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A/N This was originally started as a response for Black Kitty's Unfaithful challenge, but it kinda went off on it's own, different direction, and it's quite an interesting one too, at least I think so. Let me know if it's a bit too interesting or not. Do enjoy, and I'd love to hear what you have to say about it!

“You can't change the past, Severus.” The gold glittered in his hand, the chain running through his fingers, brushing against his knee. It was the one object that would solve everything. It was the one thing that would make his life right. He could fix all the stupid mistakes he had made as a child. As a stupid, naïve boy. As a little arrogant twat. Everything that had gone wrong in his life could be set right again, all with this little piece of gold on a chain that he had, at that moment in time, in his possession.


“Why not?” He asked, running his thumb across the outside of it. He saw no reason why he couldn't. No reason why things wouldn't work out. He'd simply go back to his childhood and fix the mistakes that he had made. It couldn't be that difficult could it?


“There's a reason why they keep these under lock and key at the Ministry.” A snort of laughter.


“Then why did you give one to a fourteen year old girl?” He could see the anger flash in the blue eyes. Twenty years of serving under the man had taught him, if nothing else, exactly how to provoke the old and wizened wizard.


“Because she could be trusted to be responsible with it.” This time it wasn't a snort of laughter, but an outright chuckle. “And she was responsible with it.” He looked down at it. It was so small. So simple. Just a little pendant on a gold chain. A piece of gold that could set a life back to sorts.


“You had her change the past.”


“I had her change an uncertain future. The events were not set in stone when she changed them. She went back three hours, not thirty years.” The black eyes rolled heavenwards. He wasn't in the mood to be lectured. “Severus, no one has done this before you don't know what will happen.” He was used to the manipulative tactics. When attempting to out him as more childish than one of his students failed, an appeal to reason was the next tactic on the list of 'Ways Albus Dumbledore Talked People Into Doing Things'.


“Then it's an adventure in the name of science. For research purposes.” He'd spent too long being manipulated to give in so easily.


“You could end the world, creating a paradox-” He shrugged. “Do you want to be known as the man who ended the world because he was so selfish?” A smirk pulled the corners of his mouth up.


“If the world ends because of my doing, there will be no one to know, now will there?” He saw the exasperation replacing the fury in the blue eyes staring at him over half moon spectacles. He slipped the chain around his neck, and stood from where he was standing. There was no way he was going to do this and wind up staring Dumbledore in the face when he landed thirty years in the past.


“How do you know that this will solve everything?” The old man was getting desperate.


“How do you know that it won't?”


“Things happen for a reason. There is a saying, 'que sera sera.' That which shall be, shall be. You can't change fate, Severus, try as you might.”


“How do you know that this isn't my fate?” He held up the time-turner. “How do you know that I'm not supposed to go back and fix everything that was wrong?” The blue eyes met and held his. He wasn't going to lose this staring competition.


“I will ask you one last time-” The voice was low and steady, and he could feel the pure malice radiating from the man. He'd rarely seen the headmaster this angry before. But he did not care. The chance to fix his life was around his neck. He wasn't going to lose it out of fear of a man.


“No.” He swept out of the office and out of the castle before Dumbledore had even left his seat. He walked hurriedly across the grounds, into Hogsmeade, and apparating away to the park near his home. Best do it in familiar surroundings. Best do it as far away from the meddling interference of Albus Dumbledore as possible.


He retreated back into the copse of trees, not wanting to be seen by any muggles, and held up the piece of gold to eye level. He smiled to himself, a true, real smile that felt foreign on his face, before flicking the hourglass contained inside, watching it spin, end over end over end. He was going to fix everything. But somewhere, in the back of his mind, the headmaster's words kept repeating in his mind.


You can't fix the past. Que sera sera.

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