Severus remains seated on the same couch of his living room that he sat on for the past two hours pondering upon the mystery which identifies itself as Harry James Potter. The words spoken by the boy were haunting and honestly terrifying. Never before has Severus felt such dread settle in him and that is saying something, considering everything he has seen during his Death Eater days.
How in Merlin’s name did the brat know exactly what I was thinking? The most prominent thought out of all of them remains the question. A question to which Severus has no answer. Nobody has revealed it to the brat about his relationship with the boy’s father, something that he is certain of. Then how in Merlin’s name is it that he knows of the fact that Severus has a strong loathing for Potter because of his father?
A question among many others which he doesn’t have an answer. That will change however Severus determines. He wants answers and he will obtain them, by hook or crook.
As Harry walks towards the dungeons from his walk, he hears a pair of footsteps. Although being followed, he keeps his calm, feigns ignorance and keeps walking. If anything deadly does happen…well I can just show them exactly who I am. A frightening intention mixed with calm acceptance is what makes Harry stalk forward towards his destination. However, a voice stops him.
“A Potter in the Snakes Den. What a shame indeed and truly disgusting that the Boy-Who-Lived ended up being a slimy snake. Merlin knows that you defeated He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named just to become the next Dark one.”
Of course it’s Ronald Weasley. Resisting the urge to roll his eyes, Harry turns to the redhead and allows just the slightest bit of venom and cold malice to enter his voice as he speaks. Not enough to notice and act upon, but enough to give a finality to his words.
“You know, Weasley, if I did have such intentions, believe me, I would’ve acted upon them already. I don’t need waiting for anything if I want to become the next Dark One. I can do it right now, and I can start it by killing you. But I am not doing that, am I? Truly not and truly not do you know me. So I suggest that you concentrate on yourself and your own House rather than speak about me and mine.”
Appears that the prat didn’t get the message for he continues in the same teasing voice. However, his words surely are anything but teasing. In fact, the malice in them brings out the darkness and insanity lurking in Harry’s soul.
“Your parents would honestly be ashamed of you if they were alive. It indeed is a good thing that they aren’t here to see their son become a snake.”
Harry swiftly turns around and slams the redhead to the wall not too gently. A growl threatens to erupt from his throat but he restrains it with great difficulty, just like he restrains the darkness from showing in his eyes. When he speaks, Harry allows his complete and true malice to show, making his voice go silky and cold. He truly sounds like a soulless, haunted child.
“Listen here and listen carefully Weasley. Just because I tolerate people, it does not mean that I’ll do it every damn time. Speak another word against me or my people and I’ll damn well make sure that you won’t see the next day’s Sun. And I’ll do it in such a way that not even the brightest of the people will be able to figure out just how you died. If you want to live, I suggest that you start behaving and stop speaking shite about my matters.”
Just for the likes of it, Harry even allows a small growl to escape from his mouth. He pushes the prat once more into the wall, making sure to allow his bones to dig painfully into the stones, before he releases him. By the pale and horror-struck face of the Weasley, Harry guesses that he understood not to take him lightly. With a slight smirk, Harry stalks away.
With too much insanity inside him, Harry walks off in the opposite direction of the dungeons. He needs to let off his rage before it consumes him. With this thought in mind, Harry stalks towards the lake. As soon as he reaches the fields overlooking the lake, he scans the area to see if anybody else is there. Satisfied on being alone, Harry slowly lets loose.
As he allows himself to close his eyes and relax, Harry feels the darkness threatening to consume him. He welcomes the suffocating insanity and embraces it like an old friend. The madness swirls within him and boils over. As he opens his eyes and looks at his reflection in the waters of the lake, Harry is pleased to find them as dark and black at the above night sky.
Allowing more of the blank, void darkness to consume him, Harry can feel it reach out to the other parts of himself. The veins in his hands pop out slightly and slowly but steadily change from their usual green to a sinister black colour. Black like the Soul. Black like Death. A small, relaxing smile forms on his lips, but taking the black eyes and dark veins into consideration, it only gives him a haunting look.
A thick black fog surrounds him as black, liquid-like smoke seeps out from his hands and moves towards the Earth. A sinister chill settles in the atmosphere around him as haunted depression lurks in the very atoms of the space. All of this however, seems to only give him encouragement as he lets out more of the black darkness from the insides of himself and his soul.
After what seems to be an eternity, Harry finally slows down and the darkness and the chills fade. His veins return to their normal colour and his eyes return from the sinister, malicious black to the serene, innocent green. Feeling lighter than before, he lets out a small sigh of pure joy and contentment.
“Enjoying the time, little one?” A gentle voice asks.
Harry perks upon hearing the voice. His usually dull eyes spark with the lights of joy and he brightens in a way that nobody has ever witnessed…well nobody except his Dark Friend. The gentleness of his voice is truly a contrast to his appearance. With dark robes adorning his body and black eyes, Azrail truly looks every bit his name and identity.
“Azrail! It’s been long. I missed you. Why didn’t you meet me sooner, I had so much to speak to you about. Never mind it, you’re busy. But now, let’s speak. This place…Hogwarts is beautiful. I’m a Slytherin, just like I thought. I mean, no other house can stand my darkness, nor can they understand it.”
“Little one, what you have isn’t darkness. It’s a beauty, a gift and a boon. Don’t insult yourself by calling it darkness, for you are not dark.”
Azrail frowns as he thinks about the fragility of the self confidence which Harry possesses. The lad has such self-deprecating thoughts that it honestly is disheartening. The complex intensity of his mind and the pains of his soul makes him powerful, but the little bird is too shattered at the moment to truly accept it.
“Well…it in a way is darkness Azrail. Whether you accept it or not. While I am a human, I am also something more sinister. And although it truly is a gift, a boon, one which helped me survive, it will also help me torture, kill and maim – all of which are dark. Not that I’ll do it, mind you, but it in itself is dark and hence those who possess it do become dark. It does make me dark…although I guess it is a tainted darkness.
It has light in it, for it offers safety and protection. It has light for I refuse to bow down completely to the dark. In a way like you, I guess. Although you hold the entirety of the power…you don’t use it for your joy. You help, you give people life and choices, you give them security…something which I was given by you. Although I have darkness residing within me, I am not dark. I am under your shelter, so how can I be dark? How can I be tainted when my Azrail is pure? The answer is I can’t and I am not as well.”
Azrail just smiles gently and steers the conversation to a safer side by asking him about his experiences so far. This lights up his little bird as he speaks with an animated and excited voice, making hand gestures ever so often. The more he looks at his little bird, the more Azrail feels protective towards him, the more his heart swells with happiness. His little bird truly is a special one.
“I am a bit weary of my Head of House – Severus Snape. Oh, don’t look at me like that, you know exactly who he is. He seems to hate me for my father’s crimes. Who is to tell him the truth? Should I tell him, Azrail?”
“Lay it gently and slowly on him, my little bird. Telling him at once will only provide him the fuel to his rage, anger and bitterness. He will need to be told slowly, given time to accept, for your words will shatter everything he will have ever known. His allies will fight to change and he will sway precariously. But you need to anchor him to what you know is right. Do not let him loose his way, hold on to him and yet give him space. But most of all, be gentle with him, for Severus Snape will need it.
Your ways of delivering the news and your ways of communication will effect the ordeal a lot. His mind has been played, tormented and tampered with by an old coot, one whose ways you’re familiar with. Bring him not pain, for he cannot handle it. Tread carefully, my brave warrior.”
The seriousness of Azrail’s voice deeply concerns Harry. Just what has that fool done to him? But before he can ponder any further on the thought, the gentle, soothing voice of Azrail swiftly changes the topic to a more safer one and Harry allows it. The atmosphere becomes calming again.
As Azrail and Harry sit on the fields, merrily talking, neither notice nor acknowledge a stuttering man with a purple turban who is lurking in the shadows with a sinister smile and a devilish mind.