A Lotus for Severus

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Part I

A meeting at a graveyard

Severus Snape's only clear memory of his great aunt Elsabeth was when he met her at the age of thirteen at his mother's funeral. He remembered her because she was the only one of the Princes' who had bothered to show up. Even his grandparents had not attended the rainy, gloomy, pitiful burial that took place in the ill-kept churchyard of St. Paul's Church, Gorton, South Manchester. Gorton that had long been the ghetto of Manchester, rife with crime and poverty and the grimy, squalid streets filled with jobless, angry, desperate people.

His great aunt Elsabeth had, however, made the journey up from Surrey and had laid her hand on his arm and said bracingly, "Be strong. Your mother will always be with you if you trust in the power of love."

Even as a thirteen year old, Severus had been jaded and disillusioned and he had merely shrugged at the old woman's deluded words of comfort.

She had then looked at him searchingly and said, "Do not rule out the power of love, my boy, for there is great love in your life. A maiden as beautiful as a lotus bloom, a maiden as fragrant as an exotic perfume is in your future. I can see it clearly. Your love is a flower, waiting to be embraced at the right time."

He had thought of those words often. When his love for Lily turned from that of childish infatuation to a more physical attraction, he thought, Lily is a bloom, a flower, it must be her. There is no one else that I want with the name of a flower.

All through his younger years, he had waited for his exotic bloom to notice him. But when she rejected him, refused to forgive him for a misspoken word, he had given up all hopes of love.

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