When We last left our Heroine:

I was alone once again. I carefully sat down at the edge of the road and cried my heart out. I cried because of my lost loved ones. I cried because I am sure I would never find the happiness I had with Severus again. I cried because I killed people today—even if they did deserve it. I cried because I didn't know what I was going to do and I was helpless and scared.


Chapter 9

I sat in the same spot for hours on end. There must have been a search party out for me by now. It was dusk and I sat and watched the sunset, but it wasn't the same anymore. Nothing would be. I felt numb inside. I finally brought myself to my senses and decided I had better get something to eat. I didn't want to see Severus in the state he was in just yet. I don't think I could have handled it.

I stood up, taking in a deep, brave breath and made my way down the path. I didn't know where it led. Sure, I could have used magic, but I didn't want to be found (the ministry was sure to be looking for me too).

I walked and walked for ages until finally I came upon a small village. There was a tiny pub along the way. I walked in and sat down at the bar.

"Wat can I be getting' ye miss?" the bartender asked. I still didn't know if this was a muggle establishment or not, so I played it safe: "Fish and chips with water please."

I sat and waited until my food came. I ate in silence. I still felt the lingering numbness. That horrific scene of Severus' death kept replying in my mind. It plagued me. I couldn't taste the food, but I'm sure it was good.

I paid for my dinner (muggle) and left the establishment. I stood out on the road looking in both directions trying to decide where to go. I sighed heavily. It was time to face the music whether I wanted to or not. Severus's missing body would surely be suspicious.

I walked in the opposite direction of which I arrived. People were bound to be walking down it to look for me. I walked a safe distance away from the village and activated the portkey my lover gave to me.

-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-

Severus's limp body was lying on the living room floor. Immediately, I levitated his corpse to the nearest bedroom. I had only been here once before and it was briefly. Yet I would be able to recognise this room and the decorating anywhere. It was Severus's house.

I laid him gently on top of the covers and crawled up next to him. I laid my head down on his chest and gasped. I shot up right. Unable to believe what I heard, I laid my head down again. I could hear the faint heartbeat that gave me joy! He was alive! I hadn't heard it earlier because I was too set on my revenge.

I jumped out of the bed and quickly ran over to the fireplace. I threw floo powder in and said, "Infirmary at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."

"Madam Pomfrey! Madam Pomfrey!!" I yelled. I heard scuffling and papers shifting as footsteps quickly approached.

"Yes?" she asked.

"Severus is hurt and I don't know what to do. Please come through, and hurry!"

I watched her as she rushed to her office in the corner of the large white room and reappeared with a black medical bag. I backed away as she came through. She saw Severus lying on the bed and swiftly took action. I watched as Pomfrey listened to his breathing with a stethoscope and wrung my hands in uncontainable worriment. Her hands moved all over his body trying to find the source of the problem.

"What happened exactly dear? I must know so I can work faster."

I told her all that I knew and that I thought he was dead. She looked thoughtful for a moment before turning her attention to his head.

"Help me roll him over Miss Granger," she said. I hopped into action and ran to her aid. She ran her wand over that back of Severus' head and it started to glow red. I looked at her with questioning eyes. Yet all she did was roll him so he was lying on his back again. She walked out of the room and I followed her.

"What is it Madam Pomfrey?" I asked, worried.

"I'm afraid Severus has a concussion and was knocked unconscious. I believe what happened was that Lucius missed Severus, but barely, and instead hit something else, which caused the debris you saw, fly up. I believe that it hit Severus in the back of the head giving him the concussion and rendered him in his current state. There is not much I can do until he wakes up dear. He's in a critical state. If he doesn't wake up, I'm afraid he might slip into a coma. Until then Miss Granger, I advise you to keep a careful eye on him and alert me as soon as anything happens. I must take my leave now. I have other patients that need tending too. Good day Miss Granger."

She left via the living room, leaving me stand out in the hall speechless. I could do nothing for him except make sure he was comfortable. Tears welled up in my eyes again. "Don't you dare leave me Severus. Don't you dare," I whispered to myself.

I turned toward the kitchen and went to make myself some tea and biscuits. I wasn't in the mood for scones. What was I to do? He wasn't dead and I was undoubtedly grateful for that, but he still wasn't here…with me.

I sunk down in the wooden chair and put my head in my hands. I was so unbelievably lost.

I must have dozed off for a while because I was startled when the whistle started to blow. I hastily got up and poured my tea. I made my way back to Severus' room and stopped by the library to pick up a book. I sat down next to the bed and began to read out loud. He always enjoyed reading, maybe it would help—him hearing my voice and being read too.

-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-

I had fallen asleep sometime during my reading session, but the funny thing was, I did not remember ever laying my head down. I woke up to luscious sunshine streaming in on my face through the bedroom window. The book I had been reading fell open on the floor and was currently in an awkward position. I picked it up with care and looked over at Severus still lying on the bed.

His condition had not changed, but he had more colour to his face this morning than he did last night. That gave me a little shimmer of hope for the long, gruesome day that lay ahead of me.

I knew, without a doubt, that Harry and Ron would be worried sick about me. I had to find them and show them that I was okay, but I didn't want the talk that would surely follow. I just wanted to be left alone.

While I pondered on how exactly to go about that business without seeming such a jerk, I laid the book on the night stand and made my way to the kitchen to make myself a light breakfast and to wash the dirty dishes; anything to keep my mind occupied and my hands doing something proficient. I took my time washing up the dishes and putting them away.

By the time I had finished it was almost noon. I also had to tell the headmaster of Severus' condition, although I highly doubt that Madam Pomfrey kept such news to herself, he still had a right to hear it from me.

I sat down at the desk in the study and began penning my letter to Dumbledore. I told him of my whereabouts and about Severus and I quickly signed it. I also wrote another short letter to Harry and Ron telling them that I was fine and well and that I would be absent for an indefinite period of time and that I would keep them updated when I could. I also told them that I couldn't exactly explain everything right then, but promised them that I would tell them when I was ready. I examined the letters one last time and sent them off with Severus's owl.

Madame Pomfrey came for a quick visit and said that there still was no difference in his condition, but she gave me some potions that I was to administer to him before bedtime and in the morning. I set those on the nightstand as well.

The day went on sluggishly with no improvement on Severus's part, which worried me. What if he never woke up? What would we do? What would I do? All these questions and more plagued my mind all day. If I didn't stop worrying, I would make myself sick! But I couldn't help it. He was my life.

I decided a nice hot bath was in order. So I went to the lavatory off the bedroom and began running the water. I rummaged through the cabinets and closet to see if (by some random chance) he had any relaxing bubble soap of sorts. And to my utter surprise, I found some under the sink and I plopped a few into the hot water. I found some candles in the closet and set them all over the bathroom. I couldn't help but wonder why he had these things on hand, like he was preparing for some romantic night here. It made me think of more pleasant things so I just let my mind ponder that subject for the remainder of my bath.

I still felt numb, like this was all unreal, but every time I reentered the bedroom, the memories hit me again with such brutal force it physically hurt.

I stepped out of the tub and dried myself off. I found one of Severus's shirts and put it on. It smelled so nice.

I left the washroom and headed back to the bedroom. I saw his still body lying serenely on the bed and my heart skipped a beat. From the angle I stood, it almost seemed as if he was just merely sleeping, rather than being unconscious, like all I had to do was run and jump on the bed and he would wake up and pin me to the bed with a fierce growl for disturbing his peace. I could just imagine him doing such a thing and I could feel his body against mine so vividly. This brought tears to my eyes and I cried once more; knowing that I possibly might never feel his arms around me again, or feel his burning passion through a simple kiss. It hurt too much.

I crawled into the bed next to him, forgetting about reading to him. I laid next to him with one hand on his chest and the other affectionately brushing his hair out of this face and caressing the skin it found there. I let my tears fall onto his face, only to kiss the wet spots afterwards.

"Severus," I whispered, "Severus, please wake up. Please come back to me! You can't leave me. You promised!" I pressed a light kiss to his lips and laid my head gently on his chest and cried myself to sleep.

-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-

I woke up feeling a little better for letting myself grieve, but the headache I could have done without. I tried to sit up and get out of bed to find some headache potion but I was pinned down by a strong pair of arms around me. At first this didn't register at all, but when I turned my head to see Severus behind me I let out a scream of joy, which woke him with a start.

He jerked awake and let me go trying to figure out what catastrophe had happened. He sat straight up, but I pushed him back down as I straddled his waist and kissed every inch of his face.

"Severus!! You're awake!" He laughed at me and held my shoulders so I couldn't bombard him anymore and I realised that I needed to let him recuperate and me sitting on top of him was probably not the best thing for his condition.

"Oh, I'm sorry! I'm just so happy that you're awake and alive!" I said with joy as I tried to move off of him, but he moved his hands from my shoulders to my hips to keep me in place.

"No," he said. "Stay right there for a moment. I rather like the sight of you straddling me in my shirt with your hair mussed up with sleep and the excitement dancing in your beautiful brown eyes. You look downright sexy my love."

I blushed as he said this. I had forgotten everything in my overwhelming joy of seeing him awake. He raised his right hand and caressed my check lightly, pushing back a strand of hair behind my ear, while his left hand explored my right thigh.

"You are very pretty when you blush," he said huskily and pulled me down for a kiss. As our kissed deepened and became more impassioned, his hands became restless and explored every inch of my exposed skin from my neck to my arms and finally to my legs. My mind was foggy and I could not form a coherent thought. I knew there was some other pressing matter at hand, but I didn't care. All I wanted was him to kiss me like this forever and I was impatient with his hands and their self-proclaimed exploring.

I grabbed one of his hands and laid it on my breast as I began to unbutton his shirt. His movements began to quicken and our kiss became more urgent, as if this was our last time to be together before we died. I broke the kiss from his lips and began to kiss the path of exposed skin my hands had formed from unbuttoning his shirt.

I saw a fresh scar near his naval and all of a sudden everything came back to me. He was hurt and needed to be attended to. He didn't need this kind of excitement right now.

I stopped my ministrations and looked up at him. His eyes were closed as if he was trying his hardest to not become too excited just yet, for fear of scaring me.

When he realised I had stopped, he opened his eyes and looked at me.

"Are you okay? Why did you stop?"

"I'm fine, Severus. You're the one who's not. You need to be attended too. I'm going to fetch Madame Pomfrey," I said and moved to get off the bed.

"I can't have a little fun even after waking up from near death can I?" he pouted.

I smiled at him and promised that he would get his fun after he recuperated, and only if he was good. He smiled wickedly at me and began to re-button his shirt while I transfigured his clothes into something decent for me to wear.

I flooed Madame Pomfrey and on hearing that Severus was awake, she rushed over with Professor Dumbledore, who conveniently enough, was in the hospital wing having tea and crumpets with her.

She shooed both Dumbledore and me out of the room so she could examine him properly. She spoke haughtily as she shut the door, "Students shouldn't be looking after their professors this way either. It is just plain out of line!"

I looked to Dumbledore to see him smiling.

"You mean to tell me that you didn't tell her professor?" I asked him once we were alone.

"No my dear, the less she knows about you two the better. I told her that someone needed to look after him and that it was best to leave him at his house instead of moving him. She agreed with me and was expecting me to ask a teacher to stay with him, but I explained to Poppy that the teachers were needed for classes and needed to be open for any students who had final exam questions. She also agreed with me on this point, yet when I said I was going to ask you, she had a hippogriff. She went on and on how inappropriate it was and how speculation would circulate and insisted that I ask the teachers. Then all that was left to do was to simply point out all the points she had agreed with me on. Needless to say she was fuming, but didn't argue with me anymore. So my dear, if she gives you a hard time it is because of me, not you. Your secret is safe with me," he smiled and sat down on the bench in the hallway.

I sat down next to him and we talked for a while before Madame Pomfrey came back out. She had a stern look on her face and set her bag down.

"He needs plenty of rest. I gave him some salves to put on his open wounds and some other potions that would help him recover quicker and to heal his head properly. He said he didn't even notice the pain in his right arm after I told him that it was broken and he needed to be careful with it. Hmph. That man is so…so…there isn't even a word for it! But Hermione dear, since you are staying with him," at this she gave Dumbledore a dirty look, "I need you to make sure that he stays in bed and rests. He cannot have too much excitement."

I bowed my head and mumbled a quiet, "Yes ma'ma."

"Now, I need to give you a check up my dear."

"Say what?" I asked as my head shot up.

"Yes, I need to check on you. I have my orders and everyone needed a once over after the battle was over, but you never showed up. So I'm going to do it now while I'm not busy," she said sternly and motioned for me to follow her. She led me to another bedroom that I didn't know was there.

"Sit on the bed," she ordered and I did as I was told. I wanted to be done so I could be alone with Severus again.

As she bustled about the room I asked, "How did you know this bedroom was here?"

"My dear, I have been here on more than one occasion. Severus has been injured more times than I care to count and he hasn't always been able to make it back to the castle. He always has a portkey on his person to this house. So when he doesn't show up after his meetings I come here to check." She finished speaking and brought her wand over to me. She mumbled a spell and ran her wand up and down. I didn't know what to expect exactly, but I knew that I was perfectly fine, so when her expression of surprise played upon her face I was a bit nervous.

"What is it?" I asked.

"I um…just a moment," she said and she waved her wand over me once more. Her expression never changed and then she abruptly left the room. I was very confused now and I didn't know how to react. What is going on?

She came back with Dumbledore in tow. "See for yourself headmaster," she said as he came closer. He raised his wand to me and I flinched a little.

"Don't worry dear, I'm not going to harm you," he chuckled and performed the same spell…again. "Poppy, if you could leave us alone for a bit…" he trailed off and I watched as she packed her bag up and left the room.

"Headmaster, please tell me what's going on? I'm utterly confused and scared now."

He sat down next to me and took my hands in his. "My dear, you are pregnant."


A/N: I apologise profusely that it took me over a year to update, but life grabs a hold of you and doesn't let go. I will do my best to keep up and let my muse do her work. Thanks so much to everyone who took the time and reviewed and all of you who still stuck with me and were patient (or not) enough to continue reading this story now! I love you all!!

-Ryann