Alright! I can't stand it when people ask me things, I always have to deliver! turns to Snape Is that a Gryffindor quality? Snape looks away, disgusted I take that as a yes. laughs

Riiiight. Lessee what happens, eh? Will Snape die? looks at him, he sneers so that his teeth show in a dangerous manner Careful, or the Vamp rumour will be rejuvenated. Snape scowls and sips his amaretto


By the way-- I have no idea what Professor Sprout's first name is, so I gave her a generic flower name. If anyone knows what it is, please tell me.

Let's not keep you waiting any longer, shall we?

Chapter 22 hits play

Dumbledore heard Sirius call for the mediwizards, that Snape was down and no, he is not one of them, you morons, wasn't it obvious.

"Help me up." he ordered Remus, and the werewolf complied. The Headmaster scanned the derelict room, taking everything in until his eyes focused on the one writhing form surrounded by the ominous blue glow.

"No, Severus..." Dumbledore whispered and tried to get up, but found he couldn't.

A melodious, strong trill was heard from above as Fawkes answered to Dumbledore's summons and flew in, looking as if really made of fire. The phoenix was trilling in a very special way, in odd notes, short pauses as it circled the area of the battle-- and the Phoenix Marks, in all the members of the Order of the Phoenix, to which the aurors had been pledged, shone on the back of the hands, like golden fire:

A design of a flying phoenix in a circle created by its own tail feathers appeared on Dumbledore's hand first, making his whole arm glow, and then gradually in all the members of the Order present in the room:

Sirius Black.

Remus Lupin.

Sybil Trelawney.

Arabella Figg.

Dandylia Sprout.

Arthur Weasley.

Bill Weasley...

Severus Snape.

As the Phoenix Mark appeared on the Potions Master's twitching hand, the bluish glow surrounding the convulsing man seemed to succumb. If anyone thought that was a sign of betterment, they were soon disproven, because Snape arched backwards, his eyes flashing open widely, and heaved in air in anguished gulps making a horrible eeeeeek sound every time he tried to breathe. The low blue glow showed in his pupils like a faint flicker of light in the dark midnight black of his irises-- it was eerie and unsettling.

Of the people in the room remaining standing, a very wide circle was formed around Snape as he was writhing on the floor, but none approached. They all watched him go through the torture and the slow, tandalizing fight against the curse gradually pulling away his life-force. None budged, and virtually no sounds were made except Fawkes' song and that horrible eeeek extracted from the depths of the Potion Master's body.

Sirius broke the circle, feeling disgusted. He did not like Snape-- not in the least, and he doubted he would ever be able to spend more than 10 minutes in the same room with the man and remain civilized. But that was on a personal level, and valid when Snape was fully healthy and all greasy and snarly and just begging to be a target for a good prank-- not when he was writhing on the floor and everyone was watching and doing nothing.

He had long ago realised that he did not really want Severus Snape dead, and in a rather graphic way. He would always be grateful to James for foiling his plan and making him understand what he had been to stubborn to.

"What are you staring at!" he said, waving his golden glowing hand at all the aurors gaping at a member of the Order being in a Death Eater outfit and dying. It seemed to be shortcircuiting their minds.

By that time, Remus had helped Dumbledore to where Sirius was standing.

"What can we do, Headmaster?" Remus asked softly at the injured Leader of the Order.

Dumbledore did not answer, but he looked to Fawkes, and the phoenix soared down with a high trill towards Severus.

Everyone watched the tears, shining like diamonds, falling.

Harry felt as if his head was filled with cotton. He hated this sensation, because it impeded his hearing as well, and he had no real way of knowing what exactly was going on around him. He knew someone was jostling him around, handling him, and he felt charms taking effect on him, though what exactly they were doing he could not understand. Everything was like an echo from far, far away. Had the last, the very last curse he had casted on Voldemort (a naturally homing in Lepidae) distracted him enough to aid whatever Snape was doing?

He had to get out of this confounded stupor. Damn Ento charm-- handy as though it became when he was up against Tom Riddle. It had drained him of all energy and he could barely move.

And where was Snape? When that had happened once, all it had taken was a potion and a good nap (and a rather lengthy talk on Gryffindor thickness, stupidity, etc etc etc). Why wasn't he here now to talk him down and help him, like he usually did? Where was Ron? He had heard him somewhere, he was positive, and that implied Hermione would be nearby. What was going on? He needed to get out of this prison of incompetence!

Noise started to become sound, tandalizingly slowly...

... think he's out of danger...

... Harry...? Can you hear me? Harry? Harry, there's a lad, can you talk?"

Harry drew in a shaky breath.

"Yes... S..irius?"

A relieved chuckle.

"Yes Harry. Goodness, we thought we'd lost you."

Hands helped him up. Harry realised he was in bed. That ruled out the Main Hall.

"What happened, Sirius? Where am I?"

"You are in the infirmary, Harry." Remus' calm voice. Harry could detect strain amongst the relieved feelings. Had he really been so down under? He fingered his hand. The tawn glove was off, he could feel his scarring. He felt suddenly naked near Sirius. He can't not have seen his arm.

Apparently there must have been some physical reaction, because Sirius rushed to hug him and reassure him.

"Don't feel bad Harry, it's all alright. Really now. We had to give you a transfusion, and couldn't find a good vein on the left arm; I am sorry, but really, it doesn't mean anything." Sirius was talking fast and anxiously. Harry swallowed and nodded. He felt that although Sirius was doing his best to soothe him, he had had his own temper tantrum while Harry was out cold. He idly recalled that the animagus had never seen his arm unbandaged or gloveless.

"May I have it back, please?" he asked softly. Sirius handed the glove to him wordlessly, and he pulled it on. The young gryffindor felt intantly better.

"Where is Sasha?"

"The snake? Remus has gone to fetch her for you. He'll be here any minute." Sirius said gently.

Harry nodded. There was a short pause between the godfather and the godson. Then Harry asked again.

"What is the date?"

"3rd December. You have been out cold for a week."

A pause again. He swallowed.

"What happened?"

"We kicked old You-Know-Who's arse is what happened." Sirius said in that naughty, prankster voice that he had, that always put a smile on Harry's face no matter how depressed the young gryffindor might be feeling. He smiled.

Remus entered, and Harry heard Sasha's happy hissing at seeing him awake and sitting up. Soon the cool band of her body slithered up to its normal position. Harry petted her.

"How are you Harry?" Remus' voice was its usual pleasant, calm hues. But didn't he detect a tiredness, a sorrow in there?

"I'm just fine, Remus. I am learning of what happened. I guess it was kind of dumb to use Ento so many times. But I wanted to be sure with Voldemort."

"It's understandable Harry. And you gave Snape just the leverage he needed to get control of the golems." Remus said. "Nobody expected that you'd provide the much needed distraction at the perfect time." the DADA professor added with pride and calm content.

Harry almost smirked to himself as he stroked Sasha's head, contemplating the events. All his predictions had come true. Just every single one in ways he could never had imagined on his own. The Standoff had been with Snape-- which was pretty imaginable, but not what it would have been about... then the Friendly Peril had served him in his meeting with Wormtail, which was definately completely out of anything Harry could have imagined.

And the Unexpected Ally was not a person that would help him in need. The Unexpected Ally was himself, helping Snape when he'd needed it.

Harry couldn't postpone the dreaded question any longer. He was afraid to ask and in the same had to learn.

"Sirius... where is Snape?"

The pause that ensued was more than unsettling, more so because Harry could not see the expressions of either the animagus or the werewolf. And dread seized his heart that Snape was not anywhere where Harry could go.

"Is he dead? Sirius? Remus? Did he die? Where is he?" Harry asked with urgency and dispair. He remembered the last words he had told Snape before the Potions Master had left to fight, serve the Order, and with it all the wizarding world.

You will never know!

Harry would never forgive himself. How could he have been so heartless? After all that Snape had done for him, for making him strong enough to face Voldemort and have a chance against the Dark Lord, how could he have been so petty and vindictive?

He almost did not hear the answer.

"Harry, don't be upset. You are very weak, yet. The Headmaster is going to be here soon, and he will tell you everything."

Harry covered his hands, as his mind screamed one thought: He can't be dead!

Draco sat idly outside a room in St. Mungo's, a cup of coffee in his hand. It was funny that he decided he liked the dark brown liquid better than pumpkin juice lately. He sighed, still trying to contemplate where he was standing after everything that had transpired. Obviously he could not go visit his father in Azkaban, or it would be widely known that he had actively chosen sides.

Draco wasn't sure he should even tell his mother. While he knew she did not bear a Dark Mark, he was not at all certain she would take kindly to this betrayal to, at least, the Malfoy family. Since he was, however, quite certain that Narcissa Malfoy was not as attached to Lucius as to pay him visits or even feel remotely sorry about the Death Eater's incarceration, it was relatively safe for Draco to return home and play it safe.

He watched as a nurse walked out of the room he was there for. He smirked to himself. Who would have thought it, Snape, the most Slytherin man Draco had ever known, the harshest and most fitting to the definition of everything Death Eater-ish, would actually be a spy, and not only a spy but one of the elite Order members.

The man had balls of solid rock, that was a fact.

Draco sipped his coffee again, when he saw a wiry figure walk up, with Sirius Black, the redeemed convict, bringing up the rear. He looked at Harry Potter with some disdain, but at least he did not feel the waves of rage he had usually experienced when he watched the blind boy tap around and walk with the casual breeze of any sighted person. He got up.

"I see you are up." Draco said simply, a little awkwardly. It was odd how it was hard to make a simple conversation when it had been so easy to pick a fight. Harry nodded.

"Yes, I am. Ron told me about his dad. Thanks."

"It was not -your- father, Potter. You are not here for me, are you?" he asked sardonically, and Harry fidgeted and shook his head.

Draco sneered.

"Then spare me the pleasantries. It's the door on the left, right here."

Harry yet hesitated.

"Say, Malfoy..."

Draco waited. Harry seemed to change his mind about what he was about to ask the slytherin, and he turned to Sirius.

"Uh... I'd like to go in alone."

Sirius nodded.

"I understand Harry. I'll wait here."

Harry walked into the sterile room in St. Mungos. He heard the shallow breathing, which was the only sound in the room. Gently tapping about, he found a chair and sat down. Sasha hissed at him.

"I am not tired, Harry."

"I know Sasha. I am afraid to look, is all." Harry hissed back at the snake and petted her.

"He is sickly pale, and very thin, Harry. He looks like sleeping." Sasha said and Harry sighed.

The coral snake flicked her tongue against Harry's fingers in the usual caress that she offered the boy every time she felt his distress, and went quiet, knowing that Harry would establish a mind link with her when he wanted to.

For a long time, Harry sat in the uncomfortable chair, hearing the soft, shallow breathing. He was greatful to hear this attestation of the man in front of him in the bed being alive. He sighed and pulled the chair closer, until he was very near the bedside.

"I'm so sorry, Professor." Harry said quietly, with more feeling than any apology he had ever offered the man before. Harry swallowed, and like he had done once before, he outstretched his hand until his fingertips touched the greasy hair. Harry smiled thinly. His hair really was so greasy one could use the oil to fry eggs in.

His hand travelled up until he reached the temple-- his skin was remarkably clammy and cool. His fingertips felt the man's forehead, then travelled down the hooked nose--

"Can't... someone... find peace from your likes... Potter?"

Harry jumped so much he almost fell off the chair. Severus Snape's voice was faint, a whisper really, and had a panting quality, as if it was coming from deep inside his body. Yet, it still retained all the silky disdain that Harry thought would never hear again.

"Merlin! You were supposed to be in a deep coma!" Harry blurted out, a smile creeping on his face.

Snape coughed a bit and sighed. His breathing did not improve-- Harry could tell that even though he was awake, the Potions Master was by no means fit.

"Sorry to disappoint, Potter." the sarcastic whisper wafted though Harry's thoughts. The gryffindor smiled.

"Don't be. I can't tell you how glad I am you... you are not..."

"Dead? Don't be so melodramatic, really Potter." Snape sneered weakly, turning his head carefully to look at the boy.

Harry's unfocused eyes were bright, dancing with joy while staring somewhere over the opposite wall; although the boy was pale and sickly looking, colour adorned his cheeks because of the strong emotions of happiness and relief that he was experiencing. Snape smiled, feeling safe that that would go unnoticed. It felt so good to have someone other than Dumbledore look so decidedly hilarious about him being saved, being alive. It was such a rare occurrence, after all.

Then, the boy sombered up, and Snape arched an eyebrow. The Potions Master made sure not to move too much-- even the slightest jolt caused him extreme dizziness; anything more than that and he simply passed out. That was why the nurse had put a charm on him to prevent unnecessary jolting. He watched as Harry fidgeted, apparently trying to make himself talk about something specific.

"Out with it, Potter. You obviously.. are not here on a social call." Snape said loftily, although he himself was a little scared at what the boy might tell him. After all, the damn gryffindor had proven how capable he was of penetrating the Head of Slytherin's armour and hurting him to the quick with a few words.

Harry took a deep breath. He hissed something to Sasha, then cleared his throat and began.

"Last time... we.. erh... talked, you asked me something."

There was a pause from Snape. Harry could hear him hold his breath. God, it means so much to him, then? Harry continued.

"I... refused to answer you then. I am sorry. I should have. I just..."

"Spare me the sentimentalities, Potter." Snape said hurriedly, so much that he had to cough and breathe a few times to ease the strain on his chest. Signs of weakness that made Snape feel even more vulnerable and helpless, thus retreating even more in whatever semblance of indifference he could muster. Which wasn't much when he couldn't control even the rate of his breathing effectively.

Harry swallowed.

"Yes, Professor. Well... you wanted to know what happened. Do you still want me to tell you?"

"Since you came all the way here for this, do not let me stop you." Snape added just a little bit of sarcasm, but his heart skipped beats.

Harry took in a deep breath again.

"When I was living with... with them, I had to get up early, about 5 to 6 in the morning, to cook breakfast for everyone. I always had to cook bacon, because it's a favourite with them." Harry took everything a step as a time, wringing his hands together. It still was so very hard to think, much less talk about it.

"Unfortunately... I had had a vision the night before, so I was completely sleepless. I forgot that I had put the bacon to fry, and I burnt it. Uncle Vernon is usually the first to come down, because he leaves early for work-- and well.. he tried to ... hit me across the face. And I tried to thwart the blow, so he grabbed my arm and pressed it on the cooker's plate. And I screamed and glared at him. I guess he was afraid I might do something to him like I had done with Aunt Marge because he kept shouting not to glare at him, and he grabbed my head and banged it against anything he could have access to."

The lengthy pause fell again. Harry wasn't sure what to make of it, although the anger, the rage was tangible in the air.

"I don't remember anything else after that." he said quietly.

When Snape would not answer, Harry gripped the cane handle and finished the whole narration.

"This... all took place at about quarter past six. Unless you were sent for me earlier, there is nothing you could have done to save me from... from any of that."

The ragged breathing was still the only indication that Snape was even there. The Professor and the student sat for a long time together, saying nothing, just savouring each other's presence and this odd way of openness between them. Finally, Snape spoke.

"I... am sorry, Potter."

Harry blinked. The Potions Master seemed to keep surprising him today.


"I thought I was clear enough. I am sorry. For making you recall all this, and for taking my time to come for you. I assure you, that had I known, I would have acted quite differently." Snape said gruffly. Harry thought that this was the most affectionate tone Snape's unpracticed voice could employ. It was endearing, really, if one thought about it.

"You made up for it greately, sir. I am glad you will still be my Potions Professor." Harry said.

He heard the door open, and Sirius' voice.

"Harry, are you alright? It's time to go buddy. You will exhaust yourself otherwise." the animagus' voice was gentle. He and Snape exchanged glances as Harry nodded and got up, making his way towards the door.

The silent truce between them was once more confirmed in that brief, non-verbal communication between the professor and the animagus. Harry walked up to the door. Just as he was leaving, he smiled a little mischeviously. I know I shouldn't, but I can't resist.

"I'll see you at Hogwarts, Professor... and you know what? You look great when you smile."

Snape swore under his breath as the door shut softly, but he couldn't help a small quirk of the mouth at the thought.

He had forgotten of the goddamn snake and the mind link Harry occasionally used.



YAY! confetti, streamers, party crackers, Dumbledore in lead of conga line I am done! I am finished! This is one complete little fic, I tell you! WEEEEEEE!

You could ask for an epilogue, but honestly I wouldn't know what to put in it. So DON'T, unless you want to see something VERY SPECIFIC. grins But other than that Tell me what you thought! Please please please! Share my joy! yayyyy! offers Snape his party hat hehe.

2007 update

Hey everyone!

This is Tantz (Tantz Aerine) speaking. I am posting this here as an Author's note because I do believe it has more chances of being read than posting it only on my profile.

First things first:


I hope you get all you ever wish for this year, and the one after that, and the next one… and so on and so forth.

There is a statement, in the profile and the Go With The Tide II fanfiction, about my decisions regarding writing (or rather, not writing any more fanfiction, remember?). Here's me sharing my news with you then, regarding that!

I have finally (officially) published my very own fantasy book!

It is called The Art of Veiling: Awareness and is the first book out of three (which are already written and under publication).

It is my pride and joy, the work of more than 5 years in which I have really done my very best with characters who still hold me captive (much, much more than Snape did… you will find that most of my characters are far more demanding than he ever was!). I believe that they will be just as fascinating to you as they were to the editor and are now to the people who are reading it as we speak!!

I would really, really appreciate it if you would give it a chance. If you liked my style, if you enjoyed all these interactions I wrote between Snape and Harry, I am just trembling with excitement and anticipation of how much you'll enjoy my style when I go all out and use full power in my own universe. shivers Heh heh.

Plus, I bet you'll be surprised when it comes to Elves, Dragons and Humans in my world: they have never been described and developed in the way they have been in my book before! ( ---- this is another person's quote, not mine)

I know this is a plug, but I am also so incredibly thrilled to share I can't wait or be demure or something- I need to talk about this!!!

I know some of you wonderful reviewers have already tried it out and your comments have made me confident enough to post this here and be shameless in speaking about it!

(Thank you for reading it those who got it! I am glad you are enjoying it!)

Those of you who haven't, I am hoping you will! It will help me go on writing, and it will give me a chance to renew this wonderful relationship I have enjoyed through writing fanfiction with you which I am missing so direly.

The url to the site where you can see the book cover (it BLINKS! Woo hoo!), read the blurb and, if you want, order it is:

www . mindpower . gr / ennews . php (just minus the spaces)

If you can't see it, the link is also up in my profile.

I can't wait to hear from you! I will have more news about my stories soon!

Talk to you soon!

Tantz Aerine