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Chapter Eighteen 

Trust 

 

 

“How long do I have to stay on this chair?” Harry asked Ginny as he wheeled his wheelchair around to face her.

Ginny did not answer.

Despite that he has woken from his coma, he was left invalid.

His mood was nowhere improving either.

“The Healers said it would take time.” Ginny said for what felt like a dozen time. “They see no problem with your bones so they guess that-“

“They guess what?” Harry asked her. “If there’s no problem with my bones then why can’t I walk?”

He looked aggressed and Ginny remained quiet.

There was no point arguing with him.

“They will provide you with a therapist.” Ginny said trying to assure his condition.

In truth, she was no longer sure how to cheer him up.

She had stayed by his bed day and night and tended to everything he needed and yet he remained cold and relentless and had kept on complaining about everything.

 “I don’t need a therapist.” Harry spat at her. “I need them to find Hermione.”

Ginny gaped as he wheeled his chair again and turned to face the window again.

His miraculous awakening from the coma he had been in had left him weak and temporarily disabled.

According to the tests given to him since he woke up, his body was seemingly fighting what ‘vegetable’ state he would have been from his fall from the building floor.

There seemed to be an inner force taking him slowly out of the ill-fated life he would have been in.

“You will be able to walk in no time, Harry.” Ginny assured him. “I mean, look at you – you’ve woken up from that state and you’re getting better everyday.”

“I’ll only recover fully if I know where Hermione is.” Harry muttered. “I need to find her.”

She had been trying her best every day to make him feel better but she knew deep inside that nothing would make him feel any better at the moment or any day soon until Hermione was found.

Truth was that, no one knows for sure if Hermione was still alive.

Her fall across that high towards the London waters was too much to ask life from.

It would take another miracle for Hermione to survive that fall.

And nobody is merely brave enough to tell Harry that daunting truth.

They needed him to have the will to be alive, to continue – they needed some sort of hope for him to cling into.

“Once you are way better, I’m sure the Healers will let you out and you can help the Order look for Hermione.”

Harry did not say anything.

His green eyes were transfixed at the view of the sunrise expelling darkness across the city.

First they were ambushed and then he lost Hermione.

He had lost about more than a month’s worth of time of looking for Hermione.

And upon waking up, his strength weren’t as what he wanted or rather expected it to be as his body was still too weak at the moment that he was temporarily disabled from walking.

It frustrated him beyond comprehension and no matter what they say that they were looking for Hermione he simply wasn’t that convince unless he does it himself.

“Harry, they’re doing their best.” Ginny’s small voice came behind his back.

“I want to be alone for now, Ginny.” Harry quietly said.

“Harry, the Healers said you shouldn’t be-“

“I said, I want to be alone for now. If you please.”

Ginny stared at him with tears in her eyes.

She wasn’t sure anymore how to cheer Harry up knowing that Hermione was the only person who can do that for him especially at his very broken state at the moment.

“I’ll just be outside Harry.” Ginny said. “You know how to call for help outside incase you need any.”

The moment the door had closed, Harry’s eyes shed quiet tears.

The broken pieces of his heart cannot seem to heal at all like the rest of his body.

The Healers said that his fall had been fatal but there was enough magic in his body to save him and keep him alive.

It had been more than a month that he was comatose and a lot of people had believed the point that he wasn’t going to wake up on time to try to help the battle against the Dark Lord.

A lot of people also believed that he was never going to wake up.

But he did wake up.

He had miraculously woken from his state despite what the Healers at St. Mungo’s had said.

But he was invalid.

Being alive for him wasn’t enough if he was temporarily invalid.

He needed to find Hermione.

He desperately needed to find her before it was too late.

 

 

 

 

 

Hermione nervously sat at the witness’ stand once more.

Despite that whatever Draco had prepared for her and she knew deep down that it would help Snape she was still nervous.

Harry was quietly staring at her from across the stand.

Despite that they did not ‘rehearse’ anything to say for the day as this was unexpected, she knew that he was expecting better of her.

The whole room was quiet as Draco presented random evidences to the jury of the Wizengamot and across the room through parchments bearing factual documentary of certain events that had happened from the decade that Hermione was taken in accordance to Snape and Hermione’s statements.

“Miss Hermione Jean Granger?” Draco slowly asked staring at her.

“Yes.” Hermione nodded quietly.

Draco was staring quietly at her but he wasn’t giving her any secret signals nor any friendly gesture.  And despite that he did not look boastful at all, he did look formal and in such a way as if they do not know one another personally.

The look he gave her and the gestures he did around her made her nervous and intimidated.

“According to records, you have attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry?”

“Yes.” Hermione quietly answered, curious where Draco was going to lead this.

“And that is the place where you have met the accused, Mr. Severus Snape?”

“Yes.” Hermione said. “That is true.”

Draco paced before Hermione’s desk as if thinking.

“That is because he is a mentor at the school?”

“Yes.” Hermione simply answered. “He was our Potions Master.”

“For how long did you study under him?”

“For about six years.” Hermione said. “In our sixth year at Hogwarts, he was replaced by Professor Horace Slughorn. He had then taken the post of Defense Against the Dark Arts.”

“And how was your relationship with your professor at school?”

Hermione was quiet.

Draco obviously knew this but he was after something.

“Well.. he was..” Hermione said clearing her throat before continuing. “Well he was strict. He was quiet distant with his students but he was a good professor. I did well with his subjects even if I wasn’t his favourite student and he did not keep down from showing off his favourites.”

Draco almost smirked at the commentary. 

“Do you say he hates you in a way or two or vice versa?” Draco quietly asked her.

Hermione stared back at him but Draco was unblinking.

He looked and sounded as if he had a plan towards where this was going even if it looked so vague at the moment.

“I couldn’t say so.” Hermione slowly answered. “Like I said, I wasn’t his favourite but that does not undermine that he hated me.”

The jury seemed to agree with the logic given.

Draco continued to pace around the room and question Hermione.

“How were your grades at Hogwarts, Miss Granger? Other than Potions and Defense Against the Dark Arts?”

“They were very good.” Hermione confidently said and her brows were slightly raised because she could not understand where this was going now and how it were all going to help Snape.

“Above average?”

“Objection on this, Mr. Defense Council.”

One of the juries interrupted.

Hermione looked up and knew that this man was some sort of friend of Kingsley making him someone on Harry’s side.

“Yes?” Draco slowly asked him.

“We do not see where this is going. We are talking about the case of Miss Granger – not her grades at school.”

“Sir, with all due respect, I assure you I am going somewhere here.”

“Continue, Mr. Malfoy.” the eldest of the jury had said gesturing his hand. “Let us give him some time.”

Draco nodded gratefully and turned back to Hermione.

“Well, Miss Granger?”

“Above average.” Hermione answered him. “I aced most of my subjects in my year. I was highest in our N.E.W.T.s exam as well.”

Draco nodded at him and took a paper out from the many on the table.

He raised it around and nodded around the room.

“Here are records stating all of Miss Granger’s grades since she was a first year at Hogwarts and until the final year she was able to attend to.”

Draco laid out copies to the jury.

“According to these records, her grades are quite high – higher than most of her years and may be at par by those older than her generation - the best witches and wizards that ever studied at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, yes?”

He looked confident.

And despite that he wasn’t smiling nor smirking, Harry’s moody was slowly turning sour at the way things were going.

“These records shall state and give us factual and actual basis that she may be branded and was somewhat called as the ‘brightest witch of her age?’ yes?”

“Your point, Mr. Malfoy? We see no relevance of Miss Granger’s grades to this case.” asked the jury.

“My point is, given all these facts, shouldn’t we be aware of Miss Granger’s comprehension skills, her capabilities and her intellect and therefore conclude that if she is indeed this bright, it is unlikely that she could be manipulated all those years by the accused Mr. Snape?”

There was silence in the jury and it gave Hermione the slightest of hope.

The jury was listening and thinking.

“I am aware.” Draco continued. “And according to the medical records taken from Miss Granger as  that there were absolutely no traces of the Imperius Curse in her blood, yes?”

“That is correct.” answered the only woman from the array of juries.

“Therefore, we can conclude once more that her actions are based on her own choices?”

“Choices under impending danger and unwanted predicaments.”

The attendee stood up and had taken his place before the witness’ stand.

He was staring at Draco with pure loathing and back at Hermione as if he wanted to hit her.

“Impending danger?” Draco had slowly said. “But did he not protect her that is why he came to his wing in the first place?”

The attendee looked murderous.

“I would like to point out that he already admitted to the jury and the whole Wizengamot that yes that was his prior intention for which has changed in accordance to his own will and selfish intentions. His pure will to protect her had changed its course through time. Were you not present when that was discussed in this courtroom?”

The attendee raised a brow at Draco but Draco wasn’t to be intimidated.

No Malfoy was ever to be intimidated by anyone inferior of their status symbol.

“I was present.” Draco had said simply. “I have been here from the beginning.”

“Therefore, I am concluding Mr. Malfoy that you are aware that he has admitted that he had changed his intentions to her?”

“Yes.” Draco answered with a short nod. “I am aware of his admittance of that and many other things.”

Draco turned about to the jury of the Wizengamot.

“With all due respect.” he referred and nodded to the eldest member of the Wizengamot.

The old man looked down at him as he continued.

 “Would the full jury and trial room believe if someone admits their faults? All of it? Would their admittance of a crime be legit and legal just because they have admitted it? Would not actual evidences and facts be of any importance to any case?”

Another silence.

Hermione looked from Draco and up at the jury who seemed to be taking consideration everything that Draco was offering the jury.

Her eyes slowly strayed then at Harry.

He was quietly still sitting on his spot but from where she was he could tell that he was almost not listening.

Harry’s eyes were simply staring at Draco, quietly observing him.

The eldest member of the Wizengamot stared from Draco then at Snape then back at Draco and Hermione.

He quietly nodded as he observed Draco as if he had never seen anything like him in his trial room.

“That was the practice of the Wizengamot.” he slowly nodded and agreed. “However..”

A pause followed.

“However..” he cleared his throat for the whole room to hear him. “Changes in practice were in order after several mistakes from the past that included – I’m sure everyone is now familiar of – the case of Mr. Marvolo – who has been wrongly accused of a certain crime just because he had admitted of it.”

Harry’s fists were clenching in anger.

He was restraining himself but it was harder to do so every minute.

How could the jury be taking into consideration everything that Draco was saying?

“Therefore, would these school records of Miss Granger be good as actual basis and evidence that she is – before the ambush – very capable of thinking wisely and intellectually for herself? Giving us a glimpse and an idea that the whole time she was under the custody of Mr. Severus Snape – she is not totally incapable, helpless or naïve not to understand and know that she can escape him if she wanted to?”

Murmur grew from every direction but it was Harry’s severe movement on his chair that made Hermione gasped.

He had taken his wand out and Hermione could swear he almost lifted it to the point that it was directed towards Draco’s back.

“I would like to clarify.” the attendee began but the whispers weren’t dying at all.

He had to clear his throat several times to be heard.

“I would like to clarify that according to testimonies of both parties as well that Miss Granger’s wand has been taken and therefore she was wandless for the years that came. I don’t suppose she could defend herself by any means.”

“Wandless?” Draco repeated with a mocked smile over his face.

He looked back up at the jury.

“Did I just not mention that Miss Granger has been dubbed as ‘the brightest witch of her age’?”

There was a smug look over Draco’s face that insulted the attendee.

“Should it be not clear that whether with a wand or not, she can obviously do wandless magic?”

Murmurs turned into louder voices talking, agreeing and protesting for the things Draco was presenting to the court.

Draco did not show it but he was silently happy by what was happening before his eyes.

If there were division in the jury and the audience, then he was creating a hole against the case of his godfather – a hole that may grew to be big enough for Snape to escape from.

“The accused wizard Mr. Malfoy, was and is up to today a Death Eater.” The attendee had said with his face growing red in anger. “I supposed this one has factual and actual basis as well, yes?”

Draco was silent as he waited for him to boast around the room.

“I supposed when you are in the face of danger – say a Death Eater – you would be scared enough to not want to try something that might endanger your life? Is she not intellectual enough to find logic in that?”

Another murmur from the audience.

Hermione stared down at Draco but she could barely see his face as he was half turned away from her.

“Scared yes.” Draco answered him. “We shall not take away that fact. I guess anyone would be scared of the situation they have been thrown together. But he was still her professor, yes Miss Granger?”

Draco turned back to Hermione who nodded quietly.

“He was you professor, yes?” Draco asked.

“Yes.” Hermione answered uncertainly. “He was my professor for a long time before the ambush.”

“Therefore, you are scared of him in some aspects?”

“Yes.” Hermione admitted biting her lower lip. “I never wanted to fail in his subjects. I always studied Potions well so I could.. So I would pass the things he taught me.”

“You believe in the things he taught you?”

“Yes.”

“So you agree with your first statement earlier that he was a good teacher?”

“He knew his subject very well.”

“You trust that he can teach you everything you need to know about Potions?”

“Yes.”

“Then you can state in this trial room that whether it is a subject area, a classroom proper or not you trust Mr. Severus Snape?”

“Yes.” Hermione said. “Yes, ofcourse.”

She didn’t have to think, she knew it was something in her heart that she felt.

“You trust, Mr. Severus Snape?”

“Yes.”

“You trust him with your life Miss Granger?”

“Yes.” Hermione answered with his eyes straight at Snape who was being held down by Aurors at the opposite side of the room.

Draco nodded and turned back to the jury.

“Will you be scared fully towards someone when you trust them completely?”

The eldest member of the Wizengamot did not answer.

His eyes were directed towards Draco as if seeing him for the first time.

He did not answer Draco.

Draco walked back towards Hermione.

“Did you never wonder about your wand then, Miss Granger?”

“I did.” Hermione had said. “I knew he had it before.”

“And?” Draco asked. “Did he refuse to give it to you?”

“Not really.”

“Kindly specify this, Miss Granger.”

Draco’s eyes were straight towards her.

He was edging her to tell everything so he could bend it to their will.

“I did not find the need to need it.” Hermione had said. “He protected me in the cottage and gave me everything that I needed.”

“Can you specify these needs, Miss Granger?”

“Food, shelter, clothing.” Hermione said matter-of-factly. “He always made sure I was comfortable.”

“And were you comfortable?” Draco asked her.

Hermione stared at him.

Despite that she trusted him, she couldn’t help but think where these questions were going.

Yes.” Hermione had answered. “I was.”

“Comfortable enough to stay for several weeks and months?”

“Yes.”

“Comfortable enough then Miss Granger to stay for several months and maybe a year or two?”

“Yes.”

Draco smiled at her.

 He slowly turned to the jury.

“You trust her, Miss Granger with your life?”

“Yes.”

“You can tell right now to this whole room that in those years, you trusted Mr. Severus Snape completely?”

“Yes.” Hermione confidently answered him. “I trusted him completely.”

“Then you trusted him completely you can tell in this whole court room and verify that you were living a life with a man you trusted completely in a life whereas you were quite very comfortable with??”

“Yes.” Hermione had answered truthfully. “Yes, I did.”

“Comfortable enough Miss Granger to stay for more than a year or two?”

She did not answer.

Her eyes were quivering as her lips did.

Harry was staring quietly at her with ears awaiting her answer desperately.

“Miss Granger?” Draco’s voice slowly called out. “Were you comfortable enough in the life you were living with a man you trusted with your life to choose for yourself to stay and live with him for perhaps more than a year or two?”

Hermione looked away from Harry.

She knew what he was thinking.

But these were the right answers and the right questions.

Yes.” Hermione firmly answered.  

Draco nodded at her and turned back again.

He faced the Wizengamot with an utmost smile at the ends of his lips.

“Dear Wizengamot and jury – did we not just hear what Miss Hermione Granger had just admitted to this room?”

Silence.

“Did we not just hear her admit that in all those years – she had indeed felt fear and wonder – but she trusted the man she was living with completely in a comfortable life – trusted him enough to decide for herself that it was alright to live with the man?”

Another long silence fell.

Draco nodded again and turned back at the attendee with a quiet stare.

“I have no further questions at the moment.” Draco stated with enough clarity in his tone that he had made his point.

The room was silent as they watched Draco grabbed certain documents from across the table and nodded at the jury and slowly returned to his seat and waited for the attendee’s turn to question Hermione right after.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three cups of empty coffee mugs lay on the table by the living room.

Despite the vast heat from the hearth of the fireplace in the room the coldness of the growing storm outside was overpowering the temperature in the whole cottage.

It seemed like the weather could sense Hermione’s anguish and hatred for her professor.

Even though they had their usual arguments and brawls because of her relentless questions, his endless house rules and prohibition into many things, her fiery and disrespectful answers to him when she finds his answers unsatisfactory and a lot more of other reasons, they end the day closest to being well.

But today had been different.

It would soon be twenty four hours and Severus Snape still hasn’t returned to their cottage after their fight the previous night.

It all began when Hermione kept asking him if she could be given permission to grow a small garden behind their cottage where she could possibly grow some plants or various of flowers and spices.

Snape and Hermione had been arguing about the same topic from time to time but for some reason she had insisted on really wanting one telling him that it was something that might help her boredom around the house.

Snape then began berating and telling her if the books he had just given her and bought her the previous week weren’t enough to satisfy her ‘boredoom’.

Hermione then began giving a list of reasons why she wanted a garden and it included that she read once that tending to a garden was therapeutic to stress and she could even grow certain spices and herbs that he would need for his potion ingredients.

But Snape would not bend his own rules.

He did not want her out of the doorstep. Not anywhere outside the house premises.

Hermione then turned really angry and had smashed a small vase from the living room and left its mess scattered all over the place and disrupting Snape’s controlled mood completely.

Snape was hostile.

He had grabbed her by the arm and had dragged her back in her bedroom and had locked her from the outside telling her that she would only be allowed out of the room once she gives up her wailing and her childish manners.

Hermione had cried for hours on the floor by the door until at about 11 in the evening when she heard the spell being unlocked from the outside and Snape’s voice came along.

She could hear him from where she sat that he was hurriedly wearing his travelling cloak and telling her that there were food in the kitchen should she become hungry and that he wasn’t sure what time he would be returning as he just had to leave at that very moment for an emergency business he had to attend to.

Whether it was Order business or some Death Eater business, Hermione neither cared at the moment.

She was lost in thoughts and she felt like she does not have a care in the world anymore.

He had waited outside the door for a few moments for an answer from her but when it did not happen, he decided to leave.

Hermione heard his fading footsteps from the hallways, his hurried steps down the stairs and the sound of their door being locked closed.

A few reflection of lights from her window told her that Snape had once more placed his extra enchantments and wards around the cottage whenever he left her alone.

And now, nearly twenty for hours later, Snape still hasn’t returned.

Hermione wondered if he was finally fed up with her and decided to simply abandon her. After all, she had been such a burden for him for quite some time – about four or five months to be exact.

She had barely eaten the whole day in her frustration and thought that Snape might have finally left her for good.

She had yelled at him and told him how much suffering he was giving her by keeping her there in the cottage, for keeping her away from Harry and the rest of her friends and loved ones and for keeping her from her parents.

She had argued and yelled that just because he was used to being alone meant the whole world was the same as he was.

And the three mugs of coffee she drank in order to keep herself from sleeping in his anticipation for his arrival, only triggered and attracted more unwanted thoughts inside her head.

What if something bad had happened to him?

Not only was she worried about him but she had to be honest with the thought that she was locked inside the cottage and no rescue would be able to help her should that happen since nobody knew where they were.

There was no wand in the house and Snape had usually locked his potions laboratory when he left in order to keep her away from doing something unwanted.

But it wasn’t really her thoughts about being alone or Snape abandoning her that completely left her broken at that moment.

But it was the reason why Snape might have left her for good for the things he discovered.

 

Hermione sat tear-streaked and staring blankly out of nowhere by the carpeted floor.

In front of her lay open a box with parchments – letters after letters and notes she had written herself and had tried to keep away from Snape’s knowledge.

Since they arrived at the cottage, she began making a journal – some sort of diary to keep track of the hours, the days, and weeks that they had been there just to keep her somewhat sane out of her wits from all that was happening around her.

Her journals soon developed into letters for which she asked Snape if she could send Harry or he could possibly send Harry himself.

Ofcourse, all these requests were denied of her.

She instead, kept writing the letters as if she was going to send them.

She had kept them and prepared them so just incase she gets that one chance she could miraculously have, she could send it all to Harry no matter the consequence of their situation.

Apparently, since Snape had to clean the mess she had created herself in the living room a few hours earlier, Snape might have spotted the creaked floorboard where she had kept the box and all her precious letters.

A few hours since Snape had left, Hermione had left her bedroom to find something to eat in the kitchens only to find her box laid open on the carpeted floor and most of her letters read open and scattered all over the floor.

Now her conscience and her heart were breaking thoroughly.

Hermione felt she was losing her mind.

She had simply done it this time and now she was completely lost and all by herself.

How was she going to get back to main London when she does not even know what travel routes to take?

Since she had stayed with Snape, after he had saved her from the dreadful fall from the ambush, she felt that things were going to be alright.

That he wasn’t the traitor of the Order and that he was going to save her and bring her back to Harry.

She had expected and hoped that things would turn as she had wanted them to be.

He had kept her alive and had healed her for all purposes and matters.

He was even more patient with her than she was with herself in the most trying of times.

Despite her immaturity and childish behavior, he had been extremely lenient with her and had spared and spend hours with her there in order to ensure she was well and protected.

But as the hours days and weeks ticked by, she became a lot more impatient than he had expected of her.

She began asking for more things and had began questioning when they were going to return.

His answers were always quite frustrating and it always seemed that there was a reason not yet to go back.

And then came the interference of the curse that further prolonged her stay with him. They needed to find a cure and the cure was nowhere in sight yet.

She felt she was turning mad as the weeks turned onto months already.

She misses her family, her friends and misses Harry most of all.

Snape had assured her again and again that if there was something she needed to know, he would tell her.

He had assured her then and now that there was nothing to be worried about Harry Potter.

But when she asked if she could see him even from afar or write a letter to him, his answer was always a decline stating that she was intelligent enough to know that it was not possible at the moment.

Hermione knew and understood the precautions they were taking but there were just days where it was too much and that she wanted to rebel against the rules he set on ground for her own safety.

Sometimes she even thought it wasn’t the boredom striking her rebellious side, but her fear of her sanity. Because there had been things she had been noticing about Snape and about herself that weren’t normal at all.

For some reason, his use of her first name seemed to attract her to him in some different manner and she somewhat felt irritated whenever he called her ‘Miss Granger’ these past weeks.

And for some reason as well, she had accidentally called him ‘Severus’ a couple of times and as she remembered, he had not reprimanded her at all but neither did he react on it.

There are days, she felt she was hallucinating because more often than not, she would catch him staring at her and she would also find herself unconsciously staring at Snape and how he moved around and about the house seemed to fascinate her in some way.

She suddenly found herself being fascinated by his beautiful hands as he made their meals or if he was in his laboratory stirring potions.

It had been weird as it felt like she was actually ‘hanging out’ with him but the feeling inside was different.

Something odd but not unfamiliar seemed to be stirring inside of her and she wasn’t sure if it was good or bad because she could just be hallucinating everything from that point.

It bothered her, but what bothers her the most was whenever they fight and she would protest, Snape would always bring up the subject of her being ‘discontent’ with the things they have or the ‘life he provides’ for her seemed to be never enough.

He always talked as if he she was being the selfish one and that he was giving her more than enough and yet ‘he was never enough’ for her.

Looking at it, she thought that he seemed to be rather jealous or behaving like some unreasonable lover. But when being reasonable, she thought if she was being selfish or he was just being selfish.

They bickered and argued and it always left her angry and wanting to leave him and wanting to just go back to Harry no matter the consequence of her action.

But whenever the thought occurs to her and whenever he left her for a few hours, she would suddenly look for him and feel empty and more miserable than when he was around.

And right now at that moment, the thought that he had completely abandoned her feels very destructive inside of her.

Did he really leave her for good now?

 

Hermione stared at the fallen letters around her.

Was Harry alright?

Was he still looking for her?

 Could it be possible that he had also given up on her just like Snape?

He had so many things he dreamed for the both of them.

He had a lot of aspirations for their relationship and how they were even planning to get engage as soon as the trouble with the Dark Lord had gone.

And now, none of these things and plans would ever come true if she will not be found soon.

Hermione was half asleep and she had barely realized and heard the noise coming from the door if she did not hear the sound of Snape’s raspy voice reciting the enchantment so he could get himself back inside the cottage.

“Severus?” Hermione whispered as she quickly sat up and listened.

She could hear someone trying to get inside the door and could hear his faint of a voice trying to complete the enchantment.

“Severus!”

Hermione scrambled off her feet and quickly ran out of the living room and down the hallway that led to their entrance door.

She saw the knob being turned with difficulty as she could literary hear him outside.

“Severus?” she whispered again walking to the door.

But before she could walk to open it, the door had suddenly burst open and Snape fell forward, dropping his wand next to him.

Hermione almost screamed at the sight of him.

His cloak had been torn at the back where blood was also dripping from his shoulder blades.

Obvious and fresh wounds were cut behind his back like someone had used a whip behind his back.

“Hermione..” he had grunted helplessly as he tried to get up but his body could barely move.

Hermione’s eyes were quick with more tears as he stared down at his bloody and almost lifeless form.

“S-Severus..” Hermione whispered not really knowing what to do.

Snape fell forward on his stomach once more at his third attempt to get up and try to make it all the way down his laboratory.

She could hear his uneven breathing pattern and could tell that he was losing more blood.

But it wasn’t only these that distracted Hermione for helping him out of the floor and bringing him back to his bedroom.

It was the fallen wand across the floor from its master and the welcoming open door behind Snape that was inviting Hermione out of the miserable life she had been forced to live with.