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Saving Severus Snape by Unicorn_Charm
Chapter 2 : ii.
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 19


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Chapter Image by TreacleTart@TDA


***

31st August 1976


Hermione came to slowly. Her throat felt very sore and her body was stiff. What in the – Where am I? Hermione wondered. First, she realized she was far too comfortable to still be lying on the floor in Dumbledore’s office. The soft, feather-filled fabric, on which her head rested, the firm mattress underneath her, and smooth sheets that kept her warm, told her that she was in a bed. The next things she noticed were the sterile smell of disinfectant products and the pungent odor of healing potions. After that, she found - upon trying to do so - that she was able to wiggle her fingers and shift her position slightly. Then, finally, she heard voices.

“Albus, I expect the girl – your niece, correct? – will open her eyes at any moment, as she is stirring for the first time in hours,” Hermione heard Madam Pomfrey say.

Why am I in the hospital wing? And why is Dumbledore here? More importantly, why does Madam Pomfrey not know who I am and think I’m his niece? I was just in – Oh Merlin! That’s right! I’m – I’m… in the past. I traveled back to when Harry’s parents attended Hogwarts! How am I going to deal with seeing them? And Sirius! And Lupin! And, holy cow, Professor Snape, as a teenager! What was I thinking, doing this?

Once again, Hermione began to panic. Her breath came out in choked sobs. Tears streamed from her eyes as she realized the gravity of her situation and how alone she felt without Harry and Ron by her side. She opened her eyes, sat up quickly, and saw the concerned faces of Professor Dumbledore and Madam Pomfrey looking back at her. The sight of a twenty-two-year-younger Madam Pomfrey, standing in the setting sunlight that poured through the window, stunned Hermione to silence. Hermione continued to stare at her with wide, wet eyes.

“Poppy, perhaps a calming draught for Hermione?” Dumbledore suggested quietly.

“Of course, Albus,” she responded and hurried away, her chestnut-brown hair escaping from her bonnet.

Hermione wiped her eyes with the back of her hands and spoke quietly.

“Professor, what is – “

Dumbledore held his hand up to stop her. “Now is not the time, Miss Granger,” he said quickly and glanced back towards Madam Pomfrey.

Hermione knew what Dumbledore implied. He did not wish to speak of where she had come from, or why she was here, in front of anyone. Which is why he must have begun to tell the staff that she was his niece.

She nodded softly. “I understand, sir.”

At that moment, Madam Pomfrey rushed back to Hermione, carrying a small glass that she handed to her. Hermione took it and gave Madam Pomfrey an apologetic smile. She downed the peppermint-flavored liquid in one gulp, and immediately felt the effects of the calming draught; warmth spread slowly throughout her body. Her heart rate slowed, her shoulders lost the tension they held, and her fist – which she didn’t realize she was clenching – relaxed as well. She was lucky she had her head turned away when she placed the empty cup on the bedside table, as Madam Pomfrey spoke to her.

“Miss Devereux, feeling better now?” she asked.

Hermione jolted slightly upon hearing the foreign name and realized it must have been an alias that Dumbledore took upon himself to give her, while she was in the past.

Her eyes skimmed past Dumbledore – yet she caught him nodding subtly – and rested on Madam Pomfrey’s wrinkle-free face.

“Y-Yes. Much better now. Thank you,” Hermione hoarsely whispered.

“Well," Madam Pomfrey began briskly, “I’ve cleaned and healed most of the injuries you sustained from The Whomping Willow –”

“The what?” Hermione’s brow furrowed. She knew she had been nowhere near that tree.

Madam Pomfrey fixed Hermione with a piercing glare as Dumbledore cleared his throat.

“The tree in the grounds, which you unfortunately came into contact with. I must admit, it was foolish of me not to warn you of it before you arrived. I never dreamed you would have been anywhere near it,” Dumbledore said with such sincerity that for a moment, Hermione almost believed she had had a run-in with it.

“Oh, yes. That. Well… I – I had no idea such a tree existed. I now know never to go near the – Whomping Willow, you called it? – again,” Hermione quickly recovered, which earned a satisfied grin from Dumbledore and a snort from Madam Pomfrey.

Hermione thought that she really needed to get out of the Hospital Wing and speak to Dumbledore on her own. Obviously he had covered for her quite a bit, and seemed to have created a backstory for her that she must learn immediately. Before she slipped up any more tonight.

As if he read her thoughts, Dumbledore turned to Madam Pomfrey.

“Poppy, it seems that Hermione is feeling quite better. I think it would be safe to say she may be excused from the Hospital Wing? She still requires sorting and – I am sure – would like to become settled in her dormitory.”

After Madam Pomfrey checked Hermione over with her wand and seemed satisfied with the results, she agreed that Hermione may leave. Needless to say, Hermione was extremely relieved.

“Of course, Albus,” Madam Pomfrey said.

Hermione was stunned. Normally it took a lot more than that for Madam Pomfrey to release a student from her care.

She looked at Hermione and added, “Miss Devereux, if you should find yourself feeling faint, or have any severe headaches come on, I insist you come back immediately.”

As Hermione agreed that she would come back if she began feeling ill again, she recognized a bit of the Madam Pomfrey she would come to know in the future. Her lips were set in a thin line and her brow was furrowed; she meant business.

“Hermione?” Dumbledore gestured towards the door and indicated he would wish for her to join him.

She felt it a bit odd to be referred to as Hermione, by Professor Dumbledore. But if they were to pretend they were related, it would be a bit peculiar for him to call her, Miss Devereux – she had no idea where he had come up with that surname.

Hermione swung her legs over the side of the bed and slid off the end slowly. As she placed her feet on the ground she swayed on the spot, still a bit off-balance. Dumbledore grabbed her by the elbow to help her remain steady, and Madam Pomfrey looked like she was ready to order Hermione back to bed. She mumbled a thank you to Dumbledore, slipped on her shoes, and looked down at her clothing. She gasped out loud. They were perfectly intact! She assumed Dumbledore must have syphoned off the blood, dirt and vomit from them, and had repaired the holes she had gained in the battle.

“Are you sure you’re alright to leave, Miss Devereux?” Madam Pomfrey asked sharply.

Hermione felt her face heat up and nodded. “Yes, I’m positive.” She smiled, and hoped it was convincing enough.

Madam Pomfrey snorted once more, as it seemed she did not quite believe her, and Dumbledore began to walk towards the exit, with a dazed Hermione trailing behind.

Walking through the Hogwarts corridors was a surreal experience for Hermione. Only mere hours ago for her, the walls were blown apart, bodies were strewn every which way, spells were being fired left and right; complete and utter chaos. They walked in silence as Hermione tried to reconcile with the fact that she was not in that time now. The students who would be arriving the next evening had known no war. They only knew the beginnings of war. Whispers. Rumors. Nothing of what Hermione had been through.

As she continued following behind Dumbledore, they passed a tapestry. One that made her stomach jolt and her heart rate pick up, despite the calming draught she had taken. It was where she and Ron had shared their first – and only – kiss. She had not even thought about that until this moment.

Ron…We haven’t – we haven’t even had a chance to speak about what happened. What we even are. I mean, he did call me his girlfriend, but we were having killing curses shot at us. Not exactly the appropriate moment to define a relationship, or lack of. What is he going to think of my being missing? Or – will he even know that I’m gone? Will I return at the moment I left? Or will I even return at all?

Her mind was going a mile a minute. Hermione internally cursed herself for doing this so rashly. It was not like her to behave so foolishly. Her judgment was clouded from everything that she had been through in such a short amount of time, and how sleep deprived she was. Not only was she worried about what she would do while she was there, but now she wondered if she would ever return.

Well surely I would have to return at some point. She tried to rationalize. I mean – I think I would have realized if I had run into an older version of myself at some point. Unless… What if she – I mean – I left the country? Went into hiding? She – I could have a husband, children…a career, in the future. Hermione was beginning to feel the bile rising in her throat. And everyone will have been left without an explanation. Ron would think I had just run out on him…I would just. Disappear.

No. No, it won’t be like that. Of course I’ll go back. You’re just letting your nerves get the best of you. Dumbledore would not have sent you on – whatever this is – without a chance of returning to the future.

Hermione was so distracted that it caused her to slam into the back of Dumbledore and nearly topple onto her backside. She had not even realized they arrived at the entrance to his office.

“Sir! I’m so sorry!” she exclaimed. She was absolutely mortified.

Dumbledore chuckled softly. “That is more than alright, Miss Granger. I expect, after what you had been through, your head would not be – as they say – with it, at the moment.”

“Not exactly sir, no.” She smiled sadly.

After he gave Hermione a tight grin, which did not quite meet his eyes, Dumbledore turned to the gargoyle statue. “Pixie Puffs,” he said.

The gargoyle moved out of the way as the familiar stairs began to rise, leading the way to Dumbledore’s office. Dumbledore gestured for Hermione to go first and then began their ascent up the stairs.

Once they were sitting in Dumbledore’s office, he took out the envelope which Hermione had given him when she first arrived. Hermione sat and fiddled with her fingers while Dumbledore read the letter over once more. Her heart started beating quickly again and her legs shook. She was still unclear as to why she had been sent so far back into the past. She had only meant prevent something that happened hours before, not years. Why had she been sent back to the year 1976?

“I am sure you have many questions, Miss Granger.” Dumbledore finally spoke.

Hermione cleared her throat and sat up straighter in her chair. “Yes, sir. I do.”

Dumbledore sighed as he gently set the letter on his desk. He placed the tips of his fingers together, as if in prayer, and appeared to be surveying her over the tops of his glasses. Hermione squirmed nervously in her chair.

“You may ask me anything you wish. But, I am afraid, there are some things I simply cannot answer,” he explained.

Hermione’s mouth puckered in frustration. There was nothing she hated more than not having all of the answers, and it was obvious she was not going to get them. “I understand, sir,” she mumbled.

In her head, she sifted through the many, many things she was unclear of.

“Do you know why you – the future you – had sent me to this time?” It was her first question; the most important one of them all.

Dumbledore leaned back in his chair while he exhaled deeply. “I am sorry, Miss Granger. The first question you ask is one I cannot answer.”

“Can’t or won’t,” came flying out of her before she could stop it. She quickly covered her mouth, terribly embarrassed. “I’m so sorry, sir,” she said through her fingers.

To Hermione’s relief Dumbledore did not become angry with her outburst. He smiled compassionately at her and shook his head softly.

“I understand your frustration, Miss Granger. I truly do. Please understand that there are things that I myself am not clear on. My future self has given me limited information,” he explained.

Hermione cocked an eyebrow, not understanding why Dumbledore would have sent her into the past practically blind. If Dumbledore – the one who sat in front of her – did not have the answers…who would? She was not even exactly sure why she was there.

“I believe it may save a great deal of time, if I share with you what I do know,” Dumbledore said.

Hermione nodded, indicating Dumbledore should continue.

“You are Hermione Jean Granger and are visiting from the year 1998. I have sent you to this time to set a certain student on the right path –“

“Yes. I wanted to save Pro-“

Dumbledore held his hand up to stop her.

“Please, Miss Granger. Do not interrupt,” he said, not harshly. It was more urgent than anything else.

Once again, Hermione felt her face heat up in embarrassment. “I’m sorry, sir.”

“Now, as I was saying. You are here to help a student realize their full potential. I am not to know any more details regarding your journey to this time. You are only meant to do what you have sought out to do, nothing more.” Dumbledore fixed Hermione with a piercing stare.

“I’m – I’m not quite sure I understand what you mean, Professor.”

Hermione was undeniably confused. Her only goal there was to get to know Professor Snape. Show him that he was not as bad as everyone – including himself – thought he was. Make him see that his life was valuable and worth fighting for.

“What I mean,” Dumbledore continued, “is that you must not alter anyone else’s future whilst you are here. You know what will become of some – if not most – of the students in this school. Not to mention, I am sure, the teachers and staff. No one must know of their future, Miss Granger. The consequences could be severe.”

I didn’t even consider that! But now that he has mentioned it… If I just possibly hint to Harry’s parents, Sirius and Lupin. Everything can change! Harry could grow up with his parents and a loving family! Why shouldn’t I stop them all from being murdered?

“Miss Granger,” Dumbledore said sternly. “It cannot even be considered. No matter what you may know, it must not, under any circumstances, be shared. Do I make myself clear?”

Hermione sat and mulled it over for a bit more. She was still not sure why she shouldn’t warn everyone of what is to come. Then just maybe she wouldn’t have to grow up in the same world that she had.

But that just might be Dumbledore’s point. It would not be the same world I grew up in. I might not even exist in the world I create, if I am to tamper with anything. Maybe he’s right. Just stick to what you’ve come back here for, Hermione.


Dumbledore looked seriously at Hermione. “Your word, Miss Granger?” he pressed.

If there was anything that Hermione had learned throughout her life, it was that Albus Dumbledore had never steered her, nor anyone she knew wrong. If he said that something was important, then she would not go against that. She took a deep breath and looked him dead in the eye.

“My word, sir,” she promised.

“Excellent! Now,” he continued, “we must decide which house you will be residing in. Do you wish to be sorted, or would you wish to remain in Gryffindor?” he asked, surprising her that he knew which house she belonged in.

Her eyes widened slightly. Dumbledore laughed quietly and raised the letter, which she had given to him, up for her to see.

“It stated which house you belonged in. Although, the bravery it has taken for you to accept this task, I would have ventured an educated guess at Gryffindor,” he winked at her.

Hermione thought for a moment. If I am resorted, odds are, the hat will place me back in Gryffindor. But is that where I should go? If I am here for Professor Snape, I am sure he would not give me the time of day if that’s what I am. He is a Slytherin, not to mention, one who is on his way to becoming a Death Eater. Gryffindor may not be in my best interest. Not if I intend on succeeding here. Plus, that is where James, Lily, Sirius and Remus are. I don’t know if I could trust myself not to tell them of what I know.

It was becoming clear to Hermione that Gryffindor was not where she belonged. Not in 1976, that was.

The Sorting Hat did strongly consider Ravenclaw. There is no doubt that I would fit in with them. People have asked me all throughout school why I wasn’t in Ravenclaw.


“Sir,” she began softly. “Would it – I mean – do you think I can just choose a different house?” she asked.

Dumbledore seemed to be considering this option. He stroked his chin with his thumb and forefinger. “I do not see why not,” he eventually said.

Hermione cleared her throat and spoke confidently. “Then I wish to be placed in Ravenclaw. I think – considering the reason I am here – it would be my best option.”

Hermione and Dumbledore then continued to discuss the details of her stay for an hour longer. She had learned that while she was there, she would be known as Hermione Devereux - Dumbledore’s niece through her mother’s side and cousin of the Delacours through her father’s. She would be posing as a sixth year Ravenclaw who, due to conflicts with her parents’ work, would need to leave her home-schooling and attend Hogwarts for the remainder of her education. She would have been originally from England and had moved to France as a young girl. Her parents would have relocated to the United States for an indefinite amount of time. The story would be they were there on business, as cauldron merchants. Hermione, who wanted the opportunity to sit her N.E.W.T.s, did not accompany them and convinced them to enroll her into school. Her uncle, who was Headmaster at Hogwarts, agreed to accept her into the school for her final two years. Dumbledore had insisted – much to Hermione’s discomfort – that she would refer to him as “Uncle Albus,” for the remainder of her stay, lest the students and staff become suspicious of her.

Before she left his office, he had given her books she would need for classes, school robes - which were already donning the Ravenclaw symbol – and a small pouch of galleons to purchase clothing, or anything else she may need during her time there. Dumbledore conjured a trunk for her belongings, gave her permission to walk down to Hogsmeade the following morning – to do some shopping – and sent her on her way.

“Good luck, Miss Granger.” He smiled as she reached the door. “And, please, if there is anything you may need, do not hesitate to find me.”

Hermione’s throat grew thick and the corners of her eyes prickled – tears threatened to brim over.

“Thank you, sir. I will,” she responded coarsely.

As she turned around and dragged her trunk out of his office, before making her way to Ravenclaw Tower, Hermione’s head was still spinning, not quite sure how the following day would go.

Once inside the Ravenclaw Common Room, Hermione was completely blown away. It was the most beautiful room she had ever been inside, and a part of her began to feel a bit disappointed she hadn’t been sorted into Ravenclaw during her time at Hogwarts. The room was wide, circular and airy. There were large arched windows, which gave the most spectacular view of the Forbidden Forest, Quidditch Pitch, Herbology gardens and the mountains in the distance. Blue and bronze silks hung from the windows, and as she looked up at the ceiling, she saw it was a deep, dark blue, painted with stars; resembling the nighttime sky.

Straight ahead of her was a large marble statue of Rowena Ravenclaw with the staircases – she assumed – that led to the dormitories behind it. The walls were lined with bookcases filled with books. The only break in the many, many books was a bronze fireplace that had two couches and three armchairs sitting in front of it. Desks and chairs were sporadically placed alongside of the walls. Despite not truly belonging there, Hermione unexpectedly felt a bit at home.

She decided that she would take advantage of having the Common Room to herself for the evening, set down her trunk and made her way over to the bookshelves in the walls. As she slid her hand across the different spines, her heart stopped when she read the title of a deep green book.

Time-Travel and You: The Advantage and the Danger.

Why on earth would this be in a room intended for students? she wondered as she slowly pulled the book out. Almost feeling as if the book was placed there for her to discover, she tucked it underneath her arm and brought it with her to one of the couches in front of the fireplace. She assumed Dumbledore must have informed the house-elves she would be staying there this evening, since a warm fire was crackling away. She tucked her legs under her and sat reading the book for nearly an hour, until she could not keep her eyes open a moment longer.

“Well that was just silly,” she said as she closed the book and stood up. “Basically everything written there were things I had already known. Keep my head down, don’t intentionally change things, don’t let yourself be seen – although that has already been thrown out the window – and be prepared to deal with whatever consequences your actions might bring. What a load of rubbish,” she grumbled to herself as she placed it in her trunk.

“Still. I might as well keep it and continue to read it. Maybe there will be more information that I may actually find useful.”

After Hermione had washed and changed for bed, she sat up for a little while longer and stared around the dormitory, lost in her thoughts. There were four additional beds in the room - each with bronze and blue bedding and arched windows behind them - which told her she would have at least four roommates. She was very nervous as she wondered who they might be, if she would know them, or if they would remember her in the future. Maybe it would be best if she did not become too close with any of them. To try to remain unmemorable.

“Just keep to yourself as much as you could, Hermione,” she whispered. “The less anyone thinks about you the better. Go to class, do your coursework and stay out of everyone’s way. Except, Professor Snape – well I suppose it would be Severus here. Might as well try to break that habit now. It wouldn’t do me any good to slip and call him Professor while I’m here.”


Hermione sighed, got herself under her covers and lay down on her side. I’m going to have to try to get close to him, she thought as she tried to fall asleep. But how? Merlin knows he’s not the friendliest person. How am I going to do this? She punched her pillow and rolled over onto her other side; she found it very difficult to fall asleep with her mind reeling the way it was. I’ll just have to take it one day at a time, I suppose. It’s not exactly like I can plan this out this time.


 

A/N - I would like to first dedicate this chapter to Emma (GeekTilTheEnd), who was one of my first ever reviewers, and continues to leave the most incredible reviews on different stories of mine. She has been exceptionally encouraging and extremely lovely. I always love when I receive a review from her! 

This is also dedicated to my amazing friend and beta, Em(Pointless-Proclamations). I can't even begin to tell you how amazing you have been! I am so happy and lucky to have become friends with you, through this wonderful site, and I hope we continue to speak for a long, long time.

I adore you both!! 



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