Severus Snape walked along the frosted grass in the middle of February with his close friend, Narcissa Black. They didn’t say anything; they just walked. Suddenly, Narcissa spoke.
“You really should go to that party. You’ll have fun, I promise. Besides, it’s Valentine’s Day. What can possibly go wrong on Valentine’s Day?”
“I can’t go to the party. I have to study for O.W.L. exams,” Severus lied, and Narcissa could tell.
“Really, Severus, what’s wrong?” Narcissa asked.
Snape gave her the same doubtful look he had been giving her for the past week.
“I’ll be the only Slytherin there. Besides, Potter and his crew will be there. I’ll be tormented for the whole time. I don’t even have a date,” Severus told her. Narcissa gave him a warm smile.
“For one thing, you won’t be the only Slytherin there; Bellatrix will be there. For another, how bad can James be? You never really got to know him. For another...”
“Okay, okay. I’ll go. But why won’t you come with me?” Severus asked, for Narcissa had never told him why she was always busy.
“Oh, I have plans with Lucius again,” Narcissa replied casually.
“What do you see in him, anyway? He’s such a snob,” Severus asked, his long nose wrinkling up.
“Oh, Severus, stop trying to act cold-hearted. I already know you’re a kind person,” Narcissa said, patting him on the back. She looked at her watch and gasped. “Oh, no! I’m going to be late for my date! Tell me about the party later.” Narcissa ran off, leaving Snape alone on the cold grass. He slowly walked behind Honeydukes where no one could see them; a perfect place to have a party without authority ruining it.
It’s not really a party, Severus began to think, it’s more of a gathering of students having a good time and laughing and…yeah, it’s a party. Severus looked around to see who was there. Great, just great. The four freaks are here, and there are no Slytherins except for Bellatrix, and she hates me. Severus began to walk away, but before he reached the front of the store, a hand grabbed his shoulder. Severus spun around only to see James Potter smiling wickedly at him.
“Snivelly, you’ve finally arrived. So, what have you come here for? Do you want to go tell the headmaster about our little party? Or did you take a wrong turn trying to get into Honeydukes where you could buy some chocolates for an imaginary woman you made up?”
James and his three friends laughed loudly, as well as the majority of the people at the party. Suddenly, a voice came from the back of the group of people.
“For goodness sake, leave him alone! He didn’t even do anything to you!”
“Lily?” James gasped, as a slender, redheaded girl pushed her way past a group of students.
“You heard me! Leave Severus alone!” Lily repeated. James raised his eyebrows.
“Since when were you and Snivelly on a first name basis? Why wasn’t I informed about this?”
“You’re not my boyfriend, you arrogant prat, so stop acting like it,” Lily sneered. She spun around to face Severus. “I’m really sorry about that. James can be cruel at times.” Lily smiled at Severus, and he smiled back. Severus heard one of the Ravenclaw girls call her.
“I suppose you have to go,” Severus said, knowing that he sounded extremely awkward.
“Yeah, um…I suppose I should,” Lily said in the same awkward tone.
Just as she began to walk away from Severus, James noticed a little pink piece of paper sticking out of her robes. Before she could try to push the letter deeper into her pocket, James had pulled it out.
“It seems that you have a secret admirer, Lily. Shall we have a look at this love letter? ” James said loudly, so everyone at the party could hear. Every witch and wizard turned their head to see James read the letter. Lily had made an attempt to snatch the letter from James’ hand, but, unfortunately, he was too tall for her to reach his outstretched wrist.
“Give it back! It’s not yours!” Lily shouted. James smiled smugly and began to read.
Your dazzling eyes are as green As a blade of grass. I hold my breath, hoping you would notice me As you briskly walk past.
Your delicate skin is like Alabaster stone. I will always be with you, Reaching out my hand for you to hold.
Your silky hair is A fiery ruby red. If anyone else had you, I would rather be dead.
So notice me And take my hand. Don’t be with anyone else. I’ll respond to your every demand.
So I suppose I’m asking you ‘Will you be mine?’ Lily Evans, Will you be my Valentine?
Hopefully Yours, Severus Snape
Every head turned to look at Severus’ beet-red face. He looked at Bellatrix, hoping that he could be helped out by another Slytherin, but she simply looked away, ignoring his pleading face. James clutched the note so hard that he had made a hole in it. He walked so close to Severus that James could smell his putrid breath. Everyone stood in their places in silent suspense, waiting for James to speak. Surprisingly, James wore a wide smile and spoke in a sly, almost taunting voice.
“Snivelly, Snivelly, Snivelly. Haven’t I taught you enough? You don’t give love letters to another man’s Valentine.”
“I’m not your Valentine!” Lily interrupted. “If anything, I would be his Valentine!” she said, pointing at Severus. James’ eyes grew wide as his smile faded away.
“But…but…it’s Snivelly ! How can you be his girlfriend?” James stuttered, barely able to get out the word “girlfriend”. Severus decided this was a perfect chance to join the argument.
“Oh, is that true? Why can’t I be Lily’s beau? Is it because she’s a Gryffindor? Is it because she’s not good enough for me? Or is it because I am living your dream, and you just can’t take it?” James’ eyes went from serious to angry. Seeing James’ expression only made Severus persist. “So, James, how does it feel to be tormented? How does it feel to know that the perfect person is in your enemy’s hands?” At this moment, James looked as if his head were about to explode.
“It…it feels horrible.” James muttered, being embarrassed for the first time in his teenage years.
“So, what do you say to people you have wronged?” Severus said slowly, as if speaking to an infant.
“I say that you’ve found the wrong person, Snivelly.” A voice came from behind James. Sirius spoke again. “Don’t you know? Lily’s a Muggle-born.”
Severus gave Sirius the kind of look he would give to a stray dog eating a rotting piece of steak.
“I know that, you idiot! I believe that it’s perfectly normal if a Slytherin were to fall for a Muggle-born, and hate the rest of the mudbloods.” Bellatrix gave a soft gasp of disgust and left.
“Who are you calling a mudblood?” Lily snapped.
“Clearly not you, Lily!” Severus said, not meaning to shout.
“If you insult one Muggle-born, you insult all of them! My friends were right! You are the same as the rest of the Slytherins - cruel and heartless!”
“Stay out of this, Lily! This has nothing to do with you! This is between me and Potter.”
Lily went silent, surprised at Severus’ cold words.
“Yes, it is,” James said, giving Lily an apologetic look. He turned back to Severus.
“So, Snivelly, how does it feel to know that the perfect person is in your enemy’s hands, and that she’s Muggle-born?” James said, his face lighting up. Severus was past sad emotions. The only thing left now was anger and hatred. He could no longer think about what he was saying when speaking to James. He simply said everything that was going on in his mind.
“You know what, James? I hope you die a horrid death!” Severus spat. James and his friends laughed loudly.
“Great comeback, Snivelly. Who’s going to kill me - Peter?” James said, laughing even harder, as Peter pretended to strangle him.
“No, Pettigrew’s far too cowardly to do anything himself. He’d probably have to find someone else to do it for him,” Severus commented after looking Peter up and down.
“Now, what makes you think that my closest friend is going to betray me, Snivelly?” James asked.
“Well, he does seem a bit ratty , doesn’t he?” Severus said, a grin growing on his face.
“How did you know about the Anima…the thing ?” James said, suddenly aware that there were dozens of people listening to his every word.
“Trust me, Potter, I know far more than you would think of. For example, I know that your freaky friend is a werewo…”
“Don’t say that, Severus. You know this is going to turn into an unnecessary fight,” Lily said, putting a hand on Severus’ shoulder. He jerked away.
“Don’t touch me, mudblood. You can die along with Potter.” Severus stalked out of the party, trying to make a dramatic exit.
When he had finished his long walk back to Hogwarts, he walked quickly to the Slytherin common room. As soon as he took his first step into the common room, he saw a young man with blond hair and a pale, pointed face waiting for him.
“Lucius? What are you doing here? You left Hogwarts already. Besides, aren’t you supposed to be on a date or something?” Severus sneered. Lucius ignored Severus’ words.
“I have my ways of getting in Hogwarts unnoticed, and I’ve already finished my date with Narcissa. This isn’t about Narcissa or how I got in here. This is about you and me,” Lucius said in his usual drawling voice.
“Alright, then. What is it that you wanted to say to me?” Severus asked impatiently.
“I want you to join me, Severus,” Lucius said.
“What?” Severus asked. “I don’t even like you. What makes you think I would be your friend?”
“You don’t like Potter, right?” Lucius asked, ignoring Severus’ words. Severus nodded. “Bellatrix told me about what happened by Honeydukes. So we need to find a way to get back at him for humiliating you. James, as well as all those Gryffindors, has made my life a living nightmare. I have already joined the Dark Lord, and he wants you to join him. He believes you would make a wonderful Death Eater.”
WHAT!? Severus thought. Why is he telling me this? Becoming a Death Eater is completely out of the question. Who serves You-Know-Who?
“No, I won’t join you, and I won’t stoop to your level of becoming a Death Eater.” Severus turned his head and began to walk into a boys’ dormitory.
“Wait!” Lucius called, jogging to Severus’ side. “Okay, what I said was a little over the edge, but please don’t tell Narcissa about the Death Eater thing,” Lucius pleaded.
Since when does Malfoy beg? Merlin’s beard, You-Know-Who must have threatened him and ordered him to convert me into becoming a Death Eater. Maybe I should be a Death Eater for Malfoy’s sake…NO! What am I thinking? That’s stupid, risking my life to save another.
“Fine. I won’t tell Narcissa. Is there anything else?” Severus asked in a bored tone.
“Yes. Hear me out. I do want to get to get revenge on Potter, as well as all those other Gryffindors. You’re not alone, Severus. There are more people in Hogwarts that are Death Eaters than you may think,” Lucius said, hoping to persuade Severus.
Of course I want to get revenge on Potter, but not like this…then again, there are so many other reasons why I can be a Death Eater. For one thing, I just don’t belong in Hogwarts, where everyone thinks that Dumbledore is some kind of god. Another reason is that I come from a long line of Death Eaters, and everyone expects me to keep up the family honor. Another is…well, there are far too many reasons to count. Wait…there are more Death Eaters in this school?
“Like who?” Severus asked curiously. Lucius looked around the room to see if anyone else was there. He spoke in a soft voice to Severus.
“Bellatrix Black. She joined before me, before anyone else in this school.” Severus gasped, but was still unsure if Lucius was being completely truthful. Lucius went on, “If you do join me, I promise never to tell a soul about this, just as Bellatrix did when she convinced me about joining the Dark Lord. After we get our revenge, we could just go back to being bitter enemies, back to the way we were. So,” Lucius said, holding out his hand for Severus to shake, “how about it? For revenge?”
I…I’m not ready to decide! I need to sleep on it…no. I can’t do that. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, to be on the Dark Lord’s side. So many people are doing it, and my life could change for the better if I join. Besides, my family has always been telling me to live life to its fullest. Yes! I should do this!