"I intend to bring you back once this project is over. And if this pushes through and complies with our plan, I hope you do know what to do once you get back."
"If I ever get back," Hermione whispered dully as they looked down the alleyway and streets of London. "If that is."
He looked down at her and her body movements told him that she had given up in any plans of escaping him and this life.
"A little faith, Granger." Snape whispered to her as he ushered her to walk in front of him. "A little faith."
He made a fast movement of his wand and the magical wire that entangle her right wrist to him disengaged itself.
Her face shot up at him, her eyes lit up.
"A little walk down London is what I promised you today if you promise to be a good girl." Snape said keeping his wand out of eyesight.
Hermione nodded coherently as she walked in front of him in slow steps, her large hood keeping her face hidden.
She looked around them.
It was a rainy afternoon in downtown London.
She could scream and run all she wants to, but she already knew that it was pointless.
He had casted an illusion charm on her and if she does try to escape him, the mark he had placed on her will trace her until the ends of the earth.
"One hour." Snape said nudging her to walk down and cross the street before him.
He watched her with keen and sharp eyes as she walked in slow, small steps in front of him.
Hands in her pocket, hood keeping her face hidden they walked towards modern-day London in the Muggle world.
They passed streets, cafe and restaurants and small book shops.
She inhaled every scent of the open earth she could while the hour lasted them.
He didn't say anything to her and she didn't speak either.
He just watched her closely as she walked before him in a slow and almost dying pace.
She was still very weak from losing her wand and very weak from the past weeks.
"You can't go in there." Snape gently warned her as they stopped in front of a small cafe. "We already talked about this."
"I just-" Hermione started looking up at him with soft and damp eyes. "Listen, I know I just -"
"You know and you know what will happen." Snape warned her, taking a small step to close in around her. "You either continue walking or we end our little tour here, Miss Granger."
Hermione stared at his tall physique that intimidated her beyond anything at that moment.
"Why can't I tell Harry?" she cried at him, facing him as she forced her tears back. "Why not? It's Harry - he will help me - Harry - He's just in there - he's just-"
"Alright, that's it." Snape spitefully said. "We're going."
His hand shot out from nowhere and he grabbed her by the arm, his fingers piercing her painfully as he tugged her to turn back away from the cafe.
"No please, please-" Hermione begged him trying to remove his fingers from her. "Please, please, I'm sorry - I'm sorry - we'll stay here just here, just outside - I'm sorry-"
His eyes pierced her too.
She begged and cried at him as her eyes strained against the glass window of the cafe.
From where they stood, beyond the tables, chairs and people inside the cafe, she could see at the corner table Harry was seated, deeply immersed into what looked like a pile of newspapers and notes.
"Harry.." Hermione whispered staring through the glass pane and taking a step forward but Snape immediately stopped her from taking any further steps. "I'm here.."
"Do you want to save his life or not?" Snape threatened him ignoring her plea and the look she was giving him. "I ask you a question."
She didn't say anything.
She withdrew all stance and nodded quietly covering her face again with her hood.
"It's time to go." Snape whispered moving her away from the cafe.
She didn't fight him.
She didn't say anything,
And here she was, a few steps away from Harry.
He look like he barely slept, he looked as pale and as weak as her.
From what she knew, he had just gotten out of the hospital himself and had been using all the means and measure he coudl to find her.
And she was right there and then outside the door, a few steps from him.
She was just as weak from the ambush and through the weeks Snape had been helping her, despite all that they were trying to do, they still were up against the wall into guessing what exactly was happening with her.
And for that reason alone, he couldn't let her anywhere near any of them until they were sure she was safe from harming not just herself but everyone as well.
It took Hermione a moment of gazing longingly through the glass until she realized that the pair of green eyes behind glasses were staring right through her.
Her heart skipped a beat.
Harry was staring across the cafe from his table through the glass pane and his eyes were staring back questioningly right at her.
He stood up from the table and began to make his way towards the entrance door of the cafe.
Hermione's eyes widened.
"No.." Hermione whispered quickly backing away from the cafe as Harry's silhoutte slowly stood up from his table, eyes affixed at her direction.
"We have to go, we have to go." Hermione cried, clinging fiercely around Snape's arms. "Take us away from here, now - NOW!"
Snape stared at her in shock, his eyes looked up at where she was staring.
But before he could comprehend what exactly they were looking at, he just swiftly moved his wand, arms around her tightly and protectively as he Disapparated them out from London in the afternoon of November 1997 just four months after the ambush of the Order of the Phoenix.
Hermione gasped and immediately disentagled herself away from Snape's hold onto her when her feet settled on solid ground.
They have returned to the cottage at Beltane.
In tears, she made a run for the bathroom and puked out all her stress, pain and shock all over the sink.
Snape sighed as he quietly placed wards around the door and the cottage itself as with a heavy heart he listened in Hermione's cries and barfing in the bathroom.
He was finishing up his wards when his eyes caught something on the floor.
A small shard of glass from a broken part of the window at the side of the living room he missed a few moments ago upon their arrival.
Fear and warning swept through his whole body and his eyes immediately moved around the darkened cottage.
His black eyes scanned his surroundings from entrance to the kitchens but it were both empty.
His heart wouldn't still but he could barely stay sharp because not only was he taken aback by what he had seen on the floor but his wave of thoughts were putting his emergency plans into coma.
If an intruder had indeed reached this far - the individual must be a very powerful one.
He had not only crossed the threshold of strong protection spells he created around the island grounds but had broken into the heart of the cottage itself.
But how did they find them?
He listened as Hermione continuously vommited in the bathroom keeping her safe and out of sight but not out of earshot from the intruder.
"Show yourself." Snape whispered taking very calculated steps and movements, his fingers tight around his wand as he walk down the hallway and past the empty kitchen.
Then his eyes moved down to the staircase that led to the basement.
But before he could cross the threshold to reach it, the doorway of the bathroom door suddeny opened and Hermione staggered out, face drenched in tears, her hair and clothes drenched in water.
Her eyes move from him and then to the wand in his hand.
"What's going on-" Hermione began.
A swift movement and sound.
"No, Hermione!" Snape shouted out in warning striking his arm out and instead was greeted by an arm from the living room doorway right across the bathroom door where Hermione was standing.
A white handkerchief was held out clearly into midair while the other hand slowly rolled down a wand onto the floor.
"I suggest you take a breather and then we sit down with a truce and you wipe that face of yours before asking questions." Narcissa Malfoy was standing in the flesh, eyes hard on Snape while her hand was offering Hermione the handkerchief.
Not a trace of surprise in her face upon seeing the young witch before her.
Hermione stood frozen on the spot, eyes unblinking as she stared at the woman in front of her.
The first person she has seen since she had been staying lay-low in the cottage with Snape.
"Mrs. Malf-Mrs. Malfoy?" her voice croaked out as she stared disbelievingly at the woman in front of her.
Snape stood at the scene wand raised and unknowing of what to do at that moment.
But protecting her was his high-most priority because her life lost will be the life lost of the boy who will save them all.
Snape decided in a blink of an eye as he lowered his wand from Narcissa and redirected it instead.
"I'm sorry, Hermione." he whispered before moving his wand away from Narcissa. "But this isn't a question of loyalty."
"What's going on?" she asked staring from Narcissa Malfoy then to Snape who was staring at her with regret in his eyes.
It was all Hermione managed to utter and remember at that point before she heard another spell being casted out and a jet of light beaming across the room before everything went pitch black.
"This is getting out of hand and getting more and more complicated." Snape muttered, eyes on Hermione who was now unconscious on the floor before them as he lowered himself picking up the wand that Narcissa slowly surrendered to him and handing it back to her.
Hermione now lay unconscious on the ground, unknowing of the following events that will take place and change her life forever.
"This is beginning to be a problem." Snape told Narcissa, the stress and irritation in his voice audible. "Why are you here?"
Narcissa stood straight staring at him lowering his wand.
"Do you think that's a problem?" she asked taking her wand back from him nodding at Hermione's body on the floor, shaking her head in disbelief. "What if I tell you we have a bigger one?"
Snape stared at her with grave concern as she nodded her head for him to follow her in the living room.
"Stunned. But not for long." Narcissa casually told him as they entered the living room, pointing down on the carpeted floor she went on, "Do you have any more ideas how we would deal with this? This isn't the first time and honestly, his powers and genuine memories are fighting back the memories I put in place of what I remove from him."
With wand at hand, Snape followed her into the living room and stared with wide eyes and silent shock at Narcissa Malfoy's wand being pointed down like gun-point on the body on ground where her own son, an unconscious Draco Malfoy lay.