Severus Snape has never been a sentimental man. He is, after all, the great greasy git. The giant bat.
He has seen many things in his time. Watched both enemies and comrades fall. Some he doesn't know how to categorize, for they were both, at one time or another. In this his ordered mind fails him. His opinions of others, as their opinions of him, have never been coloured with shades of grey. Only the stark contrast of black and white.
Living as a spy, with one foot in either field he never had time for the philosophical. The inconsequential. But now, with the war finally at an end, he sits, and thinks. A glass of fire whiskey in his hand, barely touched. Memories flit through his mind, like watching a Muggle film on fast forward. Occasionally one will stay. His mind will pause.
He remembers first joining the Death Eaters. Voldemort. Tom Riddle. Such a common name for such an evil. He remembers the days of pure hatred, the casting of Crucio and Imperio, the absolute adrenalin rush of having power over another being. Besting those supposed to be his equal.
He remembers the darker days. Full of despair and self loathing. The very moment he began to hate what he had become. Lucius had brought a Muggle to a revel. A gift. In honour of Severus being advanced into the Inner Circle. He had raped her repeatedly and then passed her on for the rest of them to enjoy, before killing her. It was not with a painless Avada Kedavra, but with his bare hands. Squeezing the very life out of her. It was only later, when Dolohov was having his fun, that he discovered she had been pregnant.
He does not, as most believe, loathe children. He hates the reminder they bring. He watches them grow as each year passes, and wonders. He imagines what that child would be like if it had lived. A Muggle, certainly, but living a life nonetheless.
He takes a sip of whiskey and the memories begin to flit past faster. He wishes he could be rid of them. Destroy them. Like the wood that burns in the fire before him. Leaving only small remnants of ash behind.
For the most part, he remembers expressions. The look of pity on Lily Potter's face when he asked her to dance. He only ever did that once, and never again. The smug arrogance on Sirius Black's face when he was let go after setting Remus on him. The disappointment on Albus Dumbledore during his seventh year and the acceptance when he had returned. The look of absolute betrayal on Lucius' face during the Final Battle, when he realized that Severus had been siding with the Light. It is here again that he finds disorder.
Once lover, once friend, once comrade, once enemy.
He hears the door to his chambers open and slowly draws his eyes from the fire. There is only one who would visit on this of all nights.
"Hermione?" His voice is rough from screaming incantations on the battle field. It is then with a start he realises.
"Hermione? Why are my cheeks wet?"
"Oh love." She responds. "You're crying."