Disclaimer: Nothing is mine and I'm not trying to sell it.

Notes: stungunbilly mentions: "I am increasingly of the opinion that anti-pairing and/or anti-slash etc. rants are really a plaintive cry for more stories that suit a person's taste. "

which kinda. . . yeah. ::covers face with hands::

so in repentance I answered the request for Snape/Neville...

Sacrificial Growth

By Kanzeyori


Snape knows why he's at Hogwarts, and it's not because of Neville. Though it sometimes feels like it.

He is as frightening to the Gryffindors as he can make himself to be and, as he looks at the spoiled-soft children of Death Eaters whom he made as slow with advantage and indolence as he can get away with, he hopes it is enough. He thinks of the shell-shocked look in Neville's eyes, aged like those of trama-ward veterans, and thinks that the common decency that still somehow survives in this Longbottom man-child is worth saving.

Neville's fear is gratifying, untainted by scorn or. disgust; there was none of for once. Snape finds his eyes following him, to check that... To check, he tells himself.

Snape realizes as he watches Neville struggle his way through the crowded paths of Hogwarts, those made of his peers and those made from the legacy of his parents, that Neville has never seen victory without sacrifice.

It rings familiar.

It would be the theme for the War.

Sacrifice, Snape thinks, and looks down at where his left forearm would be, had it been still attached. He wonders who will teach Potions next, and he drags his gaze up to the Headmistress to explain his letter of resignation.

"Nonsense." Mcgonagall tuts, with a twinkle in her eye. Snape wonders if it's passed down with the position. She pulls out some parchment, "We'll just give you an assitant, another pair of hands to handle the cutting and heavy lifting."

And before he knew it the forms were signed, the agreement sealed, and he opens the door to find Neville there.

They must be kidding, Snape thought.

Neville looked up at him, the boy had grown but not so high, and said quietly, "My hands have steadied since the War." And he brought the potted ambrosia foward. "I noticed you've lacked some in your stores." And he smiled.

No victory without sacrifice, Snape thinks. And even though it feels strange on his face, he slightly smiles back as he lets Neville in.




in flower language: ambrosia = love returned

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