Disclaimer: Characters and concept belong to Rowlings and whoever else gets money from the books and merchandising. Story arch and Dark Prince persona are mine, as are Gideon, Chandra and anyone else not featured in the books.

Author's Notes: I want to thank my House Elf Babbitt for her inspiration and help on this story and for getting me hooked on Harry Potter. I also want to thank everyone, especially Coesius, who reviewed my other stories, thank you so much for your kind words. P. S I'm in need of a beta reader so if anyone's interested, please say so.

P. S. S This story is designed to kind of different at the end because I want you guys to make Snape's decision. You'll understand what I mean when the entire story's posted. *wink*

"This is the worst wickedness,

that we refuse the passionate evil that is in us.

This makes us secret and rotten."

– D. H Lawrence

The Prince Returns

A sequel to "When the Past Comes Back."

By: Lady Erised

It was one of those nights Muggles write stories about. It was a hot, summer night with flies buzzing around and the moon shining down on the sweaty, boisterous people in the terrace. It reminded Snape of his school days in America. He had trained as an Auror there and on the weekends, he and his schoolmates would travel to Baton Rouge, Austin, Savannah or New Orléans. In America, Southern nights were more alive then the days and he had loved it. Back then he had been young and carefree. Back then he had been one of the good guys.

Severus Snape leaned back in his chair and swallowed down another gulp of his rancid beer. Silently he scanned the room, studying the layout and the people. During the Dark Times, this tavern had been a major haunt of Death Eaters and he had often visited this place after a job for Voldemort to recover, tend to minor wounds and enjoy a drink with fellow comrades. Now that Voldemort had return, the tavern was once again alive with Death Eaters in all their drunken glory.

He watched the room, picking out faces he knew both young and old. Rumors of Voldemort's return to power had sprung a new generation of Death Eaters to fill the ranks of those killed or still imprisoned in Azkban. Most of the novices were second generation and old money although he could pick out some old students.

Jacqueline Eames brushed his shoulder and smiled at him as she passed. He looked at her and nodded, sipping on his drink. Jacqueline was still a name to be feared. She had been Voldemort's top assassin, recruiter and was once posed to be his heir apparent. Then she had made the mistake of convincing Snape to join. He had surpassed her and won the coveted place at Voldemort's right hand. He had become the heir. The Dark Prince they had called him and he earned his title well. During that time Jacqueline was by his side, loyal and true to the end. He wasn't sure if she loved him or just the cruelty he could meet out. He had earned a bloody reputation for a reason and so had she. She was called playfully Jack the Ripper.

Snape shuttered as he watched her go. To him, Jacqueline represented everything he fought everyday to suppress in himself. Snape feared her because he was so attracted to her. They were too violent together. Had he remained loyal to Voldemort, he was certain they would have eventually overthrown Voldemort and bathed England in blood. After all, that had been her dream.

The doors opened and admitted four people that seemed out of place. Snape took one look at their navy colored robes and cursed. Aurors. He stared at their ruddy faces and wary looks and knew the situation was worst. They were rookies too. Gingerly he took in the scene. A room full of wand happy Death Eaters and four wand happy Aurors.

"Dumbledore is going to kill me." He thought to himself.

"Professor Snape?"

He was suddenly aware of every eye in the room on him. He lifted his chin and met the eyes of the main Auror. He recognized the face. He sneered, of course it had to be.

"Gryffindor." He murmured in his softest voice. "Tommy Tercel, I believe."

"Oh yes Professor, you remember me!" Tommy said, looking relieved to see a familiar face, even if it was Snape.

Snape motioned to an empty seat. "Please, sit. Your friends as well." He threw a look to Jacqueline. She nodded and motioned to the rest. They eased. "Jackie, please something for them to drink. Nettle wine."

Jacqueline disappeared into the back room. The people around them were tense and Snape could see a few fingering their wands. He was acutely aware that their respect for him was the only thing keeping this from being a blood bath. He was also acutely aware that respect couldn't last long in a room full of drunks.

"So what brings you here, Tommy?" Snape asked in his coolest voice. Tommy's friends, he noticed, had their eyes focused on the left arms of many patrons. Snape tugged at his left sleeve a little.

"Patrolling. The Ministry has us making sure they aren't any factions of You-Know-Who's supporters meeting."

The silence was broken by a few stifled laughs. "You surely don't believe anyone here..." Snape began.

"Of course not, Professor." Tommy said quickly, hoping not to offend. "I merely meant that well we can't be too careful." He leaned forward. "Why just earlier this evening we had to turn over Goody Sullivan to the Dementors. She tried to attack us after we told her Matthew Sullivan was a Death Eater."

"Damn." Snape hissed.

It happened too fast for his mind to register the shit hitting the fan. Matthew was a Death Eater, alright, but not really important. He was just a clean up man. Goody Sullivan was his mother, the kind of old woman that complains you're too thin and serves you a plate when you come for a visit. She was well loved among the Death Eaters because she was also willing to give you a place to stay, no questions asked. She probably never knew what her son was up too. She was one of those casual victims of war but the Death Eaters would be damned if they didn't make the Aurors pay.

The first curse thrown at Tommy was from Leah Crystal. Tommy, who appeared to have better reflexes then he appeared, jumped forward, tackling Snape to the floor. "Professor, get down!"

He landed awkwardly. Snape's left elbow impacted the wood floor sending jolts up his arm. He looked at Tommy who was staring wide-eyed at his arm. Snape glanced at it. His Dark Mark was showing.

"Damn." He said again. "Always a fucking blood bath." He pulled his wand and swung up. "Stupefy!" He yelled, aiming at the closest Auror.

The man cleverly ducked and countered sending Leah into a table and shattering it. The Auror then charged at Snape, prepared for hand to hand combat.

"You have got to be kidding." Snape muttered. He called on his own Auror training and aimed a well place kick to the man's middle. Aurors were taught to be reactive and think on their feet. But their strength lied in wand work, not physical combat. Snape would enjoy teaching him a lesson. "Okay, boy. If you insist."

The Auror swung again, this time more out of anger then plan. Snape grabbed the arm and twisted it behind the man's back. "What's your name boy?" He asked.

"Sean." The Auror moaned.

"Well, Sean. First lesson: head up" Snape brought a well placed knee to his back. Sean's head jolted up. "And think, now lets see if I was in a room full of people I suspected to be Death Eaters I would not mention taking one down."

Sean pulled free and planted an elbow into Snape's stomach. He doubled over but recovered just in time to stop a kick and send Sean hurling down to the floor. "Lesson two: I would pray that in this room where I'm out numbered, I had at least one friend."

Sean looked up at him curiously.

Snape nodded, positioning his hands around the man neck. "Do pretend to be dead." He asked. He pushed down.

Sean's bone popped and made a sickening sound. Sean went limp and still. Snape could see him slowing his breath. "Good boy." He whispered. "You'll go far."

When he looked up, Tommy's back was against a wall. He had his wand out but he was cornered. Jacqueline was stalking over towards Tommy, she had a blood lust in her eyes. He pulled his wand close to his body, searching for a spell to help.

Tommy saw him grip his wand and aimed his at Snape. Tommy struggled to find a voice but when he did, the spell sent Snape flying. "Expelliarmus!"

Snape felt something stop his spiral back. He struggled to gain his bearings but the room seemed suddenly very blurry. He was conscience of Jacqueline screaming. He heard Tommy cry out in pain. A blinding sensation began to cloud his mind. Fear began to crept into the back of his mind and then he looked down.

"Oh hell. Nothing's ever bloody easy." He muttered, staring at the piece of wood peering out of his stomach. He had been run through. His head lolled back. He felt suddenly out of air. And annoyed, he felt completely and utterly annoyed. "Damn, blasted rookies!"

"Severus!" It was Jacqueline's voice, scared and panicked but Jackie's voice nonetheless. He was surprised how much that voice comforted him.

She eased him off the pike and lowered him to the floor. He looked up at her and forced a smile. "Why Jackie...you look scared."

"Don't die on me, Severus." Jackie pleaded. "You can't! You're not allowed to."

He chuckled. "Listen Jackie, you can't keep ordering me around. I can die if I want too..." He suddenly began to cough up blood. His lung had been hit. He felt something salty touch his lip. A tear, Jacqueline was crying. He reached up and brushed her cheek. "Don't cry..."

"What can I do...tell me Severus!"

He smiled a little, amused. Jack the Ripper, who felt nothing was afraid. Something stirred in him, a love he had felt for her once along time ago. As he watched her study him, he fell in love with her all over again. "Take me home." He said seriously. "I don't want to die here." It was becoming real to him. He was going to die like this. How ironic. He closed his eyes, refusing to think about it. He was too sleepy.