Heart Of Shadows SSHG

A SS/HG fanfic by Severus Sortiarius

A/N:I OWN NOTHING, This is for my amusement and others if you feel so incline to venture with me...The Characters and all rights Belong to J.K. Rowling, but I like to venture into her playground...particularly when it comes to a certain Potions Master...No Money is being made off this...and I'm quite alright with that...Stress relief and letting my imagination run wild is all I care about here...and of course Reviews...I'll try and watch my spelling but it does tend to go awry in the heat of the moment when typing so bare with me...RATED M and it's not changing...I won't be as descriptive as some other writers out of respect to the characters, but I will make them HUMAN.

WARNING: Contains Mature Content...M FOR MATURE...Violence, Sexual Content, Nudity, Language, ect...

{A new decree from The Ministry of Magic had the Order of Phoenix up in arms, especially when the arrival of said decree takes place during the time Hermione Granger, a fellow member of The Order is to come of age and increases The Dark Lord's Plot to eradicate the Muggle-Borns from the wizarding world...on the cusp of being eligible for said decree and at the mercy of unwed death eaters vying for her hand in a bid to impress their master, her only hope is her rather snarky spy Potions Professor, Severus Snape...}

"Men's Hearts Hold Shadows Darker Than Any Tainted Creature."-Flemeth, Dragon Age Origins

{"Thought it was dead and buried...Then it woke you up last night...You sounded so damn worried...You've been tossing, turning, both ends burning...I wanna put your mind at ease again...(Make everything alright)...I know it's getting underneath your skin...I've tried to tell you now...Don't look over your shoulder...'Cause that's just the ghost of me...You're seeing in your dreams...Wait, there's no rhyme or reason...Sometimes there's no meaning...In the visions when you're sleepin'...Don't wake up and believe them...You're looking at the ghost of me...You're looking at the ghost of me..."} Ghost Of Me, Daughtry

Prologue: Chastened Shadows

Permanent Care Facility, St. Mungo's Wizarding Hospital, Muggle World...

The constant click clacking of heels against a cold marble floor had been the only sound for quite some time as a lone young woman with lengthy brown hair braided into a single pony tail rising and falling with each brisk step. She wore a black skirt well passed her knees but not enough to be considered a librarian in terms of taste. Her well matched young woman's blazer had been buttoned up and she presented the appeal of a woman with her mind on a great deal of stressful things. On her left hand had been two rings snugly wrapped around her ring finger, a silver ring with the depiction of an onyx carved phoenix in fine detail with a glittering amethyst trapped within it's beak. It had been clear that someone had spent a good deal of money to have the piece of jewelry created and it had the rustic look of a well kept family heirloom. Below it had been a simple silver wedding band carved into the shape of a serpent with emerald stones on each of it's eyes. The young woman looked down at her hand as if trying to prepare herself for what lay beyond the far metal door that had been at the end of the hall.

Her heart had been pounding in her chest despite the knowledge that she had made this trip countless times over the past few years. Her mind drifting briefly back to the time she acquired such magnificent pieces and the man whom had given it to her. The lengthy walk had finally come to an end as she reached the metal door that often left her filled with despair the minute she left it. Taking a deep breath, she steeled herself as her delicate hand touched the cold metal handle and her amber eyes quickly flashed across the name plate.

S. Snape, Room 234.

A chill went down her spine as she opened the door and stepped inside what appeared to be a makeshift single room flat without the kitchen. The restroom had been like any other in a patient care facility and within reach so the occupant did not have to wander the halls late in the night. The amber eyes of the visitor fell on the far side of the room where an armchair had been set up along with a small shelf of books all sorted in alphabetical order.

The occupant had been sitting in silence seeming to stare into space as she took a tentative step forward. Her eyes scanned the occupant, a ghastly looking man with unkempt but very lengthy raven hair, a beard covered his sallow pale face and had been showing signs of gray ever since his condition began. He wore regular muggle style attire a common shirt of white color and what appeared to be equally white pajama bottoms. His feet had been bare which had been little surprise to the young woman as he didn't seem to be able to tell how cold the floor had been in his current state.

This seemingly distant man, whom had been wearing a matching silver band on his hand indicating that he had once been functional enough to have enjoyed married life and all it's perks, made no indication that he felt her presence.

Resisting the urge to burst into tears the young woman approached him tentatively.

"Severus." she said softly. "I came to see you just like I promised."

She attempted to meet his obsidian gaze but there was nothing behind it. Another blow to dash the hope within her that this day would be any different than the last few. He had still not shown any signs of improvement and remained as distant as before. It was a hollowed feeling to know that his man had once been the most formidable wizard that walked the halls of Hogwarts, at least in the eyes of the many children whom had him as Potions Professor during his tenure following the first wizarding war.

Severus Snape had been the greatest Potions Master to ever grace Hogwarts beginning at the age of 21 and creating a lasting legacy never to be duplicated by anyone in his wake. The thought of how much he lost since the end of the second wizarding war and how he risked his life constantly to not only protect Harry Potter and the wizarding world but her as well, almost caused the young woman to burst into tears seeing him this way.

"Severus." she said touching his sallow pale cheek feeling the roughness of his beard against the palm of her hand. "I don't know how to help you."

For his part, The Potions Master simply looked through his nearly weeping wife and had yet to say a word.

"Harry's been asking about you." she said in an attempt to make conversation. "He and Ginny are expecting their second child now...he's got this crazy idea about naming him after you...well you and Dumbledore of course."

There had still been no reaction.

In the past, Severus Snape would have called Harry Potter ever insult known to man for attempting something like this. Now he simply stared into space occasionally moving about his makeshift flat within the care facility. When they first found him like this, he had not been able to move about as easily, years of therapy and retraining had enabled him to attempt basic functions. His wife had thought it good that he could have some dignity given his condition.

The clock on the distant wall continued to tick, the only sound in the silent room aside from their collective breathing.

"I-I suppose I should be getting back." said The Potions Master's wife. "I've got an early day tomorrow...but I promise I'll stop by and see you once work is done."

Snape again gave no indication that he heard or cared about her words in the least.

Now fully unable to stop the onset of her sadness, she thought it best to leave before the first tears fell. She kneeled down beside her husband and kissed him softly on the lips before pulling away and making her way to the door. Snape had remained as he was staring as if unaffected by her tears that had managed to get the better of her before she took her leave of him.

Once the door had been shut and the sound of her sorrow erupted in the narrow hall, Snape's obsidian gaze drifted toward the door briefly.

"Her-mion-ee." he said as if had taken a good deal of effort.

Hermione Granger-Snape had been swiftly making her way back toward the exit of the hospital and out toward her car. The tears had constantly been streaming down her supple cheeks and her amber eyes were filled with sorrow. She had missed him more than she ever wanted to let on. Even his abrasive insults would have been preferable to the silence and his soulless obsidian eyes.

The heartbroken young witch sat in the driver seat of her very muggle car thinking back to how her marriage to former Potions Professor Severus S. Snape began. The tears kept coming as she looked down at the engagement ring he had given her, the only lasting proof that he had not been as bad as everyone said he had been in terms of emotional availability prior to his current condition.

She had only been 16 teen then, legal age in Britain and when the Ministry of Magic decided to unleash the dreaded Marriage Law Decree. What started out as a means of protecting her from Voldemort and his malicious plans concerning the new Marriage Law and Muggle-Borns alike, turned into something no one expected between her and the man that would ultimately come to her rescue...at the behest of Albus Dumbledore of course.