He stood in the shadows, watching the confrontation between Professor Granger and Weasley.
They had been seeing each other for a year. Last week, when Weasley had visited the castle, she had begun to act oddly. He couldn't figure out what had changed her, why she didn't seem to have any time for him anymore. Now, he understood.
Her eyes were glassy, unfocused.
"Tell me the truth, Hermione." Weasley was gripping his wand firmly, pointing it straight at her heart.
"I love Severus," she stated simply.
"No! I would rather see you dead than see you in love with him."
"Very well," she said simply.
Weasley lowered his wand, putting it into his back pocket. He smiled at her, holding his arms open.
Her eyes still held that glassy, unfocused look. She took a step in his direction.
With a mighty shove, she pushed him to the floor and ran to the railing of the tower.
"Then I shall be dead." With these words, she flung herself over the railing, her body plunging toward the ground.
Snape stood stunned at the confrontation, his worst nightmare happening in front of his eyes. As her body flew over the railing, he moved.
Weasley screamed loudly. "No! Hermione, no!"
Her descent suddenly stopped, as invisible hands grasped her and pulled her into an embrace.
Her eyes cleared, focused. He was disillusioned, but he held her tightly as he flew with her back toward the safety of the tower. He whispered to her, so softly she almost didn't hear.
"I love you, too."
Their feet touched the floor of the tower, and both turned to glare at Weasley. He gave them contemptuous looks, before yelling "Finite!"
"You, Hermione…" He started, before composing himself. "You love him enough to die for him?" He choked out.
"You've already proven that, Mr. Weasley," Snape said, his heart beating fast. "You told her, whilst you had her under the Imperius, you would rather see her dead than loving me. You essentially ordered her to kill herself!" This last was yelled.
"I… but I..." he stammered. "I didn't mean for her to kill herself! It was just a figure of speech; I didn't expect her to act on it!" Ron seemed almost as shaken by the events as Snape did.
"That is why the Imperius is an Unforgivable. Even a slip of the tongue from the caster becomes an order."
Thank you to my wonderful beta, Lorca. :)