Chapter 1 : Answer of Redemption
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This distant echoes of the blood-covered fields sparkled menacingly under the selfish summer’s sun like a rusted bed of nails digging into the skin. The fires still blazed uncontrollably within the deep forest of the once protected Wizarding School as the final few of the wounded struggled to bring peace back to the war-torn world.
He stood in the midst of the fog, surrounded by screaming bodies, yet completely alone in his anguish. The world had deafened him, the nearby sounds reverberating noiselessly through his ears like a tidal wave through the heavens misery. He could no longer feel the pain of his torn skin, yet the ache of the fallen surrounded his heart, covering it with a thick burning layer that suffocated him.
He silently stared at the bustle of the frightened as their blurred shapes washed together as one, no longer separate entities of his eyes, yet mealy a single cry of the broken. He felt himself fall to his knees, as his stomach heaved, yet no sound escaped his dry, pierced lips as he hands brushed achingly against the soiled grass. He could feel the bile burn his throat as he blinked in the twilight, his eyes stinging in the odorous air, his hot tears no longer able to fall.
The shackled rasp pierced indelicately through the muffled silence, the simple words grating the mist and fog, a sound unheard before now, subdued by the terror of the past, deceived by the hidden shadows of the phoenix’s cry.
He glanced over to where he laid, his skin washed in a deep blood as his dark, shallow eyes cried out for his ear.
The desperate words were strained as the shadow of a man weakened in the distant lowering sun, his frail arm reaching out to the once timid boy as he pulled himself to his feet, his own breath echoing through the dimness of the war as he slowly made his way forth, falling back onto the ground as if gravity required his bones, his own distant eyes meeting with the one who had brought so much pain.
His uttered word held the weight of the world within their pools, yet it was a question they both new the answer to, a question that lay hidden through the angst of the long journey through death and destruction.
The man coughed violently, his whole body shaking as his matted blackened hair gripped his torn skin, his dark eyes closing for a brief moment as the silence once again deafened the once lonesome boy. He watched as the mans body heaved, his fists clenched upon the dying grass as pain erupted through his bones.
“You…you do not…you can not…”
His forced words weakened every second as his already pale features began to tinge with the distant colour of the was welcomed sky, his lips numbing with cold as he strained to gaze up at the young man in front of him.
Harry stared back at him, his heart thumping loudly in the silent terror filled clearance, his head refusing to turn from the pleading eyes of the deteriorating man in front of him. He could feel the bile once again rise as the man’s eyes began to close. He knew there was not much time. He could already hear the distant cry of the red flamed phoenix, calling for the betrayer, guiding his path through the roses of the light.
“You…have to understand…you need to know…”
His voice had become almost silent as his eyes fluttered open once more, his gaze pleading, alien to what he knew, yet he could see the story written within his darkened pools, feel the pain that he had felt after the night on the thunder struck tower.
Harry could hear the blood curdling cries of the grieved echo through the air, yet his mind continued to remember, continued to see the vision of the redemption over and over until the faint touch of the wet hand shook him from his deep thoughts.
The weight of the blood stained hand lay still on his tired skin, his eyes pleading as Harry curled his own fingers gently around the mans own, their touch understanding as their eyes fixed upon each other in the dim light.
“I am…I am sorry…Harry…”
Harry softly clutched his hand as the mans eyes closed, his chest gradually slowing as his breath became laboured. He could see the phoenix’s shadow sweep above them as a single tear fell to the ground, a tear unseen for many a year.
“I forgive you Professor”
Harry whispered the words softly as a small tear escaped the eye of the betrayer of Voldemort. Harry stifled his own cry as the phoenix gently rested her chin upon Snape’s weak body.
The silence once again deafened him as he watched his old professor, the one who saved not only him, but the whole wizarding world, take his final breath. His cold hand went limp as Harry’s tears fell upon his body, knowing at long last the answer to his elongated and expected question.
Finally Harry knew the answer. Finally Harry knew why.
A/N: The long debate on what side Snape is actually on allowed me to write this short one-shot. My mind will never be swayed - Snape IS good!!