~Sunday January 24 - My Room - early morning

I am still shaken... still horrified by the news of the monument that they mean to build for her. No, not just her, it is meant for him and for their infant son as well. Hidden from the muggles, there it will stand before their ruined home - a cold, stone empty effigy of her that would need not have been built were it not for me. Had I remained silent it would be flesh and blood - not stone that would stand before that shattered house in Godrics Hollow.

I thought of it today, for they are wrong in that they mean to hide the thing by magical means so that no Muggle will ever know. What of her family? Her parents are gone yes, her sister... Have I come so far that I even pity Petunia? Of course I do. She was a spoiled, jealous girl, but she never deserved to have her sister stolen from her - forced to take in a child that is not her own. She will look upon him and know... just as I will one day.

And now they talk of a monument to Pettigrew. Why not build one to him they say? He was so ruthlessly killed. What Black did to him... What I would do to Black were I to be given a chance. All the same - I do not want to see Pettigrew given anywhere near the same honors as her - ever.

Pettigrew was an insolent bastard, always on the heals of Black and Potter. He would have skinned me alive if Potter had asked him to. The kid was a coward but there was a profound derangement in his eyes. How he would stand there, gleefully watching as they tormented me - I swear he got off on it.

So they will make a monument to him because he has died.

I wonder, will they make one for Evan Rosier? He was a foolish boy - he made mistakes and stole but he never once hurt anyone in his whole life. The first, and only time he ever brought harm to another was on the day he died - when he cut off a piece of Mad-Eye Moody's nose in self defense - which he did using a Sectumsempra. It was a spell that he would never have even known had I not taught it to him in the hopes that he would finally learn to defend himself...

If my friends were the Slytherin equivalent of the Marauders, than Evan for all of his silly behavior would have been our Pettigrew. He too tagged along for the amusement of the others and stood back while others acted - but unlike Pettigrew he did not enjoy watching others suffer. When Avery and Mulciber turned aggressive towards the end, Evan not only distanced himself from them - he stood up to them. I wish I had an ounce of his courage. Even was twice the man most people could ever hope to be.

There will be no monument to Evan. No stone to immortalize his likeness. No one will ever appreciate how a muggle-loving, gay Slytherin raised by a hateful and abusive family stood up to some of the most violent of Death Eaters. They beat him down in the end, as I know all too well. He may have succumbed to the demands of a violent father, but he will always be a hero in my eyes.

I am so enraged by the injustice of it, which made all the worse by the fact that I was forced by Dumbledore to accuse him in my trial in order to protect Avery and The Dark Lord's most loyal supporters. I must seem to still support The Dark Lord or Dumbledore's plans will fall apart.

I had a thought this afternoon - My flesh. Ink. Evan will never be immortalized in stone - but my skin could serve - I could get a tattoo for him as I did for her - as I did for Lily. Before I was ever cursed by The Dark Mark, I had the image of a doe placed upon my arm and after that, upon the back of my neck on my spine... but I stopped myself. My current tattoos I have excuses for should Dumbledore's plan prove necessary. Any mark that might reference Evan or Wilkes would give evidence to the fact that I support those who turned against The Dark Lord.

I am not free to mourn any of the friends that I lost. I cannot even visit their resting places.

Less than a week now.

~Monday January 25 - My Room - early morning

Today is Monday. Saturday it will come and I am so terrified. I wonder about the artists who will carve the statue. How will they capture her radiant green eyes in stone? Frozen, gray, dead stone...

I am going to be sick. My head hurts so much and I want to sleep.

~Wednesday January 27 - My bed in my room

The day is so close now and I can think of little else. In addition to that, or because of it - I've had a headache for the past few days. It has not been severe, just constant - so I haven't paid it much mind. The past few hours however have been unbearable. I wanted nothing more than to take a long bath and to fall asleep forever.

The steam from the hot water seemed to help, and though I haven't seen it written anywhere despite my many searches through the books in this castle - I know for a fact that the waters in Slytherin have healing powers. There is an old magic that runs through them - I need to book to tell me that. I wondered as I floated lifelessly in the luminescence of the blue-green water if there was something of the Lethe in them, for even my horrid memories seemed to be silenced for a time. I was almost at peace.

Submerged beneath the surface for I could hear only silence. It wasn't until I lifted my head that I heard it. Above the echoes of waves and the steady drip of water - I heard the voices through the wall beyond. The students were shouting. I can hear them every now and then just on the other side... I usually ignore them, but somehow tonight I could not.

I do not know why I did it. Perhaps I did it because I needed the distraction - to think upon anything besides the date - or perhaps I just needed to escape into their petty troubles for just a little while. Whatever the reason, I did it. I carefully began removing the magic seals that I had placed over the stones that sealed the passage, then one by one I removed them.

I hate very existence of the passage that leads to the unused rooms of the Slytherin Boy's dormitory. I hate having to hear their shouting on nights like this - I hate the fear that one day they might find it and somehow manage to remove my seals. And yet, the fact that I can enter Slytherin unseen at any time that I wish is comforting to me in some strange way - particularly now that the students have all but locked me out by withholding the passwords from the younger prefects and myself.

Why it hadn't occurred to me until now I do not know, but I rather imagine that a former head of house might have created this passage for just such a purpose. It was strange to think that Salazar Slytherin himself my have swam beneath the walls as I did tonight... but I suppose anything is possible.

Once inside the dorms, I moved like a shadow to the column that has become my regular place of concealment. I cast a drying charm upon myself, but still I shivered. I really must sleep, I am always cold and my exhaustion makes this far worse.

I stood as still as I could and listened. The shouting that I had heard seemed to have stopped. The students were barely talking at all - which was worse. What were they up to? I dropped to the floor and crawled unseen to a dark corner - closer to where the small group of students stood.

A small voice was speaking, "Are you sure - how can you be sure?"

It was Matilda Westin who gave answer, "Be quiet! Whatever it is you will scare it off."

Fear was keeping them quiet - I heard them all whispering their doubts to one another. Finally the terror seemed to get the better of one girl who shrieked - "Its the Monster!"

At that something moved swiftly across the floor and the cluster of students erupted into panicked screams. Some ran for the corners - some clutched their friends while others leapt up onto the furniture.

"Kill it!" Joan Ogden screamed. She was trying to seem strong, but she was clung desperately to sleeve of Matilda's blouse.

It was Albert Runcorn who obliged. With no fear or hesitation, the large seventh year boy stepped forward and produced a large knife from his robes. "Stay back then," he grunted to the girls. I don't know what disturbed me more, the fact that he carried such a knife, or the ease with which he used it.

Matilda remained as still as stone while Runcorn stabbed brutally at the ground several times. The students cried out over and over - some sounded as if they themselves were his victims. What was it that he was killing? I tried to see for myself but could not do so with out reveling my position.

Finally he stooped to pick up the poor creature. "That ladies," he said in a drawl, "Is no monster. That was the monsters baby." I saw from the shadows as he held it up by the tail, that Runcorn had just butchered a large snake. A few girls began to cry while others seemed to be relieved.

It was just a snake. One sees them from time to time in the tall grass about the castle. Why make such a fuss? And what the hell was it doing there in the first place? I instantly assumed that one of them had set it lose in the Common Room or had conjured it by magic. When Matilda spoke to address the students my fears were all but confirmed.

"Runcorn is right, that was far too small to have been the monster - but what was such a creature doing inside of the castle - in our very dorm!? I ask you, why was this creature here - in a place where we should feel safe?" Matilda then paused for dramatic effect. The fact that they are all falling for her bull shit - which was obviously bullshit was beyond ridiculous. Her drawn out silence was nearly as infuriating as the theatrics pulled by Dumbledore in conversation. She did this of course just long enough for the students to begin imagining an array of fears before further leading them on, "This creature is here because of Severus Snape. This creature is only the beginning - a test. It broke free because he is not strong enough to hold it the Monster at bay as our former Heads of House-" but she was cut off.

"I once heard of a spell that could summon a serpent." - Elissa. It was Elissa who'd silenced Matilda. "And surely Professor Snape is not the only possible reason that a snake just happened to appear in our dorm."

"Elissa - you stay out of it. Just because you have some sickening crush on him - don't start spreading rumors." As Matilda said this my heart sank for Elissa. "This snake was here for a reason and I highly doubt this will be the last one either. From this day forward, anyone who slays such a serpent will be welcomed into our circle with open arms. Bring the head, the skin or the whole carcass to me, Albert Runcorn, Joan Ogden or Elwyn Edgecombe and you will be rewarded. Now all of you back to your rooms!" Half of them half to know she is full of shit. They must just be going along with it for the sake of political connections.

Sure enough as soon as she'd given the order, most of the students scattered. Elissa stood her ground as usual, glaring coldly at the other four other prefects. She was out numbered, without Andre - but she was not alone for another girl took her side. Guinevere - a dark haired girl in the fifth year just like her. The two younger girls stared down the older four who glared back in anger. No words were exchanged at all. Then suddenly Joan began to giggle like some idiot girl. "My Grandpa Bob once told me this story from his days in The Ministry - and I just had the funniest idea from it!" She announced this to the crowd, then frantically she began whispering her scheme into Matilda's ear.

Matilda began to laugh as well. "That - is a fantastic idea Joan!" As she said this, Matilda looked over to Runcorn, and gave him a wicked grin. "Shall we?" she said to her cohorts. She stomped off, pushing her way between Guinevere and Elisa as she left the room. The boys hesitated a moment then followed after. Runcorn still held the serpent proudly in his bloody hands.

I left then as well, not bothering to see where the younger two girls had got off to. Poor Elisa. She is trapped in Slytherin, surrounded by idiots who will fall for any foolish fairytale is bad enough, but now they mock her by making up some rumor that she has a crush on me.

Idiots. No girl would ever have such feelings for me, certainly not one so pretty. She is almost as pretty as my one girlfriend had been, if I can call her that seeing as we did little more than fuck. I know she didn't really like me.

For Elissa's sake I suppose on some level that it is better for the students to be blind and think Elissa in love with me than to see the truth, That persecution would be far worse by comparison. It only took a few seconds for me to see it between her and Guinevere. I can only hope they remain ignorant to their relationship.

It has been over an hour now back in my room, and still the whole episode really makes me sick. Has it even crossed their sick minds, that in resorting to such antics to control the students that they have murdered and desecrated their own sigil? Would it even bother them at all if they did know? How could it? They have no moral standards...

I need to sleep now. I really need to sleep.

My headache - of course. I must have a concussion. I've been so worried about my mother and the date that I have forgotten - I really am sick.

~Thursday January 28 - Near Midnight - My room cold

Today was a nightmare. My slumber was full of nightmares that so seamlessly lead into this day.

In my dreams I had been pinned to a table by a binding curse that I could not break. I tried to recall every counter curse that I knew but could not remember anything at all. It was as if I had never known magic. I tried to break free through physical strength alone and failed miserably.

I strained my eyes to see, but there was nothing, only darkness. I heard a voice speaking but I could not make out the words. I knew who ever it was wanted something of me. I understood that I would come to harm if I did not give the speaker whatever it was that they demanded of me.

The voice cried out again - "Where is she!?" I understood it then, and I knew I would come to harm if I did not give up the woman they were asking after

"I don't know," - I tried to say these words but couldn't speak. I truly didn't know - I didn't even know who "she" was. Was it my Mother, was it Lily, Minerva or someone else? Any woman at all - it did not matter. I would die before I gave anyone else up for dead.

"Where is she!?" - the sound was like thunder. I felt it in my bones. I tried to break free - fearing this was real and not a dream. It all felt real. My head rattled with the pounding sound that was only growing louder. The walls shook - and suddenly I was in my bed but I still could not move.

I lay immobile - staring at the ceiling as the pounding sound grew ever louder. This was real. The door. The sound was coming from the door to my room I realized - then suddenly I could move again.

The sound had stopped by the time that I had managed to untangle myself from the blankets. Sweat covered the palms of my hands so that I could not grasp the door knob. Once I had gotten the door open I understood. The voice and the binding curse had been a dream, but in reality, but someone had been banging on my door.

The corridor was empty when I stepped outside. I heard footsteps fleeing and teenagers trying desperately to conceal laughter but failing. I knew the sound well. A sudden pang of longing for Evan and the rest of my friends - even Avery pierced my heart. For we used to laugh the same way.

The feeling was erased the moment I saw what they had done. The sight startled me for a moment - and then I wanted to kill all four of them. Nailed to my door was the snake that Runcorn had killed just hours earlier. That, I assumed, was the "fantastic idea" that Joan had given to Matilda in the Common Room. I removed the pitiful creature and left it on my night stand - telling myself that I would bury the poor thing after my classes had ended for the day.

It was still only three in the morning, but I could not sleep after that. My head ached worse than ever. Every beat of my heart sent stabbing pains through my skull. The students were gone, but I could still hear their horrid laughter ringing out like massive bells throughout the halls of the school. I could hear it still as Joan Ogden and Elwyn Edgecombe entered my classroom. They were not laughing - not out loud, but I could see it in their eyes.

I managed to make it through most of my N.E.W.T. class until finally it hit me. The snake - the laugher of teenagers - Tisiphone. Evan's cousin, the closest thing I ever had girlfriend - she was with us all those nights when we laughed. The snake - she was an animagus!

Like a fool I ran back to my room after my class had ended - I had to check the dead snake just to be certain. Black eyes, not amethyst as hers had been. My desperation has reached an all time low if I truly thought that a long dead friend would show up here in an animagus form for no reason at all. The serpent was put in Slytherin by Matilda to fool the students and to make a fool of me and she succeeded.

I felt tears of frustration form in my eyes as I held the limp serpent in my hands. No. I won't cry. I won't let her win I told myself. I meant to bury it after all. I meant to do right by the creature and to the house of Slytherin and give it a proper burial. They might well destroy me, but I was not about to let them desecrate Slytherin's name.

I took a cloth from the potions classroom and wrapped the snake safely in the fabric. When everyone had gone to sleep, I took it to the edge of the Forbidden Forrest and laid it to rest.

And now it is late. I wanted so much to see my mother tonight, but I felt to sick and afraid. I have seen too much of death today, and I feared to curse her with another lost life still upon my hands...

~Friday January 29 - My Room - No light

I got through the day in a daze. Dumbledore did not keep me for long. Just a few more hours.

~Saturday January 30 - Morning

The thirtieth of January. She would have been twenty three today. She would have been, were it not for me.

Lily, I have stolen your life and I am now cursed to live out the rest of mine... It should have been me.

I must go see my mother now. On today of all days. God help me.

~Saturday January 30 - Night - Saint Mungos

I almost didn't come here.

All I could think of was the date. The emptiness of it, and yet the truth which screams so loud that I cannot hear a thing around me. I am so sick and in so much pain from what I have done.

I want so much to end it.

There is nothing to take my mind from her

She went to a different school. When we were young we lived so near to one another but we were always in different worlds. Her school was in the better part of town. I had no friends in my school. It was the first time I had ever been invited to a party. I had of course expected to see new faces of children I had never met from her Muggle school at her party - but I was not prepared for the number of them...

Why was I surprised? But I wasn't just surprised, I was terrified... so many. I have so much trouble just talking to one person - but there she was in the crowd, able to converse with all of them freely. Of course she could, she was full of life - always smiling, always genuine and warm to everyone that she spoke with.

This continued at Hogwarts, always she was surrounded by people. They were drawn to her, and she welcomed them all. I never understood how she did it, but I understood why they were all drawn to her. Her birthdays were never a small thing either. Even as we got older and didn't care to celebrate them as we once did as children, there were always well wishers and people wanting to do things for her on her birthday.

I was selfish and afraid. I was afraid of the crowd because of what large groups of people would so often do to me, but mostly I feared that she would want to be with the crowd of people and chose them over me. She did, and I in my selfishness took her from that crowd. They wish to celebrate this day with her as they once did, but now all anyone can do is mourn.

I hate myself. I hate him for having done it. I hate Trelawney for having made the prediction. I hate Dumbledore for having requested the prediction. Sometimes I even hate her. He gave her a chance, he said he would. She didn't have to stand in front of him, she could have escaped. Sometimes I cannot help but to hate the child. Had he not been born it would never have come to this...

...and every time my mind wanders down this path I am struck once more by the pain and guilt. I can feel it - as if I have been struck by a train at full speed. I cannot breathe -it feels like a rabid animal is tearing me up from within. How can I hate her? How can I hate a child?

No one in her position would ever dream of not taking a killing curse to save their child... no one except for my father, and I will never stop hating him. And there it is. All of the pain and fear - my mother still lives. She lays alone in a hospital bed and if I can do nothing else it is my duty to sit with her and attempt to bring her some comfort before she passes away.

So now I sit with her. She sleeps and still does not know of the Sins I have committed.

My time will come. I will be punished. If Dumbledore is right, a time will come when I am asked to take a killing curse for the boy. I won't flinch when my time comes, but I suspect it will be far more complicated than a simple killing curse... I will not fear a horrific death when it comes. I know I deserve it.

~Wednesday February 3 - Early evening, winter sunset - my room

Of all the absurdities. Just let me be and keep my head down - I was doing so well. I made myself numb after all that I faced in the wake of the date. I was doing so well.

It was never meant to be like this. I'm not even supposed to be a professor. Dumbledore summoned me to his office today, but it was not even Friday - not the appointed day upon which we must always meet to discuss things.

We do not meet to discuss things... once a week he wants only to allay his fears that I will take my own life and thus ruin his plans. He thinks me such a coward as they all do.

I was furious when I arrived at his office. I hid my feelings as usual - for as long as I could.

"Severus, you have received an Owl," he said to me as I entered. Of course he did not elaborate, just left the half answered questions hanging in the air. He just sat there smirking, waiting for me to ask the question

Who would be writing to me?

I had no intention of giving him the satisfaction. Besides, something else had caught me eye. "Your bird looks awful. Is it sick?"

That was a mistake, from there he launched into a speech explaining the life cycle of the Phoenix - as if I hadn't already read about the creatures before I had even attended Hogwarts. He wouldn't stop. Finally I broke - cutting him off mid sentence before he could talk about the damn thing's last burning day...

"Sir, you said that I had received an Owl?"

"Oh yes," he said as he stood up and reached for the parchment upon his desk. "I had almost forgotten!" No he hadn't. He took his time opening the thing before finally saying, "Igor Karkaroff writes..."


"He wishes to comment you upon your appointment as Potions Master and as Head of Slytherin House." I wanted nothing more than to stop him from reading.

I hate Karkaroff. I've always hated Igor karkaroff. He was an annoying kid who followed us around when we he visited us from his school. No one wanted him around and I would get stuck talking to him. And for all that he was still an arrogant know-it-all. He never shut up about how everything about how every fucking thing from his home to his school to even his socks was far superior to what we had. He knew no one liked him and still he would carry on. Why in God's name would he be congratulating me!?

"He goes on to say that he was so inspired by you, that he has applied for a teaching position at The Durmstrang Institute," and at that Dumbledore stopped talking and looked to me for a response.

"Why." I said no longer concealing my confusion and annoyance.

"Why what Severus?" Dumbledore sounded to genuinely confused himself by my reaction.

"Why on Earth would he care? He barely knows me well enough to concern himself with such a thing. It is just a teaching post," I told him being certain to add, "It isn't even a real one at that."

Dumbledore was unfazed. "He does not know that. He sees what I see, someone who has put a bleak past behind him and chosen a better path. And Severus, there is nothing wrong with a teaching position. It is very admirable, and very real whether you see it that way or not."

I had offended him. He had been a teacher. I had spoken without thinking. I was about to feel sorry for what I had said, and then I remembered that it was Dumbledore that I was talking with... "Sir, I still don't see why anything that I do should concern anyone else, especially Karkaroff."

"You do not see the influence that you can have over others Severus." Another sentence leaving me with more questions than answers. Not this time... He was waiting for me, but I remained silent. All the while I was pinioned under the weight of his eyes as he bore into me. For all the good it did him, it was he who broke first. "Very well. Perhaps one day you will understand the powerful effect that you have on the lives of all those around you."

"All the lives that I have ruined you mean." I just said it. I snapped and I said it without a thought.

"No." He said a little too firmly. "I do not refer to the past but to the present. At any rate, I would like you to maintain a regular correspondence with Igor."

"To enable you to keep tabs on him?" I had lost control of my emotions, I was speaking my mind without hesitation by then.

He sighed heavily, "No Severus, for the sake of friendship and cooperation."

"And you will read my letters to him and the letters that he writes to me in return."


"Fine. Give me a quill then and we'll have it done." So I wrote to him. A false appointment, and a false friendship - my letters read and censored... What difference does it make? I am a soldier nothing more.

~Friday February 5 - My Room. The days grow longer but the air grows colder

I didn't want to tell him, not after the disaster that was Wednesday's surprise meeting - but had to... The students are out of control. I know things have gone missing from my potion stores and from the class room itself. God knows what they've done in the dorm rooms now that I can only get in by stealth - but I know that they are taking things from my classroom.

"Can you prove it?" Dumbledore asked. "Do you know for certain what potions they have taken from your classroom?"

"No. I just know things are not where they are meant to be!" I said impatiently.

He only shrugged. "Students do such things I would not be too concerned."

"Sir, they may well have stolen dangerous material!" I insisted, but he wasn't listening.

He merely smiled. "It is merely the students up to pranks and nothing more," he said.

"So - you read my letters and you oversee every purchase of potions books or records that I might make - and you do not care that a bunch of untrained students are taking potentially dangerous potions for their own perverse purposes!?"

"They are just students Severus," he said remaining far too calm. "You yourself threatened to take your own life and once not too long ago acted to do so."

"I stopped myself!"

"Then stop your students."

Fuck you. I thought. I nearly shouted it to him, but instead I stormed off. To hell with Dumbledore. If I had known how to stop them I would have done so already. He wants me to go to him for help. He wants me to admit to my problems and when I do he offers to aid or solution. I want to scream.

~Saturday February 6 - Early afternoon, Saint Mungos

I am still furious with Dumbledore. What can I do, cry to my mother about it? She doesn't even wake up.


If she wakes up she asks for my father or mistakes me for him - which is the most offensive thing anyone could ever think of me...


~Sunday February 7 - Afternoon

I can't breathe. I want to - no, I don't. She spoke - of me. In all this time that she has been sick and dying she has never once noticed me or spoken of me - but she...



"No Mum, I'm your son, I'm Severus."

"Severus is dead."

~Sunday February 7 - An hour or so has passed

I still want to cry but I am frozen. She hasn't spoken since. She sleeps and I - my mother thinks that I am dead.

Of course I am - I mean to her I am. I left home. I ran away just after Hogwarts. I never returned to her house - I never wrote and I never looked back. I just left the last morning from the school and went into hiding.

She does not know that I became a Death Eater. She does not know what I have done. No one knew where I was, not even my friends. I saw only a handful of Death Eaters from time to time. A few times I saw him to give him just enough information to leave us alone - my mother and I that is. For certainly if I failed him she would be the first to come to harm. Instead I gave home too much information and he took Lily.

I am such a fool, and my mother thinks that I am dead. So be it. It is better that way.

~Tuesday February 9 - The silence and serenity of my own room

Finally, finally. I have been waiting for this moment all day. The students were horrid and I was not much better...

My morning class of forth year Gryfindors and Slytherins was just plain irritating. They kept on asking questions about things that I had quite literally just told them. The prats have every right to not pay attention. They do not however have any right to interrupt me and waste the time of those few students who are...

My sixth year N.E.W.T. students lead by Joan Ogden, Elwyn Edgecombe and their gang were just as disruptive. Joan and her friends all collectively burst into spontaneous laugher several times during my lecture. I knew then that they were plotting some new atrocity or had already committed it.

Then the fight happened. I watched Adel Eden as she continually accosted Vrennon Stanhope in the back of the classroom. That perpetually despondent boy did little more then sit with his head in his hand, barely shrugging her off - even when she became physically aggressive. I had no idea how to stop such a thing. I was working myself up to reprimanding her when the contents of the desk at the other side of the room flew into the air. The violent crash of instruments upon the floor was nothing compared with the eruption of screams that followed. It all happened so fast - I still do not understand how it started.

Still - all I can see is Adel shoving an unresponsive Vrennon - and suddenly the two Slytherin boys were having a punch up at the other side of the room. I didn't build myself up - I had no time so I simply ran to the spot where the pair was brawling but I froze once I'd gotten close. Both boys were Quidditch players and they both were far stronger than I. For several seconds I stood there hesitating, knowing then that all eyes had left them and were on me - waiting for me to see how I would react.

Both could have beaten me to a bloody pulp by using physical force - but I could have snapped them both like twigs through magic. I disarmed both boys before either of them could see then snatched up their wands in my left hand. Before I could even consider using a binding curse, Elissa threw herself between them while Andre - who is smaller than I am - began pulling the smaller of the two boys backwards. I didn't hesitate then - I grabbed the other one and pulled him back myself. It took all of my strength plus Elissa pushing him back, but I finally managed to disentangle him from the other boy as Andre did the same.

Where would I be with out Andre Boyle and Elisa Deverille? If only they were my sole Prefects...

I handed the confiscated wands to Elisa and asked that she and Andre take them both to Dumbledore to be given detention. "Thank you Miss Deverille and Mr. Boyle," was all I could say. how could I take house points from Slytherin when I would have had to reward them twice over for what they had done to help me?

I was so shaken after that. I hid my hands behind my desk and made certain not to speak, lest they see it in my body or hear it in my voice. I hadn't been involved in such a fist fight since my days at school The feeling of terror and defeat came back to me all too well... I barely made it through the rest of class - but I am here now. Still, something seems wrong and I do not know why. It isn't my mother, no - it is certainly something wrong with what happened today...

I need to be submerged in my lake-fed pool... I need to visit the waters of Slytherin.

~It hasn't yet been an hour -


Fuck - she wasn't there. I closed my eyes under the water and I saw it - why the room seemed so wrong,she was gone - as were several of the students in the back row! I was an idiot not to see - I was too focused on Vrennon, hiding his face behind his long hair like some younger version of myself - I was too busy feeling sorry for him and for myself to see it.

That fucking fight was a diversion. Dear God what have they done?

~Thursday , February 11 - Just after dawn

I know now what the students have done. I know now why they staged that fight as a diversion. I cannot prove a thing of course, for that is how they planned it - but I know.

Andre Boyle and Elisa Deverille are not to blame - they are victims in this as much as I am. Adel Eden - she had her cohorts on the Slytherin Quidditch team did this. I am certain that they acted under Matilda Westin and Joan Ogden's orders. I knew Joan's laugher yesterday meant that she was up to something...

At first I thought it was me. I was so distracted this morning during my first class. I worried after my mother and feared what the students had done and because of that I almost didn't catch it...

I was demonstrating the proper way to brew a Wiggenweld Potion for my first year Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs. Blue smoke. Blue. Why? Then suddenly I caught the scent of Hellebore coming from the bottle of Asphodel Root. The Hellebore was mislabeled Asphodel Root. I cursed Slughorn for his carelessness and quickly corrected the mistake by adding more Wiggentree Bark before anyone could notice. Still, it gnawed at me.

It wasn't until my seventh year N.E.W.T. class that I understood. I was going to demonstrate an alternative method for brewing Polyjuice Potion - I had just picked up a bottle of Powdered Bicorn Horn when I caught the odd way in which Albert Runcorn was looking at me. I looked then to Matilda Westin. She had a gleam in her eye as well but was doing a better job of concealing her malevolence than Runcorn.

What? What do you want - what have you done?

The Bottle. I glared at Matilda. I held her in my gaze - knowing it would make her uneasy and distract her while I bought myself a moment to determine if I had been correct in my assumption. Still allowing my eyes to bore into her I ran my thumb along the bottle, not only was it slightly too big to be a normal bottle of Powdered Bicorn Horn - but I could feel the loose way in which the label had been haphazardly reattached.

I slowly replaced the thing upon my desk as Matilda shrank back in her chair - clearly thinking that I had used Legilimency on her - as if I needed to. She is not nearly as cleaver as she likes to think... Meddlesome, infuriating - dangerous - but not clever.

I hadn't taken my eyes from her, but the effect was beginning to backfire. I could see her becoming indignant, but I was growing more furious by the moment. Had she and her friends truly been idiotic enough to pull off such a dangerous stunt just to get to me? Had they been so foolish as to not see the potentially deadly consequences of their actions - or worse, did they do so knowingly without caring if anyone else got hurt in the process? Was that there plan all along? Did they mean for a student to die because I cannot control the potion stores in this castle!?

At that thought I snapped. "I think we will not be having a lesson today. I think it best that you all copy the safety instructions found in the first chapter of your books word for word. You will turn this in to me no later than tomorrow morning."

"Why should we?"

I felt it. I literally felt the place in my chest where Matilda had stabbed me with her statement.

"My having given the assignment should be reason enough Miss Westin."

"I'm not so sure. I will be seeing the Headmaster about this."

"I hope you do," I snapped at her. "You are all dismissed, now. You will return your papers to me tomorrow morning."

I waited until every last one of them had left, locked the door behind them and then made directly for the stores. At first glance everything seemed to be fine, but upon further inspection I could clearly see that things were amiss. How many labels had they switched?

It was a nightmare. For the duration of Lunch, I remained in the store room trying to repair the damage that they had done, but by the end I had barely scratched the surface. How long had they been in here? How many students had it been? For all I knew they could have been at work all night. Two or three students could well have switched every label in that tightly cramped room.

I had to stop to teach my final class of the day. I was grateful to have Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs who did not object to my giving them a reading assignment. I didn't dare take my eyes off of them, so I remained in the room with them while I checked on the few stores of potion bottles that were in the class room itself.

Sure enough, they too had been rearranged and mislabeled. I spent at least an hour after they had left making certain that the bottles in the room were correctly labeled. I would have returned to the store room, but I had other priorities. I had to tell Dumbledore what they had done. He needed to know - he needed to know that I had been right. He needed to be told of the danger that Matilda and her friends posed to the other students.

I locked the doors to the Potions Classroom and to my stores and made my way to his office. So help me God there would have been hell to pay if he were to not be there when I arrived. He was, and I could tell right away it was going to be one of those conversations. The moment that I had entered his office, he purposefully ignored my fury and began offering me every form of candy ever created as it lay upon his desk.

"Headmaster, I need to speak with you about the students. This is urgent and demands your immediate attention," I told him.

He smiled at me falsely then said, "Surely it can wait long enough for you to accept or to refuse an offer of lemon drops, which would have been polite Severus, seeing as you were the one to first enter my office with out asking."

"Forgive me Sir," I said though I was far from sorry. "I am merely concerned for the safety of my students." And with that I told him everything. I told him about the dangers in the mislabeled potion bottles. I told him about the four oldest Prefects. I told him how the whole of Slytherin was practically in open revolt. I didn't want to tell him, for I felt I was conceding to defeat. I tried so long to not do so - for I know how men like him enjoy seeing people like me fail - but it had to be done. The lives of the students were in danger, and what was my pride compared with their safety?

So I told him everything. Surely then he would have some sort of a solution. Surely then he would at least turn his attentions away from candy...

He glared at me over his speckles when I had finished. his cold blue eyes bore into me in that way that I cannot stand. Finally at length he said, "Is that all Severus?"

"Yes Sir."

"Very well. Do you recall a conversation we had just a few nights ago," he said as he stood up from his desk and began to walk across the room.

I said nothing. I just watched him walk across that accursed gold and red carpet. How had all the other headmasters from other houses felt upon seeing those odious colors? Even here, even in the headmaster's office is the status of his house being above all the others flaunted and thrust upon us..

"Severus," he called from across the room snapping me out of my angry state, "Come here, there is something I would like to show you."

I obeyed him and followed him to where he stood. The perch. The filthy golden perch for his precious red bird. "What exactly am I meant to be looking at sir?" I had fully lost my patients for this had nothing to do with the threat and the disaster that still lay in my classroom. "Do you mean to point out the fact that you have not cleaned up after your pet since last we talked?" The pile of dirt and filth at the base of the thing was down right revolting."

He sighed and merely thrust a hooked finger through the debris. I nearly jumped when I saw the worm like thing that suddenly emerged from the pile. "There you are. Today was his Burning Day Severus, and now Fawkes has returned to us."


"Severus, I trust you to handle this trouble with your students."

"You trust me so much that you still insist upon opening my mail."

At that he raised an eye brow at me and glared at me with such a fury that even I was frightened. Fine then. Let him make all the cryptic reference to rebirth that he wants. If he was not going to offer any aid beyond his being aloof and poetic, then I would waste no further time in his presence. I bid him goodnight and left his office.

It is now nearly 7 am. I have been in the Potions Classroom since then. I stayed up all night trying to repair the damage done by the students. I have gone over all of the bottles at this point. I am fairly certain that I have caught all of the bottles that had their labels switched and have now rightly labeled everything, but one can only be so sure... I must attend breakfast soon and teach my classes.

Right. I told my N.E.W.T. class to hand in an assignment this morning. I told them to copy the rules for the safe handling of potions as punishment for what Matilda and the others have done. Let us see now how many of them actually did as I told them to do...