For those who already read it, I advise to read it again. Thanks to my dear and patient beta Snape'sWitch the story is finally smooth.
For those who haven't read it yet, I sincerely hope you enjoy.
I would like to make it clear that none of the characters are mine, because if they were, Snape would be the main character!
Warning: This will probably be a OOC Severus in the future, but I promise to make sense! I also warn you about: Sex, bad language and violence.
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1. Caught you!
She was bored. Even more than bored, she was feeling alone. She didn't think she had the right to request Harry's and Ron's attention right now. As a matter of fact, she didn't want to be near them with Harry in a permanently depressed state and Ron in a disgusted mood. She was suffering too, but it felt as if she had to be the strong one. She'd even tried to cheer them up, to no avail, so she decided to give them more time.
Dumbledore's murder had occurred two months ago. The Order was in disarray. Voldemort was even stronger. There was no sign of Snape or Draco. Everyone was confused and tired and felt defeated. There was a war that they were supposed to win, but nobody seemed to care.
Remus failed miserably in his attempt to convince the werewolves to join them. He was almost killed going back to his pack, and Tonks was constantly at his side healing his wounds.
Professor McGonagall was a mess herself. Hermione knew that her professor had lost the love of her life.
The Weasleys were devastated, both by the death of their friend and the attack on their son, Bill, by Fenrir Greyback. In spite of this, they tried to keep things moving, and the most important Order members were now at Grimmauld Place discussing what they should do. Truth be told, there was no longer a spy to supply information. They were working in the dark, whilst trying to find anything hidden in the Daily Prophet's untrustworthy reporting. The members sat in silence for a while; they were doing that a lot lately. No one was brave enough to say anything.
Unfortunately, there was another common situation faced them at every meeting: a very distressed Harry Potter, who shouted, "Snape must die! I'm going after him, and I'll kill him with my own hands! Bastard!"
Harry's face was flushed; he looked like a maniac. His hair was more messed than usual, and his eyes had no sparkle. Sometimes Hermione wondered if Harry was losing it.
However, nothing sounded more unreal than what she heard Professor McGonagall say after that, "I agree. We must find Snape and make him pay. First though, we must take any valuable information that he may have; then we kill him."
What was more shocking to Hermione was not who said it. She was almost expecting this kind of statement from Professor McGonagall. Hermione knew what it must have cost her professor to come to the Order meetings. What took her by surprise was the cold and commanding tone that was used. She said it in such a simple and matter-of-fact way that it made the young woman shiver.
There was a shocked silence for a moment. The members' expressions went from sorrow to fear, but neither McGonagall nor Harry backed down.
In fact, Harry continued, "Fair enough. How can we do this?"
His tone was now all business, and in that second Hermione knew she had to interfere.
"Harry! Professor! Just pay attention to what you're saying! We have a war to fight. Besides," she paused to gather some courage, "Professor Dumbledore would prefer us to focus on the war."
"Miss Granger, if you didn't notice, I said that we would get any information Snape has, and that would be done before Harry take things in his hands." Professor McGonagall looked at her favorite pupil with a stern expression, "and I intend to join him."
Hermione just stared at her favorite professor with her mouth agape; she'd suddenly lost the ability to talk. To her horror, most of the Order members agreed with this insanity. She could hear the Weasley twins babbling about testing their new products on Snape and Draco, and Tonks saying that she could test the Unforgivable curses. It would appear the Order was back, however, Hermione knew it was for the wrong reasons.
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After an exhausting three-hour meeting, the Order decided to send Professor McGonagall, Harry, Ron, and Hermione to Hogwarts to check Snape's quarters, and go through Malfoy's belongings. After all, the two Death Eaters hadn't had enough time to take anything from the castle. So there Hermione was, walking through Snape's classroom, heading to his private chambers, with her friends and Professor McGonagall.
As Headmistress, Professor McGonagall was able to take the protective charms off the door and walked into the dark room. As soon as they entered many torches were lighted. Hermione was impressed with the decoration. It was a large sitting room with a fireplace in the central wall. There were some dark green and black poufs and a big black sofa with dark green cushions. The Slytherin crest hung on the wall above the fireplace; on the mantle were white marble miniatures of famous Rodin sculptures. On the other walls were copies of Monet paintings, which made a perfect contrast with the dark stone walls. But most impressive was the ceiling, enchanted (just like the Great Hall) to look like a night of shining stars with a full moon illuminating the big black sofa in the center of the sitting room. He must use it to read by, Hermione wondered to herself.
They spent an hour searching for any clue, and found nothing. They even managed to enter his private library that resembled Hogwarts' library, only smaller and without any tables, but with poufs instead.
By now Harry was losing the little patience he still had. "That bastard was planning it! I know! We can't even find his pensieve!"
For the first time since this dreadful quest started, Hermione agreed silently. There was no clue, no single possibility, no parchment, no book, no concrete sign that would lead to Snape's personal life. Nothing.
Then it hit Hermione, "Where does he sleep? I see no bed, no wardrobe, nothing. We are missing something."
"Bloody hell! She's right! Where is his bedchamber? There is only one door, and that leads to the library!" questioned a hopeful Ron.
After they returned to the sitting room, Professor McGonagall scanned the room by raising her wand and using a non-verbal spell. The walls glowed, and then returned to normal. However, one wall with a single Monet painting hadn't stopped glowing. That was it! They approached the wall, and tried to break any protective charm, but nothing changed. The wall just continued to glow.
"Why don't we just use Bombarda?"
"Brilliant remark, Ron . . . brilliant," a dismayed Hermione answered sarcastically.
Unfortunately, Harry agreed with Ron, and used it . . . with no reaction.
Professor McGonagall twitched her lips and said to everyone's stunned faces, "You will never change will you, Severus? Finite Incantatem."
The wall stopped glowing and the Monet painting turned into a carved wooden door. A puzzled Hermione looked at her professor. . .
Her professor explained, "It was just a disillusioning charm. After I used a tracking charm and the wall glowed, the disillusioning charm became a protective charm. Taking it off made it clear that we meant no harm, so the door revealed itself."
Harry walked to the door, only to be stopped by Professor McGonagall.
"Don't do it, Potter. It will attack you. It sounds as if Severus put a bit of himself in this particular door. I would dare say that he used his own blood."
Hermione shivered to think that her former professor would use such dark magic that required his blood, but the door did appear to have his prickly temper.
Professor McGonagall than turned to the door, "Open! We need to get inside."
The door glowed again and they heard a silky feminine voice coming from it, "What's the password, my Lord?"
"At least we know that the son of a bitch has some balls!" Ron said, and even Hermione chuckled.
They didn't know the password; they tried everything, from 'Gryffindor sucks' to 'Granger mudblood,' 'Harry Potty' and 'Ron Weasel' to 'Slytherin Rules'. Nothing. They were tired, and decided to try it in the morning.
While leaving the room Professor McGonagall said quietly, 'I wish Albus were here.'
Immediately the door opened.
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Hermione gasped when she entered the room. His bedchamber was impressive, though simply furnished. The first thing she noticed was the Japanese style bed, low to the floor and covered with black silk sheets. There was a large carved wardrobe of dark wood and a golden harp. There was a door probably leading to a bedroom, and the walls were stones painted beige. There were lamps in each corner of the room that lighted as soon as they entered. Although the walls were beige and the lamps white, the room was enveloped in a blue glow because of the most impressive aquarium she'd ever seen! It was not just a big aquarium; it was a wall of glass under the lake. Hermione could even see the giant squid, and when she got closer to the wall, she could see the siren city farther off in the distance.
They started to look for evidence. They found the small door did not lead to a bedroom but to a small room with some antiques, and finally, his pensieve. The pensieve was empty, except for one single memory that Snape had left behind.
Of course, he did it on purpose! Hermione felt the veins on her neck tremble. She was so angry! He had premeditated the headmaster's murder! She couldn't find her voice, but Ron said perfectly what she was thinking,
"That murderer! He planned everything! I wouldn't be surprised if this memory was of that damn night!"
Harry told Hermione and Ron that the last time he'd had an occlumency lesson with Snape the pensieve was filled with memories. He definitely wouldn't have had enough time to empty it if he hadn't planned the murder carefully. Hermione still hoped that their professor was not a cold-blooded murderer, but she had to admit that this pensieve with only one memory left behind appeared to be proof of his treason.
They stood there, watching the pensieve for a length of time that didn't quite register to Hermione. No one said anything. She knew that each one of them was trying to decide what to do, although deep in her heart she knew the decision had already been made. They went to the pensieve to see what mock memory that the murderer had left for them.
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"What kind of sick joke is this?" Harry said, paler than the usual.
Unfortunately, it was not a memory. The pensieve was a portkey and sent them directly to the Headmaster's Office.
After the murder of Dumbledore, Harry was never able to even to walk in the corridor that lead to the door of the Headmaster's office. But he could afford that luxury, unlike Professor McGonagall, who had to work here and face the Headmaster's portrait everyday. She looked pale too, but Hermione knew that the sorrow in her eyes was more important to worry about than the shock of their destination.
Hermione looked around. Nothing had changed. At least nothing she would remember. The only new thing was the Headmaster's portrait. Of course, the portrait! She stepped forward and said,
"Professor Dumbledore? We need your help, are you there?"
It was truly uncomfortable to talk to the sleeping portrait of your leader, especially when you knew he was dead, but she had to try. Professor Dumbledore's portrait hadn't awoken since his murder, and there was little hope that it would soon. However, when Dumbledore opened his eyes and smiled at her, she knew she had done the right thing. Hermione then looked at her companions who were holding their breaths. She knew they had many things to say to the now awake Headmaster, but they had more important things to worry about at the moment.
"I'm sorry I can't offer you a sherbet lemon, my dear. They are quite delicious," the elderly man said with a kind expression. He then looked around the room, as if searching for someone. "Where is Severus?"
Hermione's heart sank. When she looked at Harry and McGonagall they seemed hurt, but Harry answered nonetheless,
"We don't know, Professor Dumbledore. We are looking for your murderer."
Dumbledore's eyes twinkled when he asked, "Did you find anything?"
Hermione interrupted, "Nothing, Headmaster! Only a portkey, which sent us here. Do you have any idea where Professor Snape might be?"
"No, my dear. I have no idea. But I do know why he left that portkey."
She was about to ask, when with a stumble, Tonks burst into the office. Professor McGonagall just stared at her, as Tonks began to explain herself.
"Wotcher!" She saw the Headmaster's portrait, which looked back at her with an amused expression.
"He's awake!" Tonks said, pointing to the portrait.
Dumbledore just chuckled.
Shaking her head from the shock, she said, "The Ministry has them!"
Harry looked confused and asked, "Has who?"
"Snape and Malfoy. They handed themselves in an hour ago. They're in Azkaban, right now!"
For some reason, Hermione did not like to hear that.
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Next chapter: The Vow
"I've made a mistake that could destroy our side, or bring us the victory, depending on how you intend to deal with it."