What to do now? It would be so easy to join her in death; I don't even have to think very hard to name the variety of ways. My wand would be easiest, with the same curse that killed her or one of the many others out there that can kill indirectly. Poison is another option; I should have something satisfactory in my stores. That is one of the benefits of being a Potions Master. There are other ways too, and yet I can't bring myself to do it. Suicide is the coward's way out, and I don't want her to think me a coward for all eternity. What happened to the boy? Potter's body was on the steps, easy to find. Her's is here, lying in front of the crib, but where is the boy? Is he actually alive under that wreckage?

Severus moved from his kneeling position by his dead love's body and proceeded to inspect the crib. It was half buried in rubble, and if the child had somehow managed to survive the curse, it would have been miraculous for him to survive being buried in rubble like that. Suddenly, he heard a weak cry, soft and hoarse, as though the voice had cried far too much.

"Help, Mummy, Daddy, help Hawwy! Hawwy owwie."

The child is actually alive, Severus thought incredulously, the rubble buried his cries enough that I couldn't hear them over my own. Distantly, Severus wondered why thoughts of the boy were enough to distract him from the crippling grief that threatened to overwhelm him, but at the moment he couldn't bring himself to care. He had a purpose, a focus, and he'd be damned if he let the boy die now.

Several moments were spent carefully clearing the rubble, ensuring that it didn't collapse further while he tried to free the child. As he worked he talked, trying to reassure the crying child.

"Hush little one, I'll have you out of there soon. Your mother and father aren't here anymore child, they've gone beyond the Veil. Hush child, I promise to get you out of there. I have no idea what to do with you afterwards, but I will find something. Hush child please, I need to focus."

All of this was said in the same low, even tone, and the silky baritone voice washed over Harry, making him feel safe. The man promised he was safe, and he wouldn't lie. Distantly, Harry wondered about his mummy and daddy, and why they weren't talking to him, but that didn't matter right now. He was tired and hungry, not to mention his head hurt, and the man's voice soothed him.

Soon, Severus cleared the last of the rubble away from the crib, and he looked into the wide, trusting eyes of Harry James Potter. Potter's clone, except for those eyes; Lily's eyes. Several bruises and scrapes, nothing severe, but he is probably hungry and I need to put some salve on that scar immediately.

Harry reached up to the strange man in black. He looked so sad; when he was sad, mummy always hugged him and he felt better. Maybe it would work for the strange man too.

"Up."

Severus reached down and picked up Harry, cradling him gently against his chest and ensuring that the boy didn't see his mother's body on the floor. Who's to say he won't remember this at some point? He doesn't need to see that.

Harry nestled his head comfortably against his chest, sighing slightly. If it wasn't for his head hurting, he could go to sleep in the strange man's arms. He felt so safe. As if he had read his mind, the man put some strange stuff on his head, making the hurt go away.


A motorcycle roaring in the distance brought Severus back to his surroundings. He had been standing, who knows how long, watching Harry drift off to sleep, nestled in his arms. The motorcycle brought him back to his senses, and he unconsciously clutched the boy tighter. Whoever was coming for him would want to make the boy into some bloody savior, raising him like a pig for slaughter.

No, they won't take him from me. He's my last chance, the last part of Lily I have, and I'm not going to let him be used as I was, as a pawn in this pointless war.

Drawing his cloak tighter around his body and ensuring the boy was securely wrapped up, he disappeared, reappearing in his living room at Spinner's End. Only one knew where his home was, and he'd be far too busy to look for his errant spy tonight. Tomorrow, it would be too late.

He stumbled to the floor, his normally graceful landing hindered by his concentration on not waking Harry. He rose, looking at the child to ensure he still slept before moving to his sofa and collapsing onto it. He had to plan, had to focus…fake identities are easy enough to create…need to withdraw money from my muggle account at least…glamour that scar and our eyes, possibly our hair…

Slowly Severus's eyes closed, letting him sink into the sweet bliss of sleep for a few hours. His grip on Harry didn't loosen, nor did the boy's grip on his shirt relax. Even in sleep, they clung to each other. They were all each other had left.

That is how Albus Dumbledore found them, coming to see if Severus would help him search for Harry Potter, who was missing. Seeing the two on the sofa, he frowned. Harry was going to Privet Drive. He wouldn't be abused, merely starved for affection, meaning that he would willingly play the part assigned to him and defeat Voldemort. Severus needed to remain free from any emotional attachment so he was prepared to spy when Voldemort came back. It wouldn't do for the two to be together. I'm sorry my boys, he thought, wiping the memories of this night from their minds, it's for the Greater Good.

Harry Potter, age 17, stumbled out of the pensieve. He found this vial of memories in Snape's house when he went to see what was left of the man's home. He had treated him badly, but he had still died for him. Now…now he didn't know what to think.

"Why? Why did you do it?" he asked the portrait of one of the men he had admired more than any other, "Why would you do this to us?"

"My boy," Albus's portrait said, "It was…"

"If you say 'Greater Good' one time old man, I will come into your portrait and strangle you," his neighbor's voice hissed. "I uncovered those memories during my long time spent in this office as headmaster Potter. He had put yours and his into a vial and I chanced to view them. It broke down the block he had placed on my own memories, which I added to that, assuming that you would want my perspective."

Harry looked up at the person who had sacrificed everything he had to help a boy he couldn't even remember he liked. Tears were jewel bright green eyes, and shockingly they were present in painted onyx orbs as well.

"You would have kept me safe." It wasn't a question, but Severus answered anyway.

"Always Harry, always."


A/N: I wrote this awhile ago and posted it on potions & snitches, and decided to upload it on here as well. It's a oneshot, and will always be a oneshot, but I had comments about changing the ending. I considered doing a separate story, multichapter, which will be the same up till when Severus falls asleep. What happens next...well, that depends on if anyone actually would like to read it.