Severus walked in to Grimmauld Place and sat in the darkest farthest corner in the kitchen. It was now three years after the war but the survivors of the Order still came and met up once a month to check up on each other. Severus was the last to arrive but always managed to find his spot free. Though they all knew what he had sacrificed they still held an air of fear of him.
Severus watched from his corner as all conversed merrily except one. Hermione sat in the corner staring out the window of the back door to the garden. She was thinner then the last time he saw her. Her skin was paler as well. Her clothes no longer fit properly and seemed to hang off her. Hermione was left alone as much as Severus was. Hermione and Ron had been the only to survive and were the two to make sure Severus was exonerated. But after a year of being together Ron and Hermione went their separate ways. Harry had committed suicide after the war and left everything to Hermione who had lost her family.
Severus had noted the change in Grimmauld place. The house was brighter given a good scrubbing and a coat of paint. Hermione had completely changed the inside of the large home to her liking getting rid off all the bad memories. But after that it was obvious Hermione was suffering from depression and PTSD. But to the rest of the wizards who grew up in the muggle world it was seen as something she would eventually get over. Severus knew otherwise and now seeing her in her current state decided to do something for the witch.
The meeting had adjourned and everyone had returned home only saying a quick goodbye to Hermione. Hermione just nodded at their exit. Severus waited for everyone to leave to approach her. Hermione looked at Severus dejectedly waiting for him.
“Ms. Granger, what are you doing now?”
“During the day, what are you doing?”
“Oh, running minor errands mostly and reading.” She said with a half smile and shrug.
“I am in need of an assistant Ms. Granger. I was wondering if you would be willing to help me.”
“In your potions lab at Hogwarts I presume.”
“No Ms. Granger. After this year I will not be teaching anymore. I have found a suitable replacement and thus will be retiring from teaching and brewing my own experiments. But I need an assistant to do so.”
“I would be honored sir.” In that moment Severus saw the excitement in her eyes. “When will you want me to start?”
“The term ends in two weeks. I will send you all the necessary information tomorrow and we can go on from that.”
“Yes sir.” Severus turned to leave.
“Goodnight.” He said as his robes turned as he apparated.
“Goodbye professor.” Severus was gone and appeared at the gates of Hogwarts. As he walked the path to the entrance of the castle Severus went over how he would get her back to her former self. She was no longer the impatient witch that raised her hand in class and spoke out of turn. She was no longer the student who could recite a tome word for word. Hermione Jean Granger was now quiet as the dead and kept to herself. Her best friends had abandoned her. Her half-cat/half-kneezle had finally passed away and her company was kept by her books and her mind. It was time to change that. Severus arrived in his office in the dungeons and set about writing up the plans he had for her. He had a copy for himself and a copy for Hermione. Severus put the letter in an envelope and placed it neatly on his desk to be sent out the next day. Severus then took a shower, read, and headed off to bed.
Severus rarely slept well after the war. He no longer had to worry for his safety but the memories had taken hold in his nightmares. But one dream did reoccur.
Severus dreamt of the night he should have died. After the Dark Lord had left him there to bleed out in the Shrieking Shack the trio had appeared in front of him. He had given his memories to Harry. Harry and Ron had left. Hermione was with them but at the last moment turned back to Severus.
“You’re not dead yet Severus.” Hermione had reached in to her purse and pulled out a bezoar, a blood replenisher and another potion to pour on the wounds to heal them. She forced the bezoar and blood replenisher down his throat and poured the third potion on the wounds. It was taking a bit long for all three to take hold but after a few minutes Severus was on the mend. The wounds had completely mended and color returned to Severus’ skin. Then he woke his eyes fluttering at the form over him. For a moment he could not make out the face but when all came in to focus Severus sighed.
“Hermione.” He sighed before passing out again. Thus ending the dream.
What Severus had not known was that Hermione cleaned him of the spilt blood as well as the pool of blood on the floor. The sight of the blood was starting to make her queasy. She sat there moment trying to figure out where to take him. It was then that she decidedly apparated him to the headmasters office.
The pensive was out floating by the desk. Hermione figured it was filled with Severus memories. She stepped close to it and bent down till she was sucked in to the memories. Ten minutes later Hermione came back to the Headmasters office and looked at the unconscious Severus Snape lying peacefully on the floor. Quietly she walked over to Severus. Hermione hovered his body and removed his long robe. She sat on the floor and lowered Severus until he was positioned in such a way that he was leaning against her with his head on her breasts. She draped the robe over the both of them and put a cushioning charm on her back and in her exhaustion gave way to sleep.