Disclaimer: I'm not muscling in on JK's turf - just gambolling on it, like a spring lamb, having fun working out the literary and psychological puzzles which she is having fun setting us
"Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its colour are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers." From The Naval Treaty by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
When we learned of Snape's apparent death in Deathly Hallows my immediate reaction was to write a strange little 100-word drabble called Flower Remedy, which was posted separately, in which - under circumstances which are never fully explained - Hermione and Ron are using an ancient magic to bring him back to life.
I actually have mixed feelings about this. Part of me just keeps on saying he's dead, he's dead, it hurts almost as much as real life bereavements; and since I can't restore life to the friends I've lost in real life, giving life again to this fictional friend is almost as painful as losing him - a reminder that in reality we have no such magic. And in any case if one wants to restore Snape, we have plenty of scope to assume he simply didn't die: there's nothing in his "final" moments as described to say whether he's dead or merely unconscious, no mention of him later among the Headmasters' portraits or among the dead laid out in the Great Hall, and Harry's later reference to him in the past tense could simply mean he hadn't seen him for years. There's plenty of scope for a timely arrival by Aberforth to have saved him.
Nevertheless, it was this story, Flower Remedy, in which he is truly dead and then isn't, which clamoured to be written and which then demanded that I expand it into a full multi-part story, explain what was going on in the drabble and what happened to him next: even though it's already been slightly canon-shafted, because Hermione was supposed to be there as a research healer, and JK's post-DH revelation that Hermione becomes a lawyer has had to be fudged around.
This, then, is the drabble which started it all.
"It's only possible because we have his somatic memory at the point of death. Gwydion made Blodeuwedd's body entirely from flowers but it's a bit more... metaphorical for a man."
"Blodeuwedd was the one who killed her husband?"
"And was Transfigured into an owl, yes. The best post owls descend from her." Raising her wand, she began the incantation.
"I have transfigured you a body out of stones and flowers... what?"
Ron gave her a wall-eyed look. "Isn't that a bit - well - nancy for Snape?"
"It didn't say which stones and flowers, so I used flint and deadly nightshade."
"Granite and deadly nightshade" would actually have had a better ring to it, but I though flint was the more appropriate stone - since it is not only hard but sharp, and it strikes fire.
Gwydion is a famous wizard who appears in the body of early Mediaeval Welsh tales called the Mabinogion. He makes a woman called Blodeuwedd out of flowers, so that she may wed his nephew Lleu, who has been cursed to marry no human woman. Blodeuwedd however falls in love with someone else, and she and her lover trick Lleu and kill him. Being magic himself he doesn't die but changes into a wounded eagle which is later restored to human form, and Gwydion punishes Blodeuwedd by turning her into an owl.
"Stones" is of course old-fashioned, rural slang for testicles.
For those readers who are waiting for updates to Sons of Prophecy and Lost and Found, please note that these stories have not been and will not be abandoned, but are on temporary hiatus while I work out whether I can tweak Sons of Prophecy and its predecessor, Mood Music, to make Snape's background compatible with the new canon revealed in Deathly Hallows. Lost and Found however will have to remain canon-shafted, as well as AU, because Dyce and I have simply made Albus too nice in comparison with what we now know....
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