So here's what's been happening to me. I have been struggling with college, had to switch majors, had some personal stuff happen, had a surgery that thankfully proved that I did not have cancer, had another surgery within three months, and I got diagnosed with chronic depression and an anxiety disorder.

I am a mess and I'm sorry I haven't been writing but with everything going on I haven't had the motivation to write and even now I really don't have the time to do this but I want to try and get back into it. Hopefully it'll relieve my stress and I will one day complete this story which I love and I really did feel bad about abandoning.

Those eyes were so cold. Hermione had been dreaming about those two pairs of eyes since she left Malfoy Manor. These people who wanted to pretend to befriend her but twenty years in the future they watch emotionless as she screams. Hermione awoke with a jolt glad that it was over for the moment, knowing that those eyes would return once she closed hers. That weekend she had to see them again as Cissy took her shopping. Even when she took a dreamless sleep potion she could not escape, they would catch her in her daydreams.

She got out of bed and went to take an early morning bath. She needed to relax before classes began in a few hours and she had to keep her anxiety from Severus. She was able to prevent a few conversations about the drawing room incident with him but that was not enough. She could not just ignore it she needed to get over it; this plan would not work if she allowed her memories this freedom. She must befriend these heartless monsters and make them think she sympathized.

As she tiptoed out she heard Lily stir in her bed. Poor girl had no idea; perhaps Hermione had been too hard on her. Severus had told her that Lily was also a target and Hermione began to wonder if she had survived in her past and if she would survive this future.

The brunette continued to the bathroom and ran a hot bath. As she soaked her worries entered her mind once more. What if she was a complete and utter failure at being a spy? Now that she and Severus were dating there would be little chance for him to talk his way out of any trouble her failure could cause. Was she too hasty with that New Years kiss? Would it lead to his downfall?

Severus had to survive, he was far more valuable to the mission where she was just extra weight but it was too late now. The kiss and all that followed were pleasant and she would not let him go, not unless she had to. And she very well might. If all went well she couldn't imagine having much control over her future with Voldemort and Dumbledore pulling the strings. No they were selling their freedom to stop her past from happening.

Hermione grabbed some shampoo and began furiously rubbing it into her scalp as if trying to scrub the thoughts away. After that proved fruitless Hermione began to meditate and attempted occlumency to block out her anxiety. Nobody needed to see her this way.

XXXXXX

Severus entered the Great Hall with trepidation. By now all of Gryffindor had fresh rumors about his personal life only this time Severus was going to prove them right. He would not risk driving her away by purposely being distant. He would try his best to act like a boyfriend… but he hoped Hermione did not expect too much of that in public, it simply could not happen.

He saw her sitting in her usual spot her hair looked freshly cleaned and her face looked exhausted. What nightmares plagued her last night? He knew she tried to hide her pain, of all sorts, from him and the world. He tried not to pry, he would always find out anyway, if not from her own admission then at least from her mind.

He sat at his house's table and took some eggs from a nearby serving dish when Dolohov walked over.

"Why are you staring at the gryffonbitch? You know people think you are with her, right?" the Slytherin drawled.

Severus took a bite of his breakfast, resisted the urge to look away from her, and responded, "Just because you're still hurting from her hex doesn't mean you should use such language."

Dolohov flushed red, "I can use whatever language I want and you should get used to it while dating that psycho."

Nearby a female voice joined, "Now Severus let's be serious," Zabini uttered, "Surely some decently pretty girl must have some interest, no need to stoop so low."

"I don't see how I'm stooping at all," Severus retorted. Deciding breakfast wasn't worth it he walked out of the Great Hall and gave Hermione a pointed look. She seemed to understand and followed him out.

After walking a ways she finally caught up to him. "Is something wrong?"

"Besides the fact that you're not sleeping no; I simply didn't want to be there anymore."

Hermione tried to straighten herself and look less a wreck. "My ribs still hurt…"

"Of course they do but you have potions for that."

"Which I don't like to over use, but forget that for now," Hermione made him look her in the eye, "you are changing the subject." She sighed and grabbed his hand. "Surely you knew the talking wouldn't stop."

"True but I wish I didn't have to hear. I'm sorry to have upset you any further," he let a small smile onto his face then placed a small kiss on her forehead. She reminisced in the feel of his lips and the sight of one of his rare smiles, they softened his features and soothed her nerves.

XXXXX

They entered charms together and took their usual seats in the back only just a little closer than usual. The students openly stared until Flitwick called their attention.

"Students we will need to move the desks and chairs to the sides as we will be learning to conjure a patronus." The room filled with excited whispers as they stood and magically moved the furniture. "The spell is very simple in theory what is hard is the memory. This memory must be of your happiest moment and it must be very strong. We will gather in groups and go one at a time in those groups."

The students lined up and began trying to cast the spell. Most were able to make some form of an animal after a few tries though a few had trouble focusing hard enough on a certain memory. Each new fully formed patronus was a source of discussion, what did that animal mean? Some was serious, some was teasing, particularly the Head Couple.

James produced a magnificent stag identical to his animagi, Hermione noted. Lily followed and produced a doe, their faces became the same shade of red as Lily's hair.

The newest couple had more trouble though. Thinking of his time with Hermione, Severus was able to produce a fog. It tried to take a form but was confused as to what it wanted to be. It could not take a form and Severus wondered if maybe after seeing Hermione's his would take shape.

But Hermione's never came. Oh she tried. She thought of Severus but those memories were tainted by the danger she had put him in, by the memories of what he would endure. The memory would not shine bright enough. The book said childhood memories worked best as they were untainted but she had none. Her breathing became shallow and all her anxieties came crashing in. She was hated in her past and would cause nothing but pain in this future. She was a failure, she was useless, her presence was a hindrance. And look at her breaking down over such a little thing, Voldemort would tear her to bits.

She tried to fight off all of the fears and just give up on the spell but now that the thoughts had invaded they refused to leave. The world came crashing down on her and the guilt roiled in her gut. She wanted it out, she wanted to claw at it until it could flow out. To cut and slash at herself until she could bleed out her worries. These thoughts scared and terrified her.

She was having a mental break down, she could not have it here. On the outside she had held it in long enough to slip outside, excusing herself to go to the restroom. Madame Pomfrey had been worried enough to give Hermione a small vial of calming draught. She had decided not to use it unless it was an emergency and the fact that the desire to grab a knife kept entering her mind said that it was. She drank enough to push out the thoughts then used occlumency to shut down any lingering emotions.

She calmly reentered the classroom and went to Severus. She grabbed his hand when he gave her a questioning look.

Her answer was perfectly nonchalant, "It's stupid isn't it? I can't do a simple spell."