Snape did not die, the epilogue does not exist, none of this is mine besides the plot, all else belongs to J.K. Rowling. I am merely playing with the world she created.
This is a Snape/Hermione story so if that is not your cup of tea then I am sure there are plenty other great stories for you to read out there.
This is my first fanfiction, but I have had a love for the pen since I was little. The M rating is there for future chapters that might have both foul language in them and be a little citrus flavoured... ;o)
The second of May, 1998
He woke with a start and his body automatically drew in a long desperate breath that filled his lungs.
Disoriented he raised his hand towards the pain on his neck and found a sticky mess that could only be dried up blood.
Slowly his hazy mind showed him flashes of what had happened before he had passed out.
"I failed to protect, I have to...have to..."
He drew himself up and staggered towards the door of the shrieking shack.
He could feel the wounds on his neck opening up and blood starting to gush out once again. He leaned on the door handle almost too weak to turn it but finally got the door open and stumbled over the threshold outside where all was black.
He whispered "lumos" unaware that he had no wand in his hand.
He saw a movement in the corner of his eye and heard a voice shouting.
But even before the curse hit him, he lost conciousness and all was black again.
18 Months later.
McGonagall stepped with trepidation into the little dark cell.
She had travelled instantly to Azkaban with the necessary documents as soon as the Wizengamot had made the ruling.
Even without Dementors, Azkaban was a miserable place. It seemed like combined with the cold and the damp, there was despair that had ingrained itself inside the walls from the thousands of prisoners that had been living, and sometimes dying inside the prison.
As McGonagalls eyes adjusted to the darkness she saw a sleeping form on a small cot towards the wall. Ragged breaths was all that was heard inside the cell and McGonagall whispered,
With startling haste the man on the cot threw himself up and put his back towards the cell wall. Something feral flashed across his face until he could control himself and put on a blank expression.
McGonagall could not help but to flinch when she saw his beat up face.
"Severus, what has happened to you?"
"Well, when both sides see you as a traitor, it seems that one is fair game wherever one goes. My fellow inmates are deatheaters, and the guards all know someone killed by one of my former associates, you do the math."
"I do not wish for your pity Minerva. Will you kindly tell me what takes the illustrious headmaster of Hogwarts to this rather uninviting place" Snape said with an acidic tone.
McGonagall sighed and conjured up a chair each for them and sat down.
"I know you have not allowed any visitors since your incarceration Severus, but today the guards had to let me in. I wish that the message I bring today would have come sooner, it is a travesty that you should be kept here after all that you have done for the wizarding world. But the mills of justice work slowly and, well, despite the evidence it has been awfully hard to convince the Wizengamot of your innocence."
"Who is to say that I do not belong here?" Snape said while taking his seat across from McGonagall.
"Do not say such a thing, what ever you have done, was in the service of Dumbledore, and you should not be punished for that."
"Something tells me that is not how the Wizengamot saw it though?" Snape drawled.
McGonagall looked down before she answered, but not before Snape could see a blush on her cheeks.
"Lucious Malfoy were asked to witness. While he could confirm that you never actively killed anyone, or partook in the raiding parties that did such unspeakable things, neither in the first nor the second war. He also spoke of the things you, as he said, allowed to death of Dumbledore and Charity Burbage, were discussed especially much. And that most of the wizards and witches of the Wizengamot has children or grandchildren that has been taught by you at Hogwarts during your reign as headmaster was not really helping either..."
"So Lucious got a small revenge on me then, he sits two doors down from here and in spite of his previous influence, is not really bound to come out before he is an old man." Snape spat out.
"Without the constant visits to the Minister of Magic by Harry pressing him to review your sentence, I am not sure you would not have had to stay here as long as Malfoy. The boy has been quite adamant in working for your release. He has petitioned for you to receive and Order of Merlin as well, but I think that is a lost cause." McGonagall said.
"Foolish boy! What makes him think I would want his help! If he thinks I will come crawling on my hands and knees to thank him he will have to wait a long time indeed. I am sure he feels all high and mighty now. I know that he told everyone of my memories of his mother. The guards made sure everyone knew quickly enough. Mocking yells all involving Lilly was all I heard for 6 months. So Little Potter gets all he wants, while seeming a saint for releasing me, he at the same time made me into a mockery. He wins again. The boy who lived, more like the boy who is full himself and has more luck than a whole bouquet of four leafed clovers."
"Severus, I know your prejudice against the boy run deep, but they are unfair. I am sure Harry does not expect your eternal gratitude, but instead felt that he owed you, for what you have endured for his sake, and all of our sakes."
Snape simply looked McGonagall in the eye and conveyed his view on the matter without having to speak a word.
Minerva leaned forwards and put her hands on Snapes bunched up fists.
"It has taken us a long time to rebuild Hogwarts, and the children are finally returning to us. School started up two months ago and we are are having trouble filling the teaching positions.
Severus, would you consider returning to us?"
Snape hesitated and for a second looked a little lost to McGonagall. But as he squared his shoulders and looked straight into her eyes she could see the man that he had been, stubborn and proud.
"Why would I want to return? I taught at the school and stayed there because of my promise to Dumbledore, I have no obligation to go back now that he is gone"
"I understand how you feel" McGonagall said. "But if you at least return with me today and let Poppy take care of you for a while until you feel stronger again, then you can make your decision. Hogwarts is as much your home as it is mine and you will always be welcome there"
"Well" Snape said. "I hardly need a nurse fussing about, but a couple of days of proper food and my own potions would be beneficial I assume. But if I were you I would keep looking for a Potions professor."
"No need, Slughorn has agreed to yet another year, the position I need to fill right now is that of Defense of the dark arts teacher..."
So that was the first chapter of my first story. I do so hope you enjoyed it.
And remember, reviews to the author is like matches to a pyromaniac, it lights a spark that can turn into a roaring fire :o)