Chapter 1 : I Thank You
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Disclaimer: The Harry Potter realm owns to JK Rowling and I am but a mere puppet trying to recap what happens behind closed doors.
A/N: First off, I am not a Snape fan, this was a request made by one of my cousins. I hope you enjoy. Reviewing is part of the creative writing process so please review. It's much obliged.
Severus Snape glanced up awkwardly at the ajar doors, gleaming in all of it’s splendor. What did Albus Dumbledore want with him now? He knew very well that the war was nearing considerably and he couldn’t take on any more requests. No. Voldemort would get suspicious if his left hand man delved too deep into the secrets of Voldemort’s success.
“Severus.” the sallow faced man glanced up at the old graying man, his eyes narrowed in confusion; baffled, he was. “Please enter. Lemon drop?”
“No thanks, sir.” Severus replied, walking close behind his mentor. His mind racing for the answer of what is to happen.
“Please Severus, sit.” Dumbledore announced lightly, gesturing at a seat the fully grown man had come to know and love in those uncanny years of teachings and being taught. The graying man took a seat in his chair, half expecting the ramblings of Severus to ring in his ear.
No. Severus this time sat quietly in his chair, arm folded so he could lean his chin up against them. Waiting. Impatiently awaiting what the jovial Headmaster had to say. Waiting. There was a time in Severus’ life where he thought that meant anticipating his every move. Not being the prey, but the poacher. Lurking in the darkness and waiting.
He looked at his Headmaster only to see his jovial expression turn grave.
“Severus. I know about Draco’s mission.” Dumbledore announced sadly. Severus nodded, recalling of telling Albus of such. “I’ve been doing some thinking and research… young Mr. Malfoy is not ready for the burden of killing someone.”
Killing. Death. Severus’ heart leapt to the floor. He’d forgotten about that, Draco would have to kill a person. Not just any person, but Albus Dumbledore. He looked into the aging eyes of his mentor, expecting to see regret for knowing his death was drawing near. No. Albus Dumbledore had expected that his death had been fastly approaching and he was ready for it.
“Mr. Malfoy would live with the regrets of killing at such a young age, Severus… don’t you agree?” Dumbledore asked knowingly as he offered Severus a lemon drop once more.
Severus took a lemon drop from the basket and popped it into his mouth. Tangy. “Yes, sir.”
“So we both agree?” Dumbledore asked reproachfully. Severus nodded, prompting the Headmaster to clasp his hand together jovially. “So it’s settled then. You shall take his place!”
Severus almost spat his lemon drop out at the absurdity of his request. Had he agreed to that?
“Albus? I don’t recall agreeing to such nonsense.”
“It’s not nonsense, Severus. Nor is it rubbish. It is a mere request from mentor to undertaker- colleague to colleague… friend to friend.” Dumbledore eyes the sallow man before going on. “Severus. I’d much rather a refined friend take my life than for someone not ready.”
“Sir, with all due respect, I can’t do that.” Severus declined.
Dumbledore reached across his table and grasped his hands in a determined manner. “Severus, please. I’m asking you… and even at that, I’m not begging you… I’m just determined that you shall. Severus?”
Severus shook his head vigorously. “No!” he erupted, rising to his feet, almost certain it was because of his throbbing temple. The absurdity of it! Severus killing the man closest to him? A man that would qualify as a surrogate father? He wouldn’t dream of doing such a reckless thing.
“Severus,” spoke Dumbledore calmly as he fell back silently into his seat. “I know this predicament I have set you in is not the best of ways to go… but I’d rather you kill me, and know I didn’t die in vain or with regrets. I’d rather have my son-of-figures take my life. Severus, it’s jeopardizing Mr. Malfoy’s life. He can’t live with that burden… as I recall you still have problems living with yourself.”
The sallow faced man bit his lip, recalling the bitter taste in his mouth that had leaked involuntarily as it had countless occasions before. Yes, he remembered. You wouldn’t? A fresh age of fifteen when he’d committed his whole to the Dark Lord- foolish to him now. Fooling him why he was so naïve at that point in his young life- then days later when he’d committed his first killing.
It still haunted him. And the killing didn’t stop there. It went on and on. Killing everyone in his path- in Voldemort’s path- Albus knew how much it killed him inside to take away a person’s life. Why would he ask Severus to do this to himself? To him?
“Severus. You don’t seem to understand how important this is to me.” Dumbledore protested coolly. “I understand how this is asking too much of you, but in return I have done countless things on your behalf… this means the world to me. Please, take this as a last request.”
Never would Dumbledore stoop so low as to beg. Yet he was doing it as they speak. Pleading that Severus take his life. Couldn’t Severus see the pleading in the old timer’s eyes? One last request was all he was asking… to take his life.
“Sir?” Severus asked timidly. He looked at the Headmaster, not afraid of asking this question. “If I may be so bold as to ask… why me?”
Dumbledore merely smiled and folded his hands elegantly across his desk. “You… are strong… quite possibly the strongest person I have ever laid eyes on. Enduring the constant taunts of the ‘Marauders’ in your youth… killing someone at the tender age of fifteen, that pleads for corruption… Keeping your feet planted firmly on the ground, not to be swayed back into the dark side after Voldemort has made it known you as his loyal?
“Severus, you are stronger than any man I have ever met…” Dumbledore cast his eyes astray. “Quite possibly stronger in both wits and endurance than Harry Potter…”
Severus cast his eyes onto the gleaming door, trying to hold back his tears. How dare he make this decision? How dare he think of killing his mentor. After all he’s done… this is how you repay him? Shame… Shame on you Severus Alan Snape. Damn you to hell! Shall you burn in it for all of eternity.
“Severus… perhaps you didn’t hear me-”
“I’ll do it.” His voice quivered.
Severus placed his gaze on the Headmaster and nodded in determination. “I’ll do it.”
Albus Dumbledore smiled proudly and folded his hands across his table once more. “Thank you, Severus. It’s greatly obliged.” But by then Severus had already tore out of the room.
“Erm, Professor Snape, sir-” The sallow faced man heard the oaf Hagrid call.
“Rubeus.” Severus said curtly, not stopping for the likes of him. He tore to his dungeons. How dare he agree to such an idiosity. How dare he agree to killing his surrogate father. How dare he… His father would be proud.
Severus’ lips curled into an unpleasant smirk as the thought of his father, his real father.
The seasons changed slowly for Severus Snape. It was almost to much to endure… anticipating the day of his mentor’s death was not something he had in his original plans. He almost felt dirty for impatiently awaiting the day to come- just to get it over with. He didn’t like killing as much as the next day. It wasn’t something you told people… so he kept it bottled up within himself.
His new post as Defense Teacher would normally be much obliged, however he knew it was just something Dumbledore did to repay the sallow faced man. Severus barely made eye contact with the man. Still quite sore at what his mentor had requested. Had the man no morals? Was he dense in the head? Maybe he was bonkers.
No. Albus Dumbledore was not bonkers. He knew exactly what he wanted in life. He knew how things worked.
It was the night before the raid on Hogwarts and Severus was fidgeting obsessively in his chair in his loft. All thoughts of losing himself in a book was forgotten, he knew it could not be so. One thing kept racking his brain.
He was going to kill Albus Dumbledore.
It was plain and simple as it lay before him. He was going to kill his closest friend in the world, and it would tear him to pieces to do so. Dumbledore was his glue that wound him together. The man that held him together for all those years that he could have just let him slowly be corrupted into the evils once more and go mental.
It was time.
Severus rose to his feet, taking in his surroundings as he walked solemnly down the halls of Hogwarts. It would be his last time too.
“Professor?” a voice asked him softly. He glared at the sixth year. Pansy Parkinson.
“Miss Parkinson, I trust you have a reasonable explination for wandering around helplessly?”
Pansy watched her head sneer. “Yes. I just came back from Detention with Headmaster.”
“He still in?” He inquired. It’s better to apologize than to live life in regret.
“Yes.” Pansy sighed. “See you around, Professor.”
Severus stalked up the halls in silence once more. He was going to miss this place. That’s for sure.
He breathed in the scent of the halls before he knocked soundly on the door. “Headmaster? May I have a word?”
“Come in, Severus.” Dumbledore said with a smile.
Severus Snape opened the grand doors and looked at the Headmaster. Nothing was said for the longest time. Neither knew what to say. Finally Dumbledore rose from his seat and strode over to Severus.
“I thank you.” Dumbledore spoke. “I’ll miss you.”
Severus bit his lip. “Sir, don’t get mushy on me now.”
Albus broke into a smile, sadness steeling his eyes. “Severus… I realize all you’ve done for the good of the school, that will never be forgotten… know that.”
Severus looked at him long and hard. Finally he embraced his mentor in a hug… for the last time. “Albus-” his voice broke.
It’s hard letting go.
The images so vague to him now. Yet they were displayed in his mind like a recording on a loop. Playing the same thing over and over again…
His face twising up in rage…pointing his wand at Dumbledore… seeing solace and rest he’d been yearning for in his eyes… shouting the unforgivable curse at no end. Watching through the eyes of another as the green light emit from his wand and hurdled itself at Dumbledore… He fell that night you know.
The night Albus Dumbledore fell… his surrogate son taking his life… all plastered in the news. Everyone hating Severus… they didn’t know the true story… he was asked to take his life… and now Severus would take that to his grave.
Tears forming in his eyes he cast a steely gaze from the elegant grave of Dumbledore over to Draco Malfoy who also wore a blank expression to the girl standing no more than three feet in front of them eyes wide in fear and joy.
“Miss Parkinson.” Snape drawled lightly. Draco’s eyes rose to the girl immediately. Disbelief swept over him… he didn’t think Pansy would show or want to see him. He was a murdurer.
Snape nudged Draco lightly. “Go, and be quick about it.”
Draco looked up at the sallow and depressed man, appreication in his eyes. Then he ran to Pansy, she ran to him and they met in the middle.
“I thought you’d hate me.” Draco whispered, though it was loud enough for Snape to overhear. The man smiled.
“I thought I did.” Pansy said uncertainly. She shot Snape a look of understanding. Then she fixed Draco with a gaze.
“And do you?” He questioned softly. Ready to back away and respect her wishes if she did.
She said nothing but wrapped her arms around him and kissed him soundly on the lips. Severus watched them from afar. It was nice to know that even in the midst of war love lives on in the unlikeliest of places.
And a smile broke onto his face. He was happy for Draco and Pansy. He was relieved of his duties… and-
“I thank you…” was mixed into the spring wind. The couple danced merrily together, foreheads touching. Severus watched them, not forgetting Albus Dumbledore once.
It was still a long journey before he could be forgiven… or even if the war was over… but the words of Albus would still play in his mind.
“ Quite possibly stronger in both wits and endurance than Harry Potter…”
He smiled triumphantly, for Albus was never wrong.