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It was the first bright day of spring. Little furrows of wispy white cloud criss-crossed the pale blue sky, and the smell of wood smoke and petrol fumes mingled under the rooftops of Diagon Alley. Larks looped and threaded their way across this hazy scene.   

Equally graceful, but much more dignified, was the girl who walked down the cobble-stoned street beneath them. She sauntered down the steps of Gringotts bank, and glided round the corner into Diagon Alley. Once there, she paused at the window of a jeweller's shop, ostensibly to admire a jewelled dragonfly broche, but her grey eyes soon wandered up to her own reflection, so dazzling in the sunlight that she could still see it when she closed her eyes.

She stared at the window, until she recognized another figure reflected in the glass. He was standing some twenty yards behind her, pretending to examine the window display in Quality Quidditch Supplies. He had been following her all morning.    

Narcissa Black was feeling exuberant. This was unusual; her feelings seldom wandered above the level of satisfaction or contentment, because joy was undignified, but today her seemingly-effortless composure was strained. The spring had infected her with a feeling of reckless excitement- she was as close to buoyancy as a girl of her natural laziness could get.

In this state, all kinds of schemes occurred to her. And her favourite topic on which to scheme was husbands.

She had chosen the right one - the best one - but he was wilful and stubborn. She had neglected to show him who was boss.

After all, men could not be allowed to do whatever they wanted, or civilization would collapse. Narcissa had seen her female ancestors stand behind their husbands and sons, pulling strings, persuading, advising, suggesting, controlling, and she assumed that this was what had always happened. Women stood behind powerful men and stopped them from making fools of themselves. Men had the power, but not the sense to make anything of it.

There was no question in her mind that Lucius Malfoy was the best pure-blood wizard for her to marry - he seemed certain, when he had finished tampering with foolish pleasures and hopeless causes, to go into politics. His family was ancient and almost uncorrupted (there had been a Squib cousin in the 1940s, but nobody ever talked about him).

Narcissa didn't want a husband; she wanted a dynasty. There were other ways to get power, but this was the least obtrusive. This was what her ancestors had done, and Narcissa worshipped her clever female ancestors; it was a religion that neatly combined her twin passions of snobbery and narcissism.    

From the jeweller's, she made her way up the cobbled street, which was overhung with beamed houses, leaning crookedly to one side or sagging under the weight of centuries. Adhesive charms were the only things keeping these familiar piles of stones together.

Her stalker - a man wearing a dark, hodded robe, which rendered him bizarrely conspicuous in the heavy sunlight - stopped at the jeweller's window to see what she had been looking at. Narcissa slowed her pace a little; she didn't want to disappoint him. When she was confident that he had her in his sights, she stepped into the cool, shady interior of the dress shop.

Its windows were shrouded with elaborate curtains - curtains of stolid velvet, sun-bleached to a soupy grey colour, embroidered with unrecognizable designs, and with heavy tassels that drooped languidly onto the carpet.  

Sunlight was peeping through a few chinks, but the curtains were fighting valiantly, as they had done for centuries, to preserve a dignified shade.

Narcissa breathed in the beloved, dusty smell and relished the sudden coolness. She was trying to control the waves of exultation that were crashing over her.

A bell tinkled from a back room behind the counter, and Mr Buntz stepped out.    

"Ah, Miss Black!"

"Good morning, Peleus," said Narcissa, with haughty civility. "I would like you to make me a dress."

Peleus Buntz was short and plump. He had a bald head but a sprawling and magnificent moustache, which cast most of his little body into shadow and twitched with enthusiasm whenever he spoke.

When Narcissa Black came into his shop, it positively swayed, like a tree that has been cut down and is only just beginning to realize it. In his experience, she was the perfect customer: she had an unlimited budget, everything looked good on her, and she didn't take up much material.

Peleus Buntz was an artist-turned-businessman. He hadn't wanted to be a tailor, but bitter experience had taught him to be practical. As a young man, he'd dreamed of painting and sculpting, but the wizarding world didn't have much use for art - magic could supply its place. And, in any case, his girlfriend became pregnant. Peleus needed money, fast, and his eye for detail, his capacity for dreaming, his dedication to the idea of beauty, served him well as a tailor - after all, when people came into his shop, he was creating them afresh. He was sculpting his customers in the image of perfection. He didn't always have the best raw materials to work with, which was why he liked Narcissa Black so much. With her, his work had already been half-done for him. She was the perfect canvas.          

Narcissa watched as he unrolled lengths of purple satin, black lace, and plump, sumptuous crimson velvet, for her inspection.   

"Too heavy," she murmured, almost to herself.

"Absolutely, madam!" Peleus enthused. "You need cloth as delicate as gossamer to off-set those exquisite features."

Narcissa was used to compliments. They rolled right off her back. She hesitated next to a duck-egg blue sheet of satin; it looked pale and promising, like the first blue sky of Spring.

"I think I will have a dress for the Spring, Peleus," she murmured. "A dress that speaks of new beginnings."

Peleus Buntz was looking at her with his mouth slightly open. Not only did he have a commission that practically amounted to a landscape painting, but blue satin was expensive.  

"Madam!" was all he could manage to say.

The bell tinkled again, and Peleus turned to see a man with a pale, pointed face stepping out from under a heavy black cloak. He was gleaming with sweat; Peleus drew the sheet of satin towards him protectively.     

"Can I help you, Sir?" he asked, the rapturous note suddenly gone from his voice.

The sweating man seemed to be having trouble articulating himself. Peleus was just considering calling the security troll, when Narcissa spoke. She had been enjoying the man's discomfort immensely, but she had to temper her enjoyment, or she might never feel enjoyment again.   

"Why, Mr Malfoy, whatever are you doing here?" she asked, in a voice that was both keen and bored.

Malfoy leapt at the lifeline gratefully. "I saw you come in, and I thought I would take the opportunity to enquire after your family, Miss Black."

"How kind of you," Narcissa replied, still in the same high, artificial voice that indicated her thoughts were elsewhere. "They're all very well, thank you, especially my sister Bellatrix."

Another uncomfortable silence. Narcissa let it spiral into the realms of the unendurable before she broke it.

"Mr Malfoy, may I introduce Peleus Buntz to you? He's the finest tailor in Diagon Alley."  

Peleus, on hearing the name Malfoy, had hitched his moustache up into a welcoming smile.  

"So sorry that I didn't recognize you, Mr Malfoy. Of course, I see it now from your noble profile. I fitted your father with his burial robes, you know."

For the first time, Lucius Malfoy took his eyes off Narcissa. He gave Peleus Buntz a haughty stare, but Peleus was caught up in the moment and ignored it.

"Yes, such a fine bone-structure! He was so gaunt and impressive at the funeral that several of his students - for you know, Miss Black, he was a highly respected teacher at Hogwarts - came down with fainting spells and nervous twitches! An awe-inspiring man, Miss Black! I only wish I had seen him when he was alive."

"Yes," Malfoy cut in, "we all miss him dreadfully."

This was a slight overstatement. Lucius Malfoy's initial reaction on hearing of his father's death had been to conjure a bottle of Firewhisky and call for a fresh wench. He was, however, a different man now.

"I'm just fitting a dress for the charming Miss Black," said Peleus. "Please take a seat, Mr Malfoy, and I will attend to you as soon as I can."

"Perhaps Mr Malfoy would like to give his opinion on the dress?" Narcissa suggested.

Peleus scowled slightly; he had hoped to be alone with his canvas, but his business instincts prevailed.

"Of course, by all means, only too delighted. What a fortuitous coincidence!"

Peleus lead them into a back room, where an older pair of curtains were losing their battle with the sunlight, which was streaming heedlessly onto the carpet, making the place look garish and untidy.   

Narcissa stood on a stool while Peleus Buntz pinned the blue satin around her.

Lucius Malfoy stalked about uncomfortably, alternately clearing his throat and lapsing into a preoccupied silence, in which he forgot to breath, and covered his sudden choking with another round of throat-clearing.   

He was staring at Narcissa. She was basking in the sunlight, wincing slightly in its glare - so fresh and delicate; he would not have been surprised to see her beaded and shimmering with dew.

Malfoy stopped mid-pace and stood, blinking stupidly, watching the sunlight filter through her feathery, ice-white hair. He opened and closed his mouth a few times, like a fish struggling on the river-bank, but said nothing.

Narcissa had the good sense to pretend not to notice. She suggested a cowl neck for the dress, and a pair of long white gloves, to which Buntz responded with rapturous noises of approval.

One part of Narcissa's mind was already busy with the spells she could use to accessorize this dress - a subtle Luxus Charm to make her skin glow, a dab of dragon's blood to soften her lips. Dragon's blood felt hot and tingly - it caused the blood to rise to the surface, making lips red, full and sensitive. These agreeable feelings of heat and sensitivity could also be transferred to the lips of anyone that she kissed.

Narcissa was a scientist. She never stopped thinking about cause and effect.

When Peleus went to help her off the stool, he was elbowed in the ribs by Mr Malfoy, who extended his hand to her instead.

Peleus knew enough of Malfoy's father's reputation to believe that he had got off lightly. They were a sadistic family, but their fine bone structure excused them, as far as Peleus was concerned.

"That will be thirty Galleons, madam," he said, with an apologetic cough, as though he was sorry to be talking about something so indelicate to this fragile ice-sculpture of a woman.  

"Let me," said Lucius Malfoy, suddenly coming to his senses.

Narcissa acquiesced with a raised eyebrow. She was too ladylike to protest.

"It's nothing to me," Lucius went on, fumbling with a leather pouch of gold Galleons, and dropping a few as he spoke. "I have inherited a vast fortune."

"A fortune is such a vulgar thing to have," Narcissa replied. "Money stinks of muggles, don't you think?"

Malfoy looked stricken. "Then I shall give it all away," he said

She smiled. "Yes. You might do that."

"May I walk you back to the Leaky Cauldron?"

"How did you know I was staying there?" she asked lightly, examining her nails.

Another silence. Severus had not told her that the love potion would diminish Malfoy's intelligence so much. She hoped this wouldn't hinder his political career; the ability to lie swiftly was a necessity for that.

"Very well," she said, "my House Elf is busy at the Apothecary's - I wonder, could you carry these for me?" She pointed to the neatly-wrapped packages and boxes, wrapped in scented tissue paper or tied with gilded ribbon, that comprised her morning's shopping - lapwing feathers, essence of snake-skin, and a new school tie.

They were bowed out of the shop by Peleus Buntz, and walked up the cobble-stoned street, to the sound of birdsong, explosions from the nearby school of Alchemy, and constant throat-clearing from Lucius Malfoy.

He suddenly stopped and turned to her.   

"What can I do to make you love me, Narcissa?"  

Narcissa was startled by his language - after all, marriage was a business transaction; love was something that came later, or was visited on the side.  

"I don't know," she said vaguely, staring in at the window of Eeylops Owl Emporium. It was so dark within that the window was little more than a dark mirror, broken by the occasional bright, amber eye. Narcissa saw her reflection - pale, stunning, pitiless - and it gave her goose-bumps. She controlled herself, however.

"Perhaps if you were Minister For Magic," she suggested lightly.

Lucius was silent for a while. He, too, was looking at her reflection.

"Alright," he said suddenly, "I could do that. But it will take time. And I can't wait -,"

"You mean that you are not accustomed to waiting," Narcissa interrupted. "But you can, and you will, simply because there is nothing else to be done."

Malfoy was silent again. "Then you… you do not care for me?" he said at last.

"I see no reason to, at present."

"But if I could give you a reason… if I could do it… do you promise…?"

Narcissa was still gazing at her dark reflection. She flicked her hair experimentally. Yes, that was perfect.

"I will consider it," she replied.

"There are other women who would beg me for this kind of attention."

Narcissa raised her eyebrows. "You'd better marry one of them, then, hadn't you?"

She turned to leave, but Malfoy caught her arm. "Narcissa - ,"

Narcissa's temper suddenly flared. She was already raw from concealing her exuberance, and now this man had dared to touch her, as though she were just anybody, as though she were a rag-doll or a muggle, instead of a daughter of the House of Black.   

"My blood-line is pure and ancient, Mr Malfoy," she said. For the first time, there was no trace of boredom in her voice. "I know my own worth. And I'm only taking bids from men with… potential."

She drew her arm out of his grip and took her packages from him. "I wish you joy of your beggars, Mr Malfoy," she said icily. "No man could induce me to debase myself like that… unless he were Minister for Magic, of course."

And she walked away, leaving Malfoy to stare miserably after her.       

Lucius went to rejoin Snape in Knockturn Alley. The sunlight streamed down warily here, kept at bay by the black ivy that twisted itself over everything in the cobble-stoned street, and by temporary clouds conjured by businessmen who didn't want their affairs pried into. In fact, as far as Malfoy knew, this was where the phrase 'shady businessmen' had originated.

He found Snape in The Hanged Man, poring over another book on Mind Magic. It wasn't easy to make him look up when he was immersed in these volumes, so Malfoy kicked over a chair, and threw his cane at the barman, who was not very alert at the best of times, and barely seemed to realise that he had been hit with it.

"Something wrong?" Snape asked quietly.

"I have to become Minister for Magic," Lucius answered shortly.

Snape absorbed this information with the same easy acceptance with which he faced everything these days. Aside from the question of whether or not he was going to kill Potter, nothing really mattered. And it never occurred to him to question anything Lucius Malfoy said. He was a pure-blood wizard, and a Death Eater. He knew what he was talking about.   

"Well, it's not impossible," he said fairly. "You've got a better chance than most wizards your age."

Lucius sat down heavily. The barman wandered over and offered him his cane, but Malfoy ignored him, so he dropped the cane beside their table and wondered off, shaking violently, as always.  

"Narcissa won't marry me unless I become Minister for Magic," Malfoy explained sullenly, resting his chin on his upturned palm and staring out of the window.

"Oh," said Severus.

"And there's no other woman like her."

Severus, who could sense another speech on Narcissa's various perfections coming, lowered his eyes to his book again. He was just starting a chapter on Legilimency - there was a section on giving your victims horrible nightmares by planting unsettling images in their minds - and, as usual, he was fantasising about using this on James Potter.  

"All the other women I've been with," Malfoy went on, "all they wanted was prestige. The honour of being with a Malfoy. They were using me."

Severus smiled thinly, but did not look up from his book. "My heart bleeds for you," he said.

"It is not pleasant to be used, Severus," Malfoy said, a shade reproachfully.  

"I'm not saying it is. I'm just saying that, if I was going to be used, that's how I'd like it to happen."

Malfoy hardly seemed to hear him. "They just wanted to please me. How base, how servile they were."

Severus thought of saying that he couldn't imagine Bellatrix Black acting servile, but the truth was, he could, and he didn't want to, so he changed the subject.

"You said in your letter that you were ill."

In truth, Severus had arrived at The Hanged Man in a state of bitter, but rigidly-controlled, despair. He had expected to be accused of lacing Malfoy's Butterbeer with Amortentia – half of him had even wanted to be accused of lacing Malfoy's Butterbeer with Amortentia. He wanted to fight somebody. He was sick of events just rolling over him in their contemptuous, indifferent way.

He had been so certain that the episode with the Dark Snitch would make him feel better – not fix things, of course, because Lily was still lost to him, and Potter would always be an idiot, no matter how many times he tried to saw his own arm off. But he had expected... something. Some kind of easing of the tension that had been building up in his chest since last summer, when he'd been dangled upside-down in front of the whole school, and goaded into calling Lily a mudblood. He had expected to feel some measure of control over his own life again, but the injustice of Dumbledore's reaction – the injustice of the entire school's reaction – the way Potter was now being visited by a handful of adoring girls who seemed to be driven wild by the sight of a scar – had shaken him to the core.

He had made terrible resolutions, and he was afraid of backing them up. He knew now that he had to give up on finding justice by legitimate means. He had to join the Death Eaters as soon as possible – as soon as they'd have him – but he was afraid of the finality of that act. So he had settled into a state of reckless, seething despair, skulking in corners, snapping at everyone who dared to approach him, and looking at Lily with a kind of hungry contempt, wondering each time whether he would ever see her again.

"I am ill!" Malfoy shouted, making the Bartender jump. "Do I look healthy? Narcissa says I have to be Minister for Magic before she'll even look at me, and every second when she doesn't look at me is excruciating! How am I going to get through an election campaign when I'm dying by inches every second? What would you do, Severus?"

Snape stared at him, astonished. Pure-bloods didn't often ask for his opinion. They assumed that someone whose opinion was worth valuing would have bothered to wash his hair. Besides, it was a widely-held belief that proximity to muggles sapped your intelligence. Severus had spent his entire childhood surrounded by them – although, in his defence, he had tried to hide himself away as much as possible.

But now, Malfoy was hungrily awaiting his reply, as though he was a prophet of common-sense. And he'd barely had the Amortentia in his system for three days! What was going to happen after a week – a month – of this sentimental poisoning?

"She'll see reason," Snape said slowly. "She's a Slytherin."

Lucius grunted.  He was absent-mindedly playing with a thin strip of blue satin in his hands. He had stolen it from Peleus Buntz's shop; it was one of the off-cuts of Narcissa's new dress.

"Is there anyone she likes at Hogwarts?" he murmured.  

"Your closest rival is her mirror."

Malfoy bristled, but didn't say anything. In spite of Snape's disrespectful tone, he knew that he was telling the truth, simply because he had no other option. There was a charm placed upon trainee Death Eaters: if you lied to another Death Eater, your nose would start to bleed. If you didn't immediately respond with the truth, the bleeding wouldn't stop. No amount of healing magic could help you. Only the truth would prevent you from bleeding to death. Snape was under this charm, and he knew it; he couldn't lie to Lucius Malfoy.  

However, concealment was Snape's primary occupation. It had started out as a necessity and turned into a hobby. He liked to seem mysterious, to his friends as well as his enemies - he thought that people were more likely to fear him if they didn't understand him.   

He had devoted a large portion of his considerable intellect towards planning for just such an eventuality as this. The Charm placed upon trainee Death Eaters had the same loop-hole as Veritaserum: you had to tell the truth, but you didn't have to tell the whole truth. If they didn't ask, there was no need to tell.

"Do you think Narcissa has the ability to mix up a love potion this strong?" Malfoy asked suddenly.

Snape told him honestly that he didn't.

"But someone could have done it for her?"

"Yes," Snape said carefully.

"Who would she trust to help her with something like that?"

"Nobody," Severus replied, again with perfect honesty. Narcissa didn't trust people; she manipulated them. But he was starting to feel anxious now - he'd come close to lying - and, when Lucius looked away, he gave a cautious sniff. Was he just imagining it, or was his nose starting to run? He made an artless attempt to change the subject.

"Did you know that you don't need a wand to practise mind magic?" he asked.  

Lucius made a non-committal noise and continued to stare out of the window.   

Severus was beginning to understand that he had been practising Occlumency since he was four years-old. Whenever his parents argued, he would lie back on his bed and stare at his bedroom ceiling; it was always striped with the gritty amber light of the street-lamps filtering through the blinds; and, while shouts and thuds shook the floor beneath him, Severus would concentrate on those bars of light and hypnotise himself into a state of calm, sneering indifference. Nothing could touch him in that state.  

But all magic exacts a toll, just as every potion has a side-effect: you couldn't work magic without giving a part of yourself in return.  

The unfortunate side-effect of Snape's emotional subterfuge was that it resulted in emotional pyrotechnics: sudden outbursts of anger, or passion, or grief, that could, at times, knock him unconscious.  

Lucius sighed. "No, perhaps she doesn't trust anyone. But she's going to start trusting you, Severus. You must be my eyes and ears at Hogwarts. You must find out if she's poisoning me. And keep men away from her, whether she's poisoning me or not."

Malfoy examined the tattered piece of satin in his hand. "All she cares about is having a powerful husband," he murmured sullenly.

"Very wise," Severus replied.

"It's as though marrying is her job."      

Severus smiled. "'Farewell the tranquil mind, farewell content. Narcissa's occupation's back.'"

Malfoy glanced sideways at his companion. He'd noticed that Severus was getting more and more flippant these days.

"How are things at home, Severus?" he asked pointedly.

Snape looked up. His usual answer, 'fine', would cause him to bleed to death.

"No different," he said, after a while, and then turned back to his book in resentful silence.  

Malfoy smirked; he felt as though he had scored a moral victory. You had to keep these people in their place.
This chapter follows on from Hemlock and Vanilla, where Narcissa first bribes Snape to poison Lucius Malfoy for her. Once again, it was an opportunity to write lots of exotic, sensuous descriptions, and talk about the kind of tragic plight of pure-blood witches in J. K. Rowling's world.

EDIT 2011: Lucius & Severus conversation expanded.
Add a Comment:
WeAreSevenStudios Featured By Owner May 5, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
she was as close to buoyancy as a girl of her natural laziness could get.
I can’t tell you how much I enjoy reading you write Narcissa. Next to Snape, she’s my favorite character to read about in your fan fiction.

Severus was beginning to understand that he had been practising Occlumency since he was four years-old.
That is an incredibly sad (and anger-inciting) observation. At the same time, that may be why he is so naturally inclined to it, and able to fool “the world’s greatest legimens.” I remember reading an interview somewhere, where Rowling addressed the question of why Draco was able to learn Occlumency so quickly while Harry couldn’t manage a bit. In a nutshell, she said that people like Draco and Snape were already able to segment off their feelings (unlike Harry), and so were predisposed to learning Occlumency. Poor Snape had a huge head start... :(

Your stories, aside from their own clear worth, seem to have a tendency to spark the most interesting comment conversations. It seems a few of us Snape fans have found solace in making playlists. XD I wonder, have you heard “Vindicated” by Dashboard Confessional? [link]
ls269 Featured By Owner May 6, 2010
Yay! Oh, I absolutely agree with Rowling about Harry - I think he's got that Gryffindor instinct which automatically assumes being subtle, or not speaking your mind, is a sign of weakness and hypocrisy. That's why I could never be a Gryffindor! :giggle:

I'm so glad you've been enjoying the Narcissa chapters. She's so much fun to write (dastardly, but with loads of jewels and pretty dresses to describe! :heart:)

Oh, and I hope you didn't mind me linking ~CreativeLittle1 to your wonderful playlist - Spotify was as useless with her in Australia as it was with you in the United States. Britain needs some better music sites! The Snape playlist is a time-honoured method of fan-girl solace, it seems! :) I'm really liking the Dashboard Confessional song you linked me to - I'm listening to it while my boyfriend watches the election night coverage, and it is helping me drown out the sound of awkward politicians!
WeAreSevenStudios Featured By Owner May 7, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
I think Gryffindor would be the last house I'd ever be sorted into.:lol:

“Ah, music, a magic beyond all we do here”
I don't mind you linking at all. I'm quite pleased, in fact. Someday I'm sure a universal playlist provider will come into existence. Youtube is pretty good in general, but I've never tried their playlist feature.
CreativeLittle1 Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2010
Another great chapter! :) I wonder, could you share your Snape-playlist? I have one of my own...however, it's not very extensive yet!
ls269 Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2010
:) Here's the Snape/my story playlist! [link]

Hope the link works! Spotify sometimes has adverts which can't be skipped (very annoying, but the music is free, so I guess I'll bear with it! ;))
ls269 Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2010
Of course! :hug: Mine is not very extensive either, you know! And a lot of the songs don't have appropriate lyrics, just an appropriate feeling!

It's funny, I was talking to another reader about this, and she made an online playlist based on our conversation. I hope she won't mind my giving you the link to it. You can find it here: [link]

Apart from Radiohead's 'Creep', Arcade Fire's 'My Body is a Cage' and Nine Inch Nails's 'Hurt', I would have 'Dead of Winter' by the Eels (it always reminds me of the Silver Doe chapter in Deathly Hallows!) and 'The Shining' by Badly Drawn Boy (that always reminds me of Spinner's End!)

I should put all of this online too, shouldn't I? Maybe I'll see about making a playlist on Spotify tonight. If I find out how (I'm really technologically illiterate! ;)), I'll send you the link.

Sorry for the long message, and I hope you like some of the songs! :)
CreativeLittle1 Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2010
Thank you for the links!

Unfortunately, the one to yours didn't work, as apparently the site is 'not yet available in my country'. :(

From the other reader's playlist, I especially liked Radiohead's 'Creep'. I also YouTubed both 'Dead of Winter' and 'The Shining' - both of which I ended up liking!

Thanks again for sharing!
ls269 Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2010
You're welcome! :hug: I'm sorry Spotify didn't work. I wondered whether it would be available in Australia (still, the 'yet' is hopeful - maybe it will be available there someday!) And I'm so glad you liked the songs! :)
CreativeLittle1 Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2010
:) Have you heard "Forgive Me" and "Like You" by Evanescence? I think they both fit well for Severus. The second one is quite dark's a really sad song. Here's some of the lyrics:

"Hate me for breathing without you, I don't want to feel anymore for you...and though I may have lost my way, all paths lead straight to you, I long to be like you, lie cold in the ground like you..."

"Pieces" by Red is also a good song...I heard on a fanvid and it fits perfectly. In fact, I'll give you the link to that made me cry. [link]

Ok, I'm bombarding you with songs, but I have to recommend one more. It's "Swan Song" by A Fine Frenzy. It's quite a delicate song, but the lyrics are just beautiful and sad and they perfectly how Sev must have felt after calling Lily -that-.

Well, I hope you enjoy those songs and the vid! :)

ls269 Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2010
Thank you! :hug: And, don't worry, no songs are too dark for Severus Snape! I listened to both the Evanescence songs on Youtube and found them very fitting for his story. And the video you linked me to is so sad! I'll be furious if the Deathly Hallows movie doesn't devote a long section to the Prince's Tale - they're always skipping out Snape's scenes!

Yes, the Swansong lyrics are very approrpriate for teenage Sev too: 'I said what I said and I meant it, although I regret it.' Poor thing! :( I'd never heard of A Fine Frenzy before, but I love the singer's voice! :heart:
CreativeLittle1 Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2010
You're welcome! :hug: I'm glad you liked the songs and the vid :) Yes, I too will be very upset if they do not do Snape's story with justice in the final film.

I read somewhere, Mugglenet, I think, that one of the people working on the set said Alan Rickman did an amazing death and that it brought tears to his eyes...this makes me really excited, but that doesn't really surprise, Alan Rickman's always been great!

They did say that little Petunia won't be in the DH film at all, because they didn't have time for me, this sounds ominous. It also said something along the lines of there not being very many Young Snape/Lily scenes, because they had to focus on his memories with Dumbledore :(

Speaking of the film, what do you think of Alan Rickman's portrayal of Snape?

Oh, I'm glad you liked "Swan Song" - A Fine Frenzy is my favourite band, and yes, she does have a beautiful voice. She writes her own songs and music too, she's very talented. :heart:
ls269 Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2010
Oh dear, it does sound ominous that there will be no time for little Petunia. :( And the little Sev/Lily scenes are my favourite part of the Prince's Tale! J.K. Rowling is so good at writing children's dialogue!

Ah, well, the films have pretty much always disappointed me so far, so my hopes aren't that high! ;)

I'm a big fan of Alan Rickman, but not really Alan Rickman as Snape. He's an amazing actor, but he's just not how I see Severus - he's not passionate or emaciated enough. He plays Severus as just a serene, haunted man, where I always imagined him spitting with anger! But I've loved Alan Rickman in other things, and it doesn't surprise me to hear that he played an amazing death scene.
northangel27 Featured By Owner May 16, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"Severus was beginning to understand that he had been practising Occlumency since he was four years-old. Whenever his parents argued, he would lie back on his bed and stare at his bedroom ceiling; it was always striped with the gritty amber light of the street-lamps filtering through the blinds; and, while shouts and thuds shook the floor beneath him, Severus would concentrate on those bars of light and hypnotise himself into a state of calm, sneering indifference. Nothing could touch him in that state.

But all magic exacts a toll, just as every potion has a side-effect: you couldn’t work magic without giving a part of yourself in return.

The unfortunate side-effect of Snape’s emotional subterfuge was that it resulted in emotional pyrotechnics: sudden outbursts of anger, or passion, or grief, that could, at times, knock him unconscious."

This was a bit of utter brilliance. Truly. That was pretty much me as a child - all numb indifference, and then - BANG! There it all was right out in your face without the least provocation. You can only keep up the Occlumency for so long and then something has to break, and when you are a child you do not realize what you are doing, and do not understand the drawbacks and dangers of it.

That's one of the things I appreciate about you as an author. You get these sorts of things. There is a little bit of the witch in you, me thinks!
ls269 Featured By Owner May 16, 2008
I'd absolutely love to be a witch! I really understand Snape's childhood, because my parents argued a lot, and it was important to construct mental defences, even though you felt guilty about doing so. But, yes, I've always thought Occlumency would be a dangerous pastime. And I love the idea that magic kind of feeds off your mental and emotional resources!
There's a long description about Snape's state of mind when he discovers that Lily and James Potter are dating in my gallery (I've been hopping about all over the chronology of the story, as I seem to have difficulty committing myself to any particular plot!) It's called Furious Calm, and that goes into his feelings when he hypnotises himself into this magical state of indifference. (I'm being shamelessly self-advertising here, but it's not often that people express an interest in my stories!)
That was my first experiment with writing a story to music - that time it was Regina Spektor's song 'Apres Moi' from the album 'Begin to Hope'.
I've got a whole play-list of Severus songs that just transport me completely into that world! I've always felt very frustrated that words can't completely capture the feeling of a song. That's why I love your stories, they're so atmospheric - they just draw you in, like a piece of music. But I was always hopeless with my hands, so couldn't draw, and absolutely tone-deaf, so couldn't play music: writing was kind of my only option (for a while I experimented with baking cakes as a means of self-expression, but that didn't really work!)
northangel27 Featured By Owner May 16, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Don't feel bad about self promotion. Its hard for me too, but sometimes its the only way to get more readers for your story, and for me it is all about the story. I love my characters so much, I just want as many people as possible to get to share in them (granted their not 'my' characters in this case, but by chapter 67 they almost feel like it. lol).

I will definitely have to read Furious Calm. I am about to step out the door for the weekend, but will try to read it on Sunday night when I get back. I am so eager to do so. Anything with Snape is good by me, especially your Snape. There are not alot of writers out there who fully understand what makes the man tick, at least in my opinion, but you definitely do, and that is just wonderful.

I have a Snape playlist too! I love Regina Spektor. It doesn't surprise me that you write to her. she is very inspiring. I really like the Coldplay - "Rush of Blood to the Head" CD for writing stuff when Lily and Severus were in their teens. I'm not sure why, but it just sort of has a seventies, sentimental vibe to it, without being sappy. That, and most of the lyrics are very Severus/Lily.

Like you, I can't draw a mite. I'm moderately musically talented, but haven't sung publically for years, and haven't taken piano lessons in even longer, but I do still compose, play and sing for my own amusement at times. Mostly though, I write. Writing is my way of drawing pictures with words. That is one of the things I love about your story. You draw such very vivid pictures. I have the tendency to be too much in my characters' hearts and minds sometimes and don't spend enough time describing the surroundings. That is definitely a failing of mine, and I am trying to work at it. You seem to have found the delicate balance between the two.

Oh, and I think you are a witch and don't know it ;-)
ls269 Featured By Owner May 17, 2008
I think that's one of your strengths as a writer - you're so deeply engaged in the thoughts and feelings of your characters. You can write brilliant emotional scenes - in Chapter Four, where Lucius Malfoy slaps Lily, I felt all her anger and humiliation, so much so that Snape's strangling of Malfoy in the next chapter was a very enjoyable scene! (I am quite a slow reader, so am only up to chapter 5 so far, but it's really compulsive reading!) I think I'm afraid to get too enmeshed in the characters' emotions because they suffer so much (especially poor Sev!)
I'll have to check out that Coldplay album - it sounds great, I'm very into seventies-sounding music. Love Regina Spektor - have you heard that Lady Sings the Blues song? I think it's on Begin to Hope - that's really powerful and sad.
northangel27 Featured By Owner May 18, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"I think I'm afraid to get too enmeshed in the characters' emotions because they suffer so much (especially poor Sev!)"

"The Alchemist" has some pretty emotionally intense bits, so it can be sort of draining at times, but I always try to balance it out with moments of soft, sweet joy or gentle happiness. In the end this story will not be a tragedy. I wrote alot of tragedies when I was younger, but after going through alot of suffering myself, I just no longer have a desire to add to the suffering in the world, so though the ending of this tale will be realistic and possibly even extremely painful, there will be hope and redemption in it too.

Real, true, pure love will save and transform us - that is meant to be the message of this tale, and I hope that it comes through in the end.

Oh, and I have not heard that Regina Spektor song. I will have to check it out. Thanks for mentioning it.
ls269 Featured By Owner May 19, 2008
It sounds wonderful, I love stories with positive endings - I really do want to write a happy, hopeful story but, writing about this particular moment in Snape's life, all I seem to able to do is tell the story of his moral decline! I'm still toying with the idea of making my stories non-canon, because thinking about Lily and Sev's separation and death is still very depressing!
northangel27 Featured By Owner May 19, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It is depressing. That's why I chose to go AU. Though there was a great deal of redemption in Snape's story, it wasn't to my liking. I guess I'm rewriting it the way I would have liked it.
MelissaLianne Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2008
ohh.. I love it. =]
ls269 Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2008
Thanks so much for all your comments! You're my nicest reader :hug:
MelissaLianne Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2008
<3333 aww =D
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