{Disclaimer:  The Harry Potter World was created by J.K. Rowling and rights are owned by, but not limited to, Warner Brothers and Scholastic Books.  I, therefore, own no parts of this, save for Andy and Wyvern, who are parts of my twisted imagination.}

Chapter 34

Twilight

**I was stained with a role in a day not my own/ As you walked into my life, you showed what needed to be shown/ And I always knew what was right/ Just didn't know that I might/ Peel away and choose to see with such indifferent sight/ I will never see the sky the same way/ And I will learn to say good bye to yesterday/ And I will never cease to fly if held down/ And I will always reach too high/ Because I've seen/ Because I've seen twilight.  "Twilight" Vanessa Carlton**

            The white robed Auror stopped before entering the Infirmary.  He peered in through the cloudy glass.  They were a sorry looking bunch, he had to admit.  Two sat on the bed, Sirius with his arm protectively around Andy.  She looked the worst out of all of them with sickly purple bruises covering most of her face.  Remus leaned against the bed post, arms crossed over his chest and eyes closed.  Hooch sat in a nearby chair with her head buried in her hands.  It had impressed him that four professors had succeeded in holding off the Death Eaters this long.  He shook his head.  At least no one had died.  He entered the room, all four taking note of his arrival.  "You are the four that held off the Death Eaters, I presume?"

"Yes," Remus answered for all of them.  "We are."

"There are, um, two professors that aren't here that you might want to find, though.  One's up in the Arithmancy room with a broken wrist.  She's the one that called you guys and another is tied to a chair in the Muggle Studies classroom," Andy added, voicing it before she forgot about everything.

"We'll look into that," the man touched a button on a black box hanging from his belt.  He spoke a few words into it.  "How about the Potter boy?"

"He should be fine.  I took care of him."

"Where is he?"

Sirius grinned sheepishly.  "Are you familiar with Hogsmeade?"  The Auror nodded.  "You know the Shrieking Shack?"

"Yes."

"He's in there."

The Auror gave him an odd look.  "How'd you get him in there?"

"We know a lesser known entrance to it."

"Very well, I will send another Auror to retrieve him and return him to the Gryffindor Common rooms."  He spoke again into his box.  "Is there anything else that we should know about?"

No one answered, not thinking about any other facts that would be important.

"Alright.  I shall trust all of you to keep this to yourselves and not tell any of the students or the other professors what happened.  I personally will let Dumbledore know about what has occurred as soon as he is revived.  Do any of you know how long the potion will last?"

"No," Andy answered quietly, still hurting from her ordeal.  "But Snape might."

"Where is he?"

As if by magic or at least extremely good luck, two more Aurors walked into the room, escorting Snape and Vector inside.  The Slytherin glared murderously at Andy before retreating to a corner.  The Auror who was doing the interrogating turned to the man.  "How long is the potion supposed to last?"

Snape was puzzled by the question.  He had obviously missed something.  "Six hours at the least, eight at the most.  It was one of the weaker sleeping potions.  The effects should wear off fairly soon."

The Auror felt relieved.  "Good.  It'll only take a few hours for them to wake up and by then it will be after midnight so we should be safe.  I already explained it to the others.  You are to tell no one about this except for Dumbledore, who I shall personally contact.  Agreed?"

There was a murmur of assent from the bone weary teaching staff.

"Then we shall leave you now and take care of our prisoners.  I suggest you try to get some sleep," the Aurors left in a swirl of white, leaving silence in their wake.

Snape stayed as far away from Black as possible.  He hated to see Andy back with him.  If someone had done what he did to her to him, he would not have been that quick to forgive.  He would have killed the person in the first chance he got.

"How's your wrist?" Andy spoke up, shattering the dead blanket of stillness.

"Its fine now," Vector held up the limb, showing it was in one piece.  "The Auror that found me was a mediwizard.  She fixed it for me."

"Good."

Sirius stood up, offering Andy a hand up.  She declined, standing uncertainly on her own.  They walked out of the room in a silent procession that reminded her strangely of a funeral march.

"Come on, I'm taking you back to your rooms," Sirius blamed himself for everything that had happened to her.

"No, I have to apologize."

It took him a moment to realize what she meant.  "What's the point?  He's only a Slytherin."

"Sirius, I have to."

"Why?"

"Because I have to.  It's just something that needs to be done."

He saw no point in arguing.  It would accomplish nothing.  "Fine, but I'm not waiting for you."

"Go right ahead."

She watched the others peel off into their own directions that would lead them to sleep.  Snape was the last to leave, as she had guessed he would be.  Andy waited by the door.

The Slytherin scowled, seeing her there.  "McGee," he said, voice as frozen as an icicle.

"Hey, Sev.   I wanted to apologize, for tying you to the chair.  It wasn't the best thing to do.  I wasn't thinking straight."

"Obviously you weren't."

"I didn't mean it."

He looked down at her, seeing her in full light for the first time that night.  He hadn't noticed how badly she had been injured.  Out of instinct, he took her face in his hand, leaning down to look at a rather large bruise on her cheek.  He traced the edge of it gently with a long finger.  It was where he had hit her.  "What in the gods names did they do to you?"

"They beat me.  You saw the end of it.  They used the Cruciatus on me before that."

Snape let her go.  "That's why you did it."

"Yes."

"I'm going to get you fixed up.  You can't go around looking like that.  It will give too many people wrong ideas.  Did you take anything for it?"

"Only a pain killer.  It was the only thing that I recognized in the cupboard.  I don't trust Poppy enough to know exactly what she has in there."

"She was never very good at organization.  Come on."

Andy stumbled a few steps, not realizing how much she really hurt.  Snape put out a hand to steady her.  "Can you make it down to the dungeons without killing yourself?"

"I don't know," she faltered.  "I can try."

"Trying is not good enough."  He paused for a moment, contemplating the safest way to get her down to where he could heal her.  He scooped easily her into his arms, carrying her as he had through the edges of the forest.

"What the hell are you trying to do?"

"It's the easiest way, McGee.  Using magic would be too risky for both your good and mine."

"Sure, Sev," she refrained from adding a few inappropriate comments.  Andy wrapped her arms around his neck, not minding at all that she was being carried down the halls of Hogwarts like a young child.  What the students would think if they saw them like this!  She smiled to herself.  It would get a few rumors going, but they wouldn't be seen.  The Death Eaters were to be thanked for that.

He set her down lightly outside an unfamiliar doorway.  With a simple word, it swung open.  Snape guided her inside.  "Take a seat.  I'll see what I can find."

Andy collapsed into a soft dark chair.  What ever the Death Eaters had done to her, they had done it to be as painful as possible.  She let her eyes adjust to well-lit room.  It was decorated spartanly in green, silver, and black.  She guessed it was the Slytherin's apartments.  From another room came sounds of glass jars clanging together and things being moved around.

"Here.  This should clear up the bruises."  A goblet filled with a dark red, steaming mixture was handed to her.  She sipped at it, cringing at the bitter taste.

"Thanks."  Andy pushed her self standing, grimacing as she did so.

"It still hurts?" Snape sounded puzzled.  The potion should have removed any pain associated with the bruising.

"A bit," she answered truthfully.  "Right here mostly."  She laid her hand on her rib cage.

"Do you mind if I check?"

"What do you mean, check?"

"To see if you broke anything," he made it sound like it was her fault.

"Fine."  Andy lifted up the edge of her shirt, pointing out the fading, bruised patch of ribs.

Snape ran his finger lightly over her skin, feeling her prominent rib cage.  She was still too thin, even after months out of Azkaban.  He could feel her wince as he put light pressure on the area.  "They're cracked, at least.  What did they hit you with?"

"A steel-toed boot." 

"A swift kick would do it." 

"How can you tell?"

"I am a certified mediwizard, McGee.  I am trained in being able to recognize these things."  He left once more to locate some other cure.  Andy pulled down the tank top she was wearing, falling back into the chair.  It hadn't bothered her.  At least he seemed to care about what the Death Eaters had done to her.  Sirius knew what happened, but he refrained from pushing her farther than she would go.  He would have let her fend for herself to heal her injuries if she told him to leave her alone.  Sev was just as stubborn, but he did not listen to anything she said to get out of it.  He had bodily brought her down to his own dormitory and now was attempting to find ways to make her better.  Sirius would never have done anything like that.

The Slytherin returned with another vial.  "This a bit more potent than regular Skele-Gro.  It'll fix anything that might be broken."

Andy swallowed the concoction.  She could feel her ribs mending back together more quickly than they should have.  "What the hell is in this stuff?"  She stared at the vial as if it would reveal its contents.

"It's something I created actually," Snape loosely perched on the arm of a chair across from her.  "I find that the regular solution they sell is not as effective."

"So you made your own?"

"Exactly.  It is still in the testing stage, but it works well enough."

"You are using me as a lab rat?"  Her eyes widened indignantly in shock.

"No, not at all.  There are no kinks in the potion.  It works fine as it is.  I am only trying to improve it still."

"Sure.  You just haven't been able to find enough people with broken limbs to do a full test run on it yet."

"The Quidditch matches give me enough of those.  My Slytherins know enough that they can come to me for medical treatment."

"So you test it on your own students?"

"They trust me enough to let me do so."

Andy laughed, feeling her rib cage no longer aching.  Her eyes felt heavy and she let them slide shut.  Within moments, she was sound asleep.  Snape watched for a moment, wondering what she had found to be funny.  That was the only major side effect of his potion.  It caused the person to become extremely drowsy.  He moved her to the forest green couch, placing a fuzzy, charcoal-colored comforter over her.  It would be best to let her sleep it off.

She awoke to the sound of someone's voice.  Her eyes flashed open in a moment of panic as she snapped up.  It took Andy a moment to remember what had happened the previous night.  She forced herself to relax.  They were only Snape's rooms.  Her conscience was telling her that this wrong and that she shouldn't be here.  She told the voice to shut up, concentrating on what the other living voice was saying.

"Yes, she's asleep on my couch right now."  She recognized the dark voice as Snape's.  There was a pause as the other person, or at least she assumed it was another person, replied.  "No, of course not.  She had a run in with the other Death Eaters.  She looked horrible.  Poppy was still out, so I healed what I could."  There was another pause.  Andy was getting curious.  She rolled out from under the blanket, landing lightly on the balls of her feet.  She crept toward where the voices were coming from and slowly poked her head around the corner.  Dumbledore's head blazed in the fireplace.

"Good morning, Andromeda," the Head Master intoned.  He had been waiting for her to make an appearance.

Andy stepped in the room, well aware of Snape's glare.  "Hello, sir."

"How long have you been there?" the Slytherin snapped irritably.  He did not appreciate eves-dropping.

"As a matter of fact, not very long.  You woke me up."

Dumbledore waited for her answer before continuing.  "Now that we have located you, Andromeda, I need to see both of you in my office immediately."  The fire place returned to its normal orangey-red flames.

"So what did I miss?" Andy asked brightly as they left the apartments.

"You should be quite proud of yourself, McGee.  Black and Lupin were firmly convinced that you had disappeared and blamed everything on me, again."

"Wow.  I suppose the fact that I was sleeping on your couch didn't help much, did it?"

"Dumbledore found it quite amusing."

"Blood Pops."  The gargoyle leapt out of the way, allowing them entrance to the staircase up to the office.  The door was already open.

"Come in.  Take a seat.  This may take a while."  Dumbledore watched them closely as they sat down in the overstuffed armchairs that he kept in his office.  The differences between them never failed to amaze him.  Snape kept his immaculate appearance paired with good posture and a natural sense of deep calmness overshadowed by intensity.  The only word he could use to describe Andy was tousled.  Her hair was still short enough to stick out at what ever angle it wanted to and her clothing had obviously been slept in.  As long as they continued to get along, the differences did not bother him.  "I need to know something, Severus.  What exactly was used in the sleeping potion?"

"It was only a relatively simple one, very weak compared to most.  My master ordered me to brew it.  Another Death Eater picked it up before the Quidditch match.  I believe they must have placed the vials around the school, using time spells to get them all to open at the same time and turn them into a gas so that it spread through out the entire ventilation system."

"Will there be any side effects?"

"There are none that I know of."

"Very well.  I wanted to thank you both for defending Hogwarts.  Without any of you, we would have been doomed."

"You're welcome," Andy replied, knowing Snape would not.

"Of course, the Aurors have agreed to pay you full compensation for placing yourself in grave danger."  Both younger professors nodded in understanding.  "Now on to other matters.  Remus refuses to stay on another year with the Defense classes.  Do either you know anyone who might be able to take over the class?"

Snape perked up unobtrusively.  To any one who did not know him very well, it would have appeared as nothing, but to Andy, who had been watching him closely since she had been reintroduced him, it was something.  There were only minute changes of his posture and expression, but it was enough to tell her that he wanted it.  He said nothing in response, unsure of how to breach the idea with the Head Master.

"I can only think of two possible people who might be qualified for the job," she spoke up softly.

"Who?"

"The first one would be Sirius."

"No," Dumbledore shook his head negative.  "The Ministry has other plans for him in the next year.  Who else?"

She paused.  "Severus."

The Head Master glanced at the Slytherin, seeing the same things that Andy had.  "Who would take over as Potions Master, if Severus were to instruct Defense?"

"Me."

"Would you be willing to do so?"

"Sure, I have nothing else planned with my life yet."

"Severus, would you be willing to change fields?"

Snape had been thrilled by the suggestion.  He had not wanted to voice the option.  There was too much owed to the Head Master to ask him for what he wanted.  Somehow Andy had known.  "I would be more than willing to do so."

"Then it is settled.  I will get the contracts to both of you as soon as I have a chance to write them up."

"Is that everything?"

"Yes, I believe it is.  Good day to both of you, breakfast should be starting momentarily."

Andy and Snape left the office, Dumbledore closely watching their every move.  Both of them had gotten what they had wanted, even if they had not realized it.  Andy had gotten the security of having a place to go.  Severus had gotten his Defense Against the Dark Arts, which the Head Master knew he had been vying for, for the longest time.

"I suppose I should thank you, McGee," Snape said.

"You probably should."

"Thank you."

Andy smiled widely.  "That must have been difficult."

"No.  It was only a matter of timing.  How could you tell I wanted the position?"

"Elementary, my dear Severus.  Actually, it was you posture.  He said the thing about the opening and you seemed to straighten up and look more interested.  It also helps that you entire book shelf of your apartment is filled with tomes pertaining to the Dark Arts.  I put two and two together.  You don't mind, do you?"

"Not at all."

She looked at her watch.  "I have to run.  I want to find Sirius and explain to him what happened.  Hopefully he won't throw too much of a hissy fit.  See you later, Sev!"

Not at all…It echoed in his mind.  He hadn't minded her at all.  In fact he was beginning to enjoy her company.  He almost was glad that she was returning to Hogwarts next year.  He watched her stride down the hall away from him.  It was too bad she was a Gryffindor after all.

THE END

{Author's Note: And here I shall end Second Chances.  The whole thing took about seven months to write.  It is 34 chapters, 118 pages single spaced, size 10 font, and 87, 578 words without author's notes or disclaimers.  It was a hell of a thing to write, I will say that much.  I grew extremely attached to Andy in the end.  She was one of my first 3-D characters that I have ever written.  It took me a while, but eventually I learned how she would react and why she would react in the matter she did.  She was very amusing to write.

I would like to thank J.K. Rowling, for creating the Harry Potter universe, Jess, who beta-ed a good amount of this and helped me with some parts, Anna Black and Kary Starr, who gave me ideas that were used to create my tale, and Iggie, who put up with me rambling in IM's.

I am going to warn you that I think am writing a sequel to this entitled Into the Flames.  The characters were too addicting to stop with and I have a few controversial ideas in my head.  It may take me a while to get it written and posted, given that I want to at least try and finish my other fan fic that I stopped writing to devote my time to this one.  That would be Chaos: Tie-Dyed and Loving It!, for those of you who have no clue what I talking about.  People seemed to like it even though I still don't.  I think its terrible, my character is a Mary Sue, and there is no plot whatsoever other than to make Draco's, and Snape's lives miserable.  Never mind.  It is not worth your time.  Now on to the actual reviews:

LilyPotter: Exactly.  He honestly likes her, though he doesn't realize it very well.  He's not completely loyal to the Death Eater cause, so he freed her and she tied him to a chair.  Go ahead, ramble.  I honestly don't mind.  I get accused of doing that too much.

Shasa Perino:  Really?  ::Author blushes as she takes a bow in full Martial Arts Gi (uniform)::  Fight scenes are one of the few things I am very adept at writing, though that chapter was a short one.  I spent a full page in another story on a sword/ bo staff duel and that was without killing anyone.  I have studied martial arts for about ten years.  I currently have my second degree black belt and spend on average any where from three to seven hours at the karate school that I go to per week.  I am also an assistant instructor at the school.  So I better know the basics of fighting by now.  I have this entire tale one written, so it's easy to post.  I'm trying to get the sequel typed, but I have no time.  It will happen eventually.  I also haven't worked on another one of my stories since June, (maybe?) so the coin is two sided.

VMorticia:  I like writing massacres.  Hopefully there might be more in the sequel, considering I can actually write those.

Atheis Gainsborough:  Woo-hoo!  That's great!  You have Snape tied to a chair…I want one!

Ignominia:  Exciting?  Haha!  That's hilarious!  Now I have to go back and figure out why what I wrote was exciting.  Yours doesn't ramble as much as you think it does.  And the only reason I'm splitting this here is because I didn't want a seventy chapter rambling thing, so it's being stopped and restarted.

Jess:  Spy sequence of Kilroy!  Spies!  They may be wearing a disguise!  Oh, boy…You're right, that was great and I got to wear a trench coat.  I get warm fuzzy feelings!  Yeah!

I think that is it!  I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it.  Peace, Love, and Ice Cream, Nataly Ravenlock!}