Disclaimer: All known characters belonged to JK Rowling. The others belong to me.
A/N: This is HP/SS fic. Rated R. Shoo if you hate it!
Thanks a lot to Pandora for her help to beta read this.
Tears in Heaven
It was cold. So cold. How could someone feel so cold in the middle of summer, right under the scorching sun? And yet coldness was invading the boy's fragile form, like virus relentlessly attacked the body cells until they changed into virus itself. Or until a medicine strengthened the body to fight the virus. But there was no medicine, no help. He was alone in a clearing in the middle of where he didn't know. Everyone around him was dead, killed by his very own hand. Not that it would change anything. None of them would help him anyway. It was better this way. It was better that he faced his last fate alone like he always faced the torments Life had thrown upon him alone.
Death. Death came nearer, he knew. People said that you would feel cold when you were dying, and numbness. There had been unbearable pain. Pain caused by injury and his body's last attempt to prevent the fragile soul to escape its bodily cage. But now, he barely felt anything but cold. He had lost too much blood already and his consciousness was slipping away.
Visions. His short life passed before his closed eyes. Uncle Vernon spat on him in disgust, Dudley pushed him from the stairs, Aunt Petunia ignored his feverish body. His classmates laughed at his hand-me-down clothes. Dudley's friend pushed his head down the toilet in his school. The owl posts on his 11th birthday. The Sorting ceremony. His first friends; Ron and Hermione. The first time he caught the Snitch. Quirell. Voldemort. Tom Riddle. The Basilisk. Fawkes. Dementors. His parents's screams. Shrieking Shack incident. Ron's and his first fight. The Third Task. Cedric's death. The embodiment of the evil by his blood. Priori Incantatem. Hagrid's death. The green light from his wand which ended Pettigrew's life. Sirius's trial and release. His unexpected new found love. Remus' death. Sirius' death. His abysmal OWLs. His capture. His lover's death when he tried to free him from the monster's clutches, but failed. The countless crucios. The physical abuse: whips burned his skin , kicks bruised and broke his fragile body, manacles bound him to the cold wall, the knives cut down his flesh. The countless rapes that made Crucio feel like a mercy. The humiliations. His scream for mercy, for release, for help which was futile. Until his anger unleashed every power he had and banished everything around him in radius of some miles he didn't know, including Voldemort who had been laughing over his torture like a madman.
It's funny that the most vivid of the visions were the worst. The ones he never wanted to experience again. But then again he didn't care. He thought that he couldn't feel anything anymore.
Tears began to flow. Crystal tears mixed with blood streamed down his battered face to the soil beneath. Tears caused by relief. Finally his responsibility had been fulfilled. He could go home to his parents's arms, to his lover's arms. There would be no more pain. No more sadness. His task in this world was over.
With the realization, the Boy Who Lived succumbed to the cold. And died.
Chapter 1: Arriving
At a first glance, this place is but a clearing in Forbidden Forest no one else has ever found. But if you look closely, you'll see that this place is different. The plants are greener and lush. Sweet scents from the plants hand in the air while colorful butterflies fly around. The sun is shining gently, although it is supposed to be scorching in the middle of summer, with some occasional breezes. This place radiates peace and joy, very unlike the sense of creepiness that hangs in the atmosphere of the Forbidden Forest.
That is because this is not Forbidden Forest. This place is what people call heaven, or paradise, or anything. This is the afterlife.
Severus Snape has just arrived here, welcomed by the person he wished the least he would ever see again, Sirius Black. His loathing toward the dead Potion Master has seemed to vanish somewhere somehow. Had Snape forgotten that he was already dead, and thus it's unlikely for him to be sick or die, he would have had a fatal heart attack.
"Where am I?"
Beaming, Sirius answers, "This is heaven, you twit."
Snape scowls before he retorts, "Listening to your ever after charming vocabulary and adding the fact that *you* are the first person I meet after I died, I assume I have landed in Hell instead."
Sirius laughs, not a mocking laugh, but a sincere and hearty laugh. Heaven *do* a marvelous job on him. "I am glad that some things never change. Come, Snape. I'll show you around."
His shock disappears fast and his antipathy towards Black has dissipated within minutes; the peaceful air of this place surely contributes much to his mood. His curiosity peaks, however, for he has never his expected his afterlife to be like this. Mind you, he had always thought that he would be sent into Hell, considering the deeds he had done when he was still a Death Eater, and combined with his not-so-angelic personality. Instead, he has landed in this place, heaven Black called it, wearing his usual black robes (isn't he supposed to wear white?) following his former nemesis who is wearing jeans and cotton shirt *without* a halo above his head. Thank Merlin, he thinks. I won't stand for it if spending eternity in heaven means I must wear white robes with a ludicrous halo above my head, a harp in my hand, standing on clouds and singing hymns for eternity.
"I had the same thoughts as you do when I arrived here, you know."
"How do you know what I am thinking?"
Laughing, Sirius said, "It's pretty obvious judging by your expression. Besides, I know you too well."
"You do not."
"Still stubborn I see."
"As I said, some things don't change, Snape. Even in heaven. Now you must have questions."
"Why I am here?"
"Because you're dead. I thought that was pretty obvious." Sirius smirks.
"Yes, but why here? Why not hell or somewhere else?"
Sirius shrugs. "I don't know. I am not the judge here. Maybe you can ask James."
"Yeah. He is kinda in charge of people living in his house."
"In charge? Living in his house?"
"Where else would you stay? You are new here. Don't worry, we can make a dungeon to suit your taste."
Sirius chuckles and they continue their walk in silence until they reach the mentioned "house".
It is not a "house" actually. It is a *very* large Greek style mansion. It is beautiful, with ivies, lianas, and all sort of vines climbing on its wall. There are many large windows with beautiful plants on their balconies. The white paint reflects the sunshine, causing the mansion to glow divinely in the midst of green grass and trees that surround it.
"Nice to meet you again, Severus." It is Lilly, Snape will never mistaken her sweet warm voice with anyone's, no matter how many years has passed since the last time he heard her voice. Smiling widely, she approaches her former classmate and hugs him fiercely.
"Now now, honey. You'll choke the poor guy to death once again. Let him go."
Carefully untangling himself from the overly enthusiastic Lilly, Snape turns around and faces his former rescuer who is grinning happily, as if Snape is a grand prize or something. "James."
"Hello Severus. Welcome to Godric's Hollow."
Snape arcs an eyebrow at the mentioned name. "Your twisted sense of humor never ceases to amaze me, James."
Potter senior laughs. Oh, he looks so much like Harry. His Harry. His heart wrenches as he remembers his failure to save his young lover.
"Harry." He whispers.
James, Sirius, and Lilly frown.
"What's wrong, Severus? What's wrong with Harry?" James asks.
"Nothing. He will be fine," Snape intends to say. But before he speaks it out loud, he feels a deep sense of foreboding about his young lover, causing him to run into the woods unthinking.
"Harry! Harry is coming!" he shouts.
Chapter 2: The Boy Who Suffers.
He arrives at the spot within seconds. He doesn't know if he can run that fast, but this is heaven; conventional rules are not applicable here. He doesn't have time to ponder about it, however, for what he sees breaks his heart.
Harry is sitting on the ground, wearing his ordinary school robe. His arms are hugging his legs while he rocks himself back and forth. His eyes are dull without any sign of their usual vivacious sparks. He seems lost in his own world; he doesn't even notice Severus's arrival.
Snape kneels beside him and touches his knees gently.
The boy looks at him, still with his empty eyes. He recognizes Severus though. "Professor Snape." He smiles faintly.
"Harry, you all right?"
"I am fine." His voice rings the opposite. It is automatic, empty, like his dull green eyes. Severus shivers.
"Harry, do you know where we are?"
"Where, Professor?" He doesn't even notice that Snape has addressed him as Harry, not Potter.
"We're in heaven."
"Oh." Still no emotion. And now Harry is again lost in his own thought. His eyes are distant and he continues to rock back and forth. Oh dear God, what has happened to him? There is no scar in his body, not even on his forehead, so he must be all right. Besides, this is heaven for Merlin's sake! Snape is furious, though towards whom he doesn't know.
Snape turns and sees Black approaching them.
"Hi, Sirius." Harry calls to him.
"Harry. I've missed you." Sirius kneels beside Harry, on the opposite of Snape and hugs the boy. Who immediately flinches and whimpers.
"No. No. Please stop. Please stop. Please…"
Shocked, Sirius releases the boy. "Harry, are you all right? What's wrong? Harry?"
Harry doesn't respond. He keeps crying and whimpering while curling himself as small as possible.
"I am afraid he is still in shock, Sirius. His death must be a very traumatic experience." James suddenly appears. His voice sounds very grim.
"What?? But this is heaven?" Severus is enraged and confused at the same time. Enraged because his lover still feels pain even after his death, and confused because Heaven is supposed to be a perfect place. Isn't it?
"Contrary to popular belief, yes there is pain and sorrow in heaven, Severus." James answers his unspoken questions. "I'll answer your questions later. Please carry him to the house, Severus. Gently."
Snape nods and with utmost care lifts the still crying boy into his arms. Harry seems to relax a little and leans into his embrace though he is still crying. Not knowing what else to do, Snape coos him as gently as he can, remembering his childhood when his nanny coos him to sleep when he is lonely.
They reach the house in a few minutes. James leads them to a big airy room with a four poster bed. Snape puts his burden down but never releases his embrace. It's not as if he can if he wants to. Harry has been clinging to him for dear life and whimpering now and then.
"What's wrong with him, James?" Lilly has come into the room and sits besides Snape. She reaches out to touch Harry but the boy flinches away from her touch, saddening the mother greatly.
"I am not so sure. I just know that though we are brought here physically healthy, there are always emotional scars that need to be healed. All of us have our own, but I've never seen someone react like Harry. I assume that whatever it is, Harry's death has been a terrible one." James' expression is grim. He hasn't seen his only son for 16 years, and now that Harry has come, he carries so much emotional pain. Snape can only imagine how much it hurts James to see Harry in such a state.
"What can we do?" Lily said. She looked like she could burst to tears any second.
"I must go ask the Guardian first. Meanwhile Severus, you are the person he needs most right now. Please stay with him."
"What? How can he be the person Harry needs most?" Lilly asks. She is not angry, only bewildered.
"We all know that the foreboding when someone enters this realm is only given to the people who are the closest to the new person, Lilly."
"What? Does that means the person I am closest to is Black?" Snape whispers, so as not to startled Harry. But his tone makes it sounds like he has just shouted it out loud.
James and Sirius snort, though their expressions are still grim. "No. It means that among us, you are the closest to Sirius, in any kind of relationship, including rivalry." James explains.
"That means Harry is closer to Severus than to any of us? Including Sirius?" Lilly asks again, more bewildered than before.
"He is. But let's talk about it later, shall we? I must go to the Guardian."
James rises from his seat and exits the room. Severus lays the now sleeping Harry on the bed and follows suit.
"Lilly, there is something I want to discuss with you." Sirius says. "Snape, you had better join us."