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July 21th, 2004 - "Joie de Vivre" and kittens

 

Dear Journal,


I was not feeling too vindictive tonight. Quite the opposite actually. I am put out for some reason.  I tried to take some fresh air in Hogmeade so as to air out my overworked brain and change my mind, but to no avail.  When I came back, Albus was there. He proposed a stroll around the gardens but I did not feel up to it. "I feel I would just the more impersonate a wondering lost soul if I do", I said. Of course Holy Albus had something to oppose me.  "You know, when I feel like life is cruel, than I think about all I have compared to those at war, famished, homeless, and then it all seems like my worries melt away! You should give it a try!", he said.  

After he finally let me get back to my quarters, I decided to write my thoughts about it here. However, when I try to, it seems I get stuck right from the beginning. Why cannot I be contempt with what I have now?  I am not rotting in Azkaban, I play an important part in the Kingdom's most reputable school, I am neither famished nor seeking refuge, I am intelligent and capable. So what could be missing?  What else could I wish for that would not look so darn selfish?  I wonder...  Is it really too much asking for more?  Even after all I did as a Death-Eater?  Does that make me an ungrateful bastard? (sigh)

It is as though my heart was but a mere star wisher.  Always hoping for another shooting star to bless my sight so that I can feel reassured my dreams will come true. But then, once you find one, there always is an another dream you want to come true. So you stay there, watch the endless sky until you do see another of those silly spatial vessels on which you bestow your wish. It's a lottery of the heart, I guess. I heard a story once, of a king who lost everything because he tried to fill-in a bowl made out of a human skull. The monk holding it said it could not be filled because man always desire more and more. So that even the richest of kings cannot do anything about it.  I believe it to be very much true. Unless, you would think that a man like I would be very happy indeed!  But I am not as it is.

I'm bitter, angered, rejectful, spiteful, and solitary.  I cannot bring myself to allow my anger to abate for I lack those essential things in life. Recognition, and acceptance. Those I am poor on.  Always have been.  Never a soul to be constantly there for me, no friendship, no lover.  Albus is accepting and recognising me, which is why I can go on in life. But as for the others, I have not met anyone of Albus' strength. Someone strong enough to withhold me and accept me as I am, even with my temper.  Call me a fool, but surely I would be less spiteful with someone to take my outbursts without feeling attacked or taking me for a bastard.  But I do not really know that since it never happened.  Well, of course Albus does but his methods for some matters just grate on my nerves.  We don't share the same relationship as friends would, that's why.

Still, where was I heading?  Oh yes! Why am I discontempt?  Maybe because those at war, famished or any such horror just do not have time to contemplate and complain on their lives. I do however. Such thoughts did not plague me as much while the Dark Lord was still among us. I had plenty to do elsewhere. But now, I am again faced with nothing but my head.  How convenient!  At least I accept to "converse" with myself, that's a beginning! Of course, some people will never ask themselves "Why am I alive? Why am I here? Where am I going? What's the point?" each and every morning of their lives. Those people, I am sure, tend to sleep soundly.  I do not.  My nights are filled with nightmares, with fear, past/present/future, it's all the same. All those tiny fears creep on me at night, attacking me while my mind is at rest.  They say we would die were we not to dream at all, we would just fall into madness. If now is not already maddening, I wonder what would not having these dreams involve!  Of course, I can see the "curative" way in which the pressure of the day escapes my mind while dreaming. However, how come I cannot stop them?  How I long for a single night of blissful sleep.  Sleep potions stopped working for me an eternity ago.  Sometimes I even wished for someone to hit me hard enough so I could totally lose consciousness. That must be indicative of how tired I am of this state I am found in but each night.  

So, as I was saying, maybe I am so ungrateful to have all of what life granted me with because I do not have to worry about anything else.  Does it mean life wants me to actually do sulk on such things?  Why have I no other hardships?  That is an hypothesis.  I know fulfillment is not part of our world. It is but an illusion. However, to be able to cope with some essential things in your life, that I believe in.  I am not asking for a lot it seems. Just one soul to whom I could rely on a little. I am tired of being the perpetual lonely bat of the dungeons. Who would not?  But I find no one whom I respect enough for that. Even though I try to move around more since the fall of the Dark Lord, so as to meet more people (alright, "meet" may be exaggerated, I observe them but I don't truly take part).  Still, I have found no one even worthy of even a minor interest.  All dunderheads, couples, friends, gangs... The list goes on and on.  Hell! You would think that within other Potions Master you could find someone to talk to, but not at all. So deceivingly conceited and idiot.  I am looking for common sense, not scientific intelligence, but it seems rare.  Even rarer, intelligence and common sense in one person. Now this is where it gets even more complicated. I will not abide for less, I would only waste my time and I would end up disgusted in not so long anyhow. Which is why I do not like to indulge too deeply in with my colleagues for example. Lupin is an exception, maybe. I will have to see in the future if he is indeed more acceptable than I first thought. If only that were true, life would already be simpler.  To have more of an equal to talk to... not like Albus who is more a father/savior than anything else to me.  

Oh! My situation is so complicated.  They say everyone is alone in the world... then why are they always going out two by two (at least)?  Why am I one of the only ones truly and utterly alone if everyone is?  I know the answer to that perfectly well: I do not abide for low standards, or even medium ones. My standards are high and I keep them as such. I make some exceptions of course, but overall, that is the reason why others have friends and I do not. It's a choice, a semi-conscious one at times, then a fully conscious at others.  It truly is hard for me to understand why in the world nobody else seems to get my way of seeing the world, my interests.

I am an intellectual, with common sense I believe, I like to learn... but on the other hand, my sarcasm and bluntness are often interpreted wrongly. I cannot help it, I have to argue and prove my points and be honest. True, I am prejudiced towards lots of category of people which does not help myself. But all in all, I am usually right about a person's true nature.  For example, I see a beautiful sexily-dressed attractive bimbo in an office, I know she is an air-head who was hired for her good looks. We are in an office for heavens' sake!  Who but an air-head wear such an attire if not to impress the men and get what she wants?!  Some people will say she' s bright to take advantage of that, but there is nothing more despicable than worming your way through public prostitution. We all know what happened to a certain rat!  But what am I told for stating the obvious after I heard that woman's silly answers to my questions?  "Oh, she cannot be that bad. Maybe she is starting out in the business. She is not dressed like that to seduce, she has the right to dress like she prefers..."  Right!  A mini-skirt is hardly what I would call comfortable working clothes, but people do not want to see what is strikingly obvious. No!!  Let's not upset ourselves and try to pass it as freedom of expression. Of course! And one day, you wake up and you realise your office is invaded by air-heads!  Great!  And that is only one example!  

Maybe I should start a club. Common Sense Society.  Maybe it even already exists!  I should investigate.

So, how is my "mal de vivre" doing now?  Not much better I'm afraid. Still want to curl up on my bed and never wake up.  Not a good sign that it has passed.  And I still think I could use some more action around me to keep my mind busy. That's the problem with summer vacation!  I try to do what I like best, but I still end up bored at night. Empty feeling as though all I do is useless. What would Albus say to that!  "Severus, my boy, you should get out and meet more people to find new interests and share them". Right! That is what he would say for sure. I may not be as old as he, but he remains predictable in his speech about this particular point of my social life, or rather, inexistent social life. I'm too serious for a social life like people understand it. So what is left for me now?  A glass of brandy, my books and my "new" cat.

Indeed, I'm afraid I forgot to mention it. Maybe because I did not want to acknowledge the fact, even to myself that I owned a cat now. Only gave him a name a month ago, I could not decide. He's Corvus (Raven in Latin). Nothing to do with Ravenclaw though I expect him to be intelligent, in his feline ways. You must wonder how I come into possession of it. Here it is:

I had cats when younger, but then after all that has happened, I felt like getting attached to an animal was not right. Too painful in the end when your only friend leaves you for a better world. My first stray cat was my only friend when at home. Then, I moved to Hogwarts but was refused to bring it along. My cat got lost a couple of years after... never believed that story.  Still, I mourned that furball, but promised my proud self I would not let anyone ever do that to my cat ever again. And what better way but to have none.  

That is, until two months ago, when I caught Minerva in her cat form. I made it look like I wanted to kick her out of annoyance (never saw her transform back so quickly!) and then she rattled about not believing I could be so indifferent and cruel to animals, too. I let her ramble for a while until I had mercy on the poor woman whom had said so many horrible things about how I was surely a demon to cats and other sickenly cute animals.  Then I told her how wrong she was, how I was so nice as not to have a cat myself out of fear he should be the butt of a prank for I could never support that. Ah!  I will not forget her astonished faced for as long as... my new cat is around I'm afraid. Thanks to my being led astray due to her rambling and allowing myself to uncover my liking for felines, she thought it would do me good to have a cat back in my life.  Great!  I tried to return it, shut it out, lose him but it always came back.  Thank Minerva for that, I'm sure she even went as far as jinxed it to do that.  I think I can say it adopted me and vice versa now.  At least, Minerva was indulgent enough to chose it black.  Had it been white or such atrocious colour, the entire staff room would not only have been snickering my way when she gave it to me, they would have been hysterically amused.  There was a suicidal staff member whom mentioned how staff-cats in Hogwarts tend to be the favourite pets of desperate people (meaning Filch). Believe me, that dunce regurgitated furballs for the whole day! (I had jinxed it for a week, but Dumbledore made me undo it. He is no fun sometimes) Of course Minerva would do so in front of enough witnesses that I could not spend a whole week without someone mentioning my cat... so I could not dispose of it. Clever woman! Many thought I would pickle him for sure. I believe they bet money on it. Well, I am not giving them the pleasure. My cat will follow me around when he is older. It did not stop me from trying to lead him astray though, but after a week of it coming back to my very door with his adorable kitten eyes, even the great fearsome Potions Master could do nothing but to give him a home. It had surely been induced a love potion or something that made him irrevocably want my "mastership".   

Minerva must still be congratulating herself for that.  Albus may be behind this as well. Hell! They both said I sounded more agreeable ever since I got it. Impertinent woman! Old meddlesome fool! I have to admit that having my cat wait on me until I come back home has appeal. I have a goal to fulfill, "someone" to go back to at night or after meals. And waking me up to the purring and licking of my nose of that little furball may sound horrifying to some (surely most of my students would see their ears fall off from hearing this), but I guess that is one of life's irony I'll have to live with: I like it. Even more ironical yet, the little furball loves me, that much is obvious. Why would it while 99% of the planet hates me?  Cats are stupid some will say, but no. Dogs are stupid, yes. Emotionally speaking I mean. Dogs, however you treat them will love you still by the end of the day. Asking for more kicks almost. As for cats, they will treat you like you do them: ignore it, it will ignore you in return; kick it, it will become as independent as can be; respect it and you have found yourself an ally.  Which is why this cat will be well trained, not only to prove them wrong about me entertaining thoughts of pickling it, but also because I want to prove I can very well take care of an animal and breed him to become an intelligent cat. He could even help me in my night patrols like Mrs Norris.  (evil smirk) Oh yes!  Catching more Gryffindors out of bed would be too sweet a revenge on Minerva.  

Well of course, looking at it now, licking himself and making little kitten sounds whenever he sees me, he does not look so fearsome, but he will grow into that character I am sure. And then, we will see who will laugh!  He's asleep now... I should do as much. I do not have engagements tomorrow, but I am getting sleepy.  Let it therefore be, a small reward for my nightmares!  Good night,

Severus