The Last Hours of Severus Snape

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The Last Hours of Severus Snape

Postby 10thwhovian » May 18th, 2016, 12:47 am

My first ever fic, so I'd really love some reviews. The formatting messed up on the copy/paste, but I did my best to fix it. Some of the dialog is taken from DH. Oh and replaced the two curse words with lesser words. I do try to keep it PG, being that my youngest brother asked to read it as well.

Chapter 1 - Fight or Flight

The headmaster’s office at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was strangely quiet. The gizmos and whatsits that had lined the walls under the last headmaster were gone, replaced by dark tapestries and books of varying ages. The moonlight that streamed through the large stained glass windows seemed to dim, as if the light couldn't penetrate the oppressive mood emanating from the office’s only occupant.

Severus Snape, current headmaster, was standing behind his desk, glaring at the largest portrait hanging on the wall. The painting, set in a thick gilded frame, portrayed an old man, silver haired, with a long beard and half moon spectacles, lounging in a large over-stuffed armchair.

“The Dark Lord has requested that I place one of the Carrows in Ravenclaw Tower,” he reported. “He seems to believe that Potter will return to the castle, soon.”

“Does he, now?” the portrait replied, with a hint of a chuckle.

“Yes, he does.” Severus quipped, “And based on your reaction, you agree with him. What aren’t you telling me? What do you and the Dark Lord know?”

“My boy, I am sure there are many things that I know that you do not.” The painted blue eyes seemed to sparkle with mirth.

“Darnit Dumbledore!” Severus shouted, beginning to pace. “What are you playing at? Why would Potter return to Hogwarts? He’s going to get himself killed! He-”

“Severus,” Dumbledore’s portrait interrupted, the levity of the previous moment vanished, and his face turned serious, almost sad. “You know how this ends. So far, everything is going as planned. If Voldemort is scared, than the plan is going very well indeed.”

“The plan! The plan! And what plan would that be? Your plan to send a boy into the middle of a war, with no help -”

“He has his friends.”

“More children!” Severus stopped pacing, turning back to the portrait of the former headmaster, an accusatory look on his face. “You make me swear to protect the students of this school, while you use them to your own ends! Now, you’ve set this school up to be a battle ground! You sent Potter out there on a suicide mission, and you won’t even tell me what the mission is! I was supposed to protect him! We were supposed to protect him!”

“I’m sorry, Severus. But this is how it has to be. For Voldemort to die, the boy must die too. As for the rest, I’m sure you’ll find a way to protect the other students of our school when the time comes.”

“Darn you, Albus!” Severus sneered the former headmaster’s name like a curse. “I’ll find Potter, I’ll find Lily’s son, and I’ll see that he’s safe if I have to drag him - ahh!” He cut off as his forearm began to burn. Pulling up his sleeve, he stared at his Dark Mark, a ball of ice forming in the pit of his stomach. “Alecto….”

“It appears that your Death Eater has found Harry for you.”

With one last scowl at the portrait, Severus collected himself and stormed out of the office, heading toward Ravenclaw Tower.

The halls were empty at this time of night, but Severus did not run. Quickly calculating the shortest route to Ravenclaw Tower, he ducked into a little used passage. Hogwarts had been his home for most of his life, and he had no trouble navigating through the hidden doors, secret corridors, and moving staircases. He was only a few levels below his destination when he heard the echo of footsteps. He stopped, hidden for the moment behind a large suit of armor, wand already in his hand. The other footsteps stopped as well.

“Who’s there?” called a voice. Severus cringed. Minerva Mcgonagall was one of the last people he wanted to run into. But it couldn’t be helped now, and perhaps the boy would be with her.

“It is I,” he said, stepping into the center of the hall. He eyed Minerva for a moment, taking in her defensive posture, wand at the ready, before asking quietly, “Where are the Carrows?"

“Wherever you told them to be, I expect, Severus,” Minerva replied.

Severus took a step toward her, scanning the hall over her shoulder. Potter was here, he was sure of it, but he was probably hiding under that damned Invisibility Cloak of his father's.

“I was under the impression,” he said, “that Alecto had apprehended an intruder.”

“Really?” Minerva said with feigned surprise. “And what gave you that impression?”

Before he could control the movement, Severus’ left arm tensed slightly. Not much, but he knew Minerva had noticed.

“Oh, but naturally,” she said, her eyes flicking briefly to his arm. “You Death Eaters have your own private means of communication, I forgot.”

Severus flinched internally at the disgust in her voice, but didn’t indulge her with a reply. He stepped slowly closer, eyes scouring the hallway for any sign of Potter.

“I did not know that it was your night to patrol the corridors, Minerva,” he said casually.

“You have some objection?”

“I wonder what could have brought you out of your bed at this late hour?” Severus asked nonchalantly, still inching closer. He needed to find Potter. Needed to get him away from Hogwarts before the Dark Lord arrived. Needed to save him, even if that meant saving the fool boy from himself. Either Minerva knew where Potter was, or she was in his way.

“I thought I heard a disturbance,” She said, voice guarded.

“Really?” Snape stopped, only a few feet in front of Minerva now. She knew. She was hiding Potter from him. His voice turned cold, quiet. “But all seems calm.” Severus returned his gaze to Minerva, his patience gone. He met her eyes, putting a touch of Legilimency behind his next words. “Have you seen Harry Potter, Minerva? Because if you have, I must insist -” He saw her wand hand begin to move, and instinctively threw up a Shield Charm. Her Stunner deflected, and the force of the charm knocked Minerva off balance, but not for long.

With a flourish of her wand, a torch came flying out of it’s wall bracket. The torch became a lasso of fire, reaching angrily for him. He wrested control of the fire from Minerva, transfiguring it into a large, black serpent. She seized control again, first turning the snake to smoke, then the smoke solidified into daggers which she hurled in his direction. Severus used the suit of armor as a shield, the daggers sinking into the breast plate.

Severus could easily best Minerva when it came to strength or even skill, but she had one major advantage. He didn’t want to hurt her. The students would need her to survive the upcoming battle. And while he and Minerva had never been friends, he respected her. She, on the other hand, had no similar qualms.

“Minerva!” a squeaking voice called from farther up the hall. Filius Flitwick, head of Ravenclaw House, came rushing toward them, obviously drawn by the commotion. He froze for a moment as his took in the scene, eyes coming to rest on Severus with a scowl.

“No!” Filius yelled at Severus. “You’ll do no more murder at Hogwarts!”

The suit Severus had been using as a shield sprung to life and reached for him. He shoved it away and took flight, straight up to the ceiling of the corridor. As the suit crashed into the wall of the corridor, Severus saw him. Potter, legs still tangled in the Invisibility Cloak, but unmistakably him. Severus started toward him, when another spell smashed into the ceiling a few inches from his head. Turning, he saw Pomona rushing up the hall behind him. Three against one. He was sorely outnumbered, if not necessarily outmatched. With one last look at Lily’s son, he flew down the hall, into an unused classroom, and out the window.

“Coward!” Severus glanced over his shoulder at the voice. Minerva was standing in the broken window, flinging spell after spell in his direction. “COWARD!” she screamed again as Severus fled into the night. And while part of him fled from her wand, he knew that he was mostly fleeing from the look of sheer hatred on Minerva’s face.

Chapter 2 - Into the Fray

Severus landed with a whisper of robes on a hill just inside of the school's protection spells. Swiftly stepping through the wards, he was grateful that Minerva and the other professors hadn’t thought to change the spell keys yet. Or perhaps they just hadn’t had time. He imagined that they would be evacuating the school soon, if they hadn’t started already. They’d be fools not to.

He turned to stare back at the castle for a long moment. Hogwarts had been his home for over two decades. He should be there, helping with the evacuation, protecting the students, fighting for his home. But he had played the part of Death Eater too long, and too well. He understood why Dumbledore had wanted to keep the details about his death a secret. Merlin, Severus had even agreed with him! But he hadn’t expected the entire Order to believe his deception without question.

He’d spent the last three years spying for them, lying for them, risking his life every day for them, and the fact that they could believe the worst of him so easily was a slap in the face. It was obvious now; they had never trusted him at all. They trusted Dumbledore, despite all his secrets and manipulations. But with Dumbledore gone, Severus was just one more Death Eater. Even worse, they saw him as the ultimate betrayer, the snake in their midst. And he knew that while he fought to keep them alive, any one of them would happily kill him on sight.

The Dark Mark on his arm suddenly pulsed, then began to burn. His master was calling, presumably gathering his forces for the assault. With a last longing look at the castle, Severus gripped his arm and turned on the spot, apperating blindly, answering the call.

He found himself in a large field outside of Hogsmeade, surrounded by a veritable army of the Dark Lord’s sycophants. A group of snatchers was mingling with the other wizards, trading stories and laughing about the battle to come. A band of werewolves, led by Fenrir Greyback, and several giants were standing off to one side, obviously itching for a fight.

Held apart from the rest was a small group of Death Eaters, some still hiding behind their masks. Severus headed to join them when a voice whispered through his mind, through the air around him, coming from everywhere and nowhere.

“I know that you are preparing to fight.” The Dark Lord’s voice was cold, calculating, precise. Severus felt an involuntary shiver trace down his spine.

“Your efforts are futile,” the Dark Lord continued. “You cannot fight me. I do not want to kill you. I have great respect for the teachers of Hogwarts. I do not want to spill magical blood.”

The Dark Lord paused, but Severus knew what was coming next. He also knew it was all a lie. Voldemort enjoyed killing, and his twisted soul would revel in the blood shed this night.

Once more, the voice surrounded him. “Give me Harry Potter, and none shall be harmed. Give me Harry Potter, and I shall leave the school untouched. Give me Harry Potter, and you will be rewarded.

“You have until midnight.”

Midnight. Severus watched several snatchers pull out pocket watches. He grabbed the nearest one by the back of his jacket, plucking the watch from his hand. Forty minutes. He had forty minutes before the Dark Lord would rain NARGLE-INFESTED AREA down on Hogwarts.

Severus took a deep breath, composing himself, before he calmly joined the other Death Eaters. But behind his calm facade, his mind was racing, trying to see a way back to the castle, a way to find Potter. But even if did find Potter, even if he managed to apparate him to safety, the Dark Lord would still attack Hogwarts. In fact, his rage at losing the boy would make the destruction that much greater.

Protect Hogwarts, protect his students, protect Harry Potter… He had failed. Severus was surrounded by enemies that thought him ally, outcast by allies that thought him enemy, and he had failed. He couldn’t protect them all. Whatever path he chose, something would be forfeit. In fact, he wasn’t sure if he could protect anyone.

“Severus?” Lucius Malfoy called, pulling his from his thought. “I thought you would be in the castle?”

Severus pulled himself from his thoughts and turned to face Lucius. He was surprised to see Narcissa standing behind her husband, her face drawn, dark circles under her red rimmed eyes. It was unlike her to allow her appearance to suffer.

“Is Draco still in the castle?” She asked quietly. Her hands plucked at her long black skirt, her voice wavered slightly.

“I'm sure he's fine, Narcissa.” Severus replied. “The professors are probably evacuating the students, or at least shuffling them off somewhere safe.”

Lucius barked out a laugh that sounded more frustrated than amused. “Honestly Severus. You've had seven years with my boy. Do you really think that he will slink off with the little firsties and stay safe? He's foolish, hotheaded, and has a misplaced sense of ambition. Knowing my son, he'll sneak off and try to single handedly detain Potter, all for the glory of our family no doubt.”

At her husband’s admonishments, Narcissa buried her face in her hand, silent sobs wracking her thin frame. Lucius wrapped his arms around her, whispering placations into her ear. The whole while, he stared daggers at Severus, as if this mess were somehow his fault.

Before Severus could conjure a reply, the Dark Lord appeared in their midst. Severus dropped to his knees along with Lucius, Narcissa, and the rest of the inner circle, followed by the other witches and wizards as the Dark Lord’s presence became known. Within moments, every knee in the clearing was bent, and an eerie hush had fallen over the once boisterous crowd.

The Dark Lord’s gaze swept over his flock, a small smile turning up his thin mouth, before his eyes came to rest on Severus. “I expected to see you at the castle, Severus. Having someone inside the wards would have been… useful…”

“I'm sorry my Lord. The professors rebelled. I assume the Carrows have both been incapacitated. I felt I would be of more use joining you than incarcerated.” Severus felt the Dark Lord brush his mind, and showed him the memory of his fight with Minerva, modified to exclude his glimpse of Potter, and to make it look as if he had fought back a bit more viciously.

“I see…” The Dark Lord stared at Severus for a long moment, wand tapping absentmindedly against the palm of his left hand. “Tell me, Severus,” he continued, “did you see Potter?”

“No, my Lord.” The lie came easily.

“Very well. It’s of little consequence. If he is here, all the better. If not, he won’t be able to stand idly by as his friends suffer. He will come.”
Severus hated that the Dark Lord was right.

The Dark Lord turned away from him to address the rest of his followers. “My friends!” He exclaimed with a wide smile. “Tonight, the last vestiges of our opposition will fall! Wizarding Britain cowers at our might! The Ministry bows to our command! And now, Hogwarts itself is within our grasp!”

A cheer erupted from the crowd. The Dark Lord raised a hand to silence them before continuing.
“Very little now stands between us and complete victory. But there is one who stands as a symbol of hope for those who oppose us. Harry Potter.” The Dark Lord spat the boy's name, his eyes flashing with pure hatred. “I must be the one to kill Potter. He must not die a hero, a martyr to be rallied behind. He will die disgraced, begging for his life. And with his death, I will crush the hopes of those who follow him.” His voice had dropped to something between a whisper and a hiss at these words, and Severus watched at the Dark Lord's eyes fell to the wand in his hand. Dumbledore’s wand, he realised with a start.

An almost imperceptible shudder ran through the Dark Lord as he pulled his eyes away from his wand and back to his captivated audience. “Fenrir!” His voice lashed out, and Severus smirked as he saw several people jump.

“Yes, My Lord,” a gravelly voice replied.

“I've heard tell that there is a sizeable population of acromantula in the forest. Take a group of wolves and see if you can roust them.”

“Of course, My Lord.”

“And now…” He smiled, his red eyes practically glowing in anticipation. “Now, it begins. Come!”

With that, the Dark Lord turned and led them to Hogsmeade, down the winding road, past the dark storefronts and shuttered windows. Severus had taken his place at his lord’s side, and he watched him surreptitiously as they walked. He noticed the way the Dark Lord’s pale hand clenched his wand, saw the slight flick of his eyes as they passed the Shrieking Shack, and watched the shadow of apprehension cross his face as they reached the iron gate. He saw it, but he didn't understand it. And there just wasn't time to think on it now…

The Dark Lord reached a hand toward the gates, stopping a few inches shy of actually touching them. His fingers splayed out, and Severus could see the faint shimmer of the wards, stretching up and out like a ripple in a pond. Muttering too softly to be intelligible, the Dark Lord lifted his other hand, walking slowly between the great winged boars that adorned either side of the gateway. After a few minutes, he stopped, obviously finding the weakness he had been searching for. Keeping one hand on the wards, the Dark Lord turned to his followers.

“Take the castle.” He spoke softly, but his voice carried to every ear. “Subdue the students if you can, kill those who will not be subdued. And remember that Potter is mine and mine alone. Capture him if the opportunity presents itself, but do not kill him.” He turned back to the wards, drawing his wand. “Oh, and Lucius, you'll be staying with me. I'll need a messenger, and you won't be of use for much else without a wand.”

Without waiting for a reply, the Dark Lord raised his wand to the wards and… pushed. The tip of his wand dug into the wards, and Severus could see the ripples spread. Then the ripples turned into fine cracks, a spiderweb of fractures emanating from the Dark Lord's wand. Slowly, the wand sank farther into the wards, and with a wordless yell, the Dark Lord forced his wand through the barrier. With an echoing crack, the wards shattered.

Severus grimaced as the Dark Lord stepped forward and pushed open the gates, motioning his followers through. With that show of brute strength, it was no wonder so many flocked to him. And to think that a teenage boy was expected to defeat him was foolishly optimistic. The rest of the Dark Lord’s followers had begun to stream through the gates as Severus stood contemplating the hopelessness of the whole situation.

A hand grabbed his elbow as he was about to start forward. Severus turned and saw Lucius, a look of desperation painted on his face. He gave Lucius a slight nod, mentally adding ‘Save Draco Malfoy from his own stupidity’ to his growing list of impossible tasks. Then he turned back to the castle, melting into the throng.

At first, nothing appeared to be happening. Just the crush of bodies propelling him toward the castle. Then, the crowd seemed to open around him, and the world devolved into chaos. Spells flew in all directions. A wizard to his left went down screaming, his leg shredded below the knee. A curse shattered one of the castle windows, but the glass was swept up before it could hit the ground, forming sharp edged birds that dove and cut and left trails of blood behind. A venomous tantacula flailed thorny vines which bit into anyone who dared get too close. A stone gargoyle leaped onto a black cloaked figure, bearing him to the ground as it’s jaws closed around the wizard’s throat.

Severus processed all of this in flashes. He cast a Protego and watched another wizard fall, sent out a stunner as the ground exploded to his right, severed a vine off a devil’s snare as the giants battered the great oak doors. He hissed in pain as a cutting curse grazed his shoulder, turning just in time to duck a blasting spell. And then with a resounding boom, the doors of the castle slammed open.

An army of statues, stone defenders of the castle, poured down the front steps. One raised an enormous great sword and batted two wizards into the air. A group of five surrounded one of the giants, skewering him on long pikes, bringing him down with a crash. Severus was no stranger to combat. But this was a battle on a scale he had never seen before, and he hoped to never see again.

A line of Order members sprinted out of the castle behind the statues, throwing curses as they ran. The air sang with magic, the sheer number of spells creating a sort of haze over the battlefield. Severus was casting to stun, but he was glad to see that the Order had none of the same compunctions. The Dark Lord’s followers fell to stone swords and killing curses in large numbers. But Severus could see that the Order was taking losses as well, overwhelmed by sheer numbers. He watched as several Death Eaters slipped into the castle unopposed, and had a moment of hoping the castle was empty before he heard the screams begin.

Severus spun toward the doors, just in time to see a bolt of green light bearing down on him. No way to shield, too late to dodge, too late, too late… A stone toad leapt into the path of the killing curse, exploding in a shower of gravel. Severus blinked, and saw the shocked expression on Aberforth Dumbledore’s face before he was lost from view. He blinked again as he watched a suit of armour throw him a salute before diving back into the fray.

And then, Severus Snape began to laugh.

He laughed as he threw a blasting spell that knocked several of the Dark Lord’s followers off their feet. He laughed as he stunned a student out of the way of a killing curse, and laughed as he revived her. He laughed as his Sectumsempra “missed” its intended target and hit a Death Eater full in the chest.

He laughed as he fought his way to the castle.

He laughed as he fought to protect his home.

He laughed because Hogwarts had protected him.

The Order may hate him. The students may fear him. But Hogwarts itself knew. It knew where his loyalties lay. It had seen his tears and his blood, heard his joys and his sorrows. As well as Severus knew the secret passages within its walls, those walls knew the secrets of his life, of his soul. And it accepted him, protected him.
So he laughed. Laughed at the pure insanity of it all. And he fought with everything he had to save the one thing that had never abandoned him.

He probably looked mad, as crazed as Bellatrix Lestrange. Adrenalin coursed through his veins as he fired spells, blocked, dodged, slipped on grass that had turned to mud with all the spilled blood. Time became a meaningless blur of attack and defend. His throat was raw, and his manic laughter morphed into a determined grimace. He had made it just past the entrance hall of the castle, pushing forward despite the ache in his muscles and the blood that dripped from various contusions, when he heard someone yelling his name.

He spun toward the voice, wand raised, a curse on his lips, and pulled himself up short. Lucius was standing behind him, hands raised, unarmed. He cringed away from Severus’s wand, backing into the wall of the corridor, eyes frantically darting up and down the hall.

“Wha-” Severus coughed thickly, spitting a mouthful of blood onto the flagstones. “What do you want Lucius?”

“The Dark Lord. He’s requested your presence. In the shrieking shack. He sent me to find you.” Each sentence came out in a disjointed rush. Lucius may be familiar with torture and massacres, but he never had the stomach for actual combat. He was terrified, and it was painfully obvious.

“Did our Lord say what he wanted of me?” Severus asked, hesitant to leave the castle.

“No, he just… He didn't say…” Lucius was looking more and more desperate to bolt, flinching at every flash of spell light that filtered into the corridor.

Severus let out an exasperated sigh. He obviously wasn't going to get any further information from the man. “Very well,” he said, doing his best to keep his annoyance out of his voice. He headed back for the entrance hall, surprised that he had managed to have that entire conversation without interruption. In a moment of pity, Severus glanced back at Lucius. “You might try to dungeons, or perhaps the common room,” he called over his shoulder. The fighting hadn't made it to the lower levels yet. And perhaps Lucius really would find his son.

He swept away without listening for a reply, back through the entrance hall, out the now charred oak door, across the blood soaked lawn. He swatted away a few roaming acromantula, but was otherwise unimpeded. He stepped over rubble and corpses alike, not allowing his eyes to focus on anything for long. There was no help for the dead.

As he left the castle behind, the adrenalin high faded, and weariness seeped into his bones. His robes were tattered and soaked with blood, mostly his own. There was a sharp pain in his leg from a long gash that he didn't remember receiving. Honestly, he couldn't remember how he had received most of his injuries. He glanced up at the sky, the sliver of visible moon, and realised that much more time had passed than he had realised.

Despite his injuries and exhaustion, Severus made it to the gates swiftly. He smothered the temptation to look back at the castle; it would do him no good to see the destruction behind him, not when he needed a clear mind to deal with the Dark Lord. Instead, he closed his eyes and apparated to the shrieking shack, immediately falling to his knees before his master.

The Dark Lord sat at one of the shack’s windows, staring toward Hogwarts. “Ah, Severus. I see that Lucius was able to find you.”

“Yes, my Lord,” Severus replied, rising to his feet. “But he didn’t tell me why you had called me back? We’ve breached the castle, I had just begun to search for Potter my Lord, their resistance is crumbling —”

“— and it is doing so without your help,” Voldemort interrupted. “Skilled wizard though you are, Severus, I do not think you will make much difference now. We are almost there… almost.”

“Let me find the boy. Let me bring you Potter. I know I can find him my Lord. Please.” Severus stepped forward, approaching the Dark Lord. There was something off to the tone of the Dark Lord’s voice. Movement caught his eye, something floating in the corner of the room. He glanced over, and there was Nagini, trapped in a protection field of some nature. His blood ran cold as he remembered Dumbledore’s words.

There will come a time when Lord Voldemort will seem to fear for the life of his snake.

He needed to get back to the castle.

The Dark Lord stood, and Severus could see him rolling his wand between his fingers. “I have a problem, Severus,” he said softly.

“My Lord?” The question was automatic, his attention more focused on the snake and Dumbledore’s final betrayal.

… Then, I think, it will be safe to tell Harry…

“Why doesn’t it work for me, Severus?” the Dark Lord asked as he raised his wand, holding it delicately, as if afraid it would break.

Now Severus was truly confused. The Dark Lord had called him away from the castle to ask him about Dumbledore’s wand?

… Tell him that on the night Lord Voldemort tried to kill him, when Lily cast her own life between them as a shield…

The memory of the wand’s previous owner continued to whisper through his mind.

“My — my Lord? I don’t understand. You — you have performed extraordinary magic with that wand.”

“No,” he replied. “I have performed my usual magic. I am extraordinary, but this wand… no.”

... a fragment of Voldemort’s soul...

The Dark Lord was back to turning the wand in his hands. He looked almost absentminded.

… Lord Voldemort lives inside Harry…

“It has not revealed the wonders it has promised,” the Dark Lord continued. “I feel no difference between this wand and the one I procured from Ollivander all those years ago. No difference…” he trailed off, but there was something in his voice, something that slithered down Severus’s spine and settled like ice in his gut.

… while that fragment of soul remains attached to and protected by Harry, Lord Voldemort cannot die...

His eyes slid up toward the ceiling, finding Nagini in her enchanted prison. He needed to leave. Something was wrong.

“I have thought long and heard, Severus… Do you know why I have called you back from the battle?”

“No my Lord, but I beg you will let me return. Let me find Potter.”

… There will come a time when Lord Voldemort will seem to fear for the life of his snake…

“You sound like Lucias. Neither of you understands Potter as I do. He does not need finding. Potter will come to me. I know his weakness, you see, his one great flaw. He will hate watching the others struck down around him, knowing that it is for him that it happens. He will want to stop it at any cost. He will come.”

“But my Lord, he might be killed accidentally by one other than yourself — ”

… Voldemort himself must do it...

“My instructions to my Death Eaters have been perfectly clear. Capture Potter. Kill his friends — the more, the better — but do not kill him.

“But it is of you that I wished to speak, Severus, not Harry Potter. You have been Valuable to me. Very valuable.”

“My Lord knows I seek only to serve him.” This was wrong. There was something Severus was missing. His pulse raced, his mind screamed, every instinct told him to run, flee… “But — let me go and find the boy, my Lord. Let me bring him to you. I know I can —”

“I have told you, no!” the Dark Lord snapped, pacing like a tiger in a cage, his eyes red and feral. “My concern at the moment, Severus, is what will happen when I finally meet the boy!”

“My Lord, there can be no question, surely — ?”

“— but there is a question, Severus. There is.”
He came to a stop in front of Severus, pinning him in place with the weight of his gaze.

“Why did both the wands I have used fail when directed at Harry Potter?”

“I — I cannot answer that, my Lord.”

“Can’t you?”

And with that quiet question, Severus knew he would not be leaving this shack alive. His blood froze in his veins.

… Tell him… a fragment of Voldemort's soul…

The Dark Lord was still talking, but Severus was barely processing the words.

“My wand of yew did everything of which I asked it, Severus, except to kill Harry Potter. Twice it failed. Ollivander told me under torture of the twin cores, told me to take another’s wand. I did so, but Lucius’s wand shattered upon meeting Potter’s.”

“I — I have no explanation, my Lord.”

Nagini spun in her sphere. Trapped. Trapped. They were both trapped.

“I sought a third wand, Severus. The Elder Wand, the Wand of Destiny, the Deathstick. I took it from its previous master. I took it from the grave of Albus Dumbledore.”

And the pieces slid into place. Severus brought his eyes back to the Dark Lord, the man who had controlled so much of his life. He stared at his master, and knew why he had been summoned.
“My Lord — let me go to the boy —”

“All this long night, when I am on the brink of victory, I have sat here,” the voice of his death was barely a whisper, “wondering, wondering, why the Elder Wand refuses to be what it ought to be, refuses to perform as legend says it must perform for its rightful owner … and I think I have the answer.”

Dumbledore’s wand. The Elder Wand. Had Dumbledore known - of course he had.

“Perhaps you already know it? You are a clever man, after all, Severus. You have been a good and faithful servant, and I regret what must happen.”

“My Lord —” His protestations died on his lips.

“The Elder Wand cannot serve me properly, Severus, because I am not its true master. The Elder Wand belongs to the wizard who killed its last owner. You killed Albus Dumbledore. While you live, Severus, the Elder Wand cannot be truly mine.”

“My Lord!” Severus raised his wand. He knew it was futile, but he could not stand in the face of death and do nothing.

“It cannot be any other way,” he stated, his voice holding none of the sympathy that his words implied. “I must master the wand, Severus. Master the wand, and I master Potter at last.”

The Elder Wand slashed through the air, and for a moment it seemed that nothing would happen. Severus had a breath to think that perhaps he was the master of the Elder Wand, perhaps the Dark Lord couldn't turn the wand against him. Then he saw Nagini’s cage descending on him, the snake flailing against the sides of her prison in anticipation.

Severus couldn't stifle the shout that sprang from his throat before the spell was upon him, surrounding him. All he could see was scales, slithering around his face, his shoulders. And then she struck. Fangs ripped into his neck, and instantly the venom burned through his veins. The world was fire and pain and scales and blood. He screamed, the sound distant even in his own ears. He collapsed against the wall, sinking to the floor as his legs grew weak.

“I regret it.” The voice of his murderer was cold, the words a lie. He pointed his wand at Nagini’s cage and it drifted away from Severus, floating behind the Dark Lord as he swept out of the room.

Severus struggled against the wall, but his lead weighted limbs refused to work. He managed to lift a hand to his neck, could feel the blood from his torn throat pulsing between his fingers, soaking into his robes, too much blood.

… Tell him… Tell him…

Then, as if summoned by Dumbledore's memory, Harry Potter was kneeling before him. Was this real? He reached out a shaking hand, and his fingers tangled in the boy's robes. Yes, real.

… Tell him… tell him… a fragment of Voldemort's soul… protected by Harry… Lord Voldemort cannot die… tell him…

He tried to tell him. Tried to form the words. But as his eyesight faded, he knew he didn't have the strength left. But perhaps… he could show him.

He pulled at his memories, his life literally passing before his eyes, and forced those memories out to Harry.

“Take … it. … Take … it. …”

Please… A flask appeared in the boy's hand. Severus watched as a wand was lifting, saw the memories gathered from his skin, pooling in the jar, filling it to the brim. It was the best he could do. He hoped it would be enough.

The world was fading, his body numb.

“Look … at … me. …” he whispered.

Green eyes filled his vision. Green eyes… Lily’s eyes… Lily… I’m sorry…

With one last shuddering breath, Severus Snape fell into darkness.

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Re: The Last Hours of Severus Snape

Postby Hermione Leviosa » May 21st, 2016, 10:01 pm

That is great work. Thank you for sharing, 10thwhovian. :D
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Re: The Last Hours of Severus Snape

Postby HackMagicSpells » August 7th, 2016, 3:38 am

Hi 10thwhovian,
Nice reading for the Potter fan and some signs of a budding future writer learning her craft.
I did however enjoy line 16 a little too much when Severus shouted. 'Darnit'. Something more appropriate to Ilvermorny perhaps or maybe the Dukes of Hazzard County!
But don't worry, that's just me casting my published authors eye over it and JK herself makes gaffes but only ones that are left open to interpretation.
Good start and a great Job as they say! 8/10
Magic is joy, joy is to be shared.

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