A/N: All right's belong to JKR.
Severus turned over in his sleep, a groan escaping his lip. He hated this. It had been months since he had had a good night's sleep.
He just wanted to sleep. He wanted to let go of everything that had happened in the past few years. But he couldn't. The pain he felt just wouldn't leave him be. Every breath, every step, every thought was filled with pain and guilt. No matter how hard he tried, Severus just couldn't find peace.
And he knew he didn't deserve peace. He deserved the sleepless nights; it was only fair.
Severus had lost the love of his life, and it was his entire fault. He had murdered Lily.
He had practically handed her over to the Dark Lord. And despite his efforts to save her, she still died. Hell, he had begged Albus to save her life, and begged the Dark Lord, but neither held up their end of the promise.
Lily Evans was dead.
She was dead, and it was his fault.
Rolling over, Severus closed his eyes. Maybe sleep would come tonight? But he already knew the answer to that.
"Severus, are you all right?" Albus asked the next morning at breakfast.
Severus rolled his eyes. Of course he wasn't bloody all right; he looked like he had been trampled by a threstral. "Just fine Headmaster."
"Trouble sleeping?" Albus prompted.
Severus sighed. "Yes, if you must know. I don't sleep at night."
Albus sent him a sympathetic look. "It'll get better my boy, don't worry. And if you ever need to talk,-"
"Yes Sir," Severus said, quickly cutting him off. He didn't need Albus' pity; hell, he didn't need anyone's pity. He just wanted to wallow in his self-hate and misery.
That night, Severus couldn't sleep at night. He had tried everything, eating chocolate before bed, reading, casting his patronus, taking a warm bath… but nothing worked. Every night he tossed and he turned, his thoughts running wild.
And every night, the nightmare was the same thing. It was Lily, his perfect Lily, begging him to save her. It was her, proclaiming that she loved him and needed him to save her then. But no matter how hard he tried, he always failed. He was forced to watch the bright green light hit Lily's body, causing her to fall backwards.
Evert night, Severus was plagued with the knowledge that she was dead, and that he hadn't done anything to save her. He had failed her.
The guilt was eating away at him.
Severus knocked back the firewhiskey, sighing when it burned his throat. He drank every day now and had started smoking Muggle cigarettes. There was nothing else he could do.
He looked towards the fireplace and saw a face appear. "Lily?" he whispered, looking into the flames. Sure enough, she was there, her vibrant red hair and bright green eyes. "Lily," he whispered. The face disappeared.
Severus put down the firewhiskey. "That's enough for now," he said, getting up to go to bed.
A few days later, he saw her again. Severus was in the library, putting a few books away when he heard a laugh. Not just any laugh, but her laugh. Looking around the corner, he saw a flash of red.
He heard her laugh again.
Feeling his heart race, Severus quickly moved down the aisles, hoping to get a glimpse of her. "Lily?" he called out, hoping she would hear him.
The laugh sounded out. It was close! Feeling his heart race, he quickly made his way towards the noise. As he turned the corner, he was met with disappointment. There was no one there. He was alone in the library.
A sound of grief escaped his lips.
Looking around, he saw everyone eating. It was the welcoming feast, so everyone was in good spirits. Well, everyone but him.
He hated this place. Hogwarts. All of his worst memories were here… but maybe that was why he wanted to stay in the castle. Maybe Severus needed the constant reminder of his awful teenage years. Maybe he needed the memories of Lily turning her back on him for a simple mistake.
"I didn't turn your back on you," a voice spoke out.
Looking up, Severus saw Lily standing before him. She was wearing a white gown and her red hair cascaded down her shoulders.
"Lily," he croaked out, not believing what he was seeing.
"Severus, I didn't turn my back on you… you betrayed me," she said, a coldness in her voice that he had never heard before.
Severus glanced our, wondering if any of the other teachers or students saw her. No one seemed to notice.
"I never betrayed you," he whispered, causing Professor McGonagall to send him a confused look.
"Yes you did," Lily said. "I was so disappointed in you Severus; I thought that what we had was real. I thought we were friends."
"You were my best friend! The only person I ever loved," Severus cried out, tears rolling down his face.
Many people in the hall turned at Severus' outburst. "Severus?" Albus asked, worry filling his eyes.
"You betrayed me Severus!" Lily cried, tears falling down her face and hatred filled her eyes. "You called me that nasty word! And then you sold me out to Voldemort! You killed me Severus! You're the reason I'm dead!"
"Stop it!" Severus cried, abruptly standing up. He stumbled backwards, knocking over his chair.
Albus moved up and quickly approached him. "Severus, perhaps we should move into a more private setting."
Severus ignored him. "Lily, I never killed you! I loved you!"
"You killed me Severus Snape. You sold me out, not even thinking twice about the consequences of your actions." Lily moved closer, and she was now inches away from Severus. "I hate you, and I hope the thought of my death plagues you for the rest of your life." She slowly faded away into nothingness.
Severus let out a tormented cry. "You're right! I did kill you. I deserve eternal damnation for what I did to you."
Albus grabbed Severus' arm, quickly leading him down the hall. Severus was still crying, mumbling incoherent words.
"I killed her Albus. I'm responsible for her death," Severus cried.
"You have nothing to be guilty for," Albus assured him, trying to give him a calming draught.
Severus shook his head. "I killed her, I killed her. I ended her life Albus! I don't deserve to live."
"Severus, all will be well. Trust me," Albus went and gave Severus the potion.
Severus quickly knocked it back. Moments later, he became calm, embarrassed as to what had just taken place in the Great Hall. "Sorry Albus," he muttered, clearly uncomfortable with what he had done.
Before Albus could respond, Severus disappeared down into the dungeons.
No one had seen Severus Snape in weeks.
He appeared to teach his classes, his behavior cold and harsh. The students had become frightened of him, and he had adopted many crude nicknames. The "dungeon bat," that "snarky bastard," and many others that were not as pleasant. Severus quickly earned himself a reputation that Hogwarts would never forget.
He no longer took meals in the Great Hall or answered his floo calls. The teachers would have suspected he had died if it wasn't for the murmur from students.
Albus was heartbroken over the situation. The guilt Severus had felt over Lily's death had obviously taken over and consumed him.
Severus had disclosed from the world, refusing to let anyone else in. He had taken in all his pain and bottled it up.
Severus may have been going through the motions of living, but on the inside, he was dead.
And that's something that would never change.
The Shakespeare Competition: Macbeth option
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HP Potions Competition: Drink of Despair option
Wand Wood Competition: Blackthorn option