Forbidden Rapture

BY : Marionne25
Category: Harry Potter > Het - Male/Female > Snape/Hermione
Dragon prints: 41259
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter and am not making money from this story.

AUTHOR'S NOTES:

Alright.

This will be quite long.

First off, thank you for all the old and new readers who had taken interest over my story.

Thank you for the time and effort you take for clicking over my link to check and read up my story.

We are halfway near the end of the story my dear friends so please stay with me.

I’m warning for the angst and deeply emotional state of this chapter that you are about to read.

If you are light hearted I tell you to grab a cloth to wipe your tears.

It’s one of the heaviest chapter (for me) that I have written as it is also one of the most crucial parts of the story.

I can’t believe we’re already near the end of this story. Please stay with me.

Secondly, I would need to tell you that for the coming weeks this would be my last post  - until things are well and in order.

I would be out and about in a sort of hiatus.

I have just had my graduation recital form signed by professors at our university (I’m a music major as I’ve already mentioned) and my solo recital audition has already been given a date.

I would be away from all my social media accounts and any online activity.

I would have to isolate myself from these and even from my social life.

I would have to take all the time I have to sit by my piano and nothing else until the recital audition is over.

Please bear with me.

I’d like to stay here. This keeps me sane. But there are adult-ing and academic responsibiliites that has to be taken and be met.

I promise to update the moment I finish my recital audition in a few weeks’ time.

It won’t be long.

It’s over before I know it.

Please wish me well. I am dearly nervous about it.

I will update everyone how it went and will probably have a chapter or two posted before my solo recital concert by May.

Please pray and hope for the best for my audition this April and my recital on May.

Reviews, comments and anything else in between are most welcome as long you remain kind =)

 

Hope everyone is well.

Will surely miss you all for quite some time.

I’d be back as soon as audition is over, I promise.

Please pray for me and wish me well.

 

Lots of love

xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Twenty Six

Freedom

 

The minutes had turned into hours and hours into days; the days had gone off into weeks and the weeks had departed to turn into months.

Months.

How long has it been since the ambush?

Hermione could barely catch up with the dates and days that had come and gone.

All she knew was that she had been inside these four well protected and guarded walls for as long as she could remember.

Snape has also lost his count of the days.

The days had turned to weeks and into months without him realizing how long it has really been.

It had begun at the night of the ambush.

And then he had taken Hermione Granger – the brightest of the golden trio – and had taken her into his custody in the hopes that after restoring her health, he could bring her back to the Order of the Phoenix in stealth.

But fate had plans.

His student had slowly weakened, bothered by nightmares when she was asleep and when she was awake, by the memories of her loved ones she couldn’t be with as soon.

She had weakened emotionally and physically.

At first it all seemed normal, until her marks appeared and soon he realized that she had been embedded by the curse that Bellatrix Lestrange casted upon her at the night of the ambush.

He was desperate to protect her and she was as desperate to do anything to return to her loved ones.

But fate intervened.

Within the span of weeks, the Urduja Curse slowly consumed her through pain when she was asleep and awake that Snape had to make a decision of keeping her inside an enchanted cage to isolate her and her powers that could run out of control.

The enchanted cage that housed her from time to time to ensure of her safety.

And then the agonizing days transpired into further emotionally challenging days.

The boy who lived had foolishly ended in the trap of the Death Eaters with his bestfriend.

In the hopes of finding Hermione – the love of his life – the encounter ended into two disastrous ways: Harry Potter had gone into a gone into a coma and the Weasley boy had departed the world.

All hope was almost lost.

The war was on-rage and the boy who lived was as useless as the world could ever hope for.

Hermione could not even run to his side to hold his hand.

But an opportunity and a ray of hope came.

Snape had a way to save Hermione and a way to save the boy’s life.

He could as save the lives of the two lovers but he had to let one go.

Narcissa Black Malfoy.

She was the way and the light to save Hermione Granger’s life – or atleast, her untainted blood could.

She was the dying lady of the Malfoy Manor now and she could only hope to do one last good thing.

In exchange for the life she would save, she only needed Snape to promise her one thing – to protect Draco at all costs.

Despite his rallies and his judgement, Snape knew Narcissa’s decision to save Hermione Granger and keep the secret was the only way to save the child’s life.

He could only save one life and Narcissa made sure that he made the right choice.

Sealing the curse deeply embedded within Hermione was one thing, but containing it for several years was another reality they had to face.

Narcissa promised him that she would never forsake them and tend do the things they would need for the years to come.

It was her ways of redemption in the blind hope that fate would be kind to her and protect her son until the war ended.

But the war would not end until the boy who lived was comatose at the hospital.

Snape made a decision that affected not only the outcome of the war, but the realization inside of him that he could love again – whether he was aware at the moment he made the decision or not.

Lily Potter’s last remaining memory was the key to saving the boy’s life.

To save the boy’s life was to let go of it – was to let go of Lily forever.

Creating the decision to let her go was the unconscious decision inside of him that he was grasping a new love that was growing unknowingly deep within him.

Hermione Granger’s plea to save Harry’s life awakened something inside of him.

As he saved her life, he had saved the spawn of his mortal enemy’s life.

 

Narcissa opted for an option for the love for her son.

Hermione had accepted a fate to save the ones she loved.

Snape had decided on a future that was unknowing and inevitable in the name of a love he knew and a love he was yet to understand.

And despite all these, their decisions had only come to one conclusion at the end and one reason alone.

Love.

Love was crude. It was cruel, blinding, inevitable and everything else that could possibly not make sense for one.

Love has led them to choices and circumstances that none of them had asked for nor had wanted in the first place and yet, they let it weave them through a blinded fate.

 

 

 

 

“I’m ready.” Hermione had whispered as she stood outside his laboratory at their basement.

Snape looked up from the potion he was brewing and had sealed the vial on the table

Hermione was dressed in a traveling cloak, a scarf around her neck and a weary smile over her face.

He did not want to do it – no, he did not want to but she had begged him.

He could not say no to her.

The Dark Lord has been gone and has been vanquished.

He had to tell her.

And he almost regretted it.

Now, here she was, dressed before him for the promise he had made – to glimpse Harry.

Snape nodded at her.

He could almost feel her intense emotions of excitement and fear.

“Drink this.” Snape said handing her the vial.

Hermione stared at it and nodded.

She uncorked the bottle and stared at him.

Snape waited.

In one go, Hermione dawned in her throat the potion without blinking her eyes away from him.

“One wrong move, Hermione. One wrong intention and you will be transported back here in the cottage without me. It would signify how much you rebelled against our agreement.”

Hermione nodded without a word as she gave the empty vial back at her.

“Potter will be at the train station at exactly one in the afternoon today.” Snape slowly instructed her.

Hermione silently nodded again.

Snape brought out a black wrist watch from his pocket and handed it to her.

“Wear it.” Snape simply said as he held his wand in his hand and he began muttering the wards to the laboratory.

Hermione did as she was told.

“Fifteen minutes, Hermione.” Snape said in a serious tone. “You only have fifteen minutes.”

“I thought you said I had an hour.”

There was an obvious disappointment and glimmer of anger that passed her features.

“An hour is the maximum time from which the enchantment takes its full course.” Snape explained to her again.

He looked her in the eye making sure she understood how serious he was with their deal and the consequences that may occur should Hermione disregard the rules.

Hermione challenged his gaze.

“Anything past fifteen minutes Hermione and something bad may happen to Potter. Will you wait for an hour to watch how he dies, exactly?”

“I won’t go very near-“

“It’s not just about the location Hermione. It’s your presence – your mere presence and existence that will come close to him – the enchantment that - .”

“But professor, it wouldn’t really-“

“What we are about to do is in a public place. This stupid attempt of yours is very dangerous. I am only doing this because-“

“Because I promised to stay with you. For a last glimpse to Harry.”

Snape looked impatient but he did not want to agitate the situation further.

“Seven years, Hermione. If he loves you so much he would wait that long.”

“Waiting is not the problem.”

Snape did not say anything.

He couldn’t argue with that.

“Are we going to do this or not?” he asked her in a firm tone that made Hermione realize that it was a take it or leave it situation.

“Fifteen minutes.” Hermione whispered looking away as a tear fell from her eye.

“Fifteen minutes.” Snape repeated at her still looking slightly reluctant and doubtful that Hermione understood the weight of the situation.

“Look at me.” Snape commanded at her.

Hermione shook her head and Snape grabbed her gently by the chin.

“Hermione look at me--“

“I understand already alright-“ Hermione spat shoving his hand away from her as she struggled with her tears.

“Anything that happens to him, I will not be accountable.” Snape coldly threatened her.

Hermione nodded as they both walked out of the laboratory and up the staircase from the basement.

They passed the kitchen and the living room in silence.

They reached the hallway that led to the exit doors.

Hermione stared at the door she had always stared at longingly.

“I will be a few feet from you – not very far but near enough to protect you should anything unwanted happens.”

“Yes.” Hermione whispered her eyes longing for the door to open.

Snape stared at her and at the wrist watch.

“Once the fifteen minutes is over, the watch will slowly glow. You must hold it and it would-“

“Turn into a Portkey and bring me back here. I already know that.”

Snape watched as she wiped more tears over her face with the back of her hands.

He did not want to do it but it would give him peace of mind if Hermione would get what she wants for the last time.

He knew how much this mattered to her but he also wouldn’t let things go down the drain for her stupid decisions.

Snape held his wand and let them both towards the door.

Before holding down the wards he slowly turned to her again.

He waved the wand before her face to make a Disillusionment Charm over her.

“Hermione, fifteen minutes.”

“I know.” Hermione whispered back staring at the black eyes she feared.

Snape glared at her.

“I’m trying to protect you.”

 “Fifteen minutes.”

“I’m telling you. The potion inside your body is very powerful. It may cause you harm and it will effectively bring you back here without your consent.”

“After fifteen minutes I’ll hold the watch.” Hermione said as she offered her hand to him.

Snape stared at the small hand and did not want to touch it.

“Hermione, if you betray this agreement and has stayed closer to Potter more than the necessary perimeter and proximity of time, he would die. Harry will die if you do any reckless action due to your emotions. You must learn to control your emotions the moment you see him.”

He stared as she nodded at him without having to say anything anymore.

She could only weep quietly.

She could escape him.

She really could.

But he trusted her.

He trusted her beyond anything and anyone else.

“Hermione-“ Snape said but Hermione interrupted him by placing her hands around his neck.

She raised herself on a tiptoe and embraced him fully.

“Thank you.” Hermione whispered. “I will always be grateful of you.”

Snape gently kissed her forehead in an almost-goodbye manner.

He closed his eyes and prayed, hope against hope that she would not betray this agreement they made.

Hermione closed her eyes and waited for Snape to whisper the very spell that would Apparate them out of the cottage that has housed her for as long as she could remember.

 

 

 

 

 “Hermione-“

“I thought I’d never see you again.”

Hermione’s hand was shaking.

Draco held her cold shaking hands.

He had whispered a spell at the door and it locked itself.

“We don’t have much time.” Draco said in a hushed tone.

They stood only a few inches from one another in the small café restroom.

He could almost feel her heartbeat in their proximity from one another.

“Harry – he’s – he’s doing all these crazy things, he’s deranged or so I think – and the house-“

“Lupin’s told me.” Draco quickly said. “He was the one who made this plan. He sounded very desperate when he talked to me. But I’m glad that they helped him-“

“Bill and Fleur?” Hermione asked him.

Draco nodded coherently.

“Look, we don’t have much time.” Draco said. “I’m doing my best to win the case. It won’t be easy. I would have to ask your questions at the next trial that are not very friendly-“

“Anything to have Severus out of this case, please Draco-“ Hermione pressed his hands harder. “Please save him. He’s innocent. You know that he is innocent-“

“Hermione, I’m doing my best. I can’t promise you anything but I’m doing my best.”

“How is he?” Hermione suddenly asked. “How’s he doing?”

Draco stared at her.

He has never heard her this emotional and hopeful.

“He’s..” Draco began not really knowing what to answer. “He’s surviving.”

“Can’t I see him?” Hermione asked hopefully.

“You know the answer to that Hermione-“

“I just wish I could-“

“He wishes to. But we both know you cannot. Not until all of these is over. Snape cannot be anywhere near you at the moment.”

“Draco you can find a way – you’ve got your way into this trial, maybe there’s something-“

“Hermione, I’m not here to talk about him.” Draco interrupted. “I need to know. Is Harry still hurting you?”

“What?”

“Hermione, I need to know if Harry’s hurting you.”

Hermione struggled to answer.

She did not really want to put Harry anywhere near harm’s way despite of his actions.

An interruption of some sort of noise came from the café restaurant.

They both stopped and listened but there was nothing that could be heard again.

Draco pulled her and shook her attention back to him.

“Hermione, listen, if Harry hurts you again you can do something about it – a court order of some sort-“

“He’s my guardian and fiancé, Draco. I can’t have him-“

Another noise came upon the hallway outside the restroom.

Draco’s eyes were attentive to the door and ears very much alert.

“At the next trial Hermione – “ Draco began. “Just answer honestly – every bit of it – of all the questions I’m going to throw at you. No matter the consequence after – you must answer honestly.”

Hermione nodded at him despite her obvious reluctance at that.

“Draco, you need to hurry. I mean – Harry – these wedding plans-“

“I know. But you need to do your best to delay it – “

“Delay the wedding?” Hermione repeated in alarm knowing that that was close to impossible.

“Yes.” Draco urgently said. “Do things – change decisions on the plans, meetings – dates – I don’t know – anything Hermione, you must delay the wedding as much as you could-“

“I will but Draco that is-“

“Time is what we need for Severus, Hermione.” Draco seriously whispered at her. “Time.”

Hermione knew the truth in those words.

“I will try – I will do my best to delay the wedding, Draco-“ Hermione promised him nodding as she held his hand. “I will do what I can -“

“I must go-“ Draco said. “I will send another message soon but not directly through you. Trust only Lupin. Don’t wait for messages through the Weasleys – it’s too dangerous – we can’t have everyone knowing-“

“Tell Severus I think of him –“ Hermione whispered in tears as she grasped Draco’s arm tightly, “please tell him that – I always think of him.”

“I will. I will tell him but Hermione, this is imperative - trust only-“

But before Hermione could hear the rest of his message there was a loud bang.

A spell had been executed loudly and the door before them that kept them hidden had suddenly been destroyed.

Draco protectively placed himself around Hermione and had drawn his wand out.

“Expelliarmus!” a voice had yelled.

Draco’s wand had almost slipped from his hand but he was able to counter act the spell with a whisper of wandless magic.

Hermione had fallen over the floor beneath Draco until a hand painfully grasped her.

“Draco-“ Hermione cried confused by the fallen debris around them.

“How dare you-“ a voice said and she had been dragged painfully from the floor.

Both Draco and Hermione looked up and saw Harry standing before them.

The rest of the Weasleys were behind him looking alarmed and confused as with the other people at the café.

Draco was left on the ground with Harry pointing a wand directly over his face as he painfully hold Hermione around her arm with his other hand.

“I knew it.” Harry had whispered. “I knew it – you wouldn’t – you just couldn’t get yourself off –“

“Potter, you’re hurting her – let Hermione go-“

A jet of red light slipped from Harry’s wand and the side of Draco’s face was slightly cut.

It bled a little.

“DO NOT- I TELL YOU – DO NOT EVEN-“

“Harry!” Hermione cried pulling herself from him but Harry wouldn’t let go.

People were openly staring and the whole café had been disturbed.

Harry sent another spell at Draco that he had barely managed to deflect.

Draco flinched but he did not look anywhere fearful.

Another spell and he was hit squarely over the chest.

“Draco!” Hermione cried as she struggled against Harry’s grip.

He lay flat on his back with Harry’s wand over his forehead.

“If you make just one move-“

“Harry, please – Harry stop it-“

“Keep quiet Hermione-“ Harry painfully grasped her harder without taking his eyes and wand off from Draco.

“Harry please-“ Hermione cried trying to claw his fingers away from her.

“You don’t scare me, Potter.” Draco whispered with a smirk “Let her go.”

“You have no right to tell me what I’d do and what I’d do with her.”

“Harry please-“ Hermione said she stared up behind Harry, pleading at Fleur who was looking as alarmed as Bill did.

They did not look like they had guessed this would happen.

People were not even helping them.

Not when they were scared of the boy who defeated the Dark Lord.

“Harry, please – let me go – let me explain this – please put your wand-“

“I SAID GODDAMN KEEP QUIET!” Harry angrily yelled back at her.

The flicker of the moment he had taken his attention away from Draco, the blonde boy had quickly whipped his wand up.

In a flash, he was back on his feet and was pointing his wand directly at the side of Harry’s cheek.

“Don’t make me do this, Potter.” Draco whispered with a strong threat.

“You don’t scare me either.” Harry said with an almost cruel laughter.

Draco stared as he painfully held Hermione and his face spreading a sinister smile.

He looked up at him with his emerald eyes that seemed darker than he had ever seen the pair.

“Let her go-“

“You do not tell me what to do –“

“Let her go Potter or there will be no wedding for you. Ever.”

Harry was quiet as he contemplated.

He smiled at Draco and shook his head, wary and aware of all the attention they had drawn.

“You let her go or you let the whole world see the monster you have become.”

Harry’s facial expression slowly changed.

Draco almost smirked.

Without a word, he quickly let Hermione drop back on the floor in her tears.

Bill and Fleur quickly pushed their way through the crowd.

Bill held Harry from the back and Fleur had quickly grabbed Hermione from the ground.

Hermione looked back at her in her shaking form.

Fleur embraced her and whispered words of comfort as she cried in her arms.

Harry stared back at Draco as he slowly lifted his wand back up at him.

Draco smiled at him.

“We can take this outside if you prefer?” Draco offered.

Harry stared at him and shook his head.

He knew better than to let himself fall for that – not with all the witness around them.

“I’ll give you a fucking headstart, Malfoy.”

Draco nodded and smirked at him.

“If you hurt Hermione again-“ he nodded at him.

“We’re not yet through.” Harry said through gritted teeth as he backed away from him and with an almost crazy and scary look over his face.

“Potter, I’m telling you-“

“Hermione!” Harry called out back at the crowd as he searched for her.

He found her by Fleur and Bill’s side.

“Come on, we’re going home-“ Harry said pushing his way through to them.

Bill held him but he shoved him away from her.

Fleur quickly placed herself over Hermione.

“I think it best if she comes home with us-“

“Fleur, step aside-“ Harry coldly said.

Fleur shook her head and Hermione sank behind her.

Harry stared at Hermione with a threatening glare.

“She’s coming home with me. Right, Hermione?”

Hermione shook her head.

“See?” Fleur said. “Harry, she’s going to-“

“Move aside.” Harry said and he actually shoved Fleur’s hand away and rigidly pulled Hermione away from him.

Bill moved forward but Harry raised his wand up.

“Bill, we’re going home. If you please.”

Bill stared at him and grabbed his wife safely behind him.

They glared at one another but Bill let Harry take Hermione.

“We’re visiting tonight.” Bill said enough for the crowd to hear.

“Hermione will make dinner for you.” Harry simply said with a fake smile over his face.

The crowd continued to watch the scene before them.

“Harry, my hand-“ Hermione softly cried.

“Come on darling. We need to go home now. You’ll make dinner for tonight’s guests.”

Draco stared as Fleur and Bill let them pass quietly.

Hermione looked back at Draco with a pleading look.

 “Potter.” Draco called out after them. “Don’t hurt her-“

“Shut up, Malfoy-“

“Harry – Draco – please-“

Hermione grudgingly took Harry’s hand as he pulled her away from the crowd.

He held her hand securely with his other hand pointing a wand at Draco.

“I’ll see you at the trial.” Harry whispered out of the corner of his mouth with a smirk.

Without another word or a backward glance at Draco or to anyone else at the restaurant, Harry dragged Hermione with him with his wand in the other hand.

Draco could only stare at them and hope against hope that Harry would not hurt Hermione the moment they return to their place.

 

 

 

 

Hermione sat by the café within the train station with a cup of untouched café latte before her on the table.

A book and a notebook lay open before her but she did not want to read nor write.

They were mere props for her as she waited.

She came minutes earlier than the time Harry was expected to arrive.

She was extremely nervous.

Despite that it was the first time in a very long time that she had seen the outside world, it seemed unimportant to her.

Her full focus and attention was on Harry.

Harry.

Harry and seeing Harry for the first time in a very long time.

“Harry..” she whispered again and again as she sat by her table at the café looking back and forth the door of the café, the outside, by the walkway and around the restaurant.

Despite her clothing that kept her hidden physically and her face with a Disillusionment Charm, she still felt nervous incase she catches anyone’s attention.

That was the most unwanted part of the plan.

For if that happens, she would have to walk away and leave without seeing Harry.

She turned to face the window and from where she saw she saw Snape sitting at another café across the café she was in.

He sat with a cup of coffee by his table and a book at hand that she knew he was not really reading.

Ten minutes says her enchanted wrist watch.

She breathed heavily and stared at her cup of café latte.

She wondered how much physical change had tuned on Harry.

She wondered if he would even look at her direction or notice him.

She had hoped against home that he would take the nearest table to her own table.

She had fifteen minutes anyone to be closest to him than she’d ever been without harming him.

Fifteen minutes was long enough for the many months that she had not seen him.

She couldn’t concentrate and she felt her insides shaking and contracting.

Her heart was beating fast and insides shaking in a way that felt like she was about to take a very special and extremely hard exam.

This was the very last time she was going to see Harry.

The next was after a very long time – and it was also a long-shot kind of deal.

A promise was a promise.

Snape had been more than lenient and she should be grateful of that.

He had done so much for her and for Harry already.

He had done beyond what was expected of him and what he was supposed to do.

She had no one but him and she should do well as to return the favor.

Three minutes.

The bell rang and the door of the café opened.

Hermione quickly looked back towards the doorway.

Harry entered and nodded at the waiter that greeted him.

Hermione’s heart skipped a beat.

The waiter smiled at him in recognition and quickly offered the table that was two tables away from Hermione’s.

He was as charming as she could remember.

He had not aged a day.

He was wearing what looked like an Auror training uniform beneath a traveling cloak.

He was already in-training as an Auror at that point and he greatly looked the part.

Hermione openly stared as Harry sat by his seat and stared over the menu that the waiter had handed him.

Hermione’s eyes stared at him for as long as it took Harry to choose from the menu.

The moment he had taken his order and the waiter took back the menu, Hermione quickly looked away for a moment.

She had given a sideway glance back at the window.

Snape was still where he sat but he was no longer reading the book.

He was staring right across towards the café window where Hermione sat by.

He gave her a nod.

Hermione consciously looked away from him and stared back at Harry.

Her time began to tick suddenly.

Fifteen minutes.

Hermione’s eyes struggled to keep from crying.

She wanted to memorize his facial features – the messy strands of his jet-black hair, his beautiful and expressive emerald eyes, the fine line of his nose and the shape of his face and his jawline that was usually drenched in soil from the Quidditch practice back at their Hogwarts days and his rough hands that was always warm around hers.

She wanted to memorize every bit and every part of him.

If only she could walk up to him and talk to him.

If only she could walk up to him and kiss him.

If only she could walk up to him and touch him.

If only she could leave him a message right then and there.

If only.

For the last time in what would be a very long time.

Tears started to well up in her eyes.

Ten minutes was left.

The time was ticking so fast and she wanted it to stop.

Harry waited by his table and has checked his pocket-watch several times already.

His cup of coffee had already been delivered by his table and he was waiting for the pasta he ordered.

According to Snape’s source – whoever that may be – Harry was supposedly waiting for an ex-Hogwarts student who was selling a rare piece of Charms book.

She had wondered how times had quickly changed that Harry was suddenly into-reading.

Maybe he was taking his Auror-training duties seriously.

She couldn’t be any more proud of the man she had loved and how much he has grown and matured through time.

Time.

She had about seven minutes left.

Harry had taken a sip from his cup and had placed it back over the table.

His gentle hands held the cup and Hermione couldn’t help but long to touch those hands again.

They weren’t as soft nor as gentle as they looked because of the roughness from his Quidditch activities.

But it were always warm and comforting around hers.

“I’m here.” Hermione had whispered longingly. “I’m here, Harry. I’m alive.”

Five minutes.

Harry had taken another sip from the coffee and then he glanced at the door.

A couple had entered and had blocked Hermione’s view of Harry for a few seconds.

She extended her neck a little to not miss a second of seeing him.

As the couple passed, Harry had slightly shifted from his chair and was suddenly staring right at her direction.

Hermione’s eyes widened as she had come eye-to-eye with her.

He looked back at her and he had given a sly and shy smile and a curt nod.

Hermione smiled back.

She painfully smiled back and nodded at him.

It wasn’t any form of recognition – it was a mere friendly gesture towards someone in a public place.

Hermione felt hurt that he did not recognize her but quickly shoved the idea away knowing that he was intended not to recognize her.

Three minutes left.

The door opened again and this time, the man he was waiting for had finally arrived.

He quickly found Harry’s table and Harry stood up to greet him.

Hermione was glad that the man had taken the chair at Harry’s side so that he did not block her view of Harry.

The man looked excited and the waiter had given him the menu.

He only ordered a cup of expression and quickly opened his package for Harry.

Harry smiled and excitedly opened the package.

From where she sat, Hermione did not see what books he was buying but it were several books.

From her view, they were big, thick and expensive looking ones.

One of them had a dark blue bound and a seal she has recognized as a seal that was stamped over books that were amongst a list of special editions kind of books.

She couldn’t help but be curious at the items he had bought.

He looked very happy and pleased with his purchase.

He kept the package next to him and had taken out a pouch of galleons.

The man looked very pleased and happy as well.

Two minutes.

Hermione glanced up at the window and saw that Snape had already finished his cup and was already standing and waiting for her.

He knew the clock was ticking and will not extend it even for a minute.

Hermione stared pleadingly back at him then back at Harry.

He seemed to be having a good conversation with the man who sold him the books.

The waiter blocked her view for a moment as he brought in the expression for the man and another platter of pasta.

Harry began to eat the pasta he had ordered for himself earlier.

One minute.

Hermione felt the wrist watch warm around her skin momentarily as a warning that her time would be over soon.

She felt like crying right then and there as how could fifteen minutes be consumed so quickly.

Fifteen minutes was quite a long time to jot down notes in their classes at Hogwarts.

Fifteen minutes was enough of a time to brew a complex potion or prepare a long list of ingredients for a brew.

Fifteen minutes was a long time to wait for dinner at the Great Hall.

Fifteen minutes.

How could it be gone and over in just a very short span of time?

Her fingers itched over the wrist watched around her skin and she felt like tearing it off as if it would stop the time.

Forty seconds.

“I love you.” Hermione whispered as she quickly shoved her things back inside her sling bag without even taking her eyes off Harry.

She had left her cup of coffee untouched.

Snape was already waiting across the street.

The rain had started pouring outside.

Her eyes started to well up with tears as the time ticked and the wrist-watch began to glow beneath her long-sleeved traveling cloak.

Harry was devouring his pasta and was having a good conversation with the man to take a glance around the room or have an accidental glance back at her again.

She wanted to do something, anything just to gain his attention for one last time.

Just to see those emerald eyes for the last time.

Seven years was a very long time to wait.

Thirty seconds.

The wrist watch seemed to be in a hurry.

Snape had already worn his traveling cloak again and had managed to conjure an umbrella for them.

Hermione stared back at Snape who gave her a final nod and had pointed over his wrist to remind her of the time.

She looked away from him and back at Harry.

He was laughing at something.

She could hear his laughter from where she sat.

She wanted to memorize his voice and that laughter.

She wasn’t going to hear that in a very long time.

“I love you, Harry.” Hermione whispered hoping it would reach his ears.

Fifteen seconds.

Hermione moved the cup away from her and had taken her traveling cloak around herself without tearing her gaze away from Harry.

He was smiling again.

That charming smile she was going to miss dearly.

Ten seconds.

Out of the blue, Harry had suddenly gazed up from the table, away from the man across him and back at her direction.

He was half-laughing and simply smiling at her.

Hermione was caught off-guard by the glance and the smile.

His emerald eyes seemed to smile at her direction.

The pair of eyes seemed to be giving her a sweet and endearing assurance that it were all going to be alright.

It was a momentary, split-second glance but Hermione caught it just in time and it pierced her heart dearly.

But it also gave her a joyous split moment of happiness that she was never going to forget.

Three seconds.

Harry had returned his attention back to his company and had pointed over the books by his side in a sort of agreement.

The wrist watch had glowed again and this time, it was shaking slightly around her wrist.

It was not a Portkey.

Hermione glanced back up across the street and Snape was already staring coldly at her in a warning state.

She reluctantly stood up with her eyes back on Harry.

He was smiling, eating, laughing.

He was as beautiful as she would always remember.

Her time was up.

Her heart skipped a beat.

Harry had suddenly stopped laughing.

He had suddenly placed his hand over his chest and had lowered the fork over his other hand.

His company stared at him and offered a glass of water.

He shook his head to tell him off that he wasn’t choking.

But something inside of him was suddenly painful.

His emerald eyes narrowed as he grasped his chest painfully and his other hand gripped the end of the table.

He suddenly looked pale.

“Harry..” Hermione whispered in great alarm and she quickly stood up.

Harry’s nose suddenly began to bleed.

His company quickly handed him a napkin to aid him and had quickly asked a waiter for attention.

Hermione watched in horror as he began to turn pale and his nose wouldn’t stop bleeding and he was clutching his chest painfully.

He was beginning to gain attention from the crowd around the café.

Three waiters had now come to their aid and the manager of the café was already making his way towards Harry’s table.

Hermione glanced back up across the street and Snape was already making his way towards them.

She was already twelve seconds overtime from their agreement.

Hermione was shaking as she stood up from the table.

The people around her were staring back at Harry’s direction and were already in slight shock and panic at the scene he was causing.

Harry was drawing more attention as both his nostrils were now spilling blood.

He had taken his wand out and Hermione knew that he had produced his Patronus and has probably sent it to someone from the Order for aid.

She silently cried and hid her face beneath her cloak and scarf as she quickly made her way from her table and through the gathering crowd.

“Excuse me, excuse me.” Hermione’s small voice piped in as she pushed her way through.

She heard someone yelling to call for aid from St. Mungo’s and someone was yelling Harry’s name in panic.

Hermione wanted to close her ears at the panic-stricken crowd and at Harry’s painful groans as she made her way towards the door.

She quickly pulled it open and had barely managed to pull herself out of the café when a hand grasped her arm painfully.

“Take me away, please.” Hermione begged knowing it was Snape. “Please, please take me away before I hurt Harry.”

Snape closed his eyes, trying to control his anger at her.

He felt pity seeing Hermione struggle and knowing how she felt at the moment.

“Come, let’s go home.” Snape whispered quickly moving her away from the café.

He had taken her several of steps away from the café before placing his arms around her.

She was crying in his arms, uncontrollably sobbing her emotions away.

“Take me away, professor. I’m sorry. I’m sorry, Harry. I love you.” Hermione cried placing her arms around Snape.

Snape held her tightly and protectively within his arms.

He covered her with his traveling cloak as he raised his wand up.

“I love you, Harry.” Hermione sobbed harder over his chest.

“Come. Let’s go.” Snape placed his free hand over her and kept her close.

Snape sighed heavily wanting to close his ears against her painful cries

“It’s time to go home, Hermione.” Snape whispered and he gently kissed her forehead and embraced her in comfort.

Hermione nodded and heard him whisper a couple of spells and before she knew it, they were Apparating back towards the cottage at the ends of Beltane.

The home that she was to have for the coming years.

The home that would give Harry his life in peace and everyone she has loved.

The home that will also take away the freedom she had known all her life.

 

 

 

 

Hermione suddenly opened her eyes.

She momentarily thought she heard something loud and hard had fallen.

She rubbed her eyes and tried to adjust her vision within the darkness in the room.

She had fallen asleep crying the moment they got home.

She turned over to her side and saw that Harry’s side of the bed was empty and untouched.

The moment they arrived from the café, Harry was in full rage.

She cried and had tried to beg him to calm himself down.

He had thrown things around the house and had broken every piece of china he could reach in the kitchens when she attempted to offer him a meal or tea to calm himself.

He had yelled at her and had raised his hand over her.

She had cowered but he did not lay a hand on her.

He looked as deranged as she had ever seen him but he did not hurt her.

Whether it was because he remembered that Bill and Fleur had said that they would arrive later that evening or because he simply could not carry himself to hurt her once more – she did not know and she neither cared.

He had vented his anger over the china around the kitchen, the lamp in their living room, several books that were in his small study and at the newly renovated small room that was supposedly about to be a sort of potions brewing space in their place.

Harry had single-handedly half destroyed their newly renovated space.

She could only cry and try to stop him but his anger was beyond.

Hermione was angry too but he was crying as he yelled at her, as he threw things around, as he blew up one of the bookshelves with his wand.

He was beyond in control and she couldn’t do anything about it because she also knew that she was to be blamed for all of it.

He had left an hour before dinner time.

He had taken his wand and his cloak with him and had showed no signs that he wanted to come back home.

Hermione heard him ward the whole house and knew that she was locked inside.

She cried and waited and cried.

She cried and waited for Harry.

She cried and waited for Bill or Fleur.

Neither came.

She could only cry.

Hermione carried herself back into their room and had cried herself into sleep.

She could only hope that everything would end soon.

She knew she was no longer happy and also knew that the lack of happiness with the two people she loved the most was because of her as well.

Hermione tossed over the bed.

By their small cloak, it told her that it was midnight.

She closed her eyes again, frustrated and pained as she was, she forced herself back to sleep.

And then she heard it.

She heard another loud movement from downstairs and then up the staircase.  

Hermione’s eyes opened again and her ears all-out listening.

She heard heavy movements being carried right outside their hallway.

Hermione bolt upright from the bed.

She heard heavy metal being dragged and screwed.

“Harry?” she called out softly seeing light from the space between the door and the carpet outside the door.

She heard what seemed like gates being dragged and grilled through outside the doors.

“Harry?” she called out in panic and alarm.

She heard it again.

Metals had been seemingly sealed together, screwed and hammered loudly just outside the door.

Hermione jumped up from the bed and stared by the door.

She heard footsteps and then she heard some spells being muttered.

“Harry?” Hermione called out loudly.

Her heart was racing.

She quickly ran towards the door and pulled the knob open.

Her eyes widened at the sight before her.

Harry was by the floor, staring at the bars he had literary and magically screwed and placed right outside the bedroom door.

“Harry?” Hermione cried in panic seeing what he has done.

“Harry – what are you doing-“

“What do you think I’m doing?” Harry asked back without looking up at her.

He had finished muttering a few spells and had pulled the bars back and forth to check its tolerance and its strength.

“NO!” Hermione cried in fear as she fully opened the door and held the bars Harry had placed outside the door.

He stood up from the floor and had checked the sides of the bars and had pulled each of it with a satisfied and serious look over his face.

He ignored her calls of his name and the way she had pulled the bars back and forth.

“Let me out!” Hermione cried. “Harry – what are you doing – let me out – please – “

“You’re staying in there, sweetheart.” Harry said slowly looking up at her.

“What – no, you can’t – Harry – please, please don’t do this to me-“

“No, sweetheart. You’re safe in there. They won’t take you once you’re in there. I’ve made sure-“

“Harry, no please – what’s going on-“ Hermione begged him.

She moved and shook each of the bars but to no avail.

The bars were enchanted by Harry’s strong magic.

He looked around the grills ignoring her plea and her continuous cries .

“Harry, please – let’s talk – don’t do this – don’t – please, I won’t do it again – I won’t see Draco or anyone else, please, please-“

“Yes, you won’t see anyone else. I’ll make sure of that. They’re very bad influence for you, Hermione. I’m just trying to protect you.”

Harry looked up at her and scared the hell out of Hermione.

All the warmth and kindness had vanished from his face and his eyes.

His eyes were no longer the Harry she knew.

They were as cold as they had ever been.

He held his wand in his hand and nodded over the work he was able to accomplish.

“This will hold, I’m sure of it. Don’t worry, Hermione. Until the case is over nobody will be able to hurt you or attempt to tamper with your head – I’ll protect you, I swear – I promise love – it’s just going to be us from now on-“

“NO!” Hermione yelled at him as she screamed against the bars.

Her chest heaved with pain and panic.

The Harry she knew was finally gone.

“Please, Harry. Don’t do this. Please, please..”

“No, Hermione. This will keep you safe. I promise you that.”

Harry moved closer the bars and had gently placed his hand over hers that was holding it.

“Harry, please don’t do this.” Hermione begged, her tear-filled face making no effect over his emotions.

Harry nodded at her and had gently cover her hands with his.

“I love you.” Harry whispered gently placing a kiss over her hand. “I love you and I will do anything and everything to have you back. I’ll protect you, Hermione. Nothing can ever separate us.”

“No, Harry – please – this isn’t – please, please let me out – this isn’t necessary – I won’t do it again-“

“No, you won’t.” Harry said with a serious tone over his face. “I’ll make sure nobody can ever separate us again, Hermione. I won’t let anyone near you-“

“No, Harry. This – this isn’t you – please let me out- please-“

“I love you Hermione.” Harry whispered with a tear falling at the side of his face. “I won’t let anyone hurt you ever again. I won’t let anyone have you make wrong decisions – decisions that are against your will – decisions that will separate you from me. I promise, I’ll protect you. You’re with me, you’re safe. I won’t let any harm come to you ever again-“

“Harry, please, please don’t do this.”

“I’ll protect you, Hermione. I’m here. I won’t let anyone near you. Not now, not ever.”

“Please, Harry, please… please don’t do this.. Let me out. Please.”

Harry looked back at her and Hermione could tell that he wasn’t listening to anything she was saying.

“We will never part again, Hermione. Nothing can ever separate us-“

“Listen to me!” Hermione screamed at him. “This isn’t you – please – don’t do this-“

“Sweetheart, please, I’ll protect you. Let me take things from here. I can protect you – I can also protect you from all harm like he did for you – I can protect you, I can take good care of you more than he has ever done-“

“Harry-“

“I will protect you. I will undo anything he has done that has harmed you. I promise you everything will be back to normal. Everything will be alright-“

“Please let me out, please-“

“You’re safe here, Hermione.” Harry whispered. “This is for you. This is for us.”

“You can’t do this – Harry, please- don’t do this – you don’t know what you’re doing-“

“I know what I’m doing!” Harry suddenly yelled at her.

Hermione felt threatened for a moment but she didn’t move away from the bars.

She extended her hand towards his.

“Harry, please..” she begged him, trying to see through the man she has loved a long time ago.

“I love you.” Harry whispered back and another tear fell from his eye. “I love you and that is all that matters.”

“Please don’t do this to me. If you love me, you will not-“

“I will have you back.” Harry said moving away from the bars. “I promise that I will have you back and we would be happy again once all of this is over. I promise you, Hermione, I will restore everything we have lost. We would be happy again.”

And with that, Harry turned away from her and had completely sealed the bars with a final spell.

“Harry!” Hermione cried helpless shaking the bars. “Harry! Harry, don’t leave me here – Harry, please! Harry!”

It had taken Harry all the strength he still had in himself to take each step away from Hermione and her cries and plea of a freedom he couldn’t see and understand that he had also taken away from her just as Snape had done so many years ago.

 



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