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The Bravest Man I Ever Knew by Maelody
Chapter 1 : A Prologue and The End: Part One
 
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I'm sorry. I really hate to put this through just for one word, but it was really bothering me how misspelled it was. 

Prologue: 

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This is the story of the bravest man I ever knew. In the least melodramatic way of putting it, that is. Of all the men I knew, not one I have seen ever went through as much heartache, or bravery as he did. This is his story. I wish I could go back and apologise for every word I said to him that was hateful, and every spell my mates and I cast on him. Sadly, it does not matter how many times you can travel back in time, the past never changes.

What is done is done. Time has moved forward since those days, and there is no need to relive them by feeling sorry for one's self, but to remember the good in a person. With so much pain and sorrow in watching the love of his life fall from hating him, treating him like a best friend, and moving on with her life, he finds a way to manage moving on. May a Higher Power be with him and the suffering he endured after the untimely death of the one he loved. Not only was her life taken, but the man who stole her away from him as well, making his entire worth of living utterly wasteful.

Life goes on, no matter. For all of us. Now to move on to his story. Mind you, it is not one of complete heartache and loss: not an everyday silly romance novel. It is the telling of someone who learned what it was like to grow up before his time, and losing the little amount of control he had over his life. Here it is. The story of the man I knew; Severus Snape.

What better place to start than the end?


 

Chapter ???: The End: Part One


November 5, 1981

It was far past midnight now. Severus Snape waited long enough. It was time to see her. With one last look around Professor Dumbledore's office, his sanctuary of the past couple of months, he made his way out of Hogwarts castle. The last hours of moonlight were rather cold, making the grass crisp and Severus' breath visible. He had to move quickly. Soon it would be dawn and people would be out and about to see him. With the current circumstances, he couldn't risk being seen. Going too early was risky as well. Hopefully, now was the best time to see Lily.

Shortly after he was far enough from the protective boundaries of Hogwarts, he apparated, leaving that bit of the magical world behind him. The small pop of his arrival was just loud enough to stir a nest of birds and cause them to flutter about in the early morning, confused as to what was disturbing their slumber. He raised the hood over his head and made sure the coast was clear before setting out into Godric's Hollow. There was nothing out of the ordinary in the little village. That is, if you were a Muggle, things were normal. Severus could see from the very place he stood, the destroyed house of the Potters. 

His breathing staggered the closer he was to his destination, and his feet fumbled as his legs went numb with each step. Not only was the Potter's house visible from where he was, but so was the small graveyard where Lily Potter lay. The sight of it seemed to be several kilometers away, but the walk didn't take nearly long enough. As he opened the gate of the graveyard, a very light amount of snow began to fall. On his black cloak and hood it made him stand out momentarily, but it melted almost as soon as it landed on him.

Since the death of Lily and James Potter, Severus had not been able to make it to their grave sight. He wasn't exactly the most wanted man there either. Next to Black, Severus was most likely the last person anyone wanted to see at the funeral. It was only a minor problem, however, because it did not take long to spot the grave. Once he did, he wished he hadn't. With the amount of preparation he did for hours before coming, seeing the grave still made him crumble before it and grasp for Lily's etched name. 

Silent tears ran down his face and his free hand clutched the dying bits of grass around him. His knuckles were paler than usual from the clinch of his fist. It would be considered unusual behavior for Severus if Lily was still alive, but obviously things were changed at the time being. No words were said. Severus’ head was bowed, his hair reaching the ground. He didn’t know which was worse: having held the lifeless woman he loved, or knowing he would never see her again buried under the mound. 

What he was doing wasn’t exactly sobbing. The past couple of months in knowing Lily’s fate were enough to make him sob for weeks. They were silent, never ending tears. It was the heartache that seemed to be unceasing. Most men would consider themselves blubbering idiots for this sort of behavior, but not Severus. Never in his lifetime would he regret the mourning he paid for Lily. Only, he never really did stop mourning her death.

At last, Severus looked up from his vulnerable position and was able to face the large, white gravestone. His eyes were blurred with the tears unable to pass his vision before falling and working more on staining his face with wet streaks. His thumb on the hand caressing the gravestone traced over the letters of Lily’s name.

“I’m so, so sorry,” he barely managed to say in an audible whisper. Severus traced his thumb over the letter L. “I’m such a failure, Lily.”

His voice broke, but it was somewhat louder, as though he were worried she could not hear him. “I gave up on my life as if there were nothing better for me to do, and you moved on! I should have taken after you! I— I should—I should have listened to you.” He traced over the letter I at the end of the rant and began on the next L. His knees seemed to bring him closer to the stone than before. 

“You were right,” his voice lowered again. “I should never have joined the Dark Lord.” His thumb traced over the letter Y, but he could not bring himself to continue on to the next word. Instead, his knees completed their mission and brought him chest to stone with the grave and he let himself fall upon it. He rested his head on top of the stone and stroked the top of the smooth surface.

“I was young and made so many mistakes, Lily. You saw through them and forgave me for so long, and I blew it all in your face!” He stopped himself momentarily for shouting and then leaned his forehead against the stone. “You were so young—I’m sorry.” A small, thin layer of snow was forming around him and on top of the stone. Severus couldn’t find the strength to care about how cold his hands were, or how hard it was to breathe in the frostbitten air. Perhaps he felt his insides were so cold, the weather was not that much of a difference.

“I never meant for any of this to happen,” he said, clearing his throat as he leaned back to see the whole stone again. “Not to you, Lily. Never to you! When I thought—I did not think the prophecy was talking about your boy. I would have—I should have warned you a long time ago instead of taking it to the Dark Lord. I will do you right, Lily. I promise somehow I will. I tried helping after it was confirmed the Dark Lord chose you and James. I ran to Dumbledore. I begged for him to help! He—he tried, but failed, too. It was only a week after I told him…”

Moments of silence passed again. Severus wanted to say so many things and apologise for everything he ever did, but he knew most of it would be useless. He would never get the answers he needed, and Lily would never be able to accept his apologies again. More birds began to wake and sing around him. He hadn’t noticed before, but there was a soft light all around him now. The snow hadn’t stopped yet, though.

“Why did you put your trust in Black?” he said bitterly. “You and I both knew he was trouble from the start, it was that idiot husband of yours who decided, wasn’t it? How could you fall for that, Lily?” He didn’t want to accuse Lily. It was most definitely Potter’s fault, and he found it hard for Lily to ever fall victim to believing Black. It was Potter that pushed Black’s reputation as good blood, and Lily fell for it and learned to love him as well. Why must Potter always have his way? 

Severus closed his eyes and imagined Lily’s face in front of him. Her image would forever be young and spirited with auburn hair, beautiful emerald green eyes, and the most magical smile any woman or person could ever possess. It was his fault she would be forever stuck that way. Her only survivor, her son, would carry on with her eyes as he grows, but eventually even he will outgrow his eternally young mother. Severus could only hope it was the end of James’ youth for good as well. He did not deserve the chance to surpass Lily in age. Their young boy could not look like James Potter.

“Everyone can’t stop talking about you,” Severus said with the smallest smile on his lips, “only sometimes I can manage your name brought up in conversation. It feels as though everything that has happened this past week was only a dream. Then I wake up and realise that it was all too real. You’re gone and people are remembering your name, not bringing you back to life. Back to me… They talk about your son, too. Lily, I don’t know how he did it, but he survived. The Dark Lord tried to kill him but instead, Harry defeated him. I—I don’t know if that is the end of the Dark Lord or not, though. I thought it was, but Dumbledore seems to think differently.

“Your boy lives on and I hear he is to be raised by Petunia. Who knows what sort of upbringing he will have. In many ways, I can all but hope he isn't a wizard. Maybe then he will have a somewhat normal upraising. If he is—if he is I promise to look after him. Dumbledore has assured me the position as Potions Professor. He won’t allow for me to have the Dark Arts class, no matter how much I ask him, but he is a very wise man.” A door opened somewhere in the village and a large dog started barking. People would be up and beginning their day soon, and Severus could not be around for them. Who knew who would be lurking around Godric’s Hollow so soon after Lily and James Potter’s death. Most likely, whoever it was, it would be someone who did not welcome Severus Snape at all.

“People are waking now, Lily. I have to head back to the castle. I don’t want anyone finding me here, friend or foe. I’m still not exactly welcome around you or Potter. I had to come and let you know though that I—I,” the dog’s barking was louder and sounded closer.

“Jasper, come back!” shouted a young girl, sounding equally as close as the dog. 

“I don’t know when I’ll be back, Lily. Hopefully soon.” Severus said at last. He leaned forward and lightly kissed the engraved name of the woman he never had the courage to do willingly while she was alive, and pulled his wand out. Silently, he conjured a small, golden wreathe in the middle of the stone and watched quietly as it formed. The dog was his timer and by the sound of it, it was time to go. Severus quickly switched over to the other side of the stone and closed his eyes before disapparating. The last thing he heard was the dog’s front paws hitting the graveyard gate and the young girl’s voice.

“What was that?”


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