LOOK AT ME
By Debby Bacellar
Dori me... Interimo adapare... Dori me.
My pain ... Renews me ... My pain
Free. Deliver me
"Look at me ..." The voice of Severus Snape echoed, husky and garbled with blood running down his torn throat following Nagini's bite.
Trembling from head to toe, Harry put his right hand on the pale throat, now covered with red, viscous blood. The liquid was lukewarm in his hand, slowly oozing through his fingers. His grip was not enough to stop the bleeding.
"Look at me." The order was repeated, more clearly now and Harry could not ignore that voice. He looked at Severus Snape ... and got lost in the dark orbs, he obsidian eyes flickering in their sockets. Harry was numb.
Snape stared into those green eyes. Harry's eyes were so very green; like a forest on a sunny day or an emerald freshly polished, like the glare of the Killing Curse… like Lily's eyes.
Severus could not die without fulfilling their mission.
Severus raised his left hand, his clammy palm covering Potter's hand on his neck.
Harry moved closer to the pale man, blood smearing everywhere. It was not a spell, but suddenly, silver tendrils drifted out of the eyes, nose and mouth of Severus Snape. Harry knew, they were the man's memories.
He felt the tingle of another's magic against his skin, as he watched the tendrils move slowly towards him. Snape was seeking permission. It was a strong feeling and Harry immediately accepted. With his consent, the silver threads entered through the his own eyes, nostrils and mouth and Harry saw everything instantly.
Harry saw with frightening clarity the images that flooded his mind as Severus's memories were given to him.
He saw Dumbledore being treated by Snape because of the curse of Marvolo Gaunt's ring. He saw how Severus fought to keep Dumbledore alive with a mix of powerful spells and potions to heal him, but nothing was enough. He had only managed to delay the effect of the Curse and Dumbledore would live, at most, for one year more.
The vision was nothing compared to the accompanying sensation that devastated Harry at that moment. A primordial part of Harry knew that these were not his feelings. These were the emotions that Snape experienced. There was such pain, sadness, depression, discouragement, and loneliness.
Harry felt love for Dumbledore. Love that was not his. It was the love that Severus felt for the old wizard, a son's love for his father. A love that did not measure consequences. He would do anything that Dumbledore wanted or asked.
Harry saw Snape standing in the middle of a dusty room filled with books . His hands were intertwined with Narcissa Malfoy's as Bellatrix cackled around them both. With the waving of Bellatrix's wand, golden threads of magic twirled around their joined hands in a figure eight, shook their linked arms and then immediately vanished. Snape was being forced to accomplish the task for Draco, if the blonde could not fulfill his duty.
Harry felt the uncertainty and dread Snape carried. Then the unexpected happened, Albus Dumbledore asked Severus to kill him. In order to save Draco's soul and stop his own death, which they both knew would be slow and painful.
Severus knew that, because of the curse, Albus would suffer long before he died. He would lose control of his magic and body, even his sanity before Death welcomed him into her robe.
Severus fought. Merlin, how he fought. Harry heard the heated dialogue.
"And my soul, Albus? What about me? "
"It's a favor, my boy. It is a mercy, not murder. It is a grace.
"How can you ask that of me? You know what you mean to me ... How can you? "
"Your soul Severus, will be free of guilt or burden ..." Albus approached, placing his wrinkled hands on the dark haired man's desperate shoulder.
"I've never met anyone like you. You define the word redemption. You went to great extremes to redeem a mistake made in your youth, when you were still foolish and naive, believing in greatness and glory. You can deny it over and over again, saying that you redeemed yourself out of guilt. But it was not guilt alone Severus. It is love, my boy. Because of your capacity to love and to keep on loving, even when there is no love is greater than anything I've ever seen. A soul like yours, which has killed for the right reasons, can not be damaged. Not for having mercy on an old man. "
"No, Albus ... Do not ask it of me, please ..." — Harry felt hot, seeing bitter tears falling from Snape's eyes before suddenly realizing he was crying too.
Albus wiped Severus's tears away.
"I beg you, my boy. You call me foolish and senile every day, but I do not wish for you to see it become a reality. Do it for me. Do it because you love me."
Severus cried even more, a strangled sound coming from his throat as he nodded briefly, accepting the request of his mentor.
Albus hugged him.
"Thank you, Severus. You are and will always be the son that I could not have ... " Albus whispered.
"I can only ask your forgiveness for all the things that I allowed you to suffer for the greater good. For further increasing your suffering, I will die full of regrets. But nothing is worse than knowing that you are in this position today because I did nothing for you when you were younger. "
"It's not your fault ..." Severus said, his voice choked with tears.
Albus only hugged Severus tighter.
After that, Harry saw another intense fight between Albus and Severus.
"Harry has to sacrifice his life so that Voldemort can die."
"You have raised the boy like a pig for slaughter." Severus yelled to Dumbledore's face.
Harry could feel his anger and the feelings of disgust.
"You used me. I've been your spy, lied for you, risked my life for you. All supposedly to keep Lily's son alive. Now you tell me that he MUST DIE!"
Dumbledore was unmoved by the fury of the dark haired man. "Now this is touching, Severus. You care for the boy, anyway?".
Without a word, Severus raised his wand and called his patronus. The doe whirled around Albus's office, and Harry felt the nostalgia, grief, sadness and emptiness of Snape.
"All this time?" Albus whispered. A compassionate look stamped on his face.
"Always." Severus replied.
With a swirl of his robes, Severus left Dumbledore's office. Uncontrolled magic shaking the paintings hanging in every hall he passed, until he reached the dungeons.
Soon Harry was bombarded with other memories. They had an older feel to them, as if coming from many years past.
Harry saw a pale boy, thin and smooth with hair as black as coal. The child was lying in the grass with a girl whose red hair was like flames atop her head, her green eyes contrasting to the cream-colored skin.
Harry's heart raced, he realized immediately who the little girl was. Instinctively, he knew she was his mother, Lily.
"Your parents are still fighting?" She asked the young Snape. The soft voice tinkling like a bell.
"Yes, they keep fighting. But it won't be long now, soon I will be gone to Hogwarts and won't have to see my father." Snape said, the small face drawn in a grimace that was reminiscent of his adult self.
"Your father does not like magic?"
"He does not like anything, Lils."
The memory faded. Another came.
"I do not need your help, you Mudblood!" Harry heard Snape screaming at a teenage Lily.
Harry saw all the light disappear from his mother's green eyes. Harry heard Snape's own thoughts as he repeated in his head ... 'It's for your own sake ... It's for your own sake, Lils.'
Harry saw the teenage Snape in a dark corner of the dungeons, apparently after the incident. He was sitting with his arms wrapped around his knees, and he was crying. He knew he had lost the only friend he'd ever had in his life, forever.
Abruptly, Harry returned to the present. It felt like being in a car at high speed when the brakes were applied sharply.
Quickly, Snape's face came into focus, then Harry glanced down at his body. There was much more blood now.
Snape was gasping, as if he could not get enough air.
Harry felt an insistent twinge in his mind and suddenly he heard Snape's voice inside his head.
"There is no hope for me... You know what you have to do. Go. And you better win. Impudent brat. "
Then Snape was closing his eyes slowly. Harry felt more tears falling over his face and a tightness in his throat.
Hermione and Ron entered the decrepit room of the Shrieking Shack.
"We have to go now Harry." Hermione said frantically.
He hated leaving Snape there, but Harry left. He was determined to win, now more than ever.
To win for the wizarding world, for his lost family, and now, to win for Severus Snape also.
To be continued…