He had watched as the thin wood snapped across her knee with a violence he had not known she possessed. She viciously threw the broken pieces of her wand at the tall blond man standing before her. The man laughed as the pieces hit him in the chest and fell harmlessly to the ground.

"I'm done. I'm fucking done. Take it. Take it all."

A crowd had gathered in front of the ministry to watch Hermione Granger confront Lucius Malfoy, the minister of magic. Severus stood at the edge of the crowd watching the conflict with an intense interest. He had been her teacher for seven years and had never seen this girl give up at anything.

She reached up to the clasp of her robes and released it, causing the heavy black material to fall into a pool at her feet, revealing the muggle t-shirt and jeans she wore beneath.

"You win. You fucking win."

With that, she turned her back to Lucius and walked away.

But there was that moment, that one moment, right after she had turned away from the minister but right before she had gotten swallowed by the crowd that he had caught her eye. He had not seen the resignation he had expected to find there. In fact, quite the opposite. He knew this girl, he had taught her, studied her intensely. The look in her deep brown eyes was one of shear determination. This girl had a plan.

The shear force of purpose behind her gaze sent a shiver down his spine. Her words had admitted defeat and everyone had taken them at their face value. There were stories written in the Daily Prophet, whispered tales and jokes at parties for months afterwards as people recounted her words and her actions as she had admitted defeat. Her eyes, however, her eyes had told him a different story. Severus was sure of her two lies: Lucius most certainly had not won and Miss Granger was certainly not done.

He had waited, waited for her to return, to take the entire wizarding world by storm with the brilliance of her plan.

She had not come.

Ten years had passed and she had still not returned. Either her plan had failed or it was a much more long-term one than he had ever imagined.

He spent the ten years in misery. It had all started a little more than ten years ago when the Dark Lord had conquered the entire wizarding world. He had instituted Lucius Malfoy as Minister of Magic and Severus as the Headmaster of Hogwarts while keeping Bellatrix Lestrange by his side to lead the Death Eaters. Muggle-borns were given a month to hand over their wands and leave the wizarding world for good. Any that failed to comply would be exterminated.

He had been loyal to the Order, of course, but they had been defeated. Harry Potter was dead. For his first five years as headmaster, Severus had remained in his post as spy and kept detailed records of Voldemort's activities. The Order had never come to collect them. It was staring at the stack of five years worth of spying records that he realized he had been abandoned by the Order. He was not a spy anymore as he had no one to be spying for. He threw the parchment in the fire. It was of no use to anyone, all it would do now was get him killed. He was amazed at how easily he became the person he had always pretended to be.

Severus had simply made the best out of the hand he had been dealt. Since Voldemort was in charge now, he gave up his role as spy and accepted his position of power in the world he had fought so hard to defeat. Severus had at first been mildly pleased at his promotion. He had always hated children and hated teaching. He thought he would be better suited to the position of headmaster than the position of professor. If nothing else, without classes to worry about he would have more time for his own experimentations. He was dreadfully wrong. If anything, he had less time. Between dealing with the idiotic children, the insane parents, and the incompetent teachers, he was left barely any time to himself.

Severus despised anyone who came to him with their stupid problems. He had no patience to listen to them and no compassion to help them. Worst of all, the Dark Lord himself carefully reviewed the curriculum, making sure that no one from this new generation would grow up to be more powerful than he. As much as Severus hated to admit to not being skilled at something, he was willing to admit to himself that he made an abysmal headmaster.

Then there was her. Not a night had gone by that she didn't enter his dreams. Her eyes, it was always her eyes. Every night was brought back to that look in her eyes that day ten years ago. He would wake with a start, sweaty and cold. It was torture. He had become a part of this horrible, evil world that they had both fought against. He had lost ideology in favor of resigned compliance. What would she think of him now? Every day, as he got out of bed, he held the small hope that today would be the day that she showed up to turn the wizarding world on its head. Every night when he went to bed he gave a disappointed sigh that she had not. As much as he hated to admit it to himself, he was waiting for this annoying, insufferable girl to come rescue him. Somehow he had staked his entire life on her.

Ten years passed. She never came.