Author's Notes: This started off as a response to the latest Live Journal hp100 challenge to write about the Thestrals. As usual, I twisted it to say 'Write about Snape'! My original challenge response can be read here. Please R&R, even though it's just a drabble cos I like to know what ya'll think of my dark side!
I Will Remember
Severus Snape peered out of the window, his eyes straining to see beyond his own reflection and that of the points of bright candle light behind him. He always watched for them, even though they were near impossible to see in the darkness of the night. They drew the gilt carriages like shadows, sillhouette puppets with blank red eyes that pierced the heart, searching for those memories.
"Severus?" Softly spoken, and a hand placed gently on his shoulder.
He grunted in acknowledgement, wanting nothing more than to be left in peace.
"Why must you always put yourself through this?"
Severus' eyes closed, and he saw blood flash across his eyelids, staining. "Because I must remember."
He stayed for a moment, the old man who watched over him. Who tried to watch over him. Severus wished he wouldn't, but was thankful he did. Just in case.
He saw the gold of the carriages in the distance, dulled by the dark. He saw the shadows before them, the ghostly horses that few could see. He barely heard the Headmaster's sigh as he left, as his hands gripped the windowsill, and his forehead rested against the glass.
His mother lay across his father's desk, her cheek bruised where she had been hit, her dress torn where she had been touched, her eyes lifeless where she had been killed. Strands of her raven hair lay across her pale face, constrasting with her blueing lips, that were parted as though she still breathed. Her face was turned towards him, one arm out stretched as though seeking his help. Too weak. He had been too weak.
His eyes opened and his quickening breath misted against the glass as the Thestrals drew nearer. Their eyes seemed to seek him, as though they too knew his purpose.
The muggle-born girl they had bled to make Severus' Dark Mark seemed to sleep on the floor at his feet, a growing pool of scarlet blood made her bed. At the time, Severus hadn't even noticed when her chest stopped rising and she ceased to strain to breathe. He had only know she was dead when they had made him carry her out, her blonde hair rusted with blood and her face achingly innocent. She was young enough to be a student. Too arrogant. He had been too arrogant.
He cracked his eyes open and saw them crowded outside the window. A hoard of them, all knowing of his crimes. All knowing what he had seen. A single tear dropped from his cheek and landed silently on the sill.
He blinked once more.
The bodies of his victims all flashed before his eyes with no rest, one after the other. Some he knew by name, others he knew by face, others he didn't recognise at all, drudged up by some distant recollection in his subconcsious. So many gone. So many lost, and for what? For broken promises and thirst for power. To plese those that would now have him dead. His eyes screwed up. He wanted them to go away, and yet he never wanted to forget.
Just in case.
Too stupid. He had been too stupid.
He pushed away from the window hard as the rising roar of the students contaminated Hogwarts' dignified silence. His hair hung in front of his face, although he knew no more tears would be forthcoming.
"Remember. I will remember. It will be no more. I repent. I will make ammends," he muttered quickly under his breath as he strode to his seat. The same quiet oathe he muttered every year, and will mutter every year to come.
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