It All Comes Down To Time by JenKM1216
Summary: In her seventh year, Hermione is accidentaly transported back nineteen years by a time potion where it is Severus Snape\'s seventh year. Against her better judgement, she begins a relationship with him. **NOT COMPLETE**
Published: 27 November 2005
Updated: 17 April 2006
Chapter 7431: Chapter 1
Chapter 7639: Chapter 2
Chapter 1296790900: Chapter 3
Chapter 1296791016: Chapter Four
Chapter 7431: Chapter 1Author’s notes: I would like to say thank you to my wonderful betas, Potion Mistress and Jen. This story wouldn’t be half as good without all the work they have put into it. You guys are wonderful!
Disclaimer: All of Harry Potter belongs to the talented J.K. Rowling. I have just borrowed the characters to play with them. I will return them in one piece and in their original conditions when I am done with them. I am not making a profit from this story. It was written purely for entertainment purposes. No copyright infringement is intended.
It All Comes Down To Time
Hermione Granger was frustrated. She was angry. She was fuming, really. How had things come to this for the proud Gryffindor? Pining over a professor was hardly becoming of the Head Girl; especially when the object of said pining was none other than, as the students referred to him, the greasy bat of the dungeons himself, Professor Severus Snape.
It had all started at the end of her sixth year, when she and Ron had ended their ill-fated romance. She had fled the Gryffindor common room for the solace of the Astronomy Tower. She hadn’t considered the fact that it was nearly midnight and obviously after hours.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
She wasn’t really upset about her break-up with Ron. They had amicably decided that they were better suited as friends. She had gone the Astronomy Tower to escape Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil, who\'d seemed to think that the separation would make Hermione want a makeover. As if she would ever actually want a makeover. That was the last thing she wanted and so she had snuck out of the common room.
As she sat lost in thought, looking over the grounds, she heard, “Out after hours, Miss Granger?” The silky voice sounded almost gleeful. “Twenty-five points from Gryffindor, and I believe a detention is in order.”
Hermione gasped, and her already large eyes widened. She had not received detention since her first year, when she was caught sneaking out after hours and she, Ron, Harry, and Draco got detention.
“Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Your books can’t get you out of this one, Miss Granger.” The glee in his voice was nearly visible on his face.
“Professor Snape,” Hermione began.
The silky voice grew cold. “Don’t start with the pitiful excuses, Miss Granger. Rules cannot be overlooked just because you are Potter’s friend. One week of detention with me starting tomorrow night at 8:00 pm.”
“But, sir,” Hermione protested.
“Two weeks, Miss Granger, and fifty more points from Gryffindor. That takes you all the way to the end of term. If you would like to add anything else to your punishment, I have plenty for you to do at the start of the fall term.”
Hermione hung her head. Tears were threatening to spill from her eyes and she didn’t want him to see the extent of her mortification.
“I see that’s enough. Tomorrow, Miss Granger. Now back to your dorm.”
Hermione returned to Gryffindor Tower as quickly as possible. It was bad enough to have detention all the way through the end of the year; she didn’t want to start her last year off on the wrong foot.
She paused before entering the common room. She didn’t want anyone to see the tears that Professor Snape had caused. With her luck, Lavender and Parvati would keep her up all night if they thought she’d been crying over Ron. She was just glad she had kept herself from crying until she was out of Professor Snape’s presence. She refused to let him see how upset she was. He was not, after all, known for his sympathetic nature. All she needed was for him to take additional points away from Gryffindor due to her crying.
She breathed deeply and wiped the tears from her face before waking the snoozing Fat Lady and sneaking to bed, praying that her roommates were asleep; she got lucky and, for the first time that night, no one was the wiser to her night time travels.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
The following day went by all too quickly because she was forced to complete assignments in the library between classes due to her late night detention-earning trip to the Astronomy Tower. Ron and Harry had pointed out the she was not behind, just simply not as far ahead. She had dismissed them with a wave of her hand.
She was dreading her detention. She had never had detention since that very first year, and was very aware of how happy Professor Snape was to have been the one to hand this detention to her.
She had moped about at breakfast and lunch, picking at her food. Ron had tried to tell her that it would be fine, but she refused to be comforted. She was not her usual self in classes, earning more than one odd look from her professors who had come to expect 110% from her. She did not raise her hand even once throughout the day. She was just glad that she didn’t have Potions today.
She did not want the evening to come, but before she knew it, she found herself outside the Potions classroom. She took a deep breath and knocked on the door.
“Enter,” the harsh voice said. She flinched slightly and steeled herself with a look of determination. She was a Gryffindor. She could get through this.
She opened the door and stepped inside, closing the door behind her. She approached Professor Snape, stopping when she reached his desk.
“Tonight begins your detention. You will be assisting me in the inventory of my supplies. I require exact measurements of each ingredient. A count of all vials, cauldrons, and other tools will also be necessary. I trust you will not be tempted to pocket anything for personal experimentation?”
Hermione flushed. “No sir, of course not. You can count on me.”
“Indeed,” came the silky response. He arched his eyebrow at her. “I have come to expect the unexpected in your case, Miss Granger. Twenty points from Gryffindor.”
Hermione’s eyes widened. “But why, sir?” she gasped.
“Do not question me, Miss Granger. Twenty points more.”
Hermione dropped her head in defeat. Professor Snape waved her away with the flick of his hand and she began her first night of detention.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
The final two weeks of her assigned detentions saw Hermione working closely with her professor. Her respect for him soared. He was absolutely brilliant. He conducted each and every task with exacting perfection, nothing was too small for him to devote his full attention to it. She admired that he was willing to do anything that he gave to her and didn’t just assign her the unpleasant tasks.
She continued to work with him at number 12, Grimmauld Place during the summer and found that respect was turning to an attraction. He was funny in his own very dry kind of way. She stole glances when she thought he wasn’t looking and decided that he was not ugly. He had very distinct features that were actually quite nice, if one looked beyond the perpetual sneer that seemed to be glued to his face. In fact, his face had a certain alluring quality with his sharp, well placed features. If one overlooked the size of his nose, of course. His mind was what stole her heart. If she were only half as smart, she would thank the powers above for their gift of intelligence.
Her attraction must have been more obvious than she thought. She didn’t think that Professor Snape had noticed her flushed glances and nervous stammering. She was foolish to think that someone as intelligent as he wouldn’t see the obvious signs of her esteem for him.
At the end of the summer, Professor Snape said something that made her blood run cold. “Miss Granger,” he began. “I do not want, nor do I have time for the silly infatuations of a school girl. Your pleasantries and smiles have no place in my life or my classroom. If you are lonely, perhaps you should go beg Mr. Weasley to take you back.”
Her face turned red as the tears began falling. She ran from the room more humiliated than she had ever been in her life. That was the last she saw of him that summer; she spent the last weeks exorcising her feelings for Professor Snape. She used meditation to retreat into a harmonious part of her mind where she chanted over and over that she did not have feelings for Professor Snape. It calmed her considerably and so she believed herself successful in her attempt.
She entered the Great Hall for the Welcoming Feast at the beginning of the new school year in great spirits. She had her shiny Head Girl’s badge on her chest and was looking forward to the privileges that came with it. This is going to be a great year, she thought.
Then she saw him. The feelings she had worked so hard to banish came crashing back like a tidal wave.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Hermione sat in the Head Girl’s room thinking of everything that had led up to this point. She was infuriated with herself. How could she have allowed herself to become infatuated with her teacher over the summer? She had known she would have another year ahead of her as his student. She sighed deeply. This was going to be a long year.
In mid October, after a month and a half of grueling classes and a heavy workload of assignments, Hermione sat in the Gryffindor Common Room with her best friends.
“Harry! Ron! Will you pay attention?!” Hermione cried in exasperation. “The NEWTs will be here before you know it!”
“Calm down Hermione. They’re months away,” said Ron.
“And the Quidditch match is tomorrow,” Harry reminded her. “We have to plan our strategy.”
“You are playing Hufflepuff, Harry. You are going to win whether you strategize or not.” Hermione was really getting frustrated.
“Quidditch is more important right now, Hermione,” Ron whined.
“That’s it! I’ve had enough! If you fail all of your NEWTs, don’t say I didn’t warn you! When you can’t find gainful employment because you didn’t receive one NEWT, don’t come crying to me.” She exuded anger and indignation. She would never understand why boys seemed to think that everything would work out in the end. Did they honestly think that everything would be handed to them on a silver platter?
“Hermione,” Harry started.
“Shove off, Boy-Wonder!” She crammed her books in her bag and stormed out of the common room.
“It must be her time of the month,” she heard Ron say as she exited the portrait hole. She blanched in anger, but decided to ignore him. She didn’t want to argue with them anymore.
Hermione went to her room. I have to get away for a little while, she thought. Maybe a walk will help.
She donned her woolen cloak, because the October evenings were becoming chilly. As she walked, she thought about everything going on in her life.
As always, she was at the top of every class. Even without all the extra credit work, she was far ahead of her peers. Truth be told, she could sit the NEWTs tomorrow and pass every exam with flying colors. There was no doubt that Hermione Granger would receive all of her NEWTs with record grades. And she, herself, knew this. It wasn’t the NEWTs bothering her at all; it was Severus Snape. The more she tried to forget her feelings for him, the stronger they became.
She had Advanced Potions three times a week and one of those classes was a double period. Every word he said washed over her, leaving her with a sense of longing. It was absurd that she still fancied him. He took points from her for no reason, insulted her, and criticized her work mercilessly. Yes, he was going out of his way to make sure he squashed any feelings she might still harbor for him. Unfortunately for them both, it was not working.
Hermione scowled and shook her head angrily. It was at that moment she realized that she had accidentally wandered too far into the Forbidden Forest; and she was lost. She had realized she was walking along the fringes of the forest, but hadn’t actually intended to enter.
“Don’t panic, Hermione,” she said out loud. “You can’t be that far in. Just turn around and walk back the way you came.”
She had only been walking for a few minutes when she broke into a clearing where two very surprised Death Eaters stood.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Damn, thought Severus Snape. What could Lucius want?
He had just received and owl from his old friend requesting a meeting in the Forbidden Forest. An emergency - come right away.
He sighed and returned his book to the shelf with a look of longing. There goes my Friday evening before the damnable meeting, he thought. He had planned on getting caught up on his reading, but instead he donned his Death Eater robes so that he wouldn’t have to return to the castle to get them for the meeting with the Dark Lord later that night. He set out to meet Lucius Malfoy with the feeling that this was going to be a very long night.
He Disillusioned himself before exiting the castle. It wouldn’t do to have anyone see a Death Eater hanging around Hogwarts. He crossed the grounds to the Forbidden Forest quickly.
When he entered the clearing in the Forest, he ended the Disillusionment charm. Lucius was already waiting.
“Severus,” Lucius greeted him.
“Lucius. What is the emergency?” Severus asked, getting right to the point.
Lucius replied, “The time potion is ready and the Dark Lord wishes it to be tested.”
Severus had been working on a potion to send someone back in time. It was much like a Time Turner, but had at few small differences. It was ingested and took you back years; a Time Turner could only take you to the recent past.
“The Temporal Potion is not ready! It hasn’t been fully analyzed and needs testing.” Severus was stunned. “I don’t know what will happen if someone takes it now. For all I know, it could kill the user.”
“The Dark Lord is willing to take the risk. He wants you to go back in time and kill Harry Potter before the boys parents go into hiding.”
“Lucius, I have no idea how much of the potion would be needed to travel back to a specific timeframe. I need time to test it. The amount ingested may vary depending on how far back one wishes to travel,” Severus argued. “It is too unpredictable to guess. I haven’t created a potion to take the user back to their proper time.”
“Are you questioning the Dark Lord’s orders?” Lucius hissed dangerously.
Severus never had the chance to reply. At that moment, Hermione Granger stepped into the clearing.
“Shit!” she said obviously terrified. She turned and ran.
“After her!” Lucius roared.
Severus groaned. This day was just getting worse and worse. How was he going to keep the little chit from getting killed?
Hermione ran as fast as she could. Risking a glance over her shoulder, she saw Lucius Malfoy’s face appear as he flung his mask aside. He had a murderous look on his face and was catching up to her quickly.
Oh God! her mind screamed. She was beginning to panic.
She suddenly burst from Forbidden Forest and tripped as her foot caught a root that seemed to be reaching out from the forest in an attempt to thwart an escape from the dangers hidden within. She hit the ground rolling, but didn’t have time to draw her wand.
Lucius Malfoy appeared suddenly, running so fast that he couldn’t stop. He crashed down right on top of her.
Hermione immediately began fighting. She bit, pulled hair, kicked; anything that came to mind. Somehow, Lucius lost his wand. She managed to knee him in the groin and he involuntarily let her go as the pain washed over him.
She scrambled to her feet. She was so panicked she didn’t even try to draw her wand.
Lucius saw her getting away, but was still in no condition to run after her. He looked around for his wand. It was nowhere to be seen. Despite the pain he grinned evilly.
Severus cleared the Forest just in time to see Lucius hurl the vial containing Temporal Potion at a fleeing Hermione. His aim was true and the bottle shattered when it impacted against her back, dousing her in the contents.
Hermione stumbled and disappeared.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
It was night when Hermione came to. She sat up and looked around. How did I get away? she wondered in confusion.
Every muscle in her body ached and she had a splitting headache. She felt dried blood on her face from a split lip and bloody nose she had received from Lucius Malfoy.
Lurching to her feet, she began the walk back to Hogwarts. She had sprained her ankle during one of her falls, and her head was bleeding. She was beginning to feel light-headed from losing too much blood.
A figure materialized out of the darkness. Just before the blood loss got the better of her, she saw the face of Remus Lupin. A young Remus Lupin. Then, once again, she lost consciousness
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Chapter 7639: Chapter 2Author’s Notes: Let me apologize for the horribly long time it has taken to update this story. I moved and was offline for nearly three weeks. My beta was having some personal problems, and, to lighten her load, I have found a new beta. The updates will be more frequent now that all the problems have been solved.
Thank you to Jenn for her first run through of the chapter. A big thanks to my new beta, Phoenix, who has been wonderful. I could not have done this without her.
Thank you so much to my readers and reviewers. I hope you continue to read and enjoy this story!
Disclaimer: Nothing you recognize belongs to me. I am just playing with JK Rowling’s creation. I am not profiting from this story in any way. Everything seen below is purely for entertainment purposes.
It All Comes Down To Time
Hermione was hearing voices. They were muffled and sounded distant. She opened her eyes. I must be in the hospital wing, she thought. She looked around but there wasn’t much to see. A small table was placed next to the bed and green curtains surrounded the area around her bed, giving her privacy. She tried to sit up, but a wave of dizziness and nausea prevented it. She groaned loudly as her stomach lurched.
The voices stopped and she heard footsteps approaching her bed. The curtains surrounding the bed were drawn aside. Madam Pomfrey bustled in followed by Professor Dumbledore.
“No, no, don’t try to sit up just yet, young lady,” Madam Pomfrey admonished. “You’ve had major blood loss and blood replenishing potions can only do so much; the rest is up to you. I’m afraid you’ll be here for the rest of the week.”
“Can you tell us how you came to be in such a state?” Dumbledore asked.
“Well,” Hermione began. “I was walking, lost in thought, and accidentally entered the Forbidden Forest. I realized I was lost, and while trying to find my way out, I came upon two Death Eaters. They pursued me, and I saw that one of them was Lucius Malfoy. I didn’t see the other’s face. I assume it must have been Professor Snape.” An odd look crossed Dumbledore’s face. Not noticing, Hermione continued, “Mr. Malfoy caught up to me and we fought. I somehow disarmed him and broke free. He threw something at me and I passed out. When I woke, it was night. I made my way to the castle, but I was very light-headed, I must have sustained a head injury. I assume so because I could have sworn I saw Professor Lupin, but he was young and looked as if he was a student! I lost consciousness and woke up here.” Hermione fell silent and looked at them expecting an explanation. They look younger, too, she thought suddenly. She shook her head slightly, frowning to herself. What is going on here?
“Madam Pomfrey, will you please excuse us?” Dumbledore asked, noting Hermione’s small frown.
She looked sharply at the Headmaster. “Don’t press her too much. She is still very weak and shouldn’t be stressed.” She walked to the opening in the curtains. “If you need me, I’ll be in my office.”
As she pulled the curtain closed, the Headmaster cast a strong Silencing Charm. He turned to Hermione. He appeared to be searching for the right words and finally began, “There are several parts of your story that aren’t consistent, at least, not to my knowledge. It may be easier if you would allow me access to your mind with the use of Legilimency. I do not wish to pry, but I must know exactly what happened. I am asking for your permission to enter your memories.”
Hermione was perplexed. She wasn’t sure what he meant by inconsistencies. She felt she had been straightforward. But, she decided, he wouldn’t ask to enter my mind without good reason. “Of course, sir. I know you wouldn’t ask if it weren’t necessary.”
He nodded his approval and brandished his wand saying, “You will need to maintain eye contact with me. Relax. Ready? Legilimens.”
Hermione felt him enter her mind. It was like a tickle inside her head. After what seemed like hours, but in actuality was only a few minutes, she felt him withdraw.
“It would seem, Miss Granger,” he said, visibly collecting himself, “that the potion thrown at you had an interesting effect. I believe that it was a temporal potion. You are approximately nineteen years in your past.”
Hermione reeled. Her mouth gaped open as she stared at Dumbledore in shock.
He continued, “Your Professors Lupin and Snape are students in their seventh years.”
She finally found her voice and said meekly, “How is that possible? I didn’t swallow any of the potion, it just soaked my clothing and hair.” She felt the blood drain from her face and could imagine the pasty white façade that Dumbledore surely saw. Her head swam leaving her dizzy as tears welled in her eyes. She concentrated on willing the tears down, wishing to remain strong in spite of her shock and injuries.
“I believe it was absorbed through your skin. This was probably not the intended effect. Your clothing has not yet been cleaned. I will try to obtain a sample of the potion. Perhaps I will be able to duplicate it with the minor alteration of sending you into the future.” He smiled down at her. “I know this must be difficult for you, but you need to try your best to concentrate on getting well. At the very least, you will need to continue in your studies. It is Thursday, so that should give you enough time to regain your strength. Madam Pomfrey wishes for you to remain in the hospital for observation until Sunday afternoon. I will have a bed prepared for you in Gryffindor Tower and you can move into your room on Sunday evening, in time to start classes on Monday morning.”
“How shall I answer any personal questions?” she asked, still struggling with the crushing shock of it all.
“You may tell your peers that you transferred from the Salem Witches’ Institute. Your father was transferred back to England from the United States. This is a difficult situation to place you in, but, in reality, it could take years to create a potion that will send you home. Or it may only be a short time. I must err on the side of caution and allow you the ability to make a life for yourself in this time. ”
“Thank you for your candor, Headmaster. I will, of course, utilize discretion with my classmates.”
“It would also be a good idea not to use your real name. I would suggest a variation of your name,” he said.
Hermione thought for a moment before saying, “Would I be able to keep my first name the same?”
“That should be fine,” he said nodding.
“Well then, maybe Hermione Colonus. Granger means farmer. Colonus is one of the Latin words for farmer.”
“That is a sensible idea. It will be easy for you to remember, while being discreet with your presence.” He rose, smiling softly. “Get some rest, Miss Granger. I mean, Miss Colonus. You have been through quite an ordeal.” He removed the Silencing Charm and left Hermione to her thoughts.
Hermione’s head ached with her whirling thoughts. She was nineteen years in the past. What if Dumbledore never found a way for her to get back? She would have to live in secrecy until she disappeared nineteen years from now. These thought spun through her mind, numbing her until she succumbed to sleep.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
The next morning, she awoke feeling as if she hadn’t slept a wink. She stumbled to the bathroom and winced as she saw her reflection. She definitely didn’t look as if she had slept last night. She noticed that Madam Pomfrey had thoughtfully laid out some towels and a fresh nightgown for her. Her shower was invigorating and she emerged from the bathroom, after putting on the nightgown, feeling much better.
New sheets were on her bed and a hot breakfast awaited her return. She practically inhaled the bacon and eggs. There was toast with orange marmalade that tasted like a tiny slice of heaven. She hadn’t realized how hungry she was until she started eating.
Hermione spent the rest of the day sleeping. Her bad night had gotten the better of her, and she didn’t wake until Madam Pomfrey brought her some dinner, telling her to eat.
Later that night, after Madam Pomfrey retired to her room, Hermione decided to get up for a bit of a walk. She was stiff and sore from her injuries and some light exercise would probably help. She pulled aside the curtains and stepped out. She turned and ran into something solid. That something turned out to be a person. The moon came out from behind a cloud, illuminating the room and Hermione found herself staring at a young Severus Snape. Her heart caught in her throat. The moonlight framed him making him look like a dark angel.
“Who are you?” he hissed, breaking her trance.
She was about to answer when they heard footsteps. He grabbed her arm pulled her inside her curtained room. They crouched next to the bed until the footsteps fell silent.
She breathed a sigh of relief and said, “That was close, Severus.”
He jerked his hand away from her arm and looked at her suspiciously. “How do you know who I am? I’ve never seen you before.” he asked suspiciously.
Her arm still felt warm where his hand had rested on it. “I… I heard Madam Pomfrey and Professor Dumbledore talking about you,” she lied.
His eyes narrowed, but he seemed to accept her explanation, for the moment. “So, who are you and where did you come from?” he asked again, a bit more impatiently.
“Hermione, Hermione… Colonus. Recently arrived from America.”
“What happened to you?” he asked bluntly.
“Err… I, um… don’t really remember,” she stuttered nervously. This was at least half the truth. After all, she had been unconscious for part of this predicament. “Madam Pomfrey believes I fell on my way to the castle.” While not the entire truth, at least it wasn’t a blatant lie. She hoped it sounded convincing.
“You look terrible.” He frowned at her.
“You know how to make a girl feel good,” Hermione said sarcastically.
His bottomless black eyes bore into hers for a moment before he raised an eyebrow, obviously deciding not to dignify her with a response.
Frowning at him, she said, “Well, what happened to you?”
He stiffened and said, “That is not your business.”
“Well you asked me what happened to me. That wasn’t really your business either,” she replied saucily.
Hermione whirled around and left her room, stopping before a window. She could feel his eyes boring into her back. She turned around and looked at him.
Severus stood leaning against the wall. Her heart palpitated madly within her chest. He looked so fresh and young, yet still so much like the older version of himself. Her ‘infatuation’ still burned within her, and she longed to prove to him that her feelings were more than a school girl crush. She yearned to kiss him, to touch the smooth skin of his face, and to make him feel the love that she felt. She shook her head and said, “Is there something I can help you with?”
“No,” was the terse reply.
He turned away from her and went into his curtained cubicle.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Severus lay down on his bed. The girl was an enigma. He knew she was not telling him the whole truth when she said she didn’t remember what had happened to her. What he didn’t know was why she had lied.
The feeling she evoked in him left him wanting to see her again. All he had to do was apologize to her; but he didn’t need anyone in his life. He rationalized that his hormones were simply responding to being near a beautiful girl.
Hermione, he thought wistfully.
With an angry growl, he thrust all thoughts of her from his mind. He didn’t even know her. A mindless infatuation was beneath him. He told himself he didn’t need anyone. He angrily wiped a single tear from his eye. I don’t need anyone, he reminded himself again. Especially not some girl from America.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Hermione stood looking out the window for a few minutes after Severus had disappeared into his curtained room. She was angry. He was absolutely insufferable, even as a student. She thought about it and came to the conclusion that she was crazy to have fallen for him. Even considering his intelligence and dry sense of humor, he was still difficult.
“That’s an understatement,” she muttered to herself as she turned away from the window.
She glanced at the curtained room, knowing that Severus was lying on the other side of the tightly closed drapes. She signed as she entered her cubicle. She lay down on the bed thinking that it was going to take her forever to fall asleep. Less than five minutes later, she was breathing the deep, even breaths of a soundly sleeping person.
The next day, Hermione was surprised during her lunch when she heard Dumbledore’s voice pleasantly ask if he could enter.
“Of course, Headmaster,” she replied.
The curtains were pulled aside and a smiling Dumbledore was revealed. “Good afternoon, Miss Colonus,” he said kindly. “How are you feeling?”
“Well, thank you, Headmaster. Please, sit down…” She looked around her, remembering that there was nothing to sit on but the bed and shrugged at him.
Dumbledore solved the problem by transfiguring the small table into a chair. Sitting down, he said, “Well, I was able to get a good sample of the potion that sent you here. I am going to start working with it as soon as you are settled into class. I have been drawing up paperwork, based on your memories, to present to the board. They are going to want to know a bit about the new student in school.”
“Headmaster, maybe I could help you with the solution. I am rather good at Potions.” Hermione looked at him hopefully. She needed a challenge to take her mind off of things.
“No, I’m sorry, that would be unacceptable. It is an unknown potion and I simply cannot allow a student to be at risk.”
“But, Headmaster,” Hermione protested.
He sighed and laid his hand on her arm. “No, Miss Colonus. That is my final answer. Now, you concentrate on resting. You need to be ready to move into your dorm Sunday evening.”
“Yes, sir,” Hermione said, trying to mask her disappointment. “Have a good afternoon.”
Dumbledore smiled, transfiguring the table to rights, and exited the room, drawing the curtain closed behind him.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Severus shrank back into his cubicle when the Headmaster stood up. It was unlike the Headmaster to leave things to chance. Leaving the curtains open and not placing a Silencing Charm on the room was certainly leaving things up to chance.
He was confused by what he had heard, but not confused enough that he didn’t realize that Hermione was definitely not from the United States.
He sat down on his bed with his chin in his hand. “Who are you really, Hermione?” he mused softly.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Hermione was awakened in the afternoon by two voices. She heard Madam Pomfrey dismiss Severus from the hospital wing.
“Everything is back to normal, Mister Snape,” the mediwitch said. “You are free to go. Do try not to step into the path of stray hexes in Defense class again.”
“I didn’t step in the way, Madam Pomfrey. That hex was deliberately cast at me,” Severus said coldly.
“Well, I know that you believe it was no accident, but the Headmaster talked to Mister Black and was assured that it was indeed an accident.” Her voice sounded strained, as if she had said this same thing before.
Hermione crept out of bed and peered through her curtains. The resigned look on Severus’ face was not what she had expected. The man she had known would have exuded nothing but anger. The boy Severus was quite different. The night they had interacted had left her believing him to be very similar to her Professor, but the slump-shouldered boy standing before the mediwitch contradicted that.
As she stood thinking about the differences between the man and the boy, Severus looked up at Madam Pomfrey. “Of course it was. It always is.”
With that comment, he turned and strode from the room. Hermione had to run back to her bed when Madam Pomfrey turned around and began walking in her direction.
She had just thrown the covers up when Madam Pomfrey opened the curtains. “How are we feeling this afternoon, Miss Colonus?” she said as Hermione feigned waking up.
“I’m feeling better. I’m a bit bored. I don’t suppose you would let me do anything today, would you?” Hermione asked hopefully.
“Miss Colonus, I specifically told you that you needed rest. Blood replenishing potions can only do so much. You don’t need to be straining yourself before you are properly healed.” The stern voice left no room for discussion. “I’ll bring you your lunch tray in a few minutes.”
Hermione spent the rest of the day much as she had the previous one. The only exception being that Madam Pomfrey had taken pity on her and sent a house-elf to fetch Hermione a few books. She had asked for her textbooks to do a bit of studying, but Madam Pomfrey had insisted on pleasure reading.
So, she passed her day immersed into the magical world of Xanth in the book A Spell For Chameleon.. She never would have guessed that the Hogwarts Library housed the Muggle fantasy works of Piers Anthony. She was disappointed to find that this was his first book, and she would have to wait until another came out or she got back to her proper time. She had always meant to read Piers Anthony when she was home for the summer, but had never gotten around to it.
Dinner rolled around as she finished the book. The other texts had lain neglected all day, and she didn’t even bother to open them after dinner. She went straight to sleep.
She was awakened in the middle of the night by muffled cursing.
“Ouch, get off my foot,” someone whispered.
“I can’t, you have me pushed against the wall,” another voice replied.
Hermione peered through the crack in the curtains, but didn’t see anyone. She was about to return to bed when she heard, “Lumos.”
She watched as the young Remus Lupin appeared behind the glowing wand. He reached out in front of him and grasped an unseen object. He pulled his hand towards him and James Potter and Sirius Black appeared, seemingly from thin air.
“What are you two doing here?” Remus whispered angrily. “Do you know how long you would be in detention if it was anyone other than me who caught you here?”
“We just wanted to see your mystery girl, Moony,” Sirius said a bit loudly.
“Shhh, you might wake her up,” Remus hissed.
“Well, we were planning on doing that anyhow,” James said in a hushed voice. “We want to meet her.”
“Well, you will get your chance tomorrow evening. She will be moving into Gryffindor Tower then. Now, please go back to the dorm before you are caught,” Remus begged. “You are the Head Boy, James. You are supposed to set a good example.”
“Gah, you are no fun when you are on your rounds,” Sirius said lowly.
Remus rolled his eyes as his two friends pulled their Invisibility Cloak over them. In the next few moments, their hushed voices died away.
Hermione smiled sadly watching the antics between the three young men. She fleetingly wondered why Peter Pettigrew wasn’t with them, but pushed him from her mind. She wished Harry had been there to see his father like that. They were so much alike and it made her miss her friends. She laid back down with a tear trickling down her face.
She was awakened in the morning by Madam Pomfrey bringing her a breakfast tray. “Morning, dear,” she said. “It’s Sunday and your last day in the hospital. I’m sure you are glad to hear that. The Headmaster is here to speak to you,” she said briskly. She gestured for him to enter the room.
“Miss Colonus, you are looking much better,” Dumbledore said jovially as Madam Pomfrey whisked from the room to an unknown task.
“I am feeling much better, sir,” she replied. She looked at the tray of food before her, but didn’t eat. She felt it would be rude to eat in front of the Headmaster.
“Go ahead, tuck in,” he said waving his hand dismissively. She nodded and began eating as he continued. “I have the paperwork completed. You are officially a Hogwarts student, again. I am going to start the research on your potion tomorrow after my meeting with the Board of Governors.”
Hermione put her fork down. “Sir, I really think I could be of use in the research process. I am quite good at…”
“Miss Granger,” Dumbledore interrupted in a stern voice, reverting back to her given name. “I told you yesterday my reasons for excluding you from this process. Now, do not bring it up again. You are not to be involved.”
Hermione lowered her eyes, abashed. “Yes, sir, I’m sorry.”
When the Headmaster spoke again, his voice was cheerful. “Now, Professor McGonagall is going to take you into town in two hours time to purchase you some clothing and supplies. You will certainly need more than one set of clothes.”
Hermione looked at him excitedly, the potion gone from her mind. “I can’t wait to get out of here! Thank you, sir,” she said.
“Well, you just finish eating and get ready to go. I’ll go inform Madam Pomfrey that you are leaving a few hours ahead of time.” He smiled at her as he left her tiny curtained room.
Hermione was nearly giddy with anticipation. Normally, she scoffed at shopping trips, preferring to spend her time reading. After three days of being allowed to do nothing, she was looking forward to the trip.
She showered hurriedly and dressed in some clothing that Madam Pomfrey had procured from somewhere. She was tying her shoes when Professor McGonagall entered the room.
“Hello, Miss Colonus,” she said. “The Headmaster has filled me in on the situation, so there is no need to worry about what you say.”
Hermione was stunned at how much different Professor McGonagall looked. Nineteen years really had made a difference. The woman before her had black hair with no sign of grey and her face was wrinkle-free. She still had the pinched, teacher look, but otherwise, looked much younger.
“Hello, Professor McGonagall,” she said. “I’m looking forward to escaping the confines of this hospital.”
“I would say you are, Miss Colonus,” McGonagall said. “Come now. We have a lot to do this afternoon.”
They walked to Hogsmeade and Flooed to Diagon Alley from the Three Broomsticks. Professor McGonagall made short work of the trip, stopping first to buy Hermione’s books and supplies. She had them delivered directly to Hogwarts. Then, she took Hermione to Madam Malkin’s to be fitted for her robes. She had two school robes and a formal dress robe within twenty minutes.
Hermione was beginning to get tired when they took a quick break for lunch. After eating, she felt much better and steeled herself as she was pulled into yet another clothing shop to purchase her school uniforms along with some clothes for the weekends, night clothes, and undergarments.
“Miss Colonus, come here,” Professor McGonagall called from the far side of the store. Hermione picked up the three night dresses she had picked out and made her way through the store.
“Yes, Professor?” she said when she reached McGonagall’s side.
“Have you picked out undergarments yet?” McGonagall asked.
“No, not yet,” she said feeling slightly embarrassed to see her teacher holding a pair of lacy white knickers.
“Well, I would suggest getting sensible undergarments that are comfortable, yet make you feel pretty. It can really give a woman self-confidence to know that she looks good even under her clothing,” Professor McGonagall said.
Hermione flushed. She had never thought to hear such words ever come from Professor McGonagall’s mouth. What a difference nineteen years made. She wondered how the McGonagall she knew would handle this situation. She would probably buy only white cotton hi-cut knickers, Hermione thought, nearly giggling aloud. She sobered suddenly; horrified at the thought of the Professor she knew actually wearing the type of undergarments that were currently in the hands of her teacher’s past self.
Two hours later, Hermione was the owner of three uniforms, three sets of everyday clothing, and a week\'s worth of lacy bras and knickers in all colors. Her face burned with embarrassment; Professor McGonagall had picked out all the sets and forced her to try each on to make sure the colors looked okay on her.
One more stop was made to purchase her toiletries, and they were off to The Leaky Cauldron to Floo back to Hogsmeade. Hermione had never been happier to see the stone walls of Hogwarts. She was thankful to be package free, as her clothing and toiletries had been delivered as well. I would have been suspicious to see her carrying new clothing in the store packages. All said, it had taken them four hours to purchase everything Hermione needed.
Professor McGonagall stopped before the portrait of the Fat Lady. “Miss Colonus, you know you can come talk to me at any time. I know this must be difficult situation for you. If you ever need a sympathetic ear, I will be available.”
“Thank you, Professor,” Hermione said softly. She was nervously stepping from foot to foot.
McGonagall turned back to the portrait and clearly said, “Mickey Mouse.”
“Mickey Mouse?” Hermione said incredulously.
“The Headmaster is quite taken by the Disney cartoons,” McGonagall explained dryly. “As you know, you will be advised by a Prefect when the password is changed. Lily Evans is the Head Girl. She will show you to your room. Good evening, Miss Colonus.”
“Good evening, Professor,” Hermione said. She crawled through the portrait hole and entered the Common Room. She was immediately greeted by a pretty, green-eyed girl. It’s Harry’s mother, she thought suddenly.
“Hello, Hermione. I’m Lily Evans, Head Girl.” They shook hands. “It’s nice to meet you.”
“It’s nice to meet you too, Lily. I’m Hermione Colonus.”
Lily was shouldered aside suddenly by Sirius Black. He grabbed Hermione’s hand, kissing it and said, “Hello, I’m Sirius Black. I can’t tell you how glad I am to meet you.” He turned her attention to Remus. “Remus here can’t stop talking about you. I think he likes you,” Sirius said winking. “Come here and kiss the lady’s hand, Remus.”
Remus turned bright crimson before replying, “I mentioned you a couple of times. I was simply hoping you were okay. You looked pretty bad the night I found you.” He walked to her and took her hand from Sirius. Instead of kissing it, he shook it and said. “I’m Remus Lupin. I’m so happy you are okay. Please ignore Sirius; he likes to blow things out of proportion.” Remus glared at Sirius.
James and Peter appeared out of the boys’ dorm and walked down the stairs. “This is James Potter,” Remus said pointing to Harry’s father. They could have been twins, save for their eye color. Remus continued, “And this is Peter Pettigrew.”
Hermione smiled and shook hands with James and forced herself to shake hands with Peter, but couldn’t bring herself to smile at him. She couldn’t stop herself from wiping her hand on her robe after shaking his hand. She was unable bring herself to be nice to Peter. After all, he was a murderous traitor. She felt a bit confused as the thought popped into her head that he had not yet killed anyone and, so, could not be labeled a murderous traitor, yet.
Hermione suddenly had a headache. She couldn’t get close to these people. She knew their fates. None of them would ever have the life they dreamed of. She decided that she had to distance herself from them.
“I think I’m ready for bed now. The past few days have been really long for me,” she said.
“It’s dinner time though. Aren’t you hungry?” Lily asked.
Hermione shook her head. “No, I think I’m just going to skip it.”
Lily smiled softly at her and led her upstairs. “This was my room and bed before I became Head Girl.”
Hermione entered the room realizing that it was the same room and the same bed she had always had at Hogwarts. Everything looked exactly the same as she remembered it. It was an unsettling reminder that she may not see her friends and family for another nineteen years.
“Thank you, Lily. I will see you in the morning.”
Lily walked out and Hermione looked around. The house-elves had put everything away for her, and she spent a bit of time making sure she knew where everything was. She dressed for bed and when she turned down her covers, she found her class schedule. She sat down and took a bit of time familiarizing herself with it.
Double Potions first thing in the morning. Harry and Ron would hate that so much, she thought. She sighed, feeling the tears well up again. She wondered if she had been missed by her friends yet. She was a bit confused as to how that would work since she had gone into the past. She laid her schedule on the nightstand. Pulling up her covers, she rolled over and cried herself to sleep.
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Chapter 1296790900: Chapter 3Author’s Notes: Thank you so much to the wonderful Phoenix, beta extraordinaire! I wouldn’t be able to do this without her. You rock!
Thank you to my lovely reviewers: AJR, Killer Kadoogan, and sbrande. Sbrande: I have this story everywhere I can think to put it. LOL! The Petulant Poetess, Ashwinder, OWL, HP Fandom, Freedom of Speech Fan Fiction, and AFF (when it works). I also have a story posted on The Potions Master and on Occlumency. You should submit yours to TPP. I believe it would go over well!
Disclaimer: Not mine! Making no money!
It All Comes Down To Time
Dawn saw Hermione creeping out of the common room before any of her housemates awoke. Her head was still aching from thinking about the fates that awaited the five young people. James and Lily only had three years left to live thanks to the betrayal of their friend, Peter Pettigrew. She wondered if he was already working for Voldemort. Sirius was going to be in Azkaban three years from now for Peter’s crimes, where he would spend twelve years before escaping, living free for only two years in another kind of prison before being killed at the Ministry of Magic. Remus was the only one who didn’t have a wholly terrible fate awaiting him. Yes, he was going to lose his friends, and he was a werewolf, but he would be alive and eventually happy with Tonks. Knowing their futures would simply cause friendships with them to be too painful.
She worked her way down to the corridor in front of the Great Hall. Lost in thought and not paying attention to where she was going, she collided with someone. She ended up sprawled on top of that someone. She looked down into Severus’ eyes. Why me? was her only thought. She scrambled up in humiliation and watched him extricate himself from the floor.
“Do I have a sign that says, ‘Please run into me’, on my person?” he asked snidely.
With as much dignity as she could muster, she said, “I have only run into you twice and each time was quite by accident.” She smoothed her uniform primly.
“Indeed,” he replied.
He sounds just the same. That silky, sexy voice and his expressions are exactly the same, she thought. She surprised herself by saying out loud, “Maybe I’m seeking you out subconsciously.” Mortified, she said, “Oh, God, did I just say that out loud?”
Severus was too shocked to comment. His mouth gaped open as if he would speak, but no sound came out.
Hermione giggled a bit insanely and said, “You look like a fish with your mouth hanging open like that. Do close it before something flies in.”
He found his voice. “What?” he asked.
“I’m sorry. It’s just something one of my professors used to say. He always was one for clever comments.”
“Sounds like my kind of person,” he said wryly.
“You don’t know the half of it,” she muttered. More loudly she said, “I’m sorry I ran into you again. I didn’t think anyone else would be coming to breakfast so early.”
“I usually come before anyone else. I don’t have much desire to associate with anyone.”
“That sounds lonely,” Hermione said quietly. “It sounds a lot like why I am here so early.”
Severus looked at her, seeming to notice the Gryffindor colors on her for the first time. “You are a Gryffindor,” he sneered nastily as he stepped back.
Hermione looked at him feeling hurt. He has been almost nice to her until he realized she was in Gryffindor. “I don’t see why that matters,” she said softly. “Just because I am in Gryffindor does not mean I can’t be friends with someone in Slytherin.”
“I don’t need friends,” he snapped. “Especially not some pathetic, lonely Gryffindor.” He whirled around and walked into the Great Hall quickly, leaving Hermione staring after him sadly.
She was startled to hear her name called out and turned around. She was shocked to see Sirius walking towards her. She would have thought he was the type to sleep in as late as possible.
“Good morning, Sirius,” she said.
“Morning,” he said cheerfully. “Was Snivellus bothering you?”
She knew exactly who he was talking about but caught herself before saying anything. She shouldn’t know his nickname. “Snivellus?” she asked.
“Yeah, Snape. Was he bothering you? I’ll hex him into next week if you want me to.”
“No, you will not,” Hermione said angrily. “He was not bothering me. I ran into him and we had a short conversation. That’s it. You shouldn’t call him Snivellus. That’s a horrible nickname.”
“No, it’s an accurate nickname. He used to cry all the time. Anyway, he is not the kind of person you want to be around. He’s into the Dark Arts. You need to be careful around him,” Sirius said. “I wouldn’t want you to be hurt.” He smiled teasingly at her, taking a step closer to her and invading her personal space.
Hermione would have been thrilled to have such a handsome boy flirting with her under normal circumstances, but this was Sirius. She knew him as an adult and as a man who had spent a dozen years in Azkaban. He was reckless and not exceptionally reliable.
“Well, I think I can look out for myself, thanks,” Hermione replied taking a step back.
Sirius took another step forward and caught her hand. “It never hurts to have someone watching your back,” he said in what she assumed was supposed to be a seductive voice.
Hermione panicked as she realized that Sirius was about to kiss her. She was profoundly relieved when Remus, James, Peter, and Lily rounded the corner.
“Oy, Sirius! What has gotten into you getting up so early?” James called.
Sirius grinned at her as he stepped back. “We’ll finish this conversation later,” he promised quietly. “I was rescuing Hermione from Snivellus,” he said.
“Sirius, please don’t call him Snivellus,” Lily said forcefully. “You know I don’t like it when you all pick fun at people.” She smacked his arm as he walked by her.
“You were not rescuing me. It wasn’t a situation I needed rescuing from,” Hermione said heatedly. “You didn’t even show up until he was walking away.
“Good morning, Hermione,” Lily said, cutting off a response from Sirius. “Are you going to breakfast?”
“Good morning. Yes, I was about to when Sirius showed up.” She forced herself not to glare at him. He was already getting on her nerves by assuming that she wanted him to kiss her. He was very arrogant to think that she would kiss him less than twenty-four hours after they had met.
Lily took her arm and led her into the Great Hall behind the whispering Marauders. It was beginning to fill up as they entered. Hermione still had no difficulties picking Severus out at the Slytherin table. He was sitting alone with a book open next to his plate. She was dismayed to see that Sirius was headed in his direction.
She saw Severus tense up when he noticed Sirius’ approach. He closed his book and crammed it into his bag.
Hermione looked toward the table where the professors sat, but was horrified to see that their attention was riveted on the suddenly shouting James.
“Oy, Gryffindor,” he yelled, jumping up on the bench at his table. “Who’s going to win the Quidditch Cup this year?”
“Gryffindor,” Peter screamed, as if on cue.
“Oh dear,” Lily said, starting towards James. Remus stood behind Peter watching helplessly.
James began yelling some more about the Quidditch game, keeping the attention on himself. Hermione turned her attention back to Severus and Sirius.
Before Severus could stand up, Sirius closed in on him and smacked the back of his head. Hermione was close enough to hear their conversation, even with the wild cheering that James was eliciting from the Gryffindor table.
“You think you’re good enough to talk to a Gryffindor girl, Snivellus?” Sirius spat.
Severus looked toward the Head Table as if seeking help. He turned back to Sirius when he noticed that the professors’ attentions were on James.
“Get away from me,” Severus said, trying to push his way past Sirius.
“Don’t touch me, you greasy git,” Sirius growled. He pushed Severus back into his seat and lowered his face level with Severus’. “Where do you think you’re going? I’m not done with you.”
Severus’ face contorted angrily, and he dropped his bag as his hand snaked down to draw his wand.
“Ah, ah,” Sirius said as he brought his elbow up, hard. His elbow smashed into Severus nose, which exploded with blood on impact. “Don’t you dare foul anymore Gryffindors with your presence,” Sirius said, smiling nastily.
He turned and winked at Hermione as he joined the wildly shouting James. Hermione glared at him and looked back at Severus who had picked up his fallen bag. He stared at her momentarily, his hand covering his bleeding nose, before he walked briskly out of the Great Hall.
Hermione ran after him. “Severus,” she called as she exited the Hall, where Dumbledore had just reached James. “Severus, wait!” He ignored her, and she was forced to run until she had reached his side. “Severus, please wait.”
He finally stopped and turned to her. His nose was still bleeding, so Hermione pulled out her wand and took a piece of paper from her bag. She transfigured the paper into a handkerchief and held it out to Severus. He stared warily before accepting it and holding it over his nose.
“Hold out your hand,” Hermione said. Seeing the distrustful look she said, “Please, Severus. I’m not going to do anything to you.”
He finally held his hand out to her and she cast a strong Scourgify on it. The blood disappeared and she pointed to the hand holding the tissue on his nose. He sighed and brought his clean hand to the tissue. He held the other hand out and she cast another quick Scourgify.
“Severus, I’m so sorry. I didn’t know he would do that to you,” she said softly.
“Why are you being so nice to me? I’m sure that they told you what a horrible person I am,” Severus said, sounding slightly muffled due to the tissue and the smashed nose.
“They can say what they want to, but that doesn’t make it true,” Hermione replied. She knew that Severus was fascinated by the Dark Arts, but chose to believe that it wasn’t as bad as Sirius had led her to believe. But he joined Voldemort, a voice at the back of her mind said. She pushed to voice back as Severus responded.
“They’re right, I’m not a nice person,” he said shortly.
“You may not be nice, but that doesn’t give them the right to treat you they way they do,” she said taking a step toward him. “I am so sorry that he did this to you over me.”
Severus took a step back and said, “If it wasn’t you, they would have just found another reason.”
“Are you going to see the Headmaster?” Hermione asked.
“You’ll soon learn that there are those whose behavior is overlooked by the Headmaster,” he said hatefully as he walked away and disappeared around a corner.
Hermione sighed as she walked back to the Great Hall.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Severus’ interactions with Hermione had left his heart pounding. He was drawn to her, especially since she seemed to be taking his side over Black. He was sure that would change, given time. No one cares about you, you ugly greasy git, he thought.
He entered the Hospital Wing and knocked on Madam Pomfrey’s office door. It opened after a moment.
“What happened, Mister Snape?” she asked in concern as she led him to a chair in her office.
He narrowed his eyes and spat, “Oh, just another accident.”
A look of hurt flashed across her face momentarily. The look disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. She pulled out her wand and waved it, whispering several healing spells. She pulled the handkerchief away and waved her wand, cleaning the blood from his face.
“Severus,” she said, uncharacteristically using his first name. “I am not so clueless as to think that everything that happens to you is an accident. But, if the Headmaster tells me that it was, I can’t do much about it. I can only take care of you to the best of my abilities.”
Severus’ eyes misted over, and he angrily wiped them away with his sleeve. “I know, Madam Pomfrey. Thank you for taking care of my nose.”
She nodded as he stood and walked out.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Hermione entered the Great Hall just in time to see James being given a detention with Filch. She sat down near the smug looking Marauders and Lily.
“Did you get him?” James asked.
“I got him good. The greasy git left with a bleeding nose,” Sirius boasted.
Hermione expected Remus or Lily to say something, but to her surprise, they just sat there. Granted, they didn’t look pleased, but neither of them said anything about what had been done to Severus. Peter just hung raptly on their every word.
“Hah! I knew our plan would work. One night of detention with Filch was worth it. Nasty piece of work had that coming.”
Hermione’s appetite left her suddenly, and she stood up giving Sirius and James hateful looks. She exited the Great Hall, heading for the Library. When she walked in, the first thing she noticed was Severus sitting at a table. He looked up as she entered. He frowned slightly and put the book he had been reading in his bag and stood up.
He brushed past Hermione without a word as he exited the Library. She sighed, sat down at a table near the front, and opened her Potions book. She wanted to be prepared for the lesson. She absently pulled out some parchment and began taking notes. She wasn’t sure how much time had passed when Lily sat down next to her.
“Hermione,” Lily said. “I’m sorry about the way the guys acted. I don’t like it either.”
“Why didn’t you say anything? What they did was so wrong!” Hermione was near tears. She had known that school was hard for Severus, but had never understood the extent of what he had gone through. Even after Harry had told them what he saw in the Pensieve, she had wondered about the whole story.
“I know what they did was wrong. But you have to remember, Severus is not innocent, either. He has stuck first a fair number of times,” Lily explained.
“Well, breaking his nose is not the solution to their ongoing war,” Hermione sniffed.
“You’re right,” Lily said quietly. “Come on, we’re going to be late for class.”
Hermione put her Potions text and the notes she had begun taking into her bag and followed Lily, acting like she didn’t know where the Potions class was. They rushed through that halls and made it to class with only moments to spare.
“Good morning, Miss Evans,” a jolly voice boomed. “And you must be Miss Colonus. Welcome to Advanced Potions. I am Professor Slughorn.”
Lily sat down next to a blonde girl with a round face as Hermione watched the large man waddle towards her with an outstretched hand. She held out her hand and was shaken vigorously by her round Professor.
“The Headmaster tells me you are quite adept in the art of potion-making. You’ll make a fine addition to my class,” he said. “Please, take a seat.” He indicated towards the only available seat in the classroom. A seat which happened to be at the table where Severus sat.
She made her way to his table receiving many pitying looks. It seemed that he didn’t have any friends; even the Slytherins in the room avoided him. She felt bad for him. He was no more liked as a student than he was as a professor.
He hardly spared her a glance as she sat down next to him. He studiously ignored her as class began. When Professor Slughorn announced that the day’s potion would be a team effort, Severus spared her a venomous look.
“Just stay out of my way, and I’ll make sure the potion is done correctly,” he said rudely.
“Oh you will, will you?” Hermione retorted hotly. “Perhaps you should stay out of my way. I am quite good in this subject.”
They glared openly at each other until Professor Slughorn said, “Go on, Mister Snape, Miss Colonus. Get started. You don’t have all day.”
They passed the rest of the time absorbed in their work, speaking only when it was necessary to complete their assignment correctly. By the end of class, they were the only team with a perfect potion.
“Well done Mister Snape and Miss Colonus! Ten points each,” Professor Slughorn beamed. “I want a one foot parchment on this potion for next class,” he said as everyone began gathering their belongings.
Hermione smiled broadly and turned to Severus as she packed her bag. “Severus, that was brilliant!”
He stilled for a moment before leaving without the slightest acknowledgement of her words. Hermione watched his retreating back, incensed. He was unapproachable and infuriating, even as a teenager.
“Hey, Hermione,” she heard. She groaned inwardly.
“Hey, Sirius,” she replied, standing up and swinging her bag onto her shoulder. The muffled ‘oof’ behind her made her smile. She wiped the grin from her face and turned around. “Oh, I’m sorry. Did I hit you?” she asked with mock concern.
“Yeah! What do you have in that bag, bricks?” he asked rubbing his arm. Without waiting for a response, he continued. “Lily has to see Professor Slughorn and asked me to take you to our next class.”
Hermione looked around only to see Lily walking out the door with James. Lily glanced back and shrugged her shoulders apologetically, seeing Hermione looking at her.
“Yes, James looks so much like Professor Slughorn. I can see how you would confuse them,” she said dryly.
Sirius laughed and offered her his arm. “Shall we to Transfiguration?” he asked.
Without taking the proffered arm, Hermione said, “Thanks, but I think I can get there without hanging on you.”
Sirius grinned. “Hard to get. Remus likes that in a lady.”
Hermione sighed and said a silent prayer for the strength to deal with Sirius. She pinched the bridge of her nose and said, “Can we just go?”
They barely made it to class on time because Sirius kept on stopping to ‘explain’ things to Hermione. She got the feeling that he was hoping to be late so that he could be alone with her again.
“Ah, Miss Colonus, welcome,” Professor McGonagall greeted. Looking at Sirius, who was still standing next to Hermione, the Transfiguration teacher said, “Go sit, Mister Black.”
He winked at Hermione again and strolled to his seat. Hermione felt a migraine coming on. “Have a seat next to Mister Snape, dear,” Professor McGonagall said.
Just my luck, she thought as she looked at the empty seat next to Severus. He’s going to hate me even more when I get back home at this rate.”
By the time her first day of classes ended, Hermione felt as if she had run a marathon. Her head was pounding from dealing with Severus and Sirius all day. The two of them were enough to make anyone crazy. Severus wouldn’t talk to her unless he had to and Sirius wouldn’t stop talking to her. She entered the common room and collapsed onto the couch, rubbing her eyes. She heard the portrait open and Sirius’ laughter waft through. She grabbed her bag and sprinted up the stairs to her room, slamming the door behind her.
“Oh, thank God, he didn’t see me,” she breathed. Uncharacteristically, she tossed her full bag onto the floor next to her bed and collapsed, face first onto her bed. As she lay there, the door opened and closed softly.
“Hermione, are you okay?” she heard Lily ask.
“I’m fine,” she said without raising her head.
She raised her head and said more loudly, “I’m fine.” She sat up and looked at Lily, noticing that the blonde, round-faced girl she sat with at every class was with her.
“This is Alice,” she said. “She’s one of your roommates.”
Hermione felt a pang run through her heart as she realized this was Neville’s mother. She was so young and looked so carefree. She struggled to keep the flow of tears back as she thought of the fate that awaited her. “It’s nice to meet you, Alice,” she said thickly.
“Are you sure you’re okay, Hermione?” Lily asked.
“Yes, I’m fine. I think I just need a nap. My head is hurting. Probably from the fall I took,” she lied.
“Okay, I’ll wake you for dinner.”
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Hermione managed to make it halfway through dinner without loosing her temper with Sirius. He had been behaving will enough, for Sirus, when he began talking about Severus again.
“I got in a good hex on Snivellus right before dinner,” he said, laughing. “I hit him with a Bat-Bogey Hex. He never even saw me.”
James and Peter laughed, while, once again, Remus and Lily just sat there, looking uncomfortable.
“You should have seen him running,” Sirius continued with a snort. “He looked like a greasy bat!”
Hermione had had it with Sirius. She stood up and walked up to him, hissing, “You are a bully of the highest order. And to think that everyone likes you.”
She stormed out of the Great Hall and made it to the Astronomy Tower before breaking down into tears. She had been there for about fifteen minutes when she heard the sound of someone approaching.
She quickly wiped her eyes as Remus materialized out of the darkness.
“Are you okay, Hermione?” he asked gently.
“No! I miss my friends. I feel so alone here, even though I am surrounded by people. And Sirius is such a prat. Why does torturing people make him happy? And why don’t you ever do anything about it?” She looked at him reproachfully, almost feeling sorry as she saw a look of guilt flash through his eyes.
“Hermione, it’s a long story, and one you probably don’t want to hear. Suffice it to say that Severus is as much to blame as any of us for what goes on. He has started his fair share of the battles.” Remus looked extremely tired and more like the man she knew in that moment.
“Remus, he is one against four. You may not cast any hexes his direction, but you are as much to blame for what he goes through as anyone. You could help him, but you choose to let James and Sirius harass him. I have seen them cause him pain twice in the one day I have been around you all. From what I overheard in the hospital, he is constantly at the end of James and Sirius’ wands.” Hermione lectured him as she always did Harry and Ron when she didn’t agree with them.
“Hermione, you have only been here one day. Why are you getting so worked up over someone you don’t really know anything about? For all you know, he may deserve everything,” Remus said slowly.
“Because I would have been him if it weren’t for two of my friends. I am bookish and studious to a fault. I was the butt of everyone’s jokes for a while when I first began school. I don’t like seeing anyone going through what I went through. And what Severus went through is much worse than anything I ever had to endure.” Hermione’s tears started up again as she breathlessly finished. She hadn’t meant to say so much, but her aching heart cried for release. As irritated as she was with the teenaged Severus, she still had feelings for him. No, her subconscious voice said. You still have feelings for the man he becomes. You don’t even know the boy he is now. She ignored the voice as she had before.
“I didn’t know,” Remus said quietly. “I will try to discourage them from bothering Severus. Believe it or not, I know what it is like to be different.”
Hermione stated at him, knowing he was speaking of his lycanthropy. Wishing she could sooth the boy before her, whose haunted eyes were the same as the man’s she knew, she said, “Thank you, Remus. I appreciate it.”
“Let’s get back inside. It’s getting rather windy,” Remus said.
Hermione nodded. “Yes, it is.” She hadn’t noticed when the wind began to pick up, but it was blowing her hair wildly around her head now. She ran after Remus and entered the building, grateful to be inside. She reached up to feel her hair.
“Great,” she moaned. “I look like a Halloween monster now!” Her hair had frizzed up worse than it had in a long while. “Sleekeazy’s won’t be invented until next year,” she said mournfully.
“What?” Remus asked, looking at her oddly.
Hermione could have kicked herself for the slip. “Nothing,” she said a bit too quickly.
Remus stared at her for a moment before shrugging. “Let’s get back to the Common Room. We need to get to work on that Transfiguration assignment.”
Hermione nodded and walked down the hall toward Gryffindor Tower.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Severus slid out of his hiding place. He had gone to the Astronomy Tower to get away from everyone after finishing his meal. He had been laughed at by a large group of people when the Bat-Bogey Hex had hit him. He was humiliated, and even though he hadn’t seen Black, he was sure he had been behind the hex.
He had hidden, not wanting to be seen and was in the perfect place to over hear Hermione’s slip. Sleekeazy’s? he wondered. Not invented until next year? She is definitely not from the States.
He smiled as he wondered how this could be used to his advantage. He had been sorted into Slytherin for good reason. Abandoning his hiding place, he made his way to the Slytherin Common Room. Lost in thought, he almost did not see the approach of Sirius and James until they were upon him.
As luck would have it, they did not see him. He ducked behind a suit of armor just in time, his heart beating wildly. He began sweating profusely, scared nearly out of his mind at being caught alone. Not that anyone else ever helped him, but it did not bode well for him to be alone with them. Their curses lacked a certain punch when other’s were present that they did contain when no one was around to see.
“Well, I don’t know, James. Moony gets rather violent around this time of the year. The closer it gets to Halloween, you know,” Severus heard Sirius say.
Silently drawing his wand, Severus pointed it at them and whispered, “Sectumsempra,” twice in quick succession. He smiled broadly as the pair howled in agony clutching their bleeding calves.
He shot from his hiding place and ran around a corner, and then another, before they could make chase. He reached his Common Room and called out the password, scrambling through the entrance as quickly as he could. He stopped just inside the doorway and collected himself. He strolled inside, acting, for all the world, as if nothing was amiss.
He silently made his way to his room, not missing the looks of distaste he was shot by his housemates. Once he had reached the safety of his room, he sat on the bed and drew the drapes around himself tightly. Only then did he allow himself to breathe raggedly. His eyes burned with tears he was unable to stop. He buried his face into his pillow and sobbed bitterly. He hated himself more with each tear. This was what had earned him his horrid nickname in the first place. He punched his mattress as he fought for control. He had to learn to push his emotions into the back of his mind. He would never survive otherwise. He was finally able to get his breathing and tears under control and began thinking about Hermione.
Who are you really? Where did you really come from?
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Chapter 1296791016: Chapter FourAuthor’s Notes: Thanks to my lovely beta, Phoenix. She works so hard to make this better.
Thank you to my wonderful reviewers. I am thrilled to have so much support.
There is a slight lemon flavor in this chapter. Be advised.
Disclaimer: Everything you recognize belongs to JKR. I am only playing with her brilliant creation. I am not profiting from this story in any way.
Remus arrived at the common room with Hermione after convincing her to leave the Astronomy Tower and excused himself when he didn’t see James or Sirius. He went to his room and found it empty. Fearing the worst, he opened Sirius’ trunk and sifted through the contents until he found their map.
Retrieving the Marauder’s Map from the trunk, he tapped his wand against it, saying, “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”
The ink appeared slowly, starting from the left and spreading to the right until the entire parchment was covered. He opened it up and finally located James and Sirius walking towards the Astronomy Tower. His eyes widened when he saw the name, Severus Snape, off to one side. The steps of James and Sirius didn’t slow, so Remus assumed that Severus was hiding. Suddenly, the dot representing Severus sprang to action tearing through the halls of Hogwarts while James and Sirius’ dots stayed stationary. Remus nearly panicked, thinking that Severus had surely killed them this time, before the dots began slowly moving. He watched for a moment until he decided that they were headed to the hospital wing.
He sighed heavily as he began folding the map. His eyes idly roamed the map as it got smaller with each fold. He suddenly opened the map by one folded section. The Gryffindor common room was displayed before him. And in the common room was someone named Hermione Granger.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Hermione sat in the corner, trying to avoid everyone as she practiced the Transfiguration assignment that Professor McGonagall has given them in class. She waved her wand, frowning. She eyed the book critically before waving the wand again. Nodding to herself, she jotted down a few notes on the parchment in front of her and closed the book.
She put her quill and her wand down on the table and reached to her right, retrieving the Potions book on the far side of the table, just as Remus came down the stairs and started towards her.
“Hey, Hermione,” he said cautiously. “How are you?”
She looked up at him wondering what had gotten into him. “Remus, you saw me ten minutes ago.” She frowned as he averted his eyes from her gaze. “What’s wrong with you?”
“Oh, nothing. I’m fine. I’m just wondering where James and Sirius are.” He still wouldn’t look at her.
She opened her mouth to speak, but was interrupted by Peter’s approach. Biting back the nasty comment on her lips, she looked back down at her books.
“Hey, Remus,” Peter said sitting down at the table. “Hey, Hermione.”
Hermione glanced up and muttered, “Hello, Peter.”
The smile on his lips faltered. “Well, I was just wondering if you knew where James and Sirius had got off to. They were supposed to be helping me with the Transfiguration assignment. I haven’t quite gotten the wrist movement down.”
“Well, maybe Hermione could help you. She seems to have gotten hers down already,” Remus said. “What do you say, Hermione?”
Hermione froze as she heard Remus volunteer her help to Peter. She had tried to sit in an out-of-the-way spot, but it seemed they were all insistent on trying to include her. She was just going to have to be a bit more blatant about distancing herself from them. In a harsh voice, she said, “No, I can’t help him, Remus. I need to work on my Potions essay. If you’ll excuse me, I am going to go somewhere quieter where I can study without being disturbed.” She picked up her books and walked away without another word.
“I don’t think she likes me, Remus,” Peter said as he watched her walk away.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Two days of blissful silence from Sirius later, Hermione was sitting in the courtyard reading over her History of Magic notes. It was a warm day, and she was not alone outside. There were a large number of students outside enjoying the sun before dinner and curfew. Most of them were not studying as Hermione was.
As she flipped through the pages, she heard shouting. Looking up, she realized that everyone who had been outside was gathered in one area. The shouting grew louder, and Hermione’s curiosity got the best of her. She put her notes inside her bag and stood up. She walked to the group of people and managed to make her way to the front of the crowd. What she saw enraged her.
James had cast a Body-Bind Curse on Severus and was methodically tearing his notes to shreds. He idly waved his wand and said, “Finite Incantatem.”
Severus sat up and lunged for his wand. He had his hands on it just as James yelled, “Confundus!”
Severus stilled and looked around, confused. James had cast the spell properly. Peter squealed and clapped as the crowd laughed. James smiled roguishly as Peter approached the befuddled boy before him. He kicked Severus in the stomach and laughed at the cry of pain from him.
Hermione had seen enough. She stepped forward shouting, “Finite Incantatem!” Severus’ disorientation disappeared. He looked up at James with rage on his face, but Hermione wasn’t done. “Expelliarmus,” she shrieked at Peter, flinging him face-first into the ground as his wand shot away. An unspoken command later, the wand was in her hand.
She whirled around to face James. “And you,” she spat. “Attacking him two to one? Does it make you feel better about yourself to gang up on someone?”
James crossed his arms and said casually, “It might interest you to know that Snivellus started this little fray. I was merely protecting myself.”
“Protecting yourself?” Hermione asked incredulously. “I fail to see how ripping his notes to shreds while Peter kicks him around qualifies as protecting yourself! Give me those parchment pieces, now!” Hermione demanded, holding out her left hand. Her right hand still held her wand defensively.
“And to think, you were sorted into Gryffindor,” James said scornfully, shoving the pieces into her hand.
“Maybe I was sorted into Gryffindor because I am not afraid to stand up to people who are harassing others. Even if I have to stand up to my own Housemates,” Hermione said evenly, tossing Peter’s wand to the ground.
Behind her, Severus had gathered the rest of his shredded notes and his wand. He stuffed the torn parchment into his bag and stood up.
Hermione backed up and said quietly, “Let’s go, Severus.”
Severus followed her without a word, and they left the jeering crowd for the relative safety of Hogwarts. They walked side-by-side into the library and sat down at a table in the back.
“Are you okay, Severus?” Hermione asked in concern.
“I’m fine. Give me my notes,” Severus said shortly, refusing to meet her eye.
Hermione looked at him dubiously. “I save your skin, and that’s all you have to say to me?”
“I didn’t ask for you to interfere in my affairs. I only followed you here because you had my notes in your hand,” Severus spat acidly.
“Well then,” Hermione said standing rigidly. “I will leave you to the impossible task of putting your notes together. I’ll have you know that I am the only one in school with notes as detailed as yours. And also the only one who might be willing to let you borrow them. But, of course, you don’t want me interfering in your affairs.” She turned to storm out of the Library. Her departure was halted when Severus caught her hand in his.
“Hermione,” he said quietly. “I’m sorry. I’m just not used to having anyone care about what happens to me. It’s… it’s new to me.”
She leaned down until their eyes were level and said, “Get used to it, Severus,” before kissing his cheek softly.
He stared at her, uncertainty splashed across his face, as she smiled, placed her notes on the table, and left.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
It was two days later, on Friday, before Hermione got her notes back from Severus. They had both arrived to Potions early from breakfast.
“Good morning, Severus,” Hermione said pleasantly.
“I have finished copying your notes,” he said, handing the neatly piled parchments back to her. His next comment was said a bit thickly, as if he didn’t often say it. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” she beamed at him.
They sat in silence for a moment before Severus asked, “Are you going into Hogsmeade tomorrow?”
Hermione frowned. She hadn’t even thought about the Hogsmeade trips. She wondered if Dumbledore had thought of her not having a permission form. Surely, he wouldn’t expect one since she was not from this time.
“I don’t know,” she said honestly, shaking her head.
“Well,” Severus began tentatively. “If you don’t go… perhaps we could do some studying for the Transfiguration test together. I know it’s not until the end of next week, but I like to study ahead of time.”
Hermione’s mind whirled with delight. Is he asking me on a date? she wondered. It seemed that defending him had the effect she was looking for.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Severus watched Hermione’s face as he asked her to study with him during the Hogsmeade trip, but it remained impassive. Say yes, he willed. He was hoping to entice her into talking about her family. Things weren’t adding up, and he was determined to discover the truth about her.
“I like to study ahead of time, too,” Hermione said slowly. “It would be nice to have a study partner who cares about his grades as much as I care about mine.” Her smile gave her answer away before she said anything.
“Good,” he said. “Meet me in the library right after everyone leaves for Hogsmeade.” I’ve got you now, he thought with devious triumph, as their classmates filed in for the lesson.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
The next day couldn’t come fast enough for Hermione. Sirius had taken to talking to her again halfway through the day and had plagued her with saying things like, “I forgive you for hexing Peter and threatening James.”
His inane jokes about Remus wanting her attention grated on her nerves, and she was grateful when he disappeared with James, Remus, and Peter that night. James and Peter still weren’t speaking to her over the incident in the courtyard, but all Hermione cared about was finding a way to get Sirius to back off.
She fell asleep that night quicker than she expected and awoke early on Saturday. She was nearly finished eating as the Great Hall began filling up. The door opened, and Sirius walked in with his friends. Hermione took advantage of the crowds to sneak out the side door before he could see her.
“Thank God,” she breathed.
“For what?” a voice silkily asked.
Hermione let out a small squeal and turned around. “Severus,” she said. “You startled me! Why do you always sneak up on people like that?”
“Me?” he asked incredulously. “As I recall, you are the one who always seems to run into me.”
“I didn’t run into you just now,” Hermione said indignantly, enjoying the banter.
“Only because I just managed to keep from being run over by leaping out of the way,” he replied. The slight twitch at the corners of his mouth led her to believe that he was also enjoying the sparring.
“Oh, how very dramatic you are,” she said dryly. “As if you actually would have been flattened. Look at you! I only just come up to your shoulder.”
He looked as if he might actually smile when the door flew open and Lily burst through. “Severus, Hermione?” she asked with widening eyes.
It was only then they realized how close together they were standing. Severus had schooled a dark look on his face when the door had opened, and to the casual observer, it looked as if he was a predator and Hermione was his prey. Severus stepped back and turned around. Without another word, he walked down the hall, disappearing around a corner.
“Are you okay, Hermione,” Lily asked with concern. “Is he angry with you for helping him? I tried to help him once, and he called me a Mudblood in front of everyone.”
Hermione acted shocked to hear that while feeling rather guilty inside. She knew of that incident from Harry’s Pensieve experience. “Well, he was actually quite nice to me afterwards,” she said, mollifying her guilt with the truth.
“Just be careful. I used to be friends with Severus. He is a good one for hurting the people who care about him,” Lily said quietly, her eyes cast downward.
“I will be, Lily,” she promised. Changing the subject, she said, “Are you going back to the common room?”
“Yes,” Lily said, looking up. “Want to walk back with me?”
Hermione nodded, and they began walking in silence. Her conscience chose that moment to begin harassing her with logic again.
How come it’s all right to be nice to Lily and Severus, but you push everyone else away? Isn’t it just as dangerous to tamper with their lives as it is with the others? Hermione tried her best to ignore the nagging voice in the back of her mind. Hypocrite, it spat.
Hermione and Lily entered the common room and began discussing their Charms lesson. They debated for twenty minutes when Sirius, James, Remus, and Peter walked in.
“Hermione,” Sirius said loudly. “There you are!”
She cringed as Sirius immediately walked her way. “Are you coming to Hogsmeade today?” he asked as everyone in the common room prepared for the outing.
“No, I forgot to have my father sign the permission slip.”
“That’s too bad. You and Remus could have spent time together.”
Remus shot Sirius a death glare and finally spoke up. “Really, Sirius,” he said. “Hermione’s not stupid. She’d have to be blind not to realize you are flirting with her.”
“See that’s the problem with Remus. He doesn’t know how to woo a lady,” Sirius said as James, who had disappeared for the duration of the short conversation, dragged him from the common room.
Remus gave her an apologetic glance and followed after his friends.
Finally! She breathed a sigh of relief.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Severus was already in the library when Hermione arrived.
“Hello again,” she said, sitting down across the table from him. “How has your day been so far?”
“Wonderful,” he said sarcastically. “It’s only nine o’clock; what could have possibly gone wrong this early?”
His voice still held suspicion for her intentions, and his comments still stung from time to time, but since Hermione had helped him, he had been almost nice to her.
“It has had enough time to be terrible,” she said irritably. “One bad thing, and your day is ruined. If I had said, ‘Has your day been ruined yet?’ perhaps you would have answered without making a sarcastic remark.”
Severus chuckled softly at her words. She looked at him, shock evident on her face, and he said, “What, is it that surprising that I might actually laugh from time to time?”
“Actually, yes,” she said wryly.
He merely smirked at her as he pulled out his notes. He noticed that Hermione was still staring at him in bewilderment so he said, “Are you going to sit there gaping at me all day, or are we going to study?”
Her lips blossomed into a beautiful smile, and Severus felt his chest constrict. He had never seen anything so beautiful that was meant for him. Get a hold on yourself, Severus, he thought, feeling his trousers tighten. You are here for one reason and one reason only.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
“I’ll meet you at the Three Broomsticks for lunch,” James called to Lily as Remus tried vainly to get his friend’s attention.
“See you at lunch,” Sirius mocked, laughing as James punched his arm.
Remus sighed and yelled, “I’m trying to talk to you!”
Sirius turned to Remus with wide eyes. It was rare when Remus actually forced the attention to himself. “Well, what gives?” he asked, knowing that Remus wanted to share something important.
Remus glanced around at all the students milling about and said, “Let’s go somewhere more private.”
Remus turned and was followed by Sirius. James paused to grab Peter, who had been staring at a sixth year Hufflepuff girl.
The four friends huddled off to the side until Professor McGonagall’s attention was drawn to a pair of fifth year boys who had gotten into a scuffle.
As soon as her head turned, they tore into a wooded area where they could talk without being overheard.
“Okay, Remus. Tell us what’s going on,” James said, raking his hand through his already messy hair.
“Well, I was looking at the map the other day and something strange caught my attention.” James, Sirius, and Peter listened intently. “Hermione showed up on the map as someone named Granger.”
The last sentence was said as dramatically as he could muster.
“That’s what you dragged us out here for?” Sirius said incredulously. “You wanted to tell us that Hermione’s father is some other bloke?”
Peter and James began laughing at him with Sirius’ words.
“No, you don’t understand,” Remus said beseechingly. “She said something about something called… Slickease, I think, not being invented until next year. How would she know about something that hasn’t been invented yet? Think about it. She has been here for over a week and has yet to really open up to anyone.”
“Maybe her other father has a patent that’s not going to be public until next year,” James said through his laughter.
“Remus, you need to get more sleep,” Peter added, trying unsuccessfully to control his snickers.
Remus sighed as his friends turned and headed back for town, still laughing.
“I know there is something strange going on,” he muttered as he followed them.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Two weeks passed before Hermione received a note from Dumbledore asking for a meeting. It had been three and a half weeks since she had been sent to the past. She had met with Severus twice since their first study meeting. He was slowly but surely opening up to her. He had gone so far as to brush his fingertips against her cheek once after she had thanked him softly for studying with her. Sirius had stopped teasing her about Remus and was being pleasant rather than an annoyance.
She walked to the Headmaster’s office thinking about how well things were going. She reached the stone gargoyle guarding his office and realized that she didn’t know the password. As she stood contemplating what to do, it sprang to life and opened up.
She knocked on the door upon reaching it and entered when she heard Dumbledore’s voice give her permission. She closed the door softly and took the proffered chair, politely declining a sherbet lemon.
“Well, Miss Granger,” he said, using her real name. “Have you acclimated yourself to this time period?”
“Yes, sir. I think things are going well. My studies have not suffered,” she answered hesitantly.
“Wonderful, I’m glad to hear it,” he said smiling. “However, your interactions with Severus Snape are a matter of concern to me.”
Hermione braced herself. She had felt sure there was an ulterior reason for the meeting.
“Severus Snape is your teacher in your time. It wouldn’t be prudent to form a relationship with him. It could cause problems in the time line.”
“Sir,” she began. “Severus and I are merely study partners. I am not involved in a relationship with him.” Yet, she added silently avoiding eye contact with him. “I am well aware that I could wreak havoc on my future if I changed coming events.”
The Headmaster relaxed in his chair. “Of course,” he said. “You are a bright young lady, and I’m sure my future counterpart would expect no less of you.” Changing the subject abruptly, he said, “I have been analyzing the potion that placed you in this predicament. I have several avenues I wish to explore in my attempts to create a counter potion. I will keep you advised of my progress.”
“Thank you, sir,” Hermione said. “I appreciate your efforts.”
Dumbledore waved his hand saying, “Think nothing of it, my dear. Now, I believe you have a Potions class to attend in ten minutes, and I’m sure you don’t want to be late.”
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
The following Saturday, Hermione met with Severus again. They had decided to study together twice a week in addition to their Saturday meetings.
“No, Severus, I’m telling you that you are wrong. There isn’t a potion that will turn a human into an animal. Only Transfiguration and an Animagus form will allow it,” Hermione said tightly, beginning to feel heated.
“The Polyjuice Potion will turn a human into an animal,” Severus shot back argumentatively, a small smirk on his lips. He was enjoying aggravating her.
Hermione knew he was just trying to goad her into an argument. She was aware that he knew that the Polyjuice Potion was not made for such a use. Still, she spoke up. “It has disastrous results,” she said shrilly. “It is meant for human changes only. I should know; I brewed it in my second year.” She shut her mouth, suddenly, realizing that she had told her secret to her future professor. Not just her future professor, but the professor she had stolen from in order to brew the potion.
“You brewed Polyjuice in your second year?” he asked in disbelief.
“Well, um… Yes,” she finally admitted. It was too late to change her story now.
Severus looked at her with interest beyond discovering her secret. He knew she was intelligent, but to have brewed such a complex potion when she was only thirteen piqued his interest even more.
He stared at her aware of the fact that her breathing had quickened, and her chest heaved. Before he could think about it, he leaned over and kissed her full lips.
Hermione was initially startled, but began kissing him back quickly. Thrills shot through her body. His lips were soft and felt as though they were on fire. She was grateful they had chosen a table in the corner. It was obscured by the bookshelves.
The kiss lasted for a full minute before Severus pulled back. He stared at her, wordlessly, before shoving his books into his bag and walking out of the library. He was shaken. He had no idea that kissing could be so arousing, having never kissed a girl before. No girl had ever even wanted to be in the same room with him before. Hermione was different from anyone he had ever encountered. His thoughts of discovering her secrets were shoved back as he touched his lips, recalling their kiss.
Hermione sat in the library, frustrated beyond belief. He had kissed her, and then he had run away. She conceded that he had not actually run, but he had rather walked quickly.
He is unreadable even when he opens up, she thought in annoyance as she packed her bag.
She left the library wondering if she would ever be able to call the volatile Severus Snape hers. She walked down the hall absently and shrieked as a strong hand clamped over her mouth and dragged her into a dusty room. It was an unused storage closet.
She was beginning to panic when a silky voice whispered in her ear, “Long time no see.”
The hand unclamped, and she breathed throatily, “Severus.”
He kissed her hard, pinning her against the wall. His tongue plundered her mouth savagely. She moaned and pressed her body into his, feeling his erection straining against his trousers. Grinding her pelvis against it, she was rewarded with a low groan.
Rough hands tore her shirt off as he said, “Hermione, I’m not a well-liked person. If the others learn about us, you will be condemned. I won’t change who I am for you.” He nuzzled her neck, running his tongue along her jaw line. She shivered slightly. He lowered his hands to her bra and pinched her hard nipples through the lacy material.
“Severus,” she moaned breathlessly. “I don’t want you to change. I like who you are.”
He fumbled for the latch of her bra for a moment before finding it. As he worked the clasps, he said, “You don’t really know me and yet you say that? You will likely regret your words once you get to know me better.” He pushed her bra straps down her arms and tossed it to the floor. He lowered his mouth to her breast and licked a hard, pink peak. A heady rush of pleasure ran through her body as he began suckling her nipples. His sensual hands ran over her body.
“I know you better than you realize,” she said in a low moan, her hands tangled in his lank hair. “I will never regret my words.” She cried out as his hands ran down to the top of her skirt.
Suddenly pushing her away he said, “No, not like this.” He whirled around and left her alone, again.
Hermione sighed. Being with Severus was going to be harder than she thought.
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