AN: Thank you for all the support! I deeply appreciate it!
"I do not want you here."
"I am here whether you like it or not."
Stars were replacing the last rays of the sun. There was not a cloud in the sky. Within five minutes, the full moon would appear.
Yet Hermione continued to sit on the bed beside him.
"There is not much time, but if you hurry you may be able to obtain your mother's cell phone and record my transformation," Severus asked.
"Where should I place the camera?" Hermione responded.
Severus sighed. "I cannot think of a place where it would capture my transformation perfectly, yet remain obscured."
"My thoughts exactly," Hermione answered.
Severus' throat constricted. "Still, I do not want to hurt you."
Hermione placed her hand over his. "I can survive whatever insults you throw at me."
"Insults are not my only fear," he replied. "During my last episode you claimed I was quite agitated with you."
"You were," she admitted.
"What if I consider you my enemy?" Severus released her hand. "What if, in the name of self-defense, I hex you?"
"You won't hex me."
"How can you be certain of that?"
"If you were going to attack me you would have done so at St. Mungo's, but you did not so much as squeeze my wrist too tightly."
Hermione stroked his cheek. "You won't hurt me."
"I pray you are right," he whispered.
The room grew darker.
"What if this transformation destroys our relationship?" Severus asked.
Hermione whispered, "Excuse me?"
"What if this time I do not regain my senses once the dawn arrives?" Severus asked. "What will become of you and the children then?"
"You will find your way back to me, unless," Hermione shook. "Unless there is someone else you would run to."
Severus kissed her lips. "Before my debt to Lily was repaid, I did not allow myself to love. After the War, you were the only woman I found worthy of my affections."
Her lips curled upwards.
"You will never need to compete with a woman for my heart. If my amnesiac self understood who you were and how much you love me, then he would love you as well."
"Perhaps he could fall in love with me."
"Perhaps," Severus answered. "Still, I do not know what will become of the children. I cannot imagine the pain they will feel knowing their father is alive yet has no memory of them."
"They will fight for you," Hermione replied. "We all will."
"You need to dedicate your life to finding happiness, not to chasing a man who does not remember loving you."
"Can't you see that you are the man who makes me happy?"
"I suppose you do seem content enough with me in your life."
"I am more than content, and you know it."
A moonbeam crept into the room.
He kissed her on the cheek. "I love you, Hermione."
"I love you too, Severus."
The moon illuminated their bedroom.
Hermione watched the light soften Severus' features. Then the shadows overtook him. His brow furrowed, and his mouth twisted up into a snarl. Even his clothes were darker.
It was almost reminiscent of…
"What are you doing here?" Snape snapped.
"Why are you not in Azkaban?" Snape demanded.
"I," she maintained eye contact with him. "I was released on a technicality."
He snorted. "Why am I not surprised?"
Tears filled Hermione's eyes. "I don't know."
"I ask you again, 'what are you doing here?'"
"You wanted me to stay with you."
A single teardrop fell from her eye. "You wanted me beside you."
"Why would I want you here?"
"I told you earlier, but you wouldn't believe me."
"Oh yes, apparently we are espoused."
"I am sorry you are so confused at the moment. I truly wish I could help you," Hermione croaked.
"I am not confused, but you seem to be," Severus snapped.
"No, I am not confused."
"Then why are you staring like that?"
"Because I'm contemplating something."
He raised an eyebrow. "What exactly are you contemplating?"
"Are you truly interested?" She asked.
"I would not have asked you the question if I had no interest in an answer."
"I was thinking of an illness which may have no cure."
"How unfortunate that this illness is incurable."
Severus shifted his focus to a photograph on the wall. His expression softened.
Hermione turned around and took note of the photo. A smile graced her face. "Do you remember that picture?"
"How can I remember an event I had no part in?" He answered.
Hermione watched the Severus in the photograph scoop her into his arms.
Snape barked, "I do not know what kind of sorcery you have cast, but it will all end tonight. I am leaving this mansion and never returning."
Hermione pointed to the floo. "Go ahead and leave. I will not stop you."
There was a light in her eyes. "If you would like to stay though, I could use your help with a very important research project."
Snape's expression hardened. "Conduct your own research. You will never see me again."
"Yes, I will," Hermione answered.
He stopped dead in his tracks.
"We will see each other again," she repeated. "I am certain of that."
Robes billowing behind him, Severus strolled towards the floo. He grabbed the powder and called out, "Hogwarts." Then, he disappeared into the flames.
Once Severus had vanished, Hermione released the tears she'd suppressed. Only one question raced through her mind.
Did we do this to you, Severus?