A/N: Special thank you to redvelvetcanopy, my wonderful beta, for all her help! Read and review!
Prologue: The Effect of Losing Time
The door thudded again. This was simply one time too many, and as he pulled one greasy black lock from his eyes Severus Snape called:
A student entered, black robes billowing out behind her. She had a cascade of black shoulder-length hair which was a nest of disarray. A sea of crème-like skin contrasted with her soft brown eyes. Her eyes flashed around the stony office, sulkily looking at row upon row of potion ingredients and books. The rigidity of this office was unbelievably practical, down to the geometrical patterns on the rug concealed behind the dark ebony desk. The desk itself a formidable attribute to the Potion Master’s terrifying demeanour – at least when he was telling students off within its jauntily straight confines.
“Dad, I flooded the common room again.”
He buried his face in his hands. The summer holidays had never been so taxing, and they had only just begun. Slowly he looked up, wondering how this clumsy child had been his making. Yet she was every bit as Slytherin as himself, and in her quieter moments reflected the genius that had been passed from generation to generation of the Snape family.
“Cassiopeia Snape, why do you continually shame me? Must I clean up all your mistakes? No.” He looked up at her. “I will inform the house-elves to steer clear of the Slytherin common room. You will clean it – without magic. Now go before I have to elect for a harsher punishment.”
He turned back to writing the script on his desk, scrawling spiky black letters in perfectly straight lines from left to right. He was aware that his daughter hadn’t left yet, but knew that her anger would burst and she storm out.
“I wish mum were here. At least she knows that accidents happen,” she snapped.
“Yes, well your mother is off on some whimsical adventure in ancient Ireland again, isn’t she? She won’t be back until she understands the motives for that godforsaken battle," he said irritably.
“Jealous, father? Or just your usual dull self? Why did mum marry you? You are so… so – insufferable!”
She turned around and left, slamming the door behind her. Cassi was every part her mother's child as she was his, and he burst at the seams with pride. But he wondered – were children supposed to be this embarrassing? He sent a message to the elves to leave the mess to his daughter and continued with his work. ~*~
Cassi Snape immediately sought out Professor Binns, who as a ghost was able to enter the Slytherin Common room and as he was rather fond of her mother, Sorcha, was more than happy to help. His ghost status only helped in removing the water, somehow he vaporised the watery mess and by doing so restored order to the common room. Cassi bid him her thanks and watched as he vanished through a wall. She sighed. Her father was ever so hard on her and her mother – well, her mother was a loose cannon, but she wasn't, was she?
Her stomach grumbled noisily. Painfully even as she doubled over, collapsing on the vacant green couch. She ran her hands over her tummy, rubbing it as if to take away the discomfort it caused. Her mouth dropped open as wave after wave of pain shook her body. Then it stopped. She leapt up, again right as rain. Clearly something was not right. She left the common room at a run – perhaps her father had elected a harsher punishment after all. ~*~
The thudding on the door made it apparent that his daughter had indeed returned. Why did she keep this up? He was really quite busy. This time however she didn’t wait for his permission to enter, instead Snape roared:
As she stepped in to the room it was obvious just what the problem was.
“Dad – I’m vanishing!” she gasped. Indeed a transparent hole loomed at the very centre of her body.
“What have you done now?” he growled. She’s drunk one of my potions, he thought in agony. But rebuked himself – she was old enough to know better.
“Father I swear!” she gasped. “What’s happening?”
“I think I know,” he answered blandly pointing at the back of his perfect door. Writing appeared to be scrawled upon it. It read: Severus – got into a bit of trouble, lost my time turner – I can’t get back.
See what Dumbledore can do – I need help.
Had things changed so much that their daughter was being unborn?
“Glacialis!” he cast over her. Frozen, she could not be unmade. He stormed over to the fire place into which he threw a handful of glittering dust.
“Albus!” he called, and when the solemn face of the wizened Headmaster of Hogwarts finally appeared, he shook his head and mumbled.
“She’s done it again; Sorcha’s lost her time turner.”
The Headmaster chuckled. “Then retrieve her you must. I’ll keep an eye on Cassiopeia for you.”
This time it was the Potion Master's turn for a laugh. “No worries there, Professor Dumbledore – she was disappearing, I had to freeze her. Your castle is safe.” The relief was apparent on Albus Dumbledore’s face.
“Thank goodness for that. Good luck, Severus – bring her back safely.”
“Of course.” He bowed and turned from the now empty fireplace. Walking around the office he gathered the few things he might need – wand, cloak, time turner, a small potions supply and sighed. This is what love did to him. Then he laughed, Sorcha would regret this…