A/N: This is the last chapter folks sniff. Actually, it's two chapters
put together as I thought it would be better this way. I hope you will like
BethAnn - Yes, you get to see the statues at last!
Fairmaiden & JobBob1329 - Thanks for liking my story, though I'm not sure
if there will be a sequel.
Mara456 - All will be answered here!
Svenny - Thanks for your nice comments.
As the feast went on, Dumbledore and some of the other teachers nodded off
in their chairs, a peaceful expression on their faces as if they had
finally allowed themselves to relax after years of being on constant alert.
Professor McGonagall was tipsy from sipping too much wine and was giggling
at an (unfunny) story Professor Sprout was relating.
The hall was filled with the drone of students lounging on their benches
and relating tall tales, while many of the younger students (in high
spirits) slipped away from the hall.
Filch the caretaker stood apart from the celebrations, a disgusted look on
his seamed face as he stroked a wild-eyed, spitting Mrs Norris in his arms
(his cat had been splattered with pink paint with Filch vowing to catch
those responsible and string them up, yes sir!). "I miss the old days
already, fear kept everyone in line, they did!" he muttered sourly.
Professor Snape getting it on with one of them Gryffindor brats - it didn't
The portrait people had their own celebration, several of them wandering
tipsily from one picture to the next.
Feeling a desperate need for fresh air Hermione made polite excuses to Mr
Weasley (who was regaling her with the "fascinating accounts" of his
experiences with Muggle washing machines) and quietly got up out of her
chair. When Severus turned a sharply inquiring face to her she smiled
ruefully and mouthing, "Need some air" she walked to the door that was
behind the High Table and opening it slipped into the narrow passage behind
Torches set upon the walls lighted the passage and Hermione had only gone a
few yards when she heard the door open and close behind her. Turning, she
saw Severus walking towards her, a glower on his face.
"What's wrong?!" they both said to each other and then paused.
"Where are you going, Hermione?" Severus said abruptly.
"Out for some fresh air", Hermione replied, wondering why he was in a bad
Severus folded his arms across his chest and tilted his dark head as he
stared down at her.
"Do you want to be an Auror?" he asked, his tone deliberately casual but
Hermione heard bleakness behind his words. [He's afraid of losing me] she
realised, moving closer to him.
"I'd rather be a teacher" she told him frankly and saw him relax slightly
though he looked at her with slightly narrowed, curious eyes.
"You do? The hours are long, the pay is minimal, you are never
appreciated.and the students talk back."
"Yes, I want to teach" Hermione said seriously, then found herself yawning.
"Boring you am I?" Severus murmured, drawing her near and folding his cloak
"No, I'm just tired" Hermione sighed and laid her head against his chest,
feeling as though she could fall asleep in his embrace.
When she yawned again (apologising) he gently brushed a stray lock of hair
away from her face.
"There are quite a few years of study involved in becoming a teacher, you
know," Severus mused, his breath warm against her hair. "Hardly any time
will be available for plotting.and other things, Miss Granger." There was a
faint, wistful note to his voice. Perhaps this was the closest he could
come to say that he would miss her when she left Hogwarts.
"There's always the weekends" Hermione said with determined cheerfulness.
"If I study hard enough I will probably be able to finish a few years
before the other students.and then I will come back here."
A long, deep kiss from him indicated his approval at that statement.
"Clearly it's my duty to escort you back to your room since you obviously
would fall asleep before you got there" he murmured afterwards when she
yawned again, Severus continuing to gently caress her hair.
"I would not!" she said waspishly but she didn't argue when he reluctantly
drew away from her and they started walking along the passage. Once they
approached the main passageways filled with young students milling about
Severus drew his wand and murmured a charm to deflect people's eyes away
from them. Hermione nodded in relief - the last thing she wanted now was
people staring at them again like they were Saviours of the World (or for a
posse of Snape Groupies descending upon them en masse).
Students were running excitedly through the corridors, casting spells to
produce confetti, sparkling glitter of all shades and translucent globes of
silvery light that drifted gently through the air (for once, faculty
members were turning a blind, indulgent eye to this).
Once they reached the entrance to the Gryffindor rooms, Severus gazed
soberly into Hermione's face.
"Do you have a potion for Dreamless Sleep at hand in your quarters?" he
said intently. "After what happened today you would be well advised to
Hermione nodded. "I do, and yes, I will. I want you to drink some as well!"
she added in an insistent tone. "After what you've been through, you don't
want any nightmares."
His dark eyes warmed. "If you insist. Certainly I will hoping that any
dreams that occur will be of more pleasant matters. But if I do not leave
now Hermione, I may choose not to leave you at all tonight."
As Hermione blushed to the roots of her hair Severus laughed softly and
after dropping a gentle kiss on her forehead turned and swept away.
"What are you staring at?" Hermione grumbled to the Fat Lady, who had been
unashamedly eavesdropping. The Fat Lady tittered, hiccupped and bade
Hermione enter without asking for a password for once.
Snores from the boys quarters indicated that Neville at least had had an
early night, but the girls quarters were empty, and after drinking the
Dreamless Sleep Hermione was asleep before her head hit the pillow.
A restful sleep without nightmares was granted her, while Severus knew a
deep, unbroken sleep for the first time in a while. The dark presence of
Voldemort no longer stalked his sleeping mind, and only once did a brief
dream (or was it a vision?) intrude - the faces of the other Deatheaters,
their blank, dead eyes staring at him accusingly. But they could be, and
were, easily dismissed.
* * * * *
The Next Day
Reporter Rita Skeeter (who used so much Muggle hairspray that any flies in
her vicinity immediately dropped dead) approached hot stories the way a
hunter approached potential prey - something that as to be pursued and
successfully brought down.
Perhaps these days there was less blood spilt in the process (for her
humiliation at Hermione's hands a few years ago had grudgingly taught Rita
to temper her style) and kept the ah, 'creative enhancing' of her stories
to a minimum. However, she still went after stories with her usual fanatic
When news broke through the wizarding world of Voldemort's final defeat -
not at Harry's hands as had long been expected - but by the unlikely pair
and couple Professor Snape and Hermione Granger, Rita had licked her
crimsoned lips with relish as possible headlines unfolded in her mind.
'Professor in Student in Steamy School Tryst'. Hadn't Hermione and Harry
been interested in each other at one point? Hmm. 'Steamy
Gryffindor/Slytherin Love Triangle'.
Surely the truth she would uncover would be more salacious than any
'enhanced' story that she could come up with. It would serve that Hermione
As the new day broke at Hogwarts, Rita was there. However, only a few
people were about, for most of them were sleeping off the night before,
while house elves scurried around unobtrusively, cleaning up piles of
rubbish and glitter. In anticipatory patience Rita found a corner and
The last person Harry wished to be greeted by when he came down from
Gryffindor Tower was Rita, though for once her presence was not as annoying
as usual. Resentment still simmered quietly inside him when he thought of
Hermione. She was asleep still, a deep, exhausted slumber that was
apparently shared by Professor Snape.
Let them sleep undisturbed, Dumbledore had advised. For their valour
today's sleep in would be overlooked, not reprimanded. And so Harry had
been receptive to Rita's oily offer to 'share his thoughts' despite Ron's
wide eyed, hissed appeal of "what do you think you are *doing* Harry? She's
"Of course" he had told Rita when asked whether he was happy Voldemort was
dead at last. Had agreed when Rita suggested that perhaps Hermione and
Snape had been seeing each other for a while. He had paused when asked if
he felt that those two had overshadowed his 'deserved limelight'. He had
always felt uncomfortable being in the limelight but now that its focus had
left him he found that he had grown accustomed to it. Rita had merely
smiled and her quill had busily scribbled away.
Harry had had the grace though to feel some shame afterwards when Ron had
upbraided him, but the deed had been done.
Rita had less success with Draco, to her disappointment, for he had been a
ready source of information in the past. The scarred Slytherin student had
glared at her and said if he saw any unkind word against Professor Snape
and Hermione in 'The Daily Prophet' (even if she was a mud-blood
Gryffindor) then any quill or pen Rita ever picked up in the future would
snap in her hands.
Rita would have stayed and waited for Hermione and Professor Snape to
awaken, but she had been escorted from Hogwarts by a politely smiling
Dumbledore. When she returned to her office she found her notes had been
mysteriously erased from her parchment. Fuming but taking the hint, Rita
grimly wrote a story that praised the efforts of Hermione and Professor
Snape in ridding the world of Voldemort. However, she hinted at an upcoming
engagement - if they were to be the new golden couple of the wizard world,
who better than Rita to ensure that 'The Daily Prophet' made as many
galleons as possible from stories about them? One had to always consider
the bottom line of course, Rita thought cheerfully.
When Hermione woke, the sun was shining at an odd angle through the
windows. On checking her bedside clock she was startled to see it was
11.45. What.then memories of yesterday came to her - rescuing Severus from
Voldemort, the cruel expression on Voldemort's face as he called the
killing curse on her.the curse rebounding..the feel of warm lean arms of
Severus around her as he kissed her with passion.the cold expression on
Harry's face..the banquet. Severus.a warm glow filled her heart and in the
empty room no one else was there to see the un- Hermione goofy smile on her
Then she sobered. She had been acclaimed as a heroine, but would gratitude
extend to allowing her to go without detention for sleeping through her
classes? She had missed Potions class, and she doubted that Severus would
show her favouritism; although the detention might be a light one. Perhaps
the best idea would be to use a time turner to attend her classes - she
would go and see Professor McGonagall.
When she got up her body had that slightly drowsy, boneless feel one has
after an exceptionally long sleep. There was panic on her part when she saw
that she could no longer see the chain of light between her and Severus.
Had it been severed? She reached out blindly with her senses but relaxed
when she sensed it there still. All that had happened was that the spell
that gave othersight to her by Fawkes had faded, Hermione thought.
After showering and dressing she descended to the empty common room and
found a breakfast tray of scrambled eggs that was protected by a Stay Hot!
Spell. Touched, Hermione sat down to eat and after she finished and rested
briefly she left the common room and went to Professor McGonagall's office.
Cautiously knocking on the door she opened it when she heard the brisk
command to enter. When Hermione entered the office, apologies and
explanations ready to spill from her mouth Professor McGonagall smiled at
her with fondness.
"Hello my dear - awake at last I see. Why, I checked up on you a while ago
and you were sleeping like a baby." Hermione blinked uneasily at that but
the Professor went on cheerfully. "The latest news is that the Deatheaters
were all found dead, apparently by some mysterious means for there was not
a scratch on them...don't worry about your missed classes - I have the
notes from them that you can refer to later, but come with me quickly now.
Professor Snape is still asleep at the moment, which does not surprise me,
but you can be measured first. Mr Litmos is not good at waiting, clever
though he may be."
"Um.what?" Hermione ventured, trying to get a word in.
Professor McGonagall raised her eyebrows. "Why, for your joint statues of
Hermione quickly pasted a smile on her face. "Oh, that."
Minerva's face softened suddenly. "Your modesty does you credit, my dear,
but think of how great an honour this is. Also, people need something
tangible to remember a battle by, something that later generations of
wizard will look at and say 'these people put aside their differences and
made a stand against evil' " she said kindly.
Feeling humbled, Hermione nodded. "All right, I'll come."
Professor McGonagall smiled approvingly and then there was an impish glint
in her eyes. "Before we go there's one thing I must know.is Severus a good
* * * * *
When Hermione was introduced to Mr Litmos (Statue Maker of Quality!!) it
was in an airy room with a high ceiling in one of the towers of Hogwarts.
He was a sturdily built man with a head of untidy brown hair, cheerful blue
eyes and a constant air of manic energy.
"So this is the gel!" Mr Litmos ("call me Geoffrey, can't stand my name -
dreadful thing) said to Hermione when she was introduced by Professor
McGonagall. "Such looks - I will make sure your statue in particular will
be admired for a thousand years."
"We were thinking of a sculpture in white Italian marble." Minerva
ventured, but Geoffrey shook his head impatiently in negation. "No, no,
white marble will not do. Use it for garden ornaments but not for this!
Marble will make Miss Hermione look insipid, while bronze will make her
look magnificent. And as for Professor Snape - white marble for the Head of
Slytherin would not do. He would probably jinx my hairbrush out of spite!"
Professor McGonagall looked taken aback. "Well, Dumbledore did have bronze
in mind.I suppose."
"Good!" Geoffrey said briskly, rubbing his hands together. "Then it's all
decided. Now where's that Professor of yours, hmm? He can't be still
asleep, surely - I can't wait all day, things to do, you know! Just throw
some water on his face, I say."
"That will not be necessary!" replied Professor Snape as he swept into the
room, in a tone of voice that could have froze said water. He stared at
Geoffrey down his nose with his patented 'you're a bug' look and by his
irate mood and untidy hair Hermione guessed that Dumbledore had probably
bullied him out of bed.
"This had better not take a long time as I'm a busy man" Severus said, his
voice dangerously low, casting a glower Professor McGonagall's way.
However, his temper abated slightly when his eyes rested on Hermione and he
gave her a look that said 'let's think of a nasty revenge for Dumbledore
and McGonagall later, shall we?'
"Well, let's get on with it" Geoffrey said in a voice that was a shade too
hearty, his bluff manner intimidated by the darkly malevolent Professor
whom Geoffrey knew as 'someone you did not cross and get away with it'.
"Er, would you both stand over there in that ring?" Geoffrey asked pointing
to an area on the stone floor where some bronze powder had been scattered
in a wide ring on the stone floor. Hermione peered at the powder warily and
Professor Snape's mouth curled slightly but they both obeyed.
"Do you want us to pose?" Severus asked sardonically.
"No, no, just relax" Geoffrey said hastily, and pointing his wand at them
both he uttered a few words. The powder on the floor glowed and rose
upwards, swiftly spinning around them and when the grains were above their
head they abruptly dropped back to the ground, looking as if they had never
moved in the first place.
"Excellent.now if you would just both move out of the circle, please."
After they had obeyed, the powder glowed again and rose, but this time it
swiftly resolved itself into two brown, statue-like replicas of Hermione
and Severus as they had been standing before. A big snake that was to
obviously indicate Voldemort writhed around their feet. Hermione stared at
her image, it was just like her, she thought. Severus frowned at his image.
"My nose isn't that big, surely!" he grumbled.
Geoffrey smiled encouragingly. "Your nose is ah, very distinctive,
Severus narrowed his eyes suspiciously at this upstart man but failed to
detect any insolence.
Geoffrey went on. "Now we must have a dramatic look - hmm, what about this
He pointed his wand at the images and their postures changed.
"Certainly not!" Severus barked and Hermione tried and failed to hide a
snicker. Severus glowered at her. "I'll get you for that!" he said in a
dangerous purr. The images were in a pose reminiscent of a cheap kung fu
movie, with 'Severus' looking as if he was going to karate chop the snake
into little pieces.
Geoffrey looked disappointed. "Why, that's one of my favourite poses. Very
"Change it!" Severus said through gritted teeth.
Geoffrey sighed and pointed his wand. Now the images stood back-to-back,
smirking, their wands raised like a pose from a James Bond movie.
"No!" Hermione and Severus said in mutual horror.
"Dear me!" Geoffrey muttered. "Let's try this pose, shall we?"
The pose changed again.
"Why, yes!" Professor McGonagall said approvingly.
Hermione frowned thoughtfully. It looked better this time. The images were
holding their wands up in attack mode but in a more natural way, while
their expressions were of grim resolution, the kind where you were
determined to carry out a task even if you died in the attempt. Their robes
were flowing in a graceful yet natural looking way. Hermione was happy with
the way 'she' looked and as for the image of Severus.well, if the Snape
groupies saw this, they'd probably want photos taken beside their drooling
selves. Or try and steal it.
Severus frowned at it but could not find anything to complain about. "Yes,
I could live with that" he murmured, absently smoothing his untidy hair so
it matched the other images flowing hair. Why, he didn't realise he could
look that.good. Realising that the others were smirking at him he coughed
and looked dismissive. "It will do, I suppose."
Geoffrey beamed. "Splendid! Then it's all settled. I'll send the bill later
by owl." Pointing his wand at the images he spoke a word, there was a
bright flash of light and then their images were there in polished bronze
splendour. They were standing on a bronze base, the snake writhing around
their feet in dying, defiant anger while a simple inscription on the base
read 'Evil often triumphs, but never conquers' with their names and
yesterdays date underneath. It was a work of art, Geoffrey thought proudly.
"An excellent job!" Professor McGonagall gushed while Severus and Hermione
stared at it in silent amazement. "Ah, how will you transport this out of
Geoffrey looked smug. "Easily enough, dear lady." He went up to the statues
and tapping it smartly with his wand three times and uttering a word it
rapidly shrunk until it was only a few inches high. "Now, you wished it to
be placed in one of the courtyards?" Geoffrey inquired of Professor
"Yes, come this way," Professor McGonagall said briskly, "Dumbledore is
She and Geoffrey went out of the room and Hermione stared mutely at each
other. "I feel I'm in a dream but it seems too surreal to be one of my
dreams" Severus mused.
"If this is a dream then I'm sharing it too!" Hermione sighed. "Well, we'd
better go after them."
"Not yet!" Severus frowned at her and lightly grabbed her wrist. When
Hermione looked at him in surprise then relaxed when his eyes gleamed at
"Morning kiss first, my dear" he explained.
"Oh, that!" Hermione grinned as they reached for each other. However, their
happily amorous kisses were interrupted by an impatient Professor
McGonagall who huffed at them to "do that later, you've got a ceremony to
attend!". Smiling, they followed.
It was agreed later by people that the sculpture looked very dramatic after
it was unveiled in a ceremony by Dumbledore, and seemed to belong in the
courtyard it was placed in. Hermione and Professor Snape were both awarded
the Order of Merlin at the ceremony as well, a brooch in the shape of a
star that glowed royal blue. Many noticed that they both seem to make a
fine couple after all, and didn't Professor Snape look nice when he smiled
After the ceremony it was noticed that several girls fought for the right
to be photographed by the statues.
It was also noticed that Harry seemed to have an ill expression on his face
at the time, but perhaps he was coming down with something. There was a
nasty 'flu going around, after all.
Yes, people agreed, this was as close to a fairy-tale ending as it got.
A/N: Yes, that was the end sniff. It was sad to finish it but hey, it had
to happen. I couldn't have done it without all the wonderful support from
you guys (you know who you are!) all the way through. I'm not sure if there
will be a sequel as I have a few ideas for some other stories cooking in my
mind (I'm not sure if they will be as long as this one though!). Thanks
again, and roll on the next movie, where we can all see Sevvy in all his
sneering, smirking glory.