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Round Robin: Doomed Destiny

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Severus raised a dark brow.

Potter faltered. “You’re not…passing on?”

“Passing on?” Severus sputtered. “I’m not dead yet.”

At Potter’s confused look,  Aider chuckled mischievously in his head.

“Well-“ Severus dropped his gaze as he searched his mind for words. “Nevermind that. I’m here for your memories. Specifically those tied to the Dark Lord’s defeat.”

He was well aware of Potter’s confusion as the man seemed to stare at him as if just looking at him would answer his questions. Severus rose his chin up in challenge and met Potter’s eyes head on.

“You look younger…”

He didn’t know how it was possible in spirit form but Severus could feel his ears heat up.

“Enough.” He snapped. “We’re not here to discussed who aged better.”

Potter’s smile returned and the man annoyingly did nothing to hide his amusement.

“Circumstances have allowed me to go back and rectify certain mistakes. Your memories are detrimental.”

Potter nodded sagely unphased by the mention of time travel. “I will do it on one condition.”

“Speak,” Severus said irritably.

“If you fail-“

“I will not.” Severus interrupted, folding his arms in a serious manner.

“But if you do…”

There was a look was in Potter’s eyes, a pleading look. One that bordered on desperation. The vulnerability there had him refraining from saying anything more, instead he nodded for the man to continue.

“Promise me- promise me you’ll help me in in whatever way you can.” Potter looked downward as if this took him great effort to say. “I don’t want  any version of me to suffer as I did.”

Potter’s green eyes hardened as the met his in determination.

“I need to be prepared for what’s to come.”

Severus searched those eyes briefly wondering what other burdens this man would have faced.

“Very well then.” He said quietly.

Potter stuck out his hand as if waiting for a handshake. “And the future will help you as much as the past.”

Severus sniffed derisively. “You’ll be giving me your life’s story then?”

Potter said nothing but his eyes motioned towards his outstretched hand.

Severus sighed as he begrudgingly took Potter’s hand in a firm grip.

Potter looked at him curiously. “You don’t know why I’m here?”

“Should I?”

He tried to pull away but Potter prevented it, waiting.

“This is temporary.”

Potter smiled. “Thanks.”

Power pulsed from their hands and bright white light overtook his vision.

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The Gestalt PrinceNaagaSalvyusSamSerena

Severus considered himself a great Occlumens, the best even. But never before had he had to face such force, such powerful wave of memories. They seemed to fly right at his face, like birds drawn to seeds, and he could barely hold his balance as they continued to push against him. Lights were blinding him, barely comprehensible images flashing before his eyes, snatchy sounds ringing in his ears. And yet, amidst the chaos, there was meaning. Here and there he could make out a shouted word, a heavy sob, the flash of a spell, the echo of a speech given between four tall walls.

And then, it all went quiet.

“I have to say, sir, this is a bit awkward.”

The sound was so close to his ear, Severus flinched away from it only for his head to be met by something solid.

“Auch! Why is this place moving?”

“Potter, what are you doing?”

His vision had cleared by now, and he could see that he was once again in his bedroom, that the wall was mere inches from his head, that Potter was nowhere to be seen and yet had spoken.

“Living, apparently. Which is strange, considering I was just dead a moment ago.”


But it was Aider who responded:

“You asked for it yourself, Dumbass. You had to choose a person whose memories to revive. But Harry Potter’s not born yet, so his memories will have to float around for a bit.”

“Wait–” said Potter, and this time Severus was acutely aware that the sound was coming from between his ears. “Wait, this isn't what I signed up for. I’d rather be dead than trapped in here without a body. With Snape!”

“Believe me, I, too, would rather you be dead,” replied Severus. He stood up, crossed the room twice, then sat back down. This was definitely not what he had asked for. What sort of aid was this? “What do you see, Potter?”

“I’m not sure, Professor. It looks like a long corridor with lots of locked doors.”

“Good.” Just like a memory, then.

Severus reached toward the bed stand for his wand, then placed its tip at his temple, and braced himself for the familiar sensation of extracting a memory.

But when he next glanced at his wand, a tiny human figure stood there, a silvery white colour and glowing, the edges of its form fuzzy, moving like mist, fluttering like the leaves of an Autumn tree.

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As the figure came into focus, Severus saw a silvery glow emanating before revealing an astonishing figure clad in black robes, holding a scythe and a skull with glowing red eyes. Suddenly, the figure blurred and reappeared in front of him, yelling, "Dynamic Entry!"

Severus flinched, and beside him, Potter, now an ethereal floating figure, reacted similarly.

"Oh my gosh, I've wanted to do that for so long!" exclaimed the figure. "I've been known by many names—Hades, Anubis, Thanatos, Yamaraj. You can simply call me Death," it said with a chuckle.

"What are you doing here, sir?" asked Potter with a gentle tone.

"Ah, a polite one. It's been so long since I've come across such a remarkable Master of Death," said Death with amusement.

Severus snorted inwardly, finding the idea of Potter remarkable absurd.

Suddenly, Death fixed his gaze on Severus, sending a chill down his spine. "Harry Potter briefly possessed the three Deathly Hallows, making him a remarkable Master of Death, doesn't it?" Death said, breaking the silence.

Severus remained silent, wary of crossing literal Death itself.

Satisfied, Death continued, "Harry, your lifespan hasn't run out. Your son and his friend have corrected the Time-Turner mess, and it's time to restore you. You don't belong in Snape's mind." Then, Death turned to Severus and said, "Aider has broken the rules by using Harry, who wasn't dead. Since you can't have Harry's memories, I shall grant you a boon. You'll have all of Harry's memories related to the Horcruxes while Harry himself returns to his timeline."

Severus felt satisfied; he obtained the Horcrux-related memories without sharing his mind with that arrogant boy. But he felt he could push for more.

"What about compensation for the mistake? I asked for the whole deal, didn't I? Loathsome as Potter may have been, he could've provided more, couldn't he?" Severus asked, pushing his luck.

Death chuckled. "Bravo, we've got another brave one. Consider me intrigued, mortal. Very well, ask me what you desire. I'll try to fulfill your wish to the best of my limited power. As for Aider, consider him gone for violating the rules."

Severus smirked; he had hit two birds with one stone—no more insufferable Potter and Aider in his mind.

"Very well, I ask you to grant me the abilities of a Metamorphmagus," requested Severus.

"Done and done," said Death before taking hold of Potter's soul and vanishing with him.

Suddenly, Severus jerked awake in his bed, possessing unfamiliar memories and a newfound talent.

"Interesting," thought Severus amusedly.

"Severus, someone has come asking for you," his mother's voice called from downstairs.

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“Someone? I’m not just anyone!” The unfamiliar baritone voice snapped.

“Calm down, Cassius.” His mother’s voice sounded distorted through the close door.


Severus bolted from the bed and yanked open the door. Their voices now becoming much clearer as he made his way down the stairs to the opening of the living room. In the centre of the room a pale faced man with a regal roman nose towered over his mother. Severus could see the man’s steely grey eyes narrow as he leant down until he was nose to nose with Eileen whose blank expression seemed to further fuel his ire. He could see the familial similarities then and his mind ran rampant struggling to think of what he could have done that could’ve lead him to stray so much from the original timeline for a member of the Prince House to visit them.

“Know your place,” the man growled.

Eileen looked unimpressed, although her hand tightened reflexively into fists at her side.

Severus thought he should intervene before things escalated. His mother didn’t carry a wand anymore but he wouldn’t put it past her to throw in a punch if she were that bothered.

“Uncle Cassius,” Severus said smoothly adopting a bored tone. “I’ve heard so much about you. What brings you here today?”

The man blinked and as if suddenly aware of himself, straightening as he self-consciously adjusted the lapels of his grey cloak. Cold grey eyes turned to Severus and scanned the length of his body seemingly unimpressed by who stood there. The man assessed him as if he were judging whether he could challenge him to a duel. Severus tall stature usually discouraged others from testing him in this way, but he was no longer in a school setting, and wizards judge more than just height when it comes to a magical fight.

Severus tauntingly raised a brow at the man and could see Cassius’ nostrils flare at his insolence. Severus wasn’t intimidated at the least. He’s played this game before often enough with Bellatrix for years. He knew how to spot their kind. Those haughty purebloods with their noses stuck up in the air always looking like they’re surrounded by bad smells.


The man sneered, his long curtain of dark hair swinging to and fro as he faced Eileen. “Tell the half-blood to sign it.”

“Tell him yourself.” Eileen crossed her arms.

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"Tell me what," Severus interjected.

"Read this contract for yourself. I don't have time to explain it to you," Cassius sneered.

"Let's see what trouble you've brought us this time, Uncle," Severus said, his tone laced with venom.

As Severus read the contract, he realized it was nothing but a mockery. It stated that Severus and his descendants would relinquish their claim on the Prince's inheritance in exchange for a meager yearly stipend of 1000 gallons for 50 years. Despite the seeming fairness of the contract, Severus knew it was a pittance compared to the true value of the Prince's properties, which Cassius would surely bankrupt within a year. While Severus himself didn't care for the inheritance, he couldn't stand the thought of Cassius seizing it all, especially after the injustices he had inflicted upon their family.

"What a pittance," mocked Severus as he tore apart the parchment of the contract.

"You boy, what's the meaning of that?" Cassius looked furious for the first time.

"Why, Uncle, you didn't bother explaining it, so I didn't bother entertaining your contract," Severus replied, a wicked smile playing on his lips.

"Don't get cheeky with me, brat. You don't know what else I'm capable of. Why, ask your dearest father," Cassius yelled.

As if summoned, Tobias entered the room, grabbed Cassius by the neck, and yelled, "Stay away from my family, wizard."

Cassius smirked, snapped his fingers, and Tobias was thrown away by a strong force, knocking him unconscious. A house-elf dressed in a neat white towel appeared and bowed to Cassius.

"Filthy barbaric muggles," muttered Cassius.

Eileen rushed to Cassius's side, but Severus threw his wand at her, causing her to attend to Tobias's injuries instead. Thankfully, he didn't seem grievously hurt.

"That was stepping out of line, Cassius," Eileen said furiously.

Cassius retorted, "Sweet sister, your husband was the first to resort to violence. I was only defending myself." Then he smirked and added, "In light of current events, I'm giving you one week to agree to my terms. Otherwise, I don't know what else I can do."

"What are you going to do, Rus?" asked Eileen worriedly.

"Taking what's ours," replied Severus before apparating to Diagon Alley.

Severus knew of a condition where one could challenge the current ruling lord of the House of Prince—it required one to be a Master of a discipline.

Entering the Potions Guild, Severus approached the reception.

"How may I help you, sir?" asked the receptionist.

"I wish to take the Potion Master exam," Severus calmly stated, handing her 500 galleons.

She paled. "I caution you to reconsider, young man. It's a waste of money. The apprenticeship route is fairer and doesn't cost anything. The Potion Master exam involves defeating accomplished Potion Masters in a debate, which is nearly impossible. Please reconsider," she pleaded.

"I'm taking the exam because I'm short on time," Severus replied confidently. "And the fee is refunded upon victory. I'm very confident in my chances."

"Very well, come tomorrow. Your examiners are Arsenius Jigger, Horace Slughorn, and Fleamont Potter."

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There was some humour in the situation. Jigger, whom Severus had always admired for both his Potions and his Dark Arts research, but whom he hadn't had the privilege to meet in his previous life. Slughorn, who Severus considered to be as slimy as his namesake, but whose presence he had unfortunately had to endure for nine years. And Potter, whom he'd neither met, nor wished to meet, but whom he was absolutely determined to level to the ground.

“We’ll need some time to set everything up, so you will receive an owl with the precise time sometime in the morning.”

“Very well,” replied Severus, and with that, stepped out of the building, and disapparated.

Tobias still hadn't woken up much to Eileen's distress. Severus couldn't find it in himself to care. He wasn't sure if he'd ever be able to forgive the man, even with what he knew now. In any case, it would certainly need more time for him to accept that all those years of torment hadn't really been Tobias’ fault. Instead of sitting down by the couch to watch over his father as his mother wanted him to do, Severus went straight for the stairs, and spent the rest of the day locked inside his room, reading.

He was certain he had the Master title in the bag. He’d done it at twenty-something last time, and he'd only gotten better since then. Not to mention he'd read the works of all three, and Merlin, did he have something to say. Still, he had never been one to underestimate his opponent, so the afternoon passed in a hurried disfiguring of the latest article Fleamont Potter had published in The Practical Potioneer.


The owl came early the following day. It contained the time of the exam and the topic of the debate, and as Severus scanned the text, he wasn't the least bit surprised to find they had tried to make him backtrack before he'd even started.

“Severus, Severus, I must say, I didn't expect to see you here so soon,” greeted Slughorn as soon as Severus entered the room. A long desk was placed on the far side, behind which stood the three examiners. There was the slightest hint of slight in the old man’s voice, but it was enough to make Severus grind his teeth. “I really hope you will do well today, my boy, but don't be discouraged if you fail."

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Severus observed the gathering crowd in the hall. His examination was set to take place in a theatre hall, as was customary for Potions debates. Talented Potioneers, apprentices of Potion Masters, and apothecaries had assembled, anticipating the chance to witness the arrogant newcomer's inevitable humiliation.

Slughorn addressed his fellow examiners, "Severus Snape may be young, but he possesses a profound understanding of Potions. He even achieved a perfect score in the Potions OWLs and NEWTs!"

Fleamont Potter, in typical Potter arrogance, scoffed, "Perfect score? That means nothing! The OWLs and NEWTs only assess a student's understanding of basic ingredients and brewing techniques. Scoring full marks merely indicates a solid foundation. But to engage in a Potions Debate based on that? Inviting all of us here for that seems rather reckless, Mr. Snape."

"Potion Making goes beyond mere understanding and diligence," Potter continued. "It requires an intuitive grasp of the art. If Snape believes he can become a Potions Master based solely on textbook knowledge, he's sorely mistaken."

The crowd joined in, expressing their contempt and disdain.

Clearing his throat, Severus interrupted the commotion, "Guild Master Belby didn't invite you all here to discuss age. I may be young, but I'm more than capable of matching any of you in Potion brewing!"

"Match us? You're not even an apprentice, yet you dare to be so arrogant?" sneered Potter.

"Youngsters should show humility. Without proper experience, you're overreaching by participating in a Potions Debate," remarked Jigger.

Severus thought to himself, "Arrogance runs deep in the Potter family. Like father, like son."

"Enough!" Guild Master Belby intervened, sensing the escalating tension. "There's no use in further discussion. Let our capabilities speak for themselves. After all, skill knows no age. We're here for a Potion Debate, so let's proceed."

"I'll outline the rules," Belby continued. "The Potion Debate isn't a traditional debate. Instead, the three Potion Masters will pose questions for the examinee to answer. If the examinee is unable to answer correctly, they fail. If both parties are unsure, a test will be conducted to verify the answer. The winner will be determined by the quality of the Potions produced based on their theories."

The scent of tension hung heavy in the air as the examination was set to begin.

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Severus’ confidence waned as the examiners turned to fully face him.

He was self-assured in his skills. Moreso now than in his first assessment in the his past life. How could he not when he had decades of their research and inventions. The uncertainty stemmed from what he didn’t know.

Masters often squirreled away key information that lead to their discoveries. They provided the world with their answers but never released their formulas to the public. Without the formulas how could one challenge it? Only true Masters could ascertain the products of another’s craft and tweak it for they truly understood the foundations of their trade.

Scanning the faces of his examiners, their expressions of lofty disdain spoke volumes on how much they underestimated him.

He could use that to his advantage maybe twice at most but depending on their mood, the final question could stem from their unique formulas.

Give him a potion and he could reverse engineer it by the end of the week and give an improvised one in turn but even he would have difficulty procuring a formula without the product. Important details were required to even start. He would need to know the ingredients and how they would interact. There was also the delicate balance of the quantity of the ingredients and the way they were processed that needed to be taken into account.

Although he was pained to admit it, that last question filled him with dread. That slither of doubt on whether he could truly pass became a gaping hole. Severus struggled to strengthen his occlumency and lock his emotions away within a chest in the deepest recesses of his mind. He let out a long calming breath, quieting the banging of his heart in an instance.

He stood before them, straightening his back and tilting his head to meet their gaze, his eyes penetrating.

Immediately, Fleamont Potter shuffled in place and Severus gave him a cold, calculating stare as he watched him fumble with a stack of papers in front of him.

Slughorn cleared his throat drawing Severus’ attention. “I suppose, I’ll begin. St Mungos has presented a case of a patient who has travelled abroad. The patient is a Herbologist and while gathering had been poisoned by a newly discovered plant. What would be the base of your antidote?”

“Essence of rue,” said Severus without pause.

Slughorn’s eyes glittered as if he found a new shiny prize.

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Slughorn seemed impressed, nodding approvingly as Severus confidently answered his question. "Well done, Severus," he praised.

Then it was Jigger's turn. With a serious expression, he asked, "If you couldn't use Asphodel in the Draught of Living Death, what would you substitute it with?"

Severus paused for a moment, recalling his extensive studies. "Valerian root and powdered unicorn horn could work," he replied confidently, his voice steady despite the tension in the room.

Jigger nodded, showing his satisfaction with Severus' answer. But then, Potter, with his signature skepticism, posed his question. There was a challenging glint in his eyes as he leaned forward, a smirk playing on his lips.

"Explain how to brew the Elixir of Life, including all the steps and conditions," Potter demanded, his tone dripping with skepticism.

Severus felt a surge of nervousness wash over him. The Elixir of Life was no ordinary potion; it was complex and highly elusive. But he steadied himself, drawing on his vast knowledge and experience. His mind raced as he recalled every detail he had learned.

"You start with phoenix tears, moonstone powder, and dew," Severus began, his voice calm and measured. "Then you add dragon scales and unicorn hair while stirring counterclockwise. Finally, you let it cool under a waxing crescent moon."

As Severus spoke, Potter's smirk faltered, replaced by a look of disbelief. The others in the room listened intently, surprised by Severus' detailed explanation. The atmosphere grew tense as Severus finished speaking, the weight of the moment hanging in the air.

Finally, Slughorn broke the silence, clapping his hands in approval. "Impressive, Severus! You know your stuff," he declared, a hint of pride in his voice.

Severus felt a swell of satisfaction at Slughorn's praise. Having completed the first round of the debate, Severus felt a surge of relief.

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