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.

Cassie was still out cold when Snape burst through the hospital wing doors, having just run there from the dungeons and nearly toppling over every student and staff member that had happened to be in his path. Percy Weasley, who Madam Pomfrey had sent to fetch the Head of Slytherin, had also almost nearly been trampled in his panicked attempt to get there as quickly as he could, but had decided to follow him nonetheless and had managed to keep pace with the older wizard.

"Severus, thank goodness you're here!" McGonagall said as soon she saw Snape, her hand over her heart. She, Sprout, and Quirrell had just laid the girl in a hospital bed and the school nurse was flitting about, gathering supplies to dress the large gaping gash that was still oozing bright red blood. Her saturated robes were now dripping onto the crisp white linens underneath her.

"Didn't anyone think to slow the bleeding?" Snape spat immediately, and then he rushed forward, as Quirrell had his hands on the unconscious girl and was starting to pull back the clothing that was obstructing a clear view of the wound. A logical next step to the patient's care, but Snape didn't want his hands on her in this state. "Let me do it!" he snarled, pushing the other professor out of the way, and started yank Cassie's tattered robes away from her neck and chest. He recognized instantly that the lacerations there had been made with a spell, and rather intentionally.

"W-we did, S-severus," Quirrell replied, taking a step back and clasping his hands in front of his chin, looking like a lost puppy. "W-we slowed it r-right away - "

"There was a lot of blood," McGonagall said grimly, and Madam Pomfrey was now handing Snape gauze and elixirs, pointing and directing him, pulling him away from any attempts at conversation. She and the staff members worked in near silence for several minutes before they were satisfied that they had stabilized her, and then Snape finally felt somewhat calm enough to pull up a chair beside her bed. He sat in silence for a few moments, leaning forward with his elbows on the mattress, his face resting in his folded hands.

"What happened?" he asked finally, his voice low and silky, as he was trying to keep from erupting right then, with all of the onlookers nearby. The professors that had gotten Cassie back to the castle filled him in on what they knew, and then the Weasley boy spoke up. Snape had nearly forgotten he was still there.

"I'll send an owl to my parents," he said assuredly, as if that were the most important thing in the world at the moment, and turned to leave, and Snape snapped his fingers to stop him.

"You will do no such thing!" he snapped, "As they are not her family. And I will remind you, Weasley, that even though you are a prefect, that you will not run around blabbing to the rest of your brothers about this. Do you understand me?"

"But - "

"Five points from Gryffindor! And if any other students find out, I'll be blaming you and taking more! Now leave!"

Percy left without another word, and McGonagall turned to argue, but Snape was ready for her. "The last thing she needs is everyone flapping their gums and trying to get a look at her while she's lying here unconscious!"

"Severus, they're going to find out sooner or later, there's no need to be cruel to Percy, that entire family has always had her best interest at heart!" McGonagall said sternly.

"Regardless, the Malfoys need to be sent an owl before anyone else," Snape said. "If the Weasleys find out before Lucius, do you realize the shit storm he'll rain down on this place?"

"Yes, yes, always have to keep Lucius' ego in mind," McGonagall said, rolling her eyes. "Don't worry, I'll get an owl sent straight away. Shall I send one to Andromeda and Ted Tonks as well?"

Snape knew Lucius and Narcissa would hate it, but if Cassie were awake, she would loathe the fact that they were even having to take the time to think about it. "Do it."

The Deputy Headmistress left to do just that, and Sprout left to check on Theodore Quartermaine and made sure he was settled back in his common room. That left Snape with Quirrell, who was now standing in the corner and not looking at anything. Snape was about to tell him off when the rigid nurse beat him to it.

"Quirinus, you aren't doing anyone any good, now leave," she said, and he strode quickly through the double doors after nodding at her and Snape awkwardly.

Madam Pomfrey put up some privacy curtains around the two of them, and Snape stayed in the chair next to her bed for the next several hours. When it was well into the evening and the school nurse had retired to her rooms, Cassie finally started to stir. At first, she didn't seem to know what was going on and started to make little moaning noises.

"Cassie," Snape said softly, taking one of her hands in his and leaning forward. "Cassie, you're in the hospital wing at Hogwarts."

"What - " she said, and then her blue eyes fluttered open, taking a few moments to focus on the face that was above her. When she realized who it was, tears started to form. "Severus," she whispered. "Severus, I'm so sorry - "

"Don't," he said, a bit too harshly, and the girl started to cry, sobs making her entire body shake. Whether it was his hard tone, or the pain of incredibly deep cuts on her body, or the memory of four grown adults trying to murder her for no good reason, Snape didn't know, but right then he didn't care. Rather than inform Madam Pomfrey that Cassie was awake like he had promised, he decided to keep these moments between the two of them private. He gently nudged her over, making room for himself beside her in the narrow hospital bed, and then pulled her against his chest. She continued to sob, and he wrapped his long arms around her, trying his hardest to make her feel as safe as he could right then.

He coaxed some food into her, made her drink some elixirs to help her replenish her lost blood, and then finally got up to inform the nurse that the patient had woken up. He wanted to give her a Dreamless Sleep Potion to ensure she could continue to get some rest, and she agreed to take it only after he reassured her that he was going to leave to speak with Dumbledore, and then would come right back. He stayed by her side to make sure she was asleep once again, and then he made his way to the Headmaster's office.

Snape wasn't surprised that the Headmaster appeared to be expecting his arrival. When he entered, he was seated behind his desk calmly, watching him with interest, nothing out of the ordinary.

"You've been informed of what's happened, I presume?" Snape opened with. He didn't sit, but rather, started to pace. He had stayed subdued in the hospital wing, but he was used to showing his full range of emotions in this office. And he had some energy to let loose, now.

"I've been communicating back and forth with the Ministry ever since Miss Black's been back at the castle," Dumbledore replied quietly.

"The Ministry?" Snape asked, narrowing his eyes suspiciously. "What have they got to do with anything?"

"It seems Fudge is requesting an emergency hearing day after tomorrow."

"A hearing? For what?"

Dumbledore looked at Snape for a few moments before responding, seeming to mull over his next choice of words. "To determine whether or not Miss Black has any guilt in this situation."

Snape could feel the steady beat of heart pounding against his chest, and he felt like his blood was coming to a boiling point at the mere thought. "Guilt?! GUILT!" He shouted. He turned around, grabbed the nearest knickknack he could get his hands on, which happened to be a large bronze bowl full of some teeth-rotting Muggle candy, and hurled it across the room. The loud crashing noise it made gave him little satisfaction. "She almost gets her throat sliced open by a group of incompetent aspiring vigilantes, and she has to be put on trial in front of a bunch of mouth-breathing, fear-mongering politicians?!"

"Severus, all four of her attackers are currently in St. Mungo's. Much of the community already fears what she could do if she chooses, I don't have to point out to you that there doesn't have to be much fuel added to the fire before panic breaks loose."

"They fail to realize that she held back! That with what raw power she possesses, she could have just incapacitated them without a second thought!"

"Unfortunately, for most, that is not a comforting thought," Dumbledore replied, giving a small sigh. "The Ministry very well might decide that she used too much force, that it was not necessary to defend herself - "

"So they're the victims in this!" Snape roared. "They should be rotting in Azkaban! Better yet!" he said, and this time, when he threw a grey mortar, it flew so near to Fawkes' cage that it made him squawk in annoyance, "I'D LIKE TO SEE THEIR HEADS ON SPIKES!"

Dumbledore, having seen Snape in this state numerous times over the years, stayed silent and let him simmer, choosing to pop a lemon drop into his mouth. When it looked like the younger wizard was done throwing his possessions around, he decided to speak again.

"Severus, why don't you have a seat?"


"As refreshing as it is to see you care about someone this much," Dumbledore said evenly, "I'd like to remind you that we have other matters to be concerned about this term. We can't lose sight of them even with all of this."

"Dumbledore," Snape growled, his tone back its dangerous inflection, "Are you already trying to turn the conversation back to Potter? Like I'd forgotten somehow?"

"Yes. Potter, and the stone, and the matter of keeping an eye on someone - "

"Enough, Dumbledore. I don't need reminders, like a child!"

"Good. I only bring it up, because I thought you would request to go along to the Ministry with Miss Black."

"Of course I should accompany her!" Snape spat. "You're suggesting I stay here?"

"Yes, I am requesting that you stay here, where you are needed, Severus," Dumbledore said, and Snape glared at him.

"She is going to need me with her there, Dumbledore, it's for one day!"

"I will be sending the Deputy Headmistress in my place, who is more than capable of handling the situation on her own. I'm sure Arthur Weasley will be more than happy to go along, as long as Lucius Malfoy will allow it, and Lucius himself has already expressed a strong desire to have this resolved as quickly as possible. He will be attending the meeting as well."

"You've been talking to him, but he hasn't bothered to show up here and see his niece yet?" Snape said and shook his head, not feeling surprised at all. "So you're going to leave this in the hands of Lucius Malfoy, who has no interest in Cassie's well being whatsoever?"

"While Lucius' motives are purely selfish, he wants her name cleared so he won't be guilty by association. And he has the ear of the Minister. Not an ideal situation, but he'll be granted entry to the meeting guaranteed, and we'll accomplish the same goal," Dumbledore replied, and Snape let out a growl of frustration.

"She won't understand, Dumbledore," Snape said finally. "She's had enough people abandon her over the years."

"So explain it to her," the Headmaster replied with a twinkle in his eyes.

Cassie woke up in the early hours of Sunday morning, and the first thing she did was frantically look for Snape. When she saw his sleeping form in the chair next to her bed, she immediately began to calm, and her pale features broke into a smile as she watched him. He looked so peaceful as he slumbered, a state she didn't see on him often.

She debated letting him sleep, but having him just near her wasn't enough right then, so she reached out to touch his knee lightly. "Severus," she whispered. He stirred, and she whispered his name again. This time, he awakened fully, and he immediately came to the side of the bed.

"How do you feel?" he asked quietly, perhaps because, like her, he didn't want Madam Pomfrey to disturb their peace quite yet. "Are you in pain?"

"I'm fine," Cassie said truthfully, and she gestured for him to come to her. He hesitated, but only briefly, and she scooted over, letting him squish his tall frame into the narrow bed once again. She laid her head on his chest, letting her arm lay lazily across his torso. She winced a bit, as the position put some pressure on her wounds, but she didn't care.

"An owl has informed me that you'll be having some visitors this morning," Snape said. "Your aunt and uncle."

"Oh," Cassie said, rather disinterested because she didn't care to see anyone else at the moment. "Did you have a good night?"

"It was fine," he said quickly, and she knew instantly that something was amiss. Without further formalities, he informed her of the 'meeting' at the Ministry that was going to be taking place on Monday. She became enraged, and he encouraged her to remain calm; what made her even more upset, was that he had delivered the news in an even manner, making her think that he wasn't bothered by the situation at all.

"Of course I'm angry as well!" he hissed in her ear, still managing to keep his volume at a whisper. "This whole situation makes me want to curse everyone involved!" The confession made her feel a bit better. That was until he told her that he wouldn't be accompanying her to the trial.

"Move!" she said suddenly, sitting up in the bed, and he gave her a surprised look.

"Cassie," he said with a warning in his voice. He was trying to keep the fact that they had been in bed together quiet, understandably, and clamored out rather quickly, safely returning to the spot in the chair, before anyone came to investigate the abrupt change in conversation. "I have reasons!"

"Oh, you do, do you!" she said haughtily. "I don't care to hear them, actually - "

"You do, you stupid girl!"

"Now, what is the meaning of this?" came Madam Pomfrey's voice. The matron, overhearing the arguing, had stuck her head into the privacy curtains. "My patient is awake, and it doesn't sound like she's very relaxed. Do I need to ask her head of house to leave?"

"Maybe you do," Cassie said, but Snape shot her a look.

"No, Poppy. Everything is fine. If she doesn't calm down, I'll force-feed her a calming elixir."

"Now, Professor Snape, that's now how I do things in my ward!" the nurse scolded, and Cassie snorted, trying not to laugh because now she could tell Snape was trying his hardest to refrain from snapping at the nurse.

"Everything's fine, Madam Pomfrey. We're just having a little exchange of opinion," Cassie said, and after a final stern look, the nurse left them alone again. "Fine, Severus. You have reasons. Let's hear them."

"Good reasons."

"I'll be the judge of that."

He told her about the Sorcerer's Stone, about how Dumbledore had moved it to the school to keep it safe; about his promise to Dumbledore to help keep an eye on Harry Potter. Those were just two things he had intended to keep in the back of his mind at the start of the school year, but now with Cassie's dream intruder, the attempts at someone trying to read her mind while she went about the castle, and now the unicorn blood they had seen, Snape told her that knew something was brewing.

"What does Dumbledore think?" she asked finally.

"He's asked me to keep an eye on Quirrell."

"I knew there was something off with him!" Cassie said. "So why even keep him here? Why not sack him?"

"Dumbledore has a certain way of doing things. If Quirrell thinks no one suspects him then he'll be less dangerous for the time being, assuming he's the culprit."

"Okay. I still don't get why you can't come to the trial. Why can't the other teachers keep an eye on Potter and make sure the stone is safe?"

"Because the other teachers don't know everything that we know."

Cassie sighed. "Am I supposed to feel privileged with this information?"

Snape was about to answer when Madam Pomfrey's face poked back into the curtains. "Are you up for more visitors, dear?"

Cassie looked over at Snape, then to the nurse. "I suppose I don't have a say at the moment, do I?" She sat up straighter in bed, suddenly aware of how unkempt she looked. Fully expecting to see the snobbish faces of Lucius and Narcissa come through the curtains next, she was overjoyed to see that instead, Andromeda and Ted were the ones that had come calling.

"Aunt Dromeda! Uncle Ted!" Cassie exclaimed, and she was about to stand, but her aunt started to fuss.

"Don't you dare get up!" Andromeda said, and rushed over, bending down to give her niece a big squeeze. "Oh, I'm sorry, I'm not hurting you, am I?"

"No!" Cassie said, wincing, and then Ted came over, hugging her a bit less enthusiastically, having seen her face when his wife had hugged her.

"I wasn't expecting you two," Cassie said. She was grinning ear to ear, especially when she saw that Snape had gotten up, giving up his seat to Andromeda, and pulled over another chair for Ted. Then without a word, he strode over to the other side of the room, suddenly in conversation with Madam Pomfrey. Cassie made sure to catch his eye before continuing with her aunt and uncle; she knew he must have been responsible for contacting them because there was no way that the Malfoys had done it.

"Well, we couldn't stay away, knowing what had happened," Andromeda said, and Cassie said that her aunt was sniffling and had tears forming in her eyes. "The audacity of it all, Cassie, I'm so sorry. We couldn't believe it!"

"No doubt, those bastards will get put away in Azkaban," Ted said, sounding rather confident, and Cassie wanted to believe him right then. Part of her wished she didn't know about the impending trial just yet.

"Well, actually..." Cassie started, and she repeated what Snape had informed her of not minutes before, of her appointment with the Ministry the next day, of how they wanted to be sure she wasn't the guilty party in the attack, to make sure she wasn't dangerous. After she had finished, her aunt and uncle looked dumbfounded, and then Andromeda finally let her tears start to fall.

"That's it!" she cried, grabbing her husband's hand. "I'm done with this. We can't let this keep happening to her, Ted."

Cassie looked between the two of them, utterly confused. "Aunt Dromeda, what - "

"The life you've lived, and we've so wanted to be there for you more, sweetie, we have, but my sister and that snake of a husband!" Andromeda said, nearly choking on her words. Cassie looked to her uncle for clarification.

"Lucius," he said quietly. "He's made threats to us, over and over, that if tried to be move involved with you he'd curse us, or have my job, or frame me and have me sent to Azkaban - "

"What?" Cassie hissed.

"And of course, we'd have you over for visits, but then we'd get the nasty messages and that would be the end of that," Andromeda said. "But no more, if Molly and Arthur Weasley can stand up to him, then why not us?"

Cassie hadn't even noticed that Snape had come back over now.

"What are you three discussing?" Snape said in a low voice, placing his hand on Cassie's shoulder protectively. "She has enough on her mind as it is, she doesn't need family drama to worry about now - "

"Oh, shut up, Severus!" Cassie said, looking up at him. "Like you haven't helped with the pile-on of stress this morning?"

"I was offering you an explanation - "

Just then, a high pitched squeal interrupted them, as Molly and Arthur Weasley had walked into the ward, and Molly was approaching Cassie's bed at a jog with her arms extended in front of her, ready for a hug. Cassie completely forgot why she was starting to feel the ball of anger rising in the pit of her stomach, and was trying to stand again to greet the newcomers, but Snape would have none of it; his hand still on her shoulder, he shoved her back down forcefully.

"You. Need. Your. Rest," he said through gritted teeth. Cassie barely registered what he had said, and was now engulfed of the warm embrace of Molly Weasley. Ted and Arthur were enthusiastically shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries, and Andromeda, happy to see Cassie looking so pleased, was wiping tears off of her now smiling face. Madam Pomfrey, on the other hand, was now frantically counting heads, because she was sure that they had surpassed the maximum allowed number of visitors, and she would have none of it, thank you very much.

"Too many!" she said, but no one could hear her over the voices. Just as she approached the bed to get everyone's attention, the double doors opened again, and Percy, Fred, George, and Ron came in.

"Weasley!" Cassie overheard Snape snarl, and he was looking at Percy.

"Wasn't me, Professor!" Percy said. "My parents told 'em, honest!"

Snape left then, mumbling something to Cassie about a Weasley-fest, and she knew that this was just too cheerful of a room now for his taste. She enjoyed her time with her adoptive family and her aunt and uncle, and for a solid hour, she forgot about the unpleasantness that would be the next day.

That was, until, the doors opened again. This time, two platinum-haired individuals came through, and when they did, they immediately stopped short, taking a moment to survey the situation. Lucius, in particular, looked like he was smelling something particularly unpleasant, and Narcissa looked like she was going to be sick when her eyes fell upon her disowned sister. Cassie wasn't sure the last Narcissa and Andromeda had been in the same room together, and now she almost felt guilty for this tense situation.

She wished Snape had stayed. Even though she had a room full of people that supported her with her right now, he was still the one that she looked to when she needed to find her bravery. But when she looked at Lucius' smug expression, she reminded herself that yesterday, when she had fought off four grown wizards by herself, she had found that bravery on her own.

The ward, which seconds ago had been full of laughter and buoyant conversation, had fallen silent. This time, when Cassie went to stand from the hospital bed, no one stopped her.

"I don't recall giving any of these people permission to visit you," Lucius said, his eyes traveling around the room, his nose high in the air. "I ought to complain to the Board of Governors, Dumbledore shouldn't have allowed this to happen!"

"I'm fine, thanks for noticing," Cassie said.

"Of course you're fine. I hear you put four people in St. Mungo's. It's all over the Daily Prophet, which is why we have a little trip to the Ministry tomorrow, in fact," Lucius said, taking a few long strides closer to the bed, cane in hand. "So you ought to address me with some respect, girl."

"Or what?" Cassie challenged. Oh boy, did she wish Snape was here.

"Enough with the threats, Malfoy," Arthur said, taking a step forward, putting himself between him and Cassie.

"I don't recall speaking to you," Lucius said, raising an eyebrow. "Bothered to put on a set of clean robes, I see. Step up from when you come to work."

Molly raised her wand, and Cassie immediately placed a hand on her wrist, gently bringing her arm back down.

"It's not worth it," Cassie murmured to her. "You never answered me, Uncle. Or what, if I don't treat you with respect?" The whole room was looking at Lucius now, waiting to see if he had something substantial to say, or was full of hot air.

"The Minister was rather rattled by this whole incident, Cassiopeia. He's rather frightened of your abilities, I'm afraid to admit," he said, and now Ted was visibly shaking, he looked so angry. Cassie knew what Lucius was doing; he hated everyone in this room and was trying to get all of them riled up. If he could get any one of them to try to curse him, then he could use his political ties to get them into trouble and maybe put them away. But she wasn't going to play his game.

"I need everyone to leave," she said. "Just so I can speak with my aunt and uncle, please." After some quiet protests and a lot of glaring aimed at the Malfoys, everyone complied, going to stand out in the corridor, and Madam Pomfrey went into her rooms, satisfied once again with the number of visitors. "So what was that? You're going to threaten to have Fudge put me in Azkaban, Uncle?"

"Now why would you think that?" Lucius said innocently, and Cassie scoffed.

"Why are you even here?"

"We wanted to check up on you," Narcissa said, speaking for the first time. She rarely contributed to Lucius' schemes, but Cassie hated her for going along with it silently, either way.

"Well, I'm fine. As you see, I've been checked up on, maybe I should have just had Arthur send you an owl or something - "

"And how dare you allow my blood traitor sister to come here, of all people," Narcissa said, her demeanor suddenly changing, and Cassie looked at her in surprise. Over the years, she had rarely heard her aunt speak of her sister, and now hearing her speak with such venom caught her off guard even knowing their history.

"How dare I? How dare you!" Cassie retorted, taking a step towards her aunt, and the look on her face must have communicated her seriousness, because Narcissa was suddenly submissive, stepping backward. "I found out today that my aunt and uncle wanted to be in my life more, but they were threatened by the likes of you two! I don't know why I was so surprised! You two really are scum, aren't you!"

"Cassie, stop now, or - " Lucius began, and Cassie turned to him.

"Or what? You'll have me thrown in Azkaban, Uncle? Please, do it! Maybe, I'll volunteer to drink a little Veritaserum at the little meeting tomorrow! I have nothing to hide!" Lucius flinched when she said this because he wasn't expecting it at all, and Cassie barked out a laugh. "Maybe we can share a cell, hmm?"

"You little brat," Narcissa whispered. "He is going to help you tomorrow!"

"You're right, Aunt Cissy, he is," Cassie said. "Because he wants my name cleared so he can go on looking like Saint Lucius Malfoy, who rescued and somehow raised Lord Voldemort's feral daughter into the harmless witch that she is. If they only knew that he constantly encourages her to be the next Dark Lord, wouldn't that be something?"

Lucius was looking around the room now, obviously hoping no one could overhear them. "Stop!" he demanded.

"That's right, you'll stop," Cassie said. "If I ever hear that you threaten Andromeda or Ted again, I won't give a shit if I ruin Draco's life by handing you over."

Lucius and Narcissa didn't have much to say to her after that, leaving the ward rather quickly. "See you tomorrow!" Cassie called in a fake cheery voice, and then the little party with the Weasleys and the Tonks' resumed. Right then, the only thing she had to feel bad about, was for stressing out Madam Pomfrey.

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