The summer insects hummed and made a living sound of the heat. The aura of the Wizarding
world thrummed with the sleepy pleasure of an afterglow, after the party, after
the celebration. It was Harry Potter day. How wonderful. Voldemort was dead,
and all credit given to a baby boy who was probably drooling on himself at this
It made a bitter coda to all those who had sacrificed so much, had actually
worked for the end of Voldemort instead of huddling like so many sheep, or
burbling in a cradle. Now the grateful sheep danced around and celebrated a
Severus made a sound that was half derisive laugh and half sigh. He always
known he'd chosen the wrong side. Here was the proof.
In a typical lack of gratitude, those he had helped didn't believe he'd been a
spy. Severus should not have been surprised, but in fact, he was. Even once
'cleared,' one job interview after another turned him away. Severus supposed he
had projected Albus's cunning and admitted perceptiveness onto those he
represented. It stung to be wrong.
Meanwhile, those he had turned against knew it to be true, with vicious
certainty. Knew him, knew that Severus Snape would rather go to Azkaban than
cower, whinge, and make excuses for himself. He was no Lucius Malfoy, to
survive at all costs. Snape? He'd rather be dead. So it had to be true.
Most of them also guessed he'd enjoyed it. His mother certainly did, as she
closed off his access to any of the Snape accounts. Not disinherited, no. Not
officially, at any rate.
Severus Snape surveyed the landscape of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and
Wizardry, a place he had hoped never to see again. He turned from the window
and knocked solemnly on the heavy wooden door.
Now Severus had to ask for a favour. But at least the man he was asking
owed him a great deal. It felt better than charity.
Albus opened the door to his office himself—no magic charms this time. Very
kind of him, and respectful. Albus smiled warmly. Behind him, tea was already
made and the table set. Of course.
"Severus. Won't you come in? I've been expecting you."