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     Hermione sits on her couch in the living room, trying to forget the blonde menace now running about her town. She turns on the television and sits back, trying to slow her breathing. She calms down as show after show pass on the television, setting her into a calmer state.

     
     The doorbell rings. It is the middle of the afternoon now, much too early for her parents to be back from work. Hermione walks to the front door and opens it. Her jaw drops as Snape pushes himself into Hermione’s home. He has awkwardly put himself into a brown jumper, a pair of dark jeans, and loafers. He pushes against Hermione and shoves himself through her front door, shutting it behind him.

     
     “You and I need to have a little chat.”


     Hermione’s wand is drawn, but Snape’s wand is pointed against Hermione’s heart quicker.


     “Don’t push me, girl,” Snape leads her to the dining room table. He pushes her into one seat and sits himself across from her. His wand is never lowered. “Draco has told me of his encounter with veritaserum. I assure you I do not know why he was near you in the first place, but now that you know we are here, we must try to be civil.”


     “Why should I listen to you, you murderer?” Hermione spits.


     “I am on your side, Granger. I am with the Order.”


     “You killed Dumbledore, you’re a traitor. You have always been a traitor.”


     Snape’s eyes burn with fury, “I have been risking my life for the Order. I am our only double agent and I am a crucial piece to the fall of the Dark Lord. If you turn Draco and myself in, your friend Potter is doomed.”


     “You’re lying, you worthless little…”


     “Hermione, please calm yourself.” A voice calls from the adjoining living room.


     Hermione and Snape both turn to see Dumbledore looking at the pair of them through his portrait on the mantle.


     “Hello, Severus.” Dumbledore says calmly, acknowledging the man across from Hermione with his wand in her face.”


     “Albus, I…”


     “I know, Severus. It is alright. Hermione, what Professor Snape tells you is true. It is crucial that he keep pretending to be part of the Dark Lord’s alliance, and it is crucial that no one suspect a thing. Unfortunately, it has lead to my own death. This war is bigger than all of us, Hermione, and we must all risk ourselves for the greater good.”


     “But, Sir, you’re dead because of this man.” She points at Snape, “He’s a murderer.”


     Snape sighs and looks back at Hermione. His wand lowers a little. “I made an unbreakable vow with Narcissa to keep Draco safe. If I had not have done it, she would have assumed something was wrong, and the Dark Lord would no longer confide in me. Draco would have been killed if Dumbledore had not have been, so I did it myself. I had no choice.”


     Hermione sits with her mouth gaping open. Her eyes dart from Snape to Dumbledore in his frame, then back again.


     “You must tell no one about Draco and myself being here. Draco must also know nothing about what I am really doing. He must stay in the dark. If I am to keep protecting and helping Potter, you mustn’t tell a soul.”


     “But, why are you helping Harry now? You’ve never cared before.”


     “I’ve been trying to protect Harry his whole life.” Snape says, his eyes like slits.


     “Why?”


      “He will know soon enough.” Snape says, “Say nothing, Granger. Say nothing, or we may all die.” Snape stands and lets himself out of her house.


     Hermione sits frozen at the dining room table. Slowly, her eyes drift to Dumbledore’s portrait. He is smiling sweetly at her.


     “You must trust him, Hermione. I know it is hard to grasp, but he has told you the truth. Both Severus and Draco need you now. We all need you to be strong.” With that, Dumbledore’s portrait is empty and he heads off somewhere more important than Hermione’s house.

 

Author’s note: I know it’s a little odd for Hermione to have a proper portrait. I figure that if Dumbledore knew what would happen, and he could probably have fathomed a guess, then he would have known where Snape would try to hide and that the three meeting up would be impossible to stop in such a small city. It would have been far too dangerous for Snape to halve a portrait with Draco around, or if they were found. This way, if Hermione was given a portrait he could keep up with Harry and the war and Snape all at once.

PS: PLEASE REVIEW


 

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