JK Rowling's characters and Wizarding Universe are all uniquely hers. Plot, new characters, new magical terms and abilities etc. are my intellectual property. If you want to borrow then please kindly ask.

ALTERNATE UNIVERSE. If you are looking for strict Canon or even a slight deviation from Canon you won't find it here.

Summary: The War is finally over and Snape finds that the world he knows has nothing to offer him. He finds himself drawn to a new world; one steeped in traditions of its own not known to the wizarding world. Will he take the risks needed for his own salvation?

Rated M for Sexual Situations, Language, Some Violence.

Author's Notes: My inspiration comes from the novel and film WHALE RIDER. This story is dedicated to Ajay, The Potions Mistress at Magical Menagerie on EZBoard.

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SALVATION

Chapter 001: Aftermath

He stood in the stillness of the dawning day and looked around him. Much of the buildings lay in ruin. The land was scorched and much of the Forbidden Forest had been incinerated along with it. Grounds that had remained virtually unchanged for at least three thousand years were barely recognizable.

There was so much work to be done and by many hands. Merlin only knew where they would get the help so gravely needed.

The cost to their world had been high. He did not want to think of those who had died. It did not matter if one was on the side of the dark or light, if one was Muggle, Wizard or Witch – all had been expendable in those dark times.

Even the Chosen One had not been immune to Death.

'If only you had listened to me, Potter,' he hissed in his mind. 'If only they had all listened to me!'

Severus Snape peered around the grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and his dark head shook in disbelief. He forced himself to walk forward and to not doubt that rebuilding could be done.

He walked up the steep staircase that lead to the Great Doors, even they had not been immune to the battle that had raged here in the final days of the Second War of the Dark Lord Voldemort.

He found that the scene outside was nothing compared to sights that awaited him indoors. The castle walls were black and the air acrid from the still smouldering stones. Every inch of the place bore the marks of a Death Eater firefight. He could see the outlines of where bodies had burned into the slate floor and the once golden walls.

These outlines along with Dark Marks blasted into the ancient stones would be a lasting reminder of what had taken place here, unless he was allowed to take his rightful place amongst them all again.

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Minerva McGonagall peered at Snape over her eyeglasses. It was a mannerism that quite reminded him of the late Headmaster of the school, Albus Dumbledore. But McGonagall was no Dumbledore. She'd been Deputy Headmistress at the school and loyal to him to a degree; but even Snape knew that she'd never agreed with Dumbledore's hiring of him after the first war against Voldemort.

'I know that the memories that Dumbledore left behind are what exonerated you in the end, Snape,' she said crisply. 'But there are many who don't trust them; and I am one of them.'

'I have no doubt of that, Headmistress.'

'Aye – indeed I am. And given that fact I have a responsibility to this school and to our students to…'

'Ahh, but you don't have any students – and you won't if you do not rebuild. The longer you leave it the more likely it is that Hogwarts will simply fade into the history of world and something else will rise to take its place.'

'And we are supposed to trust you, is that it? After everything that's happened – after everything you've done!'

'I did as I was instructed to do! It gave me no pleasure to do those things; but even the Headmaster understood what was at stake. The success the Order enjoyed in the end would not have happened had it not been for me!'

'And Potter and the others might still be alive if it wasn't for you!'

'I see! Saint Potter lives on does he? I warned him! I warned him that he was not ready to face the Dark Lord! This mad crusade of his when he had only mastered simple spells and hexes! Finding those Horcruxes was not enough and it was never going to be enough! The Dark Lord was the most powerful wizard alive save for the Headmaster! And…'

'And you!'

Snape took a step back since he hadn't even been allowed the dignity of taking a seat in McGonagall's office.

'I beg your pardon?'

'You heard me Snape! I've heard the rumours. It seems to me you were setting the stage and laying in wait for the time when you could claim this place and the Headmaster's position as your own!'

'I've spent the better part of the last few years traveling; thinking about what I wanted from my life now that I had my freedom! I don't want to be Headmaster or even Deputy Head. I came here to offer you my assistance! I know what was done to this place and I can guarantee you that it will take a Death Eater with superior knowledge of the Dark Lord's methods to break the curses on this land!'

'Once a Death Eater, always a Death Eater eh Snape?'

'Wrong!' Snape growled as he rolled up the sleeve of the Muggle jacket he was wearing along with his shirt sleeve.

The Dark Mark, which had burned black throughout the whole of the last war, was no more. It was destroyed when he vanquished Voldemort. Harry Potter couldn't do it by himself in the end. Like too many of the wrong people, he'd set great store in his interpretation of the Prophecy.

And had brought about his own demise because of it.

'You know what people ask, Snape?' McGonagall hissed. 'People are asking how it is that you have managed to have more lives than a cat when the rest of the Death Eaters and their followers were killed along with their Master!'

'You have the answers! Oh dear me – I rather forgot they are locked away in the Ministry of Magic along with the Headmaster's Pensieve. Even I wouldn't have been so stupid so as to have allowed those dunderheads to take it!'

The Headmistresses nostrils flared as the anger which had lay just below the surface finally exploded.

'I think I've heard enough! There is no place for you here! No one is interested! I won't propose that you clear out your things because there is nothing left!'

'Of there isn't. Anything of merit I secured long ago…'

'Enough of this charade!', McGonagall shouted as she flew out of her chair.

She clapped her hands.

Remus Lupin emerged from behind a bookcase along with Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood and Neville Longbottom. All had their wands drawn.

'Am I supposed to be afraid – of them?' Snape laughed.

'You're not wanted here, Severus,' Lupin said evenly.

'As always – telling me something I already know. I have no quarrel with any of you. As always I can't make you see sense and it's you who will pay – as you always do.'

'Are you threatening us?' Neville said boldly as he stepped forward.

Snape noted that Miss Granger didn't seem quite sure of this and rather lurked behind Lupin.

'As dunderheaded as ever I see, Longbottom. I'm sure Miss Granger will be able to explain it to you. She always has an answer for everything; convinced that she is right even when she is dead wrong.'

'That's not fair!' Hermione said in a quiet whisper.

'Don't you dare condescend to tell me about what is or isn't fair!' Snape snapped. 'Not one of you has had to make the sacrifices I have made!'

'So Dumbledore always claimed…' Luna said dreamily as she eyeballed Neville.

'Enough!' Lupin said as he stepped forward and stood in front of Snape. 'You are not needed nor are you wanted, Severus.'

'Have it your way,' Snape answered knowingly. 'But mark my words, the day is fast approaching when you will regret what has taken place here.'

'The only regret is that the Headmaster wouldn't see sense where you are concerned. You should have never been hired, let alone allowed to continue on here for so long!'

'I am rather tired of regurgitating history. Nothing he's said or done is good enough so it stands to reason that there is nothing I can offer you.'

Snape turned on his heels and swooped to the door of McGonagall's office.

He did not stop, not even when he became aware that they were all escorting him out as though he was some criminal. But he was though, wasn't he? In their eyes he would always be exactly as they had defined him long ago.

Once outside he speed-walked to the school gates and then Disapparated with a loud CRACK before they could catch up with him.

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Snape stood for what he knew would be the last time outside home on Spinner's End hidden by the pitch black of the street since the one streetlamp that worked was at the other end of the road. There was nothing left of merit to the place, though there had been little to recommend it in the first place. The rundown two-up, two-down affair had been stripped by the Ministry when he was on the run for the murder of Albus Dumbledore, the murder he hadn't really committed.

It had only appeared that way to The Chosen One, hidden beneath his Invisibility Cloak watching the proceedings. Potter had already seen the Killing Curse several times before that fateful night atop the Astronomy Tower, and still his eyes deceived him as much as the two cells he must have had that sufficed for a brain. Boy Wonder had gotten so much wrong over the years and it cost him and everyone around him.

'INCENDIO!' Snape roared as he aimed his wand at the barely standing structure.

In less than five minutes it collapsed in on itself.

Nothing would ever rise to take its place thanks to the curse he placed on the land.

Snape walked to the riverside and ignored the flames roaring on high behind him as reflected in the murky black water to his left. The old mill which had towered over him in judgment eventually disappeared over the horizon as he kept walking.

The former professor didn't notice it, however.

Not once did he ever look back.

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All he had was a rucksack with a few pairs of black jeans and pants, an equal number of shirts and some underwear. He'd miniaturised all of his books and they were contained in a small wooden box protected by the clothes. He wasn't a rich man, but he wasn't exactly a pauper either. His Gringotts account had been frozen by the Ministry when he was on the run and the Goblins 'convinced' him to close it for good when access was restored.

What little he had would be enough to get him out of Britain – and Europe for good.

Severus Snape needed to make a fresh start.

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It had been almost ten years since the war ended, and not once had he known any semblance of peace. He needed to go somewhere that had not been tainted by what he'd fought hard to survive. He needed to be somewhere where his past would not be forever held against him.

He stood in the large travel agent's just off Piccadilly Circus in Central London and looked at row after row of brightly coloured brochures. It struck him that people were always force-fed the best side of a place and not the worst. Despite this, he did want to go someplace that wouldn't be so blighted and where it might not be too much an ordeal to survive. He had his wits about him and he still had magic. That was enough.

'Can I help you, Sir?' an obviously bored sale clerk asked him.

'Yes – I would like a ticket booked…'

'Fine – take a seat…'

'Your name please?'

'Michael – Michael Stuart-Clark'

A few more cursory questions with suitably fake answers and Snape had his ticket. He would fly just over 14 hours with no break in between. With any luck he could make it to Heathrow with time enough to make the gate.

Not wanting to waste any time, the first of his two long-haul flights was leaving tonight.

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Fortunately there was no one seated beside him and he could be left alone. The plane began to taxi and images flashed before his eyes.

His first day at Hogwarts when he was sorted into the one House that everyone else despised with a loathing bordering on hysteria;

Kissing Florence what's-her-name-behind the Greenhouses and hexed Bertha what's-her-name for not minding her own piggy business;

The first time that the Marauders of Gryffindor ganged up him – and for no good reason;

The day that comprised his worst memory when the Marauders (Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, James Potter and Peter Pettigrew) turned him upside down and pulled off his underwear, making him a laughing stock;

The night that Remus Lupin almost killed him in his transformed state as a werewolf after having been lured to Lupin's hiding place by Sirius Black and James Potter;

The plane was picking up speed and so too were his memories;

Lucius Malfoy seeking him out in Knockturn Alley during his Sixth Year; he'd heard that Snape was very gifted in the Dark Arts and in Potions Making. He had a little proposition for him…'

The Night he took the Dark Mark, not realising the full-implications of what he was doing until after the deed was done;

Lily Evans rejecting him in favour of James Potter

The night Lily and James were murdered by Voldemort (with him in attendance), but their infant son Harry survived.

Harry Potter being sorted into Gryffindor

Potter's first day in Potions.

Every other memory he had of altercations with The Chosen One fast-forwarded through Snape's mind until the night he was fatally struck down by the Dark Lord.

Snape closed his eyes as the plane began to take off.

He would think of these things no more, no more.