A/N: So for the purpose of this story the plot is pretty much canon in terms of events until the end of the 6th book. There might be some differences later on.

I don't own any thing to do with the Harry Potter universe, since, regrettably, the lovely Ms. Rowling pounced on that mouse first (although she did a much better job than I ever could have.)

Ice chinked against the glass, sending out a swirl of the clear liquid, diluting the amber whiskey. The cool tumbler beaded, sweating under the glare of it's dark eyed drinker. He was unaware how long his drink had sat unattended under his brooding vision, nor did he particularly care.

Severus Snape was bitter in his drunken state. In his house on Spinner's End he sad, stupored, lost in thought, waiting for the night to play out. He had been sent home early in the evening, dismissed from the Dark Lord's presence with high praise and instructions to enjoy himself.

Now he waited, contemplating his place in the world, trying to remember his accomplishments; trying to find solace in them. But all he could feel was a biting sense of despair, a gripping ache of loss.

Aurors would shortly come calling, to escort him off to Azkaban, dragged along with the other Death Eaters of the feared inner circle. It was all as he had planned.

Except one thing. Now that his Dark Mark had burned, flaring in it's death throes, and faded from his arm, he found that all he was full of regret. It had washed over him unexpectedly, filling him even as the pieces of his well-oiled plan slid into place. Still, he sat there, with no intention to run, for fleeing would not grant him satisfaction, only doubt.

He raised the tumbler to his lips, trying to occupy his hands. A part of him, either a new part, or a part so buried he had forgotten it existed, wanted to scream and shake at the unfair hand he felt he was being dealt.

Steeling himself, he did none of these things. In taking the final step in protecting the Wizarding world he could now begin to atone for the many sins he had committed along the way. Although some would argue that he had already atoned with this one final act, he knew that bringing about the demise of the Dark Lord did nothing to correct the atrocities, the murders, he had taken part in.

Draining the whiskey, he failed to notice the scorching burn as it ran down his throat. As he set the glass down he could hear a creak of floorboards. The Aurors had arrived, announcing their presence by treading to heavily in the kitchen. He drew his wand and placed it on the coffee table, taking care to make sure it was clearly visible in the center. If they were more concerned with apprehending him quickly and safely it would hopefully escape their attention that the dangerous Severus Snape would never keep his wand out of reach, even in his own home.

"She was right. I never would have believed it, but Hermione was right about this." An astonished voice whispered from the dark entry.

Snape froze, petrified for a spare moment. Closing his eyes, he realized that the one final part of his plan had failed, and was ashamed that a part of him felt immensely relieved.

Raising his eyes, he could just barely make out a dark silhouette blending into the shadow of the darkened kitchen entry, but he knew who it was.

Harry Potter emerged, his wand raised but his face bearing an expression of supplication. Snape made no attempt at movement, and was unsure whether he actually could. He felt drained, rooted to the spot. His plans hadn't provided for this. There was no supplemental course of action, no backup plan to implement. He had intended to entirely leave his fate in the hands of those who believed him guilty, and had felt free in knowing that he would no longer need to take initiative, or choose a direction, for the remaining duration of his short life.

Yet the appearance of Potter, as well as the boy's demeanor, told him this would not be the case. He knew that he would now be asked questions of what and why and how. He would have to make the decision of what to tell the boys, and suffer the consequences regardless what he told him, or how much.

As these thoughts struggled through his intoxicated haze he had yet to move or noticeably react to Potter's presence in his kitchen. Instead he stared at the boy with the same dead, cold look he had adopted so many years ago in his service to the Dark Lord. Potter stepped forward into the light, looking slightly unnerved.

"I saw you put your wand on the table. You knew some one was coming, and so you made it easy…" Potter faltered, scrutinizing Snape, as if beseeching him to reveal the motives behind his actions. Yet Snape's face remained a death mask. He was still weighed down by the sudden surprise of his failure, his mind refusing to break from the submission he had molded it into in preparation for his incarceration and possible execution.

"What's wrong, Snape? What is this? What are you doing… Who are you?" The last question was whispered; as though Potter could not reconcile himself with the person in front of him to the man he had grown to loath over the years. A man he could even hate after the murder of Dumbledore.

"Say something!" He shouted. Now Snape came to enough to consider two options. He could go for his wand, and, before the less skilled Potter could stop him, take his own life. Or he could submit himself to interrogation, during which he would always be treated with scorn and dislike while the life, the normal, content life he was now yearning dangled in sight but always out of reach.

It was with considerable effort that he opened his mouth. "Say what, exactly, Potter?" He couldn't muster his usual garnish of contempt or sarcasm. Instead he sounded weak, defeated, exhausted, just how he felt.

Harry seemed surprised and wary. His most recent, and final, bout with the Dark Lord was evident on his face, but he carried an air of grim determination as he strode fully into the small sitting room.

"I don't know what's wrong with you, but you have questions to answer, dammit!" He exclaimed. A pair of Aurors, who had been lurking behind Harry in the darkness, came forward.

"No, it's fine." He told them, and the ferocity of his face held them at bay, unwilling to contradict the man who had defeated the Dark Lord scant hours ago.

"Take your wand." Harry commanded. Snape stared at him yet again, as though he needed stern force to goad him into action.

"Yes, your wand, take it!" Harry reiterated, irritated and further unnerved. Snape reached for his wand, slowly, his dead eyes never leaving Harry's. Once he had grasped it firmly in his hand, Harry turned to the Aurors.

"Go back to the ministry. I can handle this, and they'll be needing your help with the others."

They looked unsure, one stepping forward and opening his mouth to protest.

"Just do it." Snapped Harry. He was exhausted and close to his limit. Realizing the finality of their dismissal, the Aurors turned to leave, exiting out the back.

Harry stood in silence, waiting a few moments until he heard the faint pop of their Apparation.

"Get up, we're leaving." Said Harry. "Who knows when one of them will come knocking again. I don't want this to be even more difficult. Come with me."

Harry seemed unsure as to whether the despondent man would follow his commands. To his relief Snape stood, still grasping his wand, waiting for Harry to lead the way out the front entrance.

They quickly made their way down the narrow, impoverished lane, not passing a single Muggle in the late hour. Once they had put the significant distance between themselves and the derelict house Harry hesitantly proffered his arm, which Snape took lightly. Turning on the spot they vanished with a resonating crack.


Hola compadres! I began this story while I was in jail! Actually, it was work-release jail (it's like a stupid, weird, strict summer camp that's considered jail you can leave on a daily basis for work... if you have a job... or you can leave to look for one... and have almost every thing you normally use in day-to-day life except good food).

And no, I didn't kill puppies or any thing, just got caught driving without a license because I was to poor to renew it... big mistake! I'm typing it all out, since I couldn't have my computer, but I think hand writing a story has merits. You have longer to ponder over what you're writing since it's slower (at least for me), so it comes out better.

There's still more I haven't finished typing, and more in my head, so if you like it, I hope you continue reading. Enjoy!