The Eyes of an Angel

It seemed extraordinary that the battle raged on when the world had ended so very long ago. Snape stood in the playground where he had first come face to face with an angel. The wind rustled through the long-dead trees as he watched the swings sway, too and fro, too and fro. He could almost see her there; her body, her hair, her eyes full of pure beauty were so real to him that he could almost reach out and touch her. But when her stretched out his hand, all he felt was cold emptiness as a bit of him died all over again.

Now he sat in a small clearing that might never have seen light. But it was bright and warm in his memories as he told the angel all about Hogwarts, promised her that blood made no difference. And he drank in the sight of her, promising himself that he would always remember her.

They were dancing together; they could not have been more than twelve years old. Around and around and around they went, and he held her close, hoping it would never end. But before he could do what he longed to, it was over.

The potions master stood before them, reeling off review questions as Snape covertly watched the angel. Her eyes sparkled as her hand shot up. Her eyes like emeralds, but infinitely more beautiful than anything before them, living or dead, muggle or witch, person or place. She answered correctly, earning five points for Gryffindor…

She was shouting at Potter by the lakeside, defending him, protecting him, but in barely a heartbeat the walls crumbled as in his humiliation he said the one word that would cause him to live in regret for a thousand eternities.

He looked into the eyes of the angel, willing her to understand, but her gaze had changed. Instead of love, he saw anger. Instead of kindness, he saw hurt. He couldn't bear it and he turned away so she wouldn't see his anguish.

He lay on a small cot in his shabby bedroom, tears pouring down his cheeks as he listened to his parents' angry voices, and remembered the sympathy that had filled the angel's eyes when he had told her about the ruins that were his family. He closed his eyes, but hers only shone more brightly in his mind as he sobbed harder and harder, only to be diminished when at last he had cried himself to sleep.

He barely had a reason to live. Potter had taken the only thing he had ever loved; she was eons away despite being close enough to touch. There was nothing left for him, only hatred and pain and terrible longing. He made his decision.

He stared at the horrible tattoo on his left forearm, filled with a savage pleasure, but deeper inside, regret bubbled. What if she ever saw? Surely she would be even more repulsed by him…

He was listening at the door to a most exciting conversation within. Although he was unable to surpass his pain, curiosity bubbled in the pit of his stomach. THE ONE WITH THE POWER TO VANQUISH THE DARK LORD APPROACHES…But then the door was thrown open, and he fled back to his master.

He stood on the hilltop with Dumbledore. Protect the angel, he thought. She doesn't deserve to die. He could not return to the Lord's bidding. He had threatened the angel, Snape's one love, the reason that he still lived and breathed. He could not let her die. Protect her. Dumbledore agreed.

He stood at the wreckage of the angel's house, weeping for the kind, pure woman who had never deserved to die. I should die, he thought, for killing her. He took a silver potion knife out of his pocket and held it over his heart. But he stopped. Someone was crying in the upstairs room…

He stared into the face of the eleven-year-old boy with a mixture of love and revulsion. He is a part of her, he thought, but a part of him too. He looked into the brilliant, innocent eyes and saw his own black ones reflected there, eyes that had seen a thousand years of pain and horror since they had last looked into the angel's…

…The memories were coming faster now. He couldn't stop them…

…He chanted a counter curse, trying to keep Harry from falling…

…He sat weeping by the lake, remembering all the times that he had watched her tickle the giant squid…

…He stood before his old master, carefully controlling and concealing his hatred and disgust…

…He was standing before Harry, trying to force his way into his mind, but for the first time ever, the boy threw him back. Now he was reliving his own memories…

…He was receiving a cryptic warning from Harry…he set off to alert Dumbledore immediately…

…He was doing his best to heal Dumbledore's hand, which lay withered and dead upon the table…

…He stared into those calm, blue eyes, hating himself more than he ever had before. He cast the Killing Curse…

…He sat beside Lord Voldemort and told him of the true date of Harry's departure…

…He was talking to Dumbledore's portrait, which told him about the sword of Gryffindor…

But now he was back in his office, staring out the window with tears pouring down his cheeks. He took the sword from the desk as he passed, and set off to assist the boy whose father he had loathed so much, but whom had his mother's eyes. The eyes of an angel.