|starduchess (starduchess) wrote,|
@ 2018-02-10 22:16:00
|Entry tags:||christmas17, fic, snape/harry|
Fic: An Angel's Green Eyes
Title: An Angel's Green Eyes
Word count: ~3070
Summary: As Severus lies dying, memories of his life flash before him, especially of those times his angel was near him, finally realising who it truly was.
Warnings: major character death (see summary), implied time travel, referenced alcoholism
Notes: Written for Secret Snarry Swap 17 at snape_potter for ladyofsd. Thanks so much to the mods for their patience. I hope you enjoy this! Quotes  and  are from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, chapter 32.
They say your life passes before your eyes as you die. What they don't tell you is how much that reveals about your past misconceptions.
"Hullo, Severus. How are you today? Did your mum show you any new spells? I brought you some shortbread biscuits. I thought you might not have eaten today, what with your da home and all."
She was the sweetest girl I knew--kind, considerate, caring. She never mocked me for my ragged clothes or my perpetual greasy hair. She understood that events were far from peaceful in my childhood home, and she gave what she could to ease my discomfort. I looked forward to the evenings and weekends we spent together, fantasising about Hogwarts and magic yet to come.
Her presence did alleviate my stresses, but by that time in my life I was older and the situation at home was less dangerous than it had been when I was very young. She never knew those horrors; I never told her. She was only ever aware that events had been bad, but it was better now because of angels like her.
She blushed and asked how I knew. I told her all angels were known by their vibrant, green eyes.
"We now introduce our newest Hogwarts students, the Class of 1998. Please welcome the First Years!"
A round of applause swept through the Great Hall, as it did every year at the introduction of the First Years. This time the clapping was a tad louder and the stares were a bit more pointed, as the newest celebrity walked through our doors. He was such a small thing, gangly and weak. From afar he looked just like any other child, gawking at the scenery. But upon closer inspection, he materialized too much of Potter Senior in his face and his hair and his atrocious glasses. Glasses that shimmered and blocked a pair of … no.
I felt the color drain from my face as I looked upon a perversion of my universe.
The Headmaster and I had already discussed, years ago, how Harry Potter was said to have the same eyes as his mother. I had pledged myself based on those eyes. Now, coming face to face with that promised reality, a feeling of dread washed over me.
This angel was not sent to help me.
He was sent to torment me.
You keep your damned hands away from me. I can tell you've been using that funny magic on me, make me forget things. Well, no more. You leave off me and I'll leave off you, you got it?"
Mum nodded and turned away without saying a word. Her eyes were sad but not frightened. This was the first time that both of us ever felt safe. Da turned around, too, stomped off into the hallway, grabbed his tattered cloak, and stormed out of the house. The place was quiet with the relief of tension. We both sighed heavily.
I said I would go finish my studies, and Mum gave her consent, no questions uttered, just a light nod of her head. I tiptoed up the stairs to my room, not wanting to seem hasty, and was delighted by the sight that greeted my eyes. My angel was waiting for me on the bed.
"I take it the situation with your da is better, now?" he asked. His eyes were concerned but not as troubled as they had been in the past.
"He didn't hit us or nothin'." I looked at him with a child's contentment, satisfied with the events of the day. But I could sense something was off about the situation, something was wrong. "Angel?"
His face relaxed a bit at the endearment; a small smile emerged but soon faded. His beautiful eyes were warm with affection, but there was sadness there and a longing I had no comprehension about and something else that looked suspiciously like regret.
"I think your da will be nicer from now on, don't you?"
I nodded in happiness and agreement. Things were looking up. Surely, this day should be a celebration.
But his smile stayed sad. I couldn't comprehend why, until he said, "Then, I'm no longer needed here. I don't think I can return again."
"No!" I shouted, horror dawning in my consciousness. This couldn't be happening. I finally had someone who cared about me enough to deal with my father's inebriated acts, and now that reality would be lost. "You just got here! Don't you care? What if he tries it again? Can't you stay?"
His eyes closed in sorrow as he shook his head, obscuring the verdant hue I had come to associate with peace and kindness. "It's time to move on. I did what I'd come to do. You'll be safe now, for awhile, at least."
No, he couldn't do this! It seemed patently unfair and a cruel trick of the universe to yank something away that I had come to cherish, but what else could I expect from my life other than disappointment. Life had let me down before. It seemed now was no different.
I ranted and raved a bit, but he just sat there and took it, looking so pitiful in his remorse that I almost forgave him on the spot. Almost.
But time wasn't on our side, especially when I pouted on my bed, hoping he would catch on and tell me it was all an insidious joke. But he never did, and his eyes revealed the truth of his words. He finally left, nothing more being said between us.
That was the last time I saw my angel, or so I had thought.
"We have a serious situation here with Black on the loose. I need you to watch closely over the boy, Severus."
As if I wasn't already watching over his skinny arse. He'd got himself into plenty of mischief over the last two years, what was one more? That it was his deranged convict of a godfather and not himself who was causing trouble didn't make one ounce of difference. Potter was in danger again and it was my duty to protect. Such was the life of a devil trying to redeem himself.
I'd known of angels once. They were kind and generous; I was neither. But somehow my obligations equated to the same actions as those of the celestial beings, so I knew of what should be done.
Off to find the hellion that was my charge, then, and ensure his arse was safe.
"It's not right that you spend all the pounds on liquor. Every extra shilling goes on that awful habit."
Mum was always right about that. I never understood how she could have married him and not known that from the start, but my da was a drunkard every chance he got. Life was terrible when he did; it never improved his situation or ours at all. It was not rational. But I could never point that out to him for fear of his reaction. Mum did it for us, thanks to the help from our angel.
"You ungrateful bitch! I'll show you where my labour's supposed to go!"
He reached up with his arm, about to swing a powerful slap onto Mum's face. She cringed, but the slap never came. He'd gone slack-jawed, distant-eyed, and unmoving, his arm frozen in mid-air. He finally shook off the effect, looked around the room in confusion, and huffed a quick "nonsense" under his breath before walking away. Mum closed her eyes and shivered with emotion.
I looked down the opposite hallway, and there in the shadows stood my angel, arm still raised toward where my father had been standing and eyes flashing with righteous action. He was still watching out for us, and I was ever so grateful.
I hoped he would always be there.
"Do not concern yourself about my dealings with Harry, Severus. I need you to focus on the Malfoy boy right now."
Of course. Let's not deal with the green-eyed devil on whom all of our lives have depended; let's focus on Lucius' spawn instead. Oh, yes, it made complete sense to abandon the safety of the famed Chosen One, who had a history of landing himself in dire situations, to go prancing around after another bane of my existence, one whose life was of no importance in the grand scheme of things. Joy. I cursed all the major players in my life for this tangled web of destiny I found myself trapped in--the Dark Lord and the Headmaster both for their usual chessmaster exploits, Narcissa and Bellatrix for their paranoia, and Potter and Malfoy Juniors for merely existing within the hands of Fate.
I didn't feel heroic. But as events continued to darken around me, the responsibilities became heaped further and further upon my head. I wondered if anyone would mourn me once I'd gone, but I certainly doubted it. I had spent too many years cultivating a personality of hatred and disdain for anyone noble to have read beneath the skin, the Headmaster having been the only exception.
My angel had known. But the more I played my part in this fiasco, the less likely I was that my angel would still care about me. Still, I missed him and longed for him to rescue me. Even Lily's presence would have been welcomed right now.
"You think I don't know? You think you could pull this magic stuff on me and not have me notice?" He grabbed my mum by the shoulders and shook her violently.
"Please, Tobias, no!"
Mum always pleaded with him to stop: stop his drinking, stop his gambling, stop his abuse. She took a lot of the brunt of his anger for me, but it wasn't a pleasant encounter to witness. His rage came out in the wildness of his eyes and the spittle that flew from his mouth. It was an ugly sight. He'd shake Mum, yell at her face, and then march her off to the bedroom.
Her sobs could be heard through the whole house, the walls being paper thin and all, and sometimes a slap or two would resound through the air before silence fell. I never ventured to sneak a peek at what happened as I never needed to. Minutes later a presence would come out of the room and walk toward me, calm as you please.
His eyes were a sad green, but they always held a solution to my problem. I could sense that it was he who dealt with Da at each of these times, and he would always come to me afterward to assure me that all would be well.
I let my angel hold me and took comfort in that.
"You will let me know immediately if you spot Potter on Hogwarts grounds."
The Dark Lord had been adamant about this particular order, so much so that he cast the Cruciatus curse on me to drive the point home. It was clear that he didn't want any of us engaged in battling the boy, for which I was secretly grateful. Fighting him on the lawn outside the Astronomy Tower last spring had been horrific enough. How was I supposed to hurt him and protect him all at the same time? Futilely, it would seem. Serving two masters had addled my mind. I no longer knew whether I was fallen or saved, if I should act pious or wicked, or if perhaps I should be some mixture of demon and seraph, existing between two equal worlds of doom.
The Dark Lord banished me back to Hogwarts to await the end. Little did he know that I was to search for Potter under Dumbledore's last orders. I hoped he never finds out.
I wore an empty expression as I gazed out the windows of the Headmaster's suite, examining all my options. There was much work for me to do, but all I truly wished for was one more moment to glimpse my angel's eyes, one more moment of his salvation. But he had been missing for years. I could not expect him now, not after all the years of horribleness I've led. No being of heaven would touch me now.
It was a fool's wish.
"How could you come home drunk again, you wastrel? You are ruining this family!"
SLAP! "You shut your damned trap, witch! I'll damn well do what I want around here, and you can't say anything as I'll sick the Inqui--, the Inq--, the … damned police on you. They'll see you hanged rightly!"
"You stay out of this, you little monster!" SLAP!
I reeled from the pain, the world spinning as I landed on my posterior. Before I could recover, my da had hauled my mother off to the kitchen to give her her weekly lesson in obedience. I hated the screams that came from that room, not to mention the memory of such the next morning at breakfast. It was somehow worse hearing the beatings but not seeing them, my own imagination filling in the details.
A presence appeared from the shadows, black of hair and pale of flesh. He looked like an angel of light, solid and calm, but with a sense of anger and justice shining from his very green eyes. He put a finger up to his lips and I knew to keep quiet. He wrapped his arms around me and held me through the fright. His fingers glided over my cheek, and I could feel a tingling of magic healing the bruise.
Mum was still screaming and crying when he sent me up the stairs to my room, saying he would take care of it. I never doubted him; there was something in him I could trust implicitly. As I waited with bated breath in my room, I heard the screaming stop, and Mum's crying subsided into hiccuping breaths, muffled by the walls and floors. And eventually, those stopped, too.
I waited a bit longer, and the presence came back to find me. He sat on my bed and one-armed hugged me. It felt good to have such a gentle touch. "It's over," he said. "You won't have to worry again." I wasn't sure how that could be true, but I wanted to believe him. It felt good not to have to worry. I fell asleep to the sound of his steady breathing.
In the morning he was gone, and I never heard a peep from downstairs. Da woke up near dawn and stumbled off to work, not stating a thing about what had happened the night before. I found Mum sitting in the front room, knitting. Her eyes were haunted and she looked tired, but she was alive and not bleeding, with all her limbs intact and a weak smile for me.
I was ever so grateful to whatever the presence, which I dubbed my angel, had done to turn away my father's wrath and negate his drunken actions. I hoped what he said was true, but I also secretly hoped for something bad so that he could return to me and rescue me. I needed him.
"I regret it," said Voldemort coldly. 
The Dark Lord slithered away, his mind already turning to other agendas, as I shifted my gaze to the descending bubble containing Nagini's form as it came upon me. I had no time to react, no time to cast a spell or flee, and in truth I was too horrified to move. The damned snake jutted forward and bit savagely into my neck. Pain seared through me as I was knocked back into the wall. I couldn't scream for help; instead, I flailed in reaction, but I couldn't push her off me. My brain function mostly ceased, fluctuating only between states of abject survival and horrified realisation that my final mission wouldn't be successful. The injustice of my life would come to fruition.
I slumped to the floor as Nagini left me, no doubt tired of my thrashing and called by her master to go perform more unspeakable acts. I couldn't do anything other than lie down, too weak to get up, my neck throbbing as blood squirted out of it and Nagini's venom began to eat away at my insides. I wished so much for one last chance to deliver my message, even acknowledging while praying it was a useless gesture.
I closed my eyes, giving in.
A moment later I felt vibrations in the floor and heard a faint sound like sneaking footsteps coming towards me. I pushed open my eyes, gritting from the pain, only to gasp as I laid eyes on the very person I needed to see. I reached for Potter, while racking my brain for a way to say all that the Headmaster had wanted me to convey in the short time I had left.
And then I remembered the Pensieve, the one still in the Headmaster's office. I could easily relay my memories to Potter and he could view them there at his leisure. I pulled the important ones forward and let them flow out of me, filled with my own urgency and desperation. "Take ... it. Take ... it," I rasped. 
I witnessed an empty phial shoved into his hands from somewhere and watched as he collected my silver strands of memories.
With relief I was ready to leave this mortal coil. I thought to glance one more time at the echo of Lily's eyes in her son, so I willed him to look at me. At that moment he glanced at me, and I viewed the final shock of my life. My angel was right before me.
His eyes were as perfect a green as I remembered, slightly oblong, caring but sad. My life flashed before me, all those times he had come to my home and saved me from my reckless father. In my final hour he had been sent to me again, not to save me this time, but to simply be with me as I passed on, one final wish granted.
My vision greyed out and I was finally granted peace.