A/N: So I'm pretty much a horrible person. School and theatre have been driving me up a wall. Sorry for the wait. This is where it is ending. I know the ending is slightly rushed, but I need to leave this project behind. Thanks to those that have stuck with me.
Chapter 14: Forgive and Forget
Ginny sobbed into Hermione's chest as she sat on the bed in the Hospital Wing. "I didn't mean to tell. I told him I wouldn't..."
Hermione tried to soothe her. "He shouldn't have done that to you."
"I told him I wouldn't tell."
"Telling was the right thing to do. He shouldn't-"
"Ginny!" Ron burst into the room. "You alright?"
The girl shook her head. "I'll be fine," she lied.
Harry arrived a few seconds later, worry etched on his face. He took the girl's hand. "Ginny," he began. "I'm so sorry. I should have been able to keep this from happening."
"What happened, Severus?" Dumbledore asked, his eyes soft with sadness.
Severus shook his head, unable to hold back his tears. "I don't know..."
"Did you assault her?"
Slowly, Severus nodded, tears flowing steadily down his cheeks. "I couldn't stop. I-it was like I was watching from afar."
Dumbledore sighed. "What am I to do with this, Severus?" he asked.
"If it were my choice...kill me. I'm not better than my filthy father."
"Severus, you do not deserve to die. You've done something horrid, but you're not a monster?"
"Not a monster?" he asked. "I'm the very definition of a monster. Send me to Azkaban. I beg you, Headmaster."
"I need you, Severus," Albus said. "You're vital to this cause."
"Not any longer!" Snape roared, standing. "How can I expect anyone in the Order to trust my information anymore?"
Albus stood as well. "I trust your information, and that is all that matters."
"I don't want to be a part of your game anymore."
"You have no choice."
Severus shook his head. "Wrong. Four words. That's all I need to get me out of this."
"And what might those be?"
"I'm working for Dumbledore." Severus spat them. "I'm sure I would endure some torture before he kills me, but I deserve that, don't I?"
"You cannot do this. Think about Lily!"
"Stop!" he bellowed. "Stop using her against me!"
The old many sat back down. "Severus, what is becoming of you?" Dumbledore asked quietly.
"You tell me."
"You're sick. There is something wrong with you," Albus said, trying to be delicate.
Perhaps he was right. What normal man raped a young girl because he was angry?
The door slammed open. "Albus! I demand to-" Molly Weasley stopped speaking upon making eye contact with Snape. She marched directly up to him, smacking him roughly across the face.
Snape did nothing to stop her, even as she pulled her wand from her robes. Arthur Weasley, though looking quite angry as well, pulled his wife's wand from her hands. "Don't do something you'll regret," he begged, his voice gentle.
Snape glanced at Albus, completely unsure of what he was to do.
"Albus!" Molly demanded. "How can you allow him to just stand here like this? he should be locked away."
"She's right," Severus added, earning a confused glare from the woman.
"What are you playing at, Snape?" Arthur asked, also confused.
Severus sighed. "I cannot justify my actions, but I also cannot explain why they occurred. I fully agree that I should be sent to Azkaban. It's Albus who fails to agree."
Molly Weasley turned on the Headmaster. "How could you disagree?"
"Molly, my dear..." Albus began. "Severus is important to our cause, you know that."
"And my daughter is more important to me that your cause!"
"I understand. I assure you, Ginerva will be exempted from Potions and no contact between the two will be allowed under any circumstances."
Ginerva had managed to distract her friends for long enough to escape the hospital wing and head up to the Headmaster's office. Her anger and fear had worn off. She had, to some degree, caused her Professor's actions. She had to be sure he wouldn't be punished.
The steps to his office took the wind from her lungs faster than she could put it back, but she refused to slow.
She pushed the door open, coming face to face with Severus. He looked genuinely shocked to see her.
"Miss Weasley," Albus called out.
Ginny grimaced, seeing her parents there. "Oh, Ginerva," Molly called out. "Ron flooed me." She moved forward to hug her daughter, but Ginny stepped out of her way. She might as well tell them.
"Stop!" she growled, stepping past her parents and to the Headmaster's office. "Headmaster, I wish to speak to you and Professor Snape...alone."
Severus looked up, confused. Was she going to make up a story to make him seem like even more of a monster? Or...was she trying to make an excuse for his behavior?
Albus nodded. "Mrs. Weasley...Arthur...would you mind terribly?"
"Yes, in fact-"
"Mum, please..." Ginny begged. "I need you to let me talk to them."
Molly nodded slowly, tears in her eyes. She kissed her daughter's forehead. "I love you," she said, sadly.
"Love you too, Mum." She watched her parents as they left the room.
Ginny looked back up at the Headmaster, though she could see Snape staring at her quizzically. She wasn't sure if her confession would end up helping him or not.
"Go on, dear," Albus said, gently.
"Well, you see, Headmaster, Professor Snape is not entirely at fault here. I feel it unfair to blame him completely."
Albus looked slightly surprised. "Do go on, dear," he requested.
"You see..." she bit her lip, thinking of the best way to phrase what she had to say. "Over the summer, I developed a bit of a crush on Professor Snape," she wasn't lying. "Well, I sort of...took advantage of the fact that he was drunk one night and snuck into his rooms," she lied.
Snape stepped forward to intervene. "Professor, please," Ginny held up a hand to silence him. Snape watched her but nodded for her to go on. "Somehow, though we both knew our actions were wrong, we started coming together more often during the summer. When we came back to school, we saw each other less. I became worried that he was going to forget about me so I tried to become more bold...I tried to make him jealous by hanging around Harry more."
Ginny paused, her cheeks red with embarrassment. "Go on, child," Albus said.
"Well, Se-Professor Snape approached me in the hallway and I went, willingly, with him to his rooms. I thought I was ready, but..." she shook her head.
"Did you make it clear to him that you had changed your mind?"
Ginny bit her lip, shaking her head slowly. "Not until it had already happened. I just...I overreacted. I don't want Professor Snape to be punished for a misunderstanding."
"Why, then, does Severus so strongly believe he...assaulted you?" Albus asked.
Ginny looked down and shrugged. "I assume it is because I panicked. I started crying and saying how I didn't want to do it...but that was after the fact. I should have said something before..."
Albus frowned. "Severus, do you have anything to add?"
Severus shook his head. "No, sir."
Albus nodded. "You are both free to go," he said. "Miss Weasley, I will speak to your parents."
Ginny nodded, grateful. "Thank you, sir."
Ginny sat in her last Potion's class of the year. She watched Snape scribble the instructions for their summer homework on the board. It had been rough in the beginning. Her parents were incredibly disappointed. Her friends were disgusted.
It had been a few months, and the shock of what happened had worn off. She was talking and hanging out with her friend again and was even dating Harry.
"Class dismissed," Snape called out. "Miss Weasley, a word." He stopped her as she packed up.
Severus looked as though he struggled with his words. "I wanted to thank you. Though I don't think you should have lied for my benefit..."
Ginny looked up at him. "You made a mistake. I could see how horrified you were at the time; I was just too upset to notice it then."
"Ginny, I hurt you...and you lied to keep me from getting into trouble..."
Ginny stopped and turned to him. "Everyone deserves a second chance."
"No me," he growled. "Not for this."
Ginny smiled weakly and put a hand on his cheek. "Please, don't argue with what I've just done. Now we can go our separate ways and neither of us will have to speak to each other again...other than in class."
Severus took a deep breath and nodded. "I don't agree with what you've just done...but I'm grateful."
Ginny smiled weakly and nodded, moving forward to give him a quick hug. "Please, don't punish yourself too much over what happened. Please know that I've forgiven you."
Severus gave her a weak smile. "I don't deserve it, but thank you."
Ginny pulled away from the hug and bit her lip. "Have a good summer, sir."
Snape nodded. "You too, Miss Weasley. See you in September."
A/N: Its not a great ending, but I needed to be done with this. Please review. My next project, when I have time to start it, will be an HG/SS story. Until then, thanks for reading. :)