Disclaimer: Not mine.


Hermione Granger was starting to suspect this was a cruel joke. Or at the very least, Polyjuice Potion was involved. Or she had gone mad. But something was very, very strange.

It started two days ago, when half a dozen planters of exotic, rare magical flowers appeared on her doorstep. Sticking up from one in the middle like the white flag of surrender was a small note with a simple message. The writing was careful, blocked and Hermione could not place it.

I'm sorry.

That afternoon, a bloody crate of very valuable potions arrived. Every manner of healing and first aid potions. A dozen invisibility potions, several different kinds of magical perfumes and grooming potions. There were even seventeen vials of Felix Felicis, for Merlin's sake. Sellotaped to the top of the crate was another message.

I was an idiot.

Chocolates were next. Rich, decadent chocolates.

I was wrong.

Then a sapphire tennis bracelet, of all things. It was arranged in a pattern of little blue moons and tiny diamond stars.

Please forgive me.

It was the oddest thing. She'd thought, briefly, that it was Severus, but she quickly dismissed it as a false hope. In all the years she'd known him, in all the years they'd been seeing each other, she had not a single time heard Severus Snape apologize to anyone. She had literally witnessed him trip over his own feet, knocking a student into his cauldron. The poor boy's robes had burst into flames and Severus still had not apologized.

That evening, a tawny owl dropped a package on her lap. Hogwarts, A History. She held her breath. It was a first edition.

What in the world?

She found the note between the cover and the first ancient, fragile page, written in a familiar, spiked scrawl.

I still love you.

As she stared at the book in amazement, a soft knocking drew her towards her door. On the other side stood Severus Snape. She didn't know what shocked her more—the fact that he was standing there on her doorstep after weeks of lonely hell or how truly awful he looked. He was too thin, too haggard. He'd almost looked healthier after that horrible snake tried to rip out his throat.

She knew that they'd have to talk. She knew that nothing was fixed.

But she pulled him down for a kiss anyway.


A/N: One more chapter to go...kind of an epilogue. Ta!