Disclaimer: I own nothing of Harry Potter..only the characters I make up myself!! :D
Author's Note: I want to thank Sharmaine for looking over this chapter for me. I need to get a hold of my beta reader!! Does anyone know where she's gone to? Is she in the Forbidden Forest?! I'm getting grey hair from worry...:( Enjoy the story!!!
It had been a few days since the incident in the Great Hall. The hospital wing had never had so many people in it, until that day. When Draco came in with Ginny, it seemed like everyone exploded. Snape and Madame Pomphrey tended to Ginny as Hermione and Dumbledore tended to Draco. She never met his eyes and he never met hers...
Draco now lay in his bed, looking up at the ceiling. It had to be close to midnight. He sighed and closed his eyes. The sound of a door closing opened his eyes. He looked to the door and saw no one. It was slightly opened, but that was it. He shrugged and closed his eyes again. Then he heard the rustling of clothing. He sighed again and opened his eyes. There stood a disheveled Hermione. She looked at him and then looked at the floor. Draco just stared.
"Why are you here?"
She sat down at the edge of his bed, looking at her hands.
"I came to tell you that I was sorry. I shouldn't have told you all those things."
Draco sat up and touched her shoulder. She looked over at Harry's bed. He was still unconsious, but he was showing improvement. Ginny's bed was beside his. It was how she wanted it and Dumbledore allowed it. Thought it would help Harry. She looked down at her hands again.
"I have a question to ask of you.."
Draco blinked and nodded.
"Okay. Ask me."
She reached inside her robes and pulled out a folded piece of parchment. She held it in her hands for a moment and then handed it to him. He took it, confused. He looked at it, unfolded it, and started reading it. It was his handwriting. His parchment. His crest that held it together. He looked up at her. She was still looking at her hands, but she looked as though she was about to cry.
"Did you really write all those letters to me, knowing it was me who wrote them..?"
Draco put the letter beside him and touched Hermione's face. She looked at him, unshed tears in her eyes.
"I didn't know it was you who wrote those letters. I knew when we were in Snape's office and you were explaining everything to him. I knew then that you were the one who wrote the letters to me. I knew it was you that I wrote those letters to. By judging your face, you didn't know. So, I kept writing as though I didn't know. Most of the letters I wrote, I never sent. Everytime I reread them, it sounded more and more like me."
He sighed and stroked her cheek.
"I didn't want to tell you until you figured out that it was me. I was afraid that you would hate me. I walked away because I didn't know what to think. I began walking back to you to explain, but then Ron attacked me. You know everything else after that.."
Draco watched her face the entire time he talked. Her face betrayed nothing. She began to turn her face away until Draco grabbed her face and made her look at him.
"Don't look away. Never look away."
She took a deep breath and looked at him. That's when the first tear was shed and she began crying. She leaned into his chest and began crying her heart out. Draco was at a loss. He still didn't know how to comfort a crying woman. He closed his eyes and let his instincts take over. He wrapped his arms around her and put his head on top of hers. As soon as she calmed down, Draco looked down at her. She began to move away, but Draco's arms kept her there. She looked up at him. He smiled.
"I have something to tell you as well..."
Draco then began telling her what he had kept a secret from everyone, including his mother.
"I've always had a dream. A dream of a woman running from screaming people. A baby in her arms. A blonde child. Then a man coming to help her. She gave him the baby, telling him it was his son. To take care of him. Then this glowing light came from her hands and onto the child. When the light dims, she looked weaker than she had been before. And she whispers something in the baby. I can't really understand what she's saying. After that, she runs into the lit torches and pitchforks. She screams and I wake up. Every night since I was eight, I've had these dreams."
He didn't want to mention the recent one to her. He was afraid that would truly frighten her. He took a deep breath and looked up at her. She was watching him with interest. He licked his lips and took another deep breath, letting it out slowly.
"I want to show you something. Something I've never shown anything. You have to promise not to tell anyone. Not a soul. Not even to Snape. You promise?"
She nodded. He held out his hand, motioning for her to take it. She took his hand and looked down at the joined hands. He held their joined hands up before them, looking at her over them. He began to smile as a warmth began to grow between their hands. She looked at him, shock on her face. She could feel the warmth of their hands climb up to her arm and then flow down her body. She gasped as it began to pulse from their hands through her body and back. She closed her eyes and let the feeling take over.
"Don't look away. Never look away.."
She opened her eyes again. She looked at Draco, knowing her face mirrored hers. She looked at their hands and saw they were surrounded by a glow. She looked back at him.
"Is that you?"
He nodded. He pulled her closer to him, inch by inch. As their hands began to get closer to him, the glow became stronger. Soon, their faces were inches apart. As he brought his face closer to hers, his mother's voice came back to him from the dream.
"The woman you love will count on the power you wield."
He smiled as he realized that his mother was talking about Hermione. Hermione looked at him and smiled.
Snape smiled from the doorway of the hospital wing. He had managed to snag the Marauder's Map a few months back and watched as Hermione went from her room to the hospital wing. He followed her, making sure she didn't get caught or hurt. She made it there safely and he stood by and watched them. He watched them until he thought it was time for him to leave. He walked back to his room and sat down at his desk. His window was open, so the night wind blew in. It sent a cool breeze through his room. He got up to put out the light when he heard her.
He froze. It couldn't be. He turned around and there she was. His heart hammered in his chest as he looked upon the woman he fell in love with so long ago. Katarina stood in front of the window, her hair billowing in the wind. She smiled at him.
Snape began breathing again as he heard his name.
She smiled wider and she pushed her hair out of her face, an old gesture of hers. He watched with fascinated eyes as she did this old gesture.
"I am not truly here, as you know. I am here in spirit, to guide and protect the one I hold dear to my heart...and you, of course. You know the prophecy between those two.."
He nodded, walking closer to her. He stood in front of her. She smiled softly at him and touched his cheek. For a moment, he felt the warmth of her hand on his cheek. A tear fell from his eyes as closed them, savoring her touch. He opened his eyes, tears falling from them. He watched as tears fell from her eyes as well. She took a breath.
"How I wish I was still here for you to hold me once more. To hold her once more. To watch her grow into the person we always knew she would be. I wish upon every star in Heaven to be here now..But I can't be.."
Her bottom lip trembled as more tears fell from her eyes. He automatically reached out to brush them away, only to meet air. He looked at his hand, then at her. She closed her eyes and turned her head away. She took a shaky breath and looked at him again. Unshed tears still filled her eyes, but her voice was steady.
"Draco and Hermione must be together. The war is coming and the Dark is growing. If they find out about Draco's power, they will try and turn him against everyone. They will torture those he holds closest to his heart. This includes our Hermione. You must stop this from happening. I am not here to guide her, so you must. She has to be with you every holiday, including the summer. Draco's mother is trying to guide him as best as she can. We both are."
Snape frowned a bit at this. She smiled a little.
"Draco is just like you and her. A half-blood. Which is why it's a perfect match. Please guide her and protect her. You promised me you would."
"I'll protect her until the day I die."
She smiled and leaned forward. When their faces were inches apart, she whispered softly to him.
"You always knew that I loved you. Even when I left, you still believed I would come back. Even when I bore a child that wasn't yours, you took us in and loved her like she was your own. You still do."
More tears fell from her eyes.
"I live in you both. In your hearts."
He closed his eyes, hot tears trailing down his face.
"I miss you so much, Rina. If only you knew how much."
She took a shaky breath.
"I don't have much time. I was granted this time to inform you of what your duties were. What you always knew them to be."
He opened his eyes and looked at her, frantic.
"Don't leave me. Not again. Please don't leave me."
She smiled, even though she cried.
"I love you, Severus. Nothing will ever change that. And know that every time you look into our little girl's eyes, I'm there. I'm there with you both."
She began to fade. Snape began to make frantic motions, trying to grab her to keep her there with him. All his arms met was air.
"No! Not again! Katarina!!"
She kissed him and was gone. He collapsed to his knees.
Good God...I cried writing this last part..I'm still wiping away my tears. I never knew I could cry from writing something for a story, but I did it. Now...you have to be truthful. You have to tell me whether or not you cried. If you did, I did a good job!! If not...I still did a good job!! :D Just let me know and review please!!! -Angel_Princess87