Continuing Tales

One Day Like This

A Harry Potter Story
by Hannah_1888

Part 11 of 23

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Still Arriving back at Hogwarts after three days away fulfilling her obligation to the Ministry at Slug and Jiggers', it would be fair to say that Hermione was in a foul mood. From eager anticipation at the beginning of the week, she'd degenerated into the irritable mess she was in now. She couldn't wait to have a bath and then get straight into bed. Her back ached, and she'd strained her shoulder cleaning the top shelves in the Apothecary. Magic had been forbidden on the grounds of potentially compromising the stock. To round things off, she hadn't been able to sleep properly at Grimmauld Place, and now she was knackered.

Climbing the steps to the Entrance Hall, the doors swung open, momentarily startling her.

'Oh, hello.' There was that look again; increasingly, she noted there were times when Severus Snape would look at her as if her very presence amused him. It wasn't so much that he smiled; it was something about the way his eyes glittered in an almost sly manner. She wasn't sure whether it boded well or not. It was probably the latter.

'Hi,' she answered quietly, not really pleased to see him, all things considered.

'Is the Apothecary still standing after suffering you for three days?'

Hermione gave him a brief and insincere smile. 'Mr. Jigger asked me to give you this.' She removed a package out of her robes.

Snape examined the package, which as far as she knew, contained some ingredients of some sort. 'Ah, excellent; you did not enjoy yourself, then?'

'I did not,' she stated tightly. 'The place stinks, they treated me like a slave, and Slug is a lascivious pervert.'

Snape raised his eyebrows, but did not look unduly scandalised. 'He has a reputation for being such.'

'Oh! Thanks for letting me know! I kept wondering why this seemingly sweet old man kept telling me to take my robe off—as if it was hindering all the fetching and carrying I was doing!' Hermione felt herself flushing with indignation. Ugh, what a creep he'd been!

'Don't laugh,' she added haughtily, when he snorted. 'I've been offered a full-time position, if I want it.'

'Well, there's an offer you can't refuse.'

'Quite,' she replied dryly.

'Look, take this down to my office for me, will you? I've got Quidditch practice to attend.' He held the brown paper package towards her.

His eyes narrowed, daring her to object. Hermione grimly snatched the object from his hand and stalked up the steps. She heard a quiet chuckle as she left him.

Breathe, Hermione, breathe; attacking one's mentor was strictly prohibited under Ministry guidelines.

Following her diversion to the Dungeons, Hermione went to her rooms. What a trying few days it had been! As if having to deal with a lecherous old man was bad enough, staying at Grimmauld Place had worn her out, too.

Ron had been there.

Harry and Ginny had conspicuously left them alone for an evening, an action for which she could have cheerfully hexed them. Alone, they had ended up staring into space for a while, she sipping a glass of wine and Ron a can of beer.

'How's Quidditch going?' she'd asked, as a last resort.

'All right, thanks, but I'm actually thinking about giving it up. They want me to join the team full-time, but I'd rather concentrate on my Auror duties.'

'Oh.' Hermione was impressed. She'd had doubts about him juggling two different careers, but was pleased to hear that he was committing himself fully to the Aurors.

'I think that Lavender liked me playing Quidditch.'

She swallowed uncomfortably; there was a conversation killer if ever there was one. Ron appeared to agree as he drank at length from his can, looking vaguely annoyed.

'Tell me about Hogwarts.'

Hermione glanced at him to gauge the sincerity of his interest. Liking what she saw, she consciously tried to remove the awkwardness from her voice.

'Hagrid asks after you often.' And always apologises afterwards, she added silently. 'Things seem a lot calmer in the castle since we were there—a lot quieter.'

Ron nodded. 'Not unsurprising, all things considered; though, maybe it's also because you are also seeing it from the other side of the coin.'

Hermione looked at him contemplatively. 'Yes, I suppose you're right. The students seem as hectic as ever.' She smiled. 'I doubt they get up to half of what we did, though.'

Ron laughed.

She shifted in her chair, warming to her subject. 'Guess what? Professor Snape knew all about the Polyjuice in the second year. He actually ticked me off for you and Harry throwing the firework!'



Ron shook his head. 'To think we thought we'd got away with it so cleverly. Didn't take any points from Gryffindor did he?'

'No, though I think he might have wanted to.' She felt a smile spread over her face.

'Is he still a git then, or what?'

Hermione frowned. 'No, not really,' she replied cryptically. 'Gryffindor are on course to win the Quidditch Cup.'

Ron didn't seem to take note of her swift changing of the subject.

'Good! I wouldn't mind going back there to watch a few matches.'

'Professor McGonagall probably wouldn't mind...'

From there on, the conversation had petered out, and Hermione had gone to bed regretting that simply talking to Ron had turned into such an onerous task.


Hermione marked her final first-year essay and pushed the pile aside. Reaching inside her robes, she pulled out a thick piece of parchment and unfolded it. She'd received the missive only a few hours ago.

She felt a thrill run through her each time she read it.

Standing, she moved over to the table where Snape had a brew simmering. She'd been tasked with keeping an eye on it while he was in his last lesson of the day. It was a Thursday, the dreaded Gryffindor and Slytherin class, and Hermione was being extra vigilant toward the potion. She was not going to suffer his ire today and let it spoil her good mood.

She almost dropped her wand in the cauldron when the door suddenly swung open with some force. Spinning round, she saw the Potions master slam the door shut, and then proceed to shrug off his robe. He flung it angrily to the ground.

She had just enough time to notice that there were several large stains covering the robe, before he blasted the material into nothingness with his wand.

Falling into his chair, he leant down and started rummaging furiously through his bottom drawer.


Had he been anyone else, Hermione was sure he would have jumped; instead, he merely snapped his head towards her.

He sighed with resignation. 'Ah, I forgot you were in here, Miss Granger.'

Confused with this display, she moved towards him. He reached back down and pulled out a small bottle of Ogden's from the drawer.

'Allow me,' Hermione offered, as he began rifling through the objects on his desk. Picking up a beaker from her table, she Transfigured it into a tumbler.

He nodded his thanks, and downed the measure in one, closing his eyes briefly in satisfaction. Hermione, undeniably intrigued, came to stand next to him. 'Bad lesson, I take it?'

He glanced up at her briefly, and if he thought anything of her proximity, he chose not to elucidate it. 'A cauldron explosion. I dread to think what was put in it—the cauldron literally splintered into pieces. I was able to act just in time to ensure that those in the immediate environs were not skewered.'

'Ah, no wonder your nerves are shot...'

'They're not shot...' he dismissed irritably.

He brought his left hand, which had been resting in his lap, onto the table to fiddle with the glass tumbler.

'Looks like someone got skewered, though.' Hermione nodded towards his hand.

'Hmm? Ah, yes.' He raised hand and examined the back of it. 'It's just a scratch.'

He produced his wand, but Hermione lightly put a hand to his arm.

His gaze flashed first to her hand and then to her face.

'You should put something on it before you heal the cut, otherwise who knows what you'll trap in there.' She pushed away from the desk and approached one of his cupboards.

'Stay away from my Dittany,' he ordered.

Hermione picked up a jar of antiseptic. 'It never crossed my mind to waste Dittany on you.' As soon as the words had left her mouth, she bit her lip. It was the type of thing he would have said to her, but she was never quite sure if he appreciated her playing the same game.

'I'll remember that the next time you are wounded.'

She set down the jar in front of him. 'Here—for your wound.'

She watched him rub some of the salve onto his hand. She was suddenly reminded of the time when he'd grabbed her wrist. It was one of the very few times he'd actually touched her, and in hindsight, it seemed she'd felt something then.

He picked up his wand once more and traced the tip along the cut, murmuring quietly.

While he was preoccupied, she took the opportunity to let her eyes travel over him. Since realising she was attracted to him, to her infinite chagrin, she found she was easily fascinated with looking at him. It felt normal to study him so, and she considered the possibility that she'd been doing it for a long time—it was only now that she was conscious of it. An increasingly popular past time for her was trying to work out what it was that she liked about him most.

Without the presence of his robe, it was possible to see that he was a rather thin man, but his stature suggested certain strength in his physique. His features were unconventional, but they spoke of the kind of life he had lived, and she liked that.

The cut healed, he replaced his wand up his sleeve. Shoulders slumping forward a fraction, he poured himself another measure of whiskey.

'Hang on, it's only four o'clock.'

'The benefits of a Sobering potion—I can get smashed several times in one night.'

She looked at him, appalled. 'You're joking?'

'Yes...' he acknowledged, but as an aside, added, 'that's what weekends are for.'

Hermione looked at her hands and frowned. Despite his teasing, he seemed unusually glum; the bite she was used to was missing from his voice—it was almost half-hearted.

'Are you all right?'

'Yes,' he replied shortly, tightening the lid on the bottle of whisky before shoving it back in its drawer. 'I hear that you had some good news today.'

'Oh! Yes, I've got an interview at St. Mungo's next week.' Hermione smiled at him happily.

'Well, well,' he said, raising his eyebrows as if surprised.

Hermione bridled. 'What?'

Snape shrugged flippantly. 'I just didn't expect my plea to actually work.'

'Your plea?'

'Yes, your reference consisted of 'Please, please, will someone take this bothersome girl off my hands! I'm willing to pay...'

Hermione gave a reluctant laugh. 'That's not very nice.' She'd been waiting for a remark like this, and anticipating it did not make things any easier.

'It's the truth.'

She decided to dive right in. 'I don't believe you.'

He eyed her speculatively. 'That's your prerogative. Still, poor Mr. Slug is going to be disappointed when he hears you are seeking employment elsewhere.'

She snorted. 'He'll get over it, I'm sure.'

She was only interested in one person being disappointed about her future plans, but by all accounts, he couldn't wait to get rid of her. She crossed back over to the cauldron, and stirred its contents wistfully.

How could she ever get him to look at her as anything other than a "bothersome girl"? She could make her hair a little smoother, adorn her face with make-up, smile a little wider at him, or even wear her robes a little more alluringly, but she doubted it would make a difference.

Hell, she could walk up to his desk and flash her breasts at him, and he would probably reply, with infinite indifference, 'Pray put those away, Miss Granger.'

She almost laughed aloud at the thought.

Well, if she ever got desperate, she could always try that as a last resort.


To Hermione's mind, that incident in his office following the cauldron explosion seemed to be the start of something that confused and disheartened her. There was perhaps no link, other than from then on his behaviour appeared to change. It was small things at first, which she did not believe so out of the ordinary. He might snap at her suddenly or become quiet and reticent, but she could deal with it and had dealt with it in the past.

It was not until the day she arrived in his office to find her stuff had been moved that she began to see the wider pattern emerging.

'What's going on?' she asked him with great uncertainty.

He spoke flippantly as he replaced several beakers into a chest. 'I've cleared some space for you in one of the disused rooms down the corridor. I don't need to remind you that your final draft of work is due in four weeks from today, and as this is the busiest time of year for me, too, I thought it best that we don't get under one another's feet.'

Hermione could only stare. In other words, he'd thrown her out of his office. 'You, um, didn't have to do that...'

She watched him shrug his shoulders.

'It seemed sensible—probably should have made such an arrangement from the off.'

Where had this come from? 'I'm sorry if I've been a nuisance, um...' She thought they'd got along fine in his office.

He stilled, and then finally deigned to look at her. 'I just think this is more practical.'

Hermione forced herself to look agreeable. 'Sounds good to me, then, ah, where exactly...?'

'Second door on the right.'

She left without another word. Entering her new workspace, she shook her head sadly as she put the pieces of the puzzle together. He'd been off with her for several days, she realised, and this incident cemented her suspicions completely. For some reason, he was speaking to her less and less. He always appeared to be busy with something, and while he did not dismiss her quite out of hand, whenever she tried to draw him into conversation, he seemed evasive and distant.

Was she reading too much into it? There was some logic to his argument, after all. In theory, they would probably find it easier to work in a solitary environment. He had all the end-of-year exams coming up, and she had only a few weeks to put the finishing touches on her project.

But he hadn't even consulted her about moving. Did she really annoy him so much that he couldn't wait until a few more weeks when she would leave for good?

Hermione picked up her quill feeling frustrated. She hated this room already.

Why was it that just when she thought she understood him, he threw her off completely with some oblique action or some enigmatic remark? Maybe she would never work him out—she'd just have to put up with it.

Oh, well, she could do distant also, if need be.

She just... didn't want to.

One Day Like This

A Harry Potter Story
by Hannah_1888

Part 11 of 23

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