Continuing Tales

One Day Like This

A Harry Potter Story
by Hannah_1888

Part 20 of 23

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Still Witch Weekly 14th July, 2000.

Our regular readers will remember that last week's edition of
Witch Weekly included an interview with Ron Weasley, along with our feature, 'Battle of the Exes,' between Lavender Brown and Hermione Granger.

In light of recent events, we would like to appeal to Mr. Weasley that he heeds our advice when we suggest that he would be better off with Miss Brown. It has been reported that Miss Granger, somehow, has managed to catch the reclusive Severus Snape, the man infamous for his almost life-long dedication to Harry Potter's mother. Neither party has been forthcoming about the truth of such rumours, but many will agree that their silence on the matter speaks volumes. Readers will recall how Ron spoke so fondly of Miss Granger in his interview and seemed to suggest that they were on the way to a reconciliation. Obviously, Hermione had other ideas.

This is not the first time Hermione Granger has exhibited a particularly cavalier attitude towards men. She's been linked to Harry Potter in the past, and a source who was at school with Miss Granger reminds us that: "She went out with Viktor Krum when she was only fifteen!"

Has Severus Snape, a man twice her age, fallen victim to Miss Granger's insatiable taste for famous men?

We can only wonder who is next on her list.


Hermione didn't see Ron for several days following their argument over the photograph in the Daily Prophet. In the intervening days, Hermione had signed the lease on a new flat and was due to move in within a couple of weeks. Harry and Ginny had said they would be sad to see her go, but she was unsure whether to believe them. She couldn't blame them if they were relieved to see the back of her. For her own part, she was looking forward to having a place to call her own.

Eventually, Ron came to Grimmauld Place from work one night, looking very much like he'd been dragged against his will by Harry. Not wanting to prolong the tension, Hermione decided to offer an olive branch by being the one to break the ice first.

'How are you, Ron?'


And that was it—nothing else was forthcoming. 'Ron, please don't be like this. We were getting on so well...'

Ron snorted. 'So I thought, too. You're continuing with this charade, then?'

Hermione kept her impatience at bay. 'It's not a charade.'

'What do you parents say about this? I can't imagine they're overjoyed!'

Hermione blinked. Her parents didn't know. Since spending a year in Australia, they'd never renewed their subscription with the Daily Prophet. They were still living in ignorance as to what situation their only daughter had got herself into.

Ron shook his head. 'Good luck with that one.' He abruptly left the room.

Hermione turned to Harry who sighed irritably. 'I don't know what's going on with him, I really don't.'

Though she would rather not admit it, Ron had a point. She had no idea how her parents would react. She felt a bit guilty that she hadn't mentioned anything to them when she had seen them last, just a few days ago. But it was a conversation she'd need to have when she was eminently prepared. It was one thing to fall out with a friend, but Hermione had never done so with her parents, and she wanted to avoid it all costs. Part of her was still rather unsure as to what exactly she should tell them, anyway. She would like to be a little more confident in her relationship with Severus Snape before dragging her parents into it.

One day... she kept telling herself. One day she'd tell them.


Professor Severus Snape

C/O Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Dear Professor Snape,

I should like to know your intentions towards the young Miss Granger.

I think the poor girl has been woefully misrepresented in our vulture-laden press. Why—has everyone forgotten how she was cruelly attacked in Diagon Alley by Jabez Yaxley only a year ago? I can only imagine what effect that must have had upon her life. I once had occasion to converse with Miss Granger over a delicate matter concerning a case of some very angry gnomes taking up on my land. She was most helpful in advising me the best course of action and even offered to come and take care of the matter personally, because I am not so handy with a wand in my old age. I have not always been treated with the same patience and respect by Ministry workers.

She seemed such a nice young girl that I should not want to see her messed about with in any way. The
Daily Prophet should be ashamed!

Yours faithfully,

Mrs. Branwen Bishop

The Grange,


'How many owls today?' Hermione asked, before sipping her vodka and orange.

'One,' replied Snape grimacing, 'but a Howler, and a rather charming one at that, asking me if I made it a habit to get into bed with all of my students.'

Hermione gasped. 'That's outrageous! Why do they always conveniently forget that I am not your student anymore?'

They were once more sitting in the Red Dragon following the end of their respective working days. They'd taken to using Disillusionment charms as they entered, just in case there was someone lurking about watching them. Hermione was fast becoming exasperated with the situation.

'How about you?'

'The usual. I never thought I'd be referred to as a 'Scarlet Woman' twice in my lifetime—I mean, me.'

'That was a particularly nasty article in Witch Weekly. It's stupid, really—you were made out to be some sort of man-eater, and me, a poor damsel being taken advantage of!'

They both laughed at the ridiculousness of it. 'It's either laugh or cry,' Hermione mused. Suddenly her expression froze. 'Oh! I can't believe I nearly forgot!'

Snape looked at her in confusion, while Hermione produced that week's issue of Witch Weekly.

'What—do you want to frame that article or something?'

'No, no,' she answered impatiently. 'Look at this.' She turned the magazine towards him, and there was something approaching smugness on her face.

His lip curled in distaste. 'It's Miss Brown, wearing various hideous sets of robes.'

'Look where she is—where they took the photos.'

'She's on a cliff-top somewhere...' He glanced up at her, comprehension beginning to dawn. 'Surely not...?'

Hermione nodded excitedly. 'I'd recognise that coastline anywhere. What do you think the odds are of her being in Cornwall doing a photo-shoot, while we were also there?'

He examined the magazine once more. 'Do you think she is responsible for the photo, as well as the comments, then?'

Hermione stared at Lavender's pouting face. 'She said she'd get me back for that altercation at the Dinner. She quite easily could have seen us without us noticing.'

'Maybe it's time you showed her you're not a pushover.' He raised his eyebrow suggestively. 'I'm sure we could come up with something.'

Hermione smiled. 'I'm sure we could.' It was galling, though, as they still had no concrete proof. What she really wanted was to see Lavender face-to-face. Then she would know. But when were their paths ever likely to cross? It was something to think about, though, at least.

Hermione huffed impatiently. 'Do you know what? I am sick of all this, and I am sick of this pub, too. Tomorrow is Friday night, and we are going to do something!'

'Like what?'

She looked at him. All she wanted was to spend some proper time with him. 'Anything—dinner?'

'Oh, don't get too excited,' she commented dryly, when he merely shrugged his acquiescence. He only smirked in reply.

'What is your taste in food?' she asked.

He frowned. 'The usual—my tastes were nurtured by the Hogwarts' house-elves and are as eclectic as bangers and mash and custard tarts can be.'

'Hmm, they were nice, though.'

'It may have escaped your notice, Hermione, but I'm hardly a gourmand.'

'Well, we're in London, we can probably get just about any cuisine known to man—we should continue our aim to do something different. Hang on, I've an idea.' Hermione surreptitiously looked around to see if any Muggles were close by, and then carefully touched her wand inside her robe pocket. She Transfigured a beer mat into a small map of the world.

'Close your eyes and pick a place.'

He looked at her with disbelief. 'Are you quite serious?'

'Yes.' She nodded with enthusiasm.

'I must be mad,' he muttered, jabbing his finger onto the parchment.

'Again; you've picked the middle of the Caspian sea.'

He huffed.

'Hmm, we'll call that Japan. Japanese, it is, then.'

'No, I'm not eating raw fish,' he argued flatly.

Hermione frowned. 'Fine; pick again.' She didn't mind too much; the thought of sushi didn't fill her with anticipation, either.

'You picked that on purpose, didn't you?' His finger had landed, conveniently, on the British Isles.

'I fail to see why we can't just have a roast dinner.'

'It has to be different.'

'But it is different—we've never had a roast dinner together.'

'Of course we have! We had one every Sunday at Hogwarts!'

He rubbed a hand over his face, and Hermione hid a smile, knowing that she was beginning to annoy him. 'Actually, your finger landed on Scotland, so—'

'Don't even mention haggis, neeps, or tatties—Minerva would drag us to the Three Broomsticks every bloody Burns' Night and the only thing that tasted good was the Scotch.' He paused for a moment.
'Do you really think this is a good idea, Hermione? Why don't you just come to Hogwarts? Minerva is away visiting her sister—I practically have the castle to myself. The house-elves can cook whatever concoction you want. I've no particular wish to be set upon by some good-for-nothing journalist while I'm contending with some disgusting haute cuisine you've ordered us.'

Hermione couldn't help but smile at his grumpiness. 'Fair enough. I suppose it would be better having a bit of privacy.' In fact, it sounded like a much better idea. 'All right, then, but the house-elves are not going to cook.'

'Can you cook?'

Hermione bit her lip. 'Sort of.' Her range wasn't very broad however. 'I'll tell you what, seeing as it'll be Friday night, end of the week and all that, I'll just bring some fish and chips with me.'

He almost looked relieved. 'That's more like it.'

Hermione shook her head in resignation, but felt secretly pleased—she loved fish and chips from the chip shop. Culinary sophistication was clearly wasted on the both of them.


Dear Mrs Bishop,

I hope you don't mind that Severus showed me your letter, but he felt that I would appreciate your concern, and I must say that I do. It was very kind of you, indeed. It's heartening to know that there is someone who sees through a lot of the rubbish that has been printed. I hasten to add that you needn't worry about me—everything is completely fine.

Once again, I thank you for your concern, and I send my very best wishes to you.

Yours sincerely,

Hermione Granger


By the time Friday afternoon came and her day at St. Mungo's had come to an end, Hermione was feeling fairly excited. It would be quiet at Hogwarts; they could leave all those ridiculous articles and letters at the gates. The castle was like its own little world, and if they had it practically to themselves... well, maybe they could even make a weekend of it...

Hmm, that could be... interesting. It wouldn't hurt to anticipate such an occurrence.

After leaving the hospital, Hermione stopped off at a telephone box to phone her parents. That was another reason why she couldn't wait to move into her new flat—she'd have a phone!

'Hi, Mum, it's me. Listen, I, um, won't be there for dinner tomorrow, but I could make it for Sunday instead?'

Her mother indicated that whatever she wanted was fine.

'I'll bring round some pictures of my new flat for you and Dad.' And maybe inform you that I'm seeing my former teacher, as well. 'Anyway, I'll see you on Sunday, OK?'

Hermione stared at the receiver after she'd put it down. She really wasn't looking forward to telling her parents. But surely they wouldn't do anything drastic like disown her! It wasn't as bad as all that! They would be shocked, naturally, but she was confident they would not be unduly scandalised. Although, on second thought, maybe her father would be.

Oh, well, she could bury her head in the sand for a few days more—she was getting rather good at it.


F. A. O. Miss Hermione Granger,

St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies

Dear Miss Granger,

Here at the
Wizarding Wireless Network, we would like to invite you to take part in an interview regarding your relationship with Severus Snape during our Witches Hour programme. We are sure that at this stage you would like to put your own view across and we think the W.W.N. is the best way for you to do that. Our listeners would love to hear how you managed to catch the eye of a man who held onto a love for nigh on twenty years! Tell us about the year you spent with him as his apprentice; how did you feel about him when you were a student? What do your friends say?

Would you encourage other women to find an older man? Are you bothered by the age difference?

We would really love to hear from you!

We would also, of course, offer to recompense you for your time.

Yours sincerely,

Cornelia Higglesbottom,

Editor of
Witches Hour

Wizarding Wireless Network


'Some git from the Prophet just came spilling out of the Hog's Head as I walked past, three sheets to the wind he was, and shouting, "Are you going to see your fancy-man, Miss Granger?" "Can we have a picture?"' Hermione dropped the bag she was holding onto the table. 'It was all I could do not to tell him to piss off.'

'Did he see you coming to the gate?'

Hermione nodded tiredly. 'The gate is open—you don't think he'll try and come in, do you?'

Snape thought for a moment. 'I'll go and get Filch to lock up the main doors early, just in case.'

'All right, I'll sort this out.' She indicated the bag of fish and chips and paused. 'Hang on, did the house-elves lay this table?'

He looked at her testily. 'I am equipped with the basic skill of lining up cutlery in the right place, you know. It may surprise you, but I have functioned in civilised society for several decades.'

Hermione narrowed her eyes. 'The house-elves always fold their napkins this way.'

'Bugger!' she heard as he closed the door behind him.

Snape returned several minutes later informing her that he could see the 'drunken arse' loitering outside the gates, but that he would not be coming any nearer. Following that, they sat down and ate the fare Hermione had brought. It had smelled so nice that she had very nearly started without him, entertaining herself with a vision of him returning to find her with her plate half empty, and her mouth unattractively stuffed full of chips.

She felt a little odd, sitting there with him, and she wasn't quite sure what, or why, it was. Perhaps it was because they'd had precious little quiet together recently, not since that visit to the West Country, and was that really only a week ago? Maybe she unsure how to act now that they were alone. Or was it that she didn't know how he wanted her to act? He said so very little at times—gave so little away, that it was hard to pitch her behaviour.

She took a sip of her wine, and as he drained his tumbler of whisky, she considered that maybe they were both thinking the same thing, both desperately drawing fortification from artificial means.

It led her to wonder that, at times, maybe they were both glad of the hullabaloo they'd caused in the press—it gave them something else to focus on rather than what was actually happening between them. So they were in a relationship, but what exactly did that mean? Was it burying one's head in the sand time, again? Well, maybe that was bit of an exaggeration. After all, it was early days, and they had made significant progress, but there was something further that needed to give. She wanted to be able to be able to touch him, touch his arm, or his hand. He kissed her without compunction, and sometimes there was an unguarded look in his eye that made her feel rather warm, but she wanted him to suddenly take her hand, or perhaps to just touch her hair, and she wanted him to do it without hesitation. Because he did hesitate, as if his touch would be unwelcome.

But what was the point in thinking about it, or worrying about it? If she wanted to lean against him when they sat together then she just should. If he wanted to kiss her without warning, then he just... should.

And as she studied him while he collected up the dishes and summoned a house-elf to take them away, she realised that he had nothing to worry about where she was concerned. If only he realised that, as well.

Despite it being the middle of summer, the dungeons rarely became warm, but with the small embers burning in the grate, it was warm enough to take certain liberties. He had removed his robe, and it was an action that continued to fascinate her. How could something so banal be so eminently intriguing? Was it because it was new? She'd never seen him without his robe until very recently, and as she repeatedly drew her gaze over him, part of her couldn't help but think: Well, that's one layer gone—what about when the waistcoat goes, and then the shirt, and then...

He was looking at her a little strangely.

Hermione smiled and moved away from the table to sit down on the settee, while wondering apprehensively if he would join her or choose to sit in his armchair. There was the slight hesitation in his movement as he approached her, and so she calmly sipped her wine, letting him know that it was his own decision. She didn't want to push him into anything, regardless of her inner monologue just now. She almost sighed in relief, though, when he did sit down beside her, and she sent him a wide smile to show her approval.

'I can imagine what'll be in the Prophet tomorrow. "Granger seen entering Hogwarts at eight o'clock in the evening, but didn't emerge until blah, blah, blah!"' And there they were, back onto their failsafe topic once more—they were both as bad as each other, really.

'I shouldn't worry about it too much. I think people are soon going to get fed up of hearing about us, especially as we haven't given them much cannon fodder.'

No, because there was no cannon fodder to give.

'No, you can't really wring much of a story out of a photo of us walking down the street, or me having a look around Madam Malkin's; I mean, what the hell did they think I was buying in there? Were they hoping I'd come out and show them a bag full of saucy lingerie or something?'

That was the trouble with spending a lot of time with someone, Hermione realised. With familiarity she tended to let her mouth run wild, and that was fine, except, she could do without making herself blush. He seemed a little thrown at the direction of the conversation, too, for he occupied himself with producing his wand and Transfiguring the small coffee table in front of them into a foot stool. He propped up his feet with a small sigh.

Hermione lifted her feet and quickly put them back down again. 'Well, that's not fair, is it?' She lifted her legs again. 'I can't reach.'

He sent a cursory glance to her feet. 'Not my problem, dear girl.'

She dug her elbow into his ribs. He flinched and glared at her.

'What?' Hermione looked at him, suitably unconcerned. 'Perhaps I'll just use you as a foot rest?'

So saying, she swung her calves up to rest upon his knees, buoyed perhaps by her recent reflections, or maybe she just had drunk too much wine. She fervently hoped no ladders had appeared in her tights since she'd put them on.

'Merlin, they weigh a ton!'


Hermione, however, was rather pleased with the new vantage point her seating arrangement afforded her. She was angled more towards him, her side leaning into the back of the settee. She could see him better now. She was not sure he appreciated it as much. He appeared a little uncomfortable with her eyes fixed on him.

Hermione flicked her gaze to her hands. There was something about this whole press issue that she did feel needed discussion, and she knew it to be potentially sensitive.

'Severus, do you mind that your past is being dragged through the news once more?' He stilled. 'I'm sorry for it,' she admitted softly.

'Don't be—it's not your fault.' He shrugged flippantly. 'Thanks to Potter, it's all been aired before now, and... maybe a small part of me finds that curiously liberating.' He quirked his mouth a little self-consciously. 'Besides, you are hardly having a better time of it. I regret that you have been subject to comparisons with... with her.'

Hermione bit her lip, but then smiled gently. 'It's all right—at least you haven't been analysed against Ron, I suppose.'

Snape groaned. 'Perish the thought. All I can say is that I am glad my time at the Ministry will be ending shortly. If I have to put up with one more pathetic glare or snide remark, I will curse him.'

'I'm sorry about that—he still hasn't come round. He's being completely stubborn about it.'

'Do you know why that is?' His tone suggested that he knew.

Hermione had no idea. 'Why?'

Suddenly he put his hand on her thigh. Hermione used all her self-control not to jump in surprise. Had he been reading her mind earlier?

'I think he might be jealous.'

'Jealous?' she repeated, her mind concentrating on the feel of his hand on her leg. And she could feel the heat of it, even through her skirt.

'Perhaps there was more truth in that interview he did than you first thought.'

Hermione rested her head against the back of the settee and considered for a moment. Ron still had feelings for her? Or, perhaps, rediscovered feelings for her was more apt. He dumped her for Lavender, and now he wanted her back? She wasn't sure that sounded entirely plausible, but, then, it could account for the depth of his objection.

Belatedly, she realised Snape was surveying her, waiting for a response, and she made sure she was unequivocal.

'Oh, well, if that is the case, it's a bit late now, isn't it?'

His eyes met hers rather determinedly, and his hand moved almost absently down to her knee. 'It is,' he agreed emphatically, his voice impossibly low. Hermione's heart gave an almost painful thud as she stared at him, relishing the sense of possessiveness he seemed to be exuding. He hadn't read her mind earlier on, of course, but maybe she had underestimated him. She couldn't look away from the intensity visible in his eyes, and any sense of frivolity she had felt suddenly sobered in a moment of increasingly palpable tension. What was happening? As his hand travelled slowly down to her foot, all she wanted to do was capitalise on this charged atmosphere between them—she wanted to... Hell, anything. Telling him that his hand was going in the wrong direction might be a start. Telling him to lean a bit closer might be another. Suddenly, she yelped loudly and automatically moved her feet out of his reach—his fingers had deliberately tickled the sole of her foot.

She stared at him in disbelief. She couldn't believe he'd done that. He started chuckling, softly smug, and the low sound spurred her into being bold. How dare he tease her like that? 'Git,' she muttered, folding her legs beneath her and getting to her knees. His laughter subsided, but a smirk remained as she carefully slid a hand over his cheek and into his hair. His eyes watched her keenly, as she pressed a firm kiss to his lips.

'Bloody git,' she whispered, kissing him again, but pulling back quickly. He frowned and she smiled—turnabout was fair play, as they say, but she wasn't quite about to cut her nose off to spite her face.

His frown dissolved into a look of what seemed to her like shy expectation, and she felt humbled by it.

Leaning forward, she kissed him again, and this time his hands came to rest on her hips as he kissed her back. She could feel him try to deepen their embrace, but Hermione fought against him, gently biting his bottom lip. She wanted to be in charge right now. A sound of amused surrender emanated from within his chest as he opened his mouth to her.

In response, she moved her hand, which was bracing her weight against the cushions, to curl about his neck. The advantage of which meant her body slumped against his, and he could bring his arms around her. He'd never held her as tightly before. They broke apart for a breath – Hermione rather needed several – and she noted with pleasure that his chest heaved beneath hers.

'Severus,' she breathed, feeling pleasantly dazed. Their eyes met, and she smiled happily. The corners of his eyes crinkled slightly in reply, and then he was brushing her hair behind her shoulder and seeking her lips out once more. Without any real conscious thought, she was moving one of her legs to sit astride his lap, bringing them even closer. The sounds of satisfaction they made were almost in unison.

His lips wrenched from hers and then his teeth were against her neck. 'Hermione,' he murmured raggedly, 'you're...' He didn't finish whatever he was about to say, and Hermione wasn't sure she would have been able to register it anyway. Her faculties seemed to have deserted her without warning. Eyes closed, lips parted, the only thing tangible to her was his ministrations to her throat, and the fact that she was brazenly pressing her breasts into his chest.

She couldn't even find it within her to feel remotely self-conscious.

How long had she been imagining being this close to him? She wanted to touch him. She wanted to stop clinging to his shoulders like some limpet, she... At her touch on his chin, he raised his eyes to hers. Kissing him repeatedly on his cheek, lips, anywhere, she put her fingers to his throat.

Soon, though, she dropped her forehead against his, a noise of pitiful laughter emitting from her. 'Severus, your bloody cravat won't budge.' She tugged repeatedly at the ends of it.

'All right, woman, don't garrotte me.' His voice was a little unsteady.

'Look at you,' she said quietly, touching his collar as he loosened his tie. 'I can't get at you anywhere—you're all buttoned up.'

'It's a metaphor,' he replied, a little apologetically, and they both laughed, slightly breathlessly.

Finally, she pulled away his collar and kissed her way up from his collarbone to his jaw. Mimicking his own movements, she tentatively swiped her tongue across his skin, and felt a reciprocal shiver pass through him.

'Merlin,' he muttered, gasping quietly, and Hermione could only sigh contentedly at the fact she could cause such a man to quiver beneath her. Encouraged, she tried twisting her body against him and smiled when she felt his hands clutch at her tighter.

Her smile vanished, though, when she felt said hands disappear under her shirt. They burned against her skin, and she trembled slightly as they moved higher. Immediately, and rather frenziedly, she sought the warmth of his mouth once more, uncaring that she felt like her lungs would burst.

Fumbling at the buttons of his waistcoat, she gasped loudly when his hands touched her breasts. Their mouths broke apart. There was nothing else for it; she needed him. 'We should move...' began Hermione, but trailed off when she saw the look in his eyes. They were glazed with passion, but there was something oddly grave about his expression. His hands dropped to her waist, and Hermione automatically grabbed them through her blouse, making sure he did not remove them altogether.

A pang of fear coursed through her. Merlin, after all that he didn't actually want her. He didn't fancy her enough, he—

As she caught her breath, she thought she detected something approaching vulnerability in his eyes, and then, in a moment of clarity, she knew what to say.

'If we do this, it will suddenly all feel so terribly real, won't it?' she said softly.

He blinked, as if surprised by her observation. 'Yes.'

She understood. Before, perhaps he could pretend that what was going on between them was something less than it was. But they really would be putting themselves on the line for this, and for thereafter—emotionally, physically... She lifted her hands to his shoulders. 'We don't have to...'

He brought a hand to her face and touched her bottom lip with his thumb, causing it to tingle. 'No, I want to... I just... I suppose I worry that you'll change your mind one day...'

When you'll have so much more to lose, Hermione realised. When they both would.

'I won't change my mind; I want to take this risk with you, Severus,' she said simply. What more could she say? Words were words—maybe she should show him how much she wanted him. Making a decision, Hermione grabbed the bottom of her shirt and lifted it over her shoulders.

'There—what are you going to do about that?' she demanded, trying to appear more confident than she felt, sitting there in her bra.

She placed two fingers under his chin and lifted it up when he only stared. 'Well?'

He moved his head in contemplation, and any doubt in his expression had melted away, though she was not naive enough as to assume she'd never see it again.

'I have a few ideas.'

She smiled at him. 'A few, eh? Well, I think you'd better show me, then.'

He did not need to be told twice.

One Day Like This

A Harry Potter Story
by Hannah_1888

Part 20 of 23

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