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FIC: Letters Home (PG-13)



Title: Letters Home
Age-Range Category: Two
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Severus Snape, Regulus Black, Eileen Prince, others
Author: reg_flint
Beta Reader(s): sionna_raven
Rating: PG-13
(Highlight to View) Warning(s): mild angst.
Summary: When young Severus is at wit's end, he hexes idiots. He gripes to Regulus. And he writes letters home to his mother.



Eileen Prince-Snape, Spinner's End, Cokeworth
16 September 1971

Mum,

It's been a long first week at Hogwarts, so full of people and noise and bother. But there is so much magic, so much to do. It isn't like wandering the alleys and lanes of Cokeworth. I don't miss home. Don't want to think about the summer.

There are these two real bullies and a bunch of people who think they're clever. They don't like sarcasm either, unlike you and me. Too big of a challenge to them. They might have to use their tiny brains and it gets to them. Actually, they aren't stupid which makes it much worse.

I like wearing my robes, looking like everybody else. Especially the Slytherin parts of the uniform. I bet you wondered why I didn't mention my Sorting first but we already knew, Grandpa knew, even Ollivander knew.

I'm not in the mood to write a novel about my first week because you were right about Lily. You thought she'd end up in Gryffindor. Why do you have to be right? Say hi to Dad. Maybe there's more work outside the mill. It stinks to be around him when he has no work. You know. Maybe we could move? Perhaps?

Irately yours, Severus

**

Eileen Prince-Snape, Spinner's End, Cokeworth
Oct 13th 1972

Mum,

I'll send more owls this year, I promise. It was pretty bad in September, Lily being mad at me on and off and you know how I deal with stupid emotions. Not at all. So she avoided me for a month, and we're best friends, so that's depressing.

I'm trying to avoid Professor Slughorn who keeps inviting me to his "Slug Club" or snot club, I call it. He is a fairly good teacher but he's really puffed up and full of hot air. And he believes in hand-picking people, and I think people should be chosen on magical merit. Not who knows your uncle or being pretty.

Lily wants me to go. She has talent. But even for her I can't sit in a group of gigglers and fawners.

There's this cool kid Regulus. He's in First Year. Slytherin. Brother to one of the Gryffindor bullies I mentioned and just as haughty but Regulus is friend material. That makes three friends, and nobody else worth bothering with. There are a few Slytherin bullies too. That leaves Lily, Evan Rosier (who thankfully understands sarcasm) and Regulus. There are fellow snakes that could be friends if I didn't hang out with a Gryffindor and worse, a Mudblood. Lily can't help it, she has more magic than most of them. I just stick to my corner and do my work. My friends aren't with me much. Evan is in Quidditch and Regulus has a stack of friends, not just me. Lily is in another house. But I like watching, and thinking, and staying unnoticed.

The bullies notice me though. One stuck a note to my back yesterday, saying "Kick Me I'm A Dark Wizard." I don't just study dark spells. I learn what is useful like you taught me. I walked around all morning being hexed and jinxed and tripped. Lily helped by taking it off but I hated the pitying look in her eyes.

I hope when I come home for Christmas it's not like last time.

As ever, Severus.

**

Eileen Prince-Snape, Spinner's End, Cokeworth
Jan 9th 1973

Mum,

Thanks for the old family chess set. The pieces like me. One of them gets me confused with other relatives. A white rook talks about deep-set black eyes. Never matter. The pieces and I together decimate the opposition.

I'm glad Dad is back at the mill but I'll believe the sober part when I've seen him. He was a good Dad for a while, you say. Where is this invisible family he was so kind to?

I'll mail this tomorrow. I don't trust the school owls and my Gwyn isn't in the owlery. Hunting, I assume.

Irritably, Severus

**

Eileen Prince-Snape, Spinner's End, Cokeworth
18 June 1973

Mum,

Dad is not going to treat you any better if you don't use magic. Don't hand him weapons. You can't pretend you're a Squib, magic doesn't work that way.

He can't get away with that. I hope at least you are using potions to recover. If you're not, do not expect me to feel sorry for you when you know perfectly well how to get out of the way and how to brew decent remedies.

I don't want to hear about divorce. You never mean it. Go talk to a wall.

Now let me talk to your wall. Things are crazy here. I have to stand up for Lily but she never seems to figure that out and I'm not going to tell her. I find her not so different than the girls in Slytherin, the same non-stop chatter and incessant worrying over looks and friends and dress robes. But part of her is much better than that, and that is what I find I like.

Evan tells me to give my own house a chance. Some of them are nicer than Lily, and some of them prettier, but I don't see them lining up to be acquaintances, and I stick with what works.

Even when it doesn't work.

Yours exasperatedly, Severus

**

Eileen Prince-Snape, Spinner's End, Cokeworth
November 1, 1973

Mum,

It was of course Halloween last night, and Samhain in the old family tradition. Regulus made a lot of comments about the bats. That I look like one. Usually these comments come from Gryffindors and the occasional Ravenclaw or once a Hufflepuff. Lily tries to stop the flood from the bloody heroes, the bullies. One of them is a Potter. Another is a Black. There are two constant hangers-on who are mostly harmless, except that they egg the others on.

Thanks for sending the books. I inhaled them, need more on that topic. I can't get a note for the Restricted Section and they came in very handy for the multitude of medium-grade duels I am constantly subjected to. There are the books that older students leave lying around the common room, but there's never enough practical or theoretical knowledge.

Third year is fine now that Slughorn has given up on invitations and the bullies are attacking less often. They do attack others, but sometimes I think I am the only one they attack, like they live for the love of torturing "Snivellus." That's their nickname for me. Admirable, very thoughtful and completely inspired.

I am relieved that Dad got the promotion to foreman and he's happier and actually likes existence. He wanted the position so badly. Why doesn't he want to move? I know home is close to work. I know it's a pain to get a new connection to the Floo Network. But the books need space to breathe. And there's not enough room to swing a Kneazle in the sitting room.

Sorry for not being as concise as usual. Samhain is the one time I wish I were at home.

Your "bat", Severus

**

Eileen Prince-Snape, Spinner's End, Cokeworth
January 14, 1974

Mum,

What made you send the potion? How long have you been working on it? Did you use it on Dad before to get him promoted? A phial of Felix Felicis. That is a very cunning birthday present. Think you'll win me over and teach me about your type of potions, and hope I'll use it to somehow benefit you. You think that I'll use it for Lily and stop me complaining that I can't speak to her without putting my foot in my mouth, probably.

I hate to undermine Slytherin ingenuity but I'm giving the potion to Lily. Don't think it's self-sacrifice. It is, but only in part. All right, more Slytherin ingenuity. We'll see if she includes me in her wishes, makes me be her best bit of luck.

Wish me luck. I'll need it even if she doesn't.

Fingers crossed, Severus.

**

Eileen Prince-Snape, Spinner's End, Cokeworth
January 17, 1974

Mum,

Love doesn't seem to recognize the words "unmitigated disaster." It went so well with the potion. Spectacular and brilliant. Yes, sarcasm.

Luck, her way, does not include me. She ignored me from the beginning of taking the Liquid Luck. I waited in the library after dinner, where we always meet do do homework. No, she used it to be noble and heroic. I appreciate that but such an obvious display is annoying, Mulciber was attempting to follow Lily's friend Mary with blazing fireworks, just a laugh but not thought through. The sparks got in her eyes. He gets his kicks from that kind of thing, like Peeves. He increased the fire-power. Lily hexed Mulciber and used some basic but useful charms to subdue the fireworks. Then she used Ditanny that seemed to be instantly conjured thanks to Felix. I should be happy the MacDonald girl is fine, but I feel cheated. And it makes no sense that I love her but I do and it hurts like the dickens. The sappy love songs on the Wizarding Wireless make sense and I hate it.

Is there a cure for love? Don't tell me. I don't want to know.

Most aggravated, Severus.

**

Eileen Prince-Snape, Spinner's End, Cokeworth
12 April 1974

Mum,

Your advice about Lily made no sense. Forget her? How is that possible, even when she is impossible? She has me trapped and plays little games but she doesn't want to hurt me. She just wants me to be a Gryffindor. That does hurt me.

Your strange letter is affecting me a bit. Lots of the other kids, especially Slytherins, ask me where I stand on the Dark Lord. I wonder if it's like being in the Slug Club. If I wanted a crowd of dunderheads to love me I'd be going to the Slug Club. Remember? Now you ask me where I stand. I really don't know, or understand you. You married a Muggle. Why do you want me to join the Death Eaters? If I want to prove myself to anyone using magic I think he'd make a good mentor and leader. But the fact that you sent me all of those "me-read-only" pamphlets you make so well just confused me. But then I am still confused by the idea of Muggle-loving witches and wizards.

I've looked it over. I'm undecided. I'll consider opting for the Dark Lord so when witches and wizards can walk free without fear of Muggles. I'll slip down to Spinner's End and invite you back into the world. Until then...hide there!

With anticipation, Severus

**

Eileen Prince-Snape, Spinner's End, Cokeworth
22 October 1974

That was the best owl post I've ever had. You had the secret to my future success at home all along. If I can't play it cagey there's no reason to play the game. These six books put me on a higher level of magic, these seemingly opposing twin forces, Occlumency and Legilimency. Did you study them yourself? I think two professors know it and there is someone I want to teach it to. No, not Lily. She doesn't agree with "fiddling with mind magic." No, I want to teach Regulus. You learn by reading and doing but the best way is to teach. It will force me to focus, though I can do that alone. But he's my friend and he'll need it, he can recite the steps the Dark Lord has taken so far, in order, with a fanatic's certainty. He needs protection. And an ally.

I have a way out if I need it, with these two samples of sheer and perfect magic. I am doing well so far. We'll see if I'm worthy of the magic. Yes, I sound like a hysterical teenager, the twitchy, dark one in the corner who people never expect to meet their expectations. Losers.

So far Regulus says I make a very impatient teacher and I would have to agree.

Thank you for the books.

Tell Dad if he doesn't let you mend his ankle he's a bigger Muggle than any I have ever met, and that includes Lily's sister Petunia. Of course don't tell him, he loves everything about me and the kindness he exhibits toward me makes me have faith in all of humanity.

I learned the sarcasm from him too.

Your serpent. Severus

**

Eileen Prince-Snape, Spinner's End, Cokeworth
11 November 1974

Mum,

Can you believe I made the Quidditch team. Keeper, not a reserve, an actual Keeper is my position on the Slytherin team. I scoff. I've barely tolerated the sport until now. I had to take the position opposing Chaser, and shut out Potter and Black. The repeat offenders.

The first and perhaps only match I made a few saves, and I was deluged by praise which you know I really detest. These people and their expectations. Their words that are never or rarely meant and never lived out in action, and another hundred reasons I can't stand this praise junkie mentality. It's false ego. If I have one I want to deserve it. We won the match but Potter put two past me and still they slap my back sickeningly.

They can talk until they're blue in the face, I'll never understand Quidditch. And Dad knows I hardly know what football team is from where, just that "Cokeworth Bullets FC have the strongest side I've seen in years" and nod my head. That and the simple and universal sporting phrase, "Oh, come on!" To heck with falsity, it isn't becoming in wizard or Muggle.

I am going to resign next practise. Avery's captain, I have one thing to say about him, he's a lot cleverer than he looks, and looks like a thug but his motives are living for pure tactical analysis and all in the name of the grace of sport and above all, winning. He is almost a friend, I hate to resign. I'll let Regulus shine some more. Leave Mulciber as Keeper. Regulus is quite the little Seeker. Earned 50 house points by deftly catching the snitch. Don't expect detail. I'll overdo it and rant for hours or be terribly blunt, concise to the point of supposed rudeness. I never was good at moderation and an even keel.

Lily was ripped up inside, she was cheering Gryffindor but kept staring at me and smiling. After I resign she can still smile if she likes. But she got mad at me for elbowing a Gryffindor Chaser , all because the Chaser is a girl. If it's in the scoring area it's allowed and I have knife-like elbows. There must be one benefit to being scrawny other than not occupying much space.

Resignedly yours, Severus

PS
One thing I am learning from the Occlumency books is what Dad would call a poker face. Inscrutability is the key word. It suits my situation so well.
S.S.

**

Eileen Prince-Snape, Spinner's End, Cokeworth
9 January 1975

Mum,

Thanks for the birthday note and the home made fudge. I am writing this for one reason. I had too much mead, courtesy of a Sixth year. Should you be surprised I drank to much? Had to learn from the best, didn't I? The Sixth Year traded six pints for my annotated book on Entrancing Enchantments which I refuse to make use of. He has girl trouble too and he sat for 55 solid minutes and ranted at me, making me feel cornered and ready to hex him. Fortunately the idiot fell asleep and not so fortunately knocked his mead all over the main Common Room work table. I can hear Lily worry in my head. Drinking! Getting caught? You never get caught in the Slytherin Common Room for something pithy like that. You'd know. Back to the spill. I Vanished it. I wish I could Vanish the dolt. He was not sappy but stupid. I don't mind minor amounts of sap because when Lily does it, it's more Entrancing than any Enchantment.

Regulus spent a lot of time this past month trying to convince me to forget Lily, same advice you gave me, that I am in love with some ideal and not the real person, who she actually is.

Does it matter? What I believe is true for me, in this instance.

I am a starry-eyed fool. Tell no one. They might choke on the obvious.

Enchanted, and hiccoughing, Severus

**

Eileen Prince-Snape, Spinner's End, Cokeworth
2 May 1975

Mum,

Cut and dried. Black and white. Lily has a very narrow view of right and wrong. She has no tolerance for magical experimentation with anything not wholly supported by the Ministry and has no place in any way in the Restricted Section.

I point out that the books in there are there to be studied. She says, they're restricted with reason and ought not to be there.

Augh. It's a repeat echo that goes on from almost the moment we met.

Wither, heart, until I don't care any more. I never attacked her sister with a falling branch. That is what it goes back to, almost. I had a nervous reaction and uncontrolled magic. It was an accident. No wonder now that I don't want to be nervous, show no reaction and control every aspect of my magic.

I complain a lot to you. No one else hears this but Regulus who is what Dad would call a broken record. "Forget about her."

Especially now I am almost as interested in the Dark Arts as everyone seems to think of me in the first place. Black and Potter spread rumours about me, but the thing is, they use Dark magic as much or more than I do. Warping my neck last week even gained the Headmaster's notice, but I didn't see them being actually disciplined. They're Gryffindor Minor Gods (Major Gods in their collective thimble, er, mind.)

Lily thinks it's evil if I use it and justified if immature if they use it.

I want to get them so badly I have the taste of gunmetal in my mouth. I want Lily to see them for who they are. If I do idealize her, she certainly whitewashes them and her whole House.

Don't tell me to forget her. And don't tell me not to use any spell I can make use of.

There's a lot of Death Eater propaganda spreading around the school and that makes the Muggle-borns nervous. I can't blame her but I want her to understand.

In a tetchy mood, Severus

**

Eileen Prince-Snape, Spinner's End, Cokeworth
24 September 1975

Mum,

I always knew I was a disappointment to Dad that I turned out to be a wizard. For him to write instead of you and send it behind your back just to cut me down as a person seems like the kind of thing people accuse Slytherins of doing. Good to know that some of his traits managed to pass despite the magic, isn't it? I could write him and confess my disappointment that he is a Muggle. Oh wait, I did. But I said the words to his face, very much in person, at the age of thirteen. Not as a grown man in a cowardly and perhaps drunken and even more craven note.

I won't be returning for the Christmas holidays. I might deck him. So what if I'm not allowed to use magic, you've never stopped me and I think you would probably be glad to see it happen.

He will, too. He's always on about how I should be growing up and standing up for myself. Even to him. I just infuriate him by not co-operating.

Yours with grinding teeth, Severus

PS Gwyn is tired and seems unreliable so I am sending this with another owl. I wrote a letter two weeks ago and assume she didn't deliver. You send return owls like a dutiful Hufflepuff. Yes I know you were in Slytherin, is there ever a moment you don't speak of your glory days?

**

Eileen Prince-Snape, Spinner's End, Cokeworth
21 December, Yule 1975

Mum,

Happy Yule. There are hints of it everywhere in the castle, mixing with the Christmas traditions well. I sent your gift. I made it during the summer, it took three months to mature rather than a month because I experimented with the duration of the effects, it now lasts a full day. A little Polyjuice never goes amiss, especially when you need an option out of an uncomfortable situation or a need to get in somewhere you normally can't.

Regulus interfered in a duel between Potter, Black, myself and a Ravenclaw Fourth Year girl who detests Potter and fired a hex at him. She was soon sent to the floor, ducking three jinxes, and Regulus came around the corner and saw his little Ravenclaw (yes, his girlfriend) cowering on the flagged stone floor of the fourth floor corridor and he had to act. He aimed a curse at his brother, and he looked like he hated the situation, his girlfriend fighting his brother. I yelled that the "wee, tiny James" had done it (very maturely I must add) and we both turned our wands on Potter. Reg hexed him with the toenail hex I invented last year. I Laughed. Like a jackal, or so Potter would say. The Ravenclaw sounded similar but higher, like a hyena on helium. Regulus ran to help her up and his brother couldn't stand by and let Regulus get away with it. It was close to a fair fight and Potter looked very nervous. Sirius' eyes glittered. I know he wants a one on one as much as I do.

I cursed Potter – and the older Black. They were stuck wheezing and hacking and unable to speak or stand straight and I pulled the Ravenclaw to her feet and soon disappeared – I can make myself scarce when need be – with Regulus up to the owlery. Predictably, he started snogging the Ravenclaw.

I want to have Lily do that. Defend me without smirking. She always thinks she is saving me and looks on me with amusement at the same time. And she never snogs me like those two, Regulus plus Ravenclaw heart heart heart, sickening.

Slughorn invited me to the Slug Hole again. I thought he gave up. It's Potions that does it. He got Lily that way, but he'll never get me. I'm not some simpering sycophant. And the way he purrs "Miss Evans" and looks at her like a rare, potent elixir makes sure that I stay well away, so I don't curse a teacher.

Excuse my rant. It was unusual. I'm glad Dad is on the right path again, you have to give him credit for wanting to change his habits, relentlessly, even if he never seems to manage it.

With chagrin, Severus

**

Eileen Prince-Snape, Spinner's End, Cokeworth
28 June 1976

Mum,

This letter will be longer than usual, it's a last letter, though your owl will find me. I won't be writing any more. I'm just about ready to actually cry so I will bury myself in other things. Better things than a turncoat who I can't help but love. What do I mean? Lily was never mine to begin with. A comet to watch cross the dark skies from a distant, cold vantage point.

I have to be around her, because I'm staying at school. The thing is, I'm moving, and I won't need anything from home though if I could Summon all the books I would. I'm afraid Accio Mum is impossible at this point. You can't let go. I understand that. Lily is now with Potter. I saw it coming but I was just resentful and resigned, I couldn't stop the inevitable.

It really is painful to love people. I think it is better to stay away from where you are not needed or wanted, and also places and people you care for but don't want to attract harm to.

You are the latter.

I said this would be a long letter, but I'm ready to lay down my quill. In case of emergency, contact me at Regulus' during the summer and Hogwarts of course the rest of the year. This is a leaving letter, saying goodbye to Spinner's End. There are so many reasons to pursue a dark destiny and so few, if any, reasons not to.

Bitterly but with love, Severus.
Tags: author: valkyriekat_47, category: two, type: fic
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