"You know, perhaps if we had met long before today, we could've been friends."
He smiled at my words.
"What's so funny?"
"Well for one, the idea of developing a friendship with Potter's mudblood. Second, I think you are quite right."
I turned to leave.
"I hope you sign up that agreement. An auror will come pick it up the day after tomorrow."
"Why on earth would I sign this preposterous agreement?"
"Because it does happen to be the only way the magical community will take you back."
"Stop, please do have a seat. Answer me a single question and I'll sign it on the spot."
I took the chair infront of him.
"Tell me Hermione, for I can call you that, right? Well, how does it feel to know Potter dear is six feet under and the Ministry is offering me a chance at redemption?"
I looked a tad above his head.
"Well to tell you the truth. I believe everyone can change if they want to, so given your knowledge it seems like a good suggestion."
"You haven't answered my question; you can't even bear to look me in the eye can you?"
I looked at him and shuddered.
"You really want to know how it feels. Let me quote a book I am certain you have read, '... after fire has consumed the last bit of flesh and ice has rendered it numb, you will still feel the splinters of the past digging into the tender heart of innocence and youth'"
"I never did take you to be the type to read such a book. The forging of a Horocrux."
He signed the paper.
As I inclined to grab it he grabbed my hand.
"Please tell the Minister this agreement must add one last clause, I want Hermione Granger as my guardian, not Snape."
"What makes you think I'll agree to such a demand?"
"Easy, child, you have no alternative. As the only survivor of the Golden Trio it is only logical the magical community will feel safer with me under your watch."
"Listen carefully. I'd rather leave the Wizarding World and never return than be in charge of you. So rethink your petition."
"I fancy I won't. You see child, these are my terms, and your good old Minister will budge and so will you."
"Why is that?"
"Because you my dear still wonder if he is in here somewhere waiting to be rescued."
I looked into those emerald eyes, crowned with unruly dark hair.
"I know he is gone."
"Yet you can't help but wonder. I won't change my conditions."
"Then I hope you find yourself at home in Azkaban."
"The Minister won't take no for an answer, Hermione."
A sardonic smiled lighted my face.
I turned and walked up to him and gave him a fierce hug.
"Good bye, my friend."
He was at a loss at the gesture.
I reached the door and left.