Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters are copyright of J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros., and they were used without permission. However, they were used with consideration and with no intention of making money. This story is simply an appreciative fan's attempt at writing something to contribute to the world of Harry Potter.
Author's Note: Deathly Hallows spoilers ensue. This story is being written as a response to JKR's comment in an interview where she said if Snape could choose to live his life over, he would choose Lily over the Death Eaters. So, that said, this is obviously AU.
Email comments to sindie11(at)yahoo(dot)com.
Rated PG-13 for thematical reasons, language, and mild sexual references.
Sindie Presents a Harry Potter Fanfic:
The Moment It Began
The moment when everything comes back
To the moment it began, And round and round in circles we go,
Dizzy and high-flying; it's pure ecstasy.
Blurred vision didn't hinder the decision
To jump off the cliff of reality - Diving, dwelling into blue waters of bliss
And lunacy some label imagination.
Remember the talks and the holding of hands,
How the swelling feeling, well, it's swell.
Expands to... oh, hell -
Does it really matter, anyway?
And then, so insanely, believe it or not,
The moment again: Everything comes back to the moment it began.
That was the last thing he saw before everything went black.
The blackness was thick, almost like a solid mass pressing on all sides of his body. (Did he still even have a body?) At first, he panicked because he couldn't breathe, but then he supposed breathing wasn't really necessary now that he was dead. He couldn't be sure how long he remained in this state of being in this place and time - if there was any such thing as either of those after life.
But then, the surrounding pressure lessened gradually and kept decreasing, until the point of nothingness, of weightlessness. The blackness turned dark grey to grey to light grey to white, so blindingly white.
His initial impression that he was in hell was now questionable. Heavy blackness could constitute hell, but light, both in terms of mass and brightness?
In front of him materialized a pair of eyes. He had been hoping for green ones, but piercing blue was better than malevolent red. The vividness and sharpness of them was unreal, but those eyes no longer belonged to the living Albus Dumbledore, so their quality could be extraordinary if the laws of super-nature allowed, if there were any such laws.
"Severus," the old man uttered blankly.
Severus Snape found he could nod, but to find his voice was proving difficult. He exhaled, realizing he could breathe again, oddly enough. That one exhalation felt like he was releasing years of pent up anger, frustration, bitterness, sadness, and anything negative he had experienced in life. He breathed in and found himself filled with a strange, almost foreign sensation - hope?
Finally finding his voice, Severus replied, "Dumbledore."
"Yes, my boy," Dumbledore said simply.
Even though he felt better than he had in years, Severus's prickly personality was still there, so he found himself growing quickly annoyed with the old codger's purposefully vague manner.
"What," he asked pointed, "do you want, Dumbledore? Are you here to issue me to the 'other side,' as it were?"
Dumbledore, in spite of himself, chuckled. "How are you feeling, my dear boy?" came the inquiry from the bearded lips.
With a withering sigh, Severus groaned, "Actually quite well... better than that, in fact, but you still haven't answered my question. If I'm dead, I assume this is the afterlife, and you're here as a sort of required guide."
There was that inane chuckling again. Severus scowled deeply, crossing his arms over his chest, surprised for the first time that he still had a body.
"Well, you see, Severus, that is what I'd like to discuss with you. Few are given the chance to return, to do things over again, but every so often, the Powers That Be grant that special privilege to a person."
His dark brow furrowed, Severus asked, "What are you talking about, Dumbledore?"
Dumbledore's jovial expression left, replaced by a sober one. "You have been dealt a difficult hand to play in life, Severus. Your life was never yours to live, and I am sorry for the part I took in enslaving you to yet another master to serve. You made mistakes, yes, but you did more than enough to right any wrongs you've committed, and yet, your life was still unfairly cut short in a cruel, horrible way. Just when you could have finally been free, you died mere hours before Harry finally defeated Lord Voldemort. What I'm trying to say, my boy, is this: If you were given the chance to live your life over, would you?"
Puzzled, thinking this a joke, a game, for it had to be impossible, Severus said softly, unable to look into Dumbledore's eyes, "Yes, I would... There are so many things I'd change." He paused, remembering his awful childhood, but then meeting Lily, and how she was the light in the darkness of his world. For a few short years, they had been best friends, but he remembered the day when he had ended that sacred connection forever by uttering one word: Mudblood.
"It all fell apart that day I called Lily..." he murmured, unable to finish the sentence.
"Yes," Dumbledore said sadly, nodding slowly. "What you've called your worst memory, if I'm not mistaken."
Severus glared at Dumbledore sharply. "No, you're not mistaken, Dumbledore. So what of it? Are you trying to tell me you have the power to send me back, that I can do things over again? That's impossible."
"I don't possess that power," Dumbledore said serenely, "but there are powers far greater than any man can understand. Yes, Severus, you can return if you like. You will, however, retain all your memories from your past life. Even though you think knowing what you've done wrong may benefit you in this new life, you may find those old memories haunting. Are you sure you wish to return?"
Severus considered for a time, whether long or short, he couldn't tell. Finally, he said, "Yes."
"Very well," Dumbledore replied, smiling. "Good luck, Severus."
Severus made to blink, and when he opened his eyes, he was dressed as a student once again, outside on the Hogwarts grounds on a sunny afternoon in early summer. He looked over his shoulder and saw James Potter and his gang approaching. He knew the exact date.
This was the day of his worst memory, when everything had spiraled down, down, down afterward.