The Sugar Quill
Author: Peppa_Minto  Story: Karkaroff's Observation  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.


Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. If I did, I'd probably be really rich or something.
A/N: I guess this take on Karkaroff is a little different, but here it is. Thank you, Yolanda, for you're help :-D

Karkaroff's Observation


The class was just about ended when I came in, a couple of days after the Durmstrang students and I first arrived. I didn't think that Severus would mind. At the time I thought of him as an old ally – an uneasy ally I never really knew, if that makes sense. We never got around to talking much, but we understood each other. There were two societies in the wizarding world. The Death Eaters and the law-abiding wizards. We didn't fully fit in either anymore, and it was something we both had to deal with. Most wizards claimed to have been under the Imperius Curse... Not Severus, and not me. In my case, I hashed out enough names to please the Ministry. In his case, he spied. We confessed to having gone the wrong way on our own free will, which is more than most wizards can say. Even so, we're less accepted than those who swore their allegiance to Voldemort freely, and lied about it when it was most convenient for them.

Funny that we should both enter the education fields after we ruined so many young lives. Whether it was torturing and killing their parents or it was convincing them that Voldemort was the right way to go, we destroyed young people. We were partly responsible for a good number of the young people in Azkaban.

One thing I noticed was how attentively he watched him. In a class of evil-looking Slytherins, the one he paid close attention to was the blonde, condescending one with the body-guard-like friends who always hung around him like lemmings. When students were leaving and Severus asked him to stay behind so they could talk, I found out that this boy's name was one I recognized, Draco Malfoy. I also found that he had an attitude not unlike his father's, who I had the... pleasure of meeting on more than one occasion when we were both Death Eaters.

"Something wrong with my potion, professor?" he smirked a little, expecting praise from his favorite teacher. I watched them from the back of the room, trying not to draw attention to myself.

Severus stood up and went around the desk to where he was standing right in front of Malfoy. He shook his head. "Not at all. It's fine, almost flawless. You have potential."

"Thank you, professor." Malfoy said.

Suddenly, and without changing the expression on his face and the chill in his voice, Severus asked, "Hold out your arms and roll up your sleeves, please."

Mafloy held out his arms and allowed Severus to thoroughly check each arm before he dropped them to his side again. It didn't make any sense to me. I thought Voldemort was incapable of casting spells, why Severus would be checking for a mark that only the Dark Lord could cast. Malfoy, too, seemed slightly alarmed, but not for long.

"You have potential as well, Professor, if you don't mind my saying." Malfoy said, with a grin.

"What do you mean?" Severus quirked a brow.

"Father says you've done a bit of fetching for the Ministry. Got them a little information that Voldemort would prefer they didn't have. But you're just throwing them off the scent, aren't you professor? I think you're a little confused... You may think you're for the Ministry, but deep down you know where your loyalties lie. I have a feeling that you're on the right side, and when the Dark Lord has returned and I am of age, I want you there when I get the Dark Mark. I think by then you'll have come around... We're the same, you and I."

Severus' expression remained indifferent, which nearly confused me.

"You may go now, Malfoy. We're done here." he said, as he held the bridge of his nose between his thumb and fore-finger, rubbing it as though to get rid of a sudden headache.

As Malfoy passed me on his way out of the classroom he told me that the same went for me and that my loyalties needed to be rediscovered before it was too late. Like lost puppies, his lackeys had been waiting patiently outside for him, and when he joined them I watched the group until they were out of sight, walking down the stairs. I made my way into the classroom where a tired-looking Severus was reading in the small bit of light that came through a little opening in one of the windows. I walked behind his chair, peered over his shoulder and saw that he wasn't reading at all, and if he was it must have been very difficult for him with the book being upside-down the way it was.

"Igor," he began impatiently, "you're in my light."

I took a step to the left to allow the light to hit the pages of the book, "Sorry. I would hate it if someone interrupted me when I was reading a book that wasn't right-side up. I understand that it requires a lot more concentration than it would if it were in its proper position. Wouldn't it be easier, perhaps, if you flipped it the other way."

Severus closed the book and put it on his desk in a large stack of other books which I assumed were part of the class' curriculum. "I guess I'm not really interested in reading it right now."

There was a long silence and I didn't dare break it. It was always silent when I was by myself, trying to wish away my past and to stop thinking about the futures I had ruined. It was miserable. For some reason the silence wasn't so unwelcome when I was here with Severus. I felt the weight on my shoulders was being shared by him, and I could relax a little. There was a bit of understanding that I could sense. Even in the silence. My chance to make up for a few ruined lives was Viktor Krum, and I could see in Severus that his chance was Draco Malfoy. We were bent on making sure that these two boys had futures that other children were robbed of because we were so horrible. At length I spoke...

"I don't understand you, Severus, I just don't. You know as well as I do that the Dark Mark is given by Lord Voldemort and no one else." I believe I paused and absent-mindedly rubbed my arm, as I am told I do when I mention the Dark Mark. "Is there something you know that I don't? I thought for sure my Mark would glow at his return."

"I'll be sure to let you know if I hear anything, Igor, but as for now he is still very much gone." Severus rubbed the bridge of his abnormally large nose once more. "I know how you're dying to return to his side."

"Never!" I said simply and folded my arms.

He didn't seem to believe me but I didn't press the matter; he could believe and disbelieve whatever he wanted as far as I was concerned.

"You've heard of those fake Marks some of the younger boys are getting from Muggle Tattoo Parlors and then some with illusion spells... I thought maybe Malfoy..." he didn't say anymore than that for he knew he didn't have to. I understood what he was getting at. I nodded and he went on. "I guess he is holding out for a real one. They, I mean the children, don't understand how serious it is. How it changes... it ruins everything. I want to be rid of it, Igor."

"Then let's be rid of them, Severus." I said, but I was being rash.

"Don't be stupid, you miserable excuse for a headmaster." he snapped. "It would be too hard, we'd probably die."

He was right. The intense spells and the number of times they would have to be preformed would kill us. Although, without the mark, our bodies might be buried with a bit of dignity. When we die, I hope they are removed. Even if it means taking the arm.

"I once wished I was dead." I said, and I saw from the look on his face that he had wished to die as well, and I knew when. I knew his darkest moments were much like mine. "When I was in Azkaban I felt that happiness was no longer an emotion. It had left me. I would have said anything to get out of there... They gave me a chance and I did say everything. Every name I could think of. Even yours, Severus. Had I known that you had changed your ways... Surely I wouldn't have..."

In an insincere tone, Severus tried to make as if everything was all right. "It's fine, Igor."

The room went quiet again. I could sense that he wanted me to leave. I didn't want to leave on such a harsh note, and there was still the bit about Malfoy I was trying to make sense of. Everything he said was a different way of wording things that Lucius had told me on each occasion we had met. He was right in saying that he was like Severus. The professor was very much like Draco when he was younger. The way Severus regurgitated everything that Wilkes had ever said to him, and doing it in a way that made it sound as though Severus had thought it up himself. Draco quoted his father, making it sound like he understood what he was saying and that he would have thought this regardless of what Lucius had told him. If anyone could interrogate Draco long enough, perhaps his views would torn to a point where he could no longer defend them.

What was interesting about Hogwarts was how all the bad kids were gathered into the same house and no one seemed to find a problem with that. They had chances to mix and mingle and cause trouble together without being broken up at any time of the day except for when their class schedules differed. Furthermore, I was fascinated with Dumbldedore's choice of Severus for the Slytherin Head of House. The only professor in the entire school likely to warp the Slytherins' already twisted minds into thinking that Voldemort is their one right path and that any other path would mean certain death. Even if Snape never said it to them, being their head he was someone they would look up to, and in some cases they may emulate wrong aspects of his character.

Which is what got me thinking...

"You know what I think is slightly queer?" I asked him.

"I don't care." Snape said as he rapidly began to lose patience with me.

My legs began to lose patience as well and they began to give way a little. A sign that I had been pacing on the ship too much before I came here. It felt a little awkward but I sat in one the student seats so that I could give my lower limbs a rest.

"Your passion, as I recall, had always been the Dark Arts, making you a very good Death Eater. Of course, that called for knowledge of the defense against them. Which got me thinking." I stopped for a moment when he shot me a look that made me want to stop talking, but I continued. "Wouldn't that make you the logical choice for Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher? I've heard that Dumbledore has had considerable difficulty filling that position." Slowly, I tapped the student desk infront of me, "What real knowledge do you have of Potions that is not matched, if not exceeded by your knowledge of Defense?"

"Dumbledore has his reasons for withholding me from that field." he assured me.

When I thought about it, I knew why. If he were allowed to practice the Dark Arts, or read about them, or give any indication that he enjoyed them... He would inspire the Slytherins. More than that, he would remind himself of why he became a Death Eater in the first place. Aside from the encouragement that his former acquaintances had given him, the only reason he joined Voldemort was to be freely able to use the Dark Arts on anyone who didn't wear the Mark, and in some cases, even those who did. To use the Dark Arts all the time, without fear of punishment.

Everything we had done, we did out of ignorance. Everything we shall do, we shall do out of our new-found wisdom. We learnt what being a Death Eater meant. We learnt how, as Severus said, it ruined everything. Although we had slightly different approaches, our goals were the same again. When we were following Lord Voldemort, our paths were the same. Now our goals are to ensure that the mistake we made is not made by our most impressive pupils. Because, out of everything that happened, my biggest regret was getting caught... And the way I see it, everyone gets caught. Voldemort's cause just doesn't seem worth it anymore.

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