The Love That Shattered a Man

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Rating: PG

Summary: Love, hatred, and death all spin a web of pain into Severus Snape's life and only one person can save him

Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J. K. Rowling. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. It's just fan fiction!

Author's Pre-Note: Thanks to all of you who have read and reviewed this story since December 1999. It always surprises me to find out how many people remember it and how many people like it. In fact, a lovely lady named Carol Graymalking liked it so much, she translated it into Portuguese! Here's the translation.

< >That said about how this story is, it was obviously written before Goblet of Fire and doesn't completely connect to what we learned about Severus Snape in that book.


< >"First of all, this is not your common room, this is the Ravenclaw common room, if you've forgotten. Second of all, this is the girl who I have known much longer than you ever will. And finally, last, but not least, let me pass!" Severus hissed, glancing at Samantha who was too upset too speak at the moment.

< >"Give her to me," the seventh year said cautiously.

< >"Hardly, yourself! I brought her here on Professor McGonagall's orders and I will not leave until I know she is safely in her dormitory!" Severus said angrily; his lying about the professor's alleged orders was only obvious to himself and Samantha. That is, if Samantha was even listening anymore - or even able to listen, for that matter, over the noise of her sobbing.

< >"You, nor any other boy is allowed in a girl's dormitory!" The Ravenclaw was appalled.

< >"And I don't give a rat's ass!" Severus said fiercely. "Let me pass or I will go straight to Professor Dumbledore himself! And there will be hell to pay then." His last words were just above a whisper, but just as meaningful as everything else.

< >The Ravenclaw boy's confidence faltered when he heard and took in the threat. He coughed and turned to his fellow Ravenclaws. "Please move away for your fellow Ravenclaw . . . and friend," he said in a loud voice, turning back to Severus.

< >Severus couldn't hold Samantha very well anymore and, without warning to any of them - even Severus himself, he nearly dropped her. "Help me," he said sharply to the prefect as he carefully pulled Samantha into his arms so he could carry her. His muscles felt like they were literally screaming and he wanted to scream, as well, but he ignored the pain as best he could, busying himself with Samantha.

< >Reluctantly, the boy helped Severus in, looking quite repulsed and disgusted at even the thought - and action - of touching a Slytherin. Severus almost told him this wasn't a time for politics - or the hatred everyone had toward Slytherin, but held himself back for Samantha's sake.

< >The prefect took his hands away as soon as Severus had made it through the entrance and pointed silently toward a corridor that must have led to Samantha's dormitory.

< >All the common room inhabitants' faces showed a mixture of astonishment and hatred. Their eyes glowed angrily at the thought of a Slytherin stepping into their common room.

< >Severus walked, ignoring them and alone, still holding Samantha in his arms, of course. She seemed oblivious to everything and everyone; or asleep, he guessed, again. Exhaustion had overcome her.

< >He nudged open the dormitory door with his foot and pushed through. He found Samantha's ruby encrusted chest immediately - it was one of a kind - and laid her in the bed that it lay at the foot of. He then pulled the covers over her, dragging them up to her chin protectively.

< >Samantha's eyes slowly opened, feeling this warmth. She looked around, startled, then turned her head toward Severus. Her eyes widened in surprise. "Why - how - when - ?" she asked, blinking.

< >"Shh," Severus whispered, bringing a finger to his lips. "I brought you in here just now. The how part was difficult, but I finally made it through. I will say, though, that your fellow Ravenclaws will be happy to see me go." He chuckled softly.

< >Samantha smiled weakly. She reached out and touched his hand, intertwining their fingers. "You did that - just for me?"

< >Severus nodded slowly, averting his eyes from hers. He wanted to express his love for her, but he couldn't. He looked back at her finally and gripped her hand gently but firmly. "I . . . I don't know what to say to you," he whispered hoarsely.

< >Samantha closed her eyes and her arm fell limp, falling slowly - because of Severus's grasping hand - next to her side. "You have done so much for me, Severus . . . How could I ever repay you?"

< >"Sleep," Severus replied quietly, slowly pulling his hand away, so he could stroke her hair. "If you just sleep, that will be all I need from you, dear Samantha." He stood up, kissed her hand, and before he left whispered, "Sleep, my love. Sleep."

< >Severus then hurried out of the dormitory and down the corridor, fearing an answer from Samantha, no matter what it might be.

< >The Ravenclaws were all still in the common room, so quiet that a feather could have fallen and it would have sounded like an explosion when it touched the floor. They all glared at his back as he crawled quickly out of their precious common room.

< >Severus, finally out, hurried to his own common room. He was greeted by applause and excited whispers that erupted as soon as he walked in.

< >Dorian ran up to him and turned to everyone. "My best friend - made it into the Ravenclaw common room! A first in Hogwarts history! And into a girls' dormitory, no less!"

< >Severus whirled around, seized short Dorian by the robes, and threw him against the nearest wall, glaring hard into his eyes.

< >The common room hushed immediately, startled.

< >"You are a fool, Dorian," Severus hissed quietly, but the whole common room heard it because of their silence, listening attentively. "You are an damned, idiotic fool, Dorian! My real best friend is Samantha Halloway, a girl I have known for years ! And her parents were just killed, Dorian. By Lord Voldemort! One of the most evil or soon to be most evil wizards that has ever graced the face of this earth! And all you can say is I Ďmade into the Ravenclaw common room!í Who gives a flying - " Dorian yelped in pain as Severus dug his sharp nails into Dorianís neck.

< >"Severus!" he cried.

< >"Samantha was crying in my arms for hours this morning!" Severus continued severely, not letting Dorian go just yet. "I was not there for her when she needed me, though, Dorian, in the beginning! All of you were, though! But you did not come to her comfort, did you?" he accused angrily. "And who cares that she is a Ravenclaw? How many of you will wish that a Gryffindor or that a Hufflepuff were there for you when your parents die?" Severus yelled at the common room, dropping Dorian who crumpled in a heap on the floor.

< >Severus looked down at him and spit on him. "You disgust me. I helped her all the way to her common room on legs that had not moved position in three hours, carried through her common room, past all of the Ravenclaws, and into her room, to lay her on her bed - for her protection!

< >"Samantha is the only friend I truly know and I will not - do your hear me? - I will not hand her off to some prefect, even if he was a Ravenclaw and I am not - because I could not and cannot! I knew her parents - the only ones she had in this world who are now dead! Lying in pieces on a street! Dead! Does that ring a bell? Death?" he demanded of the room. "How many of you will be crying and sobbing in your beds in grief of your parents, or your sister, or your brother, or your aunts and uncles and cousins in a few years, because Voldemort killed them?"

< >The silent common room stared at Severus in terrible realization and shock at his defiance. The Slytherins looked around at themselves, pondering whose family would be the next to go, but were at immediate attention when Severus spoke again.

< >"And mark my words, all of you, when the time comes for your own death, all of you will regret this. All of it. All of you." With that, Severus swept to his dormitory, slamming the door behind him.

< >He did not come out for lunch, nor did he even think of leaving for dinner. Severus had drawn the curtains around his bed once again and spent his time staring into space. He knew he should have been studying, but he really didn't care.

< >Severus heard Dorian and the other sixth year boys come in after dinner, suddenly lowering their loud voices, when they saw Severus was in the room, or, at least, figured he still was.

< >When morning came, Severus was first up. He hurried down to the Great Hall after he had dressed, ate quickly before many students arrived, then headed to the library, wanting to find a quiet, reserved place for studying.

< >He had been working for nearly an hour, when someone passing by stopped next to him. Severus looked up, his eyes immediately darkening. "What do you want?" he sneered, looking back down at his papers.

< >James Potter shifted from one foot to the other uncomfortably. "I - I just wanted to say . . ." Severus looked up, ready to come back with a sarcastic remark. "I just wanted to say what you did - it was really decent of you," James finished defiantly.

< >Severus stared at him, then, realizing what James was about to say, turned back to his work. "I suppose the whole school knows if you know," he replied in a hard tone.

< >James sat down in front of Severus, making him look up. "What do you mean?" he demanded, narrowing his eyes at Severus.

< >"What do you think I mean?" Severus sneered.

< >"I just came here - " James started to say, his voice rising.

< >"To say that what I did was really decent. Yeah, I know. I'm not exactly deaf, am I?" Severus demanded angrily through gritted teeth. "I heard you perfectly, James Potter."

< >James's eyes stayed narrowed. "If you must know - your whole house was telling everyone at lunch and at dinner, for those who missed the tale. Are you telling me what they said wasn't true - "

< >"Am I supposed to know what they said is true or not when I was not even there?" Severus hissed, slamming his quill down. "I wasn't there - was I? I'm sure at least half of them said I'm crazy - that's why I was in bed all day. Ha! I stayed there because I did not want to talk to any idiots yesterday or today! But today has already been ruined and it's barely even started!"

< >"They said that you carried that girl - Samantha Halloway - all the way to the common room, yelled at one of the prefects, and walked straight in. You then carried her to her room and you were there for a while, comforting her," James said, ignoring Severus's last, cruel comments.

< >"I helped her to her common room door, then carried her to her room when she started crying again, even though my legs had been bent in the same direction for three hours," Severus said, "though that is clearly besides the point. And how in hell did my house know about - ?"

< >James waved his hand impatiently. "The Ravenclaws, of course. They included their own stories. Stories," he emphasized.

< >Severus opened his mouth, then shut it. "No, I'm not saying anymore. It's my personal business and for one thing, what will the Gryffindors think when they find out you spoke to me in an actual conversation?" he demanded. "They'll condemn you for life!" Severus laughed shortly and looked back at his work. "I'm busy," he said to James in a hard voice after a moment of silence, but no movement.

< >James hesitated for a moment, then got up, and turned to leave.

< >"James," Severus said suddenly, his voice low. He did not look up, but his mind was focused on the exiting boy.

< >James turned around slowly. "Severus," he replied, unnerved by the odd show of reserve in Severus.

< >"You're lucky, you know," Severus said quietly. "Damn lucky . . ."

< >"Lucky? For what?" James demanded.

< >Severus sighed in hesitation. "You have Lily," he replied softly.

< >"And you have Samantha, Severus," James said quietly, then walked away.

~

< >At lunch time later that day, even though it was Sunday, the Great Hall was crowded with people on study breaks.

< >Whispering had erupted once again when Severus had walked in, but he gave a glaring glance around the room, and it had returned to semi-normal talk, with staring, though, of course. Everyone was worried he was going to beat them up like he supposedly did to Dorian.

< >Suddenly, near the end of lunch, after a few people had sauntered out, not looking forward to getting back to their studies, two lonely owls swooped into the Great Hall. The whole room went silent because they knew what this probably meant - a death.

< >One headed to Dumbledore and the other - the other was headed toward Severus. The owl headed toward Dumbledore dropped it in his lap and Severus's letter was dropped right into his hands.

< >Severus tore open the letter and a long, gold chain with a small, roughly cut amethyst on it fell out onto the table with a clatter. He jumped up, making the chair he was sitting in crash onto the floor behind him.

< >Dumbledore jumped up from his own seat, but couldn't move any farther. Everyone was staring at Severus, who was himself staring open-mouthed at the necklace in pure horror.

< >"No," he whispered softly. "No, no, no!" He turned his head to stare at Dumbledore who nodded solemnly and looked truly sorry. "NO!" Severus shrieked, backing up and falling onto the floor, scrambling backwards desperately to get away from the necklace.

< >Though he desperately tried to back away, kicking his legs out hysterically, he could barely move out of his place. Out of the corner of his eye, Severus saw James leap to his feet, but he was not paying attention to anyone at that moment, just staring at the stone and chain in absolute terror.

< >The necklace was on the edge of the table and after a few silent moments, teetered off the table onto the floor, a few inches from Severus's feet. The clang of it hitting the floor echoed through the Great Hall.

< >Severus screamed.

~

< >Someone had taken him back to his room - Dorian, with the help of James, probably, Severus figured when he woke up. Everyone had probably stared at him, even Sirius, Remus, Peter, and Lily.

< >Oh, why? Samantha asked why and now I am asking - why? Severus screamed to no one in his head. He put his hands on his ears, trying to block out the pain he felt inside him, but it wouldn't go away, and he flopped back on the bed, tears streaming down his cheeks.

< >My poor mother . . . how long did she live? How long did she know she was going to die? How long was her pain? How had she held herself when she knew she was dying? Severus had so many questions, with no answers at all, and it nearly killed him.

< >His father had died when he was six and now, at age sixteen, ten years later, his mother was dead too. He had no brothers or sisters, or did he have relatives that he knew of; he was all alone in the world, except for the fact he had Samantha.

< >Severus decided to go talk with Hagrid again, despite repeatedly telling himself it was foolish; Hagrid couldnít help. Alas, he left the common room after everyone had gone to bed, slipping through the damp dungeons and drafty corridors, carefully avoiding Argus Filch and his cat.

< >He rapped on the door of the hut, whispering urgently, "Hagrid? Hagrid!"

< >"W - what?" Hagrid asked sleepily, coming to the door, and opening it. He stared at Severus in surprise. "Severus! What are yeh doin' 'ere?" Hagrid nearly cried, suddenly wide awake.

< >Severus looked down and didn't answer. He realized that his hands were shaking violently and clasped them together, trying to force them to stop.

< >"Eh, well, c'mon in," Hagrid said uncertainly, ushering him in.

< >"I heard about yer mum," Hagrid said delicately, handing Severus a cup of tea. "Er, I know yeh don't like it, but it's all I got." He looked extremely apologetic.

< >"No, no - it's fine. Thank you." Severus took a small sip of tea which felt like heaven in itself to his dry mouth. He looked slowly up at Hagrid, his eyes glistening. "So," he said slowly, "you heard about Mother?"

< >Hagrid shifted his weight uncomfortably. "Yeah," he replied finally, quietly, somberly, carefully . . .

< >Severus shook his head in grief. "I had just 'preached,' if you will, to my house about their selfishness and what they would be feeling if they're parents or family died by the hand of Voldemort - " Hagrid absolutely shuddered at the name, he saw, but kept going, " - and it happened to me." Severus stared down at his cup. A tear fell into it, rippling the dark liquid.

< >Hagrid slowly pulled an envelope out of his jacket and set it in front of Severus, who stared. "Now, I - I'm not the firs' one to admit, Severus," Hagrid began, making Severus look up at him, "that I don't like Slytherins and people like them - and I'm sure damn well not going to be the last one, either, you know that. But, I have to say to that yer sure as hell one of the most noble and courageous young men I've met in my entire lifetime. Yer a good man, Severus, yeh really are."

< >Severus left Hagrid's hut at dawn; he had slept on the floor, Fang curled up next to him. He hadn't wanted to go back to the castle that night - it was too risky, anyway, Hagrid had realized.

< >He walked swiftly across the grounds, the opened letter clutched in his hand protectively. Severus still hadn't read the enclosed, though, and preferred to do it in private. He hurried into the castle, immediately confronted by Professor Dumbledore.

< >"Professor Dumbledore?" Severus asked dimly, surprised.

< >"Severus, why don't you come to my office? We can talk."

< >The professor reached out to take Severus's arm, but Severus whirled away. "With all due respect, sir, I'd rather not," he said, his eyes narrowing. He hated "talking" to Dumbledore - Dumbledore did all the talking while the student listened, nodded, and would agree, whether or not they did. Severus loathed that aspect.

< >Professor Dumbledore stared at him, surprised. . . . Yet, Severus saw by the look in the old man's eyes, he was really not, in a way. It was as if Professor Dumbledore had heard this kind of rejection at least once before. He nodded finally. "Well, you'd better be on your way then, Mr. Snape."

< >"Yes, sir," Severus replied, hurrying away.

< >Severus was walking toward the entrance to his common room, when he was ambushed by a blur of brown hair. Whoever it was threw their arms around his neck, sobbing.

< >"Samantha!" he yelped, nearly falling backwards, realizing who it was.

< >"Oh, Severus! I just heard!" Samantha wailed, still hugging him.

< >Severus hugged her back tightly, his own tears starting to fall. "They were together, weren't they?" he whispered hoarsely, knowing the answer as soon as he had asked the question.

< >Samantha cried on his shoulder. "Why us, Severus?" she demanded then . . . laughed sarcastically. "Of course you don't know - I don't know and I'm supposed to know everything! Oh, God, Severus, I wish I was with my parents!" She broke into tears again.

< >Severus hugged her more tightly, unsure of what to say. He put his head on her shoulder, tears falling onto her, but she didn't seem to mind or care. She stroked his hair gently, surprising him.

< >"A storm is coming, you know," Samantha whispered quietly into Severusí ear, wiping her nose with her hand and sniffing. "I can feel it. And it's definitely coming. But, the question isn't whether it's coming or not, the question is, is it good . . . or is it evil?"

< >"We'll only know when it comes," Severus replied softly and hugged her again.

~

< >Sure enough, Samantha was right. The castle was being pelted by rain and hail and wind in less than an hour later after that, actually.

< >The corridors were freezing, fireplaces were lit with roaring fires, but those were only in the common rooms. The classrooms were freezing, especially Potions and the astronomy tower.

< >No one spoke of the deaths, it was becoming all too real to their innocent minds. Another student, in Gryffindor this time, had found out that his sister and father had died. They'd been the last bodies to be found in the wreckage - and the poor boy was devastated. He stayed in his bed, not wanting to talk to anyone.

< >Once all of his classes were over, Severus retreated to his common room where he studied until dinner. Then he dragged his miserable self down to the Great Hall at dinner and starting eating, suddenly ravenous. He was in a position where he could see the doors of the Great Hall if he looked straight in front of him. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a girl with long brown hair run by it, not even glancing inside, but he knew who it was.

< >Severus jumped to his feet and the room fell silent almost instantly. It was a good thing, too - perhaps in the most morbid sense of the words - because then no one would have heard the front doors slam shut . . . or the muffled, painful scream that followed it a few seconds later.

< >"Samantha!" Severus shouted, scrambling clear over the loaded table, sendind dishes and glasses shattering to the floor. In seconds he was running out the Great Hall doors. He slammed into the walls as he ran, deafening shouts of surprise and fear behind him.

< >He soon heard loud footsteps following him quickly, but he ignored them, and focused on nothing but that of what was in front of him. Severus threw open the front door and stopped dead at the sight not seventy feet in front of him. He couldn't move.

< >Samantha lay twisted on the ground below, soaked by the rain and bloodied by the evil deed. A silver, ruby encrusted dagger was sliding slowly from her delicate hand.

< >Severus suddenly felt power come back to his legs and he tore down to Samantha, slipping and sliding in the mud and dark. He fell onto his knees next to her, staring at her in shock and fear.

< >Samantha was breathing harshly as the blood drained quickly from her veins. She was pale as a ghost, gazing up at the sky with a blank expression, ignoring the rainwater splashing into her still beautiful eyes. Her grip on the handle of the blade was lost and the dagger slid into a thin stream of rain water, gliding away slowly, as if wanting to leave an even more lasting impression on Severus than it already had.

< >She did this to herself, Severus knew with sudden alarm, gulping down a scream.

< >There were gasps of horror behind him as the rest of the school joined him in the rain.

< >"No, no, Samantha!" Severus suddenly yelled in anguish, slamming his fist down in the mud. He crawled around to her and brought her limp head into his lap. "No, Samantha! No! Don't leave me! Not here! Not now!" he cried, tears streaming down his cheeks.

< >Samantha looked into his eyes, but didn't say anything. She looked . . . happy.

< >"No, don't do that! Don't look at me like that! I love you, Samantha!" Severus shrieked, burying his face in his hands. "Don't you understand? Isn't it clear? Why? Oh, why do I have to lose so many people? It's not fair! My father, my mother, and - and now you - my only reason for not taking my own life!"

< >Samantha started crying - Severus didn't know if it was the pain or realization. "Oh, Severus," she said, her voice choking on the blood that was swirling and coming up through her throat. "Oh, Severus, I knew! I know, but . . . but my life was over the second Voldemort was conceived! Before I was even born! His destiny was to kill my parents and mine is to be with my parents and - "

< >"And my destiny was to be with you!" Severus yelled back at her, suddenly angry through his miserably pain. His shoulders shook as tears began to overwhelm him.

< >"I love you, too, Severus," Samantha choked through tears, her pale, feeble body shaking horribly. "But I can't go on. Not without my family - my parents, I mean."

< >"My mother died, you know!" Severus cried accusingly. "I - I . . . how do you think I can go on without you?" He cried harder, not wanting to believe the truth which lay right in front of his very eyes in its shocking, terrible reality.

< >Samantha managed a weak smile and stared up at him, eyes dipped in ferocious ocean water. He felt his angel, his love leaving him, escaping the murky depths of the terrible sea. "What did I ask you once?" she asked, her voice trembling as tears rolled silently away from her eyes and joined the rain puddles surrounding them.

< >Severus stared at her, paralyzed and confused.

< >"I asked you," she continued, taking in a shaky breath, "to stay with me."

< >"And I . . ." Severus gulped back a sob. "I said 'always and forever.' I'd be always with you . . . forever . . . and ever . . . and always . . ." He brushed away the tears that came down even faster from his eyes.

< >Samantha reached up to him and grasped his hand. "Always and forever, Severus, always and forever," she whispered hoarsely, smiling as best she could, despite the pain. "I will always be with you . . . forever."

< >Severus leaned down and kissed her deeply, never wanting to let go - he couldn't, he knew. He'd never let go. Never. "Always and forever, my love," he whispered, his voice whimpering with anguish. "Always and forever."

< >The two lovers were oblivious to the people surrounding them. Their screams, their crying, their stares of terror, their whimpers of emotional distress all mixed together came upon deaf ears. It was just the two of them in the bleak of the dark stormy night, alone, and together . . . always and forever in their hearts.

< >Samantha died in Severus's arms that stormy night, leaving a lonely, angry man behind in grief of his lost life. He knew he would never again regain that life and he knew he never wanted it back because he knew he would lose it again if he ever did.

~

< >Severus Snape closed his eyes, remembering his last moments with Samantha. The moments felt like they had occurred only the day before, and, in a way, they had. For him, anyway, though it had been many, many years. . . .

< >"Sir?" a sixth year named Harry Potter asked softly. His voice was uncertain, not wanting to disturb his Potions professor.

< >Severus opened his eyes and looked at Harry. He smiled weakly.

< >"Why did you tell me this?" Harry asked shakily, nervous.

< >Severus sighed. "I have never repeated my story to anyone since that day. It was the love that shattered me into what I am or was today, Harry. I figured you needed an apology from me."

< >"Sir, I - I don't understand - "

< >"You shouldn't. The love of your life, your only reason for getting up in the morning and going to sleep in the evening, didn't die in your arms when you were only sixteen, did she?" Severus asked quietly. "But, same as you, your parents died at the hand of Voldemort, and I thought you should know."

< >"Why did you think I should know, though, sir?" Harry asked, speaking grimly. "I have thought you always loathed me."

< >Severus smiled weakly, shaking his head. "Never, Potter. Never have I truly hated you. I gave you a hard time . . . well, because I didnít want you to have time to think of your parents."

< >Harry looked to the floor, embarrassed and morose by this, and Severus sighed deeply. "I've lived here at Hogwarts almost my whole life, Mr. Potter. That's over twenty years almost, if you'll believe that. I never left here after my seventh year, the year you are in now. I trained, studied, and worked here to become the professor I am today. Do you know why I was so interested in the Dark Arts? Because I wanted to kill Voldemort so much that I nearly went insane - I wanted revenge and I was utterly bloodthirsty about it . . . I even joined his cult during my early teaching years to get closer to him."

< >"I understand that, professor, but . . . Why?" Harry asked softly, looking up. "Why didn't you leave here? Why didn't you get away from this place if you hurt so much?"

< >Severus's eyes glistened with tears. "Because I made a promise, Harry, I made a promise."

< >Harry was about to reply, confused once again, when a pale transparent girl abrupty stepped out of the shadows behind his professor. She put a frail hand on Severus's shoulder and Severus put his own hand on hers, seeming as if her hand was really there.

< >"I made a promise, Harry," Severus repeated softly, smiling, truly happy for one of the first times in nearly twenty years. "I promised to stay with my dear Samantha. Always and forever. And I plan to stick with that promise. Always and forever . . ."

- fin -


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