A High Price

By: Barbara Kennedy

Disclaimer: This story is a total creation of my mind but the
characters belong to J.K. Rowling. It is probably totally
Alternate Universe, so if anything I put in here doesn't match
up with any of the books, tough luck, just take my word for it
that it happened in this reality.

This is going to be almost totally from Snape's point of view.
I'm not sure where the story will end up yet either. It's a bit
dark and angsty but maybe something good will come of it.

This is for everyone that has been asking for me to write
another story. Here you go.

~*~*~*~*
Chapter one - Aftermath

An explosion, fire, noise, pain, crushing, fear, darkness.

Drifting, floating, more pain, light, voices, cool liquid
flowing into my mouth and carrying me to quiet darkness again.

Movement, darkness, voices, lights, pain, floating, water on my
skin, cool liquid on parched lips, voices calling me, pain,
spinning back to darkness.

Voices calling and a cool cloth on my face bring me back to some
awareness again. I turn my head slightly and moan, a voice calls
my name again. "Severus? Poppy, I think he is waking."

A glass is lifted to my dry lips and I eagerly swallow whatever
is offered.

I can sense light through my closed eyelids. It is bright, so it
must be daytime. My whole body feels weighted down. I slowly
open my eyes as I become accustomed to the light but it still
hurts my eyes.

"Severus, dear boy, can you hear me?"

I recognize the voice, Albus Dumbledore.
I cough and my dry throat is raspy as I whisper. "Yes, I hear
you, Albus." I slowly focus and his face becomes clearer. He
lifts my head and brings the glass to my lips again. This time
it is not water, but a healing potion. Some of the heaviness
leaves my body as I drink it but my limbs still seem leaden.

"Why can't I move?"

Madam Pomfey appears in my line of sight. "It is only an
Immobilius Charm, Severus. You were terribly hurt in an
explosion. A large beam fell across you, breaking your legs and
pelvis, among. among other injuries. You have been kept immobile
so you can heal properly. You have been unconscious for three
days. We were afraid you had been deafened by the blast as well.
You were bleeding from your ears when you were dug out of the
rubble."

"I don't remember much of it. All I remember.is.. Children,
Albus, there were little children there! Albus, we - the Death
Eaters, we were.."

His quiet voice assures me. "Calm down, Severus. They all got
away safely. You were the only one hurt when the explosion
happened. You didn't make it to the door before something in the
house exploded from the fire and the house collapsed on you. By
some miracle you weren't burned."

"I had cast a Fire-Protection Charm - on my cloak before I -
went back in after - after the others left."

I'm beginning to tire, the effort of speaking is too hard and
the memories are disturbing. I close my eyes.

"Severus! Severus, don't go back to sleep yet. You need to take
a couple more potions." Poppy lifts my head gently and brings a
flask to my lips, the liquid is thick as cream, but gritty. I
swallow it with difficulty as it hurts the dry tissues of my
throat. "It is a bone-knitting draught. It will speed your
recovery. I didn't think you were strong enough for it before.
Now here, you can wash it down with a sleeping potion. You
should be much stronger when you wake up tomorrow."

My eyes are closed and the darkness pulls me into its embrace
once more, but I can still hear their voices before I am fully
asleep.

"Don't you think we should have told him about the rest of his
wounds, Poppy?'

"No, I don't think he was strong enough to hear about it yet,
Albus..."

To Be Continued..