Chapter one

Harry Potter was sitting on the steps leading to the ruined doors to the ruined castle, feeling lost, like part of him was gone, he knew why but trying to come to terms with that was hard, he was forcing himself not to cry, to not break down, he would do that in private. He could feel his heart breaking, but he kept it together, he needed to keep himself together, at least for now, so he watched people. He watched everyone running about, some were looking for more injured, some were looking for the dead, some were looking for death eaters or snatchers that might be hiding, trying to find a way to escape, but with the grounds of Hogwarts covered with hundreds and hundreds of people, escaping would be difficult.

Even though Harry watched everyone, he was exhausted but still too upset and tense to sleep, but he also knew he needed some healing. The five healers inside with Madame Pomfrey were tending to the most seriously injured, making sure they were stable so they could be taken to St Mungo's and Harry's injuries weren't serious.

Harry could see Grawp following Hagrid around, helping clean up some of the large bits of rubble. Harry stared down at Hagrid's hut, it was damaged, nothing a few good spells wouldn't fix which Harry intended to do once he'd been healed and slept. Harry also knew he would have trouble sleeping because his mind was on the man that died in the shrieking shake, he didn't know how to cope with that loss, seeing the way that snake attacked Severus Snape then how he looked right before he died, it went right to Harry's soul.

'Harry, do you think we can talk?'

Harry turned his head slowly, 'Not right now, the last thing I want to do is get into a serious and uncomfortable discussion Ginny. Besides, I thought you left with your family.'

'I plan too, but I wanted to talk to you first. Now what did you mean uncomfortable discussion?'

'I know what you want, it won't happen, but now is not the time to discuss anything,' Harry turned his head to gazed at some voices that sounded upset, then Harry noticed Ernie MacMillian, Seamus Finnegan and Michael Corner carrying a person towards the castle and Harry recognised the robes. He got up and raced over, 'Is he alive?'

'Yes, we wanted to leave him, let him bleed to death.'

'No, he doesn't deserve that,' Harry took his wand out and levitated Severus out of their arms and towards the castle.

'You don't know what he did Harry,' Seamus shouted.

'I do and it's you that has no idea what's going on, how courageous he was, or anything about what he has been doing for nearly twenty years, he deserves everyone's thanks,' Harry kept moving until he got to the make shift hospital where he conjured a bed without taking his concentration off Severus, then floated him onto the bed, 'Madame Pomfrey, I need you,' Harry yelled.

'Mr. Potter, why on earth are you shouting?'

'Severus needs help, I trust you, I don't know them, please take care of him for me.'

'Sorry, we've been told to help only our side, not the others.'

'He was on our side; it was because of Severus that allowed me to kill Voldemort. So I'm telling you that he is a hero for our side, now treat him.'

'I have been forbidden to help anyone that has a dark mark.'

'Fine, I'll do it myself,' Harry growled angrily then took his wand out and started to perform some basic healing charms, he knew he needed to do more, but he didn't know more, then an idea came to him, he summoned a couple of bottles of bottle, 'Are these safe to give him?'

'I am not allowed to help Mr. Potter.'

'You aren't helping; all you are doing is answering my question which you can do.'

'Then…yes, they will help, now I must go back to my patients, if you have any other…questions for me you know where I'll be,' Poppy gave a very discrete nod which Harry returned.

Harry knew she would help if she could and wondered who had given her orders not to help others; he figured he'd find that out later. He poured the two potions into Severus mouth, cast the charm to make sure they went down without choking him then conjured a wet clothe. Harry opened Severus' robes then cleaned away all the blood from the multiple bites from the snake, then he summoned a jar of healing ointment ignoring the looks from the other healers. Harry applied the ointment, summoned some bandages and carefully wrapped every wound Severus had. He pulled a chair beside the bed and stared at the face he knew so well, a face that had two sides, the side he knew and the side others knew.

'Harry, I'm going to have to ask you to stop treating him, I'm taking him to the ministry.'

'Forget it, I'm going to make sure he's treated properly and to make sure no one takes him anywhere Kingsley. If you want to try then you'll have a fight on your hands.'

'He's being arrested for his crimes Harry, so he needs to be locked up.'

'Then arrest me, he did exactly what I've been doing, playing our parts. Severus Snape has been aiding me since the prophecy was made, but in secret. So from right now no one but me is going to touch him and you are not going to take him anywhere,' Harry moved his wand and a silver dome went around him, 'I wouldn't try my shield either, you might get hurt,' Harry turned back to Severus, conjured another warm clothe then started to wipe the dirt from his face, 'I'll keep you safe Severus, you know you can trust me.'

'Harry, you can't do this, he's a death eater, he allowed students to be tortured.'

'He kept students alive,' Harry shouted then took a couple of deep breaths, 'He kept them alive, which is more than the Carrow's wanted, but Severus ordered them not to kill. Would you prefer he let them do what they wanted, kill the students that they thought didn't deserve to live. Ask Neville if he would prefer death over some pain, that's what Severus did,' Harry saw a spell bounce off his shield and hit the caster, 'I told you not to try anything, now your auror is hurt, idiot.'

'Harry, is that true, he stopped them killing me?'

'It is Neville, by allowing you to be hurt with spells and even fists it kept you alive but also kept them from finding out the truth, that he had been Dumbledore's man since I was a baby. I was filled in on everything a long time ago, but I had to act like I didn't trust Severus, that he really killed Dumbledore when he didn't.'

'What do you mean he didn't? You told us Severus killed Albus,' Kingsley almost shouted.

'Part of the plan, Severus gave Dumbledore a quick and painless death as that is what Dumbledore asked him to do. Blimey Kingsley, I figured you were smart, you saw his hand, it was cursed, Dumbledore was dying, Severus slowed that curse to give him time to finish showing me what I needed to know,' Harry turned back to Severus, 'He is one of the bravest men I've ever met, he fooled Voldemort, fooled everyone. I am the only person alive that knows the real Severus Snape, that knows everything, the truth behind it all, behind all the plans, every scheme, every role, every secret. Severus Snape played the part of a death eater but that's all it was, a part, a role, he acted well, he taught me to play my part well. So I'm saying this for the last time, you won't be touching him and he will never be arrested, that is my promise and anyone that tries will find themselves facing power they couldn't imagine.'

'What are you babbling about Potter?'

'Hey Sev, I'm just trying to explain things. How are you feeling?'

'I'm fine; you do not need to concern yourself. Now tell me what is happening?'

'Well I killed him, exactly as you and Dumbledore planned. What we didn't plan on was him trying to kill you.'

'Blasted snake,' Severus put his hand to his throat then noticed the shield, 'What is with the shield?'

'I had to make sure they didn't come near you, I promised to protect you Sev and that's what I'm doing. The healers aren't allowed to treat you, but since I have spent a lot of time in a hospital bed I knew which potions you needed and how to tend to your wounds, part of that is thanks to you, all your training came in handy.'

'It's a wonder you remembered any of it. So did he use the killing curse?'

'Yep, exactly as you thought he would which did its job. I played my part well; he really believed I was dead. Then I hid under my cloak, stunning death eaters. Oh Sev, you should have seen his face when I pulled the cloak off. I don't think I've ever seen him look so shocked before, I almost laughed.'

'I could imagine, so you got the snake?'

'No, Neville did, once I saw the last of your instructions I didn't have time to worry about the snake and I figured Hermione and Ron might end up hurt or worse so I picked someone I trust, that would trust me without asking questions. When Neville got the chance he sliced Nagini's head off, it was spectacular.'

'I always knew Neville had more to show, a very brave thing to do, but so Gryffindor.'

Harry laughed, 'That he is Sev, so are you hungry, thirsty, anything?'

'Soon, but since it's finally over I would like one thing before I eat.'

'I was hoping you would,' Harry smirked then his lips were on Severus' in a very heated kiss. Both men ignored the shocked shouting, the whispers and the stares. They didn't care, they just wanted to enjoy the feel of their partner.