~* Severus’ Halloween *~
Down in the Great Hall everything was ready. All the decorations were in place: colorful hovering
ribbons, one thousand living bats and molded pumpkins filled with candles. The five tables were
covered with food and, much for the enjoyment of Albus Dumbledore, with sweets: lots of candy,
fruits and cakes. Everything was waiting for the arrival of the students and staff to celebrate
Halloween. Every day at Hogwarts was a continuing headache for Professor Snape, the latest year
in particular… ever since Potter had come to Hogwarts.
Snape was climbing the stairs from his dungeon, his black robes slapping against the old brick
walls. The torches in the corridor made a hazy, fading light ahead. Reaching the first floor, he saw
the final students entering the Great Hall for dinner.
Stupid first years that got lost as usual.
Snape was, also as usual, the last to come in, so he would have to be there the least amount of time
required. He had taken his seat just as Dumbledore stood up to start the greeting and blessing.
Snape looked at the table in front of him: dishes of baked pumpkin, sweet drinks and very close to
his left hand, a plate of doughnuts covered with sugar-glaze. He started to feel nauseated. For
Snape, Halloween was a horrible excuse for a holiday. He would have enjoyed it so much better
if he could be closed in his chamber, having a glass of Firewhisky and a good book to read. Just to
be alone in the solitude of his quarters without all the noise, giggling and sickening happiness.
If they only knew what was happening in the world outside, it would wipe the smiles off their
faces, he thought bitterly to himself.
He gazed at the students sitting at the four tables. The Slytherin table was much louder than the
rest. Draco seemed to be the center of attention, he was talking quite enthusiastically and the
listeners were laughing, accompanied by Goyle’s snoring. Yes, Draco has grown to be like his
father; a spoilt little brat that could do anything and get away with it, thanks to his position or a
sack of Galleons. He was very popular with a stable and rich family, something that Snape
His gaze moved forward very quickly over the tables of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw, not feeling
them worthy of any special attention. And from there he looked to the Gryffindor table. Among a
sea of red-heads, far too many Weasleys… he thought, he located him, sitting next to that
bushy haired girl– Potter.
Potter seems to be enjoying himself tonight. Never mind, he thought, I’ll fix that
How annoying it was to see Potter there laughing with his little friends, a faithful sidekick
and an insufferable know-it-all. So similar to his father James, from his black, wild hair to his
arrogance. Then, suddenly, Harry was looking back at him. A pair of green eyes behind rounded
Snape remembered those eyes well, only they hadn’t looked at him with daring and hatred. Those
eyes looked at him many years ago with caring and affection. So many years has gone by. And so
many students he had taught over those years.
He remembered perfectly the day that the news came. It was his first year as Potions master, six
months after leaving the dark side and after Dumbledore had given him a second chance. But it
didn’t come without a price. He had to make amends by jeopardizing his life as a spy, not
knowing if at any time it would be the end of him and his suffering.
It happened on a Halloween night many years ago. The news about the defeat of the Dark Lord had
come right before the feast. Hearing the news, it was hard for him to believe and he wanted to
speak to Albus, but he had left immediately when the news came. The details were unknown at
the time and Minerva, the deputy headmistress, was gone as well.
The whole school was agitated. A flurry of hearsay immediately started. Students were
screaming and hysterical. He had to control them all, gathering them in the Great Hall. Despite
their fear from the news, they seemed to be afraid of him more and quieted instantaneously.
Not too bad for a teacher of only two months, he smirked silently.
Back in the present, Harry had turned his gaze back to his friends and they were laughing
again now. Dumbledore sat down and more nauseously sweet food appeared on the golden plates.
Snape loaded his plate with steak and baked potato and ate slowly. The talking and giggling
around him merged with sounds from his memories. He remembered when Albus and Minerva had
returned and confirmed the news, the students started to celebrate and Halloween had become a
victory feast. Ten minutes later when Albus joined the high table and told the staff the details,
Halloween had become for Severus the most horrible day in the year.
Like a very bad joke, everyone was happily celebrating when not less then a few hours ago she had
died. No, he corrected himself: she sacrificed her life for James' son.
He didn’t recall how he was able to sit there the entire meal and act normal: eating, talking, even
managing to sneer a few times. It was not until the banquet was over and he was back in his
quarters that he collapsed, surrounded by overwhelming grief.
He had lost her twice. Once to Potter the day she married him and again, now, with her death. The
first time, he told himself that she had made the right choice: He could never have given her what
she wanted, what she needed.
He had too much darkness inside of him. At least she had been happy with that bloody prat, James.
When she got married he was already a Death-Eater, relishing the darkness that spilled out of him.
Even the Dark Lord noticed it and very quickly he was accepted within the inner circle, very close
to the Dark Lord himself. Two days after she got married he received the Dark Mark. He often
thought about the irony.
On a sunny day with church bells ringing, wearing a white wedding dress, she walked down the
aisle and exchanged vows with Potter. And two days later in a glade, on a very cold night that not
even the fire seemed to penetrate, he pulled up his left sleeve and presented his arm to the cold
fingers of the Dark Lord. He tried not to give into the burning pain that symbolized his loyalty to
his new master.
And he considered himself to be the lucky one...
And now he saw those eyes again. What a twisted fate. Handling James’ part of young Potter was
simple, even enjoyable – humiliating him, deducting points, and giving him punishments. The
only things that spoiled his pleasure were those few weak moments when he thought of her and
Harry’s green eyes became hers, only humiliated and accusing. That is why he refused to think of
her around Potter. All of his anger and vengeance were usually sufficient for keeping away any
unnecessary expression of compassion…
“Severus, could you please make sure that no students sneak out of the castle tonight?”
Albus had turned to him.
“Yes Headmaster,” he replied. Grateful for an excuse, he left dinner and headed outside. If any
student was stupid enough to leave the castle after hours he would surely catch them.
Outside it was cold and quiet, just what he needed. The grass rustled under his steps
accompanied by the occasional sound of a snapping stick. From afar, the castle looked identical to
how it had looked the first time he saw it. The wind played in his hair and whipped his robes
around. With his sharp eyes he could see the beech tree on the edge of the lake.
It happened there, the day of their Defence Against the Dark Arts O.W.L. It was probably his
worst memory and he had a large variety to choose from. He called her a Mudblood. No, he had
called her 'a filthy little Mudblood'. And he had never forgiven himself for that, but she had.
It had been a very ordinary autumnal day in their sixth year, and a very unfortunate one
also. James had managed to catch him with his guard down and curse him. He wanted to fight
back, but Sirius Black came from behind and with a lazy murmur of, “Expelliarmus”, he took his
wand leaving Snape completely helpless against Potter. Bleeding, wounded and furious he carried
himself to the lake, wanting nothing more than to be left alone. He hoped no one would bother
him until he recovered.
Washing his wound, he noticed a silhouette on the surface of the water. Lily.
Apparently she has heard what happened. She brought him a bowl of Murtlap essence and
bandages. With a hint of tears in her eyes she tended his wounds. The feeble wind blew through
the newly green leaves, dropping the old, yellow ones to the ground. One fell into her hair, he
lifted a timid hand to pull it out and she smiled at him. It was probably the most beautiful smile
anyone had ever bestowed upon him. Without scorn or disgust. Just a smile, like the sun, that
unfroze the winter from the world. Lily. He always called her Lily. Only James used to call her
“What is it, Severus?” she looked up from wrapping his bandage, still smiling.
“I believe I owe you an apology,” he said embarrassed but determined.
“Hmm, what are you talking about?”
“The other day, what I said to you, after the DADA tests …” he trailed off.
“Oh that,” she said, looking up at him a bit more seriously. “Your apology is accepted. Actually, I
had already forgiven you a long time ago.”
He sat there on the grass near the lake and an angel wrapped his bleeding hand. He didn’t deserve
an angel, he deserved to be cursed, humiliated, and hurt.
“I am so sorry, I don’t deserve th…” he said without thinking. After hearing what he had been
about to say it was hard for him to fight the tears. Lily put down the bandages, leaned over and
hugged him. Now the sun had a smell: a smell of flowers, murtlap, and moist grass.
On second thought, that day wasn’t unfortunate at all, nor an ordinary one either.
A few months later, the fragrant sun named Lily added a taste. He wasn’t very popular. Not with
the boys and surely not with the girls. Not even with the Slytherins. But she was different. She saw
who he really was. The part that was hiding inside of him, so deep and secure that he didn’t
acknowledge it - the part which deserved to love and to be loved in return.
She was generous and caring. Giving him all the love he had not received in seventeen
years. She was his friend when he was rejected, and sometimes the only person he talked to in
days. Those precious moments that he shared with her, in their secret heaven, were the remedy to
his agonized soul. Banished from the others, he spent his time sitting in the sun with her, adoring
her copper curls. He thirstily drank in her image, not wanting to miss a second of their time together.
"Stop staring at me Severus." She laughed and threw a string of weed at him. Snape awoke from
his reverie, gathered a massive pile of leaves and started to chase her. She ran lightly, as if wanted
to get caught, so he caught her, scattering the fallen leaves everywhere.
He became intoxicated with the new feeling of her in his arms– soft and tender, her heart was
pounding against him. "Kiss me" she whispered, inside her eyes he saw his reflection of himself, completely unrecognized.
How could he lose her to Potter? Those days he was on the highway to hell, and as it usually
happens on highways, you get to your destination and fast.
He was living in hell. The hell that he created himself; he terrorized, tortured, killed, injured, and
humiliated. Nothing that he would ever do could erase his past. No matter what Dumbledore said,
some marks don’t come off. He shook his left hand and felt something solid nearby.
Someone was breathing near him. He looked around but no one was there. Staring at the grass,
he noticed some blades flattening as if they were being stepped on and he knew immediately who it was.
“Potter!” he thundered. The steps stopped.
“Mr. Potter, you have exactly five seconds to remove your invisibility cloak,” he snapped. In front
of him, he saw Harry pulling his cloak off, revealing himself.
“What are you doing outside in the middle of the night, Potter?” he glared at the boy.
“Sir, I forgot my broom in the Quidditch locker room and went to bring it back,” he answered,
gesturing to the broomstick in his hand.
Harry was shivering a bit, maybe from the cold, maybe from his hateful teacher. In the cold, windy
night his green eyes twinkled. Like the stars, like Lily’s.
“Go back to Gryffindor Tower, Potter,”
Harry looked at Snape unbelievingly.
“Yes, sir!” he said hurriedly and ran away confused.
He should never think about Lily when he was near Potter. Never!
~~* FIN *~~