A/N: This is my first fic. It ain't brilliant, but its my baby so there. Its been hanging around on file paper since July, and I finally got around to writing it up. It's a snapefic (yes, another one) and its probably been done 100's of times before, but hey. Poor old Snape, he doesn't have a good time of it, does he? Luv him really. Please read and review, constructive comments much appreciated. Flames are most decidedly unwelcome and will be printed and burnt, as they deserve.


It is dark and cold in this dungeon, my prison for God knows how many days. I haven't eaten for days, there is only water and there is no light. Light would blind me now, I think. It is over for me although not for the resistance. Potter will see to that, I guess, now that Dumbledore is dead. Voldemort has not won yet.

Dumbledore is dead. I still have difficulty believing it. Who would have thought that the Dark Lord would get him in the end? The celebrations among the Death Eaters went on for days, and at the end they captured me. Voldemort, you see, knew all along. He knew I was a spy, only fed me enough information to keep the ministry happy and kept the real secrets to those he knew were loyal. He duped all of us, me, Dumbledore. Fudge (although that's not difficult). I didn't know about the attack on Hogwarts that killed him until half an hour before, and it was too late. Too late. And in the end it was my fault. I was too slow. I failed. Again. First the Potters, then Dumbledore. Deaths on my conscience, my guilt (and I am guilty, as if I had held the wand myself) is like a burning pain in my heart. For nearly thirty years the Potters have haunted me, them and the innocents I murdered in Voldemorts name.

No wonder, then, that the same fate awaits me. The punishment should fit the crime, they say, and my punishment is long overdue.
Potter would laugh if he saw me now, pathetic and weak as a newborn. No, he wouldn't. He's too noble and honourable to do that. 'Noble' and 'honourable' are words that have never been applied to me. I am bitter and twisted and mean. The hundreds of students that I've taught can attest to that. Some of them are still afraid of me. Sometimes when I walk down Diagon Alley I'd see a full grown man look at me, turn white, mutter 'oh God, its Professor Snape' and fairly run for it. It used to amuse me, but now it doesn't seem quite so funny. No one was ever pleased to see me. Potter wouldn't have that problem, I think.

Potter again. That damn kid with James' face and Lily's eyes pops up everywhere. I hated him. I still do, but it is a hatred tinged with respect, which makes it worse for some reason. He hates me; I have it on the very best of authority that he does. I don't care; he's way down the roll of the ' we hate Professor Snape club'. But he pities me, and that I do care about. I've seen it in those oh-so-green eyes of his. I don't want your pity, Potter. I don't want anybody's pity. If there's one thing I've got left, it's my pride. That, and my general contrariness are all that's keeping me going. That's all I have left, and there is no need for pity. I got what I deserve. Famous Harry Potter would undoubtedly be the first to agree, his father even more so.

We go back a long way, James and I. We shared a mutual loathing. Kept life interesting, I suppose. Why did I hate him? I don't know, but it has been a part of my life for years. Bitterness probably has a lot to do with it I think. Potter had everything I did not. Parents that loved him, a son that hero-worships him, friends that would die for him. He had everything going for him, talent on the quidditch pitch, a nobility and grace that I could never aspire to. And he had Lily. She was everything to him. She was everything to me too, although she never knew it. I worshipped her. Lily gave me a gift no one else ever had. She was my friend, the only person who bothered to know the lonely Slytherin boy that I was then, before I turned cold. Yes, I am bitter. I would have given her the earth had she asked it. I love her. But she went to Potter, and look where it got her.

No, that was unworthy of me. They adored each other, but I hated him for it. I could no more begrudge her her happiness than I could love James.
And there it is, the core of my life. The bitter hatred, the coldness. Sometimes I catch myself wishing that it could be warm. It doesn't work like that though, and every time I saw Harry, I saw the son I could have had. The son that should have been mine. I'm sure he'd be horrified to learn that Snape the Snake was in love with his mother, but there you have it.

It will never be warm now, I can hear them coming for me. They are laughing. I haven't laughed for years, but I will now, if I haven't forgotten how.
The light is so bright that it hurts my eyes. It is Macnair, Voldemorts chief executioner, his hair is grey now but he still takes pleasure in the kill. The Death Eaters half drag, half carry me through the dank passages of Voldemorts lair, towards his throne room. The serpent sits upon its throne, waiting for me. They fling me down at his feet.

"The traitor, my Lord" Macnair kicked me in the ribs. The Death Eaters in the throne room hissed. The Dark Lords crimson serpent eyes narrowed as he looked at me.
"Well, Severus?" he said almost pleasantly. "What have you to say?"
"Nothing" I snarled, my face twisting in its usual sneer. Then, out of sheer foolhardiness, I spat at his feet.
Macnair kicked me again, viciously. " You'll pay for that, worm" he growled, raising his wand.
"No, Macnair" Voldemort interrupted. "let him stand on his feet and face me like a man". His smile was cruel. Macnair and another Death Eater hauled me to my feet. I could stand, but only just. I straightened up proudly and met Voldemorts pitiless gaze.
"You could have been great, you know" he whispered. "But you threw it away for that old fool. Look where it got you".
I said nothing. "Very well, Severus Snape" he hissed, raising his wand. The silence was absolute.
In the end there was only the light and the blessed, blessed silence.