Disclaimer: J. K. Rowling owns the rights to the Harry Potter Books bless her!
Summary: Sequel to 'Reflection'. Set near the end of OOTP. Snape during the last few minutes before school ends.
When Snape returned to the room the Mirror had been repaired.
He had known in his heart that it would be.
Dumbledore would not have left it broken, trying in his infinite goodness to repair that which had been shattered; to heal all that which bled.
He was as good a wizard as any the world had seen but Severus Snape wondered what would happen to the man if he himself had broken something he could not fix. Not with the wave of a wand. Not with the magic of words.
Would he break in return then?
Probably. Sin could destroy the previously innocent like nothing else could.
Severus Snape felt he had sinned against all he loved every single moment of his life. Another sin would only be added to a vast pile of others.
No shards of glass littered the floor. It was immaculate save the dust that lingered in the corners like naughty children sent there to contemplate their own sins.
Yet every step Snape took he felt he was walking on glass that had broken.
It had always been that way. Every step had caused greater pain until his soul itself had become numb.Why should it change?
Surviving, existence, was something done now out of habit. What he lived for was revenge. What kept him breathing was the memory of love.
Looking at the now whole once more Mirror of Erised, seeing Lily once more staring at him, Snape left the room, knowing if he lingered any longer he would be late.
He thought of Harry Potter as he moved towards his destination. Harry Potter and his grief over Sirius Black.
Snape considered telling the boy that he knew what it felt like to lose all that which you cared for.
He had lost almost everything he loved.
He knew though that he would not tell this to Potter.
Harry Potter did not believe the Potions Master could love. He would not prove him wrong.
The rest of the students also shared the belief. One so cold could not possibly be capable of so warm an emotion. They didn't want to know that he felt as strongly as they did.
It was easier to hate that way.
Snape realized he wanted to be hated. He treasured that assumption because it was another cloak he wore for protection. Another mask he wore to conceal all the rest.
And underneath it all he felt he deserved to be hated. He was responsible for the death of all those he had loved. He could think of no other sin worthy of damnation.
However, damnation did not stop him from remembering.
He waited in a tower at Hogwarts: a tower long forgotten.
Sometimes he would meet her here, where they could talk to one another unseen.
Where he could stare into her green eyes, eyes made of strength, warmth and intelligence, and believe he was loved and able to give love in return.
He had not visited this tower since last year. No-One had. It was caked in dirt. Stray leaves blown here ages ago on forgotten winds decayed on the ground at his feet.
Here he felt at home.
The man waited until he saw them approaching. Severus watched the students as they were about to leave.
Groups of friends.
Groups of enemies.
He found the one student he was searching for quickly.
Snape watched Harry's departure every year since the child first came to the school.
He had both blessed and cursed this day's arrival.
It meant he now no longer, though it be for such a short duration, had to sit in front of Harry Potter and hate him.
It meant he now could no longer, and it is for so painfully a long summer, give his love unwillingly and unknowingly to the boy.
A boy who looks so frustratingly like James.
Yet when Snape looked into the boy's mind he was so ironically like himself.
And all the time Harry looked at the world through the eyes thatwere the copy of his mother's.
There are times Snape felt his life was nothing more than the mirrors in a Muggle Funhouse. Reality twisted and warped until he no longer knew what was real and what was illusion; no longer knew what he should feel or believe.
All that which was innocent turned into something horrifying while that which was dangerous dressed itself in the guise of the timid.
The Potions Master pushed his thoughts away, blocking everything except the sight of Lily's child returning to a place where he would hopefully be safe.
Snape stood on the tower lost in shadows.
It was the last time he would witness Harry Potter's departure from Hogwarts.
He did not know this, a blessing for it would only be just another revelation to tear a piece of his soul away once more.
Watching until even the carriage that carried the boy could no longer be seen, Severus Snape turned and walked away from the tower, the long dead leaves blown momentarily by the swift movement until they lay on the floor, once more alone and forgotten.