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Saving Severus Snape by Unicorn_Charm
Chapter 6 : vi.
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 19

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Gorgeous CI by TreacleTart@tda

2nd September 1976

Hermione sat in the cool breeze under her favorite tree and stared out across the Black Lake, deep in thought. Her first day had been pretty intense so far. As she watched the sunlight sparkle on the water like millions of diamonds, she tried to wrap her head around everything that had happened so far. It was completely surreal that she had a row with Sirius, as she had always got on quite well with him when he was alive in her time. Although sometimes, when he was older, a glimmer of the immature prat did shine through, she realized, but he definitely grew up quite a bit between now and when they originally met – or when she would first meet him might be more accurate. She supposed being locked away in a dank, dark, six by nine cell, surrounded by Dementors for twelve years would cause someone to grow up mighty quickly.

It wasn’t just her minor tiff with Sirius that had her feeling uneasy, it was meeting James and Lily and, most of all, her incident with Snape.

How on earth am I going to gain his confidence if he doesn’t want me anywhere near him? I mean, clearly he wants nothing to do with me. He’s told me twice now to leave him be…

She brought her knees up to her chest, wrapped her arms around her legs and took a deep breath. She began to feel discouraged already and started questioning her decision to blindly use that Time-Turner.

Why did I even do this? What exactly am I hoping to accomplish here? I’ll give it a week. If he doesn’t let his guard down, even slightly, after a week… Well. I’m just going to tell Dumbledore I need to go back.

Hermione happened to look down at her watch and felt her heart drop. She had been out there so long that she missed lunch and now had exactly fifteen minutes to make it to Potions on time.

“Shit!” she exclaimed, quickly grabbed her belongings and ran back to the castle.

She arrived to the Potions classroom out of breath, with seconds to spare and ran through the door. Professor Slughorn – who was just as round, yet less wrinkled and had a full head of auburn hair – smiled happily at her.

“S- Sor – Sorry. Pro – Professor. Got – Got lost,” she huffed.

As she glanced around the room, and saw that almost every student sat in groups of three, she froze. She felt like a bucket of ice water had just been dumped over her head and her hands shook slightly.

Amelia – who turned around and mouthed, I’m sorry – sat with Alice and Edgar. Lily and Remus were with a brunette, who also wore Gryffindor robes. Otto, Dorcas and Sturgis sat behind the other Ravenclaws. There was a table of three Hufflepuffs and another table comprised of three Slytherins. There was one student who sat entirely alone with this things spread out in front of him. Hermione knew that would be where she would end up, there was no one else in the class to sit with.

“Not to worry, Miss Devereux, not to worry,” he assured her. He gestured towards the empty seat, next to the boy who seemed to be completely content sitting on his own and horribly irritated that he would have company. “Go ahead and take a seat next to Mr. Snape. You didn’t miss anything my dear.”

As Hermione walked slowly to Snape’s desk, her heart was in her throat. He moved his books over to his side, with such force, that she could tell that he was not at all happy about his seating arrangement. Gently, she pulled her seat back and quietly sat down, not quite sure if she should say hello, I’m sorry or something. She gave him an uncomfortable smile; he glared at her and turned his head. Yep, he’s definitely not thrilled. Quickly she looked away and began to clumsily pull out her things. As she dropped her potions book to the ground, she earned an annoyed grunt from the sullen boy sitting next to her.

“Wonderful,” he grumbled.

Hermione’s body stiffened. All she did was drop a book. Why was that such a horrible offense? She turned towards him and gave him an icy look of her own. She had dealt with enough today and was not going to let him intimidate her the entire lesson. As she narrowed her eyes, he at first looked a bit surprised, then rolled his eyes at her and fixed his gaze on Professor Slughorn. Hermione uttered a quiet, Humf, and looked at Amelia, who gave her an apologetic smile as her eyes flickered between Snape and Hermione.

Slughorn began the lesson speaking about N.E.W.Ts, which seemed to be the theme with her lessons that day, and gave them their assignment. Just as she had in her time, she would work on Draught of Living Death although, unlike her original first lesson, there would be no Felix Felicis given out as a prize.

Drats… Hermione thought. She could have really used it.

The students were all given the go-ahead to begin and Hermione left to gather ingredients in the back of the room with the rest of the students.

“I’m so sorry, Hermione,” Amelia whispered as they dug through the cupboard together. “There was really nothing I could do. You weren’t at lunch and I wasn’t even sure if you were taking Potions or not. I tried to save a seat just in case, but they just both sat down and I couldn’t tell them to leave,” she said all in a rush. Her eyes begged for forgiveness.

Hermione smiled at her. Even though she was disappointed, she didn’t want Amelia feeling badly. She had no reason to. She had only known Hermione two days whereas Edgar was her brother – her twin no less - and Alice had been her dorm mate for years.

“It’s absolutely fine, Amelia, really. No need to apologize,” she reassured her and Amelia immediately perked up.

When she brought her things back to her seat, she saw Snape scribbling furiously in the margins of his textbook. Obviously she knew what he was writing. It would be the directions that Harry would come to follow twenty years from now. He stopped writing abruptly and whipped his head around to face her.

“What?” he snarled.

Hermione jumped slightly from the tone of his voice and then her lips pressed down into a thin line.

“Nothing,” she said through her teeth.

This had all become ridiculous. She had not shown any animosity towards him thus far and felt she did not deserve the treatment she had received from him. She crossed her arms tightly and tapped her foot on the ground. She was very irritated with his attitude towards her.

“If you think you’re going to copy my work, think again,” he sneered.

Hermione completely stilled and felt anger travel through her body at that remark. She had never copied so much as a single letter of anyone’s work. Ever. How dare he think she would cheat that way. She let out a humorless laugh.

“Please. Copy your work? Trust me. That will certainly not be a problem,” she hissed.

Oh. He is infuriating! How could he be so – so… callous towards a complete stranger?

He gave her a snort in response then angled his chair so that his back semi-faced her and continued to scribble notes in his book.

Hermione was outraged. Her face felt as if it were on fire as she stared at his back in complete disbelief.

Merlin. He might be worse now than he was as an adult!

“Is everything alright, Miss Devereux?” Slughorn asked.

Hermione jumped violently, she had not realized he walked up to her desk.

“Oh! I’m sorry sir. Yes. Yes everything is perfectly alright,” she smiled up at him.

Slughorn eyed her empty cauldron – which did not even have a flame lit under it yet – suspiciously and plastered a phony smile on his face.

“It is perfectly understandable for you to feel a bit behind, with coming from being home-schooled. If you’re having trouble, feel free to have Mr. Snape help you.”

She looked to her left and saw his back tense up.

“He is the best in your year – possibly the school – at potions. You won’t go wrong with him as your partner,” Slughorn boasted. She heard a girl snort loudly from across the room.  

It took all of the strength Hermione had not to roll her eyes at her professor. Instead, she smiled widely at him.

“Thank you, sir. But that won’t be necessary. I’m sure I will be able to handle this on my own.”

“Very well, Miss Devereux. Then I suggest you get started,” he scolded her.

“Yes, sir,” she responded and immediately got to work.

Hermione opened her textbook, pointed her wand under the caldron to light it and began. She threw in the Infusion of Wormwood a little more forcefully than she normally would have and crushed up her asphodel root angrily. Snape worked next to her in a similar fashion. The tension between the two students was almost palpable. She glanced at him from the side of her eye and noticed he had an intense scowl on his face as he was adding the powdered roots into his cauldron. She sighed heavily and took out her silver dagger to begin cutting up her Sopophorous beans. Before she pierced the first one with the edge of the blade, she remembered what Harry had done and how it extracted more of the juices. She was determined to make a better potion than Snape and began to crush them. The juice seemed to pour out. She smiled smugly as she glanced to her left once more and noticed he was cutting his.

“How are you doing that?” Snape asked sharply, still with the scowl on his face.

Hermione tore her eyes from his, returned them back to her desk and continued crushing. She did not answer him.

She felt him staring at her and tried to ignore it while she juiced three more beans. Snape exhaled loudly.

Why should I help him after he was so rude by assuming I would copy from him?

“I said, how are you doing that?” he repeated. Still in an unfriendly tone.

But maybe if you do offer your help, it will help him warm up to you a bit, she reasoned with herself.

“Crush them. You produce more juice,” Hermione answered quietly.

Snape mumbled something she couldn’t make out and returned to scribbling into the margins of his text book once more.

The two of them went back to working in silence at about the same pace and both began stirring their potions at around the same time. Hermione added in the one clockwise turn after the seven counter-clockwise ones. She heard Snape take in a breath as she did.

“How did she…” he whispered softly to himself. Hermione had a difficult time keeping another smirk from forming on her face.

At the end of the lesson, Slughorn came around to check on the final results. When he arrived at Hermione’s cauldron, he smiled happily.

“So, I see you took advantage of Mr. Snape’s assistance, then?” he chuckled.

Hermione tensed at the accusation and felt her face heat in anger. As she opened her mouth to tell him that she most certainly had not received any help from her partner, Snape spoke up next to her.

“She did that on her own, Professor. I did not help her,” he nearly mumbled.

If she did not see his lips moving, she would have never believed that Snape had just said that. Her mouth remained opened for a few more moments. She looked at Snape, who shrugged and kept his eyes on his own cauldron in front of him. Slughorn looked at Hermione with a familiar spark in his eyes.

“Oh ho. Very good, Miss Devereux. This potion is perfect! I think ten points to Ravenclaw will do!” he exclaimed.

“Thank you, sir,” she muttered embarrassedly.

To say she was stunned was an understatement. She assumed she would have had to really work hard to convince Professor Slughorn that she had not received any help with her work. She never thought, after Slughorn asked her, that Snape would have spoken up for her. Maybe being there wasn’t a lost cause yet…

Slughorn awarded ten points to Snape, after looking over the contents of his potion, and checked on the remaining students’. Hermione vanished hers, cleaned up and then collected her belongings. As the bell rang and she stood up, she dawdled for a moment while Snape packed his bag. They had spent the entire lesson being rather short and rude with one another, and she wanted to let him know she appreciated what he had just done for her. Needless to say, she was nervous.

“Thank you,” she said sincerely when he stood up.

When he turned around after she thanked him, the hostility in his expression was gone for a brief moment. He cocked an eyebrow, looked at her oddly and then the unfriendliness in his eyes returned.

“Whatever,” he said, threw his bag on his shoulder and quickly walked away from her.  

Hermione’s shoulders slumped as she watched him leave.

Well. So much for thinking he was warming up a bit, she thought dejectedly.

Amelia walked up next to her. “Ready to go, Hermione?” she asked while looking concerned for her.

Hermione quickly fixed a smile on her face. “Yep!” she replied brightly.

Neither Hermione nor Amelia had another class for the rest of the day, so they decided that they would go back to the common room and get whatever homework they were assigned finished before dinner. Amelia had a foot long essay on the advantages and disadvantages of automobiles verses brooms for her Muggle Studies class, while Hermione only had a bit of Arithmancy homework to do.  They sat in one of the many desks against the bookshelf-wall in the Ravenclaw common room and worked quietly together for a little over an hour. Hermione found it exceptionally difficult to concentrate on her work the entire time.

She couldn’t help but think of the not-as-unfriendly look Snape had given her and what he said to Slughorn. Was she beginning to make some head-way with him? Or was that just his way of becoming even for the advice she had given him during class? The fact that he was, once again, sitting all by himself bothered her. She couldn’t understand how someone who had attended the school for six years, at this point, would not have at least one friend. Was his isolation of his own volition? As she thought of the man who was her Professor, she thought it was a good possibility that the boy he was now may have chosen to be a bit of a loner during his time at school. As opposed to being ostracized and cast aside by his classmates.

Well. I don’t care how hard he tries to shut himself away from others; I’m not going to let him. He really should experience what it is like to have someone care for you. Maybe I was being a bit rash with giving myself a week’s deadline. If he is keeping himself at a distance from everyone, a week would most certainly not be enough time. This may take a while…

As the sun began to set, Hermione’s stomach rumbled loudly. Amelia looked up from her work and smiled. “Yeah, I’m hungry too,” she laughed.

Hermione blushed at Amelia hearing that and cast her eyes down.

“It’s nearly time for dinner anyhow. Why don’t we put this away for now, and then after dinner, we can go up to the library to finish,” Amelia suggested.

“Sounds good to me,” Hermione agreed.

The girls closed their books, put their belongings in their bags and hoisted them over their shoulders. Otto and Edgar saw them from across the room and ran over to join them for the walk down to the Great Hall. When the four of them reached the hallway at the bottom of the stairs, Otto draped his arm around Hermione’s shoulders.

“So what do you think so far, Devereux?” he asked her.  

Hermione could tell this was more of a friendly gesture than Otto coming on to her, so she did not squirm away from him and continued to walk with his arm around her.

She smiled up at him. “Not too bad. The Professors seemed really nice so far – really focused on our N.E.W.Ts. But all in all, it was alright.”

“We thought you ran off when we didn’t see you at lunch. What happened?” Edgar asked from the other side of her.

She supposed it was just the novelty of being a new student that was gaining her all of this attention from members of the opposite sex. She most certainly didn’t have that kind of attention in her time.

“Oh. I had a free period before lunch and thought I would take advantage of the nice weather. I was sitting out by the lake and completely lost track of time,” she explained.

Otto squeezed her a little tighter. “We were hoping that Black would have bothered you again,” he said seriously.

Hermione stopped walking and pulled away from him; a crease formed between her eyebrows. “And why were you hoping that?” she snapped.

Otto smirked. “Well, after what we saw during breakfast, we were sure you’d really give it to him if he were to pull something again. We just hoped it would be enough to take him out of the match next month,” he chuckled.

Hermione rolled her eyes. “I’ll make sure to keep that in mind for next time,” she replied dryly.

Amelia and Edgar laughed at Hermione’s tone and she couldn’t help but to join in with their laughter as they walked into the Great Hall together.

As they sat down at the table, Hermione couldn’t help herself and peeked over at the Gryffindors. James, Sirius and Peter were laughing loudly, she assumed at Remus, as he scowled at them and slapped Sirius upside the back of his head. Hermione, who found that very amusing, laughed and quickly turned it into a cough. Amelia raised her eyebrows at her; Hermione shook her head to indicate that it was nothing.

While they filled their plates Alice and Dorcas joined them and began to fill plates of their own. Everyone sat and talked about their first day and began to plan a party for tomorrow evening in the Common Room to celebrate their first week back at school, as tomorrow would be Friday and they would not have to be up early for classes the following morning. Hermione tried to join in as much as she could. She laughed, offered some opinions on which types of food and drinks to get for the party and answered questions about what she thought of different students or professors. She began to really like her new housemates and friends.

She looked down the table and saw Rita and Lockhart sitting entirely too close together; Lockhart fed Rita a bit of food from his fork. Hermione had to suppress a gag.

“Ugh. They’re ridiculous sometimes!” Amelia exclaimed. She was looking at them with her nose scrunched up in disgust.

The rest of her friends heard Amelia and all turned their heads towards the lovebirds.

“Oi! Some people are trying to eat here!” Otto yelled.

“Seriously. I’d like to actually keep my dinner down, thanks!” Edgar added.

Hermione, the other girls and Sturgis all laughed at the indignant look on Lockhart’s face and the look of pure anger on Rita’s.

“Sorry gentleman!” Lockhart called back.

“No one said you had to watch!” Rita hissed.

Alice snorted. “How could we not? It’s like a train wreck. We can’t look away!”

Dorcas giggled and nodded.

Rita rolled her eyes at her friends and focused her attention back to Lockhart. They began to snog.

Hermione couldn’t help but notice how forced their interactions seemed to be with each other. It was like Rita and Lockhart were trying to prove a point by being so lovey-dovey with one another. Almost as if they were putting on a show.

“Hermione, are you ready to leave? I don’t know how much more of this I can take,” Amelia said as she grabbed her bag from under the table.

With one last glance at the couple, Hermione reached and picked up her school bag as well. “Yeah. Even if I wasn’t finished with dinner, I would be finished with it after seeing that,” she laughed.

“Library?” Amelia asked.

“That’s fine with me,” Hermione replied.

When she stood up and said goodbye to her classmates, Alice asked Amelia something, so Hermione looked around the hall for a moment while she waited. She turned around, and as was becoming habit, scanned the Slytherin table. Once again Snape sat on his own while reading a book that laid open next to his plate. His hair hung down and his nose was nearly touching the page. He must have sensed that someone was staring at him; he looked up and locked eyes with Hermione.

Instead of quickly looking away, she maintained eye contact with him and offered a small smile. Snape didn’t smile back, but he didn’t glare at her either. As she stared into his black eyes, she felt her heart rate pick up. There was something about him that completely intimidated her, and she hated it. Even though he did not seem to have many friends, he just seemed so sure of himself. Almost confident. He continued to hold her gaze and she felt her face slowly heat up. She went to open her mouth, to say hello or something, but before she could, he – once again – rolled his eyes at her and went back to reading his book.

Hermione jumped when she felt someone tap her on the shoulder. “Merlin!” She clutched at her chest.

“I’m sorry,” Amelia laughed. “I didn’t mean to startle you. Are you ready to leave?”

“Yes. I’m – I’m ready,” she said.

Hermione and Amelia made their way to the library. Amelia told her how Alice wanted to borrow some of her notes from Muggle Studies and that was why she stopped her before they had left.

As the girls walked on, they began discussing their futures and possible career opotions for after Hogwarts. Amelia told Hermione that ever since she was a little girl she wanted to work for the Ministry and Hermione felt her heart skip a beat, yet she shrugged and stated she wasn't quite sure what she wanted to do yet. For a moment, Hermione almost thought of discouring Amelia from thinking of a future at the MInistry. She thought that maybe if Amelia did not work there, it may end up sparing her life. Before the words left her mouth she reminded herself, once again, that she was not to meddle and, as much as it pained her, agreed that working for the Ministry would be a wonderful career option.

When they reached the entrance, Amelia stopped Hermione.

“I hope you don’t mind, but I told a friend that they could join us.” Amelia’s face went bright red and she shuffled her feet.

Hermione smiled. “A friend, huh? And who might this friend be?”

Amelia avoided Hermione’s eyes and twisted her fingers. “Er – Well. Remus Lupin asked if I wanted to meet up in the Library later and I told him yes, but that you were going to be with us and he said that was fine. I hope you don’t mind,” she rushed out.

Oh she does have a thing for him! Hermione thought happily before the realization of her meeting Remus really registered with her. She suddenly felt a bit sick to her stomach.

“I don’t mind at all,” Hermione assured her.

Amelia thanked her and rushed into the library with Hermione trailing behind. They walked to the back of the room and saw that Remus had already found a table and was sitting working on his homework. He looked up as the girls approached and moved some of his books out of the way so they could join him.

“Hi Remus,” Amelia said shyly. “This is Hermione Devereux,” she gestured towards Hermione.

Keep it together, Hermione. You’ve already spoken to James, Lily, Sirius and Snape. You can handle one more for today.

“Pleasure to meet you, Hermione,” Remus said in a soft voice.

“N-Nice to meet you, too,” Hermione nearly whispered.

“Please,” Remus pulled out two chairs next to him. “Have a seat.”

Amelia gave Hermione a sideways glance, smiled and took the seat to Remus’ right – it was one that was a bit closer to him. Hermione took a seat to his left and scooted it a little bit further from him.

“I’m sorry about Sirius,” Remus smirked as Hermione sat down.

That was the last thing Hermione really wanted to talk about at the moment. Her stomach did a somersault.

“Oh. You don’t have to apologize for him,” she mumbled.

“I know,” he exhaled. “But after so many years – let’s just say I’m used to doing it by now.”

Hermione giggled and thought of her time spent at Grimmauld Place before her fifth year. Even then, anytime Sirius did or said anything inappropriate, it was always Remus who apologized while Sirius told him to loosen up a bit.

The three of them all worked together quite well. Hermione helped Remus with some of their Arithmancy work while Remus, who had a Muggle mother, helped Amelia with some of her Muggle Studies homework. Hermione noticed every so often Remus and Amelia would look at one another and blush, brush their arms against each other or laugh at private jokes – it made Hermione feel surprisingly lonely.

She found herself liking the younger version of Remus as much as she did the adult version. He was sweet, funny, soft spoken and brilliant. Definitely someone who she could easily see herself becoming good friends with, which saddened her. She knew that when she returned home that Remus would be dead. It made her wonder if she should distance herself from him while she was here, so she didn’t have to go through the pain of losing him all over again once she returned.

After a few hours, they were finished and began putting their books away. Suddenly they heard loud voices and laughter coming through the library.

“Son of a… I told them not to bother us,” Remus grumbled. “I’m sorry girls.” He gave them each an apologetic look.

Hermione’s stomach dropped. She knew exactly who they were.

“Reeemus! Oooh Reeeemus!” Sirius called out.

“Come out, come out and plaaay!” James sang.

Amelia placed her hand on Remus’ arm. “Do you want me to hex them?” she offered.

Hermione laughed quietly. “I would be more than willing to help,” she added.

Remus fidgeted and slung his school bag over his shoulder. “I appreciate the offer, but that’s alright,” he chuckled. “I’ll go head them off so you don’t have to deal with them.” He looked at Hermione. “I’m sure you’re not in the mood for Sirius again, am I correct?”

“Not particularly, no,” Hermione said.

“Then I better go. Bye girls!” he said and quickly walked away.

Amelia and Hermione whispered goodbye then Amelia pulled Hermione by her arm behind a bookshelf. She cocked an eyebrow at Amelia once they were hidden.

“I figured we should wait here for a moment. Just to make sure they’re gone,” she explained with a shrug.

“Good idea,” Hermione giggled.

They stood quietly, peered between a space in the shelves and watched the three boys. James put Remus into a head-lock while Sirius ruffled his hair.

“Knock it off!” Remus shouted.

James and Sirius laughed while allowing Remus to stand upright and Sirius started to look around hopefully.

“Where are the girls? I thought you said you were studying with Bones and Devereux,” he whined.

Hermione stiffened. She hoped that he wouldn’t start looking around for her, because she was not sure she would be able to keep her temper in check with him, if he started to come on to her once more today. She had to figure out a way to make it perfectly plain that she was not interested and not playing hard to get.

Remus tugged on the cuff of his robes and avoided eye contact with Sirius. “Erm – They left, mate. Been gone a good few minutes before you came storming in. Said they were tired or something,” he lied.

Oh Remus. You are just the most wonderful person ever. I definitely owe you one, she thought thankfully.

She watched Sirius’ lips turn into a pout while Amelia stuffed her fist in her mouth to keep from laughing at his expression. Hermione shook her head.

Soon the boys left, the girls waited a few more moments and then returned to the Common Room for the evening. They didn’t realize it, but they returned rather late. The only ones who were still awake and sitting near the fire were Otto, Edgar and Sturgis. They tried to convince the girls to stay up with them for a while more, but Hermione and Amelia were exhausted. After ten straight minutes of begging, the two of them said a final goodnight and trekked up to their dormitory.

They each got ready for bed quietly, as not to wake up the other girls, and climbed into their beds. Hermione closed the curtains around her four-poster bed and flipped onto her stomach, she sighed heavily. As she tried to fall asleep, the entire day seemed to replay before her eyes. Sirius Black had a crush on her – which was beyond bizarre – and Snape had done her a favor, albeit a slight one, but a favor none the less.  

She thought about how he did not know about crushing the Sopophorous beans in potions class until she had advised him to. That was when he wrote it down in his potions book. An odd feeling came over her. I was the reason he had that written in? That means that if it weren’t for me, Harry would have never won the Felix Felicis… Harry would have never received that memory from Slughorn and Ginny, Neville, Ron and I could have died the night the Death Eaters broke into the castle without it. The sudden realization took the breath from her. Was I destined to return to this time? What else will I unintentionally change?

A/N - {Pointless-Proclamations} Em! Em! EM!! Thank you so, so, so much for your enthusiasm, love, encouragement, help, suggestions and wonderful beta-ing!! You're the bestest hpffbff anyone could ask for! ;) 

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