I could not help myself! I HAD to write the next step for Snape. I hope you enjoy and please Read and Review! :)

Disclaimer: I do NOT own the Harry Potter series or its characters. I used the majority of the conversation between Snape and Dumbledore from the book, but added my own spin in with it.

Grieving

As soon as he walked out of the Forbidden Forrest, onto Hogwarts grounds, Dumbledore could sense his presence. Ever since the news had reached him only moments ago, the headmaster knew Snape would come. It was only a matter of time, and now here it was.

Snape's robes billowed in the wind as he stood before the castle he had had so many wonderful and regretful memories of Lily. This castle contained the best and the worst memories he possessed. Worst up 'til now. He did not take ten steps before Dumbledore appeared in front of him. The old man looked to the younger and saw his agony. Dumbledore merely offered his arm.

"Let's go to my office, Severus." He said in a gentle voice.

Once inside his office, Dumbledore offered Severus a chair. He collapsed into it and began weeping, not caring that another man stood in the room staring at him.

"I take it, that the news of Lily and James Potter has reached you?" Dumbledore said after a long moment as Snape wept.

"I… found… her," he croaked. "I… held her…in… my arms… dead!" he cringed. Dumbledore stepped towards Snape and placed a wrinkled hand on the chair.

"I understand, Severus."

"NO! You can't understand how I feel!" Snape shouted in sudden, but expected rage. Dumbledore just stepped away to his window as Snape continued to cry. Though he did not press the matter, he did know the suffering that Snape was now enduring. He, too, had cradled the lifeless body of one he so dearly loved. He, too, had wished her eyes would open and all would be well again. But Arianna's eyes did not open again, and neither did Lily's.

A sting came to Dumbledore as he remembered his sister, but he pushed it away. He had already grieved. This was Severus Snape's time to grieve.

"I thought… you were going… to keep her…safe…." He sobbed. If he could have taken anyone's word, it would have been his. And now even Dumbledore had failed at keeping Lily safe.

"She and James put their faith in the wrong person. Rather like you, Severus." Snape looked up as Dumbledore continued. "Weren't you hoping that Lord Voldemort would spare her?"

It was true. Snape could not deny that he had prayed to every god he had heard of, that the Dark Lord would grant his one request. He had put his faith in the wrong person, and now he must pay the cruelest of all consequences. He remembered his conversation with the Dark Lord.

"You ask that I do what, Severus?" hissed Voldemort. Snape bowed in fear.

"Please, my Lord, you just need the boy, why spill anymore magical blood than necessary?" he tried to convince his master.

"Indeed, it would be a loss," he amused himself in Snape's uneasiness. "But why should I spare her, a member of the Order of the Phoenix and a Mudblood nonetheless."

Snape cringed at the hateful word.

"Because a single woman is of no threat to you, my Lord," he begged. "We were friends, once, she and I." Voldemort could see the longing in his voice and relished in the anxiety he was causing his minion.

"What low standards of company you keep, Severus." Laughed the Dark Lord, "Very well. I shall spare her life, in exchange for her son."

"Thank you, my Lord," Snape said, but knowing deep down, Lily would never exchange her child, even for her own life.

"Her son lives," said Dumbledore, gaining Snape's attention from the dark catacombs of his mind. "He has her eyes, precisely her eyes." Snape, who had already see Lily's emerald eyes in the face of James Potter's child, felt a sharp pain in his heart. "You remember the shape and color of Lily Evans's eyes, I'm sure?"

"DON'T!" he shouted again. How could he forget? They were engraved into his memory and would never cease to haunt him for the remainder of his empty life. "Gone…dead…"

"Is this remorse, Severus?"

"I wish… I wish I were dead…." He said, hoping that perhaps it would come true. At least in death, he could she Lily again. He hung his head in he hands.

"And what use would that do anyone?" Snape raised his head. "If you loved Lily Evans, if you truly loved her, then your way forward is clear." Snape's brow rose as he tried to understand Dumbledore's meaning. Of course he loved Lily! He still loves her even after she lay dead in his arms. He always would love her until he met her in death. But what way forward was there be for him, other than death?

The wise headmaster explained the necessity to continuously keep watch of Lily's son. Though the Dark Lord has disappeared for now, he will return to finish the mission he started. The thought of protecting the spawn of James Potter disgusted Snape, but the image of Lily in the boy's eyes made the idea less revolting. He could see Potter laughing in the afterlife at this prospect. The only incentive was that perhaps Lily was watching him, too.

"Never, never tell, Dumbledore!" he spat, "Swear it! I want your word!" Dumbledore agreed, but insisted that there was no shame in doing the right thing or being a good man.

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And die a good man he did! The bravest of them all! Please Review and tell me your input, I'm dying for feedback!