October 31, 1998
The second Voldemort War was over. The Dark Lord Voldemort, Tom Riddle, was gone.
Severus was too shocked to absorb this information, and he sank into the rocking chair in his daughter’s nursery, the site of the Dark Lord’s demise. It was the very chair his wife had sat in while she fed their baby a short while ago. She’d chosen it especially for the gliding feature; she insisted they get it from a Muggle shop. The smooth back and forth lulled Severus’s rattling mind as he tried to piece together all that had happened.
The Marriage Law had passed. The law’s champion, the Dark Lord, had made it clear what was to be expected of Severus, his most trusted minion and spy. He was a wizard over the age of thirty with at least one pure-blood parent, and thus, had been required to marry. What was more; Lord Voldemort had had a bride in mind for him already: the most trusted follower of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger.
When Severus had informed Albus Dumbledore, Voldemort’s rival and nemesis, of the development, Dumbledore took the information with surprising grace.
Severus was immediately suspicious but did not inquire. Anything that Albus didn’t tell him, he could earnestly say he did not know and, instead, divulge other, more important business.
The prospect of marriage had not thrilled Severus or his bride. For him, it was yet another manoeuvre he made to serve his purpose; in her mind and in her heart, she was making a sacrifice for the cause. It would become the most important sacrifice she could make.
Hermione Granger married Severus Snape on her eighteenth birthday.
They agreed to be as polite as possible and had eventually found some sexual compatibility. Three months after they were married, she became pregnant.
The pregnancy pleased Lord Voldemort greatly, and he informed Severus that he would be coming to collect the child shortly after it was born.
Severus quickly agreed, despite his desire to throttle the Dark Lord with his own two hands. When Severus had learned of the pregnancy, his grudging respect for his wife had burnt into complete adoration. His hatred for Voldemort grew exponentially at the thought of the Dark Lord near his family.
Regardless of that, Hermione was never informed of the Dark Lord’s plans. Albus convinced Severus not to tell her, but to be prepared and to prepare Harry Potter.
What Severus did not know what that Hermione had also had a secret. She had never told her husband that before they had married, Albus had taken her aside and told her that if she felt anything unusual happen to come to him and only him.
Almost as soon as she had conceived the baby, she had felt her magic grow right along with the life inside of her. She went to Albus, and he smiled at her. He told her everything was in order, and she had nothing to worry about.
Of course, what neither Severus nor Hermione knew was that Albus also had a secret. What he had not told her was that she would be the element that helped Harry Potter win the war against Voldemort. Albus knew that the day Voldemort came to take baby Snape would be his last.
And so it happened.
It was the night that Severus was to expect Voldemort to collect his daughter. Harry Potter, whose mother had protected her infant son from Voldemort seventeen years earlier, stood under his father’s invisibility cloak, waiting for the Dark Lord. He watched as Hermione nursed her daughter and put her to bed. Just as the child dozed to the tune of her mother’s lullaby, they felt the wards drop, and after a few tense moments, the Dark Lord entered the nursery.
He demanded the infant from the young mother. She drew her wand and aimed it at the wizard’s chest. He chuckled mirthlessly and began to approach the witch. With a silent command he disarmed her.
Lord Voldemort offered Hermione her life in exchange for that of her daughter. He said it with generosity, as if it was an act of kindness towards the desperate, trembling witch.
What he did not know was that she was not trembling in fear.
Hermione Snape stood quaking with unbridled magical powers. They were beginning to seep from her every pore. Fuelled by the love of a mother for her child, Hermione began to glow pure white. As she grew brighter, Voldemort began to weaken.
Never taking his eyes off the Dark Lord, Harry Potter cast the killing curse on the wretched wizard and watched his body fall. They would dismantle his body, drawing it apart, burning the pieces, and forbidding the soul from re-entering the world.
Finally Hermione seemed to burst in a great show of magical expulsion.
When Harry looked up to check on his long-time friend, she was not there. There was only a soft white light surrounding the baby in the cot.
Harry called her name before falling miserably to his knees, weeping for his friend who seemingly had ceased to exist.
Severus Snape, who had been waiting in his bedroom, burst through the door that joined the master bedroom to the nursery. He had heard none of the commotion through the door. He was shocked to see the body of the Dark Lord crumpled on the floor, Harry Potter weeping inconsolably by the cot, and his perfect daughter sleeping soundly.
“Where’s Granger?” the wizard demanded. He did not see her corpse, and yet Harry wept as if she were dead.
“Gone…. She… burst into white light... when he threatened the baby. ...She crippled Voldemort... so I was able to kill him,” Harry managed between his sobs.
By all logic, Hermione had died for her daughter, helping to defeat Voldemort. The war was over.
Dropping his head into his hands, Severus breathed deep. From the moment he’d learned of Hermione’s pregnancy, she was no longer his partner on a mission, but his wife, the mother of his child, and he knew to his core that he would have die for them. Now, Hermione had died for them instead.
He couldn’t believe it.
What was more; he was a free man, a widower with a daughter. Severus looked at the cot a few steps away. For the first time in his life, he had no idea what to do with himself.