Title: To Old Enemies

Author: Unspoken Tragedy

Rating: PG, just because.

Spoilers: All five books

Disclaimer: All I own is my own Characters. And they are not even in this fic. But they are in my NaNoWrimo novel...

Summary: He had always imagined the glorious day when the dog would finally be out of his life forever. Funny how getting the one thing that he wanted the most, was in actuality not very great at all. Severus Snape visits Grimmauld Place one Christmas Eve...

Series: None

A/N: Yes, I am back!! After finishing my novel in happy dances and puddles of caffeine related beverages, I have returned!! I hope to be updating my other stories soon!

For info on updates on my other stories and just me in personal check out my journal, the link can be found in my info.


To Old Enemies

Number Twelve Grimmauld Place was silent this Christmas eve, no man save Severus, himself, present to destroy the house's peace. This house- if it could even be called anymore- was all but abandoned by now. Its only purpose was for sporadic meetings of the Order. None wished to stay in the place now that its owner had passed on.

And that was precisely the reason why one Severus Snape found himself in the home of an old enemy on Christmas Eve, drinking a glass of red wine. The recently opened bottle sat on the kitchen table before him, beckoning him to drink more.

The mutt had died nearly six months ago... Then Severus had not known what the man had meant to him.

No, he had not liked Sirius Black. He truly had loathed the man. He had vainly prayed each night for God to mete out justice for the torture the mutt had put him through. He had always imagined the glorious day when the dog would finally be out of his life forever. Funny how getting the one thing that he wanted the most, was in actuality not very great at all.

The mutt, no, man was the one who had brought Severus to this point. Sirius Black had once and again given Severus the thing he needed the most: a purpose. First it had been jealousy, then revenge, then penance, and in the end... In the end it had been to prove to his enemy that he had not completely failed, that he had ended up in the right place in the end.

The jealousy had come from Black being so cruel, yet having all the world could buy. He was the most popular boy in the school, and coincidently- or maybe not- the most handsome also. He had the world wrapped around his fingers like tiny little threads, with one tiny pull it could crumble at his bidding.

Schoolwork came effortlessly for Black, a stark contrast to the difficulties that he himself had endured. Severus required work to get to the top, Black a smile and a wave of his wand. Of course, Severus had managed better grades than Black in the end, but he to study for them. Black just didn't.

Jealousy had led him to the waiting arms of Lucius Malfoy (metaphorically speaking of course), and thus began the molding of the child Snape. He became the outcast, hated by all but the Slytherins. And he was only tolerated by most of them.

Revenge had been for the treatment the other boy had given him. Black did not even know Severus Snape's name before he'd dubbed him worthless. He gathered up his little gang, the Marauders, and attacked the lone Slytherin. The four could only beat him together; they were just as well aware of it as he.

The mutt had even attempted to murder Severus, sending him to the claws of a werewolf. Potter of course played the hero and saved him, but Severus knew who he was really saving: Lupin, the werewolf in question. Dumbledore had not so much as given the Golden Gryffindors a slap on the wrist.

The desire for revenge, well that led him to a new pair of arms: those of Tom Riddle. Riddle led him to a world of passion, power and freedom. And Severus Snape became the Death Eater, using his ambitions and powers to fight a vain war.

It was not before long that Severus realized that it was a skewed. The final picture of the reality, was not at all like the promises had been. He was not fighting for a noble cause to free the wizarding world from all touch with muggles; he was fighting to destroy a race- and an idea.

He soon found himself on a new path, one that Black had only a very indirect part in. He returned to the Light, and by the mercy of one wizard he was saved. Albus Dumbledore gave him a choice, allowed him a penance.

Severus Snape became the spy. Fighting with all his might for any information that he could use to the advantage of the Light, he had in truth saved many lives. But he chose not to acknowledge the lives that he had saved, preferring to pay over and over again a debt that had already been paid in full.

And for thirteen years, Black was imprisoned, finally paying his own debts. Severus occasionally mused that perhaps his prayers had been answered. But he had never been a religious man and the thoughts were quickly squelched. It wasn't until two and a half years prior to this day that the mutt was freed.

This had brought no joy in Severus's life; in fact it'd only made things more complicated. Even when all was said and done and the mangy cur- man was proven innocent Severus did not forgive him. His sins against Severus were too long lasting for that.

None had never understood how Severus could not forgive the wounds of the past and just let go. He could not understand how they could wonder such a thing. The man had had a large hand in creating what Severus Snape had become, and what Severus had become was many things. Unfortunately none of them were good.

The sins of a child could be just as great as one from an adult, and the mutt had been good proof of that. Though his actions were excused as childish idiocy, his victim had to wonder if it had been himself that had acted as the tormenter if the tale would have ended differently. No, that wasn't right. It was not the ending that would have changed, but the entire story. Had Severus tried to kill Black, then he would be rotting in Azkaban at this moment. There was no questioning that fact.

Severus lifted the wine glass to his lips, only to realize that it was empty. He slowly poured another, watching the red liquid fill the clear container.

Yes, Black had been in many ways his molder, though the man had never known it. He never would, now. It was true that had Black never existed that Severus Snape may have been offered a much happier life.

Yet, now... Now that Black did not exist any longer, Severus was glad that he had. He'd been dealt a bad hand. He'd lived through the worst of it.

But he'd survived. And others had also on account of him. It was enough for Severus, sitting at the abandoned table on Christmas Eve. It was enough. In the end he'd become the hero, though he'd never admit it to himself.

He was grateful to the man now. His life was still terrible, he was still hated by most, but he'd sacrificed that himself this time. He could not let go of the "greasy git" persona, not yet. He may never be given the chance, or maybe if he was it would be too late for him. But this was his sacrifice, his cross to bear. And he would bear it, even alone.

"To old enemies," he whispered, lifting his glass in a salute to no one at all.

To old enemies indeed.


Fin

A/N: After a month of... writing. It is good to be back to... writing.

Hmmm...

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