A/N: I haven't given this up, I am just a very slow writer, thank you for your reviews, they are very motivating, I had fun writing this, Snape is...very OOC in my opinion, but I guess you guys can decide yourself :) enjoy!
It happened more often now, that he came home and was weak. He'd collapse on the floor or sometimes on the couch, but every time he knocked something other and pulled me out of my sleep. I managed to wake him up and help him to his bed, but he never told me, what was going on. Or he lied. There was a drunk Death-Eater, he hadn't eaten, drunken, or slept enough, he had a bad migraine. There were so many excuses, sometimes they even contradicted themselves or they were plain stupid: Why would someone pass out, because they'd drunken too much water?
Really, it was none of my business, we lived together, he took care of me, that was it. But I had nothing else to do and I wanted to know what was going on.
"Are you going out again?", I asked, as he walked to the door.
His reading-room was near it, when I sat in his armchair I could watch it easily.
I closed my book, "Are you an Alcoholic?"
He sighed, "You certainly know what kind of Meeting I'm going to Hermione."
Hermione, that was nothing unusual anymore. I hadn't brought myself to say his name yet, because frankly, he hadn't offered it.
"Is it drugs? I mean falling over every night...it's not very healthy..."
"I am going now, goodbye."
"Be safe!", I cried out, all of the humor disappeared from my voice.
He walked out of the door and immediately my inside churned. I was worried for him, if anything happened to him I would be taken away to a different "master" and I was sure my new one would not treat me the way Snape did.
Also I needed him, he was something of my old life that had come with me into the new strange one, he was my constant.
I opened the book again, it was Hogwarts a History, I found refuge in these words, for I had read them so many times, I could hear myself speaking them to Harry and Ron, could see myself on the Hogwarts Express and sometimes if my emotions weren't running crazy I could feel that feeling of freedom, of normality of being Hermione Granger, a girl with parents who loved her, a brilliant career ahead of her, part of the golden Trio, best friend of Harry Potter. Oh the feeling of living my own, happy life.
"Ron! Ron! Please!", Sobbing I threw myself onto his chest, "I love you so much Ron, I love you so much! I'm so sorry!"
My cries filled the air, all around us it was quiet.
He's...not...dead. I had to bring him away from here.
"Harry!", I touched him, tried to feel any sign of life from him, but he was dead.
"I'll fix this", I promised, "I'll save Ron and I'll tell her Harry, I will, I promise!"
The car! I had to get to the car!
The tent, our belonging, none of it mattered any more, I ran all of it over.
While heaving Rons body unto the backseat a terrible noise suddenly surrounded me. It was laughter. His laughter.
"The Boy Who Lived Has Finally Died!", I covered my ears in hope of getting rid of this terrible noise, but there was no use, for it was in my head.
"Voldemort has won this battle once and for all! Whoever does not see me as their master will be killed, you have been warned!"
Once it was over I fell to the ground. But I knew I couldn't stay here long, I had to keep moving I needed to get out of here. If he knew Harry was dead, then he knew where he was and would be coming for him.
"I'm so sorry."
I drove the car as fast as it was possible. It was only when I sped down the highway, that I realized apparating would be much quicker.
Somehow I ended up at the Hospital and I laid him down in the front hall before turning away and walking around the corner as if none of this concerned me. From there I watced,
"Come on", my lips moved without sound, "come on, do something, save him, save him!"
Finally a Healer came running down the corridor,
"I need help!"
He leaned over him, over that beautiful man, who was so shattered, but had so much will to live, "Sir can you here me?"
More Healers came, they surrounded him, took him away.
"I love you, Ronald Weasley."
This time I wasn't woken by him falling, it was merely the door, that he opened and closed. I awoke from my highly unpleasant and disorienting dream with relief, that he was alright.
He came inside and sat opposite me, "I'm always back, Hermione."
"Is everything Ok?"
His hand reached into his jacket, which was dripping wet for it had been raining rather heavily outside,
"This is for you. Now, before I give it to you, lets be clear: You do not ask questions, as to how I have gotten this message", he leaned forward, so he could speak even quieter, than in his usual voice, "You are a clever girl Hermione, you know there isn't a Death-Eaters-Meeting every day, but use that brilliant brain of yours and think of why I cannot tell you, where it is I am going", he face came even closer to mine, "I am only protecting you."
With that he pulled a piece of paper out of his chest pocket and handed it to me. I opened it and my hands were shaking,
We know you were with Ron and Harry, when it happened. We do not blame you for Rons condition neither for Ginnys. We do not no of any other whereabouts of our children, we hope they are safe. Thank whatever there is left to thank that you are safe dear Hermione, we were always very fond of you and have loved you as our own daughter. We wish you the best, that someday maybe you will have a normal, beautiful life, as you had always deserved. We see Ron everyday, in disguise of course, we cannot show our true identities. His condition hasn't changed and we pray he doesn't wake up, for YKW wants to know how Harry died. He does not know you were there Hermione, we made sure of that, keep that secret dear, for it is the only thing keeping you alive.
We love you Sweetheart and hope to see you again, in a different life or a better place.
Arthur and Molly Weasley.
I fought against crying with all my strength and read the letter again and again. Shaking I finally put it into my lap,
"C..Can you explain me some things?"
He hadn't moved from his seat and he didn't show any kind of reaction to my one.
"Why didn't they spell You-Know-Who?"
This Answer was going to be an uncomfortable one, I could see that in his eyes.
"People were afraid of saying his name for years and You-Know-Who turned into his new name and know..."
"People are afraid of that too", I finished quietly, before asking my next question, "How come he doesn't know I was there, what did they do?"
"You know Nymphadora?"
"Well she took on your identety and went to Azkaban, I got her out of there, brought her to Lupin and then found and consolted you, you were very lucky no one else found you, except for me."
"Is...Is Tonks crazy now?"
He shook his head, "She's as sane, as she ever has been, if that means anything."
"I didn't know she could...change into any person like that."
"She didn't seem to know herself, but she managed it all very well, it didn't make a very big differnce to the Dementors, they don't really see people anyway."
"Her Baby?", I asked paniced, "Is her Baby alright?"
"Fine, started crawling around from what I last heard."
Tears streamed down my face, I couldn't stop them anymore.
"Why would she do that? Why would everyone go through so much to protect me?"
"They meant to protect Potter", he spoke softly, "but that didn't work and instead it saved you."
He gave me a minute to digest that, before continuing,
"You'll have to burn this letter, so that the it doesn't fall into the wrong hands, alright?"
"Have I got th...can I learn it of by heart first?", I looked up at him begging him to understand how much these words meant to me, how terrible the thought of destroying them was .
He stood up to leave, but I called him back,
"You're doing something good, aren't you? Something to stop him?"
His back was turned to me and he didn't move, but my question had never really been a question at all.
"You don't want to tell me, in case something goes wrong and he asks me questions. You don't want me to rat you out."
Now he did turn around, "It never mattered, if I died, I couldn't have cared less, but since I've been looking after you it does. You matter and if something happens to me...", he shook his head, "I can't stand the thought of you being hurt Hermione, you are all left from those I failed to protect."
"Then I won't ask you any questions", the honesty of his feelings had surprised me tremendously, but I didn't show that, "I'm glad it's not drugs."
He was all for the joking, "I never said it wasn't."
Again he wanted to leave,
"Wait! If...when you see them again, tell them I love them?"
It took him a moment to answer,
That evening something changed. He knocked on my door,
Normally we never ate together, since he wasn't there most of the time. Downstairs I came face to face with another surprise,
"You can cook?"
He rolled his eyes, "Of course, having house-elves isn't my style and having a maid is too expensive."
"Isn't it like my job to cook for you?"
He pointed towards a chair for me to sit down and I did.
"Your job is to live Hermione, that's all I could ever ask from you, it's all I want from you."
"Give me your plate", I handed it to him and he filled it with noodles and then put some Sauce over it.
I wanted to ask him, if he remembered the meals we'd eaten at Hogwarts, but I didn't want him to get the wrong idea, so I thanked him and began eating.
After two minutes of silence-except for the usual clatter of our forks and our plates-I asked,
"What do you mean House-elves aren't your style?"
"I don't like having people working for me, that goes for creatures of any kind, besides it isn't very fair, they don't get paid, they never have free-time and most of the time they get treated terribly."
"That's exactly what I always said!", I cried excitedly, "Ron and Harry said that..."
I gasped. Talking about them was hard, I didn't know if it was alright.
"What did they say?", he sounded sincerely interested, but I knew it wasn't in what I had to say, but who I was talking about. He wanted to show me that it was alright to speak about them.
"That House-Elves loved the way they lived, that they were happy and setting them free would be cruel."
He rolled his eyes, "Those are just stupid excuses, House-Elves don't know anything else, that's why they say they're happy, but they don't even know what that means."
"I never answered that", I whispered, "and we discussed it so many times...", I shook my head, "It seems so stupid now, such a waste of time...I was so angry at them, at Ron mainly, so many times...I wasted so much."
His hand reached out to touch mine, "Lily and I used to argue about the same thing over and over again and as I remember Potter you probably know exactly what or rather who Lily and I always argues about."
"James, Harrys Dad?"
He nodded, "I could have just gotten over the fact, that Lily chose him. I could have tried to just be friends with him and maybe things wouldn't have turned out differently. We can't change the past Hermione, so don't beat yourself up with questions and what-ifs, there's no use."
"What if we can change the past?", I spoke quietly, "What if we use a Time-Turner and..."
"If it were possible, don't you think I would have done that ages ago? Don't you think I would have given Harry his parents?", he pulled his hand back, "like I said you're clever, you know there's no changing of the past."
He stood up to clear away our empty plates and I stood up,
"Hey, I know you said you don't like people working for you, but...can I make myself useful? I can...try and cook."
His face broke into a smile at my words, "Sure Hermione, whatever you want."
This friendliness was so unlike him, but this was my new life, our new life, now and this came with changes. We tieded up together, washed the plates in a muggle way, because that way we both had something to do. I wasn't sure about him, but I wasn't thinking of the past. I was thinking of the future. Harry was dead. Ron was as good as gone. Snape and I were surviving this and I was sure we could make this work and maybe, just maybe there was a chance for defeating Voldemort and getting ourselves out of this mess.
He noticed me staring at him and smiled. I smiled back, maybe he was thinking of Lily, but it didn't matter. We'd both always think of them, what mattered now was that we stuck together.
I had to smile, here I was planning my future with Professor Snape, befriending him. The once so hated teacher, now the only friend I had left.