Slowly he turned away from the celebrations, walking away from the crowds or cheering smiling people. He remembered, remembered what they seemed to have forgotten.
Through the grounds, passing groups of revellers here and there he walked in silent contemplation.
Passed the old womping willow, so old now it barely had the energy to move in the wind.
Passed the old worn steps of the front entrance, curse scarred and spell beaten.
Down towards the lake and the shining marble tomb that still stood there as a solemn reminder to the sacrifices of the war.
Stopping momentarily in contemplation the dark haired man thought of his old mentor. Then continued on, further still.
Round the lake, to the place, where in his third year a young wizard has shown just how strong he was to become.
Passed the ruins of a Hagrid's hut, his grave, just behind, "A hero, a friend, who gave his life for the place he loved".
Down into the forest, no creature stirred, the old air of danger that once filled it now gone. No creature stirred, the centaurs that once had guarded this place so jealously had left, giant spiders who stayed only for Hagrid, gone, where, no one knew. The forest was empty now, at peace.
Through the trees to a little clearing, where the last rays of the sun shone through the leaves, bathing the scene in golden light. Little sparks of light shining in the pool that seemed untouched by wind, weather or time.
And, reflected in the pool, three headstones, in purest marble, inlaid with gold. Pausing, he considered the two side stones, "Ronald Weasely, strategist, loyal friend, and brother, who fought valiantly to give us back our lives"and "Hermione Granger, great learner, constant friend, mother, daughter. She fought bravely to defend the school and the people she loved" They were too young to have died, too young to do what they did.
He knelt before the centre stone, "Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, savior, teacher, father, friend, son, Harry. He fought so hard to defend the freedom he longed for"
And, just like he had done every year since the final curse has been spoken, the man began to remember.
Curses flew this way and that, crossing the battle field between the two sides, the ground was littered with the bodies of both sides. Healers rushing through to the wounded, risking their lives to save those who might have a chance.
And in the centre of the battle stood Voldemort shouting orders to his deatheaters. Desperately three figure fought their way through to before him. Leaving stunned and dying deatheaters in their wake, the Golden Trio cut their way through to him.
The man watched as the two lines of green light took out the figures on either side of Harry, heard his scream over the din of the battle as his two best friends died. And heard the scream of Voldemort as he cast his final curse, the scream of a being whose soul was being ripped from his body.
He ran towards Harry as he fell, catching him, holding him close, not wanting to let him go.
Harry looked up, his eyes filled with wisdom far beyond his years.
The man listened as he spoke his final words.
"It is finished, he is gone, now I can rest in peace. Don't weep for me, I'm going home at last. Goodbye, father, I love you"
The man shook as he rocked the body of his dead son, weeping tears of hopelessness, as the one reason his life had was taken from him. Trying to revive him, he refused to let go, even when the healers came and tried to pry him from his son, he could not let go.
Tears fell down his face, weeping as he remembered finding out that Harry was his son, the many hours spent getting to know him, working on a way to bring about the downfall of Voldemort together, laughing and joking, and celebrating together when at last they found a way.
He remembered how hard Harry had fought to prove his innocence when Dumbledore was killed, how Harry was the only one who had believed him.
He remembered when he found out the one thing Harry had kept from him, that when he destroyed Voldemort, it would cost him his life.
He remembered the months after his death, when he had to be forced to eat, to drink. When he just sat there, not caring about anything.
He remembered the day Ginny Weasely had come to him, and slapped him, berating him for wasting the freedom Harry had fought so hard to give him. Forcing him to once again begin to care about the world.
He remembered how he had gone back to teach at Hogwarts, no longer favouring his house, or attacking the Griffindors, he remembered how he had kept turning to talk to McGonagal at the teachers table, only to remember she wouldn't be there. Or turning to ask Flitwicks advice on wards, before realizing that he too was gone. How odd Hogwarts had seemed without so many of the teachers who had been there since long before he had even been a student there.
He remembered when Ginny Weasely had finally deemed him healed enough to take care of Harry and Hermione's daughter.
He remembered how he had loved her, and looked after her like he would have liked to look after Harry as he grew up. How she had grown to look so much like her father, how she loved to read, to learn, just like her mother.
He remembered watching as she was sorted into Ravenclaw, as she had grown, and made friends, had boy friends and had her heart broken then mended.
He remembered how proud he had been on her wedding day, how radiant she looked as he walked her down the aisle.
He remembered meeting his great-grand son, how he had smiled up to him, with big green eyes, so like Harry's.
He remembered all that had happened, and thought of his son. The quidditch enthusiast, the little boy who had never known love, the man who fought so hard for freedom. The proud father, the loving son,
He remembered Harry and he smiled, "I'm coming home now Harry" he whispered.
Rebecca Sabrina Snape Malfoy, saw her father leave the celebrations as he did every year, and walk down to the forest. A little while later she followed as she always did, through the path in the forest she knew so well, to the place where her father was buried.
She found the body of her Grandfather, in front of his grave, a smile on his face.
The funeral was a quiet one, so many of her grandfather's friends had died during the great war, in the end it was just her, Luc Weasely-Malfoy, their son, Ginny Weasely and Draco Malfoy who attended, paying their last respects to the man who had inspired them all.
The next year she left the celebrations and walked down to the grave stones. Where there was a forth one added.
"Severus Snape, teacher, mentor, father, friend. He inspired us all, may he now find the peace he searched so hard to find."