Getting What You Deserve
Snivellus aka Heather Granger
A/N: So, after being depressed for a good week about the ending of the HBP, I have finally decided to write something on it. This is rather a depressing fic, but I feel a good one. Spoilers for the sixth book abound, so beware.
It was a brisk October night on the grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The moon had been hanging low in the sky for several hours now, and the wind blew ever so slightly so that the leaves could be heard rustling in the distance. One man stood in this lonely scene, having limped slightly towards the spot where he currently stands.
"All of us are telling lies, lies about the past, about the future, and even the present. We lie to hide the one emotion that would bring our own demise, fear. I have been lying for most of my life, and I boast that it is probably what I am best at, I am sure you would agree. I lied to my grandmother when my mother had died, telling her that I was fine. I had lied to my peers of my knowledge of the dark arts to make me look strong. I had lied to my father when he worried that I was falling too far in, and I lied to myself, I told myself that I could bear it on my own." The man shifted uneasily on his feet trying to releave the pressure he was placing on his poor leg. The man then placed his hand on the marble slab for balance.
"But now I cannot bear the pain, the trials, and the loneliness. You always told me that if you should die at my hands you would feel no remorse, nor blame, but what should I feel? Should I feel the same, because I do not. I feel alone, and I know that no one is coming to save me. No matter how hard I pushed you away, you pushed right back. No matter how many times I told you I was fine, you told me that fine is a word that no man can bear for so long." The man looked up into the sky, hoping that he would find a sign, giving him hope that he had long since lost.
"You asked me to help you, and I obliged. I did your bidding, as well as the Dark Lord's. Playing my cards well, telling a web of well tangled lies so that no one but you and I knew where my loyalties lie. The well trained spider. I am nothing more than a spider, a menace, invisible to all, all but you. You were my first and most likely my last friend."
"Would it be selfish of me to say that I wished things were different? I wished that my mother had not died. I wished that I was able to make friends. I wished that I had fallen in love with someone who was willing to love me back. My situation seems desperate, I am reaching the end, but I feel you nagging me to push forward through the everlasting night. However, how can I find my way out, if my lantern has now been extinguished?"
"I have been your servant for far too long, to know what to do without you. I find myself lost and unsure. I suppose what they say about house elves is true, A free house elf is far worse off than that whom has a family to serve. I have no family, I have no one. I am… I am afraid." The man said as silent tears flowed down his gaunt face.
"Severus." A voice called out from the distance.
The man whirled around to see the intruder. Swiftly taking his wand from his pocket, he prepared himself to fight. He twisted around so fast that he had stumbled slightly backwards leaning up against the grave.
"Put your wand away, I mean you know harm." The other man replied as he approached him.
"Then go away, and leave me." He hissed, now getting a good look at the stranger.
"Severus, answer me truthfully, and I don't care the reason why, but. Was the reason Albus trusted you was because you repented for telling the Dark Lord of the prophecy?"
"Why should I answer you, you are just stalling until the others get here." Severus said, sweat now dripping ever so slowly down his gaunt and pale face.
"There is no one else coming, I told you I mean you no harm." The other man said softly.
"Then why did you never speak up? Why did you let your asinine friends humiliate, torture, and berate me? Why did you stay silent, when I suffered. You have always inflicted harm on me." He bit out.
"Why do you so desperately hold onto the past! I have told you many times that I am sorry for my behavior."
"Have you? Funny I never heard those words come out of your mouth? Perhaps you spoke them to a copy of me, someone taking Polyjuice potion?" He said sarcastically. Remus paused a moment and thought back to all his adult encounters with Snape, and realized that the man was right, he never actually told him he was sorry, he had meant to but the man had always said something rude, which made him quickly forget his apology.
"Should I forgive you, for killing? You know the killing curse is called unforgivable for a reason." Lupin shot back.
"Lucky for you then that your friend saved you from an unforgivable fate. But perhaps you would have enjoyed having my blood on your hands, or should I say paws?"
"You killed the greatest wizard alive, and here you stand judging me! How dare you!" His rage rising.
Severus did not have a chance to answer, he felt nauseous and weak. He collapsed suddenly at the other man's feet, hitting his head on the marble slab as he fell. Remus looked down at the man, not knowing what to do. Blood oozed from where Snape had hit his head on the marble. Part of Lupin told him to leave him there for the Aurors to find, and yet another part told him to take him inside.
Remus knew he owed Snape for making him the Wolfsbane potion every month for that year he taught. He owed Severus the chance to explain himself, and so he leaned over the unconscious man and cast a levitation charm, and took him into the castle.
Poppy Pomfrey was almost ready for bed, when she heard the Infirmary doors swing open. Hustling to see what the commotion was for, she stood immobilized by shock as she saw Remus carrying Severus Snape.
"What in Merlin's name is going on?" Poppy fretted.
"I found him outside on the grounds. I think he has fainted." Remus explained as he laid him on one of the empty beds.
"Have you told Minivera? Severus Snape is a traitor, I cannot treat him." Poppy dismissed.
"I have not seen her as of yet, but I will tell her. Poppy, please he is injured, cast an immobilizing charm on him if you are that concerned. I think he should be given a chance to explain." Remus tried to persuaded.
"A chance to explain? He killed the Headmaster, Remus! There is no need for explanation! He is a cold blooded murderer." She shrieked.
"I thought your job was to heal people, so do it now, while I fetch Minerva." Remus said growing tired of her banter.
"Very well, but note that I am not happy about this!" Poppy said, as she turned her attention to Snape. Remus left her alone with him, while she made a preliminary scan of his injuries.
Poppy quickly cast a immobilizing charm, in case he were to suddenly wake up while she was trying to work. She then proceeded to unbutton his traveling cloak and undergarments, in order to get a better look at what might be ailing him. She carefully peeled off each layer until he lay bare chested in front of her.
If it had not been for her extensive medical training, the sight before her would have caused her to vomit. Snape's chest was a battleground of old and new scars. Bruises could easily be seen on the right side of his ribcage, as well as deeper contusions near the spleen.
Never in all of Snape's years teaching at Hogwarts had he come to see her. The most Poppy ever saw of Severus was when he dropped of the month's potions supply, something now she missed greatly. Poppy now realized that not only had he never seen her as a colleague, but also as a student. She heard rumors that Severus was always getting into rows with James and Sirius, but never once had he come and seen her about any injuries.
Poppy worked quickly mending a few old broken ribs as well as minor healing on his damaged spleen. As she finished with the man's torso, she noticed that the once white pillow where his dangling head now lay was deep crimson, indicating that it had been stained with blood. Poppy gently lifted his head, and saw a deep gash a few inches from the base of his neck. She rushed over to the cabinet where she kept a few handy potions and grabbed one that had been sitting gathering dust. She quickly poured some onto a cloth, and dabbed at his wound. The bleeding stopped, and she muttered a quick spell to mend the gash.
"Uggh." Severus said groggily, making an unsuccessful attempt at moving his limbs.
"Snape, you are in the Infirmary, and I, Poppy am healing you. Do not move, I have immobilized you." Poppy said as his eyes started to flutter open.
"Sick." Was all he said, before promptly beginning to throw up.
Poppy had to act quickly to prevent Severus from aspirating the vomit into his lungs. She pushed him to the side, and conjured a bin at the side of the bed. Severus moaned after he had finished. Poppy felt a twinge of sympathy for the man. He was far too thin, and in much pain. Poppy scolded herself for even thinking this, Snape was afterall a traitor and killer.
"Done?" She asked, as she could feel perspiration forming at the base of his neck, where she held his head to the side.
"Why not let me die, it is what you want. It.. it is what I want." He said barely above a whisper, gone was his usual malice.
"Do not make me pity you, you and your web of lies." She replied as she spelled a gown on him to cover his chest. Severus tried to move his head away, but was unsuccessful. Poppy left him to rest, as well as to find some rest of her own.
A few moments later his eyes sprang open as he heard the Infirmary doors open again. Severus's breath quickened as he struggled to move, he knew who was coming.
"Severus Snape! You are not going anywhere until you explain yourself." Minerva said as she pointed her finger at him.
"And what does it matter when you will not believe what I say?" He said slowly, still somewhat out of breath.
"It would behoove you to tell the truth, as it is either that or Azkaban." She said, now conjuring a chair to sit in.
"And what if I tell you is not what you want to hear?"
"No matter, whatever it is I need to know. Are you still a Death Eater?"
"Of course I am still a Death Eater, it is not something which I can give up, I will be one until the day I die, whether I want to or not."
"Who are you loyal to?"
"Myself. The only one I can truly trust."
"Did you kill Albus?"
"Did he ask you to spare him?" Minerva asked, with tears forming in the corner of her eyes.
"No, he asked me to kill him, to spare Draco, to spare myself." He said quietly.
"Why would he do that?" She asked, trying not to sound judgmental.
"Because he knew I had made an unbreakable vow. He knew that he was dying. He knew that I could do it." He said more harshly now.
"You made an unbreakable vow to kill him?"
"In essence yes, Draco's mother asked me to protect her son, and to complete the task that the Dark Lord asked of him, if he could not. Albus knew this, but yet until that night I was unsure of the task, at least until I saw Draco standing over Albus with his wand drawn." He said as he started to feel the magical restraints loosen.
"Why did the Headmaster trust you Severus?"
"That is private." He hissed, now able to turn himself away from the Headmistress.
"Severus, please it will never leave this room if that is what you wish. I would like your help if you are still willing to offer it, but none in the Order believes you."
"Let them think what they wish. I am no man's slave." He said becoming defensive thinking of the irony.
"Was it to do with the prophecy, that you felt remorse over telling Voldermort, causing the Potter's deaths? Severus, please, tell me." She now moved so she could look into his cold black eyes. Eyes that felt as if they were full of barbed wire.
"While I may have felt somewhat guilty as to the interpretation of the prophecy, the Old man's trust in me had nothing to do with that."
"Then what?" Severus took several breaths, trying to suppress any hint of emotion before beginning.
"I was the one who killed Regulus Black. He had betrayed the Dark Lord, and he was to be killed. I was told where to find him, and so I found myself at a small house near the town of Bristol. A single light was on in the house, as I skillfully let myself in. I noticed on a small table in their sitting room a locket. A locket that I had seen only in books. It was the locket of Salazar Slytherin. As I reached over to take it, Black saw me and drew my wand. We dueled for quite sometime, and just as I was about to kill him, I saw standing, peering over the staircase was a woman and a baby girl. I closed my eyes briefly and Black cast me into the fireplace. I stood as the woman screamed. I drew my wand and petrified Black."
"But I thought you said you killed him?"
"I did, but not until after he told me what he had found out. He told me of the Dark Lord's fascination with immortality and soul splitting. He told me of Horcruxes and his fixation with the school. As he lay on the floor telling me everything he knew, I realized that what I had done, what I was doing was far beyond my original comprehension.
Regulus knew what had to be done, for I would be killed, and Regulus would still be a hunted man. Regulus looked over towards his family and then back at me, and made me promise that if I killed him I would protect his family. So I did, I promised him, killed him and then took his family into hiding. I brought the woman and her baby here to Hogwarts, and told Albus what I knew." Of course there was more to the story, but Severus did not wish to dwell on the memory.
Minerva sat in stunned silence. So it was true, Voldermort had split his soul, many many times in fact. Regulus did in fact defect from the Death Eaters after this discovery.
"What happened to the woman and child?" Minerva asked after a few moments of silence past.
"Ann Black became Ann Granger, a muggle dentist, and I am sure you can guess what happened to her daughter."
"Hermione?" Minervia nearly shrieked.
"Yes, Hermione is Regulus's daughter, a good for nothing Black if you ask me. Her mother was all ready a muggle, so it was not difficult to erase her memory, and have her fall in love and marry another muggle dentist. This of course was all Albus's work, not mine. I was busy searching for the other Horcuxes, while completing my role as a spy."
"Severus your story is all well and good, but how did the Headmaster know he could trust you, that you would not betray him?"
"It was not really the fact that he trusted me, as so much as I had trusted him. I had told him things that if had been revealed could have gotten me killed by any number of people. Albus had betrayed me far too much in school for him to dare try again."
"He knew I was loyal only to my own self interests, but yet he knew those self interests, and thus let me be. It was not always about a matter of trust, it was more about a matter of redemption for two men's mistakes towards each other."
"I never spoke of Miss Granger's real parentage to anyone until now. I was the one who snuck in and changed the name in the Hogwarts list from Black to Granger. I was the one to blast her name off the family tree in Grimwauld place. I was the one who figured out the last horcrux. But now that I have told you all of this, you must do something for me." He said growing tried again.
"After I tell you where the last Horcrux is kept and what must be done to end the war, I want you to give me the potion that is in my right hand pocket of my cloak." Spoken like a true teacher.
"What is this?" Minerva asked as she fingered the slim purple liquid.
"That is not important, what is important is this. Harry Potter's scar is a Horcrux. I had told the Headmaster before the Potter's went into hiding that I had perhaps found a way to survive the killing curse, but it would be difficult mind you. As soon as the killing curse was spoken, then one must sacrifice themselves for another speaking the non verbal spell of soul splitting. Albus confided in me that he had in fact told Lily what I had told him only a few weeks before she was killed. It apparently worked, the Dark Lord's soul split, leaving him unable to kill himself, sparing Potter."
"But would that not mean that Harry will in fact die?" Minerva quickly deduced,
"Not necessarily. not if another Horcrux survives in Harry." Severus said looking her straight in the eye.
"Albus!" She gasped.
"He asked me to split my soul when I killed him. I have placed it within him. But for it to work, You must give me the potion." Severus said, now closing his eyes.
"We are all just Albus's pawns are we not?" She asked him, now seeing the whole picture. He was sacrificing himself, for Potter. He was going to die so that Potter could live.
"Just give me the potion." Severus hissed.
"You will be missed my friend." Minerva said, her hand trembling as she brought the potion to his lips.
"Sleep well my friend. Sleep well." She said as he finished drinking. He slipped into a deep sleep, knowing that he would never again wake up.
Minerva sat, now holding the frail man's hand, stroking it over and over, cursing Albus under her breath, for the pain that she know knew he caused this man. She blinked back tears of pity.
The Infirmary doors opened again, as Remus walked towards her.
"What happened? Is he.. Is he dead?" He asked.
Minerva nodded her head slowly, placing Severus's hand on his chest like a noble knight.
"Well, did he deserve the title of traitor or not?"
"He was Severus, he deserved everything, but got nothing." She said as she took Remus from the room. Leaving the unknown hero to rest in peace.