Beaten by his own Heart
Author: Along Came the Spider
Summary: Sometimes it is the most mundane things.
Notes: Written for the Snape Kicks the Bucket Challenge on the After Class mailing list.
Severus froze on the steps, unsure of how to proceed. Below him the Death Eaters attacked the members of the Order of the Phoenix. If he showed his hand to early, he'd be killed by his former compatriots. If he showed it to late he would run the risk of getting killed by an overzealous member of the group that held his current allegiance. He took one look at the field and decided it was best not to be known. He pulled the white mask down over his face and began threading through the throngs of combatants.
A flash of pain went through his arm as a great white light flashed to the south of his current location. 'Well,' he thought grimly. 'At least I know where the Dark Lord is. And where the Dark Lord is, so are Potter and his friends.'
He changed the direction of his movements. He felt that he must be insane to be heading toward the Dark Lord and his prey. The safest place to be in this battle was on the fringes, his mask close to hand, his wand closer. That way no matter who won no one would be able to point at him and say that he was definitely on the losing side. Yet here he was heading toward the one place he shouldn't be. The one place where he would have to pick a side and stay with that choice.
He knew that everyone assumed the choice was made, he had always assumed it himself. He was Dumbledore's now, no longer a tool for the Dark Lord to use. Yet he wouldn't help anyone by dying because he was seen on the loosing side.
He wondered what the deciding factor in his decision would be. Would it be Potter's lifeless body lying before the Dark Lord? Would it be Voldemort disappearing before his eyes due to something that Potter pulled out of his ass?
He wished that he could go in the other direction. He wanted to flee, be anywhere but on the battlefield. He stumbled as one of the fighters was pushed into him. He fell to his knees and drew in a quick breath before standing up and continuing on his way to where the light had been.
Another flash of pain and light blinded him temporarily, sending him into the midst of a duel between a Weasley and a Malfoy. He couldn't tell which Weasley or Malfoy it was. It might have been Molly and Narcissa, since all he saw was a blond hair matted with blood flinging itself towards a red head.
He continued on his way, a sense of urgency making him pick up his pace. As he got closer the urgency became stronger. 'A spell?' his mind wondered, 'or just a sense that I can still change the outcome of the confrontation?'
He wasn't a mover or a shaker, he had worked hard not to be. People who moved things, or shook things up had a tendency to end up dead. Remembered for whatever it was they did, but dead nonetheless. He quite liked his life, it might not be the perfect life, or even the life he had always imagined, but it was his and he didn't want to give it up just yet.
He noticed, in the back of his mind, that he was leaving the main fighting field. The people around him were those who were in the lower levels of the two groups. Their entire concentration was taken up by their opposite numbers and they posed no threat to Severus as he passed them.
Pain coursed through him and the sky lit up again. He managed to stay standing this time, but it was a near thing. The intensity of the light and the pain meant that he was nearing the Dark Lord.
"Harry!" a voice shrieked from behind the clump of trees to his left.
"Quiet!" another voice yelled back. "He needs to concentrate!"
'Like your yelling is doing any good.' Snape thought as he rounded the trees. Harry was standing at one side of the clearing, his head was bowed and what Severus presumed was his wand lay broken at his feet.
The Dark Lord was at the other side of the clearing, his wand at the ready, Nagani curled around him. Peter Pettigrew, the Dark Lord's left hand, was not in his customary place at the Dark Lord's side. 'Perhaps he is elsewhere dealing with the fall out of his little trick all those years ago?' Severus mused. He hadn't noted Lupin on the battlefield, but that meant little.
Weasley and Granger stood behind the Dark Lord, obviously unhappy, and equally obviously unable to do a thing about it. There was a body lying in between Potter and the Dark Lord, by the robes Severus was able to identify Mad Eye Moody.
'Did another person give their lives for Potter?' Severus wondered, he also wondered what he would have done in Moody's place.
He felt something hit him, and he began to fall down sideways. "Got you!" one of the voices he had heard earlier whispered fiercely. "You won't be getting to your lord now!"
"Professor Snape!" The other voice exclaimed as his mask was dislodged.
Severus shook off a shaken Longbottom and turned a glare on the other member of the group. "Miss Lovegood, how nice you of you to recognize me."
"Severus," the Dark Lord hissed from his spot. "Good, I need something from you."
Severus stole a look at Potter, his head was still bowed. He then turned to the Dark Lord, "What do you need?"
There were gasps from Longbottom and Lovegood. The Dark Lord eyed them both. "You thought that all your professor's were good? Sorry, but Severus has always been mine."
Severus said nothing, but gave Potter another glance. He looked at Potter's feet as well, the wood splinters of his wand lay there.
"I need your wand." The Dark Lord said conversationally. Severus whipped his head back to the Dark Lord.
"My wand?" He knew his voice sounded incredulous, but he couldn't help it. It was one of the first things he had learned about wands - using someone else's was dangerous.
"Yes!" The Dark Lord spit out. "Are you deaf? You're bound to me! One of my Death Eaters! That means that your magic is mine. I have lost my wand, therefore yours will do nicely."
Severus slowly took out his wand. He looked again at the splinters at Harry's feet. Were they Harry's wand? Or were they the Dark Lord's? Not even seeing the Core's would tell him much, they were feather's from the same phoenix.
His wand was finally in his hand, he took a step forward, unsure of what to do.
"Professor," A croak came from Potter's direction. "He still has his wand."
If the Dark Lord still had his wand, what would he need Severus's for? It wasn't like Severus could give the wand to Potter. He didn't have the same connection to Potter.
A page from one of the Dark Art's books he'd read as a child came to mind. If one had a bond with another, then the first person could use the other's wand and magic so that the first person wouldn't be drained.
'The Dark Lord wants to drain me,' he thought as he moved closer to the two. 'I knew I should have stayed away from all this.'
But what could he do? If he didn't give the wand to the Dark Lord then he would be killed if the Dark Lord found someway out of his current situation. If he gave the wand to Potter, there was only a very slim chance that Potter would be able to do something with it.
'Can I wake up and do this day over?' Severus begged whatever deity might be listening to hopeless cases. There was no response and he moved another step closer.
It looked like this fight rested with him at this moment. Potter was useless without his wand, and the Dark Lord wouldn't do anything if it meant tiring himself enough that others might be able to kill him.
"Potter," Severus sneered. Potter's head came up, in his face Severus read the determination that was a standard for Gryffindor's house.
"Professor," Potter said firmly.
"It's useless," Severus sneered again. There was a short laugh from the Dark Lord's direction.
"Not quite." Potter replied. "Just as you have a connection to him, so do I."
Severus wondered if he was throwing his life away as he moved the wand into position to throw. It was a very slim chance that Potter's connection to the Dark Lord would give him any control over Severus's wand.
The wand flew through the air and landed next to the shards of Potter's wand. Potter bent and scooped up the wand, a feather sticking out of his sleeve.
"Severus!" The Dark Lord yelled. "What do you think you're doing!"
"Moving and shaking." Severus said as he moved back to the edge of the clearing.
The Dark Lord made a move toward Severus but was cut off by a sharp "Tom!" from Potter.
There was a flash of pain that once again brought Severus to his knees, he noted that there wasn't any physical light this time. Potter stood with Severus's wand in hand, pointing it steadily at the Dark Lord. Neither of them was speaking, both were radiating magic.
The Dark Lord made a complicated movement with his wand and the pain was back. The Dark Lord's wand moved through the movement over and over, and Severus was eventually forced to lower his eyes to deal with his pain.
He wasn't sure how long the pain went on. He couldn't compare it to the pain of the Cruciatus curse, but the sheer length of he had to endure it made sure that he would always remember it.
The pain stopped as abruptly as it had begun. Severus weakly lifted his head to look and see what his fate was. Potter stood with his wand poised at the Dark Lord's throat. The Dark Lord's eyes were closed, Severus couldn't tell if that was a good sign or not.
Potter drew back the hand holding the wand then shoved the wand into the Dark Lord's neck. Severus winced at the thought of what the blood would do to his wand.
As the Dark Lord collapsed more pain ran through Severus's body. Shrieks from the battlefield indicated that he wasn't the only one. The last thing Severus saw before he blacked out was the concerned face of Neville Longbottom.
Severus knew the ceiling of the infirmary like an old friend. He'd seen it often enough, first as a student - then as a teacher come to visit his students. He was surprised to find others in his field of vision though. No one had thought to visit him in the infirmary before. Unless one counted Dumbledore, but Severus was not inclined too, not when the Headmaster had the habit of visiting every student who got sent there.
"Mr. Longbottom," Severus tried to say. However his throat was dry so he ended up coughing.
"Shhh." Longbottom murmured soothingly. "Drink something before you try to talk."
"Is he awake?" A voice asked.
"He just woke up," Longbottom turned to the voice as he supported Severus's head. "I'm giving him the potion for his throat."
"Ah," the voice said. "Can I take the seat now?"
Longbottom waited until Severus had finished the potion, and his head was firmly back on his pillow, before relinquishing his seat. Potter's head instantly filled his sight.
"Professor," Potter said quietly. "I have to thank you for what you did."
"No," Severus protested weakly. There was a tightness in his chest he shifted slightly to try to get rid of it. "Not now."
Potter's brow creased in confusion. "You'll be happy to know that you're finally going to receive that Order of Merlin first class."
"Yes," Severus sighed. He knew that longer words were going to be a problem, not to mention that Gryffindors weren't known for their comprehension of them.
"Do I need to get Madam Pomfrey?" Potter asked, his confused expression was turning into one of alarm. Severus spared a thought for what he must look like.
"I'll get her," Neville said in a panicked tone.
"Quickly," Potter advised.
Severus looked at Potter, he really didn't look like his father at all. Except for those eyes - no the eyes were Lily's. That stupid Mudblood bitch.
"You're sweating," Potter took his hand. "That can't be good."
"Good," Severus managed to gasp out. He suddenly felt the urge to throw up, he maneuvered himself onto his side as the bile came rushing out.
"Neville!" Potter shouted. "Hurry!"
Severus could taste the blood that he had just thrown up. Black spots appeared in front of his eyes. He caught Potter's eyes again. 'Odd, that Potter's hated face should be the last thing I see in life.'
Harry Potter stared at Snape as the hand he was holding went limp. He was barely aware of Madame Pomfrey pushing him aside. He had seen so much death in the time since the war had begun, yet this was the first time he wasn't seeing it in bloody detail on the battlefield. Even Sirius's death, which hadn't been bloody, had come in the middle of a fight.
"His heart," Madame Pomfrey was saying when he tuned back in.
"Whatever Voldemort did there at the end weakened his heart?" Neville asked her.
Madam Pomfrey shook her head. "No, it was a preexisting condition. I would have to guess that he hasn't been taking his potion for it."
Harry turned away from the bed, and looked back at all the beds that lined the ward. He knew what would go on Snape's tombstone. "Beaten by his own heart."
I don't do Death Fics often, but here is my second one.