I\'d like to thank once again all of those that have taken the time to read this story. Your comments have made me very happy and I\'m glad you are all enjoying this story.
All canon characters belong to JKR.
Thanks as always to my lovely beta June! I couldn\'t do this without you!!
Chapter 10 - Beyond this night
Severus and Hermione sat outside on the back steps at Grimmauld Place for almost an hour. Thinking they had given the pair inside enough alone time, they got up and walked back to the living room. To their surprise, Lucius and Ginny were still at it. Severus wondered if the two still had lips, because you would think they would have worn down by now.
Severus cleared his throat, expecting Lucius and Ginny to stop snogging. Nothing happened; it was as though he or Hermione weren’t there.
“Gods, they’re going to swallow each other!” said Severus a bit too loud.
That did it. Lucius and Ginny both startled and they both immediately got up from the couch.
“Oh,” Ginny ran her hands through her hair. “How long have you two been standing there?” she asked.
Lucius in the meantime was too busy being pleased with himself.
“We just came from outside,” said Hermione. She walked past the two and sat on the couch. She needed to finish her homework so that Severus and she could continue working on the potion to de-age Voldemort.
Severus crossed his arms and eyed the two adults. He walked past Ginny, then as he was passing Lucius he winked at his friend and smiled. Lucius coughed to cover up his chuckle. Severus sat next to Hermione on the couch and looked at the books she’d spread on the coffee table.
“Can I help you?” he asked. Hermione looked at him and nodded. Together they sat doing her homework, while Ginny and Lucius eyed each other.
“I should get to my own work. I need to finish my essay before I get supper started.” Ginny turned and walked back to the study.
Lucius thought about following her, but decided against it. Ginny had been receptive to his advances and would no doubt allow him to do even more. Were it not for Severus and Hermione interrupting them, chances are he would have had her half-naked in the living room. It was a good thing the two “children” showed up when they did.
Lucius hadn’t been with a woman since the death of Narcissa, and Ginny’s last encounter with the male body was almost a year ago. They were both more than ready to have at each other. He also didn’t have to worry about her parents’ approval, as it was very evident to him when he spoke to Arthur that he and his wife wanted their daughter married and happy, hopefully to Lucius.
For now, though, he would have to busy himself until he could get Ginny alone once again. Perhaps he would sneak into her room after Severus and Hermione were asleep. ‘No,’ he thought, ‘the room she is currently in has a single bed.’ He would have to somehow get her into his room. Better yet, he could accost her while she walked to her room. There were little corners and niches in the upstairs hallway he could hide in. Yes, that appealed to his darker side definitely. Smiling from ear to ear, he took the previously discarded CosmoWitch issue and began to turn the pages. He couldn’t wait for evening to come.
For the next several hours everyone kept busy. Ginny finished her essay while Severus and Hermione finished Hermione’s homework. Lucius had gone through the CosmoWitch issue twice. He knew more about his balls and penis then he ever knew before. Perhaps the magazine was good for something.
Suppertime quickly approached and Ginny had come out of the study. Lucius noticed her walking to the kitchen. As she walked through the hall she quickly glanced in his direction and smiled. He smiled back and started to get up, when Severus and Hermione drew his attention.
“Give it back!” yelled Hermione as she reached for a small piece of parchment Severus held in his hands.
“I don’t know how I’m going to get my assignment done,” said Severus as he tried to mimic Hermione’s voice while reading her note. “He’s just so dreamy.” He looked at her. “Aha, so who are you in love with, Hermione?”
“None of your business, give me my note!” Hermione tried desperately to get the note from Severus who pushed her away. Severus kept the note far away from her and kept waving it in a teasing way.
“Hermione’s got a boyfriend, Hermione’s got a boyfriend!” he mocked.
Lucius rolled his eyes and walked toward the pair. He snatched the note from Severus’ hand.
“Lucius! Give it here!” said Severus as he hopped up and down trying to snatch the note from Lucius.
“Ah ah ah, Severus,” said Lucius, waving his finger. “You were doing the same thing to Hermione and it wasn’t very nice. It’s not fun when the shoe is on the other foot, is it?”
Severus scowled and crossed his arms in defeat.
“I suppose,” he agreed reluctantly.
Hermione came from behind and started hopping up and down, trying to get the note back.
“Lucius, please give me my note,” she begged. She’d written the note the day she and Severus had been doused with the potion. She was so infatuated with him. She had been for many years. In fact, she was more than infatuated. She’d resolved to graduate and go back to Hogwarts. She would have taken any job there was; she’d even work in the kitchens, cleaning the toilets, just to be back at Hogwarts and near Severus.
Lucius looked down at her and gave her the note.
“Here you are. I suggest you hide your little love notes better,” he said as he looked at Severus, “or else bad little boys will use them against you.”
Severus stomped his foot and went back to his former place on the couch, where he could still look at Hermione’s books and papers scattered on the coffee table.
Hermione giggled at Lucius’ reference to “bad little boys” and sat next to Severus. She put her things away and went to the bookcase to look for a book to read until supper was finished. She made sure to pick something out that Severus might enjoy as well, then went back and sat on the couch. After several minutes, he warmed up to her and sat back to read the book along with her.
Once Ginny had finished making supper, they all filed into the kitchen and ate in silence. Ginny had made steak and mashed potatoes, and for dessert she’d made pudding; she knew better than to try to get little Severus and Hermione to eat broccoli or another vegetable. When dinner was finished Severus and Hermione went up to their room and changed for bed. They were tired from all the energy expelled that day, and they were anxious about going back to Hogwarts to take the counter-potion.
Lucius helped Ginny finish the dishes, then they went into the living room. He wondered if he should suggest they continue their afternoon snog fest, but thought it best they take things slow. He wanted her, badly, but he didn’t want to scare her off. They talked for a while, getting to know one another a little better, then went off to their separate rooms.
The plan was that Lucius would take Severus and Hermione to Hogwarts in the afternoon, then go along with Ginny to the Burrow. He decided to talk with her there after dinner. It had been a long time since he’d courted any woman and he wanted to make sure she would be receptive to courting, although he knew by her enthusiasm to his kisses that she would be. That having been decided, Lucius thought it best to leave Ginny alone for the rest of the night. They would be together soon enough.
Morning came and they all had breakfast together. Severus and Hermione talked Lucius into taking them to Hogwarts early. As the “children” packed their few belongings into a small case, they both secretly wondered what it would be like between them once they became adults once again. They would soon know.
Severus and Hermione could no longer Apparate themselves, so Lucius Apparated with Severus, and Ginny took Hermione. They Apparated to the gates of Hogwarts, but as they walked in Lucius grabbed his left arm and grimaced in pain.
“I can’t go any further. He’s calling me,” Lucius stated.
Severus’ eyes teared up slightly as did Lucius’. For some reason they both felt a foreboding sense wash over them. They knew something was going to happen that day, and it wasn’t going to be good.
Lucius kneeled down and looked at his little friend.
“Be careful, Lucius,” said Severus as his voice quivered.
Lucius pat him on the shoulder and smiled.
“I always am, my friend.” He stood and nodded towards Hermione, then turned to Ginny. “I shall see you soon, Ginny.”
“Do be careful,” she said as he kissed the back of her hand.
Lucius Apparated away. Ginny and the “children” looked at one another.
“I think the time is drawing near,” Severus said as he turned and walked towards the castle. Both women knew what he meant.
Lucius appeared in the throne room along with several dozen or so Death Eaters. Voldemort spotted Lucius immediately and motioned him to his side. As he approached, Lucius noticed the Dark Lord was smiling. ‘This is it,’ he thought. Today he would know what Voldemort’s plans were for Hogwarts.
“Attention, my followers. Today we will begin to plan our attack on Hogwarts. This will be the beginning. The future of the wizarding world is in controlling Hogwarts,” said Voldemort as he looked around the room. He continued his remarks and his ranting, then dismissed everyone except Lucius and a few other Death Eaters. “Remember, kill everyone inside, but save the old wizard for me.”
Voldemort looked at Lucius and four other high-ranking Death Eaters. “Come, we need to do much planning.”
Lucius and the Death Eaters nodded and followed the Dark Lord to his room. Together, they planned the takeover of Hogwarts and the Ministry for several hours.
It was what Lucius had expected. Voldemort ordered his “faithful servant” Lucius to use his position that he still held in the Ministry of Magic to get into Hogwarts and take down the set of wards near the dungeons. Voldemort knew that it would be easier to enter through the darkened dungeons, where there were few students. Also, there were passages leading to all of the houses that could be accessed from the dungeons.
What Voldemort wanted most was access to Albus’s office. He knew that from there he could easily access the office of the Minister of Magic via a Floo connection, since Arthur Weasley was part of the Order. Once Voldemort had Hogwarts students as hostages and access to the Ministry, then he could take it over; and once the Ministry was in his hands, everything else would fall into place. There were many secrets there, secrets that would allow him to rule the wizarding world with no opposition whatsoever.
Meanwhile, as the attack on Hogswarts was being planned, Severus and Hermione had gone to his rooms. Ginny had been so nervous about Lucius being summoned that Albus wouldn’t allow her to Apparate; she had Flooed to the Burrow.
Just before seven o’clock in the evening, Severus and Hermione got dressed in their adult clothes. Upon taking the counter-potion, they expected they would immediately begin to grow into their previous forms. Albus, who had been abnormally quiet, was with them inside the small lab. The small Potions Master and his ex-student each picked up a goblet.
Just before they drank, they all heard a tapping above them. There was an owl outside the window near the ceiling. Albus flicked his wand and the window opened. The owl dropped a note in his hands and flew away.
“Oh, no,” said Albus as he read the note.
“Is it from Lucius?” asked Severus.
Albus looked at him over his specs.
“Yes, and it’s urgent. I need to meet him at Arthur’s office.” Albus rolled up the note and placed it in the pocket of his robes. He started to run out of the room, but stopped and turned to Severus and Hermione.
“I know you need to take that counter-potion, but please, wait one more day. Don’t take it unless I’m here.”
Severus and Hermione looked at him in confusion.
“Why on earth should we wait? Albus, if we don’t take this now, we may not be able to return to our adult selves.” Severus placed his goblet on the table. “What’s wrong? Did something happen to the potion while I was gone?” he asked suspiciously.
“Severus, I don’t have time. Please, just promise me you will wait. You still have time. I will return before midnight. Surely you can wait a few more hours?” Albus turned again and rushed out of the room, leaving Severus and Hermione to wonder why he felt the need for them to wait.
“Why do you suppose he wants us to wait?” asked Hermione.
Severus took his goblet from the table.
“I don’t know, but we can’t listen to him,” he said as he looked at Hermione. “Do you want to take a chance on waiting?”
Hermione shook her head. She knew as well as he did that if they waited much longer there was a chance that not even the potion in their hands would be able to help them.
“Right then, on the count of three.” Severus held his goblet of potion up, as did Hermione. “One, two, three.”
They tipped the goblets into their mouths and drank the potion down. Nothing happened. Staring at each other, Severus knew something had gone wrong. The results should have been instantaneous.
“What happened?” asked Hermione, as she looked at herself, then to Severus.
“I don’t know. It should have worked.” He looked at the notes they had used when they made the counter-potion. He had taken great care in making sure every step was followed to the letter. He’d observed Hermione cutting the ingredients, and she had done so perfectly.
He ran his hand through his hair. “It should have worked…it should have worked…it should have worked!”
Severus began throwing cauldrons left and right. He kicked the stool across the room and began beating at the wall with his small fists.
Hermione came to him and grabbed his shoulder, pulling him away from the wall.
“Severus, stop it! You’ll hurt yourself!” she yelled as she hugged him from behind. He was breathing hard, trying to catch his breath, trying to calm down. “We’ll start over, we’ll try again,” Hermione said nervously.
“We don’t have time, Hermione.” He sank down into the ground, taking her with him. “We don’t have time.” His body went limp in her arms. “Don’t you feel it? Simple spells are getting impossible to even remember, much less perform.”
Hermione sighed; he was right. “Yes. I…I feel it too. How long do you suppose we have?”
“I don’t know. One day, maybe two.” He turned and looked at her. She saw the tears now forming in his eyes. He touched her cheek, and then touched her hair.
“We won’t remember each other, will we?” she asked in a whisper.
“No, we won’t. Albus will most likely take you to your parents,” said Severus.
“I don’t think they will let me come back to this world after everything that’s happened. I…won’t ever see you again, Severus.” Tears fell from her eyes now as she realized he would soon be lost to her. She noticed his own tears begin to fall, and he began to shake.
“It’s all right. At least you’ll be with people who love you. I don’t even know what will become of me,” he said, now truly frightened.
“Albus will watch over you, or Lucius. I’m sure Lucius will take care of you.”
He shook his head. “No, Hermione, no. I’m…” He sobbed now. “I’m afraid that Lucius will not survive this war. I’ve failed him. I know I could have helped him. Maybe not with the potion that did this to us, but I could have come up with something. But now, now it’s all over. My friend will die. Voldemort is bound to find out about his duplicity sooner or later. Albus, he’s too old to take care of a six-year-old. Voldemort will be going after Albus, too. There may be no one left to take care of me when this war is over and done with.” He leaned into her and rested his head on her lap.
She soothed him by brushing his hair with her fingers.
“I’ll be alone, again,” he said as he wrapped his arms around her waist and cried.
Hermione allowed him to cry until he calmed down. After almost an hour she finally urged him to his feet and they walked hand-in-hand to his bedroom. They got into bed without even bothering to change into their child-size pajamas. It was early still, but the excitement and disappointment of the day caught up with them. They were exhausted and they had no more fight left in them.
Severus felt as though he would never see her again, and in a way he wouldn’t. He knew that by morning he would most probably have no recollection of her once he woke up. To him she would be just a yucky little girl who was next to him in a big bed. Hermione pulled the comforter over their small bodies, and they held each other.
“If I should wake up tomorrow, and I am never to remember you as you are, as you were,” Severus said as he looked into Hermione’s eyes, “I want you to know that even though these last four days have been the most bizarre of my life, they have also been the happiest. I’m sorry, Hermione. I’m sorry that I shall never have a chance to know what it would be like to love you beyond this night.”
Hermione smiled and kissed his cheek. She closed her eyes and held him tighter.
“Severus, you would have made me the happiest woman on this earth if you could have had that chance,” she said, holding him as close to her as she could until they fell asleep.
What Severus and Hermione didn’t know was that the counter-potion now included a small chocolate-covered hazelnut. Even though Albus had accidentally altered the counter-potion, it still was effective. The dropped hazelnut did two things. The one thing that was most noticeable was it delayed the results. So while Severus and Hermione didn’t immediately change back to their adult selves, during the night their bodies began to grow and transform to their former state. The second thing was something only Severus and Hermione would notice eventually.
As morning approached, Severus felt himself begin to awaken. He also felt something on top of him. His mind was in a slight fog. As he woke, he began to remember everything that had happened in the last several days, including thinking that the counter-potion didn’t work. He looked down at the brown mass of curls on his chest. It was Hermione, a very grown-up and beautiful Hermione. He could feel her full breasts against his chest and realized that the counter-potion did indeed work. He shifted her slightly to lie next to him and looked at her.
‘Why didn’t I notice these small freckles on her nose before?’ he wondered. He began to trace along the curves of her face with the tip of his finger. He heard her moan quietly, and then saw her eyes begin to flutter open.
Hermione felt something touching her face. She’d been in a deep sleep and was now becoming aware of something hard next to her. She opened her eyes slowly and immediately thought she was dreaming. Her dreams would allow her one last look at Severus before her mind wiped her memories of him away forever.
“I’m dreaming you, I know I am. Kiss me just once, please.”
Not wanting to pass on the opportunity, just in case it would be the only time he would ever kiss her, he leaned into her and kissed her softly.
Hermione closed her eyes when he kissed her, but then she felt his warm lips and immediately knew she wasn’t dreaming. Her eyes shot open.
“Severus Snape, you tricked me!” she said as she pushed him away.
“I did nothing of the kind. How did I trick you? You’re the one who begged me for a kiss.” he said indignantly as though he’d just been insulted.
“You let me think you were a dream,” she said in a huff.
“But, I am not,” he smirked and moved his hand over to her hips, then down her round bottom and squeezed lightly. “Do you really want to lie here arguing about how I may or may not have tricked you? Or do you wish for me to show you what I meant by loving you beyond last night?”
Hermione smiled and pulled him down to her lips. Their investigation into finding out whatever happened to the potion to delay their change into adults would have to wait. For now, they were both going to enjoy the fact that they were no longer six years old.
Well they\'re back to their adult selves. I\'ve got more planned so this isn\'t over just yet.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this chapter.
Sometimes the best things come in small packages by ancientgir