Scattered Pictures by abrae Title: Scattered Pictures Author:abrae Pairing: None Rating: PG Word Count: 313 Warnings: Other than my purple prose? Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. The characters and their worlds belong to their original writers and no copyright infringement or offense is intended. No money was made from this story. Summary: His memories were once a comfort, but not anymore A/N: I was going to give this a happy, pre-slashy ending, but it didn't quite work out that way. Ridiculous title notwithstanding; it was the best I could come up with.
There's always a moment, after the inevitable jolt of pain, when he strains for a memory that will see him through the next.
In the past, it was always Lily. The copper-bright glint of her autumnal hair, her laugh, clear and carefree, or maybe - if he could just reach it - the sound of his name on her lips. At first, a desperate, dark desire; later, a reminder of why he endured this when otherwise he might abscond.
But the years have betrayed him, and when he finally appears before the Dark Lord again (he can never be ready, never be prepared for this) - when the displeased hiss of his name echoes and amplifies the slice of a wand through the air - he falters; scours his mind for some sweet moment and turns up only shards of the past. She's turned her back on him, he knows now, and all he can dredge up is her pity and cold disdain. Snivellus, she whispers in his ear as he's wracked by the first shock, and he thinks he may not survive another.
A pause, in which sibilant sounds grate against his raw nerves. He can't make out words through the electric burn, and it will cost him.
Again… and it's not the pain, but the way she turns her back on him that brings him to his knees.
Again. The ghost of a barely-concealed smirk rips the heart from his gaunt frame.
Again. An icy flash of her green eyes pulls from him a broken note somewhere between a scream and a sob.
And when, for now, it stops, Snape reaches for…nothing. There are no more gentle memories, no dulcet delusions to gentle the blows. All he has left is cold reality, as hard and immutable as the floor on which he lies.
And only now does a tear escape his traitorous eye, and the Dark Lord softly laughs.
“Why, Severus,” he says. “There's a first time for everything, I see.”