So here we are once again with a new fanfic. BUT it's only a one-shot, HOORAH! This isn't the one-shot for my little contest I held in the latest chapter of "Hedwig's Wish", but I am working on that one too. ;) No, this one came about while I was watching "Truly, Madly, Deeply" with Alan Rickman (mmm, Alan Rickman) and . . . I shall explain more after the fic. Enjoy, my lovelies.

I own nothing of Harry Potter (or Truly, Madly, Deeply for that matter), only this story and am making nothin' on it.

"What a full day." Hermione said to herself as she wandered the desolate hallways of the old castle, her slip-ons padding the marble floors as she walked along the corridors, a painting here and there saying their good evenings to her, her nodding politely in return. Everything was so quiet, except for what sounded like a pair of heavy boots coming quickly toward her from her right. Who appeared before her was Argus Filch and Mrs. Norris, his cat, following at his heals, a lantern held high in his right hand to see who was disrupting the calm of the school. She did nothing but give him a smile and a nod.

"Good evening, Argus." a bit of a disappointed disgruntled look formed on his face, giving her a nod himself.

"Evening, Ms. Granger. Thought a student was out of bed, my mistake." With another nod, he twirled around and started walking back off in the direction he came with Mrs. Norris, both of them fading into the shadows quite nicely. She smiled after him, making her way down the hallway once again. That had happened on more occasions than she could count. Filch would come running when he heard her making her nightly rounds of the school, apologize and be on his way. She smiled to herself again, thinking she'd probably miss it if he did stop doing so, though she couldn't ever see that happening. One little sound and he'd be there faster than a gnome on a toadstool.

She had been McGonagall's teaching assistant for the past few months, apprenticing with the talented witch so she could take over Transfiguration the following year for when McGonagall took over as Headmistress (a competent ministry official holding the position until then) . She was quite enjoying her time at the school, even if the professors sometimes still mistook her for a student, after all, she was still young. Even so, she was getting to know the professors as more than just the authority figures she grew up with who sometimes just felt so alien to her even with being the bright student she had been. But, they were all just your average witches and wizards. . . Well, she came to learn that applied to all except for one as this certain professor wouldn't especially socialize with her. One that had a bit of a shadowy loom to him in both mood and the physical as his robes seemed to always possess a darkness to them as they billowed to and fro as he roamed from place to place. A professor that didn't get along terribly well with the Gryffindor and her two best mates while she attended as a student. A certain Slytherin that went back to his teaching position of potions master after the battle at Hogwarts, after Voldemort was truly defeated…A man who she saved during that war…

Speaking of which, without really meaning to, she had come upon the entrance of the man she was just thinking of. Slowing down as she neared the dungeons, purposely doing so, a thoughtful expression coming to her face as her slow pace became almost a shuffle, that shuffle halting all together at the archway to the dungeons where he taught during the school year, where he very well could be now. She knew she had to continue on route for her rounds. She knew she had to be done on time so she could finish grading schoolwork and not be up so terribly late once again. But she couldn't tear herself away. Leaning on the archway of the entrance, she couldn't help but think as she stared off into the shadowed depths of the corridors leading down to the dank dungeons of that night the war had ended…

"Harry?" Hermione asked in a hushed tone, his eyes not focused, looking so blank, almost as if all the color were drained from them. He soon bit into his knuckle, seeming to stifle a cry, Hermione's eyes going wide wondering what in the world was going on. Just as he bit into his knuckle, his eyes focused once again, hand lowering, shaking his head a bit roughly, looking as if he was trying to shake something ghastly out of his mind.

Without a word, he took the borrowed wand he had, flicking it upward, lifting the object up above them, crawling through, Hermione following close behind along with Ron. What greeted her was more horrifying than she could have imagined. Snape lay in a heap, blood pooling all around him, a horrific gurgling sound emitting from his mouth and around the venomous bite mark on his neck, Harry crouching low beside him, Snape's hand clutching at Harry's shirt.

"Oh God." She said in a gasp, her hands clapping on her mouth at the sight.

She soon heard Snape speak so very raggedly, "Take…it…Take… it…" Taking the chance of looking into his face, she saw a blue mist of his memories spill from his eye in almost a tear form, her heart feeling so heavy at the sight. She quickly conjured up a flask, shoving it into Harry's hands, him jumping at the unexpected gift. He held it to the substance, holding it still as it poured into the container.

"Look…at…me…" She heard him whisper with such difficulty. Hermione couldn't stand seeing him like this, hearing him like this, so she did the only thing that she could think of.

"Harry, move!" with a bit of a shake to her voice, she lunged downward, knocking Harry out of the way a bit roughly. She couldn't just let him die without trying to save him, how could she? Ripping her wand out of her pocket, she pointed it at the bite mark, muttering words that formed a spell, hoping she was saying it right, swirling the wand in circles, the venom from the snake's bite looking as if it were being sucked out by the wand, forming into a bubble that hovered above the wound, Snape's breathing becoming so heavy, so ragged, the gurgling absolutely ringing in her ears.

Once she thought most of the venom was in that little bubble; she flicked her wand, the bubble tossed a little ways away, it bursting as it hit the wooden floorboards in a splash.

"Give me my bag." She said to either of them, and when neither responded, she absolutely shrieked, "Give me my bag!" Harry finally reacted, handing her the bag of endless storage. She placed a shaky hand on Snape's neck, trying to avoid looking into his pained face again, applying more than a good amount of pressure, it feeling so sickly warm on her hand, feeling the blood coming out too quickly all around her hand. Yanking her bag open with wand in hand, she pointed the wand in her bag.

"Accio exubero potion!" snatching it as she dropped her wand, she stared at the wound on his now scarlet neck, feeling so much blood squirm out all over her hand, wondering in a blur if this was futile, if it was too late…She removed her bloodied hand, placing it gently, but firmly on his chest, feeling as he took shaky hard breath after shaky hard breath. Taking the stopper out with her teeth, she held the purple bottle over the bloody mess, starting to drip the substance over the horrid gash, each drop making a little puff of smoke as the wound clotted, as a temporary skin grew quickly, clunky over so it would all at least stop bleeding. Every drop, every puff of smoke, every little bit of clotting and skin that grew back, Snape's body would jerk, Hermione feeling Snape breathing a bit harder with each drop, concentrating terribly on his neck and some parts of the top of his chest, making sure to coat each nook and cranny…Maybe at the same time, not wanting to see his expression, not wanting to feel that heaviness in her heart again.

Hermione out of nowhere felt a grip on her wrist of the hand that was on his chest. She gasped, looking to where she felt the grip, seeing that it was Snape himself. She stared at the deathly white hand, this making her trail her gaze up to the last place she wanted to glance.

She was taken aback by what she saw: A powerful man that could make your very core turn to ice had such fright buried deep within his eyes, making him look so feeble and helpless, almost like a child during a thunderstorm, but so much worse. The potion kept trickling out of the flask as she looked into his eyes, making him still jerk here and there, a splash of panic bursting within the depths of those onyx orbs at each drop, his grip tightening on her wrist.

Hermione was absolutely astonished that he hadn't passed out yet, was positively amazed that he wasn't…gone.

Looking down at the potion for a second then looking back into his eyes; she repositioned her hand, taking a hold of his. She was surprised, however, when his long slender fingers not just held onto her offered hand, but he entwined his fingers with hers, his grip tightening even more, almost as if he'd let go, he'd be gone for good.

"It's okay, it'll be okay…" Hermione half mouthed to him, half whispered as she poured the last little bit from the flask onto his neck, seeing even through all that muck of blood and the temporary skin that the bleeding had stopped and there was no more gurgling. It was good, but even so, he had lost quite a bit of blood.

She took her hand away with a bit of difficulty. Not taking her eyes away from his still frightened ones; she unzipped her jumper, folding it neatly into a bunch. Leaning over Snape, she lifted his head gently, placing the jumper there, making a makeshift pillow, placing his head back down softly. Looking back down into his eyes, taking his hand once more, seeing fright still there, but now, something else mingled in their depths which she couldn't quite place.

"What's the plan, Hermione?" She heard Harry from her left say grimly. She kept her eyes on the professor, thinking quickly of what exactly should be done. Could they really just leave him here? Should she stay and have Harry and Ron go on?

"I-It's not the best plan, but we have to go and fight." He gave her hand a squeeze, that terror still laced within his eyes, but there was also understanding.

"We'll be back for you, Professor. We'll be back as soon as we can…I promise." She whispered to the hard breathing Slytherin laying out on the floor in such a soft voice, giving his hand a squeeze of her own, wanting to comfort him as much as she could.

With a nod of acceptance to the young Gryffindor, he closed his eyes, letting out a long, shaky breath; she felt him release her hand, hers laying flat on his chest for a moment, feeling him take in another shaky uneven breath…

A sound deep down in the shadows of the castles underbelly jolted her from her memories. Strange. She had heard something like that on a few other occasions of nightly patrols. Always the vigilant witch, even in times of peace, she reached in her jumper pocket, fingers enclosing on her wand. Without a second thought, slowly, she started to descend the staircase down into the bottom of the school.

As she kept moving the sound became louder, still not knowing what she was hearing, it just sounding like a low rumbling groan. Could it be one of the Hogwarts ghosts?… At the bottom of the steps it was becoming more pronounced, still not really being able to distinguish exactly what it was. Taking her wand out of her pocket, muttering 'lumos', she carefully made her way down the poorly lit passageway, the sound becoming a bit more clear the closer she wandered to it.

"Is that…Is that a cello?" She asked herself aloud, a bit confused as to why there was cello music all the way down here. Turning a corner, a sliver of warm light appeared from a partially open door all the way down the hallway. Making her way down, the noise becoming more abundant as she neared closer and closer, clearly identifying now that it was indeed a cello she had been hearing, "Whoever is playing is playing it rather brilliantly." Hermione thought to herself as she reached the old heavy wooden door, staying at the edge of the opening; she peeked her head slightly in toward the warm glow of the room, her curiosity getting the best of her. Her eyes shot wide opened as she saw who had been playing so meticulously well.

Severus Snape sat on a bit of a plain wooden chair, a cello between his knees, a bow in his right hand, playing as his eyes were closed, looking as if he was feeling the music rather than just hearing it, his willowy fingers dancing up and down the neck as he caressed each note out into a song of long, low mournful tones masterfully with his bow.

He hadn't noticed Hermione it seemed, looking too lost in his cello playing, his eyes closed a bit tighter than she had thought, head bent low toward the magnificent instrument, his dark hair grazing the wood just so very lightly. It was quite the sight to behold…Without really realizing it, Hermione slid past the door, it being open just wide enough for her to do so, not really being able to help herself, it seemed, for she was too far drawn into his playing, she wanted to be just a little closer. To hear it more, to feel those extraordinary notes come floating toward her. It was remarkable music that the potions professor was creating.

Soon, in one long, slow, drag of his bow across the taught strings, he lifted his bow away, signaling that his song was complete. Hermione without thinking started to clap for the talented professor for his lovely playing. Hermione saw his ears prick up, springing from his chair, hand protectively on the neck of the cello, pointing his…bow? At the intruding noise as if he was holding his wand. Taking a second to recognize who it was, a gruff sigh emerging from his lips, his bow hand falling to his side.

"Ms. Granger, what on earth are you doing down here?" his tone angry, giving the witch a deathly glare. Hermione sheepishly smiled, looking away from his gaze, wand going back in her pocket.

"Well, I heard a noise on my rounds, and came to see what it was and, well…you play beautifully, Professor Snape," She decided to say, looking back at him, taking a look at the bow, putting a hand to her mouth, stifling a giggle, "Why were you pointing a bow at me like a wand?" Snape gave her an even worse glare. Taking a step away from the chair, placing his cello against it so very carefully; he took the bow up in both hands, placing a finger on each end, pressing said fingers in, Hermione hearing a 'click' as the top of the bow swung open. Without a word, Snape took out his wand from the hollowed out bow, holding it up for her, giving Hermione a look of 'how foolish do you think I am?'.

"After all this time, you're still on guard?"

"Always." was his answer, snapping the wand back into his bow, taking up his cello once more, sitting back down in the worn chair, "If you're finished solving your mystery, I bid you goodnight, Ms. Granger."

"You really do play quite lovely, Professor," he sighed deeply, giving her a stare, an air of impatience hovering around him, his foot tapping just the teeniest bit, "Was that Bach you were playing?" He stopped tapping his foot, giving her a questioning look, going on to look at his instrument, "Sounded like Suite No. 2 in D minor…" at this statement, Hermione thought he saw his ears prick up as he studied the pegs.

"I'm surprised such a young witch could figure that out." he said as he tuned one string the slightest bit, giving it a little pluck. She thought it was kind of a compliment, in his own way, anyway.

"I listened to quite a bit of classical music while growing up, still do, actually." He looked at her once again, looking back at the grand cello, twisting another peg just so, most wouldn't even know that it had moved. He gave another pluck, giving a little nod to himself. He looked up at Hermione as she looked on, a small smile on her face. Hermione heard him sigh.

"It doesn't seem likely you're about to leave, so take a seat if you must." he said in a low voice, giving another string a pluck as he studied the strings, looking as if he was waiting for them to say something.

Hermione took a quick look around, noticing a plush, dark couch that wasn't too far from where Snape sat in the middle of the room. She also noticed a wall to her left of which was nothing but floor to ceiling shelves filled with books, a grand intricate fireplace opposite that wall, a small fire roaring within it's depths, two lush chairs that matched the couch right across from it, an ornamented rug in the middle of the three pieces of furniture, a large dark desk across the room filled with papers and a cup of tea that had probably long since gone cold, and also a door that was ajar, not being able to see what was beyond it. Hermione took a tentative seat on the couch, realizing that this must be Snape's living quarters.

"Thank you." She said quite softly, becoming a little bit shy as she fully grasped what she had found on her quest to find that noise. She had never been in a professors living quarters, besides Neville's, that is, though she didn't think she could ever really see him as a professor, just a close friend that she greatly respected, so of course she had an idea of what it could be like. She just didn't think they could be quite like this as she took in her surroundings more. A few paintings on the walls, more of night scenery than anything, the bare branches of trees swaying in the breeze, an owl flying toward the moon in one of them. She noticed another chair by the bookshelf that of course matched the two across from where she sat, an ottoman that matched and a small table right by, an open book on said table, noting that the chair looked a bit worn, almost certain that he spent quite a bit of time there. Being head of Slytherin; Hermione was quite surprised at how warm and inviting his quarters felt.

"I didn't know you played the cello, Professor." Hermione spoke softly as her attention came back to Snape, seeing that he was still fiddling with his instrument.

"Ever since my first year of Hogwarts." Snape absent mindedly said, plucking another string of the grand instrument in his hands. Another nod, he seemed satisfied at the moment. Standing his cello up on the needle, he pointed his bow wand at it, letting go, it staying upright. Placing the bow wand in his lap, he stretched, joints popping, seeming to have been sitting there for quite sometime. Leaning forward, looking back at Hermione, those terribly dark eyes looking right into hers, he held up his hand…doing an odd little motion with his fingers, like a little wave, "Keeps the fingers nimble, extremely helpful when your career is in potions. I don't know if I would have taken it up otherwise." Hermione just gave him a little odd look, doubtful that were the case with the way he seemed to treat his instrument. Treated it better than a student.

"How did you come to learn about Bach? Being a wizard, I wouldn't think you'd know any muggle composers." Hermione wondered to herself out loud, surprised a bit when she received an answer.

"I am a half-blood, Ms. Granger, I do know of muggle things." he said a bit dryly, his long legs crossing, hands going in his lap, his bow wand still in his hand.

"What other muggle music do you know?" the young witch said with a bit of amusement, really quite curious.

"I'm not at liberty to answer that." He said low and coolly, keeping his onyx eyes on her. Hermione felt a little disappointed, looking away from the brooding professor, a silence following that seemed to stretch terribly as she studied a loose thread that was less than fascinating on his intricate rug.

When she dared look back up, she found his eyes still on her, but not with that look of stealth. She found him instead to be studying her.

"Ms. Granger…that jumper…" he said softly for himself, Hermione surprised at the tone to his voice.

"Yes professor?" she could have sworn for a split second there was something else quite different in his eyes rather than his usual malice. He closed his eyes, shaking his head a tad bit, giving her another look.

"…Why on earth are you wearing an outfit like that? You are an apprentice at a wizarding school, you should be wearing something other than muggle clothes." She couldn't help but smile as really, you probably couldn't spot her as a witch if you put her in a crowd of muggles. She wore plaid pajama trousers, a white t-shirt and a dark blue jumper over it that apparently fascinated him. With her long thick curls pulled back in a hair tie, she looked more ready for bed than anything.

"It is night, professor, and I want to be comfortable. I have my robes on when I'm in the classroom, of course," She gave him a look, saying without thinking for once, "What about you? I never see you in anything besides robes and such. You always look ready for a sophisticated evening." This was true, as right now, he may not have been wearing his usual long, heavy, dark robes, but he still looked quite ready for class. He wore his high collared white dress shirt, a black vest adorned with elaborate buttons going all the way down his right side, black pressed trousers, and what looked like dragon skin dress shoes…Her statement made him smirk.

"I am a professional, Ms. Granger and I will look professional up until the very second I turn in for the evening." Hermione leaned forward, putting her chin in her hand, resting it there for a moment. She wasn't used to a Snape that shot back but didn't really seem to have the intention of shattering your world. This felt like a normal conversation…She kind of liked it.

Snape soon gave an unexpected groan as he uncrossed his legs, stretching the terribly long limbs once again, his arms following suit. Bringing them in, he put his hand on his neck, stretching once again, Hermione hearing another little pop, but also noticing something she hadn't seen for quite sometime, not being able to look away, her mind drifting off for the second time that night…

"Come on, we have to hurry!" Hermione said, leading the pack she had gathered to retrieve the potions professor. Her party consisted of Madam Pomfrey, Arthur Weasley, and Remus Lupin rushing up the hill leading toward the Shrieking Shack. The dark lord was defeated, Hogwarts had victory…but all Hermione could think of was to keep her promise to Snape. She just hoped that it wasn't too late…

Bursting through the door, she ran through the dusty, ramshackle of a slanted house to where Snape lay, that being the only thing on her mind. Exploding through another door, running through another room, she found the right door on the other side, quickly making the room's length in a split second, a gasp escaping her lips as she screeched to a halt. There was so much more blood to see with the early morning rays of sun leaking through the cracks in the boards on the windows. Shaking her horrified thoughts away, she hurried over to the man in blood. Without giving it a second thought, she knelt in the scarlet pool, reaching a shaky hand towards Snape, placing a hand on his chest, feeling him jump at her touch, feeling his rough, shallow breaths under her hand. He was still alive. What astounded Hermione even more was when his eyes opened so very slightly, his eyes trying to focus on Hermione as she looked upon him.

"You…came…back…" His voice barely came out in a worse than raspy whisper that she could barely understand. She took his hand automatically, giving it a little reassuring squeeze, there not being any grip whatsoever from him this time.

"Of course I did. You don't have to worry anymore, you're going to be alright." With that, he closed his eyes again, not moving anymore other than that of his terrible breathing.

"Hermione? Where are you?" Hermione heard Remus shout from the other side of the house.

"We're in here!" she shouted back, her eyes keeping watch over Professor Snape the whole time, her hand staying on his, hearing their footsteps clomping toward them, getting louder and louder as they neared.

"Oh my." Hermione heard Mr. Weasley gasp as they entered the room. She soon heard footsteps coming toward her, a pair of gentle hands on her shoulders guiding her upward, herself being a bit hesitant to let go of the potions master's hand, finally letting go regretfully, Snape's hand leaving hers gracefully at the very tip of her fingers.

Seeing Mr. Weasley and Madam Pomfrey in front of her kneeling by Snape, she deducted that Remus as the one to pull her away. Seeing Mr. Weasley wave his wand, the blood now gone from the floor, her heart sank, her shoulders slumping, wrapping her arms around herself.

"Why didn't I think of that?" she said quietly to herself.

"Hermione…" She heard the gentle voice of Remus right beside her.

"I left him in a pool of blood most of the night. He already looked to be in so much pain and I had to make it worse by not doing a simple cleaning spell."

"Now Hermione, you've done magnificently. What other young witch could do what you did? With your help, you outright saved Severus' life." Hermione felt an arm go around her, knowing Remus was trying to comfort her. She accepted his arm, leaning a little bit in, tearing up just the slightest bit as he watched Madam Pomfrey work on him, Mr. Weasley assisting. Why was she reacting this way? She had seen so much destruction leading up to this night, why when one man is almost dead is she so devastated?

She continued watching until they levitated him onto a waiting, floating stretcher, turning away as he looked so still when they hovered him past her…

Almost a week had passed since seeing Snape almost die, since Hermione saved his life. She, along with so many others stayed at Hogwarts in the effort to clean and repair the damages of the grand castle. Many of the injured stayed as well, the hospital wing of Hogwarts being one of the only undamaged locations. One of these injured was none other than Severus Snape…being unconscious since that morning.

"This is brilliant, isn't it?" Ron said on a positive note as he lifted a piece of the castle with his wand, sending it over to a pile of them not terribly far away.

"Never thought I'd hear the day when you said 'brilliant' to hard labor, Ron." Harry smiled as he did the same, the sun shining bright on this cloudless day.

"Well, never thought helping restore Hogwarts after a war well fought would be so wicked." he smiled again, moving another piece of castle.

Hermione saw them look over at her expectantly, her feigning a smile, "Really lovely." She said as her piece went into the pile as well.

"You okay, Hermione?" Ron asked for about the billionth time that week. She just shook her head yes, levitating another piece to the pile…as she did this, she noticed Remus not terribly far away, hurrying toward her, reaching her in really no time at all, breathing a bit heavy from his excursion across the grounds.

"Severus…Severus is awake and is asking to see you, Hermione." with this news, Hermione excused herself, following Remus toward the school, up the steps she was so familiar with, making her way quickly with Remus through the damage, past students and faculty alike that wanted to get the school back to the way it was.

Turning a corner, she spotted the hospital wing, her feet starting to drag just a tad bit. How was he going to act when she saw him?…How would she react when she saw him? She still wasn't sure why she reacted the way she did when she saved him, why her heart felt so heavy with dread as she saw the fear dance in his eyes. Would her chest feel so heavy seeing him now?

Lost in her thoughts, she noticed she was already halfway in the hospital as that sterile smell hit her nostrils at full force, Remus seeming to be leading her all the way to the end of the room…She was right as he lead her to the very last bed on the right, a curtain hiding it from view, Remus already on the side of the curtain with Snape, waiting for Hermione to join him.

With a deep breath, she stepped to the other side, indeed feeling a pang in her chest at the sight. A very exhausted looking Professor Snape greeting her eyes, a bit of an annoyed look on his face that was laced with pain. His hair was a mess as he lie back in the bed, fresh bandages wrapped around both his neck and his whole torso, learning earlier in the week he had three broken ribs from Nagini constricting him. His eyes shifted over to Hermione as she took another step closer, her swearing his eyes softening just the slightest bit. Remus, on Snape's right side, held a chair out for Hermione, walking over, feeling Snape's eyes on her the whole time she did. She said a 'thank you' to Remus as she sat, Remus walking to the end of the bed, giving Snape a smile.

"There you go. Now remember, Severus, not too much talking. Have to rest those vocal chords if you wish to gain your full voice back." he said with a smile, Snape giving him a bit of a 'I'll do as I please' look and wave of his hand, "I'll be back soon…Good to have you back, Severus." Remus quietly said with another smile, making his way over to Madam Pomfrey's desk.

And so there they were, alone, the silence deafening between them, Snape keeping his gaze away from the young witch of whom he requested to see now. Hermione wanted to say something, anything, but couldn't think of what to say as she listened to the sounds of the hospital, clicking of shoes here and there, people coughing, talking, quite a few sounding terribly happy.

"How do you feel, Professor Snape?" She decided to start off with the basic, even though it was kind of cruel when she could see very well how he was doing. He kept his gaze away still, "We…We were all pretty worried you weren't going to…wake up…People believe you're a hero, now…Me included, you know, hearing everything from Harry." Still nothing, only could she see his hand clenching the blanket a bit tightly. She sighed a small sigh, looking away for a second, "I-I should let you rest, professor. I'm glad you're alright and on the mend-" she was interrupted at feeling a hand on her own, making her jump the slightest bit. She looked back and was astonished to see Snape looking at her, not a hint of malice shown on his face whatsoever.

Closing his eyes for a brief second, letting a long sigh escape his lips. Looking back at her, his hand tightening a little bit, he went on to say in a low, hoarse voice, "Thank you…Thank…you…" Hermione didn't know what to say, only being able to stare at the potions professor, "I'd be…gone…if…not for…you." he slowly and deliberately said, his hand tightening, bringing it to his chest, holding it there tightly on his clean bandages, "So…thank you…" He sighed out, eye lids drooping closed slowly, his body looking more relaxed, his breathing even, or as even as it could be with the condition he was in.

"Professor? Professor Snape?" Hermione said quietly unsure until she realized he had fallen asleep holding her hand. She couldn't very well wake him, so, she leaned up on the bed, propping herself up with her chin in her hand, looking on him as he slept away. Soon, she heard Remus and Madam Pomfrey walking her way, surprised to see the medi-witch carrying her jumper…

Hermione took a glance down at her jumper, a contemplative thought coming to mind that she couldn't completely grasp right at that moment. Looking back up at Snape, she said in a soft tone, "How's your…How's your neck, professor?" his eyes snapped to her quickly as his hand was still on his neck, giving her a bit of a suspicious glance.

"It's doing…well. Why do you ask, Ms. Granger?" his suspicion on her continued, leaning toward her, leaning on his knees to give her a good stare down.

"I was just thinking about it, and… Thought I'd see how it was doing."

"It's been, what, seven years? You thought you'd just inquire about it after so long?"

"Of course." She said with a small, shy smile. This made him look away with a little shake to his head. She also thought that he may have had a smile, even if it was just for a split second.

Clearing his throat, he looked back at her, having a tad bit of an annoying expression plastered to his face, talking in a very slow tone, deliberately telling her like you would a child, "It's doing well. Every once in a while it'll get stiff, especially when I'm sitting in one place for a long while, for example, playing my cello for extended periods of time. Does that answer your inquiry?"

"Yes, it does. Thank you." she decided to be the brave Gryffindor she was and answer boldly, having a smile on her face after she did so. This made the potions master shake his head once again, having a little smirk. He looked back to his cello, taking it up, placing it in between his knees once again, going back to adjusting a peg just so very slightly.

"Don't you have your nightly patrol to finish up, Ms. Granger?" he asked, not taking his eyes off his instrument now.

"No, I was all finished when I heard your cello…" then it hit her harder than a troll swinging a club into a tree, "Merlin's beard, I still have third year schoolwork to finish grading. Now I'm going to be up half the night." Hermione noticed Snape's smirk growing significantly at that news, his strumming on his strings starting to resemble a song, a song that Hermione almost recognized…

Standing up from the lush couch, she gave Snape a smile, "Goodnight, Professor Snape. Thank you for letting me listen in on your cello playing. Again, it was really rather lovely." She turned around, starting on her way out, when she heard Snape clear his throat, making her stop in her tracks.

"Ms. Granger," she looked over her shoulder, seeing him still strumming his tune, "If you happen to catch my cello playing again, you may come and listen… If I'm in a welcoming mood for guests, that is…Which is quite rare, honestly." She looked down once again, not being able to help but smile.

"I'd like that, Professor Snape. Have a goodnight."

"Goodnight, Ms. Granger," he kept strumming, actually starting to hum a tad bit, Hermione believing that he thought he was inaudible to the witch as she started walking through the small opening of the door, recognizing the tune straight away when he started to hum, "Hmmm, mmm, mmm, hmm…shine anymore…"

"Moon ain't gonna rise in the sky…" Hermione couldn't help herself but sing the next line to the song, hearing Snape fumble with his fingering as she entered the hallway, giggling to herself as she started walking down the dark hallway, taking out her wand, giggling out 'lumos'. Maybe now she could get to know Professor Snape as an ordinary wizard like the rest of the staff…maybe get to see the real person she saw in him that day in the hospital so many years ago…

Either way, she couldn't wait until the next time she caught the low rumble of a note emitting from a cello, wafting up from the living quarters of Professor Severus Snape...

And there you have it. :D But yes, like I said, I watched "Truly, Madly, Deeply" the other day and could really see Snape playing the cello after watching it. It's an amazing movie, I highly recommend it. . . I've also been enjoying the pairing of Snape and Hermione lately, so, you get that pairing, yay. :D

And yes, YES, Remus survives... as does Fred, even though he didn't appear in this fic, he just does! :)

But yes, I hope you enjoyed my little one-shot, I had lots of fun writing it. :D