AN: Once again, not mine just playing….reviews are nice.

Tested Hearts

Chapter Ten

"Sev, do you really think this is a good idea? He's sixteen years old, he should be having fun with friends, trying to win the heart of a girl. It's been three weeks and he stays in the library or the Common Room helping the younger students. I thought he was reacquainting himself with his friends," Lily ranted as she floated from one side of Severus' office to the other.

"Ezekiel is new to this school and it will take time for him to rebuild those ties. As for being a sixteen year old, he's much older mentally from just his upbringing according to bother sets of memories. Ms. Lovegood has begun to see that he is different from me but as you know Gryffindors are very judgmental and he bears my name and he's a Slytherin," Severus answered as he graded one of the second year Ravenclaw's work, he sneered at the deplorable research.

"You didn't answer my question, Severus. Do you think it is a good idea for him to try and be recognized as spy material like you?" Lily asked as she purposely stuck her finger in the Potions Master's shoulder just before he began to write a scathing comment about the work. He narrowed his gaze at her but changed what he started to write.

"Severus…" Lily pestered after a few more minutes of silence.

"No, Lily, I don't think it is a good idea. I know what the Dark Lord does to his followers when he perceives failure and I don't want him to go through that. Unfortunately, I already know that Draco has already told his father about him and Lucius has told the Dark Lord. He has already asked me why I haven't brought him forward before now. I have managed this long because I have told him that I need to find out more about him and his ideals before bringing him forward to 'serve' him. I don't want to see him suffer anymore than I have to but I fear this may be our only option," Severus finally answered with a sigh.

"But that's so soon," Lily muttered.

"Albus already knows all this and he has already accepted the fact of now having a potential second spy. The only thing standing between Ezekiel and the inevitable is his desire to keep Ms. Granger, Ms. Weasley, and Ms. Lovegood, and Mr. Longbottom as potential friends," he continued as he finally gave up grading to lean back into his chair, covering his face with his potion stained hand.

"Why doesn't Hermione go back to him? She knows who he is? Severus, they love each other,"

"Lily love, even I know she loved Harry Potter but Ezekiel Snape is someone she doesn't know. He's darker, more Slytherin, and I feel that this is Destiny's punishment for all three of us. We are forced to watch them make our mistakes all over again. Yes, he loves her but he also knows that for him to take out the Dark Lord then he must become what he has to fight. In doing that though he pushes her away to protect her," he said looking at the glowing spirit in front of him, the single tear that fell silently down her face echoed the one he refused to allow to fall.

"Do you think I should speak with her? Should I speak with him?"

"Lily, he's letting her choose, letting her get to know him all over again. I know it's slow but can you honestly say that if we had been faced with something like this, would we have done anything different?"

"But why is he being punished for our downfall?" Lily pondered as another tear went down her cheek.

"I don't know, Lily love, I don't know," Severus muttered.

MOESDM

Michael did not enjoy being alone and he really wanted to be with his new friends but he couldn't because of what the older Slytherins said and what the other students did. He let out a sigh as he stared at the essay he was supposed to be writing for Professor Flitwick but the Levitation charm just wasn't keeping his mind occupied. He lifted his head up at the sudden noise of arguing behind him and his curiosity being what it was, he turned to see the really pompous sixth year Malfoy pointing his wand at Ezekiel. He quietly closed his book and snuck around close to hear just what was going on. He kept to the shadows and out of sight.

"Snape, how can you possibly call yourself that with how you lower yourself to being with those pathetic excuses of witches and wizards of the other Houses? Your own father has joined us why haven't you? I know for a fact the Dark Lord is not pleased with your delay in meeting him. You are from Durmstrang, join the Brotherhood," Draco hissed as Ezekiel continued to sit with his side to the blond, his book still opened.

"I will meet with the Dark Lord when I have something worthwhile to give him. As for the younger students, the more I'm around them the easier it will be to get in with Dumbledore and what left of his pathetic Golden Crew and the burning chicken order. They are weak now with the Boy dead, their guard is down," Ezekiel answered as he slowly turned to face the blond narrowing his gaze at him.

"This isn't the time for games, Snape. I have a job I must do but I can't even know what it is until you show yourself to him," Malfoy growled before storming off. Ezekiel went back to his book as Michael back tracked with wide eyes. He really needed to talk to someone but he didn't know who. Harry would know what to do if only he could…the library he's always there with Hermione and the others studying. He slowly but steadily made his way towards the Common Room's exit. Ezekiel looked up seeing the young Slytherin leaving at a decent pace, he puzzled at that until he calculated just how he had gotten from his seat to there so quickly and the only way was to have gone right by him. He instantly made up his mind to follow him but not obviously of course.

ESSSLP

"Where'd the kid go?" Ezekiel muttered to himself as he searched for the short dark haired boy. He paused at the edge of the corner at the sound of the kid's voice.

"Professor Snape, sir, I'm sorry. I didn't see you,"

Ezekiel chanced a look around to see his father helping the boy up to his feet, catching the man's black gaze he mouthed for him to talk. His gaze then snapped over at the sound of his mother who had evidently caught on quicker than Severus.

"Are you alright? Have the other students been pestering you? You look affright,"

"Yes, no, um, I…"

"Easy, you can always be free to talk with us. That's what we are here for," Lily added.

"Well, I uh, I don't know. I heard Ezekiel and Malfoy talking but I don't know…" Michael stammered his gaze lowered, he never saw the look that his Head of House shot towards the corner behind him.

"Why don't we go to my office and talk there, Mr. O'Toole?" Severus added as he started to lead the boy towards said room.

"I don't want to be a bother, sir,"

"You're not, dear," Lily said.

"No, but there are somethings that should be kept within Houses rather than with the others," Severus added with a curt nod at his son, telling him to go on. Michael let out a soft sigh as he sat down in the chair across from the Professor's desk.

"What's on your mind, Michael?" Lily asked watching the boy's head jerk up wide-eyed.

"Well, Malfoy said something that didn't make since, Ezekiel did too,"

"Why is that?" Severus asked calmly.

"He kept mentioning the Dark Lord and for Ezekiel to join him and that he wasn't pleased. Sir, he also said that you were one of them. Are you sir?" Michael watched his professor clench his fists tightly.

"I want you to be honest with me, Michael. What do you think about the Dark Lord?"

"Sir?"

"I know you're young and you may not understand the world that goes on around us but you must know a little of what goes on," Lily added gently.

"I…I can't say if you're with him," Michael muttered lowering his head.

"You need not worry about whether or not I will go to the Dark Lord if you say that you don't like him. I am not here to recruit and you are much too young for it anyway. So tell me honestly,"

"I…I don't like him, sir. He made…he made my father kill my mother…" Michael's shoulders suddenly slump and shake with his pent up tears. "They were just muggles…didn't have a chance…Harry's dad saved me…"

"Harry?"

"Harry Tudor, sir," Michael sniffed back his tears. He lifted his head back up to see the ghost crying silently as his Head of House came around to knell in front of him.

"Michael, listen to me carefully. No matter what you may here about Ezekiel or me know that you can always trust us. There are things in play that cannot be undone, but you can always come to us. Remember that, but keep what you hear in our House to yourself if you have questions come to me or Ezekiel. You must do this, Michael,"

The young boy stared at the man across from him.

"Sir, I still don't understand, he's a bad guy. He kills people for fun!"

"Sometimes adults have to do things that they aren't really happy or proud about to stop the bad guys, and sometimes this involves becoming one of them," Lily added slowly waiting for the eleven year old to finally see what was going on.

"You mean you aren't really one of them, Professor Snape you're just pretending?" Michael turned his big brown eyes towards the Potions Master.

"There are many things that I have had to do in order to gain a closer situation with the Dark Lord to try to help the Light side, but to everyone else this mark says so much more that I can ever do against it," Severus answered revealing the bold black skull and serpent.

"Do you see why this must remain between us," Michael tore his gaze away from the thing of his nightmares to look into the older man's black orbs. Slowly nodding, his slumped back into his chair.

"Guard your thoughts closely, Mr. O'Toole, lives could rest with them. Talk with Ezekiel, he'll help you," Severus said sending the First year off with a nod.

"Yes, sir," Michael muttered getting up from his seat and heading for the door.

"I'm sure you'll find Ezekiel in the library," the ghost, Lily, added before the First Year could leave completely. The boy's brown eyes locked with the woman's gray eyes as he gave her a small smile in gratitude.

"Well, this certainly makes things interesting, doesn't it, dear? But why did you tell him the truth? It's so very dangerous and highly unlike you," Lily stated once the door was closed and there was enough distance between Michael and the door.

"He needed to know that there is another way for him, that not everything is black and white. He needs mentoring, of course, which is why I pointed him towards Ezekiel. I will have to have a talk with the boy though, speaking so casually about the Dark Lord in the middle of the Common Room. Something is definitely disturbing though," Severus answered as he leaned back in his chair, pinching the bridge of his nose.

"What is disturbing?"

"Apparently, Draco is supposed to be given a mission but cannot know what it is until Ezekiel comes forward to serve the Dark Lord,"

"There really is no other way for him to go, is there? He must join you or forever be on that monster's list. Why does he have to be the one to face him? Why did Destiny choose my baby?" Lily cried silently as she hovered as close as she could to Severus.

"I don't know, Lily, I don't know,"

ESMOHG

How did he manage these situations? He could understand them, or at least come to a reasonable understanding of them, when he was "Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived" but he was finally dead. He was who he was supposed to be all along, Ezekiel Snape, Son to Lily Evans, Charms Mistress and Severus Snape Potions Master and spy for the Light side. Apparently, normalcy was overrated in both lives. So now he was forced with the decision of either following in his parents footsteps or going his own way and fighting for Hermione. He came to a stop amongst the shelves as he realized that he was coming up on the table that all of the other had been using since classes had started, the whispered voices of the three First Years asking questions of his old friends. It had been four weeks since the train ride and the opening feast and he hadn't spoken to any of them except for Luna…He leaned against the shelf next to him using the undisturbed view of Hermione to watch her gently helping Harry Tudor with whatever he was working on. He remained hidden in the shadows, unable to step forward to be welcomed with open arms. His heart twisted when she suddenly looked up to lock her brown eyes with his instantly, the small smile she gave him pulled at him again, urging him to go to her side. He could feel his legs starting to move when he was suddenly brought back at the tug on his robe sleeve. He tore his gaze away from hers to see Michael next to him, motioning him to bend down, he glanced back to see that Hermione had turned back to helping Harry once more. He let out a silent sigh before bending down.

"I…I need to speak with you…about…" the younger muttered looking pointedly at Ezekiel's left arm then back up into the sixth year's green eyes.

"Professor Snape said I should guard my thoughts. What does he mean?" Michael added in a hushed rush.

"Not here, Michael, meet me in Professor Snape's office after supper. Do not speak of anything you may have heard before then. I will meet you there, but for now why don't you spend some time with your friends,"

"But what about?" Michael broke off at seeing Ezekiel shaking his head.

"Don't let anyone tell you that you can only speak or be with certain people. You are your own person they are good people and if you stick with them you may be able to last a little longer, use your head and your ambitions for the right reasons, Michael," he added gently squeezing the other's shoulder once Michael relaxed from his flinch when Ezekiel had touched him.

"I won't hurt you, now go on," he muttered as he stood straight. He watched the young snake nod before squaring his shoulders and making his way towards his friends. Ezekiel watched the other three greet him with broad smiles and his chest tightened again. He never realized he was clutching his left forearm or that a pair of chocolate brown eyes was watching him with tears attempting to fall. He tore his gaze from the four first years and his former friends with a scowl blanking his face as he suddenly spun around making his way back to his father. He needed to find out exactly what Michael had heard and what he had been told.

He kept the scowl in place as he stormed through the halls making his way to the dungeons, and he was ever so thankful that it was a decent afternoon outside, fewer annoying students stalking the halls unfortunately it wasn't a Quidditch weekend. A growl sneered his lip at the haughty loud voice of one red-head coming from behind him.

"Snape, stay away from Hermione. She's been through enough without some Death Eater spawn causing her more grief. Do you hear me!"

"Weasley, calm yourself. I have not spoken with Ms. Granger or for that matter Mr. Longbottom or your sister since the train ride giving them ample time to grieve their friend," Ezekiel retorted wiping the sneer from his face and voice before he turned around.

"We just saw you over by her table!" Ron exclaimed his face turning as red as his hair.

"It's a library, you dim witted fool. Did it never occur to you that I may have been looking for a book? We cannot all simply coast by for being a Weasley. Mind your own bloody business," Ezekiel snapped turning abruptly to continue on his way. The familiar cry of indignation and then the bellowed spell instantly had him turning back around his wand in his hand and a silent curse sending a bolt of pale blue at his former friend before the other could finish his spell. The second Ron dropped his wand and fell to his knees clutching his head going pale; Ezekiel realized an audience had arrived. He glared at the students sending them off with new gossip for the chain. He waved his wand performing the counter allowing Ron to look up with glazed over eyes.

"Don't provoke me, Weasley," he growled before finally getting to finish his trek to the Potions Master's office. He only absently heard someone crying Ron's name over his own turbulent thoughts of confusion and anger. The only thing that kept crossing back to him was that Ron had tried to curse him with his back turned with no ordinary expelliarmous but with a bludgeoning hex. With that small realization he began to question everything over the years, had Ron always been like that? Had he been so blind and naïve to miss that violent streak in his former friend? His fourth year came crashing down around him, then the pettiness of third year against the "rat", and all the little things against Malfoy that Ron had stepped into, given Malfoy started them but still. He swayed into the wall covering his eyes with his hand. How long he stood there he didn't know but the nearly silent footsteps brought him back for him to turn just in time for Remus to speak up.

"Ezekiel, are you alright?"

"Yes, I'm fine, nothing I can't handle," the teenager answered with a sigh. The old werewolf stared at him dubiously for a moment but didn't say anything else about it.

"Very well, Headmaster Dumbledore would like a word with you. I believe your parents are already with him,"

"Thank you, Remus, I was just heading to the dungeons," Ezekiel started to step around him but was brought up short by a hand on his shoulder. He looked over and into golden brown eyes of his surrogate uncle.

"Are you seriously contemplating it?"

"Remus, I have no choice in it, if I don't Dad dies and everything is for nothing. I'll see you later, Remus," he answered heading in the direction he had just come from. Remus remained standing watching the young man stroll down the corridor as if he didn't have a care or problem in the world. He let out a sigh and shook his head before going his own way to his office; he still had essays to grade before Monday.

MOHGRW

"Hello, Michael, how are you doing?" Hermione asked once the others had calmed down slightly. She smiled at him warmly when he looked over to her.

"I'm alright," he muttered with a shy grin.

"I'm glad, was that Ezekiel that you were talking to a minute ago?" Hermione asked in what she hoped was a casual tone.

"Yes, ma'am, he's been helping me with a few things,"

"So he's not been hurting you?"

"Oh no; he wouldn't! Why would you say something like that?" Michael cried staring at the sixth year.

"I apologize, it's just when you first came up to him you acted as if you were almost afraid of him. I just want to make sure you are alright, that's all," Hermione soothed as she gently touched the boy's hand.

"Yeah, Mike, we hadn't seen you since that whole deal with Malfoy and his goons. They didn't hurt you bad, did they?" Harry asked looking over his friend with a shrewd eye.

"No, Ezekiel stopped them before anything happened. Now most of the older Slytherins leave us First and Second years alone. Um, Hermione, could you teach me some extra stuff on Defense? I…I don't want to have to run whenever I meet up with a Death Eater. I want to be able to protect myself. Would you please?" Michael asked looking from his friend to Hermione; he quickly diverted his gaze when she simply stared at him like she could see what he was thinking. He let out a sigh of relief as she spoke up finally.

"Of course, Michael, we are starting up the DA again this year with Professor Lupin's help. We'll be meeting in the DADA classroom tomorrow after lunch. You are welcome to join us as well as any other Slytherin that would like to come,"

"Thank you," he muttered before turning to talk with Harry; Hermione sat watching him for a little longer before shaking her head. She glanced over to Neville and Luna giving them a small smile before getting up. She had a bad feeling about the whole whispered conversation and the pointed look that Michael had given Ezekiel's arm. Over the past few weeks she had been watching him trying to figure out this new boy, except the only thing she would think about was the fact that he was still the one she could only see herself talking to and this silence between them was killing her. She could still see the kind and caring person he was under the blank mask. Shaking her head to clear her rampant thoughts she realized that she had already left the library and made it most of the way to the dungeons, but the familiar voice of Ron provoking Ezekiel brought her up short. Tears welled up in her eyes as the two once friends, even if one didn't know it, argued getting more heated until she gasped at watching Ron pull his wand out trying to hex Ezekiel from behind. She watched transfixed at the speed and silent casting of the younger Snape, but then she saw her friend crumble to the floor shaking in terror. The flash of anger and small hint of betrayal go through Ezekiel's eyes before he ended the curse then muttered something into Ron's ears. She stood frozen as he glared at the running students she hadn't even realized had appeared around her.

"Ezekiel…" she called out to the retreating form, but when he didn't react she turned her attention to her redheaded friend still huddled on the floor. She helped him to his feet.

"Come one, Ron, I'll take you to see Madam Pompfrey," she said gently.

"So many brains…voices…green eyes…" Ron muttered as he leaned heavily on Hermione as they slowly made their way down the corridor.

"Ms. Granger, what happened?" the slightly worried voice brought her head up to see Dumbledore and Snape in front of her.

"Ron was arguing with Ezekiel but when Ezekiel turned to leave Ron tried to…he tried to hex him in the back. Ezekiel was only defending himself, sir. He even reversed his curse but Ron's still suffering from it. I was taking him up to see Madam Pompfrey; I saw the whole thing, sir. Ezekiel didn't start it, I swear," Hermione explained quickly as she looked from one to the other.

"Is Mr. Snape alright?" Dumbledore asked lifting a hand to hold Severus back.

"Yes sir, he was heading towards Professor Snape's office. Ron never even finished his spell…"

"Very well, Ms. Granger if you would be so kind as to finish taking Mr. Weasley to see Madam Pompfrey. Ah, Remus, would you be so kind as to find Mr. Snape and ask him to meet us in my office? I believe he is heading towards his father's office," Dumbledore requested as he spotted the DADA professor making his way towards them.

"Certainly, Hermione, Ron are you alright?" Remus asked seeing the state of the two sixth years. He looked at them anxiously, worried about his late surrogate-nephew's best friends.

"I'm alright but Ronald started something with someone he shouldn't have," Hermione answered to cause the werewolf to sigh.

"I can only guess that it was with Mr. Snape," he added with a shake of his head before stepping aside and making his way in search of the young wizard.

"Ms. Granger, if I may, what was the reason for Mr. Weasley and Mr. Snape to come to this situation?" Dumbledore asked causing the two to stop and for her to look back with a tear running down her cheek.

"Me, Headmaster," She went back to walking at the nod from the ancient looking wizard.

"Come along, Severus, it wouldn't be good form to have Ezekiel beat us to my own office,"

"Yes sir," Severus murmured as he looked to Hermione wondering if Lily was right, maybe she should speak with the two teenagers.

ESSSAD

Ezekiel let out a sigh as he came to a stop in front of the stone gargoyle.

"Ezekiel Snape to see the Headmaster," he stated clearly, the gargoyle paused a moment before jumping aside revealing the rotating staircase. Could he really pull it off? Could he become a Death Eater in attempt to bring down Voldemort? He let out a sigh as he realized he was going to have to even get in the habit of calling him the Dark Lord even in his head because he was sure that if he didn't then he would screw up and call him Voldemort to his face. That or something worse and that would only end in pain all around. In just thinking back over his "Durmstrang years" he could tell that the darker magic pulled at him a bit and with that he was just curious as to how he could keep himself together. He hoped his father could keep him here as he wasn't sure Hermione would be able to even look at him if she found out. In his musings he never realized that he had reached the Headmaster's door and that he had already been told to enter. He shook his head to clear it before opening the door to find Dumbledore and his parents watching him.

"Remus said you wished to see me," he said as he made his way towards the massive desk.

"Yes, your father and I have been…discussing the future of the war front and would like your input," Dumbledore stated finally after looking over the teenager. Ezekiel blinked a few times as he kept his eyes locked with the Headmaster.

"Why the sudden change?"

"Beg your pardon?" Dumbledore puzzled caught completely off guard.

"Just last year you and everyone else were of the mind that I didn't deserve a say in my life much less a choice of what I can do towards Vol…the Dark Lord. Why the sudden change of heart?" he asked suspiciously as he looked from one adult to the other.

"Because you actually think first before doing anything for one, and two you know as well as I that it is inevitable that you will come before the Dark Lord," Snape stated with a sigh of exasperation while he pinched the bridge of his nose.

"It was inevitable before, more so actually," Ezekiel retorted with a glare.

"Ezekiel, Severus, please don't argue. We know that, Sweetheart, and I'm firmly against this supposed inevitability. I just want to put that out there once again, but as much as I want you safe and as far away from this madness, I know that to go against Destiny again would be far worse this time," Lily interjected causing both Snapes to lower their heads in surrender. Ezekiel let out a puff of air as he ran a hand over his ponytailed hair.

"I'd just as soon kick the stick up Her arse the rest of the way up…" he grumbled under his breath but not low enough to escape his mother's hearing. She instantly swiped a hand through the back of his head to the front of his mouth sending shivers racking through his now frozen body.

"Don't say things like that, please. I couldn't bare it if she took you away from me permanently. I love you too much, Ezekiel," she pleaded as she looked into his green orbs.

"Sorry, Mum, this whole mess just drives me crazy," he muttered quietly, bringing a small smile to Lily's silvery face.

"I know, Sweety, I know," she added. The clearing of a throat turned the mother and son's attention back to the other two.

"Ezekiel, as to answering your question, if it not an easy decision to come to, but the right choices rarely are easy; I was hesitant to bring you closer to Order business because of your link with Tom, but seeing as there is no longer a link I feel it safe for everyone to allow you that extra bit of news. Severus has already informed me of your superb Occulemency shields and willingness to become a sort of secondary spy," Dumbledore stated.

"Willingness, no Headmaster that has nothing to do with it. I know that it is called of me if I want to bring Him down while trying to keep my family safer than if I wasn't a part of His followers. To be truthful, sir, I'm tired of your constant flip-flopping and unwillingness to take the fight to him rather than simply reacting. Yes, I'll be another spy, I won't like it but I'll do it if you'll excuse me, I have a Transfiguration exam to study for," Ezekiel stated with a curt nod of his head before turning from the trio.

"What happened with Mr. Weasley?" Dumbledore asked bringing the teen to a stop reaching for the doorknob.

"I foolishly hoped that he would not curse me in the back, it won't happen again," he muttered.

"Ms. Granger seemed rather insistent that it wasn't your fault and that she was the cause of it. Have you spoken with her about this?" Ezekiel looked back to glare into blue eyes.

"She doesn't need to know, and she won't find out if I have any say in it," he growled before storming from the office. Snape shook his head.

"Albus, in all the years of teaching and being Headmaster, you've never really learned how to talk with teenagers have you? I know I'm not necessarily the perfect candidate to speak but even I could have handled that a bit better," the Potions Master interjected. Dumbledore tilted his head slightly as he turned to his Potions Master. Lily shook her head as she realized he had no idea as to what he had even done when he brought up Hermione and Ron.

"Have you not seen that Hermione is having a hard time with Ezekiel? What with loving Harry and having to deal with Ronald distrusting my baby and giving her a hard time. There's also the problem of Hermione being a muggleborn while Ezekiel is going to be within Voldemort's forces. Albus, if I weren't a ghost I'd hex you so good your own brother wouldn't recognize you," she raved while her silvery blue changed to a pink in her temper. Dumbledore let out a world weary sigh as he leaned back in his chair while looking from Lily to Severus.

"I am simply getting to old for all this," he stated.