Something to Live For (Harry Potter story)

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Title: Something to Live For
Author(s): Accio Snape (aka Auror Borealis)
Date(s): February or March 2002[1]
Length: 33,000 words (+ 2900 word alternate ending)
Genre: angst, slash
Fandom: Harry Potter
External Links: previously at FanFiction.Net; archived links:

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Something to Live For is a 2002 Harry/Snape story by Accio Snape.

Author's summary: "Harry tries to take his own life. Snape saves him."

The story was originally posted at FanFiction.Net,[2] although it was removed by 2003.[3] It was also posted at the now-defunct Snape-centric archives Foe-Glass Reflections and Ex Libris Snape. It can also be found at the private archive A Turn of the Page.

In 2004, painless_j posted a summary of the story to accio_spoilers. She provides the content warnings: "Underage; Angst; Character Death; Character Resurrection; Suicide Attempt; First Time; Melodrama."

Alternate Ending

Accio Snape wrote an alternate, unhappy ending to the story in which Harry's suicide attempt is successful—although she later acknowledged that the epilogue to the alternate ending turned it "sort of" happy.[2] A link to the alternate ending is included at the end of the story.



Need to - Want to - must not. by Mieronna, the third (chronologically the fourth) of a series of illustrations for "Something to Live For" commissioned by accioslash. Ink and graphite, 2006.

Mieronna (aka carthasis) created a series of four illustrations for the story, commissioned by accioslash. All illustrations are ink and graphite and rated G.

Mieronna's art was incorporated into the text of the story at A Turn of the Page.[4]

Recs & Reviews

I've read a hell of a lot of fics - let me tell you - and speaking honestly this is the best angst I have ever read. Ever. The mark of a good story is when you just get sucked into it completely, when you can't tear yourself away from the screen even to use the bathroom. This is a prime example of a story like that. [...]

It's a Snape/Harry, but bittersweetly so. The story revolves around a suicidal Harry, who is caught by Snape trying to jump off the Astronomy Tower one night. Everything just goes to hell from there. Trust me, those who have never cried while reading a story, you will during this one. It is so, so sad, but beautifully written. You feel everything the characters feel, especially Harry. Please, go read it -- it's lovely.

-- Capella, c. Jan 2003
Voldemort is dead but Harry is depressed. One night he tries to commit suicide - and help comes from an unexpected source. [...]

This subject matter might not be everyone's cup of tea but I found it a realistic look at what it's like to be depressed and there is a nicely done Comforting!Snape that hit my kink dead on (if you'll pardon the pun <g>). There are actually two possible endings to this tale - and you can read them both and decide which one you like best. Since I'm a romantic, it won't be hard to tell which one I preferred!

-- Madrigal, Mar 2004
I love this fic. It is my favorite suicidal!Harry story. The way that Harry falls in love with Snape so progressively and so inevitably (I agree with Snape that his feelings are, at least initially, gratitude) as well as Snape's assessment of Sirius' 'parenting' skills (a godson who requires real work and is not fun isn't something he can handle) is right on target. And Snape finding Harry and making love to him for the first and last time during the last four hours of his life until he had to watch Harry take that final breath was an angst-fest with a happy ending. Now *that's* my favorite cuppa. The alternate ending was very well done and did not have a completely unhappy ending considering that Harry and Severus get to spend eternity together as they had done in previous lives.-- accioslash, May 2004
I had this fic saved on my computer for ages, but never felt like reading it. In my head suicide in fanfiction is too much connected with dark gothic teenage authors at

I am really glad that I overcame my prejudices and read the fic. Accio Snape deals with it very sensitively. Harry's depression becomes heart-wrenchingly real, but it still allows the reader to keep his distance. Both Harry and Snape are in character, no cuddly Snape and no suave Harry.

The plot is sound, also Snape's love for Harry was a bit sudden and the ending was a bit too fluffy for my taste.

The conversation between Dumbledore and Snape showes a character insight only very few authors have. And Snape's caustic remarks about Sirius on their own make the story worth reading.

A very good fic altogether in spite of some minor imperfections. ;-)

-- Maryx for SCHAL, May 2005
Something To Live For is one of the only fics that has made me break down in tears. Accio Snape writes the emotion in the story incredibly well and your heart just aches for Harry in it. This is one of those stories where you wish you could reach into fiction and simply hold a character. Severus' caring for Harry was extremely well-written, as was Sirius reactions to everything. If you're in the mood for a good cry (or if you just need one), read Something To Live For. -- Nessime for SCHAL, May 2005
I can not say how many times I cried while reading this fic. It must have been around 10 times. Honestly, my eyes wouldn't stop watering. This has become my favorite fanfic of all time, possibly even more than Cybele's, "Are you Prepared?" series. It's that good.

I Got Tired of Waiting, thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this copy of the story, which may well be the last, on your website. I would have never read this if I hadn't visited your website and seen it. I owe you a thousand thanks.

(Is damn sad that Accio Snape left the fandom, and is damn sad that she doesn't have any other fanfics. She is utterly, brilliantly talented.)

-- estioe, May 2006
Harry has lost his will to live and actively tries to commit suicide with Snape as equally determined he not. Bittersweet, it is an accurate portrayal of what goes on in the mind of someone in the throes of incurable depression and the reactions and helplessness of those around them.-- foldupfreak, Jun 2006
This story is incredible! I openly wept...I think I scared the hell out of my kids. Do you know, I almost quit reading when I thought Harry would really die. I did not think I could go through with it, but something kept me on it. I am so glad for that! Your ending is nothing short of brilliant!

I think that somehow you really know what this kind of depression is about. It really is a being between a rock and a hard not want to end it, but simply cannot go on. It is one of the devil's most evil snares. Thank you for describing it so well. I have learned a great deal, and been touched deeply...

-- servantofall36, Mar 2007
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this fic since I finished it last week. Wow. This fic is really powerful. I was close to tears at the end, and I am not easy to make cry. It’s defiantly one of those stories that when you finish, you see the world in a new perspective.

It has an alternate ending which I also love, and though by all means should have made me more sad, it somehow did the opposite.

-- kaleransreclist, c. 2013


  1. Auror Borealis (Accio Snape) referred to the story in a message at WIKTT on March 7, 2002. (Messages are restricted to list members, but membership does not require moderator approval.) The Accio Snape user account on FanFiction.Net was created on February 28, 2002. (Accessed 12 November 2018.)
  2. 2.0 2.1 auror_borealis at LiveJournal. Insomnia is a useless affliction. Posted 06 May 2002.
  3. Accio Snape's profile at FanFiction.Net, archived 16 July 2003 by the Wayback Machine. Although given an 'R' rating by the author on other archives, the story contains explicit sex and thus may have been a casualty of FanFiction.Net's 2002 purge of NC-17 stories.
  4. Now posted to A Turn of the Page, comment by igtow at mieronna's LiveJournal. 20 August 2006.