Chapter 5 : Epilogue
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I was there that night…
I don’t mean I was with the Dark Lord when he knocked on the Potters’ door, no. Would I have tried to stop him, if I had been there? Some tiny – and ever shrinking – part of me, the part that still believes, and hopes, that I can be a hero, would say ‘Yes’. But the truth is, I don’t think I would have… If I had, I would have died too. That’s the price to pay when you disagree with the Dark Lord. You suffer. Then you die. He doesn’t give second chances, except on whim, and when he does, you regret he didn’t torture and kill you. He makes you pay dearly for every breath you take, for every minute of a life that belongs to him.
When you disagree with the Dark Lord, when you fail him, or worse when you betray him, you learn what the words ‘power of life and death’ truly mean.
Note that I use the present tense. The Dark Lord is not dead of course. He ensured his immortality – to some extent.
I wasn’t there, but I know that much. I can only imagine… Potter tried to hold back the Dark Lord while Lily was running upstairs with their baby boy. The fool stood his ground even if he must have known he was going to die. There were shouts, and a first flash of greenish light. One down. The stairs creaked, and the door of the nursery burst open. Two voice could be heard – one commanding, the other pleading. Then those terrible words echoed again in the house: Avada Kedavra!, followed by another flash of sickly green light, and the thud of a second body hitting the ground, lifeless… with unexpected consequences.
I knew there was something wrong the moment I set foot in my ‘master’’s lair that night. The Dark Lord was always there when he’d told you to report to him and he expected you to be there too. I had seen grown man crying and grovelling because they had failed to be kneeling before their master at the appointed time.
But the Dark Lord wasn’t there. And all of a sudden, I knew where he was – and who was with him. He had betrayed them. I knew Dumbledore had made the Potters use the Fidelius Charm. And their best friend – James’ bestman at their wedding and Harry’s godfather – had betrayed them. Obviously, the dark Lord had stated the right price.
I left – I didn’t run, because I didn’t want to raise the lurking Death Eaters’ suspicion – and I sent my Patronus to Albus Dumbledore. He was probably the only one who could stop the Dark Lord. Then I apparated to Godric’s Hollow. However, when I saw the house, I knew I was too late.
Too late for what, though…?
I entered the devastated house. Potter was on the floor, in the hall, like a puppet whose strings had been cut. I look at him and regretted it immediately, annoyed that he had died bravely. It was still etched in every line of his face.
I didn’t waste any more time there. I had begged him to let her live. I called her name, my heart beating deafeningly… She was the only true friend I had, the only person who had been decent to me until I decided to turn to the Headmaster of Hogwarts, the only woman I’ve ever loved.
There was no answer, of course. Except… a baby started crying. I ran upstairs and couldn’t believe my eyes. The Dark Lord was dead – or more to the point, his body was – but little Harry Potter was unscathed.
Then my eyes fell on her. Lily. And it struck me that she didn’t have her wand. Hadn’t she tried to defend her life and her baby’s? I took a step towards her, my heart breaking slowly, painfully, until I couldn’t breathe. Then I heard a racket outside and decided it was best to disapparate.
I left, unnoticed. And I went to the only person who would understand the way I was feeling – the way I’m still feeling. Albus Dumbledore.
The Dark Lord… That fool thought he was going to get rid of a threat and created it instead. If he had ignored the prophecy, if he had not chosen to prove he was smarter than any Seer’s words, he wouldn’t have marked Harry Potter.
And the prophecy would never have had to be fulfilled.
Maybe there was a time when the Dark Lord deserved our loyalty. But he’s far too insane now to even think about the consequences of his actions. Now, he has an equal – even though it galls me no end to say so – and his own personal nemesis.
But then… isn’t the Dark Lord a lucky bastard? Instead of having lots of enemies, his foolish actions left him with only one.
And where does that leave us?
Our fate is in the hands of a one year-old! Of the Boy Who Lived.
I have to help protecting him, of course. Because I made a choice – I am a member of the Order of the Phoenix now. I will do whatever I have to do to honor that vow.
And I also have to protect him because his damn father saved my life, once. I feel compelled to.
But the true reason…
How I hate James Potter! I know I shouldn’t hate a dead man. It makes me feel even more guilty. And guilt makes me hate him all the more. I hate him – I even have one more reason to hate him now: Harry. James Potter won’t be there to protect him. Hence I have to! Even if it’s the last thing I want to do. Life has a sick sense of humor.
I hated James Potter. And I would hate Harry Potter too… if he were not Lily’s son. I must protect him. Lily will never see her son grow up and become a man. Well, if he ever has any chance to become a man. If the dark Lord has his say…
But then all hope would be gone.
If Harry Potter is the only one who can defeat the Dark Lord, then we have to make sure he will.
I, Severus Snape, will make sure he will. And if I have to die, so be it. That tiny part of me will have been right to hope, after all.
I was there that night. And I’ll remember it all my life. Her green eyes looking at the ceiling, unseeing. The determination and sadness still etched on her face. Her wand, missing… And all my dreams, shattered.
A/N: I thought this fic was complete until my friend sagesolon remarked that I could write a last part from... Snape's point of view. And the idea remained stuck in my head. Grrrr! Anyway, here it is... at last!