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Sleep grabbed him by the throat and pulled him under. It was as though the Lethean Octopus had hooked a tentacle around his neck, and was pulling him, spluttering, through layers of dark water, to the sea-bed. The pressure of all those tons of water above him was bending his spine and piercing his eardrums. And, when all the sickening motion stopped, the hallucinations started to stir.

They were like water-weeds at first – dark, desperate arms waving at him, clamouring for his attention, grabbing fistfuls of his robes. The sounds that accompanied them were echoey but intense. They swirled formlessly around his head until he began to make out specific voices and specific words.  

The poison was taking its time, trying to find his weaknesses. It was like a Boggart that wasn't sure which nightmare to impersonate. It tried things out – snatches of scornful laughter – the sound of his mother shrieking at his father – and then the tell-tale scuffling as she fled from him, trying to put chairs in his path while he stalked inexorably towards her.

It was so real. But, at the same time, he knew it wouldn't last. He was ashamed – in a ragged, terrified way – to realize it, but the poison hadn't found his worst nightmare yet. There were no nightmares, and no dreams, as intense as Lily Evans could make them.

The sounds altered slightly; his mother's voice splintered into a dozen voices – some of them high-pitched squawks and some of them deep, guttural growls. They were jeering. He couldn't make out any words, but the tone was unmistakable.

Then he could make out dull thumps and ringing slaps. Someone – and he didn't need to open his eyes to know who – was being beaten, to the accompaniment of a dozen jeering voices two dozen impatient, stamping feet.

Severus tried to take a few deep breaths, but his lungs just burned, as though they'd taken in salt-water. He wanted to keep his eyes closed – he would have given anything to keep his eyes closed – but there was a dry, sarcastic, logical voice trying to make itself heard above the shouts, and it was telling him that this was supposed to happen; it was all going to plan; he just had to open his eyes and look for the nightmare guide.  

The potion was supposed to do this to him. He was supposed to be desperate, sickened, suffocated and terrified. He'd read about these side-effects a hundred times. But there was a difference between being prepared for them in an informed, academic way, and actually experiencing them.

He forced himself to open his eyes, and then wondered how something so familiar could be so painful. There was no chance of taking a deep, steadying breath now, but he followed the dry, logical voice, as though it was a thread leading him out of the labyrinth.   

Look for the nightmare guide…. Well, it would be easier to see Elsa Valance in his nightmares now that he was dreading it. His subconscious had never had a problem with visualizing the things he didn't want to see.

Currently, it was showing him a circle of Death Eaters, with a pale, punch-drunk, teetering red-head at its centre, blinking at him through swollen eye-lids. The image was a familiar one, but not familiar enough to keep him from feeling violently sick whenever he saw it. When one of the Death Eaters punched the figure in the centre, he could feel the impact vibrating inside his own chest. Anger prickled under his skin; his fists started to itch with the urge to retaliate, but he could never move. Except for that one, wonderful, time when he'd reduced the bastards to dust with a well-placed Reductor Curse. That had been amazing. But it didn't seem to be a long-term solution, because here they were again, just the same as before, and Severus seemed to be the only one who was getting tired of it.

An ordinary boy, when confronted with a nightmare like this, would run as far from the Death Eaters as he could possibly get, but Severus – in the cold, dark, logical place that lurked beneath his terror – knew he had to keep them close, to prevent scenes like this from actually happening. He had to keep them sweet and docile and unsuspicious so that he could guide them away from Lily – or at least tell Lily to keep away from the places where they were likely to appear. It was a thankless, hopeless, pointless task – because Lily wouldn't be told where to go, and the Death Eaters were suspicious by nature – but he kept on doing it.

That was the problem. Nobody would be told. Nobody would listen to reason; they all had their own idea of reason, and it never, ever overlapped with his.

And there was Elsa in the shadows, with folded arms, tapping her little feet. Even standing in a room full of snarling Death Eaters, she managed to look as scary as any of them.

"Where have you been?" she demanded.

Severus tried to clear his head. "Sleeping," he replied.

He hadn't had a nightmare for an unprecedented amount of time. And dreamless sleep was rare for Severus, because his imagination was so relentlessly active. Oblivion had been a nice holiday destination. And, looking into the indignant, eight-year-old eyes of Elsa Valance, he regretted the fact that he couldn't live there.

"I've been waiting for ages!" she moaned. "Madam Pomfrey could be in trouble! She gave us hot cocoa when we come up out of the ice! I thought you cared about Madam Pomfrey!"

"I honestly don't know what gave you that idea," said Snape mildly.

"Well, I've been talking to your girlfriend," Elsa crowed, "and she seems to think you care about Madam Pomfrey."

Severus froze – and then carefully unfroze, pushing down every lurch and pang that had risen up at the mention of his girlfriend, until they were all grumbling resentfully at the pit of his stomach.

"What have you told her?"

Elsa gave a surly shrug. "I only asked how Madam Pomfrey was, and she said not very well, but you were working on a cure. She said you was the cleverest boy at Hogwarts and you never gave up on nothing."

Severus, despite the agonizing pain conjured up by these words, managed to reply. "I'm sure she didn't use such horrifically bad grammar."  

Elsa scowled at him. "If she knew you was snoozing away while Madam Pomfrey was dying - ,"

"Don't be so melodramatic," he interrupted. "She won't die for another week, provided the dream progresses in real time. And everything we've seen so far suggests it does."

It was clear that Elsa didn't understand much of this, so he simplified for her, even if she had tried to tell him that Lily would be ashamed of him.   

"I've found out what's going to happen," he explained. "I know what's going to make Madam Pomfrey angry enough to cast a curse so emotionally-draining that it kills her. There's going to be a fire."

Slowly – and with several interruptions from Elsa, requesting that he explain words like 'emotionally-draining' – he told her what he'd found out about Madam Pomfrey in the Biblius Curatio.

"So the villagers are going to lock her in her house and set fire to it!" Elsa marveled, her eyes glowing with gruesome delight, when she finally understood.

"No," said Snape, as patiently as he could. "They're not, because we're going to put a stop to it this time. Whether that will mean Madam Pomfrey wakes up, I don't know, but it should keep her alive long enough for us to figure out what kind of a curse this is." He was being ridiculously optimistic, he knew, but Elsa was eight, and you couldn't convey subtle shades of probability to an eight year-old. Besides, Lily had said that he was the cleverest boy at Hogwarts. That was going to take some getting over. It was going to make him think he could do impossible things for at least an hour.

There was a loud squeal from the circle of Death Eaters. Bella was enjoying herself. She had just kicked out at the battered red-head with her hob-nailed boots. Elsa turned towards them, her expression of delight fading. "Are these people your friends?" she asked.

Severus shrugged.

"And this is what they'd do to Lily if she annoyed them?"

"This is what they'd do to Lily if she met them," said Snape gloomily.

"So why are you friends with them?"

They watched Lily being knocked back and forth like a tennis ball, and Severus dimly wondered why he was putting up with this. He had cursed them into a pile of dust last time. And yet, here they were again – just as angry, just as oblivious. Nobody else in the world seemed to get tired. Severus felt as though he was carrying the whole world's portion of weariness by himself.

"You wouldn't understand," he said.  

"Well, you're my tutor, aren't you?" Elsa asked indignantly. "You're supposed to explain things to me."

"About the nature of Occlumency, not about my private life. You may have a greater aptitude for gossip than scholarship, but that doesn't mean I have to pander to it."

He had lost her there. Like most Gryffindors, she was annoyed by the sound of long words. She thought the people who used them were trying to sneak the truth past her. But, after a few seconds of frowning, her expression cleared again. She hadn't worked out what he was trying to say, but she had arrived at a more important point. "How does the dream end?" she demanded.

"What?"

Elsa spread her hands. "How does the dream end? Do you always wake up before you find out?"

Severus hesitated. He always woke up early, in a sweaty strait-jacket of sheets, but it wasn't difficult to imagine how the dream ended. Potter probably came storming in and saved the day. That was how every story ended. Even if it had been somebody else's story right up until the moment he stepped in the room. He hijacked the action just like he hogged the limelight. He would sweep onto the scene, tut at all the mess, clap his hands in a business-like way and then start hurling curses.

And would that be worse than Lily dying, he wondered? As long as she was alive, did it really matter who rescued her?

Yes, damnit! Because he didn't deserve it. Because things always worked out for him. Because people smiled indulgently at his cruelty and called it youthful high-spirits! He wanted Lily to be safe, but who could put up with injustice like that?

The Boggart-Lily would say it was the first step on a slippery slope. But the Boggart-Lily thought life was all slippery slopes.

"I think the dream ends with you rescuing her," said Elsa.

"You can think whatever you like," Severus replied tonelessly. "Now let's go. We've wasted enough time."


They always came out by the elder tree on the cliff-top, surrounded by its ring of nodding poppies. He had expected fresh air – or at least an atmosphere easier to breathe than that of the hall of jeering Death Eaters – but Mapledurham was just as close, cloudy and stifling as ever. There wasn't the slightest breeze. The poppies must have been nodding of their own accord.  

It was getting dark, though, which meant the soupy air was at least a few degrees colder. Severus pulled the collar of his old-fashioned trench-coat tighter about him – more out of a desire for concealment than warmth – and looked down the sloping meadow towards the village.

There were a few lights on in the houses down there. That would be useful. He wasn't particularly anxious to meet any of those dead-eyed muggles, but there was a limited amount they could learn if the entire population of the town was tucked up in bed.  

"Can we actually talk to someone now?" Elsa pleaded, as they walked down the grassy slope to the village. "Just to find out why they're so mad at Madam Pomfrey?"

"I don't think they are, yet."

"But, in one week, how could she make them mad enough to kill her?"

"The question in my mind is how she couldn't."

Elsa stamped a little foot. "She's a sweet old lady! Or, anyway, she is in our time. And we're not going to do her much good if we're just watching people. I want to go into the pub." This was accompanied by another foot-stamp, but Severus ignored it.

"You're much too young."

"I'll just ask for a water!" she wailed. "And, anyway, they love me. You should see the way they smile at me. I might be able to put in a good word for Madam Pomfrey."

"Oh, yes," said Snape sourly, "the good-word of an eight year-old is always worth listening to. Perhaps you could advise them on their tax-returns while you're at it."

He led the way through the high-street towards the pebbled beach, and made her sit down.

"Now, listen," he said quietly. "If we're going in there - ," he held up a hand to stem the tide of delighted squealing "– and it's still if – we need to work out what we're going to say to them. Small towns notice strangers, especially when they happen to be the only ones under forty-five."

She nodded enthusiastically. "I was thinking we could be brother and sister. John and Susan."

"John and Susan what?"

Elsa stuck her tongue between her lips, which meant she was thinking. "John and Susan Smith?"

Snape rolled his eyes.

"Well, somebody has to be called Smith in this world!" she protested.

"Alright. We're on holiday with our parents – staying somewhere close by but not too close by – say Sheffield. We wanted to spend the day at the sea-side, but our parents had business in the town, so they dropped us off here this morning, and arranged to pick us up at half-past nine."

Elsa frowned. "My dad wouldn't let me stay out that late," she grumbled.

"Well, this is the forties. Children weren't as molly-coddled back then."

She tried to scowl at him, but she was too excited by the imminent prospect of living a lie. Children always found lying thrilling. Severus longed for the days when it was anything other than necessary.

She pouted for a while, and then surreptitiously pulled a toffee out of the pocket of her long red coat, and tried to unwrap it without making a sound. Severus waited until the sweet was almost at her lips and then said:

"I wouldn't eat that if I were you."

"I'm hungry!" she protested.

"Yes," said Snape patiently, looking out over the sea. "I have explained this. Don't you think it's a little bit suspicious that the nightmare has started handing you sweets?"

"This aint a nightmare," said Elsa, throwing the toffee away. She didn't succeed at first, because it was stuck to her fingers, but she eventually managed to shake it off. "Or, if it is, it's the weirdest one I ever saw. Nothing ever happens."

She shifted restlessly on the pebbles. That was another thing about this world, thought Severus. However you sat, you could never quite get comfortable. There was always something sticking into you. He felt instinctively that even the pillows would be lumpy; even the mattresses would have exposed springs.

"What is that?" Elsa mumbled, interrupting his reverie.

They had been listening to the singing for thirty seconds or so before she piped up. It wasn't like a Valance to be so restrained. Severus had to concede that his influence seemed to be having an effect on her.

"An old folk-song, I assume."

"It gives me the creeps."

"You spend every sleeping hour wandering through nightmares," Severus pointed out. "Surely there's nothing left on earth that could give you the creeps?"

The singing was coming from the pub on the sea-front: The Shipwreck. The lights were on in there, and the curtains had been flung wide, but the tables were deserted. He couldn't see anyone inside – and certainly not anyone who looked as though they were singing dirge-like folk songs at their top of their voice. The only words he could make out were: 'And Christ receive thy Soul'. It didn't sound promising.

"Let's find out what they're doing," he said, ignoring Elsa's excited squeals.  



The singing was coming from the basement, but the whole building reverberated with the sound. The tassels on the lampshades were trembling. Glasses were creeping steadily towards the edge of their shelves. Severus could see light filtering up through the gaps in the floor-boards.  

The pub was still deserted, and he realized that he wanted it to stay that way. He wasn't scared of the muggles – they were just muggles – but, when they started singing in the basement, it was never a good sign.

Elsa walked up to the bar and struggled determinedly onto the too-high bar-stool. She nearly fell a few times, but it didn't dampen her enthusiasm.

Severus hunched his shoulders and looked around. The owners of the pub had gone for a half-hearted nautical theme in their decorations. There were fishing nets and barometers on the walls. A huge anchor had been hauled up amongst the ceiling beams and left to rust there.

The beam directly over the bar had been carved with the word 'Resurgam' in letters that were too rough to be decorative. He saw Elsa frowning up at it, squinting at the letters, and moving her lips in time with the sounds.

"It's Latin," said Snape helpfully. "It means: I will rise again."

"Is it religious?"

"Usually. In combination with the chanting, it's probably not a good sign."

Elsa shrugged. She wasn't scared of words, especially words that didn't even have the common decency to be written in her language. She nodded towards a brass dome affixed to the bar, like the kind of bell you'd see in a hotel reception, and said: "Shall we ring it?"

Severus didn't get a chance to respond, because the bar-maid chose that moment to appear. She came up through a hatch behind the bar, wiping her hands on her apron, and Severus thought unaccountably of butcher's wives, with thick, ruddy fingers.

He couldn't have explained the thought, because this woman didn't have thick, ruddy fingers; she was extremely bony, and extremely pale. There was something bored and listless and inexpressive about her face – so much so that her eyes looked like cut-outs in a cardboard mask. But the eyes filled up when she turned them on Elsa. Suddenly, they were over-brimming with greed.

She hitched the mask into a beaming rictus of delight and said: "Hell-lo dearie. I haven't seen you around before. Are you on holiday? What can I get you?"

Elsa gave a nervous smile, and looked to Severus for guidance. The bar-maid seemed to notice him for the first time then, and, though the intensity of her beam was slightly reduced, the look she gave him was still friendly. Severus was thin, greasy-haired and dour-looking, but, as long as he was accompanied by that sweet little girl, they were going to treat him with respect.

Severus had seen them look at Elsa this way before. They loved children – presumably because there were none left in the town, and there weren't likely to be any more, with the male population missing in action.

He understood why they reacted so strongly to her. Elsa represented life – and there was none of that here. Children reminded you that the force of life was pushing you onwards, whether you wanted it to or not. They got bigger every day. You couldn't stop time with them. They made you realize just how quickly life was slipping through your fingers. The village women were both frightened and enticed by her.

Maybe that was why this dream-world was trying to ply her with so many sweets and toffees. It wanted to make her its own – neutralize the threat she posed – by contaminating her. Only one toffee wouldn't do it. She was too full of life. If Persephone had been as full of vitality as Elsa, she would have needed to eat a whole crate of pomegranates to stay in the Underworld.

"Would 'oo like a drinky-wink?" the bar-maid trilled. "Shall I make 'oo some hot cocoa?"

Elsa nodded enthusiastically. She could endure baby-talk if there was chocolate in it for her. Her eyes had grown large and round with greed.

"And what would your brother like?" asked the bar-maid, turning to Severus.

Elsa automatically looked down at her pendant. And then she yelped, jumped to her feet, and turned anguish-filled eyes on Severus. "My necklace!" she shrieked. "My necklace is gone!"

"It's alright, dear," said the bar-maid, coming round and putting a restraining hand on Elsa's shoulder. "We'll find it, don't you worry. What does it look like?"

But Elsa was too frantic to speak. Her little shoulders were shaking, and she was twisting her fingers in agitation.

"Oh, where is it?" she moaned.

Severus wasn't sorry to see it go, but he joined in the search, if only for the sake of his ear-drums. Besides, if Jonah couldn't see his sister, he might assume the worst. A little boy as deranged as Jonah would not need much of an excuse to sneak into the Slytherin dormitory and press a pillow over Severus's face. After all, his parents were Bruiser and the mad, dragon-slaying Guillotine Valance. It would be miraculous if he wasn't a psychopath.

"Is this the one, dearie?" The pretty green eye?"

Elsa made a strangled noise and snatched it out of the bar-maid's hand.  

"There, there," the bar-maid trilled. "No harm done. The catch has broken, that's all. It must have fallen off and rolled under the bar when you came in."

Elsa, red-eyed and shaking, went to stand behind Severus without saying a word.

"I'm sorry," he muttered. "She's very attached to it."

"Oh, heavens, I know how girls can be about jewellery!" the bar-maid exclaimed. Severus didn't ask how she knew. There were no girls in this village, and probably hadn't been for quite some time. "I'll get her the cocoa," she said, placing what she probably thought was a reassuring hand on his wrist. It was cold and clammy, and it gave him another vivid picture of butcher-shop fingers.  

"Thank you," said Severus.   

He watched Elsa as she sipped her cocoa in sulky, red-eyed silence. He had never realized it before – because she was Bruiser's daughter, and she walked blithely through other people's nightmares as though she was on a day-trip to the zoo – but she was only a little girl. He was exasperated by all the fuss, of course, but he also felt strangely protective of her. When had that happened?  He usually despised brats who cried and squealed over lost possessions. But then, the necklace wasn't Elsa's possession. It was her only link to her brother – who had given up an eye for her, and been her only companion while she lay for thirty years at the centre of a glacier. That kind of thing would make Dumbledore throw a tantrum.

"I said we could go to the pub if we kept a low profile," he reminded her, when the bar-maid was out of ear-shot.

Elsa just sniffed.

"Look, it doesn't matter," he said. "Just drink your cocoa and let's go. The only things we're likely to learn around here are the words to that bloody song."

Elsa gave a half-sob, half-chuckle, and continued to sip her cocoa. When he was sure the bar-maid was busy, and the singing was back in full-flow, he asked:

"Do you see Lily's nightmares too?"

Elsa wiped her nose on her sleeve. "Oh, yeah… more of 'em recently. But it's funny, 'cause I get two lots. Ones that are definitely hers – like, about exams, and you going off with some boney blonde called Narcissa – and then there's… weird ones. Like about you when you're older. And you're yelling at a grown-up version of her."

Severus shut his eyes, but kept his voice determinedly expressionless. "Does this grown-up version wear lots of eye make-up?"

"Yeah," said Elsa warmly. "All smudged 'cause she's been crying. I don't like them nightmares. Give me a big, snarling monster with pointy teeth any day!"

"You're just like your mother," he said tonelessly.

Elsa Valance beamed with pride, and he hadn't the heart (or the lack of it) to tell her that he'd meant it as an insult.

"She has nightmares about that boy who came to the house too," Elsa went on chattily. "You know, the one with the glasses? He won't stop looking at her."

Severus froze. "He came to the house?"

"Yeah. Meg brought him over. But, poor Lily, she don't know where to look when he's round. She was blushing like anything at dinner, and all he done is stare. Me and Meg was the only ones eating."

"Dinner?"

It was as though he'd just grabbed hold of a Portkey. He felt a sickening jolt behind the naval, a sound like water roaring in his ears, and then he was surfacing in a heap of covers, with itching fists and an unshakeable desire to kill. Even Lethean Octopus-ink couldn't keep him under when Potter's name was mentioned.

Without thinking, he dashed down the stairs to the Slytherin common-room, still in his pyjamas, hurried to the fire-place and took a jar of green powder off the mantelpiece. He threw a fist-full of the powder into the dying flames and shouted. "Bruiser! I want to talk to you, now!"

He could hear, on the other side of the grate, some groaning and shuffling sounds, but he didn't wait for Bruiser's head to appear. He reached a fist into the green-flames, caught a handful of fabric, and heaved, until Bruiser's head emerged in the middle of the fire. Severus still had his fist clenched around the collar of Bruiser's pyjamas.

"Potter's been coming to see her, Bruiser" he said in a voice of deadly calm, yanking the man's head closer with one hand and pointing his wand straight between those boyish blue eyes with the other. "Why have you been letting Potter come to see her, Bruiser?"

"Easy there, mate," Bruiser protested. He looked as though he'd just got out of bed. "You'll poke my eye out."

"I'll poke your eye out first," Severus growled. "Then I'll transfigure it into a burning coal and ram it back in the socket."

"You're over-excited - ,"

"I thought I could trust you!" he hissed.

"Nah, you didn't," said Bruiser calmly. "You thought I'd 'ave nothing to gain by hurting Lily. And you were right. But Potter wasn't a threat to 'er."

"What were they talking about?"

"I dunno. I left 'em alone."

"You did what?"

"Don't be an idiot, or you'll screw this up. She's not int'rested in Potter."

"Who said she was?" Snape protested. "He's a fucking stalker! He'll be hovering outside her window on a broomstick, trying to catch her undressing."

Bruiser's brow wrinkled. "Oh, I won't put up with none of that," he said. "You saw what I did to Greyback."

Severus paused. That was a good point, now that he came to think about it. If Bruiser had rammed Greyback's own claws through his chest, it was comforting to consider where he might try ramming Potter's glasses.

"You'd be 'appy with the security measures I've got in place," Bruiser went on cheerfully. "I'm responsible for three young women now, and I won't 'ave no funny business. Lily's room is bewitched to administer a good, sound crotch-kicking curse to any man 'oo tries to get through the door. An' if you think that charm's gonna be lifted when you come to stay, mate, you've got another thing coming."

Severus sat back, partially mollified. He gave Bruiser a look of pure Slytherin disdain and sighed. "Well, as fascinating as this is, Bruiser - ,"

"Oi, you were the one 'oo called me!" Bruiser protested. "In the middle of the bloody night too - ,"

" – I really am very busy," Snape finished, raising his voice. "You'll be hearing from me again if you fail to keep Potter out of that house. Sleep well."
Continuing from 'On the Sidelines' [link]

As promised, an action-packed chapter (well, relatively action-packed... pretty much as action-packed as these chapters get! :giggle:) Hope you enjoy, and thank you for reading! :) :hug:
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:iconshyfoxling:
shyfoxling Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2010
It was as though the Lethean Octopus had hooked a tentacle around his neck, and was pulling him, spluttering, through layers of dark water, to the sea-bed. The pressure of all those tons of water above him was bending his spine and piercing his eardrums. And, when all the sickening motion stopped, the hallucinations started to stir.

*hides under the bed* (Yes, well, I don't like drowning/suffocating imagery.)

"I only asked how Madam Pomfrey was, and she said not very well, but you were working on a cure. She said you was the cleverest boy at Hogwarts and you never gave up on nothing."

Severus, despite the agonizing pain conjured up by these words, managed to reply. "I'm sure she didn't use such horrifically bad grammar." [...] Lily had said that he was the cleverest boy at Hogwarts. That was going to take some getting over. It was going to make him think he could do impossible things for at least an hour.

:lmao: :lmao:

He felt a sickening jolt behind the naval

psst. "navel".

If Bruiser had rammed Greyback's own claws through his chest, it was comforting to consider where he might try ramming Potter's glasses.

*snerk*

An' if you think that charm's gonna be lifted when you come to stay, mate, you've got another thing coming."

psst. "another think."

(actually there's at least one error I skipped but I don't wish to seem too pedantic.)
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2010
Thanks, Lisa, I'll correct the mistakes. I really need to start proof-reading these things - another friend of mine already pointed out some typos in this chapter about a week ago, and now here I am discovering that there are more! Although 'naval' doesn't count as a typo because I actually thought that was how it was spelled! :faint: :giggle: Silly me!

As for 'you've got another thing coming', I think that's right (or, anyway, right in Britain). I've never heard of 'you've got another think coming' but I really like it! Is it an American expression?

Sorry about the drowning/suffocating imagery - I don't like that either! Anyone who says fan-fiction is just wish fulfilment needs to look at the traumatic things we write about! ;)
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:iconshyfoxling:
shyfoxling Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2010
As for 'you've got another thing coming', I think that's right (or, anyway, right in Britain)

It's a parallel construction: if you think ____, well you had better rethink it. What would be the "thing" referred to as being coming in the future, if not rethought of your wrong thoughts? If it's a Britishism, then you Brits have got it nonsensically. ;)
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2010
If it's a Britishism, then you Brits have got it nonsensically.

:giggle: Believe me, that's always being said about British expressions! But this is one of the less nonsensical Britishisms, in my opinion. You don't have to use it with the verb 'to think', so you can say 'If you're expecting me to welcome you back with open arms, you've got another thing coming'. It just means 'you're going to get something different to what you expect' whereas the American version must mean 'you'd better think again'. They both make sense, just in different ways.
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:iconjustbecause62:
JustBecause62 Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hm...I can never resist joining a linguistic debate, even if it is a year and a half old. :P

Admittedly I've never actually heard either version of this phrase used—I've only seen it in print, and always (with the exception of this chapter :D) as 'think'.


According to this person [link] the older version is 'think,' and 'thing' is a phonetic accident.

There are all kinds of arguments about it, on various forums... I had no idea there were actually multiple versions. :D
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012
Goodness, you're quite right! :blushes: I've just had a look at our entries for 'thing' and 'think' at work (I work on a dictionary, and so should know better!) and we've said that 'another thing coming' arose from a misapprehension of 'another think coming'. I wouldn't have guessed that at all, because I've only ever heard 'thing'. It's strange that there seems to be an American/British divide between the two.

Anyway, I take it all back! (But, still, Bruiser meant 'thing', because he's British, and partakes of our linguistic mistakes! ;))
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:iconjustbecause62:
JustBecause62 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:) Yes, I suppose Bruiser must be allowed to say 'thing'...after all, he's spent a good portion of his life in a muggle-baiting ring, and probably didn't spend much time studying discrepancies in English idioms. ;)
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2012
:giggle: :nod: The muggle-baiting ring was only good for building his swearing vocabulary!
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:iconshyfoxling:
shyfoxling Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2010
graaah, of course I would screw up an HTML tag (missed a closer after "never gave up on nothing") in a post which includes error correction. Phaugh!
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:iconshyfoxling:
shyfoxling Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2010
Haven't read this yet, I'm just curious - do you write this all in one file, or is each chapter a different document? It's up to 646 pages (~239,000 words) in the Word document I'm collecting it in, and that's missing every chapter between "The Last Night" and "Jaded" inclusive. :O_o:
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2010
No, I don't have all the chapters in one word document. I'm really disorganized when it comes to saving and organizing this story, but I've recently taken to saving every chapter in a different document after it's posted. I actually write the things in a series of very long documents which are kind of like my sketch-pads - nothing is in order, and I'm occasionally discovering things in them that I never posted, or didn't dare post because there was too much sex in it! :giggle: So I have about three five-hundred page documents, and then a document for each posted chapter.
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:iconwearesevenstudios:
WeAreSevenStudios Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
That was the problem. Nobody would be told. Nobody would listen to reason; they all had their own idea of reason, and it never, ever overlapped with his.
Another sadly classic Snape problem he'll be dealing with for a long time. :(

It was going to make him think he could do impossible things for at least an hour.
The key to arrogantly brilliant magic, apparently. ;)
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2010
:giggle: Yes, he was a bit Potterish there! It's true in life too, you know - the really arrogant people just manage to get things done somehow. Sigh! Never mind, they're often entertaining to watch. ;)
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:iconflameofthewest7:
FlameoftheWest7 Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2010
It's fun to see Mapledurham again! The entrance point with the cliff and the elder tree is so picturesque, and the inclusion of poppies is a clever reminder of the lady in question. I really liked the bit where Sev and Elsa are getting their brother/sister story straight before they go in the pub--it just had a lot of character and was cute.

Bruiser's security measures sound pretty tight. I laughed out loud when I read about the crotch-kicking curse!

Good job :)
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010
Thank you! :hug: I'm so glad you liked it, because I don't really feel confident posting chapters set in Mapledurham - they seem a bit depressing and unglamorous, like they've got a "muggle" feel to them (I guess it's just my Severus-side responding to them!) There's no opportunity to describe dresses or jewellery or potion ingredients (that's why I love writing about Narcissa so much!)

:giggle: I'm going to write more about the security measures Bruiser has placed around Lily, and Sev's quest to overcome them, in future chapters... ;)
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:iconmelorik:
Melorik Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2010
I'm actually surprised Bruiser was patient enough with Sev not to yank that wand out of his hand and ram it where he would Potter's glasses :P.

That's some mighty fine restraint on the part of the invincible muggle.

Nice chapter overall, although I am getting rather antsy waiting to see how this whole thing with Pomfrey plays out (since it is bound to have Sev/Mori interractions).

Cheers,

Sam
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2010
Well, Bruiser doesn't have a very quick temper. He's like Dumbledore, in that he gets amused by other people's anger, rather than upset (which then makes Severus even angrier :giggle:)

I'm glad you liked the chapter. :hug: Hopefully, you won't have to wait too long for the next one, although that one is mainly about Regulus. There's too many characters, with too much stuff going on! :phew:).
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:iconnorthangel27:
northangel27 Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Loved Severus at the end there! :D:

:rofl:"...now that he came to think about it. If Bruiser had rammed Greyback's own claws through his chest, it was comforting to consider where he might try ramming Potter's glasses.":rofl:
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2010
:giggle: :blushes: Hee hee, thank you! For someone who uses such long words, Sev can be very immature at times!
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:iconnorthangel27:
northangel27 Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's part of the beauty of him as a character!
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