DISCLAIMER: I own naught but this computer, some cats, and the demons in my head.
Rated PG-13 for possible future entries.
I sit alone in my darkened chambers, staring into a dying fire. Too much time on my hands. Too much time on my mind. The sounds of a Rachmaninov piano concerto reverberate throughout the room; yes, it is Muggle music; however, I find that it suits me. Dark and brooding. Complex. A mask of beauty, disguising a torn, aching soul.
How many nights have I spent like this, questioning my actions, my motives, even my existence? Every day, I face my only reason for going on with this miserable life. Every day, I look him in the eye and hurl insults at him as if I loathe the ground upon which he walks. Every day, his eyes reflect that hatred. And every day, I return to my chambers and weep in my heart, for it is by this act of loathing that I demonstrate my love for the son who has never known me. I take another drink.
The son in question had just left Potions class with his two best friends. One was complaining mightily about the class (as he did on a daily basis).
"We didn't do anything! Our potion was bloody perfect! And he took points off for cheating?!? He is the most"
"Ron!" Interrupted Hermione. "Shut up."
Ron glowered at the girl. She would never let him insult the professors! His glance darted to Harry, walking on the other side of Hermione. Unusually quiet today. Typically Harry tried to play peacemaker between his bickering friends.
"Harry? You're awfully quiet, what are you thinking about?"
Harry shook his head and sighed.
"It's nothing Ron. Please don't worry about it. What time is it? I'm starving!"
The three ran through the castle and slid to a stop in front of the portal to their common room.
"Veni vedi dormi!" They all shouted together. The portrait of the Fat Lady swung forward to allow them access. Hermione headed off to the girls' dormitory.
"I'll be right back, guys. I just want to put my books down".
The boys nodded and headed to their own dormitory. Harry watched as Ron's eyes suddenly widened in horror.
"Bloody hell! I left my Potions book in class! I'd better go see if I can get it. I hope Snape doesn't give me detention!" Ron left the room in a great hurry. A few minutes alone, finally. Harry let himself fall onto his bed and drew the curtains around it for a bit of privacy. Staring up at the ceiling, he let his mind wander. Snape had looked…different in class today. Maybe tired? Depressed? The man had clearly been trying not to show anything other than his usual rancor toward his students, in fact, if anything, he seemed more out of sorts than usual. But there was definitely something causing it. Harry thought he could almost feel an aura of mind-numbing weariness emanating from the Potions master. He knew Snape hated him, but Harry was still curious and concerned. He made up his mind to go and see him tonight after supper.
Not that the logical part of his mind liked that idea. Trying to have a conversation with Snape was like inviting death. He'd probably end up with detentions for a month straight and losing 100 house points. Oh well.
Ron came skidding into the room, panting.
"Harry? Harry! I've got my book and the git didn't kill me! Let's find Hermione and eat!"
Harry smiled to himself and stepped out to join Ron.
"Didn't he yell at you or anything? Did you get detention? Lose points?"
"No." Ron looked thoughtful. "He just said to be more careful with my things from now on."
They met up with Hermione in the common room and proceeded to supper. Harry stole furtive glances up at the staff table whenever he could. Snape was not speaking to anyone, not even Dumbledore. He just kept his head down and picked at his food. It didn't even look like he was eating. He looked up briefly and caught Harry's eyes, then got up so quickly his chair was knocked over and stormed out of the hall. Harry joined in a discussion of Quidditch with his friends after making up his mind to go see his professor later that night.
He knows something is wrong. He keeps shooting me that blasted curious gaze. Why is it that the boy can read me like a book? Nobody else notices my frequent mood swings. Nobody except Albus, that is. I hate this! Everything will be going along just fine, then suddenly it's all off. I'm restless, aggressive, feel like yelling at anyone who dares to come near me. The students get the worst of it, even though I try desparately to keep it to myself. Albus says I get "twitchy". Usually when he says that, he's about to invite me up to his office for tea, which he invariably spikes with some sort of sedative potion to "help me relax". Those are the nights I spend in his office because by the time I finish my tea, I am incapable of walking without assistance. Tonight I do not want tea though. Tonight I wish to think about my son. I think perhaps the time has come for Harry Potter to find out who he really is, and this thought strikes terror into my heart. I need to speak with Albus about this. He will know how to go about this task. I suspect the boy will try to talk to me tonight and I am afraid of what will happen if he does, for I have no control over my emotions at the moment. I decide I'd better get to Albus now, before I can change my mind. I know good and well the old coot is just waiting for me; sometimes I swear the man can read minds. Getting up slowly, I wrap my black cloak tight around me and move to the door. Opening it, I find that I am face to face with the cause of my unrest. Harry stands with his hand in the air, poised to knock.
"Pro—professor?" He stutters, his green eyes darting between my eyes and the ground.
"I – you – you looked like maybe you weren't feeling well. I was..concerned."
The boy speaks hesitantly. He fears me! My own son fears me! And I have caused him to fear me! I don't clearly understand what happens next. I hear myself screaming at the frightened boy.
"What the HELL do you think you are doing Potter?! Were you never taught not to interfere with what does not concern you? Are you truly so stupid and ignorant as to believe you could ever be of any help to me? Get out of here! Now! Before I ---just LEAVE!!!" My hand flies into the air of its' own accord and I hear the violent smack of flesh meeting flesh. Potter is trembling, backing away from me, his hand to his face and tears leaking from the corners of his eyes. Oh Merlin, what have I done? I draw a breath with great difficulty, and notice that I too am shaking.
"Potter. Harry. I—I'm sorry. I never meant to.." I look up in time to see him disappear rapidly around a corner.
Flinging powder into my fire, I shout for Albus. His head appears immediately and the twinkle in his eyes vanishes as he takes in my disheveled appearance.
"Albus, please. I need you. I. I hurt him. I did not mean to, but I hurt him. He hates me…" That's as far as I get before my knees buckle and I collapse to the floor, sobbing.
The next thing I am aware of is Albus' comforting presence. He holds me and lets me cry, then tips my face up so that I must look him in the eye.
"It's time, Severus. Harry must know the truth. And you must be the one to tell him. You've proven tonight that you cannot keep this charade up any longer."
I nod. I know he's right. I draw a deep breath and hold my head up.
"Tomorrow, Albus. Tomorrow I will tell him everything."
Albus smiles sadly at me and conjures a cup of tea.
A/N: Alright then, is this a little better? My one reviewer was absolutely right, the first weeny paragraph I posted was utterly pointless. This may not be much better, but at least there's more to it. I will try to add to it by tomorrow. In the meantime, please R/R. Thank you !