This is a story I had already written and posted here, but I thought that I should add some things to it at the recommendation of one of my reviewers. My immense thanks to bch1993 and BooksandBubblegum. Enjoy.
Loyal to the End
Hermione reflects on the death of Severus Snape.
Through the pain, ridicule and deceit, he remained loyal. He faced Deatheaters, Voldemort and Umbridge. I'm ashamed to admit it but even I doubted him at the end of sixth year. I never thought that his cold and condescending demeanor were a mask he had perfected for this very purpose. I should have known that anyone who loved Lily Potter would have had a need for such a mask. I should have known he would never have willingly killed Dumbledore; I think deep down I knew I just didn't want to admit to myself I could be wrong.
When we thought the worst was over, Voldemort killed him. Well, technically Nagini killed him but that's beside the point. We watched in horror as she latched onto his neck and let her venom flow. Harry later told me that the strangled gasps we all heard and thought were coming from Severus actually came from me. What matters most is he's gone and no one will ever know what he sacrificed to save us, save for Harry, Ron and I.
When Voldemort and Nagini finally left and we emerged, Severus' last request broke my heart. 'Look at me.' He said. When black met green, the pale hand in mine clenched one last time as he breathed, 'Lily.' Closing his eyes, I ignored the tears on my cheeks and said, 'Let's go.'
I can't help but wonder, had we acted sooner, would he have lived. Would fewer people have died with his aide? These questions weigh heavily on my mind, but at least I know this; he wasn't alone at the end. Like or not, he had us: Harry, Ron, and I. I only wish I could have made his passing easier. At least now he can be at peace. Now, despite the antagonism and stigma, his story will be known. All will know the story of how Severus Snape aided Harry Potter in destroying Voldemort, no matter the cost. All will know how Severus Snape remained loyal to the end.