The meeting was long and draining, each member telling their own, depressing reports. There was a collective sigh of relief when the old Headmaster announced that the meeting was over.
Despite the obvious exhaustion that ran through the entire Order, the Weasley matriarch was quick to hop up and announce that everyone should settle down for a nice cup of tea and some snacks before departing to their own destinations or stayed for a nice ‘family’ dinner.
There was a murmur of gratitude as the tired witches and wizards moved to the kitchen table where the tea and goodies were set up. One lone figure moved away from the group, hoping to be able to silently slip out of the house and away without any further interaction with anyone else.
No such luck.
The dark figure turned to see Molly Weasley approaching her with an inviting smile and a cup of steaming tea. “Why don’t you join us? You only ever stay for the meetings, it doesn’t leave much time for any catching up, does it?” She offered a bright smile that did nothing to hide in insistence in her voice, probably a skill that she perfected from her many years of mothering a rather large amount of rowdy children.
“No thank you Molly. Not this time.” The dark haired witch offered a small upturn of the lips in exchange for what would hopefully be an escape.
“Yeah, and if I can help it not ever.” The barking voice of Sirius Black called out as he approached the two women. “It’s enough that I have to let Snivellous in here at all, let alone at my table.” He insulted with a sneer of disdain.
“Hmm? I didn’t know that dogs were allowed at the table?” Snape snapped back, a cruel twist of the mouth as her hand tensed, ready to grab her wand the instant Black made a move for his.
“They’re more welcomed then any damned Death Eaters that’s for sure!” Black snarled, glaring at the Slytherin.
The female matched his glare with a deadly one of her own, allowing some of her magical energy to flow out, making the air tense and almost suffocating. “Well it’s better than being stuck here for all eternity. How does it feel Black, getting out of one cage before being trapped in another?”
“You bitch!” Fast hands reached out to grab the high collar of the professor’s dark robes, hoisting her up until her feet nearly left the ground.
The witch didn’t show any surprise and with a flick of the wrist the Potions Master had her wand pointed at the juncture of the mutt’s neck, still intimidating even when almost being hoisted off her feet. “Still hiding behind violence? I guess you can’t ask anything more from an animal, they tend to rely on instinct more than actual logic.” The witch’s voice was gruff from the slight strangulation of the high collar.
“Oh knock it off already!” The red headed woman scolded, face flaring up. “You two are grown adults! If you can’t act like it then maybe we should send you to wait with the children during the rest of the meetings. Now I’m sure that we can make it through a cup of tea without any more fighting. Do I make myself clear?”
With one last glare the animagus released her collar and huffed out of the room, then it was easy to hear him complaining loudly to the rest of the group.
The darker haired witch frowned deeply, straightening her robes before turning to the still frowning Molly. “Now you see why my presence is a bad idea? Black is particularly volatile tonight and while it would be gratifying to return him to his proper place, this is not the time or place for any kind of dueling.”
“Oh nonsense. You two are just being difficult.” With a surprising change in demeanor the redheaded mother lead the disproving teacher back into the kitchen.
The spy took the seat just to the left of the twinkling Headmaster, to the right of Arthur Weasley and unfortunately across from the Golden Trio. While handing the sullen Slytherin a cup of the hot drink the matriarch of the Weasley family spotted a glimmer from something hanging around Snape’s neck.
It was a glistening gold ring hanging from a golden chain, both simple but beautiful.
“Severus, dear, what a beautiful necklace.” Molly commented as the blackette sipped her tea. Pale hands immediately reached up to grasp it in a tight fist, eyes growing dark. “I never knew you to be one for jewelry.”
“I’m not.” The Potion Master tucked the golden necklace back into her collar. It must’ve moved when the Black heir was being rough. “This one is just special.” The voice was smaller than one would expect from the usually proud witch and it wasn’t missed by the people surrounding her, even the Golden Trio seemed to take a moment to get another look at their sullen teacher.
Taking a seat next to her husband, Molly smiled at Snape. “Well then there must be a special story behind it.” An invitation to share.
“Yes, do tell us Severus.” Dumbledore encouraged his former student, setting his tea cup back on the table to give his full attention.
The blackette turned to protest to the bearded wizard. “Headmaster I –“
“Come one Severus we never hear any personal stories, it’s always business with you.” The old Gryiffindor insisted with a twinkling smile before turning to address the Trio of students at his side with a knowing smile. “With any luck we get to hear about your Professor’s wild years that I’ve heard rumors about.”
A surprised look came across the children’s face. “Wild?” The youngest male Weasley gaped at the smirking Headmaster and fuming Professor. “Headmaster I don’t think that Snape is the wild type. I mean-“
The freckled student was interrupted from a sharp glare in his direction. “It Professor, Mr. Weasley and honestly it’s nothing of importance.” The Potion’s Master took a thoughtful sip from her hot tea, stalling for a moment. “I do believe that Molly wears her wedding ring, why would it matter if I wore mine as well?”
Various witches and wizards simultaneously choked on their drinks and treats as the room was silenced with shock. Surprise was evident of on everyone’s face, even the bespectacled Headmaster seemed slack jawed with shock, all while the sullen Potion’s Master took another drink from her tea with one hand fiddling absentmindedly with the ring still chained around her neck.
The werewolf was the first to recover from his shock and questioned from down the table. “Are you serious?”
“No. I’m Severus.” Snape responded, silently amused with her own joke.
“I had no idea.” The Weasley matriarch inquired, leaning in with interest in this newest piece of gossip. “So is it anyone that we know? How long have you been together?”
“Molly, I was simply answering your question about the ring, I have no intention of divulging any other factors of my personal life.” The blackette set down her cup one last time before putting her hands flat on the table to push herself up in a tired, yet graceful manner.
“Really now Severus you’re leaving us in suspense here.” The Headmaster commented with a curious flare. “I’ve know you since you were a first year and you’ve never mentioned this to me? Is there any chance we get to meet the lucky man?”
Straightening out her robes again Snape turned to leave the room. “Not unless you can talk to the dead.” And with that last somber statement the Potions Master billowed out of the building, leaving the room feeling sullen and troubled.
Who would’ve thought that the Slytherin was a widow.