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Severus and Flight (for snapedom)

Severus and Flight (for snapedom)

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There are many Severus'. And each Severus has his own canon. In that of my Severus, I have made certain choices. It is certainly due to the influence of my friend's story that I have taken these positions. Since it was written the Snape-shaped hole appeared. This delighted me.

Voldemort is the only other person in the books who is mentioned as flying, and when they learn of it everyone is amazed. He is in the habit of arbitrarily punishing and rewarding. Snape had killed Dumbledore, the only person who Voldemort feared. In my world, it is not only Headmastership of Hogwarts he is granted, and a seat at the Dark Lord's right hand, but the gift of flight.

It has been argued, when I mentioned this in the Voldemort writing, that the Dark Lord was not inclined to give or to share knowledge or skills. I think, however that he was capricious, and it pleased him to act with benevolence as well as cruelty. 'A Merciful Lord,' he said, and perhaps he wanted to prove himself a generous one also. He would want to bear positive attributes, to show himself that he was a wise and good leader of men. If he had been a hard and vicious man always, I do not think he would have gained power and followers from the high old families.

It is true, he punished his followers, either with immediate Crucio, as with Thorfinn, or with long-term elaborate harm such as turning Draco into a murderer in vengeance against Lucius. Nevertheless, I believe that the service Severus rendered him, of that he believed Severus rendered him, was significant enough to warrant significant reward.

In my canon, Severus is aware of what price he paid for his gift. He knows it is blood money or meant to be blood money. On the one hand, when he flies he thinks of Dumbledore, of killing him. On the other hand, flight is wonderful, and the physical feeling is free, the control and solitude - all are at once triumphant and peaceful even in the midst of war. It is a beautiful miracle. It is another tool in an array of personal tactics. It allows him to... escape, to literally rise above. Wonder and horror.

It has also been argued that it was Lily who taught Severus to fly, and he in turn taught the Dark Lord, perhaps for favour. This is also a very valid possibility. In my Severus' canon, however, Lily's jump from the swing was a naive act of near-spontaneous magic in comparison. It is easy to conceive of it growing naturally from the feeling one gets, leaping from the swing, thrown into the air. Many young children believe it really is flying. It is not deliberate, sustained, developed flight, however. Again in my world, it has taken the work of a master-wizard with uncommon brilliance to create and refine a spell of such unique and daring magic. Voldemort was such a wizard, despite his other failings.

My Severus was taught to fly - was given the joy, the freedom, the tool of flight - by the Dark Lord, who developed it himself, in exchange for Severus' unquestionable loyalty and service, which he proved by murdering Dumbledore.

There is also the question of Severus' earlier relationship to flight.

Neville is the other student we view unable to control a bucking broom. Severus did not want to associate himself with Nevillle, especially in his own mind. In my canon, Severus' best friend is Rabastan Lestrange, and Neville just makes Severus think of darkness and horror. Neville brings to the surface that which he would rather leave buried. His incompetence with a broom, mirroring Severus' own failure as a child, would be intolerable. Severus did not take failure lightly, but more as a devastation, as he strove to excel at everything.

He was never comfortable or happy with brooms or quidditch, and hated this. James Potter's attention-seeking vain-glory, as evidenced by his play with the snitch, and which in my Severus' canon extended to their earlier years, did not inspire him to overcome it. He pretended disinterest rather than being outshone. But in his diligent fashion, he practiced alone without telling anyone, because brooms were useful and he could not bear to be unable to do something that made one a wizard. He was able to fly with a broom, but not as well as others.

Thus the quidditch scene, where he is referee to protect Harry. The Weasleys aim bludgers at him and Harry nearly runs him down, certainly giving the impression he intended to do just that. He is spoken of as being more mean than usual, and afterwards, he is white and tight-lipped, and yes, he spits. This reaction, in my canon, is several things. It is a reliving of bad memories, because he has been abused and humiliated, as he was as a child by James and co.

In addition to that, I attribute his reaction to white-knuckled broom-flying, which he has undertaken only in order to protect this first-year image of his own tormentor. He is not comfortable flying; he is not happy flying. He does it under duress, for need. He is tense, nervous and his reaction on landing is to spit, to rid himself of the taste of the experience. It is not simple anger that Gryffindor won the match. It is flying rather than quidditch itself that he hates. He loves Slytherin and encourages and aids his players. One of the few times he naturally smiles, at least in the movies, is when they do well at a quidditch match. He doesn't want to play, or be involved in the game. He doesn't want to fly. Particularly with all the eyes of the school on him, one quarter of them laughing at him.

Prior to learning free flight, my Severus was awkward, uncomfortable and nervous flying with a broom and it troubled him to be less than brilliant.

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