Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.- Edger Allen Poe
It's the first of term and as like the rest of the last thirteen years worth of first days, my memories take me back to the first day I met you.
Do you remember?
Dumbledore had unwisely placed you in Slytherin house, almost throwing you to the dogs as it were. You carried on still, with your head held high even though you seemed to know that your new housemates would devour you alive. I can remember the way your cheeks seemed so hollow then, your hair so rugged and straw like. You looked as if you had been through hell and back, but when your eyes swept over me as you sat across the redwood table. I could see that they held a certain kind of sadness and the pain of having experienced too much. You were so thin too, as if you hadn't eaten a good meal in months, and you had a nervous tick of constantly looking over your shoulder; it still didn't help that Dumbledore threw you to the wolves as he did.
I still never forgave him for it.
This year her son will be in attendance, I'm dreading every moment of it. I can almost hear you now, "Severus Snape, you don't even know him! He could be the most wonderful and caring person in the world!" You were always such a compassionate person, but I wonder, where is that compassion now? You took everything and left me here to rot, as was your want! Some days I hate you and wish you were dead, that I might have had the chance to do it myself, if for nothing more than to have closure, knowing that you no longer existed somewhere out there in the world. If it were not for Lily and the memories of you that she so passionately preserved, I would have been lost to the darkness forever more. Yet, she had reminded me of you and the walls that I had built up came crumbling down. I was saddened when she passed, but I had promised in memory of you, to protect her boy. So there I sat at the head table like every year, remembering the day that our lives first crossed paths, Minerva walking in with the new crop of first years…
Severus saw the little shite before Quirrell had the galls to stutter about the boy's presence. The buffoon had excitedly begun to drone on about how he had met the boy at the Leaky Cauldron and Severus resisted the urge to roll his eyes. He knew that the path he had chosen in life would forever entwine himself to the Potter's, it was inevitable, but so was his life. It was not his own, everyone using him as some pawn in their little games.
And somewhere along the line I began to believe that you had used me too!
Severus turned his gaze away, only half listening to Minerva's first year speech. It was the same as every year and he frankly could have cared less as the sorting began. His stern gaze eventually fell upon some of the newly sorted Slytherin's, surveying his new crop of self-entitled dunderheads that he had to pretend to tolerate for the next 7 years or, till the end of his life. Which ever decided to come first. Sometimes he wondered why he was still even there, but the memories of her were his own form of prison. Constantly reminding him that this was a more desirable punishment for the things he had done, for the things that would still later on be asked of him.
It was only through years of spying that kept his composure of cool and indifference, when he heard Minerva's aged Scottish voice, slightly higher with a hint of shrill as she called the next name.
Her expressive old eyes twinkled with excitement as if she were finally seeing a friend she hadn't seen in ages. Severus tried not to look, to not give in, but his gaze caught his fellow colleague and he almost felt as if he were in a dream. There before him, the girl who had stolen everything, came bounding up the steps towards the sorting hat. Her obnoxiously frizzy mane, bouncing with each step as she turned towards the other students, waiting as the hat was placed upon her head and began to whisper sweet words of wisdom into her youthful mind. He couldn't believe his eyes and as the hat shouted "Gryffindor", Severus was still trying his best to break his gaze as it followed her to her place at her house table. Minerva still beaming like a shooting star, quickly called Potter's name and that was when Severus finally stopped staring and gave a murderous glare towards the Headmaster.
Dumbledore could feel the weight of the troubled man's stare, boring into the side of his face as if he were trying to make a scene right then and there. He would not give into the man, now was neither the time nor the place to speak of things that were almost long ago forgotten, yet a constant reminder of his everyday living hell. Dumbledore was the one who had tortured the man's soul; he was to blame for the younger man's darkened path in life, yet Dumbledore found ways to justify his actions. He had created that hunger in Severus, to win, to fight, to survive in the first war, and soon the next one as well. If he did not guilt and push Severus, if it had not been for the helpful manipulation of Lily Potter, Severus would not have been sitting at the same table as him. Severus would not have been the spy he was today and he would most certainly not have lived his life in misery by joining the ranks of the Death Eaters. If the very same Hermione Granger was not tasked with an important mission by his future self, Dumbledore was sure that Severus would have been settled down by now. Mixing potions in a forgotten shop, in a forgotten place, forgotten from time and history as was his want and wish in life.
This was not Albus Dumbledore's want for the pure talent that Severus Tobias Snape possessed.
No, Albus did not meet the man's glare, simply busying himself with making sure that everything she had told him 20 years before, exactly played out if they intended to win this war, if they intended to save the magical world once and for all.
Severus was beside himself with rage, Albus had simply refused to meet his gaze and that only seemed to fuel the fire even more so. He wanted to grab the ancient redwood table and flip it, to throw it as far as his strength would allow and then he wanted nothing more but to blast it into tiny slivers that resembled toothpicks. He wanted to light every banner in the great hall ablaze, to feel the burning of Fiendfye all around him as he destroyed everything. Yet, the most overwhelming feeling that burned through him the most was the need to run and hide, to be away from the endless torment that seemed to constantly find him.
The more he stared at the old man, the more it angered him that he would not meet his gaze and Severus finally understood that the wizard knew. His eyes snapped to where the girl sat, placing food onto her plate with a grace that most 6th years did not yet posses. His face and eyes never betraying the hurt and whirlwind of emotions as the stuttering Quirrell continued to mumble on about something or other. His eyes grazed the Gryffindor table again and he willed them to look as dead as he felt inside, as Potter's green eyes locked with his. He averted his gaze quickly, almost lost in the moment, thinking that Lily was somehow staring back at him.
As you can tell Hermione, I never wanted Hades to come and kill me himself more that this night. Out of nowhere you had come back into my life, after everything you had done to me and what's worse, you are a child, a small thing in the same year as Lily's boy. 13 years I had waited for some sign of you, some inkling that you were alive and well and no matter how badly I yearned to kill you with my bare hands, but you weren't even born yet, you didn't even exist! You told me that you would reappear one day and when the time came everything that we had endured would work out, that we would finally be together.
But is this what you meant?
For me to long for some silly Lolita type romance, to leech and prey upon your childish mind and body? Did you honestly think that I would be okay with such a thing? Or did you not think this far, one day by chance your 11-year-old self would find her way to this old man that wore a leash and collar from two very identical masters! Curse you woman and yet why are you not here? Not the one who has barely come into her womanly self but the same beautiful and vibrant flower that I had given my heart to, my very being.
Dinner had finally been finished, and no sooner were the tables cleared, that you along with the rest of the students, began to make their ways out of the great hall. Dumbledore had almost slipped past me towards one of the staff doors, but Minerva had caught the headmaster before he exited, making her statement loud enough for me to hear.
"Albus, might I and Severus have a word about this years' Gryffindor and Slytherin inter-house relations? We had discussed a possible solution that we feel might warrant your insight." Severus sneered at the exchanged, watching as Qurriell slinked away, and some of the other professor's beginning to disappear as well. Vector chuckled as she passed by, mumbling how their efforts were for not.
"Why, Minerva, maybe tomorrow-No Albus, I must insist upon the request immediately." Minerva stared into the older man's obnoxious twinkling blue eyes and knew that it could no longer be avoided.
The three exited with Dumbledore leading the way to his office. Severus flashed back to the last time the trio walked this path together and it only seemed to anger the Potions Master further. He was shaking with rage as his dragon hide boots fell silently along the stone trail. He could feel the memory of walking towards the headmasters office to find out that she had left, she had abandoned the plan that the two had set into motion because she no longer wanted to be apart of their dream, of the life they were going to build together. This was what sent Severus into his down fall and now he worried, as he climbed the aged stone steps, smoothed over from the decades of people who took the same path.
My only thoughts were, 'what news could this man give me this time, that would further destroy this shame of a life I led?'