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Old March 29th, 2006, 9:06 pm
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CathyWeasley  Female.gif CathyWeasley is offline
Assistant to Professor Snape
 
Join Date: 12th September 2005
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Age: 53
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Re: Snape's Happy Ending

So here is the next chapter (sorry forgot the number for a minute then) Sorry for the wait! Hope you like it!


Chapter 7: The Healer

Severus Snape sat in his chair watching his patient as he had watched her for hours that had stretched into days. He had brought her to the shack barely alive, the dark curse spreading rapidly, poisoning her blood, inflaming her nervous system and flooding her body with toxins. The stench was foul, but he barely noticed as he struggled to keep her alive. Repeating every healing incantation he knew, forcing potion after potion down her throat. The physical effects of the curse were horrifying; her body was swollen and distorted, then shrunken and withered, tense and rigid, then limp like a rag doll. There had been convulsions, her body writhing and jerking while black foam spewed from her mouth. By dawn he had halted the curse's progress, but he couldn't rest. Her condition was still desperate and he had to find a way to reverse the damage. So he worked on through the day, setting up his cauldron in the room, his books hanging open in mid-air so he could refer to them as he worked, collecting and analysing the thick black bile that the patient had vommited up, and dictating his results to a quill that recorded his every word. Minerva had joined him in the evening, but there had been no time to talk; leaving Miss Hartley's immediate care to her, he had worked on through a second night, perfecting his potion until just before dawn, exhausted, Minerva had insisted he sleep for a few hours. When the shack was once again bathed in daylight he was back at the Anna's bedside. And so it went on for countless days. Checking the patient, referring to his books, brewing potions that took too long, far too long to prepare. Each evening Minerva would come and almost too tired to speak he would give her instructions, then fall onto the bed in the other bedroom that Minerva had added to the shack. Before dawn he would resume his vigil by Miss Hartley's bed, aware that Minerva had cleaned the room, bathed the patient and left food for him.



Anna's dreams were troubled with dark clouds that engulfed her. Thick, all encompassing blackness that seemed to absorb her very being. She tried to resist, tried to fight, tried not to loose herself in the dark, but it pressed around her blocking everything out, so she could not see where she ended and the darkness began. Yet she wouldn't let it take her, she held on, clutching at her very essence until at last the blackness faded, and she slept on, in a deep dreamless sleep.



Snape would not have recognised Anna Hartley now as the enthusiastic student he had taught all those years ago. He found it hard to reconcile the irritating Hufflepuff prefect with the woman lying before him on the bed. He remembered her as a plump girl with a chubby face and long honey blonde plaits . She was bright and he would have enjoyed teaching her if she hadn't constantly asked questions. Quid nunc he had privately christened her, and now it seemed the nickname mocked him. What now? Now she was fighting for her life. The black and purple blotches had faded, leaving a deathly palor. Her body was cold, yet bathed in sweat and the curse had left her unnaturally thin. But she was alive and Snape poured himself into his work. He couldn't let her die. Not when he could save her if he worked hard enough, if he kept watch, if he made no mistakes. Her life could be saved and he had to save it. He had to. Because he'd seen too much death. Seen too many people die because of his mistakes. His mistakes! He'd always been punished so hard for his mistakes. He sometimes wondered if he'd been cursed as a child. Cursed so his mistakes resulted in pain and death. Other people made mistakes, other people spent their lives making mistakes, yet they were not made to suffer as he did.



Anna felt so tired, too tired to open her eyes. And her body felt so heavy, as if her limbs were made of lead. The bed was so comfortable. Wasn't she supposed to be on duty? She opened her eyes fighting off sleep. The sunlight blinded her. She blinked rapidly. Blimey I've really overslept! Why didn't someone wake me. She tried to move her head, but she just couldn't. Was she still dreaming? She looked up at the ceiling - a strange grey ceiling, with peeling paint. She tried to remember where she was, but she didn't recognise the room. She tried to speak, and it was only then that she realised how thirsty she was. A low moan escaped her and in an instant a figure appeared over her, feeling her neck, listening to her heart and then holding a goblet of water to her lips and lifting her head so she could drink. The cool water slipped down her parched and aching throat.
"Don't try to speak" a soft low voice said. She focused on the face over hers and gasped in horror.
"I'm not going to hurt you." he said. She licked her lips
"What do you want?" she whispered
"For you to rest," he said. She couldn't think; her head ached too much. He lifted her head and held another goblet to her lips, she drank the hot, sweet liquid and fell back into a deep sleep.



Anna awoke feeling as if she had been rung out like an old rag. It was too much effort to move. She had only once before felt even remotely this bad and that was when she'd had some dodgey chicken from a muggle takeaway. She had that same empty feeling inside as if someone had disinfected her digestive system. She also had a thumping headache and an oddly numb feeling in her limbs. She coughed and immediately regretted it as her stomach muscles screammed at her. Someone came over to the bed. Anna looked up into the anxious face of Minerva McGonagall.
"Anna!" She said and the look on her face was enough to tell Anna that she was lucky to be alive. Minerva held a goblet of water to her lips and helped her to drink.
"What happened? Where am I?" Anna said, fear and dread rising in her as she struggled to remember.
"It's all right your safe." Safe?
"I've had such strange dreams - I saw Snape"
"That's right! Severus has been looking after you."
"What?"
"Don't worry about it now Anna. You need to rest."
"I don't understand! Where am I?" she tried to throw off the bedclothes but she had no strength. Minerva sat down on the bed and put her hands gently on Anna's shoulders
"Anna listen to me. It's all right. Severus does not work for V-Voldemort."
"He killed Dumbledore. Harry saw it."
"Yes - he killed Albus - as Albus had asked him to do if such circumstances arose. Please don't worry. Rest Now"
"Harry - what about Harry?"
"Harry is fine as are everyone else. It's all taken care of." There was a quick step outside the room and Severus Snape came in. Anna shrank back against the pillows. He looked more frightening than she remembered; pale and gaunt, his eyes sunken and dark ringed.
"How is she?" he asked anxiously
"See for yourself Severus,"Minerva said rising and moving back, so Snape could come forward to the bed. Anna shrank back further her eyes wide and dilated.
"There's no need to be alarmed" he said, but Anna was trembling. The pale, long-fingered hands that felt her throat were surprisingly warm. They moved firmly and gently, and as a healer Anna knew he was feeling the lymph nodes in her neck. He nodded as if satisfied and felt her pulse.
"Good" he said more to himself than anyone else. Then to Anna's surprise he sat on the edge of the bed, slid an arm underneath her shoulders and lifted her into a sitting position. Minerva passed him a goblet and he put it to her mouth. The potion was warm and rather thick. When she had drained the goblet he gently laid her back down and stood up. Her head didn't seem to ache quite as much, but she felt as if she'd been punched and kicked all over.
"I'd better be going" Minerva said
"Please! Don't leave me with ... " Anna began anxiously. Snape's eyes glittered, and his lip curled.
"Severus saved your life Anna - he's hardly going to do away with you now. I'll be back later." She watched Minerva leave, then her eyes fell nervously on Snape, who seemed to be rather amused at her discomfort.
"Where am I?"
"It's probably best you don't know just yet."
"Why am I not in St. Mungo's?"
"Because you would have died before you got there, and as talented and professional as the healers at St.Mungo's are, they would not have known where to start."
"But you did?"Anna said sceptically
"Yes." he paused "I have extensive knowledge of the dark arts"
"So I've heard!" Snape raised an eyebrow.
"Lucky for you that I do Miss Hartley. The curse Bellatrix Lestrange used on you was new and very dangerous. If I had not been present you would certainly be dead. No more questions now. You should rest." Anna felt too weak and intimidated to argue. She closed her eyes and drifted off into strange dark dreams.



Severus Snape sat at the writing desk he had conjured up. The room was dark save for the light from the candles floating above the desk. He bent over the parchment, his quill scratching away, recording the potions administered, the charms performed and the patients progress. Her recovery had been better than he could ever have hoped for. She had regained consciousness and could talk coherently, dispelling his deeply held fear that for all his work, the curse had robbed her of her sanity. Anna stirred and Snape's quill stopped abruptly, frozen above the parchment as he watched and listened. She cried out and he laid his quill down on the desk next to his ink pot frowning. It was only to be expected he thought, still he had hoped ... she had shown such strength in fighting the curse. She muttered incoherently her head rolling from side to side. Sighing he got up and went to the bed, and taking out his wand he sat down next to her. He began to softly chant the incantation, his wand tracing patterns in the air over her face until she became quiet and still. He watched for a moment then returned to his desk and resumed writing.



Anna awoke to the sound of hushed voices. Snape and Mcgonagall were standing at the foot of her bed talking intently. Snape noticed that her eyes were open and broke off mid sentence to check her.
"How are you feeling?" he asked rather anxiously, checking her pulse and feeling her forehead.
"A bit better." She said perturbed by his anxiety. He looked at her intensely making Anna feel extremely uneasy.
"You have had disturbing dreams?" Anna wasn't sure whether it was a statement or a question.
"Yes." she said beginning to feel alarmed.
"Severus" Minerva said, gently sitting down on the other side of the bed.
"What is it?" Anna asked "Why do you look so worried?"
"You were hit with a very dark curse Miss Hartley; I believe it has left a ... shadow. Hopefully it will pass, with time and the correct treatment." Anna nodded slightly
"I see" she said as indeed she did. She knew what dark curses could do; she knew that they could infect the mind with shapeless fears and dark memories.
"You're in good hands" Minerva said. Anna could not deny it. She was loathe to admit it but Professor Snape knew what he was doing.
"Do you remember what happened to you?" Snape asked watching her eyes carefully. It was very unnerving.
"Um ..." she closed her eyes trying to remember "Harry - Millicent Bulstrode she ... she stunned him. There were death eaters waiting at the gate!"
"Yes," said Snape "Bellatrix Lestrange and Cuthbert Bulstrode were arrested by Proudfoot."
"The Auror?" Anna asked
"Yes" Snape hissed.
"If you remember Anna," Minerva said kindly "he was patrolling the grounds that night. He arrived with Hagrid shortly after Severus left with you. I only just had time to perform the memory modification on Millicent"
"You modified Millicent's memory?"
"Naturally" Snape said silkily "It would not do for it to become common knowledge that I had thwarted the plans of two death eaters and saved the life of the Defence against the Dark arts teacher at Hogwarts. It might appear that I am not as faithful to the Dark Lord, as is generally believed. Fortunately Millicent Bulstrode along with her father and Bellatrix Lestrange are now in Azkaban."
"Millicent's in Azkaban? How can that be fortunate?" Anna asked fiercly.
"Because she cannot be interrogated by the Dark Lord, who would easily recognise a modified memory and would undoubtedly ensure he discovered what was being concealed."
"But Azkaban - she's just a school girl!"
"Yes" said Minerva "but she is an adult wizard and will be punished as such - and after what she did to poor Horace, I must -"
"Professor Slughorn?" Anna interrupted remembering Filch telling her that Slughorn had been attacked "Is he all right? What did she do to him?"
"He's fully recovered now, but ... well ... she stunned him and then ... well she gave him walrus tusks!" Anna stifled a giggle and looked away, her eyes meeting Snapes who also seemed to be struggling to keep a straight face. Anna shook with suppressed giggles.
"Honestly Anna! It's not funny!" but Minerva's lips were twitching.
"But what on earth possessed Harry to go and meet Millicent in the grounds?"Anna asked. Snape snorted derisively, and Minerva gave him a quelling look.
"He received a note which he believed to be from Ginny Weasley - the handwriting had been bewitched to look like hers. The note said that she had discovered that I was witholding important information about the incident in the entrance hall and that they must meet outside for fear of being overheard."
"I saw Hedwig bring him the note in the library when I was looking at the map."
"Harry is mortified he was so easily fooled - he blames himself."
"As he should!" Snape said vehemently
"But I saw him with Ginny by the lake - it was weird because she wasn't showing on the map." Even as Anna said the words they rang a bell in her mind.
"But ... this is the second time that Ginny Weasley has been seen without her showing on the map. Have those brothers of hers found some way to fool it?"
"If only it were that simple!" Minerva said with a sigh "On both occasions Anna, Ginny Weasley did not leave Gryffindor tower. It was not Ginny Weasley you saw by the lake, but a shapeshifting creature that entrances its' victim rendering them powerless. That was why they abducted Fleur Weasley - even though she is only part Veela she has their hypnotic power."
"They used her blood to create this ... thing," Snape added, a look of extreme repugnance on his face.
"You see it takes on the form of the person you most love."
"But how did it get into the school?" Anna asked appalled.
" Millicent Bulstrode was sent a double encasement chest: open it normally to reveal the contents, but a special enchantment opens a second chest - one that is otherwise invisible along with the contents. It was too sophisticated a concealment for our security measures to have picked up."
"You knew of this; you knew the night I was stunned by Millicent?"
"Yes. But we could not let Millicent believe that we suspected anything. If there was any indication that she had revealed the contents before it was time, she would have been in grave danger." Anna tried to digest this information. "We confiscated the chest, but gave Millicent the impression that we had no idea what it was or what it contained."
"And that was why Harry saw his mother and Ginny Weasley before, without them showing on the map. Has he been told about this?"
"Yes, Harry knows what happened. Besides, Proudfoot saw the creature, so the ministry were informed. Fortunately the Daily Prophet hasn't got wind of it."
"Did you manage to ...er get rid of it?"
"Well thanks to Severus, we knew how to contain the creature." Anna's eyes flashed to Snape
"So you were at the school that night!"
"Yes" Snape said curling his lip "and thanks to your feline friend you came very close to apprehending me."
"Brandon! The tapestry!" Anna turned back to McGonagall "How is Brandon?"
"Pining for you. I'll bring him to you later."
"Oh thank you Minerva!" with a rush of gratitude "How are things at the school now?"
"Well, we are now subject to a ministry enquiry. Fortunately no students were injured, but " Minerva sighed heavily "more children have been taken home by their parents. The students were all very upset by your disappearance"
"But they know I'm all right now!" Minerva and Snape exchanged glances
"At the moment you are officially 'missing' - the ministry think you were abducted by death eaters," Minerva said
"Whereas the death eaters" continued Snape "believe you to be permanently incapacitated in St. Mungo's, and that the ministry are suppressing that information."
"Your sudden appearance would pose a lot of questions, Anna, particularly among the death eaters. The ministry would insist on interviewing you. It would put Severus in the most terrible danger." Anna looked from Minerva to Snape and back again. She tried to sit up, but Snape sat down on the bed next to her and pushed her down firmly.
"Do not try to exert yourself Miss Hartley" he said impatiently
"But what about my family? What have they been told?"Anna asked her eyes looking forlornly up into his. His hands drew back from her shoulders, and he looked away. Anna turned to Minerva.
"They, like the ministry, believe you to be in the hands of the death eaters." she said slowly
"But you've got to tell them I'm all right!" Anna said desperately.
"Anna - I know this is hard for you to understand, but for the sake of the order .."
"No, I see" she said in a small voice, sinking back on the pillows. As a member of the order she knew she would be called on to make sacrifices, and compared to most others this was nothing, but she still couldn't bear to think of her family sick with worry "I understand Minerva. Was anybody else hurt - Tonks?"
"No. No lasting damage. Although Savage had been on the end of a rather badly performed imperius curse - it took us a while to work out what was wrong with him becasue he was saying everything backwards. Once we realised, Poppy was able to put him right in an instant."
"Who is teaching Defence against the Dark arts now then?" Anna asked
"Alastor Moody has stepped in"
"Oh" said Anna feeling a little disappointed that she was so easily replaced "well, what is there for me to do?"
"Nothing for the present." Snape said "As a healer I am sure you are aware of the seriousness of your condition. The road to recovery will be long and uncomfortable. For the time being you will remain here. When you are well enough to be moved, then we shall consider the options." She looked doubtfully at Snape. The thought of having to remain in this rather ramshackle room "for the time being" with Snape, of all people, filled Anna with such dread that she was sure it would hinder her recovery. Yes, it seemed the road to recovery would be very long and very uncomfortable.



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Even if everyone hates him for it, that's the sacrifice he's making. He's not being the hero. He's being something more.

He's a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A dark knight.


Pottermore name: FlightMoonstone199

On CoS I'm in On Pottermore I'm in Maple and Unicorn, Thirteen and Three Quarter inches, Pliant

My Fanfic - Snape's Happy Ending


Avatar by Ben when he was 5- he's now 13!

Last edited by CathyWeasley; October 8th, 2006 at 3:33 pm.
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