A New Dawn
Disclaimer: I don't own the song or characters. I am making no money. Don't sue me!
Author's Note: I was just bit by this rather vicious plot bunny.
Au because I doubt there were 'true' battlesAnd his eyes will look away
For his heart will so be torn
As his fields of gold turn scarlet
From the rage of battle born
And the silence of the night
Will be broken with the cries
Of the ones who've been forgotten
On the quiet field where honor lies
~Brother, My Brother (The Civil War, Broadway)
Albus Dumbledore looked around the field with a heavy heart as dusk approached. The battle was over for today, and they had won, but at what cost? The green grass was dyed a terrible brown from the dried blood of the dead and wounded.
The death toll had been high for both sides. There a former teacher, here an Auror friend, there a schoolmate, and everywhere his former students. From both sides, they were the majority of the still, unmoving forms left on the field now that all the wounded had been gathered up and taken away with hopes of saving their lives.
Dumbledore had given orders for Riddle's soldiers to receive medical attention as well as his own people, but he didn't have much hope that the search teams would bring many back.
And now the field was littered with Riddle's dead. Their masks ripped away by strong curses that took their lives, Dumbledore recognized too many them, and his heart wept.
How had he lost so many? It was not just Slytherins dead on the field dressed in black. Nor were they only former Durmstrang students, although he did see more of those two than any other group. But there were also Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Gryffindor, Ministry personnel, Beauxbatons alumni, and many more.
But it was the fact that so many of the dead were so young that pained him the most. Young men and women, who were barely out of school, now lay dead.
Dumbledore fell to his knees on the rusty grass and cried. He cried for those children dead on the field, for those that would yet die in this terrible civil war, for children that would never see their parents again, for friends lost, for himself.
How did Riddle get them? What did he offer them that made them join him and his plan of domination and oppression? Another former student of his, clothed in black, lay unmoving before him. Like that one. Bright, ambitious, clever, how did that one manage to fall so far?
Dumbledore reached out to touch the dead student in a passing gesture of sorrow and gasped when the corpse gave a sharp cry of pain. Moving closer, Dumbledore, quickly felt for a pulse. For a moment he could feel nothing and wondered if he had indeed heard that cry at all; and then he felt the weak, weak, uneven beat of a struggling heart. So weak, but it was there.
Without a second thought, Dumbledore scooped the dying boy up into his arms, causing the young man to cry out again in his unconscious state. Holding him close, as the young body fought the cold of the night, Dumbledore carried him back towards the camp the Order had set up. He could find medical aid for the one in his arms there. He only hoped that he was not too late.
Two weeks later, after much magical medical aid, hope, and a fair dose of luck, Dumbledore was seated next to the young wizard he had brought in when the boy stirred and his eyes slowly opened. As he looked around the makeshift field hospital, his dark eyes became clouded with panic and confusion.
Dumbledore gently reached out for one of the boy's hands and held it firmly over his own heart. "You're alright, Severus," he whispered. "It's alright."
Severus Snape refocused his attention, saw the old wizard beside him, and looked away in shame. Dumbledore moved closer, not letting go of the thin hand, and pushed long stands of black hair out of Severus's face, trying to get the young wizard's attention.
Severus looked up slowly to meet his eyes. "Are you very angry with me?" he asked, his voice soft and hoarse from disuse.
Dumbledore shook his head and tried to smile as tears threatened. "No, Severus. I've been very worried about you." Severus looked skeptical, and something hurt deep in Dumbledore's chest as he realized that Severus honestly didn't believe that he could warrant another's concern.
His heart already deciding without permission to love the poor unwanted child as his own, Dumbledore leaned forward and pressed a gentle kiss against Severus's forehead. "Rest, Severus," he whispered, "We'll talk later." Severus nodded, bewildered at the unexpected display of affection, and closed his eyes.
Dumbledore stayed there until he was sure that Severus was asleep again, and then stood. Severus wanted to trust him; he could see that in his eyes. If all it took was a little affection, a few kind words to a lonely child, there was no allowable excuse.
He had lost Severus once to his own blindness and poor judgment. He would not be so stupid to make the same mistake again. Not when could see his second chance with the boy in sight. Like a new dawn overtaking the night.Give me now a splendid sun
With all his light full clear
Give me now a splendid autumn
Before the dying of the year
And some green unbloodied grass
While I can still see far
Give me one night on a river
And one unfailing star
~Brother, My Brother (The Civil War, Broadway)
Author's Note: Inspired while listening to 'The Civil War' Broadway…wonderful music.