Don't Take the Girl

 "Come now Severus, you know that you need someone to help you. There is just too much for you to handle by yourself. Being a Head of House as well as Potion's Master is hard enough, but now adding the responsibilities of Deputy Headmaster, you need someone to help you!"

"Minerva had managed by herself for years, Albus. I never once saw her with an assistant! Why would I need one if she did not?" Severus asked, pacing around the headmaster's office in aggravation.

"When Minerva first started as Deputy Headmistress, young man, she had an assistant just like you are going to have. By the time you returned here to teach, she had already adjusted to the new responsibilities and had been performing them for close to fifteen years. All new Deputies are given assistants, and you my boy, will receive one as well," Albus stated, his tone brooking no arguments.

Severus sighed and swept his hand through his long hair. "Fine, I will accept this assistant, since it seems I have no choice. But not her. I will accept anyone besides her; anyone qualified, of course, even Potter or Malfoy. "

"Severus, you know as well as I that Hermione is more than qualified for this position. And can you seriously see yourself with either of those two young men as your assistant? I thought not. The fact that she is actually available and already living here in the castle makes the situation much less complicated."

"What? Why is she already here?"

"She is apprenticing with March, of course. Surely you've heard at least some of his extensive praise in her work with Charms and how proud he is that she will be coming back to apprentice with him? I guess not. Since she is already going to be living in the castle, and she will have some free time on her hands, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to keep her busy in her spare time as well as helping you adjust to your new role."

"No."

"Come now Severus, stop acting like a child. Hermione has not been a student of yours for years, and even you have to admit that living and seeing the world changes people. Give her a chance before refusing flat out."

"Albus-"

"Besides, I believe she is already here to accept my offer."

"You mean you already asked her?! Before coming to me?"

"Really Severus, squeaking does not become you. Neither does that particular shade of red suite your face. As I told you before, you will be receiving an assistant, and since Hermione was the most qualified I really thought there would be no argument."

"But-"

A knock at the door interrupted Severus before he could complete whatever protest he had thought of to try and escape the situation.

"Come in!"

"Hello Headmaster, Professor Snape. I hope I am not interrupting anything?"

"Of course not my dear. And since you are no longer a student, it is of course Albus. And since you will be spending much time with Severus here, I believe you can call his Severus as well."

"Albus!"

"Severus, please do not shout at me. And do try be polite. Hermione is going to be your assistant, and things will be much easier if you were politer and did not treat her or expect her to treat you as if she were still a student here."

"Albus-"

"Severus, the decision is final. And whether you like it or not right now, I'm sure that in the months to come, you will find that Hermione's help and company is not as abhorrent as you currently think it is."

~*~*~*~

Ten years later

"Severus this is beautiful! Thank you darling," Hermione said, kissing her fiancé as he placed the emerald studded bracelet around her wrist.

"Of course, Mya. Happy Birthday, beautiful," he said, kissing her soundly before leading her across the street towards the theater.

"Expelliarmus!"  

"Severus!" Hermione cried as the unexpected spell sent Severus sweeping backwards as she was grabbed roughly from behind.

Severus picked himself up quickly and turned to see Hermione struggling with her assailant. A large, dangerous looking man had one arm around her throat and the other pointing his wand, as well as Severus' own wand, at Severus, keeping him from running towards the two.

"What do you want?" Severus asked, panic tingeing his usually calm voice as Hermione struggled against her captor.

"No harm, old man. Just the gold. Hand it over, or I swear I'll choke the life right out of the pretty little lady," the thug growled, tightening his hold on Hermione's neck.

"Here, here, take it! Anything, just let her go," he said, reaching into his cloak and retrieving a rather large bag of galleons, knuts and sickles and throwing them over to the man.

"The bracelet and ring, pretty lady," he growled into Hermione's ear.

Hermione, shaking and with tears streaming down her cheeks, removed the new present from her wrist and awkwardly handed it behind her to the man.

"The ring," he growled again, pocketing the bracelet.

"Please no," she whispered, fingering her engagement ring.

The man tightened his hold and she chocked slightly. "Hermione, give him the ring, please. We'll get you a new one, just give him the ring," Severus pleaded, helpless as his fiancé struggled to breath.

Sobbing, she removed her ring and handed it over to the man as well.

"We've given you what you've asked for, please just release her. Don't harm her," Severus said quietly, stepping closer and trying to control himself as the man pocketed the ring.

"There now, that wasn't too hard was it?" the thug asked, a feral grin on his face as he pulled Hermione closer to him, taunting Severus.

"Please…" Hermione whispered, still trying to get away from the man.

"Since you were so obliging I don't see why I can't oblige you as well. Thank you for the lovely…gifts," he said nastily, leering at Severus before shoving Hermione into his arms, knocking the two to the ground.

By the time Severus had wrapped his arms around his sobbing fiancé, the man had apparated away with a crack.

~*~*~*~

Five years later

"Mr. Snape, please, you have to stand back and give us room to work!" the Medi-witch said, firmly pushing Severus away from his panting wife.

He moved back a couple of paces and would have bolted forward as his wife let out a shriek if it weren't for the hand holding his arm.

"Why is there so much blood? There is not supposed to be so much blood!" he yelled, nervous and concerned and wanting to know what was going on.

"Mr. Snape, it is a delivery, there is always a lot of blood," a nurse said from where she was dabbing Hermione's forehead with a cool cloth.

"Yes, yes, I know there is always blood at a delivery you incompetent twit. What I want to know is why there is so much blood. I have been to deliveries before, woman, and I know this is not normal. Now what is happening to my wife?!?" he shouted, straining against the hands holding him back.

Another pain-filled scream escaped from Hermione, distracting the others from their…conversation. There was a whirlwind of activity as the Medi-witch returned to between Hermione's knees and shouts of 'Push, push!" were heard, amidst the screams from Hermione, before there was a loud wail from the newborn infant in the Medi-witch's arms.

The infant was quickly cleaned with a charm and bundled into a blanket before being placed in Severus' arms. He looked down at his son in a daze, before the noises of the room brought him back to reality.

The Medi-witches and nurses were frantically working on Hermione, who was still losing blood and didn't seem to be responding.

"Hermione! Mya!" Severus rushed over to his wife, calling her name over and over as he tried to shake her awake.

"Mr. Snape, please, you have to let us work! Your son if fine, but something happened during the delivery. We need to help her Mr. Snape. Severus! You have to let us help her, please stand back!"

Reluctantly, Severus stepped back, still calling his wife's name over and over, and cradling his new son.

As Hermione turned even paler and still didn't respond to any of the Medi-witch's ministrations, he sank to his knees, tears streaming down his face.

As he faintly heard the Medi-witch softly talking to him about losing her and too much blood loss, he broke down completely,

"Merlin, please no, please. Hermione, don't go. Mya, no…Merlin, take me instead. Please no, Hermione! Mya! Mya…" his voice eventually trailed off as he sat rocking and sobbing, and mumbling his wife's name over and over, clutching his son to his chest.

Fin

~*~*~*~*~

This was inspired by a song by Tim McGraw "Don't Take the Girl". Neither the characters nor the song belongs to me.

"Don't Take the Girl"

Johnny's daddy was taking him fishing when he was eight years old.

A little girl came through the front gate holding a fishing pole.

His dad looked down and smiled, said 'We can't leave her behind.

Son, I know you don't want her to go but someday you'll change your mind.'

And Johnny said, 'Take Jimmy Johnson, take Tommy Thomson, take my best friend Bo.

Take anybody that you want as long as she don't go,

Take any boy in the world. Daddy please don't take the girl!'

Same old boy, same sweet girl ten years down the road.

He held her tight and kissed her lips in front of the picture show.

Stranger came and pulled a gun, grabbed her by the arm,

Said, 'If you do what I tell you to there won't be any harm.'

And Johnny said, 'Take my money, take my wallet,

Take my credit cards, here's the watch that my grandpa gave me.

Here's the key to my car, mister give it a whirl.

But please don't take the girl.'

Same old boy, same sweet girl five years down the road.

There's gonna be a little one and she says its time to go.

Doctor says, 'The baby's fine, but you'll have to leave

Cause his momma's fading fast.' and Johnny hit his knees

And there he prayed

'Take the very breath you gave me, take the heart from my chest.

I'll gladly take her place if you let me, make this my last request.

Take me out of this world. God please don't take the girl.'

Johnny's daddy was taking him fishing when he was eight years old.