Title:  The Sparrow is Immortal

Author:  DuchessAndromeda

Rating:  PG-13 (too be safe)

Disclaimer:  If I owned it, I would be working feverishly to finish the 6th book, and a lot of things would have been different.

Summary: At the final battle, Snape contemplates the futility of it all.

Author's Notes:  Thanks be to Wiccan PussyKat for betaing and not being freaked out when I was on a sugar high and having delusions of my grandeur as an author.

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sometimes you've got to kill 4 or 5

thousand men before you somehow

get to believe that the sparrow

is immortal, money is piss and

that you have been wasting

your time.

~Charles Bukowski the man in the sun

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This was it.

The final battle.  The last stand.  Of this war, at least.  Severus Snape wasn't going to delude himself into thinking that there wouldn't be other wars in the furture, that no more blood would be spilled in combat, that mankind would finally learn its lesson and leave the senseless brutality alone.

It should be night.  The final battles of so many tales takes place at night, surrounded by the darkness in which the ones who serve it feel secure.  Darkness hides the blood and carnage, the horrific pain and terror.

But the sun was shining, and that made it so much worse.  If it had been night, if the engulfing blackness had been lit up only by flames and wand, perhaps it would have seemed less real.

Snape stood at the top of a small hill and looked down upon the valley that had been the main battleground.  Bodies and ashes littered the ground.  The once green grass was stained with crimson blood, or scorched coal black.  A few patches of green still grew, and seemed only to add to the insignificance of what the wizarding world would remember through the ages.

Such a historic day.  The day when Harry Potter fell.  The day when more than half of the entire wizarding population of the UK was desecrated in one blow.  The day when Albus Dumbledore was revealed to be Grindelwald himself.  And yet, the tentative green shoots that still grew seemed to emphasize the insignificance of what the world would remember of it.

The birds mocked him.

Below, children moved among the dead, counting and attempting to identify the remains.  The death eater's masks were removed, and they looked no different from those who had fought and died for the Light side.

Maybe he could advertise that, make it the new Slytherin slogan; Death: the great equalizer.

No, that was too morbid for even his house, and the children could not yet understand the irony that their lives held.  He had been a teacher for many years, indeed, almost longer than their 'hero' had been alive.

The boy had been 21.

Snape was 41.

And what did he have to show for it? Grey threads in his hair where none should yet be even thinking of emerging. An ulcer that even the most potent potions could only dull, not heal. Scars that littered his body like so many veins. A knee that would never work properly again, and a hip that would never really heal.

Someone had covered Potter with a cloak, a scorched offering for a shroud for the one who gave up his life to save them all. And smiled.

Maybe he knew something Snape didn't.

A sparrow flew out of a nearby tree to peck among a still green patch. The melody of a muggle song drifted through his head, even though it had been years since he had heard it.

His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches over me...

***

Later, after those in the valley had been taken care of, a lone boy would climb a nearby hill. The sun was low in the sky, and he knew that he had to be going back soon, for he was too young to cast even a simple Lumos. Wearily, he cast his eyes over the hill and beyond, looking for any other bodies. Relieved that this side, at least, was empty, he turned to go… and promptly tripped over his own feet.

Sprawled face first in the grass, the child was surprised to raise his eyes to see a slim length of dark wood, a wand, with the initials S.S carved into the handle. Most of the wand-makers had been killed in the war, and no one really expected to be able to afford a new wand for a few years.

Reverently, the boy cradled it the wand in his hands before giving it an experimental wave. A shower of silver and golden sparks cascaded from the tip, and the child smiled his first real smile in many months.


Grinning, Solomon Smith scrambled to his feet and ran off to show his older sister what he had found.