"Severus." His voice drawled, "My most loyal servant."
"My Lord." He responded dropping to his knees at the feet of Voldemort
"You have been a loyal servant over these many years. I have offered you money, power, and women." He spoke softly as the death eaters gazed at him from across the room, "Yet you never partake in anything I offer you." He finished resting his hand on top of Severus' head
"My Lord?" Severus looked up into the Dark Lord's red eyes and quickly looked away
"Is what I offer to you not good enough?" he asked his voice edging on darkness, "Are you too good for what I have to offer?"
Severus shook his head, "My lord…. I do not partake in your gifts because I do not feel worthy of what you have to offer?"
"Worthy? You have done more than all of my other servants. You bring valuable information to our cause and with that, we gain ground to our victory every day."
Before Severus could say anything more he was interrupted, "Severus take yourself a woman. Any you would wish. It is your reward for bringing me such valuable information."
Severus simply knelt with his head down, "I could not my lord."
"You dare oppose the Dark Lord!?" Bellatrix screamed
With a roll of his eyes, Voldemort waved her away, "Why do you not obey?"
"I could not take one of these women, my Lord."
Voldemort paused and with his eyes narrowed he simply pushed his way into his servant's mind without giving notice,
Severus blocked out his memories of lying, spying and the relationship he had with Nessa.
Voldemort raised his brows and grinned, "Ahh. I see." He announced, "You have feelings for one of your students."
Whispers broke out among the death eaters and Severus glared at them until they were silent. He hung his head and nodded confirming what the Dark Lord had seen.
"She is to be married I think. To one of my follower's boys."
Severus growled, "A mere boy."
Voldemort laughed, "Do you want this girl Severus?" he hissed
For a moment Severus was still, but he nodded, "Yes, my Lord."
A booming laugh echoed around them and Voldemort raised his hand, "Bring me the Girl's father." He commanded
Death Eaters left the room and they were alone.
"Stand Severus." He commanded. Without hesitation, he did so and stood before the Dark Lord.
"I am doing this for you, Severus. For your years of hard work and loyalty. You shall have the girl."
Severus nodded, "Thank you, my Lord."
They stood in silence as they waited only moments before a Death Eater walked through holding the arm of Nessa Garcia's Father. Her mother trailed behind them walking proudly her head held high
Mr. Garcia fell to his knees, "My Lord." He whispered dropping his head
"I have brought you here for a reason Garcia. Your daughter how old is she?"
His eyes lifted and his eyes darted between Severus and Voldemort. "She's seventeen."
Voldemort nodded, "Perfectly of age then." He paused and smiled, "Stand Garcia."
He did so, looking nervous.
"You plan to have your daughter marry, correct?"
"I have the perfect man," Voldemort announced
"Thank you, my Lord, but we have already chosen a young lad in her year at school."
Voldemort's eyes narrowed and he growled, "Did I ask you if you had chosen a boy?"
"No, my Lord." His eyes dropped to the floor and he stood still
"Right you are. I have the perfect man for your daughter. Someone who will care for her. And teach her well."
No one said a word as Voldemort dragged out the man's misery.
"Severus step forward and meet your father-in-law."
Severus did so and held his hand out to Nessa's father. Mr. Garcia gave him a look to kill.
"Him? No. He's nearly double her age!" he blurted out in rage
"I shall ask you once more Mr. Garcia. Did. I. Ask. You. How. Old. He. Is?" Voldemort gritted out
The color drained from his face and he shook his head.
"Your daughter would be so lucky as to marry my most respected loyal follower." He screamed raising his wand, "Crucio."
Mr. Garcia fell to the floor and all Severus could think about was how angry Nessa would be when she heard her father was tortured.
Her mother stood in the back of the room and showed no emotions. She sneered at her husband and stepped forward before bowing low. "My Lord?" she whispered
He nodded for her to talk never taking his eyes from the man on the floor, "Speak."
"Our daughter is a lucky woman for you to have chosen her groom. We will be happy to welcome your most loyal into our family."
Voldemort released the woman's husband from his curse and nodded, "I am pleased one of you see's reason. Now leave. Send an owl to your daughter and announce the wedding. I expect an invitation." He told them as he waved the wife and her husband away.
As they left the room Severus turned to the Dark Lord and bowed, "Thank you, my lord."
"Do not thank me yet Severus. Your soon to be bride is young, and more than likely unwilling." He laughed, "Good luck Severus. I cannot wait to meet her."
"Turn to page 374 in your textbook. We will be brewing a significantly difficult potion today."
The class was silent as they turned the page and waited. Professor Slughorn had been in a right foul mood and no one wanted to be on the bad side of an angry professor.
"Today you will start brewing the potion on this page following the directions precisely. If you manage to brew the potion correctly you shall receive a passing grade. If you fail to do so you shall fail." He turned his eyes onto his students and passed over them, lingering on no student in particular.
His eyes raised to meet hers and they were empty, "Yes, Ms. Garcia?" he asked in a huff
I um. I- I- I can't find the dragon scales." She muttered
He smiled slightly and waved his wand making the dragon scales float over to where they stood. "Ms. Garcia, you have brewed nearly as many potions in this lab as I. Do not waste my time." He lowered his eyes and continued to read.
Professor Slughorn had been in such a foul mood she simply ignored his attitude and walked back to her set.
Nessa sat in her seat grinding her scales, thinking about the man she had grown so fond of and wanted to cry. Severus had not spoken to her in a week and after she had received the letter declaring her betrothal to Severus Snape she had wanted nothing but to speak with him. Her heart had been so filled with happiness and joy that she had cried with happiness as she read her mother's letter. That night she waited for him to come to her but the longer she waited up that night the more it seemed as if he was not coming to her.
She waited every night for a week, waiting to talk to him. She had tried every day after class to speak to him but he left into his office and locked the door so she could not follow. She waited patiently but he never came to her and her heart felt like glass ready to break.
She brewed her potion her way with her book closed and talked to no one as she finished forty minutes early. Standing she bottled her potion with a wave of her wand and took it to Slughorn who still sat watching them closely. She set it on his desk and left the room without a word.
Returning to the common room she steeled her nerves and prepared for Defense against the Dark Arts.
Her mind was clouded by her betrothed. Images of him flitted through her mind and her heart throbbed in her chest as she held back tears. Transfiguration was a blur and her notes were a mess of smudged ink.
Her head snapped up, "Yes, Professor McGonagall?" she asked clearing her throat
"You're late for class." She said stiffly
Her brows knit together, "I'm in class, professor."
McGonagall shook her head, "Not my class child. Your next class. It starts in a few moments."
Her eyes widened and she started to shove her things into her bag, "Oh my. I'm so sorry professor, I'll hurry!"
McGonagall smiled and merely shook her head as she watched the flustered girl run from her room.
Her heart was racing as she ran and when she was about to turn the corner to the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom she stopped.
"Why should I go to class?" She said aloud to herself, "Today is Thursday and I don't have classes tomorrow." She turned around and headed back to her common room, "Besides I doubt he even wants to see me. He probably won't even notice I'm not there."
She walked her back inside the common room and feeling winded after all the stairs down the dungeon she ignored the first years and just walked up the stairs to her room where she stopped for a moment at her door and decided to change her password.
She did not want to be bothered, by anyone.
Walking inside she promptly tossed her bag to the flood and dressed for bed before she began to cry.
"Where is Ms. Garcia?" Severus asked the class from the doorway
The room was silent.
A hand raised from the front of the room, "She was in Transfiguration."
"Did I ask where she was?"
"Where is she?"
"Don't know. She didn't follow us up from transfiguration." A small voice whispered
He growled and slammed the door to the classroom shut. The period was a stressful one. No one spoke and Snape assigned a ten-foot essay on defending one's self from mountain trolls due the next day.
A pounding on her door woke Nessa in the early hours of the morning. She sat up and waited but the pounding never stopped.
"Open this door. Right now." she heard Severus growl in a low voice
She froze in bed and couldn't manage to move. The pounding continued and when it stopped she took a deep breath and approached the door slowly. With her hand on the doorknob, she listened carefully for anything from the other side of the door. For a few moments she heard nothing, but when she pressed her ear to the door she heard mumbled cursing.
Slowly she turned the knob and pulled the door open inch by inch. When she peaked her head around the door she saw a black cloak and a frazzled looking Severus with a distressed look upon his face. She stepped back and opened the door wide for him to enter.
It was a few moments before he moved but eventually, he moved swiftly into the room as she shut the door behind him. She did not turn to face him and admired the door closely.
"You were not in class today." He gritted out
She pouted, "Surprised you even noticed." She muttered
She took a deep breath before turning to look at him. She gave him the full force of her hurt, "I said I was surprised you even noticed."
He looked taken back. He studied her before finally collapsing onto her bed and covering his eyes. "How could I not notice?"
"I don't know. You haven't spoken to me in weeks."
He peered up at her from under his arm and sighed.
"I mean, I get a letter stating we're to be married and then I hear nothing from you. I thought this is everything we wanted?" she turned away from him, "At least I wanted it."
He sat up quickly and pulled her down to him. She sat on his lap and tried to pull away but he held her firmly in his grasp. "You think I don't want you?"
She shrugged and avoided his eyes.
"Is that why you didn't come to class today?" he asked pulling her face to his
"I wasn't trying to avoid you, love." He kissed her cheek, "I had to."
He hugged her to his chest, "Something happened that night you got the letter from your parents." He stroked her hair, "The Dark Lord ordered your parents to give you to me."
"The Dark Lord?" she whispered
"He tortured your father until your mother stepped in and accepted his order."
She was silent.
"I didn't want it to happen this way. I would have done something else. Anything else, but the Dark Lord took the information from my mind. I managed to block out our more physical moments."
She blushed, "Did he see?" she squeaked out
He shook his head, "No. He saw enough to know why I turned down all his gifts of women over the years."
He nodded, "He offered gifts to his most loyal. I've turned them all down and now he knows why." For a moment Severus was quiet, "You're my weakness now."
"Is that why you've ignored me?"
He nodded again, "Yes, he has Draco watching me, us. Waiting to see what I would do."
She snuggled into him closer, "What do we do?" she whispered
He said nothing.
"I don't know what we'll do. We will marry, but you can't seem willing to marry me."
She smiled slightly, "You're unwilling young bride then?" she giggled
He nodded with a smile, "Essentially yes."
"I love you."
He sighed into her hair, "I love you too."
"Even though you're pushing me into an unwilling marriage that will result in my parents hating you?"
"Yes, even with all of that."