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Okay, I wouldn't usually do this, but it's eating at me and demanding I share. *glares at plotbunny*

Title: Music
Pairings: Good question.
Characters: Severus Snape, others as they appear.
Summary: Music is a muse, a definition, a border, a boundary.
Warnings: Character deaths. Mentions of Non-Con. HBP spoilers.
Inspiration: JKR claims that someone has loved him. Love doesn't necessarily help.
Beta: None at the moment, anyone want to volunteer? Also, anyone with a better summary, please speak up ;)

She sings to him in the cradle. Her husband, grounded as he is so thoroughly in what he calls the 'real,' calls them nonsense songs because they are about the non-tangible things only she is heir to. Her voice is rich, like honey and cream whipped into a generous froth, and her audience listens with the wondering concentration only an infant can show for a mother’s song. She sings to him the way she sings to her garden and to her potions: she sings of herbs, of plants, and of living creatures. She sings of magic and of will; things tangible and things unseen.

In return, his first word is not mum, nor is it dad. It is not spoon, nor ball, nor sky.

With perfect enunciation and pointing a slender finger, Severus Snape speaks for the first time.

His first word is "Asphodel."


She sings to the plants in her garden, ditties about their uses and abuses in potions and magic. Severus sings along with her, his high piping voice sweet and true, distracting from his appearance, which truly only a mother could love, given that nose and baby scowl of concentration. Still, mother and son enjoy this time together, basking in the sunlight and the green growing things.

She is singing when the first, sharp pop!s echo in their tiny, green space, and they are surrounded by people who look strangely familiar to Severus. Maybe it is the scowls, or perhaps the signature noses, but he does not like these sour-faced men who kick him aside to approach his mother. She does not look up, finishing the verse-end before wiping her hands on the towel at her waist, her face settling into lines of pained dissatisfaction. Severus has never seen this expression before on his mother's face, one of terrified anger, but it is one he knows instinctively he will see again.

He is very young; too young, really, to understand all of the words thrown about that day. It is the first time he has heard the phrase "blood traitor," or heard himself called a "mudblood."

It is certainly the first time he has heard the name "Prince."

It is the first time he witnesses a beating and, assuredly, it is the first time he sees a woman raped.

Unfortunately, it is not the last.


She sings as she stands over her cauldron, scowling slightly in concentration. Her voice resonates with all the words she will not speak, although the recitation of ingredients and their properties screams of venom and fury. Severus stands on a crate to make him tall enough to help prepare the things she needs and feels impotent rage building in his soul. His mother is heavy with child, the fourth (or is it fifth?) since the first time the men appeared in the garden.

Constant pregnancy has taken a toll on his mother's health and her marriage. His father is a Muggle, not powerful enough to stop his Prince grandfather from exacting a toll for his mother's impetuous marriage. Severus hates him, hates them both, because every day his mother grows weaker and his father's anger has begun to move from verbal bloodletting to physical violence. The man does not beat his mother -- no, he is canny enough to know that harming her or forcing her to miscarry the child would result in his own painful death -- but Severus is a fair target because his Prince relatives could care less if Severus lives or dies.

Severus sings with his mother, letting his voice carry his resentment and his fear. His small hands are steady with the knife as he chops up slugs and shrivelfigs and other, less savory things. He does not speak of his fear that his mother will die with this confinement and that without her to make potions he and his father will starve. He knows that his Prince grandfather had cursed his father to a life of uselessness and drudgery, ensuring that the man his daughter married would be unable to get any job that does not involve scrubbing and mucking and debasing himself, despite the fact Severus' father is well educated and erudite.

Severus knows that his father beats him for that as well.

His mother's voice falters for a moment as she sets her ladle aside, but Severus sings into the silence, knowing that she loves to listen to him sing.

(tbc, as I have to head to work...)


Date: 2005-10-14 01:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] abraxisdragon.livejournal.com
This is a very interesting take on what Severus' past might have been. I love the imagery of the communication by song of the deepest emotions. It is a fact that people remember the songs their mother sang to them in the cradle long after they have forgotten everything else. Severus and his dark songs is an image that sings to me.

Re: Music

Date: 2005-10-14 05:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mightierthan.livejournal.com
*blushes* Thanks. I was beginning to wonder if anyone had read this. (And I need to get back to it, as I've got handwritten notes up through first year somewhere.)

Re: Music

Date: 2005-10-14 06:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] abraxisdragon.livejournal.com
You need to announce more of your stories on the yahoo groups. It will bring you a lot more 'vocal' readers than the fests do. It will also assure them that they will not miss future installments. It is so hard to keep up with stories aren't announced that way.

I will be looking forward to a continuation of this one. Severus is my favorite and I really like this view of him.

Re: Music

Date: 2006-01-31 08:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mightierthan.livejournal.com
Just thought I'd let you know that I've finally finished this (although it may undergo some tweaking later) if you're interested.

As the silly thing isn't Snape/Harry it seems ridiculous to announce it to the Yahoo!Groups I'm on. *considers the issue*


cthulhuchan: (Default)

May 2011


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