May 2nd, 1980...it was the worst storm that they had during the spring, and it was during this storm that many things would happen that would change the lives of many people involved in the day's events. Bellatrix Lestrange lay on the floor of number 12 Grimmauld Place, her breathing labored as she felt the baby coming, she had come here to be sure that her husband Rodolphus would not find out about what was going on, how she managed to hide it from him she would never know. Margaret Smith-Black, the young widow of the late Regulus Black, wiped her brow with a damp cloth, her chartreuse eyes staring down into her cousin's face worriedly, she herself had given birth to a set of quadruplets a year and a half prior so she knew of Bellatrix's pain but that didn't comfort her. Bella's face was contorted in a pain that Margaret had known once so well as she tried to care for her dear cousin, wishing fervently that Regulus was there to help, he always knew how to calm her. She looked up when an Apparition pop sounded, breathing a sigh of relief when she saw Severus Snape standing there, his young face worried as he held her urgent letter in his hand before dropping down to take Bella's hand in his own, gazing into her gray eyes with his own nearly black ones.
"I came as fast as I could, dearest," Severus said as Bellatrix managed the weakest of smiles, for him, her secret lover, the man that she had never known that she would lose her heart to of all the people in the world, it was still a shock to her. Had it not been for their Lord Voldemort ordering her to take him along with her on a particularly long mission in order to train him they never would have been in the same vicinity long enough to speak, let alone to find they had so much in common, or have a passion fueled evening together that had spawned into a love affair like no other. She could still remember the way his skin smelled of the rain that had fallen that evening and he could still recall the silken feel of her legs wrapped around his hips as he had thrust into her over and over that night, while she begged him never to stop. She had never been that way with Rodolphus, then again that had been a marriage formed out of duty to keeping the Black family strictly pure since Andromeda had found it within herself to taint the bloodline but when she had been with Severus...everything had been different in ways that she could never have imagined. Severus took her hand and held it firmly in his own as another contraction coursed through her, gripping his hand tightly as Margaret cooed soothingly that it would all be over soon.
"Why does it bloody well have to hurt so badly?" Bellatrix whined as Severus smoothed her hair back from her face gently, looking to Margaret as if she had the answer which made the Southern Bella laugh, a sound that had always been contagious to anyone around her growing up despite all that she had suffered in her life. She just shook her head, wondering if Bellatrix thought this was bad she could only imagine what she would have been like having four of them at one time, something she had not been the only one to suffer she was glad to say though the woman that had gone through the same was no longer with them. She could still remember Roberta Lupin, who had been one of her dearest friends growing up though she was in Hufflepuff while Margaret had been a Slytherin, and the halfblood had been forced into being one of Voldemort's followers because of her elder sister Amelia. Sent on a mission with Regulus, the two had been under the Imperious Curse and made to have a one night stand that resulted in Roberta not only conceiving, but in her running away to Hawaii where she thought nobody would find her, after all it was dangerous for a werewolf to bear children. The four children had been perfectly healthy much to everyone's relief though they had come to find out that the werewolf gene had mutated within them in ways no one could have ever imagined, but it had made them blossom beautifully.
"Well darlin' you are pushing somethin' the size of, let's say a watermelon out of something that is roughly the size of a soup can give or take the sizes," Margaret said, momentarily snapped out of her thoughts of Roberta and her children, the four children she herself was raising with her own. The day before Regulus had died, Roberta had contacted Margaret begging her to come and collect her children, she had been found and was forced to run from the house, leaving the four behind for Margaret to come get, which she had done just moments before Fenrir Greyback had entered the house. They had known their father for just one day before he had died, and she was now left to raise her four children and four step-children all on her own, much to her saddened dismay at losing the love of her life, she had turned that grief into focusing on her children instead. The eight of them were her only link back to Regulus and that alone was devastating to her, she would never awaken to see his face once more, Walburga had always been so wonderful to her and she was grateful but being in her late husband's childhood home was affecting her more so than she had ever thought that it would. Her mother in law was busying herself with finding clean towels and blankets for when the baby was born, her favorite niece giving birth in her home was an honor to her and having Severus there was even better as she knew that he was her son's best friend, and a frequent visitor to her home.
Another sharp cry from Bellatrix brought Margaret back to her senses as she looked to see if the baby was crowning and indeed she was as Walburga walked in with towels and an old blanket that she had made herself when she had wanted to try for a daughter but never succeeded in doing so. "C'mon darlin' I need you to take a deep breath and push, baby is ready to see what its Mama looks like," she said soothing as she watched Walburga take Bella's other hand and squeeze firmly, her face softened as she wiped her niece's brow gently as Margaret had done earlier, remembering when she had done this for her grandchildren to enter the world just a little less than two years earlier. The elder woman had once been adamant that a pureblood only bred with other purebloods, but her opinion had changed when the other four children had been brought home, complete with mutated werewolf gene and her heart had melted since her son was dead the next day, they were all she had left like Margaret. She remembered the first time Regulus had introduced her to his girlfriend, they had been together since first year and she had been kicked out of her home as a result of this when she was fourteen, so she had taken her in and she had been a member of the family ever since, especially when Walburga had gotten consent from Marjorie Smith to allow Margaret to marry Regulus when they were fifteen years old.
Bellatrix cried out as she pushed, holding tightly to the hands that held her own, she vowed that she never wanted to go through anything like this again but reminded herself that it was worth it at the same time, she was hoping for a daughter that could carry on the best of herself and Severus even if her parents would never approve of a child from a halfblood man, especially since she was married to Rodolphus. She took a deep breath as she pushed again, soon feeling the baby expel itself from her as she panted, her eyes half closed as Severus held her in his arms, smoothing her sweaty locks from her face as he heard the first cries of their child emit from the room. "Its a girl," Margaret said as she cleaned her up after taking care of the umbilical cord, wrapping her up in the blanket her mother in law handed her before walking her over to the proud parents to set her into Bella's arms gently before her own arm stung as though it were on fire. The Dark Lord was calling them, meaning there were plans that had to be set and Margaret was not willing to go, she blamed that madman for the death of her husband as Kreacher the house elf had told her everything that had happened that fateful night. She looked at Severus and Bellatrix, both of whom looked worried as Margaret took the baby, watching her friend get to her feet painfully so that they could go, Margaret herself could claim that she had no one to watch the children that Voldemort so desperately wanted to get his hands on, unknowing that she had the four that he had forged with his curse upon her husband and their mother.
Severus left first, knowing it would look suspicious if he and Bellatrix arrived together, and it was just in time as Rodolphus began pounding on the door, Margaret and Bella looking at one another before Walburga silently shooed them upstairs to hide with the children, they needed to make sure that Roberta's children were never detected. Walburga looked over her shoulder to make sure the girls were upstairs before waving her wand to clean up the mess and go to the door, opening it only faintly to see the angry face of Rodolphus Lestrange with his protegé Bartemius Crouch Junior just behind him, a vile man in her mind that was always chasing after her daughter in law. "We're here to collect Margaret and Bellatrix, the Dark Lord wants to see them at once especially since your daughter in law has not come to a meeting since Regulus died, just because he is gone doesn't mean that she can stop her loyalties to him," Rodolphus snarled, trying to intimidate Walburga, who merely stood there with a sneer upon her face. She had never been fond of the Lestrange family so the fact that her brother Cygnus had agreed to the pairing of his eldest daughter to their eldest son had never sat well with her and she knew that it didn't with her brother as well, that had all been the work of Druella Rosier, his wife, who lacked less sense than her brother Charles who happened to be Margaret's father.
"Well I'm afraid you have just missed them, Bellatrix came to help Margaret take the children into the city to see her brother so they won't be back for quite sometime now, and I suggest that next time you tell your Lord to not bother an old woman at home that blames him for the death of her son," Walburga said, holding the door firmly as Rodolphus tried to push it open. In a flash her wand was at the ready, pointed at his face, her gaze was steely and unwavering as she did so and watched him back up as quickly as he could with Barty right behind him, and the beginnings of an evil smirk crossed her pale lips. "Give me a reason to send you back to your precious Lord in nothing bigger than a matchbox, I will gladly do so then tell your parents now they know what it's like to lose the center of their universe, at least then my niece would be rid of you," she hissed as she slammed the door, hearing their angry voices before two Apparition pops could be heard and she breathed a sigh of relief. She looked up to see Margaret at the foot of the stairs, her only son Hellzkaban in her arms with her wand at the ready, though Walburga knew that the raven haired woman didn't need it with the training she had received when she was younger from her mother, especially after what had happened shortly before her son had died. Margaret had taken the throne of the Assassin's Guild from her mother, making her the rightful Queen and gaining control over all that lay within it and she was proud that her daughter in law was so well protected as she walked to him.
"Come to grandmother Anthony," Walburga cooed as she took the baby from Margaret, and as always she wondered why the children had been given such strange middle names that they were often referred to, as her grandson was often called Hellzie by his parents, her granddaughter Joanna was referred to by her middle name of Hera and her granddaughter Aurora was often called her middle name of Raven, only Katherine, the baby, was referred to by her first name. Margaret watched the door, her chartreuse eyes never wavering for it as a small wolf pup with bright red fur bounded down the stairs, his left eye violet and his right eye green, stopping when he reached Margaret's feet and sitting beside them wagging his tail. Walburga had never thought that she would care for children that could shift into wolf forms but they reminded her so much of her son that she had fallen for them the moment she held them, and she smiled warmly at Steven, remembering that Margaret had wanted to keep their last names Lupin to honor their mother. "You've a visitor at your feet dear," she said and watched as Margaret looked down at him, the softest of smiles crossing her crimson lips as she bent to pick him up in her arms just as he shifted back to his human child form, not even a year old yet and already so smart.
Bellatrix descended the stairs with the baby in her arms, a sigh upon her lips as she looked to her aunt and smiled before stopping beside Margaret, who was her favorite cousin upon her mother's side and had married her favorite cousin upon her father's side, she had always found that rather laughable in her own way. "I've named her at last, I know that Severus wanted my name in there so I've done a variation of my name to give to her as well as a variation of his mother's name as well," she said as she smoothed the baby's brow as she slept. She had never thought that motherhood would suit her but holding her daughter in her arms and looking upon her, she felt her heart melt in ways that she had never thought possible seeing as she claimed that it was blackened and ice cold, this child made her realize that it was all talk. She couldn't help but to smile as she looked upon the sleeping newborn in her arms, she had fallen in love with the child the moment that she had looked into her sleeping face and was wrapped around her little finger as she heard the other two women clear their throats, obviously impatient to know the child's name. "Her name, is Angel Bella Elaine Snape," she said softly as lightning lit up the room and Steven whimpered softly, trying to see the baby from the place in Margaret's arms, the only mother he would ever know.
"I've decided...I know what the Dark Lord will do if he ever gets his hands on Roberta's children...Hell on my own as well...I know we talked about it Mama Black but I need to take them somewhere that they will always be safe. I'm takin' them back to my old home in New Orleans where no one will ever think to look for them or for me," Margaret said softly, watching her mother in law's eyes close as she hugged her grandson tightly. Bellatrix understood what Margaret was doing, she was the only one left for the eight children and if something were to happen to her there would be no one to take care of them, they both knew that the younger four's uncle, Remus Lupin, had no means to take care of them and there would be no one on the Black side that could care for them. Margaret's brothers would more than likely take them in but there was only one that had never become a Death Eater, and that was her twin brother Jack who was going to be moving back to New Orleans as well and had begged her to come with him to help her with the children since he only had two of his own with his wife Salla. She had thought it over long and hard before she had made her decision and the encounter tonight only made her realize that she had to get away for the safety of the children, there was only so much so could do in England to protect them but back in New Orleans, near the Guild, she would be able to do so much more for them and that was al that mattered to her.
"I will keep you posted on things here so you know when it's safe to travel back to see me with the children or for me to go to you as well," Walburga said softly, that was her blessing, she knew that the children and their safety came first no matter how devastating it would be to be alone in the house once more now that her husband and son were gone. Bellatrx watched as Walburga embraced Margaret before looking down at the baby and biting her lip, there was no one that she could trust better to keep her little one safe should anything happen to herself or to Severus and she cleared her throat to get rid of the lump that had formed. "Margaret...I want you to be Angel's godmother, should anything happen to myself or to Severus, I want you to take her and raise her, make sure that she is a proper lady and that nothing bad ever happens to her," she said, tears brimming in her eyes. "I know that is is so unfair of me to ask this of you, especially with you raising so many but there is no one that I trust more in the world, I don't want Cissa to have her and I sure as Hell don't want Droma to either, just you."
Margaret held her breath slightly as tears started falling down her cheeks, which made Hellzie reach out for her and she took him as well, Steven resting against him with a soft sigh, as she looked at Bellatrix and her now god-daughter Angel in her arms. "Of course I will take her, I don't care if I had a million children, I would still take her and make sure that she knew what her parents were like, what they would have been proud of her for," she whispered softly as she smiled wistfully. She could remember when the days had been easier, but those were the days when she had woken up next to Regulus and all had been right in the world just because she had awakened to see his face turned towards her, his eyes already open and watching her, it had been like that every time they had fallen asleep together since the day that they had met and there had never been anyone else for either of them from that point on. She closed her eyes, her memories were all that held him near to her anymore and she found that thinking about him was no longer painful but the best thing she could do because it kept him alive in her heart and in the hearts of the eight month old wolf children and twenty month old children she herself had bore.
Thunder boomed overhead, both women knew that time was running short before they had to be back from their so-called city excursion, both turning at the Apparition pop that sounded to see Severus standing there, Bella moving into his arms to tell him the name of their child and what Margaret had said. Severus looked over at Margaret knowing that she was going to do what she felt was best and nodded his head, there was nothing else that he could do except to be supportive in what she was doing and try his best to keep the godmother of his child as safe as possible. "The day that happens, I will distract the Dark Lord the best that I can, so he never senses what you are doing, that you won't be back to him, we just need to find a way so that he can never use your mark to trace you again," he said softly as Bella's eyes snapped open, an idea coming to mind. "Lucius...he knows how to do that, we could have him do it to Margaret then wipe his mind of the incident, its the only way," she whispered, feeling her beloved nod in agreement, the plan was set and there was no turning back from it now.
Two months had passed since that evening, Bellatrix had managed to keep Angel a well guarded secret from everyone aside from her father as the baby grew up in the house on spinner's End, Cygnus went often to see his granddaughter as he was thrilled his eldest had had a daughter with whom he deemed to be a good man. That night was the night when Margaret was going to leave, Angel was safe at the house with Cygnus watching over her while Severus and Bella helped to run interference, Lucius' mind already erased of the memory of making sure the Dark Lord could never find Margaret again after she departed. She was going to be leaving by private jet from Heathrow so even the Ministry would not be able to find her again, her advisor Bishop Dreamslayer a help to her now that she was Queen. She had made her brothers leave the Death Eaters as well, so they could all run back to their home of New Orleans together on that warm July night, there was no turning back now as the children were settled onto the plane while thye buckled up. Margaret felt her twin brother Jack's hand on hers, looking into his chartreuse eyes with her own and remembering when she and the others had had blue eyes as children before their mother had forced them in a form for months on end and trapped them into it, their eyes bleeding into their cat-like colors permanently by the time her father was able to free them all, the eyes had never bled back to blue after that, none of them could recall seeing one another with anything but chartreuse eyes now.
Bellatrix and Severus watched from a safe distance with some of the others that had agreed to help them to get Margaret and the children to safety-Alecto and Amycus Carrow, Amelia Lupin, Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, James Potter, Arthus and Molly Weasley, Andromeda Tonks, Narcissa Malfoy, Augusta Longbottom and her daughter in law Alice, and a few others as well. Order member and Death Eaters alike, both sides had loved Margaret because she had never done anything to hurt anyone, and because of that everyone had decided to come together to make sure that she had gotten away safely. It was Amelia and Remus' last chance to see their baby sister Roberta's children before they were whisked away, their younger brother Able had also been lost to them because of the Death Eater that had been sent to kill him, his wife Regina and their daughter Nina, though the baby had survived and was now in Remus' care with his young son Robert. Amelia spoke with her brother, begging him that if anything happened to her that he would care for her young son London Pettigrew and he agreed, it would be the last time that they saw one another until the day that she would be imprisoned for breaking into the Department of Mysteries, and he would acquire his nephew to care for as well. Narcissa herself had a newborn baby at home by the name of Draco, it was because of this she saw Margaret's reasoning and decided to help, which was also the case for the very pregnant Alice Longbottom, and the six time mother Molly Weasley, her maternal instincts had kicked in to help protect this woman and her children.
The Dark Lord was of course furious when no one could locate Margaret Black or her brothers that had been a part of the Death Eaters, he hadn't been this angry since the day that he was told Roberta Lupin's children were missing, that was part of the reason he had sent Abel Lupin to be killed before he had spoken with Amelia who had convinced him that neither of her brothers knew where the children were, it was too late for her to save Able but she had spared Remus' life. All the ones that had been present at the escaped had signed a pact and forged it in their blood that none of them would ever breathe a word about what had happened, what they had come together to do, if one person broke the pact the rest would be outed as well. There was no sign of Elliot and his wife Fauna, of Cameron and his son Junior, not a trace of Calvin and his wife Rhonda nor his son Aidan, nothing left behind to trace of Jack and his wife Salla nor his two girls Sky and Menolly, and there was no finding Margaret and her four children, he was positively irate over the whole ordeal. There was no way that one could simply go missing...he always found what he was looking for and yet there was no finding any of them nor the four children that he had made sure would be born, though he had only meant for it to be one but that meant all the more power to him though no one knew what he wanted from them.
The missions were grueling, it seemed as though the Dark Lord would be in control in no time and though Bellatrix was his most loyal following because of her upbringing, there was a soft to her that no one ever saw when she was able to slip away unnoticed and go to the house on Spinner's End to be with her daughter. As the year went on there were many small victories in Angel's young life, such as when she took to music right away as well as to potions, she was a very powerful child that was very loved by both her parents and her grandfather Cygnus. There was nothing that she ever wanted for, and she was blissfully unaware of the dangers that went on outside the house that she was carefully hidden away within, her existence unknown to Druella, Rodolphus and many others, especially Voldemort because Severus was afraid what he would do if he were to find out that he and Bella, his two most faithful servants, had had a child together. By October of the following year however, so much had changed, Severus was playing spy due to a plea he had made to Albus Dumbledore to save the life of his young friend Lily Potter, also a mother to a young son even if it was to that pompous James Potter than he couldn't stand, she had been his only friend growing up and he felt that he owed it to her.
On the eve of Halloween after she had spent the entire day with her daughter before heading off, Bellatrix was sent with Rodolphus, Rabastan and Bartemius to a location that only Rodolphus knew and she was surprised to find that they were at the home of the famous Aurors Frank and Alice Longbottom, a woman that she had shared the blood pact with the year before over Margaret. They burst into the house where they used the Cruciatus Curse upon the two over and over, she participated merely because if she hadn't then it would have been told back to the Dark Lord that she had held back and she couldn't afford that, then he would try and read her mind and find out about her daughter. Bartemius was set on killing the child but Bellatrix had gone through the house before him and found the infant, setting him into the closet and silencing the door so that no sound would be heard through it, she would not be responsible for the death of an innocent child, not when she herself was set on protecting her own. As a result of this, their son Neville was never found and would live without his parents, the four of them leaving the house as she silently told Alice how sorry she was about the whole thing. She was overcome with guilt when she went home with her husband, though he did not catch on as he opened the door and the two of them found themselves at wand point to be arrested for the crime they had committed, and were taken to Azkaban where she would never see Angel again.
Severus received word from Dolohov that the secret keeper had given up the location of the Potter's and that the prophecy was about the Potter boy and the Longbottom boy, carefully bundling up his sleeping daughter and sending word out to Margaret to come and collect her until he said otherwise, which he did. By the time he got to the Potter house it was too late, his former best friend and her husband were dead, as was the Dark Lord, leaving behind nothing more than the infant in his crib with the scar upon his forehead that he would forever have. Sirius Black arrived shortly afterward, the two never exchanging a single word as Sirius picked his godson up and the two left the house together, Sirius set on finding Peter Pettigrew to kill him for what he had done, Severus set on trying to get to Bellatrix in time, if he could only reach her before she went to the Longbottom's, she had to know their Lord was gone and she no longer had to pretend. He found Auror's all around the home and knew he had been too late, had he only gone there first he might have been able to stop them, might have been able to persuade Bella to run away with him and their daughter.
And yet Angel Bella Elaine Snape lay on the couch at her godmother's Louisiana home fast asleep without a care in the world and with no way of knowing what life had in store for her...