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The Gift of Inheritance

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Severus Snape did not expect the academic year of 1991-1992 to be memorable. In fact, he had all but forgotten this was to be the year the famous Harry Potter came to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry until Albus Dumbledore mentioned it in the pre-term faculty meeting. With a sly glance at Severus, Dumbledore had relayed the information, and the entire faculty had been abuzz with the news—much to Severus’s dismay. He was not quite prepared to face his demons but managed to convey apathy to the rest of the faculty. With a roll of his eyes, he silently decided that finally seeing the boy would mean nothing to him. He expected him to look exactly like James, and the thought itself nearly caused him to vomit. What Lily ever saw in that vile James Potter remained a mystery. 

Lily. His breath caught at her memory. What if the boy looked exactly like her? His stomach churned again. He was starting to regret the extra mince pie he had at lunch when he realized someone had called his name.

“Severus, the Slytherin prefects are . . .?” Filius Flitwick squeaked. He really hated repeating himself—even more so when faced with the possibility of Snape’s infamously cruel replies.

“Gemma Farley and Gregory Burke,” Severus grumbled. Minerva McGonagall opened her mouth to speak. “And yes, they have already been notified.” She pursed her lips instead. 

“Wonderful!” Dumbledore smiled. “Now, I think it is common knowledge, but the third floor corridor is off-limits to all students. I have a few ideas for precautions, but I am open to suggestions.”

With this, Severus returned to his thoughts. Albus had already met with him to discuss the Sorcerer’s Stone being housed at Hogwarts. He had determined his Potions riddle and had little interest in the other professors’ versions of protection. After all, it would not be him that would attempt to steal the stone. He shot a glance at Quirrell. Fucking imbecile, honestly, could he just mind his business? Dumbledore had ordered Severus to “keep an eye” on Quirrell, and though he was unsure of the headmaster’s true intentions, he doubted it would merely mean a spectator’s view of the action. So far, he was never simply an observer when following Dumbledore’s orders, and he seriously doubted he would catch a break the year the Boy-Who-Lived began his wizarding education. A phantom pain flashed suddenly through his left forearm. Rubbing the sensation away, Severus determined this year would be disappointingly problematic. 

* * *

Severus could hardly sleep the night of August 31st. He knew the dark circles under his eyes were more pronounced and his signature scowl ever omnipresent when even Peeves the poltergeist avoided him in the halls. Luckily, this was not Severus’s year to corral the first-years into the Great Hall for the Welcome Feast, though he would slightly miss the opportunity to dampen their excitement. Severus honestly despised the first-years. Technically, he despised all children, but eleven-year-olds were, in his mind, the absolute worst. The thought of his boggart potentially being a preteen child caused him to chuckle. 

He pushed open the faculty door to the Great Hall, his robes billowing behind him. Though quite enjoying his usual aptitude for dramatic flair, he desperately needed to maintain a sense of invisibility tonight. He was still unsure of his internal reaction to being face-to-face with Lily’s son, and he could not afford to let this distraction compromise his stoic stature. He would not allow his feelings to influence his duty. He would repress his emotions as he had done for the past eleven years. Today was no different.

He reminded himself to breathe, but instead choked on air. Off to a great start, he thought. With the usual noise in the dining hall, thankfully no one paid him any attention. For once, he was grateful for the organized chaos as the students conversed. He selected his usual seat near the end of the high table, and looked around the room. He paid special attention to his Slytherins, making sure no one was being exceedingly distasteful. He really didn’t feel like taking away House Points on the first evening. He scanned the table whilst noting the familiar faces of the pure-blood families. He was expecting more children of Death Eaters to be sorted into Slytherin tonight but from which families he could not remember.

The doors to the Great Hall swung open, and in marched Professor McGonagall and two lines of first-years. She was ultimately beaming, and the children’s eyes were fixated on the starry ceiling. He couldn’t blame them—he vividly remembered his first captivating entrance into the castle. They stopped just shy of the professors’ table, and the room fell silent in anticipation of the Sorting Ceremony. The old hat rumbled to life, bellowing out his usual song. Severus liked to watch the new faces when the hat described the four Hogwarts Houses. Ironically, he could usually pick out the future Slytherin students because they did not show any fear. There was almost a visible aura of superiority hanging around them. In his years of teaching, he had also developed an eye for the other Houses. The future Hufflepuffs were usually simply excited to be there, Ravenclaws overflowed with curiosity toward the singing inanimate object, and Gryffindors tensed up at the thought of their first task as official students. Personally, he thought Gryffindor was overrated for its bravery and, of course, chivalry. He had never known a Gryffindor that was chivalrous in the slightest. 

The first student was Hannah Abbott, and Severus would have bet his life that she was to be sorted into Hufflepuff. Was there ever an Abbott in a different House? Probably not. Pure-blood families tended to be sorted into the same Houses generation after generation. He completely zoned out until “Malfoy!” was ringing in the hall. Merlin, he had forgotten about Draco. He should’ve realized the Malfoys would have a son the same age as Harry. They would never be allow their precious progeny to be outshined by the son of a Mudblood. The hat had barely touched his white hair when it yelled “Slytherin!” And, nowDraco was officially his problem. Lovely. Crabbe, Goyle, Malfoy, and Nott. He really hoped that was the end of it. 

Severus knew he was not that lucky. He had just added a Parkinson, when he heard Minerva shout “Harry Potter!” His heart stopped. The whispers began. Did he dare look? His eyes moved quicker than his mind, and he saw a head of messy black hair. Not auburn—thank Merlin. Sitting under the hat, the boy seemed to be the spitting image of James. Maybe Severus was lucky after all. He breathed a sigh of relief. The boy was sorted into Gryffindor, and though Severus was not surprised in the slightest, he was secretly pleased he did not have to look at him every day as a Slytherin student. 

The boy sat down at the Gryffindor table amidst rambunctious cheers. Completely typical of Gryffindors to be elated that a celebrity was joining their ranks. Severus resolved to somehow take House points tomorrow in class. He was just beginning to relax when the boy turned toward him—his green eyes breaking all of Severus’s mental composure. Time stopped. Lily’s eyes. No, it could not be! The same green eyes that he gazed into longingly for years, the same green eyes that haunted his dreams each night, the same green eyes filled with betrayal after he broke her heart with one simple word, the same green eyes that shattered his soul when they closed forever. For eleven years he had kept his emotions at bay, and with one glance, the boy had released every last feeling of heartbreak!

Severus felt dizzy. The room began to spin. He was transported back to every memory of Lily Evans while simultaneously feeling his soul split in two. He hated the boy, yet he could not look away because he also loved him. Lily’s son. James’s son. It was maddening! How could Lily, so pure, so beautiful, so loving, give herself to a man so despicable as James Potter? How did this boy look exactly like his ruthless father, but remind him so dearly of the woman he would forever love? Severus was suddenly drowning in the waves of his past—how disgusting he must be for her to have chosen James Potter over him! He was so unworthy of everything good and kind and yet, here were her eyes—once more seared into his heart! He wanted to gasp for air, to cry, to scream, to release any of this wretched disease of unrequited love that was coursing through his veins, corrupting every part of his being. 

But he did no such thing. While his mind was combusting, his body took over and maintained normalcy. Severus was a professional at this—he had long since taught himself to dissociate in times of distress. He glowered at the boy, and the child hurriedly turned away to hide his face. As quickly as it came, the feelings subsided. Crisis averted. There would be no disaster today. He could relax now, so why did he continue to feel nervous?

Seraphina Rosier!” shouted McGonagall. Puzzled, Severus looked up at the girl. He was completely unaware Evan Rosier had a daughter. However, she was definitely a Rosier, of that he was certain. High cheekbones, tall, dark hair, black eyes—her resemblance to his late friend was uncanny. How did he miss this? But, Evan had been dead for years, killed at the hand of Alastor Moody when he tried to flee from Aurors after the First Wizarding War. One of the most loyal Death Eaters, Severus had been friends with Evan since their days together in Slytherin. In fact, it was Evan that had inspired Severus himself to join the Dark Lord in search of revenge. So, why did he not know he had a daughter? 

She sat under the hat, and it quickly announced “Slytherin!” Severus watched the girl’s reaction. She was not even slightly surprised and seemed to smirk at the decision. Interesting. If she was anything like her father, he would most definitely need to watch out for her rule-breaking tendencies. Yet, like all Rosiers, she already seemed comfortable in green and silver. She sat next Malfoy, and he turned toward her and said something he clearly thought was funny. She did not laugh. Instead, she looked toward Severus. Meeting her eyes, he instantly felt uncomfortable. She, however, did not seem phased. 

Did she know who he was? Malfoy certainly did—Severus was sure Draco would hold that over his head for the next seven years. He didn’t need another one of the former Death Eaters’ children to rat out his past. He wondered who her mother was—what her mother told her about the Dark Arts after Evan died. Severus knew of no woman Evan truly cared for, though he did have a small crush on Bellatrix Lestrange that quickly dissolved. Bellatrix did not care for Evan, and Evan had gotten over his crush to wholeheartedly focus on serving the Dark Lord. Perhaps some drunken fling then? Severus had his fair share of those nights, but it was unlike Evan to be so careless. He made a mental note to ask Albus of it later.

He watched one of the final students sit under the hat. He already knew it was another Weasley due to his red hair and lanky build. That’s what, like 6 boys now? Arthur and Molly seriously need to find a new hobby. The awkward boy—whose name was apparently Ronald—was sorted into Gryffindor. Severus then gained another Slytherin, Dumbledore said his usual ambiguous remarks, and the celebration began. The plates magically filled with heaps of food, but Severus was no longer hungry. He only felt the driving urge to down the bottle of firewhiskey he kept in his quarters for “emergencies.” Somehow, he already knew this next term would drive him to replenish his stock over and over again.

So be it. Cheers, motherfuckers.

Chapter Text

“First-years! This way!” Seraphina looked toward the small girl with curly blond hair. “Single file, please!” She moved behind another girl with round-framed glasses. She could still see the blond girl—a Prefect, she assumed—over her housemate’s head. 

The girl turned to face the group of wide-eyed first-years. “My name is Gemma Farley, and I am one of Slytherin’s prefects.” So, Seraphina’s conclusion about the small girl had been correct. Gemma paused. “We’re going to head to the dungeons now, so please, don’t get lost. I will not be returning to find you…at least tonight.” With a smirk, she spun on her heels and led the way to the Slytherin dormitory. 

They walked down a steep, spiraling staircase into the lower depths of the castle. The air cooled and Seraphina felt her forehead become damp with the moist air. The castle walls were dark, and the rhythmic sound of their footsteps echoed off the stones. Seraphina felt quite peaceful actually. Though the flames of the torches licked their shadows as they continued down the hall, she found herself almost wishing for the darkness. Lost in her thoughts, she barely realized a distinguished change in smell—not quite musty but instead salty.

They suddenly came to a stop in front of a bare stretch of stone wall. “Catus purus.” Gemma’s voice rang through the empty hallway. Seraphina did not have time to ponder the meaning of the phrase when the stones began to shift and reveal a tight passageway. Truthfully, she had absolutely no idea how she would find this particular area of stone on her own. 

They walked down the passageway when the walls gave way to a large, dim room. The only true source of light in the room seemed to be emitted from the green lamps on the walls. The plush, velvet green chairs and couches surrounded dark, wooden tables. Tapestries depicting the stories of past Slytherins adorned the walls, while a majestic fireplace was casting dancing shadows around a group of Slytherins. The sounds of students finally catching up with their friends echoed throughout, bathing the Common Room in a familiarity Seraphina knew all too well. She looked around, awestruck at the large glass panels at the end of the room. Gemma caught her staring.

“Sometimes, we catch a glimpse of the Giant Squid.”

Seraphina whipped her head around. “Seriously?”

Gemma nodded. “You’d be surprised at the types of monsters we see periodically. I’m not even sure we know of all the creatures in the Black Lake.”

Seraphina felt her brain whirring. The Black Lake? The Slytherin Common Room is in the Black Lake?! She abruptly felt claustrophobic. 

“Has the glass ever broken?” Seraphina turned to see the girl with the round-framed glasses. 

“What’s wrong? Can’t swim, Davis?” Malfoy sneered. No one else laughed. They all seemed to be thinking the same thing.

Gemma ignored him. “No, not yet. And since the castle is pretty old, I wouldn’t worry about it.”

Gemma’s answer seemed to placate the group. The girl, however, still seemed frightened. 

“Okay, girls on the right, boys on the left. Class begins at 9:00 sharp tomorrow morning, and looks like…” She looked down a piece of paper. “It’s Defense Against the Dark Arts. We’ll meet here for breakfast at 8. I don’t really care if you’re not hungry. I expect to see you all here dressed in robes with books in hand.” She nodded with a sense of finality. 

A tall, dark-haired boy spoke. “What, not even a goodnight?” 

Gemma rolled her eyes. “Not for you, Theo.” She motioned the group out of the room. “Now, off to bed, everyone.” 

Seraphina turned to the right, and walked down yet another staircase. She came to a room with five four-poster beds. She found her trunk along with her tawny owl, Queenie. The beds were already made with sliver sheets and velvet green blankets embroidered with Slytherin’s symbol, the serpent. She had a feeling nights were cold down here.

“Think we should say names?” The girl who asked plopped down on a bed and looked around the room. “I’m Parkinson. Pansy.” She waited for one of the others to react.

After an awkward silence, someone else spoke. “Bulstrode. Millicent.” Pansy looked toward the next girl.

“Daphne Greengrass.” Pansy nodded. She turned toward the girl with round glasses. “Well?”

The girl blushed. “Erm, Tracey Davis.” 

Pansy gestured to Seraphina. “And you?”

“Seraphina Rosier.”

Pansy leaned back and crossed her arms, a smug look appearing on her face. “Now that’s a wizarding family. Nice to have you here, Rosier.” Tracey looked over at Seraphina like she was the Dark Lord himself. Pansy noticed. “What, Davis? Did your Muggle father not teach you that it’s rude to stare?”

Tracey paled and stared at the floor instead. No one said another word while they unpacked their trunks and prepared for bed. 

* * *

Defense Against the Dark Arts was not nearly as exciting as Seraphina had originally thought. In her opinion, Professor Quirrell was an idiot. He stuttered throughout the entire lesson and kept having to correct himself. Seraphina didn’t mind the stuttering, only his lack of confidence and his obviously empty brain. How in the hell did the Dark Lord lose when professors like him were teaching at Hogwarts?

Seraphina was actually excited about Herbology with the Hufflepuffs. Herbology had been one of her mother’s favorite subjects, and Seraphina had grown up surrounded by all sorts of magical plants. She was not allowed to bring her Devil’s Snare plant to school even though she had written to Dumbledore specifically and asked. She stayed behind after class to talk with Professor Sprout about different types of fertilizing techniques, to which she was awarded five House Points for her robust knowledge. Seraphina had a feeling Herbology might be her favorite subject, too. 

She thought Professor Flitwick to be the sweetest teacher, and Professor Binns to be the most boring. Then again, Charms was a much more appealing subject than History of Magic. In their second class of the term, Professor Binns had even fallen asleep in the midst of teaching!

Seraphina didn’t want to lie to herself—she was a bit nervous about Transfiguration with the Ravenclaws. She really didn’t want to end up on Professor McGonagall’s bad side this early in the year. Not that she particularly minded being on her bad side, she just didn’t feel like pissing off a strong witch like McGonagall. And she was right—after their first class, she secretly thought McGonagall ran the school while Dumbledore was just there for the formalities. 

Pretty soon, it was Friday and the first week was almost over. She had actually been productive and finished her Transfiguration homework early, so she was seriously looking forward to the weekend. The good news was that her last class was double potions with Professor Snape. In terms of bad news, she would be spending all morning with the Gryffindors. Oh well, one more class ‘til freedom!

Seraphina walked to a desk in the Potions classroom. “May I?”

Tracey slightly smiled and nodded. Apparently, she was still wigged out about Pansy’s comments on the first night for reasons Seraphina did not understand. Honestly, it really wasn’t that uncommon for half-bloods to attend Hogwarts anymore. She knew of quite a few powerful witches and wizards that were half-bloods. The only alternative was literally incest, and that was just disgusting. So yeah, half-bloods weren’t that big of a deal. Plus, she was pretty sure Millicent Bulstrode was also a half-blood, so Pansy’s comments to Tracey were a bit unjustified.

Seraphina had just sat down and pulled out her books and quill when the boy called Theo came crashing into their table.  

“Who’s excited to see Snape rip the Gryffindors a new one? I cannot tell you how many stories I’ve heard!” Theo was smiling brightly. “Anyone wanna bet on him taking away five House Points today?

Seraphina couldn’t help but laugh, but Tracey’s eyes just widened. “I’m just hoping he doesn’t take points from me,” she mumbled.

“Oh relax, Tracey, you’re a Slytherin. He won’t take points from you in class at least,” Theo replied. 

“Well that’s easy for you to say, you’re a Nott!”

“Okay, Snape is a half-blood too, so just chill Davis!” Theo patted her head playfully. “Besides, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Cantankerous is a popular Nott name, so at least you don’t have to worry about sounding like some disease.” That made Tracey laugh. 

“Looks like fun over here,” Daphne Greengrass said, approaching the table. 

“Allow me, m’lady,” Theo pulled out the chair next to him. 

Daphne feigned excessive gratitude. “And they say Gryffindors are the chivalrous ones!”

The four students continued to banter until Professor Snape started to take roll call. He paused after Pansy Parkinson. “Ah yes, Harry Potter—our new celebrity.” 

Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle sniggered. Seraphina had forgotten Harry would be in this class. She looked up at Theo, who met her eyes while wiggling his eyebrows. She stifled a chuckle.

Snape continued to pick on Harry. Seraphina found it slightly amusing that the Boy-Who-Lived did not know the answers to simple Potions questions. Honestly, monkshood and wolfsbane are the same thing. It’s not that difficult. 

Daphne had the same thoughts because she rolled her eyes when Harry spoke. “I don’t know, but I think Hermione does. You might ask her.” 

Tracey looked over at you with worry. “Here we go!” Theo mouthed. Out of the corner of her eye, Seraphina saw a bushy-haired girl practically jumping to get Snape’s attention. Snape looked like his head was about to explode because the vein on his forehead became visible. 

In the span of 30 seconds, he had scolded Hermione, taken points away from Gryffindor, and separated the class into pairs to make a simple healing potion. He was already shuffling around the room with his cloak billowing behind him by the time everyone started crushing their snake fangs.

“Needs to be finer, Nott,” he directed at Theo. 

“Your wish is my command, Professor,” Theo simply replied.

Snape shot him a death glare. “My wish is for you to shut up.” Theo blushed.

The sound of cauldrons boiling and the putrid smell of sulfur filled the classroom as the students continued to brew their potions. Seraphina was stirring her cauldron for the fifth time, when yellow smoke started to spew. Snape was directly behind her.

“Direct your attention to Miss Rosier and Miss Davis. A yellow color means your potion has been brewed correctly.” He looked down at the girls. “Five points to Slytherin for your excellent work.”

Suddenly, a loud screeching sound filled the air as Neville and Seamus’s cauldron exploded. Neville screamed in pain as his face was suddenly covered in boils. Seamus’s mouth was left hanging open in surprise. 

“Fools!” Snape bellowed. “This is exactly what you get for failing to heed my instructions.” Seamus winced. “Take him to Madam Pomfrey. Now.”

Seamus ushered Neville out of the door as Professor Snape scolded Harry and Ron for not paying attention to their fellow classmates. Snape scowled. “Class dismissed. Clean up your stations before you leave or you will surely regret it.”

Shuffling filled the room as the class began to pack up their things and clean their cauldrons. Seraphina and Tracey were the only ones asked to bottle their potion. The rest of the class had to carefully dispose of theirs as to not risk a repeat of Neville’s misfortune. Seraphina turned to leave.

“Not you, Rosier,” came a stern voice.

Tracey looked back at Seraphina. “Do you want me to wait outside?”

Waving her on, she muttered, “Go ahead, it’s fine. I won’t be long.” 

Nodding, Tracey left the room. She would be waiting outside anyway. Her anxiety for her new friend surpassed any desire to heed her request.

Seraphina turned to look at Professor Snape and cautiously approached his desk. “Yes?”

He folded his hands together and studied her. “I have never seen a first-year student brew this potion correctly the first time.” He paused. “Do you know why that is?”

She looked down at her feet. “Erm, because the recipe was incomplete?”

“Are you now questioning your decision? You seemed to be annoyingly confident when you added dried nettles.”

Seraphina fidgeted with her robes. She thought he wasn’t paying attention when she did that.

As if he could read her mind, he continued. “I am always paying attention in my class, Rosier. Imagine the dire consequences if not.”

She nodded, still not meeting his eyes.

“Where did you learn to brew this potion?” He questioned.

“I read a lot,” she replied.

He sighed. “I would suggest you do not lie to me in the future, Miss Rosier.”

She finally met his eyes. They were dark and empty. “It wasn’t a lie, per-say,” She began. 

Snape raised his eyebrows in surprise. “Enlighten me.”

“I-I do read ahead. But uh, my mother taught me.”

Now that was an answer he was not quite expecting. He leaned back and crossed his arms across his chest, a quizzical expression vaguely registering on his face. “Hmmm.”

“I suppose you’re angry,” came a small reply.

“Seraphina, you brewed the potion correctly. Why would I be cross?”

She shrugged. “Why else would you want to see me?”

“I was curious to see if you truly had an aptitude for potions or if you simply got lucky.”

“Oh.” She paused. “And?”

Snape raised his eyebrows again. “I suppose you knew what you were doing.” She breathed out a sigh she didn’t realize had been building in her chest. “But, unfortunately for you, I am now expecting perfection in every class. I trust I will not be disappointed?”

Seraphina faltered. Was he joking? “I will try,” she finally replied.

He nodded. “Enjoy the weekend.” He looked down at his desk and started to write.

She turned to leave but second-guessed herself. “Uh, professor?”

He looked up at her. “Yes?”

“Why did you instruct us to make this particular healing potion when you gave us an incomplete recipe?” 

She swore she could see humor flash through his eyes. “You seem to know all the answers today. Why do you think?”

She opened her mouth to speak but stopped. She honestly had no idea. Maybe he was just an ass.

The corner of his mouth turned into a sneer. “Good day, Miss Rosier. You don’t want to keep Miss Davis waiting.”

Seraphina turned to hurry out of the classroom. She did not look back, but she could feel the Potions Master staring her down as she was leaving. 

She ran into the hallway and bumped into a startled Tracey. 

“Well?” 

Seraphina was speechless. “That was, odd…”

Tracey saw her confused expression and laughed. “I think that’s just him.” Linking arms with Seraphina she said, “C’mon, it’s the weekend! Let’s finally get out of this godforsaken dungeon. I’m honestly so scared of the dark.”

Seraphina smiled. She was suddenly very grateful she would not be facing this year alone.

Chapter Text

Severus Snape awoke early on Monday morning feeling refreshed for the first time in ages. The weekend had passed quickly—too quickly for his liking, but at least he had spent the entire weekend resting. Severus drew the short straw for nightly rounds on the first week, so he had been wandering the castle halls most evenings until about two o’clock. To make matters worse, he had actually caught students out of bed. Luckily none from Slytherin, but even he had to admit that he didn’t really look for them. Instead, he spent the night wandering the towers—mainly Gryffindor Tower—because he did not trust that Harry Potter and his gang of little friends would stay out of mischief for one night. However, he managed to catch none of them which continued to dampen his mood into the next week.

In an attempt to enjoy his morning off, he decided to take a walk about the grounds. He had just rounded the lake when he noticed twenty brooms assembled on the grounds in the distance. The second week of term marked the beginning of flying lessons for the first-years. A group of small children wearing red and green robes were entering the field. Now this could be amusing, thought Severus. He found a place a safe distance away from the students but still close enough that he could hear and see the action. If anyone spotted him, he would simply say he was scouting future Slytherin Quidditch prospects. The team had crushed all other opponents last season, so he was sure no one would be the wiser. In fact, he secretly hoped he’d bump into Minerva for the sole purpose of rubbing in yet again that embarrassing match last season between Gryffindor and Slytherin. 

Madam Hooch began the lesson, and almost instantly, Neville Longbottom was flying uncontrollably higher and higher. He looked absolutely terrified. Severus wanted to enjoy the moment, but he doubted Dumbledore would be understanding if he knew Severus had let the boy fall several stories. He was just about to step in when a girl’s voice rang out.

Arresto Momentum!” 

Severus turned toward the sound and saw no other than Seraphina Rosier attempting to slow down Neville’s broom. Severus knew that spell was too advanced for a first-year, but he was caught by surprise because the broom was actually slowing down. He thought for one second Neville might be able to maneuver the broom back to the pitch, but instead he panicked and slipped. The girl was so startled that she lost focus and Neville plummeted to the ground. Severus could not avert his eyes as Neville landed face down on the grass. Madam Hooch was by his side in a flash, muttering something about a broken wrist. Severus still remained unseen as she ushered him to the Hospital Wing. 

Severus’s attention was jolted back to the students as Malfoy roared with laughter. “Did you see his face? What a fucktard!” Some other Slytherins joined in on the teasing. 

Pansy Parkinson reared on Seraphina. “Don’t think we didn’t see you trying to help, Rosier,” she said smugly.

Malfoy’s lips turned into a sneer. “What’s this? Got yourself a boyfriend, Rosier?” he taunted.

Seraphina blushed. “Shut up, Malfoy.” She pulled her wand. “Don’t make me hex your little inbred ass.”

Collective “ooh’s” rippled through the group as Malfoy became speechless. Then, he grinned maliciously. 

“What, are you going to use the Cruciatus Curse on me? Heard that’s your mummy’s little specialty. Bet she taught you that one before you could shit in the toilet.” Crabbe and Goyle smirked at Malfoy’s response.

Seraphina’s eyes narrowed. “You wouldn’t know, Malfoy. Heard you’re still shitting your pants. Tell me, does Narcissa change your diaper here, too? Or is that just back home?”

Malfoy turned beet red. He drew his wand. Severus knew he needed to step in before things got too far out of hand. 

“Enough.” He walked out of the shadows. Malfoy suddenly dropped his wand. Seraphina looked like she’d been caught redhanded. 

“Rosier. My office. Now.” Seraphina grimaced. Malfoy smirked. Snape continued. “As for the rest of you, I expect you to behave until Madam Hooch returns.” He turned, motioning for Seraphina to follow him. 

Later, Severus would hear from Minerva how Malfoy had tossed Longbottom’s Remembrall and Harry Potter had jumped on a broom and caught the glass ball—in a dive, no less. Turns out Potter would be Gryffindor’s new seeker. He wouldn’t even be punished for breaking the rules Severus and Madam Hooch had set. Damn it, he knew he should’ve taken Malfoy with him when he had the chance.

* * *

Severus pushed open the door to his office. He gestured to a leather chair in front of his desk. “Sit.”

Seraphina sat with a huff. “I really don’t understand why I’m the only one in trouble here. Malfoy started it!”

“As I recall, you were the first to draw your wand.” Severus said cooly. “And, in that case, you initiated the duel.”

Seraphina paled. “But we didn’t even duel!” she protested.

“And you are immensely lucky you did not, or I would be forced to report you to the headmaster. You know unsupervised dueling is strictly forbidden on school grounds. Would you really have risked expulsion?”

“As I recall, this school is not supposed to tolerate bullying,” she spat.

Severus set his jaw. She was really starting to piss him off now. “And that is not for you to decide. Perhaps you have forgotten your place? Let me remind you. You are a first-year. You know nothing. So step back.”

Seraphina’s face reddened in anger, but she remained silent. Severus took a deep breath. “I am taking ten points from Slytherin: five for your trouble-making tendencies and five for your cheek.”

Seraphina opened her mouth to protest. 

“And you should be grateful I am not taking more. You would be wise to remain silent.”

Seraphina stared at the floor. 

Severus paused before continuing. “As you are well aware, practicing magic outside of Hogwarts is not allowed. So, why can you perform the slowing charm after the first week of class? You know as well as I do that your year has only practiced incantations—and not even for that particular charm.”

“I told you, I read ahead,” she replied calmly.

“And I told you not to lie to me.” Severus glared at her. “Let me guess. Your mother taught you.”

She leaned back in her chair. “So what if she did?”

“Might I remind you that there are students here who do not get such luxuries as having parents who teach them advanced spells. Your display of knowledge thus far significantly suggests the use of underage magic outside of school grounds. Rethink your response.”

Seraphina stared at him. He continued. “You are not to use advanced magic anymore, is that clear?”

Seraphina remained quiet.

“Do you understand me?” Severus was getting impatient. He detested spoiled children.

“Yes,” she responded quietly.

“Then go. And don’t let me catch you breaking this rule, or you will have detention for a month.”

Seraphina stood to leave, slamming the door on her way out of his office. Severus sighed and rubbed his temples. He really needed a drink.