Disclaimer: Anything you recognize belongs to the goddess, JKR. This is a Severus monologue which takes place in Book 3. He is sitting in the staff room with the boggart-infested wardrobe just before Remus comes in with his class of third years. Mainly angst. Entirely separate from any other Snapefic I have written.
Some things are difficult to bear.
Some things are impossible.
Although I am grateful for everything the Headmaster has done for me…his confidence in my tolerance is somewhere beyond childish…beyond naiveté.
But, then again, some would have said the same thing about him hiring me years ago.
I detest irony.
Irony is for that fool, Trelawney, with her simpering voice and clouded crystals and even more clouded mind.
I am well aware that I was not anyone's choice for the post of Potions Master here at Hogwarts. Well, other than the Headmaster. I am reminded of that practically every day that I spend in this draft-infested place. The other professors who always keep their distance…not wanting to sully their robes with a former Death Eater…they always find some way of ensuring I know where I stand with them.
It's not as if I care a whit for them or their opinion of me.
The only one I have any respect for is Albus.
And then there are these students who traipse through my class, their heads filled with big ideas about what they are going to accomplish once they are unleashed upon the wizarding community at large. They talk about positions and property and riches and Quidditch.
Don't they realize that, at this moment, their greatest accomplishment would be simply staying alive? Do they not see those damn Dementors at the gates? Do they not feel that cold emptiness each time they pass by those hooded denizens from a hell here on earth?
I do…and it is a wonder there is any happiness left n me for them to draw upon.
There is so much evil in this world and…there is a feeling I have…a very sickening feeling…that I will be called…that my former master will rise again.
For a moment I wonder what that would be like…to stand in his presence once again? Would I be revealed as a traitor? Would the Dark Lord kill me?
I do not think so.
Killing me would be a kindness.
And the Dark Lord is not kind.
I cast an angry glance at the wardrobe near me. It is thumping and bumping as the boggart, which calls this sorry piece of furniture its new home, settles itself. Lupin has asked that we not dispose of it and I am happy enough to oblige. I do not like boggarts. I have not the courage to face what I know it will become. That happened only once before and it took me days to fully recover…
I suppose others would laugh but the vision of me dressed in my full Death Eater regalia is not something I am proud of. It makes me quite ill…remembering what I was…what I did…and what I did not do.
My greatest fear…to wear it again…it makes me shudder just to think about it.
And yet I know that, if the need arose, I would not hesitate…
…to somehow make up for the many mistakes in my past.
Sighing, I look down at my left arm, carefully covered with the long black sleeve of my robe.
A mark on my arm.
A stain on my soul…well, what is left of it.
I doubt I will ever make up for it all…no matter how hard I try.
The door is opening and Lupin is standing there with his class of third years. Yes, there is Potter, a somewhat smaller version of James, and Weasley, who has great potential…much like his father, and Granger who, I have to admit, has a flare for potions. And there is Longbottom…Merlin's beard…he looks more like his father everyday.
None of that.
I quickly sneer at the group and make a few cutting comments about Longbottom to Lupin and storm out of the room, closing it loudly behind me, trying to ignore the angry looks, the hateful looks, the sneers…
The air is cooler out here in the corridor. I am able to calm myself somewhat.
Pausing for a moment, I lean my forehead against the cool, stone wall and close my eyes briefly.
It is better that they think of me this way.
Hateful. Cold. Petty. Ill-tempered.
It is better they do not know that…
…that I would do anything to ensure they do not follow in my footsteps.