Archive: Please ask permission.
Feedback: If you so desire.
Warnings: Alludes to both het and slash pairings. Scenarios involve physical violence, character death, mental illness, and suicide.
Disclaimer: None of these characters are mine.
Summary: An AU of an AU. What would happen if Severus would have done everything differently?
Notes: Written for the_blank_slate, a multi-fandom RPG where characters are mystically transported to a desert island that has some crazy tendencies of its own. Random items appear of personal significance, the food never runs out in the kitchen, dinosaurs run around part of the island, there is no magic, and strange events like bodyswapping happen every so often. This was done for a meme in our character development community where players wrote ficlets on five things that didn't happen (yet) to their pups on the island. I did mine as alternate endings to threads or scenarios that had actually happened. In the event that I took dialogue directly from another thread, I linked to it. It's impossible to explain all of Snape's backstory without writing a novel here, so if you want more information, just comment and I'll tell you anything you'd like to know.
i. the light and the dark both running through me
a. so cruel and pretty
Severus didn't want to find the Dark Lord and an unconscious Sirius Black. He hadn't intended to do it. But his feet and his instincts and his goddamned sense of duty wouldn't let him walk away after he'd heard the sounds of a fight, after he'd recognised that long, lean form crouching over the prone body of Sirius Black.
Slowly, he dropped to his knees and bowed his head. Protecting himself was always his first instinct.
"My Lord," he murmured lowly. "Most humble apologies for intruding like this."
"Rise," Voldemort said smoothly. "Rise so I may see who you are."
Severus did as instructed, staring openly at the newly human form of his Master.
"Why, do my eyes lie? What has happened to you, Severus, my trusted one?" The Dark Lord extended a long, pale finger, placing it beneath Snape's chin, forcing the other man's head up to meet his eyes.
Severus did not break eye contact with the Dark Lord as he explained the time differences between his arrival at the island and Voldemort's own arrival, as the Dark Lord bitterly commented on Time's Cruelty to his poor little minion.
He didn't even flinch when the Dark Lord gestured sweepingly at Sirius Black, bound and gagged. "I have a little project for you, my aged Severus," he said slowly, an eerie smile crossing his face. "I want you to get rid of this... filth for me."
Snape's eyes turned towards Sirius, then flicked back over to Voldemort, his face unreadable save for a devilish glint in his eyes. "Of course, my Lord," he said, with a little bow. "I would be more than glad to dispose of him for you." He stalked over to Sirius, then dropped to his knees next to the fallen man. I will ensure that this blood traitor is dealt with properly."
The Dark Lord left abruptly, a swirl of robes and a click of his heels against the cold stone floor of the caves, and Severus stared at Sirius, who was shifting, whose mouth was opening to speak.
He didn't have much time.
"You fucking coward. To think I almost trusted you!" Sirius rasped. "Fucking puppet to the Dark Lord! I'll fucking KILL YOU!"
They would be his last words.
b. the darkest secrets of my soul
Voldemort never kidnapped Anna. He never had to. Sirius Black was dead, throat slit from ear to ear and delivered to the doorstep of the compound in the dark of night. That was message enough to the idiot Potters, to the filthy Muggles. Morsmordre couldn't be cast, but it was carved into the dead man's chest with the finesse of someone who obviously was used to handling a knife.
One by one, known Death Eaters began disappearing from public eye. Severus Snape's bed in the compound was abandoned, all of his belongings gone, as if he was never there. Rabastan and Regulus left their tree house, dragging Draco along with them. Bellatrix arrived directly in the jungle and never left it. Lucius, when he came to the island, was only on the beach for a matter of hours before he followed his brethren into the nothingness.
They would band together, wreak their havoc on this place just as they had in their own home. Magic or no, the island needed to be purified.
ii. i'm never very good at getting what i need the most.
He said no.
Of all the people to come on to him, of all the people to make advances.
He was enthralled, mind bewitched and senses ensnared.
"Do you...want me?" she asked, eyes big and lips swollen and he was so far gone that he could barely make sense of things.
He ducked his head, pressing a light kiss to her lips. "I do," he said, hands clamped around her upper arms as he pushed her away from him. "But I can't."
There was someone else. There always was, wasn't there? There was his own blonde little demon, too young and too trusting but his, all his, and he couldn't deny the young man that anymore than he could deny himself.
"I'm sorry," he said, and he meant it, as he turned Annabelle about by the shoulders and sent her to the door with just a hint of regret in his voice. "I can't."
iii. lost within your strange anatomy
He still said yes. He said yes over and over again, and eventually she moved into the little bedroom, bringing the occupancy of the bedroom to an entirely-too-crowded six persons.
For someone seemingly so devoid of emotion, of feeling, of passion, it was intense.
Everyone he knew stopped speaking to him because of how many others he had hurt, directly or indirectly, but he didn't care. For the first time in his life, he had found someone who didn't want to know about his past. She never asked about the Mark again, about the inch-thick folder of sins beneath his mattress, of why everyone who knew him looked at him like he was the devil incarnate sometimes.
They stopped caring whether or not anyone knew, they stopped listening to the island gossip. They had each other. They would learn how to deal with emotions and life and stress and how to not crack under pressure, and they would do it together.
"Are you ever going to make an honest woman out of me, Severus?" she asked late one night, curled up against his side.
He thought about it for a while, eyes closed, fingers threading through her hair.
"No," he finally replied, "never."
"Good," she responded with a laugh, pressing a kiss to the centre of his chest. "I don't want to be an honest woman ever again."
iv. i breathe you, i need you
He tried to tell himself that it was the bread talking, but he knew that it was a lie. The bread only exacerbated feelings he already had lurking within him.
There was a very blonde, very serious young man in his arms. "You said you couldn't trust me easily," he said, eyes hooded and voice low. "You don't have to."
"I shouldn't," he replied, not making any attempt at moving away. "And you shouldn't trust me, and yet you're still here."
Toby just looked at him, stared at him, and Severus knew.
It wasn't the bread.
He wanted him, no matter how much all of his common sense screamed at him to run away screaming, to avoid anyone under the age of thirty, for they were only trouble.
Severus slid one pale hand up the younger man's face, cupping his chin and drawing him near. "You'll never run away," he murmured before pressing his lips to Toby's, hungry and dark and claiming.
The younger man kissed back, and they were a tangle of arms and legs, bodies pressed up against the unforgiving bookshelves as they kissed, dark and tainted mixing with light and pure.
It was forbidden, but it was good, and Severus needed something good in his life.
v. how i hate to see your story end
Voldemort was out. No one knew how, but half of the IPD was dead, several more were insane, and the rest were missing.
He was out, and he was roaming the island, and his target was not any member of the Potter family.
His target was Severus.
There were little messages. Dead things started finding themselves into the compound, on Severus' bed. There were crude drawings of Severus in various states of death and decay scattered about the island.
People started talking, looking, pointing.
He was next. He was going to die.
Severus took to hiding in the loo behind a locked door for most of the day, not taking meals, not talking to anyone. He sat in there, in the cool silence of the room, and he thought.
His thoughts turned to madness eventually, after days turned into weeks without human contact and food and anything save for his own thoughts for company. People started talking, he could hear their hushed voices outside of the room.
"Wonder if he's dead?"
"Severus? I won't be bad again." A tiny voice almost brought him back, but not quite.
"Bastard finally lost his marbles. Knew it'd happen."
He stopped listening to the voices outside finally and instead listened only to the voices inside of his own skull.
He knew what the voices told him to do.
Slowly, he rose to standing, body weak and mind lost to something inside of his head that said you must end it before he does it for you. With a strength someone as frail as Severus currently was shouldn't have been able to muster, he plunged his fist into the mirror, glass falling away in shards as he drew his hand back.
Ignoring the cuts from his hand he crouched to the ground, fingers wrapping around one of the larger shards.
"You cannot kill me, Voldemort!" he crowed, raising the shard to his neck.
It was all over in a matter of moments, blood draining and soaking into the thick dark wool of his clothing.
It was all over, and he was so wrong.
None of it had happened. There were no threats, no mutilated animals, no cryptic notes from the Dark Lord. Voldemort had never even escaped.
His madness was his own; his madness was his undoing.