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Venice...

Severus should have left by now, having completed his task. But he couldn't stop looking into the fog rolling in through the canals from the bay, swallowing up the small boats, the houses and the low bridges, already now swirling around his ankles. It moved fast, unstoppable and chilling, not only in its physical temperature, but also in the eerie muffled silence it created around him, and the lack of clear vision.

For a moment he almost longed to hear the tell-tale sharp cracks of Apparition, telling him that he had finally been found. Either by the Aurors or Potter and his little cadre. Neither had found him to date, but he was growing weary and tired.

And every day he spent so far away from Remus, cracked him just a bit more. Severus had never indulged himself in 'what-if' day-dreams. But for short moments he did, as the fog finally reached him fully and all he could see were swirling shades of white going over grey to black. Shadows and light were blurred and all edges gone.

What if he simply stopped? What if he simply stopped heeding the summons? What if he allowed himself the selfish pleasure of living his own life and staying in Brooklyn, close his lover and the simulacrum of normality Severus felt in his company?

What if...

Unsettling the thick fog around him, Severus turned to look behind him, for once not moved by paranoia, but by wary curiousity.

There was nothing behind him, and nothing in front of him. There was only the tiny space in a perimeter of two to three feet around him. How very appropriate in its symbolism.

With a sharp crack he left that perimeter empty as well, Apparating to a dark and sleeping Brooklyn, New York, before he could see hints of red penetrating the fog in the East, from the rising sun.

Taking down the ordinary ward on the door, only cursory making sure nobody had been there since he had left, Severus entered his house, knowing that wishful thinking was just that, wishful and as impossible as clear shapes in a fog.

Muse: Severus Snape
Fandom: Harry Potter
Wordcount: 357
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Severus from Theatrical Muse

July 2006

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