Author's Notes: Please be kind enough and email me what you think. I can be reached at suzumes_bum @ hotmail.com … Noire.Sensus is getting a bad reputation for having readers who never give feedback … so prove them wrong, and take the few seconds out of your busy fanfic-reading schedule to let me know that someone has read my writing. Thank you. This was a special request by my kahooi, Ikari, because she drew me a picture. This would never have been written if it weren’t for her doodling. This takes place sometime during OotP.
Through The Looking Glass
By Darkangel Rose
The book lay open upon his lap.
Gaudy bright colours: red green yellow blue. Disproportionate pictures of rabbits with watches, and a very confused little blondegirl. Sirius flipped the page and sighed through his mouth.
The sound of metal scraping softly against metal, someone stepped through the front door. It couldn’t be Molly, or Albus, or anyone he could think of. It was deathquiet on nights that they were gone. Sirius felt dead when there was no one in the house to hear whether or not he sighed through his mouth and flipped the page again.
His thin hands lay upon the book which lay open upon his lap. Severus stood in the doorway with a question in his face. He perched on the arm of Sirius’ chair and the exaggerated hues reflected from the glossy page to Severus’ chalkwhite face.
Black cloth whipped through the air; Severus sat upon the chair across the carpet. ‘That man molested little girls,’ he said as Sirius flipped the page and went on not looking at him.
‘Something you would be very knowledgeable about, I imagine,’ Sirius heard Severus’ lips tighten.
‘I’ll bet you imagine a lot of things about me, Black.’ It was that whisper, that whisper which slithered its way down his spine to the small of his back where it pooled like cold slick satin.
Flip-page: he was going to pretend he hadn’t heard that. Without his voice Severus was nothing, Sirius knew. Just a sad, unpretty, uncolourful, thin-thin man who couldn’t let go of the past.
Sirius’ eyes lay upon his hands which lay upon the book which lay open upon his lap. There was oceanwater in his eyes, teardroplets waiting to be born on his cheeks. Through it all his hands looked like they were swimming through the pictures, into the paper, into Wonderland. The grandfather clock tolled 2:00 AM, and Severus sighed through his mouth. Sirius blinked away the tears till his eyes felt chalky.
They sat: silent and bitter and remembering together. Severus left the room at 2:26 AM and when he came back Sirius’ eyes were drawn to the red.
A dishtowel, tied across his upper arm: Sirius hadn’t noticed the sleeve was ripped off before. The rag was wet, beneath it the Dark mark burned into Severus’ skin like acid. Severus noticed Sirius looking, his eyes were shuttered doorways of blacker than black fire.
He could see bruises all up the chalkwhite skin, as gaudily bluepurple as Alice’s flowers. Fingerprints pressing flesh against bone and leaving their signature in violet splotches. Sirius wanted to say something, but nothing escaped his mouth but a sigh, and his fingers flipped the page again.
‘Don’t pity me,’ Severus spat and hid his arm beneath an excess fold of fabric. Sirius knew, yes, Sirius had always known. Severus was afraid of pity, even more than he was of cruelty. You have to go with what you know. There had been such bruises on his arms, his neck, his hands.
Sirius thought of Lucius and his torture-games, and Severus’ father from the day at King’s Cross when he had slapped Severus to the ground right in front of everyone, and no one had said anything, because they were afraid. There had been a word, a word in the minds of every man, woman, and beast there. Abuse. They couldn’t say it, shouldn’t say it: it wasn’t something you talked about back then.
‘I don’t,’ Sirius lied, and flipped the page without looking at it. He thought of poor Alice, the real Alice, the one who everyone said Lewis Carroll abused. He didn’t believe it. Surreality meant higher than reality, higher than abuse and sex and petty hatred and grandfather clocks.
‘Do you know, Black, that if I killed you now, no one would know I had done it?’
‘Do you know, Snape, that if you killed me now, you’d have no one to glare at?’
‘I have a question for you, Black.’
Sirius tiptapped his fingers on the paper surface, across Alice’s confused childface. He was beginning to miss the silence.
‘Would you have been such an arrogant, selfish bastard if James hadn’t been there to influence you?’
James. Sirius remembered James and did not answer, but looked longingly into the book. Alice was trapped in Wonderland like he was trapped there. In that mansion, he had just been going from one prison to another: 12 Gimmault Place, Azkaban, his past, his future. A hedgemaze without an exit or a center.
His ears picked up the rustling of black cloth, and Severus knelt before his chair. He looked down and saw a door cautiously open behind Severus’ irises.
‘Voldemort is going to attack Hogsmeade,’ he said brokenly, ‘Albus will not let me fight him.’
Sirius knew how that felt, knew the jarring pain of invisible fetters, of Albus’ benign ability to make men feel like useless puppets discarded to the dusty back of a closet.
‘I am sorry.’ Severus said, and Sirius’ sigh died in his throat. Sorry? Severus Snape? He could not fathom it.
‘Today is my birthday, you know,’ Sirius could hear his pulse in his ears, ‘They say you are supposed to make amends on your birthday. I may die any day, and I don’t want to do it without ridding myself of your ghost. You are a different man today than the one that I have hated so long. I do not hate this you quite so much.’
Sirius swallowed carefully. He felt trapped. He didn’t know what to say. Beneath his hands, the book’s pages felt slick and smooth, like Severus’ voice caressing his ears.
Sirius didn’t apologize, didn’t know how to. Severus reached forward, and Sirius didn’t flinch.
Severus’ hands lay upon Sirius’ hands which lay upon the book which lay open upon his lap.
They flipped the page together.
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