Fear and Loathing
D.L. SchizoAuthoress

Note: I've been kicking this idea around in my head for ages, and as usual with a lot of my old Harry Potter plotlines, I had to seperate it from a piece rendered non-canon.

"Fear grows in darkness; if you think there's a bogeyman around, turn on the light."
Dorothy Thompson

It had been a thoroughly exhausting morning. Professor Snape wanted nothing more than to relax in the staff room for a few minutes after lunch, and he slipped inside the room silently, intent on finding a comfortable chair.

He noticed, to his annoyance, that the door on the wardrobe was slightly ajar. He disliked things to be out of place, so he strode over and grabbed the handle of the door. Instead of easily closing, however, the door was forced open by something behind it.

Severus gasped in horror at the sight of it...

A dark figure, hunched and horrible, bent over the sprawled form of his mother. Blood on her pale neck and face, obscenely bright, was illuminated in the splash of moonlight coming from the window. The figure, at once familiar and terrifyingly changed, suddenly paused, lifting its head to scent the air. A single word seemed to pulse in his brain. 'Run.'

Out the door, into the night, he ran. His rosewood wand, most precious of his possessions, was as always tucked into his sleeve, but would he risk expulsion to save his life? With his mother dead - and she could not be alive, not with that much blood soaking the carpet and her skin - he was the only magic-user in the vicinity, and any magic would automatically be blamed on him. With his mother dead, who would care if he lived?

He ran. Down the street, past flickering streetlamps and darkly overgrown hedges. Did the creature give chase? He did not dare look back to see, he could not.

Soon enough, he had his answer; the beast howled as it closed in on him, its prey.

He clutched the handle of his wand, sucked in a deep breath, and came to a decision. With cold clarity of purpose, he whirled around, leapt backward to give himself time, and spoke a single word:

"Stupefy!"

There was a bolt of red light, and a terrific thud as the huge beast fell unconscious to the ground. For a long moment, there was silence, as the young boy stared down at the creature he had felled with a Stunning Spell. Large and furred, canine in shape...and as a cloud drifted over the face of the full moon, the creature changed, becoming human - dark-haired and hook-nosed, looking fierce even in repose.

The boy hated himself for the sadness he felt, staring down at his mother's murderer. He hated how his chest tightened painfully, how his throat constricted with unshed tears. He hated, most of all, the desperate way he whispered, "Daddy..?" into the cold, unfeeling darkness.

...had any of his peers been in the staff room to see him, they would have recalled the incident of the Whomping Willow, and assumed that the werewolf which lurched out of the wardrobe was supposed to be an out of control, transformed Remus Lupin.

But as Severus raised his wand, picturing a puppy chasing its tail, and calmly said, "Riddikulus!" to the boggart, the truth rang clear in his memory.

He would always fear his father.