Character: wee Severus
Warning (highlight to view): For implied physical abuse.
Word Count: 820
Summary: Severus isn't really thirsty. He's not.
Disclaimer: This piece is based on characters and situations created and owned by J.K. Rowling; various publishers, including, but not limited to: Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books, Raincoast Books; and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Author's Notes: Written for omniocular's January challenge, "spells, jinxes, curses, and charms." (Posted publicly due to that community's guidelines.) Thank you, stasia, for beta'ing.
His mam used the spell all the time, well, when Da wasn't around. It looked simple enough, too. No one could get in trouble for using it in a house where it was already being used, in a house with a witch—even if she did her best not to act like one. Yes, it was the spell. He could learn it. He could learn it without a wand. He would learn it, and then he wouldn't need either of them.
I'm not so small.
Severus hated them, his parents—his mam for cringing, Da for making her cringe, both of them for never tucking him in or bringing him a glass of water.
I'm not weak, just thirsty.
He would learn the spell by watching his mam. Yes, that's what he would do, and then he'd never be thirsty at night again. That was the only trouble with nighttime, being thirsty. He wasn't afraid of the dark. He was a big boy. He was a wizard.
Water's important. We're made of mostly it an' it goes in the cauldron first an' it cleans things—and I'm not dirty, either, no matter what he says.
The laundry, all that boiling water and soapy air hanging in clouds in the small shack behind their hovel—big boys did so use words like "hovel," even if they got smacked for sounding better'n they should—'course he looked dirty after working in there with his mam.
Da never does any work, the mean old—don't even think like that. Your arm's still almost too sore to be of any use.
He didn't like to trouble her while they were washing, and at supper it was always grey milk. Why shouldn't he be allowed a glass of water by his bed? She knew he was always thirsty, and he wouldn't break it. He knew they only had the four glasses. He also knew why his mam wouldn't make any more.
Da's afraid of it, her magic. He'll be afraid of mine, too, one day. He will. I'm going to learn it.
It would be his first spell: Aguamenti. Without a wand. Without a word.
I'm going to make my own water.
He wasn't sure, with the magic, if he'd be making the water, really, or if he'd be summoning it—his mam had talked to him about summoning things, when Da wasn't around. He liked the idea of being able to summon things, things he needed, things he wanted.
I don't like being thirsty all the time.
It didn't matter that he hadn't had much time to practice, what with all the work to be done, or that he hadn't yet got the knack. He'd do it. He would. He saw his mam fill the cauldrons in the wash shack every day. Adults used wands, but he would show them, he'd show everyone.
I'm not going to need a wand.
And he wasn't afraid of the dark. He wasn't. Or the sounds they made sometimes. Or the other sounds. Wizards weren't afraid of sounds, or the dark, or of being so thirsty all the time. He was a big boy. He didn't need water. He just wanted it. One day soon, he'd be better. One day soon he wouldn't want anything from anyone.
Might make a lot of spells of my own, too—ones to stop hitting—ones to stop hitters.
He didn't really believe it was her fault, his mam's, for letting Da hit her. Not really. No, it wasn't. No one liked being hit, just like no one liked being thirsty.
Don't ask for water. It'll just make him hit her more 'cause you whinged.
Everything made Da hit his mam, the stupid cow. She was a witch! She should act like one!
She can fill the cauldrons in two swishes and one flick!
Aguamenti. Aguamenti. Aguamenti! Even in his head, it sounded right—so why wasn't it working? He'd been at it for days, practicing. Days. Nights, really. Dark ones.
I'm not afraid. Not of the dark, not of being thirsty.
He wasn't afraid of a bastard of a Muggle, either. Yeah, he knew that word, too. He just needed to shut his eyes against the darkness and his ears against the sounds, and then he could do it, learn his spell.
My first spell.
He was a big boy. A wizard—almost—and he was going to be able to cast Aguamenti for himself in no time. Really. . . .
But where will I get a glass to put it in?
He knew he wasn't so big as to be able to conjure a glass. 'Course, that was his mam's fault.
'Cause she won't do any conjuring.
He was so thirsty. They were so loud. Neither one of them ever kissed him good night. No one had ever tucked him in. But he was a big boy.
His mam used the spell all the time, even if only for the poxy cauldrons.