|The History of Half a Prince, PG13
||[May. 14th, 2006|08:49 pm]
Title: The History of Half a Prince
Summary: Severus Snape is on the run; he decides, however, that it is time he tells the story of how he got to where he is, running from a crime he was ordered to commit.
Pairings: none, JP/LE
Beta: beshenotperfect, my friend got her to beta this story, as she was going to post it for me. Thanks to this beta.
Disclaimer: Severus Snape and any other recognized characters are property of J.K. Rowling.
The History of Half a Prince
You cannot begin to think that you understand me. I do not want pity; I do not want help. I do not need you and I doubt that anyone will truly need me. Do not think that I am sitting here, pitying myself. Indeed, far from it. Pity is a thing that no one should seek, and self-pity is a far more degrading feeling. However, I do believe that I deserve one thing that I have never acquired through all my years of life.
Many people and things acquire respect without a second thought to those who give it. That is because those people and things won’t stand for anything less.
And so I stand here: a man on the run from a crime I was forced to commit, and from a tyranny I chose to, and I won’t stand for anything less than the respect I deserve.
I don’t have much time and soon I will have to be on the run again. I have decided, however, to tell you the history of what has brought me to be the man I am today. At the end, you can guiltlessly decide whether I am the traitor I am, or the traitor I am not. If you are confounded by what I mean, rest assured that all will make sense at the end.
Now, I have already wasted precious time, so I let my story begin.
My childhood was not a privileged or an easy one by far. My mother was a witch, my father, a Muggle. I loved my mother. Beyond all reckoning, I did love her. She was my only solace, and I hers. We were in the same pod, living with a man like my father.
A vile, despicable leech of the Muggle breed, I loathed and detested my father with every fiber of my being. He never worked, was always drunk, and when my mother would try to console and comfort him, he would strike her.
This went on throughout the first half of my childhood. Then came the night that changed everything, but whether it was for the better or for the worst, I still do not yet know.
I was in my room when I heard a raised voice: my father’s. Carefully, I placed my feet to the floor and lowered my body to it, laying my ear to the floor.
“We’ve already discussed this, Eileen!”
“I never agreed, Tobias.”
That was my mother’s voice, soft yet firm.
“That was you,” she continued. “I never agreed. He will be going. It is his life and you can’t change that.”
I blinked. Going; going where? What was my life? I strained my ears to hear what was said next, but found I hadn’t needed to do so. I would have been able to hear them if I had been lying in my bed fast asleep with a pillow over my head - well, my father, that is.
“If he goes off to that school, Eileen, he will not be welcomed back into this house!”
“He will be what he was born to be, Tobias,” came my mother’s voice. “No matter how much you don’t want it to be, magic is a part of his life.”
I jumped from the floor. Answers to unsolved puzzles and new questions raced through my mind. Magic? As in, waving a wand over a hat and expecting a white rabbit to hop out?
Was this what had caused all the odd and unexplainable things that happened whenever I got angry or scared? Was I the one who caused it?
Suddenly, anger surged through me and I could immediately feel a change within me - my powers? - as I crossed the room to the door and swung it open. I stormed down the hall and down the stairs. Storming into the kitchen and catching the hand that would land a blow to my mother’s face, I glared at the man I would never call 'father' again.
“Don’t you ever hit her again!” I screamed. I wasn’t very strong, but because he’d been surprised more than anything else, I had stopped him from striking her. For now.
Black eyes filled with cold hatred burned into mine as I looked up into the face of a broken man. He sneered, his long nose wrinkling in disgust as if I were something foul in which he'd stepped.
“You dare defy me, boy?” he asked, his voice a dangerously low hiss as he leaned in toward me. Wrenching his hand from mine, he swung back and struck me. I stood my ground, feet set as white flashed before my eyes and my stomach churned. It lurched only a moment, the meager food I’d had for supper protesting against the pain that burned in my stomach. Next thing I knew, strong large hands gripped my shoulder’s painfully, pushing me back into a corner and slapping me hard across the face as I trembled, biting my lip to keep from crying. I would take it all for my mother, but then she had to do what she always did - the one thing I hated her for doing, though I loved her in everything else. She rushed to my aid, pushing her way between me and her husband, taking the last strike to her nose, and I knew as well as he did that he’d broken it. With a roar of outrage, he gripped her by her shirt and swung her away, advancing on her once more as she shook, cowering away from him, irrevocably crushed. His voice rang through the room but I heard not a single word. I slid down the wall and drew my knees up to my chest, shaking in my own weariness. It was too much, and this would be the end. The last things I heard and saw before my world went black around me was a foreign word I’d never heard before and a flash of red light.
My mother and I moved out of her husband’s house the very next day. We moved into her parents' house, though they’d been reluctant and kept muttering words like “bastard” and “illegitimate” under their breath as I passed. They treated her with a kindness that I could tell even at that age annoyed her, though envy secretly consumed me to the point that I would avoid her - at least when she was with her parents. She would then search me out, like the day we were to go to Diagon Alley. She had long since told me anything and everything about the wizarding world - so much that I could hardly contain it all in my mind. Much of the things she said I could hardly imagine, though the wizarding sport called Quidditch interested me the most. She smiled and said she hoped I could play for my house one day, as we lay on the bed I shared with her. I looked at her, puzzled.
“House? What’s a House?” It sounded funny, asking what a house was, when I knew what a literal house was. I also knew by the context she used that she didn’t mean a literal house.
She smiled wider, her face beautiful - healed from the bruises of my father - and it caused me to smile. No matter how envious I got of her relationship with her parents, I could never stay mad at her. Besides, it wasn’t her fault that they disliked me just for being born out of wedlock, even though my mother and my father had married right after my birth, believing it the right thing to do.
“Oh, I haven’t told you about the Sorting Ceremony and the four Houses?” she asked, genuinely surprised. I shook my head.
“No, you haven’t told me much about Hogwarts except that one of your favorite teachers was Professor Dumbledore, who is now Headmaster, and that you were in Ravenclaw. Is that one of the houses?”
She smiled. “Yes, it is. Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Slytherin, and Hufflepuff.” She sighed. “I wasn’t very popular at school, except among my Gobstones’ club, of which I was the captain. I rarely talked to anyone, and I think my looks made people think I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I’m not so sure if I did or didn’t. Then, after I left Hogwarts, I decided that I would take a year off before I went off to have a job in the Ministry like your grandparents wanted. I dressed up, wore make-up, started going out to Muggle bars and clubs. Muggles interested me back then. My parents don’t mind them, but they aren’t too fond. I had hardly ever seen many Muggles before that year. And then everything changed. I met Tobias and I fell in love. We dated and one thing led to another, and then we were surprised by you. I wanted to keep you, but Tobias said I should put you up in an orphanage. After a few fights, we finally decided the best course of action was marriage. That night we eloped, and my parents were at his apartment the very next day. Merlin, were they outraged. They wouldn’t even look at you…and me, they looked at me as if I’d let them down. My father went after Tobias and …” She wiped her eyes, realizing she had started to cry. “Oh, look at me, going on about that. You don’t need to worry about that, and I doubt you’d understand. Right, we were talking about Hogwarts. I do hope you try out for Quidditch; I think you'll be a natural once you’ve learned to fly, which you’ll learn this year. What House do you want to get? Slytherin is the anti-Muggle, pro-pureblood lot, though seldom a half-blood will be sorted into it. Though many are very ambitious, some overly so. Ravenclaw is for those of great intelligence, and have their noses in books too much.”
I laughed. “That’s definitely you,” I said, and she laughed, tapping me on the nose.
“Watch it, son,” she said in a mock stern voice before she laughed, her laugh like the soothing music of a jewelry box. “Right. Then Gryffindor, for the brave ones, and those that cause a lot of trouble. And Hufflepuff, where there are some of the nicest, yet very proud people you will meet. My best friend was a Hufflepuff.”
I turned onto my back, looking up at the ceiling as I thought hard. Finally, I turned on my side to look at her. “Slytherin sounds like me, I’m very ambitious. Though the pureblood thing adds a damper to it. Maybe Gryffindor?”
She laughed. “I think the Sorting Hat will have a hard time with you.”
She stretched her limbs with a small grunt and sat up, patting my leg.
“Come on now,” she said, standing up. “We’ve got to get to Diagon Alley. Wait until you see it, Severus.”
I smiled as she left the room, and I jumped from the bed and ran after her. She was right; Diagon Alley was everything she’d described and more.
Finally came the day that I arrived onto Platform 9 ¾ followed by my mother, pushing my trolley through the barrier. I gazed amazedly at the sight and the number of people congregated around the platform. Finally, my mother and I started to lift my trunk, but not before a man with unruly black hair and square-framed glasses came to our aid and lifted the trunk with ease. After the trunk was safely on the rack overhead in my compartment, he left the train and flashed my mother a smile, causing me to get jealous. She smiled back and the two started talking, which caused me to get very angry. I didn’t have much time to stew, as a younger version of the man and a long-haired boy with black eyes arrived at the man’s side.
“Hey, Mr. Potter,” the long-haired boy said, grinning. The man looked down at him and grinned.
“Ah, Sirius,” he said. “How’ve you been? Your father around? I’ve been meaning to talk to him.”
The boy shook his head before nodding to my mother with a grin.
“Who’s this, Mr. Potter?”
“Ah, this is Ms…”
“Prince,” my mother answered, and there was a definite note of flirtatiousness in her voice. I would definitely have to talk to her later.
The boy smiled and bowed as a gentleman of old would. “Pleasure to meet you, Ms. Prince. I’m Sirius Black. This lug is James, and that’s his father you’re flirting with.”
“Sirius!” the man exclaimed, though he didn’t look bashful. “Apologize.”
“No, no,” my mother laughed, her laugh making her far more radiant. “I’m charmed. Thank you, Sirius. And nice to meet you, James.”
James grinned. “If you want to date my dad, go ahead. He needs to get out more often with pretty ladies like yourself.”
“James,” the boy’s father warned. He rubbed the back of his neck as he shook his head. “Sorry about that. Boys will be boys.”
“Yes, yes they will,” she agreed. The man then looked around, as if he were looking for someone. When his brown eyes fell upon me, I realized who he’d been looking for.
“Severus! Don’t be a stranger; come meet my son and his friend,” he called and I immediately had the attention of the two boys and my mother, who smiled.
“Yes, honey. They are very nice boys.”
I sighed and made my way over to them, sensing the two sizing me up. I suddenly felt like this was a test - one that there was no studying for: it was either pass or fail. Finally, twin grins fell onto their faces as they nodded to me. I had their acceptance, though I wasn’t completely sure I wanted it.
“Pretty weird name,” the boy called Sirius said with a lop-sided grin. Slowly, I smiled and nodded.
“I suppose you’d know all about it,” I asked, and watched for their reaction. As the two laughed I knew that I was in, and the test was over.
“Know anything about Hogwarts, Sevvy?” James asked, already moving onto a nickname. I blinked before shaking my head.
“No, I just found out last year that I was a wizard, though my mum’s told me a lot of stuff. Quidditch sounds really cool; I can’t wait to watch it.”
“Watch it? That is cool, but the real rush is playing it. I can’t wait until next year when we can try out.”
Sirius nodded in agreement and I opened my mouth to ask a question just as a shrill, piercing whistle cut through the noise of the students and family on the platform. Suddenly, an arm fell upon my shoulder and I was being towed off toward the train by James, Sirius right at his side. I turned my head to look at my mom who waved, smiling. We reached the compartment the man put my stuff in and I wasn’t surprised to find it was the same one shared by James and Sirius. I went to the window, opening it as I waved to my mom.
Little did I know it was the last time I would ever see her.