A/N: Wow, it's been a real long time since I wrote a fanfic. After seeing the last Harry Potter film however, I decided that I desperately wanted to write and Snape fanfic. After re-reading the book, and re-reading certain chapters over and over, I finally came up with this. It took me a while as I was trying to do it justice - I'd be truly grateful for any feedback given.

For once, the inspiration didn't come from a song, so I'm not going to post any lyrics.

I really hope you enjoy!

- Sammi.


So this is what it felt like – cold, numb, as though you were struggling to breathe yet the pain was never there. In a way, he envied the others; it seemed easier for them, faster, quicker, better. How could he even think such a thing? Well, he had been suffering for a while.

A while? A few mere moments that seemed like forever. It seemed like all he knew how to do was suffer and all the potions in the world would never be able to heal it.

Or, at least, would have been able to heal it. However, even here, Severus Snape still felt he was missing something, that this was just short of what he had expected, what he had wanted.

Even Dumbledore had it easy. The greatest wizard of all time had taken the easy way out, the cowards way out, and had forced a mere boy to put together the final two pieces – he had left a boy to die without so much as a reason why. And he had left it to him to show him! Show him that, after all that time, Harry Potter had to give up. In order to succeed he, the boy who lived, had to die. It seemed all of Severus' efforts had gone to waste. After all this time, he had still managed to fail Lily.

The pain it caused him to kill the headmaster of Hogwarts – another life, another black mark on his life. And surely, surely, the great wizard must have known that another would also have to die for him. That he would have to die for Dumbledore. Of course, Severus never had the luxury to come back; to return to the ones he loved.

Well, the one he loved. Not that she would be there anyway. Perhaps that was why Dumbledore had done it; thinking he would be taking mercy on the troubled potions master. Perhaps he had his best interests at heart.

At least he got to see those eyes.

Those eyes which he had lost for a while, for a whole eleven years; only to find them once more and lose them all over again. It pained him even more so the second time, it seemed his love never seemed to fade. "Always."

Should he open his eyes now? What could he possibly see other than the darkness that had always coated his life? Was there any point, any reason, to think differently? He was just as bad as the others – he was a coward, unwilling to truly stand up to his mistakes. Why, why he ever thought that he could deserve her… and to think; he never would have expected to think that about a Mud-Muggle born. It seemed, even in death, Severus Snape would find himself correcting his everlasting mistake.

If he could have, he would have shaken his head or knocked it against something to bring him back to the matter at hand. Yet, this time, he allowed himself to lather in the moment, in the thought, in the memory. He allowed himself to imagine her standing before him, smiling. No words fell from her lips, but the silence was comfortable. He felt warm from her presence… and then he would remember that she wasn't really there – and it was all his fault.

No, he tried to stop it. He tried to prevent his mourning, his loss and – most importantly – her death. He turned to the strongest wizard he knew. He, Severus Snape, tried to save the life of, not only the one he loved, but the rest of Lily Potter's family as well. He felt cheated; the actions taken were not good enough, and now he was left to forever feel as though part of him was missing – and he'd always have Harry Potter to remind him of what he had lost, and who he had lost her to.

He shouldn't blame Harry. Though he loathed him as much as he did his father, Snape had always attempted to keep the boy safe – though he never got so much as a 'thank you'… No, Severus' Snape never wanted a thank you, he was only trying to make amends with the poor decisions he had made in his life, his past life. Protecting the Potter boy was all he could do – keeping him alive kept a part of her alive too.

Selfish.

Though his actions may have seemed heroic to a point, he was selfish. He never cared for the Potter boy, only his mother and her memory. She would have wanted him to do everything he could have to keep her son alive. Well Lily, I did all I could – I died for him, just as you did.

It saddened him, slightly, to realise that he had come to the same end as her. The only difference was that Lily Potter had something worth dying for; Snape had nothing – he had already lost her.

He imagined this to be different. He imagined Hell to be colder, emptier. He expected to be somewhat welcomed by a horrid creature, or by the wrongs of his past, or fellow Death Eaters. He expected to wake up, covered in flames, or screaming in pain yet unsure where the source of the pain was coming from. He expected to be in the dirt, not being allowed to lie here and wallow in self-pity. In fact, this was not how he imagined it at all.

Should he open his eyes now? No. What was the rush after all? Making excuses was not normally his thing yet, though he hated to admit it, he was scared. Severus Snape was terrified of what he would discover was he to look upon the scene that would eventually be in front of him. He would much rather lie here until the last possible moment before peering out from the darkness to be welcomed, surely, by a sickening sight.

Dying was not something Severus Snape had ever been afraid of. It was only in these past few years that death had become a conscious thought on his mind. How could he deserve this? He was paying for his past mistakes, no matter how he tried to correct them, now he was paying the price for the mistakes he had made. Perhaps now though, he could finally stop the pain that she had caused him to feel. Though he hated blaming her, he would always feel that it was somewhat her fault. Lily Potter had poisoned his heart from the moment he had first met her, and it made losing her all the more difficult.

"Severus."

The final tear that escaped from his being still burned him as his life flashed before him – the mistakes, the memories, the moments of being with her, losing her, wanting her and the countless number of times trying to change what he had become. It was all useless now. He only hoped in death the pain of losing her would finally cease.

"Severus."

Though, he did not want to lose her. Despite all the pain he had gone through, Severus Snape held onto these memories so dearly – to lose them would be a tragedy, and he didn't know if he could bear losing her again, even if for one final time.

"Severus."

Could it be?

No, it was time to let go; to face that which he had let himself in for. Delaying this would not make it any easier. He tried to open his eyes.

Brightness burned into him like none other. Hell was much warmer than he had expected and he realised now that he had not been lying down, but standing.

"Severus."

If his heart was still beating, it would have dropped to his stomach. Though he could not yet see, he knew she was there. Her voice warm and delicate and loving as always; he could listen to that voice for hours and never once become bored. He smiled.

"Severus, open your eyes."

There was no denying it was her. His eyes opened once more as he blinked furiously in an attempt to finally see. Her red hair lay lightly on her shoulders, her lips were rosy and were curved at the corners into a smile, her skin was pale yet glowing, and her eyes – those eyes – they sparkled in a way which warmed him only further. She held out a hand so that he would move closer. His fingers wrapped carefully around hers as he stepped forward.

"Lily."