Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter
I would have liked to make a longer fanfic for HP, especially after re-reading Deathly Hallows. But since it's impossible now I decided to write this four chaptered fic inspired by reading the King's Cross chapter. It's where ever Snape went after death, and having one last meeting not only with Harry, but a few others after everything's revealed. I hope to do my best to keep Snape in character, including the others. In this fic his death is inspired by the way it was depicted in the film, not the book.
A Lily-less Godric's Hollow
There was silence. Pure silence as he had never heard. For the moment, Severus Snape simply lay where he was, on his back unmoving, eyes closed. No, they weren't closed. He thought they were, for everything was pitch black. He blinked but the darkness didn't pass. Severus wanted to frown, wanted to rise up to his feet but he didn't dare make a move. Thoughts of what had happened started to plague him. He saw Voldemort raise his wand and use his own spell against him to make the cut across his neck, felt the vicious bites of Nagini as she struck him repeatedly, he felt the...blood. Instinctively his hand flew to his neck.
It was in that moment that he realized he wasn't so dead; that he still had his body. But surely he must have died? Voldemort wanted him dead for the wand!
A sudden cold breeze swept over him. No robes rustled on him and he could feel it on bare skin. With some ounce of fascination and horror, he realized that he was completely naked. Still he did not move. He gripped his neck harder. There were no holes from the snake bite left behind. It was true. He was dead.
He raised his hand in front of his face, but the flesh wasn't pale and ghostly like the Hogwarts' ghosts. It looked solid and normal. With the realization that he had some colored sight in the blackness, he became curious of where he lay. Then to add to the sight of his hand hovering before him, little white dots were falling toward him from the supposed black sky. It was snow, but it wasn't cool. He laid his arm down at his side and felt the snow beneath it. It was comfortable and not the least bit cold, or perhaps it was only because he was too dead to feel the snow.
What was there to do now? Severus didn't want to brood on his death any longer, but he couldn't help it. He sat up and ran a shaky hand through his clean, tangle free hair. There was no sweat, blood or tears from his struggle to defend himself against the students and staff of Hogwarts. There wasn't the usual looks of loathing or whispers of hatred for him behind his back. It was a peaceful quiet. Something he didn't think he'd ever heard, not even when he was a child living in his parents' house. Severus glanced up at the sky as the snowflakes continued to fall. Then he turned and looked around him. The place wasn't so dark with the outlines of little houses along the snowy road where he sat. However no lights were on to suggest anyone occupied the homes. He was still alone, in an unknown village, completely nude. The darkness started to consume him.
Just as Severus was considering entering one of the houses for clothing, the lights in the houses started to flicker on one by one. The light exposed him against the snow, but there were no curious heads peeking out at him. Even if there were, Severus wasn't sure he could take the shame. He raised his arm to peer past the light into the houses, but the light was extraordinarily bright. There was a sudden crunching sound approaching and Severus turned where he sat. A figure was coming. Severus could only stare. Was it the grim reaper coming to take him away? Coming to take him to hell for betraying Lily and putting so many young wizards in danger? Was he here...because of Harry?
As the figure came closer, he became familiar. His white robes and silver beard billowed in the slight breeze. Severus couldn't help cringing at the sight of the old man approaching. He felt himself reduced to a mere child as he stood a few feet before him. His eyes were twinkling just as they always did, but he wasn't fully focused on him. He was looking straight ahead. Severus couldn't understand why, unless he was too ashamed to look at him because of what he had done.
"H-Headmaster," he started in a curious, yet serious tone.
"You've managed to make it this far Severus," he said kindly, "But do you think you can take it a step further by providing yourself with clothing?"
Severus was sure his cheeks had flushed. He looked down and quickly bowed his head in shame. He had completely forgotten he was bare. With a strain of some embarrassment, he managed to speak again.
"How...how do I accomplish that, headmaster?"
"Simply imagine what you wish as your attire," he said, still smiling and not looking at him. Severus did just that, imagining his usual black attire. Out of nowhere, several wisps of black smoke began to weave in and around his body, forming into comfortable black robes. When he sensed he was dressed, Dumbledore gazed down and silently watched as Severus felt the material between his fingers.
"Much different from the ones you used to wear," he said matter-of-factly. "Quite comfortable."
"You mean the ones I used to wear, when I was alive." It wasn't a question, but a cold statement left hanging in the silent night. When Severus didn't get a response, he turned to him with raised eyebrows. "I am dead, aren't I Headmaster?"
Dumbledore nodded slowly. "I'm afraid you are. And with that being said, there's no reason for you to be so formal. You may call me Albus, in fact I prefer it, but if you don't feel comfortable with it Dumbledore is fine."
Severus couldn't help studying him for a trick, that this act of kind words was just an act. But he knew Dumbledore enough to know it wasn't.
"Dumbledore, Albus." He wasn't quite sure where to begin. He didn't know what to ask. He already confirmed he was dead, but the news didn't alarm him. He wasn't the least bit scared, in fact, he wasn't anything at all.
"Yes Severus?" Dumbledore urged.
"Where are we?"
"Ah, I believe we are where you wish to be."
"What do you mean where I wish to be?" Severus demanded. "I simply woke up here, in this village."
"But what village is this Severus? Does it look familiar, does it remind you of anything?"
Severus looked around as the houses came into better focus. Now that he mentioned it, the place did look familiar, like it was based on a place he had visited. Then it hit him as his eyes fell on the only house that looked wrecked.
"This is...Godric's Hollow," he said in surprise. Dumbledore too looked at the house.
"I believe it is. And I also belive that is the Potter's home after Voldemort destroyed it. After he tore apart their family. The place where Harry became the 'Boy Who Lived'. And where Lily Potter died, protecting him."
The words hurt like they had never hurt before. Like he was hearing them and seeing it for the first time. Shakily Severus got to his feet and stared. A fresh wave of emotions was stirring up within him and he couldn't understand why. Lily Potter had died years ago, but now it felt like it had just happened-in that moment. Severus didn't know if it was possible for him to cry here, but if it was, he was determined to hold back.
"I know the story," he said with a hard edge to his voice. "But why am I here? I do not wish to be here."
"You've always wished to see Lily again, haven't you Severus? You can't deny that."
"But why here?" he demanded again. "Why like this? Is it my punishment?"
"Punishment?" asked Dumbledore in surprise as he turned to look at him instead. "Why would you think you need punishment?"
"For all the things I have done, obviously. For siding with the Dark Lord. For doing his bidding. For killing Lily," he stopped to stare into Dumbledore's eyes. "For killing you."
There was silence following as Dumbledore observed the pain coming into the man's eyes. "For killing me, on my orders," Dumbledore corrected. "Everything you have done for Voldemort was under my instruction."
"Only after I re-joined you. And then...there was Lily."
"A great mistake. You consider it your greatest."
"Of course it's my greatest!" he cried as the frustration started to build. "If I hadn't, if I hadn't told-"
"Voldemort about the prophecy she would not have died?" Dumbledore finished and questioned. "You cannot place the fault completely on your shoulders. The same outcome may have always happened."
"You can't know that Dumbledore," Severus argued. Without his realizing it, his eyes had become very moist, and his voice was starting to crack. "I was responsible." He stopped and rubbed his eyes, catching the wetness on his fingertips. "Why do I feel like this? Now, after all this time?" He wasn't really looking for an answer, but Dumbledore provided one anyways.
"Because after all this time, you still loved her," he said quietly. "Because you are here, in this place."
"And what is this place?" Severus asked suddenly. "Some kind of hell? A limbo?"
"I think the latter is more suitable."
Severus rubbed at his eyes again. More than anything he felt like an ignorant child. It was taking all he had to keep from falling to pieces. With a great effort, he turned away from the house and focused on Dumbledore. "Why are you here?"
"Because you have just died, due to my mistakes."
"I've made a lot of them Severus, and having you responsible for my execution-"
"You had no choice!" Severus cried, surprised by his need to defend him. "You couldn't, we couldn't let Draco take that burden."
"Yet I am still sorry the burden fell on you," Dumbledore apologized. He talked as if it was he who ordered the snake to attack him. "You have suffered so much Severus, and I was forced to make you suffer more. Can you forgive me?"
Severus once again observed him as if there was some trick in his words. He couldn't detect any. He was honestly looking for forgiveness for putting him through so much; for bestowing upon him the task of pretending to be devoted to Voldemort and being forced to stand aside as he did his dark biddings. Severus had cast aside his emotions in order to play the part. There were times when it was difficult, but for the most part it had always been easy to be cold and indifferent. It was his personality after all. If there was anything Dumbledore should regret, Severus felt, it was the lack of information passed between them. Having to trust Dumbledore blindly about what he was doing with Potter. In all those years, Severus never admitted it, but he had come to see Dumbledore as the fatherly figure he never had. He didn't mind if Dumbledore knew about his feelings for Lily, but he would never let him know that much.
Severus released a sigh and his breath caught the air. "There's nothing to forgive Headmaster," he said slowly. "I, I forgive you. For everything."
"Thank you Severus. You'll never know how much your death has pained me. Murdered for a wand, for power. But you have not died in vain. You were able to give Harry a crucial bit of information before your demise."
"Yes," said Severus bitterly. "And now he'll know the truth, about everything. About his mother, and me."
"Is that so bad Severus?" asked Dumbledore kindly. "I've kept your secret for this long, and since you are no longer there holding it don't you feel a great weight has been lifted?"
"I don't know what I feel," Severus grumbled as his eyes fell to the snowy ground. "All I know is I never wanted Potter to find out."
"Why? Because he'll think differently of you?" he said, smiling. "Was it so much better for him to hate you than to admire you?"
At that Severus gave a weak laugh. "He admires me now I'm sure. But he was so much like James, I couldn't stand it."
"So you in turn couldn't stand him," Dumbledore reasoned. "I've failed to realize how long a school boy rival can last."
"He was also so much like Lily," Severus added. "With his eyes. There were times when he looked at me, it was like she was looking at me...loathing me for what I had done." Now the emotion was forming because of his old student. "I was supposed to keep him safe for her."
"And you've done extraordinary."
"I'm not so sure," he said quietly.
"Well, I believe you can take that matter up with Lily."
Severus's eyes instantly shot to Dumbledore's. "What? You mean to tell me...Lily's, here?"
Dumbledore twiddled his fingers before answering. "Lily, I believe, has always been with James."
It was a crushing thing to say. Severus wouldn't admit it aloud, but his heart had torn in two. Severus turned away and gripped the broken fence post to the Potter house. "But that's not to say she wouldn't come to visit an old friend," Dumbledore continued. Severus's first response was to shut his eyes and shake with fear.
"I don't think,..I don't think, I can take seeing her again," he choked. "Not after, what I've done."
"I think you could, Severus," Dumbledore argued. "You don't give yourself enough credit."
But Severus didn't want to talk about Lily anymore. He wanted to talk about the situation.
"So what of Potter? What must he do to end it?" he forced himself to ask. He felt Dumbledore squeezing his shoulder.
"It is like we have discussed before. He must die. In all the time he had been in hiding, Harry has been collecting Horcruxes."
"Horcruxes," Severus repeated bitterly.
"Yes, Horcruxes. Meant to expand Voldemort's life. But have no fear, I do believe in Harry. They all must believe in him."
Severus was quiet for a moment. Then he opened his eyes and looked around.
"What about me? I still don't understand this place."
"I'm afraid I can not help you with that much Severus," Dumbledore apologized. "I am invading your space which you unconsciously created out of your guilt."
"So there is no heaven for me," Severus decided in defeat. "Only a limbo. An eternity of staring at my greatest mistake." He cast his eyes solemnly to the house.
"Ah, you may be surprised Severus," Dumbledore said happily. "If you wish to leave this place, you will simply have to let go of your past mistakes. And, I think, the best way for you to do that is to ask forgiveness."
"Forgiveness from who Dumbledore?" he asked impatiently.
"From Mr. Harry Potter and Lily Potter."
Severus didn't move. He was staring at Dumbledore coldly. "Lily is one thing, but in case you haven't noticed, her son is still alive. Unless-"
"I believe the moment of his death from Voldemort's hand, will be your opportunity to seek his forgiveness. But only if he wished to come to you."
Severus smirked as if it was the most absurd thing he'd ever said. "Potter has never had a desire to see me. What makes you think he'll change his mind now?"
"Because he is about to see your memories Severus." Dumbledore paused to watch the color leave his shocked face. "He is about to learn what kind of a man you truly are." With that, Dumbledore turned away from him and started for the direction in which he came. Severus wasn't ready for him to leave, but he couldn't think of any reason to keep him here, except that he didn't want to be alone in Godric's Hollow.
"Where are you going?" he demanded.
Dumbledore stopped, then turned and smiled at him. "Where I've been all along. Where you are clearly not ready to go yet."
"But...I don't want to, how do I leave this place?" he asked desperately. "What do I do?" He had never felt so lost before, not even when he was choosing sides. Dumbledore didn't become concerned for him. He continued to remain calm.
"I believe you will figure that out on your own."
"Then what was the point of you coming here? To tell me I'm dead? Trapped in a world between heaven and hell?"
Dumbledore observed the unstable man for a minute before addressing him again. "I simply wished to see you, and to tell you that I was sorry. I know it may be difficult for you to understand. It was for me at first, but then I was greeted by loved ones."
Severus shuddered at this bit of information. Loved ones meant people who cared about him, and the only person who ever truly cared about him was Lily; or so he thought. As much as he would have wanted to consider his mother, he couldn't. She had had far too many fall outs with his father that she barely looked his way after a while. Severus was alone. He didn't want to be alone, but he had to embrace it, just as he had all the years he'd been living.
"I care about you, Severus," said Dumbledore as if he had been reading his mind. For all Severus knew, in this place, he could.
"You're the only one," Severus muttered quietly.
"I don't think that's true," Dumbledore countered. "You'll see for yourself soon enough."
He walked away, leaving Severus clinging to the broken fence post. Severus wanted to shout after him. To say he was sorry or to demand that he stay and explain more, but he didn't see any point in it. He didn't know what else could be said. Dumbledore was walking away, and soon he was an unknown shape disappearing into the darkness beyond. Severus turned and looked back at the house. Part of him was curious to enter it, but another part of him was screaming at him to turn away. Severus did just that. He let go of the post to the house and stumbled a few feet away from the Potter's house. The air got colder, forcing Severus to wrap his arms around himself. The snow continued to fall as if it were part of a normal snowy night. Severus glanced up at it, briefly wondering if he could make it stop of his own free will, however, he didn't try to. The coldness and the darkness surrounding him were, he soon realized, his inner feelings reflected back at him. He understood this when several lily flowers suddenly popped up from the ground, outlining a path into the forest ahead. Severus took one last look at the Potter's damaged house and tried to muster up the words he wanted to say, but he was reminded that she wasn't the only person who had lived in that house. She had had a husband, and a son.
Severus turned away from it and instead followed the path to the forest with lilies growing on either side of him.
Once again, this was inspired by the scene where Harry encountered Dumbledore after getting the killing curse. I just imagined Snape may have a similar experience, only he was dead for real. I didn't find it so hard to write his character. A lot of people tend to get it wrong, but I hope I was spot on. Keep an eye out for repetitive feelings or actions as the story progresses. Every little thing is connected. I appreciate the reviews and will get right on to the next chapter real soon.