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07 August 2009 @ 06:36 pm
Once, There was Blood - A Snape Fanfic  
Title: Once, There was Blood
Author: ellymelly
Pairing: predominately Snape/Lily
Chapters: | Trails by the Summer River |
Rating: T at the moment (may change in later chapters)
Summary: A Severus Snape story about his arrival at Hogwarts and descent into the alluring dark arts.
Standard Disclaimer: I do not own ANYTHING that you recognise from J.'s Harry Potter series. I am just borrowing these characters - please don't sue me!
Warnings (if any): Other than spoilers for all books, uh - not at present :)


There was a time when Hogwarts had been a dream – something that lingered beyond the thick hedge of trees that covered the wild hills to the north of his home and heavy mists which lingered during the evening in sweet smelling tides.

The school crest and elegant words etched beneath it on the letter had become a sort of refuge for Severus Snape. He retreated back to that precious envelope, sliding his fingers over the heavy paper, tracing the ink with a sharp fingernail, in the hope that it would transform into a portkey and take him away from the hateful house around him.

It never happened. The years trailed on and his home became darker. Its walls, congealed with the remnants of past altercations, were scratched and mournful. He was sure that he could hear them sigh sadly as he slid past them on his way out into the last of the day.

Snape hated every inch of his life but was yet to give up on life itself. There were, he reasoned, beautiful things remaining in the world and he was confident that they lurked inside the mysterious, magical walls of Hogwarts.

He was surprised, then, to meet one of these things much sooner. It was an afternoon, late in summer when the trees had nearly given all of their green and drooped, exhausted, over the grass, when he heard the first shrill of laughter.

‘Stop it, Lily!’ protested another voice, as the laughter doubled and a swift whoosh through the air saw a small girl sail safely to her feet. ‘You’re not s’posed to!’

Snape paused in the middle of the neglected path snaking along the river’s edge. His thin, dark hair escaped from behind his ear and flapped about by his cheek leaving greasy lines there as he listened.

‘Oh Tuny...’ protested a second voice, skipping back to the swing which had slowed enough for her to snatch its chains from the air. ‘It’s fun.’

‘It’s wrong,’ replied Petunia, on the verge of tears. ‘Mum says it’s wrong!’

Lily perched on the swing’s seat and quickly started gaining height. Severus crept closer to the girls. He crouched behind a wretched hedge and peaked between its thorns and dead leaves. An elegant girl surveyed the river behind him with a set of fierce green eyes. She loved the wind rushing over her as the swing gained pace and, at its height, the chains flirted with the idea of flipping her right over the top.

Suddenly she was free. Lily leapt from the seat and stretched out into the air which she floated through, held there by some unnatural force. The other girl screamed and cried jealously before running off shouting, ‘I’m telling! I’m getting mum!’

Alone in the small patch of playground, Lily touched lightly down onto the asphalt. The wind kicked up and stole a cluster of leaves from an ancient plane tree. They rained down around her, crunching as their fragile stars rolled about.

Snape pulled apart the branches of his hedge so that he could see her better. He guessed that she was about his age – a bit taller than him with long, dark red hair and a light smattering of freckles across her nose from vacations spent far away by the sea. There was a definite similarity between her and the other girl who was headed across the weed-choked oval toward a line of houses and he guessed that they were siblings.

Whatever else this girl was, there was one thing for certain – she was a witch and he was a wizard.

“Hello,” she smiled, taking a few steps toward him.

Lily had to repeat her greeting several times before the boy hidden amongst the hedge startled and freed himself of its leaves and thorns. She paced around to its other side where she found him glancing nervously around, no doubt devising a manner of escape. He was shy, desperately shy. Lily’s grin only widened.

“What is your name?” she offered, hoping a question would be easier for him. Her accent was different from his – cleaner, more defined like the other muggles in the street whose families had lived in the town for many generations.

He was going to retreat – dart back down the road to the safety of the riverbank – escape her questioning eyes and curious tilt to her head as she inspected him, but for reasons he did not understand, he remained rooted to the spot.

“I – I,” he stammered, before mustering enough courage to continue, “I know what you are...” he said cryptically. “You’re a witch.”

Her smile vanished.

“A what?” she watched the boy return to his fidgeting; clearly wishing he hadn’t said anything at all. “That’s not a very nice thing to say...”

“No it’s – ” she was glaring at him now, with the same sense of repulse that he was used to seeing from living creatures. “I’m one too – a wizard, that is.”

Maybe she thought he was joking, perhaps she had decided he was a little bit crazy. Either way he didn’t mind because she was grinning again.

“Oh aye,” she mocked him gently.

“You are,” Snape pointed at the swings and she knew exactly what he meant. “It’s not a bad thing...” he added.

“LILLY!”

Lilly spun around so quickly that her hair obscured Snape’s vision with a blur of red. The girl lifted herself onto tiptoes and quickly spied her mother and sister approaching, both with threatening looks. She was defiantly in trouble now.

Snape saw them as well and had to fight his natural instinct to flee.

“I think they’re looking for you...”

“Probably,” she sighed, as the teary, red face of her sister became clearer. “You still didn’t tell me your name,” Lily insisted, not willing to give up the field.

He tugged self-consciously at the ugly yards of fabric around him, wishing he could transform them into proper robes.

“Sev – err –usss...” he half muttered, as if she had drawn this secret from him most unwillingly.

“Sev,” she flashed another dazzling smile, “it is then.”

And she was gone, traipsing back to her mother who wasted no time questioning her, prompted by her sister’s accusations. He wished that he knew proper magic so that he could hex them for her.

Weeks later, it was she who found him. He had escaped to the rubbish-strewn river, avoiding another violent row that was still underway. The raised voices and magical curses were carrying up the water accompanied, every now and then, by a colourful flash of light.

Snape had brought his letter this time. It was folded snugly inside his robes, kept safe for the day that was fast approaching. He didn’t know what he was going to do. With the school year approaching, he would need books, robes, an owl and a thousand other things that excited first years, but he doubted his parents would give him enough gold for even a modest quill.

“There you are,” Lily chirped, emerging from a stand of trees at the top of the small rise around the river. “You are not easy to find.”

He didn’t say anything, so she sat down beside him and picked at a sprig of clover.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about what you said,” she continued, “about – you know – me being a witch.” The word was still quite unreal to her. Magic was in stories, fairytales and dreams. As her sister constantly reminded her, it was not real, it couldn’t be and yet, these last few years Lily thought that there was something different inside her.

“I’m not saying that I believe you,” she added quickly, as the boy finally met her eyes and began to open his mouth to speak. “But, let’s just pretend, if it were really real, what does it mean?”

“It is real,” Snape insisted, reaching inside his clothes for something. “And you are definitely a witch.”

The word still made Lily flinch. A witch, weren’t they evil? In stories the witches were the ones with warts on their hooked noses and half-eaten clothes which smelled of the terrible ingredients they used in their potions.

“You can do magic,” he said, “I’ve seen you. When you’re old enough, you can have a wand and –”

“Oh,” she interrupted, “and I suppose we ride on broomsticks too?”

“Yes,” Snape replied, quite seriously. “Some do.” He found what he’d been searching for. It was a crumpled envelope which had clearly been loved more than any of his possessions. She watched curiously as he unfolded it and then withdrew a card from within.

“Hogwarts,” he continued, allowing Lily to take the letter from him, “is a school for witches and wizards. Your letter will come, very soon most likely. Muggle-borns have to wait until just before school starts.”

Muggle-borns,” she copied him, her eyes not believing the paper in her hands.

“People with no magic in them are called, ‘muggles’. Sometimes they have magical children, like you. Sometimes magical couples have non-magical children, they’re called, ‘squibs’."

“And I’m going to get one of these letters...” she gave it back to him, disbelievingly.

“If you’re lucky,” his dark eyes seemed to shine, “it’ll come by owl.”

It did come by owl, three days after their talk by the river. The letter had not arrived at her mailbox, but straight to Lily’s bedroom window where the poor, scruffy looking creature had tapped and clawed at the glass until she opened the window and it swooped into her room, depositing the letter on her bed. The owl hooted proudly at its effort and proceeded to hop from her chair to the floor, inspecting its new surrounds.

Lily raced to her bed and took the letter in her shaking hands. It looked exactly the same as Sev’s, only less creased and the thick wax seal was still in place. She was so excited, she forgot to open it.

Lily Evans

2nd Bedroom, Top Floor

11 Riverside Crescent

Spinner’s End

Durham

‘Lily!’ came her mother’s voice from downstairs. ‘What is all that racket about?’

“N – nothing...” she quickly lied, closing her bedroom door.

Inside the envelope was a letter, inviting her to the school. Her name was there, at the top of the card scratched in beautiful dark ink and old fashioned script. It looked awfully like her grandmother’s writing, with the long tails on the letters curled excessively. Accompanying this letter was a list of objects that she would require for the school year, but as she read through it, excitement turned to despair.

HOGWARTS SCHOOL OF WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY

Uniform

First year students will require:

  1. Three sets of plain work robes (black)
  2. One plain pointed hat (black) for day wear
  3. One pair of protective gloves...

Those, at least, she thought that she could manage, until she read; dragon hide or similar.

The list only turned more and more impossible with extraordinary textbooks and finally the list of equipment beginning with, 1 wand and amended with the warning, ‘PARENTS ARE REMINDED THAT FIRST YEARS ARE NOT ALLOWED THEIR OWN BROOMSTICKS’

She collapsed onto the bed in dismay, how would she find even half of these things?

Moving to the last scrap of paper, she found a note from the Headmaster of the school, Professor Dumbledore. It was not addressed to her, but to her parents.

She tried to shoo the owl out of her room, but it pecked irritably at her fingers, nipping one of them sharply before returning to its comfortable perch on the oversized door handle.

“Fine,” she mumbled at it, “stay there, but don’t come pecking at me when you starve.”

The owl twisted its head nearly all the way off and buried its beak inside the soft duffel under its wing, apparently not in the least bit concerned with her threat.

She read her letters over and over until her eyes fluttered closed and she fell sound asleep, still clutching them in one hand. Lily stayed like that until morning came and, just as the sun crept up over the curve of the earth and down their street, turning the pavement pink and orange, a loud knock at the door woke the house.

Lily knew it was for her. Already dressed, she darted out her door where she found her sister yawning in the corridor. Lily rushed past her and all but flew down the two sets of stairs to the foyer where her mother, dressed in a light gown, was opening the front door to a very strange looking old man with a set of half-moon spectacles perched upon his nose.