I don't know where I am. It's too quiet to be the Great Hall. The smells are all wrong as well. Wherever I am, it smells like lavender and old sweat. Not exactly pleasant, but not as bad as piss and blood, I suppose.
I can hear muffled noise in the background, and at least one person besides myself breathing nearby. The soft whistle of air is slow and steady. Someone asleep perhaps.
I must have been moved to St. Mungo's, damn the luck. While I might be stuck in my present state indefinitely, at least I would have been safe at Hogwarts. With the Potter boy singing my praises the Order and the professors would have protected me. The wizard government will have no qualms blaming me for their incompetence during the war and letting me rot…or putting me to death. I'm simply too convenient as a scapegoat, not well liked by other wizards and unable to defend myself. Whoever has taken up the mantle of leadership would be foolish to take any other action.
As if my anxious thoughts have drawn the devil, there is a sudden rush of wind and a loud bang of sound. A door has been thrown open. I don't need eyes to know that. The inflow of air at first freshens the room, but soon enough the smell of bodies who have not washed recently permeates the room.
"Severus Snape, I am arresting you on behalf of the Wizengamot on charges of treason and also the murder of Albus Dumbledore."
Is that Thicknesse? The Dark Lord's puppet Minister? Old Tom is no longer around to pull the puppet's strings, so this must be Thicknesse himself making his play to retain the Ministry. He had been a toady of Scrimgeour's when he was the Head of Magical Law Enforcement, more interested in politics than the safety of the wizarding world. All power grubbing fool and little substance. Now, after fighting both angels and demons my fate is left in the hands of this nobody. Pathetic.
"Don't interfere with me, boy. Lower your wand immediately before I have these Aurors disarm you. Who do you think you are?"
"I'm Harry bloody Potter, that's who I am. As a citizen of the wizarding world and member of the Order of the Phoenix I hereby challenge your authority. You have been under the Imperious for ages. I demand that you be examined to ascertain if you are fit for office."
"You, girl, what are you doing? Call that Patronus back immediately."
"No. As a citizen of the wizarding world, I too call into question your fitness for office. I do not recognize your authority, and I will not do as you say."
Ahh, Miss Granger is here as well. This must be what my young Gryffindors were discussing back at the castle. I should have know that two such brash and reckless young people would not leave me unprotected. Miss Granger came up with this plan, surely. She is right, the boy isn't stupid, but she is deviously clever.
"I'll have you both thrown in prison for this, you stupid children. You have no right…"
"We are of age and have every right to call your authority into question."
"How dare you! This man…Snape…is a criminal and I will see justice served."
"Severus Snape is a war hero and neither Harry or myself will stand by and see him treated so shabbily."
"Lower your wand, girl!"
"I will not."
"I will see this man in prison and there's nothing you children can possibly do to stop me."
"Oh, I don't know about that. I killed Voldemort after all. I think I manage to stop you too."
"Did you hear him threaten me? Arrest him immediately!"
"Arrest Harry Potter, Sir? You want us to arrest the Boy Who Lived Twice?"
"I think young Potter's on to something here. I think we'd best get the Minister examined for fitness for office."
"Aurors! I gave you an order!"
"We heard you, Sir, but we decline to comply."
"What is the meaning of this? Why, Minister Thicknesse, have you drawn your wand against the savior of the wizarding world. Have you gone quite mad?"
Shacklebolt has arrived. So that's where Miss Granger's Patronus went. Clever girl indeed. Kingsley has been active in the Ministry for decades. If he gets Thicknesse thrown out for being unfit for duty, he'll have a fine chance at the Minister position himself.
"How dare you question my sanity, Shaklebolt. I'm here to have this Death Eater arrested and that's what I'm going to do if I have to put the whole lot of you in prison for obstruction of justice."
"I have it on the highest authority that Severus Snape is a war hero. He will be treated with the utmost respect."
"And who exactly is this highest authority?"
"Me. I killed Voldemort, and without the help of Snape I couldn't have done it."
Good boy, Potter.
"I am not going to listen to a child."
Merlin, but Thicknesse was thick. Once it gets around how this imbecile spoke to Potter, war hero, Shacklebolt will be a shoe in for Minister.
"I'm afraid that you are going to listen to me, Thicknesse. I will not stand here and have our heroes treated disrespectfully. Aurors, please detain Mr. Thicknesse. We will have him examined by the healers to see if he is a danger to himself or others."
"I will not--"
I hear at least three voices shout the spell, but I think Miss Granger was first out of the gate. Thicknesse must have drawn his wand. Thick indeed.
"Aurors, please take him to the healers and warn them he is dangerous please. I'll be with you in a moment."
"Yes, Sir. Don't worry, Sir. We won't let him cause any more trouble."
"It's not right, him threatening Harry Potter, and poor Snape here, who can't even defend hisself. Not proper at all."
There is further murmuring and a shuffling of bodies in the room. Soon, peace returns and I am left with my young protectors and Kingsley.
"Are you certain Snape was on our side, Harry. I don't mean to question you, but I have to be sure."
"Absolutely certain, Sir. I know we haven't had time to talk, but there isn't a doubt in my mind. Now that the war is over, and Snape is no longer having to play spy, I imagine Albus' portrait will back me up as well."
"That would help. I have no problem taking your word for it, Harry, but I have to convince the entire Wizenmagot as well. Having Dumbledore, even portrait Dumbledore, to back you up will ease things. I’d better go deal with that idiot. Clever plan, Miss Granger. It went off exactly as you expected."
"It wasn't difficult to figure out. The Aurors would never go against Harry, not right after he defeated Voldemort. But thank you...Minister."
I hear Kingsley's hearty laugh as he walks out of the room. The girl is right. After backing Harry in front of a group of Aurors, Kingsley is a shoe in for Minister.
My protectors talk quietly for a few moments, and then apparently go right back to sleep. They must be exhausted to sleep so soon after all the hubbub. Hell, I'm exhausted and all I did was lie here. It seems I'm safe enough for now. I still cannot even open my eyes, but at least I don't have to fear being accosted and thrown in prison while I can't protect myself.
Sleep reaches up and drags me down into unconsciousness.
A/N: Thanks to everyone for reading, and for the kind comments. I'm having fun with this story. It's nice to play in Severus' head again. He's one of my favorite characters of all time. I'm not sure how long this fic will be. I've got chapter 4 finished and started chapter 5. Maybe 10 in all. I am flying without a beta, so any mistakes are my own.
Big thanks for everyone who has nominated my paranormal mystery, Wyrd House, on Kindle Scout. My campaign took a turn for the better as soon as you guys showed up. If you want to check it out, you can find it at Amazon[dot]Kindlescout[dot]com. Look under mysteries and you'll find me. It's a fun book that has magic and romance, so I think my readers will like it. If you nominate it, and it gets selected, you get a free advance copy of the ebook.
More fic coming in a few days!