"Severus Snape, you are convicted on this day, November 10, 2003 for murder, subversion, espionage, and practice of the Dark Arts as a Death Eater and supporter of You-Know-Who. The Wizengamot has sentenced you to execution by the Dementor's Kiss. There will be no appeal for your judgment. So help you Merlin."

-

Severus is led through a dimly lit hallway. He tries to hold onto whatever shred of dignity he has left by walking upright, but it is near impossible with two men on each side of him, both dragging him forward in different paces. He tells himself to be calm, but he only succeeds in controlling his breathing to just below the point of hyperventilation. He had thought he'd face death with more composure than this. Apparently he was wrong.

They drag him around a corner, and he is pushed into a heavily warded room with a thick metal door, no windows, and no way of escape. He briefly looks around the gloomy room and steels himself for what is to come.

A Dementor floats in, and the metal door snaps shut. The temperature of the room plummets. Severus starts shivering uncontrollably and sees white fog coming out of his mouth, breath after shallow breath. His legs back up on their own accord, but too soon his back touches against a wall.

The Dementor looms over him and leans forward. He wants to scream, but no sound escapes. His usually sharp mind becomes foggy. His eyelids are heavy.

He wants to give up, to just get this over with. It's too cold. Maybe it won't be so cold once he has no soul left to feel it. But against his will, his soul refuses to give up without a fight. He's still very, very cold, and very, very conscious.

Memories flash before him.

-

Harry looked up at him with trusting eyes. Innocent, trusting eyes. His words were equally trusting. "So what do you think, Severus? After we defeat Voldemort, will you still want to stay at Hogwarts, or do you want to buy a house in Hogsmeade together?"

"After you defeat the Dark Lord," Severus corrected. He had tried to slip in hints of his true loyalty to the boy, really tried. But his lover wouldn't be Harry Potter if he wasn't oblivious.

Harry wrapped his arms closer around him. "You know we'll have to fight together to win. I can't do anything without you. You're my life partner, my soul mate."

Severus snorted. Let Harry think what he wanted, he hadn't the heart to correct him. He'd only refuse to take part in any ploy to deliver the boy to the Dark Lord; but he made no promises to stop him from thinking along false paths of logic. The boy had no brains. He was no match for the Dark Lord.

If only he didn't care for him so much.

-

Everything is hazy. Severus remembers falling to the ground, but at the moment he feels like he's floating. It's very cold. So cold.

-

Severus kissed down Harry's torso, along the trail of hair that led southward to his groin. The boy was squirming underneath him, making obnoxious noises.

"I love you, Severus," Harry whispered in between heavy breaths.

He kissed Harry harder. If the Dark Lord's plan succeeded, then this was the last time he would make love to Harry. Even if Harry survived, he knew they would never be intimate like this again. Especially not after the boy finds out that his trust had been betrayed.

Exerting all his control, Severus ceased grinding against Harry. He wanted to make this last. With one hand, he grabbed Harry's cock and began slowly teasing the erection. He snaked his other hand around the boy's body to knead at his buttocks. Harry moaned.

Severus lost himself in the taste and sensation of Harry. When he knew that Harry was close, he took him into his mouth.

"I… I'm going to come…" Harry gasped after mere seconds of licking and sucking.

Severus swallowed him whole. He wants all of Harry, because he would never have him again.

-

He wants everything to end. The flashbacks are torturous. While they were once sweet memories, they are now bitter, unbidden, and empty mockeries of what used to be. But he cannot drown in oblivion. He's still conscious. Very conscious.

-

"Are you ever afraid of anything?" Harry asks. "'Cause you always seem so calm, so prepared, like nothing will ever frighten you."

Severus made a noncommittal sound from his throat that sounded a lot like a muffled snort, his afterglow quickly fading with Harry brining up such a disturbing topic for pillow talk.

"I take that as a no," Harry chuckled. He suddenly yawned. "I'm tired, I think I'm going to sleep. You were bloody brilliant, Severus, as usual." He snuggled close, but not too close, just the way Severus liked it. And fell asleep instantly.

If only sleep would come so easily to Severus. Harry's question kept replaying in his mind. Was he afraid of anything? He may be terrified of the Dark Lord during his Master's more megalomaniacal moments, but the Dark Lord knew he was loyal and Severus was secure in that knowledge. Albus Dumbledore was the most powerful wizard of the century, but he was also forgiving and unsuspecting. He turned to the sleeping wizard next to him.

Harry.

Severus knew instantly what he feared. One day, the maddeningly delightful boy would die, or would discover Severus' treachery and kill him. However the war was going to end, there would be no Harry Potter in his future. He found that unsettling. Scary.

No, this wasn't fear. Fear was a sentiment reserved for the unknown, but this was known—he knew full well that one day, he would lose Harry.

He wasn't afraid of anything after all.

-

He's losing it. His soul is being ripped from him. Finally... oblivion awaits. But it's not getting any warmer.

Yes, oblivion awaits. But it will be a cold, soulless oblivion…

-

"How dare you, Severus Snape, how dare you!" Harry screamed, barely restrained by Lupin and McGonagall at his sides. "I /i trusted i you, loved you even. And you're a spy all along? You used me! You… how dare you!"

"Now, now, calm down Harry, we'll give him the punishment he deserves," the new Minister of Magic—whoever he was—said.

"He deserves hell," Harry spat.

"And we'll give him just that. I have already scheduled to have him removed to Azkaban this afternoon. We'll give him a trial, but rest assured, he will receive the Dementor's Kiss next Tuesday."

"Good."

Severus paled. At the prospect of having his soul sucked out or at Harry's venomous endorsement of his pronouncement, he did not know. He wanted to take the boy into his arms, to tell him to forget all about wars and dark lords and to let everything go, but he couldn't.

The Harry standing in front of him was not Harry Potter, his lover (former lover, his mind supplied). This Harry was a feral, wounded beast.

"Take him away," the new minister ordered.

When Severus was led past Harry, the boy spat on him. "You're despicable, Snape. You're a liar, traitor, bastard, a good for nothing two-face who deserves to rot soulless in Azkaban forever."

Harry, looking at him with hatred. His Harry, spitting on him, calling him unrepeatable names. "Harry…"

Another ball of spit hit his face. "My name is not for traitors to utter. Go away. I never want to see your face again."

-

He's hearing things. Maybe he would be seeing things too if his eyes are open. It must be his imagination. But what he heard sounds so real.

He doesn't know what real is anymore.

-

"Mr. Potter, stop by the dungeons after your meeting with Albus."

"Why?"

"I would like to consult with you a new development on the wolfsbane potion. You may find my progress informative, since you hold the werewolf so dearly in your heart."

Harry looked bewildered. "Why would you need to consult me? I thought you said I'm a dunderhead at Potions."

"You are," he said dryly. "But if this new formula is successful, I will push for its mass production. This means it will become available to an entire spectrum of dunderheads. I believe hearing how you would apply the potion is indicative of how someone with sublevel knowledge of Potions might use it."

"Sublevel knowledge?" Harry was indignant. "I'll have you know that I passed both my O.W.L.s and my N.E.W.T.s!"

"Then prove it," he sneered. He paused long enough to steady himself, but not too long for Harry to notice. He shouldn't be doing this; he was on the Dark Lord's side. But he pushed on nonetheless. "If you promise to show up, I may be persuaded to provide dinner for both of us."

"You cook?" the idiot blurted out. And then—he understood. And beamed.

"Are you asking me out, Snape?" he asked, grinning. The boy then launched himself at Severus and wrapped his arms around him as if he were a plushed kneazle. "Yes, of course I'll come! Dinner tonight sounds great! I'll be here, I promise, I'll be here."

-

There. He hears it again. Someone is casting the Patronus charm. The caster's voice sounds so familiar, so warm. He feels his soul returning to his body. He's not floating anymore. Is the Dementor gone? Is it attacking the intruder instead? But the intruder is unharmed, for within seconds, he feels arms wrapped tightly around him. Just like that first time, when the owner of those arms got so excited simply over the promise of a meal…

"You're here… God, you're here, you're still here…" There's the voice again, sobbing. "Don't leave me. I don't care what you've done. It doesn't matter… just, don't leave me, please…"

Severus doesn't feel so cold anymore.