honour of marking his grave, I didnít know what they meant. I most definitely didnít think that Iíd be standing in front of his mourners, few that they are. Maybe it should have been Lucius Malfoy, whoís been glaring daggers at me through the entire funeral.
Or Draco. I only found out when he made a speech about him, but it turns out that he was Dracoís Godfather. The way Draco got treated in class makes more sense now. Sort of.
Itís so stupid that Iím doing this. I hated him, for Merlinís sake. I really, truly hated him, up till about a minute before he died. You canít hate a dying man, after all. I only realised afterwards that he was actually a good person, how stupid am I?
We did so many stupid things, that he saved us from. In first year, we thought he was the nasty, evil wizard. Hermione even set his robes on fire, when she thought he was trying to kill me. In fact, heíd been trying to save me. Like he always tried to save us. Although, he was really mean in our first lesson, making comments about me being a Ďcelebrityí. In third year, we stunned him. Three jinxes at once. It was good job we didnít really know stunners, we could have killed him.
Fourth year, he knew that something was wrong. He was one of the first to suspect Moody-cum-Crouch. And that summer, I dread to think how he must have fared. I remember Dumbledore telling me that he went back to Voldemort about an hour after he should have, and Iím sure the old man was hinting that he got tortured for his troubles. Regularly. For about three years. Till the day he died. Crap.
Fifth year, we found out he was a spy, found out he was really on our side. And did I listen to that? No. Of course I didnít. Looking back, I wonder how I ignored it. And because I didnít trust him, Sirius died. Although it might have been partly Siriusís fault that I didnít trust him. Sirius really, really, didnít like him.
I think I can forgive myself for thinking the worst of him in our sixth year. That was when he killed Dumbledore. I talked to the portrait last week. I canít believe Dumbledore actually asked him to kill. I couldnít imagine that. See, Dumbledore said that theyíd been friends, good friends. I couldnít have killed Ron, or Hermione no matter what theyíd said. Heck, I even doubt I could have killed Draco bloody Malfoy.
I didnít know he was really on our side until just before I killed Riddle. Just before I sort-of-but-not-really-died. He was braver than me at that too. I couldnít even die properly like he did. I feel kind of sorry for him, in all honesty. He didnít even get a chance to tell snake-face that heíd been on my side for nearly twenty years.
A cultured cough from behind me, thatíll be Lucius Malfoy, wanting me to hurry up and write something on the damn grave. Hermione told me last week I needed to think what to write, but thereís been so much going on, so many funerals, and Iíve barely had a moment to myself, let alone to think about him.
Maybe I should write about his job, cause although we hated him for it, he was a damn good teacher. Hermione looked up the statistics once, of Potions accidents in Wizarding Schools. The tally for Hogwarts was low. Really low. And there hadnít been a fatal one since heíd been there either.
Professor and Potions Master. Perfect. Nothing derogatory that will reflect badly on me, nothing personal that can be read into, and truthful. Itís on the tip of my tongue when I think back to the memories he gave me. Crap. He was more than that. He was a lot more than that.
Iím tempted to write Death Eater, but something tells me that all of the Malfoys, even Narcissa who canít stop sobbing, would tear me limb from limb. Plus, he was only a real Death Eater for what, two years maximum? No, that wouldnít work.
What else could I say about him? Greasy Git, Bat of the Dungeons. Gryffindor-Hater. Potter-Hater. Evans-Lover? No. Ew. That would just be too gross.
Murderer is true, but all of his crimes were expunged from the record. Bastard isnít literally true, but he was. Head of Slytherin House. True. Short. Not. Enough.
I canít help but sigh. Gods, Hermione is going to kill me for not having written this weeks ago. She actually liked him. She respected him. Why didnít I get her to write me something? Something normal, that will make sense, and that everybody will like.
Think, Harry, think. What advice did Hermione give? Something to do with their lives. Canít do the old Muggle trick here. No Loving father, sorely missed husband. Frankly, I canít imagine anyone missing him. Surely the Hogwarts students will be cheering that they wonít have him for Potions. I would be, if I were still there.
Dammit. Thereís nothing to write. Perhaps I should just leave it blank. But thatís actually bloody impossible to do. I canít move from my kneeling position in front of his grave until Iíve written something. Maybe something that he would have liked. Ooh, good idea. Hermione found poetry books in his office. Maybe a poem.
Here is where a bastard lies,
Nobody laughs, nobody cries,
Where he goes, how he fares,
Nobody knows, nobody cares.
That one isnít even mine. Yay for Muggle graves. Yay for Hermione making me read through about a million real epitaphs.
Or is that just too cruel? From the sobbing behind me, I think the Malfoys do care. Yet another option that would get me killed. Perhaps I should write something that he would have said. I can almost see it on the grave; Damn you all to hell, you bunch of insolent dunderheads!
Or something he wanted. An Order of Merlin. Well, heís got one now. Posthumously awarded. Yes, I know, I got the pleasure of collecting it for him. Wait. Wait. I have it. Yes. Itís perfect. Exactly him. I tap my wand against the stone, and softly murmur the correct words.
The spell holding me to the soil releases me, and I lift away, clearing a path for the Malfoy family to wish him farewell. They donít look mad, which is probably a good thing. Holy Merlin. Lucius Malfoy just chuckled at it. Even Dracoís smiling. Narcissa is walking towards me. What do I do? What do I say? Please donít say that sheís going to hex me for it.
ďThank you, Mr Potter.Ē She tells me, stopping a reasonable distance from me. ďThank you. He would have liked it, Iím sure.Ē
Severus Tobias Snape
Feared and Revered,
A True Hero.