"Severus," Voldemort spoke softly and glided around the shack, barely seeming to make sound on the rotting floorboards as he moved about. Nagini slithered near to him as he stopped before Severus. He stood his ground and Severus stood in calm.

Voldemort withdrew the Elder wand and spoke again, "You are a brilliant man Severus, why does this wand not work for me? Why does its loyalty not lie with me?"

"My Lord, forgive me, I should not have let the Mudblood escape-"

Voldemort's eyes flashed for an instant, "Never mind that, Harry was lured to me either way, I will defeat him as soon as I can gain this wand's loyalty, Severus. I do not blame nor will I punish you for that."

Voldemort sniffed then looked from the wand to Severus, "With whom does this wand's loyalty lie, Severus?"

While Voldemort proceeded to monologue, Harry, Ron and Hermione had been creeping stealthily up the stairs of the shack. They could hear the hushed voices. "Okay," Harry whispered, "You two go up, Ron, your job is to take this," Harry withdrew the sword from Hermione's bag, which he had snatched from the ground on the hill before he had left, and handed it carefully to Ron. "And kill the snake, as soon as Voldemort leaves-"

Suddenly they heard a voice, Severus', "My Lord-"

A spell was cast.

Hermione almost exclaimed out loud and if it weren't for Harry and Ron holding her back, she would have dashed up the stairs.

They heard the snake hissing and as the trio began climbing the stairs cautiously with Hermione in a panic they heard the words, "Nagini, KILL!"

Hermione almost screamed but Harry and Ron clapped a hand to her mouth. They could not be given away, under any circumstances! Hermione whimpered and tears ran down her cheeks….

From where they were standing, the trio could see shadows, everything lit by an almost-full moon… Nagini was striking Severus with her fangs; Severus had fallen, unable to defend himself.

"I regret it," The Dark Lord said and vanished.

Hermione dashed up the stairs and did not stop running or sobbing until she saw Severus' body lying on the floor of the shack. Blood was draining from an open wound in his neck. He saw Hermione. She screamed ran to him and flung herself into his arms. She took out her wand and tried spell after spell, charm after charm and sobbed and whimpered as each failed or did little to help. "It's okay, it's okay Sev! I'm going to help you! It's okay! I love you its okay!" Yet she couldn't stop her tears, all despair had engulfed her and as his eyes met hers, tears were falling from his eyes, "Hermione, I…"

Ron had dashed up the stairs and Harry, enraged, had left the spot while taking the sword with him.

Ron stood and watched as Hermione tried desperately to save Severus. Everything inside her hurt and the blood from her beloved covered her hands and stained her sleeves. She staunched the wounds with some cloth from her shirt and tried again to save him….

… "Hermione…it-its no..use…" Tears were streaking down his face.

"Yes, yes it is! There must be something…She reached into the folds of his robe and pulled out a blood replenishing potion, "Drink this, here Sev," she rummaged through the folds of his robes again…

….….Neville killed the snake….Hermione cried and desperately tried another spell….

…..The Final Battle…..

…Severus grasped Hermione's hand….

Ron found his tears and his heart going out to the odd couple…They were really in love…..

"Here! Drink this too…"

Severus drank the potions…..the blood stopped gushing…

…"Hermione…"

Hermione kissed his face, "It's okay, you're going to be fine, I promise."

Severus nodded weakly…he closed his eyes just after seeing Hermione's reassuring smile, "I love you, Hermione," he said.

The sound of a clock ticking awoke Severus, he was lying in a bed, a familiar one…. He was in the Headmaster's office. He sat up, groggily. Looking about, his eyes directed to the window he saw Hermione, she was sitting in a chair reading a book on potions-medicinal potions. Severus smirked, "Might you explain Miss Granger why you are in my bed chamber?"

Hermione looked up from her book in delight, "SEVERUS! Ron! Harry! Come here!"

Hermione stood and moved quickly over to the bedside. She took Severus' hand in one of hers and put the other to his forehead. Harry and Ron entered the room almost immediately. "He's alright?"

"He's perfectly fine!" Hermione said grinning and laughing excitedly. She kissed his face.

Harry and Ron drank in the both awkward and rather amusing scene for it was obvious that Severus was uncomfortable with Harry and Ron standing with joyous faces in his room; however, he was clearly pleased to see Hermione though rather annoyed that he was confined to a bed by her orders.

"The war is over and Voldemort has been destroyed," Hermione said seriously as she sat next to him on the bed.

"He almost destroyed you, but Hermione saved you," Ron said.

Severus wanted nothing more than to respond with a sarcastic retort such as, "Obviously, Weasley, I may be confined to my bed and have the unpleasant sight to witness you standing in my bed chambers, however, I can see and comprehend more clearly than you despite my near death experience. Obviously Hermione has saved me." Instead he said, "Yes, indeed she did."

"We'll leave you, then," Harry said looked at a rather stunned Ron.

"Close your mouth Weasley, you look like a fish."

Ron shut his mouth and was ushered out the door by Harry. Hermione laughed, "I'm so glad you're going to be well, Professor McGonagall desires you remain Headmaster as do the other staff members and-"

"I will not. She is far more suitable for the position. I will tell her that I insist."

Hermione smiled, "Whatever you desire."

Severus leaned over and kissed her. He was back with her, forever.