Continuing Tales

One Day Like This

A Harry Potter Story
by Hannah_1888

Part 19 of 23

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Still Hermione moved quickly up the path to Hogwarts, aggravation marking her every stride. Night was beginning to gradually descend, but there were only very few lights glowing from within the castle. Gryffindor Tower was completely shrouded in darkness, and the windows of the Great Hall were full of shadows. She reached the doors and stopped. Would they even be unlocked? Could she just wander inside? She lifted her hands and the heavy doors shifted under her weight—clearly, she could, then.

She paused in the Entrance Hall. This was actually verging on the ridiculous—she had no idea where his rooms were! Neither did she know who else was in the castle. How was she going to explain herself if she suddenly bumped into Filch, or someone? Although, if he'd seen the Prophet, then she probably wouldn't need to explain. Swallowing uncomfortably, she headed for the staircase down into the dungeons, which were made all the more eerie by the fact that they were deadly silent. There was something rather unnerving about silence in a place she was used to being bustling and noisy.

His classroom was locked. No surprise there. She tried his office, but it was locked too. Hermione bit her lip in frustration. What was she going to do now? Wander aimlessly around the depths of the castle, or...

'Miss Granger?'

Hermione nearly died of fright. She spun around to find herself face to chest with the Bloody Baron.

'Oh, hello, Baron.' She breathed a sigh of relief.

'Severus informed me to keep an eye out for you. If you'll follow me.'

He was expecting her? That was interesting.

Hermione dutifully followed the ghost down the corridor, past the Slytherin common room, and to a part of the dungeons Hermione had never had cause to visit before. The Baron paused outside a nondescript tapestry and then floated off.

Hermione looked at the tapestry rather dumbly. Should she knock? The tapestry began shimmer before her eyes, however, and a door materialised. It opened.

'Hello; I had a feeling I might be seeing you again today.'

She sighed at the sight of him. 'So it would seem—you saw it, then?'

Snape nodded. 'Minerva kindly left a copy for me on my desk.' He stood aside to let her in.

Hermione entered and couldn't help but look around her surroundings with interest. Would she able to gain more insight into his character through a glance around his private domain? 'Can you believe it?' she asked quietly, her gaze moving around the room. 'Practically the first time we go anywhere, and someone not only sees us, but takes a bloody picture, as well!'

Snape made a noise of acknowledgement and she looked at him to determine what he was thinking. He was standing in front of the fireplace with his hands in his pockets. His robe was missing, and with his shirt un-tucked, Hermione felt herself considerably drawn to the fact that he looked a little dishevelled. He moved to sit down in an armchair, and she turned her attention away from him. She stepped towards the settee in the middle of the room and looked at the bookshelf lining one of the walls.

'I thought it was unlikely anyone would recognise us down there, and no one knew we were going.' There was a large piece of carpet covering the flagstone floor, and she looked at its faint swirls of pattern contemplatively. 'I didn't even see anyone take that picture—did you?'

'I did not,' he replied. Of course he hadn't, he surely would have said something if he had.

There were no photographs in the room, or paintings. Only lamps and a few tapestries adorned the walls. Hermione lifted her eyes from a table covered in quills and parchment and felt irritation swell up within her once more. 'It just gets on my nerves so much! They have no respect for privacy whatsoever! Why should they be bothered about what we do? Does anyone really care?'

She hesitated when there was no response forthcoming, and she looked at him fully once more. He was flicking through the Practical Potioneer. 'Do you even care?' she pressed, somewhat miffed. 'Clearly, you are not even listening to me!'

He sighed and flipped the journal onto the small stool near his feet. 'I am listening to you; I just feel that your irritation is superfluous.'

Hermione goggled at him. 'Superfluous? Do you not grasp the significance of this occurrence? We will be bombarded with Owls asking us to confirm whether it's true—all the little details they'll want to know, and if we don't give it to them, they'll simply go ahead and speculate. Isn't that what you were concerned about before—that insinuations would be made? That my character, as well as yours, would be questioned?'

He raised his hand in a dismissive gesture. 'It would have happened at some point, regardless.'

'But this soon, though? We'll... never get any peace, now.' It would hinder the progress of their rather fledgling relationship, surely? And how could he be so unflappable about this?

Snape got up and poured her a small measure of Firewhisky. 'Here, drink this—you'll feel better for it.'

'Drink doesn't solve all problems, you know,' she muttered, rolling her eyes.

He looked at the glass in his hand as if he'd never seen it before. 'It doesn't?' he asked, affecting confusion.

Hermione smiled and took a sip, not really prepared for the burn at the back of her throat. Her eyes watered slightly, and she reached up to wipe them.

'Have you been crying?' he suddenly asked, with a note of accusation in his voice.

She stilled before removing her hand. 'No, not really; I was just annoyed. Ron said some things...'

'Ah.' He moved back to his chair. 'You see, this is why I am able to be calm about this. You expected me to be outraged, did you not? And I do regret that they've found out this soon... But I have no one to care about what I do. There'll be gossip, no doubt, amongst the staff, but nothing I can't handle. You, however, have your friends, your colleagues, your parents. They will all judge you, and already, I think I can say that at least one has been none too kind. That does bother me.'

Hermione said nothing.

'I have had people whispering behind my back since ever I can remember, Hermione. No doubt they may suggest I have used some Dark and terrible way of ensnaring you. But it won't be anything I won't have heard before. Or they may decide to focus their attentions upon you. Indeed, maybe I have everything to gain from this. Maybe you're taking advantage of a poor, troubled former spy who's having a mid-life crisis, as the Muggles term it.'

Hermione smiled despite herself and moved to stand nearer his chair. 'Well, we can avoid that sort of speculation as long as you are not photographed buying the latest model broomstick. Then I'll be worried you're having a mid-life crisis.'

Snape smirked for a moment, but spoke seriously once more. 'I wish there was something we could do about it, but there is not—I suppose we just rise above it. Though, inevitably, they will move their attention onto something else.'

Hermione thought for a moment. 'Well, I don't care about it, as long as you don't.'

He surveyed her dubiously for a moment. 'Weasley did not upset you, then?'

Hermione sat on the arm of his chair and looked at her hands. 'No, he did,' she admitted. 'He was particularly angry about it.' She'd known he would likely be the one to object most, but the depth of his hostility had taken her aback. She'd had no idea that his dislike for Snape ran so deep.

Snape picked up his journal and started casually rifling through the pages. There was a scowl upon his face. 'Surely he gave up his right to concern when he binned you for that tart.'

'Thanks,' she replied dryly. 'Just what every girl likes to be reminded of—being binned. Besides, we actually binned each other, to begin with.' She thought for a moment. 'But he's my friend. I value the opinion of my friends—we've been through so much together. It's hard to completely destroy such a bond.'

His hand turning the pages of the journal suddenly stilled, and Hermione gently plucked it out of his grasp. He offered no resistance, and she knew he hadn't really been reading it.

'My friends mean a lot to me, Severus, but that does not mean I'd drop you for them. And likewise, I would not drop my friends for your sake, either.'

He glanced up at her. 'We will never get on, Hermione. Do you want that—two separate lives, one with me, and another with your friends, and never the twain shall meet?'

Hermione bit her lip. She hadn't really thought much about it, but he had a point. 'I'm sure that in time you would learn to be tolerant of each other—I'd never expect you all to be the best of friends.'

He snorted. 'Good.'

'Ron will get used to it, I'm sure.'

'What did he say? Played the Death Eater card, did he? Maybe even the mur—'

Hermione's hand shot out to grab his arm. 'Don't.' She sighed and leaned against the back of the chair. 'Don't you start all that, as well.'

He huffed, but reluctantly heeded her.

'I'm going to have to move out of Grimmauld Place, though,' she said, after a moment of silence, placing her arm along the back of the chair to keep her balance. Her hand could reach out and touch his hair if she let it. 'I found somewhere the other day; it was a little more expensive than I would have preferred, but now I think I'll go for it.' It wasn't fair on Harry and Ginny to have that kind of fraught atmosphere in their home.

'I've money, if you have need of it.'

Hermione snapped her head towards him. 'What?'

He shrugged. 'What have I had to spend years of salary on, apart from the necessities?'

'Still, I'm an independent woman, you know.' Hermione crossed her arms primly.

'My apologies to your wounded pride.'

'Besides, can you imagine if it came out that you were paying for my flat? Two words: gold and digger.' She smiled wryly.

'I think a proper gold-digger would know better than to prey on a teacher. We don't earn that much, I can tell you.'

There was something Hermione wanted to ask him. Though, considering he'd showed no compunction in the past about telling her what she didn't want to hear, she was a little hesitant. But she knew it was best to talk about certain things, and at least then she would know where she stood with him.

Hermione leant her elbow on the back of the chair and tapped him on the shoulder.

'What?' he asked, raising his eyes to her.

'You didn't think this an opportunity for you to change your mind about us, then?'

He frowned slightly. 'No, it... it never crossed my mind, all right?'

Hermione's face lit up, and his own expression softened somewhat. 'I know that in the past I showed a good degree of scepticism, but now that I've committed myself to the idea, I'm not going to suddenly turn my back on you. What do you take me for? I do have some knowledge about the work involved in relationships, I'm not—'

'All right, all right,' she appeased as irritation began to rise in his voice. 'Forget I said anything.'

She heard him grumble unintelligibly under his breath and felt a such sudden rush of affection that she leaned over as far as she could, grabbed his chin, and planted a smacker of a kiss on his cheek, making a sound of satisfaction as she did so.

His answering expression was one of such priceless horror that Hermione couldn't help but laugh heartily.


The first time Hermione woke up in Severus Snape's bed was not the momentous occasion one might have anticipated. Well, it was momentous in some respects, of course, but the reason she'd been in there in the first place was rather trivial. She'd had to sleep somewhere, after all, and when, the night before, she'd nearly dislocated her jaw with a huge yawn, he ordered her to go to bed. Even in her drowsy state, a part of her had inwardly blushed at such a suggestion.

'Oh, I couldn't...' she'd argued, rather weakly.

'Just go,' he replied, calmly unruffled, 'I will be fine out here.'

She'd wanted to argue something along the lines of, 'It's your bed, you shouldn't have to give it up,' or even to tentatively suggest that they share it; it was only sleeping, after all. However, Hermione had been positive she would not be able to articulate herself without becoming extremely flustered and instead, she'd bade him goodnight before scuttling off to the bedroom—alone.

She justified her lack of courage through consoling herself into thinking she'd saved them both a great deal of awkwardness and discomfort.

They could keep all that for another day.

Presently, it was early morning, and Hermione was quietly letting herself into number twelve, Grimmauld Place. She toyed with the idea of sneaking straight upstairs to her bedroom, but decided that it was perhaps best to face the music straight away. Hopefully, Ron would be at his own flat.

It was with relief that she encountered only Ginny in the living room.

'Hermione!' She smiled. 'Are you all right?'

Hermione nodded. 'Is, ah... anyone else around?'

'Harry had to go in early today, and Ron isn't here.'

Hermione threw herself onto the settee with a lengthy sigh.

'Was, um, Professor Snape angry about the Prophet thing?'

'To be honest, he had to calm me down.' She noted the almost bemused look on Ginny's face and reasoned that it probably did sound rather strange to the untrained ear. Her eyes alighted on the morning newspaper. 'Go on, then; what's the damage?'

Ginny grimaced. 'It's only just arrived—I haven't looked yet. Shall I...?'

Hermione nodded tightly; it was best to get it over with. Ginny took up the paper and unfolded it.

'Right, well, there's no picture on the front page, at least.'

'At least?'

'Yes; there is, however, a headline, um.' Ginny paused. "Canoodles on the Cornish coast."'

Hermione almost laughed. 'Because, of course, that picture of us was clearly us canoodling!'

Ginny smiled and opened the paper.

'Is it a really big article?'

She glanced over the top of the paper apologetically. 'It's a whole page.'


'There's a much bigger version of the one from yesterday, and one each of you. Do you want me to read the article aloud?'

Hermione rubbed a hand over her eyes. 'Sure.'

'Yesterday, the Evening Prophet exclusively revealed that Hermione Granger, 20, has been enjoying the company of none other than notorious former double-agent, Severus Snape, 40. A source who witnessed the pair on a cosy walk through the picturesque Cornish town of St. Ives said: "They looked like they were together—you could just tell. Hermione couldn't take her eyes off him."'

Hermione scowled to herself.

'While neither Miss Granger, nor Mr Snape has officially confirmed their relationship, if the rumours are true, it will likely cause a huge stir. One might reasonably ask how Hermione Granger has come to be involved with her former teacher, and indeed, for how long. Eyebrows were raised twelve months ago when Miss Granger suddenly left her job at the Department for the Control of Magical Creatures to take up an apprenticeship post at Hogwarts with none other than Severus Snape, current Potions master and deputy Headmaster at the school. The Prophet can confirm that Snape has never taken on such a student before, and those few who did dare apply were swiftly rebuffed.

'It appears to have been a clever move on Miss Granger's part. A source close to her added that the young Hermione was always rather enamoured of her professor: "She was always talking about him when we were in school—now we know why."'

'What the hell?' shouted Hermione in indignation.

Ginny continued.

'Severus Snape, the man who devoted his life to avenging the death of his childhood friend Lily Potter, nee Evans, is, by all accounts, not a man to be trifled with. Though integral to the defeat of Tom Riddle, he is a man whose character and integrity has often been subject to speculation. Indeed, one must ask if Miss Granger really knows what she is getting herself involved in.

'And one can only wonder what Harry Potter must be thinking, now that his best friend has seemingly taken up with his former nemesis. All we can say is, watch this space.'

'Who on earth is this source they keep referring to?' Ginny sported a deep look of confusion.

A light came on in Hermione's mind and she froze. 'I'll bet you every single thing I own that it is our good friend, Lavender Brown.'

Ginny's eyes widened. 'No... Really?'

'Only she would want to make me look like a pathetic, love-sick girl who has finally bagged her schoolgirl crush!'

Ginny shook her head. 'Merlin, what a conniving....'

Hermione hit her head against the back of the settee in frustration. 'We'll never know, though, if it was her.'

Hermione resolved, however, that she would be keeping her eyes peeled for any clue as to Lavender's involvement. Maybe she was paranoid, but deep down, she knew it was her.



Hermione slid somewhat apprehensively into a seat at an inconspicuous table at the back of the Red Dragon.

'I think we're all right,' commented Snape, surreptitiously glancing around their immediate vicinity. 'I can't see anyone watching us.'

Her shoulders sagged a bit in relief. 'Is one o'clock too early for a glass of wine?'

'That bad, is it?'

'How many Owls did you receive this morning?'

Snape smirked. 'Three.'

'I had ten! Some from the Daily Prophet; two from Witch Weekly; and listen to this, I actually had an anonymous one informing me that I should stay away from you.'

His expression clouded over.

'Oh no, it wasn't that. They were warning me for your sake—saying I sounded like a predator, and that I was simply after the glory or something!' Hermione looked at him incredulously.

'Well, at least there have been no Howlers,' he offered in a conciliatory tone. 'Though, I am expecting at least one telling me I should take up with someone my own age.'

Hermione grunted in agreement. It wouldn't be surprising if one of them did receive a Howler.

'By the way, how long have you been enamoured of me, then?' His eyebrow was raised, indicating that he did not believe one word of what had been printed.

Hermione groaned. 'I think I know who is responsible for that bit of embellishment.'

'Miss Brown?'

'Thank you! Yes, I thought so too, and I will find a way of proving it.' Hermione sighed and shrugged. 'It's not so bad, though. The people in work have been looking at me differently, but no one has dared to outright ask me what's going on. And at least reporters can't get into St. Mungo's. By the way, if you see a beetle anywhere, crush it.'


Hermione nodded vehemently.

They talked for a little while longer, but Hermione was soon looking at her watch. 'Argh, I'm sorry, but I have to be getting back now, I have a brew that might explode if I leave it any longer.' She didn't want to go back to work. She didn't want to go anywhere where people would be looking at her and whispering about her. Her brew could explode, if it really wanted to.

But there was no use in thinking such thoughts. She stood up and edged towards him slightly. 'Can I...?'

'Can you what?'

She saw by the glint in his eye that he knew what she wanted. 'I want to give you a kiss goodbye,' she said briskly, without hesitance. 'But I don't know if I should.'

He stood up abruptly. 'This is ridiculous,' he muttered. He closed his eyes for a brief moment and mumbled something quietly under his breath. 'There.'

Hermione could feel a thrum of magic around her, but there was no visible sign of it. Before she could ask what he'd done, he'd slipped an arm about her waist.

'Oh, are we—'

Her words were cut off by his lips, and, really, that was fine by her. Indeed, as she brought her arms about his neck she considered that maybe they did too much talking. It was something to think about for the future.

'It was just a little spell to divert attention,' he explained, when they pulled apart.

'So we could do anything and no one would notice?' Immediately a blush tinged her cheeks. Had she actually said that out loud? 'I didn't mean... you know, anything like that.'


He was joking, of course, and Hermione chuckled, but there was an undercurrent of something in his eyes that she knew was no joke at all.

Reluctant to resort to clichés, she nevertheless couldn't help but admit that it left her feeling rather breathless.

When Hermione arrived home from work that day there was a journalist waiting for her. He practically popped out from behind a nearby car, startling her into flinching violently.

'Miss Granger, can you confirm—'

Hermione hurried inside and slammed the door. She leant against it, feeling infinitely fed up. She would have to move out soon. This was Harry and Ginny's home and they shouldn't have to put up with their peace being disturbed.

How about her own peace? How will Severus and I ever be able to go anywhere? she thought helplessly. Maybe maintaining a dignified silence was not the best way to go. If they officially confirmed things, perhaps the interest would wane. Or perhaps it would intensify. It was a double bind. Clearly, regardless of what the official line was, the press were only interested in getting a scoop—some potentially scandalous picture or some incriminating gossip.

Possibly, if she grabbed him and started kissing him in the middle of the Atrium that would silence them once and for all. She doubted, however, that either of them had the guts for that sort of thing—not at this stage, anyway.

She sighed. But this was only the first day, after all. It was possible that if they hung onto their reticence a bit longer, the press would get tired of chasing them and back off for a while. Or there was always the option of going out in disguise. Hermione smiled at the thought. Maybe they'd leave that until they got really desperate.

One thing she did know—she had not gone to all this trouble of winning round Severus Snape, only to be able to see him for a sneaky five minutes in a gloomy old pub during her lunch hour!

No, indeed—it was simply not good enough.

One Day Like This

A Harry Potter Story
by Hannah_1888

Part 19 of 23

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