Welkin in the Wizarding World

RATED NC-17 and R for many chapters. Please Leave This Site If You Are Under 18.
This story is Adult in nature, with explicit language and includes graphic depiction of adult sexual behavior
and some depiction of violence.

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Chapter 34
The Diva and the Death Eaters

"Well somebody sure got his swagger back in a hurry when he found out he no longer had that annoying little sexual problem," Welkin teased. "You’ve been strutting around here as proud as a rooster with a brand new flock of hens to service." She grinned at Snape, happy to see him acting like his old smirking, smug, self-important self.

"I only have one hen to service," he replied, "but she can be very demanding. Fortunately, I am always able to rise to the challenge," he smirked.

Things were as back to normal as they could ever be in this crazy new life of hers Welkin thought. Normal, that is, taking into account that Sully had narrowly escaped being killed by his malicious, deranged nanny, her husband was a double-agent who continually risked his life by spying on The Dark Lord Voldemort, and Welkin herself had recently discovered that she was a descendant of Morgan le Fay, and therefore split her time between lessons in magic, satisfying her sexually vociferous Wizard husband and caring for their three month old child.

Her life had become a Wizarding World soap opera, Welkin realized. And now, stay tuned for another episode of "The Well Hung and the Wandless" she parodied.

Severus had finally convinced Welkin that they should hire another nanny. Welkin had refused to consider it for a few weeks after Huldra had kidnapped Sully, but Severus had reasoned to her that if they took the proper precautions this time there would be no danger. It really did make sense, despite her misgivings, since Albus had accelerated her tuition in all areas of magical study.

So they had employed Violet Murdoch, whose credentials had been immaculate. Violet, a pleasant woman in her early fifties with gentle brown eyes that reminded Welkin of a cocker spaniel, was suffering from empty nest syndrome and was perfect with Sully. She had raised four children herself after her husband died, all of whom had turned out well, were well respected in the local Wizarding community and had very successful careers, a fact which had impressed Severus. More important to Welkin, Violet obviously loved children, and Sully seemed very content with her. She cared for him at her modest but very comfortable and cheerfully appointed cottage home in Hogsmeade, returning him promptly to them each day at the appointed time. As an extra precaution, Severus had personally placed protective spells on Violet’s home, and a locator spell on Sully, which was a great comfort to Welkin.

Welkin liked Violet quite a lot but couldn’t help feeling a little jealous of her sometimes, since she was now spending more time with Sully than Welkin was, except on the weekends. Hopefully, when her training was completed, Welkin could spend much more time with Sully. By that time he would be old enough to miss her. Right now, judging by his healthy appetite, she suspected that he missed her breasts and the bounty they provided more often than he missed her.

"Is my little hen ready for her rooster?" Snape asked, interrupting her thoughts.

Welkin laughed. Yep, that cinched it. Everything was definitely back to normal. "Let me just put our little cockerel back in his nest for the night and I’ll be right there," she told him.

***

"She’s almost as good as you Hermione," Ron told her as he, Hermione and Harry stood on the sidelines with other members of Dumbledore’s Army, watching as Welkin dueled simultaneously with Dumbledore and Snape.

"No…she’s better," Hermione admitted, sounding quite surprised. Hermione still couldn’t quite concede that she might have been mistaken about Welkin’s qualifications to deserve the love of a man of the superior intellectual capacity and magical abilities that Professor Snape had. She was slowly starting to realize that there was more to the woman than there appeared to be on the surface. From all reports Welkin was excelling in all of her classes except flight, with not nearly the effort that Hermione expended on study and preparation, a fact that Hermione found quite maddening. It was almost as if she was born with some natural advantage. It seemed somehow…unfair.

Welkin was taking some glancing hits but she was alternately dodging and deflecting most of their volleys. She had even managed to get the drop on Snape at least once, striking him squarely in the chest and knocking him to the ground, much to Harry’s amusement and Snape’s annoyance.

"Excellent, excellent," Dumbledore praised her when the practice session finally ended. He had only been able to knock her down one time, and it was not from lack of trying. Welkin was a natural as a duelist.

"Thank you Albus," she said. She looked at Snape expectantly. "You were…quite adequate," he offered his less than glowing performance review.

"Adequate? That was more than adequate and you know it."

"Perhaps," he admitted. "How are your flight lessons progressing?" he quickly changed the subject, knowing full well how she was still struggling with her fear of heights.

"I could use some improvement," she said, glaring at him. He knew that she was doing excellently in everything else she was studying, and yet he had intentionally ignored that and questioned her about the one thing he knew that she was no closer to mastering than she had been the first week that she had begun her training.

"Then perhaps you should not be quite so quick to congratulate yourself. Flight is an important part of your magical training, perhaps even more essential than dueling in some ways, although it is admittedly less of a crowd pleasing spectacle," he said disdainfully.

Welkin stared at him. Snape stared back. The students on the sidelines shifted nervously and tried not to make it obvious that they had heard every word of the testy exchange.

"Severus. Do you know what?"

"What Welkin?" he asked impassively.

"You can kiss my ass, that’s what," she told him. She turned and stalked away towards the castle.

***

"I missed you at supper. I have brought you some dessert," Snape told her.

"No thank you," Welkin said coolly. "Sully and I have already eaten."

"It is your favorite my sweet - gooseberry cobbler," he tempted her with the sweet and sour confection, uncovering the container and holding it under her nose.

She turned her head. "No thank you, I’m not hungry. Would you mind taking Sully? I’d like to take a bath. I’m still sweaty from this afternoon’s dueling practice."

Snape took Sully from her and watched as she strode into the bathroom, shutting the door. Ordinarily she would not bother closing the door, but would leave it open so that they could talk. He listened as she filled the tub. When the sounds stopped, he knew she had sunk into the soothing water.

"I do believe that your mother is a bit upset with me," Snape told Sullivan in a solemn tone. Sully laughed and grabbed his father’s nose, babbling nonsense back at him. It was something he had begun doing in the last week and he never seemed to tire of it. Snape’s prominent nose was a source of endless fascination to him. It never failed to make Welkin laugh to see him pursue it. Perhaps Sullivan could help him maneuver himself back into Welkin’s good graces, Snape thought.

Trying the door and finding it unlocked, Snape entered with the baby and perched on the edge of the tub with him. "Welkin, Sullivan is very talkative this evening and is playing the nose game," he reported. Sully obligingly squealed and babbled as he once again captured Snape’s nose with his little hand.

Welkin pressed her lips together and tried not to laugh. Sully continued to babble, patting and grasping at Snape’s large hooked nose. He reared backwards in Snape’s arms suddenly, then forwards again going straight for the object of his desire. This time however, instead of grasping it, he smacked Snape squarely on the bridge of his nose with his frantically waving hand.

"Ow!" Snape said, squinting his eyes shut in pain, involuntary tears forming in the corners of his eyes.

Welkin burst out laughing. Startled, Sully turned his head to look at her then, imitating his mother, laughed loudly and gave another happy squeal.

***

"Does it still hurt?" Welkin asked, grinning at him. Sully had long since gone to sleep and she and Snape were in bed, Welkin having forgotten her anger at him.

"No, but it is still sore," he complained.

"Serves you right for humiliating me like you did today in front of all those students."

"How did I humiliate you?" Snape looked puzzled.

"By ignoring my strengths and only focusing on my weaknesses. That was thoughtless and just plain mean Severus."

"I am sorry. I did not intend it to be." He rubbed his nose carefully. "I merely meant to impress upon you the importance of your flight lessons. It is your only area of weakness, as you pointed out. You are quite proficient in all other areas, as you also rather immodestly pointed out."

"You think so?" Welkin asked, sounding pleased.

"I know so," Snape replied. "I thought you knew that."

Welkin kissed him, carefully avoiding his sore nose - which was quite a feat considering it covered so much of his face.

"Well then…since you agree that I’m doing so well in almost everything, I guess that means you won’t mind when I tell you that I’ve accepted a job," she told him. "I start Friday night. It’s only two nights a week, Friday and Saturday, and it won’t interfere with my studies, I promise," she said in a rush. "Well…goodnight Sevvy." She waved her hand to douse the lights and turned over on her side, pulling the coverlet up to her chin, holding her breath for what she knew was coming.

"Welkin…" The lights came back on. "A job? You sought a job without consulting me? We must discuss this."

"Actually, the job kind of sought me and I thought, why not? It’ll bring in a little extra money - not a lot but some - and it might even be useful in other ways."

"What job is this that sought you?" Snape asked, sounding unconvinced. "What would you be doing?"

"Can’t we discuss this tomorrow? I’m pretty tired," Welkin said, making a great show of yawning. She waved her hand and put out the lights again.

Snape didn’t bother with the lights this time, but did grasp her shoulders and turn her to face him in the bed. "We will discuss it now," he said firmly. "What is the job you would be doing?"

"Singing," Welkin said.

"Singing where?" Snape asked. He had a feeling he was not going to like the answer.

"Singing at the Hog’s Head Inn," Welkin said. "Aberforth Dumbledore offered me the job when I was in there last week to pick up the gloves I left there on New Year’s Eve. He heard me singing along with something the piano player was practicing. He said he thought I would bring in a lot of new customers. Wasn’t that sweet of him?"

"You will most certainly not be singing at The Hog’s Head. It is quite out of the question."

"But why not Severus? I want to and I might even be able to pick up some information there that could help the Order of the Phoenix if I keep my ears open. It’s just the sort of place that Death Eaters would come. There was a whole table of them there on New Year’s Eve, remember? When they’re drinking they might let something about Voldemort slip - something that even you don’t know about. Albus said he thought it might be very useful if I worked there when I asked him about it, and he said Aberforth was very protective of his employees and would see to it that nothing happened to me."

"Albus is not your husband," Snape informed her. "I am, and I say no. I will not have you singing in that disreputable and potentially dangerous establishment. Have you learned nothing from the incident with Huldra Helliwell? You must not deliberately place yourself in harm’s way. You are much too precious to me. "

"That’s sweet you feel that way but it doesn’t change my mind. You can’t tell me what to do just because you’re my husband. I’ve already accepted the job and I start Friday night. So just deal with it."

"I am coming with you then," Snape told her, knowing it was no use continuing to argue with her.

"How am I supposed to spy on Death Eaters with you sitting there all night staring at me and sticking out like a sore thumb?" she protested.

"I am coming with you Welkin. Friday night, and every night that you perform there - and there will be no spying on Death Eaters. You will go there to sing, and that is all that you will do. You can just, as you say, deal with that," he said stubbornly.

"Okay, you can come with me," she decided to compromise, knowing that he would come with her whether she gave him permission to or not. "I just don’t want to argue about it anymore."

Welkin stopped arguing and lay looking at Severus in profile. Even though he was way too stubborn and very set in his ways at times, he was really pretty sexy when he lay there scowling like that. Maybe they should have sex later.

"Sevvy? I’m not really that sleepy yet. Are you?"

Snape turned to look at her. She was wearing one of his Christmas gifts - a plain long-sleeved grey nightshirt that closely resembled his own and concealed most of her assets except for her legs. Despite the fact that it was the least revealing night garb that he had ever purchased for her, he found it strangely titillating on her.

"Not sleepy in the least," he said, reaching for her. "I shall pleasure you until we are both tired. Please do not touch my nose," he requested as an afterthought.

Welkin had actually been about to suggest that they both get out of bed and split that gooseberry cobbler he’d tempted her with earlier in the evening, but she didn’t want a repeat of the bacon incident from last month when Severus had thought that she preferred bacon over his lovemaking. It had resulted in a minor argument which she had finally settled by crawling under the breakfast table to pleasure him orally.

How silly he was - thinking she preferred bacon over him. Bacon was a close second of course, but Severus didn’t necessarily need to know that, she thought as he began to kiss her somewhat more gingerly than usual, favoring his injured nose.

***

The opening night appearance of the new chanteuse at The Hog’s Head Inn proved to be more of a gala social event than was expected, and more expensive than Snape had expected. Welkin seemed to have invited most of the Hogwarts faculty, with a few notable exceptions such as Dolores Umbridge, and she had invited some of the older Hogwarts students as well.

"What do you mean we are paying for them?" Snape asked her testily.

"Well I invited them as special guests. We can’t ask them to pay for themselves Severus," Welkin said. "I gave Aberforth our list and he’ll give us the tally at the end of the evening. Then you can pay him. And don’t forget to add 20 percent for the waitress. She’s a very nice girl. She takes care of her elderly mother, and she’s saving money so that she and her gentleman friend can get married."

"I’m to give a 20 percent tip to that bedraggled creature who does little more than carry a few trays of firewhiskey and mumble incoherent rubbish at us about two drink minimums?" Snape was incensed.

"Yes you are. And there are strict instructions that none of the students are to be allowed to order anything stronger than Butterbeer, so if you see Ron Weasley trying to sneak some firewhiskey you rap him on the head or something," Welkin ordered. "Aberforth can lose his license over that. I hear there will be Ministry people here tonight."

"Exactly how many people did you invite to drink themselves into a stupor on my hard-earned galleons?"

"Not that many. That long table there is for our guests. You’re the host, so you sit at the head of that table and direct any of the Hogwarts people or others on this list that you see come in where to sit." She handed him a piece of parchment with a distressingly long list of names on it.

Snape scowled at this further indignity. He knew for a fact that Welkin had tried to organize a surprise birthday party for him this year and none of these people had been inclined to accept her invitation, tendering to her some very inadequate excuses indeed. Snape had not cared about the slight to himself - at least not that much - but Welkin had been terribly disappointed and had pretended that the private celebration they had together was what she had intended all along. They had upset his Welkin and now he was supposed to play generous host to them?

"Thank you for being such a lamb about it." Welkin smiled at him and kissed him on the cheek as he stared at the long table filled with chairs and tried to compute just how much that two drink minimum was going to cost him, assuming no one drank anything after that, which was unlikely.

"Oh, there’s Julien. I’ve got to go. See you later Sevvy!" Welkin bounded off to confer with the piano player about their musical arrangements. Snape squinted at this Julien person, who he vaguely remembered from New Year’s Eve. He had better keep his hands on those piano keys and off of Welkin if he knew what was good for him, Snape thought.

The slightly younger man, whose long straight blond hair was tied back with a black ribbon, was a bit too thin but not entirely unattractive, judging by the looks he was getting from a number of the female patrons. Snape had not been happy with Welkin’s need to commit herself to so many practice sessions with him prior to tonight’s opening.

Snape felt something tugging at his trouser leg and looked down. It was the house goat, apparently mistaking his trousers for an appetizer. Snape kicked at it to shoo it away, eliciting a glare from Aberforth Dumbledore, who had a long memory for people he had once thrown out of his establishment. He had been willing to give Snape a second chance, by virtue of his marriage to Welkin, who he judged to be from good stock, but Snape had better not count on that. No goat molesting would be tolerated in The Hog’s Head Inn.

***

Snape glanced around the room, which was filled to capacity due to word of mouth and a somewhat garish moving poster outside the establishment which depicted Welkin in a pose showing far too much leg in Snape’s opinion. He would have to discuss that with her when they returned to Hogwarts later this evening.

Among those seated at their guest table were Albus, Minerva, Filius Flitwick, Charity Burbage, Pomona Sprout, Madam Hooch, Rubeus Hagrid, Hermione Granger, Harry Potter, Luna Lovegood, Draco Malfoy, and so many Weasleys that it looked like a family reunion - Arthur and Molly, Fred and George, Ron and Ginny. Hagrid had thoughtfully taken the seat at the far end of the table, so as not to block anyone’s view with his massive form.

Snape had scanned the other tables and made note of Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy, much to his surprise, since the Hog’s Head was not exactly Narcissa’s cup of tea under normal circumstances. He also noted with surprise that they were holding hands across the tabletop, something he had not seen them do since before Draco’s birth.

Seated at the table next to them in another prime location was Madam Amelia Bones, Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement at the Ministry of Magic. Madam Bones had been quite sensitive to Welkin during the questioning after the arrest of Huldra Helliwell and Welkin had wanted to invite her tonight in appreciation. Snape did not recognize the man who was seated with her.

Rita Skeeter, that annoying harridan, was here with a photographer. No doubt she was covering the event for The Daily Prophet. That was unusual since Rita did not normally cover the entertainment beat.

Xenophilius Lovegood was here as well, representing The Quibbler. It was also unusual for him to cover local entertainment venues. He had declined to sit with Rita at her "press table", preferring to take a seat at the bar, where he was sipping a cup of tea, since he didn’t drink alcohol. He had been obliged to order the customary two-drink minimum however and had promptly handed his two glasses of firewhiskey over to two of the old gentlemen at the bar who were regulars, to their great delight. They were now treating him as if he was their closest friend.

Xeno’s daughter Luna, who was at their table, was also a non-drinker, and had contented herself with a glass of water, some peanuts and some suspicious looking pudding which the waitress had managed to wrestle up from someplace for her.

Minerva had been disappointed to learn that wine was not available at The Hog’s Head this evening, and had finally settled for ordering Butterbeer. When the waitress brought their first round however, she set a brimming glass of elf wine in front of her, telling her it was compliments of "Ab-ferth, fer the luv-lee lay-dee," as she pointed him out behind the bar. The wine was from his personal stock and Aberforth Dumbledore raised his glass of firewhiskey in salute to Minerva and gave her a wink.

"My word!" Minerva said. "No offense intended Albus - I know he’s your brother - but he’s a bit cheeky if you ask me!"

There was only one table that remained empty as Welkin started her first set of the evening with a mixture of Wizarding and Muggle standards and sentimental torch songs. The empty table was the reserved table closest to the piano, the prime location for tonight’s performance.

Halfway into Welkin’s second song of the evening, the front door of the Hog’s Head opened and two well-dressed men entered, threading their way through the other tables, pausing only to acknowledge Lucius and Narcissa and Amelia Bones before taking their place at the VIP table.

With some trepidation Snape recognized who they were and wondered why they had such an interest in seeing Welkin perform. It was Yaxley, one of the more ambitious of the Death Eaters, seated with Pius Thicknesse, a Ministry of Magic up-and-comer. The waitress recognized them as well and brought a bottle of firewhiskey over to their table immediately, with three glasses, apparently prearranged. Snape wondered who the third glass was for.

Snape saw that Yaxley had spotted Harry Potter at his table and was eyeing him speculatively. Thankfully, it would not be wise for Yaxley to attempt anything here tonight against Potter with Albus Dumbledore and Amelia Bones both in attendance. He would not want to tip his hand to them, of that Snape was sure.

"Welkin has such a lovely expressive voice Severus," Flitwick told Snape, able to appreciate it at last in this venue where he did not have to worry about being held responsible for Welkin’s song selections.

Welkin finished the Wizarding World music hall classic she was singing and then announced she was going to sing one of her favorite Dinah Washington bluesy Muggle favorites. "I hope you all like it too." She nodded at Julien with a wink and then launched into a more upbeat tempo version of "Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby?"

Yaxley’s eyes had narrowed a little at her mention of Muggle music, but then he had settled back to listen and watch her, sipping his fire whiskey thoughtfully.

Welkin, in her glittering silver and gold gown slit deeply up the sides, a lotus design collar style necklace and matching earrings, and her bare upper arms adorned with gold cobra bracelets, resembled an auburn-haired ancient Egyptian princess. She crossed to the bar as she sang, picking out some of the older "gents" to sing to, much to their semi-toothless delight.

Oh, I got a man that’s always late
Any time we have a date
But I love him
Yes I love him

So I’m gonna walk up to his gate
See if we can get it straight
Cause I want him
Yeah I intend to have him

(She grasped one of the old Wizarding geezers by the chin nearly making him spill his firewhiskey.)

I’ll just ask him
Is you is or is you ain’t my baby
Well, the way you’re acting lately, well it makes me doubt
You is still my baby, baby
But it seems like my flame in your heart, well it done gone out

(She moved on to Xeno Lovegood, who she thought was looking quite dapper himself, in a purple velvet jacket embroidered with all sorts of esoteric magical symbols, and began singing breathily into his ear.)

A man is a creature
That has always been strange
Just when you’re sure of one
You’ll find that he’s gone and made a change

(Welkin propped one foot up on the bar’s foot rail as she sang to Xeno, the side slit in her gown revealing more leg than she probably intended, and certainly more than Snape intended her to. There was a sudden flash, as the photographer from The Daily Prophet took the opportunity he’d been given to capture her in the provocative pose.)

Snape groaned to himself and downed his fire whiskey.

Is you is or is you ain’t my baby
Well, maybe baby’s found somebody new
Or is my baby still my baby too

(Welkin strolled back to Julien as she sang the refrain, leaning back against the back of the piano with a cocky attitude. When she finished, the clientele erupted in applause and she smiled and blew a kiss at Snape, which made heads turn in his direction, much to his embarrassment.)

"This next song is also a Muggle classic and is a special request from Hogwarts Headmaster Professor Albus Dumbledore." Welkin pointed him out at the table. Welkin sang "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" for Albus.

As Welkin continued singing, Yaxley caught the eye of the waitress and motioned to her. When she came over with another bottle of fire whiskey, he whispered something to her and she nodded as he slipped her a tip.

***

Aberforth thought this might be the best business decision he’d made in a long time, as he watched the free spending crowd that Welkin had brought in tonight. He had other reasons for hiring her of course - but the increase in business was a great side benefit.

He would have to watch Yaxley though. He was up to something. He was sure of it. Aberforth didn’t mind serving Death Eaters in his establishment. He’d serve almost anybody and take their money as long as they behaved themselves and didn’t get on his nerves or molest his goat. But some Death Eaters were more trouble than others, and he had already judged Yaxley to be one of those. He would have to watch that Welkin didn’t get into trouble with that one. She was a little too eager to play spy. Probably something that husband of hers had put her up to. Severus Snape always was a sniveling little sneak in Aberforth’s opinion. Why a fine girl like that wanted to mix herself up with Snape, much less marry the blackguard, he really couldn’t figure.

Despite her lack of discrimination where it came to picking a husband Welkin had a pretty interesting range of friends though, Aberforth conceded. There was one in particular, who was seated next to his brother unfortunately, who he wouldn’t mind getting to know a little better, assuming brother Albus hadn’t already laid claim to her. It would be so like him to have beat him to the well for the cool water yet again. He had been doing it all their lives. Albus had always been the shining star of the family - widely acknowledged to be destined for greatness as a Wizard - while Aberforth was mostly just overlooked - judged to be common and coarse, and a dullard by comparison. Aberforth poured himself another drink and stood staring at Minerva McGonagall with a look of great appreciation on his face.

***

"Missuz Snape, the fancy gent would like yous to jern ‘im at ‘is table fer a lie-bation" Florinda the barmaid repeated to her. Welkin had just finished her first set of two for the evening, promising the clientele she and Julien would be back after a 45 minute break. She was going to join Severus at their table for her break, but the "gent" that Florinda was indicating was one that Welkin had pegged as a Death Eater the moment he’d sat down at his table, and she didn’t want to pass up this opportunity.

Smiling pleasantly, she approached his table and accepted the kiss he placed on her hand as he and his companion rose to greet her. Yaxley introduced himself and Pius to her in a deep gravelly voice tinged with a Scottish accent. She allowed him to seat her and pour her a drink.

***

Snape stiffened apprehensively in his chair as he saw Yaxley seat Welkin at his table and pour her a drink. What was she doing? He had expressly told her that she was to stay away from any Death Eaters when she sang here, either real or imagined ones, since she didn’t seem to be able to ascertain the difference. Welkin immediately assumed that anyone wearing all black with slicked back hair was a Death Eater, when the truth was, they came in all manner of guises. Not all of them were Slytherin either, which was another common misconception.

Unfortunately, Welkin had just accepted an invitation from one of the most dangerous real Death Eaters here tonight. One very close to The Dark Lord himself. He watched with growing concern as Welkin began a very animated conversation with Yaxley as she sipped her drink.

***

"How is it that Severus hasn’t brought you to one of our organization’s get togethers?" Yaxley asked her, trying to determine just how much Snape had shared with her.

"Oh, Severus doesn’t like me getting out much and meeting other people," Welkin complained. "He wouldn’t even let me sing here tonight without coming along so he could watch me like a hawk. I guess he doesn’t trust me," she pouted. "I was so happy when you invited me for a drink. It’s so nice to meet two such distinguished gentlemen for a change."

"So you have never met the Founder of our Organization?" Yaxley asked, already knowing the answer. Snape had taken quite a ribbing about his ill-fated dinner with Voldemort from some quarters in their ranks.

"Oh yes I have! Milord was a perfectly charming gentleman. But Severus became…somewhat displeased with me and we had to leave the Malfoys before I even got to eat. He’s so mean to me sometimes." She cast her eyes down at the tabletop and looked tragic and melancholy.

Yes, Yaxley had heard all about that. Apparently Snape had given her quite a beating for playing up to Lucius Malfoy. The Dark Lord had quite enjoyed it, referencing it several times at their next group meeting.

Lucky Snape Yaxley thought, letting his eyes wander over Welkin, though it did seem a pity to mar such lovely skin by beating her. Yaxley had always suspected that Snape was the type who preferred his sex with quite a bit of sadism attached to it. He apparently took quite good care of his property after abusing it however, since Yaxley could detect no marks of permanent damage on Welkin’s body. Pius sat back quietly sipping his whiskey and let Yaxley do the probing.

Ummm…how is milord, by the way?" Welkin asked innocently. "Is he getting out much? I had thought I might see him here tonight, although I’m afraid my poor talents might bore him. Severus says I should be grateful that he even took notice of me at all and I am not fit to even be in his presence, or to be privy to any of his great and heroic endeavors. I would so enjoy hearing about him and his great plans though, even though I know I am so unworthy."

"I’m sure…milord…would find your interest in him and his projects quite amusing," Yaxley assured her. "He is a very private person and rarely attends events such as this however, and then only in a somewhat incognito manner. His fame is quite widespread in the Wizarding World but he is not ready to subject himself to undue attention at this time. Perhaps when his plans come to fruition soon you will meet again. At present he is traveling out of the country on a matter of importance."

"Oh I’d love it if he could attend one of my performances, even incognito!" Welkin said, trying to sound starstruck. "He’s such a great man!"

"Welkin," Snape said. "What are you doing? I hope that you are not annoying these gentlemen with your usual inane prattle." Snape had suddenly appeared at their table, no longer able to control his concern for Welkin.

"Oh no Severus, I swear I’m not! Please don’t be angry with me," she said, adopting a meek tone and casting her eyes back down at the table.

Snape grasped her arm and pulled her to her feet. "Excuse me Yaxley," he said. "But my wife has not quite learned her place even yet it appears, although I have gone to great pains to teach her. Perhaps we will discuss that again at length later this evening. Would you like that my dear?" His quiet voice belied the obvious menace in his words.

Welkin gave Yaxley a frightened look as Snape led her away and back to his table.

***

In her second set Welkin introduced the Wizarding crowd to "Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend" which Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy seemed to enjoy quite a lot.

By the time she came to her last song of the evening Yaxley and Pius had already left, much to Snape’s relief, and Welkin also felt a little more free to express herself, as the last song was one she had reserved especially to dedicate to Severus. It might have seemed strange to Yaxley if she had sung it while he was still there, considering the lyrics, and the fear of Snape which she had already expressed to him were quite at odds.

"I want to thank everyone for coming tonight and I hope you enjoyed the evening. Aberforth willing, I’ll be back tomorrow night, though not dressed nearly as extravagantly," Welkin joked, indicating her pseudo-Egyptian finery. "So show up tomorrow prepared to drink and enjoy yourselves!"

"I’ll be here for sure girly!" yelled the old gent at the bar.

"That’s nice Bertie," Welkin yelled back, "but you’re here every night anyway!" A burst of laughter rippled through the room and Bertie laughed along with it.

"My last song of the evening is for my husband Severus, who puts up with quite a lot from me sometimes, because I can be a little bit of a handful I’ll admit," Welkin said, looking directly at him as the music began and she started to sing. Her eyes and voice reflected the emotion she felt:

Oh, my man, I love him so, he’ll never know
All my life is just despair, but I don’t care
When he takes me in his arms
The world is bright, all right…
What’s the difference if I say I’ll go away
When I know I’ll come back on my knee someday
For whatever my man is, I am his...forever more…

As Welkin sang from her heart and soul just for him, Snape suddenly stopped minding how many galleons the evening had cost him.

***

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