Thirteen Years Later

"Mummy, who is this?" Rose Weasley asked.

Hermione turned around, examining the old photo album in her daughter's hand. Curiously, she leaned in closer to see which photo Rose was looking at, and let out a startled gasp as she saw an ashen face with greasy black hair glaring at her. Severus.

"I something wrong?" Rose asked her mother. Hermione, normally calm and collected, was rarely surprised, and as young as Rose was, she immediately knew that something was wrong.

"It's nothing," Hermione hastened to reassure her daughter. Almost without thinking, she laid her hand on her daughter's shoulder, taking comfort in the human contact as she said, "That is Severus Snape."

"Isn't Albus named after him?" Rose asked.

Hermione nodded. "He is."

"Wasn't Snape a Death Eater?" Once more, Hermione was surprised by Rose's question. She was unaware her daughter knew anything about the war let alone the Death Eaters, but given her propensity for reading, it made sense that she would run across details of the war. Before Hermione had a chance to answer her daughter's question, Rose commented, "He looks scary."

Hermione couldn't help but laugh at that. "He was terrifying, Rose, but underneath that tough exterior..."

Snape looked on curiously as a group of eager children surged off of the train. His eyes searched the crowd. A flash of red caught his eye, and he watched as the red-haired girl turned. Her eyes, he noticed, were blue like her father's, but her facial features and curly hair belonged to her mother. She was Hermione's daughter alright.

Snape sank further back into the shadows, his black cloak concealing him in the darkened alleyway. That was how he wanted to remain. Unnoticed, forgotten. Thought to be long dead. But, in reality, the bezor had saved his life, and he had barely managed to apparate to Spinner's End to take a potion that restored his health. Then, he disappeared, resolving that the wizarding world would never know he survived. Not even Hermione.

He felt a small pang of regret as he looked at Hermione's daughter, wondering what she would look like if her hair was black instead of red. He immediately stopped that train of thought. His relationship with Hermione was doomed from the start. That's why everyone thought he was dead, so that Hermione mourn and move on, to love someone who wouldn't hurt her as he unintentionally had.