Our story takes place just as Harry got the memories from Snape in the Shrieking Shack during the Deathly Hollows.
I watched Potter walk away as the Granger girl hesitated before she went after her friend. I did it Lily I thought. Now all I could hope is to find peace from my actions over the last seven years and that giving him those memories would be enough to erase any debts I had for causing Lily's death. All of those thoughts flew from my mind as the poison seeped through my blood. Each heart beat sent more of the poison threw my blood. The pain was crippling, I could feel my muscles cease up in. Slowly, it felt like hours, the pain and cramping became worse.
After hours of burning pain I could feel a numbing start where the snake had bit me. The numb feeling slowly, much like the cramping, made its way through my body. I slipped into unconsciousness, into what I hoped would be the end. Flashes of faces and voices met me there. I could see Lily's face. I could see Potter's worried expression and hear him talking to me although I could not understand what was said.
I felt my body placed in a soft bed. I could hear Poppy and an unfamiliar voice talk to me as liquid poured down my throat. After that point I slipped into darkness where I didn't see, hear, or feel anything except for one thing: I could hear a female voice through the sea of darkness.
Everything seemed chaotic, there were people everywhere. For hours I moved around the beds checking on patients, helped new ones with their needs, and assisted other Healers on people with more life threatening cases. The hours seemed to blur together which seemed to always happen when I worked long shifts and had a large number of people to help. I was glad to help though, glad to help those who had won the war.
As I grew more tired and my body and mind cried for rest but I kept the goal of helping others in mind. The war was over and these people had sacrificed themselves so that it could end and we could be free from Voldemort's rein. After hours of work I sat in an empty chair drinking tea that had become cold. I looked at the doors when as they opened hoping it wasn't another patient that needed help. Madam Pomfrey walked through the door looking as tired as I felt. She looked around before spotting me and came over quickly.
"Healer Mach I need your help with a patient," she said, "He has been take to another part of the castle to protect his identity."
"I'll come," I told her wearily standing and placing my cup on a nearby table.
I wondered who the patient could be as I followed Madam Pomfrey through the halls of Hogwarts as we went towards the dungeons of the castle. We stopped before a large tapestry and entered after Madam Pomfrey muttered 'ashwinder.' After we stepped into the private chambers she stopped to look at me.
"I didn't want to tell you about this patient where others could hear us," Madam Pomfrey said, "Severus Snape was brought here by Harry Potter insisting that we help him and that he is trustworthy. I granted his wishes as well as not wanting to lose my coworker and friend."
I nodded as I listened to her understanding that other people would not want him here. I knew I had to help him as my duty as a Healer. I also reason if Harry Potter, of all people, insisted that he should be helped then I would help my former potions teacher.
"Do we know what happened," I asked.
"He was bitten by a large snake that was owned by Voldemort," she said grimacing, "His fever is high and he also lost a lot of blood. I had to give him several blood replenishing potions and I am hoping that will also clean out some of the potion from the snake. I wanted your assistance to help keep an eye on him and help him heal. I also know you studied potion works and snake bites and venom in the human body."
"Show me to him," I said rummaging through my bag that I had grabbed before leaving the infirmary.
I walked into a bedroom that had a large green bed in the middle of it with a large wardrobe and dresser off to the side. I crossed to the bed and looked at the man who had once been my teacher. He looked so different from the last time I saw him six years ago from then I graduated from Hogwarts. He looked pale, thin, and nothing like the tall well built man that I remember. I gently pushed his head back, opened his mouth, and poured a potion into his mouth.
He coughed gently and I moved onto two other potions and administered them in the same way. Madam Pomfrey and I watched his vitals as we ate from a platter of food that a house elf bought. I yawned loudly after sitting with Snape for a little over two hours. His condition improved slightly and the fever went down a few degrees.
"I believe that there is a guest bedroom off of the living area," Madam Pomfrey said, "You may go rest in them. I will call on a house elf to alert us if his condition should worsen and to bring you clothes for you to sleep in."
I nodded standing too tired to argue. I followed her directions and found the bedroom that she had mentioned. I quickly went to the bathroom and washed up. I found clean clothes on the bed, changed them, and quickly fell asleep. Moments later it seemed I woke up being shaken by a house elf. I rose quickly and glanced at a clock. I had slept nearly for twelve hours but I still felt exhausted like I had only gotten a few hours of sleep instead of twelve.
I made my way into his room where he seemed worse than the night before. I could see the sweat covering his face and his breathing seemed labored. I took his vitals and listened to his lungs. I pulled out a vial of potion that would hopefully clear up his lungs. I sat on a large squishy arm chair that had been placed next to the bed. I watched over him before ordering food from a house elf.
After eating I had a house elf get several of my healing books that had to do with healing snake bites. Even though I had done a lot of research for snake bites I thought maybe I could find something in there that would help me heal my former Professor. I poured through the books late into the night only stopping to administer more potions along with a few healing spells and charms. I cleaned the wound and changed the dressings.
I went to bed that night feeling emotionally exhausted from my day's work. I slept deeply and I woke early the next morning going to check on Severus' vitals. He was stable and some color seemed to return to his face. I felt relieved as I went back to my studying. Around noon Madam Pomfrey came to check on how he was doing. With her she had Harry Potter and his two friends that I had seen with him during our time together at Hogwarts.
"May I see him," Harry asked after I filled Madam Pomfrey in on his status.
"I think that would be alright, he is stable enough," I said looking at Madam Pomfrey who nodded, "It may do him good."
Leaving Harry's two friends behind Harry, Madam Pomfrey, and I walked into the bedroom where Harry made his way slowly to the bed. He stood there for a few moments before sitting in the chair next to his bed. Madam Pomfrey and I slipped out of the room to give him some privacy. In the living area we found the boy hugging each other and they pulled away from each other once they saw us.
"Have you two seen a Healer," Madam Pomfrey asked and they both shook their heads, "After Harry is done I'll take you three to a privet area where I can check you two and Mr. Potter as well."
They both nodded and after a few moments Harry came into the room, his eyes were red and puffy.
"Come with me dear," Madam Pomfrey said putting her arms around Harry and leading him and his two friends out of the room.
I went back into the room where Severus was laying and sat on the chair. I looked over him before I went back to the book I had put down before I ate. Several days later Severus had shown no signs of waking. It had both Madam Pomfrey and I worried.
"His wounds are healing fine," I told her, "Just this morning I checked his blood and it seems to be clearing of the venom. His state maybe due to a lasting effect of the poison, it's nothing like I've ever seen before."
"Thank you for all of your work," Madam Pomfrey said, "I know many wouldn't help him because of his past."
"I know," I agreed nodding, "Did Harry ever say how he knows to trust him?"
"Just that Snape had been acting under Dumbledore's orders," she said, "and that Severus passed Harry some vital information just after he was bitten, I guess important enough to end the war."
"Then we did the right thing by helping him," I said wearily, "I'd like to stay here and continue working with him. I started documenting everything I've done to help him and I'd like to write about it. I hope to help him until he wakes up and is able to take care of himself."
"I think that would be best," she said, "I'll come in and check on him tomorrow."
"Is there a place where I can bathe him?" I asked, "I think doing that may help him."
"I know he has a large bathroom through that door," she said point towards the door, "I must get going. I need to check on some patients in the hospital wing."
"I'll keep you posted," I told her.
Over the next several weeks Severus and I worked out a routine. I would bathe him and give him nurturing potions to keep him healthy. I would eat breakfast and lunch in the rooms with Severus, keeping a watch if his vitals would change. I would read the daily prophet to him and commented on the news, of how the ministry would rebuild itself, the death eaters that had been caught and brought to justice, as well as funerals that were being held.
I also told him about the end of the war and of the potions that I would make to rebuild my private stores up. Severus had several visitors most of who were his colleges. Harry Potter also visited, sometimes he brought his two friends and sometimes he would bring a red headed girl with him. Nearly a month later I dressed him in his clothes and after I saw his eyes slowly open.
"Mr. Snape," I said.
His eyes opened even more and they focused on me.
"Can you hear me Mr. Snape?" I asked.
"Yes," he said.
His voice sounded total different, much like his appearance had changed after the attack. It sounded week and rough.
"Do you feel anything?" I said, "Are you in pain?"
"Where Mr. Snape," I asked.
"Everywhere," he whispered, "I'm thirsty."
"I'll get you some water," I told him.
I summoned a house elf who brought me a large glass of water. I helped him to sit up and brought the cup to his lips and had him slowly drink the water. I also brought him a strengthening potion. He sat panting after he took several long drinks of water.
"What day is it," he asked.
"It's Tuesday June 20th, about six weeks after the battle of Hogwarts. You were brought here by Harry Potter and I've been looking after you since then," I told him, "Do you remember what happened."
He seemed to take a moment to answer, to search for what he remembered.
"I was attacked by the Dark Lord's snake," he told me, "In the Shrieking Shack."
"That is what Mr. Potter reported," I said nodding.
He closed his eyes and swallowed heavily.
"I'd like to rest some more," he said.
"That would be best," I told him, "You have had a lot to deal with over the last month and a half."
I helped lay him back down and he fell asleep quickly. I quickly grabbed my notes that I had started taken since I started working with Severus to write of his progress. I also flooed Madam Pomfrey to tell her of Severus waking up and she decided to stay with me till the next time he would wake up. Several hours later he woke up again and we helped him sit up again.
"How are you feeling Severus," Madam Pomfrey asked.
"As one would be expected," Severus said, "I am exhausted and my body aches all over."
"We'll work with you on that," I told him, "You aren't used to using your muscles so just being awake now you are using all of your strength to stay awake and talk with us."
"How long will it take for me to get out of bed," he said.
"Who knows," I told him, "It could take awhile."
"Can't you tell me sooner," he said frowning and his eyes narrowing.
"No Mr. Snape," I said firmly, "I'm afraid I can't but I will be working hard with you to get you back on your feet as soon as possible."
He nodded, accepting his fate that it would take time to get better.
"If it is alright with you tomorrow I'd like to start working with you to regain your muscle strength," I went on, "We will first start working on your arms and hands and go from there."
Once again he nodded looking exhausted from our short talk.
"I'll let you rest Severus," Madam Pomfrey said, "You'll need it. I'll see you tomorrow."
"Would you like to try to eat Mr. Snape," I asked after Madam Pomfrey left.
"Yes," he said.
"I'll go ask the house elf," I told him leaving briefly to summon a house elf.
Moments later a house elf brought me water and some chicken broth to eat. I helped Severus eat which I could tell bothered him. After he finished his food I helped to lay him down where he slept until later that evening where I helped him to eat again and relieve himself. The next morning I found Severus awake where I helped him to sit up and eat breakfast. After breakfast I started on his physical therapy to help him regain muscle control from not using them and from the toll his muscles took from the venom.
Over the next couple of days we worked into a routine of physical therapy and rest. One evening I sat in the living area while Severus took a nap while I heard a loud thump from his bedroom. I quickly got up and moved to his room. I found Severus on the floor trying to pull himself off the floor.
"What in the world happened?" I asked rushing over to him.
"I tried to go the bathroom," he said gruffly.
"Severus," I said firmly, "You know you can't go on your own."
"Trust me I am aware of it," he said sounding frustrated with himself.
"You need to be patient," I told him after I helped him to sit on the edge of his bed, "No one expects you to be able to do things on your own after everything you've been through."
He nodded as he ran his hands over his face.
"Let's get you to the bathroom Mr. Snape," I said moving towards him.
I helped him before he settled into his bed again.
"Thank you," he said as he lay down.
"You're welcome," I told him looking into his dark eyes.
I thought I saw something move behind his eyes but I moved that out of my mind before turning off the lights and making my way to the sitting room.
Two weeks later:
My body ached, especially my legs. Ashley, as I had started to call her, said that I had made enough progress on my upper body and we had started to work on my legs. I had thought that I had worked hard to regain the use of my arms and torso but my legs seem to unresponsive to the therapy that Ashley had me do.
"Is this normal," I said roughly.
"What's normal," she said calmly looking up at me from her notes.
"These useless legs," I said.
"They aren't useless," she said.
"Then why are they taking longer to get better?" I said irritably.
"I'm not sure Mr. Snape," she said, "It could be the venom. You also haven't used your legs for awhile. I want to try a potion on you tomorrow that will help with the pain and make them less stiff."
"What potion?" I asked, I didn't take many potions that were made by others with the exception of the potions that were given to me to save my life.
She launched into the potions that she helped create with another Healer during her training. I sighed leaning back on the bed. My eyes ran over her as she continued making notes on her page. I thought back to the time where she had been my student. I remember her as one of the rare students who excelled at potions. I also remembered her as an awkward and gangly teenager. She wasn't anything like that now with her long black hair draping over her shoulders. I swallowed hard as I looked away from her.
Over the next couple of days with the help of the potion Ashley was able to take the pain and some of the stiffness away from my legs. They still refused to hold me up properly though. Somehow Ashley's presence with me at night took my mind off of the pain and embarrassment of my useless legs. She told me of the potions she worked on with her healing and I was able to share with her some of things about potions that I had learned over the years.
Soon we started talking about other things that we had in common. It was a new world for me and I had never had an easy conversation with a woman since Lily. I found myself thinking or dreaming of her during my sleep. In my dreams I often dreamt of her laying her head on my chest as I whispered to her in the dark. I just hoped that I would be able to get well better so that I wouldn't have to put up with these thoughts any longer.
Ashley's point of view:
I was pleased with Severus' progress months later. He was able to walk with a cane and his pain had decreased lately. I knew that he would be able to take care of himself soon. I felt sad at that thought since a friendship between Severus and I had grown through our time together. I loved spending time with him and talking with him each evening. We had so much in common and our conversations were never strained.
My thoughts continued on Severus as I walked through Hogsmeade's local bookstore. I smiled as I found a book that he would enjoy and planned on giving it to him that evening as I knew he grew bored with his days shut up in the castle. I quickly made my way to the castle once I was finished with my shopping. I found Severus coming out of the bathroom in nothing but his trousers as he ran a towel through his hair.
I knew I had seen the man in less but I couldn't help but feel a blush creep up on my cheeks. I never really noticed how much better he looked since I first started working with him. Muscle had formed over his arms and chest that made him look very attractive. My eyes quickly went up to his face as I pushed those thoughts out of my mind.
"I found a book you may enjoy," I said quietly as I pulled a book the bags I carried.
He took the book from my hands and a light smile crept over his face as he read the title.
"Thank you Ashley," he said.
"You're welcome," I said looking into his dark eyes.
I continued to look into his eyes and I found myself unable to pull away from his eyes. I swallowed hard and forced myself to look away as I felt a blush creep across my cheeks. I had never once let myself get carried away with what I…I felt when I was with Severus. I didn't even think about maybe having feelings with someone especially since I had my sights set on becoming a Healer for so long. Once I had achieved my goal of becoming a Healer I launched myself into studying as much as I could about snake bites and healing them.
"I'll ask the elves to bring up supper," I said quietly turning towards the living area.
We sat moments later enjoying the food that the elves had brought up as we talked quietly. Throughout our conversation I avoided his eyes and felt confused about my feelings for him. He was my teacher and now a patient of mine and would be unprofessional to peruse anything more than just the friendship that had bloomed between us.
"Are you feeling alright," Severus asked half way through dinner.
"Yes," I said, "Just have a lot on my mind I guess."
He nodded silently and I was glad he didn't press the issue. Over the next couple of weeks Severus' improvement was such that I started to spend less time with him, which made him glad to find his independence once again. I returned to the St. Mungo's where I worked on publishing my study on snake venom and my work with a rare snake bite such as Severus'.
I couldn't help but start to miss Severus though. I missed spending time with his humor and our conversations. I missed talking with him about my potions and I found myself wishing I could share what I had written. This is nuts I thought I have never been focused on being in a relationship before, I have the perfect career why did I want to be with Severus. I pushed my feelings aside as I went about my work for the next couple of months.
Severus' point of view:
I missed her. I hated to admit it but I missed her. I had never allowed myself to get to know another person let alone a woman and I had to go and develop feelings for her. She started to spend less time here once I started to be able to take care of myself. Now she was to the point of coming to see me once a week just to check up on how I was doing.
Things were awkward between us now. She didn't seem to want to be around me any longer than she had to be and it made me miss the easy conversations we had before.
"I think you are doing great Severus," she said smiling but it didn't reach her eyes as we said our goodbyes to each other.
"Would you like to stay for dinner?" I blurted out without thinking.
She looked at me medley surprised and hesitated.
"I'm…I don't think…I'm sorry but I'm not sure that would be a good idea," she said quietly.
"Well maybe next time," I said feeling disappointed.
"Yeah…we will definitely have to next time…" I said trialing off as I walked her to the door.
I watched her walk away while I stood at the door as a hole bloomed in my chest. I shut the door angrily and moved towards the bedroom. Why was I acting like a love struck teenager? For years I had harbored feelings for Lily and had been miserable as she didn't share my feelings. I knew that I would do the same thing with Ashley. She didn't see me as anything else but her former teacher and now a patient. I went to bed early that night feeling lonely.
Ashley's point of view:
I shouldn't have agreed to have dinner with him I thought to myself.
You know you wanted to, you've missed being with him another part argued.
No I don't.
Yes, yes you do and if you had it your way you snog him senseless.
No I wouldn't I told myself and blushing.
I pushed these thoughts away as I pulled on a sweater that pulled out the color of my eyes. I looked at myself in the mirror, smoothed out the wrinkles in my clothes before I walked to the point where I could apparate. I sighed as I grew near the castle knowing that spending time with Severus tonight would force me to admit my feelings for him at least to myself anyway.
Moments later I found myself at Severus' door way and I knocked softly. He answered the door and I found myself face to face with the man that I could not get my mind off of. My eyes swept over his appearance and it was apparent that I was not the only one who took my time getting ready tonight. His hair was washed and he was wearing a soft black sweater with charcoal trousers. The look suited him maybe even too much.
"You look nice," I said looking into his dark eyes.
"Thank you," he said smiling gently, "You do as well."
I felt a slight blush rush to my cheeks as I entered his rooms. I found a small table set with candles and plates. We sat down again and I found myself relaxing as we started eating the meal and conversation flowed as it had before. Several hours later Severus and I sat with glasses of wine on the couch talking casually before we settled into a comfortable silence.
I allowed my eyes to roam over his chest as I took a sip of wine as he gazed into the fire place. His eyes turned to mine as if he knew I was studying his face.
"What are you thinking?" he asked.
"About things I shouldn't be wanting," I whispered.
He was silent as his eyes scanned my face.
"What kinds of things," he said quietly.
I hesitated, "There is a…a man that I think I've fallen in love with but I don't think he would feel anything for me."
I saw a brief look of sadness cross his face before pulling up a mask of calm.
"Then perhaps you should share your feelings with the young man," he said calmly but behind his calm was something more.
"Maybe you're right," I said.
I placed my glass of wine on the coffee table in front of us before turning back towards Severus. I tentatively reached out my hand to touch his. I pulled his hand in mine and threaded his fingers with mine. His brows furrowed together and his mouth opened slightly before closing his mouth.
"Severus," I whispered as I moved towards him.
"Yes," he said.
"I think I love you," I said.
I leaned forward and brought my lips to his. I felt him tense up before his lips started to move against my own. My heart was beating out of my chest as I felt his arms rap around me and pull me closer. I melted into his kisses unbelieving that I was sitting here with the man that I could finally allow myself to feel something for and I was kissing him on top of that. The kiss broke apart and I rested my forehead against his as a smile crept over my face.
His hand came up to cup my face as he placed a small kiss upon my lips.
"Thank you Ashley," he said.
"For what," I said looking into his eyes.
"Loving me," he said.
"You're welcome," I said knowing that he had just told me he felt the same.
I knew it was a beautiful start to a long relationship.
Five years later:
"Severus Snape!" I said through gritted teeth, "I swear you are never touching me again."
"I know dear," he said drily as another contraction gripped through my body.
"Just another push," the Healer said.
I took a deep breath before I started to push. Moments later I heard a loud cry fill the room. I looked down at my crying son as he was placed on my stomach. His face was bright red from crying and he had a dark tuff of hair on top of his head that matched his father's color.
Twenty minutes later our baby was cleaned up and sleeping in my arms. He was perfect.
"Thank God he has your nose," Severus said from my side.
"I rather like your nose," I said smiling at my husband.
He snorted as he kept his eyes on his son.
"Do you want to hold him?" I asked.
He nodded as he held out his arms to take our son, a large yawn went through his body as his father settled him in his arms. I watched the pair as tears filled my eyes and I felt like the luckiest woman in the world.
"I love you Severus," I said brushing away the tears that fell.
Stupid hormones I thought.
"I love you too," Severus said looking up from the sleeping baby in his arms.
I sighed that I had two things in my life now that I had never thought I wanted.
The end, please leave feedback it's always appreciated!