Chapter 40 : The Jump: Part 3
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Severus found himself spinning, spinning in the air, spinning on the ground, spinning in a hall. Spinning to a soft slow mode of music, the lights were hazy, glowing in the great hall. His hands were holding something warm, soft.
It took a long moment for him to fully comprehend where he was, when he was. He was spinning in the great hall of Hogwarts; the music was slow and dreamy. And spinning with him was a girl; the mask covering her eyes glittered with pearly beads and white feathers.
Dark copper curls were set delicately on top of her head, and spilled down her back. She smiled beautifully, and as he spun her around the emerald glint of her eyes sparkled mischievously.
‘Lily?’ he whispered as she again pressed a hand to his shoulder to continue their dance.
‘Yes Sev, it really is me’ she smiled.
Her dress flowed beautifully about the floor as she spun with him, he caught their reflection in the mirror lining the hall wall, and saw that seventeen year old boy he had once been, his face concealed with the mask of a Doe.
They were alone in the hall, completely alone, the instruments were playing themselves and the orbs of light above them hovered and hazed.
‘Well, this wasn’t at all what I expected’ he said quietly, and he saw Lily’s eyes cloud over in confusion ‘I’ve passed over’ he murmured.
‘I wouldn’t necessarily say that’ she pressed herself slightly closer to him; he gripped her waist as they waltzed.
‘Lily, where are we? What is happening?’ the awe of it was numbing his head, he had so many questions, so many things to say, but nothing made itself loud enough to say in his head.
‘Well we’re dancing, in a place neither here nor there. Nowhere and everywhere at the same time’ she smiled.
Severus blinked, failing to hide his confusion. Lily laughed again, the bell like laugh he was used to, the sound of it put a smile on his face.
‘No matter how hard you try not to be, you can be so silly sometimes’ she grinned, pulling gently at his hair.
‘What happened?’ he asked.
‘People say that the number seven is the most magical number you can get’ she said.
Again Severus was confused, he wondered vaguely if she was being unclear on purpose just to spite him.
‘Come on Sev, put that big brain to its purpose. Your good at potions, puzzles, you know what elements are needed for a reaction to occur, so work this one out’
He breathed deeply through his nose, and closed his eyelids tightly so the sparkle in her own eyes would not distract him.
‘Seven’ he whispered, and then something small seemed to click.
‘Three wands’ he whispered ‘three wands…three people…three wands’ he repeated that over a few times as they spun, producing a distinct image in his head of his final second in the manor.
He shook his head, processing everything in his mind.
‘Three people three wands, three wands three people’
Lily sighed heavily.
‘Not three wands Sev… four’ she whispered, tapping him lightly on the temple.
‘Of course!’ he said, snapping open his eyes and staring towards the stars of the enchanted ceiling. His eyes filled with that sparkle of realization.
‘Four wands! Mine, Hermione’s, Potter’s and the Dark Lords, four wands, with the sacrificial act of three people. Hermione saved Potter, Potter jumped to save the two of us, and then I raised my wand to cast a shield charm too. It makes so much sense now. One act would hardly have made a difference, but three, three acts of sacrifice would do something!’ Lily was smiling at him, her eyes shimmering strangely.
‘This is rare magic, a pure form of magic without wands, without knowledge’ Severus continued.
‘Love is a rather powerful thing as I’m sure you know’ Lily whispered.
Severus stopped dancing, he held Lily’s hands, but his feet ceased to move.
‘It was powerful enough to save Harry when he was a baby, and it was powerful enough to bring you here, powerful enough, to even give you a second chance’
‘Is it powerful enough to stop the Dark Lord?’ Severus asked, his hands tightening around hers.
‘Yes’ she whispered.
‘Is it… powerful enough to…bring you back?’ his broken voice was shaking, it was a question he asked knowing that it would reduce him to a mumbling idiot, but he dared to ask it anyway.
‘No spell, no matter how powerful could possibly bring back the dead. You know that, silly to ask really. Because you’re not dead, not really, you’re just kind of lost. And I’m the one that has been sent to make sure you get back safely’ she smiled.
Severus tore his hands away form hers and ripped off his mask, anger flashed in his eyes, he bit his bottom lip to keep from shouting at her. He stared into the pitiless eyes of the animal mask and let it fall from his fingers, so it dropped silently to the floor.
‘Besides’ she continued ‘I doubt you would want me back now’ she smirked without looking at him ‘it looks to me like you’ve fallen rather heavily away from me’
‘I don’t’ he shook his head ‘I can’t…’
‘Severus’ she stood by him and placed a hand on his shoulder ‘its ok to move on, old cuts they scab and scar, and then scars fade, sometimes they even disappear. Its natural, its the way things should be. But don’t hurt yourself now, and don’t hurt her. I believe that would be two wounds that would never heal’ he could not help but lift his hands to her face and peel away her mask. There was no fairness in not seeing her face, for he had dreamed of it so often, and now here they where, neither here nor there.
As he looked up he saw that they were no longer in the hall, but in a garden, the garden of the burrow which he recognized by the large oak tree that stood nearby, next to an open grave that seemed to be pouring out flames of heat and fire.
‘Do you remember what I asked of you?’ he said, turning to her again ‘that night when I met you at Spinners End, I told you to take every precaution to be safe, to stay alive. The next thing I knew you were…dead… long gone, away from me. That wound has never healed either’
‘I did take every precaution Sev, I took every chance I had, even my own last chance to live, and gave it to my son. I gave everything I had to Harry because he had to survive. Like you have to survive’
He turned away and began to walk towards the fiery grave, the flames enthralled him. It blurred the skyline with its outpour of heat.
‘You have a last chance now, to save more lives. All you have to do is jump into the fire and you can save them all’
‘What if I get burned?’ he whispered taking a step closer.
‘Think of the fire as your obstacle, think of how it will get in your way. If you have the courage to jump, then the obstacle will fade away, just as your fear will fade away’
‘What if I can’t do it?’ he asked with another step.
‘You will not be alone when you get back, you will know how to defeat Voldemort when the time comes’
‘That’s not what I meant’ he stopped at the edge of the grave, he could not breath from the fire’s heat.
He turned and faced Lily, her eyes bright, her smile wide. He could count the tiny freckles that peppered her nose and cheeks. A stray thought hit him then. He thought that if he could just stand here and look at her forever, he would give everything he had, everything he was. But then another thought hit him, hit him so hard that the breath was quite suddenly knocked from his lungs altogether.
Hermione was everything he had, everything he had in the whole world. And she was everything he was. He was not about to give that up for anything.
‘What if I can’t learn… to love… to heal?’ he whispered ‘What if I end up loosing everything again?’
She walked to him and smoothed her hands over his face, sweeping a black lock from his mouth.
‘By returning, you gain everything Severus, you will never loose me, and you will never loose your ability to love’ she raised her eyebrow ‘you could do with loosing a little bit of that pride though’ she laughed.
He smiled; he did not dare show her the wetness in his eyes so turned and choked back a sob that expanded in his chest.
She grasped his hand and squeezed it affectionately.
‘I always loved you Severus, maybe not like I loved James, maybe not how you have loved me. But I have loved you and I promise you that in years from now when you return, I shall meet you as we are now, and we can walk on together’
He gulped as he loosened his hand from her grip. He breathed deeply through his nose and closed his eyes. The heat seemed unbearable, sweat dripped form his face but still he had to jump, into the fire, into hell itself.
He braced himself, the fire licking the grass beneath his feet.
He growled in his throat and balled his fists.
He had to jump, he must jump.
But what strength would be left afterwards, after he had jumped, would he heal from this, would he recover?
‘Severus?’ Lily whispered behind him.
‘Yes?’ he answered to the blistering heat.
‘Don’t you ever let her go’
The earth and the fire called out his name. He closed his tear filled eyes and took a deep breath.
‘I won’t’ he breathed ‘I’ll never’
Jump Severus… you must jump.
He tensed his shoulders, clenched his gut, buckled his knee’s ready to spring. A gust of wind shook through his hair as he braced himself.
Jump the lofty wind seemed to whisper.
Sooooo, there you are my lovely readers. The third part of Jump. What do you think? I know a lot of you assumed it would be Lily in this chapter and you were right. But was it what you expected? I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions! Thank you to you wonderful, wonderful reviewers that never fail to leave a marvelous comment! You know who you are! Thank you!
Oh yes, just to let you know so a little count-down can begin. There are just THREE chapters left, yes, sad but true. Thanks you guys, so much!
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