Characters: Severus, implied others
Warning (highlight to view): The canonical death of Albus Dumbledore.
Word Count: 272
Summary: Severus is troubled by a Slytherin promise.
Disclaimer: This work of fan fiction is based on characters and situations created by J. K. Rowling and owned by J. K. Rowling and various publishers, including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books, Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made from (and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended by) the posting of this fan work.
Author's Note: This ficlet follows A Thoroughly Inappropriate Essay.
The rest of the year was a nightmare for Severus, who, as ever, had no one with whom to discuss his troubles. Daphne didn't seek him out after they came to their understanding, and even if she had done, he couldn't possibly have confided in her. It was just as well, for all too soon he left for Spinner's End, where he couldn't afford to indulge in dreams of any witch, not with Wormtail in residence—but it was Narcissa's Unbreakable Vow that ended up burdening him further and more deeply than any unwanted fancy or house guest ever could have done.
Upon his return to Hogwarts in the fall, he'd promised himself that he might take pleasure in teaching Defence, but his first, disastrous class had put paid to that foolish notion.
"There's no need to call me 'sir', Professor."
Potter—no amount of detention would ever be enough for him! Worse, there had been cold disapproval in Daphne's eyes after he'd assigned Potter detention. It was a look that Severus knew well, having read it in gazes green, black, and brown. Lily, Nymphadora, and Daphne—he'd broken faith with each of them and given them all reason to despise him. He supposed, however, as time began to fly with unrelenting swiftness, that he had only himself to blame. He'd made his choices, and he'd long accepted that he'd have to live with them.
But no one, Severus thought, months later as he turned his wand on Dumbledore, will ever forgive me for this one.
Damning himself for every stupid promise he'd ever made, Severus honoured the one that he'd least wanted to keep.