After the Fall: A Suite of Poems

by Savageland

Title: After the Fall

Disclaimer: Severus Snape, all other recognisable characters, and the Potterverse are the creation and property of J.K. Rowling, and I will not make a single red sickle from these scribblings.

I. The Lightning-Struck Tower

With a last breath, a faint plea, the old man pierced
My soul. That word shattered my weakness,
And I found the strength within to hate and fear
As I had once promised with my loathly vow.
So I struck. I blasted his heart with such deep
Intent that forgiveness would be mockery.
I watched, past rage, as he seemed to gather light,
And then he fell: a pale star, a spark, a life-force
Beyond all reach. He fell, and his light dimmed, died,
As he spiralled into the dark. Then I raved
Down, through, and away toward the night, herding
That weak child I’d sworn on pain of death to serve.
I craved the dark, couldn’t face the raging, righteous
Light at my back. The glory of revenge would
Have been wasted on the likes of me. Later--
Yes. But on that night, I let myself escape,
Let the pit submerge me. Long ago I made
That choice, that vow. Tonight, he fell. For me, hell
Would be a kindness now. Though they hated me,
They believed I would at least protect them, stand
Behind their cause. I refuse to be redeemed
For a vow I could not break, wrought by my hand.

His last breath, his plea, has crushed my soul to sand.

II. Flight of the Prince

May chaos take me.
May horror crush me.
May my cries pull galaxies apart.
May I breathe the ashes of burnt-out stars.
By unrequited thirst may I be savaged.
By all ten thousand spells for pain may I be ravaged.

May the dead rise.
May the dead flank me;
May their fingers tear me apart.
May they hurl my remains into hell’s cold heart.
An unrequited hatred leaves me shattered—
By all ten thousand names for pain is my heart battered.

III. Spinner’s End

A. Snape Victorious

If I could find the hidden heart of earth
And burn my hate to dust within its fire,
If I could feed the full moon’s hungry maw
With subtle poisons born of base desire;
Or take the rose devoured by the worm
And drop its ruined petals on my pyre—
That would not serve. It will not bring him back.
No potion can be strong enough, no spell,
No dungeon-magic deep enough, no curse
Will un-make grief, can still the tolling bell.
I haunt this wretched house, each hour worse,
And tell my Lord and Master—all is well.

Pluck out my mind. Obliviate to hell
My writhing memories of him who fell.

B. The Horcrux

You foolish girl. You’ve found me. See my disgrace.
Were you prepared for quite such disarray?
Grief burns like fire in your defenseless face.

You and your Aurors—I know they gird this place.
Did you hope I’d show remorse? A gross cliché—
You foolish girl. You’ve found me. See my disgrace.

That thing you seek, that talisman, that trace
Of evil: I have it. Did it draw you all this way?
Grief burns like fire in your defenseless face.

I give it to you freely: this carapace
For one black shard of soul, which I now betray.
You foolish girl. You’ve found me. See my disgrace.

Do with it, and with me, what you must. This chase
Is done. I’m past repentance, and I can’t repay.
Grief burns like fire in your defenseless face.

You risked your life. For pity? Don’t misplace
That sentiment on me. Spare me your display.
You foolish girl. You’ve found me. See my disgrace.
Grief burns like fire in your defenseless face.

IV. Hermione’s Helping Hand

Brown hair, specked with snow
Your tears, your breath, half-frozen

Eyes closed, a wand-tip
Ghosts slipping into cold graves
A Pensieve. Kindness.

All rage burnt to ash
Faint stars in my cell window
Falling away. Peace.

A Note and an Invitation:

The titles of these poems are taken directly or adapted from chapter titles in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. For anyone curious about the structure of each poem, please feel free to visit the “After the Fall” entry in my LJ (the address is in my profile).

This story archived at: Occlumency