First of all, let me say that this was reposted. It was on my sister's account, but now, since I have my own, it's going back up again.
Don't say anything of my uncreative way of putting in disclaimers, please, at least this does the job. This is not, I repeat, not a work completely made by me. All characters as of this prologue, the settings, and most of the memories are true things in the world of Harry Potter…okay, not now, because of the sixth book. But you know what I mean. These go to the one and only J.K. Rowling.
To give a complete summary, as that on the previous page are rather limited in space, I'll type one here: After the final battle, Severus Snape escapes from the confines of the rapidly diminishing wizarding world, hoping to find a source of comfort in the untainted muggle world. Finding an old estate in Napa Valley, and rich from the money he was left with as an orphan, he finds a relaxing life. He meets a familiar young woman in his daily break form lonliness in the park, and as she is consumed by an incurable disease, he realizes how much more she was than the girl he once saw her as. He finds more in this new world than he ever thought it contained.
This first chapter is a prolouge, mostly setting up the story. Since many people seem to dislike when there is only the prologue and what they just read had nothing to do with the summary, I have also posted the next chapter. Thank you for reading, review when you are done, and enjoy.
Severus S. Snape, Potions Master and Professor of Hogwarts, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, strode down the halls, his image illuminated by the dim, flickering flames lining the walls at intervals at either side of him. The man wasn't on night patrol, looking for wandering first-years and other miscreants that should be in bed, but rather hurrying to the Headmaster's office, his long strides pulling him closer to his destination. Yet, even as fast as he could make his legs move and still preserve his dignity, it didn't seem like it was fast enough. As the hall continued to stretch on, one wavering flame to the next, his thoughts tumbled in disarray inside his head.
The last few Deatheater meetings had been a strain on the spy. His fellow Deatheaters had been suspicious of his actions even before the school year had begun, and now, as it became apparent that Lord Voldemort was rising once again, everyone seemed to spy on everyone else, and many tried to find a reason that Severus Snape should not be trusted. Of course, he wasn't the only one.
This evening, after being called for the third time that week to the Dark Lord's side and watching yet another man fall victim to the reptilian man's wrath, everyone of them had been notified of the upcoming battle. This time, it was to be a mass attack, not on muggles, like it had been in the past, but on Hogwarts, and the man now heading towards the Headmaster's office felt that it was his duty to notify the older man, even if it cost him his life and his sacred position of spy. One of the jobs as a professor was to ensure the safety of his students, and, much against the thoughts of most of the residents here at Hogwarts, he did actually care about them.
Abruptly, the man stopped, staring at two stone gargoyles guarding a large double door known to lead to the headmaster's office. After a short moment, he recalled the password he had been given at the beginning of the year, and the word he snapped out hung in the air before the guardians shifted and he was allowed inside. "Licorice." The word, monotonous and soft, held a quiet force in it that did not want to be disobeyed. He swept up the circular staircase, his heels clicking as he ascended.
"Albus." He stood at the entrance to the large room, decorated with small trinkets and whirling, animate objects and furnished with a large desk, which stood in the middle of the magnificent space. However, he ignored he glittering pieces, watching a single door at the end of the room that he knew led to the old man's private chambers. It didn't matter that it was the middle of the night, or that the person he was seeking was sleeping in his bed. Even if he hadn't been heard, there was a highly unlikely chance that his presence wasn't known. The old man had an uncanny sense that knew who was standing there. So it just so happened that an old wizard, wiping his glasses on his midnight blue robe that was covered by a long white beard, shuffled through the door, shutting the door quietly behind him.
"Yes, Severus? You wished to talk to me about something?" He placed his spectacles on the crooked bridge of his nose, peering intently through them at the man before him. His voice, soft, nevertheless carried across the expanse of the room.
"The Dark Lord is to attack on the first of next month." His answer was blunt, and straight to the point. It was so unexpected that even the powerful Albus Dumbledore, who was rarely surprised by anything, gave a slight start.
"You mean here, at Hogwarts?" He was still staring at him in that unnerving way of his, and Severus rolled his eyes in exasperation.
"You know exactly what I'm talking about," he snapped, a little sharper than he meant it to be. "Of course! You've been expecting this for years and all you can say is 'You mean here'? There's no time for surprises, he could do anything! I--"
"Calm down, Severus. We'll cross the next bridge when we come to it. Now, sit down and tell me everything you can. How about a little tea?" The older man bustled around, pulling out a chair in front of the desk and pouring a steaming pot of tea that had appeared at his side before settling in his seat, cradling his own cup in between his palms. He waited in silence, staring at his weathered reflection in the dark liquid before looking up at the professor standing before him. "Well?"
Sighing, Severus sat down, accepting a portion of the hot brew and taking a sip. He leaned back in his seat, staring pensively at a strand of dark hair in front of his eyes before meeting the other's gaze.
"Everyone arrived quickly enough. Under our masks, everyone was tired; even the Dark Lord seemed a little exhausted," he began, dropping his gaze to the polished surface of the mahogany table where the dim light of the moon's beams reflected to illuminate his features. "After all, we had already raided the towns two nights that week, and it was beginning to catch up to all of us. He began with a speech, similar to the ones he gives every time about taking control of the world and killing muggleborns when he suddenly turned to face one of the men on the other side of the circle, opposite of where I was standing. Calling to one of the others to bring him up, he tortured him to unconsciousness before telling us of his traitorous actions and how he was undeserving of his position in the Death Eater ranks." He paused, daring to steal a glance at Albus before hastily returning his gaze to the table and continuing his story.
"But you already know that, it would be strange if such an event did not happen. He allowed the body to be dragged away before announcing his reason for calling us again. What he said surprised us all.
"He didn't say 'We're attacking Hogwarts' or 'The final battle begins has arrived' and flair with melodramatics as all of us had always thought he would do when the time came. Instead, he hissed to us in his most venemous tone that 'The Potter boy will be dead before the end of next month'. In those exact words. Many were confused by his strange choice of words, and I'll admit I was too, thinking that he had found a way to kill the boy without a full-fledged fight, but it was soon clear to us that we were to prepare for the final battle. It will be on the first of next month," he repeated, hoping to get his haste to pass on to the headmaster.
However, the old man only sat there, still gazing into his cup of tea. His expression didn't look alarmed, or even worried, but quite the opposite. His features remained calm, and Severus growled quietly to himself with frustration. What exactly didn't the old man understand? Hogwarts was to be attacked in the next week and a half and the only thing he could do was sit there? Severus couldn't stand it anymore, he had had enough of the old man's lack of reactions.
"Don't you get it? This castle, filled with promising students and the best wizards and witches of this time, are about to be attacked by V-V-Voldemort's ranks and all you can do is stare at a cup of tea?" He was so angry he hardly even noticed he'd said the Dark Lord's name aloud. "Aren't you going to do something about it? How about preparing them for battle? Or reinforcing the wards? You can't just sit there!" He snapped his mouth shut at his explosion, not daring to say anything else for fear of offending the wizard in front of him.
The headmaster just chuckled in response. "Patience, patience. You forgot about the ghosts and house elves and the portraits in your haste. Think before you do anything rash."
Severus, as strong, confident, and intimidating as he usually seemed, felt ashamed at those words. He took a deep breath, then looked at Albus, trying to squash down his haste. "What will we do? Don't you always think of something?"
Albus Dumbledore sighed after a long period of silence, taking off his glasses and rubbing his temples as he murmured, "A common misconception. I don't know. What can you do against an army of trained killers when the only army you have is one of innocent children? The ministry can't do much, besides, it would give you away. I do believe that is too much to risk."
"So?" Severus said bitterly, the words leaving his mouth before he had a chance to think about them.. "Who cares?"
The headmaster looked up at that, his face serious. "Severus, my boy, someone will always care about you. I'm not saying that the things people say about you aren't true…though many are not. It might seem that every student calls you 'the greasy git', or that the people around you think you act like a cold vampire. Everyone would be as concerned as me if you were to disappear, Severus. You may be a bastard, but to us, you're our official resident bastard, and I'll be sure that someone will put that on your gravestone when you have lived out your days." He gave a small, wry smile at that. Even the corner of Severus's mouth twitched at the comment.
"Now," the old man continued, placing his recently emptied teacup on the saucer on the table, "I do believe you should get to bed and change out of those robes." He gestured to the black folds of the Death Eater robes adorning the younger man's body, his eyes twinkling as he reached an arm over the table to place a comforting hand on the professor's shoulder. "Good night, and don't forget what I told you."
Severus turned away, muttering something like, "I know, I know, old man," before quickly stepping over to the threshold of the headmaster's office and exiting the room. He paused at hearing the old man's voice float to him again. "Oh, and one more thing. No great wizard knows everything, not I, not Tom Riddle, not even Harry Potter. But everyone, even you, knows just a little something to contribute to the war."
He froze, wanting to say something before he left, but when he turned around, the headmaster was gone, and any remnant of their tea had disappeared. He stared at the door at the other side of the room for a moment, then, turning on his heel and making to shut the door behind him, he whispered, "Good night."
Severus S. Snape, Potions Master and Professor of Hogwarts Witchcraft and Wizardry, strode down the halls, his image illuminated by the dim, flickering flames lining the walls at intervals at either side of him. The man wasn't on night patrol, looking for wandering first-years and other miscreants that should be in bed, but rather hurrying to his chambers in the damp coldness of the dungeons, hoping to catch some sleep before he had to meet the inevitable, noisy morning of Hogwarts.
The week passed by in a blur for Severus. The normal ritual of sneering at breakfast, teaching dunderheads, deducting points, sneering at lunch, teaching more dunderheads, deducting more points, and giving a last glare at the pigheads he had to teach before retiring for the night had continued everyday, regardless of the perilous situation the school was in. At least, he thought to himself, as he watched his second-years bending tediously over their cauldrons, there hadn't been any further Death Eater meetings from the Dark Lord. And to think he had accidentally said his name just a week ago. He sighed, wondering if anyone, besides himself and Headmaster Dumbledore, knew what was going to happen less than five days from now. No one seemed to be panicking, which, Severus supposed, was a good thing, and no one seemed to be acting strange around his Slytherins. Not even Potter was acting any different; as far as he knew, the boy hadn't received any dreams at all. At least he didn't have to teach him Occlumency again, the boy was hardly capable of learning the simplest spells, much less something so complex. He couldn't really blame him, as much as he wanted to. There were very few people at the school who probably could, and that included every seventh year and every professor in residence.
That led him to think about what had been bugging him these past few nights. What was it the old man had told him? Oh yes. He had said, No great wizard knows everything, not I, not Tom Riddle, not even Harry Potter. But everyone, even you, knows just a little something to contribute to the war. But what exactly had he meant by that? It seemed straightforward enough, but why had he even said it at all? Of course no one wizard knew everything, especially that Potter boy. He sneered at that. The young boy didn't even know half the things that went on outside of Hogwarts. That only showed how ignorant the students could really get, just because they lived behind the warded walls of a castle that stood under Headmaster Dumbledore's control.
And he knew he could contribute to the war. After all, wasn't he the one member of the Order of the Phoenix who brought back all the information from the Dark Lord and risked his life so many times with out result that sometimes he just felt like a little unknown messenger? Well, not all, he corrected himself. There were just some things that a spy didn't tell other people, no matter how much they thought they needed to know it. Severus Snape was the only person who knew what went on inside the inner circles of both sides, and he intended to keep it that way.
But, back to his original thoughts. He already knew it all, and he knew that he wasn't useless, although he felt that way. And the headmaster knew just as much, Severus was sure of it. Why did the old wizard always seem to talk in the strangest riddles that no one could solve until it seemed it was too late? He sighed, giving his head a mental shake before returning to his work.
The day came early, too soon. The students had just arrived at the Great Hall, playing April Fool's jokes on each other when everything gave a mighty shake. Benches crashed, food toppled to splash on the ground, students began screaming in the commotion. Nothing else was clear after that.
Students prepared in classrooms for the upcoming battle, their nerves putting one or two of them in a state of trauma before the fight had even started. Severus shook his head as he strode down the corridors purposefully, patrolling to make sure no students were somewhere they shouldn't be. Surprisingly, even the golden trio was listening to instructions. No one seemed to have any kind of rebellious streak left in them anymore, it was as if they had already lost the battle. After coming across two more classrooms with the same atmosphere of submission, he couldn't stand it anymore. He ran up to the Astronomy tower, staring at the massive ranks of Death Eaters as thoughts ran through his head.
How can someone be so evil to attack so many innocent children? They shouldn't have to be like me, cold and emotionless, never wanting to face life again! Why? Isn't there anything else we can do? For them?
As he watched the dark figures beneath him mill around the gates, he gritted his teeth, his grip around his wand tightening as well. How much he just wanted to choke them, shake them, crucio them to death…
He was broken out of his angry trance at the metallic sound of something skidding across the stone floor, hitting the wall with a small clang! Turning with a start, he saw a small hourglass-like pendant leaning against the wall, connected to a fine golden chain, which seemed to have snapped. Bending over to pick it up, he was surprised to the name Hermione J. Granger embossed upon the base of it. He peered around the corner, and not seeing anyone, decided to put it in his robes for safekeeping. He would return it to her after the battle.
It never occurred to him that he might not see her at all.
The battlefield, once the grassy, serene grounds of Hogwarts, was now filled with lights, cloaked figures, prone bodies, and blood. Severus Snape fought his way through them, taking out his anger on his fellow Death Eaters as the light side slowly began to emerge. He had just caught a glimpse of Hermione Granger on the ground when he felt his hip hit with a spell. Slowly, he fell to the ground, amidst the shattering sound of the time-turner in his pocket, and he could only watch the chain slither out of his pocket as he felt himself pulled into a whirl of time. Slowly, he felt himself become numb, and as the sounds of killing faded away, all he knew was darkness.
I just finished editing it for the repost…wow, I had a lot of errors. Typos and the such, but nevertheless, still mistakes. I hope that the end doesn't seem to be moving too fast, in the way that it seems to be ignored, I'm just not too sure how to write the final battle.
This is a small sample of my writing, and you'll find more in the next chapter. Hope it is a satisfying read!
Oh, and since I've been hearing a lot about not being able to answer reviews, I'll stay on the safe side now, but can anyone tell me if that rule is true or not? Sorry, I haven't been keeping up with announcements, and I know I sound malleable, but I'd like to know. Thank you!