NB - Dranath comes from Melanie Rawn's "Dragon Prince series" - I've altered its properties a bit, but that's originally where I picked it up.
The Stolen Generation
Part 1 - The Bastard
Slytherin is a curious House - curious in that is does not have a single defining characteristic, as the other three Houses do. Whilst Gryffindors are known for being extremely brave and chivalrous, Ravenclaws for their intelligence and Hufflepuffs for their loyalty, Slytherin is stigmatized as the home of the ambitious, the cunning and the evil - the House no good witch or wizard would want to be part of.
Of course, in the very last years of Voldemort's rule of terror, when his power had been at its height, Slytherin had been almost universally condemned as a nest of future Death Eaters, and the ministry called for the dissolution of the ancient House. Headmaster Dumbledore stood firm, however, stating that Slytherin was an integral part of Hogwarts' history and tradition, and he would not hear of any proposal to abolish it.
To children of the other Houses, who had lost their family to the Death Eaters, Slytherin was a tangible presence of the Dark Lord's rule, and they, whether intentionally or not, did everything to make the Slytherins feel unwelcome. And as a result, more and more of them went over to Voldemort, who seemed to be the only person who actually appreciated them.
Slytherin, the House that had once been known for producing great leaders, became the House of the misfits - those who were rejected by their families, for the abused, neglected and unwanted children who did not fit in.
And one of these children, who came to Hogwarts in 1980, about a year before Harry Potter defeated Lord Voldemort, was a young boy. He was somewhat small for his age, dressed in cast off clothes with very white skin and untamed, shaggy black hair. He stood on the platform amidst the chaos like a rock in a rushing river, and his very stillness set him apart.
To Hagrid, watching from the stairs of the platform, it seemed that he did not quite fit into the mundane scene all around him - that he was slightly unreal, or that he was the only real thing in a grand illusion. Shaking his head, dismissing the thought as flightless fancy, he called out in his booming voice "Firs' years! Firs' years over 'ere!" Amongst the chaos a distinct group of painfully young students made their way towards his clearly visible form, and with them came the slightly wraithlike boy.
As he got closer, Hagrid identified what it was that had so disturbed him about the boy - he was too composed. Whilst all around him his peers were gaping and watching in awe, he watched impassively, giving nothing away in either body language or expression.
He treated the nighttime view of Hogwarts Castle as he had treated everything else this day - with not disdain, nor disinterest, but with a curiously detached curiosity that was almost unsettling. It reminded Hagrid of the way muggle scientists watched and analysed their specimens through a microscope.
Minerva McGonagall, Transfigurations Mistress and Deputy Principal of Hogwarts, watched the new batch of first years from the top of the stairs, as she had done for the last twenty or so years. She saw faces she recognized in the crowd - that one's mother had been one of her favourite students; that boy's older brother was the bane of her fifth year classes. There was a flash of red hair - that would be the eldest Weasley boy - Bill if she remembered correctly.
And there...that flash of black hair and white skin, a perfect profile and a smooth, graceful walk...a mirror reflection of a woman McGonagall had thought she knew, thought she had befriended. This would be Anne's son, Lucien.
Anne de Sauvigny, who at seventeen had captured the eye and interest of the late, elderly Marc Malfoy, and had borne him a bastard son whom she abandoned almost immediately after birth. Anne, who had then swiftly married her cousin Aethan, the de Sauvigny heir, and in the same year given birth to another, legitimate son. And yes - a flash of golden hair, bright laughing blue eyes in an almost identical face to his half-brother's and there he was - Caine de Sauvigny, legitimate and beloved, unquestioned lord of the de Sauvigny children...he glowed, and warmth seemed to radiate from him.
She wondered if they knew of each other's existence, and if they did what they would do when they inevitably met.
Albus Dumbledore glanced at Professor Snape, the youngest professor on his staff, and then at the young boy who had just entered the Hall with the rest of the first years. Snape, his face impassive and black eyes unreadable, was watching young Lucien Malfoy, and young Malfoy himself was watching another boy, golden and laughing, surrounded by friends and family, while he himself stood silently on the fringes.
To Dumbledore, the scene was overlaid by an older one, twelve years old, where a dark haired Severus Snape watched, as Malfoy did, from the shadows as James Potter and his friends glowed in all their Gryffindoric glory.
It was eerily familiar, but Dumbledore hoped that this time the events would play out differently - that this time the inevitable and age-old conflict between Slytherin and Gryffindor and the accompanying prejudice against Slytherin would not push a painfully young boy into the hands of the Dark Lord.
And Severus Snape, seeing his own past in the tableau as Dumbledore had, prayed that he had enough influence over young Luc Malfoy that he could keep him from the Dark Side. He had known Luc since he was seven, and Snape nineteen - when sadistic Death Eaters had overdosed the beautiful young boy with dranath, an aphrodisiac that all Malfoys were severely allergic to, and had come running to the Potions Master to heal Lord Voldemort's young, and very valuable toy.
The young Severus Snape, already slightly disillusioned with the Death Eaters, had taken one look at Luc and lost all loyalty he might have had for the Dark Lord. This was too much - the boy was only seven years old, but his eyes were ancient, and filled with knowledge no child should ever possess.
To those with Malfoy blood, dranath caused severe hallucinations and raised their sexuality and sensitivity to uncontrollable heights - causing complete loss of sexual control, extreme amplification of all sensation and major emotional trauma and stress. To a young boy, already weakened by casual torture and mental and physical abuse, it was almost fatal - Luc nearly died before Snape's very eyes.
Watching the young boy struggle for breath and control, Snape's search for a cure somehow became an obsession. It seemed that his fate was tied up with Luc's, and that if Luc died, then somehow, somewhere, a light would go out in the world. Saving Luc's life became almost a quest for redemption - if he could heal this boy, then he would still, somehow, be worthy of the light and forgiveness. It would prove that there was something left of his soul, of the boy who had, long ago, taken pleasure in more than just death and destruction.
As he brewed the potion, he made sacred vows to God, the Devil and anyone else who might be listening that if Luc recovered, he would turn away from the Death Eaters, give himself up and beg forgiveness for every sin he had ever committed. He sealed it with his blood - a slash of his knife against his palm, leaving a scar as a visible reminder of his vow. And then he prayed, and as he prayed, he felt tears run down his face for the first time he could ever remember.
Silver eyes - silver-blue-violet eyes watched him with curious intensity as he held Luc's head to administer the potion. They were huge - filled with the echoes of pain, terror and, even now, unwilling desire along with a desperate weariness and the fading remnants of his will to live as he felt himself dying. But somewhere deep inside was hope, and the beginnings of a very, very tentative trust, formed while watching Snape almost kill himself to find the antidote.
As he swallowed the potion, a reluctant curiosity came into those eyes and focused on Snape, and then a very penetrating gaze that seemed to see into his very soul. Responding to the unconscious plea in Snape's eyes, Luc lifted his hand and touched the potion master's face.
"You are not one of them," came the soft, almost inaudible whisper. And with it came Snape's absolution.
Hogwarts. Luc had only been here once before, when Professor Snape had brought him back from the dranath overdose, and he had been far too sick to take in anything much about his surroundings. The few things he did remember were almost beyond belief.
Shifting staircases? Malfoy Manor was one of the most deeply magical sites in Britain, but it was nothing compared to Hogwarts. It reeked of magic and enchantment - to Luc, who classified magic and spells by the way they "tasted" and "smelled", the whole castle was an overwhelming sensory experience. The wards they had passed going over the lake had had the cool metallic taste of straightforward defensive magic that, if activated, could become quite nasty.
There had been other tastes - illusions, charms and enchantments, some of them subtle, others quite blunt but powerful - and all of them slightly different, depending on the individual "taste" of the spell and of the caster's individual magic.
He quickly toned down his sensitivity to magic before it completely overwhelmed him, and the whirl of impressions reluctantly faded to something more manageable.
But he let nothing of his inner thoughts show on his face or in his eyes. He had been too well trained for that, and he knew the consequences far too well. Weakness was pounced on and exploited ruthlessly and viciously, impassivity led to disgust and disinterest.
Any sign of a reaction was seen as a weakness, and so Luc had learned, at a very young age, to never show anything to the world. But, he sensed, it was acceptable to show interest in Hogwarts - only if it was interest, and not awe, and definitely not gawking. A jaded curiosity would probably be the best option.
And there - there, was a flash of golden hair. One of his fellow first years, tall and slim and bright, glowing as if illuminated by a ray of sunlight, or as if he had been blessed by the Gods themselves.
He stared in reluctant fascination at the golden-haired boy standing within the circle of his friends. He was the undoubted leader - the girls watched and giggled when he noticed them, and the boys watched in admiration and vied for his attention and his smile. He practically glowed with charisma - his smile could light up a pitch-black room.
This, then, was the half-brother Lucius had told him about - the child who had been wanted, who had been born in wedlock, who had never been flogged or raped and tortured simply because he was a bastard, and therefore he had no influence beyond that of his protector's.
This was Caine de Sauvigny, the Golden Child. The Heir.
Luc watched as the Golden Child looked up from his friends and gazed at him, first with mild curiosity, and then with narrowed eyes and hostility. He had recognized him, and made this clear by mouthing one word, accompanied by a faint smirk.
The hatred was instantaneous and implacable.
Professor Snape, watching this, sighed. Children, he knew, far more so than adults, are capable of intense emotions and sudden judgments that last for a lifetime. As they grow older, they learn the dangers of first impressions and snap decisions, but in the first growing years, many of the impressions formed influence the rest of their lives. And if the love of a sheltered child is deep, strong and unswerving, then the hatred of an abused, deeply wounded child lasts forever and burns with white-hot intensity, even behind a mask of indifference and civility.