A/N: Hello dear readers! I'm very excited for this fic, since Luna and Snape are my favorite characters. I hope to make this a lighthearted, sweet story -as sweet you can make things with Snape involved- with lots of Xenophilius madness. I never wrote something like this though, so we'll see how it goes. Anyway, onwards, to the story!
In the silent graveyard, a lonely tombstone stood well away from the others. The stone was slightly crooked, much like the man it belonged to, and it was guarded by an old hazel tree, the long shadows cradling it in a gentle fashion.
The sun was setting, and the birds were leaving their premises. The critters had stopped singing, they seemed to be holding their breath. The breeze that had been playing with the gleaming weathercock of the church died down, and a deadly stillness seemed to grip the graveyard.
Upon that sad lonely grave, a steely grey rune, sharp and severe, appeared out of nowhere. Then the grass above started to loose its volume and color. They rotted away and gave way to the dark damp earth that had started to cave in on itself. At first, a thin line of crack appeared, over the course of minutes, it continued to grow wider and wider; the excess soil puddling at the edges of the grave.
Identical cavities seem to appear over other sleeping denizens, and soon all of the graves were opened and the coffins inside were peaking out.
And one by one, they burst open, and the ones who were one dead, walked again.
They rose as skeletons, bounded by nothingness and forged by death. Slowly but surely their empty skin knit together, blood and color returned to their cheeks; and the clothes they were buried with stretched over their bare skin, particles surging up from the bottom of their coffins.
Among them in his simple white shirt, Snape trailed brokenly behind the others, his dead eyes glassy and grey.
He was many ways away from the horde, much like his grave had been, and the bushes under an apple tree was lagging him further more. He tripped and fell, as thorny little hands clung to his thin trousers. His half formed hair swinging forwards, he slammed his forehead into the thick trunk of the tree with a bang. His dead body stilled and it slid down in a slack, bean bag fashion, and the bloodless gaping wound in his neck stretched open under the tension. A flicker of pain registered in his eyes, along with a dim light of understanding.
Others did not notice his predicament, even their ability to do so was questionable, and they trickled out of the cobbled pathway of the churchyard.
They left through an iron wrought gate, moaning and scuttling; and he was left his own.
Before long he reacted. He groaned miserably, and jerked up. He pivoted around, freeing himself from the jumble of bushes, and lay unconscious on the evenly cut grass.
Then, just the way it left, life returned to the graveyard, and the first brave beetle twittered mechanically.
It was long after midnight, when he regained his wits once more.
He gazed up into the starry night, barely registering them. His eyes gradually moved away to the dark flickering lights on the horizon, and towards the silhouettes of dark tombstones marking the land, deeply confused.
He remembered dying. There at the Shrieking Shack, drowning in his own blood and irony; that bitter sensation mixing with the realization that it was where he once nearly died before. The Dark Lord's image curling and merging with Lily's eyes.
He straightened, forcing his sore muscles up, deliberating the situation. He cooled his head and concluded that he was being completely bonkers, that he wasn't dead. The dead did not come back. Not like this, he added to himself, bitterly remembering the Inferi under the disposal of the Dark Lord.
Obviously, someone had managed to save him. But who would help him?
Could it be Potter?
No, that was ridiculous. Potter wouldn't be able to pull off something like that. Besides he would rather have him dead and gone as dust than to let him live and breath. The hatred Snape had felt for him had been reciprocal. In his mind he imagined Potter reveling in triumph and disgust now that he knew what Snape harbored for his- Snape flushed in humiliation. And for a second he let himself bathe in self-hatred.
But his self-absorbed feelings did not last long as another thought sobered him up, almost making him feel guilty.
Potter was dead. Either way, whether the Order failed or not, he was destined to die. It meant Snape had failed Lily once again, unsurprisingly, and he had lost his one last lifeline.
He closed his hand down on his neck protectively, as a tremor of vulnerability traveled up his spine. His fingertips grazed the puffy, fleshy texture. He gulped heavily, and momentously felt a jolt of fear that his spit would pour out of his scar; because he thought, no, he knew it had opened again, and he knew it had tortured him before he lost consciousness. There should've been blood here, the blood should have been everywhere really, but his hands only came into contact with dry, papery skin, baffling his perceptions.
He needed information: he needed to know whether the Dark Lord failed, he needed to know if everything he had schemed with Dumbledore had been for naught.
He got up shakily, his knees nearly giving up underneath him, making him feel much older he really was. Concentrating he tried to Apparate to London without his wand, his magic stirred beneath his skin but did not respond, making him clench his jaw in frustration. He tried again and again, until he was panting for breath and a monstrous headache throbbed in the back of his head.
Resigning to his fate, he sidled down the hill towards where he could see lights signaling civilization, unknowingly leading himself towards the small town of Ottery St Catchpole.
When he tumbled down the hills into a neglected, bush infested garden, Snape knew he had made a mistake. The house he had reached had the most peculiar architectural design, and he did not mean that as a compliment. It looked sort of like a tall winding cylinder with a protruding wood compartment in its middle, obviously added after the construction, completed with a large crescent shaped alem on the top. But the peculiarities did not end here: the wild looking garden sported many ungainly looking weeds, though some of them assured him that this was certainly a wizarding residence, even as potion master he did not recognize most plants, which to a certain extent disturbed him. Then springing from both sides, there were overgrown shrubs of violently saturated colors, glaring against his eyes even in the dead of the night, decorated with quicksilver Christmas ornaments.
Stumbling up into the lane that was half covered in foliage, Snape reached a small dainty door, his hands hesitating over the magicked knocker in the shape an eagle. He stood there in the doorway, the warm light that seeping from the corners illuminating his face despondently, as the knocker squawked impatiently.
He knocked. No answer came. And he knocked harder, the resonating sounds of conversing people did not comfort him the least.
He really ought to just leave. He didn't know who these people were, they could be damaging to his agenda, he wasn't even sure-
But before he could dart back to formulate a more wholesome plan, the door creaked open revealing a blonde young lady with ghastly bulging eyes, around the appropriate age for a Hogwarts student. He recognized her: it was Ms Lovegood, he had taught her for five years.
She also seem to recognize him as well, and not in a good way, if her shocked pale visage was to go by anything. She stared at him blankly, almost as if she was in a trance, and Snape, ever the gentleman, resisted the urge to snap at her feeble-mindedness.
Suddenly, a washed off man with tangled hair burst down the spiraling stairs, calling, "Luna, dear, who is it?" He did an exuberant, showy spin at the last steps; and turned towards the duo where he seemed to freeze in his place like his daughter, processing whom had arrived. Just when Snape was going to ask what was so fascinating, the man erupted in gales of nonsense, and his eyes lit up feverishly, alarming Snape.
"The dead, the dead is back! It is true, it is true! Pillingsworth was right! The end is near! Rowena, no, no, no," he darted back up the stairs sobbing, "Close the door, Luna! We can't let them in! The charm, where is that charm-" His voice trailed off in the distance, accompanied by his furious footsteps that echoed in the foyer.
Ms Lovegood looked startled, staring after her father. She glanced back at Snape then at the steps the man had disappeared once more, and seem to make up her mind. With a affable expression, she gently voiced a question, "Professor Snape, is that really you?
"Yes, of course it is me Ms Lovegood," he gritted out, his composure slowly being chipped away by fatigue and the mad greeting, "I did not meant to intrude, but I would like to use your floo network, if its possible. I apologize, if I came in an inconvenient time."
Her forehead puckered, the glance she sent him was pitying.
"Sir," she started slowly, as if she were talking to a rabid animal, "You have been dead for a year."