Story Summary:
It started with a boy who wanted another boy to like him.

Chapter 01



When Severus was seventeen and Lucius Malfoy twenty-one, they killed Tobias Snape with his own gun. Lucius set the gun between his eyes, Lucius pulled the trigger, and Lucius was the one whose face was spattered with bits of blood and bone. But it was Severus who put the gun in Lucius' hand, Severus who taught him to use it. Severus who made him a killer.

Lucius was scornful in the beginning. He did not have much faith to put in Muggle things, toys made out of iron. They were younger still, then: boys of fourteen and seventeen. They took the gun into the woods that ringed Lucius Manor and practiced with it. Severus had fired it before, of course; it was his father's gun and had been his grandfather's, in the war.

But he had no special aptitude for it. In his hands it was only a piece of metal, and he missed the target as many times as he hit it. When Lucius saw what it could do--the neat, perfect holes it drilled in the wood of the target, in the branch the target leaned against--he overcame his reluctance to try it.

It was like seeing the missing ingredient put into a potion, the final syllable spoken to complete a charm, seeing Lucius's fingers close around the butt of the gun. It was magic. And Lucius raised the gun--he did not even seem to aim it. He did not need both hands to steady the weight of it, as Severus had. He raised the gun and pulled the trigger, and the bullet went where he sent it. He emptied the gun again and again, until he had used up all the ammunition Severus had brought. Every shot was true.

Later, of course, it stopped being a trick and started being a job. Later he was the Dark Lord's enforcer. But that first time he did it, he did it out of love, and he was beautiful. When Tobias Snape found out that Severus had taken the gun he beat him, but Severus hardly minded. It had been worth it, to make Lucius happy. It was not until later that he made up his mind to kill his father.

You can beat a dog or a woman forever, but a seventeen-year-old boy will turn on you. Severus was not the only boy at Hogwarts whose father was capable of it, but he was the only one whose father's life was worthless. He was the only one whose closest friend had a grudge of his own. He was the only one with a gun.

Afterwards they fucked in Tobias Snape's bed and his blood left brown smears on the white sheets. Severus had been born in that bed, and his mother had died in it, but his father died on the floor in the unlit hall. It was not so different than that first time in the leaves. They were older, but no wiser. When they were done Severus lay with his head on his father's pillow and watched Lucius wash with the cold water in the jug. He couldn't remember where the gun had gone, but it didn't matter. There was no one from either world to miss his father.