Disclaimer: Nothing of what you recognise throughout this story is mine.
My bank account is proof enough!
I would like to thank my beta Kris for her constant encouragement and help.
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Chapter 1: The Return
\"I personally think that we’ve made the right choice by coming back to Hogwarts, Harry,” said Hermione once the last first year student had been sorted.
Harry cast a doubtful glance at Hermione but the forever open Ron Weasley simply uttered a loud snort of disbelief at her comment. Hermione, however, much to her credit, as always ignored him. It was not the first, and as she feared not the last, time the three of them had had this argument. It had continued all summer at the Burrow once she and Harry moved in to spend the rest of the holidays with the Weasley family.
“Look at it this way, Harry” continued whispering Hermione as if no noise interrupted her before. “Where would you have lived if you had gone in search of the Horcruxes? You just recently turned seventeen and what about your education? I know how eager you are to become an Auror, Harry, but even the Boy Who Lived wouldn’t be taken without the required N.E.W.T’s!”
“Don’t you think I know, Hermione? But what about the payment, revenge?!” nearly shouted Harry, which made a few heads turn towards their direction.
Hermione gave Harry a look filled with frustration and anger.
“I fear your mania for justice and revenge will be the end of you some day,” said she simply.
Harry finally lowered his voice and feverishly whispered back;
“That slimy son of a bitch by the name of Snape murdered Dumbledore, Hermione. I was in the room at that time, don’t forget, and I will never forgive myself for not stopping him. Dumbledore died right in front of my eyes. First Sirius, then him...”
Hermione did not answer and only heavily sighed. She witnessed what hardness developed in Harry after Sirius’ death. There was a time when she thought that Harry would somehow overcome the death of his godfather but what came next was too much to bear. The old man, Headmaster of Hogwarts and unofficially Harry’s loved guardian was killed by no one else but the man who he alone trusted and believed in. The betrayal was fatal and merciless that destroyed one of the last hopes to get rid of Voldemort once and forever.
“Don’t blame yourself, Harry. You know well enough that it was Dumbledore who kept you from acting and risking your life. You have to accept that it is Snape and Snape alone who is responsible for Dumbledore’s death,” said Ron for at least once agreeing with Hermione’s thoughts since June.
“Ron is right, Harry. Your most important goal now is to finish your last year at Hogwarts and pass your exams. You will know when the time comes for further action,” said Hermione and started piling her plate with the food that had suddenly appeared before them, signaling the start of the feast.
But before Harry could moodily put anything into his mouth, the doors of the Hall opened with a loud bang and every face in the room turned to look at the newcomer. The silence that followed was deafening, but Harry did not notice even that fact. His eyes revealed to him the thing that his mind could not accept. When it did however, he found himself on his feet and filled with a fury that he had never known he possessed, the fury that could murder.
“YOU! I AM GOING TO KILL YOU, BASTARD!”
At the entrance of the Hall stood Severus Snape.
Sweet Surrender by witch