|snarryathonmod (snarryathonmod) wrote in snape_potter,|
@ 2010-04-22 19:27:00
|Entry tags:||fic, rating: pg, snarry-a-thon10|
SNARRY-A-THON10: FIC: Son of Darkness
Title: Son of Darkness
Word count: 4,502
Warning(s): (highlight for spoilers) * Don’t know if it counts as one, but it’s pre-slash. Slight crossover with Yami No Matsuei, doesn’t really matter if you haven’t seen it though since I only took some concepts from there.*
Prompt: Snape dies in the Shack and Death offers him the position of Grim Reaper for Great Britain. As the master of Deathly Hallows, Harry can see him when he comes to collect souls. Soon, Harry’s obsession with the man drives him to choose more and more dangerous missions and spend his free time wandering the ward for the terminally ill at St. Mungos. He distances himself from his friends and life. How does Snape react to him? What is Harry’s friends reaction to Harry’s sudden obsession with death?
Summary: Severus keeps wondering if he made the right choice, and Harry thinks about the possibilities.
A/N: I changed it a bit because I had this idea from Yami No Matsuei and I simply adore Tsuzuki, hope it’s alright since you don’t get to see Harry’s friends. XD I don’t own anything that you can recognize.
Battle of Hogwarts – Shrieking Shack
Living had been hell, so Severus assumed dying would not be any better. The Dark Lord and Nagini made sure his expectations of death were not off-course...bloody wankers.
Add Potter to the equation, and Severus was more than ready to pass over to the beyond. After all, the so called ‘afterlife’ could not get any worse. Then, Severus knew no more.
A well-dressed man received him in a long hallway as Severus regained consciousness. The stranger didn’t tell him his name, but told him he was a Grim Reaper; the bloke had used a strange name—an oriental one—but it meant the same thing. The man, whose messy dark hair and vibrant eyes reminded him of someone best forgotten, collected the souls of the departed, and occasionally, those of the brave who dared to leave hell.
Severus rather thought those were Gryffindors, daring to do the unthinkable, but chose not to share his opinion.
However, he did ask the reason for his presence in that corridor. Why would anyone offer him the position of soul collector? The man, whose name Severus couldn’t remember having heard, told him he was given a choice as a reward for his bravery. Severus took offense to this, but the stranger kept talking about how he was getting a chance to atone. He’d go back to Earth as a Reaper, collect souls until the man’s superiors agreed he had done enough, and then he’d be released to the ‘afterlife’ or go back to living.
Severus didn’t think about it; he wanted to leave this cold forsaken place so he accepted.
“Welcome then, Severus,” the man said, and then they were gone.
“But you have to have some food before and after each catch.” Severus rolled his eyes at his partners’ ill-concealed whine. The man had his priorities completely twisted...food indeed!!
“I do not need food, Mr. Asato,” Severus replied with his customary sneer, which only caused his partner to laugh and correct him. “Tsuzuki, Sev. The Mr. makes me sound old.”
“Do not call me ‘Sev’,” Severus growled.
But he was, once again, ignored. “Yeah, don’t worry, Sev.”
Snape only sighed and kept his peace—Mr. Asato was not going to change…ever. And after almost seven years, Severus wasn’t anywhere near adjusted to it.
He reminded himself that he had a deadline—one hundred souls, that was his toll to save his own. And still, he couldn’t believe he was getting a chance for redemption.
The downside was his partner. The man was going to drive him insane with his moronic comments, and yet, Severus no longer cared to verbally destroy him, as he had done in the past.
“There he goes,” Tsuzuki said softly. Severus only responded with a grunt, and then they were after the lost soul of Gilbert Hennigan, a poor bastard whose wife had left him for another man, taking everything with her. Gilbert had hung himself as a result, and got sent straight to hell. Of course, not every soul escaped hell. Some just didn’t go through the portal and therefore had to be hunted down. The whole concept of escaping from hell boggled him at first, but after his and Tsuzuki’s superior’s explanation of sheer will, he had left it at that.
“Sometimes, I wish I could tell them,” Tsuzuki said, before turning at an alley. Mr. Asato was what some may consider handsome; he had fair skin, brown messy hair and violet eyes which were very fetching. At least Severus thought so; he was even reminded of someone else, someone who he should not be thinking of after all these years.
Returning to the comment, Severus replied with a question, “Tell them what, exactly?”
“That they can’t return, no matter what they do or who they can see—once they go to hell it’s a point of no return.”
“Who they can see?” Severus hadn’t heard that before. He knew they could see everyone on Earth and no one could see them, but what did seeing anyone have to do with escaping hell?
“Of course, Severus, it’s so easy to get lost in the past that you forget that you’re no longer part of this world.” He paused while they walked through the alley, “It’s obvious that the reason souls return or stay is because of someone or something they left behind, hence the coming back.”
They had reached the end of the alley when Mr. Hennigan turned around and shouted, “I ain’t going back! You can’t make me!”
Tsuzuki nodded at Severus, who approached Mr. Hennigan. “You can’t stay here either; life has moved on without you, there’s nothing for you anymore.” His own words cut him like a shard of glass. When he was first told he’d be a Shinagami (the strange word he had heard before meaning Grim Reaper) he had been given instructions on what to say and how to proceed each time a soul was found. He was supposed to convince the soul to return without much hassle, but if it failed to do so then it was up to him to get them back. Their superiors had even given him the proper tools to do his job, one of which made Severus laugh each time he used it.
Gilbert screamed, snapping Severus back into the present, and the lost soul tried to attack both Reapers. Quickly, Snape flicked his wrist and released a chain from it, which was used to wrap around the soul. The chain was said to be forged in the pits of hell and once it touched a soul belonging to hell, it brought it back. That’s why Severus took to wearing gloves. It wouldn’t do for him to be brought to hell, no matter that Mr. Asato had said about him not yet being destined to either hell or heaven.
The other tool the Reapers had was a certain mystical being that lived within them, according to Asato, who had several in his control. Severus being new only had one. As a cosmic joke it was a Phoenix. This being had a name which Severus refused to learn, calling it Fawkes instead, and its purpose was to purge the taint the soul might have left on Earth.
When Gilbert was gone, and the chain had wrapped itself back into his hand, Severus sat on the ground with his head hanging low. His partner walked to his side and knelt in front of him. “Trust me, Severus; it’s the right thing to do. He doesn’t belong here.”
“Neither do I, and yet, here I am.” The guilt of his opportunity, when others had been so unlucky, was overwhelming.
“You’re right, you don’t. At least not yet, but you were chosen for a reason, just like everyone else at the office.”
Severus didn’t respond. He had asked why he’d been given this chance since he didn’t believe that just because he had been ‘brave’, he was given the opportunity to go back. Remus Lupin had been even braver—though Severus had never acknowledged it—and he didn’t get a second chance. Whatever the real reason was, his question remained unanswered. Whatever it was, he wasn’t supposed to know.
Keeping his thoughts to himself, he stood up and nodded at Tsuzuki. “Let’s get you something to eat, then. To celebrate and all that.”
His partner smiled brightly and practically bounced out of the alley. Just as they were about to walk south to a Hindu restaurant, Severus felt a very familiar presence. One he had been sensing for the past month or so. He said nothing to Tsuzuki, but with all the care in the world he turned around and spotted a familiar face, whose eyes widened to huge proportions.
A pair of green unforgettable eyes that had followed him since his death, the ones that wouldn’t let him close his eyes without seeing them, the eyes of one Harry Potter.
And in his hurry to leave the younger man behind, Severus never questioned how Harry Potter could possibly see him.
Auror division – a month earlier
Harry Potter sat at his desk with a slim file in front of him. Inside the folder was only a couple of pieces of parchment: the birth and death certificate of Severus Snape. He was forty when he had been killed by Nagini, which was much too young to die, especially for a wizard. The auror had studied those two sheets thoroughly for the past seven years, but they still held a hint of awe each time he saw them.
Harry sighed and opened the file, even though he had memorized every letter and line on the two certificates. His obsession with the Half-Blood Prince had only grown stronger after the Shack incident. Experiencing those personal memories as if they were his had made Harry feel closer to the older man.
It had gotten so bad that all his friends had withdrawn from; not even Ron or Hermione had understood his desire to know everything about Snape. Of course, it wasn’t the only reason the Golden Trio had drifted apart—it was just the first of many.
It hadn’t been sudden, but he hadn’t expected them to forget about their long friendship either. Sometimes Harry felt they had been apart longer than they had been together as friends.
Added to that was the fact that he had left Ginny for good—and not just because of the danger of Voldemort or the Death Eaters attacking her. After all, the war had been over for quite a while when he made it perfectly clear there was not going to be a Mrs. Potter any time soon. Obviously, the only Weasley girl hadn’t forgiven him, and it was just a matter of time until the rest of her family shut him out too. Eventually, Harry was no longer invited to Saturday dinners or Sunday brunches.
And even though it hurt, Harry knew it had been the right choice. Marrying Ginny just to get a ready-made family was not the solution to his loneliness or his desire to belong. Therefore, he had turned to his old obsession. The best thing about it was that Snape could no longer berate him for being such a fool, because holding onto the past was indeed a fool’s endeavor.
“Why couldn’t you be more human, Snape? Or perhaps, less hateful to everyone who crossed your path?” Harry closed his eyes at the intense feelings that assaulted him just by thinking that name. If Severus had been more like the Half-Blood Prince, Harry was sure he would have gotten closer to the man. But alas, it was not meant to be.
An urgent knock on his door broke his thoughts, and he put away the folder, bidding the person to enter quickly. And there on the threshold was his assistant with a worried look on her face. “Auror Potter, Minister Shacklebolt has requested all the heads of department to join him in his office,” Penny told him in her usual business-like tone. She was a very efficient assistant, even if she was not warm and friendly.
“Thank you, I’ll be right there.” Harry smiled at her and then made his way to Kingsley’s office. Once there, he sat with two other heads, one from the Sports Department and the other from the Muggle Relations Department.
Minutes after Harry’s entrance, the Minister appeared from his office’s backdoor wearing a displeased look. “I apologize for such short notice but you’re here because I’ve been warned of a crime wave in Muggle London,” Kingsley said in a tired voice, as if he had spent the whole morning dueling, or perhaps talking to the Wizengamot.
One of the heads asked, confused, “Why do Muggle attacks concern us?”
The Minister sat wearily. “Normally, it wouldn’t. But when several mythical forms are spotted at the time of or after these crimes, then it certainly creates problems for us.”
“What sort of forms?” Harry asked before anyone could start ranting about the unfairness of it.
The surprised look on the other’s faces told the Head Auror that the question hadn’t crossed their minds, but Kingsley’s expression was one of gratitude as if he was expecting to be asked. “The last one was of a winged serpent, and several others, including different types of dragons and phoenixes.”
Everyone was speechless, and in that moment Donner, the head of the Muggle Relations Department, spoke. “It has been difficult trying to conceal the nature of these beings, especially since we don’t know where they come from. They are not corporeal as far as we know, but they seem real and colorful enough.”
Harry sat back on his chair; it was a bit daunting to hear that dragons and phoenixes were among Muggles, especially since they were rarely seen, even in the presence of wizards.
Finally, someone in the back broke the silence. “What sort of crimes are we talking about, Minister?” Kingsley took a deep breath, giving them all a hard look, and answered, “Torture, both physical and psychological. The few victims that were questioned by our own aurors all mentioned deceased relatives.”
“Dead people?” Someone else blurted out, to which the Minister nodded. “You see now why we are involved. It’s one thing to have the common news of shoddy exorcisms, but it’s something altogether when corporeal manifestations of spirits injure living people.”
Harry asked, looking straight into his superiors eyes, “Are we one hundred percent certain that it is indeed dead people doing these crimes?” Kingsley only answered with a hard nod after closing his eyes. Harry was surprised at the answer, and immediately offered his own team as the main investigators.
“I was actually hoping you’d say that. A team from the Department of Mysteries has compiled some information, it’s available to you.” To the rest of the heads Kingsley only said, “If anyone is willing to volunteer some time in research, let it be known to my assistant on your way out.” With that comment, everyone but Harry stood up and walked out of the office.
As the door closed behind the last person, Kingsley turned to his subordinate. “I need you to be careful with this one; I don’t want any trouble with solving this case.”
Harry nodded and took the file his boss handed him, containing all the appearances that had occurred, in detail. There had been seventeen crimes where all the families had been beaten, tossed, screamed at and/or scared, plus plenty of damage to the houses.
Harry thought it sounded like something out of a horror movie.
So for the next couple of days, Harry and two of his Aurors scouted the area surrounding each of the homes. He noticed that St. Mungo’s was located in the middle of the area. The three of them found it odd, so Harry decided to check it out while his Aurors continued with their investigations.
St. Mungo’s front entrance
Auror Potter had been standing at the end of the street under a Disillusionment Charm since almost eight in the morning. It was now nearly noon, and there wasn’t anything worth investigating. Most of the people coming and going were Muggles who had business nearby, or Wizards who couldn’t get into the hospital through magical means.
He was about to head out to meet his two subordinates when he felt a magical surge coming from the building right in front of St. Mungo’s. It was an abandoned building that had seen better days, probably in the last century. From the side entrance—the front was on the opposite street from him—two men walked out, both of them tall, but one had his long hair tied up on a ponytail. It was a bit far from where he was standing but when the light hit the one with longer hair, a painfully familiar profile could be seen.
“Severus,” Harry whispered just as both men turned around the corner. At that moment the Head of the Auror Department decided to hell with it and ran after them. Unfortunately, by the time he reached the corner there was no one about that resembled either of the men. The Auror cursed his luck and went inside the building to check for any signs of magic.
Once inside the dilapidated building, Harry found no trace of magical signatures, but he did sense magic in the air, which was more than strange since whoever casts magic leaves a signature behind. He sighed and Apparated to his office so he could warn the special team assigned to deal with the aftermath of situations like this. Then he went to the Ministry library to check for any phenomena that fit the criteria he had found at the crime scene.
It was only after he had skimmed through the fourth book that he remembered the manifestation he had seen: a turtle. There wasn’t any magical property in a simple turtle, so why was one appearing? A dragon, a phoenix, a winged serpent and now a black turtle; what did they have in common?
He opened the thick file of reports and checked the other manifestations; there was also mention of a white tiger. What was happening? Kingsley said magical creatures, and not all of these were. Harry decided to head back to each crime scene and try to get a feel of the magic, if there was any trace left behind.
At the same time he arrived to the first house, he spotted a manifestation; two of them—a red dragon and a red phoenix—spreading through the sky. Harry raced to the exact spot, and what he saw was something he had never even considered seeing: Severus Snape, in the arms of a man. Both were trying to hold on to a chain that was wrapped around a woman’s body. She was screeching like a tortured beast and in the next second, she had disappeared.
Severus stood up and cradled his right hand, while the other man patted his back and spoke quite firmly. “It wasn’t meant to happen, you cannot be afraid of it.”
“I’m not afraid, Mr. Asato. But it is more powerful than I could possibly be able to control.” The voice that had once sneered at Harry day in and day out sounded exactly the same, except that it was rich and held no hint of that sneer Severus Snape was famous for.
“It’s yours, Sev, yours to command and yours to will. It cannot do anything you don’t wish to do. That’s why it’s your Shiki,” the stranger said in an even firmer voice, sounding as if he had said the words many times before.
Snape shook his head and fixed his clothing. “If it’s mine, I refuse to call it Suzaku.”
The other man laughed and walked to the other side of the house. “That is its name, but I guess since it’s yours, you can keep calling it Fawkes. I think it’s cute.”
“It’s not cute, it’s dignified.”
“Whatever, Sev. Let’s eat, I’m hungry.” The other man easily jumped the fence that delineated one house from the other, leaving Severus behind.
“You’re always hungry, and don’t call me Sev!” Snape followed him, disappearing right before he walked through the fence.
Harry stood there, not knowing what to do. Severus was alive? Who was that man? And what in Merlin’s beard was a Shiki?
The Auror couldn’t answer those questions until a month later, when he found Severus for the third time. This time the other man turned around and saw him—Severus saw him! Harry couldn’t believe that it was indeed Severus.
At least now he had some answers. The chain was attached to Snape’s hand and he used it to banish that woman. What he didn’t understand was what the manifestations of the creatures meant. Apparently Severus controlled the phoenix he called Fawkes. But the other man could possibly control the rest, which brought more questions than answers.
He hit the library once more, but this time with two names: Shiki and Suzaku.The answers were completely beyond his expectations. Shikagamis were the manifestations. They were guardians used by the Shinigamis, which was basically another term for Grim Reapers.
Was Severus a Grim Reaper? If so, why could he see them? Because Harry assumed that Mr. Asato—as Severus called the other man—was the same as Snape. He had to know, so he went in search of more information regarding that.
St. Mungo’s front entrance – a week later
Severus sat on the ground in front of the door to the Purge and Dowse, Ltd. store. Tsuzuki had gone to get some food so he had some time to do what he had wanted to do the last time he saw Harry.
There was another lost soul that he had to take into Hades; in less than five minutes he could release Fawkes as his presentation card. And that’s what he did. The soul was no trouble since the man had just died, and therefore was a tad confused about his situation. Fortunately for Severus, he didn’t have to explain why he was taking the man’s soul to hell; he only had to take him.
Of course, he didn’t need to release Fawkes since he didn’t have to fight but he needed Harry there, and Severus knew the Auror was investigating the strange beings and their connection to the crimes that had occurred all over London.
Maybe Mr. Asato was right, and they had to leave England all together. People there were just too suspicious of everything that didn’t fit their criteria for normalcy. Japan was so much better, Tsuzuki said, since all the strange little things were expected to happen.
Right after Fawkes appeared and disappeared within the same breath, Harry walked down the street. Severus sighed and got more comfortable in his position; it was going to be an uncomfortable talk.
“Snape,” the Auror said his surname as if it was something strange, as if he hadn’t used it in quite a while, and was just now remembering it. Severus laughed inwardly.
Seven years was indeed a long time.
“Potter, long time no see.” His casual tone and words surprised the shorter man, so much so, that he stumbled on the sidewalk and ended up sprawled right in front of his former professor. “If you wanted on your knees, you could just have said so, no need for such displays,” Severus said with a laughing tone.
Harry only rolled his eyes and adjusted himself on the sidewalk, face to face with the Reaper. “So… a Shinagami, huh?”
Severus sighed and shook his head. “You’re not supposed to know. It’s not meant to be common knowledge. But you had to go against the odds, right?”
“Of course, it’s what I do—break rules.” The smile on Harry’s face was beyond bright; it practically belonged to the late Dumbledore in his twinkling days.
“So, now that you know, what do you want to do?”
The Auror took a minute to answer, but when he did, it was with confidence. “I’ve spent the past seven years mourning your loss, and now that I’ve found you I’m afraid of going back to being without you.”
The shock was obvious on the Reaper’s face. Harry Potter missed him? It was preposterous! And yet his green eyes spoke of a truth that couldn’t be denied, so Severus said the only thing that made sense. “Why?”
“Because you were true to yourself in front of me, you showed me that fame and prestige isn’t everything if there’s no one out there who understands you. My friends are no longer those people I met once, they have changed and so have I. Is it so hard to believe that, as an adult, I could find something in common with you?”
Severus shrugged; there was nothing that could be said to that. He was dead for all intent purposes, and he wasn’t coming back any time soon. “Whatever you believe I can give you is just an illusion, Harry. Death is not just an ethereal thing. It’s real and I have to pay my dues.”
“I don’t believe you. I can see it in your eyes, you know? As if there’s something at the end of this road that’s awaiting you and you’re terrified of finding out what it is.” Harry fell quiet for a minute then finished his speech, “I always thought you acted the way you did because you were afraid of dying, but now that I see it with adult eyes I can see the truth.”
“And what truth is that, Mr. Potter?” the Reaper harshly asked, not accustomed to being judged, and here he was being analyzed by a man twenty years his junior. Although at the moment, he only looked slightly younger than himself.
“That you were afraid of living. So what is it at the end of the road, Severus? Heaven or hell?” the once Savior of the Wizarding World asked, staring right into those dark, stormy eyes.
“None of your business, boy,” Severus responded as he stood up. “It’s beyond your ken, so please do yourself a favor and leave.”
The Reaper disappeared in the blink of an eye, leaving Harry behind, still sitting on the ground.
“It’s actually Heaven or Earth; Hell was never in the equation. Only Severus doesn’t know that—he must choose to move forward or stay behind.” The other Reaper spoke from behind Harry, who turned only his head to see who was talking.
“So, either way he’s beyond my reach,” he said to Mr. Asato who only smiled down at him.
“Maybe so, maybe not. It’s really up to you, and I don’t believe it will be that easy to get rid of you, Mr. Potter.”
“It’s not.” Harry snorted, but he sighed on the next breath. “But he’s difficult, how can I convince him that I’m telling the truth?”
Tsuzuki laughed and pulled the other man up. “Like all the other people do, Mr. Potter… court him. I’ll even do you a favor; I’ll keep him right here in London so all you have to do is convince him you’re for real. And maybe in the next few years the two of you can reach an agreement.”
It didn’t sound promising, but Harry thought it was worth the shot. “Alright, I’ll do so.”
The Reaper took the Auror’s hand and shook it. “Then it’s a deal!” In the next moment he was gone.
Harry stood still for a few more minutes, contemplating whether he had made the right choice or not, but all he could think about was the spark he had seen in Severus eyes. “That’s what I wanted—some warmth. The friendly part can come next.”
With one last, longing look at the ground where Severus had sat, Harry Potter left London.