Disclaimer (Applies to all chapters.): Anything in the fan fiction pertaining to any canon Harry Potter material does not belong to me. It belongs to JK Rowling. Go buy the books. The rights to the Shadow Trilogy belong to Resmiranda, (Read the first part of her trilogy here, http://fanfiction.net/read.php?storyid=743832 ) It's a great fan fiction done by an extremely talented writer. This story belongs, and is dedicated to her for providing me with such a great story. Everyone say thanks. As this is my first ever fic at ff.net, I would love reviews. Any constructive criticism you could offer me would be greatly appreciated! I would also love a beta reader, and maybe a few people to toss plot ideas around with. I am a decent writer, but when I get caught up in a story, my plot often risks going to muck. It would really help to share ideas with people, and discuss the direction in which the story should take! It would be preferable if you have read the entire Shadows Trilogy, (but then again why be in here if you haven't?). Anywho, please enjoy and remember not to expect fireworks!

Merces Mercedis


Coming down the world turned over,

Angels fall without you there.

I go on as you get colder.

I'll go on to bring you home,

And I'll become,

What you became to me.

-GGD, John Rzeznik

September 1 (The Journal of Severus Snape)

It's amazing how fast time goes by when you can't see a calendar. I used to charm my calendars, and my watch to know the date and time, but now its second nature. I can almost exactly tell the time of day by relating to smells of cooking meals. The days of the week are disgustingly easy. All I have to do is refer to my classes. Monday, advanced (and I use the term loosely) Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. Tuesday, Ravenclaw. Wednesday, Hufflepuff. Thursday, advanced Slytherin and Gryffindor. Friday, Double Runes with Gryffindor and Slytherin.

It's nice to know that not even the defeat of the Dark Lord could quench the eager hatred between these two houses, not to mention my sufferance in teaching them. Ungodly sufferance. I almost regret to admit that I praise Merlin every day I can have the unfortunate privilege. But I always do. I don't know what I would do without these wretched classes to teach. Besides my garden, they are all that I can do. Even my garden will have to wait though, when winter arrives. I dare not dabble in Arithmacy again, not, of course for fear of the Dark Lord, but for fear that I once again might become dependent upon my reflexes of the future. Yes, I feel more secure knowing only the present.

Following another thread, I recently received a letter of invitation to the marriage of Ron Weasley, to some woman I haven't yet the privilege of meeting. Though I am thoroughly giddy at the idea of attending a wedding to converse with the happy friends of the Wealsey family, I fear I would find it too depressing. Any woman unlucky enough to marry such a doddering young man is likely to suffer crippling emotional damage in the future. Best for her to have a few rapturous days of newlywed bliss without a shadow hanging in the background. No doubt that I would scare her. Yet, Severus, who are you to talk? You are the epitome of severe emotional fallout. But according to Dumbledore, I'm looking and acting friendlier every day. I'm sure by next week I will be "positively glowing!" I should be sure to hand out a few detentions this week. I don't want to be softening around the edges.

It's now been almost a year since I last had a decent letter from Miss Granger. I suppose she is busy with the University and such during the year, seeing as the advanced Transfiguration she is now doing is extraordinarily difficult. But during this last summer, she only sent me two letters, each consisting of little more than a paragraph each. Not that I care so much, I just wonder what she has been doing for so long.

I supposed she has forgotten about me.

A young woman sat at her desk writng fervently, as her quill suddenly stopped mid-random movement and fell from her hands. She let out a small windy cry. Placing her elbows on the desk surface, her head rested on the heels of her hands. Her small office was dark except for the light of a tabletop lamp illuminating the papers before her and the blue shimmer of conjured flames beneath a floating cauldron. The stark white walls of the office were barely visible behind the many towering shelves and cabinets that lined them, all covered with neatly labeled jars, bottles, and flasks; and books stacked by categories and sub categories.

Various sketches covered what little space wasn't taken on the walls by the shelves. Some were complex diagrams of various stages of transfiguration, or formulas for potions in all stages of invention, not yet familiar even to the trained eye. One sketch that didn't seem to belong on the wall was that of a man, and hung directly over the girl's desk. A rough charcoal drawing, in which the man's long hair framed the man's square jaw like various wisps of smoke. It would have been a beautiful drawing, except for the fact that where the man's eyes should have been, there were minutely printed formulas, numbers, and puzzles of words. The girl raised her head to rest her chin on her hands to look at this picture, though still remaining hunched. Her shoulders began to shake.

If you had just chanced a glance at her slumped figure, you would have thought that she was tired, or maybe even weeping. But upon closer inspection you would see the crinkled lines around her eyes and the curling of the lips that signaled to her feelings of unbridled joy, and upon listening closely you would hear an undeniable raspy chuckle emanating from deep inside her being.

Slowly Hermione stood up from her desk, her wooden chair screeching against the stone floors of her quarters. Her hands moved up to her hair, which had the slickness of not being washed for at least a week, though still had a natural thickness about it. As one hand moved through the roots of her hair to the ends in a relatively smooth motion, the other hand moved, quaking, up to her mouth in attempt to stifle the rapidly rising laughs in her throat, but to no avail. Looking around wildly she suddenly froze and looked to her sketches on the walls. With a start, she began to tirade around the perimeter of the room at a quick, jumpy stride. As she passed each sketch she ripped it violently from the walls and tossed it above her head, laughing madly as they fluttered like distressed birds to the floor.

When all the sketches had fallen, Hermione turned to the last remaining sketch on the walls, which was that of the charcoal man. Stopping her tirade, she slowly ceased her wild laughing and took quiet, but gasping, emotional breaths as tears began to fall down her cheeks, reddened by her fervor. Slowly, she plodded with heavy feet to the portrait and gently removed it from the wall, careful not to rip the edges, and held it protectively to her chest before neatly gathering the papers on her desk and adding it to them. With this, she turned and fell in a heap on the floor on top of the other crumpled and discarded drawings, her robes swirling around her. The smile on her face didn't falter, even as the candle on the table flickered and went out.

Hermione had found what she had spent almost an entire year searching for. Her project was personal, not funded by the University due to lack of interest and need of good results for the wizarding world. But her desperate need for results, to Hermione, knew no bounds. She had thought it wouldn't be possible, but it was, she had proved it.

Hermione had found a way. A way for Severus to see.