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The Antidote by EchoLynn
Chapter 4 : Special Delivery
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 20


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Disclaimer & Story Warnings: The characters and the world of the HARRY POTTER universe belong to JKR. The plot is mine. This story plot is rated MATURE. If you are not 18 years or older, this story is not for you. You have been warned!



Hermione slowly lowered the hood, forgetting to breathe as she did so. What if my glamour spell failed? What if he recognizes me? she thought frantically as the hood fell onto her shoulders.



She couldn’t breathe as she looked out from under her eyelashes to see if he seemed to recognize her or not. Severus stared at her a moment before repeating his earlier question. “Who are you?” he demanded.



“Sir, I can’t tell you who I am. I…umm…I’m here to help you, as I said. That is, I have something to give you that will help, in the future. I…can’t explain more than that, really,” she stammered, slowly reaching inside her pockets for phials to hand him.



“What could a young girl like you have that could possible help me in the future? How did you get in that closet?” he countered, his patience growing thinner every second.



Hermione set several phials of the antidote on his desk, careful not to get to close to him or take her eyes off his wand, which was still pointed at her. “Sir, I came by Time-Turner. Like I said, I can’t reveal more than that. Please, just keep these phials with you. In the…future…you’re going to need them. I swear it…it’s very important. Now, if you don’t mind, I need to get back to – to where I came from before –” She stopped talking; her voice and hands seemed so shaky. Here she was, months in the past, standing before a man who was dead – yet alive here in the past. A man who had no idea he would soon be dead…unless this all worked and he was still alive when she returned. Mentally she told herself to shut up so her growing headache wouldn’t get any worse.



Severus picked up one of the phials and looked from it to her face. “Why would you expect me to actually drink something that comes from some strange girl who arrived in my closet via a Time-Turner? Wherever you’re from, you must think I’m a fool; but I tell you girl, I am no fool. Now, if you don’t explain yourself further until I am satisfied, you will not go anywhere, do I make myself clear?” he asked coolly, backing her into the wall next to the closet and staring her down.



“I – sir – the – I can’t!” she replied shrilly. “I told you, I came by Time-Turner. Those phials are to help you, if you – just keep them with you and, please, let me go. One day I’ll explain this, but I can’t now without ruining things in the future. Please believe me!” she pleaded, her voice giving away the fact that she was near tears.



Severus assessed her face. Something about it was familiar, but it was obvious from his non-verbal spell that she was under a glamour, so there was no telling what she really looked like. “I will test this – you realize that, right? So why don’t you save us both some time and tell me what is in these phials that’s so important.”



Hermione looked into his eyes for a moment, unconsciously biting her lip as she contemplated the possible dangers of explaining at least that much. “Well, it’s an antidote,” she said carefully, staring at her hands. “I can’t tell you more than that – and please just keep at least one phial on you at all times. There will come a…moment…when you’ll need it. Please, may I leave?” she asked, pulling out the small sheet of parchment that had the return date written on it.



Severus stared at her for a moment. He had a sense that she was telling the truth and that she truly meant no harm. Before he could reconsider, he stepped away from her and lowered his wand. “Go. Now.”



Hermione fumbled with the latch on the Time-Turner as she stepped backward into the closet. “Thank you, sir. You won’t regret it. Thank you,” she said again, and she vanished.



Severus stared into his now-empty closet and then at the phial that was supposed to be an antidote he would somehow need in the near future. It was only when he heard the tell-tale footsteps of the Professors Carrow approaching that he quickly put all but one of the phials away in a drawer. The last one he stuck in his pocket just before the door opened.



~{}~



As soon as the world stopped spinning around her, Hermione collapsed on the floor of the closet in tears. Seeing him again made her feel that same wave of depression she’d been experiencing from the first moment she laid eyes on his dead body in the Shrieking Shack. But he could be alive now! she thought suddenly. Without wasting another moment she hurried out of the office and headed towards the cemetery at a run. Her lungs felt like they were bursting, but she didn’t care about the pain. All that mattered was reaching the very last row of tombstones. As soon as she did, she turned towards the corner where he’d been buried before and stopped. Before her there was only grass. She looked all around at the neighboring tombs and saw that his name was not on any of them. His tombstone isn’t here!



Hermione was so consumed with happiness over her success that she didn’t hear the two wizards approach, or hear the two spells that hit her simultaneously.



~{}~



*The Day of the Battle – Inside the Shrieking Shack…After Giving Harry His Memories*



Severus Snape would have laughed at himself if he could have breathed properly. After all those missions, all those close calls, I’m going to die during the final battle because of a snake bite, he thought ironically. Granted, it was a very severe and painful bite from the Dark Lord’s own pet snake, but a snake bite nonetheless. As his life started to fade away, his will to live reminded him of the phial in his pocket, the same phial that had given his mind a few moments of escape into speculation over the last month as things had gotten more and more hectic at Hogwarts. During those moments he had tried to verify exactly what was in the phial and how dangerous it might be, all in a vain effort to not to think of the mysterious young witch who had given it to him. With the Carrows creating havoc on an hourly basis, he’d never had the time to properly test and dissect the ingredients therein as a potions master would naturally want to do.



But now, as his heart began to slow and the blood from the gaping wound in his ches was pooling around his body, he made the decision to throw caution to the wind. With the last bit of strength he could conjure, he felt in his pocket for the phial and finally retrieved it with a shaking hand. He uncorked the phial and poured the contents into his mouth, immediately starting to choke in his effort to swallow the liquid. As the potion absorb into his body, he felt a numbness overcome the throbbing pain in his chest. Gradually he felt his heart start to beat faster, almost normally. He felt the flow of blood slow, and the bubbling venom that felt like a river of needles stopped its assault on his veins. As he slowly slipped into trauma-induced unconsciousness, he wondered if he might live after all.



~{}~



Severus stood at the window in the Headmistress’ office and stared down at the scene below as Hermione was arrested by two Unspeakables and was marched away from his own empty gravesite towards the doors to Hogwarts. Minerva McGonagall was sniffling quietly behind him from her chair as they waited for her to be brought up to the office before being carried off to Azkaban.



For the last few months, ever since he’d woken up in the Hospital Wing with little left of his injury but a splitting headache and a scar on his chest, Severus had thought of nothing but the potion that had given him this newfound, if not exactly desired, existence. He was once again the Potions Professor of Hogwarts; and he was now widely known to be innocent of all his supposed past evils. The newly appointed Minister of Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt, had personally supervised the writing of the story that had been splashed across the front page of the Daily Prophet declaring how Severus Snape was a war hero, innocent of any murderous intent regarding Albus Dumbledore’s death.



While all of that had gone on, Severus had hidden himself away in his personal quarters in the guise of normal summer preparation for the coming term. Though he had worked on those normal things, he had also spent some time trying to figure out the contents of the phial and who had delivered it. He had been quite successful with the former, but the latter had eluded him until earlier that morning when those same two Unspeakables had invaded his privacy and turned his hard-won peaceful existence upside down.



Hermione Granger had saved his life. She had broken the law, created an antidote, and saved his life. Now, because Little Miss Know-It-All’s unfathomable impulse to save his life, she was going to lose her own freedom.



It was with these thoughts in mind that Severus was brought back down to earth at the sound of the two Unspeakables and Hermione approaching. They entered the office with Hermione bound and her head lowered. They sat her down in front of the Headmistress’ desk and still she didn’t lift her head. McGonagall rose and started to move forward to embrace Hermione, only to be stopped by the two wizards.



“No, I’m sorry,” one of them said. “I cannot allow you to approach the prisoner. Now, if we could commence with this, I would like to get her transferred as soon as possible. You stated that you had something you wanted to say about this case, Headmistress? I suggest you start now,” the wizard said briskly.



Minerva sat back down and folded her hands together and stared at Hermione, who still refused to look any higher than her shoes. “Very well. From what I understand, there is no way Miss Granger may be excused from spending time in Azkaban. But I was hoping we might come to an agreement about the length of time she spends there, and possibly consider an alternative punishment.” She pulled out several pieces of parchment on which she had written possible alternatives to Hermione spending years in Azkaban.



“Headmistress, you have to understand the special circumstances in this case. Since it has fallen under our jurisdiction, she is not entitled to a regular case tried before the Wizengamot. This case will not be well known outside this room or the Department of Mysteries. The law clearly states that the illegal use of an unknown Time-Turner carries a minimum sentence of five years in Azkaban – and add to that the fact that the prisoner did this to change the past and bring someone who had died back to life. That makes her sentence a minimum of fifteen years,” the taller Unspeakable said.



Severus approached the desk and placed an awkward hand on Minerva’s shoulder. “I realize that five years in Azkaban is the minimum sentence for using the Time-Turner. However, the Time-Turner in question is not, in fact, unknown. When the laws in question were created, they took into account Time-Turners belonging to long-standing institutions and old families. These were recorded as pre-existing Time-Turners, and the law does not apply to them. So taking that into account, the only issue before us is the result of its use. For some reason unknown even to me, Miss Granger thought it was imperative that she take drastic measures to save my life. I think that, despite the idiocy of the choice she made, she was surprisingly lucky in that she did not change anything other than the fact that I survived that day. No one else but the people in this room know of this incident. You should also take into account her part in helping to win the war – not to mention that she’s created an antidote to a certain type of snake venom that was, until now, rarely treatable. I think if we sit down and calmly discuss possible punishments, we can agree to something appropriate and not overly severe.”



Hermione looked up into Severus’ face and wondered why he was going out on a limb for her. It was obvious to her, after years of sitting in his classroom, that he was furious with her; yet here he was trying to help her avoid Azkaban altogether.



The taller Unspeakable conjured a chair and sat down. “Very well. I agree that, given the circumstances and the type of Time-Turner used, fifteen years would be quite harsh. What exactly do you suggest as a proper punishment for Miss Granger?”



McGonagall cleared her throat and said, “I suggest that she be stripped of her wand for a time, and also that she be made to stay here, at Hogwarts, under our supervision. I’m sure we can find several things she can do without the use of magic.”



The two Unspeakables went to the back of the room and discussed it in whispers. Hermione looked back down at her feet after Severus gave her a furious look. After several moments the Unspeakables approached Hermione and indicated that she should stand. She could hardly breathe as she waited to hear what they would say. 



“This is what we have decided: Miss Granger will spend two months in Azkaban, after which she will be confined to Hogwarts for a year’s time. During that period she will be stripped of her wand and a tracking spell will be placed on her to make sure she does not leave Hogwarts’ grounds. While she is here she is not to be visited by friends or family. We will look to you to make sure these conditions are met – since we have to keep this quiet you will have to lie, of course – but I’m sure for the sake of her lessened sentence this will be agreeable to you, yes?”



McGonagall agreed and so did Snape.



“Very well. Miss Granger, you will need to be placed in a high-security cell so that you will be isolated, which will help us keep this all quiet; do you understand?” Hermione merely nodded. Her legs threatened to give out under the weight of it all. She was going to Azkaban prison for two months and then she would be stuck at Hogwarts for a year without her friends or family – without the use of her wand or any magic. And to top it all off, Severus Snape would be in charge of her Hogwarts incarceration.



A/N: Well, my original plot changed a tiny bit… But I personally love it lol. I hope you guys enjoyed… Please remember to read and review! *HUGS*


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