It was not like he had stopped thinking about her. Quite the opposite, actually. Severus could hardly get her out of his head. He sat, head on his fist, staring across the potions room at the red hair with which he was so familiar. Had been so familiar, he corrected himself. It had been almost a year since he had touched it, had brushed it behind her ear. Angrily, Severus sat up and, on a whim, crushed the Sopophorous bean with the flat of his blade rather than cutting it like the directions told him to. Juice squeezed out plentifully when Severus raised it above the cauldron. His potion turned clear, perfect.
Satisfied, Severus took up his quill and noted the change in his book and its effects. Soon, he will have improved every potion in this book, he thought smugly.
“Ms. Evans, that does not look right,” Professor Slughorn noted with concern. “Are you feeling okay, dear?”
“Yes, I’m fine, I’m fine,” Lily insisted.
“You just seem... off this year.”
Severus didn’t hear Lily’s reply but he didn’t need to. He knew why she seemed off. It was because he had always given her his tips, never taking credit. Severus had given her everything, far beyond potions tips. And how was he repaid? She had dismissed him, turned him away. And yet he still longed for her friendship. Severus bottled his potion bitterly, then sat back to brood.
He stared at Lily, over there with Potter. They were dating now, Severus had heard. Apparently she didn’t find him so abhorrent after all. Looking at the two of them, arms touching, laughing over a hushed joke, sudden inspiration struck for a spell that Severus had been working on for a week or two. He hoped to have something to impress the Dark Lord with beyond potions the next time they met.
“Slashentra,” he muttered aloud. It didn’t feel right on his tongue. It didn’t feel like something with power behind it. “Sectemtra.” Not that one either. He didn’t know why, but Severus felt like it had to start with an “s”. That hissing sound was somehow important. “Slythentia.” He frowned. “Sectumsempra.”
As the word left his mouth, Severus felt a rush of energy. Magic filled his veins and was nearly released from the end of his wand. He managed to hold it back, but couldn’t hold back a grin. That was the one. He itched to try it. Severus didn’t actually know what it would do, but he knew it would be vicious, simply because of the intention behind it.
Sectumsempra - for enemies, Severus wrote in his smooth, flowing hand in his potions notebook.
“Did you see that?” a loud voice demanded from Lily’s table. “Snivellus just smiled!” Black announced. “I think I have to burn my eyes out.”
“Sirius, stop,” Lily said, swatting him on the arm.
“What? I thought you didn’t like him any more,” Black whined.
“That doesn’t mean you should be mean,” Lily replied.
Black grumbled something unintelligible. In truth, Severus didn’t care what they were saying. He didn’t care what they thought. He didn’t care because now, he had a weapon that they didn’t know about. A spell they couldn’t counter. For once, Severus was on top.
Snape released that memory but it made him think of another. The memory in which he found out what his new spell did, exactly.
“What’s this?” Bellatrix asked roughly, snatching Severus’s Advanced Potion Making book from its place on the table. She flipped through it.
“My potions book?” Severus replied, sounding unsure.
“What are all these scribbles?”
Severus shrugged. “Improvements. Spells.”
“What- your own spells?” she asked, sounding skeptical. “You mean like Sectumsempra?” she read off the top of a page.
“Yes,” Severus replied, a bit uncomfortable. “Can I have that back now?”
Bellatrix raised a hand. “Just hold on one second, Snape. Do these things work?”
“The spells?” Severus asked for clarification.
“Some of them. I haven’t tried them all,” Severus admitted.
“Then how do you know they’re spells?” she demanded.
Severus shrugged. “They just feel right.”
Bellatrix let out a huff. “That’s hardly good enough. Let’s try it, this Sectumsempra.”
“Maybe that’s not a goo-”
She cut him off with a wave of the hand. “Scared?”
“No,” Severus replied defiantly. In reality, the initial fervor of the spell had worn off. He no longer itched to try it and, luckily, Potter and his crew hadn’t given him an opportunity to. Now in Bellatrix’s hands, he was actually a little worried about what it might do. As with many spells, half of its power lay in the intention of the caster and Bellatrix’s mood, morals, sanity...they were all in question, at least in Severus’s mind.
“Well then,” she said as if that solved everything. “Now, for enemies... Let’s see... How about him?”
Severus followed Bellatrix’s finger as she pointed to a tall boy, the Beater of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, coming up late from the pitch. He was alone. “Why?”
She grinned. “He’s a mudblood.”
“I don’t think-”
“Sectumsempra!” she cried, aiming at the boy and giving the wand a flick for good measure.
Severus watched, detached, as he crumpled in a pool of blood.
“Gosh, Severus, that was quite a spell,” Bellatrix breathed with a gay giggle.
Severus looked at her, masking his horror. It was good that they were alone, he thought in an absurd state of calm. “We have to heal him, we can’t let people find out.”
“Oh, I suppose you’re right,” she pouted. “Only one more year, then we can do as we please.”
“Come on,” Severus said, moving over to the Gryffindor. He muttered some basic healing spells that he had learned at an early age then embellished over the years. He worked for almost a half hour before all the wounds were closed. Bellatrix really put feeling into that curse.
“Reparo,” he said, pointing at the boy’s robes after removing the blood stains. The gashes in the fabric knitted together. Severus rocked back on his heels, satisfied that he was once again whole.
“I guess we’ll have to wipe his memory too, then,” Bellatrix said with a strange sort of glee.
“I’ll do it,” Severus snapped, not trusting her in the least. “Rennervate.”
The boy came to, blinking rapidly. “Wha-”
“Obliviate,” Severus muttered, delving into the memory of the attack and tossing it aside, wiping away the pain and horror that his spell had caused. The Gryffindor boy would not remember what happened here, but Severus would.