Vindication

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I hope you know I hated you.  Loathe is too poetic.  Abhor too flowery.  Detest too commonplace.  None of them are nearly strong enough to describe that blood-boiling, heart-racing, green-eyed feeling.  It was hate.  You were a cocky, self-obsessed, selfish and abusive nepenthe, and I hated you.

I hated the way you could play Quidditch as if you were born to do it.  I hated the way your hair fell, and the way every girl in the school thought it was charming.  I thought it was sloppy.  I hated your band of merry followers, and the jokes you told, and the pranks you pulled, even when they weren't on me.  I hated that I was smarter than you were, but it didn't make a Knut of difference to anyone else.

Most of all, I hated that you grew up, grew out of it, got over yourself, and you shook my hand.  Would you even remember that day in Albus' office?  You said something very trite and James-like, "Er, it's good to see you, Severus," and you offered your hand.  That was the rust on the razor, salt in the wounds.  And you will never know how much that moment aches.

But do you know what I have that you don't?  I watched your son grow up.  And if I knew you, which I did, that's something that would enrage you.  That almost feels like vindication.

He was Sorted, the Gryffindors took him in, screaming and cheering for him.  He played Quidditch, and that Snitch always ended up clenched between his fingers.  He came out of hell victorious, with a sword in one hand and a hat in the other.  I was there.

He mourned Black, he walked his house in a fog and he refused to eat.  He learned, and loved, and grew.  He was so bloody bright, Potter.  Seven years saw him transfigure, and cast, and brew, and adventure.  He snuck into Honeydukes, Potter.  That's something you would have loved to see.  But I was there, not you.

I taught him.  He grew up in front of me, from an innocent child to a man who knew his place. I saw pieces of his life that would be a stake in your heart, Potter.  Graduation came, and I was sitting in front of him.  And he shook my hand.  And he thanked me.  He bloody thanked me. 

I hate him almost as much as I hated you.

I saw his pride, and his intelligence, and his kindness, justness, his intensity and grim assurance.  I saw his courage, most of all, and in the end.  And, I saw him long for you.  Blasted boy wanted nothing more than to see his father's face.  And Potter, you can never know how much you let him down.  He never even knew you, and he loved you more than you will ever understand.  You left him, but you were his hero.  He's a good man, and a good wizard.  I expected as much.  You would have been so bloody proud of him.

Merlin, even I was.  I turned spy to save him, and I followed him into war.  Now I am lying here, dying.

I realize you would gladly switch places with me.  That you would take the hit for him without a second thought.  But you already died for him.  Now, it is my turn.

I did what I could.  I know it wasn't my job, it was yours and it was Black's, but you weren't there.  I was.  I never loved him as a father should have, as you could have, and I didn't teach him what you would have wanted, but I did what I could.  I hope you know that.

"Yeah, Snape.  I know."

~*~

Author's Note:  Just another look into Snape.  Hope you enjoyed it!  Please review!