Killing Severus Snape
Disclaimer: Harry Potter is the brainchild of J.K. Rowling and thus belongs to her and whomever she sells the rights to, which is not me in this case. This piece of fanfiction is written with the admiration and respect of Harry Potter's creator. I claim no ownership of her creations. No profit is or will be made from this material.
Summary: Voldermort killed Snape once. Hermione killed him twelve times. And she'd keep doing it until they got it right. (H/S. EWE.)
Rating: T, suitable for teens 13 and older.
Lord Voldemort killed Severus Snape once.
Tonight, Hermione Granger would kill him for the twelfth time in a year.
"Bloody buggering hell!" she yelled, stamping her feet, pulling on her hair, and generally making a fool of herself. Severus watched her dispassionately from across the room. He finished his dinner as if this were any other night. She tried to ignore him to hold onto a few more minutes of anger. Soon the despair would sink in. Then the moon would set. And it'd start all over again.
They now had this down to almost routine.
"It should've worked!"
He rolled his eyes.
"No, I mean it this time. This should've worked!" She pulled on her hair once more for good measure. "I have no idea what went wrong."
"It certainly wasn't the potion," he drawled.
She glared at him. "Thank you, Severus. I know that. We're still missing something." Hermione looked at the rows of books surrounding them in Number 12 Grimmauld Place's library.
"You won't find it there."
She huffed. He was right. Suddenly, the despair was just there, setting into her bones and pulling her whole body down like a lead weight in her core. She was so heavy.
She did as he told. Hermione tucked herself in the old, Victorian couch in front of the fire. She pulled her knees up to her chest and bit her lip. He set a calming drought in front of her. Tears filled her eyes at the evidence that he had anticipated their failure. She wouldn't drink it now. She'd save it for later.
He always did this. Despite the fact that he was going to end the night murdered –again!-, he was the one that held her together. She wasn't quite sure why. If anyone had the right to rage, it was him.
"We will start over in the morning," Severus said, finishing his meal in the chair to her side.
"It's the transfiguration element." She was already running the arithmantic symbols through her head. "We need Headmistress McGonagall."
Severus scoffed. "The day Minerva involves herself in blood magic is the day I become Head of Hufflepuff."
"She might do it for you."
He made a sound almost like a laugh. It was far too joyless and skeptical for such a distinction.
"I have," she whispered.
That caused him a slight pause. "Yes," he said slowly as if she were a first-year again, "but you have most obviously gone mental, Hermione."
She ignored him for a while and stared into the fireplace. Her eyes overlooked the bright oranges and white, focusing on the bud of blue at its base. She focused on that one seed of spark. It reminded her of that single elusive element that she wasn't sure they'd ever catch, the root of life itself. Perhaps it was impossible. Sometimes, she wondered if she'd finally crossed over into playing God. It was hard to tell with magic. She couldn't create life, she knew that, but she could try to steal and resurrect a single ember of it.
At the moment, they could only borrow it.
"How much longer can you stand this, Severus?"
He snarled in her direction. "What? No more Gryffindor promises of just one more time?"
"I haven't made that promise for months."
"Thank Merlin." He set his plate aside on the table in front of them. She banished it to the kitchen. Severus leaned back in his wing-backed armchair. The angles and hallows of his face created pools of light on his forehead, nose, and lips. Beneath his eyes and in the curves of his cheeks, the shadows elongated. He didn't look alive, but not yet quite dead.
Others would have just seen Severus Snape. Hermione saw an amalgamation of man and memory.
There were times where she seriously doubted her sanity.
Perhaps he really wasn't there. Perhaps she was alone, speaking to walls. Perhaps she was the one who died.
Then he looked at her. His eyes were alive. They were bright and brutal and so very, very clever. He saw her and knew her, made it all real for her. She sold a little bit of her soul every new moon and killed even more, just to keep his eyes so sharp.
Every month of life she gave to him, took two from her.
She could've lived with that.
But she had to kill him every time to do it.
He had noticed her staring. "Well, let's get on with it then," he snapped.
Hermione nodded to herself silently for a minute before finally summoning the strength to rise to her feet. He moved to the space in the middle of the room cleared for this purpose. She followed him. Hermione wanted to be close enough to catch him if he didn't make it to his knees this time. Despite the fact that they both knew what was coming, the reality of it could still catch them by surprise. Severus faced her, hands held behind his back, spine straight, chin raised. He was the epitome of wizard power and restraint. He looked her in the eye. She swallowed and raised her wand.
Hermione left him on the floor to die.
Like she always did.
A/N: I'm unsure whether to make this a one shot or continue with it. Please let me know what you think.