|Down in the Dungeons
Author: MollyTheWanderer PM
He gathers them together every year.Rated: Fiction K - English - Drama - Severus S. - Words: 880 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 1 - Published: 11-12-05 - Status: Complete - id: 2657842
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Title: Down in the Dungeons
Author: Molly The Wanderer
A/N: Because I love Snape, and am convinced he's a good guy, and also because we all know there are muggle borns and half bloods in Slytherin (Snape, Riddle…Harry if he'd let the hat have its way). So, the narrator is no one important, read, review, comment, leave a note, anything…please?
When we've all arrived and the door has been locked and warded he seems to melt. It's almost visible, the way he takes off the mask of stoicism, as he slides into a high backed chair. The first years sit on the floor, if there are first years, and we always pray there aren't. The older students fill the rest of the available seating. This year there are nine of us. Three second years, one third, one fourth, and me, I'm a sixth year…there are three first years with us now, they're lucky to have each other, and unlucky, they'll have to work hard to protect themselves.
He offers us drinks once he's relaxed enough. The older students either refuse or serve themselves from a pitcher on the table, we never use the floo when he calls on us…we cant take the chance, the first years are so nervous they choose not to speak at all. They don't know what to think of the situation they've found themselves in only that this is the man they have to put their faith in.
"You must not speak about home," he begins, "you have to be careful, don't talk about family, friends, anything…and do no be seen together outside of this room. Stay close to those in your year, but no more than that." He looks up at us, those who've already had this talk before…many times.
"As for you. Constant vigilance is perhaps an appropriate phrase? Don't let your guard down, this year things will be even more dangerous than ever…The Dark Lord…this war has begun and you must be careful. Look after the younger ones, especially the first years, but don't let on that you feel anything for them. You already know to speak only about school matters to other students, do not stand out, or stick your noses where they do not belong, do not speak to me (and that goes for the first years as well)," he glances down at the three little kids who by now are scared stiff. We don't move to comfort them, they'll have to get used to relying only on each other soon enough, "unless I speak to you first, and never about this place, Never!"
I'm frightened for him now. He usually isn't this…spent during the first meeting of the year. But then, we don't exactly know everything he does. He doesn't speak of his personal business; hell, we aren't sure he even has a life outside of his potions lab. But he's cradling his arm tonight, and even I'm aware of what that means in the wizarding world by now.
"I promise you all, I will not abandon you. But you must be patient, and you must be careful." His voice is barely a whisper right now, "I will call you down here again soon, I promise but…" he cringes; the fourth year and I jump up.
"Sir!" we exclaim together, "please, is there a potion I can get you for…for that?" the fourth year lets me take over. I'm in seniority and pretty much all the family he's got in our house, he's lucky enough to be an orphan…there's less for him to keep to himself.
"No." he says, but I can see he's grateful, it's nothing the first years will be able to pick up, and I'd never expect anyone outside our house to understand, but that doesn't make it any less real, a twinkle in the deepest region of his depthless eyes.
"Go, you have classes tomorrow and I will not hesitate to assign a real detention to anyone who's late. Remember what I've said." His only farewell is a wave of his hand in the direction of the door.
I lift one of the first years off the floor, she'll have a hell of a night tonight, but like all the rest, it will pass and she'll get used to the way things are. Just before I close the door behind us, I look back into the room where he sits, still cradling his arm and holding back tears that will never fall.
"Thank you Professor, goodnight." His only response is nod of the head, I close the door.