Chapter 2

Once Hermione was finished with cleaning Snape’s face, they decided to bring him back to the castle for a proper burial. They could not let him there, abandoning him like this after all he had done for them. He still had his black school robe on. They wrapped him in carefully, feeling respect for him like they had never felt before. Hermione took the Potions Master’s wand with her, putting it in her sleeve.

With a Levitation Charm, they brought him back to the castle, but not through the secret passageway this time. It would take more time but it would be easier and more dignified for the departed.

They entered the castle through the main entrance. Professor McGonagall was the first adult to see them. She went to them and when she recognized the body, she just burst out in tears. Pomona Sprout came to her side, tears on her face too, dragging her colleague away. Professor Flitwick told Harry to follow him to a room they had transformed to shelter the bodies of those fallen for the Light side during the battle.

“Don’t put him with Voldemort !” Harry said forcefully. “He fought for us, he doesn’t deserve to be with him.”

Flitwick nodded in agreement. He would not contend the young man’s wish. Like everyone during the final duel with Voldemort, he had heard Harry’s words about Snape and his role as a faithful spy for Dumbledore, about his implication in the fight against the Dark Lord.

Once in the room, Flitwick showed them a place where they could lay Snape’s body. There, Fred Weasley, Colin Creevey, Nymphadora Tonks and Remus Lupin, among others, were lying pending their burial. Mr and Mrs Weasley turned around to see who was coming. They had a sorry look for the Potions Master – like everybody else they had heard Harry’s words about his work as a spy for the Order of the Phoenix, something they knew already. The only thing they ignored was that Albus Dumbledore had planned his death with Severus Snape months ago. Compared to what the old Headmaster’s death could have been at the hands of the Death-Eaters, they were grateful to Snape for accepting to carry out the old wizard’s wish.

Ms Pomfrey took over. She had finished with the living. She could take care of the dead and certified the circumstances of their deaths.

“Looks like his throat had been slit,” she said hoarsely. Severus had always brewed the potions the Hospital Wing needed, never complaining if that was an extra workload – and it was.

“He was bitten by Nagini, Voldemort’s snake,” Harry explained. “I saw everything, and so did Ron and Hermione. We were there in the Shrieking Shack when it happened.”

“That giant snake Neville Longbottom beheaded with the Gryffindor sword ?” Mr Weasley asked.

“Yes, that very same,” Neville confirmed.

Molly leant towards Snape’s body. “What a gruesome death…” Her voice was compassionate. “Poor Severus…”

“Who cleaned his face ?” Ms Pomfrey asked.

“I did,” Hermione replied. “I couldn’t… I couldn’t let him like this.”

“No problem, Hermione,” the medi-witch said gently. “You did well. He deserved to be treated right after everything he had endured.”

Ms Pomfrey shooed everyone away, Molly Weasley and Hermione staying with her to take care of Snape’s body. The two older women had told the girl to leave with the others but Hermione had insisted to stay to help them. Out of respect for a teacher that had brought her so much. The two women gave in to her.

They Scourgified his garments from the blood he had lost. He would be buried in his full Potions Master regalia – he would have wished so anyway. Ms Pomfrey cleaned the terrible wound on his neck to make it more presentable. Nagini’s fangs had pierced his carotid, hence the huge loss of blood, and tore apart the flesh. She was careful as there was probably still some venom around. The medi-witch thought he would have been surely very diminished had he survived the gruesome wound. Hermione assured her that he had died in a few minutes.

Once they were done, Ms Pomfrey left the room. Molly came back to Fred. Hermione paid her last respects to him too and they cried together. The Weasleys would soon bring his body back to the Burrow where he would be buried in the village nearby, in the family vault.

The Creevey family arrived and brought their son’s body back with them for a proper burial. Kingsley Shackelbolt, now Minister of Magic, was with them, assuring them that the boy had been brave, true to the values of his House.

Andromeda Tonks came later to fetch her daughter Nymphadora’s body, along that of Remus Lupin. The two spouses would be buried together, in the same vault than Ted Tonks, murdered a few months before. Harry and Ron were there to mourn for their former DADA professor, who had become a friend of theirs, as well for Tonks herself. She would never come back to make them laugh with her shape-shifting skills. The parents would never be there for their son aged a few weeks only. Harry knew what it was to be parentless – but at least little Ted would be raised by his loving grandmother.