A/N: Well, I lied... and that doesn't mean there are more chapters because there are not. I lied about this being a chapter. It's more of a chapter/epilogue hybrid thing. Last chapter just had such an "end-of-story" feel to it with so many questions that I had to have some sort of "yeah-this-is-finished-but-it's-still-going-to-have-a-sequel" air about it. Hopefully, this accomplishes it. Thanks to my loverly beta from Granger Enchanted. She pretty much owns n00bs like Chuck Norris.
And since this is the last chapter of The Library, I'm going to make this author's note a tad longer. Guys, I'm just a teenager who's got boys, friends, (boyfriends), band, clubs, leadership, work, and whatever else going on in her life. If it wasn't for all your wonderful and encouraging reviews, I think I may have given up hope. No, I'm not peddling for reviews here, but I am giving credit where credit is due. I write for myself, but you guys give me motivation to pump out quality work faster. At least, I think it's quality stuff. I really have enjoyed writing this story more than all the other fictions I've written combined, and the irony in it all is that Remus is my favorite character. (le sigh) Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy this chapter and stick around for the sequel. More info about that is on the bottom.
So, with this story done after exactly one year... Enjoy
Severus Snape did not use words like "nice," but he did have to admit that it was nice to wake up at 11:45 a.m. on a crisp, clear, and ironically sunny Friday morning. For the first time in months, he had slept dreamlessly, the plaguing echo of deeds done wrong and loved ones scorned, finally giving him the peace he so desperately wanted and needed. Severus had slept without tossing and turning, his subconscious mind finally admitting that he had started to amend all the things he had done wrong and letting him rest without a constant, nagging guilt reiterating itself over and over again in his mind. Finally, his body rested, for the first time feeling something similar to being carefree and happy.
Though his mind was clear, that did not stop his head from screaming out in pain. He muscles ached from hours of trekking through various terrains into, during, and out of battles, his head spinning from a mixture of flashing lights emitted from wands and the screams, usually shrill shrieks of pain, coming from everywhere. He was content, but that didn't get rid of the pain.
Severus gathered his wits and reached to his bedside drawer. There, he found a pepperup potion, which he quickly downed. Feeling some relief, he realized he had not eaten since noon yesterday. He decided skipping a meal to get dressed was not a good idea. So, unkempt and disheveled, he rose out of the warm comforts of his bed and covered the pants and shirt he slept in, too tired to change after the raid, with a robe that was neither clean nor ironed.
At the moment, he didn't care that he didn't look pristine, in his usual ironed, button-up shirt, neatly folded pants, and an expensive, charmed robe. What mattered was satisfying himself and his stomach with some food, fish and chips preferably. Everything else was trivial right now and didn't matter.
Stifling a yawn, Severus walked down the corridor and out of the almost empty common room. Not even a step out the entrance, Severus was confronted by a very satisfied Hudson who smiled at him before taking his robe sleeve and pulling him through a solid looking stone wall.
"How may I be of assistance to you today, Hudson?" Severus asked in his usual displeased voice.
"Let's go to Hogsmeade for lunch, hero." The blue-eyed boy said in a song-like manner that bothered Severus more than he would let on.
Severus stopped in his tracks and raised an eyebrow. "Hero?"
"You saved Hermione. That's why you look so bloody smug walking down the corridor this morning," Hudson said with a satisfied smirk as he continued down the passage. Before Snape could say anything more, Bade added, "But don't worry; I'm probably the only one who knows… besides Dumbledore, but that man knows everything."
Severus' mind snapped into focus at the mention of Dumbledore's name. He had looked directly at him as he cast the spell. There was no doubt about it. He knew he'd have to talk to him today. That was the only thing he could do now that Hermione was gone.
"Three Broomsticks?" Hudson questioned happily, his eyes shining brighter than a super nova, as he snapped Severus out of thought.
Severus said nothing, but nodded, yawning again as they emerged through a trapdoor, that was concealed as a swamp.
The two men walked in a comfortable silence, until they approached their destination. With a swift walk, they entered the establishment, not expecting it to be roaring with laughter and cheer. Severus looked through the throng of wizards and witches to find the source. It was Lupin, Potter, Black, and Evans. He was not surprised to see Pettigrew missing. The rat was probably still recuperating from the one elderly wizard he managed to stun.
It also surprised Severus that through the darkness of what transpired last night, through the mourning of all the dead, including one of Hogwarts' own teachers, the light side still managed to celebrate the survivors and the small victory they achieved. The humanity and optimism of it all really struck him. And that surprised him most of all.
Hudson moved to a table that was directly in the view of the Marauders, leaving Severus with no choice but to follow. They sat down, deciding to wait until the unusually long line went down, before they ordered.
Hudson opened his mouth to start a conversation, just as Potter's voice rang out, "Shouldn't you be off whining about your loss, Snivvy?" James bellowed, using the cruel nickname he hadn't used since fifth year.
Severus almost groaned, knowing that his happiness couldn't last for too long, if Potter and friends had anything to do with it. He looked over to see Evans swat Potter on the head and Black glaring at him.
He had no will to respond to Potter's taunts today, and luckily enough, he didn't have to. Simultaneously, both Lupin and Hudson retorted with "Knock it off, James" and "Shove your ego up your arse, Potter," respectively. Severus kept a neutral face, while his defense spoke.
Potter looked at Lupin indignantly, as Evans patted his shoulder in sympathy while maintaining a smirk of her own that betrayed her true feelings. Potter noticed this and grabbed her hand. He pulled her with a quick jerk, causing her to fall into his lap. Potter quickly straightened her out and kept his arms tightly around her. She lightly protested for a few seconds before she heaved a sigh in defeat and relaxed in his grasp, letting her red hair fall over his shoulder, as she rested her head against his chest.
Severus felt jealousy in the pit of his stomach, but knew he had done the right thing. The Existo Remeo was ancient magic he'd discovered, through his mum's side of the family. When his grandmother died, she left all of her magical possessions to Severus. She never approved of her daughter marrying a muggle and said that she hoped Severus would help to purify the line by marrying a witch. Severus had been at her home, searcing through spell books, when he found a book of family magic. The ancient spells and charms he'd found were neither light nor dark and were completely undetectable. He quickly memorized the book. He'd taken his newfound knowledge of creating spells and made a plethora of his own.
He'd come into his first year knowing more dark and light magic than some graduates (contrary to popular belief, though, he was not a Death Eater then). He was practically pushed into the Deatheaters' arms, but that wasn't an excuse for him. He'd clearly made his own decision… just as he had last night, when he used that spell on her.
The spell's purpose was as straight forward as its translation. It was designed to make a person return home, where they should exist. Severus had had his suspicions that Hermione was of a different place and maybe even of a different time, and this confirmed it.
The idea that time travel could be so simple, astonished him and he found it hard to believe that it was possible. However, it fit with what Lupin said and what he'd overheard himself. He remembered one time that she'd shown him a picture of her two best friends, and one of them looked suspiciously like Potter. The only real difference was eye color. Potter's were the muddiest shade of brown that Severus had ever seen.
"Bade, Severus, why don't you join us?" Lily asked, snapping Severus out of his thoughts once again.
It was then that Snape realized that Hudson and Black had returned to their respective tables with food and drink. Snape glared at Hudson for not informing him of this fact. Hudson simply shrugged and smirked.
"I'll have to cordially decline the offer, Evans," Severus said, bowing his head.
He smirked when he saw Potter and Black sigh in relief. Evans and Lupin also sighed, but it was in disappointment for them. Clearly, Evans had been filled in by Lupin as to what happened. Severus, considered for a second thanking Evans for her invitation as a sort of peace offering, but stopped when he looked into her eyes. They were the same color as Hermione's friend's, and they also had the same fleck in them.
He quickly finished the simple meal and grabbed the butterbeer off the table top, "Come on; we don't belong here."
The trip back to Hogwarts was spent in light conversation talking about their futures. Hudson had surprisingly received an internship position at St. Mungo's. he was to become a Healer, by the time the four year program ended. Severus still didn't know what he wanted to do, but he knew he wanted it to involve the Dark Arts and Potions, possibly.
The subject changed quickly to family plans, and Severus automatically thought of Hermione. He'd evaded the subject long enough now, and he needed to do what he needed to do.
"I've something I've got to do," Severus said.
Hudson said nothing. He nodded, the twinkle in his eye, looking far too much like Dumbledore's for his liking. With a light smile on his face, Bade said, "You're doing what she'd want you to. Way to go, mate."
Then, he walked off, leaving Severus with nothing but his own thoughts and a long journey ahead of him.
He shook his head, shuddering from the cold that darkened his heart once again. He had lost her, even though the depths of his heart told him he'd see her again. He remembered the look in her eyes; it was plagued with a sad desperation, but somewhere past that, he could clearly see a glimmer of hope for the future. It told him that he would see Hermione Granger again. He trusted his judgment, but more than that, he trusted her. He thought back even further and remembered the promise he made to himself. He told himself that he would not analyze her. So, he wasn't going to analyze anything that happened in the past few hours. It wasn't up to him to figure out how she had left or why. He would simply trust the look she gave him, but that didn't erase that she was gone… or that he was alone.
But his life wouldn't end simply because of that. That glimmer in her eyes, the one she always possessed around him, he finally deciphered. It was hope and belief. She had believed in him and his decisions. She would trust whatever he did whether the world was against him or not. He knew he couldn't abuse that trust. He knew that while his life would not be an easy one, especially without her, he still had to fight to do what was just. He wanted her to be proud of the man he had become, when she came back into his life.
This was the only way he knew how.
His fist tightened, his nails digging into the palm of his hand until it almost bled. He knocked on the door where he had been standing for the past hour or so. Hearing a voice beckon him in, he almost glided through the door. His eyes were not covered by his long hair. His head was up, his chin high in defiance like he had seen her do so many times over the past few months. Gods… he was only with her a few months. He shook the thought out of his head. He was here on a mission. He was a man with a plan, a man who would make things right, a man who would make her proud.
"I concede that you were correct in saying, that I am grossly like you, Sir. It took me far too long to admit that I do, indeed, need help. I am a proud man, but I do know when I am in over my head. I need help, Sir, to find a way to amend all that I have done. I am a guilty man with a guilty conscience and a vengeance to prove to myself that I am not the monster I've created. If there is one person who can help me, I know it is you. So, I've come for assistance."
Ignoring the twinkle in Dumbledore's eye, Severus sat down, knowing that this was what he needed to do for himself and for her.
A/N: Once again, thanks to each and every single reviewer. Okay, while I know how I'm going to write the sequel (it's going to stay in Severus' point of view) and how to begin it, I do not quite have a specific plot in mind. So, who needs a plot? Just write a PWP! ...except not. I want the sequel to be very... modern. I want it to be very present time. The issue is that I would nowhere near get this story done before HPDH, and if Snape turns out to be a baddie, or worse... dead... I'm not sure how that would work out for me. So, as of now, I'm leaving the sequel off until after DH because I very much like to write in canon. If Snape happens to be killed off in DH... well... screw that because I love him too much. The same goes for Remus. Then, I'll write in AU, but that's worst case scenario. Plus, I need a little end of school break. You guys can handle a three or four month hiatus, right?
But then, I don't know. I'm really indecisive and worried about who Jo is going to kill off. I've already started working on the sequel, and it picks up right where this one leaves off... for Hermione. It'll still be in Severus' point of view, like I said, but it'll start off with Hermione back in her own time. We'll see if I start before DH comes out, but I definitely am going to take at least a one or two month break. Let me know what you guys think.
Feel free to keep in touch through email or AIM and definitely click the little author alert thing. The sequel can be standalone, but I'll recap The Library in the first chapter.
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