I have been wanting to write a story about Severus Snape for quite some time now, simply because he is one of the most intriguing characters in the book. However, knowing him with such a complicated personality, it was most intimidating (just like Snape himself) for me to even fathom the idea of writing about him. But still I have to try... I only hope all the Snape fans out there would forgive me if I stumble along the way...

All characters belong to the brilliant JKR.

I only claim the responsibility of my far-fetched imagination...

The Final Forgiveness

"There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love."

Bryant H. McGill

Chapter 1

Hermione Granger

When Hermione finally pulled herself out of the pensieve, the world around her felt completely up-side-down. Snape! Severus Snape! The spy, the traitor, the cold, manipulating, and horrid professor that they had hated for so long, was actually their ally, risking his own life for them for all this time! Yet they did nothing when he was attacked, right in front of them. They watched him die! Tears ran down Hermione's cheeks as she stood alone in the Headmaster's office, Snape's office...

It was only half an hour ago when Hermione began frantically looking for Harry around the Great Hall. After searching up and down the hall for several times she finally realized that he must have gone to find Dumbledore's pensieve. The Weasleys were devastated by the loss of Fred. Hermione simply did not have the heart to pull Ron away from his family. At the same time however, Hermione had a terrible feeling about what Harry would do next. What was Snape trying to tell him? Take it... his memories... to the pensieve? What did that mean? Was that his last minute remorse?

She felt fortunate that the fallen gargoyle didn't even complain as she ran through the steps into the headmaster's office. The office was eerily quiet. The sight of the vacant portraits on the walls sent a shivering chill down her spine. Harry had already left. Where did he go? Looking at the silvery substance in the pensieve, Hermione knew the answer was inside.

And that was how Severus Snape's life replayed itself in front of her, his deepest secrets revealed to her: his love, his mistakes, his bravery, his sacrifice. She wished he could tell them sooner, share with them his burdens, and let them help him. With a heavy heart, Hermione stepped out of the headmaster's office, Snape's office... And suddenly a thought hit her... Harry! He was going to turn himself in to Voldemort! He was going to sacrifice himself!

Hermione ran as fast as her legs could carry her. She didn't see Ron on her way out, and didn't waste time looking for him. She must catch up with Harry. There had to be another way. She would not let her best friend die!

Just as Hermione reached the edge of the Forbidden Forest, a familiar screeching laughter filled her ears. She immediately realized it was a lack of tactic to venture into the forest alone.

Bellatrix Lestrange, wearing the same wicked sneer, was right in front of her. "Well well well... look who's here! Potter's filthy little sidekick, the pathetic mudblood that stole my wand! Tell me! Where is Potter!" She bellowed.

Hermione answered with only jinx and hexes. But Bellatrix nimbly blocked them all and quickly turned from defensing to attacking.

"How dare you! Trying to fight me! I should have finished you off weeks ago, if not because Greyback was begging for a taste of your dirty blood!" Bellatrix screamed in glee as she advanced on Hermione.

The green and red flashes shooting out from Bellatrix's wand were overpowering. Hermione soon found it impossible to block them all.

"Crucio!" Bellatrix bellowed. And a familiar screaming pain shot through every fiber of Hermione's body. She fell hard on the ground but held tight onto her wand.

"Tell me where Potter is and I may grant you a comfortable quick death!" Bellatrix strode next to Hermione and shouted.

"No!" Hermione hissed through her teeth, "Never! I would rather die!"

"Crucio!" Bellatrix yelled again, "you have this one last chance you filthy thief!"

"No!" Hermione screamed in agony, "Just kill me!"

"Oh no..." Bellatrix began laughing hysterically, "you missed your chance you disgusting mudblood! It's not going to be so easy now!"

A purple light flew out of Bellatrix's wand. Instinctively Hermione raised her wand and tried to cast a protective shield. The curse pierced through the weak protection and hit Hermione right in her chest. Hermione felt the every single bone inside her body threatening to brake as her ears filled with Bellatrix's maniacal laughter.

The world caved in around her and Hermione began to fall. She didn't know which was worse, the crushing pain inside or the spinning world around her. Finally, everything went black as she crashed into something hard.

Hermione woke up with an unbearable wave of pain. She was very much sure her body was broken. It took her quite a bit of effort to open her heavy eyelids, and found herself lying face down in a patch of grass. She could see her left arm was bending awkwardly next to her. But she felt a small relief when she sensed her wand holding tight in her right hand. The pain was screaming inside of her. But Hermione smiled weakly. The pain could only mean one thing, that she was still alive, at least for now.

Harry... she could only think of Harry. She must tell someone to go after him, and help him!

Hermione pushed herself up but almost immediately fell when she tried to stand up. The movement however gave herself a chance to look up. Not far from where she was, standing by the lake, was someone she thought she would never see again.

He was dressed in his usual complete black, with a long black cloak billowing in the mild summer wind. His tall and thin figure was unmistakable. No one else could ever look so controlled and mysterious. He spotted her as she moved and began to walk towards her.

Snape! Professor Snape! Hermione suddenly felt a surge of hope at the sight of him. He was alive! Yes! And he was on their side! He would help her! He would help Harry!

With the greatest difficulty she got up on her feet and tried to run. She stumbled again and again but kept on trying to run towards him. The short distance between them became painfully far as she kept falling. To her relief she saw him beginning to run towards her.

"Professor Snape! Professor!" She cried out as she moved closer to him, "thank goodness you are alive!"

As she finally managed to get close enough, she tried to straighten up. Her knees buckled but she was swiftly caught by his strong arms.

"Professor! Please help Harry! He went into the forest to turn himself in to Voldemort! Don't let him die! Please help him! Don't let Harry die!"

It was the last thing she could say before darkness overtook her again. With tears blurring her eyes, she didn't even notice, that the man who caught her from falling, was much younger than she had ever seen him.

Severus Snape

Severus Snape had only recently developed the habit of taking walks by the lake in early mornings. The enchanted forest seemed to be able to offer a little bit more peace than he could find inside the castle.

The castle had been emptied a week ago. All of the students and most of the teachers had left for their summer holidays. But there was still no peace for Snape. The memories, the memories of Lily, the memories of the days they spent at Hogwarts together, as students, the memories of their arguments, the memories of her death, all because of his own doing, haunted him every moment when his mind was not focusing on a specific task.

Life had long lost its meanings for him. The only reason he was still around was because of his promise to Dumbledore: he would protect the boy, Lily's son. That would be the least he could do, yet it would never bring him peace. She would never forgive him. Her son would never forgive him. He would never forgive himself.

Teaching at Hogwarts for the past couple of years had become such a routine. It was a job that occupied his mind, providing him with limited amount of distraction from his own self destruction. That mentality didn't help preventing him from becoming the bitter and angry potions master that everyone, including most of the students from his own house, feared and loathed. Yet Severus Snape did not care. He was not there for others to like. He did not want to be liked. He didn't mind being hated. It was a torture he had chosen for himself, to constantly remind him of his own mistake, the terrible mistake that cost the life of the only person he had ever loved.

His wandering mind was interrupted on this particular summer day, when he noticed something stirring in the grassy area not far from him. At first he thought it was a forest creature coming to the lake for water. But he quickly realized it was a person, a young woman, a young woman that seemed to be wounded! As he began to walk towards her, he heard her calling him "Professor Snape". Yet he couldn't recognize her as one of his students. He remembered all of the students, an occupational hazard being a spy. But this one he could not recall. And upon hearing her say "thank goodness you are alive", he briefly questioned her mental stability. Yet he couldn't help but walking a bit faster towards her, as she was having such trouble standing up.

When she finally got close to him, her words confused him. What did she mean by Harry giving himself to Voldemort? Snape became very alarmed. He was further frightened when she kept saying "please help him" and "don't let Harry die". It was almost as if Lily was talking and pleading in front of him. He had a dreadful feeling that something had gone terribly wrong. Holding the young woman's limp body tight in his arms, Snape began to run towards the castle. He would need Dumbledore's counsel immediately.

What do you think? Should I go on? Yes? No? Maybe so? Appreciate your reviews!