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09 February 2006 @ 05:16 pm
Severus sat straight up in bed, gasping desperately for air. His hair clung to his neck with sweat; his lip ached, and blood ran in tiny rivulets down his chin. His head whipped from side to side as he scanned his surroundings, taking in the four other five-posters and the weak, milky moonlight filtering in through the windows. It was very late- almost very early- and though he suspected he must have been making a great deal of noise, none of his roommates seemed to have stirred at all. Shaking, he drew his knees to his chest, lay his cheek on one bony kneecap. The dream had been extremely vivid. He'd been running, running in a dark forest... the moon was high and fat in the night sky... his lungs were burning, his shins jolted every time his foot met the hard-packed earth... what had he been running from? Something terrible, something he'd seen? Oh god- something he'd -done-? He'd fallen, stopped to rest, and then- and then, a creature. He hadn't seen it clearly, or couldn't remember; but the stink of it, the moonlight gleaming on its dripping fangs, the horror that rose with bile and nearly choked him... those were imprinted on his brain. Severus sat still, staring out the window at the Forbidden Forest, blood soaking into his pyjamas unheeded. There would be no more sleep tonight.
26 January 2006 @ 06:05 pm
Severus was tired of the sodding cold. His bones ached with it; he got no sleep at night, waiting desperately for his feet to warm up; ice grew on the tiny hairs in his nose during Potions and the torturous trek to the greenhouses every morning left him with wand primed, eager for the slightest provocation. It would be, he thought with grim anticipation, extremely satisfying to watch Potter cannibalize himself. Or perhaps Sirius Black could do it for him? There was always that snivelling little Pettigrew, as well... a chain, that was it! Potter munching on Black's eyeball as Pettigrew gagged on a piece of Potter's intestine... Lost in grisly fantasies, Severus stared sightlessly out the library windows, his arithmancy homework forgotten.
13 January 2006 @ 03:10 pm
Severus stared at the crystal decanter, considering the carmine liquid within. The fine diamond-cut of the crystal set glowing shadows round about it; it looked, Severus thought with mild interest, as though it was filled with slowly aging blood- which, actually, it partially was. A fourth of the whole was from his own veins, drawn over time after painstaking and elaborate ritual. He'd been drying the herbs for months, all hung upside down and tied off in a dark closet he'd found in the dungeons; he'd had to stew the calamus root for eight straight days, forgoing sleep as he watched the thin tuber disintegrate into its most basic parts. He'd nearly killed himself searching for a tributary vein in a Thesulac tentacle, coming instead across a stagnant pocket of poisonous secretion the dealer assured him had all been drained; the first time he'd tried to soak the Dethwok demon's brain matter in hellebore he'd woken up three hours later in a puddle of his own piss. But finally, finally- it was all finished. Finished, and waiting for him. Severus shifted in his seat, the hair on his arms standing up. The little closet was dark but for the floating candles he had enchanted, and suddenly the decanter was a shadowed, menacing entity. He wanted what the potion would give him, yes... but for the first time in many, many years, Severus Snape was afraid.

Standing quickly, he pulled a glass vial from his robes and anointed the sharp crystal edges, confident the mixture would keep a year's work safe from prying eyes. He fished out his wand and muttered under his breath, snuffing the candles and stacking them as they fell, and quietly slipped out of the closet. Walking briskly up the stairs, he reminded himself that the potion still had a month of potency left. He had twenty-eight days to decide; he was no Gryffindor, to make rash decisions and call stupidity courage. Four weeks, then. Four weeks, and he would know what he had to do.