Perhaps in death, Severus can find peace at last – not if Lily and Dumbledore have anything to do with it. Sort of Harry and Hermione mentors Snape

Disclaimer: All characters belong to the talented JK Rowling and I am not making a penny from this story

September 1998

The Ministry had said it could never happen – that he-who-should-not-be-named, could not return.

As the Hogwarts students marched in formation without uttering a word, into the courtyard, the only sound was the echo of their footsteps on the grey flagstones. Wide eyes darted nervously from side to side - ever fearful in case they attracted the attention of the terrible Dementors. Even the Slytherins; many of their parents Death Eaters themselves, looked solemn. Their beloved school where they had skipped laughing through the corridors, marveled at the charms and spells they learned within the great walls, forged friendships and discovered secrets was now a symbol of fear and oppression. The dark clouds that rolled in overhead, heralded something far more ominous than just the threat of thunder.

High above the courtyard, a lone figure perched on the edge of one of the school's many towers. The newly appointed headmaster, Severus Snape. His dark onyx eyes were glazed as he gazed over the procession, his expression unfathomable. Even though his troubled mind was a seething cauldron of emotions, the master of Occlumens kept his thoughts shrouded from the Dark Lord and his followers. This was, he knew, going to be the most difficult year. The dark wizard, Voldemort, had taken control of Hogwarts and the Ministry. He cast a glance into the iron sky. The former guards of Azkaban, the Dementors - had changed allegiance recently and now the wraith-like creatures hovered in the sky above Hogwarts. They reminded Severus of the muggle refuse sacks, blowing in a gale but gathering the souls of the damned rather than rubbish. Their presence brought fear and misery to the wretched children who remained at the school. The school roll was somewhat diminished this year as any of the students were absent – either by their parent's choice or by compulsory order of the Ministry of Magic because they were muggle born.

Severus never expected to survive the 2nd World Wizarding War - neither did he particularly harbor any desire to. After all, this hell he had been living in since the night the best friend he had ever had died held little attraction for him. Lily Evans had been his best friend and the only girl he had ever loved - even though, in the end, she had chosen another. The only pleasure he derived now, was by taking points and doling out detentions to the unfortunate dunderheads (as he considered them) that he had to teach, and watching Slytherin win the house cup – a victory that had waned since the boy who lived to be a thorn in his backside had come to Hogwarts. Every evening, once safely inside his warded private quarters in the dungeons of the great castle, Severus drained the contents of his fire whiskey glass. The amber liquor was potent enough to dull his senses at least temporarily, providing reprieve from the dark thoughts that haunted him almost every minute of the day. At least that had been the case until he had been appointed Head teacher of Hogwarts. Severus neither applied for nor wanted the position. He knew that this appointment signaled the beginning of dark times for the wizarding world. The Death of Dumbledore had marked the beginning of a very dark time at Hogwarts. Now the future of the entire wizarding world was in jeopardy from the pure-blood loving homicidal maniac and his loyal Death-Eater followers.

Switching his gaze back to the students, Severus let out the breath he hadn't even been aware he was holding and silently vowed to do whatever he could to protect the students from the attentions of the sadistic Carrow Twins, maintaining his cover as a Death Eater in order to continue in the unenviable position as the late Headmaster's spy. He would protect the students and somehow find a way to inform Harry Potter what the great wizard had confided in him, before his death – that to defeat Voldemort, Harry himself must die at the dark wizard's hand.

They said it could never happen. The Dark Lord could not return. After the Tri-wizard tournament, they had mocked Harry Potter and ridiculed the boy who lived. They said it could never happen…but it had.

Voldemort had returned and was in control of Hogwarts.

Reviews give me motivation to continue :-)