Chapter seven was extended with greater depth to reflect this chapter. I'm sorry that I keep going back and forth like this at times, but that is what happens as a story progresses and changes.
I want to again thank all of you for your patience, understanding and reviews. I can't tell you enough how much it inspires me to write, so please review if you have the time. I encourage criticism as well as compliments. I sincerely want to know what all of you are thinking.
Hugs to all my new followers!
I hope you enjoy this intense chapter! How do you think Severus will respond...if he does at all?
Prisoner 08091940- Severus Snape
Cell 42D-High Risk Security
Azkaban Prison- Great Sea, North Atlantic
I'm not going to apologise for the lateness of this reply considering the scathing tone of your last letter. In all honesty, I considered not responding to you at all, but the wisdom of a friend helped me to see the situation in a different light. Because of this, I needed time to sort things out in my head before responding. Too many times, I've let my emotions rule my actions and cloud my better judgment. The catastrophe at the Department of Mysteries which led to Sirius' death is a prime example. No matter what anyone says, his blood will always remain on my hands. You know as well as I do, that if I'd just kept a level head and actually listened to those around me, my godfather would probably be alive today. You were correct when you said that impulsivity and recklessness have always been my biggest downfalls, however this time I refuse to let them get the best of me and destroy the fragile thread of friendship we've somehow managed to build upon.
I'm sure you'll try to deny that any such connection exists, but if so, you'd only be lying to yourself. From the first moment we laid eyes on each other, there's always been a profound affinity between us. Whether it was anger, protectiveness, frustration or respect; whatever was there, was always felt with a layer of intensity I could never explain. There is a very fine line between love and hate Severus, which is why I'll reiterate what I wrote in my second letter to you:
I never hated you Professor Snape.
You're my friend first and foremost, even if I'm not yours. No matter what hurtful things you'll undoubtedly continue to fling in my direction, it won't change the respect or admiration I feel for you. Do you know why?
Because I care for you Severus Snape.
I know you'll read that sentence and do everything in your power to convince yourself that it isn't true, just as you've always done. I'm not the only one who cares for you Severus. What about Draco, Professor McGonagall, Molly and many of your former colleagues and students? Do you really believe all these people are continuing to fight for you only out of pity or remorse? Have you thoroughly convinced yourself that once you're a free man, everyone will drop you, myself included?
If you truly believe all that rubbish, than it seems we have our work cut out for us. Only time and perseverance will convince you that you're worthy of respect, admiration and most importantly…love.
I promised myself from the very first letter I wrote, that I would never lie or hide anything from you. I've been open and honest with every word I've inked to parchment, believing we've both suffered through enough manipulation and mind games to last a lifetime. I wanted us to start fresh with a clear line of trust as our guide. Its been something I've tried very hard to foster between us which is why the shocking accusations in your last letter were beyond hurtful Severus, they were despicable. How could you honestly believe that all the things we're doing for you, as well as all that we've shared in our exchanges thus far, were solely for the purpose of getting information on my mother? I was so outraged at your words that if it hadn't been for Draco, I probably would have ended our correspondence right then and there. I'm now certain this was the outcome you were hoping to achieve in order to drive me away.
Simply put, Draco taught me how to read between the lines of your antagonism so I could see the truth behind your caustic words.
Never again will I allow your fear of rejection to push me away, nor will I continue as your punching bag for past hurts you've endured. We've all suffered pain Severus, but it's how we cope with that pain which makes us who we are.
You've offered to answer ten questions for me and I've decided to accept your proposal. As a wizard of your word, I expect you to honor this request fully. Don't worry Severus, I promise not to ask anything that will make you feel uncomfortable. Believe it or not, I actually have too much respect for you to do something of that nature, even though you may not believe so.
You implied that I all I desired was to gain information on my parents, particularly my mother. That was something you assumed in your own mind. I'd rather hoped you'd know me better than that, but sadly I was mistaken. As you stated quite clearly:
'Just because you saw a smattering of my memories does not make you knowledgeable of whom Severus Snape is.
You know nothing about me.'
It's painfully obvious you know very little about me either. I realised with the incorrect assumptions you made, that you only think you do.
You're right Severus. I may not know much about you, but if you'll allow me the privilege, the person I want answers about is not my mother or father as you may believe. It's not even Sirius or Remus.
It's you Severus. The person I want to know most about is you.
Before you presume anything, I don't mean Severus Snape former Death Eater turned spy nor the dreaded and feared Potions master of the dungeons. I am also not interested in Severus Snape war veteran or tragic hero of unrequited love. As interesting as those images are, I am far more intrigued by what lies beneath those personas. You see, the person I want to know about is Severus Snape the man. I want to understand the individual human being that has fears, hates, loves and dreams just like everyone else on this bloody planet. You're certainly not an exception to that rule.
I want to know about the wizard who could spend over half his life protecting those whom him he claims to despise, even at the constant risk of losing his own life; indeed at times, his very soul.
I have no doubt you'll probably be angry, shocked, and maybe even a little confused, but for all you say I don't know about you, there is one thing I can guarantee with absolute certainty; you are no coward Severus Snape, and the man I do know would never back away from any of these questions nor break his word in trying to answer them.
So now I ask you Severus:
1. Once you're finally free (and that day will come), what is the first thing you'd like to do?
2. Do you watch the stars at night?
3. Describe a childhood memory that you treasure. If you don't have one, than it could be any memory, as long as it's one that has significant meaning for you.
4. Tell me about the last time you truly smiled Severus.
5. If I could cook you a complete meal (pudding included) what would it be?
6. Close your eyes and envision this one word: Contentment. What do you see?
7. Name a place you would like to travel to one day, any place in the world.
8. Tell me the title of a poem which inspires you. I know you read poetry because I helped Minerva pack and store your belongings in Spinner's End after your trial. With Draco still being held in lock down for his own upcoming proceedings, he was unable to help, and I couldn't stand the thought of anyone else sorting through your personal belongings. Minerva felt the same way, so rest assured, we took many steps to ensure your privacy as we packed, although I couldn't help but notice the books. We share many favourite authors you know, especially Muggle ones.
9. I know you carry a deep passion for the art of potion-making, but was teaching your true goal, or did you dream of a different path in your life?
10. How did you survive Severus? This is such an important question because we all thought you were dead when we left you in the Shrieking Shack. If we had any inclination you were still alive, we would never have left you in such a state. I can only hope that one day you'll forgive us for doing so. It would help me a great deal to understand how you came to survive the war.
'Once I have answered your questions, I expect this correspondence to cease immediately and to be left completely alone. I give you my word as a wizard that I will answer each and every question to the best of my abilities. In return, I expect you to abide by my wishes and leave me in peace.'
Do you honestly want our correspondence to end once you've answered my questions? If so, I'll honor your request and write you no more, but I absolutely refuse to stop fighting for your release nor the vindication you justly deserve. I wouldn't do that to anyone, especially not to a person whom I consider a friend.
Before I close this letter, I'd like to extend the same offer you gave to me, and answer ten questions of your choice. I feel it's only fair to return the favor which you so graciously granted me. Feel free to ask me anything you want Severus, nothing is off limits. I have nothing to hide and would honestly like for you to better understand who I am as both a man and a wizard.
Not the boy who lived.
Not Gryffindor's golden hero.
Especially not the savior of the wizarding world.
I want you to know me as Harry Potter; a simple human being who is trying to cope with the changing world around him, just as you are.
'The body is a house of many windows: there we all sit, showing ourselves and crying on the passers-by to come in and love us.' ~Robert Louis Stevenson
I want to come in Severus if you'll allow it. Please...let me.