Title: Untitled (Outside at Night)
Author: hikaru / _regarde
Archive: Please ask permission.
Feedback: If you so desire.
Character: Severus Snape
Disclaimer: They're all J. K. Rowling's, and I've got the feeling that she'd have my head for this.
Summary: Severus Snape takes a long walk and does some thinking.
Notes: Written for Academie, a Harry Potter RPG where I play Snape. The game is AU, in the respect that it takes place in a comtemporary universe without magic. We have incorporated the major bits of the new canon that came along with HBP, and thusly, this could be considered to have vague spoilers for HBP. I haven't mentioned anything specific, really, but if you've read the book, you will get a much deeper meaning. I still wouldn't recommend reading it if you've not finished HBP, however. Ficlet written for the prompt "outside at night."
Word Length: 738, or thereabouts.
The grounds of Hogwarts were finally quiet. No children, no professors, no insufferable twits trying to tell him how to live his life. Nothing.
And, for the first time in a very long time, he found the quiet stifling. Disturbing. It reminded him too much of death, of destruction, neither of which he wanted to think about right now. He had done far too much thinking recently. He just wanted out.
Severus pushed his chair back from his desk and stalked angrily out of his office, pausing only to lock the door before he strode down the long dark corridor to the nearest exit.
The castle was empty, uninterested in Severus' typical flair for the dramatic in his exit, so he didn't bother to swing the doors wide, he didn't bother to puff up his chest in an effort to look more grand than he really was, he didn't take the time to remove all emotions from his visage aside from anger and annoyance.
Instead, he pushed the door lightly with the heel of his hand, swinging it open just enough for him to step outside into the misty grass. Once outside, he jammed his hands deep into his pockets, his head down, and began to walk.
He moved slowly, aimlessly, but before he knew it, he was on the edge of the grounds. Severus paced along the line of trees that led to the forest, which was out of bounds for the students. While he felt that the castle was trying to close in around him, he did have to admit that he enjoyed the solitude that the school grounds brought him today. It was so hard to think, to concentrate in the castle, with the walls threatening to come down on him. It seemed, after all, that everything in Severus' life was bound to do just that eventually.
He had much on his mind. This war, this long and never-ending war was taking its toll on him, very much so. There was so much information that he was entrusted with, so much pressure on him to do what was right. But for whose side, for whose benefit, would his actions be right?
Severus sighed and continued his journey. He had walked this path many times, both as a student and now as a faculty member. He looked up at the treetops, into the inky sky. Perhaps it would rain on him. It would be fitting; the sky would open up and pour its troubles and its cares and its very distaste down on him.
Perhaps the sky hated him as much as he hated himself.
Sometimes, Severus thought as he paused in front of a tall tree, slumping up against it, it would be nice to be able to go back in time and change things. All he ever wanted to do was to look out for himself. His ideas and hopes of greatness, of fame and glory, were all gone, long gone, replaced by a sad resignation to the fact that after all these years of plotting, he was still just a pawn for both sides of this devastating game of chess.
Slowly, he slid further down on the tree trunk, landing to sit on the ground. He sat at a similar spot often as a boy, curled up with his chemistry textbook, making revisions to the experiments in the text and furiously writing his own well-researched notes in the margins. At other times, he would huddle forlornly, arms curled around his knees, rocking back and forth, trying to wish away all of these feelings inside of him.
And so, many years later, Severus Snape slumped, broken, against a seemingly ancient tree. He drew his legs to his chest, resting his chin on his knees, assuming the posture of the little boy he in many ways still was. He felt as tormented as he did as a child, only this time he was being tormented by his own choices and his own demons.
He sighed, weary of the world and his circumstances and the fact that he was always forced to choose. He would give anything, anything, to not have to make these choices anymore. Closing his eyes, Severus worried his lower lip between his teeth and prayed to all the gods that he never believed in to do something, anything, to make this all just go away.
As always, Severus didn't expect an answer.