Blood Ties and Betrayal

BY : burynr08
Category: HP Canon Characters paired with Original Characters > Het - Male/Female
Dragon prints: 1360
Disclaimer: I do not own JK Rowling's world of Harry Potter or make a profit from this story.

As everyone had anticipated, the Sorting Ceremony this year was full of extra excitement with having Harry Potter there. Even the fellow Slytherins around Cassie were murmuring and whispering, trying to guess which house he would be placed in. Some were excited at the thought of having him in their house, while others found the idea atrocious. Of course, attitudes were greatly influenced by how the students' families spoke of the Potter boy at home. If they were anything like Lucius, they were cautioning their children not to express an open dislike for the boy, in case it made other people suspicious of their loyalties. But Cassie had also overheard her uncle telling Draco that there was always the possibility that the reason Harry was responsible for the Dark Lord's downfall was that he had the potential to become an even greater dark wizard. If that were the case, then Draco should become his ally. Lucius' antics sometimes made Cassie feel sick to think about.

Cassie mainly kept to herself when she was around other Slytherins, and for many of the same reasons, as there were only two ways that her housemates treated her. Some of them were extra nice to her, almost to the point of groveling, to stay on her good side; it was no coincidence that most of these students had come from families containing Death Eaters and had been encouraged to kiss her butt in case she decided to follow in her father's footsteps. On the other end of the spectrum, others treated her like she was a bug that needed squashing. She figured they viewed her as someone who was throwing away her potential and betraying her blood status by associating with students of all backgrounds. Some of them openly told her what an atrocity she was by dating a blood traitor, and she went through a few rough weeks in her fifth year before things settled down. Of course, that was only after she decided to dole out a few curses that the professors couldn't prove were performed by her, but the tormenting ended swiftly after that.

Of course, not all of the Slytherins were overly concerned with who she was and treated her like any other student. But Cassie had dealt with enough bullshit from the majority that she rather disliked associating with the lot of them, choosing to make friends from other houses. It was why part of her wished that Draco would be put into any other house besides Slytherin, so he could have better influences during his schooling, but alas, he was sorted into her house within a few seconds of the hat being placed on his head.

"We got Malfoy!" she heard someone cheer further down the table, and she sighed.

"Yes, big surprise there," she muttered to herself. She was satisfied that at least he didn't seek her out as he came down to the table to find a seat.

Potter was sorted into Gryffindor, along with Ron, and Cassie was happy with those results. The rest of the ceremony and feast were rather unremarkable for her, as she spent most of her time eating and silently watching other students. It was only when her eyes traveled up to the High Table and her gaze landed on Snape did she feel the tiniest bit of excitement. The last few times she had seen the Potions Master over the summer, she had gotten butterflies in her stomach, too. It was a confusing feeling for her, but she was no dummy when it came to knowing when she had a crush on someone. But for the time being, she just wanted to ignore it until it went away. After all, he was her professor, her Head of House, and her...Snape. Snape was not a romantic entity.

As these thoughts went through her head, she realized she had been staring at him the entire time. At some point, he had realized it, because now he was staring back at her with a less than amused look. She gave him a small smile and looked down at her food. Had she not been feeling so sheepish about having been caught gawking at the Potions Master, she might have noticed that the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor currently had his eyes locked on her.

Her intentions for the evening were to fetch the cauldron she owed Snape and bring it to his classroom, in case he needed it for classes that were starting in the morning. Besides, it gave her a reason not to have to hang out in the Slytherin common room, and she didn't feel like going to the library before classes even started. So after making her way to the dungeons, through the common room full of students, and into her dormitory to fetch it, she immediately placed a charm on it so it would float beside her and started to make her way back out to the corridor.

"Where do you think you're headed already, Black?" Harrison Babbs, one of the seventh year prefects asked, going to stand right in her path. She knew Babbs didn't care where students were during the night, as he was one to abuse his increased privileges to meet girls in the corridors to fool around. He was looking at her with a sly grin spreading across his tan face, and Cassie guessed that the goblet in his hand was already filled with fire whiskey that the older students always liked to smuggle into the castle.

"Not your concern," she said, her wand still in her hand from charming the cauldron, and she shifted it in her fingers, itching to use it.

"Of course it's my concern, Black," he said, taking a sip from the goblet. Cassie could smell the whiskey on his breath now. "How about this: you give me a kiss, and I won't tell." Cassie scrunched up her nose in disgust. "What, it's not like you have that Weasley boy here to screw anymore, do you? Wouldn't want you to feel lonesome!"

The students around them that were listening started to guffaw at his words, and Cassie rolled her eyes. "Or what?"

"Or...I'll tell Professor Snape," he ventured, not looking as confident in his little performance anymore.

"Okay, go for it," Cassie said, and she stepped around him, exiting the common room and heading down the hall towards the potions classroom. Babbs started to look a bit panicked that she wasn't playing along, following a few steps behind her, and then suddenly, a tall figure with flowing black robes appeared from around the corner, having just left the Great Hall himself.

"Babbs, Black," he drawled in his deep voice, cocking his eyebrow and obviously wondering what the two of them were doing.

"Well, Harrison, here he is, why don't you tell him?" Cassie said sweetly. Babbs opened his mouth to speak, but nothing came out, and Snape looked more annoyed by the second.

"Babbs, spit it out, or...you've been drinking, haven't you?" he said, his dark eyes flashing dangerously. Cassie stifled her laughter as she continued down the hallway, as the cocky prefect tried to deny Snape's accusation even though he could smell the booze. She entered the classroom alone, not needing to see the rest of the interaction to know that Babbs was in for at least one detention already.

"I've got your replacement cauldron," Cassie said as she heard Snape enter the classroom behind her not a minute later. She had set it down and was now seated at one of the front row desks.

"Good. Now go, I'm busy," he replied curtly, walking around his desk and taking a seat.

"Wow, nice to see you too, Severus," she said sarcastically, although she wasn't offended, nor surprised at all by his rudeness.

"The school year has started, it's 'Professor Snape'," he replied coldly, starting to scribble on a stack of papers.

"Doesn't start till tomorrow," Cassie replied, resting her chin on her hand. "Speaking of which, what the hell are you even working on? It's not like you have papers to grade."

"Lesson plans."

"Lesson plans? Like you don't have every day of the school year memorized by now?" she challenged lightheartedly.

Snape slammed down the quill he was writing with, finally looking up at her, his black eyes shooting daggers at her. "Maybe I'm just pretending to be busy so you'll leave me alone," he hissed, continuing to glare, and Cassie resisted to urge to smile at him. She was used to all of his moods, which only consisted of annoyed and angry, and was not at all intimidated by his behavior. He knew it, which usually aggravated him even more.

"Severus, you're usually crabby before term starts, but this is a new level," she mused, and he let out a growl of frustration as he stood up behind his desk. "What's going on?"

"Nothing."

"It's not nothing," she countered, remaining seated at the desk, Snape now starting to pace the classroom.

"What, you don't have the Weasley Quidditch star to entertain you, so now I get the pleasure?" he sneered, and Cassie calmly folded her hands on the desk, her blue eyes following him as he continued to prowl around the room. This jab got to her a little, but she didn't want to show that he was getting to her. That was his ploy, to anger her, so she would leave and he could stew in his embitterment alone as he preferred.

"We both know I still made time to come here and annoy you when I was dating Charlie," she replied coyly. It was weird now, referring to her teenage ex-boyfriend to him when he made her heart flutter the way it was right now...she shook her head slightly, trying to shake those thoughts out of her head. She couldn't acknowledge those feelings. They were foreign, weird, and she was afraid somehow he'd know just by looking at her. "It's Harry Potter, isn't it?"

"What?" he barked, stopped and leaning forward to place his hands on his desk, his pale face framed by that dark curtain of hair as glowered at her.

"Don't play dumb, Severus, I know how much you hated his dad. It must be stirring up memories," Cassie ventured.

"You have no idea what you're talking about!"

Cassie ignored the outburst, knowing she was probably right, knowing it was best not to argue at this point. "It's not been easy for me, either. I keep imagining what it's going to be like when he realizes who I am." Her confession seemed to pull Snape out of his head for a moment because his face softened just a bit as he looked at her. "I met him on the train today by accident, but he had no clue. But it's just a matter of time."

"I've told you, you can't feel guilty for something you had nothing to do with," he replied, his voice quiet now as he spoke to her.

"You can tell me again and again. It doesn't change the fact that I do," she said, sighing. "I met Neville Longbottom today. You should have seen his face when I told him my name - "

"Cassie," Snape said sharply, now taking a seat back at his desk again. "You are not your father or your mother. You can't let their actions affect you like this." It was something he'd told her again and again over the years, maybe not the same words, but the same idea nonetheless. Suddenly, Cassie was feeling weary, and she couldn't handle hearing it again right then.

"Okay. Fine."

They were silent for a few moments, sitting at their respective desks. Snape was the first one to break the silence.

"Would you like some tea?" he asked. It was something that they did together quite often, drinking tea and reading in near silence when they just needed each other's company.

Now that Cassie was calm again, her heart twittered as the sound of his deep voice hit her ears.

"Yes, please."

The next morning while Cassie got ready for her classes, she couldn't help but feel a bit nervous, and for a few reasons. She was nervous to run into Harry or Neville again, which she knew was a bit ridiculous, considering they'd be eating in the Great Hall at the same time, and she knew at some point they'd run into each other in the halls. But then she realized that Ron was in the same dormitory as them and that it would only be a matter of time before the truth came out.

As she pulled her long, black locks into a ponytail, she internally scolded herself. She was an emotional mess over the opinions of two first-years. She couldn't let it ruin her last first day. She was stronger than this.

She was also nervous about her situation with Snape. She had stayed in the classroom with him, having a harmonious, organic chat once they had both calmed down, and hadn't returned to her dormitory until half-past eleven. That wasn't anything out of the ordinary, not even the bombardment of questions from her dorm mates about her whereabouts. It was the dreams she had after that concerned her. As far as she could remember, he was in every single minute of them, and they were not platonic.

She didn't have Potions until Wednesday, so for the time being she had to busy herself with her classes and studying. As she made her way to the Great Hall for breakfast, she made a mental note not to look up at the High Table, for fear of looking at him and that the sight of him would somehow completely derail her day. For the most part, she was successful, even forcing herself to make small talk with the students sitting near her for distraction.

Her first class of the day was Transfiguration with the Gryffindors. It was a subject she had always enjoyed and excelled at, and she and Professor McGonagall had always enjoyed a pleasant relationship. She was seated next to another Slytherin, excited to start the more advanced lessons that were reserved only for NEWT level seventh-years when she heard a rather unpleasant voice trying to get her attention by hissing, 'Black! Hey, Black!'

Cassie turned to her left, then her right, and finally realized that the offending noise was coming from behind her. Not to her surprise, it was Fiona Jenour, a seventh year Gryffindor who also happened to be Head Girl this year.

"What?" Cassie hissed back, mocking Jenour's strained whisper, as McGonagall wasn't even in the room yet.

The girls surrounding Jenour were covering their mouths with their hands, obviously trying to cover up the fact that they were giggling, although they were rather unsuccessful.

"I hear Charlie Weasley's open for business!" Jenour said, still trying to keep her voice quiet, but unable to keep it at a whisper any longer.

"Oh, yes," Cassie said, trying to look as serious as she possibly could. "Didn't you hear? He dumped me because he's so in love with you. You'll be getting a letter from him confessing his undying love any day, I'd expect."

The Head Girl and her friends erupted into frantic whispers then, as obviously Cassie's sarcasm had confused them. She knew that Jenour had been head over heels for Charlie ever since he'd become Quidditch captain and had been irate that a Slytherin who had no interest in the sport had been dating him. They were still discussing the matter when McGonagall strode in, resulting in her having to shush her classroom full of seventh years.

The lesson went well, as the students learned how to transform pebbles into tall, leafy palm trees. Then it was off to the first Defense Against the Dark Arts lesson of the term. Professor Quirrell proved to be a timid lecturer with a lot of book knowledge but seemed rather hesitant to perform any spells, and Cassie came to an early conclusion that this would just be another ineffective year in the class, much like the majority of the other years in that subject. As she was packing up her textbook, parchment, and wand, she was surprised to be approached by the rather demure man.

"C-c-cassiopeia B-b-black?" he asked, and Cassie looked up at him with a slightly raised eyebrow, as he had taken attendance at the beginning of the lesson, not to mention that he had called on her a few times during the lecture, and should probably know who she was already.

"Yes, that's me," she said, trying her best to sound respectful as she zipped up her satchel.

"F-f-forgive me," he said, appearing to try to make eye contact, but not able to do so for more than a second. "B-b-ut rumor h=has it, that y-y-you're planning on b-b-b-being an a-" he stopped for a second, taking a deep breath. "An a-"

"An Auror, yes," Cassie finished for him gently, giving him a reassuring smile.

"Oh," he said, returning her smile, finally able to make eye contact. He didn't speak for a few seconds.

"Is that all?" she asked, and he chuckled nervously.

"I j-j-ust wanted t-t-to t-t-tell you," he said, "If you ever n-n-need a-a-anything, p-p-please ask."

"Oh, thank you, professor. I'll probably take you up on that," Cassie said, and she meant it at the time, because who knew what kind of recommendations she might need when applying for Auror training. She turned to leave the classroom when Quirrell started to speak again.

"N-n-not what we'd ex-expect from you, eh?" he said, and Cassie turned to stare at him for a moment, feeling a bit caught off guard by the comment. Suddenly, her guard was up with him, as she'd had her fair share of new professors having ulterior motives with her over the years.

The smile on her face faded, and she made a point to look him right in the eye when she spoke next. "I think it's exactly what one would expect." She turned and left without another word, gritting her teeth as she made her way to the Charms classroom.

The rest of her day was rather uneventful, but she couldn't shake the feeling that something was up with Quirrell. The thought stayed with her into her free period when she tried to get a start on her homework, and into her meals and evening when she was trying to get some work done while in the common room. She usually liked to study in the library so she could meet up with June and Al, but she was making a point to check up on Draco, even though part of her didn't care.

He came into the common room with Crabbe and Goyle in tow, talking animatedly about his day, and Cassie hoped he wasn't excited because he had hexed some poor student.

"Draco," she said from her chair, gesturing for him to come over. He did, almost enthusiastically, as she knew he was wanting the other Slytherins to know that they were related and on friendly terms. "How was your day?"

He launched into stories about his classes, and so far everything sounded relatively innocent to Cassie. Then, he started to recount how he intentionally sabotaged one of the Ravenclaw girls during Charms, and Cassie was about to berate him when they were interrupted.

"Excuse me, Miss Black?" It was one of the newly minted fifth-year prefects, a short boy by the name of Ricardo. "I'm sorry, but I have a message for you to go to the Headmaster's office." It didn't matter how old you were, because everyone within earshot starting going, 'Oooooh!' As Cassie packed up her books.

"Don't get into any more trouble," she said quietly to Draco, and he smirked at her, not at all convincing her that those were his intentions.

"Funny, coming from someone called to Dumbledore's," he retorted, and she sighed as she went to her dorm to drop off her books before heading to the Headmaster's office.

It was a place she had been to many times over her school career, sometimes for the hexes she cast on other students, sometimes for the things done to her. But for the first time, she walked there not having any clue why she was being summoned to go there. When she got to the door, it swung open before she could even get the chance to knock, and she was surprised to see Snape seated in front of Dumbledore's desk.

"Miss Black," Dumbledore greeted warmly, gesturing towards the empty chair next to him. "Please, have a seat."

Cassie's heart began to race as what she knew was an irrational thought was going through her mind...did they know about her little feelings towards her Head of House? Were they going to tell her to quash them, that they were inappropriate? Did they trouble themselves with such things? Surely, students had feelings for professors before, this couldn't be the first time...

All these thoughts were running through her head as she walked towards the chair and sat, and she stayed silent as she waited for one of the wizards to speak first.

"I trust your first day of classes went alright?" Dumbledore asked kindly, and Cassie nodded, trying to find her voice.

"Yes, they did. Although..." she started, wondering if this was the time to bring up Quirrell,  or if maybe she was jumping the gun. Lord knows she had been burned in the past when it came to trusting new professors.

"Yes?" Snape questioned, and his voice made her stomach completely flip over. She took a deep breath before continuing.

"I had a kind of weird interaction with Professor Quirrell," she said quickly, feeling kind of stupid that she was saying this in front of the Headmaster, and not waiting to do it until she was alone with Snape. "He pulled me aside after class, offered me extra help if I needed it."

"Not anything malicious sounding," Dumbledore mused, giving her a small smile.

"No, not that, I agree with you, Headmaster," she said. "But he commented that I'd like to be an Auror, and then he said...he said, 'Not what we'd expect from you.'" She was wringing her hands in her lap. "With stuttering and the like, of course," she added.

She saw the wizards exchange glances, but she didn't know what they meant. "I'm sorry, I know it's probably me being paranoid, but I thought it would be best to say something in case...something happens."

"Miss Black, don't ever feel like you can't tell your teachers something like this. We know your history, and why you have the right to be suspicious," Dumbledore said, and Cassie nodded, not feeling nearly as stupid. "Now, the reason that I asked you to come here, and after such a busy day. I understand that you've expressed interest in tutoring first years this year."

Cassie nodded. She glanced at Snape, whose features were currently expressionless. "Yes, I have."

"On what subjects?" Dumbledore asked, resting his chin on his folded hands as he looked at her.

Cassie shrugged. "Anything, really." She heard Snape scoff a bit, and she broke into a smile. "Well, I know I don't exactly excel at everything, but I'd like to think that I can at least handle first-year level of all the subjects." She knew Snape was picturing the melted cauldron from last year, and she almost started laughing.

"I do not doubt that you can, that's not the issue," Dumbledore said. "What I want to inquire is, how you're handling your feelings of having the new batch of first year students here."

Cassie blinked a few times, not knowing what he meant at first. "You mean, specific first years?"

"Yes, that is what I mean."

Cassie shrugged, now feeling like she was being tested, that she could give a very wrong answer. "I mean, I'm not super thrilled to have Draco here, because he's an entitled little sh - ...thing. But other than that..."

"Yes, I hear he is an entitled little shit," Dumbledore said, and Cassie's eyes grew wide at his words. "But I'd like to know how you feel about Harry Potter and Neville Longbottom."

"I'm, uh..." she started, not feeling exactly comfortable having the same conversation she had had with Snape the night before. "I guess I'm worried how they're going to react to me. Who I am."

Dumbledore nodded slowly. "I know this is a sensitive topic, Miss Black. So you don't have any resentment towards either boy?"

"Resentment?" Cassie asked, and then she started to realize what he was getting at. "Are you asking me if I'm planning on getting revenge on them?"

"Not intentionally, no. But sometimes, when you're upset, Miss Black, you can lose control of your power."

"I don't harbor any resentment towards them, Headmaster. I feel guilty for what my father and mother did to them. But I don't blame them, or their families, for my lack of one!" She could hear her voice rising, and her fists were clenched as she spoke.

"Okay, Miss Black, okay," Dumbledore said, trying his best to soothe her, but she felt her blood begin to boil at the notion that this meeting was even happening.

"No, Headmaster, it's not okay. What do I have to do to prove that I'm not going to just, flip a switch and turn into my parents?" she said, nearly shouting now, and she could feel the pain of her fingernails digging into her palms as she clenched her hands harder. "I mean, I was kidnapped by wannabe Death Eaters when I was twelve and offered an entire army of followers and I didn't accept that! What more can I do?" A low rumble started to grow in the office, and knickknacks that weren't very heavy began to clatter, her anger setting off a destructive power that was hard for her to control.

"As I am well aware, Cassiopeia, as I killed their leader to protect you," Dumbledore said sternly, his blue eyes daring her to challenge him further.

"Cassie, calm down!" Snape commanded, but Cassie barely heard him.

She wanted to scream, 'Protect me? Or remove my temptation?' But even in her enraged state, she knew that was taking it too far. She was taking deep breaths, trying to calm herself, but the objects around Dumbledore's office continued to rattle. Finally, when Snape stood behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders, the objects stood still, and the rumbling silenced. She was grateful that Snape had intervened because she would have felt awful if she had broken Dumbledore's things in what was essentially a tantrum.

"I'm so sorry, Headmaster," she said quietly, doing her best to look him in the eye when she said it even though that was the last thing she wanted to do. "I didn't mean to react that way, it's just - "

"Don't apologize, Miss Black," Dumbledore interjected, and she saw tears glimmering in his eyes. "I know it's unfair. We just have to do what we can to protect everyone."

He dismissed her after that, insisting that Snape accompany her back down to the dungeons. They were silent as they went, and Cassie was grateful yet again when Snape chased off a pestering Peeves, something that she was not willing to deal with at the moment.

Completely bypassing the Slytherin common room, Snape didn't protest when Cassie led them to the classroom and then into his office. Before either one could speak, she had wrapped her arms around his waist and was sobbing into his black-clad torso. She knew without seeing him that he was immensely uncomfortable, but she didn't care right then. After a minute or so, he moved his arm that had been hanging stiffly by his side to pat her lightly on the back, and she started to laugh.

"Severus, I am so sorry," she said, her voice muffled as she spoke into his robes. She pulled away, sniffling and wiping away tears.

He looked at her apprehensively for a few moments before asking, "Tea?"



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