Summary: As far as the world knows, Severus Snape does not exist. As far as the world is concerned, Harry Potter's sole purpose is to defeat Voldemort. But there is a shadow lurking beneath the headquarters of the light, and when two lonely souls meet, the world will be changed forever. Slash – HP/DM, HP/SS

Prologue

I remember ripping, clawing, biting. The blood pouring down my cheeks, down my hands, down my legs. The ferocious growling as my body was ripped to shreds. And then, the gentle relief of darkness.

When I awoke, I was unrecognisable. The scars on my torso, the wretched horror of my face, the pulpy mass that was once my eye... I could not bear to look at myself. I smashed the mirror, smashed every mirror, every mirror in that whole wretched room of sterile white sheets and perfectly folded corners. Pomphrey and Dumbledore tried to comfort me, patting me on the arm like some kind of dog. "We understand," they said, "It's hard for you. I'm sorry, but magic cannot fix everything."

And so I am damned like this forever? No, they did not speak, they just gazed at me with pity in their perfect eyes and perfect faces – pity! – and gave me a mask, so as to hide my flaws. Save their precious eyes, no doubt. Who could ever want to look upon a monster such as this?

But what of the werewolf? What of that foul creature that destroyed my piercing potion maker's eyes, that forced me to endure his foul curse?

"It was not his fault, Severus. If we tell the authorities, he will be destroyed, put down as a vicious beast. Surely you do not wish such a fate on an innocent child? I already have one student hurt, I will not let it happen to a second."

Then let him be destroyed! I howled in anger. Wreak vengeance for what he did to me! If I receive such a fate, why should not he? And what of Black, who felt that he could play God, that my murder would be of no consequence. Surely he's been disciplined? Surely!

"Sirius has been suspended for a month, though we could not tell the reason why, in order to save Remus' life. What else do you wish of us?"

Suspension?! ONE MONTH?! Scant punishment for attempted murder, for the destruction of my future. And then it was finally clear to me – there was no place for me in the world. No place for the quiet, for the intelligent, for the skilled. No place for the 'evil' Slytherin, no matter how he strived towards the light.

I tried to return to the normal order of classes, hiding my shame beneath a mark of deepest black, spending each full moon in that… that PLACE where it all happened. But I had never been popular, and now everyone laughed. Everywhere I went, all I could see were those laughing, mocking eyes.

Potter's gang were the worst. A month later, Black returned to the school, and he took such PRIDE in his handiwork. Poor snivelly Snivellus, he would laugh. Finally realised how ugly you are? What's that you say? A terrible deforming injury? No, I can't see any difference to you at all.

At least my injury gave me some small pleasure – Lupin, once Black's friend, and maybe even more, never spoke to them again.

But eventually, despite those small pleasures, and the fact that I had never had much popularity to be lost, I could stand it no more! When I was finally alone, I escaped those halls of bright lights and happy smiles, denied me forever, and the cruel eyes that followed my every move. I escaped that world of harsh light into the comfort of the shadows, where none would ever see my face again.

I am deformed, a werewolf, a creature of the darkness. I can no longer bear the light.

But the dungeons of the school are my dominion now. And I will make them pay for that they did to me.

- The memoirs of Severus Snape, 1975