Chapter Two: Family History

Severus is told of the Dark Veela curse.

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Eileen Prince smiled. Her smile was so open, so captivating that for a moment, Severus felt as if the heavens had opened and sent moonbeams and sunlight to flood his starved and bruised soul.

But Severus was not one to be easily distracted by a smiling woman, even if that smiling woman was his mother. So, he asked again, louder this time, "What's going on, Mother? Where am I?"

Eileen took a deep breath and let it out with a sigh. Then she began to speak. "I'm not sure where to begin really, my darling boy." But seeing his rising impatience, she quickly continued by saying, "I guess I should begin with your grandmother, Antonina, my mother. A long time ago, when my mother was a young girl on the cusp of womanhood, she went to visit her Great Aunt Livia in what was then Prussia. There, she learned that what she had always thought of as her ugliness and inability to find friendship, love, was because of a Dark curse. The curse of the Dark Veela."

Taking a moment to pause, she went on. "You see, dear heart, Antonina's father, my grandfather, Claudius, was part Veela through his mother, Juliana's, side. But when she, the beautiful golden Juliana, left her family in Prussia to come to England and marry a man they thought unfit for a Veela, she broke their hearts and their expectations. Veela at that time were brought up to marry into wealth and bring continued glory to the family name, not love, and so the clan elders placed a curse on Juliana's descendants."

Eileen continued to speak, her voice growing sadder, more leaden. "As Juliana had left convention and position for love, then should love be the only thing that a Dark Veela, her offspring and their offspring would find hard to acquire. They would be the antithesis of the Veela she had sprung from. The Dark Veela would repel everyone. In order to find true love, that which Juliana claimed was the only thing that mattered as she left her family, and clan, the Dark Veela must find that one special someone immune to their anti-charm. Only then, with the finding of true love, would the curse be lifted. Juliana scoffed and gave no heed to the curse of the clan, and never told her husband or son about it.

Claudius was fairly fortunate because his mother's beauty and his father's ambition helped him to grow up to be both a wealthy and powerful man. He did not marry for true love, but his wealth and position meant that his wife was cowered enough to do his bidding and produce the requisite heir and daughter. The fortune his father had acquired continued to grow, and Marcus was found a partner from a penniless but prominent bloodline. Marcus and his wife lived in style, with great affluence and misery, and died childless and hating one another with their last breath.

Antonina, however, learned from her Great Aunt Livia the truth behind her parents' and brother's unhappiness and vowed that she would marry for love, that she would break the curse of the Dark Veela. For Antonina, despite her ability to repel everyone, was a romantic. As time passed and she failed to win the affections of the man she desired, one of the younger Malfoys if the tales are true, she married Edgar Prince, an older, kinder man who was in need of her money. My parents never loved each other, but they didn't really hate each other either, at least not until I was born. For not only did I repel them but with two Dark Veelas in the house, misery and discord was all that remained of the mutual unhappiness and desperation that had brought them together." Eileen was quiet after this long narration and seemed lost in thought.

Severus listened quietly to all of this family history. But he was growing impatient, for his questions had still not been answered. As he was about to open his mouth to question his mother for the third time, however, Eileen went on with her tale.

"I was foolish. I didn't know anything about love and fell in lust with your father. He was such a handsome man, and I thought that if I had a Muggle I could bind him to my bidding. And so, I drugged him with lust potion and forced him to marry me when I became pregnant with you for, despite it all, Tobias Snape was an honourable man. Poor, but oh so charming, handsome and honourable. I made him love me at first, but soon I grew tired of constantly plying him with lust potions and love potions, and once you were born, I just couldn't bring myself to live a lie. That is why I never fought back."

Eileen sighed and shook her head sadly. Then she went on, "I think seeing you just made me realise the futility of it all. I loved you, but didn't know how to show it, and neither did you. I guess that was the Dark Veela curse stopping us expressing our love. And this is also why your father, who I know was looking forward to having you, could never really love you. It was the curse, destroying all hope of love."

Eileen suppressed a smile as she saw the fury and impatience on her son's face. "And now, my darling boy, I shall get to your questions. You are here, that is to say, you are in limbo while the magic of the Dark Veela heals you. You are the last of Juliana's descendants. If you die, then the curse has been effective and Juliana's quest and belief in love will die forever. Therefore, each of your ancestors from Juliana onwards, at the point of death, was informed by the Veela spirits of the curse and asked if they accepted that love was immaterial or if they believed that Juliana had done the right thing in marrying for love. And surprisingly, all the love-starved, angst-ridden lot, myself included, agreed that love was the most important thing of all, for spending a life without love had taught us all the importance of it and of doing everything to nurture it and let it bloom."

Eileen continued quickly, for she could see Severus getting ready to explode. "You are being given another chance at love, my son; you are being sent back to break the curse of the Dark Veela, or at least to have an heir, so that there is one more generation that has the opportunity to find true love."

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