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When Hermione entered her home, she heard the soft buzz of conversation coming from her kitchen. They were still there.

She walked back in to meet them, with her head hanging. She hadn’t been prepared to have admitted they were right.

“You didn’t do it?” James guessed as she lingered in the doorway.

Hermione shook her head, then slowly made her way over to join them.

“I believe you made the right decision, Hermione,” Dumbledore said as she sat down.

Hermione shrugged, as she kept her eyes on the table. He had been right, of course, but that hadn’t meant she wasn’t hurting from her choice to have left.

“So where did you go?” Fred asked.

Hermione sighed heavily.

“Well, I did go to the fountain, but when I got there, I realized it wasn’t the right time. So I came back,” she admitted in a small voice.

Sirius patted her gently on the shoulder, in an attempt to comfort her. It was a kind gesture, but she felt as if nothing could have helped at that moment.

“You were gone an awfully long time, we thought…” Lily trailed off.

Hermione debated on if she should have told them who she ran into. She knew a large majority of that table hadn’t exactly been Snape’s biggest fans. She chewed her lip, and decided she wasn’t going to begin her relationship with the people around her by lying to them.

“I ended up bumping into Snape on my way back,” she told them.

It was silent for a heartbeat, yet she hadn’t missed the small smile that crossed Dumbledore’s lips.

“Oh,” was all Lily managed to say, before taking a drink from her mug.

“Git,” said Sirius under his breath.

Hermione felt a flash of anger run through her at the remark. Sirius didn’t have to like him, but even he couldn’t have denied the important role Snape played in Voldemort’s downfall.

“That’s not fair, Sirius,” she scolded him. “After all that he’s done, couldn’t you just put aside your childish animosity towards the man?”

Sirius leaned back in his chair and let out a loud laugh.

“Prongs, do you hear this? It sounds like she has a soft spot for the greaseball!”

What Hermione would have done to have had her wand on her. If she had, she would have made sure he wouldn’t have been able to have sat down properly in weeks.

James must have noticed Hermione’s growing anger forming on her face.

“Lay off of her, yeah? She’s had a rough day,” he said firmly.

Lily, she noticed still hadn’t looked away from the mug of tea clasped between her hands. Her expression had been unreadable.

Sirius looked highly affronted that James hadn’t immediately been on his side. He leaned back in his chair and muttered something about Snivellus and complete arse.

Hermione, however, took the momentary silence in the group as an opportunity to ask something that she had been wondering about.

“Fred?” she asked. Fred hummed in response. “He,” she inclined her head towards Sirius, “said earlier that the two of you had watched me die.”

Fred lowered his head slightly, his face showing a hint of anger at the memory.

“We did,” he answered in the most serious tone of voice she had ever heard come from the young man.

“What I was wondering was, why?”

He lifted his head and made eye contact with her. His brow was furrowed in confusion.

“What I mean,” Hermione continued, “was why were you watching me at that moment?”

Understanding slowly dawned on his face.

“Oh. Well we weren’t looking for you exactly. I wanted to look in on Ginny, and Sirius came along for the walk. We were watching Hogwarts, and just happened to see when those pieces of scum cornered you.” He stopped and looked towards Sirius.

“I don’t remember the last time I had felt so helpless, Hermione,” Sirius spoke up, seeming to have pushed aside his irritation from a few minutes before.

Even though she had lived — and died, through it, she couldn’t have imagined what it would have felt like to have sat by and witnessed a friend suffer so horribly, and not have been able to have intervened.

“We saw the cottage appear just before they arrived back here,” Remus added. “We knew, since it popped up near all of our homes, that it would belong to someone we knew.”

“And when we all gathered outside, Pads and Fred were coming to tell us,” said James.

He reached for Lily’s hand, which rested between them on the table.

“When they told us it had been you who was killed, immediately I volunteered to go get you,” she said.

“Then we all came inside to wait,” said Tonks.

“We did not wish for you to have felt alone when you arrived,” Dumbledore told her.

Hermione felt overwhelming gratitude as she looked at the faces around her. She was glad that they did wait for her there. It would not have been easy to have faced her death alone.

“Thank you,” she told them, with much weight behind it.

Soon the conversation picked back up around the table, becoming much lighter, and with laughter ringing out between them. Hermione sat back quietly, and smiled when it seemed appropriate, but her thoughts wandered away to Snape.

She wondered who had come to collect him, and lead him into the afterlife. And if there had been a table filled with people he had been friendly with awaiting him once he arrived. Sadly, she figured there probably hadn’t been. Dumbledore, she thought, might had been there for him, but who else?

If he truly was alone, she decided that she would be there for him. Eternity was an awfully long time to spend alone, after all. He hadn’t deserved that. He needed a friend. And, if she were being honest with herself, she needed someone who could really understand what it felt like to be so alone. Yes, she did have the people around her, but they weren’t family. If there was one thing that Hermione was sure she would have been able to relate to Snape with, it was the unparalleled feeling of being painfully alone, even when being surrounded by others.


Severus sank down in a leather armchair in front of his stone fireplace. The flickering glow from it being the only light in the dark room. A tumbler of whisky he held firmly in his left hand. At least this pitiful excuse of an existence still offered some of the comforts of his former life, he thought, as he brought the drink to his lips and savored the warmth of the amber liquid that slid down his throat. Obviously he hadn’t had the sweet relief of intoxication that used to accompany the drink, but the taste was still somewhat comforting to him.

He closed his eyes. Again that evening the vision of wild brown locks of hair filled his mind. The startled amber eyes, and the full pink lips, parted ever so slightly in surprise, still taking over his thoughts.

She hadn’t deserved what has happened to her, he thought out of nowhere.

His eyes snapped opened, shocked at the words that ran through his head. Why would he have given a damn about the Granger girl? Hadn’t she had been a perpetual thorn in his side for the six years he had the unfortunate luck of teaching her in his classes?

But yet, there was something about the sincerity in her expression when she thanked him, that affected him more than it should have.

You were far braver than any of us have know, she had told him.

He laughed humorlessly. Foolish Gryffindors and their silly obsession with bravery. It had been far more complicated than just a blind act of bravery. He had been cunning, with years of meticulously practicing the art of his deceit. He played a part in that war, and he played it well. As he once told Bellatrix, he had deceived one of the greatest wizards of the age. Of course the insane witch had assumed he had meant Dumbledore, as he intended her to have believed, but what he truly spoke of in that moment, was of his time fooling The Dark Lord into believing his loyalty to him.

Brave, he thought again with a sneer.

But yet, she had been the only person thus far to have truly thanked him. Besides Dumbledore, that was.

Not that he desired her gratitude in any way. So why had she still been on his mind hours after their encounter?

Guilt, perhaps. That it had been two former students from whom he was their Head of House who had murdered her. And the fact that they had tortured her with a spell of his own creation.

That had to have been it, he tried to convince himself, as he took another drink from the glass in hand.

It had been a shame, even he had to have admitted to himself, that she had been killed so young. As irksome as he found her know-it-all ways to have been, he still recognized the limitless potential the girl had. He had graded enough of her essays, and heard enough about her from his colleagues in the staff lounge to have known of her shocking levels of intelligence.

Granger could have gone on to have done great things for the Wizarding World.

Severus stood up from his seat and began pacing his study. His irritation grew with each step that he had taken, due to the fact that the girl would not escape his thoughts.

It must had been due to the fact that he had been so surprised to have seen her. He knew she survived the war, so he hadn’t anticipated her arriving there for a long time to come. And the fact that she had been the first person he had spoken to, in many weeks, more than just a passing hello, also must had been playing a part.

It would pass, he told himself. Perhaps after a good book and a bit of rest, she would no longer invade his mind.


Sleep had not been something Hermione expected to have been able to still do now that she was dead. Although, sleep was the closest word she could think of to describe what she did after her friends had all left and returned to their homes.

When she finally changed out of the white dress she’d mysterious found herself in when she came to in the veil room, finding a comfortable pair of red flannel pajamas to wear, she laid down in a giant four-poster bed. The bed was much similar to the ones she had during her time at Hogwarts. She closed her eyes, and didn’t exactly fall into a deep sleep, with odd dreams in an unconscious state. It was more like the moments between falling asleep and being awake. Where you’re still somewhat aware of your surroundings, but your thoughts are no longer under your control.

Her thoughts had become disjointed, jumping from Summer Holidays with her parents in France, to Harry and Ron saving her from that Mountain Troll her first year, to late nights chatting with Ginny in her bedroom at The Burrow, to a pair of black unfriendly eyes, glaring at her from the head of the Potions classroom, while she sat with her hand raised waiting to give a correct answer she would have never been called on to give.

For what felt like hours she laid there, her mind circulating through different images and times in her life. But for some inexplicable reason, they always seemed to travel back to Severus Snape.

When the image of him bleeding on the floor of the Shrieking Shack, garbling out his last words played behind her closed eyes, she immediately opened them and sat up straight in her bed.

At least he hadn’t died alone, she thought sadly to herself.

Hermione swung her legs over the side of her bed and sat for a moment, trying to make the terrible image disappear. It had been quite horrible and extremely shocking to experience; watching a man be so brutally murdered right before your eyes. It was one of the experiences from that dreadful night that stayed with her, and contributed to quite a few of her nightmares while she had still been alive.

She had never admitted it to Harry or Ron, but she’d always felt that there had been more to Snape’s story than they had all been aware of. There was always this part of her that had believed he wasn’t the traitor everyone thought he had been. She remembered feeling not quite as surprised by the news that he had been on their side all along, as everyone else had been. There was always that nagging suspicion that there had been some good in him.

Hermione stood from her bed and made her way to the white wardrobe in the corner of her room. She was pleased to find it fully stocked, and pulled out a pair of denims and a cream jumper to wear for the day.

After she was dressed, and sat alone in her kitchen with a mug of coffee in front of her, she wondered what people actually did during the day to pass the time. Would it be rude of her to show up on one of her friends’ doorsteps? Even though she had more than enough books in her home to occupy her, she wasn’t sure if she was ready to spend too much time alone.

Perhaps she would go into the main part of the village, and check out the shops and see what her new home had to offer.

A small thought entered the back of her mind as she made her way out of the front door, when she hoped that perhaps she would have run into Snape again there that day.

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