Snow was falling out side Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The beginning of winter. The soft crescent moon caressed the grounds as the powdery flakes of ice trailed down from the sky changing the grounds from green to white.

It was late. Hours ago the last of the students had headed from there common rooms up to the safe seclusion of there rooms. It was the only time there was peace in their hearts.

A lone figure of a woman crossed the halls; her dark thick curly hair flamed out behind her. Her skin was pale not from the lack of sunlight but from grief.

In her hand tightly clutched was a letter, soaked from tears and crumpled from frustration. She stopped in her footsteps, rasing her head to look up at the towering anceint ceelings and let out a sob of grief.

"Out for a midnight stroll I see Miss Granger" came a voice as soft a velvet but as hard a steel.

Hermione froze that voice. Her blood ran cold; frustration threatened to engulf her good judgment. She turned to face her fear. She turned to face .

Professor Severus Snape.

Her dark rich brown coloured eyes took in his dark form.

He was taller than she was; in fact taller was than most. His raven black hair lightly spinkled with flecks of gray and silver. He had pale skin amlost alabaster in color, around his eyes there were beginings of crows feet peeking at the edges. His lips were thin and reedy and a pale lifeless red.

He held an aroura around him, one that could shake a mountain, power and grace all to his own. His face was was chisled with the story of his life. The skin was scared and in some areas marrd beyond repair. Yet not uncomfortably so.

She took in a breath at what she saw next.

His eyes

It was his eyes that terrified her, they had always scared her. From her first day at hogwarts those dark pools of nothingness, no feeling, just deep pools of ice had haunted her. They looked at her with such a loathing, reserved only for the students that he despided with more then just hatred.

"TuT TuT Miss Granger you off all people should know that it is not permitted to roam the halls at this hour of the night" Sneered Snape.

"Yes I know Professor but." Tears were threatening to fall. God did she have to run into him off all people at this time. Not after what happened.

"Stop making excuses Miss Granger, As head girl and a seventh year you know better than to walk around alone at night, especially during these times. 20 points from Gryffindor. Now get back to your bed" he snapped.

Tears were now falling from her face, freely and stubernly. Nothing she could do would stop them. She clutched the note tighter.

The Note.

A rush of strength came through her. She looked up into his eyes, hers were full of defiance and what was grief was now rage.

This made Snape take a step back out of shock.

" I'm sorry professor I cannot do that" she spoke with a clear and powerful tone, unlike any she had ever heard her self create.

Snape just looked at her. "Three months left of term and you are truly looking for an expulsion Miss Granger" there was venom and daggers in each of his words.

She didn't even respond to him, turning on her heals she continued on her journey leaving professor Snape behind.

"MISS GRANGER!" roared Snape. " How dare you turn your back on me! Get back here now."

Hermione just started to run, run away from the grief, the pain.running away from Snape!

"Insolent Bitch!" growled Snape as he took after her, his long legs caring him faster than Hermione thought possible.

She had to run faster. Harder. Faster.

Turning the corner she came to her destination. Snape was catching up.

She looked up at the Gargoyle that guarded her destination and began to scream out. " Gummy worms, Acid Pops, Pepper imps, Lemon Drops, Curry Clams!"

At the last word the Gargoyle jumped away leaving a long winding stare cases behind it.

" MISS GRANGER!" Snape roared as he came around the corner, only to see her disappear into the wall.

He slowed his pace and loped to the point ware Hermione had been moments ago. Painting only lightly he followed her in.


Hermione called out. Tears and shock falling in drops from her.

" Professor Dumbledore!" She screamed. Over and over.

Tears were now coming in waves down her face, she couldn't stop it any longer.

A hand came up behind her, a warm hand. " Shhh.Child I'm here."

Hermione turned to look up into the brilliant blue eyes of the Headmaster of Hogwarts. She took one look at him and buried her face into the old wizard's robes, crying and sobbing like a wild animal.

Dumbledore noticed that another person had entered the room, it was none other than Severus Snape himself. The look on the younger wizard's face was laced with confusion and in some point anger.

Dumbledore nodded to the man and watched while still holding a sobbing Hermione as the potion master took a seat in his office.

Dumbledore patted the sobbing woman's back. "There there Hermione, what ever it is, it will be all right"

He felt her tense up at these words.

She pulled back from his warm hug and looked at the headmaster with a spark of rage mingled with her grief.

She still had the letter clutched in her hands.

" No Headmaster it is not all right!" her voice was shaking.

Dumbledore stared at her for a moment, then pointed to the letter in her hands. She slowly gave it to him, hands trembling.

He scanned the sodden peace of parchment. He blues eyes slowly loosing their brilliant twinkle.

"Hermione.I'm truly sorry"

Snape looked from the headmaster to Miss Granger. What was going on? One thing that Severus never enjoyed was being kept out of the loop and this was something he needed to know. Miss Granger had better tell him what was going on or it might not save her from a possible lifetime of detention.

He looked at the Granger girl. Fresh tears were rolling down her cheeks soaking her robes.

The headmaster then guided Hermione to the chair next to Snapes and handed her a mug of hot chocolate. Tears of grief were still falling from her face.

The headmaster took his spot behind his desk, looking very grave and very saddened.

"Hermione I believe that there is little that I can say that can comfort you at this time. I'm sorry we were un able to stop what happened."

She looked up from her steaming mug. " I know headmaster, I just wished there was something I could do."

Severus now made a noise in his throate making it clear that he had no idea in hell what was going on.

Dumbledore looked at the young man in front of him, looking to Miss Granger. " Hermione may I show him the letter?"

She nodded casting a slight look of loathing at Snape.

Dumbledore then handed the letter over to professor Snape. His blue eyes loosing what little luster they had left in them.

Professor Snape nodded in thanks. Opening up the crumpled and slightly wet letter he proceeded to read it.

Dear Miss Granger

I would like to inform you of your recent orphanage.

Snape froze, all hostile thoughts were now lost, he was even fighting the urge to gather the girl into his arms and hug her with sympathy.

I pains me greatly to inform you that at 9:00 this morning we arrived at your parents house to find the dark mark emblazoned in the sky.

Your parents I regret to say did not survive the encounter. They both have parrished from the Avada Kedavra curse.

We are currently looking into this matter with the utmost of caution. We have little doubt that these were planed attacks.

I'm sorry for your loss

Mr. C Fudge Minister of magic.

Snape was in shock, what a cold letter even for Fudge that was inconceivable.

He watched the sobbing girl. Then looked the headmaster. There were matters that needed discussion. Dumbledore cleared his throate much like Snape had done. "Miss Granger I have contact your head of house she will be hear to collect you shortly, I'm afraid I must ask for you to wait out side there is a matter that I must discuse with Professor Snape"

She nodded, and left, but not before sending a look laden with pure hatred at professor Snape.


The headmaster stood in front of the fire facing it. Ignoring the younger man behind him. It was going to happen soon. I know it.

"Severus" the old man croaked.

"Yes Albus"

" Did you have any warning at all from your meetings? No word from the death eaters?"

"No Albus, I regret to say that they don't seem to be passing me as much information as they used to, I believe that they are beginning to understand my role in the circle."

" I was afraid of that, so do you believe that they know of you spying for us?"

"In a word I believe yes"

"Then it is no longer safe for you."

" It was never safe Albus" snapped Severus.

" I know but I cannot ask you to go back."

" I will and I must"

Dumbledore turned and stared at the younger man, he was not even thirty- five and yet he seemed so old. He remembered the day that Severus had barged into his office, eyes full of tears and regret.

It was that day that he had been made a spy, it was that day that he had sealed his own fate.

No it was not that day it was the day that he had the blasted mark burned into his skin, into his soul.

" Albus there is another matter I wish to speak with you of."


" Do you relies what today is?"

" Yes the first day of winter, why?"

Snapes face paled.