| Losing Is Just a Trend (Severus/Evan; PG)
||[Oct. 21st, 2013|02:28 pm]
Title: Losing Is Just A Trend
Pairing(s): Severus Snape/Evan Rosier
Word Count: 2,112
Warning(s): Implied Character Death
Notes: Title is taken from the Shane Mack song "More Than This."
Summary: The day Severus is acquitted by the Wizengamot is in no way memorable for anyone except the boy who finds that this is the day all the bridges burn.
I played a fool, yeah I played a losing game
And let go of my innocence
And I don't know, I'll never be the same
Can I just be more than this? more than this?
—Shane Mack, "More Than This"
November 21, 1981
"Why are you giving yourself up?" Evan asks, still sleepy in the wake of the dawn. He rubs at his eyes and makes a move to throw off the blanket.
Severus puts a hand on his arms and pushes him back down before continuing to button his robes. "Go back to sleep."
Evan smiles sadly. "Given where you’re going, Sev, I might never see you again."
"Lucius and Avery faired ok didn’t they?"
Evan’s face darkens. "Jack’s a coward, unfortunately. I didn’t expect any better of Lucius, honestly. But that’s…not the point, Sev. Are you really going to argue being Impe—"
"I don’t have time to explain, Ev." He runs a hand through his hair, knowing perfectly well it won’t make a difference. Severus leans down and kisses his lover gently, a soft brush over Evan’s lips. "Trust me?"
Evan smiles sleepily and lies back down. "I trust you."
It hurts to know that he shouldn’t, but Severus swears to himself that while he still has Evan, while there is still one more person left to him, he will fight with all he has to protect that, and with any luck, Evan will never figure out that Severus has betrayed them all. He leaves the bedroom and goes into the sitting room in order to Floo to the Wizengamot.
No more than a few minutes after he leaves, an owl arrives with the morning paper.
The Wizengamot meeting has taken all morning. It is a closed meeting with only members of the tribunal, him, the head of the Auror Department and Dumbledore there. No press, no gawkers.
Severus has spent the time staring blankly in front of himself. He answers when spoken to and signs the papers handed him. He can feel Dumbledore’s eyes on him and has a sick premonition that despite what sacrifices he had already made, he would make more before this is all over.
"May I go?" he asks when it seems to all be over but Crouch fixates him with a stern, suspicious gaze and Severus automatically strengthens his shields.
"You have been terribly uncooperative, Mr. Snape. Now Dumbledore has vouched for your change of heart and I would hate to challenge Albus Dumbledore himself—" the contempt and sarcasm in that tone is so poisonous that Severus almost smirks "—but the Aurors would like to see some proof of that change of heart."
"I doubt I have information for you, Mr. Crouch," Severus bites out in an as even tone as he can. "All relevant information I have I relayed to the Headmaster and he has here testified to you to that effect. I was never a High Officer so I do not know current whereabouts of wanted Death Eaters and I do not have access to sensitive documentation." Severus lifts his chin, avoiding looking at anyone in particular, but especially Dumbledore. He knows that Dumbledore could break through his shields. Severus is a brilliant study in Occlumency, but he is also only twenty-one and Dumbledore’s skill in all areas of magic is far superior to anything Severus is currently capable of.
But he refuses to tell them anything more. He has committed enough betrayals in the last few months to last a lifetime. They cannot take this one last thing from him—
"Drop your shields, Severus."
Dumbledore’s voice is soothing and calm, oil spreading over an even surface, a sharp blade through butter. It has none of the hard, half-hysterical pitch of Crouch’s baritone, but it is far more dangerous and Severus can feel the inevitability of what will happen.
He finally looks up at Dumbledore, holding on to the last shreds of his composure, and snarls. "I won’t have my private life picked and prodded at!" He wants to plead with the Headmaster to not do this to him. But Dumbledore is relentless.
"Show that you are truly remorseful, Severus. You can show just me, if you’d like. Mr. Crouch, I would appreciate it if you do not attempt to intrude."
Crouch mutters something and waves a hand in disgusted agreement.
Severus has no choice. He lets go of his shields and meets Dumbledore’s eyes. The rest of his shields peel back like an onion. He tries to not show a struggle while hurrying to re-arrange his memories, shielding off the most private parts of his life. The session seems to last forever, pieces of his life flash before Severus’ eyes and he grinds his teeth in an effort to throw irrelevant, old memories in front of fresh ones, ones that have everything to do with him. Severus has already hurt Lily – and now she is dead – he has already betrayed all of his friends and mentors…
If he lets them have Evan, there will be nothing left to Severus. The blood would never come off. There has to be at least one person that he loves whom he can save from this hell that they have all created.
Finally, Dumbledore withdraws with a thoughtful look on his face. "You may go, Severus." Snape hears Crouch sputter something to Dumbledore about breach of authority or abuse of authority…Severus does not really care. He has seen the look on Dumbledore’s face, he has allowed the Headmaster access to some of his memories of Evan and he can’t be sure if the old goat has put it all together.
In the foyer, Severus takes a deep breath, wondering briefly at the strangeness of being free and yet not feeling free at all, and Apparates.
Severus knows the moment he walks through the door. He can’t quite make out the details yet, but the gist he gets.
Light spills through the large windows of the sitting room. Their flat in London is small but the view is good and Evan had always liked places which allowed for more light. Severus figures it reminded him of home. The Rosier estate is always bright, almost glowing. The summers Severus had spent there were some of the best in his life and he could still almost smell the roses and see the sunlight reflecting from the pond. He and Evan would fly over the flower hedges and across the lake, riding their brooms low over the water so that their feet almost touch the sparkling surface. It was the second most magical place, after Hogwarts, in Severus’ life and he could never say no to Evan when his lover asked that they move somewhere with more light.
The midday sun is unusually strong for a late November day and it fills the room with a cheery yellow glow. Severus kicks off his boots and hangs up his coat. He makes his way gingerly to the window and throws the frame open, breaking the heating and silencing charms they had set up due to the proximity of Muggle London. Instantly, the room fills with cool autumn air and the sounds of a busy street. The most ordinary things confront Severus on the most ordinary day – a group of girls in light, unbuttoned coats strolling down the street, cars honking at a busy intersection, a food cart at the corner selling to a group of rowdy schoolchildren. The city around him is undisturbed and soaking up the last rays of summer that the sun has to offer before the frost and snow cover the world in a cold crust.
Yet Severus feels empty; the flat feels vacant and abandoned. All the colors are somehow muted, the breeze makes the curtains flare out and they flap lifelessly against the windowsill like silky ghosts. He doesn’t want to go any further, wonder into the bedroom and the study, see what he already knows he will find there. It’s too quiet here, the way it is always quiet in a home that has suddenly become nothing more than a dwelling. The magic is gone.
Finally, he makes himself close the window, re-cast the heating and silencing charms and walk through the sitting room into the hallway. The bedroom is empty, the bed unmade and the closet doors open. Evan hadn’t taken a lot with him, probably just enough to fill a mission bad which he could shrink and tuck into a pocket of his robes. The curtains are half-drawn, throwing shadows into the corners and darkening the hue of the wallpaper from its sunny yellow to a bitter mustered color. Severus moves on, like a ghost, feeling himself invisible and inconsequential to the rest of the world.
The study is a disaster. Evan had torn the place apart, losing all respect for Severus’ privacy. The locks on the drawers of the writing desk on Severus’ side are torn off, papers scattered across the floor as though a small hurricane had whirled through their midst. Burn marks on the walls are indicative of either spells gone astray or clumsy revealing spells cast with too much force.
Severus wades his way through the piles of papers and books on the floor to the desk. The surface is almost clear except for three items. One is a copy of the Daily Prophet with the bold headline on the front page: "Former Death Eater Severus Snape to Received Dumbledore’s Personal Amnesty in Closed Wizengamot Session." The second is a Muggle photograph of him and Lily. Severus had kept it with some of his papers, the ones he knew Evan would never be able to read because Severus had used some of his own charms to hide their content, spells which no one had any access to. The photograph is old, the edges frayed, the children depicted there no older than thirteen. The last item is a piece of parchment covered in Evan’s handwriting, messy from haste but Severus can still make out enough to realize that it is a list of all the unexpected misfortunes which had befallen the Death Eaters in the last few months, along with other dates preceding them – most are accurate matches for the days when Severus had met with Dumbledore on Order business.
So Evan knows. Figured it out post-fact, put all the pieces together and then…ran. Severus wants to rage, to curse, to blame Dumbledore and Lily and Evan and the Dark Lord, anyone, everyone, but all he can do is stand in the middle of the ransacked study and stare blankly at the evidence against himself. No one with half a brain would have come to a different conclusion.
And, if it is possible, Severus starts to hate himself even more and this time, there is no one left to stifle that hate, to counteract it.
There is nothing left of their flat – which had almost been the first home outside Hogwarts that Severus knew – just a few abandoned personal items and photographs, just the evidence of Severus’ sins, and a list of potions on the kitchen counter which Severus knows to make up a deadly mission cocktail.
He has figured everything out now too, but denial is all that keeps him sane.
The sun has not yet set when Severus Floos into Dumbledore’s office at Hogwarts. The headmaster is watching the sunset with a placid expression, completely devoid of all expression. "I thought you might join me, Severus. What might I do for you?"
"I changed my mind."
"I want quarters at Hogwarts."
Dumbledore turns and looks at him calmly. "Mr. Rosier left then?"
Severus shudders, clasping his hands in a painful lock behind his back. He doesn’t want Dumbledore to see his distress. "Evan is dead."
There is a satisfying surprised look on Dumbledore’s face. "How do you know?"
Severus almost laughs. In the stories, these sort of days are always gloomy, rainy, even stormy. That in reality the day that Severus loses everything should be so ordinarily bright could almost be insulting, if it wasn’t so ironic. "He knows about me and what I’ve done, he made a mission close-proximity blast cocktail before leaving…Evan always said he would not go down without a fight…"
"Have a seat, Mr. Snape. And a lemon drop if you wish."
Severus sits and waits in silence for an hour. Just as the sun disappears behind the horizon, a large Ministry owl flies in with an Action and Casualties report and Dumbledore broadcasts his thoughts for Severus to hear so that they need not say words, so that they may pretend that Severus had left all loyalties to that side long ago.
The day is done and Severus prays for rain in the days to come. The sky is the only one who might cry with him now. Everyone else who mattered is gone.