A/N: This was one of my first fics written in 2006. I am slowly fixing grammar mistakes and enhancing some scenes. Thank you to my wonderful readers.
Please note that most italics are inner dialogue.
Disclaimer: All characters and copyright belong to J.K. Rowling
"Eighteen." I cried out as a belt hit my soft flesh.
Blood soaked the floor. I'm going to kill him! Another jolt of pain hit my back, how long was this torture going to last?
I gritted my teeth and managed to get out, "N-nine...t-teen."
Everything was starting to look hazy.
"I can't hear you boy!" My father's cruel voice pushed me back into reality.
I really am going to slaughter that drun...
"Agh..." that one felt bad.
"Agh is not a number, it seems you forgot your numbers again, should we starts over?"
His speech is so...infuriating.
I managed to catch my breath and stated "No sir, we are on twenty."
"Ten more, boy."
I'm not going to live another night, I know it.
A meek voice came out from across the dim room.
"Tobias?" Mother don't interfere, I can't see you getting hurt!
"What the hell is it woman!" He yelled while still staring at me, his drunken breath and spittle landing on my face.
Mother started to get up from her place in the corner. She barely even spoke the words but somehow father was able to hear her voice.
"Please...he didn't mean to."
Father's face was now getting paler…that meant that he was now really cross. Can't you see mother I'm doing this for you? Just stay in the corner at least you'll be safe! She stood up.
"What are you doing now woman?" He spat out the words.
"Tobias..." She was still so weak. "Please he has learned his mistake."
Yeah my mistake was getting caught, by that drunk!
He turned and faced her. The blood red belt fell to the ground. No, I can't let this happen. Not again. I tried to get my body to move but it stayed there frozen in place. Now he had her by the wrists.
I need to save her but he'll kill me unless...I moved my hand down my leg. When I felt the item in my pocket happiness flooded through me. It was there, but could I bring myself to use it?
My mother fell to the ground crying. I couldn't stand it. My hands slowly went down into my pocket. I stared at him, not wanting him to catch me doing the unforgivable. I felt my gaze boring into him but I knew I could not look away. Then I felt it touch my hand. When I had wrapped my fingers around it he suddenly turned.
"What are you doing!" His eyes grew wide. I knew he feared magic.
I pulled out the wand, letting the feeling of power envelop me.
"Put that back, or else!"
"Or else what!" I knew I had the upper hand but never figured I would get smug about it. I stood there taken aback at my reaction, just like he was. I pulled my hand up, but he was too quick. I heard a yell and wondered if it was from me or mother. Darkness pulled me in.
The room suddenly took on its shape again, not that there were many shapes to begin with.
The room was always dark; there was very little light that streamed into the room which made the place seem dead. I stood up, going towards my mirror. It was the only thing in my room that had any value, besides my school items. Everything else here, the half rotten mattress on the floor and the moth infested wardrobe made my cracked mirror seem magnificent.
I looked at myself in the mirror. Normal people usually check to see how good they look to the public view, but I knew I never had a chance with normal people. Greasy hair, thin lips, shallow cheeks, a rather large nose, sallow skin, and the fact that I never smiled might put people off.
Yeah that was me Severus Snape, the greasy git. I sighed knowing it was never going to get better.
One black eye, a bruised cheek, three missing teeth, a few minor cuts, it wasn't that bad. I evaluated my injuries and figured in a few weeks Madame Pomfrey would be able to fix the teeth. In time the brises and cuts would heal.
I didn't dare myself to look at my back. It was painful, but it was better not to see it. It could have been worse...a lot worse.
I went to the kitchen quickly. My father was most likely in his room complaining about his hangover. As usual I found my mother starting to make breakfast. Time to change my face.
"Good morning mother." I gave her my usual monotone voice that hid the pain.
"Oh Severus, it's good to see you up." Her voice was hidden also, but I could tell she was glad I was alive, even if my life was hanging by a thread.
"I'm starving woman!" We both jumped hearing the gruff voice.
"Severus why don't you go run some errands. Mother, you can't save me all the time
"Hurry up!" came a yell from the table.
"Boy come here!" Well at least if he takes his anger out on me, mother will live another day. I went up to my father who ate greedily.
You know for a person with very few manners, it seems strange how you always punish me for not adding 'sir' to every sentence.
He still didn't take his eyes off his food, and was taking with a full mouth.
"Eileen tell you to run errands?"
"Good, get me medicine, and if you're not back by eleven, you'll wish you'd be dead."
…But what if I already wish for death?
I went out of the house as fast as I could. I wanted to run so mother would not have to spend so much time with father, but if I ran my wounds would reopen, and I couldn't have that. I walked at a brisk pace down the hill.
Eyes turned as they saw me. Why don't you all just stare at the freak! Why would they stare at me? They all too lived in the same run-down houses. They had the same tattered clothes. Also, they had the same drunken fathers and husbands. Why was I always so different? Oh yeah…
Five years ago I was hauling a large bag of groceries up the hill. For most kids my age it would have been a feat, but even though I had a small frame it was a task I was used to. Suddenly a very tall old man stopped in front of me. He wore long purple robes, not tattered, they even looked fairly new. He looked over ninety, but he was still so strong. His blue eyes danced with youth. Strange why is he wearing clothing like that, and if he had money to spend on clothes what would he be doing here?
I froze. How in the world did he know me?
"Oh good I finally found you, you see I have been trying to send you letters all week, and it seems you haven't received them yet."
"Well sir..." He was really starting to get me nervous. "I haven't been allowed outside, my father is the only one that goes outdoors, but only to work or go to the pub."
"That's too bad" He reached inside his robes.
"P...please sir I didn't mean to..."
A lollipop came out.
"Would you like a sweet, Mr. Snape?"
Yes, oh god yes.
"I'm sorry sir, I can not accept anything from a stranger."
He gave me a look mother had given me…a smile? There was nothing to smile about here.
"How terribly rude of me, my name is Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry." He extended his hand. Maybe he was from this area, he seemed to hallucinate just like all the other drunks.
"It is a pleasure Mr. Dumbledore." I shook his hand frightened what he would do if I refused.
"So then Mr. Snape will you be attending?" Surely another drunk, might as well play along or else he might get angry.
"Attend what sir?"
His eyes twinkled. "Why Hogwarts of course, my boy!"
"Sorry sir, but my family, doesn't have the money to have me attend."
"Your mother is Eileen Snape am I right."
Now this was getting to get strange.
"Yes sir, do you know her?"
I was now at our front door. The man was rambling about this 'wizarding world'. When I opened the door he stood there like he was waiting for me to invite him in.
"Just wait here, sir." No matter what I would be polite, even if he was stark mad.
I went inside and noticed that mother was getting dinner ready.
She gave me a sidelong glance. "What took you so long, if your father knew..."
I dropped the bag in the kitchen and quickly explained. "Mother there's a strange man, by the name of Albus..."
"Albus is here?" She actually did know him!?
She exitedly turned off the gas and rushed to the door. I coudln't remember the last time she seemed this happy.
"Professor Dumbledore." She clasped hands with the old man. Her bright smile a contrast to the dreary surroundings.
"Eileen, I'm so glad to see you are well."
My mother motioned for me and said "Severus come here."
I went back to the threshold hesitantly.
"Do you know who this man is?" my mother asked me.
"He says he Albus Dumbledore, headmaster..." she cut in.
"Professor you are now the headmaster, congratulations!" I had never seen my mother so happy before. I would ask questions later if talking to a lunatic made her glad I would give her this rarity of happiness. Dumbledore turned to me.
"Severus do you know you are not an ordinary child?''
Yes, I'm a freak, get on with it. I nodded.
"You are not ordinary, because you are a wizard…"
I found myself standing in front of the grocery store. Why did I have to daydream all the time?
I started to pick up my pace realizing that if I walked too slow that I may come home late. I couldn't afford to see mother get hurt again. I opened the door to the shop quickly. Nobody else was in the small store, so I went up to the cashier.
"Excuse me, sir?"
The teenager around my age, turned around a bored expression on his face.
"Do you have the time?"
He looked at his watch, "Uh, yeah...it's ten fifteen."
Maybe I was going to live through today. I said my thanks and grabbed the items we needed from the store. I quickly paid him and left.
I ran up the street. Everyone was outside and talking to each other. What had happened? I couldn't remember if this was a holiday.
I went on the sidewalk. Everyone stared at me, but it seemed they looked at me with sympathy and pity. Pity was something I could not stand. I went up to the only person I could trust with information, Mrs. Gerald. She was a kind elderly woman who lived a few blocks. I tried to help her when I had the time.
"Mrs. Gerald, excuse me but what happened?"
The elderly lady's eyes shot open recognizing my voice.
"You mean you haven't heard yet?"
Why would I be asking you if I haven't heard?
"Your parents house caught fire. Your parents...they died."