CHAPTER 1: “The End Where I Begin”
Life is full of imperfect dreams and imperfect people.
It had been a few months after a certain Sirius Black and Severus Snape had finally put an end to their “relationship”. Not long after the second war ended, the Ministry decided that a marriage law was needed to be reenacted in order for the wizarding world to prosper and regain the lost from the war. It wasn’t easy, especially when you had no choice at the matter, it was either get married or be placed in Azkaban; and that’s where one Severus Snape found himself in.
Being Gay or bisexual was nothing new in the wizarding world, so to say the least; but Severus’ concern only was that the Ministry was the one to pick out the partner for them. That did not sound good, at ALL. Merlin knows who he’ll end up with.
Early one morning, the great hall was stunned into quietness as several owls came in carrying ministry sealed missives that held their future. The lot who received one were sweating cold beads of sweat as they fingered their own letters. Severus slowly opened his and read the content of the message.
Dear Professor Severus Snape;
According to the new Ministry law, all those who are unmarried that are ranging from the age of 18 to 80 are required to marry another witch or wizard that the ministry had chosen for the; the reason being, that of the wizarding population is threatened after the Second Wizarding War. Below is the name of the certain witch or wizard’s name that was evaluated by the ministry to be your partner. All was treated equally in the process, and we only choose who we deem is best for you and our world at the moment.
Sirius Orion Black; Lord and Heir to the Most Ancient and Noble House of Black.
Professor of History of Magic for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Kingsly Shackelbolt, Minister of Magic
Severus’ eyes grew wide with shock as his head whipped to the other side of the room where his said husband-to-be was staring back at him, an infuriating scowl adorning his face. Severus quickly stood, not bothering to mask his emotions and stormed out of the Great Hall. Sirius Black rested his head on his hands and gave out a frustrating sigh. This was going to be fun.
Severus entered his quarters and sat down heavily on his favorite armchair, what was he to do now?
If he was being honest with himself, he was in love with Sirius; and had been all this time, and there was a faint glimmer of hope within in that he would somehow open up to him and return his feelings. Sadly he was mistaken. His marriage with Sirius was nothing of what a marriage was supposed to be. Theirs were not romantic or intimate. It was just a piece of paper that held them together.
Of course they complied with what the law says; they had sex twice to thrice a week to try for an heir that would comply with the ministry’s wishes. That was the only contact they had with each other. They slept in different rooms when they weren’t engaged to the needed copulation. Sirius never showed that he cared for him, or any other emotions, in fact, he had guts to even bring home hookers from Knockturn Alley instead of just fucking back there.
Needless to say, Severus’ heart that was already cracked, broke into pieces every time he sees his said husband with someone else. After a while, the ministry have had enough complaints of the marriage law, and found that it was no longer working out. They found out that some lives ended up in shambles and decided to abolish it. Severus did not think twice to end their shammed relationship.
One night, just a day before the law was abolished, something stirred and changed within Sirius, he was back in their shared quarters a lot early than Severus expected to be as he was giving out detention that night; Sirius was walking down the hall towards the bathroom when he heard a distinct sound of sniffling and a few quiet sobs, it was then he found Severus talking in the floo with none other than Lucius Malfoy as he poured his heart out. That night he learned that Severus loved him, and was hurting from all the actions he did. He knew he shouldn’t be listening but he couldn’t help it.
He listened to Severus narrating his heartbreak and his foolishness for letting himself be hurt, when he knew well that Sirius would never return the sentiment. That night Sirius vowed that he would change for Severus, but all was too late, for the next day, the law was finally abolished and Severus had filed for divorce.
It had placed a different perspective onto his life, more than it did with Severus or so it seems. Sirius felt the final pieces of his world crumble right before him;
Both of them still taught, but everything else was strained, they still sat at the Head Table for meals side by side, but both barely talked nor acknowledged each other’s presence. Severus tried to ignore it, ignore him; but his heart won't let him. Every day he would see him walk through those doors, a changed man. Gone was the man that used to bring so much confidence and sass; yes he still went to work with a smile grazing across his face, but it never reached his eyes. He was still as dapper as ever, but he knew that wasn't the same man he had met all those years ago.
It conflicted him to no end just how much he could make him feel like this. He can never hate him, can he? No matter how hard he tries, he can't bring himself to hate this man; somewhere deep inside he knows that he has to make things right. Both had been hurting for most of their life, and he wanted to change that. Yes, he was giving him another chance, or maybe for that matter, he's giving his heart another chance to truly love. But he hurt him, immensely, he was so confused, it really hurt.
It was yet another cold morning; Sirius slowly opened his eyes, hopeful that his dreams weren't dreams, but alas it was once again just figments of his troubled imagination. He had been having these dreams for the last few months; back when they were together, a couple. Severus. He was always his first thought when he wakes and last thoughts before he goes out into the oblivion in his drunken stupor every night for the last few months. Sirius weighed his options whether or not to get up; the date hit him hard, as he realized what date it was. It was supposed to be their anniversary today, second anniversary to be fair with himself. His mind drifted off, back to when they were together, he remembered all the stupid things he’d done; he brought home hookers for fuck’s sake and Severus didn’t even said ANYTHING. Every single time they made love--- no SEX, he corrected himself, every time they would have sex, he treated him like he was only another paid up fuck, rather than his husband. He insulted him and blamed him when he was drunk and Severus still said nothing. And then that night, when he found out about EVERYTHING, he felt so monumentally stupid! How could he be such a monster not to notice that he was hurting?
And then the law was abolished and he saw an escape, and he didn’t even stop him. But why would he? Hasn’t he suffered enough time with him?
He finally decided that he would just waste the day away, in bed probably drunk; just this day, he promised himself. He heard a pop and suddenly an elf was before him
“Master Sirius, headmaster Dumbledore be asking if you be teaching all your classes today? So it seems that you already missed one of them?” the elf asked.
Sirius sighed and thought of an excuse; “Please tell the Headmaster that I wouldn’t be showing up today, I’m just not feeling well…is all.” He easily lied and the elf who believed him apparated away with a soft pop.
He didn't want to do anything today, honestly he just wanted to be left alone, just for today; he wanted to hurt he deserved it.
"So?" Harry, Remus, Hermione, Minerva and Dumbledore asked, waiting for the elf to respond; "Masters, and Mistress, Master Sirius be saying that he be not going to teach today, he said that his head be aching…” The three of them was a little concerned, Harry noticed that ever since the divorce Padfoot had been...different. He and Snape might not be always seeing each other eye to eye, but in the end they had learned to live with each other especially since and if they were to be colleagues. After the war the three went back to Hogwarts, graduated and taught subjects too along with Remus and Sirius. Remus was the Ancient Runes professor after Vector retired, Harry taught DADA, Hermione took on Muggle Studies, and Sirius was the new History of Magic teacher, apparently Binns had enough teaching after one…well almost two lifetimes.
Severus furrowed his brows in concern and confusion when he noticed a certain someone being absent during late after lunch staff meeting and breakfast. He turned to Harry and asked “Potter, I see that your Godmutt isn’t here, any particular reason that he isn’t here for the meeting or is he just slacking like he always does?” Harry noted a hint of concern in his voice though he tried to mask it, and without malice Harry answered “ I haven’t seen him today, he just said he wasn’t coming in today…” he turned his head slightly and without a second beat asked "did he say why?" He asked trying to sound a bit less concerned. Harry just shook his head "no, he didn't..." he lied easily wanting to earn a reaction from his other Godfather (by marriage of course) Severus was more concerned now, why was Sirius not coming in today? Then just like that it hit him like a bucket of cold water, the date hit him hard; it was their anniversary. Severus was only brought back from her reverie when Dumbledore’s voice boomed; “Okay, so that conclude today’s meeting, you may all go back to your day now…”
They left the conference room and went back to their business; they still have the remainder of the day after all. Remus suddenly noticed that something was off; "Severus, are you alright?" He asked his colleague, and along the way who became a friend, concerned; Snape tried to smile even a little his eyes betrayed him, "Don’t concern yourself Wolf, I’m fine..." Remus saw all of it but chose to just let him be. *He must be thinking of him...*he thought to himself "okay..." He said with a small smile before Severus went his way, his cloak billowing.
Severus returned to his office, as the tears threatened to fall. He caught a glimpse of the drawer and pulled it open, looking at the only picture they had together, it was their wedding picture, they were both smiling, but he knew Sirius’ was fake, even though he and Sirius had been over; He never really had the power to burn their picture. Sometimes he liked looking at them, thinking about how would it be if they had been happy; then he'd end up thinking about the night where he had ended it all, was it really for the best? But these last few months, what was happening to him? Suddenly it was like he… changed. Was something wrong? Was he okay? Swallowing his pride, he flooed a certain dark haired man.
Late in the morning and Sirius was still in bed, he didn't even get bothered to dress up. He wanted to be left alone, so he instructed left his classes hanging, what’s a day to lose anyway? His students would have loved it to be honest.
Sirius heard his floo buzzing, and tried to ignore it, but after the second set of calls he decided to reach for it, his eyes grew wide as he saw the colored smoke that was flashing before his eyes. Severus. Severus was calling him, and he didn't know what to do, while his heart was pumping inside his chest he decided to dive in head first and answer the call.
"Severus?" He said trying to keep his voice intact although his heart was racing inside his chest. Little did he know, that Severus was also struggling...
"Sirius..." He said trying to figure out how to do this "w-what is it Sev, do you need anything?" He asked trying to sound casual but Severus knows that it was hard for him. "Your Godson said you're not coming in today?" He tried to sound casual too which was working for Sirius. "Uh, y-yeah... I didn’t tell anyone, but I guess they were there when the elf delivered the message to the headmaster." He said as he shifted around in front of the fireplace, wishing this was not happening (a little part of his head said no, but his heart said yes…). "Are you okay?" Severus asked and knew immediately that that was a stupid question, and mentally kicked himself for sounding a bit insensitive. There was a still silence on the other end before Sirius decided to answer, "I-I'm fine..." He said, his voice sounding strangled "I just wanted to check up on you..." Severus said quietly, and it was taking every ounce of self-control for him not to cry.
He bit his lip and tried to compose himself "I'll be fine..." He slipped out before correcting himself "I'm fine." It was her turn to be silent on the other end; "Sirius?" He asked "yes?" He said quietly "you'll be back tomorrow, right?" He asked him hopeful that he’s going to see him tomorrow. "Yeah..." He said quietly "okay..." he said "right..." he said his voice cracking but he cleared his throat, hoping that he didn't notice... "I've got to go..." he said quietly, but it was silent on the other end "Sirius? Are you there?" Sirius swallowed thickly, "okay..." He said quietly that she was barely able to hear "be back tomorrow, okay?" He added before ending the call "okay..." Sirius said much quieter, before she finally ended the floo call.
After he ended the call, Severus buried his face in his hands as he realized just how much he really missed him... While on the other end, Sirius let the tears fall down his face... how could he be so stupid?