Hermione woke up and blinked in confusion at the canvas ceiling above her, trying to recall what had happened the day before. Then everything came back to her in an overwhelming wave, and she remembered it all. She hastily shoved the quilt and her robes out of the way to look at her wounded leg, but then remembered that her jeans had been mended and were blocking her injury from view. She hesitantly touched the place on her thigh where she'd been hurt, but experienced no pain, even when she pressed her finger hard against the place. Pleased, she threw back the quilt and swung her legs over the side of the bed. She stood up slowly, wondering whether her leg would hold her and finding that it would. It felt as normal as her other leg did, even when bearing her weight.
Smiling to herself, she stepped up to the curtains and opened them. The main part of the tent was empty, and she found her head turning automatically towards the compartment of the tent that was Snape's. She realized that she was actually hoping he hadn't left yet. Wondering why she felt this way, she let out a sigh of relief when she saw that the curtains there were pulled closed. She knew that Snape would have left them open if he'd departed already. She wasn't sure why she felt so relieved that he hadn't yet left her, but she supposed it was just her natural desire to have a companion and not be left to herself.
She took out her beaded bag and drew a large canteen of water and tea bags from it. When she found that there was no food left, she set the bag on table and the kettle to boil over the fire, and left the tent with the now-empty canteen and her wand. She found that Snape had already expanded the enchantments around the camp to stretch to the river's edge, so that she would remain invisible the entire time she was outside of the tent. She walked to the bank of the river, gathering watercress and herbs. She didn't want fish for breakfast, so the only thing she took from the river was enough water to fill the canteen. When she had gotten everything she wanted, she returned to the tent. She entered and set the food on the table, and her eyes flicked to the entrance to Snape's compartment, where the curtains were now drawn back.
For one terrible moment, she thought he'd slipped away while she was at the river. But then she heard something behind her and turned to see the tall wizard standing near the fire with his back to her. She didn't have to ask to know that he was going to leave before she'd even made breakfast. Rather than addressing how rude it was of him to ignore that she was willing to make him a last meal, she asked, "Where will you go?"
Severus had expected a flurry of questions to leave her, starting with how rude he was for skipping breakfast. He definitely hadn't expected this question, and it surprised him. He turned to face her, his eyebrows raised. "I do not know yet," he drawled rather dully, watching her expression.
The young woman's face didn't give away any hint of what her emotions were or what she was thinking, and this annoyed Severus. At last, she asked, "Do you have a tent?"
He smirked at her. "Concerned about my health and safety, are you?"
She rolled her eyes. "Just curious," she countered, "never concerned."
He was amused by how irked she seemed over his fending off and ignoring her question, and he let his amusement show in his eyes. She only seemed to find this more irksome. The question he hadn't answered was still burning behind her eyes, so he let out his breath in a huff, making obvious his annoyance with her, and finally answered, "I have no tent, if you must know."
She didn't respond, though he was sure that she had heard him. Finally, she said, "They think we're working together. I mean, I'm sure they did after the Three Broomsticks, but after yesterday . . ." she trailed off.
He narrowed his eyes at her but said nothing. What was it that she wanted from him?
"You'd be better off with some kind of shelter or place to stay," she went on.
"I do believe I'll manage," he said.
She bit her lip, swallowing. He waited for whatever it was she was going to say next. She was studying his expression, that much he knew, but he had no clue what she might be looking for. At last she said, "You really don't mind at all, being completely alone." It wasn't a question.
He cocked an eyebrow at her, asking why she would say something of that sort. And then he saw it; the unmistakable look in her eyes that said what her lips never would have. She was used to social interaction, if only with one other person, and she was utterly terrified of the life of solitude now facing her. The life facing her if he left. He narrowed his eyes again, but that strange urge to protect her was rising in him once more, and he was realizing that she would be much better off if he stuck around and kept her out of trouble. Besides, it would be much easier to convince the Ministry of her innocence than to break her out of Azkaban if she should get herself caught. Granger. What was it with this girl, that she had to cause him such trouble?
He didn't tell her that he would stay. Rather, he kept his gaze on her face and said, "That water has been boiling for quite some time now. I prefer to drink my tea, not burn holes in my throat with it."
Her eyes widened fractionally when he said this, and he knew that she understood his meaning; he was staying for breakfast, perhaps even for another day. He found it mildly interesting, perhaps just a bit fascinating, the look that crept into her eyes next. She looked both pleased that he had decided to stay a bit longer and bothered because she would rather be stuck with anyone but him. And yet he knew that she trusted him, especially after he'd saved her life and healed her injuries.
At the thought of her injuries, he glanced down at her robes, now clean and showing no sign of ever having been torn and blood-stained. She noticed that his eyes had drifted away from her face, and followed his gaze. "It's fine," she said, though he hadn't asked.
He inclined his head ever-so-slightly and then turned away as she hurried towards the fire to tend to the kettle of boiling water. He stared at the wall for a moment, his thoughts far away. He was trying to guess what measures the Ministry would go to now that they had come so close to capturing their two fugitives. Their failure to catch the two was probably stinging their pride, especially now, when they'd failed twice.
Severus wondered exactly what Kingsley Shacklebolt would tell his aurors. The Minister would have to yell and scold and make known his fury at the fugitives' escaping yet again, but he would also be hard pressed to keep the Ministry workers from doing anything too drastic. Severus understood what Kingsley must be going through, with his allegiance supposedly with the Ministry but truly lying with the fugitives. Severus had, after all, once been truly loyal to Potter and his cause, but he had been the Headmaster at Hogwarts and was forced to keep up the appearance of a cruel, evil wizard. Of course, he thought with a smirk, he'd always been cruel and unkind, but never truly evil.
He was brought back to the present when Granger cleared her throat behind him. He turned to face her, realizing that while he was lost in thought, she had made their breakfast. Two steaming cups of tea and two plates of watercress, seasoned with herbs, were waiting on the table. Severus sat down, ignoring the awkward silence that fell when Granger sat as well. "I hope you're fond of watercress and fish, as that's all we really have to eat now," she said at last, in an attempt to make things less awkward.
Severus derived great pleasure from the knowledge that she was the only one feeling awkward. He seemed to have lost the ability to feel awkward many years before, and now he was completely comfortable in the silence that pervaded the tent. Even the birds outside were silent, and there was no wind to rustle the leaves on the trees.
Hermione bit her lip and returned her attention to her food when Snape didn't answer. She tried to remember happier days, back with Harry and Ron, while she ate. But the thought of her friends only made her heart ache. Harry and Ginny were finally together, and Hermione was ecstatic for the two, but now she was separated from Harry, who was one of her very best friends. And Ron, her boyfriend and other best friend, was no longer hers. She'd had no other choice than to end things with him, but she still missed him terribly and even though she hoped that he would give up his feelings for her, she knew that her feelings for him would take a very long time to go away, if they ever did.
She was lost so deeply in thought that she started in surprise when quite out of nowhere, Snape said, "I would prefer eggs for my breakfast tomorrow."
Hermione looked up at him. "What?"
He rolled his eyes. She waited for him to say something, anything really, but he didn't.
She raised her eyebrows at him. "Sorry, did you say something about breakfast tomorrow?" she asked, wondering if perhaps it had all been in her head and he had never said anything at all.
"Indeed," was all he said, and then he rose from his seat and started walking towards the door.
Hermione saw that his plate was empty, as was his teacup, and she turned around in her chair to see him leaving the tent. She wanted to call out, to stop him and ask where he was going, but she thought that it might be foolish of her to do so, so she refrained. Instead, she turned back to her food. He had said something about breakfast tomorrow, hadn't he? So then he must be planning on returning to the tent. She had no idea where he was going or how long he would be gone, but she refocused on her food and pushed thoughts of Snape away.
When she was finished with her meal she used magic to clean their dishes and stored them back in her beaded bag. She didn't have much else to do, so she went outside and sat down in the shade of a nearby tree and began using a stick to draw random shapes in the dirt. She spent quite a while sitting there, and when noon came around and the sun was directly above her in the sky, she went back into the tent and made herself a watercress salad. She didn't particularly want fried fish for lunch, so she didn't go to the river. A few hours later she was sitting on the edge of her bunk, reading The Tales of Beedle the Bard when she heard the oddest noise. It sounded like the clucking of several chickens.
She stood up in surprise, letting the book fall from her lap even as her mouth fell open when Snape entered the tent. He set three small wooden cages down in an empty corner and went straight to his compartment of the tent, tossing a dark sack onto his bunk. He then turned around, his expression as normal as if he brought chickens with him every time he returned from a trip away from the camp.
"Chickens," Hermione said, gaping at the birds within the cages.
She didn't turn to look at Snape, but he said quite dryly, "Obviously."
Severus watched her face with amusement. She seemed completely shocked and confused by the presence of the birds. He cocked an eyebrow when she turned on him suddenly, looking quite upset. "Did you steal them?" she demanded.
"No," he answered, putting on the proper expression to make known his boredom with their conversation.
She narrowed her eyes at him suspiciously. So, she thought he was lying to her? Well, he wasn't, but if he had been, it wouldn't be the first time since they'd met. She had now turned back to stare at the chickens again. "Where did you get them, then?" she asked. She sounded quite angry with him, though he wasn't sure why. She seemed convinced that he'd stolen them, so perhaps that was the reason she was so upset.
Sighing loudly, he said, "Transfiguration, Granger."
Her mouth had been hanging open as she looked at the birds, but now her teeth closed with a click and her face cleared. "Oh," was all she said, now looking a bit embarrassed.
Severus smirked at her. Honestly, had she forgotten that he was a wizard and could use magic? Minerva had never stopped talking about how Granger was the best student in Hogwarts to ever enter her class, the best at transfiguration. And why was she now looking embarrassed? Rolling his eyes, Severus looked away from her and walked to the table, where he sat down. "I said I wanted eggs, did I not?" he asked.
"Y-you did," she stuttered, causing him to turn and look at her.
He let out his breath in a huff. "Hmm, developing a stutter, are you? You really ought not to; it will be just one more on the long list of things about you that are mediocre and pathetic."
She let out a kind of strange, bark of a laugh and said, "Excuse me?"
He raised his eyebrows, though he kept a generally uninterested expression on his face. "Do you want me to elaborate?" he asked, and he could see the anger and hurt in her eyes when he spoke, even though he continued to sound bored. She said nothing, so he went on, "Well, your teeth used to be quite large, but I do believe you used conniving means to reduce their size, and I won't even say anything about your hair . . ."
He could see how this infuriated her, and he waited for her to come up with some witty response that would bore him further, but what she said was hardly boring, and it actually stung.
"Well," she retorted hotly, "I don't think I'll put much stock in your opinion. I mean, who are you to judge me? You haven't got the right! Look at you!"
They stood there, glaring at each other, for several minutes. Severus was feeling both angry and smug at the same time. He felt smug because he knew that he would inevitably beat her at their glaring contest. And at the same time, he felt angry because part of him knew, deep down inside, that she had a point. Much as he hated to admit it—even just to himself—her words, biting and cruel as they might be, were true.
Eventually she gave up, dropping her gaze to the floor and turning her head. But Severus couldn't even enjoy his moment of victory because of new, nagging thoughts that Granger's words had brought on.
Silence reigned for quite a while and they continued to stand, neither moving from his or her place. Severus failed to notice her nervous glance his way, as his gaze had wandered to the chickens in the corner, now quiet. He didn't see the way that she bit her lip or the sincerely apologetic look in her eyes when she at last squared her shoulders and looked directly at him. But his eyes returned to her face at once when she said quietly, "I'm sorry."
He frowned at her, searching her face for some kind of clue that might give away her intentions. He was the one who had said the cruel things, while she hadn't really. She had only said that he ought to examine himself before he judged others. So why was she apologizing and looking so remorseful? He narrowed his eyes further, searching her face again. But there was nothing in her eyes or her expression that radiated anything but honest remorse and desire for his forgiveness. Even her voice had been thick with regret.
And why did she even bother apologizing? Aside from the fact that she hadn't truly done anything to wrong him, she surely knew that he wouldn't respond to her apology. She had thanked him for saving her life, and seemed to have forgiven him for never thanking her when she saved his. He tried to comprehend how she was capable of being vicious and brutally cruel and honest, and yet also kind and forgiving and thankful, but simply couldn't grasp how she was both at once. It was like two separate people and their own personalities were wrapped up inside of Granger, and she could choose which one of them showed through. Before he could ponder further, though, she spoke.
"I take it that since you haven't stormed out yet, you're not planning on leaving?" she asked.
Severus' eyes had wandered once more, but now they snapped back to her face. Was that actual hopefulness in her voice? Surely he wasn't imagining it? Once again, he searched her face in a vain attempt to discover her motives, but once again, he found nothing. There was nothing in her eyes but that same hopefulness.
But why did she want him to stay? Of course, there was the obvious reason; she was a human being, and would therefore naturally desire the company of another. But was there more? And why did she want him? Couldn't Potter or Weasley travel and hide with her just as easily? Surely she preferred their presence and companionship over his, so why was she asking him?
She seemed to read all of this in his eyes. She didn't give any kind of elaborate answer, but instead she simply said, "I ended it with Ron because it's better for him this way. And Harry's lying to the Ministry to keep them off my tail."
Severus was surprised that she had guessed what he was thinking; he was sure that his face had remained the emotionless mask that he had long since mastered putting on, and no one had ever before guessed what he was thinking. She had guessed correctly. This was disturbing to him. Was he losing his touch? Or was she somehow more perceptive than all of the other witches and wizards he'd ever been around? But even Voldemort himself had never read into Severus' thoughts just by looking at him. So how had Granger done it? His eyes flicked back to her face, but if he had hoped to find his answer there, he was disappointed.
Hermione watched his face carefully. A moment before he had seemed taken by surprise when she answered his unspoken question, but now he seemed troubled over something. Very troubled. She studied his expression carefully, trying to understand or at least take a guess at what might have happened or come to mind that he now found so bothersome. She continued to watch him, even when his eyes flicked to her face. His face was an unreadable mask, as ever, and his eyes were dark and told nothing, but somehow, Hermione was sure that he became more distressed when he saw her watching him. Or had he seen the look on her face? Hermione realized that she hadn't really been paying attention to her expression or keeping her emotions out of her eyes, and she realized that she might actually look just a bit concerned or worried. Of course he was more unsettled now, if he'd seen her expression. Hermione knew how bothered and disturbed she would be if she ever caught him looking at her like that.
She turned suddenly towards the fireplace and pointed her wand to it, rekindling the flames that had died out sometime in the past hour. She filled the kettle with water and set it over the fire to boil, and then she left the tent. When she returned moments later with two fish and more watercress, Snape had retreated to his room. Hermione waved her wand idly at the dishes and eating utensils that she took from her beaded bag, and a knife began cleaning and cutting the fish while the watercress tore itself into bite sized pieces. While the food was busy preparing itself, she went to the chickens and set a bowl of water in each of the cages, giving each a small heap of watercress to eat.
Then she returned to the fire, taking the kettle off of the flames and pouring two cups of tea. The watercress salad split and arranged itself in two neat portions on two plates, and Hermione put the fish over the fire to fry. Snape didn't come out of his room until Hermione set the hot fish on their plates and she called for him. Though she felt foolish, she said, "Dinner," as quietly as she could while still speaking loudly enough that she knew he would hear.
They ate in silence and without looking at each other, and as soon as they had finished Snape stepped out of the tent. Hermione cleaned the dishes and put them back in her bag before she walked to her room and glanced as casually and nonchalantly as she could into Snape's room, just to be sure that his sack of possessions—or whatever was in there—was still on the bed. It was, and she relaxed; he hadn't left for good.
When Severus came back inside of the tent, he glanced around, wondering if Granger was still about. She wasn't, and as the curtains to her compartment were closed, he rightly assumed that she had retired for the night. He looked at the chickens as he passed, noting how calm and comfortable they seemed now that they had food and water. Or perhaps it was because she had been near them and had tended to them. He had seen in her years as a student that animals tended to fancy her, even the ones that had a habit of randomly attacking their masters. Now he wondered whether it was because of the food or because of her that the birds were silent and sleeping peacefully in their cages rather than squawking.
The next week passed with some regularity in every new day. Severus always woke first, but he stayed in his room or left the tent until Hermione rose and made Breakfast. They never spoke during their meals, and were actually quiet most of the day. They would occasionally have a conversation about potions or transfiguration or some other form of magic, but for the most part they were silent. And then there were the sporadic and very explosive arguments that they got into. They could actually go more than two days without arguing, though only if neither of them spoke. But Severus tended to add an unkind remark whenever he'd just finished speaking to her, and she often lost her temper and managed to come up with a witty, biting response.
And so the first week passed without the tension and the regular arguments dying out. One morning at breakfast, Hermione was quietly minding her own business as she ate. Snape started drawling about moving to a new location, and she decided not to question him. Hermione explained the path that she, Harry, and Ron had taken on the course of their horcrux hunt. Snape agreed that it was wise to retrace that path, as the Ministry would have no idea of where to look.
So they did move. Snape spent great amounts of time outside, scratching things in the dirt. Hermione had snuck out of the tent and peeked at what he was doing, and he appeared to have scratched out several maps of places where he thought the Ministry had laid traps and would have aurors waiting. Either he hadn't heard her when she peered around him and over his shoulder at the maps on the ground, or he'd simply ignored her presence.
They were sitting at the table several days later, eating lunch, when a twig snapped rather loudly outside of the tent. They exchanged a glance and then both rose from their seats and made their way towards the door without a sound. They had their wands ready, but no one should have been able to tell that there was anyone—or even a tent—there, if that someone was on the outside of the protective enchantments. Snape exited the tent first, and Hermione followed closely. As much as she disliked Snape, she felt safer near him than she did on her own. The two of them stood just outside the tent's entrance and looked around carefully.
There was no sound at all from the forest around them, and there were thick clouds in the sky, so no birds or bugs were about or making any noise. It was deathly quiet, and Hermione felt a chill run down her spine. Something had snapped that twig, so what had it been?
She covered her mouth with her hands to keep a shout of surprise from leaving her when someone or something that she couldn't see bumped into a tree just outside of the enchantment boundaries and whispered, "Ow. Hermione?"
"Harry," she breathed, though she knew he couldn't hear her.
Snape, who had been tense and ready beside her, relaxed.
"Listen," Harry went on, still whispering, "I can't tell if you're here or not. But if you are, could you, I don't know . . . maybe let me know? There aren't any Ministry aurors around; it's just me."
She couldn't see him, but even when he stopped talking, she was sure he stayed still and waited. She glanced at Snape out of the corner of her eye as she hurried by, walking past the boundary line. She felt no different when she did, but she knew that now Harry could see her. She counted four seconds before Harry appeared, hastily folding his invisibility cloak over his arm and making his way to her. As soon as he reached her, he threw his arms around her, and she hugged him back. When at last they broke apart, laughing, he glanced over her shoulder. When Hermione turned around, all she could see was normal forest. And because of the enchantments, she felt compelled to turn around and walk away from the place where she knew the tent and Snape were concealed.
She lifted her wand, speaking the password that would let her through the enchantments and closing them again behind her once she and Harry were through. Snape was nowhere to be seen, so Hermione assumed that he'd gone back inside. Harry looked at the tent and turned to grin at her boyishly, probably remembering the time that they'd gone to the Quidditch World Cup with Ron's family. They walked together to the entrance, and he held the flap aside for her to enter first. She stepped out of the way to let him enter behind her, and she noticed the way that his eyes widened in surprise when he saw the chickens in the corner.
Hermione glanced around, but Snape wasn't in the main part of the tent. The curtains to his room were closed, so she assumed that he must be there. Harry grinned at her again and said, "You look excellent. We all"—Hermione knew he meant the Order of the Phoenix—"heard on the radio about what happened in London, or some of what happened, anyways. We were sure that they'd twisted the story. Kingsley's been too busy to meet with us so we never got the full story from him, but we knew you and Snape had been seen working together"
Hermione shook her head, and he looked confused. "We weren't working together," she said. "I went to get some more food and I accidentally set off an alarm, and spent the rest of the afternoon and the entire night running for my life because they'd put enchantments on half the city so I couldn't disapparate. Kingsley knew where I was and apparated right at the boundary line and in my line of vision so I would know how far I had left to run, but I was hiding by then. I made a run for it and was almost there when I got hit with a curse that sliced my leg up," she patted her right thigh, "and I couldn't go any further, so I collapsed. I was done fore and would've been caught, but Snape showed up and saved me."
Harry raised his eyebrows, looking dubious. "He saved you?"
She nodded. "I would either be dead or in Azkaban if he hadn't."
Harry looked fairly confused. "But why would Snape save you?"
Hermione smirked. "Only to pay a debt."
Harry shook his head, obviously still not understanding why Snape had saved her.
"I saved his life back in Hogsmeade, at the Three Broomsticks. That time he was the wounded one and I dragged him out of it. He hates owing people." Hermione thought it was strange to be talking to Harry about Snape, who was probably listening to their conversation at that very moment. And the fact that she knew things about Snape that Harry didn't . . . that was the strangest thing of all.
Hermione motioned towards the table, and they sat down. Harry had been distracted until then, but now he noticed that there were two plates of half-finished food there rather than one. He looked at Snape's plate and then back at Hermione questioningly. Before she could open her mouth to answer, Snape opened the curtains to his room and stepped into the main part of the tent. Harry was sitting in the proper chair so that he was facing the entrance to Snape's compartment, and he gaped when the older wizard walked in.
"S-Snape," he said, sounding rather awed.
"Potter," Snape said, inclining his head just a bit in response and greeting. His tone was a bit harsh, but it wasn't half as cruel and unkind as he had been when Harry was in school.
Hermione noticed that Harry was still looking awed and shocked, and realized that this was probably the first time Harry had seen Snape since the older wizard was supposedly killed in the Shrieking Shack. No wonder there was such a strange look on Harry's face; to hear that Snape was alive was one thing, but to actually see him was quite another, especially after Harry had been there with Hermione and Ron to see him killed.
Snape and Hermione usually sat on opposite sides of the square table, but as Harry had taken Snape's seat, the older wizard seated himself in the chair between the two younger people. He reached over and slid his plate of food so that it was in front of him rather than Harry. Hermione pulled out her beaded bag and waved her wand, and a new plate of food arranged itself for Harry.
She pushed the plate across the table to him, and then resumed eating, as Snape had. He joined them, but he talked as he ate, and Hermione was more than willing to answer. Harry gave her news, as well as some light, playful banter and good conversation. She hadn't realized how much she'd missed this kind of talking with someone. Snape, of course, wasn't one to waste time on idle chatter or gossiping, and it felt great to be talking to Harry again.
When they had finished eating and Hermione had dealt with the dishes, Harry stood up. He had hung the invisibility cloak on the coatrack near the door, but now he took it from the hook it had been hanging on. Hermione was surprised when he walked back to her and held the cloak out. "This is the real reason I came," he said. "It's going to be nearly impossible for you to go anywhere civilized now, and Kingsley can't promise anything when it comes to keeping his aurors on a leash. There's something dark going on in the Ministry; that much is obvious. Kingsley really has his work cut out for him, trying to keep a hold on his aurors and also trying to run the wizarding world while working on finding out more about who it is that's working so hard to make sure people think you two are evil.
"Anyways, I'm getting off track. I came to give this to you so you can go where you want without having to worry about being seen or getting caught. And though I'd like to say that things will be resolved by then, I can't guarantee that you'll be declared innocent by winter. Hermione, you know as well as I do how hard it is to survive in the forest and find food without a shop to buy bread at; you'll need some way to get food and whatever else you need. If you use this," he pressed the cloak into Hermione's hands, "then you can do all that."
"Harry," Hermione said, shaking her head. But before she could go on, he raised his hand to keep her quiet.
"Good luck," he said, and he hugged her. When he drew back, he gave her shoulder one last squeeze and said, "Stay safe." Then he turned to Snape, who had also risen from his seat. Harry held out his hand, and Snape shook it after a moment's pause. "Thank you," Harry said, "for everything that you did for me over the years, and for saving Hermione. I owe you so much."
Snape nodded once, and then Harry left. Hermione watched him go, and when she turned back to face the table, Snape had gone to his room and closed the curtains. She clutched the invisibility cloak in her hands, holding it to her heart. It was the only physical piece of her best friend that she had left to hold near to her. She went to her own room and closed the curtains before she sat down on the bed.
She spent the next hour musing over how she was holding one of the Deathly Hallows in her hands, when just a year before she hadn't even believed in their existence. This particular one had been Harry's, right under her nose, for years. It was, aside from his wand, his most valuable possession, and he was trusting her with it now. She fingered the fabric lightly, smiling as she remembered all of the adventures she and Harry and Ron had gone on in their first few years at Hogwarts. How different things were now . . .
After the last chapter, I was really into the story, so I didn't wait at all to start writing again! I won't always be able to update every day, but I will try, for you guys. I have some interesting ideas about what the next couple of chapters will hold, so I can't wait to start writing those! Thank you so much for reading, and as always, I'd love to hear what you have to say about this chapter. And if you have any comments/advice/corrections then by all means, let me know! I hope you have a magical day! ~Taelr