Title: That Man
Author: Unspoken Tragedy
Rating: PG-13 (pretty much my default rating)
Spoilers: PS, COS, POA, GOF, OOTP, HBP- Not DH
Disclaimer: I don't own this. Don't sue me.
Summery: "Do you really think that I would still be standing here were I afraid you may kill me?" Harry confronts Snape. Not DH compliant.
A/N: This has nothing to do with Deathly Hallows and is rather an AU of the final battle.
"Snape." The man in question turned to him with a sneer.
Harry gritted his teeth. "Your master's dead."
The Potions Master inclined his head. "I know," he said.
Harry couldn't remember which side he'd seen Snape fight on; couldn't remember if he'd spotted the Slytherin during the battle at all. Not that it really mattered. The man was still a murderer.
"Didn't think you'd even be here."
Snape laughed. "Very rarely do things turn out the way that you'd thought they would, Potter."
Crucio, Harry cast silently. Snape blocked it. "How many times do I have to tell you to close your mind?" he sneered. "How in the hell you managed to defeat the Dark Lord whilst keeping your thoughts an open book is beyond me."
Bastard. The younger wizard knew, though, that he'd never be able to win against Snape like this. With Voldemort, he'd been able to use his menial skills at Occlumency to distract him. The Potions Master, who knew him quite a bit better than the mad Dark Lord, would be a lot harder to fool.
He kept his wand trained on the other man. Snape was twirling his own wand between his fingers. Waiting for him to make the first move, obviously. "Why'd you do it, Snivillus?"
The other wizard blocked this attack just as effectively as the first. "Do what, Potter?"
"Kill Dumbledore, you bastard."
Snape simply shrugged. "I hardly think that you would be the first I'd tell my reasons to."
Legilimens. Snape made no attempts to prevent the intrusion. Harry could tell that he was only seeing the memories that the other wizard was showing him. The look on Draco's face as the Headmaster gave Slytherin the cup and then took it away just as easily. An unnamed first year sobbing at his feet. Snape kneeling before Voldemort… Innocuous little memories that meant little to Harry, and possibly even less to Snape. After a few moments, Harry was thrust from the other's mind.
"Tell me." The Potions Master didn't answer. Harry moved in quickly; grabbed the older man by the front of his robes and shook him. "He trusted you!" He slammed a fist into the other's face. Blood trickled down the man's angular chin. "How could you kill the only person who even liked you?"
Snape didn't answer him. He didn't move away either. Harry brought his wand up to touch the other's temple. "Tell me."
The Potions Master smirked. "Do you really think that I would still be standing here were I afraid you may kill me?"
"Stop playing with me!" A little red spark shot from his wand, leaving a burnt streak across Snape's face.
Snape jerked out of his grip. Harry kept the wand aimed on his target. "And why should I tell you a thing, Potter? So that you may feel good and vindicated with yourself when I'm dead? So that you could pity me for doing what may have been my only choice?
"No. I will not tell you why I took Albus's life. Just as he would have never told you if the circumstance were reversed."
Harry glared at him, angry to feel tears stinging his eyes. "I hate you. You took everything. I had a loving family until you gave Voldemort what you knew of the prophecy. I had a godfather... a mentor... And you took them."
Snape turned away from him. He looked embarrassed to see Harry's tears. "Why couldn't you have died in the Shrieking Shack like you were supposed to?"
"You are a fool, Potter. An ignorant little boy who can't just accept that life is not fair. Well, you may certainly blame me if you like. Whatever may help you sleep at night."
Harry's eyes hardened. No. He wouldn't be able to sleep until Snape was dead. That traitor. "What, like you blame everyone else for your poor pathetic plight? Dumbledore should have killed you when he found out you were a Death Eater. Merlin knows how many you have killed in turn."
With a wave of Snape's wandHarry was thrown back a few feet. "Do not speak of things which you know nothing about, boy!" he snapped.
"Or what? You'll kill me?" Harry barked out laughter. "But no, you were always too much a coward to do anything on your own!"
Snape growled. The younger wizard felt slightly triumphant. It was gratifying to see that he could make the other feel even a tenth of the pain he had caused Harry over the years. "Yeah, that's right, you greasy git," Harry continued, only to be interrupted.
"Silence," Snape hissed. The look on his face was positively murderous. Harry wondered if he'd gone too far. "Do you want the answer to your question?" he then inquired. "Do you wish to know why I killed your beloved Headmaster?
"I did it because I could." The young wizard started to understand why Neville had been so terrified of their Potions professor. The man was insane. "I killed Dumbledore because I was the only one who could. Everyone else was either too afraid or too enamored with him."
"He trusted you."
The bastard simply shrugged. "All men find themselves proven wrong at some point."
Harry glared at him. "I won't let you get away with this."
"Oh?" Snape smiled nastily.
"Avada-" Harry's voice cut off in shock. Snape had simply disappeared. In the middle of the Hogwarts' grounds.
After a moment, Harry moved away from the site of their confrontation. He could deal with that later. For now he just wanted to find his friends.
"Harry!" He turned at the animated voice of Ron. What the redhead could find to be excited about at the end of such a gruesome battle was beyond him. "It's Snape," he said as he moved over to his dark haired friend, "They've executed him."
Harry felt a thrill of horror pass through him. "They're doing it with all the Death Eaters they caught- Say, where have you been this past hour? The battle's been over for a while…" Harry looked around them to see that the bodies were gone, though dark stains of blood still covered the grass.
"But…" Harry muttered, confused.
Snape was there again. He was standing beside Ron, smirking. "They can't see me, Potter. Only you can."
Ron started to answer. "Well Hermione has been worried about you…"
It was Snape's response that he listened to, though, "You already know this, Potter."
Of course he did. Just like Snape to be so ambiguous about it. The only explanation that came to his mind was that the man wasn't really there at all.
"Dear Merlin," Harry mumbled, abruptly sitting down.
"What?" Ron was looking rather concerned. Snape was smiling nastily. "Harry?"
Not bothering with an answer, he dropped his head into his hands. "Are you alright, Harry?"
And what could he say in reply? No, Ron, I'm not okay. Now could you please tell the imaginary man standing next to you to go away?
Snape just laughed.
He supposed it was just a matter of time before the Death Eater had taken his sanity as well.
A/N: Um. I wrote this well over a year ago. I wasn't satisfied with the ending, so I kept working on it until I became sick of the very sight of it. Then I set it aside and forgot about it. Just the other day, I unearthed it and decided to post it.