Disclaimer: I own nothing, I just borrow.

This story is not happy. Don't like, don't read. I like reviews. :)

When Life Gives You Lemons, Don't Get Too Attached

I never thought that a man such as me, a cruel sadistic bastard, could fall in love. That intangible idea never even had a home in the abyss that was my mind, for it seemed so unfathomable.

Love, however, had in fact knocked on the door to my life in the most unexpected person. Who knew that a book-worm know-it-all Gryffindor would be my savior from an existence of solitude?

Yes, Miss Granger.

Hermione Granger.

She, with that insatiable thirst for knowledge, non-judgmental personality, and classic beauty, was able to crumble the walls I had spent a lifetime building around my heart.

She became my apprentice the year after graduating. I saw in her great potential. While working that year with her, we developed a friendship. Now, I see that perhaps it had been my only real, selfless friendship ever, excluding Albus.

As we grew closer, it turned into something more. She told me of her past, and all of her school-year adventures with The-Boy-Who-Insisted-On-Living and their incompetent red-headed companion. Hermione was the only person, aside from Albus, that I ever told about my past. I allowed her to see the memories of my disgusting childhood, my school years, the events that transpired which lead me to join the Dark Lord, and then the epiphany that lead me to become an Order spy.

We fell in love, despite the rumor that I am incapable of human emotions or feelings. Who would ever have thought that the one of the brightest students to ever grace the halls of Hogwarts would turn out to be his true love? A real story book romance.

But, as I said, I am a surly, vindictive pain in the arse potions master, and I guess life did not see fit to give me a chance at happiness. Here is why.

As I sat in the potions classroom, grading dismal essays and diminishing the ink of my grading quill, I looked up at the clock. 6:00. Hermione said she'd be home by five.

I brought my attention back to the essays, trying in vain to concentrate. Tonight was a big night. Hermione and I had made reservations at an elegant French restaurant, and I had left her under the pretense of just another dinner, nothing special. I mused over this as I slipped my hand into my pocket, feeling the small velvet box hibernating inside.

"Severus!" Someone had barged into my classroom, uninvited. Sneering, I looked up to be greeted by the worried face of Minerva. My sneer faded at her concerned expression, and confusion flashed in my eyes before I was once again hidden behind my mask of indifference.

"To what do I owe this visit?" I asked with mock kindness.

"S-Severus…" Minerva stuttered, a single tear escaping down her cheek. I stiffened.

"What happened?" I asked, unsure if I wanted the answer.

"It's Hermione… She went to pick a drunken Ron Weasley up from the Three Broom Sticks, seeing as he was unfit to transport himself…" Minerva trailed off, staring at the floor pensively.

"What happened, damn it!" I growled, standing from the desk, my heart sinking at every burdening word.

"They were cornered by death eaters, Severus. They were ill-prepared for the attack. Hermione was hit with the cruciatus…over and over again in a dark alley. Mr. Weasley left with but a scratch. She's in St. Mungo's…" Minerva was able to get in before I had disappeared down the hallway and out of Hogwarts, towards the apparition point.

With the familiar gust of wind, blurred surroundings, and slightly dismantling nausea, I found myself standing amidst a group of redheads; the whole Weasley gang, along with Potter and Dumbledore.

"Professor," Molly Weasley exclaimed, before bursting into tears. Not a reassuring sign, I tell you.

"Is she any better…?" Minerva asked, popping in just after Severus.

"Where is she?" I all but yelled, eager to comfort her.

Potter spoke brokenly, "S-she's not…good. She's had three s-seizures since arriving. She's not responding to any of the medical attention they are trying to give her. And her body won't keep the blood replenishing potions down…she's already lost so much."

"Where the fuck is she?!" I screamed.

"They won't let us see her, Severus… we're not family," Molly blubbered.

"Like HELL they won't," I yelled. I walked up to the first healer I saw, and slammed him against the wall, wand threateningly pointing at his throat. "Where is the room of Hermione Granger? Do not refuse me this information, if you value your extremities what so ever."

The healer looked up into my eyes and saw the honesty in their depths. He quickly pointed down the hall, and to the left. I stalked down the hallway, followed closely by the others.