The clock struck midnight and made the fact well known with a slight trill. It had been precisely five years to the day since the war had ended and the Wizarding World had been returned to some semblance of peace and normality. Everyone's name had been slurred during the war and the worst casualties were the ones that were left behind, still alive after all the horror. Severus Snape was one of these individuals and in a ritual that he performed every year since, he stood in front of his window and raised his glass of firewhisky up to the moon, remembering all those lost to him. The manic dreams of a psychopath had nearly brought the magical world to its knees yet the resilience and dedication of a few saved all they could from a dreadful fate. Including one particular witch, Hermione Jean Granger, whose star continued to rise and shine radiantly, even now. Severus could hardly believe that he had taught and helped to nurture such brilliance and that it had saved his miserable life. He was permanently indebted to the young witch who had returned to him and fought desperately to save his life. Severus took a deep drink from the glass of firewhisky, remembering when he had woken up in St Mungo's hospital to find that he was indeed still alive but that he was not alone. Hermione's head had been resting on the side of his bed, her eyes shut and a mildly troubled expression on her face. He had been, shocked to say the least hence the strangled cry that had woke her up. They had not spoken since that day but Severus had watched her progress as best as he could. He was pleased for her, of course, but felt that without any intellectual challenge like the brand she offered, his life was monotonous. He needed Hermione Granger, or someone similar to her. It appeared from the Daily Prophets reporting's, which were disputable at their best, that his wish was to be granted. A gathering had been organised in remembrance of the five years passed since the war ended and Hermione had been invited, or so said the Prophet. Severus himself had also received a invitation and was fully prepared to refuse until this piece of news had made it's way to him. The gathering would take place at six this evening in the Ministry of Magic itself and Severus was prepared for the occasion. He felt that it was about time he crawled out from within the woodwork so as to speak, and make his presence properly known to the world. This was the perfect opportunity and Severus could not afford to pass it up.

Severus drained the rest of his glass and muttered a farewell to the moon before turning and heading over to a small desk in the corner. As he settled in the chair, now empty glass beside him, Severus was overcome with the urge to pick up his quill and ink and write something he had not written in a long time. He didn't know what his motivation was or particularly what the message was but nonetheless he scribbled away furiously, completing his task in just under ten minutes. Leaning back in his chair he picked up the parchment and surveyed his words with his ever-critical eye. Reasonably pleased he sighed heavily and let the sheet slip out of his hands and flutter down to the ground where it lay, face up so the words were visible. Severus left it there as he shut his eyes and allowed his thoughts to voice themselves for a few moments. He bent and retrieved the sheet, eyeing it hesitantly for a moment before beginning to read the words written.

"Dearly beloved

We are gathered here

On this day and hour

To remember those who bravely fell

Fell to the sound of wailing sirens

Fell to the sound of laughing tyrants

Fell to the sound of marching feet

Fell to the sound of bitter defeat

Dearly beloved

We are gathered here

On this day and hour

To remember those who so courageously fought

Fought to the sound of constant screams

Fought to the sound of shattered dreams

Fought to the sound of pitiful cries

Fought to the sound of whispered lies

Dearly beloved

We are gathered here

On this day and hour

To remember those who lost themselves

Lost themselves to the beating drums

Lost themselves to the darkened slums

Lost themselves to an empty bed

Lost themselves to the mutterings of the dead

Dearly beloved

We are gathered here today

On this day and hour

In Memoriam"

Severus finished reading and immediately scrunched the parchment up and discarding it, completely unsatisfied with it. The message was clear enough of course but the writing itself was not the best it could have been. It did not contain that magic that all good poetry did. Was it a magic that Severus had lost? And if so how would he reclaim it? If he even could. Sighing again, Severus pulled another piece of parchment towards him, musing for a moment before writing again, hoping that this one would be better.

Hermione was looking forward to the gathering as was her natural inclination. She had not stayed in contact with as many as she should have and hoped that tonight with this that she would be able to remedy that. Her life had been a whirlwind with most of her time being spent abroad presenting conferences on practically any subject in magic. She knew that the only reason this was allowed was because of what had happened in the war and couldn't help but resent that slightly. Still, she found no point in railing against one irritancy when generally speaking she had it quite well. She had plenty of money now and was still in contact with those most important to her and dear to her heart, even Ron who shouldn't by all accounts. It hadn't taken long for him to run off with Lavender and leave her in the lurch. Even thinking about it still hurt her heart slightly because she had loved Ron so much and had finally thought the feelings were reciprocated. Evidently they had not bee. Still, together her, Harry and Ron were the Golden Trio, so she had an obligation towards him. Hermione sighed heavily and shook her head in the mirror, smiling sadly at herself. She might have had everything she might academically and financially have wished for but her heart was slowly dying with every passing day. She was starved of romance and had not endeavoured on a relationship since Ron had left. Tonight though, she intended on changing that. Attending this gathering were a few characters she sought to impress although she had no idea why. Severus Snape had been invited to the gathering. As far as she knew he had accepted. It had certainly been awkward that day in St Mungo's when Severus had awoken. They had not spoken a word, her fleeing before he could say anything. She could not help but despise her cowardly action then and wanted to make it up to him for her dreadful behaviour. She also missed his intelligence and razor sharp wit, all qualities that none of her friends or anyone she knew possessed.

"Lets get you looking good Hermione" Hermione addressed her reflection in the mirror, clapping her hands together and rubbing them briefly before bounding over to the wardrobe. She wrenched it open and searched frantically for any dresses. She found many and so the decision left was which was appropriate. They all were, depending on the purpose. Which led Hermione to pause and think, trying to evaluate exactly what her purpose was. Seduction Hermione thought. It was the truth.

Authors note: The poem used here is one of quite a few poems I have written. Unless stated otherwise, poems used in this piece will all be my own work. I hope you enjoy them as well as the story. Apologies if its short, I'm exhausted so not writing much