Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, or it's characters.
For Yo; written for the help_japan auction at Lj.
It had been a long year, and Harry was tired.
More than that, though, he was just exhausted. It was hard to believe it was finally over, that he didn't have to run, and hide, and fight anymore. He was free. Harry wasn't really sure what freedom meant, though, to be honest. The closest he'd ever gotten to it over the last few years had been on his broom, or the back of a Hippogriff. What did he do, now, when there was no war to fight?
"I can't remember," he murmured, "what it was like, waking up without wondering if that'd be the day." He didn't expect an answer, wasn't fool enough to believe he'd get one. Only one person had come back from the dead tonight, and he was left feeling more, and more like he should have stayed on the other side of the veil. What made him so special, that he got to come back, when so many others remained dead, leaving the living to mourn.
Harry let his gaze drift, moving over the huddled clumps of grieving families, and friends, and people who had drifted together simply because they had no one else. So many lost, and he was the cause of it all; yet it was him who got to come back, and face all these people who were so in awe of him. They thought he could do anything, though he was a savior, when really…It had been everyone else, all along. His family, Dumbledore, Remus, Tonks, Fred, and the one person in all that who had really been there for him all along. It was hard to believe in a way, but the surprise he thought he might have felt was gone as he looked down at the still body of his Professor.
Snape had been so much more than that, though, even before all this. All these years, and the antagonism, and perceived hatred, and it hadn't been, really. Severus had no more hated him than he had his mother, and the man had done his best to protect him all of his life. Even when Harry had been at his worst, hating the man more than anything for a murder he'd been forced into, the Potions Master had still been trying to teach him, to help him; save him. Harry swallowed thickly, reaching a hand up to ground the palm of it against his scar. It didn't hurt anymore, but his head was pounding anyway.
"The entire year," he ground out, staring down at the body with a frown. "Why didn't you just tell me?" Questioning the dead was nothing but an exercise in futility, but he couldn't help it. Merlin, but he just…He wanted to badly to know more, to have more time getting to know this man who had apparently devoted his entire life to Harry's wellbeing. Why had they never been given a chance?
"There was so much opportunity," he continued, his voice perilously close to breaking, but he didn't seem to care. "The sword; it was you who put it there! You could have…You led me there, why didn't you just…" he trailed off, blinking rapidly. He knew the answer, of course; he never would have trusted Snape if he'd seen him there in the forest. He'd been too set on the idea that the man was a traitor, and he'd lost so much because of that. If only he'd been more willing to listen, to understand, he might have had something he never would now. Another thing Voldemort had taken from him before he really knew what could have been; he really hoped that monster was suffering for all the sins he'd committed.
"I just wish-" he paused abruptly, looking away from the body even as he reached out to brush a strand of the greasy hair away. "I wish I'd known; I wish I'd known you," he finished, drawing his knees up to his chest, and leaning his head back against the wall. No one had bothered him yet, and Harry was grateful that they'd let him keep his silent vigil for the man who'd had them all fooled in the end; even himself, Harry thought, closing his eyes. They could have had so much, and now all that potential was gone, dead; another casualty of the war he'd been born to.