The Enchanted Glass
It was nearly midnight when Draco received a note from one of his associates.
He sat waiting in the large library in the Malfoy Manor waiting for the man to arrive.
“Brandy? Whiskey?” Draco offered the wizard the moment he arrived in his drenched travelling cloak.
“I’m alright, Young Master Malfoy.” The man declined and sat opposite Draco.
He stared at Draco’s exhausted physique.
“Losing some sleep, Young Master?” he asked with a curious smile.
“A lot of it actually.” Draco said returning the smile.
The man nodded and he slowly pulled out an envelope from his cloak and placed it across the table between the two of them.
He pulled an envelope from his cloak and handed it across the large mahogany desk towards Draco.
“Are you sure about this?” Draco asked staring at the Ministry seal over the envelope.
He read it a couple of times before folding it back again and placing it over the table.
“Are you sure about this?”
“Yes, Young Master.”
Draco looked reluctant to open the envelope.
He inhaled sharply and took hold of it.
“If you will act, you must act fast.” the man reminded him. “Mr. Potter is doing everything in his name and power to speed up the process of Mr. Severus Snape’s trial.”
“I know what he’s doing.”
“No, not this Potter.” the man said “He is no longer the man he used to be. As I’ve heard, he seems to be willing to go for the resources of the old ways to win the Wizengamot over.”
Draco didn’t say anything.
He seemed to be expecting that fact already.
The man stared back at Draco with a mournful look over his face.
“He does not differ from my own father if he would take on that path.”
“You must understand that a desperate man will go to any length to gain what he wants.”
Draco’s eyes turned up to the man across him and they exchanged a meaningful glare.
The sealed envelope contained information on reports on Harry’s late-night visits at the Ministry talking to people after another who can possibly ensure a faster process for the trial no matter what the jury will decide for Snape’s fate.
It was so unlike for the Boy Who Lived to be working this way.
But he was desperate.
And love could truly make a person insane.
“How long do we have?”
“A month, Young Master.” the man answered.
Draco’s eyes widened.
“A month?” Draco repeated, aghast.
“I’ll give you two if we get lucky.”
“I’ll give you two if we get lucky.”
He was speechless.
Draco knew he did not have much time.
This would only mean that he would also have to take drastic measures if he really wanted to help Hermione and his godfather.
But the main problem was that Snape does not seem to want his or anyone’s help.
He seemed determined to rot at Azkaban.
Draco sharply turned to the man.
“What arrangements must be made?” he seriously asked. “I will pay – no matter how much. Tell me what it is that I need to do – anything and everything – whatever must be bought to win this one.”
The man looked back up at Malfoy.
He was carefully studying the boy before him.
He seemed only slightly concerned of his offer.
He knew the Malfoys since the old days.
His own family had worked for Draco’s great grandfather and he himself had worked for Lucius Malfoy.
He stared at the boy that he knew before he could even learn to walk and talk.
He had watched Draco grow up from in his constant visits at the manor doing his father’s biding.
He was a kind boy and a son who had no choice for the choices his own parents forced upon him.
“What is it that we need?” Draco asked again disturbing his trail of thoughts.
“Time, Draco.” the man said standing up to meet his gaze. “Time is the resource that your godfather is in desperate need of. It is the only defense you have at the moment.”
“We don’t have enough time.” Snape said. “You must allow me to do this.”
“I can’t!” Hermione cried painfully. “Please, don’t.”
Severus Snape stared at his wounded student.
She has been bed ridden for seven days now.
Seven days exactly since the ambush of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
Seven days and the damage it inflicted upon the Order members would certainly last a lifetime.
The ambush had been overwhelming, too much to the expectation of the Aurors.
Their main goal was to attack and kill as much Order members as possible and if lucky enough, take Harry Potter to be handed alive to the Dark Lord.
The Order’s attempt of saving and transferring the boy to another location was so futile that it was as good as a suicide mission.
Snape had been there amongst the other Death Eaters at that fated event.
He tried his best to do what he had to do that night – to try with his best and ensure the safety of the boy he swore to protect to his mother’s grave – and to save anyone else he could.
Deaths did become inevitable.
He could not save them all.
But he was able to save one – the only one within his reach at the time.
Hermione could barely remember everything that took place.
Her whole body was in pain and a deep wound was still fresh at her side.
She opened her eyes and found herself on a four-poster bed encased in a circular glass case created by her professor.
She had been healing within it for the past days.
She had been too weak to even question him why she was kept inside a glass.
Snape had asked her what she could recall.
It took her days to remember and yet the memory was quite vague.
They were partnered each with an Auror or so but instead, Harry proposed they ride together.
Despite Lupin’s reluctance for such a plan, they agreed that she go with Harry Potter.
The ambush took place and Harry soared across the skies in order to save both their lives while trying to evade the spells trying to kill them off.
She recalled someone tailing them in the speed of light, determined to kill them.
And then there were a spell that hit them both and another sharp pain seared her.
Her visions blurred and she could only remember Harry’s voice screaming her name out and that was it.
She could hear the screams of people around her, she could see the blurred lights of spells being hit and thrown at different directions.
She could feel her pulse losing as she felt the fast draw of London wind across her face.
She was going to die.
But she didn’t die.
Snape didn’t say anything as she finished her recollection of what has happened.
He had seen everything from his airborne position.
He had tried so hard to fly as close as possible to them without having to look like he was actually waiting for someone to attack them so he could counter-act the spell.
It was very difficult to try and save them when it was Bellatrix tirelessly tailing on them.
Bellatrix had hit them with a spell so hard that the light was blinding enough for him to take in a moment to adjust his flight to see what has happened.
And then he saw it – the pair had bit hit squarely and he had to use some maneuver to save the both of them.
But Hermione was closest to him and it would raise much suspicion if he saves the boy’s life should anyone seen him take the boy instead.
So he took Hermione instead.
It occurred so fast that next thing he knew, he found himself landing straight over the ice-cold waters of London with Hermione in his grasp.
“Am I dead?”
Were the first words she uttered the moment she woke up.
She was within a glass case of some sort on some comfortable bed.
“You’re not dead, Miss Granger.”
“Professor Snape? Is that you?”
Snape didn’t answer.
He wasn’t sure he wanted her to remember who had healed and rescued her.
After all, the war out there was far from over.
“Rest. That is all that you need to know right now.”
A hand clasped around his.
It was a weak grasp but it had stopped him from walking away from the bed.
Snape stared down at his weak ad badly wounded student.
He had been tending to her for days now.
He did not understand why the usual potions and spells he used for healing were not working on her.
Something was amiss, something was terribly wrong.
“Am I going to die?”
“You’re not going to die.” Snape firmly said wishing he could really confirm it. “Now, rest.”
He had been firm with his word.
No, he was not going to let her die.
He was going to save her in any way he could.
He gently pulled her hand away from him and rested it on the bed next to her.
He did not want her to inquire any further about anything.
He did not want to answer her questions he knew she would tend to ask sooner or later.
He must figure out first what is wrong with her so he could heal her thoroughly and then he could probably talk to her about how he was going to get her back to the Order or much better, Obliviate her and secretly bring her back to the doorstop of the Order safe and sound.
That was the plan he was willing to go for.
“Ten years’ worth of evidences have been laid out, Miss Granger.” The attendee said as he walked around the trial room pointing over some pile of thick parchments over the long table in the middle of the room.
“Dialogues, statements and physical evidences – most of them if not all – are telling the one fate that Mr. Snape may soon face. The man in question even admitted all of these.”
Hermione didn’t say anything as the attendee walked around the room.
She sat as quiet and as well-behaved as possible in the witness’ stand.
“The cottage at Beltane had been swept and found more than enough evidences of the ten years you’ve been under the wing of Mr. Severus Snape. Statements of those who rescued you that day – or those there to witness taking you out of the cottage – would only point to one fact and reality – that you have indeed been taken and abducted by the man in question.”
The whole courtroom listened to the attendee’s opening remarks regarding today’s trial.
The first on the stand was Hermione herself.
Both Harry and Draco were present at the audiences and Snape was held at the other side of the courtroom guarded by Aurors of the Ministry.
“Please do not deny all these as it would be a waste of time.”
Hermione was gritting her teeth and giving the attendee dagger-like stares but she didn’t say anything.
The attendee continued and he laid out a couple of parchments over the large table in front of the judge and the jury.
“These are medical and physical statements – verifying that Miss Granger had been physical used by the accused in those ten long years. There have been evidences of a few potions that remained in her blood. These various of potions contain the following: healing potions for both external and internal wounds, essences of Sleeping Draught, various traces of potions used to heal physical deficiencies such as fever, colds, sore throats, etc, etc. And there is also a trace of a strong potion called ‘Enamortia’ found in her blood.”
There were several whispers to the last statement.
Everyone knew what the potion was and what it was for.
Draco stared across the room for Harry’s reaction.
He was quiet but he could tell that he was seething in anger.
The last mentioned potion was a strong potion to prevent one from bearing a child.
It was evident to everyone that Snape had indeed been physically using Hermione and had been feeding her such a strong potion to prevent her from getting pregnant from his advances.
“A few if not many.” The attendee continued his statements. “Evidences of your failed attempts of escape has also been stated within this court and heard by both audience and jury. Concluding these altogether, the jury and Wizengamot will have to decide their final jurisdiction to this case within two or three final trials.”
Hermione looked up at the attendee who turned to her with an utmost smirk over his face.
“Miss Granger, we are but at the near end of this trial. Please bear with all the people within this courtroom and cooperate accordingly. Do you understand?”
Hermione stared up at the man with pure hatred in her eyes.
Since the first day of the trial, all evidences had indeed pointed at Snape and all her attempts at saving the man was futile.
There was nothing she could do to save him.
If only she could talk to him or if only they will be given a chance to talk – she would understand what was really going on – why was he doing this to her?
Did he not want her anymore?
Did he not love her anymore?
“I understand.” Hermione quietly answered.
She looked up across the room and saw Harry relaxed a little in his seat.
He was quiet but his eyes were on her.
It slightly scared her to see him stare at her that way.
She unconsciously reached over her painful arm where he had grasped and pinned her angrily against the wall a few days ago.
“We shall go back then to the events of the time he had taken you.”
The courtroom was silent as the attendee opened another folder.
“These are statements sworn to by Miss Granger and Mr. Snape.”
Hermione’s eyes turned to the parchments being laid towards the jury’s long table.
Harry even straightened up to his seat to have a closer look at the parchments being handed over across the room.
“According to both statements, Miss Granger have been taken in by Mr. Snape the night of ambush in the year of 1997. It was the night where the Order was planning to transfer Mr. Harry Potter to a safe house in order to keep him from He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named-“
“From Voldemort you mean.” Hermione clearly said.
The room gasped and stared at Hermione.
The attendee tried to ignore her and continued as if she did not say anything.
“The Order and Aurors alike were attacked by the Death Eaters the time. Killing one of the most successful Aurors of all time, Mr. Alastor Moody.”
Hermione tried her best not to recall that night.
It was one of her worse nightmares.
“Deaths from both sides have been laid out. Miss Granger had been hit by spells and that is where Mr. Snape had come into the situation. He was among the Death Eaters that ambushed the transfer and it was that very opportunity that he had taken to abduct Miss Granger.”
“He rescued me.” Hermione angrily corrected him.
The attendee ignored her and made his voice a little louder than necessary.
“Mr. Snape admits in his statement that he had taken Miss Granger. Yes, he had healed her for the several days that he had taken her in and this statement has been validated by Miss Granger herself. Is that right, Miss Granger?”
“Yes.” Hermione answered at the corner of her mouth.
She was giving the attendee dagger like stares but she did not say anything else.
The attendee smiled and continued.
“Seven days – these are from both their statements. She was unconscious for the first three days and then had come into consciousness for the rest of these days accounted for. Seven days, my respectable Wizengamot. This is the crucial part of the investigation. For from this point on, their statements began to vary at different parts of our story or rather their stories.”
Draco sat straight and listened to the continuation of the trial.
Apparently, there really were lapses between their statements and listening here now may give him clues as to what really happened.
“Miss Granger’s statements says that after the seven days or so weeks after that, she had noticed that Snape had been asking her to drink something and that he had encased and kept her in the circular glass case from which she had woken to. His previous statement to her was that it was a place to keep her as he healed her. However, her stay within this magical glass case had been longer than she had expected. She had stated herself that he had asked her to take in several more potions and had kept her locked in the room for reasons she did not understand. And in Mr. Snape’s statement, he has still been healing her by this time. This discrepancy is very obvious – Mr. Snape had begun doing something against Miss Granger’s will and wants at the time.”
“I already told you that this statement is not what I have given you!” Hermione angrily said almost shouting .”After the seven days, he had kept me still and locked up in that cottage because he was experimenting on some potion for me because he thinks something is seriously wrong and ill with me!”
“Silence, Miss Granger!” The attendee had lost it and had pointed a finger at her.
The Wizengamot held the people down from their reactions but gave blessing to the attendee to continue reading the statements at hand.
“As this continued for weeks and months, this were the time that she had attempted two of her failed escapes from the cottage and from Mr. Snape. And to Mr. Snape’s statement, this was the time that he had admitted of keeping extra incantations around the cottage as to prevent her from escaping him.”
“This is insane!”
“As months would pass,” the attendee continued ignoring Hermione’s tactless banter. “Miss Granger’s statements become more and more different from Mr. Snape’s. As an example, she kept her statement that he had been feeding her well, giving her clothing and a well-kept shelter she needed as he healed her. That he has been giving her potions that strengthened her and helped her regain her old weight and her physical activities that she had failed to do so at the first days and weeks after the attack. She also stated that despite being bored and secluded from the Wizarding World, he had been giving her enough if not scarce news of the Wizarding World and the war’s on-going and such and such. In Miss Granger’s eyes, she is under a protected environment by a man whose will is nothing but to heal her, protect her and give her back to her loved ones.”
Harry didn’t say anything.
He continued to listen and watch the trial and its transition today. He had been trying so hard all afternoon to keep his cool and his nerves under control despite of all the things he had been hearing.
“And this is where it is differed in Mr. Snape’s statement. He had admitted that by this time, he had been administering potions to Miss Granger – not just healing potions, but potions to keep her from remembering things, potions that would prevent her from being fully well or potions that gave her enough strength to move around and about to think she’s gaining back her strength but weren’t really. He admitted into feeding her false information to many things – from the potions he fed her to the news of the WIzarding World. He stated that gaining her trust was his first step into making sure that she trusts no one but him so she would stay for a few more weeks until his plans were complete.”
“Plans? There were no plans! He was just trying to keep me alive – he was trying to keep all of them alive!”
“Restrain the lady.” The attendee calmly called for the Aurors who began holding Hermione down over her seat.
Harry didn’t say anything.
He did not even flinch when the two Aurors stayed behind Hermione and kept her arms down to keep her from standing up again.
The attendee looked furiously at Hermione but he did not say anything else.
He straightened his clothes and continued walking around pointing and holding various of the parchments of the statements of the two.
“We all know – and history would agree with us – that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named had been defeated by none other than Mr. Harry James Potter only months later from the night of the ambush. This would give enough time for Miss Granger to completely heal at the place she had been kept and would give more than enough time for the accused to bring her back to her loved ones especially to Mr. Harry Potter who as sources said, had a relationship with her at the time.”
Harry sat straight and proud from his seat.
There were glances and whispers.
He was wholly proud of this information and knew that he had the upper hand in this case.
“The hero of this war survived. The world may be victorious but he was not. For he knew that he was missing someone – the love of his life, Miss Granger. She had been missing from the said night of the ambush. There was no body found in the waters of London nor any trace to tell of her death, therefore from then henceforth, she was presumed to be missing. As time had passed, even Miss Granger’s closest loved ones believed her death and that there was no one they were waiting. In vain, Mr. Potter had looked, had searched and waited and all for nothing. Nothing until they were recovered at the island of Beltane.”
Hermione kept her head down and her mouth quiet.
Her eyes were filled with tears now. Everything were true. She could almost feel Harry’s pain in those ten long years and therefore she understood the hatred he had for the man accused.
“Ten years – a decade - dear jury and Wizengamot.” the attendee loudly said. “Ten years would be more than enough time to heal Miss Granger completely of the injuries she has sustained from the attack in the night of 1997. You Know Who has been vanquished and defeated by Mr. Harry Potter just a few months after that night. These are enough evidences to suffice the idea that Miss Granger is already healed and safe enough to be returned to her loved ones. Why then, why then would Mr. Severus Snape still keep her! Six months may be an excuse after the ambush of the night, a year may be given as the most excuse – but to be extended for ten years! Ten years!”
The jury and the audience were both in chaos.
Reactions from all sides could be heard and Hermione had given away to crying.
There was no way she could save him.
There was no way they were going to win this trial.
There was no way they could ever be together again.
She had tried her best to keep him safe and alive.
She promised to tell all truth and she thought he was asking her that to save them both but she was wrong. He had ensured that she kept her word as to ensure that he would be guilty of this trial if the day would come. But why? Why?
“Ten years, Wizengamot. Ten years to keep a young woman in an almost isolated island at the ends of London with no legitimate reasons to do so. It is against ANY law – may it be the Muggle Law she is also under or the Wizarding Law they are both withheld. There is no reason for this man to keep Miss Granger for ten years if she is not his student any longer and if there is no existence of a dark wizard to endanger her life any longer!”
“I LOVE HIM!” Hermione suddenly screamed. “I LOVE HIM! PLEASE DON’T DO THIS! WE LOVE ONE ANOTHER!”
The stunning silence that followed was nothing short of the deadly from the glare that Hermione had received from Harry from across the room.
He was silent but he was staring at her as if she was mad.
His fists were clenched at his sides but he did not move a muscle.
The attendee stared at Hermione as if she had completely lost her mind.
Even the head of the Wizengamot had his mouth hanging open at this revelation.
Draco’s eyes went wide as she stared across the room from Hermione to Snape and back at Hermione again.
She was crying as she stood there before everyone’s gaze.
Snape was silent from where he sat.
He was unmoving and he kept his head down.
The attendee looked at them both, lost for words.
It was like everything he had prepared for to declare and state for that trial had gone out of the window.
But before anyone else could say anything a deep and dark voice had spoken.
“She is lying.” Snape had said enough for the whole room to hear. “Miss Granger is out of her mind. She is lying. There is no such relationship between the two of us.”
“NO!” Hermione angrily yelled.
She turned the other way and faced Snape.
“Why are you doing this?” she cried at him. “I’m not letting you jail yourself in Azkaban just because you think we can’t be together!”
Snape ignored her.
He kept his gaze away from her as if he did not hear her.
Everyone stared at their directions, confused with the whole scene taking place.
“I have diluted her mind enough with various of potions in those ten long years to make her think there is a relationship of some sort that existed between the two of us. There was no relationship between the two of us. I have taken her from the night of the ambush and had kept her even after the war simply because I was interested with her. I have kept her – used her, abused her – abducted her in every sense there could be far and away from her loved ones without any intention of bringing her back to them.”
Snape was unblinking as he said this words with his eyes straight towards the eldest member of the Wizengamot.
“There should be no trial anymore. I believe enough evidences has been laid out to you. Miss Granger’s mind has been confused in those many years she had stayed with me and these things inside her head may be due to the potions I had administered to her in order to keep her and control her within those years. I assure you, there is no special relationship between the two of us. I had complete control over the situation and complete control over her in that span of time she had been lost in the eyes of her loved ones. I admit to all these crimes accused of me. I will await and accept whatever fate this jury and the members of the Wizengamot will put upon my head.”
Silence and then commotion broke from every direction.
Draco stared across the hall and saw Harry silent and unmoving from where he saw but there was an obvious glow in his face that told nothing but a triumphant feel inside of him.
The head of the Wizengamot stood up.
“Please restrain Miss Granger and put her back in the witness’ hall.” the old man had said. “Two hours of break will be given before this trial resumes today. New witnesses or statements will be considered within the day.”
The head of the Wizengamot stood and left the room using the back door before the people from the Daily Prophet could question him and the rest of the Wizengamot.
People still talked, pointed and whispered but Draco and Harry both stood up from their seats to follow the Aurors that will take Hermione to the holding area where she was kept whenever she needed to be questioned for the trial.
Draco hurriedly followed Harry out of the courtroom.
He was walking hurriedly talking to two Minsitry officials.
“Potter!” Draco called out to him. “Potter, wait!”
Harry continued walking, ignoring his calls for him despite that he was all aware of Draco’s presence.
“Potter!” Draco called out as they turned hallways and staircases after another.
Finally, Harry seemed to have lost his patience.
He handed the two Ministry officials an envelope and halted in a crowded corridor.
“What do you want?” he demanded from Draco.
He straightened his robes and glasses and stared at the boy he had loathed all these years.
“I need to speak with you.”
“Oh yeah?” Harry sarcastically replied. “About what?”
“About Hermione and this trial.”
“You heard and saw what took place today. I have no time for you, Malfoy.”
“You need to make time for me, Potter.” Draco snapped at him. “You’re making a wrong decision.”
“Excuse me?” Harry asked walking towards him. “Who are you to tell me this?”
“I’m telling you this as-“
“As a friend? I don’t recall us being friends, Malfoy. You are in no position to tell me what to and what not to do. Besides,” he gave him a cold stare, “I want you away from Hermione. Do you understand that?”
Draco didn’t say anything. It felt like all his anger for the boy were coming back. He tried to control himself to be the better man.
“I’m not your friend.” Draco said. “But I am here in behalf of an innocent man. We both heard it from Hermione. He is innocent and-“
“We both heard it from your beloved godfather.” Harry said shaking his head with a smirk. “ He admitted to the whole Wizarding World what he did to her and what is causing all these bizaare thoughts and imagination she has in her head-“
“She is not insane and you know that.” Draco pointed out. “You’re using it as an excuse to bring this innocent man to Azkaban and accept a fate he does not deserve-“
“Does not deserve?” Harry walked towards him, fists clenched.
“Do you hear yourself, Malfoy?”
He was seething beyond anger.
He was ready to strike him in this crowded hallway no matter of the consequences.
“You know Snape will never do this, Potter. You know what kind of man-“
“I know exactly what kind of man he is.” Harry interrupted him with such hatred in his own eyes. “He killed Dumbledore. He killed a lot of other nameless and countless of men. He made my life at Hogwarts miserable. He made –“
“He rescued Hermione from an ill-fate in this war. He has done something we do not know yet and understand but we will. Visit him, Harry. Visit him and perhaps he will tell you why he has kept her-“
“Visiting him will only make me murder him. I do not think he deserves that mercy yet.”
Harry turned away from him but he was already holding his wand in his hand.
“You are blinded by hatred, Potter. You are blinded by your hatred for a man who did nothing-“
“A man who stole everything from me!” Harry angrily screamed at him.
He had lost it.
He turned back and grabbed Draco by the neck and pointed his wand right up at his face.
People scattered and gasped and stared as they both drew out their wands.
Even though he held Draco against the wall, Draco did not retaliate.
He held his wand in his hand but he did not attack Harry.
“Are you going to hurt me?” Draco drawled at him with a smirk.
“I’m going to kill you if you do not stop meddling.”
“So you’re going to hurt me just like you’re hurting Hermione?”
Harry did not say anything.
He stared at Draco in complete shock.
He has not hurt Hermione – well, not intentionally anyway.
“I’m not hurting Hermione.”
“Is that why she’s keeping a bruise under her arm?”
Draco smirked at him and he slightly lessened his grasp of the blonde boy.
“I’m not an idiot.” Draco said straightening his robes. “She does not need to show me nor tell me. I can tell. I have seen the same fate of my mother from my own father’s hand, Potter.”
Harry stared at him for a long moment.
And then he let him go completely.
“I am nowhere like your father.”
Harry started walking away from him.
“I can help you Potter.”
“I don’t need your help.”
“I will help him then. I will help them, Potter.”
Harry halted but he did not look back.
He pocketed his wand and straightened himself up.
“Help them with what?”
“With everything that I have in order to let the truth come out. He is innocent and you know that. You are only blinded by your hatred and jealousy.”
“I am Harry Potter.” Harry responded quietly. “That is all the world needs to know for me to win this case against that bastard.”
“I’m gonna kill that bastard.”
Hermione stared at her fresh wound at her knee.
Snape had left her a bottle of potion to apply over her fresh wound.
He had not wanted to administer it to her in his reluctance to touch her or get any closer to her as she had notice in the past week that she had been staying with him.
He had kept her in the circular glass-like room like some guinea pig under an experiment.
He told her he needed to keep her there in order for her to be completely healed and in order to isolate her from other people as it seems to him she was still bearing some deep embedded curse that may be harmful to others.
He promised to get her out of it the moment he finds out what is keeping her from healing completely.
She had been stubborn.
In the past week she had stayed with him she refused to eat properly and drink the potions he told her to drink to regain her energy.
She demanded news of Harry and the rest of the Order.
He had simply refused.
He told her that it was not yet safe to go outside in the world and that he would tell her any news of them.
He had lost his patience and had now resorted into leaving her food trays and healing potions outside the glass case for her to reach.
It was difficult for Hermione to move around and about but she had refused to follow his orders and now she had made him lose patience with her.
She could not wait to heal and get out of that place.
Despite the idea that he had rescued her from sure and instant death the moment she had lost control of her fall from the broomstick, she still refused to believe that he was in their cause.
He had explained to her that he was still a spy, watching out for all of them.
He needed to prove it by more than words.
And right now, until he has allowed her to contact Harry and the rest of the Order, she would refused to trust him completely.
Hermione’s days comprised nothing but counting the minutes and hours of the day.
Thrice or more, Snape would come to the room and bring in food, water and potions she needed to drink.
He would also come and bring her new clothes and her until the doorstop of the bathroom across the hall where she’s all by herself at the other side.
This routine went on for about two weeks as she had counted. They would not talk as she refused to give in to his inquiries on ‘how are you feeling’ or ‘is this wound still hurtful’ because of her personal vendetta against the man for refusing to let her out and be back in action in the war.
One afternoon however, Hermione had was no longer able to go on with her own game.
“How’s Harry?” she had asked Snape.
He had entered.
He brought in a tray of warm pastries, a glass of water and juice and two bottles of her healing potions.
“The boy is strong enough to live through this.” Snape answered her.
He knelt next to the fireplace and began igniting it.
“So he’s alive?” Hermione slowly asked, fishing through his words.
Snape mumbled something then pointed his wand over the fireplace. Fire came to life and it began warming the room.
“As if you would even bother answering.” Hermione bitterly spat.
She pulled the tray over and took the two bottles of healing potion and stared at it.
“How come they look different?”
“Because they are different set of potions.”
Snape stood up and walked towards the circular glass case.
He pointed his wand around and muttered some things and light surrounded the glass.
“How long am I staying here?”
“As long as you still need to be. There are two more test I need to try on you, Miss Granger. We would soon get to the end of this. Be patient.”
“I’m being patient, professor.”
Hermione’s answer was nowhere near truth and Snape could tell how much she was itching to get out of the place. In truth, he wasn’t sure how long he would have to keep her there.
He could not tell her yet what hunch he was having about what must be wrong with her.
“Talk to me.” Snape had said. He sat by the glass and stared at her pale and weak figure. “Tell me how are you really feeling this past days?”
Hermione stared up at her professor.
She hated him for keeping her there and keeping her out of news of the war that was happening outside but she had no choice.
She was weak and wandless and she needed him and his skills in healing her.
“I’m not really feeling that well at night. I sometimes feel I’m having some sort of deep fever. Then I would have some sort of nightmares and all and then..”
“Then what?” Snape asked her moving closer the glass. “Miss Granger, then what?”
She looked up at him as if reluctant to continue.
She was not sure how to tell and describe it exactly.
“I keep on dreaming of killing Harry, professor.” Hermione admitted.
She closed her eyes, shaking away tears.
“Dreams. Dreams or nightmare but it feels so real, it feels like.. Like I’m really there, strangling him. I don’t know.. I don’t understand.. and then when I refused to kill him in my dream, there’s some sort of pain inside of me. Like..”
“Like what? What kind of pain?”
Hermione stared at her professor.
She wasn’t sure how to describe it even more.
“Professor, I don’t know how to describe it.”
“Tell me what it is like and how it feels.”
“I can’t.” Hermione answered him.
She looked away then she breathed deeply before continuing, “But I can show you.”
Snape stared at her. She stood from the bed and walked towards the glass case.
For a moment they stood tall against one another with just the glass case in between them.
There was silence between them.
Snape opened his mouth to ask her again but had stopped because Hermione began undressing herself.
“You need to see, professor.” Hermione whispered.
She began untying the white robes she wore as she walked closer to the glass so that Snape could take a closer look to at her body.
Snape gritted his teeth.
He had been trying to avoid physical contact with her and now he would have to stare at her bare body.
He did not want to see this.
This was not something he was prepared to see but before he could do anything else, she had unveiled her skin towards him without any further hesitation but question and worry deep in her brown eyes.
But she trusted him enough to let him see her whole being without having second-thoughts that despite that he was her professor, he was still a man.
He breathed out heavily and stared back at her porcelain skin.
It were all smooth until it had reached her neckline.
There were traces of her veins along her neck that drew right down across her chest.
It was like her veins were popping out of her skin only it was the colour of deep red like blood.
Snape’s mouth dropped open and went dry.
He had noticed slight marks for the first few days when he cleaned her that she was unconscious but they weren’t this deep nor obvious.
“Do they hurt?” he managed to asked her.
Hermione turned to him and looked up at his black eyes as if searching for answers.
“Yes.” Hermione said.
She turned fully to him and moved closer to him.
Snape stood rooted at the spot now knowing what to say or do.
“Please help me.” Hermione begged him. “What’s going on with me?”
Snape stared closely at the deeply embedded marks.
He knew it.
But he did not know how strong it was.
The traces along her skin was that of dark magic.
It was an old and ancient curse – one that only Purebloods would know how to use.
One where the Dark Lord and his followers would only dare to use.
But he wasn’t that sure – he needed someone else’s opinion about it to make sure it was that curse he has been thinking of.
“Please help me, professor.” Hermione cried at him as she walked further the glass and held her hands against it.
“I do not know and understand what it is but I know something is wrong with me.”
Snape stared at her.
His hands shaking at his sides.
His mind was almost blank as he stared at the curse he knew too well.
He was one of the ones who had practiced it and taught it even to the Dark Lord’s followers.
Only Bellatrix Lestrange was able to perfect it in no time.
He walked away from the glass thinking hard.
Hermione had began crying at the other side.
He fidgeted around for his wand to lower the enchantment holding the glass case around her.
“Move away.” Snape sharply ordered her “I need to break the glass.”
Hermione was crying and was confused.
She nodded at him and moved backward away from the glass case.
Snape waved his wand several times, muttering enchantments.
Gold lights sparked out of his wand and slowly engulfed the glass between them. In no time, it slowly vanished out of sight.
He looked at her with a pitiful glance.
She was half naked in front of him – crying, scared and desperate.
She was so confused at what was happening and here was another problem.
“What.. what is it..” Hermione asked him as she walked forward the Potions Master.
Snape stared up at her and her almost-perfect body.
It was no longer perfect.
In fact, it was presently marred and scarred by a deep curse that the Dark Lord has created and that which he has enhanced himself.
He never imagined that any of the Death Eaters he taught it to would ever dare use it.
Not even Bellatrix.
The woman was obviously mad.
“It’s a curse.” Snape answered her after what felt like ages. “It’s a curse but we would figure a way to heal it.”
“What curse?” Hermione softly asked him.
He didn’t answer her.
She stared at his black eyes.
“What curse, professor?”
Snape looked back at her unable to answer.
He could not lie to her.
She was an intellectual witch. It was futile to attempt to lie to her about a non-existent curse or something that was not.
He was sure she has read as many about curses as he had done so.
“I’m not yet-“
“Don’t lie to me.” Hermione begged him. “Please tell me what it is!”
Snape did not say anything.
He would not be able to tell her yet.
Not until he has a solution for it.
“It’s dark magic, Hermione.” Snape slowly answered her. “That’s as far as I could tell you.”
He tried avoiding her gaze and instead focused his glare onto the traces and lines of red across her neck and chest.
“Dark magic?” Hermione asked him. “But you would be able to heal it, won’t you?”
He did not answer.
Worry crossed Hermione’s eyes.
“Professor?” she cried at him. “YYou can counter-act whatever dark magic this is, right?”
Snape stared up at her.
He did not want to lie to her.
“I can’t promise you anything.” Snape said unable to lie to her. “ Not until I’ve figure out how you got it-“
“How I got it?” Hermione repeated in despair. “How I got it?”
Their eyes met and he could see the hatred in them.
“Were you not there?” she asked incredulously. “Were you not there when the Death Eaters – when those monsters attacked us?”
“That’s not what I meant.”
“Then you bloody know what I also meant!” Hermione almost screamed at him. “They attacked us, professor – they attacked me!”
Snape did not want to look at her eyes.
It pained him somewhat deep inside that she was suffering for something she did not even deserve.
“Miss Granger, please calm down. I’m going to find a way to cure this dark magic that has been-“
“They attacked us. They attacked us professor and-“
“I need to know first whose wand this enchantment came from!” Snape told her without hiding the anxiety and anger in his voice.
She wasn’t sure she heard him right.
He was more concerned on knowing who had cursed her?
“What?” Hermione asked her, confused. “What do you mean?”
“Figuring out whose wand was used to execute this curse will help me find out how strong this is. And..”
Snape had paused for a moment.
He looked reluctant.
“And what?” Hermione impatiently asked him. “And what, professor Snape?”
He looked uncomfortable.
“And I might be able to figure out how to undo it in that way.”
For a moment Hermione just stared at him.
He did not make sense.
And then Hermione understood what he was trying to tell him.
“You’re going to try and convince the Death Eater to undo the curse?” Hermione asked with a brow raised.
Snape did not say anything.
It did sound stupid.
“Well, that’s thick of a plan, professor.” Hermione muttered withdrawing herself away from him.
She began closing her robes again.
Hermione walked back to her bed.
“No Death Eater will help you undo a curse they’ve done so purposely.” Hermione said spitefully. “Especially one they have used on a Mudblood like me.”
“Don’t use that word.”
“It’s true.” Hermione whispered.
“I’m a Mudblood.”
“Go away, professor.”
“Look, Miss Granger, I’m going to figure out a way-“
“I said, I want to sleep, professor.”
“Miss Granger, there is no use of not talking about it. We have to talk about this sooner. Until I find out what this really is and how we can undo it, you’re staying here and you’re going to do whatever I ask of you.”
Hermione stared up at him as if he was mad.
“If we’re not going to talk about how you are going to tell them that I am alive and how you are planning to bring me back to them, there is no point of talking.”
Snape stared back at the brat with hatred in his eyes.
He was trying to control his temper in order to avoid unnecessary judgments and decisions.
“I want to sleep, professor. Please go away. “
Snape did not say anything.
He did not know how to comfort her.
There was no way of comforting her when she was obviously no in the mood to talk to him.