Post-HBP one-shot! Harry hunts down the Half-Blood Prince and fights him one last time...
/WARNING!/ DON'T READ THIS UNLESS YOU'VE READ HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE/! /Also, this story is rated R (M) for violence and mild language.
A/N: Well, I read HBP early on the morning of July 16 in the middle of the night, and was shocked and stunned at the end, as well as somewhat disappointed. Not to mention VERY angry. So, I'm writing this one-shot to help me vent some spleen.
Also, YES, I have posted this story on ff.net. I still stick by what I have been saying lately about this site (you can see my profile, if you don't know what I'm talking about)... However, seeing as it was a special occasion (the release of the sixth Harry Potter book), I decided to make an exception and post this. I'll leave it up for a while before I take it down myself. (Also, sorry it's rather late since the book's release!)
/"The Death of the Half-Blood Prince,"/
"They who voluntarily put themselves under the power of a tyrant deserve whatever fate they receive." -Aesop, "The Hawk and the Pigeons"
Dedicated to joe6991, whose battle scenes from his fic "Harry Potter and the Sword of a Hero" have been a blast for me to read.
I would also like to both thank and blame a few people who shall remain nameless, since it was my feelings towards them that fueled my motivation to write this fic.
Lightning split the stormy sky, and rumbling could be both heard and felt. A black-robed figure clutching a wand in one hand ran out of the forest and to the rocky shoreline where ghostly white waves crashed and ebbed.
Severus Snape, Half-Blood Prince and heir to the Dark Lord Voldemort, was now running for his life, and away from the ruins of whatever he had lost. Harry Potter had killed Voldemort and countless other Death Eaters and other Dark creatures. Throughout Harry's seventh and final year at Hogwarts, he balanced his time between studying to become an Auror, hunting down and destroying Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes, and assisting the efforts of the Order of the Phoenix and the other forces of the Light. And now, remembering how Snape betrayed and murdered the great Albus Dumbledore, the Potter boy was after Snape.
Damn that arrogant Potter brat. Why. Couldn't. He. Just. DIE!?
"Fulmenignis!" a young man's voice roared. A awesome blast of fire came at him, roaring so powerfully that the ground Snape stood on even shook a little.
Snape had been dwelling so much on his thoughts that he only managed to just jump out of the way, causing some minor burns which the Death Eater quickly exstinguished.
Standing on a rock near Snape and towering over him was Harry Potter. Windswept and with a wild look in his face, he looked almost nothing like the boy whom Snape had hated for so many years. For reasons which Snape couldn't quite explain, he found himself unable to look into those fierce, vibrant green eyes.
"Snape," Harry said with a sort of half-growl. "Finally, I got you. And I'm going to make sure you never see the light of day once you get thrown into Azkaban where you belong! If you thought my brand-new Firebolt Curse was bad, then you haven't seen anything yet!"
Snape reached into his robes, planning on taking out some lethal, painful poison to finish the Boy Who Lived off with, but distracted his young nemesis while doing so, saying, "Well, Potter, I suppose you must be feeling very proud of yourself. You've hunted me like a hound, never with a moment's rest. You always were headstrong and unable to /focus/..."
Here, Snape flung a small vial at Harry, which he deftly avoided. It sailed past his head and exploded several feet away in a puff of poisonous green smoke.
Using his skills as a Legilimens, Snape foresaw Harry planning to use a powerful Stunner on him. Snape immediately put up an over-powered Shield Charm to prevent the Stunner from hitting him.
"Spiculae Argentae!" Harry yelled, flinging a Silver Dart Curse at him. It passed right through the Shield Charm, which was designed to deflect energy attacks as opposed to physical attacks.
Somehow, this particular time when Harry used the Silver Dart Curse, it was sporadic and seemingly unfocused, so most shots went wide, but few hit Snape. The oily evil man got two darts to the chest, one to the leg, and one to his wrist, causing him to drop his wand.
After he howled in pain, he hissed at Harry, "How did you do that?"
Harry smirked. "You're too used to thinking I could never master Occlumency. Well, under the careful guidance of members of the Order, I did indeed master Occlumency. I managed to learn it in amazing time, too, since they actually taught me correctly instead of bullying me like you did during my fifth year at Hogwarts. But, through some experimentation, I managed to figure out how to project false memories in order to fool anyone trying to predict my move through Legilimency, not much unlike how Voldemort fooled me that year."
Another smirk, and then... "In other words, Snapey, /I fooled you/."
The taunt made Snape's blood boil. "Shut up, Potter!"
"Aw, is that all you can say?" Harry said mockingly. "Are you just not used to being wrong? Then again, you've been wrong about so many things for so long..."
"Oh really?" Snape spat. "Like /what/?"
"For someone who's so observant, Snape, you can be so blind to the truth sometimes. For one thing, I'm not an exact clone of my father. I agree that what he did to you when you were students wasn't right, but that does not justify you taking it out on me for all those years. You, with your damned selective vision, deliberately blocked out the fact that I was not some pampered prince of the wizarding world, but just a kid with a serious destiny tied to that of the wizarding world. You had a bad childhood, with family troubles and being bullied by some of the more popular students? Well, join the club, Snape. I guess you can show a fool the truth, but you can't make him accept it."
"I said /shut up/, Potter!"
"Uh, no, I don't think so. You see, Snape, all this has been a long time coming. You voluntarily followed that insane yet powerful idiot Voldemort, so now you deserve whatever's coming to you. Well, you certainly picked the wrong side to join up with..."
"Curse you, Potter!" Snape spat out vehemently.
"Really, is that all you can say?" Harry said mockingly, giving into the temptations to mock and rile Snape just this one time.
"Potter, you motherf-"
"Silencio!" Harry shouted, cutting Snape off. "Really though, Snape, that wasn't quite what I had in mind."
Since Snape was not only now silent, but really unable to go anywhere for a while, Harry allowed all his thoughts and emotions about the greasy-haired Death Eater to spew forward.
"For someone who claims to be the 'Half-Blood Prince,' the Heir to Lord Voldemort, it seems your loyalty was misplaced! Did you know that when I battled Voldemort and Quirrel at the end of my first year, he actually offered me the opportunity to join him? And later on, when we fought at the end of my second year, he said I wasn't so different from him?"
As Snape glowered in anger, Harry began to pace like a lion, deciding to indulge himself with some monologue this one time. "It kind of makes me have to wonder, Snape... suppose that I was considered more promising to Voldemort than you were... do you still think you would have remained Voldemort's heir? Or would Voldemort have tossed you aside like yesterday's trash if he thought I was the better opportunity?"
As Snape's eyes practically radiated with blazing, angry heat, Harry kept rubbing it in. "Well, I suppose it's all speculation now, is it? You know, what with the old hack finally being dead and all now. You picked the wrong side to be on, Snapey-boy. In fact, you've done plenty wrong throughout the course of your life. Ah, if only you had done things differently... you could have been a great educator, a role model, a person of fame with a positive effect on the world. Instead, you allowed yourself to drown in hatred and misery, wasting your skills and talents. Dumbledore, /the man whom you betrayed and killed/, may have had his policy about second chances, but often life itself simply isn't as forgiving. Besides, you've also been spreading around so many lies and fabrications over the years that now you're starting to drown in your own BS. You've been caught with your pants so far down that they're now past your ankles."
Here, Harry could see the restraining effects of the spells wearing off, so he topped it all off by saying, "Bottom line, Snape: /You gambled everything on this, and so you lost it all./"
Suddenly, Snape's wand shot up and he screeched, "Avada Kedavra!"
A screaming jet of green light just missed Harry, and he mockingly said, "Whoa, that certainly woke me up. /Serpensorta//!/"
Harry overcharged the spell, and a giant snake easily the size of an anaconda burst out the end of his wand and wrapped itself around Snape. However, Snape wasn't defeated just yet. "Sectumsempra!"
The giant snake was gutted, almost being cleaved in half. "Crucio!" Snape yelled as a counterattack.
This time, Harry was hit, and he fell to the ground screaming in pain. With a demented smirk of glee, Snape said in a chilling whisper which was just loud enough for Harry to hear, "Always running around trying to play the hero, aren't you, Potter? Well, why don't you try and run from /this!/"
Chanting strange words in an unfamiliar language which Harry could only guess at, he slowly waved his wand in a circle with motions that one would use to stir a cauldron, a disc of sickly green flames formed in the air. Now about six feet in diameter, it was taking shape...
Now, an evil winged serpent made entirely of sickly green flames flew in the air, ready to obey Snape's beck and call.
"No doubt you hate me very much right now, Potter," Snape said with a smirk. "You never were good at controlling your emotions. So let that be your undoing!"
With those words, the flying serpent took off after Harry.
Harry ran as fast as he could to keep this fiery monster off his back as long as possible.
However, it seemed that Harry's mind was working as fast as his body was, if not even faster. He kept dwelling upon Snape's words, and remembered learning about this obscure yet lethal Dark curse from Moody during the past year. A curse developed by ancient Aztec wizards, it thrived on the nearest person present who was feeling the most hatred at that moment.
The power the Dark Lord knows not... That passage of the prophecy came back to mind. Sure, the Dark Lord was now already dead and gone... but would it also work on the so-called Half-Blood Prince?
Even as the flying serpent, now about the size of an anaconda, closed in on him, Harry told himself, Focus...
Harry's fear, anger and caution all evaporated as he thought of those whom he loved, both those still living and now dead - his parents, Sirius, Dumbledore...
Confused the snake wavered in mid-air momentarily while Harry made his mind calm and at peace. The foul flying serpent turned around and headed back towards Snape, not obediently, but rebelliously...
Snape's shock, fear and anger only helped to fuel this creature's bloodlust and hasten his own downfall...
As the flying serpent made contact with its evil creator, it became flames again and entirely consumed Snape. The Death Eater was now covered from head to foot in awful green fire, burning, writhing in pain...
When it all stopped, a burned-out husk lay on the ground - but it was still alive.
"Potter," it moaned in great pain.
"You know," Harry said solemnly and gravely, "I always thought you had to fight back if someone picked a fight with you. It was a habit I had unfortunately developed, having to deal with you and Malfoy all those years. And yet, sometimes, the answer is not fighting back, but not fighting at all. Hatred is like a virus, a plague, a disease... it spreads and infects and festers on those who nurture it without even realizing it. Your hatred for me backfired and ended up destroying you instead. The best part is... I didn't have to kill you. You did that all on your own."
Snape rasped something else, but Harry could still hear it.
"Geez, even to the bitter end, you remain as stubborn as ever... This was not my fault, Snape. It backfired, remember? Ah well, what's the point? You'll be stone dead in a moment, anyway. Good-bye, Snape."
Snape struggled to get one last thing out, just as Harry stopped in his tracks, back turned to his former rival. "For what its worth, Snape... I feel sorry for you, and I forgive you for what you've done."
Snape gargled something in pain - was it outrage? - and he ceased to move as the last of his life departed from his ruined body.
Harry looked upwards, and noticed that the storm had stopped, and the clouds were dissipating, revealing the night's stars. Knowing full well that his loved ones in the great beyond were still with him, he said with relief, "It's finally done. Rest in peace. See you soon... but hopefully, not too soon."
A/N: So, how was this?
Also, sorry if this seemed rushed to any of you, but I wanted to get this done before my college classes started for the new semester!
Note about Harry's thoughts on Voldemort: I think the third and most recent Star Wars episode, /The Revenge of the Sith/, was a bit of an influence here, because of how Palpatine (a.k.a. Darth Sidious) went through so many evil apprentices in search of the right one, and how each apprentice could instantly become expendable if he found someone even better. I can easily see Voldemort acting the same way, playing favorites with his men as to make sure he always has the best one at his command.
Also, you know something strange? At least a month or so before HBP came out, I had my suspicions of Snape being the Half-Blood Prince. Funny that, huh?
Note about my new "Firebolt" spell: I thought this would be cool. Technically, fulmenignis is my rough Latin translation for "firebolt," which is, of course, the name of the broom which Harry owns.
Note about Harry's last words to Snape: I think it was Oscar Wilde who said something like this: "Always forgive your enemies - nothing else pisses them off more."
Hope you enjoyed this fic! Don't forget to read my other stories at Ficwad and my various yahoo groups! -Quillian