Snape is the creation of J.K. Rowling.

The Wheat Fields

The day was warm, but not unpleasantly so, not for May. The sky was brilliant, the color of cobalt, bluer than he'd seen it in ages, and the clouds, looking like so many scoops of vanilla ice cream, moved along lazily, not caring what destination the wind might find fit for them.

A vast field of wheat spread out before him, the sheaves swaying in the breeze, caressing his ears with the gentle music of their rustling. Dappled sunlight fell around him and he realized a large oak tree had spread its branches wide and high above him. The little knoll on which he stood was covered in soft summer grass, smelling as if it had been freshly mown; yet no bladed betrayed to him a cut. He sat and reclined against the tree, feeling suddenly as if he might sleep, might finally find a moment to rest.

"Hello traveler," came the unfamiliar voice.

He looked to see who spoke and was greeted with the sight of a young man looking rather poorly in a white linen tunic and simple woven pants cropped above his ankles. He wore a large straw hat and carried a scythe in his hands.

"Do you mind if I sit a while? The day has been long and the fields have been calling for me without relent."

Snape gestured to the ground and the man sat, laying his scythe beside himself on the grass. He pulled a small bottle from his pocket and took a sip.


Severus looked at the man and to his bottle, "Thank you, but it seems I have no thirst."

The man smiled and put away the drink.

"Do I know you man? Your face is oddly familiar to me," said Severus.

"I have stood in your presence many times before, but we have never truly met, till now."

Severus' eyes wandered to the blade the man had carried. Though the handle was worn and aged from use, the edge it held was like a razor.

"Are these your fields then?"

"Oh no, I have no fields of my own, I just work them for other men."

"It's summer…isn't it early for the harvest?"

"There is always wheat and chaff ready for my blade."

"…And the day has been busy you say?"

The man let out a long breath and shook his head. "I've had no respite. My arms are tired from swinging…today has shown me no moment of peace."

Severus closed his eyes; his hands came to run through his hair and he loosed the collar of his robes. For a moment, the men sat in silence. Severus opened his eyes and scanned the horizon while a soft wind blew around him, catching a fold in his robes.

"You're not what I expected."

"I never am."

"Hmm. I never thought you to be so easy a companion."

"I can walk with any man."

"Why now?"

"The field was ripe."

"I beg to differ."

"I know when the wheat and chaff sing for my blade. The field was ripe."

"…And am I wheat or chaff? Do I fall into your hand as grain to be favored or will you scatter me to the wind?"

"I am not the Miller; I do not choose the grist. I am but a simple man with a blade, only a harvester come to reap."

"…And this Miller, where do I find him?"

"Beyond these fields there is a wood. You will find two pathways; at the end of one there is a city, set on a hilltop. You will find him by the height of his storehouses."

"…But which of these two paths leads to him? Which do I take?"

"You will know Severus. Your feet will lead you."

The field hand stood and stretched his back, opening his mouth in a great yawn. He rubbed his hands along his arms and let out a weary sigh.

"I'm afraid this is where we must part ways my friend. I have many more fields left to reap before my work is done this day and you have paths to tread."

"Am I to walk alone then?"

"You will find others along the road, though they may be traveling to different ends."

"I see. This is the way of it then?"

"This is the way of it. Do not think it harsh. Your field is reaped and your grain was ripe."

The man picked up his scythe and bent to put a hand on Snape's shoulder.

"Your burden is light now," he said as he turned and headed towards another's field, his blade swinging as he disappeared into the wheat.

Severus brought himself to his feet and looked out over the waving fields to the distance beyond. He began to walk, his feet seeming to know the way, while the whishing sounds of threshing grew softer and softer in his ears.

AN: I'm working on a longer fiction right now that has nothing to do with this, but this wouldn't get out of my head. Thank you for reading, please review.