Author Notes: Well, I've done it! I'm puffed up with a fragile sense of accomplishment and absolutely shaking with fright at the very thought of continuing an epic story that is 77 chapters long and has a staggering 12 thousand plus reviews - Josephine Darcy's The Marriage Stone. I have read all 7 HP books by JK Rowlings, seen the movies and am eagerly awaiting the final installment but 6 months ago, I was completely blasted away by the whole new Wizarding World Josephine painted for us with meticulous detail, excellent plots, jaw dropping action scenes, understated humour and good old fashioned romance with a dash of sweetness, combined with skilled writing and drawing of ideas from various sources that I would never ever think of. By the end of Chapter 1 itself, she turned me into a starry eyed Snarry fan and I am now in love with both her Severus and her Harry - just take a look at my rambling review for her Chapter 77!
This story is sadly abandoned over 3 years ago with no information on how the author is and if she will ever continue her labour of love. I have asked her permission to continue it in my review but she has not answered. Hence, it is with much love and equal amounts of trepidation that I post this first chapter in the hopes of writing a closure to the Severus and Harry romance that has kept me so enthralled - I need to get on with my life after all! I know there are a couple of other continuations of The Marriage Stone and numerous translations and fan art - it just goes to show how much Josephine has captured our imaginations and our hearts. I only hope that she will one day return to satisfy us all by continuing with The Marriage Stone and letting us know how the true story ends instead of leaving us to dream up our own conclusions which must surely fall short of hers. In the meantime, I hope you will enjoy my version.
Warnings: Please note that having written nothing but mushy, sappy romances, I will be stepping into shoes that I cannot ever hope to fill. Hence, solutions might be over simplified and characters may behave differently from how they were originally written but I will certainly do my best to cover every plot and subplot Josephine left behind. This continuation will contain some slash in future since the two main pairings are SeverusxHarry and SiriusxRemus.
Appreciation: My thanks to Josephine Darcy who started me on this craze. To Pink Bead Girl, another amazing writer and friend, for her unfailing support, her wonderful friendship and her way of reviewing that always makes you think you're a better writer than you actually are.
Spoilers: Contains information on the original The Marriage Stone so please read all 77 chapters of that before you come back here.
Summary: My tribute to Josephine Darcy's epic story The Marriage Stone. May she return one day to end our suspense and agony by finishing the magical journey she started us on.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter is the brainchild of JK Rowlings while The Marriage Stone is the brainchild of Josephine Darcy. Any deviation from her marvellous but sadly abandoned story is my own fault.
- Chapter Start -
It was dark where Harry was but it wasn't complete darkness. Right under his feet and stretching out in all directions around him were the ley lines. That nightmare he had, that vision… it had caught up with him at last. He was there - or rather - he was here now. It was like walking in a vast, dark and desolate place that had no beginning, no horizon and no end. He was all alone in this place with only the ravens for company and those unending glowing lines to lead him.
He had used his magic to wake up everyone in Hogwarts including the students, teachers, elves and Mr. Filch. Then there were the mermaids and the other water creatures in the lake and those on the school grounds. The inhabitants of the Dark Forest were next – the thestrals, the centaurs and the unicorns.
When Harry sank his mind into the earth and followed the ley lines, he found the insensate people of Hogsmeade town. He pushed against the magical cores of shopkeepers, workers and their families. It didn't matter that none of them had lifted a finger to help him that fateful morning so many months ago when he, Ron and Hermione had fought the Death Eaters. He saved them anyway, pushing against each and every single ember he found. More and more embers started calling to him and he answered them without hesitation. Some shone with a brilliant light while others glowed only faintly. Harry could sense the amount of power by the brilliance of their light but to him, it made no difference at all. He pushed against each one, giving up his magic to quicken theirs, to breathe life into them.
They were the souls of fellow Wizards and Witches. They were the souls of the magical creatures that shared his world. The stronger ones called out to his magic and it was them whom he helped first. Not because they were more important than the others but because he just hadn't known where to go at first. He just answered those who called to him the loudest, breathing life into those embers. Later on, he heard the fainter ones as well, the ones who had waited and hoped for him to reach out to them instead of calling out to him. Harry helped them as well, pushing hard against those faint sparks of magic, quickening it, awakening every single spark he found.
By then, his own store of magic had burned out. Harry had sent his mind deep into the earth and he was there now with those ley lines stretching out in all directions, showing him the way. He carried on, drawing on the powerful store of magic from the earth itself, saving ember after ember.
He had been doing it for the past - the past...
Harry paused, disoriented. He had no idea how much time had lapsed since that moment when everyone but himself had collapsed in the Great Hall. It had felt like days, perhaps even weeks. Or had only a few hours ticked by? He didn't know. He only knew that alongside the fear and confusion was the determination that had always stayed with him, been a part of him, to save as many souls in this world as he could. He didn't care if they were wizards, witches, non humans, squibs or Death Eaters. This was not the time to ponder and judge. This was not the time to play God but to be King, to live up to the role everyone expected of him. There was just this enormous task before him and the grim knowledge that he was the only one who could do it.
In any case, time was just... a forgotten concept.
Harry moved as fast as he could with a desperation he could not name. The horror he had felt when he first dreamt of this had increased a hundredfold when he finally understood Voldemort's evil plan back in the Great Hall. In this case, not having a body was a blessing for Harry was nothing more than a conscious mind burning with determination and desperation as he travelled through the ley lines, crossing great distances in the blink of an eye. He had no idea where he was – probably still somewhere in England - but he knew when he was in magical counties and in Muggle towns by the density of the glowing embers. He found the Weasleys and Xeno Lovegood and the Malfoys and the Snapes. He awakened them all.
There were embers even in Muggle populated areas. He recognised two faint ones belonging to the Grangers and was pleased to know what it signified. He awakened them and continued on. He was not as surprised to find another faint one belonging to Petunia Dursley. He awakened her but then stared sadly at the two shadows next to hers. Again, the ravens told him not to waste his time and urged him on. Harry obeyed reluctantly, knowing that Petunia would take care of her family. He had resisted in the beginning, stubbornly sending pulse after pulse of his own magic towards the darkened souls of the Muggles he found but in the end, he had to concede defeat. It was cruel but the ravens were right – he could get better results on the magical population. Harry tried desperately not to look at the darkened shadows he found after that, to not think of the lives he couldn't save. It didn't bear thinking about.
He traveled out of the suburbs and onto Diagon Alley and London, awakening Augusta Longbottom and Mrs. Figg along the way. He found himself at the Ministry of Magic and helped each ember there. Many of them belonged to those whom he knew did not deserve his consideration but he woke them all up regardless, appearing before them and pushing against their magical cores. He travelled on without quite knowing how, his mind buried deep within the earth. With nothing but those glowing lines to lead him, with nothing but the determination that the Dark Lord would not succeed, with nothing but the knowledge that everything rested upon him, Harry plowed forth without hesitation.
At length he found himself heading north towards the Winter Lands, finding the brave and hardened souls he had once fought alongside - Asgeir, Alrik, so many others - awakening them with desperate pulses of the magic he dragged from the earth. There were twelve forts in all and he stopped by each one, rousing the thousands of brave men, women and children he had come to care for. They had fought beside him, they had believed in him, they had sworn their fealty to him. Harry would not abandon any of them. He awakened those behind the stone walls, the ones in the fields, even the Black Wryms in the mountains who blinked and hissed in surprised familiarity when they heard his voice and saw his form in their dreams. Only the Grendlings and the other creatures of the forest were left untouched for they were mere animals, non magical creatures.
Without pause or rest, Harry pushed on to the burning sands of Egypt. He roused the wizards and witches there both young and old. He breathed life into an exceptionally bright ember belonging to the young and beautiful Pharaoh Nitocris, leaving before her radiant smile could light up her face in wonder and gratitude. By then, he was already on his way across Europe, drawing on the magic of the earth, pushing it into the magical cores of the Eastern and Asian wizards and witches who were silently waiting for him. He came across twin embers that were glowing bright, not even realising they belonged to an impossibly handsome pair of royal twins who had fallen entwined in each other's arms.
On and on Harry continued, acting on the desperate urgency of knowing that time was against him and wholly believing that with the power he held came nothing but duty and responsibility. He awakened all the embers he found, even those with the faintest spark in them. Thy could have belonged to vampires, werewolves, goblins, centaurs, house elves, mermaids or other magical creatures, he did not stop to find out. He did not pause to see if their hearts were filled with hope and good wishes or lies and greed or evil and deviousness. Right at this moment, he cared not if they belonged to the Order or if they belonged to Voldemort. This was not a time for judgment for surely no one could be more evil than Voldemort for this shocking, mindless mass massacre. Harry just continued on and on, fearing that he was running out of time.
How many souls can one weary young King save anyway?
He had no idea how much time had passed. Exhaustion was pressing down upon him from every side, more mental than physical for he was nothing more than a conscious mind. The task he had set himself and embarked upon without a moment's hesitation was unending. He had awakened thousands and left before they could offer a word of thanks or a smile of gratitude. The world was such a very huge place and the ley lines were so very long and unending. The only companions he had were the ravens and they travelled with him but they cawed constantly, urging him on instead of telling him to rest. Despite their presence, he felt more alone than he had ever been. There were people he had left behind, people dear to him whose faces he could see so clearly in his mind but he tried not to for it would not help him. All he could do was continue his task, searching for the next ember in the darkness and then the one after that. He had no time to think of anything or anyone else until this task was done. He tried not to think that even though he had saved so many lives, the task still stretched out before him endlessly with no finish line in sight.
In any case, time was just... a forgotten concept.
It was some time later that Harry finally became aware of something else. He had thought he was alone except for the ravens but he wasn't. In the darkness he could sense evil lurking just out of sight. He could not see it but he could feel it. Feel its presence, feel it watching him as it licked thin lips in anticipation... but of what? Of feasting on him once he fell, overcome by the sheer magnitude of this task he had set himself? There was nothing to feed on for he was nothing more than a mind lost deep within the earth.
Harry shook his head and forced himself to reach out for the next glowing ember. It was so hard, so tiring! He wanted to stop and rest but each time he did, he could sense that evil presence again, biding its time, taunting him with a nameless dread. He was all alone. Desperate, Harry brought up the beloved faces and recalling them to mind, attaching a familiar name to each dear visage.
Severus! Sirius, Remus! Ron! Hermione! Professor Dumbledore! I need you, I need all of you! Where are you? I can't see you anywhere... Severus...
And finally, he saw them. Dark shadows looming out of the darkness. Shadows with shifting features and glowing eyes, exactly as they had appeared in his nightmare. He recoiled in horror. So it truly was a vision and not a nightmare, the things he had seen after falling asleep on the couch that night. That only made it worse for it meant that the burning city he had seen and the dead in it… they were real. As real as the shadows now gliding towards him. Their shapes morphed and twisted in the darkness but the glowing eyes remained. They stared hungrily at him while they whispered, the sound of a thousand dry leaves rustling on a cold dry ground. They danced and darted around him, laughing at him, mocking him. It wasn't just England that had cities of the dead, they taunted. It had happened all over the world as well.
Harry again felt like screaming. It was true for he had travelled almost halfway around the world, quickening the magic of countless souls both human and non-human. The thick density of the dark shadows he could not awaken would be the Muggles and they were dead. To have something like this happen to just a small community was bad enough but for it to be worldwide! The sheer horror of it was... staggering. Harry stared at them, his mind numb with shock from trying to process it all. And then they swooped and caught him. They shouldn't have been able to, he was just a mind, he was detached from his body but they caught hold of him anyway by the arms and legs he didn't know he had. Harry shuddered at the feel of their cold, evil touch on his skin. They dragged him away and he struggled uselessly. The ravens were flying around him and cawing agitatedly but there was nothing they could do.
Harry had thought he was lost in the ley lines but when he finally stopped struggling and looked up, there was a hill in front of him. The shadows dragged him up the hill and there was that old oak tree, just like in his vision. The ley lines didn't reach up here but Harry could see them at the bottom of the hill, stretching out in all directions. He struggled desperately again but the shadows didn't care. They bound him tightly to the tree and the ropes cut into his flesh and the rough bark scratched his back just like in his vision.
At that moment, Harry knew true helplessness. There was still power in the earth, power that only he knew how to tap. There were still countless embers in the dark, waiting for him to quicken them, to bring them back to life but it was too late. He was bound and alone.
"Let me go!" he cried, struggling to free himself. "I have to save them!"
They just laughed at him, the harsh sounds ringing in his ears and echoing all around him.
"There is no one to save. This world has ended."
Their shapes shifted endlessly but their red eyes remained the same, cruel and evil. Harry struggled again, more frightened than he could have imagined.
"It has not ended! There is still time!"
But that just made them laugh even more. Harry shouted and screamed until his throat was raw but it didn't make any difference. He had drained his own magic and he was no longer connected to the ley lines. There were so many lives still waiting to be saved and there wasn't a thing he could do about it. Overcome with exhaustion and grief, he hung his head and cried for the first time in his life. He had shed tears on the night of the Calling when he returned home to find Severus sitting in a pool of blood but this… this was far more devastating than anything Harry had ever dealt with. He had exhausted his strength and his magic but the sheer futility of his efforts made him want to scream.
No matter how much he had done, it just wasn't enough.
- o -
Albus and Remus were just approaching the Infirmary when Severus burst out of it. The man had been significantly weakened by the drain to his power just last night and yet he walked swiftly and unaided, his face alight with excitement. Albus and Remus glanced at each other and hurried forward.
"Severus? Is it Harry? He's awakened?"
Severus shook his head impatiently. He held his arm out and opened his fist, showing them the stone that lay on his palm.
"Harry's Heartstone! We can quicken his magic, wake him up with it!"
Severus' excitement was blazing from his black eyes. It was so contagious that the Headmaster's exhaustion seemed to lift from him almost instantly, his keen brain latching onto something Severus said.
"Wait. Wasn't there a chapter in Salazar's Book Three? About the quickening of magic?"
Severus stared at Albus and then nodded slowly. Yes. He and Harry had talked briefly about sensing the magic in others before the boy fell asleep on the couch and suffered that nightmare. It seemed a lifetime ago. Severus recalled being amused by Harry's cluelessness about the strength of his own magic, citing Dumbledore's instead of his own as an example. That boy was so – so -
"Yes," he replied tersely, swinging on his heel to head towards the dungeons instead. "I'll go get it now."
Whatever reason that had brought Albus and Remus down to the Infirmary was forgotten. Both men were now caught up in the almost palpable excitement emanating from Severus. Albus recalled the first time he had touched the Heartstone. The sheer strength of Harry's magic pulsing against his fingers had startled him. He must indeed be getting old if he couldn't remember that Harry had left his magical signature somewhere after all. By the same token, Severus had to be mentally kicking himself. Hard.
"Did you finally remember you were wearing it?" Albus asked as they entered the dark torch lit corridor leading to Severus' quarters. The latter had his lips pressed tightly together in self disgust but he shook his head.
"It was Black," he replied, glancing briefly at Remus. "He was saying there was no way for Harry to find his way back because I do not have his signature inside me and that was what reminded me of his Heartstone."
Albus gave Severus a sharp glance but there was no hint of regret or bitterness on that determined face, only a barely suppressed urgency. They strode swiftly down the corridor towards the portrait of Salazar Slytherin, Severus calling out the password long before he reached the door. He disappeared into his quarters and appeared moments later with the book he had snatched up from his desk.
Severus was still weak but the wild hope surging through him lent him strength. He led the way back to the Infirmary and walked swiftly through the crowded room, not glancing at any of the beds nor paying any attention to the babble of voices. His attention was focused wholly on the door at the very far end. For the past few minutes, he had been haunted by the conversation he had had with Harry that night. He had mocked the tradition of true love's kiss then but oh, what would he not give for it to be so simple - to be able to awaken Harry with nothing more than a kiss!
Seeing the three men hurrying towards them, the Winter Lands guards quickly opened the door to Harry's room with respectful nods. Severus was not surprised to see Ron and Hermione already standing beside Black. Not too long ago, he would have been highly irritated at the sight of so many Gryffindors crowding around Harry's bed but now, he was more or less resigned to it. Everyone in this room loved Harry and he loved them back. Severus didn't know if that latter part was true for him but he was the boy's bond mate and for now, that would suffice.
Poppy stepped into the room a few moments later, a hopeful smile on her exhausted face. Sirius had found Ron and Hermione just entering the Infirmary when he went to look for Poppy, thanking her at the same time for their conversation had indirectly lead to Severus remembering Harry's Heartstone. They all gathered around the bed, expectation and hope written clearly on their faces and in the tenseness of their shoulders. Albus seated himself in the chair beside Harry's bed while Severus sank into his usual chair, automatically reaching for the pale hand he was stroking earlier.
Albus opened the book and flipped the pages to chapter four. Hermione took a step closer, peering curiously at the open book.
"Salazar's notes has a spell to wake a person up?" she asked sharply, having recognised Harry's scrawling handwriting on the pages. Albus nodded, one finger moving across the words as he searched for the section he wanted. He made a mental note to remind Severus to rewrite the book once Harry had completed the translation, both of them agreeing with each other that the boy's handwriting left a lot to be desired.
Hermione's eyes were racing down the page. Her eyes widened at one point but she kept quiet and only Ron noticed her reaction. He squeezed her hand and gave her a questioning look but she shook her head. 'Later' she mouthed to him.
"It's a good thing that Harry has already finished translating this book," Albus murmured. "Ah, here it is - ''On how to quicken magick in the sleep of death''.
"'The quickening of magic'?" Sirius asked. Severus nodded but did not turn his head.
"According to Salazar, there are two options to wake up one under the Living Death spell if a potion is not used – by using an aligning of forces or getting a wizard of exceptional power to quicken their magic and wake them," he explained. Sirius and Remus exchanged looks.
"But Harry's mind is no longer connected to his magical core. How can that spell help?" Sirius asked. This time, it was Albus who answered.
"We will use Harry's magical signature from his Heartstone to call him back," he said simply. "It certainly is strong enough and should be able to locate Harry no matter where he is or how far. He should be able to follow it back to his body."
Remus nodded slowly, casting a curious glance at Severus.
"Albus will perform the spell," Severus answered the silent question in the gentle amber eyes. Remus nodded again but Sirius frowned at Severus.
"But you're his bond mate! Surely you should be the one bringing him back!" he exclaimed, not realising he was in actual fact rubbing salt in the wound. Severus' lips tightened. He supposed he should be relieved at Black's support but the man was just as lacking in tact now as he was when he was an adversary.
"Only Albus is strong enough, Black," he bit out. Albus smiled faintly, hearing the words that Severus didn't say out loud. The only other person in Hogwarts who had the amount of power required to do the spell was the one who needed it now.
"Severus will hold the Heartstone," he added quietly. "Harry needs to know who is calling him back and the spell will work much better since they are bond mates." And soul mates, he added silently as he held Severus' gaze.
"Holding that stone is the next best thing to having his signature inside you," he added gently. Severus nodded, his eyes glittering with the words he couldn't say out loud. Albus' apparent ability to read his mind left him embarrassed at most times and deeply moved at others. This time though, Severus felt both. There was no longer any need for the Headmaster to question him about his feelings for Harry – they were in plain sight for anyone to see.
Closing his eyes in a brief prayer, Severus pressed the stone to his lips, a vow silently unfolding in his heart. Once this whole mess was over, he was going to make another Heartstone and he was going to pour all his skill and his magic into it. He and Harry were still not bonded and considering his young bond mate's thoughts on sex, Merlin alone knew how long it would be before that happened. At least this way, Harry would still have a copy of his bond mate's magical signature. Severus knew he didn't have Albus' transfiguration skill or Flitwick's flair for charms but he vowed to produce the very best Heartstone he is capable of... and hope like hell Harry will wear it around his neck.
When Severus lowered the Heartstone, Sirius moved closer to him, his eyes tracing the ruby red veins on the emerald surface.
"You've been wearing it all this time?" he asked, his voice subdued. He felt Remus' hand on his shoulder and reached up to touch it, seeking comfort. Severus nodded without looking at him.
"Yes. Next to my heart," he replied. He no longer cared about what that statement implied. He no longer cared if everyone in that room knew how completely the motionless young man in the bed had stolen his heart. There was a moment of silence before Poppy raised her wand.
"Well, where would be the best place to put the stone then?" she asked, her matter of fact tone bringing everyone back to the present task at hand. She had taken Hermione's place next to Albus, ready to monitor Harry's condition.
"Professor Snape?" Hermione spoke up. She and Ron had moved to the foot of the bed to allow Poppy room. The young Gryffindor looked tired, they all did but her eyes were still sharp and alert. "Since Harry's mind is disconnected from his body, shouldn't the Heartstone be placed on his forehead?"
"Agreed," Albus said softly and smiled at her. "But Harry shares a connection to Voldemort through that scar on his forehead. The last thing we want to do is alert him to the fact that Harry is now in a very vulnerable position. Voldemort may still be recovering from the enormous spell he cast earlier but we do not yet know if he is still capable of another attack, even at a distance."
Hermione bit her lip but nodded soberly. Ron pulled her close to his side with an arm around her shoulders.
Severus heard their voices but they sounded distant as if they didn't concern him. He unfastened the top two buttons of Harry's pyjama shirt with fingers that shook slightly and placed the Heartstone directly over his heart. Everyone's gaze was immediately drawn to that brilliant green and red stone resting against that pale chest, rising and falling softly. Severus touched the stone with the index and middle fingers of both hands, feeling the familiar song of Harry's magic wash through him. Albus reached out, closing his hands over Severus'.
As one, everyone in the room except the boy lying on the bed drew their breaths and held them as the Headmaster started reciting the spell. In a moment, his powerful magic was rippling in the air. Severus stared at Harry's pale face, feeling the familiar sensation of Albus' magic soaking into him. It felt comforting rather than invasive as it called to his magic. Severus remained passive, allowing his magic to answer the call, allowing Albus to temporarily merge their magic at the point where their hands were joined in a basic form of tandem magic. They both concentrated, pushing their combined magic towards the very tips of Severus' fingers that touched the stone, letting their joined magic pulse into the stone to lift the magical signature buried deep within its crystalline cage.
Almost at once, the Heartstone began to glow, turning warm to the touch. A cloud of tiny golden sparkles appeared just under the surface of the stone and then it floated out and upward, drawing everyone's attention as the glittering particles danced and spun, filling the air with the familiar sense of Harry's powerful magic. Higher and higher the golden cloud rose with everyone staring until at length, they spread out and dispersed, seemingly vanishing into the very air itself. A ringing silence was all that was left. Everyone turned to Severus.
"Harry," he spoke softly into the silence, willing his voice to remain steady as the very air around him seemed to resonate with the addicting call of Harry's magic.
"Can you hear me? Come back, Harry."
Everyone was filled with breathless anticipation but nothing happened. Severus raised questioning eyes to Albus sitting opposite him. Everyone's shoulders seemed to slump at the same time. Poppy was the first to recover, quickly taking the opportunity to wave her wand over Harry.
"His brain signals are still the same," she stated. She wanted to add that Harry's adrenaline levels were actually fluctuating, the spikes higher than before but she didn't. It could only mean that Harry's nightmares had worsened but the knowledge wouldn't help Albus or Severus right now.
Albus nodded calmly but his eyes remained on Severus.
"These things take time, Poppy. There's no telling how far Harry is from here. We must trust in him. We must give him time to return to us."
Severus nodded tightly, his jaw clenched. He knew Albus' words were meant for him and not for the medi witch. He looked back at Harry's pale face.
"Harry," he called to him. "Can you hear me?"
But after fifteen minutes of calling his name, the result was still the same. Poppy passed her wand once more over Harry's still form, increasingly torn between staying here and going back outside to check on the chaos of her crowded Infirmary.
"Still nothing. I'm sorry, Severus," she said softly. Severus looked up, his face set in determination. He glanced at Albus and then looked back at Poppy.
"Don't be. We've only just started," he replied. At the foot of the bed, Ron's arm slipped from Hermione's shoulder. He reached for her hand instead, holding it tightly. When she looked at him questioningly, he tilted his head towards the door. Hermione smiled and nodded.
"Madam Pomfrey, we'll step outside for a while and see if there's anything we can do," she told the medi witch. She and Ron were Harry's best friends but they knew Madam Pomfrey would be of more help to Harry than they were right now. Poppy smiled and nodded gratefully at her.
"Thank you, I would appreciate that," she said warmly. Severus stared at Hermione, his eyes flashing with a mixture of emotions she couldn't read.
What was it about Gryffindors that made them so self sacrificing, he wondered. First, Black and Lupin volunteering themselves for various tasks that should have fallen to him just so that he could remain at Harry's side, something he desperately wanted. And now, those two younger Gryffindors doing pretty much the same thing, taking on a little of Poppy's work so that she could continue to monitor Harry's condition.
Severus shook his head in bemusement before turning back to Harry. He didn't see the understanding smile on Albus' face or the two Marauders exchanging looks, Remus clasping Sirius' hand tightly in his. Without speaking a word, their hearts went out to Severus Snape as he called out Harry's name again, willing the boy on the bed to return to them.
- Chapter End -