Title: No Greater Love

Author: Unspoken Tragedy

Rating: PG-13, for themes of Death

Spoilers: All six books, but especially HBP and GOF. Yes, this contains MAJOR spoilers.

Disclaimer: I don't own a thing.

Summery: "And should it prove necessary... if it seems Draco will fail... will you carry out the deed that the Dark Lord has ordered Draco to perform?" A hero falls, a choice made. It's all about a promise. HBP SPOILERS.

Series: On the Other Side
Other stories include:
Victorious
What Are Friends For?
Bought in Blood
Never an Angel Be

A/N: WARNING: In light of the events in HBP, the ideas in this fic may be markedly different from your own. Feel free to review either way, but be a dear and don't flame, only if you are angry at my stance.


No Greater Love

"Draco, do it or stand aside so one of us-" screeched an all too familiar woman's voice from behind the door. He blasted the door open, already knowing what would be waiting for him.

Severus Snape clutched his wand in his hand as he gazed over the scene. Albus was slumped against the wall with a shaking Draco standing before him. Three of his supposed comrades stood around the pair, glaring at them angrily and impatiently. Amycus, Alecto and Fenrir. All who would give their wand arm to be the one to murder Albus Dumbledore.

They would not be the one to kill him tonight. "We've got a problem, Snape," said Amycus, his eyes and wand trained on Dumbledore, "the boy doesn't seem to be able-"

But he was interrupted by a far more pleasant voice. "Severus..."

It was the first time he had ever seen the man plead. He had always before had better means to manipulate others. Severus didn't say a thing, merely walked forward to face his mentor, shoving Draco out of his way.

Draco had failed. And Severus had made a promise. To two different parties, at that.

The other Death Eaters wordlessly fell back. They were afraid to anger the Dark Lord's favorite, always had been.

He gazed at his mentor for a moment. 'Severus you know what I must ask you to do.' Yes, Albus, I know. And in that moment, Severus hated the old man for asking him to be forced to make such a choice. He hated Narcissa for asking him to do this, and himself for agreeing.

But in the end, he still loved them. 'If you are ready... if you are prepared...'

'I am.' He felt sick and weak and wanted nothing more than to fail this and die, but-

"Severus... please..."

He'd promised.

He raised his wand and pointed it at the only man in the world who'd ever cared for him.

"Avada Kedavra!"

A jet of green light shot from the end of his wand and hit Dumbledore squarely in the chest. Albus was blasted into the air. For a small moment he seemed to hang suspended beneath the shining skull, but then he fell slowly backward over the battlements and out of sight.

'Maybe I don't want to do this anymore, Albus!'

'You haven't any choice. You agreed to this and that's all there is to it.'

"Out of here, quickly," he snapped at the others, seizing Draco by the scruff of the neck and forcing him out the door ahead of the others.

'And will you, to the best of your ability, protect him from harm?'

'I will.'

'And should it prove necessary... if it seems Draco will fail... will you carry out the deed that the Dark Lord has ordered Draco to perform?'

The other Death Eaters followed the pair as they hurried across the grounds to reach the Aparition barrier. Jinxes and hexes filled the air all around them, some aimed for the three behind him, others not. None aimed for them hit their mark.

'I will.'

Once on the grounds Hagrid came to stop the others from escaping, but Severus just pulled his charge along with him (though Draco was running just as much as he) leaving the giant to the other Death Eaters.

And they were almost at the gates- only a little further until they could Disapparate into safety. Then he heard a voice, the voice of one he hated yelled, "Stupefy!" Of course, that idiot Potter had to play hero once more. The red light soared over his head.

"Run, Draco!" he shouted as he turned. Twenty yards apart, he and the boy stood, as they simultaneously drew their wands. He didn't want to hurt the boy, despite the deep mutual loathing. Albus would never forgive him if he did.

"Cruc-" the fool child cast.

Before allowing the other to finish, he parried it. Potter was knocked backward off his feet, quickly scrambling to his feet. Behind the boy a Death Eater Incendio-ed Hagrid's hut. "Fang's in there, yer evil- !" the giant roared.

The boy attacked him again and again, each time to find his curses deflected. When Hagrid's demented hippogriff took it upon itself to assault him (only after he attacked the boy to make his escape), Severus Snape hurried away. Upon reaching the gates, he was gone, leaving his once-home behind.

That night he moved into Riddle Manor.

He was given all the comforts afforded to Voldemort's most trusted- and the envy of all the other Death Eaters. He rapidly found himself having copious amounts of free time. There was only so much planning to be done, only so many potions to be made (which, contrary to popular belief, were mostly healing draughts), until there was just nothing more to do.

But he was a wanted man now, just as unpopular as Voldemort, himself. If he showed his face- he would be killed on sight.

Severus was never given the choice to go to his friend's funeral.

He would have died for the kindly old man- would have killed for him. Now he had to learn to live for him- without him. It was too late to bring him back. But he would remember him always.

He would do what he had to, what he promised to do.

Sometimes duty isn't about doing the right thing, the acceptable thing. Sometimes it's just doing what has to be done. Sometimes love isn't spoken in words, but actions. Sometimes 'good' isn't reliant on 'how', but 'why'.

Sometimes the one thing that the world believes is wrong is the most right of all.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.


THE END

A/N: You may notice the quotes interspersed throughout this fic. They are from both GOF and HBP. I do not own them. I did, however, take liberties on the argument between Snape and Dumbledore that Hagrid spoke about. He never really quoted them and I wanted it in their own words. Their purpose? Severus is remembering how he got there.

The quote at the end? John 15:13

Note to any wondering about my other stories: They will become AU, but will be finished all the same. I will take the events of HBP into account, but will not rely on them. I will not abandon them simply because Severus's loyalty is more questionable than ever. I still believe he's not loyal to LV. And even were he, he's still my fav charrie.