The Silent Tears of Crocodiles

Disclaimer: I do not claim to own Harry Potter, nor Severus Snape, but Torry is my own.

Severus Snape sat in an old leather chair, looking out of a large window facing the east lawn of Snape Manor. Somehow he felt old. He was tired of being seen as the bad guy…Tired of the endless jabs by those who never understood him.

It wasn't so much that he was bitter, just that he longed for more in the world than being the Potions Professor at Hogwarts. Why was it that he could not have what other wizards had? Why could he not find someone to spend his days with?

"I don't want to be lonely anymore…." Severus thought to himself.

Slowly, he pulled up the sleeve of his robe- revealing a spider's web of pale scars snaking up his arm. Some scars were worse than others, but each had its own story to tell. The worst of all was the palest- and yet, the longest.

While Severus may have forgotten over the years what some of them stood for, this particular scar bore special meaning. This was the scar that signified the changing moment of his life. The moment when he tried to kill himself after tiring of being the brunt of Black and Potter's cruel jokes during his own days at Hogwarts…He just couldn't take it anymore and had decided to escape in the only way that he knew.

Too bad that he had been found by Nearly Headless Nick who promptly brought help…and so, he was saved, but definitely not in the way that he would have wished, somehow suspended somewhere between sanity and insanity, life and death, and the constant longing for something more.

He rose from his chair…deciding to get to bed. He might as well, the next day all he had to look forward to was the minute trip to Hogwarts to prepare for the coming school year.

The following morning Severus woke to find his trusty house elf, Torry perched near the foot of his bed.

"Torry, is something wrong?" Severus asked.

"No sir. Torry just wanted to know if there is anything that he can do to make his Master happy? Has Torry done something wrong sir?"

"No Torry. It isn't you, nor is it anything you have done. You have always served me well. Torry, I am simply what the muggles call "Down in the dumps."

"Sir, if you are in these dumps as you call them, let me know where they are so I can take care of them immediately. Sir should have a dumps free house!"

"Torry, it isn't what you think. What I would like would be a nice breakfast, which would make me happy for the morning."

"I'll get to it straight away Master Snape!"

Severus sighed to himself. Sometimes it was easy to forget that house elves were so sensitive. He slowly crept out of bed and dressed in his black traveling robe. He steadied himself so that he would appear in his usual stoic and glaring ruse rather than depressed so that Torry would not fret. No sense getting him excitable especially since he would not be back at Snape Manor until the break at the earliest.

Once he reached the dining room, he could not help himself but crack a smile. Torry had made a show of things, almost as if he could manage to change Severus' mood by simply feeding him all his favorite delicacies for breakfast. Severus had to sigh to himself- house elves don't know that gooseberry pie and pumpkin and chocolate pudding so not make good breakfast foods. But to make the smiling elf happy, he ate with gusto, hoping all the while that he would not have to take a potion for stomach upset.

Once he had finished the breakfast, Severus stepped into the large fireplace in the ballroom, using floo powder, he made his way to Hogwarts. Once he arrived, he could see that Dumbledore was already making sure that the grand hall was prepared for the arrival of the students the following day.

He purposefully made his way to his office. He knew that after being locked up since the end of last term, he had some spells to cast.

Once safely inside, he closed the door and recharged the wards around his door. No sense in not being too careful. Silently, almost as if he glided across the floor, he crept into his bedchamber. There, he knocked three times in three different areas with his wand on a section of the wall underneath a portrait of his father. Suddenly, the portrait swung open to reveal a hidden nook built into the wall.

Inside the nook was a small vial that was shaped in the form of a crescent moon. The vial was filled with a strange red colored potion that seemed to be luminous as well as undulating inside the vial. Carefully, Severus opened the vial and emptied its contents in his mouth…Slowly Severus began to calm. And for a split instant, his eyes flashed with the reddish luminous substance before returning to their usual shade of brown. Severus smiled to himself as the substance flowed through his body. He began to feel much stronger than he did previously, and perhaps, a little less depressed.

He recapped the vial, and placed it back inside the nook, where interestingly, the vial seemed to refill itself with the luminous substance. Severus was thankful that he did not have to obtain the substance from sources he would rather not touch. The vial always refilled itself once placed back inside its protective vault. Severus tapped the wall with his wand in the same three places as before, and the portrait quickly closed.