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Chapter Thirteen 

Favors 

 

 

 

“When do you plan on telling her?”

“I don’t know.” Snape answered. “I’m not even sure how considering how difficult and delicate the situation is.”

“There is no easy way of telling her this.” Narcissa said. “No way out nor around it. You would have to tell her sooner or later.”

Snape did not say anything.

He moved his eyes away from the lady of the Malfoy Manor.

But the silence between them did not give him enough space to think either.

“Where’s Lucius?” he asked her after a while.

“Where do you think?” Narcissa answered briskly.

“Winning this war is a tight cause.” Snape said.

“I do not care who wins.” Narcissa said. “As long as I am able to protect my son and keep him safe until it all ends, that’s the only thing that matters to me.”

Only one miracle will save them all.

Snape’s black eyes moved from the fireplace and then back up at her.

Narcissa was holding the small vial with bluish liquid and was staring deep into it.

“You can send these to me.” Narcissa pointed out. “You do not have to endanger yourself bringing me these.”

Narcissa gestured over towards a box where half a dozen of the same vials with the same potion lay.

“How are you feeling?” Snape asked ignoring what she had just said.

She looked up at him with an irritated glare as if it was an insult to be asked with her condition.

“Alive.” Narcissa quietly said pursing her lips at him.

“Narcissa.”

“I’m alive, can’t you see?”

“Cissy.”   

 “I’m alive and well.” Narcissa answered truthfully. “That is thanks to you.”

Their eyes met.

“You have no need to thank me.” Snape said. “It is you whom I should thank.”

Narcissa shook her head and lowered the vial across the table.

“This is for Draco.” Narcissa quietly said.

She walked away from the table and crossed her arms as she stood by the fireplace.

“It would be better if you would be able to find out how long I have yet to live.”

“You will live longer, Cissy.” Snape said. “I will find you a cure.”

“A cure?” she snorted out shaking her head. “We both know there is no cure for this. You don’t need to lie between the two of us.”

Snape looked up at her.

Narcissa shook her head with a smirk over her face. She looked as proud as ever.

 “I live right now because we have discovered this and you have provided me with alternative potions from what I have been taking. But for how long will they help? For how long will I survive this?”

Snape did not answer.

He was unsure how long he could heal her and attempt to recover what still may be.

They did not foresee it – they did not know of it.

 But it had been long in her blood and it was almost too late.

He quietly wished his skills in potions could still redeem the life she should live.

“I need more time for the tests. But at the moment, I’m quite sure you would live longer.”

“Long enough to see the Dark Lord finish and rid of us once he is done with his use of us? Of my husband? Of my son?”

Snape stared up at her worried expression.

He stood from the armchair and walked towards her desk.

Despite her name, wealth and power, Snape pitied the idea that behind all of those façade she showed to the world, she was – as her husband and son – was just a disposable life to the Dark Lord.

“I already gave you my word that I will protect you and your dear Draco.” Snape said.  “I am keeping a close watch at him. He is like the Dark Lord’s most precious heir right now because of the contribution I have – because he knows I care about the boy.”

Narcissa did not say anything.

His words were not enough to comfort her.

Narcissa straightened herself up and nodded at him as she returned to the table.

She picked up the vial and placed it inside the box to fill in the fifteen holes for vials.

“I need to make more tests on you.” Snape said. “It’s only been three months, Cissy.

“Three months and thirteen days, Severus.” Narcissa smartly corrected him.

He looked at her and knew that she wasn’t referring to the months he had been giving her the vials to tend to her needs.

Snape chose to ignore her commentary for which he knew which message she tries to purposely deliver.

“I’ve made you a couple more of bottles.” Snape told her. “These will last for several weeks and maybe a few months.”

“I gather that the idea is that I won’t be seeing you until then?” she asked him with a narrowed brow.

Snape did not say anything to her.

He didn’t want to divulge too much information on her in spite of everything he had already told her.

“It is too risky to come back every now and then.” he simply explained to her as he began packing his belongings.

Narcissa quietly watched his progress.

“Severus.”

“ I have to travel twice as careful and sometimes in the latest of hours to avoid being caught that I do not actually stay at Hogwarts nor at Spinner’s End.”

“Very well.” Narcissa coldly said. “ It’s not as if I can actually do anything about your decisions.”

Snape finished his packing and zipped his black bag back.

Narcissa placed her hand over his with a very thick envelope in her hand.

“Cissy-“

“Let me return the favor.” she said meeting his eyes.

“I still haven’t used up everything you have given me the last time.”

“It doesn’t matter.” Narcissa said. “Just take it. I know you need it – she needs it.”

He didn’t say anything.

“Buy her something.” Narcissa said. “Books, dresses – anything she will like. Anything that will take away her attention from the real situation.”

“She’s a mart girl.” Snape reminded her as he stared down at the thick envelope. “No, she’s a smart woman.

Narcissa watch him correct himself with a peculiar expression over his face.

 “You have to tell her everything as soon as possible, Severus.”

Snape did not say anything.

He looked uncomfortable again.

“I must get going.” Snape slung the bag around his shoulder. “ It is getting too late. I do not want to be seen by anyone.”

Narcissa stared at her dearest friend – she was unsure if it was pity for him she felt.

She reached for him and placed her hand over his shoulders.

Snape stopped as she placed the envelope in the inside of his traveling cloack.

“Severus, you have no choice.” Narcissa whisperd against his ear. “You’re going to have to tell her. The curse gets stronger over time. You are the only one capable of helping her. If she is as smart as you claim, she would understand. She would endure and agree with what you have to deal with together.”

“I must go.” Snape said taking the package from the table.

Narcissa placed her hand over his.

Snape stopped and stared at her quietly.

“I will be with you as you go through and deal with this, Severus.” Narcissa whispered. “ I will not forsake you.”

Snape did not say anything.

He looked away from her with such shame and sadness in his eyes.

Everything that has happened since the night of the ambush was too much already.

Fate has been asking – no, demanding too much from him.

“This is not an easy task.”

“Nothing has ever been easy for us, Severus.”

“You do not understand. It involves everything and everyone she loves-“

“Do I not understand?” Narcissa asked him with a hint of sarcasm.

“You, whom I have watched suffered the fate of losing that one love- be fated for her never to be yours and I, to have to spend the rest of my life with a man I have never loved?” her voice was one of controlled angered and Snape felt that he had offended her greatly. .

“Cissy-“

“Do I not understand the depth and the pain of our situation?”

Narcissa stared and slowly withdrew her hand from him.

Snape turned and faced her but she moved away from him.

“You underestimate my understanding of love, Severus.”

“Cissy-“

Snape grabbed her hand back and kept it still inside his.

They looked at one another with such understanding.

 “I apologize, Narcissa. I am too tired and confused lately.”

“Do not let the situation get into you.” Narcissa whispered.  “Take control and remain mindful. This is not a time to fall apart.”

Narcissa’s words were soft and kind but they made an impact.

“How do I tell her?” Snape asked and there was desperation in his voice.

Narcissa’s eyes met his.

She could tell the fear in them.

“I know the weight of the situation. But you are the only one capable of saving her and saving everyone. This is the part of the Dark Lord’s plans. Anything he would do – anything – to ensure he wins this war. He would do anything to ensure that Harry Potter gives himself up. He would do anything and use anyone he could.”

“And me? What about me?”

“You are tasked and destined to save them – to save the boy, to save her, my son – you’ve been destined to carry this because you can.”

“I don’t want to do this anymore.”

“Hermione Granger has no one but you to save her.”

These words silenced him.

For a brief moment, he looked both guilty and remorseful of the words he had just told her.

There was something in her words that pierced his heart.

“I will break her heart.”

“Hers?” Narcissa asked him slowly.

 She stared closer making sure that she could see the depth on his eyes.  

“Her heart, Severus?” Narcissa softly spoke. “Or yours?”

He looked away from her and pocketed the package in his cloak with sudden hurry.

“Don’t be ridiculous, Narcissa.”

Narcissa didn’t take her eyes off him.

She knew her friend too well.

“Just about a few weeks or months and there you go, Severus - giving your heart away again.”

Snape looked away from her with a sharp stance about him.

“I’m not a child, Narcissa.”

Narcissa gave a small laugh at him but none too unkind.

“You’ve always been like what?” she asked him with an amused expression over her pale face.

“Ah yes, a little brother to me that I come to watch over every single day at Hogwarts because I know that Lucius and his so-called friends are always hovering around you. And look at you now. I see no difference from that boy who loved someone so well and deeply many years ago.”

Snape still did not say anything.

Narcissa was the only woman who ever spoke of him this way or rather the only one he allowed to do so.  

“There have been many differences.”

Narcissa crossed her arms and looked even more amused.

“Perhaps.” Narcissa silkily said “I used to take good care of you. But now look at you today, taking good care of me.”

Snape slowly stared at her as he heard the gratefulness in her tone.

All the sarcasm and smugness and confidence of the Malfoy woman had vanquished and was quickly replaced by warm words.

He would not deny that she did care for him and watched over him closely in the Slytherin House when they were at school.

She had even saved his arse several more times or so from things he did not foresee coming in his hunger for power and will to prove himself worthy in the circle of the popular Slytherin boys.

Snape stared at the beautiful woman before him.

He would never find another Pureblood friend as genuine as she was despite their differences and beliefs.

Snape smiled curtly at her and nodded.

 Narcissa did the same.

“I have to go.” Snape took his belongings. “I’ll see you soon.”

“Rescue her and save her. It would break her heart. But it is essential to keep her alive – to keep the boy alive in order to save us all.”  

He did not say anything.

He turned from her and took the package and the large bag filled with more than enough necessities Narcissa accumulated for him.

He walked to the door and halted only when Narcissa called him again.

“Time is running, Severus. The curse is getting stronger over time. You must make up your mind.”

 

 

 

 

“I got your owl. What’s going on?”

“We can’t talk here.”

Hermione pulled Ginny with her inside the bank. 

It was twice that week that she had used the excuse of going to the bank to Harry so she could get out of their place without him being suspicious of her whereabouts.

She looked around cautiously and knew that one way or another they would bump into an Auror or a Ministry official that would soon tell Harry of her actions.

She took Ginny around by the arm and lined up in a long waiting line of something she did not even bother to check.

She grabbed her by the arm and they stood at the very end of the line.

“I need to get out of the house.”

“Yeah. I could tell, what’s going on?”

Ginny looked worried towards Hermione.

 She had written her a secret message that she was all too surprise to bother asking what it is for but agreed in her form of secret message as well that she would meet her at the bank.

“I just need to get out of the house until the trial is over.” Hermione said. “Can you help me?”

“Help you?” Ginny asked her back. “Help you how exactly?”

“I don’t know.” Hermione said. “I need a place to stay.”

“You can stay at home. I’m sure my mum would be glad –“

“No. That’s the first place Harry would look for me. And I’m sure Mrs. Weasley would give me up.”

“Give you up?” Ginny asked. “ Hermione, what’s going on between you and Harry? This is so strange having to discuss this with you over her in the bank where we actually have nothing-“

“Ginny, sssh! Please keep your voice down!”

Ginny stared at her friend.

She did not understand one bit of this and was unsure if she was doing the right thing.

“What do you want me to do?” Ginny asked her.

Hermione was unsure if she was irritated or worried about her.

She wasn’t even sure she could completely trust her but she was her only shot.

“I don’t know. Take me away. Let’s tell them you’re going for a vacation or something and you’re bringing me – Gin, the important thing is I need to get out of the house. I’m not comfortable around Harry anymore.”

“What?” Ginny asked, alarmed. “Is he hurting you?”

Hermione quickly shook her head.

She looked away from her scrutinizing gaze.

“No, it’s not like that.” Hermione looked reluctant to tell her everything but she didn’t have much choice.

“You have to tell me.” Ginny insisted.

“ It’s just that there are days he seems himself and days where he’s some sort of- I don’t know – I can’t seem to understand and explain exactly but I know he is not himself from time to time-“

“You can tell mum?”

“I can’t.” Hermione told her. Her brows furrowed. “Ginny, you can’t tell her either.”

She stared back at Hermione with a confused look.

“I want to help you, but I don’t know how – Harry!” Ginny gasped looking over her shoulder.

“What?” Hermione said.

Ginny pierced her wrist and turned her about.

Hermione’s face turned pale as she saw Harry signing something from a Ministry official’s hand-filled of parchments and then he began walking towards them with a big smile over his face.

“What’s he doing here?” Hermione asked with great alarm all over her face.

“I don’t know Hermione, but whatever this is-“

“Please keep everything I told you a secret.” Hermione whispered just in time as Harry had reached them.

“Hermione-“

“Please-“

“Hello ladies..” Harry said smiling as he had reached them.

Ginny and Hermione gave him a reluctant smile.

His arms quickly crawled around Hermione’s waist as he bent over to kiss her cheek and then one just in between her jawline and neck.

Ginny looked back at her with question in her eyes.

Harry smiled at Ginny then back at Hermione and he pulled a rose from behind him.

“Why are you here?” Hermione asked him.

“I decided to pick you up.” Harry said. “I’ve chanced upon the time you said you’d be here.”

“Are you following me?” Hermione asked irritably. “I don’t remember giving you the time-“

“How are you, Ginny?” Harry asked interrupting her. “How’s Mrs. Weasley?”

Ginny looked from him then back at Hermione and back at him again.

She was unsure of what exactly was going on between the two of them.

“I was closing an account.” Ginny lied.

“Why would you close an account?” Harry asked her. “And isn’t that line over there?”

He pointed over a long line two rows from where they were.

 “Yeah!” Ginny quickly said. “Actually, sort of. I mean, Bill asked me the other day to check the account he has with him and-“

“I thought Bill’s account is French as he has transferred everything with Fleur?” Harry asked her.

Hermione’s face turned pale but she did not say anything.

“Yeah.” Ginny said. “He asked me to check the account he has with him and it is Charlie’s.” Ginny quickly made up. “But he does not have the time so that task that Charlie asked him to do he had assigned to me.”

Harry stared at her for a moment but did not say anything.

“Right, alright. And you?” he turned to Hermione.

Hermione stared back at him and was smiling at her in a way that she did not like.

“I just wanted to try and ask for this old account I had before. Hogwarts days. But the line there was long and I was about to go home and then I –“

“I saw her. And called her and asked her to go in line with me.” Ginny finished with a smile.

Harry stared at the two of them.

Whether he was convinced or not, Hermione was unsure of.

“Right. Well, we’re off to Diagon Alley for lunch. I’ll see you around?” Harry nodded at Ginny as he took Hermione’s hand.

Hermione stared helplessly at Ginny who could only stare at them.

“Yes, sure. Visit this Friday.” Ginny said. “Mum is having dinner for everyone. Bill and Fleur are arriving again.”

“That will be delightful.” Hermione had answered. “What time would that be-“

“I’ll send an owl if we can.” Harry said with a curt nod.

Ginny looked up at Harry and she could have sworn that she saw the look Hermione seemed to describe about.

Hermione gave Ginny a pleading glance.

“It would be nice if you would come.” Ginny pursued. “Mum will be delightful to see you both and-“

“I said, I would send an owl if we can.”

“Harry-“

He took Hermione’s hand firmly and kept her quiet.

Ginny did not miss the gesture.

“I have plans for us. Friday.” Harry simply said.

Ginny stared at Hermione whose face was pale and eyes trying to communicate to her.  

“Right. Alright then.” Ginny had said. “We’ll wait for your owl.”

Hermione and Ginny’s eyes met for a split second that Harry had missed.

“Let’s go then?” Harry asked.

He smiled and nodded at Ginny and turned Hermione with him.

“Harry, please remove your arm from my waist.” Hermione commented but Harry took a firmer hold.

“Should I not show the world my affection?” he asked with a smug smile over his face as a wizard recognized them had passed and bowed at Harry.

Hermione lowered her hand knowing that Harry won’t let her go anyway.

The moment they stepped outside the bank and were now far from Ginny, Harry whirled at her.

“Did you tell her something?” he asked her with a raised brow. “What did you tell her?”  

“What?” Hermione asked him pushing herself away from him.

Harry did not let her go.

“I asked if you have told Ginny some made up lies.”

“I didn’t tell her anything.” Hermione said. “And is there anything she should know about?”

Harry did not answer her.

The glint in his eyes vanished and he smiled at her.

“That is my ‘Mione.” Harry whispered.

He slowly reached his hand up and began caressing her cheek.

Hermione did not move. She tried her best to act normal.

“I just want to go home. I’m not feeling well to have lunch outside. I can cook for us.”

Harry looked at her for a moment.

“Alright.” Harry simply said with a glad smile over his face. “That is a lovely plan.”

He took her hand and took out his wand and the two of them Disapparated from the grounds.

 

 

 

Hermione turned over the other side of the bed only to find herself alone.

She moved her hands around and opened her eyes to find the space next to her empty.

She looked around their darkened room and the fire in the hearth was already dying.

“Harry?” she slowly called out.

There was no answer.

The small light in the room told her that she was indeed alone in the room.

“Harry..” she sighed heavily lying back on her back.

Hermione stared up at the ceiling and realized it was raining hard again.

The weather seemed to be mourning with her every day.

It was somewhere two in the morning and she had wondered if Harry had left again when she had fallen asleep.

He had made dinner for the two of them that they had eaten in the living room a few hours ago.

He even bought an expensive wine for her and another bouquet of fresh red roses.

There was no occasion but he was obviously doing his best to claim her again.

And she wasn’t sure if that was something she should be happy about or scared of.

She tossed and turned to the other side of the bed and closed her eyes.

She missed Severus horribly.

She had constantly wondered how things would be and how things would really end up.

Their situation was as hopeless as ever and she knew that Harry would never change his mind now. He would always refuse to listen just because he believed that Snape had indeed abducted her for his own gain.

If only Harry knew.

“What if I tell him?” Hermione thought.

She closed her eyes and quickly shook the idea away.

No, she couldn’t.

That would break her promise to Severus and Harry would never understand the depth of it.

It would only seem like an ideal excuse but not what it really meant.

“But you already told Draco.” Hermione guiltily admitted to herself. “Why can’t you tell Harry?”

Hermione turned to the other side of the bed again.

Yes, tonight no nightmares.

Just a conscience trying to bury her alive.

“Because Miss Know-It-All if you tell Harry you would hurt him.”

Hermione bit her lower lip and shook her head.

She could hear the rain getting louder by the moment.

“It’s not as if you’re not hurting him already. He’s already hurt as it is. Why spare a few more parts of his heart that is not yet broken?”

Hermione felt as miserable as ever.

She told Draco in hopes he would help her and Snape – or rather Snape out of the position.

But if he tells Harry – not only would he get hurt and be furious it would break him miserably if he finds out what she has sacrificed in the first place.

If only she could turn back time.

“I don’t regret being with you.” Hermione thought out loud. “But I never thought we’d end up this way.”

Hermione sat up from the bed and decided to get a glass of water from their kitchens to help her ease the heaviness in her already broken heart.

“What happened to us?”

Hermione halted in the hallway halfway to the kitchens when she heard his voice.

She stopped and saw that the fireplace in their living room was lit.

She slowly and quietly walked to the opened doorway and stared.

Harry’s back was turned to the door and he was alone in the room.

He was sitting on the carpet by the fireplace next to a lot of opened boxes around him.

“Harry?” Hermione uttered in barely a whisper as she moved closer and curiously stared.

From where she stood, she could see that he was holding a photograph in his hands and a scarf at the other.

Photo albums of sorts, old school books and crumpled parchments, and other memorabilia and objects were laid out around him in the living room.

She immediately recognized the scarf in his hand – it was the one she had given him in their last Christmas together that she had sewn herself with the help of Ginny and Mrs. Weasley.

She didn’t think he would still have it. She didn’t think he could keep her school things and other things they shared together through all these years.

He had indeed never given up on her and it breaks her heart to see him like this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I thought I had made it clear that the last time I would ever see you in this room was also the last it would ever be.”

Draco did not say anything as he entered the room and sat opposite his godfather.

Snape looked him in the eye.

“You were the one who told me that.”

“Things may change.” Draco simply answered him.

Snape observed him carefully. His black eyes bore carefully around his godson.

“I am indeed highly amazed by your ability to manipulate people to get what you want, Draco.”

“It’s called favors.” Draco smugly told him. “I’m a Malfoy, after all.”

Draco stared at his godfather who sat opposite him at the very same room they had been in the last time.

Two wizards waited outside and guarded the room while two of Draco’s assistants waited outside as well.

A well-managed dinner had been served at the large black table between the two of them and yet neither godfather nor godson took a bit from the feast before them.

“I told you already that I cannot help you nor give you any more favors, Draco. You are wasting your time here.”

“You know for a long time, I thought you’re being stubborn but it turns out you’re just being an idiot.”

Snape stared up at Draco for a moment.

He had been wondering about the smug look over his face since he had arrived.

The boy looked so confident and in a highly good mood that Saturday afternoon.

“I’ve seen Hermione the other day.” Draco slowly said knowing her name will get his attention

“I didn’t know you two were close enough to call one another first-term basis.”

“Would you rather I call her ‘love’? or ‘sweetheart’ than her name?”

Snape moved uncomfortably from his seat and Draco sensed a momentary tension in the room.

“Oh that’s right – that was what you called her.”

“I do not understand what you’re talking about. I would never call her that.”

“Not even for a moment? Not even for a slight moment in eternity?”

Snape’s black eyes shot up at him and a gleam of amazement passed his features.

Draco looked satisfied at the reaction.

“What?” Draco smiled at him. “Did I say something wrong?”

Snape stared at him and he looked as if he was struggling with words.

“If I had my wand with me-“

“You’d erase it from my memory?” Draco dared him.

Snape remained quiet and still. He looked away from Draco – in an almost shameful way.

“Whatever she told you-“ Snape said through gritted teeth – “-or rather showed you, these are all lies-“

“You didn’t erase it from her memory.” Draco pointed out. “Giving me the idea and impression that you wanted her to keep your memories together.”

“Her mind is diluted. I think I already clarified that in the courtroom. These things you’ve seen may perhaps be part of these imagined and corrupted mind of hers.”

“We both know they are not corrupted memories. You’ve always been there – careful to watch me when aunt Bella taught me how to tell real memories from those which are not so I could tell if someone is lying.”

Draco watched Snape look uncomfortable and unguarded with his feelings as ever.

The man stood up and turned away from the table.

“Draco.”

“I want to hear it from you.” Draco said. “I want to hear from you that you are willing to help yourself. Ask me and I will help the two of you.”

“There is no life for the two of us. She is young and I am an old and tainted man. She will never be happy with me. She has a life ahead of her and that should not include me.”

“She’s not happy. She’s not happy with that Potter.”

“She only thinks that way while I am here. Once the jury and the Wizengamot has decided my fate in Azkaban with the Dementors – she will mourn, yes. It will take time but it would heal and she would realize that her fate is with Harry Potter.”

“Is that so?” Draco asked him. “Another loss? To another Potter?”

Snape closed his eyes and clenched his fists.

How much did Hermione tell or rather showed Draco?

“I will not stop. I will help you – I will help the two of you. Whether you like it or not. You do not deserve the life here. You are a hero of this war.”

“I’m no hero. Hermione deserves another man. Whatever she has shown you – whatever past we might have had – tell her to forget it, forget it all. Tell her to forget me.”

“Tell her yourself.” Draco challenged him. “I’ll get you out of here and tell her yourself then.”

“I don’t need to see her nor talk to her anymore.”

“She needs you.”

“She doesn’t need me. She only thinks she does.”

“Harry is hurting her. She is in need of your rescue.”

That was it.

 It was the magic word to gain Snape in his hands.

“What?” he asked swiftly turning to Draco. “What did you say?”

Draco stared at his godfather and saw a glint of fire-like anger in his eyes.

“She’s not happy with Potter. I think he’s hurting her. I don’t really have evidences but I’ve seen a mark or two in her arm.”

“Potter wouldn’t hurt a fly. He couldn’t hurt her.”

His face was turned from Draco but he could see his godfather’s hand fisting over his sides.

“He is a changed man.” Draco pointed out.

There was a grave look on Snape’s face.

His eyes turned about and Draco knew he was contemplating everything.

“Hermione will be happy with you. She needs you now more than ever. Why can’t you see that?”

“There is no life for us. There is no future for us.”

“Why do you think this way?” Draco asked him and Snape could tell he was highly frustrated.

He did not answer his godson.

“You’re the only one who thinks this way. I think you’re a hero of this war. I think if we cleared your name, you could be free. And then you can live a life with her. This is ridiculous.”

“You think if you clear my name, I would be free? We would be together? We could live happily?” Snape asked him and Draco could hear the sarcasm in his voice.

Snape shook his head and a hoarse laughter came from him.

“You may clear my name but we would never end up together.”

“Hermione wants to be with you. I think that is the only thing you should know about.”

“You think Potter will allow it?” Snape asked him. “Do you really think Potter will just let Hermione go? Do you think he would just let me out of this? No, Draco – no. He isn’t going to just let this go.”

“I will help you.”

“Help me?” Snape repeated mockingly. “Help me?”

Draco felt slightly insulted but he wasn’t going to give this up. Not now.

“Let me do this favor to you.” Draco sincerely said. “Let me return the favor you granted my mother.”

Snape was silent but he shook his head.

He slowly smirked and it confused Draco for a moment.

“Are you out of your bloody mind?” Snape asked him. “You are being ridiculous. Do you have any idea – what lies in store for me outside Azkaban? You may clear my name – yes. But life will never be easy anymore. I already have a stigma of what I have done to her – and if she stays with me she would have to endure it all as well for the rest of her life and I do want that to happen to her-“

“You are not the one to decide what she wants to endure or what she doesn’t. That’s not your decision anymore. She wants to be with you and that is important. Don’t you want to be with her anymore?”

“Do you really not get it?”

“Do you want her to spend the rest of her life with Potter?”

“They will get married and she will be happy.”

“No.” Draco warned him. “They will get married and she will be just like my mother in the hands of my father!”

That seemed to have silenced Snape.

His black eyes went emotionless for a moment.

Draco stared at his motionless and speechless form.

He was breathing hard after yelling.

Snape shamefully looked away from Draco but the boy would simply not give up.

“He’s hurting.” Draco said watching him hear and let the reality and pain of it sink inside him.

“Potter is incapable of such act.”

“He’s hurting her. He’s treating her exactly as how my father treated my mother. Do I need to remind you how exactly or you remember everything in detail?”

The colour in Snape’s face was turning red.

His fists began to clench in anger.

Draco could sense the attention he was gaining and he wasn’t to be stopped now.

“He’s hurting Hermione and Hermione has already asked for my help – twice.”

Snape was still silent.

He looked, for the first time, that he was actually considering life out of Azkaban.

“Draco, it won’t be easy.” Snape finally said breathing out heavily.

“I didn’t say it would be.” Draco answered with hope in his eyes.

Snape looked up at him and Draco could see the man he has known – the man who was as brave as anyone he has ever known.

“But we can begin somewhere.”

“How? Where?”

“I just need your word that you would tell me everything and then you will let me stir everything from here.”

Snape stared at his godson.

Since when did Draco Malfoy become a real man?

“He’s hurting her?” Snape asked slowly.

Draco nodded.

“I saw a bruise in her arm.”

Snape closed his eyes and sighed heavily.

He placed both his hands over his face in frustration.

“I didn’t save her all those years to be harmed by anyone.”

“Exactly.” Draco whispered. “Will you let it happen now?”

Draco leaned closer the table and closed his hands together.

“I can appeal for the trials to be extended by a few more. We can provide more evidences. I will request such things.”

“You don’t know the Minsitry of Magic, Draco.”

“No, I don’t.” Draco answered him. “But I do know that I’ve learned several things after my few years of hiatus in Germany.”

Snape stared at him as he slowly pulled something out from his pocket.

For a moment he did not understood what it was.

And then his black eyes widened as he realized that Draco was showing him a folded parchment that looked like a certificate and a glimmering golden card plate in his hand.

The card plate showed a photograph of Draco with a smug and proud smile over his face with his name scrawled magnificently beneath the photograph and an embedded scrawl beneath it was a licensed position his godson had obviously passed for.

Snape’s black eyes glimmered with hope for a moment.

He looked up at his godson and Draco was smiling at him.

“Draco..”

“It won’t be easy.” Draco told him honestly. “But she needs you to rescue her just like you have done ten years ago.”