You often see two themes discussed when the topic of those months between July 1978 and autumn of 1980 arises; firstly, the pervasive idea that Snape must’ve murdered someone as the price of admission to the Death Eaters, and secondly, the rallying against the ‘he was probably just some guy who made potions’ train of thought that was popularised by The Snape Chronicles.
But both, I think, miss the point.
And that’s not to say either is definitely wrong; the whole point of Snape’s missing years is that we just do not know - and myself? I can happily read a story that shows Snape avenging his mother’s death by murdering his father, or by relishing his newfound power by lording it over those weaker.
After all, you rather get the feeling that’s why he joined the Death Eaters.
But the more I re-read the series, the more I find myself adhering to the softer side of Severus. The more I go back, the more that I reject the representation of the first war that the second war provides - the more that I think about the world that Sirius and Arthur describe, where you don’t know if your neighbour is a Death Eater, or who you can trust.
And in that sort of world, young Severus Snape doesn’t need to be a psychotic killer. Instead, young Severus Snape can be exactly the awkward, flushing boy who constantly trips over his words that we saw back in The Prince’s Tale.
After all, isn’t it curious that Voldemort selects Snape to be his man at Hogwarts? We, the reader, of course, are privy to the fact that Dumbledore absolutely knows that Snape is a Death Eater - he knows it even before Snape has uttered a sentence when he meets him on the hill.
But Voldemort’s selection of Snape as opposed to Bellatrix or Lucius or Regulus or Barty Crouch Jr or Avery or Rosier or Mulciber or Wilkes…it suggests that Voldemort thought this awkward, gangly teenager was non-descript enough to have flown right under Dumbledore’s radar.
So in my headcanon, Severus Snape is still a very angry young man. He still wants to watch the world burn. He still believes in wizarding supremacy over Muggles, and he craves that rush of power that he has so often been denied.
But I don’t think he spent months cavorting around, flinging off hexes and being heralded as a duelist. Oh no - I think for all of his bark at Hogwarts, Bellatrix was accurate when she accused him of being all talk and no action, of slithering off into the shadows with his excuses ready.
(We are, of course, talking about the man who launched into a speech and intended to apprehend Sirius Black - his longstanding enemy - when Snape believed him to be a traitor; whereas quiet, calm, unassuming Remus Lupin was ready to murder his ex-best friend Peter Pettigrew in cold blood for the same treachery.)
Severus Snape might be talented at the dark arts, but he’s definitely all mouth and no trousers. (How apt.)
So what was he doing for those long months?
Well, whilst I rather relish the archaic language of Snape merely being a schoolmaster, I do also secretly love the idea of him gaining a Mastery in Potions; of it being indicative of an apprenticeship or of further study.
And even more, I love the idea of him being bankrolled either by Lucius Malfoy, or by Voldemort, or even by Lucius Malfoy on the express instruction of Voldemort.
I love that idea of entrapment and persuasion, for that’s how these outfits work. It’s not just them signing you up and hoping you stick around without realising what you’ve got yourself into; it’s about making you feel that you owe someone. Now, not only are you scared to leave, but you feel guilty about it - you feel obliged to those who previously helped you. And if they helped you, well, they can’t be all that bad, can they?
So, how better to gain a loyal follower than to open doors for him that he couldn’t open himself? Tell him that if he gets the grades, the apprenticeship under Arsenius Jigger is his - and then he feels like he’s earned it.
But deep down, he knows he’s the recipient of charity. Because how funny that Jigger offers him a placement when he’s not taken another apprentice in 28 years. How funny that Jigger gives him a wage that’s just enough to cover the costs of a newly available flat in Hogsmeade; a poky little place, sure, but the location is convenient and it’s priced way below market value.
And how funny that the flat comes available the very weekend that Tobias tells his son that he’s had it up to here with his silly wizarding ways. Oh yes, Tobias has pulled a few strings and got him a job at the factory - and if Severus thinks he’s staying under this roof without paying his way, he’s got another think coming.
So, no…I don’t think Severus Snape hid in a back room perfecting his potions for the Dark Lord. I don’t think it had even got that far. I think Voldemort was recruiting, and he was doing whatever it took to gain traction. For most rich purebloods, they merely needed their ego stroking, and their blood mania appeasing.
But for people like Severus? He could be easily led, and easily bought - and when the time came to be useful? Well, the Dark Lord would have no qualms in sending him scurrying after Dumbledore, his own threats ringing in Severus’ ears.
Spy on a wizard such as Dumbledore? It’d be unthinkable - least, it would’ve been if Severus didn’t already owe his master an incredibly large debt…
Prompt: I can’t keep dancing with the devil and still wonder why I’m in Hell.
I can’t keep dancing with the devil and still wonder why I’m in Hell, I told myself one gloomy morning as I stared out my bedroom window. I watched him walking up the sidewalk, he was holding coffee cups in his hand as he approached the door to the house. His smile was innocent, secretive and seductive but I knew better as his eyes rushed up to my bedroom window. He had been following me for quite awhile, I had become tired of him pursuing me so I decided to let him in. He entered the apartment complex with ease, the doors-men recognizing his face as he walked by. I knew he would be pressing the button for the elevator so he could come up to my floor. My chest heaved a heavy sigh as I moved away from the cold windowpane and walked over to the door to wait his arrival.
I knew that I needed to stop meeting him. He wasn’t good for me. He had business suits, fancy cars, a good paying job. A handsome smile, a great body but there was something about his soul that put me off. A fakeness that I never felt before with anyone raw and real. Stop playing with the devil, my mind screamed at me as I heard the soft knock at my door. It never took him long to reach me. I knew what he was but still was attracted to his charm. I guess evil things will do you dirty like that.
I felt weak in the knees when his mesmerizing eyes scanned my face and body. He was protective of me, that part I didn’t understand. Why the fake persona to such an evil mind? I bit upon my lower lip, he watched me as realization dawned on his body. The coffees fell from his hand and splattered onto the floor in a heap. I blinked at the spilled coffee, my gaze torn away from his as I backed slowly away from him. His body became predatory than, hunger liting his senses as he cautiously approached me. I felt the ache down to my core as he started to circle me like an enemy would. He was much faster than I was as his strong hands wrapped around my wrists. He would keep me prisoner until the day I died, I knew this. My body became compliant in his arms, his devilish power working over me like some bad voodoo.
His lips pressed against my skin, they moved up towards my ear to whisper in my ear.
“Never will I let you go,” he declared to me before pulling me closer.
I was trapped in the devil’s spiderweb, with no way out. No way of survival.
I’m entrapped in your veins, captured in your eyes, and I didn’t even notice that you were searching for the one behind me. So I kept thinking that I was yours, when from the start you had already begun to leave me.
Pierre-Paul Prud'hon (1758-1823)
“Love Seduces Innocence, Pleasure Entraps, and Remorse Follows” (1809)
Oil on canvas
Located in the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Commissioned by Empress Josephine, this canvas was to be shown at the 1810 Salon, but the plan was abandoned when Napoleon divorced her in late 1809. Following Napoleon’s marriage to an Austrian archduchess, any public exhibition of the painting was inconceivable, and the work remained in the artist’s studio until his death. The painting being unfinished may also reflect the patron’s painful circumstances.
Okay, but guys I can’t express to you all enough how excited I am to finally see Donato in action - at his creepiest in the series. And Ishida’s characterization of Donato in this scene so far has been fantastic, because he manages to make Donato frighten us even after all the recent bloodshed in the series while still reminding the reader of his more sensitive/personal side.
Just in that phrase “Taste how it feels. How I feel.” In that short quip, Donato manages to fit in a megalomaniac comparison of himself to God and his personal, vulnerable emotions about Amon.
Because the metaphor of Urie, crucified, watching from above certainly implies a God-like presence. (Without the power to intervene, it sounds more deist than Catholic, tbh. but I’ll let Donato pass on this one.) And in a way, he himself has watched over others in his priestly role. By running the orphanage, he always had that burden of caring for children in the name of God. However, the scene also indirectly references Donato’s seeming omniscience when it comes to the ghoul world, as Donato knew a notable amount of information about the events outside Cochlea despite having been imprisoned for years. Hinami’s intelligence became obsolete by the time of the second Cochlea raid. Donato’s, though, was still relied upon despite remaining in Cochlea for maybe a decade or longer. So, Donato himself has embodied throughout the series the Godly traits his metaphor in this scene emphasizes.
However, at the same time, that knowledge he accumulated couldn’t do anything to save Amon. He had to sit there and hear about his son’s capture, ghoulification, and possible death without the ability to protect or shelter him. It most likely felt like the equivalent to what he’s doing to Urie now: torturing the entrapped person’s loved one - one he’s been entrusted to take care of, as Uncle Higemaru’s monologue just highlighted - right in front of his eyes while he’s immobilized. And while Donato’s thirst for revenge is pretty prominent here, you can see that frustration with his own limitations, too.
And that’s why I love those two sentences. Because they seem to present the reader with two seemingly contradictory meanings. It confuses you on whether to think of Donato as an omnipotent God or as a fallible mortal. And I think that’s what makes him one of the most terrifying types of villains.
In this week’s episode, Sally and Olivia discover that love is disappointment, entrapment, promise and hope, and also possibly despair; and that if in doubt you should spend some time alone with your cavern of mystery.
This is a giant masterpost of my favorite Sterek fics, just about all of which are ridiculously fluffy. It’s sorted into drabbles (under 1.5k), short fics (under 10k), and long fics (over 10k). Must reads are marked with a ♥!
The korrasami soulmate tattoo fic is awesome can't wait for them to actually see each other
(I wanted to post more prompts tonight, but my head has been killing me for the last few hours- so this will be my only one for the day. I’ll get more done tomorrow, but right now I really need to lay down for a bit. xC Here’s the much awaited soul mate part 3)
Korra felt nervous and tense; her body was stiff and alert, but she had also never felt so much anticipation at the same time.
Asami was in that building, her soul mate was waiting inside for her, waiting for the lost Avatar to return after being away for nearly three years.
Korra took a deep breath and stepped inside, a jazzy tune was playing over the radio, immersing the room in a swing setting- Asami was reading a magazine in an arm-chair.
The avatar deflated slightly when she saw the inventor had her wrist covered; she knew it was a long shot, but she had hoped to see if her name was imprinted on the heiress’s skin.
“I hope you haven’t been waiting long,” the words left her mouth in smooth line, an air of relief and slight excitement present in her voice.
Asami looked up and smiled, causing Korra to swear she felt her heart melt in her chest; the CEO pushed out of her chair and went to hug her, while Korra held her arms out- waiting to wrap them around the missed woman, “Only three years.”
The sweet scent of Asami’s perfume wrapped around the avatar, leaving Korra wanting to allow the wisps to wrap around her and entrap the love-struck bender in its’ grasp.
Asami pulled away, although her hands never left the avatar’s shoulders, “It’s so great to see you!”
Korra felt butterflies flutter inside her stomach, and a tender smile spread across her face, “You too.”
“And I’m loving the hair,” Asami’s eyes filtered over the bender’s physique, taking in every inch of the woman’s form.
Korra felt the beginnings of a blush appear on her face, and she bashfully turned sideways momentarily- idly twirling a lock of her hair between her fingers, “Thanks.” The master of the four elements searched her brain for a word to describe the amazing look that Asami Sato had grown into, “You’re looking snazzy as always.”
The CEO smiled and went to speak a bit when Korra spoke up once more, a hesitant look shadowing her eyes, “Umm, so the big eighteen passed already, huh?”
Asami paled and looked down, her hand wrapping around the wrist that held the avatar’s name, “Uh yeah. Yeah, I got the name and everything.”
“Have you met them yet?” Korra asked gently; she was about ninety-nine percent certain it was her name on the heiress’s wrist, there was no other option. Asami Sato was printed across her own, so it had to be the same vice-versa.
“You could say that,” Asami chewed on her lip.
“I’ve met mine too,” Korra steeled her nerves and pulled the long gloves off her arms, holding up the wrist with the black writing for the other’s eyes. “She’s standing right in front of me.”
Asami’s eyes prickled with tears; a relieved laugh tore its’ way out her chest, and the heiress pulled up the sleeves of her jacket to reveal the name of the strongest bender in the world printed across the pale skin of her wrist, “I can say the same.”
Korra threw her arms around the other, pulling her close and burying her face in the inventor’s neck.
Asami almost trembled in her arms, not scared or hurt, just relieved and content; a huge burden seemed to be lifted from her shoulders, “Three years I held that in.” The heiress breathed, “Three long years.”
“I know,” Korra mumbled against her skin, pulling away to look up at the woman with pleading eyes, “Why didn’t you tell me? You turned eighteen before I left, you could have said something.”
“You weren’t in the best place Korra,” Asami looked down. “I didn’t want to add anymore stress to you than you already carried, and you hadn’t even gotten your own name yet. For all I knew, it could had been another Korra I was destined for.”
She pulled away and pursed her lips, before taking a deep breath and smiling gently, “Anyway, we can go over it later. Mako got us a table at the restaurant. We shouldn’t keep him waiting.”
Korra nodded and allowed the nonbender to pull her out of the lobby.
The avatar felt guilt building in her heart, while she knew Asami would never blame her for being gone so long while she was dealing with mental struggles, something told Korra that she still had a long way to go before she could make things right with her soul mate.
The more I think about it the more I have a feeling that Nimue IS the Dark One we say last night. She is the original Dark One but with some differences.
@businesscasualprincess wonderfully pointed out, the DO dagger had no name on it. Merlin went to use the dagger to kill the Dark One but he doesn’t. Instead Merlin hesitates, says he misses her, the woman he loved and the Dark One takes the dagger to collect his tear and turn him into a tree. For me this points to Nimue not because of spoilers but because of Arthurian Legend. Merlin taught Nimue his magic before she trapped him. If OUAT uses that story it is possible that Merlin taught Nimue what he knew of the darkness because she was helping him or like anyone, would share his knowledge with her because he loved and trusted her. The Dark One knew to collect the tear in order to trap Merlin. The DO could have easily killed him but they didn’t. In legend Nimue didn’t love Merlin and entrapped him in a tree, some say rock or cave but doesn’t matter. Merlin being trapped in a tree in OUAT once again points to Nimue and to the fact that there was still love for Merlin that the Dark One themselves could not kill Merlin since they loved him. One of the best clues to this possibly being Nimue is Merlin saying he to the Dark One, “You destroyed her. The only woman I ever loved and now I will destroy you.” and “I miss her.” With pain and sorrow he is talking to the Dark One but more to the darkness. This would explain why he hesitates to kill the Dark One. Merlin knows the Nimue is NOT the Dark One but that the darkness has just taken over her. Just as Killian knows that is not Emma he is dealing with.
So much of this reminds me of Killian. Merlin knew and said it had to be Emma’s choice to be free from the darkness. Merlin had to have know with his dealings of Nimue the Dark One that she needed to be wanted to be freed from the darkness in order to be saved. Which may explain why Merlin said you DESTROYED her. The darkness took her away so quickly that she couldn’t make the choice so Merlin feeling he had lost her figured it would be easy to kill her. Killian is working as hard as possible to keep the darkness from completely consuming Emma. Killian has told her to stop talking to one the shoulder DO Rumple and even whisked her away for a moment of peace and just the two of them. He has asked her to put his faith in him. Everything Killian has done it to help Emma from being consumed and even though we have’t seen it, I believe Merlin would have tried to do the same. Merlin loved Nimue enough to hesitate before killing the DO version because no matter how much he HATED the DO Nimue his love for her was stronger. LOVE IS SACRIFICE. Nimue sacrificed for Merlin. Merlin sacrificed for Nimue by being trapped in a tree. Emma sacrificed for the town and everyone in it, including Killian. Now we just wait for Killian to sacrifice for Emma because let’s be real IT IS COMING.
The Apprentice stated that the darkness had to be bound to a person and Merlin as well as Nimue must have known this. This leads me to believe that while battling the darkness Nimue did what Emma did. Nimue must have sacrificed herself to not only help the man she loved but to save the realm. Emma took in the darkness to save Stroybrooke and everyone she cared for. Both selfless acts and more than likely had a greater chance of being saved from the darkness if wanted. The only difference is that, Nimue may be of magic but Emma IS light magic, she is the Savior and from what we witness last night as she freed Merlin her light magic is so strong that it is still dwelling inside her. Nimue seems to be a bit out of control with the Dark One magic and it just might be because it mixes with her magic differently or she is toying with Merlin. The zipping back and forth makes me think that this was a way of saying I will not be taken or destroyed. Well at least until you command me. Even when Merlin says “enough” you can tell he is tired of the games the Dark One is playing with him. Very similar to how Killian lets Emma know he is done with her games abroad the Jolly Roger.
It breaks my heart knowing that poor Merlin lost the woman he loved not only to the darkness but later because someone probably killed her to be the Dark One thus creating the name on the blade tradition but that is speculation of course. The bright side is, Killian is going to do what Merlin couldn’t. Killian will be able to save Emma from the darkness when she is ready to make the choice of being free from it. He will be able to destroy the darkness that created the first Dark One but also the latest Dark One due to a women’s sacrifice.