Disclaimer: None of the Harry Potter characters belong to me, but Helena does! I fully credit (and respect in large ways) Mrs. JK Rowling for her brilliant imagination, allowing us to have her world to fantasize in. And thanks to Robyn and Lauren for doing super quick beta reads over AIM for me!

Chapter three

Weeks passed, every now and then, Helena would make a move towards speaking with Snape. Slowly, slowly was her progress. After nearly a month, the two could be in the same room without yelling, staring blankly at each other, or one of them breaking down and having to leave.

Sitting on the side of the lake one day, looking out, talking about the events that transpired throughout the nineteen years. Helena made it a point to learn what Snape had been up to, and even though she was still quite angry with him, she was learning his trust and his love slowly. Snape was talking about Triwizard Tournament, about how Harry was chosen without anyone knowing why, how Cedric died. She noticed he talked a lot about Harry.

"Hush, Severus…just for a moment…", she said, and he immediately shut up.

"What is it?", he asked, looking at her.

"The sun is setting….", she breathed. And she heard him laugh a little beside her. "Severus, allow me to enjoy it…you go so long without seeing it- you learn to appreciate the littlest things in life…", she said in a hushed whisper, still looking at the glowing ball of heat fall behind the mountains on the horizon of the far end of the lake.

Snape just looked at her, sitting just inches from him. How many nights had he dreamed of this? How many hours passed where all he thought about was what it would be like to hold her again? The orange glow from the atmosphere settled on her skin, making her glow in sunburst colors. Her hands in her lap, and eyes fixed on the horizon, she breathed in slowly, taking in the masterpiece that was the sunset. He looked to the horizon in time to see the last bit of the sun hide behind the mountains, and the night incased them.

"Severus…", she started, and he turned back to her. Still fixed on the horizon, she asked the question he wanted to hear for the longest time: "Can I sleep with you tonight?", her face turned to meet his, and she questioned him with her eyes.

"If you feel like it…you are more than welcome…", he said softly, and she closed the space in between them on the bench. Wrapping her arms around him, she sighed.

"I'm sorry, Helena…for everything…", he said through the electricity that was running from her touch into his skin. It felt awkward, it felt like they were on that first date, and one had made the move. "I never meant any of this for you…", he sighed into her hair, wrapping his arms around her. She was getting stronger, getting thicker, becoming healthier as the days passed.

"I know you didn't…come on, Severus…can we eat in your room tonight? I don't believe I can stand another night of awkward glares from everyone….", Helena whispered into his shoulder.

"Yes…yes we can. Anything…anything for you…", Snape answered back, letting go of her, even though he just wanted to stay that way forever, and giving him her hand to help her off the bench.

"God…Severus…the stars. Look at them. They are always there, every night, through the clouds, through the rain. I remember…I would wait for the night, just to see them; I had a very small window in the top of the cell. And every night- I could see them…", Helena dreamily stated this, and reached deeper into Snape's hand, interlocking her fingers with his, and not showing intention of letting go. "Sometimes, I wait- I wait for it to be a dream…", she breathed.

They reached the front door. "Isn't that what life is?", asked Snape, "Nothing but a dream? We wait in our moments of pain to wake up to a life of good, and in moments of ecstasy, we wait to wake up in the reality of Hell?".

"Yes, that's all life is…", Helena said as they passed the Dining Hall, the doors were open, and the entire castle within. Helena turned away, but Snape looked on. He caught Dumbledore's eye, and with an increased twinkle, the Headmaster knew, nodding his head, and continuing on.

Walking to the Dungeons in silence, Snape remembered the past, when she was still a student, greeting him at midnight in Ravenclaw robes, and now she was attached to his arm, as he opened the door to his rooms for her, and they walked in. McGonagall, God bless her, had taken her shopping, bough her new robes, tonight she was wearing a deep purple set, but it covered her entirely. Snape could only guess at the scars that traveled her body now.

They sat down at a medium sized table, and he ordered plates from the kitchens. Helena looked around the room, remembering the memories, looking around, as if she had seen this place in a far away dream, and now mesmerized at actually being here. She ate little, as did he, neither felt like eating mass quantities of food. After the dishes cleared away, a moment of uncomfortable ness landed across them. Fear of the unknown, they would be sleeping in the same room, if not the same bed. The last time they did that was years ago, they were completely different people.

Helena looked to Snape from the other side of the table. "Severus,", she started. And he looked deeper to her. She took in a breath, "Severus…please, please know I still loved you, through out it all…", a degree of pleading in her voice, she looked at him through misty eyes. "And I still do…the times…times when I was…taken advantage of…I used to pretend it was you. It helped, it helped for a long time…until I had no more hope left in me to even care…", tears fell down her face, and Snape gripped the sides of the table, looking at her, waiting for the invitation for him to react.

"Why…answer me…please, truthfully. Why, why did you leave me there?", she whispered, so low he had to strain to hear it.

He took in a deep breath, and thought through the thoughts in his mind for the answer. Minutes passed, and it came to him. He looked down, ashamed of what he was going to say, and let it come. "I was afraid. I knew they had killed you, or caused you so much pain…you would no longer be yourself. I was afraid to face you, to face them. I didn't want to somehow survive, only to find myself too late, and you tortured to the point of death. Helena,", he looked up at her, "I wanted to save you. I really did…but I just couldn't bear to face the point where you might be dead. I was afraid they erased your memory, and when you saw me, you wouldn't know who I was. Oh, God. Helena- if I could take it all back…it's all my fault…", he looked down again, not wanting her to see the tears scrolling down his cheeks.

Silence…that painful enemy that seemed to have moved into the life of these two. Then there was the sound of a chair moving, and the sound of fabric rustling, and Snape found his wife by his side, on her knees, hands around his arm.

"I never meant any of this for you when I fell in love with you…", he said, looking her in her eyes, running his fingers of his free hand through her hair. "All I ever wanted was you…no one else…Helena…I never loved anyone as much as I loved you…", he felt the arms around his tighten.

"Tell me…tell me you love me- I need to hear it…", she said, looking into his eyes. "Tell me it's all going to be okay…".

And he fell to his knees, and gathered her up in his arms. Looking her in her eyes, he said to her, "I love you, Helena. More than anything in this world. It's going to be alright…Voldemort is gone, and I'll kill before you ever have to sacrifice yourself for the sins you never committed.", tears running down her face, he touched her face with his hands, looking at her, drinking her in. "And because you went through all that, for me. And because you survived it all…that makes you the best wife that anyone could ever have…".

It was too much; she collapsed in his arms, sobbing hysterically. "I love you…", they both whispered, and he did twice as much, running his hands down her body and through her hair, feeling every scar that she paid his price for. The Death Eaters captured her because they knew it would kill him to see her in pain, and it worked, but if they could see them now, even through their tears, they were as happy as ever. And for a moment, it felt as if the last nineteen years never happened…and they were just together again, at last.