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    Life After Death

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    Jade Hawk
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    Life After Death

    Post by Jade Hawk on Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:41 pm

    Spoiler:

    SPOILERS!!!!!!

    I've never written a fan-fiction story before. I'm always worried I'd ruin the original story for myself, but after seeing a picture of Snape and Lily (from Harry Potter) together, I had this urge to write something. The Snape/Lily love connection is by far my favourite, and although Fred's death brought more emotion out in me while I read the book than any other, the scene where Snape is cradling Lily's body in the final movie was much worse for me.

    I wanted to describe a similar setting to that of which Harry experienced after welcoming death, but with my own descriptions. Harry's place of solitude was Kings Cross Station, and I felt as though Snape's might be the town in which eh grew up. This isn't because he had the greatest childhood before Hogwarts, because he certainly didn't, but because here is where he first met Lily and probably had his most favourite memories.

    ------------------------------------------------------

    Life After Death

    How he came to sitting on a park bench, he wasn't sure, yet this thought was not uneasy and did not faze him. A stream trickled only a few yards away, water sloshing against rolling rocks and collecting sand in its tiny, white rapids. The rocky edge of the stream melting into a soft carpet of jade grass which the bench rested peacefully on. Peaceful, he thought, was probably the best word to describe this scene. There was no breeze, yet the grass swayed lazily and his black robes licked his ankles. He was not sure how long he had been sitting on the bench and staring into the water. Perhaps it was hours and hours, but it could have only been five minutes. This was certainly a strange place.

    Memories flooded back to him, yet the pain did not follow. It was as though each thought was falling into his head like flour through a sieve. Red eyes glared at him and white fangs pierced his flesh. A great snake followed the Dark Lord's footsteps leaving him for dead. Automatically, he raised his hand to his neck, but felt no wounds. His skin was smooth and void of pain. Deciding to experiment, he pinched his left arm, wondering if pain existed anymore. It did. Although his skin remained pale and did not redden at his touch, he still felt his nails dig into his arm. Such a strange sensation, and such a strange place. He could barely remember who he was, but as more and more memories came to him, the more he realized where he must be.

    Succumbing to curiosity, he began surveying his surroundings again. Beyond this stream were fields and hills, some playing host to houses, even a small village, yet there were no people as far as he could tell. He could just see a small park not far from here, but it was empty. He imagined two little girls playing on the swings, but again, this was no more than a distant memory. Mountains stretched beyond the houses, reaching out into a brilliantly blue sky without a cloud in sight. Perhaps clouds didn't exist here. The view was slightly hazy, as though he was staring through heat waves, yet the temperature was ideal. Instead of him discovering his surroundings, his surroundings seemed to be forming because of him and what he found most comfortable. Had he dreamed this place up, or was it based on a happier memory from long ago?

    He turned around in his seat and the luscious grass followed his gaze. A huge, blossoming tree grew before his eyes, yet it had always been there, standing proudly behind him. He knew this tree. This tree was more familiar to him than anything else in this scene, but he dared not approach incase he interrupted the dream, or whatever this was. Was it possible to continue dreaming after death? And his death was violent and he never wanted to die, so he welcomed this peace, but he would not have had it any other way. Somehow, this was right. The tiny pink flowers that nestled on the tree swayed in the non-existent breeze, and although they welcomed him, beaconing him forward, he did not rise from his seat. For the first time, he realized that he was not alone.

    A figure came into sharper focus. A woman. She stroked the tree's large trunk lovingly and sympathetically. Even her red hair was dancing across her back. She was beautiful. He had never seen anyone as elegant and inviting as she. Or had he? Then he realized who she was.

    "Hello Severus."

    He leaped up off the bench and faced her, shock beating through his veins and his heart began to race. It had been so long since he had last heard her soft voice. It was like a song reaching his ears. He had longed to be in her company for too long, so why was he so afraid? Lily Evens walked towards him, but he did not back up. Partly because his legs refused to move away from her, partly because if he took more than a few steps back, he would end up wading through the stream. The closer she came, the more solid her state. Once she was close enough to touch him, she became the most real thing he had yet to see. She smiled, her green eyes shining with happiness at seeing him once more, yet there was a sorrow to them, or perhaps sympathy.

    "I…"

    "Do sit." She continued smiling as she gestured to the bench, lowering herself onto it without looking away form his face. Snape couldn't take his eyes off her, and he was clearly still in a state of shock. But he obeyed and placed himself beside her, perhaps more stiffly than he had previously been sitting. Lily reached her hands out to hold his, and at her touch his breath caught in his throat. Her skin was like silk, pale, but not as white as his own. She squeezed his hands in hers and stroked the back of one with her thumb.

    "You were so very brave, and I cannot thank you enough for taking care of Harry for me. All is well, Sev."

    "I did it for you. Only for you." The thought of Harry Potter forced him remember James, and the thought was like poison, yet Lily's presence dampened the effect.

    "Not for Dumbledore?" Her head tilted to the side very slightly.

    "Albus Dumbledore was a good man, I'll admit that, but you were the better friend."

    "How so? Dumbledore took great care of you. He saved you from a terrible fate, don't you remember?"

    Severus Snape turned his face away form hers, his brows furrowed. "Not entirely. Wise men shouldn't break their promises."

    "We mustn't blame him for that. What happened, happened, and I'm very sorry that it did, for your sake and Harry's." He could feel her gaze on him, although he continued to look away from her. "If you hadn't helped Harry the way you did, the world would certainly not be as it is. He may not have survived."

    "But he's not going to survive, is he?" Snape's voice became gritty with anger. "Like you said, I did try to protect him, but now I have failed and there is nobody to stand in his way of the Dark Lord."

    "I never did see him as a lord. I feel that he does not deserve that title. He is little."

    "The Dark Lo… Voldemort, then, is not little. Have you known a wizard more powerful? Even Dumbledore could not outlive him."

    "But Voldemort did not kill Dumbledore."

    "No, he didn't. I did." Snape interrupted her.

    "Think about what you're saying; you're not going to convince anyone. You know perfectly well that Dumbledore planned out his own death, and you aided him, not in his destruction, but by shielding him from a terrible fate. You did a good thing, Sev, and I'm so very proud of you."

    For the first time since discussing Dumbledore's death, Snape looked back into Lily's eyes. Although she had a concerned look on her face, her eyes were truly sparkling with pride and happiness.

    "But what about Potter? He no longer has any of our protection, and Voldemort has cornered him. Even if Harry has another stroke of luck, how can you be so sure that it will mean the end of Voldemort? From what I can tell, there is nothing stopping him from rising to a greater power again once he has secured Potter's fate as he secured mine."

    "Oh, I wouldn't be so sure." Lily smiled mischievously, her eyebrows raised in a knowledge that Snape knew not. "Harry knows what he's doing."

    "Does he? It seemed to me that he's making things up as he goes along. His luck is bound to run out sooner or later." Snape reached down to the grass and picked up a small pebble. He cradled it in his palm before tossing it into the stream with a satisfying plop. The couple stared at it for a little while before returning their attention to the conversation.

    "Why do you believe that Harry's fortunes are solely based on luck? Had it not occurred to you that Dumbledore might have left him with a plan?" Lily said.

    "I am aware that Dumbledore trusted Potter more than me, but I'm also sure that he did not entrust every detail with the boy."

    "Perhaps not, but he can't have left him blind, either."

    Snape did not have a retort to this statement, so he remained silent. He knew he had to be careful about what he said in Lily's presence, as Harry was her son and he did not wish to insult, nor offend her. He had done that during his life too many times, and he wished not to repeat it now.

    "You sacrificed your life for Harry." Lily said.

    "I didn't mean to die, and I didn't do it for him. Dumbledore obviously didn't realize that his wand would transfer its control over to me once I had taken his life, and no one but Voldemort realized it until the end."

    "I'm not talking about your death, Severus, I'm talking about your life. You could have chosen to lead it in so many other ways, yet you willingly chose to aid in my son's survival, helping him so unselfishly."

    "I did not willingly choose to help Potter. I was very selfish. I did it for you. Dumbledore instructed me those tasks when it came to Potter's life as a tribute to your memory. He is James Potter's son as well."

    "I know you didn't get on with James, and he wasn't the most mature man I had met, but neither were you, Sev. You chose to follow Voldemort, and I didn't want to be dragged along."

    "I know, I know." Snape interrupted her again with frustration of his own past. "I made mistakes in my youth and I would give anything to take them back. I regret my decision to this day."

    "I'm not asking you to regret your life, Severus, but you're right, you didn't chose the best road to take."

    Snape didn't want to fight with her. If this was the only period of time in which he was to be in her company, he didn't want to waste it. He took a deep breath, his sigh calming him down, then he spoke again. "Will Harry live?"

    "I expect so. He may not be an incredibly powerful wizard, but Voldemort has made mistakes too." She raised her eyebrows again.

    "You know something."

    "I might." Snape could tell that she was enjoying being in possession of information that he knew not of, but he waited patiently for her to reveal it to him, if she was ever going to. "Just know that you did not die in vain."

    Snape thought about these words, but he couldn't understand how his death had been a help to anyone but himself, and the only help that it did offer him was some extra time with Lily. Time which he thought he may never have again.

    "You didn't have to die." Snape retorted. "But even though you did, your death aided this world a lot more than mine did. Harry Potter isn't the only one who owes you their life."

    "I did have to die, but my death was no more heroic than yours."

    "I was a coward. I true coward. I feared death more than the next man, and even during life I could never speak of that which was on my mind. Even Harry Potter, son of an arrogant Gryffindor, was a better man than I."

    Lily scowled and when Snape saw this, his eyes widened and he leaned away from her. She was quite fearful when she was unimpressed, but he wasn't sure whether it was his insult to James or himself.

    "You were a coward, that is true." She said, and Snape rolled his eyes at her words. "But fearing death, or even running from it, does not make a man a mouse. Wiser men have feared the loss of their life, but death is one thing that we cannot escape."

    "Lily," a sudden warmth filled his chest as he spoke her name. "I may have feared death, but I did not run from it. I may not have welcomed Nagini's bite, but as I told Dumbledore, I would have gladly offered to take your place. I wish it was me. I wish Voldemort had killed me sooner if there was a chance that you may have lived because of it."

    "Don't say that." Her voice was softer this time, and sadness was heard. She squeezed his hand tighter and Snape started to regret his words, yet they had to be said.

    "I wish I had died to protect you from the curse you faced. When I saw that your home was destroyed, and heard Harry crying from upstairs, I knew. How could I not know? And when I saw you, lying there…" His voice caught in his throat, his eyes glistened and he found that no more words would issue from his lips. He took another deep sigh and looked up into the heavens, fighting back the emotion that threatened to burst from his now heaving chest. He could not look at her to save his dignity, not that he believed he had any to spare.

    "I'm sorry."

    He laughed. "Why are you sorry? You saved your son's life. You saved the lives of all of us, if Harry finishes Voldemort for good. All but mine. You shouldn't be sorry. You're a better individual than I ever was."

    Lily said nothing, but sat on the bench continuing to hold Snape's hand and stared at his face which was now contorted with the effort to remain dry.

    Snape ran his free hand through his black hair, letting it fall in drapes around his cheeks. "I should have done more."

    "You did more than enough."

    "I should have helped you."

    "You couldn't possibly have done so."

    "I should have made more of an effort with Harry."

    "I know Harry is thankful."

    "I should have…"

    "Severus." Lily let go of his hand and brought her own up to his face, turning his head so that he couldn't possibly look anywhere other than her brilliantly green eyes. "I wouldn't have wanted you to have done anything more than you did. You risked everything for me and Harry, and if I had known that you had put your own life in further jeopardy after I had lost mine, I could never have forgiven myself for letting you go through such hardships and turmoil. Severus, I may have died to protect Harry, and yes, I may have saved the lives of many others, but because of the efforts that you made for my memory, I own you more thanks than I can possibly give you. Sev, you did more than enough, and I hate to see you like this. Even when we were at Hogwarts together you stood by my side. Albeit, you may have made some bad decisions, but you were my best friend and I know that you couldn't have done more for me."

    Although Snape heard every word, his concentration could not stray from her hand which was now pressed against his cheek. He touched it with his own and closed his eyes, never wanting to move from this position again. "Then why do I feel as though I haven't done enough for you?" he whispered.

    "I can't possibly imagine, because you truly have." She smiled.

    "Stay with me?" He couldn't help asking this childish question, his black eyes meeting hers again.

    "Always. I'm not going anywhere."

    They sat in complete silence, not knowing how long for. Even the stream seemed to understand that no sound could interrupt this moment. Snape wondered how much Lily knew, not just about Harry's strengths and fate, but about their childhood together, and what he felt after her death. He had no wand, and he had faced the same end that she had, so perhaps he no longer had a patronus to reflect upon his feelings. Perhaps she didn't know. Even Dumbledore was surprised at his unveiling of the truth, and out of anyone, Dumbledore should have known. He watched them grow up together.

    "Do you know why Dumbledore instructed you to pass Harry the Sword of Gryffindor?" Lily said, bringing his thoughts back to the situation at hand.

    "I don't. Dumbledore kept a lot of information from me. I suppose I do understand why, but it did make the task more difficult. I presumed it was to destroy another artifact. He used it on that ring when there are many spells that could have produced a similar effect."

    "Oh?"

    "I know it contained dark magic, for touching that ring was ultimately the cause of his death, so I can only guess that nothing but the sword could destroy it. But why wear the ring when its dark powers were still intact, whatever those powers were?"

    "Dumbledore would not have attempted to wear the ring after he thought it was destroyed. Perhaps he thought the sword would rid it of all powers."

    "I know that is what he hoped would happen, but since then, he seemed to dismiss the ring. If it still contained dark magic, why didn't he find some other means of destroying it, and why give the sword to Potter when he knew that it could not fully rid an object of dark powers?"

    "Some things in life we may never work out, but perhaps it is for the best."

    "I just wish Dumbledore explained more to me than he did. I might have been able to help Potter further."

    "Would you have done, though? Would you have voluntarily aided him further before seeing me again? From what I gathered, my husband and my son meant nothing to you. The only reason you helped Harry in the first place is because I am your friend."

    "That wasn't the only reason."

    "I know, you renounced Voldemort as your leader as well."

    "No, it's not that either. I mean, I did see the error of my ways and I did eventually come to realize that Voldemort's path was not the correct one, even before you di… anyway, yes you are my friend, but I had other friends that I could have helped and didn't.

    "Most of your other friends were Death Eaters. I can understand why you wouldn't wish to help them."

    "I have regrets."

    "Well you shouldn't." Lily sounded like she did as a teenager, with strong opinions and a need to say what was right.

    "But I do! Don't you see, if I had never joined the Death Eaters, Dumbledore might have entrusted me with more information. Information that will have helped Harry more, thus respecting your memory in aid."

    "But it's because you joined them that Dumbledore had a spy."

    "Some help I was. Not that I care about the Weasley boy, but after I caused him to lose his ear…"

    "You what?" Lily looked repulsed.

    "He lost his ear when I was aiming to severely harm another Death Eater. The point is, I might have been able to get away with Dumbledore's death, since he had planned it, but after that incident last July, no one from the Order could trust me, so I betrayed you yet again by losing additional help."

    "Missing your target didn't betray me."

    "But it did! I could have made so many better decisions than I did, but I didn't. All I ever wanted to do was to live my life by your memory, making sure that you hadn't died in vein by helping your only son. I wanted to live my life for you!"

    "But why?"

    "BECAUSE I LOVE YOU!"

    Silence hit them once again like a tidal wave and Snape found himself on his feet. He was breathing heavily, but made no sound and did not move from the mere shock because of what he had just done. Lily looked equally as surprised, but she remained in her seat. Minutes seemed to pass and neither of them moved nor spoke. The only sounds were of the stream, now crashing its tiny waves against the rocks and Snape's breathing, which did not seem to be steadying.

    Lily's voice was tiny. "Sev, I…"

    "Don't." He interrupted her, and at long last, he sat down beside her again. She reached her hand out to touch his cheek once more, but he brushed her aside. Tears swam in his eyes again, but this time, he didn't attempt to control them. They were warm and salty and they trickled down his face, slowly at first, then racing towards the end of his jaw. Finally, he lowered his face into his hands and bawled like a small child. His form heaved as he sobbed and he felt Lily's hand slide over his back, but this did not stop his stream of tears. For so long he had held these feelings back from her, and now they were out there, it was too late. He wished she would say something, but she did not.

    So soft were her lips as they pressed themselves gently against his damp cheek. She did care. Just like when he shouted his confession, he didn't even think of controlling his actions. Holding her face with a soft force, gently gripping the sides of her head, he kissed her.

    Although tears were still pouring from his closed eyes, he leaned his face further against hers, deepening the kiss and feeling her sweet lips touch his own, her hand brushing against his neck. Purposefully, he slid one of his own hands down her back, the other allowing his fingers to intertwine with her silky red hair. Finally, they broke apart.

    "I'm sorry." He mumbled, then forcing himself to look at her, he noticed that she, too, had been crying. Roughly, he wiped his face, clearing the tears as his cheeks flushed with embarrassment. It was not right for a grown man to shed such emotion.

    Lily shook her head and smiled at him, her lips issuing a tiny giggle. It was as though they were both school children again. Then Snape remembered the importance of his actions, and why he had not succumbed to them sooner.

    "Potter." He said.

    "Forget that." She replied.

    "I can't. You married Potter. You chose him over me. I can't."

    "Severus, I had to. I couldn't follow you to the Death Easters, and James… well he grew on me. And I love my son more than anything else, please understand that."

    "I do." And at last, he did. "How long will this dream last?" He asked her. He was new to death and assumed that she could help answer, as she was more experienced in death.

    "Forever." She smiled.

    "But Potter…"

    "This is your life, even after death. If you don't wish James to be here, then he won't be."

    "But what about you? Don't you wish to remain by his side?"

    "I do," she shrugged. "But that is my own doing. You need not think about him again." She seemed so matter-of-fact in her statements that he happily accepted them with no argument.

    "I know you love him, and I accept that. I'm so sorry to have placed you in this situation." Snape apologized.

    "I was in this situation long before now. It is possible to love more than one being."

    Snape stared at her. Could she mean what he thought she did?

    "In life, I must only choose one, and I made my decision, not lightly. Now in paradise, which you must accept, you do deserve, I have made another. Life isn't always fair, but this isn't life, is it?"

    He stroked her face with his thumb, wiping away the tears that she has shred during their kiss. This was Snape's dream, even though he wasn't entirely sure whether he was dreaming or not. Perhaps this state lasted forever after death. How Lily knew details from life after her death, he was yet to learn, but he now understood that death was not the end, but the start to a new beginning. If Lily chose to spend her heavenly outcome with both Snape and James, that was her choice, but he chose his to remain solely with her, and this is what he will have.

    With this understanding, he smiled at her, and she smiled back. Although they still had much to discuss, and had an eternity to discuss it, Snape also felt that they had now settled many of the important matters, and the rest of forever could wait. For now, he would enjoy her company. He was told that there was peace after death, despite his own being so brutal, but until now, he had not experienced it within himself. Together, Lily and Severus stood up from the bench, and hand in hand they walked, passed the Blossoming tree and beyond the misty sight. They had the rest of forever together in each other's eternity, and Severus Snape had found peace at last.




    Running wolf

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