Merlin it's cold.
Something's hard. Why is it so hard?
Am I sleeping on the floor? What's happened? I can't remember. Where am I? I need to wake up. Come on now, Severus old chap, wake up.
Perhaps I am awake. I seem to be thinking more clearly, at any rate. I'm barely breathing. My heart rate is so low I'd rather not think about it.
Damn. I can't even open my eyes. It smells disgusting here…wherever here is. It smells like blood and dust. Blood, dust, and urine.
It's me. I think I smell myself. I'm bleeding somewhere, and I've pissed myself. An awesome end to an awesome day, I'm sure. But what day? What's happened?
I try for an indeterminate time. Try to take a deep breath. Try to open my eyes. Try to waggle a fucking finger.
Bollocks it's cold.
The snake! It was that fucking snake and that fucking monster that kept her. I was ready for that, you egomaniacal fool. Did you know? Did your dark lordiness know that I crafted an antivenin for that fucking snake? I took it…I know I did. I've been taking that potion every day for the past fortnight.
Why didn't it work? Oh, I suppose it worked somewhat. I am alive…comotose, but alive nonetheless.
Something's wrong. That potion. It should have worked. Certainly it is a dangerous potion, but I know my business. It should have negated the poison, not left me a zombie. Was there too much blood loss? Am I bleeding out? It was a calculated risk, though I though it worth taking. Blood loss would convince the noseless one I was dying so he wouldn't feel obligated to ensure the matter. That was why I didn't add a blood congealant in the first place. The blood loss from a brace of puncture wounds would be dangerous, but shouldn't kill me. That was the plan.
Perhaps my brand of ill luck held true to form. The damn snake may have hit the jugular. No. If that was the case I'd be dead, not immobile.
Sweet Merlin fucking hell. I did this. All my careful calculations and I left one important factor out in my hurry. Blood loss. I didn't take blood loss into account when I set the dosage. That antivenin potion was nearly dark in nature. Like foxglove, it is dangerous if used in too strong a dosage. I didn't consider how drastically my own blood loss would change the strength of the potion.
The potion itself is harmless in its inert state. One could drink buckets of the brew with no harmful results at all, so long as you don't actually need it. Once the venom is introduced into the system, say from the bite of a jolly huge snake, the potion becomes dangerously volatile. It is capable of causing great healing or great catastrophe.
How much trouble was I in? I seemed safe for the moment. My breathing and heart rate were almost nonexistent, but they both held steady in their diminished state. My mental state was improving rapidly and I now felt clear-headed. It was as if I'd downed a large dose of the Draught of the Living Death.
I remember the students were here. Granger holding my hand. Potter getting the memories. Weasley standing like a lump, looking like he might piss himself.
I suppose the joke is on me, then.
Did it work? Did all the carefully laid plans work? I can only hope that the day was won and the madman is dead.
Perhaps the day was lost. I have no way of knowing exactly how long I've been lying here, but it seems a long time. If we'd won, someone would have come to collect me by now, even if they did suppose I was dead. The Dark Lord, however, would gleefully leave my body here to rot.
Even if we've won, even if they come for me, I don't know any cure for what's happened to me. Too many variables affected the outcome. It would take me months, perhaps years of study to perfect a cure. An endeavor that I am patently unsuited for in my current state.
I might be better off dying here on the floor.
I might die here on the floor. I don't hear anything but the painstakingly slow thump of my diminished heartbeat and the occasional creak and groan of an old house. If there is fighting, it's too far away for me to hear it. The Death Eaters have evidently left the building. I seem to be on my own for the foreseeable future, and I can't move a muscle. I try again to open my eyes but give up almost immediately. I could move my eyeballs slightly side to side, but my eyelids behaved as if they were glued shut. Nothing to hear. Nothing to see. Left to fade away in a pool of blood and piss.
I shouldn't have taken the antivenin. I should have let the bastard put me out of my misery.
I'm not sure why I wanted to live. My life was rather miserable. Got the woman I love killed. Killed my best friend. Oh, he was dying anyway but I finished him off. A brace of decades trying to ram some knowledge into the most dunderheaded children in the universe. I think the only reason I wanted to live was to see it come to an end at last. To see the bastard die, and remain so.
Doesn't seem like a good enough reason now.
I'm almost dozing when I hear a new sound. I'm clearheaded at once. A door creaking, I think. Yes, and now the sound of footsteps and a rhythmic vibration in the floor tells me someone approaches.
I decide I don't care who it is. If it's a Death Eater, they'll likely put me out of my misery. If it's an Order member or someone from the school, they might do the same quite frankly. Maybe they'll tell who won the day before they kill me. The footsteps draw closer, and I try to mentally prepare myself for whatever fate befalls me.
"He's here, Sir!"
It takes me a moment to place the voice. A student. Macmillan, I think. Ernie Macmillan. He steps closer but does not touch me.
"Ah, there he is, poor chap. Thank you, Mr. Macmillan. It doesn't look hopeful, does it? Best to check, though."
I hear a spark of magic, and then my left eye is pried open and I see the disheveled face of Filius Flitwick briefly before my eyelid is released and I fall into blackness again.
"I'm afraid he's gone."
I am not gone, damn you! You are hardly a medical professional, Flitwick. I'll thank you to keep your faulty diagnoses to yourself. Go get Poppy, you daft dwarf.
"Good. I mean, him being a traitor and all."
Lovely. Nice to see you too, Mr. Macmillan.
"Not at all, young man, not at all. Young Potter's been babbling to anyone who'll listen that Professor Snape was on our side until the end. Besides, He Who Must Not Be Named killed him. That's proof enough for me."
"I suppose so. What should we do with him then?"
"We'll take him back to the castle, the poor man. The dead are being set outside the main doors until we can get them properly buried. There's no room inside. The infirmary was destroyed and the Great Hall is full of the wounded."
Damn it, Filius. I'm not dead! Get Poppy.
A strange tingling spreads over my skin and the hard floor of the Shrieking Shack falls away. He's levitated me, I expect. Flitwick and the boy say little as they transport me to the castle. Not one word from either of them about whether Voldemort perished or not. Potter lived to blather on about me…I suppose that's something. I'll never like the brat, but he is Lily's son and I have tried to protect him.
At least the air outside is fresh. I still smell of blood and piss but the dusty decay of the Shrieking Shack is gone. It's chilly out and I can feel dampness on my face. I think it's spitting rain. Brilliant. I suppose I might die from exposure before I suffer the suffocation of being buried alive. That's looking on the bright side for you.
All too soon my body is lowered onto cold and uneven ground. Bodies. I think I'm lying on bodies. How bad was the battle that they have stacked bodies like cordwood? Did we win? Someone, please tell me we won.
"We can't leave him uncovered like that."
Don't leave me at all, Macmillan.
"He's beyond caring, lad. I didn't want to leave him in the Shrieking Shack, but nothing will disturb him on school grounds. We have to help those who still need us and focus on the living."
I'm alive, you ridiculous old coot. Someone please get Poppy. Please.
"Let's get back inside, lad. We've done all we can for him."
Bastards! I'm alive, damn you all. Don't leave me freezing here on a pile of corpses.
I hear their retreating footsteps and the small flicker of my hope gutters and dies. I might not even mind so much if somebody would bother to tell me if that snake-faced bastard is dead once and for all.
Merlin, don't leave me here. I thought the shack was cold, at least it wasn't raining. Between the bodies beneath me and the cold water seeping into my clothes, I begin to feel numb. My paralysis is such that I can't even manage to shiver. A rotten end to a rotten life.
Please, someone. Please.
A/N I think what I missed most about writing fanfic was getting to play with Severus. He's fanfic's everyman. You can find him in every kind of character archetype, from ridiculously horrible sadist to the most romantic of Gary Stu and everything in between. The thing about Severus is he can work in all of those things.
Idiot's Repose is my chance to take Severus out to play. I've missed him. This story hasn't been an original idea since Sleeping Beauty, but it's the first time I've tried my hand at it, and I think we'll have fun together. It's Epilogue, What Epilogue? and there will be romance eventually, but no lemons. I think I've lost the knack for lemons.
My novel, Wyrd House, was not selected for publication by Kindle Press, but I've self-published it and anyone who is interested can find it on Amazon and Kindle.
My next attempt at a Kindle Scout campaign is live right now and runs until the 15th of April. The book is Teatime of the Living Dead, and I think it might be the best thing I've written so far. If you want to check it out, you can find it at Amazon[dot]KindleScout[dot]com. Just check under "Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense." I'd love it if any of you have a chance to check it out.
Thanks for reading. I have really enjoyed my return to the Potterverse. I'm working without a beta, so any mistakes you find are my own.