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.

We continue on. Things don’t get any happier…yet. There are always consequences for our actions regardless of how we try to escape.

Meetings and Consequences.

The old bed rattled as Bella pulled against her bonds, struggling to free her hands. She growled in frustration and glared at the wizard causing her exasperation. The payment was not quite what she thought it would be.

“Enough, Severus, no more teasing. You’ve had your fun, now; tell me what it is you want.” Bellatrix looked at the wizard who was lazily stroking her legs from his kneeling position between her thighs.

Severus offered her a sarcastic grin. “Come now, Bella, we’re just catching up on old times. I remember well your tutoring sessions with newly marked brethren where we were tied in just such a way for your amusement; albeit a lot less comfortably.” He slid his hands up her sides until he could cup her breasts and pinch the nipples. As she moaned and arched her back, he began to whisper his demands. “I need a job to keep me in his favour. I need ammunition to fight with and that means information.” He slid one hand down and began to tease her centre in a way that made her gasp.

“I taught you well,” she hissed through clenched teeth. Bella had her eyes closed and was twisting her body in an effort to ease her arousal. “Please, Severus, you must let me have my release. Please...”

Severus laughed and bit her neck, leaving a mark. “I’ve learned far more from women who lectured with tender and skilled hands than you’ve ever shown me. Now, beautiful Bella, tell me, what is it in Borgin and Burkes that must be retrieved?” He paused and waited for her answer.

“Argh!” she cried, “Severus, you are cruel.”

“I’ll take that as a complement from the mistress who defines the word.” He sat up and made to withdraw.

“WAIT!” Bella closed her eyes. “It’s very ancient and it belonged to an ancestor of Ravenclaw. He was a Warlock of the Clan of the Raven. The object is a rod with the Ravenclaw eagle mounted on it.”

Severus returned to rest between her legs once more. “Thank you Bella, now for your just reward.” He leaned down and with a hard thrust, entered her. Their coupling was rough and lasted at length before Severus finally allowed either of them any release.

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Severus woke the next morning with the witch’s arms wrapped around his torso. In her sleep, Bellatrix could pretend to the hard beauty that had been hers before her time in Azkaban. Her striking eyes and full lips, along with her sinuous body, had left many a wizard stirred and desirous of her company.

He made no pretence of easing himself from her embrace. Severus rose and began pulling on his clothing. He would make a trip to the local public baths and shower later. The old house had a gas geyser mounted over the bathtub, that provided hot water for ablutions but he wanted to be purified after his night with the Dark Lord’s favourite.

“Severus, what time is it?” Bella pushed herself up and rubbed her eyes.

Snape looked at his clock. “Just past eight o’clock,” he replied, as he pulled on a dark blue jumper.

“Oh! What a ridiculous time to be awake.” Bella lay back and opened her arms, “Come back to bed Severus. We can have some fun before we greet the day.” She smiled at him suggestively, “If you want, we could make this a habit. You always were my favourite pupil.”

Severus rose from his seat. He picked up the robes Bella had discarded the night before and threw them at her. “Get your lazy arse out of my bed. You got your jollies and I got to scratch an itch.”

“You ungrateful bast...” Bella was cut off in mid declaration with Snape’s hand wrapping around her throat.

“What did you expect, Bella? Grateful, grovelling from a man who had gone too long without?” Snape laughed. “Don’t flatter yourself.”

“You...you never have women offering you their bodies freely. They take one look at you and run the other way unless you’re raping them,” she spat back at him.

“They don’t know what they’ve missed.” He reached over and pulled her out of the bed. “Now, get dressed and be on your way. I’m sure your husband has missed you.”

Bella pulled back her hand to slap his face only to have it caught by Snape before it struck. “I don’t think so, madam. I never give whores the upper hand.” He pulled her after him as he made his way downstairs. Bella clutched her robes to her chest as he pushed her towards the hall.

“I need my shoes and my wand,” she spat through clenched teeth.

Severus pulled out his own wand and Accio’d her belongings, throwing the shoes at her feet but keeping her wand. “You have two minutes,” he told her and looked at his watch to time her.

“Our Lord will hear of this,” she muttered as she struggled into her robes. Shoving the extraneous articles of underwear into the pockets of her cloak, Bella forced her feet into her shoes and threw the cloak over her shoulders. “My wand,” she demanded.

“Let me show you out, my dear Bella.” Snape pointed to the front door and followed behind her as she walked towards it. Severus un-warded the door and opened it letting Bella exit. “I look forward to hearing from our Lord; I expect that he shall call very soon.” He passed her the wand, “Have a safe trip and do give my regards to Rodolphus.” He smiled as he slammed the door in her face.

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The kitchen of the Weasley household was bustling with activity. Two house elves, Dobby and another Hogwarts elf, were labouring under Molly’s sharp eyes to produce a veritable feast. The twins had shut up shop and were busy erecting and decorating a marquis tent for the wedding reception with the help of Ron and Harry. Ginny and Hermione were gathering flowers to make baskets and wreathes.

The wedding ceremony would take place under a night sky so that all creation would witness the hand-fasting and binding of Bill and Fleur. The guests would stand in the sacred circle and an elder would hear the oaths and make the binding.

Harry came into the kitchen to get a cold drink. He looked at the food filling the magically resized cold box as he reached for the pumpkin juice. “Wow, Mrs Weasley, this puts a Hogwarts feast to shame,” he complimented his surrogate mother.

Molly smiled at the compliment, “Well, it’s not everyday your oldest son gets married. I’ll not have it said the Weasley’s stinted on a Wedding. Dumbledore always enjoys...oh my.” Molly suddenly realized what she was about to say. She sat at the table and dabbed at her eyes with a tea towel. “It’s so hard to think of him as gone. He was going to officiate, you know.”

Harry sat across from her, “Sometimes I wonder how I’ll carry on. He always had something up his sleeve. It was as if he had a giant secret he wanted us all to guess at. I never thought of him as being just...an old man.” He looked into his glass of juice not wanting Molly to see the tears threatening to fall.

“Harry, we’re all just human beings. Even He Who Must Not Be Named had a mother, god rest her soul.” Molly stood suddenly, “Right, that’s enough of that. Come on.” She reached over and tapped Harry on the shoulder. Harry finished his juice and stood as well.

“Harry, be a dear and fetch the boys from the field for some tea. Fleur is bringing her mother and sister later and we’ll all have a light supper then.” Molly shooed Harry along and watched as he disappeared behind the hedges. She turned back to the kitchen and looked over the day’s labours. “Alright you two,” she called the elves, “enough for tonight. Put some preserving charms over this lot and move it out to the tent. After that you can go but be back bright and early tomorrow.”

“Excuse me, Mrs Harry Potter’s friend, Dobby wonders if you know what tomorrow is?” asked Dobby.

Molly scowled, “Of course I do. It’s my sons wedding day.”

Dobby went pink in the face and wrung his hands, “Of course, Mistress, but tomorrow is special for another reason.”

Molly crossed her arms in front of her, “Don’t worry, Dobby, I remember; Merlin knows, you dropped enough hints. We will celebrate Harry’s birthday at lunch tomorrow.” She thought for a moment and added, “If you are here, you may attend.”

“Mistress Mrs Harry Potter’s friend, you are too kind to Dobby. Dobby was rude to suggest that such a great mistress would forget...” Suddenly the elf grabbed a wooden spoon and began beating himself about the head.

Molly dashed forward and grabbed the spoon, “Stop it, you foolish little creature, I need you fit for tomorrow.”

“Thank you, mistress; we shall be here early, as you have ordered.” Dobby and the Hogwarts elf began casting charms over the food and moving it out to the tent. As the table cleared, Molly set out soup and bread for her extended family. She was never more content than when she was providing for those she loved and cared for.

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Thursday, July 31st, 1997. Snape looked at the calendar hanging on his wall. He was finally alone, finally able to think. Away from the eyes of his Deatheater cronies and Order comrades he could be Severus Snape, half-blood wizard, half-blood Muggle and emotionally exhausted man.

Rubbing his hands over his face once, he pulled himself up from the sofa and got ready to go out. An owl had arrived the evening before with a letter from Narcissa telling him the money transfer had been made. Her donation had been sent to the Muggle bank as well. Opening a drawer in the sideboard, he pulled out a wallet. It contained a driver’s licence, credit card and bank card. He chuckled to himself, thinking about what his Slytherin students would have thought about their House Master seeing him like this. He pulled on a light jacket and made his way out.

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Jenny Doulton, library clerk, recent divorcee and self declared frumpy Manchester lass. She looked at herself in the mirror and pulled her hair up, then let it drop. “Let’s face it girl, you have all the pizzazz of a day old bread pudding,” she said to her reflection. With a sigh, she picked up her handbag, a box of stuff for the jumble sale at the school and went out to shop. Maybe a little Victoria Sponge from Marks and Spencer would improve the day.

She made her way to her old primary school and walked through the gates to the doors leading to the School Hall.

“Hello Mrs Fraser,” she called, “here’s the stuff for the jumble sale. Not much, just a few things of my mum’s that nobody wanted.”

“Thanks ever so, Jenny,” replied the older woman who was taking in the donations. “You must drop in on Saturday; we’re having a nice Tea Room and bingo.”

“I wish I could, Mrs Fraser, but I’ve got to work. Saturday’s one of the busiest days at the library.” She smiled, “If you see something I might like, why don’t you pick it up for me and I’ll pay you.”

Mrs Fraser smiled back at her, “Dora Smedley is doing her homemade chutney; I’ll get you a jar.”

“You do that, thanks. Must run, bye.” With a smile and wave, Jenny left the hall. She looked down the corridor towards the school office and noticed some framed pictures. Curiosity got the better of her and she walked over to browse the small gallery.

She chewed on her nail as she gazed at the old photos taken of prize giving and sports teams of previous years. She stopped when she came to a picture of the chess club that had won the inner city championship for their age group in 1971. There he was, the chap she’d met outside the school that day. Checking the names listed at the bottom of the picture with the faces, she found out who he was. “Severus Snape, that’s who you are.” She looked once more at the picture then left through the front doors.

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Severus made his way to the closest bank that had an automatic teller. He pushed his card into the slot and keyed his secret number. A few key strokes later and a small wad of pound notes were dispensed. He quickly put the money in his wallet and left.

Taking a deep breath, he looked up and down the street, deciding which way to go. He looked up and saw Marks and Spencer. He recalled they offered a good range of better than average food and decided that was the place to start.

As Severus looked around the large shop, he was struck by how bright everything was. He’d been so immersed in the Wizarding world; he’d forgotten how open and airy the Muggle world could be. Wizards seemed to prefer the Victorian clutter of a bygone era and most shops were dusty and cramped.

He walked around and made a few selections then moved to stand in line to pay. As he waited for his turn, he mulled over in his mind what to buy at the off licence. His reverie was ended when a cart on wheels banged the side of his leg painfully.

“Sorry, I wasn’t watching where I was going...Oh, it’s you.”

Severus turned and looked at the voice. The woman he’d met at the school.

“Indeed, it is I,” he responded through his gritted teeth as he rubbed his thigh.

“I’m really sorry. I got distracted by the signs.” Jenny pointed to an overhead display. “Are you all right?” she asked.

Standing straight now, Severus sighed, “I’m fine, I’ve suffered worse.”

“My mum always gave me grief over not watching where I was going,” she continued, just to make conversation.

“Perhaps then you should bring her with you next time,” he replied tartly.

“Wish I could,” she replied quietly. Severus looked at her. “My mum passed away in May.” Jenny shrugged and offered him a sad look.

Severus felt regret at uttering such a tactless comment; it was only an accident. “I’m sorry, I was rude; my condolences on your loss.”

“You couldn’t know,” she replied with a small smile on her face. “Listen, we didn’t really meet properly at the school that day. I was just so happy to see a familiar face after being away for so long. Let’s start again. I’m Jenny Doulton and you are Severus Snape, right?” she held her hand out once more for him to shake.

He still didn’t take her hand, “How did you come to know my name?” he asked, surprised at her discovery.

She dropped her hand for the second time, “Is it some deep dark secret? Do you have an aversion to shaking people’s hands when they introduce themselves?” she asked tersely, then more evenly told him, “I saw your name on a picture when I dropped some stuff off at the school.”

He nodded and extended his hand, “Indeed, I am Severus Snape, Miss Doulton.”

She took his hand, finally and formally meeting the tall dark man.

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Harry’s birthday celebration had been brief; just a few presents and a cake with candles, for pudding after lunch. Not that he minded much, it still far exceeded anything he’d received from the Dursley’s. Besides, the wedding was the story of the day and he was just as happy not to be the centre of attention.

“Molly, Molly,” called Fleur’s mother, “Ma cher fille, she ‘as, ‘ow you say, le hoquet.” She gave up and demonstrated the hiccups.

“Not to worry, Iris, it’s just nerves I expect. Here, a nice big glass of chilled juice.” Molly poured the icy beverage into a glass and passed it over.

“Merci,” the bride’s mother replied as she bustled back upstairs.

Arthur Weasley entered the kitchen, rubbing his hands together as he looked around excitedly at the chaos that was his home.

“Molly, dear, the guests have started to arrive,” he told her just before planting a kiss on her cheek. “You look a treat, Molly Weasley. Folk’ll have a hard time deciding who the bride is,” he teased.

Molly smacked his hands, “Behave yourself, you silly old flirt. Do I look nice?” she asked shyly.

Arthur put his arm around her shoulder, “I couldn’t think of a prettier witch who could be seeing her son wed. You look lovely, Molly.” He kissed her once more before wading into the crowd of Weasley’s to round them up. “Come on you lot, we’ve got guests to greet.”

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Harry and Hermione stood in the Wedding Circle and watched as Bill was led in by Arthur and Molly while Fleur entered with her father and mother. When the parents joined the outer circle, everyone joined hands to form an unbroken chain. Harry looked up at the crescent moon and wondered if his parents married like this; he didn’t know. He paid little attention to the words being said and only noticed when the elder raised his wand causing a magical glow to form around the hand-fasting couple. They were then declared husband and wife amid the triumphant cheers of the Weasley men.

“That was lovely,” declared Hermione, “Come on, we should congratulate them.” She grabbed Harry’s hand and pulled him forward. They walked through the impromptu reception line, taking their turns embracing and wishing the married couple well.

“So, Harry, will we be brothers soon?” asked Bill, as he shook Harry’s hand.

“Oh, uhm, I don’t know about that Bill,” Harry answered hesitantly.

“I thought you and Ginny, you know, were together.” Bill looked a little uncomfortable.

Harry nodded and looked at his feet. “We were for a bit but we decided...no, I decided I couldn’t have that between us until everything is over.” He looked at the older man hoping for understanding, “You know what I mean.”

“Harry, I know what you mean but it doesn’t have to be that way. Ginny understands what is going on better than most,” Bill replied.

Harry then shook his head, “I won’t risk it. I care for her far too much.” With a final shake of the hands, Harry left the couple and headed off to see Remus.

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Severus sat in his living room after tea, reading a Muggle newspaper. If he was going to be in the Muggle environment for a while, he thought he should be caught up on current events so that he didn’t sound foolish if he should be asked a question. He was chuckling over a particularly vulgar comment made by a local politician regarding one of his peers, when he felt the tingling in his mark that presaged the full burning of a call to the Dark Lord.

He knew it had been coming for weeks but it was now mid August. Why had it taken so long? Best not to dwell on it, he thought, as he prepared to leave for the apparition to his Master’s side. He’d either be back in business or crow’s carrion by the end of the evening. It only mildly disturbed him that he actually considered the latter as slightly preferable.

He left his house and made his way to an alley running behind a deserted warehouse. Here, he donned his Deatheater robes and Apparated to the meeting place. As he appeared, Severus looked up at the sky trying to gauge his location. The horizon was marginally brighter than it had been when he left meaning he was further west of his home. There was a distinct sharpness to the air which indicated proximity to the sea; possibly the Isle of Mann then.

Joining the assembly, Severus dropped to his knee in the approved manner of greeting Voldemort. They waited silently for his appearance. Severus scanned the masked faces with his eyes not moving his head. It was easy to pick out the Lestranges and Rookwood. They had always presumed superiority in the Dark Lords eyes. He noted heads turning and bowing indicating the approach of He Who Must Not Be Named.

Voldemort stood before the bonfire that had been erected in the centre of the circle. His skin glistened in the firelight giving him an unearthly appearance. Not so odd, thought Snape to himself, since there were none others like this creature walking the earth.

“My loyal followers, we are come here tonight to bear witness to those who lack courage and conviction in our cause. Those who would seek to hide themselves from our displeasure.” Voldemort signalled to unseen servants.

Severus gasped inwardly when he saw Narcissa and Draco dragged into the centre of the circle. They were haggard and bruised. He could only surmise they had been held in captivity for some time. He imagined he saw Bellatrix start as well.

“Those who seek my favour and then fail to achieve the simplest task set them, should not think they shall avoid my displeasure.” He walked over to Draco and dragged him closer to the fire. “This boy thought himself worthy to be among my most favoured, taking the place of his father.” He forced Draco to his knees. “Yet, he could not summon the Killing Curse.”

Draco trembled in fear and looked up at his mother. She stood silently, tears streaming down her cheeks. She had tried to save him but had instead thrown him into the path of the one they had tried to escape from.

“A pity you hadn’t known Karkaroff was already dealt with, isn’t it my dear?” Voldemort addressed Narcissa now. “But a mother’s love for her child is a greater power than common sense it appears.” Whipping himself around, he addressed the gathering, “Bellatrix, Severus, approach me, NOW!”

Severus and the woman strode quickly to the centre of the circle and fell to their knees once more.

“Bella, I am most disappointed. Why did you seek to help these traitors?” he asked gently.

“My Lord, they are my family. I could not deny them my help. Truly, they meant no disloyalty to your cause. They only sought safety from the Aurors who might force information from the boy.” Bella lowered her eyes deferentially. “I ask forgiveness for my presumption.”

He turned to Snape, “And you Severus, why did you make such a promise to them?”

“Honoured one, the task you set was important to our success. To his credit, the boy succeeded in allowing your servants to enter the castle. He is young and had not the experience needed to cast the curse required of him. The assassination need to be carried out. I completed the task.”

“Ever the politician Snape, none the less, I will brook no disobedience in the future.” He approached Draco once more, “As for you, you snivelling young tadpole...Crucio!”

Draco fell over and writhed in agony as his mother watched, sobbing aloud now at her son’s torture. The Dark Lord finally lifted the curse leaving the boy sucking huge gasps of air to fill his lungs. Turning once more to Bellatrix and Severus, Voldemort cast the same curse on them. He held it longer on the experienced Deatheaters before releasing it.

“Now, let us give you a little more experience to help you obey in the future, young Master Malfoy.” Voldemort signalled to two men who pulled Draco to his feet. “Watch and learn.” He turned and looked at Narcissa who now stood alone. Her eyes widened in the realization of what was about to happen.

“I love you Draco, never forget that,” she shouted quickly.

Voldemort pointed his wand at the blonde witch who now stood proudly erect. “Avada Kedavra!”

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