The Sugar Quill
Author: HERmioneR  Story: The Photograph  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:  J.K. Rowling owns all these characters and this is just fiction based on the four Harry Potter Books.

         “Hurry up, Harry, or we’ll be late for Potions!”  Ron Weasly shouted.

         “Coming!” Harry yelled as they raced down the enchanted stairs and down to the dungeon where Potions was held.

         “Aghhh!  We’re five minutes late. Snape is going to kill us this time for sure,” Ron groaned.

         They reached the classroom door, and the two of them opened the door slowly knowing that I was going to lecture.

         “Well, well, think you can be late for Potions do you?  Well, I am sure you two would never be late to your Quidditch practice, would you?”  I said.  They both stood there, swallowing hard.  “Answer me!”  I shouted.

         “No, sir.” They answered in unison.

         “Well, then today will be a first because you will be helping me clean out the Potions cabinet.” I said  “Without magic!” I yelled.  Then turning so everyone could hear me I shouted “10 points from Gryffindor.”

         “Take your seats and I don’t want to hear another word from you unless it is the correct answer!  Do you understand?”

         They shook their heads, agreeing.

         Malfoy sneered and pointed at Harry.

         “Mr. Malfoy, please continue to work on your own potion,” I said not wanting Harry to get the idea that if acted in this manner that he would get attention.

         After classes were over and it approached dinner time, Mr. Potter and Mr. Weasley arrived back to my classroom to serve their detention.  I took the two to the Potions closet and gave them specific instructions to remove the outdated ingredients and use the Deactivating spell to turn them water, and pour them into the sink.  I walked up the five stairs to my office looking at the pictures on the walls and watching for any students that should not be down in dungeon at this time of night.

         I sat on my chair and conjured up some lights so I could see in my small office without a window.  Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t mind not having a window or a bigger office, but I suppose Dumbledore thought that the office fit my personality.  When I was in school here at Hogwarts I always hung out down here.  I was a social outcast to all the other houses except for my own in where, the other Slytherins for some reason or another adored me.  I still do not know why.  I wasn’t attractive looking; I never got top marks, although I did get good grades mind you.  I suppose it was because I stood up to Sirius, Lupin, and that Potter that the other Slytherins looked to me for guidance. 

         My mind was growing frustrated and I looked to the framed picture on my desk.  It was moving of course, the two of them sat waving and smiling at me.  It was a picture of Serena and her mother Angelina.  I let out a sigh and turned the picture face down.  I couldn’t take it, I flew up the stairs and out onto the grounds.  I decided to survey the grounds for young delinquents.

****

         “Ron, I can’t believe Snape!  He has got it in for us!”  Harry said in a whisper, afraid that Snape was close by.

         “No, Harry I think he has it in for you, but I always am accompanying you.”  Ron said laughing.

         “Yeah, I suppose your right,” Harry said.

         “Well I think that is all of them, let’s go, maybe we can still catch some of dinner, if we are lucky.” Ron said rubbing his stomach.

         “Yeah, I suppose.  We should tell Snape that we are done.” Harry said.

         “Where did he go?” Ron asked.

         “Maybe he’s in his office.”  Harry suggested.

         They walked up to my office and looked around for me.

         “Come on, Harry, he isn’t here, let’s just go.” Ron said in a pleading tone.

         “Let me just write him a note,” Harry said as he entered my office.  He searched around for a quill and parchment.

         Harry lifted up the picture that I had turned down a while earlier.  Harry picked it up and stared at it.

         “Ron what do you suppose this is?”  Harry asked Ron.  Ron looked at the picture.

         “I don’t know, Harry, but come on, what if Snape finds you in his office snooping around.”  Ron said. 

Harry grabbed a piece of paper and scribbled, “We are done.” And set the note on his desk.  They heard footsteps and assuming it was me, they ran.  Harry still had the photograph in his hand.

         “Whew, that was close Harry, imagine if Snape caught us?”  Ron asked.

         “Caught you doing what?” A voice asked.

         “Hermione!  Don’t do that, we thought you were Snape.” Ron lectured

         “I was looking for a piece of paper to write him a note telling him we were done with detention and I was in his office.” Harry explained

         “Harry, you know Snape hates people in his private business.”  Hermione scolded.  “He could have taken major points from Gryffindor!”

         “Yeah, yeah, Hermione, don’t worry about our physical well being, worry about points.”  Ron said sarcastically.

***

         I returned to my office finding a note posted on the door saying, ‘we are done!”  I scoffed, and went down to the Potions closet and locked it up, making sure there were no drops of unsaturated potions on the floors or sink.  I walked slowly up the stairs to my office and sat back down wanting look at the picture that I had so violently thrusted down on my desk.  I looked to the corner where it was, and I couldn’t find it.

         “Where did it go?”  I asked out loud.

         POTTER!” I thought immediately.

*****

         “Come on Harry, let’s go sneak down to get some food from the house elves,” Ron said. Harry nodded.

         “Okay,” Hermione said decided to accompany them.  The three of them walked down the winding staircase and through the portrait hole behind the painting of the bowl of fruit that led the three into the kitchen.

         As soon as they walked in they were greeted by the many house elves that the school employs.  They brought out several drumsticks of turkey and some chocolate frogs.

         “Thanks,” Ron said with his mouth half full of turkey.

         The three of them sat talking.  Harry told Hermione about the picture that they had found on his desk.  Hermione suggested it might be a friend or something.  Ron laughed at that thought of me having friends.

         “Come on Hermione, I don’t know.  The people in the picture were smiling and happy.” Harry said smiling, and stuffing a few chocolate frogs into his robes, when all of a sudden he felt something.  Harry pulled it out of his pocket.  It was my picture.

“Uh oh!” Harry gasped.

         “What is it?” Hermione asked.

         “I forgot to put Snape’s picture back on the desk,” Harry said worried tone.

         “Well, we’ve got to put it back!”  Ron said desperately.

         “Yeah, I know if Snape finds it missing he’ll flip! I have got to go get the invisibility cloak!”  Harry said.

         “Harry, every time you use that thing you get so close to being found.  You could get yourself in some serious trouble,” Hermione said

         “I know but I have got to put it back, I just can’t go up to him and say, ‘Here Professor Snape, I was looking at this last night, and I forgot to put it back,” Harry said.

         “Well, be very careful.  Do you have the Maurder’s Map?”  Ron asked.

         “Yes it is with my cloak,” Harry said.

         The three of them walked back to Gryffindor to get Harry’s cloak.

*****

         I walked up to Professor Dumbledore’s office needing to talk to him about Potter being in my office.  I muttered the password to the gargoyle and walked up the spiral staircase to find him staring out the window.

         “Severus?  Is that you?”  he asked.

         “Yes, Albus, it is I.”  I said wishing that he would turn to face me.

         “What do you need this evening?”

         “Well sir it is about Potter again!  Ron Weasly and Harry were in detention for being late for the third time this week, and I had left to go check on the grounds while they finished up. When I came back, I found a note saying that they were done.”

         “Is that a bad thing?” Dumbledore questioned.

         “No that is not the problem.  After reading the note, I entered my office and found that a picture of mine was gone.  I had just been looking at that picture right before I went outside.  Albus, Potter took my photograph.”  I said angrily.

         “I see, and are you sure it was Harry?” he questioned.

         “I do not have proof, if that is what your asking, but I know he took it.  Harry likes to stick his nose in others people’s business.  Just like his father!” I sneered.

         “Now Severus, I know you don’t have the best memories of James, but you know that he saved you from the death eaters.” Dumbledore said as he reminded me so many times before.

         “Yeah, yeah that has been haunting me ever since Harry has been at this school.  I already knows he hates me, For heaven’s sake he thought I was stealing the Sorcerer’s stone six years ago.  He also thought that I was trying to kill him last year.”  I said.

         “Well, Severus you are not really the most diplomatic person.”  he continued.

         “Sir, it is not my fault.  You know my line of work makes it nearly impossible to appear gentle!”  I laughed.

         “Severus, I know it is a difficult time for you and all, but please, Voldemort has gone, and you have much more freedom.”

         “Albus, I will never have freedom, because I will never forgive myself for what I had become all those years ago, and the pain I caused to…”  I stopped it was becoming too difficult for me to say.

         “Yes, Severus, but you will have to forgive yourself eventually.  Look at the many times you have saved Harry and many other families from Voldemort.”  He patted me on the shoulder.  I slouched down into his chair.

*******

         “We are coming with you.”  Ron and Hermione said to Harry as he put on the cloak.

         “No, I don’t want you getting in trouble.”  Harry said

         “Why not?” Hermione asked.

         “I’ve already caused you two to get into too much trouble.  It would be better if you stayed here.  I have to go alone,”  Harry said firmly.

         “Okay, if you’re sure, but Harry be careful.”  Ron said as he walked up to his room.

         “I will don’t worry, I have the map.”

         Harry snuck out the portrait hole, and down the long hallway, down the main stairs and through the secret door that lead to the stairs to the dungeon and Snape’s office.

         “Okay, almost there.”  Harry said to himself.  He looked at the map; Filch was upstairs above him.

         All of a sudden Peeves showed up in front of him, grabbed his invisibility cloak, and was taunting him with it.

         “Peeves, give it back!  You know your not allowed to take things from students,”  Harry hissed.

         “Yes, and I also know that students are not allowed out of their rooms after midnight.”  Peeves laughed back.

         Harry could hear footsteps coming from the left.  He tried to run inside of Snape’s office to put the picture back, but it was too late.  Filch saw him and grabbed his shoulder.  He managed to wrestle the Invisibility cloak out of Peeves’ hand.

         “Wait till Dumbledore hears about this, Peeves, you’ll be banished for sure this time.”  Flitch said smiling, with his cat, Ms. Norris, at his feet. “And you Mr. Potter, we meet again.  You will becoming with me to Dumbledore’s office.” 

Flitch dragged Harry up to Dumbledore’s office, and placed him behind the large couch that was in front of the headmaster’s desk.  

“ Professor Dumbledore, sir?  I found Mr. Potter hanging around the staircase to the dungeon.  And Peeves, well let me tell you what he did now.”  Dumbledore interrupted Filch. 

“Thank you Filch, that will be enough, I will hear about Peeves’ antics tomorrow.  You may go.  Leave Potter here.”  He said gently. 

Harry swallowed hard, knowing that Professor Dumbledore would not pleased.  Harry did not know what to do or say.

“Harry, what were you doing down in the dungeon?” Dumbledore asked.

Harry didn’t know what to say.  At first he thought he should lie because he knew he wasn’t suppose to be down there. Harry also thought Professor Dumbledore didn’t know about the picture.  Harry knew that it was wrong to lie and began telling Dumbledore that he had accidentally took something from my office when he was writing me a note.

I sat there quietly knowing that Potter did not know I was also in the room.

“Harry, why didn’t you just wait until the morning and go tell Snape what happened.” Dumbledore asked.

“I was afraid that Snape would find out that it was missing, and would punish me even more severely than he did for being late.”  Harry paused.

“I see, Harry, you know the rules.   Five points will be taken from Gryffindor, but I am glad you told me the truth.”

I smiled but I also wanted my picture.  I stood up from Dumbledore’s couch, and turned to Potter.

“Potter, may I have my picture?”  I asked trying not to sound furious.

“Prof.. Professor Snape, have you been in here the whole time?”  Harry gulped

“Yes, I heard your story.  As for you, I am disappointed that once again you do not think the rules apply to you.  Potter, give me the picture.” I said.

Harry took the frame out of his robes, put it in my hand, and turned to walk out the door.  Then suddenly I decided to do something I hadn’t done in 18 years.

“Potter, I suppose you would like to know who this is a picture of?  I am sure once you’ll leave here you will go rack your brain over this photograph, so I might as well tell you.  Otherwise you wouldn’t be able to concentrate on your Potions homework this week,” I said.

“Severus, are you sure you want to tell him.”  Dumbledore questioned

“Yes I am sure. I have kept this in to long.”  Letting out a deep sigh, I sat down and stared at the photograph.  Potter walked over and sat down next to Dumbledore.

“Well first off, the two people in the picture are named Serena and Angelina.  Angelina was my wife and Serena my daughter.” I stated matter-of-factly.  Harry stood there gaping as if he couldn’t believe what he just heard.  Snape was married, and had a daughter?

“This photograph was taken about a year before you were born, Potter.  Before I taught at Hogwarts I used to work as an Unspeakable.”

“Excuse me Professor, what is an Unspeakable?” Harry questioned.

“Do you not know anything, Potter?”  I said bitterly.

“A Unspeakable is a wizard who works on developing new types of magic.  Some wizards use it for good, others like Voldemort use it for evil.”  I said sneering.

 “My job was very grueling.  Some people didn’t like my job and the types of magic that I used and there were howlers and other things often sent to our house.  My family lived in a Muggle community, and I suppose it was mainly my fault for not living with the other wizards in surrounding areas.  Well, I was never well liked, as you might imagine, Potter.  Many of our Muggle neighbors thought of us as freaks.  They didn’t like me, but for some reason, they decided to punish my wife and daughter….”  I paused and the pain rushed to my brain, I had tried so hard to suppress it for so many years, and now it was finally coming to a head.

“Severus, would you like me to finish for you?” Dumbledore asked me.

“NO.” I shouted angrily. Potter was still sitting on the couch dumbfounded.

“Anyway, one day I went to work and I came home. All the lights in the house were on, and the front door was wide open.  I knew that something was wrong. I ran inside the house, and found things thrown on the floor and the owl was shrieking inside his cage.  I ran upstairs to my daughter’s bedroom to find her……..dead.”  I paused thinking about her cold limp body lying on her bedroom floor.  I remember shouting her name over and over again.  I performed Reviving spells, but she had been gone for too long.  Even strong magic couldn’t bring her back. 

After what seemed like ever I got up and looked for Angelina.  I yelled her name down the hallway.  I found her in the bedroom.  She had been hanged.  The muggles had murdered my wife in the most barbaric way I could imagine.  I was angry and in pain. The Ministry would do nothing for me because she had been killed by muggles.”

“But, how can a Muggle kill a witch?”  Harry asked

“My wife was not a witch!”  I snapped looking very upset.

“You married a Muggle?”  Harry asked

“Yes, I did.”  I stopped, and thought that it was a stupid mistake falling in love with a Muggle. But I did love Angelina, even though she was a Muggle and not a witch.

“Because of what happened I hated Muggles forever, I became a Death Eater and joined the ranks of Lord Voldemort.  But you knew that Potter.

 I had been one of Voldemort’s thugs for a year, when I ran into your mother in Godrick’s Hollow.  She was pregnant with you.  She was in my class you know.  I considered your mother one of my true friends during school, and your father, one of my enemies.  I talked to her for a few minutes when your father came up to her and told me to get lost.  Your father was an Aurora and I knew that he suspected me to be with Voldemort’s death eaters. 

Later that year after you were born I was instructed to go to a Muggle’s house and kill them.  Your father caught me.  He spared me from the Dementors because he knew that Lily and I were friends.  He brought me here.  I spent the next five months refusing to come out of a bedroom that Dumbledore offered me after James told me to stay low.  I had, after all been caught with my wand drawn.  I spent most of that time telling myself that everything that was going on was my fault.  I still feel that way, but have learned to push it aside.  “

Harry shifted uncomfortably in his seat as I paused for a moment.

“The night that your parents were killed I was in Dumbledore’s office and for the first time in months, I talked to someone.  I told Albus everything, from me being a Death Eater, to my wife and daughter, to your father saving my life.  That night he offered me a position as the Potion Master.  I took it knowing that I could never have a normal life again.  My wife and daughter were gone.  I had been highly suspected of being a death eater and could likely end up in Azkaban. 

Unfortunately I had heard through several owls from some unnamed people that Voldemort’s next target was the Potters.  I didn’t know what to do.  If I spoke out against Voldemort, he would kill me, and if I had offered information, most likely those people would end up dead along with your parents.”  I stopped feeling that I had said enough.

“So, why did you agree to become a double agent?”  Harry asked

“First of all in the wizarding world a double agent is called a Deceiver. Well Dumbledore, knew everything about me being a Death Eater, and at the same time he offered me the position here, he also asked if I would be able to help him defeat Voldemort and the other death eaters.  I agreed because I knew that my daughter would have wanted me to.”

“Yes, Harry that is the whole truth about Snape’s past, know hopefully you will understand, and stop sticking you nose where it doesn’t belong, eh?” Dumbledore with a small smile on his face.

Harry turned to face me to speak, but I turned as my cloak swept behind me and walked out of the office with my picture in my hand. 

I went back down to my office and placed my picture in the correct spot, and looked into my daughter’s face.  I missed her the most.  She was so smart.  She began talking when she was one.  Her first words were Da Da.  But that had been seventeen years ago. I got out my wand and shouted “Ageaolda!” I conjured up a Birthday cake, lit 18 candles, and blew them out.

“Happy Birthday Serena.”  With that I walked to my room on the faculty wing and went to bed.

//
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