Prologue

The night that Harry defeated Voldemort wasn't the only thing. The three of us were in Dumbledore's office. I remember jumping up and crying "Snape!"

"Hermione, what are you talking about? Snape's dead."

"I think you'll find that Severus is alive. He's being treated in the hospital wing." Dumbledore's portrait smiled and went back to sleeping. The three of us bolted from the office.

"He's alive." Minerva said. "Remus went down to the shrieking shack to come after you three. He found Severus on the floor. He rushed him up here invisible. Once Severus awakes he can fix himself."

Hermione walked over to his bed. He looked younger. There were puncture wounds where Nagini had bitten him. They would never go away.

"I managed to contain what poison there was, but since most of the horcruxes were gone Nagini wasn't as strong. When Neville killed her weakened the poison too." Madam Pomfrey said.

"Ugh!" Everyone turned around. Hermione who was right beside his bed looked down at him. He opened his eyes and frowned. "20 points from Gryffindor." Then he was asleep again.

The first one to break the silence was Ron. "Hahaha! Did you hear him? '20 points from Gryffindor.' Hahaha, Well one things for sure, there's no brain damage."

Minerva smiled at this. "Come on you three, lets give everyone some room."

"Ugh!" I groaned and opened my eyes. Wait, that means that I wasn't dead. I blinked, Miss Granger was hovering over me. Great, I must be in hell I thought. "20 points from Gryffindor."

Chapter 1: The Gift

It was the last day of their seventh year. Today was the last day of classes. Tomorrow would be graduation and a going away ball for all seventh years. They were heading down to their last class, potions and Hermione had a job to do.

As always she was the first one there and took her seat. Her stuff was set up when the last student arrived. Harry and Ron took the seats behind her. Suddenly Snape stormed in, glowering at the students. He flicked his wand at the blackboard. It said 'work'. Then he sat at his desk and glared at them some more before he started to grade papers.

Typical. She studied him for a moment. His hair was longer and he looked older. He was still all clad in black and was as nasty as ever. Other than that Snape hadn't changed. He was the same old Bat of the Dungeons. She glanced up and saw him staring back. She blushed and started working.

This was her favorite class. She love the challenge that potions brought. The teacher...well, he was very harsh-to any house except for his Slytherins-cold, and sarcastic, but she had a lot of respect for the Potions Master. After the war nobody had acknowledged what he had done. Harry had grown to respect the man as well.

Hermione was the first one done, and bottled up her perfect potion. She also took out a green package. Warily she set down her flask and waited.

"…..Professor?"

"Miss Granger?" His voice was sharp and cold.

She took a deep breath and set down the green package. "Sir, I just wanted to give you this. I wanted to thank you for all you've done." Snape didn't look up. Hermione blundered on. "Thank you for putting up with my know-it-all attitude, for keeping the three of us alive, and spying for the Order. Without you Harry would never have had the information to defeat Voldemort." Done with her speech she hurried out.

Snape hadn't moved the whole time. When she left he relaxed. There was only one word to explain how she'd left him. Surprised. When the last student had gone he took the package and ripped it open. Out fell a small box and a letter. It read:

Professor Snape,This is a gift. Not a pitiful present, or a trick to insult you. You are a hero. In your own way. After the war no one acknowledged it. You deserved it as much as Harry. Giving your life to bring Voldemort down. I wanted to give you this, as a token of our gratitude. Professor Dumbledore and Harry agreed with me. Dumbledore said you wouldn't want it public, so only the three of us know. After taking to the Minister he realized his mistake. If you ever have a bad class, just look at it and it'll remind you. If you could survive 20 years with Voldemort then you can bear 120 minutes of dunderheads.

Sincerely,Hermione Granger aka. Insufferable know-it-all

Snape smiled. The corners of his eyes crinkled and ends of his mouth curved. Something he hadn't done in twenty years. He had to hand it to her she was able to analyze the war from a different angle than what she had lived, that of a Death Eater's. A know-it-all no doubt. In the beginning he had frowned at her. She always had the correct answer, something he wasn't used to. Yet she had excelled and was the best in her year. No one would hear him admit it though Finally he reached for the box. Inside lay a medallion. On the front was a picture of two wands crossing, with the words Ministry of Magic engraved above it. On back it read.

Order of Merlin First Class

Miss Granger had done it again. How in the world had she gotten this? Then again Arthur Weasley was the minister. He wasn't complaining, though. It was true he had taken enormous risks for the war, and all people did was fawn over Potter. He carefully put it back in its box and set that and the letter in his desk. He needed to talk to Dumbledore about a certain know-it-all.