"He's dying." Is all that was said by Madame Pomphrey at Grimauld Place. Hermione stared at the man in bed, his face was whiter than usual and his hair just as greasy. The order stood around his bed, eyes downcast and completely silent. Hermione wasn't sure what emotion to feel for her Professor. She was going into her sixth year at Hogwarts. It wouldn't be the same with out him. She didn't know if that was a good thing or a bad thing.
"Best we leave him for some rest." Said McGonagall quietly. Harry and Ron walked out first. The rest then followed. Second last was Remus Lupin. He stared from Snape, to Hermione.
"Are you coming?" he asked.
"Yeah, in a second." replied Hermione. Lupin hesitated, but left the room. Hermione sighed before turning around. Suddenly Snape's hand gripped at her arm startling her and causing her to swing back around.
"Forgive me, p...please?" he muttered. Hermione panicked. She shook the man off her and walked out quickly closing the door.
The house was quieter than usual. Albus Dumbledore entered the kitchen.
"I have spoken with him." Said Dumbledore in a soft voice. "All that needs to be said, is his cover was blown, and Voldemort knew."
Many flinched at his name. Dumbledore took a seat at the table as Molly Weasley handed him a cup of tea.
"Thank you." He took a sip. "He was hit with a dark spell."
"What about St Mungos?" asked Tonks. Dumbledore shook his head.
"Severus does not wish to be fussed over. It would also be too suspicious. Poppy can give him the care he needs here until his time comes." He took another sip of his tea and folded his hands. Glances were exchanged around the table. Severus Snape was not the most liked order person or teacher around, but most people respected him.
Hermione excused herself from the kitchen. She walked into the sitting room as a tear escaped from her eye.
She remembered the detentions in potions. She was only eleven! And it happened all the way until she was fifteen. She remembered his hands and what he felt like. She shivered. He always said one final thing;
"Not a word Miss Granger. Now you may go."
"Are you alright, Hermione?" asked Mr Weasley. He made her jump.
"Oh..." she wiped her tears quickly before turning around. "It's a bit stuffy in there. I just needed some air."
He nodded with a smile as he went up the stairs. Hermione breathed a sigh of belief.
"What's the matter, Hermione?" asked another voice. Hermione turned back around. It was Lupin.
"Nothing, Professor." Said Hermione sternly. She glared at him as he raised his eyebrows.
"He is dying." He put simply. "You don't seem to care."
Hermione opened her mouth to speak, and then closed it again.
"Excuse me." She muttered, walking past him and up to her room.
Order business was happening. Mr Weasley was at work. Harry and Ron were in the backyard. Hermione was reading in her room. Mrs Weasley had gone to the store to get some things.
She heard groaning.
Hermione looked up. The groaning intensified. Hermione raced out of her room. As she suspected, the noise was coming from the room, which occupied Professor Snape. She took a deep breath in and opened the door. He was in agony on the bed. Hermione didn't know what to do. He saw her.
"H…help me." he rasped. Hermione walked towards him.
"What can I do?" she asked, panicking. He pointed to the floor at her feet. There was a glass vile with a red potion. It must have fallen off the bedside table when he went to take it. She understood and bent down to pick it up.
"Medicine." He said again with difficulty. Hermione understood. She opened the vile and put it too his lips. He opened his mouth as she poured the liquid in. He quietened immediately. He took a couple of deep breaths and collapsed back onto the pillow letting his body go limp. Hermione sighed in relief. She placed the vile back on the table. It refilled immediately. Hermione nodded as he looked like he was going back to sleep. She headed for the door. But just as she was about to open it, she heard his voice once more.
She turned around. He was looking at her. She could see that he was obviously tired and frustrated, having to rely on everybody.
"I cannot die having this burden on my shoulders. Please, forgive me?"
Hermione stared at him blankly. Could she forgive him? She gulped and looked towards the helpless man. She then turned around and left the room.
"It could be any time now, hours or days. He may not even last the night." Madame Pomphrey had her head down as she spoke to Dumbledore on the stairs. Hermione was in her room, and could hear every word. Once she heard their footsteps disappear, she left to go find Harry and Ron. She found them just down the hall playing exploding snap on their beds. She walked in and flopped on the bed beside them.
"They're saying he might not last the night." She whispered, playing with a loose thread on the bed. Ron shrugged sadly as Harry sighed.
"So he was with us. You know, I mean on our side. I feel bad for ever doubting him." Said Harry.
Hermione had never told anybody about Snape molesting her as a young child. Not even Harry or Ron. Was this the time to tell them? He would be honoured as a hero once he was gone, risking his life for the order. Did he deserve it? He was asking for forgiveness.
Or perhaps he did deserve to die?
"Gosh I'm hungry!" said Ron.
The subject was changed. Hermione didn't bring it back up for the rest of the day.
She did walk past his door that same night. Lupin emerged from the room. Hermione stopped still in her tracks. He looked to her as she looked to him.
"How is he?" asked Hermione.
"Dying." He said plainly. He closed Snape's door and turned his heel towards the staircase and disappeared.
It was that morning that Snape was on his deathbed.
Hermione was sitting with Harry and Ron in the living room that afternoon when Madame Pomphrey came back down the stairs and sat next to Professor McGonagall. She sniffled.
"Nearly time." She whispered, dabbing her eye.
Hermione looked up the staircase and saw his door was closed, the hallway clear. She got up and took a deep breath, walking up the stairs. She approached his door and opened it. She left it ajar as she walked in and stood at the foot of the bed. He looked to her. He couldn't move much. He was sweaty; his hair stuck to his face and his eyes were bloodshot. Hermione walked around to the edge of his bed and gazed at him. He effortlessly grabbed her hand, which startled her. He squeezed it and looked into her eyes.
"I'm sorry." He whispered. "I'm so sorry."
Hermione had tears in her eyes. Not tears for him, but for her. She looked away from him. He had taken away her child hood. She had lived with him shadowing over her for years.
"Look at me." He said tugging at her hand. She turned back around as tears dropped down her cheek. "Forgive me." He whispered. Hermione heard the door squeak. She turned her head and saw Professor Lupin at the door, staring at them both. Snape moved his eyes towards him, and then back to her with anticipation.
"Forgive me, Hermione?" He asked once more. Hermione looked to Lupin again. He was starring at them both. She turned back to the dying man as he started to shake.
"I forgive you." She whispered quietly. Snape squeezed her hand tighter before falling back onto the pillow. He let go of her hand slowly as his eyes drifted closed and he breathed no more. Lupin and Hermione stared at him. They both knew he was gone. Hermione sniffled before nodding to herself and dodging past Lupin, starting her walk downstairs.
"Hermione!" Lupin called. She stopped walking and turned around.
"Why did you forgive him?" he asked.
Hermione looked at the man and shook her head.
"Because I didn't want him haunting my dreams forever." She said. Lupin looked to the ground sighing.
"It was 5 years ago, Hermione. Can't you let it go?"
She shot him a look of pure hatred.
"At least he had the courage to ask for forgiveness." She spat. As she moved to turn around, she said one final thing.
"Not even you can do that."