Hermione said goodnight to the boys before heading off to the library to have some alone time. It was still really early but she was planning on staying there for hours to read, cry, and clear her head. What happened to Buckbeak was inexcusable and she could still hardly believe that Dumbledore let it happen. She entered the library and was relieved to know that no one else was around. Only Filch could be seen patrolling the isles with his cat. Probably trying to make sure no one was hiding in the restricted area. She grabbed a book of poetry and headed to her favorite corner of the library. She stopped dead in her tracks when she found that her usual seat was being occupied by Snape. She stared at him for several seconds, mainly at the book he was reading. It was also a book of Muggle poetry.
"Ms. Granger, are you going to make a habit out of staring at me. It's really quite annoying."
"Oh…sorry professor," she grumbled. She took a seat on the loveseat next to him and opened her own book. She flipped through the book trying to find a decent poem to read. When she finally found one that satisfied her, she began reading but the words soon started running together. She couldn't really concentrate enough to focus on the words on the page. Images of Hagrid and how sad he looked about the hippogriff made her tear up. She started to sniffle and sob annoying the raven haired professor next to her.
"God Ms. Granger, what are you carrying on about now?" he griped. She looked over at him before sobbing some more. Snape just rolled his eyes before going back to his reading. He tried his best to ignore the crying girl but after a while, it was really starting to work his nerves. Finally he slammed his book shut and sighed. "Ms. Granger, whatever it is crying isn't going to solve the issue. Grow some backbone and take it like a man." Hermione looked up at him, her eyes now puffy and red from crying and just frowned.
"I…I can't do anything now because he's already dead," she managed between hiccups.
"Oh. That thing," he said flatly. "Oh well, he was more of a nuisance than anything. Plus I'm sure Mr. Malfoy will be glad to have helped rid the world of it. I for one, never really liked any animals of any kind so a hippogrif's death means absolutely nothing to me." At this, Hermione just cried even harder – and louder for that matter – annoying Snape even more. Damn it. What do I have to do to get this child to shut up? It was just a stupid animal. Snape knew he'd probably hate himself in the morning for it but he had no choice. He winced as his arm reluctantly reached over to clasp her shoulder and he pulled her close. She turned and buried her head under his arm crying softly. Snape winced at the sight of the distraught girl in his arms yet a part of him may have (for a split second) wanted to end her sorrow.
"Ms…Granger, you…you're going to have to grow up some time or another. You're too old to be crying and I have to say crying doesn't become you at all. It makes you look weak and pathetic, not to mention it does nothing for your uh…charm," Snape added softly. He was having a hard time choosing the right words to say and even after his small pep talk, she was still in a state of array crying even harder now. Damn it. Why'd I have to get stuck with the crying know it all? Snape had reached his limit and his patience was about up. He gently pushed the crying girl away and frowned.
"Look Ms. Granger, time waits for nobody and Mr. Hippogriff was certainly not an exception. When your time is up, it's up and…"
"Oh my God…Oh…my…God…" She quickly wiped her eyes and a small laugh escaped her lips. She looked over at Snape, an enlightened look now daunting upon her face. She quickly threw her arms around him for a hug before dashing towards the exit. "You're a genius professor!" Was all she said before running out the door leaving a very confused but relieved potion's master behind.
Lucius sat behind his desk and grumbled over all of the paper work. The Ministry had been printing in the paper about how they were making progress in finding Sirius Black but according to the official paper work, they were no more close to finding Black than Voldemort if he were alive. Damn it all. Normally Lucius wouldn't care less abut Black. After all, he was fairly certain that Black was innocent. He knew that Peter Pettigrew was the one who betrayed the Potters. He also knew that Black had been trying to stop Peter but probably ended up taking the fall for his Muggle killing spree. However, since Voldemort was more than likely really dead and Black probably insane, he was going to do whatever it took to make sure Hogwarts was safe. That meant making sure Black was taken down for good and that Albus had the proper security for the school.
Lucius leaned back in his chair closing his eyes. Just a few days ago he'd received word that Black had somehow broken into the school. He quickly hurried off to confront the Minister of Magic and afterwards he dropped into Hogwarts to pay Albus a visit. Of course, Albus assured him all was well and quickly dismissed him off of the school grounds. Lucius was highly pissed off but decided to let it go for now. Before he doubled back to the Ministry, he dropped in to see how Molly was taking the news. She wasn't home when he got there and so he had to go on about his business. He arrived back at the Ministry and ran right into the man he hated just about as much as Albus.
"Arthur, how nice it is to see you," he lied.
"Yeah right Lucius. What the hell are you doing here? Off to bribe some of the Ministry workers to do your bidding?"
"No. Actually you're just the person I wanted to see. Tell me Arthur, how's Molly taking the news about Black? Shouldn't you be home comforting her in her time of need?"
"Actually no because she has no idea and she's never going to know."
"Oh?" he asked, eyebrows raised defiantly.
"That's right. I don't feel the need to worry her with such trivial news. She worries too much as it is."
"Ahh yes. No doubt about that Arthur but uh…to say that Black is a trivial issue is a little risky. Those are your children for Heaven's sake. Do you not care about their well being?"
"All of my kids are big now Lucius and so is your Draco. I'm sure they'd rather not worry their mother with this."
"Hn, yes well I think maybe she ought to know. Perhaps I'll pay her a visit and…"
"Look here Lucius," Arthur said softly, his voice dangerously low. "You'll say nothing about this to Molly. You of all people should know how much this would hurt her. I don't like you and you don't like me but for the sake of Molly let it go. If things get worse then I'll tell her myself. After all, she is MY wife." Arthur made damn sure to stress the 'my' and Lucius couldn't help but feel a stab of pure hate for his ex rival. However, he knew he could never do anything to intentionally hurt Molly anymore which is why he left it at that. He left the Ministry shortly after and came straight back home to his study where's been since his return. He'd left the room only to go to bed each night with his wife. Of course, he wasn't really sure why he even bothered to do so. It wasn't like they were going to make love. In fact, they had not made love since the incident with Molly in the bookstore. Molly… My sweet, precious Ariana…why? Why are things this way? Lucius was jarred out of his thoughts by the changing colors of the fire from his fireplace. Greens, reds, blues… Who is this? Lucius stood up from behind his desk and started towards the fire. He loomed over the fire and spoke softly.
"Who's there? No one knows to use this fireplace unless you knew me years ago so you better have a damn good reason for this."
"Lucius. It's me…Dolohov," he hissed softly. Lucius' face drained of all color and he barely managed to speak.
"Yes. Can we meet? I have some news that you may find interesting."
"Uh…just a second." Lucius pulled out his wand and mumbled a spell. That way no one can listen and hear us from outside the door. "Alright Dolohov. You may enter." There was a loud spark and suddenly his old friend appeared.
"Lucius. It's been ages."
"Yes…it has. Now tell me what's going on."
Hermione and Harry sat on the edge of Ron's hospital bed staring at the floor. They were trying to take in what they managed to get away with.
"Wow. So you guys went back in time and changed things? All in a matter of five seconds?"
"Yeah well five seconds to you was almost four hours for us," Harry answered. "Still though. Wish you could have come. I would have loved to see your reaction to seeing yourself," Harry grinned.
"Yes. That would have been quite the show!"
"Oh yeah. I forgot about Snape. After I attacked him, Sirius had him floating in air out of the tree and Snape hit his head. I laughed so hard that I almost cried."
"That's not funny Harry. You forget he saved my life earlier tonight. Yours too Ronald," she said sternly. Not to mention that I could have sworn he was really scared for our lives…the look on his face…the way he covered us with his body…maybe he does have a heart somewhere underneath all that black…
"Oh alright 'Mione. But still…you gotta admit that he looked funny looking floating in mid air." Before she could answer, the door of the hospital wing opened and in walked Dumbledore.
"Ah yes. Glad you all are still here. I just thought you'd like to know that Sirius and the hippogriff managed to escape together. I have no idea how this happened but one can't help but feel slightly amused by it." Ron was about to say something but Hermione cut him off.
"Who'd have thunk it professor?" she joked. He winked his eye before exiting the room leaving the three friends to talk alone. Hermione looked over at Harry and saw that he looked kind of sad.
"Harry? Is everything alright?" She placed a comforting arm around him pulling him close.
"Well…I guess but…I can't help but feel bad for Sirius. After all that and Wormtail still got away…"
"We did all we could Harry. There's only so much we could have done. Besides, if it wasn't for Snape we never would have been able to save Sirius' life. At least we were able to do that. I think Sirius' life is more important that a cowardly rat." He looked over at her and smiled.
"You're right 'Mione. Thanks. I needed that. At least my Godfather is still alive."
"Right. Now that we've saved the day and all of that, I do believe we have finals to study for."
Snape paced around in his dungeons furiously. The events of the night were sort of hazy but he just KNEW Potter had something to do with Sirius escaping. Sure he'd heard Peter's confession but that didn't change the fact that he hated Sirius Black. Good or not he would have loved to have seen him put back in Azkaban where the mangy mutt belonged. Snape felt a sharp pain on his right wrist and he immediately stopped pacing. The place on his wrist had not ached in years and yet it was aching now. Not too badly but enough to make his skin crawl. Snape slowly lifted up his sleeve and glanced down at his wrist. No dark mark… Relief overcame Snape as he slumped down into one of the nearby chairs. Peter got away tonight but judging by his desperate actions, he knows something that Albus does not. Could it be that he's in contact with The Dark Lord?
"Impossible," Snape muttered. He's dead. I'm just being paranoid.
"Severus. There you are. I've been looking all over for you." Snape jumped up out of the chair and bowed his head slightly.
"Albus. What can I do for you?"
"Well first things first. I want to thank you for taking care of Potter and his friends. If it wasn't for you they'd very well be hurt or dead even."
"Don't thank me. I was simply doing my civic duty," he said flatly.
"Oh come now Severus. I know you claim to hate Potter and his friends but deep down I think you really care."
"You think too much."
"Very well," he sighed. "My other reason for hunting you down was to talk to you about Peter."
"What about him?"
"According to Potter he confessed to being the one who handed Lily over to Voldemort. Is this true?" Snape remained silent for the longest of times. He really wasn't in the mood to speak of such a matter and just the thought of Lily made him want to retch. Not out of disgust but out of pain. His pain. Her death. The one he couldn't prevent. Though he knew it wasn't his fault, he would always blame himself for everything that happened. "Severus?"
"Yes. He did confess."
"So…Sirius is innocent?"
"It would appear that he is."
"I see. Thank you Severus. I'm sorry to make you…"
"It's quite alright. Now unless there's anything else, I'm off to bed now." He swept past the headmaster without giving him a chance to respond.
When Dolohov finally left, Lucius laid down on the small bed in his study to think. There were so many things going through his head that he was certain to have a pretty restless night. Of all the things to come up… What do I do now? Is it possible that he's going to return? Dolohov made it quite clear that the Dark Lord would rise again. The problem lied in finding the ones who were still truly loyal to the Dark Lord. Lucius had long changed his ways…sort of. He would be lying if he said that he'd completely dismissed his old ways. He'd wanted to long ago before certain things happened but afterwards he realized that everything worth living for had been taken away from him by another. There were only three things worth living for in his eyes but two of those things were not his to own…not completely anyway.
Lucius rolled over to his side frowning into the darkness. He knew that he was going to have to make a decision soon because the school year was almost over and if everything Dolohov said was true, then the Dark Lord would be returning sooner rather than later. This decision would have been easy for Lucius a long time ago but now that he had a family to look after, he had to think of what was best for them, even if it meant helping Voldemort again. He's not back yet but I have to plan ahead. I have to make sure my family will be protected. I have to…
"Molly…" he whispered. I know I shouldn't be thinking of her but I want to protect her. Lucius' head started to ache some more and it wasn't long before he made himself fall asleep, dreaming of things that were only making things that much worse for him.
AN: Bet you all thought I was NEVER going to update again huh? Yeah. I thought about it until I received a really nice message from someone urging me to continue it. I contacted her on here (she first read this on adult fan fiction) and I promised her that I would finish it. I have had the ending worked out for a long time I just haven't been inspired to finish this. Not to mention that writing anime fanfiction is my new passion. -sigh- But here it is. An update. I'm sorry things are moving so slow but I have to make it believable you know. Questions? Concerns? Fell free to ask. I'm not following the next books at all so don't be surprised. I have finals in two weeks and then Christmas break. I should be able to update more often during my breaks. Thanks for being patient and I hope this chapter was to your liking.---Nefatiri