Title: Left Behind
Author: Unspoken Tragedy
Spoilers: All five books
Disclaimer: I do not own Severus Snape. Be grateful for that, 'cause if I did... I wouldn't share. ;)
Summery: After being caught and tortured for being a spy, Severus wakes to realize he's been in a coma for the past five years. Now he has to learn to cope with mourning, moving on, and a greatly changed wizarding world.
Series: None yet.
A/N: OK, this is my last new story for a while, I swear! I have enough to work on as it is. I'll be updating my other stories as soon as humanly possible, I promise!!!
Prologue: I Woke Up and the World Was Gone...
"All said and done I stand alone
Amongst remains of a life I should not own
It takes all I am to believe
In the Mercy that covers me."
-Jars of Clay "Worlds Apart"
Severus Snape, Death Eater spy and Order of the Phoenix member, stood silently among the inner circle of Voldemort's Death Eaters, listening to them finishing their reports. He'd already given his earlier, so he really hadn't expected to be called forward again. But as he'd come to learn throughout the long years of his existence, things rarely happen as one expects them to. They usually turn out far worse.
"Severusss." Voldemort hissed.
He stepped forward and bowed low to the ground in front of the dark lord. "Yes, Master?"
"Did you think that you could hide this from me?" Uh, oh.
"I am hiding nothing, Master."
"Nothing at all?" Voldemort drawled, smiling in a decidedly pleased manner. Severus could not say that he particularly liked that look, as it was quite the contrary.
"Nothing." He bowed his head lower to the ground to show his sincerity, knowing that looking up at the Dark Lord at a moment like this could be the difference between life and death. And he wasn't feeling particularly suicidal at the moment, so he kept his head down.
"Ah. Then there must be a perfectly logical explanation as to why you are reporting to Dumbledore our, or rather my actions. I've known you've been sabotaging raids for quite some time now." 'Oh have you now?' Severus thought sarcastically though he didn't dare speak the words out loud, 'That must be why you sent me on so many.'
"Master, I have done no such thing."
"When my faithful servant Wormtail told me that you had been spying for Dumbledore... I was shocked Severus, appalled. You would never betray your own, I thought. But when Umbridge revealed that you had given her useless water instead of Veritiserum to feed Potter and that only you had known that he was going to the ministry that night, and therefore only you could have warned the order... I could no longer deny the truth. You have betrayed us, Severus. You're a traitor," Voldemort spat out the word as if it just saying it gave him a bad taste in his mouth. "Consequently you will receive the fate of a traitor. Crucio." Severus crumpled to the ground in pain. Voldemort held the curse for several, excruciating moments.
Severus endured that curse two more times, each in silence, before Voldemort passed him off to his Death Eaters. This was going to be a long night. And most likely his last. Strange how that thought was almost comforting. After a year of being a spy, he had finally been caught. He was not really all too surprised with this fact, just that he had survived this long.
The past year had been tough, to say the least. Sleep had been fleeting, eating rare. Between Order and Death Eater meetings and teaching he'd had little time to himself. Often returning to Hogwarts after a meeting with Voldemort half-dead, Severus truthfully could not say that he was all that sorry for the situation he was in. At least after this particular torture session he would be given the release of death.
He only wished he could have done more. As he was kicked, cursed and beaten by his comrades of old, the one regret he had was that he'd been caught before having the chance to do more than what he'd done. Well, the one regret that didn't have anything to do with his sordid past.
He felt bones break, muscles and skin tear, and his nerves burned from the Cruciatus, but he would not scream. To his last he would keep silent. He would not beg for mercy; even if he did, there was no mercy to be had for a traitor of Voldemort's cause.
Suddenly the torture stopped. Severus felt his head lift from the wet soil as Voldemort's face came into focus. "Severus, you have a choice. Tell me who belongs to the Order of the Phoenix and I will let you live." 'LIAR!' Severus's mind screamed.
He glared at the reptilian face before him. "Never," he whispered his voice not able to make any more sound. Red eyes locked with his own and he felt Voldemort's efforts against his mind. All those efforts, however, were in vain. Voldemort could not break through his mind's defenses, none could. Not even Dumbledore could break through that wall he'd constructed, had he tried.
Angry for his failure to glean any information from this, Voldemort motioned for his minions to continue. And so they did. Time became a blur as hours bled together in a haze of pain, coldness, defeat and sorrow. Each time he'd fallen unconscious, moments later (or was that hours?) he would be awoken and the pain would begin again. He could no longer recognize his surroundings, he could still be on that hill where the meeting had begun, or he could be somewhere else. All he knew was the pain.
Until... It stopped. He no longer felt a thing. Just peace.
Was he dead? Where was he? Everything was so dark. There was no sound, no sign of any other life here. Was he in Hell? No that didn't make sense. Hell would be a lot worse than this nothingness.
Here there was no pain, no sorrow and no memories of the past he hated. Here he just was. He wasn't a killer, a traitor, a spy or even a professor. He was just Severus Snape, alone in a dark place of nothingness that was far better than the reality he'd escaped. And he had no intention of leaving anytime soon.
Five Years Later...
Severus woke up groggily, feeling simultaneously tired and alert. 'How long have I been here?' he thought remembering the meeting with Voldemort and realizing that nothing hurt.
He looked over his surroundings. The walls were sparkling white as were the floors, giving the room a sterile look to it. There were two oak doors on either side of the room. 'A bathroom and an exit,' he guessed. A large open window to his left was blowing a light breeze into the small room. A few pictures of daisies and violets adorned the walls along with several white dome-covered candles, and to the right of his bed was a small end table with a vase of fresh flowers. Where was he? This wasn't the Hogwarts hospital wing... "Albus? Poppy?" he called weakly his voice gruff with disuse.
"Ah, Dear! You're awake!" cried a cheerful old woman's voice, as a nurse stepped into the room. She made towards his bed and smiled at him in a motherly way. "I'm Matilda Longshore, your nurse. We've been waiting for quite some time for you to wake, dear boy."
Severus made a move to sit up, but found the strain on his muscles to be too tiring. "Where am I?" he asked instead.
"You're at St. Mungos, Madame Pomfrey and Headmaster Dumbledore had wanted you to stay at Hogwarts, but after a while realized St. Mungos was the place where you'd get the best care..." she trailed off as if it was too painful to continue.
"How long have I been here?" he asked the question he dreaded the most. There was a war going on, and as useless as he was for spying now, he knew that the real fighting would begin soon. He was needed there.
Matilda looked suddenly very sad. "Five years."
He let out a strangled gasp. Five years? How much had he missed while he was in this deep slumber? Was the war over? Who survived it?
As if noticing his distress, she added, "Now that you're awake we'll begin to work your muscles back into shape. Only by a strong holding spell and weekly supplements were we able to keep them from atrophying. But you'll be up and about in no time. And once you are able to function normally, you'll be home free!"
"What have I missed?" he asked softly.
"Oh, dear, don't you worry about that just yet," Matilda replied as she left the room.
'Five years, I've been sleeping five years.' Severus felt loneliness so strong that it was almost unbearable. Here he was, the same man he'd been five years ago, while the outside world had changed. His world had left him behind, caught in a past which no longer existed.
For the first time since he was a small child, he wanted to pull the covers over his head, close his eyes and hide from the world. He knew this was irrational, and therefore did not do such a thing, but nevertheless he wanted to.
A/N: Aww... Poor Sevvie. I know I'm too cruel to him. :) A review would be nice... -hint-hint-
Oh and for the record: if the torture scene seemed a little too rushed, I'm sorry. I didn't want to go into too much detail, because his torture actually plays only a very small part in the grand scheme of things. The injury which caused his coma will be explained in the near future.