Second Start

By Sarah Cordova

Adventure / Romance

A good day turned bad

Chapter Nine

A Good Day Turned Bad

Severus decided he'd accept the invitation to the Quidditch World Cup, though he wasn't sure he really wanted to deal with meeting Black's parents. He had never met them personally, only knowing what Black had mentioned, which wasn't much, and then that horrid, shrieking painting of his mother at Grimmauld Place. He had actually been inclined to decline the request based on the memory of the old hags portrait alone, but Lily had pointed out that it was a once in a life time opportunity and that he should definitely go, so he would. In truth he had never been to a World Cup match before so it really would be a new experience for him.

XXX

Petunia was annoyed as ever with her "perfect" sister. She had been spending all her time with that Snape boy, as usual. She was even invited to spend the coming Saturday with another one of her abnormal friends from her freak school. She didn't even give a second thought to the fact that Petunia had her ballet recital that day. Not that her parents had cared to make her go, or even remind her of it for all that it mattered. Fine! She didn't need or want her there anyway. She was tired of caring, of hurting, of wanting to be like her sister, but knowing she couldn't be. She wasn't a witch; she couldn't do magic. She was plain, ordinary, average Petunia Evans…and that was all she would ever be.

XXX

Sirius was nervous. His parents were, for lack of a better term, intimidating. Plus, their view on blood purity was…well, not popular among many people, including himself, though recently he had decided to simply keep his thoughts on the matter to himself. Why rock the boat, especially now that his mother had actually started to take an interest in him? Sirius knew Severus was a half-blood, something he failed to mention to his parents, or the fact that the Ravenclaws best friend was a Muggle-born. Merlin, he hoped his parents wouldn't make an insulting comment on blood in front of him.

XXX

Remus sat nervously on the sofa in the front room as he waited for Lily to arrive. She would be there any minute now, they were coming by way of a Muggle car. He had considered inviting Severus, but he was more comfortable around Lily simply because she was in his house, plus she always seemed so kind and sweet. Severus was nice, but at times, especially if you pissed him off, he could be pretty callous. The boy definitely had a harsh tongue when provoked. Though he hadn't said anything when he found out about his condition, and had even been brewing him a pain reliever, which, incredibly enough, worked. Maybe he should have invited him. Oh, well, perhaps next time.

XXX

Severus liked Quidditch. He was never obsessed with it like Potter and Black were, but he enjoyed watching the sport. His mother had been kind enough to Apparate Severus to Grimmauld Place, but didn't stay to see her son in. Eileen knew the Black family well, as her parents had been friends with them, and they were not always the kindest people. Severus had said that their oldest son, Sirius, seemed like a decent fellow, and from what he gathered, he didn't go in for all that blood purity nonsense his parents did, so she decided to allow him to go.

It was Kreacher who answered the door, not that this surprised Severus; the ancient elf looked as decrepit and nasty as ever.

"Can I help you?" the elf wheezed.

"My name is Severus Snape, and I am here to see Sirius."

"Oh, yes, you are expected. Master Sirius is in the parlor playing chess with Master Regulus," Kreacher said, then lead Severus into the sitting room.

"Checkmate." The younger boy declared his victory with a proud smirk.

"I really hate playing chess with you," Sirius moaned. "I hardly ever win."

"Master Sirius, your guest has arrived."

Sirius turned at the sound of Kreacher's voice. "Oh, hi, Severus." Sirius rose from the floor where he had been sitting with his younger brother and headed over to the Ravenclaw. "This is my brother Regulus by the way."

"Hello." Regulus gave a polite smile. "So I hear you're some sort of genius."

Severus just smirked. "No, I just work hard."

"That, Severus, is a huge understatement, and you know it." Sirius laughed, causing Severus to chuckle as well. "My parents are in the main sitting room; they've been anxious to meet you, especially my mother."

Severus' brow rose. "Really?" he asked, following his classmate and his brother out of the parlor.

A rather elegant looking woman, dressed in finely made robes, her black hair flowing down past her shoulders, stood from her chair the moment the three boys entered.

"You must be Severus." She gave a small, curious smile as she approached the youth.

"Yes, ma'am. It's a pleasure to meet you." Severus extended his hand, doing his best to seem well mannered.

"And you as well." She lightly shook his hand before releasing it.

"Mother, where's Father?" Sirius asked.

"He just went to retrieve the tickets, so he should be back down stairs shortly. Severus, please, sit." She motioned toward a comfy looking chair just across from her. He did as requested, Sirius and Regulus sitting in chairs on either side of him.

"So," she began, sitting back in her original place. "Your surname is Snape. I don't believe I have ever heard that name before."

Sirius sighed. It had started already. Severus would reveal he was a half-blood, and his mother would start in with the bigoted remarks. The day would be ruined before it even began.

"My father is a Muggle; my mother is Eileen Prince," Severus stated plainly, curious as to how the society witch would react.

"Oh, yes, I remember Eileen. She was a year above me, I believe. Quiet, shy, very gifted at Gobstones and Wizard Chess, I believe."

Sirius grinned. His mother hadn't said a negative word concerning his blood.

"I have to say it was quite the scandal when she ran off with your father."

Sirius sighed, shaking his head slightly. He thought the best of his mother too soon.

"Yes, I can imagine." Severus said quietly.

Just then Orion Black entered the room with five Quidditch tickets in hand. There was a quick introduction, and then they were off via the Floo.

XXX

Lily's mum had not liked the idea of her daughter disappearing through a burst of flames in their fireplace, so she had agreed to drive her youngest daughter to her friend's home over an hour away. It was sometimes difficult for Lily to talk to her parents about her magic. As much as they seemed genuinely interested in the magical world, it was something they could never really be a part of and therefore never fully understand.

Pulling up to the cottage-style home, Lily gasped at the surrounding beauty. The house wasn't large, but quaint, and from the outside at least seemed very cozy. In was the only home around for miles and was surrounded by rolling green hills, a few large and probably very old trees scattered around the property. She also spotted a small pond and a barn off in the distance. She wondered if they kept horses.

"Well, this is quite beautiful," Mrs. Evans said, gazing around the picturesque setting as she walked her daughter up the cobblestone path to the front door.

"I know. Remus said he lived in the country, but I never expected something so beautiful."

Remus practically jumped from his seat at the sound of the door bell. Taking a deep breath, he slowly opened the door.

"Hi, Remus." Lily smiled at her friend, and of course, Remus smiled back.

"Hi, Lily."

"This is my mum, Rose." Lily motioned to her mother, who in response smiled at the sandy-haired youth.

"Hello, Remus, Lily has told me a lot about you."

"Oh, um, all good, I hope." The boy gave a nervous giggle as he lead Lily and her mother into his sitting room.

"Of course, silly." Lily replied.

"Um, well, I'll just go get my parents, shall I?"

Lily and Rose sat down on a comfy blue sofa as they waited from Remus to fetch his parents. The twelve-year-old werewolf went into the kitchen, where his parents were chatting and sipping on tea.

"Mum, Dad, Lily and her mum are here."

"Oh, wonderful." Mrs. Lupin clasped her hands together as she rose from her chair. "Come on, John, let's go meet Remus' friend and Muggle mother."

Remus groaned, hoping his parents wouldn't use that word in front of Mrs. Evans. Not that it was disrespectful, per se, but he just thought it might seem a bit rude.

Escorting his parents back into the front room, he found Lily and her mother no longer sitting on the sofa, but near a portrait of his grandmother near the fireplace.

"Ah, Linea." Remus' grandmother's portrait looked across at her daughter and son-in-law a few feet away. "I was just having a lovely chat with Mrs. Evans and her daughter."

"This is absolutely amazing," Lily's mother said. "I know Lily mentioned the talking paintings at Hogwarts, but to see and talk to one, it's utterly amazing."

Lily blushed at her mother's surprised reaction. It was a bit embarrassing, though she supposed she probably had reacted the same way when she had seen her first talking picture.

"Yes, well, don't let her get you too deep into conversation, or you'll be there for hours. The woman never shut up when she was alive, and death apparently didn't change that," John criticized his mother-in-law.

The painting huffed in offence, but didn't comment. "John, really." His wife just shook her head. Her mother and husband never got along, even after her death.

John just shrugged before turning his attention to the two red-heads. "So, you must be Lily Evans." The older man smiled down at the girl.

"Yes, sir, and this is my mum, Rose."

"Well, it's a pleasure to meet you both." John shook both Lily and Roses' hands, as did Linea.

XXX

Peter was happy to receive an exuberant hug from his Muggle-born friend the instant he opened his front door. "Happy birthday, Peter," Emily greeted him, gradually pulling away.

"Thanks." The chubby blond-haired boy opened the door, and Emily's large family trickled in. He had, of course, seen pictures and heard stories of all her family members.

Peter, being shy by nature, said nothing at first, but looked nervously at Emily's older, larger brothers. Seeing his apprehension, Emily decided to make introductions.

"Why don't I introduce my family?" she suggested, and Peter nodded in agreement. "Okay, these are my parents, Jake and Linda." Peter shook hands with a tall, thin man with balding brown hair and a petite woman who had the same bright blue eyes as his best friend.

"Hello," Peter said softly.

"You're sure a shy one, aren't you?" Jake said with a chuckle.

"Jake, stop. I'm sure the boy is a bit…intimidated by our family; remember, Emmie said he's an only child," she lectured her husband. "Thank you for inviting us all to celebrate your birthday, Peter. It was very kind of you." The Muggle woman gave a reassuring smile.

"You're welcome."

"And these are my brothers," Emily continued as she turned to the group of boys behind her. "I'll start from oldest to youngest. Now, the boy with the Manchester United jersey shirt on is Calvin, and he started university this past year, and then there is Mark and Mike - they're twins - and probably the most annoying people on the planet."

"Emily!"

The young witch ignored the scolding from her mother and continued down the line. "Then there's Robert and James – they're just 11 months apart and are as close as the twins, and then, finally Justin, the baby of the family."

"I am not a baby!" The boy crossed his arms over his chest and pushed out his bottom lip. "I'm seven."

"So, you can do magic like Emily, right?" It was the oldest boy, Calvin, who asked this.

"Yes, my-my whole family can. Speaking of which, I should probably take you all out to meet them. They're in the back garden setting up."

XXX

Severus had to admit, the box seats were magnificent; the view was unbelievable. He wasn't a fan of the teams which were playing, Ireland or Romania, but still, Quidditch was fun to watch. Black's parents were dressed in expensive looking robes, which was a bit much, considering they were at a Quidditch game. Then again, having been a Slytherin, he knew how important image was too many pure-blood families. Both Sirius and Regulus had matching jerseys supporting Ireland, as well as banners and hats.

"You want a souvenir, Severus? I wouldn't mind purchasing something for you," Mrs. Black offered.

"Oh, no, thank you."

"Are you sure? You are our guest, after all."

"That's very nice of you to offer, but-"

"Nonsense, Sirius, take your friend to the merchandise booth and let him pick something out," she said, handing him a small pouch of money.

"Yes, Mother." It was obvious Severus didn't want anything, probably because he didn't care for the teams playing, but he had been getting along so well with his mother lately, he didn't want ruin what they had. As long as she didn't say or do anything stupid or bigoted, he would simply keep his mouth shut.

Severus reluctantly followed Sirius out of their seats and toward the lobby. "Sorry about that. My mother can be a bit…demanding."

Severus chuckled. He knew her personality quite well thanks to her rather boisterous portrait that would angrily greet him whenever he came for Order meetings. "It's alright," he said just as they reached the souvenir stand. "So, do you get on well with your parents?" he asked as he scanned the shelves of merchandise. Severus knew that Black had at one time been on such volatile terms with his parents that they disowned him. He wondered if being in Slytherin had changed their relationship.

"At times," Black answered as he picked up a pack of Quidditch playing cards. "They…their beliefs aren't…well, I told you before how my family is." Sirius sighed as he put back down the pack of cards. "My parents have high expectations for both me and my brother. Very high."

"I can understand that, though your mother didn't seem to have a problem with my blood status."

"No, she didn't. She and father will tolerate half-bloods if they meet their standards. I guess you do."

"How? I just met them."

Sirius gave a small laugh. "Yes, but your reputation precedes you. Genius boy."

Severus laughed, shaking his head at the nickname that had been so graciously bestowed upon him the past year.

"Black!"

Sirius groaned at the unexpected and annoying voice of James Potter who was unfortunately approaching them. "Here comes the arrogant git," Sirius mumbled.

Severus smirked, but chose not to comment at the moment. Although Potter had been polite and even kind to Severus, he still was a pompous brat most of the time.

"Go away, Potter," Sirius growled.

"I have every right to be here, unlike you and your disgusting Death Eater family."

Severus saw Sirius' fists clench. Potter had been bothering him at school, playing stupid little jokes on him and his friends here and there, all things he had once done to Severus a life time ago.

"James, we're all here to have a good time; please don't cause a scene."

"Severus." James hadn't noticed his roommate at first and had his eyes set only on the Slytherin scum. "What are you doing here? Are you here on a date with Lily?" He gave a cheeky grin.

"No, I'm here with Sirius. His family invited me."

Potter's face dropped. "You're hanging out with a Slytherin. Why?"

"Because he is a decent person, and he extended the invitation."

"Decent. Severus, he's a snake. You can't trust him."

Dejavu suddenly struck Severus as he listened to Potter badmouth Black simply for being in Slytherin. He didn't know him or anything about him. He was being judgmental and completely unfair. Just as he always had been. Being a Ravenclaw didn't change his personality, apparently it just gave him a different target.

"Listen, Potter." Severus' voice suddenly changed to his old professor tone, a tone which was not to be reckoned with. A tone that struck fear into the hearts of children for over seventeen years. "You have no right to tell me what company I may keep. The world is not as black and white as you seem to think it is. If you had taken even a moment to get to know Sirius, you would see that he is nothing like your preconceived idea of him." Severus' eyes narrowed at the black-haired boy; Sirius mouth was dropped in shock as Severus continued his rant.

"You need to learn that not all people follow in the steps of their parents. Are you even aware that Sirius abhors his parents' philosophies or that he was sickened when he was sorted into Slytherin because he didn't want to end up like them? No, of course not. Because you have your head too far up your spoiled arse to see anything clearly."

Severus felt a surge of…well, he didn't know, satisfaction, perhaps. He had never gathered the courage as a boy to say such things in his own defense, but finally, even if it was in regards to Black, he had said them. And by the look on Potter's face, he was completely and utterly shocked at the fact.

"Now, if you will excuse us, I am trying to pick out a souvenir."

Severus then grabbed a jersey, not unlike the one Sirius had on that moment, except it was black with a red bore on the front and Romania written on the back. "I would like this, if that's okay."

"Yeah, that's fine." Sirius pulled out the money and handed it to the vendor, who had been trying his hardest not to laugh after the tall boy had given that bratty kid a mouth full. Severus and Sirius then walked off, leaving Potter alone, still too shocked to even move.

XXX

Peter smiled wider than he could ever remember as his and Emily's families sang a course of "Happy Birthday." He had been having a completely fantastic day. Emily's brother Robert had brought a soccer ball and had taught him and his parents how to play. Peter thought it quite hilarious to watch his parents run, chasing after the bludger-sized ball in their wizarding robes. Emily's family had asked all sorts of questions about magic; Calvin seemed particularly interested in magical creatures, in that he planned to become a zoologist.

Peter had introduced the Muggles to flying; he, Emily, and his parents took everyone for rides. He even talked about Quidditch a bit, but not too much, as he wasn't really that athletic and preferred Gobstones and chess, just like Emily did. Peter's parents, being purebloods, didn't know much about Muggles in general and enjoyed a rather long conversation concerning the London underground railroad system and bar-b-que grills. Yes, it was quite entertaining day for everyone; it was definitely a birthday Peter would never forget.

XXX

Lily was having a fun day with Remus. He had shown her all around the property, including the barn she had seen earlier, but unfortunately, they no longer kept horses and hadn't since Remus was a small child. He also showed her their library, which occupied the red-headed girl for several hours. There was nothing better than a good book, after all. They had lunch and played a couple of games of chess. Remus had suggested flying, but Mr. Lupin stated that the sky was filling with dark clouds, and he didn't want them getting caught in the rain. So instead, Mrs. Lupin made them hot cocoa, and the entire family played a game of Exploding Snap.

The group of four broke out in laughter as the pile of cards exploded with a snap, one landing directly onto Remus' head.

"Lovely." He chuckled, taking the card from his head and tossing it in the pile with the rest of the cards.

"Play again?" Remus suggested.

But before anyone could answer, there was a knock at the door. "That can't be my mum already; it's only four-thirty." Lily said, looking at her watch.

"I'll get it." Mr. Lupin rose from the floor where they had all been gathered and headed towards the door.

Just as they had set up the cards for another game, Mr. Lupin re-entered the front room, and he was with someone, but it wasn't Lily's mother.

"Mrs. Snape. What are you doing here?" Lily asked, rising from the floor.

Eileen did not answer right away, and in her hesitance, Lily noticed her face looked distressed, and her eyes watery.

"Mrs. Snape, wh-what's wrong?"

"Lily, I'm sorry, but your family was involved in a car accident."

Lily gasped in horror. "Are they okay?"

She shook her head slightly. "I'm so sorry, Lily, but your father…he didn't make it."

No. She had heard her wrong. Her father, her daddy, he was fine. He was probably working in the garden or-or watching a soccer match. Lily started to shake her head violently in disbelief. "No. No!" She began to sob as a pair of arms wrapped around her.

"I know, sweetie," Mrs. Snape said, rubbing soft circles on her back. "I know."

Remus couldn't believe what was happening. He wanted to comfort her, but he didn't know how. He wasn't very good at that sort of thing. Poor Lily.

A short while later, after Lily had calmed down, Eileen Apparated the girl to the hospital, where her mother and sister were still receiving treatments for their injuries.


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