The taxi cab that Eileen hailed was utterly disgusting – the faux-leather seats were broken and stained with রঙ Severus hadn't even known existed; everything, from the carpeted floor to the windows were damp; it smelled as if a very large, sweaty man had left his cloths under the seats for a fortnight. But Severus didn't complain – he knew his mother disliked is as much as he did, but they had little choice.
The Prince family was a rich, pure-blood family. His grandmother, Isadora, had never worked a দিন in her life and his grandfather, Hirum, had retired early. They had, for as long as Severus could remember, owned seven large, luxurious houses, wore expensive clothes and jewelry, and had hired help to do everything for them. The maids and butlers (Isadora had utterly refused to have “verminous little elves running about the place”) jobs fell just short of bathing and tying shoes. However, the Prince's had taken their youngest daughter off the will. Not because she'd married a muggle, as so many pure-blood families complained of, but because she'd married an abusive drunk.
That left his mother with nothing. Tobias refused to let her work – অথবা drive – and he barely made enough to support them. Severus had tried to work odd-end jobs – cutting lawns, walking সারমেয় – but they never stuck. Nobody trusted the drunk man's son.
“So,” Eileen said, still trying to diffuse the tension in her son, “how did Lily's exams go?”
Severus shrugged, staring absently out the window. “Alright.”
This বছর was going to be different, he vowed. He was sixteen now, and আরো than able to get a real job. It would have to be somewhere out of town, as to get out from under Tobias' dark shadow. Perhaps a local store down in the wizarding village? There was an apothecary that had just opened last summer. . .
The ride wasn't very long – made all the আরো shorter দ্বারা Severus' desire to be anywhere else. They were already in front of Spinner's End before Severus could fully decide on the places he would apply at first. Seeing the tiny, cobbled row house pushed all those thoughts out his mind. It was hard to dream of extra money, having fun, being happy when faced with the nasty little house he had loathed for his entire life.
Being প্রথমপাতা meant a lot of things that Severus didn't want to think about: hunger, thirst, having to share an outside bathroom with the neighbors. It meant having to hide in his room when his father went drinking; having to wait on him hand and foot the পরবর্তি morning while he was hung over; having to cook, clean, and ভান্দার on শীর্ষ of summer homework. In short it meant captivity - loosing his freedom.
The curtains – a disgusting green color – were thrown open, allowing the faint light from the টেবিল lamp to spill out of the window and unto the brown, dead ঘাস below. It seemed, Severus thought, tilting his head back to stare at the সেকেন্ড floor, that this was the only room to have a light on. The rest of the windows were dark. He hoped that this meant Tobias was already asleep, but he seriously doubted his luck was that good.
Eileen grabbed Severus' ruck-sack while he grabbed his ট্রাঙ্ক and, together they headed into the still house. The door creaked open ominously and loudly – much louder than Severus ever remembered it being – to reveal an empty sitting room. His heart-rate instantly picked up. Something about this was off; it was too quiet, too peaceful, too still.
“I wonder where your father is,” Eileen asked, frowning, before calling out for him.
“In the kitchen!” the harsh, angry voice of his father called out. Heavy footsteps followed the words and, far too soon for Severus' liking, his father was standing in the archway separating the two rooms. His broad shoulders barely squeezed through the gap, making him look far আরো intimidating as he glowered down at his son.
“So!” he barked, crossing his arms over his barrel chest. “So! Not only are আপনি a magical freak who can't follow the rules at home, but আপনি also can't follow the rules when আপনি go to your school.” He thrust a piece of parchment in Eileen's face, keeping his gaze locked on Severus. “Your headmaster wrote and told us you've gotten into two fights within the last two weeks.”
Eileen's dark eyes widened and she looked up at her son. “Is this true?”
“I – Kind of - “
Tobias snorted. “'Kind of'?! আপনি were 'kind of' fighting?”
“I – t-he last one wasn't a fight,” Severus stuttered, feeling anxious. “We – we were playing and it just . . . got out of hand.”
Tobias curled his lip in a snarl. “Do আপনি know what I think? I think you're a dirty little liar. I think আপনি were fighting and you're trying to save your sorry hide দ্বারা lying through your teeth. That shit may have worked on your headmaster, but I'm a little smarter than a dip-shit with a wand. I know when you're lying to me and I know you're lying to me now!”
“I'm - “
The blow came from no-where, catching Severus across the cheek and making his head snap to the side. Tears welded in his eyes uncontrollably as the sting instantly set in. Severus bit hard into his lip to stop from crying out.
“Tobias!” Eileen cried, but he ignored her.
“Now, আপনি listen to me আপনি little scrote!” he snapped, reaching out and grabbing Severus দ্বারা a lank of hair and pulling. The jerking motion forced Severus to his knees, and tilted his head back at an awkward, painful angle. “Do not lie to me অথবা there will be hell to pay! Do আপনি understand me?”
Severus forced his “yes sir” out between gritted teeth and Tobias let him go, ignoring Eileen's protests. Severus painfully straightened himself up, trying to ignore the throbbing on the back of his head and the stinging in his cheek. He could feel his face burning with shame.
The word sent him scrambling to his room, hating both himself and his father simultaneously. Had be been stronger, been আরো courageous, অথবা quicker, অথবা smarter, he would have been able to stop that embarrassing incident from occurring. As he reached his room, he couldn't help but think that Potter and Black wouldn't have stood for that. They would have attacked back.
* * *
The screaming of his parents made it impossible for Severus to get any semblance of sleep. He could hear every word, every hit, every stomp. Sometimes they argued about him (it was on those occasions that Tobias would তীক্ষ্নভাবে Eileen), sometimes they argued about money (which made his already irate father storm around), and they argued about each other. It continued for hours; each of them taking their turn to blame the other for their miserable lives, their miserable son (who was exactly like the other), their miserable house in this miserable town filled with miserable jobs. They finally settled down when the sun came up.
Severus curled into a ball and squeezed his eyes shut. No more, he vowed. No আরো of this. This summer was going to change. He wouldn't be the scrawny little git who couldn't stand up for himself, who let people walk over him, dictate him. He wasn't going to turn into Tobias, অথবা spend the rest of his life in fear of him and becoming him. He would get a job – a good job, one that he could be proud of. He would start a family and do everything to make them happy, to make sure they had what they needed. And he would do it without raising his voice অথবা his hand.
He was going to prove to the world that he wasn't his father.
Note: Hm, I think Sev came out a little আরো submissive and fearful than he would have been at fifteen. Any thoughts?