Five days had passed and Severus and Hermione were getting ready for the ball. Severus had worn his usual robes but the over jacket was velvet. He sat in the library waiting for Hermione. True to form she had indeed read all the books and would start creating her own potions and spells using the information she absorbed. He was so lost in thought he did not hear Hermione come down the stairs and stop at the doorway.
“How do I look?” she asked as she turned. Severus sat there in shock she was in fact beautiful. Her dress was long and swept the floor wispily as she moved. The dress was black lace with a dark green satin underneath that shown beautifully in the light. He knew it was her favorite color but he suspected she wore that color for him. The dress was strapless and hugged her curves. Around her waist was a dark green sash that tied in the back in a neat knot and fell down the back to the floor. He was happy she didn’t go for something too puffy. She kept everything else simple. Her heels were all black and she wore simple gold studs for earrings, one ring on each hand and a necklace with a pendant that was split with a red ruby and green emerald twisting together. Severus stood and accioed their winter robes.
“You are beautiful.” He whispered. He leaned down and softly kissed her lips and stood to wrap her in her long black robe. Once they were ready they apparated to just outside the Hogwarts grounds. They stood at the gate as the wards lowered to allow them entry. Up they walked to the main doors. Filch was there looking mean as usual.
“Who goes there?” he screeched out. Severus lowered his hood and glared at the old man. Filch immediately backed down and allowed the two to pass. They walked in to the castle and in to the Great Hall. The room was fully decked out for the party with tables around a large dance floor. A band playing against the far wall and people milling about laughing and smiling jovially. What they hadn’t expected upon walking in was that someone would announce their arrival to the whole crowd. And so, their names were said and the whole room fell silent. No one could believe that these two had walked in together. No one could believe their eyes when they saw the two holding hands. And no one could believe how healthy Severus and Hermione looked.
With a smile and a nod to a dumbstruck Minerva they walked in and sat at a table out of the way. But the quiet did not last long as Severus sent his glare to everyone in the room who took their queue to continue with what they were doing before. But that was followed by whispers and quick glances in their direction. Hermione and Severus were talking with each other when Minerva came up.
“Good evening Severus, I’m glad you could make it.”
“As if I had a choice.” He said grudgingly.
“Hello Hermione. I wasn’t expecting you.”
“I realized. I didn’t see an invite so I invited myself along with Sev.” Hermione made a point to call him Sev in front of Minerva. It clearly had an affect on her. Minerva clearly looked distressed. They watched as she walked away.
“She’s going to try and corner one of us.” Said Severus.
“Bring it on.” She said as she sat back. Severus was liking this side of Hermione. Gone was the innocent child. Gone was the depressed woman. Sat next to him was a beautiful, intelligent, powerful, and confident woman. Severus took Hermione by the hand and walked her to the dance floor where they danced to a slow song, bodies held close to each other. Severus didn’t care about the looks they were getting. He simply kissed her on the tip of her nose eliciting a giggle from her. They continued to dance for a few more songs before Hermione had to stop and use the bathroom. Severus returned to the table and sat watching as she walked out. To his displeasure Minerva walked up to him.
“What are you playing at Severus?” she asked angrily.
“You and Ms. Granger. I can’t allow such a thing.”
“Why pray tell can’t you?”
“She is innocent and pure and young. You’ll only suck the life out of her.” at this admission Severus was taken aback. For a moment he thought of retorting back but then he spotted Hermione only a few feet from them.
“I am not innocent and I haven’t been pure since the Tri-wizard cup.” She said as she sashayed in.
“But you have so much to go for.”
“Ha, as if you’d care. Before Severus you wouldn’t even look at me. Because of him I’m healthy again and am working to become a potions mistress. And suck the life out of me? That was all you Minerva. You and your over protecting. I don’t think you’ve realized but I’m not a child. I fought in this war we are celebrating the end of. I lost my beast friend and don’t talk to the other. I’ve taken life Minerva. I don’t know what purity or innocence you’re thinking of but its definitely not me.” she said.
“You’ve brainwashed her. You have her under the imperious curse don’t you?” she said as she pointed her wand at Severus. Wordlessly she sent a curse towards Severus who blocked it with a simple wave of his hand. She continued on until she was stopped by a combination of Incarcerous and Expelliarmus. To Severus surprise it was Hermione who sent the flurry of curses wordlessly and was now holding Minerva’s wand. But Hermione looked angry.
“HOW DARE YOU?” she yelled. It was as if she used Sonorus to make herself louder. It was clearly seen on Minerva’s face that she was angry and felt by all in the room as they felt waves of unbridled power come off Hermione in waves. Even Severus was impressed. But at the same time he was in fear of what she might do in her anger. He remembers her capabilities when she was a student and the rumors that went around during her year on the run. He didn’t want her to risk going to Azkaban so he did what only he could do. He grabbed Hermione throwing Minerva’s wand to the ground and used his dark magic apparition to leave Hogwarts. They disappeared in an inky black smoke and returned home crashing on to their living room floor. Hermione on top of Severus.
“What were you thinking of doing just now?” he asked.
“I don’t know I was just angry.”
“I understand that but could not let your magic flow so freely next time. I could just move barely enough to grab you and get us both out.”
“Sorry.” She said as she stood up helping Severus up. “Are you okay?” she asked after a moment.
“Yes, just a few minor bruises.” He said as he slowly moved around his shoulder and winced. Hermione went up to their bedroom and changed and returned to the living room to find that Severus had removed a majority of his clothing except his pants and shirt. Though, his shirt was unbuttoned and off his shoulder as he inspected the bruise that covered the entire joint.
“Let me.” She ordered as she placed a cooling and warming spell on it. Instantly diffusing the pain he was in. Severus sat back on the sofa and looked at Hermione.
“What would I do without you?”
“I would suspect just fine but lonely.” She said as she sat on his lap and kissed him.
“Truer words haven’t been spoken.” He whispered.