Disclaimer: I don't own anything you recognize. Whatever you do recognize belongs to the wonderful J.K. Rowling. Please don't sue.

Summary: When Voldemort begins to target Hermione, Severus steps in to protect her.

Will love blossom or will the war separate them? R/R

Author's Note: I think I covered all warnings except Severus being OOC. If you haven't figured out that in most of my stories he's OOC then that's not my problem. No Flames please.

Potions and Killing Curses

Chapter 1

Severus Snape currently sat in his chair at the meeting with Voldemort's Inner Circle, and he was completely bored. He was trying not to fall asleep in fact, when Voldemort said something that peeked his interest.

"Now, I want the mudblood friend of Harry Potter. As we all know, she is the brightest witch to go through Hogwarts in nearly fifty years. She could be a great asset to our cause," Voldemort said.

"She's a mudblood my Lord," Lucius protested.

"She may be a mudblood, but she's more brilliant than you. I also understand she plans to become a Potions Mistress as well as minor in Transfiguration. That could come in handy for us," Voldemort hissed.

'I will have to inform Albus of this right away,' Severus thought.

The meeting continued for a few more minutes, then Voldemort dismissed them. Just as Severus was about to leave, Lucius stopped him.

"I have no time for idle chit-chat, Lucius," Severus said.

"This will only take a moment. I just wanted to let you know that I will be bringing in the mudblood," Lucius said heatedly.

"We'll see about that," Severus hissed.

The two wizards glared evilly at each other for a few moments before Severus brushed past the blonde haired wizard. Severus quickly apparated back to Hogwarts. Luckily, it was summer, and this gave the Order plenty of time to decide a course of action to protect Hermione Granger.

"Severus, I see you've returned," Albus greeted as Severus entered the office.

"The meeting was short. It seems Miss Granger's above normal brilliance has attracted the attention of the Dark Lord. He wants her brought to him. I believe he plans to turn her to his side," Severus reported.

"This is disturbing. We must find some way to protect her. When does he want her by?" Albus asked.

"He didn't say," Severus answered.

"Hmm. She is staying at 12 Grimmauld Place this summer. She is doing some research for me. I want you to go and explain the situation. I will call an Order meeting and see what the Order has to say or suggest," Albus instructed.

"Yes, sir. When should I leave?" Severus questioned.

"Immediately. Gather whatever you will need for a week," Albus answered.

Severus nodded, turned, and left. He quickly made his way to his chambers in the dungeons. He was beyond furious, he was actually seeing red.

'How dare that bastard threaten her! I'll die before I allow him, or anyone else, to harm one hair on her head!' he seethed as he entered his chambers.

For the past year and a half, Severus had been in love with Hermione. He was attracted to her not only physically, but intellectually as well. She had grown from a bushy haired, know-it-all, to a beautiful, intelligent woman. She no longer felt the need to prove herself.

Severus smiled softly as he quickly packed his things. He was looking forward to seeing and getting the chance to spend some one-on-one time with Hermione. He finished packing and then left the castle.

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At 12 Grimmauld Place, Hermione sat in the library, surrounded by stacks of books and rolls of parchments. She had been helping the Headmaster do research on creating a protection spell or potion of some kind. So far, she had come up empty handed, but she had only been at it for a week.

She put down her quill, stood up, and stretched. She then headed for the kitchen. Hermione let out a weary sigh. Shortly after beginning her sixth year, her parents had been killed by Death Eaters. Since she was of age, she didn't need a guardian. The first thing she did was, she sold her parents' home and their cars. With the money, she bought herself a two bedroom flat in downtown London.

Hermione began to hum a tune as she entered the kitchen. She was quite glad she was alone in the house. Since Sirius had been cleared of all charges, he had more time to fix up the house, even if he no longer lived there. It was no longer creepy and depressing, but warm and welcoming.

"Miss Granger!"

Hermione frowned slightly and placed her teacup back on the counter. She turned and headed for the front hallway. She was surprised to see Professor Snape standing before her.

"Professor? What are you doing here?" she asked.

"I need to discuss something with you. Let's go to the kitchen. It's important," Severus replied.

Hermione nodded and led him into the kitchen. Severus sat down at the table while Hermione made them both a cup of tea. He was quite impressed that she knew how he took his tea.

"Thank you. How did you know how I like my tea?" he asked.

"I pay attention to detail. What is it you needed to discuss with me?" she replied.

"Earlier this evening, the Dark Lord called his Inner Circle for a meeting. The main objective was you. He wants to turn you to his side. He knows you are the brightest witch to come through Hogwarts in half a century. Plus, he knows what you plan on majoring in at the University," Severus explained.

"What? After he murders my parents, he expects me to just up and join him? He must really be delusional," Hermione exclaimed.

"Albus is calling an Order meeting. He's hoping that we can come up with some way to protect you," Severus said.

"To protect me? What are they going to do? Put me in a bag and bury me?" she asked sarcastically.

"I don't know. Look, it's getting pretty late. Why don't we turn in. Albus should have everyone notified by tomorrow afternoon," he answered.

"So you're here to baby sit me?" she questioned quietly.

"No, I'm here to protect, and to possibly help you with your research, as well," he replied.

She just nodded. The two finished their tea, and exited the kitchen. Severus followed her into the library and helped put away the books and scrolls. Once finished, they headed upstairs. Severus' room was right next door to Hermione's.

"Good night Professor Snape. Thanks for filling me in and helping me clean up in the library," she said.

"You're welcome and good night to you too Miss Granger," he replied.

Hermione gave him a gentle smile then entered the room. A second later, she leaned against the door and let out a sigh. She turned on the light and began to undress.

'The Professor seemed almost concerned for me. Surely I was only imagining it. Then again, maybe I wasn't,' she thought as she climbed into bed.

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In the next room, Severus laid in bed as well, his thoughts dwelling on the young woman next door to him and wishing that she had the same feelings for him as he had for her.

"Who am I kidding? She could never love me," he whispered to the empty, dark room.

Severus rolled onto his side and slowly drifted off to sleep. Both Hermione and Severus slept peacefully, both looking forward to the dawn of the next day.