Did it count as kidnapping when your own mother made you go with strangers, Severina Snape wondered as she was lead further into the House by an old, cranky-looking House Elf?
She tried not to shudder. Grimmauld Square was a sinister place to say the least, between what she had noticed right away were cursed object, the row of decapitated House Elves heads and the very harpy-like woman who had glared at her the moment Severina entered the house, sniffing and mumbling about a filthy Half-Blood defiling the home of her ancestors. Severina hadn’t bristled – much. She had heard it all before in Slytherin’s Common Room since she had been Sorted and there was always an idiot or two every year to start going about blood purity. That’s it, until she and a couple others decided to, ah, ‘enlight’ them on where they could put their bigoted opinion.
Sadly, it wasn’t a possibility here. Severina might be a very knowledgeable thirteen years old but she wasn’t about to try her luck against an adult Black woman. Plus, it could lead to issues with Regulus and she had no desire to add more troubles to those already weighting on her shoulders.
Those troubles were the very reason of her presence here, after all. Not for the first time, she wished she could have killed Black; that was all his fault!
“The Half-Blood, Master Arcturus,” the House Elf announced after knocking on a door and getting out of the way so Severina could enter.
“Leave us, Kreacher. And you, come closer, girl. I want to take a look at you.”
The Blacks really were gifted with good looks – even if the harpy Severina had met earlier looked already prematurely old – the young witch thought as she obeyed wordlessly. Arcturus Black, current Head of the Black family, shared no little amount of resemblance with both his grandsons. Despite his snowy white hair, he had the same grey eyes as them, Regulus Black’s nose and something of Sirius Black’s smile. It irritated Severina to the most, for that smile had been something she would have dearly wished to wipe out of that arrogant toerag’s face.
Well, she had, but not because she had Cursed him. More like, Black had finally realized there were Consequences when you fucked around. Literally.
Arcturus Black looked at her up and down with sharp eyes, as if he was trying to look through her. It made Severina uncomfortable. “So you’re Eileen Prince’s girl, hum? You’re nothing much to look at.”
Severina held her tongue; she was used to that kind of comment too. Severina was not Lily, who seemed to be made of light, beautiful and vivid and bright. Instead she had a pallid complexion, a nose a little too hooked to be pretty, the thick eyebrows of her mother and very little in term of feminine wiles.
Black wasn’t finished. “However, I suppose you must have something to you for my grandson to decide to uphold the family tradition with you.”
Severina brisked. “Is that how you call getting a girl drunk without her knowledge and fucking her?” she asked sarcastically. Not her brightest move, but if that old bastard dared to imply anything that happened between Sirius Black and her had been anything but a lapse in judgement at best and an odious trap at worse…
The black haired witch took a step back, stunned, as she felt a burn on her cheek. Her hand rose uncertainly to meet heated skin. In front of her, still sitting calmly in his seat and his wand out, Arcturus Black looked at her with a smirk. “So the little girl has a tongue after all, eh? I’m going to warn out only one time; I don’t allow sassing and talk backs, is that clear? Is that clear?” he repeated without raising his voice but with a narrowing of his eyes that made Severina give a jerky nod. She hadn’t even seen the man take out his wand.
The old wizard leaned back in his seat. “Take off your robes.” Severina stood frozen like a statue. Surely the old man hadn’t said…? A wand was waved. “Take off your robes, girl, or they’ll end in pieces.”
“Why should I obey?” Severina asked with more bravado than she felt.
Arcturus Black gave her a crooked smile. “Because I asked and in this house, everyone obey to my word. Especially you. Now, shall I cut a sleeve to encourage you?”
Severina lowered her head and with shaking fingers, started to strip. There were no words to describe the feeling of uneasiness, no, of sickness that grew into her as she undid the clasps of her cloak and unbuttoned her school robe, letting them pool around her too skinny legs. Arcturus was eyeing her like a shark. Severina hesitated for the briefest moment before she continued to undress herself, not needing a word to know the old wizard didn’t want her to stop at the outer layers.
The white shirt joined the cloak and the robe. The shoes and the stockings followed, then the suspender belt which was holding them up. Her breathing has started to speed up as she unclasped her bra, letting her small breasts out of their confinement. Then, biting her lips, she slide out of her panties, using her arms to try and hide her new nudity as she rose.
She had never felt so humiliated before, not even when she had woken up curled around Sirius Black after the New Year Day, undressed and reeking of sex and alcohol. She had Cursed him good for that, to the point it took Madam Pomfrey several days before she managed to put his balls back in place.
Severina had rejoiced in vindictive pride. But, silly girl that she was, she had committed hubris by not immediately checking herself in the Hospital Wing too and asking for a Morning After Potion. She hadn’t thought for a moment that there was a risk.
The consequence… the consequence was that small but fairly obvious bump in her abdomen, where Black’s bastard was growing. Fuck him, she thought with hatred. And fuck his old man too.
Arcturus Black had risen from his seat and was now checking her out like he would have a winged horse or a racing hippogriff. Severina tried not to flinch or react outwardly as he palpated her arms and legs, squeezed her breasts in his hands – hands that could and would crush her if she protested, she had no doubt --, eyed her belly speculatively and turned around her like a vulture or a shark having scented blood. At least he didn’t try and check her intimate parts, Severina thought with relief as the old man finally took a step back, seemingly satisfied (though he did slap her ass, the bastard).
“The face isn’t much to look at, but you’ll do as a bride I suppose.”
“Bride?” she asked weakly. Black didn’t reply. He just turned away from her and got back to his seat.
“Sit down – and cover yourself up, you’re going to catch a cold,” he said dismissively, gesturing at a bathrobe of sheer green fabric lying on the chair across his. “Kreacher!” he called while Severina quickly draped herself in the bathrobe. It wasn’t much but at least she wasn’t completely naked anymore. The old House Elf popper in and put a tea tray on the table before bowing and disappearing again. Arcturus Black clucked. “That how I like my House Elf – silent and efficient.”
“Is that how you also like people?” Severina couldn’t help but ask grumpily, tightening the belt around her waist. The old man just threw his head back and laughed.
“You got spunk, girl, I admit. But you should learn to hold your tongue better.” His grey eyes were cool but there was a hint of smile on his lips. “Once you and Sirius are married, I expect you to know your place in this family.”
Severina squared her shoulders. “Who said I’d ever marry him?”
“I said,” the old wizard said with tranquility as he versed tea in two cups. Severina watched him with falcon eyes, fearing he’d try to drug her. She couldn’t see it, but the old wizard actually smiled at her caution. Good girl. “And in this family, my word is law. Besides, do you think the Blacks have ever allowed little bastards to be born to their name? This is why I married Melania MacMillan when we were both barely older than you, despite the MacMillans being a too recent family to be fully free of Muggle filth. This is why my cousin Pollux married Irma Crabbe ahead of schedule despite their early engagement, and this is why my nephew Cygnus tied the knot with Druella Rosier before they even finished their Second Year. A Black assumes his responsibilities,” Arcturus Black said gravely. “Sugar?”
“No thank you,” Severina replied, feeling vaguely horrified. Fuck, she thought. Fuck it all. She had know the Blacks married young, she had heard the rumors, but until now it hadn’t sunk in just how young.
“Hmph. You’re an interesting character, girl,” Arcturus huffed as he added two cubes to his own cup. “I took the liberty to make researches about you.”
Severina raised an eyebrow. “You shouldn’t have.” Because who knew how many ideas it had given the old man?
“Hmm. Slytherin student,” he nodded toward Severina’s school robes, “constantly in the upper 10% students of her Year in Potions and in Defense and in the top 20% for Herbology and Charms. A few faint praises from Slughorn, and we all know how the all bastard pick his favorites,” he sipped at his tea. “Regulus reported you were quite good at crafting your own spells; a remarkable talent for a young witch. You bear a Muggle name, true,” he vaguely pouted as if the detail bothered him (which it did, considering how ‘pure’ the Blacks prided themselves to be), “but that’s an inconvenience I’m quite willing to overlook in the present case.”
“Why?” Severina asked, not daring to touch the cooling cup in front of her. “Because I’m a good witch, or because you think I’ll inherit the Princes money?” Because Severina’s mother had been an only daughter and even if her parents had cut all contacts with her and basically disowned Eileen, they had taken no such steps toward Severina herself. In the absence of any other heir or a will specifying she was disinherited as well, the Goblins were quite likely to rule in Severina’s favor.
Arcturus’ lips quirked. “Smart girl. It’s true that as the sole grandchild of Sebastian Prince, you’re set to inherit the family money when he’ll finally decide not to hang on this Earth anymore. It certainly wouldn’t hurt and render your addition to the family more palatable to dear Walburga – or to my dear cousin Pollux. As Head of the family, I’m the one who will have the final say in the matrimonial affairs of our common grandsons.” He made a face. Severina tried not to make one herself. To think two Blacks first cousins had decided to marry and bred… Brr. It seemed to displease Arcturus Black as well.
“I gave my benediction to Orion and Walburga’s wedding despite my reserves because Walburga refused to accept one of her suitors’ hand, Orion was never any good with women and Pollux wished for the happiness of his only daughter first and foremost. Sirius and Regulus came up fine, but I refuse to let another such wedding take place in this family so long I’m alive, despite what Pollux might hint at.” He snorted in disgust. “The idiot refuses to see that we need some Half-Blood in the family if we want to stop our degeneration into a Gaunt-like state, no matter the studies. I’m pragmatic enough to know what is needed and honestly, Sirius could have done much worse for himself.
“How generous of you,” Severina drawled. “I trust you believe in the ideas of Tom Riddle then?”
“Don’t get cheeky with me, girl,” he warned, eyeing her with narrowed eyes. “But as a matter of fact, I do. Descendants of Slytherin or not, his maternal family was barely as step above Squibs.” Thank to the inbreeding went unsaid, but it hung heavily into the air. There were rumors Marvolo Gaunt had married his sister, but it was impossible to prove as no marriage certificate had ever been filled at the Ministry. Arcturus hummed. “But look at Riddle. A nearly Squib mother, a Muggle father, and he’s one of the most powerful wizard in Britain, almost on par with Dumbledore – but without all that rot about living alongside Muggles,” the old wizard nodded in satisfaction.
Severina didn’t say anything to that. Tom Riddle’s stances were infamous. A huge defender of the Status of Secrecy and an adversary of any Muggle/Wizard union (unless the Muggle had known wizarding relatives and was already in the known about magic, not that many people wanted to hear or repeat this particular idea), he was still known for advising for the acceptation of Muggleborns and Half-Bloods in long standing (pure-blooded) wizard families, if only to avoid the fate of the Gaunts befell them as well.
“… Does that mean Pollux Black is against Bellatrix’s dead set idea to bed the man?” she couldn’t help but ask. That had never been a secret in Slytherin House.
Arcturus snorted in laugher. “My, aren’t you a clever child? Dear Pollux is ready to make an exception for that. Muggle name or not, the notion to become related to the last Heir of Slytherin by marriage is too much an opportunity for him. But if he asked for my advice – which he won’t – I’d tell him to trying and force Bellatrix to look up at other suitors. The Lestranges are very keen on an alliance and their eldest son Rodolphus would make a decent husband, if Pollux really want to keep what’s left of his bloodline pure.”
Severina hummed noncommittally. The ‘Andromeda Black Affair’ was still a hotly debated subject in the Slytherin Common Room, between those who thought she made an awful, unforgivable mistake into marrying a Muggleborn and those who thought she had made the right choice in wedding a man who obviously cared for her and respected her.
“Not drinking your tea, girl?”
Severina tilted her head. “You’ll forgive me for not trusting a drink that wasn’t prepared before my eyes, I hope?”
That earned her a small but true smile. “Ah, spoken like a true Slytherin. You’ll make a good bride for Sirius -- and hopefully a suitable mother for your children.”
Severina bared his teeth. “I have no desire to marry that bastard!”
“But you will,” Arcturus said calmly. “This is already decided. Your mother gave her accord.”
Severina felt blood rush away from her face. “She didn’t?” she whispered.
“Why not? No more than me does she wish to have a bastard grandchild – or great-grandchild,” Black said mildly. “And she’s a proper witch and Slytherin, despite her poor life choices. She knows the advantages she has to win with a good union for her only daughter.” Namely, a return in grace in her own parents’ eyes; the Blacks were seen almost like royalty in several circles of the wizarding world. A granddaughter marrying a Black could erase a lot of resentment.
Severina swallowed. “Black… your grandsons know?” If Regulus knew and hadn’t warned her… if Sirius Black knew and had sprung this on her…
“They must by now; Orion was tasked in telling his oldest son exactly what are the consequences for screwing in this family – please, forgive my pun” he nodded at Severina. “It is my hope that Regulus will find this lecture just as instructive as his brother and that it will teach him to seek out a suitable partner if he ever gets urges down his pant; I don’t mind members of this family reproducing young, but I’d like to avoid giving dear Walburga a heart attack before her sons are legally adults. She isn’t much of a mother, but she’s still theirs.”
Severina gritted her teeth. Arcturus eyed her casually, gaze brushing over the small swell of her abdomen. “You should smile, girl. It’s not every day one can boast about joining the Black family.”
“That’s not something I’m going to boast about,” Severina replied snidely.
“Not yet, perhaps,” Arcturus acknowledged, “but everyone change their mind at some point.” Did they so willingly or not, Severina couldn’t help but wonder? “But let’s that subject rest for another day. Your mother will be coming for dinner tonight, after which she’ll pick you up. We’ll have many things to discuss over the preparations of the wedding. Kreacher will take you upstairs to wash and dress you up in a bit.”
His eyes wandered over Severina’s belly again. He wasn’t quite smiling, but his expression softened. Severina instinctively crossed her arms over it, hiding the bump from sight; it didn’t seem to bother Black. “You will name him Arcturus if it’s a boy,” he stated.
“Don’t I even have the right to choose for myself?” she asked coldly.
The look she got in return was just as cold, previous tenderness forgotten. “Girl, you will learn soon enough that in this family, you either bow to the law of the Head or you break. And I don’t think you want to experience the second solution…”