Sooo... This is a bit dark. Sorry.

Severus could hear the screaming before he was even inside. That sound. He should be used to it by now. Unfortunately, he wasn't.

"Mum…" he whispered to himself, his feet carrying him faster towards the dingy and dilapidated house in Spinner's End. He ran into the house, Lily's scarf hanging loosely around his neck. His eyes widened at the sight before him.

"Mum!" His father had her pinned to the ground. The sweaty, disgusting sweatpants that his father wore each and every day were down to his knees along with a stained pair of underwear. He was grunting. His Mum was screaming.

"No, you're hurting her!" He shouted at his father, but he received no reply. Eileen turned her head, her nose bloody and tears streaming down her face. She watched her son, filled with shame. Her clothes were ripped half off of her, her body covered in bruises and scars.

"Severus, go t-to your room! Don't look, baby! Run!" But Severus couldn't move a muscle. He just couldn't. Tobias was slamming into her, his eyes dark and concentrated. His skinny, yet muscled, frame easily held down his wife as he tore into her.

"Shut up, woman!" He slapped her hard across the face and Eileen winced when he pulled out of her. She looked at Severus, wondering if it was over. Maybe he was done. Her hope was shattered when she felt Tobias pushing back into her, only this time he wasn't entering the normal spot.

"Tobias, please! Not there! OW! Stop!" Tobias snarled and Severus watched as he didn't stop; he just pushed harder.

"I SAID SHUT UP!" This time he punched her, and Eileen felt the bones in her nose shatter. She closed her eyes. Suddenly, she heard Tobias make a sound of surprise and he fell sideways off of her. When she looked up, Severus was on top of his father, his tiny fists pummeling Tobias' stomach.

"Severus, no!" But it was too late. Tobias didn't even bother pulling his pants up. In a moment he had his son pinned to the ground, his eyes crazed with a drunken fury. Severus cowered beneath his father. Tobias leaned down close to Severus, his breath stinking of alcohol.

"BOY! What the FUCK are you doing?!" Severus cringed and didn't say a word. Eileen cowered behind the couch. Her bravery had been stripped of her long ago.

"Tobias, no… Please! He's your son!" Tobias growled and punched Severus hard in the stomach. The small boy let out a cry of pain, tears streaming down his face.

"Daddy, no! Stop! Not tonight, it's Christmas!" He received a knee in the groin for that, and Tobias snarled as Severus yelped, squeezing his thin legs together.

"AND YOU, YOU LITTLE FUCKER, INTERRUPTED ME GIVING YOUR MUM HER CHRISTMAS PRESENT!" Severus started to sob, closing his eyes as he waited for his father to continue with the beating.

At least Mum's safe.

Tobias gripped his small shoulders in her hands and smashed Severus' head into the hardwood floor. Severus screamed. His head felt like it would nearly crack open and he was seeing stars.

Think of Lily.

He felt himself being tossed against the wall like a ragdoll.

Green eyes…

Another blow to the face and his lip was swelling up, blood dripping from it.

And she's so nice to me…

"Go the fuck to your room!" Another punch and he knew he'd have a nasty black eye in the morning.

She said we're best friends.

His father slammed him against the stairs and Severus groaned. He was barely conscious as he turned his head to see his father back on his mother. She was obviously screaming, but he couldn't hear her over the pounding in his ears. He drug himself up the stairs, his body aching. When he finally made it onto his bed he allowed himself to cry. As his heartbeat slowed, he could hear his Mum screaming again, the sound reverberating throughout the house. He drew his pillow over his head to muffle the sound, gritting his teeth.

After around an hour, the Snape house turned silent.

Severus listened as his father trumped up the stairs, slamming the door as he went to bed. Severus wanted to check on his Mum, but he was afraid. He didn't want to make his father angry at him anymore. He cuddled the warm green scarf close to his body, hating that he had gotten blood on it. He buried his nose in it. He could smell Lily. It calmed him.

"S-Severus? Baby?" he looked up and there was his mother, hunched in the doorway to his room.

"Mummy?," he whispered, his voice cracked. He tried to sit up, but it hurt too much. Eileen hobbled over to his bed and Severus noticed blood was dripping down her legs. She sat down beside him and pulled him close to her. He sniffled and wrapped his thin arms around her waist as she leaned down to kiss the top of his head.

"Oh, my baby… I'm so sorry." He felt her tears dripping into his hair, but he couldn't say a word. "I love you so much. You were so brave."

"Are you ok, Mummy?" His black eyes looked up into hers and Eileen felt immense guilt for what he had seen.

"I- I'm sorry you saw that." He shook his head. He'd seen it before. He'd heard it before.

"Are you ok?" He repeated.

"Yes, sweetheart. You saved me. You did such a good job." She was lying of course, but he needed to know he was appreciated. "But I don't want you ever to do that again. Mummy can handle Daddy, ok? I just want you safe." Severus didn't say anything, afraid and hurt and needing his Mum.

"Ok, Mama." He swallowed, his arms tightening around her.

"Good boy. You're such a good boy. Merry Christmas." He nodded and cuddled up closer to Eileen, tears trickling silently down his cheeks.

"Merry Christmas." She didn't ask where he was. Anywhere was better than here for him, and he smelled like good food. He needed a decent meal. Maybe she'd ask him later. "Will you stay here with me tonight?"

"Yes, baby." She smiled softly down at him and tucked him into the covers, wiping the blood from his lip on her sleeve. She laid down beside him and pulled him close.

Severus snuggled into the warmth of his mother. She smelled like cleaning chemicals and soap, and he was immediately comforted by her. The memory of what had just transpired was locked away with the others and the little broken boy fell asleep cuddled up against his mother. Eileen stroked her son's hair, wishing she could do more for him. She wanted him safe, fed, warm, clean… He needed a friend. She hummed an old Muggle lullaby to him as he drifted off, that being all she could do for him at the moment. Eventually, she fell asleep as well, and her sore body relished the escape of sleep from this Hell. Severus was the only reason she had to live and damn it, someday she'd make this up to him.

Reviews make me happy. Tell me just how much you hate that man!