Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or anything related to the Harry Potter series. It is the sole possession of Ms. JK Rowling.
A/N- I wrote this one-shot as a sort of challenge on another website. The challenge question was this; 'Were Snape to live during DH, describe how he and Hermione would reunite.' This is what I came up with. Obviously, it is a SS/HG fic, but if you are against the pairing, you could turn it into merely a teacher comforting a frightened, lonely student. (c: Let me know what you think in a review.
Alone. So alone. Hermione Granger sat upon the battle worn steps of the Hogwarts castle. Harry and Ron had disappeared, she had searched, but hadn't seen hide nor hair of either of them in over six hours.
Where could they be? They should know that I would need someone after this. To talk, or even just to sit and 'be.'
The death in the air all around her was tangible.
The castle was silent, yet she could hear the screams and cries of those now past.
She buried her head in her hands, and covered her ears trying to block out the noisy silence.
Where were they? They hadn't been brought in with the dead. They had to be alive. They couldn't leave her alone like this. She needed them.
She raised her head and gazed around at the wreckage, there wasn't a living soul in sight. She didn't know how long she had been sitting there alone. She couldn't recall when she had last seen someone else, anyone else.
She hugged her knees to her chest and once again buried her head. Her shoulders sank and began to tremble.
Alone. So alone. Severus Snape sat in his study, massaging his forehead with dirt covered fingers. He closed his eyes only to snap them open again. The flashes of green and red from the curses that had lit the night sky, blinded him every time he tried to rest his battle fatigued eyes.
His colleagues, the students. So many of them dead. Most of them too young to have had to fight in a battle such as this.
The air in his study became too stifling for comfort. With a weary sigh, he heaved himself out of his old leather armchair. He needed some fresh air. Maybe it would help to clear his mind.
He wandered along a deserted corridor. It was eerily quiet, except for the sound of a lone person's stifled, frightened, lonely sobs.
He turned around to retrace his steps, not wanting to interrupt.
As he began to walk away, he slowly turned his head so he could look over his shoulder. Almost as a compulsion, he went merely to investigate.
He peeked around the corner and his breath caught in his throat as his heart sank.
'So young,' he thought. 'So young to have endured all that she has seen and lived through.'
He approached the young woman cautiously and bent to place a tentative hand on her shoulder.
Startled, she gasped as she looked up at the venerable man behind her. Her cheeks were stained with tears and her light chocolate eyes were sparkling, making them even more lovely than usual.
Severus sat down beside her and placed a protective arm around her.
"Oh, Professor," she cried as she buried her face in his strong chest and soaked his robes with her tears.
"It's going to be alright," he reassured. "And please, call me Severus."