Hello and nice to meet you! :D
I'm really happy that you opened this Severus & Hermione fanfic! This is my first-ever Snanger/Harry Potter-related fic and I have high hopes for it. I haven't read a whole lot of Snanger fanfiction in the past ( I believe I've read a total of three ) but I am fascinated with the pairing and they recently have become one of my favorite pairings of all time! This first part is merely a short prologue and I wish it were longer but it's all I could manage for a prologue! Please read and I would really appreciate a review to let me know how it's going and if you like it so far! Alrighty! No more chat! Here we go!
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of its characters. They are property of (c) JKR. If I did, however, Snape would not have died.
"There is no room in love for fear. Perfect love casts out all fear. Since fear is crippling,
a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love."
1st John 4:18, The Message Translation
"You don't have to keep doing this, Severus."
"I am aware, Minerva."
"This daily practice is only damaging you." The old witch remarked.
The two figures stood in a darkened room with only the dawn's rays through the windows as the only light they could see by. The taller figure remained still as the shorter of the two crossed promptly over to the other side of the room. The woman identified as Minerva stood by a large trunk. Her greying hair back in her tight bun, per usual, but her head lacking her traditional hat and wore a robe over her nightgown.
She laid her hand on a large trunk. Casting an apprehensive glance in the opposite direction, she gave a wave of her other hand. All the deadbolts and latches on the trunk simultaneously unlocked but the lid remained closed. "The result will be the same." She warned.
"The last time I checked, Sybill was the expert in Divination – not you." The dead-pan voiced of the 43-year-old Potions master replied, sending a chilling glare in the direction of the Headmistress. He took a brief step forward into the dim sunlight, a scowl ever-present on his pale face. "When you finally gain the ability to see the future, then you can make those trivial assumptions."
Withdrawing his wand from his cape, he held it at his side. His hand gripped the handle of the wand extremely tight, knuckles turned white. "Now, open the damn trunk."
Without another word Minerva waved her hand. The trunk lid swung open and black smoke erupted from the chest. The black smoke covered Severus' view for a few brief moments as he readied himself, his wand still at his side. His heart beat faster and faster as the smoke formed into the image of a human being. The black smoke warped and wrapped, shifting and swirling until it started bearing the image of a familiar young woman.
"Severus." The soft voice said, the smoke now clearing completely. Red hair and cream, flawless skin surrounded the younger woman's face and soul-piercing green eyes shone through.
Severus raised his wand. He pointed his wand directly at the face of the woman he loved - the beautiful face of Lily Grace Potter – for the last time he had seen this face, it had been the night that she was killed. She was not smiling at him. She was merely looking at him, eyebrows creased in a semi-sympathetic look.
The word was on his lips but he could not say it. Severus' felt his hand begin to shake only slightly but he stood his ground.
"How could you hurt me like that, Severus?" Lily's soft voice was now hardening. Her gentle eyes were now filling with precious, precious tears. Severus' hand was now trembling uncontrollably. "You handed me over to the Dark Lord to be killed."
"You betrayed me, Severus." Her face was now scrunched in excruciating wrath. "How could you do that to me? I thought we were friends."
Severus lowered his wand. He forgot that this was not really Lily. He forgot that Minerva was standing in the room. He forgot everything… "Lily… please-,"
"You killed James!" Lily was now a foot before him, screeching her hatred at the much taller and much stronger man. Only now, he felt that he was much smaller than her. "You killed my husband! How could you do that to me? How could you kill my Darling?"
He had gone through her terrible screams every single day. He had gone through his ultimate fear every single day… and just like every single day, today he would fail in overcoming his fear. All he had to do was speak that one, stupid, goddamn word… but he knew that he could not. Severus' wand clattered to the floor and he stood frozen in fear. His usually-masked features were now completely pale – his obsidian eyes reflecting utter horror.
"You killed me! You destroyed my family! You took away my happiness!" Severus had to hold back the bile in his throat when blood began spilling out from Lily Potter. Cut-like wounds appeared on Lily's body and blood poured out of them like water. The streams of the red liquid of life streamed down her body, staining her clothing and perfect skin. Severus' knees gave out. When blood started spill from Lily's mouth, he could no longer hold it in.
Giving in to the sight and shattering shouts of his beloved, he bent over and threw up. The horrid smell and acidic taste in his mouth gave no distraction. This action gave him no relief as the voice of Lily Potter continued screaming her hatred. He closed his eyes and covered his ears with his hands. He could not close out her ear-piercing abhorrence.
"I hate you for taking away everything that was important to me! I will never forgive you for what you've done! I hate you, Severus Snape! I hate you!"
Severus never wanted to look up again. He wanted to die right there on the floor. He wanted it all to end…
His prayers were interrupted when he heard Minerva cry "Riddikulus!" and Lily's screams were silenced. Severus heard the sound of the air whishing loudly around him then the slamming of a trunk lid. After all the locks instantaneously locked the trunk only his ragged, harsh breathing could be overheard in the quieted room.
Once again, he could not defeat the Boggart. He did not pass the test.
"A moment, Minerva," Severus requested softly and remained bent over on the floor. He felt immobilized to move. And he felt very cold…
After nearly two minutes, the Potions master tried to collect himself. Severus forced himself to be reeled back into reality and was met with the foul smell and taste of his vomit. His nose wrinkled in discomfort and a harsh gasp escaped his lips. How long had it had been since he had puked? Not long enough, he thought bitterly to himself as he retrieved his wand and struggled to rise to his feet. He was grateful when Minerva put his arm around her shoulder and helped him to his feet.
"I'll help you back to your quarters," she said firmly, leaving no room for argument. Once again, drawing her wand from her own cloak, she noiselessly cleaned away Severus' foul waste. They both walked out of the room and they began to head towards the Dungeons.
Although she tended to gloat when a Slytherin was at a weak point, this was a time when she would not do so. She was silent, as she usually was after their lessons, for which he was grateful. She escorted him through the empty dark corridors and headed in the direction of the Potions' classroom.
It seemed like hours before the Professor and Headmistress arrived in his private chambers. He mumbled the password to his door and had to make a mental note to change it later. They opened the heavy door to his darkened chamber that opened to a small living quarters. The Headmistress helped him over to his armchair in front of his fireplace and forced him to sit down; a soft fire already alit in the intricate molding of the inglenook. She murmured something about going to fetch him some tea. Severus allowed his dark hair to shield his eyes completely from Minerva's gaze as she invaded his small kitchen area.
Out of his peripheral vision, he could see that she would glance at him every so often and he didn't like it - he did not particularly enjoy her to see him like this. Even though she had seen him at his worst every morning of every day for almost a year, he did not like feeling this vulnerable before someone else. The only other person who had ever seen him like this besides the Dark Lord was none other than Albus Dumbledore himself. Before Minerva, he had asked the old Headmaster to assist him in this daily routine of facing the Boggart. He was the only person at the time that Severus trusted. But both the Dark Lord and the old Headmaster were long gone now, for the past year Severus had asked Minerva to assist him in this routine. To both his relief and discomfort, she agreed.
And even though he trusted the old witch with his life, that did not make moments like these any more bearable. To show such weakness and helplessness… it was rather uncomfortable.
A cup of tea came into his view and Severus jolted. Minerva quickly pulled the tea cup away to avert Severus from spilling it on himself. Once he settled back into his armchair once more, she handed him the hot tea cup. It smelled of his favorite – Earl Grey. He gratefully took it from her hands and took a long sip. He could taste honey and sugar. Minerva must have added it to help wash out the nasty taste that still lingered on his tongue.
"I'll see you in a few hours for the ceremony, Severus," Minerva said, straightening her back. "Do you need anything else?"
Severus shook his head and with the sound of his heavy door closing, Minerva was gone and there was silence. He sipped his tea and hoped that his body would warm up. Part of him was tempted for some Firewiskey to warm up but he knew that it would not be proper to have a drink before this particular ceremony. He settled for raising his hand and set another log to the fire.
He groaned as he finished his tea – feeling just as cold and miserable as before. He knew from the moment he went to sleep the night before that he should have sent an owl to Minerva to cancel this mornings practice but found that he could not – graduation day or not.
Once again, for another full year, he would not be able to take the post of Defense Against the Dark Arts' professor. That's precisely why he needed this practice with the Boggart to begin with. Overcoming this fear would surely grant him the position but he had failed once again. But then again, he needed to do it but not just for the job, but he knew that he had to deal with this irrational, stupid fear. The nightmares kept him up all night and the memories plagued him all day.
Lily Potter had always affected him in the strangest ways. Even as they were children she had always had the strangest effects over him – his stomach would twist and turn and his face would turn hot even when she'd smile at him. And when they grew older, it remained the same and grew even worse. But ever since her death, her kind memory had turned nasty and haunted him. He could always imagine if she were here today how she would never smile for him again…
Severus ran a hand through his dark hair. He couldn't live like he had for the past thirty years of his life – in fear. He didn't know what he could see beyond overcoming the Boggart and moving on to becoming Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. Then again, he didn't even think that he would have lived to see the day that he could wake up and not fear for his own life…
And it was thanks to Hermione Granger – or as he remembered her, the Insufferable Know-It-All - that he lived.
He shifted uncomfortably when the image of the bushy-haired, young Gryffindor passed through his mind. He had never thanked the brilliant girl for her heroic deed. In fact, he had done quite the opposite… He insentiently reached up and tenderly felt the side of his neck. He didn't quite remember the things he had said (or yelled) at her. The only pieces of his fragmented memory he could manage to remember while he was under the influence of so many pain-suppressant potions were white-hot rage and his chest hurting from the words he lashed out at his ex-student.
He never saw her again after that.
But there always seemed to be something that stirred in him whenever he thought of her... it wasn't really an emotion as much as it was a sensation... Magic...
But that had been years ago. He should not linger on things that he could do nothing for. Granger was long gone now and there was no chance of giving her the thanks that she deserved. And with what he had done to repay the girl after all she had done for him, he doubted that she would ever want to see him again.
With a wave of his hand, he sent the teacup away to the kitchen. He would sulk later. Right now, he had to prepare for the graduation ceremony. He counted the House points in his head as he retrieved his cloak, a slight stir of pride in his chest when he remembered that Slytherin would, once again, be the winner of the House Cup this year. He stood up from his chair and swept to his bedroom, slamming the door closed behind him.
Okay! Before you all start throwing stones, I am fully aware that Snape's worst fear is NOT what is described here and a Boggart wouldn't turn into that when it came to Snape's fear, but for the sake of the story, I have made it so. I know it was terribly short but I'm hoping that next chapter will be even longer and Hermione will get her appearance. ;) Please review and let me know what you think of the beginning!
Until then, have a wonderful day!
God bless you!
Random Fact of the Day: Happy 52nd Birthday Severus Snape – the Bravest Man who Ever Lived. ( And thanks Loten for this reminder! )