AU, Post OtoP, No HBP, Snape reflects on his choices. Ficlet.
Severus Snape stood looking out over the parapet of the castle absently rubbing his left forearm. The Mark, which had dominated most of his life was gone now, as was the Dark Lord. Potter had defeated the Dark Lord and incidentally saved Snape's life in the process.
Snape remembered the horror he felt when he realized that the Dark Lord had known he was a spy. He remembered: lying naked, beaten, broken, and chained to the wall near the Dark Lords throne. The horror when the three young women were pushed into the room. Bait in the trap for Potter. He'd lain there unable to move, hoping for nothing more than death when the door to the room had blown in.
Potter strode into the room his green eyes glowing with suppressed power an unseen breeze blowing his hair and robes. The girls pushed to one side, Death Eaters expecting to see the Boy-Who-Lived die had in fact witnessed the destruction of the Dark Lord.
He'd watched in a pain filled haze as, while Potter dueled the Dark Lord, the Lovegood girl had, unnoticed, knifed Nott and taken his wand. Bones had taken the wand and released his bonds and begun to heal him. He'd tried to tell her just to kill him but she hadn't listened.
By the time Potter finished the Dark Lord; three inner circle Death Eaters had fallen to Lovegood's knife, Granger had emplaced runic shields around Bones and himself, and had begun to bind others with another of the stolen wands.
When the Dark Lord fell the remaining Death Eater were already under attack by the girls Potter had come to save. A few fell to Potter the rest ran.
Potter had embraced each of the girls, scooped him, Severus, into his arms and carried him from the Dark Lord's dungeon back into the land of the living.
Now Severus had a decision to make. Albus had asked him to spy on Potter. Albus thought Potter might be going 'dark'. Albus wanted to control Potter, to use the boy, the man's fame to shore up his own dwindling popularity. Severus had to choose; Albus, the man who'd sent him back to the Dark Lord time and again and left him to rot when he was found out or Potter, who'd saved him, freed him, and never ask for payment.
Severus Snape stared over the parapet absently rubbing his left forearm it wasn't a difficult choice.