Just when he had given up hope, he felt himself stop. Confusion set in, he wanted to know what had happened and where he had stopped, but all he saw around him was darkness. "Hello?" He shouted hopelessly.
Suddenly a small ball of light appeared, it began to grow and take on a human form. He stared at it perplexedly wondering what was going to happen next.
And then, there she was.
Severus, stood in the same spot for several moments, wondering if he was imaging her.
"Hi, Severus." She said, softly floating toward him. Her robes of white drifting slowly behind her.
"Is it really . . . ?" He asked, feeling his heart pounding.
"Yes, it's really me." She replied, smiling at him lovingly.
Severus sighed as he eagerly took her up in his arms. "Oh Emily!"
She returned his embrace.
"Oh all these years of longing to see you and now . . . you're here." He cried. With joyous tears streaming down his face, he gently took her face in his hands. "I have so much to tell you."
"I know you do, Severus" Emily replied, placing her hands over his. "But you cannot stay here to tell me."
He let her go, looking at her with a confused expression. "What? Why?"
"Because you need to go back to where you came from. You need to go back to Maunrose."
Severus, felt himself blush. She knew about Maunrose. Oh boy how was he going to explain things.
Emily laughed and gently placed her hand on his cheek. "Oh Severus, of course I knew about her. I have been watching you, and I have wept at the loneliness and the emptiness you have felt in your heart for me. I longed for you to find happiness. To be with someone that would make your life fulfilled until we can be together again." She said, this time taking his face in her hands, looking at him seriously. "Severus, I chose Maunrose to be with you. You have to go back."
Severus felt his jaw drop when he heard her words. "But Emily . . . " He found himself mumbling.
She gently placed her forefinger on his lips and said, "She loves you Severus, and you love her. We will all one day be reunited but it is not this day." Gazing deeply into his eyes she gave a sorrowful look, "I have lingered to long, and I must return to where I came from. Severus please go back."
"Don't go." He begged, wrapping his arms around her.
"I am always with you Severus, never forget that I love you." Emily replied. She held his gaze for a few seconds before she softly kissed Severus' lips, and then drifting through his arms, she was gone.
Severus felt the bitter-sweetness of seeing her go from his life again, as he felt himself falling back into the darkness.
Maunrose sat beside, Severus' bed in the Hogwarts hospital wing. It had been days since the invasion and she though she still felt weak, she demanded to remain next to Severus when he awoke from his coma.
She was not alone however on this day. Dumbledore had stopped by to visit her and see how she was doing. And he wasn't the only one. She smiled tiredly around the bed at the faces of Remus Lupin, Minerva McGonagall, Hermione, Ron, Harry and Ginny.
They were each busily discussing the events that had happened.
"Percy will be fine . . . though we'll never know if he'll speak to my father again." Ginny rolled her eyes.
"I can't believe that git told dad he forgave him. As if dad was the one that did anything wrong." Ron said bitterly.
"Ron, it's Percy. What I don't understand is how they could've gotten in. I thought there were enchantments and special spells that would warn us of an invasion. What went wrong?" Hermione asked.
"To answer your question, Miss Granger," Dumbledore replied, "It is true that there are special enchantments and spells protecting the students of Hogwarts. However in this case we were not only invaded from outside, but from within."
"You mean the Slytherins?" Minerva asked.
"Exactly. I have learned that Draco Malfoy had been recruiting students in the house of Slytherin to aid in Lord Voldemort's plan to invade Hogwarts, having become a Death Eater sometime during the year. These group of students went about studying how to reverse the enchantments and spells in their free time. And on the night of the invasion they each snuck about the halls of Hogwarts undoing the enchantments and spells. But they were not the only means whereby the Death Eaters got in. There are seven secret tunnels leading into Hogwarts from various locations. And some of them used these tunnels to get in, Voldemort included."
"All this for Harry? I mean I understand that he wanted him dead, no offense Harry, but to risk an invasion?" Minerva said.
"Yes," Dumbledore nodded. "It does seem strange that he would risk so much. But killing Harry wasn't the only thing he wanted. There was the Cherished Star, and I have found out that Draco Malfoy had been given the assignment to retrieve it."
"That explains the photo." Maunrose mumbled, then looking toward Harry she said, "I have a question."
"Yes." Dumbledore asked.
"I have been wondering, Harry, why you said you were the only one that can defeat Lord Voldemort? Er . . . not that you didn't."
Harry giggled sheepishly and replied, "I think I'll let Professor Dumbledore answer this one for me."
Everyone looked at Dumbledore, waiting in anxious anticipation for his explanation.
"It is all because of a prophecy given years ago before Harry was born." Dumbledore replied.
"What prophecy?" Maunrose asked.
Dumbledore began to recite, "The One with the Power to Vanquish the Dark Lord Approaches . . . Born to Those Who Have Thrice Defied Him, Born as the Seventh Month Dies . . . And the Dark Lord Will Mark Him as His Equal, but He Will Have Power the Dark Lord Knows Not . . . And Either must Die at the Hand of the Other for Neither Can Live While the Other Survives . . . The One with the Power to Vanquish the Dark Lord Will Be Born as the Seventh Month Dies . . . "
Silence fell, everyone was staring at Harry, the words of the prophecy ringing through their minds.
Ron shaking his head, asked, "My god, Harry. And you've known all this time?"
Harry looked at Ron and nodded. "Since the night, Sirius was killed." He whispered, then looking toward Dumbledore he asked, "Professor Dumbledore? About that night, I've been wondering why you didn't kill Voldemort when you had the chance?"
"I wondered when you would ask." Dumbledore mumbled, then giving a tired sigh he replied, "It was because if I had done so, you would have also died."
Harry's eyes widened, while everyone stared at Dumbledore. "You already know about what happened the night your parents died. And how your mother's sacrifice had saved you from the killing curse, reversing the effects of the curse onto Voldemort, which in turn he had transferred some of his powers over to you. That night a magical bond was created between the two of you, and it was this bond that enabled his soul to remain alive until such a time where he could rejuvenate and comeback.
"When he used your blood to resurrect himself, your life forces became melded together. It somehow cemented the link between the two of you. You were a part of his mind and he was a part of yours. It was not possible for you to kill him without killing yourself in the process." He paused to look at Maunrose. "Because there was still another prophecy yet to be fulfilled."
Maunrose felt a tingly feeling throughout her body as her uncle looked at her. "What do you mean?" She asked.
"Just as it was Harry's destiny to defeat Lord Voldemort. It was your destiny, Maunrose, to enable him to do it."
"What?" Said Maunrose and Harry at the same time, looking at Dumbledore with gapping expressions.
Dumbledore sighed again, nodding. "Your Grandmother, Maunrose, was a talented witch and also a seerer. Shortly after she had learned she was expecting your mother, she had a vision.
"Two it Will Take to Defeat a Great Evil That Will Soon Darken Our World . . . One Will Be Chosen, One Will Not . . . The One Will Clear the Way for the Chosen to Vanquish the Evil . . . They Shall Join Forces Together in a Power Not Known to the Evil . . . And with this Power They Shall Restore Peace and Hope to a World Filled with Despair."
"In this vision she saw a young woman fighting alongside a younger wizard. Your Grandmother believed that it was her unborn child who would fulfill the prophecy. Your mother, Caristella, was a very talented witch from a young age. She was one of the best aurors the ministry had ever seen. And when Lord Voldemort came into power we thought she was the one spoken of in the prophecy. But we were mistaken." Dumbledore said, sadden by the memory of her mother. "Two weeks before she died, Caristella knew she was not the one who would fulfill the prophecy. It was after she had discovered this that she came to me and first told me about the Cherished Star."
Maunrose and Harry, looked at one another while Dumbledore continued to explain.
"You see, the Cherished Star was originally to be an anti-dementor device, unlike a patronus, it was meant to weaken the Dementors. But in using it she discovered that not only did it weakened a Dementor, it had the ability to kill them. She also discovered on one occasion, fighting against a Death Eater, it had the ability to drain the magical powers of an opponent."
A chill went up Maunrose's spine as Hermione asked, "But how?"
"By the most pure and simplest of emotions. Love. The power of love is the strongest emotion that one can possess. The Cherished Star simply amplifies this power in such a way that it overwhelms Dementors, and if exposed long enough, they burst. The same can be said of Dark Magic. The Cherished star overpowers any evil thought or intention to the point it will become weak and powerless. The longer the exposure the weaker the opponent becomes.
"Voldemort, had learned of the Cherished Star from his network of Death Eaters implanted within the Ministry of Magic. Your mother knew, Maunrose, that if the Cherished Star were to ever fall into Lord Voldemort's hands it would have the power to destroy the world. She sacrificed herself to keep it safe. And Voldemort never learned the true worth of the Cherished Star."
"But he couldn't use it." Hermione said puzzled.
"Yeah." Ron nodded. "He tried to but nothing happened."
Dumbledore smiled, "Yes, he couldn't have been able to use it. Even if he had the ability to love."
"What do you mean?" Maunrose asked.
"When your mother came to me, we sealed the Cherished Star's destiny to you, Maunrose. Which in turn made it a more powerful weapon. So as an extra precaution we locked it with a key that only you could use to open it."
"A key? But I had no key." Maunrose said confused.
Dumbledore smiled at her and said, "Ah, but you did, and you've been wearing it for the majority of the year."
Dumbledore nodded, "Since love is an emotion felt by the heart, your locket resting near your heart, acts like a gateway from your heart to the Cherished Star. When you used this key to unleash the power of the Cherished Star, your destiny became fulfilled. You were the only one who could sever the bond that held Voldemort and Harry together. And in using the Cherished Star, you stripped Voldemort of his magical powers, which thereby enabled Harry to fulfill his destiny, and in turn saved Harry's life. The Cherished Star is also the reason why your scar no longer exists, Harry."
"Is that why you asked me to come?" Maunrose asked feeling overwhelmed.
He nodded yet again.
"Did my father know about all of this?"
"Yes, your father was the one who hid the Cherished Star away for safe keeping. He knew of its power and your destiny, Maunrose, as well as Harry's. He made sure that you had it in your possession before you came here as a way of protecting you. Though I suspected, I did not know you had it here at Hogwarts till just recently."
Maunrose shook her head in disbelief as Harry absently rubbed his forehead where the scar had been. Everyone else remained silent in awe by what they had just heard.
"But the Dark Lord wasn't the only one that was affected by the Cherished Star." Said Ginny suddenly, breaking the silence.
"No, he was not. Its power seems to have affected all the Death Eaters as well as the students responsible for the invasion." Replied Dumbledore.
"What's going to happen to all of them?" Harry asked.
Dumbledore gave a sigh, "Since the invasion none of them have regained their magical abilities. The Ministry has sent the finest physicians to examine the situation and they have concluded that it requires the Cherished Star to reverse the effects. Unfortunately, it no longer exists, and so they have deemed the loss to be irreversible. The Ministry has decided to allow them a life of servitude under the guidance of the house elves. And the ones that have committed the more extreme crimes have been sentenced to execution. Bellatrix and Lucius are among them."
"Has Lucius been informed of Draco's death?" Hermione asked sullenly.
"Yes, Miss Granger, he has been informed and is quite devastated by the loss of his son."
"How long do they plan to keep you as the Minister of Magic?" Asked Professor McGonagall.
"It is hard to say at this point, Minerva. I am hoping that I will return before the next school year." Dumbledore replied.
"Which could be delayed, since it looks like it'll take sometime to repair the damage." Said Remus.
Professor McGonagall nodded, "Yes, the beginning of the school year will be, but not by that much, Remus. Even if you are taking a few weeks off for your marriage this summer; I still expect to start the school year as close to September first as we can get."
"Marriage?" Maunrose asked looking to Remus with a hopeful smile.
Remus blushed as he cleared his throat and smiled, "Yes, Romlie and I will be getting married later this summer. We were going to tell you Maunrose . . . "
Maunrose squealed with laughter. "I knew it! I knew it! Oh I'm so happy for you both!"
After several congratulations, silence fell on them. Their minds replaying the events of the last couple of days.
"Can you believe that some idiot from the ministry actually tried to arrest Harry?" Ginny said, breaking the silence again.
"What?" Replied Hermione and Ron together.
"Yeah," Harry blushed, "They tried to arrest me, because I had killed Voldemort."
"You're kidding." Maunrose, Minerva and Remus said dumbfounded.
Harry shook his head and laughed.
Dumbledore smiled and said, "No, it is true. Someone within the ministry did try to arrest Harry. But not to worry, the majority of the wizards on the council of the ministry sided that it was in self defense and therefore not worthy of punishment."
"Yeah, well I'd like to get my hands on that idiot and strangle him." Ginny said angrily.
"Ah now, don't worry," Harry replied, taking her hand in his and giving her a kiss on the cheek. "The ministry has reassigned him to cleaning up the owl loft in the mail room."
"Speaking of mail, I received a letter from Viktor this morning." Hermione giggled.
"How did he take the news of your changed affections?" Maunrose asked.
"Apparently he was relieved."
"Yes. He had met someone else while attending some function and fell in love with her. They have been dating since Valentine's Day. The coward didn't know how to tell me." Hermione said, turning to look at Ron, giving him a loving smile. "But it doesn't matter now."
Ron, returning her smile, wrapped his arms around her saying, "Yeah, I'm happy for him, though I'm REALLY happy for me. And I hope we beat his team in the world cup this year."
"So what about you and Severus, Maunrose?" Dumbledore asked.
Maunrose blushed. "We cleared up the misunderstanding we had earlier, and are once again friends."
"Just friends?" Ask Minerva, raising an eyebrow.
"That's not what I heard or saw in the great hall." Said Remus smiling at Maunrose teasingly.
"Me either." Said Ron.
"Nore I." Hermione replied, nodding in agreement.
Maunrose could feel her blush deepen. It was possible that Remus had overheard Severus say he loved her. Though, even if he hadn't, there was no doubt how she felt about him.
But before she could say anything, Severus moaned, rolling his head from sided to side.
Maunrose quickly grabbed his hand. "Severus?"
Severus started to come to. At first everything was blurry and he could slightly make out a voice calling his name. As his head cleared more he realized that it was Maunrose who was calling him, he smiled when he saw her beautiful face looking at him.
"Hey there stranger." She said smiling warmly.
Remembering Emily's words, he felt inspired to do something he had been longing to do since the night of the Walpurgis ball. Raising his hand he motioned her to come closer.
"What? Do you need something?" She asked looking worried and moving in to hear his request.
When her face was close enough, he gently placed his hands on either side and pulled her into him. Rapturous pleasure filled every cell in his body as he felt her lips on his. Sitting up he wrapped his arms around her bringing her in closer to him.
Maunrose was filled with a giddy school girl happiness. First, in knowing that Severus was going to be fine. And second, that he had wrapped his arms around her, kissing her with a passion, she had only ever dreamed about.
"I love you." He whispered, letting her go a little.
She wanted to tell him how she felt, but a sudden realization caught her attention.
Severus smiled, watching her blush looking to overcome by emotion to reply.
"Uh Severus?" She finally managed to say.
"Yes?" he asked, tenderly brushing her cheek with his hand.
"You do realize that we're not alone . . . right?"
He suddenly felt a coldness rush through him as he realized that he was in the hospital wing, in a gown and lying in bed.
He looked to his left and saw Lupin giving him an embarrassed smile and salute. Dumbledore was sitting next to him looking nonchalantly as always, next to him sat Minerva McGonagall who was grinning, excitedly giving him two thumbs up. Then there was Ron Weasley with his arms wrapped around Hermione Granger's shoulders and close by was Potter holding hands with Ginny Weasley. All four of them were standing with gapping expressions.
The more he looked around, the more he realized that he had just kissed the woman he loved with at least a quarter of the student population looking on, all of whom were staring with the same stunned expressions as Potter and his friends.
"WHAT?" He said in his usual loathsome sounding voice, "HAVEN'T YOU EVER SEEN TWO PEOPLE KISS?"
There was no change in their reactions.
"STOP YOUR GAPPING OR I SHALL DEDUCT POINTS FROM EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU!" He yelled.
The response was instantaneous as the students went out of their way to not look at Professor Snape. Satisfied, he looked back at Maunrose who was smiling and trying not to laugh.
"What?" He asked somewhat annoyed.
Maunrose couldn't hold it in any longer and burst out laughing, she was quickly followed by the group gathered around his bed.
Severus could feel himself blush from getting angry, things were not going like he had hoped.
"What?" He asked again, this time sounding even more annoyed.
"Oh, Severus." Maunrose said, wiping away the tears from her eyes, "We're just loving the way you're so loveable."
Before Severus could protest, Maunrose kissed him back just to let him know the feeling was mutual.
"I love you too." She whispered, smiling at his twinkling dark eyes.
A/N: We hope that you have enjoyed our fanfiction. If you have any questions feel free to e-mail us. Oh and check out our preview to the Sequel.