Continuing Tales

One Day Like This

A Harry Potter Story
by Hannah_1888

Part 21 of 23

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Still The second time Hermione awoke in Severus Snape's bed actually was a momentous occasion. Well, it was the culmination of a rather momentous occasion, to be precise. The actual act of waking up was something a little more awkward and something a little less enjoyable.

At first, as she drifted towards consciousness, her mind was serene. Then, her mind began cataloguing certain intriguing facts. Her pillow felt different. The bed felt unfamiliar. There was a much heavier quilt over her than her usual blankets. Her eyes popped open in alarm. And she was naked.

She almost started panicking, but her eyes alighted on a familiar bookshelf and then she remembered where she was. A hot flush flooded her cheeks, and she was grateful for the fact that she was facing the edge of the bed. She couldn't sense her companion anywhere nearby, but if she concentrated, she could hear the sound of breathing. He was still there, then. Hermione clutched the quilt to her more tightly, hardly daring to move.

She was still naked.

Get a grip, Hermione! she told herself harshly. Of course you're naked!

Her mind drifted back to the reason for her current lack of attire. All she could think was that it had been worth any discomfort she felt now. It was a night she would not want to forget in a hurry, and she hoped he would not want to Obliviate himself either!

It hadn't been as awkward as she might have anticipated. Maybe, it was because they (she, certainly) had sought to remove any sense of pressure. She recalled how when he'd deposited her on the bed, she'd felt her first spring of nerves at how to proceed, and ever practical, decided she should just approach it – him – as she would normally, with a little sprinkle of humour. And so, in an effort to lose her butterflies, she'd informed him with a twinkle in her eye that she wanted to rip his shirt off.

He'd snorted into her hair. 'You want to rip it off?'

Smiling, she told him she did, and as he sat back on his knees, Hermione grasped the bottom of the white cotton, and biting her lip, she pulled it apart as hard as she could. She laughed when, as expected, there was no shower of buttons, or suddenly exposed chest for that matter, only the faint sound of a paltry two buttons coming undone.

'That was a pathetic attempt,' he admonished.

She might have only been tongue-in-cheek, but she later informed him in all seriousness that one day she really would rip it off—completely.

Naturally, making any witty comments, or wry observations, had been swiftly abandoned in due course.

Hermione shifted as quietly as possible onto her back and closed her eyes. Merlin, she was such a coward. She couldn't bring herself to look at him, which was stupid. But things could be so different in the cold light of day, and maybe she was wary of what he might say or do.

Thinking logically, though, she considered it safe to assume that they'd both enjoyed themselves—she certainly had. There was no doubt about that, whatsoever. She felt no regret, either.

If only she knew what to do now. Should she just get up? Wait for him to wake up? Or—

Her eyes flew open, and she jumped a mile when she felt fingertips fluttering at her side. Merlin, she'd almost lost her grip on the quilt! She looked to see him sitting up slightly, watching her. Clearly, tickling was a habit she was going to have to break him of.

'What did you do that for?' she accused, actually grateful that he had—maybe they wouldn't have to do the awkward 'good mornings' now.

He shrugged flippantly. 'I knew you were not sleeping by the fact that your grip on the covers is so tight your knuckles are white.'

Hermione reflexively unclenched her fingers, feeling embarrassed at being caught out. 'Well... I, um...' Well, what? She didn't know what to say. Instead, she pulled herself up slightly against the pillows, placing her arms on top of the quilt. If she'd been thrown by the sight of him without his robe on Merlin help her now that he was sitting there bare-chested, hair slightly awry.

She looked around the room. Her clothes were way out of reach, that was for sure.

'I did see it all last night, you know.'

'I'm sorry?'

He raised an eyebrow at her. 'That's why you're blushing, isn't it? I seem to recall you were all too eager to fling your clothes off last night.'

She sent him a look, slightly surprised by his candour. 'That was your fault.'

'My fault?'

'Yes!' She smiled. 'You were the one making come-hither eyes while feeling up my leg!'

'So that meant you had to attack me, did it?'

'I did not fail to notice that were conspicuously receptive to my attack.'

'Naturally—I had a young woman wriggling about in my lap. I'd have to be dead not to be receptive.'

Hermione snorted. She really hadn't expected him to be so... laid back. But then, if he was unsure of himself, he was hardly likely to show it. He'd obviously sensed her own insecurity, though, and she liked it when he was the one to do the coaxing.

'You're very chipper, this morning,' she observed.

'There's a naked woman in my bed—what's not to be chipper about?' His expression was quite serious.

Hermione's mouth went dry, and his face clouded slightly when she made no reply.

He seemed to consider his words before he spoke. 'Did I not tell you last night that I consider you to be very beautiful?'

She smiled gently. 'You did, yes.'

'You sound slightly disbelieving—I find it hard to imagine no one has ever said such a thing to you before.'

'They have,' she said quietly, 'but usually it's accompanied by surprise, not such... sincerity.' She remembered how he had studied the whole length of her, with such intensity that she'd wanted to squirm uneasily, and then, looking at her as if she were one of his immaculately crafted potions, proclaimed her to be beautiful.

'But you know,' she began, smiling and turning towards him more fully, 'a girl is allowed to have a bit of modesty.'

He nodded. 'True, but have you considered that maybe you are directing your modesty in the wrong way? Your hair, for instance—'

Hermione gasped loudly, and without care for said modesty, scrambled over to him. 'You did not insult my hair!'

'It's not my fault if it acts like an independent being!' He chuckled lightly.

Where was her wand when she needed it?

She moved to pathetically hit him on the arm, but he grabbed her around the waist and pulled her down onto the pillows with him. She satisfied herself with pinching his upper arm, before resting her head on his chest with a sigh, too distracted by the feel of him against her.

'Your hair is as beautiful as the rest of you, of course.' He smoothed some of it down, no doubt to ensure he didn't choke on it. 'Besides, I don't know what you have to worry about; I'm the one with a forty-year old, broken down body.'

There was an underlying note that belied the lightness of his tone. She pressed a kiss to his chest. 'Broken down body, my arse—what melodrama!'

Her eyes widened when she felt one of his hands travel downwards from her back.

'Would it be this arse you're talking about?'

She raised her head to find him watching her with an undeniably suggestive expression, and she felt a pool of heat form within her.

'Yes,' she said, raising herself over him with her arms, 'yes, it definitely would.'

He suddenly grabbed her around the middle and rolled her onto her back. Hermione almost lost her breath.

'Good,' he said, his eyes brazenly travelling down her, before meeting her gaze heatedly. 'Glad we that cleared that up.'


Hermione could not have imagined a better morning if she'd tried, and it was sometimes difficult not to let her mind wander afterwards. She'd never been a daydreamer, but she was beginning to see the advantages of being such.

As well as the contentment she felt, in a small way, she also felt a great sense of relief, as if some huge hurdle was out of the way and now their relationship was moving. Not that she for one moment considered that sex automatically equated a relationship, but for the first time, she really felt that they were beginning to go somewhere. After a wobbly start, maybe they were both finally on the same page. And it excited her.

There were still many things to overcome, of course. They may have taken the step towards physical intimacy, helping to resolve the issue of hesitancy where being tactile towards each other was concerned, but there were also more important issues to think about.

Like dealing with his shifting moods, for one thing.

Hermione wasn't quite sure what caused it. After surfacing for breakfast, they'd talked as usual, both relieved to see that for once the Daily Prophet was free of both their names and that no owls were tapping at the window. They discussed some ideas about what they could do with their weekend, and while he was carrying out his morning routine, she continued to chat, and everything had seemed fine.

Then, however, he'd come out of his bedroom to blandly inform her that he had some things to take care of in the Headmistress' office, checking the post, and so on, while McGonagall was away, and then he had to check on Sprout's plants.

He said he'd meet her back in his rooms at midday, and that she should perhaps entertain herself with visiting Hagrid.

'It might do him good to see you are all right,' he said. 'He keeps waving a meaty fist in my face whenever I see him.'

Hermione hadn't thought much of it. Of course, it was understandable that he had duties to uphold while in charge of the castle. And she'd expected him to relax back into his usual state of aloofness. But she had returned from Hagrid's over an hour ago, and though the clock was fast approaching one o'clock, he hadn't come back.

He might just have got held up. But as she dwelt upon it, she convinced herself that he had seemed awfully distracted when he'd left. Had she said something to upset him? After having such a great night, had she already put her foot in it? Or was he feeling some sort of delayed regret?

She would go and find him herself. There was no point getting riled up over something that would probably prove to be of no consequence. Hopefully, he would be where he'd said he would—in the greenhouses and probably distracted by some project or other he was involved in. If he wasn't there, well, it was time to start wishing for a Marauder's Map of her own.

The sun shone brightly as Hermione crossed the lawns, and she hurried her step when the large section of greenhouses came into view. She ignored the nearest ones, though, and headed for one of the smaller, forgotten ones at the back, where she'd stumbled upon him several months ago.

She approached the greenhouse rather gingerly, pausing with uncertainty when she reached the doorway to find him sitting at a table, a quill poised in one hand, but his blank gaze directed out of the window.

'Severus?' she ventured after a time, when he failed to realise her presence.

His head snapped around. 'Oh, hello—is something wrong?'

'It's one o'clock.'

'Is it?' He sounded surprised and he pulled out his watch. 'My apologies—I must have lost track of time.'

'What were you doing?' she enquired quietly.

He looked at the blank parchment in front of him. 'I was... I suppose I was just thinking.'

He threw down his quill and stood up. 'Come and make yourself useful—there are some flowerbeds that still need watering.'

He went outside and Hermione followed, biting her lip. He passed her a watering can, and Hermione dutifully charmed it to levitate over the flowerbed and sprinkle droplets over the plants. She sat down on the grass, directing the watering can with her wand, while surreptitiously watching Snape examine a bed of shrubs.

'Is something wrong, Severus?'

He looked at her, raising his eyebrow slightly at her position on the ground. 'Why should it be?'

'I don't know. You were, dare I say, almost animated, this morning, and now you seem a bit... ' She shrugged, not really knowing how to describe his mood.

He ignored her for several moments, instead choosing to Summon a pair of clippers from inside and turn his attention to cutting back a rose bush. When she'd given up hope of any response, the snipping stopped and he spoke.

'You mentioned your parents earlier... What are they like?'

Hermione stared at his back in complete surprise. She had to give herself a mental shake when she realised the watering can had ceased moving and was vigorously drowning some poor plant.

'Oh, well, they're dentists, you know, and, ah, live in a suburb outside London—where I grew up. I have no other siblings, of course, so it's just the three of us. Just your average Middle England family, I suppose. Well, we were before I discovered I was a witch.'

He collected up the cuttings and Banished them before turning in her direction. There was a faintly pensive expression upon his face.

'What?' Hermione asked, lowering the watering can to the ground.

'We are rather different, are we not?'

Hermione snorted. 'A bit late in the day to make that kind of observation, isn't it?' She faltered when she saw the seriousness of his expression. 'But we share some common ground, surely?' she added hastily, slightly concerned.

'I did not necessarily mean that it was a bad thing, but I sometimes forget just how... middle class you are.'

Hermione's eyes widened. She'd wondered if he was referring to their respective childhoods, but she hadn't expected him to make that observation. In fact, she found it easy to forget that he had Muggle heritage. In truth, she was a little unsure as to how to respond.

'You're not going to get all class struggle on me, are you?' She smiled gently. 'You are a teacher at a boarding school. You don't get much more middle-class than that!'


'Anyway, we all know that class is categorised differently in the Wizarding World.'

'Still, it's hard to forget one's roots, no matter how ugly they may be.'

Hermione blinked. She'd known he had not had the same start in life she had, but the truth was she knew nothing of his family—next to nothing of the struggles of his childhood. And she considered that struggle might be the operative word.

'I should think it very unlikely that your parents will approve of you and me.'

Was that what had been bothering him? Was this what he had been thinking about all morning? 'Maybe my parents always did imagine I would grow up and marry a nice dentist, or some other upright professional.'

'Someone your own age,' he added.

Hermione smiled to herself. 'If I'm completely frank, Severus, I don't know what they will think. I don't want to argue with them, but I know there is nothing they can say that will change my mind.'

He paused and fixed her with a warning look. 'Do you know what it's like to have a parent look at you with disgust, or contempt, even?'

Even in the summer sun, she felt her blood chill slightly in her veins. 'I don't think... My parents have always supported me,' she explained, in a quiet voice. 'And though our relationship has changed, and it has, of course—I grew up away from them, after all. But I am quite sure they will be accepting, in time.'

He nodded and began levitating the watering can over a selection of pots. Hermione watched him curiously. She didn't even know if his parents were still alive. And was that how they had treated him—with disgust and contempt?

'There is a lot I don't know about you,' she mused, watching him tense slightly. 'What about your family, are they—?'

'I see—we've slept together so now I must start outpouring every sorry detail about my past?' He looked at her rather fiercely, and Hermione would be lying if she said she wasn't taken aback. He hadn't snapped at her in such a way for a long time, she realised. She folded her hands into her lap and lowered her gaze. He exhaled loudly and brought the watering can down onto the ground with a thump.

'That was unreasonable of me,' he said, after a moment. 'It's a fair enquiry, after all.'

'You don't have to tell me anything you don't want to.'

'And you would be satisfied with that, would you?' He raised a sceptical eyebrow.

No, she wouldn't. She would like to think he could talk to her, but still, she would not force him to.

'But it's all right—I shall tell you if you really wish to know.' He began refilling the watering can with an Aquamenti charm. 'My mother died before my final year in school, and I have not seen my father in over twenty years. For all I know, he could be dead, as well,' he stated bluntly.

'I'm sorry...' she said, feeling rather useless.

She wasn't expecting anything more to be forthcoming, but he spoke again, turning back to the shrubs as if it was easier to talk without looking at her. He took out his clippers again.

'As doubtless you are aware, my mother was a witch and my father, a Muggle. To this day, I struggle to determine what it was she saw in him, but whatever it was, it didn't last very long.'

He flung clippings sharply onto the ground, and she knew that was the only sign he would show of his being affected by what he was relating. Otherwise, he sounded like he was reciting the recipe for a burn paste.

'The trouble started when my father lost his job as a millworker, when I was very young. From then on, he spent his time on and off the dole, never being able to hold a job down. What money he did have, he frittered away on drink, and gambling on the horses.'

Hermione watched him abandon the bushes and move around her to throw the cuttings and onto the compost heap.

'My mother had a small private income from her family that kept us out of the gutter, but he got his hands on even that, at times. He was a man who became filled with resentment, Hermione. He resented my mother for being a witch. "Why can't you use one of your spells to get me a job or get me some money?" he would demand. He resented me for being a wizard. Call it an inferiority complex, perhaps. Mostly, he resented me for not being the son he wanted. He wanted a son he could take down the pub or to watch the football with. All I wanted to do was read my mother's old textbooks.

'I don't think it's an exaggeration to say he treated my mother like dirt, and that he... Well, I'm sure you can imagine what it was like. Do you know what the first thing I did when I got home from finishing my seventh year here? The house we lived in was in my mother's name, perhaps the most prudent thing she ever did, and she left it to me in her will.' A hint of steel entered his voice. 'I didn't need my wand. I got home, and I told him that he would get out, and that if I ever saw his face again, he would deeply regret it. He didn't argue; he looked like he expected it. I've no doubt he landed on his feet—probably moved in with his bit-on-the-side. But as I say, I've never seen him since.'

Hermione stared at her hands, feeling indignation on his behalf, as well as a great deal of compassion. It was no wonder he had been so taken with Lily Evans, really. What a blessing she must have seemed when his home-life had been such a complete horror. But even she had been a double-edged sword, in the end.

She stood up and crossed over to where he was standing, staring a little vacantly at one of the flowerbeds.

Putting her hand on his arm she began to speak. 'I'm sorry, Severus—'

He shook her off gently. 'Get off me, woman,' he scoffed, but when she caught his eye there was no irritation in them, only a rather self-conscious look. He quirked his mouth and put a hand on her back. 'Come; let us think of pleasanter things.'

He began walking off, but Hermione stood there, rather bothered and feeling sure her mood was dampened for the day. He glanced over his shoulder when he realised she wasn't following.

'I thought I might show you Hogwarts' private library collection today—Minerva won't mind,' he called casually.

Hermione lifted her head. 'What?'

'Or there's the store—where all the excess, unused, and miscellaneous books, for which there's no room for in the library, are kept.'

She started after him. 'Wait, what library?'

He carried on walking, and she was sure he deliberately quickened his pace.

She shook her head disapprovingly; he was actually going to make her run after him.


Hermione returned to Grimmauld Place on Sunday morning, before she would set off to her parents'. She was a little surprised to encounter only Harry in the house, and when he saw her, he smiled awkwardly.

'Had a good, um, weekend?' he asked, a little uneasily.

She nodded, a little amused. 'Really good, thanks.' She was quite sure Harry would not be interested in any details. 'Is Ginny not around?'

'She's at the Burrow.'

Hermione sat down and smiled slightly at the fact that he was avoiding looking at her. She hadn't really had chance to discuss with him about what he felt on the subject of her relationship with Snape—he usually let Ginny do most of the talking, and of course, with Ron's ire taking centre stage...

'Are you all right, Harry? You can barely look at me, you know.'

Harry snapped his head towards hers and there was a defensive look on his face. 'No, I can... I just...'

'Just don't know what to say?'

He smiled. 'Yes—something like that.'

Hermione returned his smile fondly. 'That all right—I understand.' She did. If he was uneasy about it, then who could blame him? It was hardly something he could have ever prepared himself for.

'You know I'm not angry about it, or anything like that, Hermione.' He fiddled with his glasses for a moment. 'I suppose I'd only just got used to the idea of Snape and my mother, and now I have to get used to the idea of Snape and my friend.'

'He's a veritable thorn in your side, isn't he?' observed Hermione with humour.

'Yes,' said Harry with a chuckle. 'Though at least I won't have to contend with him at the Ministry anymore—I never had any idea of what to say to him. Speaking of that, Yaxley is back out again tomorrow. They kept him in for a bit, to show him he must adhere to his release conditions, but, ah, Snape apparently took him aside and gave him a talking to. I don't think Yaxley will be bothering you again.' Harry stood up, picking up an empty mug and plate from beside his chair. 'Interesting really, isn't it? As soon as Yaxley is sorted out, Snape buggers off back to Hogwarts.' He quirked his eyebrow at her and left the room.

Hermione tilted her head to one side quizzically. Yes... that was rather interesting—very interesting, in fact.

Maybe she should make a point to bring it up with him.

Or maybe she shouldn't.

He didn't do embarrassment very well.

That afternoon, Hermione was sat facing her parents over a Sunday roast dinner. She had no idea when would the best time to break her delicate news to them, but she would do it. Following that conversation she'd had with Snape about parents and family, she knew she had to get things out in the open with hers. But when, though? After they'd all had a few drinks? That could swing things one way or the other. It could make them more relaxed, or more inclined towards fierce objection. Should she leave it till they were settled in front of some laid back Sunday afternoon television programme? She might just chicken out by that point.

In the end, she rather just blurted it out.

'I'm seeing someone,' she said randomly, during dinner. Maybe she thought her father would be sufficiently distracted by the food on his plate, but she knew that was clutching vainly at straws.

'Oh,' her mother gushed, 'that's great news, Hermione! You've been on your own for some time, now.'

Hermione rolled her eyes. 'Thanks for pointing that out, Mum.'

Her mother smiled teasingly.

'Who is he, then, someone from work?' asked her father, before adding hastily. 'I assume it's a 'he', because, you know we wouldn't mind if...'

'Yes, Dad, it's a 'he'.' Hermione fiddled with her fork, feeling faintly sick. 'It's, um, not really someone from work—though I have sort of worked with him in the past.'

Hermione knew she was starting to ramble. 'Look, please reserve your judgement until I've finished, but, um...'

Her parents looked at each other in concern, while she struggled to decide where best to start.

'All right, he's a wizard, of course, and his name is, ah, Severus...' She cleared her throat. 'Snape.'

'Oh, right.' Mrs Granger nodded with interest, and Hermione watched to see if comprehension would dawn—it didn't.

'Any relation to Professor Snape, by chance?' her mother asked finally, when no one spoke.

Hermione swallowed uncomfortably, and her stomach churned. Why had she chosen to do this during dinner? She felt certain she would be sick. 'Actually, it is Professor Snape.'

To an outside observer, the looks upon their faces would have been priceless, and were she not so completely tense, Hermione might have laughed. As it was, she simply held her breath until she thought she would burst.

Her mother gasped loudly, and her father stared at her with wide eyes, a forkful of Yorkshire pudding suspended in the air.

'He was your teacher. You're going out with your teacher?' Mrs Granger looked completely dumbfounded.

'He's not my teacher, anymore!' Hermione pressed loudly. 'Nothing, I repeat, nothing went on when I was a student, or apprentice, either—far from it!'

'Just how old is this man? I recall you mentioning that many of the teachers were in their seventies!'

She looked at her father who had only now deigned to speak. 'Good lord, no—he is forty.'


'What?' she said defensively. 'It's not a big deal, really. Age gaps happen all the time.'

'Oh my God!' cried her mother. 'He was the one who killed Dumbledore!'

Hermione cringed—she'd hoped to leave that titbit of information for another day.

Her father looked at her mother in stunned horror. 'Where did we go wrong, Liz? I mean—'

'Dad! Listen to me, you too, Mum. Severus is not a bad man; he made some mistakes in the past, but he's devoted all of his life to rectifying them. Dumbledore ordered him to kill him—ironically, it was all in our best interests. We wouldn't have won the war, otherwise.'

'I don't care about the ruddy war! I don't like it—any of it,' stated her father firmly. ‘Twenty years is big difference, Hermione!’

'Dad, don't you remember how he helped me when I was attacked? If it weren't for him I might have lost my magic for good—'

'Well, maybe that would have been for the best!'

Hermione froze in shock, but to his credit, her father immediately reached over to touch her arm.

'I'm sorry, love, I didn't mean that. I know you would have been devastated by that. I just...'

'It's all right, Dad.' Hermione smiled weakly, but wondered if he really did mean it. And after everything that had happened, she decided she couldn't blame him if he did. She turned to her mother when the silence around the table became painful. 'Mum?'

'Well, I... I know you aren't a silly girl, Hermione, so I trust that you know what you are doing, and if you are happy...' But her mother still looked uneasy.

'Thank you, I am.'

Her father got up and started clearing the plates away, resorting to what most people did during a crisis—keeping busy. The kettle would be on post-haste.

'He'll get used to it, won't he?' Hermione asked once he'd left the room.

'Don't worry about it; he'll come round to the idea, eventually. Perhaps, once he meets this Severus...'

Hermione nodded dimly. Yes, when they met him. Oh Merlin, how the hell would that turn out? She had a distinct feeling Snape would not be knocking down the door to see them anytime soon—if ever. No doubt she'd have to make him.

She could imagine the meeting, and she felt uncomfortable just thinking about it. What on earth would they have to talk about? Her father would probably sit there glaring, and...

Her father suddenly came back into the room carrying a cup of tea and shaking his head disbelievingly. 'I never thought there'd come a time when you came home with your forty-year-old former teacher in tow!'

Hermione bit her lip and sighed.

Well, if she were completely honest, neither had she.

One Day Like This

A Harry Potter Story
by Hannah_1888

Part 21 of 23

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