“So, you know what the last Horcrux is?” Harry stopped in his tracks.
“Not exactly. But I know someone who does.” Hermione turned her wand nervously over in her hands.
“Well?” He began pacing again.
“Harry, I need you to be calm about this. And I need you to trust me. There’s a lot more going on than you think.”
“Hermione, I don’t need this right now. Stop coddling me and just tell me.”
She hesitated only a second more before reaching slowly for Harry’s wand “I’m going to hold this for a minute.”
Harry narrowed his eyes suspiciously. “Why?”
“So you don’t do something characteristically rash, I imagine.” An all too familiar sneer emanated from the shadows.
“Where is he?” Blazing with fury, Harry lunged in the direction of the voice of his former professor.
“Like that.” Severus Snape sounded almost bored as he dodged the wandless teenager.
Hermione cast a quick body bind on Harry, all the while scowling deeply at Snape. “You aren’t helping yourself.”
In a mockery of innocence, Snape spread his hands. “He attacked me. Miss Granger. Be glad I agreed to let you hold my wand.” Hermione scoffed lightly and pulled the rest of Harry’s cape off of Snape. “Listen, Sir,” the title was not meant as a sign of respect and Snape stiffened just a little at the poison in her voice, “I know the truth and I will do anything I can to help our cause. That doesn’t mean I have to like it or you.”
Hermione moved purposely just inside his personal space, her pitch dropping to a dark whisper. “Do not forget that I am doing you a favor- possibly the last you will ever get. There are other ways of obtaining information, as I’m sure you well know.” Snape flinched briefly but did not look away. “Try and act like a decent human being for once.” She stepped back and they regarded one another for several long, icy moments. Then, with something less than contrition, Snape conceded and Hermione, temporarily satisfied, released Harry.
Amazingly, Harry maintained his composure as he glared at the man who killed his mentor. “He’s a bloody traitor, Hermione.”
“There was blood on my hands before you were born, boy. Your anger will never change that. I’m here to put an end to all this. You need my help. You would do well to respect that.” Snape drew himself to his full height, wincing a little and hiding it badly. Hermione glanced at him, a warning in her eyes.
A bitter laugh escaped Harry’s lips. “And still so goddamned superior. I suppose you think you’ll get a medal for this when it’s all over.”
“I don’t expect to have to much use for medals if…” he paused “when this ends.”
Noting the change in Snape’s demeanor, Hermione reentered the conversation. “We need to listen to him, Harry. We don’t have all the clues we need. He won’t tell me everything until the Order has granted him clemency.”
“He killed Dumbledore.”
As though the stopper had been pulled from a vial, all of Hermione’s words came spilling out over one another. ”Dumbledore was already dying. The potion he drank in the cave, it had no antidote. He knew, Harry. Professor Snape knew too. He was bound to finish what Malfoy started and Dumbledore knew the risks. McGonagall found a hidden pensieve. He made it before… that night. It absolves Snape. McGonagall has taken it to the rest of the Order. She asked me to talk to you.”
“Why is he here?” Harry sounded skeptical.
“Because you two would have to confront one another eventually. The Order won’t act until you are convinced. We wanted to get this out of the way as quickly as possible.” Hermione bit her lip before continuing and a hint of apology crept into her voice.” McGonagall and Mrs. Weasley thought it was best.”
Harry inhaled slowly. “He’s still a murderer and a Death Eater.” He turned from Hermione to meet Snape’s eyes unwaveringly. “I should execute you on the spot.”
“Perhaps.” The air nearly crackled between them, until, to the surprise of both Harry and Hermione, Snape looked down. “And perhaps you will have the chance soon enough, though I am loathe to give you that pleasure. I will face the Wizengamot for my crimes, no doubt. It is not for you to be judge, jury, and executioner.”
Harry looked thoughtful for a moment before answering. “I will listen to what you have to say.” He motioned for Snape to sit.
If she didn’t know better, Hermione would have claimed she saw a flicker of respect pass over Snape’s countenance, as he nodded and took the proffered seat. “You are not your father.” It was grudging and left-handed, but a compliment nonetheless.
Harry merely sat opposite Snape, watching him expectantly.
Hermione bit back a sigh of relief and took her place next to Harry.
I probably won’t continue this. I had this conversation between the three of
them in my head and was compelled to write it. If I get any more ideas,
maybe I’ll add on.
No, I am not a Harry/Hermione shipper, I just thought the last line was
A Difficult Conversation by Equipoise