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Severus stared up at the canopy of his four-poster bed (green hangings, for Slytherin, though the darkness had swallowed the colour and all the rest of the world, for all he knew, or cared).

A deeper shade of darkness prevailed in these dungeon dormitories than anywhere else in the castle. It was textured, palpable. He breathed it in like smoke; it was in his lungs, and now his blood. It strengthened him. It would endure long after every light in the world went out.   

He was breathing very deeply, and seemed sunk in that state of dangerous calm that often caught him in moments of extreme pain or anger. He remembered lying in his bed, staring up at the ceiling, in his room in Spinner’s End, listening to his parents arguing, wondering vaguely when they stopped to draw breath. He couldn’t understand, then, why they didn’t get tired. He was tired, after all; even listening to them was exhausting. But hatred sustained them, and hatred didn’t need rest. Hatred disdained rest. He understood that now.

He had learned to hypnotise himself into this state of perfect calm when his anger built to a crescendo. It was as though he had blacked out, except that his eyes were open, and dim thoughts crept sluggishly and repetitively across the otherwise perfect stillness in his head.

The general gist of them was that he had to kill James Potter. And this time, no horrible images occurred to him; he didn’t see Potter’s hands slipping the straps of Lily’s dress off her shoulders. He just knew with perfect certainty that this state of affairs could not continue. He supposed that was why his parents had shouted at each other incessantly. When you knew that you couldn’t bear the world to stay the way it was, you wouldn’t rest, you would shout until your vocal cords were in tatters, because there was nothing else to be done.     

James Potter had had everything he had ever wanted, and now he had Lily. Severus couldn’t bear it. And if the whole world had to end, if the effort had to kill him, this could not go on.

There was nothing behind these thoughts but cold, unflinching certainty. They couldn’t be argued with.

He would need Regulus Black, and a very long length of rope.
I wrote this while listening to Regina Spektor's song 'Apres moi', from the album Begin to Hope. It's got lots of dark, thundering piano, and it made me think (obsessed as I am with the Harry Potter books, and Severus Snape in particular) about what Snape's state of mind would be as he discovered Lily's relationship with James Potter.

I'm going to post an extended description of Regulus Black on here in the future (as these little pieces of writing are mainly just excuses to sketch characters, and are a little light on plot!) Hope you enjoy!
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:iconwearesevenstudios:
WeAreSevenStudios Featured By Owner May 9, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
"He couldnít understand, then, why they didnít get tired. He was tired, after all; even listening to them was exhausting. But hatred sustained them, and hatred didnít need rest. Hatred disdained rest. He understood that now."
It's so sadly true. That kind of anger and hate saps the life out of others, but not those doing battle. It's just fuel.
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner May 10, 2010
:( Poor Sev! (OK, I've really got to stop saying that...) There's a chapter somewhere where he talks about metabolizing anger, instead of food! I guess really deep hatred won't let you rest. (That's why I've always hoped there was a kind of virtue in laziness! I've never wanted to hurt anyone more than I wanted to sit down ;))
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:iconwearesevenstudios:
WeAreSevenStudios Featured By Owner May 10, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Virtue in laziness... that reminds me of an Irish blessing:
"When we drink, we get drunk. When we get drunk, we fall asleep. When we fall asleep, we commit no sin. When we commit no sin, we go to heaven. So let's all drink and go to heaven." :drunk: =P

It's too bad Narcissa's brand of laziness incorporates doing serious harm to others.

In all seriousness, I think there is a kind of virtue in what we generally think of as laziness. Overall (and I generalize), I've never met more peaceful people than surfers and other types of laid-back folks. Ambition is a good quality, but as we see in the books, it's easily corrupted. Maybe it really is better just to sit back, live, and let live. :)
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner May 11, 2010
I completely agree! The nicest people I know are the ones who sit back and don't worry about things. It's the only thing that comforts me about my own laziness - at least it's preventing me from being horrible to people! ;) :giggle:

(I love that Irish proverb, BTW :heart:. Thanks for sharing that with me!)
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:iconcreativelittle1:
CreativeLittle1 Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2010
I love Apres Moi! It's amazing. And so is your writing. I think you depicted Severus' state of mind perfectly. He probably wouldn't want to waste time agonizing over it, he would just want to -do- something about it. He never did like people who sat around feeling sorry for themselves.
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2010
He never did like people who sat around feeling sorry for themselves.

Absolutely! I think he would hate to sit around feeling helpless. There's a kind of freedom in actually doing something, even if it's something really dastardly! ;)

(I'm so glad you like Apres Moi! I'm the biggest Regina Spektor fan! :))
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:iconancatdubh:
AnCatDubh Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2009
"Anger is brief insanity" Horace
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2009
Yes, poor Sev! :( In his case, the insanity isn't always so brief!
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:iconancatdubh:
AnCatDubh Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2009
yeah, I guess his anger exceeds normal boundaries... Does that make him permanently insane then? :confused:
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2009
:giggle: Yes, but in a different way to the people around him. I always think Severus feels the despair of being the only sane person in a mad world, but he's not quite as well-adjusted as he thinks he is!
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:iconancatdubh:
AnCatDubh Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2009
haha, that's actually a very good summary of his personality in a few words...
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:iconnorthangel27:
northangel27 Featured By Owner May 16, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, that was pretty intense. It actually brought on a little wave of nausea. That's some intense, calm, dark hatred there, and that is the most dangerous kind. It made me fear for James, but more it made me fear for Severus' soul. *shivers*. Very, very well written indeed (apparently I did have time to read this before stepping out the door).
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:iconalggsfan:
alggsfan Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2008
if lily and james hadnt got together there would be no famous harry potter!now please excuse me i have to go read some more of Is269's writting
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:iconsun-sparkles:
Sun-Sparkles Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2008
a very long length of rope...? :O_o: I'm not sure if my mind went to the right place there or not...
anyway, WHY?!?!?! WHY LILY! WHY?!!?!? :cries: POTTER?! NOTHING ELSE COULD'VE HURT SEV MORE!!!!!! *sniffle* *sob*
my emotional rant on what a bitch Lily was is over now TT_TT
(OH! by the way, lovely writing! very emotional :) )
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2008
Thanks! I am upset about her choosing James Potter too! Have tried to make him into a sympathetic character in some of these stories, but it's going against my instincts! About the long length of rope... I don't know what it's for. May have written myself into a corner there! I'll try and make some sense of it when I continue this piece. Thanks for your comments!
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:iconsun-sparkles:
Sun-Sparkles Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2008
Everything about me refuses to see James in a good light until I see proof of him redeeming himself. :boo:
My mind went to him hanging himself when I read about the rope, but then I thought that couldn't have happened and why would he need Regulus for that? o____o
Hope to read more from you soon!! *is hoping for maybe a fluffy non-canon Sev/Lily story?* :D
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2008
I'd really love to write a story where they get together but, at the same time, there is something beautiful about tragic, unrequited love! I'll see what happens. Thanks again for your comments!
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