A/N: Anything that looks familiar isn't mine. You know that right?
The Draught of the Loveless Death
The Final Battle had been a long difficult experience for all involved. Losses were numerous on both sides. Harry, as expected, was victorious, but at what cost? Once the dust settled, everyone watched as Harry Apparated away. The Daily Prophet claims to have found him in American. It took several months before life began to resemble the peacefulness it once was. Hogsmeade was at last up and running. Hogwarts still had several reconstructions left before it was ready to be inhabitable. The remaining Death Eaters were finally apprehended and are spending time in Azkaban for their many crimes. However, Lucius Malfoy somehow managed to talk his way into The Order of the Phoenix in the aftermath of the fighting. Lucius Malfoy and Severus Snape had known each other for many years. The idea of Malfoy turning to the side of good wasn't that difficult to believe.
Severus Snape had been invited to Malfoy Manor for drinks. Severus had longed for his long time friend to be on his side of the war. It seemed as if at long last his wishes had come true. He had been throwing back drinks in the library with Lucius as was really loosening up. It was nice to finally be able to relax and not worry about someone attacking you after years of spying. Severus sat down his cup and stood up on wobbly legs.
"I, thank you, Lucius, for the drinks but I really believe I should return to my quarters at the school. The workers will be there early to finish the Great Hall."
Lucius gave Severus a tight smile, "Sounds tedious but, if you must go, who am I to stop you? Just one more drink before you go."
"You've twisted my arm, but just one more. I can barely stand in this spinning room as it is."
Lucius turned his back to Severus as he prepared their final Firewhisky. They raise their glasses to one another in a silent toast before drinking the liquor in one swallow. The friends say goodbye before Severus apparates back to his rooms at Hogwarts. He was very lucky that he retained his dungeon rooms after taking the Defense against the Dark Arts position or he would have no where suitable to go. He was beginning to get a pounding in his head so he walked into his bathroom for a potion to give him some relief. He doesn't make it past the threshold of his bathroom before he collapses on the floor.
Headmistress McGonagall worried when Severus didn't show up for breakfast the following morning. It was very unlike him to be late for breakfast. Especially, when he knew how important it was for him to be there to overlook the workers as they repaired the castle. She briskly walked down to his room and knocked loudly against his door. When he didn't answer, she used her headmistress authority to enter his rooms without his consent. The sight that greeted her filled her with unease. She knelt down beside him to find that he was breathing but just barely. Luckily, the apparition wards had not been re-applied because in the blink of an eye, she had Severus Snape that St. Mungo's.
The head healer was very concerned that he was unconscious when he was brought in. He remained comatose through all the straining tests that were run to ascertain the cause of his illness. When none of them came back with any questionable results he became uneasy. The healer called in a specialist in distinguishing dark magic in patients for a consult. The specialist ran a few test and finally found the problem.
"He's been giving the Draught of the Loveless Death? What in the name of Merlin is that?" McGonagall had never heard of anything that sounded so ridiculous. "This must be some kind of joke. I want a second opinion!"
The specialist shook his head sadly, "I can understand this sounds very far fetched but believe me it is all but too true. It's an old potion that kills the drinker unless the person inflicted can experience the pure love of a virgin. Do you have any idea where Mr. Snape would have gotten this potion in his system?"
The Headmistress's eyes rounded, "Why that double-crossing snake in the grass. After everything he'd done we forgave him and accepted him! Severus believed him to be his friend! How could he do this?"
A nurse walking by noticed the distraught woman and came over to help. She put her arm again the elderly lady's back and helped guide her to a chair. She conjured a tissue and handed it to McGonagall going off to continue what she was intending to do. McGonagall wiped her eyes and blew her nose as the healer knelt down in front of her.
"I know this is a shock but I really need you to tell me who you believed did this. We must send Aurors after him before he escapes!"
The Headmistress looked up at the healer specialist with anger in her eyes. "He had drinks with Lucius Malfoy at Malfoy Manor last night. I'd bet my weight in galleons that he's the one responsible for this."
They were both in such deep conversation that neither realized the patient lying in the bed beside them had finally awaked. Nor did they see the single tear that ran down his face. He'd risked his life for years, spying, to ensure that he'd be able to live a full life. That life had only just begun and it was already snatched from his grasp and trampled on.