Their conversation echoed in hishead as he walked back to the dungeon, his footsteps echoing around the wallsof the corridors. He couldn’t help butthink of how stupid he had been about the whole situation. How stupid he had been to say that word inthe first place. Why had he doneit? She’d been defending him, like shealways had, like she always would have if he hadn’t screwed it up soroyally. He had thrown away six years ofbeautiful friendship on one word. Theword that had stung her the most, and the one word that he did not think wastrue. Not about her.
She was the purest thing heknew. So kind and beautiful andgenerous; she did not judge anyone. Shegave everyone a chance, including him. No one else had done that for him in his life and he had tossed it allaside for a prejudice that she was proving wrong every day she was inexistence. She was not stupid, or ugly,or foul in any sense. He was sure thatshe would outsmart Dumbledore when she grew to be the old wizard’s age. She had a long, prosperous and successfullife ahead of her. She would accomplishthings.
That was not what a Mudbloodshould be. They were dirty and stupidand the only things lower than them were House Elves and Muggles. Even Squibs were better, because at leastthey had magical blood in them. That iswhat he had been taught by his house mates. He hated Muggles anyway, what with what his father being one. His cruel father, who made his mother soweak.
Despite all of this, he could nottake what he had said back. Lily wasright, it was too late. He had said thatword, that poisonous word, and now all was lost. He descended the last flight of steps to thedorms, looking at his feet and lost in thought. He just wanted to get into the fifth year dorms and into bed whensomeone tapped him on the shoulder. Helooked up to see the face of Lucius Malfoy. The young man often came back to the school through a secret passagewayfrom Hogsmeade to visit his fiancée, Narcissa Black. Along with recruitment of the odd Slytherinto the ranks of the Dark Lord.
“Have you thought about myproposition?” the blonde man drawled. Afew weeks ago, Lucius had written to Severus explaining that he had told theDark Lord all about him and that Voldemort was quite intrigued by him andwanted to have him among his followers. The dark haired boy had originally thought to say no to the request, buthad not written his response. He hadthough it would be stupid to join the ranks of a group of people that wouldbelieve the girl he loved lower than dirt.
“Yes,” said Severus. The image of Lily Evans’ smile flashed behindhis eyelids as he slowly blinked. Suddenly that smile turned to the hurt look she had on her face as hecalled her that foul name, and then to the blank stare and detached look shehad in her eyes as just now. “It’s too late...”
“Tell him I am eager to join him,”the young man finished as he opened his eyes.
His whole life was about tochange. All for one word.