Shattering the Mask
NOTE: Amy doesn't get changed back. Willow finds Rack by herself and goes to England to recover. AU from there on
NOTE: This is definitely an AU. I might have muddled up events in the canon timeline so please forgive any inconsistencies. This is after the Glory mess but before the First. There is no First. The Geeks were run of the mill demon worshippers (for power, etc). The Scoobies still hasn't forgiven Willow's actions - nearly destroying the World and hurting Dawn.
NOTE: AtS until Connor. AU from there on. Cordelia accepts demonhood. No Jasmine. AI doesn't own Wolfram and Hart.
NOTE: Post GoF. OotP didn't happen per say. Sirus is alive.
AN: Big shocker to all those who love to hate the greasy git...
~*~ Shattering the Mask ~*~
Snape studied his fiancee with concerned black eyes. She was reclining against a Roman style chaise making notes on a Muggle-style clipboard using a fountain pen. She had conceded against using ball-points but she refused to use quills and an ink pot.
"Are you sure you are up to this Lia?" He asked her again.
Cordelia looked up and smiled seeing the concern and banked flames in his black eyes.
"Positive Severus." She sat up straight and arranged the material of her silky ankle-length black skirt demurely in contrast to the expanse of bare back exposed by her jade green halter top.
Severus Snape left the living room of the suite he shared with Cordelia. They had done some rearranging over the summer. Cordelia Chase flatly refused to live in the dungeons. They compromised on two floors of Serpens Tower. A living room, a solarium and guest room on the first floor. The master bedroom and private bath, another guest room and Snape's private library on the second floor. There were several hidden exits into the tower, the dungeons, their classrooms and the Great Hall.
He returned a minute later with a quiet Draco Malfoy.
A year ago he would have refused to show respect to anyone not a witch or wizard. But he had seen Cordelia Chase, witnessed her abilities and recognized the steel in her. A more cowed Draco waited silently for his House Head's fiancee to look up. And she did.
Warm hazel eyes studied him knowingly. Draco wondered if she was using her telepathy.
"I am." She told him. Draco jumped.
Cordelia Chase glanced at Snape.
"Sev, would you mind giving us a few minutes alone."
To Draco's shock Snape nodded and vanished behind a tapestry hiding a set of stairs.
Draco waited and waited until he couldn't bear it.
"Well?!" He demanded.
"I was waiting to see when you would break." Cordelia replied honestly. "You remind me of myself. I was like you. Stubborn, defiant, spoiled."
"What happened?" Draco asked curious.
"I found out about things that go bump in the night." Cordelia replied wryly.
Draco snorted. "That would be been a surprise for a Muggle."
"A bit." Cordelia conceded. "It was a bigger shocked being tapped as a Seer."
"What is it like?" Draco asked curious.
"Painful." Cordelia answered honestly. "It hurts every time I get a vision. The Oracles told me it hurts to make sure the Seer does not mistake it for a day dream or a nightmare." She smiled slightly. "Anything else?"
"Why are you marrying Professor Snape?" Draco couldn't restrain the question. "I mean he is not exactly handsome."
Cordelia shook her head at the folly of teenagers. "Draco, looks are not the be all and end all despite whatever I say. In high school I allowed hormones to put me in a doomed relationship that ended with the guy cheating on me and me with a big iron bar through my stomach. Very painful lesson. Another time I allowed a handsome guy to take me out on a date and he turned out to be a vampire. The next one wanted a sacrifice for a ritual. After that I quit dating."
"Then how? Why Snape?" Draco wanted to understand what drew Cordelia to his godfather.
"Fate." She answered bluntly. "I had a vision of a friend, Willow Rosenberg, the redhead, so I went to her house. She was entertaining Hermione and Severus. Hermione is her cousin. We didn't like each other, we rubbed each other wrong and neither of us would admit to a weakness."
"What happened?" Draco was honestly curious now.
Cordelia smiled distantly. "The Goddess." Her hazel eyes sharpened on the Slytherin student. "Sev is mine just as I am his. He is possessive beyond what most people consider acceptable so he made a decision not to form connections. I am possessive in the same manner. What I want I get, I do not tolerate anyone getting in the way unless I choose to give way. We fit." She shrugged slightly then smiled. "He is a very passionate man Draco. He cares deeply. Once he makes a claim you can depend on him, but if you break trust he will never forgive."
Draco struggled to try to comprehend his godfather, his teacher as a man, a lover, a husband, maybe even a father.
"I don't expect you to understand but I hope you will accept our relationship. Sev cares for you and your mother. I know she's in the hospital and you must be feeling very alone right now." Her hazel eyes warmed. "If you feel the need to talk to someone, or just cry feel free to come to me. I've cried on a lot of shoulders and provided shoulders to a lot of people to cry on as well."
At that word Draco couldn't control it. He fell on his knees and buried his face in her lap and sobbed. He cried so hard he didn't see Snape join them and kneel behind him and stroke his back and murmur words of reassurance in low velvety tones.
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
AN: Short, yeah, yeah, I know... That's why I'm posting more than one chapter here.
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