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A/N: This is my FIRST one-shot, so plz review!!! Edited June 8, 2007


Severus Snape's pure hatred of fire was something most people knew about. Most people didn't, however, know or understand the cause of his hatred. They just assumed he was paranoid. Fire reminded him of something he never wanted to think of again. It haunted him, nibbling at his thoughts and soul, threatening to engulf his whole being. When he looked into the flames, it would seem as though they were taunting him, dancing merrily around, as though alive.

It was a mystery, therefore, as to why Severus Snape was sitting in front of the fireplace in his office as flames twirled and danced. Severus himself didn't understand what drew him to the flames, only that it felt right. As he sat in silence, his gaze transfixed on the flames, his thoughts drifted back to the year before he began teaching.

*******

“Severus! You’re finally home! I was starting to get worried, what with the war going on,” said a young woman as a young version of Severus walked through the door to a small flat in London.


“I’m just fine, Marissa. They had to keep me a little bit overtime,” Snape replied, passionately kissing his wife, stroking her beautiful ebony black hair. “Do you smell something burning?” he remarked. Marissa's eyes opened wide.


“Bloody hell, my cake!” she broke away from her husband’s embrace and ran to the kitchen. She grabbed an oven mitt and pulled a burnt, black cake out of the oven. “I’m sorry, Severus,” she cried as he entered the kitchen. “I wanted to surprise you, and it’s ruined!” She began to cry.


“Hey, hey, hey, it’s going to be okay,” he said, taking her head in his hands and wiping away her tears. “It’s just a little burnt around the edges. I like it like that.”


Marissa gave a half- hearted smile and wiped her eyes on her lavender robes, looking up at him with her crystal clear blue eyes. Severus pushed the lock of hair that had fallen in front of her face out of the way and kissed her lightly. He cut a piece of the burnt cake and ate it, supressing a grimace as the taste of charred chocolate entered his mouth.

*******

Snape closed his eyes as he reflected back to that moment. He walked to his desk and pulled out a ring box. He popped the lid open. Inside lay three things: a ring, a newspaper clipping, and a picture. He picked up the newspaper clipping. It was a Muggle newspaper, so the picture of a house being engulfed by flames didn't move. The headline read: LOCAL WOMAN DIES IN FIRE. As Snape fingered the ring, a man's wedding band, he found his memory drifting back once again.

*******

Snape stood in the pile of wet ash where his flat used to stand. She was gone. Marissa, the one love of his life was gone. Death Eaters had sealed the doors and windows and set the house on fire. Muggle firefighters weren’t able to get her out before she suffocated from the smoke. A tear ran down his cheek as the reality hit him. He fell to his knees and began to sob.


He sat in the ash, his heart broken. He watched as the tears fell down his face onto his forest green robes. Never again, he vowed,  would he wear the beautiful, bright colors Marissa had loved. From then on he pledged to only wear black. If Marissa couldn’t wear the beautiful colors any more, then neither would he. He stood and was about to walk out when he saw a patch of white by his feet.


He reached down and pulled a picture out of the ash. Though the edges had been burnt and the picture blackened with ash, Snape was able to recognize the picture immediately. The picture was of him and Marissa on their wedding day, smilling and laughing as they cut the cake. He pocketed it to remind him to never trust Voldemort, and set out to find Albus Dumbledore, leader of the Order of the Phoenix.

*******

Severus Snape slowly drifted asleep in front of the fire, two things clutched in his right hand. The first was the newspaper clipping about the fire that had claimed the life of his wife. The second was a black-and-white moving photo. A little burnt around the edges.

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