Unrecounted History
by Kassie

Severus has only told three people in his entire life that he loves them: his mother, the Dark Lord, and James Potter. Two are dead at the hands of the third, and Severus will never be truly alone in the world until that one is dead too. The scar will always remind him of that.

History, as written and passed down orally, rarely contains any truths that Severus can ascertain. He has nothing but disdain for the sorts of limited minds that would find the discipline of interest. All the real facts of history are the ones so bitter or prurient they never appear, they remain hidden, locked in hearts and memories only to fade a little more with each dying survivor.

One of those real facts that will never be transmitted lead to the ridiculous farce with Lupin and Black during his school days. A story that caused him further humiliation in the reiteration of it years later. As if he would be so base as to sneak after that lot without reason. As if he would waste his precious effort and time on Lupin's secret or creep through the muck to that vile shack without the promise of certain reward. As if Severus would ever be interested in anyone besides James.

More recent events had only reinforced Severus' belief that most humans are so stupid it's a wonder they don't die from forgetting to breathe. Honestly, the black hair and light eyes, that visage can easily be overlooked. But a Parseltongue, the wand that Olivander is still gossiping about, the preternatural affinity to spellcasting, the scar that is obviously magically tethered to its creator? Severus sometimes watches Dumbledore from the corner of his eye and wonders. Could he be such a fool? He's come to the conclusion that wilfully wishing reality other than it is is just as pedestrian an addiction as candy.

He's sure the stories and speculation about him amongst the children are legion. Enough of them float through the Slytherin common room as it is for him to not be completely ignorant. For the most part, he could not care less what idle children whisper in the dark. Much the same as when he was of an age and war loomed.

Severus has nightmares. Which is only fitting, and if this tidbit were widely known, people would nod their heads and speculate that this is what comes of watching people die, maybe even killing a few, and wasn't that his just desserts. These people are idiots, and Severus would happily tell them so with a sneer perfected just for such occasions. However, he's never had the inclination to mention his nightly horrors to anyone, and even if he did, their composition would disappoint.

Severus dreams of love. He dreams of a false world where things had gone just slightly different. Where one or two key choices were different and his life was irrevocably altered from the real one. To others, this might seem a pleasant respite from the crush of guilt and self-recrimination that is his waking world. These people have hope. They have a future that could be brighter. Severus is taunted by his dreams that show him what he will never have. He wakes content and rapidly dissolves to bleak. Daily.

Severus dreams of this:

"But even if it was Polyjuice, technically, it's still mine, Severus. I can't just tell her to scarper off and sue me for paternity." James is strained, worried about his reputation, even more worried about life in general.

"You're right. Between the two of us, we'll figure what to do." And James' mood brightens, he opens his arms, and Severus crosses to him.

And this:

"She couldn't have been there, she's mixed." James' eyebrows draw down, and he leans in to whisper, just in case, even though they're completely alone.

"There are exceptions, James. Surely you realize that." Severus runs his fingers through the unruly cowlick on the crown of James' head.

"But she's a Gryffindor!" And James is so earnest, Severus laughs, the kind that comes from sheer mirth. "Fine. That was silly. What are we going to do?"

"Tell Dumbledore, of course. He will sort it out." James sees the logic there, and they let their cares about Lily fade in favor of the slide of lips and the ruddiness of affection.

And most importantly, this:

"James, he knows about the baby. He's coming for you. Please don't trust anyone." This one is a rushed note on an urgent owl. James gets the letter. The owl isn't warded away by over-zealous compatriots. And Severus gets an owl in return. With good news.

But of course, none of those are real. Each one is flawed in favor of himself and his selfish desires. Because if any of those were real, how many more would be dead? How much of the world under the dominion of Voldemort?

Severus is not the self-sacrificing type, not the brave, steadfast Gryffindor. He would have sacrificed those he never knew for the sake of one he knew only too well. And that won't ever make it into anyone's history. Nor will the fact that his own life would have been willingly given, if it meant not having to be the one left alive.


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