Disclaimer: Anything you recognise belongs to J.K. Rowling. I own nothing, make no money from anything, and am writing this purely for personal enjoyment.

A/N: A plot bunny, free to a good home. It's very unpolished, but I'm not going to do any more with it, so here it is. If you want it, take it (please credit me and send me a link to any stories you write with it – amber_and_ash@yahoo.com). No slash, but suicidal themes and strong language.

Taints of Darkness

 “Well done, Snape. You wanted Sirius dead, and now he is.”

 “Potter, I accept you have suffered a loss, but I will not be spoken to in that manner!”

 “Yeah? Well fuck you, Snape. Sirius is dead because of you.  You lying, evil…“

 Harry pulled out his wand and pointed it at Severus. But Severus hadn’t been idle during Harry’s speech, and before Harry could even open his mouth, he collapsed unconscious to the floor.

 **

  “What did you cast on Harry?”

 “Torpidus Gravus, Headmaster, as I said.”

 “Don’t lie to me, Severus. There is clear and irrefutable evidence that you cast dark magic. “

 “I  haven’t performed any dark magic in years, Headmaster…”

 “Do you really expect me to believe that? Just get out, Severus. Stay in your rooms until  you are ready to tell me the truth. And if anything happens to that boy, so help me Merlin…”

 **

 Dear Headmaster Dumbledore,

 I was originally anxious to know what I had done to cause you to finally lose faith in me. But then I realised it didn’t matter, like it didn’t matter what my account of the incident with Mr.Potter was. What matters is that you believe that, even if I am not a Death Eater, I am irretrievably tainted by The Dark Arts. In all conscience, you cannot permit me to continue contact with the children. I am aware that you can also not afford for me to leave and betray our secrets to the Dark Lord, whether it be willingly or unwillingly. As such, this is the only option I find palatable. I trust you understand why I cannot face Azkaban once again.

 My personal belongings are packed in the anteroom, along with a will naming you as my sole beneficiary. I ask that, once you have assured yourself that they contain nothing dangerous or of value,  you return them to my family, although you will, of course, do as you see fit.

 I wish you every success in the upcoming battle with the Dark Lord,

Yours sincerely,

Severus Snape.

 **

 Severus opened his eyes to one of the private rooms of the infirmary wing. Damn it – he had failed, and he knew he would not be getting another chance. He groaned as the headache came into full force.

  “Professor Snape?”

 Oh joys. Potter. Just the person who was at the top of his list to see now. The logic of putting Potter and him in a private room together escaped him. Perhaps it was to unofficially allow Potter to take his revenge. He didn’t pose the boy any danger, restrained as he was.

 “What are you doing here?”

 “Admiring the view, Potter. Naturally. I needn’t ask about your own malingering.”

 “I’m not malingering! I only just woke up from your curse!”

 “Don’t be ridiculous, Mr. Potter. Even a complete moron such as you is aware that a Torpidus Gravus curse only lasts half an hour.”

 “Well, I kinda think it mayhavereactedwithsomethingelse.”

 “What? Potter, speak clearly, for heavens sake.”

 “I think it may have reacted with…”

 “With what? Out with it, boy.”

 “With the suppressing charm I cast on myself.”

 The headmaster’s clear and irrefutable evidence of dark magic. Severus was unwillingly impressed. Dark magic wasn’t the easiest to use and to cast it on oneself was additionally complex. And Severus could only  assume it was self-taught. He wondered what had led the boy to such desperate measures,  but soon dismissed the thought. It was not his place to involve himself in the affairs of Our Hero, that much had been made perfectly clear to him over the years. Even when said hero became involved in his.

 “Ah. Naturally you haven’t seen fit to disclose that piece of information to the headmaster.”

 “I haven’t had a chance to! I told you, I just woke up!”

 Severus could only imagine the headmaster’s face when he found out his saviour had dipped into The Arts. Then again, perhaps not. Many things were permitted the golden children that were reviled in normal humans.

 **

 Severus would normally have ignored the discomfort,  but he knew that if he didn’t get some water into his body soon, he was going to be suffering from the after-effects of the poison for months.  On the other hand, perhaps that was just what the Headmaster had in mind.  He shrugged to himself. If so, they could tell him themselves.

 “Madame Pomfrey!”

 “She isn’t in the ward. I checked earlier.”

 Severus guessed that was his answer then.

 “What did you want?”

 “Some water.”

 “Oh! I’ll get that for you.”  Harry poured some from the jug sitting on the table between them. “Here.”

 “Mr. Potter, God gave you eyes so that you might use them.”

 “What?”

 “I didn’t pour the water myself for the same reason I cannot take that glass from you. I’m strapped down.”

 “You’re what? Why?”

 Potter’s presence here clearly indicated that the Headmaster had no intention of giving him usual patient confidentiality. Might as well tell Potter himself. It hardly mattered anymore what he told his little friends.

 “It’s standard in suicide attempts.”

 “You tried to commit suicide?”

 “Yes, Mr. Potter. That is the logical implication of my previous statement.”

 “Why?”

 “None of your God-damn business!”

 “Severus!” Speak of the devil – the Headmaster himself.

 “Headmaster.”

 “I take this foolish display to mean you aren’t ready to tell me the truth.”

 Pride – an emotion he hadn’t been able to afford for a very long time, but one he was always prone to. There was no way he  was about to explain the mystery to Dumbledore when he was already convinced of his own solution.

 “I stand by my original statements, yes.”

 “Then we have nothing further to say to each other.”

 With a casual wave,  Dumbledore cast a silencing spell on Severus.

 And he still hadn’t been given any damn water!

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