Got Love? Whether it’s unrequited, extramarital, obsessive or completely otherworldly, this fic’s got it covered. Contrary to public opinion, Severus Snape didn’t die at the Battle of Hogwarts. Although he’s not exactly “alive,” he is on a mission to possess the very thing that eluded him in life: love. While love might be the best revenge, it’s never easy. When murder and madness are part of the mix, desire has teeth—and this kind of love really bites!


6. Petals in the Wind

Petunia Dursley's pink Playtex gloves were wrist deep in dishwater when the telephone rang. "Sweetheart, could you be a dear and get that," she began out of habit, but then stopped. Vernon and Dudders were watching a James Bond marathon at the Surrey Cineplex, and wouldn't be home until after midnight. She glanced over her shoulder at the clock. A quarter to nine? Who on earth could be calling at this hour?

As it rang again, another thought crept like a shadow into her mind. Nothing good ever comes of phone calls late at night. Harry said we'd be safe here again but what if he were wrong? What if he lied?  What if something terrible has happened to them! I don't know what I'd do if anything—

The third ring shrilled through the silent house, startling Petunia so badly, she dropped the glass she'd been washing. It shattered on the edge of her stainless steel sink, spraying her apron and the floor with soapsuds and shards. "Bother! That was my favorite iced tea glass!" she wailed.

She pulled her gloves off by the end of the fourth ring. Now wishing she'd learned how to use the new answering machine, she wiped her hands on her apron and headed to the hallway. Glass crunched with every step. Ugh!  she thought, now I'll have to scrub the entire floor before my boys come home!

She snatched the hall phone from its cradle between the sixth and seventh ring. "Dursley residence. This is Petunia speaking," she said, adding to herself, and whoever you are, for all the trouble you've already caused, this better be a matter of life and death!

A long silence greeted her.

"Hello? Hello—is someone there?" Phone in hand, she scowled.

This time, heavy breathing answered.

"Who is this, please?"

When the breathing quickened to a pant, the hairs on Petunia's nape prickled and her heart began beating in time with the unknown caller's breathing—because nothing good ever comes of calls late at night!  White-knuckling the receiver, Petunia said in the sternest voice she could muster, "Dudders? Dudders, is that you ? It's not nice to play such tricks, especially on your own, dear Mummy! You know, pranks like this could give someone a heart attack. Is that what you want, to give Mummy a heart attack? How would you feel then, young man! You wouldn't be so funny anymore, would you!"

A burst of static followed the telltale 'click.'

"Of all the juvenile, inconsiderate things!" She slammed the receiver back in its cradle. "After all we've been through, it's just not fair!" Behind her, something hit the window screen. Petunia shrieked. The curtains shuddered and the screen toppled into the sink with a loud splash. "That's it, I'm calling the police!" She snatched up the phone and punched three buttons.

Static crackled. "They can't help you, Petunia," a voice intoned on the other end. "No one can..."

Death Eaters. It had to be; she could think of no other explanation. The wizards at the safe house said this might happen. They'd lost the war but would never stop hating, never stop plotting, never stop being Death Eaters. 

Cloth snapped. Petunia dropped the phone and turned just in time to see a small, dark shape dive through the curtains and careen over the table.

Emboldened by anger, Petunia ripped off her frilly pink apron and stormed into the kitchen. "Get out! Get out! Get out of my house, you horrid thing!" she roared, flapping her apron at it. "You disgusting, disease-ridden rat with wings! Oh, where's Vernon when I need him? Where's my squash racquet? Oh, blast it, I don't even own a squash racquet!" She snatched up a frying pan and began swinging at it. That owl of Harry's had been bad enough, but this was just too much. What if it had fleas—or rabies? She raised the cast iron pan as if it were a cricket bat and as the creature wheeled past, swung with all her might.

A 'thud' Petunia felt in the pit of her stomach sent the bat reeling. Hoping she'd sent it back outside, she tossed the pan on the table, flew to the sink and slammed the window down tight. "And stay out," she screamed after it.

Shaking, nerves utterly unraveled by her night visitor, Petunia braced herself against the sink. She didn't want to think about the broken screen, the broken glass, and the bat germs she knew must be everywhere. As she rubbed her arms, she could feel them, millions of invisible squirmy things seething over her skin. All she wanted was a bath. A nice, hot bath would set her to rights but before she could do that, she had to deal with the curtains and the floor and the walls and the ceiling. They'd all have to be sterilized. She'd be up all night!

Turning, stifling tears, she found herself staring into the coldest, most penetrating black eyes she'd ever seen.

"Hello, 'Tuney. Remember me?"

His voice turned her spine to jelly. And his teeth! There was something terribly wrong--terribly long-- about his teeth.

Petunia's scream died in her throat as Severus fell on her.


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