Continuing Tales

One Day Like This

A Harry Potter Story
by Hannah_1888

Part 22 of 23

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Still Hermione was sitting on the floor of her bedroom in Grimmauld Place, alternately shrinking and placing her books into neat stacks inside her trunk. It wasn't just her books going in there—her trunk was actually filling up with of all her worldly goods. And as she packed everything up, she realised she didn't have many material possessions. Granted, her books were plentiful, but other than her potions equipment, clothes, and a few other personal effects, she didn't own much of note.

Her hand touched something soft in the trunk and she pulled out her old Gryffindor scarf. Smiling fondly, she placed it around her neck. A pile of her old schoolwork had been lying underneath the scarf—O.W.L and N.E.W.T. work mostly that she hadn't had the heart to throw out. Hermione picked at the bundles of parchment until she found the one she wanted—her old Potions essays.

She glanced through a few of them, still cringing inwardly at the amount of red ink gracing them.

Oh, but some of the comments were harsh!

'The waffle was so deep, Miss Granger, I nearly drowned.'

'The only thing preventing me from falling asleep whilst reading your essay was the very real prospect that I might never wake up again.'

Perhaps her favourite was:

'I get a remarkable sense of déjà vu whenever I read your essays, and then I remember why: You write like you've swallowed a textbook.'

She replaced the essays and put her chin in her hand. Considering it was such an obvious facet of their shared past—him having been her teacher—and the fact that it had given him pause for concern, Hermione had not paid the issue much thought. She'd been so fixed upon winning him round... Or, maybe she just didn't see it as an issue, as such.

The last time she had sat in his classroom as a Hogwarts student had been over three years ago. And while that wasn't a huge amount of time, so much had happened since then that it certainly felt like it. And being his apprentice had been a different matter, really.

She had not been fond of him as a student—not like she had of her other teachers. He'd quite clearly not been fond of her either. But the issue was—did it matter that she had been his student? Should it matter? It was understandable why he might feel it more important than she did, but really, they'd got to know each other as adults, no matter what the press insinuated. It was just another idiosyncrasy of their relationship, she supposed.


She jerked her head around to find someone standing in her doorway. 'Ron,' she stated in some surprise.

'Good to see you haven't completely abandoned the old values, now that you've taken up with a... Slytherin.'

Hermione fiddled with the end of her scarf and nodded, trying to work out if he had come for a fight or a truce. If she knew her old friend, and she liked to think she did, then he appeared to have come for the latter.

'Harry said you're moving out today. Do you need a hand with anything?'

'No,' she answered. 'But thank you for asking.'

He turned to go, but he paused, and it wasn't often that he wore such a solemn expression upon his face, but he looked it now. 'Hermione, I'm sorry that I upset you. If you are happy, then... nothing else matters.'

She smiled at him with gratitude.

'You look different, you know,' he said suddenly.

'I'm sorry?'

Ron gestured slightly with his hand. 'You look different. I noticed it even at Hogwarts, a few months back. You just seem brighter—more animated, more your old self. Did I do that to you, Hermione? Did I make you so very miserable?'

'No, Ron,' she began, a little taken aback by his words. 'No, it wasn't all you, I promise.'

He nodded his understanding, but Hermione wondered if he believed her.

'I blew my chance—I know that now.'

He disappeared, and as the sound of his footsteps retreated, all she was left with was silence. She pulled the scarf from her neck and folded it into the trunk. Things were no longer the same as during the glory days of that scarf—that much was for sure.


Hermione walked slowly down Diagon Alley, crossing off items on her mental list. She still had no cutlery, so that was absolute must to get. Plates, as well, would be a good start. She couldn't see Severus eating his dinner off the table. She had some glasses, thanks to her parents. No cooking utensils, though...

But why was she heading in the direction of Flourish and Blotts? She shouldn't waste time... She still had food to buy, and then she had to try and cook it.

Don't look, Hermione!

It was no good; she would have to go in there—get the urge out of her system.

She was walking towards the bookshop, past Fortescue's, when she heard something that pulled her up short. A very distinct giggle reached her ears. Could it be...? Hermione glanced over the tables outside the ice-cream parlour and felt a grin form when she spied a lone woman bent over a copy of Witch Weekly, clearly enjoying what she was reading.

She couldn't quite see her face, but having suffered six years of that particularly grating giggle, Hermione instinctively knew she'd struck gold.

With determination, she moved towards the woman, and without ceremony, pulled out the chair opposite.

'Why, hello there, Lavender! It's simply fabulous to see you again!' Hermione beamed brightly at her.

Lavender's head shot up, but Hermione could not determine her expression.

'What's with the sunglasses on a drab day like this? Incognito, are you?'

'The price one pays for fame,' Lavender simpered, removing the glasses. 'But then, you'd know all about that lately, wouldn't you?'

Hermione laughed exaggeratedly. 'Yes, yes, that's very true.' She sighed and flipped her hair casually over her shoulder. 'The price one pays for happiness, I suppose.'

Lavender's eyes narrowed slightly. 'Naturally, I have not paid much attention to your story—I have been so busy!'

'Oh! I completely understand! I was so impressed with the photos of you modelling Twilfitt and Tatting's autumn collection. Those cliffs were a wonderful setting.' Hermione shrugged. 'But then, Cornwall is wonderful place full stop—don't you think?'

'Actually,' began Lavender, 'it was Devon—'

'I think it was Cornwall,' interrupted Hermione with steely conviction. Lavender hesitated just enough for Hermione to know she was right. 'And I think I'm right when I say that I have you to thank for unleashing the hounds of the press upon Severus and me.'

'You can't prove it,' stated the blonde tightly, her jaw clenching.

'It doesn't matter,' replied Hermione serenely. 'It doesn't matter, because I realise I owe you one. Indeed, where it not for your shamelessly bankrupt behaviour on the night of the Ministry dinner, I might never have realised how much I cared about Severus. Who knew you were such a benevolent matchmaker?'

There was a furious look in Lavender's eyes as Hermione stood to leave, and it only spurred her on to give her a wide smile as she departed. 'Severus sends his regards, of course. Take care, won't you?'

As she walked away, she considered she might end up paying for that bit of fun. But Hermione didn't care. There was no way she going to give Lavender the satisfaction of how much she had actually frustrated her.

Besides, seeing her so completely speechless was rather satisfying in its self.

Now, where was she? Ah, yes; Flourish and Blotts. Hermione sighed pleasantly. What a lovely day it was.


Hermione pottered round the kitchen in her new flat and sighed irritably. Why had she decided to cook? She was getting flustered managing all the pots and pans and could only imagine what she would look like when she opened the door to him—like she'd run a marathon, probably. She should have just got something to put in the microwave—hardly very classy, but she doubted he would even realise.

She was feeling just a little apprehensive about tonight, as she actually hadn't seen him for about two or three days. The reason for which, one might say, was because they'd had their first proper disagreement—as a couple, anyway, because of course, they had had plenty of disagreements in the past.

The argument had centred, unsurprisingly, around the issue of her parents. When she'd informed him that she had told her parents about them both, he had only raised his eyebrows sceptically. Stupidly, while trying to convince him that her parents were fine with it, she'd revealed too much, specifically what her father's reaction had been. She should have known he would not have responded well to it, but she let her mouth run away with her as usual.

'So, you're saying your father would rather you have become a Muggle after Yaxley attacked you?' He'd looked at her grimly. 'That certainly bodes well for us, doesn't it?'

She'd hesitated before replying, 'He didn't mean it.'

'Oh, didn't he? Why did he say it, then?'

She'd been able to see that he was beginning to rile himself up, and so she'd considered her next words very carefully.

'It was the heat of the moment—he was shocked. I mean, you have to understand it from their point of view. My parents have been through a lot and have done a lot for me where magic is concerned. My mother has since told me how they worried themselves sick while I was at Hogwarts. Getting petrified by a Basilisk, getting attacked by a werewolf, taking on a group of Death Eaters—they were not adventures for them! I see that now. I shipped them off to Australia and do you know what? They even bore that with good grace.

'I spent so little time with them once I embarked at Hogwarts, if ever for one moment my father has wished I was never a witch, then I cannot blame him. It means I haven't treated them well, and it means that they care about me, because I know that despite everything, he didn't mean it—he only wants me to happy, when all is said and done.'

If she'd thought an impassioned speech would appeal to him, then she was wrong.

'Well, that's all lovely isn't it? We shall all go skipping through a field of daisies together—one big happy family!'

'Severus!' she'd admonished, disliking the bite of sarcasm in his tone.

'You have inadvertently proved my point!' he blustered. 'Maybe your parents have put up with a lot, but do you not think even they have limits! It's preposterous to think that anyone would condone their daughter getting involved with me!'

'Severus, you are not making sense—they are fine! They were surprised, naturally, but—'

'I will not be responsible for any bad feeling between you and your parents. I have caused enough damage in my lifetime as it is.'

She'd glared at him, frustrated by his impossibility.

'You didn't see this problem coming, then? You didn't foresee a time when you might have to meet my parents?'

'Of course I did!' he spat. 'But I was weak enough to ignore it.'

'Oh, you were weak—how romantic. So what now, we're finished, is that it?'

'I just don't see why I have to meet them yet, I—'

'You're my...' What was he? There didn't seem to be a word fitting enough that didn't stick in her throat. 'We're together, aren't we? They want to meet the person I'm seeing. When do you want to meet them—in five years' time? In ten? What happens if we get married—you won't turn up to your own wedding in case my parents or my friends are there?'

She should have abandoned that last part. Not only was mentioning weddings a risky strategy when dealing with men, but her words were rather harsh, too. She knew it was not his fault, not really. She'd not failed to notice that there were times when he almost seemed to be crippled by self-doubt.

She'd tried again, in a more reasoning tone. 'You're making this more difficult than it need be, Severus. My parents, my father, will be supportive of me.'

They're not like your parents, she'd wanted to say, but she didn't. He wouldn't appreciate her making the comparison.

He'd merely thrown himself into his chair and looked anywhere but at her. The tension in his jaw had been visible, and she'd been able to tell that she would get no further with him for the time being.

'Just think about it a little more, Severus,' she urged quietly, but when she stepped towards him, he stood up and left the room.

She'd sighed and Disapparated, feeling disappointed, but not unduly disheartened.

Hermione was jolted from her reverie by a pan nearly boiling over, and she quickly tended to it.

She appreciated that he was so concerned about her relationship with her parents, but felt that he was blinded by his experience with his own parents.

In any case, she'd left him alone for a few days—feeling that some time by himself might do him good. She was beginning to realise that there were certain moods that only he could bring himself out of, and she understood that.

She'd sent him a note yesterday saying: 'Are you going to come and see my new flat, then, or what?'

All she'd received in reply was a terse: 'Yes.'

It had made her smile, though.

She noticed the clock beginning to approach seven, and she quickly ran into the living room to check everything was still tidy. Of course it was still tidy. A herd of elephants hadn't trampled through it since the last time she'd checked ten minutes ago! Besides, she'd only been living there a few days, the clutter hadn't had chance to accumulate yet.

Hermione looked in the mirror and furiously flattened the hairs on her head that had reacted indignantly towards the steam in the kitchen. 'Bloody hair', she muttered irritably.

The door knocked and Hermione felt her stomach jump pleasantly in anticipation. He was a bit early by the look of her watch. Never mind, she'd pathetically missed him in the space of only a few days. She opened the door and the breath left her lungs when she saw who it was.

'Mum! Dad! What... what are you doing here?' She smiled nervously.

Her parents both smiled.

'Can't we come and see our daughter in her new flat?' asked her mother with a laugh.

'Of course...'

'We've been into town, and as we were heading in this direction, we thought we'd stop by for five minutes.'

Hermione let them in and bit her lip when they stopped short at the half laid table. She swallowed uncomfortably.

'Oh! You're expecting company. Sorry, love, we'll just...'

'Is, ah, Severus coming?' Her father asked sternly.

Hermione nodded. 'He's, um, due now.'

Mr Granger nodded to himself and then shared a look with his wife. 'Well, I'm sure we wouldn't mind saying hello.'

But Severus might, Hermione added silently.

'We won't encroach upon your evening, of course,' he continued.

She could hardly say no—she didn't have the time to explain just how delicate the situation was. But, perhaps it would be good to get it out of the way. If he saw for himself that her parents were not going to suddenly go off the deep end and renounce her, he'd stop bothering himself about it. Her parents stood there expectantly. She knew that they would try and make an effort, if nothing else.

There was another knock on the door, and Hermione looked at them in sudden horror. Merlin was this really such a good idea?

'Right, Dad, Mum, listen; please, please, try not to mention that he was my teacher, in fact, it would be best not to talk about Hogwarts at all; no mention of Dumbledore; Voldemort; the war in general; Ron; or anything to do with Harry Potter—all right?'

'If you say so, love.' Her parents looked at each other in bemusement.

Hermione scuttled to the door and breathed deeply before tentatively opening it.

'Severus.' She tried to smile brightly, but managed only a rather watery one.

'Good evening.' He raised his eyebrows questioningly when she just stood there. 'Are you... angry with me?'

'No, I...' Hermione stepped forward, and grasping his face, she pressed a kiss to his lips. Then she moved back, feeling dread rise within her.

'What's wrong?'

'My parents are in there,' she whispered hurriedly, indicating the room behind her.

He was silent for a moment, but his face said it all. 'I wondered why that kiss felt like a kiss for the damned.'

'They just called in unannounced, and I had to tell them you were coming. Please, don't think I've trapped you into this! I wouldn't do that.' She had to stop herself from wringing her hands.

He nodded stiffly, but already his expression had hardened as if steeling himself, and... He did not look happy.

Hermione touched his arm and pulled him inside. 'It'll be fine, I promise.' She offered him an encouraging look before leading the way into the living room. Please let it be all right! she pleaded silently.

There was only her father standing there when they entered.

'Good evening, Mr. Granger,' said Snape offering his hand. Hermione watched avidly, poised to divert any potential disastrous turn in the exchange.

Her father stepped forward. 'It's nice to meet you, Severus. Please, call me Phil. My wife is in the kitchen—she'll be here in a moment.'

Hermione was glad that her father was being civil. There was something approaching flintiness in his gaze—it was not entirely unexpected, though.

The door to the kitchen soon opened, and her mother appeared. 'The timer went off on the oven, Hermione. Hello, Professor Snape, I'm—'

To Hermione's eternal surprise, her mother did a double take when she saw him and stood there with a blank expression upon her face.

'Please, call me Severus,' began Snape, slowly, a ponderous note in his voice that Hermione did not fail to hear.

At the sound of his voice, her mother raised a hand to her mouth with a gasp. 'Oh my...'

Mr. Granger looked at her in confusion, as did Hermione.

'What's wrong, Mum?'

'I don't believe it,' she murmured quietly, shaking her head vigorously. 'Of all the... I can't believe it.'

Hermione turned to Severus who was looking at Mrs Granger intently. 'Severus?'

There was something akin to real discomfort on his face. 'I believe, if my memory serves me correctly, your mother and I have met before.'

A shiver ran down Hermione's spine, and she could only stare at him dumbly. Met before? When? She wondered, perhaps irrationally, if her life was going to turn into one of those Muggle soap operas by finding out that Severus and her mother had had some torrid fling in the past.

'It was a supermarket, or something, wasn't it?' Snape asked.

They met at the supermarket? Hermione shook herself mentally—no, she actually wasn't imagining this.

Now, recognition seemed to be dawning on her father's face, and he turned a shocked look to his wife. 'This is him?'

'Right, this is making no sense,' Hermione said firmly, beginning to feel worried.

Mrs Granger sat down, disbelief still visible on her face. 'Do you remember, Hermione, when Death Eaters attacked the Tesco a few miles away from here? It has to be a good few years ago, now.'

She did recall. 'Yes, I was very worried about it being so close; in fact, that is what helped me make up my mind to send you to Australia, but I still don't see what—'

'Why don't you sit down, love?' At her father's urging look, Hermione sat obligingly on the sofa. Severus sat next to her, but was staring at his hands, seemingly in thought.

'You see, Hermione, we didn't tell you at the time, because we didn't want you to worry unnecessarily while you were at school, but, ah, your mother was actually in the shop when it happened.'

She stared at them in mute astonishment and had to struggle to find her voice. 'You were? Oh my... oh my God, eight people died!' Her eyes widened incredulously.

Her mother nodded in agreement. 'It was awful, Hermione; first the lights started flickering on and off, and we didn't think anything of it—just a power cut, you know? But then, things started falling off shelves—flying about! Fridges were being pushed over!' Her mother shrugged. 'It was terrifying. We ran to the exits, but the doors were locked! I was standing by the cheese counter, at the time. Do you remember, Hermione? Where, when you were young, you used to like to—'

'Mum! How can you be so calm about this?' Calm enough that she could slip in an embarrassing anecdote about her daughter! Hermione stared at her in amazement.

'Sorry, love; it's a long time ago for me. Anyway, there was so much panic—no one knew what was happening, though, of course, I had some idea from keeping up with the Daily Prophet, as well as what you had told me yourself. I knew for sure when several dark figures appeared as if from nowhere.'

Hermione could hardly believe what she was hearing. Suddenly, Snape was speaking and she snapped her attention to him.

'You see, Voldemort was never one for getting directly involved in terrorising Muggles—he was willing to leave that up to his Death Eaters to organise as they wished. So, at times, it was arranged that certain places would be targeted. My position within the Death Eaters was such that I was not required to join them, but I went along as often as possible in case there was anything I could do to thwart them in their hell-raising. It was not always easy to do anything, but in this instance, I managed to break a few windows, undo some locking charms and so on, so that some might escape.'

'I was hit by a spell, Hermione—it knocked me out cold.' Mr Granger put his hand comfortingly over his wife's.

'It was a Stunner,' explained Severus. 'I found her lying in one of the aisles, and I could see she was still alive...'

'I was so frightened when I woke up, because, of course, you had a mask on and I thought...'

Snape nodded minutely. 'I remember a spell ricocheting off the wall nearby and debris beginning to fall. I was knocked off-balance for a moment and my hood slipped. Is that correct?'

Mrs Granger indicated her agreement. 'Yes, the mask you wore stopped me from seeing you completely, but then you spoke, telling me to run.'

'I, ah, sent a Reducto towards one of the doors, forcing it open. By then, there were so many spells flying about that it was not so suspicious an occurrence.'

'Then I was outside, and I was running for all I was worth. I never got to thank you, Severus.'

Hermione was vaguely aware of Severus uncomfortably brushing off the thanks, and her father getting up to grasp his hand, but she was still trying to digest it all.

'I can't believe it... I can't believe you never told me,' she muttered sadly. 'To think that you might have... That you've been involved in such... And you never said anything. Would you have ever told me?'

Her mother could have died, but Severus had saved her, and no one had known the true significance, at the time. All this time, her mother had had a run-in with the Death Eaters, and she hadn't known. She was lost in what-if scenarios when she became aware of Snape getting to his feet.

'My apologies, but if you'll excuse me, I must... I must—'

He didn't finish his sentence; he Disapparated without another word. Hermione, for all intents and purposes completely frozen with shock, simply stared at where he'd been sitting.

'Where's he gone?' she asked stupidly. She looked at her parents helplessly.

'Go after him, Hermione,' her mother urged.

'Right, I will, um....' She stood up and put a hand to her head in dazed confusion.

Where would he even go?

One Day Like This

A Harry Potter Story
by Hannah_1888

Part 22 of 23

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