To See You Smile

Chapter 1

Severus Snape stood tall and proud as always, peering through the morning mist, searching for survivors. The locator spell he had cast told him there were some, and that he should be able to see one soon. He wove slowly across the field, picking his was around the corpses, not wishing to step on any of them. Even in his haste to finish this final mission he didn't wish to disrespect the dead. The stench of rotting flesh permeated the air around him and he fought down a gag, some of the curses exchanged on this field had left their victims so mutilated that one could not even be certain they were humans, but others lay stiff and cold with the intense look of shock that only a death by Avada Kedavra could leave. Crows, rats, and other scavengers were grouped around the less mutilated bodies, fighting over the tender parts. Severus tried not to look too closely at the bodies that surrounded him for several hundred meters in every direction, the spell he had used would cause his wand to grow warm when he was near a live body; he only hoped the scavengers weren't feasting on the unconscious as well as the deceased.

A few moments later the wand he held began to grow warm, signaling that there was a live body within a few meters of him. Stopping suddenly Snape scanned the body's closest to him. The body to his left was missing its head, and to his right was a lump of flesh, damp with blood and covered in rats that he assumed had once been a human being, though it was so disfigured that it could easily have been anything. He moved forward a step at a time, looking for a sign of life in the surrounding forms. The mutilation made his stomach churn, there were limbs lying several meters from the body they belonged to, and not all the victims were adults. His throat closed over when he saw a face he recognized as a Slytherin first year. The small boy lay at an awkward angle, his large brown eyes staring blankly, his black hair matted with blood. The heat radiating from his wand intensified and he knew he was close. Stepping over a large body covered in rats and maggots, Severus caught sight of movement. He moved cautiously towards the petite body, saw the chest rising and falling in a steady rhythm and let out the breath he hadn't known he was holding. He'd found someone alive. The relief he felt was enormous. With long steady strides he moved to the young woman's side and bent to lift her. Less than a meter from her he stopped, she looked so peaceful in her unconscious state that at first he hadn't recognized her, but now he did.

The unconscious woman was none other than Hermione Granger. With strong, steady arms Severus lifted his former student and aparated to the spot near Hogsmeade Dumbledore had instructed the victims be left. The clearing was deserted when they appeared so Snape set Hermione's body gently on the ground and settled himself against a tree, knowing that if she were unconscious she couldn't be left on her own until safe inside of Hogwarts. Her tiny hand was cold in his, and he wondered if the rest of her body was as cold. Not knowing what else to do he removed his cloak and draped it over her. It was only about ten minutes later that a popping sound told the Potions Master company had arrived. He raised his eyes from where they had been studying Miss Granger and met the clear blue eyes of Albus Dumbledore.

"Hello Severus," Albus said, his eyes twinkling. "I see you've recovered a survivor."

Snape snorted, only Albus Dumbledore could get away with such a stupid remark. "Yes. Miss Granger appears to be unconscious, she hasn't talked or tried to open her eyes." He bent to lift the girl into his arms again, "Now where do I need to take her?"

"The hospital wing is full, but I believe there are some empty private rooms in the dungeon." Dumbledore smiled at the look of shock on the other man's usually controlled face. "If you would please settle her there, and then check with Poppy as to Miss Granger's care. She will be under your care for the time being."

"But Headmaster!" Snape exclaimed, "What am I supposed to do with her? you can't honestly expect me to play doctor to this girl."

Albus's eyes lost their merriment, "That is exactly what I expect you to do. Poppy is busy sewing people back together and healing bones. We can't just leave all the work to her. And besides, If I'm right Miss Granger's injury is not one that a medi-witch can cure." With that cryptic statement the Headmaster disaperated.

Snape let out an exasperated growl, turned on his heel and strode angrily towards the school. Flinging open the doors to the school he marched straight to the infirmary. "Poppy," he called, "We have another patient."

The medi-witch scuttled over to him, her brow creased with worry. "Albus promised me no more patients," she said, on the verge of tears, "There aren't even any free beds." she trailed off, wringing her hands in distress.

Severus felt distinctly sorry for the woman, "She is to stay in the dungeons, but first I need you to look her over and tell me what's wrong with her, and what I'm supposed to do about it." She glanced at him, suspicion in her eyes, but also relief. "Those were Albus' orders." He added, "He knew you had too much to do already, and apparently I have the time," he scowled.

Suddenly a grin lit up Madame Pomfery's plump face, "Well then, if those are Dumbledore's orders," with another grin she motioned for Snape to follow her to her office. "Just lay her down here, I've got a few things to do and then I'll take a look. Why don't you just sit here and call me if there's any change, the house elves will have he room ready when we need it."

Not overly happy with the Healer's plan Snape slumped into the only chair in the room and scowled at the unconscious girl who was causing him all this trouble. It wasn't that he minded helping her so much as that he felt like he could be doing something much more important right now. Like searching for more survivors, or hunting down the few surviving Death Eaters, even brewing more medi potions would give him the feeling he was doing something useful. He hated the feeling of helplessness that came from sitting still while other's worked. It didn't help that he was dreading the moment Hermione work up. Knowing what he did of her from having her in his classes for seven years, he was certain she would ask about Harry and Ron, her former best friends as soon as she could speak. And he did not relish the thought of telling her about their current state.

Ron Weasley had been killed in battle and was probably still lying where he had died. There would be no funeral for him, his body would be burned with the rest of the dead, and his family informed of his demise. Harry Potter, boy hero for the wizarding community since he was a one year old had tried to kill himself and was now in St Mungo's to be treated for severe depression. It wasn't that Snape cared about either of the boys, or the girl in his care, but he wasn't completely heartless, and worse; he was horrible at being sympathetic. Being raised in the home of a Death Eater didn't exactly teach sympathy.

Hermione stirred, jolting him out of his thoughts. He moved to the edge of her bed, looking down on her pale face. She squirmed a bit and fluttered her eyelids open. All the blood vessels in her cinnamon eyes seemed to be burst and she stared unseeingly for only a moment before the fluttered closed again. Severus felt something akin to panic as he hurried off to find Madame Pomfery. It appeared that Miss Granger was blind.


The first sensation that assailed Hermione upon waking was a splitting headache. She squirmed slightly on the bad she was on, unsure where she was or what had caused this intense pain that radiated from the base of her skull. She tried to open her eyes, flicking her lids open knowing they were open because of the rush of dry air that swept across her eyeballs, but she couldn't see a thing. Determined not to panic she shut her eyes against the dark. Taking a few deep measured breaths Hermione opened her eyes yet again. Nothing. Deciding that she simply couldn't penetrate the darkness of the room she was in, more to keep herself sane then because she actually believed it, Hermione strained her ears for sounds. She could hear people moving about, murmuring in an irritatingly quiet manner that made eves dropping impossible. Never once did she consider using her voice. To speak to someone she could not see was unfathomable, as was the fact that she may have been blind. The voices she had heard were coming closer and she worked desperately to understand their speech. The effort increased her headache to the point that she could no longer bear it. With one final attempt to understand the gentle voices Hermione fainted.


"Oh dear," Madame Pomfery knelt at Hermione's bed side. "Oh dear."

"What is it?" Severus snapped, unable to stand waiting another second.

"It's a head injury," the healer replied, sounding as if her feelings too were injured. "She is, for the moment, blind, and for all we know she could be unable to speak as well. I think he hearing is alright, but here will be no way to tell until she regains consciousness." Turning to fully face the professor she continued. "Just as we don't know the full nature of her injuries until she regains consciousness we will not know what sort of treatment she will need." She smiled tiredly, "Doubtless she will have quite the headache whenever she is awake, so I will write you some instructions about sleeping draughts and pain fighting potions." She moved past Snape to sit at her desk. Pulling out a piece of parchment and a quill she addressed him for a final time. "The best thing for Miss Ganger right now if for her to be under near constant supervision by someone who understands her illness and her medication, I believe that is why Albus entrusted her to you. Now I will send this list with you, I presume you have the potions in the dungeons?" at his nod she passed him the parchment, "Good luck. Call for me if there's any change."

Snape simply stood watching her leave. Obviously he had been dismissed, but he didn't really know where he was supposed to take Hermione. Being as he needed to check on her every five minutes or so he assumed moving her to his study would be best. He could work on his potions in there, as long as he did them one at a time, and it was attached to his living quarters, so he would be able to check on her during the night. Having decided where they were headed he conjured up a stretcher and headed for the dungeons.

Settling Hermione on a bed that he had summoned from his own quarters until another could be located Snape couldn't help but notice how young she looked. All lines of worry were removed from her face along with all the walls she had built up over the years, and she looked completely vulnerable. Something about that vulnerability touched him and he found himself wanting to personally deliver justice to the bastard that had cause her this injury. The feeling was completely foreign to him, this need to protect someone, and he wasn't sure he liked it. Shaking his head and believing himself to be simply overtired the Potions Master moved off to find another bed for his own rest. He would also, he realized, need to collect some potions.

The stores of medi-potions were already looking depleted and he wasn't looking forward to replenishing them whilst checking on Hermione ever 5 minutes. He let out an exasperated sigh, why had the Headmaster done this to him? He would never be able to keep the potions supply in full stock if he couldn't work for more than 5 consecutive minutes. Making a split second decision Severus returned to the room where he had left her. There was a fire crackling merrily in the grate, the only source of light since the room's occupant couldn't see anyway. He grabbed a small box off the mantle, grabbed a pinch of floo powder, and threw it into the orange flames. "Albus Dumbledore" he said, kneeling down in front of the fireplace and sticking his head into the now green flames.


"Hello Severus." Dumbledore said, flashing the man a quick smile. "You look upset. Is there something wrong?"

Severus gave the aging man a dark look. "Yes sir there is something wrong. How am I supposed to get my work done if I have to check on Miss Granger ever 5 minutes?"

Dumbledore fought hard not to laugh at the look of pure frustration on the Professor's face. "I understand completely Severus, but you seem to have forgotten that you have an assistant this summer." He smiled, eyes twinkling merrily.

A low aggravated growl escaped Snape's lips before he could stop it. His "assistant" was a good for nothing Gryffindor seventh year that he would trust with any potion that might actually come in contact with another person. "He's hardly capable of working on his own Albus." He said stiffly.

"On the contrary Professor, I believe Mr. Creevey to be an excellent potions maker, the best in his year if my memory is correct. However if you feel the need to supervise his efforts constantly you could always move Miss Granger to your workroom."

"Yes. I could do that, since there seems to be no other option." Snape replied grudgingly, "Thank you Headmaster." With a final scowl he withdrew his head from the fire, sitting still for a moment to recover from the momentary dizziness this always left him with. Rising to his feet Severus decided that Dumbledore's plan was a good one, and he would enact it first thing tomorrow. With a gigantic yawn he checked to be sure Hermione had everything she would need and went to bed.


Waking up every fifteen minutes to check on his patient Severus was quickly convinced he would never get enough rest. Deciding that, since he wasn't going to get quality sleep anyway, he should use his time well and do some reading, Severus reached for a book on head injuries that Madame Pomfery had given him. After all, the more he knew about the girl's condition the sooner she could be healed, and the sooner Hermione was healed the sooner he could return to his normal life of solitude. Settling in his leather desk chair he lost himself in the world of serious head injuries and their magical cures.

Several hours passed in this manner, with both Hermione and Severus dead to the world around them. Every half hour of so Snape would rise and move to check that the girl was still breathing normally. He had heard once that patients with head injuries should be woken regularly when sleeping, but he didn't know if she was sleeping or had fallen back out of consciousness so he opted to let her be until morning. The book Madame Pomfery had lent him was proving to be interesting, even if it wasn't helpful in the least. The only thing he could gather than related to Hermione's case was that she could not be healed by a simple magical spell or potion; in fact it was very likely that she would have to heal the Muggle way.