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.

"You told me nothing was going on!" Snape said sharply, his arms folded neatly across his chest as he looked down his nose at Cassie.

"I was telling the truth!" she proclaimed, feeling that she was innocent in all this.

"Really?" he replied, his tone condescending and accusatory. "Then what reason would you have to come to me now, when I just had this conversation with you two days ago?"

"Severus, you really make it difficult for me to come to you with shit, you do realize that, don't you?" Cassie said, exasperated that she was being berated for merely entering his classroom and telling him they needed to revisit their conversation from Tuesday. It was only a few minutes before the first period was about to start, and although she was free for this first hour, she knew he'd have a classroom full of third years coming in soon.

The Potions Master let out an irked sigh, pinching the bridge of his nose at the same time. "I don't have time to debate your opinion of how personable I am. Tell me."

"Good, because that would take til the end of the week."

"On with it, Miss Black!" he said sharply, his words coming with an unsaid warning. Fighting the urge to keep teasing him, she filled him in on the last two nights, on how she felt the tiny tug on her mind, on how it had stopped both times when she had started to look around to see if anyone was concentrating on her. His hardened expression softened as his thoughts went beyond the drafty classroom, and Cassie found herself staring at him longingly as his black eyes trained on a spot behind her as he pondered this new information. When he spoke again, she was slightly startled and hoped he hadn't noticed her gawking at him.

"Did you wake up screaming this morning?" he asked quietly, looking towards the classroom door, They were still alone, but the students could be coming in at any second.

"Danika threw her shoe at me, so I'm guessing yes," Cassie replied dully. "Why?"

"It can't be a coincidence, the nightmares you're conveniently not remembering and whoever is trying to enter your mind," Snape said.

"Okay. So what do I do about it?" Cassie asked, but she dreaded his answer because she thought she knew what it was going to be. And she couldn't agree to it. It would be humiliating.

"You have to let me use Legilimency on you, Cassie," he said, his baritone voice going even quieter as he spoke. "Even if you can't remember the nightmares, I might be able to pull them forward." He glanced past her again, and Cassie turned around to see that two students had entered. "We'll discuss it further later. When are you free again?"

Cassie started to stumble over her words because now she didn't know what to say. "I - well, Professor, I'm busy, very busy," she said, and he raised an eyebrow at her. She could feel herself start to blush. "I have classes and eating, and studying," and then she was out the door. She didn't realize she was holding her breath until she reached the staircase that led out of the dungeons and into the Entry Hall, and then she let out a breath so harsh that she sounded like she was choking. Babbs, who was walking by with his arm slung over a blonde girl, looked at her with surprised concern.

"You alright, Black?"

"Yeah, sure," she said absently, and then picked a random direction and started walking. She had intended to study in the library until her next class, but now all she could think about was the fact that Snape wanted to delve into her mind and ransack her thoughts and memories. It was something intimate and uncomfortable, although it wasn't something completely foreign between the two of them, as he had had to do it on many occasions in the past for her Occlumency lessons. But now she was hiding something, and it wasn't something sinister or something that she would get into trouble for.

But it was awkward and raw and she couldn't bear the thought of having him learn of her feelings, only to have them unrequited. She assumed; no, knew, that he wouldn't feel the same about her, and would throw them right back in her face. It would ruin their dynamic and their friendship, and right now, it was the only stable thing that she had at the school. It had to be protected.

Instead of going to the library, she made her way to the Astronomy tower. It was inhabited only by a fifth-year couple that was making out in a stairwell, and they unglued themselves and took off as soon as Cassie came into view. She sat on the stone floor and took in the view at the window for a few minutes before pulling a piece of parchment and quill out of her knapsack, and began to compose a letter to Tonks.

Dora,

I hope this finds you well, and still with all remaining limbs.

Hogwarts is the same, except Slytherin has added our 'dear' cousin, as we expected. I hear Hufflepuff has already quadrupled its house points in the first three days without you here getting into mischief, however.

Tell those Aurors to save a spot for me. Let me know how things are going.

Much love,

Cass

She spent another half hour of solace in the tower, before heading to the owlery to send the letter to her cousin. Knowing it was likely that it would be weeks before Tonks had time to send a response, she watched the borrowed owl take off to deliver it, wondering how far it might have to fly before reaching its intended recipient. Tonks could be in Europe still, or on another continent training. No one outside of the Ministry was really privy to the information. Cassie wondered how her Aunt Andromeda was doing, not being able to be in constant contact with her only daughter, and decided she'd have to make time to send her a letter soon, too. But for now, it would have to wait, as it was time to head to class.

Being able to concentrate on her lessons was rather difficult on this gloomy Thursday, and not because flashes of the steamy Snape-centric dreams from the night before were popping up in her mind, although that was also not helping. What was preoccupying her mind was the fact that she was now trying to avoid him. Up until the evening, it seemed to work. She even decided not to be in the Great Hall for meals in hopes that she could avoid being in the same room with him altogether, choosing instead to stop by the kitchens and eat sandwiches while chatting with a few of the house-elves she had gotten acquainted with over the years. Once she was in the library studying with the usual duo of Alpit and Juniper, however, it was pretty easy to find her.

She was deep into studying Arithmancy when she felt a sharp tap on her shoulder. When she turned to see who it was, she was greeted by the sight of Draco, who was wearing a rather bored look on his face.

"What?" she whispered sharply, and he rolled his eyes at her.

"I have a note from Professor Snape," he said, the tone in his voice indicating that she should already know this information.

"I'm busy," she answered, turning back to her textbook, hoping that if she ignored him he and the note would disappear, and Juniper cleared her throat to indicate that they should shut up.

"I'm not a servant boy," Draco answered dully, throwing the piece of folded parchment in front of her on the desk. He walked away without another word, and Cassie was left to stare at the yellow paper, wondering if she should touch it.

"Well," Alpit said, looking at her expectantly. "Aren't you going to open it?"

Cassie shrugged and then pointed her head towards Madam Pince, who was starting to scowl at the table of delinquent whisperers. The subject was not brought up again, and she waited to unfold the offending paper once the trio had parted ways and was heading towards their respective house common rooms.

'My office, now.' it read. The note had been delivered an hour ago. He was pissed off at this point, Cassie knew. She decided to head towards the Slytherin common room for the night and take her chances anyway. But the plan of avoiding her Head of House wasn't going to work.

"Black, Professor Snape wants to see you," Babbs said as she crossed the area in front of the fireplace. She didn't say anything and glanced up at the grandfather clock that stood near the bookcases. Half-past ten. It was late, he couldn't expect to see her now. "Black!" The prefect said as she continued towards her dorm, but she kept going.

Unfortunately for her, she shared a dormitory with another Slytherin prefect, Wladyslawa Laanstra, and she followed her. "Black!" she said, echoing Harrison Babbs.

"Yes, I heard you, Laanstra," Cassie said irritably, knowing that her strategy probably wasn't going to work.

"He seemed pretty adamant that you needed to go there. I'd really rather not have him come into the common room to fetch you, we'd have to hide all the Play Witch copies, and fire whiskey and Amortentia around here in case he decides to do a surprise inspection - " she started, and Cassie held up her hand to silence her.

"I get it. God forbid all you heathens have to hide the banned paraphernalia around here and ruin the fun," she said, dropping her bag on her bed and heading towards the common room again. "Don't say I haven't done any of you any favors," she grumbled, and off she went to Snape's office.

As she expected, he was rather miffed that it had taken her this long to go there, choosing to look up from the papers he was grading and silently glare at her when she entered, rather than say anything right away.

"You wanted to see me, sir?" she said once she was standing right in front of his desk, hoping that her respectful way of addressing him would ease his displeasure just a tad.

He suddenly stopped writing and threw his quill across the room, standing up so quickly that his chair made a loud screeching noise as it was scraped across the floor, making Cassie flinch. "You disobey my requests, and then come in here with that blatant sarcasm?" he barked, and spit was hitting her in the face.

Cassie looked at him with wide eyes, knowing she had done it now, but she stood her ground, not moving from her spot in front of him. "I wasn't being sarcastic, I promise - "

"What are you being then, girl?!" he hissed, his lips curled in an angry sneer. "Difficult? Contemptuous? A waste of my time?"

"So I was busy," Cassie said, and she had a hard time keeping her voice even, as his hostile features were mere inches from her face, "I'm sorry. What more do you want me to say? I'm here!" He let out a growl as he swiftly turned away from her, and Cassie let out a deep breath.

"You aren't telling me everything," he said, his back still to her, his voice silky and even now. To her, it was much more intimidating than when he was yelling. "And I ask you again: What is going on?"

"I've told you!" she said without missing a beat, and he let out another grunt of annoyance. The Head of Slytherin knew her well enough to know when she was trying to keep something from him, and she wasn't very good at it in the first place. Why she felt the need to keep a secret from him when he essentially knew everything about her, he couldn't fathom.

"Fine," he said, slowly turning around to face her, and his black eyes were glittering maliciously. He knew she was hiding something, and she was well aware that he was pretty confident in his skills to get it out of her. It made her want to knock him down a few pegs. "I will know soon enough."

"Know what?" she said, challenging him once again. When she had entered the room, she had intended to be submissive in an attempt to keep the peace. But when he was acting like a presumptuous asshole, she was never really able to stay calm.

"Cassie, I'm trying to help you."

"There's nothing to help," she lied, and it was one of the rare moments that Severus Snape looked dumbfounded.

"Pardon me? Did you not inform me just this morning that you felt someone trying to read your mind?"

"That's right. And I'm not about to just let someone do it again," Cassie replied defiantly.

"If someone is getting in, then you need to practice again - "

"I can practice on my own."

"What about the nightmares?" he asked, and Cassie stared at him silently for a few moments.

"Give me a Potion for Dreamless Sleep," she said, and then her last-minute retort suddenly seemed like a wonderful idea.

"That may not be the solution if you're not recalling them in the first place," Snape was saying, but Cassie was starting to feel a slight ray of hope, because maybe, just maybe, she could start to get this man that was standing right in front of her out of her head. If she could just stop having those lusty dreams about him, maybe she could have some peace and keep her attention on her school work instead.

To her utter surprise, he agreed to it. Reluctantly, he went to his stores and retrieved the purple elixir, although Cassie could tell he wasn't fully satisfied with their current plan. She hoped that it would work, just so the subject of him entering her mind wouldn't have to be brought up yet again.

When he handed her the flask, their hands touched briefly, and shivers went through Cassie's arm and down her entire spine, making her shudder. Oh yes, she was in trouble.

Friday morning, she didn't recall a single drop of a dream when she woke up. But she was informed very quickly by her weary dorm mates that she was shrieking again, and started a new round of apologies in an attempt to keep them from telling Professor Snape. She knew it was not going to work even as she was offering to do their Transfiguration essays over the weekend.

"Black, if this crap keeps up, you'll be sleeping in the corridor!" was Laanstra's response, and the other girls nodded in agreement.

There was no use in trying to avoid Snape today, as she had another round of double Potions that morning. Expecting the worst out of him, she was rather intrigued when he seemed a bit distracted, and treated her with cold indifference. Under normal circumstances, it might have bothered her, but he was acting that way with the entire class, rather than going out of his way to make the seventh years squirm. Even when one Gryffindor boy made giant black flames shoot from his cauldron to the ceiling for a few brief, chaotic seconds, Snape merely disposed of the entire concoction with a simple flick of his wand and sent the student out without berating him first.

Cassie wondered if the first lesson of the year with him treating them like dogs had been some sort of initiation, that maybe he'd treat his elite students with some respect now. Even to her, however, it seemed unlikely. The end of class came, and Cassie almost made it out of the classroom without having to speak with him, but then she heard his voice.

"Miss Black," he said, and she grimaced as she turned from the door, which she was nearly through, and approached the black-haired professor at his desk.

"Professor?" she said, hoping her use of formality wouldn't send him into a rage this time. Rather, he continued to seem a bit troubled.

"How did the potion work for you last night?"

She debated in her head for a few brief seconds before answering. "I don't recall any dreams." It wasn't a lie. Did leaving out the fact that her fellow Slytherin girls were woken up by her screaming count as lying?

He stared at her silently, and she could feel her palms sweating as she wondered if he knew already. No, he would have said something by now, she told herself.

"Anything else, Miss Black?"

"No."

His response was to bare his teeth and inhale sharply, and she knew he had been waiting for her to indulge the entire truth on her own. "Why are you hiding things from me?"

"Why are you having the other girls spy on me?" she countered, and she could tell by the slight twitching under his eye that he was about to lose control.

"You will report to my office this evening, and we will get to the bottom of this," he said, starting to move about the room and wave his wand. Stacks of ingredients began to pull themselves from the cupboards and pile themselves neatly on the small desks throughout the room.

Cassie inhaled slowly before speaking. "No."

"No?" he stopped his movements at once, swiveling gracefully on his heel to face her again. "I don't recall giving you a choice!"

Getting increasingly pissed off, Cassie made for the door, but Snape caught her forearm in his hand as she walked past him.

"Let go of me," she said quietly.

"I am your Head of House, and I am deciding what's best here. You will report to my office - "

"No!"

"Do I have to involve Dumbledore?" Snape hissed, and Cassie yanked her arm from his grasp.

"Go ahead, Severus! Tell him you'd like to rifle through my mind against my will!"

"He would agree with me, and you know it! What has gotten into you, stupid girl? You'd rather someone in this castle invade your mind, possibly control it? You know what dangers that could bring!"

Cassie knew he was right, but right then it was only making her angrier because she just wanted it all to go away. The worrying about him finding out about her attraction to him and the humiliation it would bring, the ruining of their relationship, the assailant on her mind, all of it. All she wanted was to finish her last year peacefully and go on to become a dark wizard catcher; was it so much to ask?

"I'll come to your office tonight," she said slowly after an internal debate, and she found that she couldn't make eye contact with him. "But that doesn't mean I'll agree to Legilimency."

"Fair enough," Snape said, and she knew he was only suspending the argument because he had class starting soon. She left then and passed some first years in the corridor. She caught sight of Draco's platinum head, giving him a small wave as she went, and then saw Ron Weasley.

"Hey, Ron!" she said, feeling some real cheerfulness when she saw the boy, then saw that the Potter by was walking right next to him. "First potions lesson?"

"Yeah," Ron said, making a face, and Cassie smiled at him.

"You'll be alright," she reassured him.

"That's not what Fred and George said," Ron replied dully. "Hey, we're going to Hagrid's at three for tea, you want to come?"

Cassie wanted to decline, as she had a lot of homework to do, but she hadn't had a chance to catch up with the gamekeeper yet, so she agreed. She had class until four and intended to go there to meet up with Ron then. Now she had another reason to fret, as she assumed that Ron's use of 'we' meant himself and Potter. But now was as good a time as any, she told herself. What better way to keep herself distracted before a stressful evening with Snape then by being in a small hut with the Potter boy?

When her lessons were finished for the day and she was headed towards Hagrid's hut, it finally dawned on her. Snape had been distracted because it had been his first class with Potter in it. She made a mental note to ask him why the boy bothered him so much other than what she already knew because there was no way the professor was going to initiate divulging that information to her.

After knocking, Cassie entered the hut and was greeted by a tail-wagging, slobbering Fang. She had thought to snag a rather large soup bone from the kitchens and gave him that to chew on before starting to pour herself a cup of tea. Ron, Harry, and Hagrid were discussing something about Gringotts, and Cassie raised an eyebrow when Harry suddenly stopped talking when she looked at him.

"No worries," she said, taking a seat by the fire. "I have no clue what you're talking about, and I really don't care. Honest."

"Harry, this is Cassie Black," Ron said, finally taking a moment to properly introduce them. "She's been a friend of the family for ages, and she dated my brother, Charlie, up until the summer that is. Cassie, this is - "

"Harry Potter. I know," Cassie said, taking a sip of tea. "How did your Potions lesson go?" The boys exchanged glances, and Cassie groaned.

"Snape is horrible," Ron said. "Hated Harry - "

"He does not hate Harry," Hagrid interjected, sounding like he had repeated the line several times already.

"He does," Harry said, still not looking at Cassie. "He took away two house points."

"That's nothing," Cassie said, nonchalantly waving a hand. "I have Potions with kids from all four houses and he takes points from everyone, and in seventh year he'll do more than two points, trust me."

"Bet he'll never take them from Malfoy," Harry said darkly. "Stupid git." Ron snorted into his tea, and Cassie smirked at him.

"Malfoy is Cassie's cousin!" Ron said gleefully, and Harry looked appalled.

"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean - " he started to say bashfully, but Cassie shook her head.

"Don't apologize, Harry. I know he's a stupid git," Cassie replied casually. Ron erupted into full-on belly laughter.

Their visit lasted for about an hour, and then the three students headed up towards the castle for dinner after lots of chatting and laughter. The topic of Lord Voldemort murdering Harry's parents didn't come up, but in hindsight, Cassie realized it might have been a weird conversation topic to have touched on considering the circumstances. Either way, she assumed that Ron and Harry had probably already had talked about it between the two of them. She just hoped that Harry wouldn't be as apprehensive around her now that they had been around each other a bit.

They entered the Great Hall, and Cassie reminded them to come to her for tutoring if they felt like they ever needed it. She even saw Harry smile a bit when they headed to their separate tables. Her good mood quickly disintegrated, however, when she remembered her next activity for the evening.

She dragged her feet the entire way to Snape's office. Hoping that he had somehow forgotten their appointment and had double booked with some other poor student's detention, she was sorely disappointed to see that she was alone with him when she entered.

He was seated at his desk, scratching on papers when she approached. Nothing out of the ordinary. She jumped when he waved his wand and the door behind her banged shut and the lock clicked into place. Her nerves were so on edge that the noises seemed to echo in her ears, making her head hurt.

"Good evening, Miss Black," Snape drawled, and Cassie gulped.

"Hello, Severus."

"Have a seat."

She obeyed and waited silently for him to finish what he was doing. She started off entertaining herself by looking around the room at the various shelves of ingredients but was soon gazing fixedly at the deep raven shade of his locks as he bent over his papers.

"Your cousin did well in his lesson today," Snape said, snapping Cassie out of her trance of staring at his hair, and her eyes snapped up to his face as she came back to reality.

"Oh," she said, straightening up in her chair. "That's swell. How did Ron do?"

"Who?"

Cassie sighed and gave him a look that said, Really? "Weasley."

"He was with Potter," Snape sneered suddenly, his demeanor changing drastically in an instant.

"Yes, it seems they're friends," Cassie said carefully. "And Potter seems to think you hate him already. Why would he think that?"

"How do you - " Snape started, but Cassie cut him off.

"I had tea with him and Ron, not an hour ago," she said, "And it seems you've already assumed the position of a bully when you should be looking after him!"

"It's not your concern!" Snape snarled, and Cassie rolled her eyes. "And while you're at it, stop preaching at me and look after your own family instead!"

"Excuse me?"

"You have your cousin to worry about, whom you ignore. Instead, you're concerned with your ex-boy toy's snot-nosed little brother, and the child that's orphaned because of your own murderous family!"

He was trying to get her to stop pointing fingers at him and instead feel guilty for her actions, and she knew it. It wasn't a new game of his. But it stung, and it made her angry anyway.

"Seriously, Severus? Screw off!" she yelled, standing to leave.

"Where do you think you're going?" he snarled back.

"I don't have to listen to this!"

"We have work to do!"

She was near the door now, and he was storming after her. She tried the handle, having forgotten it was locked, so she reached for her robes to fetch her wand. Then, her arm was in his grip again, and she fought the urge to slap him.

"Let go of me, Severus!"

"Miss Black, sit back down!" he barked. "You're picking a fight and using it as an excuse to leave!"

"I am not!"

"Do you think I'm stupid?" he seethed, and he yanked her towards the middle of the classroom. She obliged, only because she'd be in serious trouble if she cursed him. And she knew he was right. He was usually right when it came to her, even when he said blunt, cruel things that made her mad.

She sat at a desk, crossing her arms over her chest, glowering.

"Have you felt someone pull at your mind today, Cassie?" he said, walking around her slowly, like a predatory circling its prey.

"No."

"Are you telling me the truth?"

"Yes!"

"Don't speak to me in that tone," Snape said lowly. "You and I both know you haven't been truthful as of late. What is it that you've been hiding?"

She stood to leave, but he was quick to respond, a quick flick of his wrist placing a spell on her shoulders and forcing her to sit back down. She glared up at him.

"We have to use Legilimency," he said quietly. "I need to get to the bottom of this, or we're putting the entire school in danger."

"No," she said, and he let her stand this time. She headed towards the locked door again, and she got as far as pulling her wand out of her robes to open it when Snape was suddenly on her; he placed a hand on her shoulder and forcefully span her around, so she was pinned between him and the door, his wand in his other hand. He used his body to keep her in place, and then muttered, "Legilimens!"

There were images of the classes from the last few days, and being in the common room, having tea at Hagrid's, being at King's Cross and talking to Molly Weasley; he started to go through her study sessions with Juniper and Alpit, and her tutor session on Wednesday, but none of these memories were what was worrying him so he sped right through them, searching for the unknown things that came at night; and then came the images that she had been shielding with so much ferocity. Visions of Snape and Cassie touching, kissing, pawing at one another in every position and location imaginable started running through their connected minds. Right after came some of Cassie's constant worries that somehow, he'd find out, and that she had to get rid of these feelings or she'd never be able to get through this year, and that these unrequited feelings were torture and would be the death of her.

And then, came cold, high laughter, and a blurred outline of a not quite human figure and agony as distant childhood memories were being ripped out of her; even during the duration of this charm, Snape could feel how painful it was, the way the assailant was going through her entire psyche at night. It wasn't enough to grasp what was going on or who was doing it, but it was plenty. He stopped it then.

Cassie and Snape were both struggling to catch their breath when Snape pulled out of her mind then. His black eyes were on her, unblinking, and Cassie was trying desperately to get a read on him as she tried to ground herself again. Then, as her mind came back to her, she suddenly felt enraged, realizing what he had just done.

"You arrogant son of a bitch!" she shrieked, resisting every fiber of her being that was telling her to curse him; instead, she slapped him right in the face. The sound of her hand connecting with his skin was so satisfying that she went to do it again, but he caught her wrist in his hand.

"Stop!" he yelled as she struggled in his grip.

"I told you no!"

"You left me no choice, Cassie!"

"Fuck off," she spat, and he let go of her, letting her stomp away from him. "Move away from the door!"

"That's why you didn't want me to see?" he said, his voice at a near whisper now.

"I mean it, Severus. Move, or I will make you," she said, her wand now in her hand and at the ready.

"Cassie, let's talk - "

"Move!"

He listened to her then, stepping aside so she could leave, knowing that she was at her breaking point and that she would probably end up hexing him. But before she was across the threshold, he said, "We have to practice your Occlumency."

She wanted to swear at him again, to tell him he was wrong. But as usual, he wasn't. She'd have to go back to him to do just that, and soon.



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