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Saving Severus Snape by Unicorn_Charm
Chapter 14 : xiv.
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 7


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23 October 1976


If there was one thing that the past had in common with Hermione’s own time, it was how quickly news spread throughout Hogwarts. She wasn't sure how everyone in the school seemed to know that she was attending Slughorn’s Halloween party with Severus, but it was clear they did. Whispers followed her down the corridors and throughout the Great Hall, and all of that extra attention was the last thing she wanted.

Saturday afternoon Hermione sat across from Amelia during lunch, when she noticed three Slytherin girls with their heads together giggling and looking in her direction. Hermione's face burned as she lowered her head and tried to concentrate on the food in front of her.

“I'm sorry people are being so rude,” Amelia said quietly with a glare towards the Slytherin girls.

Hermione shrugged and took a bite of her sandwich. It wasn't the first time she had been the subject of cruel whispers and misinformed rumors.

“I mean, I sort of understand why people are talking,” Amelia continued. “Snape isn’t typically the type to have a date.”

“It's not a date,” Hermione grumbled quietly.

Amelia ignored Hermione’s protest and went on. “And face it, Hermione. You're new, pretty and extremely intelligent. You could probably have taken any bloke in the school you wanted.”

Hermione huffed and rolled her eyes.

“Amelia. I've told you at least a hundred times. We’re just going as friends.

The corner of Amelia’s mouth lifted in a patronizing way. It took all of Hermione’s strength not to storm off on her friend.

“Alright. It's not a date. But you have to admit, those who are just hearing it through the rumor mill would take it that way.”

“I suppose so...but I don't care what people think. Severus and I know where we stand,” Hermione said firmly.

Amelia looked like she was about to say something, but then thought better of it and instead focused on her food. Hermione glanced over towards Severus and gave him a tight smile when she saw he was watching her as well.

Her attention was taken away from Severus when Remus sat down besides Hermione, which caused Amelia to immediately sit straight up with a huge smile.

“Alright there, Remus?” she asked brightly.

Hermione noticed a touch of red tint Remus’ cheeks as he nodded and quietly said hello.

“Hey, Remus. What brings you to our table?” Hermione asked.

It wasn’t completely unusual for Remus to sit with them towards the end of lunch, or sometimes breakfast, but he also didn’t do so frequently. This was the first time in about two weeks since he last did.

He looked uncomfortable, Hermione noticed, as he cleared his throat and shifted in his seat. She wondered if there was something wrong.

“Erm...please don’t get angry for me asking, but I heard something from James and Sirius, and I was just wondering if it was true,” he said while keeping his eyes on the table.

Hermione glanced towards Amelia, who was covering her mouth with her hand, clearly trying to keep from laughing. It was obvious that both Hermione and Amelia knew what Remus was inquiring about. It was an enormous feat for Hermione to keep from growling.

After a loud breath, Hermione twisted herself so that she was facing Remus.

“If they’re talking about me attending Slughorn’s Halloween party with Severus, then yes, Remus. It is true that we are going together as friends.” She made sure to emphasize again that this was strictly platonic.

She wondered what was the matter with the teens of this era that they had such a difficult time accepting that two people could go to a party together with no romantic intentions. Yes it was true that she and Severus spent quite a bit of time together, but so did Remus, James, Sirius and Peter. And that didn’t mean that they were all dating.

Remus nodded then finally brought himself to make eye contact with Hermione. Instead of the contrite, apologetic look she was expecting, he looked more concerned for her. He reminded her so strongly of Professor Lupin, rather than her friend Remus at that moment.

“Hermione...I -- I don’t know if you know, but he and Lily --”

If she had to hear about that one more time, she was certain she would hex someone.

“I’m going to stop you right there, Remus,” she began with more steel in her voice that she normally would have used, but her patience was worn thin in regards to the subject of she and Severus, and people telling her what had happened between him and Lily Evans. So far Amelia, Edgar and Otto felt they needed to warn her. She knew they had her best intentions at heart, but it angered and insulted her that they didn’t think her capable of taking care of herself, or having good judgement when it came to the company she chose to keep.

“What happened between the two of them is really no one’s business besides theirs. I haven’t even brought it up to him, because quite frankly, even though it was rotten, people do make mistakes. He and I get along, and I’m not going to ruin a friendship because of something that happened before I even attended this school.”

The rueful look she had anticipated a moment ago made an appearance on Remus’ face. A large part of her felt satisfied seeing it, if she was being honest with herself.

“Of course, Hermione. You're right. It really isn't my place to say anything. I'm sorry,” he told her.

“Thank you, Remus,” she answered shortly.

After that Remus and Amelia fell into a conversation regarding the upcoming Hogsmeade weekend, which just so happened to fall on the same day as the Halloween party. Hermione’s mind drifted away from the pair of them talking, travelling to the small island that she and Severus had visited a few days prior, and how her heart seemed to skip a beat when he held her hand in his.

The more she thought about it, the more she understood why most of the student body had thought she and Severus had become an item. The two of them spent nearly every evening alone together in the library, walked together to most of their classes, and had become Slughorn’s prize students in their potions class. Certainly she wasn't the only one who had noticed Severus smiling and actually laughing when the two of them were together, and she was also certain everyone knew how unusual that behavior was for him.

Without intending to, her eyes travelled towards the Slytherin table and she found a familiar black pair looking back at her.

What was that about? Severus mouthed as he glanced at Remus.

Hermione gave a minute shake of her head. Nothing, she mouthed back.

He jerked his head towards the exit and stood up from his seat. Hermione nodded.

“So I'm going to…” Hermione trailed off as she stood up.

Amelia turned around and let out a short laugh when she saw Severus headed towards the door.

“Right,” she said with an eye roll. “Have a nice time with your friend,” she joked, which caused Remus to choke on his pumpkin juice.

Hermione glared at the two of them. “I'll see you in the common room,” she said to Amelia, pretending she didn't hear her comment. “Bye, Remus.”

“See you ‘round, Hermione,” said Remus after he caught his breath.

“Severus,” she said when she reached the door.

His eyes seemed to lighten when she said his name, she immediately felt a flutter at the sight.

“Hermione,” he responded with a half-smile.

She really enjoyed the agreeable and pleasant side of Severus she had been seeing recently. He was like a new person, not at all the man she had come to know in her lifetime. She was definitely thinking of them as two different people, and that could potentially become quite dangerous for her.

“What would you like to do today?” he asked as they left the Great Hall and began a slow walk through the corridor.

“Well,” she began and looked out the window with a frown. “I was hoping we could have gone to your island again, but the rain sort of put a damper on that idea.” She giggled at her own sad excuse of a joke and then full out laughed when Severus snorted and rolled his eyes at her.

“That was pathetic,” he told her in a dry voice, yet the smile on his face told her he found it funny.

She flashed him a wide smile then playfully elbowed him. “That was brilliant and you know it.”

“Yes, absolutely stellar. Hermione Devereux, ladies and gentlemen. She'll be here all week.”

Hermione loved when Severus genuinely laughed, as they did together then. It was wonderful to see him appear so human and normal. Not to mention, she found the deep baritone of his laugh to be rather adorable.

Once they both had controlled themselves, Severus stopped and looked down at her.

“Library?” he asked.

They did have a two foot Potions essay that was due the following week. It probably wouldn't have been a bad idea to get a head start on it since the weather was so miserable.

“I'll go get my bag and meet you there?”

“Sure. I’ll see you shortly then.”

Just before they parted ways, a lock of hair fell into Hermione’s eyes, which Severus immediately reached for and carefully tucked behind her ear. She took in a sharp breath when he let his hand linger there for a moment. He froze, almost like he was just as shocked as she was at what he did. She was positive that her face was as red as his when she cleared her throat and awkwardly thanked him.

He took a step back while rubbing the back of his neck. “Erm...right. So we’ll meet up in -- in a little bit,” he stammered.

“Right,” Hermione whispered.

While making her way towards Ravenclaw tower, Hermione could still feel the ghost of Severus’ hand on her cheek. Her mind began to wander forming pictures of him leaning in towards her, and her standing on her toes to close the distance between them as he placed his lips onto hers.

“No,” she said aloud, causing a boy in a nearby portrait, who was attempting to steal sweets from a kitchen table, to yelp and run out of his frame into a neighboring portrait.

“Sorry,” she mumbled to him as he tried to hide behind a sheep in the field he was now standing in.

When she arrived into her common room, Edgar and Otto were hunched over a model Quidditch set going over moves for their upcoming match against Slytherin.

“Hey, Hermione!” Otto called over to her while Edgar gave an enthusiastic wave.

Hermione smiled and said hello to the boys, then stopped to have a brief chat. Otto tried to explain to her what they were going over, but when the boys spoke of Quidditch, they might as well have been speaking Chinese to her. She still didn't understand Wrongski Fainting, or whatever blasted thing it was. So mostly she just nodded politely and threw in a, “Sounds wonderful,” or “That should work,” when it seemed appropriate.

When she told them that she was sorry but had to go, Edgar frowned.

“You're meeting him again, aren't you?” he asked sounding disappointed.

Hermione felt a small stab of guilt at his tone. She really hadn’t made as much time for her housemates lately as she did in the beginning of term. Even though she did have a purpose there, she supposed it wouldn't hurt to make more of an effort with her friends.

She nodded. “Coursework,” Hermione said as if that explained everything.

“You're always doing coursework,” Otto whined. “We miss you.”

It was a mistake to let them become so attached, she knew that deep down. But she tucked those thoughts away and promised them that she would devote the entire following evening to them and Amelia. Edgar and Otto immediately brightened up and began planning what they could all do in lieu of school work. Hermione had to remind them a few different times that they needed to keep their ideas within the rules of the school. There was no way she was going to sneak out, steal brooms and fly down to Hogsmeade for the night. No matter how many times they begged.

Much later than she anticipated, she finally arrived to the library to find Severus seated in the back checking his watch. When she pulled her chair out to sit across from him, he frowned.

“What took so long?” he asked.

A part of her knew that he was worried she wouldn't show after what happened before they parted. As she took her books, a quill and a bottle of ink from her bag, she sighed.

“Otto and Edgar cornered me in the common room.”

The small flash of something that looked like disapproval in his eyes did not go unnoticed by her. She knew that Severus was not exactly fond of her friends, since he usually mumbled something about ‘big shot Quidditch prats’ when she mentioned them.

Hermione tried to hide her smirk when he scowled and responded, “Lovely,” though his tone suggested he thought it was anything but.

“Severus,” she scolded gently. “They're really pretty alright when you get to know them.”

“I'm sure they are,” he said in the dry way that was uniquely Severus’.

Hermione laughed as she opened her book.

“Fine. Let's just get started, shall we?”


***
24th October 1976


The Ravenclaw Common Room was alive with ruckus laughter as Hermione and her friends played a Muggle game called Truth or Dare.

Otto had just stripped down to his pants and gave an off key rendition of the Hogwarts school song from the top of a table near the wall. After that most of the first and second years cleared off, clearly intimidated by the older students.

After everyone caught their breath and settled down, Otto looked carefully between the group, who were all trying to avoid his gaze in the hopes that they wouldn't be next.

“Hermione,” he finally said with a Cheshire grin.

She covered her face with her hands. It was the first she'd been called on, and since most of the dares consisted in losing some or all articles of clothing, she whispered, “Erm...Truth,” through her fingers.

There were some moans of disappointment and someone called her a chicken, but everyone fell silent after Amelia yelled for them to shut it.

Otto stroked his chin, looking like he was in deep thought over what to ask her. Hermione’s palms were sweating as she waited. From the corner of her eye she noticed a wide smile cross Rita’s face before she leaned in and whispered something into Otto’s ear. His eyes lit up as he chuckled.

“Perfect!” he exclaimed.

Rita aimed an arrogant look Hermione’s way as she tucked herself back into Lockhart’s arms.

“Alright, Hermione,” Otto began. “Is it true that you're having some sort of secret relationship with Severus Snape?”

She should have seen this question coming. Perhaps it would had been better for her to have ended up in her bra and knickers singing something ridiculous after all.

Every eye was on her. You could hear a pin drop in the common room at that moment.

“Look how red her face is!” Rita yelled with a snide laugh. “There's your answer right there!”

“No -- I. There's nothing --” she stammered.

“Oh come off it, Hermione,” Alice said. “You're together all the time. And you never smile as much as you do when you're with him.”

Hermione threw a panicked glance Amelia’s way, but she just shrugged.

“It's sort of true, Hermione,” Amelia said softly.

Traitor! Hermione shouted in her mind.

“There's nothing wrong with it. Even if he is a little gross,” Dorcas told her with a giggle.

Hermione’s limit was reached. She stood up quickly and glared at all of them.

“For the last time, he is just my friend!” she shouted. Everyone’s eyes widened at her outburst. “And that's cruel, Dorcas. There's nothing gross about him at all. In fact, he's highly intelligent and quite funny once you get to know him. He's a good friend! Better than you're all proving to be at the moment!”

With her chest heaving in anger, she turned from the group and stormed through common room without sparing a glance in their direction. Even with a few of them calling her name and shouting hasty apologies as she went.

“Well that's an obvious yes,” she heard that wretched Rita say, before the door closed behind her.

As she stormed her way through the corridors, her feet seemed to automatically take her to the one place that always brought her comfort -- the library.

She skirted around the tables and through the aisles of books seeking out the back table she and Severus always shared. Her mind was a jumbled mess of anger and confusion.

Why did she become so angry? Oh who was she fooling? She really couldn't deny it any longer. The moment that Dorcas called him gross she realized it. She had moved passed Ron and her affections had fallen upon someone else. Someone who was more like her. Someone who valued learning and knowledge. Someone who debated with her and challenged her. Someone who pushed her to her limits. She indeed had fallen for Severus Snape.

Now the question was, what would she do about it? She didn't know how long she would be in the past. And the more she thought about it, Severus had been giving off some hints that he possibly developed feelings for her as well. That stunt he pulled with her hair the day before, and the way he left his hand on her cheek more than proved that. Or when they were in the boat together, face to face, the tension in that moment was so thick you could have cut it.

Would her pursuing a relationship with Severus end up being part of the reason she was sent back to that time period? Would that be how she would show him his worth? And if she did, she would only hurt him once she had to return to her own time.

It was a lot to think about, and she knew she couldn't make any rash decisions. Besides, it was completely possible she had misread the signs she thought she saw from him.

She needed some time to mull this over. Possibly even a few days away from Severus to clear her head.

She jumped violently when a hand grasped her shoulder.

“Hermione? Are you alright?” he asked softly.

When she turned around and looked into those deep black eyes, which were filled with concern, she knew then and there that she wouldn't be able to stay away from him. Not even for just a few short days.

Damn, she thought.


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