Title: Snape’s Choice
Pairing: None – Gen fic
Length: 631 words
Disclaimer: So not mine.
Summary: One year after Dumbledore’s death, Severus Snape faces another life and death choice.
I think that only Albus Dumbledore could have found amusement in my predicament. For today, on the anniversary his death, I am faced with yet another life and death choice.
I feel the burden of Albus’ trust weighing heavily upon me as I face my current decision. I remember how one year ago he begged me through Occulmency to make the right choice. He always believed in me, believed that I would choose what was right over what was easy. I will never know if he would agree with my choice. I simply know that I did what I thought had to be done.
I wonder if Albus really believed that his Gryffindor Golden Boy would defeat the Dark Lord? If so, he was so very wrong. Potter stands bound before all the Death Eaters now, easily captured when he attempted to kill his nemesis.
Thus, my current dilemma. Kill Potter, as the Dark Lord commands me to do. Or kill the Dark Lord instead.
There are consequences no matter what I decide. To kill Potter is to allow the Dark Lord to win, to allow terror and fear to take hold. We all know that Potter’s death would mark the end of the fight; no one else would dare stand up against the Dark Lord once the Chosen One was destroyed.
Yet killing Potter means killing an innocent, for somehow, even through all his fighting, his soul remains pure. He has never been tainted by an Unforgivable. I helped make sure of that.
He looks up at me with James Potter’s face and Lily Evan’s eyes. Those eyes stare at me with such hatred, yet there is defiance there as well. Even as he faces certain death, he refuses to succumb. While I would never admit it aloud, I feel a grudging respect toward the boy.
To kill Potter is to kill James Potter’s son – to kill the son of one of my most hated tormentors. Yet it is also to kill Lily Evans’ son, the son she herself died for. And as much as I hated Potter, I respected and, to a small extent, cared about, Lily. Does her son deserve this fate? Should I instead kill Lily’s murderer?
And yes, it would be easy to kill the Dark Lord now. Potter must have destroyed the remaining Horcruxes, since he is here, seeking to destroy the last remaining bit of the Dark Lord. While that foolish Prophecy they both believe states that one must die at the other’s hand, that simply is not the case. With the rest of his soul destroyed, the Dark Lord will die like any other mortal man. The death blow does not have to come from Potter; anyone, including myself, could claim the Dark Lord’s life.
And of the two, he is the one who truly deserves to die.
But to kill the Dark Lord is to doom myself to death. For I am, after all, the murderer of Albus Dumbledore, the most powerful wizard of our age. There can be no forgiveness for that act. No explanation, however rational, that will save me from my punishment. If the Dark Lord is dead, there is no protection for me. I too will quickly follow his fate. And I’m sure that my death will be horrible, painful, and slow. There will be no mercy for me in the end.
I sigh. It all comes back to you, Albus, and your belief in my choices.
The Dark Lord grows impatient, and orders me to kill Potter one more time. Potter just glares at me, his hate-filled eyes determined, awaiting his fate.
One of these men will die by my hand. I look at them both, one last time. I raise my wand.
I make my choice.