Disclaimer: The World of Harry Potter belongs to J.. I'm just borrowing it for a little while and promise to give everything back unharmed.
A/N: This short piece came to my mind just after reading DH for the first time. The original has been written in my mother language, German. This is a rewriting in English, as translating didn't really work – doing it the other way is much easier ;o).
When I first read about Snape's death in the book, I was relieved on one hand that my belief in the good side of Severus Snape had been sound. On the other hand, I was and am still apalled at JKRs heartless sacrificing this deep and complicated character, but even more so at the indifference shown about his death by so many in the book.
My heartfelt gratitude goes to Morgaine duLac for correcting my horrible translation, and to TheVirginan for the betareading of the original.
Luna Lovegood of all people was the first to inquire after Snape's body.
The battle was over, Voldemort defeated, and the dead had been brought to the castle.
Harry had told everyone about the memories in the Pensieve, about Snape's true loyalities, his death, Nagini's bite and the last betrayal that had been committed against him...
Everybody had been shocked by the futility of Snape's death, surprised at his last sacrifice for the Light: he had given his life willingly, thus ensuring Voldemort would be confronting Harry with a wand he didn't truly master.
The shock had first turned into remorse as all this time nobody had bothered to even try believing in Snape's loyalty towards Dumbledore. And finally it had turned into shame as Snape had simply been forgotten, even when the dead had been counted and laid out.
Hermione, Ron and Harry, accompanied by Neville and Luna, went down to the Shrieking Shack, where they found him as they had left him: broken eyes wide open, staring into nothingness, fists still clenched, still seeming to clutch Harry's robes, his face still carrying the surprise at the ruthless mercy and his sudden death.
Harry was hoping with all his heart that Snape's last wish had been fulfilled, that Snape, in his death, before the darkness had clouded his vision, had once more seen his, or rather Lily's eyes, so similar to his own.
Hermione, having borne the death of so many with all the strength she could muster, fell to her knees beside Snape, hoarse sobs escaping from deep within. Gentle fingers swept a strand of dark hair from his face trying to close his staring eyes, but the rigor mortis was already in place. A hot tear fell down on the black hair. And following an impulse, she bowed and placed a soft kiss on his forehead.
"Thank you, professor", she said solemnly. "Thank you for your help. We wouldn't have managed without you. We would never have been able to vanquish Voldemort."
The boys had assembled a kind of stretcher of some planks and a cloak and put it now down beside Snape. Careful hands bedded the rigid body on it.
In unspoken agreement and without any magic, they took the stretcher and bore Severus Snape up to the castle, in a desperate attempt to – in his death – give him some of the dignity back that had been denied to him during his life.