Post Snape’s Worst
As soon as the last of
Potter’s cloak tail disappeared through the door frame Severus seized an
arbitrary glass jar from behind his desk and hurtled it with extreme force
against the opposite stone wall where Potter had been just moments before.
Severus stooped over his
desk, gripping the wood mercilessly, and grinding his jaw so violently he was likely
to wake the birds in The Owlry. The jar contents were slowly oozing themselves
to the floor from their point of impact.
A soft crunch of glass was
heard on the threshold. Severus didn’t care what they said about apparition on
Hogwarts grounds, the man in the doorway was an extreme exception to the rule.
“Redecorating Severus?” Came
a calm weathered voice. Dumbledore gingerly stepped over the mess noting “Ahh,
rat brains, an excellent choice- exhibit a highly desirable squelching sound
Severus straightened, and
rearranged his stony, unaffected, features to their usual disdainful mold.
“Headmaster, how may I be of
service?” Severus asked knowing full well that the Headmaster had arrived with
no such agenda. Still he hoped to convey that no other agenda would be honoured
tonight. He had no patience to be admonished by the Headmaster as a misbehaved
child. No desire to hear of the man he ought to attempt being. No will to let
go of a lifetime of wrongs administered by others.
Dumbledore peered at him benignly. “Is that what our relationship has come to?
A relationship of hastily administered errands to a pageboy?” he sighed softly.
“Severus, it is I who have come to be of service to you.” Severus’ jaw locked,
he didn’t want the Headmaster to be of service to him, he didn’t want anyone to
be of service to him, he just wanted to be alone in his dungeon with no need of
the outside world…the way he had wanted to be for too many years now.
The Headmaster continued to
survey him with maddening placidness. Severus soon felt the need to pick
Dumbledore up himself and throw him unceremoniously across the room. Dumbledore
seemed to have the staring power of a jungle cat however and neither moved nor
blinked for several minutes.
“Tea?” He offered after many
moments as if there had been no gap in the conversation; as if he had invited
Severus up to his office on a bright Sunday afternoon instead of being party to
a brain-strewn dungeon with a mute host.
Severus finally slumped in
his chair, “Whatever you wish Headmaster” said Snape resigned to let Dumbledore
have his way with him so he could go back to brooding in his manner of choice
sooner rather than later.
Dumbledore deftly conjured a
tray of biscuits and a sterling tea set. He helped himself to a few biscuits
and an extra clump of sugar motioning for Severus to help himself. Severus
vaguely wondered of the skill of a wizard such as Dumbledore who had the
ability to bend so many a person to his will without so much as a word.
“Headmaster, there really is
no need—“ Severus attempted in vain.
“No need? You don’t take your
tea with cream?”
“No need for you to be
wasting your time, I’m sure you have more important things to do.” Severus said
pursing his lips.
“Ah, that is where you’re
wrong Severus, there is nothing more important, or more decidedly valuable I
could be doing than exactly this, at this very moment.” Dumbledore assured him,
dunking a biscuit into his tea.
“Headmaster the boy is
unteachable,” Severus cut to the chase, never being one for preamble and hoping
the directness of topic would lead to a quicker visit. Dumbledore dunked another
biscuit in his tea waiting for it to soften sufficiently before consuming it.
Severus sighed, “He has much of the same arrogance his father possessed. He
makes little or no effort, and expects me to congratulate him for being merely
“Merely the boy who
lived…” Dumbledore trailed off quietly to himself. Severus’ jaw flexed but he
“It seems to me,” Dumbledore
now spoke “that living is quite a difficult thing to do Severus, and a nearly
impossible thing to do right. Unfortunately we must feel, ceaselessly,
if we are subject to living. We must be left to sort through constant turmoil
and pain. We are prey to the inevitable, and oftentimes inexcusable, wrongs
that will be committed against us without our ability or knowledge to prevent
them from happening. Yes indeed. It seems to me, that continuing to feel
after a life of such circumstances and to continue to live despite the
pain and wrong others have caused us, is in fact a great feat indeed…one I
unfortunately can’t dismiss as quickly as some.”
Dumbledore stood up at this
and silently moved towards the door. When he got there he paused and tilted his
head ever so slightly back towards a still Severus. In quiet tones he added, “I
have watched many a dark-haired boy turn themselves into mighty men over the
lengthy course of my career. All of whom have been talented beyond measure, all
of them with their own sets of challenges to overcome, all of whom I care very
deeply for…I would appreciate it, Severus, if you could remember that whilst in
my company, and not slight the men I have grown to care for so much.” With that
Dumbledore turned and proceeded down the hallway, fishing a Sherbert Lemon out
of his pocket as he went.
Severus long sat in silence
in the dank confines of his dungeon chamber. An uncertain amount of time later
his eyes fell upon the splattered contents of the broken jar.
“Reparo,” he muttered. The ruins
reunited in midair, reforming the seamless glass from its broken shards.
A/N: Whenever I start writing a story, I never really know
where it’s going to go, the characters usually speak for themselves and give
the piece life. This is one of those many occasions. What I really liked about
writing this is that Dumbledore is referring to Harry, James, Severus, Sirius,
and even Tom Riddle in his description of his dark headed boys. Past memories
have to be laid to rest in the past where they belong on all of their accounts.
We can’t be bitter or fickle about the future, we have to move on and grow
despite our past mistakes, incomprehensible circumstances, or hard feelings.
Disclaimer: Clearly I am nowhere near brilliant enough to
invent characters like Dumbledore, or a place like Hogwarts. So incase you
thought this world belonged to me suffice to say you were suffering from