Greetings. This story was originally begun for the grangersnape100 lj community and was therefore written as a series of 100 word snippets. I've decided to keep this format as I continue. I hope everyone will enjoy. R&R, please! - Lm. Samiko
And Ye Shall Find
by: Ladymage Samiko
He huddled in the corner, wrapped in layers of invisibility spells, and waited. He hadn't been able to help it. For one thing, he was too weak to walk, let alone Apparate. For another... Well, he was honestly curious. Who would come for him? Would anyone? Who was left who would remember him, let alone expend energy to retrieve his corpse?
No one, apparently.
He leaned against the wall, trying to ignore the smells of blood and death. It wasn't so surprising, really. And silence was a welcome alternative to students circling his body and cheering.
Long habit awakened him at the soft sound of footsteps. The creaking of floorboards. For the first time, it occurred to him to doubt who had won. Albus had been a master strategist, but... He gripped his wand (not that he could use it right now) and waited.
She entered the room with more caution than he thought characteristic. And she was a mess— bloodstained, curse-scorched, torn clothing... not to mention her infernal cat draped across her shoulders like a furry boa. Her face appeared years older.
Her eyes widened. And then... tears... and... Was that hope on her face?
Hermione's eyes searched the room, flicking quickly here, there. No sign of his body. Had someone else...? She'd come as soon as she could get away, but... Still, maybe, just maybe... He was— is?— an intelligent man. Maybe...
It was a wrench to sheathe her wand, to remove Crookshanks from her shoulders; both were security blankets of a sort. But if it were possible...
"Crooks," she said quietly, "find him, please." One couldn't order a cat, of course, but he was her familiar; she could ask. With a lazy stretch, Crookshanks began his investigation, miaowing his dislike of their environs.
His eyes followed the cat; he dared move nothing else. Gods only knew what that beast was capable of. He should've expected Granger (assuming her survival). Gryffindor's champion of lost causes.
Still... someone had remembered.
That somehow made it a little easier to disappear.
What else could he do?
That question became infinitely more important as twenty pounds of cat/kneazle dove into his lap and began purring. Not to mention umpteen plus pounds of Granger throwing her arms around him and bursting into tears.
He blinked at the pair of them. What the hell was he supposed to do now?
Hermione sniffled into an invisible waistcoat before truly realizing what she was doing. 'Sorry, sir," she mumbled, backing off slightly. She left her fingers where they were, feeling the rough wool— to reassure herself or to keep him from simply piking off, she didn't know. "But..." she continued softly. "I found you, you see. You're alive. I didn't lose you."
She felt his sigh, little more than silent stir of wind. "Yes." An emotionless confirmation.
She hadn't thought she could hurt any more. She hated being wrong. "You didn't want to be found, did you?"
She hated being right.