December 31, 1999.

A teen exited from the large purple bus. As his foot left the step, a loud bang marked its disappearance, leaving the street empty of everything but the young man and a cloud of exhaust. A fresh snow covered the ugliness of the neighborhood, dilapidated townhouses lining both sides of Spinner's End. Shrugging a rucksack more firmly over his shoulder, he took a scrap of paper out of his jean jacket. He didn't want to lead anyone directly to his destination so the Knight Bus had dropped him off a ways away, he would hoof the rest of the distance.

He also wanted to make sure he wasn't knocking on the wrong door in this part of town, so he checked the address for the fifth time in the past hour. Puffing some heat between his palms, he jammed them into his pockets along with the paper. Tromping through the snow without hat, gloves, scarf or boots he looked like any teenager you could find in London over school holidays. But he was a wizard and he was searching for a witch.

She hadn't been seen for over a year, rumors surfaced every now and again that she was dead. Other rumors about her being in Rome or Paris, escaping the old memories of battle. But he didn't think so, he was sure she was here, waiting in her home on Spinner's End for the Unbreakable Vow to end its hold. Hidden away to lessen the possibility of using her extraordinary abilities against someone else and lose her life. She had fought so hard for that life.

The last official sighting of Zoe Drinkwater had been at Professor Snape's funeral. She had stood there, robes billowing in a familiar way, as people shuffled by her at the open grave, paying their last, and in some cases first, respects to Severus Snape. He was to be lain to rest, near Dumbledore's grave looking over the Black Lake, only the second Headmaster to be buried on the grounds.

Zoe had shrugged off McGonagall's attempts to console her, accepting only Astoria Greengrass and Draco Malfoy to be near her for any length of time, even so, she never spoke to either, just let them near. Luna and others tried to speak with her, but Astoria would lead them a few feet away and politely explain that Zoe was not interested in their attention. McGonagall still kept a sharp eye on the girl during the funeral, worried she would do something desperate.

The last mourners to pass by the open grave were a line of centaurs, Zoe nodded to each as they bowed their head to her and the Professor. Bane was the last in line, Zoe curtseyed deeply to the head centaur and received a large bouquet of daffodils and lilies from his arms. The crowd could see as he spoke softly to her, as he trotted away a tear slipped out of her stoney mask.

Madam Pomfrey had worked a minor miracle on Zoe's body. Her face had solidified nearly as it had been, her left eye just a little lower and not as wide open, her nose broader and more flat. If she had smiled at anyone, which she hadn't, they would have seen a definite downward pull on her mouth.
But the fact was, her head was still head-shaped, her arm was back in one piece, and only a limp marred her leg. Miraculous.

The tear glinted on her check as she stepped forward. Everyone closed their mouths as Zoe, without introduction or explanation, opened hers to sing:

Nid wy'n gofyn bywyd moethus,
Aur y byd na'i berlau man:
Gofyn wyf am galon hapus,
Calon onest, calon lan.

Prime Minister Shacklebolt's private aide, Rhys Evans, joined Zoe on the chorus, his rich baritone joining her restrained alto. He had tears streaming down his face as Zoe caught his eye surprised at the company.:

Calon l n yn llawn daioni,
Tecach yw na'r lili dlos:
Dim ond calon l n all ganu-
Canu'r dydd a chanu'r nos.

At the second verse, four or five in the audience stood to join voices with the duo:

Pe dymunwn olud bydol,
Hedyn buan ganddo sydd;
Golud calon l n, rinweddol,
Yn dwyn bythol elw fydd.

Hwyr a bore fy nymuniad
Gwyd i'r nef ar edyn can
Ar i Dduw, er mwyn fy Ngheidwad,
Roddi i mi galon lan.

Calon l n yn llawn daioni,
Tecach yw na'r lili dlos:
Dim ond calon l n all ganu-
Canu'r dydd a chanu'r nos.*

As the song faded from the air, Zoe produced her wand. A neat swish-and-flick in the direction of the Black Lake produced a dripping stone, large, flat and shiny black, it levitated above the audience who looked nervously over their heads until it came to rest propped against a large oak. Handing the bouquet to Astoria, Zoe turned to the stone and began to etch it with her wand. When she stepped away, the stone read near the top:

Severus Snape

An engraving of daffodils and lilies covered the main body of the rock and at the bottom a verse:

Yesterday is gone; it is time that is past
Don't let their failure or worries cast
Regrets of the good that we could have done
Thoughts of the battles we lost or we won.

Zoe lifted the stone again, hovering it over the grave. With a swipe of her hand the pile of earth filled the hole, mounding slightly. The stone lowered gently onto the ground. Zoe reclaimed her bouquet and placed it on the stone. She bowed her head for a quiet moment before she turned and strode between the chairs and people. Reaching the last row, Zoe spun in a circle and cracked out of all their lives.

Zoe hadn't returned to Hogwart's for her seventh year, technically there was nothing the Ministry could do to force her to attend since she had already sat her OWLs, NEWTs were not mandatory to leave the school. When the trace was reactivated for witches under 17, the Ministry still wasn't able to find Zoe, leading to the first death rumor. Every few months people would bring her absence up for discussion or interrogate Astoria for information she didn't have. The mystery continued.

And now he was at her door. It was the best kept house on the block, in good condition but purposely left a bit dingy so it wouldn't stand out. There was evidence of a small flower garden laid out under the snow, just waiting for spring to come. He hoped Zoe would be home so he could return her music box and jar. He also was charged with bringing Zoe to the Leaky Cauldron to meet with a couple people and break the vow but wasn't so sure he would be successful at that part of his mission.

His hand was up to knock when the door opened in. And there she was, lovely and surprised enough to drop the things she carried into the snow. "Dennis Creevy? What are you doing here?"


A/N translation of the Welsh song, chosen because it makes me sad but hopeful, I think it would be what Snape would hope for Zoe. And it makes Welsh people cry, which proves that it's a fabulous song.

*I don't ask for a luxurious life,/ the world's gold or its fine pearls:/ I ask for a happy heart,/ an honest heart, a pure heart./

A pure heart is full of goodness,/ More lovely than the pretty lily:/Only a pure heart can sing -/Sing day and night./

If I wished worldly wealth,/He has a swift seed;/The riches of a virtuous, pure heart,/Will be a perpetual profit./

Late and early, my wish/Rise to heaven on the wing of song,/To God, for the sake of my Saviour,/Give me a pure heart./