This was an evil, onyx-eyed bunny attack as I was writing Ribboned-Witch (I have 1k on Chp 26 :) ). So I got it out of my system. I'll probably get to this again soon. It's itching under my fingers...Evil thing.

"Take him. Take him, please!"

Hermione gaped.

She was staring at herself in an ornate, cheval mirror. But herself starving and scarred—as if she were still caught in that Merlin-awful tent—and thrusting out a bundle of blankets. A thin wail broke though the silence of the little curio shop in which she stood.

Only thick shadow reflected in the mirror.

"Damn it, Hermione! Take him."

The plane of the mirror bulged. An embroidered edge of a blanket broke free and with it the warm scents of milk and cotton and soft skin reached for her senses.

Hermione's hands were already moving. Something dragged at her. A hook in her chest, in her belly. A fierce stab of magic that shocked her down to the bone.

She pulled the bundle to her chest and stared at it. Her heart lurched. A baby. A new born baby stared back up at her. Features red and scrunched. Tiny fists curled around the edges of his blanket. Another thin cry broke from him and Hermione snapped a look back to the other-her in the mirror. "What…?"

"Mine is a parallel world. We lost. Lost everything." Her other self snatched at her wild, dirty hair. She snapped a look behind her, into the heavy shadows. "I have to protect him. My little Septimus." She pressed a shaking hand to her mouth and dragged it down her gaunt jaw. Her hollowed eyes swam with tears. "He's mine. Ours."


"He's bonded to you. I found a place where that bastard died. And where…" She sucked in a breath and seemed to crumple in on herself. Fresh tears bled down her cheeks. "He'll have his…his father." She straightened by her will alone. Hermione almost felt the hook in her spine, pulling her up. "He needs his father, to stay in your world. He needs both of you. He's four days old. The bond—my spell—will enable you to feed him. But he needs his father. The security of a marriage bond before the next new moon."

No words came out of Hermione's mouth. None.

Feed him? Marriage?

And who was his father?

"I have to go." The other-her pressed a trembling hand to the mirror. "Tell them both… Tell them I love them. I will always love them. Always."

The image began to fade and one question shot out of Hermione's mouth. "Who's his father?"

The reply was little more than a whisper, lost between the fading worlds. But still, it slammed into Hermione and she staggered, clutching the baby to her in shaking arms.

"Severus Snape."

Isn't it evil? ;-)

Edited to add: And a notification actually went out for this chapter. Unlike the new chapter of Ribboned Witch. *shakes fist at FFN* ;-)