A drabble in remembrance of a strong, pitiable man.
"He Lies with Us"
Harry was exhausted, shortly after telling Dumbledore's portrait of his intentions for the Elder wand, he had once more donned his rightful Hallow and strode toward the broken memorial to make good of his word. With his original wand rightly restored, the youth had no problems in mending the gravesite, Elder wand stowed within the grip of the corpse within once more.
Turning, Harry's seeker eyes caught sight of the vestiges of war strewn across the grounds of Hogwarts. The bodies of Death Eaters and ogres and trolls… Brutality and pain, no detail unobserved. There were no bodies of the light side upon those hills. The order and student body had done well in collecting their wounded and dead. Harry suspected that they may have chosen to search outside first, to save their comrades from the elements. Farther in the distance, the womping willow shuddered.
One body, Harry knew, had not been recovered.
Looking into the distance, at that tree, Harry knew he would go to him. Sparing only a glace to the splintered doors of Hogwarts, Harry set slowly out toward the body of Severus Snape, the man who loved his mother enough to die, pleading, Harry realized, to have one last chance to spare Harry's life.
The walk to the tree itself was numb, Harry looked only at the tree, and thought of nothing. Sound was dulled, and smells long ago stopped affecting him, the blood and burning stench having sat too long in his throat. The tunnel into the shack carried the same effect for him. Crawling in darkness, it was almost comforting.
Harry slowed when he reached the shack, and stopped when he entered the room where his most hated professor had exhaled his last breath. Harry had not known this man, just as this man had not known him, and yet Harry felt compelled to treat his death as he had Dobby's. He did not levitate this man, he crouched, and lifted.
'I shall carry you in death, as you carried me in life.'
In the cramped tunnel, when he rightly dragged himself as much as the body, Harry thought of Dumbledore's many speeches of love. How it had saved Harry, always. It had saved Snape too, and condemned him. A love so strong and selfless enough for death. He thought of his mother's friendship with Snape, and wondered if she had lived, would he and Snape have viewed each other differently? He thought, perhaps he would have. Harry suspected his mother would have defended her one time friend, and while the man would have despised him for being the son of James Potter, Harry liked to believe that he himself would feel more respect for Snape.
He did have more respect for him. He dug himself up from the earth between tree roots, and lifted the other out with him. And Harry felt tears in his eyes, as the lights from within the castle glowed, and shimmers from the rising sun caught the lake, and made the world glow golden, even in the aftermath of war. He wanted to know more. Who was the man who loved his mother?
Kind? No... That he wasn't. Six years of hating the man could not be erased so easily. But, the man was brave. He faced death again and again, for a woman who turned him away. For her son, who so often forgot there was more to his past then his father. Love, rare and precious as it was in Harry's life was coveted when found. Knowing what he did now, Harry found the first real thing he had in common with Snape. Never before would he have believed it would be love.
Harry contemplated Dumbledore's trust in Snape, and Dumbledore's beliefs in love, and suddenly, it wasn't so hard to believe Dumbledore's complete faith in the dark, bitter wizard. Once more carrying the body, Harry entered the great hall, cloak long forgotten, stuffed into some pocket, alongside his wand, stares followed his every move.
Where people once scarcely gave him room to move, they now made wide berth for him. Harry knew what most of them were thinking; how most could not believe that their savior would lay the body of a traitor next to their honorable fallen dead. Right in line with the rest.
The body now eased to the floor, Harry moved to straighten, and many made a move to lift it again, to remove Severus from their number, and perhaps toss him back outside, among other Death Eaters and the like.
"He lies with us." Harry's voice was calm, even, yet every ear from the light side heard him. Movement ceased. He thought of Dumbledore's trust, his mother's friendship, and Snape's love. "He is a hero in the war as much as I am. He lies, with us."