Just something I wrote in my spare time. Tell me what you think!

He had black eyes, always so cold and empty. It made me feel hopeless looking at those eyes. I almost lost faith.

I can remember as if it were yesterday, the day Severus Snape came to Hogwarts as a first year. He was skinny and pale, and obviously alone. I knew he would be a difficult student. He didn't have friends, and there were always problems.

In a way, it reminds me of Harry. They are more alike than they realize, I think. They are both alone, both clever, both in need of a friend.

Severus was intelligent, there was no denying. I don't think there is one time I can recall when he didn't have his nose stuck in a book. And he tried. He always tried.

But years passed and the little boy grew, along with my worries for him. He wasn't a good-looking boy, and he certainly wasn't friendly. I knew he was bullied, but Severus didn't trust me. He thought I, along with everyone else, would simply abandon him, as they all had done. But he didn't see me watching. I saw his lonely times, when he would hide away in his studies, when he tried to forget. I saw what James and Sirius did, and told myself they were only boys. Severus would not stand for me to intervene, and I couldn't afford to lose even more of his faith, so I kept to myself. I wanted to desperately to show him he was not alone.

He came back to me, after the summer of his fifth year, a changed boy. He was angry, but that was not unusual. What surprised me were his eyes.

His eyes were lost. They glittered with his fury, and I tried once again to have him speak to me. I needed his trust.

He did speak. He told me of his father's death that summer, and I asked him how he felt. His eyes were empty, and I knew the answer.

So Severus changed, and James changed, and, for a brief moment, I caught a glimpse of relief in the boy. Severus, who had always been such a cause for concern, who plagued my dreams, seemed to be at peace. He kept to himself. There were less fights, but I began to wonder.

Then, graduation came and went. I watched from afar as a skinny, pallid boy fidgeted in his seat, eager to be gone. He had black eyes.

I wanted to go to him, to speak with him. He needed wisdom, and a friendly face. But he left before I got my chance, and by then, I think it was already too late.

Severus was a Death Eater, I knew. He had always looked to fit in, despite what he may have told himself. I grieved for him. It was a great loss, to see the destruction of such a promising young mind. I knew he followed his new master faithfully. Severus needed loyalty. He needed that figure to look up to. I only wish I could have done more, perhaps become that figure myself, but such is the way of the world. It is troublesome that what one may want is never what truly happens.

And then, imagine my surprise when the boy I had looked out for, for seven years was , was caught spying at the door of my private room in the Hog's Head. He was older and harder, though it had been only a year since last I saw him. Young men grow quickly in the face of cruelty and hardship.

I wondered what had become of him, that little boy who used to glare when I laughed at his musings. The surely lad that flinched when I touched his shoulder.

He was a man now, a man with a mad gleam in his eye and a sad face. I pitied him, watching as he was thrown from the pub. I pitied what he had made of himself. What loneliness made of him, but I knew all the same that he was not an innocent child. I knew what he had done under the guidance of his master, and I pitied him all the more.

It was Lily who suggested the Fidelius Charm, having been quite skilled with charms herself. I thought it a wonderful idea, and we made little Peter Pettigrew the Secret Keeper.

But there was something nagging at the back of my mind. I wanted to change it, to go back and make myself Secret Keeper. I would die before betraying the Potters. I looked at little Harry's green eyes, and ruffled his hair before telling James and Lily goodbye. It was a goodbye for the night, for I would be back in the morning to bring them news. Harry looked up at me, his steady gaze unnerving for a child so young. I could not tear my eyes away. It was all that was stopping me picking him up and taking him to Hogwarts right there. But I turned to leave, and I said goodbye.

Severus had come back to me.

He came into my office, his hands shaking and cold. I let him sit, and informed him that I would not stand for any nonsense in my office. He simply stared at me, and his eyes were black. That was all there was—black. I could see no depth. There was no emotion. When he spoke, it was in a flat voice, devoid of any human quality.

"I want to . . . you told me I could come back," said the boy, fixing me with his best glare. It was a pitiful attempt.

"So I did." My own voice was cold. It shocked me, for I had been hoping to be warm toward him.

"I told him, sir," faltered Severus, and I could tell he was ready to break. It softened me. Alas, I could not remain angry when the child was so obviously devastated.

"I know, Severus."

He ducked his head, uncharacteristically abashed. I could tell he was afraid I would be displeased, and I was. I was displeased with fate for ripping this lonely soul from what may have been a pleasant life. I was displeased he had chosen the path of darkness.

"I didn't know, Headmaster. You must understand, I didn't—I had no way of—They are in hiding?" He sounded so young, and hopeful. I maintained my doubts, but found it impossible not to believe him. He was only a boy. "He—Potter, I wouldn't want him dead, Headmaster. Or Evans, or their . . . their boy."

"Harry," I corrected firmly, and he squirmed.

"Harry," said Severus, sounding it out. He looked at me, shivering. "I can help. I can do . . . I know lots of things. I can fight, or, or spy, or whatever it is you need me to do, sir. He will kill me anyway for what I have done."

I frowned. What had he gotten himself into? "What have you done, Severus?" I asked calmly. He shook his head.

"I killed . . . Black. I killed him."

My heart stopped. Instantly, images of Sirius swam through my head. I had seen him only the night before, when saying my farewells to Lily and James. Surely, surely Severus could not have gotten to him so quickly.

"Sirius is . . . ." The words caught in my throat. I could not, I would not, believe he was gone.

"Not him," Severus snapped. I could hear the annoyance in his voice. He loathed Black. I had long given up on trying to end that rivalry. "The other one—Regulus. He was up to something. He spied on me, and the Dark Lord . . . he needed him, for something important."

Regulus Black. He was misguided, the poor child. Just as Severus had been. Just as many, many others were.

"He will torture me, sir. Let me stay on here. I can teach! I can help you," pleaded Severus. He was changed so much. I regarded him for a moment. His eyes glittered in the candlelight of my office.

"Make me a promise," I said. "Make an Unbreakable Vow, Severus. You must remain faithful to me. I want to trust you, my boy."

He looked up, his expression shrewd and calculating. It was the look he had when I told him that James and Remus and Sirius were not such horrible people. It was the look he had when I tried to get him to open up. He was a clever boy, Severus Snape.

"Alright," he said at last, and my heart leapt with joy. "I—I will do it."

And his eyes flashed red.

It was years later that Harry came to Hogwarts. This would be a trying time for Severus. He had served me reliably for nearly ten years now. He never knew how much I admired him, or how much I still wanted to help him.

The first year was difficult. It was obvious to me that Harry and Severus would not get along. I resigned myself to the fact that old wounds would never die, but I hoped, perhaps, they might fade a little bit.

They never did.

And yet, Severus, feeling guilty for his betrayal of the prophecy, became one of Harry's biggest protectors. He watched the boy like a hawk, and saved him many times where I could not. I regained my hope. Severus could help me more than he even he would ever guess. I had him teach Harry Occlumency.

It is here, I should probably interject, that I made a horrible mistake. Severus was no teacher, nor had he ever been. He had not the patience, despite his brilliance, for young people. But such is the fault of old men that they often fail to realize the obvious, while planning perfection in the complexities.

Severus's words came back to me. "I killed Black."

And so he had, though not directly.

I would not go so far as to say he alone was responsible. There were many causes, myself included. I didn't understand youth anymore. I had grown old.

It was that summer I received a message from my trusty spy. He told me of an Unbreakable Vow, and a plot against my life. I knew it was time.

I pleaded with Severus for weeks to go through with his Vow. My death would mean less than his, for he would be important in the coming war. He, of course, disagreed. We argued many times, but I won in the end, and Severus was left to plan.

Harry needed to be told of the Horcruxes. I would be gone within the year, and he would have to go on alone.

"Severus . . . please . . . ."

I plead to him with my eyes. Make good of your promise, Severus Snape, I tell him. Make good of it and kill me now. You must do it, Severus.

He glares at me, and I know he hates what he is doing. He hates me for making him do it.

I am sliding down the wall. He raises his wand. Good lad.

Kill me now, Severus, and run. Run far. I look at his face again. Underneath, buried very, very deep, he is terrified by what he is doing. Far below the anger and the hatred, he is the dark little boy, coming to my office to inform me of James Potter's latest crime. It seems almost funny now, how this boy I have watched for so long will be the death of me. My death, his redemption. He takes a breath, and only I can see the shaking in his hands as he stares me down. He clenches his jaw, that vein throbbing in his temple again.

"Avada Kedavra!"

His stares, and I stare back. In my final moment, I give him the smallest of smiles.

His eyes are black.