Continuing Tales

One Day Like This

A Harry Potter Story
by Hannah_1888

Part 18 of 23

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Still The following morning, Hermione came downstairs to find Harry and Ron preparing to go out and watch the weekend Quidditch. Ron accosted her as soon as he clapped eyes on her.

'Hermione! Can you believe that bastard Yaxley?'

Hermione rolled her eyes good-naturedly. 'He didn't hurt me.'

'Yeah, well, what kind of an idiot risks his liberty to say sorry?'

'Snape wasn't impressed when he got back yesterday,' observed Harry. 'In fact, he was in a foul mood.'

Hermione's ears pricked up.

'He thinks he owns the place,' grumbled Ron. 'What is he even doing there? Git.'

Hermione held her tongue, and thankfully, both Harry and Ron soon left. She went into the kitchen.

'Gin, can I, um, tell you something?'

'Of course you can!' Ginny rolled her eyes as if she were stating the obvious. 'What do you want to talk about?'

It was something she'd been considering for a while, but the events of the day before had decided things for her.

'It's about me and Severus—Professor Snape.'

'Oh.' Ginny pulled out her wand and aimed it at the sink. Dishes began levitating, arranging themselves to be washed.

'We're, ah, sort of seeing each other.' Hermione didn't dare to breathe.

The dishes suddenly fell out of the air and clattered loudly into the sink. Ginny spun round wildly, her eyes impossibly wide, and her voice shrill. 'I'm sorry; did you just say you are seeing Professor Snape?'

Hermione tucked her hair behind her ear. 'I did, yes.'

Ginny looked completely speechless. 'You're seeing him?' she repeated slowly, as if she thought Hermione hadn't fully understood the significance of her own words.

Hermione nodded. 'Well, it's all a bit up in the air, really, but I think so, yes.'

'Up in the air? Hermione, you're going to have start from the beginning.' Ginny pulled out a chair and sat opposite, still sporting a look of complete shock.

'There's not much to tell. I began to have feelings for him, and I told him—'

'You told him?'

Hermione bit her lip in confusion. 'Should I not have...?'

'No; I just don't think I'd have had the guts!'

'Oh,' Hermione chuckled weakly, 'well, it wasn't easy, but anyway, the gist of it is that I found out he cared about me, too.'

Ginny clapped a hand over her mouth. 'Go on,' she urged.

'That was it—he refused to do anything about it. He felt— maybe even still does—that we are too different and that a relationship would only end in disaster.'

'Oh my... OK, this calls for a cup of tea.' Ginny stood up and filled the kettle, and Hermione watched apprehensively, waiting to see what her verdict would be.

'I mean, he has a point, doesn't he?' observed Ginny, as she picked two mugs off the shelf. 'The odds are so stacked against you!' There was something like wonderment in her voice. 'He's an older man; you both come from completely different backgrounds.' She reached into the fridge for the milk. 'He was your teacher; you were his apprentice. He was a Death Eater; you are Harry Potter's best friend.' Pausing, she touched her chin thoughtfully. 'And then there's that whole history he has with Harry's mother to take into consideration. Not to mention you are two very differently natured people—completely different, really.'

Hermione could only stare at her friend. 'I'll just go and kill myself now then, shall I?'

Ginny blinked and then laughed. 'But imagine if it did work? What a story that would be!' Her expression became distant. 'What a triumph against the odds!'

'Are you, um, going to swoon, or something?'

Ginny ignored her, still lost in whatever fantasy she was currently imagining. 'It's like something out of one of those Muggle films!'

'Gin!' Hermione said loudly. 'I assure you, when you are actually living the story, it's not nearly as romantic as it sounds. In fact, it's been nothing but torment and frustration, to be honest.'

Ginny sat back down. 'Yes, I suppose you are right.'

'You don't think I am making a mistake, then? Or that it's weird?'

'Hermione, please—you are one of the most levelheaded people I know. If you don't know what you are doing, then there's no hope for the rest of us!'

Hermione smiled gratefully.

'How do things stand now, then?'

'I think he's finally come round to the idea. Though, at this stage, I am not ruling out a change of heart, again.' Hermione sipped her tea. 'Do you think there's anything I can do to encourage him, or keep him convinced?'

Ginny thought for a moment. 'I think you should just be yourself, be friends—have a good time. All the rest will fall into place in time.'

Hermione sighed at length. 'I don't need to start wearing bright red lippy, then...?'

They both laughed.

'I thought something was going on when you were at Hogwarts.' Ginny smiled knowingly.

'You did not.'

'Ah! Don't think I didn't notice you both disappearing outside during the Ministry dinner!'

Hermione rolled her eyes. 'Oh, yes, that. Well, the less said about that, the better.'

'I cannot wait to see Harry and Ron's faces!'

Hermione blanched violently. 'Don't you dare—they cannot find out yet! No one can.'

'I know, I know,' said Ginny smoothly. 'I promise I won't say anything.'

Hermione suddenly regretted opening her mouth.

'I won't!'


Sunday morning dawned not a moment too soon for Hermione. Practically leaping from her bed, she wrenched back the curtains. Her prayers had been answered—it wasn't raining. Now she just had to hope the sun was shining elsewhere too, as they would not be staying in London.

By the time the clock chimed a quarter to ten, Hermione had changed her clothes and fiddled with her hair several times. Eventually, she settled on tying her hair back into a ponytail—her hair did not cope well in the wind, and where she was taking him would be windy.

Grabbing her bag, she hurried out of the door and Apparated to the Leaky Cauldron. She was not going to risk Flooing, at all—soot was never a good look. Would he like what she had planned? Or would he think her sentimental? Boring, even?

Stop fretting, you silly cow, she hissed to herself.

'Good morning, Severus,' said Hermione brightly, as she entered the courtyard behind the pub.

It was quiet, with nobody around, so she reached up with determination to kiss his cheek. There, it was done now. She didn't have to keep worrying about how she should greet him. She surreptitiously gauged his reaction as she stepped back.

'Good morning,' he replied smoothly. Well, he hadn't shoved her away, so that was always a good sign.

'How are you today?'

'Well, now that I have chanced upon your eager countenance, suspicious and not a little apprehensive. Just what have you got planned for today?'

Hermione smiled broadly. 'Don't worry; you'll get through the day in one piece, I assure you. There will be Muggles around, though, so before we go...' She nodded towards his robes.

He reached up and began undoing the tie around his neck. Hermione suddenly didn't know where to look and felt immensely ridiculous for it. He pocketed the black silk, and ran his wand over his robe and shirt until they dissolved into something more befitting of a Muggle.

'Right, then; I shall Apparate us.' A little voice rang out in her head, crying, don't Splinch him! She mentally acknowledged it and curled a hand around his arm. Within a moment, they were standing on a grassy cliff top overlooking the sea. Hermione glanced up at him hesitantly. 'You, ah, said before that you had never travelled much, and while I realise that this is not the most exotic place in the world, it's where I had some of my best times as a child.'

He glanced around for a moment, and then nodded slowly. 'So you have brought us west, then—Devon or Cornwall? I'll plump for the latter.'

'Yes, you're right.' She smiled, pleased that he'd remembered. 'I thought that it would be good for us to, um, well, to spend some time together that wasn't at Hogwarts, or whatever.' She wasn't sure she wanted to call it a date; it sounded trite—inadequate. She was on the verge of wringing her hands when he finally replied.

'Sounds like a good idea to me, too.' He looked at her. 'Where are we exactly?'

Hermione turned her gaze to the view before her. 'This is Land's End, the most westerly point in England; isn't it wonderful? There's nothing lying between us and North America apart from miles and miles of ocean.'

'Apart from the Isles of Scilly, of course,' added Snape, after a beat.

Hermione laughed. 'What—are you a walking atlas now, or something?'

'Actually, Dumbledore used to spend a lot of time down here in the summer, researching the history of Merlin and all those Arthurian legends. He once regaled us all with a scintillatingly long-winded tale about how he spent a whole week scouring the village of Tintagel.'

'Did he find anything?'

'No,' he snorted, though not unkindly, 'nothing that the Muggles hadn't already found, anyway. However, he was adamant to point out that he had interpreted a little more.'

Hermione smiled, but was unsure of how to respond. She could probably count on one hand the amount of times she had heard him mention the former Headmaster's name, and she did not know what to make of that. She did not want to encourage him to talk about if he did not want to, but she would have to confess herself interested in what their relationship had been like. She would like to think the best of Dumbledore, but sometimes she had to wonder at just what kind of man had been hidden behind the half-moon spectacles and garish robes.

'He did what he had to do, no more, no less,' said Snape, as if he knew where her thoughts were headed.

'As you yourself did?'

He gave a sidelong glance at her. 'I suppose.'

Hermione privately thought he'd done a little more than his duty. 'We can go there, if you like—to Tintagel, I mean. I didn't bring us here to simply stare at some cliffs and some sea, after all.' She hadn't missed the slightly pensive note in his voice as he spoke about the Headmaster.

'Yes, all right, then.' He touched her arm. 'I was worried you were going to take me to sit on a beach somewhere.'

Hermione paused and looked at him with disappointment. 'But I brought my bucket and spade!'

A small burst of laughter issued from him, and the corner of his mouth lifted in appreciation. Hermione filled with pleasure and took his arm once more. 'Right, I think I remember where I can Apparate to.'

'Hang on,' he interrupted. 'I don't suppose you could take us to the Lizard peninsula, as well?'

She looked up at him, stifling a smile. 'Plants?'

He nodded. 'Pomona raves about the amount of rare species to be found there.'

Hermione's eye lit up. 'Oh! In work, I've been using some Mese... Mesembryanthemums from here.' She always stumbled over that word. 'They're excellent.'

'Apparently the best Butcher's broom in the country is to be found here, not to mention the Cornish heath.'

'What are we waiting for, then?'

With a crack, they were gone.


A few hours later, after spending time studying plants atop windswept heaths and grasslands and visiting Tintagel castle, the two of them were sitting on a bench, enjoying that most traditional of Cornish delicacies—the pasty. Hermione had brought them to a quiet spot overlooking the sea in St. Ives. She'd directed him away from the harbour and busiest tourist part of the town, explaining her reasoning as thus: 'I actually had a whole pasty stolen from my hand by a rogue seagull once, while I was sitting there.'

Snape gasped melodramatically. 'What cheek...'

'It was actually quite traumatic!' Hermione had admonished. 'They are menaces.'

The silence between them was companionable, and Hermione felt her mind wandering, listening to the sound of the waves hitting the rocks below, until she was struck by something. She turned to her companion.

'Now, there's something else you must have while at the seaside. Wait here for me, OK?'

Snape nodded. 'Very well.'

Hermione returned about five minutes later. 'Here you are. I wasn't sure what flavour to get, but who doesn't like strawberry?' She proffered an ice cream cone to him.

His expression was a picture of disgust. 'I'm not eating that.'

'Why not?' She bit back a smile. 'I got a chocolate flake in it especially.'

'I don't care whether you made the bloody ice cream or the bloody flake! Besides, where's yours?'

'I got myself a tub.' She sat down and showed him the small tub and plastic spoon, and laughed when he glared at her. 'Actually, the tub is for you—I thought it was more civilised.'

He took the tub off her with a grumble. 'I hate ice cream, anyway.'

'No you don't. Don't think I never saw you sneaking a spoonful of vanilla ice cream during dessert at Hogwarts.'

'Stalker,' he muttered under his breath.

Hermione almost choked on her flake. 'I wasn't a stalker!' she protested loudly.

'Every time I turned around, there you were.'

A faint blush rose in her cheeks; she hadn't followed him about like some lost little lamb. 'That's because you were stalking me.'

He was quiet for a moment. 'I rather think I did quite the opposite.'

'I suppose you did, yes, in the end,' she agreed, suddenly feeling rather serious.

'Although,' he ventured distantly, 'if you were always there when I turned around, well, maybe it was because I was always looking for you in the first place.'

Hermione stilled at his words, fully appreciative of the fact that he could admit to such a thing. He'd never given much concession as to his feelings. And his words, though ever enigmatic, did speak volumes. She felt, rather than saw, him shift on the bench, as if uncomfortable with revealing such depth of personal feeling. One day, she resolved, there would be a time when discomfort or self-consciousness would disappear.

'When did you realise that you cared about me?' It was something she'd wondered about—she could not deduce a particular point where his manner had changed towards her.

Snape raised an eyebrow and looked at her rather appraisingly.

'Oh, I'm not... I'm just curious. I had an epiphany on the night of the dinner.' Maybe if she revealed something, he would not feel so reticent.

His eyes narrowed in thought. 'The dinner?'

'Yes—wasn't it obvious?'

'Should it have been?'

'Yes,' she laughed. 'Have you forgotten about that whole debacle with Lavender?'

'No, of course not, but...' His expression was blank.

'I was consumed with jealousy.'

'Oh... I thought you just couldn't stand her.'

'Well? What about you? Was it... was it when you moved me from your office?'

He shrugged and there was a faint frown upon his face. 'There was no real Eureka moment. I suppose the closest I came to having one was when I found myself balancing a handful of lacewing flies over your cauldron.'

Hermione gasped loudly. 'You were going to sabotage my work—my apprenticeship?'

'I didn't think you'd mind...' he commented dryly.

'I would have!' Hermione laughed. 'You're not serious, are you?'


She smiled and turned her attention to her ice cream for a moment. Something else was niggling at her. 'Severus, would you ever have got in touch with me after I left Hogwarts? Even just as a friend?'

He looked at her and his expression was rather grave. He cleared his throat and shifted on the bench. Hermione got the distinct impression that she wasn't going to like his next words.

'I don't think I would have,' he admitted softly, and Hermione's heart sank. 'I wanted to, but I could not. For instance, I regretted that I wasn't there when you came to the castle for your results, but justified to myself that I was doing the right thing for both of us. I hoped in time, it would just... go.'

The atmosphere between them became suddenly tense. 'You do wonders for a girl's confidence, you know,' Hermione commented, slightly bitterly. She could feel him looking at her. Why wasn't she enough to inspire him to throw caution to the wind? Could she ignite a passion within him that would make him want to forget everyone and everything?

'You know that I...' He trailed off. 'You know it wasn't as simple as that.'

'No, I suppose it wasn't.' She did truly believe that. As much as she would like to imagine that nothing else mattered—that having requited feelings meant everything was fine, it didn't work like that. Her pride appreciated knowing that he had felt some regret over his decisions, and he had said to her before that it had never been easy for him. It was folly to think that either of them could have abandoned all reason, or ignored what else was important to them—they were just... not those kinds of people. And that, Hermione considered, was okay.

Her thoughts continued to command her attention, and she was only distracted when she felt ice cream dripping onto her hand from her forgotten cone.

'Oh, bugger...' She pulled out a napkin with a grimace, and began wiping her hand. 'Argh, it's dripping everywhere—'

Suddenly, though, it wasn't dripping on her anymore. Indeed, she was staring at an empty hand—her empty hand. Snape had grabbed the cone flung it over onto the rocks below.

'Problem solved.'

Hermione was still staring at her hand in disbelief. 'I can't believe you just—'

'Hush,' he urged, and he touched her jaw, turning her face towards his.

He kissed her before she could do anything.

'I believe it was my turn, after all,' he murmured, after a moment.

Hermione was suddenly reminded once more of that time she had dared to kiss him on the lips—it seemed like an age ago. She placed a hand on his cheek. 'Does this mean it's my turn, again?'

She caught his gaze, and he nodded. Hermione kissed him back, only this time, she made sure that it wasn't brief. She brought her other hand to his jaw and held his face to hers. Eventually drawing apart slightly, they both stilled for a moment, as if to move would undo the last few minutes.

The moment was broken, however, when Snape opened his mouth. 'Your hand is really sticky.'

Hermione snatched her hand back with a laugh. 'Sorry.' She took out her wand and cast a cleansing charm, flushing with pleasure at the small smile upon his face.


It was fairly late when Hermione opened the door to Grimmauld Place, feeling more light-hearted than she had in a long while. Maybe she was even a bit light-headed after that last drink she'd had. She smiled to herself. It was a smile, however, that soon dissolved when she entered the living room to see Harry, Ginny, and Ron sitting in complete silence. She flung her bag down on a chair.

'Merlin, is everything all right? You look like something terrible has happened.'

Ginny suddenly flashed her an apologetic look, and Hermione felt a jolt of fear run through her.

'What's going on?' she asked shakily.

Harry leant forward and unfolded the copy of the Evening Prophet that lay on the coffee table.

'Oh, for Merlin's sake! Don't tell me there's more about me and bloody Lavender in there!' Hermione snatched up the paper angrily. 'I'm going to have to complain about this. It's...' The words died in her throat when she saw the photograph on the bottom of the front page. Her blood ran cold, and her heart began to beat faster, resulting in an almost painful throb in her neck.

'It's me and Severus,' she said simply, her voice coming out in a sort of whispered croak.

'We'd established that it's you and Severus,' commented Ron snidely, not looking at her.

'What's going on, Hermione?' put in Harry.

So Ginny hadn't enlightened them, then. Hermione moistened her dry lips, and tried to regain her equilibrium. 'It's um...'

The picture wasn't even suggestive, well, in a subtle way it was, but it wasn't conclusive. They were walking – it must have been taken while they were on the way to the pub, later in the afternoon. She was talking about something. Hermione couldn't even remember what about, now. He was looking ahead, not even appearing particularly interested. But then, Hermione watched herself smile broadly and curl her hand around his arm. Whatever it was that she was talking about, he suddenly looked at her, as if he was laughing. From there, the photograph went back to the beginning.

'What is there to say?' Hermione shrugged, outwardly calm, inwardly bridling with a mixture of annoyance and disbelief. 'We were just talking.'

The caption under the photo implied otherwise, but Hermione resolutely ignored it.

'You went all the way to Cornwall to talk?'

'He's my friend—'

'Oh, pull the other one, Hermione! Have you seen that photo?' Ron glared at her.

She wasn't ready for it to come out yet. 'It's nothing...' Maybe if they were any other people, then it would be believable, but they were not. They were Severus Snape and Hermione Granger—could it really be nothing?

Harry's words echoed her thoughts. 'Ron's right, Hermione; this is Snape we're talking about, here.'

'If Hermione says it's nothing, then we should respect her word,' said Ginny diplomatically, but firmly.

Ron ignored her. 'Just admit it, Hermione. Go on, you're having some sort of disgusting affair with him, aren't you?'

'It's not disgusting!' she protested loudly.

'Oh, but it is an affair, then.' Ron sneered triumphantly.

Hermione shook her head in sadly. 'You make it sound sordid, and it's not.'

Harry rubbed a hand over his face, his eyes wide. Ron merely shook his head in disbelief.

'How long has it been going on for?' Harry asked.

Hermione crumpled up the paper and dropped it onto the table, hissing, 'For about three bloody days!' It was ridiculous!

'So there is still time for you to come to your senses, then?'

'I don't need to come to my senses, Ron.'

'Listen to yourself—he's a murderer!'

Ginny put her head in her hands. Hermione stared at Ron in astonishment.

'Oh, Ron, don't start that now.'

'Why not? It's the truth.'

'He's not a murderer, Ron,' said Harry quietly.

Ron scoffed. 'You wouldn't be saying that if he'd been on the Dark side, would you?'

'The point is, Ron, that he wasn't on Voldemort's side, and he hadn't been for years!'

'The point is, Hermione, that he ever was in the first place!'

Hermione clenched her fists. 'He made a mistake—you know he regretted it!'

'I'm sick of you always defending him—'

'Well, I can't help it if I feel he needs defending! For crying out loud, a lot more us would be dead were it not for him!'

'Oh, all hail Severus bloody Snape!'

'Ron, you are trying my last nerve—this bitterness doesn't suit you!'

'Why should he get a second chance?' He stood up, looking at her grimly. 'Why should my brother lose his life—why should Teddy Lupin grow up without any parents, while men like the Malfoys, and Snape, people who helped begin the whole mess in the first place, get to start again?'

'Ron,' Hermione began sadly, 'you can't make judgements about who deserves to live or not—it doesn't work like that.'

'Don't patronise me, Hermione.'

'I'm not; I'm just saying… I know losing Fred was especially hard for you and your family. It's just…'

'It's just what? Everything is all right because he's sorry? Forget about everything else! You are deluding yourself, Hermione, and you are wasting your time on him.'

'Ron, calm down,' said Harry firmly.

'Don't you start—don't pretend you understand this any more than I do, Harry! It's sickening, it's—'

Hermione had her wand out, and suddenly Ron was silent, despite his lips still moving. A look of fury passed over his features.

'I'm not going to listen to one more word of this.'

She turned around and left the room. Ginny called out to her, but Hermione carried on down the hallway and out of the front door. She paused on the steps, breathing deeply. A few errant tears trickled down her cheeks, and she wanted to stamp her foot in pure frustration. Why did this have to happen now? Why not when she was more prepared for it?

She would not go back in Grimmauld Place tonight, and there were only two other places she could go. She could go to her parents', but would face some tricky explanations as to why she was there, and she could not stomach even the thought of it after that performance in there. The only other option was to go to Hogwarts and hope that Severus Snape had not suddenly changed his mind, now that some of his original misgivings were looking like they may be about to come true.

One Day Like This

A Harry Potter Story
by Hannah_1888

Part 18 of 23

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