|snarrymod (snarrymod) wrote in snarry_games,|
@ 2006-05-10 20:47:00
Original poster: snarrymod
Title: Thyself a Memory
Author: Nimori (nimori)
Disclaimer: All characters belong to JKR and so does the money.
Team Angst Prompt: posthumous request
Thanks: maeglinyedi, gmth, amanuensis1, and cordelia_v.
Total Words Written: 23000+
Total Words that Made It to Fic: 4800
Restarts from Scratch: 7
Revisions After Beta: 6
Times Resorted to Booze for Inspiration: 4
Times Driven to Tears: 2
Days Late: I don't remember and don't want to know
Finishing the Single Most Troublesome Fic EVER: worth exactly the price of one birthday weekend getaway, forthcoming
Summary: Snape must remember himself before he becomes a pawn in another kind of war.
Thyself a Memory
Bright light. It imprinted on his senses for a moment, then dissipated like so much vapour.
Vapour dissipates. Five drams of newt blood (for god's sake don't blink) and nine ounces of pickled hippogriff liver, stirred widdershins with a silver pipette.
Noise. More bright light. His eyes watered and his vision blurred. He didn't blink, though the light seared, stabbing into his brain and forging a sense of betrayal, his body an enemy before he fully knew he had a body. He needed to blink, but mustn't mustn't mustn't and he didn't know why.
"Sir, his pupils aren't dilating." More noise.
No. Not noise. Words.
"Good, good. Give him a moment to readjust to sensory input, then call in the Minister."
Don't blink. Mustn't blink. The light dimmed and (grow only in dim cool places; the fruit must be dried in complete darkness to preserve potency) still he did not blink. The blurriness subsided, and a face emerged from the haze.
Woman. Blonde. Narcissa. The first two were correct, he felt, but the last he could not be sure of.
Don't speak. Don't move.
He obeyed the voice, not knowing what else to do.
The woman was absorbed in moving a feather across a scroll (writing, the woman is writing, fool) and did not look at him. He didn't look at her either, and made his eyes be still, though they wanted to scour the room for something that would tell him... anything. His name.
But he mustn't look curious. Because... because...
Then they might know it hadn't worked.
A warm feeling filled him, tinged with just a hint of rancor. Pride? Yes, pride that he had worked it out on his own, and hadn't made any mistakes. He hadn't blinked, hadn't spoken. He'd fooled them, though he didn't know how or why.
The not-Narcissa left, and then returned with the man called Minister.
"Yes, Minister. Obliviate totalis, performed at 9:17 this morning. He resisted much harder than any of the others, but the new programme will take effect over the next twenty-four hours."
Minister hummed and stepped much closer. Tawny red hair filled his vision. "Beat you at last, you son of a bitch," Minister said under his breath.
My name is Severus Snape, and you haven't beaten a thing, he thought, and didn't know where the name or the bitter rush of triumph came from.
The door crashed open before he could wonder long. "Ah, Potter," Minister said. "More punctual than usual. Come in, come in." Another man. Turning to look would be an act of curiosity, so he held still and kept his (eyes front, Weasley!) gaze on the wall. From his peripheral vision he saw only black hair and the glint of the overhead lights off spectacles.
It was a long word, spectacles. He was pleased to know it.
"I want it on the record that I am not sanctioning the programme," said the new one, Potter.
"We can't leave dangerous wizards unchecked," Minister said. "Come now, you must realize that. Take away his wand, lock him up, put him in chains, none of it matters to a determined wizard. Magic will find a way."
"I've heard your spiel before, Scrimgeour."
"Then you know we needed dementors at Azkaban, or half the prisoners would have escaped." Minister's voice softened, honeyed. "We needed them incapacitated by despair."
"Didn't stop Sirius," Potter said, and Minister frowned.
"We took steps after the dementors left--"
Don't flinch! He did anyway, but no one was looking at him.
"--but the prisoners started finding ways around. We almost lost Malfoy twice before one of the guards obliviated him. He was far more tractable after that, so why not make it standard practice?"
Potter glanced at him. At Snape, my name is Severus. "You've done more than that."
"A fair bit." Minister seemed pleased again. "And that's why you're here, Potter. It makes no sense for the Ministry to feed and house them. They're harmless, helpless, but still useful."
"If they're so harmless, why am I here?"
Minister clucked his tongue. "Society demands that criminals be punished, Potter. Even if they can't remember what they're being punished for." Minister looked over to where he stood, not watching, not blinking, but listening, oh yes. "Come now, will you take him or shall I send him to someone else?"
Potter's lips thinned to a harsh line. "Anyone else would skin him alive for something he can't even remember doing." Minister waited, that curious smile twisting his mouth. "All right. But don't think I'm going to stop lobbying against the project."
"I wouldn't expect anything less from Dumbledore's man." Minister left, still smiling, and Potter glared after him for a long time before turning back to him. To Snape my name is Severus.
"Snape." Potter tapped his shoulder, but he didn't answer, seized with a sudden fear that Potter knew the words that filled his head, the words that shouldn't be there, and would take them away. His heart thudded faster. "You will answer to Snape now."
Obey without hesitation.
He didn't need the voice's reminder, for a compulsion to do just that rose up in him, locked obedience into place. "Yes." A pause for thought, the compulsion unsatisfied with such a bare answer, the voice advising humility. "Yes, sir."
Potter grunted, as though startled. Unpleasantly so. He'd upset Potter. A knot formed in his stomach and his skin felt too tight. "Follow me." Potter turned for the door, and Snape's feet hurried to follow without consulting him.
"What?" Potter rounded on the not-Narcissa.
"Did you want any more information before you take him? I could explain any potential odd behaviour in the subject--"
"His name is Snape."
"If you wish. He'll have trouble with motor skills and simple tasks until he builds a new 'vocabulary' of procedural memories. Those are memories based on actions--"
"Yes, fine. Anything else?"
She frowned. "The programme can prompt obsessive or compulsive behaviour. If you've dealt with house elves before you should be familiar with the signs. You can expect him to form a proto-personality in the first three weeks. Train him as you would a pet, and you shouldn't have any problems."
Potter's lip curled. "Thanks for the advice. Does he come with a leash?"
The not-Narcissa's expression cooled. "No need. He'll heel if you order him to."
"If you would be so kind as to follow me, Mr Snape," Potter said, voice clipped. He seemed to be talking more to the woman than to Snape, but Snape understood the order buried under the words. The compulsion wormed its way into his limbs and made them move. They left the small room with the bright lights that were all Snape knew.
Or perhaps all he was supposed to know. He'd fooled them, after all. Somehow.
A short grey corridor stretched away from the door, and they followed it to another room, this one with many doors. They spun, leaving him dizzy and distrustful of Potter for leading him here, but when they stopped Potter took a door without hesitation.
Another grey corridor, this one longer. Potter stopped him and stared at him, and drew a stick Snape was frightened of the instant he saw it.
There will be no foolish wand-waving in this class.
Snape waited, silent, expecting great or terrible things to happen, but after a while Potter's shoulders slumped. "Didn't think so. All right. All right, let's get you home."