Author's Note: Please note, I usually write fluff and smut and this is a "flip your style" challenge. This is not happy.
THREE LITTLE WORDS
Severus sat on the hospital bed, thinking.
Really, someone should have listened to him years ago about Hermione Granger. They should have listened when she set a professor on fire. Or cheated her way into the restricted section. Or drugged her fellow students and brewed a restricted potion.
Or perhaps when she had trapped a woman in a jar and blackmailed her. Or freed a convicted felon by manipulating time itself. Or undermined the "headmistress"...or set the centaurs upon her.
At the very least, he was certain someone should have listened to him about Hermione Granger at some point.
The charms hovered over the Minister for Magic's still form and Severus feathered his thumb over her hand. Outside the walls of St Mungo's, the Wizarding World was preparing to mourn.
After all, Hermione had done great things after Voldemort's fall.
She had turned her intellect to law, to the Ministry. She had risen and taken Potter with her. She had gotten McGonagall's backing, and worked her way into Severus's life before he had realized it, and promptly married him after she had set Weasley up with Helga Higgenwelf.
Severus smoothed her silver hair back. It wouldn't be long now.
Hermione Granger had kept her last name, and had been the longest-standing Minister in history. She had done great things for the Wizarding World. She had distracted her strategically-minded school beau by introducing him to the owner's daughter of the Chudley Cannons.
Weasley had wed the girl and the Cannons were top of the league.
Severus had assisted Potter at Hermione's request, and the boy was now passable enough to lead the MLE.
He and Hermione had even had three children together; talented, hardworking children with social connections, money, and their parents' intelligence.
He should have guessed then.
Severus watched her chest rise and fall. He would miss her, truly. He would miss the twisted streak in her that had drawn him in. He would miss their life together.
But soon Hermione would be gone, and the nation would mourn and her friends would weep and she would be immortalized in statue and tome forevermore, the heroine who had reshaped their world.
For the greater good, of course, and he had helped.
Their children waited outside. Hufflepuffs all, and as loved as their mother was. Severus had raised them himself, mostly, as she had been working a lot.
Someone really should have listened to Severus about Hermione Granger. The girl had been dangerous as a student, reaching into the dark in search of knowledge yet never going too far.
As a Minister, as his wife, he had aided her in those endeavors behind closed and warded doors.
The Wizarding World would never know how close she had tread to the dark, what deals she had wrought that had given them peace and prosperity for wizards and magical creatures all, just that she had done it.
But she had gone too far. He had regrettably had to stop her.
Their children were loyal, yes, but more so to him than to her. They would never once suspect what he had done. After all, the poison was unknown, Severus's own creation. Untraceable, deadly, and kind. Hermione would never feel pain as she passed.
The Wizarding world wouldn't think it of him, either. He had played his role as dutiful, quiet spouse all these years.
Severus listened to her breath catch, felt her pulse stop.
He rose, prepared to play the grieving widower. He would miss her.
If only she hadn't said she loved him, Hermione Granger might still be alive.