I do not own Harry Potter or any of its characters; J. K. Rowling does. In addition, I do not make any profit from this fanfiction. Huge thank you to my beta Valady and AmyLouise.

Cinderella Man

Yeah, I'm not even really supposed to be here right now,

So fuck it,

I might as well make the most of it. *

Awakening

The moment Lily's green eyes, Harry's green eyes, Severus corrected himself, disappeared into nothingness, he relaxed. Here it was: Death, black and calm infinity. There was no pain, no worries, no duties, no sacrifices—nothing but blackness. Severus embraced the peacefulness readily and dutifully. He had been waiting for it for quite some time.

He was convinced that time was supposed to end in the afterlife, and thus he wasn't sure exactly how long he had been swimming in its all-encompassing blackness. Yet, the moment he felt the first, definite, and outright troubling signs of his returning senses, he knew that he hadn't been drifting there, in that long-awaited sea of calmness, nearly long enough. At least, it wasn't as long as he had anticipated. No peace for me, he thought. Damn, why am I not surprised?

First, he felt a hot, almost burning, touch of hurried fingers on his temples. Then those same fingers ran across his face, and a warm, slightly damp, palm was pressed firmly into his forehead. A moment later, his whole face was covered with cascades of hair, with someone's impatient breath tickling his neck. Somebody was feeling for his pulse, he detected with apprehension. Though he had to admit that a heavy mane of hair on his face felt rather nice. It smelled of a peculiar fusion of rain, smoke and cooking oil. Still, Severus found the scent agreeable and even somehow soothing. It was... homey. The word popped up in Severus' mind by itself and shocked him - Homey? What the heck!

"I think I've got him," a loud, boisterous, and painfully familiar voice finally announced triumphantly. Unable to concentrate just yet, Severus couldn't place the voice immediately. Plus, he had no chance to even try because just a breath later... Hmm, a breath, whose breath? Is it I who is breathing? Severus wasn't sure at all when he heard, "Give me that. He needs it!" and a soft, suffocating mass, which Severus, even in his suspended state between life and death, unmistakably identified as a woman's bosom replaced the curls on his face, knocking that bloody unknown breath right out of his lungs.

At that moment, he understood quite clearly that he had undoubtedly arrived at his destination. He was in his special, very personal, and apparently perverted hell, where all sorts of evil creatures were about to start to taunt him. Surely, elaborated tortures were to follow.

Those dark thoughts didn't last long in Severus' head though, because a millisecond later the bosom's mildly suffocating, yet wonderfully comforting warmth and heaviness were gone from his face. In its place, an ice-cold cloth was rudely slammed onto his forehead. Unexpectedly zapped with pricking coldness, Severus was forced to open his eyes, only to meet the bright and overly friendly brown eyes of Molly Weasley.

Hell! Definitely hell! thought Severus. However, when a second later he noticed the sight of that same comforting bosom heaving enthusiastically right in front of his eyes, and a soft mass of reddish-chestnut curls held by a touchingly ridiculous scarf, his thoughts suddenly changed to, Maybe not.

Molly gently patted his cheek and said, "Welcome back, darling." Then, she turned her face to someone Severus couldn't see and cooed, "Hermione, honey, take over please, Arthur is waiting for me."

At this, Severus uttered a muffled moan of protest and tried to sit up. An excruciating pain rushed through him in an overwhelming tide, and everything went black and silent once again.

* Eminem/Cinderella Man