Based on J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series
and Mordred's Forever Alive
Disclaimer: All belongs to J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros.
This one is for Hughes
This July marks the fifth anniversary of the conclusion of Forever Alive. It also marks the premiere of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince film. However, there are a couple more reasons why I decided to do this special one-shot in memory of Snape.
Firstly, I have always wanted to do a spin-off of Forever Alive that focused on Severus. This of course did not happen because when I went to write Pride and Fear, we didn't know the entirety of Snape's story, and by the time it was revealed, I was well into college and working on original works that needed my constant attention. So Pride and Fear sits in limbo, and I'm sorry, won't ever be finished. But I believed that Severus, something that is much shorter than what I'd been planning on doing, would suffice.
Secondly, I found it of the upmost importance to give Severus the time he deserved. During the last few books, I acquired a real love for Snape, and I don't think he was done justice in Forever Alive.
I thank you for your constant support over the five years that Forever Alive has been on the internet. Here's to Severus. Here's to Harry Potter. And here's to our community of never-faltering fans.
There is something to say for those who lose what mattered most to them. They have nothing left to lose, so they go through the rest of their lives quite aware of first, the mortality and temporary state of things, and second, the fact that there are worse things than death.
This is why Severus Snape seemed to be quite utterly unafraid of anything that seemed to slam him straight in his long, crooked nose.
His ability to scoff at a threat from one of the less reliant recruits surprised even the most seasoned servants of the Dark Lord. Nott would give him cheek, he would look down his long, sallow face at the dolt, and give a sort of a snort-huff as if to dismiss his idiocy before heading off on his merry way. Even the first time he met the Dark Lord himself, Snape's shoulders were so lax that even Lucius felt uncomfortable with the boy's nonchalance. The Dark Lord, however, found this intriguing, and the boy quickly became near his side, working as a sinister, dangerously intelligent right arm.
For, you see, Severus had lost everything he was afraid of losing. And because of that, he would have gladly punished himself tenfold with any sort of Unforgivable the Dark Lord could've spat at him. He was ready to die. He was ready to hurt. And he was ready to disappear.
However, there was surprisingly a hesitancy to be inducted into the Death Eaters.
There had been a handful of students recruited back in 1971 by a servant who had infiltrated the faculty at Hogwarts. Severus had been chosen quite early on, along with Lucius Malfoy and a good few others. At the completion of their seventh year earlier this past June, the boys were transferred to the Malfoy mansion, where they learned the ways from older, more sinister, stupider wizards and witches than he, going on missions to kill countless Muggles, burning barns down with the rotting flesh of swine and singed human hair inside ...
But once the new year came, they were expected to brand themselves with the Dark Mark in an induction ceremony that would end in their very first independent mission from all mentors. Find a Muggle village, kill Muggles, and get away with it.
However, it was barely August, let alone January when the induction would be held, and Severus already began to withdraw.
Now when Severus withdrew, no one barely noticed. He was never the loud type. He never drank. He never was seen with any woman (or man). He spent most of his time with the recruits secluded in a hard chair in the corner, reading up on whatever new forbidden magic he'd poked his slimy nose into.
But Lucius noticed.
The two boys weren't ever brothers. Neither of them had ever seen the other cry, nor had they ever shared their feelings in a moment of uncertainty about their uncertain lives. No, they could have been strangers for all an outsider knew. But when the doors were closed, and both child realized there was no one else to look to, they recognized one another.
Severus looked up to Lucius's power. Lucius respected Severus's brains and control. Thus they worked together quite swimmingly.
"Lucius?" Severus said quietly one night from their shared room. Lucius hadn't slept in days; he'd been training for the final induction. But he still managed a "hrmm" and that was enough for Severus to continue.
"I want you to know, because you deserve to know before it happens, that I may not go through with it."
"What?" Lucius yawned.
And then Snape caught himself, realizing what he had said, and he was quiet once more.
Lucius fell back to sleep, uninvested.
The withdraw had begun after an attack on Ottery St. Catchpole. Out in the forest, Lucius and Snape had been scouting out for Order Members when they'd indeed found two of them.
"Ah, well what are the odds," Lucius whispered from their place behind the trees. And as the shadows ahead of them turned around to show their faces, Snape grew frigid.
"Snape what are you ---" but Snape was already moving out of hiding. Snape was standing right in front of the first shadow.
James Potter. And beside him, Lily Evans, that little Mudblood.
Snape fired up. Snape was angry. Snape showed emotion, which is more than Lucius could say for any other memory of Snape he had. But before anything could happen, the Dark Lord came to take on the two brats himself, and Snape and Lucius made an exit.
It had been that night Severus withdrew.
That's all Lucius knew. That's all Lucius could tell the others when they asked what was wrong with their supposed future leader.
But what Lucius didn't know was where Severus was the night after they'd been in the woods. Snape had said he was going out for a meeting with such-and-such, but no one could recall who such-and-such was when Mr. Malfoy asked them. The boy was lost for a good two hours before he casually strolled back in, not saying a word to anyone, but still not giving away that anything was troubling him.
If Lucius had in fact been a brother, if Severus could in fact divulge that he had any sort of feelings underneath that scowl, the boy would have told his roommate that he stood outside St. Mungo's waiting for a red-haired Mudblood to emerge from her spot near a near-to-dead James Potter (Potter and Evans, according to reports, had dared to defy the Dark Lord). Snape would have told Lucius about following the Mudblood for three blocks, taking in every footstep she made, every flick of her hair, everything --- like a starving man who hadn't eaten for years.
And then he would've told Lucius about the sinking feeling in his stomach, knowing that he couldn't give up another moment of not trying. He couldn't let her go. He couldn't let her get away this time --- he had to say something. He had to walk right up to her, touch her soft, silk shoulder and spin her around and tell her all of the things he'd recited over and over again in his head.
But he let her go. He let her disappear down the street. He let her walk back to whatever Order headquarters/housing she was living in with Potter ... God damned Potter ...
He couldn't face her. She would slap him. She would scream. She would call him a coward.
She was a member of the Order. And he was to be a Death Eater.
Just as she always said it would be.
But Lucius and Snape were not brothers, so none of this was divulged. Snape only locked himself in the corner with books, and nothing was said on anything.
Until one night, when Peter Pettigrew made a grave mistake.
It was nearing October. The Night of a Hundred Skulls had gone off swimmingly, and the Dark Lord was a guest in the Malfoy's home in celebration of their growing power.
Each of the recruits were set at the table, alongside the highest servants. Sampson, their primary guardian, instructed each one where to sit, how to speak, how to stand and bow ... and he placed Lucius and Snape at the head of the table to converse with the Dark Lord himself.
Snape had met the Dark Lord on several occasions, and each time the normalcy of his face, his body, his mannerisms ... it was off-putting just how normal the man was. He was a man ... but so much more ...
"Severus, you will accompany me on my next meeting with the Giants," the Dark Lord said matter-of-factly as he cut into his bleeding steak, "Lucius, you as well."
Lucius gave a masked, yet beaming, smile, and nodded a "yes, my lord." Severus only nodded, a bit sickened, and then took a long drink of water from his goblet.
The amount of casualty between the Dark Lord and Severus injected envy into Lucius. They were cohorts. Allies. Peers.
Lucius knew he would never have this, and it wedged an anger between the two boys.
This is probably why they never spoke on anything of importance.
Silence swept the dining room once more, until the Dark Lord made a quick sweep of the table with his red eyes, and slammed his goblet down on the table.
"Who is missing from my presence!" he hissed, and Sampson lowered his head and said:
"Peter Pettigrew, my lord. He is still away on his mission ---"
Snape gave a grin at this. Pettigrew, one of Potter's ever-loved, ever-trusted best mates had been recruited seven years ago. Pettigrew had gone through all the same training as he had. Pettigrew had readied himself to draw a thick Dark Mark on his arm and slit the throats of those who loved him in a blinking instant if it meant gathering protection from the Dark Lord.
Pettigrew's chair was, of course, the furthest from the Dark Lord. As if not to soil the emperor with an untouchable impurity.
"His mission was to be at my table for dinner," the Dark Lord roared, and in two minutes' time, Sampson had summoned Pettigrew away from his duties and into the fireplace by Floo Powder.
Coughing, Peter stepped from the ashes and bowed so low his button nose nearly kissed the sooted marble floor.
"I-I'm sorry, my lord," Peter stuttered, "You know how important it is I keep my cover --- I --- I couldn't leave in a time like ---"
"You damn well leave when I tell you to!" the Dark Lord hissed. "Unless the Order had a knife to my throat, you have no excuse for dallying around the Headquarters!"
And a great red burst came from the Dark Lord's wand and hit Peter squarely in the chest. Down the boy went, writhing and screaming.
"We were at a funeral!" Peter squealed. "If I wasn't at the funeral, then I would've been suspicious! I have to keep up m-my ---" and a scream screeched from his little rat mouth.
Severus looked disgusted. Not at the screeching, but at the screecher.
"Elise Warren, my lord!" Peter said. "Elise Warren was near to Potter and his Mudblood, my lord! She was killed in the Night of a Hundred Skulls! She was to have been the Mudblood's maid of honor ---"
Severus froze. He stood. He stared down at Peter with the intensity of a hawk. His own wand came from his side and another red light dashed to grab hold of Peter's throat.
Peter screamed again.
This action caused even the Dark Lord to stop his action and stare at Snape in shock. Snape wrenched the curse on Peter, and then let him go long enough to let him breathe.
"What did you say," he demanded. Peter gasped for air. "What did you say, you snivelling piece of shit. What did you say!"
"I --- Elise Warren died --- it was her funeral --- you remember her, she had black hair ---"
"Maid of honor?" Snape was pale. Snape was sick ---
"Y-yes ---" Peter looked a bit put off that he was being interrogated by a fellow recruit, "James Potter and Lily Evans are getting married ---"
And the red curse came back to Peter, this time with a guttural howl from Severus. Peter cried and screamed for mercy, but Severus would give none. The Dark Lord, seeing the fury at his side, seemed more intrigued than disgruntled, and he let it continue.
But Lucius was on Severus quick, trying to grab his wand. Severus cursed him back, threw the table, smashed the plates, went out of his damn mind ... until the Dark Lord decided he'd seen enough and he pulled Severus away like a father attempting to patiently scold his four-year-old.
And the two of them went into the back room.
Lucius was certain he'd never see his friend again.
"A Mudblood?" the Dark Lord stared at Severus, a bit doubtful. And Severus, who had broken down in tears, lay on the ground in a heap of exhaustion. He didn't care if the Dark Lord blew him away for his indolence, he had nothing left.
And this, I think at least, is the reason why the Dark Lord let him cry.
"I loved her," Severus whispered, and the Dark Lord laughed.
"When you are by my side and the world is pure again, there will be much more ... whole ... women to choose from. Any one you like will be yours," the Dark Lord said, and Severus gave out a howl.
"I don't want them! I wanted --- I've always wanted --- God damn it ---" and Severus slammed a hole into a cupboard. The Dark Lord was growing tired of this.
"James Potter will marry her," he said. "She will become a Potter. She'll have little Potter bastard children. And that is inconsequential to you. Forget her. Use that power she has given you to do what you know is the right thing."
And he turned his back on Severus to continue his dinner outside.
"You don't know what love is," he added quietly in a hiss. "Love is nothing. But what comes from its absence is something. Something quite powerful."
And Severus was once again alone.
When all recruits were ready for initiation, the induction ceremony would take place. And January began to draw to a close. And the Dark Lord had still not deemed them acceptable for the Mark.
Some said it was because the Dark Lord didn't think Snape's heart was in the right place. That there was still something that needed to snap back into place for the boy.
But that was just a rumor Lucius had heard from his father.
"It will happen," the Dark Lord told Mr. Malfoy in seclusion. "Mark me, soon it will happen. And then we will have him."
Severus, of course, was unaware of all this. He was too busy hounding Peter Pettigrew for information.
And for an address.
The wedding rehearsal was over quite late. Severus watched the guests pile out of the church and head for the congratulatory dinner in their own separate ways. Muggles were there. Lily's family. He recognized her mother, her father ... and there was Petunia, all grown up.
He hadn't seen them for years. They'd all gotten older, greyer, more fearful ... and yet, somehow more wonderful.
There were nights he and Lily would run down the hallway between her and Tuney's room, racing to see who could touch the doorframes first. Tuney yelled at them ... a lot ... and Severus thought she was an insolent little bitch. But Lily loved her, and so he had to love her in return.
He knew Lily wouldn't have told Mr. and Mrs. Evans anything about him. If he crossed the street right now, his cloaks on, his face looking grown and healthy (ish), his hair now at least a bit more combed than it used to ... they would see his clothes fit, his shoulders were stronger, that he'd done good for himself. They'd embrace him, kiss him on the cheek, ask him how graduation was. Wonder what his new job was, wonder ---
And Lily might be glaring at him all the way through his and her parents' conversation, but she would've had to sit there and watch him take hold of just one small part of her life that he ---
No, she would've walked away.
But she couldn't walk away. Not tonight. She couldn't do it tonight.
So he watched. There was Peter, chumming it up with Sirius Black ... that bastard ... and there was Potter, speaking with Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall and Hagrid ... they were congratulating him. And Moody. And ... Jesus, all the Order had come out tonight.
He could blow up the street and kill them all. It would be that easy. The Dark Lord would elevate him high into the sky.
But he wasn't Peter. He wouldn't do it.
Lily was there.
And as the crowd started to disperse, he started across the street. Potter was turning away, talking to Sirius. They were all heading away from Lily. She was alone ---
It was perfect ... a perfect moment ... he was out of the way ...
"I wouldn't think you would have garnered an invitation, Severus."
He froze. He knew that voice.
He spun on his thin heels and there was Dumbledore. Snape sneered and kept walking.
"I'm not your pupil anymore, old goat," Severus spat. "Can't give me unwarranted detentions anymore, sorry ---"
And Severus's head exploded with a pain far worse than anything the Dark Lord could've done to him. He stopped dead in his tracks and stared at the Headmaster. Dumbledore's creased eyes were glaring at him over his half-moon glasses.
"You go home. And tell Riddle that he won't be digging his finger into this matter," Dumbledore warned him. "There won't be a battle over Potter's wedding day."
"He didn't send m ---" and Severus cut himself off. He only silenced his confession, glared back at the Headmaster, and disapparated.
He waited until all the other guests were gone and vacant of the church. And then he went about walking up and down the pews. Running his hand along the wooden backrests. Looking at the flowers she'd picked out. Staring at his shoes touching the red carpet of the center aisle.
He wouldn't admit it out loud, but it would have been foolish to say he hadn't ever thought about this day. As a little boy, when she and he sat out in the woods staring up at the trees above them, he'd seen her in pretty dresses and him all grown up in flowing robes. Proceeding down aisles. His mother crying in the front row. Mr. Evans marching next to the bride, closer and closer to where Snape waited on the altar.
"She's in the park."
Snape's head snapped back to see Peter Pettigrew standing in the aisle looking up at him at the front of the church. Peter nodded out to the door.
"I took a walk with her," he said. "Left her out there. All by herself. Just as you asked."
Snape nodded, and pocketed his wand.
"Thank you," he said, and Peter looked a bit scared.
Snape didn't say another word and headed out for the exit. Across the street.
And there she was.
Sitting on a bench near the lake. Her knees up to her chin. Her red hair pulled back in a tired ponytail. Her skinny arms now ripping with muscle and scars. Breasts, full and round, unlike the little scrawny body he'd pushed on the swingset.
She was a warrior. A woman. Not like he'd left her.
And before he could walk away again, he stepped forward, out of the dark, and waited for her green eyes to catch sight of him.
And they did. And they were more emerald than he could've ever recalled. Wide, glinting, honest --- good. Beautiful.
Except now they lost their color and turned against him. As if she didn't recognize him, she stood, her wand drawn, ready to scream if ---
"Lily," he said softly. "Lily, please ---"
"I'll kill you ---" she said, backing away. "Coming here for a fight on our wedding? That's low, even for Voldemort ---"
"Lily," he said again. "I'm not going to hurt ---"
But nothing came. Snape stood perfectly still.
"You have to mean it for it to work," he said quietly. And she froze.
"Don't you dare touch me," she said. "Don't you dare ---"
"Lily, please ---" his voice broke, and with that break, her rigid stance melted and she stared at him, really not sure what to think of all this.
"Look," he said. He put his wand down on the ground. His hands high in the air. "You know me ---"
"I don't know you ---"
"You know I would never hurt you ---"
"I'm unarmed!" he pleaded. "Please. Lily. I know I shouldn't have --- I know I shouldn't be talking to you, but if I don't say my piece, and you --- and you go and marry him --- him ---"
"This is a trick."
"This isn't a trick."
She gave out a forced laugh, "After all this time you --- you damn near killed me! You ... you really think ... Look at you! You got everything you wanted, didn't you, the Dark Mark and ---"
And Severus shoved his sleeve up his arm as quick as it could go. Lily grew silent.
"No," Severus said. "No I didn't."
"Where is it?"
"I haven't got it yet," Severus said.
"I won't get it. I won't, Lily. Not if you --- please, Lily. I --- I'm sorry. For what I did. For what I said ---"
"You think it's all about what you said?!" Lily exploded. "You think you can corner me in a park the night before my wedding and apologize for calling me Mudblood when we were fifteen?! I thought you were at least a bit intelligent, Snape! You --- my God, you were long gone before that! You left me, Sev, you --- you almost killed that girl ---"
"I didn't kill anyone."
"But you have since, haven't you?!"
There was a silence.
Lily burst into tears. And Snape felt everything break. He went to hold her. She spat in his face.
"Were you there. That night. With a hundred skulls."
"Were you, Severus!?"
Severus was quiet. "Yes."
Lily nodded, as if she'd known the answer before he said it, "I can't --- I'm so stupid for standing here --- leave me alone. Don't --- don't bother me anymore ---"
"I've made mistakes, Lily," Severus followed her up to the path leading out of the park. "I know this. And --- and do you think this is easy for me, groveling like this? For God's sake, Evans, you know me ---"
"No, I do not."
"Lily, just stop walking. Listen to me, please ... I'm a terrible, evil bastard. I know this. I hate myself. I do. And for good reason. You were the only thing I --- the only thing I ever had in my life that was worth anything --- that was good. And if I lose you tomorrow ... if I --- Lily, I'll ---"
Lily stopped. She turned around. Looked at him hard.
"I love you," he said. It came out so steadfastly. As if it had been a truth unspoken but a truth known. It was so easy to say. But it hit both of them so hard. "I love you. And ... and I know you loved me, too. Once. You never said it, but it wouldn't have hurt you as much when I ... if you ..."
Lily's green eyes were shimmering with tears. He took her.
And he kissed her. He finally kissed her.
There was a silence between them.
"You loved me." he said. "If I hadn't --- if I hadn't said what I said ... if I hadn't --- then things would be different. We would --- You loved me."
And quietly, Lily shook her head.
"No," she choked. "No. I love James. And I hate you."
Severus felt everything inside fading away. He couldn't breathe. He couldn't move. He ---
"And you have no right to do this to me," Lily said, pacingly. "Leave me alone."
"You don't mean that ---"
"I said ---"
"You don't!" Severus said. "You can't look me straight in the eyes and not say that once, just one in your God damned perfect existence since I left that you didn't think back and remember --- that you didn't ---"
"No!" Lily cried. "No! I didn't!"
And she disapparated.
And Severus was once again alone.
"She's in the park."
Snape's head snapped back to see Peter Pettigrew standing in the aisle looking up at him at the front of the church. Peter nodded out to the door.
"I took a walk with her," Peter said. "Left her out there. All by herself. Just as you asked."
There was a silence in the church. Where he'd seen the park, her emerald eyes --- all gone.
All in his head ---
Snape nodded, and pocketed his wand.
"Take her home," he said.
"But you said you wanted to see her ---"
"And now I'm saying to take her home!" he snapped, and Peter jumped. Snape hung his head, his chest knotted into a painful, tight clenching feeling of nausea. He turned from Peter, and readied to depart.
"Snape?" Peter's voice came quietly, and it caused Snape to pause.
Peter took a moment, then said, "I'm sorry."
"Oh, spare me," Snape spat.
"No," Peter was honest. His eyes big and round. His pudgy fingers fiddling with a pew's back rest. "I --- I don't think James will be good to her. Not like --- others would have been ... I'm sorry."
Severus stared at him. Dumbfounded. Peter lowered his head, and Snape shook his.
"How are you living with yourself, Wormtail? Hmm?" Severus said smoothly, and Peter looked to him. "Speaking about your friend like that. Walking alongside them in every battle we've had thus far. Sleeping under the same roof as them, taking in all of their trust and love --- and using it against them to murder them from behind."
Peter was silent.
"You're despicable." Snape said. "You take those you are to love, and you turn them into the gallows for your own selfishness. For your own fear. You disgust me. So don't you ever --- ever --- believe you and I are in the least bit worth a warm conversation."
Peter's lip was trembling.
"I might be a devil," Snape lifted his black hood over his greasy hair. "But you're a downright monster."
And the doors opened once more.
"Peter, are you all right? You've been in here an awfully long time ---"
And Snape froze. There were the emerald eyes. The red hair. The beautiful --- shining ---
"EXPELLIRAMUS!" Lily Evans had her wand out before she could take a breath of surprise, and Snape dodged the spell and dove behind a pillar.
His own wand was out.
"Lily, s-stop, he ---"
"ON MY WEDDING DAY! HE SENDS YOU ON MY WEDDING DAY!"
Snape held his wand poised, ready to come from behind the pillar. He felt her rushing closer. Down the aisle. To meet him at the altar.
And he was up before she could spin the corner and knock him out. He had his wand out. But she was already ahead of him ---
"SECTUMSEMPRA!" she screamed out, and a slash of red blood fell over his chest. He doubled back, staring at her. His eyes wide. His mouth open in a surprise.
And when she saw the blood trickling down his black robes, hitting the red carpet --- she was lost for words as well.
"I ---" she started, but Snape stared at her.
And that's all the two of them could do.
But her wand was up again. Ready to fire. Her eyes ablaze.
"Leave. Now." she hissed. Deadly. Murderous. "Before I go ahead and do what I'm supposed to do."
And in one moment, Severus Snape disappeared.
Severus Snape was ready.
The Dark Lord announced it that night when Severus arrived to speak with him. He told him himself that he wanted to do it, right then and there, jab the wand into his forearm and hack away until blood mixed with black ink and curling snakes and cold skulls --- he wanted to finally become what she thought he was.
Into the woods they went, that next evening. Peter Pettigrew back from the wedding reception. Still a little drunk. He didn't say a word to Severus, but Severus knew.
There was no more Lily Evans.
It was dark. There was a great circle of Death Eaters all around. Their skull masks bearing down on them.
She'd been swinging. Then she'd flown. He'd watched her from the bushes ---
They muttered the recited lines.
They'd climbed to the top of the hills once. And she'd held his hand and they'd looked out at their domain. Lily and Sev. Forever. Always.
They pledged their allegiance.
They'd fallen in line to get on the Hogwarts Express. The closest available car was one with those stupid gits in them --- James and Sirius --- they should've never gone in there --- but they'd left the car, after the boys had picked a fight --- and Lily had fallen asleep on his shoulder. Just the two of them in the car ---
And the Dark Lord arrived from the circle. He told them to kneel.
"I'm glad you're here with me," she said. "I'd be really scared if you weren't."
"I told you we'd go through all it together. The Sorting, the banquets, the OWLS ... we're a team, Evans."
"Yeah, but I'm not in the same house as you ---"
"It's okay, Lily, that doesn't mean anything. We'll just take turns walking to each other's common rooms. It'll be fine. Hey --- Lily, look at me. It doesn't mean anything."
"I really wanted to be in Slytherin ---"
And the Dark Lord spoke to each one of them. Hissed out their names from underneath his hood. Made his way down the line. Pressing the Mark into their arms. Each giving out a howling scream of pain. The smell of burning flesh ---
"You're coming to Christmas this year, right? Like always?"
"Well duh I am! Your mum gives better presents than mine."
"What did you get me? Huh?"
"I can't tell you. Then it wouldn't be a surprise."
"I don't like surprises."
Lucius lowered his head. Then the searing pain.
"You looked busy in Slughorn's class today ---"
"I don't need to learn what that old coot is teaching." He opened his book for her to see. "Look. Look what I found last night."
She peered over the pages, where he'd scribbled in his new invention. His new creation.
"Sectumsempra?" she whispered. "Wow ---"
Then Lucius doubled over.
"Put him down! You're hurting him!"
"Looks like Evans has come to save you, Snivellus!"
But he didn't scream.
Severus wouldn't scream either.
"I'm sorry ---"
"Save your breath."
And then the Dark Lord looked to Severus. And Severus looked to green eyes that would never look at him again. Not even in the church, they strayed. There was no glittering emerald, no sign of mercy. Just pure hate. Pure disgust in what he had become.
She might be a devil. But he was a monster.
"Severus Snape," the Dark Lord hissed. And Severus lowered his head, raising his arm high and sleeveless for the Dark Lord's wand to stroke. "Do you devote yourself to me?"
"Leave. Now. Before I go and do what I'm supposed to do."
And all green left Snape's mind. He only stared straight ahead, at the red glow of the wand's tip.
"Yes." he said steadily.
And his arm exploded.
Hissing, snaking, writhing, it crawled into his veins. Into his spine. Into his gut. And it wrapped around him, choking him, forcing him to gasp for air, forcing him to give a jolted "God!" before he fell to the ground holding his arm in complete and utter agony.
But he did not scream.
"It is done!" The Dark Lord announced, and all new Death Eaters stood, filing behind Lucius and Severus. And without another thought about it, they led their militia into the woods.
A Muggle village was not far away.
The rest of that night was one slashing blur. Green lights and red sparks of blood and blue faces and purple lips and grey skin. A massacre.
And they stood there, watching the village burn.
And they each raised their wands. And out came the Dark Marks, shooting into the sky and staining the black and orange night with emerald.
There was a gurgling sound, and Lucius looked over to where Severus Snape was still standing. He was over the body of a woman, not yet dead. Nott headed for him, but Lucius held him back.
"He has to do this one, he didn't make the Mark yet." And then he turned to Snape. "Snape! Where is your Mark?"
Snape looked to the woman. Then raised his wand.
"Morsmorde," he hissed.
And there came the skull and snake high above him, the eerie green bathing him. Bathing the woman ---