Title: Don't Let Go 1/1
Author: Amireal
Rating: R for graphic descriptions of icky stuff.
Summary: Sometimes life takes a horrible detour and all you can do is hold on.
Disclaimer: Not mine. They're pretty though, so I'm gonna play with them.

Author's notes: Not Pledges. But this thing attacked me and wouldn't let go. 'Sides, I have a side
bet with someone that y'all will have a heart attack if I send something out finished. *evil grin*

Don't Let Go 1/1

Severus watched Harry leave the Great Hall. The great Professor Potter swept out of the hall with
almost as much flare as he had been known to do on occasion. He was undoubtedly heading back
to his rooms to avoid any work he might have in favor of savoring the weekend, if his habits from
school days still had any hold on him. Considering that it had only been 3 years since graduation
and 2 since he had come to teach at his alma mater, it wasn't much of a stretch.

He returned his concentration to his food, contemplating what the upcoming weekend meant to
himself. A brief respite from the grinding work week. A chance to relax and maybe enjoy himself.
He was staring intently at his place, not paying attention to his surroundings. As a consequence,
he nearly didn't hear the scream.

He knew that voice. Knew what it sounded like in all of its incarnations. In pain, in joy, in solace,
in consternation and even that rasping, pain filled shriek. His head shot up instantly. He looked to
his left, Dumbledore had heard it as well.

It happened again and this time it galvanized him into action. He was out of his seat and running
across the great hall before he could even think about what he was doing.

He opened the door and hit foot caught on something and he slid. Across the main hallway and
into the other wall.

He was coated in whatever it was, thick and gooey and- oh god. Red everywhere. It coated the
floor, the walls and a bit of the ceiling. A coppery smell invaded his nose. His stomach rolled and
he had to hold his breakfast down.

"Severus?!" Albus' worried voice reached him.

"Close the doors!" He yelled. "Don't let the children see!"

He felt sick to his stomach.

There was a loud click signaling the closing of the doors.

"Severus, where is Harry?" Albus asked.

"I..." he hiccuped, "I think... I'm wearing him." a large swell of laughter welled up in him, a
sickened, unrestrained bit of emotion he was unable to hold back. He couldn't handle this.

The human mind, once tortured and bent enough, turns off. It doesn't acknowledge what it sees
right in front of it. To Severus, that meant he was looking at a sea of red, with small lumps
scattered here and there, but he couldn't understand what he was seeing, couldn't comprehend its

"My god..." Was all Dumbledore could say.

Minerva had been put in charge of removing the children from the Great Hall through another
means. Albus and Severus set about the grim task of collecting what was left of Harry Potter. In
the end, they had one jar, the size of an owl before they gave up and cleaned the floor of the

Severus stumbled into his room and then the bathroom with enough time lose his breakfast in the
toilet. He clutched the cool porcelain in an effort to calm his heated skin. His stomach continued
to heave long after it had been emptied.

After a while he was able to tear the soiled clothing he was wearing from his body and crawl into
a scalding shower. He scrubbed his skin raw not really feeling clean no matter how hard he tried.
Eventually he gave up and got out.

Putting on a clean pair of sleep pants he slid into the bed, downed a dreamless sleep potion and
closed his eyes against the world.

The day of the funeral, the sun did not shine. It was grey and miserable. The crowd held an
oppressive silence that seemed to thicken the air with unshed tears and unsaid words. Platitudes
were spoken and funny stories choked out and then the too small urn was put into the earth and

Severus stood in the back of the auditorium full of people, not moving, not saying anything. He
was a part of the silence, background element. He couldn't bear being closer. Didn't want to
watch, couldn't watch.

Black accosted him afterwards. "Don't you care at all!" He snarled.

"How I do and do not feel, Black, is absolutely none of your business." He answered in an
emotionless voice and continued on in the direction he was walking.

"I don't understand why you're even here." The annoying mutt continued. "Standing in the back
like some godamned perverted image of death!"

He stopped and turned slowly, "You don't know me. Do not presume to judge me by your own
standards. How I grieve is my own and you can't make me cry out in public or make a spectacle
of myself. That is not me. Now may I go in peace?"

Black looked at him, ready to argue, but only said, "You've been named in the will. The reading is
tomorrow at 2pm. In the Headmaster's Office."

He nodded sharply and then turned away to retreat to his rooms.

Everyone who was at the reading was not a surprise. Except him. He got large tear filled looks of
shock as he walked in and took a lonely seat in the back.

An official of the ministry appeared. Only 5 minutes late. He opened up a sealed set of papers and
began to read.

Each person was named and given an envelope. Occasionally a small trinket was mentioned as
well, he didn't pay much attention, instead willing it to go as quickly as possible.

"And finally to Severus Snape..."

He sat up a bit straighter.

" I leave this letter," the official held up another piece of parchment, "and everything that has not
been mentioned. That includes my Gringotts vault and the land at Godrics Hollow. I know you do
something with them that is highly appropriate.

There was shocked silence. He was leading the pack. Slowly he got up, retrieved the letter, the
key and the deed and then left.

Black caught him on the stairs to the dungeon. An arm landed on him and whirled him about.

"What in the hell was that all about!?"

"Even if I knew, I would not tell you."

"I don't like it. Why would he do that."

"I would not presume to understand Mr. Potters last wishes. For they were his and he did not
chose to share them with me. Now if you would let me pass, there is a letter I must read and I
would like some privacy to do so." He turned to leave.

"SNAPE!" Black called after him.

He whirled. "Do not get angry at me for something I had no part in!" He whirled again and was

In his rooms he poured himself some brandy and opened the letter.

Dear Severus,

Around my sixth year I realized that there was a very good chance I would not live
to reach my seventh. I began to write letters to the people who mattered most. To
make sure that I did eventually get to say what needed to be said. This is being
written at a time when its still a secret and I can't imagine what you are going

No one knows, and I'd imagine not even Albus is sure. I don't want you to go
through this alone. You shouldn't have to, but I know that you won't tell anyone.
Don't worry, I haven't broken that confidence for you. I hope that you can find
someone to help you though. I love you too much to imagine you suffering like

So what is the purpose of this letter? It is to tell you, that right now, as I write this,
I want nothing more than to spend the rest of my life with you, damn the
consequences, damn the reactions.

By now you know that I've left just about everything I own to you. As I said in the
will, I know that you will find something appropriate to do with it. I said that in
the will on the off chance that you might put off reading this for any number of
days or weeks.

I love you. Don't let go.


He nearly crumpled up the parchment and threw it in the fire. Harry had been right, he almost had
thrown the letter on his desk and forgotten about it.

Something appropriate. Harry had been right. He knew exactly what to do with the small fortune
that had been left to him.

A fresh sheet of parchment, a new quill and 15 minutes later, a letter had been drafted to
Gringotts that would begin turning Harry's vault into a scholarship fund for Hogwarts.

All that was left was Harry's personal belongings.

He sat and stared at the fire. Who had he been kidding? This was happening. This was real. Harry
was dead and there was nothing he could do about it.

No one knew. No one had any idea that his life had been torn down and rewritten in a the few
seconds it took to slide from one side of the hall to another.

Going through Harry's room had been painful. It was like walking into a half formed thought.
Books with bookmarks, papers half graded and clothing flung onto a small chair in the bedroom.

He started at the night stand. It was a few moments before he realized that something felt wrong,
looked wrong. He was staring at the space where Harry would have put his wand if he was
getting read y for bed.

His wand. That was it. It wasn't there, it hadn't been anywhere. An object that powerful and there
had been nothing. You can't destroy and object that powerful and have - nothing.

No explosion. No ripples. Nothing.

Not possible unless it hadn't been there in the first place.

But he knew, had seen Harry take it with him in the morning.

It wasn't possible... Unless... It hadn't been there in the first place.

He searched the room frantically until, finally he found what he was looking for, a hairbrush.
Then, running through the corridors he made it back to his rooms and into the bathroom. He had
never disposed of his ruined clothing, just flung them behind the door and ignored them.
Collecting them he went into his work room.

The potion was simple. A version was used in St. Mungo's all the time to identify parents. The
ministry used another version to collect evidence. After all, that's what he was doing, collecting
evidence and then comparing the samples.

It would have been easy, if his hands hadn't been shaking. It took two tries.

Finally he had two beakers of clear solution. He added a hair to one and some scrapings from his
clothing to another. They both turned royal blue. He then poured both beakers into a third. A few
seconds passed and the color did not clear. It wasn't a match. At all.

He dug beneath his robes, ripping open a few buttons in the process, until he reached the chain.
On it was a small charm, with a very powerful location charm. It had been a safety precaution
during the war, a habit that had never worn off.

Holding the charm over a blank piece of paper he murmured the charm and slowly a map came
into view.


He grabbed his broom and ran. Riding to the edge of the apparation wards and apparated.

He landed in front of the building. "Alohomora!" and he was inside.

It was an apartment building, the charm pulled him up the stairs and down a dark corridor to plain
door. Again. "Alohomora!" And he was in.

Harry was laying on flat slab of stone, a hunched figure was standing over him, drawing symbols
over his bare chest.

At Severus' entrance the figure turned and stared in shock.

"Petrificus Totalis!" He spat. And the cloaked figured fell to the floor. Only then did he notice
that the figure was dressed in death eater robes.

Not caring, Severus found a clean blanket wrapped it around Harry picked him up and apparated
to the edge of Hogwarts.

The young man in his arms was fading in and out of consciousness, he encouraged Harry to wrap
his arms around him and he stepped onto the broom and flew directly to the main gate.

He was greeted by Albus who looked as stunned as he felt when he got a good look at his burden.
Without saying a word he flew inside and directly to the infirmary.

"Severus!" A shocked Poppy called, she raised her arm in reproach when noticed he was carrying
someone. "What happened."

"I didn't let go." He answered and carefully deposited the bundle on the nearest bed. "Its Harry,
don't ask questions, just do you job." He ordered. He stuck around long enough to make sure
that she was doing as he ordered and fled to the dungeons.

Albus came to his room for explanations. He gave them and bade the old man to leave so he could
get some sleep. Before leaving Albus turned to him and said, "Poppy said he was fine, just
drugged into a stupor. I shall call the Ministry to collect what you left and we will see if we can
sort this out."

He gave a sharp nod.

"Severus." Albus called to him.


"It is not good to bottle things up."

"I am not bottling things up, I am waiting for you to leave, so that I may have my peace."

Albus left him.

He crept up to the infirmary in the middle of the night.

Harry was asleep, he sat down next to the bed. "You are the most annoying, insufferably brat I
know." He whispered. "You couldn't leave it could you. I thought it was done, but Albus tells me
you were once again part of another plot to raise dark lord." he took a deep breath. "None of this
going first ever again. Try it once more and I will be very mad." He gently lifted Harry's hair from
his forehead and traced the familiar scar. "My terms, Mr. Potter, or none at all." He echoed a
sentiment from early on in the war. One that had later become a joke between them. He was
deadly serious this time.

He crept out just before sunrise.

Albus informed him that the perpetrator had been arrested and that it seemed to be a lone plot.
Which he highly doubted. But it would remain as that assumption until the next 'lone plot' when
he would once again try to convince them that it was not.

Albus collected him sometime in the afternoon, only saying, "He's awake." Not letting him refuse
the summons.

There was a crowd around the bed. It was remarkably similar to the one from the reading of the

He stood in the back, waiting for Albus to let him leave.

"Harry! Oh its so good to see you." Black was, of course, insinuated in the front, hugging Harry
for dear life.

"Its good to see you to Sirius."

The voice. The last time he had heard it was that scream coming from the main hall.

"Is Severus here?" That voice continued.

"Yes." Black's voice sounded unsure and a little annoyed. "Albus got him, but come on, there are
plenty others here who want to talk to you. Which reminds me, we're going to talk about your
Will young man."

"My will is my business Sirius." Harry told him with confidence, "Severus?" He called.

The sea of people parted for him and he stepped forward. There he was, sitting in a bed, hair
more mussed than normal, looking pale and frightened, and entirely in control.

"There you are. I here you're the one who found me." There was a collective gasp from their
audience, apparently all the details weren't out yet.

He nodded.

"Couldn't live without me huh?" There was a look in those green eyes. Harry wanted to just let it
all out. To come clean.

For once, he couldn't think of a single reason to fight it. He shrugged, "I've gotten used to you."
he answered.

"Sev, you were always one for the understatement, so did you read my letter or file it away to
forget about?"

A swallowed a lump in his throat and answered, "Yes, I read it."


"Forever is agreeable."

Harry's smile could have lit up the entire room, "Does this mean I have to buy you a ring now?"

"Harry!" Black barked.

"Shut up Sirius." Harry said, not taking his eyes of him.

"Well, its only fair. You *were* the one who proposed." Severus was having a hard time keeping
small smirk off his face.

Another gasp went through the crowd. "Get down here you big oaf. I can't kiss you while you're

He rolled his eyes and let out an annoyed sigh, "If you insist." He knelt down and slid his hands
up to cup Harry's cheek.

"Harry!" Black barked again.

"Shut up, Sirius." They said together.

Harry leaned forward and touched his lips. They shared a soft, sweet kiss, afraid to go much
further. When it ended Harry looked at him and said, "You didn't let go."

All he could answer was, "I almost did, just because it would have annoyed you."

Harry laughed. "That's my Sev."