“No! Not again!” Voldemort’s screams of frustration echoed throughout the school. Or at least the room of requirement. No one else knew why they were here, not even the Death Eaters. They needed to duel – a real duel – and Voldemort had to win. He just… wasn’t.
Harry was rather shocked himself. He didn’t expect to be able to hold his master off so well. He never did that well in class. Nearly every one of his moves was made in a panic. He had never seen Voldemort fighting so quickly before, either.
“I just got lucky that time!” he said, breathing deeply. He meant it honestly, too. By all accounts, the wand should have switched owners by now. Not that it bothered him. That was essential. He had to – and did – want to keep the wand in his possession.
“Luck, is it?” Voldemort snapped. He turned behind him and the wand that Harry had knocked out of his hand during the fight flew back into his grip. A large stone statue behind him shattered to pieces, feeling the blow of Voldemort’s anger. This seemed to appease the dark wizard as he stood taking in deep breaths, seeming to ponder over something. “Luck… luck…” he kept muttering. If he said any other words, Harry did not hear him.
“Tell me, Potter, what would you say of Snape as a potion’s master?” he suddenly asked. It seemed it must be rhetorical question. Voldemort had certainly known Snape longer than Harry had.
“As a maker of potions, the man was brilliant. As a teacher, he was pathetic. Either way, he’s dead now.”
“Too true…” Voldemort sighed. “But I believe someone has a certain stone that could rectify that problem to some degree, is that not true?”
Harry was embarrassed at his own stupidity. The resurrection stone was tucked safely away with his other possessions. He hadn’t even thought about it in the past few days.
“If you wouldn’t mind waking Severus for a bit…” Voldemort said quietly. “There is a matter I’d like to speak with him on.”
Voldemort left Harry alone in the room of requirement to execute his plans. There was no better place for it, and there were other matters that needed attending. He wanted in particular to see what how the rearranged Hogwarts classes were getting along.
Alone in the empty space, the rubble of their battle settling around him, Harry grasped the stone tightly. He knew he could use it, though how exactly he wasn’t quite sure. Perhaps there was a spell to say? A certain motion to make? As he tightened his grip, he felt his mind slipping off, as if going into a trance. From his lips emerged words that he did not understand. It was almost as if the stone had spoken through him, telling him what words would evoke his powers.
From the dust floating about the room, a figure began to take shape. A figure with a familiar, sour face, and greasy black hair.
It was strange seeing Snape in this form. The last time he had seen the man, he was lying on the floor with blood gushing from his neck. To see him in this form… translucent, pale (well, he was usually pale anyway, but more so now), and not even standing on any solid surface, but merely floating there… it was all somewhat strange. Yet it brought Harry a certain degree of power, and he ran his fingers over the resurrection stone to remind himself of this very fact.
Snape’s initial expression was shock, confusion. He looked around the room like someone who’d been apparated there and had no clue how. His eyes narrowed when they met Harry’s however. His hatred seem to energize him and his face fell to its normal, calm, judgmental expression.
“Well, well, this is a surprise,” he said with his usual nasally tone. “I didn’t think you’d still be around, Potter. Tell me, was there something in the Pensive that confused you that you need me to clarify?”
“No, no, I understood quite well,” Harry assured him. He couldn’t have told more truth. He understood. He understood who he was, how he was destined for much greater things than anyone else thought or dreamed. “Actually, I called you here for something completely unrelated.”
“Is that so?” Snape was trying terribly hard to act as if he could truly care less what Harry called him there for, but he was failing in Harry’s mind. It was driving him mad to know, Harry thought, it was written in his face. He relished in it as long as he could before speaking.
“The Dark Lord requires your assistance.” This caught Snape off guard as well. Harry had always said, “Voldemort, Voldemort,” to the frustration of everyone around him. “Dark Lord” and “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” never left his lips.
“Is that so?” Snape asked, still feigning indifference. “Well, I imagine he’s learned by now that he is seeking loyalty where it does not lay. I have no more ties to the Dark Lord any more than I do to the world of the living.”
“Now, now, you can still be quite useful,” said Harry mockingly. “Even with your… disabilities.” He passed his wand just past Snape’s arm, to remind him of how it wasn’t really there.
The movement of his arm caused his left sleeve to slip just a bit. It was annoying – he had hoped to hold off, teasing Snape just a bit more before reveling it. But the former Death Eater knew the mark of his kind better than anyone. Just a small glimpse was enough to give it away.
“Your arm… that’s impossible,” he said, whispering through the shock.
“Oh,” said Harry, glancing down at the mark nonchalantly. “Nice of you to notice. I thought it was strange, too, but when I came out of the Pensive, when I knew what I was, it was like everything around me changed. So I guess I have you to thank for this then, don’t I?” He pulled the sleeve back so that the mark was much more visible to Snape’s eyes. The man had no words; his lips just sort of shook in disbelief. Oh, it was wonderful. He held his arm in the air for a few minutes before pulling it back down.
“Now, as I said before, the Dark Lord needs your assistance,” he said. “I suggest you provide it if you don’t want to face… undesirable consequences.”
At this, Snape laughed. Harry couldn’t recall if he’d actually seen Snape laughing before, so it was a bit creepy.
“Undesirable consequences, Potter?” he asked. “Look at me. My body is gone, anything I cared about in life, also gone. There is not a single thing you could possibly threaten me with.”
“That so?” Harry asked. He suspected it would come to this. The stone he had been fingering in his pocket he now brought out visibly. Perhaps Snape understood that this was the object that had called him back from his sleep, and perhaps he did not. In either case…
“Well then, if there is nothing else in this world that you care about, perhaps I should call something here. Or someone?”
Snape was able to hold his uncaring façade no longer. Upon Harry’s suggestion, upon his realization of what Voldemort’s new servant planned to do, his narrow face fell in desperation.
“No,” he said, sternly, quietly. He was shaking his head just ever so slightly. “No, do not bring her into this…”
“I wonder how it feels,” Harry went on. “To be pulled back form death. I understand it’s fairly undesirable. Not to mention the idea of seeing that your only son has turned to serving your murderer.”
Snape’s expression was fierce and even more desperate now, and Harry was completely relishing in it.
“I’m telling you, do not bring her into this! She…”
“You’ll comply with the dark lord’s demands then?” Harry asked. Snape bit his lip. He wanted to agree… it was so obvious. Somewhere in the back of Harry’s mind, though, he was almost hoping that he would resist just a bit longer.
“I… I cannot…” he managed to stutter out. That was all that Harry needed. He gripped the stone once again, and again, he uttered the words he did not know. As before, the dust in the room began to gather, forming a familiar figure. Somewhere in the chaos, Harry could hear Snape’s yell of anguish and wished he wasn’t so focused on the resurrection spell so that he could listen more properly. Nevertheless, when he was pulled into the reality of the room once again, he got a nice look at Snape’s horrified face and the rather bewildered expression of his mother.
Snape was backing away from Lily as if she were some kind of poisonous creature. Like him, she seemed to have no idea how she had come to be where she was. She was just as Harry remembered seeing her, in the photos, in the mirror’s visions. Her eyes scanned the room and finally fell on her son.
“Harry…” she whispered, clasping her hands together.
“Hello there,” he allowed. She looked around again. Her eyes had found Snape now, despite his best attempts to cower away from her.
“What am I…?” she asked. She was looking at her son again. Worry was engraved in her face. It made sense. She should’ve been able to notice this drastic a change in him. “What’s happened to you?” she asked fearfully.
“Mom,” he said silkily, taking a step towards her. She didn’t want to believe what he had become, of course, so therefore she would be easy to manipulate. Harry’s motion brought Snape out of his cowering, and he moved closer, though not near close enough to touch her. (As if he could touch her anyway.)
“Stay back,” he warned. “He isn’t your son.”
Harry was almost insulted. “I beg your pardon,” he said. “Just because my attitude has changed is no reason to suggest I am a different person.”
The pain in Snape’s face was delectable. Lily was clearly confused and upset, growing more so in the silence that lingered in the room. Yet he did not want to be the one to explain it to her. He had already caused her so much pain.
“He’s… he’s different,” Snape said quietly.
“That’s better,” said Harry, nodding. “Tell you what, why don’t I let you two lovebirds catch up for a while? I’ll be needed elsewhere for now.” Without allowing either of them to speak further, he tucked the resurrection stone back in his pocket, and pulled the invisibility cloak back over himself. The door of the room opened on its own, and closed on its own as well, leaving the ghosts of Severus Snape and Lily Potter alone in the silence.