A/N: Hello again! Possibly the last chapter of this part of my 'Severus as a narrator' series. Unless of course, you entice me to write more. Heh.
The pain is so much. My arm feels as if being chopped slowly in small pieces. My left arm. My heart is beating far too fast and my blood is boiling in my veins. My brain is so tired and I suspect that I am feeling only the highest levels of pain.
I do not care. I don't even fight it. I am too tired, and there seems nothing more left for me to do in this life. Why should I bother to put the time and energy in returning in a world I do not particularly cherish and that does not particularly like me either?
And aside that, it looks like the best moment to die, if you think about it. I am redeemed in the world, I have saved the Boy-Who-Lived, Minerva thinks highly of me -and- has confessed that openly, and finally, Harry doesn't hate me anymore. Or at least at that moment when he cried against my chest he didn't. It was a nice, fleeting moment. I don't want to wake up and see him frowning and suspicious and hateful towards me again. I don't want to see or hear him believe that it is a shame that I survived someone else. It is perfect, to leave this life with his accepting glance and half-effort of smiling at me, and leave the illusion unmarred.
But just like anything I really want, it is not allowed me the easy, effortless way. Some chump wizard is trying to save me and is frustrating me to hell and back in the process. Who asked them to interfere? If they manage to bring me back to consciousness, I will curse them all with my first conscious breath. I swear.
Even greater waves of pain assault me and I groan, trying to clench my teeth. I feel the acrid taste of blood. Oh gods. I have probably oozed blood from my mouth. I hate being seen in states like this. What the hell are they doing to me to allow for all this pain? It better not be Lupin's way of taking revenge about the wolfbane potion's taste. I'll make it ten times fouler when I am able.
Sound reaches my mind. I can hear what is going on although I am pretty sure I am typically still unconscious. I have no control over my faculties and I cannot open my eyes. But I can somehow hear. I can hear myself groaning. I didn't groan like that even when I was under crucio. What IS the matter with me?
Then I hear voices and decide to take a bit of my time to listen in. I am in the perfect state to eavesdrop.
"I cannot give you any promices, Headmistress. This is ancient Dark Magic we are dealing with, it will not fade away just because You-Know-Who is dead."
"Can't you just call him Voldemort, even post-humusly, for crying out loud?"
I stop trying to decide if 'post-humously' is a valid word when I realise it is an -angry- Remus Lupin that has been talking like this. Most interesting. He seems actually worried about me. Could that actually be true? That they still want me saved or, as one would put it dramatically, pried from the clutches of death even when I am no longer useful as a spy against anyone and I have lost my irreplacable qualities with the Dark Lord's downfall? I was always under the impression that they would allow me to die and not be too flabberghasted about it. I can't hear Harry. He probably is not even in the infirmary anymore. And certainly not interested in me that much. Understandable. I marvel at him for accepting me even for that fleeting moment.
Another voice attracts my attention. I believe it must be quite a few hours later than the last bit of conversation I listened in.
"So it is true. Severus Snape is deathly ill. I'll prepare an obituary."
"How can you say that? The man is a hero!"
"Poppycock. It's all conjectures. He's at best a has-been deatheater and he'll be lucky to get a neutral obituary from me. Make sure the secretary keeps it formal and not too effusive."
"As you wish, Minister Fudge."
"He doesn't look to be suffering that much. Are we done with the visit?"
I wouldn't expect anything less than that lowlife Cornelius Fudge. Not suffering much. I'd be glad to give you a bloody demonstration of how little I am suffering you little--
A stab of pain stops me from actually thinking out the obscenity I had in mind. Minister Fudge is the embodiment of what I fear people will think upon looking at me in the state I am. Fortunately I couldn't care less about Fudge personally. But what if others think that as well?
I would rather die than hear that sort of talk from anyone else. So I set my mind to start getting through with the plan. I sense my body convulsing and my left arm burns hellishly. I feel I can't breathe. That's probably because I need to cough up blood and I am resting on my back. All the better; I'll die sooner. Perhaps if I am lucky, I'll encounter Albus on the 'would enter here if you were not a bastard in life' tour in heaven before thrown in the same pit as Voldemort and Lucius.
"Blast you Severus! Don't give up, we are so close!"
Lupin again. Well, let him try. I am dying, and that's final. No bleeding heart Remus can stop me.
Or can he?
I can feel reflexively coughing up and spitting blood as I am turned to the side. There goes the 'fast-served death deal' I was cooking up for myself. The pain assaults me full blast again and I feel a cold hand clasping my burning one. Somehow the cool sensation that is so relieving to my forearm ensnares my soul and doesn't let it quit my body.
Maybe I underestimated Lupin's Defense Against the Dark Arts skills. I am thrown back into my body and I feel at least two magical flows from two separate wands cast charms on me. Minerva and Lupin, united. Peachy. I can't even die when I choose to.
As soon as they make sure I will not be pulling the same stunt again, they leave to research more spells to fight the degenerative power of the dark mark. Imbeciles. I do not need intricate spells to be rejuvenated. I need a good reason to live, and truly, I find none, as there is no obligation binding me to life anymore. But a little studying never hurt anyone-- not even accomplished professors. So let them try. At least when I am dead, they will not feel that they didn't put their all into it.
I almost do not hear the whisper, but as soon as I realise who it is, I try with every ounce of my remaining energy to focus and not miss a word.
"I know you can hear me. I doubt you'd let people talk in your presence and be oblivious."
"You did not let me die, even when I wanted to. And you drummed sense into me even when I was deaf to sensible words."
That is also quite true.
"I am going to return the favour. I have been studying. I have used your old Potions lab."
"I left it in a mess. You gotta get up to deduct points."
I feel some incling of anger and I feel my head lifted by a set of two hands. Another person feeds me a potion and makes sure I swallow.
"Don't die Professor. I didn't mean what I said. I wouldn't trade your life with anyone's. I am sorry. Please, just please don't die."
"Yes, Professor. I am sorry too. I will never call you a greasy git again."
Trust Weasley to ruin a perfectly touching moment between myself and Potter. I need to deduct points for that.
Then I hear chanting. They are repeating words over and over again. Both of them.
"Reverto Morsmordre! Reverto Morsmordre!"
The words are burned in my conscious as I feel my arm being run through with power that I hadn't felt ever since I was first initiated as a deatheater. It is agonizing and it reaches the depth of my heart and mind. I know I am writhing in the bed and soon, as the chanting grows stronger so does my writhing develop into spasms. My eyes open involuntarily, and I see over me the dark mark lingering just like any curse does when about to be broken. Two silvery lightning bolts attack it again and again until it shatters in a million little pieces and is gone forever. I look upon Harry and Ron. They look exhausted and ready to keel over, but they are looking at me worriedly. I try to rub my eyes to ease the headache. I realise I can move my left arm very little, and it is bleeding from a deep bloody hole where the dark mark used to be. I think I am going to cry with joy seeing the last attestation to my criminal past obliviated.
I try to speak. My voice is weak, barely audible.
"Potter... sit down. Weasley... you too." I stop to catch my breath and shut my eyes for a second.
"Professor.. you're awake." Potter says with disbelief and relief in the same time.
"Obviously, Potter." I try to retort but it comes out as an endearment, and even if I cannot smile, I can tell from the expressions of the two students looking at me that my eyes show how much I appreaciate what they have done to me; not so much for saving my life, no.
Just for giving me something to believe in again.
and that's it. I am not so sure about the spell. I have never done Latin. In any case, there you go. I'd appreciate to know what you think of this. I do believe that this is the last chapter of this story, or this part, anyway. If there is to be a sequel, I need to know that people will want to hear more of 'Narrator Snape', and specifically what they'd like him to narrate. Okay? Is that a deal? Good! see you soon, then!