Author: Unspoken Tragedy
Rating: PG-13 (pretty much my default rating)
Spoilers: A few…
Disclaimer: If I owned Severus Snape I'd make him stop killing Dumbledore. If owned Dumbledore I'd make him stop being a jerk. And if I owned Azkaban…
Summery: You could have saved them, if you had taught them better. In the end, no matter how many people try to forget or attempt to cover it up, they will only ever be four vicious boys… who got what was coming to them.
Warnings: AU! Character Death!
A/N: My WIP's are being worked on. So, ha!
"I don't expect you to understand why I did it."
"I don't expect to understand, myself," Albus Dumbledore answered the boy.
Severus gazed at the older man for a moment. He then turned away, obviously finding some defect in the old wizard that he himself could not see. "If you don't mind, I'd like to spend my last moments alone."
Dumbledore felt a stab of anger. "The least you can do is tell me why."
"I don't owe you a thing," the boy snapped petulantly.
"You owe it to their families! To their friends!" He grabbed the small child by the arms and shook him. "Tell me why."
Snape smiled. "No."
Albus sighed. "You give me no choice then." He lifted his wand.
The Slytherin looked up at him through his eyelashes. "Legilimens," Severus murmured.
The Headmaster felt a shock of horror as the child entered his mind. There could be no way that this child could possibly be accomplished in Occlumency. "I wouldn't be so certain of that," the boy responded to his unspoken words. Then his presence was gone. Dumbledore loosened his grip on the other, then after a moment let go.
"Why do you look so surprised, Headmaster? It seems to me you've been searching for years for solid proof that Slytherin is the root of all evil." Snape grinned. "Most people enjoy being proven right."
"Never?" The dark haired boy locked eyes with him again.
Albus wondered how it was that this child was gaining the upper hand with him. "Maybe sometimes I wasn't exactly fair with you…"
"You're just angry that I accomplished what your Gryffindors only attempted to do."
"You killed four boys in cold blood. I hardly consider that an accomplishment," Dumbledore snapped.
He smiled coldly. "But you certainly didn't consider it an offense when they attempted to take my life. I guess it's different depending on what house one's in."
"You didn't suffer lasting effects. Lupin would have been sentenced to death had he been exposed as your attacker."
Severus took a step forward, smirking up at him. "Ironic, isn't it? How Lupin was sentenced to death anyhow?"
The boy continued to smile even after Dumbedore struck him. Blood trickled down his chin. Sprawled against the wall like that, he looked like a macabre sort of doll. "This isn't a game, Snape."
The Slytherin flexed his right wrist. Had he broken it when he fell against the wall? "You're only saying that because you're losing." Funny how the boy managed to appear innocent even now. "I will never tell you what you want to know. You may as well return to your school and your dead children. There is nothing more here for you."
"Why didn't you ever come to me?" Albus despaired. "If I'd known how bad it was…"
The grin turned into a glare. "You did know how bad it was," he replied. "You just didn't want to admit it to yourself. 'Cause that would have meant you'd have to actaully do something about it."
"Severus…" his voice was soft, almost pleading. He had to get the boy to open up to him. "Don't their parents deserve some sort of closure?"
The young Snape raised one black eyebrow, as he picked himself up off the ground. "Black's parents are glad he's dead. Lupin's were killed by him several years ago. Pettigrew's aunt knows he's a waste of breath. The only parents that even care are Potter's."
"Don't they deserve to know why their son was killed?" the Headmaster asked.
Severus shrugged. "A lot of people deserve many things. I'm not inclined to play judge jury and executioner for any of them either."
A part of him wanted to leave. Abandon the cold child to his fate, and return to his post without the answers he had come here for. But he had to know. "If you tell me why you did it, I may be able to convince them to lighten your sentence," he lied. "Life in Azkaban, instead of the Dementor's Kiss."
Laughter. "I don't want to waste away in a rotting old cell, living at the mercy of Dementors."
"You would rather lose your soul?"
"I would lose it in the end anyways," came the calm response. The Slytherin tugged at the button on his stained shirt sleeve thoughtfully. "I must say I'm not impressed. You're going to have to try a little harder than that to get me to talk."
Dumbledore tried again, "You said that I thought all Slytherins were evil. Prove me wrong."
The child beamed at him. He had finally gotten it correct. Snape was going to tell him. "We are the monsters underneath your bed. We are the darkness inside your light, the evil that lurks inside your heart. That will not change, whether I tell you why I killed Potter and his lackeys or not. You will fear and hate us only until you see the truth yourself." Or not.
Albus moved away from him. He was tired of listening to the boy's riddles. "I see. Thank you for your time, then." He couldn't take the other's cold stare any longer.
"You should have known, Headmaster."
"Known what, Severus?" he asked tiredly, stopping at the door.
"That the will of a snake cannot be broken." Dumbledore simply stared at him. "You could have saved them, if you had taught them better. In the end, no matter how many people try to forget or attempt to cover it up, they will only ever be four vicious boys… who got what was coming to them.
"I win, Headmaster." Severus Snape smiled, as he leaned back against his prison wall, one hand outstretched to the old man. Blood was dripping from his palm onto the floor. Albus had not noticed that before.
He took a closer look. "Aconite," Severus told him in a lilting whisper, "It can be absorbed through the skin, but putting it directly into the bloodstream quickens matters." In his hand was a small needle.
The boy slid to the floor. The needle dropped down beside him. "In roughly twenty seconds I'll be dead."
"Did I smuggle aconite into Azkaban? I didn't. I got it from you." His eyes slid closed.
Albus searched his robes for the small vile of aconite he kept on him. Not there.
He found it tucked in Severus's sleeve.
He called for the guards.
It took maybe ten seconds for them to determine he was dead. A couple of minutes more to decide that the Headmaster must be guilty of the crime. The boy could not have gotten the poison past the guards.
But the Headmaster could. Albus stared in horror at the grinning dead child as clarity hit him.
Severus had been abused at the hands of the Mauraders. They had paid for it with their lives. Dumbledore had not protected him, had even encouraged his tormentors at times. He would be paying with his life as well.
Nobody liked a child killer.
No matter how guilty the child himself was.
I win, Headmaster.
He really should have known better.
A/N: Let's see… This story was inspired by a few songs:
"Monsters" and "You Can Run, But We'll Find You" by Matchbook Romance
And "Fade Away" by Day of Fire
Severus is rather clever in this fic. And evil. He makes me proud.
So how did he get the aconite from Dumbledore? How did he know the Headmaster even had it? How did he kill himself? The clues are in the story. Ha. He would like to see some of his reasoning kept secret.
Aconite is an herb. It contains the poison Aconitine. It entering the bloodstream through a cut can really kill a person. Maybe not as quick as it did here, though.