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Chapter 13: Snape's Worst Memory Remix
A/N: I have chosen not to describe in detail the occurance of Snape’s Worst Memory as portrayed in the OOTP to avoid any copyright laws and plagiarism. It is merely described from Severus’s point of view vaguely. This story was Beta'd by Laughable_Black_Storm 04/09 :)
For the next few months, Severus floated through his schoolwork and studied intensely for the ever-approaching O.W.L.s. The best thing about it was that he didn’t have to worry about Potter and Black, because they seemed to be steering clear of him whenever possible.
The only thing he regretted about levitating Sirius – an ever-embarrassing moment for the black-haired twit – was his relationship with Elise. He had really frightened her with his impulsive anger and his eagerness to harm the two imbeciles, who had begun to call themselves “the Marauders.” Still, their meetings pressed on, and no words were spoken concerning what had happened that day. Their relationship remained professional, and Severus was fine with this –less temptation, and less time to mess up his hard-earned intelligence and ability to abstain from the beautiful flower that was Elise.
His unwillingness to embrace his own feelings, however, had driven her right into the arms of Sirius Black, another travesty that was left unmentioned in their meetings.
On one particular evening at the end of April, the pair was studying a particularly tricky potion when Elise finally spoke up about everything she’d been holding back since February.
“How much Dark Magic do you know?” she asked cautiously, interrupting his meticulous thoughts.
“I– er – what?” he asked distractedly.
“You heard me. Dark Magic. How much do you know about it?”
“Why do you care?” he spat at her. She did not shrink back in fear as she once had.
“Because! Because friends tell each other this kind of thing, because you owe it to me to tell me, because you attacked my – my boyfriend using it, because you practically radiate it! How much do you know?”
“A lot, okay? I know a lot of Dark Magic. I grew up with it, and I think it’s fascinating. I know things that could make your toes curl … in fact, I’ve been working on a few of my own spells, if you must know. If you’re so nosy that you can’t keep to your own business, I'll tell you: I plan to try most of them on the insufferable piece of trash that is your boyfriend, as you so call him. Is that what you wanted to hear?”
Elise rose from her seat, a fire burning brightly inside her as she responded with the same biting tone Severus had used with her.
“Don’t you lecture me about Sirius! That is a place that you are not allowed to go. Don’t think that I don’t see that fire in your eyes, Severus … the way you look at me … I see it every time we meet. You want me. I know you do.”
Severus was completely taken aback by her blunt ability to solve the enigma of his feelings.
“Don’t be pretentious,” he said, smirking at her. “We are merely in a business relationship. I am tutoring you; our relationship hasn't changed since the first day you approached me. I see no room for anything further.” He hadn’t meant that, but he let the words roll off his tongue anyway, watching her expression grow more and more conflicted.
“Do you know what I risk every time I come to these meetings, Severus?” she spat. “My boyfriend thinks that I am taking remedial Transfiguration, which could very well be the case, seeing as I am horrible in that subject. But do you know what it does to me to lie, just so that I can come here and have you walk all over me as if you are the smartest man on the fact of the Earth? I am not fooled by any means! I don’t want to be a pawn in your game. I’m not just a fun fling every week – we used to be so close, don’t you remember? What happened, what has changed?”
“BLACK!” Severus exclaimed. “He taunts me, tortures me, and you are so okay with that, that you will go so far as to be his little love bird! I have had enough of this mindless droning! I have more important things to do than contemplate what could have been, or should have been.”
He watched the tears bubble in Elise’s eyes, yet he stood his ground, glaring at her.
“When did you become such a – a Slytherin?” she asked quietly.
“So, now we’re down to stereotypes. I’ve always been a Slytherin, you were just too disillusioned to notice.”
“Disillusioned?” she repeated. “You know, Lily always used to tell me that you were something different, that you weren’t like the rest of the Slytherins … that you actually had a heart somewhere!”
“My heart died with my bastard father. I don’t have time for this –"
“Why don’t you open up to me about –?"
“I’M FINISHED!” he yelled, gathering his things. He left Elise standing in the room, tears streaming down her face. It was better this way.
A few weeks later, O.W.L.s were upon the fifth years, and Severus found himself doing nothing but staring into books. He was fairly sure he’d done well in most of his O.W.L.s, but he was most excited about Potions and Defense Against the Dark Arts. He was positive that he’d scored an O in at least those two, if nothing else. After his Defense Against the Dark Arts O.W.L., Severus went outside in the warm air, happy that the stress of the year was almost gone.
It was a gorgeous day; the sun shone brightly, and many of the Hogwarts students were out enjoying the weather.
Severus took the time to leisurely sit under a tree and enjoy a book on the many ways to kill a vampire. He did not hear the Marauders approach. He did not know the horror that was about to take place. He had no clue that the nearing moment would haunt his dreams for the rest of his life – he was merely enjoying a nice read.
The gits began to taunt him, and Severus grew weary of their futile advances. Soap in his mouth, bubbles pouring from it ... unable to contain it, Severus panicked. He became desperate ... what did he know that they didn't? What could he use to his own advantage? Quick! Think of something, anything!
To assert his authority, he used his newest creation on James Potter; his newest spell, created only for those who he despised more than anything. He’d written it in the margin of his mother's advanced potions book, the book that he’d memorized from cover to cover. It was an impulse, self-protection, and probably stupid. But it was done, and though he knew it was wrong, Severus felt somewhat proud when James was taken aback. As blood dripped down James Potter’s face from the first use of the Sectumsempra curse, Severus felt empowered.
And then it happened. His own spell used against him. What had been such an enjoyable experience a few months ago now turned on him, mocked him. Upside-down he hung, James Potter and Sirius Black standing under him, Peter Pettigrew clapping like an idiot under the tree, and Remus Lupin the Prefect conveniently ignoring the situation.
Before he knew it, he was half unclothed, with people standing around staring at every inch of him that was revealed. Everything ... his underpants were completely torn off. Black and Potter were making comments ... he couldn't hear anymore, he was blocking it out.
If Severus could have turned red from embarrassment, he would have, but all the blood had already rushed to his head. He heard the girls scream; he heard Lily come to his defense. And he heard himself utter the word 'Mudblood' in her presence – there were Slytherins surrounding him who would gladly hex him into eternity, after Black and Potter were finished with him, by accepting help from a Mudblood. Lily slunk away, but Elise stood on, mouth covered in horror.
It seemed to continue forever, as though time had stopped and everything in the universe was taunting Severus at that exact moment.
When they finally released him, Elise ran to his side, much to the disgust of Black.
“Oi, Aguirre, what the Hell? Come on, babe, it’s almost dinner time.”
“What in the Hell is your problem, Sirius? Why did you do that to him?” she demanded angrily, but Severus would not have them argue over him while he was present.
“I don’t need any help from any of you. Get out of my way,” he snarled, pushing Elise away and dusting himself off as he stood. He felt worse than violated, more horrible than anyone should ever feel.
“Severus!” she shrieked. “Let me help you, please!”
“Elise, go away,” he replied, walking quickly, averting his gaze away from the crowd’s stares.
“I don’t want to see you, I don’t want to talk to you. Stay away from me!” he snarled, turning back around.
He stopped this time and let Elise approach, leaving the confused Marauders behind him. In a soft whisper, he cupped her chin up to look into his eyes.
“Elise,” he breathed, “just leave me alone. Stop wasting your time on me. I’m not worth it. Go back to your boyfriend.” His voice grew increasingly louder and bitter, and after holding her gaze for a moment, he turned and walked away.
He’d done the last bit for her, the last drop of kindness squeezed out of him. As much as he didn’t want to admit it, his feelings were still there, and Elise would always be his flower, but it would never be enough. He would never be enough.