Traitor

I'm BAACK! Who missed me? I missed everyone! Well, let's get to business, shall we. I have down plenty of writing on my away and I thought we ought to start with something... angsty...

"All the lonely people, where do they all come from? All the lonely people, where do they all belong?" Who knows what song that's from?

No one knows him by his name anymore. He is known by three things: Him, Prisoner #109, or Traitor.

Dedicated to Adriana... you would KILL me if you knew I dedicated this depressing thing to you. You deserve ten times more than that.

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Cold...

There wasn't much else to describe himself right now. Besides filthy, skinny, and dark, there wasn't much else.

Inside and out, he was cold. It was... well, he didn't know what day it was. But the Minister had gone on an inspection of the prison the other day and he had said that it was a few days after New Year's Day.

For all he knew, it could be his birthday.

"Happy birthday to me," he whispered into the nothingness. His words made a cloud in the air. It was so cold...

Inside and out, he was cold. The prison was on an island in the middle of the Arctic. It was January. His robes were thin, torn, and baggy. They didn't keep him warm. There wasn't a blanket on his filthy cot. The window in his cell (which had a lock and three bars) was drafty. All the food they gave him was cold.

It wasn't like he ate it anyway.

There wasn't even light to give a molecule of warmth. And it wasn't like the Dementors helped at all.

Inside, he thought terrible thoughts. But it didn't make much difference. That was all he had thought of out of Azkaban.

There was a scream and he sighed. There was new prisoner- a woman- who screamed nearly every hour. He would try so hard to sleep, but Prisoner #210 would wake him up with her terrifying screams.

He was Severus Snape, High-Security Prisoner #109.

The traitor.

That's what everyone called him now. When some of the human guards came around, he heard them call people. Not by name. Not by number. But by crime.

"Stop screaming, you damn murderer!"

"You better not be starving yourself, you thief!"

"I think we better put another dementor by you, traitor!"

On his way to trial, the crowds outside were screaming as he went inside. "Traitor!" they would shout. "He trusted you!"

Oh, damn Dumbledore! He caused this!

No, he thought to himself. You caused this. You chose this. Deal with it.

What else was there to do?

He leaned against the COLD stone wall.

Perhaps the most painful moment for him was when he saw his ex-colleagues, in the courtroom. He had brightened for a moment. Were they here to help him? Did they know he was telling the truth?

But instead, they were there to shout more insults, add more pain, and tell the court more about how terrible Severus Snape was.

And Minerva was there. Minerva! His friend- well, not anymore.

Not even Potter would help him anymore. It was just him and his word.

The trial had been going on for a while. Again, Severus restated his claim and the judge merely laughed. "You have to believe me!" Severus had burst. The judge laughed even harder.

"Really? Why should we believe you? Not only is your claim so RIDICULOUS that it's funny, but look at you. You lied to the Ministry, the staff at Hogwarts, and the entire Wizarding world about your true loyalty. You betrayed the man who bailed you out of prison the first time. We have to believe you now? No, we don't. You're a traitor. We don't believe traitors" And the roars of laughter and shouts of curses filled the room...

He had to admit, his claim did sound stupid, if he heard it through unknowing ears.

"Dumbledore told me to kill him. He told me to do it to spare Draco Malfoy and to get me in the Dark Lord's good books. I helped Harry Potter destroy the Horcruxes. I helped you win this war!"

He had! It was true!

Yet, it was too hard to believe!

"Someone help me," he said softly. There was no reply.

All his life, he had been alone. But whenever he truly needed help, someone was usually there to make an attempt, even a pathetic one. Now, there really was no one. He had to do everything himself.

A tear, a warm tear, slid down his cheek and he shut his eyes, trying to concentrate on the warmth of that tear. But after a few seconds, the tear got cold and eventually froze right on his cheek. He brushed it away and sighed.

He remembered when they had discussed giving him the Dementor's Kiss. Then... he nearly sobbed at the idea.

Now, it didn't seem so bad compared to what he got.

A lifetime in Azkaban. A lifetime alone with no human contact.

Lovely.

Well, he did speak with the Minister. Because he was one of the highest security prisoners- pardon, THE highest security prisoner- in Azkaban, the Minister wanted to see him. He went into the cell and knelt down by Snape, two guards holding the prisoner back. But he wasn't going to do anything.

"Hello, Snape. How is Azkaban treating you?"

"Terribly, but that's what you want, isn't it?"

"Still as foolishly sarcastic as always."

"Something's never change."

"You're the best example of that, Snape. You want to hurt me, don't you?"

"Why would I? It would only cause me more harm and it would do no good. I'm weak and useless here. Wandless. I can't do anything. Not that I want to."

"Hm... true. Let him go, he's harmless. Leave the cell. You can stay by the door."

"What do you want with me, Minister?"

"I want to talk to you. Seven months in Azkaban and still as sane as ever. That new prisoner went mad after an hour. How do you do it? Stay sane?"

"Sirius Black has taught me some tricks, Minister. We have the same method that keeps us sane."

"And what would that be?"

"You would never believe it."

"Try me."

"...All right. I have one thought that the Dementors cannot suck out of me."

"A happy thought?"

"No... not exactly. Just a thought. Not a bad one, but not a good one either."

"A memory?"

"There are many memories that go with this thought. But it's the thought itself that keeps me sane"

"And that is?"

"I'm innocent."

"No, you're not."

"Yes I am. That's how I keep sane."

"You are going mad. You know you're guilty, you lying bastard. Tell me the truth."

"I told you the truth, Minister. And I aso told you that you would not believe me."

"Stupid man, lying to the Minister. I'll make sure more punishment is inflicted upon you because of this."

"Do what you must, Minister. But I stand by my claim. I always will."

"And that is why I call you foolish. Filthy traitor."

That was all he was to anyone.

But it wasn't the truth. He knew that.

That was good enough for him.

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I have an idea to make a fic out of this. That's only if my readers want it. If not, it will remain a one-shot.