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Severus stood stock still in front of Voldemort. His master had called him here for reasons unknown, but it was likely to be a reward. Snape had done well over the last few weeks, especially because he had brought his master the news of Trelawney’s prophecy a few days ago. This prophecy had said that a great threat would appear to challenge his master. Despite this, Snape watched Voldemort warily. The Dark Lord was known for appearing calm until he suddenly unleashed his anger on the unsuspecting person in front of him.
Lord Voldemort paced back and forth, before finally acknowledging Snape’s existence. “Severus, you, of course, realise why I have called you here?”
Snape shook his head slowly, continuing to eye his master, and keeping a particularly close watch on Voldemort’s wand. Voldemort seemed surprised at his response.
“It is in regard to the prophecy that you told me about previously, Severus. You see, it has been troubling me significantly. I have had the most difficult time finding the child of whom it refers to. Despite this, I have obtained information that has allowed me to discover who this risk to my reign is...” The Dark Lord trailed off after this. He seemed to be deep in thought, and Snape didn’t dare interrupt his thinking until several minutes had passed.
“My Lord?” he asked hesitantly. Voldemort looked up, as if he was surprised to find Snape there. He stared at Snape for some moments until he finally spoke.
"Yes, Severus, the prophecy. I have found that the danger is the half-blood son of the blood traitor, James Potter, and his Mudblood wife, Lily."
Snape’s heart skipped a beat. His whole world seemed to freeze and all the colour appeared to be sucked out of it. Then, just as quickly, his vision began to swim until he felt as if he would faint. Not Lily. Anyone but Lily. Of all the people that could have been Voldemort’s target, he had chosen Lily. Lily Evans, Severus’s childhood friend. The love of his life. Up until this point, Snape had simply attempted to shield Lily from any Death Eater attacks. Even after she had married Potter, he had continued to protect her. But this was different. This wasn’t a simple raid from the Death Eaters; this was Voldemort, Voldemort, coming after her. Snape knew that if his master targeted Lily, there was no hope for her.
Snape struggled to keep his face impassive and his mind clear. No doubt, Voldemort would endeavour to find what he was thinking. Snape couldn’t let the Dark Lord know just how much he loved Lily Evans; just how much she was his everything.
“Li- Lil- Lily, my Lord?”
As Snape attempted to control his breathing and his mind, Voldemort watched him closely. He said quietly, “No, Severus, the Mudblood has no interest for me. It is her son that I want. Although, in ridding myself of the Potter boy, it would be more prudent to eliminate the rest of the family. They are threats to my cause, especially as members of Dumbledore’s Order.” Voldemort seemed to say the latter more to himself than to Snape.
"But my Lord, surely there are more suitable candidates that the prophecy could app-”
“Silence! I have made my decision. This boy is the threat!” Voldemort raised his hand to quiet Snape. Severus’s heart was pounding. He had to stop him. He had to stop Voldemort from destroying Lily.
“My Lord, surely it would be better to simply destroy the boy. Lil- his mother could still be of use to us. She could surely be entreated to see reason if she saw your power.”
Voldemort stared at Snape curiously. Severus was pleading for the life of a Mudblood. Not only a Mudblood, but the wife of a man Severus was known to despise. “A Mudblood can be of little use to me, Severus. I wish to make a clean job of it, as well.”
“My Lord,” Severus began to beseech again. He had to rescue Lily. Potter and his son did not matter; only Lily did. “I beg you then to spare the mother. Her death is not needed to eradicate the boy. She could be useful to our cause!”
Voldemort continued to gaze at Snape. Severus could tell that underneath Voldemort’s calm façade, he was reading between the lines of Snape’s words. Suddenly, an expression of realization spread across the Dark Lord’s face. He smirked. “Ah, Severus, I see it now. You desire the Mudblood and thus you wish me to spare her so you might have her. You could do so much better, you know, Severus.”
Snape’s blood began to boil, but he kept his expression calm. He did not desire Lily, he loved her, loved her as much as it was humanly possible to love someone.
But Voldemort could not understand love.
"Yes, my Lord, I realize that, but the- the Mudblood,” Severus spat the last word out like it was poison. He had only called Lily a Mudblood once before, and it had been the worst mistake of his life. He had vowed never to do it again. “Is a very gifted witch. She is quite talented with Charmwork, and Potions as well.” Snape couldn’t bear to talk about Lily like this, but he knew he had to convince Voldemort.
"I already have many gifted witches and wizards in my service, Severus. You, yourself, are very useful in the field of potion-making."
"My Lord, I am sure that she would be an asset to our cause! I would be forever in your debt, my Lord. I would be forever grateful. I beseech you to spare her!" The frantic nature of Snape's words was sure to give him away.
Voldemort’s eyes flashed, but Snape's words seemed to finally be having an effect on him. He began slowly, continuing to study Snape, “Very well, Severus. If she does not get in the way of my killing the boy, you may have your Mudblood.” He took one last searching look at Severus, before dismissing him.
Snape quickly strode from the room after his master’s dismissal. Voldemort could not be counted on to spare Lily. He was heartless and cruel and did not value human life. Snape knew that he had to go to the one person who could protect her: Dumbledore.
Severus’s mind raced as he thought of ways to contact Dumbledore. He was a known Death Eater and would have to convince the old man to trust him. From that moment on, Snape knew that he could not continue to support the Dark Lord. He had to protect Lily and the only way to do this was to bring Voldemort down.
As soon as he reached the lawn of Malfoy Manor, Severus turned on the spot and Apparated away. He appeared on an extremely windy hilltop. At first, he didn’t know why he had ended up here, but soon realized that this was a hill near his home, Spinner’s End, where he and Lily had once had a picnic as children.
The wind had picked up on this rise and was causing the branches on a few nearby trees to fly back and forth wildly, like dancers with a drum-beat spinning out of control. Severus still didn’t know how he was going to contact Dumbledore. He just knew that he had to.
His mind filled with Lily as he stood on that hilltop of memories and Snape was assaulted by a remembrance of his childhood. By memories of Lily and him.
As if they were ghost children, Snape could see a tiny red-haired girl giggle as she was chased by a pallid, dark-haired boy, each running around him on the knoll. The boy's face was filled with a grin and a hungry obsession as he ran after the girl. Then, the memory changed to one where the boy was feeding the girl grapes as they laughed, pretending to be ancient Romans as they lay on a picnic blanket.
A small smile dared to flash across Snape's face for a brief moment and it was then that he knew how to contact Dumbledore.
Snape whipped out his wand hastily before casting a Patronus, Lily's smile still burned across the inside of his eyelids. He watched the doe slip away into the sky before sitting down on the hillside.
Severus walked swiftly down the lane in Malfoy Manor. It was near midnight, and he was going to meet some other Death Eaters. Lord Voldemort would not be there. He was out on a mission Snape had not been told about, but Severus assumed it was another Muggle killing spree or possibly the murder of a prominent wizarding family that had been a little too outspoken against Voldemort. It was Hallowe'en and Snape knew Lord Voldemort enjoyed his theatrics.
He was almost to the gate when his left forearm abruptly burst into flames. At least, that was what it felt like. His face contorted into a mask of pain. Snape looked down at it and realized that his Dark Mark was burning. It had darkened intensely, but the pain was receding now. In an instant, though, Snape knew something was wrong. The Mark had never burned like this before. Snape felt a pull to Apparate. Voldemort was calling and Snape needed to know what had happened.
Snape swiftly turned on the spot and appeared in a village. He was standing in front of a smouldering house. The second floor was blown apart. He instantly knew whose home this was. It was Lily’s. Voldemort had gone to Lily’s house this night. Voldemort had somehow discovered where the Potter’s were.
His master was nowhere to be seen, but Snape no longer cared. He no longer cared whether Voldemort lived or Voldemort died or how many people he killed. Because he knew he would not only find a broken house this night, but the broken body of Lily Evans.
No... no! Not Lily... Lily! NO not Lily!
At this, something inside Snape snapped. A gaping hole had appeared in his chest and he knew it would never be filled. It be just a void for all eternity, sitting there, waiting for the love that would never come again. He fell to the ground and wept. Severus wept an infant’s wail and did not seem to be able to stop. Several times he attempted to rise and go into the house to find her body, to see her one last time, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it.
There was nothing left for him now. Snape was broken. The pain that he felt was like no pain he had ever felt before. It was physical, emotional, and mental. It was the ultimate pain that someone can only feel by losing someone that they loved with all their heart.
It was a long while before Snape felt anything besides hurt and despair, but when he did, it was hatred. Hatred and disgust towards the old man that had promised so much, and failed to come through on his promises. Dumbledore had sworn that he would protect Lily, and yet Lily was dead. Lily was gone and there was no bringing her back. Snape wanted to rush to Hogwarts and destroy the old man who had failed so greatly. He would have too, if he hadn’t heard a baby cry from inside the building. He knew it was Lily’s son, Harry. So the boy had survived, but his mother had not. It made him feel a great swoop of hatred for the boy. He lived, and yet his mother was lost forever.
Severus could bear it no longer. He stood quickly and Apparated to the Hogwarts gates. Snape hastily gained entrance to the grounds before sprinting to Dumbledore’s office.
Snape did not even bother knocking as he flew up the staircase to the Headmaster’s study after spitting the password at the gargoyles. He pulled the door open and found Dumbledore talking to his phoenix, Fawkes, looking extremely grim.
“Yes, I would like you inform the rest of the Order that Lily and James have been murdered. Harry survives, but none of them are to go to the house yet. The Dark Lord is gone. After you have finished this, be sure to inform Hagrid that he is to collect Harry and take him to the address I gave you. I will meet Hagrid there. Thank you, that is all.” At this, Fawkes disappeared in a column of flame.
Dumbledore turned to Snape, who was standing in the doorway with all the hatred leaking out of him and despair returning as soon as he heard Dumbledore say those words Snape knew to be true. Lily has been murdered. Snape slumped forward towards the chair in front of Dumbledore’s desk. The tears that had come earlier began to fall down Snape’s hooked nose again. He let out a sound so miserable and pained that it resembled an injured animal.
Dumbledore's blue eyes seemed to flash with a long-suppressed pain, unnoticed by Snape. He ran his fingers down his beard and walked around his desk so that he was standing before Snape. The old man stared down at the young one and suddenly it seemed like Snape had lived many years of despair longer than Dumbledore.
It was here, in Snape’s pain and desperation, that he swore to protect Lily’s son. After all, for Lily he had promised to do anything.
14 Years Later
He stared at the towering beech. The same terrible tree that had haunted him since that fateful day in his fifth year. The tree where he had destroyed the bond between the one person that truly meant anything to him. The beech that caused him to yearn to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts because it was the last subject that he had been tested in before he'd lost Lily Evans's friendship.
This accursed plant that had caused so much pain and was the reason that he hid all his memories from Potter during their Occlumency lessons. Although, it was doubtful the boy would ever have the skill to master the ancient art. How like his father he was...
Growing further disgusted by the tree, Snape spun on his heel and walked quickly away, just as Lily had done all those years ago. The whole in Snape's chest throbbed.
He made his way to Dumbledore's office, pulling floor plans of Malfoy Manor from his pocket. Snape did not bother knocking; the respect he held for Dumbledore did not extend to door-knocking.
Dumbledore was writing a letter when Snape entered. The old man glanced up. "Ah, Severus, welcome. Do you have the papers I asked you for?"
Snape threw the plans onto Dumbledore's desk silently, suddenly reminded of that night so many years ago when he had lost everything in this very office.
"Thank you," Dumbledore said softly. He surveyed Snape. "Is there something troubling you, Severus?"
Snape remained silent and closed his mind. Eventually, Dumbledore ceased his attempts to enter Snape's thoughts. Dumbledore took a deep breath.
"Professor Umbridge trusts you, does she not?" Dumbledore asked.
"She believes she can rely on me for her various potion-making needs, yes," Snape said softly, staring into the old man's eyes.
"I believe that Cornelius will stop at nothing to remove me from this school, Severus. I need to know that you will use your connection to Dolores to aide Minerva in assuring that each student is treated equally. Do not allow Professor Umbridge to lower the standards at Hogwarts," Dumbledore said calmly, his electric blue eyes sweeping over Snape. "I also need you to give me any information on Dolores. Her mindset is crucial if I am going to remain Headmaster."
"So you want me to spy on more people?" Snape asked, raising his eyebrows.
"May I remind you, Severus, that you promised to-" Dumbledore began.
"Of course, Headmaster, anything," Snape said coolly.
"Very well, Severus," Dumbledore said, pressing his fingertips together. "You may go."
Snape's robes flapped behind him as he left the office.
2 year later
Severus felt the life quickly draining from him as Potter took the last of his memories. He felt himself whisper something, but he didn't know what. All he knew was that he had to see Lily one more time. His black eyes latched onto Harry emerald green ones and he couldn’t help thinking that they were Lily’s. Couldn't help imagining red hair falling around the boy's face, rather than black.
Let me die quickly. And I'll see Lily again... Snape slackened his grip and imagined he could see Lily smiling at him, her arms open wide. And then he drifted into the beyond...
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Thanks for reading! I think Severus Snape is one of the best characters ever written and this was such a pleasure to write, although a bit depressing. I hope you enjoyed it. All the credit for the amazing characters goes to JK Rowling! And I know she already described how Snape was feeling, but I thought he needed more of a story.
Oh and please review! Please, please, please review! I really love them! And I promise to respond to all of them. Oh, and while you're being nice and doing me favours, why don't you be wonderful and check out my MTA page, or maybe check out my other stories?