The Old Walls Crumble by cearrae
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Disclaimer.
This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

A few notes here. Severus and Jenny go to the pictures to see Dogma “ an Alan Rickman offering. His character is called Metatron.

A Chippie is a colloquial term for a fish and chip shop. Indian food is prevalent everywhere, it may have outstripped the chippie as the late night nosh of choice.

In many towns, the catholic schools have nuns as teachers “ not unusual anywhere. However, in my own town of Paisley in Scotland, an order of nuns were removed as teachers in the fifties due to complaints of excessive use of corporal punishment “ okay, they were beating the kids. True story! Mea Culpa.

Thanks to all who reviewed “ Marzbar, I’ve taken note to correct.

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Morning silently tip-toed in, bringing slow awareness to the sleeping lovers. Jenny woke first, feeling herself cocooned in the warm arms of the man who had made love to her the night before. She smiled, remembering their discovery of each other. His tender caress and concern as he’d entered her. Jenny hadn’t been with a man since her husband had left and self gratification was a poor substitute, in her opinion. She shifted gently, trying to move away to visit the bathroom, but Severus’ arm pulled her closer to him.

“Severus, I’ve got to go,” she hinted to the half slumbering man.

“Mine,” he mumbled, still in the realm between waking and sleeping.

“Yours with a wet mattress if you don’t let go,” she chirped, just before she jumped out of bed.

“Hmm? Jenny?” Severus looked at the alarm clock on the bedside table. It was nine o’clock. The door opened as Jenny returned to the bedroom. Severus looked at her nude body, revelling in her rounded curves.

“Come here, Jenny, it’s still early,” he told her, pulling back the covers on the bed.

Jenny crawled in beside him and wrapped her arms around him.

“Warm me up, Severus.” She snuggled into his chest, feeling the rasp of his chest hair on her cheek. Severus kissed the top of her head and pulled her closer.

“What are your plans today, Severus?” she asked.

“I think I told you I had an obligation,” he replied, while he stroked her back.

“I remember,” she responded. “What time are you expected?” she wondered.

Snape shrugged, “He usually calls around lunchtime.”

“He calls and you go?” she asked in surprise.

“Jenny, don’t ask too many questions.” He warned, with a sigh.

”Okay, but what about now?” she asked, as she kissed his chest and licked his male nipples. “I could make you breakfast?”

Severus moaned as Jenny teased him. “Jenny,” he sighed and ran his fingers through her silky hair before pulling her face to his and kissing her. “Don’t worry. I can enjoy what ever you have to offer. The menu is spectacular.” His hands began to move and Jenny was content to let them have their way. “You even taste good in the morning,” he whispered. She began to giggle softly. “What’s so funny?” he asked.

“Just thinking of how you made my ex a liar as well as a cheat,” she told him. Seeing him frown, she leaned up and kissed his furrowed brow. “He told me he was bigger than average. You’ve proved that to be a fib and a half.”

“How did you ever get together with a fool like that in the first place, Jenny? It seems out of character for the woman I’ve come to know.” He pulled himself up and leaned against the wall. Jenny sat up and reached out to take his hand.

“I was young. We were just out of school. He was my first “ my only until you.” She looked up at him and decided to tell the whole story. “I got pregnant the first time we did anything. It was stupid. We used a condom but it must have broken.”

“You didn’t use the pill?” Severus asked, for he thought most of the girls he knew in their age group had used the pill as a rite of passage.

“I went to the same school you did cause my mum didn’t like the sisters at the convent. I was raised a strict catholic otherwise. So was he, so an abortion was out of the question. Our parents made us get married so the neighbours wouldn’t talk.” She shrugged, “I lost the baby at four and a half months.” She shrugged once more, “We split before our seventh anniversary, when he found his blonde; not that he hadn’t had a piece on the side a few times.” she added, bitterly.

“There’s been no one else?” he asked.

She shook her head, “No one stuck around more than two dates. I wasn’t...willing...to put out fast. I might have been lonely but I was never desperate.” She pulled his hand up and kissed his knuckles, “You stayed around long enough to get to know me.” She rubbed her cheek against his knuckles.

Jenny had looked down at his arm and saw an unusual tattoo. “I’ll bet there’s a story behind that.”

Severus pulled his arm away and covered the tattoo with his right hand. “Youthful folly and stupid choices; a decision made, only to be almost immediately regretted.”

Jenny wondered what could cause the look of bitterness and pain to cross his face. The more she got to know him, the bigger mystery he became. On a whim, she reached out and pulled his arm back. To his surprise, she bent and kissed the Dark Mark.

“Severus,” she whispered, “if this is part of the person you are, I will never resent what ever made you get it.”

Pushing her back onto the pillows, Severus slipped his knee between her thighs and settled over her. “Sweet, gentle Jenny; how ever did I find such good fortune in my old haunts? Your pillock of an ex-husband doesn’t know what he’s let go, much to my pleasure.”

“Mmhh, no, my pleasure,” she told him, pulling him into a kiss. “Make love to me Severus; you make me feel alive when you touch me that way. I want you again and again and...”

Severus chuckled, “And again? Like this?”

Jenny gasped as she felt his hardness press into her again. “Oh yes, just like that,” she breathed into his ear.

The outer world was forgotten as their reality became their entwined bodies and whispered endearments. There was no Dark Lord, no ex-husband, nothing but them together; perfectly, ecstatically, passionately, together. Reaching their moment of nirvana together, content they’d shared it with each other and none other. It had all changed now. Everything had changed but neither knew what consequences this would bring.

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“Ron, Ron, wake up,” hissed Hermione. “You’ve got to get out of here.”

“Sshh, Hermione, they’ll hear you,” whispered Ron, not opening his eyes.

“Ron, you promised you’d get up and go back to your room early,” she whispered back.

“I don’t want to, I want to stay here with you,” he replied, pulling her close against him. “I’ve got Harry’s cloak.”

“What will happen if they check your bed?” Hermione found her logical brain had gone fuzzy when he nuzzled her neck.

“Stop talking, Mione. I can’t concentrate when you talk.” Ron began doing things that made her mind go fuzzier still.

“Ron,” she sighed, as he touched her breast.

In the hall, a door slammed making them jump. The door to the bedroom opened, admitting a dishevelled Ginny.

“Get under the bed, Ron, Mum’s coming,” whispered Ginny. She jumped into the other bed as Ron rolled off of Hermione’s and under the frame. Hermione pulled the covers up to her chin and feigned sleep.

The door opened once more. Molly Weasley was tying on an apron, “Both still sleeping?” she asked. “Ah well, I’ll just make a start in the kitchen.” She started to leave but turned back at the last minute, “Don’t forget to transfigure the pillows back to their proper form, Ron. Good feather pillows don’t come cheap.” With that, Molly closed the door and left.

“Bloody hell,” muttered Ron from beneath the bed. He stuck his head out and looked up at Hermione who was leaning over the edge looking back at him.

“That part wasn’t on my list,” she confessed.

“Pass me my shorts?” asked Ron, as he glared at Ginny, who was trying her best to stifle her laughter with her pillow.

Later, Ron and Hermione sat at opposite ends of the table for breakfast. Harry kept glancing between the two and got nudged by Ginny when he’d looked at Ron a minute too long.

Molly began her usual list of chores for her household. “Harry, dear, would you mind gathering the laundry from upstairs. The beds are due for changing and I want to get the sheets out for a bit of sun. Ginny you make a start on the dishes. Remus, I believe you and Hermione had made arrangements to visit her parents today I sent them an owl this morning to remind them. Ronald, your father wants a word with you in the library.” She stood and began clearing the table.

Ron and Hermione just looked at each other, Ron attempting a smile but just managing to look ill. Hermione just looked defeated as she followed Remus out.

Harry jerked his head toward the door, silently asking Ginny to follow him.

“Off you go Harry, I want a girl to girl talk with Ginny, there’s a good boy,” said Molly as a dismissal.

“Sure,” he said and left to head upstairs. The woman knew everything, he thought. She knew he and Ginny had spent the night together too. Where were the twins? They’d provided the elfin wine they’d all gotten tipsy on.

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Severus drove Jenny to her boss’s house where she’d been invited for a New Years day brunch. He returned home to his humble abode and changed into his Wizarding robes. It was just past noon and he expected the call anytime. He’d just downed a Firewhiskey when his mark burned. It wasn’t too painful today; Voldemort must be in a good mood. Casting a Disillusionment charm, he made his way to the river bank and apparated to the Dark Lords lair. As he appeared, several others, including Bella, had just arrived also.

“Severus, Happy New Year. I trust your holiday was pleasant?” she asked out of obligation.

“Tolerable,” he replied. “Yours; at least what you remember of it?” he asked sarcastically.

“At least I didn’t sit alone in a hovel,” she retorted spitefully.

“Why ever would you think I did?” he sneered and walked to the house.

The Faithful Brethren, as Voldemort had often addressed them, gathered in a once grand ballroom. The gilt decoration had faded and the air smelt of stale dissipation. A few sullen elves circulated the room, offering drinks and food.

Snape grabbed a goblet of wine off of a heavily laden tray carried by a burden, bent elf. As he sipped, he looked around at those present. There were a few missing from the complement since the previous levee. He recalled Narcissa had brought Draco for the first time last year. He’d held himself proudly, manifestly Malfoy, Snape remembered thinking. Was it only a year ago?

“Severus, welcome.” Lucius, limped up beside him, “We should find somewhere to talk. It’s been a long time.” He smiled and waited for Severus to take his queue.

“Indeed, old friend; come, there’s a divan in the alcove over there.” Snape pointed and led the way.

As Lucius sat beside him, Snape quickly cast a Muffliato charm. “Well?” he asked.

“It’s hidden in plain sight. I didn’t find any discernable charms, even when I touched it with my finger,” Lucius told him.

Snape snorted, “Arrogant bastard. Even when he knows people are looking for them, he leaves a Horcrux open to being filched.”

“It could be a trick, Severus. He might have something else up his sleeve.” Lucius looked around before bringing up the next subject. “I’ve had another revelation from our master. He called me yesterday and we saw in the New Year together. He’s chosen a date “ Beltane.”

Severus pondered what had been revealed. There was to be an end after all; a confrontation and resolution one way or the other. It was time to suggest an itinerary be drawn up and time to move towards pulling everything together.

“Can you transfigure a replacement?” asked Snape.

“Yes, it should be easy enough. Do you think it will work?” Lucius had not recovered his arrogant confidence upon his release. He needed reassurance to go forward.

Snape worried slightly at his companion’s hesitance. “Lucius, you are a powerful wizard. You can make a difference.”

“I only want the pain to end.” He looked up at Snape and gave him a slight smile, reminiscent of the Lucius of old. “If it means I must be sacrificed, so be it; just let my son live on.”

Severus nodded and lifted the charm, “How lucky for you, old friend, to be able to spend more time with our lord,” he said, for the benefit of those who would hear.

Lucius gave a wide smile, “Indeed, have I not always held a special place in his court? I am privileged to be so welcomed back.”

At the back of the room, a set of double doors were flung open by Pettigrew. “Our Lord is ready to receive you now.” He bowed dramatically, as the first Death Eaters began to file past.

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Ron and Hermione were in the library with his parents. Molly had sent a letter to Hermione’s mother and had expected the girl to return chastened but she appeared her confident self.

“Arthur has spoken to Ronald and I assume your mother spoke with you,” began Molly in a stern voice.

“Yes, she did, and Mrs Weasley, you needn’t have sent the letter ahead. I had every intention of telling my mother about what had happened.” She licked her lips and looked at Ron.

“As I’m sure Ron has told you, nothing happened; nothing of the nature that you suspect. I hope by now, you have some idea of how we feel about each other.” Hermione waited for their reaction.

Molly fidgeted on the sofa where she sat; this wasn’t what she’s expected.

“Hermione, if you‘ve spoken to your mother, can you share what she said to you?” asked Arthur.

Hermione shook her head, “Not all of it, something’s between mothers and daughters are private; aren’t they Mrs Weasley?” she asked rhetorically.

Molly conceded with a nod.

Hermione took Ron’s hand, making him blush, “She told me something very special. You see, my father served in the Territorial army for a spell before he became a dentist. He spent some time in Belfast while they were engaged. She told me something my grandmother had told her.

Hermione paused before continuing, “Gran said, ‘Barbara, she said, if he’s the one you want and you’re very sure about it, then be with him. Show him how much you love him. Don’t leave him any doubts. If you’re not a hundred percent sure, then don’t give him that kind of hope. It’s not fair to him if it’s all he has to keep him going while you’re apart and you’re not there when he returns.’ Apparently, that’s what she’d done when granddad went to fight in WWII.”

Ron looked once at Hermione and then addressed his parents, “I know it’s not the same, but I think we should be able to make up our own minds about this.” He looked back at Hermione. “If we’re old enough to die, we’re old enough to make love...when we’re ready.”

Arthur stood up and pulled Molly with him, “As long as you take the proper measures,” he looked at Ron for a moment, “then, I think enough said, don’t you agree, Molly?”

Molly looked like she wanted to argue, but said nothing. Instead, she walked over to Hermione and pulled her into a hug. Turning, she did the same to Ron, then made her way out.

Arthur watched his wife leave, “She’s so afraid, so very afraid; not for her self, but for everyone else. Her heart is so full of love that when she looses someone, a little piece of her heart is torn away.” He smiled at the young couple and followed his wife, leaving them to consider what he’d said.

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Severus was back in Jenny’s living room, sitting on the computer once again. Their relationship had moved forward, as evidenced by his copy of the front door key and the second toothbrush hanging in the bathroom.

“Making any headway?” asked Jenny from the bedroom, where she was changing.

“I have the office e-mail address but not their home e-mail.” He sighed; so many ways to look for something.

“Is it important who you contact?” she asked. “Maybe send an e-mail with a phone number for them to call you. Your mobile is pretty hard to trace.” She walked into the living room pulling a jumper over her head.

Severus looked at her, “It’s not in the regular phone book?”

She shook her head, “No, that’s for land lines. You’ve been in contact with this dentist before and you’d told them it was a referral from their daughter, right?” He nodded his assent.

“Well then, send an e-mail to the office and ask if they would pass your mobile on to their daughter.” She grabbed his arm suddenly, “You’re not a paedophile are you?”

“Madam, desist in your prodding into my past; I’m a teacher “ I loath the little buggers. I’d sooner have had an affair with the school caretaker.” He turned back to the computer. “And if you’d met him, you’d now be questioning my sanity.”

“How much longer will you be?” she asked, checking the newspaper.

“What time does the picture start?” he asked. He wasn’t enthusiastic about going but she had wanted him to accompany her.

“Let’s see; here it is 6 o’clock and a quarter to eight. Do you want to eat before or after?” she asked.

“Are we eating in or doing a carry out?” he asked.

“We could do a carry out after the early picture and come back here. Indian, Chinese or the chippie?” she asked.

Severus signed off from his e-mail. He’d improved his technique on the keyboard, using a teaching disk, to type with his forefingers and thumb on each hand.

“I’m a traditional man, but I’ll forgo the vindaloo and have a carry out from the chippie. I prefer Haddock.” He smirked at her frown.

“That’s traditional; Indian?” she asked.

“That’s all that was open after a long night’s pub crawl. What picture are we going to see, anyway?” He pulled on his coat and helped her on with hers.

“Dogma; my favourite actors are in it.” She opened the door and stepped out.

“And who might they be?” he asked, clueless to the current breed of movie star’s around.

“Ben Affleck and Alan Rickman,” she replied.

When the picture had let out, Jenny and Severus boarded the bus, returning back to their neighbourhood. The local fish shop was busy which meant the food would be hot and fresh; well worth waiting in line for.

“I’m starving,” said Jenny, “I don’t really like popcorn.”

Severus was biting into a fragment of fish he’d torn from the filet in the packet. “Nor do I. Do you have any more malt vinegar?”

They made their way to the play park and found a bench under a light. It was uncommonly mild for the end of February and even more unusual, it was dry.

Jenny loved watching the usually fastidious man eat with his fingers. He obviously relished the common food and licked his fingers after every bite. It made him look younger some how.

“I had fun tonight, Severus,” she told him.

“Before, during or after drooling at your cinema idols?” he asked, teasing her at her reactions to the appearance of her favourites.

“I never drooled,” she spat.

“Then why, when that character... meta-something... spoke, did you moan?” he asked, only half serious.

“Cause he reminded me of you, you daft man.” She ruffled his hair.

“You like my voice?” he asked innocently, sounding like a callow youth.

Jenny laughed, “Are you kidding? You taught upper sixth and no girl ever had a crush on you?”

Severus only half heard her. He put his hand over her mouth to silence her chatter as he peered into the trees beyond.

“Did you hear that?” he whispered.

“That crack? Probably a stray cat chasing something.” She whispered back, concerned at his tone.

Severus grabbed the food wrapping from her and pulled her up. “Come on, hurry.” He tossed the papers in the bin as he passed.

They jogged away from where the sound had come and hid in a copse of trees on the opposite side of the park. Severus allowed his wand to drop into his palm.

“What is it Severus?” Jenny asked in a whisper, suddenly frightened at his predatory look.

He turned to her and held his finger to his lips, begging her silence. She watched as four figures walked into the park they’d just left. They were dressed in strange clothes and appeared out of their element. Jenny looked at Severus, hoping for an explanation. He was focussed on the others.

“Are you sure, Mad-eye?” Asked one of the men.

“I know the bastard came from around here,” snarled Moody. “He’s removed his records from the Ministry and the school. Check for Magical Signatures.”

Jenny watched as the group broke up and began walking around. They appeared to be waving their arms around but then she noticed they were holding sticks in their hands which looked as if they were leaving a trail of tiny sparks behind; almost like the sparklers from Guy Fawkes Night.

Severus grabbed her around the waist and pulled her further into the cover of trees. It was then she noticed he had one of the sticks as well. They continued on until they’d reached the end of the park and were on the footpath again.

Severus looked around and saw a bus stop. Looking down the road, he saw the double-decker approaching and broke into a trot, pulling Jenny behind him. They reached the stop at the same time the bus did. Severus bundled her on and jumped up behind. The bus started up and passed the park as they took their seat. Severus watched the Aurors, led by Moody, continue their surveillance. His decree of no magic had proved its worth, at least in this one instance.

Severus paid their fares and turned back to her. Jenny was trembling, her mind a whirling tumble of thoughts.

“Jenny....Jenny, look at me.” He waited until she turned to face him. “There are things in this world that you do not know about; that millions of people don’t know about.” He spoke softly, that no one else might hear.

“What kind of thing’s, Severus? Who...what were they?” she asked. “What were they using?”

Severus licked his lips, “Jenny, I told you once that there was a power struggle happening. These are some of the people involved.”

“Are they the ones trying to take over?” she asked in the same hushed tones.

“No. In the terms of your Hollywood hero’s, they are the good guys,” he replied.

“If you want them to win, why are they after you?” she asked.

Severus looked out of the window to see what was around. “Let’s get off at the pub coming up. Give me a chance to explain.”


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