You're tragic and beautiful, and that's good enough for me. (Superman Tonight, Bon Jovi)

"After all this time?"

"After all these years...after all this time, oh Harry." Hermione resurfaces from the Pensieve (the truth isn't pretty, don't look).

"He saved Lupin's life, even after all that they -" says Ron, "- after everything." (And glances towards the closed door, because Snape, with all his suffering and loneliness and courage, might just have closed it from inside the Pensieve.)

The Silver Doe is wingless and lost and she is beautiful. (And what will you give me in return, Severus? This is who he is: In return? There is no one to protect him. For her, he would trade Anything.)

"No, you are a braver man by far than Igor Karkaroff. You know, I sometimes think we Sort too soon.."


The day he is Sorted into Slytherin is the day begins losing Lily Evans. Together, they are the architects of his downfall because for all his talent, what is he without her? (Eight letters, two syllables, and one breath is the makings of his demise, and no one gets second chances.)

"Kill me, then," pants Harry. There is no fear, only rage and contempt and this is the exact opposite of that day all those years ago when Severus Snape did not deflect the spell and instead, uttered the word (eight letters, two syllables, one breath, and just one missed heartbeat) that makes him lose her.

"Kill me like you killed him, you coward-" And even now, after so many flashing green lights and her body falling away still and cold and empty like it never was in life, and long after her eyes have closed, the only consolation he is allowed is that after all this time, her green eyes still shine.

"DON'T -" His hex strikes as close to her eyes as he dares, "- CALL ME COWARD!"

(Gryffindor, where dwell the brave at heart; he was never supposed to be so brave.)

"Promise, Severus, that I shall never reveal the best of you?"

"Severus...please..." This is the moment that will never leave him, because Dumbledore is tired and weary and defeated. (But so is he.) There are only two people who love him even just a little, and he kills them both. "Please."

(But he believes in Dumbledore, how could he not?)

She is green eyes and pale cheeks and they will steal her from him. Do you love her? This is the moment Sirius Black sneers at him; there are no happy endings, no matter how brave he would be for her. (And the answer is: How could he not?) There is no reward for bravery, not for him. There are only dungeons and pain and pretenses; close your eyes, there is no courage here.

"Avada Kedavra."

"I am not such a coward."

Alone of Harry's three children, Albus inherits Lily's eyes.

"Albus Severus, you were named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin." And it doesn't change a thing; she is still never his and he never does shine like he should have, and they both, like too many good men and women, are not alive. "...And he was probably the bravest man I ever knew."

(But it doesn't change anything.)


Rather short. Thanks for reading, leave a review if you could. :)