THE POTIONS’ MASTER
Story Rating: PG-13
Story Type: Drama/Romance
Disclaimer: All the characters in the story belong to J. K. Rowling, except
Elena, who belongs to me.
Three years have passed since that incident with
the Death-Eaters, and I still can’t forget... It was so horrible... Even now I
can hear those screams and suffering in my worst nightmares, I can see Harry
dying while Volemort cries “Avada Cedavra”, see Hermione fighting half-dead,
and professor Snape yelling from pain when received the Cruciatus curse. And
then how I ran to help him... And then Voldemort dying eventually, when Hermione
tried to save Ron, just as Harry’s mother did trying to save her son...
Voldemort is dead... Just as all of my friends...
down the cemetery towards Harry’s grave. I must see him and try to remember
the days when our only worry was how to make our potion green, or transfigure a
quill into a tortoise. How much I long for those days that passed and will never
return. How I long for that cold voice of Snape’s, McGonagall’s strict look,
and Hagrid’s cookies...
I saw a dark silhouette walking between the gravestones towards me. I was so
frightened at first, but later I recognised it- it was my favourite teacher,
professor Severus Snape, the Potions’ Master. He was wearing his usual black
robes, and his coal-black hear was still slimy and falling to his shoulders. He
observed me for a moment with his dark eyes and then said in a cold, deep voice:
evening, Professor”, I answered, trying to give him a modest smile.
a young Griffindor like you doing in a place like this?”, he asked, raising
one eyebrow in suspicion.
like the Snape I used to know... Always sneaking and suspecting others... And he
was never wrong, though... I still think he has the ability to read minds.
came to... to... visit... the graves of my old... friends...”, I said, trying
hard not to cry.
realized that immediately and stopped asking questions. He just waited for me to
calm down and ask him something.
you, Professor? Are you all right? How ‘s your leg?”
remembered he had broken his right leg while trying to help me run away from
fine. Well, I do still limp, but it’s nothing.” His dark eyes
glittered, and for the very first time, a tender smile was formed on his lips.
“Let’s sit somewhere, so we may talk.”
crossed some graves and reached the path. We set on a bench, not saying a word
for a long time.
much like you”, Snape said eventually in his ironic manner, “always silent,
and listening... I can still remember the Griffindor and Slytherin seventh years
in my classes, bowing upon the cauldrons and never understanding a word that I
was saying. And I tried so much to explain to you the Sleeping Potion with the
simplest words... But you were just a bunch of dunderheads as I said in our very
at him frowning, but he just smiled, and cast me a glance full of kindness.
be cross! For you always did well. Excellent, I daresay... You, unlike others,
understood quite well my instructions... And always managed to make the Potion I
wanted. When I asked three rolls of parchment to be written for the next day, it
was only you who didn’t complain and who did the homework.”
stopped talking for a moment, and then turned towards me.
he finally asked, his eyes full of some kind of warmth... No, it can’t be!
Those eyes which were always so cold and severe, were now shining with warmth
you always did as I wanted and never, ever complained?”
should I complain? I loved Potions!”
he asked, eyes wide-opened.
wrong about it?”
it’s just... everybody hated Potions because of me.”
didn’t say anything. Because I didn’t know how... how to admit that I loved
Potions because of... him!
did love him. I always did. He looked so proud and strong... I still remember
him standing in front of his desk, tall, in his black robes, his hands crossed
upon his chest. And his deep, tempered voice... Then how he strode across the
classroom, his cloak bellowing behind him. His strict expression, and his cold
him, for nobody else did.
didn’t hate you”, I finally whispered.
breeze started to move the branches of the trees. The sky became darker.
going to rain”, he said, shuddering.
cold, let’s go home”.
What’s wrong?”, I stared at him in surprise, but he just closed his eyes,
crossed his hands on his chest and shuddered again.
you all right?”
nodded, but then began to cough loudly, fighting for breath. I tapped him on his
back. Then he collapsed on my lap, and I could see foaming red stream of blood
on his lips. I took him in my arms, not knowing what to do. And what could I
possibly do? Just watch him how he was shaking and suffering. When he eventually
ceased to cough, he rested his head on my lap, while I was stroking his hear and
his cold cheeks, looking him straight in his tired black eyes, which revealed so
much pain. Professor Snape was ill. Why didn’t he tell me? He needed help. Why
didn’t he ask for it?
there for some minutes, his eyes half-closed and red from pain. Then he began to
cold...”, he whispered with effort.
help you to your home”, I said, and held him to stand up. He was too weak to
stand on his own, so he leaned on me, placing his hand around my shoulder.
he managed to say, “I don’t have... a home...”
didn’t want to ask too many questions, so I finally said:
worry. I’ll take you to mine”.
walked slowly across the path and got out of the cemetery.
climbed the wooden stairs that led to my flat on the second floor. I was so
afraid that Snape would faint, for he looked so exhausted and weak. When we
reached the inside of the flat, I lad him on the couch in the living room. I
took him a glass of water.
me, Professor... What is it?”
reached to touch his forehead. It was very warm.
think you might have a temperature. I’ll prepare the tub for you to take a
shower. And take this nightshirt as well”, I said, taking a grey nightshirt
from my wardrobe. “You can’t sleep in this cloak”.
hardly stand on his feet, so I helped him to the bathroom.
ill”, I thought to myself. “Very ill... Poor Severus... After all those
things he passed through in his life... he had to be ill, in addition.”
finished with the shower his teeth were chattering, so I led him to the bed and
covered him carefully with the blanket. His face was paler then ever and he had
dark circles under his eyes. He continued shivering for a while, and than
relaxed when I made him a cup of tea.
you”, he whispered when he dank it. “Nobody ever did so much for me.”
at him, stoking his cheeks.
okay. Rest, now. Tomorrow everything will be better.”
the blanket to cover his neck, and then bowed to kiss his cheek.
if there’s anything you want, call me. I’ll be in the living room. Good
started to leave, when I heard him whisper:
just... spoken my name!
you... I mean... Would you...”
Come on, say it, I won’t eat anybody!”
stay with me? Just for tonight? Please...”
observed for a moment those pleading eyes of his and than finally said:
come in a minute.”, and gave him a small smile.
came back and tucked me in beside him, he was still awake.
you didn’t tell me, what made you to start liking Potions?”, he asked, and I
could feel his breath on my cheek.
sighed, and finally said:
promise you won’t laugh, make fun of me, or get angry with me...?”
didn’t manage to tell. It was too difficult to me. Severus Snape couldn’t
understand love, I knew that. He hated that word. I remember how he comported
when we concocted love-potions...
funny?!”, I said angrily. “It’s not funny! My feelings are sincere and
he chuckled again and laid his head closer to mine so I could feel his cold
skin, and than his lips on my ear.
know”, he whispered, “and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
I thought. “It can’t be true! He hated even the word and now...”
feelings are sincere and true, too”, he said, as if he was reading my mind.
And I took him in my arms, so that his head was resting on my chest. I could
hear him breathing and felt his warm body against mine. I took his hand, lightly
stroking it, and laid my cheek on his hear. It was not slimy as everyone was
saying. It was silky and soft, and it smelled like lemon. I couldn’t resist
you once more...”, he said sleepily, “I thank you with all my heart.”
welcome, Severus. Get some sleep now. You must rest.”
very happy at the moment. Severus was so near, I could hear his heart beating
quickly, and than more slowly, and slowly. And his shallow breath became deep,
as he finally fell asleep... He fell asleep in my arms...
dozed off into sleep, I thought about the past, about Severus now and then,
about the man he was, about the man he has become.
When I woke up the next morning Severus was still sleeping. His back was turned
to me, so I couldn't see his face. I could hear him breathing, and, sensing his
warmth, felt how much I really loved him. He was so close too me, and how dear
his breathing was, how dear he was... Don't make crazy thoughts! There could be
nothing between me and him. Absolutely nothing.
turned my head and our eyes met. His were red from pain and fever, and gave away
suffering and sadness. I was shocked when I saw his pale and sunken cheeks, his pale
lips that curled into a small smile, which also showed so much... pain.
dear Severus, you look ill... Tell me, please, what happened!", I cried
out, stretching my hand to touch his face. He shivered at my touch and closed
tell me. I want to help you."
he asked, taking my hand in his and clutching it.
would I want to help you?", I asked in surprise.
nodded, watching me with his tired eyes wide-opened.
I whisper, taking him in my arms once more and kissing his temple, "I want
to help you because I love you and care for you. I want to see you happy, not
his arms around me and started to shake and whimper.
is it?", I asked, rather concerned with that unexpected reaction.
moans were escaping his throat and I started to console him, stroking his hair
and his face that was wet from tears.
can tell me, Severus. I won't betray you. You can tell me everything. Just calm
down. Calm down... Come on..."
stopped speaking for a few minutes, and he ceased to moan. He just rested his
head on my chest, holding my hand firmly, while my other hand was led on his
shoulder. His heart was beating fast, and his breathing was quick and
sorry... I didn't mean to...", he said when he calmed down.
waited for him to speak, holding him firmly in my arms.
finally spoke, his voice was calm and steady.
didn't mean to break down like that in front of you. But I really hadn't ever,
ever experienced this before."
do you mean with this?", I asked in surprise.
much... kindness... and care... and sympathy..."
know. I am fully aware of his unpleasant past. When he was a boy, nobody loved
him, everyone played games of him, calling him "slimeball", and
"greasy heared git". I still can't forget how Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot
and Prongs called him names when he found the Marauder's map, and how everyone
was so unkind to him. Everyone, except Dumbledore. Dumbledore knew who Severus
really was. He knew how much he suffered in his life. He gave him a second
chance. And then Severus became a spy... And suffered again, when Voldemort
discovered he betrayed him, by tormenting him with the most painful curse. Oh,
my poor Severus, what he went through, and succeeded in keeping himself alive
and reasonable. Who could ever manage this? Who could ever live without love?
Who could stand not to love and being loved, not to belong to
"It's okay, Severus... I know... I know...", I whispered to him, and
gave him a long kiss on his hear.
Voldemort found out I spied for Dumbledore he started to torment me instantly. I
don't know how I stayed alive that night. When I returned to Hogwarts everyone
was sleeping, for it was two in the morning. I was crawling through the
corridors, and then I saw... you. You were sitting on the threshold of my office
and chattering from cold."
I remember. I was so upset, I couldn't sleep. Something in me was telling me
that something 's wrong. I felt nervous I jumped out of bed, and ran to the dungeons.
My legs led me there. I didn't want to. And curled in front of your office...
ready to cry and call you... And then I heard breathing and the rustling of
robes... And then you appeared half-dead..."
was surprised to see you there, but thought just that god sent you to help me...
For, for some reason, I had to stay alive... When you saw me like that you
opened your mouth in surprise and then jumped and kneeled next to me. 'Severus!',
you called me by my first name, 'What happened?'. You hugged me, and started to
console me. 'I 'll help you to your room... lean on me.' You were so kind to me,
and never left me when I needed you. I knew you must have loved me for caring so
much about me..."
knew? Since then?"
nodded and continued in his low tone:
I never told you what Voldemort was doing to me when you were asking why I
looked so pale, why my eyes looked so tired and sunken, and many, many other
questions showing that you cared for me, that you loved me... How could I tell
you all those things Voldemort did to me? And that night, when the Death-Eaters
attacked, I was only caring for you. For you not to die. And that's why I tried
to save you when he was ready to kill you. And when he cast that curse on me
again, I was able to see your face contorted with pain and anger, than you ran
to me, hugged me, and cried... Oh dear, I still remember how you cried, holding
my exhausted body in you arms, when everything had finished, when Voldemort was
dead. Then you said: 'We won, Severus. We won! You must live to see this!' You
were stroking my back and kissing all of my face, whispering that we won, that
everything's finished, that I must stay alive... And I did. And I thank you for
all your care and all your consolation. For your help when I needed it most...
Thank you, Elena..."
raised his head and looked at me. His eyes were still wet and he looked very
always welcome, Severus...", I replied, brushing the tears away from his
cheeks. "And I am ready to help you again. To win this illness for good.
But you have to tell me something about it first."
started from the very first day of Voldemort tormenting me. I feel pain in my
chest and then... it happens. I start to cough and bleed. After that, I can
still feel the pain in my chest for a while, and than it just... ceases, and I
get the impression that nothing happened."
live with this four years? And you didn't tell anybody?"
didn't have anybody to tell..."
I looked at him, and saw the most poor and misunderstood
creature on Earth. I wanted to give him everything that could make him happy,
that could make him forget about his pain. I wanted to give him love and
"You have to continue living", I said, getting up
from the bed and giving him a smile. "Come on, I'll make you
I returned from work late that evening, exhausted by working in the lab all day,
he was sitting on the couch in the living-room, reading a book. When he looked
up at me, he gave me a soft smile.
was it?", he asked, approaching me.
fine. I like my work. Although it's not as interesting as Potions...", I
smiled at him. "You look tired, Severus. I told you to lie and rest for a
while. Will you ever listen to me? Really, I don't mean you any harm."
smiled again, and continued:
after dinner, you will take a shower and go to bed immediately."
came closer and wrapped his arms around me, holding me firmly. I returned his
embrace, and laid my head upon his chest.
think you care too much", he said, and I raised my head to look in his eyes.
They were worm and sparkling.
because...", but I didn't manage to say, for he kissed me softly. I held his
head closer to mine, and that soft kiss became passionate seconds
later, and then I felt that I truly loved him and was truly loved. Then I looked
at him again, I looked at those beautiful eyes of his, and saw so much warmth,
so much passion. He smiled at me, and I smiled at him, and we looked at each
other for some time, holding each other, not saying a word. And then he took me
in his strong arms and carried me to my bedchamber.
don't...", I pleaded quietly, "You are tired, Severus... Please,
he didn't listen. He was breathing hard and led me on the bed, not saying a
Listen to me!" I ordered, and he stopped immediately, crouching on the
floor. He bowed his head in disgrace and whispered:
sorry, Elena... How... how could I do that! I must have become mad! After all
you have done for me, I tried, I tried to... to..."
I started, sitting next to him taking him in my arms. "You did nothing
wrong... It's just... We can't..."
didn't look at me. He released himself from me and took his head in his
are you angry with me?", I asked, ready to start crying. Why did you do
this? Why didn't you let him be happy for one time in his life? You love him!
Why didn't you let him? Why? You wanted this as well!
raised his head and I realized his eyes were wet. What have you done? Why?
Sev...", I cried, caressing his wet cheeks. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean
anything wrong, I made a mistake, it was stupid from me, it was just too hasty,
I didn't want to sadden you, I am really, really sorry..."
took my hand in his and drew it to his lips, placing a soft kiss.
smiled and threw myself around his neck.
my dearest, my dearest! I knew you couldn't be angry with me too long!"
tapped my back and replied:
think you're right. It was just too hasty."
looked at him and kissed him. I kissed him just to remind him that I still loved
him, and to assure him that he didn't make a mistake. I was the one who
When I woke up at the middle of that night,
Severus Snape was sleeping peacefully near me. Hearing his deep, even breathing,
sensing his warm body next to mine and watching his pale face and half-opened
mouth, I remembered how we loved each other some hours earlier. I remembered his
tender touches and his warm flesh, his kisses and his sweet words. I remembered
the passionate glimpse in his ebony-black eyes, his long fingers stroking my hair
and body... I was sure now that Severus was not just a cold-hearted slimeball.
He was a human being who knew to love. He was much, much better than those
stupid Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs together!
I was watching him sleeping for a long time,
and then reached to kiss his forehead. He murmured something in his dream and
curled closer to me.
"My dear...", I whispered and took
him in my arms.
He left a deep sigh escape his throat and
hugged me back.
"I have a reason to live now", I
heard him whispering.
"You always have a reason to live",
I answered, taking him closer. "And when you are desperate, you must
continue... Who knows what is awaiting for you..."
I can't, I can't stand this anymore! I can't
live without you... Why have you abandoned me so suddenly, so unexpectedly? Why
have you left me when I most needed you? Why has life to be so cruel?
But you, you died happy. You died in my arms,
with a smile on your face.
I still remember that cold winter morning, and
We were tucked in together, as every night,
and you were telling me how happy you were with me, you thanked me for what I've
done for you to make your life less cruel and more bearable. We fell asleep in
each others arms, but I was awaken in the middle of the night by that familiar
cough, the cough I heard in the graveyard. You were bleeding and gasping again,
and your whole body was shuddering when I took you in my arms. you were fighting
for breath and panted "I'm tired... I'm so tired... Elena...", and you
forced a smile, and closed your eyes... Closed your eyes forever...
And I still can't believe that you are not
here anymore, I still can't believe that those eyes, those beautiful black eyes
of yours don't shine anymore, that they can't see anymore, that those hands are
no longer warm... Your ebony hair, you pale, yet lovely face, your soft, tiny
lips... I can't believe they don't exist anymore. I don't want to believe that
you are not alive...
I can't live without your smile, your soft
kisses and words. I can't live without you, Severus.
"But you have to", something inside
me says, "You have to continue living. Who knows what is awaiting for
Severus still lives, I'm not mistaken! He just
spoke! It must be him! Severus, my only love!
Severus still lives... in me.