This is my first Harry Potter story, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter...

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Second Chance

Prologue

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Cold. Alone. This is how he always imagined it to be; after all, he'd lived most of his life alone, and now he would die alone. Black hair hung limp about his deathly pale face, and he had long given up trying to stem the blood flowing freely from the wound on his neck. It didn't matter; Nagini's venom would soon send him into Death's awaiting arms.

As the darkness in the Shrieking Shack grew thicker, Severus Snape finally lost the battle to hold onto the one memory that had carried him through many macabre years of serving the Dark Lord: Lilly. Drawing ragged breaths, Severus closed his eyes, knowing that at any moment Death's icy fingers would claim their prize.

"Severus…"

A warm hand, a human hand, touched his throat; two fingers feeling for a pulse. He tried, but failed to find the strength to speak – just leave me to die. Severus had nothing worth living for, not anymore.

"Severus, can you hear me?"

He knew that voice. With great effort Severus opened his eyes, blinking at the illumination coming from a wand. His obsidian eyes focused on the blonde haired figure crouched over him, studying him. A frown creased Severus' brow. The man appeared older, much older than when he had last seen him – how was that possible?

"Lucius?" Severus rasped.

"Don't try to move, my friend," Lucius Malfoy said quietly.

Severus gripped Lucius' hand feebly. "Too late…"

His words seemingly failed to register with Lucius, as he fumbled in his robes for something. Removing a circular pendant on a gold chain, Lucius looped it over Severus' neck. Severus' eyes widened with recognition: a time-turner. He opened his mouth to protest, but the poison ravishing his body, numbing his senses, drained him of what little fight he had left. Closing his eyes again, he resigned himself to whatever fate awaited him.

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