This is expanded from a drabble in my Severus/Harry series - it is also titled Valour, and is #120 in the series.


"I brought you this." Harry spoke quietly. They were alone, but he saw no reason to yell, and this seemed like a time, and a conversation, for which quiet words were best.

"They awarded it to you for valour." Harry let out a disdainful laugh, brushing away tears. "Too little too late, in my opinion, and I know you wouldn't really care, but I wanted you to have it anyway." Harry choked on his words a few times, but he was determined to speak his piece beforeā€¦ He shook his head, not entertaining that thought until its proper time.

"I know you wouldn't want this, either," Harry began, after draping the Order of Merlin he'd had cradled in his hands over the tall, ornate, black headstone - Draco had commissioned it himself, unimpressed with the Ministry's idea of a proper remembrance for his Godfather. "and I do remember what you told me."

He took a shuddery breath before continuing. "But I just can't. I can't move on, and I can't do this without you." Harry barked a wet laugh, "At least you ought to be used to me disobeying your orders." he told the stone, starting to calm.

He had decided, he had said his piece; all that was left now was to do it. "I'm sorry." he finished his speech. He didn't bother saying 'I love you.' first. It wasn't necessary.

The next day, everyone wanted to know, 'Where is the Saviour?'

When the press finally got him out of his house, Harry's best friend told them that the last he'd heard, Harry was headed to the cemetery to visit his lover's grave. That was yesterday, however, and there would be no need to bother him, even if he was still there.

His tone implied less that it would be rude, or uncalled for, and more that bothering Harry when he was grieving would invite his own wrath.

The reporters all looked at one another, after the young Lord Malfoy withdrew into his Manor, searching for the knowledge they lacked on their colleagues' and competitors' faces. The same question played through all their minds.

'Who had been their Saviour's lover?'

Eventually, they stumbled upon the correct cemetery.

They found Harry Potter, Saviour of the Wizarding World, twenty-two years old, dead hours before they arrived. He had bled out, his body leaning against a black headstone, left arm draped around the stone almost as if it were the form of his lover, his blood dripping down the long knife still clasped in his left hand, and catching in the deeply graven, swirling letters on the headstone.

The silvered letters were filled with the still-bright red fluid, causing them to stand out, looking unreal in the weak morning light.

Severus T. Snape

War Hero, Beloved Godfather, and Steadfast Lover

Born January 9th 1960 - Died June 7th 2002

The Wizarding World was left in shock. The reporters had been overcome by their own shock and grief - Harry Potter can't be dead, he simply can't, not after everything he'd survived during the War . . . . not at his own hand - and did nothing to disturb the body.

The only pictures of the scene were those the Aurors took purely to record it. The announcement of Harry James Potter's tragic suicide was soberly spread on the front page of the Daily Prophet, along with a tasteful, monochromatic photograph Lord Malfoy had provided of the couple during the War.

Though no one outside his circle had known of their Saviour's relationship, few could deny the evidence provided by the single, sombre image of two men obviously in love.

There was a memorial held for Harry Potter the week after his death, to which anyone was invited, but his funeral was attended only by a few. Those who mattered were there, and witnessed his simple ebony coffin being lowered to rest by the side of his lover's.

Long before the shock of his death had faded, Harry's onyx headstone had joined his lover's, and the public found that they could not so much as enter the cemetery in which their Saviour and his lover rested.

When approached for comment, none of his friends would say anything, other than to insist that Harry deserved his longed-for peace, at last.

It was eventually decided by most that Lord Malfoy had erected the ward when he had personally overseen the placing of the headstone.

When asked, he admitted freely that he had done so, saying that when Harry and Severus were alive, they had managed hardly a moment of time left alone, and quietly together, with no crises requiring one or the other to disappear and risk his life. Lord Malfoy could give them that in death, even if they had not been allowed the luxury in life, he said.

The Ministry erected a small pedestal with a plaque on it, just outside the cemetery, as a permanent memorial. Standing by it, you could see the two matching headstones, and just barely pick out the gleaming silver inlaid in the curving script upon them.

Aside from the officially-released image of the two stones visible behind the plaque when it was first erected, no one succeeded in developing a single image of the graves.