Author: coffeeonthepatio PM
-Hand over your wand. It is to be snapped and you're exiled from the Wizarding World from this day onward.- Severus has to deal with his life without magic. A story about Mugglishness, well-meaning neighbours, well-meaning students and Linguistics.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Severus S. & Hermione G. - Chapters: 100 - Words: 307,576 - Reviews: 4,767 - Favs: 671 - Follows: 373 - Updated: 01-01-11 - Published: 05-30-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6010521
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I don't make any money with this story, nothing belongs to me, I'm just having fun and playing a little for your, and my, entertainment.
Semantics is the study of the meaning of words, phrases and sentences. In semantic analysis, there is always an attempt to focus on what the words conventionally mean, rather than on what a speaker might want the words to mean on a particular occasion. This technical approach to meaning emphasizes the objective and the general. It avoids the subjective and the local. Linguistic semantics deals with the conventional meaning conveyed by the use of words and sentences of a language.
The wizened wizard with the beetled eyebrows stared at Severus Snape, former Death Eater, former Potions Master of Hogwarts and murderer of Albus Dumbledore. There had been a vote. It had all happened more or less democratically, and while the heroes of the Light, amongst them the newly dubbed Golden Trio, all spoke more or less highly of him, praised his bravery, it did not seem to impress the old and revered body of the Wizengamot. This little figure in black, most of them thought, sitting erectly and proudly in the middle of the huge, dark room, surrounded by them, had killed their former Chief Warlock. The current Chief Warlock, the wizened wizard with the beetled eyebrows, was an ancient person called Adalbert Tremlett who had spent the years during Lord Voldemort's reign in Norway, away from the war. That one person cleared his throat and as he still looked and tried to find a way into Severus Snape's mind, he knew he would have to go against the wishes of most of those other witches and wizards in the Wizengamot who wanted that lone, dark figure to receive the Dementor's Kiss. He could not let this happen to that man and so, he quickly decided to go against the rest of them.
But punishment had to be, and this way, he might be able, he thought, to soothe the body of the Wizengamot.
"Your punishment, Severus Tobias Snape..." said Adalbert Tremlett slowly. "Hand over your wand. It is to be snapped and your exiled from the Wizarding World from this day onward. Any re-entry into our world will result in the Dementor's Kiss!" He had to shout the last part. It was idiotic to lose such a bright mind and such a brave man, but it was better than to leave him to rot, soullessly, in a dark pit of Azkaban. But he could not be a wizard. He had committed a sin, he had to be punished. "You will be tracked, much like an underage wizard. Any use of magic and you will receive the Kiss. Now, hand it over and then just...disappear."
The dark, lone man seemed to wear shoes made of lead and he seemed weak as he shuffled forward, his eyes downcast. He produced a beautiful wand, made from dark wood out of the folds of his robes and gave it, reluctantly, to a clerk, who in turn, gave it to the Chief Warlock with a flourish.
It was the oddest noise, like twigs reluctantly creaking, like wood not wanting to be broken and the snapping sound seemed to be a long time coming but there it was. A crack, and Severus Snape's wand was no more.
Even though there was no one but the Wizengamot allowed when they passed the sentence, there were two people hidden underneath an Invisibility Cloak on the topmost, empty, visitor stands. It was cramped underneath the cloak and the air was so thick, it was maybe possible to cut it with a knife but both young ones hidden there listened with rapt attention.
"Can they do that?" asked the female.
"It's unfair," muttered the male.
"That's what I mean. Can they do that?" hissed the female.
"I s'pose," replied the male.
"Can't you ask someone? Can't we change it?"
"He's lucky he didn't end up with the Kiss," the male muttered angrily. "That's what Arthur said."
"But he's a hero," shrieked the female. Quietly. As quietly as you could shriek.
"I think they see him more as a murderer," the male said darkly.
It seemed almost ironic, Severus Snape, newly made Muggle, thought, that he would be led out of the Ministry of Magic, straight into Muggle London, by one of his former students, Michael Singh, a Hufflepuff who had received more detentions for melting cauldrons than any other. It was truly ironic, Severus Snape thought, that this Michael Singh, still trembled under his gaze and seemed afraid. And he had no power whatsoever anymore. He had been tried and sentences for his deeds done, for the sins he had committed, for all his transgressions. He was lucky to be alive, he was lucky to have the rest of his crippled soul. And then he stood there. On a little street, a bit off, he knew, from Charing Cross Road. If he wandered down that street, he'd be on Shaftesbury Avenue. And from there, he could easily find his way towards Piccadilly Circus. With the fifty Pounds the Ministry had so graciously given him. They probably did not want him stranded somewhere in the middle of England. If they had known he'd had the foresight of actually withdraw all his money from Gringotts, had it changed into Pound Sterling and that it was stacked away inside the mattress of his bed in Spinner's End, they probably would not have been so gracious. But he could get the Tube from Piccadilly Circus, the train up North from Euston or St Pancras. If he got to his dingy Spinner's End house, he would be alright. The money there would last until he had a plan.
He needed a plan.
His entire life had been turned upside down. He had suspected to be Kissed. Or at the very least, he expected to spend the rest of his life in Azkaban. He had not expected to be cast out of the Wizarding World. He had not expected to be free.
Free. He did not know what that meant. And now he was free – whatever that meant – without a wand. Without the ability to use magic. Being made a Muggle and that almost, almost seemed like poetic justice. Being turned into that which people, the general public, thought he was so against. He had to admit that it had not sunk in yet. And after the almost six months he had spent in Azkaban, just to breathe the dirty, smog-filled London air, was wonderful. Severus Snape let his head fall backwards and looked up to the sky, the greyish clouds rushing by, a few drops of rain falling on his face. He was hungry and he was thirsty but those meandering thoughts in his mind, back and fro and back again. That morning, his head had been clear in his cell in Azkaban. He had known that he would, at best, die. At worst, would suffer worse than death. Six months that he had time to wonder about the effects of a Dementor's Kiss, and while they weren't kept to be guarding the prison anymore, they were still there, around, kept to carry out Kisses. Some nights, he had been able to feel them. Or maybe that had just been the overwhelming despair inside himself.
He had never expected to survive and from what he knew, he had been on the brink of death, knocking on Death's door for around three weeks. Three weeks during which medi-witches and -wizards at St Mungo's had fought for his life, only to be put to Azkaban after another six weeks of convalescence. They should have just, he had thought so many times, let him die. It would have spared the Wizarding population of the United Kingdom a lot of expenses. The overly long trial. His extended stay at Azkaban and now the £ 50.
He could nevertheless not deny the relief he felt as the rain fell on his face and on his greasy hair and he did not even care that he wore his old robes, the ones he had been found in and the ones that had only been mended slightly. He had other clothes back home. Old clothes of his father's but clothes, nevertheless. He could not just transfigure his robes now. He could not just apparate. He would truly have to watch himself, would have to make sure not to brew potions and not to do some accidental, wandless magic. They would know. No doubt about it. Or maybe his brain was too muddled by those sudden turn of events, that he could not think.
He had slowly begun to walk, down Shaftesbury Avenue, black cabs and other cars rushing by, some other pedestrians passing him, not caring about his clothes when the rain got heavier. And this was London. People could dress strangely in London and get away with it. And back home, he had his father's old clothes. He would have to stay there for the time being until he sorted out his thoughts. Until he knew what to do.
All the thoughts – no means of income without magic, no way of earning money – were pushed aside when he bought a ticket for the Tube and was suddenly surrounded by people, lots and lots of people. He had to focus on his breathing, knowing exactly that a crowd could always mean trouble – and he was without any kind of defence, without his wand. He missed it, his sleeve was empty, his pocket was empty. He felt almost naked and in the middle of a crowd, in the middle of a lot of people, he found he had difficulties breathing. He had difficulties finding his step on the stairs and he kept to the utmost left, almost clinging to the handrail. He didn't dare to touch it – but it was there and he knew it was there. Something to hold on to if he needed it. And he followed the crowd, trying to breath and felt himself swept into the Tube.
The house looked the same, however, the last time, he had been in there, the last time, he had gone out, he had added wards upon wards upon wards. He had no wand now. He couldn't get into his own house. Not in the regular way. However, he hoped that the house recognised him still and so he went around to the back and stared, for long, long minutes, at the glass of the window and for a moment, he wondered, then made a fist slowly and his hand broke the glass. Nothing happened apart from the glass shattering, his hand bleeding and aching, a tiny shard of glass sticking between his knuckles. He pulled it out, first, before he carefully stuck his hand inside and turned the handle. He felt absolutely no wards in place. Nothing. Maybe they had fallen when they had snapped his wand, maybe they were still there and he couldn't feel them. He wasn't sure but he could get into his own house. He could get in and realised that it felt, a little bit, like home.
Ignoring the dark and gloomy atmosphere, he went straight to the shower, stepped out of his clothes and decided, he would reactivate the old fireplace – to burn his clothes. He no longer belonged into a black frock coat and he no longer belonged in robes. He belonged in Muggle clothes. Not that it had sunken in yet. He was back at his dingy old home. It didn't feel like anything had changed – apart from his bleeding, hurting hand and the fact that he had not kept any potions in the house. Not that he could use them, probably.
There was nothing in his fridge, he had no plasters in the house. He needed a shower, he needed to go to the shops, he needed to figure out what to do with his life. If there was a life to be had without magic.