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Other Evils In This World

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Pain & Humiliation

When he found her, she was a sight that suddenly made his breath catch for a moment. He paused in his steps, not standing near the entrance, but catching her movement outside one of the many windows of the school.

She was a slight black shadow upon a perfectly white snow capped world, save for where she'd stepped out into the outside grounds.

He looked at her face as she let the snow fall upon her pale skin, touching her cheeks, kissing her shoulders. He wondered how her skin felt for a moment, but quickly dismissed the idea as absurd. He looked as she opened her eyes and actually smiled. But there was something wrong with it.

Even from where he stood, he could see it was not a real smile, at least, not a happy one. Her eyes didn't mimic the feeling behind that mechanical muscle tug of her lips, pulling the corners up. Her eyes simply remained vacant and distant, devoid of true emotion like he knew her gaze to be.

And then she crumpled to the ground. He watched her for a moment as she seemed to fold in on herself for a moment and figured now was the best time to leave her be and do whatever it was thirteen year old girls in black dresses did in the snow on their own.

He turned to go back to the dance hall, having merely wanted to check and see that she was alright after seeing her leave the ball so early, even though she had stated in Potions that she wouldn't be attending at all. Apparently she changed her mind.

It was then that he heard her whimper in a strangled way.

.

.

.

It was happening again. Lilia breathed shakily, her body trembling helplessly as the snow fell around her silently. She then gasped and let out a pained cry, clutching her stomach. That horrifying pain was back. She never knew when it would creep up on her, but there it was… and here she was, without help again.

She collapsed into the snow, trembling and panting shakily, her eyes welling up at the nauseating pain filling her body. She lay in the cold, not really caring about the fact that she was freezing; caring more about wanting to stop the pain inside.

She shut her eyes and helplessly let out a scream of pain, clenching her teeth as she kicked futilely at the snow which obviously did no good.

She heard someone coming after a minute or two, she didn't really know how long it had been. She opened her eyes which were blurry with tears, her left hand clawing into the snow towards whoever was approaching.

"Please, please help…" she whimpered, her sides feeling like they truly might split at any moment.

She felt the cold suddenly recede, noticing she was held in someone's arms, being lifted off the ground.

She whimpered again, her fingers clutching at the stranger's shirtfront, closing her eyes, ready to begin sobbing helplessly at the overwhelming pain racking her body. She then gasped and pushed them away suddenly, turned her head away and retched onto the ground a few times, her body shaking in shock, pain and fatigue. She then began to cry, feeling horribly ill and weak and in pain.

She was unaware how long it took, but she then felt her bed under her, curling up under the warm thick covers, sobs of pain escaping her against her will.

Why now? Why did it have to happen when she was so unprepared?

It felt like forever until she felt someone close by and then the touch of a cold glass against her lips. She opened her eyes and whimpered at the light, her head exploding in pain suddenly, already covered in cold sweat no doubt.

"Drink it," someone ordered near her.

Without arguing, she obeyed and drank the warm liquid inside the glass. She regretted it the moment she swallowed. It felt like fire in her belly and it tasted horrible. She tried to open her eyes and found the world to spin when she moved her head against her pillow.

And then she felt something under her slip away and everything went black.

.

.

.

She heard movement somewhere close by. Lilia opened her eyes, seeing it was morning and squinted. Instinctively, she burrowed under the covers away from the light and shut her eyes tightly, sighing softly. And then someone cleared their throat.

She opened her eyes under the blankets and pulled them down, looking around and then looked to the other side of her bed and her eyes widened seeing Professor Snape seated there. "You! What are you doing here?" she asked him suddenly. And then she narrowed her eyes at him, something dawning upon her. "You found me last night didn't you..?" she asked.

Snape looked at her coolly and raised a brow. "Is that not to your satisfaction, Miss. Gunner? I was under the impression you required assistance…" he replied calmly.

She glared suddenly. "You drugged me…" she snarled quickly. "Why?" she exclaimed.

Snape looked at her calmly, seeing the ferocity in her gaze at the thought of being left helpless in another man's mercy. Something told him it wasn't just a reaction to it being him, either.

"I assisted you, Miss. Gunner. Don't think so highly of yourself that I would do something to you while you were under the influence of my potion" he replied, meeting her dead in the eyes.

She looked at him angrily and breathed through clenched teeth. "Regardless, I don't see how drugging me helps in any way, Snape," she hissed.

Snape crossed his arms as he moved to stand at the foot of her bed. "If you took a moment to pay attention, Miss. Gunner," he said, emphasizing the words 'pay attention', "You wouldn't have failed to notice the pain you were inflicted with is no more."

She looked up at him from under her haphazardly pinned bangs, no doubt having come undone partially while she slept, and then noticed he was right. The pain was gone. She swallowed and touched her sides out of habit, rubbing them softly through the blackish blue corset top of her dress which was in fact still on and not undone or anything. "What did you do?" she asked him cautiously, pulling the covers up over herself more and then looked around. "And where are the other girls?" she asked.

Snape re crossed his arms and sighed in exasperation. "I provided you with a potion of sorts which would numb part of the pain, enough for the sleeping effect to take place so you could sleep through the rest of the pain without having to experience the brunt of it. As for your friends… they saw that you were receiving assistance from me, and after asking if you were alright they left to give you the room so you could recover to full health without distraction," he said calmly.

She rolled her eyes. "I don't need an empty dorm room in order to sleep," she scowled, moving to stand from the bed and then gasped, quickly sitting back down, her face burning in embarrassment.

"I see…" Snape said, having noticed the red stain upon the bed sheets.

She glared furiously at him. "Get out!" she shouted.

He smirked faintly at her. "Why so hostile, Miss. Gunner. it's normal for a girl to go through such… events every now and then," he said, knowing it made her uncomfortable. For some reason even though he hated the idea of embarrassing her, he couldn't bring himself to treat her any differently than any other student. Why should he? She was nothing to him after all. "I'm assuming this is the so called illness of which you speak when you are required to take a leave of absence from class?" he asked her bluntly.

She glared up at him and swallowed, her eyes welling up in humiliation. "It isn't exactly something I advertise, Professor," she spat venomously.

He raised a brow. "Then why not seek aid from the infirmary?"

"In case you haven't noticed, I cannot even bring myself to get up when in pain. What makes you think I can get up simply and walk to the infirmary to get help when I am here on my own?"

"Why not ask another student to get help?"

"I don't want help!" she suddenly screamed.

Snape looked at her silently, raising a brow. "You do not want help when you are in so much pain you cannot move from your bed and you are retching onto the floor..?" he asked sceptically.

She trembled softly and her eyes welled up while she glared furiously at her feet on the floor.

"Is it a reason relating to why you always look so vacant and empty?" he suddenly asked her.

She looked up and met his eyes. "What?" she whispered.

He looked at her quietly. "Your eyes. You look like you've been ripped open and everything good and trusting and caring inside you has been ripped clean out of your body," he said. "You think by refusing help and pushing everyone away it will make all those problems go away, don't you?" he sneered. "You're only a meagre girl of thirteen, Miss. Gunner," he said to her, amazed at how cruel he could be to someone who looked so vulnerable to him. Someone whom looked so easy to take advantage of right there, her eyes brimming with tears, embarrassment written on her face, a pain hidden and locked away in the darkest part of her heart. "You aren't the only one here who has problems," he murmured, leaning closer to her and looked her in the eye. "Your problems… are nothing to me. If you want to be selfish and refuse my help or anyone else's then so be it… perhaps you deserve to suffer," he said. "After all… a brat will never learn her proper place in the world without a little bit of punishment," he finally said in a cruel tone, turning to the doorway. "Clean yourself up, Miss. Gunner. It's disgusting the state you let yourself get into last night," he said.

Lilia watched him go, every single one of his words ripping deep into her when no one else's words could inflict her. She felt her eyes brim with tears, her eyes wide with shock at her professor's cruel harsh words. He couldn't possibly understand the hell she had been through, that would cause her to hide herself away and push everyone away. Why she hated everyone she met… everyone except him.

"There are other forms of evil in this world, Severus… forms you can't even see… forms no one's darkest nightmare can conjure…" she whispered, her eyes darkening as she lowered her head, taking a deep breath.
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