Trysts With Quidam


As Nagini's venom took hold of his nervous system, Severus Snape succumbed to complete paralysis and total blindness. His breathing became shallow, and he welcomed the numb sensation that gradually absorbed and alleviated his entire being. The dullness of impending death was better than the pain of continuing life, so he waited in the stagnating pool of his own blood with calm patience. He had spent years waiting to embrace his destiny, and becoming a casualty of Voldemort's war was his destiny.

He had no reason for living. His soul ached with murder and deceit, and he mourned the death of his mentor and the corruption of his pupils. The war was at its inevitable end. His precious memories were in the reckless hands of Harry Potter, but, even though he doubted Potter's competence, Severus believed in Dumbledore's plan. As his world continued to fade, his only comforting thought was that he had effectively played his part until the bitter end.


An angelic voice sang fragmented songs in his mind. He imagined that such a voice could only belong to an extraordinarily gorgeous woman. A woman so beautiful would never associate with a man like him. After years of mourning over a woman who had never loved him, he finally embraced the life of celibacy that he had despised for most of his years. He never looked back or dwelled on his loneliness. However, as the angel's song penetrated his forsaken heart, he wished that he had known a woman's touch at least once. The voice was a beacon. It was calling to him from somewhere beyond the darkness, but he continued to see and feel nothing.

After listening to the voice for a time, he recovered his sense of smell. He recognized the pungent odor of various healing herbs mixed with the relaxing scent of incense. He also detected a hint of roasted garlic in the air, and his mind began to crave food. He wondered at that because he didn't understand why a spirit, even in limbo, would get the urge to eat. Severus knew that he must be between worlds, and he hoped that his situation wasn't permanent. The sounds and smells of the place were pleasant, but his inability to move was quickly becoming an issue, and he began to lament his lost sight.

It wasn't long before Severus began to feel excruciating pain throughout his body, and he felt feverish. He could hear himself moaning in pain, and the beautiful voice continued to hum a calming tune. Gentle fingers caressed his sweat-drenched face, and the application of a cool cloth to his forehead provided temporary relief from the pain. Someone assisted him in drinking a potion for his pain. He became angry when he recognized the taste. As he fell into a potion-induced sleep, his only thought was that dead wizards had no need for potions.

The next time that Severus opened his eyes he could see light and shadow. Images moved about the room, but he was still unable to access his surroundings. Anger dominated his thoughts when he remembered the discovery he had made before falling asleep.

He was alive.

When a soft hand touched his forehead, he reflexively reached for it, but he ended up grabbing someone's wrist. He squeezed hard while pulling it close. The angel's voice whimpered in pain, and she started to struggle against him. As he tried to restrain the unknown woman, pain shot through his body. He let her go and tried to remain perfectly still while the pain dissipated. When it finally faded into a dull ache, Severus regained his anger.

He screamed, "Why have you saved me? I wasn't supposed to survive this bloody war! Don't you understand? My destiny was to die with the rest of them. I have fulfilled my purpose. How much more of this life will I be forced to endure? Answer me!"

He ended his tirade and made a futile attempt to calm himself. The only sound in the room, besides his labored breathing, was a woman sobbing and sniffling. She sounded scared and hurt. Because Severus was still angry, he couldn't bring himself to care about her distress.

He desperately wanted answers, so he calmly asked, "Why have you saved me? No one will reward you. I assure you that you have wasted your time. I'm not worth it."

The woman gasped at his assertion, and it suddenly occurred to Severus that he had not yet discovered her identity. With more anger than he realized, he asked, "Who are you?"

He heard the rustle of articles being shuffled about the room, and the incessant sobbing continued. When the door slammed shut, he realized that she had left him alone. Sleep, once again, overtook the miserable man.


A day later, Severus regained consciousness. His vision had greatly improved, but everything was still a bit blurry. His muscles were stiff, and he couldn't stand on his own. He used the furniture to hold himself up as he made his way to the bathroom. His unknown nurse had left him several potions, so he took something for his pain and ran himself a bath. He wondered if he had been in his own home the entire time.

When he was finished bathing, he made his way back to the bed. While lying in bed, he studied every detail of his sparse surroundings. He was looking for some hint or trace of his savior's identity. Books were haphazardly strewn about the bedroom, but they were all books from his downstairs library. It seemed that his mysterious guest had spent her days and nights reading in his bedroom in order to properly watch over him. One of his old robes was draped over a chair by the fire, and his best bottle of wine sat empty on the mantle. The arrangement of those random possessions gave him a vague idea of her personality, but there was nothing of the woman left. Severus decided to get some rest, so he rolled over on his side.

The last thing he saw before closing his eyes was a variety of healing potions from his own lab and a stick of sandalwood incense on his nightstand. Severus had never owned incense, but he considered the discovery too insignificant to note. He was tired and angry, and he welcomed the oblivion of sleep.