ONE LIFE TO LIVE

BY : Mistress
Category: Harry Potter > Het - Male/Female > Snape/Hermione
Dragon prints: 729
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or any of the characters. Nor do I make any money off of writing in here.

                                                                                          CHAPTER ONE

                                                                                              SEVERUS

I face HIM for the last time. He looks at me, his eyes empty and cold.

– “The elder wand cannot truly serve me since I am not its true master. It serves to the wizard who killed its previous owner. You killed Dumbledore Severus and that’s why it can’t fully belong to be while you’re still alive. You’ve been a good and loyal servant Severus, but only I can live forever.”

- “My Lord” I manage to say, before the sharp end of his wand slashes my throat.

- “Nagini, Kill” he commands and the next thing I feel are sharp venomous fangs stab my neck over and over again, till he finally tells her to stop and walks away, leaving me on my own in my last moments. I feel weak… very weak, poison from Nagini’s fangs travels through my veins. My chest contracts and I start feeling the sounds of my beating heart in my ears. Subconsciously, I start wondering if this is finally the end. But it can’t be, not yet. My brother is alive, therefore I am still breathing.

Suddenly, I see Potter. No, not just him, he’s there with her. Why did he drag her here? I try to say something spiteful, but my throat hurts too much. I can see him saying something, but I can’t make up the words. Damn him, he looks so much like his father. Lily’s eyes on James’ face.

I feel my heart rate slowing down. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe my brother is dead too and those are my last moments. For some reason, I don’t want to go without showing Potter the truth about his mother and me. When did I get so sentimental? I put my hand on his cheek and see her in his eyes. My words repeat something that he probably heard a hundred times over, since the day he arrived in Wizarding world.

I’m sorry, Lily. This is the last thing I can do for you. In my moment of weakness, I choose some of my memories and give it to him willingly. What is the point of holding on to them if I won’t see him again?

He collects them and rans off. Figures… there’s nothing there in him from you Lily, but the eyes.

Gathering my last strength, I turn my head to her. She is still there. Why? Tears in her eyes. Don’t waste them on me, you foolish child. Go save your life, find a good place to hide. You’ve done enough for them already. You saved their miserable lives more times than possibly imaginable. Not only theirs, mine too. Gods. That night. Will I ever forget? You’ve helped when no one would. I wish I could still protect you, but I can’t. I’m too weak.

I try to keep my eyes open for as long as I can, but it’s difficult. Darkness is falling on me. My last moments are filled with her presence. I can feel her hands on me. Little palms stroking my face. – “I know it was you. It must have been. I can feel it. Forgive me for not figuring it out earlier” she says, but I can’t tell her anything, can’t even open my eyes anymore. Gods, how I wish it was all different.

“Rest now” she says. “I will help Harry and return for you. I’ll tell him what you did for us. What you were always doing for us. I will make him see, I promise.”

NO. NO. I want to scream. Don’t go there. You’ll get yourself killed. Please. Please. Not you. Not again. Let him deal with the Dark Lord. For once in your life, just stay away.

Last touch of her fingers brushes my cheek and she leaves. I feel the last beat of my heart before it stops. Then… Nothing. Darkness. Emptiness. In few moments time, it clears and I am looking at myself. My body, on the floor of this God’s forsaken Shrieking Shack. Why am I still here? Wasn’t all the pain and suffering enough? Wasn’t loosing people I loved enough? Why can’t I move on?

I’m not having any hopes to go to heaven, but at this point ether way would be good. Instead, I am stuck between who knows what. What am I supposed to do? Suddenly, I’m blinded by a bright light. All the pain that I felt returns to me. I feel familiar pounding I my ears. The sound is weak, but it’s getting louder. Pain. So much pain. My senses return. Coopery taste of blood in my mouth.

How? How can it be? I know how. My brother is still breathing, therefore I am too. Darn it. My life is still not my own. My whole body jerks in spasms like someone jump starts my heart with a series of electro shocks. My lungs fill up with air again.  I try to move my fingers and I can. Yes, good. I forget about the pain. The only thing I want to do is run to her. Save her like she saved me.

I try to get up, but I’m still weak. I try again and feel a sharp stab of pain shooting through my neck. Paralyzing, all consuming pain. Damn. I lay still for a few minutes before making another attempt to move. Slowly, my fingers reach to my wand pocket, but my wand is not there. Bastard must have taken it with him as a souvenir. Now what am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to get to her if I can’t even get up?

The only choice I’m left with is to wait. I open my eyes and try to steady my breathing. It’s erratic and unstable, but it’s there. I have to get hold of my senses. Some time passes before I finally succeed. Pain is still there, but it subsides.

Maybe if I take my other form, it will be easier to move. I try to transform, but nothing happens. Damn it. I need more time. Not knowing if I still have it, I wait. For all I know she might be dead already, but what choice do I have? I can’t give up. Hope is all I have at this point. Hope. Hope is nothing. After all, it was all I had for many years and how did it play out for me? I try not to think about it, but memories flood my mind.

The more I think of them, the more painful they get. I feel anger washing over me like a wave. Why couldn’t he just let me die? Why condemn me to a life of suffering? Damn you, brother. If we are somehow to survive all this madness, I’ll strangle him with my own hands. Anger pushes me to try again and I feel my body going through a transformation. It hurts like hell, but it works.

I allow a few more moments to pass before I open my eyes. I feel better now. More alert. My feline senses are kicking in. Good. I sniff the air around me. Death. I can feel its smell all over this place and outside of it too. Now if only I could get out here, before it’s too late.

Muscles are week, but I will myself to stand up. Slowly, one foot in front of the other I move forward. Pain shoots through me with every step I take, but I can’t stop. It might be too late already, but I’ll be damned if I don’t try. She doesn’t deserve this. None of them do, even Potter. They’re just kids. They deserve a chance. I have to go faster. I try and… fail.

My legs give out and I hit the ground. I feel blood pouring out my wounds again. Damn it. And I thought it would be easier this way. It appears that I need more time, but I can’t have someone find me. Not like this. I have to apparate. Would be easier with my wand, but… Excruciating pain shoots through me as I take my human form back. I try to stay focused, I close my eyes and breathe deeply, hoping for it to go away, but the darkness dawns on me once again and I pass out.

Some time passes before I’m able to feel again. I open up my eyes and move my hand up to feel my neck. There’s an open wound, but it feels as though it's starting to close. I feel more energy than before. My brother must have taken the potion. Finally. Took him long enough. My body feels stronger. I know that it’s just a temporary relief, but it’s all I need at the moment.

I take a deep breath and mentally prepare myself for another stab of pain, but instead I am able to get hold of my magic and apparate safely and almost painlessly in the middle of battlefield. I look around and see Potter and the Dark Lord. Deadly streams of magic shooting from both sides of their wands and collide in the middle. I turn my head and there she is. By his side as usual. Weasley is there also. Brave lad. Not too bright, but brave nevertheless. A real Gryffindor.

I take another look at her. She’s beaten up. God only knows how she is still able to stand. Potter’s scream fills my ears, as he desperately tries to push further to defeat the Dark Lord, but his magic is just not strong enough. I have to help. If I won’t, the Dark Lord wins and none of us will be safe. I do the only thing I am left with, considering I don’t’ have my wand. I transform to my other form and feel a stab of pain shooting through my body. Damn, the potion is starting to wear off.

My transformation is enough to get the Dark Lord’s attention. He looks at me with hate – “Traitor. I should have known it was you from the beginning. How are you still alive? No matter, I’ll deal with you as soon as I am done with this scum.” He takes another step towards Potter. The magic stream from his wand is overpowering the one from Potter’s. I hear his laugh. This is it. The moment of truth.

I shut my eyes for a brief moment and when I open them again, everything starts moving in slow motion. Or maybe it is me who’s moving too fast. My senses are stronger than in my human form. I see Lucius rise up from the ground. Draco is there with him. He cries over Narcissa’s dead body. Lucius looks like he’s about to cry himself. He throws me a desperate look and shakes his head in silent pleading to not go with my plan, but I can’t let HIM win. I gather all my rage, forgetting everything around me. Noting exists except the target in front of me. Adrenalin stops the pain. I bare my fangs and… jump.

I manage to knock him off his feet and the stream of magic from his wand disappears. He tries to shield himself from me, but needs a moment to regain his strength. This moment is all I need. My senses are on the overdrive. All I see is the vain on his neck. One bite into it and he’s gone. He tries to mutter a spell, but I’m quicker. My fangs reach the flesh of his throat at the same time as Potter’s spell reaches his chest.

I can feel his body getting weaker and I am finally able to unclench my jaws. As I do, I see him staring at me hatefully. With his last breath, he lifts his hand and mutters Sectumsempra, sending one last curse at his arch enemy before his eyes close forever. Potter doesn’t expect it and dodges it clumsily. The next thing I hear, is her scream.

Somehow Potter manages to send the spell flying to his right side and it smashes into her with full force. No. Just when I thought it was over. I watch her body fall to the ground, but Potter doesn’t see it. He is too busy watching me. I change into my human form in front of him and run to her. He knows now. Everyone does, but I don’t care.

I take her body into my arms. God, let her be breathing. Please. If only a few more times, then I can still save her. This is all too familiar. I hold my breath and block all the sounds around me. Please, just breathe. I hear something. Barely there, but that’s enough for now. Without hesitation, I pick up a sharp piece of metal and cut my wrist, then do the same to hers.

Concentrating, I say the spell out loud and join our hands, letting our blood mix. The spell is strong, it lifts her up, but I keep holding on to her body as if my life depends on it. The next moment, I watch deep cuts on her chest and hands disappear. Thank God. The spell worked. She’s breathing.

Suddenly, I start hearing noises around me again. Voices. Potter keeps asking me what happened, but I don’t answer. I keep holding on to her. I need to get her out of here. Someplace safe where she can get better. His voice annoys me and I waive him off without answering. I hear another voice. It sounds louder than all others. I look up and see Draco. His eyes are red. He’s crying. – “Murderer. You killed him. I hate you.”

- “Draco, please stop. I need to get her away from here.”

- “Is that all you care about? Your stupid Mudblood? Father is dead because of you. You killed him.”

- “I did no such thing. I was here this whole time. Your father…”

- “My father is dead because of you. He saved you with his own life and this is how you repay him.”

My heart rate speeds up and pounding in my head returns, as his words finally dawn on me. But it can’t be. My fear starts to get the best of me. I didn’t mean to do it. I didn’t know. I was giving her my life, forgetting about the fact that it was not mine to give. Gods, what have I done? With her still in my arms, I apparate to the place where my brother’s body lays still.

I fall to my knees, putting her carefully on the ground. Thank Gods, she’s still out. Draco follows after me, breaking my heart to a thousand pieces with his cries. “Murderer”, still rings in my ears. I can’t take it anymore. – “Shut up. Shut up and let me listen.” That seems to work and he starts to sob quietly.

I hate to talk to him like that. He’s been through a lot and deserves my compassion, but now is not the time for it. I block the sounds around me again and lean all the way down to listen for any signs of breathing.

There. It’s weak but it’s there. I can hear it. Thank God. I look at Draco. “Your father is still alive. We need to take both of them to a safe place.”

– “Where? Hogwarts is almost destroyed and Mansion is full of Aurors.”

He’s right. I think for a moment. There is one place where we can go to. My home at the Spinner’s End. I have a lab there and enough ingredients to last us for a week or two. – “Let’s go. We don’t have much time” I rush, but he keeps standing on his knees. Tears are silently pouring out of his eyes. I look at him holding his mother’s hand.

- “Can we take her with us?”

I shake my head. – “I’m sorry. I’ll come back for her. I promise.” I reach to Narcissa’s face and close her eyes, then put my hand on Draco’s shoulder “You have to be strong. We can still save him if we go now.”

He succumbs to his pain and picks up Lucius’ body. I take the girl and tell Draco where to follow me. Suddenly, I see Potter again.

- “Where are you taking her?”

- “Someplace safe, so she could get better.”

- “I saw you in there, professor. You… you saved me. All of us. And I saw your memories and how you… I have so many questions.”

- “I don’t have time for your foolish blabbering, Potter. Get out of my way.”

- “Tell me where I’ll be able to find you.”

- “You won’t”

- “Professor. Please.”

God, how much I hate his stubbornness. – “I’ll find you if I need you. Now go and celebrate with your friends… HERO” I throw with all the hate that I can manage.

With these words, I take another look at Draco and we disappear.



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