a/n: This is the last completed chapter of this fic that I have. I do have a rough outline of the end and several partial chapters written; I’ve just been in debate about finishing given all the controversy around J.K. Rowling right now. It did seem to make sense to post this much. Thanks for reading.
It had been a long night, a very long night. In this phantom form, Snape had discovered that he needed no sleep. So every single hour had been spent with Lily Potter as his side. What would’ve sounded like a dream in younger years was nothing of the sort now. For a long time, she simply sobbed, taking no notice of the fact that he was even there. Then, the silence. That was the worst part. Her emotions were somewhat under control, but she still wasn’t speaking to him. And he didn’t blame her either. Wasn’t it his fault that all this had happened? Wasn’t he the one who had gone and told Voldemort about the prophesy in the first place? Made her and her son a target? The dark wizard would’ve never come tot the house that night, never made that connection, however inadvertently, between himself and Harry. Any way he tried to make excuses for himself as he sat there, to convince himself that his aiding Dumbledore and risking his life had somehow made up for it, none of it worked. He couldn’t even convince himself, much less her.
Finally, they had began talking. Light conversation, at first, nothing related to the horrors that were going on around them. She asked about the school, and he told her about how he had become a teacher. She asked how he had died – that was awkward. She started to inquire about how Harry did at school, but it only brought up the painful memories of the past few hours, and she cut herself off there.
“I can’t believe it…” she said. She’d said that about a dozen times so far. “Why would he…? Why would he…?”
Snape had tried to explain calmly what Dumbledore had told him, what he knew, though how little he understood was obvious. After they had spoken at length, Lily seemed even worse off than she was before,
“So…” she said quietly, avoiding his eyes. “So this whole thing is my fault then? Because I tried to protect him? It was my spell that caused…”
“No!” Snape interrupted her furiously. “No, how could you think like that? If it wasn’t for you, Harry would’ve been killed that first night.” He narrowed his eyes, trying his best to read her half-hidden, translucent face.
“You don’t believe that anyway,” he finally concluded. At this, he looked at him a bit confused, but said nothing. Snape continued, “If you want to blame someone, blame me. In either case, it won’t help to get your son out of this predicament.” It was strange how much being blunt rather than sympathetic suddenly changed her mood. Not to say she brightened up by any stretch of the imagination, but at least, she seemed rational, more like the Lily he knew.
“You’re right,” she said with a nod, wiping her ghostly tears. “So what do you propose we do?”
Harry didn’t like the way things had been going the past few days. For starters, the next time he spoke to Hermione, she brought Ron along. Predictable, of course, and there wasn’t really any argument against it he could give that wouldn’t make him sound suspicious. But nevertheless, it was one more person to keep track of who knew he was alive. Then there was Draco Malfoy. He’d been hanging around Hermione a lot lately, annoying her to no end apparently, because whenever he even came near, she’d storm off in a rage. That was normal, he always tortured her before. Why would it be different now? Even so, it put Harry on edge, more so than he cared to admit.
“You say you’ve got a plan… for how we can take back Hogwarts?” Ron was whispering excitedly. He’d been so thrilled to see his friend alive, Harry was shocked there weren’t more people in the small hidden room, coming in to see what Ron was so worked up about.
“I’ve got an idea,” Harry corrected. “But it’s going to take some work on Hermione’s part…” He paused for a moment, trying to think of something Ron could do so he wasn’t left out. “And you would probably be really helpful in distracting the Death Eaters.”
“Sure, I can do that,” Ron said with a confident nod.
Good, maybe if I’m lucky, it’ll get you killed in the process, Harry thought to himself, but of course, did not voice it. He glanced over at Hermione, who seemed to be fumbling for something in her robes.
“What’s the matter?” he asked, trying not to let the tone of his suspicion override his feigned concern.
“It’s my wand,” she muttered, sounding rather annoyed. “They’re still letting us take classes and all, if you can call them classes, but they’ve cursed all the students’ wands so they only perform certain spells…”
“Oh, is that so?” Harry asked. “So then, what are you…?”
“The stupid wand keeps burning,” she said. “It’s really annoying.” She finally withdrew the wand, holding it out for Harry to see. He could tell without touching it that there was some kind of spell on it. He reached out his left hand to feel the tip…
“Diffindo!” Hermione yelled the spell out before he even got a chance to react. Why had he been so stupid? He’d walked directly into her trap, directly! He might as well have gone singing and dancing while he was at it. But there was no further time or need to curse at himself. The torn remains of his left robe sleeve revealed all that Hermione and Ron needed to see.
Hermione jumped back in shock, clearly not expecting to see what she had worked so hard to reveal. Harry wasted no time in taking out his own wand and immediately disarming her.
“Think you’re pretty clever, don’t you, you filthy little Mudblood?” he spat. This sent Ron into a rage, which he well expected it would. His former friend, apparently over his shock, ran yelling in his direction. The amusement of the scene cooled Harry’s anger considerably.
“Crucio,” he called, almost casually over his shoulder. The curse hit Ron full-force, sending him to ground, writhing in pain. Hermione screamed and cried and begged him to stop, which he did, but only after he was quite sure Ron had lost the strength to get up and oppose him. As soon as he lowered the wand, Hermione immediately ran over to Ron’s side, sitting him up gently and sobbing.
“How could you…? He’s your friend, Harry..”
“Now,” Harry went on, ignoring her completely. “I was hoping that it wouldn’t come to this, but I still plan on getting what I want. First of all, you will not tell anyone what you just saw.” He paused to make sure she nodded. “And secondly, you will, under Snape’s guidance, create the potion that I ask of you. Is that clear?”
She nodded again, still crying profusely. He was somewhat disappointed. As long as they had found out, he was hoping for a bigger confrontation than that. But no matter. Perhaps this would get things done more quickly, since there was no need to hide his true purpose anymore.
“I’ll kill him, I swear I’ll kill him…” Ron was muttering with only slight coherence while Hermione tried to calm him down. The look of pure hatred she gave Harry as she helped her boyfriend stand was utterly priceless.