Chapter 12: A New Life Indeed

"Let me go!" yelled Minerva once they landed in the Headmaster's office. Severus held her tight against his body. Minerva fought against him as she was kicking and thrashing, trying to get away from his grasp.

"Minerva, Merlin damn it, I'm trying to help you!" yelled Severus, but her lashing out didn't cease.

"Minerva?"

Minerva stopped from the familiar voice. Severus sighed thankfully, but still didn't let her go.

"Albus?"

"Minerva, Severus isn't here to hurt you. I can explain everything."

-/-/-

"So where do we start our search? She could be anywhere." asked Molly frantically.

"Yes, she looked at me weirdly." admitted Tonks.

"Humph," Mad-Eye huffed, "she looked at me weirdly too."

"She probably saw how you guys died, and by the way Severus probably took her to his office." Harry interrupted them all. All three adults looked at him strangely.

"Snape told McGonagall to ask Dumbledore. The only way she could do that is through a painting. There's a portrait of Dumbledore in the Headmaster's office, unless they found a way to bring the dead back to life." he explained.

"And they call Hermione the brains of the group." Rolonda came to join the party.

"Where the hell were you?" hissed Mad-Eye.

"I was alerting the others. I sent Molly and Tonks here." Rolonda responded defensively.

"Yeah, because you couldn't face Minerva yourself"

Harry on the other hand was able to slip away from the others unnoticed. He was tired of hearing them bickering. He needed to help his professor from Snape. If he was telling the truth, then he wanted to know why.

-/-/-

Minerva pushed Severus away from her as she went towards the voice. She stood in front of his portrait looking into those blue twinkling eyes. Her eyes started to glass over with unshed tears.

"Oh my dear, I'm so sorry that I've caused you such misery, but you must understand that it was my time to go. I was dying from the start, you knew that." Dumbledore told her softly while she just shook her head, not wanting to listen. "Please, listen to me Tabby. You knew I was dying from my hand. You saw how the poison spread through my body. Severus did me a favor. I asked him to kill me, so he could save Draco, and himself. There is no need for people to die when they don't need to."

"No, I don't understand. Why would Draco die, if you didn't?" Minerva shouted in confusion. Her skin still glowed around her. Her eyes turned bright white again.

"Severus can show you the memories." Dumbledore looked at Severus who looked a little apprehensive. Minerva turned around at him looking ready to bit his head off if he touched her.

"Now Tabby, if you want to know the truth, you must trust me." Dumbledore told her sternly. Minerva looked at her friend and then at Severus. She sighed deeply as her eyes turned back to green. Severus used this time to slowly approach her once more. He raised his hands towards her temples. He looked at her for permission to continue before he touched her.

Minerva looked into his dark eyes trying to find any dishonesty. He looked tired as he had dark circles under his eyes. His face was sallow and gaunt. It seemed as if he hadn't slept for days. He was close to her. She remembered how his soft lips felt against hers, but then she shook the thought away. She couldn't think about that now, not now.

Severus saw that she was staring at him. He wondered what she was thinking. What was running through her mind? He finally touched her temples and unleashed the memory he had into her mind. Her eyes shut closed as she saw the memory flash before her eyes. They were in the Headmaster's office except that Dumbledore was alive. He was sitting at his desk as Severus paced furiously around the room.

"I can't believe you're asking me to do this Sir."

"It's the only way Severus. You know I'm dying. Hogwarts needs you Severus, and Draco doesn't deserve to die. He's a confused lost soul who needs your help."

"But to kill you, Headmaster, is that truly the solution?"

"It's all I can think of Severus. It's for the greater good."

"And Minerva, does she know about this?"

"No, I don't tell her everything, Severus, and it would be better that she didn't know about it. If she did, she'd probably try to stop us."

Severus smirked, but then started to pace again. "This isn't right, I can't do it."

"Oh but you must. Don't think of it as murdering me Severus, but putting me out of pain. You could give me a quick painless death while the poison that runs through me is giving me the opposite."

Now Dumbledore stood with a reassuring hand on Severus's shoulder. "I can't Headmaster, I'm sorry, but I just can't."

"I know you can Severus, and you will"

-/-/-

Harry ran down the corridors until he stopped in front of the Gargoyle. Damn thought Harry. He didn't know the password. Plus Snape wasn't like Dumbledore where he could guess a random candy. The password could be anything. He didn't know what it could be. Harry turned around as he suddenly heard Mad-Eye's fake leg banging against the stone floor.

"Step aside Gargoyle, before I blow you to smithereens!" he roared at the statue. Harry looked at it, and if he hadn't known better, it looked as if it gulped from fear. Rolonda was right behind him as they walked towards the statue.

"Blasted statue?" cursed Mad-Eye before he turned to Rolonda. "What's the password?"

"How am I supposed to know?" questioned Rolonda as put her hands up in surrender. "How about I hate Potter?"

"Hey!" Harry yelled at Rolonda.

"What, it's no secret that you're not Severus's favorite student."

Harry shrugged as it was true. "Well, now what?"

"I don't know, but he better not lay a finger on Minerva-" Rolonda was interrupted as the statue moved aside. "That was the password?"

"Who cares, let's go!" ordered Mad-eye as was the first to move up the spiraling stair case.

Rolonda stayed in place dumbfounded. "Am I the only one here that finds that weird, and disturbing?"

-/-/-

Severus withdrew from her mind, and put his hands at his sides.

"So it's true, you didn't murder him." she said softly. It was as if she was saying the new information to herself. She couldn't believe it.

"I'm so sorry Severus. I'm sorry for what I called you." she apologized as she stroked his cheek gently. He leaned into her touch as he relaxed.

"Is what you said before true?"

"I just showed you the memory." Severus pulled away aghast.

"No," she pulled him back towards her, "I meant back in your room."

Severus smirked but in a playful manner. The smile was rare as he's only smiled like that for Lilly, but now he was smiling for Minerva. He looked into her dark emerald eyes. He saw that her skin no longer had that unearthly glow as she was back to normal. He lightly brushed his lips against hers. He savored the sensation as he no longer had to fear that she would scream out loud. Her hand never left his cheek as her other hand encircled around his neck to pull him closer. Severus reached out as his arms wrapped around her waist, pulling her closer to him. With each passing second their heart beats quickened. The kiss became bruising as he was claiming her as his own and she claimed him with the same force.

"Get a room!" interjected Phineas Nigellus Black in his portrait. All the others hushed him as others reprimanded him for interrupting a moment like that. Minerva didn't mind as she still kept her hold on Severus as he held her.

The only thing that really ruined the moment was the loud knock from Mad-Eye's staff as he roared, "Severus, open the door! We know you have Minerva."

"What I really want to know is why she's your password." exclaimed Rolonda.

"Not now Rolonda!" snapped Mad-Eye.

Minerva gave Severus a questioning look. He made her his password?

"We need to get you out of here. They cannot know."

"But you're innocent Severus. They should know."

"No, I need them to hate me. It's the only way they can do what they need to do." Severus stated as he started to move Minerva towards his living quarters. She stopped him.

"Do what, abandon you, and alienate you? You do not deserve that."

Severus held her tighter as he forced her to keep on moving. "I might not deserve it Minerva, but it is what needs to be done. Hold on." He told her as he held her tighter.

"Where are you taking me?" she asked, but he didn't answer her, instead they apparated away as she landed outside the front doors of Hogwarts. She felt the cool grass beneath bare feet. She never took notice to her appearance.

"Minerva, I'm going to stupefy you so you don't have to explain right away once they find you. Do not tell them what you've learned. Just tell them I forced a potion down your throat and that's all you remember, or just say you don't remember anything." He instructed her he went to leave her side, but she didn't let him go.

"Wait, when will I see you again?"

Severus looked back at her. She cared for him, and would miss him. He liked the new feeling as no one ever felt that way towards him. He pulled her into his arms as he gave her one last kiss. Before she knew it she, felt like the ground had fallen beneath her. All she could see was darkness.

He gently laid her unconscious body on the ground. He looked down at her calm face as he felt his heart beat slowed. Her lips were swollen beet red. Her skin was pale, but at least not glowing, as her dark hair was like a shadow around her. He wiped away a strand of her hair before he lightly kissed her good bye.

-/-/-

"They're in there, I'm sure of it." growled Mad-Eye. Harry nodded his head in agreement. He was sure that Severus would take her there to see Dumbledore's portrait.

"Well open the Bloody door if you're so sure of yourself." yelled Rolonda.

"It's easier said than done." hissed Mad-Eye. "Now stand back!"

Rolonda grabbed Harry as they both moved backwards from the door. Mad-Eye lashed his wand out at the door causing it to explode into thousands of pieces. Mad-Eye quickly made it through the door as fast as his wooden leg would take him as Harry and Rolonda were right behind him.

"What the bloody hell is going on?" asked Severus as he stood up from his desk looking alarmed. Mad-Eye had his wand pointed at Severus.

"Where's Minerva?" Mad-Eye questioned Severus as he glared at him. Mad-Eye's glares were famous amongst death eaters and Severus was no objection.

"Mr. Moody, I would like to ask why you have barged into my office in such a manner unannounced."

"You haven't answered my question. Where is Minerva?"

Severus glared right back at the man as he quickly moved from around his desk and approached Mad-Eye.

"I would like to inform you, Alastor Moody, that I am headmaster of Hogwarts, and therefore I have every right as to remove you from the premises."

"I would like to see you try." dared Mad-Eye. "I have put away more death eaters than you can count boy, so don't think I'm going to cower under your glare like some first year Huffelpuff."

"I wasn't counting on it."

"Okay, can we get on with this? Alastor wants to know where Minerva is, while I'd like to know why she's your password!" Rolonda interrupted the two. Harry had to roll his eyes. She just wasn't going to let that down was she?

"Really, are you serious?" asked Mad-Eye incredulously.

"I was just wondering."

"Stupefy." Harry shouted through the chaos. The red beam of light struck Severus directly on his upper right arm.

"Harry!" roared Mad-Eye in a mixture of being proud, shocked, and angered.

"Nice hit Potter, now quick, let's tie him up." Rolonda exclaimed already having rope emit from her wand and wound tightly around Severus. Mad-Eye roamed around the office and private quarters only to find it empty.

"She's not here." Mad-Eye reported once he was done with his search.

"Well let's go." Rolonda said as she levitated Severus behind her. "Everyone is probably already at the informatory, wondering where we are."

-/-/-

Molly and Tonks were ordered to look at Dumbledore's tomb for Minerva. She wasn't there. The scene seemed eerie and somber. Dumbledore finally gone was something hard to let seep in.

"I can't believe the board of Governors made Severus Headmaster." Molly spat.

"I'm sure it's Malfoy's doing for sure. He probably blackmailed them all." Tonks assured.

They continued to walk in silence until Molly broke the silence. "So, what's up with you and Remus?"

Tonks blushed as she smiled at Molly. "Oh you'll find out sooner or later."

Molly gave Tonks an all too knowing smile. She knew something was going on between the two, but she wouldn't protrude over them. Tonks was nice, though she would have wished Tonks fell in love with her Bill instead of that foolish girl Fleur. As they came up the hill both their breaths were caught in their throats. Minerva was sprawled across the lawn in front of the front doors of Hogwarts. The bright side she wasn't glowing.

"Oh my, what did he do to her?" asked Tonks as they approached her. Severus had put painless bruises and cuts over her, so it would look like he abused her. It was the only way they would really despise him.

"We have to get her to Poppy." Molly quickly levitated Minerva in the air as her and Tonks made their way to the hospital wing. They entered to find Pomona lying down next to Filius as Poppy was anxiously pacing her wards, waiting for people to return with Minerva. Some had returned like Kingsley, Arthur, and Remus, but Molly and Tonks haven't come back. Harry, Rolonda, and Moody haven't returned either. She gasped when she saw Rolonda and Molly had Minerva.

"We found her, looks like she was beaten." confessed Molly. Poppy looked furious as she advanced on them. The others sighed in relief only for their guts to catch in their throat from the sight of her.

"Please set her on the bed." Poppy ordered. Once Molly had set her down, Poppy pulled the curtains so it was only her and Minerva. She unclothed Minerva and started to examine her body. She healed the cuts and bruises. Moving her wand in complicated motions while muttering incantations, she wrote down the results. She then clothed Minerva in Hospital pajamas. She went to get the required potions only to find Rolonda barge into the ward with an unconscious tied up Severus behind her.

"What the Bloody Merlin happened?" snapped Poppy. "Don't bring him in my ward, Minerva's here!"

"Minerva's here?" shouted Rolonda as she ran to over where Minerva was.

"That bastard, let me at him!" cried Molly as she stormed towards him.

"Hold on Molly," her husband, Arthur, held her back, "We don't want you going to Azkaban."

"Arthur, you saw how Minerva was, he…Merlin knows what he did!" Molly protested. Harry and Mad-Eye didn't understand what she meant. Rolonda looked at Minerva. Most her bruises were healed, but she still gasped. She saw the thin red lines across her body which was a sign of deep cuts that were just magically healed. There was one across her cheek bone, a small one near her hairline, and some up and down her arms. Rolonda looked furious.

Rolonda pointed her wand at Severus as she yelled "Dep-" She was cut off as someone grabbed her wand hand and pointed it down to the floor. She turned around surprised to see Minerva sitting up with her hand tightly around Rolonda's.

"Don't Rolonda." She ordered as her stern demeanor returned. The others gawked at the scene as they were bewildered. Rolonda on the other hand moved to wrap her arms around Minerva in a tight embrace.

"You're back." Rolonda started to form tears in her eyes. "I…I thought we'd lost you forever."

"What are you talking about?" questioned Minerva. She decided to play dumb. She knew what she had done while she was a banshee, but she didn't seem to want to explain herself. She didn't know exactly what had overcome her.

"You don't remember?" asked Rolonda as she pulled away from Minerva looking appalled.

"The last thing I remember is the funeral, and then I was at Albus's grave grieving for one last time," Minerva replied the last part a bit ashamed, but continued," and then I don't remember anything else."

"Oh Min." wept Rolonda as she drew Minerva closer to her. Minerva stiffened as she wasn't the hugging type of person. Severus was the new exception though she thought happily to herself. Minerva was a good actress as she acted shocked.

"May I ask, why is Severus tied up, what happened to me, and why is everyone's ear's wrapped up?"

"We'll explain Minerva, but I must confess to the others before they go beating up Severus, is that he may have not beaten Minerva." Poppy stated.

"What?"

"Severus, why would he beat me?" questioned Minerva.

"Yes, I have examined her thoroughly, and the bruises and buts where in random places. They didn't look inflicted, but more like self-inflicted." Poppy explained. "The only bad thing in the report Min," she sighed as she face Minerva to tell her, "you may look normal, but you will forever be a banshee."

-/-/-

Several weeks had passed as Minerva has been carefully watched and monitored. The others had reluctantly let Severus go, but they didn't trust him around Minerva. They would never trust him around her alone. Minerva on the other hand was still in fact a banshee. She could blow your ear off with her screaming, though she wouldn't dare. She still could see people's death, and sense when it was someone's time to kick the bucket. Pomona had forgiven Minerva, but she kept Filius away from her. He slowly recovered, but was warned not to do anything that involved a lot of energy.

Minerva was in her room, as the heat of July was getting to her. She opened her windows to let in the cool night air. Each time she felt a slight breeze on her neck, she imagined it was Severus. She remembered his touch on her. How her body felt warmth and longing for him. He hadn't spoken to her since the night when she learned the truth.

The small knock on her door derailed her train of thought. She unconsciously called the person in as it was becoming a routine. She heard the door softly click close and then lock itself. Minerva looked up to see Severus standing there. She leapt up from her seat and ran into his embrace. He kissed her as his arms wrapped around her. He had missed her of every waking moment.

"Severus, you finally came." she exclaimed as she buried her head into his shoulder.

"Well the staff didn't really make it easy for me to come and talk to you."

"Yes, they're rather protective." she said in a matter of fact tone. He smirked as his hands started to roam her body.

"I've noticed." he retorted dryly. His hands caressed her curves through her nightdress. She grave a throaty moan as he kissed her lips once more before trailing soft kisses down her neck. He ran his hand through her dark curls as he inhaled the scent. He loved how she smelled.

"I've missed you." she confessed as her arms warped around his back, drawing him closer to her. He kissed her more urgently as she found herself being lifted up from the ground and lead into her bedroom.

As she laid in bed with her bare body intertwined with his she remember that night when he first approached her. They had witnessed together how Severus died. It wasn't in his old age either. It seemed like it was creeping up on them. She couldn't lose him. They had just gotten together.

Severus saw the sad look in her eyes as he seemed to read her thoughts. He held her tighter to him. He rubbed her arms reassuringly as he placed a soft kiss in her hair.

"We'll find a way Minerva, we'll find a way."

-/-/-

During the school year, Minerva and Severus barely saw each other. It wasn't safe. Minerva looked up protective spells for Severus. She hoped she could find a way to protect him from Nagini. Every time Severus was called by the Dark Lord, his heart beat faster as he wondered if it was going to be the night he was killed.

Harry had returned to Hogwarts. Minerva knew it the war was going to be tonight as Severus did as well. She had dueled him in the halls in front of Harry. He warned her that she must be rebellious around him while others were around. She played her part a little too well maybe at that part. She watched as he left. She couldn't think of that now. Voldemort was most likely to arrive any minute. She had to get the students safely out.

As the fight progressed, she hoped no one had struck down Severus. Before she attacked a death eater, she made sure it wasn't Severus. She wondered where he was. As she ran down the halls she felt someone grab her wrist and pull her down a corridor. Her first reaction was to fight against the attacker.

"Minerva, it's me." Severus hissed and her thrashing ceased. She looked up at him as he hugged her.

"I believe it's time, but before it happens I wanted to tell you that I love you, more than words could describe." he admitted. She felt tears stinging her eyes as she kissed him with everything she had.

"I love you." she whispered. She then gripped his hands with hers as she rested his hand over her heart as hers was pressed against his. "You will forever be in my heart."

There was a faint glow around her. He thought she was turning into her full banshee form again. He then noticed his own hand glowed, but only for a second. Maybe it was just his mind playing tricks with him. He drew her closer to him as he held her once more.

"I have to go now. The Dark Lord summons me. I must go." He told her, though she didn't want to let him go. "Don't forget what I told you Minerva."

He was then gone as she was left alone amongst the battle. Severus landed at the Shrieking Shack. He listened to the Dark Lord, but all the time he was thinking of Minerva. How he would miss her. He watched as Nagini moved in her magical protected shield. Before he knew it she struck him in his throat. He felt her strong slithering body constrict around him. This was it. This was what he saw through Minerva's eyes. He knew it was coming. When the snake left him to die he saw Potter. He was ready to see Potter as he handed him the flask. The flask had memories that would explain everything. Before he knew it the pain had finally taken its toll as his body grew limp and he was in the darkness alone.

Minerva saw the Dark Lord fall. Finally he was gone, though she didn't see Severus anywhere. She lashed out her wand as her patronus tabby cat flowed out of it.

"Lead me to him." She ordered it and it sprinted out in front of her. She ran after it without hesitation. Please be alive she thought. She stunned the Whomping Willow as she made her way through. She found herself in the Shrieking Shack. Her eyes searched widely for him. They soon fell upon a pile of black robes in the corner of one room. She ran towards it collapsing to her knees. She rolled him over to see his pale cold face. Those dark mysterious eyes she would never gaze into. Her fingers trailed the deadly snake bite that scared his flesh.

"No, please, don't leave me." she pleaded. She felt herself go numb. Her body was trembling as her hands were balled in his robes. Tears streamed freely from her green emerald eyes as they turned white and her hair was bleach sand. She had her unearthly glow around her. She looked into his lifeless face as she felt herself sobbing uncontrollably. Why was all she could think of. Why did he have to die?

"I love you." She whispered to him, even though she knew he couldn't hear her. She bent her face low to his so her lips brushed against his ice cold lips. The light around her seem to consume them. They were surrounded by light as Minerva was blinded herself. She didn't know what was going on. All she did was embrace Severus harder. She shut her eyes from the blinding light until she found it to cease.

"I love you too." was a throaty response. She looked up in shock as she saw that he was very alive. He was still sickly pale as his skin was ice cold. He brushed his freezing fingers against her unscarred cheek.

"But how?" she was dumbfounded. Severus shrugged his shoulders.

"Does it matter?"

-/-/-

Severus was awarded Merlin first class for his part during the war. It took a while for the others to understand that Severus was innocent once Harry had shown them the memories. Once the war was over, Severus had moved out in a log cabin deep inside the woods, and away from civilization, just as he wished.

Severus sat by the fire with a good book and a cup of coffee. He peered over the book to look at his sleeping wife. He got up from his seat as he sat down beside her sleeping form and pulled her towards him. She snuggled into his embrace as he was sorry for waking her up.

"So is this what you wanted?" she asked him teasingly.

"No," he shook his head as she gave him a questioning look, "it's even better."

"It better be." she teased back. He kissed her lovingly as her cheek caressed his cheek. Minerva smiled as she sighed happily. She then looked at the clock.

"It's time to go." She said as she got him. He sighed, another school year, great.

"Samuel, are you ready?" yelled Minerva up the stairs.

"Yes Mum." responded a young eleven year old boy. He came tumbling down the stairs with his things. Minerva smiled as she handed him his coat.

"What house do you think I'll be sorted into?" he asked excitedly.

"Slytherin." answered Severus looking smug. Minerva shook her head.

"You know better Severus, obviously he's a Gryffindor." She teased back. Severus looked at her dotingly. The family made their way to the train station as they thought it would be good for him to have the normal experience of riding on the train without his parents.

Minerva bent down and gave him a kiss on the cheek as he pushed her away.

"Ma!" he rubbed her kiss away. Severus chuckled as he lovingly patted his son's black curly hair and then squeezed his shoulder reassuringly.

"Would you guys be mad if I got into another house?" he asked worriedly as he looked up at them. Minerva bent down as she smiled at her son and shook her head.

"Of course not, we'll love you no matter what."

"Unless you're a Huffelpuff." Severus interjected. Minerva waked him crossly on the arm.

"Don't worry dear, I'm sure you'll get into Gryffindor, but if not, it doesn't change for how I feel for you."

"And that's a good thing since you're getting into Slytherin." Severus interrupted again. Minerva just shook her head as she gave up.

"As I was saying, whatever house you get in, we'll be proud of you."

"Okay mum." Samuel said as he gave them one last hug. "I have to go." He said when his mother wouldn't let him go. She finally did as he ran off. His black eyes beamed at them as he wave at them good bye through the window.

Minerva and Severus watched the train leave before they left themselves towards Hogwarts.

"He's defiantly going into Gryffindor." Minerva stated as Severus shook his head.

"I think he's going to go into Slytherin."

"Is not."

"Is too."

"Fine then, if he's in Gryffindor you'll have to flaunt the Gryffindor colors proudly at every Gryffindor quidditch match."

"And if I'm right, which I normally am, you will have to…" Severus thought about it. She always wore green so that wasn't a problem. "You'll have to sleep in my dungeon quarters instead of the Headmaster one for the entire year." He knew Minerva hated the dungeons. She always said it was too cold and drafty.

She gave him a wicked smile as she nodded her head. "You're on."

The End

Author's note: So that is the end to this story. I hoped you liked the ending. In terms of Severus's survival, that's up to you to decide. I just couldn't have him die, and leave Minerva when they just got together. I'm sad that the journey has come to an end, but now I can focus on my other stories. Thanks for reading and reviewing. I enjoyed writing this, and wish you well.