Spoilers: Goblet of Fire
Angelina: thank you for keeping reading even though the beginning was gross (yes, I agree perfectly on that!)
Aeryn Alexander: honestly, I was worried too :) I'm glad so many of you find it fitting!
OzRatbag2: my background into infection and my understanding of sepsis are only due to the kindness of Mistress Arion who gave me all the details! As for eating, yes, I thought of liquefied meals and straw, but chose not to dwell on it too much.
As for a sequel... Maybe after reading this chapter, you'll think there's no need for one. Well, honestly, I didn't think of one and I don't have any idea :) When I read Auror Borealis's Tell Me Lies, I had this sudden idea "and what if Hermione hadn't surrendered to the Veritaserum?" and then I had the idea of the mind speaking. After that, I had to think a proper reason for her to react with such magnitude!
Two years later, Voldemort fell. The final confrontation was somehow between Harry, Albus and Voldemort, which weakened Albus at a great extent. Severus fought like a lion, only leaving Wormtail for Sirius and Remus, who preyed on their former friend with murder in their eyes.
Surprisingly, Hermione and Sybill were fighting side by side – maybe Sybill had found a new way to insure her predictions of death would indeed happen. It had been nice to see the look of surprise on several Death Eaters' face when Hermione, deprived of her wand, had unleashed her wandless magic, protecting Sybill long enough for the Divination teacher to recover the girl's wand. Internally, Severus had been glad that she had continued to practice wandless magic. He liked to think it was a reminder of their time together.
Cornelius Fudge had to congratulate the former Death Eater – for his spy work, for all the students he had persuaded to refuse to join the Death Eaters and for those he had convinced to come back on Albus's side – and granted him the Order of Merlin, First Class. Severus was hard put to wait the end of the ceremony, during which several Orders of Merlin were given – one to Harry, of course.
Official recognition was something he appreciated; now, he openly belonged to the good side. There had been surprise at the ceremony when Sirius had come to shake hands with Severus in front of everybody. They had all known of the hatred between them. Severus appreciated what Sirius had done – because there was no need for him to do so – and the Potions Master knew that the other man truly meant the truce he had declared two years before. Yet, though he had long craved to be finally accepted, he didn't care for it anymore. He cared only for one thing… and he glanced nervously at her.
Hermione was seated next to Sybill, a vague smile on her lips. Since the incident during her seventh year, she was very quiet. She had done nothing extraordinary… except plan the battle: after all, she was, with Professor Binns, the only one who knew enough of History of Magic to become a strategist. And she knew Muggle strategy too. Voldemort had had no chance against her. But naturally, it wasn't something the Ministry would recognise.
She had spent one year buried in the library, poring over history books and notes, discussing fiercely with Professor Binns and some Aurors, studying the way Death Eaters' attacks were planned. She had had Severus writing down everything he could remember, every tiny detail, so she could understand Voldemort's sick mind. She had made him out so well that she had almost predicted his very plans step by step. When Severus had agreed that it looked like Voldemort himself had planned what she had written down, Sybill had admired the performance and told her that she should be the next Divination teacher.
She had needed his knowledge, needed everything he knew about Death Eaters and Voldemort, yet she had never asked him in person, but always by owl or by someone else, mainly Albus or Professor Binns. While he had been racking his brains for answering her exigencies, he had wondered why she had avoided him so stubbornly. It was as if she was still carrying Albus's sentence about having a third person during her detentions with him. The only moment when they had almost been face to face, Sybill – always present at the wrong moments, as if warned by a sixth sense – had commented lightly:
"The influence of Pluto on Venus and the reverse influence. How interesting to study, waiting for them to collide."
Hermione had almost run away. Severus had rolled his eyes and Sybill had patted his arm.
"You make a wonderful Pluto, Severus," she had said meaningfully before leaving.
He still hoped that for once, Sybill had made a true prediction.
Hermione looked up, rather surprised, when he came to stand in front of her. Sybill left her seat, pretending a vision just told her she had to be elsewhere right now, and winked at Severus. He glanced down at the decoration in his hand, then up at her, who was fidgeting as if she wanted to leave, and took a deep breath.
"Would you give to a man with the Order of Merlin First Class the same chance you gave to a former Death Eater?"
Suddenly still, she stared at him, then at the decoration he was offering her in his trembling hand. She slowly took it, her fingers brushing against his palm, stood up and slipped the ribbon around his neck, her hands lingering on his shoulders.
"Yes," she breathed.
He let go the breath he had been holding and lowered his face to hers, forgetting their surroundings. Their lips met and when he deepened the kiss, she shivered from head to toe. She clung to his neck, breathless, her eyes wide in wonder.
"Oh," he murmured, a smile playing on his lips, "did I forget to tell you that Magna Transitio doesn't wear off with the restitution of the flesh it was cast on?"
He chuckled as realisation dawned on her.
Looking at them from the other side of the Great Hall, two witches nodded.
"I knew it," said Sybill smugly.
She held out her hand and Minerva, sighing, put twenty Galleons in her palm.
The End! Still think it needs a sequel?
The idea of Sybill Trelawney's portrayal when fighting the Death Eaters comes from Quillusion's fabulous Lest the Old Traditions Fail!