Chapter 14

AN: Thanks for all the reviews, the alerts, for favoriting me, and for reading in general!

I still own nothing, but really wish I did.

"Severus!" Hermione called out.

Snape groaned as he forced his eyes open. He lifted his head from the cot and glanced around. Hermione was standing beside him with a worried expression on her face. "Merlin woman, what are you doing here?" he asked.

"I'm your attorney, remember?" she answered.

"Yes, but this early?" Snape asked.

"It's ten in the morning," she answered.

He groaned as he sat up, allowing his blanket to fall to his waist. Hermione gasped as the few rays of sunlight hit his bare chest. Scars littered his torso like miniature mountain ranges on a landscape. Still, she could also see well-toned muscles. She didn't know which stunned her more; the scars or the fact that he was still so fit.

Snape noticed that she was staring at him. He growled and covered himself with the blanket. "Do you have no sense of decency, witch?" he barked.

"I, I didn't know you'd still be asleep," she answered weakly.

He growled again as he pulled the blanket higher. She turned around, allowing him to stand and carefully walk over to a pile of clothing in the corner. "It was hot last night," he answered as he dressed himself. "I couldn't sleep, so I made myself comfortable. That's also why I slept in."

"I thought you never slept," she answered before she could think better of it.

Instead of yelling at her for her impertinence, he smirked in amusement. "What else is there to do in this place? It's not like they'll allow me to roam the halls deducting points from the other prisoners."

She laughed louder than she'd intended. His smirk grew as the previous tension melted away. She looked over at him and stopped laughing as her eyes grew wider with the realization that Severus Snape, the dreaded potions master of her youth, had just cracked a joke. Snape's eyes twinkled as he reveled in her confusion. She cleared her throat and began, "I brought you a raspberry muffin. It's from a café near my hotel room. It smelled good, so I hope you'll like it."

He nodded as she took it out. He strode over to take it from her grasp. "Why did you really come?" he asked.

"It's about the venue hearing," she began.

He nodded. "Lucius told me that they have already scheduled it before the International Court."

"Oh," she replied as he took a bite of the muffin. "What exactly did he tell you?"

"Just that it was next Friday," he replied after swallowing.

She nodded. "Anything else?"

He shook his head. "Is there more that I should know?" he asked.

"Well, it's really more for the lawyers, but Conway and I are confident that we can keep the trial in the States."

"You should be able to," he replied before taking another bite.

"Regardless of what happens, they will want you there, which means that I'll need to take some measurements," Hermione replied as he finished his bite.

"Excuse me?" he asked as he raised his eyebrow.

She took out a muggle tape measure. "I don't believe I stuttered. You need fine robes, unless you have some."

"I have one in my closet," he replied.

"Okay, what does it look like?" she asked.

"It's black," he admitted.

"Oh Merlin," she muttered as he took another bite. "Everyone will think I'm representing the Grim Reaper."

"I personally find black to be appealing!" Snape argued after finishing his muffin.

"It makes you look pale and sickly. We want you to look, well…"

Snape gave her an inquisitive look. "Like what?"

"Like, well, some one who would never murder anyone."

"I didn't murder Rita," he replied trying to keep his temper.

"I never claimed that you did," she answered. "I'm just saying that in black robes you look intimidating."

"Isn't that the point?" he asked.

She groaned. "No! We're trying to make you look friendlier, like you're just an innocent victim of circumstance!"

"But that's what I am!" Snape argued.

"I know!" Hermione fought back. "But the media and the International committee don't see it that way! Look, this isn't a trial, but the committee will be much more likely to take your request for an American trial seriously if you look somewhat personable."

Through gritted teeth, Snape answered, "Okay Hermione; make me look like a complete pansy."

She rolled her eyes and began measuring his inseam. "Being personable isn't being a pansy."

She went behind him and strung the tape measure around his waist. "You're acting just like my mother," he growled.

She smirked. "I hated it when my mom did this too. Stretch out your arms."

He obeyed, scowling as she began measuring his sleeve length. "What annoyed me the most," Hermione continued, "was that she always made me go to the store and they'd just measure me again. I so prefer the magical way of doing things."

"I take it she never took you to discount stores," Snape replied.

She stopped. "No," she answered. "She didn't."

He rolled his eyes. "Probably for the best."

"It would be if she could remember me," Hermione whispered.

Snape put his arms down and gazed at her. "She's alive. That should count for something," Snape replied, unsure of what else to say.

She nodded. "That's what I tell myself anyway."

Hermione took a deep breath, as tears brimmed at her eyes. She took another and tried to keep from crying.

"If you bring back pink robes, you will be fired," Snape began, trying to keep her from crying. Even after all these years, he couldn't stand crying women.

She looked up, stunned at the joke. Then, she smiled and chuckled a little. "Thanks," she whispered.

His lips curled into a half smile. "You'll tack the price of the robes onto my bill?" he began.

"That was the plan," she replied.

"Lucius did give you your first pay check yesterday, right?" he asked.

She nodded. "I received notice of the transfer this morning. Thank you, by the way," she answered.

He shook his head. "No, you're the one who's giving up everything. Don't thank me for dragging you into this."

She shrugged. "I like it here. It's much warmer than it is in Philadelphia. It's rather refreshing this time of year."

"The cold wears on you after awhile," Snape conceded.

She nodded. "Well, I have a meeting with Adrian Conway in a few minutes. I suppose I should be leaving."

"I suppose you should."

"When I come back," Hermione began, "I'll review your case with you further in depth."

"Oh?" he asked.

"I've been reading the files," she answered. "And I think you should be privy to some information, especially the forensics."

"I'm not taking the stand!" he insisted.

"I'm not asking you to," she replied. "I just think that you should know what they have against you. Besides, you should know some experts who could counter these allegations, right?"

He smirked. "I suppose I might know a few."

She smiled. "Then we have a fighting chance."