Continuing Tales

One Day Like This

A Harry Potter Story
by Hannah_1888

Part 2 of 23

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Still ‘Here is your essay back, Miss Granger.’

Hermione looked up from where she was currently replenishing the ingredients in the student cupboard, and her stomach jumped uncomfortably. No matter how old she got, she realised she would never quite get rid of the fear of failure. She always managed to do well; yet she always wondered if there would come a time when she would trip up spectacularly. It was a feeling that had only become magnified since becoming an apprentice—she had no peers for her work to be compared against; it was just her.

Snape placed down the scroll on the bench beside her and moved to sit behind his desk. She stared at the parchment with a frown. It was no good trying to determine from his demeanour whether she had done well or not. He, very much, kept his opinions for the page, though rarely were they particularly praiseworthy.

Hermione snatched up the parchment and unrolled it. She hadn’t failed. There were, however, several instances of spiky, red handwriting on the pages, and she scanned through them, biting her lip. Rolling the parchment back up, she looked over at Snape who was marking a long line of potions; a small smile formed and she cleared her throat carefully.

‘You know, sir, I can tell when you start correcting my punctuation that you’re otherwise impressed with my work,’ she said, without conceit.

Snape looked up with a raised eyebrow. ‘I’d be more impressed if you put your commas in the right place.’

‘Most of them were,’ she countered.

‘Pity about that mistake in your bibliography, though, wasn’t it? Where you put Davies and Daniels in the wrong order.’

Hermione ripped open the scroll once more. ‘Ah, yes; trust you to notice that.’

Damn! What a silly mistake for her to make!

‘Fancy someone of your age being alphabetically-challenged.’

‘Quite.’ Hermione tried not to smile as she turned her attention back to the store cupboard. She pulled out the box of Bicorn horns and grimaced.

‘Ugh! When was the last time this cupboard was cleaned out?’ Hermione blindly reached to the back and pulled out another box. ‘These Mer-scales look like they’ve been in here since I was a student.’

‘If that’s the box that feels slightly damp, then they’ve been there since I was a student.’

Hermione quickly placed the box back and shuddered. She felt her wand in her sleeve and wondered if she should try a few cleaning spells to eradicate the dust and cobwebs. Her fingers had closed around the end of her wand when she realised that Snape had joined her. She relinquished her grip. The last thing she wanted to do was to show weakness in front of him, which was silly, really, as he obviously knew all about it.

He picked up a handful of scales. ‘They’re probably all right, but might as well bin them now, just in case.’ He also reached into the back of the cupboard, pulling out a jar that Hermione, for the life of her, could not imagine what it had originally contained. Whatever it had been, it had now turned to slime.

‘Don’t open it!’ she protested, when he put his hand on the lid.

He tipped the jar sideways. ‘Judging from the consistency... and the brownish tinge, I would say this is a very old jar of spleens.’

‘Lovely,’ commented Hermione tightly, turning away from the movement of the slime within the jar.

Snape put his hand up into one of the top shelves. ‘Hmm, this feels interesting.’

She braced herself.

He removed another dusty box and opened it. ‘Just some owl claws, and, ah, look; a spider.’

Hermione watched the spider scamper hurriedly around the box and she shivered, taking an involuntary step backwards.

Snape replaced the lid. ‘Well, I’ll leave you to it.’

She opened her mouth to object, but he’d already turned on his heel and left the room. Hermione stared at the door and grimaced. What had she said about not scrubbing cauldrons? She sighed, gingerly pushing the box with the spider in it away from her.

She shouldn’t have teased him about her essay.


It was surprising, really, how quickly she’d fallen into the habit of not using magic. She could have spent the immediate weeks following the incident in Diagon Alley feeling distinctly sorry for herself, but owing to her rather determined nature, Hermione had simply got on with it. That was not to say it hadn’t been hard to begin with.

Neither did it mean that she didn’t long for her magic to return. She missed being able to Apparate; she missed being able to use everyday charms; she missed the comfort and security of her magic, a sharp reminder, Hermione realised, of how heavily reliant she had become on it.

She stirred her potion thoughtfully. Maybe she was now on the way to getting back to normal—none of her spells had completely failed her for some time. Still, no matter what anyone said, there remained a niggling doubt in her mind that the curse would never go—that it had caused irrevocable damage. She tried not to think so negatively, but she couldn’t help it sometimes.

Hermione turned down the heat under her cauldron and, sitting down on her stool, she waited while her brew simmered for several minutes. Removing her wand, she looked around the empty classroom.

Accio vial.’

The little glass vial flew swiftly into her hand. Hermione paused, as she often did after casting spells, to assess herself.

She felt fine.


The vial grew to twice its former size. She had just finished transfiguring the vial into a test-tube when Snape entered. She noticed his eyes flick to her wand, and she put it down on the table.

‘My rooms are full of partially transfigured objects,’ she commented, with a wry quirk of her lips.

He didn’t say anything; he merely crossed to his bookshelf and started flicking through a book. Hermione turned her attention back to her potion, unfazed. He was often in a mood that meant less talk, more silence.

Briefly, she toyed with the idea of transfiguring the test-tube back into a vial, but she was afraid to push herself too much, and heeding Poppy’s advice seemed best.

She added the remaining ingredients to her cauldron and proceeded to ladle some into a flask. Once stoppered and labelled, Hermione took her finished product over to Snape’s desk for inspection.

‘Done,’ she said simply.

‘Very well,’ he acknowledged, not really looking up from his work.

Hermione was about to return to her bench to clear away her equipment, when she caught sight of Snape’s folded up Prophet. There was one small image that caused her to stop and stare. It was of Ron, and underneath it simply said 'page five'.

‘Um, do you mind if I...?’ Hermione motioned to the newspaper.

‘Go ahead,’ he replied, waving his hand impatiently.

She took the paper and sat down. With a deep breath, she flicked straight through to page five. Being the close friend of Harry Potter, and helping to defeat a Dark wizard at only eighteen, meant that the Wizarding press often showed an interest in their lives, much to Hermione’s consternation. Though, now she managed to avoid such speculation, secluded, as she was, in a remote castle. Still, she hadn’t always got off lightly. Her attack had featured in it, thankfully, without reference to the full extent of her injuries, but the most infuriating article about her had appeared a short while after that.

Now, she was looking at a picture of Ron and the cause of that infuriating article—his current girlfriend, Lavender Brown.

Hermione would like to say that it was because of Lavender, entirely, that she and Ron had split up, but while it had proved to be the final straw, there were other mitigating factors. Going back to Hogwarts to complete her N.E.W.T.s had put a strain on their relationship, though a traitorous voice always reminded her that Harry and Ginny had managed while Ginny had returned to Hogwarts.

That’s what the paper had said, anyway, when they heard of the split—that Ron had become close to Lavender, again, while she’d been away. Ron didn’t deny it, though he was adamant he hadn’t cheated on her. They’d finally broken up a few weeks after Hermione had lost her magic. Ron had been supportive during that time, but she’d been so fed up, full of frustration trying to get used to life without using magic, and full of self-pity at having to give up her fledgling career at the Ministry.

That was what had disappointed her the most—leaving her job. No doubt, her boss would have understood her predicament, had she notified them of her true circumstances, but she was reluctant to tell anyone else about it. Even now, months later, there were still only a handful of people who knew of her problem. Besides, she’d had no idea when her magic would return, and could hardly expect her job to remain open indefinitely. So, she’d resigned.

Eventually, as her relationship with Ron deteriorated further, Ron suggested they cool things off for a while, and Hermione hadn’t really protested. It was when, however, she saw the huge picture of Ron and Lavender sharing a moment, published in the Prophet with accompanying commentary by Rita Skeeter, that she felt it; the hurt—the realisation that she had made a complete mess of things, and the possibility that Ron had not loved her as much as she thought he had. Otherwise, why would he do this to her, only a couple of weeks after their separation?

Skeeter had seized the story and run with it; according to her, Ron and Lavender had been seeing each other for ages. Ron had apologised profusely afterwards, offering to try and get the Prophet to write a retraction. She’d just told him to leave her alone. So what if everyone thought she’d driven him away? So what if they thought she’d been cheated on? She didn’t doubt that Skeeter had hit on an element of truth in there somewhere.

Hermione stared at the page before her. A part of her still felt resentment, but it didn’t hurt so much to look at them anymore.

She snapped out of her reverie when a black-clad arm reached around her and picked up the newspaper. Hermione felt herself flushing, and she fervently wished that she’d taken it to her rooms to look at in private.

Snape studied the page for a moment, and Hermione tensed, wondering if he would condescend to pass judgement upon it—idle gossip was not an interest of his, by any stretch of the imagination.

‘Never were two people more eminently suited,’ he said finally.

Hermione spun round on her stool. ‘I’m sorry?’

‘Well,’ he replied, glancing between her and the paper, ‘neither has two brain cells to rub together...’

She chuckled lightly. ‘Lavender doesn’t need brains to get by on.’

Snape shook his head. ‘No, indeed; she’s certainly found a novel way to peddle her wares.’

‘That’s one way of putting it—the Wizarding world’s first glamour model.’ Hermione frowned at the bitterness in her tone.

‘Minerva nearly had a heart attack when she opened Witch Weekly, only to find Miss Brown advertising Twilfitt and Tatting’s new range of lingerie.’

Hermione felt a faint heat rise in her cheeks at the thought that he might have looked at Lavender’s more provocative escapades as a model. ‘You seem to know an awful lot about it, Professor,’ she said, a bit stiffly. ‘Perhaps you are impressed by her wares?’

She couldn’t believe she’d actually asked him that.

Fortunately, he seemed to take her tone to be more teasing than she had actually intended, for he simply smirked and folded up the paper. ‘Ah, now, that would be telling, wouldn’t it, Miss Granger?’

On balance, she would have preferred a straightforward denial.

‘Just don’t go looking in my bottom desk drawer, hmm?’

She openly gaped at him as he nonchalantly glided out of the room. He was joking, surely? Her gaze, unwittingly, was drawn to his desk, and she scoffed to herself.

He liked to throw her off-balance now and again—it was just one of his funny ways.

Hermione picked up the paper again and studied the picture of Lavender and Ron. After a moment, she shook her head and slapped it back onto the table.

No, she couldn’t believe it.

There was no way in hell Severus Snape had lowbrow magazines stored in the bottom drawer of his desk!

One Day Like This

A Harry Potter Story
by Hannah_1888

Part 2 of 23

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