When I learned of the fate of the Potters, I refused to believe it. When I saw the mangled remains of their house, I lost it. All the rubble and debris of their lives, gone, I tried convincing myself it was just a cruel joke. But it wasn’t. I pushed past James on the stairs to find Lily in the boy’s room, her eyes staring at nothing, her face still radiant, even in death. Holding her close, I let my tears run freely, my sobs inconsolable. The love of my life, dead, held in my arms for the first and last time.
I pledged to keep her memory alive, no matter the cost to myself. I would only be satisfied when I could join her in the afterlife. Nothing meant anything to me anymore, now that she was gone. Not even the fact that her son, who had already been moved to Lily’s sister’s home by Albus and Minerva, was alive with only a lightning-bolt scar on his forehead to mark the great defeat.
Everywhere else in the Wizarding world, people were celebrating the demise of the Dark Lord, his vanquishing by a one-year-old boy. Very few grieved the loss of James and Lily Potter, only caring about the saviour in their son. My grief was not echoed, for no one loved Lily as I did, aside from James. But he, her protector, was also dead; so, it was left to me to grieve for love lost and lost love. The others wouldn’t understand.
As the days grew long and nights grew short, I became numb to the pain, immersing myself in my work, giving out detentions more often than ever before. Students came to regard me as the scariest professor at Hogwarts; I hardly cared until Albus brought me to my senses.
“You must push this to the back of your mind, Severus. It does not do to dwell on the past and what we cannot change. She is gone, but she lives on in her son. He has her eyes, you know,” he said, eyes twinkling when I looked up. I left without a word, retreating to my quarters and my grief.
The boy grew up in Little Whinging, never learning of his true power until ten years later when the oaf Hagrid went to him and told him everything. When I first saw him enter the Great Hall, those piercing green eyes made me pause a moment in my conversation with Quirrell. I was taken aback by their exact replication of Lily’s eyes. It gave me hope yet that he would be like her, and not an immature swine like his father.
However, the moment he sat down in the first Potions lesson of the term I knew he would be trouble. He just sat there, scribbling in his notebook and having absolutely no idea what to do. Just like his father. His complete lack of magical knowledge astounded me, and I knew then he would not be like Lily. And that pained me.
I stood in Dumbledore’s office, having tried healing his hand again. Then he dropped the news I wished I would never have to hear. My face was emotionless, my mind not wanting to comprehend his words about Harry's fate. He would have to die at the right time so that the Dark Lord would fall forever.
Then, I decided to do the only thing I could to help the boy seal the Dark Lord's fate; to keep Lily's memory alive. I stared at Dumbledore a moment before waving my wand and casting, “Expecto Patronum.” My doe galloped around the office once before disappearing out the window in a ball of light. I sent it to a forest where the boy and his two best friends would most likely go to hide from the Dark Lord while hunting his horcruxes down.
He turned to watch its progress before facing me. Recognition dawned on his face. “After all this time?”
As I was summoned to the boathouse, I knew it was time for me to die. There would be no other reason for the Dark Lord to call me to him at this time in the battle. He thought if I died then he would have the true power of the elder wand. It was worth my sacrifice if it meant his death was possible, that Lily’s sacrifice all those years ago meant Harry could finally end the war, forever.
The snake attacked me again and again; I could only think of one thing: Lily. And so while the life was bleeding out of me pulse by bloody pulse, I let my memories go. Harry appeared out of nowhere, with the Granger girl and Weasley boy.
He pressed his hands against the wounds on my neck, knowing all too well himself I was going to die. “Please. Take them,” I croaked out. The memories leaked out of my eyes, tears I was glad to give away. Harry held a small vial to my cheek and captured the silvery thread.
Our eyes met briefly, and with my last breath I said, “You have your mother’s eyes."
And then, I died, knowing my sacrifice would help Harry defeat the Dark Lord and that I could be with Lily, forever.
Some would say I was one of those men who were too busy worrying about the next world I never learned to live in this one**; others, that my sacrifice helped win the war. But none of that matters to me now. All I care about is Lily, and repenting for the way I treated her in our last year of school. She deserved more than I could ever give her in that life; so I’m making up for it now, in the afterlife. And it feels right, to love her now, as I’ve always done.
A/N: And that’s it! This was my first time ever writing something like this, especially Snape. So please, leave a review, I’d like to know what you think of it! Keep in mind this was for a challenge though. xx
*Lines taken from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 movie. Lines belong to Warner Brothers.
**Quote from Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’