|Keeper of the Cocks (torino10154) wrote in loveandwar,|
@ 2007-11-09 18:13:00
Gen FIC: Words Aren't Enough, G
Title: Words Aren’t Enough
Authors: gryffindorj and torino10154
Word Count: 1300+
Characters: Harry Potter, Minerva McGonagall, Draco Malfoy, spoiler character
Highlight for Warnings: DH Spoilers * Angst, Canon Character Death *
Disclaimer: Not ours. They belong to HRH JKR.
A/N: We’ve both had a tough week. This is the result.
ETA: The quote comes from "Lancelot and Elaine" – chapter 7 "The Idylls of the King" (1859)- citation unearthed for me by junewilliams7
Summary: Harry’s altered feelings towards Snape after the final battle.
Harry stared hard into Arthur Weasley’s tired blue eyes. “Who’s going to claim his body, Mr. Weasley? Take him home to be buried?”
“I don’t know, Harry. His family is all gone. We can’t find anyone closer than a third cousin and she’s a Muggle. The Ministry has a cemetery they use in cases where there aren’t family members or for people who died in Azkaban-”
“They want him buried with the criminals?” Harry shouted. “I can’t believe it. After every thing he did, after all the trouble he went through for everyone else.” For me was left unsaid.
“Do you have a better idea, Harry?” Arthur replied.
“Yeah, I do actually. I’m taking him back to wherever he and mum lived. He’s going in the cemetery where mum’s family and the Snapes are buried. It’s the least I can do.”
“Do you really think you owe him? He wasn’t the nicest person.”
“He was a saint not to kill me,” Harry laughed. “Every time he saw me it caused him pain. He was reminded of all he lost. My fate was connected to his; he was obligated to protect me-even though he hated me.”
“Some of that so-called pain was self-imposed.”
“Doesn’t mean it hurts any less; it may have hurt even more.”
Harry arranged a quiet funeral. Draco Malfoy came but he didn’t say a word. He looked pale and his jaw muscles twitched as his eyes were cast downward. Professor McGonagall attended as well. She seemed especially surprised that Snape had turned out to be just as much Dumbledore’s man as any of them, perhaps more than any of them.
“Harry,” she said, her voice tight, when they had a chance to speak, “when I think of how I treated him while he was Headmaster!”
Minerva slowly walked up the stairs to the Headmaster’s office. Just that morning she’d received the news that Hogwarts had a new Headmaster. She knocked twice on the door until she heard a curt “Enter.”
“Ah, Severus, returning to the scene of the crime?” she asked as she saw Snape sitting at the desk. Albus’s desk her mind supplied venomously.
“To the victor goes the spoils,” he replied with a sneer. She wanted nothing more than to curse it off of his face.
“I’m surprised you dare show your face here,” she said challengingly.
His face inscrutable, he inclined his head slightly as he replied, “As you say, Minerva.”
“You couldn’t have known, Professor. That’s why he succeeded. Even Voldemort didn’t know until I told him.” She nodded and yet she needed to make amends. She walked slowly toward the fresh grave.
“I owe you an apology, Severus,” she started, blinking back the tears that threatened to fall. “I assumed Albus was wrong to trust you. But it was I who was wrong,” she said as she knelt down to run her fingers over the name carved into the cold stone.
“Snape,” Harry said quietly as he placed a bouquet of lilies on the grave of his former professor. Speaking too loud might disturb him, Harry thought to himself nonsensically.
He’d done a lot of thinking over the past year, accepted a job as an Auror, and began dating Ginny again. Finally he had time to process the last few years. If he’d thought about it then, he’d never have been able to go through with it. Only because everything kept happening so fast was he able to roll with the punches and come out on top. When he thought of everyone that helped him, that lost their lives, he still found himself baffled by Snape. His love for Lily kept him going for seventeen long years. Even longer, if he thought hard about it. She was the best thing that ever happened to him. Lily and Hogwarts. Harry understood that very well-it was his first real home as well. It was so much better than his so-called home with his family.
“I understand, Professor. I hated where I grew up too. Going to Hogwarts, my friends, they meant everything to me. If only I understood the real you before-” Harry said as he knelt next to the head stone and brushed off the dust and dirt that accumulated in the crevices of the engraved lettering. “But I couldn’t, could I? We could never see one another clearly. You finally let me see who you really were all along.”
Harry knew someday he would have to bring Al to the cemetery. After his first year at Hogwarts, he had learned so much about both of the men he was named for-whether it was from students, staff, ghosts or portraits. But there was much none of them knew. Harry felt something like the keeper of the keys-all of the secrets neither man had been willing to share. Yet they both bared their souls to Harry, in the end, when it made little difference to either of them, but all the difference in the world to Harry. As angry as he had been at both of them, he knew he wouldn’t be holding his son’s hand, making his way through old moss covered headstones if it weren’t for them. And for that he was ever grateful.
They stopped at an elegant marble headstone. Initially Harry had picked a very white marble, like the one used for Dumbledore’s tomb. When he went to pick it up, this slab of marble had caught his eye. It wasn’t as white as the one he had initially chosen; it had shades of grey and even black mixed with the unmistakable white. When the shop owner told Harry he would be charged for the unused headstone, Harry said he didn’t care. This mixture of shades among the white was the true Snape and Harry could at least honor him correctly. The headstone was a piece of beauty among dull gray of the rest of the markers. Every time Harry visited, he knew he‘d made the right choice to memorialize Snape.
He had wanted to pick the right words as well. It was hard to know what to say about Snape. He was a very difficult man to sum up in only a handful of words. Harry had privately asked Hermione to help him. She looked honored and somewhat excited at the challenge. Harry had faith that she was up to the task, and he was right.
He had been sitting quietly at a table in the Common Room when Hermione approached him, her finger stuck in a book. She showed him the line she believed would work best. It was perfect but Harry was unable to say so. A lump had appeared in his throat, and he swallowed hard giving a curt nod. ‘Perfect,’ his voice strained. When he finally looked at Hermione, he had noticed the slight gleam of tears in her own eyes.
Coming out of his recollection, he looked down at his son, whose likeness was so much like his own.
“Professor Dumbledore told me I should pity those that live without love. As far as I can tell the two people that needed love more than anyone were Professor Dumbledore and Professor Snape. I told you at King’s Cross, you were named for two of the greatest Headmasters Hogwarts had ever had. Even though you are not either of those men, you carry their names-the best way I could show them my admiration and respect. And now, through you, they are just as loved as you are.”
Al nodded his head wordlessly, trying to take in what his father was telling him. He looked back at the gravestone, which read-