TITLE: Light and Dark Days
RATING: PG-13 (and it's uphill from there)
PAIRING: Severus Snape / (Give it a while)
SPOILERS: Not including OotP
WARNINGS: domestic abuse, angst, mild child abuse, language, character deaths( just two)
DISCLAIMER: I do not in anyway or fashion own HP. It belongs to Rowlings and friends.
SUMMARY: Severus leaves the wizarding world after a devastating betrayal. But what will cause him to return? AU to WDCA.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Yes this is an AU to With Darkness Comes Anew. Apparently someone said that I made promises in this first one...I didn't know. But it started to tap in the back of my head that maybe I should try something without the elemental magic crap. So I'm doing something a bit toned down. It'll start the same and will seem the same as it continues. But it will be different.
Light and Dark Days
It was much quieter than it had been last time. There had been screams of absolute terror mixing easily with the wails of the prisoners driven insane by the Dementors.
He hadn't been there for too long of course. Albus had made certain that his spy would be sane enough to face Voldemort should the monster rise again. And for one of the few people he trusted, Severus had gone back and face the creature that the man once known as Tom Riddle had become.
He'd gone back to being played by two masters, despite the fact that he loved one like a father. He'd returned to doing his morning activities without looking at himself in the mirror. He'd also embraced the self-hatred he'd thought was gone. He continued his self destruction with no one really giving a damn why it was happening.
But he'd done what he did for honorable reasons. He wanted redemption for the foolish mistakes of his youth. He wanted to stop the death of the innocents who had once died by his hands when he'd been a young man. He wanted to stop the monster who was the bane of nearly every witch and wizard.
And it had worked. After the Dark Lord had returned, Severus spied on him for six years until the final battle. Of course it was what happened mere days after that battle was the one that landed him back in Azkaban. It was the start of a long string of events that landed him where he was. It was horrible to think that once free from Voldemort, he was placed in Azkaban by his own allies.
Severus looked around through the darkness then sighed silently. He hadn't seen light in over a week...if he was right about how many days had passed. It had been night when they'd thrown him in his cell.
One of the guards had thought it funny that they would stick him in the worst area of the dungeons. Severus himself could see a small bit of irony, but he'd stopped feeling any kind of emotion so the guard didn't quite get the effect he wanted.
He was numb now. The cell was almost nothing but a box big enough for him to shift in. The ceiling was too low for him to stand, not that sitting was great. The floor was damp and the walls wore some type of slimy film. That didn't keep him from sitting on the floor or leaning against the wall trying to see out into the endless darkness that surrounded him.
Severus shifted in his seat. He planned to go to sleep. At least that was something. He never had time to sleep much with spying and his teaching responsibilities. Severus snorted into the darkness and listened to it reverberate. He had years to catch up on all the missed sleep in the last six years. He had a lifetime actually.
Flinching as a distant noise became more pronounced, Severus shifted his stance. He moved further back into his small cell and further away from the thick bars. Severus squinted his eyes as the darkness slowly began to recede. It wouldn't seem much to some but to someone who'd been in total darkness for the last week or more...
Severus held his breath as his eyes adjusted to the mellow light that came his way. It was different than the light from fire so it would be a wand. As he thought this, Severus thanked whatever god that hadn't forsaken him, yet, that he was still sane, even if he was filthy and starving.
Finally, it was bright enough to see the figure cloaked in black that stood before his cell. The person's wand (for Severus could not tell their gender) had a weakened lumos to illuminate the hall his cell faced. Apparently they'd taken it into consideration that he'd been in the dark for so long. Not that it was the first time. Figuratively and literally.
A small cry came from the cloaked figure as they knelt before his cell. "Oh thank god! You're alright!" was whispered into his cell.
Severus's eyes narrowed although he flinched when the wand's light brightened. "Potter?" he croaked weakly. The figure nodded. Taking a step back, Harry Potter removed the hood of his cloak.
"What the bloody hell are you doing here Potter?" he croaked weakly. The green eyes seemed to glow in the darkness. He could clearly see the frown mar Potter's face. "I came to apologize and to get you the hell out of here."
Severus looked at the figure before him and wondered if he was hallucinating. "What do you mean 'Get you the hell out of here.'?"
Potter's eyes darkened and Severus felt the air begin to cackle with magic. "You shouldn't be here. They had no right to do such a thing! As if it was even believable!"
Severus watched for a moment before whispering, "Why do you really care? Don't you believe everything that they tell you? I'm surprised that you don't believe it. You have always believed the worse of me. Why are you here, Potter? If you want retribution or forgiveness, it will not come from me."
The young man closed his eyes momentarily. "I'm doing what I think is right, that's all." Severus didn't believe a word of it.
Potter placed his hand on the lock. "Alohomora." The door of the cell opened easily as Potter pulled on the bars. Severus looked at the young man standing for moment before slowly, and quite painfully, making his way out of the small cell.
Potter gave him a hand up and Severus groaned low as muscles protested the action. Potter looked down the darkened hallway with his wand in hand. "We have to go. We can't possibly stay here."
Severus later found himself in a small flat. Potter had apparated the both of them here and unfortunately, Severus had no idea where here was. He watched as Potter opened a small closet and took out a rather large bag.
"Here. Take the duffle bag." Catching the large duffle tossed at him, Severus watched Potter rush into another room then come back out a minute later with muggle clothes: pants, jacket, shirt, and shoes. "Put these on. I don't think you'll have much more time. I'm not sure if the guards have been monitoring you. They may know that you aren't there anymore." Severus hesitated then began dressing in Potter's living room.
Potter blushed then turned around. Severus found it slightly funny that the boy- young man- would blush at his changing clothes after he'd broken into a wizarding prison, taken a prisoner, and was obviously helping him get away.
"Done." Severus saw Potter glance over his shoulder to be sure of Severus's clothed shape. Potter smiled at him. "It seems that you're ready to go Professor." His look saddened. "You can't go back to the Wizarding World. I don't think you'll ever be able to go back."
Severus flinched at not being able to return to the only world he'd ever known. But of course, it wasn't easy to forget that this world had betrayed him time after time in his life. He looked at Potter closely. "Why?" The young man dropped his eyes. "Because I'm ashamed of what they did. Because I know you would never do something like that. Because I trust you with my life and I trusted you with hers." The last few words were whispered.
"You saw the evidence Potter. Even Dumbledore believes that I did it." And admitting that hurt terribly. The man who had been his only friend, who knew him better than anyone, easily believed that Severus was a murderer.
"There had been evidence against Sirius and none of it was right." "Damn it, Potter, if they even think-," Potter shook his head. "They would never think it was me and you know it. Severus-," He stepped closer to the older man. "You've saved my life, more than once. We don't have much time for my explanations so if you want consider it my payment of a life debt. You need to leave quickly because they may look here. If only to see if you came to finish the job," muttered Potter with a grimace.
Severus frowned at that, knowing just how true it was. "Fine. I'll take your payment but where will I go Potter? I am now consider a fugitive to all the Wizarding World. I have no money and certainly no place to live."
Potter smiled at him again. "I called in a couple of favors. It's a good thing you had so much money in Gringott's. The goblins have done business with your family for years. They transferred money from a private account you had apart from the family vault. They turned all of it into muggle money." Potter dug for something in the pocket of his robes.
He handed Severus a large envelope. Giving the man before him a look, Severus opened it and shook a few cards out. Potter had gotten him a license, birth certificate, background information, credit and bank cards, and other pieces of identification that he would need in the muggle world. He gave Potter a stunned look. His former student laughed. "Like I said, I called in a few favors."
Severus shook his head glaring at Potter. "You shouldn't have done this." Potter raised his head and met Severus's glare head on. "I'm a grown man and despite what others think, I can make my own decisions. I do believe that I should do this. Besides, you shouldn't look a gift in the mouth."
Properly chastised, though he would not show it, Severus nodded. Potter took out a key. "If you have any questions, about the Muggle world..." "I may be ignorant at some things Potter, but I have been in the Muggle world before and survived." "But this might be forever." Severus said nothing. He would reveal nothing about his past to Potter, even though the boy had just gotten him out of Azkaban.
Potter cleared his throat. "They'll be looking for you by now. You'll have to find a flat to live and you'll have to change your appearance enough that you won't be recognized." He gave Severus a key. "For a hotel. Just for a couple of days." He glanced at a clock that read 'Time is running out'. "You have to go. Likely that they're looking for you."
Severus looked at Potter a moment before walking toward the door. Potter continued. "The hotel is about a mile away. The Shipton." Severus stopped at the door.
"Be careful Professor- Severus." The older man turned and looked at him. "Thank you Harry." Severus slipped out of the door.