- Name. Severus Snape.
Blood Status. Half-Blood.
Position. Potions Master.
Wand. 12 1/2" Black Walnut, Ashwinder Ash Core, Rigid.
Amortentia. Slow-swirling smoke, daffodils, wood, leather bindings.
Face Claim. Alan Rickman. Art by Sikuriina.
Share Face Claim? No.
Mother. Eileen Prince.
Father. Tobias Snape.
Spinner's End is a hole, a hovel if you're being generous. The bricks fall off buildings and bash into cracked pavement and residents hustle wearing rags and tatters. All his life, Severus disdains the poverty in which he was brought up. That follows him. She's the first person to see beyond it. He knows as soon as her palm opens around that daffodil, but he says nothing, choosing instead to bask in the unfamiliar warmth of her presence.
Magic separates Severus from the ordinary and he clings to that, clings to being something more than muggle. Muggles stew in their own filth, clutch at you with gnarled hands, spit at you in rage and hate and pure jealousy because your mother had the audacity to conceive you. Tobias isn't kind, but he stays out of some twisted belief that magic is the answer to his problems. Drinking, fighting, gambling. It doesn't matter.
Everything changes when he's eleven. At least, it's supposed to change. The hat lands atop Severus's head and instantly calls out the word that divides him from the one person he's come to count as friend. Slytherin! Of course he would be. If they're not haughty pureblood fanatics with golden blond hair and luxurious clothing, they're ragtag misfits with a grudge. No one needs to guess which category Severus falls under.
He has one thing in common with Tobias, though. Magic is the answer, so he buckles down and consumes as much as humanly possible on the subject. He's a genius in his year. Hell, he's a genius in the school. His assignments receive outward praise. He documents the mechanics behind crafting spells, not just casting them. In Fifth Year, a few pages from his journal make it around the castle and teachers punish students for levitating one another in the hallways. Until that swine James Potter himself uses it against him.
Snivellus. He's bitter, angry, and back from another hot summer at Spinner's End and plain tired of suffering. If he can make someone else suffer, all the better. If Slytherin teaches him one thing it's that it's always better to be the one in power, to be the one wielding the wand. He craves to lash out at James with all the force of might inside him, but then he sees them together, and white-hot rage blinds him. He does something he can't take back. The divide is complete. Mudblood.
As a young adult he becomes engulfed in the newly emerging Death Eater movement, finally embraced by the most popular amongst his peers. Lucius Malfoy takes a special interest in the greasy git, believing him to be of value. He's smart, he's disciplined, and above all else, he is strong. People's eyes avert in fear when he walks past, sleeves rolled up to reveal the Mark. They laugh, reveling in it.
Until Lord Voldemort himself trusts Severus with information that stuns him to his core. Lily Potter's child, considered the beneficiary of the prophecy that he himself had delivered. The prophecy that proves to truly change everything.
- The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches... born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives... the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies...
— Sybil Trelawney
He's not forgiven, and he knows that, but it's the ability to breathe and the loosening of a knot in his chest that Lily will be safe. Until the door blows apart and green light explodes through the room, and the house shakes and roars, bricks and dust gathering in rubble. He's there first, finds her broken body, and everything breaks. He's not forgiven. But her child lives, a part of her lives. So he does something even he doesn't expect, and turns away from a life of glory to a life of service. To a life of unforgiveness.
Teaching at Hogwarts is a trial. Severus isn't a patient man, and he disdains frequently. Incompetence, bluster, laziness, stupidity, they're rampant amongst the student body and maybe Severus shouldn't blame them. They're children, after all. But no one spared him that consideration, why should he? More than that, though, Voldemort is watching. Always watching. He can't afford to show compassion, especially towards Potter, or his mission is void.
It's only years later that he discovers Dumbledore never had any intention of saving the boy. All those years of repentance, even as Dumbledore defended him, suddenly mean nothing in the face of this most empty promise. But Severus is if nothing else a good soldier, and more than ever the time is now, so he swallows the bitter ball and stalks back into the arena. He knew, deep down, that Voldemort would never let him live through this and he was willing to sacrifice his life if it meant a piece of Lily could live on. As much as it pained him to admit it, he was willing. He was ready to die.
And Potter is there. Harry is there. It is all the strength he can muster to release the cloud of memories, telling him, "Take them. Take them!" and flinging them away like millions of slicing, cutting insects. All that he is, all that he was, contained. His whole life spent concealing, shrouding, now laid bare to the one person alive who had always been able to poise those weapons. But Harry doesn't. He is silent, and they stay that way until Severus's breaths stop.
- "Look... at... me..."