Author – Dzeytoun
Rating – PG
Category – Angst/Drama
A/N: This little fic is for all of you who wanted to know Severus' point of view after his confrontations with Albus in the first chapters of my fic HERE BE MONSTERS. These are his reflections on the night of Saturday, 29 June, 1996.
THE SORROWS OF LUCIFER
You changed the Rules, Albus.
You weren't supposed to do that. It was all so clear, so crystal clear. Don't you remember? Don't you recall Albus that terrible time fourteen years ago when things almost came to an end? Don't you remember the night I broke down and wept in your arms?
I remember. I will never, ever forget the sound of your voice as you spoke to me that night of things I had done and not done, of my reasons and pretended reasons. I will never forget how I felt.
I was afraid of you Albus.
But then you told me the Rules. You set out the Plan – the Plan for defeating the Dark Lord once and for all. And you told me the Rules for making sure that plan was carried out.
And then my fear of you went away. Despite your power and your wrath, despite the glory in your eyes shining like two blue suns, I no longer feared you. Because you had taken me into the Plan, and given me the promise of the Rules. The Rules gave me life, and the Plan gave me purpose.
You gave me hope.
And now you have thrown it all away.
When did it begin Albus? When did you betray the Rules? When did you abandon the plan? When did you first turn your back on me and all the others who trusted in you and your word?
I know when I first had an inkling of what you had done. I know when I knew the first stirrings of dread. It was the night of the Leavetaking Feast, 1992. My Slytherins were in first place. They were proud and magnificent, poised for victory. I had great plans for that victory. Yes, I was going to parlay that triumph into a place of renewed trust among all those who still doubted me. Why, I had the entire House eating out of the palm of my hand, and it was only a matter of time before their parents – their damnable, vile, parents – followed. I had discussed this with you in some detail, as I recall.
When you rose at the feast I was already planning what I would say when Lucius Malfoy invited me to his mansion for a celebration. I was plotting how to worm my way into the secrets of families who had spit in my direction for years.
And then you threw it all away. With a few smiling sentences you plucked Gryffindor, my House's most hated rival, from last place and enthroned them as victors. With a wave of your powerful hands, you swept away the serpent colors to be replaced with those of the lion.
And you did not even look in my direction.
Oh, I thought for a few moments that it was some grand manipulation of yours. Some great twist in the Plan. For after all, the first Rule is – or should I say was – that the Plan comes before all.
But then I saw what you were looking at and I felt like I was going to die. I could not believe it. I did not want to believe it. For long days afterwards I tried to deny it. But in the end I had to accept it.
Albus Dumbledore, Champion of the Light, Master of Wisdom, Creator of the Plan, Maker of the Rules, Leader of the Just, was smiling merrily at an eleven year old boy, totally oblivious to the chaos he had just wreaked. You had just broken the first and most important Rule for the sake of a child's happiness.
You had just betrayed me in order to make Harry Potter smile.
I know what Minerva McGonagall says. She says that I dislike Harry Potter because he is James Potter's son. She says I dislike him because he has James' face and Lily's eyes.
She is right. No one – not even Dumbledore the great – could have endured what I endured at the hand of James Potter and his friends and not feel the same. Oh I know what everyone says – that I am childish, that I should grow up, that it is not appropriate for a grown man to take out the pain of his life on a child.
Where was everyone when I needed them?
But there is a deeper reason that I loathe Harry Potter. A more fundamental cause for my antipathy.
I think I sensed from the very beginning what effect he had on you. I think I knew from the moment Potter first came through the doors at the Welcoming Feast that treachery was afoot in your heart.
It began that very first night, didn't it – Halloween, 1981? It started the very first time you held him in your arms.
I used to here rumors third hand. It would come from students or staff by way of unknown sources – house elves perhaps. They talked about mysterious rages you would have, how Dumbledore the gentle would suddenly fly into fury after getting news from somewhere about some mysterious muggles, how angry you would get about something you were observing from afar.
It was Potter, wasn't it? You were observing him all that time with those relatives of his.
The rumors would say how you would become so enraged that china in your vicinity would shatter, that candlesticks would melt as you passed. I always thought that was ridiculous. Now that I have seen how you regard Harry Potter, I have no doubt but that the stories were perfectly true.
How bitter it was to know that you had thrown away the very Plan that defined my existence for so long. I knew of course that Potter was part of the plan – at the center of it in fact. For a while I even managed to trick myself into almost believing that your attitude was some kind of manipulation after all, a way of massaging Potter's attitude into the correct form.
That was all shattered when Sirius Black returned. Of all the people I hated in the world, he was the worst. He was the worst and Potter helped him escape. Potter helped him escape and YOU helped Potter.
Oh yes, he was innocent. I know that now. But would it really have made any difference to you if he wasn't? If Potter had wanted him free, would it really have made any difference? I wonder.
But that was not what really convinced me. What really made me understand the true nature of your feelings for Potter was the way you acted when I tried to fail him in Potions. Do you remember that, Albus? You should. It was one of the most terrible days of my life.
We were reviewing the Potions grades. You were flipping through the sheets as usual. Then you came to Potter's. You looked at the grade and looked at me. Then you said, "I believe we should discuss this, Severus." Oh yes, you were most polite. You were almost deferential – if giving an iron order in soft and apologetic tones can be taken as deferential.
But that look in your eyes. That look that you gave me for just a fraction of a second before you spoke. That look I wanted so hard to believe I had imagined. It was a look of amusement, wasn't it Albus? A look of amusement, and of contempt. Very much like the looks I got today from Sprout and Flitwick as I signed our "proceedings" about Potter's use of the Cruciatus Curse.
When I was much younger I studied for a while with a circle of alchemists in Arabia. I learned many secrets from them, and heard many stories. They were great ones for telling stories. But one sticks in my mind tonight as I sit in my dungeon, my hands shaking and my throat burning of muggle whiskey. It was about Lucifer, the Lightbringer, the angel who fell to become the devil.
According to the story they told, Lucifer fell after Adam was created. But he did not fall because Adam was made. No, he fell later. It seems that when Adam and his family became enmeshed in sin, Lucifer went to God and denounced the humans, saying they had betrayed God's trust. They had violated the divine Plan. They had broken the Rules.
But Lucifer had miscalculated. You see, he had assumed that Adam and his children were to be like the angels – that is servants to carry out God's Plan. In fact, they were to be children.
The speech God made to Lucifer sticks in my mind tonight, made as clear by the whiskey as the rest of my thoughts are made fuzzy:
Lucifer, Lightbringer, most glorious of Angels, you are the greatest of my servants, the most faithful of my creations. You have never veered from my commands. Ever you have obeyed my will. Now you come before me and speak the truth about Adam and his family, for they have defied me. They flout my will, they ignore my commands. In their hands my Plan for creation comes to naught.
And yet I say to you Lucifer, Lightbringer, that were you ten thousand times as glorious, and they ten thousand times as vile, yet would they still stand in my esteem as far above you as the stars stand from the earth. For you are a servant, whose duty it is to obey my commands and carry forth my plans, and that is all you shall ever be. And Adam and his descendants are my children, who shall inherit my kingdom, and nothing will displace them from that right. For that is the nature of the servant and the child, of the master and the father. And now it is given unto you that you shall remain and accept your lot, and the rights of my children, or you shall depart from me into the darkness never to return.
And I say further unto you Lucifer, Lightbringer, most faithful and glorious of Angels, that because you speak out of ignorance this once do a forgive you. But should you dare ever again to slander my children before me I will put you forth from my presence with my own hand, and neither your deeds nor your obedience shall stay my judgment. For it is not meet that a father should suffer his child to be slandered by a servant, even one such as you.
I know how the old boy felt (Lucifer that is, not God).
I have served you Albus. For fourteen years my life has been defined by your commandments, by your plan.
And now I understand that to you that means less than nothing. To you the Plan that I and so many others have worked for, have fought for, have believed in, is worth less than a child's smile.
I could betray you of course. I could go to the Dark Lord and admit everything.
I won't though. For one thing the Dark Lord is not forgiving of traitors, even self-confessed ones. For another I still believe in your Plan, even if you don't. I still value your Rules, even if you are perfectly willing to rewrite them at a whim.
But I have to say Albus, it is growing harder. It is growing harder to go before the Dark Lord. It is growing harder to lie to him, to work for you, to further your machinations. And the reason is because I know you would let me die.
I would not mind dying for the Plan. After all that is part of the agreement. It is one of the Rules. No one's life comes before the Plan.
But you would let me die for the sake of Harry Potter. And that, Albus, I do mind.
I wonder if the others know yet? I wonder what the other members of the Order would think if they truly understood that you would let us all burn if it meant saving your precious Harry.
And you would you know. Oh yes, you would. Of course it might be argued that Harry Potter is central to the Plan. That saving him is serving the Plan.
It might be. I suppose it would even be true. But the fact is that even if we found out tonight that it was all a mistake, even if we found out that Harry Potter is not important after all, but is only a boy with a jagged scar on his face, it would not matter. Even if he lost every bit of magic he had and became a muggle, it would not matter to you. You would still let us all go straight to the everlasting bonfire to save him.
Damn it Albus, why did you have to find a son!?
But today – today something happened that hasn't happened in a long, long time. When I came to you about Potter using the Cruciatus Curse on LeStrange, I wanted to plead with you to come to your senses. I wanted you to understand that he is not worthy of all your devotion. He is just a servant, fallible and frail as all the rest of us.
I should have known better.
When you spoke to me in that cold tone Albus, when you looked at me like that.
But should you dare ever again to slander my children before me I will put you forth from my presence with my own hand, and neither your deeds nor your obedience shall stay my judgment.
Today Albus, I was afraid of you again.
And this time, I don't think it will go away.