Disclaimer: None of the Harry Potter characters belong to me, but Helena does! I fully credit (and respect in large ways) Mrs. JK Rowling for her brilliant imagination, allowing us to have her world to fantasize in. And thanks to Robyn and Lauren for doing super quick beta reads over AIM for me!
Lying in the cold room, she shuddered. She had spent the years here, locked in this cell, not knowing whether she was going to wake up the next morning, not that she cared.
She lost hope years ago, forgetting even how long she had been here. When they took her- she was nineteen, that's all she remembered. They beat her, and raped her, starved her, punished her for things she didn't do. Although she hated the man who put her here, at the hands of Voldemort and his bloodthirsty men, there was a little part of her that still loved him, and always would.
She heard the footsteps of someone approaching down the hall. Possibly another Death Eater, wanting a little piece of revenge in any way possible, a outlet for a shot of emotion that ranged anywhere from violence to sex. Her body stiffened as the footsteps stopped in front of her door. Why they would touch her, she never knew- she was weak from hunger and disease, and the last time she had bathed she couldn't remember. They let her have a quick bath before meeting the Dark Lord himself, years and years ago, and then they threw her into this cell. Living on next to nothing, she knew she might as well give up...no one would come for her.
The door opened, and the light blinded her vision, she forced her face deeper into the hay, filled with mess, the light was just too bright.
Then she felt a touch on the back of her body, a light touch, a touch she hadn't felt in a long, long time. Trusting it with a feeling she did not know, she looked towards the body that was touching her. Not a man, cloaked in black, evil written in his Aura, but a boy- couldn't be more than 17, dark hair, dark glasses. And he said something foreign to her, she searched her memory to remember what it was, and he repeated it, over and over.
"Helena Snape? Are you Helena Snape?", he asked over and over, and she suddenly remembered what he was saying. Her name.
Harry didn't want to do this. He didn't want to rescue anything that belonged to Snape. Evil man, he was. But before Harry had left Dumbledore's office to go face-off Voldemort, the Headmaster pulled him aside from the rest of the people, Aurors, Professors, friends, and asked him in a way that he couldn't say no.
"Harry, there is one last thing I must ask of you, on the benefit of Professor Snape.", the Headmaster asked, blue eyes twinkling. Harry's face contorted into a face of dislike. "Harry, try for a moment to put your dislike for the man away for a moment. Voldemort has something that means more than anything to that man, whether he will admit it or not.".
"What is that, sir?", Harry asked.
"His wife, Helena. She was taken from him about a year after they were married, we don't know if she is still alive or not, but please- try and find her. For his sake.", Dumbledore almost begged.
Harry let out a breath, "I'll try, sir. I'll try.".
"That's all I ask of you to do.", Dumbledore said. And when they walked back into the crowd, Harry saw a different side of Snape almost, anxious, scared, and somewhere down there…hopeful.
Now he was there, looking down at the barely clothed, scrawny, filthy woman that probably used to be an attractive woman. She looked young, younger even in this mess, than Snape himself. Her hair black was dirty and messy, skin that was white was now covered in filth, and blue eyes turned up towards him.
"Yes…", croaked a unused voice. "Yes, I'm Helena Snape…".
"Good, I'm going to take you to Hogwarts- do you know where that is?", the boy asked.
"Alright, now you just relax, I'm going to apparate us back to Hogwarts, just, sit in my arms, like that.", Harry instructed as he picked up the weak girl. He himself was tired, bloody, and exhausted, nearly dead. Voldemort and his followers put up a fight for the masses, and even though there were Aurors, he wanted Harry.
Using the last bit of his strength, Harry brought them both to the place where they called home.
Snape stood in Dumbledore's office. He was told to wait there, told to wait…that's all he had been doing for the past seventeen years. He was a wreck, pacing back and forth; it was his entire fault, if she wasn't alive. His entire fault.
"Severus, she'll be there, she'll be there…", McGonagall tried to comfort him, but he wasn't listening. This was the last hour. They had not heard from Harry since they had sent him away yesterday. Snape looked at the clock…4:30 P.M…. the time was ticking away.
The minutes passed, and no one said a word until Dumbledore walked into his office at a quarter pass five. Snape stopped his pacing, McGonagall stood expectantly, and the others in the room looked at the man whose blue eyes sparkled with joy with a hushed cloud of anxiousness.
After a few seconds that felt like hours, Dumbledore's face smiled to them all. "Voldemort has been defeated! He is defeated!", the old man's voice rang through the office with youthful cheer, crying himself, he watched as the entire room took a minute to let the information sink in, and then- as one, the room exploded in cheer. McGonagall fell onto her knees, sobbing in happiness, drinks were passed around, kisses and hugs were exchanged.
Someone tried to shove a drink into Snape's hands, but he refused, and looked at Dumbledore with eyes that were both pleading and expectant. The older man walked to him, and looked at him with a crumbling blue glare, and smiled his biggest smile.
"She's alive, Severus, she's alive. Harry returned with her.", Dumbledore said.
And throughout Snape, a burst of emotion that he had not felt in the longest time flowed through him. Happiness, hope, love, and pain, all at once, filled his heart and he could no longer take it, shaking like a madman, he collapsed into Dumbledore's arms and sobbed.
"Oh God! Oh God, she's alive…is she well? Oh God, tell me she's well!", Snape cried to Dumbledore.
Dumbledore took the man's hands into his own. "I will not lie to you, Severus. She's sickly, poor in health. Madam Pomfrey is having a time fixing her to good health. It may be weeks before you can see her again. She's changed, changed drastically from the last time you've seen her, she may not even remember you. You must prepare yourself for the worse…".
"Weeks?", questioned Snape, as McGonagall came over.
"It may be the best, Severus,", she said, "for both you and her.".
And the weeks passed. Helena got little by little a bit stronger each day. She had been moved into her own room, on top of a tower once she was strong enough to be on her own. It was a miracle, even Madam Pomfrey and the doctor's that were called from St. Mungos exclaimed. But here she was, alive…and halfway to being normal.
Of course, she'd never be normal, never again. After spending nearly half her life in that cell, going through the things she had been through. No one escaped that the same way.
She wanted to see Severus, wanted to see him, but not yet- neither one of them was strong enough she was told. Laying in her bed, she felt strange in the room, afraid someone was going to wake her up, tell her it was all a dream, and she'd be back in the cold cell, with Lord knows what happening to her. Her dreams were full of nightmares, the parties, and the abuse. The parties were the worse. Groups of Voldemort's followers, taking every male advantage over her and some of the other few women they somehow got their hands on. No one to turn to, she awoke screaming, and just huddled, huddled until sunrise, when the doctor's checked on her.
Sitting on the windowsill, dressed in a plain robe, she ran her fingers through her short black hair. They couldn't get a comb through it, so they cut it. She remembered the days she was a teenager, with waist long, straight black hair, shiny and gorgeous. The girls envied her for her hair, her eyes, and her looks. She was never the smartest in the class, never the quickest. Why Severus ever loved her, she never knew.
A knock on her door. She turned to answer it, and Professor McGonagall stepped in.
"Hello, Helena, how are you feeling today?", she asked.
"Getting better day by day.", Helena replied, offering the woman a chair. McGonagall had been almost like a counselor to Helena through her recovery, she told the woman nearly everything, and throughout all the details she was willing to tell, McGonagall listened, listened without pity, listened without interruption.
"That's wonderful, I must say, they were right, it is a medical marvel how you've turned around. Gaining a bit of weight…you look much better…Severus will be so happy…", McGonagall smiled to her. Helena had gained almost 20 pounds in the few weeks she had been there, with the aid of medication. Helena looked back at McGonagall.
"How is Severus doing?", she asked. She was mad with the man, angry at him, for making her stay in such a place for as long as she did, she couldn't understand why he had waited so long to attempt to rescue her.
"He's still in a bit of a shock, but he wants to see you, Helena. He's angry with himself, for waiting. He loves you, he still loves you.", McGonagall told her.
"I almost had a doubt that he did.", Helena said. "I wish to see him tomorrow-"
"-Helena…I don't think you are stro-"
"-I am strong enough to face my husband! Regardless of what may happen!", she yelled, turning to McGonagall, and then having to grab the wall for support because the room span.
McGonagall hesitated. "Please?", begged Helena.
"Fine, I'll arrange for you two to meet in the Headmaster's office tomorrow afternoon.", McGonagall finally said, and Helena let out a breath of air.
"Thank you, Minerva, thank you.", she said, and McGonagall got up to leave. "Just, one thing…", Helena started.
"Yes?", McGonagall said before going out the door.
"Be there…in case I need you…".
"Of course,", McGonagall said, with a weak smile. "Now get some rest, you'll need it for tomorrow.".