Memories Escape Me… a fanfiction

Crowds of people bustled along as the young boy pushed his trolley forward, carrying his trunk and an owl in a cage. The boy paused between the barriers of platforms 9 and 10, pushing his greasy black hair from his face as his mother caught up. She said something, but the boy ignored her, waiting for the crowd to clear. Once there was an opening, he pushed his trolley forward once more and passed through what appeared to be a thick, solid wall. Severus Snape sniffed his hooked nose slightly as steam from the scarlet Hogwarts Express filled the air. At thirteen years of age, Severus looked a bit sallow even as he stood next to his mother on Platform 9 ¾. He scanned along the small crowd of families in search of his best friend, Lily Evans, who also happened to be the brightest witch in their year despite being Muggle-born. Jeers from fellow third years echoed in his ears from Gryffindors. He ignored them, his dark eyes searching until he spotted her. Lily came into view with her dark red hair down to her shoulders; her almond-shaped green eyes sparkled as she took in the sight of the train.

Severus moved forward quickly, catching Lily’s eye. They made their way onto the train after hurried goodbyes to their families. It took little time to find an empty compartment; they were still a bit early. Severus quickly placed Lily’s luggage up on the rack before his own.

“How have you been, Lily?” he asked, sitting down opposite her, a smile playing on his lips as he watched her respond.

“Well enough. Petunia has been in a right state, acting as if I don’t exist or calling me a ‘freak’ every chance she gets. The usual treatment. Any time I got to hang out with you at the park was a blessing. Tuney won’t follow me there too often; she avoids even mentioning you if she can help it. How have things been at your house?”

Severus felt his good mood ebb quickly at the mention of his house. “Nothing’s changed. I’m glad to finally be going back to Hogwarts.” The train gave a small lurch as it pulled out of King’s Cross station. Severus glanced at his reflection in the window; he could see the dark expression that had shadowed his face and hastened to change the subject. “Still, we’re starting new classes this year. Care of Magical Creatures is bound to be interesting.”

Lily laughed lightly, causing Severus to glow with some pleasure. “’Bound to be interesting’, indeed. If Professor Kettleburn has another accident like last year, he may just retire!”

“He can still work with no arms, then. Nothing wrong with that,” Severus said. He caught Lily’s eye and, unable to hold back any longer, they both burst into a fit of laughter.

They laughed uninterrupted for several moments. Severus loved it when Lily smiled. Their laughter died down. Before Lily could respond, however, their compartment door slid open, revealing four male Gryffindors, already dressed, as Severus and Lily were, in their school robes. James Potter stood nearest the door with his untidy black hair and glasses. Immediately behind him stood a smirking, handsome young boy with dark brown hair, Sirius Black. Beside Sirius stood a small boy with a rat-like face and watery eyes, Peter Pettigrew, who followed James and Sirius around like a little puppy. At the back of the group, looking rather uncomfortable and slightly sickly with short light brown hair was Remus Lupin.

Severus reached slowly into his robes, clutching his wand while he glared at James. “Sorry, Potter, but I don’t remember inviting you to join us,” he said with a sneer.

Sirius shot Severus a return glare, but James, who only had eyes for Lily, spoke up. “Hey, Evans, want to go out with me to Hogsmeade this year? It’s bound to be better than hanging out with this slime ball.” James stuck his thumb over at Severus. Severus felt his hand tighten more over his wand, but before he could react, Lily responded.

“Not even if your life depended on it, Potter,” she said scathingly. She stood up and moved to the compartment door, her wand out threateningly in front of her.

The four Gryffindors scurried back as Lily approached, their eyes all fixed upon Lily’s wand apprehensively. Lily gave them a wide, sarcastic smile, and then slammed the compartment door shut. She then turned back and gave Severus a lopsided grin.

“Here I was hoping they would give up making fun of you,” she admitted, sitting back down.

“Stags don’t back down from an oncoming charge, do they?” Severus said quietly.

Lily shook her head and glanced out of the window as the train turned to a wide stretch of grassland. “Well, I’m not about to let them gang up on you like that. Three against one is hardly fair.”

Severus smiled back and turned the conversation to other topics. As the train pulled them closer to the school, they discussed how they thought their new professors would act as well as commenting on how strict their old professors would be that year.

The first few weeks of school went by in a blur. Severus spent his evenings studying and completing homework with Lily and a few of her friends in the library. As the weeks went by, fewer and fewer of Lily’s friends joined them until it was just Lily and Severus. They usually spent their time working on various potions, quizzing each other by taking a few key ingredients out and having the other guess which potion it was. When there were problems with homework from other classes, they would help each other out as best as they could.

As October gave way to November, the first Hogsmeade trip of the year approached. Severus and Lily made plans to meet up at the Three Broomsticks that afternoon. The morning was well enough for early November; a slight chill was swept up with the light breeze, but the sun beat down enough on the students so that they remained relatively warm.

Severus was with his friends Avery and Mulciber, fellow third year Slytherins. They made their way first to Honeydukes, enjoying the various sweets they had purchased. Next, they visited Zonko’s Joke Shop, appreciating the products that littered the shelves. As they exited the joke shop, their pockets bulging with products, the three Slytherins decided, like many of their fellow third years, to visit the Shrieking Shack. The wind had picked up a bit as they approached the derelict building. On the winds sounds were carried; shrieking and howls which emitted from the Shrieking Shack filled the air. Curiosity ebbed at Severus, but a glance at the watch in his pocket told him to get moving.

He jogged lightly down the small hill and entered the Three Broomsticks. She turned as the door opened and Severus came striding over.

“I almost thought you weren’t coming,” she said, pushing a butterbeer towards Severus as he sat opposite her.

“Sorry, I got sidetracked by the Shrieking Shack. You can really hear sounds coming from in there. Some bloke in Zonko’s said that the shack only started making noise three years ago,” Severus said, taking a small sip of his drink, which filled him with warmth.

“Hey Evans!” a familiar voice called from a table across the way. Severus groaned inwardly as Lily glared over at James Potter. Beside James, Sirius Black was making rude hand gestures toward Severus, while Peter Pettigrew laughed. Remus Lupin was nowhere in sight.

“He just doesn’t get it,” Lily said with an annoyed sigh, turning back to Severus. “I can’t understand why he won’t leave me alone.”

“Because you’re wonderful,” Severus said without thinking. When he realized he had spoken aloud, he grew hot in the face and did not look up to meet Lily’s eye.

“You’re sweet, Sev,” Lily said after a moment.

They finished their drinks quickly to avoid James and his friends, who continued to call over to Lily. As they stood to leave, Avery and Mulciber entered, smirking at Severus and Lily, but said nothing as they exited the Three Broomsticks.

Classes resumed and went by almost too quickly. Severus and Lily made plans to meet at the park near their houses over break and left the train with their families, their minds on their memories of their third year.

The summer could not end soon enough in Severus’s opinion. His days, when he was not with Lily, were filled with longing for the days in which they could meet and talk all day in the park. Only on a few occasions were their meetings marred by the presence of her all-Muggle sister, Petunia. Petunia would taunt and insult the two friends relentlessly. Severus was sure that she had never forgiven him for reading the responding letter from Headmaster Dumbledore explaining why Petunia could not attend Hogwarts with her sister.

Severus began spending his alone time inventing various spells and making corrections and amendments to several potions in his hand-me-down copy of Advance Potion Making, which he would not really need until his sixth year. The book had been his mother’s, and already worn, so he was sure she wouldn’t mind him writing in it.

Fourth year began as Severus managed to perfect only a few of his spell. Since he was back at school, he was more able to properly test his spells. Testing them out usually meant using them on unsuspecting Gryffindors. He tried his hardest to get James Potter and Sirius Black the most, whose relentless insults were beginning to get under Severus’s skin. Their retaliation methods usually meant that they were caught and put in detention while Severus walked free. Fourth year, however, passed unbearably quick, leaving Severus to wonder aloud to Lily whether each year would go by just as quickly.

“I sure hope so,” Lily said in the park near their homes one day over the summer between their fourth and fifth year. The summer was doing its normal drag. “I can’t wait to get out of the house and into the real world.”

“Why is that?” Severus asked. Although he watched Lily, he could sense her sister nearby, listening, waiting for a chance to come bother them.

“School is great and everything,” Severus heard Petunia snort quietly, “but all this talk of You-Know-Who rising in power and all those deaths. It really feels like they aren’t teaching us the right things,” Lily said. “It feels like the only way to learn is to go out and tackle the problems head on just to learn them.”

Severus made a face but did not reply. He did not want to admit it to Lily, but he was becoming increasingly fascinated with some of the stories reported of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, or as his followers called him, the Dark Lord. His followers, the Death Eaters, were being reported about, but no one really seemed to know who they were, other than they were dangerous allies of the Dark Lord. Avery and Mulciber bragged  that their fathers were Death Eaters and told Severus in the Slytherin common room about some of the deeds the Dark wizards did that were either never reported or were delayed in reaching the ears of fellow students.

Lily broke into his thoughts. “Sev, cheer up. If the school years keep going this fast, you’ll be out of your parent’s house in no time.”

He smiled at the use of his nickname. Before he could respond, though, Petunia took the opportunity to come stalk out of the tree she hid behind with insults ready on her lips. The summer, after that time, went by considerably faster.

Fifth year began slowly, something Severus was secretly glad of. He knew most of his friends, including Lily, Avery and Mulciber, all wanted the year to go by more quickly. Severus was forced to remind them all that being in their fifth year they would have to face the O.W.L.s sooner if the year went by any quicker. He kept himself from complaining as he realized he was cherishing his time with Lily. He always knew he liked her, but it had become increasingly harder to hide his feelings.

Avery and Mulciber were anxious to get out of school to join the ranks of the Dark Lord. When Severus was in their company, he agreed. But he wasn’t sure whether he wanted to join the Dark Lord or not, and felt his mood growing darker almost daily. His few moments each week with Lily kept his mood from falling too far. Although the O.W.L.s were not expected until June, Severus spent most of his time in the library studying for the future exams or perfecting his self-invented spells and making notes in his Potions book.

It was the middle of December in Severus’s fifth year that he perfected his spell, Levicorpus, a completely nonverbal spell that hoisted the unsuspecting target up into the air by their ankle. The counterspell, Liberacorpus, was also perfected. Severus used this spell just before Christmas break on an unsuspecting James Potter.

Sirius Black howled with laughter at the sight of James being hoisted up by his ankle before he spotted a triumphant looking Severus nearby and cursed his belongings to attack him. As usual, Severus stayed at Hogwarts for Christmas break. Lily had gone home. He sent her gift, a Charms book she had been wanting but which was out of print. She, in return, sent him an unusual book about offensive and defensive magic. When classes resumed in January, it seemed as if Severus’s spell had gotten out; students couldn’t walk two feet without being hoisted up into the air by their ankles.

Severus sat in the library in early February, making amendments, as usual, to his potions and spells. He was expecting Lily to join him sometime soon; she had one class more than him that let out late, so he assumed she was at dinner. He usually waited for her in the library. He made some corrections, scratching out notes and reiterating them when he heard someone approach quietly behind him. Since most students were still at dinner, Severus was suspicious. Turning quickly, while simultaneously pulling his wand out, Severus found his wand pointed at Sirius Black’s heart. Sirius, at fifteen, had grown into a handsome young man; Severus felt a slight pang of jealousy before he glared at Sirius.

Sirius held up his hands to show he was not armed with his wand. “Easy, Snivellus. I’ve got a message for you.”

“Really, a message for me?” And who would send you to come get me?” Severus sneered, his pallid face slightly pink from Sirius’s nickname for him.

“Lily asked that you do and see her. She went out to the Whomping Willow,” Sirius said. His dark eyes were bright with some joke, but all Severus noticed was Lily’s name.

“No one goes near the Whomping Willow,” Severus said suddenly, registering the second part of Sirius’s message. He stood, keeping his wand pointed at Sirius’s heart. “It’s forbidden.”

“It’s only forbidden if you get caught,” Sirius said, rolling his eyes. “Just prod the large knotted root with a long branch. It’ll reveal a tunnel.”

Severus still felt suspicious. “Where does it lead?”

Sirius inspected one of his fingernails. “I’m just the messenger.” With a mocking smile, he took off.

Perplexed as to why Lily would want to meet him down some tunnel, especially in a forbidden zone when she was a Prefect, Severus made his way down to the dungeons to drop off his things. And, he thought, why was there a tunnel hidden by the Whomping Willow? He strode out onto the grounds. The full moon was out over the mountains, casting enough light on the ground that he didn’t need to light his wand. He easily found a long stick. Still a bit skeptical, he prodded the large knotted root. The tree limbs, which were swinging threateningly a moment before, froze, and the roots pulled apart to reveal a small opening. Severus eased his way through the opening and found himself in a dark tunnel.

Lumos,” he whispered, pulling out his wand. It lit the tunnel a few feet ahead; the tunnel seemed to go on for some distance. The tunnel’s ceiling was low, causing Severus to stoop down as he made his was down the tunnel. He wasn’t quite sure but he imagined he heard noises ahead of him, some bangs and yelping. As he moved further down the tunnel, these noises became more pronounced.

Severus stopped at an opening, which revealed a room ahead. Sounds of crashing came from somewhere higher than the room, disturbing Severus. Not for the first time did he think to turn back, but the thought of Lily being up ahead stopped him. He took a deep breath, and then entered the room. The noises continued from what appeared to be an upstairs room.

Severus spotted a set of stairs just ahead of his as he entered the room. There was also a landing and a large door upstairs. The door was open, and he could see movement from inside, but he couldn’t identify what he saw.

“Lily?” He called, uncertain. The longer he remained there, the more it seemed like a mistake.

Next moment, Severus saw the thing that moved in the room upstairs. It was apparently pacing. It was not, however, Lily Evans. The monstrous creature stopped its pacing and lifted its head, sniffing the air. Its head swiveled down and spotted Severus, who was frozen in shock.

What the –? He could not complete his thought, or wrap his mind around the creature he faced. The creature, a silvery-gray beast, bounded out of the room and across the landing to the top of the stairs. It gave a hair-raising howl and began to leap down the stairs.

Severus heard the clatter of some object against the wooden floor behind him; he turned to find a large stag charging forward, shoving the werewolf back up the landing with its mighty antlers. Severus turned and fled back down the tunnel, tripping over his own feet and the rocks as he fled the monster behind him.

As he neared the end of the tunnel, Severus could hear panting behind him. He froze at the entrance of the tunnel and turned to illuminate the path behind him with his wand. To his astonishment, James Potter was bounding down the tunnel towards him, holding his side as if he had a stitch in it.  He shooed Severus through the gap in the tree roots as he approached, quickly exiting himself. After pulling himself and the still shocked Severus from the now-attacking Whomping Willow branches, James collapsed in the grass, breathing deep and hard.

Severus could hear footsteps approaching and turned to see Professor Dumbledore approaching the duo quickly, his silvery beard flowing back in the wind. When he came into Severus’s wandlight, he looked pale white, his eyes wide.

“Are you both alright?” Dumbledore asked in his calm voice that did not suggest he had moved as quickly as he had from the castle in a near-panicked state. Severus was unable to speak.

James, however, seemed to have recovered enough to respond. “We’re both fine. Snape saw, but I got him out of there before he could get hurt.”

“Severus, I must ask you to keep this secret and not seek retaliation,” Dumbledore said, turning his gaze towards Severus.

Finally finding his voice, Severus grew angry, and tripped over his words. “Who was –? Was that – Lupin?”

Dumbledore nodded gravely. “I must ask you to swear not to tell another student about what you have witnessed down there.”

“But – He – Sirius, he told me to go down there!” Severus snarled. He could feel shock building in his body, but his anger was in control for the moment.

“Swear you will not seek retaliation, not tell a soul about what you’re witnessed,” Dumbledore said, his eyes gazing intently at Severus.

“Fine, but I—,” Severus was once more cut off by Dumbledore, who said he would take care of it. He then had James escort Severus up to the Hospital Wing to receive a batch of Calming Draught.

Over the next week, rumors flew. Students speculated about what could’ve happened to have landed Sirius Black in two months’ worth of detention. Many rumors came close to the truth, revealing that Severus Snape had gone down the tunnel near the Whomping Willow and had been saved from something by James Potter.

Lily and Severus were walking through the castle one day, a week after the incident, when she confronted him about what his friends Avery and Mulciber were doing to one of her friends. Severus was rather irritated and shot back that James and his friends were similar, casing jokes and cursing people. Then he jumped into his “theory” about Remus Lupin, to which Lily laughed at. She mentioned one rumor that she heard, saying that James had saved Severus from whatever was down that tunnel. Severus, especially frustrated he had been tricked into thinking Lily was down there, fired up at once, saying that James fancied Lily. She promptly insulted James, leaving Severus feeling oddly light. He had lost track of the conversation.

Suddenly it was June, and the O.W.L.s were upon them. Severus struggled through his Charms and Arithmancy O.W.L.s, but felt confident about his Care of Magical Creatures and Potions. His O.W.L. that day was Defense Against the Dark Arts. When the test was over, Severus was pouring over the examination questions, making sure he got every single detail correct. He made his way, unknowingly near James and his friends, down to the lake, where he settled himself in some dense bushes, his nose still buried in the paper.

His mind was still on his exam when he heard James call out to him. Severus did not think, but reacted, reaching for his wand in his robes while his bag went flying. Before he could do much else, he was Disarmed by James, his wand landing somewhere behind him. Severus tried to dive back and reach his wand when he was struck by the Impediment Jinx, causing him to fall to the ground. He tried to catch his breath, as Sirius, Peter and James approached, taunting him. He tried to stand but the jinx was still in effect. Severus sent a slew of swearwords at the trio, but could do nothing as his wand was still a bit of a reach from him.

James, apparently affected by Severus’s words, cried, “Scourgify,” causing Severus to choke as bubbles streamed from his mouth.

Then Severus heard Lily cry out against James and his friends. Lily and James exchanged words while Severus inched his way towards his wand, the Impediment Jinx nearly gone.

When Lily refused once again to go out with James, Sirius finally noticed Severus approaching his wand. He called out a warning, but it was too late; Severus used his self-invented spell, Sectumsempra, a completely nonverbal spell. His spell slashed part of James’s face, covering his robes in blood.

Suddenly Severus was hoisted up into the air by his ankle from his own self-invented spell. Lily, livid, yelled at James to let Severus down. James complied, causing Severus to fall painfully back to earth. He quickly disentangled himself from his robes when Sirius used a Full-Body bin on him, causing him to fall once more to the ground.

Lily shouted some more at the now duo, pulling out her own wand. After her threats, James muttered the countercurse, allowing Severus to struggle once more to his feet. James taunted Severus about needing Lily to help him out. Severus’s mind went blank with rage, though, and, unaware of what he was spitting, Severus heard the forbidden word cross his lips.

“Mudblood!”

Lily coolly called Severus “Snivellus” before she turned, shouted an exchange of words at James before she finally turned and fled from the area. James turned his attention back to Severus, and once again used Levicorpus on him.

After several more moments of humiliation, Professor McGonagall, the Transfiguration professor arrived. Severus was not surprised; his mind thinking about what Lily would have done after leaving him there. James and Sirius were sentenced to detention for a week. That night, Severus went to apologize to Lily.

She initially refused to come out of the Gryffindor common room, so Severus was forced to beg any incoming Gryffindors to get her out there. Finally getting desperate, Severus threatened to sleep out in the hall until Lily came to talk to him.

When Lily finally exited the portrait hole, she was still obviously angry, her arms crossed. Severus tried repeatedly to apologize. Then Lily accused him and his friends of wanting to join the Dark Lord. Severus made no attempt to deny it and his thoughts became increasingly frantic. Please, don’t make this the end. But even as he thought it, Lily was saying the words he never wanted to hear. He tried once more to apologize, but she cut him off. Tell her! His inner voice shouted frantically. Tell her you love her! But even as he struggled to speak, Lily was already going back through the portrait hole, giving him one last contemptuous look. His feet were carrying him away.

Severus’s ride back to London was quiet, though he shared a compartment with Avery and Mulciber. They were each wondering aloud how they would gain the Dark Lord’s approval. Severus’s thoughts, as they had been for so many years now, were turned to Lily. As the Hogwarts Express pulled in to King’s Cross station, Severus made a decision to try written contact instead of verbal to get Lily’s companionship once more.

Severus sat in his dark room at his home on Spinner’s End, ignoring the conversations of the pictures that surrounded his desk. He stared at one of the two pictures of Lily Evans that he owned; this particular picture was Muggle-made, a gift from Lily a few years previous, and remained stationary. Although it did not move, Severus could see more life in this photo than the other, wizard-made photo. Sighing, he placed the photo down onto his desk and pulled out a parchment and quill. He hesitated with his quill over the paper as he heard the exchange of shouts from downstairs. He closed his stinging eyes, as if it would block out the sound as he thought. Opening his eyes, everything did seem to grow quiet, and Severus began his letter.

Lily,

            I know I may be the last person you want to hear from, but I want to make things right. I am sorry I called you what I did; I know I cannot take it back, but know that I never think of you as such. You are the kindest person I have ever met. Please, forgive me. You’re my greatest friend; I don’t want to lose you.

Severus

He woke his large barn owl, Lillian, and attached the letter. He sent off Lillian, watching her take off before his head fell to his hands and he cried.

It was morning when Lillian returned with Lily’s reply. After reading it, Severus almost wished she hadn’t returned at all.

Severus, (No longer ‘Sev’)

I must apologize, for I cannot allow myself to forgive you for what you said. I know it hurts; it has been killing me ever since you said it, but you’ve chosen your path. You’ve chosen to join You-Know-Who and his Dark forces. I miss the you before you became a Slytherin, the boy who told me I had magic and told me all about this wonderful magical world, a place I could only dream of. But it is as I said, you’ve chosen your way and I’ve chosen mine. I am sorry, but I cannot forgive you.

Lily

The summer dragged on more than usual. Severus resisted the temptation to write back to Lily, or track her down at her house. He could not bring himself to get his hopes up to then feel the bitter sting of disappointment. His days were spent in the park, with the vain hopes that Lily would appear and allow him to apologize. His nights were filled with the bitterness of their lost friendship, and the vain hopes that it could be brought back together.

Sixth year came and began as slow as the previous year. This time, however, Severus began to hope with his remaining friends that it would go by quickly. His days were filled with N.E.W.T. classes and the exchanging of curses between him, James and his friends. His evenings were filled with putting the final modifications on his spells and potions in his copy of Advanced Potion Making. The days blurred together. Whenever Severus passed Lily in the hall, she would turn her head and keep walking. When they were in classes together, she kept herself as far from him as possible. Without his usual chats with Lily, Severus was lost and began to turn his attention to learning anything and everything about the Dark Arts and its defenses, striving, like Avery and Mulciber, to become noticed by the Dark Lord. Reports had flooded in throughout Severus’s sixth year about the Dark Lord and his Death Eaters as they began to move more into open warfare against the Ministry and Dumbledore.

The summer between sixth and seventh year went quicker than normal. Severus, already seventeen, took to Apparating to either Avery’s or Mulciber’s house. During these outings, Severus began to meet the real Death Eaters, and, as he was surprised to learn, see old friends among the Death Eater ranks. All the Death Eaters who met the three young wizards were all eager to tell their stories of fights, torture and murder to the young men, who took in the information with pleasure. Severus’s old friend Lucius Malfoy was among those Death Eaters that easily accepted Severus as a future Death Eater.

Seventh year began quicker than the previous year. Until November, little had happened that attracted Severus’s attention, that was, until he heard some startling news.

He, Avery and Mulciber strode down the hall toward their N.E.W.T. Potions class when someone whispered two names in a sentence that Severus never thought he would hear.

“Evans and Potter?” a fourth year girl from Hufflepuff asked. Severus did not turn his head, but stopped, waving Avery and Mulciber onward as he bent down to pretend to tie his shoelace.

“Yeah, they started going out yesterday. I couldn’t believe it when I heard,” replied one of the Hufflepuff girl’s friends.

Severus did not believe he was still capable of hurting anymore, yet he moved numbly down to the dungeons, lost in thought. He entered the classroom just as the bell echoed across the walls. Professor Horace Slughorn, a large, balding and portly man, called the class to attention as Severus sat down at the Slytherin table. He glanced over at Lily as Professor Slughorn told them the day’s assignment. She as smiling more than usual and her face was glowing. Why him? He thought glumly. Why not me? A little voice in his mind answered. You had your chance. You spoke your mind without thinking and blew your chance.

Throughout the year, whenever he could, Severus sent various curses towards James. Sometimes, there were no repercussions, but more often than not Sirius, Peter, and even upon occasion Remus Lupin managed to exact revenge. The year ended quickly after the tiring N.E.W.T exams.

That summer, Severus began the initiation ceremony to become a full-fledged Death Eater. Under the direction of Lucius Malfoy, Severus learned more curses and the pleasure of causing pain. He learned the thrill of evasion and the excitement in the kill. His mind grew warped, twisted by the promised of the Dark Lord and other Death Eaters. After three months of extensive training under Malfoy, Severus was branded with the Dark Mark.

The Dark Lord himself branded the Mark into Severus’s left forearm even as he swore oaths to be faithful to the Dark Lord. After he was branded, Severus was continually shaking with eager excitement to prove himself. Being a part of the Death Eaters meant that Severus no longer waited to hear the news from others but got the accounts first or second hand.

Severus’s first year under the Dark Lord and his followers passed quickly. As his nineteenth birthday approached, Severus heard two bits of startling news.

The Dark Lord was pacing in the large room of the Lestrange family, whose home had become something of the Dark Lord’s headquarters. The Dark Lord was awaiting the arrival of all of his followers. When all had arrived, the Dark Lord spoke, his silky voice hissing slightly as he told the news.

“One of our own has died. Regulus Black seems to have died while returning from a mission I gave him,” the Dark Lord said. There were some murmurs, but few people who had known Regulus felt that he was rather young, and was likely killed by an Auror.

“In other news,” the Dark Lord continued, his eyes flashing scarlet briefly, “two whom I wish to add to my ranks have joined forces in marriage. James Potter and Lily Evans wed a few days ago.” Severus felt himself grow cold, but kept his face composed. Inside, however, he was in turmoil. Lily married? To Potter?

“Lucius, I want you to stop by and see if you can’t convince them to change their minds about joining me.” There were a lot more mutterings amongst the Death Eaters. Severus did not join in, but listened.

“That’ll be the third time we’ve asked them to join us. I think it would be wise to just kill them both before they decide to join up with Dumbledore’s Order,” someone muttered loudly. Severus could not bring himself to look around to see who spoke.

Some months had passed and Severus had aged another year. At twenty, he had grown taller, and more pallid, his nose as hooked as ever. He waited patiently for the Dark Lord to give him orders.

“The Potter had a son just at the end of the July,” Lucius was saying to the Dark Lord. Severus blinked. Lily had a son? Potter’s son? Please, not that, he thought, keeping his face carefully composed.

“Maybe we should threaten the child’s life to get them to come to our side,” Mulciber suggested. Severus felt himself breathe in sharply.

“Perhaps,” the Dark Lord said lazily. He turned to Severus, who quickly averted his eyes. “Severus, I must ask you to go spy upon Dumbledore. Word is he is going to meet a potential teaching candidate tonight. If you’re caught, tell them you were hoping to get some tips so that you could get a job at Hogwarts yourself. If you can manage, get an actual position at Hogwarts.”

“Yes, my Lord,” said Severus.

“They will be at the Hog’s Head tonight. Do not disappoint me,” the Dark Lord said dangerously.

“Never, my Lord,” Severus said, bowing his head slightly before he left.

Severus had been to the Hog’s Head on one other occasion and had not enjoyed the experience. He concealed himself, watching as Dumbledore approached the entrance and went inside. Severus followed quietly, watching as Dumbledore moved up the stairs. Avoiding the gaze of the barkeeper, Severus followed.

When Dumbledore entered a room, Severus swooped to the keyhole to listen. There was not much going for the interviewee in his opinion as he listened to her drone on about some distant Seer relative. Ready to give up, Severus froze as the interviewee’s voice changed, becoming raspy and strange. He realized with a start that the woman was making a real prediction, a prophecy of sorts.

He listened intently, for the prophecy seemed to concern the Dark Lord’s downfall. Suddenly he was shoved through the door by the Hog’s Head barkeeper. Severus’s face flushed as Dumbledore turned and gazed at him with his piercing blue stare that gave him the impression of being x-rayed. Severus averted his eyes, feeling Legilimency at work. Quickly, Severus muttered his excuse about hoping for tips for a job and fled.

Severus returned immediately to the Dark Lord’s side, reporting only to him; this matter would not do any good passing through others’ ears. The Dark Lord’s eyes glowed as he listened.

“You have done well to report this, Snape, very well indeed. ‘Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies,’ yes, very excellent. Those Potters have done enough to resist me. Now, I shall have to personally kill them all,” the Dark Lord said maliciously.

Severus shook slightly as he spoke up. “A-all of them, my Lord? E-even Lily?”

“Yes, Snape, why? Do you desire her?” the Dark Lord asked as if slightly amused.

Severus’s mind was moving fast, but when he answered, his heart spoke for him. “Yes, my Lord.”

The Dark Lord laughed. “You shall have her for bringing me this information. She shall be yours.”

Severus returned to his home at Spinner’s End, lost in thought. The house was empty apart from him; both of his parents had died the year previous. Lily, all mine, he thought. Then a nastier thought came to him. What if the Dark Lord kills Lily too?

Severus made up his mind. He Apparated to Hogsmeade. He was unsure how to approach. He knew Dumbledore was doing everything in his power to stop the Dark Lord and his followers. What would Dumbledore do to him?

The weather was nasty, winds howling and tree branches whipped violently into the air. Suddenly Severus felt as if he were being followed, and Disapparated to the bottom of a hill. Running, he reached the top, panting, and turned in fear, his wand gripped in his hand.

Dumbledore Apparated before him. Severus begged not to be killed. Dumbledore did not seem concerned with this statement, but merely asked what message Severus had from the Dark Lord. Scared for his life, and the life of the woman he loved, Severus confessed what he had overheard, what the Dark Lord interpreted from it, and begged Dumbledore to protect Lily. Dumbledore asked what Severus was willing to do for Dumbledore in exchange, to which he replied, “Anything.”

Months passed as the Dark Lord searched for the Potters to no avail. Severus’s twenty-first birthday came and went as he waited, spying on the Dark Lord for Dumbledore. September gave way to October and little had changed. Severus had begun his job at Hogwarts as its new Potions Master. The frustrations of the Dark Lord were obvious and most of his Death Eaters avoided him unless they needed to report anything. Just before October ended, the Dark Lord met with a cloaked stranger at the headquarters. The Death Eaters were curious but the Dark Lord had forbid any to talk or follow the stranger, who was rather short, but constantly hooded. The Dark lord left on October 31, claiming to those few Death Eaters who were present that the night would be his most triumphant. Before he left, the Dark Lord reported that Peter Pettigrew, once a friend of James Potter, had given up his friend in order for protection.

Severus Disapparated quickly after the Dark Lord left, and reported to Dumbledore, who quickly left, presumably to help the Potters escape. Severus went to his rooms in the castle and slept, sure that Lily would be safe in the morning, and that he had nothing to fear.

When morning came, Severus heard the news. He could feel noting. He saw his body moving, taking him to some yet unknown location, though he knew not where as he tried to bring his mind around the concept. No, he thought, as his feet carried him up the spiral stair case into Dumbledore’s office. She can’t be. She can’t be dead. She has to exist.

Overwhelmed by grief, Severus was crying and speaking words to Dumbledore, demanding to know why Lily was gone from the world. Dumbledore spoke something, but nothing really got through to Severus. Suddenly, a few words did break through. Dumbledore had said that Potter’s son, Lily’s child lived, while she lay in the cold earth. Severus broke, almost completely incapable of functioning when Dumbledore said one other thing that broke through. Her son, Lily’s son, had inherited her eyes. Her exact, perfect, amazing eyes. Dumbledore then asked that Severus assist in protecting Lily’s son. He easily agreed.

It was Severus’s twenty-second birthday. He sat in his office down in the dungeons of the castle, a dark, dank place, even for the likes of him. Just as he had for the better part of the past fifteen or so years of his life, Severus thought of Lily. He thought of the last time he had been her friend, regretting ever allowing his anger to speak for him. He thought of the last time he had seen her alive, when they had graduated from Hogwarts. His thoughts strayed towards the son he had now sworn to protect and he felt his stomach flutter at the thought of seeing her eyes one more time.

As the day drew to a close, Severus Snape’s thoughts wandered fleetingly to Petunia. He knew Lily’s son had to be in good hands. He wondered briefly if Petunia would make a good mother, despite her overall attitude towards the magical community, and despite the fact that she was a Muggle. But his last conscious thought as he clutched the stationary photo of Lily Potter was that Petunia had to be a good mother. She was, after all, Lily’s sister.

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~ by HelixRook on April 24, 2011.

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