Words to Death by starduchess Title: Words to Death Author:starduchess Pairing: Severus/Draco Rating: R Word Count: ~1600 Warnings: canon character death 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: Some years ago Severus thought it would be amusing to make anti-valentine’s day candies. Now they are coming back to haunt him. A/N: Thanks to the lovely ashiiblack for her quick beta. Thanks to the mods for running this great fest year after year. Prompt was #1, the three heart candies.
Words to death
Severus hated this day. Every year it was the same. Awful heart decorations, flying cherubs, singing sparkles -- all decorated in Gryffindor red. It was no wonder, with all his talk about the power of love and his annoying twinkle on overload, that this appeared to be the Headmaster’s favourite holiday. Severus sneered at all of it. And he knew the worst part was that he wouldn’t be receiving any affection-addled alms, no silly signs of sentiment.
No matter. This year he had plans to dispel the light with a bit of dark fluffiness; he had the perfect solution to purge everyone's pleasure. His concoction only needed another hour to congeal and then a final charm to complete it. He smiled inside, his own dark eyes twinkling this time.
The owls swooped into the Great Hall as usual, carrying a wide array of wonderful wares. Children of every house and every year grabbed for the succulent sweets and magical missives, their delight in the day evident. Severus pretended to be interested in the presents before him, but he was secretly watching the people around him.
One by one they tore open the packaging, and one by one their merriment dropped off as they gazed in confusion at the items in their bags. A charm went off inside each bag, and the items multiplied, spilling green, white, and black heart-shaped candies onto the dining tables. Murmurs went up all around the Great Hall, some in confusion, some in shock, and some in utter outrage. A few of the Hufflepuffs even began to cry as they read what was stamped onto the sweets.
Severus kept his smirk to the barest minimum, inwardly laughing at their ruined holiday. He wondered if Saint Valentine had ever wished for this sort of reaction after seeing the effects of his mistake in creating such a horrid day. No matter. His work here was done. After all, if he couldn't have a happy day, no one else would either.
*** Years Later ***
Draco's muscle spasms from the Cruciatus were growing worse after each subsequent administration by the Dark Lord for failing in his task to kill Albus Dumbledore. Severus was worried about permanent nerve damage and psychosis, so he gave Draco what potions he could to prevent those things. He watched over his bed and intervened as much as he could on the young man's behalf. He had to walk a fine line with his fellow Death Eaters, but he felt such protectiveness for Draco that the risk was worth it. Yes, the Unbreakable Vow with Narcissa was still in place -- he had promised to look after her son, after all -- but it was also a particular affection for the tattered teenager turning into a terrified and broken adult, much as himself.
“Severus? I did all I could. I can’t appease him.”
He could not spare Draco from all pain, but he could sit by his sleeping form and pet the blond hair. The sooner the two of them could return to Hogwarts, the better.
Halloween was a trying time. The festivities lacked in mirth and merriment, and the terror of war was in evidence around them as the Carrows mutilated students whenever possible. Even the Slytherins were not safe from their horrid ministrations. Draco was now one of the most timid in casting curses, and frequently landed himself in the Carrows' care, from which Severus was constantly rescuing him.
It wasn't long before Severus just kept Draco with him in his office when not in classes, and they grew closer together. Stresses mounted as the term went on, and they offered what comfort they could to each other. By the time Draco left for Christmas hols, they were tentative lovers.
Severus knew he had to be careful not to reveal his true loyalties, so he assured that Albus' portrait did not talk to him while Draco was present. Yule, thus, was a relief of sorts, to be free to discuss plans with the old coot at any moment, especially those involved in locating Potter in order to complete his tasks.
Draco returned a few weeks later none the worse for wear, of which Severus was glad. They resumed their daily routines, but he was getting restless at the lack of Potter's progress and, therefore, his own.
It was a week after that when Phineas Nigellus Black reported that the Trio were in the Forest of Dean. Severus deliberated with Albus and drew out the Sword of Gryffindor from its hiding place. He left a quick note for Draco, thankful that he had not entered the Headmaster's office yet for the evening, and took off for the forest, not noticing the shadow slouched behind the staircase.
Severus was exhausted and cold upon returning to his bedchamber. Potter was an idiot, but at least his friends were reliable as a constant resource for intervention. And at least the brat had the Sword now, for whatever purpose he needed it, though Severus still did not know what that was. With a long-suffering sigh, he spelled off his robes and donned his sleeping attire, crawling into bed beside the blond.
"Ever'thing a'right?" Draco murmured in half-sleep, a worried frown marring his features.
"Yes, of course," he said, keeping his answer in check. He could not afford to let Draco grow suspicious.
He was dismayed to see the frown deepen on his lover's face.
Saint Valentine's Day was dull and depressing, and it was the first time Severus could have enjoyed the doom and gloom of the people around him, except that this darkness was real and deadly, no longer a game. The sullen looks were not becoming on the student body.
Returning to his own rooms, he found a parcel on his desk wrapped in plain brown parchment. He cast multiple diagnostics on it and found just one mild Geminio spell. Harmless enough, he opened the package and watched as the presents spilled out. His mouth fell open in astonishment.
Thousands of green hearts covered his desk, all sporting the word "Why?"
Severus watched Draco closer after that. His lover seemed a tad melancholic but not overly disturbed, so Severus let it drop. The weeks stretched by in what felt like a waking dream, endless cycles of chasing after Carrows and frustrating conversations with dead conspirators. He was so tired that the Easter holiday could not come soon enough.
He regretted that thought when he rose on Sunday morning to regard another brown package waiting for him. This time the cargo that spilled forth were white hearts labelled "Fuck Off." He trembled with fear he normally only felt in front of the Dark Lord or Dumbledore. He had a feeling somebody in the castle knew of his duplicity and was mocking him, but his wards were not breached and no other magic lay in wait for him.
Still, Severus refused to sleep that night. Constant vigilance -- Moody was at least correct on that score.
Draco was more withdrawn upon returning from hols. Severus had heard of the Trio's capture, torture, and freedom from Malfoy Manor as well as the Dark Lord's punishments inflicted upon all the residents for allowing the escape. His heart constricted at the thought of what injuries his lover had borne. He tried to be even more comforting that night, but Draco scooted away, not wanting caresses. Severus let him alone.
Dread arose in him over the coming weeks. He couldn't put a finger on why, but Severus could feel the end wildly approaching. He willed Draco to get out and go far away if any fighting broke out, but Draco just eyed him warily.
The dam finally broke on the evening of May first when he returned to his office after dinner to find a deluge of black hearts dumped on his desk, just like the ones he had made so many years ago. Death was written upon them. He banished them with a snarl only to jump in surprise a second later when an alarm sounded throughout the room. Potter was here. The end was truly nigh.
Severus lay in agony on the floor of the Shrieking Shack. He saw the Trio near him and he released his memories to Potter who needed them. He held hostage the ones about Draco -- those were too private even now -- and hoped his lover would heed his advice and survive this horrible war. Having closed his eyes and listened to their retreat, he rested and made peace with his life. The only question that really remained was who had sent the candies. Before darkness consumed him, though, he heard small footsteps approach him and stop.
Opening his orbs, he observed Draco standing over him. He let love and remorse shine from his face, but instead of a lost, distressed, or frantic Draco, a dark one stood in his place with anger and a closed fist.
"You loved Potter more than me, didn't you?”
Severus could not consider the accusation. It was ludicrous, but Draco continued.
“You betrayed us all, DIDN'T YOU?"
Severus shook his head as much as he could, but he had no strength to speak the truth.
"I overheard you conspire with Dumbledore in January to help Potter, and all your actions with the Carrows have been counter-productive to the Dark Lord's plans. And it's all because of him, isn't it?"
Severus pleaded with his eyes for Draco to comprehend.
"Well, it looks like you got what was coming to you, Headmaster. I'll be leaving the country shortly. Good riddance." With a sneer he raised his fist, opening it to release a spray of green, black, and white candied hearts.
Severus cried in despair as he sunk into nothingness. His lover cared not for him, and nothing would ever be well again.