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Title: Two of Our Number
Author: Becca ([livejournal.com profile] aqua_alta)
Pairing: SS/SB
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: They don't belong to me, they belong to JKR. I don't intend to make money with this.
Summary: Dumbledore asks for a miracle and Severus can't do anything to prevent it happening.
A/N: Part of the Severus Snape Fuh-Q Fest (the Fest's site is currently down) as a response to scenario #3: Snape would rather be `dead' than do `that' with `him'! Wouldn't he?
Archiving: The Severus Snape Fuh-Q Fest Archive, of course.
A/N #2: It's short. It's strange. It's strange and short.




Two Of Our Number


~ Give me a reason, give me a reason to do it, and I swear I will... ~

The whispered words penetrate everything. A tingling sensation wells between my eyes where his wand points, the target of a curse. I feel cold sweat running down my neck and temples. I can hear my heart beating and my blood flowing through my veins. I close my eyes. I wait.

And wait.

And wait.

But nothing ever happens. No reason is given, ever. How I wish I could finally give him a reason! It would be over now.

All those thousands of days in Azkaban couldn't shatter me that much. The first time I met him again after so many years, his fathomless black eyes blazing with hatred. And his ice-cold voice threatening to kill me.

~ Give me a reason, give me a reason to do it and I swear I will. ~

Why didn't I do anything? Why didn't I force him to act?

~ Give me a reason... ~

His words haunted me ever since. Tormented me. Never left me alone. Every spare moment I feel the tingling between my eyes and my ears sting with his hissing whisper.

~ ...give me a reason to do it... ~

The moment I transform from dog to man all I see once more is black eyes glaring at me in hatred.

~ ...and I swear I will! ~

Do it. Finish it. I could give you a reason now. I could simply tell you to do it and it would be enough. You've sworn and I'm waiting, as always. Do it, Severus.

"Him!"

******

"Him!"

Oh Gods, why him? That black dog... Him. He's an Animagus, and I had no idea of it; so I stand transfigured myself - turned into stone. All I can do is stare at him. I won't blink, no, I won't.

A shabby room flashes into my memory, a time a year ago, and an emaciated man with long matted hair. In rags. I remember how I thanked Merlin for the opportunity to hide under Potter's Invisibility Cloak before I actually had to face him. To adjust to the hoarseness of his voice, the heat radiating from his tortured body. He would have seen me torn to pieces without the cover of that cloak. I had expected him to be dead. To have been captured by the Dementors, worse than dead. To never see him again. I should have known better. Dumbledore would have notified us... me if he'd been captured. I had never expected to see him again.

I knew my only chance would be to kill him on the spot. But I couldn't. I told him to give me a reason and swore I would do it. I challenged him. But I could never have met the challenge myself. Why? Why again? Why him?

Once more I was sure I would never see him again. I knew he wasn't back in Azkaban this time, but I thought he might have died somewhere in the woods. Died of hunger, violence, or disease. Frozen to death. Taken his own life in madness or despair.

My eyes water and I finally turn away. I can hear strange sounds and suspect someone is talking, perhaps even me. Oh Gods, it's him. I fear I might faint. Someone - Dumbledore? - tries to make me walk over and shake his hand.

I'd rather be dead. I'd rather be dead than shake hands with him. I'd rather be dead than touch him ever again. It would break me; it would destroy me. I would fail.

~ Give me a reason, give me a reason to do it and I swear I will. ~

My own words, spoken a lifetime ago, echo in my thoughts. I don't know if I can meet the challenge. I hold my breath and - I have my chance and let it pass by.

As I walk towards him I pray for a miracle. I pray for him to refuse. I pray for escape. I pray for death. I don't think I'll be able to live through this. I cannot touch him, I cannot, I cannot... ~ and I swear I will ~. Die. Touch him. I don't know anymore.

The touch nearly knocks me off my feet. A hard blow in the stomach and a piercing pain in my head. I force myself not to remember. I will myself to cut the memories of the other touches out of my body, out of my flesh and out of my skin. I forget his touch, his hand, his body. I forget my body. I forget him.

My vision goes black.

I'm still alive.

Dumbledore asks me to do something, I don't know what. He asks me if I'm ready and I tell him that I am.

"I am."

Ready to do what? I don't remember. It doesn't matter.


***end***

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