The Bad Prank

My first fan fic - please be gentle!

Harry tries to play a trick on Snape, but is horrified by his extreme reaction. Major Snape angst. Revelations from Snape's past and childhood. My interpretation of why our tortured potions master behaves the way he does.

Warning : Child abuse and insinuated rape in later chapters, but nothing graphic. Some gore

-R&R please!

Set pre OotP

Disclaimers: I obviously am not claiming to own any of these characters, so please don't sue, everybody knows full well that they belong to J.K. Rowling and are kept on a tight leash. The storyline is mine though. applause applause ;0

Snape staggered through the forest towards Hogwarts Castle. At any other time, he would be gliding through the trees, silent, elegant and dangerous, ready to attack at any sign of movement.

Tonight, his hurried, faltering steps and gasping breaths were easily distinguishable on the night air.

As he reached a clearing, Snape fell to his knees and clasped his fists in the front of his torn robes, another wave of agony shooting through his gut.

The death eater meetings were becoming steadily worse as Voldemort, in growing paranoia, searched ruthlessly for the traitors in his midst.

Snape closed his eyes and tried to breathe deeply through his clenched teeth.

A mirthless laugh escaped his lips, echoing through the trees; Lord Voldemort really was incredibly intelligent.

Of course, Snape had always known that, it had been his only reason for joining Voldemort in the first place. He had wanted more knowledge, more power; to prove himself to all the people who had used him or put him down and to show that even a Slytherin could rise to greatness.

Snape had never anticipated the sorts of horrors he would be forced to perform and endure in order to achieve such respect. That was where Voldemort had first lost his support, forcing him to do to others what had been done to him.

He couldn't do that.

The memories were too strong.

Snape hadn't realised in the beginning how willing Lord Voldemort would be, to abuse his skills of intelligence and intuition to find a person's greatest fears and weaknesses, and exploit them for his own sadistic pleasure and benefit.

He had found Snape's weak spot easily. Lucius had told his Lord the details of Snape's childhood at the first opportunity, in an attempt to higher his status in Voldemort's circle.

Voldemort seemed to derive a particular sense of enjoyment, in using Snape's specific type of torment to manipulate his followers.

A howl sounded from the depth of the trees and Snape inhaled sharply, filled with a new kind of terror. He shakily forced himself upright, wincing as he felt a trickle of blood run down his thigh.

Summoning the last of his determination, he stumbled onwards towards the school.

As Snape reached the edge of the forest he realised he could barely see for the blood in his eyes. He blinked and squinted, attempting to wipe away the blood with his robe sleeve.

He gingerly touched the deep gash at his hairline, which was bleeding profusely. It was by no means the worst injury he had received, but the blood loss was making him giddy and nauseous.

Pushing his soiled, black hair out of his eyes, he staggered on through the school grounds, barely visible in the darkness.