A/N: I can't believe I'm back!
The low conversation gradually gave way to complete silence as a newcomer entered their mist. Angelina walked behind Severus slowly, forcing herself to walk with her normal gait. She ignored the faces that surrounded her and fixed her eyes on the back of Severus's head. He took his seat at the closest right to the head of the table and she sat on his right. Are there assigned seats? The thought flashed through her mind quickly and she immediately rebuked herself. No worrying about the unnecessary. Focus. She lifted her head, placed her arms beside herself, and looked blankly in front of her. The silence was gradually broken with snickers from the women while the men pointedly ignored her presence. Most of the men at least. Angelina could feel Fenrir's leer as if it were something physical that caressed her being with malicious intent. She fidgeted ever so slightly and felt Severus's hand grip her knee under the table. Steady, that grip said. His hand remained on her knee as the Dark Lord entered the room. Silence immediately fell.
"How are all of my loyal followers tonight?" Voldemort's cold voice filled the room and no one dared to answer the rhetorical question. His dark eyes swept around the table and lingered slightly on the new arrival. His eyes then rested on Severus. Turning his attention slowly back to the middle of the table, he began the Meeting.
Angelina's sharp mind processed and analyzed the plans that were discussed. Nothing top secret was being discussed at this Meeting she was sure, but she was still able to piece together a vague framework. She filed certain facts away for later use and listened carefully for the mention of any recognizable names. The Weasley's were mentioned once in disgusted passing by Lucius Malfoy (big surprise there), but that was all. Angelina had grown, if not comfortable, at least less anxious as the proceedings went on, however she was shunted into the spotlight quickly and the anxiety returned full force. Angelina prepared herself immediately.
"And now, let us turn to the newcomer among us. A person that I admit, intrigues me a bit." She was amazed at the lazy, nonchalant way that the words slipped out of his mouth but she cautioned herself to be careful. Lazy and nonchalant were two qualities that absolutely did not describe the Dark Lord. Summoning the courage that she had been stockpiling ever since she was made aware of the dark truth of Severus's second life, Angelina then did a surprising thing. She slowly lifted herself out of her chair and bent her body down into a low, respectful bow and said,
"Lord, I am most honored to be in your presence. After all this time of hoping, I am finally here." Her voice was earnest, but not too much so and she made her face gleam with eagerness. She returned to her seat and could feel a hush fill the room. She also felt Severus's disapproval as it radiated off of his body like fire but she ignored him. She ignored all of them but the tall, seated figure at the head of the table that was looking at her with mild curiosity. As least that was what it looked like as far as she could tell.
"What do you speak of?" Here it was, her one and only chance to convince him and she did it well.
"Why I speak of you of course, Lord. I have recently realized what a plague our world has been subject to. The Muggle and Mudblood scourge is nothing but a destructive force, one that seeks to undermine the sanctity and purity of magic. Through my Healing studies, I have been made aware of the physical and mental deficiency of dirty blood, and frankly, it disgusts me." Her voice rang out strong and true and many grunts of approval were voiced. While she had been speaking, the Dark Lord had been looking at his hands in contemplation. Now he turned his face to look directly at her and she wisely averted her eyes and stared back, just below his eyes.
"My, my. You certainly are… eloquent, my dear. Maybe you will be a suitable candidate. Have you a husband or children?" She answered him without breaking pace.
"I do not." He turned away from her and whispered something to himself it seemed, to his left. Nagini appeared and wound her way sinuously on the table and continued to weave herself in front of her master. Standing up, he left one departing remark. One that all could hear.
"Good. I'd hate to think that you meant trouble for Severus. He is, after all, my right hand." Voldemort then left the hall, with his beloved snake winding after him. There was once again silence, this time an uninterpretable one. While there was an air of approval from many of the men, there was also a more mocking, sinister vibe. Angelina's cheeks burned and she once again thanked the fates for her dark skin. She dared not look at Bellatrix or Fenrir. Then the moment was broken and individual discussion began among the table and people began to stand up to make their leave. She was then acutely aware of Severus's discomfort and trailed him as he swept quickly from the hall.
She followed him through the many corridors, grand halls, and up the staircases of Malfoy Manor. His gait quickened as they continued until she was trotting to keep up with him. She ran into him, startled, as he stopped in front of a large mahogany door that opened immediately to his touch. She followed him in and closed the door behind them.
"Well, I think that went…" She stopped immediately as he whirled around and hissed at her to be quiet. She chastised herself for her silly mistake and watched as he paced the large room, setting protective enchantments, muffliato being the first one. When she was sure that he was finished, she finished her sentence.
"Well. I think that went well. Right?" Severus didn't quite know what to say.
"I think… I think so. But that doesn't mean anything. We still have to be as cautious as ever. Why didn't you tell me you were going for the offensive?" His voice, while strained, was not angry.
"Don't you think if I had sat there like a little mouse and fed him quiet, one word answers that would have been a bit suspicious? His followers are dedicated, Severus, passionate! They believe in him just as much if not more than if the shit he spouted were religion. I had to, Sev." She watched his face intently as he answered her.
"I suppose... I suppose. It's just, I don't know." He stopped his sentence in frustration. She came to him and took one of his hands in her own.
"What is it?" she questioned him softly. He pulled away from her and began pacing around the room, something he always did when he was feeling vulnerable.
"Hearing you say those things, and so convincingly at that… it was just scary." Seeing her mouth open angrily to retort he rushed on,
"Not like that, Angie. I know who you are and I know you would never, could never think like that. It just scared me because you almost sounded like me. The lies come so easily to me now, they are practiced and I say them without a second thought. I'm just so… sorry that I put you in this situation. You should be back at Hogwarts, in the infirmary. Not here, not in this dark place." He stopped his pacing and came to her then and held her in his arms. She leaned in to him for a moment but then pulled away and looked at him firmly.
"That is the last time you apologize to me about this, Severus Snape. Stop treating me as if I'm some weak and innocent damsel in distress. Yes, it's a horrible and dangerous situation but I'm more than capable of holding my own. I'm in this with you, not because of you. I could have left and I chose, I choose not to. Because I love you. We are in this together and from now on we take care of each other. Equally." She saw love and respect in his eyes then. But before she ended this conversation she felt as if she should mention the one thing that had succeeded in disconcerting her.
"And that thing that Voldemort said about you and I. Do you anticipate it causing us trouble?" At those words he looked fierce.
"No. It's a good thing that they all know that you are mi… that we are together. They better stay away from you." He uttered this in a slight growl and she interpreted they, as Fenrir. This trouble was removed from her mind though as he suddenly swept her off of her feet and carried her to the bed.
"Now, milady it does you no good to walk on those dainty feet of yours. Let me take you to bed." He smiled as her face broke into a laugh and she replied in a pretentious simper,
"Oh Severus Snape, what would I do without you? I would surely be lost, you chauvinist bastard." He laid her on the bed and attacked her lips, without further ado.