The Snape Boy
There was something odd about the boy who lived in the house at the end of the street. The street was called Spinner's End, and it was the roughest area in all of Cokeworth. Lily Evans knew what that meant - the Snape boy was trouble!
Snape had called her a witch. At first, Lily had thought that he was being mean, but then he had called himself a wizard. He had said that his mother could do magic.
She wondered, 'Could magic be real?'
Her mum had corrected her with a sad smile. "Sometimes children make up things to help them cope, dear."
Lily was not convinced; her mother could be wrong. Lily had decided to open up her own investigation into the Snape boy. Her dad was a police officer, and from the stories he had told her, she knew exactly what to do. She started with a stakeout. That's how her dad got all of his information.
She pulled out her school bag and emptied the contents on her bed. Inside, she packed a notebook and a bunch of pens. Recording was essential to any investigation. After this, she went downstairs and got out a thermos. Her dad told her that coffee was a crucial ingredient for a stakeout because it helps you stay alert. Once she had the coffee, she filled her bag with snacks. There was only one more thing that she needed - a camera. After all, she would need evidence to prove what she found. She snuck out of the house, feeling excited.
'Can you imagine?' she thought. 'Proving that magic is real!'
It was a long walk from her house to Spinner's End, which was a very long street, and Snape lived in the darkest, dingiest house, right at the end. She hid at the back of the house and listened. Nothing happened for the longest time, but Lily still kept a log of events:
09:00 - Investigator in position
09:15 - No activity heard or seen
09:30 - No noise from 156 Spinner's End
And the log continued much like this until later on in the morning. Everything had been utterly silent until the father had woken up. She heard a loud moaning and crashing around the house. Lily added that to her log and then climbed up on to the shed to get a better view. The back patio doors were wide open, so she could see and hear everything that was going on.
The living room was covered in the debris of drink cans, food wrappers, and dirty clothes. The sofa, which was falling apart, was occupied by a burly man. He had dark hair, a full beard, and his dark eyes frightened Lily somehow. Snape could be seen hurrying about the living room; he seemed insistent on barring the way to a neighbouring room that his father clearly wanted to get into.
At first, Lily thought that he might have been playing, but then she saw the father's face. Mr Snape was filled with rage as he chased the scrawny boy, trying to get access to the other room. In his fury, Mr Snape was flinging objects and furniture out of his way, unperturbed by the close misses of the small child. The little boy, whose mismatched clothes were even more ragged than usual, stumbled through the living room, trying to keep some distance between himself and his father.
It seemed as though the Snape boy would be fine, as he finally made it out of the house. His father, however, caught him by his shirt, dragging him back into the house.
"It'll be worse since I had to chase you, boy," Mr Snape hissed in a cruel voice.
Lily was sure that if magic were real, the child would undoubtedly use it now. He would be able to escape - to save himself. Instead, the boy gave up and curled into a ball, accepting the blows that his father had to give. Lily wondered what the poor boy could have done to deserve such punishment? The most she had ever gotten was a smack on the hand for telling lies.
She was sure that the child would use magic now. Eager to get her evidence, she snapped some pictures, but nothing magical happened. Soon the father left with a fresh bottle of something Lily didn't recognise. The boy was alone. Lily focused the camera and tried to zoom in on the Snape boy who lay curled up in a ball, crying. As soon as the father had left a frail woman appeared.
"Severus, it's okay," she whispered, so Lily could barely even hear, and she pulled the small child into her arms.
The woman that held him was just as slender as the child. She had long, lank dark hair and a sallow complexion which gave her a worn-out, defeated look, and Mrs Snape was covered in as many bruises as her son.
"I couldn't let him hit you, Mum," the little boy replied.
"You're mummy's brave boy," she said, a sad smile on her face as tears glistened on her cheek.
"It will be better when I go to Hogwarts. When I learn magic, I can protect you!" he promised.
That was the first time Lily had ever heard the child sound hopeful.
"Severus, Hogwarts isn't real. Magic isn't real. It's just a story," she said sadly.
The boy's lip trembled, and his large dark eyes seemed to lose the little hope they had. "But we can pretend, can't we? Pretend we have magic to help us?"
"Of course, we can pretend." Mrs Snape smiled. "We can pretend that we are going to run away to Hogwarts if you like."
"How would we get to Hogwarts, Mum?" he asked, his tears subsided as his mother began to tell him a magical tale about red steam train engines and hidden platforms. There were magical beasts, unicorns, and an ancient but friendly professor with the strangest name imaginable.