Authors Note: I have recently seen the final Harry Potter film; and despite having had read the final book back when it was released in 2007 I have only just decided to write a tribute one-shot. I suppose actually seeing it rather than reading it has inspired me. I am writing a tribute to Severus T. Snape may he rest in peace. We shall never forget him.
"I…I could have loved you." Stillness. "I could have learned to love you…like a son." Silence. -The thoughts running through my head from Snapes POV while watching Snape's death scene/memories in the theater-
Chapter One: The truth entrusted to you
The war had ended but the work was not yet completed. The Death Eaters were being rounded up. The families of the dead were being contacted. The dead were being buried. And even though Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry lay in shambles it still housed and protected the living and the dead.
All of those who where capable hands searched the castle for survivors and to gather the bodies of their fallen comrades and friends. They brought back the bodies to the Great Hall where they would be cleaned and redressed. Properly prepared for burial. Some would be returned to their families while others would remain at Hogwarts; the home of so many. Their bodies would be buried on the grounds in specially erected tombs.
Though many insisted that he rest Harry Potter put forth his own efforts to search for survivors. He'd leave spell markers over bodies he discovered to be picked up by others as he continued onwards, climbing over rubble and morning the lost by himself. He'd mourned with others but he knew he wouldn't feel better until he'd done so alone.
Harry made his way down to the dungeons where many of the Slytherin students had been. Naturally when the fighting had started they had fled or joined the fight; but not all of them escaped. Harry knelt down near a collapsed wall and pushed a bit of rubble off of the lifeless form of a first year Slytherin girl. He frowned sadly down at her and gently ran a hand over her dusty forehead, brushing golden blonde bangs out of her face. Tear stains washed away trails of dust from her cheeks.
"You didn't die quickly did you?" He asked quietly as he peered into the blank grey-blue eyes of the dead girl. "Its alright now though." He whispered as he closed her eyes. "You can rest now." He said standing back up. He pulled his wand-the wand he'd been using-from his pocket and cast a spell marker over the girls body before moving on.
Harry felt bitterness twist his stomach and cause a heavy ach to rest in his chest cavity as he entered the Potions classroom. Tables were overturned, cauldrons in ruins. The whole room was in ruin. Harry walked over towards the far wall which had crumbled down on one side. He peaked around the rubble a little surprised to find a room behind it. Harry climbed through the wall and dropped into the room. Rubble shifted beneath his feet as he dusted off his hands. He looked around the room.
The black leather sofa and chair were covered in white dust from the wall and ceiling collapsing slightly. The large throw rug had burned slightly and books were scattered everywhere. Harry wandered through the room before finding another room. He was forced to shove a beam away from the door before easing his way through.
Harry found himself in a bedroom. He glanced around the room before something on the bed side table caught his eye. He crossed over to the table and blinked. He picked up a cracked picture frame. Behind the cracked glass stood a boy no older than thirteen in Hogwarts robes. Harry recognized the boy as Severus Snape. He blinked as a flash of fiery red shot across the glass. A thirteen-year-old girl with red hair ran up to the boy and wrapped her arms around him causing both to break out into giggles and wide smiles as they swayed on the spot before looking up at the camera and smiling.
Harry felt his heart seize in his chest and smiled bitterly at the photo of the two together. He rubbed his thumb across the glass and the two danced about a bit; both trying not to get covered up by his thumb. He grinned a little before starting as something slipped out from between the glass and the frame and fell to the floor. Setting the frame back on the table Harry bent down and picked up the yellowed piece of parchment. He unfolded it carefully before bringing it up to read it.
If you are reading this it means you have come into my room and stumbled upon it. Which also means that I am no longer amongst the living. I hope you at least realize now that I was never your enemy. I hope I got the chance to tell you what I was supposed to tell you before my death. If not please honor this request. I realize you have never been good at listening to me but I beg you to do so now.
In the living room on the top bookshelf there is a small but thick black leather book. Please take it and read it Harry.
~S. T. Snape.
Harry blinked in utter surprise. He folded the note and stuck it in his pocket as he stood and exited the bedroom. He crossed to the bookshelf and scanned the top shelf. Nothing there. He began scanning the books on the floor. He spotted a small black leather boned book and snatched at it. It was tied with a black ribbon. He took the ribbon and was about to pull on it when he heard Ron and Hermione calling for him from the dungeon corridor. He jumped and glanced back towards the hole in the wall.
"Hey Harry! Where are you mate?"
"Here. I'm coming!" He called back before shoving the book into his back pocket and headed for the wall.
Harry didn't get a chance to look through the book he'd discovered in Snape's chambers for several days; he was to preoccupied with the funerals and burials amongst other things. He'd returned to the burrow with the Weasley family for a couple of days in order to recover and catch up on some well needed rest. Once rested they would all return to Hogwarts to help with the rebuilding of the castle.
Harry looked in the kitchen as the sun began to set. They'd all finished eating dinner and Mrs. Weasley had gone to start on the dishes; she hadn't gotten that far. She leaned against the sink her shoulders trembling slightly. Harry entered a bit.
The woman started and turned around to look at him.
"Oh Harry." She wiped at her eyes and offered a smile that wasn't quite convincing. "What's the matter deary?" She asked. Harry looked around before looking up at her.
"Do you want some help in here?"
"Oh no, no thank you dear." She said as she hugged him. Harry returned the hug. He could feel the hurt and worry and love in her hug as she squeezed him. "You get some rest." She said as she pulled away gently patting him on the cheek. He nodded.
"Alright, good night."
"Good night love."
Harry made his way up to the top floor; to the room he was sharing with Ron. The room was cast in a warm orange glow from the setting sun. he crossed to his bed and lay down on his back sighing as his aching body eased into the soft mattress. It felt so nice to relax. He wanted to sleep forever. He glanced towards the door when Ron appeared.
"Hey mate. We're going to go out and play a game of Quiddich. Want to play?" he asked. Harry could hear the obvious doubt over the idea in his friends voice. They were all looking for a bit of normalcy after the tragedies Harry shook his head.
"No. Thanks though. You go on."
Ron nodded and turned and left.
Once the sun had set fully Harry turned on the lamps in the bedroom. Some light from the wheat field filtered up through the window and the sound of the others playing brought Harry a sense of good will. He smiled slightly as he lounged on the bed, pillow tucked under his chin as he lay on his stomach. Everything would be okay. Things would slowly go back to normal. He glanced at the bed side table.
The black notebook rested where he'd left it. He reached over and picked it up, resting the corner on the bed as he undid the ribbon and opened it to the front page.
The Journal of Severus Tobias Snape
Harry began flipping through the pages. He knew he would eventually read all of he entries from the beginningbut he was searching for dates he recognized; dates that may be more relevant. He paused when a date caught his eye. It was the year his parents were murdered. Specifically the night he was taken to live with his aunt and uncle.
October 31, 1981
I am to go before the Ministry tomorrow afternoon. Dumbledore has assured that I will not be charged; the man has guaranteed my freedom, I wish I felt more grateful but I can't. Can he really guarantee my freedom when he couldn't guarantee the Potter's safety? Her safety?
The old coot has gone to meet the oaf Hagrid. He's leaving Harry with his aunt and uncle. I told him my thoughts on the matter but apparently my opinions aren't relevant. He's asked me to protect the boy and when I offer to he turns it down. I said I would. I swore I would protect Lily's son! So why won't he let me? What am I supposed to do? How can I protect him if he's living with his retched aunt? I don't understand the old man. The Dark Lord is dead, the boy doesn't need protection; but I swore to protect him so why can't I? Why won't he let me? What am I supposed to do?
Dumbledore has informed me that once my name is cleared and all charges are dropped I shall be starting as a professor at Hogwarts. I have no idea what I could possibly teach. What would I be qualified to teach students? I think the old man does this to me on purpose. He mocks me. He knows I can't stand children and now he's forcing me to not only teach but care for children for the better part of a year.
Perhaps I'll try out for Defense Against the Dark Arts. I would be more than qualified to teach that class.
Harry was frowning slightly at the pages as he read. It was odd. He could hear Snape's voice in his mind while he read, as though he could hear the mans thoughts. He turned the page, curious to read about the hearing when Ron walked in groaning about cheating and some other nonsense. Harry quickly closed the book and set it on the dresser before rolling over to look at his friend.
"How'd the match go mate?"
"Bill cheats." his friend snapped as he ripped off his shirt and began undoing his pants. "And Ginny, I swear she's amazing on a broomstick." He said as he pulled on his pajamas. Harry smiled.
"She is isn't she?"
"I thought you'd be asleep mate."
"I was reading." Harry replied as he took of his glasses and set them atop the journal.
"Ah, Well, goodnight." Ron said as he climbed into bed. Harry turned off the lamps and rolled over.
The following day after lunch the Weasley's planned to make a trip to Diagon Alley and stock up on some things if they could find them. All of the wizarding world was in shambles and everything was on high demand. Harry was invited to go naturally be he said he'd rather stay behind and relax. No one argued this and so Harry had the burrow to himself.
Harry snatched the journal off of the dresser and headed back downstairs before heading outside. He sat on the back porch and opened up the journal. He flipped around some more; skimming through pages and dates and things the caught his eyes. He finally resigned himself to read anything that may mention him. He now knew that he'd made life miserable for his Potions Master; not that the man himself was blameless.
All of the letters have been sent for this upcoming school term but it would seem the letter addressed to the Potter boy has not been received. I shouldn't really be surprised; not with who he's been living with for the passed eleven years. If Petunia hasn't changed she no doubt still abhors magic. I'm sure her husband is roughly the same when it comes to the magical arts. Jealous guttersnipe.
I am interested to see the boy after so many years. Despite having seen him as a baby I recall very little about the boy; unfortunate circumstances as it were. I fear the circumstances of our reunion will not be at all pleasant. I cannot go into this meeting without bias; even if I wanted to.
Things are not at all calm here at Hogwarts. Dumbledore has come into possession of the must interesting artifact. The Sorcerers Stone. The stone was created by a friend of the old mans and he has been put in charge of protecting it.
It is currently being held at Gringotts but I fear that even Gringotts will not be safe. There are dark rumors creeping about. Rumors that speak of the Dark Lords return. I do not know whether to believe them or not. But whether they are true or not I will do my job to protect the boy; even if his enemy is no more than a ghost of a rumor.
Harry glanced up from the pages when he heard the family return through the fireplace. Hermione approached him bag in hand.
"What's that you're reading Harry?" She asked curiously looking over his shoulder. He stood up and looked at her.
"Something Snape left me." He stated simply. He hadn't shared Snape's memories with Ron or Hermione, but he had told them that Snape was a hero. They respected that and thus Hermione didn't question him further on the journal. Harry smiled and trotted back inside to find someplace to read in private. He wouldn't get much time to do so once they returned to Hogwarts.
Hagrid had to fetch the boy. It seems those blasted muggle relatives of his not only tried to get away from the owls but they intended to keep the boy from returning to the world he belonged to. Disgusting. This is where the boy belongs.
Harry snorted. So he was the boy now? Could Snape not call him by his name? Only Potter, Mr. Potter or the boy. He shook his head with a slight smile before reading on.
He managed to arrive unscathed along with the rest of the little first years. When I saw him I could not get over how much he looks like this father. It is absolutely disgusting how similar the two of them are look wise; but at the same time he shares some qualities with his mother Lily; he has her eyes. The boy was sorted into Gryffendor, I supposed I should have seen that one coming. It took a lot of effort not to stare at him. He's thinner than I would have expected. Perhaps he has an active metabolism. Quirll has been acting odd since his return to Hogwarts. Perhaps something has accrued. If so I plan on learning about it. It is never wise to trust a sniveler; they are usually the first to betray you.
September 2, 1981
I had resorted to treating the boy like everyone else while preparing for the first potion class with the first years. Unfortunately that did not go as planned. How can you treat one who is so different from everyone else the same as everyone else? I knew all of the other teachers would coddle him at least a little bit. There would no doubt be favoritism. I could not give him that. I doubt I would have had he been anyone else, but I can't even treat him with indifference. He is not just a student. He is Harry Potter. He defeated the Dark Lord. I cannot coddle him but I must protect him. Now more than ever. Something dangerous is stirring within the walls of Hogwarts. Dumbledore has had the Sorcerers Stone concealed beneath the castle. Myself amongst the other teachers have all put up our wards to protect it. If someone working for the Dark Lord were to locate it there is the possibility that the Dark Lord would rise again. I do not know if these rumors are true, Dumbledore seems to think they are and I am inclined to believe him even if my belief is skeptical. I am beginning to suspect Quirll as seeking out the stone. I plan on keeping a close eye on him.
I have also resigned to treat the boy as I treat every other Gryffindor. Or any other student from any other house. With cruel words and mockery. Some part of me gets guilty satisfaction from taunting the boy. When I look at him I see James. Of course that in it self mocks me. No matter what I say to the boy his image will always hold the reminder of the fact James Potter holds a life debt over my head even in death. Bastard. It is better that the boy like me as little as possible. It will make it easier to keep him at a distance.
"Well thank you professor." Harry said sarcastically as he rolled his eyes and turned the page. The man really could be a cold twisted bastard. But now that he was reading it and he knew exactly who the man was it wasn't as hurtful. It didn't stink. It was actually rather amusing and admirable.
October 31, 1981
I am not positive that Quirll is after stone. He let a mountain troll into the dungeons. MY dungeons! Fool came in causing a big scene. I didn't stay long to witness the panic that no doubt erupted. I quickly slipped out to make my way to the third floor. With all of the commotion I didn't doubt he would attempt to get the stone. Unfortunately in keeping the little traitor away I managed to get bitten by the monster Hagrid calls a puppy! Filthy beast! And then to top it off Harry Potter and his little red headed friend went LOOKING for the damn troll! I swear James is mocking me from the after life. I can see it now. Not even capable of keeping an eleven-year-old safe eh Snape? Bastard. Despite how stupid it was I must give him this; he is brave. Stupid. But brave. And that little Granger girl sticking up for him! What on earth? Did she really think I'd buy that little lie about her going after the troll? Well, Minerva bought it and since they are in her house it is up to her to deal with them. I'm not exactly sure what she did, I was fully intent on confronting Quirll.
Harry blinked and looked up as a knock on the doorway broke his concentration. Ginny stood in the doorway looking at him curiously.
"Harry dinners ready." She stated. He smiled and nodded, closing the journal and setting it aside. He stood up and joined her. They stood there for a moment looking at each other.
"You okay?" He asked. She offered a weak smile.
"No." She stated simply before leaning up and gently kissing him on the lips. "But I will be eventually." She said as she slipped her hand into his. He wrapped his fingers around her and they both walked down to the dinning room together.
Dinner went unexpectedly well. It seemed that everyone was beginning to grow livelier. Yes there was still pain and sadness but Harry could see that everyone was beginning to look passed all of it; looking to the good that remained in their lives. It made Harry happy to see the people he considered family smiling again.
"So Harry dear what are you going to do?"
Harry blinked and looked up. He'd been to busy enjoying himself he'd missed part of the conversation. He gave Mrs. Weasley an apologetic look. She chuckled slightly. "Now that…" she took a breath. "that Voldemort is gone? Will you return to Privet drive?"
"Oh, oh. Oh God no. No." He shook his head before scratching behind his ear. "No umm. I'm not exactly sure yet. I know I'm going to help with the rebuilding of Hogwarts. I guess I've really just been thinking about helping with the rebuilding of everything."
"Well where are you going to live mate?" George asked before taking a bite of mashed potatoes.
Harry didn't answer for a moment. He hadn't really thought about it. He had no intentions of going back to Privet drive. He owned Grimmauld Place but it didn't really feel like a home. He didn't think he could live there with all of the memories. He wanted to live somewhere that felt like home but didn't hold bad memories for him.
"Why can't he stay here till he finds a place?" Ginny asked.
"Well of course." Arthur stated between a bite of turkey. "He's more than welcome to stay as long as it takes. Its not like we're kicking him out Ginny."
"Oh of course not. Harry dear you are more than welcome to stay as long as you like." Molly added with a smile.
He returned the smile.
"Thanks. Really all of you. You have no idea how much it means to me. But you are right. I haven't really thought about what I'm going to do now. Before it was just surviving long enough to defeat Voldemort and now that he's gone I can actually start living not only a life but my life." He nodded. "I'll start thinking about what I'm going to do with it."
November 5th, 1981
Potter has managed to get on the Gryffendor Quiddich team. This would be an amazing achievement-seeing as he is the youngest seeker in a hundred years-but am I the only one who realizes that he disobeyed a teacher to get on the team? Alright, perhaps he wasn't trying to get on the team, but he did disobey and so he is rewarded? I knew the other teachers would coddle him. All the more reason not to! He'll become nothing but a spoiled brat at this rate! That's all we need another brat at this school. But even despite the fact that he got on the team unorthodoxly I must admit he is talented on a broom. Once again shouldn't be surprised. His father was rather good on a broom as well. Fantastic Chaser if I remember correctly. Damn bastard.
November 8th, 1981
I have never been much of a fan for Quiddich but being the head of Slytherin house demands my appearance at each and every game. Must support my house team I suppose. I'll admit I was interested to see Potter on a broom. See if he's as good as Minerva said. I'll admit he was doing rather well until that damn twitchy Quirll started jinxing his broom! If it weren't for me that little brat would have been nothing but a blood splatter in the sand. But naturally nothing can go easily for me. While casting a wandless counter jinx my robes caught on fire! Despite the embarrassment I am glad I managed to break Quirll's eye contact with the boy otherwise he'd be dead.
There will be no more living with Minerva seeing as Gryffendor won the game. She is no convinced with Potter on their house team they will have the Quiddich cup by the end of the term.
I remain curious as to who set my robes on fire.
Harry briefly flipped through the entries that covered the Christmas holidays of that year pausing only when he gathered Professor Snape never received gifts save from Dumbledore. Harry blinked several times. He frowned and glanced around the empty room. From what he could remember of the holidays was that Snape never seemed to enjoy them. This puzzled him but he pushed the thought from his mind and went back to flipping through pages; coming to stop sometime in late March.
Potter at those other two are up to something. I have never known Granger to be anything but polite if not overly annoying but even her demeanor is changing. Weasley is acting twitchier than usual, Granger is stuttering over her explanations and Potter will not cease glaring at me as though I'd killed his favorite pet or something. Little brat. It is quite annoying to be giving up so much of my time for this boy and his damn safety and really get no reward in return. Of course I suppose that is the price I must pay for the choices I've made.
Dumbledore was correct. Again. It would seem that the Dark Lord had been planning on raising again. The thought has struck several frightful chords within me. The boy was so close to death by the Dark Lords hands. It would seem that the old magic's are still the most powerful. Lily's love for her son is indescribable. Even in death she manages to protect him. Love. That is what Dumbledore said when he talked to the boy in the infirmary. I would have visited but the headmaster updated me on the boys health every chance he got so there really was no point. All is back to normal; or what I fear will become normal from this point on.
Minerva, there will be absolutely no more living with her. Not only did Gryffindor win the Quiddich cup but the House cup as well! This is the first year in the last eight to nine years that Slytherin has not won. Potter.
Something tells me I have my work cut out for me.
September 1rst, 1982
Potter and Weasley are the biggest buffoons I have ever been forced to teach! Not only did they manage to miss the Hogwarts Express but they stole and enchanted car and were spotted all over the country side! Then to top it off they crashed the damn car into the Whomping Willow! Now I'll have to spend time with the squat little witch Sprout. Has the woman ever heard of washing her clothes? Honestly. And to make matters worse Dumbledore won't do anything about the fact that the boys have broken wizard laws, and Minerva won't expel them! Oh if only they were in my house. I'd have them packed up and shipped out before they could say Quiddich!
September 2nd, 1982
Got quite the pleasant surprise this morning at breakfast. It would seem someone isn't to happy about the incident yesterday evening. Mr. Weasley received quite the embarrassing howling from his mother. I would have chuckled with mirth if it weren't so out of character. Damn brat got what was coming to him. Even if I still think he and Potter should have been expelled.
Harry snorted and rolled his eyes as Ron walked in.
"What's so funny?" The red head asked. Harry rolled onto his side and looked up at his friend.
"It seems Professor Snape enjoyed that little incident at breakfast in second year." he said barley containing a smirk. It took Ron a moment to put two and two together before glaring and snapping back.
"What a git! That wasn't funny! It was bloody scary that's what it was!" Ron snapped. Harry just laughed.
"Leave it to Professor Snape to still piss you off even after he's dead." He said as he rolled back over to continue reading. Ron grumbled something about his mum making cookies as he stormed out, a little peeved at their dead Potions Master.
Harry continued to read the journal. He read all of the entries over the course of his second and third year. He skipped the fourth year, not really interested in knowing what Snape thought of Cedric's death. He didn't think he could handle that yet. He skimmed through the fifth year, reading several interesting entries that made his heart clench and his stomach twist into knots. He would have to go back and count how many times Snape endured the cruciatus curse for him.
Harry knowing that he would be returning to Hogwarts in the morning to help with the rebuilding quickly flipped through the remaining pages when an envelope fell out and landed on the bed sheets. He closed the journal and picked up the envelope. It was addressed to him. His brows furrowed as he broke the old wax seal and opened the letter.
If you are reading this than you now know the truth. Or enough of the truth since I doubt you have the attention span required to read every entry in my journal; though I do not doubt you will get around to it eventually. You are nosy and thus your curiosity will get the better of you.
I have no final will or testimony but I do have some things I wish to give to you.
I give you my home in Spinners End as well as a ranch once owned by an Uncle of mine out in the country side. He was a muggle man but since it came into my possession several of my house elves remain there to keep it up. They to are now yours. Do with them as you wish. Set them free or send them to Hogwarts.
Everything that is in either home now belongs to you. You and your little friends may go through and do what you wish with any of it I do not care.
There is one final thing I wish to tell you Harry.
Despite how harsh I was with you please do not think that I did not care. In the beginning I will admit I did not care for you per say. I was protecting you out of love for your mother. But as time went on I genuinely began to worry and care for you. But by then it was to late. Our opinions of each other and mannerisms could not be altered.
Just know…I could have loved you. I could have learned to love you like a son.
If given the chance to do things over starting from that Halloween night so long ago…I would have tried harder to learn to love you.
Signed Severus T. Snape
Harry re-read the letter several times before sitting up slowly. He held onto the parchment and let out a long low sigh before smiling slightly to himself.
"Its true you know." He said to the air. "What you said." He looked back down at the letter. "I can get anyone to love me."
Authors Note: And that is that. It is not exactly what I had hoped for but it is what it is. I hope you enjoy it and I hope you like it. Please leave a review and let me know what your thoughts are.