes, yes I am. How does tonight sound? Want to be my date so that way we can go on a double date with Ryan and Kiley?" Diana batted her eyelashes at him and let out a flirtatious laugh.
"Um, sure- yeah! That sounds great!" he stammered, "I'll pick you up at your place. Where should we go?"
"Marcelli's?" I suggested. Maybe this is just what I needed to get my mind off Severus; besdies, Ryan was my boyfriend and Severus was just a friend.
I had just walked in the front door when Chelsea let out a shriek, "Guess who asked me out to lunch today?"
"Greg," I smirked.
"Ew, no! Draco came into Mix and asked if I was there- I came out of the back room and then he asked me out to lunch," she was glowing and she seemed to be five feet off the floor.
"I am going out for dinner," I explained.
"Going out with Severus and Ryan?" she asked incredulously.
My somewhat decent mood vanished, "No, Severus hasn't shown up at all today. I am going on a double date with Diana, Jake, and Ryan. But Chels, I have a problem."
"Uh oh, what's wrong?"
"I am trying to figure out how I am going to break up with Ryan."
"Why do you want to break up with Ryan?"
"We've fallen into this routine, and there's nothing wrong, really- but I am not crazy about him anymore. Plus, with how I feel about Severus, I don't think I can keep being with Ryan. I would feel like I was stringing him along."
Chelsea gave me a sympathetic smile, "If you think it's for the best, I want what's best for you."
"And you deserve nothing but the absolute finest," I smiled.
A knock at the door interrupted us and I answered the door.
"Kiley! Look at you!" Ryan exclaimed as he wrapped his arms around me, and leaned in to give me a kiss.
I turned my head to the side so his kiss landed on my cheek, "Ryan, it's great to see you."
"I've been away from you for far too long- there's something different about you!" he pulled me against him and held me there.
Usually, I loved this kind of affection, but he was right- I was different. "Well, I have met a new friend and his name is- Severus!" I cried out happily. I saw him over Ryan's shoulder; I untangled myself from Ryan's arms and rushed over to him. "What are you doing here?"
"I was coming over to apologize for what Lucius did to you," Severus spoke softly.
"Severus, please don't-"
"-No, you are going to listen to what I have to say." he ordered.
"Kiley, darling, what's going on? What is he wanting to apologize for?" Ryan asked, walking up to Severus and I.
Severus glared at Ryan, "This doesn't concern you."
"Yes it does! Kiley is my girlfriend and if something happened that upset her, I wan to know about it!" Ryan exclaimed, wrapping a possessive are around me.
I shrugged his arm off, "Ryan, don't be so upset, please. Go ahead, Severus."
"I am so sorry for what Lucius tried to do, I didn't mean to ever put you in a situation like that. I am proud of how you defended yourself, and I know I have probably lost your trust...and I understand that you want nothing to do with me. But I had to apologize. Do you hate me?" he looked at me; and for the first time in all the times ihad looked into his eyes, they were unguarded.
I wrapped my arms around him and shook my head, "I could never hate you, Severus." I whispered.
Severus' arms twitched as if he wanted to hug me back, but he didn't. "Thank you," he murmured.
Ryan cleared his throat, I blushed and let go of Severus and stepped away from him. "So this is your new friend?" Ryan asked.
"Yes, Ryan, this is Severus Snape."
"You mean like that slimy creep from those books you're obsessed with?" Ryan asked incredulously.
"He isn't a creep!" I let out a frustrated sigh, "Let's not get into that right now, Severus has become one of my closest friends."
"I can tell you're very close." Ryan glowered at the two of us.
"Stop your snivelling!" Severus drawling and rolled his eyes.
"Stop arguing, both of you! Ryan, why don't you go inside and Chelsea can help you unpack if you need it."
"Okay," he turned to leave, but then it seemed that he had another point to check-off on his agenda. He spun me around to face him and then pulled me into a rough kiss. As he pulled back, he sent Severus a smirk.
Severus' hand twitched to where his wand was hidden inside his pants' pocket.
"I am sorry about Ryan- he isn't usually like this. I am so glad you came by," I smiled up at him.
"He's a very lucky man," he muttered, he must have been thinking aloud because he had a far off, distant look, "Good bye, Kiley."
"I want to see you soon, okay?"
"Do you promise?" I asked, mentally wincing at how childish the question sounded.
Severus gave me a small smile, "Promise." With that, he walked off and vanished from sight.
I went back into the apartment and found Ryan sitting on the couch.
"Kiley, is there something you need to tell me about Severus?"
"What do you mean?" I asked, bewildered.
"Why did Severus look like he wanted to punch me when I kissed me? Tell me the truth, are the two of you-"
"Don't you dare finish that sentence! HOW DARE YOU ACCUSE ME OF CHEATING ON YOU!" I yelled at him. "SEVERUS HAS TREATED ME AS NOTHING BUT A FRIEND!" I pinched the bridge of my nose and took a deep breath. "Ryan, I was going to do this later, but I am going to do it now," I unclasped the bracelet the bracelet he had given me and gave it to him. "Ryan, I am breaking up this you-"
"It's because of him, isn't it?"
"No, it's because my feelings that I had went away. I rarely get to see you, and because you have become over-bearing and overly jealous! Please, don't make this harder than it already is," I finished shakily.
"Kiley, don't end this- don't end us." Ryan beseeched, taking my face gently in his hands.
I closed my head and shook my head, "Ryan, no- this is for the best, for the both of us. Please, leave my apartment- go get a hotel, do whatever, but leave me alone."
"Are you sure?" his voice was the softest I had ever heard it.
"Yes, I am sure," I whispered, tears began to pool in my eyes.
Ryan kissed me, "Good bye, Kiley. Don't think of the story of us as a tragedy." He picked up his bag and left the apartement.
"How much did you hear?" I asked, talking to Chelsea through her closed bedroom door.
"Everything," she said as she emerged from her bedroom.
I took a shaky breath and fell onto the couch, as my body hit the couch cushion, a waft of Ryan's cologne flooded my nostrils- I remember when I would spray one of my shirts with it before I left his place so that way I could still think he was near. I looked at Chelsea and began to cry.
"Do you want to be left alone?" Chelsea asked quietly.
I nodded and pulled my knees up to my chest, gasping sobs racking my chest. I let the tears fall freely as I released all that I had help together while Ryan was still in front of me. I was crying over the harsh reality that Ryan and I were over, and I was now in love with a man who saw me as only a friend- if even than. I grabbed my phone from the coffee table and dialed Diana's number.
"Hey, what's up?"
"You and Jake are on your own tonight," I sobbed into the phone.
"Kiley, why are you crying? What happened?" Diana exclaimed, sounding frantic.
"I broke up with Ryan," I cried, my sobs were stealing the breath from my lungs.
"Oh, sweetie, do you need me to come over or bring you anything?"
"Unless you can make someone trully fall in love with me, then there is nothing you can do. Besides, you have your date with Jake tonight. You go and have a great time without me, don't worry Di- I will be fine. See you around, bye." I hung up the phone and the little control I had shattered, I began to sob uncontrollably again.
"Kiley, are you sure you're okay with me going to lunch with Draco? I can stay if you need me, I won't be mad if you do."
"No. I'll be fine." I argued.
There was a knock at the door, and Chelsea opened it, "Hello, Draco!" she greeted him brightly.
"Hello, Chelsea- is Kiley okay?" Draco peered at me over Chelsea's shoulder with concern. "Do we need to postpone lunch?"
"No, go ahead," I croaked, my voice raw from crying, "I just broke things off with my boyfriend, it's nothing big." I brushed away the tears that were still clinging to my chin.
They departed slowly, waiting to see if I would change my mind. After I was sure they had left, I hooked my phone up to my iHome; I scrolled down my song list and selected the song.
'Feeling broken, barely holding on, but there's something so strong- somewhere inside of me. And I am down, but I'll get up again- don't count me out just yet. I've been brought down to my knees, and I've been pushed way past the point of breaking. But I can take it, I'll be back- back on my feet, This is far from over, you haven't seen the last of me, you haven't seen the last of me. They can say that I won't stay around, but I'm gonna stand my ground. You're not gonna stop me, you don't know me, you don't know I am. Don't count me out so fast. ' Cher sang. I collapsed onto the couch and let the music fill me, let it make me feel every emotion I help within my body today. I cried myself to sleep, falling into a fitful slumber.
While I was sleeping, I felt someone wrap their arms around me, and Severus' scent filled my being. "Severus," I sighed happily in my sleep, burrowing my face into his chest. With his scent and arms enveloping me, I fell back asleep.
When my eyelids finally fluttered open, I realized I was nestled on of someone. "Severus?" I whispered, praying that what I thought of happened was true.
"Yes," he replied sleepily, "Draco called and told me what happened and I didn't want home alone."
I smiled at him, "Thank you." I laid my head on his chest, simply laying there and wishing that Severus could be mine.
"Do you need anything, Kiley?"
"I have all I need right here," I replied without thinking, when I realized what I said, I blushed furiously.
Severus said nothing, and I was too mortified to look up at him. We lay there in silence, and it was anything but comfortable. I ended up falling asleep on him once more, and I clutched onto his shirt, making sure that he couldn't try and disappear.
"Is she all right, sir?" Chelsea's voice roused me from my slumber.
"She is shaken up, but I think she will be all right. I am going to leave a Calming Draught here for her and the dosage is one teaspoon." He cradled me in his arms as he rose to his feet, then laid me back on the couch.
"Don't go," I pleaded, my mind still hazy with sleep.
"You're all right, Kiley, go back to sleep." Severus purred deeply. His hand tucked a strand of my hair that had fallen out of my pony tail.
I grabbed him by the wrist and held onto him fiercely, opening my eyes to lock onto his. "Stay, stay here with me." I pleaded in a whisper.
"Kiley, you will survive me leaving- just get some rest." he ordered gently.
I released his hand and closed my eyes, "Will you stay until I fall asleep?"
"Yes," He sat back on the couch and ran his fingers through my pony tail gently.
I let out a sigh and rested my head on his leg, quickly falling asleep once more.
When I awoke, first thing I noticed was that Severus was gone and I wasn't lying on the couch; I looked around and saw I was in bed. Moments later, Chelsea's head popped in.
"How are you feeling?"
"My eyes feel like they have completely dried up, but other than that- I am good. What time is it?"
"Six thirty du matin, why do you ask?"
"I have work today, so I need to get ready." I got out of bed and went over to my closet; I pulled out a black tank-top and my red cardigan, then bent down to grab my red Merona Mary Jane's.
"Are you sure you're up to going to work?"
"I'll be fine. Trust me," I let my hair fall down my back, bot even bothering tp bring a hair tie, and I gave her one last smile before I left. I grabbed my Vespa keys and helmet then headed down to the garage.
"Howdy, stranger!" Shannon laughed in greeting.
I shuddered, "Don't you every say 'Howdy' again."
"Fine then, be all melodramatic. Severus left something for you, I put it on the front counter."
I scrambled around her to get to the front counter, knocking over a pile of books in my haste. It was my Julius Caesar, I picked it up and flipped to the front page.
Lithia Park, 8 'o' clock. Meet me on the bride that lies over the waterfall. We need to talk.
No signature was needed, I recognized his spider-like script as well as my own.
"Why do you look like you're a blind man who now can see?" Suddenly, she gasped, "He wrote you a love note or poem, didn't he?" She looked over my shoulder and let out a disappointed huff after she had read it, "That's what you're getting all dreamy-eyed about? Man, you are nuts. But what about Ryan, wasn't he coming up for a visit?"
"Ryan and I broke up," I sighed in explanation, not really coming out of my daze. "Shan, I have been nuts about this guy since I was fifteen. When I broke up with Ryan; I had a complete and utter breakdown, but Severus was there for me. I had cried myself to sleep on my couch and when I woke up- there I was...in his arms. I can't even remotely describe how I fell even more for him that I though possible."
"He's your Colonel Brandon," Shannon sighed dreamily.
"No," I corrected, "He's my Severus Snape."
"You, my friend, have a problem.
"This is a problem I will forever embrace. Shan, the way I feel for Severus is the way you do about Kyle," I explained, "Things would never have worked between Ryan and I- in the long run...and I think I knew that all along."
"As long as you're sure, that's all that matters. Now let's get to work- it's only nine thirty and we are already goofing off."
It was a busy day and all the customers were pleasant to deal with, I could feel Shannon staring at me everytime I would reread Severus' note.
"Kiley, I don't know why you keep rereading that note over and over- I bet you have had it memorized after the first time!"
"I don't know why I keep doing it- I can't help it."
As I placed the new arrivals in the front window, I felt someone's gaze fixate upon me; the feeling of a bucket full of ice water and shards of glass ran down my body. There was only one person who could make me react in such a way, "Bellatrix." I whispered in pure terror. I caught the shadow of a figure lurking behind one of the trees across the street.
"Kiley! What's wrong- you're shaking!"
"She can't be here- she just can't! I have to warn Severus!" I began to hyperventilate and I dropped to my knees. "Draco! He can warn Severus. Call Chels and get his number," I muttered to myself. With trembling fingers, I dialed Chelsea's number- after a few mistakes, I was successful.
"Kiley, is everything okay?"
"Chelsea, I don't have a lot of time- tell me Draco's number." I wrote it down as she recited it to me. "Bye." I hung up and dialed Draco's number. "Draco this is Kiley," I said as soon as I heard him pick up, "Where is Severus?"
"In his lab, what's going on?"
"Your aunt is here," the fear was tangible and then some in my voice.
"What do you mean she'shere?"
"Draco- trust me, I think she is watching me. Don't tell Severus, I don't want him to get hurt."
"I will be right over, you work at Bloomsbury Books, right?"
"Yes, please hurry." I finished with a frantic whisper. I hung up and looked at Shannon, who was staring down at me.
"Kiley, who is watching you?" her normal jesting tone, vanished.
I raked my hands through my hair nervously, "I can't tell you."
"Is that Draco guy coming over to take you somewhere safe?"
"I'm afraid he's going to be too late," a cackle sounded from behind me.
I jumped to my feet and put myself in front of Shannon, "What are you d-doing here, Bell-Bellatrix?"
"Now don't pway stupid," Bellatrix cooed in that sick baby voice, "You know what I am here for."
"Take me, but don't hurt Shannon- don't harm in anyway, be it from your hands, wand, or knife. I will go willingly, just leave her alone."
"Very well," Bellatrix latched her viper-like fingers around my arm and apparated me away.
I collapsed on the ground as soon as my feet hit solid ground and vomited.
"Get up, you filthy Muggle- and don't get any of your disgusting ejections on my person!" She kicked me in the side, the force lifting me off the ground.
I rose shakily to my feet and stood before her.
Bellatrix's hand shot out and grabbed me by the hair, yanking my head back and staring at my face. "I don't know why Lucius wants you when he has my sister." she growled.
A streak of reckless courage rose inside me, "Maybe the same reason you fawn over Tom- or should I say, Voldemort when you have Rodolphus."
"HOW DARE YOU SPEAK THE DARK LORD'S NAME!" she screamed at me. She coiled my hair around her hand and aimed her wand at it. The sound of cutting filled my ears, and Bellatrix pulled her hand away. "I don't think you need your long, dirty Muggle hair to be presented to Lucius." she sneered visciously.
My hands ran through the jagged ends of my hair. I pushed away the tears, trying to remain strong.
"Come along-" she pulled me towards what must have been Malfor Manor, she dropped my hair on the ground and walked over it.
I glanced at my hair as I stepped over it, but put on my best 'Snape' face and followed Bellatrix.
"Welcome back, Bellatrix, I hope you have returned successful. Did you bring her with you?" Lucius asked, his tone laved with threats if she failed to do so.
"Can you not talk about me as if I am not here?"
"Ah, Kiley, how wonderful to see you. I see Bellatrix has given you a hair cut, I dare say it is quite fitting." he let out a dark laugh. "Now you are probably wondering why I had you brought here- I want you and what you blatantly refused me."
"No. You will not have me." I argued weakly.
Bellatrix's arm swung out and struck me across the face, "Don't you dare speak another word!"
The force of her blow knocked me to the floor, I rose unsteadily to my feet and looked Lucius in the eye. Silent tears were running down my cheeks, "He will come for me."
Bellatrix let out a mocking cackle, "Do you honestly believe that Snape would come rescue a filthy Muggle wench like you?"
"Yes, and I am not a filthy Muggle wench." I tried to summon every ounce of courage and fight, but I failed. "I am his friend. He will come."
"Don't you know what happened to his last friend? Went and got herself-" Lucius hissed.
"Never speak of Lily Potter, you monster. She sacrificed herself for one she loved. Can you honestly say you would do the same for Narcissa or Draco?" I spat.
This time, it was Lucius who struck me, and the copper taste of my blood filled my mouth. I spit out my blood onto his robes, "How does it feel to have my tainted, dirty blood on you, Lucius?"
"I tire of your chatter!" he hissed, he pulled at my cardigan and ripped it off.
My defenses went into over-drive, I tried to elbow him in the nose as I had done before.
"Did you really think that you could get away with that twice?" he chuckled darkly as he grabbed my arms. He ran his tongue up the column of my neck.
Revulsion consumed me, and I tried to push him away; tears were running down my face faster than a raging rainstorm. "Please," I begged in a broken whisper, "Please don't do this. Let me go-"
"-Not until I am done with you. And even then it might just be the end for you."
A broken sob tumbled past my lips and I tried to hit him, bit, scratch, kick, slap- anything I could think of to get away. But it was all for nought, nothing worked- it only seemed to amuse him more. I began to escape into the recesses of my mind, to try and escape the awaiting pain until Lucius had me and killed me. I felt the rest of my clothes be torn off my body, and soon, I was pressed against the cold, hard floor. I went even deeper into my mind; imagining Severus and I standing on the bridge, the moonlight capturing our shadows on the creek's mirror-like water. In my mind, Severus holding me in his arms, whispering, 'I love you.' over and over into my ear as his long, calloused fingers ran through my hair.
The ground beneath me began to roar and tremble, it felt like the earth was trying to swallow me into its fathomless depths. Glass shattered all around us and its shards licked my skin, leaving bloody kisses on my skin. The door that I had entered through were blasted off their hinges and almost into oblivion. "LET. HER. GO!" a voice roared.
I snapped back into reality and screamed, "Severus!"
"Ah, Severus, how lovely of you to join us. Perhaps you would like a taste of her after I am through." Lucius leered as he stared down at my exposed body.
"Lucius, release her. Bellatrix has already fled and you know who is the more powerful between us. Release Kiley and I will let you live." Severus growled, steadily advancing towards us.
"You won't even let me finish?" Lucius faked a pout.
The ground shook violently, "You have no more chances, give Kiley to me or I will pull your lifeless body off her and drag it outside for the sport of the crows."
Lucius looked down at me and smiled darkly, "If you can't tell, I am only a mere thrust away and I will have taken her and all you have done will have-"
Glorious purple flames erupted from Severus' wand and they sought out Lucius with a savage hunger. Lucius was thrown off me as if he weighed nothing; when he fell to the floor, he didn't make the slightest movement.
I began to sob freely, "Sev-Severus!" I cried. I sat up and began to crawl towards him as fast as my protesting body would allow. I didn't have to go far, Severus ran up to me and dropped in front of me. "Kiley, I am so sorry- this is all my fault." he whispered, wrapping his arms tightly around me.
I let out a scream as he held fast to me, my muscles screaming in protest at the fierce embrace, "Make it stop!"
Severus let go of me as if his touch had scalded me. "I have a potion, it will dull the pain, and heal any serious injuries. But it won't take away the bruising."
"Please, give it to me, the pain- it's too much." I whimpered. I grimaced as the bitter taste of the potion lingered in my mouth; the pain began to ebb away and I let out a shaky breath, "Severus, take me home."
"I am sorry if this hurts you," he slid one arm under my knees and wrapped the other around my back. He carefully lifted me up as he rose up to his feet, then apparated us away.
We appeared behind my apartment building and I shook my head, "No, not here. Take me home."
Severus looked at me with confusion before he apparated us away once more. This time, we arrived in the guest bedroom of his apartment. he laid me gently on the bed, and as he pulled back he brushed a tangled, sweaty tendril of my hair, "Your hair..."
"It will grow back- I can go get it evened out and it won't look so terrifying." I croaked, my throat feeling like I had swallowed gravel from screaming.
"Go to sleep." I latched my hand onto his and whimpered, "Stay, please. Keep him away fro-" Darkness overcame me and my head fell back.
My head was throbbing and I looked at Severus' exhausted face as I awoke, "How long was I asleep?"
"Thirty-two hours...your body was recovering from shock."
"Did you sleep at all?"
"No, I was doing something that could help you." he replied, checking me over carefully, "How does your head feel?"
"It's throbbing, but nothing too severe." I murmured.
"That is to be expected," he looked at me- never taking his eyes off my face.
"Why? Severus, what did you do to me?" I asked reproachfully.
"I altered your memories. Noe before you scream at me, listen. I pulled out all the emotions you felt during Lucius' attack, you will remember what happened- but you will not be plagued with nightmares. Kiley, how are you feeling-truthfully?"
"All right, surprisingly- despite the small headache."
Relief spread across his face, "Good." He leaned forward and pressed something into my hand.
I looked down at saw car keys, "Why are you giving me the keys to your Camaro?"
"So that way something good came from you knowing me, for being my friend, and for not trying to change me. I am so sorry," he paused to gain control, but I saw the tears begin to form. 'I am the one you should hate just as much as Lucius and Bellatrix...I have lost you, just like I lost Lily. Only I know that you will live out your life hating me, and that is more pain and hatred I can bear." Tears dripped off his crooked nose and he reached a hand out to cup my face. "I am the reason your face is marred and tainted, I am the reason your once shining hair is mutilated. I hate myself, knowing that I might as well done it myself- and for all your compassion and friendship, this was how I repaid you." His tears splashed on my face and his revulsion swept through the both of us. "Good bye, Kiley. Forget about the horrible things I once said to you and what happened, please remember the irreplaceable moments we shared; the ones I got to have everytime I saw you smile or look at me with your mesmerizing eyes." He straightened up and began to leave.
Anger replaced the hopelessness and I threw the Camaro's keys at his retreating back. "Take the damn keys! If you walk out that door- I WILL HATE YOU!" I screamed at him. I dragged myself onto my feet and staggered towards him. I felt my knees give out and let out a gasping, "Severus!"
He caught me, and I pulled him close, cupping his face in my hands. "There is no one else I would ever want besides you to catch me. I will never hate you, Severus, surely you know that I can never hate you-"
"-You are too good for the likes of me! You should hate me, yet you are the one consoling me! Kiley, I am warped by evil!" he hissed angrily. He jerked up his left sleeve and revealed his Dark Mark, "I am branded by evil, I should repulse you!"
I took his arm in my hands and brought his Mark up to my face, "Look at me," I whispered. As his eyes finally fell upon my face, I kissed his Mark. "I love you for the man you are, not the man you were. I love you, Severus Snape." I pulled his face close until it was a breath's distance away from our lips touching. I gazed into his black, fathomless eyes, and smiled. I closed the gap between us and pressed my lips against his.
It was not like anything I had seen in the movies, it was so much more. My heart was pounding in my chest, my mind reeling, and my eyes fluttered close at the contact. My fingers laced through his hair and I smiled against his lips and then drew away. Bittersweet tears fell as I murmured, "If you are going to leave, I wanted you to know that I love you."
Severus stared at me for an eternity and beyond until he asked, "You...love me?"
"Since the first time I saw you- when I found you in a bookstore."
He grabbed me and captured my lips in the most gentlest of kisses. "I'm not leaving you."
"Why, tell me why?"
"Because I am in love with the loudest, demanding, persistent, inusfferable know-it-all who somehow loves me."
I laughed softly, "Anyone I know?"
"Her name is Kiley, Kiley Jensen. I met her in a bookstore."
"Hm, sounds like me."
"It is you," he let out a deep, spine-tingling laugh.
"Good, because that means I can do this," I drew him in for a passionate kiss, but he stopped me.
His hands cupped the top of my skull, and my head felt like its usual weight. "Now, you're you," he ran his fingers through my hair and he kissed me fervently, and that was when I faded into him- never wanting to leave.