I've finally updated! I'm sorry for the delay - and also for the absence of that sequel of my Detention fic that was supposed to be done and posted ages ago. I'll get it done by year end (I know, a long time to wait); I've also started on about a million other fics, which have no chance of being completely until god knows when. Anyway, this is a birthday present for Sarah!, my dearest faux adopted sister, and written on a whim. Hope you enjoy (:
It doesn't have much plot, I think, but it's quite interesting in a familiar-Snape and bittersweet sort of way (and I'm completely an unbiased judge, right)
E.T.A: Following lovely feedback from StarGazer and atypicalsnowman, I have changed the date of the letter to 2005; I'm sorry for the earlier mistake. I wasn't very sure about the date, and so just made up a working date, and forgot to confirm it (: Thanks!
If you are reading this, I am dead. I doubt my demise will cause you much grief, but in the unlikely event you are overwrought with sorrow, kindly control yourself until the end of this letter. I regret to inform you that you have been appointed as the legal executor of my will. I am sure that our previous acquaintance will leave you with no little amount of surprise at my decision, but, loath as I am to admit, you are one of the few people I trust sufficiently to do a decent job. The other is, of course, Albus, but not even over my dead body will I give the meddlesome old fool the satisfaction of being proved right again. I will not be subjected to one of his infuriating twinkles in post mortem, thank you very much.
I am convinced your foolish Gryffindor nobility will leave you no choice as to agree to my final, deathbed requests. If by any change I am wrong, and the moon is really Gryffindor red in colour, rest assured I will find a way to hunt you down, and make the seven years you spent at Hogwarts seem paradisiacal in comparison.
Do not delude yourself that I write this letter out of any sentimental reasons; I assure you I entrust my Last Will and Testament to you this appointment purely out of practical motivations. As you and the rest of the Wizarding World will no doubt be shocked to discover, the Snape family is rival to the Malfoys in wealth and power, yet the Malfoy name is more instantly recognizable among the common public. That, you will find, most likely explained by a certain Animagus reporter, in less pleasant terms, is due to the Snapes' paranoid penchant for privacy. In case you are wondering why "paranoid penchant for privacy" looks so odd, that is because alliteration has occurred. Look up the word, Potter; I will not be your dictionary again. The inheritance my beneficiaries stand to gain will put the reserve of gold the Ministry has in Gringotts Vault 15256 – 15400 to shame. The Ministry will go to any lengths to repossess my family's wealth, and it is your job as my executor to fend off their filthy, greedy hands. I am sure that is within your capabilities, as puny as they may seem at times. Do remember to take a picture of the expression on Fudge's pudgy face when he realised how much I was worth, and bring it to my grave, if you ever decide to visit
Another reason why you have been chosen as my executor is that you are the main beneficiary of my will. Close your mouth, Potter, it is unbecoming. It was not done out of any – affection or the like, in case you develop any misconceptions. I did this solely as an additional safeguard. The Ministry will not dare to wrest an inheritance away from the legendary Harry Potter, and you will give them hell if they ever try. In addition, in the unlikely event that the Ministry even makes an attempt, the legions of your fans will undoubtedly stage a protest in front of the Ministry. Incidentally, if this did not concern as important an issue as my will, I would have loved to see that. Potter, I know you are uncomfortable with your immense influence, but that does not mean you cannot manipulate it. Dumbledore is a case in point – but be forewarned, Potter, I will never speak to you again if you develop one of his cursed twinkles. In any case, I doubt that will be necessary – which is not to say I am ungrateful. I – understand the magnitude of the favour I am asking of you, Potter, and I hope you know the depth of my gratitude, because I am not going to declare it. What if your godfather finds out? He will pay a personal visit to my grave to mock me. I will never be that desperate for visitors, Potter.
I do not particularly care what you do with my money, as long as the Ministry does not get it. Donate to the Welfare for Werewolves, War Orphans Society and the Society of the Promotion of Elfish Welfare – all of Granger's ridiculously charitable organizations, for all I care. If I have missed any, I am not sorry.
I confess I have also done this for ulterior motives. No doubt this appointment will drive your family and friends crazy. Dumbledore will invite you for tea, offer you one of his revolting lemon drops, and then, with that damned twinkle in his eyes, Talk to you about the appointment. Do not stick your tongue out like that, Potter. I rather thought you have outgrown those immature acts of yours. Mr Weasley might just faint dead away. Ms Granger will probably heap giant stacks of proposals, regarding organizations she have always wanted to set up but did not have sufficient money for, into your room. Of course, the most satisfying expression will come from your mangy godfather and his werewolf. Oh, get over Potter, if you still do not know about their relationship after two whole years you deserve to be shocked by the revelation in one of my letters. I have no idea what Black will do, unpredictably imbecilic as he is, but I am sure it will be very entertaining.
I feel compelled to inform you about the possibility of there being rumours of an illicit liaison between us, and I regret that my appointment will effect such reactions. Yet there should be no serious consequences; your fans – male or female – will doubtlessly adore you all the more for your 'dirty little secret'.
I – am not sure whether this letter will affect you unduly, but rest assured, Potter, do not be too – sad about my death. I confess, there are things I will miss and people whose presence I might miss, ignorant and moronic for the most part as he is. It is normal to regret one's demise; only a fool or an infant will not. I have no claim to either – do not roll your eyes, Potter, I have seen that infernal act too often. And no, I will not call you Harry. Just because you decided on a whim to call me by my first name without my explicit permission does not mean I will do so. NO, Potter, I will not call you by your first name even with your permission. I thought we have already gone through this argument – fifty-seven times, at last count, in fact. Now let me finish my letter in peace – or as much peace I can have around you.
I trust you know how much trouble you have given me over the long and rocky course of our – acquaintance, but I despair of ever obtaining an apology from you. One would think you actually enjoyed disrupting my Potion classes, ruining my evenings with detentions, and even after your graduation, you insist on inflicting your presence on me during mealtimes, annoying me during my working with irrelevant details of your day, irritating me when I want some privacy. In short, look up all the synonyms of 'annoy' in a thesaurus (if you did not you will miss a couple or a dozen) and they will all apply to you. Stop grinning like an idiot, Potter; that was not a compliment. If I did not know first hand that you are impossible to teach, I would suspect you of taking lessons to Annoy me in that way it seems only you are capable of.
Do not expect a foolishly sentimental deathbed letter, Potter, as the Algernian roses you sent me last Valentine's Day seems to show you are wont to do. As a matter of fact, the flowers wilted disgracefully – several petals chose to fall straight into my inkpot, ruining a very expensive bottle of premium red ink. It appears your gifts prove as much a nuisance as your very person, Potter. I am not one for declarations of undying love – what would they accomplish at this point in time? I leave you with only regrets, Harry, regrets that will fade over time. Had we taken – things further, the stress of my death would have irrevocably damaged you.
I have tried to be restrained in my gestures and affections in our altercations the past months, to prevent the sort of misconceptions you have no doubt harboured, yet you continually refuse my rejections. Any unhappiness suffered as a result is no doubt your fault, Potter, as I am sure your immediate family will disagree – to no consequence. I am dead, Potter; you knew the Dark Mark will eventually consume me sooner or later, and even though in my case it came later, there was no question about my mortality.
Potter, I am content with the three months Poppy bought me with her treatments and spells. Please do not ever tell her I said that; I suspect that shock will incapacitate her, and what with all the obtuse, reckless children Hogwarts houses, the presence of a skilled, sensible Mediwitch is of utmost importance. Your persistent presence in my quarters (which I do not recall ever giving you the passwords to), rather like a particularly nasty stain, notwithstanding, I find that the months leading up to my demise to be the happiest period of my short and turbulent life – and I – appreciate it. I am only telling you this extremely private sentiment to assuage your decidedly misplaced guilt and sorrow, which I am sure you are wallowing in right now.
I left in peace, Potter, more than many people can say.
I – trust you also know what I find myself unable to say. I have known about your – wholly inappropriate feelings for me from the start of your appointment as Defence Against The Dark Arts professor; your Occlumency may have improved impossibly, but you still wear your heart on your sleeve. It is painful sometimes, in ways the Cruciatus Curse isn't, to witness it, and that is the reason behind my adamant refusals of your various, sometimes ingenious propositions, Harry (Do not pretend that the question about the material and colour of my bed sheets was anything approaching innocuous curiosity, Potter. The innocent look has long since been ineffectual for both of us). You knew it was a matter of time to my death, and this way you will not grieve over my demise. Having and losing someone is infinitely more painful than merely losing, a concept you are all too familiar with.
For that reason alone, you will find that I have chosen not to commission a portrait of myself or leave an imprint of myself as a ghost to wander the corridors of Hogwarts; I fear my – immortal presence might delay you from living the life you were meant to live. Besides, the Bloody Baron is very possessive about his territory.
Do not give me that look, Potter. It does not work on me, given how it resembles Black's pleading expression when Lupin threatens him with The Couch. Potter – fine. Your feelings –were returned. I hope you realise I have just wasted ink and parchment in stating what you no doubt already know. Now you will have to burn this letter. Merlin forbid anyone else actually reads it.
With that, I end on a cautionary note.I have been your keeper for the whole of your trying existence, and it appears I will remain thus even in death. I do not expect to – see you again until at least a century later, Potter, or there will be words. Very harsh words. I did not rescue you at least fifteen times over for you to throw your life away on a whim or fancy. Dust off some of your exalted Gryffindor bravery and move on with life – something you have never been allowed to do before, while Voldemort was alive. The Slytherin traits you possess will no doubt serve you well; without them, I shudder to even contemplate the kind of person you might have become. It was only an eclectic mix of the two that rendered you thus – tolerable to myself during the course of our – relationship, for the want of a better word. I find myself horrified at the thought that I might – miss your annoying, imprudent, irreplaceable presence, but as incomprehensible as that may be, I – will. I will miss you, Harry.
Enclosed with this letter are my original Will and Testament, and the Snape family crest. Do not ascribe any romantic notions to the gift, Potter – I merely do not want it to go the way of Slytherin's ring, bartered away for ten Galleons, and as my main beneficiary you are the likeliest choice. You may leave it in your vault if you wish - stop touching the ring, Potter, for Merlin's sake; you will get your fingerprints all over it. If you insist on wearing it, who am I to stop you? I trust you have enough common sense not to wear it on your left hand together with your Potter family crest – the Potters and Snapes were not known for their fondness for each other. Put it on your right hand if you must. If you do not close your mouth soon, you will be mistaken for a gaping fish, Potter. I understand the right hand is usually meant for lovers or bond mates, but we must make allowances for the Chosen One's wishes, no? Of course – in the event that you choose to marry – you may take it off. I shall not begrudge you that, Potter; you have made no obligations to me. You are free, Harry, as am I.
I wish you well. There are many things I wish to say to you that would remain unsaid for our sakes. Do not cry for me; if you insist, at least bottle your tears. A virgin's tears are a crucial ingredient for the Lycanthropy Reversal potion – you will find the instructions in page 21 of my Will.
2nd September, 2005