Chapter XIII

AN: I do not own the rights to the world of Harry Potter and its characters. Some characters may seem extremely out of character – especially Ron Weasley seeing as I believe he would never in his right mind abuse Hermione in any way. Also, dates and ages have been altered for narrative purposes (especially when it comes to the children)

Please do take the time to read the authors note at the bottom of the page.

"Food is great Mione." Ginny said with a smile as she brought the fork to her lips, eyeing her husband from across the table. Harry glanced right back at her from over the edge of his rounded glasses, shifting in his seat uncomfortably as he pushed around the peas on his plate.

"It's no problem," Hermione said with a smile as she glanced towards Hugo who was smacking his little-bawled fists against his highchair. "I mean you guys are letting us stay here –it's the least I can do." She continued as she grabbed a piece of soft boiled cut carrot between two fingers, pushing it towards Hugo's closed lips.

"Mah mmm mmm." Hugo babbled, opening his mouth allowing Hermione to place the carrot in the boy's mouth. Smacking his gums loudly he smacked his open palms against the high chair once more.

Silence persisted, the only noise coming from the clattering silverware and Hugo's incoherent babble. Harry sighed loudly, placing down his utensils against his plate. "Are we just going to continue like this pretending nothing is happening?"

Ginny stared at Harry incredibly, her mouth opened in shock. "Harry!"

"Well, what Ginny! Are we just going to sit here and pretend that nothing is happening!" Harry said loudly, glancing momentarily towards James and Rose who were now leaning against their chairs looking down at their laps. "James why don't you go and play with Rose in the treehouse."

James and Rose immediately slipped out of their seats and dashed towards the back door quietly, leaving the three adults flushed faced. "I'm sorry," Hermione muttered sadly, glancing down at her plate.

"You have nothing to apologize for Hermione," Ginny said quietly, glancing bitterly towards Harry who had his face in his hands, his glasses pushed up so that they rested on top of his head. "Did you set up the wards like I asked you too?"

"Yes alright? I set up the wards like you asked! So he can't get in here!" Harry bellowed loudly. "Look, Hermione, it's not that I don't believe you it's just – "

"Don't even finished that sentence Harry James Potter or I swear to merlin's pants – "

"Just stop! Both of you stop it!" Hermione said, pushing herself out of her seat, resting her open palms against the table. Both Harry and Ginny turned to look at Hermione. "If me being here is going to stir up this much commotion between you two then I'll just leave." She continued, now out of breath, her vision fuzzy due to the tears that threatened to spill.

"Harry is just being unreasonable." Ginny spat towards her husband. "Out of everybody in the entire world apart from me –Hermione has been the one to support you through everything!" Ginny continued as the world spluttered out of her mouth. "You look at me when I'm speaking to you!" Harry's eyes snapped upwards to meet his wives.

"Look I understand, it's hard to imagine Ron doing something like that, believe me, I know that," Hermione said placing her hand around Harry's forearm. "Remember when we were in the Forest of Dead?" She felt Harry tense beneath her touch. "Remember when Ron left us?" Meanwhile, Ginny didn't speak, she remained silent watching the two best friends carefully. "I stayed with you. I didn't abandon you. And I'm not condemning Ron for leaving, I'm really not. But please Harry I need you to believe me." Hermione lowered her head, her cheeks now wet with tears.

Harry glanced towards Hermione, his heart breaking at the sight of his best friend falling apart in front of him. Pushing out of his chair he staggered towards her and pulled her quivering form into his open arms. "I'm sorry Hermione, I'm so sorry Hermione for not believing you." Hermione wrapped her arms around his neck, now openly sobbing against the skin of his neck. He met Ginny's gaze from over Hermione's shoulder.

A loud blaring boomed through the house, making Hermione flinch in Harry's embrace. Ginny quickly rushed out of her seat and walked towards the pair as Harry pushed Hermione into Ginny's arms. "The wards," Ginny muttered as Hermione began to sob uncontrollably. "Could it be Ron?"

Harry pulled out his wand from his back pocket, eyeing the long piece of wood. "It's Severus."

Hermione's cries died in her throat. "How does he know I'm here?" She asked, pulling herself away from Ginny. "Did you go see him?" She asked looking towards Harry.

Harry raised his arms defensively. "I didn't I swear." He looked towards Ginny, his eyes seemingly about to bulge out of his skull.

Hermione spun on her heel and looked towards the red head. "You went to see him?"

Ginny nodded. "I went to thank him for saving your life. I thought he deserved an apology after the way you treated him." Ginny said pointing her finger towards Harry.

"We don't have to let him in if you don't want too," Harry said rubbing his forehead.

Hermione took a deep breath. "No, it's okay. You can let him in." She nodded her head almost as if to reassure herself that everything would be okay; when in reality, her heart thumped against her ribcage at seemingly one thousand beats a second.

Harry swished his wand, and before anybody to utter a single word a loud even knocking resonated through the house –Hermiones breathe caught in her throat as Harry and Ginny quickly slipped away from the Muggleborn witch. "We'll be upstairs if anything," Harry said pulling Ginny by the hand.

Hermione nodded solemnly, not dragging her eyes away from the door. "Mah mmmm." Her head snapped towards Hugo who was still in his high chair, his hands stretched out towards her, clenching his little hands into fists. Hermione rubbed her sweaty hands on her shirt and took a step towards Hugo, grabbing her son lovingly into her arms.

"It's okay my sweet boy." She said quietly, kissing his forehead. Severus knocked once more –short and persistent. She slowly walked towards the door, grabbing the doorknob in her hand. Taking a deep breath, she twisted the door open.

Time stood still as the door swung open; coming face to face for the first time in days. Single utters of each other's names had been enough to send them over the edge, but now in that moment, she just wanted to collapse into his embrace. His hands were shoved deeply in his robe pocket, his head bowed down his dark hair forming a curtain over his face. "Hey." The word tumbled out of his mouth and before he could even meet her gaze her arms were wrapped around his neck and her head buried in his neck –breathing in his musk odor all the while holding onto Hugo in an attempt to not crush him between their two bodies.

"I'm sorry." She mumbled weakly, unable to stop the tears that rolled down her cheeks.

He stiffened, his eyes immediately glancing towards Hugo who was nestled between their two bodies. "Uh, Hermione?" She immediately froze in his arms before pulling away, wiping away the tears with the pad of her thumb.

Glancing down she smiled weakly at the young boy in her arms. "How have you been?" She whispered shakily, running her hand through Hugo's mass of red hair.

"We both know I'm not here to talk about myself." He said shuffling from foot to foot as he too glanced at Hugo –who surprisingly enough was staring right back him; blue eyes meeting onyx ones. The two adults shared matching smiles as Hugo extended his little chubby arm towards Severus, his fist clenching open and close, open and close again.

Hermione quickly glanced up towards the Potions Master; his eyes shone brightly as he looked at Hugo. "Do you wanna hold him?" She asked slowly, twisting her body towards him.

Without uttering a word Severus leaned forward and grabbed the chubby boy in his arms, Hugo immediately nestled himself into the crook of the mans neck, his fist closing around a strand of dark hair.

"I can't believe it," Ginny whispered into Harry's ear as the two watched the scene from the deck in the railing of the landing. Harry gapped at the couple, unable to believe the sight before him. "Who would have thought that Severus Snape would be in our house and that our Hermione would be in love with –" Ginny's voice trailed off as a loud slamming echoed through the house; two pairs of little steps zooming into space.

"Mr. Snape?" Both Hermione and Severus turned their heads towards the direction of the little voice. "You're back!" Rose continued, a wide smile grazing her lips as she dashed towards the older man. Severus barely flinched as Rose crashed into his stilled frame, her arms wrapped around his legs. "I missed you!"

Severus pursed his lips as he glanced down at the young girl, all the while trying to stand still with the baby in his arms. "Seems like my kids have taken a real liking to you," Hermione said with a soft smile as she traced the babies face with the tip of her finger. "Don't know why really?"

Severus couldn't help but fight back a smile. "Yes well, they are likable enough." He mumbled coolly, shying away from Hermione gaze.

"Mr. Snape! Mr. Snape!" Severus glanced down towards Rose, his lips curled upwards slightly. "Do you think you could braid my hair again? I asked my daddy to do it the other day but it didn't look very good." Rose continued with a pout, as she pulled the tip of her ponytail.

Hermione peered upwards towards Severus, a hopeful glint in her eyes. "Very well." He said, rolling his eyes as Rose jumped up and down excitedly.

"This is incredible," Ginny whispered in a hushed tone. "Ron's got nothing on him that's for sure." Harry nodded in agreement. "You did good tonight." Ginny continued, resting her head on his shoulder.

"I'm still a twat," Harry mumbled, placing a delicate kiss upon his wife's forehead.

"Oh, I never said you weren't," Ginny said with a frown. "And I'm not saying that Hermione's going to forgive you anytime soon –you really did hurt her you know." Harry bowed his head down in shame. "What I am saying is that tonight you were there for her –and I know it meant a lot to her."

Harry simply nodded, and as he looked down through the bars of the railing, he could tell that Severus Snape cared, he could tell that Hermione too cared deeply for the older man. He couldn't say that he understood the deep connection both shared, but he could accept it –as long as it made his best friend happy.

"Daddy, it hurts." Scorpius mumbled through tears as he clutched his arm. Draco rolled his eyes as he paced around the hospital room. His son seemed particularly tiny in the big bed, his blond hair disheveled, one of his cheeks red and partially scrapped.

"How many times did I tell you not to go on your broom without asking permission first?" Scorpius didn't meet his father's gaze, his bottom lip quivering. "You look at me when I talk to you."

"I'm sorry Daddy. I –I." Draco walked towards the bed and took a seat next to his son, pulling the small boy against his side.

"Just promise me that next time you're gonna ask alright?" Scorpius nodded then sniffled quietly as he nestled deeper into his father's side. "When is this bloody healer going to get here." He said loudly making Scorpius flinch next to him.

Just as the words left mouth the door to the individual room opened, revealing one smiling Hermione Granger. "Hello." She said with a soft smile as she closed the door behind her.

"Hello, Mrs. Hermione!" Scorpius said excitedly.

"Hello, Scorpius," Hermione said, giving Draco a court nod before stepping towards the young boy. "What seems to be the problem here?" Hermione asked, placing the clipboard on the bed next to the young boy.

"He didn't ask permission too-" Draco started, he stopped mid-sentence however when he met Hermione's gaze from across the room.

"How about you tell me what happened Scorpius?" Hermione said encouragingly as she placed the palm of her hand across the boy's forehead.

"Well –Pinky was cleaning the house, and daddy and mummy were at work and I was bored because you see I had already finished my school work and I wanted to go on my broom." Hermione couldn't help but chuckle at the little boy. "So then I went outside in our yard –you see we have a huge yard so its okay to go flying as long as I don't go too far up."

"Get to the point Scorp," Draco muttered, pinching the bridge of his nose.

"So I went on my broom and it was alright for a while but then it started getting really windy!" Hermione grabbed the boys arm and slowly began to apply light pressure to the skin, his wrist seemingly swollen and slightly bent out of shape.

"Tell me if I'm hurting you alright?"

"Okay –so it was really windy, so windy that I thought I was going to fly off my broom! I was trying to get back onto the ground but I couldn't and then I fell." Scorpius concluded, watching Hermione's hand glide over his arm.

"Well, it looks like you broke your arm," Hermione said, looking up towards Draco. "You're gonna need to have it in a cast for a good six weeks."

"Daddy, what's a cast?" Scorpius asked quietly, his gray orbs wide in stricken fear of the unknown.

Both Hermione and Draco laughed at the young boy. "You don't need to worry –it's like a mold that we're going to put around your arm so that your arm can heal properly," Hermione said with a smile, Draco stepped towards the bed, placing his hand on Scorpius's shoulder.

"Are you gonna be the one to do it?" Draco asked, his hard gaze softening as he glanced towards Hermione.

"Do you not trust me?" Hermione snapped back with a coy smile. "I could always hand his file to one of my coworkers."

"Daddy I want Miss. Hermione to do it!" Scorpius stated bluntly, frowning back towards his father. "She's Roses mum, and I like Rose so I like Miss. Hermione, she's nice and very pretty."

Draco rolled his eyes. "Why is it that you've captured the attention of everyone in my immediate circle –first my godfather, and now clearly my son."

Hermione's pursed lips curled upwards slightly at his soft tone –she did remain silent however, she turned to look back down at the young boy.

"So you're gonna put it on right Miss. Hermione?" Scorpius asked, peering upwards towards Hermione.

"Of course, I will Scorpius. You know, there's this Muggle tradition where you get people to sign and draw on your cast." Hermione said with a smile, watching gleefully as Scorpius's gray orbs shone brightly.


"Yes! And if you want I'll sign your cast, and maybe you and Rose can have a playdate sometime soon and I'm sure she'd love to sign your cast."

Scorpius immediately turned his little body to look back at Draco. "Do you think I could daddy? Rose could come over to our house and I could show her the play room and the yard and my broom!" He turned back to look at Hermione. "Does Rose have a broom?" Hermione shook her head. "Then I can show her my broom! And she can draw on my cast right?"

"Calm down Scorpius, first, we must get that bloody thing on you first," Draco muttered in annoyance.

"Don't worry Scorpius we'll organize a playdate –after all your daddy is going to be my lawyer isn't he?" Draco's head snapped towards Hermione's direction, his face an unreadable mask. "If the offer still stands that is."

"You spoke with him?"

"I did. He dropped by a few days ago and we're going out for coffee later tonight."

"What did your husband have to say about that?" The word husband sounded forceful coming from the blonde's mouth.

"I left. I'm staying with Harry and Ginny."

The adults remained silent, both not knowing what else to say. A few seconds passed before either said anything. "Alright, well now that we've established the problem how about we get started on that cast. I'll be right back you stay put okay?"

"Be back quick okay?" Scorpius said with a smile as he leaned back against the bed, rumpling the white lining of the bed as he did so.

"I promise. In the meantime, here have this." Hermione dug her hand deep into the pocket of her healer's uniform. Scorpius's smile widened as she pulled a bright orange lolly from her pocket.

"You can have that after dinner Scorp, alright?" Draco instructed sternly, his piercing gaze shooting Hermione a look.

Scorpius paid no attention to his father and in seconds he had the sweet candy between his lips suckling on it loudly, making Hermione grin at both Scorpius's excited face and at the annoyed glance Draco was sending her way.

"You listen to me, Harry James Potter! I need an explanation from both you and Ginevra pronto! I owled Hermione myself but she hasn't answered me, and my dear Ronald just stopped by –he's absolutely distraught over the fact that he hasn't seen his kids in four days. Please just keep an old woman in the look alright? I love you dear just remember that."

Harry sighed loudly as the piece of parchment crumbled up to pieces before irrupting in flames before his very eyes. Molly's sweet and loving voice fading around him, leaving him in utter silence once more. He had told Ginny to go see her, she deserved to know what was happening. Ginny had insisted that it was best to keep her mother out of the loop –bless that sweet woman's heart, she would surely collapse when she would hear of the torturous behavior her son had been going through.

On top of Molly's howl, he had also received various Owls from Ron, demanding where his wife and kids were and why he wasn't permitted within the Potter household –as per Ginny's suggestion he had not replied. He was dreading the confrontation that would obviously arise between him and the boy who had been his first true friend, the anguish eating him up from the inside.

However, he couldn't let this cause any self-destruction –after all, he was expecting the Ministry of Magic to arrive at any given moment. He glanced down at his watch, leaning back against his chair he took a deep breath; at precisely half past four, Kingsley Shacklebolt strode into the office his bright purple robes creating a striking contrast with the pale walls of the office space. "Harry Potter," Kingsley said courtly, extending his hand towards Harry who immediately got to his feet.

"How was Canada Kingsley?" Harry asked with a smile, returning the older man's vigorous handshake. "Please have a seat."

"Well, you know how weird those Canadians are! With such few Magical institutes around the country, its no wonder they've all turned into the crazy bunch." Kingsley laughed as a steeping pot of tea floated towards the desk –two mugs the following suit.

"Still take your tea black?" Kingsley nodded quickly. "Well you'll be happy to know that last week we caught Greyback in the Forest of Dean –I mean it wasn't without the fair share of injuries but all our Aurors came out standing for the most part."

"Excellent work Harry." Kingsley nodded as he brought the steaming mug to his lips. "I knew promoting you to Head Auror would greatly aid the Ministry and it seems like I was not mistaken."

Harry chuckled deeply as he took a sip of his own cup, the warm liquid overwhelming him with relief as it washed down his throat. The two men remained silent for a few moments –allowing a soft yet determined voice echo from behind the closed door. "I told you, Ronald, you cannot go in there! Harry is in the middle of a meeting right now." Harry immediately tensed up in his seat at the sound of his friend's name –Hannah's voice seemingly panicked, Kingsley curiously glanced over his shoulder as the door to the office burst open.

"Where is she, Harry?" Ron exclaimed loudly, his eyes boring into Harry's own, his nostrils flaring un anger. "Tell me where she is. I know you know."

Harry casted a sideways glance towards Hannah who stood behind Ron, her bottom lip caught between her teeth. As for Kingsley he remained silent, his cup of tea still clutched in his strong hand. "Well, Harry." The man slowly got to his feet and glanced between the two members of the Golden Trio. "I'm going to escort your lovely secretary out and leave you boys to your discussion."

Ron stepped out of the way as Kingsley took a step in front of him. "Now how are you doing Mrs. Abbott?" Kingsley said with a faint smile as he stepped through the door –Harry glanced towards Hannah, whose whole face was a deep shade of red.

The pair stood in silence, the air so thick it could have been cleanly sliced with a blade –the two friends glared at the other; Ron's blue eyes dark and cloudy, his hands balled at his sides. "Where is she, Harry?"

As soon as the door to the office closed behind the two, Harry slammed his hands down upon the hard desk. "I am not having this conversation with you, Ron. I don't have time for –"

"Where is Hermione? And where are my god damn children!" Ron bellowed loudly as he stormed towards Harry, his finger jabbing him in the chest. "And why on earth can I not come to your house anymore?!"

Harry licked his dry lips and took a deep sigh. "I don't have time for this Ron."

"I know she's at your house, what bloody lies has she babbled to you folks? Has Ginny turned on me as well is that it?"

"Nobody has turned on you, Ron!" Harry exclaimed, crashing into his office chair, his head falling into his open palm. "Look please don't make this any harder then it already is! The only reason I haven't called in for a house arrest yet is because you're my best mate."

"A house arrest? Whatever the bloody for? I've done nothing! Absolutely nothing that she didn't deserve." Harry snapped his head towards his best mate –unable to believe the words that escaped his lips.

"Just leave her alone Ron, that's all she's asking," Harry warned, his tone low and aggressive. "Now please you just interrupted my meeting with the Ministry of Magic himself."

Ron glanced down at the man who had been his very best friend ever since their school days. "Fine then. By all means, I'll leave you alone since the Ministry of Magic himself is more important than your friend's sanity." Harry rolled his eyes at Ron's exaggerative tone.

"We'll talk soon alright," Harry mumbled softly, now glancing back down at the large stack of papers on his desk. Ron scoffed loudly as he shuffled from foot to foot, running his hand through his unruly mop of ginger hair.

"Whatever you say –The Boy Who Lived. Selfish just like you've always been." With that Ron disappeared from Harry's office, leaving the owner of the office in a pile of self-sorrow and pity.

"Unbelievable shitty prick –after everything we've been through," Harry mumbled with a frown as he slammed his balled fists against the wooden desk. "I have to go see Hermione." He whispered to himself, pushing himself out of his chair with a loud squeak. He took a confident step towards the door, his hand resting on the handle as he pulled it open, coming face to face with Hannah who held a large stack of papers in her arms.

"Harry! Kingsley left these for you! You have to approve them all by the end of the day!" Hannah mumbled quickly as she pressed the documents against Harry's chest. Harry rolled his eyes, his jaw clenching. "Sorry Harry," Hannah mumbled apologetically as she stepped back before heading towards her desk.

Harry mumbled incoherently to himself as he trudged back towards his own desk. "Guess Hermione's going to have to wait." He would do this quick, he had to do this quick.

Hermione brought the paper napkin to her lips, dabbing the corners of her lips quickly as she glanced around the small coffee shop. Her hands shook nervously as she clutched the cup in the other hand –she had a sinking feeling that he wouldn't show, which wouldn't surprise her in the slightest considering the awkwardness of their last encounter.

After she had invited him in for tea, Rose had promptly begged him to braid her hair, something he couldn't have possibly said no too, given her cute pout. After grumbling a few moments, he had taken a seat next to her on the couch –their knees barely touching as they sat in silence.

Idle chit chat sparked between the two, eventually, Rose passed out, nestled between the two of them and as for Hugo he remained in Severus's arms until he too like his sister dozed off. He had brought up the idea of the two of them going out for coffee, she had been thrilled of course, but in the back of her mind, she held her lingering doubts.

"Hermione?" She glanced up towards the call of her name, his deep and sensual voice sending shivers coursing through her spine. Her face broke out into a smile as he loomed over her –unlike his usual dark wizarding robes, he wore a pair of dark blue Muggle trousers and a black button up shirt.

"Severus!" Hermione exclaimed loudly as she pushed her chair away from the table. "I –you came?" She muttered nervously, subconsciously rubbing her sweaty palms against her yellow sundress.

"Of course, I bloody came you, daft girl." He drawled quietly, taking a seat opposite her own, trying to ignore the shortness of dress, and the well-exposed cleavage.

"Right then, I hope it's okay I ordered you some tea, just how you like it." Hermione continued with a soft smile as she sat back down in her seat.

"That's perfectly fine. Thank you." Severus mumbled taking a sip of the bitter liquid. "How have you been?"

Hermione perked up, her doe brown eyes illuminating brightly. "I've been good. Work has been busy as ever –I saw Draco and Scorpius earlier actually. The poor boy broke his arm." Hermione said dropping her gaze towards her cup of tea in her lap.

"You know what I meant." Severus quickly changed the conversation, trying to meet her gaze. "Have you seen him recently?"

"I haven't seen him all week. It's felt terribly liberating really. And I guess it's all thanks to you."

He raised his brow as he brought the cup to his lips once more. "You are planning on pressing charges right?"

"Well I mean; I was planning on simply divorcing him."

Severus scoffed loudly. "You are joking correct?"

"What do you mean joking? There's nothing to be joking about." Hermione said with a frown.

"The man nearly kills you and you plan on ignoring that?" Severus said, his tone of voice growing increasingly louder.

"Well, I mean." Hermione cowered back into her seat.

"I've seen this situation before Hermione." Severus lurched forward, his balled fists curled onto the table firmly. "It's a never ending cycle. He's not going to stop."

Hermione glanced towards him, her dark eyes clouded with unshed tears. "I just can't take his kids away from him."

"Yet he nearly purged his own children of their mother." Severus chuckled deeply. "Did you know that my father was abusive towards not only me but towards my mother as well? I told her I could save her, I told her we could run away, run away someplace he could never find us." Hermione sat in silence. "She didn't listen and one day she ended up dead on our living room carpet and there was nothing I could do to save her."

Severus bowed his head down, his hands sliding across the wooden table. Hermione swallowed the knot in her throat and slide her hands over his, grabbing his hands in hers. She flinched back as he pulled his hands away from hers –almost violently.

"I'm seriously Hermione. You need to press charges, if not for your sake then for the sake of your children." Severus pushed himself out of his chair loudly.

"Where are you going?" She asked weakly, glancing up towards him sadly.

"What happened to the Ms. Know It All that used to defend not only her own honor but her friends as well?" He muttered bitterly, glaring back down at her before striding past her.

She glanced over her shoulder as his frame disappeared from the shop. Glancing back towards the table as brought her hand down to her chest, her breathing shallow and labored as more tears clouded her vision. Pushing away from her seat she gasped loudly, ignoring the odd stares of the other patrons, instead trying to make her way through the busy shop making her way towards the lavatory. "Excuse me." She muttered pushing through a crowed of gathers people, sneers and hisses were directly thrown her way as she did so.

When she finally reached the small room, she collapsed against the closed door, her hands shaking as she scratched at the door in a desperate attempt to push it open. After a few staggering seconds, she fell forward as the door swung open. Dragging her feet towards the sink, she grabbed onto the edge of the porcelain sink, holding on with fear that if she were to let go she would fall face first and knock herself out cold.

She felt sick to her stomach, her hands were clammy and sweaty preventing her from steadily holding onto the counter. Glancing up she frowned at her reflection in the glass –she looked ghastly and her whole entire frame shook violently.

He was angry with her. People had been angry with her before –Ron being the prime example but never had she felt this way about it. But he was angry with her, the man who had been casually taking a walk through both her heart and head was angry with her. Hot tears now streaked her tinted cheeks, what was she going to do?

Her knees buckled beneath her weight and she found herself on the cool tiled ground of the lavatory. She couldn't do this without him, he was her everything other than her children. He was there for her, his wise words of wisdom resonating through her head. She couldn't possibly go through without him.

She took a deep breath, a shaky one at that as she thought of her children –her two beautiful children, so full of life and joy. They loved him just as much as she did, they needed him just as much as she did. They needed a strong male presence in their life, a strong and safe presence.

Curling herself into a ball she wept. Wept till the tears flowed no more. She had to make things right, make things right with Ron, with Harry and with Severus. She had dragged him into this situation, he had never asked for it. No wonder he was upset with her –she was so pathetic and useless. Nothing more than a weak human, abused silly by her husband.

She glanced around the small room, her body finally stilling. She was pathetic, no wonder Ginny and Harry had taken pity on her, no wonder Severus was angry with her –this wasn't the Hermione Granger she had grown up to be? This was Hermione Weasley. She had to take things in her hands, she had to put an end to her misery. Severus was right. She had nearly died by the hands of her husband, and she had to do something about it. She had too.

Ron staggered through the streets of Diagon Alley, glancing around like a mad man at the various shops that surrounded him. Hushed whispers slewed his way as he pushed through the crowds of people. Her coworkers had told him she had shopping to do in Diagon Alley –so she had to be here somewhere.

"Oh you're Ronald Weasley aren't you?" He turned around at the sound of his name.

"Why yes I am," Ronald said flashing the young woman a smile. "And who might you be?"

"You probably don't remember me but I was your waitress the other night. Mandy?" The blond haired girl batted her long lashed up at him.

"Right yes I remember you," Ron stated as he continued glancing around the crowd. "Have you by any chance seen my wife? You remember her right?

"Yes of course! Hermione Granger! You two are the Golden Couple after all! I actually did just see her at the little coffee shop around the corner!" The girl said pointing off into the distance.

"Perfect thanks so much." He smiled down at the girl once more, her bright blue eyes twinkling brightly.

"By the way, I thought you should know," she began, leaning in close; her voice slipping into a whisper. "She was having tea with that slimy Severus Snape. You know Ex-Death Eater and Ex-Potions Master at Hogwarts." She twirled a long strand of hair around her finger, snickering at her own harshness.

Ron quickly lashed his head around towards the direction of the coffee shop.

"Why exactly would the wife of a hero like yourself be hanging around with someone of that sort?"

His face increasingly became the same shade to that of his hair. His hands balled into fists at his sides, and he spat, "I haven't the slightest clue, but I'll find out soon enough."

First of all I am so sorry for the long wait! I know it's been like almost a whole month but so much has been going on that it was hard to find any time to write at all! But I do hope you all enjoyed this chapter! I made it extra long for you guys, take it as my apology for making you guys wait! As usually thank you to everyone who reviewed and favorited and followed I highly appreciate it so please continued doing it! The next chapter is going to be the climax of the story so watch out for that soon!

Secondly, I have taken aboard a new assistant for this story who is serving as my consultant for the story! So now instead of it simply being me behind it all I have someone to help me out!

Thirdly, once this story has been completed I am planning on going through an entire revision of the piece so please look forward to that in the future once the story is completed!

Finally and most important of it all, if you enjoy this story and if you want to support it then please go a vote for it! It's super simple, all you have to do is follow the link on my profile and go vote for 'Bottled Happiness' under the Best Harry Potter Fanfiction category! All your support means the absolute world to me and I hope you will all take the time to go vote!

As always thanks for reading and I will hopefully see you all soon!

Penny x