The characters etc don't belong to me. No money is being made.
Of course someone would sit just out there in the heavy thunderstorm. Of course he would be the only one seeing the person. Of course he would be the only one who had enough sense to get the dunderheaded student back in.
Of course the Impervius Spell worked perfectly. But the rain was coming down heavily, lightning and thunder striking at the same time. The storm was directly over Hogwarts and of course that dunderheaded student was sitting directly under a huge tree. Of course.
Of course it would start raining just as she had gone out. Of course there would be a storm directly over Hogwarts as she came to commemorate the fallen under the oak tree. Of course she wouldn't remember to cast a charm. Of course she was too deep in thought to realize that she was drenched. And of course she didn't realize that her soaked clothes made her shiver.
More? Of course there were more. Of course she didn't care about the rain, about the storm. One year. One year.
Severus rushed towards the figure huddled beneath the tree, soaking wet apparently and uncaring about the thunder roaring over it. He almost broke into a run when he noticed it was long hair. A girl. Why were they always so careless?
Her eyes had grown heavy and the trembling of her hands were of course due to the commemoration. Not the cold and wet. She leant against the tree and let its earthy scent, and the smell of the summer storm kept her down at earth. She thought.
He rushed closer and of course it was an idiotic, dunderheaded, moronic Gryffindor. Of course she wore her robes and of course they were heavy with rain. Of course her face was hidden by her wet, mousy hair. And yet, it was her, wasn't it? Of course it would be her. Silly girl.
There was sun and lightness and she felt herself carried away strong arms. Not Ron's. Definitely not Ronald's. She tried to open her eyes but of course they wouldn't even crack a bit. Too tired, too heavy. And her head fell against something solid but soft.
She was cold and her breathing was shallow, and he carefully brushed the hair away from her face. Of course it was her. Sweet Hermione. Sweet, sweet girl that had saved his life. Of course the Fates would lead him to her. Of course he would be drawn to her. Of course it was him with the Lifedebt. Of course it was her. And of course she had grown into a beautiful woman. She had to. And of course it was his heart – being set free by Lily in those minutes he had fought for life – that betrayed him when he carried her in his arms. And she was so gorgeous in his arms, her face buried in the folds of his robes.
Where would he bring her? Not the Hospital Wing. Not to Poppy. She would fuss. She wouldn't be comfortable there. She would be more comfortable down there. She would understand and he could heal her, warm her.
He hurried. He rushed. He cared. Unconsciously, he dropped a tender kiss on her forehead.
It was warm and dry and soft. Of course she was safe. The scent was familiar. It was. It was him. Him.
It was him and she – how had she come here? Had he rescued her? Had he repaid the Lifedebt? Was he free? She hoped so.
She closed her eyes. They were gritty and hurt.
"Hermione, are you awake?", he asked the sweet girl laying there, her hair fanning out over his pillow. Her eyelids had been fluttering.
Her hand shot out to his and landed on his left forearm, pulling him in. Was she conscious? Did she know?
"Hermione?", he asked again, her hand clasping his arm.
She moaned softly but didn't open her eyes.
Instead, she pulled at his arm, used her second arm at his shoulder and pulled him into bed, snuggling to the solid, warm, soft figure. Her head on his chest, breathing steadily, not rasping but even and deeply.
Head on his chest, the ghost of a smile playing on her lips, fingers absently stroking his chest, eyes closes.
He tightened his hold on her. And promised to never let her go.