A/N: I started this story as a Christmas/Birthday present for my friend Abinlo, and it's developed a life of it's own! I hope you enjoy it!
*Several lines in the begining are taken from Chapter 32 of DH, Pgs. 652-658, American Version (Sorry I forgot to put this in the first time! I was almost positive I did. No intentional copyright infringement intended.) J.K. Rowling is the creator of the Harry Potter Series, and I thank her for allowing us to play in it.
*Ratings and warnings are subject to change. If I change them, I will write what the change was in the author's note of the subsiquent chapter.*
**This story is Snape/Hermione, but their relationship doesn't begin until she has been out of school for several years.**
(And now, to our feature presentation...)
Severus Snape knew what was coming. Lord Voldemort repaid his loyal servants, but he was not know for his loyalty in return. Or maybe he knows that I’ve been working against him for years…
“The Elder Wand cannot serve me properly, Severus, because I am not it’s true master. The Elder wand belongs to the wizard who killed his last owner. You killed Albus Dumbledore.” I killed him, but not how you think. I didn’t even disarm him. “While you live, Severus, the Elder wand cannot be truly mine.”
“My Lord!” Severus protested, the full levity of the situation beginning to sink in. He raised his wand in a hopeless defense. A sudden image flashed into his mind. A vibrant young woman bathed in an eerie green glow as she gave up her life to save her son. I won’t be long, Lily.
He cringed at the satisfaction etched into Voldemort’s face. “It cannot be any other way. I must master the wand, Severus. Master the wand, and I master Potter at last.” Severus flinched as the Dark Lord swiped the wand down, expecting to hit the ground in seconds. When nothing seemed to have happened, he thought, maybe I’m in the clear.
Then he saw it. The glittering bubble surrounding the serpent was rolling towards him. Shock and fear glued him to the spot where he stood, allowing him to do no more than shout as the orb encased him. Voldemort made a terrible hissing noise, Parseltounge, and Nagini sprang towards her prey.
Lily, Severus released a bloodcurdling scream. Lily, He had known he was going to die, that he could accept, but he had expected it to be quick and painless. Nice of the little bugger to get all creative on me. Nagini jabbed her fangs into his flesh, ripping it open. Pain coursed though his frame; death would be welcome, it would end the pain. Lily, He tried to push the cage off of him, to no avail. Lily, He felt his knees give out, and another set of pain shot through him as hit the floor.
Severus looked up into the Dark Lord’s eyes. Great, they’re the last thing I see before I die, “I regret it,” Voldemort lied through his teeth. The Dark Lord left the room, bringing Nagini with him, leaving Severus to die on the dusty floor.
At least I’ll be with Lily again, he thought, hoping that small comfort would ease the pain.
“Professor,” a soft voice whispered. He used every last ounce of strength in him and turned his head towards the noise. His eyes widened in shock. Maybe I have a chance, he thought briefly, before laughing inwardly. There was no way that she of all people would help him.
Hermione Granger looked on in horror as her former professor, Severus Snape, was attacked by Voldemort’s snake, Nagini. She didn’t particularly care for the man, but she hated seeing anyone suffer, and Snape, for one, was definitely suffering. As the blood gushed from the wound on his neck and dribbled onto the floor, his limbs writhed in pain, trying to move his pitiful body away from the agony. Hermione turned to Harry Potter and Ron Weasley, who were crouched next to her in the Shrieking Shack.
“We have to do something!” she whispered urgently. “We can’t just let him die!”
Ron looked at her incredulously. “What? After everything he’s done, you want to help the son of a-”
Hermione glared at him with a fierce look in her eyes. “It’s not about what he deserves. It’s about doing what’s right. Plus,” she added, “there are worse things than death. Wouldn’t death be too easy of a punishment for him?” If he actually did all of those things… she continued in her head. Her brain was telling her the facts she knew. That Snape had killed Dumbledore. That Snape had sided with the Death Eaters. That Snape loathed her friends and herself with a passion since first year. Not to mention the countless times Snape had ridiculed her mercilessly. There was something inside of her, however, that challenged all that. We don’t know his side of the story.
Harry nodded reluctantly. “Fine,” he conceded. “How do we get to him?”
Hermione looked at the man a few meters away from them. “Professor,” she whispered as loud as she dared. He weakly turned his head towards the sound of her voice, his eyes bulging with surprise when he saw who it was. “Crawl towards us,” Hermione whispered to him.
Snape made a valiant effort, but it appeared that he couldn’t get his limbs to respond to his commands. “Can’t…” he managed to gasp, somehow still regaining enough control over his voice so as not to draw unnecessary attention to himself. Though Voldemort had already left the room, convinced his victim was as good as dead, he would undoubtedly return if a reason to presented itself.
Hermione pointed her wand at his limp body. “Accio Snape,” she whispered. He was dragged over to their hiding place by an invisible force, leaving a slight trail of blood in his wake. His face, pale from blood loss and fear, looked up at his rescuers.
“Potter,” he croaked, making it obvious that talking was an effort. Wispy pearlescent clouds drifted away from his head. They’re memories, Hermione realized, and, conjuring up a jar, captured them. She handed the jar to Harry and bent over the patient.
“Don’t worry, you’re not going to die,” Hermione stated determinedly.
Snape looked up at her and gave her a wry smile. “What’s so wrong with death?” His eyes focused on something unseen. “I’d be with her again,” he whispered in a childlike voice. “That would be nice.”
“I need you to stay with me,” Hermione ordered. With a few flicks of her wand, Hermione had sealed up the pierced flesh. “There,” she said, “that should do it.”
Snape focused on Hermione again, and began to laugh, despite the pain it was visibly causing him. “What, you think the Dark Lord’s pet snake isn’t poisonous?” he asked wryly. His shoulders slumped in defeat. “There’s no use. Spend your time saving people who actually deserve it.”
“Okay, Hermione, you heard him. He doesn’t want to be saved. We need to get back to the castle.” Ron declared, as if convinced she would follow his lead.
“Ron, you can leave if you’d like, but I’m not leaving until I’ve saved him or he’s dead.” Hermione stated resolutely.
Hermione returned her attention to Snape. Her eyes found his, and their gazes caught for a moment. As she stared into the mystified orbs, she felt something rise up inside her. Something told her that the man before her was not all he appeared to be. And she had this man’s life in her hands. She would not let Severus Snape die.
“What kind of snake is Nagini?” she questioned him.
“It doesn’t matter,” he moaned. “Any antidote available would be in the dungeons, and even if the place hasn’t been demolished, by the time you got it, I’d be long gone.” A pale, boney hand grabbed her wrist with surprising force. “I’ve already told you, don’t bother.”
“Protest as much as you’d like,” she muttered, “but I’m not letting you die.”
She pointed her wand at him, and closed her eyes. She concentrated on the poison within the man before her, and her determination to make him stay alive. Hermione felt her wand vibrate, and suddenly she could see inside his body. She saw the poison seeping in his veins. It was not moving towards the heart with the flow of the blood, however, but away, towards the point where it entered the body. Without hesitation, Hermione cut a slit in his skin where the wound from Nagini’s bite had been. She saw the poison, neon green in color, pulse out of his body along with more of the ruby liquid. Only when she was sure that all of the poison had left the Potion Master’s body did she seal the wound she had created.
He looked at her with an odd mix of confusion and gratitude. For the first time since she had met him, Severus Snape smiled softly. “Thank you,” he whispered.
In that moment, something passed between them. It mattered not that he was supposed to be a terrible person, that through their time at school, he had been the epitome of evil. She was not stupid; the kind of magic she had just preformed was extremely rare. She had created a bond between them that would last forever, whether they liked it or not. Anything that he did in his life, he would owe it to her.
Hermione summoned Snape’s wand and placed it in his hand. “Try to keep still. You lost a lot of blood.” she whispered kindly. She then pointed to the wand. “Just hold on to that incase someone tries to come after you.”
Snape nodded, his face resting in a peaceful expression, causing him to appear much younger than he normally did. For the first time since she had met him, he seemed content. Satisfied, Hermione stood up to leave. Just as she was about to follow Harry and Ron, she felt a slight tug on the bottom of her cloak. She turned around to see Snape release it, a slightly worried look crossing his features. “Be careful,” he rasped.
I guess he knows he owes me, Hermione thought. Smiling, she gave him a slight nod, and hurried to catch up with Harry and Ron, the latter which slung an arm over her shoulder protectively. Hermione glanced back, chocolate eyes meeting with coal once more, another turn around a corner, and she was gone.
A/N: So, what did you think? I know it doesn't explain a lot, but there is much more to come. Thanks for reading, and please, leave a review!
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