His Best Friend's Widow

Pairing: SS/NM (HP)

Rating: PG-13

Summary: When visiting the graveyard, Severus finds a lot more than the tombs of fallen friends.

A/N: This wouldn't make half as much sense if it wasn't for my wonderful beta :P
Disclaimer: I'm still not J.K Rowling. sob

Length: 704 words.

He stood by the graves of a former friend and a former pupil, wishing there were tears that he could wipe from his eyes. Tears would ease his guilt, would wash away his sins. But Slytherins weren't supposed to cry, and Severus Snape had been the most Slytherin of them all. When it had all come to an end.
'Whatever side you pick, make sure it's strong. I will not tolerate weakness.' His father's final words to him, even on his deathbed he had made his only son feel unworthy. They were words Severus had taken to heart. He looked at the epitaph on the tomb-

'Loving father.'

Severus wondered what his fallen friend's last words to his son had been. He had been surprised, no doubt. Severus had been surprised too, he had never expected Draco's loyalties to run so deep, but once the boy had learned of his father's true allegiance to the Order of the Phoenix he had murdered him on the battlefield.

You were a fool Lucius, if only you had told your son of your true loyalties before he turned to the Dark Lord out of love for you. But everything was obvious with hindsight. Severus glanced briefly at the grave that lay beside Lucius's before turning to leave; he did not have time for such a disappointment. He had had high hopes for Draco, but they had been dashed when he took the Mark, when he went against the most basic of wizarding principles.

He began to walk away from the graves, when he saw a pale figure standing in the midst of the tombstones of those who had died fighting the Death-Eaters. Even from this distance he recognised the thin frame and silver hair of Narcissa Malfoy. Briefly he wondered why she was in that part of the graveyard, her entire family were cowards who had died hiding their faces. But if there was one inexplicable exception to the rule, it was Narcissa; she had even been born a contradiction; a Black with blonde hair. Most of the time she bent the rules through cruelty and cunning- she was Slytherin through and through.

He walked towards her. Black heart or not, they had become friends, good friends throughout the years, united by common goals and shared grief.

"Cissa," he called out quietly as he approached her, he didn't want to intrude on her mourning, or whatever she was here to do.

She turned slowly, without wiping the tears from her cheeks. He hadn't expected her to be crying. "Severus," her voice was colder than the wind that blew her hair around her face, but he knew that her hostility wasn't directed at him. They had all suffered during this war. Subconsciously he ran his hand through his once black hair, now it was almost completely grey- the death of Albus had placed even more stress on his already over burdened shoulders.

"I didn't expect to see you here." He said.

"The graveyard?" She sounded disbelieving and he didn't blame her; who else, beside the dead, did she have to visit now?

"No, not the graveyard, just this part." He gestured to the graves, most of them were of Aurors.

"Oh," she turned back to the grave and he walked up behind her. Kingsley Shacklebolt. Confusion wrinkled his eyebrows.

"Friend of yours?" If Lucius Malfoy could be a double agent, why couldn't his wife have auror friends?

She paused. "I'm carrying his child."

Ah, a very good friend then. He expected her to make a poorly constructed excuse and leave, but she didn't. Her porcelain cheeks didn't even pinken. It angered him. Despite his many faults Lucius had never been unfaithful. But Severus had learned long ago that if you judge a book by its cover, you often end up looking a fool.

"I don't want to have this baby alone."

He paused. "You won't be alone."

"Ever?" She prodded. He barely heard her over the wind.

"Not if you don't want to be."

She moved closer to rest her head against his arm. "Thank you," she whispered.

He placed his arm around her shoulders. "My pleasure."

He almost didn't feel guilty that this was the widow of his best friend.