Whoo. First a Doctor Who spree, and now I'm on a Potter spree. Writing for Potter again, I suddenly realized just how little I actually thought about Snape.

Well, I was looking down through my list of titles (Yes, I actually have a document just for titles) Cinderella popped out at me and I thought up a summary. At that time, I didn't know what fandom it was going to be for. Then, I had a brillant idea. Unreuqitted Sev/Lily, anyone?

I am proud of this. I am so proud of this, especially because I had already essentially sworn off writing Snape when I started writing Fanfiction four years ago. God, has it really been that long?

Anyway, so, this is a oneshot about Severus' life.

I actually realized after I had written this that he really was a prince (The Half-Blood Prince ringing a bell, anyone?) and I was dumbfounded at my luck.

This is what happens when you write something like this at 10-11 at night.

Enjoy, and don't forget to review!

~Aubrey


DISCLAIMER: I do not own Harry Potter. I am not J.K. Rowling, and do not live in a castle in Edinborough. Sorry to disapoint!


Cinderella

He was the underdog prince that loved and lost; she was the fairytale princess who danced away from him at midnight, his lost Cinderella.

He had thoroughly believed she would remain his best friend forever, his only friend. He believed that her fiery temper would remain untamed, just like her curly crimson hair. He thought her sparkling green eyes would never dim, that her smile would remain forever innocent.

That had been when they were young and carefree, him a young boy of just eleven and her a young girl soon to be twelve.

The owls and the magic changed that. Both of them had known long before the letters came he was a wizard and she was a witch. He was a half-blood living on the edge of the bad side of town; she was the muggleborn living down the street. His parents were always fighting, always on the verge of abusing each other; her parents were the kindest people he'd ever met.

He had been watching her since the moment he saw her, for he could have never forgotten her, with her curls bouncing around her shoulders and her eyes bright with laughter. He had seen her fly.

Her sister had seen him as the freak; always had. He was her best friend in the world.

Then they went to Hogwarts. That's where it all changed.

She was sorted into Gryffindor, he was a born Slytherin. The enmity between the houses slowly drove a wedge between them, as did his choice of friends. It didn't help much that she had an arrogant git chasing her around, even if she hated him with all her heart.

He was the jealous best friend, shunted off to the sidelines. Potter was the show-off hexed at least once a day, but never gave up. She was the unfortunate girl in the middle, not knowing she was loved by two boys.

The end of fifth year ended their frayed relationship forever. He was the humiliated boy that made a mistake that cost him the only true friend he had. She was the irreparably hurt companion. She danced away from him and left him in the cruelest way possible.

She ignored him the next year. Even when he went completely out of his way to get her alone and talk to her, she would stare off into the distance, her emerald eyes sparking with some unknown emotion, though he had always taken it for anger and hurt pride.

She was slowly dying inside; it hurt so much to ignore him, but he had to choose; her or those horrible 'friends' of his.

He made his choice, and it was the wrong one. In despair over her rebuttals of his offer of reconciliation, he became one of them; he joined the Death Eaters. That vile and twisted group of wizards and the occasional witch that served the dark lord; the man called Voldemort. To be fair, it wasn't entirely his fault, and he didn't go over without a fight, though it was a weak one.

His so called friends had been pressuring him ever since she had ended the friendship; said she was undeserving of friendship from a boy like him, she was just a useless Mudblood that needed to be taught her place in life. He had wanted to scream that he wouldn't let them hurt her, he couldn't. But he didn't, and they took his horrified silence for resignation and acceptance. In a fit of madness, he had let them take him to Voldemort's lair, where he was promptly branded and tortured.

His princess ran further away from him, as the lone prince stood, one arm outstretched, staring after her.

In seventh year, she performed the ultimate treachery; she went out with the git. She definitely deserved to be called Head Girl. He, however, did not deserve to be Head Boy in the least. The year progressed, and everyone saw them getting closer, first as neutral acquaintances, then as friends; closer and closer until one day they walked into the Great Hall with their hands linked together, her head resting on his shoulder.

Well, the student body reacted as expected. Many clapped and whooped, and there was a suspicious wolf-whistle coming from the general direction of his merry band of bullies.

His table was silent, either in shock or in blatant refusal to show any kind of happiness for a couple of Gryffindors, a Mudblood and a blood traitor at that. He himself had frozen in absolute horror, fully comprehending that his chance had now been fully lost. His chance to be with the bright-eyed, smiling girl of his childhood was gone, blown away by that blasted Potter.

The prince stood silently, tears trickling down his cheeks, as he watched his princess dance with another.

Graduation came and went. He continued his duty as a Death Eater, though he hated every minute. As a Potioneer, he was excellent. As a torturer and a murderer, not so much. They set him to work brewing the potions they used, from healing to the vilest torture substances you could imagine.

He raged and cried as the news of her wedding reached him. He locked himself in his rooms and didn't come out for four days. Against all odds, despite her childhood hatred, she had married the man who had made his school life hell. He hated her for that. He hated her for what she did and what she stood for and what she reminded him of; the life he could have had.

He could hate all that, but he could never hate her. Never her.

It all changed one lonely, rainy night in Hogsmeade at a bar called the Hog's Head.

Dumbledore was interviewing a new applicant for the Divination post. He had been assigned to eavesdrop. The task was all too easy, yet he would loathe himself for the consequences of his actions for years. The would-be instructor gave a true prophecy that night; he had listened in. The barkeeper had found him and had thrown him out before he had heard it all, but it was enough to fear for his master's downfall.

He had no idea it would spark off the events it did, no idea it would cause him the heartbreak that would last the rest of his life. He, being a faithful Death Eater, brought the news straight to the Dark Lord; Voldemort had seen little Harry Potter as a threat, therefore making his precious Lily a target.

He felt horrified and sick; he had never meant for this to happen.

The prince hurried towards a dark corner where an informant sat; he would protect the princess, even though she had left him.

He had switched sides, and officially became a spy in the name of Lily Evans. Never Lily Potter, for she had never been Lily Potter to him. Just Lily Evans, the laughing young girl who wanted to fly.

He hadn't been quick enough. He hadn't been able to stop Pettigrew before he informed his master where they were hiding; the fools had made him their secret-keeper. He had rushed to the house, but it was too late; he had found his broken princess lying dead at his feet, her scarlet hair framing her tear-streaked face and her lovely eyes never to open again.

He had raged and wept and yelled and prayed, but nothing could have brought her back, and he knew that. He kept his post, year after year, at the school, teaching those snot-nosed brats Potions. He did it in the name of Lily Evans, the girl he couldn't save.

Potter's brat arrived. He admitted he was overly antagonistic towards him, but the little horror was just like his father; lazy and arrogant, smarting off to him every chance he got. Despite this, he protected Potter, for though he was Potter's son, he was also Lily's. It showed in his eyes, the eyes that rightfully belonged to his mother; the eyes that haunted him every night. He despised the brat for it.

He witnessed and rode through every hair-brained scheme that trio ever got up to; he foiled half of their idiotic and poorly planned adventures by simply 'following' them around.

He was not stalking them. Whatever else you say about Severus Snape, he was not a stalker.

Then came the second worst year of his life. With the impending murder of his mentor hanging over his head, he sought to help Draco get out of the trap he had so foolishly fallen into so many years ago. He wouldn't wish his own fate on anyone, not even Potter or his brat.

The second hardest thing he had ever done in his life was kill Dumbledore; the hardest was letting Lily go, and he really hadn't succeeded with that one, anyway. He was put in the position of headmaster the next year, when the school was overrun with Death Eaters and crawling with student rebellion. He punished students as leniently as he could, but it wasn't enough.

The old fool had goaded him from beyond the grave in that blasted portrait of his; he had left the sword in a pond, casting his beloved doe Patronus to guide Potter to it. What the brat would do with it he didn't know, but he did know he couldn't let Potter see him.

He succeeded, and watched as Potter and Weasley reunited. He quietly apparrated away as they turned to look for the person who helped them.

The prince wandered among a garden in London, one where the main component was a batch of red roses and lilies clumped together in the middle. He had snapped off one of the roses and one of the lilies and had gone to the grave of his princess, laying the flowers carefully on her side of the marble tombstone.

The Final Battle had come at last, and he was understandably nervous. If everything went wrong, all he had worked for over the last fifteen years would be in vain, and his Lily would never forgive him for anything.

The fighting had commenced, and he had fled. He did not want to fight the Order and the Trio and the students who he had crushed all year long. He just wanted to flee and congratulate himself on a job well done. It was not to be so.

Voldemort summoned him just as he made it to the edge of the premises, making his arm burn fiercely. He could not ignore the summons, and walked to the Shrieking Shack, where he knew his master would be.

He did not know this would be his last glimpse of the sky.

His master had decided to dispose of him. As he tried to run, the snake had gotten him, and he fell lifelessly to the floor as his lifeblood ran down his neck and across the floor. Voldemort had laughed as he walked out, even as he was lamenting what a horrible loss Severus would be.

The Potter brat was suddenly there, and Snape knew what to do. He would do it for Lily, for his precious Lily who was never his, but he loved her just the same. He gave his memories to Potter, hoping it might help him defeat the monster that had just walked out of the room.

His eyes latched onto Harry's eyes – no! - Lily's eyes as his vision went black at the edges and he felt short of air. His last thought before he closed his eyes and sighed his last breath was of her; of her curls bouncing in the sunshine, her eyes sparkling with delight, and her mouth crinkled up into that cute smile only a nine-year-old can give.

The Prince was satisfied as he took his last breath, at last knowing that his princess was safe, and that her work would mean something.

She had danced with him until the stars shone and the clock struck midnight; then she danced out of his reach, running away until he couldn't see her. She was just an illusion, a dream. She was never his; his beautiful princess had never been his.

He had been the lonely prince in love. She had been the daring princess who became his friend. He had wished for her affections, but she would never dance with him, and he knew that.

He accepted it, and forever remained the lonely prince, wandering from place to place, seeking a love that was never truly his.