Summary: Hermione discovers that Severus Snape is not the murdering traitor he appears to be. But what secret is he hiding? What did Dumbledore and the rest of the Order members know about Severus that made him so utterly trustworthy? When Hermione is thrown into a situation where she has to spend quite a lot of time with her former professor, will she discover the truth about his past?

Rating: M for swearing, scenes of a sexual nature, and violence.

Pairing: Hermione/Severus

Disclaimer: I do not take credit for anything associated with Harry Potter. No financial profit is being made.

Unlikely Partners

Prologue

Hermione stared into her former potions professor's mahogany brown eyes, her facial expression full of indecision. Harry wasn't far behind her and it was only a matter of minutes before he reached the spot where Hermione was now standing.

"Miss Granger, hear me out . . ."

Hermione held Severus Snape's gaze unblinkingly. Her conscience told her that only an utter fool would trust the man against the wall before her.

He was a traitor. He was a murderer.

And injured as he now was, Hermione had the perfect opportunity to see that he got what Dumbledore's killer deserved. And yet, she made no move to raise her wand at his prone form.

Gods, she must be insane. Given everything Severus Snape had done, surely the man deserved to die a very painful death. But as Hermione raked her gaze over his bleeding body she couldn't bring herself to hurt him without being absolutely certain of his guilt.

Harry saw him kill Dumbledore, what more proof could you possibly need!

Was she truly crazy?

It's not possible for him to be innocent.

She had to look at the situation rationally. There was no way that Severus could be innocent of the crimes everyone believed he had committed. The man in front of her was a cold hearted villain who only cared about ensuring Voldemort's power. He was evil incarnate and the suggestion that he was anything else wasn't even worth thinking about.

Or was it?

If he only cared about Voldemort's survival, why was the area on his arm where the mark burned entirely bloody, as if he had scraped the black symbol of the dark lord off his skin?

Could there be some explanation for his actions that she hadn't yet considered?

"You don't have much time to explain to me why Harry shouldn't come and kill you where you stand. But while he's still on his way, I'll listen to what you have to say," She told him, locking her eyes on his.

Severus swallowed and opened his mouth to speak, but Hermione never heard what he was going to say.

Hermione's eyes snapped open and the dream ended. She was in her hotel room in Washington D.C. where she was vacationing with her parents after the horrific ending of her sixth year at Hogwarts. The glowing green alarm clock on the wooden night stand read 2:37 a.m. Hermione exhaled forcefully and turned her pillow over to the cooler side before settling back down beneath the blankets.

It had been a month since she had left school and she was still having the same dream. She had started having them less than a week after she left Hogwarts.

At first she had dismissed them. After all, people had strange dreams all the time and it was almost never that they actually meant anything. But still, after nearly four full weeks of having the same dream every night, she had to start to wonder.

Hermione didn't understand it, then again, she wasn't sure she even wanted to understand it.

Severus Snape, innocent of betraying the Order and killing Dumbledore in cold blood?

What was she thinking?

Severus Snape and the word 'innocent' shouldn't even be in the same sentence.

Perhaps if she reminded herself enough that it was impossible for Severus Snape to be a man of morals after Harry witnessed him remorselessly murder Dumbledore in the Astronomy Tower, she would finally put an end to these strange dreams she was having.

Severus Snape is a sociopath and is just as evil as his master Voldemort, she told herself firmly.

Hermione closed her eyes and forced all thoughts of Severus Snape from her mind. But like every night before, she couldn't manage to free her mind of the arrogant and enigmatic man.

Fighting back the urge to groan out loud in sheer frustration, Hermione rolled onto her back and stared at the room's ceiling.

If these dreams kept happening for much longer, Hermione feared she would go crazy, even if only from lack of sleep alone. As she waited to feel drowsy enough to fall asleep once more, she could only hope that the dreams would stop soon.

If they didn't, she wasn't sure what she would do.

A/N: And that's the end of the prologue. I hope you all enjoyed it. I definitely enjoyed writing it. Please don't be a silent reader, you're comments mean a lot to me, even if it's just a short "I liked it" or "I didn't like it" kind of thing. Many thanks to all those who do decide to review, as all your opinions are much appreciated. I'll try to post the next chapter within the next week.