It was a chilly morning at the end of October. The sun had not come out of the clouds for several days and it was constantly raining. The dripping of the rain against the window of the Headmaster’s office was beginning to irritate Snape. He tightened his cloak and said “Incendio!” pointing at the fireplace. Snape was wondering all the time how previous headmasters managed to work in that dreadful place. Portraits of the previous headmasters were looking at him and observing what he was doing. It was very frustrating. He found it hard to concentrate on what he was doing because they were always staring and whispering to each other and it made him wonder if they were talking about him. When they were not staring it was even worse, because then they were snoring. He had always thought that people don’t snore if they are in a vertical position but he was wrong. Portraits did it very successfully. He thought that working in the Great Hall would be easier than in this office. At least one thing warmed his heart. Dumbledore’s phoenix Fawkes had disappeared somewhere so he did not have to listen to the noise that he had usually made.
All of a sudden he heard another sound coming from outside. Those were heavy footsteps rushing up the stone steps to his office. Amycus, a squat man who thought the Defence Against the Dark Arts, ran through the door and shouted in a wrathful voice, “Snape, those kids are making fools out of us again! There’s a new graffiti on the wall at the third floor. This time they have charmed it so that we can’t get it off.”
“Do you admit that some dunderheads can perform magic that you can’t handle? Don’t make me laugh,” he snapped and rose to his feet. He would have to take a walk to the third floor to take that off.
“You will see, Snape, that it’s not so easy,” he said as they exited Headmaster’s office. “I’m sure that it’s Longbottom’s job. He’s just as his parents!”
“Longbottom’s?” Snape exclaimed. “Are you kidding me? That kid is the biggest dunderhead I had ever had to teach. He can’t do anything right! He is nothing like his parents.” Actually Snape suspected that it could be Neville’s job, because he was trying to imitate Potter by trying to be a hero and getting in trouble, but Snape had to protect him so he had to assure Amycus that it was not Neville to take off suspicion.
“He is definitely planning something with his little friends. If only I could find out how they are communicating,” Amycus wished. “Look, there it is!” he added.
Snape looked in the direction that Amycus had shown him and saw a graffiti which said: Dumbledore’s Army, Still Recruiting.
Foolish kids! Snape hated when they did it. The Carrows already had very cruel ways of punishments. Snape was here to protect kids, but they did everything to make it harder for him. This was not the time to stand out by angering the Carrows. They had prohibited mentioning Dumbledore but Dumbledore’s Army was above that. Snape did not even want to think about what they could do with those who are guilty for these graffiti. They can even put them in Azkaban and Snape would not be able to do anything about it. Acting like this did not do anything good. The kids only made the situation worse for themselves.
“If I will find out who did it!” Snape yelled. He continued in his mind, “I will teach him such lesson that he will never ever again try to anger the Carrows.”
“What will you do then?” asked a wheezy voice which belonged to Alecto. She was the new Muggle Studies teacher and Amycus’s sister. Snape turned around to look at the stocky woman.
“I choose not to share it with you, but I’ll make sure that whoever did this will never attempted to do anything like this again,” Snape snapped.
He started working on the graffiti and what Amycus had said proved to be true. He could not get it off. Probably a simple Muggle paint would do the trick, but no one had it in the Wizarding World.
“I said that it’s not possible to get it off,” Amycus said with triumph.
“It’s some kind of charm that will wear off by itself but it’s not possible to get it off quicker,” added Alecto.
“I see it myself!” Snape shouted. “We don’t want anyone to see this foolishness. Foolish Dumbledore is gone and so has his armies. We should get a portrait with which to cover the graffiti.” The idea was approved by the siblings.
“They did it at night,” Snape hissed. “You had to patrol the castle tonight, Amycus! How could you let something like this happen in front of your eyes?”
“Well… I…I’ll get a portrait,” he said and went away leaving Snape in the company of his sister. Snape wanted to get past her and disappear in his office, but they were heading in one direction.
“I don’t understand, Snape, how everything here managed to get so bad. Yesterday I was explaining that Muggles don’t differ in any way from animals, everything that guides them is their instincts and their main goal in the life is to kill a wizard, because they hate reasonable beings, when students started objecting. I had thought that all Muggle-lovers are long ago in hiding, but the school is full of them. Can you imagine someone saying that many Muggles are cleverer than Wizards and trying to prove that Muggle-borns are more often outstanding students? I could not imagine it until yesterday, too. Luckily I managed to shut his mouth with a curse before he muttered some more nonsense.”
“Don’t try to hard to scare them away. You won’t have anyone to practice the Cruciatus Curse on,” Snape said.
“I will find some, don’t worry,” she said easily. “There are a lot of Gryffindors around.”
After nine tiring hours Snape finally went to his quarters.
“It has been a long day!” Snape said falling down on a stool.
“Yes, I noticed,” Sarah answered. “I have got a lot of interesting food from the kitchens.” She pointed at the table. “Maybe it will lift up your mood!”
“I hope so!” he said cheerfully and began filling his stomach.
“Severus, do you know what day it is today?” she asked.
“Monday,” he answered easily being happy that he could give her an answer she had wanted to hear.
“No, you fool!” she yelled sending Snape into shock. “It’s one and a half years since we met.”
Snape had not suspected that someone celebrated dates like that, but he figured out that it’s better not to object.
“I’m sorry. I had not counted the days,” he apologised.
“Men never do!” she pouted. “But it doesn’t matter. I think we should celebrate anyway.” Meeting Snape’s interested look she added, “After the supper.”
It was a great motivation to eat faster. Snape quickly finished eating and wanted to ask Sarah if they could start celebrating when he noticed that she was not in the room anymore. He did not have to wonder where she was for long; he could hear noise coming from the bedroom. He looked into the room and saw Sarah lying on the bed in just red silk underwear. He was amazed. She looked better than ever and he felt that he would not be able to resist her. He needed her at that moment. Snape jumped on the bed and Sarah began undressing him. He did not have much to do since she had done all the work for him.
“Red silk is something fabulous,” he sad while trying to get out of his shirt. “Where did you get it?”
“I ordered it from Madam Malkin’s. They have a new service. A catalogue is being sent to clients by owl and the orders are also taken by owls.”
It sounded clever and the only way she could have got something new, but he did not really care about her outfit. He cared more about how to get it off.
When they finally got rid of all clothes and formed a heap on the ground they had the best night ever. He had not felt so much love, lust and passion in a so long time that he had almost forgotten how good it could be. Snape felt so good as if everything in his life was alright. He was able to forget all his problems and worries. It could have been like this if he would be with Lily. His life would be much different then. He would not be working for Dumbledore; they would probably have a larger family and he would be able to admire her beauty every moment. “Lily,” he groaned.
“What!” a piercing scream crushed his fantasy into pieces. Sarah dragged him into a sitting position and shook demanding the truth, “You were fantasizing you were with her?”
“It was not like that!” he uttered.
“Are you kidding?” she yelled. “Will you say that it just slipped and I shouldn’t pay attention to it, like you said to her twenty years ago?”
“Sarah, I…” He did not know what to say. He had really had a fantasy for a moment that he was with Lily. He was feeling as happy as he had been long years ago when he was with her. He was just a child then, without bitterness inside. Then he had opened his eyes and seen red hair and it slipped. Something slipped again. It was like a curse. He understood that she won’t forgive it easily. She would not stand being called in another’s name while making love and it was completely right. He could conclude only that he was in a big trouble and he did not know how to apologize.
“I hoped you had forgotten…” she cried. “I did everything to please you. What is wrong with you?”
“Sarah, I’m trying to forget. I love you,” he said trying to embrace her, but she pushed him back. “How dare you touch me!” she screamed.
“Answer, do you love her more than me?” she asked through tears.
“I don’t know,” he whispered.
“Oh my god!” she screamed. “I knew you were not over her. I knew, but I never thought that you have me just as a substitute for her. I have seen that torn photo with Lily on it. I don’t know where you got it and how, but it’s enough for me. I’m tired of being in the second place all the time. Can’t you understand that you have to stop thinking about her if you want to be with me?”
“It’s not that simple, Sarah!”
“You’re just ill. It’s not love. You’re obsessed with her. It is not normal. That’s enough for me! I thought that you would get past her, but you can’t do that in you’re ill mind. How long do I have to wait for you to love me?”
“But ,Sarah, I do love you! It’s just…”
“Yes, just you love her more! I’m fed up with it! It’s over, Snape. I’m leaving!”
Sarah quickly thrower on a robe, then went into the living room, got a suitcase and started throwing things into it.
“Sarah, please, don’t go! Give me time; I swear I’ll get past her. Just please!”
She threw some of her clothes into the suitcase and went to the cupboard to get her cosmetics.
“It’s been seventeen years since her death! How much more time do you need? Ten years, twenty? I won’t wait so long. I want a normal life, a normal husband who loves me; I want kids. I will never get it with you. I think that more than a year of wasted time waiting for you to understand your feelings was enough. How do you think I feel knowing that you love a dead woman more than me?”
“Sarah, you don’t have to be jealous of her. It’s not if I’m cheating on you,” he tried to back away.
“Do you understand what you just said?” she yelled. “Do you think that I will live all my life waiting for you to forget her and come back to me? I don’t want to waste another day. I’m getting myself another man!”
“Sarah, where are you going?” he demanded the answer.
“To a place where you will never find me! Understand that it’s over. I’m not joking! I don’t ever want to hear anything about you or Lily!”
“Sarah, please, stop storming! It’s not safe for you to go anywhere. Calm down!” he commanded.
“I’m fed up with your safety! That’s not what I need. I’m fed up with your crazy country. States are large enough for me to find a place there. Have you not yet understood? It’s really over. You have spoiled everything!”
To Snape’s great surprise she took off her engagement ring and threw it in his face. He could still hear the ring bouncing after she slammed the door and was out of his sight. He could not believe it. Everything had been wonderful just a few moments ago and now he was all alone again.