The Healing of Enemies

Chapter 1: Discovery

Rating: R eventually, but the early chapters aren't much above PG for violence

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or anything from that universe. I'm just borrowing.

            The greatest battle of all time had ended with the pitch smoldering. It came to a showdown between Voldemort and Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived. Voldemort knew that he was going to lose. If he killed Potter, then there were hundreds of witches and wizards, student or of age, that would attack him at once. He could not fight all of them at the same time, so he did the best possible thing. As Potter used all of his energy to send the world's most powerful killing curse at him, Voldemort put all of his dark power into one spell, a huge fireball fueled by pure Dark Magic. Many had been killed instantly; some of those on the outskirts had managed to shield themselves, but most of them had been severely burned. Voldemort had also been killed, from a combination of Potter's killing curse and his own fireball. The Aurors had found Voldemort's robes still burning after the battle. They later found his wand cracked in half; the phoenix tail feather was reduced to faintly glittering ash. He was truly dead for the magical core in a wizard's wand disintegrates once its owner is dead. But no one had seen any trace of Harry Potter.

            Severus Snape trudged across the Quidditch pitch, bracing himself against a bitter wind. Had school been in session, all the students would have just left for Christmas. But this school year had been put on hold once Minister of Magic Fudge finally acknowledged that the Voldemort's attacks were becoming more and more frequent. The entire faculty put their all into the fight. The façade that Severus had held in place for so many years had crumbled as he watched many of his friends and colleagues fall in various fights. For the first time in over 20 years, he wept openly as he uncovered the blackened body of his godson, Draco Malfoy. Draco had been fighting for the light when he died in the final battle that claimed so many. He only graduated half a year earlier. The pitch was almost empty, save for a few Aurors still searching for survivors and identifying the few remaining bodies. Severus had just turned to return to the castle when he heard a faint whisper coming from where the Hufflepuff stands once stood, in a far off corner that had supposedly already been cleared.

            "Help…anyone"

            Severus turned and started running toward the voice. When he reached the voice, he nearly fainted from shock. Underneath a large pile of wood and singed cloth, he saw a hand peeking out. It was so pale that it was almost blue. He quickly levitated all the debris out of the way and stood there for a moment in complete and udder shock. He was looking at a freezing and severely injured Harry Potter. Harry was badly burned; what wasn't burned was bluish from hypothermia. His back was also obviously broken because his shoulders and hips were twisted in completely opposite directions. Severus quickly knelt next to the boy, pulled off his cloak, and covered Harry with it.

            "Harry, can you hear me?"

            "Cold…hurts…everywhere"

            "Don't worry; I'm going to get you out of here. Just try to relax."

            "Can't move"

            "I know. Your back is broken. I'm going to have to put you in a body bind so I can move you. Alright?"

            "Yes…so tired…so cold"

            "Don't you die now, Harry Potter. Petrificus Totalus"

            Harry froze in the incredibly mangled position he was laying in and Severus levitated him to his guest chambers since they were closer than the Hospital Wing. He lowered Harry onto the bed and released him from the body bind only to find the Harry had passed out. He was breathing, but barely. Severus pointed his wand to his throat and said Sonorus. His voice boomed throughout the castle.

            "Albus, Poppy, come quickly to my guest chambers. It's an emergency."

            After a quick Vox Normalus, Severus set about doing what he could to help Harry. He conjured a bowl of water that would always stay warm and some clean cloths. Gently, Severus cleaned the dirt and dried blood from Harry's head, face, and arms. Within a few moments, the Headmaster and Head Nurse appeared in the room. Madam Pomfrey paled and Dumbledore's eyes grew wide with great shock.

            "Dear Gods, Severus, you found him. And he's alive."

            "Yes, Albus, but barely, and he won't be alive much longer unless the two of you do something."

            Severus stepped back as the two stepped into action. Over an hour passed before they moved from Harry's bedside. Dumbledore sat next to Severus on the black leather couch. Madam Pomfrey collapsed into the matching armchair. Severus looked the MediWitch in the eye.

            "How is he, Poppy? Don't sugarcoat it. I want the truth."

            "He'll live, that's for sure. I healed most of the burns, all the broken bones are repaired, and his body temperature is nearly normal, but…"

            "But what?"

            "He may be paralyzed. His spine was crushed. I mended the bones, but I don't know if there was spinal cord damage. I won't know until he wakes up."

            "Can't you repair it if there is damage? You've healed nerve damage before and the spinal cord is just another nerve."

            "Severus, the spinal cord is a very tricky nerve to heal. One minute twitch of the wand could easily kill him. We'll just have to wait and see. Will you stay here with him?"

            Severus gravely nodded, moved the armchair next to the bed, and sat down. Dumbledore and Madam Pomfrey quietly left the room and went back to tending the other patients. After a few hours of watching the boy sleep, Severus fell asleep in the armchair.

----------------------------------------------The Next Morning-----------------------------------------------

            Severus woke upon hearing a whimper coming from the bed. He opened his eyes and saw Harry struggling to sit up. Putting a hand gently on Harry's shoulder, Severus got the boy to stop moving.

            "I suggest that you remain laying down, Harry. How are you feeling?"

            Harry thought that he heard Snape's voice, and it looked like Snape touching his shoulder, but it didn't feel like Snape. Emerald eyes stared into obsidian eyes. These eyes, however, were not the cold, heartless ones Harry was used to. No, Snape's eyes had a warmth and slight glow that Harry had never seen in the Potions Master. The boy blinked once, twice before speaking.

            "My legs…they feel tingly, like they're in blocks of ice. It doesn't hurt, but I can't move them either."

            "Your back was broken quite severely when you were found. Madam Pomfrey thought that you might be paralyzed and I believe that you are indeed paralyzed, at least slightly. Can you feel this?"

            Severus moved his hand from Harry's shoulder to his knee. He gently massaged his lower leg through the blankets, looking into Harry's eyes for an answer.

            "I can feel it a little, I think, but I'm not really sure."

            Severus nodded and called through the fire to Madam Pomfrey. Moments later, she bustled in and started fussing over Harry. The Potions Master moved into the kitchen area and set about making some tea and a light breakfast. He came back out with a tray of tea and scones with butter and jam. Setting the tray on the bedside table, Severus sat in the armchair next to the bed. Madam Pomfrey looked at the two of them.

            "Now Severus, this potion needs to be rubbed into Harry's back twice daily. Seeing as he is unable of doing it himself, will you help him? It will increase the blood flow to the spine, which should help the spinal cord heal itself."

            "As long as Mr. Potter does not object, I see no reason why I would be unable to assist him."

            "It's fine by me. I just want to be well again."

            "Alright then, I'll check up on your progress in a day or so. Come get me if anything changes."

            Madam Pomfrey left a jar of iridescent blue potion on the bedside table, next to the tray and left. Severus helped Harry into a sitting position, supported by a number of pillows. They ate in relative silence, not wanting to discuss what was heavy on both their minds. Finally, Severus decided to touch on the topic.

            "Harry, if you don't mind my asking, what happened after you threw the killing curse at Voldemort?"

*fin capitulo uno*

Well, the idea for this story just sort of came to me. Let me know if you think it's worth continuing. It will eventually be HP/SS Slash, but that won't come until a little later, though I will hint at Slash as early as the next chapter. Please R&R! Whether you like the chapter or not, I'm open to constructive criticism. Gracias a todos! ~ Laura