Late Wednesday Night, Early Thursday Morning

I have an ache in my bones and a fever in me this morning . The bath yesterday did me no
good for I have noticed how black my fingernails have become. There might be an more
ominous reason for this than filth though. They may be poisoning me, these jailers of
mine. I am still quite the hated man. It would not surprise me.

I cannot get the events of yesterday out of my mind. I spent last night pushing them
from one corner of my brain to another. Hermione Granger has deprived me of a restful
night sleep. Her thoughts and theories have filled my day. Damn her. Of all the students I
had taught, she always did have a sharp mind. Nothing like that dull Ron Weasley or that
mousy Neville Longbottom. A pair of dunderheads.

What she has done is frighten me with her arguments. There is a danger that these
concepts could catch fire and explode in our world. There could be some sort of false
hope generated by something like this. Or even worse a new movement filled with fervid
practitioners of it. No matter how benign the idea is, when driven on by zealots these groups become insidious and take on a life of their own. The individual loses and the group becomes a

Look at the Death Eaters.

I had asked the question and was waiting for her answer. One thing I remembered well about Granger was she was never able to formulate answers to direct questions unless they were written down somewhere. She was thinking and it was taking a while. I had the time.

"We need Professor Dumbledore," she said quietly. "We need his advice and guidance."

"And who is we, Miss Granger?"

"The Ministry needs him."

"Nonsense, they never cared for anything Albus Dumbledore did or said. Why would they start now?"

"The Ministry has changed, Professor," Granger replied. "The old ones are gone, for the most part. Those who have replaced them are former students of Dumbledore. His knowledge and wisdom would be helpful to all."

"I doubt seriously that his expertise would be appreciated," I retorted. "Prophets are not recognized in their own time. It is wishing for the past on your part."

"No sir, it is not wishing for the past," she replied. "Although if it were for one thing I could wish for it would be the truth out of you."

Granger stood in front of me with a smug look on her face. There was a part of me that
wanted so badly to smack it off of her with a barrage of my wit and sarcasm. I realized
that she had not buckled under to any of it so far so a different strategy had to be used.

"Miss Granger would you sit down?" I asked quietly.

Granger looked puzzled but I insisted. She returned to her seat across from me. I leaned
over resting on my elbows on the table and looked her straight in the eyes.

"Why is it that you cannot accept the truth?" I asked in a soft voice. I tried very hard to
sound harsh or acerbic.

She tilted her head to one side. "That is why I am here, Professor. To get the truth."

"The truth is that I did kill Albus Dumbledore."

"I know on the surface you did, but.."

I raised my hand to silence her. "I killed him of my own volition."

I pushed my chair back and rose from my seat. I walked away from the table to a small
window in the room. What I needed to say was going to be best said as far away from her
as possible.

"I killed him with the most dangerous, powerful curses known in our world. It was my
voice and the light from my wand that completed that act. I did it because it was what I
wanted to do and that is the end of it."

I looked back at her. She seemed to become very small. The matron look to her had
melted away and the schoolgirl that I once had in my classes seemed to appear in front of
me. I continued.

"Many of your generation have lost much in this war we fought. Some of you have seen
more death and destruction than all of your ancestors ever did. Possibly with this
peace there will no more wicked waste of life.

"I know many of you worshipped Albus Dumbledore as a leader and a mentor.
Conceivably even as a father figure. That was easy to do with him. But he was a mortal,
just like you and I, and that is the truth.

"I think many of you want to have something to return to that was safe and comforting.
Hoping that someone we revered is still with us is common enough. We all have those
feelings. It is a romantic notion that Dumbledore was part of a clan of phoenix wizards
who could rise from the dead and protect us from calamity. However, it does his memory
no justice. It cheapens who he actually was and by pressing this idea you would
commit a sin not unlike what I have done. You would destroy who he really was and
replace his being with fable.

"We in the magical world have been able to slow down the ages, trick time but we have
never been able to conquer death. It comes to us all. We have to accept that no matter
how great our powers are. We all will leave this world eventually. Wishing that there was
some magic that could fool death is imprudent and ultimately harmful. Harmful because
the truth always does prevail just like its partner death."

I left the window and returned to my seat across from Granger. I could see tears were
beginning to form in her eyes. I looked down and again saw the thin gold ring on her

"Are you married?" I asked.

"Yes, " she sniffed looking down at the ring.

"Really," I said in mock surprise. "Why have you allowed me to continue to call you Miss
Granger all this time?"

She laughed holding back her tears. "It is a little awkward to correct your former teacher,
you know."

I could not stop the corner of my mouth from turning upward. "Fair enough. So what is
your married name?"


"Oh," I said shaking my head. I stopped for a second and thought. I had to ask.

"Which one?"

At this she laughed again. "Ron, of course."

"Oh, well there were so many of them."

She laughed again and looked down at her folder. "I am going to have a baby in
November. I started this project because Ron did not want me teaching while I was
pregnant. Too much work, he said. Too much stress. He worries a lot about me."

"Chivalrous of him, one would say."

With my hand I reached for her and gently patted her hand.

"I think you should look for the answers to life among the living and not among the dead.
Dumbledore would tell you that if he were here."

There was not much more to say to each other. The room fell very quiet for a long time
until the squeal of the door signaled the arrival of the jailer who had come to fetch me.

As the jailer shackled my hands once again a question came to mind.

"Do you know what you are having? I mean a boy or a girl?"

She smiled shyly. "A boy. We want to call him Harry Albus."

I suppose considering the name Severus would have been asking too much.

"Good-bye Mrs. Weasley," I said as the jailer led me to the door.

"Good-bye Professor Snape," she said in a tiny voice. "Thank you for your time."

Time. A valuable commodity to some. To a prisoner of Azkaban prison like myself who
has nothing but time it means nothing. But I am glad she appreciated I gave her.

I have had a wretched time breathing. Each breath I take burns my lungs and pains the
sides of my body. The fever has not stopped and I can tell as each new spike in it appears.
I have known for some time this was coming. I am surprised at how quickly the
symptoms pile on to one another. What was a faint ache a few days ago has become a
raging agony today. I had been warned of the way this would go yet still nothing prepares
you for it. It has not helped matters that I had to use every last bit of my strength
yesterday with Granger, excuse me, Mrs. Weasley, to keep her off the track.

Dying is not easy to do. Neither is keeping secrets. I am skilled at the latter but a novice at
the former.

I am not sorry that it is happening. Not at all. There is nothing left here for me so leaving
life at this point will be a blessing. Another twenty years in this tiny cell would be
tortuous to say the least. The pain that I endure for now assures me of a release from this
existence of boredom and confinement. Freedom of a sort.

In retrospect, I have considered that life presents one with a bounty of opportunities but
few or no second chances. What we say or do is imprinted upon history with a mark that
no one can rub out. My mark will be remembered but not admired. It is the mark that I
made. I cannot change what has been done.

It would be nice to think the next time around I would be wiser in making some of the
choices that are offered me. Not wanting to be accepted to the point losing my soul would
certainly be one of them. I would be watchful for the evil that permeates through our
world and stop it before it strangles the innocent and the weak. I would avoid the
temptation the evil ones lure you with. I would walk in the sunlight and not in the

Albus told me it would hurt like this. He did not exaggerate. He was never one to lie
about things. He never broke a promise to me either. I hope he does not start now. If I
have made a mistake in trusting him then it will be the last in a lifetime strewn with

I know by tomorrow what they will find is the shell of once was the person of Severus
Snape dead on his cot. They do not bury here. They want no shrines or monuments
erected to the villains of our world. They cremate the corpses and scatter the ashes. Mine
will be no exception. Of course that will fit into my plans just perfectly. A nice funeral
pyre will set my soul free, rising along with the flames and the smoke into the sky. I will
soar over the countryside and leave the bonds that this life has afforded me. New vistas
are on my horizon and I will seek them out.

Albus told me not to worry and he would find me. I am not sure how. I am not sure how I
will recognize him or how he will know it is me. But I have trusted him before and, as I
have said, he has never broken a promise to me. Nor have I ever unlocked his secrets to
anyone. We were a good pair in that way.

I hope he has a cup of tea waiting for me or better still some cognac. I think after all of
this it could be the least he could do for an old friend who has come a long way to see
him again.