His Sister--Sequel to Piano Sq
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Snape is distraught about what Albus has asked him to do. Rather depressed, he goes to a local bar (not The Hog's Head). There, he meets someone he has lost for years . . . his sister. This is Snape's POV of my other fic, Piano Squib. It happens at the same time, but I still call it a sequel.
DISCLAIMER: This is not my world, my characters, my profit. This is mere fanfiction made by a lowly muggle. Don't sue me. Sue J.K. Rowling and Billy Joel for inspiring me to write so much about her stuff.
"I'm telling you, Albus, I have absolutely nothing against this plot of yours, but..."
"But what, Severus? Is it that you're...scared?"
"No! No indeed, it is beneath me to be--"
"Severus, it is a natural human emotion to be scared..."
But Severus Snape didn't stay to listen to Albus Dumbledore's sage advice. He instead slammed angrily out of the headmaster's office, feeling angry and trespassed. It was only when he was yards away from the closed door that Snape muttered to himself, through clenched teeth, "Fright is a weak emotion. I don't want to be weak."
Severus and Dumbledore had been discussing Albus' upcoming near-suicide. That is, it was suicide in the sense that Albus wanted and was willing to die. Yet, it was also murder at the same time; it would not be his hand that dealt the fatal blow. Rather, he assigned the one he regarded as a real son to do the actual deed. Thus, it was, in a way, a mercy killing, or so Albus had put it. Nevertheless, the sad truth remained that Dumbledore was going to die, and it was to be Severus who killed him.
Another sad truth was that though Severus so denied the fact that he was not confident to perform the task set before him, he actually was very nervous, and very scared. Whenever Severus thought about what he must do in the near future, he felt a horrible feeling of dread in the deepest pits of his soul. To Severus, Dumbledore was his adopted father. One just can't do that...kill one's own father when one felt such closeness and affection...call it love, if you must...for him.
Severus would have gladly switched the places of his true father, Tobias, for Dumbledore's on the fateful night to come. It didn't matter to him if old Snape were dead or not. In all actuality, Tobias was currently dead, or Severus might have considered some feasibility in the scheme.
The only hitch was that Dumbledore sincerely did want to die. It was what was needed, so he said. Snape sighed as he stalked in a temperamental mood down the corridors of Hogwarts. He had a raging headache from the prolonged conversation and the stress of concealing his feelings. What he really needed was to forget about this for a while, somehow...
Snape suddenly stopped short and turned on his heel. The next day was Sunday, and all the homework he needed to grade over the weekend was little enough that he had already corrected it all. He had time and resources enough to be able to afford a drink or two that night. The liquor would provide temporary relief from the harsh realities the world held.
It wasn't long before Snape found himself outside the quiet pub of The Dying Swan, not a far walk beyond Hogsmeade. He preferred to never frequent the bars there because everyone knew him as the 'snarky old teacher from Hogwarts'. Here, though, beyond the clutches of familiarity, he was able to have his drink, undisturbed. No one talked to him, and he talked to nobody. That was how he liked it.
The chiming of a town bell somewhere signified that it was eleven o'clock. Knowing the bar must be open, Snape pushed open the heavy wooden door.
He found himself in the dimly-lit pub. There were several people there, and it was busier than Snape was accustomed. A bit uneasy and claustrophobic from all the fellow customers, he nevertheless closed the door behind him and walked across the room.
All of the counter stools were taken, but Snape paid no heed. He simply stood in a dark corner, waiting for someone to vacate their position. He could have, of course, taken a table, but he didn't want that. Instead, he observed the characters of the bar.
There was a loud, brusque waitress with a loud voice and a flush body. Snape sneered at the lady, whose name he had determined to be 'Sal', based on his previous experiences here. Then there was an old man who looked like he had already taken one over the eight, who was clasped around the legs of the empty piano bench. Snape was disgusted by him, and did not blame the lost pianist for abandoning his post. Several assorted men and women in various states of oblivion were scattered around the room at unsteady wooden tables, and six men were at the bar itself. The bartender, a quiet-looking man who seemed to have the air of being everyone's friend, was talking with the man farthest from the door with an earnest look on his countenance. This man, rather tall and skinny with long black hair that draped around his face, was shaking his head silently at the bartender. Snape surveyed the rest of the room, looking at various patrons of the bar, and then decided that the most interesting figures were these two men. Indeed, his attention to them was rewarded, for, suddenly, the bartender stooped forward suddenly and kissed the other. It wasn't a passionate, on-the-lips kiss, but it was still a kiss. Snape raised his eyebrows at them.
Behind Snape, the door opened, and a burst of cool night air swept into the somewhat stuffy pub. He stepped back to watch as a rather portly middle-aged man came in and seated himself at the bar just as one of the others got up. The bartender left the man he had been talking to, and went over to his new customer. The other man sipped the rest of his drink, then got up and walked over to the piano. Before anyone else could steal it, Snape stepped forward and claimed the stool. Once the bartender had finished with the heavy gentleman, he came over to Snape.
"What'll it be?" asked the bartender good-naturedly.
"Straight Firewhiskey, thanks," Severus sighed, and flicked his finger at the glass abandoned by the previous occupant of the bar stool. The bartender went to the back and brought out a fresh cold bottle and a glass.
"That'll be two Sickles," he said, uncapping the bottle. Snape's hand went to his pocket, and he drew out the money. Satisfied, the bartender nodded. "Just call John if you need anything else, sir," he said as we went to the other end of the bar.
Snape sipped his Firewhiskey to the tune of the piano, which modulated melodically in the background. He kept an especial eye on the piano player. Somehow, he was vaguely familiar...but Snape could not place him. But the problem did not press Severus a great deal; he gave up on guessing after his second bottle of liquor.
As he watched the world around the piano, Snape realized something. Even though the pianist's back was to him, he could see that he was donned in high heels. Somewhat abashed, Snape realized that he had been mistaken; the musician was no man at all, rather a woman. Snape understood the bartender's actions better, now. The two must be engaged or whatnot. Anyhow, Snape no longer was interested really in the little drama between them, particularly after his third bottle of Firewhiskey.
Soon, though, tired and rather dizzy, Snape decided that if he had any more, he wouldn't be able to get home. He purchased one bottle for home and pocketed it, then rose shakily up to tip the musician. She really was far too good a player to waste her life performing for drunks in bars...
The performer didn't pay any attention to Snape at all when he walked up behind her. Probably, she was accustomed to people randomly coming up to her, placing a few coins in her basket, and meandering away. Snape watched her fingers fly over the keyboard, and half-realized that those hands looked awfully like his own. Then he came upon the startling revelation that, in actuality, this woman did look a lot like him, even without seeing her face once. He was surprised at this, but decided to wait until she finished that he might see her face. He assumed that it would probably be completely different from his own, but Snape didn't really care.
When the woman finished her piece and rose to turn the page, Snape spoke abruptly.
"Hell, girl, why aren't you in Carnegie Hall?"
The pianist spun around. Snape was startled to see that her face was almost a mirror reflection of his own, minus his nose. But her nose was his mother's nose...! In that split second, Snape's mind took a leap--was this his long lost sister Sylvia?
Snape knew he was almost on the verge of drunkenness, but he didn't care much. The woman blinked piteously at him as he dug through his pockets for spare change. Aloud, he said to her, "I don't normally tip performing artists, but you obviously deserve it."
He was aware that he wasn't annunciating quite clearly, but he didn't think to try and remedy that at all.
The pianist was looking at him with fresh eyes. So, this was Sylvia then! He had been right.
Snape looked at her. He was thinking as furiously as he could. Was he supposed to recognize her? Or was it better for both of them that he pretended ignorance? Considering what his upcoming duty was, however, Severus decided that upon the latter. It wouldn't do for her to suddenly rediscover her brother, only to lose him again in a month. So, he put on a facade, trying to not let a glint of satisfaction out of his eye.
"Yes, that is my name, now what is it?" He swayed a bit, and he leant against the keyboard. The dramatic effect of the moment was increased by the discordant sound of many keys being pressed down in the same instant.
"Don't you recognize me?" Sylvia asked. Snape looked at her, and almost answered yes, but he caught himself.
He shook his head. "I've...I've never seen you before in my life," he said, shaking his black-haired head.
Sylvia looked exasperated. "I'm your sister!"
Snape merely looked at her quizzically. "I don't have a sister."
Tears came into poor Sylvia's eyes. "Sav! Listen! You remember me!"
He studied her again. "You look like my mother," was all he said. If she was halfway as intelligent as he remembered her, she would look back in retrospect on this situation and realize what he meant by this comment. Perhaps that would give her some comfort later.
For a moment, though, he was scared that she had become TOO intelligent. Sylvia almost threw herself upon him in a close embrace. Snape was more startled than annoyed, but he managed to convey both at the same time by flinging her off of him. "Woman! I never said I was going to marry you!" he said in almost an angry manner.
The tears that had been welling in Sylvia's eyes began to stream down her face. "Severus," she said.
She looked into his eyes deeply. Snape stared back at her coldly.
"Have your four Sickles, but I did not ask you for anything more but your music," he said with a sneer, and he threw the coins on the ground. With that, he swept himself regally in a beeline out the door.
He knew he was being horrible to her, perhaps even worse than he would have been to James or Harry Potter. But it was only in her interest that he did as much. He could not risk her. She was his sister, after all.
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