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Heart's Desire: Think about something you once wanted so badly but never acquired. Write about how you think your life would've been different if you had received what your heart desired.

It was right there. He only needed to move a few inches, and he would see. But he wouldn't. He already knew what he would see, or thought he knew. Nothing much surprised him anytmore, about himself. He had spent enough hours contemplating his life and wishes to know exactly what he'd see, if he moved those few inches.

He could still hear the siren call of it though, the Mirror of Erised.

It was soft and tempting, telling him that maybe it was something else. Something wonderful that would make him realise something new about himself, make him change his ways, his choices, his life...

Which was impossible.

And yet, it could be... something else, couldn't it? A hidden desire he had never realised.

Severus turned away, determined not to look as he moved the few feet over to the door out into silence and away from the alluring song in his mind.

Look, Severus, look and learn... you will like it, you desire it, you want it... look and you will know...

His hand rested on the doorhandle and he hesitated. Dumbledore would move the mirror into the maze tomorrow and then he would not be able to get to it. Not without endangering their plans. This would probably be his last chance.

You want to. Look Severus, what can it hurt?

With a sigh he turned around and looked. His lips tightened slightly, then an unfamiliar look of resignation settled on his features. Because he had known.

Had known he would see his left arm outstretched, naked and... unmarked. No snake and skull, no sign of betrayed loyalties and the deadly folly of youth that had cost him... his life and freedom.

Had he never taken it, he would never have ended up here. He would have focused his life on research and potions. A potionsmaster, yes, but not a teacher at Hogwarts. Not Dumbledore's spy and not bound by loyalties that went far beyond any marks, gratitude and debt that bound him more efficiently than a magical bond could ever have.

He would have been free.

But at what price? He doubted the mirror would ever tell him.

Severus turned away and left silently, the dark mark smouldering on his skin and in his soul, no will and no desire on earth other than Lord Voldemort's able to remove it.

Muse: Severus Snape
Fandom: Harry Potter
Wordcount: 394
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Severus from Theatrical Muse

July 2006

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