A/N: For this is the final chapter, it shall be longer than those before. I hope you enjoy!
The wind howled by mournfully, thrusting it's chilling blade into every living thing's hearts. The usual illuminates of nature was oddly gone from the scene, dawning darkness even more coldly onto the hollow grounds.
In a small telephone booth, one could never know that it was the entrance of the government for a large secret community- the Ministry of Magic.
Should one take a tour inside there, they shall find fascinating elements and facilities. The halls and corridors were well alighted with ceilings that could be easily mistaken as God's wonderful skies. If nothing, the place held a gifted ability to cheer one's moods up and was enough to turn anybody's emptiness and coolness into warmth and love. It was a place anyone envied merely to take a glimpse at, and a place every man in the hidden community would die to peruse their careers in.
However, right on that anti-moon, anti-stars, jet black cold night, everything seemed to change with the atmosphere.
"Harry look out!"
Harry fell onto the cold stone ground, his eyes filled with despair and
fear. He had fought continuously for five hours and it was almost dawn
but the battle made no hints of ending.
He and Snape, after the death of Lestrange, had instantly rushed to the Ministry in hope to aid the others. Evidently, they were now the ones who needed to be aided- there were just too many Death Eaters, the average was one to four.
But they had not given up. They knew what they had done or not done right this very moment would had its serious affect on the Magic World in the future. They knew they were the only hope to victory to every wizard and witch in the world. With Voldemort fled, Harry realized they had a good chance of winning this battle. Even small, but still a chance.
Breathing hardly, he squinted his eyes to identify various scenes. Remus Lupin, best friend of his father's, was dueling with two Death Eaters some twenty feet away; Nymphadora Tonks, an great but clumsy Auror, lay cold in a corner in the other side of the room- Harry knew she was dead, killed by Voldemort himself when the Dark Lord was in rage as he was acknowledged by his failed attempts of the Eternalize Potion; Alastor Moody, an fantastic well experienced Auror, just silenced two Death Eaters and on his way to the third; Severus Snape, his most hated Professor until recently, was trying to get one of the seriously injured Death Eaters to tell them where Albus Dumbledore was imprisoned; and a lot more wizards and witches, good and bad, all fighting hard for their livesfor the future of the Magic World...
Lord Voldemort. He was the only reason all of this had began. And he had chose to flee, leaving his followers to face fate.
Albus Dumbledore. The only man everyone trusted in, believed in, had faith in. And he was not there for them when the truth had came.
Gripping his wand as tight as ever, Harry was about to reenter the battle
when he saw-
Snape, too busy in beating the injured Death Eater up and force a word out of him to notice a dark, single hooded, tall figure rallying towards his back.
It reached its slimy arm out at Snape.
"Where- is- Dumbledore?"
Harry knew he had no time- jumping up; he tore to the other side of the
room to reach Snape, to warn him or perhaps save him-
He collapsed onto the ground as agony shot through his whole, splitting
his head and flesh open fiercely. But his mind was oddly clear, he knew
everyone was too obsessed in the battle to notice Snape's attacker, and
if he did not get to Snape in time and warn him,
What would happen h did not want to think
* * *
"Where is Dumbledore, you fool!" Severus shouted angrily, kicking
sideways. He was boiling- his only friend could be suffering badly, waiting for his aid, and this fool did not bother to tell him the location even in capture!
Aiming his wand directly at the Death Eater's heart, he snarled, "I will give you one last chance. Where is Dumbledore? You've got until three- One, two-"
"You won't do it." The Death Eater, blood spattered on his face, gritted his teeth. "You got no guts in killing, Severus, and I know that because I've seen you stepping purposely aside when we were on the Dark lord's missions. You're a coward, that's what you are."
Rage and hatred rose into Severus as he never knew before, "I WIL KILL YOU! You have my word on that, you can be assured! Now, where is Dumbledore? ONE, TWO, THREE-"
But whether Snape had really got the nerve to finish him off, the death Eater never knew. For as Severus Snape opened his mouth in a form of a well chosen incantation, a tall, hooded figure glide between them, shielding the now unconscious Dark wizard from his attacker.
* * *
The pain left him. He opened his eyes alertly and looked around, focusing on the thing in his full vision.
"Harry, are you alright? Harry?"
It was- it had to be- Albus Dumbledore. That calm voice, so soothing, almost not fearing about a thing in the world
Harry gripped his Headmaster's wrists with all the strength he could manage- which was very little, to say- and whispered faintly, "Sir, Snape"
But Dumbledore was dragging him aside, to the safe zone of the battle. He was not listening to Harry the less.
Snapeget to himhe's being attacked
The words chanted over and over again through his head but he made no ability to voice them out- he was too weak and near unconscious.
Dumbledore' face became more and more unclear as he said to Harry, "Stay here, Harry- don't go back out, okay?"
He waited for a respond but since none came, the old wizard, now looking white, stood up and began to turn towards the war.
Harry summoned what's left of his strength and grabbed the old man's hems of his robe.
"Don't- Snape, he needs helpgo, get himsave him"
But he never got the chance to acknowledge Dumbledore further about Snape's fate because a piercing shriek sounded through the chamber right then.
Harry turned and looked, suddenly all awake, and saw-
The Dementor. Snape. Jaws connected.
He was alive again for some reason- bolting up, he ran as he never ran before towards Snape and the attacker- he would not let it happen to Snape, not after all he had done in his life-
A single stag galloped out of his wand and it knew where to go without being told. Lowering his antlers, he tore straight into the Dementor and -
The tall hooded thing was thrown backwards onto the floor, disappearing almost at the same time. The stag vanished, too, leaving its owner staring wordlessly.
* * *
"Which one do you want, Sevie?"
"Can I have the orange one, Mother?"
He was happier than he was in a long time. Kissing his small sized orange robes, he walked out of the shop, hand in hand with his mother.
"Why would anyone choose orange robes, dear?"
"Mother, I like orange. It's warm and lovely, don't you think?"
The woman gave out a laugh. "Oh well, it's your choice, sweetie."
They reached the corner and turned into a wide road. A single three storied large house was situated on the edge of the road, stating its lonesome and emptiness. Severus frowned at the sight of it. "Mother, why can't we live in the town with everyone else?"
His mother smiled at him, shaking her head. "For the thousandth time, dear, the crowded town is not suitable place to raise a child. Besides, your father doesn't like the noise and excitement, you know that."
"The second reason, more like." Muttered young Severus sadly
They had approached the steps leading to the porch. Climbing up with
great effort since
he was hugging his newly bought robes, Severus hummed happily to himself off-tuned.
The first thing which met them was a slap on Severus' face.
It brought him upon the ground. Pain and fear swelling inside him, he turned tearfully to look at his shaking father.
"Where - did - you - go?" he whispered, teeth bared and shaking.
Severus began to tremble. His mother ignored the scene as if she had experienced this from time to time.
Tears stinging, he croaked out, "Dia - Diagon Alley, sir."
"And why would you go to Diagon Alley when I told you to stay home and help with my business feast tonight?" the man was still whispering and Severus did not like it.
"I - Mother said we- we needed some new robes to- to attend the big dinner party tonightsir."
"New robes, hmm? Let's see them, shall we?"
Severus hesitated for too long. "HAND THEM OVER, BOY!"
The roof shook as Severus began to cry, tears splashing everywhere. It incensed his father even more and he knew it- but what could he have done, a helpless six year old with a mother too scared to aid him?
"DO - NOT - CRY - INSIDE - THIS - HOUSE!" the elder one roared, hitting Severus' body with a chair violently as he raged. Severus felt a few bones cracking open.
"I won't! I - I won't cry anymorejust don'tdon't hit me againplease, sir?" he sobbed helplessly. He did not understand what he had done wrong but it was always like this - admit it or get beaten up.
"Very well." His father put down the chair. "Now, hand me the robes, boy."
He gave the bag to his father reluctantly.
"WHAT THE -?"
"I should have taught you into a better taste! Haven't you got any sense, boy? Wearing that in my party? GO TO HELL, DAMN IT!"
And with that, ornaments and furniture flew at the young child, thickening his view with blood and tears."
* * *
The children were kicking something orange into the fire excitedly. Severus did not understand but he was very upset for some reason.
"Don't do that." He said quietly.
The children ignored him- they laughed higher and began to sing merrily as the legs continued kicking the orange thing into the pile to fire.
"Don't do that, please!"
Severus snapped his eyes open. The surroundings were oddly clear but his brain was stuck for some reason. Then he felt as he might throw up for his chest was heavy.
Glancing down to his body, he saw what was making him so uncomfortable-
was lying his head on Severus' chest.
* * *
"Sirplease don'tyou fought hard"
"Harry, Harry!" Dumbledore's voice seemed oddly distanced from him. All he knew was Snape, no more.
"Harry, get up - it's dangerous here - "
"I DON'T CARE!" Harry bellowed, bolting up to his feet. What did he cared about right then? What mattered more than Snape's fate? What was dangerous for him as long as Snape would get up again and fight with him?
He was about to shout again at the solemn old face when he noticed the silence. And looked around.
Everything had ended. Dead bodies lay everywhere, injured wizards and witches lying all around the room, some sobbing over killed people, some merely looking blank; a dozen Death Eaters were captured alive around a corner and supervised by one of the Ministry officials though the guard was badly injured himself; dust was in every corner of the ground with broken pieces of furniture and walls spattered among it - the room laid still for a while, unusually silent and calm, stating simply that -
That the war had ended.
But Harry did not care. He did not care for what mattered most to him at the moment was his archenemy's fate.
Turning back to Dumbledore, he saw the old wizard examining his professor.
"Harry- he's awake."
He rushed back to his professor and kneeled down instantly, seeing Snape's eyes wide open.
He gave a sound of relief as warmth spread through his cold body, "Professor- it's me, Harry"
He did not know what to say.
But it was spared by the old man's statement. "Harry, he is- not very well."
Glancing sharply at Dumbledore, he raised his voice, "What do you mean?"
Dumbledore's gaze remained on Snape's empty eyes, "I meant, Harry, that Professor Snape must receive hospitality right away for he's soul and mind seemed to be damaged thoroughly."
"But I stopped it!" Harry yelled, frustrated with anger and fear. "What do you mean, damaged? I stopped the Dementor from sucking his soul out!"
Dumbledore shook his head somberly. "I'm afraid you merely achieved a half. The Dementor has already damaged his memories and mind so he may be not able to recognize us permanently."
The words hit Harry so hard that he wanted to shake Dumbledore, torture him, ht him and make him change his mind about Snape's fate -
But as his gaze fell upon his professor, who laid unusually still, he knew, from the empty and hollow eyes which held nothing, that the battle they had just won was a near miracle - and if Snape would ever recover could be another miracle.
* * *
Students cryinggirls shriekingteachers sobbing
Harry opened his eyes slowly. The wonderful feeling from getting a long night's rest was replaced by sorrow and fear.
He was secured in St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries,
a place where he'd never had thought that he would be glad to be. After
the long war, hundreds of deaths were reported and permanent injuries
were made. Such as Remus Lupin, who had to get use to using only one arm
to work. The other was taken away from its owner by some Dark Magic. The
lucky thing was, as the hospital discovered shockingly, that somehow during
Lupin's injury, his ability to change into a werewolf frequently disappeared
with his arm. No one knew why but Harry was grateful for some thing good
to happen to his father's best friend since he had to face the lost of
his flesh permanently.
As for Hogwarts, it was closed for an early summer break since most of the professors required a long hospitality session in St Mungo's. The summer holiday excuse was no needed, though, for every student of the school appeared inside the hospital almost everyday to visit their professors, friends and family. The hospital even built a large building right beside the healing wing for those who wanted to visit overnight to stay. He building had turned itself into a small vision of Hogwarts instantly as almost every student booked a bed immediately.
Dumbledore - he had proceed to the Ministry right after Flitwick's release of him somewhere in the mountain caves - having his own ways in completing tasks, acknowledged everyone in the Magic community of the heroes and heroines in the hospital's great wars and fights. This all included, of course, Harry. So Harry Potter was once again a famous name every person in the community, enfant or adult, admired even more than before. The hospital guards had no objection to that until thousands of fans tried to sneak inside the hospital to visit Harry in the middle of the night - Dumbledore had made it clear not visitors except students and family- and stampede right over the heads of the security. Dungbombs and a large amount of horrible things - which everyone suspected that they were undoubtedly Weasley Products - were dropped everywhere, making the hospital as frustrated as ever. Even Gilderoy Lockhart could not manage to suppress a glimpse of the crowd - "You see? Those are my fans, my wonderful little fans, blessed them, they all want a signature from me! From magical me! Line up, everyone, don't push, you'll all get a chance!"
Harry was quite sorry for him when sounds of boos met his excited yell and even some Firebusters, too.
But what Harry was grateful for the most, was his two best friends. Hermione and Ron often stayed with him in the sick room and played, joked and talked until late night and the nurse- an extra strict version of Madame Promfrey, if possible- shooed them away into their booked beds.
Today was no more different.
"Oi, mate, I brought the Chess!" Ron said, grinning widely as he poked his head into the room.
Harry grinned back and asked as Ron entered the room, "Where's Hermione?"
"Oh, she's next door with a patient that'll actually listen to her promoting spew stuff. At least that's what she thinks." Ron sniggered as he took a seat.
Harry sat up on the bed. "Why?"
"I asked the nurse outside- she says the old lad next door's deaf."
As a meet to their snickers, a stern voice rang through the room, "I heard that, you know."
Hermione entered the room, sounding angry but grinning.
"Ha, finally figured the lad out, did you?" Ron grinned at her.
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Hi Harry."
Harry grinned at her and pulled out a chair, gesturing towards her. It
was out of difficulty for his left arm as still on a sling even though
it was a week from the war, as the nurses said that more care would be
needed to the curse one of the Death Eaters had used on him.
Hermione sat as Ron began to set up the chess board. "Hey Harry, guess who I saw when I was on my way here."
"Snape." Hermione said simply as Ron gave her a sharp look. His two best friends had heard more or less of what had happened between Harry and Snape during the war and knew better not to talk about it.
But Harry did not mind. He needed something to do, something about Snape, just to boil some of his anger, guilt and sorrows out.
He had been hiding it inside his heart for too long since the war. He had a newfound bond with Snape, one that no one could ever break though even he himself could not quite put a finger on what that was. All he knew was that he was special to Snape and Snape to him, and that he loved Snape with respect and friendship. He thought about Snape sop often and whenever he did he thought his heart would burst with pain and agony for he had already lost his godfather and now another person he loved. It all reminded him strongly of Sirius and though he had sworn to himself never to let tears fall again since Lest range's boost about his cry in front of her, he could not help shaking mentally in the middle of the night with a strong intention to cry when he recalled his godfather's, and now Snape' fate. How much and how long he could tolerate, he did not know. The pain was burning a hole into his heart, marking it as a permanent cut, so deep and strong that blood penetrated frequently. Harry knew that the experiences and emotions he was holding in his soul would damage his mind completely someday. But he was glad for it. He lingered for the day he would lose his mind completely and die, leaving the world finally behind with its unfairness and sorrow. It was a wonderful thought to him but he also recognized things in the living world to linger on and to miss. Perhaps his friends.
"And?" Harry asked quietly.
Hermione glanced uncertainly at Ron, who was shooting her warning looks,
"Well he was still unconscious. Professor McGonagall was sweeping all over the placeand I heard the Healers say that - that -"
"That what?" Harry rushed her on impatiently. From the look on her face, Harry knew it was important and serious. Ron, too turned his warning glances into an alert look.
"That they have no further heal for Snape." Hermione said quickly, rushing her words. "And Snape's sister is coming later here to see to his condition."
"His sister?" Ron said in awe. Harry, however, did not find that distracting.
"That- that- means, "Hermione said nervously, her face pale, "Either Snape has to live as a plant with oxygen supplies and everything till his death, or his family- who has the only right to decided- chooses to end his live now by plugging out the surviving supply. He's not going to recover and he's just living a plant's life right now."
Silence followed Hermione's explanation. Then -
"I'm going to see him." Harry said, jumping out of the bed.
Hermione pulled him back. "No, Harry, don't go, it's no useit'll just make you even more upset"
She was near to tears. Ron, too, pulled Harry back.
But Harry would not allow anything to stop him from seeing his professor. Jerking out of his friend's grips, he hollered, "HE IS GOING TO RECOVER! AND I'LL MAKE SURE OF THAT!"
With that, he stormed out of the room, leaving his friends staring sadly after him.
* * *
"What the -"
Harry crashed into the sick room of Snape's not caring less about his other professor's reacts. All he knew was to make Snape get up - whatever it took, shake him, kick him, shout at him- as long as Snape would just open his eyes -
"UP! GET UP!" Harry bellowed as he grabbed his unconscious professor by the shoulders with his good arm and shook him violently. His tears were nearly falling though he tried desperately to keep his will -
Slapping the black haired man on the face, he screamed, "GET UP RIGHT NOW!"
He was about to hit Snape with his fists when a pair of strong arms pulled him aback, away from the one he loved. They turned Harry around and pulled him into a graceful hug.
"Shh, Potter, I know it's hard for you, it's hard for everyone, but don't" McGonagall broke down herself.
Another hand patted Harry on the shoulder gently. He knew, from the soothing touch, that it was Dumbledore.
Harry recoiled himself and stared back at the bed where the patient lay still on it, unusually calm. For a while no one spoke.
Then Dumbledore broke the silence. "Harry, Professor Snape has been our hero. E all know that. But he is also too tired to stay with us. It will be a deed to let him go. I ask you not to be here when the ceremony is done."
Harry turned his gaze slowly to his Headmaster, panting breathlessly out of fury and a kind of agony even he himself did not quite know what it was. "You- you're going to kill him?"
"No, Harry." Dumbledore shook his head. "Alas, it is my and Professor Snape's family's decision to do this, but it does not mean killing him. As I have told you long ago, death is but the next great adventure. And we should give a hand to Professor Snape and let him find his way to this next generation, for he had suffered too long in the living world."
Harry noticed tears in Dumbledore's eyes, but that did not prevent him from shouting.
"AND WHAT IF HE HADN'T WANT TO DIE? YOU'RE KILLING HIM, THAT'S WHAT
YOU'RE DOING, YOU MURDERUR!"
McGonagall sobbed and dropped into a chair. Dumbledore's tears flowed down onto his beard as he replied, "The decision is made, Harry, and you will understand once you are calm enough. I ask you to-"
"HOW CAN YOU LET THEM DO IT?" bellowed Harry angrily at his Headmaster. He was full of fear and frustration. Snape would recover, he knew it, he would recover just to see Harry once again- "After all those things he did for us, HOW CAN YOU LET HIM DIE LIKE THIS?"
Dumbledore shook his head sadly. "Believe us, Harry, it is the only thing we can do. We love Severus Snape. Everyone does. And from the love for he we decided, no matter how difficultly and how sorrowfully, that death is the best thing we can give him."
Harry was breathing very hard as he let the words sink into his mind. The old wizard took advantage to say, "Now, I may ask you not to proceed the ceremony-"
"Why?" he found his words at once.
"Because," Dumbledore explained gravely, "I am aware that the law concludes only wizards of eighteen or above are to attend these- things. And more, it would be better for you, Harry, to stay in your room."
Harry did not care. All mattered was that Snape would pen his eyes, or just say something, do anything, even curse him, then it would all be alright. But he knew it would never happen, and knew bawling and screaming were not in any use. Tiredly, he nodded.
"Minerva, kindly escort Harry back to his room please."
McGonagall nodded faintly and together they walked out of Snape's occupation, Harry not taking any backward glances at his loved professor.
* * *
"This way, miss."
As they made their way back to Harry's room, he saw a black haired woman, beautiful and slim figured, entering Snape's room with a Healer's accompany. Coldness drained on him. It was Snape's sister. It had to be.
Snape's - execution - was going to take place any moment.
But there was nothing he could do now, and he new it. So when the tearful McGonagall shooed him to bed, he made no objection but merely wanted to hide into his covers and never come back out. Hermione and Ron sat aside quietly as McGonagall gestured them to exit and leave him alone.
It was all too dark and still. Harry pulled the sheets more over his head. He did not want to think, but he had to, and there was no escape.
Snape when Harry had nearly died in his first year in a Quidditch Match. Snape when Harry had been accused of the Heir of Slytherin. Snape when he almost demolished his godfather's innocent in the third year. Snape when he practiced abiding loyalty to their side following Voldemort's rise. Snape when Harry had saw the priceless scene in his possessions. Snape when he had thrown Harry out of the room for saying the exactly right things about his coldness. Snape when Harry apologized and took a point from his own house. Snape when he saved Harry's life once more. Snape when he was helpless, too guilty of his murder, the only person there to comfort him and sooth him. It was all Snape. His life would never be the same without him.
He would never be the same without him.
With that in thought, Harry knew that he would regret deeply if he had not seen Snape for the last time - and kicked his covers off him, jumped out of bed and stormed his way out of his room.
* * *
"By the decision of Sylvester Snape, family and blood relatives to Severus Snape, we hereby announce the"
Harry ran faster, his blood pounding in his ears. Wait for me- no, just wait for me-
"you sign here, Miss Snape. And you, Professor Dumbledore"
"come now, Minerva, go outside, go, go outside"
Once again, Harry slammed the door open and stared wildly at Snape's body. Everyone turned to look at him sharply. For a moment he thought it was all over, that the Healers had plugged out the air supply, but then he saw Snape's breathing slowly and heavily.
Dumbledore advanced to Harry and began to reach for him but -
"Wait! The patient - he's waking!"
Everyone in the room, including the wordless Harry, stared.
And so he was. The eyelids began to part silently, his eyes once more
alive and shined with the usual cold and hollow-
"Harry - Harry Potter."
Harry had no choice but to break against his will, for tears fell freely as he launched himself into the arms of Severus Snape.
And then they were once again united enemies.
A/N: I just want to thank all of you who supported me through all this. I really appreciate it and I'm very sorry to let my fiction go. But that's the way it is. Perhaps we'll see again. Thank you, thank you and thank you.
I cried during this chapter. It was the most difficult chapter for me to write, not out of writer's blocks but deciding wether Severus has to die. I almost killed him off! But I just can't do it...not after what he has been through. He is my hero and so is Harry. May the two be forever united.
Please do review and tell me what you think about this chapter and the whole story plot. Since this is the last chapter, I might want to go further as to ask you do longer reviews? Because your reviews are my air supply, and I linger for every word and sentence you say. Please do say more, no matter how you hate it.