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Saving Severus Snape by Unicorn_Charm
Chapter 5 : v.
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 10

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Stunning CI by TreacleTart@tda

2nd September 1976


The following morning Hermione’s stomach was in knots. She thought that after she saw everyone for the first time, and had a good night’s sleep, it would have calmed her nerves. She could not have been more wrong. Her mind raced as she thought of the day ahead of her – Which courses should she take? Who would be in them? How long should she wait before she spoke to Snape again? Would Sirius continue to bother her? How should she handle it? Had she made a mistake by befriending Amelia so quickly? Should she distance herself before she possibly does any damage? All of those seemingly unanswerable questions ran through her head.

She and Amelia sat together during breakfast at the Ravenclaw table; Hermione with an untouched plate of food, growing cold, in front of her. Absentmindedly she glanced over at the Gryffindor table and saw James, Sirius, Peter and Remus all with their heads together, looking down at something. It was obvious from their mannerisms that they were up to something secretive and, most likely, a bit of trouble. As she had her eyes fixed on the boys, not really focused on them, Sirius looked up. He caught Hermione looking over and flashed her a wide smile and a wink. She narrowed her eyes, huffed and quickly looked away. Amelia nudged her with her elbow.

“Are you alright, Hermione?” she asked, a bit of egg dangled from her fork.

Hermione grabbed a piece of toast and began to butter it. “Yes,” she said quickly then her shoulders slumped. “Well – no. I suppose I am a bit nervous about my first day,” she admitted. She found it strangely easy to be honest with Amelia. Well, as honest as she could be.

Amelia swallowed her food and smiled reassuringly at her. “It is pretty overwhelming; your first time here. But you’ll adjust quickly. Promise.”

Hermione gave her a tight smile in response and took a bite of her toast. She knew that would be all she would eat that morning.

A few moments later Rita, Alice and Dorcas all sat down across from the two girls, and began to load up their plates. Hermione and Amelia greeted them as Rita started to eye Hermione, once again, with that hungry curiosity.

“So,” she began. “You’re Dumbledore’s niece, eh?” Rita asked as if interviewing Hermione.

And so begins the inquisition. Hermione exhaled loudly. “Yes,” she answered, her eyes remained on her plate.

Alice and Dorcas giggled. “That must be so – so… weird,” Alice said. Dorcas’ head bobbed enthusiastically, it seemed that she agreed.

Hermione looked up at them; a crease formed between her eyebrows. “Why? My uncle is an amazing man. I don’t see anything weird about it at all,” she responded a bit heated.

The two girls laughed more at her response and Rita smiled condescendingly at her. “Of course he is, Hermione,” she said.

Amelia looked at her from the side of her eye, shrugged and shook her head lightly. Hermione rolled her eyes.

She continued picking apart her toast as the girls gossiped and caught up on the latest scandals that – supposedly – happened over the summer holiday. She couldn’t concentrate on a word they said. She peered over her shoulder, at the Slytherin table, and noticed Snape had not yet arrived; a wave of disappointment washed over her as she turned back around. She was hoping to speak to him, to let him know that she was not insane, just new there and wanted to offer help to someone who looked like they needed it. While she rehearsed her conversation with him in her head, a familiar squeaky voice pulled her back into the present.

“Miss Devereux?” A young Professor Flitwick stood behind her and smiled brightly.

Hermione could not believe just how young he looked. If she had to guess, she would have assumed he was only teaching a few years at that point. He was still tiny as ever with dark, brown hair – not a grey in sight –  and the crows-feet around his blue eyes were missing.

“Y-Yes. That’s me,” she answered softly.

“I’m Professor Flitwick, Miss Devereux. I’ll be your head of house,” he introduced himself cheerfully.

Having Flitwick as her head of house, would be another thing that Hermione had a hard time wrapping her head around – after six years of having McGonagall.

“Pleasure to meet you, sir,” she smiled.

Flitwick looked down at a stack of parchment he was holding. “I was wondering if I may have a brief word with you. We need to discuss which courses you will be taking this term.”

“Sure, Professor.” Hermione picked up her bag, told Amelia she would see her after breakfast and followed Professor Flitwick out into the corridor.

He shuffled through the parchment in his hands and muttered softly. “Devereux? Devereux? Devereux…? Ah! Here we are.”

Hermione looked down at Flitwick in shock as he read over whatever fabricated information Dumbledore must have passed off about her.

“Professor Dumbledore has kindly given me your transcripts from your mother – from your homeschooling,” he informed her.

Even though she should not had been amazed; she was. Her eyes widened the tiniest amount while she wondered what else Dumbledore might have forged. She wouldn’t be surprised if she had a fake birth certificate somewhere as well.

“Oh. That’s good to hear,” she mumbled. She did not know how else to respond.

She watched Flitwick’s eyes as they scanned over her falsified grades and waited for him to speak.

“Your marks have all been extraordinary, Miss Devereux. Very good. Very good, indeed,” he praised her.

“Thank you, sir.” Her face flushed while she fiddled with the cuff of her sleeve.

He shuffled the papers around a bit more, and pulled out one that Hermione saw was blank.

“Well. You may choose to move on with whichever subjects you would like,” he smiled.

Hmm… Should I take on a full course load? Or should I, perhaps, take it a bit easy while I’m here. I have overworked myself for the entirety of my education… But I’m afraid if I have too much free time, I may be tempted to do something stupid. Maybe the busier I keep myself, the less chance I’ll have of seriously putting my future at risk.

“Miss Devereux?” Flitwick pressed.

Hermione snapped herself out of it. “Sorry, Professor,” she quickly apologized. “I think I will go on with Ancient Ruins, Arithmancy, Charms, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Herbology, Potions and Transfiguration. If – If that’s alright?” she asked uncertainly.

Flitwick tapped his wand to the blank piece of parchment and Hermione watched her schedule appear. “Yes, Miss Devereux. That is perfectly fine.”

Before he handed it to her, he turned it over and tapped his wand to it once more. Hermione saw black ink spider out and form a small map of Hogwarts. The routes to her classes were highlighted in red.

“Here you are.” Flitwick handed the parchment over to Hermione. “This is your time-table. I had also taken the liberty of putting a map of the school on the back of it for you,” he smiled. “The easiest routes to your classes are marked in red.”

Although she already knew how to get to each of those classrooms – and knew better shortcuts – she couldn’t help but be touched by this kind gesture.

“Thank you, Professor. That was very kind of you,” she said; her voice grew thick.

He patted Hermione on the elbow and started to walk back towards the Great Hall; Hermione alongside him.

“Now if you have any trouble, or need help with anything, have one of your housemates show you to my office. I would be more than happy to help with whatever I could,” he told her as they reached the entrance.

“I will, sir. Thank you again.”

Flitwick wished her luck and made his way towards the staff table. Hermione remained behind, in the doorway, and looked over her time table to see which classes she would have that day.

So it looks like Transfiguration with the Gryffindors – lovely – will be first today. Then it’ll be Arithmancy, free period, lunch and then, her heart dropped. Potions… Well. He’ll definitely –

Suddenly she stumbled forward as someone crashed into the back of her and she heard books fall to the ground.

“Oh! I’m so sor-“ she immediately stopped speaking as she turned around and saw who was glaring at her.

Of course… she thought sourly.

Snape took a deep breath and pinched the bridge of his nose. “What are you doing - blocking the doorway like that?” he growled.

Hermione automatically took a step back. As much as she did not want to admit it, the young Severus Snape intimidated her as much as the older Professor Snape had.

“I – I was just – I’m sorry,” she stammered.

Her heart was pounding. So far, her first encounters with him had not gone well at all.

He exhaled loudly as Hermione dropped down to the ground and hastily collected his books. Snape did not help her. She looked up and saw he was staring down at her in complete disbelief. His eyebrows met his hair line and his mouth was slightly agape. She quickly looked back down, stacked his books, stood up and held them out for him.

“Here you are. Again, I’m sorry about that,” she said quickly.

Very slowly, Snape took them from her. He raised an eyebrow and shook his head. Hermione felt her face heat up.

“We – er – we have to stop meeting this way,” she joked lamely with an uncomfortable laugh. His brow furrowed.

We have to stop meeting this way?! Seriously, Hermione? This is not helping the whole he-thinks-you’re-a-nutter situation.

She shuffled her feet nervously and was at a loss for words. Snape cleared his throat.

“Why did you keep staring at me last night?” he asked bluntly.

Hermione was taken aback. She had no idea what to tell him. She certainly couldn’t tell him the truth.

“I – um – I – I was?” She kept her eyes wide and innocent.

Smooth, Granger.

Snape snorted angrily. “I saw you with Black. Is he putting you up to something?” he accused her heatedly. His pale face gained a bit of color.

Hermione made a horrible mistake; she laughed. It was completely absurd to her that he would have come to that conclusion.

“I’m sorry, but… what?” He’s off his rocker!

He took a step towards her which caused Hermione to take a step back. There was true anger in his eyes.

“You just stay away from me,” he hissed and pushed past her.

She was completely flabbergasted as she stood and watched him hurry to the Slytherin table. She was routed to the spot and still had her eyes on Snape – who, it seemed, actively tried not to look back at her –  when she felt an arm around her shoulder; she jumped. “Oh!”

“Sorry, Devereux. Didn’t mean to scare you,” Sirius smirked.

Oh, Sirius. Not now! This couldn’t possibly be a worse time!

Hermione jerked away from him and glared. “What do you want, Black?” she snapped.

Sirius took a step back and put his two hands up; palms forward.

“Hey, easy there. It looked like you were having some trouble with dear old Snape, and I thought I’d come over to see if you needed my assistance,” he said with a wicked gleam in his eye.

Hermione huffed, took a step towards him and jammed her finger in his chest. “I wouldn’t ask for your help with tying my shoes, Black!” she shouted.

Sirius took a quick step back and his mouth was wide opened in shock.

She did not realize that everyone had been watching her exchange with Sirius until she heard the deafening silence and a piece of silverware fall to the floor. Hermione felt her body go cold and slowly turned her head towards the students in the hall when suddenly loud laughter erupted throughout the four tables. She threw a panicked look towards Amelia, took a quick glance at Snape and then stormed out of the Great Hall. She was completely embarrassed. Great. Now everyone will think I’m total nutter.

As she marched down the hallway she began to feel a bit badly about snapping at Sirius that way. There was no way he would have known of what was just said between her and Snape. She thought of the hurt and bewildered expression on his face and began to feel worse. She also happened to catch Snape’s look of utter disbelief before she walked off. His eyes were as wide as saucers and his jaw dropped. She hoped that little scene with Sirius cleared any thoughts of her plotting something with him from Snape’s head.

Why would he even think that? Is it really that hard for him to believe that someone is genuinely being friendly towards him? How horribly does he have it here?

“Hermione!” Amelia called out from down the hall.

She stopped and turned around to wait as Amelia ran to catch up to her.

“Hey Amelia,” Hermione said when she reached her.

“Hey. What was that all about?” she asked as they reached the entrance to the Transfiguration classroom.

They were early, the door was locked, so the girls leaned against the wall to wait for Professor McGonagall to arrive and let them in. Hermione still had not answered Amelia’s question.

“Well?” she pressed.

Hermione took in a breath. “I was standing in the doorway, looking over my time-table and Snape knocked into me. His books went everywhere, again. I gathered them for him and then he became a bit short with me,” she explained.

“You’re not having very good luck with him, are you?” Amelia asked while she attempted to stifle a smile.

Hermione shook her head softly. “Nope.”

Loud voices accompanied with laughter traveled down the hallway. Hermione looked down towards the source of the noise and tension filled her body. It was James, Sirius, Remus and Peter coming their way. Bloody fantastic.

“What happened with Black?” Amelia asked quietly as she noticed the boys arriving as well.

Hermione turned her head and checked to make sure they were still far enough away. “He thought he would be my knight in shining armor and come save me from big bad Snape,” she whispered quickly. “I told him to bugger off and left. I’m not interested.”

Amelia looked at Hermione with something close to wonder. “You’re certainly in the minority there, Hermione. Most girls here would kill to have him pursue them.”

“Well, I’m not like most girls,” Hermione laughed. “Plus, like I’ve said, I’m not here to date. Not just him, but anyone.”

The boys came nearer which caused Hermione’s pulse to accelerate even more. She was about to possibly have her first encounters with James and Remus. She tugged on Amelia’s sleeve and dragged her closer to the door, hoping they would leave them alone.

She heard James’ voice. She knew it was James because he sounded so much like Harry. It made her stomach flip and the color drained from her face.

“Oi, Sirius? Isn’t that the bird who actually has the sense to turn you down?” he joked loudly.

“Oh, she’ll come around,” Sirius answered smugly.

Amelia rolled her eyes and looked at Hermione who stood frozen. She still could not get over just how much he and Harry sounded alike.

“Hermione? Are you ok? You look like you’re going to be sick,” Amelia asked in alarm.

“No. No, I’m fine,” she lied.

Don’t let them come over. Please don’t let them come over. She pleaded in her head.

“I think I’ll go and introduce myself,” James announced.

Shit… Ok. Breathe.

“Oh for the love of…” Hermione heard Amelia mutter.

Hermione turned around and watched James duck as Sirius attempted to hit him and then he walked towards her. She felt like her heart was beating in her throat. James strutted over with a wide smile; Sirius glowered behind him. Remus and Peter were laughing quietly.

“Hello there!” he greeted her.

Here it goes. Pull it together, Hermione. “Hi,” she said shyly.

“James Potter. Devereux, right?” he said and stuck his hand out; Hermione nodded. “I just thought I would come over and congratulate you.”

She returned his handshake and raised her eyebrow. “Congratulate me?”

“For knocking Sirius down a peg. It’s about time someone did,” he chuckled.

Hermione’s eyes went wide. She did not know what to say.

“Oi!” Sirius yelled.

James turned around. “Shut it, Pads.” He brought his attention back towards Hermione. “Don’t be too hard on him though. He’s relatively harmless,” he winked.

“O-Okay,” Hermione mumbled and began to fidget.

“Alright Potter. Leave her alone, would you? It’s only her first day, which I’m sure is hard enough without you lot bothering her,” Amelia scolded.

James looked like he had just noticed Amelia was there and smiled brightly. “Hey Bones. Good summer?”

Hermione was, once again, extremely grateful towards Amelia for getting her out of an uncomfortable situation. Maybe it wasn’t so bad for her to accept her friendship after all.

“Yeah, just ducky. Thanks,” she replied dryly and crossed her arms. “Now would you please just leave her be?”

As James opened his mouth to make a retort, Professor McGonagall arrived. Hermione let out a sigh of relief at the sight of her. Even though, at this point, Hermione was expecting it, the younger version of her Transfiguration professor was another shock for her. Her tight bun was jet black, the lines around her eyes were still there, but much less prominent and her lips were a bit more full in her youth.

At the sight of McGonagall, James sank back with his group and left Hermione and Amelia alone. She opened the door for the students and they filed into the classroom. The two girls grabbed a seat right in the front of the classroom together while the four boys filled the seats all the way in the back. Hermione felt relieved that she would not be near them during class.

“Aren’t they just a lovely bunch?” Amelia jerked her head back towards Sirius, James, Remus and Peter. “Well,” she added quickly “Lupin isn’t so bad. He’s a Prefect; kind of quiet actually. I don’t know how he got mixed up with those guys, to be honest.”

Hermione noticed, as she spoke about Remus, a slight blush appeared on Amelia’s cheeks and couldn’t help but wonder if she had a bit of a crush on him. If she did, Hermione thought it rather sweet.

Maybe I can try to get them together, she thought. No, I can’t, she quickly reminded herself. I’m pretty sure that would fall under the category of ‘meddling.’

“They’re a bit much,” Hermione shrugged. “But they seem pretty harmless. Just your typical teenaged boys.”

She reached for her bag, pulled out her book, a quill, ink and some parchment and waited for class to begin. Soon all of the seats were filled, Edgar and Otto sat behind them, Alice and Dorcas sat across from the girls and Rita and Sturgis sat behind them.

“Alright, Hermione?” Edgar asked as he sat down.

Hermione turned around and offered a smile at the two boys. “Alright. You?”

“Excellent. I saw you knock Snape down this morning. What did he do?” Edgar laughed and Otto joined in.

“I didn’t knock him down!” she quickly denied. “He ran into me. It was an accident.”

The two boys completely ignored that. “And then you attacked Black. I think you’re my new favorite person,” Otto smiled widely.

Even though it was completely ridiculous, Hermione couldn’t help it and laughed softly. Otto was just one of those people who had a very infectious smile. You couldn’t help but smile back.

“Alright, settle down,” McGonagall called out. Hermione immediately turned around and focused her attention to the front of the room.

Her first Transfiguration lesson went quite the same as it did in her original sixth year. McGonagall spoke briefly about their N.E.W.Ts, explained how they would be required to do work with non-verbal spells and they began learning and practicing Conjuring spells. Being that she had already done this, Hermione was the first student who managed to conjure a fluffy white rabbit onto her desk.

Amelia looked over with her mouth wide opened. “How – How did you manage that so quickly?” she whispered.

Hermione shrugged. “I don’t know. I – I just did it?”

“Excellent job, Miss Devereux. Ten points to Ravenclaw,” McGonagall smiled at her.

Hermione beamed back at her. She couldn’t help it and felt that familiar feeling of satisfaction and happiness that came along with the approval of her professors and – even though she had never admitted it out loud – the jealous looks that her classmates had on their faces. A part of her truly did revel in being the first to accomplish a task in her classes.  

By the end of the class most of the students had managed to conjure something; rabbits, toads, ravens. Those who did not were told to practice for homework, those who did had none. Hermione put her things back in her bag, stood up and waited for Amelia to collect her things.

“What do you have next, Amelia?” she asked.

“Muggle Studies.” Her answer was muffled due to the fact that she was bent over stuffing a book into her bag.

Hermione felt disappointed that she would be attending her next class on her own. She was beginning to cling to Amelia like a life preserver since she had helped her out of some many uncomfortable situations. Her brow furrowed and her lips puckered.

“Oh,” Hermione said sadly. “I have Arithmancy.”

“Did I hear someone else is actually taking Arithmancy?” Sturgis said from behind her.

Hermione knew that was not exactly a popular class and was grateful that it looked like she would have at least one familiar face in there with her.

“I am. You’re taking that as well?” she asked happily.

He nodded. “Yep.”

“Oh good. Sturgis can show you the way then,” Amelia said as she stood up and hoisted her bag over her shoulder. She looked a bit frazzled. “I better run. I don’t want to be late.” She eyed Hermione carefully. “You’ll be alright?” 

She reassured Amelia that she would be perfectly fine and Amelia quickly rushed off towards her next class.

“Shall we then?” Sturgis asked.

Hermione and Sturgis walked together to Arithmancy with the awkward small talk which happens between two people who had just met. He asked her what she had thought of Hogwarts this far, if she preferred it to being homeschooled and what she thought of the students. She answered the best that she could.

When they arrived to the classroom Sturgis asked if Hermione would wish to sit with him for the class, as they would be the only two Ravenclaws continuing on with the subject. She agreed and they took a seat in the middle of the classroom. At that point there were only two other students in the class; two Hufflepuffs she did not recognize. After a few more moments she heard others enter and turned around to see who it was. She found herself looking right at an exact copy of Harry’s eyes. It was Lily who was accompanied by Remus. She swallowed loudly.

Lily and Remus walked past her and Sturgis laughing. Hermione gawked at Lily. She was stunning. Lily had long auburn hair, large, sparkling green eyes, a pale, clear complexion and rosy cheeks that most girls would trade their soul for. As they sat down in their seats, Hermione heard bits of their conversation.

“-can’t Rem. He’s just – just… an arse!”

Remus chuckled softly and shook his head. “I know Lils, but he’s nowhere near as bad as he used to be. Really, what would be the harm in one date? You’d finally shut him up.”

Ahh. They must be talking about James.

Hermione was fascinated and continued to eavesdrop on their conversation.

“Not happening. So you can tell James you’ve tried, but you couldn’t talk me into it,” she said knowingly.

“He – he didn’t. He didn’t ask me to talk to you,” Remus stuttered.

Lily let out a loud laugh. “Sure he didn’t.”

Hermione tried to stifle her laugh, so they didn’t know she listened to them and bent down to collect her books. When she sat back up she saw that Sturgis was chatting up a pretty blonde – one of the Hufflepuffs and felt someone walk by her. When she looked to see who it was, once again, she was blown away by a younger version of one of her former professors. She thought at this point she would have been used to it, but as she saw each of them, she was just as captivated every time.

Professor Vector greeted the students, had them open their books and began to give a lecture. Hermione scribbled across her parchment vigorously as she took her notes. She knew she really didn’t have to be as thorough as she normally would have been, but the habit of being an over-zealous student was etched far too deeply at this point in her life.

When class was dismissed, Hermione stretched out the cramp in her hand and put her things away. She heard Remus tell Lily he would see her later and then she jumped when someone said her name.

“Hermione Devereux, right?”

Hermione looked up slowly; it was Lily.

“Yes, that’s me.” She tried to give the most natural smile that she could. This was the most nervous she had been yet.

Lily smiled warmly at her.

“Hello. I just wanted to introduce myself. I’m Lily Evans,” she said kindly.

“It’s lovely to meet you,” Hermione responded in a high pitched voice.

Bring it down a bit, Hermione.

“Nice to meet you, too. How are you finding Hogwarts so far?” she asked.

Overwhelming. Heartbreaking. Confusing. Terrifying. “It seems really great. Everyone has been very nice.”

“That’s good to hear,” Lily smiled. “Well I know that you probably will have friends in your own house, but if you need anything, I would be more than happy to help,” she offered.

Hermione realized that people had not exaggerated. Lily truly was a genuinely kind and warm person. Even in the thirty seconds that had spoken, Hermione felt very comfortable with her. It seemed that Lily just had that way about her.

“Thank you, Lily. That is very kind of you,” Hermione said.

“I don’t want to seem rude, but I really must be heading off to my next lesson. Again, it was a pleasure meeting you. I hope you like it here!”

As Lily pulled her bag onto her shoulder, Hermione thanked her once more. Sturgis took off without her – she assumed he chased down that Hufflepuff he was flirting with – and Hermione stood in the classroom alone. She took out her time-table and saw that she had a free hour before lunch and was more than grateful. She needed a bit of time alone and decided she would spend that free time out in the grounds having a walk. She needed to mentally prepare herself before her first lesson with Snape.

A/N - {Pointless-Proclamations} EM! My wonderful, lovely, amazing, incredible, awesome beta-friend! Thaaaank you for everything!!

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