Chapter 2 : Destiny's Perfect Son
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And so it was. Eileen Snape lived as her husband’s slave. There was never to be magic in the house, and using words pertaining to that world were banned. Eileen thought of running away, but she couldn’t because she knew that the man underneath this hardened exterior was inherently good, and that someday he’d realize that it had all been a mistake, and he would come back to her. Tobias began to have illicit affairs with other women, sometimes never coming home at night. And Severus Snape grew to loathe the man he once saw as a hero. He often wondered if he did possess the same magical gift as his mother. He hoped so; it would just make his father angrier, and then maybe Severus could Abracadabra him into the next country.
Severus already knew some words that his mother said to make things happened. When the light bulb inside the lamp went out, his mother always said “lumos” to make the wand tip glow. Severus had tried using this word once when his mother was sleeping, but to no avail. His mother had changed her mind about Severus not wanting to be a wizard. She had once told him, “If you are than you are. I will always be proud of you, no matter what you are. You will always be my Severus.” When Severus asked about his grandparents and why he didn’t have any, his mother told him, “You are better off without them.”
When it was time for Severus to start primary school, his mother decided it would be better off to home school him. Money was still tight, and Tobias was barely providing for the family he had left. His mother found work as a seamstress, and although she was not very good by hand, she was able to bring the work home, use magic to finish the job, and tutor Severus all at the same time. When his father came home, Severus ran to hide underneath his bed, because he knew this was not good. On more than one occasion, his father would lay his hands on his mother and try to rip her clothes off, forcing her to do things she did not want to do, or he would just scream and hit her. Severus had witnessed these things before, standing and crying in the corner, his black hair matted to his forehead, while his father screamed at his mother.
“Why don’t you go back to where you came from? You’re a filthy nasty witch, why don’t you do some magic and show me how talented you are. I can’t believe I married the bane of human existence. I’m sure our little lump of a son is all powerful.”
It was always the same argument, and always, he brought Severus into the mix. Some days, Severus would try to stand up to his father, and his punishment was a bloody nose, bruises, or even unconsciousness. But one time, Severus did more than stand in the corner and cry, or hide beneath his bed. He was eight years old, and his father started the same routine. As his father raised his hand to hit Eileen, Severus darted in front of her.
“LEAVE MY MOTHER ALONE!!!” he spat as loudly as he could, and his father flew backwards, across the room, and hit his back hard against the wall. Slowly his father stood up, shaking his head, and glared at his son.
“Is that how you treat your father, the man who gave you LIFE?” he roared. “Why are you defending her, she is weak, weary, she is not strong. I hardly doubt she loves you, too much love for her own needs,” he yelled. Severus reached into the back pocket of his paper thin, worn out trousers and brandished his mother’s wand. He pointed it right at his Father’s head.
“I have dealt with you for too long,” he said quietly, walking quickly toward his father until he was inches away from his face. “Leave, or I will kill you. I WILL KILL YOU. NEVER come here again, or you will be DEAD! And I swear to God someday you will be.”
And with that, the door swung open, and his father went flying out the door, landing head first on the stoop on which Severus had always waited for him when he was younger. At that moment, Severus knew that he would never trust another person that was not of magical descent. He was set on becoming a wizard, and nothing was going to stop him.
“SEVERUS!” his mother cried. “Severus, what have you DONE!” She sobbed to herself quietly, and then said, “You shouldn’t have done that. He’ll never come back, what will we do?”
Severus walked quietly toward his mother, loathing the fact that she still had feelings for the horrible person that was his father.
“Never- touch – mommy’s- wand,” she gasped, snatching it back from her son. Severus, thoroughly disgusted, ran out of the house and into the woods, where he spent the rest of the day wondering when he could get away from this house.
When he turned ten, he knew indeed that he had inherited his mother’s magical powers. He learned that he was a half blood wizard, and he even saw his grandparents for the first time. Severus quickly picked up that they were not too keen to see him, as he looked too much like his filthy muggle father, and so one meeting was enough. His mother never quite recovered from the loss of his father, who never returned to the small cottage. She would never love another man, but other than that she was seemingly back to normal. She loved Severus deeply, but looking at him proved to be a task because she could see Tobias’s black eyes staring back at her.
On the day Severus received his letter from Hogwarts, his mother seemed to be pleased. “Wonderful!” she exclaimed, attempting happiness for her only son. “Not much has changed since I was there.”
While his mother was sleeping, which was quite often because of the bouts of depression that hit her, he would slither into her closet and get out her old books. His two favorite were Advanced Potion-Making and An Informed Look into the Depths of Dark Arts. He had sworn to himself to memorize every curse in the book so that if his father ever came back, Severus would be ready. No one was going to hurt him, or his mother, even if she was a useless lump.
Severus’s first trip into the wizarding world was Diagon Alley. His mother took him by way of Floo Powder, something Severus had never heard of. She explained to him how it worked.
“Just take a handful of this green powder, wait until the flames turn an emerald color, step in, and say very clearly, ‘Diagon Alley!’”
She had made him practice with her a few times, and Severus was humiliated at how childish his mother thought him to be. He went first, dropping the dust into the flames, and proclaiming quite loudly, “Diagon Alley!”
He felt the room begin to spin as his body was lifted upward and into some kind of unpleasant limbo. A few moments later, Severus fell out of the fireplace quite ungracefully. His mother was right behind him, dusting the ash off herself.
“Come now, let’s get going, we have a lot to do.” They stepped out into the open air, and Severus gaped with wonder at this place.
“This,” said his mother, a sullen, distant look on her face, “is Diagon Alley. We’ll be purchasing all of your supplies here, but first we need to stop at Gringott’s to remove some money from my vault.”
She took his hand, much to Severus’s disgust, and led him through the alley. Upon arriving at the bank, his mother began to talk to the strangest creatures Severus had ever laid eyes on.
“Goblins,” she had told him.
She showed the goblin her key and then they were whisked away to his mother’s vault. Inside, there was a small stack of gold coins, a slightly larger stack of silver, and the smallest amount of coins were bronze.
“This is all the wizard money I have left to my name. We will use it to buy your first year supplies.” Severus nodded.
He wasn’t sure how much money was there, but it was more than he had ever seen. By the look on his mother’s sullen face, however, he knew that the money there was hardly enough to live off of for three months. His mother took the lot, and then they took their business to the bookstore, Flourish and Blotts. Severus bought all his books second hand, but this was alright with him. He’d never owned his own books before. They went on, buying a cauldron and some potion ingredients. Severus was not especially interested in his school supplies.
His attention was distracted because of all the curious people walking around. Everyone in Diagon Alley seemed to be wearing robes of many different colors. This, he supposed, was the norm for witches and wizards. About ten minutes after wondering, Severus was being measured for his own set of robes. He liked them. They made him feel dignified, and they set him apart from everyone else in the world he used to call home. No, he was in his world now. Severus had never questioned which world he was truly a part of. He was a wizard at heart, even if he wasn’t pure blood. No one had to know about the part of his genes that made him want to be sick every time he thought about it. His father died a long time ago. He had already crafted the story, a year after his father had left them. His father was French, or Spanish, or American, and he had to return to his home country one night when Severus was small, and he had never returned. Yes, then they wouldn’t know that Snape was just a dirty commoner name that he had inherited. He once asked his mother if he could change his name to Prince so he would never have to look at the name again, but his mother had quieted that idea very quickly.
“Be proud of who you are. You are a half blood wizard, but even half bloods can be more powerful than all the purebloods in the world.”
Severus thought that this was a clever disguise for his mother’s distaste for the name “Prince.”
“Excuse me, could you please lower your arm a bit?” The woman fitting him for his robes asked, and he obliged, clearly still lost in his thoughts.
Severus stared out the shop window and saw a group of young wizards gazing into a shop that held the latest model of racing broom. Flying brooms, now that would take some getting used to as well. Severus had never seen anyone actually ride a broom before, but he couldn’t wait to try himself. Down the street some witches around his age were staring wide eyed at all the buildings. When Severus was finished with his fitting, he tugged on his mother sleeve and asked to explore a bit. He wished to meet someone like himself. Eileen had smiled at her son, and told him to wait outside the shop for her to finish paying. Severus took the opportunity to sneak a peek across the street at the broom shop. He overheard some voices talking excitedly about the broom in the window.
“A Cleansweep! It’s a new brand, I heard it’s the fastest broom around, and father told me he’d pay top dollar for it!” A blonde boy a few years older than Severus was saying loudly, as if to let everyone know that his father had enough money to pay for such a fantastic new item. Severus felt a pang of envy, and he knew that he wished to switch places with that boy. He was clearly someone who had been brought up in the world to which Severus was trying so desperately to cling.
“Ready? We’re almost done, all we need is to stop at Ollivander’s to get your wand.”
Severus felt his stomach leap. His own wand. No more sneaking into mother’s bedside drawer to try her wand out. The walked into the shop, conversed briefly with Mr. Ollivander, and soon Severus Snape had finally seen his dream come true.
“Birch, 10 ¼ inches, Unicorn Tail Hair core. Very flexible.”
Severus swished his wand, happy for the first time in seven years. His mother smiled weakly, paid for the wand, and then they left Diagon Alley. His mother only had a handful of money left, but Severus was set to start a new life with people like him, people who weren’t repulsed by his sight because of his uncanny resemblance to his filthy muggle father.
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