Title: The Last Letter
Author: Sare Liz
Warning: Angst
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Series: Spinner's End (First)
Note: inspired by the fanvid Hermione/Snape Broken by jaysnape, found on YouTube. www. youtube .com/watch?v=Coo08nYKfGQ Also please note that the method of sending letters to each other was something I came up with in a previous fic, Indifference.


I can't protect you.

I can't protect you anymore, though it was arguable that I did a fair job of it when I was able, but I can't protect you anymore, and it is one of those little things that I should just put out of my mind, as there are bigger fish to fry, and if I'm not careful I'll end up in the cauldron myself. But I can't protect you anymore, and it is one of the little hooks that is tearing my heart to shreds.

Doubt what you will. I cannot divulge anything at all to condemn myself nor clear my name. Your mind is not strong enough to keep such information sacred. But of one thing, never doubt, even though it be used to cement the case, either way. Never doubt that I cared for you. Never doubt that I wished to see my future with you in it. Never doubt that I wished our children to have your nose and your temperament. Never doubt I would have devoted myself to you, had I not already signed away my soul to each side.

And if you can, in the years to come when I am certainly dead, for I cannot foresee either side allowing me to live, if you can, think of me and remember my most fervent wish for your own safety and wellbeing. If you can, in the years to come, forgive me.

And know, if it be comfort or bane to you, that with you I found happiness, however briefly. I wish you nothing but the same, for the rest of your days.

The letter was delivered in the usual way, and of course was neither dated, nor addressed, nor signed. It simply arrived in the small wooden box that she had almost given up checking, as nothing, and nothing, and nothing had been there for so long. The days turned into weeks, then months. The hunt for the horcruxes commenced, but there was nothing. And somehow, she had expected something – after all, their… well, whatever it was, she dare not call it romance, even in her head, it was quite intense for several months of the last year, and then… And then Dumbledore. And then, nothing.

And then, this. This letter. This letter that did not automatically immolate five seconds after she put it down. Nor ten seconds after, nor three hours later, nor six days, nor two months. With no date, no address, and no signature, and yet written in his hand, it tore her heart, and it left no room for response. She doubted she'd get anything in response. She refused to beg – it was useless. She understood why he refused to be utterly truthful, though she felt desperate in her need for confirmation of her own suspicions and hopes.

Of course, she was determined to make a response, but not now. Not until after the war, win or lose, not giving up hope unless she held his dead and lifeless body herself, felt his cold skin, his still heart, his dead weight. But that she refused to dwell upon. It may happen, may even have a high likelihood of happening, but she refused to expend the extra energy in worrying about it. Worry was not going to win the war, nor was it going to ensure that their children had her nose, and her temperament.

He was morose, and with good reason, but his understanding of the truth, Hermione reasoned, was not the only one. His view of the future was not the last word.

The End.