Characters: Severus, Lord Voldemort, Nagini, Harry
Warning (highlight to view): For canonical character death.
Word Count: 325
Summary: Severus is troubled by a Slytherin death.
Disclaimer: This work of fan fiction is based on characters and situations created by J. K. Rowling and owned by J. K. Rowling and various publishers, including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books, Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made from (and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended by) the posting of this fan work.
Author's Note: This ficlet follows A Thoroughly Inappropriate Present. Thank you, arynwy, for beta'ing.
Nightmares—they assailed Severus one after another: feeling the familiar, unwelcome pain that flared through his body to herald the Dark Lord's imminent arrival; fleeing before Minerva and Filius' wrath, unwilling to do them any harm and knowing that they might very well kill him if he remained; joining the ranks of the Dark Lord's minions knowing that he had not yet kept his promise to Dumbledore and fearing that he would ultimately fail Lily; wading into the killing lest his true allegiance be discovered and trying only to maim while he searched for Potter among the fighters.
Being summoned to the Dark Lord's presence was not a respite . . . especially when he saw Nagini.
Was he to be punished for the Dark Lord's failure to secure Potter? Severus didn't know; all he could do was listen, to listen and try to persuade the Dark Lord to allow him to return to the battle.
I have to find Potter!
When he finally understood the Dark Lord's intention, he exclaimed and raised his wand as if to duel, but beyond that futile gesture, he did nothing. He was too paralysed by his failure and his fear to do anything other than watch Nagini come for him.
Pain came next, and Severus reflexively struggled to save himself.
Why bother? Just let go. It's done. You're done, and—
Someone called Potter's name, and then there he was. It was no miracle for which Severus had ever looked before, but he was glad, and hope dulled his agony enough that he was able to release his message of memories, seize Potter and demand that he take it. He desperately wanted to see that Potter understood his intention, and he ordered Potter to look at him, but all he saw in the boy's eyes was shock.
He could no longer speak, but he stared into Potter's eyes past the ghost of his mother and silently willed, Take them, Potter! Look at the—