Comeuppance When the Time Came
Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling, Alan Moore, and Kevin Smith own all, alas.
Summary: It was then that Severus forgot Potter's unmoving form and focused solely on the angel kneeling over him.
Timeline: A certain tear-stained chapter of Deathly Hallows. Now post-both movies, as well, though that's far less relevant.
Notes: Completely AU, obviously.
Rating: FRM for unsavory subject matter, some violence this time, and swearing.
Fandoms: Harry Potter, Dogma, Constantine.
Characters/Entities: Severus Snape, Metatron; indirectly Harry Potter, Mammon.
This should hurt, Severus thought as Nagini's fangs entered his throat and tightened their grip. I should probably scream and cry and act very undignified.
But then the Dark Lord was leaving and Potter and his two extra appendages were climbing through the tunnel into the Shrieking Shack and then Potter was hunched over him. Severus couldn't talk, but he tried desperately to grapple for Potter's hand or some tangible part of him to grasp onto.
Potter leaned closer and frowned slightly. "Professor, it's going to be..." but Potter trailed off, taking a breath and shaking his head slightly. He glanced backward and gave the others a look of some sort. They hesitated, but eventually Granger took Weasley's sleeve and they disappeared back through the tunnel.
Once they were gone, Potter exhaled and turned to look into the opposite corner. "They're gone now, sir, though I still don't know why Hermione had to leave. She wouldn't have..."
Potter shook his head again and sat back on his heels as a desperately familiar figure materialized beside him.
Severus felt what little breath he had leave him as...his Father came into view and knelt beside Potter, who jumped and very nearly yelled, though it was a close thing. It seemed he'd actually been talking to Severus, himself, not Father at all -- hadn't known anything about what was going to happen. It was moot.
Potter glanced back and forth between the figure, some no doubt absurd conclusion forming as his mouth started to slide back shut but stilled in action and the acrid, stale air around them all froze, too.
It was then that Severus forgot Potter's unmoving form and focused solely on the angel kneeling over him.
"Father..." he breathed, scarcely able to form another coherent thought. Father did indeed nod and then frowned down at Severus, leaving him feeling horribly, vastly naked all of a sudden.
"This one did nothing to you but commit the negligible sin of bearing his father's face. You did make it a point never to really look at his eyes, though, didn't you, Severus?"
Potter was behind them now, his face pale and ethereal in the light of Father's folded wings. "You prided yourself on being a quick learner but sod all that, this was a lesson you utterly failed."
Severus sucked in a harsh, painful breath, feeling wholly as though he were three years old over again and had miscounted some simple primer. There was no class here but he was derided all the same.
"It's your luck he doesn't blame you," Father continued wryly, glancing back at Potter and giving his head a bit of a shake. "He's seen more or less your life for the past seven years, your choices, knows your role in his prior existence as a water carrier for magic's but small slice of the universe -- he should loathe the very core of you, you realize that?"
Severus felt a dozen excuses form on his lips but they died as quickly as they'd threatened.
"I am sorry, Father," he heard his own identical voice say, again with that mocking wry expression from the angel's lips. "Is that what you wanted to express? Insincere, ill-equipped reparations for the harm you've done this boy on no account of anything he'd actually done to you, but from his looks?"
And for the first time in their acquaintance Father looked actually angry, incensed, and Severus felt himself melting in remorse as though he were an ice cube in hot water.
"I will never lie and say we angels, we guardians of this world are so omnipotent, so blameless as our Lord but Severus, there's ignorance -- and then there's plain spite! And you, my boy, excelled at both. handedly."
Severus could feel wetness somewhere on his face, could feel his mouth trembling. "If I were to take you, drop you headlong in one of your precious Pensieves and had you view every thought of everyone entangled in this ridiculous, minuscule mess -- Riddle's, Dumbledore's, Potter's -- would you learn anything or are you so convinced of your own fantastic cleverness that all of it would heretofore be useless?"
Severus' eyes were frozen wide, his body a rictus on the floor, but inside he was a dreadfully violent sea. All of it was his fault, he could see. He deserved to burn far away from Father, this gaping hole in his soul made all the bigger and rightly so.
Sure enough, Father continued, "I pulled the wool from over your eyes that Mammon had slipped upon them but I didn't account for the blinders you, yourself, donned in fairly short order."
"You are ashamed," Severus heard his own cracking voice emit again from Father's mouth but the angel then shot him a truly perplexed expression followed by long-suffering annoyance.
"You bottom-feeders and your arrogance," he sniped, glancing away before taking hold of Potter's form and shoving him airily in front of Severus. "Got your ticket straight to Hell, hm? That where you think you're going, is it? Already there, I say."
Father looked more and more annoyed with every passing second, but Severus couldn't figure out why.
"And, never mind it, I say after that. Forgive him, you fool" Father pleaded, gesturing ethereally at Potter's face. "Forgive him his imagined slight and even the playing board for once in your acquaintance. Furthermore, forgive yourself for throwing Lily out of your life just because she was dead!
"What pittance is that, death? Can't you see anything past the end of that nose I gave you? Look at Harry Potter! Look at Severus Snape! See him and yourself for whom you truly are, that is all the chance you have!"
Severus' eyes closed and the sensation of Father brushing over his memories, familiar after sixteen years even, rolled over him.
Featuring prominently in the interwoven flashes were Lily, Potter -- Harry, you infantile gnat, Father insisted -- Luna Lovegood, for whom he'd felt a strange need to watch over, even more than Potter -- Harry, the slights against her simply were treated as beneath her notice -- Longbottom, no longer the snivelling (hadn't Potter and Black made that his label, rubbing their boots in his face with Snivellus carved in the sole?) whelp who couldn't find his trousers if he weren't installed in them but a man, a commander of a fleet of starlit children, soldiers taking up the cause not out of persuasion or coercion, but true believers knowing what they did to be right and Harry right in the thick of it all, a puppet unwittingly wresting the plans from his masters.
The Dark Lord would die, yes, but Potter wasn't going to stay and mire over the results. He had better things to do, it seemed -- as do you! Father's/his voice snapped abruptly and Severus could feel the poison from Nagini's fangs now, burning him as it leaked out like acid. He screamed but Potter was still inanimate and did nothing. He could feel the coldness of the flask in his pocket through the seasonably thin material of his cloak and it was as if the plan came to him in an instant.
Potter had to have his memories, needed to see all that had happened and why -- only then could he smite them both.
Smite us all Severus thought blearily as the room swam into movement and Potter was at his side then. He was pushing the memories out, shedding them with his blood, probably his tears, as well.
It made no sense to try and hide them now. Potter was caked in dust, bloody from kneeling by Severus's side.
"Take it...take it..."