Drowning and Dancing
Disclaimer: None of this belongs to me and I am not making any $$$ off of it. This world belongs to the talented JKR, I am just playing with it.
Note: This story is AU to HBP mostly due to the fact that this plot line has been sitting in my notebook since before the book came out. Also, I happen to like the Snape/Hermione aspect and that doesn't really work without him being a good guy
Drowning and Dancing
The final battle was over and Hermione was drowning in her sorrow. Ron had been killed protecting her and Harry during their final assault on Voldemort. Hermione had designed the spell Harry used as well as channeled more of her power to him so he could overcome Snakeface. Harry had overcharged all his magical receptors when throwing the final spell. Although it destroyed Voldie forever Harry collapsed into a magical coma, completely drained of his magic his body could no longer function. The healers said he may never wake up and if he did he would most likely be a squib.
The worst part for Hermione was that she was all alone. Her parents had been killed by Death Eaters in her 6th year and the Weasley family was mourning Ron's death and had not even offered her a place to stay. She had been living with Harry and Ron in a cottage near Godric's Hollow that Harry owned and it was destroyed in the final battle. She had been able to salvage a few things from the rubble, mostly photographs of her parents as well as her and Harry's old school trunks, as both were spelled fire-proof and spell resistant.
Hermione had been named executor of Harry's estate in the event that something happened to him but she refused to live on one of the Potter properties alone. The wizarding community was praising her as their heroine since Harry was still sleeping. She couldn't go anyplace magical without being mobbed by reporters and people wanting to meet her. She had rented a small one bedroom flat in muggle London to get away from all the attention. She used Harry's invisibility cloak to get around Diagon Alley in peace. Every day her sorrow and depression worsened. Her loneliness was suffocating yet when she was around people they never saw her, they only saw some sort of larger than life heroine.
That was when she found her release, she found a muggle dance club a block from her apartment. Every night she would put on clothes that would have made her mother scream at her over. She would then charm and transfigure herself into "Mia" before going to the club to drink, but more importantly just to dance. When she danced the whole world seemed to fade away and all that was left was the rhythm of the music and the hum of the bodies around her. Some nights she danced alone, other nights with anyone who asked her, it didn't matter as long as the danced.
For months all it seemed like she did was visit Harry in the morning, go over her and & Harry's mail and pressing matters and then she would go to the club and dance. She was drowning in her despair and loneliness and no one noticed or seemed to care. Anyone who had known her had basically abandoned her and she didn't have the heart to try and make new friends. The only people she spoke to regularly were: Harry's main healer at St. Mungo's, Dobby and Winky since they were Harry's house elves and were taking care of her while he slept, Griphook the goblin at Gringotts that managed their accounts, and 3 people from the dance club, the head bouncer, the head bartender and one of the waitresses.
The three only knew her as Mia James, which was what her muggle ID said. She and Harry had taken precautions by securing muggle identities and bank accounts; it was their safety net in case they had needed to run after the battle. They had posed as brother and sister, Mia and Evan James, in fact after her parents died she and Harry did an adoption ritual to bond them as brother and sister legally in the Wizarding world. That was how she was able to be put in charge of his estate, she was his family. She knew that Ron had felt left out when they did the ritual but Harry had reminded him that the only way it worked was if the person had no remaining immediate family. Ron had 5 brothers, parents and a sister where Harry and Hermione had no-one and if one of them died the Ministry could seize their assets.
Ron and Hermione were never close after they attempted dating in the beginning of 6th year. They had broken up right after Christmas when Hermione found him half-naked in a broom closet with Lavender Brown while she was on prefect patrol. She also found out after they broke up that not only had Ron been sleeping with Lavender but he had also shagged Pavarti Patil, Susan Bones and Lisa Turpin. The truth had come out during a huge fight when Ron said it was because she would not 'put-out' and then he told the entire school that she was an Ice Queen that would die a virgin married to her books.
Harry had done his best to mend the damage that had been done to their friendship but it was never the same. They still hung out as a trio but Hermione and Ron never hung out alone and sometimes threatened to hex each other. Ginny and Hermione had started to be friends but when Ron cheated and Harry refused Ginny's advances she turned away from all of them.
Ginny was now engaged to Draco Malfoy, which in Hermione's opinion just proved that she was after Harry's money and position. She was even more sure of the fact when she audited Harry's accounts and saw payments to the Weasley vault every time Harry was invited to stay before he came of age. When the Weasley's (Molly and Arthur) never even tried to contact her after the battle she knew they had never really cared for Harry. The only people to write her at all after the battle were Neville and Luna who wrote to tell her they were going away for a while and if they ever got back to England they would contact her. Minerva McGonagall had written her to tell her how sorry she was to hear that Harry was in such bad shape and that if she ever wanted to come back and visit Hogwarts that she was always welcome. That was it, after 7 years of schooling the only people who wanted to see her only wanted her newfound fame or Harry's money.
She laughed at the headline of the Daily Prophet one morning, it said 'Heroine Disappears' and went on to say that the heroine of the last battle Hermione Granger had not been seen in public for months and they speculated on many reasons, the most ludicrous in her mind was the one claiming she was pregnant with Harry's love child. The whole thing was ridiculous and caused her to hide away even more and only ever venture out in her Mia persona.
She loved Mia's long black hair with green streaks and her dazzling green eyes to match Harry's. They had found that by having him wear contacts and put green spikes in his hair, with proper fitting clothes and make-up covering his scar no one noticed or recognized him. Her look was changed to match his since she hated her dull brown frizz and had always loved his eye color. They had even tested how well their fake identities worked by wandering around Diagon Alley for an entire afternoon. They had even talked with Fred and George at their shop and neither one recognized them. Her hair was actually transfigured while her eyes were a strong glamour charm.
That night she decided on wearing Harry's favorite outfit of hers. He was the one that had taken her shopping for her Mia wardrobe and made sure she looked sexy and nothing like the shy bookworm everyone took her for. His favorite outfit was black leather skin tight pants with deep green suede stitching and a black satin corset top with green ribbons and boning. He had insisted on killer high heal leather boots that she had to charm to be both comfortable and safe to walk in. She had even indulged him and let him buy her earrings that were silver daggers with emeralds embedded in them and a choker necklace that looked like a small silver snake was coiled around her neck. He had told her it was her Slytherin outfit and they had laughed as she added a silver snake armband to the pile to complete the look.
She lovingly put on the necklace while thinking of her brother and decided that she would try to meet someone interesting that night. She knew that Harry would be livid if he knew she had no one in her life and decided that she would at least attempt to make conversation with whoever asked her to dance. She smiled as she applied the glamour to her eyes and then put on her make-up. It was her 20th birthday and she was determined to have a good time, especially because she knew that was what Harry would want.
She was not the only one out to have a good time and escape their life that night. He saw her as she came in, hugging the bouncer who didn't charge her to get in like everyone else. She waved to a few others before making her way to the bar where the bartender called out a greeting and made her a drink without her even ordering. He realized she must be a regular, which made her a muggle and made her perfect. He wanted to escape his life for the night and that included anything magic. He watched as she made her way to the dance floor and seemed to come alive, her whole being went into dancing and he was ensnared. He watched her for a few dances, dancing with those who asked her or just by herself and decided to head over himself. There was something almost intoxicating about her, a feeling he had never allowed himself to feel before.
She was intrigued by the dark man that asked her to dance. She noticed that they were moving seamlessly and seemed to fit perfectly together. She smiled warmly up at him. "Hi, I'm Mia," she told him.
"Rus," he told her, his voice sending shivers down her spine. "You look enchanting," he told her as he pulled her closer to dance. They didn't speak air break from dancing for a few more songs. Mia finally pulled him with her to the bar so she could get a drink.
She had never enjoyed dancing with someone so much before and decided that he was the person she was going to give a chance to see what happened. She didn't care that he was most likely a muggle since that was the type of club she was in. The man was tall, over 6' and had black hair pulled back in a ponytail at his nape. His skin was pale but warm and he had intensity to him that she found drawing her in. She couldn't really place his age but he had dark brown eyes and an ordinary face. She thought it was interesting in how unremarkable his face was, she thought he was the type who should have distinguished features to go with his intensity.
"So Rus what are you doing here tonight? I've not seen you here before." She asked him as they sipped their drinks.
"I needed to get away for the night, for a few days actually. I decided that I needed a fun night and found this place when I asked a cabbie where to go." He told her truthfully. She had yet to ask any questions that required him to lie to her yet.
"I found this place about 6 months ago and I come here almost every night just to dance. It gives me release from my life for few hours." She told him honestly, there was no point in meeting someone if you tried to sugar coat things for them.
"So what do you do when you're not dancing?" He asked curious about what kind of life could need a nightly escape.
"I don't have a real job," she told him. "My brother is in a coma and being treated here in London. I moved here to be closer to him. Our parents are dead so I'm all he has; actually he's all I have really. I read most of the day when I'm not managing our family finances."
He understood her need for dancing now as she sat at the sickbed of her only relative every day and obviously had no one else in her life, she seemed as lonely as he was and it caused him to realize that if he wanted he could let her in and they could be there for each other. "I am sorry to hear about your brother and I can see why you need the escape. You have a much better reason for needing escape than I do. I just hate my job, have no way of getting out of my job as well as I have no friends and my colleagues distrust me. It seems we are two kindred spirits." He told her gently so she didn't think he was mocking her/
"How long are you in town for and when will I be able to see you again?" She asked, making the decision that she wanted to really get to know this Rus and see if they could heal each other.
"Just for the weekend, I have to return by Monday morning. I teach at a boarding school in the country," he told her hoping her wouldn't have to lie too much to her.
"So you're surrounded by idiot children constantly and all the rest of the staff dislike you and you them, I see why you're here then!" She laughed. "I hated boarding school when I was a student because the other kids were so immature and stupid. I can't imagine what it would be like to be stuck there still as an adult." She said with a shiver. "My old headmaster offered me a job at my school shortly after my brother's accident and couldn't seem to understand why I laughed at his offer."
Rus laughed as he imagined Mia turning down someone like Albus Dumbledore. "I wish I had the strength of both character and finance to tell my boss the same," he said with a wry smile. "He got me out of a whole heap of trouble when I was younger and I only know one way to repay him. I tell you that the minute he announces his retirement I'll be the first one out the door. Don't know what I'd do but I'd get as far away from them as possible!"
They headed back out to dance and Rus held her even tighter. "Will you at least be able to call me while you're gone?" She asked remembering she had a phone in her apartment.
"Unfortunately not, in fact it would even be difficult to write to you." He told her sadly wishing for a second that she was a witch so he could keep in touch by owl.
"Alright, then we'll just have to spend the day together tomorrow. I'll show you around London," she told him, not ready to let him go when they seemed so good together.
"You can stay with me for the entire rest of my trip my dear. I am loathe to return just knowing I'll be alone with only a good book and a glass of scotch once I get back." Feeling bold he placed a tender kiss to her cheek to see if she was receptive to any sort of physical relationship. In his usual appearance women never were interested so he had a glamour charm on his face to soften his features.
Mia looked at the time and realized it was time to leave anyway so she decided to risk trusting him. "Why don't we walk back to my place? You can stay and I'll make you breakfast before our tour." She asked feeling bold for once. She just hoped he wouldn't run screaming if he found out she was still a virgin.
Rus was stunned at the offer and quickly agreed, wondering if he could quickly apparate back to his room at the Leaky Caldron for a contraceptive potion without her noticing. "My hotel is only a block or two from here," he told her when she pointed out her flat. "Do you mind if I head over there quickly to get my things before coming in?" He asked.
"Sure, that will give me time to tidy up anyway," she told him with a smile before hurrying inside to make sure anything magical was hidden. She called Dobby and Winky and told them that she was entertaining a muggle so they couldn't be seen and they helped her freeze all of her photos and hide everything else in her trunk in her closet. She lived mostly as a muggle anyway but had a few things that were better off hidden.
Rus arrived shortly after she finished and she tried to hide her nerves. "You seem nervous, is something the matter?" He asked her kindly.
"Not really," she told him with a small smile. "I guess I should tell you that I have no experience with this sort of thing. I didn't want to not see you again, but I don't think I'm ready to have you in my bed." She told him blushing. "You see Rus, I'm still a virgin."
He was amazed that such a beautiful woman was still so pure. "Then we shall wait and see if the time comes in the future," he told her realizing he didn't care if he had to wait years as she was the first woman he ever was comfortable around. "I fear I shall also have to inform you that I am 39 years old. I hope that doesn't scare you." He wondered if his age would startle her.
Mia just smiled, "I've always been attracted to older men. The boys my age just irritate me, even my brother," she told him with a chuckle and could tell he was relieved. "I actually had a crush on 3 different of my professors in school," she told him with a laugh. "It must be my luck that you teach as well!"
Rus just smirked and leaned over to kiss her. Mia was in heaven; his kiss was firm and gentle as well as strong and loving. It was the best kiss she had ever received. The two spend the rest of the late evening either kissing or discussing mutual interests such as literature and science. They were both pleasantly surprised with the ease of conversation and how intelligent the other was. They fell asleep early the next morning in each other's arms still on top of the covers of her bed from where they were talking.
Hermione enjoyed showing him around London the next day as it had been years since she went to all the tourist locations with her parents. "Are you expected at the hospital today?" He asked her not wanting to keep her from her brother.
"Not really, sometimes I go on the weekend but I hate the crowd and try to avoid it. Besides he would be glad I'm out having a good time." She told him.
"You never told me his name," Rus realized that he didn't know her last name either and he hadn't given her his last name either.
"Oh, Evan, his name is Evan James and I am Mia James," she told him with a smile wondering what he would think of her real name.
"Rus Prince," he told her as he always used his mother's maiden name when out and about. They enjoyed a late lunch in a little bistro not far from the Leaky Caldron and then headed back to her flat for some downtime from the hustle and bustle that is London.
"So Professor Prince, what subject do you teach or am I forced to guess?" She asked playfully.
"You may guess," he told her with a smile, if he just nodded to one of her suggestions it would not be a flat out lie.
"I would say that you are either a literature professor or a chemistry professor," she smiled as he nodded at the latter. "This proves we were meant to be," she laughed. "I had the largest crush on my Chemistry professor in school, he was so intriguing and I found him unconventionally handsome even if the rest of the students feared and disliked him. Besides its one of my favorite subjects." She told him with a quick smile before kissing him senseless. Rus was glad she was so open about her past crush as it made him believe that eventually she could care for the real him.
"Are you sure there is no way to keep in contact while you're away?" She asked him the last day he was there. "Perhaps there is a PO box somewhere not too far from there that you could get to every once in a while." As he thought about it he realized that he could have the letters sent to the same drop box muggle parents used to send letters to their kids. He quickly wrote the PO box down and was glad he would be able to stay in touch. He even reminded himself to go get a muggle stationary set before he went back.
"Thank you for such a great weekend," he told her with a kiss. "I promise I will sneak away as often as I can to see you again. Otherwise perhaps we will meet up over the holidays." Mia kissed him soundly again before waving as he hailed a cab. She was glad she finally let someone into her life. She hurried to St. Mungo's to tell Harry all about her new friend or as she figured he was really her new boyfriend!
Rus and Mia wrote to each other about once a week and were getting to know each other's personality quirks quite well. They both found it difficult to be honest with each other without mentioning magic as each firmly believed the other was a muggle. Back at the school the other staff members were beginning to notice the amount of letters their reclusive colleague was receiving.
"Severus, I need you to chaperone over Christmas," Albus told him assuming as always that the lonely man had nothing better to do.
"I cannot Albus; I have plans over the holiday. In fact I will be gone for the majority of the break," he told his employer with a smirk knowing he had just shocked the entire staff.
"Is there a potions conference?" Minerva asked as all were wondering just what was going on with their colleague.
"No I am going to be staying with a friend and we are to enjoy the holiday together. We are going to spend a long weekend skiing and maybe see a few performances in London." He greatly enjoyed the gob smacked looks on their faces at the thought that he had a personal life. The rumors circulated through the staff and the only conclusion could be that he had a girlfriend and a girlfriend they all believe was a muggle!
"He's coming to stay for the holiday's Harry!" Hermione told him happily after she read him Rus' last letter. "I just can't figure out what to get him for Christmas. I've never felt this way for someone before and I'm afraid I'll mess it up somehow or he'll find out I'm a witch and run screaming. I'd love to bring him here to meet you but I'm not sure he's ready to be told yet. I think I'll have to wait until I'm sure I love him and he loves me before I spring the magical world on him. I just hate keeping this part of my life a secret from him." She always told Harry everything that was going on in her life. The healers told her there was no evidence that he could hear or understand her but she didn't care.
She was just getting ready to leave Albus Dumbledore walked into the room. She was surprised to see him as he hadn't spoken to her since she refused to move Harry to Hogwarts for his care. Albus had wanted control of Harry's estate as well and had not been happy when he realized that she had a legitimate claim. "Miss Granger," Albus greeted her in his most grandfatherly way, "I need to speak with you concerning the upcoming anniversary of the defeat of Voldemort. The Ministry has declared the day a holiday and we are having a ceremony and victory party at the castle. I will need you to attend." He said with eyes twinkling like he was offering her something she would actually want.
"No thank you. I have no intention of going somewhere to celebrate the day my two best friends were taken from me." She told him.
"The public expects to see you there," Albus told her as if that would make a difference. "Shall I reserve just one seat for you or will you be brining a guest?" He asked ignoring the fact that she refused him.
"You can put me down for 100 seats as far as I care but I will not be attending." She pointed out the door to him and waited for him to leave.
"Now Miss Granger I understand you are upset about poor Harry. But I insist you put in an appearance at the celebration," he told her, no longer amused and dropped the grandfatherly act.
"You cam insist all you like but as if I am no longer a student at Hogwarts you have no authority over my decisions. I will not be attending this or any other function designed to make people feel better by forgetting that our victory had dire costs. Now please leave." She told him.
Albus was livid that the chit thought she could talk to him that way. "Now see here Miss Granger, this is a public hospital and you have no authority here. I will visit this room whenever I wish and you have no say in the matter," he told her with a glare.
"You are mistaken again Headmaster. This is a private hospital with only one wing dedicated to the public. The rest of the facility is privately funded by both patient bills and wealthy donators. As we are in a private room and I am the sole person in charge of the Potter estate and Harry's care I am well within my right to have you removed and banned from visiting Harry again." She told him with a victorious smirk. "Now leave before I have to call security." She demanded. She could not believe the arrogance of the man before her. He had once even tried to take credit for Harry's defeat of Voldemort and now he was demanding things of her. She realized she was going to have to write another letter to the editors of the local newspapers before Dumbledore tried to discredit her in print again.
The next day she was bombarded with owls from Order members demanding she apologize to the headmaster, attend the ceremony like a good girl and stop refusing access to Harry. She thoroughly enjoyed writing the damming letter to the press complete with copies of the letters sent to her and copies of old bank statements of Harry's. She was not going to let the old man dictate her life any longer. She exposed the Order's embezzlement of Harry's money as well as their inaction throughout the years as they waiter for a child to save them. She even told of the ideas that she and Harry had presented to the Order over the years to remove Voldie that were all shot down for various bogus reasons, the underlying reason being that one of the Order may actually have had to fight and get hurt during the plan. They were all willing to sacrifice children but even Albus Dumbledore was too chicken to fight death eaters without Harry to protect him.
She had gotten a nasty note from both Ginny and Molly so she also included how the Weasley family had to be paid to be nice to Harry and how they demanded more every year until Harry came of age and had sole control over his finances. She was going to show the public that their heroes were all frauds and she was going to enjoy every minute of their downfall. She even thought she saw a ghost of a smile on Harry's face when she told him. She may not be a true marauder but she was going to try her best for Harry's sake!
Hermione had spent the afternoon shopping trying to find a good gift for Rus. She had found a leather coat for him that she knew he would like. It was long and black but it wasn't very personal or romantic. She hat got him a refill for his stationary kit as well as a photo of the two of them on the day exploring London. She had given her address to a street photographer but never expected to see a photo. She was glad that the young photography student had sent her photo and had ordered an 8x10 for her bedside table and a 5x7 for Rus that she framed in a dark mahogany frame. She hoped he would like his gifts and wished she had come up with something better for him.
Severus was having an even more difficult time finding a gift for Mia as he was stuck at Hogwarts and only had owl order catalogues to choose from. He had ordered her a collection of Jane Austin books in "heirloom quality" for her personal library but that was all her could think of other than jewelry and he wasn't sure if jewelry was appropriate yet at this stage of their relationship. He was finally lucky to find something he thought she might like. It was a bracelet, silver that almost matched the snake choker she had, the head of the snake had sapphires for eyes instead of emeralds but sapphire was her birthstone. He decided it was perfect, well as perfect as he could get, he just hoped she wouldn't notice the auto resizing charm or the fact that it would never tarnish or show fingerprints. They were harmless enough enchantments he figured she could shrug them off.
He couldn't wait to see her again and this time he planned on making her his. He had made sure to brew an extra large dose of the anti-pregnancy potion for himself just incase he was able to get her comfortable enough with that aspect of their relationship. It had only been a few months of letters but he knew he had already fallen head over heals for her and wanted to take their relationship to the next level. He knew not to express his deep feelings for her yet so as not to scare her away. There was something telling him that she was the one and he wasn't about to let her go without a fight.
Hermione paced restlessly as she waited for Rus to arrive. She knew that if this visit was anything like his last that it was going to be amazing. She hoped that they would be able to move forward with their physical relationship as well and had even brewed herself a large batch of contraceptive potion, she would just tell Rus that she was on the pill. She knew that this was going to be the worst Christmas of her life so far as she was without family but by having Rus there it would ease the pain some.
Severus smiled as he apparated away from the school. He had just watched all the kids enter the train, applied his glamour and hurried to Mia's door. The smile she sent him when she saw him warmed his heart and he wasted no time before gathering her in his arms and kissing her. "Wow," she said breathless. "I missed you too!" She was so glad to see him.
The two spent the evening snuggle on the couch and catching up on the things they had not mentioned in their letters. They grew even closer over the next few days and Hermione felt horrible every time she left him alone to go visit Harry. She wanted to tell him the truth but was afraid. When she got back from the hospital Christmas Eve Rus was waiting for her with a cup of tea.
"Mia something seems to be bothering you, more so when you go see your brother. Is it something I can help you with?" He asked wondering about all the secrecy regarding her brother.
"Rust there are some things about my life that I haven't told you about and I hate that I'm keeping it from you but I'm just scared I'll loose you when you find out. I'm beginning to care a great deal for you even if it has only been a short time since we met. I just don't know what to do and its tearing me up inside." She finally confessed.
"Mia there are things I have hidden from you as well and I share your fears that you will leave me when you find out. What I do know is that I care deeply for you and that I will not leave you. If you are not ready to tell me your secret yet I can wait. I just ask that you be patient with me as well," he told her wondering what kind of things she was keeping from him and if he should just come out and tell her the truth. He was sure whatever she was hiding couldn't possibly be a bigger secret than his!
"So tell me Rus, have you ever been attracted to any of your students before?" She asked, desperate to change the subject.
Rus laughed and pulled her onto his lap. "I have only ever been partially attracted to one of my students. It was a few years ago and she was absolutely brilliant. Her mind fascinated me and I used to think that if we had been the same age we would have been perfect for each other." He told her with a shake of the head. "The problem was that when she was younger I had been irritated by her know-it-all behavior and was a right arse to her as well as her friends. I couldn't stand her friends up until they graduated and they were so close that her friendship with them made her unattractive to me."
Mia smiled as it sounded like something would do. "So what happened to the girl?"
Rus laughed at her need to know silly details of his life. "No idea really, she just sort of dropped out of any circle I have contact with. I was able to tolerate her best friend the last time I saw them but he was gravely injured and I haven't seen her since." He told her thinking momentarily on the messy haired man in a hospital bed at St. Mungo's. He owed his life to him and hoped one day he would have the chance to repay that dept.
Mia became quiet as she thought of Harry and how much life he was missing and how much she missed her best friend and brother. "I told my brother that I would be late tomorrow so we can sleep in and then open presents before I stop in and see him," Mia told Rus with a grin. "I think he may have even attempted to wink at me when I told him one of the things I want to give you." Rus raised an eyebrow at her comment as he knew her brother was in a coma and not capable of winking. "Well I was hoping that it would get some sort of reaction out of him. It's not everyday your sister tells you she's going to sleep with her boyfriend."
It took a second for Rus to process what she said before he dove on top of her of the sofa and crushed his lips to hers. They spent the rest of the night learning each others bodies and Rus showed her what making love meant. They were both happy and content for the first time in a long time for both of them.
They opened their gifts after a late breakfast and were lying contentedly on the couch when a buzzing sound was heard and she told Rus she'd be right back. She went into the bedroom to see what Dobby or Winky needed as it was the alarm they came up with if they needed her when Rus was there. She shut the bedroom door and put up a silencing charm before Dobby popped in dancing from foot to foot in his excitement. "Master Harry Potter sir did move!" He exclaimed. "Healer says yous come right away!" Dobby told her and popped away.
Hermione squealed and grabbed her clothes before making sure her wand was in its holster and rushed from her room. "Rus! Rus! He's moving, moving can you believe it. I have to hurry over there! Oh this is the best Christmas present!" She squealed kissing him before running out the door. It took him a second to process what she was saying and by the time he did she was out the door. He hurried into the hall too tell her to wait and that he'd go with her but she was gone. He went to the window to wait for her to come out the front door but she never did, it made him wonder if maybe she wasn't as muggle as he thought. He decided to do some snooping to see if his hunch could pay off. He had searched everywhere and found nothing. The only thing of remote interest was a photo of a very young girl at the beach with what he assumed was her parents but it was hardly remarkable except there was no brother in the photo. He realized he would just have to wait until she got back to ask her some questions. He was nervous that her brother would not approve of their relationship, but he hoped his fear was unfounded.
Hermione raced into the hospital room, startling the healers gathered around Harry's bed. "How is he? I came as quick as I heard. Is he waking?" She asked them.
"Who are you miss? This is a private room." One of the healers said making Mia curse and remember to drop her glamour and hair transfiguration.
"Sorry, I forgot my reversals in my excitement," she told them sheepishly and they relaxed when they recognized Hermione.
"He had moved his hands to grip the sheets and his head is moving back and forth like he's having a bad dream but he hasn't woken or spoken." The healer in charge told her and she moved to his side.
"Harry wake up sleepyhead you're sleeping through Christmas!" She told him running her hand through his messy locks. "Come on open your eyes so we can open presents," she urged him noticing he was calming down. "Harry James Potter wake up this instant!" She demanded. "I want to see my brother awake for Christmas. If you wake up I'll let you meet my lover." She taunted him and was shocked to see his eyes fly open; the healers gasped.
"So you did it then," Harry tried to say but his throat was raw from disuse. One of the healers stepped forward to start running medical scans while another started pouring potions into his mouth. The entire time Harry just stared at Hermione who was crying with happiness because he was finally awake and had apparently heard what she had told him. When the healers stepped back to speak with each other she rushed forward to crush him in a hug. "Happy Christmas sister," he told her, whispering to ease back into speech.
"Oh Harry I missed you so much! You have no idea how glad I am that you're alright." She said with a grin.
"We don't know if he's alright yet Miss; we will have to run extensive tests to check his magic," one of the healers told her.
"I don't care about his magic!" Hermione screeched. "The only thing that matters is that he is alive, the rest is just a bonus."
Harry smiled at her fondly. "So when can I go home?" He asked the healer, earning a snort from Hermione at his audacity.
"When we have determined that it is safe for you to do so," the healer said failing to hide a small grin at his antics. "Any other wizard would have died doing what you did," the healer told him seriously. "You should have been getting worse over the past year, not better and we actually never expected you to wake up. So relax while we determine how you cheated death this time Mr. Potter and I'll let you go as soon as I can."
Hermione laughed at Harry's pout. "I heard you Mione," Harry told her. "At first it was like you were far away and the more I focused on your voice the closer it got until lately it's like you were right next to me. When you told me about Rus and what you were going to give him for Christmas I decided I had to meet the man who stole my sister's heart. Besides I wasn't about to let old snake face ruin another one of my holidays!"
3 ½ hours later all the healers could say was that Harry was in perfect health and they had no idea what healed him. They agreed to let him go as long as he reported for medical screens twice a week for the next month to make sure there were no lingering side effects. They would begin to test his magic levels then.
"We'll have to stay at my flat tonight. We can have Dobby and Winky start getting one of your properties ready but for now its cramped quarters." She told him with a grin as she donned her Mia look and helped 'Evan' get ready to go.
"Let's go sister dear, I want to meet this man of yours!" Harry said and she apparated them back to her building and took a deep breath as she opened the door. She hoped the only two people she cared about would get along.
Rus looked up startled from his reading when Mia opened the door. "Rus I would like you to meet my brother. Evan this is the man I've been telling you all about." She said grinning as the two stared at each other in shock and then in dawning horror as both turned to look at her like she had just told them that Christmas was canceled. Rus just let his head fall into his hands, pulling hard on his hair to try and process what he was seeing. The young man Mia had just introduced as her brother was without a doubt Harry Potter. They had hid his scar and he was without the hideous glasses but there was no mistaking the eyes though and he wondered why Mia's eyes never gave him doubts.
Harry stared in shock at the man sitting on Mia's couch. What most people didn't know was that he could see auras and there was a distinct aura around Rus, one he had looked at for years in potions class. His sister's lover was none other than Severus Snape. He sat down heavily in the armchair, "Shit Mia, you never do things the easy way!" He told her as the two men stared at each other again, both trying to figure out what to do.
"Do you two know each other?" Mia asked tentatively, she knew something big had just happened but she didn't know what.
Harry just laughed at the idiocy of the situation. "Welcome back to the land of the living Mr. Potter. I am glad to see you made a full recovery." Rus told him still trying to process what it meant that Potter was Mia's brother.
Upon hearing Harry's real name come out of her supposedly muggle lover's mouth she quickly sat down on the sofa next to Rus. "Well Professor I must say I never expected to see you here today. Also I am not fond of the glamour, it makes you look weird." Harry told Snape, watching Hermione franticly trying to process the information.
Severus turned to Mia, "I never wanted to lie to you," he told her before dropping the glamour so she could see the real him. Her eyes widened as her former professor's face came into focus and she began to laugh uncontrollably. The absurdity of the situation hit her and she couldn't help but laugh. Harry called for Dobby to bring him a calming potion.
Severus was still trying to get his brain to tell him who his lover really was as he watched the elf carefully administer the dose of potion to her. "Care to let the rest of us in on the joke Love?" Severus drawled with his eyebrow raised. The motion sent chills down her spine as she realized she had fallen in love with Severus Snape, the smartest man she had ever met and the subject of her desire since 7th year at Hogwarts.
She smiled at him, "I never meant to lie to you either," she told him softly pressing a soft kiss to his cheek before dropping the glamour on her eyes and ending the spell on her hair. Somewhere Severus' brain knew it was her once he saw Potter but now having her sitting next to him made reality come zeroing in. Before either could say anything they noticed that Harry was laughing at them.
When they turned to face him he tried to explain through his laughter. "You both went to the muggle world to escape your lives in the magical and ended up falling for the non-muggle in the club!" He laughed, "To make it worse you're both in disguise and using alternate names. Damn but you two make this hard!"
Severus looked over at Hermione and smiled to himself. "So you had a crush on me in school then?" He smirked at her before pulling her in for a searing kiss that made her knees weak, her toes curl and her heart soar. "You are the most brilliant student I ever had and now I know for sure we are perfect for each other. I've fallen in love with you Hermione Granger or Mia Evans, either way I'm yours as long as you'll have me." He told her tenderly and was amazed by the love he saw shining back out of her eyes.
"Then you will be mine forever Severus," she told him happily before kissing him breathless.
"As touching as all this is," Harry interrupted sarcastically, "I was promised presents if I woke up and I intend to have them now."
The two lovebirds laughed and Hermione rushed into her bedroom to get the gifts she had purchased for Harry in the hopes he would wake up. Dobby and Winky popped in with gifts for him as well and the small family enjoyed their day together completely oblivious to the chaos Harry's recovery had caused in the Wizarding world.
Albus was twinkling merrily thinking he had his pawn back, he had been livid with the article that Hermione had printed about him and the Order and was thinking of how he could burry her once he had Harry back under control. The Ministry was scrambling around trying to determine how to handle that the one person with enough public support to destroy them had woken from a coma the healers had said would kill him. Everyone seemed to be excited about the savior's recovery and all wanted to get a piece of the action.
Hermione tossed the morning paper down in annoyance at the article on Harry's recovery and knew they would have to go into hiding or they would be overrun by fans and people wanting a piece of their fame.
Severus snorted at the letter that had been delivered to him that morning before handing it to Hermione. Albus had told him it was imperative they find where Harry disappeared off to before the Ministry did. He went on to say that Severus was to brew a tracking potion for Harry and bring him back to Hogwarts using whatever means necessary. He further incriminated himself by stating that as soon as Harry entered the school building that the charms that he (Albus) had used to control Harry during school would reactivate. Albus even explained how they worded and promised Severus the DADA job and a pay increase if he succeeded as well as payments from the Potter vaults.
Severus had known Harry was powerful but when he read Albus' letter he was downright scary he was radiating so much power in his anger. "We will just have Dobby move us to Potter Castle," Hermione told him trying to calm him. "Its unplotable and you hold the Fidelius. Then we can send copies of this letter to every newspaper and ministry office in the Wizarding world. He won't get away with this Harry, he's already under investigation about your inheritance and how he managed it before you became of age."
Harry had calmed down some and was able to actually think about the situation logically. "Severus will either have to come with us or risk the wrath of Albus," Harry pointed out. "He'll know the letter was given to us by him."
Hermione looked frightened at the thought of what Albus might do to him and it warmed his heart. "I hate teaching, always have. I've just been stuck there out of a debt to Albus. This gives me the perfect reason to leave. If you don't mind me staying with you until I find a new job I should be able to swing it." He was actually excited about being able to leave Hogwarts; it was his own personal Hell and how he finally had a chance for escape!
"Alright then let's do this. It's about time I had that meddlesome old coot off my back. This should also help me get the Ministry off my back since they will refuse to take the threat seriously and the other ministries will see they are incompetent and demand something be done. We should be sure to send a copy to every member of the International Confederation of Warlocks so they know what their leader is capable of." Harry commented.
Severus just smirked as he listened to the two plot the demise of the most influential wizard of the century. He put his thoughts in every so often but just sat back enjoying the company of the two for once. He was quite surprised with how pleasant it was to be around Potter and he was glad everything was going to workout between Hermione and him.
They were quickly moved into Potter Castle with Dobby and Winky having gone to Hogwarts to pack everything of Severus' before they released the letter to the press. Severus was impressed with the elves work as they had missed nothing, including all his ingredients, potions equipment and even some books he had lent to the Hogwarts library or other staff members.
Harry had set each of them up with a main service drop that would screen all incoming owls for hexes or jinxes, weed out fan and junk mail and then direct the rest to Dobby and Winky to prescreen and only deliver mail that was from someone they knew or was important. All monetary requests or press/PR requests were directed to a firm Harry hired to handle all that. They would send weekly summaries to him for approval of funding or if any of the interview requests sounded interesting. Somehow Harry was even able to get the Irish Ministry to issue each of them official papers as Evan and Mia James as well as Rus Prince so their alter egos could travel freely without fear of someone spotting Harry Potter.
The fallout from the letter was huge. All of Albus' support fell out from under him and it was not helped by his statement that he did it all for the greater food and that without his manipulations Harry would ever have defeated Voldemort. It was more amusing when Harry released the details of the prophesy so everyone knew it was his destiny and not some scheme of Albus'. It didn't take long for him to loose his position on the ICW and they began an in-depth review of the British Ministry and the Wizengamot to determine the depth of the corruption. Harry did a little happy jig the day Fudge was removed from office for corruption and incompetence.
In Severus' opinion everything was finally good in his life. With the reformation of the Ministry under competent leadership he was able to get a job doing potions research for a cure for Lycanthropy. Harry took his rightful place on the Wizengamot as the representative of both House Potter and House Black. Hermione spent her days doing research and charitable works and managing the Potter and Black family finances.
Albus Dumbledore became persona-non-grata in the Wizarding world and after attendance at Hogwarts dropped 20 in one year the Board of Governors removed him and changes were made for the better at the school; like paying the teachers a good salary, no ghost pr incompetent professors and a wider variety of course offerings such as healing, politics and magical culture.
It took Severus 2 years to get up the courage to ask Hermione to marry him and they were married for 2 years before Hermione gave birth to their son Salazar Severus Snape. Harry met a lovely girl in the same dance club Mia and Rus met in, in fact while they all went out for the pairs 1st anniversary, and the two fell hopelessly in love. 3 years later Harry Potter married Rose Marie Decker a beautiful muggle woman who didn't care abut his fame or his money and loved the idea of magic. The two had 5 children and were very happy. Severus and Hermione and Harry and Rose both had a set of twins on the same day and the 4 grew up inseparable. Sarah and Selene Snape were best friends with James and Sirius Potter, the first and the last boys of the Potter family. The 4 were the bane of the older Potter girls' lives (Lily, Orchid and Jasmine). The two families were very happy and lived long productive lives.