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Severus knew he should go home.

In this unstable mindset, he was a danger to himself and the success of his mission. But he had no reason to go home, and every reason to stay in the presence of his Lord. At least in the eyes of those who noticed such things. Eyes he more often than not couldn't see, but only feel.

Only in his private laboratory, on the deepest level, did he feel remotely alone. Both in his mind and physically.

He no longer wanted to feel alone though, and that was making it increasingly difficult to endure the long passages of time where he truly was. Alone.

And today had been worse. To know that Remus most probably had received the gift, and still had to endure the horrible dementia of the transformation. The wounds and pain the wolf would inflict on itself, and thus Remus, in its fight to escape, attack, main ... kill.

Knowing that Kirill was there to take care of Remus was only a small relief.

Knowing he had been too slow, couldn't be there, couldn't help Remus, that knowledge erradicated the relief again.

It was strange, how he could feel the sun getting close to setting without seeing it. He just knew.

So he was pacing restlessly, back and forth, 27 long strides to the large cabinet, 27 long strides back to the door. As a trapped animal, which he in truth was.

"Feeling restless, Snape?"

The voice startled Severus, and he swirled around towards the now open door, eyes narrowed, his wand already in his hand. His nose wrinkled slightly when he saw who had trespassed on his privacy. It might as well have been vermin.

But why didn't you feel him enter? Hear him?

"None of your business, Avery." Severus hissed coldly. "Get out."

Avery held up his hands in a deflective gesture "Easy now. I merely came here to tell you that your presence is requested."

Severus sneered and turned away from Avery before he could allow himself to reveal anymore of his mental state.

"I will be there." His voice felt comfortingly icy and dismissive, his stature rigid and rejecting. It still worked, he noted with a touch of pleasure as the door clicked shut after Avery.

Focus, Severus! He used a few minutes to collect his mind and push everything down behind thick smooth walls. With a slow exhalation he turned and exited the room, striding confidently and empty-eyed through wellknown and wellhated hallways.

It was just one of those days.

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Severus from Theatrical Muse

July 2006

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