The idea for this story came to me while watching the scene in 'Armaggedon' between Grace and Harry. This is my very first attempt at fanfiction. I couldn't figure out how to get a beta to read and critque this, so all mistakes are mine. Hope you enjoy.

Disclaimer: All things Harry Potter belong to J.K. Rowling.


Albus Dumbledore was the only person who did not flinch as the door to the study slammed open. Every other member of the Oder of the Phoenix drew their wands to confront whomever or whatever caused such a noise.

Harry Potter was confused and a little miffed when he saw that it was his best friend, Hermione Granger, standing at the door. He was about to reproach her when he noticed both Pansy Parkinson and Luna Lovegood pleading with Hermione to be calm. Ginny Weasley, meanwhile, looked ready for a fight. Harry was about to speak when Ginny gave him a look that shut him up.

"How?" said Hermione in a tired and broken voice.

The entire room saw that her question was directed at Dumbledore. All turned in anticipation of his reply.

"He was being tracked. He believes the information had gotten out." he answered solemnly.

"Why?" she asked. Hermione knew why. There was only one reason he would go.

Albus gave her a soft, sad smile. "You know why, Miss Granger."

The headmaster was afraid she would take matters into her own hands. Looking at the fiery determination in her eyes, he wasn't far from wrong. He knew he had to try and stop her.

Hermione's eyes were blazing with conviction, "I'm going after him."

"Hermione…."Dumbledore began, but he was cut off as she rounded on him.

"You CANNOT ask me to do NOTHING!" she shouted.

"Please, hear him out." With a flick of his wrist, Albus turned the large landscape painting on the wall into what appeared to be a two-way mirror. Within seconds the face of Severus Snape came into focus.

"What is it, Albus?" he asked gruffly.

"Severus?" Hermione said relieved. She ran to the mirror, tears easily flowing from her eyes. Ginny, Pansy and Luna all moved with her, but stood far enough away for some semblance of privacy.

The Potions Professor cursed inwardly as the mirror he held focused on the one person he hoped to avoid. The fear in her eyes scared him. He knew her well enough to know that her mind was working overtime. She would turn over schemes. Plan any conceivable way to get him safe. 'Why did I think I could keep this from her', he asked himself.

"Sweetheart", he said with a smile. Gasps were heard from behind her. Severus then realized that they had an audience. It seems that Hermione still held onto their secret from the junior members of the Order. He was beyond caring. This was his only chance to speak with her and he was going to speak his mind.

Hermione had so many questions, so many things she wanted to say to him.

"I don…I don't understand" she finally stuttered.

"They know about you" Severus stated.

"The Death Eaters already know about me" she countered.

Snape growled in frustration. Of course she would say that. He should have known better than to believe this conversation was never going to happen. He looked into her eyes and explained again.

"Because they know about you, they will find the others."

Hermione started at this, leaving her speechless for a moment. Severus pressed on.

"I don't know how Dolohov found out about us. He kept to himself, mostly. But I have to find out if he shared this knowledge with anyone else."

"On your own!" she said incredulously. "Could you not have taken anyone with you?"

"Love, you know I have to maintain cover. The remaining Death Eaters have to believe I am still loyal to their cause." Severus was getting frustrated. He needed to move on. But he knew that if he didn't explain his actions, she would do something rash.

And something rash was just what she was resolved to do. Hermione saw the stubbornness in his eyes and knew talking wasn't doing any good. She turned and walked towards the door. Severus panicked.

"Hermione…"pleading was evident in his voice.

"I'm coming after you and bringing you home" she said over her shoulder.

This statement jolted the junior contingent of the Order to move. Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Neville Longbottom, Draco Malfoy and Blaise Zabini blocked the exit. Hermione and Ginny glared at each boy. Pansy and Luna were giving them thankful smiles from behind. Hermione pulled her wand when Severus spoke.

"Your mother…"he saw her stiffen. This was the only card he had left to play. If he can get through to her, he can keep her safe.

Hermione rounded on him and began yelling in earnest.

"My mother! Do you mean your wife? The woman you've been married to for 5 years? The mother of your 3 year old twins? Is that the woman you are referring to?"

Severus winced. Apparently Hermione was also using her mother as her ace. This was not going the way he wanted. He needed to think fast.

He tried again. "She will be devastated if something happened to you."

Hermione was geared up for battle. She was going to save him, even if it meant hurting him. "Mum will not survive losing another husband."

Snape winced again. He was so tired. When he found out Dolohov knew Hermione was important to him, there was no choice but to kill him. Though he would have liked to have hurt the Death Eater for what he did to Hermione two years ago, he killed him quickly and told the Order of his plans.

Meanwhile, surprise and relief came to those who were in the dark about what was going on. This last outburst seemed to catch everyone up.

The idea came to Severus and he racked his brain trying to keep her safe. He asked quickly.

"Sweetheart, do you trust me?"

"With my life" Hermione answered without hesitation. She was taken aback by his change in tactic.

Severus signed in relief "Then, do you trust me to know what I am doing?"

"Yes" she answered slowly. Hermione softened her stance, confused at where this line of questioning was going.

"Then let me do this. It's the only way I can keep our family safe."

"I can help…"but he cut her off.

"I cannot lose focus, Hermione. If you come, I will worry about you. I need you to stay where you are", he said emphatically.

Hermione was about to argue when Serverus looked away from the mirror. It was so quiet in the study that everyone could hear the muffled sounds on the other end. When he turned back, she could see the tension in his face. Is he in a safe place? Has he been discovered? Where is he?

Severus was out of time. Looking into her eyes, he pleaded for her understanding.

"I have to go, love. Promise me you will stay safe until I return."

She was crying silently, unable to give him the answer he was looking for.

"Daddy, please?" she said softly, her voice cracking.

Severus almost faltered at those words. It filled him with a contentment he had never know when his children, especially Hermione, called him Dad. He knew she was scared. But what he was doing was ensuring their safety. He had a family, and that was the strongest motivation there is.

"The four of you are my reason for everything, my greatest incentive to come home. Know that I will do everything in my power to just that."

Hermione only nodded, but Severus was not satisfied. He needed to hear her say the words.

"Promise me, Hermione."

She shook her head. "Let me help you, Dad."

"Promise me." He said firmly.

Hermione knew he would wait until she made the promise. The earlier noises made her wonder at his safety. She knew she had no choice.

"I promise."

"What do you promise?" Severus wanted to hear it.

"I promise I will not come after you" she answered sadly.

The relief on Severus' face was evident to everyone in the room. He nodded his acknowledgment. Another noise behind him was rushing his goodbye. He reached out and stroked Hermione's image in the mirror.

"I love you, my daughter. Let your mother and brothers know I love them and I WILL see you all very soon." And in an instant, he was gone.

Hermione's eyes grew wide with panic. She reached out, hoping against hope that he was still there. By the time her hand touched the mirror, it had turned back into the portrait.

"No! Daddy, please! No, Dad, come back!" came the broken voice of Hermione Granger. She began pounding on the portrait, begging for Severus to return.

She fell into Ginny's arms and sobbed openly. Pansy and Luna wrapped their arms around their Gryffindor sisters, willing for comfort. The others watched helplessly as the brightest witch they have ever known do what so many have done before her in a time of war, cry for her father.