Hermione stood inside the Hospital wing waiting for Harry. Jack, who has been sleeping in the Snape Chamber since Severus arrest willingly agreed to look after the younger children until Hermione was sure that Severus would return. Looking at the clock, Hermione noticed it was nearly two hours since the time that she was supposed to meet Harry. Worring her lip, Hermione, paced the room preying for the best outcome but expecting the worse. Poppy stood behind her desk twiddling her thumbs trying to look calm but failing miserably. Minerva; however, forgo any pretense and showed her worry in all force; she expressed her feeling through muttering about "old idiotic fools" and burst of tears. She continued on this path until a very frustraited Hermione bluntly told her to "Shut up already, we are all nervous!" After that, a pin drop could be heard in the scilence of the room.
However, not long after Hermione's outburst a green flame burst in the fireplace expelling dust and debree all over the room. Standing in the fireplace was Harry carring the battered body of Severus Snape. Hermione finally snapped and lunged herself onto the the men causing the group to fall to the ground. After recovering her wits the Mediwitch decided to finally take control over the situation by first stunning Hermione, and then casted a Levitation Charm on Severus sending him to bed so she could examine him. After a lot of muttering, and a multiple wand waving a paper began to print from the tip of Poppy's wand. After examining the results Poppy went to work on her patient. Three hour later, a very exhusted Mediwitch announced the Severus was still very ill but at least out of the danger zone. Taking a breath, Poppy turned to Hemrione and performed the counter course on her enabling her to come to her senses. With Harry's help, Hermione slowly made her way towards Severus before collapsing next to him on the bed. Deciding to give the couple some space, Harry, Poppy and Minerva left the room.
The next morning Severus woke with a heavy wieght upon him. Opening his eyes he noticed that it belonged to his wife. Not knowing how to respond to her presence, Severus closed his eyes and pretended to be still asleep. Hermione saw this and gently rubbed him on the chest hoping to get his attention. After a while, tired of being ignored, Hermione spoke to him "Severus, open your eyes. Please."
Severus slowly opened his eyes and looked down at his wife. The pain and sorrow that was there broke Hermione's heart. "I'm sorry," she whispered. "I shouldn't have jumped to conclusions when they came and told me what happened. I realized soon after that what they claimed you did made no sense at all. Will you forgive me?" She was crying now, soaking Severus's hospital robes.
Rubbing her gently on the back Severus whisperd "I will be honest with you, Hermione, I don't know if I can. Not now nor ever. I trusted you and as soon as you were unsure of something you threw my trust back in my face not caring about me at the least. How can I trust you now when you did that to me? I was there when you needed me but when I needed you, you left me as if I was not worth your trouble. You hurt me Hermione; you caused me more pain then anything I have go through in Azkaban. Tell me if it was the other way around what would you do?"
"I don't know what I'd do. I just know that I love you more then life itself. Just try. That is all I am asking. Just try to trust me again; try to love me again. I need you. And even if you don't love me again. Know this, even when I did doubt you I never stopped loving you."
"I will think about it." Severus replied closing his eyes so he would not have to see the pain in the eyes of the person he loves. That was the problem. Even after the way she betrayed him, after the way she hurt him, after the way she distroyed him, he still loved her. He knew that if he let his defenses down again there was a chance she'll hurt her again and he wasn't sure that he would be able to live through that sort of heart break again. Closing his eyes, Severus prayed to Merlin to make him sleep, to forget it all, to take the pain away. Soon after he was answered as he difted off into a dreamless sleep.
The next morning Severus woke with a grunt, only to find that he was being tackled alive by his children. Michael, the cause of Severus' grunt, was sitting in the middle of Severus' chest, telling Daddy all the things Mommy taught him while "Daddy was away." Looking towards Hermione, Severus gave her a look that showed his gratitude. He was worried how the children will act towards him once they found out what happened. The only child who showed reluctance to see him was Sophie. She stood by the door while the other children gathered around their adoptive father. Severus figured that Hermione was probably not able to keep the news from the oldest two children. Judging by how fast gossip spreads around Hogwarts, there would have been no possible way to prevent Jack and Sophie from finding out what happened. Yet, it still hurt to see the fear in the little girl's eyes; especially knowing that what she feared was himself.
Turning towards the girls Severus tried to bring her into a conversation. "Did Jack teach you any new moves in Chess?"
"No" was the sullen reply.
"That's not true," Jack retorted, "I taught her the new moves that you taught me before you left Dad." Minerva gave Severus a pityful look before she and Poppy dragged Harry into a conversation with Jack about the upcoming Quiddich Match .
Michael and Sarah went on about their excitement of having him back home and Jack added a list of potions and spells that he wanted his father to teach him.
Did you know Dad that all the boys in my year are jelous of me because of all the new spells you taught me before you went away. Rhys Hedlen says that it doesn't count since you arent my real father but I told him that you are my real father to me and that's what counts."
Severus could not hold back an all out smile at that comment. He never felt so proud of anyone in his life. Turning to Hermione he saw her beaming at him in pride. He was finally home. This is where he belonged. With his wife, his children, and his friends.