Before Harry Potter

Before Harry Potter, Lily, James, Severus, and their friends/enemies existed in what us Potterheads like to call the "Marauder Era". Read to figure out what happened when J.K. Rowling wasn't looking
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, or the drawings/Cover art

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2. Sobbing on a Staircase

 

                Severus tore into the Slytherin boy’s dormitories, hardly noticing the people staring at him through the common room door as he approached his bed.  Just moments ago, he had been at dinner, where he was forced to endure an hour of being congratulated by his fellow Slytherins for fully shunting out the ‘Mudblood population’.  He had tried to smile his way through it, but the more he did the faker he felt, and the more he wished he could apologize to Lily.  She was his only true friend after all, and she understood him.  Losing her would be hell all in itself.  He kept reassuring himself that she would come around eventually, and take up his offer of being his friend again, yet something also felt false in this statement.  In reality, there was no guarantee that she would forgive him.  That was something he could not bear to think. 

                He jumped into bed, and closed the hangings around himself so that he was away from the prying eyes of others.  He tore his uniform from his weed-like body with vigor as though he were attempting to rid himself of everything that had anything to do with what had happened in the last couple of hours.  He was stripped naked except for his tank top and white boxer shorts.  He climbed into bed shivering.  It was always cold down in the dungeons, but tonight it felt exceptionally chilly.  He snuggled deep into the warm blankets, hoping that the fluff of the mattress might just stifle his sorrows with a nice sleep filled with dreams of Lily Evans.  But there was yet the dilemma that his head was crammed with the unhelpful thoughts of her as well. 

                The door opened not very quietly to reveal Regulus Black, who was talking to Narcissa, his cousin.  Severus buried his head into the pillow at the sudden noise, hoping that they wouldn’t see him, but it was hard to ignore the drawn hangings amongst the many open-draped bed frames. 

                “Cissy, go back downstairs, you’re not supposed to be up here,” Regulus pleaded with his cousin. 

                “I only came up to see if Severus was okay,” she said helpfully. 

                “Look, Cissy.  This is a boy’s dormitory!  You can’t come up here!”  Regulus explained to her. 

                “I’m not daft, I can read the signs on the doors thank you very much!” she snapped.  “Even if it is a boy’s dormitory, you shouldn’t be in her either, because you’re not in fifth year yet,” she said pompously.  Regulus scoffed, but didn’t say anything.  Narcissa then approached Severus’s bed, and tore back the hangings, shining light down upon its occupant. 

                “Come down, Snape and appreciate the nice little celebration we’re having for you.  That Mudblood Evans needed a telling off, so we’re perfectly happy to accept you into our posse.  I suppose the Dark Lord won’t mind having you as a servant now will he?”  Narcissa said in a would-be-nice kind of voice, except that she was saying this about Lily. 

                “I don’t want to, thanks,” Snape said, into his pillow. 

                “What’s the matter, Sevvy?” She asked, rubbing his back in a motherly kind of way.  He blushed bright red, and was very glad that he had his face stuffed in his pillow. 

                “Don’t call me that,” he said fiercely. 

                “So sorry,” she said, though she didn’t sound sorry at all. 

                “Please leave me alone, Narcissa.  When I need a back rub I’ll tell you, but for the time being, I’m bloody exhausted, and I would prefer to be left alone,” he said rudely.  He chanced a glance up at her angular face.  She looked deeply hurt. 

                “Fine,” she said, picking her bag up from the side of his bed.  “Fine,” she repeated walking out. 

                “Sorry, Sev.  Bloody menace she is,” Regulus said, stating the obvious.  Severus didn’t say anything, leaving an awkward silence behind.  “I’ll just be going then,” Regulus said awkwardly, stepping through the dormitory door, and into the crowded common room below.  For a few hours, Severus tried to sleep, listening to the steady flow of water from the Black Lake just above.  Most people would consider it soothing, but the more he listened the more unnerved he felt, as though the waves above him weren’t made of water, but of flaming hot lava. 

                More people continued to gather in the common room, either going to their own beds, or to hold conversations with one another.  Eventually though, they all seemed to drift off into their own worlds, and fall into slumber, although Severus remained awake.  He was always awake. 

                Finally, when he didn’t think he could stand it for another second, he stood up, still in his underclothes, and paced around the dorm.  Luckily, most of the thugs who bunked with him were heavy sleepers, and needed some of the loudest alarm clocks possible in order to wake them from their deep slumbers.  He pulled his trunk out from beneath his bed as quietly as he possibly could.  He dug through it, trying to find something warmer to put over his underclothes, because even when the days were steadily becoming warmer as summer approached, the castle was cold, especially in the dungeons. 

                He pulled on a pair of blue pajama pants, and a bathrobe over it.  He sighed, and looked at himself in the mirror.  His hair looked greasier than usual, probably due to the fact that he hadn’t showered in a week.  He ran a hand through his greasy black hair, and sighed in disappointment realizing that he’d never be as good as Potter, never.  Lily would always like him better, even if she didn’t want to admit it.  He’d always be better than him, and he wasn’t afraid to admit it.  But, it was worth a try wasn’t it?  Was it not worth a try to regain a friendship for years?  He knew it was a longshot considering what he had said to her, but he couldn’t leave things like this. 

                Mustering up as much courage as he could, he stepped out of the dormitory.  It was after hours, so he had to be sure to watch out for Mr. Pringle, who in his old age was reaching a new level of grumpiness.  Regulus got a severe beating after he had jinxed a small first year girl.  They still hadn’t been able to remove the frogs from her stomach.  Luckily though in the last year, he had managed to find an assistant caretaker by the name of Argus Filch:  a grumpy, severe, washed up looking nineteen year old youth, who seemed to have taken a liking to Severus in particular.  There was one slight glitch though:  he was a squib.  Being teased about associating with a Mudblood already, the boys in his gang deemed him soft because of his friendship with the young man.  Sometimes he would wonder why it was always him.  But that was unimportant now. 

                Right now the only thing rushing through his head was Lily Evans, and unlike his formal series of thoughts about her, these thoughts were now filled with worry and anticipation.  Luckily though, there was nobody perusing the castle down in the dungeons.  Every once in a while he would hear a noise, and jump behind a pillar, or suit of armor.  Usually it was just Filch’s kitten, Mrs. Norris.  She was nearly as scruffy and unkempt as him.  She knew to avoid him though ever since he got her with the tongue tying curse he had perfected over the school year.  He had made a mental note to never mention this to Filch though. 

                Because Snape had watched James Potter and his gang of cronies morning to night, he knew where the Gryffindor common room was located: atop the grand staircase behind a portrait of a very fat lady in a pink silk dress that bulged at the seams.  You would watch them too if you were bullied day to night by a bunch fat headed over-popular arses. 

                “Password?” the Fat Lady asked when he came to the top of the steps. 

                “I don’t have a password,” he said bluntly. 

                “No password, no entry,” she said firmly.  He glared at her, and she just continued to pick at her chipped coral pink nail polish. 

                “I only want to talk to a friend!” he tried to reason with her. 

                “That can wait until morning dear,” she said heatedly.  He groaned, and put his long fingers to his temples as though he were trying to suppress a burgeoning headache. 

                “Actually it can’t.  You see, she’s really special to me and-”

                “-Well in that case of course you can come in!”

                “Really?” he asked hopefully. 

                “No!  Go back to your own common room if you know what’s best for you sonny!”  she said, shooing him away with a brush of her hand.  He ignored her and drew his wand from his pocket. 

                “Muffliato,” he muttered, pointing around himself at the staircases, and the corridors leading off from the Fat Lady’s portrait.  The Fat Lady looked curiously at him, but didn’t say anything, observing every move.  He pointed the wand in multiple places, first the staircase down, and then the other staircases just in case. 

                “Now,” he said, stowing his wand back inside of his bathrobe.  “Let me in or I will scream at the top of my lungs,” he said stubbornly. 

                “Do it.  Might as well tell Mr. Pringle to get the chains out,” she said smugly, folding her arms over her large bosom.  He flashed a dangerous smile and said in the silkiest, most dangerous voice he could manage:

                “I’m used to chains, they don’t scare me.”  Her smug smirk flickered for a moment, and he smirked in satisfaction.  And then he started to scream at the top of his lungs, just as he promised. 

                “LILY!”  He yelled. 

                “What do you think you are doing?”  The Fat Lady hissed in a mutinous whisper. 

                “LILY!” He continued yelling. 

                “Ssssshhhh!  You’ll wake everyone in the whole bloody castle!” She said, waving a finger at him since she couldn’t exactly reach him from within the canvas.  But, the portrait hole opened to prevent the poor Fat Lady from having to bear his yelling. 

                “What the hell are you doing, Snape?” said a blonde girl.  Mary looked murderous at the sight of him. 

                “I want to speak to Lily,” he said firmly.

                “I gathered that much,” she replied in a clipped tone. 

                “Please let me see her!” he begged, and Severus Snape wasn’t one to beg which was saying something. 

                “She was in a right state this afternoon, Snape!  I’m not going to put her through that again!  Now you just bugger off, yeah?” she said, turning around to go back inside of the Gryffindor common room. 

                “If she doesn’t come out here and talk to me, I swear I’ll stay out here all night!” he threatened, making her turn around, flipping her hair back in an annoyed manner.    

                “Go ahead,” Mary sneered.  “You seem to be good at finding trouble anyway, Snape.  Give it a go and embarrass yourself,” she said. 

                “Remember that one time in third year where some of my mates caught you and Longbottom in the boy’s toilets?  Well, let’s just say Avery wasn’t too happy about that.  Well, he’s gone, but we know what he did.  You wouldn’t want that to happen again now would you?”  Mary stiffened.  He smirked in satisfaction.  “Let me speak to her, please,” he added. 

                “Fine!” she muttered, trying to sound tough, but in vain.  “She’ll be out here in a second.”

                So then he waited, impatiently tapping his foot on the cobblestone beneath his feet. 

                Then, she appeared out of the portrait hole looking as gorgeous as ever, her beautiful red hair falling in light soft curls on her shoulders, her pale freckled face shining as though it were the moon itself.  Then he realized the tear stains leading from her beautiful green eyes down her slightly pink cheeks.  Instantly he felt a lump rise in his throat as guilt washed over him. 

                “I’m sorry,” was the first thing he could say, and he sincerely meant it. 

                “I’m not interested,” she said, folding her arms over her dressing gown clad chest. 

                “I’m sorry!” He pleaded. 

                “Save your breath,” she snapped back at him.  “I only came out because Mary told me you were threatening to sleep here,” Lily explained. 

                “I was.  I would have done,” he reassured her so that he didn’t sound like a coward.  “Look, I never meant to call you Mudblood, it just-”

                “-Slipped out?”  she finished for him, scowling up at the boy she once considered a friend.  “It’s too late.  I’ve made excuses for you for years. None of my friends can understand why I even talk to you.  You and your precious little Death Eater friends,” she paused her ranting to see if he were to deny it.  When he didn’t, she fumed.  “You see, you don’t even deny it!  You don’t even deny that’s what you’re all aiming to be!  You can’t wait to join You-Know-Who, can you?” 

                He was speechless.  Completely and utterly speechless, and he wasn’t usually speechless.  Often he had something to say on every matter there was, but this. 

                “I can’t pretend anymore,” she said sadly looking into his dark black eyes.  They shone with regret.  “You’ve chosen your way, I’ve chosen mine

                “No-listen I didn’t mean-”

                “-to call me Mudblood?  But you call everyone of my birth Mudblood, Severus.  Why should I be any different?”  He wanted to tell her.  To tell her how he loved her, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it.  But it was too late.  She threw him a nasty glare, and with that stepped through the portrait hole.  Then, he lost it.  His knees went weak, and he collapsed on the rail that was to the staircase below, and cried.  It was the hardest he had cried since the last summer when his father last beat him.  He didn’t know how long he had sat there, swaying back and forth on the moving staircase sobbing before Argus Filch found him, and he knew how much trouble he was in, but honestly, he couldn’t care less. 

Art for this chapter:  http://i.quotev.com/img/q/u/12/09/10/Forgiveness_by_jen_and_kris.jpg

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